Welcome to the first episode of 2021. In this episode, I discuss the outcome of the goals that I set from 2020. I also walk you through a proper system for setting up an outcome/income goal to help grow your network/revenue.
What’s up everybody. It’s Justin.
I hope your year is off to a great start. Happy new year, hard to believe we’re in 2021. And that we’re at episode 79 of APM success. This will be the year in which we hit our Centennial episode, which I’m already scheming for, and really excited
As well to come to you this morning with a solo episode, discussing, achieving goals in the new year, and specifically putting a system in place that will help you focus on the right things to make actual progress and whether or not that progress looks precisely the way you intended is not as important as focusing on the inputs. And I’m going to share what I mean about that in a minute. But first a good friend of mine insists that new year’s resolutions are dumb. They’re a waste of time. If you want it to change something, you should just change. Start now be different. You don’t need to wait until January 1st. There’s nothing magical about that date and while this is of course, technically true. I think it overlooks the great opportunity that new year’s presents to think critically and intentionally evaluate your own direction as a person, a professional, a spouse, a parent business partner, a family member, and whatever it is that you’re thinking about, that’s most important to you and assess your own levels of health and satisfaction in these areas.
This time of reflection can be really constructive as I’ve found, and probably you have to, and as a self-described raging optimist and someone who is obsessed with self-improvement at least theoretically, this time of year, I always see as one filled with boundless opportunity, and I’m totally energized by an opportunity to dream about what the future might look like. So today I want to talk about goals, specifically, output goals versus input goals and how those relate to systems. And we’re going to share, I want to share a little bit about a way to approach tackling financial progress or any kind of progress in 2021. Talk about a system that has worked really well for me, and hopefully will inspire some thought and maybe some dreams for you as well. So goals can be either output goals or input goals. Having an output goal is really more appropriately called I would say a target and it’s a good start, but the input goals are where the power of making progress really lie.
This is especially true when it comes to finances. So taking time to think specifically about inputs toward a goal, rather than the target, this will allow you to detach from the results in ways that can be really constructive. I find that detaching from the results is actually critical to reducing stress and restoring joy to trying to make yourself better or pursue a worthy achievement. And I want to take a minute and give you a personal example. This has been true in my business with APM. Well, I started this year, this past year with the output goal of one to two new clients who are anesthesiologists and pain doctors per month to work with on an ongoing basis. This is an output goal because I can’t just go get a client through work. There’s not necessarily a direct relationship between the thing that I do where I push a button like on a vending machine.
And then I get that client. I have to be dedicated to activities that lead to introductions that lead to conversations, networking, content, et cetera, these activities over the longterm do generate clients, but clients are the output. The inputs are blog posts, conferences attended podcasts, produced instructional videos, shared, et cetera. Those are things that are within my direct control. So at the beginning of 2020, I started with an output oriented goal. And then I realized quickly, I need to reframe this for myself. And what I did was I got very specific about coupling this output goal with frankly more relevant input goals. And I wanted to keep it very simple within my control, my input goal, to get this one to two clients per month was very simple to produce one podcast per week for the entire year. And I thought, if I’m laser-focused on this one goal, this input goal, hopefully it will yield the output, the target that I, where I, where I want to land.
Let me tell you, I found that when I pick a goal picking the most integral, the most essential input and metric I can possibly think of, and focusing only on that, I found it to be surprisingly really liberating because it’s no excuses time. The challenge is sort of set for yourself. It’s by definition, a critical thing that I was focused on to do this one thing a week. And I set that bar and the clarity that that created, I think really freed me to productivity. So what I found was that had APM wealth last year, we onboarded 17 new physician clients in 2020. So by dumb luck, sort of, it was right in the middle. This target that I achieved, even though I was really looking only at the inputs and much less at the outputs, this method I think is really wonderful because it works in a number of different areas.
Let me give you a couple examples that might apply to your life. Maybe you’re an anesthesiologist who wants to earn some income on the side. You might have the output goal of saying, I want to have a result of $30,000 of side income this year, so I can be financially independent more quickly. That sounds great. And it’s a good start, but it really doesn’t give you direction. You need inputs in order to get some clarity on how to proceed. So you can couple this target with input goals, perhaps time-related input goals every Tuesday morning in January from five to 6:00 AM. I will research self-employment opportunities for anesthesiologists and compile a list of the best dollars per hour opportunities. I will define next steps in those opportunities based on what I find. And then in early February, I will commence some sort of consulting work. That is an example of, you know, the input goal, the time required and the activities that you’re going to pursue.
