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Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Dr James: 

Fans of the Dentists Who Invest podcast. If you feel like there was one particular episode in the back catalog in the anthology of Dentists Who Invest podcast episodes that really, really, really was massively valuable to you, feel free to share that with a fellow dental colleague who’s in a similar position, so their understanding of finance can be elevated and they can hit the next level of financial success in their life. Also, as well as that, if you could take two seconds to rate and review this podcast, it would mean the world. To me, what that would mean is that it drives this podcast further in terms of reach so that more dentists across the world can be able to benefit from the knowledge contained therein. Welcome, welcome to the Dentists Who Invest podcast. Good morning, good evening, good afternoon, wherever you are in the world. Depending on where you are in the world, I think most people who listen to this podcast are probably based in the UK, so in that case, it is a good afternoon, as we’ve just passed half one. We’ve got a very special guest with us on this week’s episode of the podcast, episode number 10. Already, I only started this thing about a month ago and I thought to myself who better to round off a significant milestone than a man that is more than qualified to speak as an entrepreneur probably better qualified than any of us to speak as being an entrepreneur, as a dentist, and getting that balance just right. What an interesting thing to talk about. I’m sure you’ve heard of him, I’m positive that you have. He runs Dentinal Tubules and he goes by the name of Drew Shah. How are you today, drew?

Dhru: 

I’m well thanks. How are you? I’m smashing me, thank you very much for inviting me onto your podcast and well done on launching this initiative, because I think you connected me just a couple of months ago saying can we do a Facebook group? And do you mind if I talk about it on Tubules or such a good initiative. Well done.

Dr James: 

Thanks very much me. It’s taken on a life of its own. No, it’s blowing up, but I’m really chuffed. I mean, as I say, I kind of started it. I didn’t really expect it to maybe go anywhere. Really, I always knew there was dentists who were into trading and finances, relevant to everybody. I think a lot of us feel as well that there is a conceded agenda by a lot of the independent people that we talk to regarding our finances. I mean, there inevitably is. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a safe space so that we can all come together and discuss these things? And the podcast just grew from there. But yeah, as I say, I’m just getting a little bit of a taste of this being in the public eye, I suppose something that you’ve been doing for quite a while, and that’s why I thought it would be really interesting for me to hear what you had to say, and for others on the group as well. So, a little-known organization called Dental Tubules. I was just curious about knowing a little bit more about your journey into dentistry. Even before we kind of even conceptualized this idea of dental tubules and this national organization for encouraging learning in dentistry, what was your path? I know that I believe you told me before that. You’re not originally from the UK, kenya, if I’m correct.

Dhru: 

Yeah, that’s right, I grew up in Kenya and it’s funny, I’m actually talking about this. I’m writing my journey in my book. I’m writing a book at the moment which is not about me, but my journey is part of it and it’s going to be an interesting one. But I came from Kenya to study dentistry in the UK. I mean, the UK was perhaps where everyone went. Most of my colleagues friends from school, uk, usa were very common. Some of them went to Australia, some of them went to India and I suppose my dad wouldn’t allow me to come to the USA. He said it’s too far away, whatever that meant at that time. So I came to the UK and I’ve always been a kind of a person who charts an independent pathway. So I ended up in Sheffield because I realized that none of my Kenyan friends will be in Sheffield. So I thought it’s the best thing to do. It’s almost a new experience, and it was a new experience. I mean it was shocking. I had three o’clock, it was getting dark, I thought what the hell’s going on here, which was rather interesting. But it was exciting. I mean meeting new people, encouraging, and really that’s what started really forming me. Now, halfway through my journey. I think I was in my third year when my dad messaged me and said you know, I was paying international fees of 20 grand a year or something like that. Anyway, he messaged me and said, drew, our family money’s been wiped out. And I thought, oh shit, right. He says you don’t know how we’ll carry on, you might have to pack your bags and come back. But I’m not that kind of person that said I’ll find a way. So I was very resilient. I, you know. I went. I worked in shoe shops, burger bars, I don’t know whatever you name it. I’ve worked on a chocolate chocolate shops, flyer drops, and you know, live off what you earn. And you borrowed some and I got some sort of mini scholarships from back home and you could hold it and pass the way through. There were days I went without food. I lived off Maryland double chocolate chip cookies and I was being there was a very, very nice news agent would sell me these four Maryland double chocolate chip double size cookie packets for them for a pound. So you know I could go through one a day, you know, bit for breakfast, bit for lunch look at my energies going. And it was really nice, actually, you know. So it taught you the value of work. So I’d been dental school during the day. 95 five o’clock. You pack up, get into your work gear, get the tram to a place called Metahole that you might have heard of yeah, you’re so little. I feel that actually so you know, metahole, I worked in a reveille there for quite a good long time. Sometimes I worked in the union all by one, whatever you, and then nighttime you do all that, track your way back home late at night and and then I’d work. You know, do all the assignments and work and whatever chaos needs doing into them. We, hours of the night, go to bed two, three o’clock, up a half five and start the day again. So I did that for a few years and it taught me the resilience I graduated and I suppose it taught me that, you know, nobody in the world should ever go through what I did. It’s quite painfully stressful, but in some way I was. I was, I was grateful because it taught me the experience and it made me a dentist in a in a country I wouldn’t have become a dentist in. But education to the world did become one of my big visions, which is why we then launched the two bills foundation three years ago and we put 3% of gross money from our dental and three bills business to the foundation. It’s all about making a bigger difference in the world and and working through that. So that’s the journey that happened. And then, as I graduated, I had a massive debt to pay off. I mean it’s a five figure sum debt. That was painful and I was basically told you can’t have a job in the UK as a, as a VT or a DF one. I thought you guys are having a laugh. Anyway, I saw this longer queues of patients in, you know, in areas where they had difficulty of access to dentistry. So I went to the Dean of Wales I said you got a problem here. You got a problem of no dentists and I’ve got a problem of no job. This works. So there’s a group of us who got the first ever Welsh parliamentary approval to work in Wales. Now I was told you can do your DVT in Wales but you must stay for two years. I said I’ll stay for five, just give me a job. And they said you must show evidence of continuing education. I said that’s fine, you’ll pay for some of my exams. So they paid for some of my exams and I studied and I stayed in a place called Welshpool. I worked in a practice called Neil Butler Finnegan. Neil Butler Finnegan were the three bosses and those three years were the best time in my life. I loved it. Very welcoming in Welshpool, population of 10,000, but the surrounding villages. The practice had a massive, you know, patient base of 30 40,000. We had a massive eight surgery, nine surgery practice with an in-house lab. It was just like a family, was brilliant and met people there new faces, new experience, learning you know the culture, or whatever you call it. It’s just phenomenal. And then moved to London, came to do dentistry sorry, house officer jobs. Having left practice, did some jobs here there, got into specialty training in 2009, 2009, yeah, 2008, 2008. And within six months I went Jesus Christ, best educators in the world at Geyser Hospital. I was a periotraining and so these guys don’t inspire me. You know, the inspiration is something we’re going to put some zest and energy into people, for God’s sake. These guys were absolutely not their fault, but they were just institutionalized. This is how we do things. It’s like no, no, don’t. So I started tubules and tubules was a simple forum and as a forum, it just connected me with really encouraging dentists around the world and just put the zest back in me. The zest of dentistry came back. So I ended up launching tubules in 2009, sticking and completing my unclean dent in paradigmatics, who’s a specialty training. I was working as well and I’d got married at that same time. So trying to juggle all those balls meant that I was pretty much sleeping two hours a night as I managed to get done. Now, I did that alone for eight years. So for the first four years we’re obviously all of that graduated as specialist in 2012. But even then I was still you know, tubules was still a project that I was doing. So I was basically working long hours, investing all my money, my savings, everything, every penny I earned. I just kept firing it in tubules and building it and adding more and more web features. This that marketing was. It was me. I was one man machine for eight years. While doing everything, I would work in Belfast at one of the best practices in the UK, david Nelson’s, cranmore and, and you know, while flying, come back to London, take back the kid, drive to central London, the studio, set up tubules live, do the tubules live. Thursday night, come back home, unpack the whole studio filming kits, get to bed after late dinner, back up at four o’clock back at the airport, five am flight to Belfast. That was my life eight years, I think I. They said that I was doing the job of 38 people at tubules on a part-time basis while doing full-time dentistry Wow. And then we got a team on board in 2017. So it’s been a it’s been an interesting, long startup journey.

