Rookie Entrepreneur Mindset Mistakes

Rookie Entrepreneur Mindset Mistakes

Innovation starts with the right mindset. Doctors who are considering a side gig or an alternative non-clinical career, have a hard time getting their heads around the entrepreneurial mindset. There is a difference between the clinical mindset and the entrepreneurial mindset.

In my view, only about 1% of doctors have an entrepreneurial mindset because premeds don't get selected for that trait. They get selected because they know how to memorize a bunch of stuff, take standardized tests, perform at scripted interviews that neither the interviewer nor the interviewee know how to do and they generally know how to conform. They are exceptional at checking off boxes and increasingly refine that skill as they go into clinical practice. Those that get off the reservations do so despite the medical education system, not because of it. They learn early how to diagnose and treat craniorectal inversion syndrome. They have cured their credentialitis.

So, if you are struggling with these head games, try to avoid these mindset mistakes and stop thinking that:

  1. Because you have lots of initials after your name that you add value.
  2. You have to get a non-clinical job to learn the mindset. In fact, the idea is for you to create your own job and hire other folks, not vice versa.
  3. You will get paid what you are earning now.
  4. You are the person who decides whether your ideas, inventions or discoveries have any value. All value is user defined. Here are some business model canvas rookie mistakes.
  5. The knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies that got you to where you are now will get you to where you want to go.
  6. Networking and schmoozing is not important.
  7. It will take a few months.
  8. You have to quit your day job.
  9. You have to create a company.
  10. You can do it by yourself.
  11. You can tell truth to authority without consequences.
  12. You can disrupt without consequences.
  13. You can blow the whistle without consequences.
  14. You will get academic promotion and tenure credit for your entrepreneurial activties.
  15. You won't get fired.

Personalities are fixed. Mindsets, however, can be changed and you and only you can do it. If you are unwilling and/or unable to do that, then maybe you should just continue to see another 20 patients a day until you retire and just stop complaining.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.

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  • Martin Ritzen

    Starting a healthcare business is not a cakewalk, especially when it comes to a startup.

  • Spencer Payton

    You can’t sail in two boats at the same time.

  • Robert Green

    You have to be extra cautious. Don't forget to network with the right individuals.

  • Bryan Storr

    My advice to all ambitious entrepreneurs is to identify all the possible distractions beforehand and keep yourself highly focused.

  • Liam Morton

    The process of building a promising firm requires a lot of hard work.

  • Tracy Duncan

    Wise advices, thanks.

  • Eric LeBlanc

    That was helpful, thanks a lot.

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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