Does Balance Exist?

Grace Rizza, Christian, Mom, Wife, CEO

Balancing work, life, family and more

I stumbled upon this question while scrolling on social media recently. The post was made by an old friend, who is a hard working mom with a heart of gold. 

I’m not sure why I feel so compelled to give an answer, but I do. I remember a time in my life when I couldn’t fathom waking up on feeling like I was rested enough to function. I remember barely being able to get to work without a moderate to severe level of anxiety, mostly caused by underlying, unknown people pleasing tendencies. I recall feeling like I never had enough time to make dinner, do the dishes, keep up with the laundry, take care of the kids and have any meaningful time with my husband. I remember questioning if this concept of achieving “balance” is even a realistic goal. The question in and of itself reminded me of my inadequacies, lack of support and the feeling of deeply needing a “break”. 

Many parents can relate to the feeling of not having enough time. With each passing year of mom-life and business ownership, especially since the covid shut down, I’ve realized, we do have the time to find balance, but it requires us to make some very difficult changes, not just in our daily routine, but in our mind, thoughts, and way that we love ourselves and our families. 

The Foundation of Mental and Physical Health

First of all, sleep deprivation isn’t healthy. It’ll lead to a slew of other issues. Coming from a mom of 2 little beautiful girls who didn’t enjoy sleeping at night, paired with extremely unpredictable Hashimoto’s disease, I know the struggle of deep, bone weakening fatigue. It’s a feeling that sucks the joy out of the precious moments and leaves you feeling like a useless carcass after you gave 100%, yet still felt unfulfilled and unsatisfied with your efforts. Before getting anything “right” in life, getting enough sleep is crucial. For most adults this is an uninterrupted 6-9 hours per night, depending on your individual needs.  

The Missing Puzzle Piece 

Another foundational part of a healthy life is purpose. Vocational purpose is discussed at great length, as well as the purpose to contribute to your family. However, few people openly discuss their faith and the BIG purpose of their lives. When we have clarity on our mission here, or the reason for our soul’s journey on this earth (beyond superficial things like ego, excess financial gain, and well, everything material), we begin to live differently. Once made clear, we only begin to live in the moment. This is where fulfillment starts and the desperation that accompanies a life without true purpose begins to subside. 

The Big Deceit 

Control is deceitful. We think falsities such as, “If only I could lose 10 pounds then I’d be happy,” or “When my kids are sleeping through the night, I’ll be happy,” or “If only I could get a promotion and just make a little more money, I’d be happy.” These “I’ll be happy when” phrases lead us further from the present, our purpose and true self love and acceptance and closer to a living a life where we chase what’s already right in front of us. So many Americans get so caught up in “finding balance” that they miss the point, the purpose and before they know it, they simply want to slow down and rewind time, but they cannot. 

Letting Go of Approval Seeking

While we’re tangled in the pursuit of control, we often get hooked on the approval of others, without even realizing it. We convince ourselves to believe that since we’ve gotten in shape, or earned that promotion or married the man / woman of our dreams, that we no longer seek the approval of others, but we do. It comes out in tiny ways, CONSTANTLY.  We get upset for not being included or invited to an event or group. We get upset by the mistakes we’ve made at work that upset a coworker, boss or client. We live in fear and stress while facing a difficult conversation. We live for the approval of others, instead of focusing on pleasing God. 

I remember a time when my daughter was about 6 months old and I was growing my business. A family member questioned my decision to work while my young family was sprouting. She said, “Well if you get a day nanny and a night nanny, when will you see your kid?”  I was so hurt and offended that I cried. I limited the support that I knew I needed, I justified my decisions to anyone that would listen. In hindsight, I should’ve smiled and thanked my family member for her concern. I should’ve told her that I’d prayed about it and I know that I was putting my tiny, innocent daughter’s needs first. I’d have welcomed this loving family member to my home more and judged her less. I’d have had a much more stable and loving response to the things that undeservingly occupied my mind, and borrowed what little energy I felt I had. Had I given my attention to God and consulted Him before reacting and acting, I’d have been rewarded with joy and clarity. I was blind to what mattered.  

Perfectionism is Evil

There’s a little voice that creeps in every now and again. It doesn’t want you to think you’re deserving of love, progress and happiness. It wants you to believe that you’re not good enough for those around you. It will stunt your progress and hold you captive in self-doubt. It’s not from God, it’s from the enemy. In order to live in joy and light, we have to learn to pray, embrace God’s unconditional love for us and recognize and shut down the voice of the enemy. You are enough. The idea that balance is the key to happiness is a lie. Man (and woman) were created to work. Even Adam and Eve worked. God said we were to work and then rest (and worship and pray) on the seventh day. However in today’s day and age, we act like balance is the answer. We act like we should have equal time working, playing, resting and binge watching the negativity that is most streaming entertainment.

