Stepping Up Even When the Going Gets Rough with Dr. Steve Markowitz

Sometimes life can throw you curveballs, but it’s how you deal with them that makes all the difference. Dr. Steve Markowitz is a third-generation dentist whose unexpected leap into learning the business side of dentistry firsthand came during his first year of dental school. After a tragic accident left his father unable to practice, Steve stepped up to help keep the business running and learned key lessons that drove him to where he is today.

Now in charge of three multi-specialty group practices just outside of Boston, Steve has accomplished a lot in his relatively short career. In this episode, he shares the ups and downs of his journey through dentistry, as well as his tips on team building and leadership that will help guide you to a more successful practice.

Key Quotes:

  • “Just be the best version of you. Let your patients know, and your team know, that it’s kind of an act that we’re doing, but it’s really important to be the best version of yourself when you’re in the building.”
  • “I saw the business of dentistry before I even ever saw dental patients, and that was really eye-opening to me because I knew that there was a way to make the business of dentistry successful at the same time while I was learning how to take care of people.”
  • “Anything I could get my hands on or listen to that made me a better person or a better leader, I would try and get it in my system.”
  • “Too often in our profession, [leadership] just gets flat out ignored or people deny that leadership is even a job for them.”
  • “The grind is exhausting. Always try to take a step back and remember why we’re here, why we’re doing this, so we can take really good care of each other and really good care of our patients, and then it becomes bigger than the grind.”
  • “If I were to point to one fault in my career, it’s that I was way too independent and I thought work ethic was the supreme value, and I didn’t rely on resources and friends.”
  • “Your dental license is really a golden ticket, and you can choose your own adventure and take it wherever you wish.”
  • “Never let a patient see you sweat. Never let your team see you sweat. It’s only going to get them worked up. You are the captain of the ship … and if you’re stressed out and if they know something’s wrong, it’s going to make everything more crazy than it has to be and the results will not be as good as you want them to be.”
  • “Nobody has gotten to where they are without help from someone else, and the sooner you can realize that and reach out to people and be willing to accept advice, the quicker you’ll be successful.”

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How to Be the Leader Your Practice Needs with Dr. Tim McNamara

One of the most important aspects of running a successful practice is putting in the time and effort to be a good leader. Dr. Tim McNamara is a shining example of this, and his success in dentistry is a testament to the strong focus he puts not only on creating a great customer experience, but also on leading his team so they know exactly how to deliver that experience.

After more than seven years doing business consulting in the healthcare field, Tim went from helping hospitals mitigate risks to starting his own dental practice. His unique path into dentistry—along with his ability to see obstacles and turn them into opportunities—has given him a fresh perspective on the industry that we can all learn from. In this episode, he shares what it takes to be a great leader, the lessons he learned from his consulting career that still help him today, and his tips on how to shorten the learning curve on your own path to building your dream practice.

Key Quotes:

  • “What you have in a business is risk, and how you control that risk is everything. And then how you lead your people to implement those controls will dictate what your revenue is.”
  • “It’s funny to me because everyone talks about secrets in dentistry. … The secret is you. If you just spend some time on leadership and understanding your business, that’s the secret.”
  • “When I opened, I did so kind of with this wild idea that demographics matter, but that the dentist and the systems probably matter a little bit more.”
  • “The best way to grow is, yes, boost marketing, but turn the customer service experience on.”
  • “What I’ve noticed in most dental clinics is lack of leadership.”
  • “We need a place where people can ask real questions without getting beat up for it. And so what do we do? We create a community.”
  • “I judge a lot of my practice and how it’s operating by how well I sleep at night and how little stress I have at home.”
  • “All of my breakthroughs have come when I stopped being so frickin’ independent and realized that there is help out there.”
  • “Your advice should be coming from people who are in your exact same situation, that actually stay awake late at night in the fetal position, and that have figured out how to get out of the fetal position.”

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The Secret to Achieving High Performance through Self-Leadership with Karah Maloley

Achieving High Performance through Self-Leadership with Karah Maloley

Dr. Karah Maloley, wife of Dr. Dave, joins on the podcast this episode to discuss and reflect the incredible changes in the practice over the past year. They go through the goals that were set for the past year and discuss the outcomes and how they worked out so well. One of the big things discussed was how they managed to go from four-day work week to a three-day work week while still growing and having a record year.

Dr. Dave talks about how taking more time off has improved his leadership skills and in-turn helped make his team and his clients happier. He also talks about the habits he has been working on and his obsession with high performance and sustainable growth and success. They emphasize the importance of accountability and leadership by example and they share ways to breathe life and passion into your practice.

Key Quotes:

  • “I made the decision we were going to go from four-day work weeks to three-day work weeks.”
  • “It’s about impact and intention and knowing what we’re there for and being hyper-focused to get results every day.”
  • “Despite the reduction in days and hours, we grew probably more than we have in 6 or 7 years.”
  • “A happy team creates happier patients.”
  • “The extra time that I have, those days where I can work on different projects, have allowed me to I think, be a more focused leader and work a lot more on myself.”
  • “Self-leadership always precedes great team leadership.”
  • “A lot of turning points in my life have come from trying times and tragedies, what if I just engineer it this year?”
  • “Most dentists are working in their practice, high level dentists are working in their practice and on their practice, the highest level dentists I’m convinced are working on themselves.”

