DeW Dish–Laura Hatch

As originally published in part in DeW Life Magazine Winter 2020

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What is the best part of your job?

I built my team virtually with professional women who decided to balance their lives by
working from home. Each one of my 14 team members has the most amazing skills to help
serve our clients, yet get the opportunity to drop their kids off at school in the morning and
pick them up at the end of the day. The best part of my job is to offer such a great career to these amazing women that are so dedicated to helping dental team members train and fall in love with our industry of helping people keep their teeth for life. When I meet clients on the road and they tell me how awesome one of my team members is, I just beam with pride.

How do you measure your success?

Happiness and memories are how I measure success. You can’t take money with you at the end of our time here on earth but if your heart is full of love and you are surrounded by those that love you, you are successful. I think that a life full of great memories is the true measure of your success. There is not one person at the end of their life who says that they wished they worked more or regretted the time they spent with the loved ones instead of work.

What obstacles have you overcome in your career?

The biggest obstacle that I have had with Front Office Rocks was getting told that it was not going to work or that I was wasting my time. I knew that our industry was missing a key component with not having good training but there were many, many people early on and still even today that tell me that my concept of online training won’t work. Too many people are stuck in the old way of “this is how it’s done” and “we’ve always done it this way” that I had to learn to not listen to the naysayers and just stick with my guy.

What obstacles have you overcome in your life?

Honestly, divorce has been the biggest obstacle that I have had to overcome. My parents are my role models and have been married over 50 years and I thought when I celebrated my 20 year wedding anniversary that I was all downhill from here. When I got divorced, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt like I had failed and that I was a failure. Learn that divorce does not define me and who I am. I had to learn how to find the true me again and thankfully I am stronger now more than ever.

What do you do to turn around a bad day?

I have a philosophy that I share with people all the time when I am or others are having a bad day. It seems many times when you are having a bad day, that it compounds. One thing turns into another and before you know it, so many things about the day just suck. My philosophy for that is it is better to get it all out of the way in one day. I would rather just have one really crappy day, then go to bed and get a fresh start the next day. I think that the best thing you can do on a crappy day is to just push through, acknowledge that you are getting it all out of the way and then go to bed early. You can then wake up the next day with a totally new fresh perspective.

What “DeW” leaders do?

I don’t think I could have truly answered this question prior to going to the first annual DeW retreat in late 2019. I have had people always tell me that I had something special but I was not really sure what that was and I have known a ton of other women that had something special but could not put my finger on it. However, after being in a room full of DeW leaders all at once, I now get it.

We are all special in our own way and there is not one thing that makes us the same, except for the outflow of abundance. Every woman in that room was filled with the desire to do more each and every day to help others and improve the world around them. And all of this is done completely as their core being. They don’t do it for recognition or thank you. They just do it because if they did not, they could not sleep at night.

Your theme song is playing as you walk on stage. Name that tune!

Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars – my favorite part is, “don’t believe me just watch”. I played this song many times throughout building Front Office Rocks when others told me that it would fail. And I always jump up and dance to Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield. That song has gotten me through many good and bad times in my life.

What is your dream vacation?

I love to travel. I have been to over 20 countries and feel like I am just getting started.
Therefore, my dream vacation would be to buy one of those plane tickets where you can fly
completely around the world. I would love to just take 6 months or a year off and just explore the world.

How do you take your coffee?

Before I got into dentistry, I was an outside salesperson for a trucking company. I spent hours upon hours in trucking terminals and truck stops, well before Starbucks was a thing.
Therefore, my need for good or fancy coffee was squashed before it became a thing. I am a
black coffee kind of girl and honestly, the stronger, the better.

What is the best gift you ever gave?

Rocks to my daughter for her wedding. My daughter got married a little over a year ago and they just wanted to exchange vows outside in the dirt on a cliff over the ocean. I begged her to let me do some things to make it more “wedding like” and she agreed. I did just a few things, like a white runner to walk down, a speaker to play music, table with coffee for the guests but the biggest effort thing that I did was go collect large rocks so that we could line the path she walked down on her entrance walk to the wedding. Luckily, I have the most amazing guy in my life that supported me in going out and collecting tons and tons of rocks and then putting them down both sides of the path the night before her wedding.

My daughter had the most beautiful wedding and to this day, as much as she did not want it beforehand, she thanks me for what I did to make her wedding beautiful. Funny ending to this story is at the end, I told the guests that it was good luck to throw rocks into the ocean and make as many wishes as you could for the bride and groom. After a couple of minutes of throwing rocks into the ocean, I got challenged by the groom’s brother that this was a made-up tradition and I really just wanted help cleaning the rocks up. I guess two birds with one stone works here?

What is your motto?

If it is not fun, don’t do it. There are two parts to this motto for me too. First is that if
something is not fun, then maybe you are doing the wrong thing. Too many people do things that they don’t like and then complain about it. If you are not having fun with something, you can make the choice to do something else. The second part of this is that if it is not fun, maybe it is your attitude. You can make anything fun with the right attitude.

What scares you the most?

I witnessed my children roll 3 times in a car accident on the highway right in front of me 2
years ago. I ran up to the car they were in while it was upside down, not knowing what I
would find inside. Thankfully they were all ok – PSA announcement – seatbelts saved their
lives. However, my biggest fear now is that someone I love will be in a car accident again. I
think that because I saw it happen, it is stuck in my head and that thought scares the crap out of me.

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Laura Hatch has committed years of study to learning how to manage and empower team members and partnered with her husband to build and manage two fee for-service dental practices. Twelve years later, she founded Front Office Rocks, which offers web-based, on-demand front office training for dental practices. As the leading authority on virtual dental front office training, Laura helps dental professionals who want to be better at what they do gain the training they need through online video courses, live seminars and coaching. Laura has been published in Dental Assisting Digest, Dentaltown, and Dentistry IQ. She is also a fellow of the American Association of Dental Office Managers, a national and international speaker on dental practice management for leading dental authorities, state and local dental societies, study clubs, and an advisor to several companies within the dental community. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and the Speaking Consulting Network. Laura was recognized as one of DPR’s Top 25 Women in Dentistry in 2016. When Laura isn’t managing at the practice, you can find her on Dentaltown or in her own “Ask Laura” forum, where she responds to dental team members’ questions and shares her experience and expertise as a dental office manager.

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