The EntreMD Podcast with Dr. Una | 5 Distractions Every Entrepreneur Should AvoidI was sitting and thinking the other day about the things that we chase as entrepreneurs that aren’t really serving what we came here to do. And when I realized I had thought of five of these things, I knew that I had to share them with all of you, so that’s what we’re doing today.

Whether you’re a successful business owner or a baby entrepreneur, some of these distractions might surprise you. So, I want you to listen in closely today and really lean into what I’m sharing because the last thing any of us wants is to look around one day, see that we’re on the top of the ladder we’ve been climbing, only to discover we were climbing the wrong ladder this whole time.

Join me this week on the podcast as I discuss how we get distracted by chasing the wrong things as entrepreneurs. Some of the things we chase are things that we know we want, but maybe shouldn’t focus on as much as we are, and some of them are pure distractions that, when you get wrapped up in them, can destroy your business in no time at all.

If you loved this episode of The EntreMD Podcast, I invite you to join my signature subscription program EntreMD On Demand, giving you access to a library of business courses designed to help you thrive as a physician entrepreneur! 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Where we get distracted by the very thing we’re trying to create as entrepreneurs.
  • Why it’s so important to be totally clear on the impact you want to have as an entrepreneur.
  • How these distractions lead us to dilute our authentic message and lose sight of our vision.
  • My own experience with falling into some of these distractions and how I overcame them.
  • How to deal with haters when they inevitably show up.
  • Why you are perfectly equipped to deal with anything your entrepreneurship journey throws at you.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Hi docs, welcome to The EntreMD Podcast, where it’s all about helping amazing physicians just like you embrace entrepreneurship so you can have the freedom to live life and practice medicine on your terms. I’m your host, Dr. Una.

Hello, hello, hello, welcome back to another episode of The EntreMD Podcast. I hope you are excited about your day. We get to be alive, so we have another chance to work on this, to make our dreams come true. So, I choose to be excited.

I’m happy you’re listening. Thank you so much for listening, for sharing, for reviewing, the whole nine yards. I truly, truly, truly appreciate it. I just want to share this real quick with you. Before I got on this podcast, I was looking at a podcast by one of the amazing students of the EntreMD Business School, and it’s called This Osteopathic Life by Dr. Amelia Bueche. Shoutout.

And I was going through the guests she’s had on her podcast and I realized that she had interviewed 18 students from the EntreMD Business School. And I was like, wow.

You know, historically doctors, for the most part, we’re very competitive, historically. And to see us live in a time where doctors are more collaborative, we don’t look at people who are doing other things as entrepreneurs as the competition. Like, wow, if we connect with them, how can we make this better for both of us? How can we create a win-win situation?

And Dr. Amelia is a rock star at this. I just wanted to give her a big shoutout. We dubbed her the master connector in the business school. And I’m grateful for you, doc. I love the example that you’ve set. And we can all collaborate and we can all win together.

So, you can head over and go check out her podcast. It’s called This Osteopathic Life, Dr. Amelia Bueche, shoutout to you.

Okay, now, I was sitting and thinking about things that we have to face in business that are really distractions. You know, like something you can chase for the whole time you’re an entrepreneur, and at the end of it, you’re like, “I’m at the top of the ladder but I was going up the wrong ladder.”

And I came up with five things. And I’m like, wow, I need to share this with my audience. I need to share this with you. So, whether you’re starting off, you’re a veteran entrepreneur, whichever, this is for you. It’s five distractions every entrepreneur should avoid.

And I’m going to warn you, it’s not what you think. But I want you to listen and I want you to lean in because you’re going to get a sot of gems out of this. So, five distraction, let’s go.

Number one distraction is money. To which you’re like, “Wait a minute, Dr. Una, we’re entrepreneurs, we make money, what are you talking about?” And I want you to hear me out.

Now, you guys know I’ve talked about this, where people are like, “Yeah, I don’t really want to make money out of this. This is a passion project.” I’m like, please, I’m not the coach for you. I don’t know how to do that.

