The Importance of Having Margin in Life

It was in 4th grade when Dr. Angie Nauman knew that she wanted to become a dentist once she grew up. From that point on, every decision she made was aimed to help her achieve that goal.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 2001, Dr. Nauman started her dental career – and her family. There were five kids running around her household when Dr. Nauman opened her own practice, Glisten Dental and Sleep Apnea Care in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2010. Like every new business, Glisten Dental came with many challenges, but Dr. Nauman still found her new practice developing a large patient base and growing very quickly. For a new practice that was only working three-day weeks, Glisten Dental was collecting over two million dollars a year. However, success often comes with added responsibilities.

"Do I want my legacy to be that I built a dental empire out of Glisten Dental? Or do I want it to be that I raised my five kids to have character and integrity and helped them learn to have faith and serve people? That was my bottom line that made me decided to get out. I only get one chance at raising my kids, and that is what matters most in my life. The word I use a lot is margin, and I think it's really important for all of us to have margin in our lives.. We need to enjoy family and friendships and life, and when you work too hard, you lose the margin in life to experience what life really is." - Dr. Angie Nauman at Glisten Dental and Sleep Apnea Care in Tulsa, OK.

"After owning the practice for seven years, I guess the difficulty was trying to manage being a mom to five growing kids while running a business that had basically outgrown me. The way I explained it to people was that my ambition had run me out of my own life. I was probably spending 60 to 80 hours a week doing business even though I only ever practiced three days a week clinically. It got to the point that when I was at home, I was not mentally present with my family," said Dr. Nauman.

After having enough of what she calls "the American rat-race," Dr. Nauman decided it was time to start considering what kind of life she wanted to live.

"It came to a point for me where I knew I needed to decide what I wanted my legacy to be when I'm 80 years old and looking back at my life. Do I want my legacy to be that I built a dental empire out of Glisten Dental? Or do I want it to be that I raised my five kids to have character and integrity and helped them learn to have faith and serve people?" said Dr. Nauman. "That was my bottom line that made me decided to get out. I only get one chance at raising my kids, and that is what matters most in my life. The word I use a lot is margin, and I think it's really important for all of us to have margin in our lives. We need to enjoy family and friendships and life, and when you work too hard, you lose the margin in life to experience what life really is."

After keeping up with the dental industry and watching Heartland Dental grow, Dr. Nauman always knew in the back of her head that it could be the option for her. However, it was after one of her friends who is also a supported doctor with Heartland Dental called her up and said, "Angie. You need to check this out. I think it would be a great option for you," did Dr. Nauman finally make the first call to Heartland Dental. However, when Heartland Dental made Dr. Nauman an offer, she originally declined.

"I thought, 'I just can't do it. I can't sell my baby.' It wasn't until three months after that when I said, 'Yes, I can. I need to make this choice and get my life back," added Dr. Nauman.

"I'll be honest. Transitioning out of something that I built from the ground up and that has been your baby for the past seven years has been difficult," said Dr. Nauman. "We are currently about a year in, and it's been kind of rough, but there have also been some really positive things that have happened as well. Even though it's been difficult, I'm sticking with it because I know that Heartland Dental is solid and strong. I trust the company, and most importantly, I believe in it."

No longer working a 60 to 80 hour workweek, Dr. Nauman is now able to be at home without bringing work with her at all. Her husband enjoys no longer working at the dental practice out of necessity and gets to enjoy being a stay-at-home father with their children at the moment. As a very outdoorsy family, the Naumans now get to go hiking and four wheeling with one another without Dr. Nauman feeling guilty about not spending all her time at the office.

"I would encourage other doctors, especially with family at home, to consider their lifestyle and their priorities. We all say that we know how money isn't everything, but we really need to decide when to draw a line and not let running your business run your life. There is a freedom being supported by Heartland Dental. I can just take care of patients and just do what I love the most – which is dentistry. It helps me to be fully mentally present when I am home and has brought margin back into my life. For a while I had stepped out of my life, and now I have the chance to be fully involved again," said Dr. Nauman.

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