The one habit that has helped me throughout my career is surrounding myself with excellent people. I enjoy being around people from diverse backgrounds and learning new ways to become my best self. I can then pass this onto my patients and to those, I consult with.
Born in Kenya and raised in the U.K., Dr. Rashmi Patel decided to leave his comfort zone to pursue a better lifestyle and weather in sunny Santa Monica, California. After completing his A-Levels in the U. K. in 1988, Patel made his move to California to pursue his own company specializing in importing and exporting. He operated and ran his company for several years; until Dr. Patel decided it was time to further his education and close the business to pursue his educational goals.
Rashmi transitioned from being a businessman to becoming a fulltime student by earning his Associate’s Degree from Santa Monica Community College, and shortly afterwards completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and Minor in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington. While going to school, Dr. Patel worked in a lab assisting in diabetes research and tutored students at the Kaplan Prep Center as well as being a private tutor to prepare students to take the MCAT, DAT and LSAT exams. It wasn’t until after this that he decided to enter the field of dentistry.
With his unrelenting thirst for education, Dr. Rashmi Patel completed his DDS at SUNY Buffalo with a Minor in Endodontics and Oral Biology. He then sought additional training through continuing education in Cosmetic Dentistry, Endodontics, Implants, Invisalign and Orthodontics. In 2003 he completed a general practice residency at St. Barnabas Hospital in New York. During his residency, Dr. Patel learned to treat compromised patients with advanced medical conditions in a hospital setting and to place and restore implants. Dr. Patel then worked in several group dental practices until he connected with Dr. David Bock. Now an experienced dentist, Dr. Rashmi Patel and Dr. Bock partnered in owning a practice and dental laboratory in Torrington, Connecticut. After 18 months, Dr. Bock retired, and Dr. Patel, took over expanding the business with new technological advancements. Dr. Patel decided to purchase a second dental group practice in Enfield, CT and ran both businesses for eight successful years.
Renowned dentist, Dr. Rashmi Patel, earned a Fellowship with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists as well as a second Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2017. He is currently working towards his Masters in the Academy of General Dentistry, Diplomat in International Congress of Oral Implantologists, a Fellowship in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and becoming Board Certified in the American Academy of General Dentistry. For Dr. Patel, the learning never stops. Dedicating himself to life-long learning, Dr. Rashmi Patel continues to learn and grow in his personal and professional endeavors while being a dentist, a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather and pet-owner.
What inspired you to become a dentistry consultant?
I was fortunate enough to take over Dr. Bock’s dental practice and laboratory. I continued to invest in and expand the practice and laboratory services. Once I started learning more about running the business, I developed an interest in helping dental professionals and colleagues to develop their business management skills.
What does a typical day look like for you and how do you make the most of your day?
My days vary and I like to mix things up. I prefer to have my days planned so that I have a variety of different procedures on any given day. A productive day to me is being able to effectively solve my patients’ individual problems and serve their needs.
How do you bring ideas to life?
As long as I’m continuing my education, new ideas always spring to life. I continue to stay current by educating myself in new technological advancements in dentistry. Dentistry is moving at a rapid pace, which includes CT scans, lasers, computer scanning and printing technologies and other innovations. One needs to continue to train oneself and acquire and buy into that training by investing in the latest equipment and implementing it with the staff. One cannot do it alone; therefore, the staff must be included and trained to work together as a team.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
There are several new advancements in guided implant dentistry and new trends in single visit crowns, veneers and printing technologies. These are a few of the things that I am excited about. Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is yet another trend that has excellent potential. Invisalign is a service that has tremendous opportunity to help patients straighten their teeth without the hassles that one can experience when using traditional braces.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
The one habit that has helped me throughout my career is surrounding myself with excellent people. I enjoy being around people from diverse backgrounds and learning new ways to become my best self. I can then pass this onto my patients and to those I consult with.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The one thing I would tell my younger self is to take more time off and be sure to take one or two more vacations a year. Time seems to have a way of escaping you without realizing it. Achieving an excellent work/life balance is an integral part of one’s success and happiness.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
Starting an in-house laboratory was the one thing that nobody agreed with me on. It’s not cheap to run an in-house lab, but I did it anyway. I hired a ceramist, a dental technician and a denture technician. I found it improved not only the quality of my work, but also its efficiency. There were better patient outcomes with quality and aesthetically appealing results. It wasn’t the most cost-effective method to do it that way, but it was by far the more beneficial to the patient.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I take my time with whatever I do and focus on quality and accuracy. If I cannot do it correctly, I will redo it or send it to someone else to meet specialist standards. It’s important to me that I treat people the way that I would want to be treated. If you focus on quality and accuracy everything else will just fall into place and take care of itself.
What is one strategy that has helped you to grow your business?
Treat people the way you want to be treated – this is a key strategy. If one doesn’t think of their business as just a place to make money and strives to treat people the way they want to be treated the money will take care of itself. Your company will begin to thrive because of your integrity and professionalism.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Having the expectation that everyone can be trained to work the same way that I do. I had to quickly learn that everybody works differently. Not everyone can be trained to work or think like I do. From this, I learned to take my time to find the right working relationship and fit with others. Building, training and having a great team that you surround yourself with is critical to your success.
What is one piece of business advice you’re willing to give away to our readers?
My advice is to focus on quality, and everything else will take care of itself. Find something you are passionate about and you will never consider it work and you will begin your journey towards achieving complete financial freedom. With these things in mind, you will never be steered the wrong way and can reach your fullest potential and attain happiness.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I have spent was going to a restaurant that just opened called Esca. They had the most incredible sea bass and lobster risotto with a lobster and shrimp sauce. It was the best seafood I have had in my life. Esca is a high-end restaurant in Middletown, CT that specializes in Italian cuisine – I recommend everyone try it!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I love Dentrix Software by Henry Schein Dental. It focuses on practice management and consolidates several procedures and allows me to access it from anywhere, whether it’s from my home or office PC, or even my cell phone. It helps a lot when patients contact me outside of office hours and I need to access their information.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
My favorite book is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, by Stephen R. Covey because it taught me the tools that are needed to help grow my professional and personal relationships. Not only does it assist with achieving effective leadership skills, but it also helped my approach in setting and attaining my career goals. You learn to align yourself with principals that are based on one’s character.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” by Mahatma Gandhi. I love this quote because Gandhi teaches us to live our life to the fullest by being able to do the things one enjoys and to be in the moment. It’s helped me achieve balance and become successful.
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Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.