I didn’t always imagine myself as an author, and yet here I am. I have written two books, ‘Why Not Smile?’ and ‘Why Not Financial Freedom? Getting Off the Treadmill’. And now, (you heard it here first!) a third book is in the works, ‘Success Habits of High Achievers’. For this one, I am writing a chapter in a collaborative book about my personal journey to success and what success means to me. The book is being put together by Kyle Wilson and a collection of truly sensational human beings with equally compelling narratives and ‘secrets’ of success.

In fact, I am heading to Dallas this week to meet with Kyle’s mastermind group and work on my book chapter.


Why Am I Talking About Writing a Book?

So, why am I telling you all this? Well, I’ll start by saying that writing a WHOLE chapter about how successful and accomplished you are is HARD. Plus, it doesn’t come all too naturally. I mean, have you ever sat down and tried to list your accomplishments or things you’re proud of?

For me, I kind of hit a wall. What have I accomplished?

Luckily, Kyle’s team had all the right resources and exercises to pull my chapter out and start developing my storyline.

We started with an in-depth questionnaire that covered:

  • what my core business is
  • some goals for writing my chapter
  • my career background (and retiring from the medical practice)
  • my philanthropic projects
  • words of advice I’ve received throughout life
  • and my definition of success

Needless to say, it was an extensive questionnaire. And it pulled a lot out of me that I wouldn’t have otherwise known how to put into words. Some of these questions might be easy for you to answer, but for me they were tricky.

Here are a couple examples:

  • Describe a few of your major significant emotional experiences
  • What would you do a TED Talk on?
  • Thinking back to a major obstacle you’ve overcome, what piece of advice would you give to your past self?


If you’re interested in more of what the questionnaire included, let me know.


Introspection is harder than it seems

The other exercise included a spreadsheet that helped me map out my strengths and weaknesses. This was an equally introspective task that required me to look what what I’m doing and ask, “Am I doing the right things? And, am I doing them for the right reasons?”

The process was deeply meaningful and impactful in a variety of ways. It forced me to hit the ‘pause’ button and take a closer look at myself and my trajectory as I continue to move forward through life and work. As you start to age, you realize there isn’t as much time left as there used to be.

A close friend recently remarked, ‘Ross, you don’t have a lot of runway left. There’s more behind you than in front of you’. A great analogy for a pilot – if you’re going to do something, you just have to get it off the ground and in the air.


Give Credit Where Credit is Due

What I learned in all of this is that it’s easy to downplay yourself and a lot harder to give yourself credit where credit is due. I struggled to list my accomplishments and it wasn’t until Kyle’s team member started poking and prodding that I realized I’ve accomplished many things. For starters, I completed college and dental school, and was among just 12 Kansas students accepted to dental school at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, MO. That was a BIG DEAL to me and my family! I was a competitive student and advanced into the orthodontics program, a highly prestigious specialty.

Unlike a lot of dentists, I also served 12 years in the military where I rode around in helicopters and armored personnel carriers, spent weeks at a time in field exercises, and repelled down more surfaces than I can count. That’s nothing to scoff at and I owe it to myself to celebrate my life’s accomplishments.

After over 20 years of setting up, growing and operating a private practice (all from scratch!), I now find myself in an entirely new field, which I have steadily segwayed into over the past several years. SAO is still a relatively new business, and in the past years I’ve been lucky enough to grow and expand and share my story with YOU! If you’d asked me before writing this book chapter if I considered that an ‘accomplishment’ I probably would’ve said ‘no’.


Everyone is an Inspiration

Luckily, I see it differently now, through new eyes. I want to encourage you to do the same. That doesn’t mean you have to write a book or even a book chapter. But take a step back, look at your life, give credit where credit is due, give yourself a pat on the back and use that momentum to figure out what you want to do with the time you have left. However, writing a book about the lessons you’ve learned is a great place to start the thinking process!

Keep an eye out for ‘Success Habits of High Achievers where I’ll go into more depth on things I’m doing to reach my version of success, from the big picture items to small, daily habits.

Thanks for reading!

In the meantime, if you are also retiring from a daily healthcare practice, or any field, and are interested in passive income, reach out to us here. When you’re ready, we’re here.


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Have You Ever Thought About Writing A Book?
Everyone is an inspiration, and writing a book about our lives and the lessons we've learned makes it concrete. I hope this inspires you to write your own.