Dr James: 

So tubules was a one-man band until 2017, because I’ve had tubules for however long, I didn’t realize it was just you behind the scenes.

Dhru: 

Yeah, it was just me In 2017, we got a team David Horn, a bit of investment. We raised a bit of investment from some angel capital and Kala, if the car gem, they’ve been absolute rocks in supporting tubules. So we’re still a small team with a big vision and big hearts and big passion, and that’s what drives business. You know, it’s a. It’s one of the things about business. People don’t understand that dental practice owners, I see, don’t, but people people are the biggest, biggest, biggest resource you have, and how you build that team, how you look after those people, how you inspire those people in your business is such a key. You know people hire teams. Can you do dentistry? Yeah, they hire nurses based on CV, yes, which is fine. Everyone has the skills. That’s not the key. The key is answering what do these people’s? You know, what’s their value? What are their goals? What do they want to achieve? And long term practice owners need to see what. How do these people’s goals link with our practice goals? Will they claim ownership of what they do in terms of their jobs? That’s when you get fired up, inspired staff and when you get inspired staff, you get an inspired business that delivers inspired results, powerful stuff. That’s the key. Yeah, that’s the kind of journey that’s given me those sort of visions.

Dr James: 

Wow, Well, it all makes sense now. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Dhru: 

Whoa, that is really you know, you know I say this, right, I’ll tell you this phrase. It’s in my book, but I’ll tell you this a will. There’s two things. Where there’s a will, there’s either away. Or where there’s a will, there’s a dead person, right. And my view is if you’re not finding that way to keep your dreams alive, if you’re not finding that way, then you’re as good as a dead person living, right.

Dr James: 

Right, that’s a new twist on that saying for me.

Dhru: 

Yeah.

Dr James: 

I’ve always said that the weather’s a will, there’s a way, and whether it manifests itself as the way you initially conceptualize or not, that is almost always entirely another thing. But yeah, that is quite a twist on it. Yeah, yeah, fair enough, interesting stuff. Drew, that was an amazing biography of your journey so far, and you actually, we kind of do it. We jumped into the next question halfway through that as well, inadvertently, because I was going to ask about how dental tubules started. You’ve given me a great history of it. I just wanted to know initially, when you started it out. You designed it to be some sort of forum for us dentists to it was a yeah, it was a forum in the jobs board.

Dhru: 

It was simple as that.

Dr James: 

It wasn’t even education, I wasn’t for terms of education, so that we could discuss cases.

Dhru: 

It was just a forum. It was simply a forum to bring dentists together. It was building and it suddenly realized the power of education behind that, which is what then drove the evolution of tubules. From the forum, it became the website. Then we some people said, drew, can you put some videos on? So we started filming and suddenly realized it rent. It was a free resource from 2009 to 2012. When we put the videos on, the cost of filming those videos is not cheap, absolutely. I mean, we’ve and that’s what my biggest focus you know other other education providers can do webinars. I’ve been forced to do that through COVID, but at tubules, we’ve always said do the highest possible quality, I mean, and so one of the things you say is that you’re not watching somebody’s slides. Education is watching somebody’s passion, watching their body movements, watching their facial expressions, watching that emotion. Emotion is what creates energy and emotion and that creates your memory and learning. So that’s why we did filming. But as a result, we had to rebuild the website and build subscription in. So in 2013, we launched what we call the genius, the first version of the website, with the forum, the videos, and then we launched study clubs in 2015 or 16, which built the community together and eventually you know, we realized this is something that can help everyone. I think 2012,. I was doing live streaming even before Facebook launched it. We were doing live streaming of a first live stream I remember is, I think, early 2013. And ultimately, it wasn’t just delivering knowledge, it was delivering knowledge to a community of like minded people. So it became a growth engine and, in fact, the joys of entrepreneurship never end after having raised a fairly big chunk of cash in January 2017. Eight months later, with Genius 2 launched, we launched the second version of the site. We were five days away from closure and I’ve got a massive tubules video on that somewhere on YouTube as well. I didn’t talk about it, but it can break you into sweat when you’ve put your heart, your soul, your energy, your life, your house you name it on that and your five days from losing it. It’s heartbreakingly crazy. It builds you. If it won’t break you, it’ll build you. We did it. We survived through that. Last few years have been some of the toughest years in building tubules and yet some of the most exhilaratingly rewarding years. And now I think, after 13 years right people or 12 years, sorry people are realizing what a resource it is. We get messages of people saying well done, what a resource you’ve created, what a community you’ve created. And that’s what it is. So it started very simply as a forum and, like you said, where there’s a will, the way we’ll evolve, the path we evolve, but our aim remains our aim. It was more than education, more than CPD. Our aim is to inspire people to love what they do and use the education to grow into what they love they’re doing. That’s ultimately what we do. If you like what you do, you will invest the time, the money, the resources, the energy to grow into it, and that’s what we believe in. So that’s why we say you’re tubulized.

