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EPISODE 183: What Are You Thankful For?

In this episode, Casey and Jarrod delve into the spirit of Thanksgiving as they explore the various subjects and ideas that practice owners may find themselves grateful for, even in the face of seemingly negative outcomes.

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EPISODE 183 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:
Casey, my pants don't fit.

Casey Hiers:
I know. We had very nice donuts from a nice bakery here yesterday. I had half of one and then half of another because I love variety.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah, I also had halfs-

Casey Hiers:
Did you hit the over or the under on one full donut?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Three and a half donuts.

Casey Hiers:
Three and a half donuts.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Here's the deal. Often I am very thankful for when our boss brings in some donuts for the office, but then also I'm cursing him under my breath because I know I can't-

Casey Hiers:
I walked in and I go, damn it, not again because they're so good, I know I can't resist them. I'm not that strong. They're so good, but gosh.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Casey, we just a few days ago, or last week I should say, was Thanksgiving. How was your break?

Casey Hiers:
Full of Thanksgiving. Is that the answer?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah, no it was awesome. That was great.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. My wife's sister hosts one event, my sister hosts the other event. They live very close. Time off is great. For the most part, family sees eye to eye on those things. I always see those funny memes about bring up politics and then you will have less Christmas gifts to give because you'll never speak again. No, it was great. How about you?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Good, yeah. On Thursday we did it with my aunt and my cousin and my mom's side of the family, and then on the following Sunday we went to my dad's side of the family.

Casey Hiers:
Oh, that's nice.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
It was nice to have two separate days. I told my daughter, I was like, Hey, on Thursday we're going to see your grandma and on Sunday your grandpa. She's like, yes. I was like, you love your grandparents so much? She goes, no, there'll be lots of food.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. Hey, she's honest.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I was all right, yep.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, it was good. Certainly times of reflection. What are we thankful for? I run that exercise through my kids and then I'm like, I should probably do that for myself.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right, so let me ask you. As you were thinking about that, and you live, breathe, sleep and eat dental people, right?

Casey Hiers:
I don't eat them.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
What do you think a practice owner or a dentist could be thankful for this year?

Casey Hiers:
It was funny. Hours of prep for this podcast.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I'm worn out.

Casey Hiers:
Wink, wink. We like it to be pretty straight and raw. Yeah, oh, let's do something about thankfulness.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah, let's raw dog this.

Casey Hiers:
We were kind of joking and ultimately there's a lot here as a dentist or a specialist and with what we do in this space, number one, being thankful just about dentistry. I mean, some people are burnt out and we'll get into that, but when you get into dentistry, you do it for a lot of excitement and positive reasons and one of them is you get to be your own boss and you get to help people. Dentistry is something to be thankful for. Unfortunately, a lot of folks get a little bit cynical as the years go by.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right. I mean, being your own boss can be pretty awesome, but then there's nowhere else to go with it.

Casey Hiers:
As long as you don't have to fire yourself because you're not good at stuff. Digging deeper, we were kind of joking about a few things, but insurance. As a startup, I talk to a lot of practice owners and they are grateful for insurance. It's a way for them to get started.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right, because they have not established a name for themselves yet.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. If you don't want to go spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or eight digits on an existing practice, well, a lot of people do startups. I'm talking to more and more people where in the last 8 to 10 years, their startups crushing it right now and they attribute that to insurance. Hey, I was able to have some marketing and market accepting insurances and grow my patient base. Flip the coin. What they're thankful for is now something that they're very frustrated with. My insurance adjustments are, well, my software says 7% because I bill expect to collect and cook the books, but it's actually 30% and I'm frustrated.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So you're saying they're thankful they got the insurances, they help them get their startup up and going, but they became so successful for that level that they just kind of kept adding more to it potentially?

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. Mistaking busyness for profitability sometimes. Paul Harvey, The Rest of the Story. He was a radio host for our younger listeners, and he was somebody who would tell a story, but then he would go, and here's the rest of the story and it's like that aha moment. And with insurance, so many practice owners, it's a blessing and then it quickly turns into here's the rest of the story, and it can be really challenging.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
It's more work for less money.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. What's the number one thing you hear people complaining about? Dentists, when I ask about challenges, what do they start with complaining about?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
More than likely it's going to be staff. If they're not going to be super honest about themselves, they're going to bring up staff.

Casey Hiers:
Here's the thing. Staff is such a blessing. You have hopefully good people that are in your office with your patients and you're with them and it's exciting and you build some good comradery and sure you might addition by subtraction, you'll get rid of some people and get that right culture and it's people are thankful for their staffs, right? Now they're planning office parties, but the other side of that is if you're not a good leader, your staff will run you. The tail will wag the dog because you lack the leadership that you need.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Or just one person can come in and put that toxicness out into the rest of the staff.

Casey Hiers:
Potentially, and right now they're vulnerable to that because it seems like many people need, I need one more hygienist, I need two more hygienists, I need this and so they will potentially not vet them out thoroughly. Bring somebody on that's not great. Again, thankful for your staff, absolutely. Without poor leadership, your staff can be one of your biggest frustrations. Here's one to be thankful for, your patients. For the most part.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
You kind of need them, don't you?

