The Physician Philosopher Podcast

TPP 36: Working More Shifts is NOT the Answer to Financial Freedom

Have you ever worked an extra shift or worked harder seeing extra patients so that you could earn more money and speed up the journey to financial independence? 

Larry Keller

One of the most common things I hear in the personal finance blogosphere is that the best way to earn more money as a physician is to work harder in medicine. To pick up an extra shift. Do some locums. Or see more patients or do more procedures.


But does this make sense? That’s what we discuss in this episode of The Physician Philosopher podcast.

Today You’ll Learn

  • Why it is important to work smarter. Not harder.  (And how to do it).
  • How one of the Alpha clients got a better job by giving up his prior money story and being willing to think differently.
  • The importance of cash flow in your journey to financial freedom.
  • And more!

Episode Resources

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Have you ever worked an extra shift or worked harder seeing extra patients so that you could earn more money and speed up the journey to financial independence? Does that even make sense or is it time to slow down and take a deeper look? Let's dive in. This is the physician philosopher podcast. I'm Dr. Jimmy Turner 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 so number 36 of the physician philosopher podcast, where we take an uncurated and unapologetic look into physician life, money and mindset. Today's thought is this. If you were looking to get to financial independence sooner, the answer isn't working harder, it is to work smarter. One of the most common things I hear in the personal finance blogosphere is this idea that to earn more money as a physician, the easiest way, the best way to do this is to work harder in medicine, to pick up extra shifts, to do some locums or see some patients or do some procedures.

But does that really make sense? I mean, think about it, right? Does everybody who works harder in medicine get to the point where they enjoy their life sooner or do they simply make themselves miserable as they burn the candle at both ends working harder and medicine and all of this really begs the question. Of course. Why do you want financial independence so quickly? Why do you want that so badly? And I'll tell you right now, no, a personal story that I did this, I totally did this. I was working 1.2 FTE while I was working 10 to 20 hours a week on my blog. I was burning the candles at both ends. And I can tell you my friend that is not going to lead to where you think it's going to lead. It is miserable. So why are you trying to get to financial independence so fast, I'll save you the journey.

And I'll tell you that as humans, the reason we do absolutely everything in our life is because we're trying to feel a certain way. So our entire life is driven by our feelings. And in coaching, we call this the motivational triad. So it's made up of three parts and these three things are the impetus for pretty much everything that you do in your life. There are two things that we want in life. One is to avoid pain and the others to seek pleasure. And the third part to that is to do both of those things as efficiently as possible. So essentially the three parts of the motivational triad are pain, pleasure and efficiency. That is what pretty much drives every decision that you ever make. And you might not realize that, but it's true. Think about it. You'll come around to the idea. I promise.

So stop for a second and think about this. Why are you trying so hard to get to financial independence so quickly based on the motivational triad it's because you're trying to avoid pain or seek pleasure in this show. We're going to discuss the two most common reasons that I see doctors work so hard to get to financial independence. And then the name of the show. We're going to discuss a little bit about how you can work smarter for your financial freedom instead of working harder. All right, let's get into this, right? So there are two reasons that I see more than any other, really for why some doctors tried to get to financial independence or financial freedom. I'm gonna use those two terms, interchangeably get to FII or financial freedom. So quickly. The first reason a lot of doctors push themselves to get there is because they feel like a trap physician.

Now, what I mean by this? A trap physician is someone who feels undervalued unappreciated. Unheard. You might feel like a cog in the wheel at your hospital or clinic, or sometimes you might say, I feel like a number I'm not even important. You've made suggestions that go on heard for changes that you feel like are needed. You feel stuck in a life that should be making you happy at this point. Like you've worked really hard to get to where you are, but you're not happy. You may be burned out. You don't feel like you have any options or maybe you've thought about going part-time right, leaving medicine. All of those things are signs that you feel like you're trapped in medicine. You're a trapped physician. So if that's you, or in other words, if you're trying to avoid the pain of feeling like a physician who is trapped in medicine, that might be one reason.