Dr James: 

I think I’m tubulized in that case, because there’s been times before where I’ve definitely felt everybody suffers from burnout in dentistry let’s be real, probably the majority of us do and learning something new about it, a new skill, something like that, it’s just that impetus to feel inspired once more and I really do like dentistry, but we all go through ups and downs and tubules has been something that’s helped me massively 100%. Going back to your book, are you at liberty to say what the title is at this point, or is that top secret?

Dhru: 

No, I’m not allowed to talk about it. I’m not allowed to say it. You’re the first one to hear about the book as well.

Dr James: 

Good thing this won’t be public, then Good thing this won’t be public, true.

Dhru: 

I don’t mind people knowing that there’s a book coming out public.

Dr James: 

Has it even got a working title?

Dhru: 

It’s got a title, it’s got everything in place. All we’re doing is, ultimately, what I’ve found is this, and this is the concept behind the book Like I say, if you’re not inspired, you will not put the money to grow, and if you don’t grow, you can’t thrive right? Ultimately, people need these three things tied in. Very good, in fact, that’s in three tubules taglines inspire, grow, thrive. And when I see people going to work and people sit there and say, oh, I go to work, so many people go to work and are not inspired by what they do, I’m not talking about passion, I’m talking about inspiration. Because inspiration comes from within, right. Motivation comes from outside. Motivation is a manager putting a fire under your bum so you can run faster, right? Motivation is a reward. Motivation is a promotion, motivation is a paycheck. Those things are okay. But when that reward runs out, when that fire under your bum runs out, when that award no longer exists, you feel like what’s the point? Inspiration comes from within. Inspiration is that fire inside you that keeps burning and that gives you the kind of energy that boosts you. And the book’s built behind finding what is inspiration, finding it. When you find your inspiration, you actually find inspired goals in life, things you want to achieve that inspire you and, at the same time, serve a purpose that helps others, that serves others, and you grow into those goals. So the second part of the book is talking about growth and how you get focused, efficient growth into what you do, because hardships, challenges, are good. The more challenges you get, the better your chances of growth. Like you said, dentistry you go up and down quite a lot and it’s not just learning new skills and that’s one of the things about dentistry that dental school never tells you. Your personal and professional development should go hand in hand. Self-development and technical development go hand in hand, and so we have to push that. So the book’s looking at all of that and ultimately, my purpose in life is to supercharge people, to love what they do and do it at the best. So my book’s going to be all about that.

Dr James: 

I look forward to reading Real quick guys. I’ve put together a special report for Dentist entitled the Seven Costs and Potentially Disasters Mistakes the Dentist may whenever it comes to their finances. Most of the time, dentists are going through these issues and they don’t even necessarily realize that they’re happening until they have their eyes opened, and that is the purpose of this report. You can go ahead and receive your free report by heading on over to wwwdentistuneinvestcom forward slash podcast report or, alternatively, you can download it using the link in the description. This report details the seven most common issues. However, most importantly, it also shows you how to fix them Really. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Enjoy. And when you were touching on mindset there, mindset is something that I’ve realized the true magnitude of maybe only within the last two, three years, when you have to kind of condense what you were talking about there. I think the short term for what you’re speaking of is the growth mindset, so to speak, in vertical commas. So it’s when you go through life and you have this ethos or this mentality that, no matter what happens to you or what challenge comes you come across, even if it’s the worst thing in the whole world, it’s put there to grow you. It’s put there to grow you and if you see it almost as a challenge, that flip on its head of concepts, concept or how you look at it it means that you see everything as an opportunity to grow, and even the very worst things that happen to you. If you think to yourself, do you know what? If I beat this and I come out the other side, think of the person I’m going to be. It’s just a really interesting way of flipping bad things in your life, on your head. That someone taught me a while ago and it really helped me.

Dhru: 

It really helps because it’s not growth mindset. You know, carol Dweckston, a shed load of work on the growth mindset, but growth mindset comes when you know your purpose, when you know what inspires you and you know what, where that inspiration is taking you, because you step up every time. You know, as Les Brown says, you know if you fall down, fall in your back, because if you look up then you will stand up and ultimately what these means by that is you know where your goals are. The growth mindset is a learning mindset and it’s knowing that this is just a small trip up in my road to where I’m going. That’s why I always I you know I’ve coined it as a five pillars of two bills growth, but direction is the first pillar. If you don’t know where you’re going, if you don’t know why you’re doing something, you’re not going to stand up that quickly. In dentistry we currently have that problem, right, people say let me do CPD as a tick box. Jesus Christ, come on, take the time, invest in your learning If you want a successful, growing career. Take the plunge of practice, ownership, build your destiny. That’s what I always say. People say it’s too expensive on two bills and I sort of say, look, I think two bills isn’t ready for you yet, or you aren’t ready for two bills. But that mindset, growth mindset, goes hand in hand with where do you want to go and what’s your inspiration.

Dr James: 

The tubules fee, I think is a bargain, and by the way, Drew has not paid me to say that or anything of that nature.

Dhru: 

but there’s a, there’s a guy on there.

Dr James: 

What’s his name? David. You know the bio clear matrix guy, david Clark.

Dhru: 

David Clark.

Dr James: 

You’ve got one of you’ve got his two day lecture on there about the bio clear matrices and it’s like 1500 to go on that course on its own and I’m like right, two bills is just paid for itself, just then. But, like I said, Drew has not paid me a penny to say that. I personally just think it’s a great resource and it’s great value.

