be bold and live life on their terms.
Howard: It's just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Robert Toth DMD who heard a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Delaware and is DMD from Case Western University School of Dental Medicine. He is the owner of the Dangerous Dentist blog and podcast where he motivates dentists to be bold and live life on their terms. I'm a big fan of your podcast, thanks for coming on. I gotta say a couple things, from being in college 9 years you know the the smartest of the smartest for math and physics majors and if you couldn't do anything mathematics you know you were a communications major and so I have total respect for any mind capable of understanding physics, I found that physics to be the most interesting thing ever and because math applied math is physics applied physics chemistry and applied chemistry biology and if you don't get the math applied to physics and applied to chemistry then you then no wonder you're an anti-vaxxer and believe in all these you know things you just don't know the fundamental science of how it works are big and congratulations on the on the podcast. So how are you doing today.
Robert: Thanks Howard for that introduction but you know really the pleasure's all mine I mean you and your guests have been you know inspiring me. I think listeners get a lot of you know tremendous value out of this podcast because you know it just opens you up to the possibilities I mean when I hear success stories you know every day from your guests and just and from you, you know eventually I start to think you know that's something I can do I mean this guy did it why can't I. So I think for a lot of young doctors that are inspiring, you know like myself it's just listening to you know all the positivity and hearing success stories you know I feel like we already have kind of a leg up on our peers because it takes a lot of modesty to listen to another podcast. So just by listening to this it kind of separates you from those who think they know it all and those who you know are striving for self-improvement so thank you.
Howard: Do you have your podcast on, do you uploaded to Dentaltown?
Robert: I don't, I can do that though for sure
Howard: Yeah you really should because we got a quarter million people on dental town and 65,000 download the app and the whole reason I started a podcast I started as genre on the dental town app and there's about 60 people in dentistry putting a podcast on there and everyone's told me that they when they put their podcast on dental town that's when a lot of dentists see it and then they go subscribe to it on are you on you're on iTunes are you also on YouTube
Robert: We're not on YouTube now, I'm on iTunes, Stitcher and kind of the big ones there but no and we're not on youtube.
Howard: So how come your handsome and your not on YouTube and here I'm short fat bald I'm on YouTube. You have a face for YouTube, I have a face for iTunes, but yeah it'll be the best it'll be the best marketing thing you ever did and put it on the Dentaltown app because it's funny when I started doing Dentaltown this podcast he said well dude I have an hour commute to and from work I need 10 shows a week and I'm like well I can't do 10 shows a week and it's what's amazing is they get in their car they open up that Dentaltown app they start scrolling, what are they in the mood to for today, you know what I mean and so I don't think in fear and scarcity I think and I hope growth in abundance and anybody who's helping my dentist homies like you. I'm your biggest fan. So tell us about your journey.
Robert: Sure yes so I graduated from Case Western like you said a couple years ago, right out of school you know didn't really know what I wanted to do. I don't feel like we really were prepared very well I mean even from the basics of repaying loans to starting a practice or you know looking for a mentor, leadership positions and you know we just we weren't trained on any that stuff. So I started out working for a private practice which had had five doctors in it but it was just a single location. I found that you know I wasn't being compensated very well and I actually ended up going over to a corporate job and I ended up making a little bit you know some more money there and I do have quite a bit of autonomy, so yeah I went over to the dark side for the last year.
Howard: What was the DSO?
Robert: It's a smaller group it's called Ulery Dental & Orthodontics. You actually had a guest on your show they started X-ray Upload
Howard: Oh yeah absolutely
Robert: Yeah they actually worked for they only have five locations in Maryland but he actually worked for the company so I knew him personally. So when I heard him on your show I gave him a call right away said man one day I'm gonna be on that.
Howard: Right on. So when you said you worked in a location five dentists in one location I always think it's, I hear the bazzara things from dental students, it's like I was sitting down some lunch in at a dental school and some guy said well what are your goals, he goes well five years out of school I want to have four locations and I thought that is a weird goal. I mean because are you talking about four locations with one dentist in each one when you're there just have one location with four dentists. I mean you work in a location and five dentists in one. I could name you a hundred dental offices that do three to five million dollars in one location I don't know why you should try to grow your earning not grow your locations. It's like in the.com bubble era went from 94 to March of 2000 everybody's talking about clicks and and clicks and clicks is like well you don't pay you can't buy coffee at Starbucks with clicks. What is your revenue, what is your net income, so you just want to grow earnings. So you're an associate for a small singular location of five dentists then you went to a DSO and then what?
Robert: Well right now we're actually looking at a couple of properties in a small town where my fiance lives. So you definitely got me turned on towards the small town and demographic searches. So we just found it you know it's her hometown you know where families are, there you know I love her family a lot there, they're great. So we just decided that's you know where we want to open up shop. So right now we're looking at different locations kind of playing with the idea of doing a start-up but you know obviously it's a lot area I'm sorry a ground-up construction but that tends to be a little bit more expensive. Their's no lease really spaced out there so it would have to be either buy a building and renovate it for dental or you know so we're still we haven't you know made any final decisions but I am working with Jamie Amos at Ideal Practices. So he's kind of, they're groups kind of helping us out a little bit and let me ask you a question. I mean you know as far as owning your practice, I mean I this something that unfortunately I didn't think about right out of school I wish I had you know. We know we're gonna make greater income if we own our own practice we'll have our own autonomy we won't you know have to answer anybody and we know there's resources out there to help us build it but why do you think so many people that we've ran the numbers why do you think there's so many people like me that you know we didn't come to our senses you know why are we weak, why do we hesitate?
Howard: Well fear is something that's built into all the animals. I mean my gosh you don't want to eat some fruit you never eaten before, might be poisoning and kill you. I mean fear is just I mean we wouldn't have evolved I mean homosapians almost two million years old. I mean we wouldn't have got to be where we're at today if we weren't afraid of stuff. I mean we're and also a lot of animals they slowly evolved to the top like whales and sharks and wolves but monkey humans I mean they were just an ape and then all sudden they could think and they were never used to being the apex you know animal and they weren't ruling the jungle like lions and tigers. I mean they were scared little apes and then all sudden some mutations started it seems like about a hundred thousand, thirty thousand years ago they started thinking and so yeah it just built in. It's like your social need, look how successful social media is because you need to have like you already mentioned your fiance three times I mean monkeys need social contact so they don't have children they can always get furry legged friends and cats and so fears good and healthy. It's just that is the fear gonna shut you down or is the fear gonna make you raise your game and I mean you're still a baby you're still younger, yeah you're the age of my oldest son I mean I always have to remind my son that he's a baby and so you know success is a marathon not a sprint takes a long time but it's amazing and and you're you saw demographics matter, you want to go to this small town, your wife's there. Their's nothing to rent obviously there's nothing there's no dental offices for sale I guess?
