Over the next couple weeks, I want to move our discussion together to the theme of proactive versus reactive. Creating what you want instead of just accepting what you get.
Isn’t it interesting how many things are paralleled in life and in business, in business and in dentistry, in dentistry and in life? All success in any category are grounded in the same principles.
Imagine if you could master these principles and apply them to each aspects. You could dramatically enhance the results you are able to achieve for nearly everything. Perhaps generating more donations for a charity, winning your kid’s soccer league, planning an epic vacation, and of course increasing the amount of life-changing dentistry provided to patients.
Let’s start by looking at your practice and the business of dentistry. Then you can extrapolate these principles to other activities and interests.
First, it’s worth taking a minute to examine the problems that exist that we will attempt to correct.
Now, before you dismiss this, even if you are having a record month in your practice some of these flaws still likely occur as there is always room for improvement. Everyone should follow along and take notes – these lessons have the ability to make good practices great and great practices exceptional.
If you were to look at practices that are under-performing their potential or perhaps even become entirely stagnant (having wild swings up and down; constantly under financial duress with not enough collections for the practice structure; seemingly never getting to complete all of the daily responsibilities; failing to move a majority of patients forward on their pathways to health; or just experiencing the constant feeling of stress and pressure), you would find one major thing in common…
Everything is reactive. Nothing happens on purpose, or at least very little.
Some people might describe this as “putting out fires” or “never knowing where all the money goes” or “working too hard for the results” or “never being caught up” or “completely at the mercy of the practice.”
Some doctors might think there is no other way. At least they don’t give themselves the chance to see another way because they are too caught up in it all.
Sure, all success comes with some form of stress, but there is good and bad. There will always be “those days.” Still, if the identity of the culture, the vibe of the practice, or the morale of the team resembles any of what I’m saying, you are quite literally running on the hamster wheel, grinding it out, digging a deeper hole when you are trying to do the opposite.
All of this is driven by practice operations and that means the team and doctor have become reactive instead of proactive. They have no control over the operations. It’s almost as if the practice has taken on its own force and dictates all of the terms to the team and doctor.
If you see some of this, all of this, or even a slim piece of this in your practice – believe me, it’s fixable. In fact, this is precisely what I do.
If someone were to summarize my impact on dentistry, the most significance would be place on improving dentistry as a business, taking control, doing it on your terms, making everything happen predictably, and executing on purpose because we are structuring every aspect and every person to be happening proactively.
I would certainly hope that’s the case. I, of course, have a pretty good idea through life changing testimony, endorsements, and nearly two decades of a long standing reputation. However, I expected it , because it’s what I set out to do – proactively.
I have my doctors and their practices many steps ahead of where they were. Which is why they achieve dollars per day and profit per month they never anticipated before (all while working less than they ever have). It’s not magic – though it feels like that – it is specific from the very start.
We follow three principles…
1st – Begin with the End in Mind
All the credit goes to the great Stephen Covey, though this principle is not new with him. The power of positive thinking and expecting success has been around since the inception of personal development and I would say even Benjamin Franklin was a great teacher of foresight.
You must have an understanding of what end, goal, objective, outcome you are trying to achieve. An unknown target will never be hit.
2nd – Reverse Engineering
Reverse engineer that “end” all the way back to this beginning. My concept of reverse engineering is all about taking control, being deliberate, and designing your specific model of practice, life, dentistry, team, patient, etc.
Everything can be reverse engineered. This is taking the “cause and effect” and figuring out what you want the “effect” to be and therefore the “cause” becomes obviously.
3rd – Be Proactive
Be proactive, in all things. Especially with relationships. Being proactive is not just a nice word, it’s a modus operandi.
It is about assertively choosing to grow your practice, to lead your team, to help your patients because you are clear on your purpose, you are aligned with your passion and you deserve the profits. Purpose, Passion, Profits, what Dental Success Today stands for, all happen because our doctors and teams, together with us, MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. We do not sit around and wait reactively.
This is the difference between creating what you want or accepting what you get. Anyone can be a talker, very few are ‘doers’ and of those doer’s most just go through the motions. Even fewer still choose to be ‘creators’ and believe in what’s truly possible because they are going to make it so.
To start, begin with the end in mind by knowing what success is for you and, perhaps most importantly, why you are doing all of this. How can any decisions be made or actions taken without this being defined first?
Now that we have that figured out, we can determine what the business needs to look like, what systems need to be in place, what pieces, parts, people and patients allow us to get to that stated outcome. That’s reverse engineering. Doing the right things on purpose and with intention.
And then, once we have a plan, we now must execute that plan with positive attitudes, great initiative, and powerful commitment to success. We must take action proactively in order to serve as a catalyst to ensure things go your way and the “end in mind” becomes “reality in the making” very quickly and consistently.
(side note: imagine doing this exact exercise with your patients to help them get the full scope of what dentistry can do for their lives and to get them be proactive with creating optimal health.)
You can apply my three principles to every facet of the business of dentistry. From phone to schedule, from clinical to admin, from hygiene to doctor, from implants to sleep, from emergency to smile makeover, from management to investment, from leadership to lifestyle – the same three principles work.
This week, your assignment is to make a list of every aspect you or your team are too reactive… what fires do you have to put out, what holds you back from getting to your highest value priorities, and what prevents you from being a better creator?
Let’s focus on the negatives now so we can flip them to a positive. Be critical of yourself, your team, and your practice. That’s the only way to improve.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll break down each aspect of your practice to apply the three principles: begin with the end in mind, reverse engineering, and being proactive. You’ll experience a greater sense of relief and more control over outcomes, unlike any time before.