Who Is Your Guiding Light?

Two and a half years ago Jayne and I relocated …. We sold our Sydney home and moved out of Sydney to live full time in our other home in rural NSW.

With no regrets.

There’s a lot less people in the country. I think our village has about 150-200 weekday residents that swells to about 1000 people on the weekend.

Morning walks in winter are tough.

A lot of you know that I have a personal daily commitment to walk a 10km, ninety minute power walk each and every day. And when it’s been zero degrees Celsius and minus two degrees Celsius the last two mornings, that sort of temperature can test a person’s commitment.

But I’m up for it…

However, there’s another small hurdle…

Depending upon my mornings, there are some days where I have other commitments in the morning that I have to schedule my exercise around.

And that means sometimes having to be setting out for a walk in the dark.

Which can be tough.

Especially because we have no streetlights on our roads.

The local village has streetlights.

But the village is a mile away and only accounts for about eighteen minutes of the morning walk.

So, I have a headlamp.

Which I wear to illuminate the roads, and even my driveway, while walking in the pitch black of country-living darkness.

This morning in the darkness a wombat crossed the road right in front of me… and about a month ago, another wombat walked right across in front of me on my driveway while I was filming a Facebook live video, in the dark, before I set off for my walk.

I kid you not.

The thing with the headlamp…

The headlamp is a combination of LED lights, and I choose to wear it on the brightest setting.

And why not?

After all, if it’s pitch black out there, and I want to make sure that I don’t get attacked by a nocturnal marsupial.

Or a nocturnal mammal, for that matter.

The headlamp is powered by three triple-A size batteries.

The thing about the headlamp is that with time, the batteries start to lose their power.

Slowly at first.

But the light starts to get dimmer.

And it FEELS dimmer.

But like most people, I don’t often change the batteries as quickly as I should, because I feel that the batteries, and the amount of light being emitted, is still OK.

But it never ever is….

But it never is OK.

And we know this, because each and every time that we finally succumb to the realisation that it is TIME TO CHANGE THE OLD BATTERIES, the subsequent improvement in performance of said lighting with new batteries delivering, is several orders of magnitude better.

Without a shadow of a doubt.

This same thing happened to me… yesterday morning I went out with LED light that I thought was OK-ish, but overnight I changed the batteries and the difference this morning was palpably staggering.

It was like DAYLIGHT coming out of my headlamp!!

Do you remember the days of fluorescent tube lighting?

In the “olden days”, everybody had fluorescent tube lighting somewhere in their house or their office…

In our family home we had them in the kitchen and the family room, and behind pelmets in each bedroom.

And I remember my dentist neighbour at work… [yes, the rooms next door to my practice were occupied y a dentist named Dr Ken Osborne].

I remember walking out my front door one evening as Ken was locking up his rooms for the day and he laughed and said this to me:

“You’ve got to come and look at this. We’ve just changed the lights in the waiting room.”

And Ken opened up his front door and the light being emitted from his new fluorescent tubes was staggeringly brilliant.

You know, sometimes life is exactly like that….

Sometimes in life we battle on too long with lights that are failing, with running shoes with worn soles, with knives and scissors [and pencils even!!] that are blunt.

When the action of replacing with “new”, is like a breath of fresh air, or forgive the pun], a LIGHTBULB MOMENT.

Sometimes we simply need to have someone FLICK THE SWITCH for us, or we need to take a couple of steps back, pause, and review.

And notice the AMAZING difference!!

Sometimes we can reassess and gain clarity on our own…

But more often than not, the reason our lights go dim and our knives get blunt and our pencil loses its point, is that we as individuals are JUST TOO BUSY to stop and take a break and survey the landscape.

When I talk to dentists about their businesses…

When I talk to dentists and ask them about their businesses, they often tell me that they’re doing OK, and they are happy, but when I ask a little more deeply, I find out that their version of OK is really not that OK.

In reality, they’ve become so focused in their own business, that they’ve lost the relativity of how their business could be doing better, in relation to other similar businesses, other local businesses, and to the economy in general.

In reality, they’ve been so busy gazing at their own navels that they’ve not realised that the lights all around them have dimmed.

And that they should have paused and replaced their tired battery supply [metaphorically speaking].

The point I’m trying to raise is that some dental practice owners get lulled into a false sense of security that they’re doing OK, when the harsh reality is, as Dr Omer Reed said to me, that 95% of dentists reaching the age of 65 will not be able to afford to retire on an income equivalent to their working income, because they haven’t accumulated enough savings and assets during their working life to fund a satisfying retirement income.

And that, is the tragedy of modern day dentistry.

Who are you using as your point of reference, as to how well YOU are actually doing?

Because a lot of the time, your version of “doing OK” is far from OK.

Because you haven’t compared it to anyone with even a vague idea of what OK is in reality.

Sometimes in life, in reality, you just need someone to come along and change your light tubes, replace your weak batteries with new ones, and point you in a new direction…. And things will be dramatically different.

Don’t be too proud to seek assistance, even if you feel that you are doing OK.

Remember, the best athletes, the best business brains, achieve what they achieve with collaboration with people a lot smarter and wiser and experienced than them.

As my good friend Dr Ron always used to say:

“No one is as smart as all of us.”


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If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Thursday November 25, 2021 in Sydney, NSW.

Click here for more details.


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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.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order


The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com