THE MILLIONAIRE DENTIST™

The ultimate podcast for dentists and specialists

 

apple podcast logo overcast logo spreaker logo pocketcasts logo tunein logo iTunes Logo google podcasts logo iheartradio logo

EPISODE 150: 6 Years of Episodes, 6 Years of Change

Casey and Jarrod are joined by the COO of Four Quadrants, Baxter Brogan, to reminisce about the very first episode of The Millionaire Dentist™ six years ago and how the firm and dentistry have changed since then.

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE? SUBSCRIBE TODAY

 

EPISODE 150 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 you doing?

Casey Hiers:
I'm okay.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
How was your lunch? I heard you had something spicy.

Casey Hiers:
It was a delicious sandwich. Little relish. I'm teary-eyed and runny nose because of spice, not because of-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Sure.

Casey Hiers:
... of this very special podcast.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's Right. Today we're celebrating our 150th episode. So many.

Casey Hiers:
Do you have an applause button or anything?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
No.

Casey Hiers:
Insert later.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah, I'll add those in.

Casey Hiers:
We also have a special guest in-studio. Chief operations officer, part owner of the firm, Brogan Baxter, joins us.

Brogan Baxter:
Gentlemen. Hello. Thanks for having me.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Brogan, you were on our very first podcast.

Brogan Baxter:
I was. I was may have been on the first two.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah.

Brogan Baxter:
I was throwing that out there.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Way back in... it was like June of 2017?

Brogan Baxter:
Yeah, I had a little bit more hair then.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So about five and a half years ago.

Casey Hiers:
Did you get dressed up just for this podcast?

Brogan Baxter:
I did, yes. No, no. I'd like to say it's something a little more exciting than that, but doing some interviews today. Sure a lot of dentists can relate to that.

Casey Hiers:
As the podcast has grown, so has the firm. Jarrod, what do you want to talk about?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
With it being the 150th episode, and you've been not only in this business for a long time, but you've been involved in the podcast and listening to the podcast and approving the things I talk about and not approving some things, has there been any change in the last, let's say, six years in dentistry? You've seen any trends that have changed?

Brogan Baxter:
Okay, sure. That's a interesting and very loaded topic. Lots of things actually come to mind. Just going back five and a half years ago, Corona was a beer. Okay, now we've got COVID. Now we have [inaudible 00:02:03], now we played the alphabet soup. Now people have maybe gotten a little bit of a wake up call from something like that. Maybe they ran their bank accounts too thin, whatever, that was the shot in the arm that they needed to ultimately start to get a little bit more of a nest egg, safety net, so to speak, and to be a little more fiscally responsible when it comes to running their practice. And that doesn't just stop with dentistry. I'm a business owner and that was a little bit of a shot in the arm for all companies everywhere, mine included.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, because dentistry seems to be seen as kind of recession proof on some levels, but it's a different thing when practices had to straight up to shut down for months at a time.

Brogan Baxter:
Yes. The oral surgeons had some loopholes there and some of the people doing some of the surgery sort of procedures, the orthodontists, things like that. They were able to escape some of that in certain states. Not across the board, but yeah, for the general dentist was shut down and some of them, it was to the effect that they would get arrested. And I've heard from clients that some of their friends were allowing people to come in and something actually did get, they were really fined but not arrested. It seems excessive for a toothache.

Casey Hiers:
Tyranny.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Would you say that maybe the landscape because of that has strengthened since the beginning?

Brogan Baxter:
The landscape of...?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Dentistry and the financial landscape?

Brogan Baxter:
Well, yeah, and I think that that's where it gets back initially to a little establishing more of a safety net. Now things are also operating a lot differently. There's like, there's pre-Covid and there's post-Covid.

Casey Hiers:
Guess what they were complaining about? Both. Team and staff. Pre covid, complaining about staff. Now...

Brogan Baxter:
They're complaining about the rich staff. They're still complaining about their staff and now they're also bitching about how much they make because everybody's demanding pay raises and things too. And the dentists feel a little bit trapped, which they're getting squeezed. Everybody's making more money except for them and it's causing them to look elsewhere, say maybe at insurance plans because guess what? They're not increasing their reimbursement rate. Same money coming in, more money going out. Who gets squeezed? The owner of the company. We are seeing some squeezed margins post-Covid as well and that's something also that's changed in the last handful of years.

Casey Hiers:
We used the line winning is a great deodorant. A lot of times practice owners were just producing, but it was a house of cards and this had a lot of wake up calls across the board but a lot of practice owners took the business side of their practice a little more seriously. You called it a safety net. Just the finances, they took it more a little more serious and looked at things across the board comprehensively and said, wait a second, I can't just run and gun this anymore. I need to get forensic with the business side of things.

