The Way Off the Practice Treadmill
We talked about the first four stages of practice ownership in the last podcast. Check out that podcast if you haven’t yet. Today we’ll address Stage Five Success, Stage Six Significance, and Stage Seven Succession.
Maybe up to 95 percent of practice owners never experience anything beyond Stage Four, because we simply don’t intend to build a mature practice that gets to Stage Five and beyond. We never thought it was possible because being a hostage to your practice is just the price you pay for “success”. But you get what you intend, not what you hope for…. So, what intention is needed to get to Stage Five and beyond?
Stage Five is the beginning of a whole new way of doing dentistry, where you stop being a hostage to your practice and the practice starts serving you on your way to Freedom. For the first time, your practice is now regularly producing both time and money, not just money.
First, we’ve got to get The Big Mindset Shift right from making money, to building a practice that makes money. The overwhelming majority of practice owners never figure this out. Not because they can’t, but because they have a one-track mind for making money to pay this month’s bills. They are focused on short-term gain.
In Stage Six, the practice is thriving and the owner is now free to invest time in the things that make a practice truly great; the practice and the owner can begin to have a real impact in the community and world around them. Charities are benefiting, the stakeholders are involved in the community, and the owner is thinking about both their own legacy and the legacy of the practice: “What will I leave behind? What statement will this place make about me?”
You’ve finally made it to Stage Seven! You’ve invested the time to move from leadership in place (Stage Six) to leadership in charge, from giving both vision and guidance to only vision. The leader has the reins and can now also guide the ship, as long as you communicate clearly where you want to go. In Stage Six you were giving both vision and guidance (how to do it). Now all you have to do is communicate the vision, because the leader knows how to execute.
In Stage Seven, the practice owner has a number of options: They can stay on as a strategic leader, enjoying the fruits of years of labor, continuing to give vision for the future, and choosing how and when they get involved (in other words, Wealth). They can also decide to sell the practice, sell it to associates, or use it to start acquiring other practices.
I can’t think of any reason why you can’t get here, except for one—you really don’t intend to.
This is not a gifted person’s game; it’s an intentional person’s game. Ask the right question and you will figure out the answer. I’ll say it again: you get what you intend, not what you hope for.
The right question is, “How do I build a mature practice, and when do I want to get there?” This isn’t about building multimillion-dollar practices with dozens of Stakeholders, unless that is what you’re shooting for. This is about creating the lifestyle that you want for you and your family. You can do that with a practice of almost any size.