Podcast

Building Wealth, One Emergency Room At A Time

3Q20

Integrity and intention drive this entrepreneur’s success and reinvention

Read The Transcript

For our latest episode of Real Wealth Real Health, we welcome Harvey Castro, President & Co-Founder of Trusted Medical. Harvey came from humble beginnings and has earned his success through his impressive work ethic and uncanny aptitude for entrepreneurship. We discuss Mr. Castro’s distinguished career, including his initial interest in medicine, and the creative entrepreneurial solutions he found for affording the steep expenses of Medical School. Mr. Castro’s story is one marked by integrity, hard work, and compassionate ambition.

In addition to discussing his impressive career, we spend time discussing Harvey’s values, both in business and in medicine, and how they have shaped the biggest decisions of his professional life. Harvey offers great insights into how he approaches problem solving, and the shifts in mindset that he found to be necessary to take risks and get started as an investor. His inspiring work ethic, admirable compassion, and undeniable intelligence shine through, and we are sure every listener will be able to come away with a new piece of perspective.

 

Key Insights

  • The value of, and need for, integrity in both business and medicine
  • How a practical mindset can help you get started as an investor
  • Gaining a better understanding of the relationship between medicine and business, and how business knowledge can improve and inform medical expertise
  • The importance of self-care and prioritizing personal time in achieving success and maintaining our productivity
  • How to make or find time for your business ambitions in today’s modern life

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Guest Bio

Harvey Castro is an emergency room physician and healthcare leader who thrives on motivating teams by providing the most technologically advanced healthcare services to local and outlying communities throughout the state of Texas. His passion lies in balancing innovative healthcare approaches with individualized patient care, and he believes in building sincere trust with patients, doctors, staff, and community leaders by displaying unwavering compassion, care, and understanding.

His humble upbringing has kept him dedicated and persistent in all facets of his career as an emergency medicine physician, an entrepreneur, and a healthcare leader. Harvey has always pursued “outside-the-box” thinking in all pursuits, from creating multiple healthcare apps for iPhone and Android smartphones, to serving as a consultant for several healthcare companies, authoring medical publications, and promoting community healthcare as a medical correspondent for Telemundo and Univision. Mr. Castro a doctor who understands medicine in the trenches of a busy ER and the business aspects of running multiple ERs and hospitals. He has started more than 20 successful businesses and served on medical boards to help drive quality patient care.

Harvey Castro develops solutions to novel health and business problems, adapts well in times of crisis, and is never afraid to give more time to patients who need reassurance from a doctor who has an inner devotion to patient care. He leads by example, inspiring and motivating his teams to do their best, and bring positive change to healthcare systems.

Harvey has been voted “Best Doctor” consecutively each year since 2014 by “D Magazine,” and is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians. He is frequently in the media and serves as a speaker to healthcare organizations and practice groups to inspire loyalty, drive compassionate patient care, and promote professional growth.

 

Resources:

Real Wealth Real Health

Alpha Investing

[email protected]

Trusted Medical Centers

https://www.harveycastromd.info/

https://passiveincomemd.com/the-three-biggest-obstacles-that-prevent-you-from-succeeding

https://www.amazon.com/Harvey-Castro-MD/e/B08DRVVT5K/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1

Social Media:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/harveycastromd/

www.facebook.com/harveycastromd

www.twitter.com/harveycastromd

www.instagram.com/harveycastromd

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVZVspkibK5hGbGdiLpNNBg

https://www.doximity.com/profiles/a9e9c5e2-8d53-4969-a6e6-351cc8935a13

Podcast Transcript

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Real Wealth Real Health. The show that empowers you with insights, information and inspiration to achieve your version of financial wellness. Learn how to balance living a full life today with planning for the future. This podcast is brought to you by Alpha Investing, a real estate centric, private capital network that provides exclusive investment opportunities to its members. And now here are your hosts, AdaPia d’Errico and Daniel Cocca.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Harvey, thanks for joining us on the podcast. So we’re really excited to have you share your story today. You came to us as part of the Alpha Investing network. You joined looking for real estate to invest in of course. And then as we got to know each other, you shared your story with me which was so inspiring, and we’re really looking forward to hearing that story. You’ve come such a long way in your career as a doctor, as an entrepreneur, as a businessman, and now as an author, and that I’m so excited for your book and for you to share your book with everyone. So again, welcome and thanks for joining us.

