Chances are you became a doctor because you wanted to help people, right?
Then, you started running your own practice because you wanted more freedom, autonomy, and perhaps more money.
You are most likely highly skilled and care deeply about your patients and the people you serve.
But being a business owner is different to being a doctor. It requires a different mindset and a different set of tools to make the shift to being an entrepreneur. This shift is not easy.
What got you here – determination, studying, working harder than you thought possible, and a dash of perfectionism – won’t get you to where you want to go.
You need a new mindset, and new ways of working. You need to think like an entrepreneur, not a doctor.
To kick the year off on the right foot, here are three mindset changes you can make right now to flex your business owner muscles, and start becoming the owner of a business, rather than a self-employed doctor.
1. Stop Doing Everything Yourself
Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re presented with a problem, and have two choices.
You can ask yourself “What can I do about this?” or “Who can do something about this?”
Which question would you ask yourself?
If you ask what you can do, you’re stuck in your doctor mindset, where it’s all on you, and you are trying to do everything yourself.
Part of being an entrepreneur is hiring great people who can expand your business, not just save you time. If you want your business to grow, AND for you to stay sane, you have to hire, and hire well.
There’s a big difference between hiring someone because they’ll save you some time, versus hiring someone who is an expert at what they do, better than you in this area, and is capable of helping your business grow.
One keeps your business as it is, and buys you a few hours off per week, the other not only saves you time, it also grows and expands your business and income.
KEY TAKEAWAY: How can you bring other people in to help you and your business grow?
Doing everything yourself isn’t the solution, so next time you encounter a problem, ask yourself “Who can solve this”, rather than “What more do I need to do?”.
2. Stop Trading Your Time For Money
“Wait, what? You mean I should stop working? But how will I make money?”
Slow down, friend.
Trading our time for money (ie. earning a salary based on how much we work) is a HUGE illusion we’ve been sold.
Part of the reason for owning and running your own practice is to break free from this paradigm so you can have more freedom.
Otherwise, you technically might not have a boss, but do you really feel free? Or are you just as chained to your practice as you were before, except this time you paid for your own chains?
Once you start thinking like an entrepreneur, you’ll start looking for opportunities to scale.
To leverage your skills into a product that can be sold without having to work more, to break free of the time for money model.
KEY TAKEAWAY: If you’re not scaling, then your business is limited by how many hours you can work.
Once you learn to scale, there’s no limit to how much money you can make, or how many people you can help.
3. Who Do You Serve?
The medical industry is constantly changing and patients are demanding more from their healthcare providers, not only in terms of the quality of the medical care they receive, but also the experience they have when interacting with your practice.
This gives you a choice – do you run a general practice, or do you specialise and focus on a few areas?
There’s no right answer, but it is worth thinking about and deciding what’s right for you and your practice.
It’s very common in the business world to speak about “nicheing” – getting really specific about who you serve and providing a service that is perfect for them.
As a business owner, this is something you want to think about. Who do you serve? Is there anything you can do that makes your practice a perfect fit for the people you serve?
If you’re family focused, can you make the practice more family friendly?
If you’re located in the city, and serve predominantly busy professionals, can you make it more suited to their schedules and needs?
Think about how you can be your ideal patients ideal practice.
KEY TAKEAWAY: What can you do to make your practice and service stand out?
Are there any small touches, or perhaps big decisions that will improve the experience your patients have when they are treated by you?
Are You Ready to Train Your Brain?
I hope these three mindset shifts help you move from doctor to business owner.
Your doctor mindset is great, it got you this far, and has made you an excellent doctor.
But this next step requires a different mindset to not only be a great doctor, but to run a successful, and profitable medical practice.
These three mindset shifts will help you begin to view problems from the position of an entrepreneur who can scale a business, rather than a self-employed doctor trading time for money.
You can grab your own copy of Growing a Medical Practice: From Frustration to a High Performance Business here.