The main purpose of this site is to feature content that helps physicians and other high-income professionals find success, balance, and satisfaction in their career and life. I don’t allow many guest posts on Loonie Doctor because most requests are simply people trying to sell products or services that are only tangentially related to that mission.
“Guest post infomercials” are one of the ways that bloggers make money. However, I get paid what I am worth for my clinical, leadership, and speaking gigs. This blog is more of a guilty pleasure for me, alongside Lindt Chili Dark Chocolate and a good red wine.
I have also had the pleasure of chatting as few times with Dr. Kumar Ramlall and his son, Amit. They operate Chintan Project. It is a consulting company that for the past 8 years, has helped businesses and professionals self-actualize, overcome challenges, and thrive. I haven’t used their services and we have no financial relationship (including this guest post). However, I think that they have many thoughts worth sharing with my audience.
Dr. Ramlall understands firsthand what physicians face. He has worked in academic and private settings, opened scalable clinics, and been successful as a serial entrepreneur. He knows how we can triumph, or alternatively, burn-out in medicine. How our personal and professional lives are entwined, and how one can change the path of the other. That physician financial health matters. That doctors are people too and are complicated. Similarly, there are many facets to each successful professional career story, but this simple question is one of them:
Do you earn what you think you are worth?
by Dr. Kumar Ramlall, MD & Co-founder of Chintan Project
We all have a sense of whether we are being treated fairly or not. Further, if we think we are not getting compensated fairly, then we find a way to even the score. Sometimes we Docs come up with pretty ingenious ways to do this. The things we volunteer for (or not), the extra time to listen to a patient or hospital administrator’s story (or not), the extra relationship-building from sharing some of our story (or not).
Our patients are not the only ones who are impacted. Frequently, our families and other important relationships, our health, and our pocketbooks take notice too.
Finding your “money level” and doing what it takes to get to a perception of earning fairly – or changing your actions to earn what you think is fair, helps to keep your “mental wealth scales” in balance.
There are only three options – and we address these below.
If you think that you’re earning more than you think you’re worth.
There are only two choices here – and most of our clients pick the same one of those!
One option is that your earnings will drop to match what you think you’re worth. We see this phenomenon with lottery winners where the majority are bankrupt within a few years; inheritances which largely vanish within one generation; and bonuses which are blown before they get deposited into a bank account.
The other option is to change what you think you’re worth. To bring your self-worth up to the level to match what you are earning. For whatever reason, most of our clients pick this option.
Action Step: If you ever feel that you are receiving in excess of what you deserve, get out your pen and paper. And write down exactly why you ‘deserve’ this ‘found’ wealth. Keep writing ‘till you know that you’ve earned and you deserve this. [LD: the opposite of this is succumbing to “imposter syndrome” which I think dogs many of us and results in some of our pay inequity]
If you think that you’re earning exactly what you think you’re worth.
Take a moment to celebrate, for you are a rare specimen. Take a moment to find gratitude for this special balanced feeling. And know, that for now, things are in order.
If at some time in the future, you have a bigger need, a bigger void, then perhaps there will be a bigger value for earning and deserving more. That void or hunger may arise for some personal reason or perhaps for some cause greater than yourself. Each of us has a secret yearning to make a difference beyond our lifetimes. This may bubble under the surface quiescent, but really come to life when you have more than enough money. Even before you hit that level of financial security, allow yourself the privilege of exploring that larger legacy. Perhaps, finances may have a role in seeing that through, whether directly or through freeing up time.
Action Step: You get paid what they think you’re worth, and they also think that you are worth what they pay you. A challenge may arise if you start to believe their calculation and start to have your sense of worth be dictated from the outside. When you are alone with only “me, myself, and I” – ask yourself if you are deciding what you are worth based on what someone else says or pays you. Make sure that the calculation originates with you. Change it when you change, or possibly when your goals change.
If you think that you are earning less than you think you’re worth.
Take heart and take ownership – because no one else is likely to fix this for you.
Gary Keller of ‘The One Thing’ fame (one of the very best books on time management ever written) would ask an audience: What is your scheduler worth? Audience members would start describing their latest calendars or calendar apps, their latest smart phone or scheduling software. Keller would then ask, “How much did you make last year? For that is the value of your scheduler. That is how much you valued your time – and if that is the value you placed on it, who am I to argue.”
So, how much is your time really worth?
Each of us has the same units of time per day. Yet, there is so much variability in what that day produces. And since this is a finance blog, we are for today, counting in terms of money.
How you choose to invest the gift of time you are given reflects and determines the value you place on your time and will be reflected in what the marketplace thinks you are worth.
Peter Drucker writes: “Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing. And it takes both to grow your self-worth, your results, and your bank account”.
So, if you want to earn more per hour, then do more of the things that are worth more per hour with your time and less of the things that are worth less per hour. The equation is simple enough but putting this into practice (especially for Docs) has proven challenging for many.
Because of this, we have developed a system to break this down into manageable steps that are guaranteed to yield a result. The system works when you work it.
Action Step: Visit us here for the first step to increase the value of your work and start earning more per hour. There is a free worksheet to help you critically look at how you spend your time to earn money. While the worksheet is labelled for Doctors, it works for anyone feeling trapped selling their life by the hour, and in every industry we have worked in.