What is Balance?

When you think about the word “balance” you think of equal parts. You may imagine a scale that’s got “family” on one end and “work” on the other. You may try to organize and control your life into equal parts, with the false belief that once you have accomplished this completely unrealistic feat, that you’ll finally be fulfilled. Yes, balance exists, but not in equal parts. 

What is Balance Really?

Balance for me occurs when I’m not thinking about “finding balance.” It’s the confidence and self love that comes from knowing that my family, work responsibilities and health are all receiving the attention they need. It’s the feeling that I’m growing closer to God by keeping his teachings close to my heart and each day growing more patient, kind, hardworking, gentle, honest, dependable, GOOD. Balance is the feeling that my work has purpose beyond selfish motivations. It’s an attainable state that is fulfilling, and only comes by taking myself out of the center and making God’s will my focal point. 

Balance is quite simple these days. 

Grace Rizza Dental Speaker | Why You Shouldn’t Ask For Loyalty From Your Employees

Recently I made a post asking the dentists who make up the Facebook group “Dental Marketing with Grace” if they could list only one main core value. The post generated excellent engagement and many members listed values that I easily agreed with and understood. 

When someone mentioned “loyalty”, my thoughts quickly oscillated between “that’s a good one! It’d be amazing to know my team is loyal to the business!” To “wait, no. That really shouldn’t be the core value of any organization.” 

Let me dive into this concept in a way that will hopefully challenge thinking. 

According to Webster Merriam Dictionary, loyalty is defined as: ‘unswerving in allegiance’.

This is where I’m challenged. See, loyalty is a big word. It’s what you promise when getting married. There’s an infinite timeline on loyalty. Can a person truly give full loyalty to a business? Perhaps. Should they? No. One’s loyalty to a business shouldn’t come before their loyalty to their own personal needs and the needs of their family. 

Should a person stay with a company or employer even if the position no longer serves their family’s needs? Absolutely not. Employees can serve a business with the intention to be a long term part of the team, but should a person commit to a lifetime of loyalty to a business? Yes, but with the contingency that it continues to serve their needs. 

I’m not implying that when the going gets tough, people should leave without first attempting to overcome a challenging situation. I’m also not implying that people should job hop or be in a state of constantly seeking the next best thing. That won’t serve them well in the long term of their career. A career should serve you, as much as you serve it. Work should be fulfilling and should be something to look forward to. It should allow you to grow professionally and personally. It should allow you to be surrounded by caring and honest people. It should contribute to your life. If it stops serving you, take the next steps to a better future. 

You have one life. 

Instead of calling this core value ‘loyalty’, it should be referenced as ‘dedication’. You can be dedicated to your team without committing to loyalty, which is unwavering. If you see a practice or methodology that doesn’t seem ethical, you should question it. You should challenge the leadership in your life. You should openly and directly challenge things that don’t feel right. This is where growth occurs. 

I challenge you to create an environment that produces dedication. Support each employee individually while recruiting for ethics such as integrity, a strong work ethic, and a dedication to excellent communication. The result will be a dedicated team. 

In this life, it’s more important that we live with love and compassion, than it is that we demand loyalty. Instead, serve your team and loyalty will follow.

Entertaining in the Moment: Grace Rizza’s Speaking Style Explained

Whether speaking in front of hundreds or writing website content for a blog, there’s almost nothing worse than boring content. I live by the phrase, “Turn a phrase until it catches the light.”

When writing or developing content, I don’t think about merely sharing information, but look for ways to share content in an entertaining way.

When speaking at Chicago Midwinter, I was mentioning the importance of considering the psychology of color in branding. I was discussing the emotions one experiences after seeing a bloody red extracted tooth logo. Right at this moment, a very important man decided he needed to stroll down the center aisle to find his seat. Apparently for someone of his caliber side aisles are just too practical and respectful. As he boldly walked down the center aisle in his red sweater, I decided to thank him for illustrating my point perfectly. His bold red sweater was not only attention grabbing, but it definitely raised my blood pressure just a bit, as explained in my training.

I find it exciting and fun, not just for my audience but for myself to be engaged on a deep level when presenting. There’s nothing more exciting than watching the content twist to meet the needs of an audience.

If seeking a speaker who can educate, empower and entertain your audience, please search no further. Contact us for more information.

Dental Marketing Speaker Grace Rizza | Track New Patients to Track Success

Marketing Speaker

It is important that you have a system in place for keeping track of new patient referrals. Doing so not only makes it easier to report to your marketing consultant or practice management coach, but it also provides a way to measure your progress.

