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January 25th, 2023

Episode 168 – Get The Inside Scoop on How Dentists Are Working Only Three Days a Week and Dominating Their Areas!

I think that’s the beautiful thing about being a dentist and dental practice owner: we can live life on our terms.” ~Dr. Paul Etchison

Are you just plain beat from the never-ending grind of owning a dental practice? Are you tired of being pulled in a million different directions, with little time for your loved ones, and zero time for yourself? It’s time to break free from the cycle of burnout and take back control of your life – and your practice.

Imagine working less, yet achieving more. 

Does that sound too good to be true? 

It’s not.

In this episode, PDA Alumni Paul Etchison joins Dr. Chad to share the revolutionary secret of moving to a three-day workweek. This game-changing strategy will not only provide you the time you deserve to live life on your terms but also massively boost the productivity of your practice.

Do not miss this conversation, where you’ll discover 

  • the two types of burnout most experienced by dentists
  • the six big things you need to do in your practice to get back on track, 
  • and how reducing your clinical hours can take your practice to the next level. 

Take the first step towards a balanced and successful life today.
Also, don’t forget to check out Dr. Paul Etchison’s book Dental Practice Hero II: How a 3-Day Work Week Can Give You the Life You Want


Regan 0:00
Hi, Dr. Regan, Robertson, CCO productive dentist Academy here and I have a question for you. Are you finding it hard to get your team aligned to your vision, but you know, you deserve growth just like everybody else? That’s why we’ve created the PDA productivity workshop. For nearly 20 years PDA workshops have helped dentists just like you align their teams, get control of scheduling, and create productive practices that they love walking into every day. Just imagine how you will feel when you know your schedule is productive. Your systems are humming, and your team is aligned to your vision. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. We can help. The demand for these workshops is so high that our March 2023 workshop is completely sold out but there are still seats available for the only remaining workshop in September 2023. Visit that’s to secure your seats now.

Regan 1:32
Regan, Robertson here host of Everyday Practices Dental Podcast, Dr. Chad Johnson and I believe you deserve tips you can use to grow your practice and that’s why we began this podcast. Last year we were honored to win the Best podcast of 2021 award by and we are so excited to announce that we have been nominated again. If you have found value in hearing our podcast, we would sure appreciate your vote, head on over to www dot dental to vote for everyday practices dental podcast so others have the chance to learn about us. Thank you for your support. Now, let’s get to our latest episode.

Dr. Chad Johnson 2:08
Hey everybody, this is Chad Johnson. I’m here with our PDA alumnus Paul etchison. For our everyday practices dental podcast here in early January 2023. Dr. Paul, how are you, buddy? It’s been a while.

Dr. Paul Etchison 2:21
I’m good, man. How you doing?

Dr. Chad Johnson 2:22
I’m doing well. So thanks for coming on, you know, we have kind of shorten up our episodes to where we’re cutting to the chase. I wanted to get you on to talk about your new book because your first book we had talked about on your well, just a little bit on your podcast, but then also on our podcast and your podcast name just so everyone knows dental podcast here are dead. Sea row, no pride podcast. Yes and so the first book I thought was gold and I think I told you privately I was just like, that’s, that’s totally a story brand, you know, book because I was just like, the way that you’re structuring that I was just like, there’s, there’s a lot of elements to that and so kudos to you, I really like him to when he, you know, introduces those ideas, and you did a fantastic job of inner entering that into your book. So you thought I’m gonna write book number two? When did that start in your brain? And like, how did it come to fruition?

Dr. Paul Etchison 3:20
I think after the first one, and it was well received, it was something that I wrote before I started the podcast, it was like kind of came out the same time as I started the podcast and, you know, it’s just like anyone anything like sometimes I do coaching and I’ve had coaching clients, they say to me, I’ll tell them stories and they go, I can’t believe you’re still having these issues at your your practice. I’m like, man, it never gets to a point where you don’t have issues you keep keep learning along the way.

