We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Brenner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve always liked independence. I became a dentist because I was attracted to the idea of working in a small organization and being my own boss. Even as an associate dentist, we often have a lot of autonomy. After just a few years in practice, I became very burnt out and wasn’t enjoying my work. When I realized I had to leave the career and find a new one, I had gotten very used to that independence. I couldn’t imagine going and finding a job where I had to report to a boss. I had always been intrigued by the entrepreneurial spirit, so I chose to go down that path. I don’t really see myself as your typical entrepreneur– the most successful ones seem to have that grit and passion. For years, I struggled to tap into that. When I finally discovered what I wanted to do and how I could help others, starting my own business became effortless. That’s when the grit and passion showed up. At that point, nothing could get in my way.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business really found me. Dentists tend to get tunnel vision. We think that because our dental school education was so specific, we have no other skills. Because of that mentality, I was starting from a very limited perspective. I had no clue what else I could do that would satisfy my expectations, so I really had to tap into my creativity and just try stuff. I began blogging and wrote about food and travel. About 6 people read my blog, and one day I found a blog post titled “10 Reasons I Hate the Dentist.” I couldn’t help myself, so I wrote a blog post repy titled, “10 Reasons Your Dentist Probably Hates You Too.” I posted it one week after I quit dentistry. That night it went viral. I began hearing from dentists all over the world who felt what I felt. They cheered me on in my career change and asked for advice! I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t the only one. I knew right then, that one day I would go back and help other dentists just like me who wanted career change. The leaving dentistry part was painful. I had to redefine success and let go of my identity that I was so tied to, It took me six years to commit to becoming a career coach because I felt like an imposter. I felt like I was great at quitting, but how could I help other dentists if I couldn’t succeed myself? I had to prove to myself that I could be successful before I could authentically help others. Once I decided to follow my passion, though, it was easy.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Nothing beats the mountains! I’d definitely plan a summer hike in the Rockies. We have so many amazing microbreweries in town. We could do a brewery tour or maybe even a pub crawl on South Pearl Street. We’d definitely have to head to my new favorite restaurant, The Pig and The Sprout in downtown Denver. It’s a beautiful, hip space with great food and great service! The best part about it is one half of the menu is meat-based ad the other half is vegetarian-based.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my Shoutout to my husband, Nick. He was the person who allowed me to see that I didn’t have to stay stuck in my work misery forever. One day I came home from work crying– again! He said to me, “We can’t do this anymore. I don’t care what we have to do. If we have to move and sell our house, that’s fine, but you need to do something about this.” That was the greatest gift anyone could have given me. That was the permission I needed to explore that I could create a career outside of clinical dentistry. Beyond that, he stood by me and supported me while I was exploring and floundering, often unsure of where I was headed. Eventually, following my dream and my intuition paid off.