It’s much more concrete. It’s very attainable. And it, it liberates you, it frees you from the burden of the outcome of the output of the target. Cause whether or not you hit that 30 K number that may be more outside your control, but what is within your control is those actions that go into it. As an aside, I very intentionally chosen this $30,000 per year of side income, because if you make 30 K per year for a five-year period, and every year you make that 30 K you invest it, that 30 K per year is going to grow to a sum of about a million bucks over a 30 year period. So if you start, when you’re 31, you stop. When you’re 36, for those five years, you make 30,000, you invest it, you grow it over that subsequent several decades for 30 years, that’s a million bucks in your portfolio.
That’s a pretty nice hurdle to clear for this little bit of self-employment income. You’re going to generate on the side. So something to think about, if you’re looking for a goal, that’s a great place to start. That’s one example of the output goal, the accompanying input goal, another example, maybe you’re an interventional pain physician. You want to grow your practice right now. You feel like you’re only working at about 60% capacity. You want to get to this target of 8,000 work RV use for this year, and you need more patients to make that happen. So your output goal, the thing that you want to target is hitting 8,000 work RV use. This is what you hope happens, but ultimately isn’t something you can’t, it’s not something you can directly impact, but you can focus on the key inputs to move that needle. So an input goal relating to time spent, could be centered around introductory meetings or phone calls made for potential building referral relationships.
For example, every Monday from nine to noon for a couple month period, I’m going to put on the white coat, I’m going to walk into family medicine, physicians practices, and everyone within a 10 mile radius to set up meetings or introduce myself to the physicians there. My input goal is to visit five offices every Monday for a couple of months and ask for these meetings. We’re asked for an introduction, do that for a month. You’ve talked to 25 offices and you’re starting to build this relational network that can ultimately give you the output goal, the target that you desire for that 8,000 work RVU threshold. This doesn’t only apply to finances or business. Obviously it applies to relationships to fitness, personal development, whatever you’re looking at. And so this input stemming from the output I find to be really useful, but the real secret sauce is coupling this, this output goal input goal with a system to really remove any unnecessary barriers for progress.
And here’s what I mean. Here’s what I would define as a system. In this context, it’s a paradigm, a framework that reduces the emotional and mental energy required to achieve a task. Whenever you’re setting a goal, you want to remove any of those just a little mental hurdles whenever your alarm rings in the morning, and you have things you want to achieve, but are requires you to make decisions requires you to exert mental effort that you may or may not have the capacity for. And that little bit of exertion required can be the difference between achieving your goal and not. So if you create a system upfront, you reduce the mental and emotional energy required to be able to increase the likelihood that you’re going to land, where you want to. Now, the word system implies some level of sophistication complexity, and frankly, this isn’t necessarily true or needed.
It might be as simple as what I would call an action plan. It’s a combination of three things to have this system. Number one, it’s a written roadmap. Number two, there is some automation attached to it. And number three, there’s some accountability. So if you want a system to support your output input goals, these three components are immensely helpful. If your goals are financial, it might mean we’re automating transfers. If it’s fitness, maybe we’re creating accountability with a training partner creating a schedule, et cetera. So I want to give you an example of applying systems to the previously mentioned scenarios with an output input goal. And if you want to do this, do this for yourself, get a blank eight and a half by 11 and write this out for yourself. First, define your output goal. Also known as your target. For example, we said, I want to increase savings for financial independence, $30,000 in 2021 via a side hustle.
The accompanying goal is an input. I’m going to spend one hour per week researching opportunities for a high dollar per hour return on investment in the month of January. And then I’m going to implement this in February. The goal is to have cash hitting my checking account by February 15th. So supporting those goals is a system. It’s a written action plan. If I’m this anesthesiologist and I want to grow my income by 30 K a year, here’s what I’m going to do. And this is you might laugh because this is a very granular, but this is exactly what I’m talking about and removing these mental barriers. Step number one, order a coffee machine with an automatic timer. If you don’t already have one number two, set a recurring alarm on your phone for 4:45 AM every Tuesday in the month of January. Number three, grind your beans on Monday night, the night before set up your coffee maker to automatically turn on at 4:40 AM.
Step four, wake up at four 45, check your phone if you need to at that time, and then set it to do not disturb and put it face down in another room with the timer set for 60 minutes, step five, open up your web browser, head over to passive income md.com. He’s got a really nice checklist of physician side hustles. We’re going to link to in the show notes, look at that list. Pick your top 10 favorites. Very important. Do not check your email, do not go to Facebook. Don’t go to Instagram. Don’t go to Twitter. Definitely. Don’t go to Twitter. First thing in the morning, it’s like a kick in the face. If you want, there’s some Chrome plugins that you can use that can block various social feeds to help you with self-discipline keep on doing this, do this research for these, you know, one hour blocks every Tuesday until the month of January is over rinse.
