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Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

Dr James: 

Hello everyone, welcome to another episode of Modern Dentist with me, sonia Schmotzke. I’m here today with the inimitable James Martin. I’m going to have to look up without word means in the dictionary. What does it mean? It means you can’t be imitated. I wouldn’t use that word with everyone, but I think in your case it’s very apt. That’s very kind. You need no introduction, I think, in the dental community. Oh well. I’m really excited about the topics that we’re going to be talking about that relate to the modern dentist, the clinician of today and tomorrow and how they should or could be thinking about finance and money as part of how they run their careers and how they run their lives, because you are probably one of the main proponents of the idea that clinicians are not taught about finance really at any point in their career, and that’s an omission. And it often gets to the point where people are coming to your very popular Facebook group and asking really simple questions where you think why, surely at some point in our careers as clinicians we should have been told this. All that to say thank you, james, for joining us. Lovely to have you with us. Hey, it’s my absolute pleasure to be here. The only reason I asked about that word at the very start was I didn’t know if I might have to refer back to it later when I was talking. So I was like, better get that definition nailed down. I’m glad that I did. Can not be imitated. Lovely, jubbly Shall. I do a bit of an intro then? Yeah, let’s do it. Would that be smart? Let’s do it, okay, cool. So my name is Dr James Martin, so I’m a dentist as well. I qualified in Leeds in 2016. I’m originally from Northern Ireland. My accent has waned a little bit. I don’t know if it’s still detectable. Others will have to be the judge of that. When I go back to Northern Ireland, my granny says here comes the queen. That’s like a running gag in our family because I’m the English one now, relatively speaking, but yeah anyway. So lived in Leeds for 11 years. I had an absolute blast in Leeds and then somewhere along the line well, I say somewhere, but I actually know pretty much precisely the moment when this happened, when I developed this interest in finance or this extracurricular wish to understand how it works, without any real realisation of what I was going to come across or without any real understanding of the implications that it would ever have further down the line. I don’t think anybody ever really does. Whenever they start exploring, it’s just following your heart, really, isn’t it? At least for me, it was. So how that started was, if anybody remembers, 2017, bitcoin doing extremely well. Well, bitcoin was on BBC News and I thought, okay, now seems like the perfect time to jump into Bitcoin. Now seems like the perfect time to get involved. So I got involved with Bitcoin didn’t go so well, because usually anybody who follows finance, one of the first principles is when everybody starts talking about something, when your taxi driver starts talking about the hottest, newest investment, it’s probably not a good time to invest. But that’s how little I knew at that time. That was like the very first principle. So, anyway, that didn’t really go to plan, insofar as it didn’t actually really make any money from it from the first bit. And I thought to myself okay, james, you’re ineptness, it’s glaringly obvious. It’s staring you right in the face. You’ve got to do something about this. So then a reason to myself. I was like right, somebody somewhere is doing this successfully. What is the difference between them and me? Well, it’s got to be knowledge, really, doesn’t it? At least that’s what I thought it was at the time and it would make sense. Really, that’s the difference between anybody who has yet to develop a skill and anybody who has a skill is pretty much knowledge. Yeah, there’s different types of knowledge, but fundamentally it’s that. So, anyway, got into that, started reading about crypto, and then I started reading about finance more broadly, how that works, because anybody who knows crypto knows that it’s an evolution of money and how, and the principles of wealth are very much embedded within the philosophy of crypto. So, like I say, started to read on that front as well and it really just built up this big base of knowledge. So I didn’t really understand in what I’d done and, by the way, I’m very much the first one to say I have no formal qualification in finance whatsoever. I very much look at this stuff through the eyes of a dentist. I think that’s my advantage, so to speak, because I can appreciate both worlds. And as my journey has developed even further still and I’ve become really acquainted with people who are from that world, I’ve met similar people, people with a similar mindset, rather, who are financiers and they say to me James, you know a lot of this stuff that you’ve come across, like a lot of the issues potentially that there are whenever it comes to people’s financial literacy and also maybe how they don’t always get the best deal when someone else is managing their finances as a third party, then what that can mean is that, as I say, the very person that they’re supposed to serve, that they’re supposed to be serving through this knowledge, is also not getting the most advantageous deal and through meeting with those people, brushing shoulders of those people offer. In my perspective, we’ve created some really cool stuff, and one of those things is Dennis, who invests, which you alluded to earlier. Sonya, which we can go into a little bit more detail about. For sure, we will definitely touch on that and I should say that one of the reasons why I thought it’d be great for us to talk about this is because of your philosophy of upskilling, empowering clinicians with knowledge, and also that access to mentorship is obviously something that’s super close to what we do at 32Co and about you know, giving people the knowledge to make the feeling control of what they’re doing, as opposed to just palming it off to some other third party that’s going to make the decisions for you. I think that’s what you’re saying and I think you’ve done something super unique in the space and given people the tools for the first time to think differently about money and even what it is. So, actually, my first question was going to be around money and around how dentists think about their income and their money differently to how someone in another profession might think about it. For example, you know a teacher. What is it specifically about dentists that makes money different? Yeah, why is? their situation more unique, or why is it unique? Or another way of saying it. Well, here’s the thing. Here’s the thing. I have to be careful because I, by default or by proxy, understand the situation of a dentist so how I would imagine cover with my words. It’s different to other professions, is this? So there’s two things really. So the very first thing that I would say is most pertinent is that, by default, through undertaking dentistry, it’s likely that you’re going to be in a higher income bracket. Therefore, it’s probably also very likely that we’re going to have some capital, which is something that we can allocate to some sort of investment. We I don’t want to say the word spare income, I don’t want to say disposable income, it’s not that but we have additional income over and above what we need for our expenses. I’m very deliberate with my words. I don’t really like the term spare income. That suggests that it’s just we don’t know what to do with it and it sits in a corner somewhere. That’s not the right mindset, and disposable income just suggests that we chuck it over our shoulder. So again, this is the sort of stuff that I talk about in my community dentists who invest, so anyway, additional income superfluous to our needs in terms of our expenses. Then, because we have that, we’re thinking to ourselves okay, what can I do with this capital? Where can I store it? Where can I put it? Because that’s basically what investing is. It’s storing it in another form. It’s turning the asset of cash into an asset that’s actually going to appreciate, because that’s what investing is right. So what I’m saying is that the very