Ever heard of a Poor Plastic Surgeon? I hadn’t until I was one. Ever thought that becoming a doctor meant automatic financial security? I did until all that came with my degree was debt. Ever wonder why some doctors seem to have it all while you’re trying to dig yourself out of a hole? I did until I figured out how to build my way out. If you can relate to my struggles, then this financial journey is for you…
My name is Jordan Frey. I’m a plastic surgeon.
Despite my job, when I first checked my net worth in May 2020, it was -$520,000 😨 Yes, that’s a negative $520,000! I was burned out, not realizing how much my poor financial well-being was negatively affecting my overall personal well-being.
Things needed to change. So my wife and I took massive action…
Fast forward 12 months and my net worth increased above $0 and I made my first $1!
But I didn’t stop there.
In fact, I increased my net worth >$250,000 before I even made my first attending paycheck and by >$1 million in just 18 months. My financial and overall well-being shot through the roof. In fact, as my financial well-being improved, I became a better doctor!
Well, that’s exactly what I want to share with all of you! Because there’s nothing special about me. And if I can do it, you can too!
But first, let’s take a step back…
To get things started, I’d like to share a little bit about myself and why I started this blog.
First off, I’m married to my wonderful wife, Selenid, who is a college professor and have now 3 (as of March 2023) amazing boys, Samuel, Emery, and Camilo.
I finished my plastic surgery training after medical school in June 2020. This consisted of 6 years of residency and 1 year of microsurgery fellowship, all in New York City.
And I started as an attending surgeon in my hometown of Buffalo, NY (best chicken wings = Duff’s) in July 2020.
Despite that succinct summary above, I’m never quite sure how to answer when people ask what I do
Usually I say something like “I work at the hospital” or “I’m a surgeon.” Something vague enough that there are not too many follow-ups.
It’s not that I dislike what I do, in fact I love it. It’s just that when you tell people you are a plastic surgeon, they instantly have a picture in their mind.
And I am just not that plastic surgeon.
The mental image when most people hear “I’m a plastic surgeon” is not me.
You think of an impeccably manicured woman or man in a designer dress or custom suit sitting in a luxurious Park Avenue office with a look that says “Let’s make you beautiful.” Their dinners have at least 5 courses and their pocket squares or handbags have their own closets. They have Hampton summer houses and standing reservations (COVID time excluded) at Eleven Madison Park (if you can’t tell, my perception of extravagance is painted by training in New York City).
I was ashamed to admit that I was nowhere near achieving this status and had no idea how I would. The problem was that I didn’t even know if I wanted it. But I do have to say that I felt for a long time like I needed it.
Even in training, working long hours and making less money, this standard that equates wealth with expensive things seemed to seep into all of us.
This belief is pervasive for most, if not all, high income individuals. But, think again of your mental picture of a plastic surgeon; now imagine a nephrologist (kidney doctor). Fair or not, I bet those images looked very different.
The thing is, they look different even for people who are plastic surgeons, including me.
I struggled to fit in.
Up until just recently, the disconnect between this “rich plastic surgeon” image and my reality had me distraught
Trying to keep up with this image of success that I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to begin with had me feeling like a Poor Plastic Surgeon.
Not a great feeling when you’re nearing the end of 7 years of plastic surgery training after 4 years of medical school and 4 years of undergraduate studies, all with the goal of finally reaching this moment.
Plastic surgery was and still is my passion, but I felt burnt out.
Unfortunately, I think that a lot of people in a lot of walks and phases of life can relate to this feeling, regardless of age, sex, location, profession, or training level.
But then something changed
Now, this disconnect no longer bothers me. In fact, it is a source of personal satisfaction. So what changed?
I learned to ignore the image (real or perceived) of success put out there by others, focus on my passions and goals, and establish a plan for financial well-being, stability, and independence, rather than excess consumerism.
I started my financial journey.
And I became the Prudent Plastic Surgeon.
Most blogs seem to begin after the person has already got it all figured out and achieved whatever it is that they are writing about
I must confess that this is different.
I am very much in the process of getting to where I want to be. I am at the start of my financial journey.
My list of mistakes is long. My mindset was unhealthy. I made just about every wrong financial move that you can make. I was ignorant and scared to learn, for fear of seeing just how badly I had screwed things up.
The thing is, I’m willing to bet that there are a lot of you out there who are in the same boat and are probably ashamed to admit it, like I was.
I found a lot of power in this simple admission: that I did not know what I was doing
Finally, I could move on to the next step: figuring it out.
I saw the light and made it a goal to learn. Then the financial journey truly began.
And that is what I have dedicated my time to ever since. I think that we can learn a lot from each other regardless of our backgrounds or current circumstances. And I’m hoping we can create a space for that to happen here.
My goal is to help others reach personal and financial well-being by sharing my experiences, failures, successes, growth, and evolution while I go through the same process myself. And I believe that the only way to do this is authentically, transparently, and genuinely…so that is what I promise to do in this blog!
Some of you will hopefully identify with my story.
And I will help you grow and achieve these goals along with me.
Some of you may be well ahead of me in this financial and life journey and I want to learn as much as I can from you as well!
So, thank you for taking this first step with me!
I will be regularly sharing my stories and look forward to learning from all of you.
In this blog, I will share the financial mistakes that I have made and how I am addressing them as I work towards financial well-being and independence.
We’ll also have fun delving into themes such as mindset, grit, and other interrelated topics that will lead you to personal (and financial) well-being.
I probably won’t be able to resist throwing in some life and plastic surgery stories (that’s what my Sorta Random Sunday posts are for!).
I hope you will share interesting things from your life and career as well.
Oh yeah…and how am I doing now?
- I increased my net worth from -$400,000 to +$400,000 in 14 months
- I created >$60,000 in passive income in 1 year!
- We wrote an actual written financial plan. See what it looks like here (word for word)
- I now help full-time physicians (like me!) use side gigs to make passive money
- We use real estate investing to help us increase our net worth by >$800,000 in 1 year
- Selenid and I worked together to turn money into a favorite date night topic
But most importantly, my financial and overall well-being is drastically improved. And I can confidently say that I became a better doctor and person in the process.
My passion is to help others, like you, do the same.
And that is exactly what this blog is for. To work together to improve our personal, professional, and financial lives!
These are the 3 posts that I consider required reading for anyone looking to improve your financial well-being, no matter what stage in the journey you are currently at:
But, if you are really ready to jump-start your path to financial freedom…
My online course, Graduating to Success, will help you do just that…and more!
In the process of taking my financial well-being from 0 to 💯, I spent hundreds of hours learning, researching, and gaining the experience to do all of this.
In this course, I distill all of this information down and make it easily digestible so that you can immediately take massive action to improve your finance well-being and get closer to financial freedom AKA living live on your own terms!
So, here is to taking this journey together!
What do you think? Are you struggling with your or others’ perception of success? How have you shaken this off to focus on your own goals? What does personal or financial well-being mean to you?
Let me know in the comments below or contact me here.
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