Episode 09: How To Make An Impact With Charitable Giving
About the Speaker:
Dr. Recha Bergstrom is a Radiologist, Owner of Sandar and Hems Wines, and a Philanthropist. She has a great passion for helping people in need. Aside from helping patients as a radiologist and despite of being a busy entrepreneur, she still managed to find her own time to make a difference and change our world to be a better place to live in.
[00:00] Recha: I have spent probably hundreds of hours reading through books and learning about things online for just in the philanthropy world. And I've been on the giving and receiving end of philanthropy of other people's charity. I've spent a lot of time in the world of that. And so I really try to distill that down in all of the things that I've learned to distill that down.Give other people time. Cause it can be a little bit overwhelming and confusing.
[00:34] Pranay: Hi, and welcome to the, from MD to entrepreneur podcast inside, look on how to become a physician entrepreneur.
Everyone. I'm so happy to be able to talk to Dr. Risha bergstroem practicing radiologist and founder of the physician philanthropist. And this episode, we'll be talking about the importance of charitable giving and how to give, well, just as importantly, we'll talk about how to know when
you have. Hey, Risha how's it going?
[01:07] Recha: It's coming well, thanks. I'm so happy to be here with you.
[01:10] Pranay: I'm so excited to talk, you know, for our listeners that haven't had a chance to talk to you or see your website. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
[01:17] Recha: Well, sure. I am a practicing radiologist. I live in Northern California. I've been in the same group for over 18 years now.
And, uh, in the last couple years I've been branching out to things other than medicine. And, uh, specifically with my husband and I, we started a winery together cause my husband is a winemaker. And in that process, it kind of opened my eyes to other options of things that I could do. Besides medicine. I loved the practice of medicine.
I am so glad to be in it, but I realized. After this amount of time, there were other things that I was interested in well as well, and other things I really wanted to be pursuing. And as I was thinking through that, and as I was learning about options and, and the possibility even of doing anything else, uh, one of the things that I kept coming back to was a very personal and deep passion of mine, which is philanthropy or giving back.
And so over time I. Realized that this is something that I feel like a lot of us could be doing better and could feel empowered about the impact that we can make. And I wanted to help other people feel like they can make an impact and they can make a difference. Even if we're not billionaires out there having millions of dollars to throw around it, that causes we care about.
[02:40] Pranay: Yeah, for me, I know I've been guilty of in the past. Wanting to invest and invest in a charity, you know, give back and just having trouble kind of navigating that. I know there's websites like charity navigator, but you still got to kind of have an idea of what you're doing. It's more of a reference. And a site that really guides you along the way.
And then the year goes by and I'm like, shoot, I did it in bed. I didn't give. And then I feel bad about myself.
[03:08] Recha: Yeah. So that's where I want to help. I don't want you to feel bad about yourself for having those great impulses to help, and it can be really confusing. And the more I've kind of learned about it, the more I realized it can be really daunting when you start to look at, okay, I care about these things.
How do I Figure out where to give and what's the best way to give. And what's the best way to evaluate like those charity websites. Those can be really helpful for some information, but they can also be a bit confusing and they can honestly be a little bit misleading sometimes if you don't know what they.
Out there telling you about, for example, like you said, charity navigator, it can be great to figure out that something is actually a valid charity that, and, and, um, it's an organization that you can, for example, get a tax deduction from, but it doesn't necessarily tell you what kind of impact that the organization that you're trying to.
Support makes so it can evaluate the financials of it, but not necessarily what the group is accomplishing. So I think of it, like if you're going to be choosing a doctor and you want to know, like, are they a good doctor? I'm going to going to feel comfortable with them? Do they have a good outcome?
You're not going to be looking at their returns. And that's kind of what charity navigator does. So the other point I'd want to make is that overwhelming feeling that you have is really, really common because I think when we, when we look out into the world and think, okay, aside from whatever we're doing day to day, and we want to do more, it can be a little bit overwhelming.
All the things that could really use a little help and could use a little fixing in the world. It's just, there are endless possibilities of what you can do and what you can contribute to. And I think that, that people get a little bit paralyzed with so many choices. So when I try to help people, the first thing I do is try to help you focus and get between one and maybe up to three.
