Dr. John Meis: Among the most successful dentists, I observe that they're decisive and they act quickly. They can act quickly because they have a decision matrix, something like this.
Dr. John Meis: Highly successful dentists are people that are decisive and take action quickly. I want to tell you the story of Dr. A and Dr. B. Dr. A, amazing young man, was in a small town in western Wyoming, a little tiny town. He bought a very, very small practice, and when he began to implement some of the strategies that we were teaching his practice grew, but because his physical location was so small, he was out of capacity extremely quickly. What did he do? He went out, bought some land, built a new practice. That practice took off. The practice grew rapidly, and as he was implementing more and more of the strategies that we were teaching him, the practice was growing faster and faster and faster, and within just a few months, he was out of capacity again.
Dr. John Meis: We were at a Blue Diamond retreat, which is a retreat for one of our high level member groups, and we were reviewing his numbers and his performance. It was very, very clear that he was out of capacity. He hadn't observed it himself yet, and that's commonly the case, capacity blockages are very difficult to spot yourself, but someone from the outside can spot them very easily. We explained to him he was out of capacity, he needed more chairs. While we were at this meeting this very weekend, he called his contractor, he called his supplier, and said we're doing an addition. That's the level of confidence he had, and he had that level of confidence because he had a decision matrix. He had a way that he went about making decisions.
Dr. John Meis: Let's talk about, and I love this slide, this is from Mario Andrade, "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." That was kind of how Dr. A looked at it. As long as I'm doing well and as long as everything is going well, I'm going to go as fast as I can. That's how he went from one location, small, to a bigger location to an expansion to adding associate dentists to adding specialty. In the span of four years, went form a very, very small practice to a multi-doctor, multi-specialty clinic that was doing almost nine times as much revenue as he did when we were first working together.
Dr. John Meis: Dr. A was one of the people who gave us great reviews on our book, The Ultimate Guide to Doubling and Tripling Your Production. It's an Amazon number one bestseller in the dental category. I've got a deal for you. If you pay the postage, I'll buy the book for you. Just go to yourultimateguidebook.com, yourultimateguidebook.com, and sign up there and we'll get you your free copy.
Dr. John Meis: The story of Dr. B, a very, very different story. Wonderful man, wonderful dentist. We met while we were doing implant training at the University of Pittsburgh. This was a series of courses, so we were together every three months for over a year. We talked about his practice the first time I met him. His practice had stagnated, and it wasn't growing and it wasn't exciting and he didn't really want to work any more or any harder, but he knew he had patient demand for more and he was thinking about hiring an associate. Dr. John Meis: I'm back three months later, we're together, and guess what? He's still thinking about hiring an associate. Three months later, he's still thinking about hiring an associate. Three months later, same story. I ran into Dr. B at an implant conference almost five years later. Guess what? He was still thinking about hiring that associate. His practice had not improved at all, it had not grown at all, and he was still in the state of confusion.
Dr. John Meis: Well, you can imagine it feels very different to be Dr. A than Dr. B. Dr. A, it's exciting, it's exhilarating. He's going on this growth run. It's fun, it's validating, it's telling him he's doing the right thing. He's doing the right thing for his patients, he's doing the right things for his team, and that's allowing his practice to grow very rapidly. What does it feel like to be Dr. B? Well, you feel stuck. Right? It feels that you have this paralysis by analysis but you don't necessarily sense that that's what's causing it. You're anxious and you're deflated. The difference between Dr. B and Dr. A is immense.
Dr. John Meis: Let's talk about how do we make decisions quickly and ensure that they're going to be good decisions. I have a decision process that I think will be very, very helpful to you. The first step in the decision process is to create what I call book ends. What's the likely best case scenario if you make this decision? What's the likely worst case scenario? Knowing, the results are almost always going to be somewhere between those two book ends. Now, how does that look? Does the upside look better than the potential downside? Great, that might be an indicator to move forward. Is the downside worse than the potential upside? Well, that might be an indicator you shouldn't move forward.
Dr. John Meis: The next step is to identify your beliefs. What are your beliefs that made you put the book ends where you did? What are the things that you think you know that may not be right? Okay, and that's the hardest part, is challenging those beliefs, because many of the beliefs that we have are not correct or at least incomplete. I like to use the phrase let your confidence be tempered by your curiosity. The more confident that you are that something is right, you need to counterbalance that with greater curiosity, because if that belief isn't right you can get far down a bad path before you realize it. Let your confidence be tempered by your curiosity.
Dr. John Meis: Next, look beyond the immediate impact to see what kind of consequences could come down the road. Sometimes there are unintended consequences that you could have spotted if you just had the discipline that you think that way, and I love to tell the story of the cobras. Cobras are snakes, and when the British had their empire in the place of India, there were many, many cobras. Because there was no similar kind of poisonous snake, it kind of freaked the British out, frankly. They wanted to eliminate the cobras.
Dr. John Meis: What they did was they put a bounty on the head of every cobra. Well, some industrious Indians decided, well heck, that's a great way to make a living. They began to raise cobras, to mate cobras, to get more and more cobras. Even though the British were paying for all these dead cobras, there were more cobras than ever. The unintended consequence was that they didn't think through what might happen if they paid for dead cobras. When they stopped paying, you can imagine all these people raising cobras released the cobras, and the problem was much worse than when the British started paying for the dead cobras.
Dr. John Meis: Once you've gone through this decision process, it's time to make a decision. Don't delay, it's time. You're not going to get any more information than you have now, and I love this quote from General George Patton, "A good plan violently executed today is better than a perfect plan next week," and I believe that that's so true. I wanted to remind everybody of our Champions of Dentistry Summit. We're going to have an amazing summit. Again, Olympic athletes, television stars, we're going to be talking about technology, we're going to be talking about productivity, we're going to be talking about profitability and teamwork. It's going to be an amazing summit, as it is every year. You can go to championsofdentistry.com to learn more about that.
Dr. John Meis: As always, I want to end this episode with something inspiring, and I love this quote from Thomas Carlyle. "Go as far as you can see. When you get there, you'll be able to see further." It is so true. Dr. A, when he built that first practice, he couldn't have foreseen what was going to happen. When he built it and once he got there, he could see farther. When he added another doctor, he could see farther. When he added multi-specialty, he could still see farther. That's it for this episode. We'll see you on the next Dr. John Meis show.