This is the second post in a three part series for the dentist/specialist.
There is enough business to go around, you don’t need to “bad mouth” any colleague or how they run their practice, in order to have a successful, producing practice, that you love. I’m going to take a long way around this, to make this point, so please see it through to the end.
I love reality talent shows, like America’s Got Talent, and the Voice. They have talent coaches on the shows, that repeatedly tell the contestants, to be themselves, showcase their own UNIQUE talent. Here is what I love about that counsel (it’s better than advice, because the coaches have already achieved a level of success, so it’s from EXPERIENCE that they speak, not opinion – big difference), there is only one YOU!
Yes, you went to school to learn your craft, you and your classmates were all taught the same way to perform a specific procedure. You even had to pass State Boards to obtain your license, doing things in an exact manner. YET, how you go about that procedure, how you explain it to your patient, is uniquely you. Even, when a patient comes from another practice, it’s not necessary for you to give your personal opinion about another dentist/specialist, or bash their work.
I don’t hear performing artists bash other performers. Just because Garth Brooks is the most successful solo artist of all time, selling 138 million records (wrap your brain around that!), doesn’t mean that Blake Shelton’s music isn’t loved. Billy Joel and Elton John both write their own music and perform with playing the piano and singing, they’ve even toured together! It’s past time to look at other’s in your industry as competition, and view them as colleagues.
If you are losing patients in droves, (I’ve never heard of this, seriously), or just want to really review your practice, then there is a way to take stock. Even without an extensive background in marketing (I don’t have one) you can evaluate with a SWOT analysis.
SWOT Analysis is a simple but useful framework for analyzing your organization’s strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats that you face. It helps you focus on your strengths, minimize threats, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available to you. (taken from www.mindtools.com) Remember Miscellaneous part 1 of 3, I talked about looking at other industries? Here is where you can look at how other industries evaluate situations/businesses.
I’m not a fan of the word “threats” yet I understand their intention behind it. Basically it’s a way to evaluate a business plan or project. You can use it for your practice, taking your mission statement (or coming from the vision you’ve created) and see how you measure up, as a learning tool. This will allow you to see yourself as you truly are, and realize that you have strengths that make you unique and attractive to your patients.
Going back to the reality talent shows. some people have a uniqueness to their voice or their presence. To some, it may be seen as a determent, yet it’s what helps them stand out. You may be extremely shy and don’t talk a lot to your patients and team members. For some patients, that may be the peace and calm they are looking for to alleviate their anxiety.
The point is, embrace YOU, and the parts of YOU that make YOU, YOU.
Our next topic is having someone to look to, to walk alongside of you while you are going through life. I’m not talking about a spouse or life partner. I’m talking about a mentor or coach. Have you ever heard of a sporting team that doesn’t have a coach or a series of them, for each part of the team? How about Olympic athletes, they all have coaches, both for the team, and personal ones.
There are coaches and companies to assist you with social media, marketing, and business; highly specialized. I know, I’ve hired quite a few in the past 5 years, since I launched my first company. Some I pay for, others I don’t. There are some great coaches for the hygiene part of your practice. There are also a few, like me that help you create a practice and life you love. Do your homework. There is a lot of fluff out there. Look for credentials, for specialized training, and recommendations.
There are also, other dentists that have been practicing longer than you. If you like how their life looks, their practice, their perceived stress level, (no one really knows) how they conduct themselves in your/their community, reach out to them. You have options, and this is not a one size fits all.
Don’t be worrying or thinking about others in your profession. And, get some help, please. Lone Ranger is not healthy.
Look for the next post, part 3, in this series. If you didn’t read part one, here is the link.