Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

Dr James: 0:41

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, welcome to the Dentists who Invest podcast. What’s up everyone? How are you today? So good to be back on the Dentists who Invest podcast episode number 45. We’re on, we’re creeping up to the half century. I’m going to have to think about something special to commemorate that. All ideas and suggestions welcome on that front, because I really don’t have any sort of plan formulated as to what we might do when we get to 50, but I’m very excited. Also. We’re also reaching a bit of a landmark with group members too, because we’re currently on 4.7 and 5 is a nice round number, which I think is cause for celebration. Again, any suggestions welcome as to what we might do to commemorate that. I actually have a very good idea with regards to a special guest that we might get on, but I’m always willing. I’ve always got my ears open. Willing ears open to suggestions is what I was trying to say, so feel free to throw those ideas at me too. We are continuing SideGigs month with another special dentist who has started her SideGig a very well known dentist as well, which will come on to in just a minute. I would love to hear if Dentists, who Invest SideGigs month, has inspired anybody out there to start their own SideGigs. I’d love to hear your stories. Please share them with me, because that was the aim of the month after all. So please reach out to me if that is the case, because that was the whole point and wow, what an amazing, incredible thing to go through and what a life enhancing thing it’s been for me. So, yeah, please by all means reach out if that has been something that has applied to you and encouraged you to do, to create your own SideGig, rather. So back to the matter at hand. We welcome Dr Sheila Li today, who has a wonderful facial aesthetics business, to talk about her experiences, why she loves facial aesthetics and taking that big bad leap into the world of starting her own business. Sheila, how are you today?

Dr Sheila: 3:33

Hi James, thanks for the little introduction. Yeah, I’m really well, thanks.

Dr James: 3:37

Thanks for having me on my absolute pleasure, Sheila. Sheila, where are you speaking to us from? Where in the world do you reside?

Dr Sheila: 3:43

I’m in London at the moment, so I’m not from London, I’m from Birmingham, but currently living in London since I graduated.

Dr James: 3:52

I see Wonderful and it’s my absolute pleasure to have you on today as someone extremely qualified in the SideGigs world, because I was just saying to Sheila off camera before I did dentists who invest, before I did anything with regards to social media, I knew Sheila Li and I knew Sheila Li as the dentist who did facial aesthetics. So you’re doing something right in terms of your, your marketing or your branding, sheila, and that’s great and that really shows me how much your business has grown and flourished, and I really think that you’ll have some amazing lessons to share for people who are interested in starting your own SideGig, their own SideGig, and I’m sure lots of people recognize Sheila as well. So a compliment for you there, sheila.

Dr Sheila: 4:37

Thanks, james. I mean I don’t think of myself like that, but that’s always really nice to hear, obviously. I think I mean it’s not. It’s probably the copious amounts of videos on Instagram, and I think we’re living in such a visual world now that everything is online. And you know, I do spend a good chunk of my working. I guess I assign my good chunk of my worth in a week to social media, which is such an important part of marketing now in our field, in dentistry and facial aesthetics and all the things that we do. So I think probably that’s it. But yeah, I mean I wouldn’t say that I’m well known, for sure.

Dr James: 5:18

Oh okay, I think a few people listening would contradict you there.

Dr Sheila: 5:21

But it’s a good thing. It’s a good thing.

Dr James: 5:23

It means that you’re out in a bite. But actually, sheila, now that you’ve mentioned it, I feel like that might be an interesting thing to talk about later, because a lot of people see the videos on social media, they see the TikToks, they see the stories, they see all of those things and maybe they don’t think to themselves actually, what does that look like behind the scenes? What is the pragmatic process? Do I have to set aside time to create content on social media, or is it something organic and it’s a little bit of both for me personally, but I’m curious to hear your relationship about it. That is something that we’ll talk about in just a minute. First of all, sheila, we know that you’re a dentist. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, your journey into dentistry, even before we get onto the whole facial aesthetic side of things?

