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Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Dr James: 

Fans of the Dentists who Invest podcast. If you feel like there was one particular episode in the back catalog in the anthology of Dentists who Invest podcast episodes that really, really, really was massively valuable to you, feel free to share that with a fellow dental colleague who’s in a similar position, so their understanding of finance can be elevated and they can hit the next level of financial success in their life. Also, as well as that, if you could take two seconds to rate and review this podcast, it would mean the world. To me, what that would mean is that it drives this podcast further in terms of reach so that more dentists across the world can be able to benefit from the knowledge contained therein. Welcome.

Dr Gregor: 

Welcome to the Dentists who Invest podcast.

Dr James: 

Good morning, good evening, good afternoon everybody. Thank you for tuning in once again to another episode of the Dentist who Invest podcast and we welcome someone very special from the dental world who has created his own side gig in. And there’s quite a lot of caveats to this story because it’s a little bit on orthodox. It was kind of a side gig that was born out of a moment of inspiration. Stay tuned, you’ll find out more. It’s super, super interesting. I hope everybody is making good progress on thinking about their side gigs. What a life enhancing thing to do something that has allowed me to see the world from grace field to technicolor. Definitely, it’s definitely a life enhancing thing for me. It’s improved a lot of the aspects of my life, both financially, both in terms of my network, in terms of friends, circles, etc. Etc. It’s just been the most incredible journey and that’s why I get a little bit passionate about it when I talk and that was why I created this month. So I hope everybody is benefiting from the information and the content that we are putting out there and, as I say on that theme, we continue it today with another fellow colleague, another dentist, who goes by the name of Gregor McPherson. He sat here in front of me right now, who has created an incredible and very interesting side gig. More on that later. First of all, gregor, how are you today?

Dr Gregor: 

I’m good, james. Thanks very much for having me on the podcast, much appreciated how are you? Doing.

Dr James: 

I’m tremendous, brother. I’m really good. I’ve got a lot of things on these days. I’m busy, but I’m keeping on top of it. I like to be busy, though it’s a good thing, right.

Dr Gregor: 

Yep, yep, I concur, yep.

Dr James: 

You’re a busy man too, of course, because you have Well, this is something I wanted to talk about actually your current relationship with dentistry and how that’s progressing. Is it on hiatus or you’re solely focusing on your side gig? What level has your side gig flourished to, and we will? I just want to understand, yeah, just what level of progress that you’ve got to, and we will talk about what the exact nature is off your side gig, of course, in just a moment. I just want to know what your schedule is like these days.

Dr Gregor: 

I work in dentistry two days a week at the moment and it’s pretty much been like that since the start of COVID it’s February last year. I was planning on working three days a week but, yeah, just the way it’s panned out, two days a week, which has been pretty good. I’ve got a two-year-old son called Connor, so I’ve been able to hang out with him quite a lot, which is Ace and then working this kind of side gig. But it’s certainly I mean, I’m sure it’s the same with you. When you say something’s a side gig, it makes it sound like it’s just something you spend a little bit of time doing, Whereas you know in reality I’m probably working six, seven days a week and have been for the last year. But it’s good, you know, I suppose one of the things with doing a side gig is be prepared to put the hours in, because if you put the work in you’ll hopefully get the rewards at the end of it.

Dr James: 

So yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Well, when we use the term for lack of a better term, I use the term, I use the freer side gig, and I suppose what that conjures up in everybody’s mind who’s listening, it’s almost like it’s this slightly nefarious activity that you kind of keep to yourself. It’s something that you do. It’s maybe something that you don’t even necessarily want to share. I suppose what I meant by that is it’s something it doesn’t even have to be a business. It can just be something that you’re into. It can be a passion, it can be a hobby. There doesn’t have to be any money that changes hands. That was that is one of the misconceptions, I suppose, about having a inverted commas side gig or side hustle, and that was just something very important that I just wanted to clear up. And it’s. It really can be such a myriad of different things and it can mean different things to different people and the positives that you gain from it. Even if it doesn’t necessarily have to be a business thing, it’s life enhancing from the point of view of it, makes you a more diversified person, something else to focus on aside from dentistry, etc. Etc. And again, that’s why I wanted to make this month was to, I suppose, remove these misconceptions, get everybody thinking about how they can use this to have more fulfillment in life, to enhance their life, etc. Etc. But, gregor, what I’d like to do, before we talk about your, your business that we’ve alluded to a few times, or what it is that you do on the side, but we haven’t exactly fleshed it out just yet I was just hoping that you might give us all a little bit of an intro about yourself, for anybody that’s listening that hasn’t met you before. Just a little bit about your history and dentistry, so that people can understand your background.

