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February 15th, 2023

Episode 170 – Don’t Let Dental Entrepreneurial Poverty Happen to You with Regan Robertson & Dr. Chad Johnson

Entrepreneurial poverty comes from the martyrdom that dentists inflict on themselves…and never get past.” ~Dr. Chad Johnson

Entrepreneurial poverty is a real thing. 

You own your practice. You know that comes with sacrifices. So you sacrifice yourself, your money, your time…and you don’t ever see the reward. You constantly run on the hamster wheel, and you’re not getting anywhere. The reward never comes. 

The sad reality is, you can remain in startup mode for far too long in your business. And one of the things that keeps you stuck is entrepreneurial poverty. 

You do not have to live that way. If the business can’t run without you, then you are being run by your business. 

We at Productive Dentist Academy believe every entrepreneurial dentist – like you – deserves to have a valuable dental practice that supports a life you love. 

This is why Regan Robertson and Dr. Chad Johnson are taking today’s episode of Everyday Practices Dental Podcast to dive deeper into the concept that came up in last week’s episode of entrepreneurial poverty. Let’s can get out of it into a life that brings you joy and financial security, including:

  • What entrepreneurial poverty looks like in dentistry
  • Rediscovering what you’re passionate about, and how to bring your team along for the ride
  • Prioritizing the “unfun” things so you can elevate your business to your full potential


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 productive that’s productive to secure your seats now. You know what the whole The whole purpose of that four week vacation is if i I’m willing to bet you this is what Mike means. Especially after Yeah, after reading it. The whole point is to get the to get the business running without you. That is the whole point. So the clockwork system is about implementing systems that allow your practice to run so you are not being run by your business. That gets right back to the top of our conversation about entrepreneurial poverty. If you are in reaction mode if the business cannot run without you, you are not running a business you are running yourself. Welcome to the everyday practices Podcast. I’m Regan Robertson, and my co host Dr. Chad Johnson and I are on a mission to share the stories of everyday dentists who generate extraordinary results using practical proven methods you can take right into your own dental practice. If you’re ready to elevate patient care and produce results that are anything but ordinary. Buckle up and listen in.

Dr. Chad Johnson 2:04
Ladies and gentlemen, dentists and dentists wannabes. Welcome to everyday practices dental Podcast with your best host, Regan Robertson, and your second best host, Chad Johnson, who also happens to be a dentist, but not a president of productive dentist Academy ragan. Welcome to the show.

Regan 2:25
Thank you. Chadwick. How are you today?

Dr. Chad Johnson 2:28
Great. So we had a fantastic high yesterday, which I must admit, the rest of the day I was exhausted. Because I think I was so like jazz and stuff

Regan 2:37
like that so much adrenaline. You have an adrenaline crowd?

Dr. Chad Johnson 2:40
Yeah, I had a crash. Because, you know, like, and then I had to go to basketball practice for my daughter. And I was like, I’m exhausted. I just want to go to bed or eat ice cream, or both? I don’t know. So

Regan 2:51
well, you know, I think there was a lot. There was a lot of anticipation for it. And I think you and I were both surprised you were so brave and reaching out and securing that interview for us. So I was really excited that Mike said yes. Because we know the value that he brings, and we know what it means to the listeners. So I’m not at all surprised that you that you crashed. Did you say you had ice cream?

Dr. Chad Johnson 3:13
No, but I wanted ice cream. And then I was I was like, but I want to go to bed. So after you practice so how’s your day going? So far, bright and sunny in the Pacific Northwest coast?

Regan 3:25
Well, I’m excited to dive in and do like our take on what happened from from the actual, you know, interview and share our nuggets other than pulling out my back. I couldn’t I’m happier, couldn’t be happier. I’m in the best spot right now. So I’m happy to be interviewing with you.

Dr. Chad Johnson 3:43
Well, we don’t want to have it be labor too long. Other than our silly intro, but here’s the question that I have. My youngest daughter is always a breathing words. You know, she says that’s us. You know you Oh, yeah. And they have fun with it. They know that it’s not exactly proper lexicon, but they use it. So entrepot

Regan 4:00
proper lexicon. Really? Okay, well, sorry, but entrepreneur, very bust and bust interview.

Dr. Chad Johnson 4:06
I don’t even know that one. But let’s talk about entrepov

Regan 4:10
entrepot entrepreneurial point of view, no POV poverty. Ah entrepreneurship. Yes, entrepreneurial poverty is a very real thing. And I really I could tie that with, you know, you can remain in startup phase for far longer than you realize. And I think the symptom of that as a business owner is entrepreneurial poverty, which How do you define entrepreneurial poverty?

