Monday, March 3, 2008

A little bit of what I do…

The later part of last year I was approached to design a book cover. I loved designing the cover, and I enjoyed being able to do a lot of other promotional pieces for the book as well.

Little did I know what an amazing book this would be, after I had gotten the final approval on the book cover I was sent a complimentary copy and WOW.

I have now been given permission to publish a chapter in my blog. I have also been give another gift to give to my readers!! If you decided to buy the book within the next 24 hrs you will also get more than $ 2000.00 in bonus’s FREE!!
So Read on!!

What Can a Dentist Teach You about Business, Life and Success?
Discover Secrets To Achieving Total Success!
By Dr. Joe Capista

Book Excerpt
Chapter 8
Five Part Formula for Success

Success is not single sided; it is a holistic experience taking into account all of life's experiences. I view success as a Five Part Formula. Our conversation about success starts with business, but ends with the total life experience.

If I asked a group of people to write down everything they needed for success in business and life we could probably fill countless whiteboards, blackboards, flipcharts, computer files and notepads. I have found there are only five basic skills needed in order to be successful:

Become an Expert / Have a Great Product and/or Service
Develop Sales and Marketing Skills
Get Help from Experts (Mentors)
Control Your Thoughts
Create Balance in Your Life

Each part is equally important to the others as they support a balance of business success and life success. Business and life successes are not exclusive of one another. When you have both, there is a synergy so that you have greater TOTAL SUCCESS as opposed to success in individual parts.

Of the five basic skills listed for success, money is not included for specific reasons. Success is not a result of making money; making money is a result of success. Money is not necessarily a part of success; it can be a way of keeping score. I truly believe that success is the result of providing value and service. We are paid based on the amount of value and service we provide. Money is a measure of that value and service.

When we work with our customers, we should be paid directly for the amount of value and service we provide. In reality, we should be providing more value and service than we are being paid. If you do that, money will never be an issue. You will always be paid the fee you deserve because you are providing more to your customer based on the amount of value and service you provide to them. Henry Ford said, “Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly. It comes as a byproduct of providing a useful service.”

The reason I know that money is not part of success is because one of the most successful people I know is my father. My father worked in a factory and never had the opportunity to make much money. Yet he is still a success.

If you are in a position of a professional or you have the type of job where you can make a good living, you should be making money. In fact, you have an obligation to yourself and your family to make money. If you are performing in your job to the fullest extent or with the greatest skills it could be done, you will make money. If you are not, you are cheating yourself and your family.

It's like the Biblical story where the servants were given money from their master. The gold they were given symbolized talents. Two servants worked with the money, made more and were praised. They used their talents. The one who didn't invest the money but instead buried the gold and did nothing with it was admonished and his gold was taken away and given to the servants who made use of the gold. If we have been given talents and do not use them, we are cheating ourselves and, in the end, the customer.

If you never graduated from high school and you work in a factory, you may not have the opportunity to make a lot of money, but that does not mean you cannot be successful. You can still have the components in your life to be a successful person. However, if the people who have been given the talents to make money don't do it, they are cheating themselves by not applying themselves to their fullest extent and making money.

Again, success is not the result of making money; making money is the result of success. Success is the result of providing value and service. Money measures the amount of value and service that you provide. Simply put, when you provide value and service, you will be successful and make money.

Although there have been many words and pages already dedicated to the first three parts of the formula, they are so important they bear repeating. Looking at the five parts you would find the following:

Become an Expert Have a Great Product and/or Service

Expertise is not easy to come by and many people fool themselves into thinking their knowledge is adequate and self-designate their level of skill as that of an “expert.” Some people believe because they fulfilled a required curriculum or passed a test they are suddenly an expert. It is not uncommon upon completion of dental school that some dentists think they know everything they need to know. In reality, they know very little.

Markets change and demands for the service you provide changes. If you don't recognize the market shift or change in demand for what you are doing you will be left behind. This is true for any industry. At some point I knew that if I wanted to be an expert dentist, and more specifically a cosmetic dentist, I had to get specialized training. There were four places I could have gone for the next level of training. I chose The Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies (LVI) because I liked their philosophy and what they had to offer.

In the last few years alone, I took multiple courses that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in time and expense to become a cosmetic dentist. It was a major commitment and one I was willing to make. Anyone who is an expert in their field has to make an incredible commitment of time, money and energy. It doesn't just happen by chance. I also discovered along the way that as I focused on improving my skills as a cosmetic dentist my skills as a general dentist improved.

Developing a high level of expertise was really a matter of vision for me. In the last eight years I knew I wanted to do more cosmetic dentistry. I was intrigued by what was possible and instinctively knew I had to learn more. The standard curriculum no longer met my needs and I needed more professional training. I also realized early on that improving my overall ability is about being fair to my patient. Everybody, no matter what industry they are in, needs to be on top of their game.

