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Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

Dr Clinton: 

Welcome back totally oral nation. I am your host, clinton Timmerman, going solo today because I had a very special opportunity here, brian, early in Seattle Washington, to have a special guest from across the pond, dr James Martin. James Martin, how are you doing?

Dr James: 

I am flipping amazing. Thank you so much for having me along, clint, and officially I am across the pond, but I’m not quite as far across the pond as conventionally that term is associated with, because there’s the RSC between me and the mainland. I’m in Northern Ireland. I don’t know if I ever explained that.

Dr Clinton: 

You’re in Northern Ireland, okay, did you take that out from the accent? Yes, well, you kind of. I was going to ask if you and Liam Neeson sometimes, you know, grab drinks at the pub or anything like that, or or if you ever like, I have a particular set of skills.

Dr James: 

You know what Liam Neeson was my old teacher’s cousin, so I can confirm that the rumors about every single person in Ireland being somebody else’s cousin and related to each other are officially true. Because of that, because the number of people that asked me about Liam Neeson on that, yeah, yeah, I know him ish.

Dr Clinton: 

Wow, that’s crazy because even we’ve got a mutual friend in Chris Stafford who some sort of connection through a nanny to Ewan McGregor.

Dr James: 

Is Ewan McGregor. I thought he was.

Dr Clinton: 

He’s Scottish. Yeah, and so it’s something from Chris’s background and I’m sure you get plenty of ignorant. Americans are like oh, you know you’re from Ireland, you hang out with the edge to like, well, northern Ireland, you know the Republic. It’s a little different. But and I guess here for Americans, even you know across the pond, as you just thinking, across the Atlantic, but no, from Northern Ireland, you know how? How is it? How’s it going at work? Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Dr James: 

Yeah, absolutely, things are going good out here in Ireland. I actually have one more fun fact when it comes to my ancestry before we move on, and that is that John Wayne. Yes, right, john Wayne is my mom’s great uncle. You’re kidding, no joke.

Dr Clinton: 

Here’s a little connection to us. I I practiced and lived in Iowa, the state of Iowa, for a little bit, right in Des Moines. He’s actually was born in a town called the winter set and he was only there for first couple years. But it’s the kind of place or, if you go down to winter set, they’re proud of their John Wayne heritage. I don’t know if he ever even went back, but here’s a trivia stumper for it. Do you know John Wayne’s real name?

Dr James: 

Yeah, it’s his last. I was about to say this. His last name is Morrison, right, have I got that right? But his first I believe so is it’s like Morris, morris and or something, isn’t it.

Dr Clinton: 

Yeah, it’s, it’s got to say I already forgot it.

Dr James: 

It’s something along those lines. It’s like Morris Morrison, it’s. It’s like Gary Neville, who is a football over here, is dad is called Neville Neville. So it’s you know, it’s basically a symptom of unimaginative parents. Whatever the name is, I remember that it’s very similar to yeah, so it’s Marion Robert Morrison.

Dr Clinton: 

Just Google that.

Dr James: 

Marion Morrison something, so I guess he was just like.

Dr Clinton: 

That’s not marketable. It comes to movie making what not? So, yeah, that’s great.

Dr James: 

And a good one like John. Well, you know what, he became famous and we all heard of him, so something worked somewhere along the line. But yeah, that’s. That’s my second fun Irish heritage fact.

Dr Clinton: 

Second oh, what’s your first?

Dr James: 

Oh, no, no, the first. The first was the one that I said about Liam Neeson. Oh, but.

Dr Clinton: 

Lee got, you, got you.

Dr James: 

Those are my two. Now I’m done.

Dr Clinton: 

Okay, no, no Rory McElroy, Sam Neal or anything like that, not that I know of yet. I might get digging, because everyone over here is related anyway, I don’t mean to be a huge tangent but sure and I’m good at those, by the way, because I’m like so tell me what your thoughts are on the troubles. You know what about the plantation era from 1608, right? Yeah, we’ll get into that in a different podcast.

Dr James: 

You know it’s so funny, right? Because even though I knew that you were saying that, you know, and that wasn’t a serious situation, I actually had to restrain myself from saying something about going off on a tangent. There are you with me, like restraining myself from throwing in some history facts. Shall I tell you my Irish famine history fact?

Dr Clinton: 

I actually I would love to, yes, I would love it for, even if it’s just for me, you know, pours our listeners.

Dr James: 

Yeah, let’s, let’s do that and then let’s officially stop there.

Dr Clinton: 

Okay, then I will focus again.

Dr James: 

We have to, we must. We must because I can just see myself doing this continuously because I know what I’m like. But anyway, back to the Irish famine. So basically, in the era in which there was the famine, which was like the 1840s, 1850s, like that there was more people that lived on the island of Ireland. To this, even to this day, there was more people who lived on the island of Ireland. Back then. The population is still recovering from the family. Yeah, it was over. There was over 10 million people back then. Now there’s like it and a half. So that’s how severe the famine was and that’s how many people it drove to find other locales in which to live. And it’s also the reason why in America lots people have an Irish relative, because they all want to cross the pond. So it’s yeah.

Dr Clinton: 

No, it was fascinating the first time I actually visited Ireland member, reading up on that that essentially the population was cut in half and it still is about a half of, like you said, for when they took off. But then I think, is it Shoot? Is it over 45 million people that have Irish heritage here in the United States, like that?

Dr James: 

Yeah, I could see that 100%. I could see that, yeah, because I mean, it’s, it’s, there was, there was just such a monumental amount of people who went across. Yeah, irish, I mean, there’s the connotation of big families, whether or not that’s true or not. Well, that’s a stereotype I suppose we can discuss in another day. Right, right, yeah, isn’t it, isn’t it? But yeah, as far as heritage goes, those are the two things that somewhat explain that. Anyway, shall we draw a line? Yes, back on topic here.

