AI transcript of Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People podcast with guest Dr. Sheila Nazarian Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon and Star of Netflix’s Skin Decision
This transcript is the output of transcribing from an audio recording using AI. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. We want to provide this for people who have difficulty hearing or like to read along with the podcast as they listen. It’s not going to be perfect but we hope it’s helpful.
[00:00:00] Guy Kawasaki:
Hello, this is guy Kawasaki, and this is the remarkable people podcast. Today’s remarkable guest is Sheila Nazarian. She is a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. She was born in America and then returned to Iran with our family. When the Iranian revolution occurred, she was smuggled out in a vegetable truck through Pakistan.
She attended Columbia University in New York. She graduated with a BA in economics. And a pre-med concentration. Then she studied medicine at the Albert Einstein College of medicine at Yeshiva University. Her plastic surgery residence was at the University of Southern California. She also earned a master’s in medical management at USC Marshall school of business.
She operates a medical practice called Nazarian plastic surgery, and she markets a line of organic skincare products. [00:01:00] In short. She is both a doctor and entrepreneur. In this episode, we cover topics such as how to pick a plastic surgeon. Who should and who should not get plastic surgery and the relationship between confidence self-esteem and beauty.
This episode of remarkable people is brought to you by reMarkable paper tablet company. Yes. You got that, right? Remarkable is sponsored by reMarkable. I have version two in my hot little hands and it’s so good. A very impressive upgrade. Here’s how I use it. One taking notes while I’m interviewing podcast guests to taking notes while being brief about speaking gigs, three drafting the structure of keynote speeches for storing manuals.
For the gizmos that I buy five roughing out drawings for things like surf boards, surf boards, and office layouts, wrapping my head around complex ideas with diagrams and flow charts. This is a [00:02:00] remarkably well thought out product. It doesn’t try to be all things to all people, but it takes notes better than anything.
I’ve used. Check out the recent reviews of the latest version. I’m guy Kawasaki, and this is remarkable people. And now here’s the remarkable Sheila Nazarian.
Do you identify as Persian, Iranian, Jewish, or American or all of them? Well,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:02:27] I think all of the above Persian Jew, uh, typically like when people ask me, where are you from? Where do you come from? I was born in America. I was an anchor baby. My mom came here when she was nine months old, nine months pregnant, and had me, she just, just like literally flew.
And I think I was like a month late. Being born, but they just wanted a US citizen. So
Guy Kawasaki: [00:02:47] wait, your mom comes to America, you’re born. And then they go back to Iran and then the regime, the revolution started, yes. Revolution 79. And [00:03:00] then you’re smuggled out in the back of a truck covered with corn into Pakistan.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:03:06] That’s right? Yeah. So we went to a Bazaar and they put us in the back of a truck. And I remember there was little steaks coming out, like little metal stakes. Cause I guess that’s what they would tie the rope to whenever they had to transport vegetables. And so I remember one of the, one of the stakes was going up into my ribs and I was seven, six, seven years old at the time.
And I told my mom and she’s like, she has to be very quiet. So they got us over. You know the border within that way. And then we made a stop where we transferred it to like a pickup truck, but we went to this almost like a clay shack where it was, that was the toilet. There was a big hole in the ground and you basically had to straddle it.
So I was too small. My mom had to hold me over it to go to the bath. Well, yeah, you’d fall in. And while we were in that bathroom, she told me know we’re going to America. And I just remember being like, Oh my God, we’re going to meet Michael Jackson. Cause you did tell me before that, because I would have [00:04:00] told my friends.
And that was dangerous. That could have been life or death. So she didn’t tell me until we actually made it across the border.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:04:06] How do you feel about the current relations between Iran and the U S I mean,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:04:10] I think the people of Iran aren’t very happy. I think that’s clear. I think the government is not what’s is not what’s best.
And I think taking a hard stake on that government is probably the best way to
Guy Kawasaki: [00:04:22] go. If an American were to fly into Toronto today, would you. Feel like this anti-American sentiment or is it just
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:04:35] our two governments? It’s the government. Yeah. I know the people of Iran love America and heard that. Yeah. Yeah.
It’s beautiful there too. It’s beautiful. It’s such a shame.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:04:47] So if we could just get the governments together, the people are fine. Yeah. Isn’t that always true? It’s so true. So plastic surgery, first question. [00:05:00] Is it accurate to say that plastic surgery more or less got its start because of
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:05:05] Wars? It is actually, I mean, it’s been happening for a very, very long time.
Like the ancient Indians, there’s actually evidence that they were doing those jobs. And there’s a picture of a guy it’s like an old, old painting, a picture of a guy holding to the post of a bed while some guys coming at him with a gun.
So I think beauty and that sort of body modification has been a thing for a very, very long time. But I think modern-day plastic surgery. Yeah, it got its origins from reconstructing soldiers. Who’d been injured in
Guy Kawasaki: [00:05:35] war. And do you think today just statistically is most plastic surgery? Reconstructive or cosmetic
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:05:45] is probably still reconstructive, but being a good reconstructive surgeon means understanding aesthetics and being a good aesthetic surgeon means having training in reconstruction and knowing that you can fix anything, any complication, or if you’ve reconstructed a [00:06:00] breast from scratch, doing a breast augmentation, not going to be as difficult and vice versa, knowing what a nice breast looks like afterward.
Aesthetically modified allows you to make a better reconstruction after cancer mastectomy, things like that. So I think the two go very much hand in hand and have very similar facts on people actually.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:06:22] Does it irritate you to think that people think of you as a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and that it’s all about.