Dr Gregor: 

Okay, I am from Aberdeen up in Scotland. I’m 42. I got into dentistry a bit late. I started dental school I think it was maybe when I was 30, qualified in 2014. And I’ve done lots of different things. Left school, did photography, which was the highest unemployed profession in the UK when I qualified so couldn’t get a job. Was a nightclub manager for a couple of years. And what else did I do? Went to university, did environmental management and got quite a good degree off the back of that and then worked for an environmental consultancy, decided I hated that and went travelling, so spent a lot of my time in Canada. I love snowboarding, so what I’d do is I’d come back to the UK, drive a delivery van for FedEx for 11 hours a day, save up my pennies and go away in the winter. So I’ve probably spent about 300 days of my life in the hills. Decided I needed to sort myself out, wanted to have a wife, family, all that sort of stuff, and moved back to the UK because I had a good degree before A friend of mine suggested I could get into almost anything. He did a sports management degree and then went on and became a doctor. So I thought be a dentist, you know sounds all right. I get to be self-employed, maybe on a practice. They make loads of money, help people give it a whirl. So I applied to get in. Didn’t get in the first year, applied again the second year, got in and, yeah, I had to work really hard. I’m dyslexic, so when I was at school I was kind of told that I wouldn’t be, you know, come to anything and I suppose that really motivated me. So the first couple of years I was in the library 12 hours a day and then, as soon as I got to meeting patients and, you know, using my hands, I found it really easy. So false, that was a dental school. I ran a dubstep record label randomly Awesome. So yeah, did that? Made a little bit of money. I’ve always really been into music, so yeah, that was a big part of my life. I’m surrounded by synthesizers over here and things like that. So, yeah, and then became a dentist, worked in a few places for people that I didn’t like, kind of got this really quick understanding of how you know there are good people and bad people in dentistry and, yeah, decided quite quickly that I didn’t want to own a dental practice. I mean, that was always the kind of thing that I thought I would do. But then, you know, now I’m working in a really great practice, really nice people, but especially when the pandemic kicked in, that really, you know, I had to play my hand and work on this business because I wasn’t sure how things were going to go. I’d moved practice from a big NHS list to a fully private practice, starting a fresh list one month before the pandemic kicked in. So that really affected my revenue stream for the whole of the pandemic. So that really motivated me into driving a business that I’d already set up and was using forward and evolving it into different things. So with what I’m doing, it’s interesting being asked in this podcast. I’m very much at the start of this. I’ve been doing it for two years. I’ve created something, but it’s now just the next steps of getting out there. So maybe if people are listening to this and they’re interested in doing something like it, just get in touch, because there’s lots of things that I’ve done, lots of pitfalls and there’s lots of help out there that is available. If you look at the way the world is just now, the government is really wanting to help small businesses and there’s lots of financial help and just mentorship available to you. So sorry, I’m just rattling on there, James. Hopefully that all makes sense.

Dr James: 

Awesome, all topical, all on point, and what an exciting and varied life that you’ve lived. You’ve done so many other things outside of dentistry and I suppose that in itself it’s caused an effect. Maybe would it be fair to say that that was maybe why you never felt like you were someone that was necessarily tied down to push through that very blinkered path of becoming an associate, becoming a dental practice owner, etc. Etc. Maybe you saw the world from a more broader perspective, and sharing your wisdom and sharing those lessons that made you arrive at that decision will be very useful for anybody who’s listening. I’m sure, gregor, we have hinted at your business, your side hustle in VertiCommerce once more, but we haven’t actually explained what it is just yet. My understanding is that it is a. Forgive me if I completely misdescribe this. It is a online. It’s like a chatbot for patients who wish to communicate to their dental practice, whatever it is they’d like to know, but it’s managed by AI and it automates that process. And there’s a few other little bells and whistles in there as well additional features. So maybe you’d like to talk about what it is and how it can help this.