first thing that’s relevant to dentists is that, relative to a population, relative to a profession in which that’s not necessarily so much the case, there’s a lot more of a need for this stuff also. The second really cool thing about dentists is that, if you think about most professions, most professions have a fixed hourly rate. Maybe in a few, every few years, you get a promotion, something like that. Dentists she’s not like that. There’s levers you can pull on, buttons, you can push to boost your income, just like that. Where it’s relevant to you and where it’s pertinent to you. And here’s the thing. There’s a little bit of a. This is the thing that gets me. There’s a little bit of a bug bearer for me. There’s a little bit of a taboo to talk about money just in general, but also more specifically in healthcare. But it’s interesting, right, because I meet, get I meet and get the opportunity to talk to like two, three dentists every single day who are meeting for the very first time. And if I speak to dentists, lots of them are in the situation where they’re doing six, seven days a week and I say to them okay, what’s going to be the thing that actually allows you to get some of your life back? In 99% of the time they say income. Right, and that actually gets me right. Because here’s the thing, there’s this whole taboo, there’s this whole thing that we shouldn’t talk about money, but it was literally going to be the thing that allows you to have more freedom in the here and now, not in like 30, 40 years when you retire, but literally today. Then to me that’s 100% somewhere we should go. And then there’s this whole mindset as well, where if we are being remunerated to a greater standard, it also means that the patient is not getting a fair deal. I don’t think that’s the case at all. The more value you can give someone, the higher the level that you can be remunerated. If you give someone unbelievable dentistry, then you have scope to be remunerated to a higher level as well. So it all starts with giving more. It’s a mindset thing as much as anyone else so you’ve said some really interesting things there. Firstly, that you know people in healthcare are squeamish about talking about money because you’ve got a patient and there’s yeah, there’s an equation that people sort of form in the head of, like, if you, if you’re talking about earning more money, patients are going to suffer, and I think you explain that really nicely which is you’re delivering value and you’re you’re highly trained and you, you want to be remunerated fairly for that. So that’s the first thing. The second thing I think is really interesting, which is you, there isn’t a career ladder that you can go on. It’s up to you to figure out how. No one’s going to hand you a promotion. You’re not going to climb up a rung up the ladder and a really well-defined path, and that is amazing and it’s super scary at the same time, especially when you’re young and starting out. And then the third thing, which I think that the first thing that you said, which is that you’ve actually got relatively more income than a lot of other professions, and that gives again that’s opportunity there for you to do something sensible with that. I don’t know how many people would agree that they feel like they’re awash with cash, which is exactly what you’re saying. It’s not spare. But if you think about the hierarchy of needs of like are you fed or you watered? Do you have a roof over your head? Can you pay your bills most? Most dentists clear that hurdle pretty quickly. So once you know that, then it’s about what kind of life do I would I like to live, and then how should I structure my day in my career to achieve those goals? I’ve got something really cool to add on top of that. If anybody who is listening to this podcast or certainly you, sonia, or a Dave Ramsey fan is that someone you’ve ever come across, dave Ramsey? No yeah, so he’s a little bit like have you heard of Andrew Craig how to own the world? I have that that book yeah, he’s like America’s version of him really. So he’s like straight talking money dude, basically. So he has this radio show and people phone him up and they say, like Dave, I’m in debt, this is happening, that is happening, all my credit cards are bouncing building up and he’s like do this, do this, do this, you’ll be good, that sort of thing. So it’s like this hotline. People phone in, that’s one of the things that he does. He also not advice, but he’s. He’s a money guru, I suppose a financial coach, so to speak. So, anyway, how do we get on to that? Oh yeah, dave Ramsey. So he’s just, he’s got this book and it’s called money makeover and in the book he really eloquently describes the purposes of money and I think that when you look at things through this framework, it really, really, really helps. So the very first. So the three things if essentially outlines, there’s only three things that you can do with money. So really, your money should be doing one of these three things at any one time to get the most out of it. So here’s the first thing. The first thing is that you can have fun with it. Obviously, that’s why we aren’t it, or at least part of the reason why we aren’t it so that we can do the things we want to do, have freedom, etc. Buy the food we want to have, go to the bar, we want to go to have the experiences we want to have the holidays, we want to have all of that stuff. So you can have fun with it. Number two the second thing that you can do with it is that you can give it away. Right, you can give it to charity, you can donate it to someone else and you’re going to make their life better, or you’re going to help them, because that’s the purpose of a charity. So you can have fun with it. You can give it away, yeah. Or the third thing that you can do is invest it Investing it with a stated purpose that you’re going to allow it to appreciate, or the other purpose of investing your money is to generate cash flow. There’s literally only two things it’s either going to grow in value or it’s going to give you cash flow one of those two things. And obviously you can reinvest the cash flow. It depends on the asset, etc. So here’s the thing. One, two or three give it away. What did I say? Fun, give it away or invest it. Those are the three things. Yeah, what’s the fourth thing that everybody does? That’s not on that list. Leave it in your mattress. Boom, horde it Right Every single time, right. But everybody does that. So pass the start. Yeah, you’ve got to have some capital free in case something happens. You’ve got to have an emergency fund. You’ve got to have a six months emergency fund. Three months emergency fund. Take your expenses times about three months, take it in your bank account. That’s on a personal level. On a business, maybe it’s something different. Yeah, really, really really good tip. And even if your advisor will advise you that they’ll say right, you need to have a cushion of cash. So the three months or six months, so for me it’s six months. So here’s the thing. Really, that’s there to dip into should you need it, should you be really desperate for whatever reason, or should you have an unforeseen expense, then at least you have that as a plan B, as a backup. But beyond that, each and every one of those pounds is losing its value consistently because of inflation. So another way of thinking of inflation if you think about money like this, money is condensed time. If I go to a job, if I go to my job and I work for an hour and I get 20 pounds, then my hourly rate is 20 pounds. So that 20 pounds denotes the fact that I work for an hour. So I can give that to you in an instant, that denotation of the fact that I worked for an hour. Right, so it’s condensed time. I don’t have to work for you for an hour. I can give you the 20 pounds, but I can go back and get another 20 pounds for working for an hour. We’re thinking about this in a really simple level, dennis. She’s a little bit different from this. Let me pause there for two seconds. Does that make sense? Makes sense to me. Yeah. I wonder whether we can talk about whether we can go a bit deeper into why just leaving in your bank account, especially if it’s not a particularly high interest account, makes no sense, because, again, I don’t think that’s taught. Sure, 100%. So, yeah, the condensed time thing. If you think about it, if