Episode 14: Smile Bright Like a Diamond- Dr Aja Nichols
This week’s Leadership Tidbits with Coach Tee Wilson features the smart and sharp, Dr. Aja Nichols. Before we dive into this interview, here is some background information you need to know about her.
Dr. Nichols graduated from Kentucky State University where she received a Bachelor of Science and became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Three years later, she attended Indiana University School of Dentistry, graduated, and served 5 years active duty, and 3 years as a reservist in the United States Navy.
Dr. Nichols opened Lifestyle Dentistry in 2016. She has been voted as one of Atlanta’s Top Dentists in 2018 and 2019, and was recently featured in the 2019 “People You Need To Know” magazine as one of 50 Women Making Their Mark in Metro Atlanta. She is also affiliated with a mobile-based dental practice where she travels to elementary and middle schools around the state to provide dental treatment to students in under served communities.
Dr. Nichols has been mentored by a number of well-respected dentists and is committed to educating her patients on the importance of oral health. In her leisure, Dr. Nichols loves to travel, read, trade foreign currencies, and is a sports lover of all things Indiana! She has four sisters, three nephews, one niece and a Godson who all hold the key to her heart. Dr. Nichols is all about family and friends, and is dedicated to making lasting memories with them.
She is always giving back. She is an active member of her community, mentoring and coaching in various areas of life. When asked what a patient could expect at Lifestyle Dentistry, Dr. Nichols responds: “Imagine going to your favorite hangout spot with good friends, we’ll just happen to look at your teeth, too.” Right off the bat, Dr. Nichols opened with telling us about her leap going from a corporate job, into opening up her own dental practice, and how it all happened. As she puts it, “I remember looking in the mirror one morning and saying I’m kind of tired of making everyone else rich, let me get my things together.” If this is a feeling or moment you have had recently, Dr. Nichols encourages you to make the leap, even though it is scary. No one will believe in your dreams as much as you do. Dr. Nichols also reminds us, “… make sure you are taking care of your oral health!” She explained the importance of making sure you and your dentist have a good relationship. In keeping with your preventative maintenance, it makes it so that something simple doesn’t turn into a huge problem later.
Many entrepreneurs struggle with advice from family and friendships as they begin their entrepreneur journey. Dr. Nichols reminds us all, “…you never want to base someone else’s successes off of your failures.” Or vice versa. This will further discourage you from pursuing your dreams.
Overall, Dr. Aja Nichols not only talked to us about dentistry and how she went from the corporate life to owning her own business, she also shared so many leadership and lifestyle tidbits with us. Here is a quick summary: Dr. Nichols reminds us to make sure you plan as best as you can with your various endeavors and dreams, checking in with yourself as well as your team can promote healthy growth, do your homework and research as it relates to your dentist or healthcare provider, it’s important to have a relationship with somebody that you trust so that you can make decisions that are right for you, honest communication is very important, and listening is invaluable. As we talked about what advice Dr. Nichols would give to her younger self, she shared that just because you can afford the purchase doesn’t mean you can afford the payment. She also recommended that you need to challenge your opinion, be careful who you take advice from, and know that no one will fight for your dream harder than you will.
Be sure to check out the full podcast to hear more of Dr. Aja’s thoughts and leadership advice!!