10 Ways to Get Started as a Physician Entrepreneur

Physician entrepreneurship has thankfully gone mainstream, to the benefit of patients, physician employers and other innovation stakeholders. While most physicians lack an entrepreneurial mindset, several are realizing their innerpreneur and want to take the next steps.But, like having a good idea, they don't know what to do next. Here are 10 tips that can help you on your journey:

1. Connect to the right people and organizations in the nearest innovation ecosystem and begin to research potential areas of interest and opportunities

2. Start a personal branding campaign using social media and communication tools to make people aware of your interests and skills so they can find you

3. Arm yourself with the education, resources, networks, mentors and experiential learning you will need to advance your entrepreneurial career

4. Set yourself up as a business entity and separate your personal finances from your business finances and activities

5.  Start small, consulting or advising to a company or entrepreneur that fits

6. There are many ways to practice physician entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship, so take a high level view. The point is to create user defined value, not companies.

7. Engage others who are like minded in your region to develop a community of interest. Talk to business schools, medical associations, economic development professionals,venture or angel networks,  industry associations or patient groups interested in advancing biomedical and clinical innovation and entrepreneurship

8. Find a mentor or sponsor

9. Get as much business "clinical" experience as possible, realizing that the initials after your name really do not mean much. Start to come down off the mountain.

10. Pass it forward

Don't expect everyone to welcome you with open arms. People will fear you.

If that little voice in your head whispering entrepreneurial sweet nothings seems to be getting louder and louder, take the next steps and enjoy the journey. With any luck, it will be a lengthy and successful one.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org