Episode 239 – From Good to Great

“I’ve found ways to become free.” ~Dr. Chad Johnson

Discover the importance of building trust and accountability within your team, and how creating a collaborative environment can lead to remarkable results. In this enriching episode of Everyday Practices Dental Podcast, co-host Dr. Chad Johnson takes us through his journey of growth and self-discovery as he shares his insights on how personalized coaching from PDA transformed his career and personal life. Dr. Chad shares significant milestones he has achieved, such as spending quality time with his family, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and setting goals for gradual, intentional retirement.

This episode provides you with practical advice and heartfelt reflections that resonate with any dentist or dental team member aiming for peak performance. Dr. Chad’s journey is not just about achieving professional success, but also about finding fulfillment and joy in both personal and professional pursuits. From overcoming initial fears of coaching to realizing the invaluable benefits it brings, Dr. Chad shows us how he moved from a mindset of “can’t afford it” to understanding the true value of investing in coaching and personal development. 

As you listen to this episode, we want you to think about the following questions:

  • Am I open to the idea of personalized coaching and how it might transform my practice and personal life?
  • Do I have a system of accountability in place to track my progress and hold myself responsible for my goals?
  • What steps can I take to achieve the work-life balance I desire?
  • How adaptable am I in my business decisions, and am I willing to learn from both successes and setbacks?


Regan Robertson: 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.

Quick note, before we jump into today’s exciting episode, the owner’s gross production per month we referenced was in 2013, not 2018. If you’re curious to know how Dr. Johnson increased his own growth by 143 percent and his hourly by 242%, you will love today’s episode. Now onto the show. Welcome to Everyday Practices Dental Podcast. I am your host, Regan Robertson here with the delightful ever productive Dr. Chad Johnson. Chad. Hello.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Hello, Regan, and hello listeners, everyone around the world and possibly Mars for the future Mars listeners. It’s possible. Listen, Elon Musk is going to make it happen. So hello, Martians.

Regan Robertson: You know, there’s a lot of things that we don’t know. We are not in the know they could be on Mars.

Dr. Chad Johnson: And now this is going to age. Well, this is going to age so well because we welcomed the Martians. So thanks for having me on. I’m a weirdo. Go ahead.

Regan Robertson: You know, Chad, this is our 20th anniversary at Productive Dentist Academy.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yay And in September, I am looking forward to this

Regan Robertson: we have been looking forward to this.

Dr. Chad Johnson: This is great.

Regan Robertson: Oh my gosh. I’m, I’m so looking forward to the September conference. Absolutely. It’s, we’ve got a lot of special things lined up. Uh, and the biggest reason that I’m excited is we are celebrating a lot of the successes that have come across those two decades with our, our doctors. Uh, you know, we have a long been what we call member-built and driven and so it has taken, um, us these two decades to stay in close relationship with the doctors, keep our ear to the ground. Um, we had practices, both Victoria and Bruce had dental practices, uh, you know, over that time. So we’ve really tried to, I think, stay super close and provide services that truly help the independent dentists and small groups be productive and tangible

Dr. Chad Johnson: ways, the fact that you were with us through COVID. Is, um, awesome and I’m calling out Baron Grutter right now. He had better come because he is the reason that I was invited to check out Productive Dentist Academy and he had better come in September and don’t give me these excuses about Michigan being so far away, you know, and blah, blah, blah. So he had better come. That’s all I’m saying.

Regan Robertson: Shout out to Baron.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Shout out to Baron Grutter.

Regan Robertson: We’re going to have to follow up with him. Our theme is turning dreams into reality and Bruce taught he, he chose that theme and I think it’s really appropriate because editorially I have heard in my 13 years with PDA, that particular sentiment come up a lot with our clients that you have actually, my dream is now my reality, thanks to PDA and this is not tooting PDA’s horn. This is actually, you know, putting the hero’s journey in the appropriate place and it’s, it’s recognizing that you deserve a guide and support that can help you realize your vision of success and that’s different. We have found, you know, lots of different dreams coming true and, and what it looks like is unique for each person and so today I wanted to put you in the hot seat and discuss you because you’ve had quite the journey with PDA and I think there’s a lot of ways where your dreams have probably come true.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Exceeded. No, for sure and, you know, I think, uh, Productive Dentist Academy has also done a good job at giving me permission, me and others, anyone who’s willing to grow, um, permission to develop as a leader, you know, like that some of us, we’ve got it in us more, some more than others. I, you know, I don’t want to say we all have the same aptitude, but, um, uh, giving someone permission to be like, no, your business and your family and your future is worth it. Make the right decision about your business to move onward, make your right decision about your, the relationships you’re in, uh, for, for the embodiment of your future.So for sure, I’m, I’m, I’m pro PDA. I’m a raging fan

Regan Robertson: Well, the leadership is like reading a novel and you can’t skip chapters. You have to go through it and, and it takes time. So there is no silver bullet and there’s no quick fix. There’s a lot of small little incremental things that you can do. Um, you know, plus the, the amount of experience sometimes you have to make mistakes. So, uh, you know, thinking,

Dr. Chad Johnson: I wouldn’t know, I wouldn’t know about that.