Areas that you are most important to you that are most important for you to want to impact and kind of really narrow it down because then it starts to get rid of a little bit of that overwhelm. And I think that's a really important first step so that when you have that you think, okay, I'm not going to unfortunately be able to solve all the problems in the world, but I can focus on this thing.
That really means a lot to me and that I really care.
[05:34] Pranay: What made you kind of start some of this because your husband's winemaking companies doing pretty well. So why, why, why start something about philanthropy?
[05:44] Recha: So it was not, it was not a direct path for this one. So there, there were a lot of things that contributed to me getting to where I am, but part of it really had to do with starting that experience as an entrepreneur in the first place and working with our wine business.
And one of the things that was happening was when we were marketing. And I was trying to learn about marketing and about how to kind of authentically put myself and put the company out there. It was a, it was an interesting lesson for me because I was trying to think about. How I authentically wanted to be putting myself out there and with the wine business, it's, it's a delightful, it's a wonderful thing to be doing.
It's very exciting to be a part of, it's a really fun kind of world, but I found myself as I was doing these kind of marketing exercises and figuring out how I wanted to say things. My brain would be going to all these other kinds of things as well. It was like, I was so opened up to these different possibilities of all the things that I could be doing.
This kind of like entrepreneur ideas would just kind of flip me over. I was getting really distracted and I realized that instead of just trying to ignore all of those other thoughts that I was having, I decided to kind of listen to what my brain was trying to tell me what other things I was thinking of because I realized, you know, If this is an option to have a wine business, along with the medicine, what else could be an option?
What else could I be doing? What else is interesting to me? What might be another step? And, and so that's when I started listening to myself and trying to figure out, well, what am I really passionate about? What, what do, what do I want to be able to throw myself into aside from. All the other things I throw myself into on a daily basis with, with work and with family and all that.
And it just kept coming back to, how can I give, how can I contribute outside of my daily work as a, as a doctor? And it was something that I just finally let myself think about and come back to,
[08:03] Pranay: Do you remember some of those exercises you did? How did you figure out, you know, I have no idea what I'm into, uh, so far it's working for me, but you know, that is such an interesting idea that you've done it with intention, you know, to figure out what you're into.
So do you remember some of the exercises or what did you tell yourself to kind of go down that.
[08:29] Recha: Um, so there were a couple of things. Um, some of it was along the lines of trying to think of things in an I help kind of statement. Like I help, I help people enjoy wine, which is great. I help people connect and have a wonderful time together and have, you know, some kind of something special that they get to enjoy together.
So I started with those kinds of iHealth statements and then I, and then it kept veering off to. And want to help the moms who don't have the resources that I do, or I want to help the kids who don't have the opportunities that my children have, or I want to, and, and I, I realized that I kept going to these others kind of, I want to help kind of statements.
And that, that was one of the things. Another thing that kind of struck me as I was thinking about these things is during, during kind of the, the beginning of the pandemic, when everything was very much upside down and I was feeling quite overwhelmed. I remember at one point buying a lottery. And feeling this kind of realizing I had such a desperate feeling with playing this lottery ticket.
I just really wanted to be able to not worry about anything anymore. And I was feeling like, oh, of course, if I won the lottery, if I went, you know, $500 million or whatever ridiculous summit was, then things would be better. And I decided to let my brain play that through to the end. So if I did, what would that look like?
What would that mean? So if I want all of that money, what would I do? And, you know, there, it started out with these kinds of simple things. Like, well, I think I would take a vacation and, you know, the porch needs fixing and things like that. You know, a few basic things. What I realized is, again, it kept coming back to, and then once I do a few of those things, how can I.
What else can I do? And I, and I kept coming back to this idea of like, if I had limitless resources, I would want to do something like start a foundation and try to help as many people as possible. I would like to throw myself into that. I had a little bit of an aha moment with this when I realized, well, okay, I didn't win the lottery again.
I don't play that often at all. Like maybe two or three times a year, but I didn't win. But then I had this moment where I thought, but wait a second. I am part of this tribe of amazing human beings, all of these other doctors, all of these physician entrepreneurs who really care. And if I might not have $500 million, but.
