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The Physician Philosopher Podcast

TPP 40: Common Money Mindset Mistakes Physicians Make

The purpose of money is to be able to live your life however you want. However, some people build narratives about money that force them to keep working instead of enjoying their life. These narratives can greatly impact our ability to make great financial decisions. 

Some of you are here because you want to master your money – whether that means mastering your personal finances or becoming an online entrepreneur.  Others come to learn about their mindset. While others still come because they want to get clear on what matters most to them in their life.

Well today I am going to discuss the common mistakes I see other physicians make when it comes to both money and mindset. Listen to learn about common money mindset mistakes physicians make and how you can avoid them. 

Today You’ll Learn

  • How your thoughts and beliefs about money impact your big life decisions
  • That many of our beliefs feel automatically true, but there is freedom when we learn to question them
  • How to work smarter, instead of harder (when it comes to your money) 
  • And more!

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Every financial decision you make depends on the money mindset you have. So what are the most common money mindset mistakes I see clients make and what can we learn from them? That's what we're going to talk about in this episode. Let's go. 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 40 of the physician philosophy for podcasts, where we take an uncurated and unapologetic, look into physician life, money and mindset. So can we just pause for a second? Like, whoa, we made it to episode 40. That's almost a year's worth of content and podcasts is completely free to you and amazing that we've made it to 40 episodes and people keep tuning in each week, which is just so awesome to see the podcast is constantly growing.

And each week we have over a thousand people tuning into each episode, which is just straight up crazy. This is a ton of fun. I hope it's a ton of help for you guys. Some of you tune in because you want to master your money, whether that means mastering your personal finance or starting an online business as a business owner or entrepreneur, those are different things. By the way, maybe we should do a podcast episode on that. At some point, others come to learn about your mindset and other still come to learn how to get clear on what matters most to them in their life. And so whether you come from the money, the mindset, or to design your ideal life, I want to teach you to know how to master all three of those things. You might be asking, like why. And it's because I believe that the best doctors are the ones who practice medicine because they want to not because they have to.

And you can only do that once you've mastered both your money and your mindset, you need both of those. And he could ask me why, and I'm going to explain it to you actually in an upcoming masterclass. Because in other words, when doctors have the personal financial freedom, they need to make medicine optional. They are, in my opinion, the best positioned to take really good care of patients. So if you want to learn how to stop self-sacrificing yourself and learn how to find the personal and financial freedom, you need to practice medicine. However you want to master your money, your mindset, and to design your ideal life. I invite you to join us for our three pillars to physician freedom masterclass by visiting the physician philosopher.com/three pillars, T H R E P I L L a R S. Or you can just click the link.

That's in the description on the podcast episode, in the player that you're listening to right now. So that's coming up June 8th, 10th, and 12th. So make sure to sign up. There's only three masterclasses. They won't actually be out for another three or four months at the soonest after this. So today's thought is this, I'm excited about this episode. I think it's not a fun. And I think your money mindset matters just so much. So the fastest car in the world won't go anywhere. If you don't put gas in it, that is today's thought. And of course that's an analogy, right? So right after I actually batch record this episode, I am flying to California. I'm hopping on a plane with my family. And the reason is because I'm going to be officiating my brother-in-law and his fiance's wedding in California. So maybe the thought of the day should have been about the fastest plane and putting gas in the plane to get to where you want to go.

So I missed a bit of an opportunity there, regardless. I want to give a big public shout out to Jordan and Kelsey, congratulations on your marriage, on your wedding. By the time that this comes out, you will have already been married for a few weeks. And so I was completely humbled when they asked me to marry them a year and a half ago. And admittedly pretty nervous because I've never officiated a wedding before at this point, like I've done a lot of mindset work on this. I'm actually really excited about it. I'm super stoked to perform the ceremony. And this was actually supposed to happen a year ago. And it got delayed like many people's weddings. So during the pandemic, but I'm super excited and I'll be doing that in a few short days. So back to my car, or I guess plane analogy. If you don't put gas in the car or the plane you aren't going to get to your destination, we all know that no matter how hard you press on the gas, if there's no gas in the car, unless it's electric, because nowadays we have electric vehicles, but let's assume this is a gas powered car.