Regan Robertson: Practically perfect in every way.

Dr. Chad Johnson: I mean, so that won’t, that’ll just have to be hypothetical, but, um, yeah. Just playing around.

Regan Robertson: So take us back to a day in the life of Dr. Chad. Dr. Chadwick Aaron Johnson before PDA, how were things going for you in the beginning?

Dr. Chad Johnson: So, um, I opened up my own office in 2005. Uh, I had an associate start with me by 2008. My second associate, uh, was with me by 2011. Um, I think she was with me for a couple years and as she was leaving, um, she said, “You know, Chad, maybe you should consider getting a consultant and they could help you, yeah.”

Regan Robertson: Was it, was it a snide suggestion?

Dr. Chad Johnson: No, it was not. It was so sincere and I was so mad about it.

Regan Robertson: It was needed advice.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yes. It was very apt advice. So Dr. Ashley, thank you for, uh, offering that advice to me. Um, yeah, I was just like, “You know, maybe she’s right. Maybe.” So I go looking for, um, a bunch of, uh, consultants, websites, and, and stuff like that to try and find, you know, the way I saw it, and I’ve explained this before on our 200 ish episodes is that, um, the way I saw it, consultants take your money and they have no skin in the game and they tell you what to do, raise the fees, do better, you know, do more procedures, see you later and you’re still stuck with, you know, making it work and so I was very skeptical of how a consultant could help me and, um, I was talking with Baron Grutter. I watched some videos of Dr. Bruce and I was sold, uh and not in a, you know, I don’t, when I say that, I, I, whatever, for it’s just a pure way to say, I was sold on that. Dr. Bruce talked and walked the talk and walk and, um, that kind of makes me want some tacos.

Regan Robertson: I want some tacos

Dr. Chad Johnson: Um, but, uh, right. So he, um, I, I saw these videos and I was like, okay, this guy seems like the real deal. If, you know, if I just, I can trust him. I trusted him without having met him. just by watching his videos, I was like, “This guy is my mentor. This guy is my, I wish he was like my father-in-law.” I, I wish that he was, you know, like that he was, he, he, he could be my sage. Um, Advisor, you know, like, like I could trust him, not to say I could never trust anyone else before then or whatever, because I had people that I’d run ideas by, but in this consulting realm, it always, I was always jaded from day one on this, like I was just, and in, in the end, I developed to be a full advocate of Productive Dentist Academy, because, um, as I was talking with Baron Grutter about, uh, Productive Dentist Academy, we were in CEREC Mentor Group together, and so we met down in Scottsdale and, you know, doing CEREC, um, stuff and, you know, he was telling me, you know, about this, that I should check into it and so I, uh, I looked into it and, and, um, started, uh, talking with, uh, Chris Moriarty on the phone and saying, “Hey, so I have an associate that’s leaving. Things aren’t going well. Uh, we’re behind on our payments and now we need to, you know, like get a game plan for figuring stuff out, but I’m willing.” And he said, “Okay, we have an event in February ish or March, whatever it was. Why don’t you come to that?” And I was like, “Oh, uh, I don’t know if that’ll work. Okay,” and Baron had told me bring the whole team. Don’t just take yourself, you know, cause then you’ll need to go back with your whole team. So bring your whole team and I thought, I don’t have the money for this but I’m going to make it work.

Regan Robertson: Let’s stop there and go back. I’m going to reverse engineer you for a minute. Let’s go back to some of those problems because you called Chris and I heard money come up as an issue. So when your associate was exiting and she had this brilliant idea for you to reach out and find a consultant, why did she say that? What, what indicators did you or her have that were brought to light that I need to get my business straightened out?

