Clarence M. Lee Jr. MD, MBA is a nationally celebrated author, international speaker, and CEO of CMLEEJR Companies LLC, a personal development brand that conducts seminars on high performance and mental conditioning for teams, organizations and students.
Here, the devoted husband and father of three children highlights his inspirational memoir Well, My Mom Says… as well as his newly released book titled, PERSIST.
Tell us about your education and training experience.
I hold degrees in biology, BS, from UIW, and degrees in medicine [M.D.] and business [MBA] from Drexel University. I trained in general surgery after medical school and then completed my training at the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. I am a former rated officer in the USAF and have extensive aviation training as a flight surgeon.
What inspired you to become a doctor?
My mother. She has been a nurse for over 20 years. She found mentors for me at an early age. I scrubbed in on my first operation at the age of 17. I always knew becoming a physician was a possibility for me.
At what point in your life did you realize that you could influence others?
I realized in high school I had a knack for leading. I gave a supporting speech for a classmate that was running for class president. I loved sharing! The classmate I endorsed won the election.
We are all created for greatness. No matter your background. If you understand it will take time and you go after your vision, nothing in the world can stop you. PERSIST in your vision is the key to fulfillment in the world.
What has your experience been as an author?
It’s been a great learning experience. I’ve learned tons about the industry, marketing, selling and copywriting. It’s like going back to school. I love learning new things and will continue to write books for many years.
Being an entrepreneur is tough. What keeps you motivated?
My mission. I was born to do this. I breathe to encourage and inspire other people. One of the biggest pains I have in the world is seeing wasted potential. My goal is to breathe breath back into the dreams of others. And when I tell my children they can live their dreams, I don’t want them to ask me what mine was. I’ll be living it.
What has been your biggest challenge thus far?
Overcoming the poverty mindset I grew up around. I had to change the way I thought about many things: life, marriage, money, love, identity, drugs, morality, fatherhood, faith to name a few.
What is your most proud accomplishment?
Becoming a physician has been my biggest accomplishment internally. It took me many years to even get a chance at medical school, and I failed all the way through five years to get it, failed rotations, failed shelf exams, failed boards, etc. I just never quit. That is why I am here today. Once I made myself into a doctor through pure effort and persistence I thought, Hell, I can do anything. What’s next?
What was the most memorable comment you’ve received from someone who read your first book?
Well, My mom says… Stories of Persistence, Faith and Action is an inspirational memoir about my life. All the feedback I get is impactful, but the most memorable was a picture I got of five-year-old boy reading my book. His father is a friend of mine, to know that I’m impacting the lives of the next generation of minority males is mind-blowing. I’m so thankful and grateful to God.
What advice do you have for someone who is considering becoming an entrepreneur?
Get ready for a fight. There is no “formula” or “curriculum”, try everything you think might work. If one hits, you’re an overnight success to the world. Keep going. Persist. Lastly, don’t take the opinions of other too serious, everyone won’t get your dream, but you can keep believing anyway.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself running several businesses. I love to bring value to the world in any way that I can. I’ll build my personal development company to a nice size and then branch off into other revenue generating industries. I like real estate, development, healthcare tech and medical consulting, to name a few. Why limit myself, right?