Dr Gregor: 

Yeah so basically, what I’ve been trying to do is look at ways of using technology to help dental practices and improve customer service. If you look at a company like Amazon, they’ve changed the world by using technology to redefine how we buy things, and then they use reviews to instill trust in these products. So we’ve developed a digital receptionist, which is basically like a normal receptionist at your practice, but works off your website, so it can answer questions, it can book appointments, it can take inquiries and it’s just a fully automated system working 24 seven, and it’s a lot cheaper than employing a receptionist. I could bore you with the stats on it. If a patient goes to a website and you have an inquiry form on your website, the conversion rate for that is about 1 to 3%. There was an article in Forbes magazine in 2019 talking about the use of chatbots, and the conversion rate that they were talking about is if you have a chatbot on your website, you’ll get up to 67% conversion rate. So nowadays, people like technology. If you see something that’s innovative on the site, it’s going to reflect well in your business. So we’ve developed this. It’s effectively. We’re calling it a digital receptionist. It’s built on a chatbot platform and it just automates lots of things that your receptionists would do, and it’s increasing conversion rates to about 30%. So that’s one of the things. We also have a way of getting reviews. So it’s an automated system to reduce the likelihood of practices getting bad reviews and to increase the number of good reviews you get, and to display these on your website up front and center. I’m sure lots of people listening to this you know you’ve worked really hard to get a good review and then patients have to go to Google or Facebook to find it. What you should be doing is sticking it right on your mobile phone, right on the front. Bang. Look at how good we are. And, yeah, we’ve developed the way. I do that, and most dentists hate asking for reviews. All you have to do with this system is get the reception to either text a link to your patients or send them an email, and we’ve had a couple of practices we work with using text messages with it and they’re getting four or five new reviews a week Brilliant.

Dr James: 

Because that’s the frustrating thing about dentistry that we could all relate to is that for every there’s 100 happy patients and there’s one unhappy one. And the 100 happy patients maybe one will leave a review, and then it’s the one unhappy one that almost always does, and all of a sudden you’ve got 50% positive reviews but the thing is with these people.

Dr Gregor: 

Most of the problems in dentistry come through communication. So you know, if you just ask somebody if they’ve got a problem and to speak them about it, so if somebody’s finished their treatment they go home, they look in the mirror they don’t like the color of, you know, whatever you’ve done they then get an email or a text, you know that day or the next day saying how did we get on? Let us know. They click on the link and it’s basically a smiley face or a grumpy face. They hit the grumpy face. They then get to leave feedback and pictures or anything like that, and then the practice can contact them and sort the problem. If it’s a good review, the post the smiley face and then you get taken through to Facebook or Google or whatever to leave a review. So and it’s just, you know it’s really simple stuff. That’s not, you know, it’s not complicated, it’s not difficult to set up and you know one of the things that really annoys me about this is I’ve got competitors and just looking at the market, you know my eyes have been opened to all this technology that’s available out there and dental practices are getting ripped off by people all the time. You know, as soon as somebody thinks they can go to a dental practice and use something, they stick a couple of zeros on the end of the price they’re going to charge them. And you know it’s all about making things easy, simple for practices. And you know, treating everybody fairly so that we all get the benefits of everything that’s going on.

Dr James: 

So Gregor, listening to you speak, someone might be forgiven for making the mistake that you have a background in software, but this was something we were talking about off camera beforehand. It was more that you had the inspiration to think of this concept and then the drive to push it through and realize it, without necessarily understanding anything about software in itself. Would you like to talk a little bit more on that what that inspirational moment was? Because you told me just before we sat down and we started recording Real quick guys I put together a special report for Dentist entitled the Seven Costs and Potentially Disasters Mistakes the Dentist may whenever it comes to their finances. Most of the time, dentist are going through these issues and they don’t even necessarily realize that they’re happening until they have their eyes opened, and that is the purpose of this report. You can go ahead and receive your free report by heading on over to wwwdentistinvestcom forward slash podcast report or, alternatively, you can download it using the link in the description. This report details the seven most common issues. However, most importantly, it also shows you how to fix them. Really, looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Dr Gregor: 