A million doctors have $500 and we could put it together towards something powerful. We could really make a difference. And that was kind of one of these moments where I was like, oh, okay. So I keep coming back to this. How can I start that? How can I make that happen? Even just a little bit, even if it's not a million dollars, but how, how can I channel that, that interest in that, that goal?
To start that along that path to start, start that kind of a movement and make people help people understand what they can accomplish, even if they don't win the lottery.
[11:53] Pranay: I can't believe anyone would just hear that and say, no, I don't think she's going to be successful. Right. Once you have a mission and you have such an idea of what you want to do, especially.
That is a doctor and has that passion is going to find a way, you know, this podcast is full of entrepreneurs. And typically, you know, when you're talking to her and you think about entrepreneurship in a pretty good place in life, I actually, probably most doctors are in a pretty good place in life. You know, I think giving back and really you've used this word a couple of times impact.
I think that's a really powerful word. Something that many doctors want to do, you know, and especially outside of themselves. And that's why they do entrepreneurship. Right? Cause they realize that seeing one patient an hour, every 15 minutes, half an hour, it's just, it's great. But it's not going to leave that impact, that legacy that they necessarily want.
And so let's talk about someone that's maybe a fresh attending, right. And they're, they're seeing probably more money than they have in their whole lives, but they've earned it. Right. They've, they've earned it from a lot of years of hard labor. How would you suggest that they kind of approach charity Gabby in there?
[13:07] Recha: That's a really good question. So, um, I would do it in a couple of ways. One is like I said, to start with, um, have an idea of what is most important for you to focus on. The next thing is when you are faced with money, that you're not used to getting, when you're, when you have a significant change, it's also good to have an idea of.
How much you would like to contribute per year. So I think of it as part of like an overall financial plan. Like if you're making a budget for the year, you can think I'm going to use this certain amount, like an actual dollar amount or a certain percentage and think, okay, I'd like to put that much aside for my charitable contributions.
And so I think having also that kind of idea of what you would like to contribute starting. Is really helpful. And then I would suggest. You can make a, uh, philanthropy plan or a giving plan that can be, uh, you can do something that you want to do for the whole year. So decide how much of your time and effort do you want to put into contributing?
Do you want it to be something that you figure out once and set for the year and don't have to worry about at all? And that's, that's a great way of doing it for a lot of us are very busy and tend to be overextended, or is it something that you're really interested in learning about and want to spend time maybe each month thinking about something different.
So being realistic with what is going to be right for you, and then starting to really research into what kind of organizations you might want to contribute to.
[14:46] Pranay: And a lot of my listeners are real estate investors, and I kind of tell them the same. You know, you want to turn this into a hobby or you want to just invest in, forget about it, you know, kind of charities sounds like it's the same way where, you know, do you really want to dive deep and participate and really change it up?
Or do you want to just invest or give, donate and forget about it? I I'd assume most of us doctors are probably dead ladder. What is your experience with that?
[15:14] Recha: I think you're absolutely right. I think we already have a lot on our plates. And I think for the most part, it does, it does seem to be something that somebody wants to, you want to do it, but you don't necessarily have all the time to devote doing it, like kind of an on an ongoing basis.
So that's why I really like to think of it as like a single year plan. And, and set things up. So you can do something like having a monthly contribution to something where you set it and then forget it. And I think that that's really kind of the most realistic. And then at the end of the year, like you said, instead of feeling like, oh goodness, I meant to do this.
I meant to do that. If perhaps you take tax time, you know, coming up next month is going to be April, uh, for, you know, the time of the recording here. So you can write. I'm focusing now on my finances. What do I want my finances to look like next year and think, okay, this is what happened this last year.
This is what I'd like to have for this next year. And I'm just going to set this aside. I might take, you know, one or two hours set it and then leave it. And then at the end of the year, instead of feeling overwhelmed, you can feel like, oh, look at what I was able to do. How nice.
[16:28] Pranay: Yeah, how wonderful. I agree.And I know for a ton of doctors, this is something that's been in the back of minds because honestly, most doctors are probably some of the most giving people. I know, you know, on top of giving their life and soul for medicine, um, with their money as well. Uh, but the problem is that it's, it's just so hard to navigate this, you know, and we were.
