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Create Your Own Economy with Dr. David Maloley : Howard Speaks Podcast #2

Create Your Own Economy with Dr. David Maloley : Howard Speaks Podcast #2

9/17/2014 10:43:05 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 1198
Dr. Howard Farran and Dr. David Maloley talk about creating your own economy!

Audio Podcast:
Howard Speaks Audio Podcast #2 with Dr. David Maloley

Video Podcast:
Howard Speaks Video Podcast #2 with Dr. David Maloley

About Dr. David Maloley: 
Dr. David Maloley grew up working on a family farm in Lexington, Nebraska. He attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and later his doctor of dental surgery degree. As an undergraduate, he had the opportunity to work as a student athletic trainer on the sidelines for the Cornhuskers during the National Championship seasons in 1994 and 1995.

In 2003, Dr. Maloley completed an advanced education in general dentistry residency in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, then served as a dental officer in the U.S. Army for the next five years. While in the army, Dr. Maloley was stationed at dental clinics in Giebelstadt, Germany for two years and Vicenza, Italy for two years, providing general dentistry services for the local military communities. After he returned to the US in 2007, he worked at a private practice near Charlotte, North Carolina for two years before relocating to Colorado to open Vail Valley Dental Care.

Dr. Maloley is a fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry and a member of the American Dental Association, the Colorado Dental Association and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Since graduating from dental school, he has completed over 1,000 hours of continuing education.

Dr. Maloley and his wife also run the Relentless Dentist Podcast (, where they are starting a conversation with other dentists, authors, speakers and big thinkers to infuse that type of thinking into the world of dentistry and injecting a little more relentless hustle into dentistry!

Podcast Transcription (Download Here):

Howard Farran:
  Today, it’s a great honor for me to interview Dr. David Maloley, who has been blazing the trail on podcast series’ with your You’ve done, what, 40, 40 podcast series’ and it’s been downloaded …

David Maloley:  Forty ______...Uh, tens of thousands of times. I just looked, it was 65 countries throughout the world, so when you see downloads in Iran and Kazakhstan, you realize how much of a global medium there really is. 

Howard Farran:  Yeah, I think American dentists always forget that. Um, you know, they always think of the United States, and the United States is a strange country because, with the ocean on both sides and Canada to the north and Mexico to the left, they don’t really realize there are two million dentists around the world, and only 5% of the world’s population lives in America. You know, 330 million of 7 billion people, and that’s why I got interested in podcasts, too. I loved your series, and thank you for interviewing me. I was your, uh, was I your debut interview?  

David Maloley:  You’re the premiere. When I decided, when I came up with the idea, I had one man in mind as my first guest, and that was you, because you’ve had a tremendous impact on my career, even going back to dental school.

Howard Farran:  Well, you were…well, thank you. And um, but we’ve got a lot in common. You graduated from, um, University of Nebraska?

David Maloley:  Yes, just down the road, yeah. 

Howard Farran:  Yeah, and I went to Creighton undergrad, ’80-’83, and um, you were an athletic trainer with the, um, with the Cornhuskers, Big Red football.

David Maloley:  Yeah, those were years when they couldn’t lose. We’re not quite so fortunate these days, but uh…

Howard Farran:  What was that guy’s name…Tom…

David Maloley:  Tom Osborne. 

Howard Farran:  Yeah, Tom Osborne. A legend. 

David Maloley:  Yeah. Three national titles in four years. 

Howard Farran:  You always talk about creating your own economy, and I missed a huge business lesson. I’ll never forget back in, I think it was, uh, 2008 when the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City, and I thought, well that’s crazy. Oklahoma City’s not big enough for an NBA team, and I didn’t realize that when I was in Nebraska for three years, they had no professional sports teams, and Big Red football fans was a cults, you couldn’t even get tickets, you had to inherit them from a family member, and I realize, looking back, I can’t believe I missed that market, that when there’s no substitutes in the marketplace, you own the state. And the first professional football, basketball, anything that goes into Big Red, I mean, wow….um, and that’s what you talk about. Create your own economy. Tell our viewers about uh, your…my series is Uncomplicate Dentistry, and times are tough, the economy’s lean, it’s malaise, you, you set up in Vale, a resort town, seasonal economy, lots of competition, and you always talk about creating your own economy, so let her rip and tell dentists around the world what you’re talking about.

David Maloley:  Oh, I definitely was knocked around a bit. I mean, to kind of go back, my first venture into dentistry was in the military. I did a residency and in the military, you get to lots of dentistry, but you don’t realize that people actually have to pay for it. And so, your treatment plans are only not accepted when mom doesn’t want to bring the kids in, so it’s a completely different world. It’s a good foundation to get started in clinical dentistry.  I learned a ton from a one-year residency, but coming into private practice, I started in North Carolina as an associate, and I decided that I kind of needed my own, I think I had some entrepreneurial seeds that were planted at a young age, but I didn’t get to realize them until I decided – and it was actually my wife and I decided that we wanted to kind of live where people vacationed, and so it’s, you know, the realist dentist is about lifestyle design and I think an epic lifestyle is a byproduct of an epic practice for most dentists, and it’s easy to become a slave to your practice, and I’ve certainly been there, as well, but, so in 2009, we decided we were going to purchase a dusty commercial space and venture out to Vale, Colorado – it’s actually Avon, which is at the foot of Beaver Creek and Vale is just down the road, and the challenges that we had ahead of us, I had no idea really, to be honest, um, but I learned a lot from the venture. It was 2009, I was upside down in a house that I purchased on a no-money-down VA loan in 2007, so that’s not the smartest way to start off your own economy, but I definitely learned to battle back from that. So, the practice was started in 2009, and as we moved to Colorado, we had no patients, no paycheck, and I found out my wife was pregnant, so our back was really up against the wall, not to mention that, um, it’s a seasonal, the economy really swells say, from Thanksgiving to Spring Break, but after that, it can really dive down, and we started in 2009 December, and in May of that year when the mountain closed, I wondered if my phones worked. My wife was pregnant, like I said, I was perfectly excited to do all the dentistry I could, but to get patients in the door was a challenge, so um, I had to do a lot of things that I wasn’t comfortable with, and so I’ve given a presentation a few times and it was called 5.2 Ways to Manhandle Any Economy, and it’s things that I’ve learned along the way that have made things much easier for me, you know, 4 ½ years later, and the first thing that I learned is to do the things that you fear. I grew up in a rural background, kind of a speak-when-spoken-to, respect your elders, it really lends to being an introvert and not sticking your neck out, but when you need patience, you figure it out, and so I did things like going to local TV stations which, you know, led to a sleepless night before, and the thing that I’ve learned is that if I feel fear, whether it be interview with somebody I really respect on the Realist Dentist podcast or you know, a crucial conversation that I need to have with a patient or, uh, or a, say, a team member, that I just run towards that fear. And it’s, one of my favorite quotes is by, um, Emerson, he says Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain, and so now I kind of lean into that fear and, um, it helps make things a lot easier because as dentists, as you know, we’re, we can be really risk-averse, there’s no room for error in dental school, and you end up being scared and frightened and intimidated by faculty, and that, you know, as I talk to my colleagues, that doesn’t just go away. So, that’s, probably lent the most to, um, our practice success now, and you know, now where we’re at in the Summer of 2014, those seasonal trends have largely gone away, and I don’t have to worry about the dips in May and October. We can just be slow and steady. We’re still busy those times and in the seasonal times, things are a little more intense and we end up actually having to turn patients away because we can’t facilitate all the emergency calls and so forth, but I would say that’s the number one principle I think dentists should adopt if they need to really boost their practice.

