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Episode 179 – Communication & Your Spouse

“Nobody ever says I wish I had worked 14 hours a day instead of 12.” ~Dr. Bruce B. Baird

What would it be worth to you if you could organize your dental practice in a way that allows you to worry less about the daily grind and focus more on nurturing the relationships in your life that truly matter? If this question resonates with you, you’re in for a treat this episode of The Productive Dentist Podcast.

Your host. Dr. Bruce B. Baird delves into the critical aspects of navigating the challenges that come with being a dentist. This includes the importance of effective communication with your spouse, something that can impact the harmony of your personal and professional life. Dr. Baird also talks about striking the right balance between achieving professional success and nurturing your own well-being – something the younger generations value immensely. 

Moreover, Dr. Baird highlights the significance of forward-thinking financial planning to ensure a secure and prosperous future for your family and your business. He stresses the impact of creating a financial roadmap so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor without unnecessary stress and surprises. 

In this episode, I want you to think about the following:

  • Are you communicating with your spouse the right way to make sure you stay in a relationship with him/her?
  • What are you doing to make sure you have a better work/life balance?
  • What are you doing to make sure you remain in a relationship with your team and your patients as well?


Regan 0:00
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.

Dr. Bruce Baird 0:47
As you guys know, I’ve gone through a divorce halfway into my practice and probably 20, 15, 18 years in and a good reason for that probably was a lack of understanding, my, my spouse and my lack of communication skills to to really explain, you know, what was going on. Hello, everyone, this is Dr. Bruce B. Baird, and you’re listening to the Productive Dentist Podcast in this podcast, I will give you everything that I’ve learned over the last 40 years in dentistry working with 1000s of dentists I’ll tell you it’s not that my way is the only way it’s just one that has worked extremely well for me and and I’d love to share that with you so you too can enjoy the choices and lifestyle the productivity allows more time for things you love, increased pay, better team relationships, and lowered stress. Let’s get into it with this week’s episode of the Productive Dentist podcast.

Hi, this is Dr. Bruce Baird with the Productive Dentist podcast. and I’m going to spend the next few podcasts talking about or just answering questions that I’ve gotten from different listeners across really across the whole world. It’s been really exciting and fun for me getting these questions and I’m just as always, I’m just going to kind of tell you the way I think about it, it’s not necessarily the right way or the only way but this was a real interesting question that came to us. It was how do you, as a dentist, ow do you support your spouse and what are the ways that you communicate with your spouse? And I found that to be really interesting question, especially since as you guys know, I’d gone through a divorce halfway into my practice of probably 20, 15, 18 years in and a good reason for that probably was a lack of understanding my my spouse, and my lack of communication skills to really explain, you know, what was going on and what I say is, you know, when you open up a dental practice, and I’m going to talk about my early career, but when you open up a dental practice, and you’re not used to being in debt, you’re not used to running a business, all of a sudden, you know, a lot of things are thrust on you and that would be someone who’s opened up their own practice, there’s a lot of things that get thrust onto you as an associate also and all of those things can increase stress and it in and we’ve talked about stress before, what happens to productivity, when you’re stressed out, does it go up or down when it goes down and whether you’re stressed because you’re in a associateship situation that may not be the best in the world, which causes you stress or you opened up your own practice and you’ve got, gosh, employees, and you have to take care of them and you know, you’re starting to think to yourself, “Well, I don’t know how to take care of them. No one ever told me,” and you know, I can certainly appreciate that because no one told me either and that just caused a lot of stress you get home. You know a lot of spouses think that you know, you’re a dentist and you’ve got a eight to five job and you’re gonna make a lot of money and now you’ve opened up this practice and you’re excited and everything’s going well and about a month they enter two months and all of a sudden you’re not getting home at five o’clock and you’re going in at seven and you know you find yourself getting home at seven so you’re working a 12-hour day and then there’s days that you work till eight and sometimes nine and that is something that is extremely stressful and it’s stressful for your team. If you have kids or if you don’t have kids, your spouse is there taking care of them all day or You know, watching, watching them or you know, all the things that they have to do to keep the household going And here you are stressed trying to figure out how to make a business work or how to make, how to make a living and how to do it profitably and as I talked with dentists across the country, it’s so funny, because if I go back to the baby boomers, my generation, you know, were a lot of a lot of workaholics and alcoholic, but a lot of workaholics. I mean, they literally, I would stay at the office and just work and work and work because I thought that was what I was supposed to do but I see now, in the newer generations, that they really want balance, they want the ability to be able to have, have it all and I agree with it, you know, have life and not, but what I’m talking about today is that kind of, you know, being able to talk with your spouse and communicate with them about, you know, every evening set aside, set aside 30 minutes to talk about what’s going on in the house. You know, what, what are you dealing with, and then let me tell you a little bit about what I dealt with today and get, I want your advice. I mean, I’d like to, I’d like to get what you think about this and what you’re doing is you’re beginning to get that back-and-forth communication that you really want to have in a relationship. Remember, a relationship is an agreed upon a course of action between two parties and that’s the that’s the fun. You know, that’s, that’s the fun stuff that we get to do, but then once that’s done that 30 minutes, then you’re over, no more discussing your dental practice, no more discussing the neighbors, no more discussing, you know, what little Johnny did today, you know, now it’s about you guys, spending time, communicate, playing with the kids doing if you have kids, or enjoying each other watching movies, doing those things, because you’ve got to be committed to that relationship. If you want that relationship to work, and I’ve seen it time and time and time again and we we get stuck in a situation where we think we need to provide, and so nothing else matters and, you know, the truth is a lot of other things matter. I mean, that really does, you know, the work will always be there. I’m getting an opportunity now to well, I say opportunity, the realization that I have friends that are passing away, getting cancer, having heart attacks, different things, and they’re passing away, it’s very suddenly. And there’s some that have been sick for a while, but none of them would tell you they wish they’d worked 14 hours a day instead of 12. You know, they just don’t say that they say, “I wish I would have been more balanced,” and that’s why when I hear the younger generations now saying they want that balance, I think that’s a great place to start for sure but what about all of us that are kind of in that situation. So we’re talking about that, as if it is a, you know, a situation where you’re just opening up a practice, but what about if you’ve been in practice for 20 years, 25 years, still having the support of your spouse and your team kids, you know, whatever, and communicating back and forth, the communication probably changes, your practice is starting to run on autopilot but still having that 30 minutes at the end of the day to talk about work and talk about home and then it’s time to plan. You know, vacations, plan, plan, the fun stuff that you’re going to get to do and the places that you’re going to see because honestly, that’s you know, we’re only going to be on the planet for a short time. I’m confident that you’re going to have a practice and you’re going to do you’re going to be very successful.

