Prologue Profiles Episode 015: A 27-Year-Old Dentist Opens His Own Practice

“So who cares if the economy sucks? I’m young in this economy so I’m going to do what I need to do. What am I going to do wait ‘til I’m older for an economy that may or may not come? This is the situation I’m presented with, who cares, I’m still going to move forward and do what I need to do for my betterment.”
Mo Haque, founder of AesthetiCare Denta Practice in Queens

The son of a dentist, Mohammad Haque knew early on that he wanted to use his hands to make a difference in the lives of others. As fate would have it he ended up following in his father’s footsteps.

Three years out of dental school, however, Mo felt the desire to blaze his own path. In the midst of a recession, at only 27 years old, Mo opened up AesthetiCare Dental, his own practice in Queens.

He chatted with Prologue Profiles host Dan Feld to discuss his decision to defy the practical advice offered to him by naysayers, the pressures of going it on your own and the unique joys his career offers him.

It’s been a wild ride for Mo and in the highlights from the interview below you’ll find 5 reasons his journey to opening his own practice has been totally worth it:

Reason 1: The opportunity to radically change someone’s life:

“Drastic changes—they happen more often than you realize…You have people who look 15 years younger, people who weren’t smiling and start smiling again. And these little things actually create a huge difference in their lives, in their confidence, in the way they interact with other people. If you can provide that for somebody, that confidence, that’s essentially the greatest gift you can give.”

Reason 2: Every day is a chance to tackle an age-old phobia:

“People always remind you that they’re afraid of the dentist, constantly. Even when they’ve been seeing you they’re like “Yo I always hated the dentist,” or, “I’m always afraid of the dentist.” And when they tell you that, but then they are still willing to come into the room, smile, sit in your chair, and have you work with them and on them, it’s very gratifying.”

Reason 3: The ultimate opportunity to brush up on your people skills:

“The biggest thing about dentistry is that it’s a very invasive place. Your mouth is very personal. People take it very seriously and it’s not a comfortable place for someone else to be without your permission. So I have to go in there, to people I barely know, and start…diagnosing problems that they have and telling them what they need and more importantly just having my pens physically in there. And people are very uncomfortable with this. So developing a trust between you and another person, so much so that they allow you to sort of invade their personal space…I take that very, very seriously.”

Reason 4: Opening your own practice makes you a boss, literally…which is pretty tough but totally rewarding:

“When you’re working for somebody the salary is there. The income is gonna come your way. As long as you go to work every day, put your time in, that check will come.

When you go dive out on your own, it’s not like that…You’re waiting for customers to come in and refer you to their family and friends. [Going from] knowing where your income is coming from and diving into the unknown and [having to] trust in yourself and the system, in the business—it’s a big change.

[But I have] trust that the business will pick up. And that’s a constant reminder [you have to give] to yourself. And that the work you’re putting in will create fruit any time soon. And it’s one of those things where if you built it they will come. But there’s a lot of unknown in any sort of new situation. And no matter how much you prepare for it, or how hard you work for it, you have to realize that you will never know the result. So you have to have trust in the situation, in yourself, in the economy and everything.”

Reason 5: A smile really is the universal sign for joy:

“I feel like we underestimate how much of our face and our smile we really rely on for our happiness and confidence. If you’re smiling, if you’re interacting with people and they see you in a positive light and you see yourself in a positive light, it infiltrates into like all the parts of your life…If you can provide that for somebody, that confidence, that’s essentially the greatest gift you can give somebody.”

To hear Mo further discuss the risks associated with opening your own business during an economic downturn listen to the full interview below.

If you found this piece inspiring, insightful or enlightening make sure to check out our full catalog of episodes here. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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