Harvey Castro:

Well, thank you. And I want to personally thank you for all your help with my research and getting to my book to where it is today. So I want to personally thank you for your help. So thank you. And then, yeah, let’s dive in. So a little background about me. I’m a board certified ER doctor in Dallas-Fort Worth. I am the cofounder of Trusted ER, and we have seven ERs including with this ER, we also have our own billing company, our own staffing company for both physicians and non physicians. And so we’ve grown pretty rapidly. And I always like talking about where I am today so it kind of makes more sense for where I started. So my story. So basically I feel really, really blessed to know that I am where I am today. I grew up in New York city and my mom had me at age 16.

Harvey Castro:

She had to drop out of college, I mean, high school rather, and get her GEB. And I really did not know that we were in poverty. To me, that seemed normal growing up. It seemed, a lot of little hints that were there, I just wasn’t really catching on. Like we were on food stamps and I didn’t realize that this funny looking money was different. I just thought it was maybe some other kind of currency, but it was also used as regular money. And then later I noticed we always had all this extra cheese and I thought that’s interesting. And so growing up, the reason I like going over like where I started is because I really think it kind of gave me the tools to succeed for where I am today. I know that sounds kind of odd, but I think growing up with nothing really made me appreciate every step of the way of where I’ve been and where I have been, where I’m going. And so I always like kind of starting there.

Harvey Castro:

Go ahead. Cocca, you were going to say something? Oh no. Okay. Sorry. I thought you were going to say something. So I wrote this book called Success Reinvention and the book basically is to help others like me as a child, other Harvey’s out there and other moms that are like my mom, so basically they’re single, raising a child on their own. I thought, let me write a book about how I became successful, how to become a doctor. How did I start all these companies? I’m over probably 20, 25 companies that I’ve started. And I think there’s some rationale from where I started and where I am today and how I got there.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Yeah, yeah. And I would love to understand just from like a personal perspective, it’s so amazing when we’re children that we don’t know any different than how we are, especially if we have families that are trying to like, obviously like doing their best to raise us in a certain way so that maybe we don’t understand that we’re maybe less well off than others. When did you start to realize that and what was the impetus for you to become a doctor? Because many people might say that it’s very hard or even impossible to get to where you are today, starting from where you started.

Harvey Castro:

Yeah. Good question. So I think the turning point for me was my first real job. I worked in a health food store and the very first day the manager said, “Hey, Harvey, I need you to memorize every vitamin in the building in this store, know why people use them. And these herbs over here in the corner, I need you to learn every single use of them.” And so I literally got a textbook and I learned every vitamin and as patients, as our patients, as customers started coming in, vitamin is good for this, this herb is good for that. I loved the elderly would come in and say, “Hey son, I’m X and Y.” And so I learned so much that I told my boss, I said, “Hey, I’m looking at your invoices, and if you can let me buy from you at a discount, then you get a deeper discount because now we’re buying in bulk. And if we can share in that profit, then I can start my own business.” And he actually said yes to me.

Harvey Castro:

And so I literally started writing for vitamins and herbs in my teenage years. And that actually paid for my first car in college and all that, not college, I mean, for my first financial wellbeing. The point is I wanted to learn more. I wanted to become a doctor. I said, “Oh my gosh. If I could do this with vitamins, what if I learned the science?” And to your point, you’re right. Looking back I’m like, “Wow, I’m really blessed. I should not be where I am today.” I didn’t have a lot of the blocks that some of my colleagues, I’ll never forget being in med school and talking to my classmates and saying, “Hey, how do you know these drugs? How do you know this pathology? I’ve been studying my butt off, yet you seem to always know more than me.”

Harvey Castro:

And I remember them chuckling at me saying, “No, my grandfather was a doctor. My mom’s a doctor. My father’s a doctor. What do you think I did during lunch? What do you think I did during dinner on weekends? We would talk about the farm reps, about the new diseases, what’s going on in healthcare. So by the time I started med school, I could already read x-rays. I could already diagnose many things.” I was like, “Wow. I didn’t have that.” And so that’s growing up I realized I got to work hard to get to where I want to be.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Wow. That’s amazing. I had never thought about that, but it’s actually so true. And just like a really slight parallel, I started my career in finance when I was 18. So I went to work for a bank and my husband had a very different career path. Really didn’t understand anything about money. Not really, maybe not even until he met me, not like how finances work. And I just take for granted my understanding of the complexity of the financial system from debt to interest rates, to investments, to all of it. So what an astonishing kind of revelation there for you that you were kind of up against, if you will, people who are just, it’s in them. They live and breathe it ever since they were little.

