Dentistry ranks high in the U.S. News & World Report's "Best Jobs" issue, with ranking based on median salary, stress level, work-life balance, etc. But Jay Geier says he has worked with enough dentists to know that many don't experience low stress levels or a healthy work-life balance. He has some advice to get you back to your happy place.
Year after year, dentistry finds its way to the top tier of U.S. News & World Report’s“Best Jobs” issue. According to the publication, rankings are based on several factors, including median salary, employment rate, stress level, and work-life balance.
But I’ve worked with enough dentists to know that despite the supposed benefits of dentistry, many of you aren’t experiencing the low stress levels or healthy work-life balance that drew you to the profession in the first place. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You find yourselves frustrated with the responsibilities of practice ownership and lack of payout. That stress at work ultimately seeps into your family life, and thus begins the downward spiral.
I’ve been in the business of coaching private practice owners on how to grow their businesses for 20 years now, and establishing a healthy work-life balance is the goal for much of what we do. We focus on growing practices to the point where they thrive—not just financially, but in all aspects of life, such as more days off, huge reductions in debt, big increases in savings, and more charitable contributions.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? So how do you get there? There are two fundamental ways you can achieve the work-life balance that dentistry touts: (1) Creating clinical duplication, and (2) Establishing margin. These concepts actually work hand in hand, so when you get one right, the other should naturally fall in line. Let’s start with clinical duplication.
The only way you will truly be able to break through plateaus and grow exponentially is by duplicating clinically. You simply cannot do it on your own (and if you try, you can throw the whole work-life balance idea out the window). That means hiring an associate—or two or more—and growing your hygiene department. These are producers of revenue and will supercharge the growth of your business.
Now before you start thinking, “I don’t even have enough patients to fill my own schedule, let alone someone else’s,” I want you to think of your future—not your current situation. If you truly want to grow your practice and retire comfortably one day, read on. I’m about to give you the road map.
The only way you can support clinical duplication is to get more new patients through the door. You may not think you need new patients; you may think you need to increase your collections or productivity. That may be the case, but when you concentrate on increasing your new-patient numbers, the rest just falls into place. Increasing your new patients is the first domino in a pretty profitable series of effects.
Once you increase your new patients, you are then forced to hire an associate. With an associate or two on board, you continue to add new patients, and bam! you’ve established a margin of time. With continued new-patient growth, you have money, reduced debt, and increased savings. It’s not instant or without challenge, of course, but significant change never is.
It’s important to note that when hiring an associate, you have to put your ego to the side and focus on what’s best for your practice. That means you must be able to invest in that person to the point where he or she looks better than you. Don’t hire an associate who is nonthreatening. If you do, you will set yourself up for a challenging and unproductive relationship.
Are you ready to start down a path toward a better work-life balance? Go to 5starchallenge.com and see how your practice can start gaining the new patients you need to start clinically duplicating and creating the margin required to live the lifestyle of your dreams.
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.