Dhru: 

Look, I did it out of passion. In those first eight years I wasn’t paid a dime for it. In fact, I lost money. You know, I invested my savings. I don’t do it for financial gain. That comes as a result of good work. If I do it over the years, I still get a salary where, in all honesty, james look, the truth is I could have been in dental practices, especially. Spare don’t is that I am more money, even with the salary I get now from tubules, one day in practice would cover it. But I don’t do it for that. I put my energy, my passion somewhere where you know I go with and this is a question I ask every viewer, you know, and every listener if you had all the money in the world, would you be doing what you’re doing today? If you had everything paid for, would you be doing what you’re doing today? If your answer is not no, just give it a good thought. And my answer is yes, I would still be doing what I do, which is using tubules to supercharge people.

Dr James: 

Amazing. What a great way to go through life when you feel like you get out of bed every day and you’ve got a reason to be put on this earth and help people and all the rest and things like that. Yeah, it’s great. No, I know what you mean. I know what you mean, but if you feel that your motivation is self perpetuating, and it’s yeah, it’s not about the money. Effectively, I had a question actually about running dental tubules. So from the outside, looking in it, just, you know, you’re always someone who’s very active on the WhatsApp groups. If anyone has a question, you’ll pop in, you’ll say hello, you’ll give your insight. I’m sure there’s a lot of people who get in touch with you over Facebook and what have you? You said that you work in practice two days a week as well. I’m just wondering what is this? What’s the kind of split in your time? I mean, is this something that you’re able to compartmentalize quite easily and you just say, nope, I’m doing my nine to six with dental tubules. My own time is my own time, or does it kind of all blend into one? I’m just curious what it looks like.

Dhru: 

You know what it all blends into one, and this is an area I’m improving on. To be honest with you, I kind of don’t sleep much and so I get you know. Day before yesterday I was up at 3.45 AM, so between 3.45 and maybe 6.45 AM I spent three hours reading. I do, I like reading a lot. I don’t think you can see in the podcast, but on the screen you’ll see.

Dr James: 

these are the books I’ve read oh yeah, that’s quite the collection there, Wow.

Dhru: 

So those are the last maybe three months, if that, and the way I read books. I read them, I listen to the book on an audio book if it’s available, and then the third reading will be making notes. So I really try and internalize books. So I need time for that. That’s my solace. I play music, things like that, so everything blends in and I’m the kind of guy if I get an idea, I get a thought, I fly with it and I don’t know what’s going on. Sometimes I have a wife and a little kid who keep me on my toes to say, get the heck off work and stand time with family. So I put my phone on the side and she has to remind me often enough, which is great, but it’s nice, it all blends in. My practice days are two days Tuesday and Wednesday. I suppose those are cordoned off in terms of the timings. I don’t extend the timings. I do fairly long days but I don’t extend them. And beyond that every living minute is done either with the entire two builds or the foundation or my own work. My role on two builds because of what I’ve done is leadership. I’ve got to be the visionary, I’ve got to think strategy at one end of the scale. At the other end of the scale, I’ve also got to do the basic work. The initial support calls the Facebook, the WhatsApp, all the messages. I used to get about 400 emails a day, just emails. Beyond Facebook, linkedin, whatsapp, instagram, people have my phone number. I’m pretty open and approachable in that way. As time has gone on, I found ways to minimize that. Some of my team have taken up the pressure. We have created content where answers can be obtained through automation little things like that. We’ve also now got people who understand the concept better and carry the message for us. The work never ends, the pressure never ends.

Dr James: 

On the flip side, though, what I will say is, if you’re as passionate about something as what you seem to be about, then timeshield builds. Then I bet it doesn’t even really feel like work. My policy, or my new policy that someone taught me a while ago was, when it gets to nine o’clock, you put your phone on the table and you flip it upside down and you turn the vibration off so you can’t see the screen, and then you’re not tempted to look at it. That’s just my personal policy. Then that way, you get some sleep. That’s just what works for me.

Dhru: 

It works. Part of what we do is serve people. We will have people doing CPD or tubules work or whatever, learning at 11 at night. If they have a query, we try Generally up to about 1 or 2 am. We try and support them as best as we can.

Dr James: 

I just enjoy it. I just enjoy it personally. I just enjoy chatting to people. That’s why I tend to even though I’ve said I’ve got that hard and fast rule there quite often, I break that almost every day. I think what’s really?

Dhru: 

important is to know which bits to respond to, which bits not to and where to switch off. There is certain points in time now where I switch off all connectivity so I can focus on what I’m doing. I think focus is so important, more than time management. People need to learn focus. Management and protecting yourself from distraction so you can focus on your optimal tasks at your optimal time is very, very important. I’m building more of that. I know my optimal hours and during those hours focus becomes key.

Dr James: 

I’m working on that as well, because I’m someone who enjoys quite a lot of reading too, whether that be dentistry or trading in finance and what have you. What I do struggle with is if I have the phone next to me, I get very distracted, and if I was able to hone my focus on one particular thing, I could be that much more efficient. But I’m working on it, I’m getting there. I’m getting there. It sounds like you’ve went through something similar almost. Yeah, sorry, joey.

Dhru: 

Go on. It’s a process of evolution, as you evolve and grow, you adapt, you learn, you change and you optimize.

Dr James: 

I’m getting there. I’m working on it. I wanted to know you’ve obviously someone who’s dedicated a massive amount of time to this. How do you stay motivated? Have you got any tips and tricks?

Dhru: 

It’s to keep your inspiration. Ultimately, it’s about keeping your inspiration, and what I find is that a lot of people do things just because they do it right. I mean, I come to let me put it this way we had a lockdown Dental practices were closed for three months. If we were really inspired about doing the best for our patients, then we would have found ways to continue patients and I know some practices who did coffee mornings or who did educational days for their patients through Zoom or things like that, because their purpose served beyond themselves. And as soon as you find a purpose and that keeps you beyond yourself, it’s no longer about you. It’s something bigger, it’s something greater. You don’t need motivation. As I told you, motivation is the fire under your bum that a manager puts in that’s gonna burn out. You need that fire blowing inside you all the time, the inspiration. Inspiration comes from finding a purpose that’s bigger than yourself, and that’s what I’ll say Ultimately. That’s what keeps me going. I have to say that everything else flows in from there and you’re so. Then you become so focused in it, you become so driven by it, you get so into it. You just get inspired and this ideas flow through you. These ideas flow into you. You think freak, that’s a good idea, this is a good way of doing it. You find solutions. You find new problems which you want solutions for. You find new opportunities, new challenges, everything comes. So the key is again going back to figuring out where your inspiration lies and in dentistry you couldn’t find a bigger inspiration than anything else and that inspiration is serving another human being who’s putting your trust in you.

