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Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

James: 

Hey team, welcome back to the Dennis Smith Invest podcast. I wish and hope that everybody is having a flipping lovely day, wherever you are in the world. Here I have today a different podcast, because it’s a little bit of a thoughtful podcast. It is a reflective podcast where myself and Dr Bill Kellner Reid will be discussing wealth, but in the rear view mirror, and the things that we wish we would have known a long time ago. We will go back and talk to that avatar of ourselves once upon a time, many moons ago, and put a hand on our shoulder and say, hey, this is going to happen. What you should do is this here’s how you avoid it. That’s who this podcast is addressed to. Basically, there will be things in there that people in the audience will be like oh my God, that’s me. Maybe there will be other parts that less so. It’s a very personal podcast because it’s more a direct message to James and, I’m sure, a direct message to a previous version of Bill as well, from many moons ago, and within that there will be knowledge and things to learn. Bill, first of all, pleasure to have you on board, and would you say that that’s an apt description for what we’re about to discuss.

Bill: 

Yeah, I think it’s really great to be here. As we said just earlier on, it’s nearly the middle of the night. Where I am right now, for those who’d like to know, I’m just outside Brisbane, in Australia, and it’s the middle of the night and it’s still warm enough to be just in a jumper, so we’re all good. Yeah, absolutely, you’re absolutely right. That said, life through the rearview mirror. Wouldn’t it be nice, wouldn’t it be really great, if you could actually do that, looking that mirror, go back in time and go, oh, I’ll change this, I’ll change that, and so on. Interestingly enough, you talked earlier on about some of the challenges that you faced, james, in making some of the decisions that you had to make. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve spoken to four or five practitioners not all dentists who have hit brick walls, none of their own making. I’ve met a physio with bilateral carpal tunnel and just had an operation on both hands, or both wrists, should I say. A podiatrist who’s just damaged her finger and so she can’t work. A chiropractor who’s got his injuries back so badly he can’t work. Another physio who’s hurt her hip and she can’t work, and a good friend of mine who, a young dentist who has struggled with the mental health issues. It’s nice to be able to talk about these things nowadays. He didn’t talk about these things 50 years ago but he’s had to take some time off because of some of the pressures that we face in practice. Actually, for him, not through the actual work, but through wanting to move on to another practice and some of the difficulties that young practitioners I think all of us have when we decide to move. You know we’re in a associate, somewhere we decide to get up and go and sometimes the understanding isn’t always the way you’d like it to be. Sometimes the moving on isn’t quite as easy as you’d like it to be, and certainly for him it was very difficult. But the point of what I was saying there is you know, when you’re looking at and obviously you’re aimed very much at finance is how do you shore up for those rainy days? I mean sure you can have your insurance policies to make sure you got sickness benefit and so on and so forth. But how is it that you make sure that if you couldn’t practice tomorrow, what would you do instead? You know how do you plan now for something that may never happen, but not, the other hand, that you could?

James: 

That’s beautiful. We finished, then, because I have something to add to that, because if you were finished, yeah, yeah. So here’s the thing sickness cover and all of that, they’re the obvious things, right, are you with me? Yeah, what about? What about? We think beyond that a little bit and think to ourselves okay, what is the plan B? What is the thing that I could do that would bring me fulfillment and joy and bring some income as well? Right, that is within dentistry, within the field of dentistry, but not actually clinical dentistry or something beyond that? Right, what seeds can we plant beyond the obvious thing of just taking out an insurance policy, right? So here’s the thing. This happened to me because I find myself in a position where I couldn’t practice dentistry for three months because I had knee surgery, I had an ACL operation. I couldn’t walk right Now. At the time, I didn’t really have the wisdom to realize that actually, I planted the seeds for myself for a plan B, if I find myself in such a position, many moons before that, because I had this hobby about around this field which was tied to dentistry, which was helpful for dentists to know. However, I’d never really actually put two and two together and realized that this might be of value to someone else. And it was only through the flippant wonders of social media and it is a wonderful thing, when you use it correctly, in my opinion, that I find out that actually other people find value in the things I learn. And, of course, right as soon as you can generate value for someone else, you can make a community and you can potentially be remunerated for that. Should you decide to formalize the content and information that you’re giving people via the means of courses or however you decide to do it, right? That’s just one example, right? So I think for me, the first seed that you can plant is get yourself a body of knowledge in a different field, not even necessarily related to dentists, or not even necessarily something that dentists would find useful themselves, because you don’t have to go down that path. But if you can have a body of knowledge in something that can help dentists, then you can speak to that tribe or community of dentists like no one else can, because you literally walked in those shoes and you were that person. Therefore, the perspective that you bring to that new body of information will be really valuable to that people anyway.

