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Episode 9 – Deeper Dive: Balancing Your Equation

“If you find yourself questioning your decisions all the time, then you’re making the decision on an emotional high, and questioning on an emotional low.” 

In my interview with Dr. Josh Bower he brought up an incredible theme: is your dental practice a hobby or a business? Am I so focused on my lifestyle that I forgot my business, or am I so focused on my business that I forgot my lifestyle?

I know in my business and entrepreneurial journey, when I focus on my life flow, the cash flow almost always comes. When I focus so hard on the money, then everything gets hard and I get exhausted.

​​So how do you balance the equation? I invite you to join me as I look at where you’re putting your focus and energy:​​​

  • What are you saying yes to? Saying no to?
  • What activities are worthy investments of your time?
  • What do you do when you find yourself questioning your decisions?


In my interview with Dr. Josh Bower, he brought up an incredible theme. Is your practice a hobby or a true business? And I think that is probably one of the foundational questions to ask yourself, as you’re building an Investment Grade Practice is is so much a lifestyle business that I’ve forgotten the business or am I so business oriented, that I forgot my lifestyle, you see there is a balance. 

And when we’re exhausted, I think we tend to go to the hobby side of life and just procrastinate, put things off someday I’ll maybe tomorrow. So if you’re in that procrastination stage, you may be treating your business as a hobby, I invite you to look at that. If you’re always on the business in a harsh way, you’re probably overdoing it on that side as well. I love the term that he coined, balancing the cash flow versus with my life flow. For me in my journey of entrepreneurship, I can tell you that when my life flow, my life energy is high. The cash flow almost always comes when I am when I’m focusing on the cash flow and working so hard for the money. Everything gets hard. And I get exhausted. So how do you flip that equation? 

I would invite you to explore that it It comes in 1000 tiny ways. And the first thing that I would look at would be look at what you’re saying yes to? And look at what you’re saying no to keep a little notepad in your pocket or a post it note and every time you say yes to anything, yes to having lunch with a colleague, yes to weekend plans with your significant other, yes to purchasing a new piece of equipment, big things like that. But also the little things yes to wearing this shirt versus that shirt yes to eating this versus that yes to what you’re ordering in your supplies. Look at what you’re saying yes to. Because everything that we say yes to is an area that we will invest our time, our money, our energy and our effort. So you want to make sure that it is a worthy investment. Because our life flow our energy, our focus goes there. 

And this year, our company theme as the year the lion and lions we know are very good at conserving their energy. They know that where their focus goes their energy flows. So you want to pay attention to this. And in terms of this is my life flow. And I need to choose where I’m going to live it. Once you understand your yeses and the why you’re saying yes to things, it becomes very easy to know what to say no to so many of us in dentistry are people pleasers. They end up saying yes and going Why? Why did I do that? 

For me, I find that in my decision making I write an emotional roller coaster. It’s like oh my gosh, this sounds so awesome. And then I make the purchase or I make the commitment or I hire the employee or whatever that is. And then the next day comes and I go, Oh, why did I do that? If you find yourself questioning your decisions, quite often what’s happening is you’re making the decision on emotional high, and you’re questioning the decision on emotional low. It goes in a sine wave, you know, sometimes like a heartbeat, or a sinus rhythm. That’s how emotional life works for most of us. 

This is where discipline comes in. And I would say one of my coaches Dan Bagley gave me this rule. Oh my goodness, 25 years ago. Never make a decision when you’re at a 10 never make a decision when you’re at a one. So I have this hero zero scale where when I’m a hero, nothing could go wrong. Everything is going to be terrific. I’m going to turn this $2 idea into an $80 million company. When I’m at zero, I will probably be moving into a single wide trailer in South Georgia. So those are my hero and zero boundaries. 

I have gotten very good at monitoring my physical energy, my emotional energy, my mental energy. And when I’m in that zone, somewhere about a seven or an eight on all three of those factors, my mind My heart, my gut, my body, that I make a decision. If I’m not in that zone of seven to eight, maybe an eight and a half, I wait. Because if I’m in a nine or a 10, I’m too high. I’m too hot and too keen. I’m too attached to the idea to listen to the people around me who might be pointing out red flags. When I’m below a five, then I know I’m too exhausted, and I’m making a decision out of desperation.

So thank you, Dr. Josh Bower, for pointing out this theme of is my business a hobby, or is it a true business, because in hobby, we often go with the flow, either we’re too exhausted, and we let other people take over and we forget to give input on not wanting to rock the boat don’t want to upset the team, or we’re in the hero mode of this just can’t fail. And idea after idea after idea comes to the table, and your team can’t really execute on it. 

So I invite you to go back and listen to Dr. Brower. Once again, as brilliance was really shining through on, you know, do the planning. Make sure everything new is getting integrated to the level of efficiency, meaning you could combine efforts to drive more margin to the bottom line. Build an organization where you have layers of leadership and the team owns certain things. You’ve got those champions, they know their key performance indicators. They know their metrics. Your culture really does become your brand and becoming one, a brand known for predictability, consistency, compassion. Those are the keys to building an Investment Grade Practice. 

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