Title: What’s holding you back trying to reach the next level in the office – or developing the next stage of your career?
The “Fear of Failure” is easy to spot. It’s easy to spot, because the fear gets in the way and you never get started. It’s called procrastination. So, if you never get started, you never have to answer for failing at something.
There may be issues and items, and circumstances that get in the way of you accomplishing your goal. These issues and items conveniently pop up and victimize you, don’t they? So when circumstances arise and you feel like your life is being forcefully guided by them, remember that circumstances don’t make the man … they reveal him.
It plays on circumstances. It goes like this … if it weren’t for the economy, or the kid’s college fund, or the fact that new patient numbers are down … if it weren’t for all of these things, you’d be better off and you wouldn’t have to complain!
The “Fear of Success” is less understood. Fear of success plays on self-deception, and self-sabotage. You actually know that you can do the work and be successful at it, and you’re not afraid of failing at your goal.
What you’re afraid of … is what it’s going to take to stay at that new level. It takes more and better leadership. It takes more and sustained energy. It takes a better and quicker delegation. It takes trained and motivated staff (like a team). It takes more and better systems. It takes … more of what you don’t have.
And here’s what I hear you saying. “It just seems easier to stay at the level I am right now. It’s pretty good. I mean, it’s not too bad.”
But, when you follow someone who’s done it (and done it well), you can see the solution to your problems in their insights/words/actions. And you come away saying “I like what I see. I can do this!”
So the path might be lightly treaded (less travelled), but the rewards for your persistence and consistency are nothing short of astounding!
Solution for “Fear of Failure” – get up and do it (even if you hate doing it). A successful person fails a lot. Losers seem to fail once.
Solution for “Fear of Success” – get up and do it with someone who will guide the way for you.
Peter S. Evans, MS, DDS, MAGD
Protect your practice and your lifestyle by adding a profitable and healthy BioCompatible dental care component without turning your practice upside down. Call, click or come by. 757-220-1848, www.TheBioCompatibleDentist.com , Williamsburg, VA.
I can only guess why more dentists are not diagnosing and treating temporomandibular disorders, but I can give my perspective. It is complicated. Not the explanation of why, the diagnosis and treatment planning. It can be attributed to pain in the musculature surrounding the temporomandibular joint much of the time, but relieving the pain is tricky and can be a very long process, if there is relief of the pain at all. Patients often have headaches that we know originate in the musculature surrounding the TMJ, but we feel as if headaches fall within the scope of medical practitioners or physical therapists or someone else, but not dentists. Not to overlook that there are not many dentists that are very skilled at getting excellent results for patients and significant pain relief. But for the average practicing general dentist, we often have little interest in taking care of these patients, because the protocols are complicated or confusing, but the results are often mixed. It can also be lacking in financial reward, as well, which is a practical matter that most of us do need to consider. So, due to this combination, it can be frustrating to attempt to help these patients.
Fortunately, there are new protocols that have been developed that can make the process of helping these patients simple, effective and productive financially for our practices. The Trudenta system (Trudenta.net) is a marriage of therapies that have been utilized across the fields of dentistry, medicine and physical therapy. The system involves keeping a TMD/headache patient in the dental office for a series of therapy appointments from the start to finish of the Trudenta protocol. We have been using the protocol in our practice with great success. I am proud to offer this unique, extremely marketable system in our practice for our patients that have been suffering. Many patients have been suffering for years, sometimes even decades and are experiencing truly amazing results. Finally, many of the puzzle pieces have been put into place to offer our patients relief to their pain. One of the best parts of being a dentist is helping patients to look and feel their best. It is extremely gratifying to help patients that had previously thought that they were a “lost cause” or had run out of hope. Dentistry can certainly be a challenge, but it also is a joy when we help those that need it most.
Each day, we each have a limited amount of time. How we maximize that time defines who we become and what direction our lives will take. What habits we develop will determine nearly everything in our lives. Do we take time to pray, exercise, cook healthy meals, plan for business strategy, enjoy our loved ones and many other crucial habits? A wise mentor of mine, David Greenwalt, has often told me to remember the acronym, M.E.A.T. It stands for Money, Energy, Affection and Time. The point is that there is always enough M.E.A.T. for the most important things, but not for everything. For example, if you want to be fit and healthy, but never “find” the time to exercise or cook a healthy dinner, how likely is it that you will become or stay healthy? If you are giving all of your time to your practice, but not spending quality time with your family, how will your loved ones or your relationships fare?
It is the same in our lives or our practices, there is never enough time to do everything, but we CAN make time for the most important things nearly every day. It is a matter of priority, and believe me, with a busy practice and an amazing husband and four pretty darned great kids, there is a lot to do. I start every day (OK, to be honest, almost every day) with a list of the 3 most important things that once accomplished, will make the biggest impact in my practice. I also have an implied list of personal and family priorities. The rule is that before I can do anything else in addition to those 3 things, I must have finished the 3 priority items for that day FIRST. I nearly always have something on my list that I would rather avoid, but I am always happy and relieved to be done with those priority items first. Only then do I feel free to get the “busy work” done that tends to rule our lives when not put in the proper order on the good ole’ priority list.