Dr. Chad Johnson: I was not communicating well with the team and I think that’s the biggest deal and I can say that now 10 years in advance, um, but there were communicative problems, uh, and a lack of my leadership communication skills with the team. Um, so, um, and we had, we had, um, we had, uh, electric, uh, like a, um, what do you call it? A lightning strike on our office and it fried our server and so, yeah, and so that ended up, I had at the time I had figured out that that probably ended up costing me about 50, 000 and I mean, each week was kind of living week to week trying to make it work. So, you know, I didn’t have a pad of 50, 000 to move forward and here I have my associate leaving the office is doing well as far as production, but we’re not joined together. We’re not, you know, um, clicking it’s front against the back. It’s me upset that, you know, this and that it’s them upset that I’m not this and that. And, um but the dentistry itself wasn’t overly complex. We had just introduced CEREC and that I think was a frustration for about three to six months, you know, um, at the time for the learning curve, for introducing that and getting better at that, uh, we were insurance driven by far and, um, so she, at leaving, I felt like she was telling me that just to be like, you know, that’s probably what, you know, what you need is to be able to like, have someone say, let’s come together and we’re all on the same page. We want the business to succeed right and that’s basically what, you know, if, if we were to nutshell it, what, um, any consultant worth their salt would, would come and say, team, we had, we’re, we’re on the same page right. And if not, that’s question number one is like, are we willing to play in the same sandbox and tackle the same problems as a group of Teammates, you know, and, um, up until then, you know, I bet I spit, stayed on the phone with Chris for an hour. I remember in my basement talking to him in an hour and I bet it was 10 or 11 at night. As he had mentioned before, I don’t think there were tears. I was I, I wasn’t at the point of crying. I was more resolute to just be like, I’m willing to change. Like when I made the phone call, I think I shot him an email and then I made a phone call and I was like, “It’s time to make it happen.”

Regan Robertson: That was a risk on your part with the financial concern with the lightning strike, losing an associate. That’s a big risk to take your team because it’s not, I mean, and at the time too, I think it costs more than it even does now, uh, to attend. So you, you had to really put yourself out there. So did you take your whole team to, uh, the productivity workshop?

Dr. Chad Johnson: I did. Um and I’m trying to think how many were on the team at the time, but the team was bigger than it is now because I was PPO and now I’m fee for service. My team is actually, you know, leaner than it is, uh, than it was then. So I, I bet we took 12 or maybe 14, something like that. Um, there was a good amount of people that came.

Regan Robertson: That is significant.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yeah, um, but I mean, it blew my mind from the get-go. Um, I remember, Oh, where was it? I don’t think it was Seattle because that was our blue sky event. Um, I’m trying to think, well, um, it was in Fort Worth and, um, and I, I just remember taking notes and, uh, you know, and just being like, oh goodness, you know, we need to do this and that and I’m sitting next to my office manager, you know, and you’ve seen it before now, right? You’ve seen that light bulb and then the light bulb, light bulb, light bulb, light bulb, light bulb and, you know, like, when does it ever end? And, um, yeah, it was very impactful because, uh, the team was excited that I was, hearing that I was the problem and right

Regan Robertson:  Oh boy.

Dr. Chad Johnson: But, but I was willing to own it. Basically, it’s another lesson in stoicism, right? Are you willing to own up to your problems? And then, um, I was excited because well, no, I felt heard that they ex the, the workshop they explained to the team that, you know, this doctor wants to invest in you. Mm-Hmm. and make you succeed and he wants to be successful because he also wants you to be successful. So like you guys are on the same page, you need to, to help him out and you need to, um, to make it. Happened for him. Like he has metrics that he needs to hit so he can feel successful. So that way he can also Pat your back. So Pat his back. So then he goes, “Wow, you guys are on my team. I’m going to now Pat your back,” and you know, who primes the pump? ] Yes. It’s not one or the other, but you know, the answer is yes and, um, Yeah, I, I, Oh, I, I don’t know. It came, it came a long way. Um,

Regan Robertson: I’ve I quick sidebar, uh, this, this the past month. So it’s like my summer theme. I made a leadership summer theme and I wouldn’t call it radical responsibility, but that seems to be what’s sticking in my head. I have been saying I am fully responsible and so if something, if something goes great, wonderful, if something goes wrong, that is your opportunity. I take full responsibility and just saying those words out loud, even if it doesn’t feel good, can actually move you forward and I think it’s quite beneficial. So I appreciate, I say this because I’m impressed with your ability to be humble. Even if it doesn’t feel good in that moment.

