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Determine, discover, and devote your Core Purpose

In his book Start with Why, Simon Sinek wrote, “Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause, or belief – WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”

We call this “Why” your  Core Purpose . It is your practice’s reason for being. Your Core Purpose answers the ageless question, “Why?” Why does what you do matter, and what difference are you making in the world? What is the ultimate purpose for what you do?


Straight from Gino Wickman’s book Traction, the following outline gives a detailed checklist to follow when starting to develop your Core Purpose. Answer the question, why are you here in the first place? What is your business’ purpose, cause, or passion (pick the label that feels most comfortable to you)? Your answer doesn’t need to be specific to your industry—in fact, it should fit with any business.

When you have figured out your purpose, cause, or passion, Wickman suggests filtering it through eight points to make sure it stands strong:

  • Is it stated in 3 to 7 words?
  • Is it written in simple language?
  • Is it big and bold?
  • Does it have an “aha” effect?
  • Does it come from the heart?
  • Does it involve everyone?
  • Is it not about money?
  • Is it bigger than a goal?


The journey of discovery is enlightening. Start by writing down your initial thoughts. Why does your practice exist? Why did you go to dental school? What is your ultimate goal every day? Then, ask yourself WHY again to peel back the top layer. Now, ask yourself WHY again. You’re still not finished! You must ask yourself WHY again, and again, and again, as many times as it takes to reveal your true and most profound purpose.

We utilize this “Five Whys Exercise” in our coaching program, and it continues to be wildly successful.

Our coaching clients Dr. Russell Richardson and Dr. Gregory Goodreau of Parkway Dental Associates recently went through their Core Purpose discovery process. Their first purpose statement and starting point was: “Our purpose in dentistry would be to provide exceptional dentistry and a professional friendly environment. We also want to provide an environment for all our patients to feel less stressed, have less anxiety when they come in, and we also want our employees to love coming to work.”

Then their coach asked them,  “WHY?” 

“Because coming to the dentist can be a stressful situation, so we want to help.”

She asked again,  “WHY?”

“We want to provide good dentistry for people, and we want it to be a professional friendly environment and for people to be happy with the work they get and the people we work with to be happy.”


“If we’re not providing exceptional dentistry, then there won’t be any longevity. We think everyone would love to come to a place that is professional and happy.”


Soon Dr. Richardson and Dr. Goodreau realized the words that resonated with them the most regarding their “why.” After articulating the following statements, their Core Purpose was finally formed.

Professional, friendly, happy. Exceeding people’s expectations. Professional friendly work ethic, so that everybody’s happy. They were able to skinny those more specific thoughts and polish them into their Core Purpose statement.

Parkway Dental Associates Core Purpose: “To exceed expectations resulting in happiness.” Their original thoughts eventually evolved into this incredible statement.

Your Core Purpose is meant to support you in those hard times; this is what helps keep you going; this is also for your team to understand why you are a dentist and why you come to provide excellent dentistry for your patients. Once you peel back those layers, you’ll be able to get to that deeper sense of, that is absolutely my “Why!”



Gino Wickman wrote, ​​”Most people are sitting on their own diamond mines. The surest ways to lose your diamond mine are to get bored, become overambitious, or start thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Find your core focus, stick to it, and devote your time and resources to excelling at it.”

When unexpected challenges present themselves, those who have predetermined their Core Purpose and have a strong sense of “Why” come through their struggles stronger.

Need help with your Core Purpose discovery process? Set up a call and we can guide you to a better practice and a better life!


About the Author: Heather Crockett is a Lead Practice Coach at ACT Dental. She is also a dental hygienist, motivational speaker, and writer. With over twenty years of serving in different roles in dentistry, she combines her experience to provide our community with best practices for a better life.


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