Episode 210 – Requested Replay: Memento Mori

“It’s never too early to start thinking about the things that will outlive you.” ~Dr. Bruce B. Baird

I was given an unusual gift by one of the doctors who attended a PDA Productivity Workshop. It was a skull ring with the words “Memento Mori” inscribed on the inside.

For those who don’t know, “Memento Mori” is Latin for “Remember, you will die.”

Well, I can tell you that was an interesting gift to get in the middle of a conversation about productivity and dental business. But it made me stop and think.

What am I building? What am I sacrificing as I build? What really matters to me? What legacy am I leaving?

As dentists and business owners, we get so wrapped up in the process of working hard and making a living that we forget that at some point we will die. Yes, it’s important to build a business that is profitable and takes great care of patients. But that ring really made me pause and evaluate the larger picture of my life.

So today I want to share some of my journey and as you listen I want to challenge all of you to think about a few things:

  • What is most important to you
  • Where is your balance of business and life
  • What legacy are you building, and what are you sacrificing

Never miss an episode! Subscribe on iTunes & Spotify. Visit us at http://www.productivedentistpodcast.com


Dr. Bruce Baird 1:34
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 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.

Dr. Bruce Baird 2:12
Hi, this is Dr. Bruce Baird with the Productive Dentist Podcast. Hope you guys are having a great week and looking forward to this week coming up. I’m going to be speaking at a meeting in Albuquerque called Thrive Dental. It’s a great group of people and I’m really looking forward to just sharing information about fiscal responsibility, which I thought they asked me to speak about physical and you know, I was like, “What what do you want me to talk about that?” And they said “No fiscal like money,” and I was like, “Oh, cool. Yeah, I’m more than happy to spend time talking about that.” But I digress, a few weeks, a few PDAs ago, I had a young dentist to I’m actually speaking for at thrive and he gave me a gift, and it was very interesting. I wondered why on earth and he said, “Here’s a ring, I want you to have this ring.” We were at a cocktail reception and I said, “Oh, I can’t take this ring, that I mean it’s beautiful, you know,” and it’s actually a skull ring, and I’m like, “Oh, okay, well, thank you. And on the inside of the ring, it says memento more, and I’m wondering, okay, well, what the heck is memento mori? And I mean, a lot of people have heard of that I just never had and it’d be 68 years old, and I just don’t know what memento mori is and what memento mori means is remember, are kind of like this, remember, you will die, it’s like, remember, you will die and the more I started thinking about that, and the more I started evaluating it, and then I started thinking about my life, and I started thinking about all the things I’ve done in my career, and, you know, I never really thought about dying and I’ve always just kind of pushed forward and said, “You know, I’m just going to do this and do that.” And, I’ve always had lots of goals and strategies, and I love business, and I love Excel spreadsheets, and I love my family, I love my grandkids, you know, and everything’s great, but what I have started thinking about is, you know, in our life, you know, things are going great.

Dr. Bruce Baird 4:40
Well, we don’t really think about the things that are most important to us. You know, and, and to me, you know, that’s family. You know, yes, you know, we want to have a successful practice and we were gonna I continue to do podcasts on successful practices and what things you need to do to make sure you get to the next level. But I think a lot of times we get so down in the dirt and down in the thought process of making a living and, and working hard and doing all that stuff, we forget that at some point in time, we’re gonna die, and I’ve had old, I’ve had friends that were older that have passed on, and, you know, I have one friend that just recently passed. I’ve talked about him in the past. He was my real estate guy here in town, excuse me, and he, passed away unexpectedly, actually, just a couple months ago and he leaves behind, I don’t know, hundreds of millions of dollars to family and he was a phenomenal individual, and he took care of a lot of folks, but I don’t think he was ever thinking, “I’m going to make all this money, and then I’m going to die,”and then what’s going to happen, and, you know, I start thinking about my past and going, you know, all the things and all the work and all the things I’ve done, but I’ve said before, I think oftentimes, I did all those things, while sacrificing many things that were probably the most important, the most important things, which would be family, friends legacy, because you just never know when it’s gonna happen. I had another friend last year passed away, he, he was going to retire three months, he was going to retire, and unfortunately, he had a brain aneurysm and died. So everything that we plan for everything that we look for, yes, I want you to I’m going to teach you the business of dentistry. I want to help you understand financially, how you can separate yourself so that you’re not having to worry about it. I’ve told you guys, my last, gosh, my last 15 years in practice, I was working two days a week. It took me that long to realize what was important, and the things that we do is we want to help you increase your productivity so that you actually can work less and make more.