Dr. Chad Johnson: No, it did not feel good

Regan Robertson: No, it feels terrible. It was awful, but to take the radical responsibility and admit, okay, this is where it’s probably going wrong and you’ve come so far. I’m going to, I’m going to throw some numbers out there for your growth. and I’m, and I want you to think about this when you hear those numbers and think about what your goals were at that first PDA workshop, like, what were your goals? And so think about that.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yes. Well, and I’ll preface it. It might be premature, but I’ll preface it by saying this. I, when I signed up for the workshop, I told Chris, “My associate and I did 1. 4 million last year in production. I want to do the same production next year, even when she’s gone. You know, so when she leaves, I want to produce that much,” and, um, that was one of my big goals. I was like, we can’t afford to lose production, so I don’t need to do more. I just need to do more so that way our office can do the [00:18:00] same. So that’s, that’s my preface. Now you share your stuff.

Regan Robertson: So let’s do some math on that really quick. That’s really interesting. So, so, uh, the team is looking back to your original 2013 numbers. So they’re gonna pull your very original numbers Yes. Like probably when you first came to a workshop.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Correct.

Regan Robertson: But we have that your owners, so your gross production.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yes.

Regan Robertson: Monthly in 2018 was

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yes.

Regan Robertson: 46,300.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yes.

Regan Robertson: In 2023, you are at 112,700. So what’s that? What’s the math on that?

Dr. Chad Johnson: Uh, the difference between the two?

Regan Robertson: Well, how much is that? How much is that per year?

Dr. Chad Johnson: Uh, what was the number? one hundred and twenty?

Regan Robertson: 112700

Dr. Chad Johnson:  So 1. 4 of production on my own. Yeah. Yeah and no, and that, what it was my office production,

Regan Robertson: Not just your personal production, my

Dr. Chad Johnson: Not my production, that was at the time that it was [00:19:00] 1. 3 or 1. 4. Um, It might’ve even been 1. 2, whatever it was at the time, like that was for the whole office. I think

Regan Robertson: doing that by yourself.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yes. Yeah. Um, for sure. I mean, uh, and we’re also collecting more of that because right now being fee for service, I produce, and then we collect 90 plus percent of that.

Regan Robertson: So it has to feel pretty good.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Oh, yeah. Oh, I was, I was working hard back then and what’s funny is now I am working more structured and efficiently, but I’m not working harder.

Regan Robertson: No and I think that’s always the biggest misnomer out there is that, is that you have to work harder, faster, charge more. I mean, it’s this,

Dr. Chad Johnson: Have you ever seen a runner running, you know, uh, like a runner, a true, a pure runner running and it’s effortless and they’re still  running beautiful and they’re still running almost twice as fast as you are. Now you can run harder and keep up with them, but you can’t do it on mile 10, let alone mile one, you know, so, you know, you need to learn if possible, you know, how do I, how do I get my running form and how do I become a gazelle more like them and again, sometimes there’s a maximum aptitude that align bait, align backer, uh, body structure is not going to be the same as an Olympic athlete runner, you know, in different body types, that’s okay but flow with the analogy, it’s just like, there are times when, uh, you know, there’s that beautiful runner. And you’re, you’re working hard and I was working hard and now I’m just running, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s just, it flows.

Regan Robertson: You’re sailing.

Dr. Chad Johnson: I’m sailing. I’m a sailor.

Regan Robertson: I went out since we, since you just spoke about Chris Moriarty, Chris Moriarty has had, I don’t know if he has now, but he had a sailboat and he took me out on a sailboat. I’d never been on a sailboat. I did motor vessels, lots of them growing up, but never a sailboat and when he put up that sail and turned off the little kicker engine, it was amazing to me. It was so effortless. It was so beautiful and that’s exactly what you described to me right there in that moment. It just all clicks. It just all works. So in addition to communication in your leadership, what other things did you feel like you needed to accomplish? yourself to be able to say, “Okay, I’m, I’m this, these things will get me on the right track.”

