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Meet Dr. Rob Douk of Behavioral Health Works in West LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Rob Douk.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
What was your background before launching your business?
I’m a Licensed Educational Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. I first started as a school psychologist with students and learned quickly that my expertise in autism and applied behavior analysis was in overwhelming demand as not enough clinicians had the opportunity to study the growing autism epidemic or provide treatment practices for this condition.

What was it like in the early days of your business. How did you find your first client, first hire, etc.?
One word. Painful. You have to embrace failure and have an attitude of faith over the many obstacles and fears that come across your way. That’s why living a life of faith over fear has become my mantra. Most people focus on my company’s accomplishments like making the Inc. Magazine’s list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies or the national presence we now have as we currently have over a thousand dedicated employees who provide services to families across the US, Canada and now China.

What people don’t see were the early days when I not only held my full-time gig as a school psychologist, between 7 am-3 pm but also incorporated a second shift with BHW as a service provider delivering services to families sometimes well past 8 pm.

Where is your business at today/what does the future hold for you?
BHW has a very solid foundation. Our goal is to deliver premium services throughout all parts of the world lacking quality treatment. We recognize that to do this we have to continually innovate and solve tomorrow’s problems today. I spearhead our Innovation Lab at BHW where we’re exploring new technology, new treatment delivery options, and new ways to engage in research with the purpose of adding more value to our patient experience.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
What were some of the main obstacles or learning lessons you had to overcome?
As entrepreneurs, your company is your baby and while it feels natural to be overprotective where you want to be in the know of everything, that control will cripple your ability to scale. I learned very quickly that if I wanted to reach more families, I couldn’t go at this alone. We had to become a group practice with a tiered support system that’s seamlessly integrated with standardized processes overnight.

So I learned to control what I can control and entrust the rest with my team. I developed a very systematic Total Quality Management (TQM) platform that provides feedback and obtains scorecards for every employee in our organization. This is how I ensure our quality and prevent it from becoming diluted with our growth. So, in essence, I can still “control” the outcome of each patient because I can monitor progress in real-time and pivot or adjust on the spot to make changes on the fly.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Dr. Douk is a Clinician turned Social Entrepreneur, Executive Coach, and ForbesBooks Author who is regarded as a thought leader in the behavioral health sector. He has dedicated his life to not only build award-winning businesses but transforming organizations whose mission is for measurable social benefits. He’s been named a Top 30 Entrepreneur in his 30s by the Silicon Review, a UCLA Wooden Global Leadership Fellow, and has received awards related to entrepreneurship including the Orange County Business Journal’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Cadillac’s Dare Greatly Award. Dr. Douk is an inspirational speaker who is known to speak from the heart and connects with his audience in a way that motivates them to take action.

Presently, Dr. Douk is a ForbesBooks author and central figure in the Social Entrepreneurship arena. He is currently pursuing these endeavors as Founder and Chief Social Entrepreneur of Douk & Company (douk.co), a boutique investment firm that partners with other social entrepreneurs and CEOs. Dr. Douk’s focus with BHW as Founder, Chairman and CEO (bhwcares.com) is to ensure the clinical integrity of all behavioral programming and to promote it’s innovative treatment programs to regions lacking high-quality services. He has co-founded global organizations and serves on several advisory boards including Hope Out Loud Foundation’s (holproject.com) Health Initiative where he serves as Co-Founder and Board Member.

In addition, he is the Co-Founder and Board Member with ClinicSoft (clinicsoft.com), a software company that enhances clinical service delivery.

What were you like growing up?
I rocked a bowl cut and can always be found out in the front yard creating some sort of double dare obstacle course of my own. As an immigrant kid, I spent most of my weekends waking up to the sunset while working the swap meet athletic show stands that my parents owned. You could say I learned a lot about people and about business those days as a 7-year-old.

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