Dr. Mary Teddy Wray opened her own dental practice in 2002 that continues to thrive today. Wray, a Top 100 Woman, serves as chief executive officer and owner of Laurel Bush Family Dentistry.
She says her success also has allowed her to give back to her Harford County community. She has donated dental services and also donated funds to nonprofit organizations and schools.
What does success look like to you?
I look at success as being happy doing what I like to do every day and getting compensated well for it. I am grateful that I am able to help many people and nonprofits organizations that reach out to me. I don’t view success by how much money or material possessions one has, but by what they have done with what they have. I look at success as happiness within myself. To me happiness comes from loving my family, friends, my job and the satisfaction I get giving back to my community.
What challenges did you face along the way?
My biggest challenge was being able to survive alone at a very young age. I had to find a way to put myself through college and dental school. That meant working 50 to 60 hours a week and sacrificing family, friends, sleep and a social life.
What was the biggest lesson you learned?
When I was a struggling teenager, I quickly learned that the only way I can survive in this country or anywhere was through hard work and good education. Once I became a dentist, I realized that I had to continue working very hard to become a successful dentist. This time I had to accept the fact that I can’t do that all alone, that successful dentistry was a team effort with me as the leader. I learned to build a successful team by continually attending business seminars with my team and practicing what we learnt.
What advice do you have for other women?
Always have a plan and stay focused. Remember to work hard and make sacrifices. Don’t be afraid to fail. If you try your best and still hit rock bottom, you are not a failure. Failure is hitting rock bottom and decide to stay there. Success is gathering yourself and quickly start climbing up to the top. It may be a long way up there, but you will eventually get there. There is nothing wrong to yell out that you need help because you can’t do this all alone.
Describe your future goals.
I would like to start a nonprofit organization that helps adults who can’t afford dental care get free dental services. These would include the homeless and the elderly. I have two wonderful sons but my heart has always ached for a daughter. Right now I am in the process of being matched with a daughter who is available for adoption through the state foster systems.
|This article is featured in The Daily Record’s Path To Excellence: A Woman’s Guide To Business. The mission of the Path to Excellence magazine is to give our readers the opportunity to meet successful women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs and learn how they define success. Read more from Path to Excellence.|
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