Dreams of starting my own company
Five years ago, I decided it was time to make a career change. At the time, I was a political advisor to the governor of North Carolina with dreams of starting my own business. I knew that I wanted to start a company that was simultaneously rooted in helping others and giving back to the communities that needed it most.
I launched a company without prior industry experience
With those goals in mind, my business partner and I decided to launch Mako Medical Laboratories, a company focused on specialty lab tests. Neither my partner nor I had previous experience in the healthcare industry, but we knew medical offices, physicians, urgent care facilities and hospitals around the U.S. had an ever-growing need for efficient laboratories. Our instincts proved to be correct. Today, we are a full-service clinical reference laboratory — with 500 employees across 11 states — offering services ranging from testing to document management to staffing. As we continue to grow and expand, giving back remains a cornerstone of our business model and we’ve supported hundreds of noteworthy charities around the world since we launched.
I needed a coach who could help me scale Mako and help me develop professionally.
While Mako has experienced tremendous success, being the COO of a fast-growing, innovative healthcare company does not come without its fair share of challenges and growing pains. I needed a coach who could help me scale Mako and help me develop professionally.
I found Chris Quinn on LinkedIn. Chris had an impressive and relevant background, not only as an executive coach, but as a former marine, the president of a publicly-traded company and a professional in field of health sciences. Initially, I reached out to Chris to be my mentor and I later joined his Vistage group as a founding member in 2018.
Chris provides an objective lens to my challenges and gives honest feedback on my ideas — good and bad.
Chris is my sounding board
Chris has become my sounding board in all areas of Mako. He has given me the tools and confidence to step back to ensure that our strategy and goals are properly aligned with our company’s mission. Chris has played a pivotal role in helping me focus on the human relations side of the business, in terms of motivating, properly paying and resolving internal conflicts with our employees. He provides an objective lens to my challenges and gives honest feedback on my ideas — good and bad. This has proved to be invaluable in my growth and development as COO. Moreover, he has be instrumental in helping me step back from the organized chaos to reflect on our accomplishments and enjoy them.
Vistage offers fresh perspectives and insights
In addition to Chris, our Vistage group — made up of leaders from various industries and backgrounds — provides another sounding board for my business. Once a month, we come together to work through our business challenges and offer each other fresh perspectives, lessons learned and insights based on past experiences. In addition, we hear from subject-matter experts who present on relevant topics and offer actionable tools and takeaways to bring back to our respective businesses.
I’ve learned that the obstacles I face along the way play a critical part in making the overall journey worthwhile.
One of the biggest breakthroughs I’ve experienced as a Vistage member is learning to embrace all areas of Mako — including the hardships and conflicts that tend to keep me up at night. I’ve learned that the obstacles I face along the way play a critical part in making the overall journey worthwhile. With each challenge that arises, I can count on Chris and my Vistage group for support and to offer sound, experienced and unbiased feedback needed to tackle the problem and move forward.
Vistage: a support system for me and my company
What started as a small business with big dreams, has grown to a multi-million-dollar, national company in just a matter of years. We have created a company that accomplishes what we set out to do: fill a major void in the healthcare industry and give back to communities in need. It’s been a lot of hard work and it hasn’t always been easy, but Vistage has provided a support system, giving me the confidence to keep going so that Mako can continue to grow and flourish.