If you're not at the top of your game, you're not being fair to your customer. It may not mean you are giving them an inferior product, but you're certainly not giving them the highest quality of service. I've discovered many folks balk at continued education and advanced training. They are captured by a mind-set that whispers, “I don't deserve to spend that kind of money on myself,” or “I'll just get by.” I've found these folks are usually worried about what they're giving up, mainly in dollars, as opposed to what they're going to get.

By investing in your own training and education, you will gain more in the long run than you're giving up. With increased skill comes increased confidence. With increased confidence comes increased competence. The rewards will continue to multiply. Many are comfortable with the status quo. They feel because they've been at something for a long time it qualifies them as an expert. I learned a long time ago just because you've got a lot of years in or you've done something repeatedly, that doesn't necessarily make you an expert. Some people work in a vacuum doing the same thing day in and day out thinking they are the best at what they do. Wrong!

You can't increase your expertise on your own; someone has to teach you. I don't care if you're already at the top of your game, there's somebody that's on top of you that's doing it better. That's the person you have to talk to!

This is about your Service, your Product and the level at which you deliver. Years ago I heard a saying that has stayed with me, “If you're not moving ahead, you're moving backwards or you're dying.” I know as long as I'm fixing teeth, I'm going to be focused on learning a new and better way and definitely keep up with the latest and greatest techniques and technology.

If someone wants to be considered an expert, they have to put constant effort into learning all they can about what they do, what their customers need and what the market demands.

Develop Sales and Marketing Skills
The success of your business is directly proportionate to your ability to sell and market. Taking that one step further, I believe the success of your life is directly proportionate to your ability to sell and market. The better you sell and market the higher level of success you will attain.

I'm not talking about selling used cars. I'm talking about selling your Services, Products or ideas. Additionally, you are selling your philosophies, your principles to your children and selling to make relationships with your spouse and family better. I'm talking about selling Products and Services they want and need that are going to make them better people. Sales and marketing is not about you getting something; it is about you giving something.

Sales is a kind of strategic influence. Too many times we think of sales as manipulation because we have the vision of the slick salesperson; the person who's trying to sell for his or her good and not for the good of the customer. Sales is about benefits and coming to a mutual agreement with your customer that what you have to offer is of value. Once value has been established, you have the responsibility to influence the person to say, “Yes.”

You always have to have the other person's highest good in mind. In fact, Charlie used to tell me about the U Attitude. When he first presented the U Attitude idea, it was foreign to me. He would sit in front of me, hold his pad of paper and he'd draw a U. One part of the U started with the customer coming tome and it ended back with the customer to complete the U. This means the process has to start with the customer, come to me, and then go back to the customer. The customer always has to be the person who benefits the most in the sales process and the U Attitude has helped me to remember this over the years.

Selling is about helping the client. The times I have been sold by people who have good sales skills is fantastic; a great experience. They see what I want and what I need. They know how I'm going to benefit by it and they help me get there. Sales require compassion, understanding, and talking in such a way people are comfortable dealing with you. When you create comfort for your customer, they will return again and again. Most of my patients do business with me because they say they trust me. They'll say, “If that's what I need, I trust you know what is best.” They have put their faith in me and I'm not about to let them down.

Selling isn't rocket science, but it is a powerful skill. I've seen more than one salesman take advantage of a person with lesser knowledge or expertise. This is not what I consider ethical, professional or right. I am committed to interacting with my patients and customers as if they are my brother or sister. I'm always challenging my integrity with the question, “If this were a member of my family, would I recommend this procedure? Am I presenting the best possible solution and filling their true need?”

Focusing on these questions helps me to be more assertive, especially if a patient doesn't understand how important the decision can be in that moment. I've actually said, “If you were my sister or my brother or my father, I would have you do this.” I tell them this is for their benefit, not for mine.

I've told people, “I'm not doing this because I'm trying to charge you a fee, I'm trying to help you. I want to help you get something better than what you have.” Being assertive isn't uncomfortable for the customer or salesperson when done from a place of integrity and support.

People who have a problem with sales or are afraid of sales don't look at the benefit they create for their customers. They only see it as taking rather than giving. If you really believe in what you are doing, you recognize the sale is a contribution to your customer. We have an obligation to help our customers say yes to what they want or need when it benefits them and we know we are providing value and service to them. We also have an obligation to let them know when they shouldn't make a purchase if we believe it is not in their best interest.

Our responsibility is to help them make the best decision once we have established value or perceived value.

Get Help from Experts (Mentors)
Success is not a solo journey. To succeed you need to let others help you improve your business and your life. There are many ways to accomplish this. One is through a relationship with a mentor. I firmly believe you have to take the time to be mentored. There also comes a time you must be willing to share your knowledge by being a mentor.

Being mentored is one of the greatest events that has happened to me. I have had many mentors in my career. Without a doubt, Charlie Schaivo has been my primary and most influential mentor. However, Charlie didn't teach me everything. What he could not teach he led me to. Charlie is a very smart man. He knew what he could do to influence me and he knew when I needed the expertise of others. He would lead me to courses and to people who could teach me what he could not.