Giving stars treatment as opposed to reconstructive and changing people’s
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:06:38] lives. Oh, I mean, I think that’s why Instagram’s there and I think that’s why I’ve been so, um, focused on branding myself and the show that we put out on Netflix really, I think, spoke to the fact that it’s not just about stars and the reason why the majority of people not, not to their own fault.
I think that’s just, what’s been put out on media is sort of like this sunset [00:07:00] sensationalized. View of plastic surgery, about people looking like clowns, or really just exaggerated results. Where I think what I always tell my patients is you don’t realize that people that look good if you saw somebody walking down the street, They might’ve had plastic surgery from head to toe, but if it’s natural, you would never know.
You’d be like, Oh, they’re so lucky or wow. They age so well, but no, I think these things, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and putting people in that box is for people who just haven’t learned enough about it. And I think that was the major things that I wanted to accomplish with the show is showing people that no plastic surgery is for everyone.
And whether you’re getting a breast reconstructed or a mommy makeover, the results. Can be equally as gratifying and improving quality of life for people. It could have ripple effects to everyone. That person comes into contact with.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:07:47] Why do people come to you? Is it, is it. For making something good, even better?
Or is it making something that’s bad, acceptable or what’s in [00:08:00] their brains when they
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:08:00] come to you? I think it’s a little bit of both and I don’t think there’s any shame in either people come to be optimized and people come to be their best selves, whether that’s mental health or emotional health or becoming a better leader.
Or looking and feeling your best. I think all of those things go hand in hand. So what we’ve put out on our branding and marketing online is very secure woman or man who passed their shit together. To be honest with you. And this is just one thing that they’ve been working on, that they can accomplish on their own, and they just need a little bit of help.
The way that I look about it, it’s no different than a life coach. It’s no different than a therapist and it’s, it’s no different than eating better. It’s all self care.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:08:44] And what do you think is the relationship between beauty and self-esteem. Th
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:08:49] the relationship with him with beauty and self-esteem have gone hand in hand forever, and there’s like Cleopatra, rubbing olive oil on herself.
Back in the day, there has been studies. I remember seeing like a 60 [00:09:00] minutes, maybe 15 years ago that this teacher walks in, uh, to a kindergarten class. And says the same line in the same tone of voice, but she kind of looks a little disheveled. She leaves the same actor comes back, repeats the same lines in the same tone, but she looks well put together and they asked the kindergarten students, which teacher was nicer.
And they said the second one, which teacher did you like better? The second one. So there’s definitely, these relations were built like that were hardwired like that. And I always tell people, I was just speaking to somebody else about this beauty on the inside and the self-esteem on the inside matter. If you’re getting surgery.
To make you happy when you’re not already happy or think it’s not going to work, you have to be happy. You have to be grounded. You have to know who you are and that you just need help with this one little thing. Do you
Guy Kawasaki: [00:09:43] think that self-esteem causes beauty or beauty causes? Self-esteem.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:09:49] I think they go hand in hand, it’s like saying work-life balance, you know, guy, like, is there work-life balance?
Like you spent more severe time at work, so you better love your work if you want to love your life. [00:10:00] So it’s the same thing.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:10:01] So if I were to ask you, what is your product? Is it beauty or self-esteem it’s confidence? It’s confidence. And the confidence comes because of the physical looks.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:10:17] I think confidence comes about how you feel about yourself.
In many aspects. I think if you have a totally messed up life and you look completely beautiful, you’re not going to be confident. And it’s vice versa as well. And beauty can mean different things for different people. The way that we put ourselves out there as like natural results, always, we always put out like a powerful vibe.
We always put out a confident vibe and natural results above everything else. So for example, my practice guy, we never get people walking in with a picture of a celebrity ever. Ever our breast implants are the smallest size always. So it’s always just people wanting to look natural, but optimizing something that they can’t work on [00:11:00] themselves.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:11:01] So you, you probably don’t think that plastic surgery can quote unquote, fix somebody and make them happy. Right? It starts within of course. Yeah. So what happens if you meet somebody who’s not happy within and says, give me plastic surgery.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:11:19] You
Guy Kawasaki: [00:11:19] do you turn them down and send them to a therapist
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:11:23] a hundred percent.
And I’ve only had one person in my entire career get upset about that recommendation. Everybody else says, Oh my God, thank you so much. You’re right. That’s what I should be spending my time and money on. And when they’re ready, they’ll come back. But if I don’t think they’re happy. I want to sleep well at night too.
Like I want to go to bed. I want happy patients. I want patients that are right. Those five-star Yelp reviews. So if I don’t think that I could deliver that because that person has issues beyond my control, I will turn them down.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:11:54] W would you say that that attitude is typical of plastic surgeons or is just the shield?
[00:12:00] Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:12:00] I think it’s becoming more typical, but for a long time it was a Sheila.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:12:07] Do you think of yourself? As, uh, a life coach, a therapist or artist, all of
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:12:14] the above, all of the above every day.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:12:18] Every day. Yeah. If you go to Santa Monica mall or something, and when you look at people, do you think, Oh my God, what I could do for you? Or can you ever turn it off?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:12:28] I can turn it off. Yeah. Yeah, I can turn it off.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:12:31] What do you say? Two detractors who think that plastic surgery is, is superfluous and a poor use of medical expertise and resources.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:12:43] Everyone guy says that until their kid falls and hits their head and needs stitches. And guess what they ask for when they’re in the emergency room. Okay. They asked for the plastic surgeon.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:12:53] Is that literally true? It’s
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:12:54] literally true. Everyone, everyone poo-poos plastic [00:13:00] surgery until they need it.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:13:01] So that woman in the, in the Netflix series who was shot nine times. Okay. Yeah. So Katrina. That was miraculous. That has to be an extreme case, right?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:13:16] Yes and no. I mean, once you sort of hit a certain level of people, knowing who you are, you start getting cases that are more difficult.
