Well this one’s a first! Today, I’m speaking with Dr. Saadiq El-Amin, he’s an MD, PhD, and a board certified orthopedic surgeon, who in his spare time also happened to start up a lab for Advanced Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. You might be wondering how I plan to make a conversation with a surgeon applicable to you, the financial advisor, but within just a few minutes of meeting the doc, it became very clear my challenge was going to be fitting everything he had to offer you all into such a short conversation.
Over the course of an extraordinary career, Dr. El-Amin has provided care for many pro athletes and other high net worth individuals. Athletes like Shaquille O’Neal have sought him out as well as The President of Liberia among other notables. He also served as the Assistant Team Doctor for the New York Knicks, and founded the Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Advanced Biomaterials at Southern Illinois University, where he was also the Director of Shoulder and Sports Medicine.
Dr. El-Amin has performed extensive mission and charity work for people in need nationally and internationally. He’s also mentored aspiring doctors and built meaningful, lasting relationships with people all over the world. This is a guy who truly understands the value of ‘sending the elevator back down’ as we discuss in our conversation.
Here are a just a handful of the things that you’ll learn:
- [08:20] Dr. El-Amin teaches you what it takes to land high net worth clients, like Shaquille O’neal and the President of Liberia—and why you should treat every client like your mother.
- [13:27] Why you should never bend your own rules, no matter who walks into your office or how much money they have in their bank account.
- [20:28] Dr. El-Amin shares the story of why he passed on an offer to work with Paul McCartney—and what it can teach financial advisors about knowing your worth.
- [30:43] How Dr. El-Amin chose his financial advisor—and why coaching your clients on the art of business can help you land super successful doctors, and other entrepreneurs just like him.
- [49:23] The power of mentorship and investing in your people—his process for juggling the chaos and getting things done.
- [54:98] How after thousands of surgeries, Dr. El-Amin stays present with each and every client—advice that will definitely resonate with financial advisors who have a jam packed calendar of client meetings!
“When you chase the dollar, you always lose.” – Dr. El-Amin
“When you chase the dollar, you always lose.” – Dr. El-Amin
- [05:45] What it’s like to be Shaquille O’Neal’s doctor – and why so many pro athletes need continuous medical care.
- [09:16] Why relationships with your biggest clients have to build slowly and over time.
- [11:13] Why treating all your clients the same, regardless of their net worth, keeps you true to yourself.
- [13:56] The reason you shouldn’t change your rules based on who walks into your office – and why this is so key to keeping your most valuable clients.
- [21:00] Why Dr. El-Amin said no to working with Paul McCartney.
- [29:45] Why giving unconditionally positions you for success.
- [30:56] How Dr. El-Amin found his financial advisor – and why so many doctors know absolutely nothing about business or money, despite what you might think.
- [38:11] Why endorsements and referrals are everything – especially when working with HNW individuals.
- [41:35] The unique challenges of attracting doctors as financial clients.
- [45:80] The surprising reason Dr. El-Amin has so many degrees.
- [49:00] Dr. El-Amin’s secrets to getting it all done
- [51:31] What you can do to plant the seeds for effective mentoring.
- [01:00:21] The reason financial advisors need a “reset button” every bit as much as doctors do.
- [01:03:02] The most impactful story from Dr. El-Amin’s mission work in Africa.
- [1:07:12] What Dr. El-Amin would like to see as completely absurd in 25 years.
- [1:11:24] The one piece of advice Dr. El-Amin believes is so key to his success.
Your biggest endorsement is your client. If I do a great job on your shoulder surgery, you’re going to tell your friends. It’s the same with a financial advisor!” – Dr. El-Amin
Your biggest endorsement is your client. If I do a great job on your shoulder surgery, you’re going to tell your friends. It’s the same with a financial advisor!” – Dr. El-Amin
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
- The story of Schuye LaRue
- When Breath Becomes Air
PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE
- Shaquille O’Neal
- Isaiah Thomas
- Michael Jackson
- Paul McCartney
- Dwight Howard
- Ryan Holiday
- Paul Kalanithi
- Madame (Ellen Johnson) Sirleaf
REVIEWS OF THE WEEK
Thanks for checking out the latest show! I really appreciate the reviews as it helps me figure out which guests and content resonate with you all.
