Why do some doctors thrive while others struggle?
For years I have observed that doctors who thrive are different, and not just operationally, logistically, clinically, or in other professional areas. They think differently. They talk differently. They are different.
What is their difference? They all possess what I call an “abundance mindset.” Although it may not sound like a tangible difference, I have seen this mindset proven over and over in all types of dental practices throughout the U.S.
Are you open to changing your thinking? If you want to thrive as a doctor, I would highly recommend it. Moving from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset will dramatically shift your life and practice. Abundance says there is more than enough money, love, forgiveness, and other good things for everyone. It believes in increasing the pie for all. Scarcity dictates that there is a limited and fixed amount. Therefore, when I “get mine,” others will not “get theirs.”
How do you develop an abundance mindset? Implement the seven steps listed here, and then see if you notice abundance more often in your life and practice.
1. Change your thinking
If abundance is not overflowing in your life and practice, recognize right now that you need to change your thinking. You can decide immediately to move to abundant thinking. One “aha” moment, followed by a simple decision, can forever change your thinking.
A shift to abundant thinking is much like flying through rough air until you reach smooth air. Once you break through, it’s smooth sailing. After 26 years of watching some doctors thrive and others struggle, it’s incredibly frustrating to watch them hang on to a scarcity mindset and refuse to change to an abundance mindset.
Choose abundant thinking right now.
Will you choose to think abundantly? Right now?
2. Change your social network
If you are involved with a network of friends and colleagues that does not embrace change and does not share an abundance mindset, you need to spend more time with people who pull you toward abundance.
When you decide to break away from the old mentality, there may be resistance until you break through to abundance. Sometimes your family can hold you back because you grew up poor or in debt. They expect you to remain in that situation. Sometimes friends or colleagues who are content with scarcity will restrain you.
You may also have to change some of your dental team. Your entire team must totally support and buy into the abundance mentality, which will lead to a thriving practice.
Who in your social or professional network does not feed an abundance mindset?
3. Change your habits
A significant change in thinking or actions begins with a change of habits. A habit is something we do automatically. We don’t think about it and we’re usually unaware that we’re even doing it.
All lasting change requires a change of habit. Whether you want to lose weight, make more money, get in shape, fix your marriage, or develop an abundance mindset, it usually requires at least 90 days to anchor a new habit.
I am a big believer in setting goals, timelines, and strategies. But if you do not change your habits, you will not see long-term change. Because a change of habit requires focus and energy, I always recommend you begin slowly with one or two habits, not 10. You can make a list of habits you want to change; then start with one or two, and when they are firmly anchored, move on to the next habit.
Choose the most influential habit first. For example, if you are a pessimistic thinker, change that one habit and it will immediately impact other unhelpful habits.
What one or two habits will you begin to change today?
4. Walk in integrity
Integrity is simply behaving in private the same as you behave in public — being the same person in private as you are in public. Integrity is always doing the right thing.
You will only gain abundance when you walk in integrity, and you’ll always begin to have integrity when you walk in abundance. If you have abundance, you make choices based on integrity. When you’re desperate for abundance but have a scarcity mindset, you may be willing to make decisions and choices that compromise your integrity. Those who believe in scarcity tend to push the edges of integrity to “get theirs.”
Consider this example. If you had $1 billion, would you consider crossing the line of integrity? You would probably make decisions based on your fixed moral compass because you do not feel like you need to push the edges to get more.
A wise friend once shared the following nugget, “What you compromise to keep, eventually you will lose.”
Would those closest to you say you have unquestioned integrity?
5. Be ready for abundance
Powerball winners are usually bankrupt within five years. Why? They were not ready for abundance. The amount of abundance is not important, but we must be ready or we will squander our opportunity.
Are you ready to accept abundance when it arrives? Much like a fisherman who prepares his net to receive a great catch, you must be ready to receive. What would you do if next year you had an extra $2 million, $10 million?
Maybe you have bought into an abundance mindset and are telling everyone, “We’re getting ready to double our practice.” Make sure your team is ready for abundance. Your most significant challenge will be coaching your staff through it. They all must be coachable and fully on board or you may need to change team members.
Are you ready for abundance? Is your entire team ready for abundance?
6. Always forgive; it releases abundance
Unforgiveness wants justice. But if we seek justice for others, we must accept justice for ourselves. It sets up a quid-pro-quo arrangement. You take from me, and I’ll take from you.
Abundance, on the other hand, is like grace in that we get more than we deserve and better than we deserve. If we offer forgiveness abundantly, we receive forgiveness abundantly. Forgiveness releases you and releases abundance. And, we begin to see these same qualities reflected in every area of our lives. Forgiveness brings personal freedom and opens the doors and windows for abundance to enter our personal and professional lives.
If you need nothing, forgiveness is easy. Consider the daughter of the richest man in the world. If a thief stole her car, she would simply forgive and ask her father for another car, without holding a grudge.
Forgiveness gives. Unforgiveness takes. Become a giving machine.
Is there someone you need to forgive and release?
7. Always believe the best
Satchel Page was an incredible baseball player who fought racism with a positive smile and a powerful pitching arm. He always believed the best no matter what the situation because he realized there was nothing gained in believing anything less than the best.
He is famous for the saying, “Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching.” Optimism flowed from him, as he loved his work and life. At the end of his last game, when asked about retirement, he smiled and said, “I never had a job.”
One day, Satchel was called upon to pitch against a team in which all the best minor league hitters were assembled for the sole purpose of embarrassing him. Satchel told his outfielders and infielders to sit down, and he started to pitch. One by one he struck out these great hitters. He did not complain about the team stacking the deck against him, but believed the best and rose to the challenge.
Always believe the best. Doctors with an abundance mindset always believe they will thrive personally and professionally.
Would those around you say you always believe the best?
Abundance is knocking; open the door
Change your mindset today. Abundance is knocking on your door, but you must open the door and welcome it into your life and practice.
Go for it!
Ken Runkle, America’s Profitability Expert™, is the founder and president of Paragon Management, Inc., and has been helping dental practices reach peak profitability for 25 years.
This article was originally published in Dental Economics. Read all of Ken Runkle’s Dental Economics articles here.