Howard Farran:  Very good, yeah. Yogi Bear said when you come to a fork in the road, take it. 

David Maloley:  (Laughs)

Howard Farran:  And everyone knows the road to success is when you come to a fork in the road, take the uphill, challenging, scary, frightening road, not the easy path. Everybody, um, just wants to uh, just walk around the mountain their whole life or the come to a fork and one road’s downhill, they just go down, and you get to the top of the mountain, when you come to that fork, you gotta turn and go straight uphill, and it’s scary and it’s hard, and that’s where success is. You said there was 5.2 ways, and you listed one – do the things that you fear…what two, three, four, and five?

David Maloley:  Um, number two is begin with the end in mind. Um, I was, uh, to be really authentic and honest, I was a pretty terrible undergraduate student. I skipped classes, I dropped classes, and it’s because I didn’t have a purpose, and um, one book changed my life forever, and it’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Howard Farran:  Steven Covey.

David Maloley:  Absolutely, and I, quite frankly, don’t even know why I read it because I wasn’t a reader and I wasn’t a very good student, and uh, one of the first exercises in the chapter called Begin With The End in Mind is create your own eulogy, and um, I did that exercise and it terrified me, and its…once you come to the realization that we all have an expiration date, and we don’t really know when it is, and we’re all living on borrowed time, a lot of these things that are intimidating as a dentist or a dental practice owner kind of go away, and so for us, that lifestyle design or that beginning with the end in mind is live where we want, and that’s not the best business advice certainly because it’s all based on supply and demand, and the demand for my services wasn’t incredible, but I learned to overcome that with marketing and to trigger, spark that demand because…that’s actually number three is become a master marketer. I think for me, the day that I realized that I wasn’t just a dentist, but I needed to be a marketer of dental services and let people know what I could provide for them was a turning point because, um, clinical dentistry is not, you know, uh, a strong clinical dentistry background is nonnegotiable. I still take an ongoing diet of clinical seed, but when I started reading Michael Gerber and some of the fall leaders in business and some of the fall leaders in marketing, that’s when my practice took off. It’s not when I took another restorative course or ortho course, so becoming a master marketer was number three. Number four was, number four is big, hairy, audacious goals, as you know, comes from Jim Collins, and um, he, it’s an arguable point, I mean, I don’t know what your thoughts are on goals, but setting the smart goals attainable, it never really worked for me. I liked to take goals that scare me, I like to take goals that set the bar higher than I really think can be achieved or set the deadline sooner than I really think is possible because that motivates me. If it’s attainable and, you know, to use the classic weight loss example, one pound a month is certainly achievable for anyone, but that doesn’t inspire anything because you can always put it off ‘til tomorrow, and so that big, hairy, audacious goals has been a pivot point for me. Whenever I kind of get bored, I just have to launch a new goal, and one that quite frankly frightens me. Um, number five is Kaizen. Kaizen, you probably know, is a Japanese principle about perpetual and continuous improvement, so the thing that I realized is that a lot of times with big, hairy, audacious goals, you try and do, say, too much too soon, you get excited and then the excitement kind of wanes and then you end up back with the status quo. Kaisen is about small changes, making subtle improvements over time, so you know, say, what’s the compound interest on one percent increase in your practice production over the course of five years?  I don’t know that mathematically, but I know it is significant, so…

Howard Farran:  It’s the rule of 72. Just divide it by 72.

David Maloley:  Yeah, so…

Howard Farran:  That’s how long it would take the double it. 

David Maloley:  So, not only just mathematically, but lifestyle changes. If I can get just a little bit better with how long it takes me to prep a crown or seat a crown or say, an exercise program, that Kaisen principle, it’s the series of small wins over time, and that perpetual improvement that I really think makes things…it’s hard to measure it in the short term, but as you look back, in retrospect one year, five years, I’m in my, approaching fifth year of the practice, and I don’t ever look at one month that was like, gosh, that just was the game changer. It’s that slow, it’s the little tweaks in the marketing and the way you answer the phone and the way that you create a memorable experience for a patient that really adds up, so that they synergize, too. So, that’s number five, and number two is kind of a take on, I think it’s a Woody Allen quote where he says, 80% of success is showing up, and you could just go to a course on a Saturday and you realize, there are a lot of dentists here, but there are a lot of dentists who aren’t here. So, the dentists who are there have a leg up, but the point too, to me the other 20% that Woody Allen doesn’t talk about, is bold action, implementation. It’s easy…I went to a mastermind two weeks ago and I have got my notebook over there and I’ve implemented one or two things, but if I go back and reference that and continue to implement it, that ROI on that time that I spent that weekend is a game changer because I also have notebooks that got home on Monday and were never opened, and so you reference those three years later and say, those are good ideas, they came and went without bold action and implementation. It’s, a lot of time, it’s wasted time, so I think it takes both – it takes the, picking up that book, but it’s got to be more than just an idea because, you know, I once told a mentor of mine that I had a lot of good ideas, and he just said, That’s called so-what. You know, there are lots of great inventions that went to the grave, but what did the Wright Brothers do, what did Edison do that made them who they are today?  

Howard Farran:  Yeah, 99% of patents don’t generate enough revenue to pay off the patent attorney. 

David Maloley:  I know.

Howard Farran:  And it’s funny because, um, being with Dental Town for fifteen years, I mean, I get every week, you know, sign a nondisclosure because I got this great idea, and it’s like, dude, I’ve signed these for fifteen years and not one’s ever came to market, okay?  So…

David Maloley:  That’s right.

Howard Farran:  ...I’ll sign it, whatever, it’s your pipe dream, but um, yeah, and Wood Allen, 80% is showing up, that’s what, uh, I was talking, you know, to my friends that run, uh, 10Ks and marathons or whatever, I mean, I probably had one of the worst Iron Man times in my entire life, but I just kept thinking, you know, I finished it in 16 hours and 11 minutes while 99% of my friends were sitting on the couch watching TV, so I’d rather…

David Maloley:  That’s the thing. 

Howard Farran:  I’d rather have the worst Iron Man time than just sitting on the couch eating donuts. But, I want to go back to, um, begin with the end in mind, um, everyone believes and agrees that, you know, living with purpose is everything, and I want to talk about a big problem that I think in dentistry – someday, you’re going to die, and when you go from six feet above the ground to six feet below the ground, you know, McDonalds didn’t stop. I mean, this morning, 40,000 McDonalds got up and made a Big Mac.