Yeah and then after, you know, four or five years of interviewing guests, and our practice going from five operatories to 11, operatories, you know, doubling in revenue running a large team of over 40 employees, you learned a lot, I learned a lot more. So I wanted to write another book that was kind of focused on more.

So the premise of the book is I want people to get down to three days clinical and this was something that kind of happened to me, by happenstance, just kind of I wanted to get out of the clinical because I was getting burnt out and it was getting really hard to manage this large team but what I noticed is, as I pulled myself out clinical, the practice started running a lot better and I started making more money, I started taking more, taking a home more at the end of the year and it was that I was dedicating time towards running the practice versus seeing patients all the time. Yeah. So the book is about how to get yourself to three days because I mean, it’s the bare minimum. It’s just life is better if you’re not seeing patients over three days a week. I mean, it’s better at two days

Dr. Chad Johnson 4:41
taxing and I think you’re in a good crowd of you know, the people that are listening to this are going to understand because they’re likely dentists and they get that either way I see it. There’s two kinds of burnout and I want you to talk on this but like, one kind of burnout is because you’re frustrated that everything’s sucking. The other kind of burnout is when you start to figure out how to be so awesome and like you’re actually killing it and then you can get burnt out because you’re like, Well, why not just drink from a fire hydrant? And you know, totally, like, Let’s kill it but I don’t know, if you remember to Johnny shakes, you know, like, he basically figured out how to be killing it and then I think he was getting to the point where he was like, now I’m burnout, you know, the poor guy but that’s an awesome problem to have. Did you run across that? Well, I

Dr. Paul Etchison 5:28
think it’s a good problem to have, like you mentioned, because anytime you’re getting at these, these capacity points, as I call them, in my book, when you reach a point where there’s something needs to change, you’re feeling that stress, it’s a good problem to have, because that means you can pivot and try to do something new, and take the practice to a new level. For me, it was that I think, when I look back is that my team was growing, my team was getting larger, 40 plus employees and I was still seeing patients a lot and there was so much I wanted to do, there was so many like hygenist, I wanted to sit down and just work on verbiage with I wanted to sit down at the front desk and be like, how can we make things run smoother and I wanted to do these things and I was excited to do them.

I enjoy doing that sort of stuff but it was like I had to come in and see patients and I wanted to get to this stuff but I had to see more patients, and then a patient calls and then I’ll have to stay late and then I got to come in my off day and I should be working on training the team and I got to see more patients and it just gave me this like really bad bitterness towards what jobs Yeah, I was doing two jobs and I couldn’t I was really excited to do the business expert aspect of it but I wasn’t that excited for the dentistry anymore and I thought I hate dentistry. I don’t I still practice dentistry but it’s it was it was like I didn’t have enough time to do it and then what started happening is I was like, okay, you know what, Mondays? I’m not seeing patients, I’m just coming in, I’m working on the business and that worked for like three weeks and then I’d be there. They’d be like, hey, this patient called Can you see him? You’re here anyway? Can’t you see him? Yeah, there’s a there’s a recall patient here.

They really want you to do your exam. Can you see it? I just was like, Yeah, I’m here, what the heck not and then before I knew it, I’d have a patient on the schedule on a Monday and then this front desk would see I had another patient they were you know, and then they got booked and be booked for five hours. Just dude, like, why can so I stopped coming in on Mondays. I’m like, I can’t do it like, right. So it was this transition that I kind of had to figure out on my own. It’s how do I get the practice to run without me? How do I empower my leads more? But then also, how do I set the boundaries on what I’m willing to do to see patients because there was this critical turning point when we were having a meeting as a team? And because for some patients would be super upset, man, I was seeing Dr. H forever. What do you mean, he I can’t see him for another six months and that’s BS and, and finally I just said, You know what, I’m not doing fillings anymore. I’m not doing crowns anymore. I only want to do ortho, I only want to do cosmetic work.