Dr Clinton: 

Right, right, well, it looks like. So you run a company essentially I know it’s a Facebook page, but it’s dentist to invest. Tell me a bit about that. Is it invests solely in, say, stock market, or investing in yourself? Or, in general, like what is it really that that you do and that you promote?

Dr James: 

You know what brilliant question. And it very much started out from the perspective of how can we understand how to invest from a financial perspective. Like, just straight up, we’ve got an investment account. Which investment account to be used? Which one do we prioritize? How much capital do we allocate to it? And what we purchase? Getting those accounts, how can we structure things? How can we tax efficient, how can we make decisions about whether we incorporate ourselves or whether we stay as a traditional associate dentist, as a sole trader, all sorts of things. That’s how it started out, so very much from the whole, I suppose, formulaic aspect of finance. Are you with me? And what do you mean that? What I mean is the really tangible media finance stuff. And then, as time went on, I was like, whoa, that is actually only really one part of the picture, that’s only really one component to a bigger picture of understanding money, and the other part being the more ethereal side of things your personality, your character, traits, where you prioritize investing your wealth in yourself, your skills you treat, your habits, all of those things that allow you to increase your earning power. And I was like, right, well, we’re actually not doing the concept of money justice unless we talk about both those things and, as time went on, I actually probably became more enthralled with the second side of things, the second aspect, which is more ethereal stuff. How can we work on ourselves and then therefore, through doing that Number one, be happier? Because, if you think about it, money is an extension of happiness, like the core driver for money is happiness. Are you with me? Yeah, it’s just that we feel like we need it in order to create certain senses in our life which make us happy, and, rightly, rightly or wrongly, we associate that yeah, and that’s another thing we get into and we could delve into that. You know, maybe we’ll save that for another day. We’ll just cover it high level from now, because otherwise it’s just this endless pursuit where we’re constantly chasing it, whereas do we ever stop to reflect actually, what is the thing that I really am intending to use this money for? Because if it is just solely to make me happy, it’s probably not the most efficient way.

Dr Clinton: 

So there’s a conversation with a good friend of mine who’s been on the podcast as well. He was always trying to entice me with just numbers, like, hey, come work for me, you’ll get X, you’ll get Y. I’ve always seen money as a means to quality of life, like, what are you really doing with it If you’re just working nonstop and sure, your nest egg is getting bigger? What are you doing with that, though? Like, okay, if you’re waiting until you’re 60, waiting until you’re 70 and retire? Like that just has no appeal to me at all. And so, like you just said, to me it’s a means to an end, or even a means until you get to the end, like to be able to thrive, to be able to take your kids to Disneyland, to the park you know, to be able to have that quality life that you want.

Dr James: 

Well, think about it like this. Here’s how I often explain it, people. There’s a really easy way to demonstrate to yourself that it’s not the be all and end all, right. So let’s say for most people, let’s say that you can earn 150 grand in a year being an associate and working for someone else and doing 40 hours a week within this restricted amount of time, or you can earn that same 150 grand a year and you can work on your own terms and you can work for yourself. Which one would someone choose? All of the things considered being the same, they’d probably choose the second one, right? Right? I said they’d probably choose the latter, exactly, right? So we know that it’s not purely all about. You know. There is other factors surrounding it which are important, right? And then you just have to figure out where the trade off is for you, basically. So you might say, well, if I can earn 155 and I have to do the nine to five and the 40 hours a week, versus 150 doing the, doing a flexi schedule on my own terms, are you with me? I’d probably choose the second at that point, right? So that shows me that my freedom is worth at least five grand and we can keep playing that game until we find the tipping point for everybody, sure.

Dr Clinton: 

Sure Well, even I, I don’t know.

Dr James: 

I really like that way of explaining it, right. It’s just. It’s just demonstrating that there’s other things that are also of importance, rather than the paycheck, which is what most people put it down to, or at least, maybe not most let’s. You know, maybe let’s not tar everyone with a one brush, but certainly it’s one of the biggest things that we consider. Are you with me?

Dr Clinton: 

Sure, sure Well, even for myself. I had owned a couple offices in Iowa for about seven years and I always felt like I was treading water or drowning. It wasn’t until, like you, you step aside and you kind of look like I guess I’m doing pretty well. And then when I moved to Colorado, I was following my wife at the time for her medical residency. I was an associate where I was working three days a week and it was, it wasn’t stressful and I was making about two thirds of what I made as an owner. But when you said, by your happiness, where it’s okay, I’m doing all right, I’m living comfortably, I’m doing what I want, so I didn’t find myself rushing back into business ownership until moving back here to Washington state. But I think also the answer to that is and I just wasn’t finding that situation as an associate here in Washington state, but it’s a matter of being able to I probably did a matter of creating, like, okay, what I enjoyed from that associate ship. Can I then create that for myself, my own branding, my own place, where it doesn’t have to be where it’s you know, I’m, you know, at the office till midnight. I’m just constantly stressed, never see the family. So it’s a matter of even. If you value that freedom, I guess people integrate that into your own corporate. You know your own office, your own brand that you’ve built. If you own, I mean, what would you say to that along those lines?

Dr James: 

Well, I would say that we often ascribe our options, or we often ascribe our objectives to just get in the biggest number. Are you with me? Whereas in reality there’s so many other things surrounding it, and it sounds like you’ve been on that journey as well, where you’ve been like okay, well, I got a third more, but I, my lifestyle, was like this, much worse. It was like at least 60%, 70%, not as great. Are you with me? Yeah, so it’s like where’s the, where’s the trade off, right? And you’ll often find that, like we all do that to a greater or lesser degree, we make these huge decisions without really thinking it through too much, because we’ll just go off this one factor, or we’ll just go off a number, or we’ll just go off this one piece of data which we think is the most valuable to us, but actually, if we think about that for two seconds, it’s not even aligned with what we really want. So understanding this stuff is going to be the thing that allows you to be happier overall, because you can really figure out what you want. Most people haven’t even thought to themselves what does my dream life look like, right? Or dream life is look like what? What are we actually working towards?