David Maloley:  Yeah.

Howard Farran:  Sam Walton took 20 years to do his first 18 stores, now he’s six feet underground and they open 40 new stores a month and they have 4,000, and so when you know that when you die, you have to delegate 100%, why can’t you start delegating to your team today?  I see small business owners, which is what a dentist is, they just continuously try to wear all the hats…

David Maloley:  Yeah.

Howard Farran:  …um, they pay someone $500 a month to do their social media page while their dental assistant is over there checking her Facebook page every hour, and you know, so they just don’t delegate. Um, when you said become a master marketer, I want to pick your brain…who are your legends in marketing?  Who are you following?  Who do you think’s crushing it in the world of marketing today?

David Maloley:  Well, I’ve learned almost all of my lessons, um, outside the industry. Now, I think that…right here, I recognize this book here. Fred Doyle…

Howard Farran:  Fred is amazing.

David Maloley:  A friend of yours and a friend of mine, and he’s been on the podcast…that book, everything that is marketing I give to every single person that I offer a job to in my practice because I’m not so foolish to think they’re going to read it cover to cover. I’ll give them a bonus if they do, but it’s more about the mindset for them, that it’s, you know, before I started my own business, I didn’t know what marketing was or I was foolish to think that marketing was take out an ad, most of wish I still see all over the place, image advertising, hey, check out that I’m a fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry, check out that I was at a course this weekend, check out that I serve my country and was a Captain in the Armed Forces…no one cares about that. They care about themselves, they care about their family, and so when I realized that it’s about the benefits to the patient, like they say, it’s not about…when you go to Home Depot, you don’t want a drill, you want a hole in the wall, so you need to speak to the hole in the wall. If you’re going to provide the dentistry care that you worked so hard to learn, and so, no, Fred Doyle within the industry, outside the industry where I got started in marketing was, one late night I couldn’t sleep, and I went onto Nightingale Conant and I downloaded Piranha Marketing by Joe Polish, um…

David Maloley:  Howard Farran:  He’s a friend of mine and he lives up the street. 

Yeah, um…

Howard Farran:  In Ahwatukee.

David Maloley:  And then I got into a podcast that was phenomenal for me when I had no patients really, I mean, I was working more on my business than in my business because I had no choice – I still wasn’t busy all day with patients. I’d listen to I Love Marketing podcast which is hosted by he and another master marketer, Dean Jackson, so I’m always reading Dan Kennedy, I’ve learned a lot of things from him, um, and then just from other people in dentistry, um, lots of people that I’ve interviewed on the podcast have grown their practices significantly because they’re not just a good doer of the thing, but they can market the thing, and that’s the services we provide, and so I don’t discriminate, I think I can learn from everyone, and um, but those are some names that I think will, if people don’t know them, they provide books and resources that have really been invaluable to me.

Howard Farran:  What’s Joe Polish’s website?  Is it…25…

David Maloley:  Um, 25K Group?

Howard Farran:  25K Group?

David Maloley:  Yeah, and so…

Howard Farran:  That’s a great…

David Maloley:  Yeah, I get his, every week he calls it the genius interviews…I get those on audio. So, it’s really for me, a constant diet of marketing and mindset things because I’ve been setting this stuff ever since I talked to you about, um, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, 20 years, every…I get my hands on everything I can listen to – podcasts, audio programs, and still I get sucked into some crappy news story on CNN that makes me feel doom and gloom and that I can’t accomplish what I want to, so for me, it’s about a constant daily diet of people who have done more than me, standing on the shoulders of giants, because I don’t, I’ve done enough of the hard knocks stuff. If there’s a Howard Farran or a Bruce Baird out there that’s willing to share some insights with me and take years off the learning curve, then I’ll more than accept it, and I’ll more than pay for it.

Howard Farran:  You know, ever since the iPhone, uh, and smart phones come out with apps, my television screen time is now down to less than an hour a month. I don’t ever watch TV, and a lot of my friends say, well, you know, what do you think about, you know, the Ukraine and Putin and all that stuff and doom and gloom, it’s like, I don’t have any time for negativity, I mean, is anybody going to ask me my opinion on what to do with the Ukraine?  I just trust and delegate that we have fine people in the government and the State Department and you know, and my only involvement in that is when you show up for an election every couple of years. But, I want to tell you something about Fred Doyle. Now, the guy, he’s the only guy in dentistry that’s spent a quarter of a billion dollars in the last 30 years marketing, and then the call centers and, he has more data, but the neat thing about Fred, which ties in to delegating is, you know, I’ve lectured 1,500 times in the United States since 1990, and a third of the room is a few dentists and all of their staff, and those are all the millionaires, and then the other two-thirds of the room is all single dentists who all think they’re saving money by leaving their staff at home, and they just never get it. And it’s so obvious that a guy like you, when he got Fred Doyle’s book, the first thing he did is bought a copy for all the staff, and it reminds me of, what we were talking earlier about delegating, um…orthodontists, because I have Ortho Town and Ortho Town magazine, within two years, 95% figure out they need a treatment coordinator to present the treatment, because the dentist is speaking 5,000 words of Latin or Greek…

David Maloley:  (Laughs)

Howard Farran:  And the national average on, um, the dentists have to diagnose 100 cavities to get 38 done. Well, when you tell somebody they need a $100 filling and they walk out the door, dentists don’t even care. But, if we’re orthodontists, $5,000 just walked out the door. And it really bums them out. And they might only get 15 to 20 at-bats a month, and if half of them walk out the door, they start asking questions and they get on Ortho Town and start talking to the people, they say Dude, you’re a trained orthodontist, you’re an introvert, you know, there might be some high energy treatment coordinator person that can just close these sales, and I, so I think that’s, um, fantastic that you have your group everything read that’s marketing, and I also know you’re a big fan of online or CE, you’ve taken a thousand hours, you’ve got your fellowship of the Academy of General Dentistry, and um, that’s why we also, uh, I hope, when people listen to your podcast roll-on series that they do it at a lunch-and-learn. I mean, it’s so easy to go get a large pizza and some hamburgers or whatever and have a lunch-and-learn. That’s why on our online series, you know, we put up 250 courses on Dental Town, they’re all in one-hour segments, they’re all ADA approved, ADG approved, but I always tell dentists, Watch them with your staff. Why are you watching them on the weekend because 90% of all dental questions, Fred Doyle will tell you this, are answered by the non-dentist. They’ll ask, the receptionist literally answers the most dental questions while you’re back there doing a root canal. And if she doesn’t know anything about a root canal, how is she going to answer the questions and close the sale and get these people to come in, and the same thing with the hygienists and dentists on, you know, they think, oh, this is clinical dentistry and this doesn’t involve my staff, I mean, just the wrong mindset. So, then I want to go back to…you said, um, big, hairy audacious goals, you said Jim Collins. 

David Maloley:  Yeah.

Howard Farran:  And I just want to say that when I got my MBA at Arizona State University, he was absolutely the patron saint. I grew up with Jim Collins, so when I got out of school, probably when you were in grammar school, I’m 52 – how old are you?

