19: Why Physicians Make Awesome Entrepreneurs (and why they don't) with Dr. Una

Dr. Una from EntreMD has the lofty goal of helping 80,000 doctors build profitable businesses. That’s why I sat down with her to learn exactly why so many physicians are well-suited for entrepreneurship. In our conversation, we explore these traits, and we also talk about some of the common pitfalls physician entrepreneurs may face. Plus, we dive into the concept of intrapreneurship.

Some of the traits that transfer into entrepreneurship include our ability to problem solve and our persistence. As physicians, we solve problems for people daily. In a single day, we solve sometimes dozens and sometimes hundreds of problems. That means that we are often in the perfect position to identify a common issue and offer a solution on a larger scale through entrepreneurship. 

Moreover, physicians are persistent. Not only do we persist through medical school where we learn and apply vast amounts of knowledge, we weather so many challenges tirelessly as we practice medicine. This same grit and determination makes physicians well-suited to deal with many of the challenges that face new and seasoned entrepreneurs alike.

However, there are some traits and tendencies of physicians that also need to be overcome. Perfectionism serves us well in the medical practice. All throughout med school, we pursue excellence. That pursuit of excellence stays with us as we practice medicine. However, perfectionism can really impede progress in entrepreneurship. Many times, entrepreneurship means learning how to get out of your own way and being comfortable with mistakes.

As you wrestle with perfectionism, you also want to make sure that you start to get comfortable with the idea of selling. Oftentimes, we think of selling as something scammy or unsavory. That’s simply not the case. Physicians sell all the time. We sell our patients on our expertise and treatment options. In our personal lives, we sell to friends and family alike. That is why entices people to want to maintain relationships with us. Selling is really about offering solutions to possible problems. By doing that, you are providing an invaluable service, not unlike when you practice medicine. 

In addition to entrepreneurship, physicians may also consider being an intrapreneur. In this day and age, job security might seem like a distant memory. The news is full of reports of job cuts, furloughs, and more. By becoming an intrapreneur who creates incredible value within your company, you position yourself into having real staying power. Plus, if you do find yourself looking for new work--either out of necessity or choice--you will find many more doors open to you. 

Ultimately, entrepreneurship may not be the right move for every physician. But it is definitely something worth considering, especially for people who are interested in really having freedom and control over their earning and their day-to-day lives. 

In this episode, we also explore:

  • A dive into why entrepreneurship is the great leveler
  • A case study of a female physician intrapreneur
  • How entrepreneurship can be the ultimate motivator in the face of storms
  • Takeaways from Apple in terms of their marketing budget and all the different versions of the iPhone
  • Why it’s impossible to be taken advantage of when you’re cultivating the right skills
  • What Dr. Una’s life looks like now as a physician and an entrepreneur 

Featured on this episode:

  • Check out more of Dr. Una’s story on her blog EntreMD.
  • Listen to a refresher on thinking beyond your clinical income here.
  • Learn more about how to manage your mindset with Wealthy Mom MD.