Bill: 

Brilliant, absolutely, and you see it’s so right when you look at it. Let me step you forward quite a few years from where you are right now, james. Let me step you forward to the day that I retired, which is just a year ago now, almost the day a year ago that I retired, and just to give you all the heads up on what retirement really means. Well, you can sit back and you can find a rocking chair and go sit in the front porch and wait for the grim reaper to come, or you can think, no, I still want to be doing something Now, like most things in life. I didn’t occur to me to really research retirement until it happened. I had researched it a little bit because I wanted to. You know I was looking at other things that I wanted to do, but basically what I found when I retired and then when I looked at the research on retirement, I found that many people who retire actually the thing that they miss most is meaning in their life is significance into what they want to do or where they’re going to go from here. You think about if you were to stay in any career not just dentistry, but any career and you do 45 years, as I’ve just done. You do 45 years and then, and you have meaning every day. Every day, you know what you’re going to do. You go in, you do your work, you know you fill your teeth, do whatever it happens to be, and you come home and you’ve had a whole day of meaning. You’ve changed somebody’s life, you’ve got them out of pain, you’ve made them look better. Whatever is done within dentistry, you’ve made a difference. And then from one day to the next, it’s gone. And you go through this interesting time when you think, what do I do now? I mean, my life doesn’t have that meaning. You say, well, you know, spend time with my wife, with my grandchildren, grandchildren, so on and so forth. Yeah, but what about that thing that grabs you now? And that’s where you can get, after all these years in dentistry, to that point and that’s so important when you look back, because what actually you find through life is that meaning or significance changes over time. So what happens is you come into dentistry, you spend the first two or three years thinking I don’t know anything, where you spend your first year knowing everything. Second and third year you don’t know very much. And then you really wonder what on earth you’re doing in the whole career, profession or the world you’re from there on and then you build, and you build, and you grow and you do all the things that we all do in dentistry until you for many of us get to the stage. So I’m now shifting you on about 10 years, james, in dentistry. Now you get to that point when you get around about the age of 40 and you think this is driving me crazy. You know what am I doing this for? It’s just hard work. The patients don’t seem to be grateful. Nothing’s really going in the direction I wanted to go. What’s happening here? And then you have to take stock Now, I actually took stock earlier in my career than that. But there comes a time when you really have to sit yourself down and say what do I want out of this? And you did that early, james. You did that really early. But it’s so important that you get to that point where you go, what am I going to get out of this? Then you have all the fear that rushes in, because let’s say you’re 35, let’s say you’re 40, and you’re married, you’ve got the kids, you’ve got the school fees, you’ve got the mortgage, you’ve got the cars. You’ve got the practice, you’ve got the whole thing, and it all rests on you. Everybody else, it’s all rests on you. And you think, oh, I don’t know that I’m enjoying this that much anymore. Now you have a choice at that point. You either niche your practice down, find something that’s really and you talked about this, james, because I read that you did this but you niche your practice down and do what you really love to do in practice, but then you need to find something outside that you can also do. And the answer to the reason for you doing that and, as you said, we talked about this earlier on is you can then find something else that you’d like to do. And then, when you want to move, you can elegantly move, exit from one thing to the other, rather than going. I don’t want to do that, I can’t stand this anymore. And when you look at practitioners patients too I mean, I’ll tell you a little bit about my background and dentistry in a minute. But when you look at your patients and you look at yourself and you think, oh gosh, I think I’m going to burn out. Now, burnout wasn’t, it wasn’t a thing. When I qualified, we didn’t have burnout yet. It hadn’t happened. Of course it had happened. People were having burnout all the time but we didn’t have a name for it and the name came along quite a lot later on. But you see people in burnout and I remember so clearly a good colleague of mine burning out. He was young, a young practitioner, and just got to the point where it was too much and he just couldn’t turn up for work. So we don’t expect these things to happen. You don’t expect to have a knee operation at your age. That wasn’t on the cards. This physio wasn’t expecting to have bilateral carpal tunnel. She wasn’t expecting that. So there are these unexpected things that we think were invincible till the moment we’re not. And the moment we find out we’re not invincible is when we hit the panic balance. We go. I rely on myself. I’m a sole practitioner. If you’ve read I don’t know whether you’ve read Rich Dad, poor Dad, robert.

James: 

Kiyosaki’s book. You know what right Actually, interestingly, I have it over there on the bookshelf. I have read most of it. I think that’s the one book on finance and we really re-avisive about it that I actually haven’t got run to reading fully yet, but the one part that I do know from it is the quadrant owner versus what is it? Employee, I believe. Yeah.