Howard: So you're gonna build a ground up,I mean it sounds like you're not very fearful at all. I mean you're going to a small town, you're you know probably marry this girl if you build a dental office in the town. I mean you're taking a lot of risk you became a dentist. Did you have a lot of student loans?
Robert: Oh yeah I mean I'm right now probably five hundred thousand in debt so...
Howard: Okay so you're not a very fearful guy, I mean you set out to be a doctor and did it you crushed it you're a dentist from Case Western. You committed a half-a-million, look at the default rates all the student loans over a hundred thousand there's no default problem at all the default rate was student loans is under twenty thousand because those people never committed then. They had one foot in the water and one foot out and now you're buying land and building because you don't want to rent for forty years and there's no substitutes in the marketplace there's nothing to buy nothing to lease.
Robert: Right I mean whether it's commitment whether it's a lack of commitment or not I mean I think that a dental practice I mean I think they have a great track record. So you know I'm not really afraid of taking the money out of it you've done the research you know like I said we've ran the numbers, I know we're gonna be successful it's just I think that you know a lot of I mean corporate groups know this. I mean if you're in a corporate group I was just thinking about this today you know as a associate like I'm making good money I mean it's not great you know I'm not really paying down my loads very quickly cuz I am you know kind of putting the money aside for my own side project but but the point I guess I'm trying to make is the amount that we're making is good enough that I think it's easy to become complacent. You know whether it's you know thirty percent or if you're making 150 or 175 maybe it as an associate you know it's, I think it's really easy to get stuck there for five years and then you know all of a sudden you look around and it's like oh now I have kids, now I have a family you know is it really worth the trouble now. You know maybe I don't really want to you know passion kind of gets dried up and I think that that's not something that people really talk about but you know I think if you have a desire to start a practice. I think you should probably act on it sooner rather than later because you just never know if you're gonna have that passion you know in a couple years.
Howard: Well and also it's an age thing I mean like Sunday I was with you know five of my grandchildren. I mean at 56 it just seems exhausting now when I was young and dumb I made four baby monkeys in sixty months and while I opened up my practice, so when you're young that's the time to dive in headfirst because you're gonna have that image. So what the DSOs do, they pay you just enough to kill all your dreams and you get kind of comfortable for five or six or seven years and now you turn over to your fiance who's now your wife who now had a kid and you say oh I'm gonna quit this comfortable job and take on all these risk and she just shuts it down and says no way. So yeah when you're young their's no better time to start your own business and have your kids now. Do it before you can think and rationalize how much stress you're about to eat because just do it, I mean you throw some kid in the swimming pool he's not gonna drown, he's gonna learn how to swim. He's gonna learn that he's gonna survive and the best time do it is when you're young and got high energy and I'm not aware of all the risk.
Robert: Yeah and like you said you know I think setting those setting those goals you know just jumping in a swimming pool and learning to swim. I think if you just kind of put yourself in that position I think you know humans are you know capable of incredible things I mean obviously we've been through much worse whether it's you know a dentist in the 1800's where you're using a you know treadle drill or you know you don't have proper anesthetic or even a dentist sixty years ago when you don't have four-handed dentistry, you don't have reclining chairs. I mean obviously we've been through a lot worse things have been a lot harder like you said with our monkey brains I mean we're capable of you know life-and-death situations and here we are you know worried about things that maybe are kind of trivial in my opinion. So I think you know you you've definitely raised you know stratospheric levels of success you know something that I could only you know aspire to succeed one day and aside from you know your incredible level levels of determination I know you work very hard, you're you know constantly working you know constantly achieving. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your goals do you set big goals or do you think that plays a part in it?
Howard: I do, now when I was your and I don't mean to refer to you as a baby as an insult because I got four kids, it's an affectionate term when I'm calling a 20 year old man a baby but I you know I tell them that when I was their age I was trying to accomplish all 3 or 4 of these things like next week or next month. Now by the time you get to be 40 you sit back and the best time to do it is between Christmas and New Year's because basically the whole American economy shuts down, your employees are all on vacation. Their's nothing going on and I sit there and I think okay this time next year what would you like to if you just knew you did this and now in my 50s that's like maybe three things a year but when I just focused my team of 50 on three things I know we're gonna get an absorb and you know these three things. it's kind of like Apple like like Apple will grow a year in what the entire McDonald's entire organization does in a year you know that that's just a growth life. So yeah so I say less goals more like okay this is what we can do this and just really clear so singles and every time I'm talking to those people and team members you know if I catch them for a minute I'll go over those three goals and always talk about those things yeah.
Robert: So that's kind of like I'm sure you've read you know Napoleon Hills, Think and Grow Rich where you focus on those goals you're focused on them every day and and for some reason when you're just focusing on what you want it just kind of starts to come into fruition would you say?
Howard: Absolutely, absolutely but again you know my book People Time and Money. I mean I love it because let me pull up this thing I add to somebody text me but I called on Dentaltown so you can see I'm not full of it I posted before the the playoffs, I said all the home teams are gonna win there's seven and a half billion people on the planet Earth and only about 15 of them could ever take you to a Super Bowl and sure enough next week and we have the Rams we have the Saints we have the Patriots and the Chiefs and what do they all have in common a phenomenal quarterback. So I'll tell you my darkest secrets right now if you look at my success that you're talking about well my dental office is 31 years old but all my management team they're all 20 years old. So it took 10 years of trying this office manager and then you're like you know you trained her, you put a bunch of effort into her but you know it took a long time to realize you know what that office manager is not gonna win the Super Bowl. We might have a nine in six season, we might be profitable but we're not I mean we don't have a Drew Brees from the Saints we don't have you know Peyton Manning you know. So it took me ten years of going through people in HR and sorting people before I finally built a team that can take me to the playoffs and then after that you just got to manage your time and money.