A business, a healthy business should serve and earn. But please notice the order; it should serve and earn. So, you’re serving – someone said that money is the thankyou note that someone gives you for service. So, what do you lead with service? What do you leave with impact? It’s not the money. It’s not the money at all.

So, I was having lunch with a mentee of mine and he said, “If you made all the money you wanted to make, you put away money for your kids’ future, you did all this stuff, what would you be doing?” I said, “I will be doing exactly what I’m doing right now.”

And the reason why I say that is because I am living for the impact. I am living to help 80,000 doctors rock entrepreneurship. I am living to disrupt the medical industry – not the hospital system, but the actual doctors. You don’t have to be in this box.

They said, “Do high school. Get good grades, get into premed, get good grades, get into med school, do that, go to residency, work 80-hour weeks for three to five, seven years depending on if you do fellowship, come out and just see the patient and we will take care of everything else. You can’t do business. You’re not an MBA.”

And I say, those are all lies. I said, if anyone should lead in the healthcare space, we should. If any voices should be heard, ours should. And we should learn how to monetize these things so we can create financial freedom and we’re free to just have impact, to just serve.

So, it is a mission. It’s a business, but it’s not just a business. It is a mission. It is my legacy. It’s what I think about, dream about. It’s what I troubleshoot, it’s what I download ideas for; impact.

So, I’m not doing this to build a seven-figure business. I’m not doing this to do any of that. Now, do I have money goals? Because I want to bring balance. I don’t want to go to the other extreme, like, I’m all about impact, I don’t care about money. No.

Do I have money goals? Yes. But you know the funny thing? My money goals are there because I want to be an example of what’s possible. My money goals are there so you know that ceiling that you’ve been thinking about, it doesn’t’ exist.

I’ve done this with private practice. I’ve done this with the coaching business. You can do this. So, money, if that’s what you’re leading with, the money becomes a distraction. So, don’t focus on the money. What should you focus on instead? Impact.

Now, if you’re in the business school, if you listen to podcasts, you know we always talk about how to do it in a profitable way because if there’s n margin, there’s no mission. But you lead with impact. How is this going to change the world? How is this going to change my world? How can I serve? How can I make a difference? How can I solve a problem? That’s what you lead with. Okay, so that’s number one.

Number two distraction, popularity. You might go like, “Yeah, I’m not all about popularity.” Okay, but have you ever tried to create content or have you ever tried to do a talk or have you ever tried to put something on social media and you were thinking more about what would get clicks, what would people engage with?

And that’s not to say you don’t work your content to do that. But if that’s what you’re leading with, then your quest for popularity is a distraction. Why? Because you have a message and you have to share that message. You have to share it. Sometimes it will be popular. Sometimes it won’t. Sometimes it will make people happy. Sometimes it will make them mad.

But you have to share it and you have to own what your message is. So, if you’re like, “Oh, and I’m sad because I didn’t get the clicks and I didn’t get the engagement and I looked at my insights in Instagram and they’re not quite the way I want it to be,” that’s a distraction.

What you should be focused on is showing up with your authentic message. Showing up with that. You’re here and your passion is to help people run; people who’ve never run before, like Dr. Michelle Quirk of Mindful Marathon, who is pat of the EntreMD Business School. If that’s your passion, then you own that message. You share that message. You use your platforms as an opportunity to help people. That’s your drive. You own it. You own it. You own it.

So, you don’t put out content that will trigger likes. You know you should give valuable content. You put a funny cat video instead. Why? Why did you put that funny cat video?

I have nothing against funny cat videos. Actually, people who’ve worked with me for a while would probably say, “That’s hard to believe. You’re always talking about funny cat videos.” But why did you do that? Was it because of the likes? Was it because of the clicks? Then your quest for popularity is a distraction. It is. So, you find your authentic message and you talk about that, a lot. Okay, alright.

