Home Where We Practice Corporate Affiliated No Mentor, No Problem! How to Become Self-Made in Eye Care.

No Mentor, No Problem! How to Become Self-Made in Eye Care.

By Maria Sampalis, OD, Corporate Optometry Careers
You don’t need to have a family member that was or is in the eye care industry or an extensive network, income or mentor to become a self-made optometrist. Self-made ODs didn’t have success given to them; they went out and got it! All you need to learn is how to invest money productively, practice perseverance, don’t settle and keep learning. Starting from scratch and not having doors opened for you can be a daunting task, but for those who are motivated by success, the journey is worth it.

Having a positive outlook with a well-thought-out plan is imperative to succeed as an entrepreneur in the optometry industry. Here are 6 tips to help you along the way.


Self-made optometrists are passionate about the field and love their work. To follow their path, you need to be ambitious and driven to reach your goals.

When you are working as an employee in an optometry practice you are more likely to hit a salary cap and time constraints on pursuing your passion. Choose a niche that you have expertise in and work towards establishing your own practice whether it is sublease or private practice.

Being self-made in optometry requires you to work for extensive hours and tackle financial stress. Push boundaries to create opportunities for yourself and have a clear vision. You will need to out-hustle others to succeed. It is about strong work ethic not about intellectual abilities.


Determining short-term and long-term goals is essential for succeeding as an entrepreneurial OD. Write down your plans in a notebook and make to-do lists. Ensure that your goals are specific and realistic, and make a firm commitment to meet them. Goals should be as simple as one-week out to a five-year plan.

Divide your goals into actionable steps so that you can proceed in a systematic manner. Instead of concentrating on money, focus on success. Once you reach your goals aim higher have something to build up to.


Read books and study people who have become self-made professionals, and ask for their advice. Understand how they think about their success, what got them there and how they did things differently. Success is very slow at the beginning. Continuing to do the same repetitive motions with no progress can be difficult; many will give up. Self-made professionals embrace the grind.


The company you keep can have an impact on your life and career in positive as well as negative ways. People who are discouraging and have bad work habits can influence your frame of mind and behavior. Make sure you surround yourself with people with work habits and goals that are similar to yours.


Self-made professionals have a different mindset. To get to the goal, certain choices need to be made in order to be functioning at a master level. Be willing to do what others are not willing to do! It will be physically and mentally hard. If you are looking to get ahead, then you will need to do things that others would have quit already. Maybe it is getting up early working on the project for hours before work. Maybe it is changing how the family dynamic is. Each goal reached is a small win in the long journey of fulfillment.


To be successful, keep a track of how and where you spend your money. Invest in your business, pick up the extra shift, ask for more projects at work. Reinvest strategically in yourself and in multiple revenue sources. Delay gratification. Pay yourself last. Keep your eyes on your ultimate goal. Many self-made people understand that success is not the money amount but about fulfillment and freedom of choices.

Success will not come overnight, but with dedication, courage and resilience.

This is an excerpt of an article that Dr. Sampalis posted on Corporate Optometry Careers. Read the full article here. 

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