If you don't gas in the car, it's not going to go anywhere. So it baffles me when people get so funny about money and talking about the subject, it's such a taboo topic, all right, money is taboo and a lot of medicine yet. It really is. It's the gas that you put in the car to get to that ideal life destination that you want to get to, to get to balance. Everybody says, I want to have work-life balance. You cannot do that. If you don't have financial freedom, most people don't realize this. And I like to say this all the time, money isn't everything, but it is the tool that lets you do anything. And what I mean by that is money is a tool. It is a surrogate for your time. It is what allows you to live your life. However you want, because you have the freedom to do so.

Today I wanted to spend some time talking about some of the common narratives or money mindsets that I see both in personal finance and business and how they impact doctor's beliefs and their actions and their feelings and how they show up in this world. And you may fit into one of these narratives. You might not. I'd be shocked actually, if you're listening to this and you don't relate to any of what I'm about to say, but you could have a completely different narrative either way. The point it needs to just make you start to question, what are my thoughts about money? What are my beliefs about money and how do they impact my financial decisions and the life that I live. So that's what we're going to talk about. Okay. So here's the problem. All people have their own narrative around money and this narrative really impacts your decisions.

So for those of you that don't know my narrative, I went through bankruptcy when I was about eight or nine years old. And that was because my dad got labeled as a whistleblower for reporting a safety concern. And as it turns out, when that happens, you can get fired and blacklisted blackballed from the industry that you work in. And so my parents racked up six figures in credit card debt. And for a long time, I just knew that money meant pain. And I had this ignorance is bliss mentality. That was my money mindset. And we're not going to talk about that today. I'll mention that money mindset and the reason that's so important for how I started in my financial journey and making a ton of mistakes. And that's why I can relate to so many people that make mistakes financially themselves. I'll talk about that actually in the three pillars to physician freedom masterclass, that's coming up.

So if you want to hear more about that narrative and the importance of paying off your debt and mastering your money in your mindset joined me there. But in this show, I thought I'd give you a few of the common narratives. I, from the alpha clients that we coach in the alpha coaching experience, because this comes up all of the time and people don't even realize that it's from their thoughts or beliefs about money. They just think that, oh, I'm just trying to do something reasonable based on what, what I think. And these narratives are just so common and probably one of the most common ones. The first one I'm gonna start with is the fire narrative. So this is financial independence retire early, for those of you that are new to the financial independence community. And this is really one of the most common ones I see in alpha coaching experience.

And this makes sense, right? Because I come from a personal finance, blogging and podcasting background, I've got a book on personal finance for physicians. I teach personal finance to my med students and residents. And so it makes sense that people would come from the financial community and end up in my alpha coaching and experience program. And it's just an interesting thing, right? So I'm not really a fire blogger. I would call myself a financial independence blogger. But that second part, the retire early portion is not something that I commonly write about. And the reason why is because I want doctors to practice medicine because they want to not because they have to basically Sarah Katherine Goodyear is one of the financial planners that teaches actually in my personal finance curriculum awake, who was amazing. She calls this firewall. It says financial independence work optional. And she's great, but that's exactly the way that I view things.

I want you to have the financial independence to make medicine optional. I don't necessarily want you to retire now. I've got no problem with early retirement. Let me say that loud and clear because I know a lot of doctors out there are going to hear this and be like, oh, he's a fire hater. I'm really not. But what I see in my programs that a lot of people get bit by this financial independence retire early bug, and it plagues their decisions. They have a really hard time making a decision from the space because it's really common story to hear people that are stuck in a bad situation, whether it's a job that they don't like, and the reason that they can't make the change for them and their family, even though they recognize that it's probably the change that they need is because they're like, oh, if I make this change, I might make less money.

I might be able to save less money and therefore it's going to delay my future. And so it is really super interesting thing. Why does that matter? It matters because people aren't making the decision that they need from the space that they'd like to, because of this money narrative, this fire narrative that they have. And I will see people who have this arrival fallacy, where they think that getting there and getting to that number are someday gonna make them happy. But they're unable to enjoy the journey. I have to ask these people all the time is, you know, what's the point. If you can't enjoy the journey, what's the point you're going to get to your number some day and then enjoy life. Like you have to be miserable right now until you get there. Now I'm not saying everybody that's on the fire journey is miserable because that's not true.