Taking it getting taken advantage of, or just not making that impact. Right. You, you know, your dollars kind of being wasted on admin or marketing or stuff like that. And you know, one thing that I've kind of dealt with a lot is there's too much in this world that needs to be fixed. Uh, and it gets, you used the word overwhelming, but it gets kind of overwhelming when I think about how much.
Who needs charity, you know, say there's this, someone that's come to you and you know, they want clean water in Africa, but they also want breast cancer to be cured, prostate cancer, to be cured. And they want all of that. Right. How do you help someone kind of prioritize what.
[17:37] Recha: So that's not an easy thing to do.
And I think you're exactly right. Um, I think that as physicians, you know, we, we chose this difficult path because we really do care. I think that for the majority of us, it's, it's, it's very much in our nature to want to help and make a difference. And one of the things that's nice. Medicine is, you know, in, in the best scenarios, we're able to see that the fruits of our labor there, and we're able to really help people and see that.
And so when you're facing something like philanthropy, it can be a little bit overwhelming and a little bit of a different thing because you're kind of putting your money out there and you don't know necessarily what's happening with it. So for the person who wants to focus and wants to do all of those things, it really.
Starts with some, some soul searching. And one of the questions that I ask is if you could completely fix one thing in the world, one single thing, not all of the things, but one single thing. What would that one thing that you could solve be? And sometimes that really helps focus a person. And then that can be the starting point.
And what I also recommend is when you're making a plan, give yourself leeway to react to other, other things that happen in the world, for example, war breaking out or something like that. So if you make your plan for the year and you say I'm going to contribute 80% of whatever, my, my charitable contributions for the ER, to these two or three organizations, but I'm going to keep 20%.
To be able to give reactively, if something happens, then you're in a position to feel that sense of, of being able to make a difference with the things that are absolutely the most important to you. And then also when something comes up like a new humanitarian crisis or a, um, or a natural disaster or something like that, then you're also in a position to, to help with that.
So, I think that the starting with trying to figure out one focus area is, is really a good way of doing it because part of the challenge is also that not only the feeling of overwhelm, but it can leave you with a feeling of helplessness or kind of a despair once you, what, you know, if you're spending all your time, looking at all of the different things that can be fixed, that can be really counterproductive and.
There's actually this, uh, this children's story that I read, um, that I read recently with my kids, which I really love because it, for me, I keep coming back to that. When I think of that feeling of I can't fix it all, and the story goes. There are some kids that go to a beach somewhere and all of these sea stars have washed up onto the beach and they're all going to dry out and die and there's hundreds and hundreds of them.
And there's no way that these few kids can save all of them, but they go out and they try to throw some of them back in the water and save those. And somebody asks. Well, why are you even doing anything? Cause you're not going to be able to save all of them. And then one of the kids says, yes, but I made all the difference in the world to that one.
And that's the kind of thing that I kind of keep in mind when I'm trying to accomplish something and I can't accomplish it all. And that, that actually is very heartening to me because it does make me feel like. Um, yes. I might not be able to save all of the starfish, but if I can make a difference to a few of them, then I'm going to feel really good about being able to do.
[21:21] Pranay: It's a beautiful story. Uh, I need to buy that book.I actually have a, I have a pretty big library. Um, but, um, ever since my son was born, I have a pretty big children's book library, and I'm always looking for good ones. I'll get that name from you. You know? Uh, I, I find that, you know, as doctors, a lot of times we need to have a collection of wind things that have gone well because almost every day or every other day, Things that don't go well and just were out of our hands.
Right. And we still kind of beat ourselves up about it. So in entrepreneurship, in medicine, in life, in general, having that little bottle of wins, there's a friend that used to, you know, they write up a little bit of something good that happened and they crumble it up and put it in a bottle. And then when they're feeling great, come and read some of that stuff.
Oh yeah. You know, it's so easy to forget the wins, you know, and just really focus on the losses. Okay. That's kind of what got us into medicine. Right? We were still hard. You get a, oh, that's expected. You know, I gotta be, ah, a lot of times people are people worry, you know, that they want to start something like a winery, right.