Dr Clinton: 

Yeah, I mentioned. Most people are probably just like well, I just work to pay the bills and then the next I just do the same thing. The next month, you know, and then the next, you know. The weeks become months, become years, bro life’s like a stream.

Dr James: 

Right, it goes one way. Right, it goes downhill. Right, you can’t get back upstream. Right. It’s your choice whether you want to paddle or not, but you’re still going to go down the stream.

Dr Clinton: 

Yeah, absolutely that’s true. We’re on the river regardless if we want to be or not.

Dr James: 

It’s just your choice whether you want to paddle into the fork in the stream. Which way do you want to go? The delta life is like a delta. It’s about paddling and choosing which delta you’re going to go into. Otherwise, life will just pick something for you and you’ll just be carried along with the flow.

Dr Clinton: 

Sure Sure.

Dr James: 

That’s why I’m putting it. I always think.

Dr Clinton: 

Yeah, no, absolutely, Absolutely. You know, wasn’t even John Lennon had said that life, life is what happens when you’re making plans for something else. But I think I think perhaps if you then get a grip, like okay, yeah, I’m going to go in one of these deltas, but hopefully you can get that boat that’s going to be able to take you to the one that you want to go to I guess it’s recognizing what that is that you want and then heading that direction.

Dr James: 

Well, it’s effort to pick up the ore isn’t it? Yeah right, and what is you know in that exact analogy maybe this is where the analogy breaks down you physically pick up the ore, which is some effort, but what is the equivalent to what in what we’re talking about? On going down this metaphorical stream, it’s not literally picking up an ore, it’s sitting down figuring out where do I actually want to go, Like which one of these river deltas is most aligned with my overall objective. So we can, only we have to figure out what the overall objective is. First and another seafaring, seaborne analogy that. I find is, if you’ve got a ship and a port, you’ve got an ultimate destination. Are you with me? Then there’s no way that you can calibrate your sales and your logistical equipment to anywhere in particular unless you know what the ultimate destination is. Otherwise, you just sail out onto the sea and you just drift around in the currents.

Dr Clinton: 

Right, no, absolutely. So what would you say is the biggest challenge for dentists and I guess I’m being able to accomplish this or even just in general.

Dr James: 

Oh man, oh man. I would say that it’s 80% a time thing and 80% a headspace thing, and I would say one of the greatest things which I sometimes talk about, one of the greatest things that holds dentists back from doing this, is teeth tunnel vision, which is where you’re so focused with blinkers, on being the best dentist, the best at business, the best at all these things, and that can be for a variety of reasons. Most dentists really really really flip in care about their patients and want to do the, want to do the best job, at least in my experience. We’re talking like the vast majority, if not all of them, are you with me, which is wonderful and I think that’s great, and there’s some sort of selection process that’s going right there from the from academia’s point of view. So, because those people are in a point where they’re so serving to others it’s almost like they’re not serving themselves to degree. So there’s this whole pressure with me so far. Does that make sense? Yeah, so here’s the thing If you’re in this position where you want to be the best that you possibly can at dentistry and you’re out and I the only reason I know is because I did this for flipping years right To allocate 100% of my waking brainpower to learning about dentistry. And I was like 24, 25, 26, something like that Really, before I got into the whole world of finance and I realized there was other things. Just before that era, I, what did I do? I devoted all my time to doing that, being the best dentist that I could not, understanding that actually, every, every unit of time I was allocating towards that was one year less unit of time I was able to allocate towards all these other amazing things that are in this world that would have really empowered me and probably meant that I was in a place where I could even serve my patients to a higher standard and be better at helping them. If I was able to understand the world of finance, I was able to understand all these other things, which would have ultimately given me more time, therefore in a better place mentally to help others. And I suppose it’s that subconscious shift that most people are yet to go through, because if we’re really really, really blinkered that we should be doing this one thing, because that’s what we’ve been conditioned to think and it’s very hard to break out of that mindset. So for me it’s a time thing, for me it’s a teeth television and that’s part of the message of Dennis and invest really.

Dr Clinton: 

Yeah, no, absolutely. And would you even say that, uh, you know, when I say it helps with patient care, would you say that even like um, making yourself a well rounded person that’s diversified, does that help just in that you’re just more complete person and that carries on to patients just through conversation, or just that you’re? You’re more, you’re more sane, you come to work and you’re not just so burned out or because you spent some time with your family, or maybe we’re playing pickleball over the weekend.

Dr James: 

Well, yeah, I mean, there’s those, those. Those two things are internal things, definitely Right, and what I mean by that is you’re in a happier state of mind and you’re also more relatable to others, because you have more things to talk about outside of purely teeth. But then even logistically, if you think about it, whenever someone understands the ways that they don’t necessarily have to go to the clinic for as long as they would have done otherwise, because they have perhaps other investments that will be giving them residual income therefore they’re not as dependent on clinical time to be able to generate wealth Then what that does is it puts them in a space where they’re less reliant on the clinic, where there may be less on edge in work because they feel like they have to turn over a certain amount of money or do a certain thing or be a certain level of profitability. So what I mean is it frees up your headspace from that perspective too, in that you have more time to be able to allocate to perhaps study, to perhaps going on courses, more time and money to perhaps going on courses, therefore ultimately becoming a better dentist overall, because if it was purely about plowing as much hours into the clinic as you possibly could well. Information and knowledge is power. How can you ever expect your dentistry to hit the next level unless you’re allocating time and resources to be to being able to heighten your awareness of clinical dentistry? The heighten your understanding of clinical dentistry, and in order to do that, we need some time and some money, and if we’re coming from a place where that is scarce and we have to constantly be working all day long, well, that’s not really going to work.