Dr. Bruce Baird 7:25
Now, it’s not about the money, you know, as I’ve always said, it’s about taking great care of patients but what are the most important things to you? What are the things that are going to long outlive you? And for most of you, you’re not my age, and so you don’t get to see it from my perspective. So I share it with you and it may hit home, it may not. If you were 21 years old, or 25 years old, you may go out I’m not worried about death and I can understand that I wasn’t worried about it either and I’m not worried about it now. However, I do think that there’s things that you can do, again, setting your business up, doing the things you need to do, and doing it with a total understanding that you’re going to be as balanced as you can. That’s where you know, your church, potentially your spiritual growth, I think that becomes really important and the closer you get to death, people start getting really thinking that that’s really important, but they forget about it early on and what I’m saying is work on that spiritual growth every day and that can be meditation, it can be reading the Bible, it can be doing whatever it is you do for that spiritual growth. It’s important. Many of you are engineers and I think probably a lot of dentists also have ADD. So we tend to hyper-focus and I think that that can be a negative, but it also is a positive. You know, you can hyper-focus on something and get something done. Like the book I wrote back in 91 on implants, I wrote it over a period of 10 days. I just locked myself in a room and I said, “I’m not coming out till I had a book finished.” That was to the chagrin of my family, my girls and the basketball games or whatever, you know, I just couldn’t see the forest for the trees and what I want you to think about is what am I doing today that is going to be here long after I’m gone.

Dr. Bruce Baird 9:42
What are the things that you know, legacy? What are the things that I’m doing? And a lot of that is going to be you know, the store where you said, you know, your kids, remember? And I told you early on, you know, I went through divorce and, and I missed some of that and I’m sad for it, you know, I’m sad for it and so, you know, have I been able to make up for it? Well, I don’t think you can ever make up for lost time, but I think you can focus on what you can and focus on the things that are going to be most important to you in the long run, which are trying to help your family trying to help your kids teaching lessons. My girls, I had a great chance to go a week, week and a half ago, I got a great chance to go with my oldest daughter and one of my grandsons to spring training for the Texas Rangers out in Surprise, Arizona, we had a blast, you know, now I’m thinking, “Okay, I want to be able to do this with all my grandkids, I want to be able to go and spend time now.” Yes, being financially stable is super important, but I think you can do both, you know, and I think that that’s the message I want to say, I’ve got buddies of mine that have just grounded out and, and burned out, you know, they grind out dentistry and, and everything is about making money for the family and, and supporting the family, because that’s what we think as a leader of our family, we think, “Oh, we’ve got to do this,” and we can put everything else aside. What I’d say is, don’t do that. Let’s help you figure out what’s going on in your practice, how can we maximize your time and increase your profitability, because those to me allow you to have choices to be able to do things that go on long after you’re gone, and like I say, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve thought about the more the older you get, the more you think about death and I’m not worried about it. I’m trying to work it out. I’m doing all the things that I know to do I get my blood drawn, I’m doing all the health things I can.

