When it comes to entrepreneurship, there are a lot of misconceptions out there–especially when it comes to doctors.
For one, many people think that the only way a doctor can be an “entrepreneur” is by running their own practice. This isn’t wrong–running a practice is running a business–but these days, there are many, many more options available to physicians.
There seems to be this idea that physicians are pigeonholed into… well, being a physician. In reality, from side hustles to full-blown separate businesses, the modern physician simply isn’t limited to medicine.
They’re able to take their degrees, skillset, knowledge, and experience to branch off into so many different ventures. Many of these are showcased in a summit we run every year called the Leverage & Growth Summit For Physicians.
In this post, we’ll be taking a look at just how entrepreneurship and being a doctor are not mutually exclusive–in fact, we explore this question, “Do doctors make good entrepreneurs?”
Doctors and Entrepreneurs Are Actually Very Similar
A lot of physicians think that entrepreneurship is a completely different profession. After all, we went to med school–not business school, right?
As it turns out, though, doctors and entrepreneurs have a lot in common. For one, both require strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
As doctors, we also have to remain calm and clear-headed under pressure. That’s something that comes in very handy for entrepreneurs.
But perhaps the most important trait that both share is the simple art of discipline. We doctors know a thing or two about buckling down and getting things done. We know about working toward a goal until we reach it.
As Steve Jobs said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
We gave up a decade or more of our lives, focused on a goal, and persevered until we reached it. I’m convinced that all physicians know what it means to fight and grind until we make it.
We Are Creative
As you probably know, the medical profession is rampant with symptoms of burnout. More and more physicians are getting worn out, and the pandemic certainly hasn’t helped things.
Taking up a hobby is a great way to relieve some of that stress, but being an entrepreneur can also serve two even more important purposes: a creative outlet and an income generator.
Most people think of a “creative outlet” as something like painting or sculpting. These are great, but I’ve found that solving problems in the world is an amazing outlet for most physicians.
This is what starting a business boils down to – solving a problem and bringing value to the world as a result.
For example, when I found it difficult to purchase my own home as a recent graduate due to very little knowledge about loans and real estate agents, I solved it by creating a company, Curbside Real Estate.
When Dr. Manasa Mantravadi didn’t want children to eat on plastic day in and day out, she created the world’s first colorful stainless steel dinnerware – Ahimsa.
Doctors are amazing at creatively solving issues. I know that so much of medicine has now been boiled down to algorithms, but when you see a doctor in the heat of action, it’s amazing the creativity that they draw upon to save the day.
Believe it or not, running a side hustle or full time business can scratch some itches you might not even know you have and use a part of your brain that you’ve been ignoring.
We Can Network
Physicians are no strangers to networking. From med school to being an attending, we’ve gone to countless conferences, met with department heads, and made friends with our colleagues. We’ve used many of those connections to find jobs and create global change.
This is a good thing, and it’s a skill that translates perfectly into running a business. As the old saying goes, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Once you decide to start your own business, this goes both ways.
You’ll be able to network with people in the medical community who have also started their own ventures, and you’ll be able to connect with business owners who’d love to meet people in the medical profession.
We Feel Fulfilled By Doing Good
Many of us became doctors for the same reason: to help people. That’s the part of the job all of us love, and that’s a great thing. Plus, at the end of the day, knowing that you performed your job well is very satisfying.
However, these days, with all the extra red tape, regulations, and general stress of ever-changing job markets, that feeling of fulfillment can get sucked away.
Having a business that you tend to and grow, much like a plant, is a great way of recapturing that sense of fulfillment. Each milestone you reach, each little success, each new goal–it all increases your motivation and makes you look forward to the next.
Then there’s the satisfaction of watching that business provide more and more value which can in turn create more income.
We Love Financial Freedom
The idea of financial freedom has a special place in my heart. It had been a personal goal for years, and now that I’ve reached it, I can say with certainty that everyone can benefit from the freedom of not having to rely on the income from a “day job,” trading time for money.
Embracing your inner entrepreneur allows you to hit that goal far sooner than most people (if they ever do). You may not know it, but as a physician, you already have an entrepreneur’s mindset. As we’ve seen, you know how to make goals and then make them happen.
If you haven’t considered it before, then the great news is that there’s no time like the present to start. Trust me, you’re not the first physician to have thought of it and there are so many examples of ones that have been successful in this space.
If you’re interested in joining a community of physicians talking about entrepreneurship and side hustles, then check out our upcoming FREE summit, the Leverage & Growth Summit For Physicians. You’ll hear the stories of successful entrepreneurs/physicians, and actionable steps you can take to do the same. We’d love to see you there!