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Episode 206 – Unpacking “The Four-Hour Work Week”

“I see a lot of people wearing the Hustle Culture Mask, and when we can take off that mask and we can be more vulnerable with each other, that’s where true progress happens.” ~Regan Robertson

Everyday Practices podcast co-hosts Regan Robertson and Dr. Chad Johnson continue their asynchronous business book review series as they discuss Timothy Ferriss’ classic The Four-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. Regan and Dr. Chad explore the pros and cons of Ferriss’ exploration into the balance between personal and professional life, the importance of your “why” or purpose, and ways to achieve a more efficient purpose-driven life.

The book can be found here.

Dr. Chad and Regan explore the fine line between data-driven decision-making and emotional intuition, emphasizing the significance of understanding your purpose in the quest for efficiency and effectiveness. They delve into Ferriss’ approach to productivity, including the art of framing conversations for efficiency, delegation, and the concept of a rich life that encompasses more than simply “financial success.” 

Think of these questions as you move through this episode:

  • What is the lifestyle that you truly want?
  • Do you tend to approach reading business books with an analytical mindset or from a more emotional perspective?
  • What are some things you can do to shore up the time you spend on day-to-day business?

In case you would like to read along with Dr. Chad and Regan for future episodes of our asynchronous business book club, these are the next books we’re aiming to tackle: 

  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
  • Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
  • Margin by Richard Swenson, MD
  • Everyday Millionaires by Chris Hogan
  • Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
  • The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy


Regan 0:01
Hi, Doctor. Regan Robertson, CCO of 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 visit, that’s to secure your seats.

Now, this guy may be financially successful but this guy is not successful in his personal life. I can tell you that right now and so I went down the Google trail and found out that Yeah, his life has had some really rocky ups and downs and it’s the inauthentic mask and I really want to talk to you today about what’s underneath being efficient and effective in running your life and your business because the tools are helpful and necessary, but not if you are forgetting the why that is your life. 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.

Welcome to the Everyday Practices Dental podcast I am your host, Regan Robertson, here with the lovely Dr. Chad Johnson. Chad, how are you doing today?

Dr. Chad Johnson 2:05
I’m doing well. How are you doing, Regan?

Regan 2:07
I love it. This is, this is casual Friday and we are on video. So that was

Dr. Chad Johnson 2:11
the curve. That’s right. That’s in sweatshirts, et cetera.

Regan 2:14
You’ve got kawaii Hawaii love. I’ve got my son’s elementary school. So I’m in a baseball t-shirt it todayin support for him. Yeah, yeah. our episode today continues down the book review quest that we’ve been on that has been life-altering and a lot of fun for me and this particular book took me down a complete rabbit hole. So the book is The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. It’s fairly old now. When was it?

Dr. Chad Johnson 2:40
20 ish Yeah. 20 years. 22 years old, something like that.

Regan 2:44
Yeah. So if you haven’t read it, we will overview it but it sent me down the Tim Ferriss rabbit hole because

Dr. Chad Johnson 2:51
I will upset you at first

Regan 2:53
It did, it upset me. I didn’t like the tone almost immediately and and I and the reason why is because I like balanced data with emotion. So if you haven’t heard me talk about that formula, I talk about it a lot in the workshops. When I make a decision as a leader, or even a parent in my home, I want to balance facts with feelings around it, it’s almost like would you rather be right or in-relationship, that’s a good way of saying it and Tim Ferriss’ book started off immediately for me all data, it was it was very little on emotion. To me, it was very little on emotion and it was mostly here’s the framework, which I don’t mind getting down to business at all but there was an inauthentic ring to it and I, and I found myself, I don’t know if you’ve ever done this, when you read a book, I had a second dialogue going. So I’m listening to the book while I’m walking the dog and in my head, I’m hearing him state a tool to be more effective or efficient. Underneath I’m thinking, “How successful were you with that, Tim? How did, did that really actually make your life better?” And the crux of this moment for me that sent me down the rabbit hole is he talked about amongst all the tools in the four-hour workweek, which there are good ones by the way, he said get a virtual assistant, which at the time was pretty provocative at the time and he talks about outsourcing communication with his wife, and I stopped walking the dog and I heard it and I thought there is no way this guy may be financially successful but this guy is not successful in his personal life. I can tell you that right now and so I went down the Google trail and found out that yeah, his life has had some really rocky ups and downs and it’s the inauthentic mask and I really want to talk to you today about what’s underneath being efficient and effective in running your life and your business because the tools are helpful and necessary but not if you are forgetting the why that is your life.

