My Perfect Storm How We Found Gems in the Middle of Black Friday
By Dr. Tom “The Gems Guy” Orent
When you go to dental school, they give you all the clinical tools and know-how to start out in practice. But they neglect to prepare you for running a business. They tell you to go out and be the best dentist you can be, assuring you the rest will fall into place. However, being clinically proficient is only a small part of running a successful dental practice. You’re not just helping people with their health and smiles; you are the owner and operator of a business. Roughly 20 years ago, after 15 years in practice, my life changed. My perfect storm started on a miserably cold rainy Friday afternoon as I sat in the office of a Boston bankruptcy attorney. My practice was going under. He looked at my books for 10 minutes, charged me $300, and said, “We’ll file on Monday.” It was harrowing, but it was just the tip of the iceberg. divorce lawyer that I was planning to file for bankruptcy protection. Her shark informed mine that if I filed for bankruptcy, they’d motion the family court judge to liquidate my home, my office building, and my dental practice, leaving me with less than nothing — a risk my counsel suggested I couldn’t afford to take. To add fuel to the fire, I’d just learned that my office manager had been embezzling from me. She was the only one who knew how little I had, so she decided to take the rest! Faced with a choice, I chose to fight my way out of the seemingly bottomless pit I’d dug. I shifted my focus to the one area that would eventually separate me from 99 percent of my colleagues/competition: I learned how to build and operate a thriving business. I studied everything I could get my hands on. Direct response copywriting, I had been referred to this bankruptcy shark by my divorce attorney. Word got back to my ex-wife’s
marketing, business operations, ergonomics, systems, psychology, influence, persuasion, leadership, team building — you name it, I discovered it. I would take the basic concepts from the business world, bring them back, craft them to apply to dental practices, and reap maximum rewards. The rough, uncut “Gems” I unearthed and polished later became the foundation for 1000 Gems Seminars TM and today’s Gems Insiders’ Circle TM ! In two short years, I turned the practice around. Remember the building I mentioned that I risked losing in bankruptcy? I turned the tables and was able to pay off 20 years’ remaining mortgage in just 3 years, saving me 17 years of interest payments. We were debt-free just a few years after almost losing everything. The business moved forward at the speed of light, and life couldn’t have been going any better. Bankruptcy was averted, and I’d found an incredible woman to share this success with:
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