I still remember the big silver Mercedes.
It was an S class and it was so big that it did not fit in the carpark's reserved for all the academics. So the owner had parked sideways across two parks.
For us poverty stricken students living on a strict diet of public transport and unreliable old cars, which always had a secret thing you had to do with the choke to get them to start on a cold morning, this was a thrilling automotive sight.
The owner had a six chair dental surgery with it's own laboratory. This was pretty unusual for the 90's and is still not that common today.
He spoke of service. He spoke looking after patients. He spoke of looking after staff. He spoke of investing wisely.
We were ready for this. We were ready to graduate and be driving S Classes in no time.
We may have overlooked one tiny detail.
This man was in his sixties. Close to retirement.
What we were seeing was the accumulation of a lifetime of knowledge, business and wealth.
When we graduated, we didn't get S Class Mercedes. I got a second hand four cylinder Mitsubishi Magna. If you pushed the throttle, it got louder. But didn't go faster.
We were comparing someone at the end of their career with someone at the start.
Am I good enough? Will I succeed in today's competitive environment?
Someone was speaking to me about these these points recently.
Will you succeed?
What does success mean to you? Does it mean being richer than most other dentists? Does it mean working not much? Does it mean being satisfied with your work? Does it mean providing for your family and other things that you are passionate about?
It's hard to succeed without knowing what you mean by success.
Often what we mean by success is someone else success. We look on what they have achieved and feel envious. Or insecure.
But they are a different person to you. They have always been different. And achieving another persons success doesn't make you happy. You have to achieve your own. And that means working out what it is.
For some, success is going to work, doing their job, and going home and not thinking about it anymore. And that is perfectly ok.
I have a good friend Rob. He's not driven to run courses and write stuff. He just goes to work, does his thing and goes home and does sporty stuff that he's interested in. I want his success. His relaxed life. And he told me one time that when I sell out a course, he wants mine. But in reality, he'd go mad running courses and I'd go mad if I didn't.
In the end, it does not matter whether you succeed or not by someone else definition, it only matters if you succeed by yours.
For me, success is doing what I enjoy, seeing business growth, getting to travel, doing some teaching, having some vacations with family, patting the dog, growing some trees and checking out my friends farm.
In this I've been a stunning success by cleverly defining success by what I'm doing anyway.
Am I good enough? I don't care for this static question.
Am I getting better. I'll enjoy trying.
As always, if you found this helpful, please share, like and comment.
PS, what's success for you?
Dr Lincoln Harris has been completely focused on excellence and quality from the beginning of his career as a dentist. He established the first private dental practice in Bargara – Harris Dental Boutique in 2000. Since graduation he has trained extensively in Aesthetic Implant Techniques and Full Mouth Rehabilitation to attain immense skill and knowledge. With his vast dental knowledge Dr Harris coaches and trains dentists from all over the world on complex aesthetic dentistry, surgical techniques and business management. Dr Harris is the founder of RIPE. Restorative Implant Practice Excellence: Full Protocol group an international forum of over 70,000 members worldwide. The purpose of the group is to share information and excellence in the dental industry. He has also lectured in multiple cities throughout Australia, North America, Asia, Singapore, United Kingdom and Europe.