Dr. Xieng Lee graduated in 2010, obtaining his DDS degree from Creighton University School of Dentistry in Omaha, Nebraska. He was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, but grew up in Fresno, California. He attended college at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), where he received his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology.
After graduating from dental school, Dr. Lee worked as an associate dentist at a dental corporation in Fort Dodge, Iowa for one year. He then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to serve as the dental director for a community health clinic that serves mainly low-income and Medicaid patients.
To better serve his patients and community, he opened his private practice in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota in July 2012. His practice is called Quality Dental Care, and is focused on providing quality care to all patients,
regardless of their ability to pay. He is committed to improving clinician-patient relationships and putting the interests of his patients first.
Since opening, Dr. Lee has built not only a successful and thriving dental practice in the community, but he has maintained and kept up to date with the latest technology and received proper continuing education. Dr. Lee has received additional training in Orthodontics from the Academy of GP Orthodontics and is a member in good standing. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, Minnesota Dental Association, and Minneapolis District Dental Society.
Dr. Lee enjoys all aspects of dentistry, but his favorite is cosmetic and dental surgeries.
Outside of work, Dr. Lee enjoys spending time with his wife, and their two boys. He loves the outdoors and enjoys traveling. He is also an avid fisherman.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Growing up, my family didn’t really have access to dental care. I shadowed with some of the local dentists and that is how I became interested dentistry. I wanted to help people in my community and my family as well.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
It is fun. I enjoy doing what I do every day. Sometimes it is pretty busy and hectic, but I do enjoy the work of treating patients and the variety of different procedures. I see quite a few patients every day. It can be 10 to 20 and it can even be up to 30 patients per day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
For me, I like to do some research and ask questions, or talk to other people or colleagues that knows about those ideas. That is how I normally get an idea across or to get to the point of taking action. If I want to get better at doing something, then I will practice.
When I was in dental school, I would say I was not very good at doing surgery, but by the time I came out of dental school I had done a lot of it and took on a lot of challenging cases because that is how you get better at it and comfortable doing it. That is how I approach things.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Implants are an exciting trend in dentistry. It is a procedure I would like to get focus on doing more of in the next few years. I would like to start incorporating that into my practice. I also like the aspect of general dentistry of doing several procedures, rather than a specialist, because I want to be able to serve whole families, not just a particular age group.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I always try to strive for success. I try to always me as careful as I can to do a job well. To be successful, you have to be careful, yet also willing to take some risk too. To get better at something, you do have to put yourself out and do it, but I try to be careful about making decisions and I research before I act on something.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Find some colleagues that you want to emulate and let them be examples to you. Learn what you can from them and get advice from them. Find a productive individual to be role model for you.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I really feel I do not have time to exercise, but other people would say I can make the time if it matters to me, but it really is a struggle for me to fit it into my schedule.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I always make sure that I am being honest with the people I am talking to. I tell them what I truly think is best for them. I treat people the way I want to be treated. That is how I approach all of my interactions with patients.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
If I do not feel something is good for a patient, then I am upfront and tell them I do not think this is the best route for you. I try to educate them on the pros and cons of a decision and tell them what I think would be best for them. I try to guide them to make the most informed decisions for themselves. Patients appreciate that.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have tried my hand at flipping real estate properties, but I felt I made some mistakes because I did not know enough about it. Sometimes properties are not really worth what you think. I had to hire people to make needed repairs and it ended up costing a lot of money, but I certainly learned to be more careful with those decisions.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Private lending is an interesting business idea to me, but I think it involves a lot of risk. I think there are a lot of people who want to start a business, but they do not have financial backup for it. You have to have credit and money in order to get people to loan you money. I think people have good ideas, but they often cannot get the money to start doing the things they want to do.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I would say the money I spent on PPE for my office.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use a software called Eaglesoft to manage my dental practice. I use it every day.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Great Gatsby is a book that I really enjoyed.
What is your favorite quote?
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
• Research before making decisions to avoid mistakes
• Take time to reflect on your options
• Look for a mentor
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.