Dr Sheila: 6:17

Yes, okay. So I studied dentistry at King’s back when I mean, I graduated coming up to seven years now and dentistry was my second degree. I did it as a graduate at King’s and I thought I wanted a career in cancer research. Actually, I did a degree in biomedical sciences, spent about half a year just doing some cancer research work based in the lab. I just realized that it wasn’t for me. I did a little bit of traveling and soul searching and then I thought that I wanted to do medicine. I mean, originally I thought I wanted to be a heart surgeon and did a little bit of traveling, came back, did a little bit of work experience, did a lot of work experience, various general practices and then in dental practice and I met this chap in I believe it was in Leicester, and he took me into his surgery and he was doing a lot of like. If I remember correctly, he was doing a gum lift, he was treating a gummy smile, but via a surgical procedure, and he talked about the business of dentistry and he talked about the science dentistry. He was so passionate about it and I thought you know what I could do? This I really would love like my own business and I do. I am pretty good, naturally, at science. So I thought I’ll go in and I’ll explore. So I went Kings and studied dentistry and it was. It’s different when it’s your second degree, like your first degree was. It’s not really. I mean, my first degree wasn’t really a degree. It was a very expensive three years. My second degree was really. It was a lot more expensive but I really I really loved it. I really wanted to do it, I really wanted to get good at it and you know well, before even graduating I was already investing in courses. I was paying to go on composite courses, I was paying to do lots of things. I was quite. I was involved with the BACD, actually from a young, from a young from young in my career, and did a lot sort of extra curricula beyond that because I was just really interested in going out and getting started straight away. So that was when I. Then, when I graduated, I In my final year I actually my very best friend she is a doctor and she did dentures her second degree because she wanted to get into MaxVax and she was using facial aesthetics to actually get herself through dental school and she was running a training academy in facial aesthetics and I came on Mostly because I wanted to help her build the business I was. I did a little bit of marketing in a dabbled in marketing. I dabbled in like experiential marketing before work, before starting my degree in dentistry. I knew a little bit about business and knew a bit about advertising and you know stuff about websites, seo and that sort of thing. So I was like I’m gonna help her like make this profitable, because she just wanted to Ethically train dentists Not dentists, just anybody in aesthetic but she wanted to ethically train them, make sure they’re really, really good. And she wasn’t really making any money in this and I was like you know what? You’ve got such an amazing course, like you need to be making money. So I came into it, not interested in the facial aesthetic side of things, just wanting to help her her make her her business profitable. So and then I was there and every even though I was in there for business Perspective I was there, every single lecture she gave and I that’s sort of stuff just stuck into my head and then I thought you know what I can do? This I can inject a face. It looks quite straightforward and she really believed in me. She really thought I hadn’t. I agree, I mean I just I didn’t, I didn’t. I was really nervous. I’ll conscious about it. But she was a great mentor to me and so in my final year I was already trained in facial aesthetics and and I was actually injecting under under, you know, under her mentorship, because, as we know, it’s a really unregulated industry and anyone, anyone, can inject Filler or Botox. You just you have to be prescribed Botox, but once you get can get your hand on it. Any anyone can inject it. So I was injecting in my final year as a dental student and then in my BT year I was really lucky to be in a practice that was really supportive of the fact I I knew a bit of facial aesthetics and I was injecting. So I I don’t think you’re allowed to inject now. Actually, I think they make it a thing that you’re not able to do any facial aesthetics. But when I was doing the DF1 you were able to do it as a side thing. So I was seeing private patients for facial aesthetics for my personal. I mean it didn’t earn any money from it, but you know, as I was making, I was making them money and and there started the career, I guess, and so from from a very from very early on I was doing that and I was juggling that with dentistry as well, and I was. I Composite was my thing. I absolutely loved working with composite and I loved working with With Just just doing composite Day in, day out and you know, I was trying to get really good at that as well and at the same time doing facial aesthetics. So that was how it started. It all really started and I get that. Actually I probably didn’t even answer your question. I totally went off on a tangent.

Dr James: 11:33

No, no, no, you totally did. No, it was great it was. You answered the question and then some more, which was brilliant because everybody learned a little bit more about you and your journey Into facial aesthetics, which, it just so happens, was a very organic one from what you’ve described. It just kind of happened and then you realize at some point that this was you’re calling your passion, or was it more so that you Were gravitating away from dentistry, or was it a combination of both?

Dr Sheila: 12:03

It was really difficult for me, I would say early on, because I was, I loved dentistry and loved cutting teeth, I loved creating Composite build I love doing composite buildups and and I was obsessed with teeth, I was obsessed with anatomy and I was just we and I would like to say that I was naturally very good at dentistry but I was also naturally very good at facial aesthetics and I my time was just getting split early on, very, very early on. And I remember actually my my, my foundation, my, my df1 trainer. He said to me he was just like I bet in three years, you know you’re not going to be doing any. In five years you’re not gonna be doing any fit in dentistry. I guarantee you will just be doing facial aesthetics. And that broke my heart, like I literally was beside myself that he thought that would be the case, like like it wasn’t so obvious. I was so obviously passionate about dentistry and like I was so good at it and I was like that’s never going to be the case. And you know what I actually it probably would happen a lot earlier, but I dragged it on for an extra and use an expert. It’s just a proven point and when I come to think about it, it probably would have happened a lot earlier. I finally made the decision after the pandemic after I had my second daughter and then the pandemic hit that I wouldn’t go back into dentistry and I’d go go into facial aesthetics full-time. But it initially started out as just being something on the side and I did it. I did it really well and I was selling facial aesthetics with private dental treatment to my patients. And then that Naturally meant that I was just doing more private dentistry. Anyway, quite early I was working in a mixed practice doing more facial aesthetics. I wasn’t meeting my UDAs. I found it harder and I mean I couldn’t sustain that. So after, after 18 months, having done my foundation year, I went straight into private dentistry completely, which is insane to think that, actually. But I did and then Was doing more and more facial aesthetics and as it went, the more I was doing, the less dentistry I was doing. And then in the last I would say in the last three years I was doing a half day a week and Really crazy stuff for half day a week I was doing like full-on, like composites, like composite makeovers and things, and I was like what am I doing, I’m going to get sued like I’m not doing this enough to be able to Do this sort of thing consistently. And I had an amazing like Chris or was my mentor and he was incredible and I just I found it so hard to walk away from something that’s so many people wanted that I had. I honestly found it so difficult to To to to give up that like, and that was the thing that held. I held on for the longest time actually because he was mentoring me and he was like getting me to do these awesome like we were case planning, these incredible cases and and he really believed in me. Both Zane up and Chris really believed in me and it was incredible to have that. But and To then also not really want it now that I had it and I guess I guess I kept it for an ego thing. And then, yeah, and then the pandemic hits and I’m supposed to go back after the panda, after my maternity leave, my second daughter. I was meant to go back and I Didn’t. I didn’t because actually my facial aesthetic was just paying for dent, for dentistry. I was doing dentistry as a hobby and I truly was doing it as a hobby. It was costing me so much money doing the additional CPD, like going on extra courses, even though, like, I wasn’t really earning very much from it and you know that that almost neutralized what I was earning the course of it. As you know, the cost of dental courses, so much Facial aesthetic was paying for my dentistry as a hobby and it was cool to say that for a while. But then my husband was like, come on, babe, what are you doing? Like we’ve got a family, like you know, what are you doing? So I was just like, yeah, no, I was being a bit selfish. So, yeah, I gave it up and it was one of the hardest decisions I had to make. But I’m really actually, because it’s freed up more of my time and I can focus and concentrate and in that time I was able to launch training Academy. So, yeah, it swings around about. So I guess they say awesome.