Brogan Baxter:
Yeah, they definitely did start identifying various areas that came from some of the fallout from Covid. Because we're talking about one major event, being the pandemic that really changed the course of how many many companies do operations. That's from your profit margins to what you pay your staff to how you treat your staff to making, if you have the ability, remote access and remote employees. It also changed the entire industry of commercial real estate. And now, what we're all seeing now is a mortgage rate's like 7%. See, five and a half years ago, interest rates were low. They had been low, they were continuing to be low into the foreseeable future and it took something like this pandemic to also change that. So now, borrowing money is a lot more expensive, paying it out to your staff's a lot more expensive, insurances aren't budging, and then we have the DSOs too. That's kind of a thing, too, that's changed in the last five and a half years.

Casey Hiers:
I think one of the first podcasts, you guys talked about insurance and we probably talked about it two or three ago. That hasn't changed. It just-

Brogan Baxter:
Gotten worse.

Casey Hiers:
Evolving problems.

Brogan Baxter:
Yes. Yeah, I mean that has changed. There was some times when some of the bigger insurance companies that start with a D were trying to throw their weight around different states and cutting reimbursement rates and things like that. And some of those, they get some pretty bad PR from that. That's a little bit of a victory. And I do think the insurance game stinks. It's going to stink in the foreseeable future. It's going to get worse before it gets better. So anything someone can do to bulletproof themselves from that would be great.

Casey Hiers:
Shot out of a cannon, did you think this podcast would make its 150th episode?

Brogan Baxter:
You know...

Casey Hiers:
You stepped away and so it was probably doomed to crumble. Right?

Brogan Baxter:
So I'll let you guys behind the scenes here a little bit. See, there was a marketing firm we were working with. This is five and a half years ago. We didn't have an inside marketing guy. Now we have Jarrod here and we've got slightly more than a inside marketing guy.

Casey Hiers:
Right. Yeah.

Brogan Baxter:
No, but in all seriousness, the marketing company said, there's really a demand out there for podcasts about this. And I was like, really? And they say yes, and I'll be damned if we didn't put that out there. And it actually started gaining traction and the format's migrated over time but I think we've got a really nice little niche now where we keep it in that sub 20 minutes and keep it relevant and keep it not boring, which is always good. So yeah, that's awesome. And I can't wait until 2, 3, 400.

Casey Hiers:
Be interesting, be brief, be gone.

Brogan Baxter:
That's right. That's right.

Casey Hiers:
Sometimes we're not interesting.

Brogan Baxter:
Always leave them wanting more. Right?

Casey Hiers:
There you go.

Brogan Baxter:
There you go.

Casey Hiers:
George Costanza.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So for those of you who may not have gone all the way back to the earliest days and listened to some of our old ones. Brogan, you were on our very first episode. Do you want to give us a little insight into how that first episode went for you?

Brogan Baxter:
The marketing company said, "You might want to have few drinks to loosen up if you're a little nervous." I did not take them up on it, but that definitely would've made it be a little better. But no, we were huddled around a itty bitty little table at the marketing firm and they were recording it. We recorded two or three of them then and it took way longer than it should have. And I was a little bit nervous, but now it's second nature and I think it helps that it's a little bit as kind of informal sort of conversational tone that we strike in these extremely informative podcasts that we do.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Extremely.

Casey Hiers:
Oh, it's good. Jarrod reminds me, "Hey, we need to record one." And then from either conversations with practice owners or traveling to an event, it's typically dental related is what sparks what we're going to talk about. You and I record something, I forget about it, Brogan approves it, it goes out and then inevitably I talk to somebody and they go, "I listened to your podcast." And it's been over the last probably nine months or so where I go, oh yeah, I guess that does go out and people listen. It's more like you and I just talking but I'm glad to hear it helps people. Brogan, while we have you, here's a question I want to ask you. You've been doing this for almost 19 years in terms of helping dentists and specialists, and we've only done the podcast for five and a half. But from practice owners, what do you see as common areas that they need help with? And this might not just be their issues at the practice, but what prevents practice owners sometimes from getting better?

Brogan Baxter:
Honestly, the biggest thing that prevents somebody from being very successful, it is ego. That is personality, ego, call it what you want. And I don't fault them for that. You've got to understand these folks have been the smartest people always. They're always the smartest one in the room. Not because they're pompous or anything like that, but more so they're the smartest person in the room because they're very highly educated. They always graduated at the top of their class. They're drivers. They're strivers. They hit adversity the first time out at the most important part of their entire career, which is your career. And instead of asking for help, because they've been put on this elite pedestal of being this genius that supposed to be able to figure everything out, they kind of go, I have to be able to figure this out. I'm smart. Damn it, I'm smart. I graduated, whatever, and I should be able to figure this out.
Well, what happens five years down the road when you don't, now you've lost five years and you're like, well, I'm a couple years away. Well, and then it doesn't, the pandemic happens and then, oh shit. And then you've got all these things that happen. You spiral out of control and all of a sudden you look up and you're 55 and you go, this is not what I envisioned when I opened my practice. And you go, how did I get here? How do I get out of it? And then again, the ego game. Ugh. Now I'm embarrassed. Now I feel embarrassed about where I'm at. How do I fix that? I'm a smart guy, run a good practice. My patients love me. I have the greatest staff. I'm a great clinician.
I hear this all the time. I don't doubt that for one second. They probably do have great staffs and they're great clinicians and all that stuff. That's fine. But there's just some things that you need help with you. You got to have the work-life balance. That is one good thing that came from Covid. People got some time off work and they're like, holy shit, I feel way better mentally now. And they're like, oh, so maybe that work-life balance is a real thing. Maybe I don't need to burn it both ends all the time until I retire or die of a heart attack, whatever happens first.

