You Have to Know Your Business by Dr. Michael Schuster

No matter what kind of business you’re in or what market you intend to serve, you must know certain principles of organizational behavior that hold true across the board whether you are a school, a government, or a dental practice. It’s critical to know how organization works if you’re going to do more than just get by. I mean if you’re going to be happy and productive as you’d like to be. There are crucial differences between a family and a business organization, but there are also similarities.  The primary role of a family is to nurture its members. No matter what other roles if might play, a family that doesn’t nurture it’s members (which is often the case) will essentially be a failure as a family. The primary role of a business is to produce a marketable product or service above and beyond itself. No matter how much it might nurture it’s employees, a business that fails to market an effective product or service, that is to serve its customers/clients/patients effectively, and today, in a unique, distinctive, compelling way, will become obsolete and be demolished. Very few business owners can  operate as one-man shows anymore. Most all of us...

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On Community by Dr. Michael Schuster

We Live in the Community of Our Choosing… Organizational behavior is a term given to the study of how human beings behave in organizations.  The discipline includes not only how ‘individuals’ behave, but also how groups –even organizations themselves behave. In the broadest sense, organizational behavior encompasses virtually the entire field of human psychology, since almost all human behavior occurs in the context of organizations. We are organizational creatures. We are born not only into a society and a culture, but usually into a specific, complex organization: a family.  Our marriages are organizations. We study in schools that are organizations; we earn a living in organizations (communities); at some time or another we will likely worship in an organization (community); and when we die there will be an organization to usher us out of this world. From birth to death we live in some sort of community.   Within the context of organizations and communities lies both our opportunity and potential. A community, an organization attracts and keeps it members because of shared beliefs, shared values and a shared purpose. In my life I’ve belonged to many communities and every community/organization I’ve been a part of had a PURPOSE based on...

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The E-Myth for Dentists by Dr. Michael Schuster

  Michael Gerber wrote a book and sold millions of copies under various titles because of a key true statement he wrote which is the foundation of all his books. “You go to dental school, medical school, law school and you learn the technical skills of your profession and you have an Entrepreneurial Seizure and you think you can start or buy a business that does that work.” A dentist (any professional) with a ‘Technician Mindset’ does what he or she does for ‘inside results’ for themselves! A dentist (any professional) with a ‘Entrepreneurial Mindset” does what he or she does for ‘outside results’ for their patients.   As we witness the speed of change in our Economy and in our Culture, vastly different expectations and demands have occurred in the minds and hearts of the people we call patients. If you happen to be stuck (trapped) in a ‘technician mindset’ then you can be sure that you’ll be left wondering what happened to your practice, your life, your enjoyment, your profits. But, if you are so fortunate to understand that you are both; a Technician and an Entrepreneur then there is more opportunity today than there ever has been before...

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Act Before You Think

  Have you ever lost a life changing opportunity? Did you ever pass on a great deal? Have you ever regretted waiting for a better time to act? The strategy of acting before you think keeps you from rationalizing your way out of making a decision you know in your heart is the right thing to do.  Don’t stop and consider what you should do, instead trust your gut! Too often people fear looking foolish, and, as a result, end up getting left behind and becoming victims. The rule doesn’t remove ‘thinking’ from the process. The power to act before you think was advocated by one of the world’s most notable psychologists Carl Jung, whose work led to today’s personality test scales of introvert and extrovert. Jung said: “the creation of something new is not accomplished by intellect but by instinct.” Jung’s phrase: “creating something new” is the same thing as: Problem solving. Decision making Productivity and Creativity The three parts of our mind must work in harmony with each other, but conative, or the Instinctual mind is the part of us that determines whether we act in accordance with our truest selves or are influenced by the chatter of...

