Most people think that you have to sacrifice the journey in order to reach the destination. What am I referring to? I’m talking about most people’s perception or understanding about how retirement occurs or financial freedom occurs. Most people go to work most of their life, compromise on their happiness to a greater or lesser degree, so that they can reach the ultimate destination of being free, which, we’re told, is like the flippin Valhalla, is like the amazing place that we should be gunning for our whole life. That is retirement. That is the point where we no longer have to exchange time for money. Now we can continue to. We can choose to if we wish, but we don’t have to, because we now have the option to work or not work. However, most people I know who are 60 or 65, they actually continue to do a few days of their life has purpose, so that they can actually continue to feel valued and continue to feel like they have something to do. That’s cool. What’s really happened at that point is they’ve actually discovered their optimum work life balance. They’ve actually discovered their optimum work satisfaction. Are you with me Now? Some people will choose not to work. That is their ultimate work satisfaction. Some people will choose to do two days. Some people will keep doing flippin seven days. My point is that it’s only at that point that we give ourselves permission to become happy, or permission to come satisfied with our current existence because we’re said to have reached retirement, we’re said to have reached financial freedom. Most people sacrifice the journey as in they compromise on their happiness because they work more than they feel like they’d like to in order to save up all the cash that they need to get to that point. But in reality, if you think about it like how I’m going to describe it in this podcast, then you will learn that actually that’s not necessary. We can enjoy the journey and the destination. We just got to know how. The first concept that I’m going to use to describe this is something called your work satisfaction score. So what is your work satisfaction score? Your work satisfaction score is your current contentment and your current fulfillment that you get from your job, and for some people this will be 10 out of 10. For some people, it’s hard to imagine a better reality that they get to be a dentist five, six or even seven days a week, and that’s cool. It’s going to be as unique for the first person as it is for the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh and whoever infinitely, is going to be unique for each and every one of those people, and that’s cool. The point is to figure out what’s right for you, the listener of this podcast. How do we do that? Well, we’re going to quantify it right here, right now. Right, first thing to do, we’re going to quantify something called your work satisfaction score. Now, this is a very, very, very particular concept. It’s not your work life balance satisfaction. It’s not your life work balance satisfaction, which the edgy life coach gurus and financial gurus try to call it. They kind of flip it on its head life, work balance, because life comes first and it should be the priority, and that’s what they’re attempting to explain by describing it that way around. And we’re going to use something specific. It’s called the work satisfaction score. What do I mean by that? The work satisfaction score is your current satisfaction and contentment with the amount of work that you do, your current amount of exposure to your job. Now, for some people they might say, hmm, density is eight out of 10. Some people might say 10. Some people might say six. That’s fine, just give it a score out of 10. Just give your current affinity towards your job a score out of 10. For some of you it might be two, for some of you it might be three, and that’s cool, it doesn’t actually matter. We’re just figuring out how you feel about it right here, right now, and the easiest way to conceptualize that is the work satisfaction score. It’s actually harder to ask somebody to rate their work life balance. How to do that mentally for two sex, it’s tough. You’re gonna have to think about it at least a little bit. Whereas your work satisfaction score the specific and particular reason why we use that term is because it’s really easy to dimensionalize in our head, because we can all give our job a score out of 10. That’s all we have to do. We’re not asking, we’re not thinking about time, not thinking about money. We’re specifically, we’re thinking about all those factors. All things are calling for what would you give it out of 10.? So by now, what you should have is a score out of 10 for your current job, your current affinity towards dentistry, the amount of time you’re spending in dentistry. All things considered, what is that score? What would you give it out of 10 in terms of satisfaction? Now, think about it. If let’s use the average, the average should be five. But in reality the average is usually seven Because most people, most of us, are a little or above average optimistic. We always you know from from doing as a lot of time with dentists, I always find that the average is about seven when in serious theory it should be five. But let’s use seven for today for the sake of argument. Let’s say that somebody’s described their work satisfaction as seven. So what we’re saying is that actually, yes, it’s not zero, yes, it’s not one, yes, it’s not