Casey Hiers:
So the person hearing that saying, oh man, that might be me. Paint a picture of the person in their mid to late thirties, early forties that recognizes it shelves the ego, and just looks to see if there's a better way.

Brogan Baxter:
Are you talking about what those results could be or are you talking about what are they mentally going through at that time?

Casey Hiers:
No, once they decide, I'm going to go beyond me and just see if there's a better way instead of being 55 looking up going, gosh, dentistry's not what I thought. Yeah, results.

Brogan Baxter:
Well, sure. So there's something in investing that they call the time value of money. I'm sure everybody's probably heard of that. But basically the moral of that story is the best time to invest is always yesterday. If you want to have X dollar amount when you retire, if you start a day earlier than when you actually start, you're going to have more. Right? So you always want to invest. So you've now made up for the time value of money by starting in your thirties, not your fifties or you really kick it into high your gear in your thirties versus your fifties. So what that looks like is when you're in your fifties, you're having conversations about retiring or you're having conversations about legacy or how rich do you want your kids to be? Or how much do you want to give away philanthropically? Or what else do you want to do? How do you want to go out? You have options.
When you start in your thirties and you really kick it into high gear, you have options. You have options faster than more than you ever thought, faster than you ever thought with more options than you ever thought. As opposed to being someone who starts too late and.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
They are playing catch-up at that point.

Brogan Baxter:
Yes, they're playing catch up and they have limited options. What am I going to do? What can I do? I have to work till this or I'm going to take a very substantial step back and I don't really want to do that. And I don't blame somebody for doing that. I mean, you make so much your entire life you don't want to automatically make that dollar amount your entire life retire and make automatically less than half. I've seen that. It's pretty sad. So I mean, get a little vulnerable.

Casey Hiers:
I like to dare the DIY-ers out there. Just confirm it. If you want to explore and see what it looks like behind the curtain, meaning your practice, confirm that you're crushing it. What are you scared of? What do you have to lose? The ego part that comes into it where they go, I got to figure it out. I want to challenge those folks to confirm it. And you touched on something important, which is you're talking having conversations about retiring when you're 50 instead of how to catch up, and that's a big deal. But that's why we take the position we do a lot of times as we're vetting practice owners, the ones that, well, I'm too busy. I'll get around to it. I don't know. The hemming and hawing, we're very used to solving these problems and getting these practice owners wealthier than they ever thought they could be with more options than they thought they could be. And so we don't really fall into that pattern of, just like we do with our clients, we're going to tell them what they need to hear, not dance around for them.

Brogan Baxter:
That's very, very true. That pattern of behavior, I'll get to it tomorrow whatever that person turns into the 50-year-old person. That pattern of behavior is what they want to change by reaching out to us to begin with. So you know what? If you want to change it, let's change it. Let's be rich. Let's be as rich as you'd like to be. Let's give yourself options.

Casey Hiers:
We need to make a shirt. Don't be the 78-year-old at your dental society or study club that everybody says, It's so great you're still practicing. No, it's not.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
It's a very long shirt.

Casey Hiers:
It's not so great. It's because you can't retire.

Brogan Baxter:
They-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Shorten that up a little bit.

Casey Hiers:
They might like dentistry, but they're working that age for a reason.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
If you're wanting to see, maybe talk to somebody here from Four Quadrants and you're not quite ready for the phone call, we are going to be all over the country pretty much for the rest of this year. We've got all kinds of really cool events and exhibiting and things booked up. We're going to be at the MaxiCourse, which seems pretty cool to me. I know coming up, actually, that's tomorrow, Friday tomorrow, we're going to be in Nashville for our Topgolf event. Speaking of that, we're going to be in Tampa for our Topgolf. We're going to be in Cincinnati. If you want to check out those, go to four quadrants advisory.com/events. We're going to be in an ortho event in Georgia, which will be exciting. And then Midwinter Chicago, that's a big event.

Casey Hiers:
Oh yeah, Chicago Midwinter. Yeah.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
It's going to be nice. And-

Casey Hiers:
It's like two football fields worth of dental industry folks, but a whole lot of-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
And if memory serves right, things in the Midwinter in Chicago are always lovely. Very nice, very warm. Not windy at all.

Casey Hiers:
Is that a weather joke?

Brogan Baxter:
Especially in February.

Casey Hiers:
That's right. In our 150th with a weather joke. Way to go, Jarrod.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Aaah.

Casey Hiers:
Brogan. Thanks for joining us.

Brogan Baxter:
Gents, it's been a pleasure.

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.