The case for coaching: 4 benefits that will allow you to (finally) sleep at night
I've had my share of sleepless nights.
I've had my share of sleepless nights. They're filled with anxiety, concern, "what ifs" and "oh crap, I didn't dos." I'm sure you can relate. As liberating as it is to be your own boss, it can come with pesky side effects. Specifically, insomnia.
As a private-practice owner, you tend to be a jack-of-all-trades. You have to be the authority on accounting, human resources, building, planning, counseling, etc. But in reality, you should be master of just one trade-dentistry. Because you can't possibly handle all those things during the day (you need to be with your clients), you lie on your back and think about them at night. And so it goes, a vicious, insomnia-laden cycle.
John Kwant, DMD, of Apex Dental in Utah had this experience when he started his practice. "I'm pretty sure I didn't sleep for the first two years," he says. "I jumped in not knowing what I was doing and thought I'd be able to figure it out. That was a costly mistake." In 2010, he added a partner, Joe Maio, DDS, to the practice. Although they experienced success, they had no vision or direction for their practice. As a result, they struggled to significantly grow it.
"When you are searching for answers, your first inclination is to speed up the treadmill-to work harder, to do things faster, to do more dentistry," says Dr. Maio. "Then you realize you have no direction or plan to get off the treadmill. Everything begins to suffer. We kept thinking, 'There's got to be something more to this.'"
In 2012, the two agreed to commit to an on-site telephone training for their staff with the Scheduling Institute. Given impressive results (100% increase in new patients in the first few months), they quickly ascended to our coaching program. "We felt like we needed a consistent, growth-oriented advisor to help us ride the storm," says Dr. Maio.
A veteran of the US Air Force, Dr. Maio is no stranger to taking direction. "I definitely consider myself coachable," he said. "My ego is big, but not big enough to know I need to learn and have room to grow."
And grow they did! Today, their practice has opened seven locations, employs 98 people, and recently celebrated its best month ever with almost 600 new patients. They are on track to meet their $10 million revenue goal this year. They are happy, healthy, and well rested.
But what, specifically, did coaching do for these dentists to ignite such growth? According to Dr. Maio, it provided them with an opportunity to recognize and remedy four key areas missing from their practice: their game plan, accountability, staffing, and asset leverage.
"We never had time to make a game plan. There was always something else to do," Dr. Maio says. "Having a coach forced us to block off our calendars, take time to review stats, set public goals, and make a plan for the future. That alone helped eliminate so many of the stressors we were facing. We simply don't have to think about it the same way anymore."
"The best people in the world have the best coaches," says Dr. Maio. "They are there for accountability. With a coach, we are held to a higher standard. That's the only way we could move up to the next level. We know we have someone with experience and proven practices to help us think through decisions and get us to follow through on our commitments."
"If we are going to invest in our staff, we are going to hold them accountable. Our initial training revealed who on our staff was coachable and who wasn't. After the first training we ended up letting go those who weren't, about five people," says Dr. Maio. "We now hire with intention and expectations for high performance. We train everyone on the phones. With the right staff in place, we immediately saw a higher return in our marketing efforts."
"One of the most valuable lessons we learned from our training is that we weren't maximizing our space and equipment," says Dr. Maio. "We thought that to grow we needed to acquire small practices rather than leverage what space and equipment we already had. We turned administrative offices into operatories and expanded our services to include a variety of specialties."
Coaching is critical to any practice wanting to reach higher levels of success. I've been part of a coaching program for 25 years and I've never seen a superstar in any profession who wasn't relentlessly molded by a coach for most of their career. Are you ready to get the sleep you need and take your practice to the next level?
Jay Geier is the founder of the Scheduling Institute and creator of the world-renowned five-star telephone training program that has revolutionized the way dentists attract new patients to their practices. He is finally revealing his secret for record-setting results, 600+ new patients in one week. Visit schedulinginstitute.com/DE to learn how he did it.
For more information on the Scheduling Institute coaching program, go to Top50Questions.com and get a free digital download of the most frequently asked questions.