Article Date: 6/1/2013

The Princess and the Three Optometric Kingdoms

The Princess and the Three Optometric Kingdoms

By Jeremy Clano, OD


Once upon a time, there was a fair maiden who loved optometry. She went to school to further her knowledge and become the best optometric princess in the land. Six months prior to graduation, or was it 2 years after, she asked herself, “Why hasn’t the perfect practice fallen into my lap? I’ve studied and gotten good grades, what am I to do? Where is the perfect place for me?” At that moment, she was visited by her fairy godmother, who offered to show her three magical kingdoms. Each was very different and it was up to the princess to decide where she would be happiest.

Private Practice

First the fairy godmother took the princess to a large, extravagant private castle with all the bells and whistles including cutting-edge technology and sought-after fashion eyewear. Behind the shiny exterior, our wise fairy godmother also showed the princess a prince who worked 70 hours a week, managed 14 ‘bosses’ and had two other royal members who had opinions on running the kingdom. The prince also had to make monthly property payments to the former king. He worked long hours and performed a multitude of tasks that were foreign to him such as high-level marketing, making financial decisions and executing a leadership role. He had never learned these skills in school, but was expected to execute them flawlessly.

The princess was intimidated by the number of tasks the prince performed outside his ‘craft.’ However, he did have a beautiful castle and was proud of what he’d built. While he found himself spending more time managing h is workers than he did treating the people of his kingdom, he enjoyed the multitasking. The prince made a nice salary, was very happy with his situation and slept well every night.

Multitasking in a Small Kingdom

The fairy godmother then took the princess to a second smaller castle led by a princess, who had less people to manage. She was the only royal, so decision-making powers were hers alone. Autonomy comes with a price, however. Since our princess was never fully trained at all the tasks necessary to run a castle, she wore many different hats. “Heavy is the head that wears the crown,” she often thought to herself. Managing her people wasn’t difficult because they were a small and tightly knit ‘family,’ but, again, many tasks fell outside her training. For example, she had to fix the castle toilets, buy supplies, reconcile monthly statements, execute payroll, market her castle, negotiate good deals and keep current with social media (letters on horseback were not cutting it). Although these tasks were foreign, the princess had to do them all, as the castle wasn’t big enough to support another princess. She did enjoy many of the different aspects of castle ownership and ‘shaking hands’ with the kingdom kin 40+ hours a week in addition to the 20-30 hours she spent on her other responsibilities. She made a nice salary, was very happy with her situation and slept well every night.

No Ownership

The final visit was with a prince who didn’t want to rule anyone and didn’t want his own castle. He was a very good ruler, but didn’t love owning a castle and all the non-royal work that came with it. He had no bosses per se and no work to bring home when he left his castle, but he also had limited resources and few decisions were left to him. The technology in his castle wasn’t as up-to-date as some of the other kingdoms, but he never had to worry about paying for it and others in his kingdom weren’t dependent on him for their salaries. He thoroughly enjoyed commuting to his castle each day and being a great prince. He made a nice salary, was very happy with his situation and slept well every night.

Just Right

After seeing three very different kingdoms, the princess thanked her fairy godmother for showing her the castles and the different roles and leadership responsibilities. “There is NO right or wrong decision to be made, as they are all great castles,” her fairy godmother said. “The princes and princess are happy and each kingdom is run differently, but they’re all successful.” The princess felt much better prepared to choose the castle in which she’d be most comfortable. nOD


Dr. Clano has been in private practice for 5 years in Carmel, Ind. Prior to that, he spent 5 years in ‘retail’ optometry. Dr. Clano specializes in contact lenses and sports vision.

Optometric Management, Issue: June 2013