Bill: 

And if you look at that, I should have a slide presentation here. But if you look at that, we often think of ourselves as sole practitioners or self-employed. We’re self-employed. No, we actually just bought a job. We bought a job and we do that job. We sit in that self-employed. Kiyosaki puts you down in the bottom left-hand corner as somebody who’s self-employed. The problem with that is that you can never build a mature business. A mature business is a business where you can go away on holiday or you can go away for an extended period of time and the business continues to run itself. Often what we find as practitioners is, every time we go on holiday, we then spend the rest of the year earning the money back for the money we spent when we went on that expensive holiday that we really wanted to go on. And, let’s face it, we like going on expensive holidays. We earn the money. Why should we go on the holidays? But you go off, you do that and then you go to earn the money back. Then you get sick and then you go to earn the money back, and then you’ve got staff problems and you go to earn the money back. Then you have an associate who doesn’t do the job you want them to do. You’ve got to redo the work and you’ve got to get the money back, and on and on and on it goes. And so if I were talking back to myself, as we said earlier on James, if I was going back to myself 30 years ago, say OK, what else have you got in place for that rainy day? What have you got there that, if all else, if dentistry stopped for you tomorrow, would you have something in place to carry on with the whole thing coming down, crashing down? And that’s something that I’ve spent a lot of time looking at, a lot of time studying, and my wife and I we run a business on the side. We’d run a business on the side of dentistry that allowed us to do exactly that, and the reason we did it was because we recognized all the things that happened to me through my practice in career. The word was not going to allow me to retire with the same amount of money that I was earning while I was in practice.

James: 

You know what right, I think it’s something that everybody appreciates and pays lip service to is owning some sort of asset like that. But, like yourself, when I went through that knee thing, I was like wow, it really is just dangling by a thread whether or not I earn money from my job, given that as a dentist, right, there’s oftentimes no sick pay, right, yeah. So you have to physically be there, and whilst the money’s good cash flow can be flipping amazing, right, but you can also the cash flow of what goes in can be great. The cash flow of what goes out will rise to that inevitably, right. Ok, and yeah, I feel it’s about having these commerce. If I could go back and shake myself, right, I would be like James, why do you have to wait for something like that to happen before you just take measures and take steps to create something that will mean that that isn’t so much of an issue for you? I think the first thing is to realize that it is possible to do that, because there’s lots of people in that boat as well. They don’t understand that actually, you can create an asset which can give you cash flow, right, it takes a lot of time and a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong, right? People think that stocks and bonds do that for you. Stocks and bonds don’t work like that. You have to let them compromise and appreciate exponentially for many years, right? Actually, the one real way that you can do that well, one real way is business. Ok, that’s the main way that you can create real cash flow. The other one that people talk about is property. Yields are about 8% 10%. It takes a while to get there, right? Anyway, I know you’ve got more to say. There was one other thing that I just wanted to touch upon just there, and that is that it’s very important that we take accountability personally for all of this stuff, rather than outsource it, which is what we often do. Outsource it to a financial advisor to manage our affairs, right. Or outsource it to the indemnity provider for sickness pay, right. The key thing to understand that that is a third party thing, right? They’re never going to care about numero uno as much as numero uno is going to care about numero uno. And these are the ways, these are the steps that you can take in order to put things in place, should that time arise. We can’t earn, because being a dentist is being like a flipping footballer, you have to be at the peak of your physical health, right? Ok? At least I think yeah. And when you take that upon yourself, then you can make something that can sustain you when that arises. And I didn’t appreciate that until I went through that.

Bill: 

Yeah, and then that’s unfortunate. Look, human nature isn’t it? I mean human nature. As I said earlier on, we think we’re invincible, we think we’re going to go on forever and a lot of us do, a lot of us do. But you look at the research and, once again, dentists retire six or seven years later than any other of the professions or any of the other jobs out there. We’re also carrying on till we’re 70 plus. And I was having a chat with a colleague of mine just recently. He’s 69. And he reckons he’s got another five years or so to go, at least maybe 10. And I’m thinking, what are you doing? You know why? Why would you do that? He said, well, I’ve still got my health. And I’m thinking, yeah, but I’ve seen your hands and his hands are like this and I’m thinking I wouldn’t let you come at me with anything. And the guy’s actually into some stuff and I’m thinking, oh no, it’s into injectables and so on. I think I saw somebody coming at me with that and I’m thinking, well, no, I’ll go somewhere else. Thanks very much, but anyway, you know, there it happens and you’ve got to keep going at what you are. But, yes, it is absolutely right. You look at it and you go. Ok, I totally agree with you on you look after numero uno, and I can say that from my point of view, the number of times that I trusted a, I trusted some of the financial advisors and so on, don’t necessarily give you the best advice for you. They definitely give you the best advice for them. That was something that I really found out at a very early age and that continued on and that was a real issue for me throughout my career. It was at times when I’d pretend that I didn’t have the time to actually look at it myself and so I would find somebody to do something for me and then I’d go back and have a look at what it is that they got me into and I realized that I was losing money. But they were fine, and that was one of the things you know. You look at the way you build your practice and all those sorts of things and who you employ, and it makes such a big difference when you look at the way you start your practice, the way you actually run your practice and what your practice actually means. So one of the things I was talking to. Let me come back to something, james, if I may, I talked to you earlier on about a modular course that I’m about I’m just about to put out, and what I didn’t tell you was the title of the course. I can’t remember what the title is, something along the lines of interprofessional generosity, and one of the things that I learned early on in my career was the power of working with other people who were not dentists, and I’ll come into that in just a moment. But so I was talking with a physiotherapist the other day and she’s running she’s Scottish, but she’s running three large practices here in Australia, and one of the things that we both realized she’s realized a lot earlier than I did in my career was, when an associate comes into your practice, you have a choice. You either go you know as much as I do, therefore just go for it and see what you do, or you say, look, I’d like to show you how I run my practice, and this is what I do, and this is what I would expect you to be able to do as well. I won’t take away your clinical freedom. What I want to make sure is that if we’re going to run this practice together, we’re on the same page, and she found exactly the same thing, that she had brought in slightly more experienced physiotherapists and found that they wanted to do it their way. And I’ve done that as well, because I’ve been an associate when I got older and honestly, I was a nightmare for the people who I worked for. I was called all sorts of things, but you know, disruptor was the word, the name that I was called, because I go into somebody’s practice and I disrupt it because I say, well, I can see what you’re doing, but how about we do that in a slightly more efficient way, didn’t?

