How One Orthodontist Built A Practice 5X the Size Working 5 Days Less Per Month
DR. SHELDON PECK, DDS
From Stuck & Overwhelmed to 5X.
Before Dr. Sheldon Peck started the Silkin program, he felt stuck and overwhelmed.
“I didn’t know ANYTHING about practice management! I was hitting this plateau in my practice, wasn’t making much personally after bills were paid, and I remember just thinking to myself, ‘This can’t be all there is to private practice.'” – Sheldon
Small profit margin wasn’t the only problem his practice faced. When Sheldon and his wife Angie began to look into what was going on inside their practice, they quickly realized they had no tools to fix what was happening.
“Our Free Practice Analysis with Silkin was amazing. Dave asked me, ‘What’s your ideal scene for this practice?’ and I had no clue! That day changed everything. He spent hours with us, mapping out exactly what the practice would look like, what our lives would look like if everything was as it should be.”
Now, fifteen years of consulting & Silkin training later – we interviewed Dr. Sheldon Peck to find out what it’s been like having a Silkin Consultant on-call to help him grow his practice.
Silkin: Hello! Thank you Dr. Peck for joining us today. Can you share with our readers what life is like for you now that you’ve been with Silkin for almost fifteen years?
Dr. Peck: Well, since signing up with Silkin we are now 5 times the size we were before, and I’m working five days less per month. I think that pretty much says it all. We also went from having little to no profit margin, to now our overhead is just 38% of what we pull in monthly. My employees are paid well, we have generous compensation plans in place, bonuses, etc., and almost all of our growth has been referral-based.
Silkin: Wow. Now, that’s a powerful shift from where you guys were at the beginning. Can you tell us – what really made the difference?
Dr. Peck: Our consultant at Silkin has been incredible, and I have to say the training in this unique methodology Silkin teaches is really what made that possible. It took five years to implement everything we learned in the first year, and since then I, my wife and our team have finished multiple other training seminars, workshops and courses.
Now, I can look at my colleague’s practices and know in a snapshot what they’re doing well, and where their struggles are coming from. It’s pretty amazing to be able to do that not only in my own practice, but having the confidence I could do it for anyone else, too.
Silkin: Incredible. You mentioned helping others – and I’ve been told you’re a real champion for Silkin. What tips can you share with other Silkin clients who might want to join our referral program and introduce their colleagues to this method?
Dr. Peck: It’s so easy to bring other practice owners to Silkin! I meet people all the time – they see my success and ask, “How did you do this?”
I tell my story, and tell them how its been to work with Dave [our consultant]. Sometimes I even call Silkin and give them the name and phone number of a colleague I know is struggling. I really want other people to succeed the way we have. We’ve been very lucky and I think it’s important to share that.
I’ve even brought direct competitors in – it doesn’t matter. I know that if they succeed, the industry will do better. I’ve never once had a direct competitor who was also working with Silkin negatively impact my business. In fact, it makes it easier to take vacation – because I know I have another guy in town who can cover for me, and will do it the way I want it done!
Silkin: Makes sense! Well, I know you’ve seen Silkin change and grow too over the years. What can you tell us about how working with our consultants is different now, than it was 15 years ago?
Dr. Peck: Well, for one thing you guys finally went all-virtual. I’ve been hoping for that for a while now. It makes it easier to do the training when we don’t have to travel to Portland.
But also, my relationship with Dave has changed over the years. At first, we needed a lot of guidance – especially in that first year. But now after a decade of training and his coaching, we only meet every month or maybe once a quarter. The tools and skills we learned are being used all the time now, not just by me and my wife but also by the staff – statistics, condition formulas, ARC, etc.
So when Dave and I talk, he’s looking at the bigger picture. And he still sees things I don’t, simply because he’s outside the practice and has that broader perspective. He catches things I missed.
I’ve watched friends who joined Silkin for a year and then left. They always end up coming back because they see my practice keep going up and up, where they struggle. For me, staying in the program was the best decision we ever made.
Silkin: Thank you for sharing that! So, tell me – what is the best thing Silkin has done for you personally?
Dr. Peck: Hm…great question. There are so many things its done for my practice, but me? I think, when I first started out, I really had a scarcity mentality about practice ownership. Silkin helped me change my perspective to an abundance mentality. It gave me the faith that I can accomplish any personal or professional goals, and gave me the tools to make it happen.
One of my favorite things about Silkin is that you don’t have cookie-cutter goals. You don’t say, “Here’s where you should want to get to.”
Instead, I am always asked, “Where do I want to get to?” And then Dave helps me see how to make it happen.
Another thing is that working with Silkin has shown me how I can make smart investments in other areas, so I’m not completely reliant on the practice for my income. And now I’m hiring an associate so I can be gone and the practice will still function fully.
Silkin: If you could mentor a new Silkin client, what advice would you give them for getting the most out of their first year of consulting?
Dr. Peck: Don’t run faster than you have strength to run. Just implement as you go along, and always call and ask questions of your consultant – you don’t have to wait for the next scheduled meeting.
It doesn’t matter what the problem is: employee problems, cash flow problems, growth problems, etc. Don’t get discouraged when you hit barriers – just remember you aren’t alone now. Also, you have to realize that you’re changing behavior patterns in your practice, and that is a long-game. Keep working at it, and you can achieve pretty much any goal.
My last tip: get your spouse onboard with doing Silkin as quickly as possible. Angie was a big part of implementing everything we learned at Silkin and I know it wouldn’t have been possible to do what we’ve done without her support.
Silkin: Great tips! Thank you so much Dr. Peck for joining us today.
“Silkin helped me change my perspective to an abundance mentality. It gave me the faith that I can accomplish any personal or professional goals, and gave me the tools to make it happen.” – Dr. Sheldon Peck