Hustles are hustles, and side hustles add a little on the side. But if you want to maximize your income. You have to innovate.
When I started as an employed medical physician at the beginning of my career, I was overjoyed to make X. After years of watching money go out the door in medical school, and then making 0.25X in residency, I couldn’t believe that I was earning so much. As the dollars piled up, I listened a little too closely to the naysayers. They kept whispering that no one ever got bonuses. That Big Fancy Medical System never paid more than the basic salary.
A year later, bonus in hand, I cleared 2X. This was the hustle part. I could be more efficient, more savvy, more likable, and more available. The advantage was evident. This is something that everyone can do. Work hard, hit your targets, and establish your style.
Then I started to think. In truth, I was actually bringing in 3X to 4X, but quite a bit went into the hands of the Big Fancy Medical System. Sure I was provided office space, support, and administrative help. But not 2X worth. I can run my own business!
Thus was born My Own Medical Practice LLC. There was a learning curve and progress was slow in the beginning. Year after year my profits increased. Finally, all was running smoothly and bringing in 3X every year. This was as far as my hustle was going to get me. No matter what I did, I was not going to optimize my medical practice any further.
Enter the side hustles.
Side hustle one, My Own Medical Practice LLC becomes My Own Concierge Medical Practice LLC. I provided extra attention, care, and time for a smaller group of patients who was willing to pay a yearly fee for the convenience and premium physician time. Not only did I bring in more cash, my overhead was cut in half. I traded in thousands of patients for just a few hundred. Hello 4X.
Side hustle two: uncorrelate revenue streams. So far in my journey, I was mostly collecting income from patients and insurance. When I took on medical administrative roles including directorships, medical-legal work, and hospice, I was able to collect revenue completely disconnected from direct patient care.
Side hustle three, consult on what you learned from side hustle two. As I navigated the local medical landscape and became familiar with the large players in the area, I found a number of start-up businesses who would pay to learn my knowledge and access my connections.
And then, all of the sudden, I was making 5X and beyond.
This was just my path.
I haven’t mentioned telehealth, pharmaceuticals, or in-office testing. Those were not my side hustles, but may be yours.
The takeaway is to maximize and optimize your practice. Work your uncorrelated side hustles. Mix, stir, and repeat.
Become financially independent.
“DocG” is a physician who blogs at DiverseFI.
Image credit: Shutterstock.com