Ask serial entrepreneur Patrick Frank about the secret to his success, and he will explain that it has a lot to do with being “unmanageable.”
“I’ve always thought that I could do something better than the way that it was being done, which is what has led to me being generally unmanageable,” Patrick explains. “As a result of that attitude, I’ve actually been fired from every single salary job that I have ever had in my life. When you know you can do something better, it becomes increasingly difficult to fit inside a structured box.”
While some might see “unmanageability” as a weakness, Patrick has leveraged it to be one of his greatest strengths and something that has allowed him to become a successful entrepreneur overseeing several companies.
“What led me to be where I am today is the passion and desire to create my own box and not be a part of building someone else’s,” Patrick says. “That gives me fuel and a fire and a passion for wanting to build and to create that makes me successful as an entrepreneur.”
Patrick’s background is in consumer technology, which involves building and scaling platforms that connect industries to their consumers. The goal of consumer technology is to engineer a platform that makes life easier for consumers by empowering them to make better decisions.
Patrick has worked with a wide range of companies, primarily in legacy industries, developing platforms that have generated more than $100 million in revenue.
Presently, almost all of Patrick’s energies are consumed by Patient Partner, a health tech platform that he co-founded and that empowers patients to connect with each other. Patient Partner allows its users to join a community of patients and verified doctors who can provide support and insight regarding a wide range of medical issues.
“As we think about healthcare as a whole, there are so many barriers that exist for patients to ultimately achieve better health, whether it be insurance or understanding the emotional side of what it is like to go through some type of healthcare journey or what recovery is like, not to mention how much all these things cost,” Patrick says.
“Patient Partner takes all of those barriers and creates transparency around them and puts them in one single place that is truly a platform that is powered by patients connecting with one another. My cofounder and I started with the simple idea that we can connect two patients together to help each other and since then it has snowballed to become a nationwide service that is truly changing the way that healthcare is consumed.”
Patrick’s journey with Patient Partner reveals a philosophy that he recommends for any entrepreneur who is trying to make a business succeed.
“I would tell the entrepreneur who is trying to decide whether or not they are on the right path to go just a little bit further down the path,” Patrick explains. “You are always going to question yourself every single step of the way.
That is the internal struggle of being an entrepreneur. You need to be able to battle those thoughts back and always tell yourself that you are doing the right thing. The most successful individuals are the ones who are able to see what the world could be when others could not.”
While Patrick definitely believes that courage and persistence play a role in bringing an entrepreneur’s vision to life, he also recommends humility be included in the mix.
“To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be able to put your pride aside,” Patrick warns. “You are not always going to be right and you are not always going to have the answers you need. You need to be willing to go to those around you who have great ideas and who can help you propel your idea and your mission forward.”
Patrick’s entrepreneurial drive constantly inspires him to consider new projects. He confesses that he loves creating and seeing ideas become reality. One project was inspired by seeing his best friend’s son playing in the pool and deciding that he would be having a lot more fun if he had an inflatable tank to play with. Thus the Pool Punisher was born, providing kids of all ages with an inflatable tank float, complete with water cannon.
Another project that Patrick recently launched is called The Couples Company, which aims to provide couples with tools to build deeper and more meaningful relationships. Drawing upon his business experience with mergers and acquisitions, Patrick realized that couples could benefit greatly from spending more time focused on what it takes to have a healthy partnership.
Through couples games and other resources, The Couples Company helps couples to talk about the value of their relationship and what they can do to make it richer.
“In our digital age, it has become increasingly more difficult to connect with one another, especially in relationships,” Patrick explains. “So I developed something called The Couples Contract that can help couples to navigate and better understand the most difficult topics and conversations that anyone experiences in a relationship.”
How does Patrick keep all of his projects afloat? He says the key to success when you are guiding multiple businesses is to stay focused and act fast.
“If you are balancing several companies at once, you need to stay focused deeply on each one of them for a sprint; a very precise amount of time,” Patrick says. “You do not have the luxury of being able to sit and think and ideate on ideas. You need to move fast, to think hard, and to focus big. That approach allows you to move everything forward at the same time, which is something I truly believe is possible.”
In February 2022, Patrick will be sharing some of the insights that he has learned over the course of his entrepreneurial journey through a TED Talk that he is calling “The Digital Village.”
“The TED Talk will explore the idea of how our relationships have a relationship with technology,” Patrick says. “It is a concept that goes hand in hand with everything that I work on, whether it be The Couple’s Company or Patient Partner; it is about building products and platforms that bring people together through technology and empower them to live a better life.”
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