You're trying to get financial independence or financial freedom faster and efficient to avoid that pain. You're trying to get to the point where you can go part-time or leave medicine. So you burn the candle at both ends working more in medicine, even though that's what you're trying to get away from, or picking up extra shifts or staying in a job that you don't love, because you think it will get you to financial independence sooner. This happens all the time. So there was a client in the alpha coaching experience. Let's call him Ben in order to protect the innocent. So Ben was staying in a job that he didn't like, and it's a job where his wife wasn't personally or professionally fulfilled. It was really far away from their friends and family. But the reason that Ben was working there is because he made a higher income by working at this location, or so he thought, and he felt like he could squirrel it all away and get to financial independence sooner.

So by changing jobs, he worried that he would slow down this journey to his financial freedom. That's really what kept him trapped in medicine and trapped in a job that he didn't want was that he was worried that his journey to financial independence will be slowed down. So he stayed in a job for years that made him feel like a trap position and work more shifts because someday he would be able to walk away from it all. It's this idea that someday it's going to get better, which we're going to talk about in a minute. So Ben was working harder, not smarter. And the reason I love this story is that not only was he a prior alpha client, but coaching, he was able to make a decision from a cleaner space. So he cleaned up his mindset. We talk a lot about that on this podcast.

And he actually got the point where he could make this decision about leaving his current job and about slowing down his journey to FII potentially, and really through the alpha coaching experience. He had this just giant transformation. I remember the last time I talked to him at the end of that coaching, he was sitting in a new car. So he, I had trouble spending money. Obviously he's running a financial penicillin or sitting in a newbie w at this job that he was interviewing for. And so he followed up via email. And basically the gist of his email was that he ended up finding a job that was not only closer to family, that not only allowed his wife to be professionally fulfilled, but actually paid more money. And, and he got admin time and got paid for it. There's better schools for his kids closer to both families.

And he basically ended the email saying that he couldn't have done it without the alpha coaching experience. And I just thought that was so cool because Ben was stuck in this financial independence rut, because he was trying to get there faster by working harder. And he was afraid of leaving jobs. And that, that was basically just a narrative or a story that he was telling himself because as it turned out, not only could he move somewhere where he was going to be happier and he has been happier, he could make more money doing it too. So that story that he was going to somehow slow down his journey, wasn't even true. But we tell ourselves these thoughts and we're going to talk about this next week, but the only difference between a thought and a belief, a belief is something that you've told yourself so many times that narrative, that story that you believe it's true.

You believe it's fact. And this narrative that if he left this more rural job to go work closer to the city, that he'd make less money and slow down his journey didn't even end up being true. But that thought that he didn't even realize was there before he got coached, kept him in a bad situation. It kept him feeling like a trapped physician. So I love telling this story because it's just so powerful and feeling trapped in medicine, trying to avoid this pain is really the first big reason I see doctors work hard. Ben is an example of that staying in a bad situation in order to get to financial independence sooner or so he thought, but there's a second reason. And I don't know which one's more common people that come into the program often to come from a financial dependence background because of money meets medicine, or I'm in the white coat investor network, or what have you.

So financial people come in and they are almost certainly like, you know, financial independence, like I'm, gung-ho about this. And actually it's one of the reasons why financial independence people have a hard time recognizing that coaching is an investment. It's an investment in you and your happiness, but those that make it through and get into the program and have their life changed. It's fascinating. So they struggle with financial independence versus Yolo. You only live once. And there's a podcast episode specifically on that, because this is so common, but the second, most common reason that I see doctors try to work harder in order to get to financial independence sooner, let's just jump into it. Right? So I know a lot of other doctors who were trying to speed up that journey to get there because the motivational triad, right? So instead of avoiding pain, what they're really trying to do, seek pleasure.

