How to Manifest What You Were Born to Do
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Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Today, we have Nicky Billou. And he’s a businessman, he’s an entrepreneur, and we’re going to talk all about financial freedom, finances, and we’ll go from there. So Nicky, welcome.
Nicky Billou: Christopher, thanks for having me on the show, man. I’m really excited to be here.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, same here. I know, I looked at you. I know, we connected through a pong match. And you know, it can be a great conversation. So tell the listeners, you know all about you all about your journey. And we’ll get started.
Nicky Billou: Absolutely. Well, I’m an immigrant to the west from Iran. I’m a Christian from Iran. When the Islamic Revolution happened back in 78/79, my late great father, God rest his soul, decided that it would be a wise idea to get his Christian family out of the country. There was a lot of overt prejudice against Christians and ethnic minorities going on at that time. And we came to the west. And I’ve just become so grateful, Christopher, to be able to live in a free society where your religion, your ethnic background really wasn’t taken against you, not the way it was back home.
And my father was the greatest man I’ve ever known. He was an entrepreneur and his proudest boast to me was, Son, did you know that we fed 51 families this week? Ours in the 50 employees that worked for him. He was a proud man who raised himself up from nothing, and felt that entrepreneurship was the backbone of a functioning society. And for myself, I wanted to be like my dad. I believe all entrepreneurs like him are society’s greatest heroes, and are the ones with the courage to dream to make big things happen. Now, my dad, interestingly enough, he’s someone who spent most of his career equipping hospitals, equipping University, medical facilities, and laboratories and things like that. And my mom was an ER nurse for 30 years. So I have just a huge connection, both on the entrepreneurial side, as well as on the medical and wellness side, to your audience. And that’s why I’m super excited to be here with you today, Christopher.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, that’s an amazing story. And we follow similar journeys, because my parents were first generation immigrants who came here in the 70s. And most of my colleagues, they came from other places outside of the United States. So it’s just testament to the work ethic, the drive, the hunger and ambition. So let’s talk about why freedom is important, and why does free enterprise matter?
Nicky Billou: Well Christopher, if you’re in business, without freedom, you’re not able to do what you need to do in order to serve the people you’re here to serve. And free enterprise really is about voluntary exchange. That’s the beauty of capitalism. And socialism, they’ve just done a really good job of branding themselves as being for the people. But socialism really is all about putting controls on people, not allowing them to do whatever they want to do, not allowing them to enter into voluntary agreements with one another. And having an outside entity, in this case an oppressive government, tells you what you can and can’t do. So without freedom, there really is no opportunity to make the best things in life in terms of your vision for the kind of life you want to lead, come alive. So to me capitalism and freedom are the central tenets of a well functioning society. And it’s what allows us here in the west, to create the kind of life that we dream up for ourselves and for our families.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, yeah. It reminds me of the current times we’re living in and you know, the frustrations and inconveniences that we experience are nothing compared to people’s countries getting invaded and people losing their homes and livelihood and you know, not having food. So it kind of reminds me just how great we have it here. I know you wrote the book. It’s an international best selling book called The Finish Line Thinking, How to Think and Win Like a Champion, and others. So tell us more about the books and then we’ll get into more questions from there.
Nicky Billou: Absolutely. Well, look, I wrote Finish Line thinking because I really wanted to explore for myself, how it is that champion performers perform and win, because I didn’t know, I didn’t understand it. And to me, those champion performers, really what I found was the way that they were able to win. And other people who finished second, third or fourth were not able to win. It was really all based on their mindset, they had a mindset of a winner. And I call that mindset, Finish Line Thinking. So a champion performer, be they in athletics, be they in business, is someone who has the mindset of a finish line thinker. They think, with the end in mind, they think about ways to create victory, and in my book, I identify 13 principles of how to think and win like a champion. And interestingly enough, I’ve had quite a few people in the wellness field who’ve been clients of ours that have taken advantage of some of the principles we taught them here to win. So as an example, we had a naturopathic doctor, solo practice this lady has, and she went from working on her own and having a nice six figure income, and now she’s approaching a nice seven figure income still on her own. And that only became possible for her by engaging in some of the tenants of the finish line thinking.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, yeah. I love that. Now, I know you have a mastermind and it looks like you do a lot of coaching and educational programs. So we’ll talk about that a little bit later. I came across this term in your material. What is a charlatan marketer? And how can you avoid him or her?