Dr. Chad Johnson 4:50
So it’s funny because listeners I get on pre-podcast and I said to Regan, “Alright, so let’s talk about this book, didn’t you like, do you like his tone?” I was like, “Wasn’t it so funny? Like it wasn’t? Yes. You know, like, like he was just winsome and funny and I mean, like, just Curt sometimes and that was even funny as he’s like, you know, just get to the point. What are you trying to get at?” And yes, I understand that he might not be the best of grandpa but sometimes you need a you know, like a babysitter. Sometimes you need a drill instructor, sometimes you need me. Sometimes you need a school teacher, you know, like, there are different roles. I really liked his tone and then she was like, “No, and I’ll tell you why,” and then she explained herself and I was like, “Yeah, no, that actually it still makes sense. I think because I’m in his vein, that like that. I’m like, oh, man, this guy this guy rules,” and then when you explain your your point, I was like, “No, you know what? I totally see that too. I think you’ve got a good point.” Now. Then Regan sends me a TED talk of Timothy Ferriss and then it makes more sense that I’m like, “Regan a now I see your point. Yes. He was very prescriptive in how to do it. It this was a how to do it book.”

Regan 6:05
How to fo book for Philippi. Yeah,

Dr. Chad Johnson 6:08
yes. But you It begs the question, wait a second. He could have Mike McCallawits this better by saying, “Let me, let me give my life example how I didn’t do this right, or how I did do this right.” Which is funny, because one of his lessons in the book is to be effective, not efficient and it’s like, “Well, wait a second, if, if, you know, like, if you’re being effective is apt for some listeners, not me.” I was impervious to it but to Regan, you know, he would have connected better by saying and let me just say, the, my, my relationship with my wife is sacrosanct where I’m not going to have a virtual assistant, you know, send flowers and you know, a card explaining why I was late for being home.

Regan 7:00
Exactly the moment you knew the that’s awesome that you know, that you shared. Did it make you cringe a little bit?

Dr. Chad Johnson 7:08
No, I think I wasn’t. I think I was in a mood where I was just like, “Come on. Are you serious?” Yeah. But um, yeah, I mean, it’s audacious. Yeah, I mean, but no, I didn’t. I was going, “Oh, no. How’s that working for him?” I’m just thinking, dude, if that works for you, I guess but I mean, like, yeah, that’s not gonna work for everyone. So and obviously, like you said, end of the story chapter, you know, like, whatever book two is, it’s not exactly working, you know, for him either. And no, knock on him, maybe, you know, like, relationship stuff, whatever it may be it wasn’t that, that, you know, broke the camel’s back, but it sure yeah.

Regan 7:49
Well, what makes this fresh and new and exciting to review this book is I recommend reverse engineering, Tim Ferriss, so I recommend listening to where he is today nd then applying

Dr. Chad Johnson 8:08
Yes, it will give better context.

Regan 8:10
I do. I think it puts the why first, I mean, he supports like psychedelic research right now. He’s really big into that he’s been an angel investor, he was financially very successful and and I really like both of our approach to it because the answer is both the answer is both sides of the coin, you tend to be this is my judgment of you, of course, not you but you tend to approach things from a data mindset first, which is probably why I really love interacting with you, because I tend to approach things from an emotionally driven place first. I listen to the heart and what’s underneath the story. And you look at how to apply it, you take an engineering mindset. So it actually the answer still is both. In his, it was 2020, that he had an interview, I believe it’s 2020 with Brene Brown is a great interview on self-acceptance, versus striving, which is, which is actually where I thought, Tim, in the four-hour workweek hips, a lot of striving, it was a lot of striving to get your ideal work week down to get that life that you deserve and make your million fairly quickly but he says in this interview, that self-loathing was his driving factor for performance and that’s the underlying issue that I saw, was, was if you if you look at it planning out your life in your 20s, or your 30s, the traditional model, as he starts off in the four-hour workweek is you traditionally will do 40 hours a week, you will stock away for retirement, and you will just kind of keep your head down until you retire and then what then that’s your freedom. Yeah,

Dr. Chad Johnson 9:38
Then you’re supposed to have fun

Regan 9:40
Then you’re supposed to have fun and in the end, he goes on to argue how many, how many monetize can you have basically on the beach before you’re bored. So he helps you shift perspective and think about how you can enjoy your life now, and I do appreciate that very much. Where I think that gets us into trouble when we use it as a coping mechanism is I think we can get into the trap of more, more, more and I think it puts us into that position to potentially be in a hospital culture. So more thoroughly better.

