There’s no doubt that running your own business can be super stressful.

When you invest your time, life and money in a business you have to accept that there’s always going to be a challenge waiting to test your limits, and sometimes life can throw you a mean curveball when it wants to.

Being a dental practice owner is no exception. Stress and anxiety in the dental profession are more common than you may think and this is a massive global issue across the whole industry.

However, research published by the Australian Dental Journal claims that Australian Dental professionals are uniquely affected by an additional source of stress and anxiety, not commonly reported in the International standard.

Researchers discovered that stressors related to business processes such as financial administration, bookkeeping, human resources and industrial relations were a major concern for Australian Dentists highlighting a difference in comparison to International results.

Most of the time, everyday stress and anxiety can be manageable using some simple methods like taking a walk to clear your head or talking to a colleague you trust to help you avoid complete burnout.

Sometimes, it takes a little more than taking a short 5-minute timeout to gain some perspective because there are moments where you have to make some life-changing decisions for your practice down to situations beyond your control.

How would you cope if something major happened that was completely unavoidable and out of your hands that suddenly turned your business on its head?

More importantly, how would you make sure that you recover from that situation and pick up the pieces to come out the other side stronger and ready for anything.

Your best chance is to adapt, endure and keep moving forward.

You could be left with some hard decisions you might not want to make.

In some cases that could literally decide whether your practice can continue to thrive or, risk losing everything you have worked hard for over the years.

As the practice owner, it’s your responsibility to help steer your team and business through stormy waters and come out the other side better than ever, so when it comes to the crunch can you confidently make the necessary decisions that will help you bounce back after a crisis?

Making life-changing decisions depends a whole lot on your mindset, approach and strategy.

In this article, I will share 5 vital tips that will show you How to Be A Confident Decision Maker, Defeat Stress and Overcome Setbacks so you can bounce back from any challenge and come out stronger.


1. Learn to Adapt and Keep Moving Forward

Your first action should be to take immediate decisions that will help you navigate the challenges ahead to emerge stronger and ready to thrive.

This could mean putting any contingency plans you might have in place and carry out emergency recovery measures with your team to plug any leaks in patient retention or cash flow.

It’s important to keep your mindset focused on adapting to the situation and planning how you are going to keep moving forward and securing your future success when life begins to return to normality.


2. Get systemised with a plan

Create and plan out your own system to keep things running at your practice so you and your team know exactly what roles and responsibilities they have in the situation, and how they can help you with the recovery process.

Systemizing your practice can help relieve the pressure on you as the principal decision-maker and encourages your team to be actively involved in supporting each other through difficult times.


3. Communicate and brainstorm with your top team members and associates to strategize together

Even though you are the principal business owner that doesn’t mean you need to hide away in a room wrestling with huge decisions by yourself.

Being honest and realistic with your team can help generate fresh perspectives and also opens up effective communication channels with those who might be affected by your decision making. They may be able to offer up alternative solutions you may not have considered alone.


4. Don’t let the fear of making the wrong decision hold you back

This is something that can seriously ramp up your anxiety levels, worrying that you might end up making the wrong choices in times of crisis.

It’s perfectly natural to fear mistakes but to be able to start making tough decisions that will help you recover from a challenging setback, you have to be a little braver and use your fear as a driver instead.

One way that can actually help is to envision the absolute worst-case scenario. It’s scary to face your worst fears, but by doing so you can then create your best defence against it and plan for what to do next going forward.

The chances are, even your greatest fear didn’t come true, and if it did…you had a plan ready. The key is not to let fear paralyze you because if you do nothing you can almost guarantee that the repercussions will be greater.


5. Imagine that you’re giving someone else advice

Sometimes giving advice to others is a million times easier than actually listening to our own advice. How would you advise a dentist colleague if they had to make a tough decision about their business?

You could argue that it’s simpler to tell someone else how to handle a situation because you have the perspective of an outsider looking in, but taking a step back to breathe and take the same approach about your own situation can be tremendously beneficial.

Self Distancing is a technique that has been proven to help broaden your perspective during challenging situations that can help you manage the stress and anxiety of decision making much better.

If you feel less stressed and clearer-headed, you are more likely to make better business choices during difficult times that will improve your chances of recovering from setbacks quicker.

Your best defence in the face of adversity is staying grounded, be honest and realistic with yourself and the key players in your business and unite with your team, colleagues and community to get through the tough times together.

Do you have anything you’d like to share with us about how you approach big decision making or how you deal with stress and anxiety?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions and feedback and share some of your experiences with us, so please feel free to leave us a comment below!


If you need a helping hand keeping your practice moving forward during these uncertain times, Savvy Dentist is here to support you every inch of the way.

We are all having to adapt our businesses and mindset to cope with the current global crisis we are facing together, and so I have decided to open up free resources to you, like never before.

I have created a special limited offer to access some of our best resources for FREE with our COVID Care Pack for Dental Practice Owners.

Get access to the support and training you need to stay on track and bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic by clicking the button below.


[button link=”” type=”big” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] ACCESS YOUR FREE COVID CARE PACK [/button]

Click here to sign up for your free COVID Recovery Care Pack for Dental Practice Owners


P.S. Whenever you’re ready …. here are 4 ways I can help you grow your dental practice:

1. Grab a free chapter from my book “Retention – How to Plug the #1 Profit Leak in Your Dental Practice”

The book is the definitive guide to patient retention and how to use internal marketing to grow your practice – Click Here

2. Join the Savvy Dentist community and connect with dentists who are scaling their practice too

It’s our Facebook group where clever dentists learn to become commercially smart so that they have more patients, more profit and less stress. – Click Here

3. Attend a Practice Max Intensive live event

Our 2 day immersive events provide access to the latest entrepreneurial thinking and actionable strategies to drive your practice forward. You’ll leave with a game plan to take your results to the next level. If you’d like to join us, just send me a message with the word “Event and I’ll get you all the details!  – Click here

4. Work with me and my team privately

If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take your profit from 6 figures to 7 figures …. just send me a message with the word “Private”… tell me a little about your practice and what you would like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here