A Valentine's Day Classic From Cupid Kirk

motivation Feb 14, 2020

The day is fast approaching. You know, that day. Soon the greeting card aisle at the drugstore will be packed with panicked, confused, wannabe Cupids. The floral department at your grocery store will look like a scene from The Walking Dead. There will be a zombie apocalypse of procrastinating dudes delaying their best intentions until the last minute. Don’t even bother trying to find a dinner reservation.

Whether you love love or think Valentine’s Day is a load of hogwash (or maybe both), it’s hard to ignore all the marketing aimed at this holiday. And yet, we often delay buying tokens of our affection for loved ones until the very last minute. Surely, it’s not because of a lack of appreciation. Maybe you have another love language, like acts of service. Or perhaps you’re so wrapped up in your practice that you aren’t even sure what month it is.

Cupid Kirk has been known to fill out that card on February 14…in the garage…at...

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Coaches Need Coaches Too

leadership motivation Jan 27, 2020

Having a great business? Hard. Building a great team? Also hard. Putting those two together? Incredibly hard.

That’s why believe everyone should have a coach.

Here at ACT Dental, we walk that talk. Yes, even a coaching company has a coach.

We recently had our coach spend some time with us at the office. It was an incredible experience. With our coach’s help, we were able to:

  • Consolidate and present everything we’re currently doing
  • Clarify the goals and the vision for this year
  • Define useful metrics
  • Outline the strategy to achieve our goals

We’re an entire office full of coaches, but we wouldn’t have been able to achieve the same results by ourselves. That’s because we’re so close to the work that it’s hard for us to see the big picture. Goal setting becomes much easier when you have an outsider helping you sort the pieces. It’s even better when that person has experienced the same challenges that your team is...

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Which Side Of The Bar Are You On?

motivation Jan 16, 2020

You’re never neutral in a situation. You’re either a positive influence or a negative influence. It all comes down to mindset: do you have above the bar thinking, or below the bar thinking?

When you are thinking above the bar, you see opportunity. You’re open to new ideas and curious about exploring new topics. You’re excited about learning.

Above the bar thinking allows you to see everyone as an ally supporting your growth. It helps you to be a great listener and to question your own beliefs so that you can grow.

When you think above the bar, you say things like:

  • “I take responsibility for my part in whatever is happening.”
  • “I am open and coachable. I have an outward mindset.”

When you’re below the bar, everything and everybody is a problem. You’re closed off from others and from new opportunities. You’re defensive about your choices. You are uninterested in anything other than being right.

Below the line thinking...

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Which Side Of The Line Are You On?

motivation Jan 12, 2020

The new year is a time for contemplation. Many people use this opportunity to reflect on the past and think about creating a better future. They set resolutions, write in their goal journals and hit the gym in hopes of a #NewYearNewYou.

We welcome this time as a chance to reset; a chance to get our lives in order. After all, life can be a little messy. It’s tricky to maneuver through all of our personal and professional demands each day – and still squeeze in a workout.

Right now, at the beginning of another new year, you are at a crossroads. There is a line dividing all of the happy years of your past, and the unknown years of your future.


You could be on the side of line where you are living in the past. You tell yourself that your best years are behind you, and that you have nothing to look forward to in the future. To use another metaphor, you’re playing the back nine holes and thinking about how to pack it in.

Or, you can be on the other side of the...

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How To Design Core Values That Change Your Life

leadership motivation Jan 06, 2020

Your single most important competitive advantage is your core values. Your core values are even more important than your vision. They guide the behaviors of everything that happens at your practice.

Consider the circle of people you surround yourself with, both personally and professionally. Your favorite people care about the same things that you care about. Your least favorite people don’t care about the same things that you care about. It all comes back to core values.

You’re probably thinking, “Of course my practice has core values. We’ve even discussed them as a team.” That’s a great start, but ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are your core values written for the team to see?
  • Are your core values a living part of your practice?
  • Do you reinforce your core values every single day as you work?
  • Do you use your core values to evaluate your behavior and your strategy?