Dr. Chad Johnson 10:08
Yeah. It’s interesting because like in the book, he talks about out of frustration how he wanted to remove himself from the company in order to to do what he loved to do. So his why or I like to call it purpose. I really don’t like the whole, like, using. Yeah, listen, I like the concept but like using, in English I feel like purpose is the better word instead of what your why is just like, This is

Regan 10:32
Purpose is mission-driven. It gives you a tangible end goal. I think the word purpose versus why?

Dr. Chad Johnson 10:39
Well, it’s a mini soapbox, but you know, you’ll hear people say, “You know, What’s your why?” I’m like, “No, what’s your purpose? Use the right word.” It’s a noun, purpose as a noun. Why is a question? You know, like,

Regan 10:50
Yeah, I like that.

Dr. Chad Johnson 10:51
It to me, like, it’s, it’s it gets people’s attention. I’m trying to think of the right word. Like, it’s provocative, you know, to say, What’s your why? And it’s like, well, what is my why? And I’m like, No, what’s your purpose?

Regan 11:07
When I read Simon Sinek start with why that really kept me on a circle. So it’s kind of like when I talk about missions having a guiding post. So to just the circular a why, to me is that circular, philosophical question of purpose is a that is a guidepost. Where am I going and then why am I going there? So I think the why gives fuel to the purpose. I love that you say, purpose, it’s Yeah,

Dr. Chad Johnson 11:31
Yeah, sure and again, it’s like, okay, take your point, you know, take your English point, it’s like, that’s all I want, you know, I’m not trying to make any, anytime someone uses that I’m not going to stop them but like, at the same time, in my mind, I’m thinking, you know, just what’s your purpose? So his purpose was he wanted to learn and travel and he likes doing what ballroom dancing and and then you know, traveling and stuff like that and it’s really cool because it is crazy to think like, How can a dentist take a book called Four Hour Workweek and apply it because he’s got basically a step by step blueprint to free yourself from the shackles of a corporate job, not exactly dentistry, but then again, we are shackled to a place because we’re the Rain Man. Second of all, to create a business to fund the lifestyle of your dreams. Now that’s kind of sounding dentistry and then it says, “Live like a live like live life like a millionaire without actually having to be one.” Which is a lot of dentists. I mean, sadly, a lot of times we, we outlive our income, because we on Facebook, see all of our dentists friends going to fancy places and you know, doing fancy things and drinking fancy things with fancy people and so we want to do fancy things and stuff like that. And so it becomes this competition kind of thing. Like you talked about where it’s like we’re trying to outpace each other and Regan, I think you’ve seen in my life over the last 10 years, let alone mostly the last five years, how instead of being in a, in an explosive growth mindset is going, “Okay. What is my satisfaction mindset, like, when is it like, Okay, that’s good enough?” And, and someone could say, Good enough is complacency, fine. Call it what you want, because there’s a negative term and a positive term to each and everything right? Laziness is efficiency. You can say, Wow, that’s efficient. Someone else might go wow, that’s lazy says the same thing. It’s two people judging two sides of the same coin.

Regan 13:27
You Oh my gosh, there’s such a good friend that I’ve had for so many years and I tell you the amount of guilt that I’d have felt because this individual is constantly learning constantly. I mean, like I don’t think that he takes a spare minute for himself and I have an eye every time I’m in the same room. I feel extremely lazy and it has it has an I chased a I was like on a treadmill, or a rabbit track. I don’t know what you want to call it but I felt like any spare minute that I was sitting and just relaxing and enjoying my life was was minutes wasted because I was told that and in midlife, I think one of the best blessings is I get to tell myself what, what is complacent versus what is striving I get to define my own balance and I the amount of empowerment that comes from not comparing yourself to others. I know that’s so basic, but yeah, the amount of empowerment that comes my life has, the trajectory of my life has gotten a lot better since I was able to turn that off.

Dr. Chad Johnson 14:28
Yeah, well, no. Okay, one or two, like key points from the book. Number one, one of his quotes is, “The goal isn’t millions, it’s the lifestyle associated with it.” Now, ultimately, to me, that isn’t a life goal, but at the same time, I mean, everyone does want a good lifestyle and so that’s that was just a neat, quote, The goal isn’t millions, it’s the lifestyle associated with it. Your thoughts?

