Remember The Godfather? Michael Francese, a real-life New York City Mafia lieutenant went “straight” as he left a life of crime to become a legitimate businessman.
He even wrote a book about the business tools the Mafia uses to make money, because at heart, the Mafia is a business, or more accurately, a whole lot of businesses, making money for all concerned. His book is called “An Offer You Can’t Refuse,” and he makes a fascinating point. Whenever someone came to him to ask for a loan to start a business, say, a dry cleaner or a gas station, he always asked, “How are you going to run the business?”
“The most frequent answer was, ‘The same way everybody else runs them,’” Francese writes.
If that was the answer, however, no loan.
Francese says that as a business lender, albeit at outrageously high rates of interest (and God forbid you don’t pay the money back on time), he was always looking for uniqueness from his borrowers. If they didn’t have a unique idea about how to run their prospective business, he wanted nothing to do with them.
You might ask what this has to do with dentistry—or maybe you already see the connection.
The connection is this: If there isn’t something unique about your dental practice, chances are, you have commoditized yourself, and you are not likely to last long in today’s hyper-competitive and corporatized dental services market.
“I want to be a bestseller.”
That’s a sentence I’ve heard countless times over the course of my career as a business ghostwriter. It seems like everybody wants to be a national bestseller. It’s a big ego boost as well as a sense of joining a very exclusive club.
But here’s what they don’t tell you about being a bestselling author—the pay is lousy.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” I hear you exclaiming. “If you’re a national bestseller, you’re making a ton of money from your books, right?”
If you haven’t been paying attention, it’s possible that you’ve never used “dentist” and “superstar” in the same sentence.
Well, times have changed.
Often, the best entrepreneur in town is your dentist. For those who have not gone corporate, if they have a drop of entrepreneurial blood in their veins, they are adding dentists and specialties to their practices. Upgrading their technology. Getting coached so that they can spend more time chair-side and less time doing boring back office stuff that they should never have been doing in the first place.
They’re buying other practices, upgrading them, and selling them, or merging them into bigger firms.
So where are the superstars in dentistry? They’re all around you.
Okay, I’ll come clean.
I used the word “bestseller” in the title as sheer clickbait. I feel guilty, but not all that guilty. After all, it worked. You’re reading. Aren’t you? The reality is that bestseller status is extremely overrated. It just means that you outsold whatever other books were “top of the tree” for a given hour or a given week.
In fact, there are ways to pump your book up bestseller lists—even the New York Times’ August list—in sneaky ways.
So even if a book says “bestseller,” you can’t even be sure that it sold a lot.
Now, what you really want to become is a best-earning author. Best earning authors couldn’t care less if their books don’t even sell a single copy.
Instead, they use their book as a marketing tool. In fact, they use it as the ultimate marketing advantage.
Have you ever read a bad book?
Well, you probably didn’t read it all the way through. At least, I hope you didn’t.
If you buy a bad novel, maybe it ruins your flight, or maybe it means you have to go back on Amazon or even back to the library to find something else to read.
But when you read a bad business book, you’re making a decision about the author.
And that decision is never to have anything to do with him or her again… as long as you both shall live.
Financial services is still a gold rush for those individuals hard working and savvy enough to make the industry pay. So the question becomes this: what do you need to do to separate yourself from the pack and enjoy a first-class livelihood?
Here are five tools for achieving success as a financial services professional, insurance advisor, or anyone responsible for helping people protect and grow their assets.