When I first started in the dental profession someone wrote the book titled, How to Have the $100,000 Practice. Now, with inflation being what it is there are many speakers and consultants giving courses on how to have the $Million Dollar Practice, as if that achievement represents some sort of holy grail. While the $Million Dollar Practice (or greater!) might indeed be a meaningful goal for you, here are six specific objectives that I would suggest have even more relevance for you:
- Overhead no higher than 60% (preferably 50%)
It’s not what you produce or collect that counts, it’s what you keep!
- Ability to fully fund a retirement or savings plan
The goal is at least $100,000 per year in pension or savings. Sadly the ADA reports that only 93% of all dentists could retire in 2010 at age and not reduce their lifestyle. You deserve to be in that 7% group and funding your own retirement is the only way that will happen.
- Have a state-of-the-art practice with a great facility, using the latest technology, using the best labs, taking great CE courses, and still have overhead no greater than 60% (preferably 50%)
You deserve to have a wonderful facility with all the technology that makes dentistry fun and still control your overhead.
- A high-performance team you truly LOVE and enjoy working with
You are going to spend more time with your team members than your family members. Best to love their company!
- Patients you genuinely enjoy taking care of
You don’t have to love them, but you should enjoy taking care of them. Life is too short for patients that cause loss of stomach lining and heart muscle.
- Treatment mix that gives you satisfaction
This must be self defined since every dentist has different clinical interests. But if you like doing something you will tend to be good at it and have fun doing it.
Most of you know that Steve Jobs has been a huge influence in my life, see blog post http://bit.ly/n66wYq. Steve helped me look at goals in a different light. As you contemplate your goals think about what Steve said when he addressed the 2005 Stanford graduating class:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
Consider the six goals listed above as worthy of achievement. As you work on those, remember that the ultimate goal is loving your work! Here’s to your success! Keep Smiling!