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Why are you in business?

Dec. 1, 2000
If someone were to ask, "What`s your purpose for being in business?" how would you respond? How would it make you feel? What would your body language say?

Sam E. Cigno, DDS

If someone were to ask, "What`s your purpose for being in business?" how would you respond? How would it make you feel? What would your body language say?

The following is our mission statement - our "Vision of the Practice." It`s the reason we`re in business; it is our purpose for existence:

Our mission makes me feel excited about going to the office because, if we really live what we`re saying, we are living a really unique and beautiful life. We`re helping ourselves and we`re helping others. We are constantly growing and contributing. We`re excited and passionate about everything we do. We`re living life every minute. It`s an outstanding experience.

Let`s start with creating a unique experience and an outstanding life. Most people go throughout their lives just living from day to day, never thinking about what they`re doing or who they`re becoming. We can stop and say, "Hey, I can create a masterpiece of a life ... and I can do it anyway I want." I can think about it and plan on living the way I choose. I can be a great father, a great husband, a great dentist, or anything else that I desire. It`s something that I choose.

By desiring to create a unique experience, it creates a sense of great freedom; I have the right to decide what "enslaves me." A life`s purpose with so few rules allows us to grow and evolve over time ... to live a life of choice. So what if I change my mind; I`m not changing who I am. I am showing my sense of freedom.

I am passionate about my practice, because, in the practice, we have so many choices. Every day becomes a unique experience if we go looking for those experiences.

Part of our mission is to increase self-esteem. I feel we can help the patient feel extremely important by the way we conduct the in-take interview, the examination, and the way we treat patients overall.

That`s a beginning to increasing self-esteem. When there is a sense of contribution to another person, it helps us to increase our own self-esteem as well. Spiritually and historically, service actually comes from the idea that one person is the master and the other is the servant. We are here to serve our patients and ourselves.

To make people feel important, we have to believe that we are here to serve them - that they are our "masters." We look at our patients that way as we attempt to discover what`s important to them, as well as why and what their basic needs are. By building on that, we help them feel that what they`re doing is significant, that they`re not just a number, that somebody cares!

We must be sincere in our beliefs and goals. We must constantly strive to be outstanding to make a different world for the patients and for ourselves. We all work very hard to give our patients a really unique experience when they come to our office. We already are generating this special experience before they come in - and they don`t even know it yet!

By serving people, I am changing lives and I also am benefiting. The more I benefit, the more I can help enhance other people`s lives. As Omer Reed has said for so many years, "People don`t care how much you know until they know how much you care."

When I live with passion, I always am designing how I want to live, grow, and contribute. Who do I want to serve? I have a right to select the people that I want to serve. I cannot serve everyone. If someone does not appreciate what we do, I grow by that experience, too, because I learn from it.

We must be human enough to accept the fact that some things do go wrong. All patients do not walk away with an outstanding experience. When I feel that things are chaotic or I feel overwhelmed, it`s usually because I`m not living and leading the office through the office mission. If we don`t stay focused on the mission, things tend to fall apart.

If we continuously focus on the mission - rather than focusing on only the patient - we achieve greater results with the people we serve. My mission statement expresses the precise way I feel about the way our professional services must be performed. Our philosophy is reflected in everything that we do and in everyone that we meet. It just keeps going, and going, and going - the Energizer bunny of life! It`s not only the mission of the practice ... it`s my life`s purpose.

Sam E. Cigno, DDS, maintains a fee-for-service dental practice in St Louis, Mo. He has practiced for 36 years in the same location. Dr. Cigno can be contacted at (314) 741-5133 or at [email protected].

Click here to enlarge image

Dr. Sam Cigno is the "cover model" for the December issue.

Vision of the practice

We as a team believe in the process of creating a unique experience for ourselves and the people we serve; that generates a passion for living; the opportunity to increase self-esteem; and a continued dedication to being outstanding.

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