Canadian Built: Vinh Pham
Vinh Pham, founder of Myodetox, is the epitome of Canadian Built.
Better known as @VinnieRehab, this physical therapist + entrepreneur is a representation of where hard work, passion and dedication can take you. Starting out in a condo in Scarborough, to his first clinic downtown, to preparations for a global takeover; it’s clear that the Myo movement is here to stay. We meet up with him to talk career, life and his journey to where he is today.
Name: Vinh Pham
Occupation: physical therapist + entrepreneur + Myodetox Founder
Explain Toronto in One Word:
Tell us about your business.
Myodetox is our chain of clinics. We started 3 1/2 years ago. So late 2014. We’re a combination of styles of physiotherapy, chiro and massage therapy. Myodetox heavily emphasizes a whole body approach to manual therapy and movement. We’re trying to educate clients on how optimize their body. This emphasis is why we’re blowing up right now!
When did you know you wanted to start your own business?
I’ve been working in the industry for close to 11 years. For the first 5 years I was in the factory mode, seeing 30 patients a day. I tell people this all the time, but imagine you were a barber, and you’re cutting someone’s hair. And at the end of it, your person comes out exactly the same. Nothing happened. That’s how I felt about my job, and I realized I couldn’t do this for the rest of my life.
How did you start Myodetox?
I quit my job, and realized how scary it was. I started with a few clients I knew from my clinic, and worked from my condo next to Scarborough town centre. I built my whole clinic out of there for two years. Eventually, security came to me. Apparently, you can’t run a business out of a condo. Back then, my barber was opening a barber shop in a unit at city place, and upstairs, they had a space. So, we decided to do a barber shop clinic hybrid and that’s when I opened downtown, the first location.
What does a typical workday look like?
I wake up really late, like 11, 12. Every day is very different. It just depends on what needs to be done for the clinic. When you’re an entrepreneur, you literally do everything. That’s what it comes down to. I’ll go through messages, product innovation, find ways to make techniques better. I run the Instagram, create content, and lots of meetings with investors trying to expand into the next phases of what we’re doing.
Do you have days off?
No. #nodaysoff. You’re always working. When you start something, It’s your baby. It’s not worth it to have a day off.
What's the hardest part of the business thus far?
For me, it’s time management, but not in the traditional sense. I’m a nice person, so now its like, so many people know me and they want my time, and I want to give it to everybody. I’ve had to learn how to say no. Before you’d have time for everybody, but now I don’t.
One thing you can’t leave the house without besides your phone?
My Shades. I’m actually light sensitive because I wear them so much. Sunglasses zone me in.
Since you travel a lot for work, what is your favourite place to visit?
I would say California. California weather is so sick. Places in Canada - Vancouver and the West Coast. The vibe in Vancouver is different, they walk outside and they take a moment to enjoy nature. And we don’t do that.
What’s one thing you wish you had more time for?
Family and friends. That’s the number one thing. As you grow older and more successful, and all this stuff. You realize they’re everything. No new friends right? Just kidding, some new friends.
Go to restaurants in the city?
My go to is mi-ne, which is a Japanese restaurant down the street (325 Bremner Blvd, Toronto). When I walk in, they know exactly what I want. Really good stuff.
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur that you wish someone gave to you?
Don’t do it! That’s my first piece of advice. If someone fights back, that’s when I know they’re for real. If you really want to, be ready to sacrifice everything you love for it. In the end it will be worth it, but you’re giving up a lot. I don’t think people realize how much you give to be successful. You’re giving up your soul, and packaging it to whatever business you’re doing and giving it to the world.
Favourite workout in the city?
I want to do more yoga, but I’ll go to like equinox or goodlife. I’m more of a workout by myself kind of guy.
· Drake or the Weeknd
· Nike or Adidas
· Mornings or evenings
· Yoga or Spin
· Jays Game or Raptors Game
· Lunch at Banh Mi Boys or Dinner at Frings
· West End or East End
· Favourite Season: summer
· Favourite you’ve been to (besides Toronto obvs) : LA
What’s next for you?
The first two years have been kind of for myself, the second bit has been for Toronto and now we’re ramping up for the world. We’re opening in West Hollywood and in New York hopefully for the end of the year. And if those two concepts do well, then we’re really going to start pushing it. 80 locations, 7 years. Then I’ll be dead.