Co-founders of Smile Co and Dental Authority Marketing Dr. Nate Jeal and Dr. Bao-Tran Nguyen have had a meteoric rise to success in dentistry. The ability to outwork their competition has consistently separated them from the rest, but even the most dedicated business owners experience their fair share of failures.

After running several successful dental practices, it may have seemed logical for Jeal and Nguyen to rest, but as natural risk-takers with a hunger for expansion, resting didn’t seem like an option. “As natural risk-takers with skills that complement one another, we harnessed our inner quick start, taking the plunge into multiple practice ownership,” said Jeal and Nguyen.

Today, the two own and operate three high-performing dental practices, with a fourth set to open in the near future and three others successfully transitioned in the past few years. They have also started a dental consulting group known as Dental Authority Marketing, participated in early-stage development for a call center, written a book, and have led and presented seminars from coast to coast with materials developed and tested in their own businesses. 

When growing so many different projects into successful endeavors, some degree of failure is inevitable. Many entrepreneurs fear failure, but Jeal and Nguyen view it as a necessary experience on the path to success. 

These entrepreneurial powerhouses believe accepting risk and embracing failure are the two most important challenges every entrepreneur must overcome. “Risk is simply a part of the game and the old cliche that states ‘no risk, no reward’ is as true, if not more true, today than ever. Failure, too, is a part of growing and should be considered the ‘cost of tuition’ for an education in real life,” said Jeal and Nguyen.

Jeal and Nguyen pride themselves on their ability to always find a silver lining in their failures, learn, and move forward. They have mastered the difficult task of persisting in the face of adversity.

“We try and fail, learn, and try again. When you believe in what you do and come from a place of authenticity, refusing to accept permanent failure as an option, it becomes much easier to weather the pressures and short term tough times,” said Jeal and Nguyen.

The greatest challenge is continuing to move forward after losing a valued employee. 

“The people who never find a real work home are easy to forget, but it’s painful when someone close and who has been effective on the job ends a relationship,” said the dentistry duo.

A key component needed to deal with risk in failure is a positive mindset, something that Jeal and Nguyen cannot stress enough.

“Mindset is everything in dental practice as an entrepreneur and in business. It’s the spine and bone structure that holds all the soft, squishy bits together,” they said.

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