Charlie pointed me towards the DiSC® Profile. As you read in a previous chapter, learning the DiSC® profile system was one of the most important shifts in business and consciousness I have had in my life. It has helped me immensely in both business and personal relationship building.

I spent a full week learning behavior profiles in 1985 just so I could be more successful in my business. Little did I realize that it would also impact my personal life. I also took a two-day course on Adventures in Attitudes® a couple of years later through Charlie. From there he encouraged me to take more courses in sales, marketing, success, and leadership. All these course have little or nothing to do with dentistry, but everything
to do with my ultimate success.

The courses I've taken that were unrelated to dentistry have made me a much more successful dentist than the courses related to building my technical and clinical skills. I am not discounting technical training; it is simply to emphasize that you need a well-rounded education through the guidance of others.

Mentors are essential. You can't pick up a book and read enough to get the accelerated learning that a mentor can provide. It doesn't mean you can't learn these skills on your own, but it's going to take much, much longer. And you will probably never learn at the depth and level you would from a mentor.

In addition to Charlie, there was also Dr. Ciampoli, the dentist I bought my practice from. Even though he had many areas that were antiquated, he taught me a lot about handling people and patients. He was a good mentor for teaching me the importance of being technically competent and honest with patients.

There were many others over the years. Each had something to teach me. Fortunately for me and for all of my patients, I was willing to learn. If there was one thing I would recommend to anyone who wants to be wildly successful, it is to find mentors and learn from them.

Through Charlie I developed a list of mentors/teachers that have served hundreds of thousands of people just like me: Napoleon Hill, Earl Nightingale, Og Mandino, Dennis Whitely, Zig Ziglar, Wayne Dyer, and Mike Vance to name only a few. I would listen to their tapes until I wore them out and had to get another. I've used the knowledge of seasoned experts as my mentors even though many I have never met in person. I gleaned every bit of wisdom they had to offer. I have found some of the original thought leaders to be so profound I still listen religiously to their material.

Mentorship doesn't have to be a difficult experience. There are very informal as well as formal methods of mentorship. Let's begin with the informal. Consider the top five people you spend time with the most. Each can be a mentor in his or her own right. To be successful you need to make sure those you associate with most are people that inspire you and lift you up. You must be clear about who you want to spend time with and understand the power they have in your life.

There is an exchange of energy in all relationships. Some people enhance our energy; others can actually deplete our energy. I'm very deliberate in choosing people that increase my energy and fuel my dreams. We may not call one another mentors, but the influence we exert on each other's lives is the same as a mentor/student relationship. I feel so strongly about this I've made efforts in the opposite direction, minimizing
relationships with certain people because we weren't on the same track or heading in the same direction. I look to mentors in both my personal and professional life.

Charlie was a great mentor for my marriage as well as work. Certainly my parents who've been married for over 50 years are incredible mentors when it comes to relationship and marriage. I have some mentors that I simply examine their life and admire their capacity to live it to the fullest. Take for instance, Euse Mita, the leader of the reflection group in which I am an active member. He is a great example of this kind of person. I have known him for about 25 years and over that time he has mentored me and I sometimes have mentored him. Even though we do not see each other very often, when we do meet and we are together, I walk away a richer person. A brief encounter with Euse can keep me going for days.

There are many forms of mentorship some formal and contractual and some informal existing within the relationship of a friend or family member. As valuable as having a mentor is there will come a time when you are asked to mentor. Seize the opportunity to mentor because the learning never stops! I am currently mentoring a businessman and even though he is learning new things, I am increasing my skills and stay sharp by prepping for our mentoring sessions.

Having the right kind of mentor and noticing who you spend time with leads into the fourth and fifth necessary components for success: Control Your Thoughts and Create Balance in Your Life. Because the fourth and fifth parts are so
important, I have devoted an entire chapter to each.

Success – A Five Part Formula
Success Summary
Business Success and Life Success are not exclusive of each other.
1. To have TOTAL SUCCESS you need success in both areas.
2. To have TOTAL SUCCESS you need to:
Become an Expert (have a great Product and/or Service)
Develop Sales and Marketing Skills
Get help from Experts (have mentors)
Control your Thoughts
Create Balance in your life
3. You may not be the “best” at what you do, BUT be the best you can be.
4. To be the best in your field requires continued training.
5. The success of your business and the success of your personal life is directly proportional to your ability to sell and market.
6. Our lives revolve around selling a Product, Service or idea.
7. Sales is strategic influence, not manipulation.
8. Develop a 'U' Attitude.
9. Always have the customer's interests foremost and have integrity and honesty in your sales process.
10. Sales and Marketing are skills that need to be learned. Very few people are “natural born” sales or marketing people.
11. You need people — mentors — to teach you what you do not know.
12. Find successful people and study their behavior.
13. Mentors can be living or dead.
14. Pay people to teach you what you do not know.

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