How to Give Your Dental Practice a Core Value Checkup

When is the last time you reviewed your core values? Core values define who you are, who you want to be, and what your company strives for.

Why Core Values Matter


How to Give Your Dental Practice a Core Value Checkup


Core values make running a dental practice much easier. They guide you in how you hire, fire, reward, and recognize team members. They also make tough decisions easier because they give you important context within which to make decisions. Additionally, when team members know about your core values, it guides them in many things, including these:

  • what they should be doing
  • how they should be conducting themselves
  • how to interact with other team members
  • how to interact with patients

If you have not written core values, take a few minutes to work through this exercise. If you already have core values written, take a few minutes to re-evaluate or update them to make sure you have the strongest set of core values guiding you and your team.

Brainstorming Possible Core Values

Start on a personal level. Think about yourself as a person. What are the ten or so principles you personally live by? It doesn’t matter what they are, just list things that are most important to you. For example:

  • How do you want people to perceive you?
  • How do you want people to think that you act?
  • How do you actually act?
  • What do you want people to say about you when you are not around?

Write down everything that comes to mind when thinking of those questions. If it helps, imagine you live in a perfect world in which you can design exactly who you are and how you act. Write down the characteristics you would choose.

Analyzing Your List of Core Values


How to Give Your Dental Practice a Core Value Checkup


Take your list of personal core values and think about them in the context of yourself, your team, and your practice. What core values do you want everyone to think about you, your team, and your practice? What values are non-negotiable in your practice? Edit your list with that in mind. Then ask yourself each of the following “yes or no” questions for each value listed. Write down your answers for each value.

  • Is the value absolutely necessary to our unique culture?
  • Would we want our organization to stand for this core value 100 years from now no matter what changes occur in the world?
  • Would we want our organization to hold this core value even if at some point in time it became a competitive disadvantage?
  • Would we want our organization to hold this core value even if in some instances the environment penalized us for living this core value?
  • Do we believe those who do not hold this core value or those who breach it consistency simply do not belong in our organization?
  • Would we personally continue to hold this core value even if we were not rewarded for holding it?
  • Would we change jobs before giving up this core value?
  • If we awoke tomorrow with more than enough money to retire for the rest of our life, would we still hold true to this core value?
  • If we were to start a brand-new organization, would we build around this core value regardless of the industry?
  • Does this value represent the primary behaviors our organization wants to encourage and stand by?
  • Is this value one that we will continue under stress, duress, and in the face of all obstacles?

Finalizing Your List of Core Values

Narrow down your core values to the seven to ten most important values. Use your answers to the questions in the last section to guide you. For example, the more you answered yes for a value, the more important it is. Keep only the seven to ten values that are most important on your list. Those will be your revised core values that will lead yourself, your team, and your practice forward.

Communicating Your Core Values With Your Team


How to Give Your Dental Practice a Core Value Checkup


Make sure everyone on your team knows your core values. Post them in your office where people can see. Discuss them openly and regularly. Let everyone know why they are so important. Be sure to let them know everyone in the office is expected to act consistently with the core values. Let them know you will be evaluating decisions they make in accordance with the core values, even if the decision goes wrong. For example, let them know whether they acted in accordance with your core values will be something you consider when mistakes happen. When you position this in a positive light and follow through on that promise, you will encourage your team members, and everyone will benefit.

Give your dental practice a core values checkup today.

If you have not set or updated your core values in a while, take a few minutes to update them today. You will come away with a list of seven to ten principles that guide everything you do in your practice.

If you want help setting core values in your practice, check out the team of expert coaches and training resources we offer in our Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.

You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.

Proven Process for New Office Buildouts with Steve O’Leary

Proven Process for New Office Buildouts with Steve O'Leary

I’m thrilled to welcome Steve O’Leary, the Project Consultant at APEX Design Build, onto the show to talk about the best processes for designing and building your ideal dental practice.

Steve is a natural born leader and dedicated to delivering high levels of customer satisfaction with help from his positive outlook on life and great listening skills. He has worked at APEX Design Build for almost three years and is super passionate about the company and what they stand for.

Apex Design Build is a fully integrated design, architecture, and construction firm that specializes in creating state-of-the-art healthcare facilities. Their motto is as enduring as it is simple: Your practice made perfect.


