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Are You A Physician Entrepreneur? You’re Likely Making This Fatal Mistake In Your Business

Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
2 min readJan 17, 2023


For the last decade, I’ve helped doctors build businesses in various capacities.

As such, I’ve had the opportunity to see up close many of the reasons why doctors –contrary to popular belief– make great entrepreneurs. But I’ve also learned the traits we inherently have, that affect our ability to lead a business effectively.

By far, the most common one of these is our obsession with being busy.

Busy-ness refers to the idea that, unless we’re busy, we’re not making an impact.

I used to suffer from busy-ness.

So do every doctor who hires me. And almost every one I’ve met in my career. It seems to be installed in our subconscious during training.

Think about it…

When you were a resident, being busy with something –anything– was the baseline expectation. If you weren’t you were slacking.

A few years go by and you became an attending. And suddenly you find yourself keeping tabs on non-busy residents… Yeah, we know you did.

So at the end of the day, it only makes sense you strive to stay busy when running your own business!

But busy-ness makes you the bottleneck.

When you obsess about being busy, you can’t just let others do their job.

You constantly feel the urge to know what people are working on. And if that wasn’t enough, you want to give them feedback on it. On every step of the way.

Before long everyone is checking in for you to review and approve their work.

And instead of leading your team forward, you’re stuck solving everyone’s problems.

How can you tell if you suffer from busy-ness?

Do you say things like: “I’m super busy.” Or “I wish I could x but I just don’t have time for anything”. Or the pathognomonic one: “I feel like I’m doing everyone’s job here.”

It feels that way because you are doing everyone’s job…

The good news is you, and you alone, have the power to change this moving forward.

The not so great news is it will take time. It’s more complicated than simply deciding you’ll delegate. You’ll need to be rehabilitated. But it’s doable.

If you just read this essay thinking “he’s talking about me!”, I can help.

Feel free to add a comment to this essay or get in touch with any pressing questions. I’ll address them in future essays or more in depth in my newsletter.

And if you’re really serious about saying goodbye to busy-ness and becoming the business owner you envision, let’s talk. I currently have ONE opening to work with someone in their business as their fractional CMO. If you’re curious, just send me a DM on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Ernesto Gutierrez, MD

I help experts build businesses aligned with their true life goals • Physician - Retired at 38 • Full-Time Dad & Husband 🤟🏻