What Every Doctor Owner Wants (and What They Don’t)

Do you ever feel like sometimes your practice gets the best of you?  You have great intentions, you know exactly what you want to happen, you think you are explaining it clearly, you’ve even conveyed your expectations to your team, and then it still just seems like it’s much harder than it should be. 

Or maybe you feel as if everything is going your way, that it’s almost too easy, that you’ve achieved all you can, but you just feel like there is something else, something missing, something left, something unfinished… perhaps in your career, clinically or maybe it’s financially, or you’d really like to slow down, work less, or just not have to work as much to achieve your goals. 

I don’t know specifically how you feel but if you are like most Doctors who are here reading this, who seek me out, what they want most is for their practice not to dominate their lives, they want to be paid what they are worth, they want it to be fun and fulfilling, they want to reward their team, they want to take care of their patients, and they want their practice to be a real business that provides extreme profitability so they can diversify their investments to achieve long term financial freedom outside of and not dependent upon dentistry. 

Depending on their age and stage of their careers, they want to go out on top, maximize their peak earning years, and of course have an intentional transition plan of some sort. 

Really it boils down to working by choice not out of financial necessity and doing it on your own terms (both with your lifestyle outside of the practice and your clinical philosophy inside the practice). 

That’s what my doctors want.

There are also a lot of things that my doctors don’t want.  They don’t want wimpy whiny team members, or patients for that matter.  They don’t want to be told what to do or what they can charge or how they should practice. 

They certainly don’t want to work hard and have nothing to show for it, they don’t want to get caught up in a volume trap that’s about how many patients you see instead of how much dentistry you do, and they don’t want to be commoditized by insurance or anyone else.  

The list goes on. 

Here’s the point… only you know what you want and what you don’t want.  The clearer you are about how you defining it, the more apt it is to actually happen. 

And here’s the thing, it can change, yes, that’s why you are the owner.  This is why you’ve decided to do what you are doing now so you can be in control and make your own rules for your life. 

Over the past couple weeks, we’ve been talking about maximizing the rest of the year and we’ve honed in on your top twenty percent of actions where your effort should be. 

That’s great, for this year, but what about the next one? 

What do you want to be different in the coming year than the current year you will be leaving behind? 

This question matters because unless you push the limits of your desires and beliefs, nothing and no one else will.  You’ll simply stay stuck where you are. 

Just yesterday, I was reflecting with a wonderful Doctor about what is on her 100 day path which will have taken her from three thousand dollars all the way to ten thousand dollars a day by increasing daily performance and averages in twenty day increments.  We are making this transformation possible in less than six months, where most others would take years to achieve. 

Here’s the irony of it all… it’s not about the ‘making the number happen.’  It’s about becoming a ten thousand dollar a day doctor, team, practice, business, and system and then following through with the actions. 

As I have said here so many times, the major difference between a five thousand and twenty thousand a day practice; or a five day per week or three day per week one; or a two or three million dollar practice is not the ‘what’ – it is still dentistry after all – it is the who and the how. 

And it begins with desire and belief, then decision and action, and finally deliberate focus on specific things with a commitment to see them through because you refuse to fail. 

You’ve got to raise the bar for yourself in whatever way that is in your life. 

Again, my questions in these Weekly Reports should not be taken as rhetorical but a challenge for yourself to expand your mind by thinking critically about yourself, your team, your practice, your life – and about your preconceived ideas and self imposed limitations. 

This month it’s the scary month (though isn’t every month scary these days), but with Halloween you think about all the ghosts and goblins and spells and tricks.  What’s crazy is that there are a lot of things we do to ourselves that constitute ‘tricks’ and things we let scare us. 

The next question is what tricks are you playing on yourself? 

From past failures?  From old ideas?  From the influence of other people’s opinions (whether team or family or patients or industry)?   

Here’s a trickier one… what spells do you need to counter in the minds of your team, your patients, or yourself to break you through to the next level? 

The vast majority of my doctors this year will beat their 2019 numbers in 2020 with substantially more profit and with an average of six to eight weeks less in the office (without factoring in the government money and without making up the clinical days… and a good chunk of them still keeping their vacations in the second half the year in place). 

So, the fallacy in thinking and the trick of the mind would suggest “how can this be?”  Instead, the question should be reversed.  The revelation should be “well why not we do this on purpose and repeat it next year!” 

That’s why the last two weeks were so vital about maximization. 

But it is much more significant than that.  It is about knowing what you really want and being open minded to your own ambitions.  It’s about believing they are possible and structuring your life and practice to match your vision instead of the other way around. 

In fact, that’s really my point today.  What is your vision for each part of your life, specifically? If you see what you want as the outcome for your patients then it’s not that difficult to layout the process, create the experience, and execute the system to result in a desired outcome. 

Same for your team, your schedule, your clinical days, your calendar year, and your life. 

Most doctors never get past being reactive with the things they don’t like after the fact of them existing and happening instead of being proactive by controlling and deliberately creating what they want. 

I say let’s break the spells standing in your way.  Let’s stop playing tricks on yourself or letting others hold you back from your potential.   

Let’s rediscover what you visualize as the perfect picture of your future.  Remember, what once was does not have to be what is ever again and what currently is doesn’t have to limit what can be tomorrow. 

Since it’s Halloween month, choose to give yourself more treats than tricks, you certainly deserve them this year.

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