Here are 4 more recent reviews, the first one comes to us from user mbonfa2 who says:
Wow… mbonfa2 do me a favor and if you are listening to this, let’s connect as I’d love to hear how you’ve incorporated the Process vs Product concept into your practice. I’m available by email at [email protected] We literally just had 40 advisors in last week going deep on this concept including helping them trademark and custom build their proprietary processes out, so I’d love to hear what you’ve done with yours. Also, what more can I say about the Daniel Crosby episode as its consistently been one of our most talked about and popular episodes, so glad to hear it hit home with you as well. Thanks for the incredibly kind words and listening in.
The next review comes to us from user Elite Advisor who says:
Hi back at you Elite Advisor love the user name! Honored to hear that someone who’s invested the time to become a CFP is loving the show, goal is to keep the great guests and information coming your way! Thanks for listening in and taking the time to review the show!
Next up is Jdollaz829 who says:
Appreciate the review Jdollaz829, really try to keep the format open so that regardless of if you advisors out there are just starting out or a seasoned veteran, can still bring you ideas and concepts to help you grow your practice from whatever size it may be. Also, thanks for the comments on the guests being engaged, I try to stay as curious as possible and ask questions I think you all would want to know the answer to, so hopefully that’s part of it. Thanks for tuning in!
And the last featured review for the week comes to us from Zman2005 who says:
Zman, thanks for the review and if you happen to be listening in and there are other guests you’d love to hear on the show, hit me up out on Twitter. My username is @Brad_Johnson, would love to hear what other experts or fields I should pull from to get some great guests on here. Appreciate the feedback and will work hard to keep good content coming your way!
Already heard it once or twice? Please leave a short review here, and tell me which guests I should have on!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
TRANSCRIPTSClick here to Read the Transcript
Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint Podcast with your host, Brad Johnson. Brad’s the VP of Advisor Development and Advisors Excel, the largest independent insurance brokerage company in the US. He’s also a regular contributor to Investment News, the Wall Street Journal, and other industry publications.
[00:00:25] Brad: Welcome to the Elite Advisor Blueprint, the podcast for world-class financial advisors. I’m Brad Johnson, VP of Advisor Development and Advisors Excel, and it’s my goal to distill the best ideas and advice from top thought leaders and apply it to the world of independent financial advising.
Well, this one’s a first. Today I’m speaking with Dr. Saadiq El-Amin. He’s an MD-PhD and a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who in his spare time also happen to start up a lab for advanced biomaterials and tissue engineering. So, you might be wondering how I plan to make a conversation with a surgeon applicable to you, the financial advisor, but within just a few minutes of meeting the doc, it became very clear my challenge was going to be fitting everything he had to offer you all in such a short conversation.
Over the course of an extraordinary career, Dr. El-Amin has provided care for many pro athletes and other high net worth individuals. Athletes like Shaquille O’Neal had sought him out as well as the President of Liberia among other notables. He’s also served as the assistant team doctor for the New York Knicks and founded the laboratory for tissue engineering and advanced biomaterials at Southern Illinois University where he was also the Director of Shoulder and Sports Medicine. Dr. El-Amin has performed extensive mission and charity work for people in need nationally and internationally. He’s also mentored aspiring doctors and built meaningful lasting relationships with people from all over the world. This is a guy who truly understands the value of sending the elevator back down as we discussed in our conversation.
So, here’s just a little bit of what else we get into. We start out with how and why pro athletes like Shaq and world dignitaries like the President of Liberia and other high net worth clients seek out Dr. El-Amin to work with them. I love how he expands on the simple advice to treat every client like your mother. If you’ve ever aspired to work with pro athletes or other high net worth individuals, get the notepad ready. I promise the doc delivers here. From there, we go to why you should never bend your own rules no matter who walks into your office or how much money they have in their bank account.
[00:02:18] Brad: Next, Dr. El-Amin shares the story of why he passed up an offer to work with Paul McCartney, yes, one of the Beatles, Paul McCartney, and what it can teach financial advisors about knowing your true worth. Then we dig in on how Dr. El-Amin shows his own financial advisor and why coaching your clients on the art of business can help you land super successful doctors and other entrepreneurs just like him. For those of you trying to grow a team, we get into the power of mentorship and investing in your people including his process for juggling the chaos and getting things done. We wrap up with how after thousands of surgeries Dr. El-Amin stays present with each and every client. Definitely, something that applies to financial services as you all look at that jam-packed calendar in front of you and wonder how you can all get it done. It starts with an annual practice centered around giving unconditionally, and it’s incredible advice for all of us to hear.
