At KF, we believe in the power of women. Each month, we'll introduce you to a 'Woman Who Inspires'. These incredible women are entrepreneurs, innovators and makers who are paving their own way in business, education, society, motherhood, and many more aspects of life. Learn how they started their ventures, the challenges they faced along the way and see how they are building their future - all of our futures - while inspiring others.
Doctor of Dental Surgery and Business Owner, Dr. Anushka Gaglani
Why did you start your own company or brand/ become an entrepreneur/ or be your own boss?
After graduating dental school, I worked as an associate doctor for a few different practices. A couple were corporate groups, and one was a private practice. While working for other dental groups, it became very clear to me what I wanted and what I didn’t want, so I am very glad for those experiences. I always knew I wanted my own practice some day, but it wasn’t until after my now husband and I opened our first practice together when we were barely engaged that we decided to continue growing and opening dental practices. I realized I really enjoyed creating and systematizing processes that put dentistry back in the hands of dentists and put patients at the forefront of healthcare, rather than as another number towards the EBIDTA.
What has been your biggest failure in business and what did you learn from it?
My biggest failure is not putting enough time or energy into developing myself into a leader early on. Dental school teaches one to be a competent dentist, but the buck stops there. There is minimal to no business training, and zero leadership training. To become a practice owner, and beyond that a multi-practice dental group owner, involves being an audodidact to a great extent. I have since put a lot of resources, whether it be via books or coaching or joining organizations such as Entrepreneur Organization, into evolving the way I communicate with others and lead our team. In my personal experience as a woman, in comparison to our male counterparts, the way we are perceived by others as leaders requires a balance of firmness and certainty on our part, with a healthy dose of nonviolent communication. It’s a very delicate balance to strike, and developing leadership and communication skills early on in life is something I highly recommend to any aspiring entrepreneur to get everyone rowing in the same direction and trusting in the vision you paint.What is the first thing you do after waking up to jumpstart a successful day?
What tools (apps, books, podcasts, etc) would you recommend to anyone starting their own business/ makes your work day easier?
One of my favorite books of all time is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, preceded by “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhig. Whether it be for personal or business growth, the premise of habit development and habit stacking is by far the most profound skill I could have learned, and it’s how we train and develop our managers and team to follow our systems as well. Without habits, everything fails. As James Clear states in the book, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” If there is one book that would move the needle for an aspiring entrepreneur, that would be the one I would recommend. Another great one I love is “NonViolent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg. People tend to think nonviolence is not effective in comparison to violence, but studies show this is not true, hence the success of nonviolent leaders such as Sundar Picchai and Satya Nadella.
As far as making my workday easier, we follow a system called EOS (Entrepreneur Operating System), and their Traction Tools app is excellent to keep accountability in check and to make sure issues are addressed and tasks are completed.
What is the first thing you do after waking up to jumpstart a successful day?
The one thing that gets me excited every morning is waking up and getting a workout in. I love lifting weights; there is something about getting stronger physically and seeing the progressive overload that mentally prepares me for an arduous day ahead, and makes me feel powerful enough to handle anything that may come my way. It definitely relaxes me and makes me more even keeled in temperament. I also take a few moments to reflect in my gratitude journal. One of my favorite quotes is “Remember the days you prayed for the things you have now.” It’s very easy for type A personalities especially to get wrapped up in the future and focusing on growth, so taking a few moments to reflect on what I have accomplished so far, despite humble beginnings, really grounds me. This reminds me to be content but never complacent.
What person in history, living or dead, has inspired you and how?
As cliche as it sounds, my family is my biggest inspiration. As immigrants, my parents started from scratch in a brand new country to give my brother and I a better life. It’s not easy to leave your friends and family behind and integrate into an entirely new system. They run a very successful physical therapy practice that specializes in incontinence, to the point that my mother has written two widely distributed books on the subject and is known as an expert in her field. She is a powerhouse who, at an age when many others are retiring, is pushing harder and further to help as many people as she can. My dad does all of her accounting and behind the scenes work so she can do what she loves. They really are a dynamic duo. My brother, Shiv, is an entrepreneur who recently sold his company, and is living the life I aspire to one day. He is a highly motivated, extremely intelligent and very successful individual. My husband, Abhishek, is someone who exemplifies non violent communication, and is always thirsty for knowledge. He is excellent at setting the culture within our company. Lastly, I look to my dog and fur-child, Pumpkin, to remind me to take some time to be in nature and smell the flowers, while also having laser focus (such as while chasing a ball!).
If this wasn’t your job, what’s something else you’ve always wanted to do/start/create?
I’ve wanted to be a dentist since I was 15, and I still think I picked the right career. I would like to be a serial entrepreneur, beginning in my area of expertise, but also branching out into other industries that have a positive impact, whether environmental or social. It’s really important to me to make a difference, which relates to having multiple practices because we can train our doctors to provide the best patient care and clinical outcomes they can possibly provide. There is only so much impact I can have as an individual dentist practicing, but if I can pass on my skills to other dentists, we can help a lot more people. That being said, I used to love writing before I became busy in my career, so I may have been an author (you can check out my dabble into children’s books on Amazon - “The House That Threw Up”).
Let's Get Deep...
What emojis do you use most when texting?
Depends on who I’m texting with! With most people, the smiley face 😃 or laughing face 😆, and sometimes the eye rolling face 🙄. With my husband, the exasperated face 😩.
What is your go to cocktail?
I personally prefer the Cake Shake from Portillo’s. Does that count?
What books are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz on the business side, and just finished “Local Woman Missing” by Mary Kubica, which I enjoyed for a little “light reading.”
Go to fave garment in your closet.
I love my Vegan leather coat. Whenever I put it on, I feel like just a little bit of a badass.
What is your signature scent?
My fave is Black Opium by YSL!
Early riser or night owl?
Definitely early riser. I turn into a pumpkin after 9 pm.