Dr James: 

That’s awesome. What are your favorite parts about being an entrepreneur?

Dhru: 

I think, look, I’m a challenge driven guy, I like challenges, so that’s one of my best bit. The challenges can knock you for a six, but I love them. So I suppose, as I’ve been going through the entrepreneurial journey, it’s about how do we challenge yourself further. Don’t wait for the challenge to come, just find a challenge yourself. I love that. The other part about entrepreneurialism is that you express your creativity. You express things the way you want and make them happen. You are creating a future and I love that. And I suppose the other thing I like is you’re in control of your time and the way you work things, and I love all of that. Entrepreneurialism isn’t easy. It’s not for the faint-hearted, because you have to work a lot of things out. You’re going through, you’re chartering through paths that nobody else has done before, so you have to figure out a lot of things and if you’re not a problem solver, if you’re not a creative thinker, it can become a challenging place. I like problem solving, creative thinking, so those I love it, absolutely love it.

Dr James: 

Awesome, yeah, it is. I can imagine that it’s a lot of fun and there must be an immense satisfaction from feeling like you’ve overcome, particularly burdened, some problem, almost, you know, by thinking outside the box, I should imagine. Anyway, when you spoke earlier about dental tubules and how it sounds like not even that long ago, your back was almost against the wall financially. I mean, what was it you said five days until things almost went very pear shaped when we I think the public common perception of procuring capital for a business correct me if I’m wrong. It might be a little bit overdramatized. Maybe we’ve all watched a little bit too much Dragon’s Den, but we’re in there. We’ve got our backs to our walls. We’ve got a pitch. This is make or break. We’re speaking of some big business tycoons. We have to sell it and get it over the line. Is that what capital procurement looks like in real life, or is it more along the lines of a casual conversation with the bank manager? I’d love to know more.

Dhru: 

It depends where you procure a capital fraud.

Dr James: 

Yeah, I guess so.

Dhru: 

When I had to procure the first batch of capital for my savings and earnings. It was probably the most challenging discussion because I had to have it with my wife, right, and then you know I mean support and understanding, but you know what I mean. It’s talking to a family member and convincing them not easy. The second conversation, with banks and funding, sort of crowd sourcing, was challenging as well. People want to see a return on investment. We even failed a crowdfunding what do you say? A crowdfunding sort of round we did a couple of years ago. We had to get to a certain level before it goes public. We put that out to the dental tubules community and lots of dentists put the money in, but we couldn’t get over the line. So we got zero. And then over the last few years, obviously we got some angel investment, which was very great. And then, you know, looking for the second batch of investment hasn’t been easy. The thing that really gets to me is people want to see money return and I guess I’m a different thinker. So when people say what’s the return on investment and I turn back and go, to be honest, I’m just going through a vision, a purpose. For 12 years I’ve followed this purpose. If that purpose is powerful enough, the money, the return, will come as a consequence. And where we have to think about investment is think beyond just the financial spreadsheets and understand that those financial returns are a consequence of super great work, creative thinking, innovation in a challenging, challenging, crazy world, unpredictable technologically advanced world. That’s what we’ve got to look for. Personally, to me, I think the investment model needs to change because, as an entrepreneur, I’ve found it very challenging to get people who understand the vision, who get the vision. This is a big vision. My big vision is to tubularise 2 billion people around the world in the next 10 years, and that’s what I’m going with. It’s a lot of depth of thinking. Now, ultimately, I’ve built the vision. I’ve built the goals. I’ve just got to keep striving towards it. Everything else falls in. But it’s not Dragon’s Den style, it’s not drama, not music. It is heartwarmingly difficult as an entrepreneur to raise cash. It is frigging crazy. As you have a track record, it becomes a bit more. The strings are a little bit better because they trust your repayment abilities, they trust the way you go. But let’s put it this way Lord Bill Amoria, who opened Cobra Beer I was listening to his story and his back was up against the wall after 30 years. So this will always happen. It’s a business challenge. If anybody wants to own or run any kind of a business, from a small dental practice to a big corporation, just be aware you’ll be doing this all the time. It’s not like Dragon’s Den, where you get a bit of investment, you go, yay, brick against the wall and that’s the end of the story. You’re doing this all the time and you’re approaching cash flow all the time. Covid, covid comes and lots of dentists overnight cancel their subscriptions to Tubules. You’re like Jesus and we have to survive through that. Plus, we put 3% of our growths to the foundation. So you can imagine the challenges we face, but we stick to the purpose. As an entrepreneur, that’s the main bit. There’s different ways of raising funding and depending on who’s on the other side of the discussion. You have to keep convincing them and make them believe in your vision.

Dr James: 

At least we don’t have to worry about Deborah Meadden and Peter Jones then I suppose.

Dhru: 

I suppose not at the moment.

Dr James: 

That is interesting stuff, though I wasn’t actually too familiar with the process and I think that it is something that, like I say, maybe we have this excessively dramatized concept off because we all watch Dragons Den and its role is to make a good TV show rather than be representative of reality. So I wanted to know what was how that actually manifested.

Dhru: 

So it’s super interesting, like I say, I think you’ve got to know your business. You’ve got to know your plans. You’ve got to have a good outcome. You’ve got to be clear. You’ve got to have a clear purpose. You’ve got to be clear on your marketing plans, your journey, your path and people will believe you better Part of my evolution has been that Three, four years ago I don’t think I knew. Let’s put it this way. I’ve probably figured out what I’m doing after 12 years, few weeks ago.

Dr James: 

So I built TV. That process continues, though I bet that process continues, though I bet In another year’s time you’ll have another epiphany. I suppose it’s natural, but that is interesting to hear you say that. Is there anything you might say to someone who was thinking off maybe creating their own venture as an entrepreneur, regardless of the concept, just broad rules of thumb.

