No Problem In Paradise

It was as if they (my team) could all do family, caring, and fun the way Pavarotti could do Ave Maria.

So when I opened the doors in Temple City, the likes of Kanye and Tom Brady weren’t even born…but they both knew just as much about business as me.

One month into my providing dental care for pay, I thought I was doing alright. But then The Man hit me with stuff like payroll tax and worker’s comp insurance.

And if there’s one thing I can say about the practice management education I received in dental school (right across the street from the Coliseum), it was that the faculty totally made sure we weren’t over-prepared.

Fast-forward 20-years and for the first time in my adult life, I actually boarded a plane seeking continuing education outside of LA County. Three of us headed out to Canmore, Alberta, Canada; we were looking for information, inspiration, and help. We learned systems, practiced verbal skills and talked about marketing. It was the training that had been missing for a couple of decades…and we haven’t stopped since.

I read Think and Grow Rich, became part of a mastermind group, and my team and I engaged the community. We developed an intention: “Making a world class difference for others and making dentistry fun.” My first mentor with no Von Bulow DNA encouraged me to write and I’ve only missed a few published weeklies since 1996.

Writing was probably the substitute for all of the serious counseling I needed but never had after some tough family times. My big brother died the year I applied to dental school; my dad died before my eyes three months into my new practice. I was caregiver for my mom’s last ten years. What was most important and vital to my existence was my family…and it was gone.

Relationships didn’t work because of my fear of loss and their fear of playing second fiddle to my caregiving or my ghosts.

And just when I was resigned to never getting close and never being happy, something crazy happened. And then it happened again…and again.

As I focused on business and learning I found myself in the company of like-minded people I couldn’t help but grow to love. It was as if they could all do family, caring, and fun the way Pavarotti could do Ave Maria.

And over the past year, my team and I worked hard, lived our intention, and saw family in ourselves, our patients, and our community. We also hit some impressive goals. Last week we celebrated with laughter, a few tears, and even a head first “launch” off of a 40-foot tower and down a 4,000 foot zip line.

We weren’t leaving anyone behind; we had one another’s backs, and together, we all experienced some breakthroughs…even though we didn’t always agree on stuff 100% of the time.

But isn’t that what family is all about?