'Let's buy a server,' and other misguided resolutions for the New Year

Jan. 16, 2017
Everyone knows that one person who succeeds at everything. 

Everyone knows that one person who succeeds at everything. I'm not one of them. I'm more of a hit-and-miss type of guy. Specific to the new year, I do pretty well at the beginning, but by June real life gets in the way and my progress slows. But let's you and I make a goal to set goals and make our goals this year.

But how?

I did some serious research on the topic. I grabbed my favorite beverage, made myself comfortable on the couch, popped open my laptop, and Googled "traits of successful people." Fortunately, much quality research has been done on this topic. From my research of the research, I gleaned the following three keys to success. Here they are, along with how they pertain to my line of work: dental software development. This year, my friends, we're going to kick it!

1. Dream big

The first step to glory is envisioning yourself working in the killer practice, practicing killer dentistry with a killer team. If you want to be that one doctor in the community that all of the other doctors really admire, then take a piece of paper and write that down; this is your dream. Knowing your dream is a breakthrough for some people, and for them being able to define the dream makes steps two and three easier. If you already have a defined dream, then read on!

2. Make a plan

It sounds like a no-brainer, but it's amazing how many of us don't make plans that will lead us to our dream. From my extensive research, the most common behavioral trait among successful people is this making a plan "thing." Simply list all the things you need to do to get to your goal. For example, if your practice is still chained to a server and on borrowed time with 1990s software, write that down as something that needs to change. What do servers and tired software have to do with living your dream? The killer practice does not have a cranky server sitting in a broom closet. The killer practice is on the cloud, my friends. And that's where you should be, too.

3. Implement the plan

"If you want to run with the big dogs," as my uncle used to say, "you have to get off the porch." In other words, what's the point of having a dream, making a plan, and then not following the plan? Let's be honest with each other: Step 3 is the hardest part. We can speak poetically of the killer practice. We can talk big about how we're going to get there. But the rubber hits the road with this final step. With a salute to my good uncle, get started by doing one thing that will get all the other things started. As long as you're still sitting on the porch, you'll never ever run with the big dogs. Simply stand up and get yourself on the street. Then there's nothing to stop you from running.

If he was talking about dental software, my uncle would say, "To set your practice free from server tyranny, you get the ball rolling by calling a cloud-based dental software developer, like Curve Dental, and schedule time to see how it all works." That's a prime example of getting off the porch.

Good goals and not-so-good goals

Now, you may be saying, "Andy, there's nothing wrong with my dental software." Let's be clear: I never said your software is defective; I said it's severely out-of-date. What's more impressive to your patients: The sound of Meat Loaf belted out of an 8-track tape player, or Meat Loaf streamed to Bluetooth headphones? Therefore, what looks better in your operatory: A 1990s-designed odontogram with a server overlord, or a crisp, clean odontogram powered by the convenience of the cloud? That's an easy question to answer, right?

If you haven't noticed, the year is 2017-a good 17 years (almost two decades!) have passed since the '90s ended. Friends, in your vision of the killer practice, you will not see a fat server. Get rid of it! You can reduce and simplify your technology footprint by moving to the cloud. The killer practice awaits! But you have to get off the porch first.

Andy Jensen has been in the dental software business for 23 years. He is vice president and CMO at Curve Dental, a software development house that delivers 100% cloud-based management software for dentists. Andy recently completed a book, How to Build the Killer Practice on the Cloud, that can be downloaded at curvedental.com/killer-practice-de.

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