The Physician Philosopher Podcast

TPP 33: Being an Entrepreneur is the Secret Sauce to Physician Freedom

We have been all about teaching financial freedom at The Physician Philosopher for years.  Yet, it took some time to realize that “living like a resident” and “saving for tomorrow” only go so far. Those are ways to save for tomorrow’s financial future. But what about the freedom you want today?

Larry Keller


That’s what being a physician entrepreneur provides.  Cash flow for today.  That’s what we discuss in this week’s episode of The Physician Philosopher podcast.

Today You’ll Learn

  • Why saving for tomorrow is not enough.
  • The benefit of creating cash flow to provide financial freedom today.
  • My favorite way to create entrepreneurial income.
  • And more!

Episode Resources

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One of the biggest mistakes most doctors make is thinking that they're trapped or stuck in their situation, but this may be the biggest myth in medicine. And I totally get it. We're saddled with mountains of debt caged by non-competes in our contracts and constantly being told. That's just the way it is as if there's no other way it could be. And what if I told you that there was an answer to help you stop feeling trapped and to start feeling like a physician who could experience freedom, who could practice medicine, how they want to keep listening to it, learn how this is the physician philosopher podcast. I'm Dr. Jimmy Turner and anesthesiologist online entrepreneur and creator of the alpha coaching experience. The physician philosopher podcast teaches you how to create the life you deserve. One thought at a time, start before you're ready. Start by starting start now.

Hey everyone. Welcome to episode number 33 physician philosopher podcast, where we take an uncurated and unapologetic look into physician life, money and mindset. So I'm going to get real with you for a moment. My favorite experience helping our alpha clients is helping trapped doctors that feel like they're stuck. And you might be wondering like, well, am I trapped doctor? I would say that generally speaking, a trap doctor, someone who feels like a cog in the wheel, they feel like a number. They don't feel important to their hospital or clinic. Oftentimes they feel unappreciated, undervalued and unheard. They've suggested changes and they're ignored. They feel stuck in life. That should be making them happy. Like we worked hard to get to where we get to as physicians, right? And they should be happy, but they don't feel happy. They feel stuck in a situation. Sometimes they feel like victims of burnout and they don't feel like they have any options.

There's more that they're meant to be basically medicine. Hasn't lived up to being the promised land that I thought it was going to be like, that's what a tripe doctor is. And they may have tried to suggest changes and they're being told that's just the way it is. The status quo is what you have to deal with. And they thought about leaving medicine, maybe going part-time, they've even considered starting to create non-clinical income to provide some leverage outside of medicine, but are burning the candle at both ends. All of those things are qualities of trapped doctors that we work with as alpha clients that I love working with. And you know what I love working with doctors who feel that way, because I felt that way. I felt completely undervalued. And I appreciated when I was in the thick of it. I was totally burned out.

I made suggestions to change cultures and they were unheard. They were unappreciated. And you know what? I found my way out of that mess. I totally found my way out of that mess. So I really enjoy helping other doctors who feel trapped, find freedom to become physicians who are empowered to practice medicine, because they want to practice medicine, how they want to. And they have complete control over their life and their journey. They're empowered to live life on their terms. Basically they have the autonomy and control back and they have clear purpose. They know where they're going. They know what they want to say yes to and what to say no to they no longer accept the status quo. And ultimately this group of doctors can stand up and be the next of physicians who can stand up and speak up and speak out. Right?

That's what I want. I want to be a part of the change in medicine. Like the legacy that I want to leave is one where we all fight together to make this thing better for the next generation coming behind us. And they can say, no, they are clear about what they want and who they serve. They're are no longer victims. And so this is what really, really gets me going. This is what I love to do. It's what I'm passionate about. Right? And we start this process by teaching our alpha clients, how to stop positioning himself as the victim, and to start taking back the power that really is theirs alone. And it often feels like it's someone else controlling your situation, controlling how you feel, but it really is. You like you have the power and it turns out that you have to be taught this, right?

You have to be taught how to do this, to learn how to master your thoughts, overcome that fear of failure and move forward into a life that you know, that you deserve. But if I'm being honest with you, we can spend a lot of time mastering our thought work a lot of time, mastering our mindset and realize that there still a ton that you can do to feel better without changing jobs. Like it's important to, to change your thoughts before you change your circumstance. Like we teach that a lot in coaching going part-time or leaving medicine. Isn't always the answer. Changing jobs is not always the answer. And trust me, that mindset work is absolutely fundamental to you. Stop feeling trapped. That said, there's another piece of this puzzle, another secret sauce. If you will, to help me start to feel like a truly free physician, someone that could work and live on my own terms.

