A tenured healthcare entrepreneur, Veronica Smith Southerland, also known as Vee The NP, has dedicated her career to raising up the next generation of healthcare entrepreneurs. She has watched businesses grow, fail, and grow again.
Vee creates space and opportunities for minorities in healthcare. It’s with the vision, she can serve both the healthcare provider and patient. Vee The NP opens minds to the seemingly impossible and teaches how to make the opportunity you want possible, profitable, and powerful.
Healthcare goes beyond the States and into the global world for Vee. Through her relationships throughout the world, her work has impacted millions. Yet, her personal passion has always been for nurses. Vee The NP is driven by a desire to create opportunities through enlightenment, education, and empowerment. Her passion and drive mixed with Veronica’s swagger and knowledge enable her to be a healthcare entrepreneur. It’s this star power that has led Vee to be a CEO, speaker, mentor, and author ready and available to impact the next generation of millionaire nurses.
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Thank you so much for giving us your time! Before we begin, could you introduce yourself to our readers and take us through what exactly your company does and what your vision is for its future?
Veronica Smith Southerland: Thank you for having me as well! I’m a healthcare entrepreneur who teaches nurses how to open and operate successful healthcare-based businesses. My niche is IV Hydration therapy which is where the Watch My FLO programs started. As of September 25, 2021, I have taught more than 1,000 nurses how to open their own IV Hydration businesses.
I also own and operate a wellness clinic called FLO Hydration & Wellness in Charlotte, NC. We’re a luxury pain management and wellness clinic. And yes, luxury and pain management may sound like an oxymoron but I truly want my patients walking into our space seeing beauty. From the customized art to the waterfalls in each room, FLO Hydration does healthcare differently for each person.
With our Ketamine infusions, we’re able to assist patients who simply need more than traditional mental health and pain management medicines can provide. We simply get to offer Ketamine in a high-luxury, dare I say, bougie, environment. As you can see, I have a lot of healthcare programs and businesses I’m running. But, luxury is the passion I get to share with every person.
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO/entrepreneur when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get where you are today?
Veronica Smith Southerland: This is a great question. As children, we don’t think to become CEOs because are groomed to follow the system.
So, as I grew up I wanted to become a doctor. My mom was a nurse and I wanted to continue in the family business of medicine. However, post-college, I actually worked as a social worker a took some classes for pre-med. And you know when you get into the actual field of work you think you want to do and it hits you that this isn’t what you thought it was going to be? Well, that was me with medical school. So, I decided to go to nursing school instead.
At the same time, I got married and followed my husband and his job to a few different places. But, in my gut, I knew I wanted something else. I was a travel nurse and worked in the corrections system. But, I’ve always been a disruptor of the day-to-day and a big dreamer. I’m a visionary. In the early 2000s, I decided I wanted to start my own healthcare business. Thanks to my relationships with doctors and my background in social work, it grew so fast! Then, it stopped. With changes in healthcare in our country came changes in my business. It was so tough but I kept my head down to find a solution.
That is where the heart of an entrepreneur comes into play. Though we’re groomed to follow the status quo, we’re not built to actually do that. We don’t stay in a box because we had no idea a box existed. So, I got innovative. I saw the rise of popularity for concierge nursing and specifically, IV Hydration. The innovation kicked in because no one was doing the thing I could do. I saw a need and I became the solution. And I figured others might need the same solution I had so I figured out how to share what I learned.
That’s where my IV Hydration – Watch My FLO – classes were born. From a driving dripper to the GOAT of the Drip.
Tell us something about yourself that others in your organization might be surprised to know.
Veronica Smith Southerland: I’m actually a pretty quiet person. Though I talk and teach a lot publicly, in my personal life I do more listening than I do speaking. It’s how I learn about others. You know, we do not listen enough these days. We’re so busy promoting ourselves, talking about being experts, and all that comes with growing a business in this digital world, that we often take it into our private lives as well.
When we’re with our people, we can simply be present without being promotional. I like simply listening.
Many readers may wonder how to become an entrepreneur but what is an entrepreneur? How would you define it?
Veronica Smith Southerland: A person who understands that they are:
- Not created equal.
- Are a risk-taker.
- They understand there is no box.
An entrepreneur is the boldest, most courageous person in the room. She or he is a risk-taker. We think and do things differently. As I said in an earlier question, we don’t think of the box. To the entrepreneur, there is no box. An entrepreneur is a person who challenges the definition of the norm. What you are groomed to believe isn’t your truth. The benefits outweigh the risk. And, well, we all have a little crazy in us as well. We simply enjoy the rush of the unknown world ahead of us; the one we get to create.
What is the importance of having a supportive and inclusive culture?
Veronica Smith Southerland: It’s everything! I battled COVID Pneumonia in the spring of 2021. I was fighting an individual battle but I had an entire team of people around me. They prayed for me. They kept my businesses going. They helped take care of my family. They did not care that I was Vee The NP, the Millionaire Nurse, the IV GOAT. They cared about Veronica.
And, we all need that, but entrepreneurs really need it. So many people simply hang around us to take what we have. They want to ride in the nice cars, fly in the private jets, sit in the luxury suites. But, when stuff gets real – when we are reminded we are only human – those people are nowhere to be found.
I need people who also challenge me. I need an attorney who protects my assets, a graphic designer who can create every marketing piece I need, a publicist who protects and enhances my image, a group of nursing coaches who set up and clean up every class – these are people who know me inside and out and ride with me no matter what. For me, these people could be off my payroll tomorrow and still be my people because they are truly ride or die.
Not every entrepreneur needs that. I do. They don’t all look like me. Their backgrounds are different. But, we share a heart for being our best and a passion for showing up to serve. They allow me to be the best me and serve at the highest level.
How can a leader be disruptive in the post covid world?
Veronica Smith Southerland: By simply showing up. Every person has been impacted by COVID. The most disruptive action a person can take in this day and age is being who you say you are. There’s too much talk on social media and too little action.
Do you know how many people reach out to me to present in my classes? Do you know how many actually present in my classes when I say, “Please send me a formal presentation,”?
I do not care one bit about what you say on your Instagram if you can’t complete a project. It’s not about disrupting. It’s about showing up.
If a 5-year-old asked you to describe your job, what would you tell them?
Veronica Smith Southerland: Vee helps people feel better. I do that by helping them be healthier mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially.
Leaders are usually asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is your most useless talent?
Veronica Smith Southerland: Knowing the difference between a good French 75 and a bad one.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. If you wrote a book about your life until today, what would the title be?
Veronica Smith Southerland: “She’s Just Getting Started”
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Veronica Smith Southerland for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Veronica Smith Southerland or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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