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Episode 89 – Requested Replay: From Good to Great, Part 2

“Your vision should be intimidating. If you don’t know how to achieve it, then you’re doing it right.”
– Dr. Victoria Peterson

Are you a growth-minded doctor who gets frustrated that your team can’t keep up with you?

I feel your pain. But here’s a question I want you to think about today: Are your goals for growth taking your practice in the right direction?

Most of the time we set up goals by comparing to last year. That is a very typical goal-setting strategy in dentistry.

With Investment Grade Practices, rather than  looking at the past, we look to the future… five, 10, and 15 years into the future.

That is not easy! By design, many dentists are engineers in their mindset: it’s about the details, the now, the minutes and seconds. Time becomes very close and personal.

If you are serious about your growth mindset and building an Investment Grade Practice, you must step back from the up close and personal and throw your vision into the future.

So today, I am continuing our talk about going from good to great with your dental practice by digging deeper into what is possible by exploring:

  • What is my vision and what should (and shouldn’t) it be
  • Ideas for giving yourself the space to explore your vision
  • Strategies for bringing your vision to life

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Narrator 1:36
Welcome to Investment Grade Practices Podcast where we believe private practice dentists deserve to get the lifestyle today while building an asset for tomorrow. Join your host, Victoria Peterson, to design the practice of your dreams and secure your financial independence. Let’s get started.

Victoria Peterson 1:58
Are you a growth-minded Doctor wondering why the rest of the world can’t keep up? I feel your pain. Hi, this is Victoria Peterson, the host of Investment Great Practices and we’re going to continue this conversation of good to great and good graded our leadership and today I want to talk about growth mindset and how we set goals. I introduced this topic a little bit in the last episodes that most of the time we’re setting goals by comparing to last year. So last year, I did 1.5 million this year, I’d like to do 1.6 million. That is a typical goal-setting strategy within dentistry or my profits were 100 grand I’d like them to be 150 grand whatever, we usually have some sort of If This Then That formulary. In Investment Grade Practices, we turn that upside down and we really put down the Stephen Covey challenge of where are you going, helping doctors look at least five years into the future and that is not easy. By design, many doctors are engineers, they’re very close up, they look in real time, your days are measured in not only minutes, but nano minutes sometimes on when the curing light has to be there snd this is going to set up, hurry, hurry, it’s very time becomes very close and very personal. In your building of an Investment Grade Practice, it’s good to step back and expand and think about time in terms of years or decades and sometimes that takes getting away from the office. So if you need permission to take a vacation, call it business planning retreat and go on one, it will come back refreshed but you also come back with a stronger plan. So I want to talk about vision. We chatted about that a little bit on the last episode about is your vision good or is it great? And I want to go into that even further. So a vision is your long term picture. It should be aspirational in nature, man, if I could accomplish this, how cool would that be? It should be somewhat intimidating, and you should not know how to get there. So it’s far enough in the future, that you have no idea how you’re going to accomplish it but it inspires you and it inspires the people around you. A lot of times the vision doesn’t even have a numerical value to it. It could be I have a vision for elevating health in my community or impacting women or girls or things of that nature. Dr. Meghna Dassani who we’ve worked with for a long time. Her vision is to impact families and children who are struggling with airway issues. She’s very passionate about that and she has