two, and all of those numbers, other numbers between seven and zero, it’s seven. So the seven points gain, but it’s also three points lost if you think about it, because it could be better right Now. The real, really, what most people do is they think that when you hit retirement, that it’s going to become 10 out of 10 or work satisfaction, and that can be because we don’t work anymore, or that can be because we can do two days a week or three days a week, or four, or whatever. We’re going to be content at that point. That’s the, that’s what we’re sold, that is, that is the, that is the mirage or illusion which we’re sold. We’re going to be happy as long as we work our whole lives and save up and then retire, right, but actually, if you think about it, seven out of 10 is a long time to spend. Your dimension of seven out of 10 is a long time to spend your existence in. So you’re spending most of your life in seven out of 10. So you can one day be 10 out of 10, supposedly, but if, but, as I say, how many 65 years to run around like yeah, oh, my goodness, I’m absolutely flipping over the moon. This is unbelievable, can’t believe it. It was worth that 40 years of disliking what I do to get to this point. How many people know somebody like that who’s retired? I haven’t yet to meet anybody. I don’t think that happens. So we live our whole life under that pretense that we will be happy and then, when we get there, they were not. Actually. What we’ve done is we spent a lot of time doing something which we didn’t necessarily enjoy, because we thought we’d get an outcome that we didn’t even receive, and that’s a crazy thing. But we only really get that perspective when we hit that point and we look back in the rearview mirror. The key thing to understand is that actually, through listening to this stuff that I’m talking about right now. This will give you that perspective, because this is the thing that I realized a long time ago and I was like Wow, the key of life, the holy grail of life, is to have the body of a young person and the brain of someone who’s got years and wisdom. Right, because that’s the main benefit of time, that’s the main benefit of getting older. You get wisdom. Past a certain point, your body declines. So if you’ve got the body of a young person and the brain of an old person, you’ve got the best of both. How do you do that? You’d be open and receptive to new ideas and listening to wisdom, and that’s exactly what we’re doing right here, right now, today. So work satisfaction score seven out of 10, right. So, to a greater or lesser degree, we’re compromising, because if we didn’t have to work, inferior life should be 10 out of 10, because we get to do all the stuff that’s fun, okay. So next thing we’re going to do, we’re going to figure out what is fun actually look like. What does that 10 out of 10 life look like? Do we sing more? Do we dance more? Do we spend more time in the garden? Do we go to more restaurants? Do we cook more food? Do we watch more TV? It doesn’t actually matter. What are the things that you currently enjoy? What are the things that you currently enjoy in your life? Pick three. It could be anything. It can be any one of those things I said, or it can be anything in the whole wide world. We’re just figuring out what happiness looks like, because, if you think about it in theory, if you didn’t have to work because you receive the cash flow the cash flow that you need to live your life from somewhere else, you would do these three things. You would do a lot more of these three things, right, and you know what? The three things that you enjoy today may not be the three things that you enjoy next week or next year or in 10 years or whatever. We’re just figuring out how that looks today. It’s impossible to think about how we’re going to think and what we’re going to enjoy whenever we’re 65. Because no one the hell knows how that’s going to look. You need a crystal ball to figure that out. All we can say is right here, right now, what are the things that we enjoy? And then understand that all those three things that we’ve picked when we can do more of those, we’d actually get more happiness from life, and that seven out of 10 life could become eight out of 10, or nine out of 10, or 10 out of 10. And that’s cool, totally fine. Let’s go back to work. Let’s go back to the work satisfaction score. Let’s think about it like this Well, before we do that, actually just figure out those three things, the three things that make you happy. Take two seconds and do that. Cool. Now let’s go back to work. Think about it. Most people, let’s say the seven out of 10 thing is representative of the average. Now let’s use the analogy of chocolate cake to understand this. Let’s say that, well, most people really like chocolate cake. And even if you don’t like chocolate cake, pick something else, chuck something else in here. Maybe you like halloumi, maybe you like marshmallows, maybe you like flipping anything in the whole wide world, hot pots, whatever, it doesn’t matter. Let’s pick your favorite food and let’s put it in there. So let’s say, your favorite food in the whole wide world is 10 out of 10. Now, you might really, really, really like chocolate cake and it might be 10 out of 10 for you when you enjoy it. But let’s say someone made you eat it every single day, you probably wouldn’t enjoy it so much. All of a sudden, the 10 out of 10 experience becomes a seven out of 10 experience. Maybe