Harvey Castro:

I know what my children, I would bring x-rays home and be like, tell my kids, “Hey, what’s wrong with this X-ray?” And kind of teach them. And then I remember at an early age, my kids could tell me, “Oh yeah, there’s a break here. This is wrong. This is normal. You’re trying to fool me.” And I was like, “You’re just learning.” I think one of the best things that happened for me is growing without anything financial really pushed me to think outside the box, really kind of think of things in a different way. And I’ll give you an example since I know we have some doctors listening. I couldn’t afford books for that MCAT. And so I literally emailed, I mean, there wasn’t really email then. I sent letters to all the book publishers and said, “Hey, give me a copy of your book. I will correct it and I will mail it back with corrections.” And so they did.

Harvey Castro:

Different book companies would give me MCAT books and I would read them, proof read them, find mistakes, send them and I would get free books. And then I took it to the next level. When I got to college, I went to a local medical bookstore that was out there and I said to the manager, I said, “If you let me review your books for free, I will create a corner in the bookstore. We’ll call it Harvey’s corner and we’ll go over every subject and why I like this book, why I like that. And we’ll just have the ones that I think are best. And if we do that, it’s a win-win for you and for me.” And he said yes. And so I was able to get free medical books.

Harvey Castro:

I was able to review them and then I took it to the next level. I called all the book companies and said, “Hey, if I find mistakes in your book, can I get the book for free?” And they said, “Sure.” And so every time I would find them, I would send them a copy. I would tell them what line. And then it got really fun at the time, I’m going to really date myself. There was a thing called palm pilots. And I was like, “Hey, we need to convert all these books into digital because the future medicine is going to be very digital and we got to get away from textbooks and we got to put it all on digital.” And so they listened to me and I was part of a think tank with all the different book companies and tell them how to make the next book editions and versions. So it’s kind of fun because looking back, there’s a lot of books in med school that have my name in it for helping them. And that’s just all that drive from not having that made me get there.

AdaPia d’Errico:

So it also speaks very much to the necessity of invention, of getting what you want, but also creating a win-win like you said that a few times, like it was win-win for everyone and you offering something in exchange for something else where so often, I don’t know, there’s a lot of entitlement in the world. Everybody feels entitled. I know I do a lot of times too for things. But yet this approach to saying, “Well, I know what I need and what I want. What can I offer in exchange for what I want?” And you were doing it in a really progressive way. Like you were seeing some trends evolving and you were sort of like an early content curator with Harvey’s corner as well, which I love.

Harvey Castro:

Thank you. And I think it’s, I don’t feel bad that I grew up the way I did. If anything, I’m happy. The reason I call the book, Success Reinvention, I feel like life is about reinventing yourself and it’s always evolving and it never stops. And I like sharing this story about my son, long story short, we were in my emergency room and I said, “Hey,” in the background he was doing a TikTok and this was about a year, I want to say a year and a half ago. And I said, “Hey, just post something online. It helps your dad with the company, a little free advertising.” He never did it, but then for some reason that video went viral. He had about four million hits and I said, “Man, you should have tagged us or something.” But my story is this. I said to him, “Look, your dad knows some people in the media. Let them meet with you and just kind of teach you on techniques and all this stuff to increase your ads in the future if you want to start doing this or as a business.”

Harvey Castro:

He looked at me and said, “Dad, don’t you see I have four million people already with this one video and I have all these people. I can teach them that dad. I don’t need anyone to teach me.” And I said, “Son, the minute you think you are the best, that’s the minute I know you’re on your way down. I need you to like stop and be humble and keep reinventing yourself.” And so I truly believe for those … And I know it’s hard. As a doctor, I know I’ve worked hard and I’m here, but if I’m not continuously learning, reading, humbling myself and trying to always improve, I’m going to start going down as a doctor.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Yeah. Yeah. It was an amazing story. Thank you for that. It’s really good advice to remember all the time it’s that zen mind beginner’s mind of always being humble and always being in that beginner’s mind. So that’s really good. Yeah. That’s a really good anecdote. So I actually wanted to ask you a little bit more to get into the emergency centers because you have about 20 of them.

Harvey Castro:

We have seven emergency rooms. We’re about to have number eight, but you’re right. As far as 20, between all the different companies I have, it’s about 20.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Okay. Okay. So what prompted you as you were doing, like being a doctor to start either buying or building your own emergency centers? Talk to us a little bit about the development.

Harvey Castro:

That’s just kind of a fun story. So my heart has always been patient care and I know that sounds cliche. It’s like yeah, every doctor wants the best for their patients. But for me, I just felt like man, I want to do whatever I can for my patients. And I started working at a hospital and the hospital administrator basically I felt like I was in the principal’s office, called me in to say, “Hey, you’re ordering too many tests. You’re spending too much time with patients.” And I would look at him and show him my date. I’m like, “I’m seeing just as much as everybody else.” He’s like, “Yeah, but you tend to order more.” And I’m like, “But I’m still as productive as everybody else.” They’re like, “Well, it’s going to affect our profit margins. And if you can let the family practice doctor order those tests, more power to them. And this way we can save some money.”

