Oftentimes, health care workers rise as far as they can go and feel the need to branch out. In this week’s episode of Stocks4Docs, we discuss with Dr. Navin Goyal how he handled that dilemma. Navin began his career as a noted anesthesiologist and, seeking to help others, blossomed into developing new businesses and investing funds to help entrepreneurs in the healthcare industry. 

To learn more about this successful doctor and business owner, we started by asking why he expanded from medicine into business.

 

Why did Navin move into business? 

Ever since he was in grade school, Navin wanted to be a physician. He went to medical school in Cincinnati and trained as an anesthesiologist in Chicago for four years. After graduation, he came back to Columbus, Ohio and joined a private practice where he worked as an anesthesiologist for 13 years. But, after a few years of passing the boards and getting comfortable financially and starting a family with his wife, who is also an anesthesiologist, he began to look around and wonder what to do with the money he was earning.  

At first, he began investing in real estate, but he didn’t feel satisfied. By 2012 there were a lot of young entrepreneurial ecosystem startups in Columbus and he decided to begin investing in them as an angel investor.

What helped influence his interest was the Shark Tank mentality of people pitching their ideas to others to get funding. He made plenty of investments that did not go well but he learned a lot from those mistakes. He didn’t let that stop him and he continued to be intrigued and inspired by these entrepreneurs.

 

 

Navin’s journey to investing

I began by meeting entrepreneurs who were establishing early-stage companies but needed capital to fund their endeavours, he recalls. This is very common, especially in the Midwest. That led me to learn about angel investing. Navin felt he could make a difference by backing an entrepreneur, helping kids and adults, employing families, and facilitating a need that is growing into different states.

 

 

How did Navin find investors? 

Our first investors were our family, friends, and a close network of individuals. Later, as we grew, we gained investors from all over the country and even some from foreign countries and from institutions. You might find investors who connect with you on LinkedIn or from your website. 

 

 

Look for opportunities to start a business!

In 2014 Navin noticed that there was a huge opportunity to bring anaesthesiologists and their equipment and supplies to take care of kids or adults in dental practices. That is how Smile Empty became Navin’s first business opportunity. It was a mobile anaesthesia company that he co-founded with two other anaesthesiologists. He was able to start the company because he had other people around him to entertain this endeavour. Since then, Smile Empty has expanded into four states, and hopefully into 10 by 2022, with 60 employees. This past year, he has raised more money from investors.

Navin is pleased to see that this “side gig” has grown to see its impact on children and parents. We’re talking to kids and various communities that are two hours away from the closest medical center and have a 12 to 24 month wait to get dental extractions. Our business can now care for them within one month because we’ve removed the logistical aspects. It all feels very impactful, says Navin, and decreases the progression of disease.

 

 

How did Navin start his second business?

In 2015, Navin started a small angel fund called Loud Capital with a co-founder in which he could connect people who were interested in investing opportunities but didn’t have the time or energy or knowledge. He tapped into problem solving with creativity. We named it “loud” because our fund is strategic and not a silent investor, says Navin.  We found great opportunities, says Navin, and we invested in seven different companies at the time. He relishes the fact that the business model allows them to make a profit, impact people’s lives, create fulfilment for yourself, and make a financial profit for yourself and your investors. That’s a lot of wins, says Navin.

 

 

Learn about investing! 

The number one goal of Navin’s organization is to educate people on the benefits of private markets and different kinds of opportunities. Real estate is a common opportunity but there’s also revenue financing, venture capital, and equity debt. His organization curates those opportunities and brings them to investors to consider. His funds now have a track record and, says Navin, it’s exciting to educate and show people those opportunities.

In January 2022, Navin is launching an online platform of classes called Beyond Physician that teaches physicians outside of their clinical expertise about financial literacy. We want doctors and health care providers to continue to learn and grow, he explains.

 

 

What are some challenges that he faced?

Our challenges were healthy challenges to overcome, says Navin. These challenges included how to start a business, how to start an LLC, how to market your business, how to make it into a brand, and how to accept payments. There were many “hows” to answer.

 

 

What is his advice to others who want to start a business?

Be excited and have trusted people around you, says Navin. Take a bunch of little steps, always remain curious, and ask how and why. You might think we took a giant leap, but we didn’t, he says. We sat down with a dentist who came to us. That proactive discussion with a small step and got us going. Don’t get intimidated by role models or other entrepreneurs. They, too, are human like you and started out as underdogs as well.

I tell a lot of our healthcare friends that you are a smart workforce, you know how to learn and how to figure things out. That’s the nature of our job; it’s what we do. So I tell them, get comfortable not knowing a lot because everyone in the entrepreneurial world feels the same way. The difference is that they have not proven themselves to learn as well as we can, so that gives us an edge.

 

 

Choose Something That Excites You

I’m sure a lot of health professionals listening to this podcast find themselves in my situation. You’re several years into your job, you’re earning money, but you’re getting a little bored. Some might be okay with that boredom, but my wife and I couldn’t tolerate it. We wanted to reach higher and be excited about our work.

 

 

What skills do you need to learn

Become a leader within society, says Navin. He believes that students in medical school should start to learn additional skills beyond their core expertise. You can become a future leader, he says, not just within your practice or your hospital, but to influence public policy and the health of people in society. He would like physicians like himself and his wife to be proactively integrated within a company as chief ethical officers to shape its social impact.

 

 

Looking for more information about the stock market, value investing, and more? Please check out the Stocks4Docs Podcast

 

 

Navin Goyal, M.D. is a physician and entrepreneur who serves as CEO of LOUD Capital, an early-stage venture capital and alternative investment firm leveraging capital, entrepreneurship, and education to grow impactful companies across the globe. Bringing his physician training to do good for people, Navin strives to make venture capital more purpose-driven, inclusive, and accessible. Before co-founding LOUD Capital, Navin practiced anesthesiology in a large hospital-based setting and was the Medical Director of a community hospital for several years.

 

The beginning of his entrepreneurial journey was co-founding OFFOR Health (formerly SmileMD), a venture-backed mobile healthcare company that expands access to care across the United States with a dedicated focus on lower-income and rural communities. Navin is a frequent speaker at medical schools, hospitals, and businesses worldwide, sharing his perspective on how physicians can bring their ethical code to influence and impact the world more fully.

 

His story, his experience, and what he sees as an opportunity for physicians to have a broader impact on themselves and society is the focus of his book, Physician Underdog. Navin received his M.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and trained in anesthesiology at the University of Chicago Medical Center.