Active Time, Passive Money - Passive Income MD

Active Time, Passive Money

August 2, 2016 • 5 Min Read

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(Editor's note: I'm excited to announce the very first guest post to PIMD. Learn more about Dr. Wise Money in the footnote or on her website.)

Many people would be surprised if they knew how I’ve managed to make a living through my 32 years of life–especially if they’ve only known me as Dr. Wise Money today. I’ve been an academic MRI researcher, physician wellness advocate, personal finance blogger/speaker, and future clinical/academic radiologist.

I’ve traded my time for money in numerous jobs–and not all of them were particularly glamorous. I’ve pushed my infant up and down the streets of Berkeley, California, picking up aluminum cans and plastic bottles along the way in order to supplement my single-parent income. I’ve cared for a cerebral palsy patient for more than a decade (during that time, she and her family taught me more than I’ll ever be able to reciprocate), and I’ve even tutored USMLE/COMLEX students at $400 per hour.

On the eve of my 32nd birthday, and after finally getting help from a psychiatrist to treat my chronic sleep deprivation (four hours a night since I was 16), I got my first night of six continuous, uninterrupted hours of sleep. That morning, I woke up a, entirely different person.

For the first time, I was able to think with clarity. I realized that the hyperactive fury through which I worked through my double-major-multiple-gig college years, single mother med-student years, and PGY2 years was practically killing me. I definitely lost many brain cells and made many poor decisions due to the chronic lack of sleep.

It was then that I realized that I have to stop working for money. My hero, Robert Kiyosaki, once said that you must “invest your time actively, your money passively,” and I took those words deeply to heart.

I decided to put my money matters on autopilot, and dedicated every ounce of my energy to learning and creating. I switched from consumption to creation, from working for money to letting money work for me, from following money opportunities to allowing money to follow me–all while following my heart.

Since then, I invested two extra hours per day to sleep and one hour every day to do yoga. I found myself more productive than ever; I was a happier, healthier, and more effective radiologist, mother, and blogger.

“happier, healthier, and more effective…”

This has been my experience, and what you do with it is up to you. Take it or leave it. But I do know that workaholism is a true disease. It seemed that the more successful I was, the sicker I got.

You’ve likely made this far in medicine thanks to your workaholism–at least, in part. The scary thing about workaholism is that no one will ever stop you. In fact, everyone around you will marvel and ask, “How do you work two jobs, in medical school, as a single mother, and still manage to be at the top of your class, all while adding on research and community leadership?”

The fact is, I was drunk on workaholism. It’s a vicious cycle. Sure, I appeared more productive, made more money, and achieved higher grades (all just numbers) compared to the average med students/residents. But it was simply because I had more hours in the day, not because I was effective or efficient.

If there’s anything I could share with doctors who are interested in passive income—it would be this:

Active Time, Passive Money.

Invest your time actively, even if that means you are not getting paid at all.

Time is irrecoverable, meant for the most loved and cherished people and things in our lives, such as our loved ones, ourselves, our community, and our earth.

Money is just a tool. Set it up right, and money makes money. Better yet, if you learn from the good old tricks of the big bad banks, you can borrow money from the bank at 0% or negative interest to make YOU money.

I’m confident that Passive Income M.D. will give you many great ideas on how to generate multiple streams of passive income. But it’s up to you, completely freed and untethered by coins and bills, to decide how, where, and for whom to actively dedicate your time.


Author: Dr. Wise Money, Radiology Resident & Personal Finance Blogger,

As Dr. Wise Money (DWM) achieves her financial goals of purchasing a home (MS4), paying off her student loans (PGY1), refinancing her home (PGY1), maxing out retirement savings (PGY2), and now being on track to becoming retirement-eligible in 6 years (3 years after fellowship completion), she writes about and gives talks on personal finance for doctors, assisting her colleagues to achieve financial success.

DMW has been featured on many websites, including Physician’s Money Digest, Physician Financial Success Podcast, White Coat Investor, and Non-Clinical Doctors.

You are encouraged to join the 30-day Mindful Financial Practice with DWM at Dr. WiseMoney’s YouTube Channel.


Disclaimer: The topic presented in this article is provided as general information and for educational purposes. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking action, consult with your team of professionals.

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