When I was looking at starting my own business, I wasn’t even considering to replace my doctor income. Instead, I asked myself, was there something that I could be doing on the side that could make a difference in my finances? As a physician, sure I was making money and living comfortably. But is there something I could put in place now, to, let’s say, replace my medical school loans? My loans at the time were about $1,000.00 a month. Is there something that I could create right now and never have to worry about that ever again? And the answer was creating an information-based business.
I get a lot of excuses from doctors saying that this sounds like a lot of work.
“I can make up that $1000 by working a few more hours a week, or seeing a few more patients or do a few more procedures”. That’s substituting time for money, which is what I want you to get away from (read the last article for guidance). Another reason why physicians don’t start a business, is they feel they don’t have enough time. But if you want to make a difference, you have to make time.
What occupies your time these days? Doctors love to say “yes” to things. Now it’s time to learn to say “no”. Are there things that you could say “no” to that you’re not being paid for? You may be asked to volunteer sports physicals of your local High School, or join another panel at the hospital. You may get praise from your community, but is it helping you to achieve more time and financial freedom?
I’m not even going to get into time wasters such as surfing the web or sharing pictures of your dinner on social media. To quote Lori Grenier (from Shark Tank Fame), entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.
When I started my business ventures, I was working as a full-time primary care physician, and the only time I had to work on my business was from 5:00 to 7:30 in the morning. Then I would have to go in the hospital for rounds, or go into the nursing home, or attend some medical committee. And I did that every week from Monday through Friday, as well as Saturday mornings, if I wasn’t on-call, or had other obligations. I was determined to make this work.
If the thought of starting a business is too big, start with something smaller. Focus on adding $1,000.00 a month. Focus on replacing that medical loan or car payments. Why not launch something today that would pay you $1,000 a month in recurring revenue tomorrow?
As an example, many of my students have successfully created online courses based on their current knowledge. Perhaps you are an expert at ICD-10 codes and bill really well. There are excellent course creation software such as Thinkific and Teachable. Let’s say you sell that course for $200.00 online. Your goal is to find 5 people in this world of ours that would find value in the information you are providing. With the marketing tools we have available on the internet and social media, such a goal is very easy to attain (more on that in the next article).
Or looking at it another way, could I sell a course for $500.00 to two people? Or a thousand-dollar course to one person a month? Can I get 12 people to buy this course in the next year? That’s where we’re going to start solving that $1000 dilemma of paying our student loans. I think creating online courses is the first step to building a business. A business based on information. And it comes down to finding 12 people in the entire world willing to pay us for this information.
There’s so much opportunity right now. And many people, let alone physicians, do not realize it. There is a well known doctor blogger who is doing really well in a niche industry When I talked to him a few years ago, his goal was to create a blog in his spare time, and to share his information with the masses freely, Now there is nothing wrong with that. The problem is, people don’t value “free” often and will not take it seriously.
So he started this as a hobby, giving free information but he soon learned you will be taken more seriously if you charge for it. If there is information that people would pay for, you should be able to bottle up that information and sell it. And the great thing about selling a course online is that it is delivered digitally. Nothing physical , its all electrons. Videos. PDFs. Downloadable audios. There are very few businesses that have the margins that an information-based business can bring.
Now I recently went on his blog, he now sells a $500.00 course and it appears to be doing quite well. The hobby is now a full-fledged business. 2 people buying that course is most likely covering his medical student loans (if he has any), but I’m gathering, he’s probably selling a lot more than 2 a month.
And that’s the definition of passive income. Create something once, work really had to create the best kind of course you can, and legitimately help people and get paid in the process. And there’s no better time to start than now.