4 Simple Systems for a Practice & Life Without Compromise

Last week, I gave you a bootcamp version of mindset when it comes to how you approach, think about, and view all things related to your goals, your life, your practice, and most of all your focus. We discussed how all of these factor into your ‘on purpose’ decision to be completely in harmony with being totally out of balance.

Now, let’s take this a bit deeper and apply it directly to your Private Practice Ownership.

I do want to be profoundly clear about this… There is nothing more important to your sanity, productivity, efficiency, and income earning potential than to have your life and practice working in harmony.

If you take the “greats” in any industry, sport, or profession, you will find many commonalities. Yet, if you stacked them up against each other and looked at their daily routines, idiosyncrasies, preparation, and time allocation, you would find distinct differences.

I can tell you in every case the more ‘abnormal’ a person is in their thinking, behavior, ideas and expectations to win – the more chance they have at winning and doing it consistently. This is because the NORM, by definition, is AVERAGE. And average doesn’t win very often.

Every individual has strengths and personality traits that should not be suppressed but rather embraced. While there are always disciplines that are required to do well, there are other oddities of success that MOST will NEVER DO that are really the difference makers.

In several places I have shared key traits and skills that are common in every elite and ultra-successful doctor…

  • Work ethic
  • Appreciation of opportunities
  • Ownership of responsibility
  • Gratitude of team
  • Big picture vision
  • Belief of what’s possible

And there are clinical ones too…

  • Diagnostic mastery
  • Procedural efficiency
  • Patient verbiage

But all of these do not make the magic happen OR allow you to be in harmony with your life as a whole and your practice as a business… not without the actual mental and behavioral systems that support you to operate at your peak performance.

The reality of most business people is that they are never where they are supposed to be – when they are at the office they are really wishing they were at home and when they are at home (or on vacation) they are really feeling guilty about not being at the office…

This is because they don’t have an effective OPERATING SYSTEM for their own lives and practices in order to have harmony between the two.

And just like the Greats – Authors, Artists, Athletes, Educators, Doctors, Business Leaders – you must find your own approach to how you are going to MANAGE YOURSELF and YOUR OWN PERFORMANCE which is by far the hardest thing to do (even though it should be the easiest).

That is because there are principles for success and then there are the formulas for making success happen but they are only effective when built around and applied to the variables of the individual. Reality is quite different from theory, as you well know.

All the plays work perfectly on paper; it’s on the field that adds the complexity of success. It’s more about management of the situation and execution of your highest priorities regardless of the picture-perfect scenarios that have been outlined.

Still, this type of preparation and planning is key in order for you to have the focus and confidence to pull it off and make worth the effort that will be required to not just play but win the life you desire to have.

That’s why last week’s Report culminating with the “Without Compromise” activity was so important because you don’t even know what it will take or how to achieve your goals without first defining THE WAY in which you want to work in the first place.

Now, I promised some tools to begin building your own approach to harmony and the modus operandi that you will follow in order to put structure in place and have some control over the variables in your life and your practice.

Here are 4 Simple “Systems” to make certain you have in your Success Arsenal for a Life and Practice without compromising on your goals, interests, financial objectives, and overall desires. This will get you started.

Learning to Compartmentalize

You’ve heard it before, I’m sure, but are you doing it? This is about putting thoughts and effort into compartments so that they are organized and efficient when you are working on them, thinking about them, or making decisions about them.

Obvious examples are when you are with your spouse you need to put your practice in a box or at least contain it to whatever degree you both agree to have it part of the conversation. When you are with your kids you shouldn’t be on your phone. When you are with your patients your mind should be in that space with that person.

This also goes for reading, writing, charting notes, treatment planning (even though most of it is done in real time), if you were to work on something for a chunk of time it will always be more effective and productive than working on things in little tiny small fractions of time that you can’t ever really hit your stride.

Having Built-In Disciplined Check-In’s

This is for ALL THINGS: your time, your health, your focus, your practice profitability, your money, your investments, your team members, etc.

You know the saying ‘you have to inspect what you expect.’ And that goes for yourself. All too often doctors just run full throttle every day, go home, eat, hit the couch or bed, and rinse and repeat tomorrow on into the weekend then back again the cycle starts all over.

That’s ZERO check-in. Because it’s not really owning a business or being an effective leader or anything else. It’s void of any operating system or structure.

This is why I focus so much on the huddle, end of day debrief, weekly check-in, and monthly training and progress meeting. Because it’s the only way to make sure you know what’s actually taking place and to keep things in a positive motion.

Master Your Ability to Plan and “Play Out”

If you don’t plan it, schedule it, put it on the calendar it’s not going to happen. Still, it’s even more important than that. If you don’t have it on a list “to do” somewhere then you aren’t ever going to get to your greatest priorities. If you are working on only what happens versus initiating and being in control over what you want to happen – you will be stuck in a rut maybe without even knowing it.

