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INTRO Newbie Killing it in the slow lane!

Skwab

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 23, 2018
10
21
16
Hi Everyone! MY name is Zack and this is my intro. I am a Dentist and I have owned my practice out right for about 5 years now (was a partner in it for 6 years prior then bought my partner out).
I am married with 2 young boys ages 10 and 5.

So when I officially took over the reigns of the practice completely I discovered that I really knew little about running a business, and as I became disappointed with the offerings that were specific to my field, I looked outside the world of Dentistry and stumbled upon entrepreneurship. So for the past couple of years I've been reading my butt off trying to get a bead on everything and in my quest for knowledge I stumbled across Unscripted by one MJ DeMarco.

A major issue I had been having was that things were going well - after I bought my partner out I had to re invent the practice and work on branding and marketing and things we didn't do during the partnership era and things I was not comfortable with at all and things finally started clicking and the ship was turning around and I was increasing revenue and growing the practice again. Everything was going great but I was still dissatisfied and it was driving me crazy. This summer I reached the pinnacle - buying a building to accommodate the expanding practice and getting out of a crappy lease I was in, updating the space with new equipment and creating a beautiful space to work in and at the end of it all I should have been on cloud nine - but I wasn't. It was worse.

Why? Because at the end of it all - no matter what I do, how much things grow, how successful I am, I am still an hourly employee in this profession. I had mastered the slow lane script to a T. Highest education, buy a practice, buy a building, plan on enjoying life in 30 years when I've paid everything off and I sell the practice to someone else - I did it all and I did it right and it sucks.

It's amazing how maddening and enlightening it all is when you stop sipping the kool aid and you realize what you've been doing is following a script laid out by those before you, and when you look around at those who wrote the script, it didn't look too promising.

And to top it off my wife is a physical therapist (not working at the moment but staying home with our kiddos)- we are a slow lane super couple!

So armed with the knowledge of the source of our discontent, we are starting a couple of projects to pull us out of the slow lane. I know it goes against MJ's tenets of one thing at a time - so we'll see how it goes, but I'm putting together an online course for Dentists to help them learn what it took me so long to learn about running a business. This information is surprisingly hard to come by and most avenues lead you towards buying into an extremely expensive consulting program which is frustrating as hell. There is a big need for it and I want to help those in the same predicament I have found myself in about our egregious lack of business knowledge.

The other thing is we're working on launching a line of food products. We're in the process of recipe development and because of the dietary restrictions of my oldest who has some special needs, we've found some gaps in transitional foods for those trying to abstain from dairy or who can't physically consume dairy, that we have some answers for. Whether the market agrees or not remains to be seen but we're working on it! My wife is the point man on that venture but we're moving forward on that, talking with a couple of food consultants and interviewing co-packers in our area, seeing which options are the best for moving forward once we have our recipes down.

When I first started my business education the focus was on money. Thanks to Unscripted and I'm reading TMF now (I know I did it backwards) we've switched our focus to value - what value can we add to the lives of our target markets. We've also switched our focus from the outcome to the process. Both of our lives were focused on the outcome and some much of the present passed us by and we're changing that. We've learned a lot already but it's just the beginning. This has helped me in my Dental practice as well.

I look forward to learning more from everyone and for the first time in a while I'm excited about the future. Thanks MJ for the forum and spreading your knowledge, and thanks to everyone for reading this!
 

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Saavik

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 21, 2018
58
68
116
Ha! User @LuckyPup and me were just discussing the difficulties of physicians with student/other debt to escape the system in another thread. How timely to read your introduction just now. :)

but I'm putting together an online course for Dentists to help them learn what it took me so long to learn about running a business.
I think this is an excellent idea. Where I'm from (not the US), this is a market with high margins. However, it's mostly presence seminars that are offered instead of online courses, as many physicians still seem to be kind of averse to anything digital.
Please share your experiences on the way.

Also, have you considered telemedicine? This (as in software startups, service businesses) is how a lot of physicians escaped the old system. I don't know much about dentistry (I used to be a regular doc), but there may be some opportunities there as well.
 

LuckyPup

Done Dicking Around
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 2, 2012
468
699
278
Midwest USA
Hi Everyone! MY name is Zack and this is my intro. I am a Dentist and I have owned my practice out right for about 5 years now (was a partner in it for 6 years prior then bought my partner out).
I am married with 2 young boys ages 10 and 5.

