Three Keys to Starting a Physician-run Business

By Peter Kim, MD
Passive Income MD

Editor: Part of reaching financial freedom and ultimately physician freedom is having the knowledge when it comes to starting a business. In today’s guest post, PIMD explains the value the three key things needed to start a physician-run business.


Now, more than ever, physicians are turning to side hustles and starting their own businesses. I think that’s a great thing–in fact, between growing burnout rates, lack of real job security, and increasingly restrictive regulations, I’d say that now is the perfect time to do just that. 

As a physician, if you’ve seen the value in starting your own business (whether a side hustle or a full-blown second occupation), then the first step is to just start. Of course, that’s easier said than done. 

Beyond all the nitty-gritty details, like buying accounting software and marketing to your friends on Facebook, I’ve found that there are three very important keys to keep in mind when starting your business. What are they? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Seek Advice

This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can give: don’t go it alone. Sure you’ll probably eventually hire employees or contractors, but that’s not exactly what I’m talking about. 

From the moment you get an idea for a business or side hustle, I can’t tell you how valuable community is. This can be something as simple as having a few conversations with a colleague who also runs a business, or bouncing ideas off of your spouse. 

Even better: thanks to the wonderful World Wide Web, you can find a community ready and willing to help. You can find countless Facebook groups for just about any business niche, for example (in fact, if you’re looking for a great bunch of like-minded people, be sure to check out our Facebook group, Passive Income Docs). 

The point is to find someone who already is where you want to be. Talk to them, seek their advice, and learn from them. You’ll find shortcuts to success you didn’t know existed, and you’ll come away from each conversation feeling motivated and ready to take your ideas to the next level. 

Write Down Goals

This one might sound trite, but I can tell you that the simple act of writing down your goals is immensely effective in helping you reach them. In fact, certain studies have proved just that. 

It’s more than simply keeping an inventory of what you hope to accomplish. Writing down your goals brings them out of abstract thought and into concrete, actionable steps. 

As you’re writing, new ideas will occur to you, new goals, and seeing them all laid out will help you make connections between them. Plus, there’s something about writing them down that makes them real. It’s easy to say, for example, that “I want to lose ten pounds.” But by writing it down, you have a written record that you can refer to at any time. 

It also forces you to be a little more specific (as a quick side note, writing down goals is great, but it’s just as important to make them effective. You can read more about what I mean by that here). “I want to lose ten pounds” becomes “I will lose one pound a week for ten weeks, beginning on April 13th.”

It doesn’t matter how small the goal is–or how big–write it down, and then write down the steps you’ll need to get there. Make everything actionable, and you will take action.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

This point goes hand-in-hand with the last one. Once you’ve made your goals, it’s so important to always keep them in the back of your mind. Fortunately, that act of writing them down will hard-wire them into your brain. 

As you make decisions in your daily life, you’ll find it easier (and more rewarding) to choose actions that will move you closer to those goals. For example, if you normally listen to music on your daily commute, you may choose to turn on a podcast or audiobook instead. Maybe instead of watching Netflix for an hour in the evening, you might read a book on investing. 

These small actions have a way of building on each other, and the momentum will keep you focused and motivated.

But of course, there will be times when you don’t feel motivated. On times when you don’t necessarily see progress in your ventures or you run into obstacles. This is where that list of goals will come in very handy. 

Focus on why you’re branching out into whatever venture you’ve chosen. Focus on the life you want for yourself and your family, and the freedom you’ll enjoy. Do that, and you will reach those goals. 


If you’d like to broaden your horizons even further and learn from some of those like-minded people I mentioned earlier, I’d highly recommended checking out our upcoming Leverage and Growth Summit! Not only will you be able to meet others on the same journey you are (virtually, of course), but you’ll hear from successful physician-entrepreneurs who’ve been down that path themselves. We hope to see you there!


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