we leave it in a bank account, if we leave it as purely as cash yeah, forget about the interest for a moment If we leave it purely as cash, then if you think about it because that money is losing value because of inflation, then effectively that record of the time that we worked, it’s like someone is going to a Rota and just Xing off the hours that we worked, like that, right? So I’m telling you, if you hoard it, that’s what happens. Past the six month emergency fund number. Yeah, by the way, very broad terms here. I wouldn’t want anybody to act on this advice specifically, or act Let me just rewind from the word advice. You’ve got to be really careful about that. I wouldn’t want anybody to act on this information. What I would want people to do is be inspired to read further into the subject finance. But anyway, back to what I was saying and with reference to what you were saying a second ago leaving in the bank account, right? So therefore, we are hoarding it, we’re doing the fourth thing that David Ramsey outlines is not a purpose for our money. So we’ve got to think about what we can do with it, right? So the theory would be lots of people come to me and they say James, interest rates are incredible at the minute. They’re like four or 5%. That means my money is going to grow by four or 5% every single year, and the truth is it will. It will grow by four or 5% every single year, but that’s only with reference. It’s only actually appreciating in value. That’s a different term. The numerical quantity and the value is only actually appreciating in real terms whenever that interest rate is higher than inflation. So what you want to do is you want to look for assets that are growing over long periods of time at greater rates than inflation, and then you’re more along the right lines. So inflation basically eats away at the value of money. So you might be feeling really good about 4% interest rate, but if inflation is 8%, then you’re losing money and, like you said, you’re crossing off those hours worked. So you may as well have done something fun with it, because you’re losing out on the value that you’ve created. So what is the difference? I mean, I think you’ve talked a lot about the term financial freedom. What’s the difference between someone who is financially free and someone who isn’t? How would you know? Okay. So financially free in my book is when you have enough consistent wealth being generated from your assets, as in residual income. You have enough to sustain your outgoings and have some fun because you’re free. At that point, are you with me? Whereas if you just have financial security, then the wealth that’s being generated by your assets in terms of residual income is enough to cover your expenses, but you don’t have any freedom above and beyond that. So there’s actually a little bit of a distinction in the terms there. So I would say the definition is when you have the option to work or not work, because here’s the thing you might choose to continue to, but at least if you stopped, you would also have your outgoings, all of your outgoings, including the things that you call fun and you want to do for fun and the things that you want to do at the end of your working life or closer to retirement, in terms of explore, in terms of holidays, in terms of experiences, all of that stuff. That, for me, is financial freedom. When you have the beautiful word choice love that word. I mean, it sounds like a dream world for most people, right? So the choice to work, having something that’s generating enough cash to cover my expenses how would that even be possible? Okay, I love this. Right, this is so cool because you can go really deep on this. But this is a lot to do with the asset quadrant, which is something that I didn’t create this but I love it so much. My colleague and friend created it Luke Hurley. Shout out to Luke Hurley, former IFA, and it was so profound. When I read it for the first time, I was like Luke, where did you get that from? Was that like Robert Kiyosaki? Was that Andrew Craig? Was that one of these like scholars and sages in the world of finance? And he was like no, I made this up. It’s really cool. Yeah, so we talked about assets just a second ago. So when I speak about these terms, I’m really deliberate with the terminology that I use, because in my head, it’s like we’ve got all these little definitions. My head is like really logical. It’s like it’s either this, this, this, this or this, like decision trees. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, so if we’re going to talk about assets specifically, because, with reference to our definition of financial freedom that we spoke about earlier and again, not to go into too many permutations, it’s actually slightly different from retirement, but let’s use our definition of financial freedom, which we defined just a minute ago, which was to say that the residual income specifically the residual income, the money that is thrown off by our assets is enough for us to cover our expenses, or expenses being the things that we need to live and also the things that we need to have fun and experience life. Well, here’s the thing. Here’s the really cool thing. You’re going to need assets to do that. That’s the whole premise of investing that you purchase assets. What are assets? Assets are investments which are designed to appreciate in value and either give us an appreciation over wealth or consistent income. Now, here’s the thing there’s only four types of assets. In the whole wide world, there’s only four categories of assets. So you got to understand these four asset types and then you got to pick which one actually aligns with your goals. So I’ll cover them really high level. So the first one is lifestyle. This is, by the way, if anybody wants to write this down is listening to this. This is a flipping gem right here. This took me ages to come across and it really, really, really made me look back on lots of things that I did with the new pair of eyes. So here’s the thing Four types of assets. Number one is lifestyle assets. So what are lifestyle assets? Lifestyle assets the technical term, the technical definition or things that we can invest in. They appreciate in value. They don’t give us any residual income. They don’t give us any cash yield. They don’t give us any yield in terms of our investments, but they appreciate in value, and the only way that we can ever unlock some of that value is to sell them on to someone else. So it’s only at that point that we actually obtain any money from them. What’s a classic example of that? Can you think, yes, spot on the money. Everybody’s invested in their house, right? People say their house is their pension. But the only way you can actually return, get some returns from your house, is if you sell the house, the house that you love, which is the whole reason why you’re there in the first place. So all I’m saying is, if we prioritize that, it’s not actually going to give us any cash flow. So really it’s not the best vehicle for financial freedom. Let me pause there for two seconds. Don’t make total sense. Total sense, yeah, it’s really cool, right? And the number of people that say that I feel like they might Make a different decision if they had a full appreciation of all the options are available to them. Maybe another example is Because you need to live in a house. So you could argue well, like I’m gonna live in it and then it’s gonna you know Increase in value and then I’m gonna sell it later. What? Maybe some more striking example, something like art or wine. Yeah and exactly, and you’re asking spot on the money. There’s actually more Examples to that drink wine as well. So, yeah, yeah, that might happen. But yeah, you’ve got like wine, whiskey, watches, cars they’re all in that category and don’t get me wrong as people who are making loads of money from like flipping houses and cars and watches and stuff like that. All I’m saying is that that’s the definition of the asset and for me, if you have some skill in those arenas, then really that’s when you can succeed. If we’re casually doing it, then it’s not likely that we’re going to be able to achieve financial freedom through these vehicles. Are you with me? Yeah, and you might still do it. There might be people listening to this and I flip watches and I make loads of money. Watches have