And that's what really empowered me to be able to speak up and to become part of this new generation of physicians who refuse to accept the status quo. Like I'm done doing that. I talked about that in a recent episode, this happened and the secret sauce came when I mastered the three pillars, right? The mindset, the money and your life. We talked about that in episode 30 and 31. So if you haven't listened to those, please go back, please listen to those. And there is a kind of a fourth secret ingredient that goes into that money pillar, right? That money pillar is made of two things. And I'm all about financial freedom. I've been a physician and finance, personal finance blogger podcast, or for going on four years now and briefly the two parts of that pillar, that process is the basic financial literacy piece, which is why I'm probably going to do an entire show on this.

But I think it's fundamental to pay off your debt. And the reason why is because psychologically it is better for you. And that's just because I'm a hater of debt. Yes. I went through bankruptcy as a kid. That's certainly has something to do with it here, but ultimately getting away from that monthly money mindset is really healthy. And the reason why is because when your monthly expenses are lower, you don't need as much money that provides part of your freedom, right? And a lot of people stop there. They realize, Oh, if I pay off all my debt, my monthly expenses are lower. I can afford to go. Part-time I can afford to do locums. I can afford to make changes in my life. And that in and of itself is highly powerful, provides a ton of alpha clients, freedom. And a lot of our alpha clients stop there.

Like that's the piece of the financial literacy puzzle, the money pillar, that's enough for them to get the change that they need in their life to have that balance that they're looking for. That said there are many others who do what I did, which is to step into entrepreneurship, that secret sauce that I'm gonna talk about in this episode. So that's the second part of the money pillar, right? If the first part is paying down your debt, providing some financial freedom and a journey and a path to getting to the number that you need someday, to be able to retire completely from everything. Part two is creating income right now that makes you not dependent on your paycheck and medicine so that you have freedom today. Those are the two parts, right? And in this episode, we're going to focus on that second part, that second secret sauce that while is technically optional.

I do firmly believe I'll live life on the edge here and say that I think every single physician would benefit from making non-clinical income of some kind. Most people will say, Oh, well, it's good. If you think that it's right for you. Like, I don't know a single doctor that wouldn't benefit from making nonclinical income. And so today's thought is this, if you want to go from feeling like a trapped physician, to being able to practice medicine, however you want, physician entrepreneurship might be your missing ingredient. It might be the secret fourth pillar to physician freedom. So in our prior episodes, 31 and 30, we talked about the three pillars, freedom for physicians who feel trapped or stuck. And I want to hone in on something we discussed in that second pillar, that money pillar, right? Second piece. And here's why, because this has become so important to my family and me.

And I think it serves really is one of the biggest pieces of what helps us have the freedom we want in my household. Now, let me get this out of the way early in this episode, do you have to be an entrepreneur to find fulfillment in medicine? The answer to that question is obviously absolutely not. You can find fulfillment by simply mastering your mindset and your money and your life. And we have tons of clients that do that in the alpha coaching experience, but you have to recognize that the potential pitfall of not mastering the second part of that money pillar, the secret sauce, the secret ingredient we're talking about today, entrepreneurship or nonclinical income is that until you have enough money saved up, you're technically still kind of trapped unless you have other financial means, right? Like if your spouse or partner works and they generate enough income that you could live off of that while you're free, you don't need to be an entrepreneur.

Right? And we have people in that situation. I know clients that have quit, they've quit medicine to go do locums or change jobs or gone part-time because they realized after we had conversations and really sorted the facts out that they have enough money coming in to save for tomorrow and also live on today. And so they find that balance that they're looking for. A lot of people need permission. Like they feel stuck and they don't realize that they're not actually stuck. That's one of the beauties of coaching, right? It's just really figuring out the facts versus the stories and helping clients realize, Hey, like that narrative you're telling yourself that you're stuck is actually not true and let's dive into it. But that often provides freedom for many people that aren't in that situation, they don't have that other source of income from someone else, or they still have debt.

They're trying to pay it off quickly in that freedom. I come five to 10 years from now. And a lot of people were like, well, shoot. In the, my situation, my kids were going to be out of the house. By the time I got the financial independence and I wasn't willing to wait. So freedom right now for my family came from non-clinical income by being an online entrepreneur like period. That is what allows me to work 65% starting in July. So I hear some of you saying great. I don't want to be an online entrepreneur. I hear you. I think everybody would benefit from it. I'm going to stand on that principle and stand on that position because I've seen so many doctors benefit from non-clinical income in a variety of different ways. My favorite is online entrepreneurship through courses and coaching. That's what I love teaching people about.

