In a recent issue of Medical Economics, I was astonished when I read the title of the cover "Passion Powers Success". To my amazement, the topic was discussing Physician Entrepreneurship, and the importance of running your own business.
For years, physician entrepreneurship was often considered "taboo". Just recently, I was approached to speak at a physician conference. However once I had mentioned the title 'Becoming Your Own Boss"- they asked if we could change the topic to something else.
"We don't want to train doctors that way" - says a nameless physician spokesman, as if somehow my speech will cause an exodus of doctors leaving the field and cause mass destruction to our healthcare system.
Is the phrase “physician entrepreneur” an oxymoron?
Becoming an entrepreneur, does not necessarily means quitting your day job. What it does give you is more choices of what you want to do in your life. I know many entrepreneurs who still maintain a partial or even full practice, yet are enriched with the challenges and rewards that being one brings.
Now being an entrepreneur is obviously not without its risks. If you have ever watched the ABC Show “Shark Tank”, you will see evidence of everyday inventors who have spent their life savings on creating products, and later finding out the hard way that no one else would want to buy it.
Some think being an entrepreneur requires you to buy a business or franchise. One couple I have been consulting with recently took over a jewelry business. They rent store space, hired employees and pay massive overhead. They take turns working at a store for 12 hours a day, including weekends, while still working their current job. Although they are now making a profit, they have in a sense “bought a second job”.
Many of the above examples, could have been solved by testing out ideas and products using the internet first. The internet is the greatest level playing field we could every have. It allows you to reach people in a cost-effective manner in almost any demographic, occupation, or niche market. My client could have created a website selling jewelry, hired a virtual assistant to run and take orders, and avoid the extra financial costs of running a “brick and mortar” store.
And if you feel you do not have the technical knowhow in building a website, sometimes you don’t even need one! I recently had a great conversation with a radiologist who I helped get his first ebook onto Amazon. In a short time period, he averages about 10 sales a day, and gets a nice check each month. The best part is he only had to create it once, but it is on a topic that is “evergreen”, content that will always be relevant, where we both expect sales to continue for years to come. He already has plans of creating five related books in this field by the end of the year now and building a nice nest egg for him and his family.
Becoming an entrepreneur opens you up to more business models and different ways of thinking. As doctors, generally we only make more money by seeing more patients. However through the internet, you have the ability to create and launch products such as ebooks, apps, information products, newsletters, subscription sites, and home study online courses where it is created once and get paid on a regular basis. If the only way you are generating revenue is by seeing more patients, it is time to open and consider different avenues of revenue.