Have enthusiasm! This is a key factor in life. Enthusiasm keeps your morale at such a high level that you promote and instill that feeling in others. Enthusiasm is truly a process of success and success is measured by the enthusiasm one maintains through failure.
As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cornelius Miller.
Cornelius Miller started his professional journey in the technology world in early 2009 where he started as a sales associate for a brand-named Website Business.
He created a foundation which was established through learning the fundamentals of website eCommerce and the ability to produce revenue through advanced techniques like blogging; back-linking, social media integration and so forth.
As a sales associate the requirement was to introduce the model to a particular customer and present the benefits leading into a closed sale.
In 2010 Cornelius was promoted to front end sales manager. He was able to utilize his ability for leadership while leading a sales team of 20 plus representatives. He demonstrated how to overcome obstacles which became a quality that was considered priceless in teaching others how to do the same. He was soon promoted to account management after six months of leading his team to success.
In September 2011 Cornelius created his first online company out of his home called ED Resolutions LLC, which was a debt counseling and resolutions company assisting consumers nationally. Within the first 90 days, the business generated over 120k in revenues. This allowed Cornelius to build a staff of 6 sales associates and three customer service agents along with a sales manager. In less than six months the company became very profitable.
In 2012 Cornelius started Advanced Marketing Web solutions which was a website development and social media marketing firm. The main focus for this firm was targeting companies in the Phoenix metro area and offering social media marketing and web development. This venture was very successful and within its first eight months it caught the attention of a buyer.
By the End of 2012 Cornelius sold both ED Resolutions LLC and Advanced Marketing Web solutions.
Cornelius’ background includes graduating from University of Nebraska with a degree in psychology where he attended on a full football scholarship.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I started my professional journey in the technology world in early 2009 and worked my way up as a sales associate to front end sales manager where I utilized my ability for leadership through managing a team of 20 plus sales representatives. In September of 2011, I created my first online company out of my home called ED Resolutions LLC, which was a debt counseling and resolutions company assisting consumers nationally. Within the first 90 days, the business generated over 120,000 dollars in revenue. In 2012, I then started Advanced Marketing Web Solutions which was a website development and social media marketing firm and by the end of the year, I sold both companies.
My latest venture is Opti-Xpres, a system that was launched nationwide to help with patient onboarding, outreach, EHR synchronization, and provides a contactless glasses frame try-on feature that currently provides the highest accuracy on the market. The application allows doctors to customize an app for their office where patients can virtually schedule appointments, fill out paperwork, receive appointment reminders, integrate payment processes and more without having a face-to-face interaction.
Opti-Xpres is something that has been in the works for the last two years and once COVID-19 hit, we knew this system was needed more than ever. From working with optometrists across the nation and truly learning their needs, I know firsthand about the concerns and frustrations doctors face when trying to combat the spread of COVID-19 in their offices. Our platform allows offices to safely operate and conduct business under the new CDC guidelines. Opti-Xpres is modernizing doctor offices and has revolutionized many practices.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
We’re disrupting the optical world because we are advancing their technology and simplifying their processes, it’s all streamlined into one app. Currently, there is nothing else on the market that offers all of the services that we do all in one platform. Allowing this all to be done virtually is not only modernizing an old way of managing an office but creating a much-needed added safety layer in an era of a quickly spreading pandemic.
Our platform has seen a 70% increase in patients onboarding via their platform since March of 2020. We have also seen an increase in users over the age of 65 using the service and of the current clinics using Opti-Xpres, over 72% of patients over the age of 65 have onboarded with the platform
Our platform also offers office managers the ability to schedule emails, text messages and push notifications that can be sent out to patients on a preferred date and time. The company also offers technological solutions to attract more patients through building a web presence and helping improve an office’s search results ranking to reach more views across the web and social media.
Can you share a story about mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I was first starting out, I quickly learned that it’s important to pay attention to where the need is most. The Optometry industry needed to turn the corner quickly to make it safer to engage with less interaction. However, I also learned that it’s important to listen to the experts in the industry who understand the ins and outs of how a practice manages its operations. That’s why we brought in our other co-founder, Dr. Larry Holle. He helped explain to us that we needed to add technology into our platform that accommodates for the fact that doctors are often running late due to back to back appointments or that paperwork is often not done efficiently. Through this we gained the ability to make sure our platform could help doctors perform at a higher level through allowing them to not have to worry about synchronizing paperwork due to our added EHR capabilities and cloud-based technology. Additionally, adding the virtual try-on feature allows doctors to not have to worry about inventory.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
Our Opti-Xpres Co-Founder, Dr. Larry Holle, has been one of my greatest mentors along this journey. As an optometrist running a practice himself, he has a deep understanding of the processes our system needed to allow doctors to succeed. He keeps me grounded in showing me there is another side to providing a product to someone and as an entrepreneur, that has helped me. He makes us slow down and spend time to ensure we are being meticulous and paying attention to detail in all aspects of the software. This allows us to be 100% organized and set up for success in the business.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean? ‘
Disrupting is not always a good thing, especially when you take shortcuts, and the processes and organization gets lost. If you don’t take the time to truly speak with the experts in the industry you are disrupting and get to know what the ins and outs of the day to day operations looks like, then you are jeopardizing those relationships. When you are looking to change how a structure operates, you need to understand that system’s needs and what will allow them to operate at a higher level.
I’ve experienced bad disruption with another company who ended up stealing frame images that were never actually uploaded into 360 views. You have to make sure you have relationships and are doing it the right way. We’ve jumped through hoops to really understand and take full scans of the actual frames and then upload them into the technology. We really understand what the doctor needs and what makes him able to see more patients.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
- Don’t count the sale before the deal closes. I was one of those guys that used to take people’s word for everything they said. I took someone saying if they might be interested as a yes and I’ve learned to never count my blessings too soon. You always have to work for the deal to close and until then, don’t let your guard down too soon.
- Follow the 80–20 rule. Always try to let people do more speaking than you do. You should always aim do to 80% of the listening and 20% of the talking. A person of few words tends to be a person of many actions. If you watch me work, my head is always down and I’m getting my work done at the highest level possible
- Have enthusiasm! This is a key factor in life. Enthusiasm keeps your morale at such a high level that you promote and instill that feeling in others. Enthusiasm is truly a process of success and success is measured by the enthusiasm one maintains through failure.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
We sure aren’t done! I’m looking to continue to shake things up and our company has new products launching within the next year and one of them involves retinal atrophy. Telemedicine is going to be huge and the next big advancement online and we are looking to get a more competitive edge to the market.
Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?
Yes, I love listening to the Joel Ornstein and Gary Vee podcasts. They are such inspirational business leaders and have taught me how to take the emotional aspect out of business. Another thing that I always love starting my day with is meditation and an affirmations series on YouTube. I like to thank the universe for everything that it has manifested for me- it’s so important to be grateful for every opportunity you are given.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Be obedient, obedience is greater than sacrifice. I actually have that tattooed on me because it’s so important to be obedient to your craft and the people around you. By doing this, you will limit the failure in life because you are being obedient to what the universe has planned for you.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I am so passionate about fitness and I’d love to inspire the world to use fitness to improve their mental health and practice self-love. It’s so important to set goals for yourself through training and working out, it helps you have more discipline in all aspects of your life. Fitness has changed my life throughout the years, and I’d love to give that gift to others.
How can our readers follow you online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!