Robert: So you think having a pipeline like that as far as I mean especially for me you know going out starting a practice here this year. Having a pipeline of new people coming in and you know maybe replacing some of the B players with A players and just kind of always having that always keeping the door open to new and better employees is that something you would recommend?
Howard: Oh my god I if I would have known what I known now when in 1987 I owned my dental office I mean it'd be a 10x differences Grant Cardone talks about 10x. I mean it's just all the people look at after the season was over how many head coaches were fired the next day and then you'll go into dental offices you know walk into dental office and the lady doesn't greet you she doesn't maintain eye contact, she's just you know you answer the phone you know Green Dental and it's like really you don't have an that's it Green Dental you don't have a name, you didn't make me secrete dopamine and it's the dentist total acceptance of mediocrity is why you have so many NFL teams that will never ever be a contender for the big game and so yeah so it's tough and that's why you can't get too close to your employees because you can't be my friend and I have to caution you know. I don't want to give marriage advice but you know it's hard to fire a wife it's hard to fire a friend but you know when you're the head coach for a sporting team it's really easy because everything you do is measurable you through this many interceptions this many incomplete passes you know we won the game or we lost the game but yeah just getting obsessed with HR is just everything. I mean if you the right players on the bus I mean I mean it's like I'll decide we're in Phoenix and we're going to LA my team will decide are we gonna fly take the train take a bus if we are gonna take a bus who's gonna drive and then the people on that bus if that bus breaks down halfway between Phoenix in LA I know that people on the bus will be able to change a tire call a tow truck have AA. I mean and you can really test your organization as if it survives your death. I mean when Ray Cross died McDonald's didn't blink when Sam Walton died Walmart didn't blink you know, how many dental offices if they drop dead tomorrow their spouse would be like, I mean the office I mean they're just comes to a grinding halt and that's called the Mack truck and I'm by the way when I went to MBA school I bought my first laptop is in 1989 I was two trimesters two courses a trimester two years and I bought a laptop and I went in there and I did the whole MBA program and I took all notes applying to dentistry and that was my 30-day dental MBA which is free on youtubes it's free on iTunes but that was another big game-changer for me really getting outside the office on Monday and Tuesday night getting my MBA because without my MBA I look at my dentist who's had an assistant for twenty thirty years well she knows how to do a filling in a crown and she she's seen you she's an apprentice she could if a civil war broke out in the society class she could fix her neighbor's teeth but does she but is she really a dentist and I think getting my MBA a night school is great because you're starting this project, you're moving to a town, you're starting construction and then you instead of every Monday night going bowling or Tuesday I watching Monday Night Football you're gonna waste there's 168 hours in a week you're gonna waste a shitload of time anyway but to sit in there with a group of 200 kids two nights a week for four hours one class six to eight one class eight ten, it was really a it was like you know draining a priesthood or so it was really getting out of your zone disconnecting and focusing on the business but yeah that's all it's all it's just people time money that's all it is.
Robert: Yeah whether it's you know whether it's getting an MBA or if it's just giving up the weekend thing. I mean I think for me, you know I had a great time in college in dental school and it wasn't really until a year ago that I just kind of decided to give up the whole weekend thing of you know going out, being hungover whatever it be and it wasn't until I gave that up like you said whether you're disciplined you know going to class during the week or if you're gonna give up you know kind of the weekend party life. I mean it wasn't until I did that was when I really started to see big changes in my life and I think another good thing you said there was you know if you're not growing then you're shrinking you know and I think a lot of people get complacent you know with where they are because it's comfortable and you know once we get complacent you may not think that you're shrinking in a sense but you know maybe your staffs getting a little bit older or you know they're they're you know maybe losing their edge or you're just not growing you're not getting better people in there and then you know what are people gonna say oh well I mean that sounds great and all but you know I don't have the time I mean I don't is it really worth it you know to to try and grow something that's already working maybe.
Howard: Well I would you know you started off this podcast saying that you know success leaves Clues and so what I tell the graduates is that you know all the DSOs are gonna come in the dental school and they're gonna get all the attendance because they bring in free lunch it's free pizzas and so everybody's there for their free pizzas and then they just speak fear and doom and gloom and scare the hell anybody that you know that Howard's old and when he was little all the pharmacist to own their own business now all the pharmacists are employees at Walgreens in CBC and that's gonna happen to dentistry even though the fact there was a big difference between 28 tabs of penicillin. Which when I've been in Paris France I've seen prescriptions fill my own eyes where you leave your doctor it has a smart card you put an ATM machine and a bottle comes down a label comes on tabs come coming out of hoppers and that machine is made in Scottsdale. Where they can't sell it in America because you know the government always gets together a free enterprise and helps them build a cartel by pushing out all these law. So no you can't get 28 tabs of penicillin unless you go to the doctor and get a slip of permission and then come to the pharmacist it's all and then they won't know why and then after the government makes it so expensive that nobody could afford it then their final solution is oh we'll let us just take over the entire industry. It's like dude if you weren't in the industry everybody could afford it today but you're 50 years of screwing it up and regulating it and all this kind of stuff.
Robert: One thing I think is interesting with people you know maybe not having time you know let's say Howard you had a research paper in dental school if you can think back that far. You know how long would it take if you had two weeks to do it how long would it take you, probably use the whole you know two weeks but if you had two days to do it, it would probably get done in two days and I think the same is true with time you know how much time you have in the day and I think the same is true with money you know. I just think that time and money tend to fill the containers that we allow them to so it's funny you know I never liked that argument; I don't have time I don't have the money. I mean everyone's saying that especially new grads you know maybe then I say don't have the time but they're definitely saying I don't have the money.
