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Get There Faster With a mentor

by partica

❝The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.

– Dan Rather

Having practiced dentistry for the past 20 years, I’ve had a tremendous number of experiences and learned many great lessons. This year is my 20th year in private practice and a time where I naturally can’t help reflecting on the progress I’ve made in my career. I get really excited and passionate about what I feel has been the largest factor in my professional success.

If I could go back 20 years and talk to that new young graduate coming out of dental school about what his dental career would be like, he and I would be ecstatic. I would tell him to do exactly as I had done by finding a good mentor to help me shorten the distance to the prosperity that I desired. There’s only one thing I’d have him do differently: Don’t wait for ten years to find that mentor, find that guidance now and get on an accelerated path to reach your dreams even faster than I did.

My story really began to take off after my first ten years in private practice. Don’t get me wrong, I think I was a good dentist that experienced some exciting success. I had always heard the saying though: When the student is ready, the teacher appears. At my ten year mark, I was the student that finally became ready. When my teacher appeared, I jumped on the space ship to my accelerated success without hesitation.

Let me explain my story. I have a business partner who co-owns my dental practice with me. We have worked well together for many years. We both knew we wanted more. It all started out with trying to find a solution to a problem that had slowed us down for our entire careers up to that point. We were lacking in our Eastern Idaho area for quantity and quality of dental assistant candidates to hire for our growing team. We were both clinical evaluators for the dental assisting students at the expensive local vocational program that was a year-long at the time.

For years we were disappointed at the lack of mastery that so many of these students had when it came to the very basic fundamentals of entry level dental assisting. In talking to our dentist colleagues around the country, we began to believe that it is not wise for a young person to spend upward of $13,000 $15,000 on a year-long dental assisting program (during which they really can’t work – so there is additional loss of income) so that they can get an entry level job in dentistry. That is why a shorter accelerated dental assisting training model began to make so much more sense to us. My partner and I decided to develop our own dental assisting school training program. Though we had no idea where to start or how to make it worth our time and effort, we forged ahead anyway. We spent many hours putting together a curriculum and trying to figure out how many evening classes we’d need to have to effectively teach someone the fundamentals of dental assisting. We really had no clue how to accomplish this and simultaneously turn a profit. It was taking up a great deal of our spare time.

Finally, we decided it was time to contact our State Board of Dentistry to seek approval to teach our program. That phone call changed our lives in a way that neither of us expected. We told the Board of our intentions and asked what we needed to do to be approved to teach our dental assisting program. Rather than telling us the long list of things we yet needed to do to be approved, the Board told us that there was another dentist 281 miles away from us on the other side of the state that was already approved and successfully running a dental assisting school in his office on Saturdays. They told us about Dr. Taylor Clark and his Assist To Succeed Saturday program. They gave me his phone number and welcomed us to call him for advice with the process.

HERE is the important part. We almost didn’t call Dr. Taylor Clark when we heard he had already successfully started a school across the state from us. My partner didn’t think we needed to call him but I remember clearly telling him, “Why not call him?” Thank goodness we did! We talked to him for a good half hour on what we were trying to do. He told us that he’d be happy to give us some advice and steer us in the right direction. Then what happened next was our big moment of opportunity. He then offered to license us his Assist To Succeed Program and mentor us to duplicate his success. Having made more progress toward our goal in those 30 minutes than we had in months, we knew that engaging with this mentor would enable us to leap frog our way to higher levels of success much faster than we could do on our own. We jumped at the opportunity!

Almost 10 years have passed since we hired our new mentor. I still can’t believe the dream I’ve been living ever since. Our school success took off in ways neither my partner, nor I, not even Dr. Clark expected. We followed the principles Taylor taught. I had confidence in myself and those around me. When Taylor told me he had collected nearly $30,000 in several days (independent of his dental practice) I was so excited to do it myself!

My partner and I invested, pulled the proverbial trigger and implemented like crazy what Taylor told us to do. People were so interested that the local news Channel 8 did a TV news story as a result of the assisting school press release Taylor recommends sending out. Several people from as far as 25 miles away jumped in their cars after they saw us on the 5 o’clock news so they could be there at our office at 7 pm! Over 60 people came to our office that evening for our first assisting school open house. We talked to them for one hour, made them an offer, and they gave us over $80,000 in the next 24 hours. Needless to say, even Taylor was blown away!

The fruits of our mentorship with an expert have spilled over into our lives for nearly a decade now. We’ve enjoyed a wonderful residual income stream with our school year in and year out. We have the best dental office team ever today thanks to our ability to cherry pick the best students from our class. We no longer have our hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment and physical plant sitting idle on Saturdays. We’ve tapped into a lucrative niche because we dentists already pay for our school overhead whether we run one or not. We’ve learned many marketing and management principles of success from our mentor Dr. Clark that have repeatedly helped us take our dental practice to our best years ever.

Brian Tracy uses an analogy to illustrate the power of good mentors. Are you familiar with Germany’s Autobahn? It’s a super freeway with no speed limits so you can reach your destination quickly. Then there are rocky mountain dirt roads that wind around and it takes forever to get where you’re going. Tracy says having proper coaches and mentors is the surest way to put us on—and keep us on—the Autobahn of life. Having good mentors empowers us to feel comfortable enough to push the gas pedal down and get where we’re going much faster.

Michael Jordan acknowledges that many people regard him as the greatest basketball player to ever play the game. However, he will be the first to say that no matter how good he was, he always needed a good coach. Phil Jackson brought out the best in him. He picked up on things as the game unfolded that Jordan sometimes didn’t see. That guidance, along with incredible athletic ability, hard work and determination, made Jordan virtually unstoppable for years.

I hope you can see your success in our awesome dental profession in a new light. In my opinion, our potential in the business of dentistry is second to none! The more we can successfully surround ourselves with good mentors, the more possibilities and success we can achieve. Whether you seek dental assisting school success like I did or to become an expert at implants, cosmetics or anything else, just know this: You can get there much faster with a good mentor! To find out what type of dental assisting school opportunity is available in your area, go to www.AssistToSucceed.com and submit your office address to determine if your area is available.

Dr. Brett Jacobson is a successful general dentist and owner of several Assist To Succeed dental assisting schools. He considers himself an ordinary dentist who has enjoyed extraordinary success due to his willingness to constantly surround himself with good mentors. For questions he may be reached via e-mail at drbrettjacobson@gmail.com. If you are interested in the dental assisting school opportunity, go to www.AssistToSucceed.com and submit your office address to determine if your area is available.

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