In 2004, Ron Richard was awarded “Home Care Person of the Year” followed by Top Tech Executive in 2011 in San Diego and with 17 patents in the medical field under his belt all while launching over 40 new products, managing sales in Asia, Europe, and South America and formulating new product FDA submissions, coordinate registration processes for security protocols of HIPAA/PCI/ISO/HITRUST, medical device, medical diagnostic, and life science market segments for 25 years.
BLD Consulting formed in 2011 was only a natural progression in Ron’s career which became a centre stone of all his collective expertise in the Medical Industry focusing on sales, marketing, digital, web design, and overall supporting medical device manufacturers, hospitals, homecare, physician-based businesses, as well as clinical trials. During his involvement as an inventor, investor and entrepreneur, Ron worked with investors and helped them turn their ideas, as they mulled over a cup of coffee, into a product that benefits people worldwide.
Ron’s book, “Someday is TODAY!” walks you through the invention process, taking drawings scribbled on a napkin to a patented product sold on shelves.
Listen to this informative Publish. Promote. Profit. episode with Ron Richard about helping people through the invention process using a book.
Here are some of the beneficial topics covered on this week’s show:
– How working in hospitals has become constrictive for physicians and clinicians.
– Why a book is a great way to share the lessons you’ve learned and the mistakes you’ve made.
– How writing a book makes you an expert in your field and can help others succeed as well.
– Why time might be the most valuable resource that you have.
– How having a book is a big step up from having a business card or elevator pitch.
Connect with Ron:
Guest Contact Info:
Hey, welcome everybody. Rob Kosberg here with another episode of our Publish. Promote. Profit podcast. Excited to bring you a great guest. Ron Richard is a medical inventor, author of Someday Is Today (I’ll tell you more about that in just a moment,) entrepreneur. Ron was previously the Home Care person of the year, followed by the top tech executive in San Diego, 17 patents in the medical field under his belt, all the while launching over 40 new products, managing sales in Asia, Europe, South America, formulating new product for the FDA.
I think you’ll like the interview today, and Someday Is Today, his book is a book that shows you how to go from initial idea while sipping coffee to a fully developed product on the shelf. And Ron, you have certainly a lot of experience in that, so good to have you on the podcast today.
Yeah. Thank you so much, Rob. I appreciate it, and thanks for the introduction.
It’s quite a background you have and various things that you’ve done. Maybe you could give us just a little bit of history. Why write a book? Obviously, the Someday Is Today book could probably be an idea or a concept for anybody that is thinking about doing something, right? You need to act now. And of course, yours is more geared toward product development, I believe, which is your kind of expertise. So talk to me about why write the book, what can people expect to get out of it, and then we’ll dive into it a little more deeply.
Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, my background is I started in the medical field as a respiratory therapist and a paramedic. And actually, one of my first inventions was a communication board. As a respiratory therapist, you have challenges with patients that are on ventilators and they’re intubated, so they lose their ability to speak. They can’t communicate freely with staff, so I developed my first invention in the hospital was to help patients just get simple things that they were so frustrated to try to communicate to the nurse or family members about, and it kind of took off from there.
I left the hospital and then got into sales and then into product development and probably over a span of about 30 years, as you mentioned, been involved in launching products globally in the sleep and respiratory field, along with all the patents that I’ve designed and developed.
So about three, four years ago, I was doing a project at Stanford and the dean of the business school had heard I was in the area and knew about my background with the medical field and invited me to do a talk to specifically, physicians who wanted to have an annuity or an income outside of just working in the hospital. And my wife’s a physician, and she does podcasts as well and makes additional revenue from this. But it’s getting to be incredibly constrictive for physicians and clinicians. They spend more time charting and making notes than they actually do probably seeing patients, so it’s very frustrating.
And so, the lecture I did garnered a lot of interest from doctors who contacted me and said, “I have these great ideas and actually, the subtitle of the book is, “Get Your Ideas Out of Your Coffee Cup and on the Market,” and I took it from one of the doctors that I was talking to, and he told me. He said, “I have all these great ideas, but they’re stuck in here. My coffee cup, and I can’t take action. I’m just kind of paralyzed as a doctor. I don’t know anything about business. I don’t know, really, the first step of getting an invention on the market. “So, I took the time to write the book during COVID and working from home, took that extra time to put this framework together.
So, the benefit to the reader is, really, it’s a quick read. It’s about 180 pages, and it covers everything from fundraising, building a team, being a team leader, transitioning from being a doctor to more of a business mind, making sure you validate your product before you go to spend a lot of time and money by doing a patent search. So there’s a lot of good, useful information in there that I’ve learned over time, and I’ve made big mistakes by jumping into the market with an idea or a new product and then all of a sudden, six months later, get the nasty letter from a lawyer saying, “Guess what? There’s already a product like this patented on the market,” and now you’ve spent a couple million dollars in R&D cost, and you’re-
That’s a big mistake there.