When the answer is a clear “yes,” you will attract the...

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16 Summers

motivation Sep 16, 2019

Our oldest child graduated from high school this past spring. As the summer ended, we had to help her get ready to make the big move to college. We packed what she needed from her room, bought the dorm essentials and loaded up the car.

It was a lot harder than I thought.

I thought I was going to be fine, but that week I was caught in this weird place where I was excited for her because she’s ready for the next chapter – but wasn’t ready for her to go. It was getting more difficult by the hour as the day approached.

A big event – like a child going off to college – really makes you think about what’s important. It makes you think about how fast life moves. My daughter grew up like that and suddenly my little girl wasn’t so little anymore. It seems like she was just five the other day. Time goes fast.

I’ve always said you only get 16 summers. Now that I’ve lived it, those 16 summers really do fly. Cherish...

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The Secret To Success In Dentistry

motivation Jul 22, 2019

What’s Your Secret?

Are you fascinated by successful people? It’s inspiring and interesting to see people who are successful in dentistry, successful in finance and successful in health. Interacting with successful people often makes you wonder what you can do to achieve similar levels of success both at your practice and in your personal life.

Here’s what you are going to find. When talking to anyone who has ever been successful at anything, they’ll be dying to answer you if you ask them: “What’s your secret?” It’s never 22 different things. Rather, anyone who is truly successful will go: “I do three things—here they are.”

Systems For Success

I was on a flight not too long ago. After boarding, a young family with three little girls came down the aisle. As a father of three not-so-little girls myself, I have a special place in my heart for young families with little girls.

They came down the aisle looking...

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Setting Goals For The Success Of Your Practice

leadership motivation Apr 08, 2019

Goals are essential in every area of our lives As a dentist, goals help align your priorities, plan for the future and ensure you are on the right path to achieve clear objectives in the near and distant future.

Unfortunately, many dentists struggle with goal setting—and their practices suffer as a result. The good news is that there are a few questions you can consider to help improve your goal setting and get your practice on the right track.

What Are Your Goals?

Asking what your goals are might seem like a fairly obvious question, but a lot of practices fail to critically evaluate where they are and where they want to go. You might have a few ideas of accomplishments you would like to pursue, but without clearly defined goals, you are unlikely to have the direction you need to get there. Ask yourself where you want to be in the next quarter, the next year or the next five years, and begin building a list of some goals you would like to achieve in those various periods...

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The Three Keys To Staying Happy In Dentistry

motivation Jan 28, 2019

It is important for a dentist to not only build a fulfilling career, but also to make progress and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Dentists should feel like the benefits that they are reaping from their practice are in equity with their efforts.

To that end, they should be getting back from their practices what they’re putting in. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of challenges come from. Dentists often get distraught or stressed because their practices do not meet their expectations.

As you likely know, dentistry can be a high-stress profession. A number of professional organizations are creating movements to protect the emotional and mental health of dentists, as they are at an unusually high risk for suicide, drug abuse and divorce. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that dentists are 2.5 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. Student and practice debt, fear of litigation and long, thankless hours are just...

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The Single Most Important Thing You Will Ever Do In Business

motivation Oct 25, 2018

I am going to give you the ONE secret to running an amazing dental practice, and yes, it’s greater than a brilliant idea or a game-changing technology or a new world class talent. In my 25 years of coaching great dental teams, the success that we see always comes back to this idea.

The single most important thing you will ever do in your business is define and live by a short list of core values. To create them. To give language to them. To evaluate them. To re-write them. And, finally, to LIVE by them (this is always the hardest part).

Nothing else will give you a bigger ROI when it comes to a healthy, happy and successful career in dentistry than doing the hard work of clearly defining your core values.

Let Me Explain Why…

Our practice core values are the non-negotiable behaviors that we live by every day as a team. They become the laws that govern how we treat each other. They become the swim lanes for our motions moving forward. If implemented correctly,...

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