Stop Trading Time for Money by Building Non-Clinical Income

By Jimmy Turner, MD
The Physician Philosopher

Many doctors I know want to create nonclinical income streams but don’t know how to get started. Whether you’re thinking about starting a blog, a podcast, or a coaching business, or you’re trying to create a real estate empire, author a book, or do medical malpractice work, this episode is going to help you get unstuck.

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Today’s thought is this. Starting any journey requires you to know where you’re going before you figure out how to get there. Creating nonclinical income is no different. 

It’s All About Getting Started

Most people, doctors included, get stuck before they even get started. They stop themselves before they get started. And the reason for this is that we just immediately gravitate to the weeds. We get stuck in the details. We can’t figure out our first step, and so we never start. 

We can’t even get the domain name registered because we don’t know how to do that. We’ve never done that before. And I’ll refer you back to episode number 11, where we talk about failure and the need to actually seek that out instead of avoid it. But we are afraid of getting it wrong.

But if I asked you to not think about nonclinical income for a second and said, “Hey, you’ve got a trip coming up.” You wouldn’t start thinking about this trip, this vacation, by picking out which interstate you were going to jump on or which plane you were going to take, because you don’t know where you’re going, right? 

Destination Before Details 

Every vacation trip starts out with a, “Hey, where should we go and why?” And when you figure it out… “Oh. I’ve never been to Paris before, so I want to go to Paris. We have time for that.” Then you can start figuring out all the details for the trip, right? The hotel you’re going to go to, which airline you’re going to take, so on and so forth. But if you started out just trying to figure out all the details before really even knowing your destination or the purpose of the trip, you would never get started, right?

So, the problem is that we need to figure out what the purpose and the destination of our nonclinical income is first. And in order to do that, what I help my coaching clients do is to tap into one of my favorite quotes, or the idea behind one of my favorite quotes. This is by Goethe, which by the way, is actually pronounced “Gerta.”

Goethe famously said, “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be, and he will become as he can and should be.” I love this quote because it sees the potential in people, right? And when most people read this, we think about other people. “This is how I should treat someone else, not as they are, but as they can be and will be someday.”

Who Are You Going to Be? 

What is interesting about this is that you can also take that quote and apply it to yourself. Instead of “treat a man,” what if you treated yourself not as you currently are, but if you treated yourself as what you can and will be in the future? 

That is a powerful thought. If you treat yourself as what you can and will be in the future, you put that in the result line of your thought model, you will become that person.

What if I told you that you could think about who you can and will be in the future, the future CEO of a six-figure revenue business, and then let that person decide the path forward?

So, who and where will you be in five years? In 10 years? In 12 months? Let that person decide. Tap into that. Don’t treat yourself as you are right now. Treat yourself as who you will be in the future. 

What Is Your Reasoning? 

If you figure out the destination, if you start with the end in sight first and work your way backwards, you will find success. When you’re figuring out your destination, your purpose, the reason behind why you’re seeking this out, spend some time figuring that out.

Why do you want to start another income stream? Is it strictly for the money? I’ll save you some time here. The answer is no. Do the thought work. It’s actually super important. Otherwise you’re going to succumb to an arrival fallacy.

Maybe you are starting this because you want a creative outlet. Or you want to tap back into your roots or you want to get your voice out there because you feel like you could help people.

Or is it for autonomy and freedom? You want to be your own boss. You don’t really want to be the employed physician that doesn’t have a say at work. Maybe you want to realize that it’s time to stop trading time for money.

Once you realize that you want to create nonclinical income, figure out why, what’s the purpose of it, and then figure out your destination, and that will help you figure out what the steps forward are going to be. 

Treat It Like Your Business 

Don’t create a jobby, which is the mixture of a job and a hobby, where you haven’t really defined what it is. So, you put hours into something and then are surprised when it doesn’t take off, that no one found your words or found them helpful because they didn’t even know they existed. Don’t do that. If you want it to be nonclinical income, if you want to stop trading time for money, then treat it like a business. Don’t treat it like a hobby.

Similarly, don’t build a business where you have to be involved in every single facet of it. For example, I coach doctors that are burned out or that feel overwhelmed as a partner-parent-physician, and other coaching avenues. I do business coaching for those that want to start nonclinical income. 

In either of those realms, if I did only one-on-one coaching, I would not be able to reach more and more doctors and help more and more people.

That’s why I do group coaching. I can help reach more people. Then I hire other coaches that are awesome and are totally going to help every single one of the clients. And they do one-on-one coaching because that’s what fits their dream, right? That’s what fits their business model.

If you’re trying to get away from trading time for money, don’t go into a strictly one-on-one coaching. That’s not going to do that for you. One-on-one coaching is great. Group coaching is great. It just depends on the purpose and the destination of your nonclinical income. 

Do the Math to Work Half the Time

You want to go to half-time at work. Do the math. How much revenue do you need? Okay. How many properties, how many doors will that require? How many units will that require? How many clients or courses, if you’re selling online courses? How many products will you need to sell in order to make the revenue that fits your dream? 

You want to go half time, you’re going to have to replace half of your income. If you start working from there and work backwards, the details will naturally fall into place.

Final Thoughts

Once you start to sort out what the dream looks like, what the destination looks like, where you’re heading, then you can figure out the details. Starting any journey requires you to know where you’re going before you figure out how to get there. Creating nonclinical income is no different.



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