Dr Clinton: 

Yeah, absolutely. Let me tell you my nice startup clinic that I had in Iowa when I was open six days a week. I was much more profitable and efficient on running it at three days a week. I took over a satellite office two days. But definitely, going to dental meetings and continue education also gave me a chance to kind of take a mental break. I just was a better clinician, a better dentist. So I think you’re onto something where it’s the person that’s just burned out five, six days a week. His own clinic, never learns anything, never, you know, meets up with another dentist or rub shoulders with or doesn’t do anything in their personal life. They’re probably not going to be as as good of a dentist as they could be. If they took that time to diversify and they’re probably, you know, and well I know they would I feel they would be much more happy if they were to do that you know where. Like hey, I went to these dental meetings. I learned these techniques, you know I met, I met, you know, someone that offered some advice or we had a chance to kind of, you know, corroborate, rather than just, like hey, I need to work till Saturday at 5pm and head Sunday off and I’m back drilling tea at 8am on Monday. I mean that’s just going to make a person burn out.

Dr James: 

Yeah, well, it comes from this subconscious belief in lots of situations that the harder you work is, the more output you achieve. Right. Output can be lots of things. Output is not just remuneration. Output is not just financial income. Output is our impact on the world. Output is how much we learn day in, day out, how much we are learning on a day to day basis through doing our job right. So we feel like we have to be in the clinic 12 hours a week, just doing 12 hours a day, doing the same thing over and over again, because that is what our brain thinks. That means that we’re being productive and we’re constantly going to do that without exploring other things. And the only reason I say that is that me over here, I used to do seven days a week. Well, let me just think about this for two seconds. It was seven days a week in dentistry and it was four and a half days a week NHS, which is our public health care system that we have in the UK, and then it was two and a half days a week private dentistry. And I did that for about six months because in my head, that was how I could be the most productive. And don’t get me wrong. From the point of view of learning, it meant that I was able to learn a lot because I was across two clinics. However, what I might have done sooner was be able to realize that, really, if I would have just focused on my productivity in that time, I probably could have achieved just as much and done it in like five days a week, six days a week, and the productivity again productivity could be could have been remuneration, it also could be my education. It could have been lots of things I never, thought about it from a high level, because I was so just caught in the flipping weeds. I was just going along on the stream of life. Like what we were saying earlier, the more knowledge you have is the more directions you can see, the more directions in which you have the option of paddling.

Dr Clinton: 

Sure.

Dr James: 

Sure. Sadness and feeling discontent with life usually comes from lack of perceived options. The more you know, the more knowledge you have, the more options you perceive, the more doors that you can see in front of you. Bro, you with me, yeah.

Dr Clinton: 

Yeah, oh, absolutely, absolutely.

Dr James: 

To me this is like massively important. You know, these are, you know all these things that I’m saying. It’s like I’m going back and talking myself like three, four years ago. And they say that about people who make followings, etc. They say that about people who make podcasts and they feel deeply about something that it’s almost like they’ve come through something that they’ve now found a better way, what they believe to be a better way, and all the things that they’ve learned, because they literally lived the life of that person who came through those things. They learned the lessons and wisdom that they needed to come through those things and therefore they’re conscious that people are still in that zone. So it’s almost like they’re talking to an old version of themselves which is represented by some people who are still presently in that area.

Dr Clinton: 

Yeah, no, absolutely. And you mentioned you’re working the NHS and working seven days a week. What would you say to the dentist that feels like, hey, I’ve got an obligation as a clinician. If I focus on business, I’m going to become a Bernese or Scrooge? I don’t think that’s the case, but some people think that if you start Mary, if you, if you have a money aspect or business aspect, that’s just going to affect your ability to give patient care. What would you say to that person? You know what?

Dr James: 

I would say this I think it all starts out with what are a relative objectives are right, because someone’s relative objective might be that they like doing five, six days a week, seven days a week of clinical dentistry. Are you with me Right Now? If that is their relevant objective, then actually money and all these other things only matter in so far as them being able to perpetuate themselves doing that, sustain themselves doing that, if that’s what they want to do. Now, most people in my opinion who are living that life probably aren’t doing it because they like doing six, seven days a week of clinical dentistry, in which case they might evaluate to themselves what do I actually want? How much would I really like to do Then figure out how they can create that life and figure out how they can create that existence. It might well be that we have to shift how we think to get to that point, because if we continue to think and act the way that we did, we’re going to get the same results. Now, if we want the results, that’s fine. If we don’t want those results, that’s where we have to be open and receptive to new information. That’s fundamentally it. Because, here’s the thing, neither of us I’m very conscious of doing this. Neither of us can get on our high horse and say, well, you shouldn’t work seven days a week, you shouldn’t work six days a week If that’s what you enjoy 100%. However, I feel from experience, from conversations with dentists, that most people who do that, they’re doing it because they feel like they have to rather than they want to. That’s when we know something’s got to change.

Dr Clinton: 

Well, and you hit on something right there, because I’ve recently spoken to two different dentists where it’s, hey, I’m getting burned out, I’m burning the candle at both ends, but it’s because I’m obligated to, I have to, and the people in the community, and I don’t think that’s the case, even coming into a new office where we’ve I volunteer my time in, both domestically and international, there’s a time and a place for it. But in this case I have a private clinic, so I can’t necessarily take those insurance plans or something where it just where my staff, my assistants, making more than what we’re bringing in for that hour. Now, and this is where this the business perspective. But there is the clinic down the street. That’s a private, it’s a private clinic, but that is their model. They’ve got high volume, they’ve got a way to make it work. Or even the government clinic where, hey, they can go there, they might have longer wait times, but they can still be seen. And so I’m trying to, you know, part even to the staff, like we’re not, you know, deserting any of these patients, be kind, be a good, like, hey, let’s get you set up with such and such a clinic, if that referral, I’ve heard that when I first started out, I heard this whole you can’t be everybody’s dentist, even though I tried to be, and so I realized that like, hey, depending on what my model is, what my goal is, it might not fit for this financial reimbursement. That doesn’t necessarily have to make you a jerk. I’ve even known somebody who practice had a private practice in one place and then even had and they still worked part-time and volunteered their time, even at a public clinic where it’s, hey, I’m still seeing those patients over there, but it’s not affecting my ability to thrive and be able to provide for myself. I’m talking to some of these dentists. I feel like they have to. I don’t think they do. It’s just a matter of being able to help, even steer patients to the right practice. That’s going to be the setup for what that patient’s seeking, because it’s the patient that, hey, I’m just taking the government reimbursement, hey, I just want my tooth out. Heck, russell Schaffer isn’t on the podcast with us now. He takes the United States version of NHS, is called Medicaid. He’s able to thrive and do that and Medicaid down in Louisiana. So that’s why I think that if Russell was down the street for me, I would definitely have a referral pad and everything ready to go in that connection. So I guess there’s some of what I’m saying like. You don’t necessarily have to separate being a kind clinician and businessmen. It can work both they’re just. If you broaden your perspective, there is a place from everybody and everybody can win.

