Recall the 1999 movie, “The Matrix,” in which a man discovers his whole life has been lived in a virtual prison that simulates the real world. In the movie, he’s given a choice between two pills—a red one and a blue one. The first will awaken him from the simulation, and the second will lull him back into blissful ignorance.
Since then, “choosing the red pill” has become synonymous with throwing off comfortable illusions and confronting reality. So as the end of the year creeps closer, here is a challenge. Rather than procrastinate while living in a stupor of denial, decide to step up and do something: Act fearless. “The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.” (Jim Hightower)
The number one quality that I admire most in a leader is confidence. You need to want to never be content with the status quo. You should always strive to improve your situation regardless of either facts or excuses.
Here’s the lesson and this is how you learn to Summit, if you haven’t gotten it yet. Too many dentists aren’t confident. They don’t know who they are, and they don’t’ try to get better. They just go with the flow.
• Grow Fearlessly: If you want your practice to go to the next level, you have to go there first. This means a new commitment and engagement by working on the practice and not just in the practice. Summit supports this with Super General Dental Practice protocols, systems and training while creating accountability for you and your staff.
• Connect Fearlessly: Surely you have figured out that the biggest winners in Dentistry are the doctors and teams with great people skills. Dentistry has been and always will be a “relationship” based consumer driven business. This connection with the people you serve guarantees that you will be able to compete as an independent dental practice versus the national dental corporations.
• Serve fearlessly: Not having a clear purpose or understanding why you do what you do will drive you to burnout and failure in Dentistry. Most of us want to serve our patients. The problem is that most of us think patients want what we have to sell. We have to find out what they want, when they want it, and how to fit it into their already tight budget to succeed.
• Expand fearlessly: One thing is certain: If we don’t continue to grow and expand to multiple doctors to cover the office 6 days a week, we will become obsolete in the consumers mind. The public is currently voting independent dentists off the island because we have failed to understand their needs and demands.
I want to help you make a commitment today about becoming fearless. I know that each of you are at different stages in your lives and face various challenges, but there is not one of you that cannot begin with one of these levels of commitment.
1. Initial or level 1: This will be your first time to step up to grow your practice and change your life. You need to go to http://summitpracticesolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/245/2014/02/Ten-Year-Plan-1.pdf and download the document entitled “Ten Year Plan”. Goal setting and striving are going to be new to you and you need to look at least 10 years into the future.
2. Consistent: You are beginning to make this a priority in your life. You are doing something every month to knock down the barriers and see results. The goals are beginning to take on new meaning as you reach them and set another.
3. Intentional: You are making a commitment to grow your practice regardless of the past or the distractions you have always listened to before that essentially kept your practice on the back burner. Each day you are holding your staff accountable while modeling your own engagement to the practice. Every day is an opportunity to improve. You see that reading about, studying, and acting on the new things you find is invigorating. It is as if you are taking back your life and approaching the practice you always thought you would have.
4. Tithing (I couldn’t think of a better word): Spending 10% of your time working on the practice, learning the numbers, becoming a leader, and marketing your business is creating momentum for a lifetime of success.
5. Fearless: You are boldly and fearlessly going beyond a 10% commitment to making your practice the practice you always thought it would be. From step three to step 5 you should have hired a mentor or coach to expedite the process while minimizing your mistakes. This is the number one secret of Super General Practice Dentists: Buying a head start. You can literally gain a ten-year lead on your competition by making the commitment and the investment in a practice management coach.
Growing up, I remember ABC’s Wide World of Sports show on Saturday afternoons, where a hapless ski jumper fell of the jump ramp as the announcer, Jim McKay, proclaims: “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is “ABC’s Wide World of Sports!”
I think most of us spend our lives as couch potatoes experiencing life vicariously through the exploits of others. Procrastination is over-rated and it is about time that you got up and stepped out to the new level of commitment in your practice that will secure your future against corporate Dentistry. This is how you Summit.
Michael Abernathy, DDS