That’s all I want to do and if it’s not that they have to see somebody else and I told the team, I said, Hey, I know patients get upset with this. If it’s a deal breaker that I have to do their dentistry for them to stay patients here, you can offer them to send the record somewhere else, because that’s the point I’m at and that was this critical turning point where they’re like, really, you’d lose a patient over it and I just said, if that’s a deal breaker for the patient, then we’re not a good match as a practice doctor-patient relationship anymore and that was like where things started changing where they started diverting towards my associates.

Like, you know what, he doesn’t do that procedure anymore. You know, what’s funny about it is nobody left. I mean, I’m sure somebody left, but they all stayed in the practice. They were upset with it, but they just want they wanted to keep their hydrogel. It’s a game of chicken, isn’t it? Yeah, that’s kind of what a battle of the wills but it was amazing that I had this big roadblock in my mind that I can’t do this and then I finally I just did it because I just couldn’t handle it anymore and that was when I really started seeing like, wow, like now the energy I’m putting into the practice is really is it’s taking the practice to a new level and it was also part of me looking at, you know, what did I take home last year? And then I say, Okay, well look at how much dentistry I have produced.

If I paid myself 30% of my production, how much of that take home was because of the production and how much it was because I own an office and it was like 15% of my take home was just doing dentistry and 85% was me running the office. I was spending 80% of my time there, maybe more doing dentistry, you know, so it was like, I needed to spend more time running the office and I think solo practitioner, you got to do both. I mean, you’re the only one there but once you started having more of an associate model, I think your time becomes much more valuable to be the leader to be the trainer to help collaborate, you know, solutions for problems that you’re having to talk to your team and it’s I run just in because that’s where I think you see the big growth and it’s hard to grow when you’re trying to do both things at once. So you’ve

Dr. Chad Johnson 9:38
got so you’ve got some Doc’s though, that aren’t even paying them, like Doc owners that aren’t even paying themselves 30% And so I just want to slow down, you know, to make sure that people get this lately I’ve been wondering if the dentist owner is so much of a martyr that we don’t understand. We should be paid in Two capacities for the two jobs were paid as the administrator slash owner, and as the clinician. So when you’re drilling, you should pay yourself as an associate, whether it’s 20% 35%, whatever you’re going rate for your area, or your arbitrary number, whatever you want that to be, but let’s just, you know, middle of the road for today, something like 30%. And then, you know, like, you’re looking at taking home, you know, 10% of the business’s profit, maybe 15, and if you’re killing it, maybe 20%.

But I even just, I mean, you so add that together, you’ve got 30% 15%. So 45% of the practice with a 55% overhead, which is also tight to do, you know, but like that, hypothetically, you should be paying yourself at that rate and yet, I don’t know, I’ve heard of, like some consultants to say that, you know, some dentists are working for less than their hygienist and so in other words, they’re not even paying themselves 10% as the clinical dentist, let alone 10% As the owner, so how would that look for them, like if they were to baby step, and not to give away all the secrets of your book, because the problem is, there’s such a large span of dentists you know, some people that are on the cusp, no pun intended, of being able to, to implement what you’re talking about. That being you know, the three day workweek, that’s the subtitle of your book, and giving that the life you want but then there’s some people that kind of need to put in some hard work administratively.

I mean, you did that and then you got those that goes back to to burnouts, the you’re no good, relatively speaking at the business aspect and so then you’ve got to kill it at dentistry to even make a buck but you also then need to work administratively once you get the administrative part down. That might be the point where people can pick up and start to go, Okay, now, in order to protect the burnout, I should earn the life that I want by by cutting back and almost creating scarcity. There was a whole lot at you right there but what were your thoughts when you heard all that? Yeah, so

Dr. Paul Etchison 12:13
I mean, the first thing is that when you’re a solo owner, and I did the same thing, I had no idea how much it would be to pay myself as an associate, because you just you pay the payroll, and then at the end of the month, you take his lunch, and you go out to get you know, here’s my operating reserve, I’m gonna leave it at that I’m gonna empty the checking account into my own and leave maybe, you know, 40 50k into there, or whatever people do for their operating reserve but it’s like, you don’t know how much of that is from the dentistry? And how much is, you know, for running the business?

