Have you heard of AMBROSE HOLLINGWORTH REDMOON? No? Well, perhaps you will remember him when I tell you he penned the popular quote, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” Does that sound familiar? I didn’t know who Ambrose Redmoon was either until I did some research.
His quote in full is: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than one’s fear. The timid presume it is lack of fear that allows the brave to act when the timid do not. But to take action when one is not afraid is easy. To refrain when afraid is also easy. To take action regardless of fear is brave.”
Both buyers and sellers have missed great practice transition opportunities because of spellbinding inertia, emotion, and misperception. Practice transitions can be emotionally laden events for buyers and sellers, clouding perception and judgment at critical times.
The transitioning mindset
In this column, I will give you supporting information to familiarize you with the transitioning mindset.
Practice transitions for buyers and sellers are initially disorienting and awkward. The process itself is cloaked with confidentiality and different goals. Initially buyers burst with excitement and want to tell the world what is going on in their lives, and they want to spread the good news about the practices they’re buying before they get to the finish line.
Sellers, with good reason, are reticent to share the news prematurely in case things don’t work out. Recognize that both parties are coming together with different goals and perspectives.
Logistics of the transaction are usually unfamiliar turf to buyers and sellers. The key to success is to engage competent and trusted advisors for those unfamiliar with the transition process. Educating yourself about the process can also be quite helpful.
To break the spellbinding inertia and move forward with a decision to transition, I suggest taking the time for a period of intense inquiry. Vacations are a great time to do this as you are not distracted by the day-to-day routine.
- Do my choices support what is deeply satisfying in my life?
- Are my choices leading to long-term freedom or short-lived pleasure?
- Do I believe I deserve the best that life has to offer?
- What goals and rewards am I seeking?
- What are my priorities?
If you are a buyer or practice owner, recognize whether or not you are staying on as an associate or an owner because you truly want to, or is it an escape from making a purchasing or selling decision? What is keeping you there?
How do you take advantage of new opportunities when you are so wrapped up in your current situation? It is a matter of taking action.
Relationships matter for everyone. Buyers, begin networking with experienced reputable practice brokers, colleagues, and friends in the dental community in which you are interested. Let people know you are serious about ownership and set an ownership target deadline range of three to six months, one year, etc. Share your goals with loved ones or trusted friends. You may be surprised how things manifest.
One of the greatest human powers is our capacity to imagine, envision, and dream. Visualize yourself as a practice owner. How does is feel? What does it look like? What are your strengths? What needs to be improved? What is important to you? What do you need help with? What do you need to plan?
The No. 1 comment I get from new practice owners who purchase is, “I wish I had done this sooner.”
Tremendous possibilities and opportunities are out there if you choose them! Focus on what you can do today, dream and plan for tomorrow, and let go of any regrets of the past because they can’t help you today.
Sarah Lynch is a partner in Jim Kasper Associates, LLC, a regional practice brokerage and transition firm that has served dentists in New England and New York State since 1981, specializing in appraisals and sales of dental practices. She has 13 years of practice brokerage and appraisal experience. Lynch, a past president of ADS Inc. and www.ADStransitions.com, can be reached at (603) 355-2260 or firstname.lastname@example.org