Isn’t this an amazing black and white photograph? Well, it’s not a photograph, it’s a pencil drawing by a self-taught Irish 16 year-old, Shania McDonagh.
Clearly, some of us are able to excel in the areas of our strengths well beyond what others could ever even imagine.
I can tell you a similar story about my neighbor up here on the mountain, his name is Mike Stockton. He personally designed the house we live in – drew every line of it, and then supervised, as well as participated in its construction.
And Mike had no formal training in architecture or construction. He just loved it, and then studied it long enough to master it. His history is that of an artist. Mike drew a pencil drawing of his grandfather at age 13 which is as amazing and as the one above – with no formal training.
We are all born with certain gifts and talents. The key is to discover them, develop them, find ways to connect them with others in a fashion that they will be valued, and then to share them.
All of this of course, applies to dentistry as well.
We will only be willing to invest the time, energy, and attention necessary to master something if it brings us joy and satisfaction. That’s the pay-off…the ability to step back and say to ourselves, “That was pretty good…but next time I think I’ll try this instead and see if I can even make it better!
But that’s not enough to be successful. To be a masterful and successful dentist, you also must be able to connect and inspire others…you must be able to INSPIRE OTHERS TO BECOME BETTER VERSIONS OF THEMSELVES as well. And that of course, includes team members and patients alike.
So, now we have three things which are key:
1. Gifts & Talents
What else do you need? You also need to be able to promote yourself – you must be willing and able to share what you know and can do with others in a way that THEY FEEL LIKE IT WILL BE HELPFUL. And there’s a word for that- it’s called “marketing,” which is not a dirty word if it’s done from your heart, AND you deliver on your promises…no, let me correct that…you OVER-deliver in your promises.
When you go into that private coffee shop and they take a moment to create a heart in the froth of your latte – that’s marketing too. That’s caring enough about what you do to take the extra steps which DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU SINCERELY CARE about what you are doing and how other’s feel about it.
So, now we have five things:
1. Gifts & Talents
And how others perceive how well you do these five things, will determine your FINANCIAL FUTURE, because people will give you their money in exchange for your gifts, talents, skills, and caring when they perceive that you do the above five things exceptionally well AND they benefit significantly as a result.
Passionately master these things, and you have a bright future ahead. Ignore the importance of them, and you will languish with all the other dentists who are content drawing stick figures and getting paid by the unit by third parties to do it.