Yes. So my wife and I went to New York on holiday. My wife was like five or six months pregnant with our first son, connor, and I really wasn’t enjoying the job I was in, had a lot of practices with the reception. We basically didn’t have enough receptionists and it was very stressful. So I was trying to think of a way that I could limit or reduce the hours I was working and make money in a different way. So I was sitting on the subway going through Wall Street in New York Sounds very glamorous, but I enjoy people watching. So we’re just sitting there, packed subway carriage, loads of people in suits, everybody’s on their mobile phone. And just before that we’d been on a bus tour and somebody pointed out an apartment in New York that was for sale for 250 million dollars. So I was thinking you know, it’s obviously really expensive to live in New York. There’s lots of people that probably aren’t many dentists. Sorry, I’ll just close this. That’s my son coming back, who’ll be running around screaming in a second. All good. So yeah, we’re, we’re, we’d seen this apartment 250 million dollars, not a lot of dentists, everything’s really expensive. What would be a way of being able to get dentists and patients in contact with each other to save time and money. So I started thinking about doing virtual consultations and this was about a year, year and a half before the pandemic. I worked with this Belgian company called Vectera. If anybody is doing virtual consults, start using their software. I can provide it for you, but you’ll get it cheaper with them. It’s just a brilliant tool for doing virtual consults. So worked with them, streamlined things for dentistry, started doing some virtual consults myself, testing the products. And then the pandemic kicked in and I thought that if I launched this product at the start of the pandemic, people will think I’m just trying to exploit the situation because people couldn’t get in touch with dentists. So I then decided we’ll try and rebrand the product and sell it to dentists, and that took a long time and during the process of doing that I then went off on a tangent and started setting things up like the digital receptionist in a review management system and it just opened my eyes to this world of technology that’s out there and it’s not particularly difficult to use. So I don’t have any background in software programming anything like that, but I’ve always been quite techno savvy. But dentists the top 1% of smart people in the world. If you’ve got an idea, just go out and do it, because if I can do it, anybody can do it, and there’s a way of figuring out how it will work. There are so many people out there, you know. I’ve heard you speak, james, about Gary Vee and his motivational videos. He just swears a lot and just get off your fucking arse and go do it. It’s the same thing. You know, I was kind of forced because I was really stressed with work. I was feeling depressed. I had a kid coming and I knew that I wanted to be happier and have more time with him and I knew that there were ways that I could help. You know patients and practices, you know. If you look at, for example, in dentistry, a third of the population suffers from dental anxiety. So in theory, that’s a third of all potential patients doesn’t go to the dentist. Now, if I can get somebody on a virtual console where they’re sitting at their home, have a chat with them and then get them in the chair, that’s a huge you know amount of people and patients that you can potentially help. So it was just looking at. You know innovative ways of using technology to get new patients and to help practices out. So I go on little rants for these things. So sorry, james, but I just I feel quite passionately about it all and I really kind of don’t like big corporate organizations coming along and kind of dictating what dentistry does. You know, like in Visoline, I’ve had a few problems with them recently and I saw that they were doing a technology conference and it was like a hundred quid to sign up for this conference. Now I, like in Visoline, as a business, they’re very, you know, slick, their tools are very useful, but things like that just annoy me. Technology, opening the ideas up and getting everybody to work together to make everything better that’s the way it should be, rather than sticking a dollar bill on it. That just pisses me off. You know we spoke about it off camera. Things like the blockchain you know I now understand what that is and how that can benefit things and it’s the same, you know, introducing these technologies into dentistry, for example, your practice management system, your R4 or your SOE. If you could have that running on the blockchain and you keep your patient notes on your computer, then that means you’re not paying companies like Henry Shine 100 pounds per month per user, which is just an obscene amount of money to be paying for a bit of software. That isn’t that. You know, it’s not complicated. At the start of this I looked into practice management software. There’s like 200 companies out there that are doing it. If a group of dentists got together, bought one of these companies, stuck the software on the blockchain and gave it to everybody for free, think of how much money would all be saved. Well practices would be saving. It’s that kind of ideology that I like. I’m not in this to make money. I’m in this to try to because I enjoy it, but also to kind of drive things forward in that kind of direction, if that makes sense.

Dr James: 

I can feel your passion, man, and it’s awesome and that’s a great thing, and that’s one of the things I was speaking when I was talking to Simon Chard. Simon Chard, one of the previous podcasts. We were talking about how passion is a transferable skill and even though you find yourself doing something that you probably never would have imagined about five years ago and had no background in, just by the sheer fact that you have the P word, the passion word, that’s the main thing that it takes to drive it forward. And I also think it’s really important to remove the illusion that you necessarily have to have some dual qualification or another degree in something specific that you want to pursue. It’s better to have momentum and just keep going and figure things out as you go along effectively rather than plan everything to the end of the degree and never actually do it. At least the first way, you’ve got a chance of pulling it off. The second way, okay, some planning is necessary to a degree, but over planning is something that causes a lot of stagnation and I feel like there is a time and a place to do that. But also it’s very, very important to not let that hold you back and if you are thinking of creating something. You kind of just figure these things out as you go along as well. There’s no substitute for experience, and that’s why taking that leap is a hugely important part of the process, and there’ll always be that moment that will constitute a leap of faith, and it’s better to just go for it really and kind of figure it out as you go along and look at the look at what’s happened to you. Gregor, you’ve now got this business. It’s doing really well. I remember you saying it’s certainly getting up and running, isn’t it? Yeah?

