It’s amazing how an office environment can transform the way your clients perceive you.

Years ago, I walked into my dentist, went to the front desk, told them who I was, sat down in the lobby, and waited. I looked down to see what they had to read and couldn’t find anything but outdated magazines and tabloids. After realizing there was nothing to distract me for a few minutes, I started to scan the office with my eyes. I looked up and saw holes in the ceiling from recent construction, walls with the recent applied texture of sandpaper, the old paintings that remained slightly tilted, dated computers at the front desk, old carpet, a 12-inch TV in the top corner hanging by threads of the screws that were used to support its weight, all the way down to the uncomfortable chair I was sitting in. And then there was the overpowering odor of new paint and wood clippings mixed with a hint of sterilizer used to clean the dentist’s tools from the last appointment. After being called in, I sat down in the dentist chair, saw the spotlight glide over my face, and couldn’t help but clench my teeth in anticipation for what was to come.

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