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Success as a Dental Practice Owner

Did you know: There are two main causes of Success in your life. 1.    Your beliefs. 2.    Being in the right structure. Everything else is secondary. WHY? The beliefs contained in our minds to a large degree determine what we see, how we think and how we behave.  Our beliefs serve us or cripple us. We each are in a structure, a structure which to a large degree we have created or accepted.  Whatever ‘structure’ we are in determines our behavior and our behavior determines our results. Period. You are free to continue as you are and also free to change the underlying structures of your life and practice to create the outcomes you really, really want. Your life is in your hands. Choose wisely.  

Why am I not Attracting People to my Practice?

Why am I not Attracting People to my Practice? At every price level and in every market there is competition (dentistry, accounting, car making, etc). But some stand out, and not simply because they are costly or expensive. Often, the services and products that are most in demand amaze or capture the emotions or feelings of buyers. Since 1990 when the supply of dentists outstripped the demand for dentistry, the supply of patients has diminished and markets have splintered. We’ve all heard the surest way to fail is to be all things to all people.  People who have a job and money have a choice. They can choose who and where they go for services. I’ve suggested that patients vote with their feet and their dollars. People choose to go where they believe they will be treated the way they want to be treated. People make choices based on their perception of what is in their best interest. You do, I do, we all do. The key word here is perception. Often what people think or perceive is best, is not. Therefore, any professional practice who wants to thrive must become a learning organization. Patients can learn and often do in the...

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“An Ideal Day Makes an Ideal Life”

“An Ideal Day Makes an Ideal Life” In the corporate world if 60% of your time is spent doing what you love to do and what you are really good at, then you are in ‘ideal space’. My good friend Jack Higgins, a corporate coach, teaches his clients to spend 80% of their time doing what matters most to them. Doing what you are good at and what you love to do enhances your chance of success and enhances your identity. Conversely, if you are controlled by someone else, in time you lose your identity. Of course no one can control everything that happens to them in work or in life, but the more ideal our days, the more ideal our life. Pretty straightforward. Most of us start out just trying to make a living. Our idea of success changes as we gain experience and knowledge. For me, success when I was in high school was pitching a winning game. success was getting a job to save for college. Success later was getting into dental school; then graduating from dental school; then gaining more knowledge and education while I was in the Navy; then starting my practice; and raising my...

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7 Questions Every Great Leader Needs to Answer

Far too often, leader/managers of dental practices get trapped into thinking that if they focus on the day-to-day operation of the practice – the processes, procedures, and systems – they are in total control of management issues. This is particularly true for group practices that, as a matter of efficiency, must utilize processes, procedures, and systems to manage the complexities of multiple offices and partners as well as large numbers of patients and staff. Efficiency, however, should not be confused with effectiveness. Many times, leader/managers remain stuck on simply fine-tuning the systems until a recurrence of problems signals that management issues go beyond day-to-day operations. The symptoms can be as clear as a high level of stress, bickering among staff, and an increase in human resource costs; they can also be as oblique as decreased communication and erosion of the patient relationships. How can a practice make the jump to effectiveness and prevention of these problems – the elimination of chaos? The process begins when leader/managers of the practice begin to think through the seven key concepts critical to any organization, then answer the associated questions and communicate the answers to everyone associated with the practice – each member of...

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Achieve Peak Profit, Reduce Stress and Deliver High Quality Dentistry

Many dentists believe that if they just increase the number of patients seen they will have financial success. Dentists have been told that bigger practices will produce more money for them. But, this production model assumes that the dentist’s fixed costs are indeed “fixed” and quality time spent with patients will not become a problem. Fixed costs aren’t really fixed, just constant. Dentists soon realize that they must add staff, increase office space, or keep more materials on hand to handle a larger practice. But when fixed costs increase, the overhead percentage increases and net profit decreases. Most dentists are not aware that their introduction to marketing and management of their practice was influenced by research of manufacturing. This manufacturing/production model  doesn’t apply to dentistry or other service industries. Those dentists who believed in this model now find themselves spending more time managing the business side of the practice and less time with their patients. As the pressure increases to produce more business, neglected patients go to another dentist who cares about them. Eventually, dentists realize that they can’t produce their way out of the “bigger is better” trap. What do they do then? Some dentists sell their businesses to...

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