Dr. Chad Johnson: Delegation, um, scheduling, data tracking, and, um, communication. I, oh, and an incentive program to get people, you know, those were some of the big things that Productive Dentist Academy introduced to my team was, uh, scheduling, delegation, um, uh, incentive programs and, uh, data tracking and once we had that, I, maybe a fifth component, if I’m coming up off, off the fly is coaching accountability to where the next month we’re going to, you know, talk about what I didn’t do well enough and it’s okay to say that sounds like I’m being hard on myself, but it’s like, well, let’s get to the point it’s let’s celebrate what we’re doing. Well, and then also, okay, where, why aren’t we hitting all of our goals? And the thing that I, I need to say this, the thing that I loved most about Productive Dentist Academy was that, um, it was choose your own adventure and I remember talking with some teams that, um, the, the doctor was, um, uh, I’d say, “Hey, we’re implementing this,” and she’d say, “Oh, we’re not implementing that yet,” and every doctor owner gets to choose. What they want to tackle. So the coach doesn’t come in and say, “Listen, I’m running the ship now. Here’s what you’re gonna do and by next week I need you to have this done. It’s okay. So where do you see the problems?” Mm-Hmm, . And I say, blah, blah, blah, A, B, and C.” “Okay. Where are the sources of those problems?” “I don’t know. With A, I think it’s one and B, I think it’s two and C, I think it’s three,” and then,”Okay. So what are we going to do? How would you like to, you know, address those top three things? Do you think we can tackle all three right now, or should we only address one?” “I don’t know. I, I really feel like we need to focus all of our efforts on scheduling.” “Okay. why don’t I have a phone call with the team and let’s talk about scheduling and then I need you to make sure to be on the same page as your office manager, that you want to implement scheduling to production and stuff like that,” and. You know, talking that through, but someone else might be like, let’s just do all of it right now and well, that’s going to be tough. I don’t care. I want to do it. Okay. If you want to do it, then let’s make it happen and everyone gets to choose their own adventure and after a year or two, um, I remember talking with a dentist from Ohio and, uh, she, you know, I think she had joined a year before me and, um, and I had asked her if she was uh, working on this or that. and she’s like, “No, not yet. You know, we’re really just focusing on this,” and, um, it, because she was going at her own pace to accomplish her goals and, you know, working on what she felt was what she needed to work on. Most, um, did that make sense?

Regan Robertson: Yes I’m glad that you brought up the personalization of it and I was wondering. If that was a particular attractive feature, when you went from the workshop and decided, okay, I’m going to go into consulting with PDA compared to the other consulting companies that you looked at.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yeah. Well, no, at, uh, yeah, that was my, one of my biggest fears is that they would say, “All right, you know, I’m in charge and I’m going to tell you what to do,” and, um, I needed to be the one to pick my problems and funny enough, at first I didn’t want to do coaching. And I sat out on coaching, um, after going to the May workshop, maybe for a couple months. I don’t know if it was a one or three months.

Regan Robertson: It doesn’t surprise me at all. Color me surprised. I can do this on my own.

Dr. Chad Johnson:  Well, not only that, but I can’t afford to do coaching. Like, is what I’m thinking and then after a couple months, I was like, “Alright, I can’t afford not to do coaching.” So then, Cause I thought this seems easy enough. All you do is you hop on the bike and you pedal and then you just go and little did I know that I just needed someone to help me learn how to ride the bike and so, um,

Regan Robertson: Trust is important for that, especially not just in general. It’s important for everyone, but for you, I know that, that having that trust, because if we go back in time also, and remember that was an investment. So another, uh, Chris Moriarty, again, he used to say, uh, it’s not that you can’t afford it. It’s that you choose not to afford it.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Correct.

Regan Robertson: And I thought that was, it was a great mind flip for me.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yeah.

Regan Robertson: And I brought that home to my  family and, and so whenever they, you know, the kids ask for something or whatever, I say, I choose, we choose not to afford this because we’re putting effort other and so there there’s that transition of ownership that has to occur there. So the proof points have to be right. So it took you a couple of months

Dr. Chad Johnson: To sign up and then the cool thing is after a year, uh, I had ended up doing everything. That well, maybe a year, maybe two, you know, but like when, when we started getting momentum, I realized I did everything that the, that my coach Kari had wanted me to get started on at my own pace, introducing it as we were going, but if she would have said, “Chad by February, you need to do this and that and by January of the following year, you need to have this and that done.” No, I don’t want you to tell me what to do. So what’s cool is somehow PDA tricked me into doing everything that they wanted me to do and making me think all the while that I had chosen to get it done. Now that’s a flippant way of saying that it was a choose your own adventure and on my own timing, I was willing to accept everything that basically the workshop had talked about. Um, but it was on my own terms when I was ready to move to the next assignment, you know, to, so to speak.

Regan Robertson: Well, relationship building for that type of collaborative environment is so important and Kari Miller is really, really skilled at that and so where I see that, choose your own.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Well, yeah, I mean, you know, to, to hop on the phone and be like, “So Chad, remember last month, how we talked about this and I noticed on your trackers that you haven’t done any of that. So when do you think you’re going to start doing that?”

Regan Robertson: You’re competitive too,which also probably helped that I could see you saying, Oh my gosh.

Dr. Chad Johnson: At the time, if you remember too, the trackers were all done in Excel files reported back to the coach and then there was on the website or yeah, I don’t think it was the email on the website. They’d post a leaderboard.

Regan Robertson: Yep. I remember the leaderboard.