Dr. Chad Johnson 4:40
I would, I would have been there. So when I started going to the workshops for productive dentist Academy, I was nine years into practice. And I was doing okay, I think a lot of dentists are at the point where I was doing okay, enough and fine and I mean, you’re getting a paycheck. But you’re also making the perceived necessary sacrifices. The delayed gratification, I think, is a lot of times how we describe it for the the reward that should come. I just wonder if people ever don’t get that reward in the end except the journey. The journey is nice. And you could say that made it all worth it like Robert Frost or whatever, you know, but but the entrepreneurial poverty lies in the martyrdom that dentists and the like, create upon inflict upon themselves, to forego their reward, as though they aren’t the shareholder. Versus if Elon Musk came in and whipped up on the business within a few months and said, No, we’re going to start making this profitable, we’re going to start, you know, like, I’m going to fire all the unnecessary riffraff. We’re going to cut expenses by doing this. And we’re going to make the product even better to make shareholder nest even more attractive, and will give dividends. I mean, you know, stuff like that, where it’s just really rockin. How about you? What’s your thoughts?

Regan 6:18
Well, I think that you just unlocked a little bit of magic for me in there. So I think of entrepreneurial poverty as being so poverty being low on resources. And I think he’s, Mike took that into another dimension. So money is one factor time is another factor. So it’s not just about financial poverty. But I think that there’s time and as you age you do so if you’re constantly sacrificing yourself in the present, with the hopes that that Valhalla if you will, wherever that is, on the other side of it, what you did unlock for me is you’ve got to be enjoying that journey, which we’ve all heard before. It’s not about the end, it’s the journey along the way. What are you comfortable with in that journey? And when do you when do you check in with yourself and tell yourself, okay, this isn’t this isn’t working, or this is worth the sacrifice. Yeah. So if you are continuously it’s like a hamster wheel. I think of entrepreneurial poverty as being on a hamster wheel, you’re not, you’re not moving yourself out to that next level. And I think you can even be in entrepreneurial poverty, if you’re doing well, you’re but you’re not doing great, kind of like the good degrade, I think you can easily be in that because comfort is one of the worst places to be because it’s just okay, you can get complacent in that. So I think for me, I was very moved by Mike sharing the traumatic event that that sent him on this particular mission. And he did say in there, he believes that when people suffer a trauma like he did, he lost everything. And his little nine year old daughter brought her piggy bank out because they were financially strapped and said, I want to help with this. And as a father, how that made him feel. He felt it so deeply. He never wanted anybody else to go through that again. And I do. I can intimately relate to that, because of my own story of being laid off one time, and it was the company that was so amazing, that that’s what hurt wasn’t the laying off, but it was the it was the fact that the company in the people in the company were so amazing. I never wanted to have that happen again. And that actually changed my career trajectory,

Dr. Chad Johnson 8:25
which is why recently, Amazon’s employee issue like that, that made you google google. That’s why Google’s employee layoffs had such an impact on you to kind of write up your own Facebook, Op Ed. If you

Regan 8:46
Google was a stroop effect. Do you notice stroop effect is? No. So a stroop effect is

Dr. Chad Johnson 8:52
when you waffle, those are good? Yes.

Regan 8:56
What color is your? No, not like a Stroopwafel? What color? What color is your pen? Do you have a pen or pencil handy?

Dr. Chad Johnson 9:02
I do write good white. Okay, perfect. Okay, so

Regan 9:05
the outside of the pen is when you write what color is that pen? It actually is black. It’s black. So write the word red. And it’s but it’s in a black color. Yes. So for colors, a stroop effect is what happens when you are there’s a really fun little trick you can do that I’ve put up on screen before and it says like red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and they’re all in their colors. And then we switch the colors but we keep the words the same. People can’t read it. So it’s it was a dissonance in my brain. It really gave me this effect. Google says they do no evil and say that they are well no they don’t say they demonstrate by how they treat their employees how much they care. So we’ve all heard it. They get the massages they only have to work six hour days. They are really well compensated to their campus. Me to Allah. Yeah. And it’s beautiful. So I just assumptions can get me at I just assumed they would communicate layoffs with the same grace and dignity that they treat their employees on from what I know as an outsider a day to day perspective so that’s why Yeah, that is it was very shocking to me and yes it did. And you’re right it when we forget about the human and we only look at the numbers that does that bothers me greatly. And I think that we’re not taking into account the emotional state of the people so and I’m no saint. I’ve made lots of leadership. So but I do think that’s a really it to me, it takes Mike McCalla wits, his work from being good business guides to great business guides because he has personally experienced what it feels like to suffer deeply as an entrepreneur. And he has come out of it and he is I mean, can you can you already feel like you’re on the mission. Like he’s turning around, and he’s going back with his handout and being like, I’ve done this, I failed. This is how I got myself out. Come with me. Yes. Yes. Inspirational.

