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« Here's to the Crazy Ones | Main | Advice For The Diversifying Physician »

Physicians & Evil Plans


That's me relaxing in my favorite place in the world...Saint Simons Island, Georgia.

Just recently got back home and I am loving it.  

Most people have one of those places, a geographic location that just seems soothing.  For me, it's a little coastal island community of 15,000 people just off the coast of Georgia.  My mom grew up here.  My second daughter was born here.  My wife and I own a house here and when we are not otherwise occupied, this is where we reside.

It's my first morning back in town and already I feel better about the world.  I walked down to the ocean, called Larry over at St. Simons Outfitters about my new fishing rod, and am writing this while drinking a cup of hot chocolate in one of the two great local coffee shops on the island.  Life is good.

One of the best parts of living the island life is having some time to read an excellent book or two.  My most recent read was Hugh MacLeod's new book, Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination .  I have heard about Hugh for a while, and when my fellow Freelance MD writer, Dr. Mehul Sheth, mentioned him in a recent post I thought it was a good time to jump into Hugh's latest book.

For those of you who might not be familiar with Hugh's work, he is a blogger who writes at , an artist who began by drawing comics on the back of business cards, and is now a best-selling author who discusses things like creativity and how to escape the rat race we're all in.

In his latest book, Evil Plans, Hugh talks about the importance of developing an "evil plan" if you want to escape the system and begin living your life, begin being who you were meant to be.  Here's an excerpt from the book's intro...

Everybody needs an Evil Plan.  Everybody needs that crazy, out-there idea that allows them to actually start doing something they love, doing something that matters.  Everybody needs an Evil Plan that gets them the hell out of the rat race, away from lousy bosses, away from boring, dead-end jobs that they hate.  Life is short.

Every person who ever managed to do this, every person who managed to escape the cubicle farm and start doing something  interesting and meaningful, started off with their own Evil Plan.  And yeah, pretty much everyone around them-- friends, family, colleagues-- thought they were nuts.

So there it is.  Physicians need an Evil Plan.  You, specifically, need an Evil Plan.  If you're frustrated with your career.  If you want more meaning. If you have the relentless urge to create something bigger, then you need an Evil Plan and you really should read Hugh's book.

Here are some other quotes in Evil Plans that grabbed me:

  • It's not that people don't want you to be successful-- they just don't want you to be successful in ways they aspire to be but cannot be themselves.
  • It's better to practice a musical instrument for five minutes a day than to practice for two hours once a week.
  • All artists are entrepreneurs, and all entrepreneurs are artists.  Though their tools and products may differ, both entrepreneurs and artists are in the same game-- the making and selling of work that is personally and emotionally important to them.
  • The sacrifices are utterly, utterly enormous to be the best in the world at something-- or even really good at it. 

Hugh goes on to explain that while you're working in a career or job that doesn't seem right to you, begin formulating your own Evil Plan of escape.  Don't quit your day job, just begin formulating your Evil Plan and begin moving forward on it.

The beauty of living in this epoch of time is that while everything in health care seems to be going haywire right now, the internet gives us the ability to launch our Evil Plans with very little financial risk.  [Note: A blog is a good place to start. In our upcoming 2011 Medical Fusion Conference we're going to be teaching specifically about using the internet to launch your new career.  Topics such as monetizing your blog, using social networking tools, developing your own brand, etc...will all be discussed.] Had all these changes in medicine occurred a generation ago things would have been very bleak for those interested in escaping their careers.  The internet is the great equalizer, allowing Evil Plans to go forward and be adjusted/perfected with minimal expense.  

Of course, even with the internet (or especially with the internet), you still have to work at it.  Really, really work at it.

It will be excruciating.  It will be gut-wrenching. It will be breathtaking.

But when you make it, you'll be free.

So what are you waiting for?

Right now, today, begin developing your own Evil Plan.  Take that first step towards a more fulfilling destiny.  If you don't know where to begin, get a copy of Hugh's book and read it from cover to cover.  It won't take long-- it's a short book and an effortless read-- and it just might strike that spark that gets you moving forward. 


Reader Comments (2)

Great post! I must pick up this book! I love MacLeod writing style-to the point, doesn't mince words. Even though it sounds like he reiterates some of the main point from Ignore Everybody, they are exceedingly important points for those going through a career transition.

I also agree with the "favorite place in the world"-ours is Hilton Head. A lot more touristy than your secluded location, but a still a hidden gem nonetheless. This will be our third year in row there, and we are just as giddy as the first time we went...

Mar 27 | Unregistered CommenterMehul Sheth

Thanks, Mehul.

Yes, I enjoy reading MacLeod's work. He's irreverent but very forthright and practical.

Hilton Head is also great. I need to get back there and you guys should swing down to Saint Simons sometime. Maybe we'll have a Freelance MD event some day on one of these would really be fun.

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