Running a dental practice is a lot of work and a lot of responsibilities. And during the first twelve years of running my practice, I did way too much of that work myself. Like many dentists, I had a decent business, a supportive team, and very satisfied patients. But I had been just going through the motions for years.
In 2011, I decided to change the way I ran my practice. I told my team of three I had a big vision for our future. I wanted to grow. I wanted to make an even bigger impact on people’s lives than what we had been making. I wanted to be different.
But in order to achieve different results, I needed to do different things. Doing the same things I had been doing would only get me the same results. So I committed to continually learning and growing. I got a lot of help running my practice. And one of the best things I did was surround myself with great mentors. My mentors shared their wisdom and experience, held me accountable, and pushed me forward. Here are three ways you can find a mentor to help you run your practice.
Find a local mentor.
Because dental practices can take a lot of work to run, many dentists hesitate to reach out to other dentists for help. While it is important to respect people's times, many dentists will happily share what they have learned with dentists genuinely looking for help.
The key to finding a local mentor is to make it as simple and convenient for the mentor. You don't need to formalize anything, either. You could just invite someone to coffee, lunch, or dinner and get to know them. Go out of your way to make it convenient for them by picking a place near their home or office. While there, ask if they minded if you asked for their advice with something in which you are struggling. Make sure you pick up the check and thank them for their time and wisdom.
Local mentor relationships work well because your mentor will likely know your specific market well, can look you in the eyes, and shake your hand.
Find a virtual mentor.
While local mentors can be great, many dentists prefer to find virtual mentors. These dentists prefer having an outside perspective and can choose among many more potential mentors when they are not limited by geography.
One great thing about virtual mentors is you can get started very informally. Some virtual mentors don't even know their mentees. But they produce and share content on a podcast, blog, or book, sharing their wisdom and experience with the world. You can try out many potential virtual mentors this way until you find one whose message resonates with you.
Once you find a virtual mentor you like, you can grow into your relationship with them. Subscribe to their blog or podcast. Join group coaching programs. Or, sign up for one-on-one coaching.
Virtual mentor relationships work incredibly well because you can often find a better fit and be more selective than you can if you limit yourself to finding someone in your local market.
Join a premier dental mastermind group.
Dental mastermind groups are an underutilized way of finding mentorship and guidance for running your practice. For those who aren't familiar with dental mastermind groups, they are a way for you to access the best and brightest minds in the dental industry. Not only are the leaders of the mastermind groups dental experts but the members of the mastermind groups are high achievers committed to excellence. Each member will come to the group with strengths and areas for improvement.
Thus, when you join premier dental mastermind groups, you can find mentorship from both the leaders of the group and other members.
Dental mastermind groups work well because you have a similar ability to find good fits and be selective with what group you join as you do with virtual mentors. But you get access to many different mentors with dental mastermind groups. No matter what area of your practice you need help with, you are bound to find a member or leader who can help. This makes for an environment of consistent learning and growth.
Do you have a mentor for your dental practice?
If you've struggled to find a mentor to help you build your practice, these three strategies could help you find the guidance, support, and accountability you need.
Look in your local area. Or, if you prefer, find a good virtual mentor. When you're ready to really grow your practice, consider joining a one-on-one or group coaching program with them.
And if you're ready to take your practice to a whole new level, you can join my Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Group. I have assembled a team of expert coaches, trainings, and resources to help you no matter what you need help with.