I know a lot of people that are really happy. And obviously my, my friend over at physician on fire leaf is extremely happy. Having retired from anesthesiology about 10 or 12 years into his career. But it's this kind of thinking about fire mentality. When you really start questioning every dollar that you don't save and that leads to decisions in your life, that aren't necessarily helpful because what they'll do is they'll break out these compound interest calculators like, oh, well, you know, if I earned $20,000, less, $20,000 at, you know, 8% interest, you know, it's going to double about every, you know, nine or 10 years. And so it's this sort of thinking this narrative, this money mindset that makes them trapped. If you don't one fundamental thing about money, you're gonna make a really bad decision. And that is that money is a tool and the entire purpose of money is to be able to use it to free up your time.

Time is the real commodity, right? So money is a surrogate for time being able to live life. However you want, if you don't get that right, if you don't understand that you make tons of decisions from a space of financial scarcity, where you're worried about where the is going to come from and how much you're going to have and getting to the number that you need. So if money, isn't really what it's all about, and it's really about your time and money being a surrogate for that, this kind of mindset will really reshape the way that you make decisions. When you're coming from that space. I'll give you an example to make this concrete. Cause for me, you're probably listening and being like, what in the world is he talking about? So I know a lot of doctors who, particularly when they're in shift, work specialties, anesthesia, EDM, or surgical subspecialties, procedural specialties, and also actually clinical specialties.

It kind of applies to everybody, but they'll work in a group where if they take a week of vacation, they will look at that vacation and say, gosh, if I'm gone for five days, that's thousands of dollars that I'm going to miss out on. And I know doctors who will actually send their family on vacation and not go with them because they're worried about losing the money because they went on vacation. They've missed the point. They put the cart ahead of the horse on this one, right? So like the purpose of money is to be able to live your life. However you want. Now that can mean giving money to other people, charitable giving that could mean taking vacations. That could mean buying a car or a house or whatever it is for your lifestyle, taking care of your kids and paying for their college education.

Everybody's financial goals are different, but the purpose of money is to be able to live life. However you want in a way that reflects your values. And so when you start looking at money for money's sake and not for the freedom that it can provide, this is when you get trapped into this kind of, oh gosh, yeah, you guys go for vacation. I'm actually going to work because I need to have these five days to make the paycheck so that I can save as much as I possibly can. This is really, really kind of insane thing. But instead, what they lose is their time, which is the entire purpose behind it in the first place. So it's crazy. But I guarantee you, there's someone listening to this episode right now that has done that, or has thought about the money that they would lose by going on vacation.

And it has given them pause. And sometimes even they'll go on vacation, but they're not really there. And they're thinking about how much money they're losing by being there. So you're not even present. All right, I'm gonna get off my soap box here. But this kind of thinking is one of the most common that I see and is also one of the most profound in terms of its impact on your financial decisions. So another one that I see and this one's not as common in my space because by the time that people make it to me, they normally have worked out this mentality, but this is the one that most people start with. And it's the Yolo mentality, right? That you only live once mentality, the idea that you need to maximize your happiness and use your spending to maximize it. And so you buy the nice car.

You buy the nice house, you put the kids in private school, you buy all the designer, gadgets and clothes and all that stuff. And the ironic part here is that this group doesn't realize that while you only live, once humans are starting to live longer and longer. And so that only wants that you do live tends to be a very long time now on average. And so you need to have money. That's going to last that one life that you get to live, right? So they don't save for tomorrow. And so this is really where most doctors start. And the reason why, you know, the live like a resident mentality that Jim Dolly over the white coat investor came out with is because this is where most physicians are before they start to learn about personal finance. And this is by far and away, the biggest crowd of doctors, but the chances are you're listening to this podcast and you listen to money meets medicine, or you've read any of the stuff in the physician, finance, personal finance, blogosphere, or podcast world.

