Many years ago, when I was a dental practice owner, and a busy practicing dentist, I ran an advertisement in our local newspaper about a new piece of equipment that I had invested in.
[For those wondering, a newspaper was a means of disseminating news to the population before the internet was invented. Though I do believe that at the time that I ran this advertisement, the internet was in its infancy and access was dial-up…. if you’re still wondering, go and ask your parents].
The headline for the advertisement read:
“Do you have a broken tooth? A computer could help you fix it?”
And the advertisement promoted my [then new] CEREC machine…
The advertisement ran for many years and certainly attracted a lot of patients looking for a dentist with “cutting edge technology” in their dental practice.
The reason I raise this advertisement and this story here is that some seven or eight years after I stopped running this newspaper advertisement, I had a new patient present to the practice because he had been impressed with that very advertisement.
The patient said that at the time, when he had read the advertisement, he had cut out the advertisement from the newspaper and saved it and kept it inside the street directory in the glove compartment in his car. He felt that when the time came that he would need a dentist, then I would be the dentist that he chose to come and see.
[Young people, please ask your parents what a street directory is]
Sadly, this chap presented to me with a periodontally involved lower central incisor that was so mobile I was surprised that he had not inhaled it.
When I took a radiograph of the mobile tooth, there was no bone whatsoever around any of that tooth’s root, and the incisors on either side also looked to be severely compromised and hopeless.
The sad part about this story is that had this chap come to see me when he first saved the advertisement from the newspaper, we might have had a much better chance of saving his lower incisors.
The reality was, that for whatever reason, [probably FEAR OF DENTISTS], this chap had unknowingly signed the death sentence for these teeth…and that death sentence was unnecessary.
The reason I raise this story is this:
Nowadays, as a coach of dental practices, I hear the same sort of illogical reasoning being put forward by dentists about their dental practices…
These dentists say this:
“I can’t do any coaching now, because I just want to get the right team together. Once I get that team together, then I’ll get them coached.”
Well guess what happens?
One year, two years, three years, or whatever down the track, that dentist still hasn’t gotten the right team together, and the gains the dentist could have made by starting coaching way back when have been lost forever because TIME WAITS FOR NO MAN.
When I see dentists start coaching for their practice firstly, and then engage new team members, these dentists have phenomenal practices because new team members are being onboarded in to ALREADY ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES.
Whereas the dentist who waits to get the right team never does end up getting the right team.
And even if he did actually jag the right team, what he’s actually saying to that team is:
“Come and work for me for a month, and then we’re going to change everything we initially teach you.”
It’s just crazy…
The best time to plant an oak tree is….
The best time to plant an oak tree is twenty years ago.
The second-best time to plant an oak tree is today.
Not five years down the track…
It’s the same with coaching.
The best time to begin coaching is today.
It’s the same with investing and investment advice.
The best time to start investing is today, and getting investment advice from a qualified adviser gives you a much better return on your investment than trying to do it all yourself.
Larry Winget used to say that the reason most people are where they are is because they are OK with that place, because if they weren’t OK, they’d change things.
Even though they complain and moan they don’t like where they are, Winget says that they must like it, otherwise they’d have improved it.
Just like the patient I had who saved the newspaper ad… he must have known the tooth was getting looser, and in so allowing the loose tooth to go untreated, he must have known that he should have really been doing something about it…
The unplanted oak tree gives a lot less shade than the planted oak tree….
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