Okay. One last thing before we get to the conversation. For those of you who want to dig in on your practice specifically, I’m going to do something I haven’t done ever before and offer 30 minutes of coaching on the house for the first five listeners out there that want to take me up on it. Dr. El-Amin inspired me with his giving during our conversation, so I thought, “What do I have to lose by offering some help to a few loyal listeners out there?” We’ll grab 30 minutes to dig in on whatever it is that’s holding your business back. Maybe it’s a marketing issue like keeping enough qualified appointments on the calendar or maybe you’re struggling with getting potential prospects off the fence with the dreaded, “I want to think about it,” or maybe you’re simply a victim of your own success and just trying to figure out how to scale your team with the right hires and pay structure.
The agenda is up to you for the first five of you who raise your hand. To do that, simply hop out to BradleyJohnson.com/Apply and take five minutes to fill out a simple application with details on your business structure so we can make the most of your 30 minutes and we’ll connect to see if we can generate some breakthroughs in our time together. Unfortunately, I’m going to have some limit it to the first five due to calendar constraints but if that’s you, once again, you can apply at BradleyJohnson.com/Apply.
[00:04:19] Brad: Also, don’t forget links for all of the show’s resources like books mentioned, people discussed as well as a full transcript of our conversation can be found in the show notes as well at BradleyJohnson.com/42. So, that’s it. As always, thanks for listening in and without further delay, my conversation with Dr. Saadiq El-Amin.
[00:04:43] Brad: Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint Podcast and this is a special one. I am joined by Dr. Saadiq El-Amin. Welcome to the show, doctor.
[00:04:54] Dr. Saadiq: Thank you for having me.
[00:04:56] Brad: And I think I officially nailed your name. Did I get that?
[00:04:59] Dr. Saadiq: You did. We’re going to do a little bump there.
[00:05:01] Brad: All right. Here we go. So, this is going to be – I’ve prepared quite a bit for this just because this is a first on the show. Obviously, this is a show for financial advisors and when we were originally introduced by Terran and Emily that due to the production side of the show, I was trying to figure out how do I take someone that operates on shoulders and make sure that our conversation is going to serve the financial advisor audience, but then we had our original conversation I’m like, “Oh man, we’re going to be able to rip for like two hours here. No problem just based on where that conversation went.” So, as we tiptoe into this conversation, my first question for you, doc, is how did you originally connect with Shaquille O’Neal? I think that’s a fun way to start the conversation. Let’s go there and see where the conversation goes from there.
[00:05:50] Dr. Saadiq: Well, it’s interesting. Everyone asks me that question. I mean, I got a call one day from this deep voice and I thought I was being pranked and it was like I love to imitate Shaquille. I mean, I’ve been working on it. He’s just like, “Is this Dr. El-Amin?” I’m like, “Yeah. Who’s this?” “This is Shaq.” “No, it’s not.” “But, yes, it is.” “No, it’s not.” He goes, “It’s really Shaq.” So, I kind of like hung up on him because I thought I was being pranked. He called back, and he actually FaceTime me and I saw his face and I was like, “Whoa, Shaq!” And he’s just like, “So, you’re the doctor that does regenerative medicine.” And I said, “Yes.” He says, “I want to come see you. I just want to talk to you about some things that I’ve been having some pain and some issues.” So, I made an appointment. I didn’t think he was going to show up because it’s Shaq. He’s not going to show up. He actually comes into my clinic and every one of my patients are like, “Oh my God, the Shaq,” and all the stuff and everything. So, he comes in, I meet him, and then I take him to a private room and then we start our conversation.
And we start talking about just some of the things that he’s probably been having as a professional athlete after playing in the league and as you know, I mean, these guys just I mean they just take a horrible beating throughout their career. They’ve been training since they were babies and so when they’re done, they literally have a lot of medical problems that kind of affect them even though they may be in their mid-30s because they have a body of almost like a 45 or 50-year-old and they continue needing that care. And so, because I’ve taken care of a lot of sports guys in the past and knew some people that he knew, he was referred to me through those channels. But it was definitely an amazing experience and we still communicate. I still take care of him, also his family, and a lot of other people throughout the league.
