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Exclusive IdeaMensch Interview

Margaret Chamblee: Co-Founder of MedStorz

Originally published on ideamensch.com

 

Margaret Chamblee is a licensed pharmacist, experienced marketing and sales professional, and an accomplished executive recognized for the development and growth of three successful companies over the last two decades. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, where she served as student body president and was the recipient of several honors. After graduating, Mrs. Chamblee spent eight years working as a Senior Sales Representative for Eli Lilly and Company in Houston, Texas. She was a passionate mentor and a consistent high achiever, reaping multiple awards, including Rookie of the Year, President’s Council, and five Top Performer Awards.

 

In 2000, Margaret and her husband founded GeriMedical Inc. in Houston, Texas, followed by MedStorz and Bright Billing Solutions. Her clinical proficiency, expertise in orthopedic products, and patient-focused collaboration with other healthcare professionals significantly contributes to the success of these companies. In addition to her engaging disposition, Margaret is exceptionally focused on ensuring optimal patient care, and over the last 20 years has touched tens of thousands of lives.

 

Margaret is a commendable wife and mother of three, balancing personal life with her highly dynamic career. She is purposeful, energetic, articulate, and fosters an impressive work ethic. Her accomplishments both personally and professionally are a true testament to her resiliency, perseverance, and ability to multitask and remain resolute.

 

Where did the idea for MedStorz come from?

In 2003 when MedStorz was founded, there was a small number of corporately owned wholesale distributors specializing in orthotics. Not only were most orthotics distributors individuals lacking purchasing power and structure to serve large scale needs, in general, but they were also married to select manufacturers. This limited their (and their customers’) access to a large variety of products. The concept of a single source to purchase products made by many different manufacturers was a good one. This access, combined with the KNOWLEDGE of a plethora of products has made MedStorz an ideal source for orthotics for individual doctors’ practices, healthcare facilities, and even for individuals.

 

How do you bring ideas to life?

I obsessively research then think through the specific processes required to execute an idea. It is rare that you will ever see me without a legal pad of paper in my bag with hand-written bullet-points.

 

What’s one trend that excites you?

The current trend of “cause marketing” is super exciting. This is a combination of supporting a cause meshed with company promotion. When customers are asked to donate towards a charity that a company is supporting or when employees are encouraged to participate in community volunteer opportunities, this is cause marketing. Cause Marketing makes everyone think outside of their immediate world, even just for a moment and provides an opportunity to be a person for others.

 

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I habitually accept that there is a tomorrow and “this too shall pass,” and recognize that if I take everything I learn today and use it to help me create a better tomorrow, I will continue to grow and discover better ways to be me. This gives me purpose to remain driven to just “do what I gotta do.”

 

What advice would you give your younger self?

The most important business advice I would give my younger self is to remain surrounded by people who share personal standards of morals and ethics in both their professional AND personal lives. I have learned that if someone is undisciplined, lacks a moral compass, or is discontented in their personal lives, this will be reflected in their professional life. How someone spends their personal time, the language they use, the respect they have for their bodies, the depth of their relationships (particularly with their siblings and parents), and the financial choices they make are all true reflections of their soul. For a business to be successful long-term, it must be comprised of people with similar souls.

 

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I believe that one can complete a race with little training because the ability to push through to the finish is ALL mental. It’s indisputable that the level of exhaustion or physical discomfort post-race is directly proportional to pre-race training, but I DO believe that anyone can complete a race if they are mentally focused.

 

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

There is a 2002 song by Chumbawumba called “Tubthumping” whose chorus is “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You are never ever gonna keep me down.” Over and over again, I remind myself of the purpose behind the business I created and to which I have devoted myself. I think it is essential not to let any situation or person rob you of your spirit and purpose.

 

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Solving other people’s problems by either tapping into my own knowledge or utilizing resources to find answers has absolutely helped grow our business. I continually research and take advantage of opportunities to learn and remain knowledgeable of industry trends.

 

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

One failure I made several years ago was being “too busy” with my own responsibilities to oversee a new concept. I was not aware of the scale of inconsistencies, and once I was, we discontinued the program, but the financial and moral damage had been done. When you decide to be an entrepreneur, you have to continually remain engaged in all parts of the business and cautiously trust others to have the stewardship principals that you have.

 

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The best $100 I spent recently was on a Le Creuset skillet. Well, maybe it was a little over $100, but cooking with cast iron is simply life-changing.

 

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I am a self-proclaimed Excel goddess. Excel is an amazing tool to organize, track, calculate, and manage a business, and fortunately, there are a plethora of resources available on the internet from which to learn.

 

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is the Golden Rule… “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I believe you should always treat ALL others with respect and empathy. When I was a child, I was frustrated with a fast food server who got my order wrong. My dad quickly corrected my self-righteous attitude by reminding me that I did not know what is going on in the worker’s life, which may be causing distress or grief, and it was not my “job” to tattle to her boss. I was taught to approach adversity with a spirit of genuine concern and always treat others how I would want them to treat me.

 

Key Learnings:

• “Friends buy from friends. When everything is equal, friends buy from friends. When everything is not equal, friends buy from friends.” – Buck Payne, my first boss at Eli Lilly.
• I do not have the knowledge or time to focus on trying to change or improve anyone but myself.
• Make a point to do good deeds and keep them secret… if anyone finds out, they won’t count.
• The most important part of a tombstone is the dash, the mark that represents the way someone chose to embrace each day of their life on earth.

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