You have heard a lot about this mentality. So I'm not going to beat this one into the ground, but Yolo, you only live once is definitely a thing. And if you do want to learn more about basic financial literacy and personal finance, I highly encourage you to go listen to money meets medicine, mainly because I get to make fun of Ryan over there. And people will tend to enjoy our banter, which is by far, in a way, what we get the most comments about on that podcast is Connie about us making fun of you too, but entertaining while also educational. It turns out. So that is the second one. Here's the third one. And I'm going to get on my soap box again on this one. And, and I'm going to get hate mail about this. So it is what it is. I'm not apologetic about it, but got to get some hate mail.

So another narrative that I hear all the time, the third one is being espoused in the physician. Community particular is all about real estate. Now as big of a fan about reps, a real estate professional status and the tax savings and sheltering that you can have, especially for high income earners that happens in real estate. And in fact, I don't hate real estate at all. I think it's a great vehicle to invest in diversify your investments. It's got a really long and steady track record of being successful for a huge amount of people and the wealthiest people in the world, almost all owned real estate. And just hear me before I get into this, but I just want to point out that your beliefs about real estate and your decisions and what you think about it, right? The, the financial, this is you may have to do with your money mindset.

And if you have this thought, which is really prevalent in the physician community right now, that real estate is the best way to make money outside of medicine. I'm just going to go out there and say that I think that you need to be careful. And I think that this has the potential to harm you. And I totally get why you'd feel that way because real estate is talked about in the physician finance space, all over the place. It's got tons of books written about it. It's got podcasts and blogs. And so it's all over everywhere. People stepping into real estate. But my question is every doctor that jumps into real estate find the financial success that they're looking for. The answer, my friend is no, and many don't like the amount of time they get into it and they find out, oh, managing properties is not something that I love to do.

And even when I handed it off to a management company, it wasn't something I enjoyed. And so there are headaches that come along with that. It is not just an easy road where everything is all simple. And so I just want to point out that there are other ways to do this. Now again, if real estate is your thing, I'm not knocking you, I'm not hating on you. I'm just pointing out that it is not the only way to earn money outside of medicine. So I often ask people like, how do you get to financial freedom from your job in medicine, without going into tons of debt or dealing with headaches associated with property management and unhappy tenants, because I'm not a big believer in debt. I hate leveraging debt. And that comes from my background as someone who went through bankruptcy as a kid, like that's just not something that I've got a ton of interest in.

And I have also other things that take up my time that I don't necessarily want to be spending on real estate. So what are some other ways that you can do this? Otherwise you can earn non-clinical income through an online business. And if you think about it, all of the people who are espousing real estate as the best way to make non-clinical income, or just to build wealth in general, have one thing in common. And it isn't that they invest in the same kind of real estate. In fact, many of them invest in different kinds of real estate like syndications versus active management and their courses on both of those things in the physician space. I have supported and recommended both of those courses at times. And so the one thing that they have in common, all of those people is that they have an online business.

100% of them have an online business that is doing quite well. And multiple of them are pulling in seven figures in that online business. So this includes Dave Ramsey and Robert Kiyosaki, right? Who are well-known in the personal finance space. Both of them provide financial ideas and advice. And both of them have an online business. That's one thing that they all have in common. So we focus on the advice they give. And we don't realize that like the wizard of Oz, the person behind the curtain, the wizard behind the curtain has an online business. That's what they all have in common. And you know why? Because they recognize the power of online income and the freedom that it provides and that they can do it anywhere in the world. So they can be making money while they're in Cabo or Paris or the Dominican or wherever you are.

If you go on a Sub-Saharan African trip, you're still making money. It's an online business. As long as you have an internet connection. And many of these businesses can be put on autopilot when you're not there. So who wouldn't want to make money wherever they are on their own time, whether in the beach or the mountains, or from a chair in your basement. Like I am right now, right? So I have an online business and this is one of my favorite things to coach people on. And there's a reason for this, which is that it can really tap into the things that you're most passionate about. Now, if you love real estate, you love providing housing for people, you love the opportunities that real estate provides. You should absolutely invest in real estate. There's nothing wrong with that. But if that doesn't fit your dream, if that doesn't fit your vision, please just know that you're not broken.

