The past 6 months have been incredibly busy for me in ways I had never anticipated. One of the unfortunate casualties of this busy period was the blog. I got out of the habit of writing and posting. Big mistake. I have realized how much I need writing in order to keep myself focused on what is important. This blog definitely helps me a lot more than anyone else. So thank you for those that have continued checking in and encouraging me to get back to what I love.
One of the events contributing to this busy season was that I purchased a 2nd dental practice last fall. Most of you know I am a dentist and I’ve always had the dream of owning multiple dental practices where I could organize teams of highly motivated and well-trained individuals and can change people’s perception of a dental office. After dreaming about it for years, I took the plunge.
I never anticipated how difficult it would be.
The previous owner left behind a mess that I could never have imagined. It has taken a lot of time, money, and energy to turn things around.
A few weeks ago, the bank account for that new business was down to $147 and payroll (about $11,000) was due the next week. I sat in my office and started to stress out about how difficult the road had gotten. What had initially looked like a gold mine was turning into a money pit. It was looking like my dream was going to dissolve before my very eyes.
In a box where I could set up customized links and shortcuts were the words:
“There are no shortcuts.”
It was like a wake up call to me. Why was I expecting the road to be easy when I know that all of the best things in life come after great struggle and persistence? If I wanted to build something great I was going to have to do it little by little, step by step, obstacle by obstacle until I had done enough for the laws of success to kick in and reward my efforts.
Have you ever noticed how the so-called “shortcuts” in life usually turn out to be disasters (or illegal)? They sometimes lead to rapid success or growth but very rarely is it sustainable over a period of time. In my experience, the people that are always looking for a shortcut end up farther behind than those who put in a consistent and sustained effort along the long and winding path. There is no wisdom gained in taking shortcuts and bypassing the struggle. The struggles are the best learning experiences life can offer. They shape and mold us into better people.
We cheapen the experience of life if we try to skip part of the journey.
Most highly successful people will point back to the time in their life when they had to go through the hard times, the struggles, and the rejections before they were prepared for great achievement.
So whether you relate it to a professional career, to your family goals, or any other aspect of life, remember that there really are no shortcuts. They seem to be shortcuts at first but in the end they will leave you far off of the path you want to be on and often require you to backtrack just to recover. The hard times are part of the journey and you will gain a respect for them when they are past.
In the mean time, fight on and know that better days are ahead.
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