Harvey Castro:

And I said, “Well, as a doctor, I feel like I’m not helping my patients the way they need to be helped and I disagree.” And at the time, I was one of the last owners of this big ER company in Dallas. And I remember going to our company saying, “If this is the morals and this is what you want me to do, then literally here you go. I’m giving back my shares. You can buy me out. I’m out.” And I remember them telling me, “Do you realize how much money you’re giving up by doing this?” And I said, “It’s okay. I totally want to leave. I’m okay with saying here you go. I don’t want ownership if this is how you guys are making money.”

Harvey Castro:

And so I left and my way out, I remember telling one who’s now my business partner telling the nurse. I said, “One day we need to just start our own ER. One day we just need to buy one and create a company that has the values that you have and I have.” And literally fast-forward from that conversation to the day we first opened our own brand, it was probably like seven years later. We opened our first emergency room with our name on it, with our own brand. And ever since, everything about our policies, our procedures, the way we take care of patients is the way I think it’s supposed to be done. And so I feel really blessed to be in a position that I can drive healthcare a certain way, drive patient experience a certain way.

Harvey Castro:

This is the culture of the company. This is what we do. And I feel really blessed to be in a place in medicine that I can do that. That I don’t have to listen to the hospital system tell me, “This is how we want you to practice this.” I say, “No, this is how I want to practice.” And now I can do the opposite with my doctors and say, “I want you to do whatever you think is best for our patients. And don’t worry about money. Don’t worry about insurance status, don’t worry if they can’t even pay for the bill, just to take care of the patients.” And I can do that and feel good about it.

Daniel Cocca:

It’s always great to hear these stories. We chat with so many entrepreneurs and they all have different thoughts about just kind of what they’re working on, how they do it and what ultimately inspired them to get from point A to point B. And one thing I noticed when you talk about it is you of jumped forward in time as if it’s a few days, but you mentioned it was seven years from when you left until one you guys actually started. And so, given where you came from and now you’re in this environment as a physician where you’re probably in that HNERY category the high earner not rich yet, something a former guest on here, Ryan Sterling chatted a little bit about.

Daniel Cocca:

At that point in time, how did you think about wealth building? How did you think about creating a financial foundation. Were you eager to kind of catch up to some of your peers who were further down the line or were you more focused on building a strong foundation and then kind of growing sustainably from there or somewhere in between? We’d love to just get some thoughts on how you took on that challenge.

Harvey Castro:

I love it. I always felt at a disadvantage growing up. I always remember, I talked to my colleagues. I’m like, “Man, how did you invest into this hedge fund?” He was like, “Oh, this is part of my trust or this is money from my parents and I’m just reinvesting.” I was like, “Interesting.” And I thought, well, that’s okay. I don’t have that coming one day from my mom or grandparents, I don’t have this extra money. So at an early age, I thought, you know what, the best way for me to do that is for me to come up with ideas. And so I hadn’t talked about this, but I started my own iPhone app company and I started the first vitamin company in residency. And so I always had this idea that I need to create some sort of passive income. And one of my favorite books is Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Harvey Castro:

And I read that early in my life and I thought, you know what? This is what I need to start doing. And so from an early age till now, I’ve always thought, okay, what kind of businesses can I do? What can invest in? I don’t have the capital that some others do have, but I am going to invest. So I’m always thinking in my mind, what companies are out there, how can I best hedge if I have X amount of dollars that I can invest, this is better yield. And so to your point is I spent a lot of time in finance world and teaching myself. So early on, I taught myself options and puts and calls and different ways of investing. And a lot of my friends are like, “How do you know how to do this?” I’m like, “Well, I just got a book. Just like I learned medicine, I learned other avenues.”

Harvey Castro:

So I went to the … at some point I thought, you know what, maybe I should become a financial planner, not for others, but just for myself and some of the licenses. And I thought, well, this is a little much, let me just learn the information without actually getting the credential. And so the latest right now, back to my book, Success Reinvention, I’m getting my MBA because I feel like if I want to take good care of my patients, I actually have to understand the business really, really well so that I could do it so well that I can actually make sure that I’m running things even better. So all of these tools that I’ve taken over the years have made me a better doctor and a better business person. And I feel blessed that I feel like there’s not many doctors out there that have both sides, that have the business and have the medicine.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Yeah, this is really true because you’re studying medicine and you’re trained to study medicine just like anyone is like trained to study what that one path is. And unless you learn business on your own or finance on your own, it’s not taught, we’re not taught finance in school and we’re not even taught how to balance a checkbook. And we’re not taught maybe even just basic health in school, maybe these days or basic medicine. So it’s really interesting how we have to take so much of it into our own hands to really learn. And even if we don’t want to become experts in it, to be able to know enough to have a conversation with an expert and understand what they’re talking about and not feel overwhelmed.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Because especially in the world of investing, I think it’s really easy to get lost in the acronyms and all the different ways of evaluating something in returns and this and that and taxes. But it shouldn’t be something that’s too daunting nor should starting a business or running a business because you will learn. And I think to go back to your beginner’s mind and that humbleness, like the humility to come in and say, “I know enough to start a conversation and ask the good questions and over time I’m going to learn it.” And I might not be like the foremost expert, but I’ll know enough to be able to make really informed decisions.