[00:07:42] Brad: So, let’s go there because I think as I was preparing for this conversation, your resume it goes on for pages. And so, this wasn’t an easy conversation but here if I’m condensing the theme out of those couple of pages, what I took from it was I took someone that’s a lifelong learner. I took someone that is a true master of their craft and continues to try to master their craft as it evolves. So, I think that’s what’s an interesting parallel in this conversation. That’s a lot of our clients. In financial services, just when you think you have it figured out, that’s when you’re probably getting ready to go down the wrong path. And so, my question is because a lot of our clients really, they aspire to work with higher net worth individuals, people like Shaq, maybe professional athletes, maybe doctors like yourself, you’ve got to reach a pinnacle before somebody like Shaquille O’Neal or some of the other pro athletes that you’ve worked with really reaches out and you’re the guy. So, what can financial advisors take from your story to maybe replicate how could I work with, how could I aspire to work with clients like that?
[00:08:49] Dr. Saadiq: Wow. That’s a tough question to answer but I’m going to answer it like this because let me tell you a story and I’m going to try to get along with it. Simple as this. When it comes down to it, you can get another house, you get another car, you can get another company, but you’ll only get one right arm, one left arm, one right knee. So, at the end of the day, I don’t care how much money you have or what you do, your most precious entity is your health and your body. And when you’re at that level with people, there’s a certain level of trust that’s needed. Does that make sense?
[00:09:23] Brad: Yeah.
[00:09:24] Dr. Saadiq: So, clearly when you are involved at that level, you actually take care of people where money can’t help them. So, it’s a different paradigm. So, things in which they look for is integrity, honesty, and then also something that’s very important is loyalty. Now, why do I say that? Because at the end of the day, they’re very vulnerable and so the information that you get and that you have, you have to protect that, almost go to the grave with it because there are certain things that you have or information that you know that TMZ Sports will pay tons of money for. You know that they will be at your door, tabloids. So, there has to be a sense of uncanny ethics that you have that they have to trust you and it’s a relationship that you built over time because typically with these high-profile athletes, they really have a trust issue. Let’s be realistic.
I mean, let’s take for instance for Isaiah Thomas, here’s a guy that plays in the Celtics, did extremely well. His sister dies. He goes to play off championships. He gives his all, he comes to the office the next day and he’s training. So, in a sense, you have to let them know two things. One is that you’re there for them but you’re there for them not because you admire who they are as an athlete, but you admire who they are as a person. That is so important. And the one-mile that I always tell all my patients and I tell young doctors coming up, “If you treat people as if they were your mother, nine times out of ten you do the right thing.” Not necessarily your dad. Somebody will be like, “Oh my dad,” whatever. But their mom and if you treat every patient the same, you never ever, ever, ever have to worry about changing what you do. And the hardest thing for me with these guys is sometimes just to say no because when you say no to them, you’re seen in a different way.
[00:11:27] Dr. Saadiq: So, every time I say yes to an athlete, I’ve probably said no 30 times, but the majority of the people say yes to them. They get what they want. You and I know that. Financial advisor comes to them, another doctor comes to them or someone comes to them, they’re used to being catered to for their whole entire lives. They knew that they were pegged as being this great sort of kind of physical being to take on the world. People have given them stuff, shoes, sneakers, you know what I mean? Tickets, clothes. And so, they’re used to people giving them things because of their talent and so when you take that position and say, “You know what, I’m not going to do that to you for this reason.” And then not only it’s with athletes. It’s also with superstars. I mean, imagine what would happen if Michael Jackson’s doctor said no to the Propofol or Prince’s doctor said, “No, you need to stay here and take this medicine and it’s going to reverse this opioid overdose you’re having.” You know what I mean?
So, I think sometimes that when you’re dealing with these individuals whoever you are, you got to be honest, you got to stand and be ethical, stay in your ground, and be able to say no and explain why you say no. The more I say no, actually the more they come back. It’s interesting. It’s, “Come on, no I’m not going to do that for you.” And then I’ll get a call again for something else. “No, but I’ll do this for you or you don’t want to do that because you end up dead.” So, I like that because when you work for a team or typically when you work for an organization, these guys they don’t know if they can trust you because they know that you’re actually an employee so if they get an MRI and they got a torn ACL or a torn meniscus or a bad meniscus, you put on their team, that’s going to affect their ability to make millions. So, there has to be that trust and I’m sorry if that’s long-winded. I apologize but that’s a tough question you asked me.