Dr James: 16:12

So, again, a bit of an organic move. Really Well, you know what a great dilemma to have, because for one people, for there’s lots of people. It might be one or the other, but it seemed to me like you, really, you could have went down either avenue. So you must have a great pair of hands, is all I can say. There’ll be lots of people listening to this, sheila. Facial aesthetics is something that a lot of young dentists is kind of like. The carrot is dangled in front of them and they’re very interested in doing it. I Real quick guys I’ve put together a special report for dentists entitled the seven costly and potentially disastrous mistakes the dentists make whenever it comes to their finances. Most of the time, dentists 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 wwwdenisoonvestcom. 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 forwards to hearing your thoughts.

Dr Sheila: 18:13

And that and that, and I would say um also.

Dr James: 18:19

I Like a clear liners.

Dr Sheila: 18:21

Clear liners, yeah, oh yeah, definitely either kind of do facial aesthetics or you do clear liners to kind of I think it’s I would. I don’t mean I for me I maybe it was a way for me to bolster my CV so that I could get into private dentistry. I, that’s the. That was my main reason to do it to begin with, because I knew that I wanted to be In private dentistry. I was always I honestly I really hate Hated working in that grave in. You know, when you’re in a mixed practice and you know You’ve got a self private treatment but you’ve got the NHS contract and you were saying things that was very great and I just never. I first of all I was a complete loss maker, maker Like I never. I did all the private stuff that I was supposed to do, but for my NHS patients. So that was not good for, obviously, for my principles first and foremost. But then I just hated working in that grave. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t like it, couldn’t it? Just it felt conflicted. So for me, facial aesthetics was my way to get into private dentistry and it just happened to be that I was really good at it. So but you’re right, yeah, it is one of those things that I guess younger dentists kind of think do I do it, do I not? Don’t I do it? And you can’t really dabble in it, I would say, because you’re messing with people’s faces, you know you can’t really just do a little bit of it, but there is a massive element of it that you can do that’s really relevant to dentistry and I truly believe this. There is a lot of stuff that I still work in dental practice. I still work at the practice that I’m in doing solely facial aesthetics as part of the wider restorative team. I do a lot of gummy smile treatments, I do a lot of paraffluxion bruxism and we do a lot of diagnosis. I work together with the team to do those things and when we’re doing full smile design, smile makeovers, my facial aesthetic is very part of that treatment plan for our patients and it’s really good to be one part of the team and just doing like your bit as an overall plan for the patient and really getting it right. So you know when that final picture goes up, you’re like I’m not looking at it, thinking yeah, but they could have dropped that lip a little bit, that everything is there, the lips dropped, the lips full, and you know everything looks nice and balanced. The veneers are in or you know, the composite bonding’s great, the alignment’s perfect, everything is great. And to do your bit as part of that wider team, that’s really cool and I love that. So it does seem to be like a whole topic itself if you want to really go into it. But there is an element that I do think and I get a lot of referrals in now for gummy smiles and I just think this is so easy, like I. Really dentists need to be doing this. It’s just you know we inject in low-clinesthetic every single day. It’s one injection. It’s not even as complex as injecting low-clinestetic Not to make it sound provable, but you know it’s so straightforward. We inject low-clinestetic every day, having a little bit of Botox just to drop the smile. You know it doesn’t need to be something that you’re referring to me for. You know, even with masseters, like it doesn’t need to be. You know we can. If we can diagnose it, we can absolutely treat it. So I really do believe that more dentists need to be doing it as part of their overall treatment plan. I’m not saying that you know they have to treat lines and wrinkles and you know, give people massive blitz, like I’m not saying that at all. But there are definite dental elements that dentists are really suited for. And when we do the training sorry I’m going off on a tangent again, but when I do the training I train a lot of doctors, dentists and nurses. I’m sorry but they’re the better ones, like they’re really skilled with their hands. They work in such a small space and especially the cosmetic dentists that obviously do a lot of smile design, like they see the face completely different to you know our nurse colleagues and our medics unless I’m training a plastic surgeon. Again, that’s slightly different. But yeah, it’s such a fantastic add-on as a treatment and, you know, a great income earner as a side treatment. I mean I earn the same in a day as I did working, you know, three, four days as a dentist. It’s nuts and that’s. And you know, what was hard for me was when I was trying to convince the patient to have an on-lay and you know the cost of an on-lay what 1,200 pounds. And they were umming and aring. And you know this same patient who I was saying you know two syringes of fillers are going to cost you 800 pounds and you know you have to see him again in 9 to 12 months and she’s like, yeah, absolutely, that’s absolutely fine, but the on-lay I’m not sure. Like you know, I have to think about it. It’s just patient psychology, just the way they think about things, just nuts, and I got it was just so much more fun to sell two tubes of filler for 800 pounds versus an on-lay that’s going to last you 10 to 15 years. And you’re really having to think about it and me having to like go down through every like troll and con. And here I’m like, well, I can put two mils of filler in your face and make you look better and make you feel a bit more confident. They were snapping my, basically biting my hands off, so but that doing that made me so much more confident about about then talking about veneers and on-lays and saying you know what, it’s only 1200 pounds and this is going to last you 10 years, up to 15 years, you know, if not longer, and you know these are veneers. It’s, you know you probably never going to need to do this more than once if you look after your teeth. And then that really made me better at prescribing and I hate the word felt selling prescribing dental, private dental treatment, like cosmetic treatments for patients and and yeah, and then that’s why I was doing more bigger plans, but on less days of working as dentists and I thought, oh, I’m just going to get sued, like I’m just going to get sued, I’m not doing it enough. So I stopped. Obviously it was the better thing to do. I just couldn’t, I couldn’t maintain that amount of extra sort of side work for the two, the two things, and that’s what it boiled down to for me.

