There is a growing sense amongst employees and business owners today that there is more to life than acquiring money and assets. People are becoming more aware of the atrocities happening around the world. We’re beginning to think about what special thing we each can do to contribute to the wellbeing of others.
It is time to start asking ourselves, “What is my passion? What do I love doing? What do I love creating? What was I born to do? How can I use that passion and skill to improve the world?”
This should be done on a personal level, but also on a business level. A purpose-driven business sees a commercial return. There’s a lot of evidence that shows that purpose-driven businesses have more devoted employees and customers. It drives performance, productivity, and profitability.
The truth is that employee engagement in Australia is reported as being horrifically low with 76% of workers disengaged at work. Unfortunately, that means the effects of disengaged staff which includes employee churn, lost productivity, and low morale has impacted virtually every business. These disengaged employees often begin looking for fulfilment elsewhere – in non-profits or other, purpose-driven companies.
Even small businesses can drive purpose.
If you’re saying, “Well, that’s great for big business. I see how that works for global companies like Johnson & Johnson, but I’m a small business. I’m just focused on keeping the lights on.”
When you’re running a small business, it might feel like the lofty ideal of finding your One True Purpose is impractical, or worse – impossible. However, taking the time to nail this down not only costs you nothing, but it can offer tangible, practical improvements.
Every single one of us has something we’re good at that we love, that the world needs, and that we can make money doing. The great news is that your purpose already exists. You just need to find the words to describe it so you can be more thoughtful about bringing it into the forefront.
Why did you become a dentist?
First things first. As a business owner, the purpose comes from you. Finding and living your purpose as a leader makes it so much easier to embed that philosophy into your practice.
You can start with a bit of introspection. Why did I become a dentist? When I decided to study dentistry, what was the catalyst? Reconnect with the reason that resonates with you. The wonderful thing is that even though each dentist follows a similar path, the reasons can be wildly different. The purpose that resonates with you might not be purpose that resonates with the dentist down the street.
You can also ask yourself, “How does my service make an impact on my staff? My patients? My community?”
What you’re looking for is a common thread. What pulls you toward dentistry? What allows you to make the greatest impact with your patients and community? Once you have a framework for your purpose statement, you can begin to filter that into the way you operate your business, how you interact with your patients, and the expectations you have for your team each day.
Look for your and/and.
Oftentimes in business, production is stressed beyond all else. You might outwardly successful, but inwardly, if you’re not living on purpose, it can all feel a bit hollow.
If this is something you struggle with, try looking for your and/and.
What did you want to be before you became a dentist? What speaks to you outside of the office?
You might find that you are a dentist and a stand-up comedian.
This is great news! If you take an and/and approach to your business, you can get creative. Is there a way to incorporate what you love about stand-up comedy into your practice? Can you use jokes to make your patients comfortable? Can you use humour in your marketing?
At the end of the day, purpose is practice. It’s something we need to embed into the fabric of our daily lives. If you find purpose in both dentistry and comedy, there’s no reason you have to pick one.
You can offer this same freedom to your team. If they’re connected to something outside of work, imagine the culture you can create if you empower them to bring their passions into your practice. That level of engagement is gold.
Purpose creates collaboration out of competition.
If the goal of dentistry is to elevate dental health across Australia, then each dental practice becomes a partner in that mission. When the purpose is not solely about money, you can avoid the race to the bottom.
Remember, there are enough people without adequate oral healthcare in Australia to go around. When we find the right messaging (through purpose) to resonate with these people, we won’t need to offer rock-bottom prices as our only incentive.
A purpose-driven business attracts the right people without trying. The right kind of team members will clamour to work there because they resonate with the business’s mission. The right kind of customers (or patients) will be drawn to it because they, too, resonate with the purpose.
Not only does purpose provide powerful clarity for the people involved in your practice, but it offers clarity to you too. When you live your purpose, opportunities present themselves. Even more powerfully, it becomes much clearer which ones are good opportunities for your practice and which are not.
Purpose is a powerful weapon any business can sharpen and use to hone your trajectory, your messaging, and your success. You might be surprised to find what falls into place when you’ve defined the right purpose for your practice.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready …. here are 4 ways I can help you grow your dental practice:
- Grab a free chapter from my book “Retention – How to Plug the #1 Profit Leak in Your Dental Practice”
- The book is the definitive guide to patient retention and how to use internal marketing to grow your practice – Click Here
- Join the Savvy Dentist community and connect with dentists who are scaling their practice tooIt’s our Facebook group where clever dentists learn to become commercially smart so that they have more patients, more profit and less stress. – Click Here
- Attend a Practice Max Intensive live event
- Our 2-day immersive events provide access to the latest entrepreneurial thinking and actionable strategies to drive your practice forward. You’ll leave with a game plan to take your results to the next level. If you’d like to join us, just send me a message with the word “Event and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here
4. Work with me and my team privately
- If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take your profit from 6 figures to 7 figures …. just send me a message with the word “Private”… tell me a little about your practice and what you would like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here