They're like, oh, I don't know how to do any of it. Right. You'll figure it out. The intention, the passion, you know, and everything else will kind of fall in line or you hire someone or you get a team together. Right. But, you know, it sounds like you were able to kind of, you were building from scratch, right.
Because you were, you really took the business role for your winery. Right. Your while your husband. Um, and we had talked about this a little offline that your husband was doing most of the, really the wine making. Right. And you were kind of running the business part of it. Uh, how, you know, when you were talking a lot about Martin.
No last I checked, they don't teach really marketing in business in med school. They do in business school, but not in med school. So how did you know how to do.
[23:17] Recha: Um, so a couple of sources when, once I started learning about these things, I started reading books because that's kind of, you know, I'm a little bit old school and that's, that's where I learned.
Um, so I was just reading books, you know, kind of some basic business books and stuff, but then I started also enrolling in different courses and finding online resources. So one of them was. Leverage and growth summit and the accelerator. And that was, um, something where I really was able to kind of open my eyes and see what other people were doing and what kind of resources were out there.
And it was just such a wealth of resources and connection and inspirational and all that. I've I enrolled last year in the on-prem di business school with Dr. Una. And that has been another source of support and inspiration and, um, a lot of, uh, helpful, just practical stuff. But, um, so those were, those were some of the things that I did to, to really kind of get going in that direction.
[24:31] Pranay: You know, I'm the same way. Well, let's find a book for this. There has to be a book,you know, but it's, I mean, those courses and those memberships, so a couple of thousand dollars, you know, probably way less than 50, right. Which is what a year of college or med school will be. Right. But it really helped kind of shape the trajectory once you do that, then, uh, you know, each other's and there's just such a wealth of information out there and really a community it's not just.
Joining the course, because you know, even in our courses, we say all the information is out there. It's out in the world, you know, like we have a course on real estate, real estate. It's been the same for the past couple of thousand years. You know, it's not that different. Right. But it's, it's how you package it and how you teach it to people.
That's different. Right. Um, you're a part of our, uh, accelerated membership and, you know, it's just full of people that really want to help each other and people that are out there doing it and failing and succeeding and failing again and succeeding again.
[25:32] Recha: And that's been, that's been a, just a huge source of inspiration to me.And I definitely would not be where I am. Now and speaking with you or doing any of this, if it wasn't for that community part of it, because yes, I can read the books. I can take the online courses and stuff, but I would have given up about a thousand times already if it wasn't for the community, if it wasn't for accountability partners and, and the resources and that constant like encouragement, I, and that's, that's one of the things that's been really.
Helpful for me is I also have my moments where I get discouraged or exhausted or frustrated now just want to give up. And you know, and what in the world do I think I'm doing? Like I'm trying to do more stuff when the point is that I want to do less, more time for myself and my family and balance and all of that.
And, um, And the encouragement that I've gotten and the response that I've gotten from other people has just helped me tremendously to keep going.
[26:41] Pranay: And I'm sure to wine helps at that point.
[26:46] Recha: And then yes, there's that too. That's a good seed. That's the balance in life. So at the balance, at the end of the day, there are some days when that's just.
[26:57] Pranay: That's right. Yeah. You know, you will be surprised. Um, how many people will come up to me and say, Pranay, I'm just a doctor. I don't think I can do this. You know, I know like chief of surgery at Hopkins or like, you know, like Harvard, just a doctor. And I was like, you know, you probably can do this. I believe it.
Uh, I would write a check and bet on you. If I could, you know, you can do this. It says, uh, a lot of times, and you know, I went through medicine kind of the same way, like with blinders on, right? Like, like a horse where you have blinders on each side and you just really focus on medicine, uh, almost to a detriment of everything else, finance, civics, politics, really anything, you know, and you feel that.
When the world is open to you, that you're so lost with everything, but, you know, I promise you like most of the skills in entrepreneurship we're already doing, how often are you talking to PO you're negotiating every day? Take this medicine. No, I don't want to take this medicine. Change your lifestyle, right?