So when I officially took over the reigns of the practice completely I discovered that I really knew little about running a business, and as I became disappointed with the offerings that were specific to my field, I looked outside the world of Dentistry and stumbled upon entrepreneurship. So for the past couple of years I've been reading my butt off trying to get a bead on everything and in my quest for knowledge I stumbled across Unscripted by one MJ DeMarco.

A major issue I had been having was that things were going well - after I bought my partner out I had to re invent the practice and work on branding and marketing and things we didn't do during the partnership era and things I was not comfortable with at all and things finally started clicking and the ship was turning around and I was increasing revenue and growing the practice again. Everything was going great but I was still dissatisfied and it was driving me crazy. This summer I reached the pinnacle - buying a building to accommodate the expanding practice and getting out of a crappy lease I was in, updating the space with new equipment and creating a beautiful space to work in and at the end of it all I should have been on cloud nine - but I wasn't. It was worse.

Why? Because at the end of it all - no matter what I do, how much things grow, how successful I am, I am still an hourly employee in this profession. I had mastered the slow lane script to a T. Highest education, buy a practice, buy a building, plan on enjoying life in 30 years when I've paid everything off and I sell the practice to someone else - I did it all and I did it right and it sucks.

It's amazing how maddening and enlightening it all is when you stop sipping the kool aid and you realize what you've been doing is following a script laid out by those before you, and when you look around at those who wrote the script, it didn't look too promising.

And to top it off my wife is a physical therapist (not working at the moment but staying home with our kiddos)- we are a slow lane super couple!

So armed with the knowledge of the source of our discontent, we are starting a couple of projects to pull us out of the slow lane. I know it goes against MJ's tenets of one thing at a time - so we'll see how it goes, but I'm putting together an online course for Dentists to help them learn what it took me so long to learn about running a business. This information is surprisingly hard to come by and most avenues lead you towards buying into an extremely expensive consulting program which is frustrating as hell. There is a big need for it and I want to help those in the same predicament I have found myself in about our egregious lack of business knowledge.

The other thing is we're working on launching a line of food products. We're in the process of recipe development and because of the dietary restrictions of my oldest who has some special needs, we've found some gaps in transitional foods for those trying to abstain from dairy or who can't physically consume dairy, that we have some answers for. Whether the market agrees or not remains to be seen but we're working on it! My wife is the point man on that venture but we're moving forward on that, talking with a couple of food consultants and interviewing co-packers in our area, seeing which options are the best for moving forward once we have our recipes down.

When I first started my business education the focus was on money. Thanks to Unscripted and I'm reading TMF now (I know I did it backwards) we've switched our focus to value - what value can we add to the lives of our target markets. We've also switched our focus from the outcome to the process. Both of our lives were focused on the outcome and some much of the present passed us by and we're changing that. We've learned a lot already but it's just the beginning. This has helped me in my Dental practice as well.

I look forward to learning more from everyone and for the first time in a while I'm excited about the future. Thanks MJ for the forum and spreading your knowledge, and thanks to everyone for reading this!
Welcome! I'm not aware of teledentistry, as @Saavik mentioned, but it's an interesting angle, if not Fastlane. That is unless you develop the platform. I'm really curious about your online course. Have you thought about a long-tail strategy, i.e. other things that could coattail onto your course to build a more robust brand in your space? Just a thought.

I've worked with physicians for over 20 years, and their pain is identical to yours. My background is in sales and marketing, and I also have experience building sales funnels. I'm happy to chat. No strings.
 
OP
OP
S

Skwab

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 23, 2018
10
21
16
Thanks @LuckyPup and @Saavik for the replies. I agree all of the medically based professions are in a tough spot. What pisses me off more than anything is how much the cost of education has risen since I've been out.

I didn't graduate THAT long ago (15 years) and average debt coming out of dental school was 120K and you could consolidate it at around 2.5% so while it's a lot, when looking at the big picture it was very manageable compared to entry level compensation for Dentists at the time. Ivy Leaguers and specialists came out with a peak of around 250K which was crazy to think about at the time.

Now? 350K is the average with 500K the peak and rates are 4-5%! This is crippling debt for these kids and like MJ mentions, it cements you into this existence like never before and the only way out will be to quickly learn the business side and increase your income. On top of that average compensation has been in the decline so it's a double whammy.

Once I get the course up and running and see how the response is, my goal is to create a subscription site on a platform like Workplace, and treat it kind of like tele-consulting. Consultants in Dentistry are at a premium and there are no guarantees they will work - I have firsthand experience in this, so want to bridge the gap between 30-50k consulting programs and books that only serve as funnels for these programs!

