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Dental work-life balance part 1

Your private vision as a dentist & practice owner

I hope you enjoy your summer vacation in a way where you don't think about teeth, the dental office, staff, medical records, dental equipment, etc.... In other words, I hope you spend your time enjoying life.

It's more fun to go to work when you have created or influenced your workplace, when we are allowed to do more of what we love to do in a way that is financially and emotionally rewarding. It's also great when the people we employ are people we like to interact with and who help us create a work environment that matches our dreams on a daily basis. All in a way where we don't have to worry about all the details of the day-to-day operations - the team takes care of everything in accordance with our expectations. This way, we can go on vacation for 4-6 weeks without having to worry about the dental practice. Without receiving calls and emails about things or tasks we need to take care of.

If you're like many of our colleagues, you're probably sighing right now, thinking: "I wish it was like that!"

Do you feel the same way?

Then keep reading and stay tuned for the upcoming blog posts where I'll be describing step-by-step what it takes to create a similar environment. Because it's actually possible for most dental practice owners to have a practice that runs on autopilot, has a well-functioning, harmonious staff, is profitable and gives you uninterrupted freedom. Freedom you can spend recovering without having to constantly think about the practice and about teeth. Because that's the succes formula for you to recover and get ready to be the best version of yourself. Both as a dentist and as an individual.

Woman sitting in an armchair on a white sandy beach reading a book

Work-Life balance

Being a dentist and a practice owner is a big challenge that requires a lot of professionalism, dedication and commitment. While running a successful practice is important, taking the time to create a personal vision is also crucial for creating a healthy work-life balance.

In this article, we look at why it's important for a dentist and practice owner to create a private vision first, before a vision is created for the dental practice. By ensuring that the practice vision supports your private vision, you will be able to create a practice or everyday life that enriches your life rather than slowly draining it away day by day.

Vacation without distractions

When I was a dental practice owner, I needed to get away from the practice for 4 weeks to recuperate and spend time with my family. Before I left, I talked to my receptionist about what the next 4 weeks would be like. She told me what she had planned to be able to run the clinic without my presence. Then we had a 30-minute meeting with the dental team at the practice where we went through the plan together.

On my way on vacation, I knew that I had cleaned up the various papers and declarations. Just as I knew that my team would know what to do, almost no matter what they were confronted with. Not because we had gone through every possible scenario, because that is completely impossible in practice. Rather, they knew the vision of the practice, our goals, the framework for achieving those goals and had spent time calibrating that knowledge against future plans, real problems and mistakes we had made against that framework.

In other words, it meant that I could focus on what was most important to me at the time: my family, myself and the experiences we were going to have together.

During my 4-week vacation, I received one email with an easy task that required my personal attention before I got back home.

What happens after the holiday?

When I walked back into the dental office after 4 weeks of vacation, it was as if I had left the practice the day before. I spent half an hour with my receptionist getting familiarized with the issues the team had solved independently, which she knew I appreciated being informed about. After that, the work continued at a leisurely pace, just like we used to.

Based on experiences from 5 years as a consultant for dental practices internationally, I have tried to create an overview of the parts that are vital for creating a dental practice like the one I have just described. It is important for me to emphasize that the steps described do not lead to a specific type of dental practice, but can be used for all types of practices.

A clear direction

Your practice is unique and must represent your personal values - at least if you want to feel happy and satisfied with your work, your practice, your team and your patients. This is only possible if your values, desires and dreams are clear to everyone around you. Which in turn will spill over into your personal life.

Unfortunately, it's rare that I come across dental practices with a strong direction that everyone in the team knows, is united around and strives to follow as a team.

In this and next week's blog post, I have therefore tried to describe 5 parts that are vital prerequisites for building a practice culture that supports the life of a dentist and practice owner. All in a way that makes the practice a great place to work, that the team wants to stay a part of and that patients love.

Part 1: The challenge of the practice owner

Being a dental practice owner is a significant challenge. In addition to delivering high-quality treatments, a practice owner must also handle a wide range of administrative tasks such as human resource management, marketing, financial management and strategic planning. Juggling all these responsibilities simultaneously can be an overwhelming burden.

Many leadership courses ask you to create a vision and mission statement for your practice. That makes a lot of sense too. I just think that a private vision should be created first. Otherwise, the practice will become the first priority in life, which means that life outside the practice will suffer to the detriment of the practice.

Often the practice owner can get caught in a vicious circle where the focus is solely on the practice. An imbalance between work and life can occur, with the practice consuming all of your time and energy. This can have negative consequences for personal wellbeing, family life, leisure time and overall quality of life. It's important to understand that a healthy work-life balance is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing.

What should be your main driver?

One of the reasons for this imbalance is often the lack of a clear and well-defined private vision. Without a private vision, the practice becomes the primary driving force in the dentist's life. In such a situation, we can easily get caught up in a cycle of work and stress. This is where the need for a private vision comes in.

