We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Cooley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
A couple of things happened this past year that influenced my work schedule: my baby girl was born at the end of February and I had to close my office for a couple of months at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the closure of my office, I was fortunate enough to get some unexpected bonding time with my newborn. When we decided it was the right time to reopen the office, I altered the schedule so that I was primarily seeing patients 3 times per week, instead of 4-5 days/week, and my partner was seeing patients the other days, in order to minimize the number of people in the office at any given time. As a result of my new schedule, I realized that I was given more time to spend with my wife and daughter. The more time I spend with my daughter the more I realize that I will never get these moments back, and time goes by too fast. I am blessed to own my business and be in a career that allows me to have more control over my schedule. I wasn’t planning on reducing my working days for another 6-7 years, but as a result of the pandemic, my new schedule will give me that many more days to spend with my daughter and wife.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I currently own a private general dentistry office in Newport Beach, where I work alongside with my father-in-law, who is also a dentist, and my mother-in-law, who is a retired urologist turned dental practice manager. In dental school, I was not taught very much about running a business. Fortunately, my father-in-law has been a good resource of information and guidance in terms of running a successful dental office. At the end of the day, my biggest concern is providing the best possible treatment and experience for every patient who walks through our door. As the saying goes: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, I spend a lot of time educating my patients on the importance of daily dental maintenance and hygiene that will hopefully develop into a lifelong practice of good oral health. I always try to treat my patients the same way I would treat my own family.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting for a week I would definitely schedule some time at Newport Beach and maybe charter a boat to do some fishing, then hit some of my favorite places at night like Woody’s Wharf and maybe grab a bite a local eatery such as Mutt Lynch’s. I love to do anything outdoors, so I would also plan to do some hiking, biking, and possibly a round of golf. Other places to eat would include: HiroNori Craft Ramen, Korean BBQ, all-you-can eat sushi, and somewhere to eat some good chicken wings and watch football. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I couldn’t be where I am today with my parents, who have supported and guided me throughout my life, and have given me every opportunity to succeed. I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work closely with my in-laws, who have been a source of experience and reassurance during my last five years of practicing dentistry. Last, but not least, my wife and best friend, Nasira, has been and will continue to be the greatest love and inspiration in my life. I appreciate everything she does to help, encourage, and hold me to a higher standard.