you still like it a little bit, but you wish you could just eat it a little less, right? So what’s the easiest way to turn seven out of 10 to 10 out of 10? Instead of eating chocolate cake seven days a week, three times a day, we eat chocolate cake once a day and we do it only on three occasions a week. So we eat the chocolate cake one day, one occasion, three days a week. Then, all of a sudden, it becomes the case that we start to look forward to those three days a week, because we start to look forward to the chocolate cake. All of a sudden, the chocolate cake becomes 10 out of 10. Again, how amazing is that? So we’ve rekindled our 10 out of 10 relationship with chocolate cake just because we indulge in it in a little less. Now, the difference between chocolate cake and work is that we don’t know when it’s forced to just eat the chocolate cake. However, we feel like we’re forced to go to work because we have to earn a certain amount of money. So what’s one of the easiest ways to turn seven out of 10, a seven out of 10 work satisfaction score, to 10 out of 10? Actually, you might find that if you just do a day less, that seven out of 10 becomes eight out of 10 or nine out of 10. And it’s progress, isn’t it? And this is step in the right direction. We’ve moved forwards. And here’s the thing. Here’s the thing you must recognize. It might not even change, it might continue to be seven out of 10. But one thing’s for sure if we don’t change anything, then everything stays the same. This is what I always say to people. And the danger is that we can spend 30 years of our life for the seven out of 10 existence, to reach this hypothetical 10 out of 10 point, and when we get there, not even be that happy. When we get there, continue to do. You know, we’ve been sold this lie or this mistruth, that we’re supposedly gonna be feel amazing at that point and we’re gonna have total freedom. You know, and even at that point, we’re looking forward to the day we don’t have to work anymore and most people actually do continue to do a few days. So it’s only really at that year 65 or whatever? Or whatever age we retire, we’re using 65 as an average that we give ourselves. In other words, we give ourselves permission to have a 10 out of 10 work satisfaction score, don’t we? And how that looks for some people is two days a week. How that looks for some other people is seven days a week, and how that looks for some other people is zero days a week. So my point is why wait? Why are we waiting until we’re 65 to achieve that thing, when actually it could be done today? Here’s how Seven out of 10, let’s say someone is working five days a week and having a seven out of 10 work satisfaction score Was the easiest way we can change something which has the likely result that it’s gonna improve our relationship with work. It’s gonna improve our satisfaction with our job, just like the chocolate cake. If you didn’t have to eat it seven days, if you didn’t have to eat it five days a week, what about if you just ate it four days a week? Then all of a sudden you might enjoy it a little more, and work is exactly like that. So when we go from five days a week to four days a week, maybe seven out of 10 becomes eight out of 10 or nine out of 10. And even if it stays at seven out of 10, at least we learn something, at least we open the door. Remember the only thing that changes. The only thing is certain that if nothing changes, everything stays the same. That’s the only thing we can guarantee in life. And the danger is the risk of that attitude. The risk of staying the same, is we have a seven out of 10 existence until we realize when we reach retirement that actually that was our life and that was our one shot and we wish we would have done something. One of the top regrets of the day is that they wish they lived a life on their own terms. Look up Brawny Ware and her research on people who are in old people’s homes or elders, average people who wound up in old people’s homes. She surveyed them. She figured out the top five things that they regretted about their life. Number one is that they didn’t empower themselves and make decisions on their terms and that they just went along with the flow. And that’s what accepting seven out of 10 looks like. Now let’s go back seven out of 10, that’s cool. So what most people do whenever I say to dentist, whenever I speak to dentist, or I’m sure most people who listen to this podcast might think right now okay, james, that’s all well and good. However, when I go from five days a week to four days a week, I can expect a loss of income, can’t I? And the answer is maybe, but not necessarily. You just have to know how you can generate your current level of income and do it in four days a week, because then that means that you’ve got the best of both worlds right. And then that means that the main sticking point for 99% of dentists, which is that they wanna they feel like they can’t work less because they enjoy a certain level of income, is removed, and there’ll be other factors in there. Listen, there’s not purely a financial thing. All I’m saying is, the majority of the time it is a financial thing, and 99% of people listening to this podcast will feel that way, and that is totally cool. That’s why I made the podcast. So all we gotta do is understand how we can earn our current level of income and do it in four days a week, cause that means hypothetically that we have the best of both worlds we have