13 Jun 2022  •  Blog, Dental Landscape  •  4min read By  • Gary Nelson

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Area Manager, Gary Nelson reflects on some things that, in this time of great change, are likely to stay the same.

‘I thought I would share some observations based on what I’ve seen during 20 years of working in the industry. I think a lot of people are getting very uptight about how the world’s never going to return to normal and everything’s changed. I don’t believe it has. So here are some hints and tips that I have seen that have stood the test of time and should still be relevant.


‘A tip I heard many, many years ago, from a guy called Fergal Quinn of Quinn Supermarkets in the Republic of Ireland was, “Listen to the sound of the river if you want to catch fish.” So basically, what he’s saying is listen to your customers, listen to your team, and listen to your marketplace. And if you take the time to listen, I believe that will give you a big haul in fisherman’s terms.


‘I remember from university ‘the four Ps of marketing’, but I always believed that it should actually have been the four Ps of business. The basic premise of this is price, product, promotion, and place. So, you have the right product in the right place with the right price and the right promotion. I personally don’t believe that any of that comes alive without people. And it’s especially more so in a healthcare environment. I believe those principles haven’t changed, and I don’t believe they will change. If you focus on the people, be that your customers or your team, you’ll be very successful.


‘I believe there are four great attributes of a leader.

  • One is a high EQ, which is a very common trendy buzzword, but it’s basically emotional intelligence. It’s an understanding of what’s going on around you.
  • Good leaders display integrity. They do the right thing and stand strong and believe in the right thing.
  • Great leaders also need to be great communicators. They communicate often with their teams, their suppliers, and their customers.
  • And the final attribute is gratitude. Two little words, “Thank you,” aren’t said enough in the world.

Cash is king

‘Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash will always be king. This is one that really hasn’t changed. You’re starving for cash early in your business but as you get more successful, that probably wanes a little bit and you tend to ignore the obvious. But the pandemic has shown us that cash really is king in terms of the dental plan marketplace. Most practice principles were grateful for their plan money and the empathy shown by their patients. The regular cash coming into the business was essential.

Don’t go compare

‘Success has many faces. What I mean by that is everybody has their own story. In truth, comparison is a thief, and it steals your happiness. If you spend all your time comparing yourself to others, you’re ruining your own happiness. I believe what you should do is try to make yourself a happier version of you and your story. Because it’s your story that matters.

The law of attraction

‘Thoughts do become things and it’s very easy to get into a negative spiral of thought. In that case, all you’re doing is attracting negativity. So, if your thoughts become things, I believe if you think what you want, it will become true. Some people may argue with that, but I’ve always found that has stood me in good stead. And even better than that, if you put it down in writing, it becomes a plan.

Don’t turn up to every argument you’re invited to

‘I’m always a firm believer in any situation that you have two friends; one is time, and the other is silence. Sometimes silence can be your best friend, just by listening. Choose your battles wisely and give the arguments some time. Because often enough, if you give it time, you’ll find that there are solutions. I’m a firm believer, where there’s a problem, there’s a solution.


‘And finally, if you’re not enjoying it, change it. If you can’t immediately change it, change how you think about it. Perhaps better still, write it down and attract the change you want. Go back to the law of attraction, put it down on paper, write the change that you want.

‘I hope it’s helpful to know that there are still some thigs from life pre-COVID that do still hold true. If you need me, you know where I am.’

Get all blogs delivered to your inbox

By subscribing to our blog, you agree to receiving our monthly blog update and newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time. The security of your personal data is very important to us and we will never sell your data to other companies. You can read more about how we protect your information and your rights by reading our privacy notice.