12 Mistakes I Made – Not Implementing Key Systems

In the tenth article in the blog series 12 Mistakes I Made When Starting in Dentistry Dr. Bis shares the lessons learned from a mistake that many dentists make when starting out.   

Mistake #10 – Not Implementing Key Systems

All big things come from tiny beginnings. To build a big oak, you have to start with a tiny seedling and cultivate it carefully, one day at a time. But what determines whether we stick with a habit long enough to make it grow into a strong solid tree or a strong solid business? What is it that causes some people to achieve their dreams and others to slide into complacency and give up?  The answer lies in systems rather than goals.

Most people tell you to set big goals, write them down and somehow they are supposed to miraculously appear. For many years, that’s what I did. I wrote down my goals, big audacious goals, I set numbers for my grades in school, numbers for my perfect weight, numbers for the profits I wanted to make. I succeeded in some and failed at others. What I learned over time is that my results had very little to do with the goals I wrote down and everything to do with the key systems I created based on those goals. So what’s the difference?

Goals are about the results you want to achieve, for example, the weight you want to be, the money you want to make. Systems are about the PROCESS that leads you to those results. If you want to improve your results, focus on the system and use the goals as a direction to drive towards. Designing your system to improve your daily habits, daily performance, and the goals will naturally take care of themselves.  

Systems versus Goals

What many people don’t realize is that it’s not about achieving your goals that actually makes you happy.  Most people who achieve their goals fall in love with the process of getting there. If you think about it like this, so many people play the lottery and believe that if they win it, they will be happy. But the truth is, in over 95% of lottery winners, they lose all of their winnings a year later and are more unhappy than ever. But those people who work, systematically, daily, through habits and key systems, towards achieving the same thing that the lottery winner gets instantly, they end up falling in love with the process of getting there. Ask any multi-millionaire about what they remember most about making their first million, they will most often tell you about the process, their daily struggle, their daily habits that got them to where they are today. And each time, they will smile and feel sentimental and happy when talking about those days—the process.  

All or Nothing

The other thing that you should realize is that goals are about “all or nothing”. If you reach them, great, if you don’t, you have conflict.  You box yourself into a narrow version of when you feel successful and happy.  A ‘systems-first’ mentality provides you with the ability to feel success along the way, frequently, which will naturally enhance your desire to improve and continue.  You will feel happy anytime you are performing the systems, which is all the time, rather than being dependant on something far out in the future.  If you think about it as a game, the purpose of goals is to win the game.  The purpose of systems is to continue playing the game to the best of your ability.  

Our UPB Dental Academy programs are about improving your systems, your daily actions, and creating a format for you to do them every day without thinking about it so that you can ultimately reach and exceed your biggest goals.  This is about making things easy, repeatable, and easy to implement into any practice, in order to create compound growth and improvement each and every day.  

Dr. Agatha Bis is a cosmetic dentist and the founder of UPB Dental Academy. Dr. Bis uses her experience and extensive research to develop UPB Dental Academy Courses to help dentists achieve their ultimate practice.