Success! You Know It When You See It

From The Dr. John Meis Show

On Episode 11 on the Dr. John Meis show, he explores an important lesson learned about success on one of his most recent flights.


(For those who prefer reading over watching the video)

Dr. John Meis: Success? Well, you know it when you see it. A great lesson I learned on a recent flight, on this episode.

Dr. John Meis: I fly weekly, usually twice. So I'm in the air all the time. I travel all across North America. And because I do it so much, I've got my routine down. I consider flying time to be working time, so I want to make sure that I'm productive when I'm in the air. So my routine is just dialed right in.

Dr. John Meis: First of all I want to be the first, or one of the first, on the plane. I don't want have to mess with in-line. I don't want have to mess with other people. I just want to get on the plane and get to my seat. Once in my seat, I get my Bose noise-canceling headphones in so that I can't be interrupted. I get on Amazon Prime Music and I put in a playlist, and I'm ready to roll. Depending on the airline, I'll generally start to read. I'll read until the Internet is available. Once the Internet is available, I'll log on the Internet. I'll go directly to my task list. I'll see on my task list my top three for the day, and I'll start working on those.

Dr. John Meis: It's the same every flight. It's absolutely consistent. And because of that, I get an awful lot done while flying. Because I've got a method. I've got a structure and I work it every single time. I rarely talk to anybody who sits next to me. But on a recent flight I met this very, very interesting young man.

Dr. John Meis: He came, sat down next to me. He was very professionally dressed, and he asked me about my computer. I had just recently got a new one and so I told him that I just got it and I'm still kind of figuring out how to use it. I learned that this young man was an IT professional. He worked for the State Department and he works on IT issues and IT security issues in the Far East. He lives here in the States but he can do it from afar; which was absolutely fascinating because I didn't really understand exactly what's happening in that world. But he says that our country is being attacked every single day by foreign governments trying to gather information. He says that the ways the attacks come in are ever more clever. Every day it's a different thing. They're getting ever smarter at trying to break in and we're getting ever smarter at keeping them out.

Dr. John Meis: He talked about one of the most critical things was defining if there was information that was lost or compromised, what information that was. Or what disinformation that was, because part of what they do is put information out there that is not accurate to make sure that the opponents of our country are always guessing.

Dr. John Meis: So we had a brief conversation. He showed me some things on my computer. He showed me some software that was available for free, for use. And he was giving me an upgrade on all the tools I needed to be top-notch when it comes to technology.

Dr. John Meis: And so being current in technology is one of the ways that you can become just absolutely majorly productive. I constantly get asked by people, "How do you get so much done? You've written this book. You're traveling all the time. You're speaking all over the country. You do the consulting business. You're doing consulting mastermind and groups. How do you get it all done?" Well, I have a very capable assistant and I've got wonderful technology. So with the combination of those two have allowed me to become super productive.

Dr. John Meis: So when I watched this young man ... After we finished speaking, I got my headphones back in because I had stuff I had to get done. Anyway, so he opens up his laptop, which happens to be just like mine, and he gets on the Internet, just like I did, and then he gets onto his task list. He was using a different task list than I was, but he had a task list. He started to go through, starting with the most important thing for that day, going to the next most important, going to the next most important.

Dr. John Meis: I was so impressed that this young man had learned this at his age. Don't you just know that young man is going to be extremely successful? So he is obviously planning his work time very carefully.

Dr. John Meis: Another one of my mentors, Dr. Brett and Eric Tobler and Nate Tobler that own Stonehaven Dental in Utah, they have a fabulous way of thinking about their work and their play. When they work hard, they work very hard. They're very consistent at what they do, super high productive doctors. But when they play, they play hard. I get pictures from them surfboarding in the ocean. I get skiing in the Wasatch Mountains. I get four wheeling. I get mountain biking in Moab. I get all these pictures of all these adventure things that they do. And they can do all those things because they are so consistent and focused when they're doing their work.

Dr. John Meis: So lesson number one is to plan your work. In dentistry, we're fortunate that we have practice management software and we have a schedule. We have a schedule. It has all the things that we need to do on that for patient care. But there's always things above and beyond that, isn't there? that practices need to do, and practice owners need to do. And so what's that list for you? Do you have it planned out? Do you know the top three things that you need to accomplish outside of your time as a dentist, each day? Do you have those determined? Are they written down? Do you have access to it wherever you are? Do you have the tools you need to be able to work on it, wherever you are?

Dr. John Meis: Second thing is to work consistently. I've heard dental practice management consultants say, "Schedule your day until you hit your goals and then go and schedule the next day." I think that's absolute crap, and here's why. Once the time today is gone, it's gone. Right? So if I can produce today because I have time more than my goal, I'm going to do that. I'm not going to try to level out the dollars produced. I'm going to try to level out my effort. Because I know one of the things that burns mental energy for dentists and dental teams is when they have high effort and nothing to do, high effort and nothing to do. That porpoising is exhausting. So finding that zone where you just are working consistently, the same effort all day long during your work time, and then playing hard when it's playtime.

Dr. John Meis: Remember that trying to keep the same dollars, productivity, from day to day to day is a waste of effort. Keeping the same amount of effort from day to day to day is what the winners do. So remember, you may have a day that you are busy and consistent but you didn't necessarily do a lot of majorly productive things. The next day, or two days later, you might be doing super productive things dollar-wise all day long. So we're not trying to level out the numbers. We're trying to level out the effort. That's what the winners do, and that's what success looks like.

Dr. John Meis: So as always please leave any comments or questions, likes or shares of these videos. If you know somebody that would be helped by them, please share it with them. I want to mention a couple of things coming up. First of all it's our Champions of Dentistry summit; this is April 26th and 27th in Orlando, Florida. This is an amazing event. Our speakers are lining up. We've got one of the most effective efficiency dental experts in the world. We've got James Malinchak, star of ABC's Millionaire show. We're pretty close to having signed an Olympic gold medal to speak about her challenges, her struggles, and how she overcame all of that to win the gold medal.

Dr. John Meis: You can find out more information of that on the And as always, you can get a copy of my book with Wendy Briggs, The Ultimate Guide to Doubling or Tripling Your Dental Practice Production. If you pay for the postage, I'll pay for the book. You can go to, and it'll be very clear on there how you can get that book. I'll buy it for you. All you've got to do is pay the postage. All right?

Dr. John Meis: That's it for this time. We'll see you on the next Dr. John Meis Show