And I just did a lady who had had nine abdominal surgeries for perforated diverticulitis that had to leave her abdomen open. She had all these scars on her belly going up and down underneath. Two that were placed there over the years to save her life. And no plastic surgeon would operate on her because they said it was too risky.
The skin’s going to die. And she’s this young single woman. Who’s just like, I can’t. Live my life like this. So helping people like that is actually really gratifying or the extreme weight loss patients that just have tons of skin hanging everywhere. They can’t even do a plank without their [00:14:00] belly skin rubbing on the floor.
Those types of cases are so gratifying because you just took someone who is completely non-intimate. Won’t get naked, even the front of their husband. And you just gave them a second chance.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:14:24] So I obviously watched the Netflix. And did you cry? I got to tell you, I, first of all, I had to avert my eyes. Let me sometimes when. Well, wasn’t there a scene where you said, okay, this is like two and a half pounds of fat? We took off this person. Oh, man. Yeah. Geez. And, and that’s what it’s like, you just go in there and
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:14:47] yeah, I think in training, you’re trying to kind of make it into a little bit of a robot.
In a sense that you have to shut empathy off a bit in order to be able to cut people. But at the same time, if I [00:15:00] don’t cut them, they’re not going to get better. I think that I, 2020 kind of gave me a little bit of a pause and gave me the time to feel again, and to look around and see the hurt that other people.
Are going through, whereas up until 2020, I think I was so laser-focused on success and goals and achieving that I had sort of shut everything out other than what I had the emotional capability to take on at that time, which was like my kids and my husband basically. So I think now I feel a little bit more and I’d take time to look at my surroundings a little bit more rather than just being focused on my patients, my family, and my practice.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:15:38] Do you ever maintain contact with
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:15:41] your patients like this to actually give all my patients who operate on my cell phone number because I want them to not Google something and do something dumb. I’d rather just have them text me and I tell them what to do.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:15:52] In the case of Katrina, obviously she had plastic surgery before.
And why was it [00:16:00] so botched?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:16:01] It wasn’t plastic surgery. Actually, the procedures she had before were to save her life. It’s not botched. And I hate that word, like, oh, I hate that word. It’s just cause because now everybody’s using it and it’s like, listen, a surgeon tried their best and this was the result.
That doesn’t mean you’re botched. It’s just the. Priorities were different at that time they had to stop the bleeding. They had to stop and save her life.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:16:22] Fair enough. But what about the woman with acne? Where didn’t you and your nurse? A lot of
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:16:29] stuff. No. So what happens a lot of times guy is that there are a lot of very expensive devices on the market.
So one laser may cost anywhere. It might cost me anywhere between a hundred to $400,000 to purchase. So a lot of doctors, what happens is that they’ll get one laser because that’s all they can get and they’ll apply that everyone’s a nail and that’s their hammer. And what happens is there are lasers that are better for lighter-skinned people.
And there are lasers that [00:17:00] are better for ethnic and darker-skinned people. And when you use. I call it like a white person, laser on an ethnic person. Things can go wrong.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:17:11] This is good to know.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:17:13] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So in my practice, we have about 30 devices and we apply the correct device to the goals, the ability to have downtime and the skin type of each individual.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:17:27] Wow. Who knew there are 30 different kinds of lasers,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:17:32] what kinds of lasers, but we just try all of them and keep the ones we like. Tell me
Guy Kawasaki: [00:17:37] about body dysmorphic disorder.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:17:40] Yeah. What would you
Guy Kawasaki: [00:17:40] like? What is it? What is it? How prevalent is it? What do you do when you encounter
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:17:44] it as a resident at Albert Einstein in the Bronx?
I did my psych rotation at Bronx psychiatric. So it was the type of like lockdown facility that like the door would close behind you before the door opened in front of you and the lanyards with our IDs would break [00:18:00] apart at like multiple areas. So nobody could choke you with it. So my project at school was body dysmorphia actually on that rotation.
And at that time, and this was God, probably 15 to 20 years ago. At that time, there was an article that had come out that said 70% of plastic surgery patients have some level of body dysmorphia. And that was then, and I think. Probably hopefully a little bit better. Now I would say if I if I sense that a patient has body dysmorphia, I’ll just send them to a therapist.
But I think it’s changed a bit. I think plastic surgery has become a little bit more mainstream. It’s the patients that walk into my office. Aren’t like, I hate myself. This is so disgusting. Usually when they say this, so discussing it, like it really is. That like, I don’t get patients that are coming in with a normal nose and they’re like, Oh, this is cute.
You know, I just don’t attract that type of person. I’m not seeing that. But at that time, 20 years ago, that was the level. So body dysmorphia is defined as when someone looks at a body part and they see [00:19:00] it wildly exaggerated than what it would look like to anybody else. So somebody comes in with a slight, like a two-millimeter hump and they say my nose has a big camel hump and all that.
That’s why the dysmorphia. So again, if we see anyone that we think is unreasonable, I have seen it. Like I’ve seen people come in and they literally bring in a file of what they look like before they put filler under their eyes. And what they look like now, and this is from every angle and they have micro selfies of every part of their skin.
