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EPISODE 151: Different Practices, Different Parts of the Country, Same Fundamental Problems

Casey and Jarrod are joined by Chad Tothero, Regional Sales Rep for Four Quadrants, to discuss what attending our CE event is like and how different but similar dental practices across the country are.

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EPISODE 151 TRANSCRIPTION

Announcer:
Hello everyone. Welcome to the Millionaire Dentist Podcast, brought to you by Four Quadrants Advisory. On this podcast, we break down the world of dentistry finances and business practices to help you become the Millionaire Dentist you deserve to be. Please be advised, we do speak with an honest tongue, and may not be safe for work.

Casey Hiers:
Hello and welcome. This is Casey Hiers back at the Millionaire Dentist podcast in studio with co-host Jarrod Bridgeman.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Hey, how's it going?

Casey Hiers:
Got the sniffles, little cloudy, sipping on some NyQuil/DayQuil?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah, all the above.

Casey Hiers:
Well, I'm glad you're here.
But for all our listeners who have never been to a Topgolf CE event that we put on around the country, we've got a special guest, one of our very own Four Quadrant Advisory employees. Chad is going to join us today. And you actually were down to Nashville, Tennessee, and helped out with our Topgolf event. What's it like? For our listeners that have never been to it, what's Topgolf in Nashville like, and the CE on The Business Side of Dentistry?

Chad Tothero:
It was an excellent event. Had a lot of practice owners there coming for the CE course, The Practice Owners' Guide to the Business Side of Dentistry. As Casey had mentioned, it was one of my first shows, so it was really a great opportunity to see the presentation firsthand. And it was really impactful being able to see, I use the word impactful, but the impact it had on these practice owners, very engaging content, a lot of great questions. And after the hour of CE, a lot of fun afterwards, as well,

Casey Hiers:
Hitting that golf ball around. You almost took it over the net in the back. You got a powerful swing.

Chad Tothero:
I swear, they deaden those balls. It's like the dead ball era in baseball. They should have went further, but...

Casey Hiers:
It was a great crowd. You had mentioned that. I actually had the opportunity, I flew to Boston for a Maxi course, basically general dentists that want to learn how to do some implants and better themselves that way. And our subject matter, if you're a better dentist and have more revenue, but it's still slipping through the cracks, so our subject matter was great there. And then, met you guys out there in Nashville. It was interesting. We had young, we had soon-to-be owners, we had current owners, and we had people in their 70s who are getting ready to leave dentistry. How did it appear the subject matter hit all those people, from your perspective?

Chad Tothero:
From the presentation, there's definitely something in there for everyone regardless of where they are in their practice ownership journey, whether it's an associate looking to buy into a practice or people getting ready to open their own within a few months. There's a lot of useful information in there on mistakes to avoid early on, to set them themselves up for success later on in their careers, a lot of great content there for people that have owned their practice for over a decade, and maybe by all intent and surroundings, looking at their peers, they're crushing it. But they know in the pit of their stomach that, "Could I be doing more? Am I leaving something on the table?" And that's something the presentation hits on. And like you said, with the people that have been in their career for decades and they're looking to get ready to transition out, there's a lot of useful information in there about how to maximize the value of your practice when you're looking to transition and when you're looking to sell it, and how even though it could look good on paper, oftentimes with taxes and everything taken out, it's not what it seems, and that's not what you're actually going to be able to retire on. That was really, really Interesting.

Casey Hiers:
Had some of the more seasoned attendees, and we hear this a lot, but they said, "Man, I wish I'd have found you sooner. I wish I'd have known about this sooner. I've been just schlepping along, doing okay. But now that I'm at the end of my road in my practice, I know I left a lot out there on the table." And we say at the beginning, this topic is worth millions and millions of dollars to practice owners over the course of their career. And so, it was neat to see the older folks realize it, but there's a little bit of sadness, because they've busted their hump, and they've done okay, but even just after an hour they looked at and said, "Gosh, I wish I would've would've seen this." And one of them was talking to one of the younger guys and said, "Hey, you got to get this right. It's not enough to just be a good dentist or specialist, or learn how to do cutting-edge procedures. If you are not mastering the business side of your practice with a comprehensive dental-specific team, it's going to slip through the cracks." And then I always get nervous. Some of the associates or some of the people that maybe want to buy a practice, am I going to scare them off? But what I tell them is, "No. Listen, you want to have a good feel for, it is challenging to own your own practice, but it can be beautiful. And when you do it the right way, it can be incredibly profitable." So, it's more so encouraging them. I think.