Dr James: 

Well, you know what? On that exact thing. Here’s the biggest thing that I see lots of dentists struggle with. They often equate in their head that charging the cheapest price to serve the patient is doing the kindest thing. They think those are exactly the same things, which they’re often not, because we know as dentists straight up, we’d be happy to invest in our teeth a little bit more to a higher standard, when we know that it’s going to get us a result that is going to last longer, maybe be more aesthetically pleasing, more functional, etc. All of those things. So let’s say that 99% of dentists would probably make the decision to invest a little bit more in their tooth to be able to facilitate a higher standard of care. Why is it that the majority of patients are not getting that standard of treatment? Why is it that much less patients invest themselves to that standard? It’s probably because they can’t understand dentistry, or they don’t understand dentistry because they haven’t been to dental school. Are you with me, right? Yeah, so if they haven’t been to dental school and if they, presumably if they would go to dental school, they would make the same decisions as us. Are you with me, then, really, for them to be able to understand why investing a little bit more potentially will be the thing that allows them to get a higher standard of care, and why that is merited and why most dentists would do that. Then really, if you think about it, are we actually doing them a favor whenever we charge them the cheapest price for potentially lower quality option, when we wouldn’t even do that ourselves, when we wouldn’t do it to our own mouth, right, just because we have this hang-up that we think that we’re doing them the biggest favor when we’re not, whereas actually we’re kind of doing the opposite, because we need to get past this perception that that’s how we’re helping them.

Dr Clinton: 

Yeah, absolutely. And there’s even this whole. You feel like I need everyone to like me and feel good about it. Oh, they think they’re getting this good deal, even though, while I’m seeing them every two weeks because replacing this filling that needs to be a crown all the time you think they’re doing them the favor and you realize you’re really not or this would have been superior and this would have lasted clinically much longer if they’d done this other treatment. And you’re absolutely right. And I think they’re just chasing the dragon of acceptance and thinking this is the way to go, where it really would be better for Mrs Jones to do this other thing. And I think if you can impart that to Mrs Jones to get her to understand and value that, it’s just going to be better for her and for yourself.

Dr James: 

And even you just hit the nail on the head, right, because you’ve even said the thing that is the cheapest in the here and now may not even be the cheapest over the next five years, over the long run, right? Because, they’re not going to get it constantly redone. Are you with me, right? Yeah, so we’ve set out, we’ve equated those two things in our head, and then we haven’t even done it because we’ve never really thought about it from a higher level.

Dr Clinton: 

Yep, yeah, exactly.

Dr James: 

All sorts of things like that. It’s really cool, and this is what I was saying earlier. A lot of the times we do things, and I do this and everybody does this. Every human being does this on the face of this earth. We have an objective of where we’d like to go to. We have a present position of where we currently are. There’s a path to get there, and we’re usually not going about it in an efficient way at all, and usually the reason why we go about it in an inefficient way is because we’re yet to understand what that efficient method is to be able to get there. So it’s 100% a knowledge thing and again, that is a huge part of my message and the message of Dennis, who invests.

Dr Clinton: 

Sure. So what would you say, is the first step? Is it joining the Facebook group? Is it some of your booklet?

Dr James: 

materials.

Dr Clinton: 

Like, if someone’s like, hey, how do I start? How do I get that paddle to find the delta I want to get to?

Dr James: 

Oh, I love that you used that analogy. I use that all the time and I would say that if you are a Facebook user, feel free to join Dennis who invests Facebook user and the Dennis, of course, because the information on there is really really, really specific to help the dental world. So Dennis will find it off the most value, of course. So that would be a great place to start. If you’re not a Facebook user, then I would say probably the best place to check out is Dennis who investscom, where you can find the podcast, my own podcast, which is called Dennis who invest. Or, alternatively, I have an ebook on there, in which case we can stay and touch via the mailing list, should that be your preference. Okay, great.

Dr Clinton: 

Now, if someone does something like that too, and let’s say they’re starting the practice, is this something that they can be able to contact you, even to be able to like hey, I’ve got some questions about XYZ. Or do you offer any kind of like consultations for those types of things? Or is it more just broad information based?

Dr James: 

You know what? I always make a big point of replying to every single message that I get. So, yeah, definitely the best place to connect, I would say, is Facebook Messenger or on the website. I believe there is an email address for myself which is james at Dennis who investcom. So those would be the two best portals. And, like I say, I’m a big I listened to there’s a Gary V thing where he talks about the importance of talking to absolutely everybody from the point of view of sharing good karma with the world, and I listened to that podcast a few years ago and I was like that’s really stuck with me and I’ve always found that lots of good things have come about for not just me but everybody the other party as well whenever we just flip in, connect and speak. So I’m a big believer in that ethos.

Dr Clinton: 

Sure sure, absolutely so. Are you still practicing dentistry yourself, or is this something you dedicated full time? So?