Dr. Chad Johnson 11:02
QBR queen bee roll.

Regan 11:05
Yeah, the queen bee role. I felt like he did go into some detail. And I felt like Chad, you’re slayed disease was more of like the big promise. And I don’t remember if I said that or not. But I think that’s your big promise.

Dr. Chad Johnson 11:19
Yes. Because so in Eos, we call it our core focus niche we slay disease, we have one that’s called your, your purpose cause passion. Within the core focus. Yeah. And so ours is empowering our patients to optimal oral health. But then they said take that and boil it down to three, or one or two words. Good. So I was like, we slay disease. And so

Regan 11:47
it’s memorable which are two really big commerce. I feel like Mike McCalla wits is if you put together Gina Whitman from traction, right. Donald Miller from business Made Simple. Yes. And Dave Ramsey. Yes. Stir it up in a pot. Spit it out. You’re gonna get you’re gonna get the best of all three synthesis. Yes, yes. Ramsey, but I but the Prophet first has it.

Dr. Chad Johnson 12:12
The accounting stuff? Yes. No, you’re right. But yeah, he did. Going back to what you’re saying he did call it the big purpose. But big promise. big promise. Yeah. So core focus. Or in us they call it the niche, you know, but I hate that. And I call it the niche like the word should be pronounced. And so yeah, the the big promise, but then I you know, I purely asked, I was like, This doesn’t make sense, I think to a lot of dentists might maybe myself included, because we’re not looking to scale from one dentist to 10 dentists to 100 dentists, right. Few people try that. But the fact is, a lot of dentistry is still done with one dentist, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. So let’s say that that one dentist says, Well, I’m the queen bee, maybe. But But then what’s the queen bee role? Or? Or are you know

Regan 12:59
what it is selectively? I would have, I would have changed it to be called the queen bee activity. Because remember, he said like three or four times? The queen bee role isn’t a person. It’s an activity. Correct. So I think it really shouldn’t be a role. I think that that I think that’s tripping. At least it feels like it’s tripping you up a bit. Maybe. And it’s more, it’s more it’s queen bee activity. So the big promise is we slay we slay disease, what is the activity? Right? That points to this is very this. This reminds me a lot of Donald Miller’s key characteristics which I walk practices through and critical actions. A key characteristic is similar to like a big promise. So you, Chad, you are compassionate. You know, everybody in the practice has to show up as compassionate. That’s one of your core values. What actions do your team have to take in order to demonstrate compassion, and you’ve got it listed out? I think active listening is one of them. But anyway, my point being so if it’s a queen bee action, what action can every team member take? That will slay disease?

Dr. Chad Johnson 14:05
Yeah. Do you think that’s it? Well, so we we somewhat codified that with our code of ethics to specify, you know, like, which things were are characteristics and, you know, whatever actions activities that manifest that. But, you know, sometimes I even just go, Well, what’s it when he says, What’s the most important function to collect money? I mean, you know, to some degree, it’s like, okay, so that should compete. Because if someone said, Well, we’re super compassionate, it’s like, well, you’re closing the door at the end of the quarter if you don’t collect money,

Regan 14:43
and then here’s the rub. here’s the rub. They have to go together. Remember, when I say plus the motion equals action? You can’t have one without the other you can, but when it is slanted that way, for me, it’s a core value violation of myself. So that’s why I think I’ve always had a hard time trying To understand, for example, hedge funds, if somebody were to tell me a story about a hedge fund, where I know that the why, like the betterment of humanity is happening in some way. So Chad, you do that right now then I would be on board. But I tend to look at it from too heavily dominated on the data side, which is the financial the money, and we both know that there’s a lot of story that goes into what our finances tell us. So Chad, you’ve done this, yes, collecting means that your doors get to stay open, it means that you get to have profit, you get to achieve that lifestyle that you deserve. But you have to me in my opinion, my humble opinion, you have married it with a why with slay disease, there’s a compassionate reason for me to want to collect that money, there’s a reason that betters humanity. And I find that to be very exciting.

Dr. Chad Johnson 15:52
You hear historically, a lot of dentists jokingly say, making tooth dust, right? Because the idea is if we’re drilling, and we’re, you know, justifying teeth, and in essence, saying, I just made that up that, right, that if we’re doing that, that that could in one sense, be our, you know, core focus, or whatever. And so yeah, that I, you know, like, but at the same time dentistry is kind of evolved from that to be like, wait a second, if I didn’t really want to go into nerd factor with him, but historically, there have been like, three main things that that dentistry does. We prevent, diagnose and treat disease? Yes, it’s a it’s a three triangle thing. I mean, I think when I was going into dentistry, you know, there were three triangles that the ADEA are the who knows what, you know, sanctioned body said, you know, dentistry is there to, to prevent, diagnose, diagnose, and

Regan 16:58
treat. So that’s your that’s your queen bee activity.

