EPISODE 030
Riches Are In The Niches
This episode is a conversation with Dr. Steven Goudy, a pediatric surgeon and inventor, who talks about his professional journey as well as the importance of self-awareness.  
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Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[00:00]:
I am a pediatric ear, nose, and throat, head, neck surgeon. I see patients in the clinic, obviously pediatric primarily, and then decide on medical treatment, surgical treatment. That's my day to day job, cleaning out-


Host - Monique Mills

[00:18]:
That's major. That's a huge part that a lot of people listening are like, "Whoa, wait a minute. You mean to tell me he's a doctor? Okay, wait a minute."


Host - Monique Mills

[00:26]:
You're a doctor and then you also have an MBA, and you also... We're going to get into your startup.

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the Unpolished MBA Podcast. In this episode I had a conversation with Dr. Steven Goudy, the person behind the brand Dr. Noze Best. This was a fascinating conversation because although he's a well accomplished professional, he's also an inventor. You see, he created a device that solves a really common yet unspoken problem. As he mentioned during the episode, when it comes to building a business and building wealth, the riches are in the niches. Let's hop in. Are you an entrepreneur or an employee?


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[01:18]:
Yes.


Host - Monique Mills

 [01:19]:
Yes?



Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[01:23]:
Yeah. I think most entrepreneurs start out with their entrepreneurial idea as a side hustle, in that they're working on a job that is meaningful or not, however, they also have another idea, or passion, or goal that they want to execute on, and they are doing both simultaneously.

So in general, a lot of folks I know are an employee, meaning I work for a big healthcare company, while at the same time I am a CEO founder of a startup healthcare tech company that is innovating. I'm simultaneously a boss, and an employee, and somewhere in the middle in many other places, if that makes sense.


Host - Monique Mills

[02:13]:
It makes sense. That's very common, and I want to dig into that because I know that there can be definitely pros and cons to that when fundraising. My next question that I ask everyone is MBA or no MBA?


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[02:27]:
The question... or the answer to that would be yes. I started the business without an MBA, and then through the course of growing the business and growing my own self, I got an MBA.


Host - Monique Mills

[02:42]:
Did you get it because you started the business? What was the reason?


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

(02:46):
I have an uncanny desire to continue to learn, or maybe it's unquenchable. I think it's probably unquenchable. I don't think it's uncanny. I think there's a lot of people out there that like to continually learn. I hadn't previously articulated the desire to continually improve things around me, including myself. I know and knew that I can be better, and there seemed to be a gap in my skill set to think about business processes.

Being in healthcare, healthcare is a huge business, lots and lots of revenue and other things that are going on around us, yet we are never at the table when those decisions were being made. So day to day, saw the friction point and the frustration of one side of the table is speaking a language and the other side of the table is speaking a different language, and those don't crossover very much.


Host - Monique Mills

[03:42]:
That's right. Yeah.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[03:43]:
To build that skill set, I felt like getting an MBA was important to me. Having said that, it was a time commitment for both myself as well as my family and had broached that subject several times on the home front with my family. It didn't make sense to do it, particularly when my children were young and there was a constant need for support and help.

The trade-off I made is waiting till I was a little bit older, and had some more experience, and therefore made it more applicable. The question that you asked about the impetus to do it being a startup, I think it was there. I wanted to be more involved in business, and part of it is growing this business Dr. Noze Best, and I feel like I gained the skills and the confidence. I think it really is the confidence to grow in a way in which I didn't have that confidence before.


Host - Monique Mills

[04:43]:
That's a repeating theme in this podcast, on the Unpolished MBA. Several of our guests who have gotten their MBA says that it gave them the confidence to do what they do currently as an entrepreneur, or even to start side hustles as you may call it. But I have some important questions when it comes to doing your MBA. I would say we're on the same page.

I'm a lifelong learner as well, but there are many people who feel like they can learn how to be efficient as a business owner or a tech startup founder without doing an MBA. With all of the entrepreneurial accelerators and classes that are available these days, that they don't see the need for the MBA. That's the first thing. I want to ask you how you feel about that?