Regan 14:54
100% Yes, I think that to me is working from a purpose-driven mindset, the lifestyle that you want gives definition around it. So it takes the Jones out of the conversation of, I just want to make, I just want to become finally, financially independent for the sake of becoming financially independent. I think it takes that and burns that down. I also feel like it flows very well with the philosophy of productivity. So in the book, he breaks down, you know, the person who makes 100,000 a year versus the person who makes $50,000 a year and he really kind of puts it into productivity per hour. And in fact, I just had this, yeah, I just had this conversation with a member of my family, because they make significantly less than me and I said, “Well, let’s break down what you actually do,” and so we broke it down and I think you’re doing a lot better than you realize, right? When you look at it from an hourly perspective, the amount of hours I put in versus the amount of hours you put in for that amount. So if we were to break it down, so I basically give them a productivity philosophy in a nutshell. And I feel like the four hour workweek does that by talking by aiming that goal that putting that guideposts in and saying, what the lifestyle that you want it,

Dr. Chad Johnson 16:05
this is what Millennials want. This is what so funny enough that this book was written 20 years ago, and it embraces what Bruce was talking about but it’s it’s basically saying, well shoot, if I could work 10 hours a week, not an hour work week, but if I could work, you know, 10 hours a week and still make enough money where I could do the cool stuff with my boyfriend or my girlfriend that I liked doing, then that’s what they want to do, you know? Yes. Yeah. Another quote from Albert Einstein that he quoted in the book. So this is Timothy Ferriss, quoting Albert Einstein, “Any man who reads too much and uses his brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” So the beginning of the quote, reading after a certain age, this was challenging reading, after a certain age diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. That like, what we’re doing that I’m fine, yes, what we’re doing right now is a book quotes. Like, so we’re doing a book club, and um, we’re trying to talk about, you know, all these books and stuff like that and do you see it on my screen right here?

Regan 17:13
I do. Yes.

Dr. Chad Johnson 17:15
Okay. So reading after a certain age diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much, and uses his brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. In other words, you could be reading too much and that’s being lazy to Albert Einstein, isn’t that fascinating?

Regan 17:30
It is, it makes total sense to me, because what he’s saying, in my humble opinion, is you’re allowing someone else to dictate an opinion on you or dictate thoughts for you, as opposed to having you have that freedom. My cousin is a fine artist, very talented gentleman and, and I’ve had the opportunity to paint with him on several occasions, and my daughter came with us one time, which she’s phenomenal, blows everything away. She’s really, really talented and he was watching her paint at a young age and he said, “You know, it takes decades after you’re an adult to learn how to be in that frame of mind of creativity again,” and I think that’s exactly what Einstein is saying, you know, we allow our brain to be filled, and that we are no longer thinking for ourselves, and we are no longer forced to problem solve on our own and that that’s what I see him saying, there.

Dr. Chad Johnson 18:18
That’s right. Another interesting quote, avoid the crowd. This is Ralph Sherelle. It’s the beginning of the chapter, you know that he’s got a quote from someone, avoid the crowd, do your own thinking independently. Now, here’s the cool part. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.

Regan 18:39
I’ve heard that I used to, I used to always say, “Let’s play chess, not checkers.” I’m not even that great at chess. I’m okay with that, quote, what do I do with that quote? I mean, I get it, kind of here’s

Dr. Chad Johnson 18:49
The chess piece to me within the context of this book is you’re a worker at a factory or at a DSO or an associate, you’re going to go to work and after you’re done with the game, then go ahead, and you know, and cash out, but he’s like, wait a second, gamify it and be the chess player.

Regan 19:09
You know how I do that as an employee. I love that I get it. Now, I have always thought about what problem do I want to solve and I’ve allowed my curiosity to take me to new places. So I have never, 20 years ago, I never would have have ever said, “Did you know you’re going to be you’re going to be at the top of an organization in a very short amount of time in an area that maybe wasn’t there wasn’t even your general focus to begin with?” I never would have gotten there but I’ve just a love curiosity and so I feel like I don’t put rules on myself. I make up the rules.

