This is the first step in your personal “180 Degree Dental Journey”. This will not be a cookie cutter, one size fits all, Mike’s journey, but your journey. I intend to help you think differently about your life and practice. It is not my intention to tell you what to think, but how to think to help you look at your business in a different way. It is your job to decide what you do with the direction and information we supply for you. By this time, my hope is that each of you reading this has decided to pack your bags and begin the journey. Hopefully, the doctors that intend to be average or just settle for whatever comes along have moved on to some other source of information in the form of platitudes and myths. If I tell you what you need to do, I am helping you. If someone tells you what you want to hear, they are helping themselves. Bottom line: This journey is all about you, not me.
To get us on the same page, you should have in front of you a year-to-date Profit & Loss Statement, a completely filled out Growth Analysis Spreadsheet, and a copy of one week’s schedule. If you do not have this data in front of you, stop reading and get them and fill them out before proceeding. In addition, I encourage you to share the Growth Analysis Spreadsheet with your staff along with a digital copy of The Super General Dental Practice book that you and they will need during these blogs and videos. Ah, videos. I have decided that in addition to a shorter printed version of the journey, I will begin with using videos. I truly feel that a majority of our followers are visual learners, but I also wanted to supplement what you see and hear with the printed word so that everyone will be able to apply the information we are bringing you.
Today, I want to begin with your individual Growth Analysis Spreadsheet. That means get the sheet in front of you before you click the link for our first video. The goal is for you to begin looking at where you actually are. The various numbers on your completed spreadsheet mean specific things, as you will see on the video as we look together at an example. I anticipate that there will be questions, comments, and even a few of you that will immediately begin “thinking like a dentist” when you start to qualify your lack of results with the age-old retort, “Yea but…” (Excuse, excuse, excuse, because you think your location, staff, patients, etc. are different from everyone else’s). In fact, I am hoping there will be questions. As in everything I have ever written, my personal email and cell number is at the end of this document. I invite you to use it.
You can access the video portion here: https://youtu.be/MztUnFQN8QM
As an extra level of information, you can find in-depth material in the Super General Dental Practice book in Chapters 16 and 17 which cover the need for benchmarks and details about overhead (Reminder: You can download this at www.supergeneralpractice.com and it costs you nothing). This print information will go with this video presentation, as well as the next one when we discuss your Profit & Loss Statements and your individual overhead numbers and how they affect profitability in your 180 Degree Dental Journey. These two chapters should also be used as a template or matrix for a team staff meeting to further reinforce your commitment to following this journey to the very end with your team. The best ways to create an ownership mentality or attitude in your staff is with repetition and getting “everyone on the same page”. The old adage of getting the right people on your bus in the correct seat follows our analogy of leaving on a journey. What would happen if one of your kids ended up home alone, or you left one of your team at a Denny’s along the road? You will never go any further than the one team member with the lowest commitment to your vision. Everything I am asking you to do has several layers of reasons concerning the “why”. Timing is important and not trying to skip a step is essential. Every step of this journey has to be taken. There will not be any shortcuts. You will probably find that engaging in the study of your individual Growth Analysis Spreadsheet, and understanding the numbers from your Profit & Loss Statement will be some of the most important and well spent time in taking your practice and team to the next level.
Let me also remind each of you to encourage a friend or any other dentist that might find this journey helpful to start following each of these steps. You can simply direct them to www.summitpracticesolutions.com/weeklyemail to sign up for these emails that are sent out every Thursday.
Additionally, by going to www.summitpracticesolutions.com/blog anyone can access 500-600 published articles on hundreds of topics (simply enter a word or phrase in the “search” box).
One last thing: Becoming accountable, for many doctors, is a new thing. Believing that you can actually move away from your past to a better future is a foreign concept. Committing to a new outcome is possible. I have included below a Personal Commitment Statement for you to print and copy for yourself and each team member. I know this sounds or feels a little weird to print this off and actually sign it, but I assure you it is a simple step that will make a huge difference in your results. There is something about making this commitment into a contract with yourself, and the signature becomes your promise to yourself to not quit, fall short, or give up. Involve your team in your first team meeting, and you have created phantom pressure by having made this commitment, not just to yourself, but to the team by making this a public declaration of your intentions. The first job of a leader is to cast a vision and define “core” in your practice. Don’t wait for perfect timing, because the perfect time never arrives. Don’t procrastinate or delay. If not today, when? If not you, who? I look forward to hearing about your success!
Contact me with any questions or suggestions you might have.
Michael Abernathy, DDS
My Personal Commitment To
THE 180 DEGREE DENTAL JOURNEY
I, ______________________________________, am serious about setting and reaching the goals for our practice. I promise myself that I will take the first steps toward learning and applying this critical information. I understand that success or failure hinges on my ability to own the process, learn the systems, and apply them in our unique situation. I will not miss a single session, and I will encourage my teammates to do the same. I will hold all team members and myself accountable for following through with these commitments and applying these systems. I will accept nothing but the best from my fellow teammates and myself.
I am willing to exchange the status quo in the pursuit of a higher level of practice. I understand that change is uncomfortable, but necessary. I am willing to embrace the change and work towards its implementation. I am willing to be disciplined in going beyond just what is necessary. I understand that to reach these goals I must grow personally and have the right mental attitude, so I promise to specifically increase my knowledge in my specific job, while keeping a positive attitude toward these necessary changes, while building a team environment in which to prosper.
I pledge to never go back to the way we were. I will accept nothing short of successfully increasing our production, increasing our number of new patients, lowering our overhead, and serving our patients.