Dr James: 24:13

That’s great. Well, yeah, that’s you kind of anticipated my question, really, because where I was going with that was that I wanted to ask is there a certain sort of foundation dentist or younger dentist or dentists of any age group? Really that fits the bill of a profile of someone who should be a facial aesthetics practitioner. But really you’ve answered that because you said that it can fit in to any dentists, every. You know the way you spoke about it then was it would be useful for every dentist to know this really, so it’s not tied down to one specific demographic or individual, etc. Because that was always something that confused me about facial aesthetics. I always thought to myself should I really think about it if I want to be the ABB dentist or the dentist who’s? doing the nearest and the more aesthetic things, but it fits in anywhere. That’s awesome, so that’s great. We are obviously in side gigs months, so we must talk about side gigs and business and taking that leap. For you, it was very much an organic thing. By the science of it, it just kind of happened really, and I think that’s nice to hear, because a lot of people who are thinking about creating their own side gig think to themselves well, I’m either in or I’m out. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be something that you can phase in, you can try it out for a little while, you can sacrifice a little bit of clinic time, providing that you don’t need the money to do something else entirely that might break up your week. And if that’s a side gig that you do for pleasure or you do for business, then both of those things are fine. It’s such a life enhancing thing and really, with regards to it being a business, you must know if you enjoy it first of all, and the only real way that you’ll learn that you’re going to enjoy something is by taking some time to do it. Taking the time to do it to learn if you’ll enjoy it and also to learn. If it’s something that you’re passionate about, something that you’re skilled at, and then should it flourish into something special, like it has done for Sheila, then that’s an amazing thing. So there never was really that one scary moment for you, sheila, where you felt like you were leaping off a cliff or you were taking the plungers such yeah, I mean I don’t think of it.

Dr Sheila: 26:25

To a certain degree, I don’t think of myself as too much of a risk taker. I quite like a little bit of managed risk. And for me it was always, as it was growing more my facial aesthetics, I was naturally starting to do less dentistry. And as I did less dentistry, I was doing more facial aesthetics and I was just increasing my days and decreasing, you know, and decreasing where it needed to be or sort of analysing. You know what is my workflow like. What do I want to do, you know, and how do I go about doing this? And you know, I guess I didn’t make that complete leap over to facial aesthetics or even now, when I’m trying to decide whether I want to make that completely into just training a lot more. You know it’s still. It’s still taking, you know, I add and take away from the least, the least enjoyable or, I guess, the least profitable, because ultimately for me it isn’t about money, but when you have a family you kind of have to be the most productive you can, and that means in terms of income as well, with the time that you have, when you’re assigning that to your work, part of your life, and I don’t want my work life to be as much as I actually. You know, pre kids I’d happily have it seven days a week, 24 hours a day, but when children come into the plan it just becomes like your priorities change. And I still love every aspect of dentistry and facial aesthetics Like I really do but I also love being a mum and I want to be present, I want to be there, and you know it obviously helps that I have a husband who really allows me to do all those work and business related things and still get to come home and be a glory mum. But you know, I still want to be there more, and when you have to kind of look at your life like that, you do have to take things that either bring you joy or give you an income so that you can spend more time at home. And so for me, I did start taking out dentistry because I I I guess if I didn’t have kids I probably would have carried on for as long as I could do, but I do, and so you know you have to make these decisions eventually, and it’s the right thing to do, because how that’s how you grow and that’s how you progress. So that’s how I did it, but you’re right, I think. I think you’ll either leap into something like blindly and you’ll do really well. I mean, there’s definitely a cause for that, because then if you completely drop what, what makes you money, and jump into what is a hobby, then you have to make it work right. You can’t, there’s no doubt about it, and you probably will be really successful. You brave enough to do that, and if you are like, I’d encourage it because you will really make it work. But if you’re not doing it this way, totally works as well. I mean, it’s allowed me to do it for the best part of four and a half years.