It’s a big no-no. So that’s part of the book, too, is sharing a lot of the things and lessons I’ve learned, the mistakes I’ve made and hopefully, improving the time to market and, the quality and the outcomes and the output of the product that is going to be used on patients.
And I continually reinforce that clinicians, I believe, are the greatest inventors of medical products because they have firsthand experience about what works, what doesn’t work, and they can see from the patients that they take care of each day what’s going to be most beneficial.
Let me take one step back before I ask you a little bit more about the book and maybe about the pillars of the book. Talk to me about what you do now. I believe you do consulting and help. So talk to me, give me a little background history on what you’re focused on and working on now, how you help those that perhaps are in this process, and then I want to dive into the book and of course, take it in a couple of different directions there.
Yeah, my consulting business, we cover everything from website design, marketing, sales, content management, helping people set up sales forces, whether they’re using independent sales reps, or they want to go with a direct sales force or work through distributors. So, I have a huge network of people that I’ve developed over the years on the sales and marketing side, and then for inventors, they typically need 3D prototyping, so I can help with that. I have a shop here in town that we can-do high-speed 3D prototyping.
So, you can test out concepts effectively and in very low cost. I’ve also got a network of people that specialize with the FDA in terms of filing, whether it’s a sleep, respiratory, anesthesia, surgical product. So it’s kind of a turnkey situation to where if someone comes to me, more likely than not, through about a 15-minute interview, I can tell them, “Yeah, I can most likely help you in these areas, and there are other areas I’m going to refer you to somebody else,” but that’s kind of what our consulting company is all about.
The reason I asked, I assumed some of that, but many of our clients at Bestseller Publishing are somewhere along the journey of where you’re at right now, meaning that they’ve gone from the expert in their field, perhaps even owning a business in that field, doing the thing to author, content creator, expert about that and then, helping others to succeed in what they’re doing.
Talk to me about the genesis of that. Talk to me about the iteration in that. I know the book came during COVID, and we’re going to talk about how the book actually helps you to grow your business and what it does for you. But talk to me about the genesis of your own kind of journey from, as you explained, in the beginning days, a clinician, somebody that was working with the patients to inventor, sales, and all the other pieces.
I really loved being in sales, but over probably 10 years, I kind of migrated more into product development and product management and then took on roles as senior executive in many of the publicly traded companies that I worked for before I started my consulting firm. So I was CEO, chief operating officer, chief marketing officer, held all these different jobs with… and I was very fortunate to work with Qualcomm and with ResMed and a bunch of these really flagship great companies and got good training and good support, and that’s where you really can learn a lot is when you’ve got those kind of assets to draw from and resources and you have a talent pool that you’re surrounded with.
It’s like kind of being on a Super Bowl team, in a way. You’re just pinching yourself every day and just excited to get up and get going, go get to work, and keep generating ideas. And the big thing that really gets me going, Rob, is basically seeing my products that I’ve designed and developed being used on patients and how it’s benefited them.
So you went, at some point from the various positions you held, even up to COO, CEO to saying, “Okay, now I want to do this on my own. Now, I’m going to be independent. I’m going to be a consultant. I’m going to help others with this particular business.” Why? Why do that? What kind of motivated and what was that process like for you?
Well, I have retired three times in the last 10 years, took time off to play golf and I’m a musician as well, so I went on tour for a while. Then I got back into the medical side of things and doing the consulting. So I’ve had, really, a great life the last 10 years in terms of being able to have, I think, a more balanced life, being able to have fun and enjoy my hobbies, but also, still continue to build products, and I think, in a meaningful way now, try to mentor and help people through the whole process.
And that’s kind of going back to the impetus of starting a company and writing this book. It’s really creating… because a lot of consulting companies that I’ve worked with over time and I’ve dealt with, like you, a lot of different consulting firms, they specialize in one or two things and then you get kind of pushed and shoved off and you don’t really have consistent or congruent kind of people that you can talk to throughout the whole entire project until you finally get to a point where you’re saying, “I don’t need your help anymore. I think I’ve got it now.”
And so that’s kind of what the whole basis and platform of our businesses is not… I remember a great shopping experience I had at Nordstrom’s. I had a salesperson come up and say, “What are you looking for,” and I said, “I’m just looking for a belt. I need a new belt.” So they took me over to… they didn’t work in that department. They took me over there and helped me pick out a belt, and then I ended up buying a pair of pants from them and I worked with the same salesperson and I ended getting a whole new outfit from this one guy, and I thought, “That is incredible service,” and that’s kind of what we pride ourselves in being able to do with our company as well.
Kind of being the one stop shop, meeting all the needs that you saw. And I assume, I mean, I don’t know all the horror stories, but if the one that you mentioned losing a couple of million dollars because you didn’t do the patent search, if you’ve experienced those kinds of things, being able to pass on the knowledge, the wisdom at every step along the process, I’m sure, is not only incredibly valuable to the people that you’re working with, but like super rewarding for you as well, right, being able to stop people from making what could be tragic mistakes, losing millions of bucks. That’s pretty tragic.