Because you’re just taking what’s left over? So if you looked at it from an aspect of saying, What would this be for dentistry, if I paid myself 30%, because as you mentioned, that’s just a nice average, then you get to see how much of that extra money you take home is the business owner profit and when you see that, then you can say, well, I produced a million dollars with my own hands last year and this is what I made, if I made 300,000 on that million dollars, because I paid myself 30%. If I had an associate come in and produce a million dollars, they’d get paid that 300,000 but whatever’s left, I would still get and I didn’t even have to pick up a handpiece and I’m not saying you should cut out clinical completely.

I think it should be something you dial down slowly but if if someone’s kind of looking at this and saying like, what do I do? How do I get myself down? You know, my premise in the book is that there’s only really six big things that we have to do in a practice and every decision should be kind of guided by these things and we have to increase for things, we have to increase new patients, we have to increase the dollar spent per patient, we have to increase our scheduling or clinical efficiency, more or less, just how fast we do things and we have to increase our clerkship percentage, those are only four things that we got to do. Now, those are broad, broad categories.

All the while decreasing the two things decreasing how many patients we lose due to attrition, or people going into another office and decreasing our write offs via insurance participation. So it’s like that makes it sound really dumbed down and easy but there’s a lot of elements that go into it. Because as you know, in the chat as a PDA doc, it’s all dollar per hour. What is the office doing per hour? And you know, how can we do more in less and I always say, when you’re going from four or five days to three days, it’s not that you’re, you’re not going to do less, you’re doing the exact same if not more in three days, but you’re getting more focused on that you can do it and I’ve had a number of coaching clients, you know, this is what people reach out to me for is going from four to three days, and I haven’t had a single one. That’s why I like it, man. I’m making less money.

Because I think what we don’t realize is that we’ve got so many gaps in our schedule on so many little Oh, yeah, that when we cut it down to three days, and we just get more efficient. It’s like nothing changes but then But then the greedy guy wants to go, Well, if I could do that in three days, what can I do? And four, it’s like, no, that’s not the idea.

You use that fourth day to run everything or you just go golfing, you know whatever you want. You spend more time with your family. I mean, I was a I own my practice for 10 years, and a little over 10 years now and I would say the first six of them, man is like my, my oldest was young, I missed a lot of that I was focused on the practice I was, I was thinking about it all the time talking about it all the time. It was like I lived and went to sleep, I woke up and started thinking about it. Sure, and to the detriment of my family and my wife and and in retrospect, I see that now but it’s, it’s something that I’ve reached this point where I’m like, what am I really doing this for? What am I living for, and it’s, it’s, you should be doing the things that you enjoy, you shouldn’t be having day after day, where you’re spending a lot of time doing things that that bring you joy, rather than stuff that feels like a grind. If anything feels like a grind, you got to figure out why does this feel like such a grind and do something about it?

Because I mean, as we know, we don’t know, when our clocks going to be up. It’s, it could be tomorrow, it could be 20 years from now but you know, we’ve got to live life on our terms and I think that’s one of the beauty things, beautiful things about being a dentist and a dental practice owner is we can do that and over the course of my career, I’ve had so many things that you know, let’s collect before the patient schedules all they won’t go for that. I’m going to take off 16 weeks a year, well, that’s not going to be okay, patients are going to be upset. I’m not checking hygiene anymore. I’m not seeing new patients anymore and every one of these things like my initial reaction was I can’t do that at my practice but I could, and I did and it was fine and it’s so I would just say anyone who’s a practice owner, look at what you’re doing at your practice. Look at what you like and what you dislike, and start moving to do more, spend more time doing things you like there’s always a solution for this.

