Dr. Manuel Bautista is an accomplished professional with more than 20 years of experience in the dental industry and a man of many hats, all of which he wears so well. His dream was born in Bogota, Colombia, where he completed extensive studies to lay the foundation for its realization. When it was time to advance into the next chapter of his life, he and his wife made the leap immigrating to Canada together, where he would be able to concretionalize his dream. Here, he quickly began to make his mark in the dental industry through his work in research and development of dental technologies. He pursued continuing education, language and business studies to successfully be admitted into l’Ordre des dentistes du Québec, bringing his family to Montreal in 2008. The founder of NUÒ Dental is a role model for his team, family and coterie day in and day out, all the while possessing the natural leadership ability to coach those he cares about to reach their greatest potential. He is a living, breathing example of the three P’s: positivism, patience and perseverance, better known as the pillars of success.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU REALIZE EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANTED TO PURSUE?
It is funny, because I remember exactly how and when it happened... It was in my first year of university studies at the dental school when, after a very difficult exam on Physiology, only 2 students out of 90 passed. It was me and my girlfriend at the time. The weekend before that exam, when I visited my girlfriend, instead of going out and partying, we decided to devote our time to study and review the material for the upcoming class. I remember that episode as a moment of clarity in my life. And it’s not because I did not know the direct effect in between effort and results, because I did; it’s because I felt that excellence is achievable and that I could be an instrument in delivering excellence to whatever I decided to do. Before that event, I did not have the feeling of accomplishment in my hard drive. But the alignment of events of that particular day caused an irreversible new habit that so far, keeps on growing and expanding.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU START GOING AFTER YOUR DREAM?
After that moment of clarity during my studies, a progressive evolution of "thinking big" started. Little by little, a constant appreciation of my capabilities and potential was growing. As I started seeing the results of my efforts, the projection of a better self-image and the expansion of my horizons, the shape of my dream had a new and shiny identity. I have to admit that it took several attempts and failed endeavours to realize that something significant and notable could finally be materialized. The "how" took time, effort and failure. Many failures. Out of all possible variables in the building of a system called "making a dream happen", which by the way I realized it requires a methodical and coherent approach to be successful, it was perhaps the emotional factor that played with my head for quite some time. Every project requires time for maturation. I understood that I couldn’t speed up the process and cut corners to make anxiety and over excitement evaporate. There were cooking times for those dreams to be developed.
WHAT WERE YOUR BIGGEST FEARS AND HOW DID YOU MANAGE/OVERCOME THEM?
Fear will always be there. I could say that when you have nothing, you develop the fear of the necessary "leaps of faith" and associated risks of the unknown. Then, when you have built something of significance, you develop the fear of jeopardizing the balance that took you so much to create. So, knowing and assuming that fear will always be a factor in the management of any project, my approach is still the minimization of the risks with a systematic evaluation of those elements that could derail the plan. That approach involves the categorization of risk factors by level of impact, the time at which those risk factors could appear in the process and the associated cost (money, time, resources, etc.) After doing my homework, I ask myself the question: What do I have to lose? Then I listen to my soul and ... jump!
WHAT DID YOU HAVE TO SACRIFICE IN ORDER TO WORK ON YOUR DREAM?
I doubt that I sacrificed something important in order to work on my dream. I have invested a lot of time working towards my goals. I love what I do! I enjoy it every step of the way, so I hardly see sacrifices as part of the deal. I made a conscious decision about the choices I had in front of me, involving other activities less important like "having fun" or sleeping more hours or perhaps getting engaged in social media. The other factor that played a role in the sequence of successful accomplishments in my life is the fortune of having people around me that provide me with support and good and positive energy. I admit that I have delegated many important things to those people that deserve the admiration and the recognition of my success, chief among others my wife, my daughters, my parents, my staff and my friends. Massive thanks to all of them.
HOW DID YOU/DO YOU DEAL WITH THE NAYSAYERS?