Then the second thing in regards to the MBA is, how was your program structured? Because most MBA programs teach you how to be a great business person in corporate America, not necessarily how to be a great entrepreneur.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[05:49]:
Maybe backing up, would I trade what I have done now for a cheaper option that was online versus a cheaper option that was compartmentalized or maybe didn't fully meet all of the requirements of an MBA? I would say no. I feel like what I intended to get out of the MBA that I got through Emory and the go sweat of business school is exactly what I wanted, and some of that is content and relationships with teachers.

I'm very much a visual, in-person, ask questions, and develop a relationship learner. However, there are lots of people I went to medical school that didn't need that. They just needed the book and the requirements, and they could go learn it themselves. So I think for me, it absolutely made sense to be as in person, obviously right now that's different, to build individual personalized relationships with my teachers, number one.

Number two, it's the network of the people around you that crossed over into very different sectors of business. I've surrounded myself or insulated myself and not really... Home Depot, Coke, KPMG, all these folks that are excelling and using skill sets that I just hadn't even thought about, and could bring those ideas to medicine, and I could bring my ideas to their workplace as well.

So I think I wouldn't trade it. I took some Kauffman innovation courses. I took some other stuff that has built my skill set. I think for the right individual, it's an absolute next level investment in yourself, as well as in your team and your organization. For future career growth I think it really provides that additional skill set. As an example, yesterday I'm at my day job talking to healthcare professionals and talking about commoditization, and strategies to win, and core capabilities, and XYZ business terms that two, three years ago, I wouldn't have understood those as deeply and richly as I do today.


Host - Monique Mills

[08:01]:
Before you move on to the next question about the MBA preparing you for... Well, you pretty much answered that question about the MBA preparing you for your current business. One of the things you mentioned a few times as well, my role in healthcare or in the health field. Can you explain to our audience what you do for a living, and what your background is?


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[08:23]:
I am a pediatric ear, nose, and throat, head, neck surgeon. I see patients in the clinic, obviously pediatric primarily, and then decide on medical treatment, surgical treatment. That's my day to day job, cleaning out-


Host - Monique Mills

[08:41]:
That's major. That's a huge part that a lot of people listening are like, "Whoa, wait a minute. You mean to tell me he's a doctor? Okay, wait a minute."


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[08:49]:
[crosstalk 00:08:49].


Host - Monique Mills

[08:49]:
You're a doctor, and then you also have an MBA, and you also... We're going to get into your startup, and you're also doing this. You are the ideal of what people are like, "Wow, that's a textbook person that's just really smart, really driven, that what can't they do?" Right?

You're a great example of someone who overachieves, but it feels natural. It's just you want to keep learning and adding value to the world. I can't just let you pass through that because maybe it's not a big deal to you because you've been doing it so long, but it's a huge deal to our audience to really understand who you are and what you've accomplished before you started on Dr. Noze Best.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[09:34]:
Well, to get back to your point of other folks and founders that you bring on this show have told you similar stories, I think it really starts with that growth mindset. I feel like the answers, "We've always done it that way," doesn't work for me. "This is as good as we have," doesn't work for me. And really wanting to grow and say, "Okay, interesting. Why? Why is it that way? Why can't we make it better, faster, stronger, cheaper, what have you?" So in general-


Host - Monique Mills

[10:07]:
It's that curiosity. You have that curiosity that I have and a lot of people who continue learning have.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[10:14]:
Right. Right. It's almost an insatiable curiosity.


Host - Monique Mills

[10:21]:
I can't help myself, right?


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[10:22]:
 Right, and sometimes that's good and sometimes that's bad.


Host - Monique Mills

[10:27]:
And sometimes it's bad, I know.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[10:29]:
Well, I don't know that there's a lot of curiosity that's bad-


Host - Monique Mills

[10:33]:
To other people. It's never bad to me.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[10:34]:
... it's how you make others... Right. How people perceive your pursuit of that goal, if you will. So I have learned, and I would say another huge part of my journey is self-awareness.


Host - Monique Mills

[10:50]:
Yes.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[10:52]: 
Without being self-aware, I was not as efficient, as good, as effective in my place of work. Really, my kids make fun of me because there may be an avalanche in my bedroom in that there are so many self-help books on my bedside table that it is just almost unfathomable, almost unreadable. Yet I am equally as focused, and was even less aware that that was a skill gap that I had that business school obviously talks about how to be effective in the workplace.

