Standing On the Shoulder of Giants

In business, as in life, many people desire greater success, and most usually have to work their way through trial and error in order to achieve that success. For some, it takes them a lifetime to achieve their goals.

In this blog, I'll share with you what I’ve learned that allows me to reach my career goals and still have time for my family.

When I look back at my milestones, I realize that the chances of me achieving success was lower than most people in my field. I grew up in a poor family, English is my second language, and I didn't have much guidance growing up. I was the first one in my family to graduate from college, and then attended dental school and became a dentist in 2008.

In looking back at my career, there are two powerful things that helped me tremendously. One was having the right mindset. The second factor was having great mentors and coaches. I believe that the best way to accelerate your success is to learn from people who have successfully done what you're trying to achieve. That way, you won't have to go through trial and error that, at best, delays you, and at worst will set you back in your career.

Isaac Newton once said, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." The giants are your mentors, coaches, or people that have the knowledge or experience that you can learn from.

When you learn from great mentors or coaches, you minimize the trial and error by applying their proven strategies or techniques to get the desired results more predictably and quickly. That way, you not only save time but also reduce stress and frustration.

Now, not all mentors and coaches are the same.

Great mentors need to have real business experience and success, supported with personal integrity. They have to be willing to teach and not reluctant to pass on their knowledge. In addition, they should sincerely care about your personal and professional development and success.

When I graduated from dental school in 2008, I thought that if other dentists could own a dental practice, then I could too. So a few months after my graduation, I decided to partner up with one of my classmates from dental school and bought a practice. And a couple of months later, we started our second dental practice in a nearby city.

We did that because we didn't know what we didn't know. Neither of us knew how to run a dental practice. So we struggled for two years, trying to grow our two practices. During that time, we were often in debt and broke.

After the second year, we figured out the marketing strategies for the first practice and started to work with Dr. Michael Abernathy and Max Gotcher, the founders of Summit Practice Solutions. With their mentorship, we implemented their proven systems into our practices and cut down years of trial and error. After that, our businesses went vertical and have continued to grow ever since. We were able to pay off all our debts and became debt-free a few years later.

When you have the right mentor, all you need is to have the right mindset to learn and take action. Remember, you can only get results by taking action; nothing else works. Most people learn from books and mentors but rarely implement what they learn. Make sure you are not one of them.

When you stand on the shoulder of giants, you don't have to reinvent the wheel to gain what you're trying to achieve. Success leaves a trail everywhere in life. Most successful people usually have a success blueprint and a wealth of knowledge that you can learn from. By applying what works in your business, you can have exponential success instead of simply linear. That's the best way to accelerate your success. I believe that when you are financially independent, you will have more options in life to do what you love, and you will have more time to spend with your family.

Author: Nathan Ho, DDS

Dr. Nathan Ho is a practice owner, a serial entrepreneur, and a real estate investor. To get in touch with Dr. Nathan Ho, please send your email to