a vision for reaching as many people as possible. So vision is inspiring, it’s not easy to achieve and that is by design because when you have a purpose that’s bigger than you, and you don’t know how to do it, what you’re what you’re actually doing is opening yourself up to new possibilities. New possibilities will start flooding in, new opportunities will start flooding in, and the journey gets really fun. So for example, and Productive Dentist Academy a couple of years ago, in the middle of the pandemic, we decided to set a big, hairy, audacious goal and we are an employee owned company, our ESOP which says we’re an employee stock option plan, our employee share in 30%, of everything that PDA does, and so their retirement is vested in myself and Bruce and our partners and so we’ve sat down a mission of achieving a valuation a company valuation of 25 million by the year 2025. We call it 25 by 25. Now, at the time that we set that goal, we were valued at less than 5 million. So how are we going to 5x the company and just as a few short years, and at first we played around with it, we should do this, we should do that and then we almost forgot about it and what happened over the course of the last year and a half since we set that goal is new opportunities have opened up for us to achieve that goal but we couldn’t stop it just having a big out there five years from now, sort of goal, we knew that we wanted to get to 25 by 25, because every one of our team members deserves financial security and we’re in it together to create that and ESOP companies are very special. There’s, there’s a small margin of small businesses out there that are ESOPs, but you can tell the difference because people show up with accountability, people show up with compassion, people show up with true genuine concern for the client and for the engagement. So from our top business advisors, down through the team, development coaches, marketing coaches, graphic designers, writers, back in web security, everyone knows our purpose in helping our clients and I, nothing makes me smile more than to go to a conference and people say, “Oh, I just love the team at PDA. They’re also amazing,” and I think that’s because we share, you know, we share, that’s our vision is to continue to share in our knowledge to share in our wealth to share what it could be like to be a human first company, and to, to show that you don’t have to be a bully to grow. You don’t have to be an aggressor, or an authoritative type personality to whip people in shape. That’s just not my style, it’s not Bruce’s style, but that’s our vision 25 by 25. If you stopped there, it’s not tangible enough for your team to really put a stake in the ground. So you bring that back closer in and that’s where you develop mission and Regan Robertson, who hosts Everyday Practices. She’s our chief communications officer, she’s held many positions in our company, she’s actually walking us through the Business Made Simple framework and through their framework, we redefined our mission and we designed we designed that is a one year goal. So in the year 2023, we will collect $6 million by December 20 2023 because we believe every dentist deserves to know that there is a better way. Now that goal for us represents about a 30% increase in revenue, we’re going to move from 5 million to roughly 6 million maybe a little bit more and to grow that in one year is going to shift our thinking, to grow 25 by 25. Over the next two years, we’re going to 5x the value of our company that’s going to shift our thinking and that is exactly what goals are designed to do. So write this down. If I don’t know if you’re on a treadmill, you’re listening to me just turn on your recorder. Tap this in goals are designed to change your thinking. That’s it, they’re not there to stress you out or to berate you if you don’t reach them. They are there to inspire different more creative thinking and we put a lot of parameters around this not financial parameters, but core value parameters. So our core value is that as we grow is through the lens of professionalism and we ask the questions, “Is this ethical? Is this legal? Is this doing good while doing good? Is this in the best service to our clients?”

