View Each Moment as an Opportunity

In Motivating Women, She's an Entrepreneur by Debi Dencek

I drove my teenage daughter and her friend to the mall one afternoon. The girls wanted to walk around by themselves so we picked a time and place to meet and parted ways. My coolness factor seemingly took a dive the day she turned 13. That aside, I welcomed her independence and the chance to have some “me time” and did a little window shopping. 

That is not me!

As I strolled through the walkways watching people with their families enjoying their free time and others who had a clear and present need to find only what they came there for, I began to notice people looking at me. This slowly became more obvious as I continued to stroll through the sunshine lit walkways. A rush of insecurity came over me without warning. In that instance, I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in an empty store’s window and silently screamed, “That is not me!”. 

I raced towards the nearest department store and prayed that they would have long pants, as it was the middle of summer…in Arizona. I had to hide my legs! My skin was dry and sagging and had more meat on the bone than I had ever had before. Now, we all have our “things”. A weight issue was never one of mine. Yet, there I was scrounging around the clearance rack at Dillard’s hoping to find something to cover up my physical appearance. After trying on a few pairs of jeans that were leftover from the previous season, I managed to find one that, with reasonable upper arm strength and some oomph, I could squeeze into and wear out of the store. 

This is not a story of vanity or weight loss.

It is one of regaining my power and living my best life so that I can, in turn, be of service to those who I love and those who need me. As a woman, especially one who is also a dental provider, I have a tendency to want to give more than I have. I am sure this is true for most of us. 

I felt as though I had made great strides in getting my life back on track after leaving a man who was controlling in an extremely negative and abusive marriage. However, staring at my reflection in the store window that afternoon, I realized that my divorce was just a beginning and I still had work to do. 

Perfection is not a badge of honor.

We all have timidity that holds us back from realizing and reaching our full potential. As a type “A” hygienist, I struggle with trying to obtain perfection, even though I know that perfectionism is not something to wear as a badge of honor. It is quite the opposite. For me, it was a huge obstacle that I had to overcome before launching my own business. I believe that if I had not had a couple of key people in my life to help me get out of my own way, CordEze ergonomic cord management products may have never been brought to market. 

I talk a lot about self-preservation and wellness with regard to my product line. They are two of the driving forces behind the CordEze brand. Helping clinicians provide treatment comfortably, safely and efficiently will hopefully reduce the rate of musculoskeletal pain or disorders (MSP/MSD) that plague the dental and medical industries. Developing products that are elevating the industry standard in terms of ergonomics truly warms my heart. It fuels me to continue to share the dreams and gifts that were divinely given to me. A process that is easier said than done. 

Surround yourself with positive people

It is immensely important to surround yourself with positive people who genuinely want to support you in your goals, particularly in business. Prototype after prototype and sample after sample, my first CordEze product was never quite right. I could find the smallest flaw in it that would send a crippling effect throughout the entire project. This sent me back to square one more times than I would like to admit. Then one day I was temping clinical hygiene and I brought sample number blah, blah, blah with me to try during patient care. I inserted my ultrasonic cord into the CordEze wristband and I was at a loss. I could not find anything wrong with it.

Quickly, I called my rock, Kat, and shared the news with her. She knew I was still not 100 percent convinced that it was ready. She asked the question that would change the trajectory of my business, “If you weren’t the one who created the product, would it be good enough?” I said yes, and that was that. It took someone else to verbally slap me out of my negative mindset before I could find the courage to step into my destiny. 

Developing a product has helped me transition into a better version of myself.

It fosters my creative side and challenges my business mind. I believe we all are born with special gifts that we should give to the world. Some of these gifts are big and some are small but all of them are equally important to the collective plan. 

I am very grateful for all of the support I have received from seasoned hygienists and dental hygiene students who understand the vision of CordEze and want to share in its success. I often hear from hygienists at trade shows that they wished they would have thought of CordEze. First, thank you for loving the product. Second, you may have the next big idea if you allow yourself time to quiet your mind and listen to your heart’s whispers. We have our own paths but they complement one another if we are open to it. 

I began to feel peace and joy for the first time in a long time. 

I started growing my business while working in many facets of dentistry. Earning my credentials as an ergonomic assessment specialist, to further my knowledge of ideal body positioning and how to reduce the risk factors of a work-related injury. I returned to my favorite way to spend my time – practicing yoga.  Then, I went on to earn my yoga training certification and began to feel peace and joy for the first time in a long time. 

Fast forward to “boots weather”. I was getting dressed to go out with some friends so I went to grab my favorite pair of jeans from the mountain of denim atop my closet rack. (Naturally, they were stacked as neatly as the 2×2’s in the drawer in my op). One leg, then the other, I tried on pair after pair to find the right one. My pants were just not fitting as I remembered from the year prior. Without being discouraged, I continued to go through the pile. I was surprised to learn that the only pair that fit me were the Levi’s brand that I had bought at the mall that fateful day. Even though they may not be the most stylish pair of jeans I own today, I love them. They will always be a beautiful reminder that each moment is an opportunity for greater beginnings. 

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”

On a daily basis, I’m thankful for my able body, my clear mind, and open spirit. I am grateful for the wonderful people in my life, especially my daughter who inspires me on all levels. There is no doubt that success is subjective, and that happiness cannot be given nor taken away, it is a state of mind. 

My journey as a woman, mother, inventor, entrepreneur, and dental professional continues to evolve and challenge me. I have a plaque (pun, shameless) that reads, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”. Every time I see it, I am reminded that change is good and to always set new, higher goals for myself. I know in my heart that if I stay on the right path that each step, I take into the unknown will be supported by a beautiful and comforting brick sent to meet my foot on the road to the next chapter of my life. I believe this is true for us all!