David Maloley:  I turn 40 in October. 

Howard Farran:  Okay, so you probably were in grammar school when I got out, and uh, he had Built to Last, and then he came out with Good to Great, and then he did the negative, which I actually enjoyed the most, which was, uh, How the Mighty Fail. So, instead of just telling you, this is what all of the successful people do, he said, this is what everyone who failed did. And I thought actually How the Mighty Fail was my favorite, and then he just came out…

David Maloley:  ______

Howard Farran:  And then he just came out with Choose to be Great, and you know, he’s just a huge fan of mine. In MBA school, I, they, probably an instructor quoted him during every course. So, those are absolutely the four best business books in the world. Anything by Jim Collins is a goldmine, and um, and I also like your, uh, Perpetual Improvement and Planning – that’s just great stuff, and you’re right, um, showing up with, um, showing up is half the battle, but showing up with big, hairy, audacious goals, or balls, is…

David Maloley:  (Laughs)

Howard Farran:  …is really going to be good. So, so what advice do you give the dentist who right now or have seen, um, you know, I got out of school in ’87, and May 11, ’87, and then of course, that October is Black Monday, the stock market fell 25%, but it was kind of a V-recession and collapse, bounce right back up. I lived through the Y2K bubble where everybody overinvested in Y2K and then March 15th, the Nasdaq was at 5865 and it just crashed and tanked, but it came back pretty quick. And, this ______, September 15, 2008, I can’t believe it’s now August 1, 2014, I mean, this was a, this was a Depression, ______...

David Maloley:  Oh yeah.

Howard Farran:  And that’s what they called it. They said, they said the first time there was a Depression in 1929, they tried to save the dollar, and that lost a third of the banks and we had 25% unemployment from ’32 to ’36, and our, luckily, our Federal Reserve Chairman did his Doctorate in Economics at MIT on the Depression, and he knew day 1, give up the dollar. Complete liquidity, and but it literally, they all said this would be a ten-year restructure. So, that was 2008, it’s 2014. We’ve probably got four more years of absorption in this stuff, so what you do, what would you tell dentists right now who are, um, battling through this?  Give them some pointers of what you would do.

David Maloley:  Well, I mean, I told you that I was, well, I was actually in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Wachovia was, right – 2007, 2008, 2009. I bought my house on a VA loan, no money down, and so I got crushed. My portfolio got crushed. I had put away a bunch of money when I was in the military, and so my back was against the wall, and a lot of these things I had no choice, because like I said, when my wife, you know, we were bringing a child into the world, we were trying to bring another child called a dental practice into the world, and so for me, it’s all about mindset is where it starts for me, and lifestyle design, because the thing that I realize, and it took me probably 30 years to realize this, is that I have created a business plan that I have executed fairly well. I created an annual plan that goes into the scheduler and it schedules our vacations and all that so the staff knows when we’re open and when we’re closed. You schedule the day, your appointments, but we don’t spend any time scheduling our life, so a lot of times you’ll ask dentists what they want, and they don’t even know. And so, that’s a destination…I don’t know is not a destination that I want to get to. I mean, that’s pretty troubling when you go to that eulogy thing and you think about, what’s a coworker going to say about you, what’s a community leader going to say about you, what’s a friend going to say about you, what’s a family member going to say about you. That’s scary if it’s just this arbitrary, like, he was a good guy, did good dentistry. That’s not good enough for me, and so one thing, one kind of trick that I always do when I come to a fork in the road like you said, is give it the rocking tree test. And for me, that means, like envisioning me as an old man, hunched over, not able to dentistry anymore, looking at my grandchildren, and they’re asking me stories, and do I want to tell them about regrets, or do I want to tell them about the times that I had a decision to make and I chose something courageous or bold, and you know, failure is inev…you know, in a lot of cases, inevitable part of life, and life blindsides you, and I’ll tell you a story about that how that happened to me in a big way this last year. But, to, um, Jeff Bezos calls it the Regret Minimization Strategy, and he had a big choice. He had a choice whether he was going to take a bonus or whether he was going to start, and so we all have much smaller choices day to day, week to week, and if you take it from the frame of, is it easy today for me to get out of bed or not get out of bed, well, you’re going to have a pretty lame outcome, but if you look at it as, what will I be able to tell myself, in your case, like if I’m doing these Iron Man triathlons 30 years from now, is that something that no one can ever take away from me?  You know, like for me, I didn’t know I was going to go to dental school, but I had the choice of to take an undergraduate degree that was really not, didn’t have any value, or turn it into something more, and so I leveraged that, and I know a doctorate no matter how long I am in this profession, is something that no one can ever take away from me, and that decision was made from the Regret Minimization Strategy or what I call the rocking chair test, and, would the old you, what would the old you advise?  And sometimes that’s, like you talked about, um, treatment planning. Sometimes we’re scared to tell somebody they need a crown and we do a big filling, that’s, you know, just fully disclose and talk about the risks, benefits, and alternatives. You don’t have to go run into your office or do the next hygiene check, and what…38%, is that what you said…38 out of 100…

Howard Farran:  Yeah, 38% out of 100 cavities get filled. 

David Maloley:  You’re not…

Howard Farran:  I call them the ______

David Maloley:  …______ anyone a service by treating only 50, 50% of the diseases there.

Howard Farran:  Yeah, I call them ______...

David Maloley:  But, we just play meek.

Howard Farran:  I call them 20-20-20 dentists. Can you hear me good?

David Maloley:  Yeah.

Howard Farran:  Are we good?  I call them 20-20-20 dentists. Every time we talk to them, they’re like, oh my, all my fillings are adhesively bonded 20 megapascals or greater and they want to talk about bonding time heat, and all of my restorations fit within 20 microns and I’m doing CEREC and optical scanning, and then all my materials wear less than 20 microns a year…20-20-20. No, mine did. Two out of three of your cavities you don’t even remove the decay. I’d rather you remove all of the decay and just pack it with IRM than being this world class dentist on a third of your fillings because, you know, we’ve ran a 25-year, 82 to 85% close rate, and it’s not me. It’s Jan presenting the treatment. And I think it takes a village to raise a child, even though no one else, a lot of people don’t like that, sir, but it is. I mean, you take a…your little beta-boy’s four, I mean, you’re putting software in his head through his ears, but so are kids on the playground and neighbors and babysitters and teachers and school and, you know, everybody’s loading this kid with software, and that’s the way a dental office works. I mean, the receptionist, the hygienist, the assistant, they’ve all got to be putting software into this, information into this person’s head, so that they finally realize that, um, they’re going to spend all of their money anyway – all the credit cards are maxed anyway, may as well max it out on dentistry and save all your teeth, and um, talk about regret, you know, we tell our patients on, I cannot tell you how many 65, 75, 85-year-old women who told me worst regret they, the single worst regret they had in all their life, was not saving their teeth. 

David Maloley:  Yeah.