Dr Gregor: 

We’re working on a lot of internal practices now. So I mean the one thing from what you just said that my biggest hurdle has been the fact that it’s a dental-related business. So I’ve been really worried about what the GDC would think and making sure that it’s compliant with patient confidentiality and GDPR, and it’s opened me up to this world of digital marketing agencies and people out with dentistry supplying products to dental practices which, in my opinion, don’t adhere to the regulations that we have to abide by. But the difference is that if they get into trouble, they’re not going to lose their license, which is one of the you know. It all comes back to trying to help dental practices in the right way, and what’s been slightly problematic for me is I’ve stalled in releasing this product because I wanted to make sure that it was totally compliant, and there are now competitors to my business out there who haven’t done that, who are doing things that I, you know, think. If you look at it properly, the GDC ever had an issue with you. You could get into trouble with it, and that does annoy me. It’s this, you know. I think Facebook came out with the idea of move fast and break things was their kind of ideology and in dentistry, within certain fields, you can’t do that. You have to make sure that you’re within this. You know umbrella and making sure things work properly. But you know I’ve heard you speak about it, I hear Dentists speak about it all the time that they’re worried about the GDC. You know, one bad patient, you could lose your registration and almost to some regard I’ve taken that one worth too much because it’s hampered the development of the business. But that’s not a bad thing. You know I’m in this long game and you know, fundamentally, if we keep doing things right and coming out with innovative solutions to problems, then that’s just going to, you know, rise above everything else. Well, anyway, that’s what I’m thinking in my head.

Dr James: 

So no, of course. No, I think you’re right. I mean, it’s important maybe, maybe as dentists, because of GDPR and just how regulated we are, just how regulated we are. It is obviously important to just temper, share uninhibited enthusiasm and momentum with some sort of awareness of regulations, but I guess, I guess, maybe, maybe, a better way of me explaining that is that there comes a time and a place where you just have to go for it at the same time. But the crux is, where is that point? Certainly, it is unhelpful to just keep thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking and let inactivity hold you back or never actually going for it, I suppose. So it’s about finding balance. Life is about balance. Life is about balance, actually.

Dr Gregor: 

I listened to one of your previous podcasts and I heard you ask the same kind of question and I think one of the key moments that I had. I read a book called the Four Disciplines of Execution and it’s kind of ideology is a good idea without execution is worthless, and they looked at 200,000 business leaders and things that prevented them from driving their business forward or executing it, and that really helped me set up a framework for moving things forward. But all of this comes back to the same kind of things and I think the best person that I came across was Gary V, because he just, you know, I quite like somebody shouting and swearing at me, telling me to do things, and you know that’s it. If you sign up for his, you know groups or whatever, every day you’ll have him barking at you and it’s good, because motivation is a difficult thing to do when you’re. You know I’m in this little room, my little office. I’ve been here for like a year and a half and it’s getting motivated. I send out a weekly report to family members saying what I’ve been up to. They probably don’t even read it, but it’s just one of those little tools that you can do to, you know, help drive you forward. So and there’s another one, the the War of Art. Have you ever read that book?

Dr James: 

Or the art? No no, I haven’t. The War of Art, no yeah.

Dr Gregor: 

So it’s another good book that’s really kind of motivational. It speaks about resistance, so that’s that thing that stops driving you forward, and how to kind of combat that.

Dr James: 

So yeah, A big one for me is morning routine, like when I get out of bed, set my alarm for six every day, get out of bed, go to the gym and I really, really, really, I want to go to the gym as much as any reasonable, normal person, sane person, wants to go to the gym at six in the morning, which is not at all, but the day the second that you get there, when you have that workout, I don’t know what it is about doing it first thing in the morning. It just energizes you beyond belief and you just have this incredible flurry or flow of motivation throughout the day. Different things for different people, but it’s yeah, it’s really been a massively life enhancing thing was the day that I learned how powerful and useful that can be from the point of view of being productive, but also from the point of view of your health. So that’s one that I would actively encourage people to start. Anybody who’s listening to this podcast actively encourage them to start incorporating something regarding exercise into their early morning routine. I’m a big fan of that, and Simon Chard actually give us one. The other day on the one of the podcast he was speaking about how as soon as his feet it’s a little bit. He even said himself it’s a little bit Americanized, maybe a little bit sort of hippie ish, I guess, is the word. But as soon as your feet touch the ground, you tell yourself, you remind yourself something that you’re grateful about. And I’ve been, I’ve been trying it and it actually does work. It makes you get out of bed. You have this sense of gratitude that motivates you to get out of bed and go to the gym and whatever. It actually really does work. So it’s worth a try, even if you think that it’s a little bit wishy washy. Give it a go. I promise that it helps.

