Something for Nothing.

Something for Nothing.

I’ll let you in on two little secrets that have forever shaped my life. They were taught to me by my parents, which were taught to them by their parents. I’ve been teaching them to my kids ever since they were old enough to listen and pay attention:

You are of no good to yourself, let alone to anyone else, if you are not prosperous. You are prosperous to the degree you are experiencing peace, health, happiness and plenty in your world.

I meet with orthodontists all over the world who have big dreams to grow their practices and to finally establish peace, prosperity and happiness in their financial, physical and spiritual lives. They know what they want, yet too many of these doctors want something for nothing. If I could scream one lesson for the entire orthodontic world to understand, it would be this: “You cannot get something for nothing.” You must give full measure for the results you wish to achieve.

Doctors tell me they don’t have a marketing budget or that right now is not a good time to invest in marketing. “There’s just not enough cash flow to do marketing right now,” they lament. “So you want something for nothing,” I state with a grin.

I hear excuses for why doctors don’t have enough new patients in the practice or why they still haven’t taken action to better serve the patient with extended hours, flexible financing or a satisfaction guarantee. They are crippled by indecision and their own aversion to the laws of prosperous thinking. “I’ll do something when things are better,” they think.

Hogwash. You can always do something. I had it printed on a large poster that hangs in the break room. “Today there is something we can do.”

Remembering patients’ names. Genuinely caring about their life stories. Sending a word of encouragement to a colleague or parent of one of your patients. Running on time or ahead of schedule in the office so that no one waits. Remembering your referring dentists’ birthdays and sending them a text message if nothing else, telling them you were thinking of them and that you appreciate them. Keeping the sidewalk in front of your office clean and free of debris for everyone in your town who passes by to enjoy. Taking pride in how you answer the phones, what your employee uniforms look like and how clean you keep your office. All of these are marketing strategies. None of them cost a dime more than you were already going to spend in general operating costs.

When you accept the fundamental law in life that you can’t get something for nothing, and you simultaneously decide to start doing something, you’ll find new patients, referrals, new referring colleagues, business leaders, school board members, religious leaders, coaches, and employers all over your town will start sending everyone they know to your office.

Stop expecting something for nothing, Start paying full measure. Prosperous thinking yields prosperous results.
Worked at Burleson Orthodontics. Attended University of Missouri–Kansas City. Lives in Kansas City, Missouri.