I love being a dentist, that’s not the point. Just like everybody else these days, I have too many people and projects pulling me. I have always felt like if I were going to do something, anything, I should give it my very best effort.
What things deserve my very best effort? My dental office, my family, my faith? When those things are taken care of, hobbies, FUN? What young professional or any professional has enough time?
One thing I noticed at my recent 10 year reunion, WE ALL WORK TOO MUCH!
Now, I know that as a “young dentist” I need to pay my dues. I have to grow my practice, support my family, plan for retirement, support my employee’s families, stay current on my continuing education, involve myself in the community, ETC., ETC., ETC. All this while keeping a smile on my face and getting farther and farther behind on the things that I think I “should be” doing.
THEN I HAD A CRAZY IDEA. Or at least an idea that is foreign to most dentists my age. For sure crazy for a solo practitioner. I wondered what would happen if I condensed my current 4 day workweek into 3 days. Would my staff quit? Would my income dwindle down to nothing? WOULD MY WHOLE WORLD EXPLODE? I mean, my dental office is my most precious asset. It is my most prized material possession. I would NEVER do anything to harm my office intentionally. But I needed to do something to give my life back a little spark of sanity before it became overwhelmed by busyness. I NEEDED TO BUY ANOTHER DAY OFF.
DID I PULL THE TRIGGER? Well, yes and no. While the wild and impulsive side of me screamed, “DO IT!” The logical dentist side wanted to slow things down a bit. That side wanted to research and find the most logical and scientific way possible to accomplish this major shift with as little practice disruption as possible.
If I had a partner or associate I don’t think anyone in my little town of 6500 people would notice. But I don’t and I’m not ready to cross that bridge just yet.
I WONDERED IF I COULD DROP THE 4TH DAY AND ENHANCE MY PRACTICE AT THE SAME TIME. I took my first steps toward this goal without even knowing it. When I first opened my practice, I found myself referring out even very simple procedures due to my lack of education. So I took all the classes I could find on any topic. I even got my Fellowship in the AGD before I was 30 years old. This allowed me to fill my days more fully with profitable procedures. Then I visited the offices of dentists I viewed as some of the best out there. I came away with jewels from each. The main treasures I sought were in the area of efficiency.
I was at Scott Perkins first ever workshop at Destin where he talked about efficient crown preps and root canals. I immersed myself so much in his principles that he later invited me to lecture and assist at two of his future workshops. I came to believe that EFFICIENCY IS KEY IF YOU WANT TO DROP A DAY WITHOUT LOSING INCOME. As a funny aside, I was scared to death the first time I lectured with Scott. It was the first time I had ever spoken before any crowd ever. Wouldn’t you know that some real sure fire DENTAL SUPERSTARS were in the crowd? I was in awe of those big name guys like Howard Farran, Marshall White, and Jerome Smith. I’ll never forget looking at Howard Farran as I am trying to explain the clinical research on sodium hypochlorite and seeing Howard DEAD ASLEEP. But I will say this; as soon as I was finished Howard stood up and clapped harder than anyone in the room. That made me feel better. I’ll always hope that Howard had a long flight and I wasn’t really that boring.
Once you discover the secrets that your staff members are hiding, you can break down the barriers that have sapped productivity and caused squabbling in your practice for so long. One of the greatest findings of Dr. Griffin during his consultation with dental practices has been that once everyone is aware of the few little things that have been nagging at them, they can resolve longstanding issues and enjoy fun, profitable growth to superstar levels. You can get your free CD explaining the 5 most common Staff Secrets at http://www.dentalstaffsecrets.com.