Howard: Well I figured out my train of thought I was on is that okay, so you go into these dental schools, the DSOs come preach all this fear and we're all supposed to end up like the pharmacists but I don't but I don't think you replace dentistry with an ATM machine like you can in France and pharmacy but the bottom line is if that's a truth of success leaves clues then if you graduate from this dental school this year you should be able to go to the principal's office and get a list of on an email of all the people who graduated three four or five years ago email them all and say well did you all leave and go to the DSO and did you live happily ever after. Well there's no freaking data for that all the data I see is that if and I don't like to throw DSOs under a bridge because they live in an aquarium and I live in an aquarium. I get that feeling and it's not fair like if a private dentist has an infection control problem it doesn't make the newspaper but if a DSO with 500 locations does you know it sits in the New York Times but nobody can keep associates because after you've gone to eight years of college you're not the type of person that takes orders. You know who takes orders and 18 year old grunt in the Army, not a Doctor of Dental Surgery or a doctor jurisprudence or a medical physician they don't do it. So every time I meet a graduate five years out of school an associate they've already had five jobs, so if you're in dental school if it didn't work for any of the graduates over the last five years it's not gonna work for you and right now you're young, you're dumb you don't know everything that you're gonna have to do. So just pop out a kid and open your damn dental office. Your life will be really busy for a decade and then you'll be really rich with a kid that can talk and do things with you and you know I mean it's tough when all the kid can do is drink milk and poop. It's real fun yesterday when I got to watch all those playoff games with my four boys. So the bottom line is when you're young you just just got to dive in and I don't think you could be a doctor dental surgery and not be ambitious and sure you have fear but you know what smart people think about everything that can go wrong there's a lot of dumb people that don't think about all those things so they appear more fearless to you or I'd say they're probably just dumb. So I think fear is a good emotion and ride the wave and look for success.No one's working at DSOs for five years and saying this is why I went to eight years of college and graduated half a million dollars in debt. I don't hear that ever I mean I just don't hear it.
Robert: No and to your point I mean if you can get into dental school you can get through dental school you can pass boards, you can do all that. Their's no reason why you can't start a dental practice but you know what I was told and and I don't know if I was necessarily told this directly but the general consensus is that you don't have enough clinical skills, you don't know how to operate a business and you're just not ready and it's really easy to to think that to be true but unfortunately you know even after being out for a couple years their's still a lot that I mean I think six I think maybe you want six months you know working for a DSO or a private practice just to get your you know just get your hand skills up but I mean I still don't know a whole lot about business and running a business. I mean I realized at some point or another I'm just gonna have to dive in and thinking that that's gonna kind of come by osmosis in two years of working it's not, you might as well just go for it I mean I wish I would have.
Howard: Yeah and then there's so many things that young person's like we talked about the comfort zone. Look at me like when I opened up my dental offices when you say this town, how many people live in the town your thing about going to?
Robert: Roughly 13,000
Howard: Okay 13,000 so someone might say, how many dentists are in that town would you guess?
Robert: A couple, one or two, but they're older.
Howard: Just one or two in a town of 13,000, I would guess yeah it, half of American live at 147 metros the other half lives in 19,000 towns most of those small towns have a dentist for every 1,000 people. So if it's a town of 13,000 I would guess if I got on my smartphone and put dentist near me in the middle of town about 13,000 cuz the draw is usually 2x2 the town population so that my values 13,000 the draw is probably 26 there's probably a thousand, there's probably thirteen dentists they're each getting about 2,000 people. The thing they forget is their all old and lazy so they all work Monday through Thursday 8 to 5. When I opened up my dental office in Phoenix my god there was a bunch of dentists on the corner Monday through Thursday 5:00 but Friday it was only we went down from like 12:00 to 4:00 and then on Saturday it was just me and Matteren because Matteren came from Creighton. He had four kids I had four kids we were hungry but Saturday's I mean there was only two dentists in this town and every toothache was a root canal buildup and crown for two thousand dollars and well about one in four would be an extraction and three and four would have been a root canal buildup and crown. So when you get out and you make some mistakes and you say oh my overheads to high, I shouldn't have bought that well you're young you can just crank out rocks, sand and water all day long every day and sometimes I would work a Saturday and I go in a seven and be there until 7 and I mean you know it would just add huge sums of money and I was just earlier than that working parking cars at the Hyatt Regency or you know I've basically minimum wage and I just couldn't believe it but it was it's out there for those who work I see the same thing in San Francisco. Where everybody says there's way too many dentists San Francisco it's crazy yeah there's way too many Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 but there's not any dentist in San Francisco after 7:00p.m. any night of the week or saturday and say like in phoenix arizona if you fell off your bicycle on sunday or on christmas day, the ambulance would be there the police will be there they take you to an emergency room be fully staffed with doctors so I hope you fall off your bike and break your leg because if you fell off your bike and broke your front tooth off you couldn't find a dentist in Phoenix on Christmas to fix that if you had a gun. I mean literally and then they say their's so much competition you know.
Robert: Yeah and no I mean I think you're absolutely right and unfortunately you know most people don't want to work those types of hours but but yeah I mean you could absolutely clean up. I mean emergencies and same-day treatment is is such a big part of dentistry I mean everybody knows so I think just cleaning up on emergencies and you know people who work long hours. I think anyone can make a killing probably anywhere but yeah I mean in that small town like you said I mean there's got to be more dentists. I think there are a couple but like her dad practices there and he hasn't taken on a new patient for I think about a year and he works similar hours to what you were doing he does like six days a week sometimes 60 hours.
Howard: He does not accept new patients?
Robert: he hasn't taken a new patient and he cranks it out I mean they're just there's too much dentistry there
Howard: You know he should write, tell him to write an article Dentaltown magazine. You know how rare it is to find a dentist that take new patients, I mean you know how rare that is?
Robert: I don't but it sounds a bit rare.