Dr James: 

I inverted commas retired from clinical dentistry about two and a half years ago. The reason I say inverted commas is I’m still busy. It’s like that classic adage where you swap the nine to five for the seven am to 11 pm, at least at the start, although, having said that, as time has went on, I’ve definitely been able to get a lot more free time back to do other things as the platform grew, which is really cool. However, there’s a big difference in doing something because you feel like you have to and something that you really do enjoy and I definitely feel like I’m more of the second person, given that I find it harder to not build my platform. I find it harder to not create content and build the, build the website, build the Facebook group, all of those things. I find it harder to not do it than do it. So, therefore, I’m in a place where I get to do something that I enjoy all the time and I want that for everybody. However, that looks. That’s again a huge part of the message.

Dr Clinton: 

Sure, well, it seems like you definitely have a passion for this. So I mean University of Washington American football fan. There was a coach named Don James, but he was the more like hey, I coach the coaches and that’s what allows them to thrive. And so it seems like, if I’m to hear you right, you almost feel like hey, you feel like you’d be more influential for, for the dental field, even just being able to help dentists be able to thrive and better serve their patients and grow their businesses as well.

Dr James: 

Yeah, hell yeah, it’s just. It’s about thinking about it from a higher level, isn’t it? thinking about think here’s, here’s my core tenant. All we have to do is figure out what makes us happy. What makes what makes you happy, clint? What does what makes john happy? What makes James happy? What makes Jane happy? And then we work back from there. And to me that’s logical, because it’s really really, really easy to never crystallize that and just go with the flow, floating down the stream of life, like I say, and then all we have to do is figure out Okay, what conditions can I create in my life which will facilitate that reality, of which money and income is always going to be at least part of the equation, because we need that to be able to grow At least most of us need at least some money to be able to thrive and survive and exchange for our creature comforts and food, etc. And it’s just figuring out how that looks for each and every one of us. Maybe that’s having a super yacht, maybe that’s living in a small, in an outhouse and a little tiny dwellers, and it’s not beside you know, it’s. It’s. It’s just really how that looks for every one of us. Because really, if you think about it, if someone’s dream existence is where they went out and lived in nature. They were a hermit, they could potentially drop everything tomorrow. They could drop Right An illusion that they’re living in because they don’t actually need it, because they could live off the land and then in that, to me, understanding what that dream reality looks like is something that is like a paradigm shifting experience for everybody in their life. Because if you are someone who realizes that that’s actually what your dream existence looks like, then life could change like that potentially. And if we never had that epiphany, we just keep going with the flow and again most people won’t be in that zone. That’s an extreme example. However, I’m just giving everybody an understanding of how powerful that could be.

Dr Clinton: 

Sure, sure, oh. It’s like the Stephen R Covey concept of begin with the end in mind. So I think, if you have that first and you, you know, work towards it. I mean, you mentioned getting a yacht. I guess it doesn’t mean buy the yacht first and then try to work so that you can afford the yacht which, come to think of it, I guess most patients think that we’re proposing that crown because they’ve got a yacht payment. But you’re right, you know creating that goal and be able to work toward it. Then stop Now, with the economy the way it’s going right now, and at least here in the United States, I feel like everything’s getting more expensive and dentistry reimbursements getting either the same it’s stagnant or it’s going down. And then your staff it costs more to hire your auxiliaries and to be able to just have a business. What you know? What do you see this? What do you see? The mitigating factors or what, what could be done about that is, you know, just as far as increased cost and I say lower reimbursement, I guess, reimbursement from insurance companies, or what have you like? What do you think the solution is for the future? So you know what?

Dr James: 

here’s a really cool framework that I learned from a mentor back in the day, and this framework is there’s only three fundamental ways that someone can bring more money into their life. Someone in can increase the profit of their business, or increase their own income, or certainly increase the margin between their outgoings and their their what’s coming in every single day, week, month, year, whatever. So there’s only three fundamental ways you can do it, so I. The answer is going to be different for everybody and I can certainly give some high level information as to how that might look. Sure, if the answer is going to fall within one of these three things. So, if you think about it, three ways that we can increase our profit in our life, three ways that we can increase our margin, or how much money we’re bringing in every month, the net amount of money that we’re bringing in every month. So the very first way is we manage our outgoings, as in if we reduce our expenditure, then naturally, even if our gross income stays the same, the gap between our expenditure under gross, which is our net income, is going to increase. Therefore, we have more profit, right? So that’s probably the easiest place to look, because you can instantly most people can instantly reduce their expenditure by just investigating what’s going on every month and just being clever about that. Sure, and it works for business too. There’ll be, undoubtedly, efficiency. Inefficiency always creeps in past a certain point because there’s just too many things to remember. There’s too many, right, yeah, or at least in my experience, right. So that’s 100% the first place to look, in my opinion, even though it’s a little dull because everybody’s obsessed with just increasing their income, which is the second one, right, right, because there’s a very, there’s a very human thing that gets excited by that rather than, I suppose, being introspective about it. Right, that’s the first way. Manage the outgoings. Second way is, if you think about it, if you see 20 patients in a day versus 10 patients in a day, you increase the number of people that you serve, then naturally there’s just a little bit of a gap. If you serve, then naturally there’s going to be more money. Usually, however, that might be the best place to look for, dennis, because what we want to do is the opposite. We often want to do less clinical time rather than more clinical time, but certainly if we’ve got some white space, that is a really good way to boost the amount of profit that’s coming into our life, or boost our net income or gross income. However, it doesn’t always work. In the demo example, if you are a car showroom, for example, and you serve 100 people rather than 50 people and each one of them buy the same car, if 100 people buy a fiat Punto or 50 people buy a fiat Punto in the first example, the car showroom is going to make more money, so it’s easier for them to do because of their infrastructure. It’s worth thinking about your business. The third way is to increase the value of the patient that you serve, increase the value of your customer, so to speak. So how that looks is doing higher quality treatment. Therefore, when you are giving more value, you have the privilege or the permission to be able to ask for more remuneration in return. So how does that look? It looks like this investing in ourselves. It looks like this is becoming the best Dennis that we can possibly be, and then asking for a level of remuneration that reflects that. And again, those are those things from a very high level. We can get into each and every one of those and how that looks specifically for each and every Dennis. However, I know that for anybody out there who wants to be able to enhance the amount of money that’s coming into their life? The answer lies within one of those three things, because that’s the only way that it’s possible, which is really cool. I got that from a mentor way back when and it was actually applied to business, but it works. It works in business, it works in a personal life, it works in everything. So that would be the framework in which the answer lies. What I would say generally from the high level is the very first thing. I personally think the very first thing that most people can do better is manager going a little bit more and not spend as much money. And there’s always inefficiencies that creep in past a certain point, whether that be little frivolous things that we buy consistently, or whether that be something that we’re subscribed to that we never use. That’s the killer. So if anybody wants a really good book that they can use to be able to apply that to their life, I’d recommend a book called Kaka-bo, which is the Japanese art of budgeting. There’s Japanese art of being conscious of your spending, which is really cool. So you can go through that book and it will basically do all the thinking for you. It gives you a little framework into which you can input information and implement the findings of those that information into your life and therefore not spend as much money. Therefore, just be a little bit more conscious of your expenditure, so really like that. And then the other two ways being able to generate more. Well, a lot of that comes from our mindset and how we think about money and our beliefs and our understanding of business. So, from a high level, we know that it’s going to be in that area. We know that those are the things that we need to look at.