James: 

get down very well when you’ve got that energy. It’s hard to not be like that though, like when you know and it’s an individual thing and I vibe with that let’s just say that, let’s just leave it there. I find that as well. I find it hard to not tinker.

Bill: 

It is a difficult one. So, coming back to the run to this modular course that I’ve done, it was really to. I was looking back at my career Well, how did I move from NHS to private? And I did it back in 1984, 85, somewhere around about that time, which is quite a long time ago, and the time when there was a real distinction between NHS and private. You really had to look at you’re going to do one or the other. If you mix them, then you’re out the door. You know you’re kicked out because you couldn’t mix the two at all. And so you had to find ways of actually going into private practice. And what I did was I and at this time, james, I was about to give up dentistry altogether I was going to become a pilot. And you know I’d already got yeah, I had my pilot’s license and I was going to go off and I was going to teach people to fly until I got enough hours up to go and do my CPLATPL and become an airline pilot. And I went down and I met a dentist down on the south coast and I said this is what I’m going to do and he said before you do that, why don’t you go on a course. I said I don’t want to, I’m down with dentistry, we’re done. He said go on a course. And he actually said go on a course with these guys and I went off. I went on this course and here I was basically as a visualist in dentistry by this time. And they’re all these happy dentists. I thought what’s wrong with these people? They just got to have lost the plot altogether and they were enjoying what they were doing and I thought I want some of this. Whatever they’re on, I want some of it. And so and this was oddly enough, not that I agree with everything they do, but just go with this for the moment I headed off from there to the Panky Institute in America and did the first continuum with the Panky on TMJ and so on and so forth. And at the same time as I went to the Panky I was also introduced to Harold Gelb. And it was amazing because Harold Gelb is, he looked like Kojak, he comes from New York and Harold Gelb taught TMJ, diametrically opposed to what the Panky were teaching. So I got these two completely different aspects of TMJ and so on and so forth within months of each other. And it was fascinating because here I was sitting in the middle going do I go left, do I go right? Or how about amalgamate everything I’ve learned here and move in that direction? And so I did. And so I spent most of my career doing general dentistry but also treating head and neck and back pain of dental origin. So that opened a whole load of different doors. So when I went into the private sector, what I did was, first of all, I went in. Not a lot of people were doing TMJ work then, and there’s still not a lot of them. Not, in my opinion, every dentist should be doing could have a really, really good understanding of the whole thing, but I know that that’s not the case. I know it’s not. I don’t know whether it’s taught in the UK now, but it’s certainly not no, and it’s not taught here in Australia either. And so here I was able to go into private practice and say you know, I mean I was very young in the game, but somebody would come in and they said, oh, I’ve got a dreadful headache. And I said I can help you with that. And they go really yeah. And then I can help you with that and they go. I guess really bad neck pain I can, I can help you with that, and it was always I can help you with that. And I realized very quickly that I could help some. I couldn’t help them all. And so the interprofessional generosity was when I went out, started network with osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors, naturopaths, massage therapists, and the list goes on and on. And what I found was that I had found my own referral base without really having to advertise. You weren’t allowed to advertise back then, by the way, we didn’t have any advertising, just the plate on the wall. But I was able to build my practice based on this inter referral. So I would have patients who come in to see me and I think I don’t know what to do here. I send them down to the osteopath. The osteopath would say, yeah, I can do this, can you do that? And I say, yes, I can do this. And so we built a relationship and here we were, very here. I was very early on in the piece, actually making my money in the private sector by offering a service alongside my normal general practice work that helped patients with patients with a head, neck and back pain and all sorts of other conditions that I got to learn about as I as I went through my career. So that was that. That’s me in dentistry and what it did, because I was about to give up the whole thing. And rather than give up dentistry, at that time I found this passion. So we talk about meaning and significance. I talk a lot. I have a actually is over there. I’ve just finished writing a book called the more, which is all about finding that significant contribution that you want to make in your life. It goes beyond purpose and the book is all about about how you get there. So it’s a sort of a pictorial story but also has a lot more to it. But the point about this was that back then it gave me a real meaning to dentistry. For me it wasn’t necessarily all mainstream, but it meant something to me when, when, when somebody came in and they had a headache and I said, look, let me help you with that headache today, and they go, thank you very much indeed. And and it was amazing to be able to do that and be so passionate and so drawn in by just one aspect of dentistry and that took me, took me through some really tough times. So I had some some pretty tough times through my career. I made some very interesting decisions. Just to put you in the picture, I’ve had practices in Austria, in England and in Australia. You want to make life difficult, and that’s another piece of that wisdom package. By the way, you want to make life easy in dentistry stay in the same place, was that was not all simultaneously, though, was it there was a different?