Dr James: 29:04

I think the biggest thing that I needed to hear for a long time, and maybe there’ll be some people listening to this podcast who could. This will resonate with, or this will help really for me. When we were talking about money just a second ago, I spent a lot of time just trying to make as much money as I possibly could, and what an unhealthy mindset, because there’s no upper limit to that, providing that you have enough to live on and enough to save. Then, after that, there is a little bit of leeway or scope for you to do something interesting or something outside of dentistry, or something that can be a side gig or something that can be another, a complete, other entire hobby or dimension of your life. But that sounds so obvious but I didn’t know that for so long and I used to spend I used to work in clinic six days and I look back on that and I think you know there was so much time. If you have the drive and the passion, that spare time outside of work, you can do amazing things with that. You can try out so many other things that can enhance your life and potentially be business avenues, business ventures, etc. And it’s almost like you choose certainty because you know it’s comfortable, whereas the only, really the only place that some really exciting stuff happen is when you choose a little bit of uncertainty to. So it’s maybe just about purposefully searching out a little bit of uncertainty and seeing what transpires, seeing what magic can happen. And too much certainty Certainly is good to a degree. Certainly is what puts food in the fridge, food on the table, you know, keeps the lights on in the house, doesn’t it really? Because certainly is having an income every month in everything question because generally over, it’s good to have a balance is what I’m saying, and I wish I could somehow send those words back to a younger version of myself, because I really, really, really needed to hear it. And it just so happens for me that that leap into uncertainty has been amazing. I now obviously run dentists who invest, and that’s become a whole source of revenue from itself. Even learning about crypto, that was one of the best decisions that I ever made. That’s a source of revenue for me as well, and both of those things were me thinking to myself actually, what if I just do something entirely different? Don’t learn about dentistry, choose uncertainty and see what happens. That’s where the magic begins, but unfortunately certainly is too big a driver for my past self and for a lot of people and I think that that hearing that will help a lot of people. What do you think on that one, sheila?

Dr Sheila: 31:53

I agree. I think it is also circumstantial as well. If you have a family, of course you can’t. It’s not always easy to choose uncertainty, but I do think we should definitely choose growth. And there are people out there who we start off being quite passionate about dentistry and it’s hard, it’s a really tough career choice. With the notes that we have to write, with the threat of litigation all the time, you can see why people become dispassionate about it and you get into a slog of coming in either doing a UDA or hitting your targets, your sliding scale targets or whatever it is you’re doing, and at the beginning of the career you’re really wanting to grow. You’re going on courses and eventually you get into this sort of slog of things and you’re just going and doing it. And actually I would say it doesn’t necessarily have to be a side gig. Choose to then grow a particular skill set with indentistry, just to reignite your passion with indentistry, so that you can enjoy it more, because we spend so much of our time working that it’s just a shame to not love it. And if you don’t love it absolutely, yeah, take that leap and go and do something uncertain and find a different joy, because we spend too much time working to be able to hate what you do, and it’s just all to be scared of being sued all the time.

Dr James: 33:18

I think, something that’s really valuable and something that’s very noncommittal, and it doesn’t really make you decide that you have to either leave your job or pursue something else on the side, immediately, at the point that you do. It is to create an online presence or to create a social media platform which shares with the world what you like.

Dr Sheila: 33:44

Or an alter ego. Or an alter ego. Pretend to be someone else for a while.

Dr James: 33:50

Well, yes, I’m James Martin by day and Batman by night. I think people will agree with the real identity of Batman, was it’s me. But yes, that’s another story. But yeah, the thing about having a social media presence is you can do it, you can grow it, just when you have some free time. You can do it around your job. You can learn more about what it is that you’re passionate about. You can connect with other people who enjoy what you enjoy. You begin to be better at whatever that skill is because of the spread of knowledge between you and the people who follow you on that social media platform. And that’s the side of social media that people don’t often hear people here about the negative side, the fake news, whatever all of that stuff. That’s the side of social media that I honestly think needs a huge PR change, and it’s something that I had no idea about until I did it myself. So if there’s anybody out there, he does have a passion or an interest in something. Start a following, aim it at a demographic that you know that you can relate to and that can relate to you. So for lots of people that would be dentists and you know what. If it doesn’t take off. It doesn’t take off and at the very least, it’ll be therapeutic for you to share your journey, to share what you’re interested in. There’s always something to be gained from that. Even if it doesn’t necessarily flourish into this massive channel that has thousands of followers, I just think it’s an incredibly worthy thing. And if it does become something special and it does and if it doesn’t, well, it’s not like you’ve ventured anything, it’s not like you’ve staked anything, maybe a little bit of time. So just something to think about. Just something to think about If you do have something that you’re passionate about. Sheila, we did want to talk about your social media presence. Did you find it really hard to put videos out at the start, or was that something that you took to like a duct of water? Was that something that you were really happy about?

Dr Sheila: 35:48

You know what, like going back to that point before I answer that question about what you were saying about social media and putting yourself out there, I know what it’s like, I mean, I’m quite a self conscious person and I, whatever I put out there, I never watch back, because I literally pick it apart every single time, and the first thing you have to do is just train yourself not to do that. And actually what I would say is that most people don’t care about the things that you’re picking apart with regards to what you’re putting out there. But the one thing that social media did for me was made me more accountable to myself, and so the more that I was trying to make myself into an expert, the more I was becoming an expert, just naturally, at the field.

