In the journey to success, we are often not alone. We may have started the journey by ourselves, but along the way, there are always people who join us. Some of them will come in to our lives and leave. Some of them stay, even if we don’t want them to . Some of them will march right along, no matter what, not because we are the best looking, the richest, the most successful, the most popular (I know that because I wasn’t all of those). Some will stay alongside us because they APPRECIATE us.

My name is Dr. Emily Letran . I came to this country as a 13 years old refugee and overcame a lot of challenges to become a dentist and now I am the CEO and owner dentist of 2 multi-specialty practices and a business mentor who is dedicated to help business owners and entrepreneur win back their time so they can spend it with their family, children and loved ones. I want to share with you a very important element of success: the element of appreciation for all the success you’ve attained.

I have come to this country as a refugee at the age of 13. When I did not speak a lot of English, my teacher, Dr. Chandor, was right next to me, giving tape after tape of the audio of great literature, so I could repeat and follow along. When I started college and eventually dental school, money was always a struggle, from the books I had to buy, to the lab fees, to the instruments.

Every step along the way, there were individuals who helped me. I believe they helped me because I had communicated with them that I had my goals of graduating, of finishing dental school, and they saw the determination and dedication in me. When I was working as an associate dentist, I had multiple offices offer me partnership and manager position, because they saw me striving to attain excellence. I carried that appreciation with me, from the school days, through the professional working days, and into my days of owning multiple offices.

I believe that appreciation is an essential element of success. As an owner dentist, I show my appreciation to my patients in several office events, from our Annual Movie Night, to our Annual Patient Appreciation Dinner, our Referral Contest where patients win different gifts, from cookies to wine to cruises, etc. Everything we do is designed to show that we understand and appreciate the support our patients had given us. We also participate in community events such as oral cancer screening for seniors, sponsoring swim teams, bands, choirs, or just simply buying girls scout cookies (ok, there is a motive of sweet there!)

I believe the more we appreciate the help we receive, the more good deeds we will carry out, and the more “pay it forward” acts of kindness will happen around us. We want to amplify goodness and give from the hearts, because no one succeeds alone.

So, please take a moment and ask yourself

Who do I appreciate the most in my life?

In my past success?

In my current journey or challenge?

Who helped me without asking for anything in return?

Am I in the right circle of people, where there are appreciation and collaboration instead of competition?

And , knowing that, feel free to ask for help, whether it is from a friend, a teacher, a mentor…You know you will show your appreciation along the way. You may not be able to return the favor to that specific person, but you know you will carry that chain of positive actions going through life.