Proven Process for New Office Buildouts with Steve O'Leary


On the podcast we discussed…

  • Everything you need to know about APEX Design Build Vs. Design Bid Build and what each involves
  • The importance of having a high level of communication during the new buildout process
  • Questions you should ask before hiring a team to help you build a new practice
  • The impact that a well-designed dental practice can have on your patients
  • What to expect when you hire a firm like APEX Design Build
  • How long a typical build project tastes at each phase
  • An estimated ballpark figure of building a typical dental practice
  • Taking the first steps towards designing and building your own practice


Proven Process for New Office Buildouts with Steve O'Leary


If you’d like to learn more about APEX Design Build and how they can help design the dental space of your dreams, go to:

To watch a video trailer where Steve talks about the process of designing and building your own dental practice, hit play below!


How To Attract Your Ideal New Patient With Cyndi Blalock

Cyndi Blalock - Delivering Wow Podcast Ep 84

This week on the Delivering Wow podcast I had the pleasure of talking to Dr. Cyndi Blalock. Dr. Blalock passionately believes in ‘finding your tribe’. By finding your ideal patients and team, you can create the practice of your dreams.

Cyndi Blalock - Delivering Wow Podcast

Dr. Blalock completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO and completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery training at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. During her training she completed an externship in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Truman Medical Center.

Dr. Blalock is an active member of the American Dental Association, as well as the Missouri Dental Association and Greater St. Louis Dental Society. She has spent time at the Missouri Capitol educating Missouri state representatives and senators about issues effecting the field of dentistry. She also writes a column that appears in The Arch magazine and is proud to provide dental care to the service men and women in the Army, Navy, and the Missouri National Guard.

On the podcast we discussed:

  • The journey that led her to where she is today
  • What ‘find your tribe’ means and why she follows that philosophy
  • Why you should define the kind of patients that you want to serve and then ensure that you focus on finding them
  • Having team members who are onboard with your philosophy
  • The process that Dr. Blalock and her team follow to define their tribe
  • What to do if you have patients that you would rather not have
  • How to find your ideal patient – from asking for referrals to using social media
  • How powerful Facebook advertising can be when trying to define and find your ideal patient
  • The culture of Dr. Blalock’s dental practice and importance of leading by example

Cyndi Blalock - Delivering Wow Podcast

You can find Cyndi on Facebook

If you haven’t done so already, please do make sure that you join the Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook Group

Here's a short video trailer of the podcast episode:


The Importance of Making Real Connections With Erin Doffoney RDH

The importance of making real connections

This week on the podcast, I interviewed Erin Doffoney – a rock star dental hygienist based out of Atlanta. We talked about how your dental team can make better connections with your patients and team members.

Erin’s passion is to bring skill, comfort and care through dental hygiene. Her goal is to focus on patients who’ve had compromising dental experiences. There have been situations where some patients have gone untreated for extended periods of times, which allows her to help patients find healthy perceptions of themselves and strengthen their confidence.

Erin Doffoney

Erin knows there is no single approach that is right for everyone. Her vast experience in the dental field since 1995 includes a range of modalities consisting of; Soft Tissue Management, Paradigm Shifts in Technology, Clinical Behavior as well as Clinical Verbiage and Techniques. As the founder of Techs For Teeth, Erin has become particularly sensitive with coaching individuals and helping them structure an ACTION analysis, Clinical Excellence Through Team Work, Perfecting Team Efficiency, Understanding Your “Why”, and Team Mission Statements that aid in patient and clinical proficiency.

Erin’s educational and professional background includes a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree from Clayton College & State University in Atlanta, GA. Dental Hygiene Board Certified & Licensed in Georgia and California, with Certification in Local Anesthesia, Nitrous Oxide and Curettage from Southwestern College in San Diego, CA, a proud member of the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA), National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) and a sponsor of AACD's Give Back A Smile program.

On the podcast we discussed:

  • The important role that leaders play and how this affects attrition of both team members and patients
  • Identifying the natural strengths of your team members and putting them in the right positions
  • The DISC personality assessment and how it can be used as a key to creating a high performing team
  • The process of turning your patients into raving fans of your dental practice
  • How to start your day to make your work environment drama-free and somewhere that other’s like to work
  • How to make better connections with patients through being relatable, approachable and human
  • Focusing on profit generating strategies

You can find out more about Erin, including her courses and consulting programs by visiting her website by clicking here..