Howard Farran:  And 27 years of dentists, I mean, some of the most burning memories I have is the deep carnal cry after you’ve delivered an immediate denture and the lady takes it out and looks at that mattress suture and she says…I mean, if would be like if maybe I woke up and I had lost a leg or an arm. I mean, when my hair fell out, I was happy. 

David Maloley:  (Laughs)

Howard Farran:  Because when the hair went out, so did the shampoo, the conditioner, the blow dryer, all that crap. I mean, I can get ready now every morning in four minutes. You know, I just jump in the shower, brush, floss, shave, pee, jump out, put on my dental uniform, I’m done. But, when women lose all their teeth…in fact, I like to ask women all the time, I say, if you lost all of your teeth, would be you depressed?  And they say, oh, I’d cry. I say, how long would you cry, and they’d say, forever, and I would say, well, what if you woke up and all your teeth were gone AND all your hair fell out like me?  And at that point, they all say, oh, at that point, I’d kill myself. So, it’s always very high self-esteem when you realize that if women looked like me, they’d all kill themselves. 

David Maloley:  One time, I, you and I were having a conversation in Atlanta, and you were talking about the value of a tooth, and you turned around to this, um, she must have been 20 years old, maybe an entry level assistant, and you said, how much could I pay you to extract #8, and you went from a quarter of a million dollars, half a million dollars, a million dollars, two million dollars, and she was still saying no, so that shows you the value of our services. 

Howard Farran:  Well, you know, that’s also a great economic question, um, Milton Freedman, one of the greatest economists in the last hundred years, called it, you know, people would always say they spend too much money on healthcare, and Milton Freedman says, well, who says we spend too much money on healthcare, and it’s always the government saying we spend too much money on healthcare, because if you walk up to a person and give them the blue pill test, say, okay, here’s your question – you’re either going to die tonight or you’re going to buy this little blue pill, and you’ll die one year from tonight. So, do you want to die right now or do you want to buy this pill?  How much money will you give me?  And at the end of the day, they’ll give you everything they’ve got, their house, their cars, their pension, their 401K, everything they’ve got. So, the only people saying we spend too much money on healthcare is other people spending other people’s money. So, when you’re spending your own money, healthcare is number one, because once you die, you have nothing. Who cares about your house and mortgage, and who cares about anything – you’re dead. You’re no good to yourself, your wife, your children, your grandkids, you’re no good for anything. So, healthcare, um, went from one percent of the GDP in 1900, to 12% of the GDP in 2000; now, it’s…2010, it was 14%, now it’s at 17% of GDP, and a hundred years from now, it will be half the GDP, because when you have everything you want, the ultimate luxury item is to live another day, and the marginal cost keeps getting higher and higher and higher, which is why most Americans will spend half their lifetime healthcare budget on their final disease going down. Because, oh, the want intensive care, they want any chemo, they want experimental, they’ll live in the IU at several thousand a day, they just don’t want to die. So, we’re in a rockin’ hot profession, and what’s interesting about dentistry is it’s not just like a kidney or an organ or a pancreas, it’s also cosmetics. It’s right up there in your face. 

David Maloley:  Yeah.

Howard Farran:  And it is amazing when you go to people with hardly any money, now we’re talking women, and say how much money would I have to give you to remove your front tooth, and you couldn’t replace it the rest of your life, pretty much every woman says, there isn’t enough money. And that’s a beautiful thing. We’re in dentistry and if we can educate the whole staff and get them in the mindset and all that stuff, uh, to close that, um, that’s fantastic.

David Maloley:  I mean, talk about educating staff…if somebody, I don’t know if it’s an actual quote, but they said, somebody had asked, um, you know, what if I, um, train my staff and I spend tens of thousands of dollars flying them all over, and then they leave?  And the answer was, what if you don’t train them and they stay?  What if they’re giving bad information, what if they don’t value the dentistry at the front desk that you just put on that treatment plan – that’s not an asset in healthcare at all.

Howard Farran:  Well, you know, that brings up a huge long rant of mine in the fact that, um, you know, the same skill to keep your spouse is the same skill to keep your patients, or your staff, and it’s the same skill to keep your patients, and employee turnover is something that I really, um, they don’t even track it. The Wall Street investors, they don’t even track it, but if you look within industries, you could have found out twenty years ago that Southwest Airlines would have been the great stock because they were retaining their flight attendants and they were retaining everybody. And the average American only has a job for three years. So, when you go look at the, what the average dental office produces and collects and what the dentist earns, and then you look at that 50 percentile mean, sure enough, his average staff has been there three years. And when dentists say to me, well, how do you go from making 150, you know, the right down the middle, to start making 200 or 300 or 400, I say, well, you know, you want to make 250, 300?  Your average staff is going to have to be there seven years. And you want to take home half a million dollars a year?  Your average staff is going to have to do twelve years. And that’s why we have our, um, golden core values…can you hand me the core values right off the wall?  Brady, um, right there. Yeah. My core values are my most important thing. Southwest Airlines says, hire on attitude and train for skill…my core values are create a fun, positive, and professional environment; be passionate, enthusiastic, determined to make a difference; be humble; embrace and drive innovation; follow the golden rule – treat others like you want to be treated; mistakes will be made – accepting you are accountable and move forward…you talked about mistakes that come out. Japanese proverbs – successful man fall down seven times, get up eight. Mohammad Ali says everybody gets knocked down – the champions get back up. Never stop learning – you’ve had a thousand hours of CE and I hope that people log on to We have 250 one-hour courses that are amazing…

David Maloley:  And the content is unbelievable. 

Howard Farran:  Um, be honest and respectful – integrity is everything; balance life and work and be fully present in both – that’s something I’ve done for my staff. There are, uh, you know, when I want to get a hold of the mother of my four children, I wouldn’t some male boss saying, no, you can’t take a personal phone call. I mean, I always respect…when my assistants,   you know, babysitter’s on the phone or a teacher, I’d say, go, go, go, go get it, because I would get it if it was for my four boys, Aaron, Greg, Ryan or Zach. Um, strive to make everyone feel safe, valued and important. Um, you see the emotional abuse at the average dental office staff meeting because the doctor does all the talking, and the staff is all afraid to say anything. When I told my staff we were going to get a CEREC machine, my dental assistant – my first dental assistant, Jan, she’s been with me since day one, 27 years, said, Howard, that’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. And so, but she could say that because she feels safe. And if people shoot the messenger, dentists routinely pay consultants thirty, forty thousand dollars a year, you fly down, do an interview with each staff member for a half an hour, and that’s where they get all their ammunition, and then they go present it to the doctor for forty grand. Just because the doctor just couldn’t get off his pedestal…Be remarkably helpful; create opportunities to make our customers and patients feel safe…and that’s, um, absolutely fantastic. So, what else, so what do you tell, um, what do you tell dental students coming out now?  You, you served in the military, and thank you for that – only 1% of Americans serve, and you were in Germany and Italy and um, what do you…what would you tell graduates today that are coming out of school?  They’re looking at a lame economy – would you recommend that…would you go back, now looking back, would you go back and do a GPR, would you join the military, what would you tell the young dental students coming right out of school?

