Episode 02 - Growth Mindset

Uncategorized Sep 30, 2022

 

Episode Notes

Kevin Mailo, co-founder of Physician Empowerment, talks with fellow co-founder Dr. Wing Lim about having a growth mindset and allowing yourself to not be an expert in everything. Dr. Lim shares how CBE - Continuous Business Education - is a cornerstone to his success and to what Physician Empowerment seeks to share with others. 

Dr. Lim discusses how a conference he attended was the first place where he was challenged to step outside the need to know it all. At that conference, attendees were challenged to tell themselves “I’m an idiot outside of my own field” as a way to open themselves to learning from others who are experts in different fields. That ability to access humility is necessary for a growth mindset and personal empowerment. 

In this episode, Kevin Mailo and Wing Lim explore how Continuous Business Education includes surrounding yourself with professionals in other areas who can build on expertise in fields that are not your strength. This ability to allow others to take tasks from you allows you to focus on what your specialty is and contributes to growth in many areas and contributes to not just financial wealth but wealth in terms of time and wellness. They discuss the necessity of “decompressing perspective changes” and paradigm shifts in the service of finding your own dream instead of following the path of someone else’s.

 

About Dr. Wing Lim

Dr. Wing Lim completed his Medical Degree at the University of Alberta in 1991 & Family Medicine Residency in 1993. Later he qualified for the FCFP designation in 2005 & 2019. His practice is focused on preventive health & Geriatric Home Visits, for which he received the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005. Apart from his clinical & teaching roles, Dr. Lim has extensive experience in Practice Management and Business Development. He co-launched the Sherwood Park Primary Care Network in 2007 (currently 90+ physician members). In 2009, he founded the Synergy Medical Clinic, which grew from 12 to 37 physicians over the following ten years, serving a panel of 50,000+ patients. He also co-developed the Synergy Wellness Centre, a 75,000 sq ft integrated medical-professional destination providing 55+ medical modalities by various specialties & allied health professionals, with over 500,000 patient encounters annually. He is currently co-developing a 165-bed Senior retirement facility with the provision of comprehensive care from independent, active living to secured Dementia care. Dr. Lim is passionate in sharing his extensive knowledge & experience (both clinical & business) with others in various settings, from his clinic mentoring younger colleagues, to churches, senior groups, ethnic functions, radio broadcasts, retreats, seminars and national conferences.

 

Resources discussed in this episode:

Physician Empowerment: website | facebook | linkedin

Wing Lim, BMSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP: website | linkedin 

 


 

Transcript

Kevin Mailo  

Hi, I'm Dr. Kevin Mailo, and you're listening to the Physician Empowerment Podcast. At Physician Empowerment, we're focused on transforming the lives of Canadian physicians through education and finance, practice transformation, wellness, and leadership. After you've listened to today's episode, I encourage you to visit us at physempowerment.ca - that's P H Y S empowerment.ca - to learn more about the many resources we have to help you make that change in your own life, practice, and personal finances. Now on to today's episode.

 

Kevin Mailo  

Hi there. I'm Dr. Kevin Mailo, one of the cohosts of the Physician Empowerment podcast and one of the cofounders of Physician Empowerment. And on today's episode, I'm very excited to bring to you my fellow cohost/cofounder, Dr. Wing Lim, and Wing is a very close friend of mine, a mentor, like a father figure to me. You're a lot to me, Wing, and we've had an incredible journey together. We met years ago. And we've done so, so, so much together, but let me introduce you to our audience. Wing is a family physician based out of Sherwood Park, Alberta, just east of Edmonton, and practice focused mostly on the care of the elderly. But I think saying that you're a family doctor really does not describe you in any anywhere close to its fullest sense. Because you are so much more than your medical practice. You are a real estate developer, a business person, an educator. So why don't you go ahead and share today a little bit about your journey, because I'm inspired by your journey of going from a struggling family doctor in the early 90s to what you are now and how you got there. So just go ahead and share with us what that was like. And I'll interrupt from time to time with my questions.

