I came to Katherine to develop leadership skills to grow my dental practice. I had tried hard over the years to create a fee-for-service niche practice for people with a fear of the dentist. While I had built the practice of my dreams, the investment left me deeply in debt.

My business came to a crisis point halfway through my work with Katherine when I realized that we were losing at least seven thousand dollars a month. My credit card was maxed, and I didn’t know where the next payroll was coming from. I realized that the longer I stayed open, the more money I would lose.

I kept saying to Katherine that the success of my practice was a “life or death” situation. Katherine gently called my attention to my words and asked what I meant. This reflection made me question my belief. Once I saw that this was a story I created, I was no longer frozen or blinded by fear.

I used to feel that I had to work harder to make things happen, but Katherine showed me that being present, pausing, taking a step back and observing— rather than reflexively “doing” something— was transformational. Learning to slow down and respond, rather than react automatically, allowed me to avoid panic and to choose the best path at each point along the journey. I feel very proud of how I managed the urgent closing of my twenty-three-year-old business and reinvented my life.

My work with Katherine gave me the space to imagine and trust that there could be something different that would be even better, as opposed to just slogging down the same trail pulling the weight behind me forever. And it was true!

Soon after I decided to close the practice and declare bankruptcy, I negotiated a great salary at a new office, working two days a week. I am making more now than I ever made in private practice, doing the part I love best— taking care of patients.

Now that my free time is truly mine, I am exploring areas of interest that bring me great joy, spending more time with friends and family, and have released twenty-five pounds. As I set goals for myself over the last few years, the word “freedom” kept coming up. My goal was freedom, and now I have more freedom than I’ve ever had. My goal was to have ease, and I have more ease than ever before.

This has been the most surprising and amazing journey. I went from thinking “Oh my God! My life is over. I’m losing my practice and declaring bankruptcy. We’re never going to recover.” I never would have predicted that by my worst case scenario, the thing I feared most, actually happening, that I would end up way better off, financially, personally, and spiritually.

If you don’t like where you are right now, please know that what you fear most might be your path to new opportunities. It will take courage, but you will discover things you didn’t think were possible. The experience of losing my business has been transformational in the most positive way possible: I have reclaimed my joy.

Sue – Dentist


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