Chad Tothero:
For sure. For sure. And I think one of the other biggest things that took away from the presentation and through being here for several months is that the subject matter that we present is the difference between having an okay comfortable retirement and creating generational wealth for your family and your children's children. And by having this knowledge and being able to put that to use in your own practice, that is going to make all the difference for future generations of your family, which is amazing to me.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Casey and Chad, I wanted to ask you guys, after-

Casey Hiers:
You do sound terrible.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I sound terrible. After you did your presentation, we had roughly two hours of some food, some drinks, and some swinging some of the golf balls. What were some of the questions that were presented to you guys after they're able to hear your presentation? What questions did they come to you with?

Casey Hiers:
It gets more personal and gets more specific. They tend to lower their voice a little bit, and almost kind of want to do it on the side, because they don't want their peers to necessarily hear them say a number, or anything of that nature. But ultimately just want to understand a little more detail. "Hey, who do you guys work with? Can you help me?"
And typically, "I have no idea if you can help me." The ask is not to work with our firm. The ask is for us to educate the dental community, and for some of those in that room to engage in a vetting process to determine if we can help you. I think there's a real misconception out there. Dentists and specialists are so used to being "sold to." This is a program to improve, for continuing education. This helps people if we never talk to them again. But the question I'm asked is, "Hey, can you help me? What's that look like?" And they almost jump to, "What do I need to sign?" And I chuckle and it's, "No, no, no. We want to get to know you and your goals and your personal life and your practice, and see if we can help you." And it was really more of what, "What's next?" That's always nice. Some of them said, "Hey, I don't own. I want to buy a practice. Can you help me?" We don't do that al a carte.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right.

Casey Hiers:
But those were a couple of the questions I heard.

Chad Tothero:
That was a great segue into one of the questions that I was going to mention. And a lot of the times the question that I face is, "Okay. So, I have a tax person, but can you guys just do accounting?" Or, "I have a financial planner, can you just handle the taxes?" And the answer is, no. We do all that under one roof. And we put the practice owner in the driver's seat and remove them from being the middleman having to communicate varying amounts of information to disparate teams across different companies that are only focusing on one part of the equation. And I think that's what makes us so unique, is we are a comprehensive, all-under-one-roof team, that handles all of the accounting, all the financial planning, the taxes, both for the practice and personally in a holistic approach. So, every team is working towards the same goal, and they're all working on the exact same thing with the same set of information. And I think that is what really makes us unique in the market.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
And then I'll hear, "Oh, but I really like my accountant," or, "Oh, I really like my investment person." And the hypothetical is, if you could have 5 million dollars more at retirement, could you sever that relationship?

Casey Hiers:
"Oh yeah, no, no problem there. Yeah, yep."
But we understand everybody we work with, they typically are working with people, they like them, they're related to them. We understand that. Again, that's why the ask is, "Let's engage. Let's determine if there's a significant improvement," not "get you moving today." Because in any room we're at, most everybody's going to learn something. We can't help everybody in the room, and we know that. But we're looking to find some people to talk to and engage in the process.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So Casey, in a span of 24 to 36 hours, you were in Boston speaking and then you were in Nashville speaking. Boston and Nashville, I've been to both cities, are different, different vibes, different kinds of people live there. What do you see as the same and/or different with practice owners in both those locations?

Casey Hiers:
Great question.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Thank you.

Casey Hiers:
Now, first of all, I don't love to fly. And those are two of the roughest flights I've been on in a long time. They don't call it turbulence, they call it rough air. And it was stressful. We get on the plane in Boston, and they go, "Great news. The weather in Nashville's really good, but there was horrible storms which we're going to be flying through." And they went on this dissertation about how it's going to be really rough and all these things. So I decided, "How can I distract myself? Do I want to talk to anybody on the plane around me? Nah." The person to the left had been enjoying adult beverages all afternoon, and I was not in the mood for that. So, I got on the old Delta Entertainment screen and rented The Notebook, because I've heard it's a good movie. I'm not really into those, what's it called? Just a-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Romance.