There’s a way to make this work and I think that’s one of the beautiful, beautiful things about dentistry is that we’ve got this flexibility and there’s nothing that says you can’t just show up one day a week. Now. Do you need some associates? If you’re gonna do one day a week? Yeah, probably. I mean, you know, your patients call and are like, Hey, can I get in there? Like, well, we just saw yesterday, you need a bite adjustment on October 6 days. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So I mean, but there’s a way to make it work and can you can bring on associates, they’re not going to be you on 100%. And that’s okay, they’re going to be good, the patients are going to like him and as long as you’re attentive and calibrating and providing mentorship, you can have a good associate that can provide nicely for your patients.

My practice is doing, you know, almost four times as much as it was as me as a solo provider and I don’t think we’re doing bad dentistry, I think we’re helping four times more people, we’re writing four times more value. So there is nothing wrong with running that kind of practice. It’s not a crown mill. It’s not about volume. It’s about taking great care of people within the boundary of ethics. We’re not doing anything unethical. It’s just a larger practice that’s a little bit more efficient and has a lot more volume than most practices are used to. Right. Yeah,

Dr. Chad Johnson 17:49
I thought of this when you were talking about going from four days to three days. I gave my daughter, you know, a while to clean up her room, and I go in and find that she’s just playing, you know, when she should have been picking up and that sometimes I think, you know, like, if it’s like, Man, I kind of had a busy day. It’s like, were you actually busy cleaning up problems? Or were you just kind of playing? Yeah, and because it’s amazing how there are some days that flow and they’re more financially lucrative and productive than the slow days. That’s so weird, but I’m so tired on a slow day. Yeah, you know,

Dr. Paul Etchison 18:31
me too. Like, I want to go go go, I want to be busy and you mentioned like playing around. There’s so many dentists like us that we sit there and we play office, you know, we’re doing the payroll, we’re doing the bookkeeping, we’re scanning invoices, we’re paying vendors, we’re paying bills and I mean, these are all things that we can just delegate, you know, there’s this great book called clockwork by Michael woods, and it talks about the queen bee role and says, you know, that queen bee lays eggs, all the all she does all day she lays eggs the hive grows but then what if she gets interrupted by bees that are saying, hey, we want to go check out this pollen, we want to go over here, we want to do this and she just tried to lay her eggs like leave me alone, I just gotta lay my eggs.

That’s my job here and that’s what we do with as owners, we should be providing leadership, providing guidance, fostering collaboration with team members but we get pulled in all these directions and then we have all this busy stuff. We do like the payroll that we could be delegating to someone else and in so it’s like, a lot of the three-day stuff is making investments in your time by putting extra time in training other people how to do things that you don’t want to do anymore and if we a lot of us graduate, we say I want to make a great income as a dentist.

You can’t make a great income as a dentist. If you’re doing administrative work that somebody would do for 20 bucks an hour, you know, you’re gonna get paid what the value provides, right? So it’s like let’s get these things off of our plate and delegate them to team members and you can go all the way to just allocating leadership, you can bring that up all the way up to the chain. So where you practically do nothing. I mean, my goal is one day I want to show up in my practice, and people be like, Who is that? Who is that person? Like, you know, like, I’m not there yet but it’s sometimes it feels like that and you know, I can’t tell you how many times I’ll walk into practice, and I’ll see somebody I don’t recognize. I’m like, Oh, hey, I’m an apologist and what’s your name? When did you start? Oh, yeah, I just started last week. Oh, cool. You know,

Dr. Chad Johnson 20:25
it’s like when it gets to the point where like, 10 years from now, they’re like, I started three months ago and you’re like, no kidding.

Dr. Paul Etchison 20:32
Right? You know, what’s funny is I took two weeks off and then went in, and I think I was there for two weeks and then I asked my assistant lead. I’m like, I won’t say her name but I’m like, Hey, where’s that girl? I haven’t seen her while she’s like, Oh, she quit? And I’m like, Oh, okay. I did, I guess, I guess we’re down one. Alright, didn’t even notice. You know, it’s like, so it’s like, you get stuck in your little bubble but it’s a that’s the bubble I want to be in right now. I’m liking this bubble.

