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The Little Engine That Could

Many reading this title may remember a favorite childhood story about toys that were stranded when the train they were on broke down.  Finally, a very small blue train agreed to bring the toys up the mountain to the other side where many children were waiting anxiously. The little blue train struggled to get up the mountain and at times it looked like it might not make it. But the “little engine” made it! The story is one of optimism, perseverance and determination despite all the odds. While the story is a fairy tale, I am going to share with you a real-life true story about our “little …

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Want To Make a Difference? Make This A Daily Habit

I recently had an amazing experience while renting a car from Enterprise. An energetic, passionate young woman helped me with my rental and I was so impressed with her customer service skills that I actually offered her a job in California working for me as an administrative assistant. I honestly did not expect her to take it (I was in Ohio renting the car and Cincinnati is her home town). But what did happen helped me remember how important it is to recognize people in our everyday interactions. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we tend to remember all the negative outcomes or experiences.  With review sites that promote negative …

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What I Learned From My Dog Rocky About “Radical Joyfulness”

My dog, Rocky, a 10 pound Shi-Tzu loves going for walks on the beach.   Actually, love is putting mildly, he goes insanely crazy when he knows we are close to the beach and he is moments away from a long beach walk. I call it “radical joyfulness” because he exhibits such “over-the-top” joy and happiness. He could be sound asleep in the back seat of the car and somehow the smell of ocean air, or just his innate GPS will wake him up from his deep slumber.   Quickly he runs back and forth, whining and yelping with excitement and anticipation of going “to the beach.”  He …

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It’s Really Not Just About Teeth

I recently had a consultation in my office with a patient who had completed her orthodontic treatment approximately 4 months ago.  She was now suddenly unhappy about her resulting smile and was requesting that I address the problem and retreat as necessary to her satisfaction. We always have a consultation when at the final evaluation appointment where patients or parents will sign a consent that they are happy with the finished results before we remove all orthodontic appliances and provide final retainers.  She had agreed everything was to her satisfaction. How would you handle this new request, 4 months later? I will share with you how I handled …

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How To Brighten Anyone’s Day

As a practicing orthodontist, I am passionate about helping people achieve the smile of their dreams.  My 30 years experience in the field is what prompted me to write my book, Its All About Millimeters; How Small Changes Can Make a Big Impact in Your Business and Your life. I saw how small, millimeter changes in a patient’s bite and smile, made an enormous difference in their self-esteem and opportunities for their life. I am not suggesting that in order to brighten someone’s day you need to be an orthodontist!  However, in my practice, it is all about smiles. And smiles brighten the world. Have you ever noticed …

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What Do Patients Really Buy From Us?

On a recent cross-country trip, I had the fortunate opportunity to read the book How To Win Customers and Keep Them For Life, by Michael LeBoeuf. I don’t have time to share all the compelling ideas I learned from this author, so I urge you to get a copy for your personal development library. However, there is time to go over what I consider to be the most important chapter in the book: “The Only Two Things People Ever Buy.” Leo Burnett, the founder of the worldwide Leo Burnett advertising agency, once said, “Don’t tell me how good you make it; tell me how good it makes me …

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The Only Formula For Success

Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM, once said, “Would you like me to give you the formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t all that. You can be discouraged by failure – or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that is where you will find success.” Many of us see successful people in our profession, but also in other fields such as law, finance, music, medicine, art, computers, technology, and more. You get the idea … there are many …

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Are Your Patients Groupies?

A “groupie” for most of us is someone who is obsessed with a particular band and follows them on tour. Some of you reading this may relate to being obsessed with a particular band in your high school or college days! However, if you look up the definition of groupie, you will find that Webster’s dictionary also defines a groupie as an ardent fan of a celebrity or of a particular activity. Wouldn’t you love to have “Doctor X or Practice Y”  groupies? Of course you would! I know you are thinking that it could be a bit “creepy” to have patients be that “obsessed about their dental …

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Who Rents Space in Your Brain?

I recently was listening to a podcast and the speaker was talking about stress and worry.  He made this statement, which has stuck with me. He told the listeners that he is careful who rents space in his brain. He was speaking in the context of not allowing worry, stress and anxiety to take up residence in his brain and cause him to lose sleep, suffer health problems or waste valuable time on things that he felt would eventually take care of themselves. For me the visual is a tenant who might be leasing an apartment or house I own. The “good” tenant keeps the apartment clean and …

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What You Can Learn From a Successful Restaurant

Many of us may have a hard time understanding how running a restaurant in anything like a dental or orthodontic practice. I mean you have burgers and fries to prepare instead of crown preps or retainers. Technically a huge difference. But from the customer or patient’s standpoint is there a difference? I know you are thinking of course there is a difference…. Any 16 year old can grill a burger, but certainly is not educated or trained to prep a 3 unit bridge or place brackets and wires or set up a clincheck. So how are they the same? There is a different skill set involved with producing …