Dr. Chad Johnson 19:44
So you’ve stayed out of that lane? Yeah,

Regan 19:46
I have. I have I have pretty much and I actually attribute it to a high school program. It was a very a, an innovative program. I don’t know how long it ran at the high school but it was it was three core periods a day and you got to make your own curriculum. So you, you had it was under the structure. So yes, yeah, it was really, really cool. It was English and I can’t remember what the other two blocks were, but you had to get it approved. You had to you had to create your curriculum and approve it, and they guided you with it but I, I solely credit that particular course and if you look at those students who graduated, are so many leaders in different fields that came from that group of students that because I think, of course, to creatively problem solve on our own. So I think I’ve skirted that, that thank you for that because I usually think those posts are a little too abstract for me. And I’m like, I don’t know what that means but if that’s the application, that context Yeah. And I think the four hour workweek does help people break the mindset, and it’s still applicable day, when it helps you get out of that employee 40-hour-a-week mindset. If you want, if you wish to reclaim more hours and attain wealth in different ways, he helps you see things in a different way.

Dr. Chad Johnson 21:00
Yeah, this guy, I mean, when he’s writing the book, which I think is just hilarious at times, you know, just because, for example, he gives a template madlib style on how to write your boss that you’re quitting. You know, he’ll say, “You know, and I want you to shove your body part up your, you know, certain, you know, other body part,” and then he’ll say, You’re my parents. Yeah, stuff like that. Totally. Totally. Hey, do me a favor. I want you to roleplay this with me for the audience’s sake. Do you see on the screen? Right over here? This part right here? Yes. Okay, so you give me a ring ring. And, and you’ll be John, you give me a ring ring and I’ll take the phone call. Okay.

Regan 21:50
Okay. Okay. What? Okay, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring ring.

Dr. Chad Johnson 21:54
Hi, John. I’m right in the middle of some how can I help you?

Regan 21:58
Oh, I can call back. No, no,

Dr. Chad Johnson 22:00
I have a minute. How can I help? Now, that’s one of the things from Timothy Ferriss book that I thought was fascinating that I’ve in the more polite way. I’ve heard Victoria, you.

Regan 22:13
I was so glad you brought up Victoria. So our CEO Victoria Peterson, she actually, she has read this book, she talks about this book. She has done that to a tee she will she will frame conversations. Oh, hi, Regan. I’ve got about five minutes,

Dr. Chad Johnson 22:26
correct? Yes. And what else is really cool about this is how dentists can apply. This is when an implant sales rep wants to get in touch with you, even if it’s via email, “Hey, you know, Can we can we do a phone call sometime? Tell you what, I have five minutes coming up here, you 15 minutes.” You can set it to whatever you want, right? You’re an adult and make your own mind up and set it to what you want, “But I have 10 minutes on Thursday afternoon at one o’clock but before we take that phone call, can you send me a template of of what we’re talking about. So that way I can better know how to help you.” And so that way, like they have to basically write back and say, “Well, I wanted to tell you about the new implant line. I wanted to tell you about the the you know, like how yours your purchasing has dropped over the last 12 months and I want to talk.”  “Okay, good. Let’s keep it to those topics and go there.” So functionally and prescriptively. I like how this book went about, you know, giving examples of, “Hi, John, I’m right in the middle of something. How can I help you out?” “Oh, no, I can call back.” “No, no, I have a minute. How can I help?” And it’s basically like, get to the point instead of he says the worst thing you can do is, you know, answer and go. “Hi, how are you? Well, you know, my mother the last 15 years how she’s had that digestive problem,” and it’s just like, “No, I that now’s not the time. It’s a workday. We’re getting things done. How can I help you?” You know, like, that’s, it’s really cool. Like that.

Regan 24:03
That was a good? And again, you don’t want that one? No, that was a great pearl from the book. Anybody can apply it. And it does. Tidy up areas where time can leak. Yep. So one of those areas to where I think you have to play the nuance of the relationship. So the way the way he presents it in the book is very good. I knew immediately because I’ve heard Victoria use that technique. I’ve used it as well without realizing it because I learned it from her. It’s good to remember the nuances. So try to listen for what’s underneath that tone for sales reps and things like that. You don’t have a relationship with them. Most likely, it’s just a way to get through a call. And I think that’s really good for efficiency. Just don’t over-dial it, I guess.

