Like many of you, I have been watching the events unfolding in Britain over the last week with concern. I am concerned for England, a country where I spent a good portion of my life as a student, and that I have great affection for. And I am concerned about the implications of this referendum result for so many people beyond the U.K.’s borders. As we saw quite quickly, world markets took dramatic downturns in a matter of hours. It was a stark reminder that in the global economy we have created, we are all connected.
But I think there is another reminder to consider in all this: In times of instability in the greater world, it is more important than ever to keep your focus on what you can personally control.
I have often said that there are really two economies with which dentists can concern themselves. There is the U.S. economy (and in light of these recent developments, I should probably expand that to “world economy”), and then there is your own practice economy. You can probably guess where I think your focus should be.
That’s not to say that these outside factors are not real. When the U.S. economy was taking a beating years ago, there was ample evidence that people were spending less on many things, including dentistry. Yet I know many dentists who not only survived, but thrived during that downturn, having some of their best years in terms of sustained growth.
For that matter I know many dentists who practice in chronically depressed areas of the country, where the local economy has never been robust at any point in their career, and yet they continue to outperform colleagues in other areas of the country who supposedly have a considerable demographical advantage. Why? Because they are relentless about creating value for what they do – and real value never goes out of style, in any economy. In fact, patients would come from miles away – even from out of state – to see these dentists because they had developed such a reputation for excellence.
There is a saying that goes, “The market belongs to those who create it.” Your market – your economy – lives within the walls of your practice. That is where you have power and influence. Create a strong economy there and you won’t have to watch every movement in the outside economy with hope or fear.
(Click this link for more dental practice management articles by Imtiaz Manji.)