Nicky Billou: So a charlatan marketer is someone who’s really, really good at pushing your emotional buttons, and we all have an emotional button about something, there’s always an itch, we want to scratch, a pain point. And a charlatan marketer is really good at identifying those and pushing those emotional buttons to get you to buy from them. But they’re not really good at delivering the result that they promise you. So, charlatan marketers sometimes are overtly malicious, and that they never really intended for you to get a result. But sometimes they’re not overtly malicious. They’re just incompetent, they don’t know any better. Either way, it’s not good for you to be working with a charlatan marketer, because that charlatan marketer is somebody who’s going to take what you’re trying to create out there in the world.
And they’re going to have you lose hope, in the fact that it’s still possible for you, because their methodologies either don’t work, like they never worked. And you know, they’re gonna blame you, even though it’s their methodology that’s the problem. Or they just don’t know what they’re doing. And still, their methodology doesn’t work. But you know, they didn’t know that it didn’t work, they thought it was gonna work. But it actually didn’t work. Either way, you’re left there, having paid a lot of money to do something, and not being able to take advantage of the fact that you put all that money and time in to get a result, to get an outcome. And that’s why charlatan marketers are so dangerous, because they take away hope. They don’t deliver the goods, so you don’t get the success that you’re looking for. And they target people in the industry, like myself and my colleagues, who are actually sincere and have good methodologies with the same brush. And unfortunately, we have to overcome the stigma that these charlatan marketers have placed upon the industry as a whole.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, that’s, I mean, it’s interesting. And there’s a lot of, you know, “gurus” and you know, people with millions of followers. But that’s interesting, how do you use them? Is it in anything in their material or in their marketing? Or is it just some, like, red flags?
Nicky Billou: You know, the material in their marketing is pretty good in terms of getting you to go, Yeah, I should do this. I should buy from them. But what I would watch for is, What is it that they say they’re going to do to help you solve their problem? So there’s folks out there right now who are coming in saying, hey, come and work with me. I’ll get you on LinkedIn. I’ll get you seven figures in business a month. Well, LinkedIn is a great place for you to put yourself out there. But it’s essentially a really powerful online resume. Most people go on to LinkedIn for job seeking and finding people for job candidates. Not a whole ton of people go on LinkedIn to hire somebody to work with them, like a coach or like a consultant or something like that. They just don’t. They go on LinkedIn to just check out your credentials.
So LinkedIn isn’t the greatest way for you to go out there and get yourself a bunch of clients. There’s a gazillion gurus that are promising to get you clients on LinkedIn. And they approach you on LinkedIn and go, Oh my God, listen, I just want to meet you. And then you see in their profile, I help people make $50,000 a month or more from going on LinkedIn. Like yeah, no, you don’t just want to meet me, you want to try to pitch me on your darn program. So thanks. But no, thanks. You know what I mean? So that’s one way.
Another way is, a lot of people have bought programs from them. And they might even say good things about them. But when you dig into it, what kind of results did you get? Well, they didn’t get much of a result. And if someone’s not able to get you a result, get you an outcome, or if someone’s pitching you something that doesn’t really work. Yeah, that’s a red flag. Right there.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Let’s shift gears now. And you talk about most people living in their comfort zone. I’ve always been fascinated with just the top .01%, living their life on their own terms and creating impact. And so, why do a majority of people, it’s kind of like they’re living in zombie modes. And why do they do that, and how do you get them out of it?
Nicky Billou: Look, we live in a time where being distracted, it’s easy. There’s social media, there’s Netflix marathons, heck, I love Netflix marathons, myself, I’m watching the Last Kingdom myself right now. And you know, I’ve watched several episodes in a row. And that’s fine to do that. But if you do that, to the exclusion of everything else, it’s just gonna rob you of your initiative.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: So, and usually when they do that, is it because of fear? Or is it just procrastination? It’s like every year, people give their New Year’s Resolutions, and usually two weeks into it, pretty much everybody’s back to the same habits. So what are some underlying reasons why this happens?
Nicky Billou: Well brother, there is fear, for sure. Everybody has some version of I’m not good enough going on. And when they’re faced with that head on, they want to distract themselves. Right? So I think that’s important for you to understand. And that’s important for you to work with. You know what I’m saying, Christopher? That there’s a part of you that doesn’t believe you’re good enough, and unless you face that head on that part of you is going to sabotage you in oh so many ways, including getting you to distract yourself and lay on the couch rather than take action. You know, but another part of it is, honestly, we’re just living in an age where there’s so many distractions, it’s hard not to get distracted by them. You need to develop some discipline, I think, if you’re gonna overcome all that.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: So yeah, we’ve had a fairly interesting conversation. And now let’s transition into Income Gen, like a lot of the listeners who are interested in making more money, increasing their income, and improving their lifestyle. So what are some easy ways that people can start adding extra passive income to their income thus far this year?