this really cool thing where they’re actually tax-free because they’re called chasels. I believe they have this specific terminology when they’re chapped. They’re called chasels. But again, I’m sure there’s some Accountant whiz could listen into this. Will he’ll say, not in this certain situation and stuff like that. But I believe from a high level the majority of them are. That might change if you’re making an income from it, like if it’s your full-time job, maybe One for the accountants who are listening. But anyway, interesting factoid about watches. I don’t buy and sell watches, so it’s not my forte per se. But anyway, back to the asset asset quadrant, if this is still interesting. Yeah, this is cool right. I love this. So basically lifestyle assets. And then the second type of asset is growth assets. So what are growth assets? They’re designed to appreciate in value and they also throw off a consistent yield. So an example of that would be stocks. An example of that would be bonds. But here’s the thing everybody thinks that you can invest in those for passive income in vertical mass right now. Passive income, again, it’s not really a term that I like, because passive suggests that you didn’t have to do any work for it whatsoever, whereas in reality you had to do at least some work to understand how it works, at least, and then also get the capital to invest in it. So for me, a residual income is a better term, so I prefer that term. So if we can just use residual income as an exchangeable term for passive income for the purposes of this podcast, then I think that that’s helpful. Basically, whenever it comes to growth assets, everybody thinks that you can invest them for residual income, and the truth is that you can. But it’s also going to slow the rate at which they compound, which means that you might never actually hit financial freedom, because that all depends on the rate of Compounding. So you can’t you can’t actually invest in your ISO for residual income. You can’t actually do that. You have to wait until a certain point for most people that’s like 55, 60, 70, yeah before you can actually sell these things and make any money. Yeah, so the issue with that is that’s fine If you love dentistry, that’s fine if you love your job, but to me, spending 30 years doing something that I am anything less than flipping and faturiated with it has to be to that level, like for me it has to be 10 out of 10 Unbelievable for me to spend that amount of my life doing something, then to me, might there be other solutions that will actually get you to that point sooner. Well, there are. You just have to know what they are and unfortunately there’s no easy route. If there is an easy route, then you could just wave a wand and everybody would have it. It just so happens that some of these routes require more effort than others. But for me, if you can have freedom and be in like you’re flipping late 20s or 30s, oh my god, is that not something worth fighting for? That’s what keeps me going anyway, yeah for sure make sense with growth assets. Make sense love that. I love that lesson right because Really, like I said, the majority of people are investing in their eyes, or sometimes even their pension, which doesn’t make sense because you can’t actually get that money until you’re a certain age. They’re investing in it for residual income, but you can technically use it for that, but it’s going to inhibit the compound and so much that you’re never actually going to achieve financial freedom. So, which is the whole point of it in the first place. So if you ask your IFA or you ask your FA about that, they’ll give you an explanation along similar lines. The whole point is that we’re supposed to leave it for as long as possible. So really, if we want to be financially free at any point before we’re like 55 60, then we’ve got a look to other things. So, anyway, third type of asset cash flow assets. Were cash flow assets there, anything that’s designed to give us a cash flow, primarily. So the big one is property. The biggie is property on that front. So again, we can buy the last, you can have commercial properties. You can have all of these things. Again, property is not really something that is my forte per se. I know there are people out there you do extremely well from the property game. But what I will say is a bit like what I was saying about watches earlier, a bit like what I was saying about cars earlier you have to at least have some sort of skill and ability to do it. And what I, from what I do, know People who are my friends and colleagues who are doing really well in the property game. I’ve yet to come across any of them that yet who said, yeah, it’s the fast lane to wealth like this can be done extremely quickly. I have got people. I’ve got one friend who springs to mind. He’s 36 and he can live off his property portfolio, still chooses to work. He started investing in property when he was 28. So you know what it is for. Financial freedom. That’s still pretty good, relatively speaking. Be with me. But the the biggie on that one is debt, or you can’t do it with some level of debt, at least to my knowledge. So someone’s got to be comfortable with that. Yeah, yeah. So you can see you’re probably building up a little bit of a picture here, anybody who’s listening there’s no real perfect solution. There’s no real super cool one that just gives you loads of money very quickly, or maybe it was like an NFT or a crypto that you’ve got lucky on, but it’s certainly not the Reproducible path. Let’s say that so and again, not to go off on the tangent, but to me that’s why it’s worth having a little bit of a skin and skin in the game and something that is a little bit out there are wild, because it does actually have scope to do that. I think it’s risky. Or to not own any Bitcoin in crypto, then it is to own at least some, but at least allocate a portion of your portfolio to it. To me, definitely not your life savings or anything like that. Maybe put that in something reproducible, but have like 5-10% exposure to something that is a little bit more out there, because at least you have scope to get there sooner and, realistically, whether you have that or not, you’re still going to get to financial freedom at the same rate. But these are the things you don’t know. These are the things that people aren’t told and these are the things. These are the opinions that you won’t get from somebody’s regulated, the reason being that they can’t say stuff like this because, again, that would contravene the rules that they have in place in so far as their insurance policies, etc. Or certainly they would have to opt for insurance policies that would accommodate those sorts of statements. So because I’m not regulated, I have liberty to say things like that, but also I have to just be really really careful and not stray down the advice realm. Anyway, when I’m a tiny little bit of a tangent there, I’ve got one more asset if you’re still following me for sure, yeah, final asset. I wrap this up really really really super duper quick. Final asset is a business asset. So what is a business? A business is anything that creates value for another entity, another party, another individual. When you do that at scale, you’re a business. That’s what a business is. So the cool thing about businesses business is that when you set them up and you design them correctly, you can sell them on for an immense amount of value and also they give you crazy cash flow as well. But the huge if whenever it comes to businesses is there’s the whole thing going to flip and work. And also, as well as that, sonya, we were chatting off camera just before we hit play on this thing and one of the things that we were saying about Businesses is it’s blood, sweat and tears and it doesn’t happen fast. And if you get there a big if, then you get all of these sweet rewards. But you know what, for me, if you’re gonna be on this earth and you want to live your purpose and you got this huge mission, then to me it’s harder to not express that than it is to express that. Therefore, a business is one of the most viable means to Do that, and it also has these really cool Benefits to it as well, in so far as a potential vehicle that could get you to freedom much sooner. A Huge long list there and I’m sure the listeners are thinking in the quadrant it’s