The Full Story...
Marco A. Benítez, MS, PA-C, CPC, ELI-MP
I'm Marco, a physician assistant turned business and life coach. I specialize in helping healthcare professionals to overcome burnout by discovering work they are passionate about outside of healthcare so that they can once again feel inspired by the work they do. I work with my clients to create an income-generating passion project that they either do part-time, in order to negate the stress of their healthcare job, or full-time in order to transition out of healthcare.
So, did I always want to be a coach? No, not at all. In fact, I had never even heard of a coach outside of sports until my mid 30's. My journey, like yours, was not a straight line. Cue the harps and nostalgic rippling effect.
I'm a native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens in New York City. I was raised in what I call a "traditional" manner. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood with both my parents and my younger sister. We were not wealthy, but we were not poor. We went to church every Sunday, ate at our local diner from time to time, and knew most of the neighbors on our block. I was taught that we were not rich, so I should not expect to be entitled to anything. I would have to work and earn everything I wanted. I was encouraged to do things in life the "right way." That meant finishing high school, going to college, getting a good job, getting married, and having kids—all of which I eventually did. I pursued a career in medicine as a Physician Assistant. But it was when I finished school and started practicing that things began to change. I was 30 years old.
I've always loved medical science, and it was a dream come true to be able to practice. But the more I worked, the more I felt frustrated, uncertain, and like I was merely existing and not living life. To feel this way after dedicating eight years to college and a lot of money to tuition to eve get into this career caused a lot of internal turmoil. I felt so guilty at times because I thought I was ungrateful for what I had. And so I would try and rationalize my feelings.
"This is the career you've always dreamed of."
"You've spent so much time and money getting here."
"You get paid well."
"You have job flexibility and security."
"You are helping people to the best of your ability."
And while all of that made sense, it was that last statement that I found difficult to reconcile. Yes, I was helping people by prescribing medications and ordering diagnostic tests. Still, I didn't feel I was serving people the best way I could. I discovered that I made a more significant impact on my patients by putting down the pen and having deep conversations with them. Often, after these conversations, my patients expressed that they felt better and felt inspired to be a better, more authentic version of themselves. It was also in these conversations that I felt most like myself.
I continued this approach throughout my practice. My patient following grew, making me the most sought after provider at the medical practices in which I worked. I became known as the medical provider that "lets you talk." On their appointment days, my patients would wait 2-5 hours to be seen. My regular patients were ok with this, but newer patients didn't like it…at first. It wasn't uncommon that when someone was unhappy with the long wait, after their visit concluded, they would exit the room, saying, "I can see why people wait to see you."
During my first years of medical practice, I discovered that I had a deep interest in business and entrepreneurship. This newly discovered interest posed a new set of challenges and confusion because I knew absolutely nothing about business, but was fascinated by the concept of creating something from nothing. I knew I definitely didn't want to enroll in a university again, so instead, I taught myself as much possible about business and entrepreneurship. I read books, watched videos, took online courses, and had many conversations with entrepreneurs. And in 2008, I started my first business serving as a recruiter and consultant. I helped practices hire medical staff and provided consulting in areas such as employee retention, marketing, time management, and practice growth.
Early into starting my business, I approached my work and interactions with clients and candidates in a very formal, corporate manner. At the time, I thought that that's how I was "supposed to" act, but it always left me feeling ingenuine. I then decided to change my approach and be myself and have conversations and abandon the sales pitch approach. That left me feeling more comfortable, and also landed me more clients than ever before. It also grew my business to earn multiple six figures. One physician felt so moved and inspired by one of our conversations; he said, "You should do this full time, Coach Marco!" I liked the sound of that.
So in 2012, I started my transition out of full-time medical practice and towards full-time coaching. In 2016 I began training to become a certified coach and completed my training in 2017. I earned the title of Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP). Since then, I have coached hundreds of people, both formally and informally. My conversations have since grown and evolved into a powerful, transformative, and specialized coaching approach focused on authenticity and entrepreneurship.
Someone asked me once, "Why do people choose to work with you when they can choose from a million other people?" I said, "Because I know what it is like to invest time and money into achieving a career and then realize you want something different. Not because you are ungrateful or never satisfied, but rather because you allowed yourself to grow and are now open to being a better, more authentic version of yourself. I know how it feels to work for someone and offer great ideas to help their business only to have them dismissed or stolen and claimed as their own. I know what it is like to have a desire to create something tangible from just an idea, but have no plan, training, or resources available at that moment to help you achieve it. I know what it's like to feel unsure whether you are being yourself or who others expect you to be. I know what it is like to want to be your boss, be financially well off, inspire others, and still have time for yourself and those closest to you."
My clients trust and choose to work with me because I understand their challenges and their journey. They benefit from my experiences, training, motivation, and expertise. And they receive individualized results-driven life and business coaching that takes them from the feeling that they are destined to do more, to the goal they want to achieve.