I don't personally invest in real estate, outside of REITs, basically real estate index funds. And so you don't have to do it, but it's such a popular topic nowadays, that everybody has this money mindset, narrative that you have to invest in real estate with extra money that you have outside of your retirement accounts. And in fact, real estate is become so popular that many people have stopped investing in traditional retirement accounts to instead invest in real estate, which is when I start to really cringe. Cause that's not a very diversified portfolio. You're taking a ton of risk by doing that. And I know again, I'm going to get hate mail from this narrative, this comment, this thing I'm throwing out there, but I just want to say that real estate is not wrong, but it's also not the only way to make money outside of your clinical job.

All right. So that's number three. So number four, you have to work harder to earn more money. So this one is super common in the physician world because that's what we learned in medicine, right? You work hard, hard work pays off. This turns out in, into late nights and extra shifts and performing extra procedures and lost sleep. And we just learned in medicine that if you work harder, you make more money. Now I just mentioned online income is one way to consider making non-clinical income. And when you bring this mentality from medicine into your online business, it makes it really challenging because you will just become a workaholic in your business. And the problem, the big negative downside of online business is that it is constantly available. You most likely have an internet connection on your phone or your laptop or your desktop or whatever wherever you are.

And so there's never an opportunity when you can't work on your business as an online owner. And so if you bring this hard work means more money mentality, you're going to fill up every hour of your day working on your business. And this is something called Parkinson's law. I'd love to talk about this. I heard about it originally from Mike [inaudible] on profit first. He's got two great books, profit first and clockwork recommend both of those. If you are a, an entrepreneur or business owner, but Parkinson law is the idea that you fill the container that you have. And so the example that [inaudible] gives in his book is about toothpaste and how, when we have a full tube, we just slap the thing on the toothbrush. And don't even think about it, put a big old glob on there, but as that gets lower and lower, we inch every single nook and cranny out of that, a tube of toothpaste to get the last little bit because that's what's left.

So we use what we have. And so when it comes to time, if you have an infinite amount of time to spend on your business and you have an online business and you come from a physician world where hard work means more money, you're going to spend every waking hour that you have, and you're going to burn the candle at both ends. And that online business, you started to find all that freedom that you're looking for. It turns out will be another source of burnout. And so I encourage you to really think through this, right? So many of our alpha clients are happy, mastering their personal finance situation without stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. And so I want to say to them, they are smart. And the way that I explain this is that entrepreneurship is a bit like general surgery. We all remember when we were in training that even if you're going to general surgery and your general surgeon listening to this, this is something that you were told along the way, but this idea that if you can do anything other than general surgery and be happy, you should do that.

And we would tell people that because of the lifestyle of a general surgeon typically, and I would say the same thing about entrepreneurship. If you can see yourself doing anything other than entrepreneurship, you should probably do it because it is a very tough long road that said for the people that are meant to be entrepreneurs, it's the only way that they can really find a ton of fulfillment is by taking this journey by getting in the arena, by getting dirty, by learning, to fail forward and learning all the life lessons that come along with entrepreneurship that have taught me so much, not about just business but about life. But if you can do anything else, if you can just be a business owner, which by the way, those are different things. Business owners and entrepreneurship are not the same thing. So you can be a business owner and the coaches that coach and alpha coaching experience.

I'd like to talk about this as an example, they show up and they love to coach people. They love to help our clients change their mindset and help them build a better life. That's what they really love to do. And they show up and they coach people and then they're done and they get to keep a hundred percent of that profit because they just get paid for doing their job. I run a business and my job is to bring all of the people in the world, into this program so that we can have the biggest impact we have and help as many doctors as we can practice medicine because they to not cause they have to. And so we bring them in and I do the group coaching in that program. I create all the course content and the three pillars that we teach in that program.

And so I teach people how to master their money, their mindset, and they're designing their idea, your life to find balance. And so on. I'm responsible for working on the business and creating the environment in which people can have that experience. Just like any CEO of any other business. Yes, but I have tons of overhead because I run the business as an entrepreneur. And so I get to keep a fraction of the money that the business brings in. And so that is the difference, right? A business owner, someone who just owns a business that makes non-clinical income on the side can do that and just do their job and get paid and really enjoy that. And keep the majority of the profit, the business owner, who is an entrepreneur, running a business and has a vision and trying to grow things and help more people.