They think that by getting their quote, unquote, there'll be happy. So this is called an arrival fallacy. And I know that this exists because this is what I did. This was the trap that I fell into. I wasn't happy in my current situation. And if you go back to my story, right? So I essentially, when I was a kid, we had two Christmases in a row. I remember getting everything I wanted the first Christmas, the second Christmas, I think I got a bike and Winnie the Pooh pillow. I'm not sure if the bike was used or not. What had happened between those two Christmases is that my dad got fired from his job for being labeled as a whistleblower. He reported a safety concern. They went through their very little savings. They didn't have an emergency fund, didn't know to, they sold all their 401k, the retirement plans.

They racked up six figures in credit card debt. And my parents went into bankruptcy. And so from a very young age, I always hated debt. And so I took this ignorance is bliss kind of mentality towards it. And that led to lots of mistakes, like my classic disability insurance mistake. For those that you don't know that there's lots of shows out there about that. I can't get disability insurance to this day because I just ignored financial stuff. I just totally ignored it. It wasn't important to me. Right. And then I for better my debt for four years in residency, that cost me multiple tens of thousands of dollars. And so, you know, I had this ignorance is bliss thing. And then I finally got to my financial enlightenment, right. And fellowship, and I just blew up mastering money. Like I just really got that. Right.

I just figured it out very quickly. I paid off $300,000 in 30 months, built a multi six-figure business. And you know what I learned at the end of that, it's kind of an interesting thing, right? First of all, don't ignore money. Like money is a tool. That's why we talk about it so much on the show and on money means medicine. It's a tool. It's not everything, but it lets you do anything. So money is a tool. But the second lesson that I learned is that money isn't everything. Right? So even after it paid off the $300,000 and I quote unquote, arrived, I'd gotten there. You know what happened? I was still not happy. I still felt trapped in medicine. And so I was looking for a way to escape. And this basically came about as a way for me to find happiness. And I was looking for, in fact, it turned out that I've been doing this most of my life in part of the reason why second story I'll tell you as we kind of round out how I got here, right?

I tell this story commonly, but basically I was miserable. I felt trapped in medicine. I felt burned out and it was getting worse. I got angry at home. I wasn't sleeping. My tremor was getting worse. And I remember the moment that I hit my low. So I was on a golf course that I'm a member of. I was on the second hole, my buddy, Mike and I were standing in the fairway and a golf ball from the group behind us. They teed off into us and it flew by my head at about a hundred miles an hour. And I got to experience my first panic attack. It was terrible for those of you that have anxiety and panic attacks. I'm sorry. They are not fun. And so I'd never had one before. I'm baseline, not the most anxious guy, full blown panic attack. Couldn't handle my emotions.

And it only got worse from there. Right. I ended up becoming passively suicidal. I got put on antidepressants, tried therapy, tried a whole bunch of things. And I kept looking for a way to find financial freedom to back away from medicine because I wasn't happy. I was so unhappy. And so I looked for it in other ways, I looked for it in my business. I looked for it and trying to pay off the debt and trying to find the financial freedom. And this is why the mindset stuff that we talk about so important because of that arrival fallacy that I had. And I've been doing this most of my life. And I'll just tell you some of the other examples that many of us do, you might not have the panic attack story that I do. But many of us, we finish undergrad. We're like, Oh, well, medical school is gonna make me happy.

It's gonna be great. Like, I can't wait for the next step. You finished medical school. And you're like, Oh, when I become a resident, I'm a doctor so much better. And attending you do the same thing when I buy the house or buy the car or put my kids in private school. So many of those moments where you quote unquote, arrive, don't end up making you as happy as you think they will. They'll make you happy for a time. It's not long-term sustained joy or satisfaction, right? Those are very different things. And many of us suffer from this one. So maybe you didn't hit the same low that I hit when I had my panic attack and becoming passively suicidal. It turns out that this is another way to feel trapped in medicine. So you might be avoiding feeling trapped in medicine, or you might be trying to find happiness either way.