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Developing Teamwork Through Unique Ability with Shannon Waller

Developing Teamwork Through Unique Ability with Shannon Waller

Dr. Dave is excited to reveal and discuss the secret weapon that has helped his team unify, work collaboratively and excel as a productive team in today’s episode with Shannon Waller. Shannon joins him on the show to discuss the main ideas, principles and action steps from her Team Success training that have worked so well for many teams. She gives some really wise insight and easy instructions and explanations that make it easier for you and your team to be as effective and supportive as possible.

Shannon starts off by defining and describing the importance of the term, unique ability. She expresses how crucial it is to know what this is and how to use the various unique abilities of your team to complement and support each other better. She wraps up with a discussion of why it’s important that your team doesn’t look to you for all motivation and support and why you should value results over time and effort.

Key Quotes:

  • “If you’ve made a difference in one patient’s life that day and you made what was perhaps an anxiety producing experience a better one – That’s a win!”
  • “An entrepreneurial team is one that is focused on growth, it is focused on results and is focused on maximizing the core value that every individual brings to the business.”
  • “There’s a limit to creativity and the reward system is often based on how well do you fit in the system.”
  • “Unique ability, at its essence, is what you love to do and are best at. So it’s where you have superior skill.”
  • “We often are trained to think that, oh if I can get better then I mustn’t be very good. And that’s not true.”
  • “If you want to get really great results with the minimum amount of time and effort, unique ability is the way to go.”

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Creating a Self-Reliant Practice with Jordon Comstock

Insurance complications with patients and the lack of consistent reoccurring revenue are problems that most professionals in the dental industry face. Jordon Comstock, a natural problem solver, has found some simple ways to get rid of these common issues. His passion for leadership and a self-sufficient style of doing business is what got him to where he is today with many happy and successful clients in the dental industry.

Creating a Self-Reliant Practice with Jordon Comstock

Jordon shares his story and how he ended up working in the dental industry and found his passion for improving systems and processes. He also talks about key areas that are critical to building a more self-reliant and consistently profitable practice. Jordon sheds light on a few areas where dentists tend to miss opportunities for increased functionality, customer loyalty and profits.

The business that Jordon built, Boom Cloud, addresses many of the organizational issues that come with having a subscription-style practice. He talks about what services they provide to increase scalability and cut out the headaches that come with insurance billing and expired credit card payments. Overall he really plants a great idea that practices can easily avoid much of the hassle they currently deal with and gain more loyal and consistent clients.

Key Quotes:

  • “I look for employees that are leaders, I don’t look for employees that look at me to be a leader”
  • “Despite going through that year of hardship and challenge, I believed in my product, I believed in the concept and I just stayed persistent and I found ways to make money on the side and then all of a sudden we launched Boom Cloud a year later.”
  • “You reap what you sow and sure enough that’s what happened.”
  • “A critical component of self-reliance is getting other leaders involved and people that can lead different aspects of a practice.”
  • “I do believe in the concept of reoccurring revenue, that that helps a lot.”
  • “Dentists should be reliant on their own system, their own team, to grow and flourish.”
  • “We’ve got the insurance companies that are policing the dentists but who’s policing the insurance companies?”
  • “I believe in systems and processes. If we don’t have those, it’s very hard to manage things in any type of business.”

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The Entrepreneurial Journey of a Dentist with Dr. Dave Bender

In this episode, Dr. Dave Bender (Fishers, Indiana) shares his entrepreneurial journey with us and explains how he balances both managing his three dental practices with living a healthy, active lifestyle. The Entrepreneurial Journey of a Dentist with Dr. Dave Bender

His early-set goal to own multiple practices was challenged with the difficulties of clinical dentistry, but he shares how his bigger vision for what he projected his business to become was the driving force for his success.

Dave carries with him a powerful message that can transform the way we run our practices. His progressive thinking coupled with his early childhood influences pushes him to always “be comfortable with being uncomfortable”.

In this episode, he shares how his experiences in corporate dentistry at Heartland Dental surprisingly counter the attitudes shared by most practicing dentists. He describes his continuing education courses with Heartland Dental as a value that he, otherwise, would not have experienced in a smaller practice. He later explains how he was unhappy with starting an associate driven practice because of the demanding high capital it required. He now thrives, in multiple aspects, with a co-partnership business model.

Key Quotes:

  • Let us live so when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry. – Mark Twain
  • With my early struggles – I was forced to be a better marketer, I was forced to run my practice a better way.
  • I was forced to do whatever it took to make the patient experience what it could be so that they would tell their family and friends –  and that’s honestly how we grew.
  • The difficulties we had in the first couple of years forced me to be better and more intentional about our growth process.
  • In 2013, I started an associate driven practice and that was a major mistake.
  • Some will be good, a few will be great, but only one will be the best.

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