[00:13:19] Brad: No, that’s perfect. I was so excited to ask you that question because there are so many parallels in financial services and what I see is there are so many parallels between a financial advisor and a doctor when you really look at a successful practice and how it operates.
[00:13:33] Dr. Saadiq: Absolutely.
[00:13:34] Brad: What’s interesting is here’s the rule that I see a lot of times in financial services is I meet with somebody that has $500,000, okay, here’s my normal process I go through. And then there’s an extra comma that gets added and maybe now they have 1 million or 2 million or 5 million or 10 million, all the rules get thrown out the door. If they want to meet 15 miles over at midnight on a Sunday night, they’ll do it because of the dollars in the bank account. And so, really, what I just heard you say is my rules are my rules. My ethics are my ethics. Here’s my process and if you want to work with me, great and it’s mutually beneficial but I don’t bend my rules based on who’s walking into the office.
[00:14:13] Dr. Saadiq: Absolutely. And when you do that, they’ll respect you more and they’ll stay with you because when you start to change who you are and what you do, you’re not true to yourself and if you’re not true to yourself then you don’t know who you are. All right. If you don’t stand for or they say, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” And so, when you chase the dollar then all of a sudden you always lose. So, you do things because of integrity. You do things because you cared. You do things because you want to better not only yourself but the people around you. And I think that’s been my success is that and it’s been hard because at the end of the day when I first started it’s like, “Well, you just said no to US Olympian gold-medal top this, this, and this.” I said, “Yes because I’m not going to break the law or I’m not going to do anything that’s going to jeopardize this person’s career or anything else.”
And it’s got to be same way financially because if you think about this, the key is this. If you educate your consumer, meaning patient, they’ll come back because they got something out of it. If you don’t educate them and you know this, a lot of these athletes after they’re done, they’re broke. Seven years. Seven years after they are completed with their playing, 75% or 80% of them are bankrupt. You made $150 million. You made more than I’ll ever make and ever dream of and you got nothing to show for because the person that was in their life didn’t educate them and that’s the key.
[00:15:44] Brad: That’s sad.
[00:15:45] Dr. Saadiq: It is. And not only is that sad so then you lose your money and now your health is going out of the way so you’re not as fast as you used to be, that pain, you’re moving around like you’re an old guy. So, what I realize is that when I take on these guys and I didn’t take care of them, you got to take care of them for life and I believe that and because that’s what I do with my patients anyway. So, the financial advisor has that same mentality is that I’m setting you up not only for now but for life so you can continue doing great things once you’re out of the league, once you’re out of this, once you have no ability to make money, throwing, dribbling, or playing a ball but now that I’ve educated you, now that we’ve become partners in this process, everyone’s going to eat. Everyone’s going to do well. I’m going to be happy, you’re going to be happy, and I’ve made a difference and contributed to society.
Something sad. I was watching this NBA basketball player that was her name is I think she goes by the name of Schuye. I don’t remember her last name, but there was just an episode of her in Outside the Lines where she’s homeless. They found her homeless. She was the number one recruit that played basketball, went in the WNBA for a while and then was discovered homeless in the streets of DC. I mean, she had a really bad schizophrenic sort of kind of history but either way, I mean, here you were at the top of the world and now you’re homeless. I mean, that’s happening a lot.
So, where’s the person’s financial advisor? Where’s that person that was there when you had all this fame and of this money? But what you don’t understand that person is still part of our society and now it’s going to cost us, even more, to take care of them because of now they have mental issues or something else that’s going on that’s going to be you don’t want to say a burden of society, but you want to say that they are someone now in our community that’s dependent on people like you and I paying taxes were they had all the resources and were never really taught or shown or that team that was supposed to be there is no longer there for them. So, if you want these guys for life, you got to be in to win it.
[00:17:52] Brad: Let me ask you a question because now a big curiosity and my wheels are turning over here. So, if I was a financial advisor and I’m not saying they necessarily want a professional athlete as a client because I think some of them can be quite a handful trying to deal with all the things that get thrown at them but let’s say I do want to target that market, I want to work with professional athletes, what would be your advice, your approach to go about developing a relationship or having some sort of a plan that I’ve got the ability to potentially bring on some professional athletes as clients?