David Maloley:  Uh, I think its different strokes for different folks, certainly. There seems like there are more and more, um, debt and there seems like there’s more and more of an employee mindset. I knew I always wanted my own dental practice. I didn’t know if that would be an acquisition or a merger or a partnership or associateship going to partnership, but the one thing that I would tell them is that it’s, and I see a lot of it out there in the industry, and you talked a bit about it in your, in your values, is it’s about integrity, and so going back to the golden rule, which is treat others how you want to be treated, or upgrade it the platinum rule of treat people how they want to be treated, I think is intensely important because you can end up in one of these corporate gigs that are based on quota, and if you can’t sleep at night because you’re doing crowns on teeth that need fillings, then you have to find another place, and so the things that have served me well, and I haven’t done everything right certainly – I’ve made a lot of bad mistakes, is learn from mentors who are willing to share. And now, with your podcast, podcasts that are out there, online message boards, I mean, there’s not a problem that can’t be solved by a search on Dental Town, I don’t think, not to mention all the CE that’s on there. I mean, you think you have to take a day on the front end and fly somewhere or spend two days on a course and then fly home, when you can do it, you know, during a lunch hour? It’s, I mean, the technology…well, I remember when I interviewed last year, you said, what happens when all the information is available to all the people online for free?  Now, it’s not all free, but we have enough prosperity as most listeners will, that you can, you can spare that hour and spare that forty bucks to get that course online, and a lot of it is free. I mean, these, my podcasts are free, and it’s about lowering the barrier to entry so you don’t have to spend twenty years beating your head up against the operatory wall. It’s about learning from people who are willing to share, who have made those mistakes, um…the other thing that goes right along with integrity is legacy, and I think that goes back to the Begin with the end in mind. Like, there are times when I’d give away dentistry that I don’t feel like I should give, but the patient’s perception is that something failed before it should have, and it’s not worth my time to explain that, you know, we talked about it was a big filling, we talked that it may someday need a crown, and now you your cusp fractured and you need a crown. So, if I can ever make that right in a patient’s mind, then that, to me, that’s…I live in a small town and, you know, Vale and Beaver Creek are world renowned, but ultimately, if I go to the farmer’s market tomorrow, I’m going to see 100 of my patients out there, and being able to sleep at night and being able to look them in the eye and know that I served you the best way I know possible – not only from a clinical standpoint, but from a business standpoint, from a humanitarian standpoint, um…

Howard Farran:  And that’s why Sam Walton, um, became the biggest retailer in the world, because he started in Bentonville, Arkansas, and when he started his Walmart, he was doing the same policies as Sears, Gibson’s, TG&Y, and JC Penny, which worked in a big town like Dallas where you could upset people all day long because you had an endless supply of customers, and his wife, Helen, was telling him, you know, some lady bought a pair of shoes and the heel fell off, she brought it back and Sam said, hey, that’s not my fault. That’s your fault. And then she told Helen at church, yeah, well me and my family, we’re never going back to you. And Helen screamed in his ear, saying, Sam, we don’t live in a town of 5,000, we live in a town of 4,995 because you just upset that family. So, Sam, the small town people had to pioneer, so Sam got mad and said, Okay, well the next time that guy brings me 100 shoes to buy, I’m going to hand him back this broken shoe and shove it up the supply chain. And he changed the whole industry. No discussion returns, I mean, you know, people come into a Walmart and they bring in a tent with holes in it and burns and, you know, been used and they want to return it because the zipper’s broken, and they just don’t get into it, and the reason they don’t get into it, and something I always find is that, you know, some people get so upset with patients, and they get into a big pissing match and a lot of times, the case will go to the board or whatever, because their ego doesn’t understand that humans are made up of 3.6 billion genes and I’m sure at least 1% of them are all messed up. 

David Maloley:  (Laughs)

Howard Farran:  The software’s loaded by fifty different crazy aunts and uncles and nuns hitting my hand with a ruler when I went to all-Catholic school ‘til the end of Creighton… um, who knows what this person’s thinking. For every cell that’s you, in your body, you have ten organisms, um, most of them are from your thirty-foot mouth to the other end, and the reason it’s, you’re outnumbered ten to one is because if your human cell was Shea Stadium, most of the other organisms would be about the size of a ping pong ball virus or car, bacteria, and we know those are all playing with your digestion, your brain chemistry, so humans are incredibly complex, and you don’t ever know what battle that patient is fighting or your friend or neighbor _______. And what you do is you just got to turn on empathy and sympathy and then when they really upset me, I just think, I just link back in my head and say, well, I’m just glad I’m not going through whatever you’re going through. 

David Maloley:  (Laughs)

Howard Farran:  I mean, you don’t know what your battling…a friend of mine…

David Maloley:  Yes, you have principles. Seek first to understand them, be understood. That’s as simple as that. 

Howard Farran:  Yeah, a friend of mine just got out of his first speeding ticket in his whole life - his dad passed away and he lost it, he got into his car, he was going down I-10 way, way, way too fast, got pulled over and the cop just said, go. You know, just slow down, sorry about that. So, you don’t know what people are going through when they come in your dental office and rip you a new one. Do you know what I mean?  So, you just got to tap them on the shoulder and show love and empathy and sympathy. So, what else…so, tell them some more great ideas.

David Maloley:  Well, the one thing that, going off to Legacy, I read a book a couple of years ago, um, it’s by the guy who founded, um, Tom’s Shoes…his name, Blake Mycoskie, do you know Blake?  He started Tom’s Shoes, and his motto was basically you buy one and he gives one away, so when my wife orders shoes for my son, he gives a pair of shoes to somewhere in Africa. 

Howard Farran:  Oh, that’s right. I did hear about that.

