2 Hours to the Future

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Do you ever wish you had more money? Have you ever considered what it would take to net more annually? Are you thinking that you would have to add more working days and more mouths to achieve a bigger paycheck? I would like to demonstrate how working smarter, not longer, can make dreams, possibly even your wildest dreams, come true.

We have all made a choice to be in dentistry. For many of us, the fulfillment of our days is in the intricacies of developing the perfect treatment plan, the challenge of creating a dazzling smile, the reward of the radiant result. 

These are the technical skills that dentists excel at. This is what dentists love to do. That is why the decision was initially made to become a dentist. In dental school the techniques and skills were taught so that upon graduation, the new dentist could immediately begin helping mouths to become healthy and smiles to be beautiful. Upon graduation, many thought that their skills and a sign on the door would be enough to gain patients. For many, while their technical dental skills were excellent, their ability to run a dental practice would become a continual struggle.

Statistics show that 95% of businesses fail when technical skills alone are relied upon. In this era, good, or even outstanding, technical skills are not enough to ensure success. Merely fixing teeth for 40hours a week will give a dentist a slim chance at financial success and a rewarding life.

This grim statistic is balanced by a simple solution. Choose to spend an additional 4 hours per week on management. Staffing, budgeting, brainstorming and training with the team, scheduling for profitability and associated factors, all play a vital role in the success and profitability of the practice. These 4 hours are well spent as they can actually double the gross of the practice!

The Four Hours

In these four hours the doctor performs as a manager. The time is spent on the needs of the practice-not the patients. As a manager, the finances would be reviewed, the profit and loss statements and monitors checked -what aspect of the practice is doing well, where is help needed? Team meetings would be prepared, who’s in charge of the meeting, what is the topic, what areas are challenging and need addressing, what areas are doing exceptional and need recognition? Analysis of the marketing would be done, is it effective, are targeted patients being reached, does it need updating? 

With good management, these 4 hours a week can result in an incredible increase in the annual gross. It can double it! For example, “Dr. Technical” works 40 hours a week for a year doing the dentistry he loves to do. He grosses $125,000.00 that year. The doctor next door, “Dr. Manager” adds another 4 hours a week in efficiently managing the practice. This doctor is aware of his finances and is proactive with their information. The staff is competent and proficient. They work well as a team offering excellent dentistry. The patients are scheduled profitably. The marketing is successful and up to date. 

“Dr. Manager” earned $250,000.00 working with patients the same 40 hours that “Dr. Technical” did. These four hours doubled the annual gross. 

“Dr. Manager” is feeling pretty good! His additional four hours have really made a difference. Not only did he make more money, he has a competent staff that schedules well, leaving him quality time to spend with his family. Life is good.

But with a mere two additional hours per week, it could be even better.

The Two Hours

“Dr. Leadership” spends an additional two hours as CEO in the practice. He is a visionary who looks into the future and develops the dream. He is the leader. It is his vision that inspires the team. He communicates it clearly so that all can see it, communicates it enthusiastically so that all believe in it, communicates it with such inspiration that all want to share in it. In this arena, the details of ‘how’ are not considered. It is the big picture that is considered. The ‘hows’ are a function of management, not leadership.

The CEO is the master of the future. These two hours bestow the possibility of earning substantially more. What is the goal? 500K? A million? 3 Million? More? The clarity of the vision and the ability to communicate it well are the key to attainment.

A leader’s job is providing the vision. That can be a difficult task in dentistry as most dentists are more comfortable in “left-brain” activities. Most gravitate to the technical, the “how-to” of things. To develop a vision, the right side of the brain needs to be fired up. A CEO focuses on the future. To facilitate future focus a leader answers these questions as if it was now 10 years into the future:

  • Where are you? What city? Where is your practice? What is its atmosphere? What equipment is being used?
  • How many days a week are you working? Which days? How many hours?
  • What is your net income?
  • What is your mix of treatment?
  • What is your overhead?
  • How many staff do you have? What are they like?
  • Who are your patients?
  • What type of marketing do you do?
  • What are you “known as”?

The answers to these types of questions define the vision. The more detailed the vision, the more clearly it is communicated, the more it is shared with enthusiasm, the greater the possibilities of attainment. The team is completely enrolled in the vision. That is leadership. That is what propels the “Dr. Leaderships” to where they are. 

Who do you choose to be? Take action in the development of your dream. Hold yourself accountable for the future and it will be the future you envision!