Dr. Chad Johnson 17:01
Yeah. Yes. Yes, but then it’s also almost so intangible, because it’s just like, okay, um, but, I mean, it’s fine enough to define but like making tooth dust, that’s tangible, like, right. But it’s like, does that so every, every little nuance of how we word it is going to have a different

Regan 17:21
way? So what is it? What are your three again?

Dr. Chad Johnson 17:24
For dentistry? In general? Yeah, to diagnose.

Regan 17:29
I thought it was prevented, I Oh, yeah. Then

Dr. Chad Johnson 17:32
there’s no order to it. Really. I mean, you know, because whether you’re preventing or diagnosing, you know, and then treating,

Regan 17:39
but if you don’t have those three elements in a practice, there’s what what reason is there for a practice to exist? Sure. And if you don’t do those three things, how can you possibly slay disease? You can’t? I think you’re answering your question there. Yeah. There’s a Go ahead. I’ve got well, I’ve got some real okay. Okay, I’m gonna I think, here’s, here’s how we hacked this. So and this is going to fulfill that scratch that you have, I can feel it. And this is what I do like with PDA. So you’ve got critical actions. So your queen bee action is to do those three things. That is everything drives to that purpose solely. Now, let’s go to your back office team. They they aren’t clinical. So what in the heck are they going to do you give them a queen bee action role in their space, so like what we do with our team is critical actions are important. But sales and promotions, critical actions are going to be very, very different for PDA, then our business coaches or our team development coaches, they’re going to have very different now overarching, we will have a very important mission, just like your dental practice has to do those three things, but I think we could sub it down into teams. So your back office, his team will be there queen bee action will be a little different.

Dr. Chad Johnson 18:56
Yeah, in the hopes that we’re all collectively slaying disease by getting people scheduled by marketing to the people. All that stuff. Yeah.

Regan 19:06
I’m so on board with this. I would show Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I would take pride in my job. So say collections is my job. I would take I would suddenly feel very compelled to do so. Because when I collect we are able to stay open when I collect everyone gets a paycheck. It works really well. When I do my job when I show up and I am contributing to keeping people healthy. I’m contributing to that diagnosis. I’m contributing to the treatment. I am I’m completely on board with this.

Dr. Chad Johnson 19:34
Yep. Which leads to our next discussion thing the Big Bang and oh my gosh, yeah, with it being beautiful, noble, and you know, I’m not sure as a business that we have one within veranda because I I I kind of leave it to, to each person to in essence you Use their dollars that they take home to do their own amazing thing, right? And some businesses have some of these philanthropic sounding goals, but to me at the same time, it’s not really. I mean, like, I don’t know, it almost just seems contrived. And so like we but we don’t have one other than I imagine if we’re slaying disease, and we’re, you know, taking care of getting people to optimum oral health, that our patients one at a time can live their best life, you know, right. And that’s also up to them to be defined. However, they would like.

Regan 20:42
You know, when it comes to a big bang, or a B hag, the B hag was the data driven only. And so I love that he brought in beautiful and noble, so that he could he pulled emotion into it, which I thought was really, really beautiful. Beautiful. I’m wondering though, in times of life, I’m just asking this as reflected to you, because this is how I have been. Some people do they have really, really big, audacious goals, and they just see so far out. And then sometimes they change it too. But they still always stay focused on that five to 10 year goal. There have been times in my life, when I don’t have that I don’t have a quote unquote, B hag, I do now again, but I went through it was almost like, what do they call it like dark night of the soul? I guess there’s been a couple of times in my adult, probably just two in my adult years where I just really didn’t have that. And I think you’re supposed to go through that, too. So if you look at all your practices have been through over the in yourself over the past three years? Couldn’t there be a space for you to be like, maybe I don’t need a big bang right now. Maybe I’m just going to be in the present moment. And that’s enough.

Dr. Chad Johnson 21:50
Yes. Well, there’s two competing theories. Number one, the best basketball players the day after the the NBA finals are over are hitting the weight room. So there’s that type. But then there’s also the type where after, for example, the British, you know, sign off to America, fine, have your own country, or whatever, that when we finally received word of that the next day or so they celebrated and that they were instead of going, Okay, we need to, you know, prepare for the Civil War and 60 years, and then we need to, you know, this and that.

Regan 22:26
Yes, you caught me on that yesterday, after we interviewed Mike. And I remember I said to you, I was like no, who are we gonna get next and you were like, Excuse me. And I, I took that very reflective, I was like, I should just enjoy this moment. Like I really was. I was like, on to the next. Let’s go get another one. Let’s bring our listeners some really exciting. Yes. Michael Jordan.

