Anne: Hello everyone. It's Anne Duffy. And I'm so happy you're here today on the Just Do It podcast. I have such a lovely friend who is our guest today. Let me tell you a little bit about Sarah Cottingham. Sarah is a dynamic, accomplished professional hygienist for 32 years and the owner of INCITO.
Yeah, you did it. Enterprises, Incito Enterprises, a company dedicated to unleashing the full potential of people. Sarah has been foundationally led by God to be a change maker, survivor, warrior, mom, dental hygienist, business owner, consultant, speaker, author, educator, innovator, and Overall, an inspiration generator.
That is you, Sarah. Welcome, Sarah Cottingham.
Sarah: So glad you're here. Oh, I'm so excited to be with you. I was so excited when we got this scheduled because I've been wanting to be with you for a while.
Anne: I have goosebumps because, all of you that have ever been on my podcast, we usually talk for a half an hour before we get on and it's got to start recording from the moment we see each other on the screen because it's so yummy and so wonderful.
all of you that are listening, you know, we are deep souls here. We are women and we have a lot of hats that we wear. And when I read that bio, I just read it. I mean, I, Popped it up on my screen, but that's just so you, and it's such a beautiful bio that you, you are that, and you've become, aware of it. I think that's when we really, get into our, on our lane, in our flow, if you will, with Katherine Eitel. you've been in dentistry, and you've been in consulting, you're a hygienist. Tell me, how did you get into dentistry from the beginning, and what led you to consulting?
Sarah: I, got into dentistry the hard way. my parents, from a very early age. They told me I needed to be a hygienist. And of course, I went to nursing school first. When I figured out that really wasn't the lane I was supposed to be in, I was taking a gap year and moved back home, and I went to work in the dental office that my mom worked in, and I worked for an expanded function hygienist as her assistant, I saw the first Bloody open flap scaling and root planing and I then fast tracked into dental hygiene school.
Anne: know that. Boy, then you are so, educated in oral systemic and I love that you can tie that together with your career.
Sarah: I was only barely into my studies and volunteering and I really got the I wasn't going to be able to keep my mouth shut.
And back then, nurses weren't as listened to as they are in today's world. and I was like, oh yeah, this isn't for me. So, off to, uh, just working in the dental practice. And, literally the first procedure that I saw, I was like, okay, I got to apply and I had already missed a deadline.
And back then there was waiting list, to get into hygiene school. And, somehow, you know, my letter made it to the top of the stack and I went in for my interview and she's like, there's a waiting list and I'm like, yeah, she's like, you don't even have your prereqs finished.
And I'm like, yeah, if you can finish all your prereqs and somebody drops out, she's like, we'll give you a shot. And I literally finished. microbiology, organic chem, AMP1 and AMP2 in a summer. Wow.
Anne: And got in. And got in and got the top of the list Well, you're obviously a smarty pants, but that's pretty impressive.
They obviously saw something in you. And I love that they interviewed you because again, as we both know, as hygienists, It's a people business, really. I mean, A relationship business. it is different than nursing when you're just coming in. We actually build relationships with our patients, their families, something that really trickles out and you can use all your gifts.
that's so cool. so then you were practicing hygiene and then somehow you were led to consulting,
Sarah: Yeah. Consulting was in my blood early on. I didn't realize it at the time, but the practice that my mom worked in was a practice before it's time.
Dale was a dentist who was, not doing amalgams in the mid eighties. He was investing in his team's personal growth, and he would invest in them before he'd even take them to CE. And it was how I thought all dental practices ran, he talked with his team about numbers, and they had systems, and, he was reading all the time, and he was, a lifelong learner, and I just thought that's what dentistry was.
So when I got out into the real world, I was sadly mistaken, and I was on a quest to find a practice where the mindset that I had been raised in since I was young, that it mattered. And I found a practice when I moved down to the Valley, that, I took on the dental hygiene department as a business.
I sat down with the dentist and I'm like, Hey, I'm the last hygienist in and every day we have enough openings that one of us shouldn't be here. And since I'm the last one in, I'm probably going to be the first one to go. So what would you think of me just taking this on as a business and you just pay me a straight commission of the department?
