December 22, 2019

JF1937: 3 Tips for Entrepreneurship #SkillSetSunday with Dana Corriel


As real estate investors, we are usually business owners and entrepreneurs as well. Dana is also an entrepreneur who is here to share her story and help us with some tips on entrepreneurship. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!

Best Ever Tweet:

“Every successful entrepreneur at some point has to say no and disappoint some people” – Dana Corriel

Dana Corriel Real Estate Background:

  • Board certified internist and creative entrepreneur
  • Was one of the Top Ten Internists to follow on Twitter in 2018 and featured on the LA Times front cover in 2019
  • Based in NYC, NY
  • Say hi to her at

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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast, where we only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff.

First off, I hope you’re having a best ever weekend. Because today is Sunday, we’ve got a special segment for you called Skillset Sunday. The purpose of this episode is to help you hone or even create a skill that you may or may not have already. The skill we’re going to be talking about today is the three tips for entrepreneurship.

We have a successful entrepreneur who is joining us today, Danna Corriel. How are you doing, Dana?

Danna Corriel: Good, I’m great. Thank you for having us on.

Joe Fairless: Well, I’m glad to have you on, and looking forward to our conversation. Dana is a board-certified internist and also an entrepreneur. She was one of the top ten internists to follow on Twitter last year, and she’s featured on the Los Angeles Times front cover this year, 2019. With that being said, first, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and how you got into entrepreneurship? And then let’s dig into  your three tips for entrepreneurs.

Danna Corriel: Right. So I am just your standard, traditional physician. I trained really hard to get my medical degree, and upon earning it, I sort of entered the work field, and at some point became a  mom… And did the whole medicine thing. Then at some point I actually took a break, because I felt like I needed that time to connect and bond with my children. But during that time, I also discovered that, lo and behold, it might have been myself that I needed to connect with, so there were suddenly all these things that became apparent to me, that I just never realized that I could do. So I started to create, and I entered the medical work field again three years later, with a whole new sense of clarity.

I decided to sort of never give up that creative side that I somehow had found, and I decided that I would somehow mesh it into medicine. That’s where I became a creative entrepreneur.

Joe Fairless: And what were you doing exactly? You said you started to create and you wanted to hold on to that.

Danna Corriel: Oh… I started to live. I know that sounds raunchy, but that’s literally what I started to do. I literally learned how to cook, and learned how to bake, and learned how to connect with my kids, and I learned how to host people, and how to really make an impression, and I learned how to design, how to collect vintage and refinish furniture… I started kind of dabbling into arts, and I realized suddenly that I actually had a talent, and it had nothing to do with medicine. And I  don’t think I ever would have known that if I didn’t take the time to not be a doctor.

Joe Fairless: So how the heck do you merge that into being a doctor?

Danna Corriel: Actually, that’s the dilemma I found myself in when I actually entered the workspace, because to be honest with you, there was a time where I didn’t want to go back to being a doctor. That’s how much I loved what I was doing. My husband made fun, he said that I was in early retirement, because we didn’t think I was going back… But I did decide to go back, and I said “I’m going to find a way to do this”, and it’s taken me a few years to really get into how, but I actually found it, and it evolved into where I am now.

What happened was that I started to create content virtually and online, I started to take photos of the world around me, and to create just like magical photos just using my iPhone. I suddenly got attention of people around me, and I started to write, I started to blog… And I started realizing that that catches people’s attention. People are actually interested in hearing me being funny, and hearing me being a human… Because I’m a doctor, and a lot of times doctors — we have this traditional hiding behind our coats, and we kind of can’t be human, to “be taken seriously.” And that’s a little ridiculous. Of course, we’re human; I’m a human being, I just also can treat you.

So I started taking these really beautiful photos, and I’m like “Oh my gosh, I can leverage the creativity in my photos to teach medicine, or to teach a point from my life”, or I can use my words on my blog to teach a life lesson and actually teach people about medical topics, or about behavioral medicine that they can learn from.

That sort of evolved, and I started to write my own blog, and I started instagramming, and I started sharing content… And then at some point it caught the eye of physicians, and then I was like “I need to really empower other physicians to do this”, because I’m just n of 1, I’m one person, and I don’t know what the specialists know. I’m an internist, I know a little bit of a lot. But the specialists know a lot of that particular thing; I need to literally empower them and give them the power to shine. And that’s where I created my brand SoMeDocs, and that’s the brand that I am now entrepreneurially taking on.

Joe Fairless: I’d like to learn more about SoMeDocs, but first, what’s an example of a piece of content you created to then teach a lesson in medicine, or even a life lesson?

Danna Corriel: Wow… So, so many examples. And actually, if people wanna check them out, they could check me out at @DrCorriel. That’s my brand name all over Instagram, Twitter, any platform. But just to give you an audio description, a great piece of content is something that was  very controversial, that actually landed my name on the front cover of the L.A. Times… And that’s that I posted on just an innocent post on social media, on the fact that we got the flu vaccines in to our office. I had an image of someone holding up the vaccine very innocently. That piece of content went very viral; I got crazy engagement. Good, bad, I got attacked, then I had healthcare come and rescue me… It was amazing.