You're trapped, because you're trying to get out of your current situation because you think that someday when you get there or ride, that things will get better than they currently are. So you're placing your future happiness in something that hasn't happened. And we talk a lot that a lot about this arrival, Fasten episode five of this podcast, I'm not going to belabor it, but the problem with the second one is that happiness is always around the corner. You never get to enjoy the journey to be content with what you have and where you are mastering that part, the mindset, Oh my gosh. That's freedom. That's the personal freedom to talk about. So I'm all about personal and financial freedom. The personal freedom comes from mindset. And this is the reason that the alpha coaching experience includes both money and mindset coaching. Honestly, our clients go through both.

They get both one without the other just doesn't make sense because most of our financial decisions are rooted in chasing after a feeling the motivational triad. But assuming you've done that thought work and you're in a clean space like Ben, in our example, above got to, is there a way to get to financial freedom faster by working smarter and not harder? And it turns out that the answer is yes. And that's exactly what we're going to talk about more in our two day live workshop called the financial freedom bootcamp. And so we're all about teaching in this bootcamp, how financial independent physicians practice medicine, because they want to not because they have to, and it'll be May 10th and May 11th. But the purpose of this thing is to empower you. I want you to have the financial freedom. And then we're going to dive in later in a masterclass in June into the personal freedom side of things.

So I'm going to teach both these things in consecutive months, but this is all about empowering you. So on day one, we're going to discuss why monthly cashflow is King and how to create more of it. And then on day two, we're actually gonna dive into how to diversify your income through non-clinical sources of income, like an online business. So there's gonna be a Q and a and coaching. So if you want to talk to me, pitch some ideas or ask questions, or just come say hi, I'd love to see you. That'd be great. I want to help you work smarter and not harder. I want you to help you realize when you're suffering from an arrival fallacy or you are trapped in medicine and you're looking for a way out and maybe the mindset piece is what's important. So if you want to learn how to create cashflow, or maybe you're thinking about starting an online business, or maybe you just want to learn how to work smarter, not harder.

You can claim your seat by going to the physician, philosopher.com/bootcamp. And by the way, I mentioned this last week, I'll mention it again because I think it's really important for those that are still listening, right? Unlike most webinars, masterclasses, boot camps, nothing's going to be sold to you. There's no pitch at the end of this. This is just to help you. So if you come great, I'd love to have you. If you don't, that's fine too. I want you to do whatever you think is best with your time, but I think it's going to be highly powerful for those that show up. So make sure to tell all your friends that are physicians to the link is also in the description of the podcast player you're listening to right now. But I just want you to know that whether you're suffering from either of those things feeling trapped or an arrival fallacy, and that's the reason that you're trying to pick up extra shifts, picking up extra shifts.

Isn't really the answer, right? Because we all know lots of people who pick up extra shifts end up being miserable in medicine. And we can all also think of people who work less than medicine and actually found that financial freedom that they were looking for. I'm an example of that. I'm going, part-time, I'll be working Thursdays and Friday, starting in July. I don't pick up extra shifts in medicine. In fact, I actively don't pick up extra shifts in medicine and have found that financial freedom by working smarter and not harder. So we know that's not true. So why do we do it? Just chew on that as you take this episode to an end, right? So this episode is really all about recognizing that the reason behind everything that we do is because of our feelings about the motivational triad, seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, and doing either of those things as efficiently as possible.

So if you feel like you're working harder to get to financial independence sooner, there's probably a good chance you're doing this because you either feel trapped in medicine or you're falling prey to a possible arrival fallacy like I did. So first do the mindset work to figure out what you are after what you're trying to accomplish, what feeling is driving these decisions. And then once you're in a clean space, learn how to work smarter, not harder by creating monthly cashflow to get to your financial freedom faster. I'd love to see all of you at that financial freedom bootcamp. Two days meet you there. See you there. Lots of coaching questions, answering teaching content. It's all for your value. Really. So today's thought is this. If you're looking to get to financial independence sooner, the answer isn't working harder, it is to work smarter. So until next time my friends start before you're ready. Start by starting start now. I'll see you next week.

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






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