Casey Hiers:
You need them. You're thankful for them. Now here's the key. Of course, there's an ornery one here or there, people that cancel. Your collection percentage needs to be 99.5%. Otherwise, I'll speak for myself, I would be less thankful for my patients if they don't pay me. You can do dentistry on your terms for free. Don't be dictated to by your patients. No, it's a novel idea, but unfortunately, sometimes this very same practice owner who lets insurance run over them, their staff and team run over them, and then their patients not pay them, they look up and they're frustrated. As a firm, we help those things, but ultimately practice owners have to look in the mirror and be strong leaders, be good communicators, set expectations because things that you are thankful for and things that are inherently positive can quickly turn negative if not done, managed, and strategized the right way. Insurance staff, patients being the hat trick there.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
A lot of that all comes down to having some systems and stuff in place. You know what I mean? Just to help you if you need help managing your own time or whatever it is.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, what is the culture? What are the systems and processes? What are the expectations? What are the boundaries? All those things. Again, we provide that for our clients just kind of day one because we have that bandwidth of 20 years of experience from New York to California and Michigan to Texas and everywhere in between. Here's one that's funny.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
What's that?

Casey Hiers:
Corporate dentistry. DSOs.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
You're thankful for that?

Casey Hiers:
Should we be thankful for those?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
You know what? I think right off the top of my head is potentially a brand new, right out of school, maybe they're able to get in there and get some experience.

Casey Hiers:
You're on the right track. A young dentist can get some really good training and work ethic because it's demanded and they can also maybe see how they don't want to practice dentistry.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Learn what not to do.

Casey Hiers:
There is a place to be thankful for corporate dentistry and DSOs. Now, they're paying a lot of money to a lot of entities and state groups and money talks, and so they're almost like they have got their own internal lobbyists now, just telling everybody how great it is. There's a place for it. It's not all bad, but let's be honest, most dentists don't envision themselves working for corporate dentistry their whole life. You can get great training, great work ethic, see some good, probably see some things that you might wouldn't have done if you're running the show. Now we are the DSO kryptonite, meaning our clients' practices, the financials, the balance sheet, the profit and loss statement, the income are also pristine. That they don't need to sell out to corporate dentistry, you have options, but there's a place for it. Be thankful for it, and those young dentists, maybe you need to bring on an associate. That's a target-rich recruitment tool right there.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Or also you could be thankful in terms of patients go to the DSO, realize the service is shitty, and come to you.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, that's a whole another podcast right there. We don't want to get too far down that road, but no, it's a good time of year to be thankful to reflect what can we do better? Ultimately, I receive a whole lot of inquiries around end of November, December, and early January because people realize, wow, I've produced great dentistry, but there's something I'm missing. I've hit a plateau. My income's not acceptable. I don't have a plan. I don't have a strategy. I don't know when I'm going to retire. A lot of those reflective moments and inquiries.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
What do you think you could do better?

Casey Hiers:
What are you talking about?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
You know what I mean. Is in terms of talking with clients or prospects?

Casey Hiers:
I thought we were talking about being thankful. You should be thankful for me. What could I do better? Why am I on the spot here? There's lots of room for improvement.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I am thankful for you because you talk more and eat up more of the time.

Casey Hiers:
Was that a compliment?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
A little bit, yes. A backhanded one, double-edged sword.

Casey Hiers:
Well, during this season of reflection and thankfulness and what other descriptive words you use, if you are at an inflection point, if you've hit a plateau, if you have frustrations, good news and bad news. Good news is there's a firm out there that helps with it. The bad news is, I talked to hundreds of dentists, we don't bring on that many, but that also means there's not a lot of pressure in choosing to engage in a process to vet us and we vet you and turn over a lot of rocks that weren't looked at.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Casey, listen, dude, you did awesome today. I'm very proud of you. All right. It's almost December, right? You're going to be somewhere pretty cool in a couple of weeks down in Louisville.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. We're going down to Louisville and have to order a hot brown. They're known for that. It's a delicious meal. Ultimately, we're going to be providing some continuing education on the business side of dentistry. Mid-December, it's actually make-your-own bourbon, bottle it, label it, custom.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Barrels and Billets. It's connected to the Louisville Slugger Museum, so that'll be pretty cool.

Casey Hiers:
No kidding. I went to a wedding reception there once.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Oh, nice. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Casey Hiers:
Useless information.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Useless information. Please, if you want to check us out, go to fourquadrantsadvisory.com or go to fourquadrantsadvisory.com/events. Check us out if you want to register, make sure you click and register if you're in the area.

Casey Hiers:
We'll be in Scottsdale later this week.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yes, that's right. Scottsdale, that'll be exciting. Are you pretty pumped to go to some warmer weather?

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, it's going to be good. Scottsdale's one of my favorite cities.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I'm chilled. Right now we're in that situation where it's heavy coat in the morning and shorts in the afternoon. Almost. 60-something degrees today. All right. Thanks, Casey.

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.