David Maloley:  And so, I wanted to implement a strategy like that in my practice, and obviously, do a crown, give a crown away. It wouldn’t last long, and so, one thing that, um, when I talk to dentists about a good way to help build your practice, help build you reputation, give back to the community, be a community builder, is something that we implemented, and it’s…I started in 2012 and as…we call it the Monthly Give, and in this areas, there are lots of nonprofits depending on where you are, and I think it would probably be better for smaller communities, but um, each month we give…in 2012, we gave 1.2% away, in 2013, we gave away 1.3% away, in 2014, we’re giving 1.4% away, so you see how that works, and each month, the team picks a local nonprofit, we give them a byproduct of our collections that month, we, it gets out on social media; the thing that is a nice byproduct I guess is the cost marketing that goes with it, it ends up in the newspaper, we have a big check that says Dr. Maloley signed a thousand dollar check to the horse rescue or the women’s shelter or whatever it may be, and it’s kind of the right thing to do. I mean, and my practice didn’t start out abundant, but we’re abundant now, and um, you know, I can squeeze my overhead or increase my production enough to raise some pretty good checks to some deserving nonprofits, and you know, to me, that’s what legacy is, and you don’t have to do Tom’s Shoes, but to build into something benevolent and to the systems of your practice, I think is pretty good idea. And the other thing that I wanted to, a story that I’ll tell you that kind of, um, has been a life changer to me – I mentioned at the top and I wanted to make sure that I mentioned it is the, you know, we’re all, like you and I talked about, we’re all living on borrowed time, and you need to live a lifestyle by design. We talked about when you start a practice, have an exit strategy to begin with so that your practice is worth something or that it has at least provided you the lifestyle that you desire, that you’re not in this…I mean, I think, I had to sacrifice for a few years to get the practice off the ground, I was living on as little as I could and I kept reinvesting in the practice, but that shouldn’t be like that for twenty years, I mean, goodness, I mean, how much time do you spend on education and working hard and late night calls and all this sort of thing, and it really is borrowed time. I turn 40 in October and my wife turns 40 next week, and on November 21st, I was doing a crown prep, my first patient of the day, I gave him a carpus septocaine, I went back and started prepping and he kind of squirmed a little bit, and so I gave him some more and because I wanted him to stay comfortable, and I walked out of the operatory and I walked in to my office that I’m in right now, and right over there, my wife was face down on this laptop, she had a dissected internal carotid artery, she had a stroke, no warning signs, um, medevac’d to Vale, or from Vale to Denver, and in a moment, I went from doing dentistry, stressed about all the things that a dental practice will provide, and in a moment, that all became trivial. Like you said, like those first two nights, I didn’t know if she was going to make it or not, I was faced with the potential of being a single dad and I was thinking, take my practice, take my house, just give me my son and a few more days with my wife, and that can happen – you hear about dentists having heart attacks at the chair, and we’re all living on borrowed time and you think the next year is guaranteed to you, and it’s not. And those things really give you perspective about the practice, the business needs to provide the lifestyle you like or that you desire, and that all wraps into lifestyle design, and in the last eight months, that is more meaningful than ever because, you know, she has, she’s perfectly healthy now, she still has some communication deficits, but there were ti…the neurologist called me middle of the night the second night and says, do you know what a decompressive craniectomy is, and I said I’ve never heard that term, but I know enough Greek and Latin that I can figure it out, and so, in that moment, you talk about healthcare expense, I’d gladly live under a bridge for the rest of my life to have my wife with me walk home, and she did, you know, a month later, and she skied a month after that, and she has some communication deficits, but this is, this last month, this last eight months have all been a gift, and we get to celebrate her 40th birthday, um, next week, thankfully, but I say that not to gather sympathy or anything like that, but to drive home the point that this stuff really needs perspective, the practice, the patient that comes in with three postops because their crown seat is still uncomfortable and blah, blah, blah – that can make you insane, but it’s not the most important thing in the world, and so the practice needs to create the life that you want and sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t, but you need to design that so that that outcome is inevitable. It may not be today, but you need to set a deadline and that big, hairy, audacious goal, so there’s providing a quality of life that, and you know, you know and I know, and you mentioned happiness before, it’s not, we get on this hedonistic treadmill and it’s four more ops will make me happy and an associate will make me happy and a bigger house will make me happy and two weeks in Hawaii will make me happy, well, it doesn’t make anyone happy. It’s those little moments that you have with your boys and the little moments that I have with my family that really make the difference, and that’s, to me, what makes dentistry incredible is that you can, you can put on the accelerator and ramp up the marketing and ramp up the production so that you have a life that you desire, and it just shouldn’t be an ongoing sacrifice because you don’t know when and how it can be taken away from you, so you have to, you have to make peace with that expiration date being inevitable and live your life accordingly, and those fears and apprehensions and anxieties a lot of times will wane pretty quickly, I think, through that lens. 

Howard Farran:  Well, I’m so glad that your wife healed up and is doing well, and that’s fantastic. And I also, it makes me think about my whole career, every once in a while, I go do missionary dentistry in a third world country – I just got back from Tanzania, Africa –we did an orphanage for the deaf and blind and albino, and it’s just amazing because whether it’s in Chiapas, Mexico, or ______, Mexico, or Tanzania, Africa, where you see these people just literally have nothing, and they’re all happy. 

David Maloley:  Yeah.

Howard Farran:  And then you come back, and you look at Americans, and Americans and Koreans and Japanese and Germans and a lot of Canadians, and they’re all just all stressed out because they want bigger and bigger and bigger house, newer car, this and that, this and that, and I’m like, I just came back from a country where nobody has a sit-down toilet, half the country doesn’t have three things in their house – running water, electricity, or sewage, and in fact, I posted some of my YouTube videos on Dental Town, one of the forums is humanitarian dentistry, missionary dentistry, ______ is when you’re in a house, it’s made of mud, and then you couldn’t beat the smile off everyone’s face, and they have little kids in there and there’s no electricity, no sewage, no running water, and they’re just all happy, and I look at dentists and um, you know, the average American buys a $10,000 car, but after they finance it for five years, they pay $30,000 for it. The average American buys a $100,000 home and after they finance it thirty years, they pay $300,000 for it, so they’re paying $3 for every $1 they buy in house and car, and as soon as their car is five years old and they’re driving it free, they go sign up for another five-year lease, and I just can’t tell you how many dentists have to, uh, that the key to happiness is sublimification, it’s downsizing, it’s smaller, it’s…the happiest dentists are the ones that go to the dental office and they don’t even have to do dentistry. Because they’re not driving a Lexus and have a condo and a beach and a boat and, all these things that just drive me crazy…the average American, during this recession, has eaten out 19 in 30 meals. And in 1950, in one of the hottest economies American had, we ate out 1 in 30 meals. I mean, you know, today if you want to hide something from anyone in the family, you just put it in the oven and no one’s going to find it…

David Maloley:  (Laughs)

Howard Farran:  …and uh, so they need to downsize, they need to simplify, they need to realize that you almost losing your wife made you realize what’s important, and that’s another thing I always tell my staff. My staff for 27 years, they’re always coming up to me saying, Howard, can you do me a favor?  My sister-in-law’s brother’s roommate’s cousin’s nephew is unemployed, doesn’t have benefits, and the dentist told him he needs all this deal, and will you do it for free or do it half price?  I say, I’ll tell you what. I’m going, I’ll do it because you asked, and I’m like that, but what I want in return for this, is my idols are Herb Keller of Southwest Airlines, Jim Glidewell of Glidewell Lab, who said, hey, if you don’t use your…my dad always told me, he was a devout Catholic, we went to mass every morning at 100% of old age, you had to be bleeding in two places not to go to morning mass, and my dad used to always yell at me, he said, God gave you two eyes – you keep one eye on the customer and one eye on cost. He gave you a brain, and you’re supposed to figure out to drive down costs so that your customers have the freedom to afford what it is to sell, and it seems like when you go to a study club, everybody just talks about the most expensive, longest way to do anything, and Herb Keller said, you know, if we drive down our costs, grandma will be able to afford to fly to see her granddaughter’s Bar Mitzvah or First Communion or whatever, and when we, and I tell my assistants, I say, okay, so our fee schedule, because you’re going to want a raise every time the earth goes around the sun, because you’re on the astrology payroll system, you know, where I guess it’s better than an animal sacrifice or whatever, at least it’s based on astrology of the earth’s rotation around the sun, and you’re going to want another raise, but these prices to support this cost is too high for your friends and family. So, why don’t you go back to the drawing board, and that’s what I do to my staff every quarter, we sit down and we have a meeting saying, you…I got 52 employees in one quarter, you’d better have figured out a way we can lower our costs. Because we’re not going to raise prices every time the earth goes around the sun, and I feel lowering costs gives me the most satisfaction because it gives patients, mainly women, the freedom to afford their teeth, because when women lose their teeth, they have a lot of mental pain and…

David Maloley:  That’s identity. 