And repeat until you get the specific direction on the specific opportunity that you like. Then if it’s locums reach out to locums contact, if it’s consulting, build those relationships and work to understand the next steps. This is just an example, but literally these six steps should be written out on a piece of paper. You should take these actions and because you’re removing the requirement, make decisions, especially at 4:30 AM when you’re tired and bleary-eyed, and you’re going gotta be, you know, at the hospital, doing procedures in a couple hours, this can really make the difference between taking these critical steps and not. So here’s a second example. If we take this same methodology, this systems orientation and map it onto the interventional pain opportunity. Here’s what it might look like. The output goal. I want to hit 8,000 work RV use so I can hit the sweet spot of my compensation structure.
This is going to require that I get more patients, the input goal. What are the things I can actually control to pursue that target? I’m going to spend three hours blocked out every week, solely dedicated to building relationships with family practice physicians, chiropractors, whoever else you’re targeting, who have offices in my area and who could be potential referral partners. Those are written at the top of our eight and a half by 11. Now let’s build the system. Step one, identify a good block of time. Coordinate with your practice schedulers to make sure it’s okay that you’re out of office between say nine and noon. On the first Monday of every month, have them block this out. You should block this time out on your phone’s calendar. So nothing else gets scheduled. Number two, make a list of every potential referral partner, fitting your criteria in a 10 mile radius, consider having a virtual assistant or other admin person help you with this chart them all out on a map.
You can use a service like batch G O B a T C H G o.com. And you can upload these office addresses and have them mapped out with a bunch of pinpoints on a map. If you don’t already have a personal webpage, consider buying a domain Dr. Frank Smith md.com. Get that set up. We’ll talk more about that later, but you’ll want to have this webpage available so that you can send referrals to it. When you’re talking to that doctor, who’s got the family practice say, Hey, here, go to my website. Your patients can do this. It’s very easy. That’s going to help step four. You’re writing this down on this eight and a half by 11. Call your local bakery at 8:00 AM on Monday order five dozen bagels for pickup at 8:30 AM. Step five, drop the closest five locations on your list into the map on your phone.
Start driving step six, start your circuit with your white coat. Stop in, drop off the bagels. Introduce yourself. Ask if any physicians are around for a quick hello. If no, ask when you might be able to see them also let them know you’re going to be back in the neighborhood a couple of weeks, and you’ll maybe stop by again with more bagels. If you’re able leave a stack of business cards with them at the front desk, with your smiling face and a QR code, which is linked to your personal website that you created for physicians and patients both to be able to check out step seven, get back to your office, have your admin staff call the staff of the offices, where you just visited, ask if they received the bagels. If they like them, if they can access your website, if they have any questions, ask if there are any times that Dr.
Smith is available to set up an appointment in the next week or two, so that you can go and say hello, step eight, the next week, pick a new batch of five different offices and do the same thing. Step nine. The next week after that, go back to the original batch of five offices. And literally repeat if this does not generate conversations with people who can refer patients to you, then nothing will step 10. If you’re looking for some bonus points. And I mentioned this accountability mechanism, find a friend, another physician with the same growth goals. As you make a contest out of it, to ensure that you have the accountability, that you’re both doing the same thing at the same time and let that spirit of competitiveness spur you on to greatness. You got the idea, how different is it to say? Yeah, I’m targeting 8,000 worker overuse in 2021.
That sounds good. That’s a goal versus saying I’m taking three to four dedicated hours a week and following a written plan to crush the input goals, not just looking at an output and positioning myself with maximum likelihood to be able to hit those outputs as well. It requires this system, this step-by-step, self-defined customized set of instructions that removes all mental hurdles. Imagine, you know, you wake up and it’s eight o’clock and you’re thinking about maybe doing this thing, going out to visit these doctor’s offices and you don’t have a written plan. You think, Oh, bagels would be a good idea. Oh my gosh, where do I order bagels from? How long will it take for them to get ready? And there’s just, it’s all these incremental decisions. Definitely. Those are gonna be enough to sink your ship. You’re you’re not even going to get out of the starting blocks.
This written plan is the key. So whatever your targets are for this year, think about this. What is the output that you desire? And then what are the inputs required? That if you in a regimented way, pursue them, you’re going to have a high likelihood of landing somewhere near your target. Sit down with a blank piece of paper, write out your own customized system to remove that emotional energy required the mental inertia. And then you can just run the playbook. That’s all I’ve got. I would love to hear from you, if you have goals and you’re looking for some accountability, email me, let me know what your goals are. To grow your business, to grow your practice, to grow your your finances and your savings to improve your relationship with your spouse in 2021. Then I can ping you in a couple months and see how it’s going. I would really love to do that as always. Thank you for listening to this episode of the PMC.
Yes. Cheers to an amazing 2021 wish everybody the best in this new year. If you liked what you heard this week, head on over to APM success.com, where you can find more content and free resources to help you build a successful career in anesthesia and pain management. If you wanted to leave a review in iTunes, that also really appreciate it. Thanks for using some of your valuable time to join me today on APM success.