The Dentist’s Question: Is This All There Is?


If you have your own dental practice and it is successful, at some point you must be asking; “Is this all there is?” Most practice owners bought or started their practice to accomplish three things:

1. Improve their quality of life

2. To be free & independent

3. to be in control of their personal & financial destiny

But you have not accomplished any of those things. What happened along the way? In order to be successful, you had to be tied to the practice.

But it’s ok. You are a smart, hard-working, talented person. After all, you graduated from dental school, passed the boards, and people call you “Doctor”. Everything – and I mean everything – depends on you. You don’t really have a practice. You have a job from which you can never be fired. You are “Superdoc”.

If you are like most dentists who own a practice, you work 10-12 hour days, skip lunch twice a week, work every other Saturday and an occasional Sunday. Vacations, if they exist, are very hard to schedule and keep the practice running. Some practitioners simply close their practice in order to get a vacation. All the while the overhead continues. This forces them to work harder when they get back and to avoid vacations in the future.

How can you change a dentist who works in her own dental practice to an owner of a dental services business? Do not start with the practice. It is not the practice that is the problem; you are. You opened the doors without any idea of the life you wish to have or a business that would support that life. You are the biggest problem and the best solution to changing your practice. It should support you, not the other way around.

The most important product a dental practice owner can create is a great dental practice. The goods and services delivered to customers are merely tools the dentist uses to design a practice so it will continue after he is gone. To create a business that will pay him just because he created it.

The process begins with getting focused. But, what are focused on? Are you focused on the never-ending problems, obstacles, and crises that dominate your practice? Or are you focused on a strategic personal and business plan that will build a life not just a career.

There are four parts to this process:

1. Focus on your preferred future

2. Develop new success habits and sharpen old, good habits

3. Build a structure of accountably to help you implement your strategic personal and business plan

4. Develop a balance in your personal and business life

The purpose of this process is to enable the dentist to enjoy the journey from survival, through success, on to significance. How is your practice? Where do you want to go from here? Only you can answer that question, but you have to make the time, be creative and the energy to do it.

Source by Brent Dees

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