Dr Clinton: 

Sure, and did you say the name of the book is Kaka-bo?

Dr James: 

You know what? I’m pretty sure it’s pronounced Kaka-bo. I’ve only ever seen it written down, so I think it’s pronounced Kaka-bo. So it’s spelled K-A-K-E-I-B-O.

Dr Clinton: 

Okay, I need to get this book. And I’m definitely guilty of what you’re saying too, Like I’ve got everything I can on autopay to save time and I’ll see like, oh, I need it. Do I need to keep spending for this? I’ll get to that, and then I don’t get to that, and then it’s just like shoot month by month and it keeps adding up. So all businesses love that.

Dr James: 

It’s a sticky income and it’s like. It’s like when someone gets you to sign up to their thing, they get you to buy once and pay forever. Are you with me? Rather than most sales like one time is where you buy once and you pay once. Right, right. But then, from their perspective a business perspective is you’re constantly having to get people to buy, which takes energy every single month, month, month, month. So that’s why most it’s like. I know that you’re a fan of Alex Ramuzzi. He says the only two ways for a business to make more money is either to get more customers or make them pay more. Are you with me? Yeah, yeah, that’s the only two ways. So, which fits into the model that we were talking about earlier. So big businesses know that and we’re on the other end of it, are you with me? Which is why it’s like when we sign up to something, there’s more inertia. There’s inertia to sign up to something, but when we’re on board, if it’s a subscription thing, there’s inertia to come off it and therefore a business is capitalizing on that. Are you with me? No, 100%. I’ve seen people do that and save themselves like flipping hundreds every single month, which is money that we just I’m guilty of that.

Dr Clinton: 

For this gym I’m a part of, I kind of moved away from it and every month it’s like $54. But you can’t cancel online. You have to call this guy and go to physically show up and do this and that and I screw it. I’ll get to it later. That’s how they get you right Because everyone’s thinking about it. That’s how they trap you in and you bring up something too, if every thing fits in to get more customers or charge more money. You mentioned something too as far as being able to expand yourself, even clinically. You can offer more higher producing procedures. But I’ve even found that it doesn’t necessarily have to be that you’re doing an on X implant procedure. I’ve seen practitioners that sometimes will schedule over three hours for a crown prep and even for some of the efficiencies that you have talked about, through either the type of materials or your technique, you might learn I could crown preps maybe scheduled for an hour, but it can do it well under that to where I’m not sweating so much, it’s not as stressful. But if I can cut that in a third, I can actually theoretically do two other crown preps and it’s easier. And so a lot of what you can do is even learn just to be more efficient, and by doing that that actually would bring in more customers. And so I’d say you don’t necessarily have to go out and do massive oral surgeries, even just your bread and butter dentistry. If you can be a little more efficient, you’re going to be better and you’re going to be more profitable. It’s just I’ve had some dentists that like I don’t need to learn that or use that thing, but then they’re still taking three hours for a crown prep, so they’re making it more difficult than they need to.

Dr James: 

Yes, but on. It’s all about efficiency and then also maintaining the value that we’re giving to the other person, ensuring that quality and standard of care remain high.

Dr Clinton: 

Yeah, yeah. So James, we have a thing on totally oral called just the tip, where it’d be like what are you know what’s a tip for somebody that you might give, and it could be anything or anybody. And I’ve noticed you actually you have a book called like the seven pitfalls you know the dentist make, is there? What would you? I was going to ask, what are those seven tips? But I don’t also know if it’s like hey, you know, get the book, but is there a particular tip that you’d have, you know, for a dentist to? To, I guess, avoid or avoiding the economy, or, I guess, put differently, what would you say is the common pitfall? Do?

Dr James: 

you know what. So in the pitfalls those are more technical things Like the very first one is ensure that you have a stable foundation. So whether that’s income protection or boosting your income, something along those lines, right, but even before we get into that, I would say the biggest tip of all time, not just for dentists but also to the human race, is to take accountability for our own happiness.

Dr Clinton: 

Okay, that’s. You know what A lot of people think. I’m being guilty of that too, where it’s it’s easy to blame everything else, something, external factors and others.

Dr James: 

But like hey, we’re looking for, we’re looking for and again, we can. I don’t want to get like too woo woo, because not everybody resonates with this stuff, but what I would say is this right. So if you think about it, there’s people that have nothing, that are fully happy. There’s people who have everything that are unhappy, right. So we know that it’s not purely an external thing, whereas most of us make it an external thing. Most of us think that when we get to 60 or 65, we’re going to be happy. But if you think about that for two seconds, it doesn’t really make sense, because how many 60, 65 year olds do you see running around shouting at the top of their lungs I’m a lady and I’m over the moon. This is unbelievable. I’ve made it to this point Now. I get to be happy forever. So really it’s not actually something that’s necessarily true, whereas we think that we have to sacrifice most of our life to get to that point. Whereas, in reality, whenever you know that, whenever you know that that’s a little bit of a mirage or illusion, you can get to understand that actually, if we think about this for two seconds, we can decide to be happy in the moment. We just got to figure out what parameters that we need in our life in order to do that and facilitate that Sure.

