Optician Success 67


Weekly nuggets of random goodness, hand-picked to complement the OpticianWorks Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Rock Star Optician; tips, stories, and science helping you focus on getting the most from your optician business/career.


“I am a Warrior! I fight, I strive, I fall, I rise up, but I keep moving forward!”

—Prem Tihan Shafiq


“Do or do not. There is no try.”


“Just keep swimming.”



Hi, John here. I just spent Friday and Saturday working the Laramy-K OpticianWorks booth at OptiCon Orlando. I asked Keith if I could grab the pulpit this week and share a little bit about my experience at the show. He thought about it, for at least twenty seconds and agreed, mumbling something like, “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to sleep a Wednesday night through Thursday morning.”



First, Thanks!

I want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth. I lost count of the number of people that came over to say nothing more than, “Thank you for what you are doing.” I got hugs, handshakes, thumbs-ups, bows, and even a few comments that made me blush!

Some were followed by emotional stories of how our videos helped them understand a concept they had been struggling with. Most were stories of success on achieving their ABO certification after completing the OpticianWorks program.

Many of you said and some actually pleaded, “Please keep doing what you are doing.”

To that, I can say, “We will. We will.”


A New Hope

One of my favorite sayings is, “This is like preaching to the choir.” When you are surrounded by like-minded people, it is hard not to get emotionally engaged. One of the functions of events like OptiCon is to get you excited and re-energized about what you do. It worked! I really did walk away from this event with a little spark of renewed hope for our profession.


It is pretty simple, really. People and passion.

When you set aside the politics and the social media snarking, our industry is still overflowing with great people who are truly committed to being the best they can be, and to helping others see better. I met with students, instructors, salespeople, company representatives, and established opticians, all working towards that common goal.

Why did so many people travel from across the country to attend OptiCon? They can see products in a magazine or online. They can grab CE’s from a magazine at break time. No need to travel half-way across the country to sweat like a little piggy in Orlando.

So why? Because they care.


If Droids Could Think, There’d Be None of Us Here

While I had a few spare moments, I was able to sit for a VMAX voice-assisted, subjective refraction, and it nailed my slightly quirky numbers! It even gave Janet [Benjamin] good results and she’s had multiple eye surgeries that make it quite difficult. The VMAX sales presentation may need a little work, but the technology is there!

Imagine a world where an independent optician can fill lens orders with a great system like VMAX and then turnaround a pair of glasses in half an hour.

If you hit a trade show and they are there, be sure to try it out.


The Last Jedi?

On one hand, the conference gave me renewed hope. On the other hand, it scared me. While I did meet some eager young people and some younger instructors too, most of the speakers, presenters, and educators are getting really old! I’m one of them. In a few months, I’ll be turning 57, and that is young compared to some of my teacher-colleagues! Many of these individuals have truly dedicated the last thirty, forty, even fifty years of their lives to opticianry. Someday soon, they won’t be there anymore.

We need younger people to step up, be heard and become involved in new ways. And, trust me, I know how hard that is. We can’t throw money at the problem, but maybe we can come up with some creative ways to help you get started. Email me or Keith if you are interested, and maybe we can help open doors for some fresh faces.

To the ABO-NCLE, how about if, beginning next year, every speaker must work with and co-present with someone new and under 25? Why not start a new pattern of mentoring and stewardship by offering a hand up?


Never Tell Me The Odds

Here is what I learned at Opticon: Never stop moving forward.

I started OpticianWorks almost ten years ago. I looked around and didn’t like what I saw for optician education programs. I didn’t like the vision that optician organizations had for our future. I didn’t like the crippling bureaucracy that prevented any real change from occurring. I didn’t like what I saw on our earliest forms of social media.

So rather than complain, I did something. For nearly eight years I spent countless hours creating OpticianWorks. I spent over $15,000 of my own money to keep it going. I kept moving forward. Now, with Laramy-K, all that time, money and effort is starting to create real change. That change is subtle, but it is happening. I can see it, hear it and read it.

You are making it happen!


Stealing The Plans For The Death Star

Over the coming months, we will be adding new lessons on basic math, Optics 101, surfacing, lens materials, just to name a few.

We are also working on a NCLE prep series just like our ABO one.

We will continue to push opticians to become the best they can be, charting your own path to success.

Of course, we would love to hear your ideas.

Bring an open mind, your passion, your rebel spirit and come along with us for the ride.


For all you “ healthcare” folks out there, I have been searching for someone to contribute a piece about Certified Ophthalmic Assistant certifications and I finally found her! Click here to read an interview about an area of eyecare that really is medically based.

https://opticianworks.com/about-opticians/ (Click on the COA dropdown).

Which reminds me of a discussion I had with a speaker at OptiCon who works in
specialty optics. Do you know that optics is an area of physics? Do you know that free-form lens designs are created by mathematicians, physicists, and optical engineers?

You know; really, really smart, problem-solving people. So why is it so many opticians want to play eye doctor instead of aspiring to be more like those men and women?

Damned, if we could figure it out…

Then again, engineers don’t necessarily get all the love, do they?



Video Of The Week

When up is down and “off” is actually an add-on, it must be --- slab-off!

This week, I do my best to help you visualize the concept of slab-off. As I say in the video, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. I guess that just goes to show it can be a confusing concept.

Don’t forget, our goal is to provide a more accessible and higher level of education for opticians everywhere. If you like Optician Success and our free weekly videos—and haven’t done so yet—please consider showing your support by becoming a member of OpticianWorks.com which includes access to even more high-quality optician training.
Or, better yet, open a Laramy-K Optical lab account for the best in truly independent uncut work and we'll throw in OpticianWorks memberships for your entire office for free. I hope you enjoyed this issue of Optician Success.


Until next time,

Thanks for reading and sharing!

Don’t worry, Keith will be back after another sleepless Wednesday night next week.



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