You can create a simple report that tracks the following:

  • New Patients from the Internet
  • New Patients from Patient Referrals
  • New Patients from Direct Mail
  • Number of New Patient Calls
  • Number of New Patients Seen

Train your front office team members to ask new patients how they heard about you each and every time. Recording this data can be a valuable tool to measure how your marketing efforts are progressing. If a direct mail campaign is successful, consider replicating elements of it in the future. If a direct mail campaign yields no new patients, invest your marketing budget in another way.

Having a database of new patient contacts can also be an excellent source for creating follow-up communications. If a particular patient is an excellent referral source, send a personalized thank you note and make them aware how appreciative you are for their help. You can create an email newsletter or direct mail flyer using only the names of interested new patients. You can tailor your message to these new patients in a way that will make them want to come back to your practice as a regular patient.

Keeping track of the sources of your new patients will make it easier to make marketing decisions in the future. It will also be an excellent source of information for your marketing consultant or practice management coach.

For any questions, comments, or concerns please contact us. 

Grace Rizza Dental Speaker | How Not to Upset Your Followers

Today, I am going to give you a couple of tips on how to not upset your followers on Facebook.

Tip 1: When broadcasting video, make sure you speak at an appropriate pace. When people talk too slowly, it loses the interest of their audience. Be sure to speak at an appropriate pace so that people want to keep watching to hear what you are going to say next.

Tip 2: Watch your use of “um.” It’s a very bad habit for a lot of people and it quickly turns off your audience.

Tip 3: Don’t private message a large group of people with your marketing agenda. No one likes to hear their phone ping for a conversation that they didn’t electively join.

Tip 4: Don’t tag people that you barely know just to leverage their exposure and get your message out. It’s a bit selfish and it can get annoying for them to be included in all the interaction on your post with people they probably don’t know.

When you’re thinking about your social media presence, simply treat people the way that you’d like to be treated. If you really want to gain a following, if you really want to make an impression then put out content that interests, engages, and helps people in some way.

Dynamic Speaker Grace Rizza | 6 Ways to Avoid Burnout

When you started your business, you were likely excited to the point that you found it difficult to sleep at night. As years pass, that excitement has transformed. You may still find it rewarding and enjoyable, however, you may be looking for ways to reignite that passion for your profession.

As your business has grown, you’ve likely found comfort in a growing salary. You may have found emotional support as you’ve attracted and coached the right fit team. It’s very often the case, however, that even the most successful business leaders lack balance in their life. If not carefully tended, this imbalance of focus can result in regret.

At the ripe age of 24, I became an entrepreneur. I started my niche marketing business (Identity Dental Marketing) from a shared 3 bedroom apartment, with nothing but a laptop and little dog. When the rest of my friends were working a 9-5, I enjoyed an 8am-11pm role. I’d visit friends and bring my laptop (and dog) along to get some designs done while they watched a football game. I was nothing less than obsessed.

It was somewhat easy to establish balance until I became blessed with children. Balancing the demands of mom, boss and wife is difficult, especially on very little sleep, while managing travel and juggling child care. Often times, I meet dental friends who question how I have the ability to scale my business, enjoy my family, moderate my forum (The Dental Marketing Forum – By Grace Rizza) and have any sort of social life. Not every day is perfect, clearly, but I’ve found some pretty solid tips that can help any thriving business person.

  1. Abolish guilt. It plays no productive role in your life. Whether you stay home, work full time, work part time – you’ll be judged. It’s part of being human. Train your brain to depend less on what others think of you and more on what your family thinks of you. Train your children to respect your career and use it as a way to show them they can have whatever they want out of life. This will allow you the emotional freedom to detach and commit 100% to your career during the time you’ve dedicated for work.
  2. Commit to a schedule and stick to it! If you’ve decide that you’ll be home by 5 every night, take your last meeting at 4pm. The clients who are right for you will understand. They will respect your boundaries and will become great long-term clients. Schedule time for yourself, too. Once per week, enjoy a night out with your significant other. One day per week, schedule your “me” time. If you don’t feed your soul, you cannot help others with passion and excitement.
  3. Plan trips away. Time away from your business allows you to re-energize your mind. It allows you to experience tastes of that excitement that you felt when first getting started.
  4. Only do what only you can do. Make a list of the responsibilities you wish to never again have to do. Now, create a hiring plan to allow you to delegate these tasks to the appropriate people. Allow your team to make mistakes. It’s painful, but necessary. Embrace first time mistakes as learning experiences. Second time mistakes should be addressed quite differently.
  5. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate your accomplishments. Embrace self-love. This will make you strong and help you overcome the criticism that inevitably follows success.
  6. RSVP no. Turn down social activities when you need a break. Your true friends will understand.