James: 

No, no, no, no no, England and Austria.

Bill: 

I ran at the same time Wow.

James: 

Yeah, yeah. And regardless so much in each or not, there’s still quite some achievement.

Bill: 

It was crazy. I mean, thank goodness for Ryanair, that’s what I can say. At that time I was living back between Austria and England with Ryanair until until they stopped flying into the airport where I was working from. So that, on a serious note, I mean I think that when you look at dentistry and you obviously did, james, when you got to that point you look at it and go can I stay here for the rest of my life? Because if you really want to make a very good living and build all the other aspects of life that you want, you need to know that you’re prepared to do that and if you do that, go on.

James: 

All I was going to say there was, there was one more. I thought you were finished, just then. There’s one thing you were going to say, and then I’ve got something to add to that.

Bill: 

Okay, just before you do, what I wanted to say was and these are all the things that you, you know, you learn as you go along and, as I said, things that I love talking about from the stage as well, but when you one of the other things that really was such a powerful part of my practicing life was when I learned about the personalities, when I learned there are different personalities, we are not all built the same, and that was so powerful for me as a practitioner because I thought, oh okay, so I just don’t have to be one of these people who can sit in the same room for eight hours a day, every day of the week, with no window couldn’t do it, it drove me to minted and I had to realize that for me, if you, if you put me in a practice without a window, you might as well shoot me in the head. I need a window or I need to be able to move. I need the flexibility. There are all sorts of things you find out about yourself. But the other thing about personalities I won’t go into details now, but the other thing about understanding the personalities is that you get to understand your patients. You get to understand the different way of approaching a patient, just based on their personality, and that’s so powerful and so important because it allows patients to really believe in you yeah, I went through this.

James: 

This is I’ve got something else to say. But just to add further to the, to that thing that you just said just now, right, I remember having that epiphany when I was 28 and I was like, whoa, not everybody wants me to come in and be like, hey, I’m here, I’m a dentist, high energy, all that stuff people want to be presented to in a more meek fashion, speak a little softer, more submissive body language, all of those things. I remember having that epiphany and that’s actually a lifelong process, isn’t it to be able to adapt who you are to the person that you’re interacting with? Um and uh, yeah, as a dentist, you know the way you will best interact with your patients is where you wear slightly different masks for every single one of them and you match your energy. That’s what I find. I thought my, my naivety before that point was okay, what is the perfect personality? Okay, right, what is the one that’s going to hit with every single patient? Right now? I don’t know. Maybe, if you’re on a stage or something, you have to pick one thing and roll with it, right, but when it’s one to one, you adapt, right. And again, that sounds kind of obvious, right, but actually there’s a subtle amount of huge nuance to that, and appreciating that is the thing is the first step to engaging better with your patients and also having more fulfillment out of the job as well. Um, anyway, you’ve heard about the disc system the red, yellow, blue, green, yeah, yeah. So yellow for me. I would say yellow, right, but obviously it’s, it’s. It’s uh, you know, down to the individuals, it’s subjective, down to other people’s perception of it, but I would say yellow, right. So yellows and reds the red being the more assertive individual uh, maybe more business, like, not as warm, okay, yellow reds find yellows irritating. Okay, because they’re too high energy, right, they just want you to get to the point, right, and I used to get these patients and I used to be like what was their problem? You know, right, yeah, but really they were just reflecting my energy, not so they didn’t realize. Okay, they wanted me to interact with them in a different way. All right of course there’s some people who. That’s not possible for always, but you get better out of through that system, but anyway, the other thing I was going to say is um, when it comes to happiness, okay. So let’s say I look back on my career when I was in clinical dentistry and dentistry for me was always eight out of ten in terms of fulfillment, right, so eight out of ten was just enough to keep me comfortable that I would keep doing that job. Right, because I thought eight out of ten, well, that’s fine. Right, that’s as good as it gets for a career. Right now, eight out of ten, right, really. You want a ten out of ten life? Right, because we only have one opportunity on the surface, right, but if we accept something that is not ten out of ten, then two of the greater or less or the greater, it’s compromised, right. But I didn’t want to risk the eight out of ten for a three out of ten or a four out of ten, whatever, right? Um, but here’s what I didn’t grasp. I thought it was all or nothing, right, and actually you can use your happiness as a kind of dowsing rod to find what you like, right, and here’s why, right, you’ve heard of dowsing rods. You know those semi mystical kind of metal rods that you hold in your hand and they, when they, when they align, they, lead you towards water. You know? Pseudoscience, I believe, isn’t it? But anyway, I think it is. Anyway, I’m pretty sure it’s pseudoscience anyway, um, it was, it works, does it work? Okay? Okay, I don’t know, I, I I got my disclaimer just in there, just in time. Yeah, I don’t really know much about them, but I know of dowsing rods, um, anyway, um, okay, cool. So let’s say, you use your own happiness as a dowsing rod to find the thing that makes you more happy. And what do I mean by that? Right, it’s literally as simple as if you find something and you enjoy it right, just follow your curiosity and see what happens. You know it’s as simple as that, right? And when you, when you proceed down that path of undertaking that activity more, getting more exposure to that thing, then you’ll find out if you actually do enjoy it right. But you’ll never actually have that question answered unless you proceed down that path and satisfy your curiosity, satisfy your intrigue, satisfy that childlike curiosity inside you to go and find that thing and explore it. Right, because here’s the thing. That’s where the 10 out of 10 could lie and you can keep your rate out of 10 the whole time, which is dentistry. You can keep your seven out of 10, whatever, right. But here’s the thing the stakes are actually subtly really high. Okay, because what we like to do as human beings is accept comfort and just do the same thing right and hope something will change right. Actually, it’s an active process your own happiness and what you enjoy. That can be your dowsing rod effectively. Okay, you let it align, you follow it. If it works out, it works out okay. If it doesn’t work out, no big deal. Your dowsing rods will find something else at some point. You know what I mean, but the key thing is to be open to it. That’s the point that I’m making I think it’s actually right.