Teledentistry itself would be tough because most of what we do is physical on the patient - more like a surgeon than a physician. And while you could certainly help get people out of pain in the short term, it's very limited and prescriptions just buy us time until a tooth can be pulled or a root canal done which has to be in person. So it would be very limited.

Looking forward to talking to you guys more and I'll definitely keep you up to date as I get the course going - I have the scripts written, I've prepared most of the slides and I'll start creating the videos in the next couple of weeks.
 

LuckyPup

Done Dicking Around
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 2, 2012
468
699
278
Midwest USA
Thanks @LuckyPup and @Saavik for the replies. I agree all of the medically based professions are in a tough spot. What pisses me off more than anything is how much the cost of education has risen since I've been out.

I didn't graduate THAT long ago (15 years) and average debt coming out of dental school was 120K and you could consolidate it at around 2.5% so while it's a lot, when looking at the big picture it was very manageable compared to entry level compensation for Dentists at the time. Ivy Leaguers and specialists came out with a peak of around 250K which was crazy to think about at the time.

Now? 350K is the average with 500K the peak and rates are 4-5%! This is crippling debt for these kids and like MJ mentions, it cements you into this existence like never before and the only way out will be to quickly learn the business side and increase your income. On top of that average compensation has been in the decline so it's a double whammy.

Once I get the course up and running and see how the response is, my goal is to create a subscription site on a platform like Workplace, and treat it kind of like tele-consulting. Consultants in Dentistry are at a premium and there are no guarantees they will work - I have firsthand experience in this, so want to bridge the gap between 30-50k consulting programs and books that only serve as funnels for these programs!

Teledentistry itself would be tough because most of what we do is physical on the patient - more like a surgeon than a physician. And while you could certainly help get people out of pain in the short term, it's very limited and prescriptions just buy us time until a tooth can be pulled or a root canal done which has to be in person. So it would be very limited.

Looking forward to talking to you guys more and I'll definitely keep you up to date as I get the course going - I have the scripts written, I've prepared most of the slides and I'll start creating the videos in the next couple of weeks.
Sounds like you have a solid vision and are off to a great start. Good luck and keep in touch!
 

Saavik

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 21, 2018
58
68
116
Welcome! I'm not aware of teledentistry, as @Saavik mentioned, but it's an interesting angle, if not Fastlane. That is unless you develop the platform.
Yep, that's what I meant. You can build a platform or deploy a human system.
I actually know someone (not sure if he used to be a dentist) who built a video platform to enable dentists to show their technicians the inside of the patient's mouth remotely. It's going pretty well and he's branching out to other industries now.
 

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
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Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
29,504
102,837
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
Great intro post and welcome, I almost missed it!

So armed with the knowledge of the source of our discontent, we are starting a couple of projects to pull us out of the slow lane. I know it goes against MJ's tenets of one thing at a time - so we'll see how it goes, but I'm putting together an online course for Dentists to help them learn what it took me so long to learn about running a business.
Funny I recall my old dentist phased out his practice so he could work less and if I remember, wanted to do something similar.

This was before I wrote Unscripted so I couldn't toss him a book.

Not sure what he's doing today (or if he is even practicing) but here's a link to his personal website now.

HowardFarran.com – Start building your ideal dream dental office!

And to top it off my wife is a physical therapist (not working at the moment but staying home with our kiddos)- we are a slow lane super couple!
Has your wife read Unscripted? I would have guessed she would be very upset you would question a profession that is very respected and highly paid. Sounds like she's on board for alternative life existences!
 
OP
OP
S

Skwab

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 23, 2018
10
21
16
Great intro post and welcome, I almost missed it!



Funny I recall my old dentist phased out his practice so he could work less and if I remember, wanted to do something similar.

This was before I wrote Unscripted so I couldn't toss him a book.

Not sure what he's doing today (or if he is even practicing) but here's a link to his personal website now.

HowardFarran.com – Start building your ideal dream dental office!



Has your wife read Unscripted? I would have guessed she would be very upset you would question a profession that is very respected and highly paid. Sounds like she's on board for alternative life existences!

Thanks for the response MJ! Wow Howard Farran was your Dentist? He started Dentaltown and if he is still practicing it's only because he wants to, not because he has to!

My wife is just starting Unscripted but because I talk about it all the time it's almost like she has had the clif notes audio version already - but she's definitely on board - She worked as a physical therapist in a hospital for over 10 years so she understands what it means to trade time for money and how unfulfilling that can be over time so it definitely helps that were in this venture together!
 

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