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Physician Entrepreneurship Outside of the Box: Your "Side Gig" Doesn't Have to Be Medical


"If you have a passion and talent for something, and you are clearly good at it, then it should be considered as an option."

by Dr. Maiysha Clairborne

Physician Entrepreneurship Outside of the Box: Your "Side Gig" Doesn't Have to Be Medical.

I'm often on Facebook perusing what my physician mom colleagues are doing outside of Medicine. I'm often amazed at the expansive talents beyond medicine I find physicians have that people don't see. In previous articles, I've talked about physician entrepreneurship mostly in the context of using your medical expertise to create new streams of income. The benefits of this, of course, is that generally these streams have the potential to be interdependent (meaning they have the potential to fuel the growth of one another) making each stream that much more successful. However, new streams of income can be completely independent of your trained expertise and still be widely successful.

I look at colleagues like Dr. Jolley, who is a beast in the real estate and renovation game. She renovates and flips homes as her second stream of income. Dr. King empowers confidence through her flawless fashion which is also integrated into her commitment to women's health. Yet another one of my sisters in medicine is developing Blockchain, and another a beast in the investing world. My point is, as we think about physician entrepreneurship, we can also think outside of the box for ways to generate income. Here are a few more "out of the box" unlikely streams of income.

  • 1. Online Amazon retailer – There are people of all professions making a killing through online retail. Whether it is your own developed product, or drop shipping wholesale products, this can grow to be a profitable business that over time will require little effort. You can also do well as an online retailer with EBay, Etsy, and many other online sites that allow you to set up your own stores.

  • 2. Event planning – If you are good at planning events, are super-organized and resourceful, then event planning could be another lucrative outside of the box second stream of income. Of course, this requires a bit more time than online retailing, and the rewards have the potential to match the effort.

  • 3. High-End Catering – If you are a beast in the kitchen, and you love making food for others, catering is a way to turn your hobby into a profitable business. The key is having a team around you so you can keep your life (and your business) workable.

  • 4. Corporate or High-End Disc Jockey – I recently saw a facebook post of a sister-doc who was making a name for herself in the DJ world. She has built her brand around the fact that she is a physician AND DJ. There are many ways to approach making a passion for music make you money, but this is a fun way to earn an extra 5-6 figures a year.

  • 5. Design Consulting – Whether it's fashion design or interior design, design consulting puts talent and passion to work for you. The possibilities are enormous from clothing design (one physician I know has a designer scrub line), to in home feng shui consulting, to landscape design.If you have a specific niche market, your own style, and a solid business, marketing, and management strategy this is a great industry to tap.

  • 6. Real estate – While real estate is certainly not my area of expertise, I know that there are several ways to enter the real estate industry. Whether you want to buy and flip, buy, hold and rent, or just sell, real estate can be a profitable venture. It's not without it's ups and downs, and it takes work, but the rewards can be great if this is your passion.

  • 7. Home renovation & design – Another skill that could be put to great use as a side gig is home renovation and interior design.I personally know of physicians who have entire companies renovating homes for sale.Coupled with real estate investment, these to could make a powerful side gig income source especially if you have the right teams in place to be able to leverage your time so that you are not doing all of the work.

Other possible options include day trading, farming, photography, art curation, angel or VC investing (if you have that money to risk), and I'm sure there are countless other options that I haven't even considered. My point is as you consider the world of entrepreneurship, consider that you are not limited by your professional training. If you have a passion and talent for something and you are clearly good at it (meaning you have a professional level of expertise in it), then it should be considered as an option when thinking about creating new streams of income. Of course, if making it a business will cause it to become more of a chore than a passion, perhaps making it a full on business is NOT the best option. One of my favorite Jack Canfield quotes (slightly paraphrased) is "Find what you're passionate about, what you are good at, and figure out how to make it make money."

Did you enjoy this article? Let Us know!Please leave comments on this article with your insights and action steps that you plan on taking as a result!Want to know how we help medical professional find their career sweet spot and go from employee to entrepreneur? Watch our free online training Women in Medicine Cracking the Code: 6 Steps to Six Figure Side Gig. Click HERE to access! 

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Monday, 06 February 2023
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