Follow your passion spend time enhancing your skills & personal growth
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to a tightknit Italian family, Roberto Michienzi grew up steeped in traditions. Staying near his community, Michienzi attended both high school and college within a few blocks of his house. As a teenager, Michienzi began his working life by delivering newspapers to support his way through high school. During college he worked at pharmacies and landscaping companies to pay for college tuition alongside his academic and athletic scholarships.
Michienzi wrestled throughout high school and was awarded an athletic scholarship for wrestling at college. Unfortunately, his college wrestling career was cut short due to an ankle injury. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Michienzi as it allowed him the time to focus on the academic side of college. Through his hard work and determination, Michienzi got accepted into dental school at the University of Pittsburgh.
Currently, Roberto Michienzi is a dentist and industry expert in the Pittsburgh area where he still plays an active roll in the Italian community.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I decided to start my first dental practice as a solo practitioner with the name of my practice being my own name, there was a tremendous sense of pride in using my family name for my practice.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical workday would start with a short commute with patient care from 9 AM to 6 PM and I would continue to do lab work once the office was closed because I love to do my own lab work to design, sculpt, and create gorgeous smiles.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My ideas first came to life from my graduate school pre-clinical lab where I would spend hours upon hours carving wax until I became the best of my class. Since then, I have always found that I think best my developing ideas in a lab which is why I dedicate time to lab work as often as possible.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that excites me in dentistry is the ability to go beyond cosmetics of creating a white smile with current technology we are entering an era where we can build bone structure and gum tissue through solid sound surgical procedures that incorporate biologic. Alternatives such as stem cells and guided tissue regeneration. I started to incorporate the use of platelet rich plasma in my office about 15 years ago and I gave a presentation on it at our annual scientific meeting with the Academy of Osseo integration.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit of mine that helps me remain productive is turning off my phone when I am at work and only checking at predetermined times. This allows me to not be distracted by less important tasks during the day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I think it’s very important to broaden your scope and to volunteer in different specialties early on in your training and let your curiosity and passion guide you towards what you want to be.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
If you work hard, you are unfortunately not guaranteed to find success. Networking and having connections within your industry are just as important as hard work.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing I continually do that I would recommend is to simply ask patients to recommend my services to friends and family. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing and advertising and it is how I have earned many of my clients.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy I have Incorporated into my practice which is been very successful is to take time out and get to know patients on a very personal level and become their friends and creates deeper connections and more meaningful conversations. This involves attending community events and any events my patients are hosting.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I have had as an entrepreneur is increasing my patient load initially. It was a struggle to overcome but when I realized how powerful word of mouth recommendations are and asked my patients to refer people to me, I was able get more patients.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One business idea would be to create an app that allows someone to talk to a professional dentist at any time of the day.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best hundred dollars that I recently spent was on high-quality food both clean & organic. Our minds and body are linked to high quality nutrition and healthy food is the start of that.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Siri is my favorite iPhone software due to its flexibility and the hands-off nature of the software; I’m using it to dictate this article!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
My favorite book is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
Huck’s story is a defined by spur of the moment movement up the Mississippi River into deep Adventure and the unknown. It can only be through such a level of courage, I feel, that one can grow and manifest there inner character traits. History has proven that it is with this level of courage and curiosity that we are able to venture into innovative technologies.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is by, Mark Twain: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear”.
• Stay close to family for they will stand behind you when no one else will
• Take no one’s advice without asking questions
• Never make brash decisions that are potentially life-changing
• Follow your passion spend time enhancing your skills & personal growth
• Take time learning more about nutrition health and wellness!
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.