I’m just like, you know what you are traumatized right now. You are not in the position to undergo even the downtime. Even if you get bruised, you’re going to get further traumatized. And I don’t think this is a good time or that you’re in the right kind of state of mind right now. To undergo this procedure.
And I really think you should take a step back and analyze why you’re doing these things and maybe get a little professional help to help you understand. And that’s my talk,
Guy Kawasaki: [00:19:51] don’t they go next door and find another plastic
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:19:54] surgeon in LA. So that’s on that plastic surgeon. I don’t have to bring on that, that baggage [00:20:00] into my practice because I’ll tell you guys, the last thing you want to do is have one per 1% of your patients take up 99% of your staff’s time.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:20:09] You’re saying that in a business
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:20:10] sense. Yeah. In a business sense. And you want your staff happy. You want your staff to be focused on delivering quality care to the, to all of your patients and not just spend a hundred percent of your time on the, of their time or 99% of the time on, on 1%. So we try to, it’s funny, like when I’m doing consults, I do a lot of virtual consults.
So every Wednesday I’m doing virtual consults. I will take advice from my staff. If they say this person was rude to me, if this person was mean to my employees, we will not accept them as patients. And people think that they’re interviewing me, but in reality, I’m interviewing them to see if they’re ready and if they’re a good fit.
And if they’re above all capable of happiness,
Guy Kawasaki: [00:20:52] So just step me down this path a little bit, you do a virtual consult. So let’s say you and I are doing a virtual Casa. I say, Oh shoot. I [00:21:00] just hate these A’s spots here. It makes me look so ugly and it’s affecting my self-esteem. Know I speak a lot. I need to look better.
Do you tell me guy fricking don’t worry about it, or
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:21:12] I always tell people if it’s something that’s safe. And you think about it more than a few times per week, then why not fix it life short? Why would you spend your mental energy worrying about something that can easily and safely be taken care of? So if it’s something that you’re thinking about more than three times per week and it’s safe and you’re in the right mental status, why not?
Guy Kawasaki: [00:21:31] I’m really asking you because I’m thinking about it. But so you look at this, you see these Brown spots and you say, guy, you know, my nurse can take care of that in an afternoon. And where, what kind of seriousness is this? Just as a data point for me,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:21:45] would put you on a hyperpigmentation skin regimen just to sort of get your skin prepped.
And also what we want you to do is do the work at home a little bit as well. So I always tell people what you do at home is like exercising by yourself. What you do in my office is like [00:22:00] exercising with your trainer. We’re going to push you a little bit harder than you would have pushed yourself. With the right devices and the right equipment.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of it at home. So for example, if you tell me, God, you know, I like to surf, I like to be outdoors and I never wear sunscreen. And I hate doing that. I’ll be like, you know what guy live with your sunspots because whatever it’s like, it’s like what your dentist for cleaning and not brushing your teeth at home.
What’s the point you have to gauge your level of commitment as well. Okay.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:22:29] So if I tell you I surf and I. And I do put on sunscreen then what do you tell
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:22:34] me? And we probably use a laser on you or a series of peels, depending on your ability to have downtime and how quickly you want it taken care of. But yeah, it can be taken care of.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:22:44] what does downtime mean?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:22:46] So downtime is like peeling or flaking. And during that, like a week of peeling, you can’t have any sun exposure. So I would have you like stop surfing during that week or we’d do it in the wintertime. If there’s downtime or we engage it with your life.
[00:23:00] Guy Kawasaki: [00:22:59] Forget it there’s never a week where I will not, sir.
That, that eliminates me. And honestly, I don’t think about these spots three times a week. In fact, you haven’t thought about it till today. So I guess
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:23:11] I always tell people guy like this, isn’t a first appendix, you know, nothing we do is emergency you take care of it. If it bothers you, you don’t, if it doesn’t.
I had this lawyer be centered by his wife because he had these lines in between his eyebrows. He said, yeah, my wife sent me here. Everybody says, I look angry, but I am angry, but it doesn’t bother you leave.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:23:31] So he left. If he was a divorce lawyer, he should look angry at it. Ups the settlement. So do you think that the.
Perhaps a misperception or probably misperception of plastic surgery where you can achieve the perfect body. Does that create unrealistic expectations? Just like I could make the case that Tik Tok and Instagram, perpetuate unrealistic expectations. So how do you address this?
[00:24:00] Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:24:00] I actually post about it.
So if there’s like a tic talker, who’s doing a hundred squats into the camera and I can clearly tell she’s had plastic surgery to make her, but that big, I haven’t posted about it. I will say, you know what? This is what your favorite influencer is doing. And if you don’t see these dips in her hip, on the sides, That’s not from doing squats because there’s no muscle there and I will post about it and I’ll educate the public because I have two daughters too.
And the reason why I went on social media and grew my following because I don’t want my kids looking to Instagram. That’s where they live. That’s where they’re consuming information. So I don’t want them to just be on Instagram, seeing YouTubers and who I love. I treat a lot of YouTubers, but I wanted them to have an alternative role model.
If something like, what was it? 87% of kids in the U S. Now when you ask them what they want to be when they grow up, they say they want to be a YouTuber. It’s not like Dr. Scott CEO. So I think it’s our [00:25:00] responsibility to be on there and give positive messaging and educate and say, this is real. This is not real.
This is what they’re doing. This is what, you know, if you don’t see this, or if you see this, this is what the surgery that was, that was done just to let people know what realistic expectations are also in the consults. Real set expectations. Are so important. They always say what you tell the patient before surgery is education.