Howard: He should write an article on because what dentists do, it's the same thing with orthodontists. They're very upset about Invisalign their very upset about Smile Direct Club because on you know the five rules of the business the faster, is it easier, higher quality, lower cost, is it more miniature and they want to build their efficiencies. They want to get better marketing, they want to be on Instagram, they want to do every single thing possible but they don't want to budge on that sixty five hundred bucks and now you see Smile Direct Club rolling out and saying yeah we'll do it for $2500 and so one of the biggest things you have to decide at the fork of the road or are you gonna be that that all-star quarterback and do a low volume high expensive high fee. Where you're like the super dentists like your Drew Bledsoe you know your you're Peyton Manning or are you gonna go for the other half of the American market which you take my insurance you're on my plans and I just want it faster cheaper easier. So that's a bit strategic because both business models work in strides but where it doesn't work is when you don't know what path you're on and they say oh I would it be Drew Bledsoe or Peyton Manning but I'm gonna do it for all these ppo fees. So they start getting all this high-tech equipment they're going off to Casr and Spear and Rose Nash and Pinky Institute and Dawson and they got all the Mercedes Benz their is but they're selling it for the price of a Chevy and then you go in there and a lot of times those offices have you know labor that's 30% 35% because they have it you know GM has a Chevy a Pontiac and olds a Buick a Cadillac and these dentists come out and say well I'm just gonna sell all those cars in one factory and like dude I'm pretty sure that, that doesn't work I mean you can't have the high opening for a Cadillac and then sell dentistry to Chevy. So one of the next things you'll have to figure out you got your demographics you got location hell you're getting into up in town with a dentist that doesn't take new patients and another thing I used to always do 8 percent of emergency room visits are odontogenic in origin and I can't tell you how many times you know a specialist will send you cookies and all that stuff I would drive around sometimes at night I wouldn't have anything to do and we would drive around I mean the kids and we would take cookies into the emergency runners. So their are packed, say hey if it's a odontogenic and you got a whole waiting room filled in there, I mean why do you want to spend an hour triaging someone who has a toothache and same thing with pharmacists. My pharmacist I would go in there and I would get them to enter my name dentist first, their not going to remember Howard Farran. So I say enter dentist then put Howard Farran and then here's my cell phone number and I can't tell you they'll come in there and sometimes the pharmacist will FaceTime me and say hey can you talk to this lady and I'm yeah I mean so it's just about hustle I mean;
Robert: I love that
Howard: If you're into the hustle and you're willing to work and you're an America you're gonna crush it you know. So do you want to be a high volume low price or do you want to be low volume high price have you thought about that?
Robert: We have thought about it a bit and I like how you kind of distinguish the two you know market segmentations there because I think DSO is get you know such a bad rap but on the flip side it's like who wants to take HMOs. You know who wants to hire these new dentists right out of school, you know most private practice don't want to I wouldn't want to either. You know not to you know make DSOs look better than maybe that they are but I mean it's really easy to to vilify these these groups when no one wants to take HMOs because like you said there's two there's two markets here but back to you know what we want to do it's a good question. I think that you know in a small town like that I mean I'm still gonna I mean I'm not from a small town so I don't really know you know how the logistics work but kind of my understanding is no reputations everything and you know. I don't necessarily want to have you know a reputation of you know maybe fees being a little bit too high and turning people down and but on the flip side you know we definitely have to be selective because otherwise we're just you know spinning our tires so. I think we're probably gonna look for kind of a balance rather than just picking one market I mean I think I think yeah I think we could crush is like fee-for-service just because there's so much demand but I'm not sure that would be best for us you know.
Howard: You also gotta be true yourself , like I was born and raised in Kansas all my parents are from Parsons Kansas. I don't fit in Beverly Hills North Scottsdale I mean when I go to dental dentist parties in North Scottsdale I don't even really like them. I mean I some dentist I remember some dentists anyway I said well which one's the periodontist and he said the one in the Birkin box shoes, I'm like you know the name of shoes. I mean I'm in the wrong village. So some people it's just like how many people do you see that they go off to be a cosmetic dentist and they're short, fat, bald, they got brown teeth or crooked. I mean everybody selling boob jobs and tummy tuck and cosmetic dentistry, they're all hot. You know you could pull it off, you're hot but if your listen to this and you're not hot and you're from small town Oklahoma and you like good old folks, don't be a cosmetic dentist. I mean you got to be true to yourself you know and what what type of people do you like being with some people like being with extroverts some introverts some rich some poor you know. You know I'll always be Kansas I mean I'm more I'd be more happy talking to a homeless guy to bus stops than I would a king or a queen. I mean so if that's your passion and I know a lot of dentists that are crushing it in the low end and my favorite DSO is actually Aspen because Aspen is the only one I see that has a target. I mean a lot of these DSOs are roll ups, where they just get a bunch of money and they just start buying dental offices and they don't have these dental office have nothing in common they don't have a name there are those software systems, types of dentists. They're just rolling up offices and hope they can squeeze cost out of supplies and lab bills and all that kind of stuff but Aspen my god they are a roll out they go get money they build their offices on the ground up and where do they go, they go where they ain't. That's where you go where they ain't then we're gonna they know that dentists like rich people, crowns, root canals, veneers and they stay away from Medicaid and poor and dentures and they go into the poor areas they have a denture lab. I have a I can't say too many names because of HIPPA but I have a very good friend I haven't treated treated for like 30 years and he never wanted implants ever but I just saw him and he just got a denture reline and I said oh why didn't you come, I'm just curious why didn't you come to Today's Dental? He goes well dude they just open up an Aspen Dental in Casa Grande and they have the lab in there and you had to send it to a lab and I walked in there and I just sat there with my wife and they did the whole realign, one stops and I'm like their crushing it. They're rolling out a name, a brand, they're advertising with NASCAR and they're getting that they're focused and that's where you get best when your focused. I mean look at Apple right now they're having a ton of troubles because they're starting to realize for the first time ever in their whole life that people just aren't gonna upgrade to a thousand-dollar phone because there was a year or two old and they're starting to look at the difference between Android and IPhone as they're starting to put cost in there and it's crushing Apple.
Robert: Yeah one thing I love about your mindset Howard is just a moment ago you're talking about how you know Aspen essentially you know maybe maybe stole a patient from you or you know and rather than seeing that competition and reacting emotionally. I noticed that you are actually saying well what are they doing right what can I do is there something that we can do I mean they're crushing it you know can we maybe use some of their ideas or you know. It's a totally different mindset and I think part of the reason that a lot of people don't like DSOs and we talked about this earlier is just fear. I think it's a fear that they're going to take your income or take your patience and because you know we make decisions on things like you said based on emotion first and I like that you don't you know that you they don't let your emotions kind of dictate you know how you feel about you know other businesses.