Victoria Peterson 10:16
So it’s not only about growing, growing is good. Growing through, growing through your true north, right, growing through a cultural Northstar, growing through a central value, for us that’s professionalism has meaning it has purpose, it has depth, we know that in order to show up professionally, we need to be knowledgeable. That means that every person on our team has a training plan. They’re actively working each day and each week to get better at their jobs. We are very relationship-driven, this is not a transactional company, just like your dental practice is not transactional. It’s very relationship-driven. So we’re always focusing on how do we deepen our relationships and then our third key characteristic is are we responsive? We know that high achieving dentists, those who are growing Investment Grade Practices, if they’ve got a question they want an answer, probably before they even finished asking the question. So working to be responsive, and that level of urgency really takes us being on the ball with at least saying, let me get back to you. I’m researching the answer on that. So going from good to great. As a leader, building Investment Grade Practices, I’m breaking this down each week into bite sized chunks, right. So last week, we just talked about the difference between good and great, and what it can mean to you. Today, I’m really showing you how to pull that through to your goal setting. To work with someone to go out into the future, it’s difficult to inspire yourself but when you start talking to others about your dream, it’ll naturally unfold and that’ll become your guiding principle. It’ll inform your marketing, it’ll inform your team hires will inform how you show up for work, bring it into your mission, and filter it through a core value. Now let’s let’s be practical about this. How does this really work? Because it’s not natural, it’s not logical. Why can’t I just set a goal, right? Why can’t I pick up dental economics and do what the average dentist does? The reality is you can and most people do but what you won’t be doing is building an Investment Grade Practice. I’ll see if Kashmere can put this attachment in as a show note but let’s take a practice that’s at 1.5 million today. The benchmark for an average practice, they would grow three to 5%. Let’s split it down the middle and call it four. So if I’m 1.5 million this year, I’ll do 1.56 next year 1.6, the year after that 1.7, the year after that 1.7 and a half the year after that. So in five years, I’ll move my practice from 1.5 to 1.7 1.8, and I’m gonna feel pretty good about that because I maintain my lifestyle, it’s not getting better, but I’m maintaining it. Here’s the reality, that rate of growth equates to $50 an hour. So that’s the effort that you’re putting in to grow your practice is $50 an hour better than you did the year before. That’s nothing that’s filling one open slot that’s adding a night guard once a day, that is $400 a day $500 a day in production. So that’s what the average doctor does and that’s their planning strategy. Productive Dentist, I can tell you, we’ve gone back through and we looked at our database over the last 18 years. They’re growing on average 27% a year. We don’t even publish these numbers because it seems outrageous but a doctor who is doing 1.5 million now. They optimize the systems they get clear and specific about their goals and how they’re engaging the team with the mission. They will grow from 1.9 I mean 1.5 to 1.9,  2.4, 3, 3.9. Same practices, same number of operatories. Same number of employees, same number of patients in their practice the differences I can go from 1.5 to nearly 4 million, or 1.5 to 1.8 million. It’s a mindset. It’s a mindset. So those are the ranges right? So average doctors grow $50 an hour, Productive Dentist on the higher end are growing $300 an hour, year over year over year and if you listen to Dr. Bruce Baird’s podcast, The Productive Dentist, he walks you through this. He lived this when he and I partnered in 2005. We started measuring his productivity. He literally was out 1.5 million and was in search of his next associate, within five years he was a 4 million, then he was at 5 million and 6 million and 8 million and it just grows, not because you’re charging more, he did not have the highest fee schedule in the land. Not because there was a competition, there are 35 other dentist in his county of 40,000 people, not because of, of any of those external factors. It was because he had this growth mindset of how do I take care of the patient in the most comprehensive way possible. How do I incorporate new technologies that make life easier? How do I train my team, to the standards that I can delegate and free up my time? So this is the type of thinking when you’re strategically thinking, and I’m telling you, it takes time. So again, if you need permission to take the weekend and go on a business retreat, take yourself out, go walk in nature, kayak, raft, snow ski, do whatever you want, get your mind off of it, come back to it and say, “What if I was committed to growing in this way? What would it look like?” For those of you who need a more realistic approach, when I’m working with our doctors and onboarding them into our Investment Grade Practice framework, I actually set a standard at about 12% growth. And depending on where you’re at, and all of those factors will either scale that down to maybe 10% growth or scale it up to 15 or 20. I don’t even set goals at the 27% growth that I know can happen. We set it at a very conservative 12% and if you’re still following this metaphor of the $1.5 million practice, you would grow 1.5 to 1.68 1.8 2.1 2.3, airy, reasonable growth, it’s about 150 to $200 per hour. So imagine putting another 14 to $1,600 a day on your schedule and just doing that consistently, throughout time. So with repeatable, durable systems, that’s what you’re building and the Investment Grade Practice platform. That’s what happens time and time again and we have tracked this for 18 years. So thank you for tuning in again today is we’re on our journey with Jim Collins concept of from good to great. What can you do today to help take your dental practice from good to great, and I’m going to challenge you to go a little bit deeper in what is possible in your next five years, and then bring that mission back and the biggest takeaway here is not how much you can grow. The biggest takeaway is why is this important? Why is this valuable? Because remember, goal setting is something that should inspire you, and should get you out of your comfort zone but most importantly goals should help you change your thinking.

Narrator 18:12
Thank you for tuning in to this episode of Investment Grade Practices Podcast. If you find value in this episode, help us spread the word by passing it along to a dental friend. Subscribe and give us a Like on iTunes or Spotify. Learn more about building your Investment Grade Practice at today

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