Dr. Chad Johnson 24:45
Yeah, like if you pull that off with your spouse, you know, like, “Hey, I’ve got two minutes what’s up?” Unless I guess you only have two minutes then I mean, I suppose it would be good to frame you know, so they understand you know, before the patient leaves out, you know you’ve got to, you know, get back to it, but what’s up? So this was a cool quote within the book. If someone proposes that you meet with them or set a sign to talk, talk on the phone, ask the person to send you an email with an agenda to define the purpose and then he says, “You know, so that sounds doable. So here’s the email. So that sounds doable, so that I can best prepare, you can, can you please send me an email with the agenda, that is the topics and the questions that we’ll address? That would be great thanks in advance,” and he always ends, “Thanks in advance,” and then he goes on to explain, end quote, don’t give them a chance to bail out the “Thanks in advance before a retort increases your chances of getting an email nine times out of 10 a meeting is unnecessary. And you can answer the questions once defined via email. So in other words, doctors, I’m trying to help you out if you’re like me, and I’m just spending a lot of time you know, like doing, you know, business stuff, maybe you’re doing too much one on one. So then it ends up being, you know, you sit down in the first five minutes, they’re trying to build rapport, right, like you should be as a doctor. They also have you noticed Patterson and Henry Schein reps, this isn’t wrong, but they’re like, “You know, we want to be your full-service help. We want to not just be you know, who’s selling you cotton rolls, but we want to be able to offer you everything.” Of course they do but isn’t that exactly what the your your book is, I don’t want to just fill your tooth, I want to comprehensively help your whole mouth. So what they’re trying to do is take a bigger market share and headspace and, and so that goes to the next quote in the stoicism that is applied to the videos TED Talks that you were talking about with, with the author, Timothy Ferriss and stoicism. So he quotes at the beginning of one of the chapters Henry David Thoreau, and it says, “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone or in our common English to leave alone. So a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to leave alone. So in other words, if you’re micromanaging everything, you’re not going to get much done. If you are bigger than that, and you have a delegation in place, and you have a team that you can trust and everything like that, so you can step out of it, that’s a form of richness, says Henry David Thoreau, your thoughts?

Regan 27:17
Oh, I think I think that’s accurate. I think every business owner, or leader does strive to attain that. So it all kind of goes around the “Why can’t you take a long time vacation right now? What? What is preventing you from taking off for weeks?” And if you can’t answer that question, or if you know that you can’t make that a reality, then that can be one of your purposes, or your goals, if you will. So I think it is yeah, I think it’s critical to be able to set up your systems and make sure that your team isn’t and that that again, though that again, where it’s where that nuance comes in. That’s where the relationship part of it comes in and you and you could see, Tim Ferriss had the right idea in that, in those beginning hours he was actually solving for, in one of the TED talks that I listened to his one of his ex-girlfriends made him a little like Diorama a little plaque and it had on it like him sitting there with like emails piling up and it’s like work ends at 5pm and it was a reminder to him to stop working and he said, he said it, you know that he he just he was doing 15-hour days, 17-hour days, whatever have you as long as he could try to get it up and I think that’s where the fourty-hour workweek was born when he knew he had to get out of it. Fast forward now to 2020 and when Brene Brown asked him the question of how do you go between striving versus self acceptance, he still leans back on systems? And his answer was, “I have to schedule it in,” and I have a love hate relationship with scheduling because I think I’m a creative person and so creativity cannot really be scheduled. It’s very, very difficult. It comes in spurts. So I still think he struggled with that today. I still think his brain is probably hyperactive, and he’s still have lots of ideas and though I do think he is I do think he’s been able to achieve a certain level of delegation that Thoreau was talking about and being able to let things go but I think it’s a constant struggle for him. And I think it always

Dr. Chad Johnson 29:20
another interesting thing was he was talking about do you remember the the fable that he told of an American businessman was standing at the pier of a coastal Mexican village, and he saw fishermen and the fisherman, then he walks up to him and he says, “You know, what are you doing?” “Well, you know, I fish for a couple hours and then I go home and I you know, have lunch with my, with my wife and I play with my kids.” And he says, “You know, I’ve done some awesome business classes. I could market your place here, and we could make this really fancy and grow this, this boating thing. We could buy multiple boats, we could get a big, you know, industry going and get you up to speed, you know, with this, you could dominate this area and then you know, I could fly you to classes, you could learn about how to you know, become a better businessman,” and then the fisherman says, “That sounds great and all but like so what? Why would I, why would I do that?” And he says, “Well, so one day you could be really successful and have lots of millions of dollars and then you could even take off work early and go have lunch with your wife and play with your kids.” And he’s like, “I mean, but there therein lies the story. It’s like, well, that’s what I already do.” You know, so it’s kind of weird when we think about the, the towers that we’re trying to build, and then come to find out that they’re, you know, like, they’re, they’re just monuments of greatness to ourselves maybe and like, why, but you know, like,