Harvey Castro:

Yeah. Yeah. I’m enjoying. I feel like if I knew I was going to live to 200 years, I probably would spend at least a hundred just studying. I love school. At an early age, I was a little crazy in the sense that I got my BS in biomedical science and I got a BA in political science because I wanted to go to med school, then I wanted to get my MBA and then I wanted to go to law school. And so on that track by December, I’ll have my MBA. And then I’ve seriously thought of going to law school. I’m thinking it’s probably going to happen more when I hit retirement age, I’ll probably go back to school at that point and just study law because that’s my goal. And then later I do want to run for Congress. So I feel like I’m just kind of halfway through my career or maybe the first third. So I’m enjoying just kind of reinventing myself, doing more stuff, starting a company, starting a business, doing two different things. I’m just high on life right now just doing stuff. It’s just fun for me.

AdaPia d’Errico:

I was just thinking about, because Dan’s our attorney, Dan went to law school. I don’t know if he has any thoughts on that, but maybe it’s more fun later in life because you’ve gone through so much already that by then, maybe it’s easier because you have all that life experience, but just amazing mindset.

Daniel Cocca:

Yeah. What I’ll say is intellectually, law school is one of the most interesting things I’ve ever done, like the concept of how things work and why we evaluate or look at rules or regulations in different ways. It’s very, very interesting, but the process of being an actual lawyer, particularly a corporate attorney at a big firm in New York is very different set of circumstances. And so if you’re never intending on actually practicing as a lawyer, I think it makes a ton of sense. I really enjoyed law school. It was a lot of fun.

Harvey Castro:

And I feel life is short and why not fill up your brain and better yourself? I really believe that. I think it’s life is short and you just got to make the best of it. And with that said, I don’t want to sound like all I do is work, work, work. I believe, and I write about this: it’s important to take time for yourself, every day. As crazy as it sounds, I make sure I make time for myself. I may go for a walk, I might see the sunset. I may just go hang out, go see my kids, do something with kids and then just make sure that I know that that day I did something that was just for me. And I think it’s important. You’ve got to recharge your batteries and got to be ready to go the next day. So why not?

Harvey Castro:

For me, I try to end every day with, or do something during the day that I’m like, “You know what? That was amazing. That was really cool.” And yes, I took my daughters off for dinner and I made sure to joke with them and hang out with them and see how their day was and open up a little more than a normal dad and just be silly with them so that they can see the hey 10 minutes before I can be on TV, I’m doing a series on NBC or something. But I think it’s important to have those memorable moments with your loved ones. I think it’s very important.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Do you think that as an entrepreneur, as maybe compared to somebody who works like a W2 and like a more traditional job, which given our current environment, all of that is out the window too. I think there’s a lot more flexibility for people working from home, but in general, in your experience with as much as you’re doing, do you find that you’ve been able … is it hard work, so to speak, to carve out that time? Do you do that very intentionally? How do you plan your days or your weeks in order to do that, even though really you’re doing so much?

Harvey Castro:

That’s a good question. For W2 employees, I think and nothing wrong with it because I know I worked for the hospital system and at one point I was a W2 employee. I think it’s important to have someone like you said about your story, about you and your husband. I think it’s important to like for me, it was rich dad, poor dad our resources, but I think it’s important to have that concept to understand like, hey, if you keep working and you get sick and there’s no money coming in, there is no money coming in. So I think it’s important for a lot of people to realize, hey, there’s something called passive income. And yes, it could be investing in real estate. It could be investing in something. But it’s important to understand that concept. And I feel like a lot of people don’t understand it fully and some do and some don’t.