So I hear some of you saying they're like, yeah, Jimmy, but I don't have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I've never done anything like that before. And I'm just going to stop you right here. This is not for me. I've never done anything like this. And I just want to say my friend, that is just a thought. And the reason that you have that thought is because you just quickly cataloged all of your life experiences and determined that you've never built a successful business before. And so therefore you aren't an entrepreneur, but is that really true? Like we really have to have done something before in order to do something in the future. No. And you know this, think about it. How'd you learn how to walk. If you said, Hey, I've never walked before. I'm just throwing it down right here. I'm never going to walk because I've never walked before.

I just thought back on all of my experiences and I've never done it as a baby. And so I'm never going to walk. No, of course not. You get up and you try and you fall, you get up and you try and you fall, you get up, you get a little bit better, you still try and you fall and eventually you can walk. And so how did you learn to do that? How did you learn to stitch that lack that you prepare in the ed or in the operating room? Like the laceration that you need to stitch, you learn how to do that by doing it, you started by starting. You started before you were ready. That's why that tagline exists in the show is because so many doctors are stuck at step zero because they tell themselves they aren't able to do something that's outside of medicine.

How did you learn to diagnose and treat hypertension or lupus? Or how did you learn how to innovate or line somebody up if your intensivist, right? You did that by doing it. And back in the day, they used to say, if you want to teach one, right, I'm not a big proponent of that anymore. So for those of you that are fans, sorry, but that said, you do learn by doing not by looking back at your past experiences and determining whether you have a skill set or not to be able to be successful at something. So I'm going to stop you right now from thinking that you don't have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, because you haven't done something before. That's a story. That's a narrative you're telling yourself. You don't really believe that. Now you might be the more traditional entrepreneur who loves real estate, or maybe an online entrepreneur like me who makes online courses and coaching programs.

I'm a big fan of that one. Let's take a diatribe for a moment. I'm just gonna get on my step stool in my bar stool for a moment, my soap box, can we all just admit that all of the people we see being successful online teaching about various topics from real estate and financial independence to investments and coaching, they all have one thing in common and it isn't real estate. I'm not a real estate hater, but I need to go on the record and say, there are other ways to make money outside of medicine that don't involve real estate. All of these people teaching you about this, they have an online business. So they make a lot of money from it too, like a lot. So that's exactly the kind of business that allowed me to stop feeling trapped in medicine. And that's why you're not going to hear me talk about passive syndications and active real estate and investments and owning properties and doors and stuff like that.

The reason why is because I don't have any of those things, like I'm not your guy. Like there are wonderful people out there. I'd love to point you in their direction. If you aren't aware of who they are, if you're interested in that stuff. And it's going to be an interesting phenomenon when, and this isn't a limiting belief, we're at a peak market right now, buying houses and doors in real estate. Like this frenzy is massive and it's going to come to an end at some point. And so I just want to point out real estate is not the only way to make money outside of medicine. And yet even that story, isn't really true. You're not trapped. There are tons of doctors who've made their way outside of medicine. And I actually think this is super interesting. So whether it's from like my friends, like Hala Sabry right, who has this awesome a hundred thousand person Facebook group for women physicians and mom positions like, wow, that's pretty awesome.

Or Nisha Meda who has positioned side gigs, awesome group, tons of doctors. That's almost a hundred thousand too. And then other people can Jong comedian. Michael Creighton is an author. Did you know he graduated from Harvard medical school, Z dog MD YouTuber, or my friends, white coat investor, physician on fire and passive income MD, online business owners. These doctors aren't special. They're not unicorns. They haven't been gifted, magical superpowers that allow them to make money outside of medicine. They just learn how to harness the mindset of being an entrepreneur. They learn how to do it by doing, and by having mentors and advisors show them the way to speed the journey up right. To serve as that catalyst. And the physician philosopher has taught me that if I wanted to leave medicine, I could make it work right now. If my job heard a podcast, they didn't like it.