Regan 30:50
so like the cat’s in the cradle thong. Yeah, I found I liked my summation with the fourty-hour work, because there were some tools in there that I felt to be helpful if you have never, if you are not familiar with Parkinson’s Law or parados law, and you haven’t thought about reframing your work week, that they that it was good for me, the big takeaway sits outside of the book, and it is his TED talk on fear setting instead of goal setting and it’s a way of getting people out of indecision and inaction and I thought, for me where I’m at in my mid-life, I feel that it is a very helpful thing, because I love what you’re saying with that for me, over the past year and a half, two years, actually effort over the last two years, I have put myself first and I have decided what my non-negotiables are and I stopped caring about my financial goals and I stopped striving for more just to have more or more success, or more, whatever it was. And instead, I said, What’s going to make me feel happy and full and complete. And that includes my family time, my personal time, and I feel much, much, much richer today and my success hasn’t gone down as a result. That was the other surprise for me, though, by forcing myself to look through, I guess I made my purpose, myself today, as opposed to myself before, and I stopped sacrificing pieces of myself and I stopped wearing the mask that I see so many people, men and women, I see a lot of people wearing a mask, and I call it the hustle Culture Map and it’s just the more for having more, more success, more money more, whatever and I see that once we start taking off those masks and we’re more vulnerable and open with each other, I think that’s where true progress happens and so I went from Did you know there’s a whole group by the way, there’s like a whole group that hates on Tim Ferriss, so um, no rabbit hole. Oh, yeah. When I went started going down the rabbit hole. I got to Google this guy. I got to know more about him. Why does this feel false to me? Why did this book annoy me? And sure enough, there’s a whole group that just hates on Tim Ferriss. So I was like, I’m not even alone in this but I have been delightfully I like it when my opinion can be changed and I don’t think things truly black and white and I think this gentleman has grown a lot you’ve come a long way he’s still got a lot of work to do like we all do, because we are writing perfect. Alright, so the message that I took for me personally and where I’m at with my career was more around his fear-setting framework. Understanding how to be self-accepting and balancing my striving with my fear of complacency in it so that’s that was my big takeaway from this.

Dr. Chad Johnson 33:41

Regan 33:43
And what about you?

Dr. Chad Johnson 33:45
My big takeaways?

Regan 33:47

Dr. Chad Johnson 33:50
I’m just trying to look over my notes to make sure okay, one of them that I really liked and I’ll share it on the screen with you so you can see are the their listeners gonna be able to see this Are we gonna have it on video perhaps Okay, so let’s

Regan 34:03
hit share in our casual Why not right?

Dr. Chad Johnson 34:07
Okay, share screen here it is serving the customer. Customer service is not becoming a personal concierge and succumbing to their every whim and want which is what we sometimes think within dentistry, but listen to this customer service is providing an excellent product or service at an acceptable price and solving legitimate problems in the fastest manner manner possible. That’s it. The more options you offer the customer, the more indecision you create, and the fewer orders you receive. So let’s break this down into dentistry. We want great customer service, patient experience The patient experience experience. Yes, thank you. And so we want to provide an excellent service or product sometimes it’s a product but an excellent service treatment at an accent optimal price and solving legitimate problems. So not just making up fufu things right? In the fastest manner possible. So we don’t want someone to wait, you know, 18 months before they get their cavity filled, let alone you know, something, you know, whatever. So, and he’s like, “It’s that simple. The more options you offer a customer, the more indecision you create.” Now, here’s where it comes home. If you offer someone five treatment plans, yep, what are they going to choose? They probably nothing. I make a joke in my office and I don’t know how much of it is a joke and how much of it is true. So take it in your office in context to you. But if you offer a patient two options, there are many patients who will choose the wrong one every time. And

Regan 35:53
you never, you never want you never want it to go to the judges for decision.

