What is your budget this year for continuing education and related costs such as travel? I am often surprised to find how many dentists don’t make education and training a line item on their financial planning budgets. In many cases, these are even dentists who are actually quite committed to a journey of ongoing professional development – it’s just that they deal with the economic realities of those commitments as they arise, rather than as part of a financial planning strategy.
Compare that with how most dentists approach major technology additions, or other facility upgrades to the practice. Whether it’s CEREC or Cone Beam or any number of major purchases, the process is usually the same: a period of research and evaluation, an examination of ROI potential, and then, when the commitment is made, the cost of the investment is incorporated into the practice’s operating budget.
Why not take the same approach to your education? The ROI may not be as easy to break down into concrete numbers, but as any dentist who has had an educational breakthrough knows, the return on investment you get from the right courses, workshops, and online training is very real. Anything that important deserves to have a reserved spot in your economic plans.
It all comes down to mindset. If you want to fully embrace a professional life that is truly about growth and fulfillment, you have to stop thinking of education as an expense to be managed, and start thinking of it as an investment to budgeted for - an investment in the most important asset you have: yourself.
(Click this link for more dental practice management articles by Imtiaz Manji.)