Being different makes a difference. That’s why I began MAE Group, to use my own outside-the-box thinking to help others bring life-saving devices into the world. In other words, bring purpose into my business.
In the climate of innovation in the health and medical device industry, thinking outside the box as a service provider matters. As many medical device companies of any size knows, there are multiple paths to the same goal. The path well-traveled isn’t always the best option. As evidenced through my own path.
Being Different Doesn’t Always Feel Good
For years whenever walking into work, no matter how successful, I felt tightness around my throat making me gasp for air. In fact, the throat tightening was my clue that I wasn’t meant to be in corporate. That’s when I began thinking of starting my own business. Honestly, I knew I never quite fit in with corporate structure.
To Be Different means to Be True to Yourself
“To thine own self be true,” says Polonius in Hamlet by Shakespeare. I believe in the essence of those words. I knew to be true to myself I needed to accept that I was not a perfect fit in the corporate world. In fact, I could see opportunity that was not in line with the direction of any given company. I saw solutions and paths that others in the corporate world couldn’t see or were just unable to recognize.
In fact, being in the corporate world sometimes stifles creativity and innovation. At least that’s what I discovered when I left the world of corporate medical device in 2013. When the opportunity presented itself to leave corporate and start MAE Group, I decided to dive into the deep side of the pool.
It was actually a relief as I made the commitment and thought: finally, I will make it based on my abilities, determination and skills. Striking out on your own, without a net is liberating and exhilarating — with a hint of terror. But that’s where I fit, with innovators. Helping leaders, scientists, inventors, and doctors bring life-saving and innovative devices to market. It can be exhilarating and terrifying.
How Being Different Makes a Difference
First and foremost, I’m well versed in the medical device industry, an expert, so I hired a team of experts. Together, we now navigate the known paths and travel into the unknown. Being different makes a difference.
Why does being different make a difference? First, as you know, medical devices are each unique. Secondly, global markets take finessing and skill. Thirdly, manufacturing devices efficiently and effectively takes work-arounds, flexibility, and innovation. In short, each step along the commercialization pathway, even when a device is on the market, takes maneuverability and fierce navigation skills. Different ways of thinking.
In fact, those skills that come naturally to me that didn’t work steering a giant ship like corporate, work extremely well in a plane. A plane in which I navigate and chart the course. We create the structure, the best one, that guides leaders and innovators.
Today I get the chance to put my thoughts and ideas into practice every day. I know I’m not saying anything new but when you are “it” – you succeed or fail by your own decisions, your own strategy, and your own execution from finance to marketing to operations. I love it.
In fact, I’m not limited to the business service side. MAE Group leads the development of a platform technology, thermobrachytherapy. The device impacts patients and their families with glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer. This is where unique matters. Where being different makes a difference.
Above all else, I know this was the right decision for me. I enjoy flying the plane and being in the cockpit. In short, it’s good to admit you don’t fit into a system or a dynamic, it’s innovative to think differently, it’s perfect to try to add value to a business even if it is “not the job you were hired for”, and it’s wonderful to believe in yourself.
It’s okay to be a square peg in a round hole. Be different and make a difference.