In the business world, don’t go solo


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Link: http://www.fastcompany.com/3038537/how-to-make-new-friends-as-an-adult

While many Americans applaud a can-do attitude, running a small business does tend to isolate entrepreneurs.

It can be lonely in the boardroom. Many hard-working professionals are hunkered down to the task of running their enterprise.

As a result too many business owners miss out on the camaraderie of socializing with other business owners. It’s not just about promoting your business; there’s a lot of valuable insight that can be gleaned from other entrepreneurs. Exchanging tips, passing along local news developments and sharing interesting happenings in their circles of influence all set the stage for a supportive business community.

Face-to-face interactions not only facilitate the sharing of valuable intel, but they also take a relationship to a deeper level of trust. What begins as an exchange of a business card may turn into a close, productive business friendship.

All these positive things that eventually flow from a nascent friendship begin with that first welcoming handshake.

Yes, we’re all busy with our endeavors, but don’t miss out on a valuable opportunity to better grasp the intricate web of connections that hold a business community together. That’s why penning the next scheduled networking event on your calendar is crucial to growing your business and ultimately realizing your professional aspirations.

Copyright (2015): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Aim to make ten new business friendships in 2015


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Face-to-face interactions not only facilitate the sharing of valuable intel, but they also take a relationship to a deeper level of trust. What begins as an exchange of a business card may turn into a close, productive, business friendship.

All these positive things that eventually flow from a nascent friendship begin with that first welcoming handshake.

Yes, we’re all busy with our endeavors, but don’t miss out on a valuable opportunity to better grasp the intricate web of connections that hold a business community together. That’s why penning the next scheduled networking event on your calendar is crucial to growing your business and ultimately realizing your professional aspirations.

Copyright (2015): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited

New research sheds light on child tooth enamel


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Dental professionals are abuzz about an amazing discovery involving prenatal baby-tooth formation.

Incisors grow faster in mid-gestation, erupting at the perfect time to coincide with weaning at six months.

An article in the British Medical Journal, “Boosting length of breastfeeding could save NHS more than 40 million pounds each year,” was published on December 5, 2014.

The research indicates that mothers stop breastfeeding earlier than the ideal weaning time, primarily due to socio-economic factors.

Scientists are excited about this finding, because the discovery may lead to a better understanding of a perplexing developmental oddity: Why do dental problems occur in different ways in different teeth?

With dental caries posing a significant health problem worldwide, premature loss of baby teeth is currently a focus of vigorous research. According to an article in Dentistry Today, scientists would love to unravel this mystery.

Worldwide, there is a focus on ways to prevent premature loss of baby teeth as early dental disease often carries lifetime repercussions. (The original source for the article arose from a study conducted by the Human Osteology Research Lab at the University of Kent’s School of Anthropology and Conservation in the United Kingdom. It appeared in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.)

Copyright (2014): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Shake up your networking routine for 2015


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Stuck behind a desk all day? Too many Americans spend too much time sitting, and that carries serious health repercussions.

Here’s a way to increase your burn rate and your business connections at the same time: Get out of the office and attend that networking meeting!

It’s easy to fall into a daily routine, but the New Year offers a perfect opportunity to forge new friends. Here are a few ways to increase your influence among your peers and connections:

  1. Strike up a conversation.This doesn’t have to be limited to the topic of the meeting. Sometimes amazing connections happen through serendipity. Talk about your last business trip and share a tidbit with someone at the meeting. Perhaps you heard about a new business that just opened. Pass that along to someone else. Maybe you’ll be the catalyst for something new and exciting. It’s a great way to increase your business profile.
  2. Keep that smile power going.When you’ve been glad-handing and making introductions, it can be tiring. The demand of taking note of names, keeping your smile bright and remembering details from your conversations is actually hard work. It puts a strain on your brain to keep track of all those new folks. There are many different tricks for remembering new people and their interests. Keep working at it, and you’ll soon find a memory method that works for you.
  3. Share interesting news.Make it a habit to read every day. Information gleaned from newspapers, business journals and new industry developments add spark to a conversation. Come ready to share business intel with your networking friends. They will appreciate a friendly tip. You’ll soon become known as the go-to person for the latest news in your business sector. Just one caveat: No negative gossip. That goes against the whole spirit of networking.
  4. Reap the benefits of standing. Getting out from behind your desk is a great way to burn calories!Standing instead of sitting bestows a significant health benefit.

Here’s the take-to-heart lesson: Aim to build your connections this year!

Copyright (2014): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Fearless networking grows a business


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Business professionals have two jobs. The first is their occupation. The second is the task of creating and sustaining an ecosystem of connections that nourishes both the soul and the business.

Without both a business will eventually whither from isolation. It’s crucial to stay in circulation with both peers and prospects.