Dr. Chad Johnson 22:48
Yeah, no, I was like, I basically told her, I was just like, No, come on. Now. That was, that’s gonna be number one hard to be. Let’s just enjoy that. So that’s why we had this conversation here. One tangible thing. And you know, I’m saving the, the, there’s, we kind of have an outline here. I’m saving one for the end Reagan. So I wanted to talk about, you know, like, when I asked him, it was really cool going to the bank, you know, and hopefully listeners, you guys that connected well with you because for me, I was just being raw. It’s just like, just stupid going to the bank was the toughest part. And honestly, Max, they and he knows this. He implemented it. At the same time I read the book. And then he was four years, three or four years ahead of me on implementing it. I read it, I had it. I have it back here on the blurred out stuff on my shelf. Then I even read the second book, the dentists, Profit First for dentists. And I read through that and then I, I was like, Okay, we need to implement this. And I had my accountant, I basically said, Alright, let’s implement this. And he was like, Cool, let’s do this. And so he said, first thing by the end of this week, you know, I want you to go to the bank. And I was like, No, this week, this is a busy week because like, the next three weeks are busy. I’ve got basketball with the kids. I just, I don’t know. Then the banks you know, closed on, you know, Friday afternoon. i This isn’t gonna work. And I had all these dumb excuse and I knew it like if someone said, Aren’t those dumb excuses. I’d be like listen, that’s cute and all that you’re calling it dumb excuses. Yeah, I suppose. But I’ve got too many things going on. So he was just like, well fine. Set a date on the calendar. Sure enough that date came up and I was like Ha fine. I’ve got to freakin go to the bank. Fine. And sure enough after I did that, and I set up the accounts, which was work it was work I mean it that’s why I was probably just, you know, dragging My feet on it, but just like Nike, I mean, just do it and I did it. And now I’m like we’re it’s in motion so that that frictional coefficient that keeps you from moving the static friction coefficient is has been overcome. And you just pull on that napkin really quick. whip out the the napkin from under the silverware in the plate and stuff by pulling fast. Just get it done, pull the band aid off, and and now we’re in motion. Now inertia is doing its thing carrying us. So

Regan 25:33
I think there’s two things going going on in that moment. One, especially in our twin moments, I think you and I prioritize very quickly, and we can adapt and change to a situation and something like setting up a bank account. To me. It’s a below the line detail. It’s like, and I hate to say it this way, but I’m like, could somebody else do that? That would be my

Dr. Chad Johnson 25:56
that was the problem is it was the it was one example of a thing where I had to go do it because you it I would have delegated that like a fiend.

Regan 26:04
Right? You and I, you and I both would have and so that so there’s the dragging of that Pete, but Shawn Spence, our SEO manager, he’s been working, we’ve worked together now for over a decade, it was super super, he’s he’s got one of those lives that I just I aspire to, because he’s very balanced. And I believe it comes from Him knowing who he is and what he stands for, and what he believes in. But the kicker to that is he said something one time, and he said, you know, if it’s, I’m going to totally mess this quote up. The gist of it was it, you will make whatever a priority is a priority like you will otherwise it’s just an excuse.

Dr. Chad Johnson 26:41
It’s almost so obvious that it’s like it has to be true.

Regan 26:44
Yes. And I’m sure that there’s a statistic that shows what happens when you just wait and wait and wait for a really long time I’ve seen it, we have conversations with doctors who are lurkers of PDA for seven years. And I wish that I could say that that would be like the rarity, but are the exception to the rule, we get a lot of doctors and it’s about a six to seven year, every, every single year, I’ve been following you for about six to seven years. And finally, now I’m going to pull the trigger, or we have a doctor come in and go to the workshop, and then decide, well, you know, we’re just going to sit it out and wait, we’re not going to go in and do coaching. And those ones break my heart because they almost always come back 1224 months later, and they’re either in the exact same position they were in or they’re worse off. And they’re like, shoot, you know, I guess now I’m really, really in need of this. Right. And I didn’t I didn’t implement what I learned at the workshop. So here we are again. So I think it’s making that decision. In other words, I think something has to be just uncomfortable enough to make you and I like take that action if it’s something that we’re not naturally inclined to do. So something we can be totally mentally capable of. And yet, we’ll find every excuse in the book to either delegate it or just put it off.