They are going to have to deal with all of the overhead and all the headaches and building the funnel to get people in that, along with this. And so it is a lot of work and you might actually make the same amount of money as the person that you're paying in your program, which is an interesting problem to have. But if it's in your DNA and you can't help, but want to help more people, and you really want to scale this to change the culture of medicine like I do, and it's to fix the broken medical system and by empowering physicians, to be able to stand up and speak out when they're personally and financially free, you don't have to worry about the paycheck. You don't have to worry about all the things that make you feel trapped in medicine. You can stand up for the change that we all know we need to see in his career, in this life and in the hospitals that we work in.

And so entrepreneurship and scaling and changing things and bucking against the status quo, bucking the gourds, if you will, that is in my DNA. And that said, if it's not, and even if it is, I should say, as an entree, are you going to bring that hardworking mentality that you brought from the physician world, that money narrative, that you have that money mindset about working harder, meaning making any more money into your business, whether it's real estate or online businesses or entrepreneurship, whatever that is. And so until you learn to work smarter, not harder, you're going to do drive yourself into the ground. And I can tell you this because I did it, it took me a few years to learn, oh, I have to say boundaries. I have to punch the clock. Like at three o'clock, I need to be done because I need to go pick up my kids or they got golf or they got gymnastics or soccer or a recital or whatever it is going on.

And I have to force myself to stop because of Parkinson's law and contain the time that I have so that I can therefore limit the amount of all of that hard work pays off mentality because I will work and work and work is my online internet. Connection is constantly available to me. So you probably decided to go into entrepreneurship if you did define balance and to control your time in other words, to find freedom. And yet, if you're like most of us, your business might just end up controlling you. So this all comes from that narrative of the hard work pays off. And in a funny way, you can actually make more money by working less hard as an online entrepreneur. And think about that. Is that mind blowing or not? We actually did an episode on that. Opposition entrepreneurs make more money in less time, but that's a lesson for another day.

Go listen to that episode on the physician philosopher podcast, if you want to dive into that, but that can be a true thought that you can make money in less time, but you have to wrap your head around that and really believe it and focus on the things that actually matter in your business by getting really clear. So this is another money narrative about business specifically that physicians have that can lead to some major, major pain. So the purpose of the show was to simply illustrate that the facts involving money are few, but our narratives, our story about money are many. And those stories and narratives about money really impact your ability to make financial decisions and to build that life that you're looking to make. And so these narratives impact also the ability for you to put the gas in the car or the plane, that analogy at the beginning that we talked about to get to the destination of living that ideal life.

And you don't get mad that you put gas in the car, don't get mad that you need to build clinical nonclinical income and pay down your expenses to build cashflow. So you can find the freedom that you want. And so question everybody believes you have, if you think making money is hard, if you think that building an online business is hard. If you think that debt is bad or good, like those are all money beliefs that you should question, and you should check into the results, the actions, the feelings that those thoughts, those beliefs about money lead to, and you might just find that it's not the result or the action that you want. So don't forget if you want to take a deeper dive in how to find the personal and financial freedom. You need to live that ideal life and to practice medicine because you want to not because you have to put gas in the car to get to the ideal life.

Please join us for the three pillars to physician freedom masterclass, where we'll take a deeper dive in how physicians can do that practice medicine, however they want. So to sign up, you can go to the physician, philosopher.com/three pillars, T H R E E P I L L a R S. Or just click the link. That's in the description of this podcast. You're listening to on your podcast player, we will see you then it's June 8th, 10th, and 12th. So it's coming up pretty soon. So don't hesitate. Don't wait. Those are the only three that we'll have, and they will go by the wayside for another three to four months, at least before we hold that a masterclass again. So today's thought is this the fastest car in the world? Won't go anywhere if you don't put gas in it. So until next time my friends start before you're ready. Start by starting start now. I'll see you next time.

My dad, Dr. Jimmy Turner is a physician first personal climates blogger. You know, 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. I'm coaching is not a substitute for therapy, medicine, or medical treatment. However, if you're a doctor looking for life that she can reach out to my [email protected]

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