For the best and the most serious, planning isn’t enough, you must practice visualization and play out your schedule, your time, and your actions. And no matter how much you love spontaneity if you want to look back on a weekend and actually feel refreshed, recharged, fulfilled and productive, it requires looking ahead and thinking through everything aspect of it.

Finally, and my favorite for now…

Reverse Engineering All of Your Priorities

This is about having laser focused leverage, maximizing every single opportunity, and making the most of every day, patient, team member, investment, etc.

By the way, if you want to add rocket fuel to your practice performance then you’ll be smart to secure this very special gift I want to give you to kickstart 2024. I will personally help you Reverse Engineer your practice so you can finally unlock your true profit potential…

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Still, most doctors just don’t take it literal or far enough. This is about more than just reverse engineering your calendar, more than your dollars per day goal to get to your Magic Number, more than your clinical day and value-based schedule.

Even your team and their responsibilities should be reverse engineered. Even your patient experience. So many doctors miss the patient experience because they say they want more of “x” type of dentistry but they are doing nothing to create, cultivate, nurture, and educate that with their patient experience.

When it comes to overall performance, reverse engineering is what really brings it to life. It is what makes it go from theory to reality, from talking about it to living it out, from dreaming to achieving.

When you really understand that every goal, objective, priority, action and thought (everything that leads to and makes your life possible), should originate from this.

You control your own destiny when you begin putting each of these (in ‘reverse’ order) into place. They are the four cornerstones of a Life and Practice without Compromise by putting you in control of every aspect.

This is, after all, exactly what I do for my doctors. And we do not accept settling for less than you deserve, we do not believe in compromise, we don’t allow anything to get in the way of your state of ideal.

Those doctors who don’t believe they can have it all just give in to the excuse so they don’t feel so bad about not achieving their goals. For most, it is easier to just lower expectations than it is to work up to potential. It all depends on what you really want… for yourself.

I hear all of the time from doctors who don’t believe significant growth is possible because they are already busy, already tired, already “doing so much” and yet they want to improve, they want more (as in money, profit, autonomy and time). The problem is, they believe the only way to get there is “more of the same” when in fact that’s the opposite of what is required.

We know what “more of the same” gets you. Now, you still must continually repeat proven principles, daily focuses, business fundamentals and clinical disciplines – but MORE of the same work on the same level you are doing it now, you will quickly run out of time and energy to make anything greater actually happen. And that’s when you get out of balance, out of harmony, out of patience.

Improving and achieving something greater is about replacing existing actions with better and higher-level actions. That means swapping out inefficiencies for more effective execution – it’s about elevating your game.

You must go back to what are you trying to achieve and then define the ‘how’ that puts you in perfect alignment so that it isn’t drudgery and you are able to thrive at what you are doing.

Most doctors never even allow themselves to question the what and why and how let alone actually giving themselves permission to do it in their own way, on their own terms, in their own style.

Most doctors have nothing more than a job. A practice that owns them. They just hope to get some money from the leftovers at the end of the month. They are still working to pay the bills rather than actually running a business that is going to work for them.

Now, that doesn’t mean these doctors aren’t making two, three, four, five, six hundred thousand dollars a year of income. It does means they aren’t having a very good time while doing it. They are probably working so hard to make it happen that they can hardly enjoy the lifestyle and prosperity that the practice provides.

So, what do these type of doctors do? More of the same. Grind it out. Or worse than that, they go looking for every possible quick fix, easy button, magic bullet, simple solution to a complex problem and try to patchwork their business together to get through another month.

This is what leads to having no ‘work life balance’ because your business and practice have no balance, no autonomy, no consistency, and no reliable results that you can count on.

Not a good place to be in.

Which is why so many doctors suffer the fate of taking the practice home with them every night mentally, emotionally and sometimes even physically with charts and notes or journals or bills. Then eventually the worse thing happens… it becomes a part of every conversation and there begins to be no separation from work and life.

WHERE is this vehicle called dentistry taking you? WHAT is your practice as a business delivering to you? Is it what you want? Is it as much as you deserve? Is it enjoyable along the way?

REMINDER: it’s not too late to create your 2024 profit growth gameplan for your best year ever. You can still get my help on answering these critical questions and embarking on the path to a true Lifestyle Dental Practice..

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I’ll leave you with those to ponder, plot and plan until next week when we are going to dramatically shift gears towards the profitability of your practice which easily tips the scales in making it all worth it for you. Just remember that the higher up the income ladder you go the more leverage, the more strategy, the more discipline, and the more valuable the decisions you’ll require. These doctors do in fact do different things – but first – they think differently and in far bigger ways without self-doubt or limitations.