Dr. Chad Johnson 28:01
Yep. Do you want to talk? It was interesting. I sent a private message to you when Mike brought up root trauma. And yes, and I was like, oh shoot Reagan’s pot talked about that before. So give us your sermonette on that. Give us your spiel,

Regan 28:17
the third? Yeah, listeners, if you know of, if there’s been a paper on this, or somebody’s done their dissertation, I promise you if not, I am going to go back to college and get my PhD. So I can write on this. I truly believe that every human especially if they’re in their in their career, but every human is trying to solve for a past trauma they experience so they are trying to make sure either they’re healing themselves, or they are helping other people heal and or helping people avoid the trauma that they went through themselves. And you see it with a lot of activists. So I know that that exists. What What amazes me though, is I have done so many, what I call third level of why that particular phrase comes from Skip Miller. And it’s actually for a sales training course. But when I interview people I’ve interviewed so many inside dentistry and outside dentistry, when I really get under to the true true true surface, that core of who they are. Almost every single I mean, every single every single time they’re healing something in themselves, and it shows up in work, which I think is really fascinating. No, I might be

Dr. Chad Johnson 29:30
okay, let me hash this out. So George Hagel was a like a 19th century German philosopher, ended up breeding philosophy like Marxism and stuff like that, and I’m making broad generalizations, you know, but a lot of people followed his thoughts. And I believe it was him that said, you know, like, you have a point, and then a counterpoint and then a synthesis of it, and I almost think that was called the dialectic. I’m probably Really wrong on the like, someone is going to be like you got that so wrong. Listen, I’m just, you know, I think it was him. And I think it was the point counterpoint synthesis, you know, and they had words for that that’s the wrong words and it was German anyway, I’m sure but so what you’re getting out to is you have a trauma and a response. And then somehow, oh, that blurred me out look at that. So you have a trauma response, and then the synthesis would be kind of like coming to grips with it.

Regan 30:31
Let me let me give you a tangible example, a couple examples of interviews that I’ve done. So one, one interview was with a woman, and she does marketing and public speaking for a living. So So I was helping her with her LinkedIn profile. So I was just giving her a little session interviewing her to get her down to what really matters, and what bubbled to the surface tears usually happen, men and women will cry when you hit that note. So you kind of all I do is I asked them about, about their ideal client and how it makes them feel. And so we get into this just kind of conversational tone. So there’s a lot of emotions with it. But when we boil down to her and surface, she’s a public speaker, who does marketing for a living, so she enjoys giving other people a voice she enjoys, especially giving quiet people, which a lot of dentists, for example, are introverts and rather conflict averse, giving them a voice. And when it all boiled down, she did not feel she had a voice as a child. So she now wants to give voice to people who may feel like they are somehow inhibited by that. Yeah. Which it over to a dentist that I interviewed. And oh, so beautiful. It was really beautiful and easy to get down to her wife. She was really in touch with her why but really, what it boiled down to is she wants to, she wants to help people feel valued, seen and get the attention they deserve, because she suffered quite a bit with her own dental problems. And being seen with it take an immigrant take on it too. So being an immigrant in the United States and being unseen. unvalued unheard, basically second class citizen. Yeah. So her whole, like her whole heart comes out. And it is to give that to somebody else through dentistry which through dentistry, I mean really like so there’s the clinical side of she’s giving beautiful smiles right she’s she’s doing the implants and she does the veneers she gives them aesthetically a great smile functionally a great smile, but she’s healing a much deeper thing. She’s actually saying I would like to go after minorities, specifically women, because did you know how how undervalued they are and how unheard they are like that, to me is is authenticity. So that’s why when Mike McCalla wits shows up and said, My daughter came to me with her piggy bank, I had to go home and tell my family, we’ve lost our house. We’ve lost everything, which I mean, just think about that chat. If you had to go tell Sarah. I’m sorry. I just lost it all, like 100% of it all. I know you well enough your optimism, like nothing would you would die before anything would get you down that bad? Like you would still keep going. But I can’t imagine that feeling. And so of course, he’s gonna want to heal that. That’s how it shows up for me. Yeah. And there’s ones there’s ones that surprised me too. There’s ones like that, that have been a little bit harder to get through. And then when I dig down, and I realized maybe they shouldn’t be in that career at all, they might, they might actually be suffering. There’s a family dynamic living up to a dad or a mom and the expectations

Dr. Chad Johnson 33:45
are those trapped in it. I mean, you know, dentistry is a big investment. I mean, once you’re in it, it’s just like, well, I guess I’ll pay the bills. And just, I mean, I

Regan 33:54
really wanted to be a surgeon instead. Or an

Dr. Chad Johnson 33:57
author or, like something. Yeah, who knows? All right, so last topic that I saved the best for last and the four week vacation. Let’s hash that out.

Regan 34:11
Yes, King, the four week vacation. I thought that was really interesting. We’ve have you. I feel like there was, um, right before before the pandemic, perhaps didn’t you take off a pretty good chunk of summer I did.