What you tell the patient after surgery is an excuse. So you have to spend that time educating the patient before they have a procedure and let them know what the risks are, what the possible downtime is going to be, what the expectations, what realistically they can achieve, you know, with this device or what the surgery.
And if those things can’t make them happy beforehand, don’t, don’t do it.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:25:47] I noticed on the Netflix series that. You are definitely low-balling Katrina. Um, what do you mean? Well, I mean, you are not promising that she’d come out. Perfect. And also the [00:26:00] woman with the acne, you guys were definitely a low ball in her, too.
About how much you could really do, but, but is that typical in your business? There are so many stereotypes in my brain about
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:26:11] plastic surgery, a lot of stereotypes happening. No, I think it’s becoming more typical. Yeah, because what happens if you don’t do that is at the end of it, you get a very unhappy patient and unhappy patients go online.
So I think it is becoming a lot more prominent letting people know exactly what it is that you can and can’t achieve.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:26:30] Off plastic surgery for a second here. Thank God. Well, listen, what I interviewed Jane Goodall. I asked her about chimpanzees. I’m sorry. You know, what do you want me to ask him? Well,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:26:42] there’s so much more.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:26:43] Okay, so now let’s talk about your business. So yeah, you’re the evangelist of thinking big. What does that mean?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:26:51] So. What I realized is I went to business school too, and I was an economics major at Columbia. And I’ve always been fascinated by how creative [00:27:00] marketing is and how it’s ever-changing. Now there’s this app.
There are that app people look at me and they’re like plastic surgery. So creative. Well, yeah, it was for the first five years. But then after you’ve done a thousand breast augmentations, you know? Yeah. Every anatomy is a little different, there are definitely nuances, but it’s lost its thrill dinner sell, but whatever,
Guy Kawasaki: [00:27:17] that’s a quote.
And you’ve done a thousand breast augmentation. It’s lost its thrill. I’ll have to print that out, stick it on your I’m going to make a, what do you call one of the bumper stickers? No, the Instagram little coat gram or whatever they call those things. Yeah, that’s right. It’s. That’s going to inspire me for quite a while.
Sheila, so glad that now thinking
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:27:43] big. Yeah, no. So I just started looking outside of medicine and a lot of my patients are CEOs and super successful outside-the-box thinkers. And whenever I’m in there doing their Botox or whatever. There skincare. I sit down, I talk with them for an hour. I’m like, what are you thinking [00:28:00] about now?
What’s your company doing? What’s the tax planning. What’s the, what are we doing? Where are we buying a house? What are we, where are we going? And I realized that everything’s almost been done outside of medicine. And I’m a speaker on social media. They invite me all over the world to speak on social media.
And I’m like, why are they asking me? I have 500,000 followers. They should be asking that person to put 10 million followers. Right. So I decided to create this conference where we bring people from outside of medicine to learn from each other, like almost like a think tank, the more diversity in the room, the better.
And that was the, the impetus to creating the ThinkBIG conference, where it was bringing a meeting of the minds and the people in medicine that are ready to grow and ready to think that way will self-select. And they will be the ones to attend, which means they’re the ones that are going to help each other grow as well.
And that’s what happened. It became like camp. And the first day we really focused on business and branding tips. On the second day we focused on imposter syndrome. What is it about you? That’s holding you back? I gave just gave you all the tips, but you’re still not going to post because maybe you [00:29:00] set or maybe the lighting was bad, or what are your colleagues going to say about you?
And like all of these things we put on ourselves to cage ourselves, just
Guy Kawasaki: [00:29:09] time off for a second. So the people in the audience they’re all from the medical profession or most of
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:29:14] them are. No, it’s I really, my dream for it guy was for it to be lawyers and hotel owners and business owners because I just think the more diversity in the room, the more creative the ideas get, but what happens is most of the people who were following me were from the medical space and looking to kind of.
Learn from what I did and maybe they can apply it to their spa. Maybe they could apply. So I ended up being, most of the people in the audience were from the medical space, but we’ve certainly had lawyers. We’ve had boutique owners, you know,
Guy Kawasaki: [00:29:42] but this may seem like a dumb question, but are you saying that doctors need a brand?
Like why does a
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:29:48] doctor. Let me tell you. I think it was a dumb question. No, no, sorry. A dumb question. A lot of doctors still feel that way. Why do I need to brand? But the thing is is if you don’t have a brand, if you don’t control the [00:30:00] conversation around what people think and feel about you online, then you’re giving all that power to Yelp.
If people know you online, you that quote that says live your life in such a way that if people speak badly about you, nobody will believe it. So the onus is on you to control your image online because if you don’t other people will.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:30:21] And do you think that people pick their plastic surgeon based on Yelp?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:30:26] A lot of people do. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of people do. Yeah.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:30:31] Yeah. Is that good or bad?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:30:34] It’s a double-edged sword and it’s not just yell. But I think the thing that we found is people take a circuitous path to picking their doctor. They will look at Yelp. They will look at Instagram. They will look at your website.
They will look at Google reviews. They’ll look at your Facebook and then they’ll call. Wow. Yeah. So everything has to be, and everything has to be on brand. And when they walk into your office, if you have a brand that’s screaming, luxury and [00:31:00] elevation and optimization and they walk in and your office is crappy and your front office girls wearing Uggs and a Bon Jovi, t-shirt, that’s not good.
So everything has to be consistent. So I always tell him, people, once you define your brand, everything you do, as far as. Customer-facing has to be consistent and on brand, whether it’s your office furniture, who you hire, how they speak, how they answer the phones, your website, what your Instagram looks like, everything has to be consistent so that you don’t attract to everyone.
