Insights From Our Editors

How I Built a Thriving 9-OD Practice While Maintaining My Passion for Optometry

By Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO

Photo of the outside of a large optometry practice in Austin, Texas

Dr. Sorrenson’s office in Austin, Texas. She says that reinvesting back into the practice is a key way she has been able to grow it so substantially.

June 14, 2023

In a recent conversation with a contact-lens company representative, I was asked what I thought were the key factors behind successfully building our thriving nine-doctor practice while still maintaining my passion for optometry.

Surprisingly, I had never really thought about identifying the main reasons for my practice’s growth and my ongoing enjoyment of optometry while running a busy practice. Upon reflection, I can now identify four factors that I think play  a significant role, and I’d like to share the first one with you.

The first factor is that throughout  my career, my business decisions have never revolved around the question, “How much money can I put in my OWN pocket?” Instead, I utilize these specific filters to guide my choices:

  1. Patient care: Prioritizing the well-being of our patients and striving to provide them with exceptional care.
  2. “WOW” factor: Seeking opportunities to amaze and delight both our patients and our staff.
  3. Efficiency: Constantly exploring ways to maximize our resources and accomplish more with what we have.
  4. Cash flow: Recognizing that maintaining healthy cash flow alleviates stress and allows for smoother operations.

Also, and very importantly, early on in my professional journey, I had an epiphany about building net worth. At the time, the value of a practice was typically estimated at around 65 percent of the average gross revenue of the past three years. This realization prompted me to think, “If I can grow the practice by $200,000 in a year, I’ve effectively increased my net worth by $130,000. What other investments or endeavors could offer  such a substantial return?” I couldn’t think of any!  Consequently, I consistently reinvested returns into the practice and directed most of my business efforts toward its growth.

I believe this mindset and approach have fueled our growth and allowed us to practice in a way that enhances my love for running a practice and for our profession of optometry. I also believe loving what I do and doing what I love is the reason I have the practice I have today. It has been an amazing, wonderful journey so far!

Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO, is president of Lakeline Vision Source in Cedar Park, Texas, and the Professional Editor of Review of Optometric Business (ROB). To contact her:


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