Nicky Billou: Passive income? Well like, unless you’re investing in something that gives you dividends, or payouts, that’s typically pretty darn difficult, right? But I can tell you, like people listening to the show, if they’re physicians or the medical field, in the wellness field, there’s all kinds of things you can do to increase your clinical practice. I work with my lovely better half. Her name is Theresa Dugwell. She has a program called Million Dollar Clinic program, which is all about showing physicians and you know, other wellness practitioners like chiropractors, naturopaths, dentists, etc. How to grow their practice to a seven figure practice, or how to even add seven figures to the practice and there’s a whole ton of things you can do there.
So number one, is you want to create a powerful personal brand for yourself. You don’t want to be stuck in the sea of sameness. Right? Here’s the distinction between an expert and a branded thought leader. So an expert is someone who knows something but you know, there’s a million experts out there experts are a dime a dozen. But a random thought leader is someone who knows something, but is also known for knowing something. So they stand out, right. Branded thought leaders are rare and valuable. So you want to become a branded thought leader, that’s one of the things we help people do. We help them be known for, you know what their expertise is all about.
So, for example, this naturopathic doctor that we have worked with, she was just a naturopathic doctor who did all the things naturopathic doctors do. But now she’s really focusing on working with professional women over the age of 35, who don’t feel young and beautiful and sexy anymore. And she kind of says, I’m gonna help you get your sexy back. And she also works with CEOs. And these are folks who don’t have a lot of time. And they’re burning the candle at both ends. And she’s all about helping them be able to generate peak level performance by optimizing their health and wellness. That’s helped her tenfold her business over a three year period. That’s the sort of thing that I think people ought to be doing is establishing themselves as a branded thought leader and figuring out what are some really great practices that they can put forward, inside of what they do in their own clinical practice to help their clinical practice grow.
One of the things Christopher that a lot of people don’t do is they don’t pay attention to making sure that their front desk is optimized and that they got the right person in that role and they’ve got really great systems. If you don’t have the right person at a front desk situation, you’re in big trouble. Because if they’re not dealing with your patients well, those patients may not want to come back. So last year, I’ve been visiting this dentist for 40 years, and the person at their front desk is a surly person and you know, I was in the clinic, and I didn’t have a mask on and someone else had a mask on. And they got mad at me and started yelling at me like, Oh, you don’t have your mask on and you put your mask on. And they weren’t kind or nice or gentle about it, they were just a real jerk about it. So I’ve been with this dentist for 40 years and now I’m going somewhere else. That sort of thing happens all the time from a front desk point of view. And if your front desk isn’t trained to book people to come back in immediately, or make calls and do it in a powerful, gentle way. You’ve got big problems, brother.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. And so I know we’re approaching time here. And I know, through your materials and your education, you talked about going narrow, niching down and positioning oneself as a branded thought leader to your ideal client. So tell us, tell us about the work that you do. I know a lot of people listening to this podcast are interested in visiting your website and learning more about you and possibly working with you.
Nicky Billou: Yeah, absolutely. So my website is ECircleAcademy.com. And the best way to work with me is just go to a button there that says book a success call or just go to a circle academy.com forward slash appointment. Find me anywhere on social media, and find the various podcasts I’m on including the one that I host myself, it’s a great way to get in touch with me.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: That’s a fantastic, inspiring end to a fantastic conversation. So folks, you have it. Nicky Billou, he has interviewed notables such as astronauts, he’s interviewed Barbara Corcoran, John Maxwell, Jack Canfield. So thanks so much. We’ll put all the links to the resources that you mentioned in the show notes for the guests, and we hope to have you back in the future.
Nicky Billou: It’d be an honor to come back Christopher. Thank you so much.
Dr. Christopher Loo is a physician who became financially free at the age of 29, and retired early at the age of 38, as a result of making strategic investments after the 2008 financial crisis. A graduate of the MD-PhD program offered jointly through the Baylor College of Medicine and Department of Bioengineering at Rice University, he is the author of “How I Quit My Lucrative Career and Achieved Financial Freedom Using Real Estate”, and is the host of the Financial Freedom for Physicians Podcast. He is a regular contributor to KevinMD and has spoken about the importance of financial literacy for Passive Income MD, the White Coat Investor, Board Vitals, SEAK Non-Clinical Careers, SoMe Docs, Doximity, Medpage Today, FinCon, and other high-profile financial brands geared towards high-income professionals. He can be followed on Twitter @drchrisloomdphd, Instagram @thereal_drchrisloo, YouTube @Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD, LinkedIn, as well as his Financial Freedom for Physicians Podcast.
Editor’s note: This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.