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Are you doing this in your dental practice? You should. I had my first big lesson as an entrepreneur during the first 6 months of owning my first dental practice. This mistake almost cost me everything. I was in the process of building my first practice and setting the tone for my leadership and team building when my office manager abruptly quit.  

My Biggest Mistake as a Dental Practice Owner 

She walked out with practically the entire business in her head: the insurance codes, the vendor relationships and everything else I needed to keep our billing on track and money coming in every month.  

Money is the lifeblood of a business. Without capital, your business is paralyzed. I was stuck and we needed answers fast. Unfortunately, my lack of knowledge regarding billing and insurance codes cost me a lot. For 6 months, I ran my practice 5 days a week and then spent my evenings and weekends panicking and trying to learn the billing code system. By the time I had figured out the process we had passed the deadline to collect our reimbursements from the state for many of our patients. What a costly mistake.  

I was not about to repeat that experience. I spoke with my cousin who was a software engineer, and he created a program that allowed me to track, measure and bill with the correct insurance coding. He got free dental care for life. 😊  

This mistake was not due to my lack of knowledge or experience as a dentist. This had nothing to do with learning or mastering dentistry. It had everything to do with being an entrepreneur and business owner. This mistake happened because I didn’t understand how to run a business and it’s a mistake that can happen to any business owner at any level of experience. This mistake was compartmentalizing and not having the proper redundancy any business needs to not have “all of its eggs in one basket” so to speak.  

Improve Leadership in your Dental Practice

What is a Mastermind and How Can It Help My Dental Practice?  

I made that mistake as a young entrepreneur and it’s something I’ve never repeated because my lesson was big and costly. But as a business owner specializing in a specific subject that has nothing to do with running a business we can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking “I know my specialty, I’m ready to run a business.” But running a business is completely different from knowing your craft or specialty.  

Many business owners don’t get any business training before they open their practice. So, where does that training come from? Well, for many, like me, it comes at a costly price of mistakes and missteps. And many times, these mistakes are totally avoidable Business 101-level mistakes.  

So, to counteract that a whole new way to develop business skills as an entrepreneur has arisen over the last 30 years in the field of business development training: the Mastermind.

 

“No mind is complete by itself. It needs contact and association with other minds to grow and expand.”
~Napoleon Hill

Mastermind is a term that was coined by Napoleon Hill in 1925 in his book Law of Success and later he expanded upon that idea in 1937 with the release of his most famous book, Think and Grow Rich. But masterminds have become extremely popular in the last 30 years as the American economic landscape has become more competitive and crowded.  

Masterminds continue to be incredibly powerful arenas to build your business prowess, resources and knowledge base.  

So, what is it?  

A mastermind is a group of peers who get together and share resources, find creative solutions to individual challenges and are not shy about sharing what is working best in their businesses. These gatherings can be virtual or in-person; they can be one-offs or monthly, quarterly or yearly meetings. The point is to get into a room with your business peers, allow yourself to become vulnerable and share what’s working and what’s not.  

It’s an incredibly powerful and enduring concept and when it is done right it can ensure profitability and lasting success for your business. Getting together with other dentists and dental practice owners and sharing your biggest challenge can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your professional life.  

Once you’ve done enough of them, you can even start and run one yourself! The creativity, resources and connections you find in a mastermind will last the rest of your life and can be, and usually is, a great source of strength for the participants. 

My personal experience with masterminds started in 2014 and I’ve never looked back. One of the masterminds I attend regularly is Genius Network, run by Joe Polish. GN has become a mainstay in my business life because the inspiration, knowledge, contacts, resources and business acumen I get there is unparalleled to anything else I’ve ever been involved with as a business professional.  

  

Mastermind for your Dental Practice

A Special Invitation for Dental Practice Owners 

So, the question you may be asking yourself is this, ‘could a mastermind have saved you from making your biggest mistake?’

One of the most important business practices I learned as a result of my mistake is to never let one person have total control over any aspect of workflow. Yes, people will be in charge, you’ll have a whole team of employees or colleagues running the most vital aspects of your practice. You can’t do it all and you can’t do it alone. But best practice dictates that you must build redundancy and document SOP in your business operations to avoid the very scenario I faced when my office manager walked out the door with all the key information I needed to run my practice.

What I learned in masterminds and speaking with other business owners and seasoned entrepreneurs, is that aspects like redundancy and documentation are pretty standard processes in business. I learned my lesson the hard way but these are issues you learn very quickly in business school and, yes, in masterminds.

In fact, the mastermind format is so powerful and effective at training business owners that my partner, Josh Gwinn and I, are starting our own mastermind specifically dedicated to dentists and dental practice owners. We are convinced that the success of this format along with our ability to bring this level of service, resources and outreach to our dental community is a game changer for every dental practice entrepreneur. Will you join us?  

If you would like to sign up for the next OPS Mastermind, click the button below to register.