I see it all too often: dentists who are doing everything right and enjoying great success with a busy schedule and patients appointed weeks out in hygiene. But in a way, they're trapped by their own success – working to support the practice (instead of the other way around). They're afraid to take time off. The patients are waiting long enough for treatment already. And what about the team? What about the overhead? These dentists don't want to hear about how to achieve growth because they feel there's simply no room for more.

If you can't accommodate further growth because you're operating at capacity, the solution should be obvious: make more capacity. But when you suggest bringing in another dentist to keep the growth momentum going, you hear things like: “I'm not ready to bring in an associate. I'm a long way from thinking about retirement still.”

If there is one thing I would love for every dentist to fully understand, it is this: A transition is not just an exit strategy – it's a continuity strategy. It's about continuing to increase value in the practice, and continuing to grow the choices in your lifestyle. It's about leveraging the success you've earned to catapult you to the next level – and it can be done several times over the course of a career, whenever there is excess value to be tapped.

Everyone wins when this is done right: the patients get more timely care, your team members get more opportunities to grow with you, and you can have more flexibility in your personal schedule. As for the pure economic benefits, they can be astronomical – in some cases, we're talking about a net of a million dollars or more within a three to five-year period. Dentists who get this, really get it, and they make their practices work for them at a very high level throughout their careers. And as with any economic investment, the earlier you act on your opportunities the greater the value you will build over time.

When you're ready, you're ready. When you have 1,500 active patients in hygiene you simply can't do any more on your own. It's time to give that success you've created some breathing room. It's time to see what success looks like at the next level. It's time for a transition.