The Wolf - Restoring Excellence

The Wolf

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May 10
The Wolf

In private practice, there is a fear.

It's like a wolf, always lurking there in our imagination, ready to bite us at any moment.

The fear that our patients willdessert us en masse. The fear that our previously successful practice will suddenly collapse. The fear that "things are different now".

Each slow week. Each gap in the appointment book. Each sudden drop in new patient numbers can bring the wolf out of hiding.

When we are an employee, the wolf hardly bothers us. Sure we worry about ourcashflow, but since our costs are so low compared to those of a practice, and we aren't so emotionally attached, it isn't much of a concern.

But when it's your practice, your baby, your debts, your staff, your philosophy and your expression of what you think is best for patients, it's hard to not see the wolf, at the door, grinning at you on a regular basis.

Perhaps there are some people whose practices are immune.

However for most of us, throughout our career, there will be periods where our business seems to stop growing, or we have a patch emptiness in the appointment books.

This happens to me also.

A few things I'velearnt over 17 years.

Spaces in your appointment book always look bigger when looking at next week, than they do when looking back from next year. In fact, when you look back, you will struggle to find these huge spaces. They are mostly filled with emergencies and new patients that were able to get in easier because ofthe space.

A lowcashflow month or quarter makes you feel you are going to go broke, but in hindsight, yourealise is was never that bad.

It is actually exceedingly difficult to go broke. In countries where it is almost universal to require a loan to start apractice, unless you have a hugenonbusiness related debts, you have no idea how hard it is to actually go bankrupt. The bank loses a huge amount of money bankrupting you, so unless you haven't made a payment for several months, and are ignoring your bank's phone calls, you aren't going to go under.

There will always be someone gloating how great they are doing when you are having a quiet period. Don't worry, they'll keep their mouth shut when they are doing poorly and you are on fire. πŸ˜‰

I cannot overstate how much worse a quiet month feels at the time, and how minor it will seem in six months, or a year, or five years.

You'll wonder why you worried so much.

You'll wonder why you were so stressed on that holiday.

Now none of this is to state that you should not respond to changes and always be on the lookout for new trends and new ways to improve your business.

But don't worry about that wolf. It's actually just a chihuahua.

Can nip your heels, but cannot kill you.

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About the Author

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.