Chasing The Money – The Pitfalls!

I’ve been off work for the past week or so and it has been jolly nice I have to say, being away from the office for a few days is always a bonus! It has also given me some time to ween some lambs and drench the ewes on the farm… but you’ll have to Google the meanings there I’m afraid!

During one of these oh so blissful days off work, my wife, daughter and I visited Bude in North Cornwall for ice creams, fish and chips and all the other associated frivolities of a seaside jaunt. When my wife was paying for the said ice creams, a freak zephyr whisked the £10 she was holding, out of her hand an into the near by canal! Bugger. However, being the chivalrous (and indeed ‘frugal’) person I am, I gave chase and thanks to the help of a couple of strapping fellows who held onto my legs whilst I dangled precariously off the edge of the canal, managed to retrieve the £10 note, to roars of adulation from my wife and daughter! (I embellish the scenario slightly there to be fair…) However, I had successfully ‘chased the money’ – hurrah!

This got me thinking (as events like this always do) about that approach of always ‘chasing the money’ during our careers and whether this is a good thing. When I was younger I was fully committed to earning as much as possible, as quickly as possible and then basking in the reflective glory of this ‘achievement’ with my friends and peers – what a complete arse I was! It’s safe to say my views and approaches to life have changed significantly since then – thank goodness!

The first point on this, is that if you are always chasing the pound signs, you will never earn enough money – there will always be something bigger and better, which you of course deserve and are entitled to be being paid – right? Wrong. A slippery slope to misery, boredom, self doubt, making plenty of enemies, the feeling of being a failure and generally being considered the a-fore mentioned expletive, as you bang on about money and your perceived superiority ALL THE TIME! Not cool.

Obviously, we all have certain bills to pay, family commitments to finance and lifestyle choices to support, which is absolutely fine. All I am suggesting, is that we have a target income in mind, a REALISTIC target income in mind – which we work towards and achieve – this approach will give us that great lifestyle, feelings of accomplishment and quality family time, without the associated negatives mentioned above. It’s not always that simple of course, but we should all start somewhere… the road to contentment is an uphill path, but is not insurmountable one!

If you do this during the management of your Dental Practice (and I’m not suggesting that you are, I’m just speaking from my own experiences…), you will have various issues to deal with:

1) You will be an arse – ‘I’m entitled to earn £994963596 a year, in-spite of the 20 people I employ and our suppliers who need paying and the building that needs maintaining etc – it’s my bloody business after all!’

2) The team will resent you, as they will feel under valued, neglected and fearful of asking you for anything that costs more than 10p – morale will be at an all time low,

3) Your suppliers, will not help you out when you need a quick turn around on anything (a retainer for example), as you held onto that large invoice outside the stated payment terms, as you paid the money to yourself instead,

4) Your building will become dilapidated and under loved, as you politely ignore remedial/preventative works which are required on the building, to ensure you get the money yourself – this will be noticed by your patients who already…

5) … have the impression that you live in a 10 bedroom mansion and drive to work in a Ferrari, which isn’t true of course, but why re-enforce such a negative connotation?!

6) Probably most importantly – you will never be happy! There will always be another £ to chase, at the expense of everything else in your life – whether you currently realise this or not…

Earning good money is great and we would all love to be up there with Mr. Gates, Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Bezos – but focus on your own life goals and earnings first – being realistic! Focus primarily on being happy, then anything over and above your personal target, which you happen to earn – is a genuine bonus, simply adding to that happiness.

In summation – Don’t be an arse.

Much love,


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