I grew up studying my physician parents. My dad, a pathologist, was a hard-working hospital employee with multiple odd jobs on the side. He always worried about whether he’d have enough for retirement, though he never really wanted to retire. My mom, a psychiatrist, is more of an entrepreneurial businesswoman. She had her own private practice (even though all the other employed doctors warned she’d never make it going solo). Guess who earned more money? And retired early? My mom (she retired 30 years before my dad).
As a family doc in my clinic, I do a ton of psychiatry. In fact, psychology dictates our financial success. For more than 20 years, I’ve helped medical students, physicians, health professionals and patients live their dreams and claim their value. I recently taught these seven strategies to med students and physicians in my mentorship group. But they apply to everyone. This year, I invite you to share yourself with the world — and get paid! Just follow these steps:
1. Know what you’re worth. Discard the drama. Money is math problem. My mom always warned, “Don’t let your emotions hijack your clear thinking.” Given your education, your skills and the need for your service, what are you worth per hour? What is it worth to save a life? To inspire a child? To build an organization? If you don’t know what you’re worth, nobody else will either. Trust me. Never apologize for your fees. Claim your value with confidence.
2. Release limiting beliefs. If you don’t think you’re worth much, you won’t get much. If you think more money means more work, you won’t be earning more without working more. If you think nobody will pay for your services, nobody will pay you for your services. What do you believe about money? Is what you believe attracting money or undermining your income potential? (Hint: Avoid naysayers and other people with limiting beliefs. They have a way of really screwing with your mind).
3. Stop killing your best ideas. If you’ve got a great idea, get off the couch and do it. Don’t talk yourself out of the amazing contributions you were born to deliver to this world. Even worse: while you’re killing your most innovative ideas, someone else might start launching your plans. Jump up. Get moving. Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Especially you!
4. Do what you love. When you offer your passion, energy, enthusiasm to the world, you are more likely to attract people who will value you not just for your product or service, but also for YOUR LOVE of your craft. Plus, when you do what you love, you’ll never actually work another day in your life. So what’s your dream? What brings you the most joy? Now, do it.
5. Liberate yourself from dollars per hour. Consider charging money per outcome (for achieving a goal), money per month (like gym memberships, cell phone service, some medical clinics), money per product (book, art, speech) or per service (surgery, car repair, haircut). Money per hour will always lock you into working hourly for income.
6. Play with revenue streams. Want to speak? Start talking. Want to write? Start writing. Have an amazing video or DVD you want to produce? What’s stopping you? Want to share your ideas with the world? Go forth and do it. Don’t forget to charge something.
7. Start now. There is always something you can be doing at this very moment to move forward with your dreams. Whether it’s writing a book, speaking at an event, helping a child or hosting a dinner party. Invite people into your life so they can experience your passion and expertise up close and personal. Delayed gratification delays everything you want in life. Live your dream now — and fill your bank account today.
Pamela Wible pioneered the community-designed ideal medical clinic and blogs at Ideal Medical Care. She is the author of Physician Suicide Letters — Answered and Pet Goats and Pap Smears. Watch her TEDx talk, How to Get Naked with Your Doctor. She hosts the physician retreat, Live Your Dream, to help her colleagues heal from grief and reclaim their lives and careers.
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