They don't like what I'm saying about changing the culture of medicine and not being okay with the status quo. And they said, Jimmy, you're just too obnoxious, too loud, too, whatever I would make it work. And the part of that allows me to do that is my business, my online business. Yes, this business now pulls in more annual revenue than my base salary is an anesthesiologist. I only get to take home part of that though. There are a lot of people here that they share revenue numbers all the time. Hey, look at how much money I made in my business. It's not really fair because any business owner knows that you only take home a fraction of the revenue that you bring in businesses, cost money. In fact, if you're listening to this, there's a chance that you are an online business owner who owns a business who pulls in a lot of revenue, but you have months where you don't pay yourself.

In fact, I know more than one, they bring in six and seven figures and their business. And then they have months where they don't pay themselves. And I'm not talking like they're saving up for the quarter. And they pay themselves every three months. Like they've had months where they were not profitable and could not pay themselves because their expenses exceeded what they brought in, despite making hundreds of thousands of dollars or even a million dollars. And the reason for this is the same financial literacy principle that we teach in personal finance, pay yourself first. Now, in this situation in business, you're paying your current self first and personal financial paying your future self first, right? You're saving money in your 401k, your 43 B your backdoor Roth IRA, your four 57, whatever in business, you have to pay yourself profit first as the owner of the business, because otherwise it won't happen.

You'll spend all of the money, paying everybody else in your business and growing your business and reinvesting the money in the business. And it turns out that's not something that is common sense to most people. There's a great book on this. It's called profit first by Mike McCollough. It's big fan of that. You haven't read it, go read it. If you own a business, you're welcome that books can change your life. So they didn't paint themselves in these situations because they didn't understand that the concept of profit first, and there was something that's much deeper about that has allowed me to feel like I'm completely free. Someone who could say no to committees and meetings and anything else that isn't a priority for my family and me like today, I'm going to the Ninja park with my kids. They came in here and they're like, Hey dad, we're on spring break, which I forgot.

I'll be honest, bad dad, moment. I forgot. Hey, we're on spring break. Can we do some special today? Can we go to the Ninja park? If I was working full time in medicine, I wouldn't even be here right now. You know what? I'm recording this podcast one more. And then we're going to the Ninja park and eat lunch there. So being an entrepreneur has allowed me for that freedom and being an entrepreneur has also taught me so many mindset lessons. And so this is possibly perhaps the longest intro to my podcast ever, but we're going to talk about some of the things that I've learned from this. And in addition to that, some problems and solutions along the way, right? For example, some of the things that I've learned outside of my freedom, some of the things that entrepreneurship has taught me that have benefited me outside of just the financial gain that's happened because it's not just about money.

Anybody that knows me knows that I believe money is a tool to the end, right? It is a tool to accomplish the goals that we have in life. Money is not that important, except that money is everything because it's what allows us, the freedom we want to live, the life that we deserve. And so I don't care about money. I'm not trying to be the richest man in the grave. When I die, I do care about being able to live a life that leaves a legacy. And in order for me to do that, I need money to have that life. So other lessons entrepreneurship has taught me probably the biggest one and people ask me all the time is my view on failure. Entrepreneurship in and of itself has completely reshaped my mindset around what it means to fail, to take a misstep, to take a back step, to go sideways, whatever you want to call this, right?

Have an obstacle put in my way. So I now view failure as not in the way, but the way like the obstacle is the way there's a title of a book actually called that about stoicism, which is where a lot of coaching comes from. And the idea is to shape this like Thomas Edison does where I say this quote all the time, but it's not like he failed a thousand times. He found a thousand ways. It didn't work on his way to being successful on his way to creating his inventions. And if we can reframe failure where it isn't a bad thing, but it's actually a sign of success because we're pushing ourselves and our ideas and our business to the brink to see what sticks and what doesn't, when we can reshape failure like that. Then that is something that will benefit you and pretty much every area of your life, because otherwise I know too many doctors who ruminate on failure who have bad patient outcomes who have mistakes, quote unquote, in their business and they ruminate on it.

They percent rate on it. They make it mean all sorts of things about who they are as a business owner, as a doctor, as a parent, a partner, a spouse. And that's because your view on failure is overgeneralization. This is actually a thought error could do a whole show on this when you over-generalize. That means you take a single bad situation where you perceive as a bad situation and you make it mean something about who you are. So many doctors do this when it comes to bad, online reviews, a bad patient outcome, your business launch, failing you launch a course and it doesn't get what you want. Try to put some podcasts out there and nobody's listening. None of that means anything about who you are. And if you can to flip that and say, this is the step, this is the way this is the process of getting to where I want to go.