You're negotiating with insurances. Um, a lot of people, you know, up to 25% of running a practice, that's a business. At the business. And I find that, you know, we're pretty, we're pretty successful when we get, let our ego out. Right. Because we're not used to failing at all right. Even a, B as a fail. So I promise you in entrepreneurship, you're going to fail.
A lot, you know, but that's how you become successful. That's how you pivot. Uh, when I see someone has failed and this is the second startup, I actually consider that, you know, a metal that, you know, they're probably going to be way more successful this time. Hopefully, hopefully they learn something, but most people, I love that story about the lottery ticket.
You know, how often do we let ourselves dream? Right. How often do we dream? And then I bet most doctors or most normal people after that first meal. You're going to run out of things to buy, you know, places, you know? So after that first million, like how does your life look like? And what's stopping you from trying to get that now, you know, I mean, if it's it's in Paris, like living in the Eiffel tower, then maybe, maybe that's not the right person to talk to, but for most people like giving or, you know, opening a free clinic, Or something like that, you know, a lot of people, um, or education, like on my part, starting applied tests it's really possible to do.
And you know, why not do it right at the end of your life? You're going to think about all, all the stuff that you didn't do.
[29:43] Recha: Yes. Yes. It's really a very much let yourself dream. And as you were saying, and realistically know that it's going to be a little different than the studying for medicine, you know, to get through medical school, there are different challenges.
There are different, uh, opportunities for failure and learning from failure and all of that. You can do it now. Like you, you can let yourself dream and think about how you can do those things.
[30:11] Pranay: Let's get into some of the logistics of physician philanthropists. Are you a nonprofit or you for-profit? How, how do you kind of go about that and what are your reasoning behind it?
[30:23] Recha: So what I've set up so far is I'm really working on. Education piece. So what I'm doing right now is I've I have developed, and I am I'm in the process of developing several online on-demand courses. And the reason I'm doing those is because I have personally found them incredibly helpful when I've done them.
And because I'm a doctor and I have, you know, young kids and I'm really busy, I really appreciate being able to do things on my own time. So I have developed a, kind of a basic philanthropy, 1 0 1 kind of course, that's an online on-demand. And what I'm working on right now is philanthropy for small businesses course, which can be for physician entrepreneurs or anybody, basically how to Uplevel your business by saving the world.
You get to like finding all of those win-win situations where you can. Promote and improve your business. Well, pursuing also the causes that you care about. I'm working on courses. I'm also working, going to be working on one about how to start a nonprofit, because as he said, there's, I think, I think there, you know, once you get past that, if I won millions of dollars and I was able to do some, anything I wanted, what would I do?
I think a lot of people, that's also something that they turn to is, oh, I would love to be able to solve this specific thing in my community. And so that's what I'm working on right now is those, those courses.
[32:00] Pranay: That sounds amazing. I mean, you know, instead of spending hours and hours doing your own research, if you can really get a shortcut, you know, I, I find that as entrepreneurs or as doctors, a lot of times, you're kind of just buying your time back, right?
So if you're, if you think, you know, I can, this will take me five to 10 hours, or I can watch this hour long course or two hour long course and save myself 15 to 20 hours and get a chance to. Email or text or message of an expert, it's totally worth it. And that's kind of what we teach our course. Right.
It's you know, real estate, like I mentioned, You can probably read two, three books and you'll, you'll learn it all, you know, get a chance to talk to an expert, you know, and kind of someone that's really in the game and actually does it, uh, would be, you know, such a, a power. And it's almost like a little bit of coaching as well.
[32:55] Recha: Yes. Yes. Very, very much so. So yeah, I've, I've spent probably hundreds of hours reading through books and learning about things online for all just in the philanthropy world and. Been on the giving and receiving end of philanthropy of other people's charity. I've spent a lot of time in the world of that.
And so I really try to distill that down and all of the things that I've learned to distill that down, to give other people time, because it can be a little bit overwhelming and confusing, but also like you said, that the coaching, because one of the things that I've really found helpful is also the. Uh, th this, this kind of, but I don't have enough to give kind of mindset or I can give once I make this much kind of mindset and, and kind of the, the idea of feeling like you have enough and feeling like you're able to give is a very profound thing to feel and it's, and it is a big shift.