Dr. Chad Johnson 34:25
In the, in the summer, I was doing May, June, July, August, September, where we would work three, take two off work three, take two off right now. That wasn’t the whole team. My like, I would take the time off, but I had associates and so like, you know, they’d keep working and stuff like that. So I’ll admit, this is a tough pill for a lot of dentists to swallow where I think if they read this book, they’d go QBR Okay. entrepot All right. Big Bang. Got it. Okay. And then you Be like, wait a second, hold on, what about the chapter 11? Or whatever the case means like, oh, that’s neat. I don’t want chapter 11 in my life. So I’m gonna skip over that.

Regan 35:10
You think dentists don’t want a four week? fakie? Dental nose thing? Do you want a vacation?

Dr. Chad Johnson 35:15
Ah, a four week in a row vacation. Like, let’s say, three years into your career. You better be an associate if you’re an owner, like I just don’t see it happening when you’ve got bills to pay. So like four weeks, fine. A couple of weeks at a time of four weeks off, man,

Regan 35:34
did you bring in like a? Did they have travelling dentists?

Dr. Chad Johnson 35:38
Yes, but here’s the question. If you’re going to give your team a four week vacation, then yeah, he’s talking about, like, you know, shutting the office down.

Regan 35:49
He in the book, it sounded to me if I read it correctly, it wasn’t that it was, it was wouldn’t be it would be giving one person in the team like intermittent four week vacation so that you wouldn’t be shutting down the entire office forever enough. But actually, if you did do that, where you just shut it down for the whole month, you would, you could, I mean, you could realistically goal, set that out, I don’t know how you would make it happen. He

Dr. Chad Johnson 36:13
was talking about stepping it to where, say, let’s say you try two weeks, and then the following year, you try three weeks, or two and a half weeks or something and then just keep on stepping towards four weeks, you don’t have to start from zero to four. And in my mind, I can’t I kind of want to get to that because this last year, the last couple years, we’ve done right before Christmas will take off, because we’re Osirak office too. So we don’t have crowns coming back from the lab on the 31st that we’re trying to submit. So a cement for a PPO plan that has to be done, but on this year’s insurance money. So number one, I’m fee for service. Now, number two, you know, like we have a steric. And so when if someone comes in on the 10th of December, they’re leaving on the 10th of December with their crown. So we don’t we don’t have this race at the end of the month to try and submit everything that you know, before the end of the year. It’s just like, if you haven’t started it before, the 20th of December. So I take off the you know, like, right, the weekend ish before Christmas, and at least the 24th but I I take off, you know, let’s say, you know, the weekend before whenever Christmas is. And then I take it off through the New Year. And this last year, we opened up on Monday, the second of the new year. And it was a horrible day. No one’s like and everyone’s like, well, it’s kind of the the celebrated New Year’s Day. And in my driven mind, I’m like, That’s so stupid. I’m like, we’re here to work. You’re over the new year. It’s the it’s not even New Year’s Day, it’s the day after New Year’s Day. And so like, I’m just like, it’s Monday, like get back to work people, right total old school American mindset. I’m just like, come on. And yet we kind of just sat around, and we decided we were like next year. Let’s let’s take off, you know this first and I thought to myself, no next year, I might just take off the whole week. Because when I come into work, I want people ready to have their teeth worked on it, which is tough enough, you know, like, you know, people, you know, it’s it’s not an ice cream store, where ice cream shop where people are getting what they want. It’s dentistry, it’s like, it’s okay.

Regan 38:27
I get that as a patient. I really so I took off between Christmas and New Year, I took that week off. And I was really excited because I went and got my face, lasered. And I did that. And I was and I didn’t know what to expect. So I was really excited that I could take the time off and do it during the holidays. So I thought that was that made it easy for me. But I like that you I like that you kind of you know, we’re open to being flexible and changing it like PDA, for example, where if if we can, if we can achieve our goals by we can oh my gosh, my own team would just slap me right now, when we achieve our goal, when we achieve our goal, we are going to give the entire company additional time off. And we’re going to do it all together at the same time. Yeah,

Dr. Chad Johnson 39:15
I’ve like I think I’ve got this, you know, noble, it would again, going back to that word, like this noble idea of getting it done. Then the pragmatism just goes you know, like, let’s baby step this. And I like how in dentistry? Well, there have been the, you know, certain people that have you know, given the idea of like work 13 weeks, take a week off and stuff like that, or, you know, every quarter take off a couple of weeks or you know, and that puts a little bit of flow, you know, like seasonal flow to your work and stuff like that. I kind of like that, man. I don’t know four weeks off what I would do with four weeks is my other thing why You know, if I was 60 bills paid, you know, end of career and practically, you know, like getting closer to retirement anyway, I could probably find things to do with for weeks, but right now I just go, you know, listen, I’ve got soccer practice, I’ve got, you know,

Regan 40:16
the stuff with killer life would just continue and it would be like, Yeah, I mean, you know, we’d end up

Dr. Chad Johnson 40:23
almost, and so I’m just like, I actually, like, I’m one of the rare dentists that like, I’m like, I actually like drilling, you know, like, I don’t mind working. And so it’s like, I I kind of want to get back to work, because I’d like it is what I like doing. So that’s all.