like what you talked a lot about. I mean you. You implied that it’s a lot about about your Speciality, your edge, your, the things that you’re passionate about. They’re gonna give you a little bit of an unfair advantage in any of those quarterings. Let’s say I never thought about that. That’s a good reflection that I never thought about that. I love watches, I’m probably gonna be more likely to trade watch as well if I. If I love houses and interior decoration and and the management of property, I’m probably gonna lean more towards that. If you’re a young dentist and you’re just starting out in this world, you’re probably looking at those four classes and going gosh. I don’t actually know which one of those I’m good at or where I should, where I should, put my chips. What advice would you have for people literally starting from scratch? Okay, I love this because I’m actually gonna throw a little bit of a curveball into the mix. So what we talked about then was we focused on assets, as in external assets, but not necessarily Internal ones, as in our knowledge or skills and our abilities. So the way I explain this to people is like this if you think about wealth like a sphere, this big hole, old sphere floating in front of your head, if you can imagine that sphere has two halves. On the right hand side, that’s build wealth, so that’s how you invest. So that’s very much the four asset quadrants the asset quadrant, of which there are four parts that we talked about just then. The other side of the sphere is create wealth, as in how we actually generate wealth. So how is that done on a day-to-day basis? Well, for most of us, that’s our clinical dentistry. So how do we get the most cash flow from our clinical dentistry? Well, the more skilled we are, the more value we give. Then certainly we have more ability to be remunerated to a higher standard. So one thing that I would prioritize and I did prioritize massively, although I didn’t have this framework at the time. I didn’t really realize what I was doing, but I could go back to myself who’s like 25, 24, I would say, James, go and invest in your skills and knowledge because really you can get the ability to generate an immense amount of cash flow. And here’s the thing. Let’s say you get the ability. There’s dentistry. I have one friend who’s a dentist and he nets okay over one million in a year. And that’s done through his immense level of skill and it’s also done through his immense level of efficiency and also immense level to serve the patients that he works for. He generates that level of value, right, and that’s just crazy. And it’s not saying that everybody’s going to hit that height, right. But what it is to say is, even if he went flat broke tomorrow, he could go to work for three months and have more money than most do and the majority of their life. And that’s because he’s focused on his ability to generate cash flow right Now. The thing is, I feel like a lot of people whenever they hear that wisdom, it’s a little bit too intangible and airy-fairy for them. Are you with me? But in reality, if you can embrace that and embrace that little bit of uncertainty, that’s the greatest skill of all time, because you can create so much wealth so fast that really realistically, you’ll always have that as a safety net and as a safety cushion and also you’ll be able to expedite your investment journey as well because you can expedite your contributions, because they’re going to be much more significant than most people can even afford. So for me I would say appreciate the sphere of wealth, appreciate the build wealth side of things. If you’re young in your career, honestly take 80% of your energy and stick it into the create wealth side of things. Such a good, such a good bit of advice. That’s cool right. And it’s also very actionable because you’re in control here. This is your area of expertise. You can grow what you’re already doing into something even better and you can feel the change and you can deliver more value based on the learning that you’ve absorbed. So sometimes when we work with dentists, we hear them say look, I’m just so busy, we run lots of courses and they’re quite time intensive because we’re trying to include as much knowledge to get people up to that skill level. It’s always difficult to say, look, you are busy, but this investment in yourself is going to pay back multiple times over if you make the decision now. When you think about I mean, maybe you’re younger self or you work with so many dentists how do you frame that so that people feel like this is now a good time and maybe I do have to work some extra hours to fit all of this in? How do you motivate yourself? Love this right, and this is my one liner when it comes to those situations. You’ve got to busy yourself to un-busy yourself. You’ve got to busy yourself with the right things to un-busy yourself, right, because busy is a scarcity of time, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re putting that time in the right places. You know what I mean. You could go out and run all day, right, and you’d be busy. You wouldn’t have enough time, but you also wouldn’t necessarily generate any remuneration, because that comes to your clinical dentistry, right? So it’s more about priorities and where to allocate your time. So what I would say is I would say okay, first of all, figure out what your actual objective is. If your actual objective is to have the life that you have, then that’s cool. We keep doing what you’re doing, that’s fine. Maybe you like being busy, that’s cool. Many people actually don’t want to be in that zone. So I find it really helpful, if someone really crystallizes what their vision is and what their objective is, to say, okay, cool. So here’s the thing, from where you are and where you’d like to go, what needs to change? Right, it’s so simple, but it makes no sense, and you know when you say that to someone and they pull it out and they’re like, oh my God, unless I literally change something, you’ve got to change the change right. Unless I literally change something, I’m just going to keep doing the same stuff and never actually get to where I want to go. It’s a subconscious thing as much as anything else. It feels good to be busy, feels productive to be busy. It’s almost like a badge of honor. I feel that some people wear Completely Big time, big time, big time. So busy, but productive, busy or run. If you’re feeling aware that it’s not going to change anytime soon, I think you’re right. I think it’s been fetishized. This idea of being very, very on all the time and not necessarily doing anything better or smarter or quicker just the same again and again. I agree with you completely. So if I’m a dentist now and I’m thinking, okay, right, this all sounds really sensible to me. My bet is that if you say to them, or any clinician, what if I told you that in a year’s time not much has changed? That would be pretty scary, right? You’re like, well, I would have hoped that in a year’s time I’m going to be a little bit better off. Perhaps I’m going to have learned some stuff. No-transcript, that just doesn’t happen by magic. So how? I mean? You alluded to a little bit there but how do you think about kind of setting goals and making sure that when you get that year down the line that you don’t look back and go oh my gosh, I’m kind of in the same place. Yeah, Okay. So there’s so many things that you can use to hack your biology on this one right and ultimately, ultimately, what your brain will do is your brain will do the thing that is most comfortable Okay, the most comfortable, but it depends what that most comfortable thing is. So another way of looking at change is change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. Ah now, for most people, the pain of change is greater than the pain of staying the same, which is why they don’t change right, or at least they don’t appreciate how it will help them. So for me personally, where I go psychologically, this is this is the big. I use this all the time if I need to feel. I think to myself okay, Jim’s, if you don’t do anything right now, if nothing changes, and let’s say that all these years transpire and you’re 85 years old, you know the biggest thing, that this, that the biggest regret of people who are 85 years old. This is a fact. Okay, If anybody wants to look this up Bronnie