This week’s Ambassador Feature is with Nicole Montgomery, Trusted Surgeons
2017 Bronze winner of AusMumpreneur Digital Innovation
Tell us about yourself and your business?
Hi, my name is Nicole Montgomery and I am a mother of 4 children, a wife, a registered nurse, and I love to help people. I am currently the founder of 2 businesses (as if one is not enough 😉). Trusted Surgeons is a platform for consumers who need support, advice, and direction. We educate our audience through our web site but also through our social media channels. The second business is Trusted Digital Media, and this is a Social Media Management business which helps medical based businesses reach their audience. As part of my goal to help unite the industry, we set out to help other surgeons with their own social media to build their own brand and push out their values. Through this, I am still able to push education, not only through our own platforms but through the ones I manage as well.
What was your inspiration for your business?
I started Trusted Surgeons after seeing how many lives were being destroyed by the lack of regulation and accessibility to cosmetic surgery. As a nurse, I felt powerless and heartbroken seeing patients lives destroyed after having elective cosmetic surgery. I wanted to raise awareness and promote qualified surgeons to ultimately prevent patients from suffering the devastating effects of botched surgery.
Did you have any experience in running a business or in this industry before?
Goodness no. I have learnt so much I wish I knew 2 years ago and I have had to seek experts to help me achieve my goals. There was a very steep learning curve, but I was determined to make it work. I attend courses where I can and use my network to help fill in the gaps.
What’s your point of difference that makes your business special or unique?
Our values, we are not out to sell surgery, we are not walking advertisements for surgeons. But we are real people, we are nurses and we provide a voice for patients. There are no independent advocacy services for patients.
What have you learnt about yourself since becoming an entrepreneur?
I have learnt how resilient I am, sometimes I astounded myself. But I have also learnt how vulnerable businesses are. I never appreciated the ongoing risks of working for yourself. It is difficult when others don’t have the same passion for the industry as I do but I have learned that you just need to keep striving forward. Its ok to fail but learn from those mistakes and use them to your advantage. This sometimes means changing directions or pivoting so that you can continue working towards your goals.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how have you overcome them?
Sometimes this industry is not very pretty. I have had to deal with cyber bullies from the body shaming movement. I was attacked for “promoting surgery”. I had to learn not to take everything so personally. I was also called “shonky” by a surgeon, which broke me for a while. One of my saving graces was to teach myself mindfulness and actively incorporate positive thinking strategies (YouTube is great for this). I have learned to incorporate into my routine, practicing self-reflection. If I am not constructive, I easily fall into a negative mindset. When I hear that voice in my head saying “what the hell are you doing” I remind myself of why I started and read over the reviews from people I have helped. Its all the positive feedback and the difference I have made in peoples lives for the better that keep me moving.
What lessons have your business taught you about life?
I have learned to take nothing for granted, I have always considered myself time poor and since commencing my own business, I have realised a 9-5 job is easy street. When its your business, it’s like another child. You literally never turn off, its 24/7. Further to that is resilience. I thought I was resilient prior to starting the business and I have learnt very quickly that without resilience and sheer determination, the business is not going anywhere. This is also true in life also, one needs true grit to get ahead.
If you could go back to when you were starting your business and give your younger self some advice what would you tell her?
There are so many expensive lessons I have learned along the way, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today with out making the mistakes and learning from them. If I were to go back and speak to my younger self, I would have a serious discussion around capital and understanding what is required to get something up off the ground. I truly underestimated the amount of capital I required and still require running a business. Good lord I probably would have never started on this journey.
What’s next for your business?
Onwards and upwards. I always strive to continue to improve what we do and how we do it. I’m so excited about travelling to San Diego soon to attend Social Media World, to learn all the latest trends, tips, and tricks. This along with the networks I can develop will to take us to the next level. Its not only a benefit to Trusted Surgeons but also all the surgeons I help with their own social media.
If you could change the world, and money was no object, what would you do?
I would help more women access secondary surgery. Many of the patients I speak to are desperate for revision surgery but cannot afford it. Not only is no one offering accessible revision surgery, which leaves many women stranded, but they also criticises the women for making a poor choice in the first place. I would educate everyone through TV, Radio and on any other platform that women access. Whilst also offering an 1300 number worldwide for support, help and direction (I would just expand the number we currently have for patients). Patients with aesthetic medical issues and serious botched cases would be able to access life changing surgery. Trusted Surgeons would be the body image lifeline for everyone.
To learn more about Nicole and Trusted Surgeons and Trusted Digital Media, please visit
Website: https://www.trustedsurgeons.com.au and http://trusteddigitalmedia.com.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trustedsurgeons/ and https://www.instagram.com/trusted.surgeons/