Recently I spent a day working with two pairs of practice owners in a sunny hotel workshop room. The room was full of flip charts and the walls covered in long trails of Post-It notes, proof of the creativity at work. One pair of principals were planning the next three years growth and development of their practice while the second pair were planning a very different three years which included the sale of their successful practice and their new life post-sale in a new home and with a new business.
For me it was fascinating to see one pair start on the journey of developing their practice, and at the same time help the second pair reach the end (after seven years of coaching them) and envisage a life outside of dentistry.
I’m a great believer in envisaging my future and having our clients do the same for themselves. I know that most folk don’t do this and are happy to get what they are given in life. I guess it’s a case of different strokes for different folks. (If you’re happy to accept how life is for you now, you can stop reading!)
For the rest of you envisagers, after many years of doing this sort of work I’ve noticed that you tend to get what you wish for! So, one of my tasks with my two pairs of principals was to make sure that they really wanted the practice or the life they were planning and to make sure that it was as ambitious as possible.
The process we ran looks something like this:
- Ask yourself this question: “How satisfied are you with your life today?” Score each area of your life from 1-10. Once you have the scores for those areas that scored less than 10/10, ask yourself what a 10 would look like in each area.
- Then ask this question: “If I met myself here in three years, what would have to have happened in my life for me to be pleased with my personal and professional progress? Write it down.
- Then envisage how your personal and professional life will be in three years, in detail. If you want to grow your practice, consider what the following will be: gross fees, profits, facility, deliverables, clinicians and support team, opening hours, positioning and brand, marketing, equipment, how much time you will spend earning fees and working on your practice and how much free time will you have.
When these three tasks are complete, start writing actions on Post-Its. One action per Post-It, and then put the actions in order onto a long wall so that the trail of Post-Its represents the sequence of actions which will drive your aspirations. The Post-It trail demonstrates what you need to get done in order to have the life you’ve envisaged. Of course there will be blockers and changes along the way, but navigating around them (particularly with the help of a coach) is part of life’s many challenges!
So, these two pairs of principals know exactly what they will be doing in August 2017 and from where I’m standing it looks like they will be having a great life. How about you?
If you would like some help with envisaging and planning your professional future, call me for a chat. The next Breathe Retreat will be on November 17-20 2016. Have a look at the Breathe website for more information.
m. 07770 430576