Dr. Chad Johnson 20:58
So someone picks this book up? Should this be a continuation of the dental practice hero?

Dr. Paul Etchison 21:06
Well, good question. Because I, you know, I’ve been getting on podcasts and talking about it and what I’m realizing is that my first book is now being bought at about the same rate as my second book, because I think people feel like it. The second book does say the sequel, but it is a standalone book and personally, I think if you’re going to just buy one, I really liked the second book better and it’s because it’s got all those years of me being a podcast host, interviewing people. Yes. Because, you know, like, when you interview people, like sometimes it’s like, Oh, I’m just asking the questions for the listener. Now, I’m getting a lot out of this too. Like a lot of times, I’m asking questions that are pertinent to my situation and they’re just, they’re just, it’s a higher level in the second book? And I think it is it has the first book was more about generally, how we run a great practice.

How do we have a great team? The second book is more about what is the mindset in the stuff that I need to bring as a leader to lead these people to our goals and then it’s kind of nuts and bolts step by step. What do we figure out? How do we set the goals? And how do we work on all these little things that can get us to the goal of three days a week it doesn’t matter if you if you’re a solo provider if you’re a multi-doc office if you’re multi-practice, all the principles are the same.

We’re just trying to run the most efficient practice possible with the time that we have there and it gives you all these different ways you can go about it. Like I think we were talking before we hit record here. I’m down to just four half days a week or four half days a month now and I’m mostly just doing bandit bracket on kids. That is what I like to do. I for columns of ortho on Tuesday nights for five and a half hours and I love that that is where I go in and I have a really good time, and I hang out with my team and I’ve had some times this year as I took three weeks off not too long ago and there is a limit to how little dentistry you would do or how little you have to do. I mean, I have a lot I do with like real estate and apartment buildings, as well as having the podcast and stuff like that but I had some that we were I had nothing to do and that’s not a good place to be either that pendulum can swing the other way where you’re like, Well, I think I want to go work more, which is strange. I would have never thought that when I was at four days a week,

Dr. Chad Johnson 23:23
that tells me because I’m not there. I mean, is that refreshing at that point?

Dr. Paul Etchison 23:27
Well, it is because then you almost have a different mindset going into it because you’ve realized that I’m going to do this because I want to do this. It’s like that old thing. Likely, if you’re upset about doing something, say, Well, I get to do it and I have to do it but it’s almost like I had to go that full circle to say, You know what, I don’t want to not practice. I want to be there to some extent. Now do I want to feel handcuffed by it and be there all the time? And have everyone texted me when I’m off about issues and arguments between people? No, absolutely not. I don’t want to do that anymore.

Sure but systems come in place. Yeah, exactly, and I and I’ve got systems and in the leadership team that takes care of all that stuff now to where I just go in there and I have fun and I my ortho nights, you see four columns, you know, we’ll see 30 Something people and it’s a lot of like assistant driven and I’ll just be able to front us just kind of talking and just seeing how people are doing it, I enjoy it. Whereas before, I would never go to the front desk and talk to people because I got too much stuff to do.

Yes, so busy. If I get to 10 minutes in between patients, I gotta be in my office like working away if it’s like paperwork, getting back with patients like shooting emails and it’s just a such a better life quality thing for me now and it’s easy to say now that I’m here, but this was always available to me. My whole entire practice you chose was when I Yeah, it was exactly it was when I chose and I set out to do it and that’s why I say like anything you think you can do. You definitely can do it. There’s a way you just have to kind of be more intentional and clear-cut on what you want and then figuring out solutions for those problems. So, so

Dr. Chad Johnson 25:01
interestingly, you know, we’ve got I don’t know if you’ve heard of Timothy Ferriss, his book The Four Hour Workweek. Yeah and but like, that’s almost within the dental realm, the dentist owners so ridiculous and I think the title is audacious in the first place and that’s cool. Yeah and people can do it but like for a dentist owner, it’s like, Well, okay, I don’t know about that. You know, I mean, technically, you’re about pulling that off.