What are the career stoppers, and the Birkman and the Thomas-Kilmann Instrument, and all these things that really bring about, how do I work at the top of my scope? Right?

If you take a Lean Six Sigma class, you want everybody working at the top of their scope. If I am derailing my colleagues, or my employees, or what have you with my behavior, that's not me working most effectively. Right? I don't know how much folks around the startup world embrace that because usually they're so focused and so good at one thing, they can't see beyond that.

I think that they're... from the outside looking in, because we are not successful yet, but for the folks that are successful, they build that self-awareness into their DNA and/or already have it and/or hire for that to insulate the people beyond their inner circle from the lack of awareness at the top.


Host - Monique Mills

[12:35]:
One of the things I really have seen is that most founders who are not self-aware and still become successful, they become successful in spite of themselves. Whatever the idea is, whatever the business is, whatever the market pull is for it, makes the business successful.

Those founders never really change who they are and can be quite disastrous in their own organization. I've seen several of them be kind of plucked out by their investors and someone else put in once the company gets a certain way, a certain amount of traction. So having the self-awareness and working on oneself to be the best person is the way to go because you don't have those same problems as those who are not self-aware at all. You're an ear, nose, and throat pediatric doctor.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[13:32]:
Yes, ma'am.


Host - Monique Mills

[13:32]:
What is it that your... First of all, tell us the name of your company. You said Dr. Noze Best, but I think people are probably thinking Noze is spelled another way, but now that they know you're ENT.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[13:42]:
Right. Right. Right.


Host - Monique Mills

[13:45]:
But tell us a little bit about what your company does, and what you're doing right now?


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[13:50]:
Great. Again, many people that start up companies have identified a gap in the marketplace. Several podcasts that I listen to in addition to yours say that riches are in the niches. So again, identifying a niche or a spot that the solution just isn't sophisticated, or causes a lot of friction, or what have you, right? So taking a cab, that was really annoying and frustrating, and people didn't want to do it anymore. Uber, and Lyft, and all those things developed.

So for me, I continued to experience both personally having three children, but also as well in my personal life when my children, when other people's children are sick and can't breathe, that is a very acute life event that people have a hard time dealing with, is emotional. We have antiquated or poorly fashioned tools to address that.
My wife has told me, "Hey, you're a pediatric ENT, and all we have to address nasal congestion, etc., are these blue bulbs that don't work.

You have to literally sit on your child to use them." I think that is when the gap in the market space was identified. Then continually, I'm constantly doing customer discovery in the health and wellness space in the upper... We call it the upper aerodigestive tract, but your nose, your throat, your lungs, etc. So the goal of Dr. Noze Best, N-O-Z-E B-E-S-T, Noze Best, is to develop and educate families on the best health and wellness information to assist them in taking care of their most prized possession, and then offer them differentiated solutions to pain points that exist in the market space.

Example number one is the blue bulb. We have launched for the last three months, both on our website and on Amazon, a better nasal suction device, or aspirator as we call them, that allows you to comfortably hold your baby's face and suction at the same time while providing hospital grade suction in a portable and rechargeable fashion. That sounds like a lot of gobbledygook. What does it mean? It means that you can do what you need to for your child without literally sitting on them in an efficient and effective way that families have given us great feedback.


Host - Monique Mills

[16:33]:
Tell me a little bit more about what makes your design different?


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[16:37]: 
So not everybody needs our device. Certainly it would be great if everybody went out and bought one. The ideal customer is somebody whose child is in daycare and is getting sick 6 to 10 times a year, if not more. So babies, particularly under the age of one, have to breathe out of their nose. They can't breathe out of their mouth. When they get a bad cold, which is normal and expected, that they can't breathe. They can't eat. They can't sleep. You can't sleep. It's this vicious cycle, and really, obviously sleep is very restorative and restful for everybody.