[00:18:24] Dr. Saadiq: First of all, you got to realize the most important that you said is that bring on the financial these guys as a client is that’s it. You’re not just bringing on them. You got to understand that you’re really dealing with about 10 to 15 people. That means that you’re dealing with an agent, you’re dealing with a manager, you’re dealing with their friends that they grew up with, maybe dealing with some of their siblings, you may be dealing with an overzealous parent as you’re going to need to see what’s going on in sports right now. Or so you better understand that that person is really a business or an entity that that’s the way they’re viewed. And so, sometimes depending on you definitely have to figure out, one, who’s the main person that controls and runs the ship? Is it the mother? All right. That’s the person you go on and have to get it with. This is the mom. That’s the first thing I recommend. Find out who’s really running the show. Who’s making the decision? Because that athlete’s job is to really, really, really they’re young at 21, 22, they’re going to do what pretty much who they trust the most tell them what to do because they’re babies. So, that’s the first thing you need to first do your homework and find out who’s in their circle.
Then second of all if it’s the manager, find out what the manager’s role is and this sort of kind of who’s on this team? Does he have a financial advisor? Does he have an accountant? Does he have a chef? Does he have a medical doctor? All right. And then if he doesn’t, then you need to infiltrate that and have conversations with those individuals so that they feel comfortable having you around. It’s very rare that I’ve met an athlete on my own other than being in either a team environment or that either an agent has called me or a parent or a manager or an athletic trainer. Because that’s their circle. So, me to understand that that circle is dependent and influenced by all those forces so if you don’t have connections in all those forces, your relationship with the athlete can be gone as fast as it came.
[00:20:14] Brad: Great.
[00:20:14] Dr. Saadiq: Because there’s…
[00:20:15] Brad: Okay. So…
[00:20:15] Dr. Saadiq: Yeah.
[00:20:16] Brad: Yeah. So, let’s go you shared another story, Saadiq, about another thing just going back to that valuing yourself and not changing the rules regardless of who you are engaging with. You can share the name if that’s okay to share the name if there was a very well-known musician on probably one of the most well-known rock bands of all time that asked you to kind of be in his posse or whatever you want to call it, basically backstage while he’s performing and you really laid down like, “Hey, here’s the situation and I’m not necessarily going to move forward.” So, I’d love to hear a little bit about that.
[00:20:52] Dr. Saadiq: You love to hear that? You want to hear that? Well, okay. So, I mean, obviously one of the things that we do, and I’ll share, I don’t mind. I mean, it’s talking about medical care. So, Paul McCartney team came to Atlanta and typically a lot of times when they allow these musicians and different stars come in, they usually have a physician and/or a medical staff on site for various reasons. So, I get a call and most of the time they just want you to be around. They call you. Something happens, you go to the arena where they’re playing or you take care more of in the back. And so, I get a call from his team and our team and they say, “Hey, Paul McCartney is in town and he wants you to come cover him.” And I say, “What do you mean?” He’s like, “Well, he wants you to be there two hours before the show. He wants you to be there throughout the whole show. He wants you to be on the side of the arena with your medical equipment, oxygen, and then you got to hang out four hours afterward.”
I said, “Wait a minute here.” “Oh, by the way, we’ll give you $250.” 250? I said, “First of all, nothing personal,” but I said no for two reasons. One is I think he’s 76 and if something goes wrong and you need all that, then you probably shouldn’t be on stage for that long. Second of all, if something goes wrong I’m going to be the guy known as the guy that Paul McCartney died right on stage and you were there as his treating doctor. So, I said, “You know, no thank you but no thank you. This is not the environment that I want to be in or I see myself in.” Sometimes you have to walk away. So, they’re probably mad at me or I don’t know. I haven’t heard back from them again. They probably went with someone else, but you can’t sacrifice what you believe in what you do. Because at the end of the day, I know that Paul McCartney would not do a concert for $250.
[00:22:56] Dr. Saadiq: Now, if he said, “Hey, Dr. El-Amin, I’d love to donate your time or some of my proceeds to a charity of your liking or donate some of your mission work that you do,” then I’d say, “Okay. Let’s talk.” Now, we know we got a relationship that’s beneficial. At the end of the day, providing care and providing good care are two different things and so you got to know your worth. So, you know what, Tears with Fears came. I was there hanging out. I took care of them. Great guy. All right. Took care of them. I was there because they value my work. Now they called me up, flew in, we had surgery with some of his team members. So, you don’t say no to everyone, but you want to make sure that you do the right thing.