Dr Gregor: 

I used to be totally anti those sorts of things, but I listened to that podcast and I’m as sad as you actually have. All my daily reminders now tells me a couple of things. One of them is what you’re grateful for. Other stuff like that. It works, you know. It’s just these little motivational things to help pump you forward.

Dr James: 

It works and I know what you mean. I was once upon a time I used to find that stuff really cringe worthy, and then once you kind of just look past that and just recognize it’s surely for how useful it is. It definitely is something that really that actually works.

Dr Gregor: 

So one thing that I will say, though. I’m not a morning person and I had a big problem with sleeping for a long time and I read some books on it, and they kind of categorize it into two people. You have morning people and evening people, and it’s because you need people around the campfire at night who are more awake when you know animals come and try and attack you. Oh, okay, okay, it’s actually technically a thing, so I much preferred doing exercise in the kind of evening. If I exercised at six o’clock in the morning, I’d come home, sit on the couch and feel knackered all day, so yeah, so if there’s anybody who doesn’t feel like getting up at six in the morning but they are still good at the gym, I’m okay to that’s okay to guys, that’s fine.

Dr James: 

Horses for courses. Horses for courses, I think, is the question isn’t it, Gregor? you’ve embarked upon this journey of starting your own side gig, you started to flourish beyond the world of dentistry. You know, I’m presuming you’re looking to really reduce your clinical hours or maybe even just maintain them around two days a week. What have been the greatest lessons that you’ve learned along the way from growing your business that you think are worth sharing and that will be encouraging to people who are just a depressa piss or thinking of embarking down that path? Put you on the spotlight now. Put you on the spotlight. I’m sure you’ll think of something.

Dr Gregor: 

Staying motivated, like we just spoken about, is a big one. You’ve spoken about this kind of leap of faith thing, which is another big one, but I think as a dentist I’ve struggled with self-confidence and, like I said, stress, depression, those sorts of things. If you’re feeling a little bit like that and you want something else to do, go down the path of finding something you like and just rolling with it a little bit, doing it a couple of hours a day in the evening, and just see that as something that you think you could do something with. You have one life to live and everybody’s living so long now that you could be a dentist for 25 years and then you could go and do something else. A lot of the dentists I know think that, because they’ve spent so much time and energy into becoming a dentist, that’s what they have to do. But what it actually means is you’re very well educated in a certain way and you can use that and manipulate it to make the profession better and stay within dentistry, or you’re going to be smart enough to go and do something else. So these are the mind games that you have to go through yourself to figure out what you want to do and I’m 42 now. It’s taken me a hell of a long time to get to this point in my life, but it’s just being motivated, taking the leap of faith, and if you want to do something different, just do it. It’s easy Nowadays. We’ve got the internet. There’s so much support out there. You can do anything you want. I’m signed up with. It’s called Business Gateway up in Aberdeen, so they’re like the local council business support group and they’re giving me grants. I’ve got like £200,000 worth of support so I can go in and just speak to people. I’ve got a meeting with a PR lady on Wednesday. I’ve got meetings with marketing agencies and all of it’s free. It’s all being paid for by the government because we’re maybe about to go in a recession after the pandemic to try and motivate the economy, drive things forward. So there’s just heaps of support out there and if anybody’s thinking of doing something like this and they just want to chew the fat with me and have a chat about it, just send me an email. I’d be delighted to kind of help out, because dentistry is a tough gig. If you want to kind of do something different, just go and do it. You know that book Rich Dad, poor Dad. It talks about having different revenue streams and different streams to your bowl, and I think that’s a very important thing to do, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve been doing James’s crypto course, all that sort of stuff, and it’s just having this umbrella so that if something goes wrong, you’ve got something else to fall back on.

