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Is Early Retirement on Your Agenda? What You Can Do Today to Get There Faster

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A few weeks ago, we posted a blog article titled, “How to Build a Million Dollar Practice”. When the article was posted on LinkedIn, one of our dentist contacts wrote in the comments section, “If I see another article on how to make 1-million dollors in the dental world...”

She is a charming Dentist that I met on a business trip, and she pointed out something great in her blog: Dentists don’t go into dentistry because we want to make millions; I commented back that I'd have to agree. In fact, in my 14-years of dental practice management consulting, very few dentists have approached CEODentist asking for help building a massive practice and team.

Where Do You Want To Go Today?
When we work with dentists, we spend a lot of time on the front end asking questions like, “Where are you trying to go with your practice? What, specifically, are your goals in creating this practice?”

Their responses; “We go into dentistry because we have hearts. We want to help people become healthier and more confident, we want to take good care of our families. And yes, many of us want to retire early!”

What Does Retirement Mean To You?
Many people look at their retirement as an opportunity to end their day-to-day routine. It’s as if they want to run away from something that they dread doing. Others just put their nose to the grindstone until they have enough money to do what they really want to do.

One of my doctor clients and friend gave me a fresh perspective on retirement. At a time in his life when most doctors are ready to hang up the lab coat and retire, he created a vision that has him fired up about dentistry and his life. Instead of getting “retired,” he’s gotten “re-fired”. Re-fired up, that is! He inspires me.

For him, retirement isn’t about “free time, all the time.” It’s about “free time, anytime.” This means choices: he gets to do what he wants when he wants to do it, with whom he wants to do it, and for however long he wants to do it.

Although he’s still running his practice, he considers himself retired. This is his vision of retirement: he chooses the procedures he wants to work on during the day, and at night he goes home to his lovely wife and has a tasty meal with stimulating conversations and people he enjoys.

His great vision is to go skiing at the age of 105 with his children, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren. He’s well on his way to making that vision a reality. But, without his vision, he would flounder because he would have no idea where he’s going.

Go Into Early Retirement - Create Your Vision
The great thing about running your own dental practice (as opposed to working for a corporation is that you get to create the business your way. You call the shots – but you have to know where you’re going first to make sure your shots line up with your vision.

The doctor I spoke about a moment ago didn’t want to wait until retirement to live his dream life, he’s living it now. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with retiring from dentistry, because many people hold a vision of a beach home and daily surfing on their agenda. I am saying that you don’t have to wait to create what you want. You can do it now.

Step 1: Create Your Mission Vision
I’ve written extensively about creating a Mission Vision because it is an absolutely vital component of success. Answer the questions: where do you see your dental practice in 10, 20, 30 years? How do you want to touch people? And, most importantly, what will your retirement look like?

Step 2: Break it Down & Clean it Up
The biggest challenge dentists face when it’s time to retire is that they don’t know what retirement looks like. Once you have a vision for your retirement, look at the world around you. What aspects of your life are and aren’t in alignment with that vision? Which areas need to be cleaned up and/or improved? This will become clear when you know exactly where you’re going.

Step 3: The Big Question
Finally, after you’ve done some thinking on the previous questions, it’s time for the big question: are there any aspects of your vision for your retired life that you can start doing today? For instance, if you expect that you’ll travel to Europe with your spouse for the first time as soon as you retire, maybe it’s time to put that European vacation on the books for next year. If you enjoy golf but you were waiting until retirement to really play, plan a day at the club at least once per month.

Numbers are easy once you get clear on the big stuff. Where do you want to go? That is the most important question you could answer for yourself to move your business forward today.

Need a little help getting clear? That’s what CEO Dentist is for. Click here to contact us today and create your vision for the future.

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