Dr James: 36:30

That’s brilliant. Yeah, you learn when you teach.

Dr Sheila: 36:34

Yeah, absolutely, and you are either you’re teaching it to patients or you’re trying to teach to other dentists. You’re doing something and the whole point of creating content is because you know something you want to give it to somebody else. You know, and, and, and there’s nothing to be self conscious about that. And to ask you a question, when I first posted my I mean even now to a certain like, there’ll be days where I’m just like, oh, I can’t do that, like I don’t feel, like I’m in the mood. I have to get kind of right in the right mind space to be able to create a video. And in, I would say in the first, the first couple of, maybe the first few months, I was doing it. I was sitting there and I was tweaking the videos, I was editing it as we caught, and you know, a two minute video would take me an hour and a half to record, because I want to get it right and perfectly like said on camera, without any arms, ars, butts and any of those things. And and I would break me because I spent so much time and I put it and then no one would even watch it, like maybe maybe like my mom or my sister or they go on. They come up like, yeah, you did really well, I really like them. I’m like, okay, but you know what like, and I go back to those videos and I quite like them. I quite like how, how like, how like self conscious I was in them, and but what I would say is actually just put a lot of them out there, just keep doing it, keep doing it. And to you and naturally you just get better at it and I wouldn’t say that I’m great at it. I just don’t care anymore. I just I just do it because you know, this is what I want to say. I’m going to say if you want to listen, you listen. If you don’t, you know that’s fine. Like, just scroll past and don’t be self conscious about it, because there are people that are going to want to listen, even if it’s not an educational video, if it’s an experience like. Actually, most of my videos that get the most listens and the most the most interaction are the ones where I talk about my experiences have been a mom, like how difficult it is to to be really good at what you do, but also to really want to be, to be present, the amount and you know my, my experience of trying to raise children or or try to breastfeed, all of those things I actually get a lot more. I get a lot more interaction with those and I think that’s because it makes me a little bit more approachable and human and and I would say, do those things and be yourself. And it was only through social media that actually I was able to grow myself and and and to to to, to grow better in doing that and it’s a great platform. You kind of have to be on social media now. I would say that it’s really difficult to build a career even and this doesn’t just mean Instagram. It’s linked in, it’s everything. It’s linked in it’s it’s it’s it’s Instagram, it’s Facebook, it’s tick tock or whatever it is. The next cool thing is you know it is at a moment. You, you just have to be, because this is our world now. You know it’s digital. That’s how, how people respond and they want to see more of you. They want to see more about who is injecting their face, who is that’s in draining their teeth. That that’s what patients want and you know, when I’m training other people, they want to see what I’m like on a day to day basis. They want to be able to be able to see that they can relate to me. So therefore, they do want me to train them, or they want me to mentor them, or want to go on the course I’m training in, and that’s really important because you build relationships that way. So I think social media is really important. I think that everybody you need to get out there. You just get started with it. And get started with it early, when nobody knows you, because then you can look up as much as you like and save those ones. Save those ones for the when you’re feeling a bit low. You just need you want to laugh at yourself a little bit.

Dr James: 39:59

That’s a good point Did you get that as well.

Dr Sheila: 40:02

Were you just, were you just great at just being on camera? You must have, it must have been. I reckon it’s the same for everybody.

Dr James: 40:10

No, I was terrible. I was so self conscious and those first few videos I used to Well, I can say this now because it doesn’t bother me any longer, but at the start I used to um and ask so much in the podcast that I used to go back to the podcast and edit them out and if anybody listens really closely they can hear where I’ve added to them out, because you just hear, like a little book like that, like a little one, 30th of an um, you know something like that. And you know what, even after I did it, there was a few, there was a few that I just thought, oh my goodness, I’ve spent an hour. I don’t have anything. You know, I spent an hour editing this. I don’t have anything left in the tank to edit it because it’s so tedious. Yeah cutting out those little bits at exactly the right point when the um starts and when it ends, and I just thought you know what. I’m just going to put it up now and if you listen to them, you can still hear. There’s still quite a few in there and, by the way, those are the post edited ones, so you can imagine how many there were at the start. It is something I still do, it to the degree that I still look back, and it’s still something that I’m getting better at and everybody. You can never you can always get better at speaking. There’s no up limit, there’s no upper limit on that whatsoever. So I still listen to them back and there’s little things that I critique. But two things happen. One is you care a lot less and to get better, and then there’s just that magic point where it reaches, where you’re just content with it, no matter what, and you know you you’ll always get better, you’ll always improve. Things will always be on an upward tangent in terms of how well you were rate, how well you speak. Therefore, it becomes way less time consuming and way more natural and, by the way, way more fun. It actually comes. I look forward to shooting the podcast now. I genuinely enjoy it. I love, you know, meeting the guests here in their story, talking to them. I look forward to putting them out. I love it when people message me and they say oh, I really like this podcast, what did you think about this? It’s awesome, it’s brilliant. I also wanted to talk just about one tiny little thing that you mentioned there. I don’t know if anybody out there is a big fan of Gary Vee, but I’ve got. Do you know who Gary Vee is? Gary Vaynerchuk.

