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Keys to My Success (February 2016) << Back
by Roger M. Yamashiro, DDS
What does it take to run, have, and continue a successful business?  If I had all the answers to that, I would be retired by now. . .  I do know a little of what I have done to help me succeed, so hopefully I can shed a few of my views on that:
1. First and foremost is passion and enjoyment in what you do.  It doesn’t matter what your occupation is, if you don’t love what you do, change as soon as you can.  There is a Chinese proverb that goes something like this: “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”.  That’s how I feel about my profession of dentistry.  I really enjoy every aspect of it.  Even the challenging ones.  Those are the ones that really help you to grow and mature.  Many believe you cannot become monetarily rich by doing all jobs.  My motto on that is: “Do what you love and the money will come”.  You will come up with innovative ideas to create wealth in your life as long as you are doing what you love and are passionate about and having fun too.
2. Work hard.  I learned this from my father.  He himself was a very successful Life Insurance Salesman.  Working hard does not mean burning yourself out by working too much, but pay your dues and do what you need to succeed.  “Hard work never hurt anyone”.
3. Surround yourself with people who complement you.  People who can do things well that you cannot and also will support you through the tough times.  My wife has been a big support and drive for my success and I am forever grateful to her.  I am also so fortunate to have such a special team of employees around me that complement and support me.  Most of my employees have been with me for 15 years or more.  Some as long as 25 years.  Even more amazing is that I have known a few of my staff for 35 years or more.  I know for a fact that I would not be successful to the extent that I am without the staff that I presently have and have had in the past.  The way we all work together synergistically is what creates such a special atmosphere in the office, it is ‘magical’.  “The sum of everyone working together, produces an exponentially greater effect than the individuals by themselves”.
4. Have the support of ancillary services and staff that are also there when you require their assistance.  One of these is Insurance.  I am fortunate to have AHTKY Insurance as well as their off shoot 360 Alliance in my corner.  I have known Dean Tofukuji almost my whole life having grown up next door to him.  Tak Yoshikawa and I competed at many judo tournaments growing up together.  My agent, Eric Koyanagi, is like extended family to me.  He takes care of me and makes sure I am always taken care of in the way of coverage for my office as well as personally.  I have had my CPA, Tom Okada, for my entire career as a dentist.  He stays on top of my finances, taxes, and expenses and has given me direction and guidance in many financial dilemmas that have arisen.  The Dental Specialists (Orthodontists, Periodontists, Oral Surgeons, Endodontists), Lab Technicians, dental supply companies I use all play a part in how our business runs and stays successful.  Create incredible relationships with these types of people.  “It is the people that make the world go ‘round”.
5. Continue to learn!  I have had the support of many successful dentists and business owners that have mentored me in many ways.  Sit down with these people, pick their brain, learn from them.  They have an abundance of knowledge and more so, experience, not found in books or on the internet.  You can have all the knowledge and book smarts in the world, but when you back that with decades of experiences that you have encountered, that is true wisdom.  “There is nothing better than experience”.
6. And lastly, do something new every year to make your “work” more exciting and interesting.  Change the way your work place looks, do something differently, learn a new skill you can use in your business that will help your patients or clients and this will generate and perpetuate that spark and love for what you do.  “Change is inevitable, embrace and welcome it”.
Hopefully a few of these “gems” that I have learned over the years from my mentors and experience will help you be more successful and find some happiness, balance, and peace in your life.  And if you have the knowledge and experience, pass it on to our future generations to make our community, state, and world a better place to live.
Thank you AHTKY for featuring me and for those of you reading this for your time.
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