And from there, it just snowballed. I got great, exposure to great consultants because this dentist was always doing something new. He worked with Hollanders, he worked with Schuster, and so we had private consultant with fortune, that then fast forward, this particular consultant went out on her own and I ran into her in another practice.
she saw what I was doing, in that practice as a hygienist and she recruited me on her team. And I then ultimately ended up buying that consulting company from her years later. Her and I partnered for a while and then I bought it and she passed, was the reason that I ended up purchasing it.
And from there, I built a book of business that was very large and, my clients were having unprecedented success, but it was from changing the people in the business that then changed the business. And so it was a little bit different than just standard consulting. from there is.
How I ended up transitioning into corporate America for a bit
Anne: some of this is like new to me. So tell me experience working with, the corporate America inside of dentistry.
Sarah: I was recruited out of my own company by Spear education to help them open their spear practice solutions, which was their consulting arm. So from the ground up, I was instrumental in helping them gather their team of consultants, putting them all together and getting that.
Up and off the ground with a great group of people and got to work hand in hand with M. T. Oz Manji and speak on stage with M. T. Oz and Gary DeWood and, got poured into by great doctors like Kevin Quishon. And I learned what I was really good at. And I also learned what I really didn't resonate with, and, you know, I was not part of corporate America, so I made a decision, I had transitioned from running the consulting component of SPS into director of content for a bit, so I was developing content to be used with the elite clients that were part of SPS, and, from there I was like, you know, this just, it's not filling me.
I know that I need to contribute it differently. so I went back into private consulting and went back into working with a very small niche group of my doctors. That were part of my book of business before I went to Spear and did that for a few years before COVID hit and then we all survived COVID.
And so, yeah. When you're in corporate America you. can really hone your skills with what you're really good at and you figure out what you really don't jive with.
Anne: there's nothing like being able to make your own decisions, right? So I think that if you have the entrepreneur spirit it's not a bad thing to go into corporate for a while just to get the systems, see what you would like what you don't like, it gives you that, experience how you can maximize your own thoughts and bring them out to the world and not have to, speak on somebody else's behalf at all times.
So I love that you've done that. You've got so much great experience, man, at a young age, too. you got up on stage. I love MTS. he wrote for dental entrepreneur, honestly, 20 years ago when we were first starting, he wrote a couple of articles for us.
They were active in that. Yeah. Goes way back. You've had some really great mentors along the way and gives you super chops to do your own thing. to see toe. Did you buy that name or is that your name that you, rebranded yourself?
Sarah: I rebranded, the original company that I shut down was BCS Leadership, which was Patty's name of the company that I purchased.
And then when I came back into the consulting world, I rebranded into Encito I don't even remember honestly how that word came to me. But when I investigated the word, part of, its original derivative, it means to incite and inspire That's my consulting career in a box, you're not welcomed by the entire team when you first walk into the door sometimes you incite some things and some energy and, and it might upset the apple cart a little bit, but once they figure out where your heart is and what you're all about and you can inspire them into owning their, stuff, owning what they need to grow and, owning whatever system they're responsible for the game is completely different and That was the name.
Anne: Well, Thank you for explaining that because it does give it so much meaning and it does resonate, it takes away the fear because, you know, especially I think that's something that would be really great when you go in, like, how did you get that name? And if you, kind of rolled it out like that, that would be like, okay, well that makes sense.
And then, golly, I get to grow here. that's what you want me to do. You want me to get inspired. And I mean, anyone that would be in that situation that doesn't want to grow or doesn't want to be inspired probably isn't a good fit for the team to begin with, right?
So explaining that, I think, takes away the fear. Because there's so often I remember, as a hygienist, Oh, God, here comes a consultant. Now we're going to have to do things differently. And was not an exciting time. In some of the offices that I worked in that had consultants come in, but to have one that's going to come in and kind of lay it out there.
That's actually, quite inspiring. And, I'm glad that you got that. I'm glad that's something that, resonated with you and you named it InCite C two.
