• Sona Wegner, MBA, Founder

Is your dental practice locked in a box?

Updated: Oct 20, 2019

I'm super excited to be graduating with an Executive MBA degree soon, but I wish classes wouldn't end. Despite having to come up with twenty-five to thirty more hours a week to study and do massive papers on top of running a business, I absolutely love my classes.

In these classes, diving deep into the leadership and strategies of companies like General Electric and Apple has woken me up to the fact that you and I are not that different from them, in fact, we are at a much higher advantage to do better.

Yes, dentists juggle many hats and make pennies compared to publicly traded companies and their leaders, but there is so much you can learn from large companies and use it to propel your practice as early as tomorrow. However, you will have to get yourself out of this small business box you've been locking your dental practice in, but without having to go back to school for an MBA degree to do it. I have some good ideas below to help.

Read the right books.

Books are so important; I can't stress reading enough. Reading books seems obvious, but I know not many of you are doing it. Use Audible if its easier for you to listen to books instead of read. I often listen while I run and lift which makes it a double whammy for productivity. However, if you are genuinely reading books, you may be reading books from other dentists or dental consultants with a very narrow point of view. Start reading books outside of dentistry and head into big business thinking books.

Try this one, and the Audible version is fantastic:

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action - by Simon Sinek

Want more? Let me know. I have many good reads to suggest.

Don't limit yourself to dental podcasts.

I've been hearing from clients about the dental podcasts they enjoy. There is nothing wrong with dental-specific podcasts; I listen to a few myself. But you must go outside the box and listen to podcasts for business in general too, not just dental practices. You are missing out on valuable points of view and experiences that you most likely won't hear on dental podcasts.

The podcast linked below is a recent love of mine because I have such a deep obsession with pushing my clients to streamline their processes. Seriously, guys, your personnel costs are at minimum a quarter of your overhead, so you need to be streamlining and training for every single process that every employee does to make each employee as profitable as possible.

My new favorite podcast that just launched:

Podcast: Trainual's Process Makes Perfect by Chris Ronzio

Explore other business seminars

Dental seminars and events are great resources for learning and meeting other dentists and dental-related contacts but don't forget to explore other business seminars not related to just dental. For example, I had a client go to a Tony Robbins seminar recently and it helped him resolve some leadership issues. My client said he never would have come up with solid solutions at a dental seminar and he sees progress in his practice already. You could be missing out on other experiences and perspectives outside of the dental world. Brilliant solutions can come from anywhere.

Read the Harvard Business Review

The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review [HBR] articles are staples in my MBA courses outside of required books and case studies. I had never read the Harvard Business Review until I started the MBA program and it is a great resource for getting outside the box into big business thinking. HBR has a brilliant way of deciphering big business viewpoints for small business leaders so they can more easily relate. For example, read this article from their September-October 2019 magazine titled: The Tyranny of Numbers.

Join a country club

Joining a country club might sound trivial to some of you. However, from my own experience, it's a fantastic opportunity to go outside your box and surround yourself with big business brains. I have learned so much from other members at my club that it practically pays for itself, and they love to hand out advice like candy. The secret with getting the juice out of a country club membership is to be sure you are talking to everyone and making connections. You can't sit quietly and expect to make valuable and experienced friends. You also might want to work on your golf game. I currently hit the ground more than my ball, but I'll get there.

Educating yourself with a well rounded business mind will guide you to a very profitable outcome. Don't depend on other narrow-minded dentists, CPA's, or dental consultants to tell you what to do, and for god sake, stop depending on your office managers. Sure, these people have experience in the dental industry, but learn how to win in business from legends like Jack Welch, the former/retired CEO of General Electric. It will completely change your perspective and drive your limitless potential. Don't keep your practice locked in a small business box.

Thank you for reading,

Sona Wegner, Founder

P.S. My next learning adventure this coming year is the Harvard Business Analytics Program. I am really excited to share what I learn from it with you. Subscribe to our blog and stay tuned.

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