You attract the people that are really vibing with you and are going to be in your tribe.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:31:33] I’m glad that Uggs is not a sponsor of my podcast,
Guy Kawasaki: [00:31:39] okay. Now could you just define therefore your philosophy and how you use social media?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:31:47] I use social media mainly to inspire.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:31:50] Inspire what you could look like or inspire what young women, especially on men to let them know that you, once you’re a [00:32:00] doctor.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:31:54] That doesn’t mean that’s the only thing that defines you. You can have other interests, you can be a mom, you can be an entrepreneur. You can be an activist. You can be fashionable. You can. Look good. If you want to, you can be whatever you want to be. And that’s, I think why the following has grown is because I’m giving people permission to be themselves and be authentic.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:32:25] I did not anticipate going to this direction, branding, and doctors, that’s kind of a new subject for me. Fascinating.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:32:35] No, I mean, that’s incredibly important because when, when they’re choosing a doctor and it’s so cool to look at a guy in a medical school, That was telling you right down at the top of the chart, their dog’s name and their kid’s name.
And every time they come in, ask them, how’s your dog? How’s your daughter? What grade is she in now? But when you have opened up your life a little bit, and what you’re about on Instagram, they, your patients constantly feel connected to you. [00:33:00] So when they come in, they’re like, Oh wow. It was Tahoe. Oh, I saw your daughter is getting so big.
She looks so beautiful. She’s learning Korean. What? Like, so I think. It’s a way to stay connected. And at this point, when people call for a virtual consult with me, they’ve already made the decision that I’m their doctor.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:33:17] It’s just social media because of social
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:33:20] media.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:33:22] But you have not yet made a decision if you’re going to take them.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:33:29] Correct. Wow. Well, how is it like, and you know, in your business, how is it did you do to make every client? No, you just have to see if they’re a good fit and if you can fulfill what they’re envisioning in their head and whether they’re kind of ready to take the next steps, it’s the same thing.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:33:47] I guarantee you, that you put more thought into who you take as a patient,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:33:53] your clients don’t have your cell phone number, guy,
Guy Kawasaki: [00:33:55] mine too. You know, they’re, they’re [00:34:00] not sitting beneath me and I have a $400,000 laser in my hand either. Now for people listening to this, I think a lot of people are. Learning so much about plastic surgery.
They, they never did before, which is good. That’s the whole point of a podcast. So how can you give advice to these people saying, okay? So if you’re thinking of plastic surgery, this is what you do. This is your thoughts.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:34:26] I have literally made 300 YouTube videos. Some of them are along that exact line.
How do you choose your plastic surgeon? What mental state should you be in before considering plastic surgery? And it’s a lot of the things that we’ve talked about. I think there are so many fake plastic surgeons out there now because they might be an emergency room doctor, or they might be a general surgeon or they might be a dentist, but they’re going to pick up that Botox.
And you know, they’re going to pick up that laser or they’re going to pick up the knife. And tout themselves as plastic surgeons. So I think there are a few questions you should ask your plastic surgeon to make sure that they [00:35:00] actually trained in plastic surgery. And one of those questions is could you perform this procedure in a hospital because hospitals will not allow people who have not trained in a specialty to perform those procedures in a hospital.
Okay. Wait, wait, wait. Say that again. So let’s say. I’m telling you, if you want a real plastic surgeon who actually trained in plastic surgery, these are the questions you ask. Could you perform this procedure in a hospital? That’s number one, number two. What did you do? Your residency training.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:35:34] Okay.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:35:35] Okay.
Are you board certified in plastic? Surgery. And that has to say the word plastic in it, not cosmetic plastic. So those are your three questions. If you want a real plastic surgeon, because a lot of times it’s frustrating for us too. There’ll be like plastics or like this person dies getting plastic surgery.
Guess what? That wasn’t a real plastic surgeon was a real plastic surgeon, [00:36:00] is that
Guy Kawasaki: [00:36:00] patient. And what’s the difference between plastic and cosmetic.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:36:03] So. Plastic surgeons actually went through a plastic surgery training, cosmetic surgeons. Might’ve done like a one-year fellowship, but they actually trained in OB-GYN or they actually trained in emergency medicine or general surgery.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:36:20] you’re telling me that if I’m not a certified plastic surgeon, A hospital somehow checks to see how I’m certified. I says, Nope, you can’t do breast augmentations, Dr. Smith. That’s right. And this is some kind of rule in the medical world that that’s right. And it’s not even, you can’t go to one of these in a surgery centers and they’ll say, yes, everybody will.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:36:46] No, the surgery center will say, yes, that’s what I’m telling you. You need to ask, could you do this in a hospital?
Guy Kawasaki: [00:36:53] Oh, cause the surgery centers in the hospital are different. Yeah,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:36:56] I am. Yeah, that’s correct. The surgery center is [00:37:00] just an outpatient surgery center. They’ll tell you can do what you like, but the hospital will not allow someone to perform plastic surgery procedures if they weren’t trained in those procedures in their residency.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:37:12] Wow. I’m learning so much. Okay. Now, but I’m not going to be giving you a
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:37:17] Tommy talk soon. We’re going to,
Guy Kawasaki: [00:37:22] I have no esteem problems, so no now, okay. So now we figured out what to ask the plastic surgeon and all that, but now what do I ask myself? What mental state do you?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:37:36] You have to be generally happy in general. Be grounded. And, um, you know, I’ve been, you know, lead a healthy lifestyle, this surgery isn’t gonna make or break me.