And I think that when we, when we look at things at different ways, that it can make a significant impact on ourselves as well. So, Also like going back to what you said about that, that frustrated or helpless feeling at the end of the year, when maybe you didn't do something that you meant to do or wanting to do, to be able to feel that kind of calm or self of sense of accomplishment or a sense of, of, um, fulfillment that, that you actually were able to do, what you hope to do, what you hope to achieve and that, so that is definitely a significant part of what I'm trying to, to help people with.
[34:28] Pranay: That was such a profound thing that said that I'd love for you to elaborate, um, that it's a mindset change of, uh, feeling that you have enough. You talk about that a little bit. Um, I just loved it and wanted to repeat it.
[34:44] Recha: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I think that, that, um, when people think of philanthropy or philanthropists, there is this kind of.
Preconceived or stereotypical idea of somebody who's like ridiculously wealthy, who throws these lavish parties and wears fancy jewelry and then spends all this money. But I really think of it as more of kind of. Um, a grassroots giving for, for the rest of us kind of thing. Like for those of us who aren't going to be doing all of those things, when we give, we can still make a difference, even if it's just giving smaller amounts or if we're not in these rarefied high net worth kind of situations where, um, where we're giving huge amounts of money.
So I, I like. Uh, people don't understand and believe that even if you're giving $5 a month, even if you're giving $20 a month, a thousand dollars a month, whatever it is. That makes a difference. It really does. And it really compounds if we, if we all feel that and we all believe it and understand that when we put our money out there, we are, we are making a difference.
It's, it's empowering to be able to feel like you can make a difference in another person's life. And it doesn't have to be a huge amount of money. Can, it's a, it's a very empowering feeling.
[36:08] Pranay: Yeah. And you know, people will talk about having seven streams of income. To really be financially free. But I think just as important is to have different streams of how you're making impact, right?
So, you know, as a doctor, you're 100% making a difference in the world, but you know, you can also do it through your entrepreneurship. Uh, you talked about a lot of companies now, even major companies are focusing on. Right. And making a difference. A classic example is war by Parker, right? The eyeglass company that if you buy a pair of eyeglasses, they give another one Tom's does something similar, but a lot of companies are seeing that and, you know, through your business, through your practice of medicine, but also by giving.
And then it really just kind of completes the picture of charity that I know a lot of doctors are really interested in. And that's why we wanted to bring an expert here. The top.
[37:03] Recha: Absolutely. And, um, one of the numbers that I came across that I actually thought was pretty eyeopening was there is this kind of, um, bi-modal distribution of people who give.
So the actually people who make less than $50,000 a year are give percentage wise. Um, almost as much as people who make over $10 million a year and the rest of us in between that $50,000 and $10 million give significantly less. Proportion. So to me that was an eyeopening number to think about like, well, these are, these are people who are not making a huge amount, but are finding a way to give a percentage and, and make a difference.
So. I think that's important for people to realize. And also, like you said about the businesses, I think that at this point, I'd like to think that it's expected of a lot of companies to be socially responsible and people look for that. So people who are either buying your products or working with you or working for you, I think that people are paying a lot more attention to it.
And I love that and it, it it's to, everybody's been, yeah. It's to the benefit of the companies who are, are conscious about how they, they work in the world and what they purchase and how they do it. And, um, and for the people who support those companies.
[38:30] Pranay: So how do you counsel someone say, let's say a family member that, you know, pretty well, and they're a doctor otherwise doing pretty well, but they feel like they don't have any.
No, they say, let me make another million dollars or another 200 or whatever. Um, how would you talk to them?
[38:49] Recha: That's a really good question. I would, I would just, I think I would have them really think through kind of from, from beginning to end, what that would mean. Why, why that number. Would make a difference.
And is there something that's specific to that, that they would need to do or need to change to be able to get to where they want to be? And is there a way to think differently from where they are now? If they feel like they need a million dollars for something to feel like they're in a position to give, or if they're in a position to feel comfortable or stable, is there, is there a way, is it possible to think, wow.
Sure that would be nice, that extra million dollars, but actually I'm in a situation where I can pay my bills and I might even have $10 left over at the end of the month to give to this charity.
