“You can get past the dead end. You can break through the ceiling. I did and so have countless others.”

Courage, Time, and Money. Necessities of Starting a Business.

I get asked all the time “What made you finally start a business?” or someone states “I just don’t think I could do it. I would be to scared.” Well guess what? You will never be your own boss with that mindset.

You must have COURAGE to venture out on your own.

Starting a side practice or any type of business is risky. You must have courage, persistence, patience and a strong work ethic.

If you find yourself asking “Should I do this?” then the answer is typically no. It means your not ready. You must have the mindset, time and finances to venture into a side business.

Therefore if you are asking yourself “Should I do this?” determine which particular reason it is:

  1. Mindset. Are you scared? Are you confident? Are you patient? Do you have the courage? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself if you believe your mind is not in the right place. Figure out the underlying issue. If its simply being scared and lacking courage, then I invite you to do something risky. Go play poker with $1,000, if you loose it, GREAT. Now you can see that loosing a little money wasn’t that scary after all. Go sky diving. You didn’t die did you? Desensitize yourself to your fear. Develop the mental fortitude to get your mind in the right state.
  2. Time. Do you have the time? Are you working 60 hours a week at a job you hate? Family? Hobbies? When you start a side business, be prepared to invest at least a focused 20 hours into the start up phase. Once it is set up, ensure you have at least 4-10 hours a week to dedicate to it. If you do not, you are not ready and your time constraints will lead to its failure.
  3. Finances. Are you living pay check to pay check? Or are you financially secure? I believe you need to be somewhere in the middle at a minimum before starting your part time hustle. You need to ensure that you have the capital to get this business up and running and to sustain it for a minimum of 4-5 months. It has been my experience that most businesses, including a part time medical practice, go on “autopilot” at the 4 month mark. This means you are no longer putting personal money into paying its overhead. THIS IS THE FIRST REAL MILESTONE OF A BUSINESS.

So which reason is causing the hesitation? Mindset? Time? Finances? All three? Determine what that underlying issue is and fix it. You must do this before you begin the process.

Lack of courage? Your business will fail before it starts. These are the businesses you see that “kind of” get started but never materialize. Usually the owner hesitates, becomes scared and stops before they even got started. I am guilty of this myself.

No time? Your business will fail because not enough time was provided to nurture it. Its like a small child at first. You have to care for it. You need to dedicate focused time during the start up to make sure it is set up for success. If you half ass it, it will turn into that kid that makes C’s and D’s who eventually drops out. Even after you set it up correctly, be prepared to dedicate time to operate it. You are the sole provider thus your service must be top notch to bring back patients and to get self referrals going. Don’t show up tired as hell because you just worked 3 12 hour shifts back to back in the ER. Your not going to be optimal.

No money? Your business will fail because you can’t keep the lights on. YOU MUST HAVE OPERATING CAPITAL FOR A MINIMUM OF 4 MONTHS. This is why you keep your overhead low. The lower your expenses, the less you need to have to start up your practice. As a nurse practitioner, you should have the ability to save up multiple thousands of dollars fairly quickly picking up extra shifts etc… Figure out a basic budget, save that money, and then pull the trigger if money is whats holding you back. I funded my first practice working a part time locums ER gig for 4 months. I saved every dime. This was tax free because I was a 1099 being paid to my LLC and then I just utilized that tax free money to start it up. Beautiful. I never paid a dime in taxes on that money I made. LEGALLY.

Ensure these 3 items are in place and secure before you venture on your own. If one thing is missing, you will fail. This can take time. I didn’t start my first side business until I practiced as a Nurse Practitioner for 4 years. It took me that long to be in the right place. How long will it take you?

6 Responses

  1. May I ask how come you didn’t have to pay taxes when you were a 1099 being paid to your LLC? Wouldn’t you still have to pay Social Security, self-employment, and Medicare taxes? From my limited understanding about single member LLC’s, doesn’t the profit/losses get reported on your personal tax return? Also, I am enjoying reading your blog. I’m currently a FNP student (in Florida none the less) and I want to start my own business after I gain experience.

    1. You only pay taxes on the profit at the end of the year. Revenue – Expenses = Profit. You receive the payment tax free, it goes into your LLCs account, and then you have business expenses through the LLC such as a company vehicle, gas, insurance, cell phone, health insurance, etc… The more expenses you have, the less profit you have. Then every quarter or at the end of the year you pay taxes on that profit. If you understand every deduction you can utilize and have a good accountant, you can really come out ahead. All legally.

  2. I continue to feel overwhelmed by the medical regulations piece. Its seems complicated to be on your own. Fear of losing my license is a concern. Do you have any info specifically on this?

    1. Don’t complicate it! It really is simpler than you think. Follow the basic rules and regulations set forth by the BON. If you are dealing with controlled substances, just follow DEA and your states regulations. If you accept insurance, you have another set of rules to worry about. This is one of the reasons why I recommend a cash practice, it makes life easy. You would really have to f*ck up to lose your license. What are you worried about specifically?

      1. I appreciate the encouragement. Coming out of school I knew very little about credentialing and licensing in my state (IN). I do have a better understanding now but I admit my attention has been else ware. I work in addictions medicine and feel very comfortable in that world until I approach the “business side”, that has always been left to other experts. It’s a mental barrier to climb with very few doing it that I know personally (well none!). That’s part of the attraction to be honest. We NPs talk about going into business for ourselves, but in reality school did not prepare us to be owner/operators. It feels daunting!

        1. It is not as daunting as you think it is. That is one reason I created this site, to simplify things! If you accept insurance though, it will complicate your business life, which is why cash makes things so much easier. Do not let starting the business itself be a barrier to your success, because it is much simpler than you think!

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