It’s not just the money. It’s the time you can’t replace because you’re spending a lot of your energy and resources on this project and all of a sudden… I’ll give you an example. I was consulting with a company and I got into the whole process kind of in the third quarter of the game. And I went through the due diligence and found out, yeah, there were some conflicts and some patent issues. And I said, “If you go to market, there’s a potential you’re going to be sued.”
And sure enough, they were sued by another company that had a very similar product, and I helped negotiate through that, at least salvage part of what they’d been doing in terms of a licensing agreement because you never want… there’s going to be potential conflicts with similar products out there. The biggest thing I encourage people to do is avoid lawsuits and attorneys and try to work something out to where you can both survive in the ecosystem and both make money and both your products maybe have enough differences to them that they serve different patient needs, but at all costs, try to avoid getting into a long drawn out lawsuit that’s going to cost millions of dollars and a lot of time to where you’re not making any revenue when you’re kind of in the hot seat.
R&D phase. That’s great. Great advice. I’d like to change gears, and I’d like to talk a little bit about the book, but the book as a source of you making a difference and receiving what it is that you want from it. So we talk to our clients about your book being the place where you generate leads, you can get media PR, speaking engagements. The book becomes a tool and in fact, in most cases, the best tool ever to help people, not just people that are potentially buying the book to implement these things themselves, but people that are buying the book because they really want to work with you in the first place. So, I wonder if you could talk a little bit about that. You wrote the book during the pandemic. How are you using the book to grow your consulting business? Are you? What the big vision with the book?
You look at what are the different means of communicating with people when you meet them, and they ask the 30-second elevator pitch. What do you do, where do you work, little bit about you. And you can hand them a business card. Well, a book is just, I mean, a big step up. It’s like, “I published a book. Would you like a copy of it?” Show them what you’ve been doing. And it also, for me personally, it helped me kind of aggregate all the stuff that I’ve been doing over the years and put it down on paper and really think through what is it that I’ve been doing all these years and then in turn, how can I help and share this information and create more knowledge for people, so that ultimately what I’d like to see is just better and more inventions come out on the market from US-based physicians and clinicians to improve outcomes. And so, the books helped me with getting speaking engagements, podcasts, and I’m working on my next book. I thought the first book was going to be the end of it and now, I’m like, “You know what? This wasn’t all that bad.” So I’m about 90% done with my next book, which will be a medical science fiction thriller, so I’m going to kind of switch it up from inventions to something a little different.
Oh, so more a passion project in that case.
So, you mentioned speaking engagements, obviously, PR and media. We’re talking today because of your book. Is there any kind of process that you use or is there a plan or has it been more this has just come to? Are you sending your book out to conferences, associations, private organizations as an introduction and then as an opportunity to speak? Talk to me a little bit about what your plan and what you actually do there.
For instance, I was on a phone call yesterday with the Academy of Sleep Medicine, and they’d found out that I’d written this book. They’re inviting me to do a talk at the upcoming meeting that they’re having in June.
And so that’s kind of led into getting another call going with a friend of mine who’s published seven books focused on customer service experiences. And so now, I’m partnering up with him to do some podcasts that combine the elements of my book, along with the stuff that he’s been working on over the past few years. So yeah, it’s pretty cool the way things are working out.
But the promotion part of it, I do have an agent that works with me, and they spend about 10 hours a week sending out emails and broadcasting what I’m about, what my book is about and getting appointments and all that kind of stuff set up because this is just one part of my life. I’ve still got… I’m running multiple different companies still and doing my consulting business.
So, you’re investing in a publicist, I guess we could say, that is getting your book in front of the right people to get you stages, to get you opportunities to speak, that kind of thing, and it sounds like that’s already working. I would imagine a speaking engagement in front of an audience, like the one you just mentioned, could lead to some amazing opportunities, not the least of which is additional speaking engagements, right?
I think that is helpful. I mean, where could people get your book? Where can they learn a little bit more about your consulting business? Maybe they’ll want to buy your next studio album because you have your own band you mentioned.
Everybody pretty much goes to Amazon, the Kindle, so you want to do the digital download kind of track. Barnes & Noble’s also been a really good outlet for my book. So those are the two main places you want to kind of get signed up with.
And then my agent has been fantastic. She’s helped me with Bowker and a bunch of other kind of background stuff that you have to do for getting your book published correctly and get the layout and all that stuff done, so all that’s things that I never knew until I got into this first book and I’ve learned a lot from it.
And what about your own website? Let’s give some links where people can connect with you directly. And maybe you sell the book on your site as well?
No, I only sell it through Amazon and through Barnes & Noble.
Oh, well, you should change that. You should sell it yourself too.
I should. I’d make a lot more money on it.
Create a book page.
My website is inventingstartstoday.com.
Inventingstartstoday.com. Love it. Great title. And Someday Is Today is the book. If somebody wants to look it up, Ron F. Richard, author. So, Ron, thank you. Thanks for being on the podcast today.
Yeah. Thank you, Rob.