[00:23:36] Brad: Okay. Thanks for sharing that.
[00:23:38] Dr. Saadiq: But I do like Paul McCartney though. Don’t get that wrong. I love his music. I love the Beatles.
[00:23:42] Brad: Hey, my kids jam the Beatles every morning.
[00:23:44] Dr. Saadiq: I do too but at the end of the day, I could not have that on my conscience knowing that Paul McCartney went down, and I was the one doing chest compressions and he’s 76 and I didn’t have everything I needed.
[00:23:55] Brad: Not for $250 an hour.
[00:23:56] Dr. Saadiq: Not for $250, no.
[00:23:57] Brad: Yeah. Okay. So, I want to switch gears. I was doing some research and what I really appreciated was your humble beginnings. I come from middle of nowhere Kansas, had humble beginnings myself and I think I’ve got this right. You were the first one in your family to graduate from high school.
[00:24:16] Dr. Saadiq: Absolutely. That’s true. That is true. My parents were pregnant with me at 15.
[00:24:21] Brad: Oh wow.
[00:24:22] Dr. Saadiq: Yeah. At 15, I can’t imagine two kids pregnant at 15 in the eighth grade, drop out of the eighth grade, get married and then have a child, let alone go through it, keeping it, getting married and doing the right thing. And so, I literally was the first of my generation to finish high school. First to go on college, first to go on to obviously med school, get a Ph.D., first to do a lot of things and so that’s why I said it’s just a gift of God because where I come from, there’s no way I should be even sitting here talking to you. I mean, it’s just amazing that some of the things I’ve been able to do throughout my life I just said, “Okay, I have no idea what’s next for me but I believe in going through life with faith and not fear and just saying, okay, you’ve taken this far so let me just keep going,” because where I come from kids don’t grow up to be national physicians for sports teams and do research and teach engineering and all these things. It’s just not what we dream about.
We dream about or what we’re talking about, we dream about dribbling a ball or making it the next day or just trying to get up off our street corners. I mean, so yeah, I’m amazed. I thank my parents every day. I love them because they are my heroes. I mean, they weren’t educated. They didn’t come from money. They always said to me, “I don’t know how we’re going to get you there, but we’ll get you there.” And that’s very powerful because they taught me to never give up. “You want to be a doctor?” They didn’t say, “No, it’s crazy.” They’re like, “Okay. Well, we only got is eighth-grade education but we know you got to do well in school and we’ll try to find a way for you,” and that taught me a lot.
[00:26:05] Brad: That’s inspiring. What was the greatest gift they gave you just growing up if you think back? Was there something that they just from the very early days? Because that’s quite the story.
[00:26:16] Dr. Saadiq: Yeah. The greatest gift they gave me is always be good to people, that success comes from giving, giving unconditionally and that’s so important because one of the things that we’ve gotten away from really and I don’t care how successful you are, and I’ll tell you this and no matter how much money you have, how much clout you have, at the end of the day when your health fails, it fails. And I’ve been in situations where I felt with multi-billionaires, multiple people who got so much money in the world and, “Sorry, can’t help you,” because at the end of the day there’s nothing that can help you. It’s your time. And I’m going to tell you something, the ability to give and to help is so powerful and it comes back, and that’s what I’ve learned from that. And I appreciate them that they taught me to give and to walk in faith. I think that’s so important because that’s all you have.
I mean, I didn’t have a podcast to get on and get influenced by. I didn’t see a doctor in my neighborhood. I dreamed. I dreamed of what is going to be one day to be off my street corner. I dreamed and no matter how bad someone try to crush that dream, they were always there to say, “You know what, give them love, not hate. Continue to dream, continue to do positive things.” And that’s where we’ve lost it. I mean, people don’t want to give anymore. Does that make sense? So, and that’s what changed my life and I realized that when I started giving and doing great things, more things came my way. That was it.
[00:28:00] Brad: It’s interesting. There’s a lot of takers out there but you noticed the givers and they stick out and it’s going back to the people that come back to you. Just the fact that at the level you respect like what I’ve taken from this conversation so far, there is no status symbol that really affects your viewpoint or clout based on where this person comes in or how they rank in other people’s eyes or the world or athlete or billionaire. It’s I’m there with that person and if I can add value to their life, cool.
