KNOW WHEN TO HOLD’EM, KNOW WHEN TO FOLD’EM
The Gambler album by Kenny Rogers in 1978 earned him a Grammy award. Knowing when to keep doing what you are doing or make the decision to change directions, improve your engagement, and actually achieve great results is key to creating a super successful dental practice. This time of year, doctors begin to glimpse the probable year-end results and begin to feel once again like they came up short. September and the end of August weren’t great, and they look at the last quarter knowing that a mine field of holidays, lack of consumer interest in Dentistry, and poor momentum so far this year is going to spell another mediocre year. This is the time of the year that doctors begin to call and say: “Mike, I think I am that “Donor” practice you talk about and I don’t really know what to do next.”
Not believing in the potential for success is the greatest failure you can have. I would like to believe that I have never seen a practice, spoken to a Doctor, or visited with a staff that couldn’t drastically change their current situation. From the staff’s viewpoint it is always about the doctor not wanting to change and so they operate on the assumption that it’s “Ground Hog Day” and the office is destined to repeat the same day over and over. It’s as if they believe that you don’t really want a better life, better finances, and a brighter outcome for the office, so why should they try or care? On the other hand, the Doctors seem to say that they just can’t find good staff, the patients don’t want comprehensive dentistry, and the economy is just terrible. And as a wealth building strategy they successfully end another marriage, overspend, and take one more comprehensive clinical course that they are never going to use. This initial conundrum is the basis for 90% of the interactions I have with doctors over the phone. It’s a stalemate leading to never seeing the improvement and growth you need to be successful.
So what should we do? Have you ever gone for a hike in an area that isn’t very well marked? Usually, if you’re on some sort of well-used path, you’ll easily follow the footsteps of those who went before. It looks like a super highway created by the foot traffic. That’s how dentistry ten years ago presented itself: Do what others do and you will eventually find the way and arrive at your destination. Not so any more. Corporations, insurance companies, dental supply companies, and the plethora of new graduates have wiped out all signs of a reasonable pathway to success. When hiking in the jungle or less traveled mountain hikes, if you are very observant, you will see small piles of rocks at critical areas marking a trail. These are called Cairns, which is just a fancy name for a couple of rocks set on top of each other. But to the observant hiker, it charts a path through the wilderness.
Through the years we have tried to mark the trail to success with pearls for a super practice. Through articles, seminars, books, and in person, we strive to put you on the correct path. 2015 has and will continue to be one of the busiest times here at Summit. We realize that too many doctors have been lulled into a stupor and are about to allow others to define their future. This is a time where you must take action. It’s not enough to just read these articles. You must now act on the information and share it with your staff. For the rest of the year, I will try to write articles that have only one action step for you to put into place. With a commitment on your side, I can assure you that the last quarter of the year can still be redeemed with a strong finish to 2015. Click on this link to read the Ten Year Planner and do this before next week. This one step could change your life. It will be the most time consuming task I will ask of you and should take less than 90 minutes. This is how you Summit.
Mike Abernathy, DDS
PS – Thanks for all of the emails and phone calls about how good the vendors have been on www.bestfordenistry.com. Whether it is finding the best lab in the US, supplies, equipment, compliance training, credit card processing at a flat rate, marketing, etc., every time one of the members use one of BEST’s alliance partners they are surprised at the savings and increased quality of the service and products compared to what they currently use. BEST is your coalition of Dentists preserving the independent practice of Dentistry. Every time someone signs up (so send your friends) and every time you use one of the partners we are sending a message to companies that prey on our ignorance of market place pricing that we want a level playing field with the national corporate practices that routinely get discounts from the same vendors you are currently using to the tune of 35-60% while charging us the regular inflated fees that will lead to the end of Dentistry as we know it. I applaud your participation. We need everyone to join and take advantage of the no cost discounts that you deserve when enough like-minded doctors decide to control their own future in order to say no to national corporate practices and their buying power.