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Traits and habits of driven dental entrepreneurs

Oct. 5, 2018
If you possess these traits, then you are a driven dental entrepreneur who's determined to be the best you can be.
As a dentist and practice owner, you have a mission to provide the finest dental care to your patients. You are committed to improving their oral health so that each person can have the highest quality of life possible. You probably also want to build a very successful business, and are committed to doing your best in all areas of your life. This makes you a driven entrepreneurial dentist—a person who is highly motivated to make a difference in the world.

According to a recent survey by AES Nation,* about three-fifths of entrepreneurs fall into this category. Driven entrepreneurs tend to have three common personality traits. Not only that, but they tend to have these traits to a much higher degree than their peers who also possess the traits.


Driven entrepreneurs tend to be extremely focused on excelling at all they do. They can be highly competitive, and often thrive in challenging situations. This drive toward accomplishment and achievement is the first hallmark of a driven entrepreneur—93% of driven entrepreneurs and 61% of other entrepreneurs report this personality trait.


Driven entrepreneurs are curious, habitually seeking to broaden their knowledge and deepen their understanding. They know that this open-mindedness allows their business to be nimble and responsive, which leads to greater success. It is also a quality that improves their overall well-being. This trait is present in 80% of driven entrepreneurs and only 33% of other entrepreneurs.

Larger purpose

Driven entrepreneurs are looking to create social value, perhaps even to change the world. Their view ranges far beyond their business and their loved ones; they wish to have a meaningful impact on the world and leave a legacy of good. This trait is present in 55% of driven entrepreneurs and 18% of other entrepreneurs.

Steps to improve your dental practice

All entrepreneurs want to improve their business, regardless of whether or not they consider themselves driven. Surveyed entrepreneurs report that they take the following steps to increasing their success and competency. As a dentist you can apply some of these same strategies to help improve your practice.

1. Self-directed learning—Whether keeping up with dentistry journals, reading business books, or researching specific questions, all entrepreneurs report some kind of self-directed acquisition of knowledge.

2. Educational platforms—This means enrolling in management, business education, or professional development programs. Driven entrepreneurs are more than twice as likely as other entrepreneurs to use these platforms.

3.Peer support—This refers to reaching out to others in a similar line of business to network and learn how to handle issues that arise. This kind of activity ranges from informally keeping up with classmates from dental school, to creating a board of advisors, to joining a trade association or a mastermind group. One hundred percent of driven entrepreneurs and 95% of other entrepreneurs report peer support activity.

Involvement in a formal group that is designed to help its members excel can be far more effective than informal peer support. Mastermind and CEO groups provide the best places for entrepreneurs to truly accelerate their success. They have an executive director to run the group as well as membership fees, which range anywhere from $100 to over $100,000 per year. This buy-in helps to guarantee the commitment of members to each other and their common purpose.

All of these approaches to improve your business and leadership skills can help your dental practice and your employees improve outcomes. Reported results include an increase in employees’ self-awareness and motivation, development of employees’ self-confidence, and improvement in overall well-being.

For more on how you can adopt the habits of a driven entrepreneur and make your dental practice even better, contact Tim McNeely of LifeStone Wealth Management, (818) 534-4940, or on Twitter @timmcneely.

Tim McNeely is CEO of The LifeStone Companies and works with a limited number of entrepreneurial dentists for whom he can have a major impact. Using a consultative approach, he helps successful practice owners make smart decisions about their money by addressing their five biggest concerns—preserving their wealth, tax mitigation, taking care of their heirs, ensuring their assets are not unjustly taken, and charitable gifting.


* Survey of 759 North American entrepreneurs who are senior management (all C-level executives) who have at least 25% stake in their privately held businesses. The revenues at the companies had to be at least $5 million annually in each of the past three years.

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