About Dr. Steve Van De Graaff
Three years ago I came out of dental school with 400k in student loans facing what appeared to be a saturated market with miserable insurance reimbursements. Many people warned that the best time to be a dentist was long past and that not much could be done about these problems.
Sound familiar? Have you been in those shoes?
I took a route unconventional to most- I purchased a practice right out of school and focusing on business leadership, communication, and clinical performance, I was able to double the previous practice production and paid off all my student loans in a year. It wasn’t easy- in fact in took tremendous work, stress, and risk, and I sure made some huge mistakes. But despite the saturated and insurance-driven market, we thrived.
The best part came the next year. I decided to cut back days, change work hours, and take more vacation time away from the office. Despite less days, our mindset and system produced even more income! My stress went down and time with family went up. Without student loans, I began investing heavily in real estate and hard money lending to create passive income streams that are working for me whether I’m in the office or not.
The neat thing about my experience is that I’m not special- in fact maybe the opposite as I have made most mistakes in the book. Rather, it is a path that can be followed by anyone, a road less-traveled by. It is making the right series of decisions- what practice to buy, who to hire, how to grow. It is a learning a group of skills- how to diagnose and communicate treatment needs, how to get more out of staff, how to produce more dentistry. Most of all, it is developing a mindset and a will- what do you really want, what are you willing to do to get it, and can you change your habits and yourself?
Hiring coaches Justin and Derek at The Lifestyle Practice was key to my success. Working hard on my own, learning business lessons by trial and error, and even being part of a mastermind group weren’t enough. I needed a one-on-one mentor who could provide tailored help for me and my practice. A coach wasn’t something that could be summed up in a manual or shared on an internet post. This was somebody who studied my problems, could see what I was missing, and raised my vision to what is possible. This was somebody who had taken things to the next level and had accomplished exactly what I wanted to accomplish. This was a mentor and friend who could even give me a little bit of tough love and hold me responsible to reach my goals.
As a coach at The Lifestyle Practice, it’s my passion to help dentists find the same success. I love to share the feeling of excitement with dentists when the lights turn on and results happen. You’d be surprised how fast success comes and how significant the monetary and quality-of-life improvements will be.
So consider your situation; maybe you’re a perfect dentist with a perfect practice and life. If so, congrats! But maybe you’re like most people and you’d like your practice could be more profitable and less stressful. Maybe you want to work less, pay down debt, or be able have the finances to create passive income. If so, make an investment in yourself and practice to take things to the next level. If you want somebody in your corner; someone studying your unique situation, working with you to create your ideal work life, let’s make it happen.