So we provide a suction device that's hospital grade that we can get all the gunk out really efficiently. The neat part of our device is that you put our device on your index and your middle finger, and that frees up your thumb and your pinky finger to actually hold your baby's face with the same hand. So instead of the blue bulb occupying your whole hand, you can actually hold your baby's face and suction simultaneously with the same hand. We're actually literally giving you a hand back. Trying to suction out the nose of a baby once they figure out what's going on is like trying to floss the teeth of a saber-tooth-


Host - Monique Mills

[17:49]:
Tell me about it.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[17:49]:
... tiger. We feel like, based on the design, that was the intent, and the feedback that we're getting is that it makes it efficient. The interesting part is that the older kids actually love it because they can do it themselves, and nobody has to chase them around the house with a box of Kleenex to wipe their nose. The use cases, I think, are beyond what we had anticipated.

I think that families are deriving a lot of value out of the efficiency of doing it, the control and safety of being able to suction your child's nose without, as you said, sitting on them, which sounds crazy. But if you sit in a room with 10 people, there are going to be at least four or five that raise their hand that have had to do that. And this is just the first product. We're going to be a multi-product company. We have another product under development currently that will address a different pain point in the infant and pediatric health and wellness space this next year.


Host - Monique Mills

[18:48]:
So parents that are listening, if they wanted to find out more information about your device, where could they go?


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[18:55]:
So a couple places. Our website is www.drnozebest.com, D-R-N-O-Z-E-B-E-S-T.com, and there will be lots of content and information. We have blog posts, example being, is it cold or allergies? We intend to be a content forward company. We're also on Amazon. You can find us there. You can read the reviews, you can see what people are saying. There's an actual video that one of our customers posted on how she uses the NozeBot with her child, so you can see it in use by an actual customer.


Host - Monique Mills

[19:30]:
I would like to wrap this up by asking you what's next for you? Are you still going to continue to be a pediatric ENT and run your business, or at some point you're going to decide one or the other?


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[19:43]:
That's a great question. I would say that I want to continue to add value to the organizations that I'm in with. I love taking care of patients. That ability to help a family through their healthcare journey is very powerful. I recognize that if I am successful in either workplace, that I will have to choose how far I step away from the bedside. The Dr. Noze Best company will be a brand.

The brand will reflect our focus on health and wellness education and smarter differentiated solutions. I fully intend to be involved in that as long as I can in whatever capacity I add value.

If we grow in scale, I recognize that my title will likely change, and that is good because that means the company is succeeding. Where I add value and how I add value, I don't know. I'm counting on people like you, Monique, to help make those decisions. Again, I'm very thankful to the ATDC for growing me up, along with my partner, and the GRA, and GCMI, and so many different parts of the fabric of the Atlanta startup community I'm indebted to. Emory University, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, all of those folks together have pushed me up and forward or pushed me out of the nest too. As other people describe it, as you're an entrepreneur, you're building the plane while you're flying it.


Host - Monique Mills

[21:16]:
That's right.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[21:17]:
You specifically, as well as Jane, and Shane, and Adam have helped me keep the... I don't know if the plane is flying straight, but we're not heading towards the ground at the moment, which is really nice.


Host - Monique Mills

[21:28]:
Well, it's a pleasure to have played a small part in your success. I want to thank you again for joining us on Unpolished MBA.


Guest - Dr. Steven Goudy

[21:36]:
All right. Thank you, Monique. It was great.


Host - Monique Mills

[21:41]:
Well, that's it. So what did you think? After this interview I couldn't help but think about his statements on self-awareness. For such an accomplished person, I'm always fascinated by his humbleness, but also by his proactive behaviors to be a positive contributor and leader to the people around him. When he spoke about having stacks of papers and books on his nightstand, I silently laughed at myself because I can so identify with that.

Do any of you also have five different books you're reading at once and a stack of papers in your space that makes complete sense to you, but perhaps it looks disorganized to others? If so, we're all kindred spirits. Dr. Goudy, soon to be known as a worldwide brand as Dr. Noze Best, is such a great example of what can be accomplished when you love to learn, then love what you do, and then you use it to make an impact on the world in the ways that you see fit. That's such a fulfilling journey.


The Unpolished MBA conversation continues, and you can be a part of it by going to unpolishedmba.com. Thank you for listening.

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