THE MILLIONAIRE DENTIST PODCAST

EPISODE 133: GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY

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EPISODE 133: GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY

What's one of the most significant issues when trying to achieve your goals? Getting in your own way. Casey and Jarrod discuss how practice owners can unintentionally trip themselves up.

 

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EPISODE 133 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. What's shaking?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Hey, how are you? How was your weekend?

Casey Hiers:
It was good. I went back to my old alma mater and watched some college football.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Nice. How'd you guys do?

Casey Hiers:
56-nothing.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Wow. And you won.

Casey Hiers:
Felt good.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's right.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. Felt good. Got to see some old friends and just get that whiff of campus.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, we've got some fantasy football stuff here at the office and it's been the first weekend and I had the highest total points scored. Somehow.

Casey Hiers:
It's either a good sign or a big jinx.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah, it's going to be the only time I do this. So we'll see.

Casey Hiers:
Yes. Fall is in the air, sports, and all of those things. Kids are back at school. There's a lot of focus back to real life. What do you want to talk about today?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, I found myself often doing something I didn't realize was really hindering me, which was, I had too much pride sometimes and I would get in my own way. I saw what I wanted to have happen and then I kept doing stuff to kind of screw up my own plans.

Casey Hiers:
Oh. I guess if I'd admit it, I probably do that.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
It's like a psychological thing. Sometimes you don't know it until later.

Casey Hiers:
And sometimes the best thing we can do is get out of our own way?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I would say so. Still working on it, though.

Casey Hiers:
Well, you said it. Ego, right? Sometimes we're just unaware.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah. So here's how I would compare it to, is like back in my dating days I would maybe not even think about it, but be talking to somebody, and then two days later I'd be like, "Oh, shoot, they were flirting with me." And I was just like, "Okay, cool, thanks," and left.

Casey Hiers:
Lack of awareness.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Lack of awareness.

Casey Hiers:
Okay. Well, if we're going to tie it to dentistry, you and I talked for about a full two and a half minutes before recording this-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Roughly.

Casey Hiers:
-which is the fun of it. But because of this podcast, we've actually had people engage in conversations. We've had people that are now clients of our firm, and the common denominator was, they said, "You know, we felt like we were doing pretty good and then we started listening and learning and thinking and going back and looking at some numbers, and realized, "Well, shoot, actually, no, we're not doing as good as maybe we should do." Let's have a conversation. Let's investigate further." So that was really the origin of this, sometimes it's just not being aware. Other times it's ego. Other times it's just get out of your own way. But when that came to mind, I wanted to bring that up because there's so many things, life's hard, people are going through and at least on the business side of dentistry, if you look up and it's not a certain way, guess what. There might be a better way.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right. You might be the reason why cash flow is being bottlenecked in your practice.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. Well, I mean, let's be honest. When your team and your staff are driving you nuts, and I've said this before when a lot of the other things are falling into place with your finances and your cash flow, a lot more tolerable, versus when everything's maybe feeling a little tight. For some reason, you're not as busy, overhead's gone up, insurance is frustrating you, you're not sure where the money's going, then every little thing can, I don't want to say sets you off, but it just kind of causes some stress.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right, because as you know, money stresses could be very big.

Casey Hiers:
Well, one of the biggest things is, I'll hear practice owners say, "I'm so tired of just talking about the practice, the business, and the money with my spouse," right, with the people that are closest to you. A lot of times that's ultimately all that they talk about and it can be very, very frustrating.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, and you may be tired of it. And I'm guessing that also means your spouse probably is, too.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, no, it's an incredible amount of stress, but just to review, if you're listening out there, because again, I talk to a lot of practice owners with a lot of ideas and practices and multiples and EBITDA, and all the things that come into dentistry, but let's do an inventory. If you're a practice owner and your collections are 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, right, I mean, you should be making over $400,000 in dentistry. You should be saving $100,000 or more in dentistry.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Are you saying these are basic things you should be hitting?

Casey Hiers:
Again, for our firm, these are basic. We feel accountable that our practice-owning dentist clients are getting these things. Yeah, yeah. So I mean, if you're a practice of that size, you should be on track for eight digits, especially if you're a younger dentist. You shouldn't have tax issues and tax frustrations. Yes, you've got to pay Uncle Sam. You've got to do it, but it needs to be planned accordingly so that over 12 months, it's a nonissue. There's no surprises at the end of the year. And you shouldn't feel consumed and stressed out with dentistry. It's a noble and fun profession and you're helping people. But, man, that bonus job can take people to a bad place sometimes.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, let me go back one step here. You said you shouldn't be surprised by taxes and Uncle Sam, come tax time. What would you call a tax surprise?

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. We define it as either a... so hopefully, everybody's paying their quarterly taxes, but then unfortunately what will happen is at the end of the year, we define a "tax surprise" as either a refund or an additional tax bill of over $10,000 or more. And so the refund feels good, but something went wrong. That should be cash flow you enjoy throughout the year. But that's how we define it. And so if you're getting a refund or an additional tax bill under $10,000, that should be normal, right? I mean, okay, a couple of 1000 here, there, my team planned for it. They didn't just do the safe harbor estimate for what I did last year and kind of mail it in.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I mean, that's a pretty big number, especially 10,000 over, under, kind of thing. How does income play into that?

Casey Hiers:
It's incredible. Obviously, we get to look at, confidentially, a lot of the financials and to look at practices, let's say again, in that million to maybe 1.3 range, the differences of income. There's some folks out there that, God forbid, there's a one in front of their income with a practice that size, but certainly a lot of people in the two hundreds, maybe some in the three hundreds. But ultimately if you're in that one to 1.3, I mean, you should be clearing $400,000. And if you're not, you should know why and what's the goal to get there.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Without giving away any names, what's the worst collection to income you've seen or heard of?