Whether you’re new to business, a new parent or a seasoned efficiency pro, I hope this information helps you to avoid burnout and find more satisfaction in your life.

3 Steps to a 5 Star Reputation

Dental Marketing Speaker

Dental SpeakerIf you haven’t yet realized, people value online reviews. Google reviews get substantial exposure and contribute to your SEO efforts. Often, our clients ask for tips to help them become more successful in gaining dozens and even hundreds of 5 star reviews online. Read on to for the simplest ways to implement a strategy that will boost 5-star reviews.

Step 1: Ask your patient about her experience. After each appointment, ask your patient if she had a nice visit today. If she seems happy with your service, communication and care, she will respond with positive feedback. Upon receiving that positive feedback, let her know how much she means to you. Let her know you enjoy seeing her and value her business.

Step 2: Create a script to request the review. Involve the reason for this request. “Cathy, thank you for the positive feedback. It’s always a pleasure spending time with you. We’re finding that reviews on Google are helping new patients to consider us for care. Would you please write a review for me today? It should only take a minute.”

Step 3: Make it easy for the patient. This can be done in one of three ways.

  1. You can use an automation tool to automatically text the patient following their appointment. This text will ask about their satisfaction. After receiving positive feedback, it will automatically open to a page where the patient can leave her review. It’s very simple and has helped dozens of our clients gain hundreds of reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook. Email: grace@identitydental.com for more information.
  2. You can hand the patient a card with a link to a page on your website. Once visiting that page, they can click on the icon of the review site of their choice to leave a public review.
  3. You can text the patient a link to your Google 5-Star Review link. We can create this for you.

Step 4: Thank your patient for her support.

Remember, the best way to get 5-star reviews is to provide 5-star service. Make the patient feel important. People will not remember what you said, but they will not forget how you made them feel.

Are You Prepared for the Future of Dentistry?

What will the dental profession will look like in 10 years? Are you and your team prepared to face the future with a successful action plan?

As a dentist, you are used to thinking about the big picture. This is true when you are caring for your patients, as they turn to you for your expertise to establish a lifetime of optimal oral health. But do you employ the same forward-thinking strategies to ensure the long-term health of your business?

Dentistry is changing. New technology is constantly being developed leading to entirely new procedures, which in turn creates a new market of patients who could benefit from your services. Furthermore, the business landscape of the profession is evolving. What used to be a field dominated by independently owned practices has become increasingly more corporate-based. Ask yourself where your practice fits into the landscape of differing business models in dentistry.

If one thing is for certain in dentistry, it is that the future will continue to bring change. Did you ever think you would be ordering supplies from your smartphone or connecting with potential new patients on Facebook? The future will likely bring innovations bridging the education and communication gap between dentist and patient.

Like today, the key to success will lie in your ability to build trusting, loyal relationships. It is essential that your marketing messages hone in on the unique qualities that make your practice and your team stand out from the crowd. A re-branding strategy can help freshen your practice’s appeal to your community and attract your ideal new patient.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” The future will bring changes to the dental profession, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise nor should it be a cause for concern. Face the future with optimism and an action plan.

The 3 Types of Dentists

I’ve been marketing dentists all over the country for about a decade. In this time, I’ve learned quite a bit about how they interpret information. Understanding how to best communicate with my clients has allowed me to provide custom marketing solutions in a timely way.

I know each dentist that I meet is different, but for fun, I have come up with the 3 types of dentists that I most enjoy working with. Here it goes…

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The first type of dentist that I love working with is The Perfectionist. These are the meticulous men and women who enjoy big cases, cosmetics and often advanced services. When interviewing the perfectionist, he or she will tell me that they are “really good dentists” technically speaking. I find many general dentists, prosthodontists, endodontists and oral surgeons fall into this category. They talk about how their work almost never fails and how much continuing education they’ve received. They are often excited about the latest and greatest technology and can’t help but talk about their gadgets. This dentist may enjoy photography or another artistic hobby. This doctor is going to want a website that shows ALL of what he or she can do. I often have to remind the perfectionist dentist that EVERYTHING CANNOT STAND OUT. I help them to prioritize information and selling points for the best ROI. Once I establish myself as the expert and show them that I too am a perfectionist in my field, it’s smooth sailing. I must always explain exactly why we chose a certain layout, font style, color, photo, phone number placement, etc. The perfectionist dentist is a GREAT client for me, because he or she is an open communicator and will give me the feedback I need to make sure he or she loves his or her website. When working with the perfectionist, I must be sure to give him or her deadlines. It’s too easy for this type to slip into paralysis by analysis. It’s up to my team to set deadlines to keep projects moving along. We’ve become experts at working with these doctors and pride ourselves in embracing the characteristics that make the perfectionist doctor GREAT at dentistry and patient care.

