I attended a regional dental meeting with my husband a few weeks ago and made some curious observations I’d like to share with you today.
As a Dental Practice Management Consultant, it is important to me to stay on top of the very latest techniques in my field. Since I was not speaking at this event, but am very well-versed in the topics offered, I attended a few courses with a different objective than usual; pure observer. I usually sit in the front, eagerly taking in everything the speaker has to say. Since I’ve heard it all at this point, I chose to sit in the back, and observe the dentists and their teams, in an attempt to see how I might meet the needs of my audiences in the future. What a different perspective!
You see, as you might suspect, I’m one of those people who believes that everything and anything is possible. I believe that failure is to be expected and is merely a stepping stone to greatness. I live very little of my life in fear, which tends to terrify my mother. (How ironic is that?)
As I listened to the conversations going on all around me, I discovered that everything I’ve ever learned, and have taught to others myself, about the significance of a positive, can-do attitude, is absolutely TRUE!
Isn’t it funny how you can believe in something, but not really know it until you have the proof displayed right in front of your face? But I guess that what faith is, isn’t it? However, seeing evidence, first hand, is really an eye opener. Let me explain.
I observed two key characteristics among the successful dentists, versus the ones who are struggling. The first will not surprise you, it was attitude. The dentists who were saying positive things about their life, their work, their practices, their teams, and just making positive statements in general, appeared to be happy, calm, at peace, enjoying their journey, and successful. They eagerly shared their earnings, their goals, and interestingly, their tips and what they’ve learned. Yes, they even talked about the things that they’d tried that didn’t work for them. Like certain marketing strategies, consulting companies that made big promises but didn’t deliver, but the wording they used to describe these “negative” experiences was upbeat which reflected the general outlook of the person speaking. For example, instead of saying, “Oh, stay away from that company. They are bad news! They took me for x amount of dollars and when I asked for my money back, they disappeared.” I heard things more along the lines of, “Well, we tried that approach, but it didn’t work for us. And I think it was probably because . . .” The person went on to explain more or less that it was no one’s fault, it just didn’t work. They learned from it, and moved on.
The second significant trait that I noticed among the successful entrepreneurs is that they were willing to invest in themselves and their businesses. I know a lot of struggling dentists who believe that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter the instant they graduate from dental school. The successful dentists I know realize that it doesn’t work that way. You have to continue to educate yourself, upgrade your knowledge beyond what is required, and consistently put a significant amount of your earnings back into your business. It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been in practice, successful dentists are constantly upgrading their equipment and skills.
The third and most shocking observation I made was that many of the participants where not dentists, but dental team employees who had come to the meeting on their own. Not only were the not being paid to be there, but they had paid for their entire trip themselves.
I had a client tell me not to long ago that she had purchased my collections system with her own money. In fact, her dentist even told her that my system would not work. But she believed it would, bought it herself, put it into practice, and was telling me how much success she had had with it. To be honest, it really upset me at first. I felt sorry for this woman at having to spend her own money on something her employer should have gladly purchased for her, and then to find out that he had such a negative attitude. But it didn’t seem to be bothering her, so I didn’t say anything. Now I realize that she’s one of those people – like me – and many of you – who believes in doing things for themselves. I can certainly see how many people would think, “But it was his business she was investing in.” Yes, but she was also investing in herself. This woman paid $400 so that she could feel better about herself and have more confidence in herself while at work. (Abraham-Hicks fans, think “downstream.”) She can now take the knowledge, practical experience, and huge success she had implementing that system and market herself very successfully to other dental practices. Trust me, she’d be snapped up in no time flat. Think of the leverage that gives her. When you invest in yourself, even if it seems like it’s in the best interest of your employer, it will also ultimately benefit you. Investing in yourself always pays huge dividends.
In summary, here are two essential traits for success:
- Believe that anything is possible.
- Be willing to invest in yourself and your business, regardless of whether you are the business owner, or “just” an employee.
I guess I’ve really always had faith that a positive attitude was key to success. I believed all the motivational speakers when they said this was so. It certainly seems to have worked for me over the past 40 years. (Yes – I turned the big 4-0 last Friday, April 11, 2008.) And although I haven’t been too stingy with money, I haven’t invested as much in myself as I should have over the past three years of developing my business. That’s going to change, starting today.
My challenge to you for today is to find a way to invest in your future. Whether it’s going back to school, taking a continuing education course, or attending a success retreat to help you get it all sorted out, make a decision today and commit to it. You’ll be glad you did.
I’ll be teaching other personal and business success methods I’ve learned in my Conscious Creation Retreat; I hope to see you there!
In the meantime, here are a couple of tools to help you get on the road to success:
Wake Up and Create the Life You Want: A Guide to Self-Empowerment
Eliminate Clutter and Organize Your Life E-book
Until next time,
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Posted under Dental Practice Management, Education, Inspiration, Law of Attraction, Leadership, Motivation, Success