 

Wing Lim  

Sure. Thank you so much for the kind introduction. And yes, Kevin and I, we met half a dozen years ago, maybe? And we instantly clicked and I caught his stream about this Physician Empowerment thing. And I thought, you know, I was actually a speaker, right? But honestly I didn't know I was actually a guest speaker in the Toronto conference. Humble beginning.

 

Kevin Mailo  

That's one of the most exciting things, is we have somebody that comes to our conferences, and then the next year they're like, but now I want to speak and share and I love it. Absolutely love it.

 

Wing Lim  

Exactly. They say vision is not taught it's caught. So I caught the vision and here we are doing podcasts and webinars and seminars and masterclasses together, right, and so my humble beginning... I was U of A graduate, a family med grad. In those days, we have about one hour of health economics education. So I graduated with nothing, zero how-to--

 

Kevin Mailo  

-- Wing, I'll be happy to share with you that it is 100% more now.

 

Wing Lim  

Two hours?

 

Kevin Mailo 

A whopping two hours.

 

Wing Lim  

So I was so risk averse. But you know what, I was offered practices for free at that time. That's in the early 90s. And practices were given away, nobody was buying practice. And a lot of people left to the US, I suppose you can go to anywhere and they'll give you a Green Card, match your spouse, match your kids work/school. But I didn't go, I was so risk averse, and I stayed right in Edmonton. Right? And so as I walked into this dream practice, and it cost me more money than I could afford. So we borrowed this big amount of money to us at that time. And my wife actually gave up her profession, and joined me to chase my dream building a clinic. I thought I got my own x-ray and my own lab. This is my mini emergency department. So at that time, I actually wanted to be like the emergency department. So we ran 100 hours per week - that was 20 hours work cut from 120 hours a week of residency. And off we went: 16 months, not a day break, 16 to 24 hour days. We went home at 11pm, my wife and I, you know, and mow the lawn and at the next year's Block Party, 'Oh, you're the guy that mow the lawn at 11 pm'. And then the first year, I was thrown in this painful story, first year we found that oh, we didn't save money for tax. And then we have to pay tax, oh my goodness. And then the first Christmas, actually, Alberta Health does not pay for two weeks. So we didn't have money to pay ourselves. We cough up some money to pay our staff. And then the following year at Christmas, we faced an eviction. The previous landlord died, an old physician died in Spain, the new landlord came and doubled the rent and we went to court and we lost. And I remember that we got 30 day notice November 30th. So the next 30 days is to move a clinic pronto. And we have a newborn baby and we spend the first kid's Christmas in the construction site. It was just... I wonder if I still have PTSD from that. And then just like we got three kids, three kids in four years, something like that, five years, right? It's just like you - and you understand right Kevin, you got four kids right, we got three kids all close - so life just happened. And you just got hit by the upside of the of the head. And I told people that I didn't go to business school, I went to the school of hard knocks. Right? Everything that we bump into, the mistake that we make, was so very costly. And then we pay high tuition in terms of money and disappointment and distress. And so fast forward. This is my 30th year of practice. And so now I'm in a group practice, 30+ physicians, it turns out to be one of the largest practice in Alberta. We actually, I think, officially we're the biggest client for Telus Health in Alberta. I've read the EMR. And our panel size is about 50 to 60,000 patients which is half of the county. And we built a building, a medical professional building, that is 75,000 square feet with five acres of parking. And we handled collectively in the building, not just our clinic, 2000 patients a day, and that's about half a million visits a year. And so when you look at that, wow, how did I arrive here, right? Today I wake up sometimes I pinch myself. If I met some of these movie things, you meet your future self, like you say, 'Are you kidding me?' I was so risk averse that when before I even bought my practice, my preceptor in my family residency program, was willing to cough up money and risk and start a brand new clinic just to have me show up to work. And I was so scared. I said, what if nobody comes to see me? From zero, I can't even pay rent. And my wife laughed at me. She says you're such a scaredy cat. And there's a Chinese dish called the soy sauce chicken. She says somebody's giving you a chicken, you just skip the soy sauce and you're too scared. I was that risk averse. And we just finished building a senior home that we launched a year ago: 156 units, six stories high, award winning building that is filling up pretty good. And we signed collectively a $43.5 million loan. So from a guy who's afraid of putting on soy sauce, for soy sauce chicken, to that. It's a journey. It's a journey.

