The Secret

July 1, 2010
You might ask yourself, how can something so obvious be so hidden to so many? But it is, so allow me to share a few ideas with you that challenge conventional thinking.

Michael Schuster, DDS

For more on this topic, go to and search using the following key words: true wealth, The Secret, Chronic Disorder Syndrome, Dr. Michael Schuster.

You might ask yourself, how can something so obvious be so hidden to so many? But it is, so allow me to share a few ideas with you that challenge conventional thinking. Please keep in mind that only 5% of general dentists will ever create True Wealth, so when learned and applied, the Secret — which seems hidden to so many — will change your life for the better, forever.

The Obscure we eventually see; the Obvious takes longer.

The Secret is that it’s not about you! It’s about the people you serve. The first Law of Creating Wealth is: “The only and everlasting source of wealth is creation of value.” Value is not something you get. It’s something you give.

Your practice is not about you. It’s about how well you take care of the patients you serve. The following two statements are placed in my church: “Love God,” and “Serve people.” But for too many people, what really happens is, “Love things,” and “Use people.”

There are dentists who, no matter how much production they have or how much money they make, never achieve wealth. If you are focused on the two most common goals set by dentists, which are more production and more patients, I can absolutely assure you that you will end up with a dysfunctional practice and life.

In fact, it’s so common in dentistry today that I have coined a phrase to describe the disease. I call it Chronic Disorder Syndrome.

I spoke recently with a financial planner who works almost exclusively with dentists. He said one of his clients had increased his income each year of his practice and his personal taxable income was more than $1.5 million a year.

But here is what the dentist said to him, “I hate going to work. I used to lay tile for a living and made $60,000 a year, and I was far happier than I am now.”

You see, when you spend your time focusing on more and more production and more and more money, you “never have enough.” When you live in the “never have enough world,” you are really living in poverty.

I am sure this is amazing to many of you who are reading this. It isn’t that money is bad; it’s just that the main pursuit of money will eventually drive you off the deep end.

I recently met a dentist who, working with a production-oriented consultant, managed to increase his production in 10 years from $500,000 to $1.2 million a year.

But in the blind pursuit of making more money, this dentist had no increase in net profit and he contracted Chronic Disorder Syndrome.

Symptoms of Chronic Disorder Syndrome

  • Chronic stress and the general feeling that things are not right
  • A dread of going to the office
  • Not taking the important time for family and recreation activities
  • Reacting to your patients and your life rather than planning and being proactive in your practice and personal life
  • Overly focused on technology and material things that crowds out time for people and relationships
  • Feeling as if your life or practice is coming unraveled
  • Moving into disorder, which leads to entropy, decline, fragmentation, and breaking down

Hans Selye, MD (often called the “Einstein of Medicine”), said in his landmark book “Stress without Distress,” “As a biologist I know this: if you are to find peace and happiness in this life, it will be as a result of earning your neighbor’s love. A motivation that is designed to help someone else is essential for your own health.”

Maybe you cannot believe the Golden Rule to love others (and treat them) as yourself. But as a dentist, it is essential to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being that you strive to earn your neighbors’ love by caring for them in meaningful and significant ways.

When asked, “What’s the difference between getting rich and creating wealth?,” Warren Buffett answers: “Rich people never have enough. Wealth is a state of mind.”

The Secret really isn’t much of a secret. Yet it eludes many. What about you?

A practicing dentist, Dr. Michael Schuster founded The Schuster Center in 1978. Guiding thousands of graduates to achieve wealth and freedom, the Schuster Center is the first business school created exclusively for dentists. Dr. Schuster is a cadre and former director at the Pankey Institute, adjunct faculty at the Dawson Center, OBI, and LSU Cosmetic Continuum. Dr. Schuster can be reached at (800) 288-9393,, or [email protected].

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