Ware have you heard of her? No. Bronnie Ware was a lady, a nurse, in a strip I have heard of her and she didn’t see people when they were dying and then yes, that lady right. So this is what keeps me going. This is it’s interesting, we both heard of this person, right? Maybe you use this as fuel in your entrepreneur journey. Maybe, maybe. I think this is the thing like when you, when people who are in this world they all there’s a lot of commonalities in that sense and you find that they use the same hacks. Because you really do, you have to hack your brain. But anyway, back to what I was saying. So remember, your brain’s always going to do the most comfortable thing. Where you have to reframe what the comfortable thing is, this is what you got to do, right? So, if you think so, Bronnie Ware, survey. All people saw him, australian. All people saw him. All these people on palliative care, all these people who are at the end of life, and she said to them, she went to every single one of them, said what’s your biggest regret? What’s your biggest regret? What’s your biggest regret? So you find the five biggest regrets and the one that always sticks in my mind at the very top of that list. The other four, they’re a little hazy. I can’t remember quite the order, but I definitely know what number one is. Number one is I wish I’d live a life true to me and not a life true to anybody else, a life true to my values. Right, and you don’t want to hear that, I just think. James, 85 years old, in a home, speaking to me right now, and if you had to talk to me and said, why didn’t you do the thing that you need to do right now? So I don’t feel this way. What could I say to that man? That, and if you want to have, if you want to have change, then you know you’ve got to do something different because that’s what’s going to happen by default. Remember? So for me, the most painful thing in the whole wide world is to not change anything. There you go. I mean, that’s a really, really interesting way to think about things and maybe something that you haven’t thought about this before. Maybe tomorrow morning wake up and have a think about that. So I’m actually getting is actually getting me a little bit. Now I can even feel it yeah. You made some pretty big changes in your life. I mean leaving dentistry when you had no idea whether this, whether this enterprise, was going to go anywhere, and you’ve, and you’ve done it and you’ve built it. And tomorrow you’re going to be lecturing or talking to groups of people who are here to learn from you, and I’m glad that we’ve got you here to also share some of this learning, because this is super inspiring to lots of people. So, okay, I’ve made my decision. Now I’m going to change Like now, yeah, hell yeah, Now what you know help me. help me kind of put pen to paper if that’s the right thing to do, or, like, put something on the calendar. How do I kind of set myself up and kind of, I guess, hold myself accountable to make sure that I am doing the hard thing every day? Do you have any advice on? that yeah, yeah I do. I think it starts with really crystallizing, like, what you’d like to do and even if you’re not 100% certain that it’s going to be the thing forever, at least it’s the thing for now. That gets you motivated, right? Because how can you possibly say when you go on a journey, when you walk down a corridor, that you’re not going to change what you think based on what you see around the corners is no way whatsoever. Yeah, we got to embrace that and understand that that fluidity and the point that that might change is actually the whole reason or the whole thing that’s going to happen. But you got to have enough motivation to actually start walking down the corridor in the first place. You got to find that thing. Most people never actually crystallize what their vision is, their objective is in life. Therefore, they don’t have that flipping North Star. They don’t have that thing that motivates them, inspires them every day. I think it starts with that. Maybe that’s help a thousand people, maybe that’s earn a certain amount of money, whatever the hell it is, in the whole wide world. There should be no apologies for that. That’s totally fine. That is the thing that motivates you. That is the thing that fires you up. That is the thing that gets you going, and you know what I feel like anybody who does anything superhuman in terms of effort, in terms of level, levels of productivity, in terms of pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone, they have to have the strongest wire in the whole wide world. So whenever they dig really deep, that’s in their head at all times. So I feel like it starts with that, and then I feel like it starts with writing down five things that you feel are going to take you closer to that goal, and just doing those five things and going into it with the mindset that, not that you’re going to get a certain outcome. It’s one of the things that drives people the most of all time. Like, human beings is certainly sick to need for certainty, sector, paralyzed from certain things, like they won’t do something unless they know the answer. But all the coolest stuff in life is off the beaten track. All the coolest stuff in life is in the deep, dark woods. That’s what all the amazing things are. Yeah, all the gold is yet to be mined. Right, the gold that’s been found, people own it. Right, the goal is yet to be mined. That’s in the earth. You got to dig it up. You got to explore, yeah. So here’s the thing Make your ROI, make your goal, make your objective to do the five things and that’s it. And then see what you find, see what comes off that, see what information that you find by walking down that corridor, looking around the corners, just like we were talking earlier, and then use that to make better and better decisions. It all starts with energy. It all starts with action. If you need that fuel, if you need that thing that drives you that we spoke about just a minute ago, remember your brain’s always going to try to do the most comfortable thing of all time. You’ve got to reframe what comfort looks like and then you’ve got unlimited fuel. So much wisdom, no, super, super powerful. I think the what you said that I think is really important, because we don’t want people to think is that you’ve got to decide right now what your life is going to be like at 50, because it’s too big. It’s too big and ask, there’s too much uncertainty and, like you say, you’re going to be paralyzed. The thing that you can make a decision about now is what will I do in six months and what are the baby steps that I’m going to do to take to get me there and how am I going to hold myself accountable to do? They’re really really small and much more achievable things that feel within reach and don’t feel like the biggest stretch or the biggest overhaul of my life. I think those small things are what sets you on that path and as you go through, you will see and explore and you will uncover new things that you would never have been able to envisage at the beginning. But it all starts with like taking the first step, and I think I guess the counterpoint to that is the worst thing that you can do is nothing. Move some in some direction, do something and you will find your way to something that you like or something that’s interesting. The other thing to make clear, and really important, is that I don’t think what you’re saying is stop doing dentistry work as little as you can. I think it’s very much about what do you want to do, what do you love to do? You became a healthcare professional for a reason. It was probably a lot to do with helping patients. If you feel like your goal is to help as many patients as possible, deliver the best quality healthcare rich, poor, young, old, whoever comes in your door to be able to do the absolute best for them, that is a super noble goal. But I think what you’re saying is give yourself the choice to do that and not to feel constrained in a way of working but actually makes you not enjoy your life. Yeah, I mean, live to give. That’s a good thing, but also don’t sacrifice what makes you you in so far as your inner values and objectives. I really, really, really feel like, when you reach that stage of life that we talked about earlier, that it gives you a lot of perspective, like that 85-year-old version of you, if