Number three, very close to popularity is the haters. Focusing on the haters. This one stopped me from sharing my true thoughts for a long time because I was like, “Oh my gosh, if I talk about this, the haters will come for me.” And I need you to think, the things I’m talking about now, I started talking about them in 2016.

In 2016, medicine was very different; very, very different. And Amazon hadn’t come out that they were in the healthcare space. That was not a thing. MinuteClinic and all that, they were not really – it wasn’t obvious that the medical landscape had changed forever. It was obvious to me, but it wasn’t obvious.

So, every time I would post about it, people are like, “What are you talking about? That is never going to happen.”

I remember in 2018, I had done a post and I said, “Oh, it’s 2020 and nurse practitioners have more independent practices and doctors were having a little bit of a hard time finding jobs and stuff like that, what would you do?”

And people were like, “That will never happen. Nothing like that can ever happen. Doctors will always have jobs. It doesn’t matter. We’re irreplaceable…” the whole nine yards. 2020 was last year. And last year, it was so unfortunate.

Doctors were furloughed. Doctors are having a hard time finding jobs. Doctors are replaced by nurse practitioners and Pas. Doctors are collecting unemployment checks. Who would have ever thought?

Now, you say “Oh, but there was a pandemic.” But, I mean, the pandemic just sped things up. These things were already going on. They already were. And so, the fear of what people would say stopped me from owning who I was, owning my message.

But at the same time, there are people who are waiting for what you have to say, people who are like, “I know there’s more but I don’t know what it is.” They’re waiting for that message. But I was holding back because I was scared of what people would say.

So, if that’s a distraction for you, no worries, we can fix that today. The question becomes, what do you do? You take your focus off the haters because there will always be haters. The only way for you to not have haters is for you to do nothing, be nothing, and be nowhere.

Because even if you’re doing and minding your own business, they will come look for you. So, what do you focus on instead? You focus on your people. Everyone is not my people. Not everyone needs what I talk about. But there are some people that do.

The doctor who is like, “I want to start a business. I have believed this entire time that I’m not an MBA, business is not for me, and I don’t know any entrepreneurs so I can’t be an entrepreneur.” I’m for you. We’re for each other.

The doctor who is like, “I’m ready to scale this. I’m ready to start it. I’m ready to scale it.” The doctor who is like, “I’m terrified of putting myself out there, marketing makes me cringe. How do I find clients? I have all the certifications. I have the life coach certification, the lifestyle medicine. I’ve done all of them but nobody wants to work with me.”

The one who made a product and said, “This is an amazing product but nobody wants it.” If you’re an introvert, oh my goodness, you’re my people. So, I have my people. And my people are the ones who send me PMs and DMs and emails and say, “Listen, my practice survived the pandemic because of you.”

And I’m not saying that to say me. It’s because of the work, right? They’re the people who say, “I started this business because I started listening to your podcast.” They’ll say, “I started this blog. I wanted to share the link with you because I was listening to your podcast.” Those are my people.

So, I need to give up the distraction of the haters and focus on the people I am called to help, and help them.

Now, the first time I got a one-star review, oh my goodness. Now, this is, you know, you’re like, “One-star review, what does that have to do with anything?” The hater, it could be a one-star review, a staff member leaving and telling you, you suck. It’s a client telling you, you’re the absolute worst. It’s all that stuff, right

The first time I got a one-star review, I almost died. I was a baby entrepreneur. I was an introverted introvert. I was a people pleaser. So, on all counts, this just hurt. And I don’t even remember what she wrote, but it was so bad for me.

And I spent the next three days brooding over what this hater said. But I could have spent those three days focused on the people who love what I do, the people who are grateful for what I do. I could have spent time talking with them to figure out, what problems are they facing, to figure out what obstacles are getting in their way of getting results, developing stuff to help them, to help them move forward, to help them make progress.