Dr. Chad Johnson: That turned it on for me. I was like, “Oh, I’m not letting Baron beat me again. You know?” So, you know, it was, um, it was all the docs at the time that were, you know, the, the, the high rollers and no way I could touch Pete Thompson. But I mean, at the same time, You know, like aside from Pete Thompson, could I be the number two, you know, I want to be number two.

Regan Robertson: So since our theme is turning dreams into reality, let’s bring it up to present day and talk about some of the, some of the things that have happened in your life. Where you have that moment and you say to yourself, “This is success. Like, I feelgreat about this.” Is it, is it time with your family? Is it your practices? Is it, you know, what, what is it for you that like fills up your bucket and says, “I’m living a life I feel great about.”

Dr. Chad Johnson: Um, I’m not the first one or the last one to leave my office. Which is a big martyr sign to me that I hear from other dentists, you know, saying, “Well, I’m the first one and the last one to leave, you know, and stuff,” and it’s just like, I mean, that, that can work, but don’t you kind of wish sometimes that you could delegate stuff to where you could not have to be, have to be the first one to show up and the last one to leave to unlock the door. You know, don’t you wish you could trust your team to be able to say, “Here’s the key unlock the door, get the lights on, I’ll be in for the meeting and stuff like that.” Um, So that’s one, uh, almost silly at first element, you know, like, uh, cause it’s just like, is that the most important one? No, it’s just the first one that came to mind. Um, being able to be intentional about taking time off because the office was producing so much per year, more than the previous year when I was working 50 or 51 weeks out of the year and to be able to go, okay, maybe next year I can do 49 and then the next year I could do 48 and then the next year I could do 47. Um, in the last year, I haven’t made this goal into fruition yet, but I could, um, I’ve been thinking what I needed to do is. Um, and then I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to start working one week less per year,” that’s attainable.

Regan Robertson: Yes.

Dr. Chad Johnson: And that’s not too much. It’s just like, you know,

Regan Robertson: Compounding. So compounding like, Yeah. So in other words, Attacking a week on every year,

Dr. Chad Johnson: Almost forcing myself into retirement. Um, After 20 years of just working 30 weeks a year. Like, you know, Um, Yeah and, and why not when you’re, you know, 64, 65 at that point for me, you know, like, why not just be like, “Oh, you just intentional.”

Regan Robertson: You just totally unlocked a really great goal. I like that a lot because I have like a five year and eight year, a 10 year plan and I’ve been trying to articulate eventually I want to be down to, you know, 20 hours a week. Sounds great. Like I think 20 hours a week, I could still provide incredible value, like really, you know, like feel satisfied with the work that I’m doing, but have enough time to play around and have a lot of fun and stuff like that. So I like how you are incrementally like working those milestones and that’s brilliant.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yeah. Um, other things I think when I, um, when I, um, when I present When I give presentations, I show pictures of where I’ve traveled and stuff like that, not to show off other dentists travel too but I think in my mind, subconsciously is I’m just like, “No guys, this is my freedom.” Like, you know, I’ve, I’ve found ways to become free and, um, my son, Uh, is 15 at the end of this summer, uh, is for, uh, he’s visited 49 states, we’re finishing off the 50th state and I’m vicariously living through them to be able to, I didn’t get to do that when I was younger to be able to travel to all those states. Um, and. Um, I think even my workouts, like staying healthy, uh, being able to, um, uh, to find a balance of, you know, taking care of myself and being healthy and enjoying that, uh, I’m, I’m certainly healthier. I’m getting better sleep. I’m not worried as much about the office altogether. Are those stuff resonating with you?

Regan Robertson: Absolutely.

Dr. Chad Johnson: I’m trying to think of this. Yeah. If there’s other stuff.

Regan Robertson: I think what you just demonstrated is that, um, in order to live a fulfilling life that does achieve your dreams, it doesn’t have to be something that’s huge and grandiose. And I love your millennium bent on it too, because millennials are specifically passionate about experiences.

Dr. Chad Johnson: I am, I am actually super millennial in that regard and texting, not calling me. Those two ways or, or email, you know, fine, either way, but like, just, um, yeah, uh, I, I certainly identify with that, uh, with that value of, of being like, oh, for example, you know, like, um, “Do you want three toys for Christmas or would you rather go do something cool?” And for our family, it’s just like, you know what grandmas are going to buy the toys? Cause again, that’s their generation, right? Well, I bought you the thing. And then we go, why not just go do this? I was even inspired by Victoria’s talk about the dentist that she helped line up to, you know, take off a summer and, uh, or a year. It was a year and go, uh, live in Italy. Dr.

