It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination

As dentists and practice owners, most of us are Type-A “perfectionists.” The problem with this is that we are susceptible to “analysis paralysis.” When this phenomenon holds us back, we take too long to act, or may not even act at all, on powerful ideas or changes that can have exponential effects on growing our practices.

An example of this could be adding another doctor, hygienist, or personal assistant that could make your life easier and increase your production by 20%, 30%, or even 100%! Right now, there are more people available to help you grow your practice than there has been in years, including clinical and office team mergers. There is a huge unemployment rate right now which means you have your choice of who you want to hire. As the late Chuck Daly often said, “I’m not a pessimist…I am just an optimist with experience.”

Another great example is creating a follow-up system for contacting your patients by phone, email, and letter. It is estimated that people buy after they’ve had 7-21 contacts with a business. If you present an implant treatment plan and your patient isn’t ready yet, are you following up? (Oh yeah, and just one follow up phone call doesn’t count, you need a multi-step follow-up system.) Or are you allowing them to go back out into the world and “Google” other options to replace you? If you aren’t following up, you may be missing out on $3,000-$50,000 in restorative, cosmetic or implant cases left and right.


If you follow the data and research behind this powerful principle, you will see that 80% or more of your monthly collection revenue often comes from patients who’ve been in contact with you 7-21 times. This could be through word of mouth, recare, seeing you on Facebook, hearing you speak at a local school, or being long time patients who truly feel your care. Most of the time people haven’t developed enough trust to hand over that kind of money, time, and commitment when you first meet. Yet you may wonder why your patients aren’t ready to accept your recommendations. You have to build trust and pursue it with follow up. Follow up, follow up, follow up!

I’m a big believer in the relentless pursuit of perfection, but also must remember that I can’t be perfect, and neither can my team members. Neither can you. Always strive to increase and improve, but enjoy your journey at the same time. As the saying goes “it’s about the journey, not the destination.” If you can’t be happy with what you are doing now, you probably won’t be happy when you get “there” either.

A few months back I snow hiked to Lake Blanche near Brighton, UT in Big Cottonwood Canyon with my wife. It’s about 6 miles in and back. We went in late winter, so there was still a fair amount of snow on the mountain. Just a few miles up the road at one of the ski resorts, they average 500” of snow each year and have some of the best terrain around.

At the top of the hike, when we reached the lake, we discussed how being on the hike and the exercise that comes with the climb up and down is what we were most excited for, more so than actually getting to the lake.

As you get back into practicing and into a somewhat normal routine, remember to be patient and enjoy the journey on the way up. You’ll never hit 100%, but always pursue it relentlessly and celebrate your wins along the way. Don’t forget about your patients, and capitalize by retaining your patients with a consistent follow-up system.

Have a fantastic week!

If you would like to receive more information like this or provide your feedback, simply send me an email at and put “Friday Finish” in the subject line, or you can get free Practice Growth tips on my weekly blog here

Leave a Reply