an extra day off, we work four days a week, we go to the clinic four days a week and we enjoy our current level of income. How are we gonna do that? Let’s put some numbers on it. Let’s say a dentist is earning 10,000 pounds and they’re doing it in five days a week Was the easiest way to earn 10,000 pounds in four days a week. Well, to do that, you have to get to 12 and a half thousand pounds, and then five days a week. That’s the first place to start, and then, when you take one fifth of the time off, you’ll also take one fifth of the income off, and then it’ll become 10,000 pounds. So, in other words, you gotta understand the ways that you can earn more per unit time, then what that will allow you to do, and what that means, is that you now have a choice. Do I continue working five days on 12 and a half grand, or do I now choose to work four days, have an extra day of freedom, enhance my work satisfaction score and earn the money that I was earning previously? Anyway? It’s cool, right? You literally get to choose. You just gotta understand how that’s done. Before we talk about the how, we have to talk about the why. What we’ve just talked about just then is the why, why it’s important and what it will allow you to do. Because until we have that clarity, we don’t realize that Most people think that they’re gonna get more cash flow via investing. Investing is not something that gives you cash flow until many years down the line. There’s a reason why everybody retires at 65. The only real way that you can get proper cash flow from investing is to invest in businesses or to and when I say businesses, what I mean is limited companies. What I mean is businesses that you own outside of ISIS and SIPs. The other way of doing it is to invest in property, and neither of those are quick things and both of them require know-how. Now, don’t get me wrong. We should do that. That’s a cool thing. However, it’s not the quickest thing that’s in our hands that’s gonna allow us to earn what we’re currently earning and do it in one day less a week. Easiest way to do that is like this there’s three ways that any business can make more profit. This is really cool. This is one of the biggest piece of wisdom that anybody ever told me. This is from a business mentor back in the day. So, whether you’re a principal or whether you’re an associate, still a business, and the reason that we’re a business is that we deliver value. We’re a system. We’re a collection of systems and processes our skills, our habits, our abilities, our knowledge, all of those things. That’s the system that delivers value for someone else. When you’re an associate, the system is not as complicated as a principal, because when you’re a principal, there’s a lot more cogs to the machine. You’ve got more than one associate other things going on in the practice. However, we’re still fundamentally a business. Now, when we wanna understand how we can increase profit, how we can increase earnings per unit time and do it in an ethical way and help the patient and help everyone else around us and do better denture and all of that stuff. So we’re adhering to every single flip in ethical and moral code that we should do as professionals when we wanna increase profit. Here are the three fundamental ways that any business can do it, and this applies to associates and principals as well, because we are businesses. This applies to Coca-Cola, this applies to Flip and Toyota, this applies to Tesco, this applies to anything. These are the three ways. Think about it like this If you have 100,000 pounds turnover and you have 20,000 pounds outgoings expenses and you have 80,000 pounds profit. What’s one of the easiest ways that you can increase your profit? Now, one of the easy ways you can increase your profit is to manage your outgoings. Obviously, when outgoings reduce, when they go down, let’s say our outgoings become 10,000, then now we have 90,000 pounds profit, so we just increase profit. Now for a principle. That is something that we can look at for an associate, not so much because the outgoings that we have are essential for us to do our job, except, like, let’s see. So indemnity would be a good one, your GDC would be another one. Obviously, we have to pay those in order to continue being a dentist, so that’s necessary. So we can only really manage those so much. There’s only so much scope. When you’re a principal, you’ve got a few more levers and buttons that you can pull and push respectively. However, remember that when you manage your outgoings, it’s finite. You can only manage them so much. And then you start to have issues. You have to put some money into the system in order for the system to continue and perpetuate. You have to pay your staff, you have to buy the materials, all of that stuff. You have to keep the heating on. So it can be done. However, it’s not the best way and it’s finite. We should always have one eye on it, though Of course, it’s important because that’s our margin above that. So that’s the first way. Manage your outgoings. Second way that we can increase profit is to serve more patients, serve more people and help them. Now, when you’re Coca-Cola, you serve more customers. When you’re a dentist, you serve more patients and you help more people, which is cool and that’s how it should be done. That’s how it should be regarded. So here’s the thing Dentists, we only have one pair of eyes and one pair of hands, one pair of ears and one