Take a second and imagine two unique dentists in the same corporate associate job. 

They both want to leave their corporate dentistry jobs and buy their dream practice. Both are scared to pull the trigger because they like the benefits their salaries provide, they hear finding a practice is hard, and…aren’t DSOs buying all the practices today, anyway? Both of these dentists glanced at a few broker’s sites a couple of months ago and didn’t really see anything anyway. 

So onward they meander. Making okay money, but working more than they’d like with little control over the staff they work with, their equipment, and clinical decisions. The student loan balances aren’t really coming down, and there’s no obvious end in sight.

Can you picture them? I can. And I also know what happens next.

One dentist makes the leap, finds a practice, and pulls the trigger. The other dentist thinks about it, and thinks about it, and never actually makes a change. 

Do you know the only difference between the two dentists? 

One gets slightly uncomfortable and faces her fears. The other says, “I can’t do it” blaming student loans, brokers, DSOs, and his dental school tuition & curriculum and hides behind all of them. 

I see it every day. 

Two people, same circumstances, two completely different results. 

I get it. No two people have exactly the same circumstances. And, yes, buying a practice is a big, hard, scary thing to do! 

I want to give you six steps to overcome the fear. Overcome the excuses. And finally, find that unicorn practice. The perfect one that gives you total clinical control, a great team, fantastic patients, and oodles of money. 

And none of the six steps are big, or all that scary. 

Step 1. Psych Yourself Up 

Picture someone you know psyched up. It’s unchecked energy. Like an American football team bouncing up and down before a game, or a soccer player sliding on their knees after nailing a goal. Someone psyched up is a compressed spring waiting to explode. 

Get psyched up about ownership.

Find an inspirational story about owning a dental practice that will get you psyched up. Ask friends from dental school who already own what they love. Read Justin Short’s Titan’s of Dentistry. Sit on the couch and imagine your perfect office, with the perfect staff and perfect patients. 

Whatever it is you need to do to psych yourself up, do it. Overcoming your fears and making progress towards ownership won’t happen without that energy.

Step 2: Write Down Your Roadblocks

Everyone has roadblocks between our intentions and what we’re actually doing. The roadblocks are real. 

Maybe it’s that you don’t understand the process of buying a practice. Maybe it’s that you think your student loan balance is too high. Maybe it’s that you need to build a stronger network of potential sellers. 

Write all the roadblocks down. 

Then, sit them in another room. For just 15 minutes, pretend that they don’t exist. 

Step 3: Find a Quiet Place 

Get comfortable. Find a good couch. Take 3 deep breaths. Whatever.

Just find somewhere you can be focused for the next couple of minutes.

Step 4: Ask Yourself One Question

Now that you’re in a good place mentally with your roadblocks in another room, ask yourself: What is one small thing I can do to make progress on my goal of owning a practice? 

You may have more than one idea come to you, and that’s fine. But pick the easiest one. Pick the small one.

And write that down.

Step 5: Do It! Then, Repeat.

What did you write down? 

Listen to a podcast? Call a friend? Ask for a banker referral? 

When you’re done with that, go back to step 1 and repeat!

What if you did this every day for a month? Or 3 months? Or even a year? 

You might find out that all those roadblocks – the really tough ones, the immovable impediments to your owning your dream practice – weren’t such a big deal after all. 

And if that might be true, wouldn’t that make it worth giving this a shot?

Let me know how it goes.

–Brian

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I created a guide called “77 Questions to Ask to Avoid Buying the Wrong Dental Practice.”
Get the guide here for free (all I ask is a quick share in return).
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