 

Kevin Mailo  

It's an incredible journey. And so you touched on one important thing that a lot of physicians, I think, struggle with, and we've talked about that before, is the ability to tolerate risk. And I think some of it comes from our training, that we are inherently risk averse. But also the fact that I think we deal with a lot of risk fatigue by, you know, you go to work, and you honestly if you really look at it, you make life and death calls all the time, whether you're a radiologist or a psychiatrist, an ER doctor, a family doctor, whatever your practice background, you're dealing people's lives. But I think it doesn't leave a lot of space for us to be risk takers in our financial lives. Or - I don't want to say risk takers, I don't even like that word - risk managers. Because there is no reward without risk in finance, right? Wing, you to date - that's how I describe it now - to date have executed $100 million in new developments, of which you've been the principal. And there's more coming, right, but somewhere along the line, your mindset changed. And you learned to manage risk from being the fraidy-cat new grad to a real estate developer that, like you said, signed $43 million in loans. So talk to us a little bit about how you got there. And this is the term that we use at Physician Empowerment - that came from you, Wing -  CBE. Like medicine, we have CME, which is Continuing Medical Education. In order to develop ourselves financially and build wealth and create financial security and to build efficient, effective medical practices, we need to have CBE, Continuous Business Education. So why don't you share with us a little bit about your your journey in this space?

 