Dr. Bruce Baird 12:15
I’ve actually really kind of quit drinking for about the last 30 days, just kind of seeing what it would do, and, you know, hey, I feel great. So, you know, it’s, it’s like, uh, you know, my dad was, you know, I think I’ve told you guys he was an alcoholic and drank quite often, and I always wondered, you know, in my, in my water, those kind of guys and you know, I joke with people. I said, “Well, I don’t wake up in the morning and want to put Tito’s in my Cheerios.” But you know, I have a tendency when I drink I tend to have had too much fun. Well, I’ve kind of backed that off to say, “Is this really necessary? Is that what I want to do?” I want to have, I want to have glass wine whenever I want, that’s fine, but I just don’t want it to control where I’m at and a lot of dentists, fine medication medications or alcohol or other things to kind of numb things so that you don’t have to face the reality and the reality is memento mori. The reality is, we all are dying. We’re all terminal and so what are the things that are most important that you want to leave behind? I just want you to think about it. I never really thought about it in that ring. My friend Gavin gave that ring to me and I was like, “Wow, interesting.” First, I was like, “Whoa, I was kind of taken aback.” And then I realized what the ring really stood for is live for today, you know, take great care of the people that God has put in your in your life, take great care of your friends, reach back out to people, be the kind of friend you always wanted to be. I love that Tim McGraw’s song, live like you were dying, because we’re all, we’re all dying, and so the opportunity to do things when you get an opportunity to go on a massive trip. Okay, remember, you know, hopefully, you’re going to be working for a long time, and hopefully you’re going to continue to do very well in your business, but you have an opportunity to go on a big trip with a bunch of friends and stuff and you’re like, “I can’t do that. I don’t want to spend the money.”

Dr. Bruce Baird 14:21
Well, I’m one of those dentists who’s always outproduced what they want to do, but I do believe that you can have it all. You can take great care of your patients, you can take great care of your family, great care your kids, great care of your grandkids. Does it take effort? Yeah, take some effort. You gotta, you gotta want it, you gotta want to, to have that legacy, but the older you get, the more you’re going to start thinking about that. I’m going to challenge you to don’t start thinking about it when you get older, like my buddy who passed four months before he was going to retire, we always think, “Oh, once I get here, I’m going to do this, once I get there, I can do this.” Don’t do that. What I’m telling you is, be the can, do the things you want to do, a set up your business so it allows you to do that, and really, that’s what we do at PDA. We’ve been working with dentists for almost 20 years, and I want to make sure you get to do the things that you want to do and that you leave a legacy that you want to leave of whatever that is. I know this was kind of a heavy podcast, but it’s something that has really made me think this last six months, you know, to live like you were dying, you know, go go smile, have fun, go to the club, and go play golf, but set up a business that is self-sustaining, one that’s going to be successful, even after you’re gone, because when you do that, you’re going to find that your legacy will live on a lot longer and you’re going to affect people you know, forever and you know, and I want your kids or your grandkids to be able to think back I want mine to think back and go doc was awesome. He did this, we got to do that we got to do this and those are all things that are possible. So I hope you guys have a great week, and I look forward to next week’s podcast.

Dr. Bruce Baird 16:30
Thank you for joining me for this episode of the Productive Dentist PodcastIf 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 podcast@productivedentist.com don’t forget to check out other podcasts from the Productive Dentist Academy of productivedentistpodcast.com Join me again next week for another episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast

Have a great experience with PDA recently?

Leave a Review

Need help?
Accessibility Options
Accessibility On Our Website

We are committed to continuously improving access to our goods and services by individuals with disabilities. If you are unable to use any aspect of this website because of a disability, please call (800) 757-6077 and we will provide you with prompt personalized assistance.

If you have trouble seeing web pages, the US Social Security Administration offers these tips for optimizing your computer and browser to improve your online experience.

If you are looking for mouse and keyboard alternatives, speech recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking may help you navigate web pages and online services. This software allows the user to move focus around a web page or application screen through voice controls.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, there are several accessibility features available to you.

Closed Captioning
Closed captioning provides a transcript for the audio track of a video presentation that is synchronized with the video and audio tracks. Captions are generally visually displayed over the video, which benefits people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and anyone who cannot hear the audio due to noisy environments. Most of our website’s video content includes automated captions. Learn how to turn captioning on and off in YouTube.

Volume Controls
Your computer, tablet, or mobile device has volume control features. Each video and audio service has its own additional volume controls. Try adjusting both your device’s volume controls and your media players’ volume controls to optimize your listening experience.

Read More About Accessibility and Why It Matters

Need help?

