Break Out Of Your Pity Party

At the end of 1983 I waited two months to start what I thought was going to be my dream job [as an associate dentist].

I’d been interviewed in September 1983 and the job started in December 1983, mainly because of some building and construction work delays.

I was excited. The dentist employing me had been keen to hire me, stating how impressed he had been with my communication skills that I showed at the interview.

On my first day of employment, I worked at the dental practice on my own. My employer was not there that day.

The following morning I was at home when my employer phoned me. [I was not due at work that day].

He said to me on the phone:

“You didn’t tell me you were left handed.”

I replied:

“You didn’t ask.”

He said:

“Well, we can’t have that. Tubes and cables going everywhere. We can’t have it.”

He said:

“All bets are off.”

I had been sacked for being left handed.

Now let’s get this in perspective….

Firstly and foremost, this was an act of discrimination.

Being left handed is rarely a choice.

More often than not, it is an act of birth.

For me, it was not of my choosing.

Sacking someone for being left-handed is as discriminatory as sacking somebody because they are gay, or Muslim, or coloured.

Or handicapped.

It is discriminatory.

And it is unacceptable.

I was ropable.

I wanted to sue the guy.

“How dare he?” I thought.

And then my dad said to me:

“Just go out and get another job.”

Dad said:

“If you sue him, you’ll only be awarded the money you didn’t make between his job, and the next one you get.”

And that made logical sense.

Five days later I had three job interviews.

And on the sixth day, I started working at a dental practice where I stayed for three years.

And from there I left and purchased my own practice.

And the rest, is history…

The thing is…

In 1983, when I got knocked down, my first reaction was I wanted to stay down, and bring others down…

But my Dad told me otherwise.

And I’m glad I listened to him.

There’s a lesson in this story for all of us.

What are you doing now?

In these days of uncertainty with COVID-19 all around, everybody has the opportunity to use the extra time we now all have wisely to prepare for the future.

There are so many things you could be doing.

My wife and I are being inundated with requests from savvy dentists to implement some form of team trainings while their teams are free from the distractions of regular day to day dentistry.

What these practices are wanting to do is to “sharpening their saws”.

They are using these enforced times out to learn new skills and improve what they can deliver to their customers and their patients.

And yet, there are other dentists running around complaining that the “sky is falling” and this virus isn’t fair.

Elbert Hubbard was the first to say:

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

This phrase has become proverbial for those who, when faced with adversity and misfortune, present optimism and a positive can-do attitude.

If you think positively during these times of difficulty, you will achieve.

Remove doom and gloom from your outlook, and reach out for those successes that you believe you can achieve.


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Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

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