Once you’ve decided that you want to explore other income opportunities, then it’s time to do some preliminary brainstorming.
The goal here is to create a list of business ideas that you would find success in and be happy with. As a physician, you have a distinct advantage if your business plan involves the medical field. However, you do not need to limit yourself to this field as there are enumerable benefits to pursuing opportunities in a new line of work.
Many physicians never branch out from the medical field, even though they may want to, because they feel the time and money spent on their education would go to waste. But what they don’t realize is that the talents learned as a physician allow them to smoothly and easily break into entrepreneurship. The patience, analytic know-how, keen attention to detail and problem solving skills developed in medical school and in practice greatly prepare the physician for the business world.
To begin brainstorming ideas you are going to make a couple of lists.
On the first list write down every field of interest and passion you have. Write freely, marking down everything that comes to mind. This list can be private and you are not committed to any of the ideas so don’t be bashful. Now put this list away.
Next, take out a new sheet of paper and write down all of the skills, talents and positions you know you excel in. Take care not to write down skills you idealize having and be realistic about your abilities. For example, you might have excellent writing skills, or you might have a critical understanding of computers, or you might be a good educator. It may be difficult to take an objective view of your skills so try asking a couple of people who know you well to make an honest assessment. You can consult with a partner, a co-worker, or a family member for a different perspective on how you work.
The next step is to combine these lists. Match each passion to a skill you are proficient in to get a new list of possible business options. For example, if you excel at writing and educating, and have an interest in improving nutrition habits of youth, you could write and sell a guide to parents with obese children. Try drawing a web diagram with an interest in the center and different talents branching off to the sides.
From these branches begin to think about business ideas that utilize that strength in relation to that passion. This visual representation will help focus your search to areas that you are likely to succeed in.
Michael Woo-Ming is a physician-entrepreneur who blogs at IncomeMD.
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