Dr. Alison R. Tendler

By Dr. Alison R. Tendler

Finding ART

Finding ART 675 1024 Alison Tendler

Who am I?

That deep, soulful (often loaded!) question is one most of us ponder regularly.

Some people spend their whole lives trying to discover and define themselves. A question that sounds like it should be so simple often feels impossible to answer, and for a small business owner, I not only strive to figure this out for myself, but also for my practice. Owning a small business means I have to constantly reevaluate not only who I am as a person, but also what I stand for as an owner of my own medical practice.

Sometimes this answer is hard

The community in which I live and where I own my practice is terrific for small business owners. It also happens to be an exceptional medical community with amazing health systems and medical providers. While I feel so fortunate to live in a place like this, it can also make things difficult. In an area that combines a tight-knit business community with countless high-quality medical practitioners, what sets me and my practice apart?

Full transparency: imposter syndrome is real

Not just for me. Most of us fight imposter syndrome every day. It can be a constant struggle to try and work past it, to determine who we really are and why we deserve the success we have achieved. Because guess what…you are worthy. And so am I. We have earned everything we have fought to achieve, no matter what our brains try to tell us some days. For me, one of the best ways to combat imposter syndrome is by building relationships with mentors. This helps me find commonality with people that I view as successful, which in turn helps me see the parallels of success in my own life.

Along the same lines, it is helpful to find someone else to mentor. Sharing my knowledge and talents with someone who looks to me as an expert. Teaching and educating those who are coming behind you can help give confidence to them and–bonus!–to you too.

So, on the days when imposter syndrome is rearing its ugly head, I have to think about what sets me apart.

How am I different? What makes my business different?

Because after all, the ultimate goal in running a business is differentiation. So for me, the ART is who I am. Not only does ART happen to be my initials, but it also happens to be the way I have always seen the world, and now it is how I see my work, and why I bring it into the names of my medical practices and my personal brand. While I was formally trained as a physician, and NOT as an artist, the one thing I know for sure is that there is more to medicine than just medicine. And the ART of medicine is where I shine. I have always searched out the creativity, symmetry, nuance, and overall beauty in everything I do.

When I interact with my patients and clients both in my vision clinic and in my skin and laser center, I strive to treat each person with respect to their own personal beauty and uniqueness. And that is what I hope each person feels when they come into our office. I want them to feel seen as an individual, to feel valued and loved. Less like a medical condition and more like a human being with their own unique set of circumstances. Like they are part of our family.

So, as you search for what sets you apart, in a world of stiff competition and imposter syndrome trying to tell you that you aren’t enough and that you don’t belong, remember why you started, why you are worthy of all the good things life has to offer. Maybe it’s a mentor. Maybe it’s a cheesy inspirational quote. Don’t be afraid to march to the beat of your own drum and embrace your quirks; these are the exact things that set you apart! And of course, strive to see the beauty, the nuance, and the ART in everything you do.