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This week I want to give you a little bit of an update on what’s going on around here.

I read a book that got me thinking a lot, and I recommend it to every solo practitioner out there: Making Money Is Killing Your Business, by Chuck Blakeman. Reading it makes you really reflect on the state of your business, and your long-term objectives. Personally, I realized that I would like a few things to change, and I am most likely going to bring in another surgeon to help me out.

Blakeman makes some very interesting points on the so-called “tyranny of the urgent”. We can become so caught up in our daily activities, that we lose track of what we want to achieve in the long run. It’s something to keep in mind: be aware of what you really want to achieve and check yourself from time to time to see where you’re at.

Finally, I’m really excited to announce that we’ve started a new digital magazine for dental practice owners, ownR Magazine. Go check it out and let me know what you think, I appreciate every piece of feedback I receive.

Key takeaways:

The stages of a true business
Taming the tyranny of the urgent
A new digital magazine for dental practice owners

Links:

Making Money Is Killing Your Business
Foundr Magazine
ownR Magazine

The stages of a true business
I’ve been reading a book that really resonated with me: Making Money Is Killing Your Business, by Chuck Blakeman. Maybe because I just turned 51, I’ve been thinking about my business and wondering what I want to achieve long-term. It’s a great book to read if you’re a solo practitioner because it offers some food for thought on your situation.

This book made me realize that in a sense I don’t really have a business yet. Let me explain why. Chuck Blakeman talks about the seven stages of every successful business:

Startup
Survival
Subsistence, where you’re just breaking even
Stability, where you’re actually profitable
Success
Significance
Succession

For him, a true business is one that makes money for you while you’re on vacation. This made me become aware of the fact that I am the only producer in my practice, and that when I’m gone, there will be no more production. So I really started thinking where I want to go from here and what I want to do.

My conclusion was that I want to expand. Hopefully, I won’t be too late to the game in this respect. I am currently at stage four: I am making a profit and I am comfortable, but that’s about it.

Fortunately, Blakeman has some good news. He says that normally you should be able to move from stage four to stage five relatively quickly, and then continue on to stages six and seven. He says that businesses can go from stage one to stage seven in 3-5 years, and that sounds really good.

So currently we are looking at making a pivot. I met a couple of people and we talked about what we could do, and in the end, I think we’re going to bring in another surgeon to help me out.
Taming the tyranny of the urgent
Another interesting thing that Blakeman mentions is the so-called “tyranny of the urgent”, which is what you experience when you’re too busy dealing with the day-to-day activities that make you money, and as a result of that, you overlook the priority of the important things, your long-term objectives. If we’re too busy dealing with the present, we don’t think about building the future.

I constantly try to simplify my life. I wrote three words on my whiteboard – strategy, systems, and service –  because these are the three most important things I need to constantly remind myself of.

So the service is seeing patients. It’s what I’m paid to do, and I need to keep doing it every day.

The systems help build the bigger picture. I look at all the systems in my practice, revisit them constantly, and I try to make sure that everything is in place. As you get busier, the systems can slip off your radar and cause you trouble later on.