Preparation meets opportunity

Dec. 1, 2002
In observing success, some people respond, "They sure are lucky." Success doesn't come easily and it certainly isn't luck. Albert Einstein said, "Luck happens when preparation meets the opportunity."

Bill Blatchford, DDS

In observing success, some people respond, "They sure are lucky." Success doesn't come easily and it certainly isn't luck. Albert Einstein said, "Luck happens when preparation meets the opportunity."

In changing times, prepare for the opportunity. Preparation is the key. Examine your own preparedness. Are there systems and organizations that you have on your "to do" list, but you keep making excuses for not completing them? The items do not require much work on your part. Experts can help you, with your guidance.

Being prepared means seeking a lawyer's help with a current will. If your family status has changed, your health has altered, or you've become more responsible, wiser, and wealthier, your will needs updating. Then, share your requests with your loved ones.

Evaluate your current insurance coverage versus your needs. You could be duplicating coverage, or have glaring omissions. Gather together all of your policies, both personal and business, and evaluate them. If you need help, find a goodinsurance consultant. Your accountant also can help you assess your coverage.

Have a current practice valuation performed. This can be done by phone with a practice broker. If you have added skills and equipment or changed your treatment mix in the last 10 years, then you need to have a new evaluation.

Speaking of practice valuation, the sale of your practice should not be included as part of your retirement planning. Currently, practices are selling for one and a half times net. As the boomer dental population reaches retirement age and wants to sell, there will be fewer recent dental school-graduate buyers. These demographics mean your practice sale in five years will be much less than you had anticipated.

You also need to have an annual physical exam — the complete kind. We avoid this, thinking the medical men might find something. If you have "something," don't you want to make changes now to live a longer, more comfortable life? A good internist will take you through the steps and tests. A great cardiology test is an EBT (Electron Beam Tomography), which can do a whole body scan or just your heart. Seeing the plaque accumulation in your arteries as the blood pumps is very motivating!

Being prepared both mentally and physically requires you to examine your health habits. If you smoke, drink in excess, and are significantly over your college weight, you can make a change before the New Year. Commit to a regular exercise program with your spouse. Set goals for heart rate, body fat percentage, or miles per minute. Be an inspiration to your children. Make the bold decisions that can prolong your life and happiness.

Be prepared for each day by making time for yourself. When is your mind the clearest for long-range planning, reviewing your personal and professional goals, and making a "to do" list for today? When do you read, think, reflect and grow? This can be your time for rich spiritual growth as well. Do you have goals of being a better listener, a better conversationalist, a better friend, or a better leader? Take time each day to assess and grow.

Prepare yourself for opportunity by finding some positive mentors. Rid yourself of negative, toxic "friends." Read books about great people, because they will share their secrets. Andrew Carnegie said, "The average person puts only 25 percent of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes its hat off to those who put in more than 50 percent of their capacity and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100 percent." Find one of those people. Watch how he conducts himself. What sets him apart?

It isn't luck that creates success. Armor up and be prepared!

Dr. Bill Blatchford, a practice-management coach only to dentists, has developed a distance learning coaching program utilizing conference calls, personal phone coaching, the Internet, and email. Minimizing the travel requirements, Blatchford coaching is now available anytime and anywhere. Based in Sunriver, Ore., Dr. Blatchford is speaking at the Chicago Midwinter, Profitable Dentistry's Destin Seminar, and Discus Dental's Las Vegas Seminar in 2003.He can be reached at (800) 578-9155 or visit his Web site at

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