And if I think about this thing from where I'm going to be five years from now as a successful awesome business owner, successful, awesome physician, mom, dad, wife, husband, spouse, partner, parent, whatever it is. If you can look back in that four position of how awesome you're going to be, then you're gonna be like, Hey, this is a moment when I learned, I don't get mad that I couldn't walk. The first time that I tried when I was a baby, it was a part of the process to learn how to do that. And I would not only learn how to walk. I'd go on to play college soccer, small division, two school, still proud of it. Goalkeeper for those that are interested. So learn to view the journey as having failures that are part of the process, learn to fail forward. In other words, learn not to fail backwards.

Don't make it mean anything, fail forward into your success. And I know that that's a mindset lesson that I've learned strictly from being an entrepreneur that will allow me to succeed in all of the areas of my life. So the problem is that the mindset work that we can do while you're in medicine is super important. It's so important. It's the reason that it's the first pillar. It's the most important part. And a lot of people come into the alpha coaching experience expecting to be taught about financial freedom so they can practice medicine, however they want. And then they get there and they realize that the mindset stuff is actually what's most important. The thought work is what's most important. It's really important. But that said, the mindset work alone will help you stop feeling like a victim will help you stop feeling imposter syndrome and help you take back control in your life.

Really reclaim that autonomy. But the issue is that there's another set of mindset work that needs to happen, which is the money mindset piece, because you not going to have gas to put in the car, to getting to your freedom that you want, that ideal life that you're trying to build, and you can get there exponentially faster and speed up the journey to becoming free through entrepreneurship, through non-clinical income. And the way that I think about it for my clients is that if you go through the program, you're going to learn how to become content in any situation, right? Like Paul says that you learned to be content, whether it was full or not, we will equip you with those tools to do that. And then from there, from that very clean space of being content exactly where you are without making any changes, you can start to work towards your ideal life and making the changes that you know are going to work now, because you've actually thought about the problems too many people change the situation before they realize what the problem is.

It's like treating a disease without knowing a diagnosis. Like you could be successful, but probably gonna flop on your face. Cause you don't know what you're doing. Instead of trying to run from your bad situation. I want people to run toward their ideal life. That's what coaching does. And if you master the money pillar, you'll even be able to have a secure journey that is going to help you take care of your financial security in the future. That's the first part of the pillar, but that is often a date way off in the future. So entrepreneurship, what that does is the catalyst. It speeds things up. It acts as an accelerant on the fire pun intended in this space, financial independence retire early entrepreneurship is the accelerant on that fire. If that's the direction you want to go, it allows you to find the balance you want and allows you to speak up and be part of the next generation is changing things for medicine, for this culture that badly needs to change right now, the extra money and mindset piece you learn in entrepreneurship or that catalyst.

And a lot of others have figured this out too. That is why we have more course creators and coaches with each passing day like this, isn't just a coincidence, right? This is why we have Facebook groups with tens of thousands, even a hundred thousand physicians in them who want to create side gig income. Yet the problem is that entrepreneurship is not something that we're taught in medicine. It is full of crevices, potholes, and obstacles. It certainly isn't for the faint of heart. I'm not going to promise you it's easy, but it is a hundred percent totally worth it. If you take this journey, know that you're not alone and that there's help out there for you. If you feel like a trap physician who wants to find freedom to practice medicine, however you want, we're here for you. I want you to know that. So if you're a physician who wants to create your own security and you aren't willing to wait until someday in the future to make that security happen, physician entrepreneurship, particularly online entrepreneurship, maybe calling your name, and I'm not going to promise you again, that it will be easy, but I do promise it will be worth it.

And if you have entrepreneurship in your DNA, you're going to take this journey. At some point, you can keep fighting it, but you're going to do it at some point. So why not start before you're ready and start. Now you can keep fighting it or joined those of us who have stopped fearing failure and who create their own freedom from medicine. So today's thought is this. If you want to go from feeling like a trap physician, to being able to practice medicine, however you want, physician entrepreneurship might be your missing ingredient. It might be the secret fourth pillar to physician freedom. So until next time my friends start before you're ready. Start by starting start now. I'll see you next week.

My dad, Dr. Jimmy Turner is a physician first personal finance blogger. You know, I've coached for dock. However, he is not your physician or your life coach. He also isn't a financial advisor, financial planner or accountant. Anything discussed in this podcast is for general education and entertainment purposes. I have coaching is not a substitute for therapy, medicine or medical treatment. However, if you're a doctor looking for a life coach, you can reach out to my [email protected]



1 Comment

  1. PrudentPlasticSurgeon

    I totally agree w this! Great episode


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