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Drill Bit Player

Here's a creative opportunity that turns the tables on your fear of the dentist.

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This story appears in the September 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you were to visit Paragraphics Corporation, a graphic arts business opportunity in Orem, Utah, the piercing shriek of dentist drills might send you running for the exit. President and CEO Lew Jensen understands it would be hard to swallow the idea that works of art, not root canals, were being performed in the back studio area-considering he practiced dentistry for 15 years, and recognizes the anxiety drills can create. "I had to hurt 30 people a day to make a living and it got old," he says. "I had to [find] something to outperform my dental business [financially]."

Jensen, 55, had an epiphany during a family Easter egg contest, where contestants submitted decorative eggs for judging. After getting grief from his children for losing to a local teenager, he examined the winning egg and believed that, by using his dental drill, the design could be permanently engraved onto the egg. "My absolute first thought was to one-up this kid," he says. Little did he know his motivation would lead to an engraving business that has lasted since 1983.

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