Happiness in Private Practice: What Can You Let Go Of?

by Shawn Peers, Dental Peers


In October, we discussed how some people simply are not happy practising dentistry. Making a few tweaks at the fringes will not change things. They just do not find dentistry fulfilling and may even consider it exceedingly stressful. They need to find an alternative career.

Others love being in the clinic! It gives them an incredible sense of accomplishment. They love making a difference in the lives of their patients. Restoring beautiful smiles is their passion. Improving the overall health of their patients provides them with a level of fulfillment they could not imagine from another career.

Still, dealing with the business side of dentistry causes them stress. From understanding financial statements to monitoring the latest trends in “KPI’s”, this is not the “good stuff” about dentistry…at least not for them!

If you are one of those people, take comfort. You are not alone!

All small business entrepreneurs have the same experience. The chef who opens a restaurant loves to cook, not manage HR. Cabinet makers love having wood in their hands, not marketing plans. Rare is the small business owner who understands how business works from day one! Like you, they are simply learning as they go.

So why do some small business people struggle while others seem to become more profitable every quarter? The truth is some of them understand the difference between “leading” a business and “running” a business. Those who simply “run” their businesses tend to wind up on the hamster wheel of doing everything themselves. “Nobody can do those tasks as well as I can” is their mantra.

If you believe that, you can expect you will do everything dentistry included! You are going to be very busy. Too busy.

Those who lead their businesses, on the other hand, approach things with a CEO mindset. They develop the vision for the business. They learn how to steer the ship in the direction of that vision. Then, they make sure they have competent, trained team members at every station, carrying out the tasks that drive the business toward that vision. Or they contract some tasks out to competent, reputable third parties. In other words, these leaders understand the value of delegation!

Don’t get me wrong, these CEO’s know what is going on at every level. Their systems ensure they receive all the data they need to make informed decisions. They are simply not the ones gathering that data or using it to create that critical report.

So what tasks can you delegate to others? Why not start with those you don’t enjoy? Work with your team to determine who is best suited to take on those tasks and develop systems to make sure they are being done consistently. Then give your team the tools to allow them to fly.

When you can start with this, stop and pat yourself on the back. You have taken the first steps to becoming your own dental CEO!

About the Author

Shawn Peers is the President of DentalPeers. DentalPeers is one of Canada’s oldest, continuous operating buying groups exclusively for dentists.