you think about it. Here’s another really cool thing that I think about. Sometimes the goal of life is to have the body of a youthful person, or have as much youth as you possibly can, because that is the merit of being young. But yet, as we go through life, we also accumulate knowledge, we accumulate wisdom. So therefore, having the brain of an older person is one of the main advantages of age. So if you can literally pull that wisdom and perspective forwards, which is what we’ve touched upon today, then actually you can speak to that version of yourself who’s in a place of pretty much perfect wisdom relative to your own position. I want to say perfect wisdom. The best mentor that you’ll ever have is you talking to you, because there’s no agenda whatsoever, right? So their wisdom is perfectly aligned with what you know and what you think, which is amazing. They’ve seen inside your head. They know everything that’s happened to you. They know everything that will happen to you. So if you can put yourself in positions where you’re going to gain that wisdom and pull it forward from the future, then what it means is you can speak from that perspective. How do you do that? Let me pause there for two seconds and I’ll talk a little bit about how to do that. Does that make sense? Makes a ton of sense. Yeah, flipping wild, right. So for me, right like whenever I thought like that, I was like, right, how can I become that person more and more every day in here? So for me it’s about, first of all, numero uno, putting yourself outside of your comfort zone as much as possible and doing that as soon as you can. Now again, disclaimer, that’s just my personal philosophy on that one. That is something that’s benefited me massively. I really believe it’ll benefit lots of other people massively. And the reason why that helps a lot is because, effectively, you’re growing yourself on a personal level and an individual level, which happens passively through life. If you can do that, sooner you get that perspective, sooner you make decisions that are better, sooner and you know the cool thing about decisions and wisdom and knowledge at all compounds. Compounding is a function of how early it starts and the rate of growth that we have. The sooner we can start that process, the sooner we get compounding results, not just in the finance world but in everything in life. That’s the first thing. So for me, comfort zones that’s benefited me massively. If we want to go even more granular on that, public speaking oh my God right. I remember the first few times I did it scared the living hell out of me. Now I really like it. I like doing podcasts, I like doing content, I like doing all of that stuff. That’s where a lot of what I’m saying comes from right now is through being around other people who do similar things. So I really find that, when I push myself outside that comfort zone, that what it meant for me is that I got a new perspective on life entirely, and some people will vibe with it. Some people won’t. For me personally, it really, really, really helped, and I just want everybody to be in this zone where they’re expressing themselves and living life in such a way where it’s fully aligned with their core values, rather than feeling like they have to do something else for money or for whatever. Yeah, so that’s the first thing. And then the second thing is I’m a big avid fan of reading books. Like I love books. If you think about what a book is, if you actually break it down, it’s the condensed wisdom of someone who was an expert in that field, likely their life’s work. So you can either live that life, study that thing, find out all of that stuff and, fingers crossed, hope you get there, because there’s no guarantee, or you can just read the down book that that person wrote right and you can literally pull that wisdom from their brain into your head today. And then what it means is you’re making decisions from that perspective, from that place of knowledge that for that, for that specific individual, took many years to get there. And for me what that means is you make better choices, you make better decisions and then also you get much more further, faster in life, however that looks for you. So those are my two pearls of wisdom on gaining wisdom, so to speak. I love that and the idea of pulling forward knowledge is something that really resonates, particularly with me and with what we’re trying to do at 32Co, because it is about taking people who are far, who have invested time themselves, decades of learning experience, trial and error, doing all the hard work for you, to come to you and say, look, here is what I know, you know, take what you can for me, because you just get several steps ahead of what you could have been to do the hard way yourself. And sometimes it feels good to do the hard way yourself, and that’s great to but where you can have an unfair advantage because you’ve got the smallest people in the room talking to you and having those mentors around you. It’s not cheating, it’s clever right. So mentorship so important. It sounds like you massively benefit from mentors. I’ve massively benefit from mentors and I want all of our dentists as well to have the best mentors around them. And maybe, maybe it’s worth touching what good mentorship looks like. I think Sometimes people think that good mentorship is someone from an ivory tower dictating down to you what to do. I think it’s when I’ve had good mentorship, you’ve had a good. It’s actually exact opposite someone coming down to your level. Being like here’s me understanding how you feel right now and what you’re probably thinking, and I’m gonna, because I was there once and I’m gonna explain to you actually the way that the world works, now that I, ten years ahead, or I’ve written all these books, and it’s actually very good. Mentors are very empathetic. It’s not, it’s not paternalistic, it’s not Talking down to you. It’s actually very on a level. And if you can find mentors in your life, especially as a clinician, when you can often be quite lonely in what you do and not have access to people, I would certainly advise that. I’m sure you as well you know what. I’m actually so glad that you brought that up because actually that is another way that you can pull wisdom forward from the future very fast. And when I said books, which is comfort zones, 1000%. When I said books, what I really would have should have said was leveraging the knowledge of others. However that looks, no, that can be books. Yeah, and I would say that, out of all the amazing cool things that are things that I’ve learned and I suppose, breakthroughs in so far as achievements that I’ve had in my life, I would say probably 20% 30% Are related to books and the other 70% 80% is mentors. The big advantage of a mentor is that you have someone that you can go to and ask a specific question about a specific thing that’s going on in your life which would otherwise take ages to search to find for, and they can give you the answer like that yeah, plus, as well as that, there are mentor, so, mentally to you they’re not a pedestal, right, which is a good thing that you can leverage, because you’re way more likely to actually listen to what they say Right, which I love, right and again. So, yeah, mentors, 100%. I can probably think of like 567 really amazing mentors that I had. That accelerated my journey massively. I think for some people it’s a hang up having a mentor and I have no idea why. It’s almost like you’re admitting that someone is better than you. Course they’re better than you. There’s a flippin guru. Yeah, don’t you want to get the guru status as well, as fast as you possibly can? You can either pay with one of two things you can pay with time, you can pay with money. Yeah, money is condensed. Time is literally the thing that I was saying at the start. Right, how does time look when you pay for time to gain that knowledge? It takes 20, 30 years. When you rather Invest in a mentor, however that looks, whatever you’re comfortable with, for me, I’m an absolute voracious investor in mentors. Like, I would probably say, the majority of money that comes into my business is invested in mentors. You know how we talked about investments earlier, just a minute ago, right? What’s one of the coolest tax free ways you can invest in your business? Invest in a mentor goes in