Three Core Choices Moving From Solo to Group

A shift in perspective can transform your reality. This is especially true for a solopreneur dentist and a Dentrepreneur® who is moving forward with a large group or multi-location platform model.

Seth Godin shares a compelling story in his book, Linchpin, about a man traveling by train though Spain. He’s seated next to the famous artist, Pablo Picasso. The traveler takes a risk and asks Picasso a question.

“Senor Picasso, you are a great artist, but why is all your art, modern art, so screwed up? Why don’t you paint reality instead of all these distortions?”

Picasso replies, “So what do you think reality looks like?”

The man removes a photo of his wife from his wallet saying, “Here, like this. It’s my wife.”

Picasso holds the photo, studies it, and grins. “Really? She’s very small. And flat, too.”

What’s your reality?

Your perspective about the business of practicing dentistry reveals much about how you perceive reality. It could be positive, full of expectation, and loaded with opportunity, a no “ceiling” and/or a no city limit approach. Perhaps you wake up energized and ready to treat patients. You anticipate another day to build into your team and celebrate production goals being reached and even exceeded. Dentistry as a solopreneur is EVERYTHING you ever imagined it to be.


You’re afraid to admit that you wake up with the mind-numbing weight of another long day, stooped over patients, and wondering if you’ll make the day’s production goal, or worse, this month’s payroll, or even deciding your EXIT strategy!

Colleague conversations at the recent convention, or confessions at your study club, are perhaps a more honest perspective about your reality.

Dentistry is hard. The business of dentistry is a close second (and depending on the day, week, month, or year, could occupy first place on the difficulty chart.)  Can you “own” your reality or are you destined to be “owned” by it? Will you disrupt or be disrupted in today’s market? Here’s where you, as solopreneur or Dentrepreneur®, have the opportunity to shift your perspective. In a big way.  You control you destiny. Really, you do!

Whoever said you must be at the whims of an industry that’s being devoured or devouring its own, underestimates something. Ownership is your decision. You have the freedom to your share of the dental landscape.

And speaking of the dental landscape, by 2020, solopreneurs will make up 30% of the market as Dentrpreneurs will be on the increase. It’s shifting right now.  The shift will work to your advantage or you’ll become yet another member of a group who has surrendered their ownership.  There is no right or wrong choice. Choose to be extraordinary. You have the freedom for empire-building.

1-Choose to innovate

Being innovative isn’t necessarily about being trendy. Innovation is a mindset. Think about innovation as pushing the edges of what’s considered the norm or possible.

• Multi-practice ownership?

• Standard dental services alongside supportive services?

• General dentistry plus a specialist (or two…)

2-Choose to collaborate

As a solopreneur, you have never walked alone in delivering care. Your specialists are close to you, just not under the same roof. As a Dentrepreneur®, you never, ultimately, walk alone. You align yourself with like-minded leaders, compelling coaching services, and collaborative environments that are driven by the culture.

The solopreneurial leaders who stand out have risen to the top of our industry. Some have scaled within the boundaries of their practices and care delivery to increase their per patient value verses seeing volumes of patients on a daily basis. This segment of the industry has created a tribal leadership focus among their colleagues and within their practices.

Dentrepreneurial leaders have taken a route which allows them to scale outside their facility many times and/or build a larger facility to form large group multi-disciplinary care cultures with many providers including specialties. Many of these leaders have chosen the CEO path in their business model over continuing to provide clinical care. These are the innovators: the next generation of dentists is leaning toward because of industry changes.

A Dentrepreneur’s capacity to scale and lead is only equal to their willingness to delegate and collaborate through creative mergers and acquisitions. Intentionally place yourself among the pacesetters.

Pioneers in either space don’t mind walking alone, but they realize that a productive journey is a collaborative one.

3-Choose to scale

Repeat what you do well. Make sure there is a #2 in charge who is capable and equipped. Scalability is the uncompromising commitment to ongoing improvement, with top performers at every level for congruent and consistent outcomes.

As a Dentrepreneur®, you can choose to evaluate and improve your practice culture, processes, and operations. You can also leave behind the ineffective and non-scalable processes, if you choose.

Change for either of these titles is inevitable. Your new reality as a solopreneur and Dentrepreneur® is owning the change, being the change, or being owned by it.

Written by Rhonda G Mullins@404-445-7730 or email for complimentary conversations.  Explore more content like this at Follow us on Twitter and register for more information on our Master Class Emersion Educational Services for Solopreneurs and Dentrepreneur®.