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Life gets easier with hacks. Here are some things I wish I’d started doing 3 years ago when I was just a fresh grad.
Read Profit First
There are few books I’d recommend you buy. Profit First is one of them. It is a simple book with a basic formula on how to gain control over your money.
If you’re a new dentist, you have realized by now that dentistry is not about ‘making money’. Be it equipment, a nice office at a busy intersection, getting a loan to start a practice or taking a CE course in implants, everything is expensive and puts a financial strain on you. Although it is money spent for opportunity, ROI and the overall betterment of our community, it is also money taken away from our personal ‘fun’ expenses. Travel, dinners with family, spontaneous boat rides, whatever it may be.
After choosing a profession like dentistry, you do need to spend money on yourself and your family for fun things that you dreamed of. All of this stuff is possible, you just need to learn how to pay yourself before you pay for other things. Get the book here and learn the basic math on budgeting.
Focus on one topic of CE every year
Value your time. Take only the CE that you need, and not one that you’re pressured by others to take. Never do something you are not fully invested in. Focus on only one topic every year, say endo, get coaching on it, and perfect it to the best of your ability. Don’t try to be everything to everyone, and don’t try to be everything all at once either. It gets hard to compare yourself to seniors 20, 30 years ahead of you, so remember to pace yourself.
Join a study club where you will meet other entrepreneurs
I can’t stress this enough. You will meet a lot of people in your life. A lot of people will be naysayers and boo your dreams. There will be a few who will encourage you to break stereotypes and fight for what you believe in. You need to surround yourself with the latter. Find people you can regularly share ideas with, and who challenge you to do better. Join our Club, a fantastic resource for all of this.
Strengthen your people skills
Take up speaking opportunities, network with colleagues, learn to pick up the phone and talk to a person rather than typing out an email. Be so focused on improving your communication skills, that you evolve into a much better leader the following year. All of us have leaders within us, we just need to channel that energy and build on it the right way.
Lease books from your public library
If you’re a book junkie like me and feel like buying books every time you see one, you need to join the public library and get books for free. As an aspiring author and avid reader, I know only too well than to say that money spent on books is wasted. However, if you’re on a tight budget, learn to take advantage of every free resource in your city. One of them being your free public library!
Negotiating is an art and science. Learn to ask for things, even if you feel you may not get them. An honorarium for a speaking opportunity, a new dentist discount on the matrix bands you love, the ability to be included on a panel of lecturers at your favorite conference. If you never ask, the answer will always be no. So just ask. What’s the worst that will happen?
All the best!