The #1 Reason Holding Doctors Back From Starting a Business – And How To Overcome It.

14 days ago   •   2 min read

By Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash
Table of contents

What's the difference between a physician who starts a business and one who doesn't?

Both wish to make more money, serve more people, make a bigger impact. But only one of them actually follows through. The difference is execution. But when you dig deeper, you find the reason why the second doctor does not execute.

Fear is the reason doctors don't act on their dreams.

Fear shows up as analysis paralysis, perfectionism, the need to take yet another course, never having enough time, waiting for the perfect conditions, or straight-up procrastinating.

And it's hard to recognize fear behind these behaviors. Because any sane person can rationalize them as smart behaviors. Who wouldn't want everything to be "perfect" in their business before launching? Or who would think taking a course on the subject could be detrimental? Or waiting for the economy to recover?

But when you dig deeper, you realize it's just your brain keeping you safe from trying something it perceives as "risky".

So, what are you afraid of?

Well… after helping more than 100 doctors successfully launch an online business, I have recognized these as the most common fears physicians face:

  • What if I lose money?
  • What if I don’t enjoy it?
  • What if it doesn’t work out?
  • What if I am criticized by my peers?

But fear is a sneaky little feeling. It makes our brain come up with "logical" reasons to not do something. Just look at the questions procrastinators ask themselves. No wonder they're frozen in place.

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask. – Richard Bandler, creator of NLP

To prove my point, here are the questions I ask my clients back:

  • What if you make money?
  • What if you absolutely love it?
  • What if it becomes your dream job?
  • What if you end up being admired by your peers?

Turning the original disempowering questions into their empowering version forces your brain to come up with scenarios in which these positive outcomes could take place.

Some other questions to ask yourself

If you ask yourself the above questions and you're still hesitant about taking action, add these to the mix.

My recommendation is to journal on them. That's what I do. Simply write down each of these questions at the top of a fresh piece of paper and write away.

  • What would this look like if it was easy?
  • What am I afraid will happen if I do this?
  • Is this decision a one-way or a two-way door?
  • How will I feel in 1 year if I don’t take action today?
  • What would I do / How would I show up if I wasn’t afraid?

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