Qualities of an Entrepreneur
David Schwab, PhD
Do you really have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Self-made millionaire Anita Roddick tackles this question in her new book, Business as Unusual.1 The daughter of Italian immigrants, Roddick hails from Littlehampton, England. Her mother taught her never to be nondescript—a lesson Anita learned well. At once opinionated, political, motivational, and compelling, Roddick’s book is also a great story of entrepreneurial success. Starting with little more than an idea, she opened the Body Shop, an unconventional cosmetics store, in Brighton, England in 1976. She has since grown her business to more than 1500 stores serving ...view middle of the document...
He nevertheless asked his accountant to conduct a surprise audit just to satisfy his instincts. It turned out that his receptionist had been systematically stealing from him for many months. Good instincts are also helpful in deciding when to continue explaining beneﬁts to patients reluctant to accept treatment—and when to keep quiet and leave patients alone with their own thoughts. 3. Creativity. One prosthodontist was frustrated because he was continually being interrupted for hygiene checks. He decided to eliminate hygiene from his mix of services. He helped his hygienist ﬁnd a very good position with a general dentist, and he wrote letters to the general dentists in the area advising them that he would be referring hygiene patients to them for care. As a result, his reputation in the community, which was already excellent, was further enhanced because he was viewed as a specialist who did not have time for “routine” dental services such as hygiene. 4. A constant stream of ideas. Entrepreneur-prosthodontists are not afraid to try new ideas. They are always innovating. Not every idea works out, but many do, and that makes all the difference. One doctor I know decided not to accept any insurance payments and to require all patients to pay in advance before any procedure was even scheduled. This idea is obviously not for every prosthodontist, but he and his staff developed verbal skills and implemented the policy. The result is 100% payment in advance for all procedures and patients who are
David Schwab, PhD, is a nationally known seminar speaker and practice management consultant who provides seminars and in-ofﬁce consultations on an exclusive basis for Directors and Members of the Seattle Study Club. Dr. Schwab may be reached through e-mail at dschwabphd @cs.com or by FAX at (407) 324-1787. Additional information is available on his website: www.davidschwab.com Copyright © 2001 by The American College of Prosthodontists 1059-941X/01/1001-0012$35.00/0 doi:10.1053/jpro.2001.24595
Journal of Prosthodontics, Vol 10, No 1 (March), 2001: pp 66-67
March 2001, Volume 10, Number 1
understanding and willing to pay. The policy is highly unconventional, but it is successful because the doctor and staff have made it part of the culture of the practice. His idea may not be replicable everywhere, but its uniqueness is part of the reason the policy succeeds. 5. A touch of craziness. I know a prosthodontist who sold his successful practice in one city, moved to a different city, and started over. It was in some ways a crazy idea, because there was no guarantee that his new, scratch practice would be nearly as successful as the one he had nurtured over the years. In the end, though, his leap into the unknown worked. Undeterred by the many problems he faced, the prosthodontist created a new practice that is even more productive than the one in his previous location. 6. Pathological optimism. It is very difﬁcult to remain optimistic day...