Dhru: 

I think one of my biggest things is to look around and understand the problem that the business is solving, understand the people you’re serving and understand that in big detail, because ultimately, your business lives or dies by the problem you’re solving. If it isn’t a problem, you wouldn’t have a business there and spend a lot of time understanding this. Get into the mindset of your potential customers. I think it took me a long time to figure that out, but that’s the first thing I would do. And the second thing is that when you get into business, yeah, take the jump. Have some guides or mentors around you or a community that can support you, because it’s not easy. The stress levels can be high, very damp high. They’re higher than the GDC threat, I can tell you that and have a supportive community. And the third thing I say is just build your resilience, because if you do it right, jesus is the most rewarding journey. Like anything else in life, the harder the thing is, the more rewarding when you get to somewhere, it’s just that much more satisfying. That’s what I normally suggest.

Dr James: 

Awesome stuff. Thank you so much. We have, of course, got you on this. Well, the page with the primary function of the page, is about investing, so I was just curious to know, drew, do you invest in anything on the side?

Dhru: 

I you know what. When I graduated with a lot of debt, I played, I worked on the stock market for a while investing in shares. I invested in what was fairly I laugh I said I invested in what was fairly stable shares. At that time A lot of my shares were in the banks and up to 2009, they did well and between that period of 2004 and 2007, I got good returns. But after 2009, they just plummeted because of the crash. So some of my shares still sit in there. There was a bit of cash I put in the dotcom bubble in 2000. And that money still sort of sits there, god knows where, but I haven’t looked at it. But I beyond that, I haven’t built a shared portfolio because in the last 15, 12, 15 years most of my investment has been in downtown tribules. If that’s yeah, I put all the money in there, building this business, building this portal, and that’s the value that I’ve developed across there. I think what I suggest to anyone who is talking about investing think about three buckets in life. Put a certain percentage of your monthly income which you say you’re going to invest, and most people think let me put some money in so I can get quick returns quick money. So that’s a growth kind of investment. But you’ve also we’ve all got big dreams right. We all want to own a boat or I don’t want to own a boat, but we all have things like that holiday home, whatever. Keep a bit of a pot for that. But I think the most important investment to put money is your secure investment, things that secure you, whether it’s the house or your savings account, and our money doesn’t have value in terms of the returns but the compounded interest on that would be good. A secure investment, maybe some insurance that you put money in, because it’s shit, it’s the fan you’ve got a back on that. And perhaps your first stock investments put some money into secure stocks that you know will remain stable and will have slow growth but will have growth over time. Then go on to the high growth stuff, because the high growth stuff is high risk stuff but it returns well. It returns well, it kicks you hard, it will re-kick you damn hard, and that’s my way of talking about investment. If you do that sort of a structure I didn’t do it for a while. I should have I instead spent a bit more on holidays maybe. But there we are, you live and learn. I think that’s what I would talk about investment to the community, one step at a time.

Dr James: 

That ties in with my slant on investing as well, because what sometimes irks me about the whole investment world is we have newsletters, we have websites, we have X, y and Z that will try to push us stocks or push us some great new asset. You know what I mean, ie risk or capital. There’s always a conceded agenda with any resource, anything of that nature, and really, even before you get on to risk in your capital, the main thing is that you stay in the game, and by staying in the game what I mean is having enough cash flow to keep your head above water. Is, if you’re out of the game, there’s no scope for investing there whatsoever. And even if you are at the point where you’re preserving capital, you’re not necessarily risking your money and various assets, this, that and the other. As long as you can keep building to the point where you stay above water and then you can invest, then surely to me that’s the most important thing, and this is why the bias in that well, in the investment world or in the finance world, sometimes does annoy me, because and then that carries through to a negative perception that people may have of it as well, because they think that it’s inherently risky when actually there’s all these many more facets to it that often don’t get talked about, and the essence of it is that you’re trying to grow your wealth and protect yourself mainly and then grow your capital secondary to that both important things. Protecting yourself is number one.

Dhru: 

It is. And also, I think one of the things to remember in any investment game or anything realistically is that you have to do it one step at a time. This talk about fast growth companies. This talk about fast growth investments. Yes, fast growth is brilliant. Not everything’s fast. Good, solid things are built slowly and that’s one of the things sometimes. Just slow down, think hard, stop following the damned media. You know, hype is my theory, but that’s me.

Dr James: 

Do you know what I was reading? Something I’ve just finished a book Van Tharps how to invest your trade your way to financial freedom. Oh yeah, have you read it?

Dhru: 

No, I haven’t. No, I haven’t heard of it. Yes, it’s an amazing book.

Dr James: 

And one part of the book. He devotes a whole chapter to breaking down investment newsletters and their returns over time and he interviewed 20 of these newsletters. Turns out only one in 20 of them actually tracked their portfolios and their recommendations and when he backed, when he back tested that, he found out that half of them lost money. How crazy is that? And these people advise people on what to invest in.

Dhru: 

I don’t think anybody can predict these things. I think the only person who I think who’s kind of defied the stock market is Ray Dalio. As far as I can think right and I’ve anything that’s the one person every investor should follow, with his principles and his app and his new book and strategies that Ray Dalio is given, and the other one is Tony Robbins book. His finance book is latest one. He’s actually putting a lot of the principles from Ray Dalio into that because in essence, Ray Dalio doesn’t take any new clients anymore and he’s got massive portfolios. So that’s some of the things to look at.

Dr James: 

I’ve read. I’ve watched some of Ray Dalio’s videos on YouTube. I have not read his books but he’s, he’s somewhere. He’s on my hit list somewhere near the top of authors I need to check out sometime soon. Tony Robbins is an interesting one because I was only ever familiar off him in his life coach role or his speaking role. But I didn’t realize there’s this whole other dimension to Tony Robbins that deals with finance as well, and it was only through doing the group that a lot of people have come to me and said oh, I read Tony Robbins book, I really like his work on finance, and that was when I began to become familiar off him. So that was a bit strange for me because I only ever know him. He’s quite he’s got, he’s quite loud mouthed, isn’t he? And he’s he’s quite in your face is. His motivational style is a bit interesting, to say the least, and I always to marry up my concept of him with the guy who also does solid long term investing. It just doesn’t. It’s a bit of a spin.

Dhru: 

There’s three things. Right, there’s three parts of a wheel, and this is what I’ve always said. I put it on the slides that we do introduction to build life. There are three things in life where I feel you should develop concurrently. I’ve kind of highlighted the two the personal development and the professional development. The third wheel is the financial development. And if you do those three together then you find yourself moving forward that much better. And that’s why Tony Robbins falls into that, because he helps your personal development. He he enables your professional development concurrently and, as a result, financial development comes on the back of that.