Casey Hiers:
I mean, there's a lot... I would call it dire. I would call it a dire situation, right? Again, producing one to one-five, and they're just barely paying themselves, skipping checks. Again, and overhead is tied to this, but they look and their overhead is incredibly high and that's frustrating, and it's all linked. But what are you doing to get your overhead to 55%? If you're not there, what's the goal? If your income's not there, what's the goal?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Are you saying that's a good benchmark to have, 55%?

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. If you're a general dentist, that 55% overhead is incredibly achievable. We have people in the forties that are general dentists. For specialists, it's much less, but if you're not there, why, and what's the goal, versus just keep on keeping on. And so that's why when this podcast... we have great listeners and a lot of folks work with this and a lot of folks don't. But when I started getting that feedback of, "Hey, you said something that, it triggered me and it triggered action. And I started to look into things and I realized, wait a second, something's wrong." Right? And obviously everybody we talk with, we don't end up working with, but we give a lot of complimentary information out.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Correct.

Casey Hiers:
And once we look at some basic details, production reports, taxes, fee schedules, financials, it tells us a lot of information. And unfortunately, there's a lot of leaks in practices. We plug those leaks. I talked to somebody the other day and they said, "Listen, I pay...I'm in an affluent area. I pay my people a lot of money. I don't want to pay them less money." And we know what those employee wages percentage should be.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Per region and stuff like that, yeah.

Casey Hiers:
But I said, "Well, here's the deal." They didn't really know what that percentage was. I said, "This is your percentage. This is your over-employee percentage. This is what it should be." For our clients, we're going to point out all the leaks. Now if you want to prioritize them where you say that's off limits. Well, okay. Let's move on to something else, but to not know, and to not be aware and to not realize, "Hey, I'm here and I want to be here. And here's the plan." If that's you, don't settle. And that goes for your whole life, not just dentistry, but my goodness. You put a lot of time, blood, sweat, and tears into dental school.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, and I like that you pointed out you can... people get aggravated or frustrated with their numbers, especially if they don't know them, maybe they feel like they're paying their employees too much, or maybe they're spending too much money elsewhere or not, or too much in overhead. But if you don't know those numbers, you're out there and you think you're lost at sea.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. And you don't want to be lost at sea. And the thing that I hear the most is, yeah, I got another extension. And again, we've said this before, but the extensions, and we don't have our financials, or they're wrong, or they don't tie to our QuickBooks, or from a tax perspective, we have a basis issue. Those things happen, but you've got to be aware and what's the plan to fix them and I find so many practice owners, they just don't have time because they want to practice dentistry.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, it makes me think about... during your presentations, you have a slide of Andy from Parks and Rec where it says, "I don't know how much in my bank account I have, and I'm too afraid to look now," something along those lines. And I felt that way a lot of times early on in college, early on in my professional career, which was, I wasn't making the money I make now. And so I just hoped and bought the things I needed. And then, oops, I overdrafted.

Casey Hiers:
And you know what's sad and unacceptable? That same principle applies to a lot of practice owners in dentistry. The numbers are bigger, right? Much bigger. They're going to be able to feed their families, but they still have that same mentality where they just almost don't want to know because it's too hard and too frustrating. And then they'll find one or two pieces of information and go, okay, well, I think I kind of sort of know, and again, have an external team, have a comprehensive view of everything, don't settle. Sometimes you've got to get out of your own way. And sometimes that means listening to some more podcasts, contacting a firm who does this, and maybe the intention isn't to join the firm. I mean, God knows we say no to a lot of people, but ultimately we want to help people. And that's why we're actually launching something. Our founder and president decided, hey, these issues in dentistry are almost getting worse.
They're not getting better while we're helping more people. And so we're launching basically a complimentary, free assessment. There's dozens of things they get wrong. We pick what, seven or eight, and we're going to put this out there for practice owners to select one, where they say, okay, I want to look at my cash flow. Or I want somebody to look at my debt situation, sign some privacy principles, obviously to protect everybody, but have Four Quadrants Advisory look at one piece. And for us to give some complimentary information for some folks to take back and run with their external team for others to go, "Wow, you guys know what you're talking about. I've been working with this other team for 15 years or piece-mealing all of this, and nobody's showed me this. And I've talked to you guys for three weeks and you've shown me more expertise than anybody has." And so we're actually launching that as a company initiative and you've had a lot to do with it.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I have. It's been a lot of fun kind of building out our marketing plan for that and designing a lot of things. I will say, if you want to check that out, go to fourquadrantsadvisory.com/complimentary-assessment. Check us out there. There's a little form for you to fill out and we'll be able to reach out to you after you fill out that form. You can also select which of the eight topics you're most interested in. Casey, they wanted me to ask you, though, you often talk about that there's always just one thing a practice can do to fix everything. What was that again? What was that one thing that'll fix everything?

Casey Hiers:
To get out of your own way.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Get out of your own way. Yeah. That is the one thing.

Casey Hiers:
Well, and I'm glad you mentioned that because there's not one, two, or three things. It's dozens and dozens of things.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
And what's nice about this complimentary assessment is this is just a fraction of what we do. So we may be able to show you, hey, in this one field, here's how you can improve things in your practice. But now imagine that times your entire, entirety of your business.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, no, it's a nice offering that the firm's doing and I hope practice owners take advantage of it. And we're going to be in Columbus, Ohio, and Dallas, Texas, upcoming for some dental events and just going to continue to meet good people and hopefully help more and more practice-owning dentists.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
If you're in the Ohio area for Columbus, it'll be October 7th at Top Golf in Columbus. Visit our events page on our website and you can sign up. It's a free registration. Come learn about how to master the business side of dentistry.

Casey Hiers:
Thank you, sir.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Thank you.

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 Dentist 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.