Real Bosses, Write Checks.
“Invest in yourself. Your career is the engine of your wealth.” – Paul Clitheroe
Being a business owner isn’t all about making money. It’s actually about spending money. Spending A LOT of money. But doing so in a strategic way.
All money making, begins with money spending.
To understand how to make money, you must first understand how to spend money. You need to understand that spending money is okay — when done strategically. Not random ‘pay and pray’ style spending, but planned, meticulous, and strategic spending.
This concept is a challenge for many new dentists to wrap their minds around.
For many new dental grads:
-Their first jobs as dentists out of school are the first REAL jobs they have ever had, despite coming up on age 30.
-The New Grad has been living exclusively off of ‘Monopoly Game Money’ aka Student Loan Money
-The New Grad has been living like a broke student and has a limited financial sense of scope that will be in play with a potential million dollar(+) dental business
When you are the employee, you are only on the end of the relationship in which you receive checks.
When you are the employer, you are on the end of the relationship where you are often the one writing the checks.
Once you take on the roll of a practice owner:
You will see a LOT of money going out the door. You will see more money going OUT the door, than many of you have personally had control of in your life. You just have to know that it leads to something. But you won’t know it leads to something, unless you have a rock solid financial plan and vision for that money.
Once you take on the roll of a practice owner:
Everybody is going to want money from you. Vendors, employees, salesmen, coaches, marketers, web designers, schools, churches, your lab, the cable company, your supply company, the city, the government. Everyone around you will want you to give them money.
This is not a bad thing.
You need to spend this money.
You need to give these people money!
Strategically and with a plan. You see….some of the people who want money from you are going to HELP you and your business. Yet, some of the people who want money from you are going to HURT you and your business.
Do you know the difference?
Without a plan, and without knowing the various players – you will be throwing money down the drain.
Now that you are a practice owner, you are the decision maker for where the money of the practice flows. It is not a bad thing that everyone wants money from you. However, you must be able to discriminate smart and necessary expenditures from ill-advised and wasteful expenditures. You also can’t fall into a shock when you get a big bill. Big bills are going to arrive at your door step.
When things cost a lot, don’t freak out.
Again, not too long ago, as a dental student your budget decisions were to decide if you wanted to spend your Monopoly Loan Money on pizza or Ramen noodles for dinner. And now, things costs thousands, or tens of thousands, or HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars over night.
If you are going to be a practice owner, you are going to be writing checks at times when your business isn’t currently generating any dollars. You might even be writing some checks out of your own pocket to get the ball rolling like I did.
I never thought that when I needed to get a tree cut down behind my practice, I would get quotes between $3,000 and $9,000 to remove a single large tree:
When I wanted to buy a used Pano, I had to cut two $2,500 checks out of my personal savings just two weeks apart before my business opened:
When I wanted to start my build-out, I had to cut two $5,000 checks, again out of my personal savings, as a good-will deposit so that contractor would start building:
When I had to write a $4,000 check, again out of personal savings, as an SBA Fee so that I could secure financing for my practice real estate:
At the time I wrote all of those checks, I had no guarantee that my business would even be successful.
No guarantee my business would be successful other than a rock-solid belief in my business plan and full confidence that my systematized approach to my start-up and business strategies would lead me to success.
It would have been easy to be scared. It would have been easy to be intimidated by all of the money going OUT when I was first getting started.
But, it also would have been easy to not prepare so much prior to starting this process. And I guess if I took the easy way back then, all of this would have been a whole lot harder now.
Which way are you going to take, Boss?
–DeAngelo S. Webster, DDS
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