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Episode #431: There is No “Plan B”, with Dr. Zachary Sisler

the best practices show podcast Jun 10, 2022

We’re conditioned to have a plan B, just in case. But if you're putting time and energy into plan B, then plan A is doomed to fail! And to prevent that from happening, Kirk Behrendt brings back Dr. Zachary Sisler to share how you can create the best plan A for your life and practice. Remember, there is no plan B — just invest and succeed in plan A! For advice on how to make that happen, listen to Episode 431 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

  • Give your time and energy to plan A.
  • Plan A needs to continuously evolve.
  • Commit to the process for progress.
  • Don't have a plan B with office hours.
  • You don't need a plan B with PPOs.
  • Become super clear with your vision.
  • Have clarity about who you are.


  • “When you learn the importance of “there is no plan B” and all your attention goes into plan A, you realize how much time and effort and energy you're going to have to put into it.” (2:33—2:44)
  • “I think there's this tendency to, ‘Well, what if my initial plan doesn't pan out? I do have to have some kind of backup. I do have to have some sort of . . .’ I'm like, ‘Well, if you need a backup from the moment you start, are you really as clear as what you think you are on your vision, or clear as what you think you are in how you're going to take this practice to where you want to take it?’” (4:05—4:28)
  • “The moment I take my energy off of plan A and focus it to plan B, plan A is doomed to fail.” (4:32—4:37)
  • “The quote from Atomic Habits is, it’s about your commitment to the process that determines your progress. So, to me, getting better in those finite little elements each day, one little aspect, pays dividends exponentially in the end.” (9:01—9:22)
  • “I think you can do a my-way-or-the-highway in a loving approach. So, the way I would say that is, when we faced resistance, it wasn't like, ‘You don't want what we’ve got to offer. Get out.’ No, it’s not that. You're still giving them, ‘Hey, you know what? We care about you. We wouldn't recommend this if it really wasn't in your best interest. So, someday, when you're ready, we’re going to be here for you.’ That right there has planted so many seeds and, really, just going on good faith, has provided so many benefits for our practice.” (13:51—14:28)
  • “There was no plan B with [setting my office hours]. And was it scary? Yeah, it was scary. You sit back and you think, ‘Oh, man. What's going to happen?’ But again, I think we related it back to our core values and our vision. So, when we say that we want to be relational with people, when we say that we want them to feel uplifted when they come into the office, it’s not just because I want that at the office. I want my family to feel that too. And guess what? My family needs to see me other than at 9:00 p.m. on a Thursday night when I got off work. I want them to get some of the best hours too.” (17:08—17:45)
  • “You need to figure out what you want your life to look like, and then revolve your plan around that. So, what I mean is, I went to dental school with people who, as they were coming out of school, they were like, ‘I'm only going here. I'm going back to where my family is at. That's my only option,’ and they weren't very open-minded from the standpoint of what their vision was. And some people might say, ‘Well, they were committed to that plan.’ I'm like, ‘Yes, but it’s because that's all they ever knew. It’s the only area they ever grew up in. They only know where all the grocery stores are.’ So, to a degree, when you're figuring out your vision, part of it is, envision as if you could have the life you always wanted. And then, work backwards from that.” (22:57—23:55)
  • “For these young dentists who are sitting there thinking like, ‘I don't even know what to think,’ think about what your life would look like if you knew you could do anything. Then, start to work back from there. And it’s not going to be all at once. It is going to be a lot of little steps getting there. But it could be way better looking at it in that light rather than just saying, ‘I'm going to play it safe and have multiple plan Bs to back it up. In case I shoot for the moon, and I don't make it, I still fall amongst the stars,’ that kind of mentality.” (24:19—25:00)
  • “Self-awareness for a young dentist is incredibly important. Because again, if you're not confident with who you are, how are other people supposed to follow your recommendations? How are they supposed to believe in you? How are they supposed to buy in to what you do?” (31:51—32:05)
  • “When you're crystal clear on who you are, you're crystal clear on what your vision is and your core values, it frees you up to live life rather than be so focused on trying to hold it all together.”  (33:03—33:16)


  • 0:00 Introduction.
  • 0:53 Dr. Sisler’s background.
  • 1:39 Why this is an important topic.
  • 3:56 Where dentists go wrong in having a plan B.
  • 6:39 Why the AACD is a great meeting.
  • 8:40 Commit to the process for progress.
  • 11:55 Being clear as a leader.
  • 13:25 Handling resistance.
  • 16:14 Utilize your time without a plan B.
  • 20:08 PPOs without a plan B.
  • 22:27 Advice for figuring out a plan.
  • 27:07 Surround yourself with the right people.
  • 28:38 The importance of self-awareness.
  • 32:07 Lean into core values.
  • 33:58 Last thoughts on plan A and plan B.
  • 35:27 More about Dr. Sisler and how to get in touch.

Reach Out to Dr. Sisler:

Dr. Sisler’s website: https://www.drsisler.com/   

Dr. Sisler’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SmilesBySisler/

Dr. Sisler’s social media: @dr_zachsisler


Atomic Habits by James Clear: https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits

Dr. Zachary Sisler Bio:

Dr. Zachary Sisler is a native of Kingwood, West Virginia. He attended West Virginia University, where he received an undergraduate degree in chemistry in three years. He continued his education at the West Virginia University School of Dentistry, earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. During his time at dental school, he explored the field of dentistry by completing externships and honor programs in oral surgery and endodontics. As a further testament to his dedication, he was honored with the following awards: Simon P. Hullihen Scholarship Award for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, American Association of Endodontics Student Achievement Award, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Student Award, Whip Mix 2010 Hanau Prosthodontic Award, Delta Dental Student Leadership Award, and the Quintessence Book Award for Restorative Dentistry.

Since graduation, Dr. Sisler has immersed himself in countless hours of continuing education. He has attended lectures and hands-on courses at the prestigious Dawson Academy, where he has learned how to properly and predictably restore complex cases, not only from a functional standpoint, but cosmetic as well. He was asked to become an associate faculty member of The Dawson Academy, and while continuing his own continuing education pursuits, dedicates time to teaching dental professionals the concepts of complete dentistry.

Dr. Zachary Sisler, DDS, AAACD, has earned the Accredited Member credential in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), joining an elite group of dental professionals who have successfully completed the accreditation process in The Academy. He is one of 417 to achieve this status of cosmetic dentistry in the world.

Dr. Sisler has a strong passion for dentistry and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects, particularly cosmetic dentistry. He holds memberships with the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Pennsylvania Academy of General Dentistry, Pennsylvania Dental Association, Harrisburg Area Dental Society, American Equilibration Society, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. 


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