Early on in my career as a business-owning dentist I learned a great lesson.
This lesson, although not unique to dentistry, was a light bulb moment for me. One of many light bulb moments I would have in my career as a dental practice owner.
This first light bulb moment was simple: I realised that I did not know everything that I needed to know to run a successful business. In fact, I really didn’t know anything at all about how to run a successful business. I didn’t even know how to run a less than successful business.
Frankly speaking, I had graduated, and then worked in other dental offices, and I had no idea at all about running any sort of business.
You see, dental degrees are taught with very little tuition in business. Well I remember not much at all, if any, was taught to me, as an undergraduate.
So as a new to business dental business owner, I knew naught about business. I tried to learn from my accountant, but he only taught me what I think was what he needed from me to make his life easier, rather than really what I needed to do to make my efforts more profitable and more productive.
I tried to learn from my previous employers. They seemed to know what they were doing? However, they were more, and I mean far far more, secretive, about what they did and why they did it. I guess to them, knowledge was power, so they were clandestine with their secrecy as to what they did and why they did it the way that they did.
So, I sought out knowledge. I had to. I needed to seek advice. By the truckload. I listened to gurus. I listened to people loved in their field, who knew their craft backwards, who knew their craft inside out.
Or so it seemed.
Because what I found was this…..
I found there was indeed, experts out there. Experts willing to teach, and share their knowledge and experiences.
There was too, unfortunately, teachers out there with little or no background in what they taught.
Sadly, very sadly, there were also people out there teaching in my profession, without runs on the board. With little or no experience whatsoever, sadly.
Call me naïve, but I now understand that this happens in other professions too.
You see, I once thought that barristers were skilled people who had moved on, so to speak, as lawyers, and had sought out higher ground.
My little brother, a barrister now himself, however, let me know in no uncertain terms that there are a lot of people at the bar who couldn’t cut it as lawyers, and who weren’t really cutting it as barristers either.
But little was Joe Public to know about this either…
Did you know this? I certainly didn’t, and I was horrified!!
And apparently, it’s the same in other fields.
Whether we’re talking dental education, or were talking business education, I hazard a guess that it could well be the same in these professions as it is at the bar.
And that is, there are some who teach who have made it, and want to give back, and there are some who teach, because they haven’t made it, can’t make it, or worse still, prey on dentists as vulnerable sheep being led by the pied piper blindly looking for a better way.
So, it’s a tough call. Tough for you as the dental consumer to choose who out there is best for you…
You need education. You seek it, you want it. But you want someone who has walked the walk, talked the talk. You don’t want someone teaching you who is a theorist, who has never had to survive, someone who has never had to or needed to put food on their own table, based upon the philosophies they preach.
And that can be a big concern. Who *DO* you choose?
Who do you choose indeed?
You need to make sure, when you choose someone to show you the way, that they have indeed “walked the walk” so they can “talk the talk”.
I remember an old philosophy that I heard, and remembered, from my undergraduate days:
“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”
My advice to you seeking advice is to do your research. Do your homework on those you wish to follow. Make sure you are comfortable with their track record.
Now, having said all this, some of the best advice that I ever received for my dental practice came from non-dentists.
And some of the worst advice I ever received, actually came from dentists…. who were poor teachers.
So, it’s horses for courses…. you just need to make sure you have the right horse.
However, in saying that, success does leave a trail. Success leaves clues. So look for it. Look for the successes….
Your future, your destiny, depends upon it.
You do need a teacher. But you need the right teacher…so remember… Remember this lesson:
“Before following a teacher, any teacher, make sure that they are indeed headed in the right direction…”
Dr. David Moffet BDS FPFA CSP is a certified CX Experience coach. David works with his wife Jayne Bandy to help SME businesses improve their Customer Service Systems to create memorable World Class experiences for their valued clients and customers. Click here to find out how David and Jayne can help your business