Do You Really Need to Own a Practice?

During the last week alone, I’ve had a discussion with two of my friends about whether owning a practice is what they really want. Both of them currently work for other doctors and their lives aren’t too bad, but they’re looking to become their own bosses, so it begs the question:
Is owning your practice everything it’s hyped to be?
Sure, you get to be your own boss, and you can implement your own systems, policies, develop your own treatment plans and come and go as you please, but you also need to be the head of everything in the office including the dreaded HR and marketing departments.
I’m not referring to the kind of associateship that eventually leads to partnership, but rather the type that means lifelong associateship like in a corporate or group setting. No pressure, no expectations.
A poll in the nearly 3000 strong Orthopreneurs group led us to believe that almost all orthodontists want to own their own practice at some point, but why?
Associates can make a very good living, don’t never have to deal with hiring/firing, have a steady job, never have to worry about emergencies and get vacation and benefits. Why would anyone want to leave that environment to take on the responsibility of ownership?
I remember my days as an associateship in bot restorative and orthodontics and can’t say that they were really that bad.  I enjoyed pulling up, seeing the patients and going home with literally zero responsibility. Why did I take on the burdens of ownership? Sometimes I ask that question to myself, but I was wired to be an entrepreneur and my own boss. I love the “struggle” that comes with practice ownership.
What about you?
Best wishes,
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