Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Karen Kemp-Prosterman, Founder / PGP Dental Consultancy, located in Stamford, CT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
PGP Dental consultancy is a Dental Educational Service that I started in 2020. The mission of the business is centered on supporting careers in the dental field. The company focus is twofold: 1) supporting busy dental providers who have made the decision to transition to Dental Specialties advanced educational training and 2) supporting both individuals and businesses in expanding and enhancing careers in dental education and awareness of dental healthcare.
Tell us about yourself
As a past program director and faculty in pediatric dental residency programs, it has been my passion to work with others in pursuit of advancing their dental careers, specifically in pediatric dentistry. While I love being a practicing provider, the urge to mentor and help dental candidates create a strong and compelling application never went away. I saw the difficulty encountered by dentists making this transition after practicing for several years.
The resources to guide them in the process were and still are very different from those provided while in dental school. But from past experience, I often found that those practitioners were some of the most memorable residents for me, and I was happy to have played an integral part in helping their dream come true. This led me to create my own business in 2020. In 2022, I made the commitment to explore entrepreneurship with even more intent and devotion. This resulted in me working full-time as a dental consultant and coach.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a new business owner, there is much I am learning about myself and the business world every day. My biggest accomplishment thus far has been the ability to reimagine my business in a broader way, embracing my background in dental education and focusing on that as a resource for other businesses building their services in dental education. Being able to adjust from the initial vision to a more expansive view of what my business could be, reinforced that my vision is truly my own and whatever I want it to be.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I am learning that keeping momentum is key as a business owner. Not having the end result you desire can derail your confidence and contribute to you feeling stuck. Learning to be patient with me and the goals I have set has been both challenging and educational in understanding my limits.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Top 3 in no particular order:
- Talk to others who have been through it. Learning from other people's mistakes is invaluable.
- Do not underestimate or short-change the research phase of learning before you do. As a healthcare provider, I thought my ability to learn and absorb information would translate easily into the business world. It has in some things and completely flopped in others, which brings me to the next.
- Don't be afraid of humility. It may feel humiliating initially to admit you don't know something or haven't met your targeted milestones as desired, but the sooner you can humble yourself and face those hard realities, the earlier you can start fresh on creating a viable plan that actually works. Sometimes even for the better.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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