Wing Lim  

Sure. So what is underneath the CBE is a growth mindset. Right? If you don't have a growth mindset, they say if you don't have a goal in life maybe you have arrived if you don't know where you're going. Right? So I think first step to the growth mentality is to give ourselves permissions, give ourself permission to acknowledge where we're at, right? I like this idea - I went to a big conference and they say, go to the mirror and look at your image and say, I'm an idiot, outside of my own field. And when the first time looked at this, I laughed and was deep down was mad. I'm not an idiot, I'm a doctor. But if we are truthful to ourselves, we are all idiots outside of our own field, that's why I have friends who said, that's why I want to be a specialist. I don't want to be a general practitioner that needs to know everything about everything, but I will know this and this might feel right. So outside of our field, which we spent so many years, how many years do we spend in school? Oh my goodness, right, a few decades. And so we have missed out learning a lot of stuff. So by the time we finished medicine, we've finally hit the real world, and all these book knowledge, all these stuff, clinical trials, and all that, suddenly doesn't apply, the evidence based science paradigm doesn't apply. So we need to have the mindset, and the first step is to acknowledge that, okay, I'm starting something brand new, right? Give myself permission that I know nothing. I'm going to start from scratch, and then learn something new, every day, do something new, every day. And so I went to another conference, leadership conference, a global leadership conference, and to be up there, you got to be somebody, like this conference where they interviewed 23 year olds, why 23 who actually happens to have, like, 13 million followers, he made it. And one of the speakers, he said, I'll give you an assignment, I'd like you to get a bunch of friends together, fine, not your regular medical, professional friends, other friends, that you need to have a two hour discussion that you have nothing to contribute, that you know nothing about, and just take it in and let them talk on things that you don't understand. So that you don't say, let me teach you on this. Right? And he says, I challenge you. This is your homework after this leadership conference, go and find somebody that you can have a two hour conversation and you just got nothing to contribute. You just open your ears and learn. And for me, that's not hard. My kids are young adults, they talk in language I don't understand. My son is a musician, him and his friends are into all these high tech stuff, web stuff, and music stuff, anime stuff that I understand every English word, there is nothing I can contribute. So how often, when's the last time you learned something new with something that you haven't done and something you didn't go to school for? Once we give ourselves that permission to learn, the license to learn, we suddenly become humble again. We climb a mountain, we thought we're at the peak and we're the big fish, now we start all over again, as a new new discipline, just like a new language. Right? And to me personal finance was one of those. Right? I was at a crossroad. Like I went to school. And when I graduated, finished my residency, I was doing literally everything I went to school for. Deliveries, hospital admission, psych stuff, psychotherapy, home visits, you know, mentoring kids, mentoring youngsters, young interns and residents. I did everything, but 100 hours per week. Do I feel really actualized? Professionally, I probably was. But I felt so stuck in life. So that's why I thought I knew nothing about this real life thing, especially personal finance and corporate finance. The business side, I need to start and learn something I haven't got. And so step number one is permission to learn something. Second is to prioritize. So when I got my CCFP - sorry, the first FCFP, right, you know, for those of us in a family med, we belong to the College of Family Physicians, but you need a 10 year thing, right now it's a lot more to get your FCFP. So I was invited to go for convocation right and I have a very pragmatic wife who used to be a financial planner. And she said that there hadn't been kids, right. Nice that you could go to a convo, but can you put this new title on the table and we eat it as dinner? No, no, it was joke, it was a joke. We didn't want to put down any any title or degrees, right, for some of us we got more degrees than a thermometer. Kudos to all of you. But the pragmatic side, does it change us financially? I also have colleagues after 16 years of family practice, went back and did a residency - one become a dermatologist, one became ortho, you name it, right. So at the end of the day, do we change this training time for money trap? Right? I was saying to myself, if I trade my day job to a night job, I go back to school, keep this up and is still trading time for money. Or one of the speakers in Toronto is trading live energy for money. I'm no better off. So I want to learn differently. o and then some mentors popped up. One mentor - he's a physician who's now in the 80s, Dr. George Wickham - and George says, 'Wing, how would you like to earn 1% of 100 people, or 1% of one person?' I said what kind of question is that, George? He says let me repeat right and said, I actually understood your question. I just find it shocking. I knew how to do 100% of one person there was 100 hours a week. And if I don't perform, there's nothing coming in. When we take a holiday you got a double loss. I'm sick and tired of it and kids are coming, everybody needs a piece of me, I was just burning out. And the government is getting more more hostile on us and I'm sure everybody relate on that. My patient demands, government the regulations, to college, you name it, right. And so I began to think okay, what is life like in the real world? How can we learn to be better and different? So the big number two step for me was actually the prioritization of investing time and money for an education. Right? Instead of taking a residency, a second residency, I'm taking, quote, a residency in mastery of wealth. So that was my residency. So my mentor says, 'How would you like to do, prioritize 8 to 12 hours a week and create a different future?' Life is either by design or by default. Right? If we don't design it, it's by default, somebody else's default? Not our default. Right? Some health economists trying to do design your and my life on our pay structure, and that's our default. That's why we're stuck. Right? The tax system is fixing us, especially recently, more and more hostile to us physicians, were incorporated or even non incorporated, right? The ERP structure, right? Like everything, it's somebody's default. So how do I, how do we design a life to have a different future for us and our family to enjoy life, enjoy our profession, and have some life? Right? And so the key is to prioritize time, effort, brain space, and money to put aside and say, this is my ongoing CBE Continuous Business Education.

 

Kevin Mailo  

Wow. Wow. Absolutely love that, Wing. It's, this isn't, you know, we talk about this at Physician Empowerment all the time. This is so much more than dollars and cents and money. We teach a lot of money. We teach a lot of finance, we can get into a lot of details. But the bigger question all of us needs to be asking is our why. And what Wing is touching on I think is so important here, is this notion of living our lives by design, not getting tossed around in the ocean of government regulation, fee structures, taxes, overhead, the cost of living, but being able to take control. And it's not only about making money and creating that financial security, but it's also about practicing better medicine. That we just aren't beholden to these forces that drive our practice decisions as well. So I think it's just so important, what you're sharing, Wing. And like you said, it's not necessarily an easy journey, I think for a lot of us, I'll reflect on my own life, it's very easy to just go back into our clinical work, and just do it because we're so highly trained. And we're good at it. Do you know what I mean? Like, it took me a long time to really step out and learn to invest in real estate, and do it well, you know, learn to start another company, and do it well. Like for you, Wing, to become a real estate developer, that took time, right? But it's also, it's not just the time, it's that mental effort and that vulnerability, to step out and say, okay, I'm about to do something I have no clue about. And I'm about to sit in a room full of people that I know a fraction of what they do in the area we're about to discuss. And it's hard, for us as physicians, because it's very easy to say, well, yeah, I'll just go back into the clinic and you know, bill that X amount of dollars, or I'll go back to the hospital and bill that X amount of dollars, and not think about it. But we're ultimately trading our time and our energy for money. And as we get older, that trade becomes less and less beneficial if I can be frank.