[38:48] Pranay: You know, I think a lot of us think about giving in large chunks, but like you said, you know, $50, a hundred dollars thousand dollars would really make it.
And it doesn't have to be in big chunks. You know, when I think investing in a charity or donating it's, you know, $50,000, 20,000, you know, most investments are actually on the smaller end, I
[40:12] Recha: Yes, they really are. They really are in that. And I would like people not to be held back by that belief that it doesn't make if different, if you're not investing that kind of money.
So there is a group that is called as the GiveWell organization. And they're all about the most bang for your philanthropic buck. So you, if you donate something like $10, it's going to make a significant impact because they're, they're doing contributions in, um, uh, in countries overseas where there's you, your, your dollar would go a lot farther and they're very much, um, evidence-based.
They work in a lot of, uh, these, um, healthcare initiatives and you're a $10 can actually save somebody's life. And so when you think about those things, or when you hear those numbers, it makes it seem like, oh, okay, well, yeah, I can spare $10 and it's worth it. You know, it's really, it's really worth it. And I don't necessarily have to think, okay, I have $20,000 or it doesn't count unless I give $20,000.
Well, actually, It sure does it counts if you get Penn dollars?
[41:28] Pranay: Yeah. And one trick that's worked for me is I just have it automatically taken from my bank account at the end of the month. So then I forgot all about
[41:35] Recha: Yes that's and that's a good trick. And so that's good for you. And I can tell you that's also good for whoever you're contributing.
Because if they know that they're getting these monthly donations, if they're getting that monthly support, then they know that they can count on that. And they, they account for churn, which is, you know, when some people fall off or some people come back on, but when you give those kind of monthly donations, you're giving an incredible amount of support to those, those organizations.
[42:05] Pranay: I promise you, I'm not throwing lavish parties or wearing jewelry. Im sure You can do
[42:11] Recha: Oh, wait. No, no judgment though. Cause there's parties are fine. Like I'm not knocking those lavish parties.
[42:24] Pranay: Yeah,the party with that line, you know, um, LA last question. I like to ask everyone, you know, a lot of people will talk about where they wish they would have saved money or not spent money when, in their journey of entrepreneurship. But where is there somewhere that you wish you would have spent more money in the beginning or the early stages of your entrepreneurship career?
[42:49] Recha: I would have loved. 15 years ago, if such a thing exists, I would have loved to invest in myself more than, and that would mean being able to invest in the courses so that I could understand things myself to manage my own money and not think that I had to count on somebody else or, or that other people could do it better than I could.
I. I wish I could have invested in those kinds of groups or courses to develop myself my own business knowledge, my own financial knowledge,
[43:28] Pranay: Because it pays itself in spades, right. Because it's every year over that 15 years, that, that interest in understanding kind of compounds, right?
[43:36] Recha: Yes. Yes, absolutely.
So that's what I love. I love that these things are happening now and okay. So I, I wasn't able to do that 15 years ago, but I am able to do it now. And it's totally worked at two totally weird that if, and I, and if I had done it 15 years ago, wow. That would've been in a different position now.
[44:00] Pranay: It's never too late. Right.
[44:02] Recha: Absolutely.
[44:04] Pranay: You know, um, I'm sure many of our listeners want to donate, uh, want to make a bigger impact. And so they'd love to get more information. So how do they reach out to you? What's the best way to get ahold of.
[44:17] Recha: I have a website, which is the physicianphilanthropist.com. So I can be reached directly through the, there I'm also on social media, on both Facebook and Instagram and actually LinkedIn as well at the physician philanthropist for Facebook and Instagram.
I always respond to my DMS and all of that. Yeah. That's that's a great way to get in touch with me. And then for the physicians who are interested, I do have a private Facebook group just for physicians as well. And, um, those are, those are the best ways to get in touch with.
[44:50] Pranay: Awesome. And I'll make sure all those links are in the text on the bottom.
Thank you so much. We really appreciate it.
[44:57] Recha: Thank you so much for having me. It's been really great talking with you.
[45:00] Pranay: Bye. I appreciate you taking the time to listen to this episode. If you have any questions on entrepreneurship, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I answer all my messages.So please don't hesitate to reach out.