My husband’s not going, gonna stay with me if I get this surgery, that those kinds of things it’s, I’m happy. I’m settled. I’m cool. But this one little thing, it’s something I’ve been spent on my wishlist for a while. That’s the mental state you want to be in? Not [00:38:00] I’m really depressed. I’m unhappy. And the surgery is going to bring me happiness or my husband’s going to leave me and is cheating on me.
If I get bigger breasts, he’s going to stay. And we ask those questions. Like somebody we ask those honors take form and I’ll say, is anyone, did anyone make a comment? And that’s why you’re trying to, you want to get surgery? Did, are you hoping that the surgery will save a marriage or a relationship? We actually ask those questions on the intake form.
It’s on the initial form before I even consult with a patient. Yeah, it asks about their medical history too. What medications are you on? What’s your shoes have you had, but the top right of the form has these questions, making sure that someone is doing this for the right reasons.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:38:58] And did you learn all of this in [00:39:00] plastic surgery school? Or did you come to it as Sheila? The plastic surgeon? Maven?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:39:05] I think a little bit of both. I think a little bit of both. And every year, God, I learned something new every year as a business person, as a physician, you come to a new realization and you’re like, Oh, I’m going to add that to my intake form.
It could be anything it could be. Why would I say. Cool sculpting sculpture, light boast to people don’t know what they need, but they will check off that they need maybe fat reduction. So before we had the names of the devices listed, they don’t freaking know what those are. So we changed it to, by concern.
They know what their concerns are and that’s something they might check off to discuss with me during their consultation.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:39:41] It’s funny. This may sound like a bizarre application of this concept, but I interviewed someone named Colin Brier and he was the chief of staff of Jeff Bezos. And the name of his book is called working backwards.
And the concept here is that rather than working forwards from what [00:40:00] you can make, or do you work backwards from what the customer wants? If the customer wants bigger breasts, that’s, that’s working backwards. But if, but if you’re saying, well, I have such and such laser. And that’s what it does. That’s what I’m going to do to you because I have a hammer.
You are a nail, that’s the opposite. And so you are working
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:40:20] backwards right. All the time. And we always do that. I love it. I love it. When my patients ask me in the room like, Oh, what skincare products should I get? I was looking for the one you posted about. I couldn’t find it. I will literally grab their phone and go through the process of my e-commerce site.
To see what the limitations are. Is it misspelled? Maybe they’re misspelling it. And I should use the misspelling somewhere in the description of that product so that when they misspell anybody else misspells, it there’ll be able to find the product. So I left or maybe the page went inactive and I didn’t know.
So I love it when patients give me feedback like that. Cause I, I love seeing things from their perspective.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:40:59] Could you [00:41:00] make the case that during the. Intake process. If the intake process does not have questions, like what you just pose that is a warning sign
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:41:14] warning, sign to the patient
Guy Kawasaki: [00:41:16] warning, sign to the patient that this
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:41:17] is, well, you know, it’s so interesting.
I, people, I wish that they would put a little bit more effort into thinking of things that way, but they don’t. I wish they would, but I don’t even think that’s on most patient’s radar. I think just honestly finding a real plastic surgeon, just taking it way back. Even before you get to the form, just choosing who to pick up the phone to call.
If I can make patients ask those three questions, we’ve already made massive leaps.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:41:51] The three questions about what would you be able to do this in a hospital?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:41:54] Yes. Those questions. If I have just like instilled those three questions into [00:42:00] people, because doctors will be like, patients will call and say, are they board certified?
And the person’s like, yes, they’re board certified. And what. Board-certified in brain surgery, board-certified in podiatry board certified a what? So patients ask you questions and they think they’re doing their due diligence. And really, no, those aren’t the questions you should be asking and you could be going to a guy who’s literally doing his fellowship and I don’t know oral surgery.
And now he’s putting breast implants on people.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:42:32] So if we’re going to go down this path or we just go, go down one more level, please define exactly what board-certified.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:42:40] means board-certified means after you finished your residency training. So you go to college, you go to medical school, and then you choose a specialty.
That could be a GI doctor doing colonoscopies. It could be internal medicine, family medicine, dermatology, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, whatever you choose. What kind of doctor [00:43:00] do you want to be? And after you’ve finished that training, whether it’s four years or eight years, You have to take a test, two tests.
One of them is written and the other one is oral. So you actually fly into a place at the most nerve-wracking thing that I’ve ever done in my whole entire life. And you sit in front of people and they test you older plastic surgeons or older, whatever you trained in, we’ll ask you these questions. And if you don’t answer correctly, you fail and you’re not board certified.
They have a
Guy Kawasaki: [00:43:27] Ph.D. thesis defense. There you go.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:43:30] Yeah, gotta be board certified in, in something completely different. They could be board certified in cardiology. Do you want that person cutting? You?
Guy Kawasaki: [00:43:42] Does each state have its own board I’m aware? Did you fly into
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:43:45] does no. So the board is national, so everybody, we had to fly into Scottsdale.
All of us. But like, I know the dermatology boards in Florida, so there is one place you go. And these older senior or [00:44:00] plastic surgeons will fly in to test the next batch of young budding specialists
Guy Kawasaki: [00:44:08] that in recent episodes, I’ve asked my guests where they do their best. And deepest thinking. The reason I do this is because our sponsor, the reMarkable tablet company makes a product that fosters great and deep thinking.
