Cinco de Mayo – My Life Changing Day

Five years ago, my life changed dramatically on Cinco de Mayo and I didn’t even know it.  I was happily practicing orthodontics with my husband in the office we opened together.  We were totally oblivious to what just happened on a go-cart track in San Diego.  A man died.  He was someone we met a couple times, but did not know.  The phone rang to let us know of his untimely passing.  We were surprised and saddened.  He seemed like such a nice man, he was relatively young and it was so sudden.

A little time passed and we started to discuss the death.  Didn’t Dr. X have a satellite office?  Should we inquire about it?  Our vision was always to have one practice with the two of us working full time.  Would adding this satellite office betray what we had in mind for our practice?  We were pretty sure someone must have purchased the practice, but decided it couldn’t hurt to ask about the satellite.  After meeting with Dr. X’s family, they stated that they were unwilling to break up their father’s practice.  They felt they were passing on their father’s legacy and it was a very personal transaction.  They were also looking for the right person to take over the entire practice.  They wanted to find someone like him, who would treat his patients with kindness, dignity and respect.  I still remember sitting in the coffee shop talking with his son about the practice and feeling overwhelmed.  I felt like we were the people he was looking for, but were we brave enough to ask them to consider us?  Were we ready to take on a full time practice in addition to what we already had?  The son called us later that afternoon and offered us the practice.  The practice that countless other people wanted was ours, if we were willing to change the course we had originally set for ourselves.   We were both nervous, but something in my gut told me to push forward and accept this opportunity.

The transition was scary and difficult and we both had our doubts at different times.  We had to implement new systems, new computers, and new software.  We redecorated, painted, and even changed the light bulbs.  It took over a year for us to feel like the practice was our own.  There were times when each of us wondered if we made a mistake.  Then, the economy crashed.

The economic meltdown hit Phoenix hard, but it was especially trying on the suburbs where our start up practice was located.  The established practice we purchased carried us through those difficult times.  People who had started their oldest child with Dr. X, started the next child with us.  Parents of patients worked hard to help us succeed by referring friends.  It became abundantly clear that we made the right decision to buy this practice.

I learned quite a bit from this experience.  I know it is important to have a vision for the future.  Many experts say the most successful people write down their goals regularly.  Stephen Covey states one of the habits of highly effective people is to “begin with the end in mind”.  I agree with all of those statements, but I have a caveat.  The vision you have set out for yourself may not be what is meant for you, so you must constantly reevaluate.  Great things may be out there for you that you never imagined would be in your life plan.  Be open to the possibility.  It may lead to an amazing future.

2 Responses to “Cinco de Mayo – My Life Changing Day”

  1. Karen McCasland says:

    I am so glad that you took that leap of faith…and you are right, you are the people the practice was looking for.

    • Courtneyadunn says:

      Thanks Karen. It was a little rough at the start, but I’m glad it’s worked out for us all

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