What I Learned About Business by Going to the Doctor

by Don Smith

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I went to the doctor yesterday to have them look at my shoulder that has been bothering me for years. I was referred to orthopedics by my primary doctor, who is a generalist, and now was at the specialist.

It hit me as I checked in that these guys make a lot more money than my primary care provider because they specialize. There was an entire list of doctors on the roster who do nothing but look at shoulder problems.

Make More Money by Focusing

I did a quick google search on Orthopaedic surgeon salaries, and the national median salary plus benefits clocks in at $643,532. While that is still less than some larger business owners, celebrities, and CEOs make, that's a pretty hefty chunk of change for looking only at shoulder injuries.

Picture of a surgeon
Most people won't even ask this specialist how much he charges
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

For those of you who have been around here for some time, you've probably noticed that I've been getting more and more specialized in my private coaching practice. I'm now working almost exclusively with small business owners who have some momentum already. They typically run offline everyday businesses, have some employees or contractors, and want to get their time back and set their business up as a proper business rather than merely a job. 

Be The Expert

Small business is where my expertise is most potent. With decades of experience running a small business, helping other companies in various industries, and serving on multiple boards, I know how to help business owners achieve their goals.

You wouldn't go to a surgeon who had never been to medical school. I'd hope you wouldn't hire a small business coach who had never run a business. 

Sorry kid, the people I work with aren't going to take you seriously

Don't Fake it Until You Make It

My point is, you can't just fake it until you make it. That's a great way to get horrible reviews that will shut your business down before it starts, and people can see it from a mile away.

Figure out what skills you bring to the table that are most valuable and capitalize on those. Everyone has or can acquire skills, you just need to focus on which ones you'll hone to a fine edge over the next decade.

If you're a blogger, reach out to a pro like Ryan, who posts here regularly, for advice. If you're a small business owner who already has some momentum going and want to get your time back and build on that success, I'm your guy.

I have now a backlog of people signing up to have me help them with their business, and they don't balk when I name a high number because they know I can help them get results.

Are you specializing and playing at the highest level your skillset allows? Or are you still a generalist? If you want money to flow your way, hone your skills and focus rather than doing things any kid could do.

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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