Don't Chill the F**k Out
If you’ve never heard of David Goggins, let me give you a really brief (and completely inadequate) introduction to who he is. Goggins was raised in a dysfunctional home, with little money and an abusive dad. He ultimately dropped over 100 pounds, became a Navy Seal, graduated Ranger School and became one of the top Ultra-marathon athletes in the world. In short, he turned his life around and has served as an inspirational beacon for many who are looking to overcome challenges in their own lives.
Goggins suffers no fools and accepts no excuses. He’s overcome a lot and expects others to do the same in their own lives. Heck, as a PT instructor, he had Navy Seals complaining that his workouts were too tough.????
Yes, he can be considered a tad extreme, but there is a lot of wisdom in his words. He understands the human psyche and the ability to focus mind over matter to push the body to achieve more than one ever could have considered possible. One comment applies quite nicely to many orthodontists:
“Most people in the world, if they ever push themselves at all, are willing to push themselves only so far. Once they reach a cushy plateau, they chill the fuck out and enjoy their rewards, but there’s another phrase for that mentality. It’s called getting soft, and that I could not abide.”
Why does this apply to orthodontists? I know that we’re not pushed as hard physically as Seals, but to become an orthodontist means running the academic gauntlet and coming out on top. It means persevering through the science classes in college and excelling in dental school when competing against those who have already distinguished themselves. It’s not an easy road, and it’s one that most have worked pretty hard to traverse.
But what happens once you become an orthodontist? What happens when the practice starts doing pretty well? Do you keep the “pedal down”? I would argue that to be a successful entrepreneur (which you ARE when you own a practice), you’re once again in a crucible to make your practice stand out. There are many practices that people can choose. Why should they pick yours?
Goggins has another quote in his book and it’s amazing.
“Heraclitus, a philosopher born in the Persian Empire back in the fifth century BC, had it right when he wrote about men on the battlefield. “Out of every one hundred men,” he wrote, “ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior…”
When it comes to making your practice (and your life) exceptional, do what it takes to make it the best. Don’t rest on your laurels and expect that because you do great ortho that the world will appear on your doorstep begging you to treat them. Read books on business. Attend courses. Learn to become a better manager, leader and delegator.
In short, continue to push the way you did when you wanted to become an orthodontist and strive to be that one “warrior”.
Wishing you the best,
If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we come together to help each other build better practices and lower stress, please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.
GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.