brain, so we can only serve so many people per unit time. Now, if our diaries are not full, then obviously there’s scope to serve more people, in which case we have to get more patients in so that we can help them, in which case it’s a marketing thing too, a greater or lesser degree, and I’ll do another podcast someday on the six ways that you can market yourself, because that’s another podcast in itself and that’s really cool. If you’re in that boat, then what it means is that you have to be able to get the word out about you and what you do, because you can be the best dentist in the whole wide world. However, if people don’t know about you, then they’ll never be able to come and see you. So it’s important to remember that one of the ways that you can increase your profit. The second way you can increase your profit is to serve more people. Now, if your diary is already full and you’ve got a waiting list two, three, four, five, six weeks I see with some people with waiting lists as in the amount of time the patient has to wait to return for the treatment when it’s diagnosed at the checkup then you can’t serve more people unless you work more days, which is exactly the opposite of what we want to achieve. We want to do less days rather than more days. So if you are an associate and if you’re already seeing a lot of patients, then the third way is the only way that you can increase profit and get yourself from 10 grand to 12 and a half grand a month, so that you can drop a day every single week. This is the only way that you can do it, and this is for associates. However, even if you’re not associated, if you’re a principal, this is also an extremely amazing way to boost your business, because you know now that if you want more profit in your business, it’s got to be fundamentally one of these three ways. This is how flipping execs and C-sweets make decisions when they know this, because they think is it this, is it this? Is it this? Such an amazing, flipping, systematic way through which to decide how you can increase profit. What is the third way? The third way is this Fundamentally, it’s this you have to enhance the value of each and every patient that comes through the door. What do I mean by that? Obviously, if we’re able to serve someone to a higher standard, give them a better treatment, give them a better service, help them be more efficient about how we deliver that per unit time, then what it means is that that person is now worth more. That patient is now worth more. Obviously, if that we give that person a higher level of value, then naturally the remuneration that follows is we have a right to ask for a higher remuneration as well. It’s like if I give someone a fiat punto or I give someone a flip in Lamborghini one of those two things it takes me just as much time to sort out the paperwork, but the Lamborghini is obviously way more valuable, so it took just as much time. But I give someone a way higher standard of service. I give someone a way better product. We’re the dentist, we’re the product, and our dentistry is also part of the product too. It’s a 50-50 thing. So when you want to be the Lamborghini dentist and you want to give the best treatment, then what it means that naturally is that you can ask for a higher level of remuneration as well. You just increased the value of each and every patient that walks through the door, and naturally there’s way more to that. Way, way, way, way, way more to that. How that process looks for each and every one of us is a specific, tailored journey. You’d have to spend some time with somebody one-on-one who knows this stuff. This is the sort of stuff that I help dentists with and I coach them through From a high level. The thing that I’ve just given you right there today will be the thing that allows you to understand. If you are the dentist who wants more freedom today and wants to increase your work satisfaction score, wants to, you want to return to your 10 out of 10 satisfaction with the chocolate cake that we talked about earlier and you want to apply that to your job as well. Then, fundamentally, you’ve got to think about the journey as well as the destination. Most people think it’s just about the destination. They sacrifice their whole life just to get to the destination. You can have a 10 out of 10, well, let’s rewind for two seconds. They sacrifice the journey to get to the destination so that they can have a 10 out of 10 work satisfaction score, which is basically what that is Now. When we understand how we can have a 10 out of 10 work satisfaction score and do it flipping today, then what it means is that you can have both. You can have fun on the journey and fun on the destination. We just got to understand these things. We got to understand how we can increase profit day on day in our job From a high level. Those are the three ways. There’s way more to it than that. With that information that I’ve given you today, you can use that information to decide that when you are the dentist who’s serious about having more freedom right here, right now, it’s literally one of those three pathways. You’ve got to understand what your options are before you can make a decision. Once you’ve made a decision about which one, then we get into the deeper stuff, the stuff that you can use practically in your clinic to be able to earn more when you serve the patient at a higher standard, done a better job and had more fulfillment from your dentistry.