 

Wing Lim  

Right. So I learned from lots of great masters and I've got a lot of these one liners that became an internal monologue right now. So one of which is: the enemy of good is not bad, I'm sorry, the enemy or best is not worst, the enemy of best is good. Because we are good at what we do. Right? What we thought we're good in this bubble, which is called the healthcare system. Right? Opportunity costs is the best. But what else is better for us and our family, for our future, for our profession as a body together? And if we don't leave our comfort zones, get a little bit risky, get a little vulnerable, eat a few humble pies, we'll never ever change our future.

 

Kevin Mailo  

Absolutely, absolutely.

 

Wing Lim  

They say, 'What's your five year plan?' Look at the last five years.

 

Kevin Mailo  

But it's true.

 

Wing Lim  

Nothing changes.

 

Kevin Mailo  

It's true. Right? It's absolutely true. And it really is about, like, you know, being willing to put ourselves out there, being willing to grow personally. And it's not just about like, you know, CBE for me and I think for most of us isn't just about reading more. Or, you know, dedicated teaching. Obviously, there's a role for that. I mean, come to our conferences, grab great books, there are great podcasts out there. There's so much, right. But it's more than knowledge, it's experience. And it's about actually getting out and stepping foot into some of the spaces that maybe we're not as comfortable with anymore. Meeting some of these people. What do you want to say to that, Wing?

 

Wing Lim  

I'm going to say one thing, what is more important than knowledge that you could buy, is perspective that you may or may not be able to buy. If you get a different perspective it'll let you change everything. Right. That's how movers and shakers, how they disrupt the world. Create needs that is not even fathomed by humankind. So these decompressing perspective changes, paradigm shifts, happen in my life a few times. And all you need is one glimpse, you bring it, decompresses, like the what do you call it, when you drive when you call that the airbag can be deployed, you can't put it back. My brain got decompressed. Right? I could not put it back. And I start to morph, this is a metamorphosis, is an evolution. You evolved to be somebody else. So right now, umpteen years later, I say, okay, now I can tell you I do double major now. My double major is health and wealth.

 

Kevin Mailo  

No, it's absolutely true. Right? It is, it is. And I mean, one of those things is just creating time in our schedule to have those moments. And it doesn't have to be anything big and dramatic. I mean, it doesn't mean, you know, going and doing hallucinogens on some beach, some abandoned tropical beach, right? Like you don't have to go out and have those moments, like create space to go for a walk, you know, a long walk a few times a month. And just think your thoughts, don't have any distractions, don't have a podcast, don't even have this podcast in your ears. Like, just go out there and think your thoughts and think about what you want in life, and how you're gonna go out and get it. Right. But yeah, just stepping out of that narrow lens that we look at in our daily lives.

 

Wing Lim  

Yeah. And we're all busy, right? Nobody's not busy, right? So I'm going to give a personal model I'm going to share here. It's called consistent quality, part time effort. And we have that consistency is like cruise control, right? Set it at 110. Right. I'm amazed at a lot of miles that I drove, I'm sure a lot of you, right, when you get on cruise control, I found that I pass more cars. If I don't remember, like, I pass people but they pass me, right. So consistency, quality, part time effort. And all these real estate deals that I have done, I haven't quit my profession yet. I still have a practice to run. Right? I didn't, I can't drop shifts. I have no shifts. I have a panel of agents, but to drop shifts, they're still on my panel. I'm still on call from my--

 

Kevin Mailo  

I know, in the emergency department, a big long letter about things you got to deal with, you know,

 

Wing Lim  

Exactly, yes. So, and all these stuff that I created - and thank thank God everyday for that and it's always a team effort, you learn to leverage, but that's not the name of the talk today. It was all part time. Right? And you can do this part time guys. Right? So I challenge everyone to really find, dig deep and look at yourself, look at your future, look at your family future. What are you worth? Are you worth what the healthcare system tells you? Are you worth? What the structure that cooked up by some health economists? Are you worth that? Are you worth it? What's your future, family future, if you want to design it, if time and money were no object? If success is guaranteed? Dream a little bit! What if, what if, what if... right? And see what comes out.