Dr Sheila: 42:24

No, he is. I’ve got a pen and I’ve written it down. I love taking a. I always write. I always love a good recommendation for anybody. I’ve written his name down.

Dr James: 42:34

Oh, he’s awesome, You’ll love him. It’s all about. I don’t think he’s everyone’s cup of tea. He’s this extremely high energy, motivational coach, business man from America and there’s a lot of people that would say that he’s a bit too intense. But he’s like that for reasons, because he’s extremely successful in what he does and he has so many pearls of wisdom that he offers on his podcast, the Gary Vaynerchuk, the Gary Vee experience. I believe it’s called the Gary Vee audio experience. That’s what it is. So, sheila, if you’ve got any free time when you’re in the gym and you want to podcast, listen to 100%. There’s so many gems in there about social media, etc. How to grow a presence, how to grow your business in the 21st century and just being a good guy as well Just being a good person and how that’s not only nice for your personal relationships but it’s also helpful for you as a business brand too. There’s lots of stuff in there, but the reason that it brought up Gary Vee was he was listen, he was when you were talking about Putting yourself out there and social media. He was always. He was saying that social media because of. We always tend to think that social media has hit peak mass and is completely saturated with opinions. It is, if you try to do what everyone else is already doing, all right. So let’s say, for example, you have Kim Kardashian. There’s a million people who want to be Kim Kardashian and they post pictures like break the internet. Here is you know, here is me looking classy and I don’t know, wearing these, uh, the stress or all of these things. I don’t, I don’t know.

Dr Sheila: 44:10

I don’t really know what Sounds like you’re a big Kim Kardashian follower there. Yeah, I might be. Uh, as you can tell, I follow her avidly.

Dr James: 44:18

Yes, indeed, secret follower I’m totally get. Yeah, I really don’t even know what it is she posts. But what I’m saying is that let’s say, for example, you try to Like with me investing, right, and crypto. There’s loads of investing in crypto pages, but what there’s not loads off is an investing in crypto page for dentists. Okay, now the reason why there are big players, there are big companies who have created Investing pages and crypto pages and stuff like that. So what they’re going for? They’re going for the mass market, right, they’re going for where the majority of people are, where the majority of money is. But what? It’s not what they don’t do. They rarely niche. And they rarely do that for two reasons one, because it’s not worth it to them, because it’s small potatoes from their perspective when you’re talking about massive companies, and two, because they don’t have the ability to resonate with this subsection group of people. So if you can find something that speaks to enough people it speaks to maybe even just a thousand people you have enough in there for To create a community and maybe even to create something that could be a viable business further down the line. And let’s say, let’s use an example, let’s say, you are Someone. I’m just making this up as I go along, so this might be a terrible example. Let’s say it’s. Let’s say it’s glasses, and it’s glasses for I don’t know farmers Okay, and then they look really cool, but it’s only only farmers find them really cool, or they have this one specific feature that makes them really useful to farmers. Like you can see your sheep really well, and was that a really bad analogy? I just made that up with the top of my head, oh, mate well, you probably gonna attract a load of farmer listeners.

Dr Sheila: 46:10

Now, maybe, maybe, I mean maybe, that could be a good business idea.

Dr James: 46:13

But put it like this there’s no company out there, there’s no other business Out there that does that, and maybe there’s loads of farmers that need these glasses. So to those farmers who need those glasses you’re absolute gold dust. Okay, yeah, because they can’t get that anywhere else. So you’re in a market of one Competing against one person. That’s you. You have that whole market, you have that whole Demographic. It’s totally yours. No one else will go there. One because you’ll get bigger enough to not make it worth a while, but not very much time. And two Because, in the grander scheme of things, to big companies is small potatoes, but to an individual that could easily be enough money to live on, to subsist on and even do really well on. Even with that number of people, even with that couple thousand people, something really special can happen. And when I heard Gary V say that, I was like oh my goodness, you’re so right. Social media has never hit peak saturation because there are so many people that are not really good at that. But I think that’s a really good question, because there is limitless opportunities like that. What do you think of that, sheila? That was just me speaking from the heart.

Dr Sheila: 47:19

That was all off the cuff. I I was. I was listening to the audiobook atomic habits Just just yesterday actually, and he makes a point of that, doesn’t he? He basically says I haven’t read it. I haven’t read that book. Oh, you’re not ready. It’s amazing, it’s well, I didn’t read it. I had it as an audiobook. It really, really made a point of saying that. Actually, if you are, I mean I’m not going to use it because I can’t remember. He’s excited. I’m not. I’m crap at recalling. Um no, it’s okay, that’s not a swear word, that’s fine, but it’s still PG, it’s still basically saying that if you, you know, if you want to be great at something, it’s really difficult to be great at something that you know. For example, you know you want it to be the best basketball player, that it’s going to be really difficult Because there’s going to be loads of people there. But if you keep adding on, like complete, different, unique areas and building in, like you know, maybe you’re a basketball player, that you’re, that I cannot use a basketball player because I don’t even remember the guy that he used the name it’s such an obvious name that he used. But like, for example, you know, if I’m a dentist, that then does facial aesthetics really well, and, um, but then there are also that you know I want to be great dentists, lots of great dentists. I want to do facial aesthetics and you know there’s less dentists that do facial aesthetics really well. And now you know I’m starting to research, um, how I can use dermal fillers in the gums to treat black triangles, and I’m going to be amazing at that. I’m going to really work at that. I’m going to be really good at that, because I’m going to provide a non-surgical Alternative and I’m going to be awesome at that and there’s not that many people doing that, and so it’s easier for me to be epic at that, because there’s I’m now competing against Probably a couple of other people versus all the dentists in the world. So it’s kind of like stacking All the things that you’re good at good at to then make it your business and be really great in that field, and then you can put that on social media, because then other people are like you know, I didn’t even know that existed. That is awesome that now I can start sending referring patients. You can start referring your patients to me if they have black triangles and they want it treated non-surgically, because I can eject A little bit of gum filler in there and just plump it out.

