We have been watching Shannon Love, the Office Manager at Castlebury Dental for years now and knew that she needed to be highlighted in our Women In Business series. Shannon has helped take the dental and orthodontia practice to levels they themselves weren't even expecting. She is superb at what she does and inspires those that work around her to reach a little bit higher and achieve seemingly limitless goals.
We sat down with Shannon inside Castlebury Dental's consultation room and asked her some questions in hopes to reveal how she has become the person she is today. It's always fascinating to hear someone's life story and equally refreshing to hear of their struggles that are just as common as everyone else's. It can be very tempting to envision a perfect life for those that you only known professionally. And, for that reason, we feel it's increasingly important to get to know those we work with on a more human, and realistic way.
It’s also worth noting, that Shannon is one of the warmest people we get to work with on a consistent basis. In every conversation, she always asks how we are, how our business is doing and what’s new. She is excited for others accomplishments and is as genuine as they come.
We sincerely hope we were able to capture her warmth in this interview and if you are looking for a dental practice in the Boise, Eagle and Meridian location, Castlebury Dental has a way of making going to the dentist more than a bi-monthly, dreaded chore.
Let's start at the beginning; what were you like in High School and how do you feel about it now?
Pretty outgoing. When I look back; where I probably got the experience to work with a lot of people was from cheerleading. I don’t think I knew what I wanted to do the entire time during high school, but I did once I started going to Boise State. I actually tried to do respiratory therapy. I have a twin sister who was doing nursing. We started doing clinicals at the same time, and I thought “Nope,” I’m out. *laughs*
What did you imagine your life becoming after graduating from Academia?
Not a true picture! *Laughs*. I wanted the typical “Get married, have children, have a job.” I knew I always wanted to work, whether it was part-time or full-time, and also raise kids. I knew I didn’t want to stay home full-time. I wanted to do something away from the clinical field and be able to make a difference. Help grow a practice. I wanted to see change and see a result. That was my goal.
How did you end up in Boise?
I grew up in Burley, a small town two and a half hours away. I chose to go to Boise State and then...
And then it just stuck?
Yeah! It’s not too big. It’s not too small. There’s diversity. We’ve lived somewhere else, and we came back just because of the comfort of Boise. You always hear “Everyone in Boise is so nice!” and it’s true, there are just so many nice people here.
What was your motivation to get involved with this kind of business?
I worked at a large group practice managing and saw what it could become in a big practice, and what it took. Dr. Brown and I met at that practice, he was an associate doctor, and he always had a vision of building his own practice. Because of contract stuff, when he did leave, I didn’t go with him. But we stayed in contact. It was kind of always the plan that I would go with him and help him build his business.
Once he got kind of “established”, I mean... We just reviewed stats and it’s grown 82% in the last four years, which is crazy! I knew I wanted to be a part of it. It’s a different sort of practice. We tour every new patient, we gift every new patient, I’ve had more training in the last four years than I did the previous nine at my last practice. Just to set ourselves apart, it’s all about the patient. I knew I wanted to work with him and see what we could do. We’ve got some big, hefty goals - We just plotted out the “10-year- goals” of what we want it to look like - and I just remember thinking, “Oh my gosh. Can I do that?” But then we look back and we just had our best year ever.
As a young adult first breaking into your career, what fears did you experience? What did you do to combat these worries?
I think the biggest thing is not being taken seriously. Where you are in contact with people who are older than you, that’s huge. What I realized is that you have to respect them and create good connections with vendors and companies, because ultimately your reputation is what you have. Being honest, being kind, the basic “people things” - you need them to be successful. I think the biggest thing is not being taken seriously and people thinking, “I don’t know if she knows what she’s talking about. Is she smart? Does she know what she’s saying?” I think everybody pre-judges people, it’s very easy to do.
Just say what you’re gonna say, do what you’re gonna do, and follow through with it.
What's your next big goal? Where would you like to see yourself in the coming years?