here. You can use it to make more cash flow, whoever that looks. So, yeah, 100%, you either pay with money, you pay with time. Get a hang up about paying somebody with your money, then for me it’s something that might hold you back and making progress in your respective field. So that’s really 100% a belief that it’s really helpful to shift Whenever it comes to making progress, in fact of anything. To the people that I was talking to earlier when I said at the start of the career, take 80% of your energy and put it into the create wealth side of things that we spoke about, one of the best ways to do that is mentors 1000. Find the person, guy or girl who knows the thing that you can do. He does the thing that you can do. Go and spend some time with them. Usually a transaction is to take place for that to happen. Learn the thing, do it in your life, get the same results and get the much faster and sooner. You get more value. You get more remuneration and then you pass it on yourself. Exactly right, and it’s not. I mean not all mentors. You know what. Massive amounts of remuneration, lots of people like to share yeah I think this is, I guess, two points to add to that. One is that I’m mental school, so you said you can ask them a very specific question I think the power of mentors is also that they tell you the things that you don’t know. you don’t know, so you may not even have a language to ask the question because you don’t have the context of their there to be like. These are the questions you should be asking, james. That is what’s the power of mental like think about how many, how many steps ahead you are when you get that level of information. And I think the second thing is that the some of the smartest and most successful people that I’ve met also the humblest Always be so striking that people who have gone a very long way are the least arrogant and the most willing to accept and admit that I have just benefited so much from the wisdom of others, and I think that’s something that’s worth remembering. Don’t ever be embarrassed to ask. Can I deconstruct that for two seconds? Right? So I’ve got something that I really feel will be valuable to add to that. You think about the promise of being arrogant, like the trade of being arrogant. You basically saying I know everything, right, but if you know the first thing about knowledge, you know that knowledge is limitless. I mean it’s literally limitless in any field, is a frontier in any field. So the second, that you display that energy through your character, through your actions, through your behavior, you’re also subconsciously saying I know everything, which, if you even know the first thing about science, if you even know the first thing about knowledge, you know cannot be true whatsoever. And you also closing yourself off To those developments. You also closing yourself off to other people who have made progress in their respective areas and maybe able to help you, just like that, yeah, so you’re actually right. There’s no coincidence that the people who go the furthest or the humblest right there there because they’re the humblest. James, you covered so many topics, I think Maybe I just want to ask you one more question, which is, if you’re if you’re a dentist listening to this or a clinician in your thinking. Okay, that’s all made so much sense to me, but I feel like it’s a lot and I just want to do something tomorrow to make a microstep in the right direction. What shall I do tomorrow? Hmm, I like this, I like this, I like this, I like this. I think that it definitely comes back to your overall goal. Crystallize in that. And then what I would say is what I would say is, I would say I would say writing that down, figure, not what that is, appreciating the fact that that might shift and change with time, maybe making some steps towards that, in so far as going and speaking to somebody who does it, learning some information about that specific area which may help you on that journey. And I would say, actually, do you know what? Here’s what I’m going to say. Here’s the biggest thing of all. I would just be super aware and super conscious of how there’s all these limitations inside her head that we put in front of ourself. Just be really conscious of how your conscious mind and your subconscious mind pull against each other a lot of the time. That is actually probably one of the most profound pieces of wisdom that I ever came across that I could appreciate and just appreciate that if you feel a certain way or you don’t want to do a certain thing, that is probably your subconscious pulling you away from the thing that will actually make you happy. So, really gain the ability to critique and analyze your feelings about how you feel about a particular thing in any given given moment, and know as well that it’s highly unlikely to be representative of reality and it’s also highly unlikely to be keeping. You were precisely where you are now if we, if that To go. This is why the objective thing is so important. To say whether that is a beneficial thing or not is all relative to your actual goal, because there’s no right or wrong technically on this earth. Yeah, you know, we all started in the dust. We’re all going to end in flipping dust as well. You know, just because somebody wants to go out and make a huge business or really change lives on this earth doesn’t mean just because somebody wants to do that doesn’t mean that everybody should want to do that. Maybe somebody, people are just happy to get by and do whatever right, which is why the objective thing is so important. So here’s the only time that there’s an issue whenever you have a certain objective and you’re also not making steps to progress towards that, because I think that’s a lot of where unhappiness comes from. So, really, if you understand how actually the inner workings of your brain and your feelings and emotions are sometimes keeping you where you are and not allowing you to make progress to that higher goal. To gain the awareness of appreciating when that’s happening and not happening is an incredibly powerful thing, so I would say that’s a great place to start. Super powerful, love it. Thank you, james, for all of your wisdom. We could talk for hours about this, and I know that you’ve got so much more content in all of your channels, so if people want to find out more about what you do, where should they go? Cool? Yes, so thanks for that. So I would say it’s interesting because where everything started was Dennis, who invest the Facebook group, and from my perspective, I was really obsessed with all of this stuff. Yeah, definitely to like a super hyper involved level whenever I was like twenty seven, twenty eight that’s where all this came from and no, probably younger than that, maybe like twenty six. I think that was like 2000 and 2017, which is what we talked about earlier. So, yeah, it was a run about that age and then I got really involved with it and I wanted to learn more. And, from my perspective, I just started a Facebook group. I didn’t really think anything would happen or it would go anywhere. I just started making content for it and then it just so happened that some people saw the value of what I was doing, so the value in the content and it seemed to grow, which is wonderful. And for me, facebook has always been the home. So I would definitely say Facebook users that’s the first place to check out. That’s definitely still the hub of activity, and I really, really really am working towards bringing that buzz to other platforms as well. It’s a work in progress. I would say Facebook still is the main buzz. So yeah, definitely that. If you’re a Facebook user and then I would also say that we do Instagram We’ve got Instagram as well Don’t go to Dennis Unvest on Instagram. Or if social media is not your thing, wwwdennisunvestcom you can see on there. There’s a few other ways to stay in touch is very obvious whenever you go get onto that front home page. So any one of those things will ever works for you guys. We’ve expanded across all of those means of communication, so any one of those is a good way to stay in touch. It’s amazing. Thank you everyone for listening to another episode of Modern Dentist. Send us a DM if you’ve got feedback. We’d love to hear suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover, and we’ll see you next time.