4 Nov 2016  •  Practice Management  •  5min read By  • Peter Boolkah

Why we find change difficult and how to embrace it

Lack of knowledge and fear are two of the main reasons that prevent business owners from making necessary changes, even when they’re unhappy with the current status quo. Each of these reasons alone can be crippling, never mind if you’re suffering from both! Here, leading business coach, Peter Boolkah shares his advice on how to overcome the fear of change and embrace it. 

To run a successful business, you need to learn to become a successful business person. The business follows the leader. Always remember that the problems in your business are a reflection of you. If you don’t like the reflection, you need to change the picture. That’s the reality. Who is in charge of the business? The business owner. Unless you change, how can you expect the business to change? Businesses don’t just ‘turn themselves around’ one day. It never happens; businesses are not pilots!

Most people do not know how to overcome their fear of change. They don’t know what to do next, so that fear paralyses them. If you want to learn to drive a car, you take lessons. In business, so many people don’t seek out that person who can help them overcome their fear, and in the UK we’re not good at asking – or paying – for help. In my experience, most people’s greatest fear is that of being judged. But the reality is that no-one judges anybody and sometimes we need support to help to guide us forward. So, it is important not to let worries like this, which are unfounded, get in the way of pursuing greater success.

Most people do not know how to overcome their fear of change. They don’t know what to do next, so that fear paralyses them.

The challenge many business owners face – and it’s not limited to the dental profession – is that most people, without the right support, will start to make changes in a rather unfocused way, without knowing how to achieve their goals. Education is key, as is working as a team to make the changes. So, the first thing dentists need to do is identify why they are too scared to make a change. Then they need to ask themselves why they feel it’s ‘better the devil you know’. Once the challenges have been identified and a name can be put to them, it becomes less daunting and is often sufficiently freeing to start looking at the options to see what’s on offer. That then allows the dentist and the dental team to see the reality of their situation.

The people who are ultra-successful are those who will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. They might not know what to do at the beginning but they are prepared to put in the hard graft – both on themselves and their business. What often happens with dentists is that after their five years of undergraduate study they feel they’ve completed enough education to last a lifetime (apart from CPD) and don’t look beyond that to run a practice. In actual fact, education and training are fundamental to becoming a successful business owner. Look at it this way – you’d never place an implant without implant training, so why might it seem reasonable to start a business without learning from the best in that arena?

Dentists need to surround themselves with people who will help them to achieve greater success.

If you want to grow your practice and be more successful, there is only one way to do that – and that is by spending time with people who are more successful than you are. Dentists need to surround themselves with people who will help them to achieve greater success.

My top five secrets to successful business management
  1. Learn how to manage; if you don’t, you won’t succeed.
  2. Understand how to structure your business. What will your business look like when it’s finished? If you don’t know what you are building, you will never get there.
  3. Join successful networks and start spending time with people who have already succeeded in business.
  4. Keep learning about business, because the rules around business are constantly changing. You need to be up to speed on the latest thinking.
  5. Recruit the right team; if you try to manage a mess there’s only so much you can do to tidy it up. It’s amazing how much time people waste managing poor performance.
About Peter

An award-winning, fast-growth business coach, Peter Boolkah specialises in strategic planning, leadership and team development. Peter is the first European coach to be recognised in the ActionCOACH hall of fame – an organisation developed to train business coaches, using a certain process and methodology, to coach clients. He has worked with hundreds of large companies all over the world, has won 57 ActionCOACH awards to date, and guest lectures at Judge College in Cambridge. Peter also has over 20 years of experience in the world of corporate and business ownership within various industries – bringing together a diverse range of skills to his business coaching and training. Peter joined Fluid Business Coaching in 2006, where he has established a first-class reputation in the world of business coaching as one of the best rapid-growth mentors around.



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