I got a day off today and I sat down and thought about how I’ve ‘reinvented’ myself many times over the past 15 years.  Whether it’s as a dental educator or as a practicing dentist.

These days when I speak it’s not so much about clinical techniques, but more about your journey.  We go through 3 phases in dentistry – general dentistry, advanced dentistry, and emotional dentistry.

Phases of Dentistry

Let me begin by saying there is nothing wrong in staying in the general dentistry phase.  One can make a tremendous living and have great satisfaction there.  But the truth is that way too many of us are stuck there and have desires and goals to be much more than that.

If you complain about your practice, dental insurance, your team members, your finances, your patients, your dentistry, etc – then you need to have a plan of action to advance yourself.  You are begging for something different.

I call it ‘Moving to the Right’.

Each of us are going to have a different definition of general dentistry, advanced dentistry, and emotional dentistry.  It should constantly evolve as we grow.  For example, I once considered a single dental implant emotional dentistry – I now consider it the overlap of general dentistry and advanced dentistry (the lightning bolt).

So how do you move to the right?

  • You invest in leadership.  Leadership is about how you communicate with patients, team members, and others around you.  Leadership is about leading by example.
  • You invest in technology.  Technology allows you greater diagnostic and presentation skills to help your patients say yes to the best.
  • You invest in a winning team.  Without a great support team who are aligned in your vision (leadership) and great with technology, it will be very difficult to move to the right.  Allow and encourage your team members to move to the right in their careers as well.
  • You commit to lifelong education.  What services are you able to provide your patients?  Are they the same services that you’ve had in your tool belt for the last several years?  No wonder you aren’t growing and aren’t moving to the right to achieve greater satisfaction.

So make today the day you commit to moving to the right.

What’s the first step?

  • Define what it would look like for you to love going to work everyday.
  • Define what it would look like to be happy in your personal life.
  • Define what it would look like to stop stressing about finances.

Until you define the target you can’t have something to shoot for.

This year I defined getting more time with my kids as taking a week off every 6 weeks and having a family vacation.  We are achieving that.

I have defined professional satisfaction as working 3 days a week after dropping my kids to school in the morning.  It is further defined by making 2017 the year that I no longer do fillings and single crowns.

I have defined stopping financial stress by having a concrete plan of action to create financial freedom by age 55.  What is the number?  What do I have to save/invest each month to achieve that number by age 55?  Take that number and make it a monthly bill that gets paid automatically.

Dentistry can afford us so many unique opportunities.  Take advantage.  You are in control of your own destiny!