The ForbesBooks Author Who Brought Eco-Chic Dentistry to San Francisco
Born in her family’s living room in India, in a village consisting of only eight houses, Dr. Namrata Patel came from humble beginnings. At just five years old, her family made the move to the United States, which brought a rainbow of new challenges. Facing cultural assimilation, the move forced Dr. Patel to figure out who she was as a person and seek out guidance that could inform her career path. “As a child, I thought it was challenging, but in hindsight I realized the skillsets I developed were [based in] self reliance,” she explains. “Things don’t always go exactly as we anticipate, but it’s our job to figure how to best maneuver and fix the situation.” And she did.
Dr. Patel eventually turned her focus to dentistry. After turning down several “drill and fill” dental positions, Patel began working to achieve her dream of building a green dental practice—quite literally from the ground up—at the ripe age of 25. She sought to build a practice that provided outstanding patient care, while remaining mindful of the environment. Green Dentistry was founded in 2005, the first dental practice of its kind in San Francisco. The techniques and materials used in her dental care services were not only safe, but the building materials and furnishings were chosen with care, too. Thoroughly committed to providing a stellar patient experience, she arranged for Green Dentistry to offer spa amenities, such as aromatherapy to help patients relax, cozy up in a warm blanket, and listen to music while wearing noise-cancelling headphones.
In as little as nine months, Green Dentistry, and Dr. Patel’s dream, blossomed into a million-dollar business. Without any financial assistance, she was able to reach her goal, simply by keeping her eye on the ball. This demanded 16-hour days at the practice to learn everything she didn’t know prior, such as billing and follow-ups. After their first year in business, she saw 25 to 30% growth each succeeding year. “I was committed and I had the passion and the drive. I would do whatever it took to take my practice and get it to a certain level,” she says. “I’m not interested in being ordinary, I’m interested in being extraordinary. I’m interested in being the best. You may call it competitive, so be it, but it’s just not in my DNA to do something that’s subpar.”
Among the reasons her practice has been so successful is the deep and genuine care she shows toward patients. She is committed to helping them achieve optimal results, and it is palpable in her work ethic. “My focus has always been on giving back, purpose, and passion,” Dr. Patel says. “In this day and age, with everything at our fingertips, my [mission] is all about maintaining quality and exchange of energy. I’m always conscious about what I can do to make it better, faster, and easier on my patients.”
“I’m not interested in being ordinary, I’m interested in being extraordinary.”
Building and running her practice has helped Patel grow professionally, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. But the daily demands of entrepreneurship require a great deal of focused mental and physical energy. Consequently, Patel partakes in a ‘Miracle Morning,’ where she meditates for 20 minutes, reads for 20 minutes, and exercises for 20 minutes. These activities provide her with a sense of fulfillment and balance, so she can begin her day feeling full—not empty. “I can handle a lot of things going on because I compartmentalize it and focus on being fully present, on my patient’s needs, and how they’re doing,” she explains.
Of course, starting your own business takes considerable grit and courage. Patel advises other entrepreneurs to focus on solving a unique problem and being service-oriented. She also insists that entrepreneurs need to trust themselves, making it more about a relationship and journey. “In hindsight, 14 years later, I’m realizing ‘Wow, that was a great ride’, I really enjoyed it and I was always supported,” she says. Beyond mere financial gain, founding a business is an immense opportunity for learning and personal growth. “We all want to be rewarded, but we also want to accomplish things that are greater
than us—outside of who we are and what we do. With the establishment of Green Dentistry, Dr. Patel found, planned, and executed her passion. As patients flock back to her practice every day, her story serves as a source of empowerment for others to do the same.
Dr. Patel is the author Aging with Style, released by Advantage|ForbesBooks last year. Her book has served to distinguish her from competitors and elevate clients’ perception of her practice. Learn more about becoming a published author like Dr. Patel, or contact us.