DEBRA MILLER | DIRECTOR OF COACHING
After the startup phase of practice ownership, most doctors and practices stabilize around a predictable level of productivity and success. But as your personal goals grow and evolve over the years, often the practice remains unchanged at a certain level. Life events such as starting a family, home ownership, paying off debt, saving for future needs (kid’s college, retirement, etc.) and lifestyle spending growth can result in feeling stressed and pressured if the practice doesn’t rise to the challenge.
However, endodontic practice owners can directly shape their work environment and practice performance. Here are 4 key questions that reveal when it’s time to make some changes that better suit your current and future goals:
1. Do I love coming into my practice every day?
Other than sound asleep in your bed, your practice is probably the single place where you spend the most time devoted to one activity. It should be an environment that energizes and inspires you to deliver the best care to patients and enjoy your time.
2. Do I have the right level of work/life balance?
When you are younger, you expect to work hard to get your practice set up. As you get older, having the right balance between work and personal time becomes more important. You may want it for your family, for travel, for pastimes and hobbies, etc.
You also need to consider your physical needs as an endodontist. What is the right number of days to work in a row, after which your body and ability to provide care is better served by rest? This is a factor that frequently evolves over time and is frequently ignored by many doctors, resulting in a perpetual feeling of exhaustion at the end of the workday.
If you are going home exhausted, plus you’re taking work home from the office (reports to write, accounting, management issues), then your personal time is actually being robbed of relaxation and enjoyment by your business.
3. Am I free of limitations and issues concerning my team?
Unlike practice owners, team members are employees who adapt primarily to the expectations placed on them. If you have low expectations based on past or stale goals, or you have allowed team drama to persist, the team will remain at that level. If you evolve to high expectations, the team will eventually adapt. However, teams don’t easily move from low to high expectations without clarity, support and investment from you in their professional growth and development.
Great teams really understand that their job (in addition to great patient care) is to make life easy for the doctor. Great teams anticipate the doctor’s needs in advance and focus on practice goals that achieve the doctor’s vision. Empowering your team to embrace change and excel at a new level takes leadership.
4. Is my practice in alignment with both my short and long-term financial goals?
It’s often the bottom-line results that are the clearest and quickest barometer for assessing your goals. If you are having a lot of fun in your practice but you’re not taking home enough income, eventually it won’t be fun anymore. If you are spending everything you earn and you don’t have practice growth, you’ll never be free of debt or save enough for retirement.
Endodontists generally do well compared to the average person, but many endodontists still feel financial limitations and stress. However, you literally have the ability to decide how much income you want to earn. From the 5th percentile to the 95th percentile, solo endodontists can earn between $100,000 to several million dollars per year. That’s a big range in which you can find the right level for you now and in the future.
Adapting to your vision and goals
Above all else, if you are at the point where you are just “putting in time” or “making do” with a practice that is falling short of your ideal goals, why would you want to do that any longer? Whether you have 5 years or 15 years or 30 years ahead of you in endodontics, that’s a long time to feel like you are coming up short.
At Endo Mastery, we specialize in helping doctors achieve their goals. We have helped so many doctors to grow, and it doesn’t matter if you are one-visit endo, two-visit endo, GentleWave endo, part-time endo, startup endo, big city endo, small town endo, associate-based endo, multiple location endo, etc. Our strategies and systems successfully adapt to your practice and your vision.