Sarah: in Cito Enterprises. Now I'm getting confused. . No, I'm
Anne: getting confused. Yeah, I love that.
I love that I'm not confused anymore, but I, I like the idea of where it comes from
Sarah: I had the experience recently, we had one of our big annual session out here a few weeks ago, and I had the experience of running into several teams that were previously my clients, and I sat in a room full of hygienists, because I'm still clinically practicing, still need to get CE just like everybody else.
And. I had groups of hygienists around me that had previously been coached by me and, and the speaker was asking questions about, who's doing and then listing all the things, you know, who's doing and at first, some of the hygienists, they weren't raising their hand and you could see them like shaking their head, you know, like Really?
You're not taking blood pressure. And then they all started simultaneously raising their hand and then raising their hands higher. And owning how much work and effort they had really put into their career and how they were serving their patients. And had the opportunity to talk to several of them after the course.
And they're like, yeah, It makes the difference we didn't like it in the beginning and now it's just part of who we are and what we do it was just so good to see them own it and that their hard work paid off and when I say it was blood, sweat and tears, like there were tears, they owned it and it was so heartwarming to see them be able to just.
Express it and
Anne: proud of it. Right. doing is that they can be at the top of their game. If they get some help and some guidance and some inspiration from someone like you that's, beautiful. It's very validating and in some way regard, I think after COVID too, we're all just getting started over again.
Right. So, I mean, Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Sarah: Yeah. That's an interesting question. I'm being called to contribute kind of in a different way and with everything that I've come through and survived and warriored through the last few years, I know that I make a difference when I work with the people directly that are driving the systems, driving the success of the team, and I see myself, contributing to them in a bigger, more dynamic way.
see myself delivering a message from a much larger stage than I've been delivering it from. Currently, and just honing the skill, I'm a lifelong learner, and I'm a lifelong contributor, and I see myself just playing a much bigger game with a lot bigger population.
Anne: you're owning that for sure. And you know, we need more of that. you know, you think about it, Sarah, the consulting of old is just like the top layer. And what I see with you is you want to dig a little deeper, dive in there help others work on their inside job so that the outside job, is productive for everyone, but also the people that you're coaching and inspiring.
Will feel just so great about it themselves about themselves and what they're meant to do, meant to be for all of us, right? Everybody's got something special.
Sarah: Bring that out, right? I've consulted in industries other than dentistry. So medical business mentored a young man from the age of 14 that now owns a brick and mortar business at 16.
Actually now owns two of them. I really. Got centered to what really fills my bucket is helping them figure out what's going to fill theirs and how do they deliver on it in a strategic manner so that they are exponentially successful, whatever that definition is for them and. I've gotten really centered to it and it just keeps being shown to me in various different ways.
Get a message from somebody that was probably one of the most challenging team members that I've ever coached in my entire life. And to get a DM, through Facebook that says, I'm sitting here on my patio and I know this is really weird. But I'm reading my Sarah ism book. Oh,
Anne: wow. she has a name for it.
Sarah ism. I love
Sarah: it. That's awesome. And she completely took herself out of dentistry has become a very successful realtor here in the Valley. she just periodically pings me with. You don't know, how much you contributed because I mean, this gal used to, not have a car, and she was able to buy a car, buy a house, has a business and, the dentist that I saw at the event, he shared that, You know, two weeks ago we were having a meeting and we came up with something and, one of the team members just blurted out what would Sarah tell us to do?
What would Sarah have us process? that's from growing the people, not a system.
Anne: So much of that, you know, we try to do at the due retreat. I wanted to bring it around to that. I told you that because you were such a, I just remember when you signed up and you came to the meeting before, and you just were so vulnerable and you shared so much with all of us was my thing.
I wanted to bring personal development and love to the dental industry. Very simplistic. It wasn't any big deal, but what I've. found was that it is so important. And I know that that's what you're doing with your coaching. It's not just all the, processes and the clinical aspect, even though that's our love, right?
