Padraic Deighan On How He Uses His Medical Background to Help Businesses Thrive

Padraic Deighan is a prominent healthcare attorney and international business consultant.

Operating out of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Padraic holds a master’s degree in business from the College of William and Mary, Virginia, and a law degree from the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University. As a highly ambitious academic, Padraic also earned a Ph.D. in Quantum Analysis.

While his professional career first began in the legal sector, he eventually found business success. As the CEO of one of the largest networks of dermatology medical spas, he helped put these types of services on the map. By combining medical dermatology and dermasurgery, he remained at the forefront of medical spas in the 90s.

After selling his business in 2005, Padraic Deighan transitioned into the legal sector. Currently specializing in healthcare cases, he helps doctors and medical professionals recover insurance funds and offers a wide range of consulting services.

1. What do you currently do at your company?

I very intentionally avoid narrowing that question down to just one thing. As a former professional athlete, I know what it’s like to be one injury, one unexpected event, away from the unemployment line. So I do several things, all under the umbrella of helping people.

As an attorney, I help people manage their debt, particularly tax debt that they owe to the IRS, and sometimes credit card debt. Sometimes people get in over their heads, so I try to help them and manage those situations. Those situations are manageable, by the way – if it was hopeless, I wouldn’t do it. I don’t give people false hope.

I also do a lot of healthcare law. I work on a lot of medical projects, helping doctors recover fees they’re entitled to from insurance companies that don’t want to pay what they’re supposed to. I also help businesses collect the employee retention credits they’re entitled to from the IRS, and work with people on government programs to help them through the quagmire of paperwork.

Besides all that, I also do a lot of business consulting to help grow businesses and save on expenses. I look at the situation and see how I can improve the life of the business for the owner or for the client, because there’s always a way. There’s always something that can be improved.

2. What was the inspiration behind your business?

Through my career, I’ve been a lawyer, and later became a judge and then an appellate court judge. Through all that, I saw how difficult it was to be a senior partner in a very large firm. Not only do you have to do the work, but you also have to manage a lot of employees and other attorneys, and the policies and intricacies of all of that. I didn’t want to do that – I wanted to be responsible for my own work, my own product, and my own managerial success. It took time and work, but I was able to go out on my own and be responsible for my own life and success.

3. What defines your way of doing business?

It’s goal driven, as defined by the client. I take their goal and work backwards to achieve it. I may have my own ideas, but I stay focused on their goals and develop a path to achieve that wherever it’s possible. If I don’t think it’s achievable, I tell them as much, and try to structure something that I believe will work, and create a path to achieve that. You never want to over-promise and under-deliver, so it’s important to maintain realistic expectations.

4. What keys to being productive can you share?

The first key is to listen. Whatever the client is saying, you have to listen, because the devil’s in the details. One little thing they say might completely change your path and the results that you get from it.

The second key is to create an efficiency to achieve whatever goal you’ve mutually created with the client. We’re in an instant gratification society, so everybody wants something today. Not only do you have to achieve a certain result, but you need to achieve it as quickly and efficiently as you can.

5. Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

My long-term goal is to create more of an international presence. I already have some international presence, thanks to my work helping American expats transition to other countries. I speak several languages, am familiar with a lot of cultures, and am familiar with the banking and insurance practices in a lot of countries. I enjoy that aspect of my work, and I’d like to continue to explore and expand it in the future.

6. How do you measure success?

Success is when a goal that’s been mutually developed with a client is achieved. That’s business success.

Personally, I see success in my ability to plan my work and work how I want. It’s a beautiful day today in Las Vegas, and I’m working outside instead of being stuck inside my office. I’m able to do that because I plan ahead – I spend 3 or 4 hours at the beginning of the week to plan and set things up so that the whole week flows more smoothly. That’s a big part of my success.

7. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

The most valuable lesson I’ve had to learn is that people change. I’ve had very long-term personal and business relationships, but people can change and people can turn on you. I’ve had people perform well for 10 or 20 years and then suddenly just completely fall apart. Unless your eyes are open, you won’t see that change through the bond and trust you’ve created over the years. Just recently, it happened with a group that I considered friends and that I worked with for 12 years. They completely destroyed a project. I saw some signs of what was happening, but I ignored them because these were friends and long-term business colleagues that I trusted. You really have to always keep your eyes open.

8. What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

You have to self-assess. Look at who you are and what you are and what your goals are. You can’t expect more out of yourself than who and what you are. Don’t necessarily expect to change or ignore certain personality traits. You have to work within them and build your business around that. If you’re not able to do that yourself, then you have to ask other people some questions and build your business around that.

9. How would your colleagues describe you?

Insightful. Quick-witted. Someone clever, but with a thorough sense of integrity.

10. How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

Generally, each night, I take time to organize the next day based on what I feel needs to get done that day and keeping in mind the balance that I want to keep. I always try to keep time for exercise, healthy living, and some relaxation and enjoyment. I’m not a morning person – that’s part of my self-assessment – so I’d rather spend a few more hours at night than wake up early. I even try to avoid early morning flights, since that’s disruptive for me. So I plan out every day, and I try to build in things that I like to do. It might be reading something that I want to catch up on, or fitness, or spending time outside, or going for a swim. I just try to work something like that every day.

11. What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?

Probably my smartphone. I call it ‘the boss’, since it tells me what to do and when.

12. What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?

I think the hardest obstacle is marketing. Everybody thinks you have to do certain things. Way back when, you’d put an ad in the yellow pages, or set up a billboard, or put ads in magazines. It’s just human nature to do that. But then, eventually, you realize that the most powerful marketing tool is the referral.

That’s the evolution that I made. I now work mostly on referrals. You can’t do that when you’re just starting out, but now that I’ve evolved, I can do that.

13. Who has been a role model to you and why?

My father. He took the same path that I did. He went to law school, became a lawyer, and then later became a judge. He was my role model for going into law. But I realized that having a law degree doesn’t mean you have to be a lawyer and go to court. It can be invaluable in business as well. So I took a different path, but it started with him.

14. What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

It’s actually a saying. “Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.” It helps me, and can help anybody to not procrastinate. Today, you’re supposed to fulfill the promises that you made yesterday. Stick to that, and you won’t procrastinate.

That’s why I set out my goals the night before, because today I’m accountable for those things I said I would do. I have my legal pad here, and it’s full of notes on things I have to do. Each one I do, I check it off. Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.