Ensure Your 2021 Goal I.S. M.E.T.

As we approach the end of the year, are you casually coasting to the finish line? Or are you on an all-out sprint to the finish line?

You should definitely enjoy time with family and friends, and reflect on 2020, but it’s also an opportunity to finish strong and set goals for 2021.

When exercising, research finds that during the 2-3 minutes of resting after a sprint, your body cranks out up to 500% or more growth hormone. This produces not just physical, but mental stimulation and growth. “Catching your breath” has many potential benefits to your mind and body.

Here’s the acronym we came up with at Pinecrest Practice Growth, to ensure your goal for 2021 “IS-MET.”

Here’s a video we made about it:

To recap, here’s a quick summary of goal planning. 

I – ideas: why and what

S – structure or outline 

M – map it out: visual, audio, or written 

E – edit 

T – team members: WHO to get it done and when

Use this formula to finish strong and set yourself up for a fantastic 2021. We are in a wonderful profession.

Merry Christmas!

Salt Shaker Leadership

If you own a practice, you need to read or listen to this book!

It’s called Setting the Table, by Danny Meyer. He’s the guy who started Shake Shack and many other successful restaurants.

He teaches multiple principles in the book that are just as applicable to a restaurant as they are a dental practice, such as:

  • Make the service and hospitality more valuable than the product
  • Reinforcing culture in your business as the owner
  • A culture of going above and beyond for guests
  • An unwavering commitment to excellence

My favorite principal from the book is a story Danny was taught by one of his mentors about putting a salt shaker in the middle of the table.

The concept is this: if a salt shaker in the middle of a dining table represents the culture and core values of your office you will need to constantly re-center it. Someone is always moving it slightly, or even way off center.

Who is moving it? It is usually a combination, but this includes your team members, vendors, and even you, if you lose sight of what you are doing. Your job as the leader and owner of the practice is not to be mad or upset with people for moving the salt shaker, but rather to continually reinforce how important it is to center the salt shaker, and to establish a culture in your office that is totally committed to this principle.

I know another small business owner who owns a successful, made from scratch pizza restaurant in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Recently he had a vendor stop in and offer to let them try a bottle of a new barbecue sauce they were selling. He politely declined, and said that if the sales rep left it with them, that bottle could accidentally be used by one of their team members who could accidentally put it on a pizza, and it would totally breach the culture of “made from scratch“ in the restaurant. 

He demonstrated an unwavering value and commitment to excellence.

The question is: how will you “re-center“ salt salt shaker in your practice this week?

I recommend you read or listen to this book and I’d love to hear more about how it helped you!

Have a great week and please share your thoughts,
challenges and successes by commenting below!

Go the Distance – Finish Strong!

It’s that time of year again, the time of year to be distracted!

Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s coming to distract you and your team from you are your ankles. Should you ignore Christmas and be a Scrooge? Absolutely not! This is a great time to be giving and think of others, especially your team members, patients and of course your family.

But don’t forget to go to the distance and finish strong. Separate your personal days from your production days and draw a distinct line between the two, otherwise they start to blur together and nothing really impactful happens.

You won’t really take time off and you won’t really have time for your family time to plan, and you won’t really hit your production and collections goals.

Are You a hunter or a farmer?
Farming can be slow, muddy, dirty and wear out your hands. But if done right, farming can be very profitable, fun, and the rewards continue to produce for years into the future. Hunters just wait until they’re hungry, which is a shortsighted income-only perspective. What you want to be focusing on is building long-term wealth with a purpose driven practice, incorporating real systems to help your team develop and grow.

The success of your past can be one of the biggest challenges to the success of your future. It’s easy to “rest on your haunches,“ especially at this time of year. But the end of the year is an excellent time for revaluation, recapping progress, and celebrating your goals and successes this year!

Speed reader and teacher Howard Berg (checkout his online videos if you don’t know of him, it will change the way you read) defines learning as understanding the meaning and significance of something to the reader. Holidays are the perfect time of year to really think about the “meaning“ of what you are doing, and most importantly WHY you are doing it.

Cal Ripken Jr., the great Baltimore Oriole, broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played. He surpassed the 2130 number and went on to play 2632 consecutive games over 17 seasons. That nearly 3,000 games without missing a single one! What a commitment!

What did it take to get there?