By having a private vision, you create an opportunity to define your overall life goals and values. A private vision acts as a guide and compass that helps the dentist or practice owner make decisions and prioritize their activities and responsibilities according to their personal wants and needs.

A private vision can encompass different aspects of your life, such as family obligations, personal development, health and wellness, hobbies and social relationships. By having a clear vision for your personal life, you can create balance and harmony between your professional and personal life.

The importance of the private vision

When we start establishing a private vision, we focus on achieving personal satisfaction and well-being. This is essential to thriving both as a dentist and as an individual. Dentists who take care of their own wellbeing will have more energy, motivation and commitment to manage their practice and take the best care of their patients. In other words, it creates a better work-life balance.

Overall, it's important to recognize that the practice shouldn't be the only driving force in a dentist's life. By prioritizing and developing a private vision first, you can achieve a better work-life balance, ensuring that the dental practice supports your life and well-being, rather than dominating it.

This doesn't just apply to dentists, by the way. I've worked with other industries, such as agriculture and wine retail, where it has just as much of an impact on work-life balance.

Part 2:

The importance of a private vision

A private vision is a personal compass that guides dentists in their overall life goals and values. It helps create work-life balance and focuses on achieving personal satisfaction and well-being. Dentists must first and foremost take care of themselves in order to be able to lead and care for others.

Lighthouse shines in the night

A private vision is essential for both practice owners and employed dentists, as it serves as a foundation for creating balance and well-being between work and life outside the practice. A personal vision is a clear description of the desired outcomes, goals and values for your personal life. It helps define what really matters to us outside of the clinic and provides direction for achieving a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Here are some reasons why a private vision is important for a practice owner:

  1. Direction and purpose: A private vision gives you direction and purpose in life. It provides an overall goal to strive for and helps achieve a sense of meaning and happiness. By having a clear vision, we as dentists and practice owners can set realistic and meaningful goals that align with our personal values and desires.

  2. Prioritizing values: A private vision allows you to identify and prioritize your values. It helps us understand which aspects of our lives are most important and ensures that our actions and decisions are aligned with those values. This can help create a sense of harmony and authenticity between our personal and professional lives.

  3. Work-life balance: A private vision helps create a work-life balance. By defining our personal goals and desires, we can identify how we want to distribute our time and energy between the dental office, family life, hobbies and personal care or self-care. This enables us to create a more harmonious and fulfilling lifestyle.

  4. Decision making and focus: A private vision serves as a valuable tool for making decisions and maintaining focus. When we have a clear vision for our personal life, we can better assess which opportunities, projects or commitments align with our vision and values. It helps us avoid being overwhelmed by unnecessary distractions and makes it easier to prioritize and concentrate on what really matters.

  5. Wellbeing and self-care: A private vision promotes wellbeing and self-care. It often includes elements such as health, wellness, personal development and social relationships. By having a clear vision for each of these areas, we can prioritize our own wellbeing and make sure we set aside time and resources to take care of ourselves. This is essential for achieving a good work-life balance and staying engaged and passionate as a dentist and as a practice owner.

A dynamic guide to making decisions

A private vision is not a static statement, but rather a living and evolving guide for a practice owner as well as a dentist (or dental hygienist, dental assistant or receptionist for that matter). It's important to regularly revisit and adapt your vision as your life circumstances and goals change. By having a clear and meaningful personal vision, a dental practice owner can create a solid foundation for crafting a practice vision that will support and enrich her life rather than drain it.

Always remember to consult with professionals, such as business coaches or mentors, who can help explore and define your private vision in an effective way.

Make your dental practice support your private life

Would you like to change something towards a dental practice that supports your life financially and emotionally, rather than draining you mentally? Next week, you'll get 3 more parts that provide an overview of how the private vision supports the practice vision and how it can be used to create your dream practice. In addition, you will be able to download a free guide to create your own private vision.

Get notified when new posts are added to the blog, including free guides and checklists you can download and use to create the practice of your dreams. Sign up for the blog. Just click the button below and follow the instructions. You will receive an email with a link to the latest posts as soon as they are published. It's free and completely non-binding.

Dentist Jesper Hatt in pink shirt smiles

See you in the next blog post.

Kind regards

Dentist & Consultant

Jesper Hatt

P: +41 78 268 0078

"At Hatt Consulting, we understand that dentists and practice owners have big dreams and goals for their practice. We are dedicated to helping you turn your ambitions into reality through personalized consulting, tailored online and in-house practice training.

Our experienced team of dental industry experts specialize in supporting dentists and practice owners to succeed on their own terms. We believe in creating a strong connection between your personal values and your practice vision, so you can create balance and well-being in both your personal and professional life.

Whether you want to improve leadership skills, optimize practice operations or build an exceptional patient experience, we are here to guide and support you on your journey. We offer tailored solutions to suit your unique needs and goals.

Contact us today and let's create a strategy together to help you achieve your dreams and create a successful and sustainable clinic. Let's work together towards a future where you thrive as a dentist and practice owner."


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