Here’s the cool thing about getting out of the office to go meet and mingle with others. It changes your perspective. When you’re hunkered down in your office day after day, you lose the synergy that comes from exchanging ideas with other business owners. If you don’t get out there and converse with others, you will miss out on friendships and valuable information about what others are up to. Eventually you might even fall prey to discouragement.

If you stay out of circulation long enough, then comes an inward focus that’s anything but productive. You cogitate over problems. That causes you to feel discouraged from all the negative thoughts. Eventually you tell yourself you’re just not up to attending the next meeting. You give a few half-hearted excuses to your fellow networkers.

A few weeks go by and suddenly reality hits you. Your ideas, excitement about your business and even your can-do attitude — all seemed to have disappeared.

It’s time to look around you. Think about the people in your professional life. They need you just as much as you need them!

Pick up the phone and invite another business owner to the next meet-and-greet. Stoke those relationships in 2015. Then watch the magic happen!

Copyright (2014): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Dental practice management: Friend or foe?


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The complexity of interpersonal relationships can confound the most astute dental practice manager.

Building a cohesive team is a challenge in any industry. Left to their own devices — particularly in the presence of a communication vacuum — dental staff members will form alliances. It’s just human nature.

Cultivating a team spirit is a good thing, but make sure the relationships among staff members in your practice are clearly defined.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Left to flesh out their job responsibilities without clearly defined parameters, dental care professionals may create their own rules and form their own work culture.

This is true for any personal service professional, but in dentistry there are particular elements that make building a cohesive team a bit more challenging. It’s all about proximity. Bumping into another person releases stress hormones. The integrity of our personal space is what gives us a sense of comfort and relaxation. It’s a positive factor that balances out those little stresses incurred over the course of the workday.

The nature of dental care requires a team to work in very close proximity. If the hygienist is behind schedule, that rattles the process. If the X-ray technician had a tough time getting children off to the school bus, more stress enters the picture. People under stress tend to lose patience more readily. Upset feelings are contagious.

There is a solution: Investing in team-building exercises can defuse that tension. It’s an easy, preventative step that will contribute to a more relaxed, efficient dental practice where smiles abound!

Copyright (2014): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

iPad app invented by a Japanese father calms child in the dental chair


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Something as simple as a cartoon drawing may help young children and special-needs patients with physical and mental challenges feel more comfortable in the dental chair.

Noritaka Kaneko, a 47-year-old Japanese executive with Saitama IT, created an iPad app that uses visual aids to help children better understand and anticipate dental procedures.

Even with very young children, knowledge is empowering. When patients of tender years are better able to anticipate specific procedures, they suffer less anxiety as do their guardians.

Spurred by a father’s concern, Kaneko not only heads a not-for-profit that provides assistance and support to developmentally challenged children, he also spreads word of his discoveries through presentations at various conferences. A man with a mission, Kaneko has put the spotlight on an urgent problem.

Reducing stress is not just a means to more dental chair turns; it also provides a health benefit to a child. Parents will be more likely to take children in for regular checkups when the atmosphere is calm and relaxed. Since parents are the ones in charge of scheduling appointments, ensuring that their young children feel comfortable visiting the dentist is a huge issue in avoiding an early loss of primary teeth.

Relatively simple investments in providing helpful distractions to younger dental patients reduce interruptions and delays. And in the era of digital apps, Kaneko’s discovery likely will decrease the stress arising from dental procedures.

A calm atmosphere within the dental examination room also ups the odds that a child’s guardian will not dread the next visit. Parents may subconsciously delay the next dental checkup as they remember the stress of a previous visit.

Copyright (2014): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Face-to-face collaborative relationships essential for growing an enterprise


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In a world where digital mice nibble away at our attention all day long, the notion that business professionals should meet in person in a real-time environment seems outdated.

Why expend the energy to get into your car and drive across town to meet with a fellow business owner when you can simply text each other? Or what about email? Isn’t that sufficient to discuss business affairs? Well, actually no, it’s not.

“When you strip away everything else and get to the core of collaboration, the real value is people interacting with information and each other – in real time,” says Harbrinder Kang. He’s the VP of Corporate Social Responsibility for Cisco.

Yet with all the technological advances, face-to-face communication far surpasses any other communication venue in our world today.

Over the last 10 years, the inventiveness of the human mind, as evidenced through great thinkers and inventors, could have dispensed entirely with in-person, face-to-face communication. But we all know that would strip the soul completely out of the process of building a vibrant business network. We need the full data bank of all those sensory-rich experiences that happen when two minds meet face-to-face.

Much of our personal communication is subliminal. We don’t notice it because the process happens without our conscious awareness. That doesn’t mean those interactions aren’t critical to our social and business relationships. They are absolutely necessary to forging enduring business friendships.

The bottom line: Show up in person, and serendipitous relationships could change the trajectory of your business.