Dr James: 

A big thing, a big mistake I always used to make was I used to think that the more dentistry I did, the more money I would have and the happier I would be. And I look back and I just think to myself I really wish I could have grabbed myself and shoot myself. I used to work six days a week and I just thought it was all about getting as much cash as you can while you were young, investing it and that was it. That was all there was to my life. And now it’s when you work that many days a week. It’s not the time working six days a week is not really the main problem, it’s the time that you don’t have, if that makes sense. So you only have one day off, and you’re so because you effectively have someone like two hands around your neck, like a chokehold in terms of time, and you don’t have the time to go and invest in other things which could be potentially other interests, potentially flourishing to a side hustle or even entertain those possibilities. And I really wish that I would have just set aside the whole money thing for the moment, for that particular moment, and just said to myself you know what? It’s not all about working that much. Don’t have any fear about reducing your clinical time so that you can entertain other possibilities in your life you can. You can entertain other hobbies or pursue other interests if you have enough of a financial cushion, because ultimately, the main thing is well, it being diversified is so important, just as Gregor’s both said. Just as Gregor said, and the coronavirus thing is removed, that illusion that maybe we can just solely rely on dentistry and it’s that protective umbrella that we can establish using that extra time, which is so, so, so important. And I didn’t have any concept of that until maybe about a year ago really, and I know that it helped me a lot and I hope that that resonated with some people out there as well.

Dr Gregor: 

Gregor, I think the pandemic’s been kind of good and away because a lot of the you know for dentistry, because lots of dentists can’t work as much as they were working. So they’re then realizing that you know, life can be a little bit less stressful, they are earning a little bit less money, but you know it’s work-life balance, quality of life, these are the important things, you know.

Dr James: 

Do you ever envisage going back to five days a week, dentistry, or is it more? I couldn’t do it.

Dr Gregor: 

Honestly, I’d be dead by the time. I’m 65. I just I take work home with me. You know I do a filling and I just you know. I think you said that what was that phrase? You used to describe perfection as the enemy of.

Dr James: 

The enemy of the good.

Dr Gregor: 

Yeah, you know, I mean I just and it drives me mad. You know why I worry about this crap? Because I’m a good dentist and I’m a good guy, you know I like helping people. And then you see, you know other dentists. You just don’t care and it’s supervised neglect and they go home and sleep like a baby. So there’s no way I could go back to five days a week. It would kill me, yeah, and my wife would probably leave me because I’d be such a miserable git.

Dr James: 

So Would you? Do you envisage it going the other way then? Would you? Would you leave dentistry? Would you just draw a line under it, or do you think that you’d like to do both?

Dr Gregor: 

No, I mean I like dentistry. There are lots of things I don’t like about it, but no, I like being a dentist, I like using my hands and helping people and it’s, you know, having a a core of patients that I like, that I get on with and yeah. So I think three days a week would be kind of maximum that I’d be doing nowadays.

Dr James: 

For anybody out there who’s listening to this Gregor, and they’re thinking about taking the plunge themselves. What would you say if you could have a conversation with a younger Gregor who was a man and an about taking the leap, making making the move into creating their own business or pursuing a side hustle? What would you say to that younger Gregor or anybody else who’s listening, who feels the same?

Dr Gregor: 

I mean, obviously, if you want to do it, go for it. You know, I’m just starting watching Gary V videos, but I think that you need to be at the right place in the right headspace. You know, and you need to be aware that you’re going to have to put the work in and I think that’s something that you know maybe a lot of people don’t realise. I’ve always gone through phases in my life where I’ve worked really, really hard on things and you know, anybody that I’ve spoken to that’s doing something that’s slightly successful. They’re all working really hard and you know, if you’re in a place where you can do that, you’ve got an idea just go out there, give it a whirl, see what happens. And if it doesn’t work I mean, this is the other big thing. You know it’s like failure is a good thing. If you fuck things up, who cares? You know you’ve just got to keep beating the drum and appreciating that the journey is the fun thing, the good thing. So you need to be doing something that you like, you’re passionate about, all those sorts of things. But you know, getting motivated, doing it, that’s the main thing, the first step that you can take. So get yourself in the right headspace and just do it. That’s what I’d say.

Dr James: 

If some, if you can put aside the fact that it might fail and that isn’t not something that bothers you mentally, really that’s the only real thing that’s holding any one of us back effectively, and if that’s not an issue to you, then then there’s absolutely no reason why I suppose that you can’t take that concept in your head and begin to conjure it into reality, and there are so many pluses and benefits to it, not even just things that you would never imagine before you got into it, like the people that you meet, the things that you’ll learn. And even if that idea, that concept, fails or it completely evolves into something else along the way, that’s part of the journey, that’s part of the fun and that’s part of what keeps it interesting and exciting, and it’s just another reason to get out of bed in the morning. And again, this is why I wanted to make Dentist Moon Fest side gig month, to share these lessons and for there to be a wider acceptance and acknowledgement of just how much this can be very powerful and enhance your life. And I hope that what Gregor and I have said today has resonated with a lot of people who are listening to this podcast, because I know that a younger version of me all those moons ago would have really it would have been really helpful to hear these things. Gregor, we are going to wrap things up very shortly. Did I sense that you wanted to say something else there, just to chuck on top of what I was saying?