So, all the time I spent focusing on the hater was time I took away from my own tribe, from my own people. So, if you’re here and the haters have gotten in your way or you’re afraid of putting stuff out because of the haters and all of that, I’m going to invite you to take your eyes off them, realize that they’re a distraction. They’re not your people. They’re not your people. And put your eyes on your people and help your people and serve your people so that your people can say, “You are the best thing that happened to me. Our paths crossing was one of the best things that ever happened.” That’s your job.

So, take your eyes off the haters and put them on your tribe, your people. So, that’s number three. Number four, the fourth distraction is the norm. “This is the way we’ve always done this…” the norm.

You’re an entrepreneur, which also means you’re creative, you’re innovative, and you’re in motion. It’s like, during the pandemic, we’re like, “Oh, we have to pivot.” But this is what entrepreneurs always do, pandemic or not. You’re looking for better ways to serve. You’re looking for faster ways to serve. You’re looking for how to give your people better results. All of that.

So, the norm is a distraction. Trying to maintain the norm – so when the pandemic first hit… I know I’m referring to it a lot, but there were a lot of people who shut down practices and went, “I’m going to weather this and wait for this to go away.” I mean, but we’re here a year later and it’s not gone. It’s still here.

So, “I want things to go back,” was one of the comments I saw, “I just want things to go back.” That’s being in resistance because they’re never going back, right?

So, the norm is a distraction. When things change, just move. Don’t sit and cry and wait for it to change because it may never change. And crisis is not all bad. It may be an opportunity. It may be an opportunity to have things you should have changed a long time ago.

So, the norm, don’t fight for it. Don’t fight for things to stay the way they’ve always been. When things change, change. You’re creative. You’re innovative. So, tap into that. Don’t fight to keep things the way they used to be. They’re not going to be.

It’s like fighting, “Oh, I don’t want to type on a computer. I like to write,” you know, decades ago. Well, everything’s computerized now. What are you going to do? Do you know what I’m saying? So, don’t fight for the norm. Don’t fight for the status quo. That’s a distraction. It’s useless. Things change. The only thing that’s constant is change. Things will change and you’ve got to change too.

Think about – and please, when I say this, there are so many things that happened during the pandemic, right? But think about businesses that could not pivot at all; the ones that had the opportunity to pivot but they couldn’t pivot at all. They didn’t want to pivot at all. They’re gone. They’re just gone.

Maybe they were fighting for the status quo. They were fighting for the norm. They’re just gone. But some were able to pivot quick, real quick, and they’re still here.

And I’m not saying every business that was the case. I’m not saying that. But I need you to understand the point I’m making. You don’t fight for the norm. When things change, you focus. You look. You’re like, “I’m creative. I’m innovative. What can I do?” So, that’s number four.

Number five, the number five distraction to avoid as an entrepreneur is the past. Oh my goodness. As humans, we like to focus on the past and drive in reverse, looking backwards as we’re trying to go forwards. And it’s just like, that doesn’t work.

And when I say the past, it could be mistakes that you made in your business. Maybe you made some mistakes in your business and you lost money, you made mistakes in your busines and you lost opportunity. Okay, that hurts, but you’re going to have to move on because the only think worse than making a mistake in the past is spending today brooding over the mistake from the past.

It’s done. You make a decision about it and you keep it moving. It could be time that you wasted. Maybe you’re here and you knew you wanted, the first time you thought about starting as an entrepreneur was 10 years ago and you’re just starting this year. And you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I wasted 10 years.” And you’re going to add more time to the time you already wasted.

So, you can’t do that. You can’t do that. You have to let it go. It’s a distraction. Every time you remember, “Oh, that 10 grand I lost…” it’s a distraction. Every time you remember, “Oh man, that speaking gig that I lost,” it’s a distraction.

You had relationships that didn’t pan out. You had some collaborations that didn’t pan out and you did your part and they didn’t do their part. It’s a distraction; a complete distraction.

You thought this opportunity was going to come and it was going to make your business, like, oh my gosh, it was going to take you to a whole new level, and it didn’t play out. It’s a distraction. That’s exactly what it is.