Bill: 

I think I would. You know, I think, what, as I said earlier on one of one of the things that happens, you know we pursued it. We pursue a course that you pursued yours for a fairly short period of time and you were able to make that change, and you’re about the same age as I. Would have gone off and become an airline pilot, by the way. So that was that. You know that, that sort of how the whole thing sets together, and probably people who listen to this would go hang on a minute. Yeah, I’ve been in practice for about four or five years. Um, yeah, I don’t like it anymore. What can I do and what I? What I realized at that time was was I prepared to give up this education that I had, or was I prepared to look deeper into it? And my choice was to look deeper into it. Now, that’s fine and it’s not fine. Do I? Do I wish that I had gone off and been an airline pilot? Well, yes, in a way. In fact, I was flying back from with with ryan there, um, from austria one time, and I sat with the, the captain. I don’t know why he wasn’t up the front of the plane, but he sat next to me.

James: 

We had a chat he was at the front yeah, he said.

Bill: 

He said you could have done dentistry part time and been a pilot part time. I thought I didn’t think about that, but actually, ryan, there wasn’t around when and I could have done both and and I think that that’s that oftentimes that’s not a compromise, that’s also. You know, you look at what you do within your career. You’ve chosen this career. If you hate it, stop doing it absolutely. If you don’t like it, if you don’t think it’s for you, stop doing it. Don’t think I’ll make it through 40, 40 years. Uh, because what you’ll do trust me on this one is you will look back and you’ll go. What was all that about? Life goes so very quickly. I look back. I still think I’m the same age as you are, james, by the way, just in case you, I don’t look it. I know that.

James: 

Um, and I still think I’m 16, so I’m familiar with that effect.

Bill: 

I really am unfortunately, and especially as you know, we, we don’t grow up, especially as men. But you know, you look back and you go what? What did I really achieve over all that period of time? And, as I said, one of the things that you can do, rather than especially if you get to 40 I use the age 40 because, just for me, the wheels fell off at the age of 40 big time. If you’re not a believer in the midlife crisis, it is a real thing and does it happen absolutely not to everybody, but to a lot of people and that’s not really the best time to be you want you to go off and find yourself because, because it’s the time when you’ve done all the things to set your life up for the rest of your life, you’ve got the house, you’ve got the cars, you’ve got all those things and then you hit the midlife crisis, and that’s another conversation for another day. But point being that at that time you find a different interest and you need a great believer in niching. You know, by the time you’re 3540, you know enough about your career to know which bit of it, without becoming a specialist, which bit of it you really enjoy and really want to spend time in. So you do that and then you say, what else can I do to bring me in some income? And this is I’m working with these, with these injured people at the moment because they can’t work, and I’m say, okay, fine, let’s, let’s look at what we’re doing in our in our company business and and how we’re, how we’re supplementing our income, how you can supplement your income, but keep doing what you also want to do as a career. What I call that just so that you have an idea that these things do have a name for me it’s what I call a supporting purpose business. So if you come outside dentistry just for a moment and you take somebody like a massage therapist and I love massage therapists, I think they do a great job, but their life expectancy as a therapist is 1015 years because their hands wear out, everything wears out, but they’re passionate about what they do. The problem with that is that they don’t ever earn enough money to completely support themselves. So what you do is say, if I do that amount of work, niche that and let’s give you a supporting purpose business, something you can do that will support that endeavor that you don’t overshoot and end up with nothing. Let’s pull it all back into the middle. So you have the two sides of that going on at the same time. And I think, as I look back over it and look I’ve been I mean the things that I didn’t get involved in, that I perhaps could have done. I’ve got to hit Australia and my accountant said buy a car park. Car park for you said it’s a great investment. So I want a car park. Or buy shopping center. I don’t want to shopping center. He said buy one. I said I don’t want one. So what are you going to do with your money? I said I don’t know something. Of course, the end when you say something, it’s nothing. And so you know those things that they had no interest to me. But when somebody came along and said how about you do this? It has perfect this side business, it has purpose, it has meaning, it drives you in a direction you want to go, it aligns with your beliefs and so on, so forth, would that work for you? Yeah, I’ll do that as well. Thank you very much indeed. And that’s how we, that’s what we’ve done. But when I look back over it, if I could, I have started at 3035. Yeah, I could have done and that could have made a massive difference to the way that we we proceeded through life and probably what it would have done. It’s allowed me to leave dentistry at around about the age of 50 instead of longer, and that you know once again very quickly if you think about the fact that it is a it is a difficult career. We do suffer from stress, we do suffer from burnout. We, our bodies, suffer. Nobody tells us how toxic everything is that we suck in from the patients. Nobody tells us how the toxic environment, the emotional toxicity is and how we have to cope with that over time. But if you give yourself a time limit, when you say I will work this business until, let’s say, 5045, whatever it is for you, and during that time I will make sure that I can take over and do something else, because I don’t believe that dentists should be going on to 70 or even 60 or even 60.

