The Entrepreneurial MD for Women

Finding the balance between medicine and business

As an entrepreneurial physician, are you lonely at the top?

It's been many months since I wrote about "The Intelligent Entrepreneur", in my quest to share insights from Bill Murphy's fine book describing the 10 rules of successful entrepreneurship.

Last time, I highlighted Rule #4, You can't do it alone!

I love a paradox, and this next Rule #5, You must do it alone, flies smack in the face of the earlier one. As much as you need the support of a team and the encouragement of family, friends and colleagues, in the end, it's all up to you.

In other words, it's lonely at the top!

In my Conversations with Trailblazers' Podcast series, I've had the privilege of interviewing over 50 successful physician entrepreneurs and there is one striking bit of advice they all share with the business newbies ... Persistence!

Where does persistence come from?

It stems from self-confidence, passion, and a fierce belief in the Idea or Cause that is at the heart of your business. This means that a business started out of frustration with the status quo and a desire for change will have a greater chance of success that one launched in reaction to the frustration of being unhappy on the job, or as an escape from dreariness at work.

How does persistence show up?

Your tenacity reveals itself when you make your 15th call of the day to prospective clients, when you insist on blogging three times a week in your area of expertise come what may, and when you give your presentation for the 20th time, not knowing if this is the one that's going to work …

If you're looking for a lifestyle with a drastic reduction in work hours, starting your own business is not a smart move. Every successful entrepreneurial physician will tell you that they worked harder in the first few years of their business than they ever did in practice. I know I did … And still sometimes do! The difference is that you work with a vital kind of energy and freedom that employment seldom offers.

One of the entrepreneurs interviewed in "The Intelligent Entrepreneur" had this to say:
"You have to believe, you have to be the kind of person who perseveres. You have to have ingenuity to come up with a great idea. You have to have audacity to think you can ask you do it. You have to be industrious and really work it hard. You have to have serendipity, and a lot of tenacity".

And a researcher added these comments:
"One of the tough tensions that good founders face is how to be solo players, but at the same time still be team players. The combination of the two is the critical element. It's easy to do one; it's easy to do the other; it's tough to do them both together"

That just about sums up the entrepreneurial mindset!
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