So, if you’re not supposed to focus on the past, what are you supposed to focus on? The future. Your vision. The dream for your business. The goals you’ve set. You’re like, “Okay, that was a bump. But this is where we’re going. That was a bump, but this is where we’re going.”

Think about it, if you’re driving somewhere and it turns out your regular route, there’s construction. You’re not going to say, “Oh, this didn’t work.” You’re going to look for the detour. And you’re still going to go where you were going.

Your destination is set and you’re going there. There may be hinderances in the way, but you overcome them and drive to where you are going. So, yes, you’ll have bumps.

And listen, you’re an entrepreneur. Nobody’s going to lie to you. One is that entrepreneurship is hard work. But you can do it. And the other thing is that there will be disappointments. There will be things that don’t work out the way you want them to work out. The question is, how do you respond to them?

How do you respond? Do you focus on what you’re supposed to be doing? Do you focus on your destination? Do you have your eyes locked on the prize, like, “I’m going to get there?” Because that’s the attitude of a successful entrepreneur.

I’ll tell you a story that – Dr. Latifat of MoneyFitMD told this story. And she’s a client of mine and she came in as a guest in the EntreMD Business School. And she told this story that I found fascinating. She said, “In the earlier days in my business, I hosted a webinar. And some people signed up. And when I came up, nobody was live. Nobody.”

Now, that right there makes you go, “Oh, well, this is not really a business. Nobody’s paying me any mind, nobody came up live, I must really suck.” But she did something so amazingly beautiful and shocking at the same time. Even though nobody was live, she did the webinar.

She did the full webinar, did the while content. She’s like, “If they didn’t show up, I’m going to show up. If they didn’t show up. I’m going to show up.” Why did she do that? Eyes on the prize. “They may not be here. This may not look the way it’s supposed to look. But I’m MoneyFitMD. I help women figure out this money thing. I’m a great money coach. I’m building a wildly successful business. That’s my destination. Things may not look the way they’re supposed to, but my eyes are on the prize.”

It was such a powerful story. And I share that with you to let you know, don’t look at all those things. Keep your eyes on the prize.

So, these are the five distractions. Number one is money. Don’t be distracted by money. Focus on impact. Number two is popularity. Don’t be focused on popularity. Don’t be focused on likes and clicks. Don’t be focused on standing ovations. Focus on being authentic and putting that authentic message out there.

Number three is haters. Don’t be distracted by haters. Focus on your tribe, on your people. Number four, don’t be distracted by trying to maintain the norm, maintain the status quo. Instead, focus on your creativity.

Number five, don’t be focused on the past, the mistakes, the wasted time, the hurts in business, the lost opportunities. Instead, focus on your future. Focus on the prize. Focus on your destination.

So, I want you to make a commitment and I want you to take a moment and look at these five distractions and look at how they’ve been showing up in your business. And I want you to make a commitment today to take your eyes off the distraction and put your eyes on what you should be focusing on.

And I want you to think about what 30 days, 60 days, 90 days of living a distraction-free life as an entrepreneur would do for your business. That can be your reality. The haters are still there but you’re good. You’re fine. You’re not moved by the money. You’re not moved by the popularity. You’re not distracted by the status quo. You’re not distracted by your past. You’re free to focus on moving your business forward.

I’m excited when I just think about it for you. So, go for it. Go do it. and get ready to have a business that will blow your mind. Thank you so much for coming to listen. Don’t forget to share this episode with a doctor. Remember, we are trying to reach 80,000 people, 80,000 doctors and help them build profitable businesses. Because we can do it and we are the future of medicine. And there’s nothing to stop us.

Okay, thank you for listening. I’ll see you on the next episode of The EntreMD Podcast.

Hey, if you love listening to The EntreMD Podcast I want to invite you to join EntreMD On Demand. It is my signature subscription program that gives you access to a library of business courses designed to help you do one thing as a physician entrepreneur, and that is to thrive. Just head out to entremd.com/ondemand and I’d love to have you join us. See you on the inside.

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