It’s the reMarkable tablet to the reason why it fosters great and deep thinking is because it is a single purpose. You use it to take notes. This is unlike an iPad. We are checking email checking, social media sites. And generally being defocused. So now here comes advice about how to do your best and deepest thinking, sponsored by the reMarkable tablet company, where do you do your deepest and best thinking?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:44:57] It’s either organizing my closet or doing [00:45:00] laundry.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:45:01] That’s where you do your
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:45:01] best thinking. Yes. I need productive meditation. I can’t sit there and meditate. I’m so bad at it. And I know it doesn’t matter to people, right. You have to practice it, but actually, get my best thoughts and thinking done what I’m doing.
Some sort of thoughtless work. Like I don’t have to use my brainpower to work, but I’m accomplishing something. So I call it productive meditation. And it’s funny at my conference last year, we had Chris Jenner as the keynote. She does the same thing and I was like, girl, we got this. We should have our outline closet organization slash deep thought show.
What about you guy? Where do you do your best thinking?
Guy Kawasaki: [00:45:44] I recently interviewed Julia Cameron, who I
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:45:47] loved. I love,
Guy Kawasaki: [00:45:49] yeah. He talks about writing every morning. Right. And she also talks about, I forget the term she used about taking yourself on this sort of positive, emotional date, and it [00:46:00] can be anything. And I really do think that I do my best thinking. Driving a German manual shift car.
How’s that for a rationalization?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:46:12] No, I mean, is it brain? What makes you, what makes you think better in that car? Why that car?
Guy Kawasaki: [00:46:18] I don’t, well, I’m trying to rationalize getting, I was German manual shift, but besides that, I don’t know. I just enjoy driving. I like, I would drive for the sake of dry I’m Greta.
Thornburg is going to hear this and condemn me for it. Causing climate change, but I love to drive and my closet is a mess.
So now you learn something, you can do your best and deepest thinking while doing laundry, driving a German stick shift car, or using a reMarkable tablet.
[00:47:00] Now I lied. So the absolute last question is. I interviewed a New York times puler serve prize, winning investigative reporter. And I asked her for tips about how to interview people. And she said, always end your interview with the question. Is there anything I didn’t ask you? So I’m asking you, Sheila, is there anything I didn’t ask you that you feel that people should learn?
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:47:26] There’s a lot. I mean, as an immigrant, there is, there’s just so much
Guy Kawasaki: [00:47:30] incompetent
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:47:31] interviewer. No, you’re an amazing interviewer. The background work you do is just inspiring to me. No, I think what people don’t see a lot is the amount of work and energy that goes into getting to the place and thought and intentional strategy that goes into becoming successful. I think I’ve gotten so much backlash a little bit. Oh, you’re successful because you’re on Instagram and why are you posting yourself in a [00:48:00] dress? And especially from my colleagues who tend to be a little, so, so I think the thing that I’m grasping with right now is when we, my accomplishments get me the same amount of respect that a man would get.
With less, even from the people in my daily life. If I speak to my employees in a very direct way, like, Hey guys, the numbers were a little off yesterday. They might go cry. Whereas if a man said that, Oh, the numbers were off, I’ll look into it. And it’s at what point have I reached the level of success that I will be seeing the same way as a man.
And responded to the same way. And the, and the answer is never, but that’s something that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to, and the amount of intensity and work that has gone into becoming who I am and where I am today. Since the age of seven coming to this country, not speaking this language, being an ESL, the amount of teasing for being a nerd, the amount of [00:49:00] commitment, sacrifices, having my kids during residency and yeah.
Pumping at four in the morning as I’m driving into the hospital. And in between cases all day at the County hospital, in a closet, all of those things, it’s like, what more do I have to go through to achieve that level of respect? And that’s sort of the things that I’m thinking about now and what I think needs to be explored a little bit.
I think people, especially with plastic surgery, try to box people in. And I think also within plastic surgery, once they’ve given you the privilege of obtaining that profession, you die with a scalpel in your hand. And as soon as you start to pivot and maybe say, you know what, I’m also interested in fashion pivot.
I’m also interested in, in business. I’m also interested in philanthropy. It’s almost like. How dare you. Like we took the time to train you. Why are you not just obsessed with operating all day? And I think that’s why physicians burnout, because that’s the expectation and we’re conquerors [00:50:00] we’re achievers.
We want to be challenged. We want to constantly be growing. And when we’re told that this is the only thing you can do, you graduated you’re board certified now go in your office and. Work all day long. Yeah. And so, you know, I think, I think that there’s so much more to everyone and everyone has a story and
Guy Kawasaki: [00:50:19] you’re a woman doing all this, which just makes their heads explode.
It does. I think it’s good to see some exploding heads on the side of the road. Well, Sheila, thank you very much. And. If I ever really start thinking about the eight spots, more than three times a week, you will be the first person I saw. I do. I have a friend in the plastic surgery business. Yeah. And I can fill out that intake form.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian: [00:50:45] No, problem Guy.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:50:50] to put it mildly. I began this interview with some stereotypes about “Beverly Hills plastic surgery. “Let’s just say a lot of [00:51:00] those stereotypes were destroyed by Sheila. In fact, you can make the case that plastic surgery is a lot more constructive, no pun intended than I ever imagined.
I’m guy Kawasaki, and this is remarkable people. I’m backed up by two remarkable people, Jeff Sieh and Peg Fitzpatrick who always make money gas come out beautifully until the next episode, remember, vaccines are on the way, but still, still wash your hands. Wear a mask. Don’t go into crowded places, get vaccinated when you can.
And this applies, especially to people in Texas. Mahalo and Aloha.
This is remarkable people.