The bottom line of that is that I had to take it off after some time, because it really got to be too much for me. But months later, I actually got my own flu shot, and I decided to create a piece of content that was relevant, but also kind of fun, and also kind of make a commentary on health. It was Halloween, and I put on a little — it wasn’t a little, it was a big mushroom cap, kind of like for Mario Brothers… Because my friend is an artist, Anne [unintelligible [00:07:51].10] and she made it. And I was like “You know what – let me use that as commentary.” I have a photo of myself flexing with it, with my bandaid over my flu shot area. And I say something like “On Halloween, this doctor powered up.” It was sort of like my clever response to that vaccination mayhem from months before. And I was making a commentary on vaccines, like — look, I tell people to get their vaccines, but I practice what I preach; so here I am, using that. And it was a really nice photo. If your audience wants to look it up, it’s there, in all of my content. It’s a cool photo.

So that’s the kind of information nowadays that really sells, and those are the kinds of things that go viral – just things with cool visuals, with cool wording, and things that really grab people’s attention.

Joe Fairless: Your evolution as a public figure is applicable to anyone in business, and especially real estate investors, because as real estate investors, the perception might be we have to be very analytical, we have to have a suit and tie on… This might not be a perception that everyone has of real estate investors, but some people might perceive if you’re starting real estate, “Hey, I need to always have a suit and tie, I need to act a certain way…” But the challenge you came across is you are a doctor, and there is a certain perception that people have about how doctors are supposed to act, and your challenge was “I want to actually be myself, show my personality, but I also need to continue to be taken seriously as a doctor.” So you broke through that by saying “You know what – I’m gonna do what fulfills me, and I’m gonna share this, and it’s ultimately gonna help people.”

So I think it’s inspiring to hear your story for anyone who thinks they need to act a certain way, to be someone that they’re not. And I can tell you firsthand, I came across this when I was leaving the advertising world, and I was going into real estate investing full-time. I did a photoshoot, and I had a suit — well, it wasn’t a suit, it was a tie, and a long-sleeved buttoned-down shirt. I got those pictures made, tweeted them out, and my former boss said “Who is this guy? I don’t know this guy. I’ve never seen you with a tie on in my entire life.” He said it playfully, but it resonated with me.

That wasn’t me. I’m not that guy. And I was l like “You know what – I need to really stay true to who I am, because people will end up gravitating towards me a lot more than if I try to pretend to be someone I’m not.”

Danna Corriel: That resonates me to such a high degree. I am so finding myself in the same place as you, literally… Because no other field is more traditional than medicine. You don’t know how many times people have come up to me when they get to know me, and they say “You’re so not like the person I’d imagined as a doctor.” I look at that as a compliment. It’s not an insult. Some people get insulted by those kinds of comments… I truly find that to be a compliment, because that’s what sets me aside from everyone else. And that’s going to market me in this world. And that factored into my deciding that I wanted to be an internist. I could tell you that internists are primary care general doctors, and we succeed by making these connections with our patients, even more than the things that we know.

So for me, it helps me that I stand out, and I do wanna be true to who I am. So I can tell you that when I started doing this – no joke; I can relate to you – people were telling me “What are you doing?” I would have friends who would tell me “You’re making a mistake.” I even had family say that, “You are just doing things that don’t make sense.” And I said to them “I can’t not do this. I really not only believe in this, but I am truly passionate in how I feel. And I know that someday it’s going to speak to someone… But even if it doesn’t, it speaks to me, and it satisfies this urge that I have to work on my passion.”

So that’s, I think, part of why I’ve succeeded with my brand and my company and my vision, and we’re still growing.

Joe Fairless: Real quick, what are SoMeDocs, and then let’s get into your three tips for entrepreneurs.

Danna Corriel: Sure. SoMeDocs stands for Doctors on Social Media, because SoMe is the way of saying social media nowadays.

Joe Fairless: I did not know that. Thank you for telling me.

Danna Corriel: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

Joe Fairless: I’m such an old person, in life and in heart.

Danna Corriel: Oh, please… I am also an old person in heart, but I strive to be — at least functionally speaking, I strive to be somewhat more of a millennial… Because they really know how to utilize social media. So that’s what I do with SoMeDocs – I’ve created this brand that has presence on several platforms. We are present on Facebook, we have a Facebook group called SoMeDocs, and it really is physician-only. I vet physicians in there.

And just to mention the sister Facebook group, because that’s more relevant to your audience, because your audience can actually join that group… I have a group also called SoMeDocs Public. It’s the same as SoMeDocs, but meshing together both the medical and non-medical world, so anyone is welcome to join that.