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Do not include sensitive personal, financial, or other confidential information (Social Security, account number, login, passwords, etc.). This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Helpful Resources

Below are links you may find helpful when scheduling an appointment with us.


Episode 218: Associates Deserve Clinical Calibration

 “On the backside of fear we find confidence. And once we’re...

Episode 218: Associates Deserve Clinical Calibration (featured image)

Episode 244 – Navigating the Dental Media

“If I can help my audience and make sure they don’t fall into the...

Episode 244 – Navigating the Dental Media (featured image)

Episode 121 – Success Requires Support

 “Success requires support, but which support, who are you...

Episode 121 – Success Requires Support (featured image)
In the Press

I’ve Arrived: From $100 in the Bank to Generational Wealth in Less Than 3 Years.

from Dental Entrepreneur – Winter 2023 By Dr. Maggie Augustyn...

I’ve Arrived: From $100 in the Bank to Generational Wealth in Less Than 3 Years. (featured image)
From Our Blog

Embrace the Digital Communication Shift

Why More Practices Are Moving Away from Phones and Towards Text &...

Embrace the Digital Communication Shift (featured image)
Follow Us On Social Media


Stay informed on updates and upcoming events from our office.


Connect and learn more about Productive Dentist Academy.


Subscribe to our YouTube channel.


View fun photos and follow our team on Instagram.

Your Privacy
Privacy Policy

This privacy notice discloses our privacy practices and the use of Google Analytics 4(GA4), an analytic advertising feature. This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website and the GA4 platform. It will notify you of the following:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website and GA4 platform, how it is used, and with whom it may be shared.
  2. The choices available to you regarding the use of your data.
  3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

While Productive Dentist Academy is the primary data controller, Google, in the context of providing Google Analytics service, acts as a data processor. We use Google Analytics 4, a widely recognized web analytics service provided by Google, Inc., to track user interactions and gather data for advertising purposes. As a third-party vendor, Google Analytics operates independently and maintains its own privacy policy, which can be found at https://policies.google.com/privacy. We carefully select our third-party vendors for their commitment to user privacy and adherence to data protection standards. As part of our ongoing commitment to your privacy, we implement measures to ensure that services like GA4 comply with our high standards of data protection.

GA4 collects certain personally identifiable information from you as you interact with our website. This information includes but is not limited to your device ID, IP address, and geographic location. The information collected through GA4 is used to analyze user behavior, optimize our website’s performance, and tailor our content to better serve your needs. This data is compiled and anonymized, ensuring that it cannot be linked back to individual users.

Please note that GA4 may share the information collected with Google and other third-party service providers to enable data processing and reporting on website usage. However, we will not sell, rent, or share your information, especially your personally identifiable information, with any third party outside of our organization.

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You have certain rights regarding the data collected by GA4. You have the right to do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

In addition to opting out of any future communications from us at any time, you may also opt out of the GA4 feature if you so choose. You can opt out of the GA4 Advertising Features we use through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or through the NAI’s. This link points to Google Analytics’ currently available opt-outs for the web https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/ 


We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline. GA4 also follows industry best practices to protect your data both online and offline.

To ensure data protection while we are using GA4, we are implementing additional security measures that include and are not limited to:

  • limiting data access, 
  • using secure protocols, 
  • managing data sharing with Google

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the Web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

Contact Us

If you have any concerns about the use of GA4 or believe that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, please contact us immediately. We are committed to addressing any privacy-related issues promptly and transparently.

By using our website and consenting to the use of GA4, you acknowledge and agree to the data collection and processing practices described in this notice. For more information about GA4 and its privacy practices, please review Google’s Privacy Policy on this link https://policies.google.com/privacy.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately.

Read More About Our Privacy Policy and Why It Matters

Terms of Service
Terms of Service

Entering this site or the links accessible through this site, you agree to be bound by this agreement. The information and the resources contained on and accessible through this site are made available by Productive Dentist Academy and/or its suppliers and vendors, and are subject to your agreement to their terms and conditions.

All contents copyright (c) Productive Dentist Academy

All rights reserved, Productive Dentist Academy makes this website available to all users for the sole purpose of providing educational information on health-related issues.