Below is a short trailer of the podcast episode:

3 Roadblocks to Building Your Dream Dental Practice

Building your dental practice starts with setting goals for your practice that take your personal goals into account.

When I started building my practice, I knew I wanted to travel and spend time with my family. I envisioned working part time, taking a month off, going on a European vacation with my family, and then giving back to the dental community by helping others set and achieve their practice goals.

In order to accomplish all of that, I knew I needed to build a practice that could run without me. Without a practice that could run without me, there’s no way I could take a month off.

With that in mind, I set practice goals that included having multiple dentists as well as systems and processes to allow me to delegate activities to others without worrying that the quality or consistency of service would suffer.

When I first told my husband of my vision, he thought I had lost my mind! After accumulating a bunch of debt for dental school and building a home for our family, our finances were tight, so the idea of taking a month off and going to Europe was crazy.

After assuring him that I was committed to doing it wisely, without going into more debt, he trusted that I hadn’t completely lost my mind and trusted me to move forward with my plan.

I spent the next several months working hard to get the right pieces of my practice in place. By July 2016, my vision had come true, as I spent the entire month with my family, going to concerts, bringing my son to soccer camp, and more.

Although it seemed to happen fast, it took careful planning, focus, and a lot of hard work to overcome the obstacles I faced, the biggest of which was needing to build a big practice without a big budget.

I overcame that by focusing on the most cost-effective ways to learn, stay accountable, and grow my practice. That meant investing in a business coach to keep me on track and accountable, reading hundreds of business books, and utilizing social-media marketing, all while making sure every patient left my practice with a WOW experience.

After starting to achieve my practice goals, I established the Delivering WOW podcast and blog, wrote the Delivering WOW book, and continued building the Delivering WOW Facebook Dental Community, Facebook Mastery Course, Delivering WOW U learning and networking community, and more.

I now help thousands of dentists build their practices while continuing to run my practice the way I imagined that day with my husband. In doing so, I’ve recognized the following three roadblocks that each of us faces in achieving our practice goals.


1. “I don’t know where I’m going.”

You wouldn’t go on vacation without knowing your destination, would you? Of course not. Nobody would just go to an airport and get on the first available flight without regard to where it’s going.

So why do so many dentists do that with their practice? They just show up at work and do the work that comes to them. After eight, nine, ten, or more hours of feeling like they’re just putting out fires all day, they lock the doors, go home, and get ready to do the same thing the next day. They end up spending months or even years living the same stressful day, putting out fires until they burn out.

To get past this roadblock, spend some time deciding what you want to build with your practice. Don’t worry about what you currently have for now. Just envision the future. Do you want to work part time? Do you want multiple locations? Do you want to build a practice, sell it, and start over? What do you want to be known for?

2. “I don’t know how to get there.”

Dental school does a great job of teaching us how to care for teeth, but a lousy job of teaching us how to build a practice we love. Because of that, sometimes the problem isn’t knowing where you want to go, but knowing how to get there. Many dentists get stuck at this roadblock.

The easiest way to get past this roadblock is to get help and direction. With so much information at our fingertips, we need others to help us. When I started building my practice, I learned from listening to my coach, reading books, attending conferences, and joining mastermind communities to help me. I would never have built my practice without that help and support.

3. “I don’t have enough time.”

One of the most challenging mental roadblocks in building your practice is finding the time. Between caring for patients, running a business, recruiting and training a team, doing payroll, managing supplies, and taking care of your family, many dentists feel like they barely have time to sleep, never mind build a dream practice, set goals, and plan for the future.

To overcome this roadblock, you need to invest a small amount of time in setting a vision and developing a plan to make that vision a reality. That process will have the effect of freeing up time because it will make you more focused and efficient. For example, you’ll discover best practices, implement systems and processes to free up time, and delegate or outsource, to name a few.


What about you?

What is your roadblock? What do you want to do? What’s keeping you from your goal?

We all face roadblocks in building our practices. With me, finances were the biggest obstacle. Once I established my vision, got help, and made the time to do it, focusing on the most efficient ways to deploy my resources helped me get over those roadblocks until finances were no longer my issue.