Dr. Chad Johnson 35:57
Oh, interesting. Yeah and I’m sure there’s legal stuff like that, too. Like, you know, what is if the jury is out too long, then it’s good for the defense or whatever, I don’t know. So stuff like that but here’s the deal. If I do present a couple options, I do present sometimes three options and then I’ll say Indecision is an option, you can always choose to do nothing because legally, you know, it’s good to be able to present that you don’t have to choose today, I don’t want you to make a hasty decision but in essence, there are two options. One is going to be an implant one is going to be a bridge and the third option, if I were to give you one isn’t a good option but let’s say a partial for you doing a partial denture and clipping onto adjacent teeth. When you’re only missing one tooth, and you know, you’re 20 years old, that’s just going to be a credit option for a long term, but it’s an option, go ahead and take it if you want, it is less expensive, but you can drop it, you can lose it, you know, like it’s just an okay option of the past. So, honestly, for these days, if you were family, I’d want you to choose an implant if there’s enough bone, and if there’s not enough bone, or you can’t cover the cost, then a bridge is fine enough. And giving those couple options but when we create indecision, it’s possibly because we gave the customer the patient too many options and then as this quote says, the fewer orders that you receive. So in other words, your treatment plan case acceptance, will be less, less than stellar, your thoughts?

Regan 37:30
To me, I think the book, The Four-Hour Workweek, gives you some potential tools to cut down on your administrative time. And Albert it looking at Albert Einstein’s quote, well, we want to be free as clinicians is we want to be free to be creative and how I define that is in two ways, I define it through treatment planning, but I also define it for time to be with the patient. So Dr. Bruce says you got to you got to provide great you got to focus and provide great patient care. What does that mean? To me, that means being in relationship, if you are free, meaning your mental bandwidth isn’t taken up with administrative concerns, because you’ve automated you streamline, you’re being efficient, because you’re being you’re being effective, you know what the right things are to do, you’re able to have that time with the patient. I think the cost is actually I mean, when he says acceptable in that particular, quote, acceptable price, that to me is open for interpretation. If I have a great relationship with my clinician, I don’t care what the cost is, because I trust you, it doesn’t matter, I trust you and I’m going to take that, that particular treatment plan. So to me, excellent customer service is listening. It’s providing yourself the mental space to be fully present with that patient, so that you can listen to them, and you can build a relationship so they trapped you and then you two are working on a health plan together.

Dr. Chad Johnson 38:55
acceptable price to me is like an economics term that implies that the buyer or the seller are not resentful of the cost or if there is, if there is a 1% resentment, and the other side has a 1% resentment, resentment going, I wonder if I sold that widget too cheaply and then the other person goes, I wonder if I bought this just a little too expensive, but it was worth it. That both sides, like in essence are within that range. There comes a point though, where if you do something does my take home lesson actually, like if I were to really really apply this to my life and how I could help others is when you think about that, that quote and wanting to you know, to find the right price and stuff like that guess what happens when you add a tariff on to a supply-demand curve. You like in microeconomics. You know, you get this, this shift of the curve that doesn’t allow for the price point in the middle of the X of the supply and demand to find the dictate the price on something, a tariff, or, you know, stuff like that it shifts in taxes, it shifts the price away from that and so when we are PPO in network, there’s the point, we aren’t doing stuff for the price that we, you know, would hope to get, and you are resentful but the problem is you’re not so resentful that you’ll do anything about it. So in other words, the resentment isn’t so bad that you’ll you’re the frog that will hop out of the boiling water, proverbially, proverbially, but rather, you’ll stay in the water and keep on getting boiled watch yourself with PPOs. Do you notice the resentment factor when you wish that you were doing a $2,000 denture, but you’re doing it for $500, because that’s what the insurance company makes you do it for the patient is in love with this because it’s not a mutually accepted cost is a bargain for them and when it’s such a bargain for the consumer, then it builds up resentment for the seller as it should, price points should be dictated, I should say, according to a capitalist, price points should be dictated by where the market meets the supply and the demand because I could charge $10 million per denture but no one’s going to buy it or one person is going to buy it which actually is a sub-point of his book, find that in within the Pareto Principle, find your 20% customers that are making you 80% of the profit. How are you going to do that? I say go fee for service, that would be my take home, but that almost would need to be a part to

Regan 41:41
another podcast I know. So I’ll grab the doctor and we’ll talk but we’ll we’ll continue we’ll find a Dr. PDA tribe. Somebody’s read The Four-Hour Workweek. Let’s continue this conversation with one of our tribe we’ll talk about,

Dr. Chad Johnson 41:53
guys, thanks for listening. We’re gonna be doing more books but it sounds like this one we might need to actually tease out even further hope you have a great week. Thanks for listening. Thanks, Regan.

Regan 42:05
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 And don’t forget to check out our other podcasts from Productive Dentist Academy at See you next week.

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