Howard Farran:  Yeah, yeah, it’s just a big deal. 

David Maloley:  You know, I spent the best three, going back to your giving analogy and perspective, but the best three weeks of my life I spent in the military, they were the best three weeks of my life period, were in Angola, Africa. You wouldn’t find 40- or 50-year-old in that country if, I mean, you had to look long and hard. Kids everywhere, kid coming from, um, the Congo to Angola for a better quality of life, and literally there, we saw numerous draining fistulas through the jaw because there was an infected tooth. I took it out in one minute, and the last day, the one thing I’ll never forget was the, we were there with a team of doctors and a team of dentists, this lady came in and the kid was limping her arm, had malaria and was about to die. Three weeks before, the kid would have died. Our doctors turned him around with IVs, and so we take all this stuff for granted, but you’d walk right out and there’d be 15 people in a mud hut with no walls and they’re singing and dancing, and the happiest people that I’ve ever seen on the planet, bar none. I’ve been to Disney a couple of times – that’s not the happiest place on earth. These little villages are the happiest places on earth. And so, the hedonistic treadmill that we get on, and thinking more, better, faster is going to get us happiness, just makes us more frustrated and, to me, that was a game changer because I realize that what I was pursuing wasn’t going to get me what I desired. What I really wanted was what they already had.

Howard Farran:  The thing I liked about Africa, and I post these videos just the other day on Facebook, Dental Town, YouTube, my YouTube channel ______, is that at the end of the day, you know, they don’t have big screen television, they can’t watch the World Cup, they don’t have electricity, so they don’t have any of that crap, and they’re all out there with their arms around each other in big groups of 20, um, singing and dancing and they had all these songs and they were just awesome. 

David Maloley:  Yeah.

Howard Farran:  I mean, I couldn’t believe…I was standing out there for an hour watching these people, and they’re all giggling and laughing and dancing and having a ball, and missionary dentistry, another thing, you know, where you always think about think outside the box, I’ll never forget when one time I was on a four-day mission for dental and this kid was dragging his foot through the camp, and it was about the size of a football, and I said to the guy, the only guy there who speaks English, said what’s wrong with his foot, and the guys says, oh, he’s always been that way, and I thought, well, I’m a dentist, but I’m the most educated healthcare provider here, so I went and put him up on the table – there was a little piece of something sticking out of his foot, so I figured I had one try on this, so I had the guy hold him because the kid was real protective of it and was totally freaking out that I was getting near his foot, so I took my 150 and I put my hand on his ankle, I got a little piece…I pulled out a piece of barbed wire this long, pus, serous fluid blew out, I kicked off my dental shoe and poured a bottle of Peridex all over the foot and inside the shoe for a bandage – I didn’t know where a bandage was…

David Maloley:  Oh yeah.

Howard Farran:  …and when I left four days later, he was running around, playing soccer.

David Maloley:  Oh, wow.

Howard Farran:  And it’s just, uh…and then you come back to America and people are just, you know, they’re, they, they want a raise, and they want a raise just like a dentist wants to raise their price, because they don’t want to downsize and simplify their lifestyle. Uh, you know, they don’t want to…you know, they live three miles from work and they want a $40,000 car to drive 3 miles because they don’t want to, uh, ride their bicycle to work. It reminds me of, uh, another, everybody in America wants to blame everything for everybody else, and right now, the big blame is, uh, everyone is blaming McDonalds for everyone being fat. And you know, I’ve been to 50 countries with a McDonalds on every corner, and there are no fat people, because they all walk to the train, to the subway, that only…again, that’s probably one or two miles from their house, and it only gets them one or two miles from their job, and they have to walk a mile or two, ride a bus or subway, then walk a mile to work, and backtrack… you said you were in Germany… I’ll never forget, I was in Cologne, Germany, where you’ll never find an overweight person, this 80-year-old lady is riding her bicycle to her house with a basket of groceries. She gets to the door, opens the door, takes the groceries, picks up the bike, and skedaddles up three flights of stairs to her house. In America, you’d be getting artificial ______ and artificial ______ at that point, free paying care, Obamacare, all this stuff like that, and then, in Tanzania, they don’t even have a single fast food franchise in the entire country. 

David Maloley:  Ah.

Howard Farran:  I mean, there wasn’t one, and it was just amazing, so um, you’ve got to lower your expectations of people, they’re complicated, you don’t know what they’re going through, and you’ve got to downsize and simplify your life. We’re all going to die someday, why are you going to spend your whole life working your tail off for a house and a car and a Rolex watch and a Porsche, I mean, it’s just so artificial and cheesy, and I’m hearing from you on this fantastic hour, which is now over, was all good, and tell people how they can get more of you. Go to

David Maloley:, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, we’re trying to get the best and the brightest in dentistry, and then every once in a while, if I read a good book, I’ll reach out to the author and so, you know, I’ve learned, like I said, a lot from outside the industry that’s easy to bring into the industry, um,, send me an email, you know, if you have any questions or want to discuss strategy or ideas or, you know, I always like to connect to big thinkers, so my email address, the easiest way to reach me is

Howard Farran:  And David, thank you so much for all that you do for dentistry and Dental Town and The Relentless Dentist, and it’s been an amazing hour with you. Thank you very much.

David Maloley:  Well, you’ve meant a lot to me for your information. I, when I was stationed in Germany, my buddy sent over this giant box of 30 VHS tapes, Dental MBA, Thirty-day Dental MBA by Howard Farran, and so, uh, that was my intro to practice management back in the days when all I had to do was put on my Army uniform and go provide socialized healthcare, so…

Howard Farran:  And for all the dental students out there, explain what a VHS is. They’ve probably never heard of it.

David Maloley:  (Laughs) Yeah, exactly. 

Howard Farran:  Okay, oh, that reminds me of a joke. It was about five or ten years ago where my son was talking to me and we were talking about a CD, and he said, Dad, what’s a CD…I said, a CD, a music CD, and he said, I know what you said, but what is it?  And I realized, he’d only ever downloaded music on MP3s and iPhones, he didn’t even know what a CD is…crazy.

David Maloley:  Yeah.

Howard Farran:  Hey, good talking to you, David. Hope we do it again sometime.

David Maloley:  I appreciate it, Howard. Thanks so much.

Howard Farran:  Okay, bye-bye.

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