Are You a Rich Surgeon or Poor Surgeon?

BusinessMarketing & Advertising

  • Author Catherine Maley, Mba
  • Published October 9, 2021
  • Word count 848

Are You a Rich Surgeon or Poor Surgeon?

In his bestselling book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” Robert Kiyosaki presented the “Cash Flow Quadrant.“

Using this quadrant, Mr. Kiyosaki explains clearly why some people make a lot of money AND have time to enjoy their riches, while others are stuck in the rat race.

As you can see, “the rich” have either businesses in which PEOPLE are working hard for them, or they have MONEY working hard for them while they enjoy a good life. The good life as a plastic surgeon is whatever it means to you, such as:

– Working only 4 days per week and taking Fridays off to do what YOU want to do

– Having dinner every night with your wife and kids

– Taking 6 weeks of vacation each year while...

– Enjoying the freedom and PEACE OF MIND to retire today if you felt like it


Sadly, most plastic surgeons are stuck in the “self-employed” quadrant. Yes, you work for yourself (and Uncle Sam), but most probably you cannot take a 6-week vacation without a severe negative impact on your business and your income.

If you want to become wealthy AND enjoy life, you need to move to the right side of the quadrant.

But let’s be honest: Do you have a team of superstars that work hard for YOU?

Can you leave your practice for a few weeks, come back, and find your practice in better shape than before you left?

In order to move to the upper right quadrant of financial and time freedom, you need to focus on the following:


You can’t do this alone, and you can’t be the only revenue generator in your practice. That leaves you vulnerable. If you’re not working, no money is coming in. So you either are always there keeping the cash flowing, or you’re not there but, then you’re worrying and/or feeling guilty for not being there. You can’t win with this business model.

A better way is to find other revenue-generators and supporting staff that takes the pressure off you and build their own revenue streams. For example, if you’re currently producing 95% of all revenues in your practice, a goal is to get that down to 75% and then 50% and even 30%.

BUT that doesn’t happen quickly and easily. Finding the right team players takes a lot of effort up front, but it is essential when building a sustainable business/practice.

For starters, WHO would you bring on? Another surgeon, nurse injectors, laser techs, aestheticians, experienced coordinators who know how to convert?

Figure that out first, and then be extremely clear with them about your vision and expectations, as well as….


Money loves clarity, and so do your team members. You can’t expect excellence from your team until they understand your definition of it. Be clear about HOW you want things done. Each team member needs to map out their processes and step-by-step processes. They can use google docs to write it out and/or do screen capture videos explain what exactly they do to accomplish their tasks.

Here’s a great way to test their skill in explaining things. Give their how-to materials to another team member and have them do it. If they can complete the task, you’re good. If they can’t, improve it until they can.

Why are we doing this? Because this is exactly what happens when someone on your team goes on vacation, has an accident, and is out for a month or suddenly quits. When you are set up correctly, it’s a little annoyance rather than a major breakdown because your systems have your back.


Are you a Rich Surgeon or a poor surgeon oftentimes hinges on this….

The majority of surgeons I’ve worked with have trouble letting go of control…..UNTIL they see they can, and their practice doesn’t fall apart. Most likely, you, too, have experienced toxic staff, patient complaints about your service, or even embezzlement. That’s what makes you hold on tight.

While it’s understandable, it’s not necessary once you hold each team member accountable for their own actions, behaviors, and results.

Because this isn’t about abdicating. It’s about empowering your team to step up, have your back, do their job, and report back to you regularly.

Now you have the peace of mind knowing things are working well or there are issues to address, but it’s no longer guesswork or hoping everyone is doing what they are paid to do. It’s a system to know everyone is on their game, and you know, the health of your practice on any given day.

There is a lot more to running your practice like a business, so it’s a well-oiled machine that can run without YOU, but this will get you started.

Of course, let me know if I can help.

Since The Year 2000, Catherine Maley, MBA has been a plastic surgery growth business and marketing consultant, author, speaker, trainer, blogger, and podcaster. Her website is

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