The entire conference room fell silent. Quiet music faded in and he began to describe his marriage and family. “My marriage is average at best most days, my kids are great but drive me crazy too. My company, my business is nowhere near where I want it to be in terms of capacity." This was the scene at The Delivering WOW conference just two weeks ago where my husband, Joshua Scott took the stage as the final keynote speaker.
When he described how he really felt about his life, my heart hurt at first. We’ve been married twenty-four years, and work hard at having an exceptional marriage and family. I decided to take a deep breath, and lean in. After a few moments, it all made sense. He was actually describing how any of us might feel day-to-day. How many of us wake up some days and don’t feel “in love” with our spouse or partner? How many of us get frustrated parenting little humans and throw our hands up in the air? How many of us wish our careers or company were bigger and better? Josh ended the keynote describing an imperfect story…his own.
The American Default
Our American culture has led us to believe that the “perfect” story is what trumps all. So we hide. We became trained at an early age that the aim is to achieve perfection. This limiting belief is harmful, because none of us will ever have the “perfect story”, and the pursuit causes use to feel shame when things don’t go as planned. The truth about perfection? Hang in there my Enneagram 1 friends…
Perfection = inauthenticity
True perfection is unattainable, so this philosophy can only bring us pain and disappointment. Let me offer an alternative belief. What if “who you are”…the broken parts, imperfect marriage and family, your failures and triumphs in your practice alike are what makes “your story” worth sharing. What if imperfection is beautiful?
The Power of Story
The phrase “Your Story is worth it” isn’t just a slogan we use, it’s a philosophy. An opportunity to truly impact the lives of the people around you in an authentic way
Your Story Might Help Someone
We all believe that our stories are unique, different and one of a kind. Short answer? Yes, you are “original” and so is your story, but what if there is another dentist or human in the universe experiencing what you’re going through. The anxiety you experience not having found the right building for your startup, the guilt of juggling long work hours away from family, the sadness when another team member quits unexpectedly, and oh, don’t forget… not sleeping because you’re running P&L numbers in your head every night. Hiding the pain points and only sharing the stuff in our lives that goes well might make us look “superhuman”, but it certainly doesn’t create a connection.
Dr. Ashley Joves is a startup dentist in Folsom, California and one of my good friends. She is the founder and owner of Smile & Company and is practicing “dentistry differently”. Ashley and Michael Arias (The Dental Marketer) together have an incredible podcast in the massive Facebook startup group called The Making Of. This podcast is my weekly dose of “real”. They discuss all-the-things in an authentic way. The highs and lows of practice life and the challenges of balancing family and business. I only listen to podcasts that address the good parts + the bad parts alike. Check out Ashley’s recent GO LIVE episode with Joshua Scott.
Where to Begin
Your Story With COVID-19
Let’s continue our dialogue about imperfection in life! A public health crisis would fall into the category of “things not going as planned”. The coronavirus has deeply affected every industry in the United States, especially dentistry, and knocked us off our feet. However, the dental leaders that rise to the challenge and find their voice during this time of quarantine, will have the greatest influence. Finding creative ways to engage with your patient community and team members will involve using virtual platforms.
If you’re a dentist or practice owner responsible for a team, then jump on a daily or weekly Zoom call with your crew. Don’t hold back. Be honest about how COVID-19 is making you feel, how it has affected the story of your practice, how it’s changed your normal routine of helping people with their oral health, but don’t stop there. Remind them of the original vision of why you got into dentistry and what your practice’s story will be once you re-open.
This platform has gifted us with an incredible opportunity to instantly connect with our audience and the people who follow us through live videos on Facebook and Instagram. Again, this is a chance for your patient community and team members to hear from YOU. An opportunity for you to be authentic and yet inspire hope.
Joshua Scott is hosting daily LIVES for the next couple weeks and our guests so far have blown us away. We encourage you to jump on Facebook each day and get your daily dose of GO LIVE. Josh and his guests are always ready to answer questions and engage.
When we choose to be authentic, and share the “real” happening in our lives, it creates human connection. Your story is beautiful. Your story is worth being shared, known and validated. I challenge you to find a way to connect with your audience in a new way, during the Coronavirus, and surprise your viewers with a larger dose of “who you are."
Let me leave you with a quote I read recently in an article published in Oprah Winfrey’s publication, The Oprah Magazine.
Because our stories by necessity involve the complicated territory of the human heart. What occurs in one place — when told aloud and listened to —occurs everywhere.
We’re all in this together.