Welcome to the Efficiency Institute and my very first blog here! Now, I’ve authored a book and articles and published scientific research. I even blogged on dental procedures for patients, but not for my coaching business. Naturally, I have pondered and pondered on what pearls to disseminate on this very first issue. The pearls are numerous…so, what is the most important opener/header? Do I talk about the journey to my first successful dental practice? Do I focus on vision and goals (as they are so important and the foundation for any business)? Do I talk about team dynamics and how to attract the dynamic self-starting keepers? Do I talk about practice productivity and the importance of it and life balance? These topics are so very important/essential and they all require individual time dedication.
For now, I want to share a concept I became familiar with in 2009. My business coaches at the time were quite different from the business consultants I had before. They were much more focused on having life balance in addition to a great dental practice. This is what led me to hire them. At the time, I was practicing in my first self owned dental office. I was doing all the right things, or at least that was what I was told. I had business coaches in place before I even open the doors of that practice in 2004. My office was systematized. I had invested in numerous advanced continuing education courses. I had a decent team. My numbers were good or for you non-dental people, the practice was doing well. However, I was stressed out! I wasn’t taking any vacation, or if I was out of the office, it was for more education. And, it seemed like I worked all the time. Yes, the elusive concept of balance sounded great to me and it only a cost me $50 grand, the price tag of my business coach.
Fast forward to my first meeting with the coaches that were going to lead me to freedom from overworking. I eagerly flew out to meet with them for clarity. We had an eight hour meeting with a break for lunch during which we continued to discuss my practice and life. We had unmasked that I was a workaholic who had an impeccable work ethic (almost to a detriment). At the time, I had never missed a day of work not even when ill. I hadn’t had a vacation in nine years, yes you heard me right. And, even though the practice was considered a success, I was on the verge of burnout. As we continued to talk, the very famous coach scribbled on a sheet of paper and described a glass ceiling, a floor, and a middle area. He went on to talk about how he spent time with and followed psychologists years prior and studied what he’d drawn on the diagram, this concept. The concept was called Deserve Level. We don’t get what we deserve in life, we get what we think we deserve.
To summarize, it went something like this. There is a floor that an individual won’t go below and there is a ceiling that some won’t allow themselves to excel beyond. Most operate in the middle, their comfort zone. An example of this, is where some people go financially bankrupt, others would never let their floor get to that point. Others may begin to become wildly successful, only to find a way to self-sabotage and get back to that middle zone.
Hmmm... I was in my comfort zone? Yes, working all the time, logging in to office on weekends, getting to the office before sunrise, staying late every night, dealing with all the ins and outs of running a business , trying to get better and better results all while not taking vacations, and feeling overwhelmed was comfortable for me. I listened and thought, you mean I want to be stressed out? I want my money back!
As he kept talking and the second coach chimed in, it was beginning to make sense. It’s all about what we think we deserve. The best example of this deserve level concept, is the person who has struggled all their life financially, who hits the lottery and wins multi millions, only to find a way to squander and lose it all, resulting in them being back to where they started, penniless.
You’re probably thinking that this is pure nonsense. No one wants to struggle or in the case of the lottery winner, lose everything. And sure, most people don’t set out to self-sabotage, but the deserve level is subconscious and deep down inside. It may stem from your upbringing or things you saw as a child. What were you taught about money, relationships, etc.? Were you taught that the only way to progress is to work HARD?
I have always read books on self-help, business, and self-development, and I already knew of the Law of Attraction, like attracts like. And, I knew the famous quote “We become what we think about most.” Was I attracting this burn out?
Now in my case, I began to see a pattern. I was obsessed with achieving. I always made sure that my then practice was doing well with systems and efficiencies, productivity and profitability, but I associated a successful practice and achievement with HARD work. Now, don’t get me wrong you have to put in the work to get the results, and anyone who tells you otherwise is not being forthright. But, to me hard work meant no vacations, no breaks, push push push and get better get better get better. Time off was for slackers! It was what I was taught and what I deeply believed. And as such, it was what I subconsciously thought I deserved, success at a cost.
Have you ever asked why some practices excel and others do not do as well? It just might be related to the owner’s deserve level. Look at your practice/business. Is it where you would like for it to be? Does it look like you want it to look? Do you see the patients/guests you want to see (people that value your services)? What is your deserve level?
Now, the exciting thing about this discovery is that you can change your Deserve Level and thus change your reality!
Click the link below for Simple Steps to Increase Your Deserve Level!