I mean, We love that part of. clinical hygiene and what that brings to the practice and to our patients, but it is richer than that. tell our listeners here, because we're getting ready to do a little push for our retreat. So what do you think you would say about the do retreat?
And just think about, bringing one of those. Team members that has her arms crossed and not inspired and very standoffish. What would you say to them as far as coming to join a group of women that want to bring joy and lift them up?
Sarah: That it's out of a, community of professionals and, like minded individuals that themselves on a path of being Lifelong learners and expansive minds that when you plop yourself in the middle of that room, there's nothing better than being poured into by individuals that have that spirit.
And there's so many different gifts and talents in that room. And as you've said, and many have said, you're struggling with something, the answer's in the room. Yeah. And it's when you get it right. And out of that experience you're just going to walk away with a really full heart full of love, which somebody shared with me the other day, you know, their definition of love was just evidence of what it is that you're doing, right?
And, that just so hit me. And when I leave due, I'm full and I'm inspired to get out of my own way and, just be the warrior that I know that I am.
Anne: Oh, I just love that. And then, the other thing, Sarah, is just what I saw when you left, you just felt empowered to me, the important thing for all of us to know is that we're meant for something great.
Transcribed Everybody is, but then, when you have a group of women that get you from the dental aspect, I mean, just have a toe in dentistry, they champion you. it's just not a raw, raw thing. It's like a real, how can I help you?
I see these gifts in you and where can I help you take those to make this world a better place and make you feel fulfilled? I mean, I think that's what we all want to do. We want to leave the earth using our gifts and our talents that we've been given,
Sarah: It's even helping people drill down and precipitate out what really is their true gift, there are a lot of courses that you go to that. It's like, oh, what's your why? And, do this. And, some of that is just it's words. there's no traction behind it. There's no evidence behind it.
There's no strategy behind it. And in that room, at do have people from all walks of life with lots of different skills and talents, and they have the ability to kind of resonate to one another about, I think I need to go over here. this is where I'm needed. And their gift and talent gets to explode onto you so that you do precipitate out really what is your thing.
I've told you before just a few moments ago that people have seen things in me that I didn't necessarily own in myself for many, many, many years. there are a few that are in the do group from the first time I attended to actually. Were telling me that I had something that I was being stingy with that's what I'm working on.
Anne: Oh, that gives me goosebumps. you know, just when people start telling you, I see this in you, you can do this. That's your gift. Thank you so much. And especially even, coming back and getting a ping from somebody not even in dentistry anymore.
So, okay, you know, she would be a do because she had a toe in dentistry at one point. Because I think dentistry attracts Women and men. They have something special about them, so again, it's really validating to you to keep on your path, Sarah, and then keep exploring what's next. I can't wait to follow your career in five years, and I can't wait to see you in October at our retreat and imparting words for our listeners here that are, wondering, what am I supposed to do?
What is my talent? Any parting words for someone that's listening that's maybe struggling on it? Thank you. What maybe their next step would be, get
Sarah: silent and start writing. don't think anything of it when you're putting it on the page, just go.
And then give yourself the gift of rereading it a week later, two weeks later, and just get quiet and get still. It comes to you.
Anne: There's no time like the present to do that. I'm gonna, I'm gonna get off this podcast today and jot down a few things that we talked about that you lit my fire. And I thank you for that, Sarah.
So you just have the best day. Thank you so much for being here. How do people get in touch with you if they want to get some of your consulting, inspiration and knowledge? Yeah, they
Sarah: can reach out to me by email at Sarah S A R A H at Incito Enterprises, so I'll spell that out. I N C I T O Enterprises with an S dot com, or they can call me 480.
861 8109. I'm up the crack of dawn out here in Arizona. So no time is too early. Oh
Anne: my gosh. Thank you so much. And I'm going to follow you on social media too, because I know that you've put those inspirational words out there every once in a while and they lift me up. Sometimes when I'm getting started in my day, I love, hearing from you and I just wish you all the best and I can't wait to see you and I'll see you on the road.
Okay. Thank you,
Anne: It's a pleasure.