Own your own office. Own several offices. Launch a lecturing career. Invent a product. Become a real estate mogul.
The list of opportunities for a dentist with business aspirations is almost endless. It’s one of my favorite aspects of the dental profession: you are only limited by your imagination and your willpower.
But how do you start these businesses? Where do your get the start-up money? Will you have time to run it effectively? How many people should you hire?
They certainly didn’t teach this stuff in dental school. So if you have lofty goals in mind, where do you go for advice?
I’ve nurtured my entrepreneurial spirit by reading a lot of books. Some of them were terrible. Some of them were very good. Here is my list of the best of the best. Warning: Reading these books may cause you to get the business bug.
The value of Freakonomics to entrepreneurs is in helping open our eyes to out-of-the-box-thinking. I’ve seen great business ideas fail miserably because their leadership didn’t stop for a moment and consider the social, economic, and financial forces at play. What are those forces? Check out the book for a more eloquent discussion than I can offer.
(2) The Rich Dad Poor Dad Series
You can learn something valuable from every book in this highly successful series. Kiyosaki tells the charming story about his dual education from his highly-educated but financially ignorant father (poor dad) and his best friend’s father who has an average education but an exceptional sense of business and finance (rich dad).
Rich Dad Poor Dad taught me how to invest. Kiyosaki has very clear opinions about what investments will sizzle (e.g. starting a business, owning real estate) and which will fizzle (e.g. playing the stock market). As you follow along his journey into wealth, he sprinkles in fantastic advice on how to run a business.
(3) The World is Flat
Globalization was something I understood as a word but not as a concept until I read this book. Freidman describes in fascinating detail how our economy has changed from the early days of the industrial revolution to today. Digital technology and the Internet have torn down cultural and geographic barriers, forever changing the business landscape.
Read The World is Flat if you want to gain a glimpse at the future of dentistry. Digital work-flow, outsourcing of lab work, education, etc. have all been radically changed from ten years ago. What will it look like in another ten years?
(4) The 4-Hour Work Week
I thought I was supposed to work six days a week until I was age 65 and then retire. You certainly can do that, but it’s a lot more fun to create a business strategy that allows you to enjoy life. I realized that I didn’t need to have a ton of money in my bank account and to be surrounded by expensive toys. I changed my definition of wealth and started to do the things I really enjoy, like start “The Curious Dentist” blog.
The 4-Hour Work Week as a work of philosophy is priceless to me. But it’s also an outstanding business book. Ferriss gives detailed, step-by-step instructions about how to start a business and grow it to new heights. As a bonus, it’s also a hilarious travel book. Want to learn how to get the cheapest airline ticket to a foreign country and live like a rock star on a small budget? Ferriss has got you covered.