Dr James: 49:20

Stacking specialties.

Dr Sheila: 49:23

That’s it and it’s, it’s, it’s awesome and I never thought of it that way.

Dr James: 49:27

Yeah, definitely, yeah, that’s that’s gonna speak to a lot of people who are listening, I’m sure. and that Gary V thing I’d never thought about that, because what a lot of people do is they tend to go where Most of you the majority of attention is, but that’s also where the majority of influencers or people are already and really it’s Nishing and stack and specialities, like you say, and it’s almost counterintuitive in a way. And then, yeah, you might not never get a A million followers or however many the Kardashians have, but you don’t actually need that many to be Assac to enjoy the benefits of a side hustle or social media presence. That was awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that. By the way, she I would add, sorry before you.

Dr Sheila: 50:13

Yeah, social media is. I actually do a lot on social media but I don’t spend any of my time looking at social media. I mean a podcast and things different, but, like, for example, instagram, I spend none of my time on it because I actually think it can be quite damaging. And, you know, sometimes you end up in a black hole of you know, just, I don’t think it’s real. I think a lot of stuff on social media isn’t real and you know it’s augmented or photo-sharpened. You know, I think sometimes it can have a real negative impact on you and it’s really important to talk about that, because mental health is a real thing, a real issue and and I found that a lot of times when I’m feeling my lowest, that’s usually where I tend to go on. You know, looking through social media, thinking that it will make me feel better, and actually it just makes me feel worse because it makes me think that you know it makes you, it always makes you feel that you know you haven’t reached enough. You haven’t attained enough. You, you know, even got the best hair, the best skin, you know the best skills, you’re not doing enough photography, you’re not taking the best photographs. You know you’re not. You know your colleagues are so much higher up than where you wanted to be. I took a break to have children and that was a horrible spiral for me to just be on social media and be like I really want these children, but actually you know what my career is on hold and that really sucked and that was really difficult. It was really hard to step away and look at. You know where I’m at and you always compare yourself. So I would say it’s really good for your mental health to just not spend a lot of your time looking through other people’s social media that bring you no positivity, like you need to take that out of your life and take and get that. Get that out out of your life.

Dr James: 51:53

Takes discipline to do that, by the way, it’s, it’s really, it’s a. You’re totally right, it’s actually hard to do and I find myself Just browsing on Instagram and Facebook way too much and I don’t even want to share publicly what my screen you know. When your iPhone gives you that notification about your screen time Average daily, I don’t even want to share what that was last week, but it was a bit of a wake-up call for me. I actually thought to myself there is, there is not enough. How did I manage to eat and go to the gym and do other things that day when I spent that many hours on the screen time. It actually puzzled me, so that was a bit of a wake-up call for me, but anyway, that’s a story for another day. Sheila, it’s been wonderful having you on the podcast today. So much wisdom shared, so many exciting things that we’ve talked about, which will help other people on their side gigs, no doubt. What would you say to anybody who’s listening today? We’ve we’ve made a bit of a tradition of wrapping up podcasts and side gigs month by answering this question what would you say to anybody who’s listening today who’s thinking about taking the leap with their respective side gig? What are your words of wisdom on this final question before we wrap up to this evening?

Dr Sheila: 53:11

I would say go for it, because If you’re a dentist you’ll always have that skill and it doesn’t, you can always go back to it, but you’ll never be able to get that time back and you’ll always regret it if you don’t Push your head and have you know to take that plunge and do that. You know I would say go ahead, do it and and if you have to go backwards you can. There’s no shame in doing that. But just try and to you, until you try, you will never know a.

Dr James: 53:37

Wise man once said that when you look back over your life, you’ll miss the opportunities, that you’ll regret most of the things that you didn’t do, rather than the things that you did. And that struck a huge chord with me and it’s definitely been a huge impetus for me to do what I do and try other things, and I’m very lucky that I’ve there’s been some success somewhere along the line. I’d never say that I’m successful, but certainly it’s been fun, it’s been a journey, it’s been an experience and, yeah, I’m very grateful. Awesome, sheila, thank you so much for coming on. It’s been a pleasure.

Dr Sheila: 54:09


Dr James: 54:11

I hope you have yeah, it’s been awesome.

Dr Sheila: 54:13

Thank you for having me my pleasure, sheila.

Dr James: 54:16

We’re gonna wrap up now. It’s been an absolute pleasure, as I said, to have you on the show. We shall speak again very soon. See you later.

Dr Sheila: 54:22

See you.

Dr James: 54:26

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