There is this sense of uncertainty that dentists often feel. We have this urge to make a difference and sometimes we just become paralyzed. Unable to move forward and reach our goals to the fullest. But we, as dentists, HAVE to start believing in ourselves and just jump into the pool of uncertainty with the clearest mind.
Today you will learn what caused me to take the plunge and what happened when I finally did.
At the young age of 25, I bought my first practice. I was so excited and ambitious. I wanted to run the best practice and had great plans to get us there! Naturally, I was a little overwhelmed and felt paralyzed because everyone was older than me and had been working at the practice for a long time! When you start to implement new policies and changes, people are going to look at how they're doing things now and think "what am I doing wrong?" The thing is, they aren't doing anything wrong. My team was just doing things how the old owner wanted, and I had different visions. It was hard in the beginning. When I first started as an associate here in my hometown's dental office, I had zero patients. Once my patient base started to grow, I was able to purchase the practice and the previous owner and I swapped roles. He became an associate and I was now in charge. It worked out well for a while, but trying to implement a new system when the old boss was still around was difficult. Eventually, we parted ways, and I was finally becoming more comfortable with the idea of making changes.
Famous Dr. Howard Ferran had mentioned in his "30 Day MBA" that you can run any business on 2 of the 3 main components - great service, great pricing, and/ or great quality. This really resonated with me, and I felt the push to aiming for the bigger picture. I chose to concentrate on great service and great quality. So I had to start by eliminating what wasn't falling into those categories.
30% of my patients used a low paying insurance, and I noticed these patients valued what I was doing the least. So, while I was aiming to make my practice a more fun environment, it didn't make sense to me that we were providing quality service to a portion of patients who truly didn't care and left those who did value our work in the dust. So I had to make a hard decision and no longer accept said insurance.
And you know what happened? 65% of my patients were happier and the ones who did value our hard work and passion, stuck around even after their insurance was no longer accepted. Why? Because they sought for amazing service and quality over amazing pricing.
I took that leap of faith, trusted my gut, and came out on top.
Here's my main message today - implementing new changes that will better your practice shouldn't take 15 years. You just need to get very clear on what you want, and then you just gotta trust you gut. Some people wait to get the coaching/ training they need until they have the right employees, but in my small town of 7,000, I didn't have a pool to just pick from. I valued my dreams and trained my employees the right way. I created my dream team by providing them with the right resources to do so.
In the end...
You need to make your practice dreams a reality by starting with yourself. Trust your gut, get the coaching you and your team need, and just take the leap.
You'd be surprised what kind of positive difference just trusting yourself will do to your confidence and leadership.
Lead by example and love with all your heart.