Regan 40:40
Well, go ahead.

Dr. Chad Johnson 40:43
I was how about this? I’m still, I’m still mulling that over like I’m a work in progress for understanding in my life balancing the pragmatism of No, and the nobility of saying, yes, you know, I’ll do this. And there’s this, the most simple thing is I go, Okay, you give people four weeks off, that’s 112. That’s 8%. So you need to, you know, overproduced the rest of the year 8% More to be able to offset the one month that you have asked. Hmm, I think that’s, you know, I’m just looking at it from a math perspective. And it’s just like, Okay, I mean, I think that’s doable. It’s not asking for you to, you know, overproduced by 250% or something ridiculous. It’s 8%. So it’s doable,

Regan 41:28
right. And I love when you that’s, that’s what I was trying to explain, just put the numbers to it and see how it could be doable, and then how to milestone that out through the month. You know, for me four weeks is, is the purpose. So what I heard you say is, you know, I mean, you you obviously enjoy what you’re doing right now, so there’s not a big drive to run away from it. And I think the four week vacation, as he explains in the book isn’t about taking time off to kind of run away and get out of the day to day, but it’s about the the ability to give yourself space to be a part to so that more new ideas and creativity can come in. I like that idea. I definitely would want a purpose with it. Otherwise, if I took four weeks off just to take four weeks off, chances are what what would I do? I’d been what binge watch Yellowstone, I would like I think I would end the four weeks not feeling good about myself. But what if it was four weeks, and I’m taking my family to Europe, like that would be unbelievable, I would be completely unplugged. And I would be immersed in present in the moment. So the only way that I would do it is if is if one my kids could come along for that journey. And yeah, that I have a high schooler I know that taking time off during school is now not an okay thing. Like you can’t do that. So I you know, I would have to be during the summer months, so I would have to plan it out. But the idea of having four weeks with my family that would be compelling to me. And that would be very, very worth

Dr. Chad Johnson 42:55
it. Yeah, I even like I think I would personally be more thrilled with two weeks off multiple times throughout the year or summer than four weeks in a row. So listen, I’m sure if Mike were here, he would say listen, Chad, and then there’s your thing, like, who cares? Like, you know, then if that’s what you’re going to do, because that’s how small minded you are about it, then then like and if that’s amazing to you about it, then go for it. And I can instead of him saying no, you know, it has to be the same for everyone in four weeks has to be 28 days, if someone said I can only swing 27 days, I’m sure he’d be like, listen, fine, you know, like, make it work. But I’m still a work in progress on trying to figure that out. But I do like yeah, do you have it?

Regan 43:40
Yeah, it is. Well, my, I just caught up my my process. You know what the whole The whole purpose of that four week vacation is if i I’m willing to bet you this is what Mike means. Especially after Yeah, after reading it. The whole point is to get the to get the business running without you. That is the whole point. So the clockwork system is about implementing systems that allow your practice to run. So you are not being run by your business. Correct. That gets right back to the top of our conversation about entrepreneurial poverty. If you are in reaction mode, if the business cannot run without you, you are not running a business you are running yourself. So I believe the probably the reason the four week when it’s fun, it sounds really exciting. It’s opulent. So I think that is merely a like he says a test. It’s a test run to see if your business can successfully run without you. And if it cannot, then it is not functioning. And you’re correct in saying well, if you’re the dentist, how in the heck is that going to happen? And the solo

Dr. Chad Johnson 44:40
dentist, right? This is the trouble? I think if listen, if you’re a listener and you have an associate or a partner and there are two dentists in the office, this should be a lot more achievable. And I’ve been in both, you know shoes, so I’m not you know, someone said do you what do you know? It’s like I know, but like if you’re a solo I could See the habits. If you’re you know, a dually you should be able to pull this off, you know within 18 months let’s just say that I think it’s easy for me to tell other people that but hopefully you also as the listener dentist understand that I’m just going like, yeah, it’s a tall order but like you could make it happen so

Regan 45:17
there’s that. Well, thank you for doing this deep dive with me into our interview with Mike McCalla wits author of Profit First clockwork revised and expanded.

Dr. Chad Johnson 45:32
et al

Dr. Chad Johnson 45:33
listeners. Thanks so much for listening. Hopefully that was good meditation on the stuff that we got into the meat on the last podcast with Mike McCalla wits. Thanks so much.

Regan 45:45
Thank you for listening to another episode of 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 leave 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 podcast at productive And don’t forget to check out our other podcasts from productive dentist Academy at productive See you next week.

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