Dr. Paul Etchison 25:26
But I’m close. I’m close, at least for clinical stuff. But

Dr. Chad Johnson 25:29
you know, so the cool thing is, you’ve got a book that’s a lot more tangible in helping people within our sphere of influence, to be able to achieve it. Avoiding the burnout, and growing the practice to what you want to get in the system is in place, tracking those numbers, and then intentionally backing out so that way, you’re not the buttress that’s holding the whole thing up. Yeah,

Dr. Paul Etchison 25:58
exactly and, you know, one thing that I will say is that I’ve always had, I’ve had a leadership team for five years now, like when I’ve had an assistant leader, I got my hygiene lead, you know, I got my office manager and it wasn’t until and I’m not trying to pump the organization, but I partnered up with an organization with a dental DSO and it wasn’t till I sold some equity, that I was able to take some risk out of it and then I really, and I, and since I didn’t have as much risk if you were to ask me, How much do these leads do at the practice? Oh, man, they do everything. I thought I did very little until we shut down for COVID. When we shut down for COVID and I saw what it was like to do very little, I’m like, I do a lot, I handle a lot of emotionally burned psychological burden from this office. So when I came back from COVID, I said I was going to do things differently. That’s what led to the partnership and now only a small piece of my practice, I was able to say,

You know what, you know, to my assistant, who’s now my clinical lead, anything that happens to practice, I trust you just take care of it. Do you know what I would do? And even if you do something I wouldn’t do. I’m still gonna back you up I came in one time and I said to our sick, man, it just feels like nobody’s arguing that the practice really well. Like, what this is crazy, like, what do you get what’s changed? And she goes, Oh, there’s still a ton of stuff happening at the practice but she’s like, we got it under control. Do you want to know about it? And that was the first time I said, No, I don’t know about it. Yeah, and before I had 100% ownership, I’d be like, Yeah, I mean, I gotta know, like, I gotta fix this. Of course, it took me taking off you know, the micromanaging. Not that I was micromanaging but I was,

Dr. Chad Johnson 27:38
but it sometimes can lean that way. Right? I had

Dr. Paul Etchison 27:41
my head and everything. He was arguing, I got to sit him down. I got to talk to both of them. Yep and when I got out of that, I said, Hey, can you do this? Like, can you meet with people? Can you build them up? Can you appreciate them? Can you show gratitude to them? Can you listen to their issues and come up with solutions for them? And they said, Yeah, of course, we could do this and they’ve been doing such a good job. The practice has never run better in me emotionally, I’ve never felt better like this burden has been lifted. In the mechanics of it, I could have done this as 100% owner, I just had to kind of change my mindset but it took me selling equity to be able to do that and that’s it but you don’t have to sell equity to do that you can do this now. It’s 100%. Owner, you just have to trust and I just wish I could have done this way earlier in my career because I think I would have been a much less miserable person for those times when it was like bad, you know, it’d be so

Dr. Chad Johnson 28:30
because like you You alluded to the weight of the problems being on your shoulder, you know, whether it be a practice that HR issues, interpersonally patient issues, a plumbing issue, you know, little stuff, little stuff all adds up, big stuff adds up. Yeah.