You can read the full story from a USA Today article here.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for being part of growing our profession and providing elite care for your patients – which also furthers my mission – to provide the best experience for our clients to share with their own growing practices!

Have a copy of my new book yet? The Owner’s Guide to a Productive Dental Practice: 7 Pillars Every Dentist Needs to Grow in the New Economy is available on Amazon.com, or you can watch this quick video to learn how to get your real, paperback free copy today.

(Ice) Fishing for Relationships

I’m not a huge fisherman, but I do enjoy Ice Fishing during our Utah Winters. Here’s why I enjoy it more than regular fishing:

  • No dirt (snow instead)
  • No snags (your line drops straight down the middle of the lake – no weeds or lake  grass to mess up your hooks)
  • Less crowds
  • Relaxing in the sun

Here are 5 basic guidelines to successful Ice Fishing that apply to building your relationships with new patients and your existing patients:

1. Know what you’re fishing for. If you don’t know what your market and community want, you need to get real data and real surveys to find out. Hint: The biggest reasons for seeking a dentist probably aren’t what you assume.

2. Go where the fish are taking the bait. Don’t market or offer options that people aren’t interested in. Pain-free is a lot more enticing than “preventative” to most people.

3. Learn to think like a fish. What makes a fish hungry? What do they like to eat? What convenient options are you offering your patients?

4. Be patient with your time and money. It costs money to go fishing: fuel, food for you, food for your fish, equipment, time off, transportations costs, etc. Be patient and know your ROI. (In fishing, your ROI is measured in anticipation and enjoyment – not in the number of fish you catch, or else there would be almost no amateur fishers left in the world.)

5. Enjoy the fishing, not just catching. If you aren’t having fun at your practice, why are you doing what you are doing? There’s only one life to live – so make the necessary changes to get the most out of your life. Your patients will feel and see it in action!

Classic author James Allen said in his book, As a Man Thinketh

“Circumstance does not make the man, it reveals him to himself.“

What kind of outreach are you doing this week to your patients and vendors? How do you treat your friends and family? Are you constantly putting new bait on the line that they are interested in? Or do you just expect them to come to your bare hook?

For more on your PURPOSE in practicing, watch this week’s video:

Your Efficiency vs Your Effectiveness

The legendary fund manager Peter Drucker talks about the concept of efficiency versus effectiveness. You can apply this to your practice in many key ways. Efficiency s being able to do a nice crown prep and finish it on time, but effectiveness is creating a meaningful relationship with your patient once you place the crown and building the kind of practice that they want to come back to you and further friends and family to.

As the virus is rampaging right now, wearing masks and social distancing are just big bandages to slow down the spread. But they are the best ones we have right now. However, what we really need is a fundamental change to drop the problems with this virus and future viruses. These include better nutrition, prevention, exercise and personal hygiene.

In the same way, you can’t make up for inadequacies in learning at home or in improving your personal life by relying solely on social programs that are handled by public schools and government. These programs are meant to aid, help and foster a good environment, but the changes start with the families and individuals.

Right now reports say that homework completion has dropped to around 50% since students have less need and less personal interaction to get their homework done. What will the long lasting ramifications on education be?

Unfortunately your job market to pick from for outstanding dental team member applicants are dropping at a rapid pace. That’s why I believe you should pay outstanding applicants a great salary and hold on to them any way you can. It’s also why some practices have found success during the quarantine period as they are doing more with fewer team members.

Service is quickly dying in America, and the disparity between retail and service businesses that provide outstanding (what we would call Gold Star Service) courtesy and service and those that have taken the “self check out“ mentality are largely dividing. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you’ll need to decide which directly you want to go in your practice. If you try to stay in the middle you’re likely to get washed away. It’s obviously much more expensive to run a high service business, but the payouts can be very great. If you try to provide great service at a “discounted“ rate you are in for a rocky ride with little or no profit.

These days every guru and self-proclaimed consultant talk about “systems“ as the big secret to success. But they miss one big aspect – systems are really not the true key. They are important but they don’t come close to matching your PURPOSE. Why are you in practice? What makes you unique? How do you show appreciation for your team and patients? What gets you out of bed in the morning. The answers to these questions will reign over systems any day! Your systems must be servants to your purpose, not the other way around.

If your team feels the purpose and your patients feel your purpose and you wake up every morning with a clear sense of purpose, the systems will work great and they will constantly be improved because you have the right people assembled to get real results. This is true effectiveness.