The accuracy of website, information, and resources identified are not warranted or guaranteed, or intended to be a substitute for professional health advice, to contradict health advice given, or for health care of any kind.

Your use of this website indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use and you expressly agree to be bound to the foregoing terms and conditions.

All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy, or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

Material on this site may be used for personal use only. Commercial use of any sort is strictly prohibited.

Use of Resources & Information
This site may not be used as a supplement or alternative for health care, and is not intended and does not warrant or guarantee the quality or quantity of any services of any of the advertisers identified; further, the information provided is merely for educational purposes, and its accuracy is not guaranteed. Do not use this site as a substitute for health care. Please consult with your doctor or other health care provider regarding any health questions you may have. This site may not be used for health diagnosis or treatment. Do not use this site to disregard any health advice, nor to delay seeking health advice, because of something you read or see in this site.

You understand and agree that neither Productive Dentist Academy nor its suppliers or vendors or linked domain names are responsible or liable for any claim, loss, or damage of any kind, directly or indirectly resulting from your use of this site or the information or the resources contained on or accessible through it.

Productive Dentist Academy expressly disclaims any implied warranty or representation about the information or accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for any particular purpose of any kind. Your use of this site is also subject to all additional disclaimers that may appear throughout the site.

Other Internet Sites Links
This site also includes links to other internet sites created and maintained by Productive Dentist Academy’s suppliers, vendors, affiliates, or subscribers. Be aware that Productive Dentist Academy does not control, makes no guarantees about, and disclaims any express or implied representations or warranties about the accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for a particular purpose of the information or the resources contained on these or any other internet sites.

Further, the inclusion of these links is merely for your convenience and is not intended and does not reflect Productive Dentist Academy’s opinion on the accuracy or the importance of these other sites; further, Productive Dentist Academy does not endorse in any manner any of the views expressed in, or products or services offered by these other sites. All information in any site by Productive Dentist Academy, or associated or linked site, is extracted, read, used, or relied upon by you at your own risk.

Disclaimer of Warranty
Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors disclaim all express or implied representations or warranties regarding the information, services, products, materials, and any other resources contained on or accessible through this site, including without limitation any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. All information provided by Productive Dentist Academy is made available “as is” and “as available” without warranty of any kind, or any express or implied promise, including, by way of example, its continuing availability.

Limitation of Liability
With respect to products, goods, or services purchased from any entity identified, listed, named or contacted through Productive Dentist Academy’s website, or any links to Productive Dentist Academy’s website, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors be liable for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, incidental, exemplary, contractual, or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever of any kind, resulting from any loss, which by way of example, includes loss of use, loss of data, loss of profits, business interruption, litigation, or any other pecuniary loss, whether based on breach of contract, tort (including negligence), product liability, or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected with the use or performance of this site, with the delay or inability to use this site, or with the provision of or failure to make available any information, services, products, materials, or other resources contained on or accessible through this site, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

You acknowledge and agree that the limitations set forth above are elements of this agreement, and that this site would not be provided to you absent such limitations.

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors from any liability, loss, claim, and expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to your violation of this agreement or use of this site in any manner. Your use of this site shall constitute your acceptance of the terms of this Agreement, as revised and modified, if any, each time you access this site. Productive Dentist Academy may modify this agreement at any time, and such modifications shall be effective immediately upon posting of the modified agreement.

Productive Dentist Academy’s failure to insist upon strict enforcement of any provision(s) of this agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.

This agreement and the resolution of any dispute related to this agreement or this site shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington, without giving effect to any principles or conflicts of law. Any legal action or proceeding between Productive Dentist Academy or its links, suppliers or vendors and you related to this agreement or this site shall be brought exclusively in a state or federal court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Skagit County, Washington.

All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

This site contains links to other sites. Productive Dentist Academy is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites that are linked to us.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding Productive Dentist Academy’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, please contact us.

Read More About Our Terms of Service and Why It Matters

Search the Website

Use keywords in the search box below to find what you're looking for.

Go to the Top of the Page