5 Tips to Help You Build and Grow a Business You Can Be Proud Of


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There are people out there who believe doctors should remain only doctors, that we in medicine should stay in our lane and are less capable of running businesses. I’m here to tell you this: They’re wrong.

As physicians, we take the pledge—the Hippocratic Oath—where we promise to act in service to others with integrity, personal commitment to their best interests, and to do no harm. It’s my belief that we carry those principles into all aspects of our lives while at home, in our communities, and, yes, even into our professional ventures outside of medicine. 

We are highly capable of running and growing businesses that we can be proud of. Don’t believe anyone trying to put down physician entrepreneurs. In fact, doctors have proven to be very successful business owners, and the most successful do it in a way that honors our commitment to serving others. 

If that’s not enough to nudge you toward your entrepreneurial dreams, start by engaging in communities of like-minded people. There, you can see what others are doing and know what’s achievable. (Spoiler alert: Anything is achievable!) For those of you who’ve been part of our Leverage & Growth Summits or Accelerator Community, you know first-hand the power of this support. 

From my experience, a successful entrepreneurial journey is grounded in the principles I’ve learned in medicine—tips I want to share with you today. What’s more, not only can they help you grow a successful business, you’ll also feel proud of what you’ve built. 

Without any further ado, let’s dive into five tips to build and grow a business to be proud of.

 1. Build What People Are Asking For

Businesses are solutions to problems. 

In other words, successful businesses are born because somebody saw a problem or need and addressed it with their product or service.

As I began my journey in passive income and entrepreneurship, I was tired of only hearing about 401(k)s and stock portfolios, hoping that someday they would grow into a comfortable retirement. As I sought other options, I found that there are a lot of paths to financial freedom, many of which can help you realize your ideal life much earlier than traditional retirement. 

That’s when it hit me: The problems I faced were shared by many of my colleagues. 

Then I started Passive Income MD as a solution to a problem, sharing what I was learning with colleagues looking to build their ideal futures. Since then, the Passive Income MD community has grown enormously.

Now it’s your turn. Your medical and professional experience has you primed to identify problems and create a successful business that offers a solution. 

2. Start Something That Matters

Build a business that helps and serves others.

When a business is centered around a cause, a mission, or a passion that improves the lives of others, it will be more sustainable. What’s more, you’ll even enjoy it more. And when you enjoy and find passion in your work, the chances of you finding ways to grow a successful business skyrockets. 

Put people first. Practice empathy. Understand your customer’s journey with the market step-by-step and have them somehow involved in your decision making. This helps you be more open, genuine, and communicative. People aren’t dollar signs; understand them and what matters to them.  

It reminds me of Blake Mycoskie. You may have heard of him. He started TOMS Shoes. In 2006, he pioneered a one-for-one model of social consciousness, giving away one pair of shoes to somebody in need for each pair purchased. Now, TOMS donates a third of their profits for grassroots good. Part of the goal is to give back, and that has a huge impact on a company’s goals and growth. Socially conscious businesses create change. 

Another great model is Ahimsa, a mindful children’s dinnerware company. It was started by a pediatrician that saw the need to make a change that mattered. Concerned with BPA and other harmful chemicals found in common products, Ahimsa’s products—the only kid-friendly dinnerware approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics—seek to put better solutions on the table for our children. It’s not about profit; it’s about making a difference and for social good.

3. Create Alignment of Interest

Create a business model where you win only if others win. 

What does that mean, exactly? As a business owner, model your operation so that you can only win if your customers, partners, employees, and community all win. 

Create incentive for all parties to go all-in on and trust your business. If only one party benefits from the business model, growth might not be sustainable. 
If interests are aligned with everyone—and everyone benefits—interest in your service or product will soar. That will build trust and loyalty from everybody involved while building communities of like-minded people. That networking will likely open up even more doors of opportunity for you. In the end, it will build a positive and lasting legacy for the community as well as for your family and friends.

4. Be Open to Growth Opportunities

Own your mistakes and be accountable. 

Something doctors know well is that, despite our choices being science and evidence based, outcomes are not always guaranteed. Complications and unwelcome surprises can happen.

Just like we learn from our setbacks in medicine, we need to view entrepreneurial setbacks as learning opportunities. In business, those that maintain an open mindset throughout the entire journey tend to thrive. The worst thing you can do is not own up to a mistake. Be transparent with your community and move forward. 

The person many regard as the greatest investor of all time, Warren Buffett, also had some of the biggest losses of all time. One year, he reported billions in losses. But he analyzes his mistakes, learns from them, and continues his extremely successful work. 

5. Maintain Your Reputation

Stay true to your mission to serve others.

My father once told me that somebody can live a quiet, average life, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be fulfilled. If you’re called to lead, it’s your responsibility to lead. So don’t give up on your passions. There will be naysayers and haters as you go, people who are themselves doing their best from what they know. 

At times, it can feel like your reputation is being called into question because of your entrepreneurial goals. But don’t let that stop you. When you build a business you can be proud of, you’ll know that you’ve grown and maintained a reputable and ethical business for the purpose of serving others. 

And for support from the haters, don’t forget about your communities. Our hope is that you engage with the many supportive communities we have here at Passive Income MD. Stay engaged with them, inspire others, get inspired yourself, and share knowledge to put your best foot forward. 

Start Growing Your Business Today

My friend Dr. Pranay Parikh says that the world would be a better place if we had more physician-led businesses. I concur. In fact, I believe we doctors know what it means to lead with integrity, honesty, and a passion to serve others.

Many times throughout my life in passive income and as an entrepreneur, I could’ve put my dreams on hold. But I didn’t because helping other doctors who were in my position is foundational to who I am. This is where I derive so much happiness—through the community. 

Don’t put off your dreams. As entrepreneurs and investors, lead with your why. What compels a business to grow and succeed is if it follows a mission to serve others. As you see that entrepreneurial growth, you will also grow as a person. 

Thank you for being part of the Passive Income MD community and making us part of your journey. We hope to grow alongside you as we both take steps on this awesome journey. Stay inspired and keep working toward building your ideal life!
Peter Kim, MD is the founder of Passive Income MD, the creator of Passive Real Estate Academy, and offers weekly education through his Monday podcast, the Passive Income MD Podcast. Join our community at the Passive Income Doc Facebook Group.


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