Your obstacles might be different, but you will face roadblocks. Your family might not understand why you’re working so hard. They might tell you to quit, or just live a little, not appreciating that you’re only working so hard for a short time so you can achieve something greater. Your friends might think you’re crazy for investing in yourself or continuing your education after getting your degree. They might not understand you’re working hard for a short period to achieve a bigger purpose for your life. They might not understand why you’re investing in yourself, hiring a coach, or continuing your education after college and dental school. Your finances might be tight. Your time might be stretched.


No matter what your obstacles are, you can overcome them by understanding what you want to build and getting help to know how to achieve your goals.


If you want help from me and other dentists who are growing their practices in Delivering WOW U, sign up for your 14-day trial membership. You can also connect with me and over 2,500 other dentists in the Delivering WOW Facebook Dental Hangout on Facebook.

Why You Need a Vision for Your Dental Practice (and How to Develop One)

Too many dentists work harder and harder with little to show for it. Years go by without a real vacation,  family time becomes a rushed kiss on the way out the door, and even if they make decent money, bills pile up and student loans linger.

It doesn't have to be that way.

For years, I thought if I served my community and made my patients happy, I'd build a successful practice and enjoy my life. The only problem was no matter how well I served my community or how happy my patients became, something was missing in my life. I made decent money, but I didn't feel successful or personally fulfilled. This continued until I took a step back from running my practice to set a clearly-defined vision for both my practice and my personal life.

Everything became clear once I did that. Until I set that vision, I was helping a lot of patients, but I wasn't building a practice that allowed my family to live the life we wanted. If I hadn't stepped back to visualize the future for my business and family, I'd still be working hard and feeling unfulfilled. But by envisioning my ideal personal life and practice, I was able to create a make that vision my reality.

For my family, I pinned photos of places I wanted to travel and experiences I wanted for my family to a board and hung it where I'd see it every day. For my practice, I envisioned becoming the leading dental practice in my community known for Delivering WOW to everyone who walked through the door.

From there, all I needed to do was create and implement a plan to achieve that vision. You can do the same thing for your business and family by following these five steps.

1. Clearly define your vision.

Practice leaders must think strategically and clearly. A vague idea of what you want for your life won't help. It isn't enough to simply say you want to build a profitable practice or be successful. You need to be specific about exactly what you want to build and the life you want to live.

What do you want to achieve in your practice? What do you want your life to look like? Where do you want to live? How much do you want to work? What do you want to drive? Where do you want to travel? How much do you want to travel?

Dream big here. This is the life you'll be building towards. Make it great!

2. Write your vision down.

Once you have a vision for your personal life and practice, write it down and put it somewhere you can see. Writing your vision down puts it in a form you can see and feel. It also gives you something to look back at to remind you of what you're building towards.

3. Put your vision in picture form.

Create a vision board. Pin pictures of what your vision looks like on a board you'll see every day. Want to live on the beach? Cut out pictures of beautiful beaches and put them on the board. Want to win a specific award? Cut out a picture of the trophy. Pictures are powerful. A vision board will help motivate you every day.

4. Create a plan.

In this step, you will determine what you need to do to achieve your vision, who will help you do it, and by when. Then work backwards in time to establish monthly, weekly, or daily tasks.

Be specific. By when do you want to achieve your vision? What do you need to do to achieve your vision in that time frame? Do you need new equipment? What about more targeted marketing to attract a different patient mix? Do you need more space?

What people do you need to help you? Do you need an outside consultant? Do you need a coach to keep you accountable and moving in the right direction?

We needed a new office that would be unique and make us stand out if we wanted to become the leading dental practice in Jamaica.  We also needed systems and practices to help us consistently Deliver WOW to our patients. Those became two big targets for my practice, so we put plans in place to find a new office and develop the necessary systems and processes.

5. Act on the plan.

A vision without action is just a dream. After you've set a specific vision and have a plan to achieve that vision, you need to take action.

Get to work and keep moving forward towards your vision. If you misjudged something or something goes wrong, go back to step four and adjust your plan from wherever you are.

With a vision, plan, and action, you'll be well on your way to turning your vision into your reality!