Dr James: 

I never would have taken him seriously as a financial advisor, but a number of people that have come to me and said that he’s really good. Maybe I need to check his book site, but another great book I read recently I’ve got it over here the psychology of money. It’s all about common misconceptions and common reasons why people fail in the market and more often than not, it’s because of their own psychology, apart from anything else. And it deals with when people are up with their money. They become frivolous with it rather than treating it like real money. And even though that sounds obvious, it’s until you see it, until you read it back to yourself. When you understand it a little bit more in depth, you’ll realize that we all do this to a degree, because we all live within our means. When our wealth grows, it’s inevitable we all do that and, yeah, to flip that on its head, to use that money and save it and store it and not spend it excessively is creating true wealth and something that you can use later on in life. So I find that really interesting actually and, like I say, it sounds obvious, but I think that perhaps to the degree that you do, it won’t become what won’t become that obvious to you until you read it. You read these books, so that’s another book that I would recommend.

Dhru: 

I think you put that in the group, so I will have a look at that.

Dr James: 

Oh, it’s one of the best I’ve read on finance. I really like that book Really really good one. And another one is Andrew Craig’s how to Own the World, because it’s specifically tells you how to create a portfolio with Sips and Isis. So it’s UK, it’s UK centric. A lot of the other ones are American centric, so they talk about 401ks and what have you, which doesn’t really, which is their tax free investment vehicle for retiring. So, as I say, to have it put in UK terms, and an explanation of just how much inflation is underplayed by the government. It’s really really interesting ones. So those are definitely two of my favorite. And again, it’s not about risk and capital. It’s about staying in the game, almost, and protecting yourself, which was a way. When I began thinking of investing in those terms, it totally flipped it on its head for me.

Dhru: 

Oh, okay. So, yeah, that’s very interesting, isn’t it? It’s, it’s, yeah, it’s being in the game. The house should never win.

Dr James: 

Yeah, that’s the theory. When we spoke about mindset earlier, julia, and we’ve obviously just touched upon books, and what have you just then? What are your favorite resources that helped you in your journey to finding your passion and becoming someone who wakes up every day and just feels so energized and ready for the day and driven and purposeful? I think?

Dhru: 

I tap into a lot of resources. I read a lot of books. So Amazon, probably because Amazon recommends and you know, at one point my wife kept saying how many books are you going to order? Because every few hours there’s something being posted to the envelope post box. Another resource I use hugely is YouTube In the same way. Okay, youtube doesn’t have a lot of you know, useful content, but once you get into the useful stuff, you can really go in and pick up nuggets. Especially when I was really down on cash and I couldn’t spend money on anything, I used YouTube and I got so many nuggets of learning from different people, different things. You know whether I was listening to Brian Tracy or Tony Robbins or Jodie Spencer or I can’t remember the top of my head, but there’s so many playlists I’ve got on YouTube now which I used From there on. I’ve sort of done a lot of online courses and, depending on who I work with, satash Yurik does some really good courses on insight and personal development. I did Brian Tracy’s course again. I’ve had up to persuasion and influence courses. So I use variety of resources. Ultimately, I didn’t have my own little books where I make notes all the time and I connect things. I learned something from A and B and C In my head. I’ll put it together to what serves me and, being the creative person, I just come up with some other insight, I suppose. So that’s what I do, that’s what I like doing.

Dr James: 

The more you learn, the more you earn, you say.

Dhru: 

The more you learn, the more you earn if you decide to apply what you learn.

Dr James: 

Well, yeah, that should be the third, the second part of that, shouldn’t it? Yeah, quite right, I am someone as well who is maybe only really kind of tapped into the power of books within the last two years of my life, and I wish I would have just started reading earlier, and being dedicated to being a lifelong reader is something that will grow you in so many ways that I could never have imagined I would have grown until I started along that path. So maybe we’re on the same wavelength, sort of, on that front, definitely, and I would actively encourage anybody who’s listening to, always, always, always have a book on the go.

Dhru: 

I think the thing is you’ve got to look at it this way right Books? You will read books if you enjoy what you’re doing about or if you really have a yearning for learning, which takes me back to the right to where we talk about.

Dr James: 

I love that.

Dhru: 

Yeah, if you’re not inspired enough, you wouldn’t pick a book up. In the same way, If you’re not inspired enough you wouldn’t go to press play on a video, whatever it is right. So it’s. You know that’s. I mean, I’ve spent $400 on a six hour course and you know that sort of thing, but I was inspired enough and I knew that course was valuable for what I was inspired by. Very important Each book, every book you read, normally is about 10 or 12 chapters and each chapter takes me about an hour to read. That’s the average read time anyway. That means you have 10 hours of learning in that book that you’ve just gone through. If you think about a university, you have 12 weeks in a semester. Basically, with one book you’re completing one module of learning. Now, if you did five books, you’ve pretty much completed a semester. 15 books a year You’re doing a university degree. That’s the way I translate things.

Dr James: 

Yeah, I guess you’re right. I never thought of it in those terms before. Before I started reading a lot, I had Stephen Hawkins latest book and I was reading it Okay, reading it in vertical mass for anybody’s listening. I can’t see for two years, all right and what that means, of course, is you read a chapter and then you don’t read it again for another nine months and then you read another chapter or something like that, and I just wasn’t making great progress because the book didn’t resonate with you.

Dhru: 

It didn’t. It’s an inspire you because it wasn’t resonating with what your value bits were. You’re reading all the investing books because right now You’re enthused, energized, investing money. It’s resonating with you. It’s become a value for you. I think you will immerse things that become valuable for you.

Dr James: 

I think you’re right, you know. But yeah, like I say, I’ve Since become a lot more well, a lot more focused in my my reading habits and it’s definitely helped me a lot. So, yeah, anybody who’s listening definitely would recommend it to everybody. We talked about then final tubules, true, yes, how do you help now? Obviously, I’m sure everybody who’s watching knows what then time or sugar is, is, but let’s say, somebody’s just heard Of it for the first time today on this podcast. How does then time or sugar’s help us dentists?