Howard: Well you either think in fear and scarcity or you thinking hope, growth and abundance and I can tell you thirty years in Ahwatukee, that when I got here and I ran across all the street to meet all my new classmates. I thought they were gonna be just like dental school, half I'm just like slammed the door in front of me, didn't want anything to do with me and lived in fear and the other half are like come on have a beer let's watch a game. Well thirty years later which ones were much happier and richer and crushed it. The ones that I mean I have no problem giving the dental office down the street for me my emergencies when I go out of town. I mean I want what's best for the patient and if you're always thinking it's like when Arizona tried to build a dental school the only person that opposed it was the Arizona State Dental Association they tried to block it and I said well look dentistry was a profession going back to GV black everybody in this room is gonna die and so everybody in this room blocking a dental school, let's speed it all up we're all dead and there's no, what dentistry dies when we die. I mean it's just a stupid mindset and competitions good and I saw it and I told the orthodontist, I'd say I saw this in bleaching way back in the day is like 87, 88 this company Omne out of Arkansas comes I was bleaching and it was brand new and I remember calling Gordon he there's no research on it so I we started doing it ourselves and all this kind of stuff but we were getting 250 an arch so we were making $500 a case it was just like shooting fish in a barrel everyone was having fun everyone was loving it and then crest came along and said 500 a mouths, we got this thing for 50 bucks and it killed the business overnight. So the first thing I do is go from 250 and arch to 250 full mouth and the orthodontist or face, I mean what's good for the country immigration competition, what's really bad for the country is block out all immigration and let the government pass all these restraining of free trade and the other countries can't export into your country. What you want is the most competition for labor ideas and I think what's the one of the funniest things about America, you ask any American well what made America great. Oh well people migrated here from all over the world and the Italians brought pizza and the Irish brought liquor and everybody came here and built all this great stuff. So you're like okay so you're Pro immigration; no, no I'm totally against immigration. It was same thing you use, you know they don't want Aspen to come in hell they're worse than that the S&P 500 goes to Washington DC and says will you limit the import of this product so I can charge 20% more well I mean that's not gonna solve anything in the long run.
Robert: No, no doubt I mean there's no doubt that competition is good I mean obviously you know a lot of the you look at the you know public you know USPS mail or you know any of the public services and you see a lack of competition you see a lack of confidence. So there's no doubt that we need competition in business and we as dentist need competition too, to step up our game. I think with the immigration thing I think a lot of people you know at least for me I I'm definitely cool with people coming in as long as you know there may be paying taxes or you know as far as the immigration argument with people you know coming to this country initially I think the statistics are about 30 percent went back because they didn't make it you know there was no welfare system they just they didn't have what it took you know. They showed up they were hoping things were gonna be great good and for a lot of people that immigrated here. When we started this country they you know pack up their bags and went home because the reality was they didn't have the goods and I think that resilience is what makes this country so strong and you know I don't think you could have it both ways. I don't think you can have a well a welfare system and have open borders. I think you got to kind of pick one or the other and I mean I'm you know as long as people are paying in taxes I had no problem with competition I think it's good.
Howard: That's a brilliant mind you have because that's what Milton Friedman said about it you can't have open borders with a welfare system once you start telling people they don't have to go pick strawberries for ten dollars an hour in the Arizona desert and they can just get welfare well guess what it doesn't work. You mentioned at the beginning the show that you were a big fan of Jamie Amos, he's got two websites, how to open a dental office and idealpractice.com. So tell us your journey, are you using Jamie now?
Robert: Yeah we're using him now and his team's been great. I mean they're always following up with us and you know because right now we're kind of you know we're at a stand-still, we're kind of stuck in Park right now just looking for the right building but you know they're always staying in touch with us and very positive just just good energy just a good guy I mean you know looking back, could I have done it on my own. You know maybe but it really gave me the confidence that I needed to take those steps so for me that's worth the price of admission right there but you know as we move along this process I think they're gonna prove more and more valuable.
Howard: What does the fee, is it just like lectures, tapes, is it consulting fee, how does the money side work?
Robert: Well we put down a down payment in the beginning and then there's kind of more as it goes I mean we're with the high-end consulting you know program so you know we pretty much have you know we're talking with Jamie, where they have a team of I think 13 different people and each one is very specialized as far as negotiating with the bank negotiating a lease you know supplies you know construction you know everything. They have basically special you know specialists in each in each category. So yeah I mean all the tools are there.
Howard: It's funny because I've been one of the one of the managers I've been singing about forever and ever and ever and just repeating myself till I can't even stand to listen to my own self is that dentists always want to invest all their money in a you know a $150,000 CAD CAM $130,000 laser $100,000 CB/CT and I always tell them the number one return on investment will always be a dental consultant that's the number one you give them a dollar and in that calendar year in your statement of cash flow you'll get that dollar back and you'll get more. I mean success leaves clues you bring in someone like Sandy Perdue or so many of these consultants I've had on the show and they can just fix the problem and if you don't and if you're in Oklahoma and you say well I want someone from Oklahoma I think that's even better and I podcasted I've passed podcasted consultants from 20, 30 different states and and like Wisconsin is very different than Michigan, it's incredibly different than Michigan and so getting guidance of someone who can say hey don't stick your tongue in that light sock here you're not gonna like it at all you know and and pulling the other yeah it's awesome.
Robert: I've got yeah I've actually got a notebook in my car and I started listening you know when I first graduated dental school two years ago it's really when I started listening to you and I probably have I'm not exaggerating probably 50 or 60 guys and girls names written down like this consultants great for this this consultants great for that I mean I'm so ready to to hire who I need to hire but your show has given me so much value in that I mean there's just you got you've interviewed so many consultants and they all they've all I mean it sound incredible. So I can't wait to go back to that list and and start making some phone calls once we get set up.
Howard: Yeah and some some of it you got to be true to yourself because like say some of you want to be a high-end cosmetic dentist, you're hot and you're in Beverly Hills. I don't recommend being a cosmetic dentist in Parsons Kansas. I mean just you know that just is what it is and then you got to find out do you have any passion for something. Like because I can say you want to get into implants, I mean just to learn how to place implants and bone graft and I mean that is a full symphony that will take you ten years to master and then you wonder. So one of the problems the young kids is like they're off learning Invisalign, they're gonna learn endo, they're gonna learn silver diamine fluoride, they're gonna learn occlusion, they're gonna place implants, they're gonna be bone grafting and I just sit there and say dude I I don't know anybody. Like if you're really a hot implantologist and you do like 2 million a year place and implants well you don't do any molar endo you know you're right Invisalign.