Harvey Castro:

And as far as time, it’s kind of rough on me because if you don’t give me a … if you don’t stop me, I will work every day, day and night. And unfortunately my brain is just always going, going, going, and I never stopped thinking. I literally have a book of ideas of stuff that I want to do and inventions. And for me it doesn’t come … it’s not hard. And so I try to put my self in someone else’s shoes and I say, “Find your passion, whatever that is. And your passion is going to make … you’re going to make time for your passion. You’re going to make time for things you want to do.” And so if you’re wanting to create your own business or feel like you don’t have time, then I go over it in the book. I think it’s important to just remember that you’re going up a ladder and it doesn’t matter how fast you get there. It matters that you’re getting there.

Harvey Castro:

And so I think that’s an important message. So if you’re starting a new business, if you’re wanting to do something different, I think it’s important to know, hey, today I may not watch TV. I’m going to work on this project. Hey, instead of just reading a magazine on the subway, I’m going to start working on this project or at least think about this project, just another tidbit of mine. But I feel like it’s really important to sleep on things. It’s like one of my favorite sayings. I tell people, “Hey, no making the decisions right now. I want you to think about it and make that decision tomorrow. It’s not going to make a difference, just sleep on it.” Because I really feel like sometimes we just need time to think about stuff. So hopefully that answers the question.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Yeah. No, it absolutely does. I’ve really learned to take some time even for like emails, like I’ll write an email and instead of hitting send right away, I might just leave it and then come back to it and reread it and make sure that it says what I want it to say. Because we have so much going on all the time that it just, sometimes it doesn’t come through the right way. It’s like in the process of writing your book, you have an outline and then you do a first draft and then you do a second draft and then you’re editing, editing, editing because you’re refining it. And I think maybe we’ve lost a little bit of that in our, like even our daily lives. Like, oh, email or text and you just shoot it off. But there really is merit in like sleeping on it or just like sitting on it for a few minutes. And even just kind of taking that breath to center oneself, I think is really important.

Harvey Castro:

It’s very important. Yeah. I was saying in investment world, I firmly believe a lot of these things it comes to education. And so I think it’s important for people that are listening, it’s important to learn and listen to these types of podcasts because this information is going to come through very valuable, how to invest, how to do certain things. But if you’re not learning, if you’re not educating yourself, you’re going to kind of not be able to progress. And so it’s important to find leaders like yourself, to learn from and hear from and see your opinions because we’re experts at being doctors and we’re doing a great job with doctoring patients, but probably not the best when comes to the investment world because that’s not our world. And I come to the experts and talk to the experts and say, “Hey, what about this investment or that,” so that they can teach me and then I can make a better decision. So it goes back to education, just spend time learning all these things.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Thanks for that analogy. You’re the expert as a doctor and we’re the experts at what we do. I wanted to quickly ask you. So you told us this story before, this is not really your first book. And I would love for you to tell the story because it has so much to do with overcoming self doubt because probably up until now, listening to you because we’re always putting our best foot forward as we should, I wouldn’t imagine that you suffered from self doubt.

Harvey Castro:

Yeah. And I love sharing this story because it shows that we got to always move forward. Who I am today is I think much better than who I was six months ago. And so I like sharing this story. So when this book came out, Success Reinvention, I was thinking about my very first book called Neurology For The Non-neurologists. And I remember I wrote it in med school because I was in the med school world with the bookstores and the book companies and all that. So I thought, oh my gosh, I can totally write this. So I wrote it. I had a neurologist kind of look at it, bless it. And then I literally, when I graduated, I said, “Okay, it’s going out there.” So I remember publishing it and then thinking, oh my gosh, I don’t think this is a good book.

Harvey Castro:

And I remember hiding it on Amazon and then increasing the price to something so high that I knew nobody would even buy it. So I basically kind of hid the book. And then when this Success Reinvention book came out, I thought, why am I doing this? My whole dream was to have a book and I should be proud of my work. I shouldn’t be scared of my own work. And I said, “You know what?” I redid the cover. I went ahead and published it and I showed some of my colleagues and they were like, “Oh my gosh, Harvey, you’ve had this book for over 20 years and you’re just now releasing it, why?” And I said, “You know, I think I just needed to, it goes back to my productivity ladder. I think for some reason I wasn’t ready, but I knew I was going to get there one day. It could have been maybe 20 years earlier, but finally I did it.”

Harvey Castro:

And so I’m more proud that I conquered my fear. I said, “You know what, just go ahead and do it.” And it’s important for others to realize, hey, you may have a dream and you may be ready to launch, but you got to make sure you’re moving forward. And that was my example to tell others, “You know what? I still did it, it just took me a little bit, but I did it. And so I did move forward.” And so yes, I should have done it years ago or decades ago, but I didn’t, but I finally did. I think it would have been worse if I was on my death bed thinking, man, I never published that book again or never really pushed it. And now it’s different. So I like sharing that story just to help motivate others.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Yeah. It’s a great story. I love that. I love that story that you hid your first book. But I also love that you’ve resuscitated it and brought it back out. I feel like too these days or maybe it’s just me, but I think understanding things like neurology and biology and like there’s so much that … The same way that you learn about finance and investing on your own, I try to learn about health and medicine on my own so that I have a basic understanding of it too. So I’m going to check that book out as well.

