Sunday, April 30, 2006

Post surgery report

It has been one year since they put in the rod and made my femur 3/4" longer. It has been hard, but it definately made things better. Maybe I'll be less of a criple when I get to be an old man. Last Tuesday I went in for surgery and they took the rod and the four screws out of my leg. It was an out-patient surgery and I was even able to walk a few steps later that day. So much easier than last years surgery. I will be pretty sore and limping for a few weeks, but at least I can walk. The surgery wasn't quite as easy as expected. For some reason the physician who placed the rod didn't put an end cap on it. That left some threads for the bone to grow into. It took the other physician an hour to remove all that growth around the threads to remove the rod. Once he did that it took two minutes to get the rod out. When I go for my postop visit next week I get to take the rod home. That will be interesting. Now I just have to survive on narcotics and help from Marisa until I the swelling and soreness goes down enough to get around normally. :)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Opening my office

There have been so many ups and downs that it has been hard to remember who I have told what. Many people have been graciously interested in how it's been progressing so I will post it here.

I started getting everything in motion for setting up my own scratch startup office. I interviewed at least 3-4 people for each position on my support team (lease negotiator, office designer, supplier, lawyer, attorney, construction, consultant, marketing, etc, etc...) After interviewing each one I chose who I wanted and had the terrible task of telling the rest that I wasn't going to use them :(

I also spent many hours on reading the stories of others that had done the same, comparing things like pro-formas, equipment lists, marketing strategies, etc. I feel like I had a crash course in a dental MBA. I don't know how I could have done this if I would have tried a few years ago before this dental web forum existed. My obsessive/compulsive disorder makes me research all these options to a T before making a decision.

I used all the demographic information I could get my hands on to find a location that had a good socio-economic status, growth potential and youg demographics to fit my ideal plan for office location and reviewing a city planning consultant group's findings on the area. I finally came to a decision on locating my startup in a development called Snoqualmie Ridge within the Snoqualmie City limits. I was very excited about this.

This location only had two current retail locations that I could put my office. I prayed and pondered a lot over which location to go with. One had great visibility, but was expensive. The other was the oposite. In the end I felt fairly strongly prompted to choose the lesser visible location. After spending a few months working on the contract w/ my lease negotiator we came down to signing week. Just at that time the landlord backed out of the deal. I was devastaded! I couldn't believe what had happened. I felt like a teenager that had just been dumped by a very hot girlfriend. I couldn't understand why I had felt prompted to go with that place only to have it fall through. I figured that I just wasn't good at differentiating between the spirit and my own thoughts. I lost confidence in my ability to receive any form of spiritual guidance on important decisions.

After being pretty depressed for a couple of weeks I felt like I should go take a trip around the city and look for any new retail locations. The city won't allow any new construction of retail, just residential so I would have to find a lease that had become available. I called and harassed one landlord about any other locations that he might be aware of. He said, "you really want to be here don't you?" I said of course and he gave me a number to call and hung up. I called the number and got a call back a day later. The guy said that a home finding center (the focal point of the whole development) was going to be converted into a gas station (the only on in the area for about a 7 mile radius) and have two 2000 ft2 building built next to it. He would like it if I leased one of them!

I couldn't believe it. This would be a perfect 10 on a scale of leasable locations. I suddenly understood why I was prompted to go for the location that fell through. If I had gone for the other I would have probably signed and missed this opportunity. By going for the one that I did, it held me over until this location came available. We just have to wait a couple months for city approval and then construction will start after that. I am about a year out from being able to open my own doors and will have to be patient, but this will definately be worth it.

Last week I went to lunch with a local orthodontist. He called me the next day and said that he would like to open a satellite office on the second floor above where I put my office if I felt comfortable with that. That would be a huge benefit for me. This keeps getting better and better. I now feel bad for doubting what I felt prompted to do and know that I have recieved help to make this all occur.

Very exciting, but now I will have to patiently wait a few months before I can get going again. Long post, but I got it all down. Thanks to everyone's support. BTW, another good thing happened with all this. I interviewed three companies for my lease negotiator. They all had different benefits that I couldn't decide on who to use. I felt prompted to choose the one I did. Their cost was in the middle of the other two, but the big benefit is that they work with me until I sign a contract. If I had gone with the other two and the lease fell through like it did then I would have had to pay them again for the current lease. They ended up being cheaper and better in the long run!