Robert: You can't be everything to everyone, right.
Howard: So as far as the business you know again like the conductor I mean and what dentist do wrong is they join a symphony and they play the piano and they're like oh I like the violin, so now I'm gonna start practicing violin for hours day they say oh and I like that too but I like that and they say you know they're trying to learn twenty five instruments but the rich people are the conductor saying well I'm not gonna learn to play the violin wouldn't it be easier just to find the most rocking hot violinist in Phoenix and join them my team and the ones that build it and then and then when they build that I mean that that's true leverage. I mean I'd rather have a periodontist come in my practice and place implants and share the revenue fifty percent then go learn it and do it all by myself.
Robert: Yeah no doubt I think that's the sign of a good leader is knowing what your talents are or what your passion is. You know getting really good at that and then you know figuring out what your weaknesses are and finding the right people to fill those gaps in you know whatever your weaknesses are I mean it makes sense to me as far as you know an efficiency standpoint.
Howard: Yeah and you take something just like sleep medicine I mean sleep medicine I mean I've been taking courses on that for years and years and years. I mean even that their's people that only do sleep medicine and dentistry and they barely are on top of that game and then to sit there and then to throw implants on the side are you out of your mind. I mean it'd just be a lot easier to take the time and to to go what's the biggest city you're close to?
Howard: Yeah I mean I would rather spend all by Friday's looking for the best sleep apnea guy in Baltimore to come to my practice one day a week and the best periodontist to come in and place my implants for a 50/50 and on and on and on. I mean that that's just a whole lot easier then running to every finishing school known to man and trying to be a jack-of-all-trades. I mean I did it because I loved it, it was a passion I mean I loved root canals, I loved I loved all that stuff but there's a difference between loving something and making money like you might love coffee but it doesn't pay your bills it's just you love your dog and you don't know why. I mean I love my cat I'm a cat person and I still can't believe how much I love cats because the only reason my cat doesn't murder me and eat me is because I'm too big. So you you can you can love to take these courses and do it but then you got to separate the emotion which what is the best business so talk about your podcast. How do they find it?
Robert: Yeah so we're on you know stitcher, we're on you know just the standard podcast app on your on your iPhone. You can just type in Dangerous Dentist or you know Dangerous Dentist podcast and it's just Brian and I you know we're just trying to figure things out ourselves. We've talked a lot about mind set you know being positive through different techniques. Whether you know it's lifestyle, Honey beckons. So a Brian Gallagher, he graduated with me at Case. So he works with his dad in Cleveland so you know we're able to do it remotely obviously and but he's just he's a great guy he's very well-spoken very insightful just a brilliant guy just a stud you know he ran track in college at Ohio State so you know he's a good guy.
Howard: What city does he practice in?
Robert: He practices in Cleveland with his dad.
Howard: and how often do you guys put a show out?
Robert: We do one a week right now and what we do is you know some weeks it's just him and I and then other weeks we bring on basically guys that we graduated with, or guys we knew from school. I mean we've brought on probably four or five people now. We just had someone on today actually who's been working with a corporate group for two years. He just decided to switch but he gives his you know what it's like inside a corporate group. So if you're new if you're graduating soon or if you just want to know more about it I mean he'll tell you what it's really like.
Howard: Is his dad Michael Gallagher?
Robert: I'm not sure, sorry
Howard: Is it West Park Dental Michael Gallagher DDS and Brian D Gallagher?
Robert: Yes, that's correct.
Howard: Yeah and then your homies gotta love it. I'm sure kids in dental school and just graduating in the last year or two love the fact that you guys are young and fresh they're just doing it. Are you having fun with the show?
Robert: Oh yeah I mean it's a blast and it's just it's fun to talk about this stuff cuz you know us as dentists, I mean we love to talk about the clinical side of Dentistry which is interesting but we all have struggles we all you know face you know maybe periods of depression or just difficult you know just difficult times. I mean stressful times anxious times, it's just it's nice to have someone to talk to and bring on guests and you know just sharing techniques that have worked for us and you know just building you know towards growth you know really just a growth mindset.
Howard: That is awesome, so you do one show week and but yeah man upload all those in the RS feed on Dentaltown and just consider it free marketing because people they sit in there and sometimes they're looking at setting up a practice sometimes they're just scrolling because they're going to work in there there's something they're afraid of like a molar root canal, so they want to listen to an endodontist on the way in or maybe the only place on one implant a month. That's another thing I always talk about that I've seen no evidence of success if you don't do the procedure once a week. If when they do fillings and crowns a couple of each every day they get really good fast and profitable but when they learn sleep apnea and they do one case a month or Invisalign one case a month replace one implant a month it's always a black hole of energy and resources and time and I mean you can see an orthodontist office they flip patients every 15 minutes and then some dentists is doing Invisalign and he schedules you know hour long checks it's like how are long checks what are you getting 25 grand for this case. I mean I you know.
Robert: Do you do Invisalign yourself Howard?
Howard: Yeah well I was always an I've always had associates so I've always had associates that did Invisalign and there's nothing when you get a group practice like we have one guy that likes to do sleep, with one guy likes to Invisalign, one guy likes to place implants and I like to eat in the break room.
Robert: Someone has to do the heavy lifting
Howard: Yeah that's my specialty. So you it's every week your podcast and it's on my itunes, now do most people go to www.Dangerousdentists.com and listen to it off your website or do most people go to iTunes?
Robert: Yeah I don't have the stats on that I kind of cheaped out when I was ,I mean I created my website you know on my own and blog. So you know when I first started it up I didn't get the statistics on that but I know for a fact that a lot of people just listen to it straight on the site so but also I put out a weekly post. Every week you know just talking like I said mostly mindset stuff you know like you know you can't always control what happens in the day but you can control how you feel about it and you know what you bring in the office and just different lifestyle stuff that you know relates to being a dentist. So put out you know weekly article we put out a weekly podcast and you can subscribe just on dangerousdentists.com and you'll get you know just you won't get any spam, you'll just get an email reminder when there's new post or in a new podcast so it's pretty easy.
Howard: So you and Brian both went to the same school?
Howard: and what what percent of your, so you've been out two years right?
Robert: Yeah two and a half years.
