When I came out of residency, all I wanted was a job. Living the poor med student and resident life, I was ready to take my significant pay raise and call it a day. However, watching my seniors go out into the world, taking jobs that they ultimately hated (or that worked them like dogs because they were the "new kid") made me take a step back and really consider what I wanted. Did I want to pigeonhole myself into not having the time or space to do anything other than work 8-10 hour days and come home exhausted? Did I want to always be under the thumb of someone else's control? Blessed with entrepreneur role models, the path became clear to me. I chose freedom and flexibility. I chose to be the author of my ultimate financial success. I chose to be an entrepreneur.
Many doctors are waking up to that there are other options besides being a "hamster on a wheel" and a "slave to the system".Everyday I speak with physicians who are starting side gigs, making their side gigs their main gigs, and becoming full-on physician entrepreneurs. While the path of an entrepreneur is not an easy one (it takes an enormous amount of grit), it can be a very fulfilling one. As physicians in this ever constraining health care system, we are losing our autonomy, and our pay is continuing to decrease while we are asked to see more
1. Multiple Sources of Income – Probably the most important reason is that it provides you with another source of income. Multiple sources of income bring two things: Security and peace of mind. If you have at least two or more sources of income, none of which is more than 50% (preferably 3 sources at 30%) then you could lose one source of income completely without significant worry of how your next car payment, mortgage payment or childcare daycare or educational expense will be covered. Building multiple sources of income that are interdependent (like author and speaker) is the smartest way to quickly develop new streams of revenue. However, it doesn't matter how you do it, the point is, the more streams…the better.
2. You Are The Architect of Your Life – When you choose the entrepreneur path, you ultimately become the architect of your success. You get to build your career to fit your needs, and you get to practice on your terms. Keep in mind that just because you are an entrepreneur doesn't mean you will always work less. In fact, in the beginning, you may put MORE hours in developing your business. However, the flexibility allows you to put those hours into whatever structure works for you. Furthermore, you get to think outside the box and create structures that allow you to leverage your time and expertise once you have the proper systems and structures in place.
3. No glass ceiling on income – Finally, when you choose to be an entrepreneur, you are choosing to shatter the financial glass ceiling that our industry is imposing on us. When you have the right niche in the right market, the right systems, and the right structures in place, you can build a business that both help the people you want to help, AND earn the income that you have worked your whole life to be able to make. The big myth in our industry is that in order to make the biggest contribution … in order to really "help people", you have to give up wanting to be financially prosperous. Nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality the opposite is true. Making more money allows us the freedom and resources to have a bigger impact on the lives of those we desire to touch.
The path of physician entrepreneur can be the access the freedom, flexibility, and prosperity that allows us to enjoy not only our career but our lives. While being a physician entrepreneur is not a "pour hot water into the oatmeal" instant solution, it is a very rewarding path when taken. The first step in this process is acquiring the mindset. This mindset includes 2 major principles: "I am the source of my own life. I am responsible for my success" and "I do not and will not do this alone. There are mentors, coaches, and communities that will help me succeed". If you want to be successful on this road, you must first adopt these two attitudes. Become responsible for your own success, and hire a mentor or coach to get you on the path with the proper tools, systems, and structures to ensure your success. Finally, stay the course. It's not an overnight process. Commit to the path and your success, and the benefits will come.
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