Regan Robertson: Dr. Samuel Moss. Yeah, he came back to an office that was more productive than when he left. That blows my mind.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yes and, um, I’m looking at, you know, setting up a mini thing like that, uh, for a couple of summers from now for our, uh, for our 20th wedding anniversary. So, um, yeah, um,

Regan Robertson: It’s going to be amazing.

Dr. Chad Johnson: And I also feel like, um, this, this, I don’t know if this is just a maturity thing as I’ve aged over the last 10 and 20 years of practicing and stuff like that, or if this is Productive Dentist Academy helped me get there, or they assisted in the process of my maturity with getting there. Let’s say all of it, right. You know, like, I don’t know where to pin this on, but I’m, um, I, I now am cool with an associate being successful. I’m cool with an associate who will get a new patient and close a case. I’m okay with an associate getting, uh, the patient and not closing the case. I’m okay. You know, like I, I, I feel like I, like, it’s just like, I wonder how. Awesome. I could have been in my first associate versus my associate now and so like, I’ve just grown and, um, I remember,

Regan Robertson: That’s getting back to not skipping the chapters, which is so frustrating about growth, because I have thought that about myself when I did the interview last week with Adrian and I thought, I wish I could have taken all of this and just rewound time by a decade so I should have been a much better leader. Then, and I just think that’s not the way life is designed, unfortunately. But now that we know what we know, we can do better.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yes. Um, so I don’t know.

Regan Robertson: So stop right here. Like, let’s just take a pause with this. So you’re, so you, you have a really good balance right now in your life. You’re feeling that you have that space and your dream is. Is now to incrementally take off an extra week each year so that you can graduate yourself into like this sort of relaxed retirement and in the short term, you have a 20th wedding anniversary coming up. Congratulations and you’re going to do an extended summer in Italy. So pause right there and hold that it’s within your grasp. You have a good relationship with your associate. Everything’s on track. Where do you think, honestly, you would be today if you hadn’t gone with PDA?

Dr. Chad Johnson: Um, I, the, the dentist down the street and I would have been the same cohort, but I’m not now, but I, when I, when I not just, I’m not thinking of one, but just any dentist down the street, I would be doing well, I’d be doing okay. I’d be saying, you know, “Team doesn’t do this and that and, and, you know, uh, they’re, they’re lucky that I, you know, take care of them and, and, uh. And do what I do and no one appreciates me, but I’m the first one there and I’m the last one to leave,” and you know, this, all the martyr talking, “Can you believe how much cotton rolls cost these days? And the schedule is just crazy. I didn’t have quite a lunch today, you know,” and, um,

Regan Robertson: I’m trying to think of  the effects on your physical health as well that that would be, because I think of you as an eternal optimist, but to think of a grumpy, like a genuinely grumpy, Chad, that would affect your whole body. Yeah. You would look different than you look today.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Well, either that or I would have kept up some semblance of working out. Only to check out of the office. So, I mean, you know, like there’s a lot of possibilities, but I, like, um, I mean, I don’t want to, you know, be this like, well, I’m so much better than the average guy around or whatever but, um, but when I collectively in my mind think about how other dentists are doing, they’re doing fine. So what I would recommend is if you want to keep doing fine and doing well, I mean dentists, a lot of times aren’t doing horrible. You hear about them because they are out there, especially the ones that are humble enough to call but, uh, overall, the people who don’t call are doing fine enough. I’m doing fine. You know, I made six figures.

Regan Robertson:  It’s that book from good to great. It really is. Yeah. Typically, typically doctors aren’t in a, in a destitute place. We hope they’re not, we hope dentists are in a destitute position. They’re doing okay and they want to be great and they look at it and it is just like, that’s why I think we do so many parallels with athletics because it is the same D you can do it well. Yes. Or if you want to get to peak performance. These are the steps you want to take and, and let’s close with this, you chose peak performance.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yes.

Regan Robertson: You chose to say good enough isn’t good enough. I really want to be great and I want to enjoy my life.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yep.

Regan Robertson: How do you feel that your business and your life has transformed over the last decade?

Dr. Chad Johnson: I’ve tried different iterations of my business. For example, buying multiple practices, having tons of associates with PPO, switching to fee for service, um, working mornings only. We used to do, um, our

Regan Robertson: I remember that.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Sunrise appointments, 6:00 AM appointments.