I’d like to see myself here managing the practice. We want to take it ten times bigger. Whether that’s another location or something else. We talk about goals - we have an impact-diagram here where if we are doing great things, it affects our families and patients and vendors. As we grow, all of those things grow.
It’s kinda silly, but I want to get my crossfit certification! I’ve been doing it a few years and would love to be able to get the level-one and be able to teach a class. I’d also like to make an impact on the staff. We’ve got a few people we’ve hired from coffee shops. We’ve trained them and, whether or not they stay here, they’ve gone on to advancements in the dental community.
Most companies want to retain them, and of course we would love to keep them, but if I can impact more people and teach them and help them grow, that’s the role that I would like to play.
Everyone has had a few blunders. Sometimes more than a few. How did you overcome a failure in the past?
I think working with doctors can be complicated. One of the blunders is following through with their expectations. They may not communicate how others communicate. They are more clinical minded, more fact-minded. They want the facts. I tend to give them the fluff around the facts as well. I’ve learned that being direct is one thing I’ve had to work on with staff and doctors. Better communication, definitely.
Do you have any advice on balancing work and non-work life?
We schedule out! One thing I’ve learned is from the training we do here. I practice it here but also outside of the office. My husband and I schedule out a whole year. That can be defeating, but at the start of the year, usually around Christmas, we sit down and plan a vacation for him and I. We plan a family vacation. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing. Though this year we are going to Cabo. *laughs* Small things like taking the kids camping, you know... I plan out personal days. I’ve switched up my schedule where I can get more stuff done on Monday rather than on Friday. So now I work Tuesday through Friday. That way I can have Monday where I can be focused and set myself up for the week.
I’d say schedule it out. Schedule out your personal time. It’s so much different than scheduling out your work days. It’s really worked, too. It used to be where I would get to June and realize “I haven’t had a day off!” and feel like I’m missing stuff. I also volunteer on Mondays at school, so that makes me feel like I still participate.
In your non-work time, what do you like to do?
My husband and I built a gym in our garage. It’s fun! You know, sometimes you don’t have a babysitter, right? We go to the “Y”, we’ve done some spartan races with friends. That’s what we do - train for events like that.
My boys are 12 and 6. One of my boys does baseball and signed up for swim team. My youngest just signed up swim team too. It’s been fun. One thing that I’ve learned is when you grow up in a small town, you have more access to do a lot of things because everybody gets to participate. Where here, it’s not like that. The schools are very competitive. If I can teach them one thing, it’s to have outside interests. Don’t have friends fill your self esteem or build you up. If you take care of yourself and your body, then your mind follows. I’d also like to implement a wellness program here at the practice. If your employees are happy, they make the patients happy. It’s huge. You have to build yourself up, you have to take care of yourself.
What women do you look up to?
Actually, Candice from Bodybuilding.com, their marketing director. I know social media can give false illusions, but she posts about something every day, whether professional or personal, that she’s working on! And I think that’s so important. You have to set goals. You know that quote, “If you don’t set goals, it’s just a wish”? If you don’t set goals, there’s no path to follow.
Also, my mom. She raised four of us on her own. She worked full time, but she was always at school events and never missed anything. There was four of us across five years. My sister and I did cheerleading, my older brother played football, my younger brother did tennis… We were always doing something but she always made us feel important. I think when you’re looking for a role model, you don’t want to see the negative. But you need to see that they’re putting in the work.
It doesn’t just “happen.” It’s not all fun. Sometimes it’s “I’m so stressed out, there’s so much going on,” I think anybody that I look up to - you see the journey. You don’t just see the end result. If you do, it’s an illusion.
Bringing it back to where we began; if you had to write a letter to your 18-year- old self, what would you tell her?
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Nobody’s perfect. You’re gonna make mistakes! But you gotta believe in yourself! Nobody else is going to make you truly happy, so don’t be so hard on yourself. Whether it’s grades or relationships or how you take care of yourself, just don’t be hard on yourself. Be patient.
interview done by Taylor Hawkins: SEO Analysis & Expert at WebMarkets, Internet Marketing
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