Casey Hiers:
Romance.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Drama.

Casey Hiers:
But I figured if I'm emotionally involved in this movie that's supposed to be so good, then I'll be distracted from the rough air. Guess what happened? I needed to know if Noah and Rachel McAdams were going to make it. And so it was a good distraction for me. My wife goes-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
If I remember, you said that the ending's hilarious.

Casey Hiers:
Geez.
But my wife goes, "Did you cry?" I said, "Absolutely not. I wept." It was a good distraction. To answer your question, yeah, going from Boston to Nashville, here's the thing. Practice owners want the same thing. They want to be successful. They want to help their patients. They want to help their team and staff. They want to help their family. But ultimately, to do that, they need to make sure they are good clinically and that the business side of their practices run to the best of its ability. They're trained in one, but they're not trained in the other.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
It doesn't matter if they say "wicked awesome" or "Howdy, y'all."

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. I had to catch a flight. People were running me down in the hallway, and "Hey, can you help? Got some questions." The common theme is, if people can get out of their own way and put their ego down, my goodness, they quickly realize, "I either need to confirm I'm doing this right, or I need some help. Because he just went through some material and hit with some numbers that you can't run from. You can either ignore them, or you can take them on." At both locations, people had a genuine hunger for knowledge. It probably starts off, you can almost tell, they're not sure what it's going to be, but you get a third of the way in, we're hitting on the areas that they are struggling with. 

Jarrod Bridgeman:
You ever see anybody pulling a Sanford and Son, grabbing their chest, and saying, "I'm coming..."

Casey Hiers:
What? Like a heart attack?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah.

Casey Hiers:
No.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So surprised at the numbers.

Casey Hiers:
No. No. Again, disappointment. Some people who don't qualify to work with us, or not an owner. They're disappointed that we might not be able to work together. That was a good question. But I think from across the country we help different people in different specialties within dentistry. And it all falls under the same thing. How we get them there is different. But a lot of the struggles that practice owners have are similar no matter if you're in Nashville, honky tonking down on Broadway, or if you're at the north end in Boston enjoying some third-generation Italian food, if you're talking dentistry, the challenges are there. The question is, do you have the pursuit of excellence and the self-awareness to take a look and see if you can better yourself.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Chad, after having seen Casey do this presentation, you got to travel with him. You've done some exhibiting as well. What are you looking forward to the most as this New Year's starting for you? I know it's February, but it's a whole new thing.

Chad Tothero:
Yeah, there's a lot of exciting things happening here. And I'm really looking forward to being able to present on my own, and put my own spin on the presentation after seeing such a great example set by Casey. Definitely giving me some ideas for how I would work in some personal anecdotes to the presentations and connect with dentists in a different way. Everybody has their own style.
But definitely excited to get out on the road and present and do some more events and just connect with dentists and specialists that are really looking for the services that we have to offer. And again, like Casey said, have that coachable mindset and that they're in that pursuit of excellence. And sometimes it's willing to get out of your own way and face the numbers and then do something about it.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
If you're really looking forward to seeing Chad or Casey or any of our other people out there speak, we're going to be in lots of cities all throughout the year. We're going to be coming up to Tampa, Florida in April. Also Cincinnati in March, on March 10th. Go to fourquadrantsadvisory.com/events, and we'll have our personally hosted ones on there as well. And then I know we're going to be at a bunch of ones exhibiting and speaking that are at State conferences and things like that. Just call Casey on his cell phone and ask him about it.

Casey Hiers:
Anytime.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Thanks, guys.

Announcer:
That's all the time we have today. Thank you to our guests for their insight and for sharing some really great information. And thank you to you, the listener, for tuning in. The Millionaire Dennis podcast is brought to you by Four Quadrants Advisory. To see if they might be a good fit for you and your practice, go on over to fourquadrantsadvisory.com and see why, year after year, they retain over 95% of their clients. Thank you again for joining us, and we'll see you next time.