It’s that time of the year again, when we begin to wonder how the year has passed us by and we ask ourselves if we have accomplished anything at all. It’s so easy to be hard on yourself when perhaps the 1-2 major goals you had at the beginning of the year don’t seem to have come to fruition. This is why this annual exercise of ‘counting wins’ has become a very important mindset-building task for me. I started counting my wins, however small they may be, last year, when I was feeling let down by the idea that 2020 was such a waste of a year.
The exercise made me feel better and helped realize that the year was very productive and full of important connections! It was a great year as opposed to a complete waste!
So, here are my big 8 wins of 2021
We moved to San Francisco
The decision to move came quickly, and the actual moving process was chaotic and filled with stress. However, I’m excited to look back and realize that WE DID IT and after nearly 4 months in a new city, we finally feel settled. The city has a lot more days of sun compared to Seattle, and for outdoorsy folks like us, being here is a HUGE WIN! For example, I can go biking in the middle of Fall, without preparing for the possibility of getting wet.
I ventured into tech
Taking up an opportunity in technology would have never struck me as something I would do in my career. I am so glad I said ‘yes’ to the job and began working with a dedicated team of engineers to build technology solutions for the healthcare industry. Doing this work has taught me a lot about working with a diverse, intelligent team, communicating with governments all over the world and proposing innovative solutions in our industry. Seeing the product life cycle- from brainstorming/white boarding it- to development- prototype- pilot launch- ‘grand scale’ launch- has been very exciting. I’ve been involved with 2 such solutions that I’ve seen grow from an infant stage. It’s amazing what healthcare providers can accomplish if we get involved in the tech industry. Our experience is vital for the creation of sustainable products.
Working as Faculty
I took up a part-time position, teaching dental students at the University of the Pacific. Working as Faculty in a school full of extremely bright students requires you to be on your toes! Being a teacher brings with it a learning curve of how to be a good teacher. I had to re-learn how things are done at the school, the materials and technology they use, and yet, lend advise on how I do things differently in my practice, when students are curious about it. A Faculty position also brings with it several opportunities! I was recently given the opportunity to teach a Selective of my choice to students for the upcoming quarter. Things like that would not be possible had I not taken up this position.
Going on a retreat
Members of the Creative Collective (CC), Drs. Diana Liu and Shivani Kamodia, put together a wonderful retreat for us women at a lake house in Kingsland, Tx in April. The retreat not only connected me with friends from the CC, but also gave me the opportunity to connect with myself. With a combination of yoga, meditation, good food and creative exercises, all of us were able to look deep within and become intentional about what we wanted out of life after the retreat. The retreat was such a wonderful experience that I’m going again with the same group to Dominican Republic for another retreat. This time combined with a dental mission trip to help the underserved.
My book launch
After living in my google drive folder for two years, my book is finally ready to come out into the real world! My publishing team and I are currently working on the back-cover design and formatting its internal text. It gives me so much pleasure to see the book coming to life, a process I didn’t realize was as much fun! Planning a book launch has been challenging with balancing a full-time job, but I do know that seeing the end product is going to be so sweet. To support my book launch, please subscribe to this website’s newsletter. That’s where updates on the launch will get published!
NDBC turning two
The New Dentist Business Club is a 501 c 3 educational nonprofit, that was first established in October 2019. This year, with the help of my other Board members, we were able to apply for AGC PACE certification and are now eligible to provide CE! This is a big accomplishment for us! All of the work regarding our Club is split between the 3 of us, all full-time new dentists. We charge a minimal annual membership fee from our members, and also got funding from the American Dental Association earlier this year. NDBC is also my first taste of business in America, and one that is very near and dear to my heart.
Honors and awards
I was awarded the prestigious ‘10 under 10’ by the American Dental Association and ‘10 to Watch’ by the Academy of General Dentistry, earlier this year, for my work in founding the New Dentist Business Club. This recognition brought with it many other opportunities that I am very grateful for. I was asked to interview with Glidewell, Connecticut State Dental Association and the American Dental Association, as a result. These honors made NDBC more visible and brought us several motivated new members!
2021 was the first year I tried coaching. I had three coaches this year. While my experience with one of them was not good, the other two were fantastic. I am now hooked on to the concept of coaching, mainly because I know first-hand the value it can bring to my professional life in terms of creating accountability. Having a professional coach is very important for career advancement. Sponsors and mentors alone may not get you there. Coaching gets you where you want to be- faster.
I hope this post inspires many of you to count your wins and share with others and yourself, what you have accomplished this year. If you need a mentor to talk to, do not hesitate to reach out!