Dr Gregor: 

No, everything you said, listen to James’ other podcasts. The resources that you’re producing are amazing. If anybody’s doing a side hustle that’s the best in dentistry at the moment it’s you.

Dr James: 

Thanks, man, that’s buttering Cheers bro.

Dr Gregor: 

It’s been very impressive and you should be really proud of yourself, man. It’s great. And what you were saying about the journey. It’s like having these little stories. I just think it’s amazing that I’m now talking to some random dentist that I’ve met. My non ex-Dentist, who I remember you first got in touch with me I actually looked up and wrote it down somewhere it was like a year ago and randomly sent me a message saying I’m starting this group up, and I think there were like 80 people in the group at the time and I signed up and I just thought you were some chancellor who was thinking I was a dentist and you were going to make some money off me. Yeah, but, like I said, I’ve done your course. It’s been brilliant. I’m loving the whole crypto thing. I think it is going to change the world. I love technology. I’m technosyntristic. I think if we have a problem, it’s going to get fixed through technology, and that’s not just in dentistry, it’s in the bigger scale of things. So, yeah, buy some Bitcoin.

Dr James: 

Buy some Bitcoin. Oh my goodness, I honestly think if anybody reads into Bitcoin and what it does another thing I feel very passionate about, about what it’s designed to do I would find it hard to believe that someone could read fully into it and understand it and still not feel strongly about it and still not think that it’s at least worthwhile allocating a little bit of money towards as a speculative investment. No financial advice given, of course, never, ever. That’s not what we’re here for. But just start reading about it, guys. You’ll find it really interesting and even if you do think it’s silly, by the end of it at least you’ll have a knowledge of what it is. Gregor, thank you so much for your kind words, by the way, on the group. What people have to understand is like I’m still pinching myself. You know, it’s been crazy for me that it’s taken off the way it has, and it’s really a privilege to be able to speak with and connect with so many dentists and help them, and I am not to get too sloppy, but I genuinely do feel life is about helping as many people as you can and that karma is 100% a thing, and when I say help people, what I mean is just making their life better, making those connections, those relationships that I talked about. It’s just so much more a fun, pleasant way to go through life when you see the world through those lenses. So thanks to everyone, you’ve all made this very special. I’ll continue to serve you in every way that I can and I hope very much that everybody’s enjoyed this podcast.

Dr Gregor: 

Gregor, it has been my pleasure this thing that I’ve actually forgotten to say the whole way. So my business is called Talk to a Dentist.

Dr James: 

Oh yes, we wanted to talk about your business. A big pardon, gregor. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Talk to a dentist. That was it.

Dr Gregor: 

It’s called Talk to a Dentist. Check out wwwtalktoadentistcouk. I was just sitting there thinking is there anything I haven’t mentioned? And I haven’t even told anybody about the business.

Dr James: 

Yeah, that’s right. Talk to a dentistcouk if you need a virtual assistant for your website.

Dr Gregor: 

We’re doing a 60 day free trial in all our services. So I think you know it’s new technology. Lots of people don’t really get it, but we basically implement the systems. We do all the hard work. Try it out. If you don’t like it, risk free, you just cancel and that’s it so. But we are. I’ve been using it for a year and a half now. We’re working with 30 practices and actually I’ve got to say thanks to Chris Barrow. He was, I know he’s been on your podcast. I did a presentation for his group and I got heaps of sign ups through it and yeah, so give it a try, you’re going to lose nothing and yeah, we’ll get you new patients and make your life slightly easier, but that’s the plan.

Dr James: 

Awesome. Or, alternatively, feel free to reach out to Gregor Gregor MacPherson on the Facebook group and he’ll be happy to explain it in more details. You’ll find him on Dentist who invest. He’s on there. Feel free to search the members and you’ll come across Gregor Awesome, Gregor. Thank you so much for giving up your time today to appear in this podcast. I’ve had a wheel of time. I hope you have to be a pleasure, James.

Dr Gregor: 

Thank you very much. Yeah, that’s been good.

Dr James: 

Awesome, thanks. Pleasure is always my friend. We’re going to draw a line under it there. We’re going to wrap up. We’re going to let you get on with your day. It’s been absolutely brilliant. As I say, gregor, we will speak again very, very soon. See you later, cheers.

Dr Gregor: 

Right.

Dr James: 

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