Why a dental entrepreneur should wear 4 hats

I’ve spent the last 3 months listening to Sheila Scott brilliantly explain how Edward De Bono’s 6 thinking hats can help dental teams to make tough decisions after all views are taken into account.

Last week, a conversation with a client reminded me of the 4 hats of dental entrepreneurship.

As a dental business owner, are you being paid properly?

  • Hat #1 – the Clinician – are you paid the going rate for associates in your practice, based on your own personal production?
  • Hat #2 – the Managing Director – are you paid the going rate for the hours that you put in working ON the business and not IN the business?
  • Hat #3 – the Landlord – if you (or your pension fund) own the building, are you paid the going rent?
  • Hat #4 – the Investor – if you have capital invested in the business, do you take dividends as a shareholder?

This essentially illustrates the difference between a lifestyle business (one in which none of the above are true) and a real business (in which all them should be).

So which type of business do you own?

One of the things I enjoy doing is taking clients on the journey from Lifestyle to Real Business.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.