A Quick Piece of Business Advice for Dentists

When it comes to your business, no one else cares as much as you do about its success. This is not a bad thing.

Recently I spoke to the Seattle Study Club in Orlando and ran into an old client, a dentist I’d helped purchase a practice several years ago. We chatted for a while and I asked him how the business was going.

Like any new business owner (or old business owner for that matter), he’d had his ups and downs. The ‘ups’ sounded really great, but I noticed something about the ‘downs’: they all seemed to be focused on the people side of the business. In other words, managing people was the toughest part of running a business.

This is normal! In fact, I struggle to think of an industry where this wouldn’t be the case.

This dentist was bemoaning the fact that he couldn’t seem to find and hire staff who “cared as much” as he did about the business.

His eyes finally lit up when he brought up a recent hire, a hygienist who seemed to have that coveted “ownership mindset” that so many employers are looking for in their employees. But he seemed crestfallen that none of his other employees had this mindset.

“Look,” I said, “I’m so glad you found that employee! She sounds great! But you’ll never find an employee–including her–who cares as much about your business as you do.”

And here’s the thing: THAT’S OKAY.

It will alleviate a lot of your own stress and potentially some friction with your employees if you just remember this.

You can and you should expect excellence from your employees. It’s not that you should let them off the hook if they don’t care at all. Whether it’s cleanings, scheduling, billing, data entry, or what have you, your employees should care very much about their little corner of your operation.

But you will–and should!–care more than anyone else about making your business succeed. (I’ll come close.)