 

Kevin Mailo  

And I think that's one more thing that we're going to touch base on is, like, you know, this path to wealth, or success, or whatever you want to call it, this isn't someone else's path. This is about finding your own. This is finding your own passions, right? So you gotta dream to build some massive, efficient clinic, you know, that transforms healthcare in your area, I mean, maybe that's where you want to go, right? Or if there's a research interest, or, you know, an academic interest that you've got, but you need to create space in your schedule, which means you got to, you know, sort of your finances to do it, then go, right? Like, it's about finding your path, not about following somebody else's. And, you know, at Physician Empowerment we always laugh that we don't have a lot of answers, we got a lot of questions, right? And it's those internal questions you ask yourself, your own why, that helps you light that fire and helps you inspire yourself to go out there and chase your dreams. Because life is short and it is flying by. And, you know, I think it's so important to use that CBE, that Continuous Business Education to go out there and really develop your passions, right? Don't turn, you know, don't live them. You know, don't look at them as some dream on the horizon, but live them every day, which I think is so powerful.

 

Wing Lim  

Yeah, so I think the CBE is basically part of the personal growth program.

 

Kevin Mailo 

Yeah, it's bigger than CBE.

 

Wing Lim  

Actually when you dig deep, a lot of this lesson, that's when I speak on and teach on practice transformation, we don't call it practice management. It's a transformation that you transform yourself. And even in the wealth strategy course we teach at a masterclass which is the next week--

 

Kevin Mailo  

-- yeah, that's every month if anyone's interested, just let us know. We run a monthly class on wealth creation and CBE.

 

Wing Lim  

Yeah, exactly. And part of that is really not just about money, right? And we're going to touch about the three dynamic teams and the talent management, right. So we talk about a lot of things - how to manage your time, your talent, other people's talents, and the treasure, right? So it's so poly dimensional, and you would change deep in to be a bigger person, right? And wealth is exactly that, it's not just money, right? So look forward to empowering a bunch of people. That's why we started Physician Empowerment together. We want to ignite you, inspire you. Right? And our story is not your story, right? Of course not. And my success is not, may not be your definition of success, but we want you to share your story of success. We want to inspire people to achieve their dreams, and together with a better profession and better society.

 

Kevin Mailo  

Yeah. That is the dream, right? Is to see physicians not only financially secure, but truthfully, living their best life, being their healthiest, being their happiest, but also doing their best medicine. Because when we answer those big questions about finances, and we create, you know, that balance in our lives, then we are doing our best medicine, and we are serving our patients and we are serving our communities. And that is the dream. And that is what is so exciting about Physician Empowerment. So with that being said, Wing, I think we're gonna wrap it up. This was amazing. I'm just so glad that we're launching the podcast finally. It's an exciting step forward. I really love it.

 

Wing Lim  

Yes, I look forward to, yeah, we have a whole host of people we want to interview, interesting people, colleagues and otherwise, that I look forward to all these podcasts coming up.

 

Kevin Mailo  

Awesome. Thank you so much.

 

Wing Lim  

Thank you.

 

Kevin Mailo  

Take care, everyone.

 

Kevin Mailo  

Thank you so much for listening to the Physician Empowerment Podcast. If you're ready to take those next steps in transforming your practice, finances, or personal well being, then come and join us at physempowerment.ca - P H Y S empowerment.ca - to learn more about how we can help. If today's episode resonated with you, I'd really appreciate it if you would share our podcast with a colleague or friend and head over to Apple podcasts to give us a five star rating and review. If you've got feedback, questions, or suggestions for future episode topics, we'd love to hear from you. If you want to join us and be interviewed and share some of your story, we'd absolutely love that as well. Please send me an email at [email protected] Thank you again for listening. Bye.



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