As promised in my first article of this year, "Bringing Staying Power to Your 2016 Resolutions," we are going to kick off 2016 with a look at seven new thoughts for the new year – a seven-step approach, incorporating seven principles, to making your dreams for 2016 a reality.

Principle 1: “Move In”

Creating dental practice success in 2016When I decided, a lifetime ago, that I was going to make it my career to help dental practices grow, I knew that if I was truly going to be able to help my clients, I had to really absorb everything about their daily experiences firsthand. So I did something that made a huge difference in launching my career the right way: I “moved in” to a dental practice.

By that I mean I sat chairside with the dentist and hygienists and observed their interactions with patients. I worked the front desk and got a great sense of the challenges and opportunities that the people in that role face. I shadowed the office manager to get insights into the administrative and business sides of running a practice. I picked up on patient behaviors and learned about the main clinical considerations in dental care. In short, I totally immersed myself in the world of a dental practice, from as many perspectives as possible. It was a phenomenal education experience – one that ended up shaping the philosophies I would go on to develop over the years.

I moved in like that because I was passionately excited about the possibilities within the dental world and I had a strong belief in myself and what I could achieve within that world. Once I had that vision, there was no looking back. It was a passion that eventually led me to create and grow four successful companies over the course of a very rewarding career. The world of dentistry has been great to me – and I like to think that I have played a part in making it a better world, too. And it all started with making the decision to make it the singular focus of my professional life.

I am happy to say that I see evidence of this kind of thinking a lot as I walk around the campus here. I see it in the dentists and their team members who return to Scottsdale and who are devoted users of our online resources and other educational support. These are people who have a passionate belief in themselves and their possibilities. No matter how much progress they make, they are always hungry to learn more.

(Click here to learn more about Spear's online dental CE and resources.)

I also see it in our incredible faculty, who have really devoted their lives to making dentistry a better profession for countless people. And I see it in our team members – 130 people (and counting) who work on the online resources and study clubs and all our other offerings. It’s not just a job to them, it’s a passion. They really believe in what they are doing – we all do, or else we wouldn’t be doing it.

So that is my first piece of advice in pursuing your agenda for 2016: Whatever you choose to do, choose to “move in” with it. And to do that you must have passionate belief – belief in yourself, belief in the people around you and the people you serve, belief in the possibilities of your profession and, most of all, belief in your possibilities within the profession.

Whether you’re a dentist or an office manager or a front desk person, choose to connect with that belief in yourself and your possibilities and let that inspire you to really move in. After all, this is your life’s work. Why wouldn’t you want to do everything you can to make it better? Why wouldn’t you want to be great at whatever you do?

If you are serious about making serious changes in this year, it won’t do to just check in with your goals every now and then. You have to make it a new part of your life. You have to make the decision to be great, and then move in.

(If you enjoyed this article, click this link for more dental practice management articles from Imtiaz Manji.)


Commenter's Profile Image Andrew C.
January 7th, 2016
Would like to echo your thoughts. After hearing you at the Sumit in September I made the decision to "move in". I brought on an associate my first, started a major remodel to accommodate growth in my practice, and hired a marketing firm to rebrand. We go live in the next few weeks and the remodel should be done by end of month. Thanks for playing a part in my inspiration.