The purpose is just to brainstorm through ideas, through collaboration, make connections. Maybe somebody has an idea for the next medical device, or maybe someone needs to find a special expert in a certain field, or someone that they consider an influencer in a certain specialty. That’s a place where you can connect, because I have a lot of my SoMeDocs joining that, and then I have a lot of other people, either from industry, like publishers, and investors, and writers, journalists… And then I moderate it to sort of make connections. So that’s what I’m working on. That’s one platform.

Then I have a website for SoMeDocs, where we feature doctor voices and we collaborate there in that way, but it’s more public. And then I’ve got Twitter, where we spread brands of physicians using the SoMeDocs hashtag, and we retweet it to sort of gain visibility.

I can tell you that in the last month I’ve had something like over 45 million impressions using the SoMeDocs hashtag. Physicians are valuing the brand and the hashtag, and the value in using it, because they get that it gives you visibility for your voice and your words.

And then we have other things. We have SoMeDocs engage, which is like live networking sessions for physicians, where we get together to just network. We talk about, among other things, social media, and how we can leverage our brands, and build brands in general, in healthcare. But we also network and talk about other things, like some people wanna talk about finances, and other people wanna talk about where they can invest their money in real estate. So that’s yet another platform. But we have a lot that’s coming.

Joe Fairless: Top three tips for entrepreneurs.

Danna Corriel: Okay, so my top three tips are – first and foremost, some of you may have this need to always be nice, and I know that physicians can relate to this especially, because we’ve got this extremely altruistic side. But once you decide to tackle something from an entrepreneurial level – like, once you decide that you’ve spent so much time on something and that it’s really something powerful, and you need to invest all your time in it, then you need to grow it from an entrepreneurial perspective. Don’t mix the altruistic nature of being a physician or being that person with that necessary grit of becoming a successful entrepreneur… Because every successful entrepreneur has to, at some point or another, say no, and to disappoint some people. But you’re also building a good brand, and people will follow if it’s quality.

Joe Fairless: Okay, it makes sense.

Danna Corriel: So that’s one. Okay, do you want me to go on to the second?

Joe Fairless: Yes, please.

Danna Corriel: The second one I thought of in my journey is that you have to tackle your plans head-on, but you always have to be realistic and set realistic expectations, and you have to always brace yourself for the possibility of a loss… Because otherwise, you’re basically putting all your eggs into one basket, and you literally fail. I think that’s a big one for people that are starting out, that really believe in their idea. Because I myself had this grand idea, and I felt like at some point I will succeed… But I have taken so many different turns in my role there that it’s really taught me a lesson that I’m now passing on.

Joe Fairless: I think it’s great for people who are — in addition to starting, people who are in growth mode, to brace ourselves for a possibility of a loss, because we’re in growth mode, we’re growing, and we might think it will always be that way… But we’ve got to have a back-up plan. Or maybe not even a back-up plan, but a contingency plan  – which is kind of  a back-up plan, I guess – where we have some cushion, should things not continue to go as according to plan.

For example, having a six-month emergency fund that you can live off of, or being aware of the debt that you have and the income that you have, and how diversified is that income, and does that service the debt that you have as an individual. The lenders take a look at the properties that we purchase, but are we taking a look at the debt that we have as a person and the income that’s coming in, and the income sources, and is that income coming from one source, or is it coming from multiple sources, from different types of methods or different types of earning opportunities?

Danna Corriel: Absolutely. Diversification is huge, and that’s actually part of why when I set up my brand and my business, I decided to create multiple platforms, because I honestly saw the advantage of each one, and I was like “Let me see, maybe one will take off, and you know what – I could always steer it in that direction.” But secondly, what you said is actually exactly the third one I was just going to say, which is “Do you have  a plan moving forward?” Yes. “Do you wanna be rigid in the path towards that plan, or towards the endpoint of that plan?” Absolutely not. You have to always be flexible, and be malleable. You want to get to your endpoint, but when you steer in a different direction, that’s not always a bad thing. Always maintain an open mind and give things a chance. You may be surprised at where the road leads. It sometimes actually leads you to an even more successful road. So that’s my third tip.

Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’re doing and get involved with your stuff?

Danna Corriel: I’m branded across social media as Doctor Corriel, so you can literally find me under the handle @drcorriel. That’s on Instagram, that’s on LinkedIn, that’s on my website,, and that’s on my email, And then we have for the bigger brand.

Joe Fairless: Yes, and the SoMeDocs – that is pretty darn easy to find, and so is your Facebook page. And you can actually search “SoMeDocs”, and your Facebook page also comes up.

Thank you so much for being on the show, sharing your journey, the evolution… A lot of Best Ever listeners are doing work right now that they would like to do less of, and they’d like to do more investing or doing more of something else… And it’s wonderful to hear how you’ve taken your journey and how you’ve evolved your approach, and how you’re doing things that fulfill you, and how you’re building a community around it.

Robert Kiyosaki talks about the richest people in the world build networks, and everyone else looks for work… And I completely agree with that, and you’re clearly building a network.

Thanks for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you again soon.

Danna Corriel: Thank you so much, Joe. I appreciate it.

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