FILLING YOUR ENDODONTIC SAIL
DR. ACE GOERIG, Owner & Co-Founder
Becoming a great practice owner requires the same journey as becoming a great sailor. In this article, Dr. Goerig describes how responding to the conditions and filling the sail optimally unlocks momentum, and how a novice sailor becomes a master.
I love sailing, which is part of the reason why the Endo Mastery logo includes a sail icon. However, sailing is also a great metaphor for practice success and freedom in our lives. In sailing, there are three things you pay attention to:
• First, what are the conditions on the water? Is it calm enough for smooth sailing or are there rough breaking waves and powerful swells that are going to challenge you? Are you in a favorable or unfavorable current that is going to affect your course?
• Second, what are the conditions of the weather? What direction is the wind coming from and how strong is it? Is your visibility affected by fog or darkness? Is it raining or a beautiful sunny day?
• Third, what are the conditions of the boat? Are you on the right course? Have you oriented the boat to the water and weather conditions? Have you set your sails right to catch the wind purposefully and make progress on your course?
There is a beautiful moment in sailing when all of these things come into alignment perfectly. The wind fills the sail and it billows out until it snaps to fullness. You set your lines just right, and you suddenly feel the immense pull of the sail. Power transfers from the sail down the mast and the boat surges forward with positive energy that is thrilling.
When the bow wave forms as your momentum increases (which sailors describe as “having a bone in her teeth”), the boat begins to cut through the water with an intentional drive. This is what the boat was meant to do—what it was designed to do—and the perfect union of wind, water, and sail culminates in a surprising and incredible peace, and effortless strength. It’s so much fun!
As a metaphor, it is easy to see this is exactly what your practice and life should be. Your practice is the boat and your systems and strategies are the sails to catch the wind of growth and success. When it is all in alignment just right and you fill your sail, you feel a powerful surge of momentum in your life. At the same time, all the superfluous noise disappears. You find your groove with such amazing enjoyment and achievement (economically and otherwise) that you can only describe it as freedom.
All the skills that a sailor has to captain the boat (like all the skills you have to lead your practice) must be learned. A novice sailor will struggle to make any progress under even ideal conditions. They could be dead in the water while better sailors fly past them. Likewise, a novice practice owner can be at a virtual standstill during times when growth and success should be easy. And in challenging conditions, both can end up in trouble … losing control of their ships until they are just drifting (or sinking).
Novices come in all ages and will remain that way if they only stay self-taught. I’ve seen doctors whose practices haven’t grown in a decade (during a period of tremendous growth in the economy). Many doctors are not truly in control of their practices, which puts them at risk of being side-swamped or overwhelmed if the water or wind changes (such as the pandemic). Many doctors find every day a struggle just to make any progress at all. They can’t seem to pull it all together in a way that creates a powerful force in their life.
There are techniques and strategies for rigging and sailing a boat that only become possible when taught by someone with more expertise. I don’t know any great sailor who hasn’t learned from, and doesn’t continue to learn from, sailing masters at every opportunity they can. When they improve their level of mastery, that’s when it all becomes so much fun.
Likewise, when it comes to your practice, that’s what we strive to be for you: experts who can show you how to design your systems, adapt to the conditions, fill your endodontic sail, and help you experience that incredible energizing groove of freedom for life!
All the best,
Dr. Ace Goerig, Owner