Dhru: 

It goes back to what I say. It’s about inspiring yourself, growing and thriving. So many dentists Want to do the best they can for their patients, want to have a happy, stress-free life I’m well stress as less stress life and they want to be growing. Ultimately, humans want to grow dental tube. You help you do that. Five things that really work well. Number one we have this because we go beyond ticking CQC and GDC boxes that happens anyway but one we have, the IPDP. That’s been designed to quickly develop it, but it’s your personal development planner and your professional development educational planner. So it helps you set the direction where you want to go. I got I don’t know two thousand plus online videos. Now if you really want to learn, you can go and learn. So that’s the second pillar of growth. The third pillar of growth is acquiring those skills. Dental tubules runs courses all the time and zone courses. Our Congress does that. The fourth pillar of growth is your environment, where you are, where you’re supported to grow and when you make mistakes You’re given positive encouragement. Our practice membership is built for that. We. We help develop these practices into teams that are beyond just CPD. These are teams that use tubules to inspire themselves. And the fifth pillar of growth is Community. You become like the five percent of people you hang around with Dental tubules as study clubs around the country. You go to the study clubs, you hang out with these people who put that zest of energy and growth within you. So dental tubules helps every single individual use education, education connection learning to grow to become better versions of their self and they use education, connection, learning to inspire themselves in dentistry so that they love what they do every day and they’ll learn to value themselves in that way as well.

Dr James: 

That’s what we aim to do. I love that so much. More than just a portal for dental videos, more it’s a community as well, and you know what? You know the WhatsApp groups that we have Regions yeah, I learned so much from those, because you can just throw any question out there and people who are in your area will Answer them almost straight away. So that, to me, is very valuable. Anything exciting that you’d like to tell us all about that’s occurring with dental tubules over the next coming months, coming year? I know that you mentioned your book. Maybe you’re all your time.

Dhru: 

There’s a lot of exciting things coming on the on the website itself. At some level, we’re looking to bring, hopefully, the web team more in-house and you will see a lot of things. Cove. It has changed things a little bit, but I think what’s gonna be the most exciting thing for me in 2021 is influencing change in dentistry. I think the the way I’d like to put it is the era of CPD is over. People need to stop thinking CPD. They need to start thinking growth and Actually we need to measure every person on how are they investing in their growth using these five pillars? That’s what we’re gonna focus on. So I want dentists to be really growing and loving what they do, because then patients will value that and Patients will get the best care and ultimately, that is going to raise the whole dental game, because if patients value dentistry, they will value everything we do. They will ask us for the best of what we do. That means we can give them the time. Hopefully, we can charge them appropriately. Everyone wins in that game, not this. Actually, let me just tell you the funniest story of the unit of car activity. Have you heard this one? I haven’t. Have you ever heard of Frederick Winslow Taylor and this is something for everybody to think. Frederick Winslow Taylor was a management consultants in in the late 1800s, early 1900s and I think it was Ford Motor Company or somebody invited him and said there Can you tell us how to generate more profit and get the most of our workers in the factory? Now, you know, when you run an assembly line and you’re a worker for a car, you’re repeating the same job every day. You’re you know whether it’s it’s screwing on something or putting a door on there right. So if you are one of the workers on this assembly line and as the car body passes by, you just put a door there. Next one passes by and you put the door there. That’s what they were doing. So let’s, let’s, let’s assume we’ll call this person is doing a unit of door activity right for each one UDA. Now, in essence, this um, frederick Winslow Taylor was told how do you make them more efficient? And ultimately he said the best way to make them more efficient is wait, make them work faster, make them work harder and Tell these people that they will have to work from a certain time to a certain time and they will only have a certain lunch break. In essence, push your people more, the more efficient you make them. That’s called a labor worker and the labor worker works as fast as possible in a repeatable job. Unfortunately, that gets translated into automation. The second version is the knowledge worker. The knowledge worker is the person who Works and the front end, but all the hard works done at the back end. When you see your patients, patients value that. Before you saw them, you’ve spent time in the back end understanding their problem, treating planning, spend hours Putting a good plan together. You spent hours in the back end Learning the skills that you’re going to apply to them. So, although the patient thinks that you only see in them for 20 minutes, they know that 20 minutes came from three hours of hard work and that’s a knowledge worker. And Higher up is someone called a value worker. But I’m not going to go into that. The only thing to put in this is as the future, knowledge workers will have greater value and as people, as dentists, as investors, whatever You’ve got to become a knowledge worker, don’t work faster. The real benefit is in working slower, working more intelligently and working more efficiently. That way.

Dr James: 

That’s really interesting. That’s really interesting and it’s the education that behind the scenes, behind the scenes, they permit you to do that and, yeah, that’s something that I hop on about as well. I like, I really like that analogy. I’ve never heard that in those terms. I love it. I might steal that one drew Drew. Go ahead, drew. It’s been an absolute pleasure today. Can I just say that we’re gonna wrap up now. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

Dhru: 

Thank you and thanks for inviting me, and I hope show number 10 is valuable to everybody who listens to it.

Dr James: 

I’m sure it will be.

Dhru: 

I think you’re doing a fantastic job. Keep going, keep growing.

Dr James: 

Yeah, I’m doing my best. I must say I’m really enjoying it and, as I said, I just found it strange that there was nothing like this and dentistry before, and part of what the mission statement or the mission objective is to get people to see Investing from the point of view that it’s actually safer to invest some in a safe fashion. Then it is to have all your money in cash, because that was something that completely changed my world. But the nitty gritty of how you do that is being clever, is being educated, what have you? You know all those other parts in between, but that was that’s the message essentially, but, as I say, do you? Thank you so much once again.

Dhru: 

Awesome.

Dr James: 

Thank you. Thank you so much. Hopefully we’ll have you back on the show at some point to impart more wisdom. Until that time drew, I hope you have a wonderful day and we’ll speak again very soon.

Dhru: 

Enjoy your day and thanks everyone, and thanks for the invite.

Dr James: 

Take care. All the best. Bye, bye. If you enjoyed this podcast, please hit, follow or subscribe so you can stay up to date with information on new podcasts which are released weekly. Please also feel free to leave a positive review so others can learn about this podcast and benefit from it. I would also encourage any fans of the podcast to sign up to the free Facebook community from which the podcast originated. Please search dentists who invest on Facebook and hit join to become part of a community of thousands of other dentists Interested in improving their finances, well-being and investing knowledge. Looking forward to seeing you on there. You.