James: 

Thank you for that. So here’s the thing. This is actually the essence of why I knew this podcast would be great today, because I knew that, with your perspective on life, that you’d be able to inspire some people who are in that position to make change. So here’s the thing about change, right? Change occurs when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing the emotional pain, because we love comfort as human beings, right? So here’s the thing right, when you understand that by staying the same, it has an outcome where you’re unfulfilled, okay, you can take that mindset, you can take that realization, channel it into the present and realize just what continuing down the path that you’re unfulfilled with and unhappy with will lead to right. And here’s the thing change the change, the pain of change, like I was saying just then. Right, it’s not like you have to go and jump in with two feet at the deep end and just do something different and follow your heart. And I get that that sounds like woo-woo advice, you know what I mean. But actually, for me, that’s pretty solid, a pretty solid way to proceed, a pretty solid rationale, because it’s like the Dyson rods, isn’t it Right? And what have you got to lose, because if you’re doing something your whole life, you’re unfulfilled. Right, you only have one opportunity to change it. It’s now. You can’t change it in the damn rear view mirror, right. And there’s another thing that I say right, the whole point of life. Right is to have as much wisdom as possible and accrue it at the youngest age. Right, because then you have the benefits of both sides of the age gap. I suppose you might call it right, because you’ve got the body of someone who’s physically young, yet you have the wisdom of someone who’s experienced in life. Right. And that’s what this podcast is about is channeling that older version of herself, that 85-year-old version of herself, how they think, avoiding the regrets that they might potentially have, and bringing it into the present today so that we can inspire people to make change. Anything you’d like to add to that?

Bill: 

No, absolutely right. And I would say also, the other beauty of youth is enthusiasm. I mean, enthusiasm comes from. It comes from the Greek, it comes from Enthios, which means God within. So it’s that enthusiasm that really comes out of us. And as much as we would like to maintain that you feel that it’s not. It’s much more difficult to maintain as you get older. And so what you do with that enthusiasm right now is you grow that whole thing, as I agree with you. You grow it all quickly, but you grow it and you’re enthusiastic about it and you have that vision and you go with the vision. When you look at, say, you’re saying about going with something, going down a path if we can take that slightly deeper it’s really going into vision. What’s the vision you have for your life, that significant contribution, what is it you really want to offer the community around you? What do you feel and I use this term a lot what’s your calling in life and when you get those and when you know how to put that together. And I’ve got a beautiful I’m not going to share it now, but a beautiful diagram on how do you actually find that point and why it’s so important to find that because you know you can read the cynics book on Find your why. But it’s deeper than that and I think it’s that that you know we as intelligent human beings very good thinking human beings, people who’ve got a good brain, a good head on our shoulders should be looking at what you are young, and then we can spread our wings and do what we really want to do. Beautiful.