Dr Clinton: 

Well, you know it’s interesting you say that too because I was going through a particular difficult time of my life end up talking to somebody. I had a therapist, and what she gave me she’s like hey, she gives me a copy of Man’s Search for Meaning from Victor Frankel. Oh, got it over there on the bookshelf, you got it, okay. And so it’s just like, okay, this is kind of interesting, you know, going through a divorce and whatnot, but her whole thing is. And if people aren’t familiar with it where, it’s somebody that was in Auschwitz, you know he was a Jewish psychiatrist that he still felt he was in control of those unhappiness, despite of his where he was at, and he even had Nazis, you know, prison or sorry, the Nazis that were keeping him there in the prison, that were envious of his happiness, and so his whole thing was just that, like you can’t control these external factors, what can I do for myself? And that’s that’s what she wanted to part on me that like the only person you can control is you. The only thing you control is yourself. So I, that’s the, that’s 100%, some of the best advice I think you can get, absolutely so 100%.

Dr James: 

One more thing on that, something that I heard pretty recently that I really liked. Power can never be taken. It can only be given what do I mean by? that. What do I mean by that? Right, it’s exactly what Victor Frankl has said. Right, he, he, he kept his happiness internal as much as possible despite these horrendous surroundings. So what he did was he diminished their power as much as he could. If you think he didn’t award the many power In his head which kept him internally balanced, which meant that he was able to come through these external hideous atrocities and nightmares that he witnessed daily. And I read that book way back when I was like 16, 17. And I think the overarching theme is the power of understanding just how much we can take control of this stuff with the right mindset. And, like I say, I don’t, I definitely don’t want to talk about, I know, not everybody connects with this. You know slightly more ethereal things, Are you with me? Yeah, In my, in my opinion, I feel like everybody would benefit from doing that. But for those that do connect with that stuff, that really, really, really super-dipper resonated with me.

Dr Clinton: 

Yeah, absolutely. And even if you’re not, you know, if someone’s not necessarily into any of that, I guess, if you just boil it down to hey, you can’t control if Mrs Jones is going to be mad at you today, but you can control how you react. You can’t control, if you know, as far as your own happiness, you can’t control, like you know, yeah, creating that for your friends, family and others. Just what you can do about it, you know, and so it’s in many ways, is just try to focus on yourself and what you can do, and I think you’re going to have a positive influence on others as well. So well, james, this has been great. Definitely. Love to have you on. I actually I was going to say working, people, working. I sign up for your record I know you mentioned it before. As far as a good website and your coursework, what’s the easiest way to find you again? If you just want to, we’ll end the show with that.

Dr James: 

Yeah, sure. So to connect with me, all the things that we mentioned beforehand, probably the easiest way, I would say Facebook users. Then, as you invest on Facebook, if Facebook is not your thing, then feel free to check out the website. We’ll be able to find the podcast we spoke about earlier or the mailing list, If that’s something that you prefer. On the website, you’ll be able to see that there is the ebook that you referred to just a minute ago the seven costly and potentially disastrous mistakes you can just make whenever it comes to the money. So it’s basically just a checklist that you can go through and think to yourself hmm, have I got this sorted? Have I got this sorted? Have I got this sorted? So you know, you’ve got a stable platform on which you can begin to think about how you can develop yourself further or how you can think about how you can enhance your financial prospects. That will give you that knowledge, that you know that you’re ready to go. And then what I would say on top of that is with regards to the platforms, to the courses, et cetera. Something that you might be interested in that have recently launched alongside an IFA is Dennis, who invests Academy, which is a learning platform that will give dentists everything that they need to know to be able to understand money, create a financial plan and then also invest to make that financial plan, to make their dream life a reality everything that they need to know to be able to create those conditions in their own life. It’s like the ship that we were talking about earlier the ship has to know what the port looks like before it can set sail. Most people haven’t even really crystallized what that ultimate reality looks like, what their dream life looks like. So the whole point of that platform is to give you the tools that you need to design that dream life and then also plot a journey towards that. Also start the journey towards that.

Dr Clinton: 

Awesome, awesome. And if I wanted to just come hang out on person. I’m more of a hey, I need to be physically present. Do you ever have any kind of courses or anything that I know you’re early. You talked about people parting with you in London. Do you put on any events?

Dr James: 

I do. Yeah, you know I do do live events from time to time and they are something that I announce on my mailing list and Facebook group. So those are definitely a great place to be able to keep up to date with live events and things that I’m creating and running. So usually they’re held in London, in the UK. On the horizon. I’ve got some coming up in November, but that’s a little hush-hush for the moment.

Dr Clinton: 

I’ll be releasing those very soon, all right. Well, if someone were to subscribe they could keep you know, eagerly anticipate when that will be happening, where it’ll be at. And you know, I’ve kind of found, at least here in the United States, there’s a lot of direct flights. Seattle has a nonstop flight that’s only about eight, nine hours. New Orleans I was mentioning Louisiana again nonstop. So the world’s connecting through London, so hopefully we can come hang out and party with you.

Dr James: 

Heck yeah, heck yeah, and I’ll get the short flight over from Belfast and make that happen. It’s like 50 minutes from here.

Dr Clinton: 

No, that’s no biggie at all, absolutely not, absolutely not Looking forward to it. Awesome. Well, James, thanks so much for a hop on on. I really appreciate it and hopefully we can have you on again and continue this further.

Dr James: 

Likewise, my friend. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a real pleasure and I’m sure we’ll catch up very soon.

Dr Clinton: 

Well for James Martin. I’m Clinton Timmerman. Thanks for listening, take care.