“What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Did you know that most doctors, dentists and other professionals don’t see their practice as a business? Though many will talk about being an entrepreneur, their actions will tell me all I need to know. If you plan to become a “practice” owner you must see yourself as a “business” owner.
Michael Gerber, in his book The E-Myth, talks about a major misconception people have when they go into business–not after they go into business but before, prior to experiencing what he calls the “entrepreneurial seizure”, which is the prevalence of thoughts and beliefs that becoming an entrepreneur will give you everything you’ve ever dreamed of. It will give you the freedom you desire, allow you to be your own boss and ultimately the master of your domain.
“Most business owners were typically working for someone else or doing technical work prior to adopting these new beliefs. They were a hairdresser, a technical writer, an accountant, a doctor or a [dentist]. What ever they were, they were likely doing technical work.
But the most disastrous and fatal assumption made was: if you understand the technical work of a business you understand a business that does that technical work. The reason it’s fatal is it just isn’t true. In fact, it’s the root cause of most small business failures. The technical work of a business and the business that does the technical work are two totally different things. But the technician who starts the business fails to see this.
To the technician suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure a business is not a business but a place to go to work. So the technician becomes a business owner, believing by understanding the technical work of the business [Example: the provision of dental services], they are immediately and imminently qualified to run the business that does that kind of work–and that’s simply not true.”
Dentistry is a business!
Please do not make the mistake of thinking you are not a business owner or an entrepreneur. If you don’t want to wear this hat you have choices. A) don’t own and associate b) find a strategic partner that does want to wear this hat c
Dentists tend to be absent CEO’s. In other words, a dentist spends more time working in their clients’ mouths and not on their business……
It is not surprising, because that is how we were trained–to work on our craft. We have been sold the idea that if we become excellent clinicians the money will take care of itself……
The problem is that an entrepreneur or business owner can EITHER be working IN their business or ON their business, but not both at the same time. How much time do you want to spend doing each?