Think of it this way, do you want to become super productive and enjoy the rewards of accomplishing the most important goals every day? It feels great and you will see significant progress when you do. I also recommend that if you need a push or accountability, you share your list of the 3 things with someone that you trust to hold you to them. An accountability partner plays a vital role in getting the most important M.E.A.T. items in our lives every day. Enjoy your life and your business to the fullest today and every day! Good luck!
Learning and studying marketing BY FAR the best dollars I have ever spent on education after my DDS. I didn’t start out to learn marketing, it was a case of “necessity is the Mother of invention”. I HAD to learn marketing, I started up with an associate as well as myself, two dentists, no patients…it’s a long story!
While I would encourage anyone that owns a business to invest in a marketing education, the real place to start is defining who YOU are and what type of practice you wish to have. Literally, anything is possible, but you can’t get there without a concept of what your dream practice resembles. If you love restorative dentistry, developing that part of your practice makes perfect sense. If you love ortho, there have never been more options to help patients get a straighter smile. Invisalign and Six Month Smiles have made orthodontics more accessible than ever before to the general population.
The great thing about dentistry today, is that we offer many services that our patients NEED, but also many that they WANT. For example, a patient can survive without teeth, but they are much happier with their appearance if they have a beautiful set of dentures. They are even happier if they have implants to secure their denture, so that it doesn’t fly out of their mouth when they laugh.
I look at my marketing as layers. We market for new patients for replacing patients that move, die or just don’t click. Then we layer on targeted niche marketing for implants, Invisalign, sleep apnea and TMJ/headache relief (Trudenta), and some other niches in dentistry that we have developed.
When I first began marketing, I have to admit, I was not great at tracking, but now it’s my favorite game – a little addictive, actually. I check our system on MyDentistCalls.com nearly every day just to see what calls come in from which campaign. It allows me to really pinpoint what is a better return on investment for my practice’s marketing dollars. It has made marketing so much more predictable and a ton more fun. It truly takes much of the guesswork out of marketing.
Referrals, PR (charity, networking groups, customer service, press releases) and training and teaching my team to think like a marketer and a caring, kind dental team is the best use of my time and energy. Marketing is the best use of my money (along with time, as well), it’s built me tons of equity and a practice in which the revenue fuels tons of fun and freedom for me and my family.
I gave my kids a gift for Christmas this year that I enjoyed WAY more than they did. It’s a board game called Cashflow by Robert Kiyosaki. I loved it, because I am determined to teach my kids that money does not, in fact, grow on anything, including trees. The game has a starting point and a smaller inner circle on the board called the Rat Race. To escape the portion of the board known as the Rat Race, a player must achieve a passive income that exceeds their monthly expenses. Simple, right? Just create investments, income properties or other interests that create more monthly cash flow than you spend every month. This leads to playing a much bigger, more lucrative part of the game.
So, what if you could create a dental practice that did the same thing? What if your two hands were not necessary to have the practice cash flow? OR, what if you could create enough cash flow to have the practice succeed with your production only a few days every month? What if you could structure your practice to be able to do a few chosen procedures that you truly love, rather than being “Jack of all trades”? Or you could choose to work less hours IN the practice and more time working ON the practice. The real question is what if you had the power to create whatever your dream practice looks like to you?
What would the picture-perfect practice be for you?
I will venture a guess that the practice picture would appear differently for every single one of us. For me, it’s no general dentistry anymore – I just don’t enjoy it as much as I once did. I also don’t check hygiene patients, so I am not tied to an every day schedule in the practice. Clinical dentistry for me is one to one and a half days per week. For me, it is Invisalign and placing and restoring dental implants, and Trudenta TMD/headache therapy. It can be life-changing dentistry for many patients.
I also love improving the business systems of the practice in order to maximize the patient experience and overall happiness, while increasing hourly production for all care providers. I spend a lot of time marketing the practice in order to maintain a healthy patient flow. I truly enjoy the business and clinical sides of dentistry, although I do realize this is not the case for many dentists.
For me, it is my dream way to practice. I love my role as the leader, marketer and clinician in the practice, on my own terms. The funny thing is that when I practiced dentistry the way that it has “been done” for decades, I was miserable. When I customized my practice to my needs, my family’s needs and our patients’ needs, everything fits. Patients know if you are passionate about them and the dentistry you provide every visit for them.
It took a ton of work, humbly learning my weaknesses as well as improving my strengths, a clear strategy and a great desire to love my profession as much as I thought I would when I graduated from dental school. Is your goal to escape the rat race or are you just doing what you’ve always done to get what you’ve always received? Practicing dentistry in 2013 is a puzzle, but when you focus on the right pieces, it can become a beautiful picture.