I said I wasn’t going to take up cycling. I said it out loud and to Sherran so that I wouldn’t do it. I should have known that I would have to eat my words!
Some of our family members are riding in an event called Hotter N Hell Hundred in August of this year to honor my uncle Bethel’s son Marcus who died in November of 2015. Marcus had told his dad that he would ride in the event with Bethel this year, so after his sudden death, his sisters and others rallied around Bethel to take Marcus’s place. I was supposed to be a support person. As in, “NO, I am not taking up cycling!” Yeah, right.
Now I am the proud owner of not one, but TWO bicycles! I have a road bike for riding in Bryan when I am there working with Sherran during the week and a mountain bike for riding the dirt roads around my home here in East Texas. This morning was my first training ride on the mountain bike. This is what I was thinking about during my workout today:
When dentists start their practice, it’s kind of like getting a new bike. Some dentists spend a LOT of money on the newest and most modern equipment, while others are a more conservative and look for the best deals. With my new cycling hobby–I was lucky to find a practically new/used bike for a great deal and my brother found a free mountain bike that he gifted me! My uncle’s bike cost him around $5000. Mine was a fraction of that cost! But we are both still cyclists! LESSON: You’ve made the decision and you’re in business! Congratulations!! You’re a Dental Practice Owner!!
As soon as I became a bike owner, my brother suggested that the most important things I needed first were a good pair of bike shorts and a pump for my tires. He said next I should find some gloves to protect my hands. I already had a helmet–it came with my bike! Dentists have certain equipment that they MUST have to get started as well. Having the best equipment and software that you can afford allow you to practice dentistry effectively. And effective dentistry is the first step to building your practice. LESSON: You don’t have to have ALL of the equipment that other dentists have in order to run a successful practice. Some equipment is a necessity, however, and you must not only have it but learn how to use it AND have your team trained on how to use it as well.
Now that I am a cyclist, I want to train as effectively as possible to reach my goal of completing the ride I committed to. I want to lessen my mistakes and keep from having setbacks due to injuries. In order to do that, I NEED a coach! I am learning as much as I can by reading articles about cycling, asking questions of my team of fellow riders, and doing what my coach suggests in order to get started. Notice I did not say that I am trying to figure it out alone! Coaches are people who have already helped others get success in their field. They have already been witness to the possibilities and the possible dangers that are involved. And they help us reach our goals in the fastest and most effective ways possible based on our level of commitment. When we go into dental practices that have been been trying to figure it out alone, we often find frustrated teams, dentists, and systems that are not working effectively. Coaching may seem like a luxury, but having the right person to advise you on how to reach your goals is really a MUST if you’d like to be reach profitability and have a well-trained team.
Coaches help us know what dangers to look out for; how to avoid pot holes. Which routes are best for our progress! I learned fast that I didn’t want to get stuck on a big hill climb and have to push my bike all the way back home! My coach helped me plan a route that would challenge me but not put me in danger of getting hurt! He told me what kinds of hazards to be aware of. He reminds me to wear my helmet!
My coach also makes me track my progress and send him a daily record. He keeps me accountable to my goals. In dental practices, tracking the daily production goals and discussing them in morning huddles are the BEST way to change the focus of the dentist and their teams! We have proven this in every practice we have worked with. Having a coach who is looking at the numbers keeps your practice on target and can help you avoid falling completely away from your goals! Coaches will call and say, Get off of the couch! What happened to your production? Let’s get back on track!!
I promise to keep sharing my cycling adventures with you for the summer. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope that you can see how having a Coach for your practice can truly help you have a more enjoyable and profitable experience in your dental practice!