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    11 qualities of the TRUE dentist entrepreneur

    Breaking down the key traits shared by visionaries in the dental field.


    Dental entrepreneurs are a rare breed. They seize the opportunity in an economy that embraces access, convenience, ease of use, reduced cost of delivery and brand marketing. For those willing to risk their time, money and individual identity, managed group practice offers up the perfect platform for the amalgamation of one’s passion for dentistry and passion for building a great business. What are those key qualities and characteristics that distinguish dental entrepreneurs?

    1. Resolve

    Resolve is the willingness to decide firmly on a course of action. Dentist entrepreneurs clearly have the resolve to produce a successful dental enterprise. They didn’t go into dentistry to give themselves a secure, high-paying job; they went into dentistry for the opportunity to create a great dental business. They love the business side of dentistry, unlike most dentists who simply tolerate the business aspects of practice.

    For dentist entrepreneurs, dentistry is the "means" not the "end." They see dentistry as the means to create a unique dental entity. They are steadfast, stubborn and extremely determined to see their business vision become a reality.

    It is this resolve that empowers them in the face of the multiple problems that inevitably arise while building a substantial dental company. They just don’t give up. They don’t give in. They’re relentless, tenacious and resolute.

    Related article: What's next—The integrated dental structure

    2. Fearlessness

    Fearlessness means operating without fear. It isn’t that dentist entrepreneurs don’t get scared or anxious. They do, but what distinguishes them is that they step into the fear and don’t let fear stop them. To do this, they must be courageous—lionhearted. Indomitable, they dare to go forward without knowing the answer beforehand.

    Whereas most dentists are frozen by fear, dentist entrepreneurs are intrepid. They don’t play “not to lose.”  They play to win. They are not intimidated by being on the edge. This is the antithesis of most dentists, who are intimidated by the task of building a managed group practice.

    3. Passion

    Passion is a deeply felt emotion. Dentist entrepreneurs are extremely passionate about creating a dental enterprise that is highly effective, productive, and well marketed with growing revenues, strong margins and highly competent non-dental senior executives. Their passion is often expressed with an intense—even overpowering—sense of conviction.  

    You can hear passion in their speaking. People who hear such passion are often moved to act. The hunger for and the desire and possibility of a new future is palpable in the dentist entrepreneur’s words and behavior.

    Most dentists are passionate about their dentistry but not about the business. The business of practice for most dentists is a “have to” not a “want to.”

    Next page: How does an entrepreneur approach ambiguity?

    Dr. Marc Cooper
    Dr. Cooper's professional career includes private periodontist, academician, researcher, teacher, practice management consultant, ...


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