James: 

Bill, there has been a lot of wisdom in part today. I try to keep these podcasts to about 40 minutes because I find that that’s the perfect size for them to be accessible. I’ve been enjoying the conversation so much as I feel that you have as well that we’re actually probably on like 15 minute mark at the moment. If we had to summarize, okay, the entire conversation that we’ve had in maybe like one or two concepts, what would those be for you? So I’ll go, I’ll go mine first, I’ll do mine first, and then you can hopefully that they will help you in your thought process, I suppose. So for me, first one is accountability. Okay, realize that this is not something that you can delegate, or at least delegate and obtain good results. Okay, because then you’re just a statistic on somebody else’s bankroll. Okay, and you’re putting that money, you’re channeling that money that you have into someone else’s idea of an investment portfolio for you, when actually that’s just, that’s potentially very soulless and statistic, statistical, rather than being in any way personalized to you. It’s about you, right, taking those steps, creating the thing that’s true to you. That will hopefully give you some level of remuneration, which means, ultimately, that you can begin to reduce your exposure to dentistry. That’s the first thing, right, so accountability. And then the second thing is just to be aware that, yes, people in the financial industry, they have their place, you know, I feel like people can benefit from having a conversation with them, but also be aware that your interests and their interests are only aligned to a point, okay, and that no one cares about numero uno as much as numero uno does. And when you educate yourself on how these things work, you’re empowering yourself to do things which are fulfilling to you as the most important person in your life, as the person that you want to prioritize and, of course, be for. You know, avoid that position where you’re 85 years old and you feel unfulfilled effectively.

Bill: 

Yeah, by the way, I’m not 85 years old. Just wanted to let everybody know that.

James: 

Not quite. Oh sorry, no, I wasn’t referring to you. Just to make that clear. Thanks for clearing that up, yeah, I suppose I’m using the 85 year old as a little bit of a benchmark, I suppose, for someone who has been there and done that. Yeah, but just to be totally clear, we haven’t. I don’t think we’ve got as far as the edges, have we Bill? But no, I wasn’t presuming you were 85. Let’s make that clear.

Bill: 

I was joking there, james. I think there are a couple of things wrong from my point of view. First of all, just picking up on the last thing you said, one of the things that is really important to realize, especially in your practicing life, especially if you’re an associate, and that is, if you’re not building your own dream, you’re helping somebody else build theirs. A really important concept. That’s point number one. So you want to look at your own dream and look at what you really want out of life and not be molded by somebody else because they want you to go their direction, because you’re building their dream for them. So that was the first thing. The second thing is life is not all about dentistry, and one of the mistakes I think that we often make is we come out of dental school. I know that when I came out of dental school, I thought you know what? I’m never going to pick up another dental book. Well, that didn’t work at all. I certainly did a lot of reading with CPD and so on and so forth. You have to keep researching and so on and so forth, but what I would say is look outside dentistry for your learning, look at, look at, do some some real personal development stuff as well. This was stuff that I got into. I listened to you, james, and you know I see some of the NLP stuff that comes out and so on. These were all things that are such in. So important to look at is how can I develop myself? What do I need to read? I mentioned Kiyosaki earlier. He was just one of the people you can look at. People like I don’t know, nobody comes to the mind at the moment, but you know a lot of these, the greats who say step outside and look at life and if you do that, you start to understand yourself and what you really want, not what the system and I’m not being controversial here but what the system has brought through school, through A-levels or whatever they are now, and through our degree and we’re molded. But there’s a time when you want to break out of that and look at your own life and what you really want to do, and a lot of that comes from reading. I know, james, you read a lot and that’s what it’s all about. Yeah, and going on courses that are not dental courses, yeah.

James: 

Lovely stuff In essence, knowledge right, and that was the vehicle that saved me, in a way. And when I say saved, what I mean is it allowed me to be empowered to make choices that were more true to my inner energy and purpose. That’s what I mean.

Bill: 

Yeah, and I do love to read.

James: 

I flip and love to read. Let me just look over my shoulder here. I’m trying to think of a good book just to run this podcast up on. Here’s a book that I’ve never read, but I’ve watched so many YouTube videos on it and talked to so many people who have read it I feel like I have read it by proxy Okay, and it’s called the millionaire fast lane by Jadon Marco, and it basically describes the three fundamental ways that you can use to obtain wealth in your life, and it makes the point that fundamentally, you’re on one of these three paths by default. If we don’t do anything, we’re on a path that’s unlikely to allow us to get there. So we actually actively have to do something to be in a vehicle that suits us, to be on a path that suits our needs. Right, and it’s also to recognize that oftentimes for each one of us there’s no ideal path. But once you’re aware of the three, you have to pick one, almost for lack of a better option, if you truly are serious about getting to the point where you’ve obtained wealth. That’s a neat synopsis of the book If you read it or watch a load of YouTube videos on it, like how I’ve done. I feel like it was something very seminal that I literally think about every day. That’s a good wealth book. Let me pick another book on something a little bit wider than wealth. I’ll pick the almanac of Naval Replicant, which is all about philosophy, wisdom, thoughts and reflections on life. Bill, thanks so much for your time today. It’s been a wonderful podcast. Where can people find out more about?

Bill: 

you? That’s a very good question. Basically, you can find me on Facebook. Actually, it’s the place, at the moment, that you’ll find me most easily.

James: 

Bill Kalanarid. He is on the Dennis Moon Invest Facebook group. Of course, feel free to reach out to anybody who was listening today. Bill, thanks so much for your time and for staying up late all the way over in Australia. I’m sure we’ll speak again very soon.

Bill: 

Thanks, james, bye for now.