Our motto here at ACT is “Better Practice, Better Life,” because I believe the two should go hand in hand; if you have a better practice, you’ll have a better life. I previously wrote about my conversation about Dr. Kevin Groth’s best gift ever and using Gino Wickman’s The EOS Life to improve the work aspect of your work-life balance, but his gift consisted of other fantastic books too. Chosen for him by Dr. Bob Margeas, Bill Perkins’ Die with Zero seeks to help you make the most of the other half of your work-life balance.
Dr. Groth’s main takeaway from the book is that we must live for experiences, not just money, and so we need to focus our energy accordingly. You can save and save all your life, but if you die with a bunch of money in the bank then it tells the story that you worked for X amount of time and put X amount of energy into it, but it didn’t relate to anything in the end. The years you spent gaining that money were a waste because it’s just going to sit in a bank account when you’re in a coffin in the ground. It’s like I’ve said, “It’s not the money that’s important, it’s who you’ve become in order to achieve the wealth.” You can certainly gain great wealth, but it’s better to do something with it instead of hoarding it. Whether that takes the form of charity, giving out inheritance while you’re still living, or spending it on experiences is up to you.
Experiences Over Money
Dr. Groth noted that Die with Zero broke life into three simple components: time, money, and health. No matter what stage of life you’re in, there’s a deficiency in one of those categories:
- When you’re in your early years, you have your health and time, but not money
- When you’re in the middle of your life, you have both money and health, but not time
- When you retire, you have time and money, but not health
The secret of life is trying to navigate the deficiency, and that sometimes means making sacrifices. Experiences are what shape us, and the earlier we have them in life, the better our lives will be. When we have our life experiences earlier, it impacts our development because those experiences stay with us and compound over time. We’ve got a money deficiency when we’re young, but it’s better to sacrifice the money we have in favor of experiences that are important to us. As an example, my daughter just went abroad to Tanzania, where she had a phenomenal experience. I was extremely nervous about her going away, and it wasn’t cheap, but seeing the impact it had on her was invaluable—the experiences she had will be with her forever.
Value Your Time
In my stage of life, time is my most important possession so why would we want to waste time at work doing things that aren’t allowing us to fulfill our time with our families? It’s about cutting out the tasks that prevent you from doing the things that bring you joy. Dr. Groth said that when he gets home from work, he doesn’t cut the grass—not because he’s incapable of doing it, but because he doesn’t want to spend two hours of his valuable time that could be spent elsewhere. His time is worth more than the $25 an hour he’d spend on having someone else mow it because that’s time he can spend with his family.
Watch Your Health
The final component is your health, and it becomes extremely important later in life. However, taking care of yourself at an earlier age lets you delay the health component later on, and Dr. Groth said that’s his motivation now. Dentistry isn’t a profession where you sit at your desk all day—it’s a sport. You’re up and moving all the time, and it can be hard on your knees. For every pound you’re overweight, it puts four pounds on your knees. When you spend so much time putting extra strain on your knees, it destroys them to the point where you need a replacement. Your health is a finite resource, and the more you can retain in later years, the more you’ll be able to enjoy your life.
The key to living a life full of experiences is to make a roadmap. Make a list of the things you want to do and the experiences you want to have, and then divide your life into five-year increments. Start throwing those experiences into the different five-year buckets, and then do whatever you need to do to make it work. We don’t know how much time we have, so don’t delay the experiences you want to have. Schedule a call with the ACT Team today and let us work with you to help get your practice into the position where you can start focusing on improving your work-life balance. When you have a Better Practice, it lets you have a Better Life, and that’s what you deserve!
Kirk Behrendt is the CEO and Founder of ACT Dental