Regan Robertson: Yes, I remember your 6:00 AM appointments

Dr. Chad Johnson: And I loved them. The problem was after Covid hit, uh, we had to adapt. Yeah. So the cool thing is we’ve always adapted and. Up until 2020, most of my decisions that I had made overall, I felt like they were the right decisions and moving me forward, you know, in a good way. Buying the practices were the first, was the first time in my business career that I said, “I don’t think I would have done that again.” Well, no, it wasn’t, that wouldn’t have been the first, I don’t think I would have done that again. Um, it was the first, “I made a really wrong move,” like, you know, like I shouldn’t have done this. Retrospectively, it’s always easy to, to notice that I didn’t know COVID was going to happen, you know, and, and stuff like that, but I was able to adapt.

Regan Robertson: Well, I have a question for you on that also. I promised I was wrapping up, but you said that you said that PDA was, um, you know, played a big part in the choose your own adventure piece and I will say, um, I’m, I don’t wanna project onto you, but I do. My reflection to you is I do see you as being a confident, a bit of a rebel too, and I wonder

Dr. Chad Johnson: contrarian. Yeah.

Regan Robertson: Yeah, a contrarian. I wonder though, if you decided to make that choice and purchase that almost to test your own waters, almost, of course, to feel alive, like, well, I’m gonna take this risk.

Dr. Chad Johnson: My thought was, I’ve created a successful business. I want to replicate this. To keep on growing and it was back then that I was even talking with Victoria, you know, PDA should check into the, the multi practice like, should we band together kind of stuff? I, we had a couple of short conversations about that and I’m sure it was on her mind plenty, but it helped resonate with her. No, the, the clients, you know, Chad is, is thinking about it. There are guys like Dave Diehl or thinking about it and everything like that. So, um, Yeah, I wanted to replicate it and it was very humbling afterwards to go, well, one of them worked. One of them didn’t, you know, like, so I guess sometimes I’m, I’m okay at, uh, at my business savvy. As opposed to, yes,

Regan Robertson: I remember the advisory being against it. that and I, and I just, the reason I throw that out there is I think we all do this. I think every human does this. I think you, you know, you experience that success and then you want to go and, you know, maybe go against the grain a little bit and say, you know, you’ve been good advisors. I’m going to try this on my own and not that it fails a hundred percent time or that it succeeds, but I just think that’s a normal part of life and I like that you share that journey so much because it’s like that little, uh, that little meme. This is what success looks like. People think it’s a straight arrow. Yeah and then it just looks like a big tangled ball of string.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Well, that’s the heart of an entrepreneur. Absolutely and you know what, Victoria too, as she had bought five practices, she goes, “Chad, two is not going to be as hard as five, but I’ll tell you, maybe you should just do one,” and I was like, “Yeah, that’s neat but two is two is just one more than one. I mean, big deal. If you did five, surely I can do it.” Yeah. I’m just like, “Whatever. Sure. What’s an extra?” So, um, but she never said, “Chad, don’t do it.” She, she actually never was so blatant as to be like, you’re being dumb. She might’ve thought it and that’s okay. Like, but she might’ve thought it, but she didn’t like, she let me choose my own adventure.

Regan Robertson: Shouldn’t our job as trusted advisors be to lay out the scenarios, put the pros and cons in front of you, and then you ultimately, you, you make the decision.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Yes. It’s, it’s.

Regan Robertson: I love that.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Amen.

Regan Robertson: Any final thoughts?

Dr. Chad Johnson: I’m, I’ll go back to earlier when I said it. Oh, this without sounding too corny, your future is worth you looking into coaching when the student is ready. When you, as the doctor owner, when you are ready to learn, any consultant is going to be an improvement. Most likely when you’re ready to learn and grow. If they are altruistic enough that they’re looking out for your good, then any consultant is going to be an improvement. Now the question just becomes, just like any coach can make you healthier, can a good coach take you to peak performance? That’s what I found in Productive Dentist Academy.

Regan Robertson: Well, thank you, Chad, for sharing your journey with us. And I look forward to seeing you in September.

Dr. Chad Johnson: Well, thanks for listening on earth and Mars and all around the world today. Uh, y’all have a great week. We look forward to getting back to our book series. We have, uh, an exciting. Uh, well, this is just an illusion here of, uh, forecasting. We have, uh, an exciting announcement on our podcast in the next few months that we’ll save and just say that much, the, the whole conference, not workshop, but the whole conference, the multi workshop conference at, uh, uh, the Dallas Fort Worth area in September, 2024 is going to be fantastic. Consider joining that and thank you for being great listeners.

Regan Robertson: 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@productivedentist.com and don’t forget to check out our other podcasts from Productive Dentist Academy at productivedentist.com/podcasts. See you next week.

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