They are all over everywhere and I learned to ignore them... By not paying attention to this group of people, I avoid confronting THEIR fears and frustrations. I shouldn't admit that proving them wrong feels good...
START FIRST, PERFECT IT LATER OR PERFECTION FROM THE GET-GO
Chasing a mirage leads you nowhere. Better, leads you to frustration. Perfection does not exist because it is a very subjective element that changes with the influence of your perception, other's perceptions, your mood, your surroundings... What I follow is the concept of developing a system to strive for excellence. As any other good system, it could improve with time and of course with your experience in the matter. Excellence should be the gold standard from beginning to end, so if you compromise at the early stages of the project, things will have the tendency to fail.
ARE YOU A PART-TIME OR A FULL-TIME DREAM CHASER?
If dream chasing becomes a good habit in your life, it develops into the fuel that energizes your life. I personally have a need to look for projects, irrespective of their level of complexity or scope. I always look for ways to improve something. Only a few of them become a reality since there's only 24 hours a day, thus time management is paramount.
WHAT IS YOUR DAILY ROUTINE?
Mind, body and soul. The elements of what keeps me in connection with the world ought to be represented in my daily routine. Having time devoted in the appropriate proportion to that trilogy elevates my performance. Another way to see my routine is the focus on perspective. I don't have exact figures, but I keep a portion on my day dealing with the "Today" and another very significant part of my day dealing with the "Tomorrow". And by that, I mean dealing with a projection of my plans in time. Exploring new things, evaluating potential new projects, etc. There are some fixed components in my routine, that's a fact. However, I would have to admit that in this time and age, fixing a routine that limits your possibility of flexibility might not be the best. Hence, I incorporate in my routine a time buffer, either a block of hours or some little spaces throughout my day to deal with unexpected surprises or to catch up with things on my desktop.
HOW DOES YOUR DREAM LIFE LOOK LIKE?
My dream has evolved rapidly to the point where I can say that I have reached some deal of accomplishment and sense of achievement. At this very point of my life, my dream transcends the limits of my own wishes and desires and revolves around guiding my daughters to develop their own tools and a mindset of positivism, creativity and accomplishment in life. And this task is perhaps the most difficult of them all since that emotional component that I referred earlier in this interview, it's absolutely beyond my control. We parents (I guess I'm not alone in this) have no limits to the amount of love for our children as well as an uncontrolled need to protect them. When it's time for them to develop their own dream, facing their own fears and stress, I, more than ever in this case, must deal with my emotions and try to transform from being their father to becoming their coach. In short, my dream today looks more into the legacy that I can leave to my daughters.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO FEELS STUCK? (THEY EITHER DON’T KNOW WHAT TO PURSUE OR THEY DO BUT ARE TOO AFRAID TO START)
There are some basic elements when it comes to advising people on chasing their own dreams and feeling stuck. Difficult indeed it is to create a general step by step prescription since every single human being plays by different rules of motivation. However, there are some basic elements that need to be available so start, continue or complete a plan. I consider commitment the most important of them since feeling a great deal of accountability with oneself offers good basis to move to the right direction. Having said that, accountability stands for feeling that it is nobody else's duty to travel your journey, therefore, the results of that process rely only on your actions.
Although there are some management theories about structure (or the lack of) when it comes to planning a project, I am a firm believer that having an organized mind, a set of compartmentalized ideas as well as a great motivational environment (human and physical) contribute to the ability of any individual to come up with strategies of problem solving, creation of new projects and communication of ideas to a community. Needless to say, developing healthy habits and cultivating your mind, body and soul are the foundation of a balanced life. Lastly, allow time for the ideas to decant, to blossom, to organically grow at their normal pace. Rushing and expecting rapid rewards will kill many good ideas. But mostly, my advice goes into enjoying the journey as that is what you keep after you finish any project. Enjoy the moments and the people that are around you because those are unique and will be residents of your memories and hopefully, one day you'll be sharing them with others.
Go get your dream!