Jason Hartman | Crain's Philadelphia

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Jason Hartman

Background:  

Launched in late 2015, RestoreIV, offers intravenous vitamin and mineral treatments designed to ease chronic pain, migraines and other conditionsThe practice has offices in East Falls and at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia. 

The Mistake:

When I started my first practice, I left a good job—I just wasn't fulfilled. So I started a cash practice. You're starting to see more of this, but it's still not the norm.  

Part of my learning curve was centered around getting people to join me and putting my team around me. In the beginning, I felt like a little bit like, 'Well, beggars can't be choosers." I had friends who wanted to be involved, and I didn't exactly have a lot of other interest. But these weren't, as it turned out, the kind of people who were the best necessarily to be in business with, either because of our personal relationships or just because of the fact that we didn't share a vision. 

Along the way, I made some mistakes—making handshake deals, not having a contract, those kinds of things. Hiring people who don't have the same vision as you can and in my case really did create some weird dynamics. We had people not following through on those handshake deals. We had people who weren't necessarily motivated from a business standpoint and wanted to do this more as a hobby. We had some people who didn't know what running a cash practice involved. We had front desk staff who probably shouldn't have been involved in a medical practice.  And when you're running a practice like that, you're really trying to set a tone and a vibe, and it only takes one person to throw all off. 

If I'm only looking for people who are just like me, then that doesn't make for a very good tea​m.

The Lesson:

When I started RestoreIV, I was aware of those things because I had already made those mistakes. When I met my business partner, I wasn't looking to be best friends with him. It was more about, "How does he benefit the business?" 

I realized if I'm only looking for people who are just like me, then that doesn't make for a very good team, because in that situation you all have the same strengths, the same weaknesses. My partner now has strengths that I don't have and he has weaknesses that I can compensate for. Our office manager, our nurses, they all have expertise that they've brought to this, which I think is crucial. 

What I've learned is that when you're launching something new and different, you need some people on board who want to see it grow and have some skin in the game in terms of making a good product and seeing it through. That's the biggest switch between the new company and my old practice. We're in a good place now.  

Pictured: Jason Hartman. | Photo courtesy of RestoreIV.