April 6, 2017

Which Are You?? Dentist or Entrepreneur

It’s a very simple question. Are you a dentist or are you an entrepreneur? If you’re thinking both, forget it. You can only be one or the other . . . Wait, you don’t actually believe that, do you?? We both know your practice is a business, which makes you a dental entrepreneur (Right?). So, here are 3 insights to help develop your business side, so you can further progress the vision that motivated you to become a dentist.

3 Ways to Be A Better Dental Entrepreneur

For most in healthcare, entrepreneurship is a byproduct of the vision. But successful practice ownership requires more than providing quality patient care, it requires balancing the roles of dentist and entrepreneur. If you haven't already, welcome your business responsibilities because they give you the power to achieve your objectives. Hence, the more you develop your entrepreneurial side, the more success you’ll create for your practice! Here are 3 ways to do exactly that:

1. Identify Your Strengths

Skill sets are like fingerprints; no two are alike. This makes you unique, and what you produce unique as well. But we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Obviously, you’re passionate about and skilled in the clinical side of things, but what about all the other parts of your business??

Believe it or not, it’s not up to you to be great at marketing, sales, HR, finance, and everything else. However, in order to have your vision succeed and thrive, you do need to have people on your team who are great in all those areas. In fact, a giant part of being a great businessperson is building a great team. Which is why it’s important to identify your strengths, so you can delegate your weaknesses.

So, identify which roles in your organization you’re both passionate about and skilled at. If you’re missing either one of those components, then delegate it! There are plenty of people out there that are great at the stuff that you’re not. Hire them, connect THEIR passion to YOUR vision and provide them with what they need to create and produce. Let them own their part of that vision. Otherwise, trying to fulfill roles that don’t play to your strengths may very well make you a roadblock that keeps your business from its potential.

2. Recognize Your Risk Threshold

The doctors who get themselves into trouble are the ones who never take the risk needed to drive their vision forward. Of course, as well as those who take too much risk and fall flat on their faces. For these reasons, it’s critical to recognize your risk threshold, which can be broken down into debt and time.

dentists average student loan debt and start up cost

*Source: American Dental Education Association: Education Debt and Sample Payment Amounts, Bank of America, Wells Fargo

As you can probably attest, carrying that debt around is like dragging a sack of bricks behind you. No wonder so many new grads are looking to reduce their debt risk by finding jobs with DSOs or group practices. However, if you have a vision and are smart with your debt management, creating the practice of your dreams can be a reality.

The secret: only borrow enough for the current phase of your vision that you’re building!

Furthermore, keep your business loans to 24-36 months. Loan officers will tell you to do a 5-year loan and just make larger monthly payments, but you get better interest rates with shorter loans and it keeps you disciplined to make larger payments.

Once you pay off a business loan, discipline yourself to keep making that payment to a short-term investment fund. Building it to the point where you can borrow from that account and replenish it, earning interest instead of paying interest.

3. Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labors

You don’t have to be retired to enjoy the fruits of your labors. Become a mentor. Find a cause to contribute to, better yet, to fight for. Invest in your close relationships. In other words, enjoy the fruits of today! We all only have one life to live. What will you do with yours?

Be the Best Dental Entrepreneur You Can Be

Find your passion and build your unique vision your way. Build your all-star team, manage your risk, and enjoy the fruits of today! If you do that, you’ll be a leading dental entrepreneur.

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