top of page

Begin with the End in Mind: Acquiring Wealth vs Earning Income

Have you ever asked yourself, “why did I work so hard (in med school)? Where am I going with this?” You can rest assured many of your colleagues ask themselves the same questions. And rightfully so because you put in the long hours and are making a great living but what happens when this cycle ends? Are you accumulating wealth at the same time? Will you be able to work part-time or retire someday with the standard of (or better) living you are accustomed to now?

As physicians, we are trained differently than most professionals and it is almost taboo to talk about making money. But why not think like our business entrepreneur friends? Our goal, as a physician or any professional, should be not only to make a good living but to get where our net worth is growing greater than our income.

The question is, how do you do this? Do you stop buying expensive cars? Maybe. Do you take one less vacation a year? Maybe. Or maybe not. All of this will depend on how you have set up your business and what you are doing with your revenue. If the success of your practice relies entirely on you in the operating room, it could be time to ask yourself what happens if something happens to you? Does your practice fail and your family financially suffer?

Accumulating wealth is a deliberate practice not always intuitive to physicians. We’ve earned our degree and we earn our salary. But how we save and what we invest in will ultimately determine our net worth. It will determine how and when you retire. It will also determine how financially comfortable you will be in retirement.

The difference between a business entrepreneur and a physician is that typically a business entrepreneur is willing to take risks. The mindset for physicians has been different in that we are focused on income and then our income translates into our lifestyle.

But we should be putting away money never to touch and investing in our business. The most common reason businesses fail is because they run out of capital. The wealth in this country is held in small business people that live within their means. But they are also investing in their companies and the employees that make them successful. They plan with the end in mind.

So where do you begin? How do you add successful business entrepreneur to your already impressive accolades of being a doctor? Start by becoming a student again. Be a consummate reader of business. I did this so I could change my mindset to become a businessman.

There are so many books written by successful business people and about how businesses have become successful. Read the Wall Street Journal daily. Take notes from the books, the Journal, a mentor. I also offer Executive MasterMind Programs you may want to consider:

Whatever you decide, be sure to share with your executive team and introduce best practices into your business.

Above all else, be patient but stay the course. Make a commitment to bettering your business acumen so Acquiring Wealth vs. Earning Income will become second nature. It will also be financially rewarding upon your exit.

“Hustle like your broke, never become complacent.” -Dr. Edwin Williams


bottom of page