Dr. Paul Etchison 28:48
Well, it’s like you mentioned a plumbing issue. I mean, I remember one time back in the day, early in our practice, you know, one of the bathrooms, the toilet, just it just wouldn’t flush anymore. It was just clogged and you couldn’t get it on clogged, and it would just fill up to the brim and it takes like two hours to go down and yes, the solution I was so busy was just to put a sign on the frickin door and shut it. I’ll call a plumber when I can. Right and then like, then it was like three weeks later in my one of my assistants is like, do you want me to call a plumber? I’m like, please just find a plumber and call in, and then the captain was like, it was like, yeah, why couldn’t someone else just do this? Like, I was just like, I sit down, I gotta do that. I gotta do that. Right? And you don’t have to do that your team can do this. Like they want that responsibility. They want that autonomy. They want to feel like they’re contributing something and they will work it maybe they’re not going to be as invested mentally as you but they’ll get pretty damn close and or sadly, sometimes they’ll do better. Yeah, and I think that’s kind of how it’s happening right now. I think in my practice, I think it’s better when I was doing it. It really is

Dr. Chad Johnson 29:49
the right people. Yeah, absolutely true. Yeah. Well, if we get to a million copies sold, will you finally sign my copy?

Dr. Paul Etchison 29:58
Yeah, I will. I will. Right. Do you think we could get that done this week? Maybe this week? What do you have a million people listener reach on your podcast? I

Dr. Chad Johnson 30:10
guarantee I have at least three but yeah, because there are 3 million dentists in America, right?

Dr. Paul Etchison 30:15
Yeah. They all listen. I wonder what

Dr. Chad Johnson 30:19
the dentist numbers at I think, I don’t know if we’re at like 250 or, or something like that 250,000 dentists in America or something? So yeah, hopefully, you can, you know, sell at least 200.

Dr. Paul Etchison 30:30
I’d say those 250,000. I mean, it’s got to be about three 4% listen to podcasts, most of the people literally, most, most of the people don’t care. You know, that’s, that’s, it’s cool but when you go to, like somewhere where you it’s people, whenever something’s promoted on a podcast, or at least think like voices of dentistry, where it’s a podcasting conference. It’s just really cool. Because the people that listen to podcasts are a different breed of dentists. You know,

Dr. Chad Johnson 30:56
what else I’m curious about is if anyone’s listening to this specific episode, drop a line to me, Chad at productive Let me know if you actually are listening to this faster than one Oh, because one of my written goals is that the content goes quick-paced enough that people don’t fast forward me because I’m an audible guy, and I listen anywhere from 1.3 to 1.8 and so like, I don’t, but I’m just like, my mind goes so fast and you’ve been talking at such a clip. I’m just like, if anyone’s listening to this at 1.5, kudos to them, because I just don’t know how they could but you know, maybe it’s possible. I just don’t think of myself as a 1.5. Kind of listener kind of guy on the pod giving the podcast so

Dr. Paul Etchison 31:43
yeah, yeah, I need to slow down sometimes I think I talked to but

Dr. Chad Johnson 31:47
no, this was gold. Well, Brother best wishes with your book. It’s been since the new year, right? Yeah, since a little bit before the new year, a little bit before the new year. So congratulations on that. Thank you for looking forward to seeing where you’re going from there. Because it’s not like you’re going to be quitting anytime soon. So I’m proud of you. I’m proud of what you’ve done for your clients and your community and your office. It’s really cool to hear that kind of stuff. I appreciate you joining us for everyday practices. Dental podcast, buddy. Yeah. Thanks so much, Chad. It’s I want to give a shout-out one more time for your podcast.

Dr. Paul Etchison 32:20
Oh, yeah. Dental Practice heroes podcast. Check it out. It’s where people listen to podcasts wherever they go. Yeah, that sounds right. I appreciate that, man. Thanks for having me on. It’s been fun. Thanks,

Dr. Chad Johnson 32:29
Dr. Powell. We’ll talk soon and that’s the end of the episode, everyone.

Regan 32:34
Thank you for listening to another episode of the Everyday Practices Podcast. Chad and I are here every week. Thanks to our community of listeners just like you and we’d love your help. It would mean the world if you can help spread the word by sharing this episode with a fellow dentist and leaving us a review on iTunes or Spotify. Do you have an extraordinary story you’d like to share? Or feedback on how we can make this podcast even more awesome. Drop us an email at And don’t forget to check out our other podcasts from Productive Dentist Academy at See you next week.

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