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Winner of Nifty Awards 2023 “R.D.H. Influencer” – Elijah Desmond, RDH

Articles, Nifty Awards

Dr. Villanueva:
When you scale a business of this size, to maintain that balance you need to always put your family first. I make no apologies for it. I encourage my partners to do the same, too.

Whenever we have these conversations about partnership, I tell my partners their loyalties are with their family, so whatever decision they make operationally, personally, or financially, family has to come first. So, I never adopted the idea that you have to have a division between work and life.

Dr. Vo:
The owner meetings are one of the coolest events. All the owners get together to network and grow together. How does it make you feel to be a part of something to where all these owners and all these dentists can now also elevate and level up with you? How does that make you feel to give people that opportunity?

Dr. Villanueva:
I’m extremely proud. It gives me purpose. I mean, building a big business that is very profitable is an accomplishment. But it’s not one that provides too much purpose. However, when you see the effect you have on people and your given talents have a positive effect on people and their families, that drives me to continue to do what I do. So those are very humbling events.

Dr. Vo:
Before you go, I want to know how do you feel about the state of dentistry and what advice you would give to newer dental entrepreneurs.

Dr. Villanueva:
I am more optimistic than ever about dentistry. Dentists have more options than ever, which in a free market system like we have, allows the best models to win out and maintain a strong industry. That’s really encouraging to me.

In terms of dental entrepreneurs, I’d encourage them to be as intentional about big picture strategy and mentorship as many people are with task lists. I’m very intentional about the time that I allocate to strategy. Sometimes that’s overlooked.

People develop this idea that you have to be a constantly working or hustling and allocating specific minutes of your day to do certain specific tasks. That never worked for me. Much more important to me is making sure I allocate time with my executive team and my leadership team to think about strategy, think about the headwinds and future challenges, and really think through the permutations of how we would address those. I think that’s a really big contributor to our success and I would highly recommend all entrepreneurs not overlook strategic thinking time and time for connecting with big picture advisors.

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