Harvey Castro:

Yeah. It’s a little cliff notes. It’s like, it’s everything in neurology. I really think if you went from A to Z and looked at it, you’d know so much. But it’s meant for the medical student or a neurologist or somebody like me that’s been out so many years that you want to go back and review it. It’s actually pretty fun. And not because I wrote it. It has a lot of mnemonics and pearls and all this stuff, and zebras, the medicine and weird stuff, but I’m proud of it now. I don’t know why. Looking back, I should’ve just moved forward, but it took me a little bit.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Yeah, well it’s just, it’s timing. Right? It’s timing. So let’s just quickly talk for a little bit about, we’ve talked about your story and your personal story like work and so many of your values have come through and you clearly spent a lot of time in understanding who you are, what you want. How do you think about for yourself building wealth? What does that look like to you? You clearly have a long view on things. So does that also translate into the way you think about wealth building?

Harvey Castro:

Yeah. I love that question. That’s a good question. I look at wealth at the heart of all things, I think I’m a chess player. I look at the long game of everything I do. One of the things I always talk about is you got to make sure your short term, middle term and longterm goal all align if you really want to be successful. And so when it comes to wealth management and wealth building, I feel like I started a little bit in the negative. I literally just paid my student loans last year and I’ve been working hard to make sure that tomorrow is better than today. And so for me, it was about time with my family and time with my kids. And as an ER doctor, I remember for almost 20 years missing out on every other Christmas, every other Thanksgiving, birthday, special events because I worked. Half my weekends were always gone and I always felt like two thirds of my weekends were gone working because it ended up being.

Harvey Castro:

And so for me, wealth was having time to do what I wanted and have quality time. And for me it was getting away from working nights and getting away from working weekends and having more quality. And so to me, working on Trusted and my book and other businesses, it gave me the ability to say, “You know what? And now I am only going to work during the week in this capacity and I’ll still work at night and weekends, but it’s a different capacity where I can still be with my kids and still be with my loved ones.” And so to me personally, that was wealth. And as far as the traditional thinking of wealth, I am saving and I am taking a percentage of what I make and putting it away to invest and grow. And I know that one day my earning potential will drop and so I want to make sure that I’m looking for tomorrow.

Harvey Castro:

And I want to add this other part to this. I think growing up with nothing is actually really good. And I know that sounds weird, but I’ll explain why. When I invest, when I look at life, when I do things, I feel so blessed to just have a roof, to have food that it’s really hard for me not to be satisfied. Like I get satisfied really quickly. I walk home and it’s whatever, I’m happy. And I think it helps when I start doing entrepreneurial things or starting a business or even looking at retirement. For me, I’m really happy with less. And it’s just, I had less grown up and I feel like anything more is like icing on the cake. And so for me having a roof, having a house, having a meal, I’m like, “Wow, I’m blessed here, anything extra is just extra.”

Harvey Castro:

And so my expectations are different and that’s why I think it makes it easier to invest in something that may be 10 years away, 20 years away. Because to me, I’m like, “I’m happy today. 10 years from now if that comes back and it’s grown, wow, that’s great. Or if it’s 20 years from now.” And so my outlook is way different than I think other doctors that are trying to possibly buy the next car or possibly the newer home or something bigger, nothing wrong with it. It’s just for me, just I feel like I’d rather just save and put it for tomorrow or in something else because I’m happy with what I have.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Right. Yeah. That’s definitely a unique viewpoint, but you’re still pointing towards the future. So you’re thinking about the future and you’re having that level of patience and that long game approach. And you mentioned the passive income before, so you have all the pieces in place. I think what you’re really bringing forward is the gratitude and the presence, which I think is hard for most people and in like any industry to have. It’s just a such a beautiful quality to have that gratitude and that presence.

Harvey Castro:

Yeah. Thank you. I’ve learned a lot over the last year and there are studies out there that show people that are happy, tend to do better in business. People that are pleasant and positive thinking that tends for those companies to be led by a positive leader and they do better. Recently my business partner was sharing just in general, just being a giver. Those companies that are just in the giving mode and they just want to give, those tend to do better than others. And I stopped and thought, I’m blessed to have a good business that she and I are just what is best for the patients? What can we do best? And we’re looking at the long game here. What can we do? We’re not looking at now.