Howard: Okay so what are your homies doing are they happy are they glad they did it are they sad or they stressed?
Robert: I think a lot of people are stressed, I don't think it's the life that we expected you know we kind of thought we were gonna be diving into a money pit like Scrooge McDuck but it didn't really pan out that way and to be honest maybe one or two people in my class owned a practice. I mean it's small, like I said I know for a fact that there's one there might be two but you're looking at a class of seventy plus people and for two and a half years out so there's a serious trend towards just being an associate and so I definitely think that there's a lot going on.
Howard: So their are only 70 in your class of Case Western?
Robert: That's right yep
Howard: and only two of them own a dental office two years out?
Robert: Yeah their's a couple guys that are you know work may be partners with their parents.
Howard: How many of them are stressed and this is not really what they signed up for out of that remaining sixty-eight. How many do you think what percent what would you guess?
Robert: I would say a hundred percent, I think pretty much everybody I don't know, it's tough maybe not that much, maybe 80, 90%.
Howard: and do you see them having a long-term plan that they eventually want to open their own or do you not say I mean do they now that they're unhappy two years out do you see them getting a plan and what are not really?
Robert: I think so
Howard: and what is their plan?
Robert: Yeah I think so, I well the guys some of the people I've talked to I always ask them that because I'm always curious and I think a lot of them say that's their plan you know in the next year or two and I believe them too but so I think a lot of people are moving towards that. I think not everybody but I don't know. It's a touchy it can be a touchy subject because then you're really asking people to you know consider their life choices and that can make them uncomfortable, so I you know try not to pry to too much.
Howard: and so much that they don't want to talk about like I love it when anybody in dentistry starts to talk about financial planning. They talk about every single thing except financial planning you know they're always talking about you know all this crap and it's like look the base of financial planning are if you don't get married you won't get divorced. Every time you get divorced you lose half everything. So let's get rich, let's not get married and then kids. Kids are the most expensive thing in the world and you'll never hear financial planners say don't get married, if you do, start living with the girl do not sign a legal contract and don't have any kids their's already eight billion people on the planet and then what do you find out you know thirty forty years later, that's a dentist that got divorced, the ones that had four kids versus two or whatever. So a lot of this is just lifestyle and so what do the moment or so are you considered a millennial?
Robert: I think so yeah
Howard: Well how old were you in the year 2000? That's the definition to say you were coming to age.
Robert: I was 10
Howard: Oh you're 10 ,so know is 10 so you're really not a baby I think I think a millennial is someone who can't, have their car keys. They were 16 they were working at McDonald's you know the year 2000 you were coming of age but I what comes after millennials, is it generation Z or X?
Robert: I forget if it's X or Z it might be Z sounds right.
Howard: and theirs no science behind any of it.
Robert: Yeah but that generation, I'm really worried about that generation.
Howard: and what is your generation not like about my generation, the baby boomers I mean when you're young dentists out there and you're going through your journey what do you look up at the older people like me and say good job and what do you look at and say bad job?
Robert: I think what I look at is I mean I say good job because you know pretty much what from my understanding is your generation you know just went out of school and and went for it and they you know you weren't bogged down on social media and spending hours watching TV and partying and looking at Instagram and you know you were just getting out there and working. You know we live in a different time now where unfortunately it's a lot of you know participation trophies and you know it's just a lot of babying and you know and not only that but and then you know the other side of it too is I think, your generation had it a little bit easier in the sense of fees were maybe a little bit higher. I think you know to succeed nowadays I think you really need to have all your ducks in a row I mean I don't think you can just go out and open a practice and just hope that you're gonna make money. I think you really need to do your research and you know we're not really expected to for the cost of fillings aren't really expected to go up in the next 10-15 years you know you really. I think efficiency and and having the right systems in place is more important now than it's ever been so but I think sometimes the boomers don't don't necessarily see that, they're like oh it worked for me and I was successful you know, maybe in the 80s and 90s and but now I don't think a lot of them realize that we have to work a little bit harder to you know just getting out of debt. I mean just look at the student loans I mean it's it's not even it's not close to you know inflation doesn't even you know.
Howard: Back to financial planning you know if you know Bill Morris says at all time say well how did you have enough money to give that congressman a million dollars for his campaign he goes cuz I never been married I never had a kid boom. Another thing they come out of school I watch them in these two dental schools here and they come out and they're four hundred thousand dollars a day because these private schools are hundred thousand dollars a year and I know their dad, their dad's a dentist. I say you need to go back home and live free with your dad and walk to work and just put away. I don't want to live with my dad and then next thing you hear they don't, they're an associate and they went bought a $350,000 house and an $80,000 BMW and you said how did you get 80,000 BMW,a lease, your like oh my god. So living below it doesn't matter what your earned it's what you burn and but as far as.
Robert: That's a big problem
yeah I said the baby boomer dentist did our job if your mom cried when you graduated from dental school. I mean when you know when we would we leave a profession so much that your mom is crying at your graduation you know we did a good job and your your generation is gonna do fine because the people are the country is getting richer they're having less kids and there's simply more money for whiter brighter sexier teeth. I mean you know you go back to World War two one of the the number one rejection for a grunt to join the army was he didn't have seven teeth. I mean you know that's just not an issue today I mean can you imagine you're trying to fight the Nazis and Imperial Japan in World War two and you can't go fight because you don't have seven teeth in your head. I mean you know times have changed. I love the names of your podcasts on "how to use meditation for a painless injection" "five easy steps to treatment plan presentation" "is selling dentistry and morale" "are you are your dental assistants driving you crazy". I love your shows, you have them on; communication, corporate dentistry, dental assistants, they're like anonymous, extractions ,leadership, lifestyle, meditation, mindset, money, motivation, practice ownership. I'm so damn proud of you I know you're gonna crush I get I can always smell success I mean you you're you're already thinking about it you already talking about it you got to drive they just you just need some time and you're gonna crush it.
Robert: Thanks Howard, that means a lot coming from you.
Howard: Well it'll happen. Hey thanks so much for coming on the show and let me know if their's at Howard@dentaltown.com if their's anything I can do for you or help you or whatever just thanks for coming on the show and sharing your journey and good luck with the Dangerous Dentist podcast.
Robert: Thanks Howard it was a pleasure