Afraid to be the Boss? Enrich Others Faster Than Yourself

Be The Boss

Be The Boss

After finishing my residency in internal medicine, I took a job as a hospitalist at a local hospital.  Not more than a month into my new practice, I knew that this was not the employer for me.  The MBA calling the shots was overly  focused on the bottom line, had little understanding of clinical medicine, and viewed the physicians as replaceable.  Leaving the job was an easy decision.  But was I ready to be the boss?

Ultimately, I had two other  job possibilities. I could join a hospital based clinic as a primary care physician and work again for someone else.  Or, I could start my own outpatient practice.  Be the boss.  Control my destiny.

Although I decided to work in the hospital clinic, I allotted no more than 5 years to learn the business enough to open my own practice.  And that’s exactly what I did.  I would never have leaped from making X to 5X by working for someone else.

Primary Care Physician

Whether your business is medicine or accounting, if you want to jump-start the road to FI, there are many reasons why you should be the boss and not an employee.

Keep All The Profits

During my years working for the hospital clinic, I watched my revenues increase exponentially.  I doubled and then tripped my billings.  But a funny thing happened, I didn’t triple my income.   For every extra three dollars I was bringing in, two were going to the people who owned the practice.  The more I worked, the more I enriched others,

Now make no mistake, some of that money slipping through my fingers was being utilized appropriately to run the practice and pay for supplies.  Because of economies of scale, however, the cost to double my patient roster was still rather minimal.  This led to one and only one conclusion.

When you are afraid to be the boss, you fatten others wallets faster than your own.

Stop Having Useless Meetings

Hands down, there is no one who can waste your time more than your boss.  When I worked for someone else, I spent countless hours twiddling my thumbs in meetings.  These hours often detracted from my revenue generating activities.  They prolonged my already busy day, and slowed my response to critical patient care issues.

The more employees a clinic adds, the more meetings.  Furthermore,  clinically irrelevant paperwork multiplies.

Simply said, business people and administrators running your practice will never be as efficient as you.  They will never understand or improve upon your workflow the way you can.

When you are afraid to be the boss, you hand over the reigns to someone else.

Power and Freedom

Have you ever been asked to attend a Friday a night business meeting over dinner?  Have you ever been told that you have to show up Saturday morning at 7am for walk-in hours, and then lounge around aimlessly as no patient is scheduled?

There are better things to do with your time.  But when you work for someone else, you have no choice.

I quickly learned that bending to another’s schedule is maddening.   Nothing will burn you out more than a useless boss, with zero social life, yanking your chain.

It’s Not Just medicine!

Although I have used my job in medicine as an example, these principles are relevant to almost any profession.  If you can over come your fear and be the boss, you will find a world of control and freedom that you never imagined.

Are there risks? Of course!

Even freedom is not exactly free.  You will have to learn how to run a business, incorporate, and work with accountants and lawyers.  You will have to live with the insecurity of not having a guaranteed paycheck.

But if you are savvy enough to work towards this path of financial independence, I believe you can do it.

Be bold enough to be the boss!


Doc G

A doctor who discovered the FI community but still struggling with RE.

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4 Responses

  1. Ms ZiYou says:

    I do agree that going self employed is the way forward career wise in a lot of industries, and it has worked very well for me.

  2. Planedoc says:

    Yes! Absolutely the truth…..when “we” (docs) gave up being the primary “bosses”, we lost control. Now we are dominated by “clipboard nurses” (who are trying to escape patient care) and administrators (hospitals that 25 years ago had one administrator, one assistant, and one secretary now have 14 or 15 admin assistants, and 4-5 secretaries).

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