dentistI have held many titles over the years—one of the benefits of starting and running companies is that you can have whatever titles you want—but in the end there is one title that I think best encompasses what I am about: Possibilities Specialist. Ultimately, no matter what I do to help dentists, it always comes down to seeing their possibilities, and getting them to realize they are in fact possible.

Once these dentists have that inspiring realization, the rest is just deciding on how to execute and implement. A real awareness of "what can be" has to come first.
That's why I like to start with that envisioning exercise. Back when I was in the consulting business I used to collect a lot of data on a practice and then begin to formulate a strategy. Now when I am asked for advice from dentists, I get right to the most important question: What do you see as your possibilities for yourself and the practice? The response I get—how ambitious the vision and how impassioned the commitment to it—tells me a lot about that dentist's chances for significant success.

So as you begin to think about your success plan for 2015, remember this:

Dentists: Think Possibilities and Think Big

Too often, the trap we fall into when we think about improvement is that we continue to think within the context of our current reality—we think in terms of doing what we are already doing, just maybe doing it a little better, or doing a little more of it, or charging a slightly higher fee. Your present anchors you, limiting you to incremental thinking, and you end up playing around the edges instead of taking a bold leap forward.

And the thing is, just about every dentist I know is capable of making that leap. I am not kidding when I say that I have seen many clients (you can see some of their success profiles on this website) who have increased their professional satisfaction immeasurably within just a year. They are doing the cases they love, surrounded by a supportive and interdependent team they love working with, and as a result their production numbers increase dramatically, giving them more choices with their time and money. Did they uncover some magic formula? No, they just set their sights higher and went for it. They redefined what was possible and made it their new standard.

So what's it going to be this year? Integrating a new technology into the practice? Mastering new procedures so you can confidently tackle that case on your desk that has you unsure how to proceed? Investing in alignment and value-creation training for the team? Perhaps even a new or remodeled facilty?

Whatever it is, promise it won't just be more of the same. Promise yourselfthat this will be your breakthrough year, the year when you utterly re-define what a "great year" means. It won't come about just by wishing for it, of course. As I have said in the articles leading up to this, you have to take the time to really learn where your gaps are, and to assign the right time and funding to the strategies that will help you conquer those gaps.

But the simple truth is, it all starts with a realization—a realization that the ideal life in dentistry you have dreamed of is possible. And it is probably much closer than you imagine. I find that most people have no idea what they are truly capable of until they start doing it.

This is as good a time as any to start doing it.

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Commenter's Profile Image April Cononetz, Vision First Dental Solutions
March 26th, 2015
Thank you for this article, it is dead on! My philosophy as well! There is a huge difference between a goal and a vision. In addition, if team members do not know a leader's vision, how can they possibly aid in the process? Same goes for any business and its not a new concept, just sadly under utilized in dental practices across the country. It takes the same energy to think big, as it does to think small! Why not think big? Logically it makes sense to think big., yet dentists and their teams get stuck on self doubt, fear and a lack of value in their capabilities. So many of us confuse the definition. IE: Vision, mission statement, goal setting, etc.. Words have different meanings to people, so it is important to teach the difference! Again, thank you for the terrific article! I'm happy to know, Spear Education is once again, right on the money! To your success! April Cononetz CEO/founder, Vision First Dental Solutions and 'Practice Genesis' 425-319-9650 PS. What is the vision of Spear Education and why?