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When it hurts to be an entrepreneur

Starting my medical practice was one of the most exciting and most nerve racking time of my life.

It was exciting because I was doing something that I did not realize was possible for me. I was building a state-of-the-art pediatric practice that was profitable.

It was nerve racking because with entrepreneurship comes a lot of uncertainty and challenges.

A lot of business owners post ads on Facebook and Instagram that make it seem like everything is a bed of roses but I can assure it is not.

You may second guess yourself. 

You may want to quit.

You may wonder if you should just go get a job.

You may be intimidated by what others are doing.

It may get so hard that you cry.

These are all fairly normal for entrepreneurs. 

The successful ones feel the same way too, they just don’t quit.

So the question becomes what are you supposed to do when you feel overwhelmed, stressed out and ready to quit. 

I have 4 tips for you so let’s get to it.

  1. Resolve not to quit. This is the very first step. If you miss this, then you might as well throw in the towel and shut down your business. You have to decide that no matter what, you will do what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. It is not wrong to feel like quitting here and there especially in the beginning, but it is wrong to keep thinking about that feeling or worse still acting on it. Decide in advance that failure is not an option.
  2. Get a mentor. A mentor is someone who has been where you are trying to go and you absolutely need one in your life. People say that there are no shortcuts to success but I do not believe that. Mentors are your short cut! They understand the ups and downs of a business and can help keep you steady during the tough times as you try to build or scale yours. Usually when I meet with my mentors, I leave encouraged to stay in the race, fight harder and I also have a more keen awareness that I will come out on top no matter how hard things seemed before the meeting.
  3. Create a routine. When you start a business, you must be able to define what your RGAs (Revenue Generating Activities) are. For a practice owner like myself, it would include things like seeing patients, recalling patients that are overdue for their appointments and speaking  whether via video or in person to attract new clients. I must adopt my RGAs as part of my daily routine. That way, even if I had a ‘bad’ day – maybe less patients than I wanted to see, I just need to make sure that I did my RGAs. If I did, it was a ‘bad’ day but I did stuff to make sure that the future days are better. Think about it, if I get paralyzed with fear because I had a slow day and did not do my RGAs, I am only setting myself up to have more days like it.
  4. Adopt good mental habits . All good entrepreneurs are thinkers. In fact, between when they wake up and when they come out of the shower, they may have had 20 ideas of what they can do to improve their business. Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon made a statement that shocked me.

He said he made sure he got eight hours of sleep every night, explaining that he didn’t want to risk making poor executive decisions because he was “tired or grouchy.”

As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for a lot of decisions that can make or break your company. Your mental habits make sure your mind is sharp and you also have the mental toughness to stand firm in the face of difficulties.

Good mental habits include things like sleeping well (eight hours a day), meditation, aerobic exercise, a healthy diet, planning your day before it starts and the list goes on.

So to you the physician entrepreneur I say don’t quit.

Entrepreneurship is tough but you can do it, and the rewards are indescribable.

Our world needs your unique service or product, so stay in business for us!

Thanks for reading my blog #EntreMD.

Please share it with your friends and leave me a comment below.

Until next time, it’s Dr. Una.

#EntrepreneurialDoc #MDnotEnough