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Pick Your "P" and Run With It

Apr 30, 2020

Just when we thought we had everything figured out...the world turned upside down. Am I right? We knew our cards, our positioning, our plan, then BOOM! Plot twist!

So, what do we do?

In times of crisis, uncertainty, and fear, there are two options: You can panic or you can PLAN.

In the midst of all the chaos, there is opportunity — and lots of it. You just have to know where to look and be willing to create a new gameplan (that’s flexible, of course).

See, life is about how we choose to respond to our circumstances.

Right now, we’re consuming massive amounts of information through the media, news, peers, family members, neighbors...heck, even our dog’s got something to say about this whole social distancing thing.

The question is: What are we going to choose to do with this information, and how’s it going to affect our critical decisions during this time?

Imagine this:

It’s the World Series of Poker, and you’re sitting at the felt table along with everyone else who has got to make a decision, including other practice owners, entrepreneurs of all types, and big-time leaders. Just like everyone else, you’ve been dealt a hand of cards and you can see the cards that are face-up on the table.

We’re all pros here, so we know who’s in a good position and what we’ve got to work with. We’ve also got a plan and it’s so good. Now you just have to wait your turn...

Now, imagine we all get a collective punch in the face.

WHACK. Didn’t see that coming, did ya?

What now?

Mike Tyson once said,

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

See, the plan has changed.

Everything’s reshuffled...except what’s in your hand — your talent, ingenuity, resourcefulness, grit, ideas, and problem-solving skills. These are your aces.

All of a sudden, everything’s available. New opportunities have just emerged.

Are you going to play your cards right?

What happens from this point forward is up to you. It’s your call.


What will you consume with your eyes and ears?

What approach will you take?

What changes will you make?

Your answers to these questions will determine where you end up on the other side, and this type of opportunity may not come around again. So, we’ve got to grab that galloping horse by its swinging saddle, hoist ourselves onto its back, and take off into the sunset, guns blazing, old Western-style.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it won’t always be pretty. It will get very, very real. Because it is. Bankruptcy. Practices are closing their doors. People are folding left and right.

But through it all, one thing is for certain.

You are not your circumstance, your situation, or your “failure”. Your bankruptcy, your struggle, your choices are not you. So don’t let them define you.

There is no correlation between life success and bankruptcy. As a matter of fact, there are many people who bankrupted their companies and responded to that experience and those lessons in a way that propelled them even further ahead the next time around.

Why? Because they made a choice.

That’s life. And that choice is what separates those who succeed and those who succumb.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

Did you know that darkness and despair are actually what forces us to make a change and become better? And that, without lows, we have no comparative reference point in order to truly enjoy our highs?

We don’t grow without pain.

No pain, no gain, just like your high school P.E. teacher said, right?

But, again, it’s all about the way you respond as the leader of your team (whether that be your work team or home team).

Because people can (and DO) stay in that low place — sometimes for much too long — and others can’t get over the fact that plans have changed, so they freeze.

Dwight D. Eisenhower is known to have said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

That is to say, YES! Plan as best you can! But also recognize that things change. If your plans become “useless” — change them, too!

And while we’re on the topic, want to know my original plan?

Three years into my dental career, I was in a national DSO running three of their biggest practices in the country. I was crushing it. Killing the game. Smiles, sunshine, and rainbows all around. I had all the chips.


JAB. Regulatory issues.

JAB. A massive multi-state lawsuit.

CROSS, LEFT HOOK, UPPERCUT. An asset worth $10-12 million suddenly worth...nothing.




You get the point.

“Wait, guys, this wasn’t in the plan!” *shuffles through paperwork

Then came the feelings. Despair. Paralyzing fear. Stifling pain. And yes, I sobbed, okay? It sucked.

But I got back up. I rebuilt. I reached —then surpassed —my original milestone of success by leveraging my past experience and drafting up a new plan.

I did it, and you can, too.

So, I’m calling you out. (Yes, you!) Step up to the plate. Create a new gameplan. Jump down hard on that trampoline — bending those knees, of course — so you’ve got nowhere to go but UP and OUT of the wreckage.

You got this.

P.S. If you’re struggling and need some clarity amidst the noise, our team is here for you. Simply email us at [email protected]