About the Entrepreneur
Dr. Rupa Wong is the managing partner and practice owner of Honolulu Eye Clinic, a boutique ophthalmology practice that serves the entire family, from keiki to kupuna. The practice was originally formed in 1985 and in 2008, Drs. Rupa and Jeff Wong were selected to take over the practice. Today, Honolulu Eye Clinic provides quality eye care for the residents of Hawaii with state-of-the-art technology. Both the Wong doctors have been recognized by Honolulu Magazine as two of Hawaii’s Best Doctors.
When Dr. Rupa Wong isn’t performing eye surgery, she shares her experience as a women-entrepreneur, mother, and doctor through social media, mentorship, blogs, and podcasts to a community of an amassed 200,000+ followers.
More with Rupa
What has been your biggest lesson through the pandemic?
I think the biggest lesson is that there’s really no true work-life balance. And when you are working at the dining room table with three kids around you, it’s just work-life fit. You just try to make it all fit the best way you can. There are different seasons in your life, at some points, you’re going to work a lot more than you are with your family, and other seasons of your life when you can take a step back and concentrate more on your family.
From your perspective, how has the pandemic affected women-entrepreneurs?
I think the pandemic has definitely affected female entrepreneurs negatively because, typically, we juggle that hat of motherhood more so than men. I can see how it can be very challenging to be able to maintain focus if you have a business that you’re trying to build while also trying to do everything else for your children. It seems so daunting to be able to juggle it all in a manner that makes them happy.
What have you learned about perseverance?
I have learned that people persevere despite everything. I’ve always thought that being able to persevere is probably one of the most important qualities that an individual can have. And my kids know this. I talk all the time about growth mindset and the most important thing is not your innate ability but your ability to actually continue the work.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you were starting your business?
There are a lot of things I wish I had known prior to starting our business. I wish they had taught business classes in medical school. They don’t prepare you for handling staff, for how to apply for a loan, or even who to approach to get money to buy a practice or start your own practice.
What are the most important qualities to look for as a business owner when choosing a bank?
What I look for is a bank with people that are going to care about our success as individuals and as a business. We had applied for two business loans on the mainland prior to moving here and were denied. When we moved to Hawaii we got in touch with Hawaii National Bank and were able to get our loan even though, to be honest, we had very little in terms of a solid foundation. But they believed in us, and that was extremely important. They continue to believe in us. They support us every step of the way, in our renovations and our mortgage for our house.
What do you love about banking with Hawaii National Bank?
I love the accessibility of every person I have worked with at Hawaii National Bank. As soon as I send an e-mail, they write back, they call back, they follow up to make sure my questions have been answered. They make us feel as if we are their only company, and we’re a very small business compared to some of their businesses. They take the time to help us, and that’s important in a bank.
“I learned that hard work is essential for success. There is no other secret ingredient than hard work.”