[00:28:33] Dr. Saadiq: Yeah. Well, you know, you’re actually right because at the end of day when it’s all said and done, no matter what you believe in, if you believe in God, not in God, or whatever and you’re just standing in front of the gates of heaven and He says, “Hey, so I gave you this amazing phenomenal ability to change the world and did you help all my people? Did you do an ACL on the poor person? Or did you just choose to help Shaq or Dwight Howard or Paul Nelson or did you choose to help everybody?” Because when it’s all said and done, no one puts on your tombstone, “You did 10,000 ACLs.” They don’t say that. No one says that you had a $3 billion financial empire. What they say? He was a good person. He took care of his community. He loved his family.
Those are the things that at the end of the day that really mattered and how you get there is different but that’s why I try to teach young doctors and try to teach people in my life that if you give and you put yourself in a position to help, you get so much back. And that’s why your mission worked. That’s why I am proud that I take care some of these high-profile individuals but what’s really happy for me is when I can fly a kid in that’s a foster kid that can’t get an ACL and then I do his ACL for free and I know he’s now going to better his life. How can you and I teach people younger than us to care about the world if we don’t care about them? And that’s what I’m seeing and so that’s what I’m just trying to do.
[00:30:07] Brad: Loving it, man. All right. Let’s switch gears again because you gave me a lot of ammo before the conversation.
[00:30:13] Dr. Saadiq: I know. I’m talking but this has been fun. We can have like multi-podcasts here.
[00:30:19] Brad: This is episode 1, right? Okay. So, let’s transition into you said you were cool with sharing this. I don’t know how you get all this done. I want to hold up your resume. Here we go. For people watching in on video, this is we’ve got pages. I mean, when I applied for my first job, I was lucky if I got half a page and we got like three here. So, that’s my challenge is trying to get through all of this. So, you get all this done. You’re obviously a very educated person and someone that from everything I can tell you, you’re never going to stop anytime soon. So, how did you go about selecting your financial advisor or the guy that you currently work with or the team that you currently work with? What was your methodology? How did that come to be?
[00:31:01] Dr. Saadiq: They have to keep up with me because at the end of the day I realized that the first thing when they got to know me, they said, “My God, man, you’re all over the place. You really are. You’re a really good surgeon. You operate not like one or two cases a week. You’re like very busy. You started your own tissue engineering regenerative medicine company and starting quite well and you’re in the forefront of regenerative medicine. You consult, and you go around the world and you teach other doctors how to operate and you’re a dad. It’s like do you sleep?” And I said, “I do sleep. I do but I’m always going because I love what I do. It’s not work to me. It really isn’t.” I mean it’s fun and I tried to, so I went through a couple of advisors that day. They were just burned out.
And so, the person that I ended up hanging out with was a guy that was a former NBA player who was I think one of the first African-American gentlemen that have his own franchise in the Chicago and then he went off and did his own thing. But I met him because he was a former athlete. He’s done extremely well and then he also had a huge humanitarian heart and he was also helping athletes who basically have lost everything. That’s huge. I mean, some of his clients were guys in which who had $90 million contracts and $100 million contracts and basically had to go other financial advisors and then when retirement, they really had nothing. So, this guy was not only sharing, he was educating people. Does that make sense?
[00:32:50] Brad: Yeah.
[00:32:50] Dr. Saadiq: He’s educating his clients and so that said, “I need you again to teach me how to be a businessman because you’re the greatest doctor in the world, the greatest surgeon in the world but if you don’t know how to turn a dollar into two, you’ll never make into anything,” and we definitely have to talk about that because doctors, people think we’re smart. People think we got all this great knowledge, we do, but we don’t know nothing about business. We’re like drones be thrown into a hospital environment and to work for someone else and 90% of what we take or we make goes to other people. So, if you look at the paramedicine you’ll be amazed. So, for me, I need a guy that was going to walk that with me and had that ability to teach me.
[00:33:36] Brad: How did you originally cross paths? Was that a referral? How did that happen?
[00:33:41] Dr. Saadiq: I met a patient of mine I operated on. I operated on her son and she said to me her son had a horrible injury, broke every ligament in his knee, reconstructed his knee and he we