The second type of dentist that I love to work with is the People Person. Often times this doctor entered the field because he or she had a parent or relative that was a dentist. This dentist loves talking with the patients and building relationships. When interviewing this doctor, he or she will tell me about giving back, mission trips or community involvement. He or she will also mention providing high quality work, for the benefit of the patient. This dentist values team training and his or her team enjoys work. This dentist may suffer from the tendency to run late, as he or she gets wrapped up in discussions with patients and team members. This dentist feels energized when he or she can change a patients’ life through dentistry. He or she prefers to build his or her practice organically and sometimes feels guilty about marketing or advertising. I often have to tell this dentist how marketing can benefit his or her community. The exposure allows residents to know he or she is an option. Orthodontists who fall in this category often do very well because they not only establish bonds with patients, but also with referring doctors and local business owners. It’s always a pleasure to take this doctor’s phone call. He or she often starts the call with, “How are your children?” or “How is the weather in Chicago today?” He or she truly enjoys connecting with others. It’s easy to market the sociable doctor, once we get past his or her underlying feeling that “marketing is unnecessary or bad”. This doctor has a very difficult time letting go of an employee. Once this doctor understands how marketing can help him or her to connect with more, great patients it’s smooth sailing.

The third type of dentist that I love working with, is the business person / CEO. This is my personal favorite, mainly because I relate most to this type. On occasion I get the pleasure of working with a dentist that views his practice as a business. He truly embraces his or her role as CEO and wants to build the practice to its full financial potential. These doctors are money motivated, and understand what it takes to grow a business. They read their monthly reports and will even call to discuss them if something doesn’t make sense. This is the doctor that can tell me instantly on a first phone call how many new patients they are seeing on a monthly base and where they are coming from. This doctor is likely to attend business related CE courses and may even consider hiring associates and opening additional locations. This doctor enjoys building relationships and also has an interest in technology, but isn’t afraid to market those points for both his/her benefit and the benefit of his or her community. This doctor has confidence and isn’t slow to let go of a sluggish or underperforming employee. It can be a challenge for this doctor to stick with a given marketing campaign long enough to see results. Setting realistic expectations is vital in working with this type.

All of our clients have the same goal: to grow their business. All are excellent at serving their community by providing excellent oral health.  All enjoy helping people. All have some strengths in business. I personally love working with dentists. I chose to focus my business in providing marketing solutions for dentists exclusively because I saw a need for ethical solutions for dentists. I saw many companies were not taking the time to learn about what makes EACH dentist different and to market EACH business individually. I saw that many other marketing companies were not taking the time to learn about the doctor’s specific goals and pain points and do things to help. I love the field of dentistry and I love working with dentists and their teams. It’s rewarding to contribute to an area of work that is undervalued and under appreciated by the general public. Through marketing, we educate the community about the importance of oral healthcare.

Why Marketing Doesn’t Work

I’ve been doing some soul searching.

I’m pained to ask myself this question. Why doesn’t marketing ALWAYS work the same way for each dentist? WHY?!!!

When sitting in a lecture today, hearing a TOP producing doctor, one of my clients, talk about his successes, I ask myself, “Why?”.

“Why can it work so well for him, and not for others?”

The truth is, it’s not about what we do, or even how we do it. It has so much to do with WHO YOU ARE.

Are you the kind of person who welcomes change? Do you seek strategies to get in front of new patients? Do you seek ways to maximize your profits and continually grow (financially and personally). Are you the kind of person who has true VISION. Do you imagine your goals first, then create a plan to achieve it?

I’ve always said, a successful business owner, entrepreneuer, or inventor is born and not made. This week, I’m realizing, that’s not necessarily true.

The doctors in the room with me, who are investing in business related CE are the top docs! They seek training. They seek to learn from the experts. They challenge themselves to come up with new business strategies.

I am going to make it my mission to provide the motivation necessary to get my clients hooked on business growth.

Look for this newest consulting solution very soon!!

What People Are Saying

John Chatham Testimonial

After attending Grace’s seminar I immediately thought, ‘finally somebody who understands marketing dental practices and how to effectively attract and retain new patients.'

John A. Chatham, III Henry Schein, Inc. VP Global Sales Leadership & Development June 15, 2016

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