Just the fact that you’re listening to my podcast, I can promise you going through all of them, you’re going to increase your productivity and that’s going to allow you to have what choices and choices are the are the things that you really want to have. You don’t want to be backed into a corner and I see so many Doc’s they’ve kind of gotten backed into a corner, they worked really hard, and now they’re in their home, some are in their mid-40s and some are in their mid-60s but they haven’t planned for retirement. They haven’t planned much of anything. You know, it really is kind of sad, that there was no planning ahead for what’s going to happen and when I say that, you know, it’s you know, whatever you put your eye on that you really want to accomplish. You gotta see it, you got to see that otherwise, you’re never going to know if you get it. So that’s why measuring things and getting things out there that you want to accomplish. I’ve told the story I’ve got, “Oh gosh, I don’t know, probably 40, full legal size yellow notepads, just full of ideas and thoughts and this is not my game plan for next year and the year after and the year after that,” but when you’re doing that with your team, and your spouse, now all of a sudden, that kind of communication, you guys are all on the same page, you’re not coming home just basically, pissed off at the end of every day, which I did, often, and I brought it home with me, I literally had, I was not a real fun person to be around and you can imagine, you can imagine what it’s like when you’re coming home. So putting the smiley face on when you get home, but you can frown for that 30 minutes and say, “This is we got to do this, and I’m working on this, what do you think?” And as you go through that process, you start to communicate more and more, and there’s no surprises. You know, like when you’re, you know, if you’re planning your financial future, you won’t get those surprises, like I got from my accountant that said, “Oh, by the way you owe $53,000 in taxes.” What? You know, do you think that causes stress in the family, and yes, it causes it can cause severe stress and, and that just rolls into the next bit of bad news. So what we do at PDA is we try to organize your business such that you spend more time in relationship and less time, worried about the day-to-day, and we’re going to talk in the next few podcasts about, you know, how you build that office family or that team that can help you achieve your goals, as well as you helping them achieve their goals. So, but dentistry, as as you know, is difficult. It’s not easy, you’re working with in many cases, patients that are in pain, patients that don’t really want to be there. And we’re helping them and we’re getting them in giving them an optimal health. And so these are kind of things that I’m looking at saying,” Okay, let me let me let me explain this to my spouse, let me talk to her or him daily.” And then weekends are about, you know, yeah, we have a project going on at the office, we’ll all go up and work together but on a on a daily basis, 30 minutes of communication and after that, all bets are off as far as the office, you just kind of set it aside and now let’s talk about us, let’s, let’s make sure that we’re in the best place and show true interest in what your spouse is doing because my mind have an ADD, ADHD, you know, I’m thinking about the office and it’s hard for me, it was really hard for me. So I’m telling you guys to do something that I really didn’t do a very good job of for 15 years and I mean, a lousy job because I would come home upset, they would be talking about how the day went, and I, my mind was in Hawaii or somewhere else and so that’s just, I’m just challenging you. I have so many friends that have gone through divorces that are dentists, it’s, it’s something that happens in our profession and I pray for you, if I pray for you not to I pray for you not to have to go through that because that’s a life event that you’d really prefer not to go through and I’ve gone through it twice. So I’m that on the one hand, I’m not a very good, not a very good person to probably be listening to. But on the other hand, I’ve got a lot of experience, so on whatever and that you look at that you can make your own decisions on it. So anyway, thank you guys for listening to productive dentist podcast, I am just getting started back we took a little sabbatical for a couple of months and we’re just starting back, we’re gonna have some new exciting podcast for you to listen to tell your friends about it, we keep growing reward, again, you know, rate of one of the top podcast last year in Dental. So I really appreciate you guys and just like with PDA, most of PDA is Productive Dentist Academy has been word of mouth and so if you’ll tell your friends and if you think what I’m talking about can help them then please do that. Otherwise, I look forward to our next time together and have a great week and talk to you next week. Thank you for joining me for this episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast. If you found this episode helpful, make sure you subscribe, pass it along to a friend Give us a like on iTunes and Spotify or drop me an email at don’t forget to check out other podcasts from the Productive Dentist Academy of Join me again next week for another episode of the Productive Dentist podcast


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