Harvey Castro:

I’ve had other business endeavors that with that ended, but I had other partners that basically were like, “Hey, we made a profit. Let’s take it.” And I’m like, “Well, why don’t we use that money and grow the company? Again the long game. Why don’t we do things to continue to grow?” And I remember they’re like, “No, we want money now.” And I’m like, “That’s not going to drive well in the long run because if they’re trying to take every little profit and I just, I feel like that there’s a need to learn the long game.”

Daniel Cocca:

Well, it’s a really timely comment too because it was only a few days ago that it was actually the 50th anniversary of when Milton Friedman, the economist wrote this legendary article basically saying that for corporations, greed is good, right? Your sole objective needs to be to maximize shareholder wealth. And if you do that, that’s how you compete globally and that’s how the system works and it’s most efficient. And all of these other things about being a good, social person and whatnot, they aren’t relevant. And there was a really interesting like 50th anniversary discussion that the New York Times did where a lot of other business folks and entrepreneurs came in and had thoughts today based on the penning of that 50 years ago, which is obviously a different time. And we can go back and forth and debate how we feel about it, but timely comment given the anniversary was just a few days ago.

Harvey Castro:

Cool. Thanks.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Yeah. I would also say just given what that’s led to, the inequality, and I think we’re seeing that a lot of that with that K-shaped recovery that they talk about, which is it’s always been a K, but we’re just seeing it. We’re just seeing it so much more. So yeah. Dan, I’m going to go look at that too, because I think that there’s a lot of differing thoughts these days on how to actually build a sustainable business because maybe more and more too we’re trying to think more than 50 years out for kids and grandkids and the whole planet. I know like at Alpha we have a very humanistic, service oriented philosophy also to what we do and giving back and doing good when we can and also working with partners that run their business right. And I don’t know that human element is really important. I’m curious to see how we sort of, as a world, as a business world, take the next 50 years and maybe do better with the money that we’re able to make.

Harvey Castro:

Yeah. I’m a firm believer that there’s a process and I feel like I’m at a point now that I want to do more. I want to, one of the things we’re doing is we’ll have a food pantry set up at all our facilities. And we did our first one, we got it yesterday. And basically we’re giving food for the homeless or those that don’t have. And we’re setting up this little pantry in the back of the ER, that’s outside that you could just drive up, take whatever food and then go, and then not worry that anybody knows and we’re setting up resources. And today we spent a lot of time talking about our nonprofit foundation and setting up that and donations.

Harvey Castro:

And I’m personally looking at with my business partner at a free clinic and what that would look like and where, and how we would fund it, because I feel like now it’s a time to give back. I’ve been blessed to be where I’m at. Looking back, I really shouldn’t even be a doctor. I really shouldn’t and I am, and now I’m getting my MBA and I’m like, “Wow, I’m very blessed to be where I’m at.” And so now it’s been time to just keep giving back. And now I can give back in a different way. And I feel like I need to use all these tools of success and use them for nonprofit and use it for helping others. And now with COVID and so many people losing their job, now is the time to really start growing in this industry and help others and do more. So I feel blessed that I’m in a place that I can do so, and I will continue to work on these things to help them grow. And so I feel blessed. I feel blessed to be in this place where I’m at.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Well, Harvey, I think everyone is feeling blessed that you became a doctor and for everything that you do. Thank you so much for being such a bright light and such an inspiration. And thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today. This has been such a wide ranging conversation. I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m sure that the listeners will too. So many nuggets around being a doctor and entrepreneurship and a businessman and never stop learning and being grateful and present and giving back. So thank you so much for joining us today.

Harvey Castro:

Yeah. Well, I’m honored. Thank you guys for having me. I sincerely appreciate it. And if you guys need anything, just holler. I’m on social media, just LinkedIn, Facebook, all of that stuff. Just holler. If anybody needs anything, just holler at me.

AdaPia d’Errico:

We really appreciate it. And we’ll include everything in the show notes, the link to your book and your business sites and so that people can connect with you directly. So thanks again.

Harvey Castro:

Cool. Well, thanks guys.

AdaPia d’Errico:

Thanks for tuning in to Real Wealth Real Health. We hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and found it both informative and insightful. We welcome all your questions and your feedback about today’s episode and especially we welcome your questions about specific topics that you would like us to cover. So shoot us an email at [email protected] And if you have a moment, we really appreciate ratings and reviews as it helps us grow our online community and our interactions with you. And we’ll also be linking to a number of relevant articles on topics that we might’ve touched on during our conversations. Some of them are broad, some of them are technical, but we’re always aiming to provide information that helps you better understand the mechanics of building this healthy financial foundation especially if you’re looking to do this with real estate.