Getting Clear and Doing the Things You Fear with Dr. Gina Dorfman (Pt. 1)

This will be the first of a two-part series featuring my friend, Dr. Gina Dorfman, who has just started her own podcast called Behind The Smiles. As someone who helps people learn to lead and run successful practices, Gina has been an incredible part of the dentistry field. In this episode, we discuss common issues dentists face with over-planning and finding their place.

Dentists tend to get stuck in the how, so Gina and I discuss why it’s important to face fear and take risks in order to get clarity on your next step. We also talk about why courage is so important, what it means to play the long game, and the steps you need to take in order to find fulfillment and success. You can control the legacy and the impact you have by what you’re currently doing, so listen in to get advice on how to make things happen now.

Key Quotes:

  • “The thing you fear is probably the thing you should be doing.”
  • “Play the long game. If you’re a young dentist, you have time on your side.”
  • “Sometimes to see the 7th step, you have to be in the 6th step.”
  • “My biggest error in my career is that I tried to have more by doing more.”
  • “In 2019, safe is pretty risky.”
  • “Clarity, whether it’s in leadership or a practice or leading your own life, is a must.”
  • “What makes you a really good clinical dentist may make you a terrible business person.”
  • “You have to step outside your comfort zone by default to grow.”
  • “I was driven by vision, and that’s the thing I got right.”

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Can You Be Your Own Hero?

Today I want to share an episode I recorded with Dr. Paul Etchison a while back that touches on some key things we need to figure out as dentists and practice owners. Paul is the author of Dental Practice Hero, the host of the Dental Practice Heroes podcast, and one of the titans featured in Titans of Dentistry, and he’s someone I really respect because he truly walks the talk. Given his successful career and leadership skills, he’s one of the best people I can think of to have a conversation with about high-performance coaching and being a high-performance individual.

In this episode, Paul and I dive into the subjects of happiness, fulfillment, and figuring out your purpose. Listen in to hear the major lessons we’ve both learned throughout our careers, what it takes to be a great leader, and why it’s so important for us as dentists to gain clarity on what we really want out of our practices—and out of our lives.

Key Quotes:

  • “The marketplace doesn’t care what degree you have; it matters how much value you’re adding to the system.”
  • “We’re all drawn to certain things, and really defining who we are and what we want—getting that crystal clarity—I think is the first step on the escape plan if you feel like you’re on that hamster wheel.”
  • “Making sure that you’re progressively trending upward on some kind of key criteria in life is what drives a practice, because if you just try and drive a practice with brute force, you’ll get growth, but sustainable growth is questionable, because if you’re burnt out, your team isn’t going to show up.”
  • “Make sure that you not only know exactly what you want out of your practice and your life, but why you want it, and if you don’t have a compelling why, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.”
  • “When the team shows up, batteries included, and you show up, batteries included, patients feel that, goodwill goes up, case acceptance goes up, and it all trickles down to the bottom line.”
  • “You can be confident in leadership, but to think that you’ve learned it all and not be engaged in a lifelong journey I think is a dangerous place.”
  • “I hope dentists know that if they’re in a tough spot right now, or if they’ve been through a tough spot, or if one’s coming in the future, that’s just part of the game and to anticipate that. To try navigating around that is just wise business, but to think you’ll avoid it completely is a fallacy.”
  • “It all comes down to marketing, and once that mind shift happens, life gets a lot easier because you realize that your clinical skills are just one small part of the equation.”
  • “You’re your number one asset and your practice is a close second, and sometimes you have to put all the chips in to make sure that you get the results that you need.”
  • “If you’re thinking about investing in your team, if you’re thinking about investing in yourself, it’s not hard to get a $1000 idea if you implement it. It’s not hard to get an ROI. It’s making sure you have the intention to actually put your words into actions.”
  • “Be crystal clear on what you want, why you want it, and then pursue that dream without guilt or apologies.”

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Does Your Goal Setting Suck?

As we settle into 2019, many of us are thinking about resolutions and what we want to achieve in the new year. But too often, people go about setting goals in the wrong way and end up frustrated and discouraged. So today, I’m going to share an episode I recorded with Joe Blalock and Cole Hackett of the Life and Dentistry podcast that’s all about how to set goals in a way that sets you up for success.

Listen in to hear us break down the key ingredients for succeeding when it comes to resolutions, goal setting, and lifestyle design. You’ll learn how to use human nature to ensure your goals work for you and not against you, the common mistakes people make that set them up for failure before they’ve even begun, and what you can do to create habits that will lead you to the life you want.

Key Quotes:

  • “Success is on your own terms, and if you define it, if you’re clear about it, if you don’t let your vision get hijacked, those opportunities are available to each and every one of us at higher and higher levels as our career goes on.”
  • “If I do something for ten minutes a day for 365 days, that’s 60 hours of output. There’s not much you can’t become almost a subject matter expert on in 60 hours.”
  • “For me, if I set a realistic goal, it’s all in my brain, and I feel like, if I’m going to hit big targets, it’s gotta scare me a little bit, and it’s gotta connect the head and heart to some degree.”
  • “The only way to grow predictably as a human is to look at the drivers of our subconscious. That is our beliefs, the story we tell ourselves, and our identity.”
  • “Most people don’t even know what they want. You’re lost from the very beginning expecting someone to hit a target they can’t see.”
  • “True success is a matter of alignment, and if you can get your thinking and behaviors all in alignment, then hitting these targets just becomes like target practice, because you know how to do it predictably.”
  • “If you’re going to follow through on something, one of the main ingredients typically is having to report to somebody you respect.”
  • “The common themes that you’ll find in everyone’s purpose—if it’s really good and they’ve worked through it—is to serve and to grow and expand. That’s what makes us fulfilled.”
  • “If we create a path that we’re always looking to increase our health, increase our wealth, increase our connection with God, and increase our spirituality—that’s the fuel, and then all these other things, these lifestyle things, become the byproduct. Now we’ve got a pattern that’s repeatable, and it doesn’t leave us running ragged.”
  • “If you’re just 1% better each day for 365 days, you’re 38 times better at the end of the year.”

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Willie Nelson and Counting your Blessings

How often do you take the time to focus on being grateful? Big or small, we all have things to be thankful for, and as Thanksgiving approaches, it’s the perfect time of year to reflect on what they are and really appreciate them. It’s also the perfect time to start making it a habit to focus on gratitude.

As Willie Nelson put it, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” This is something I’ve found to be true in my life, and I’ve made it a point to count my blessings as often as I can. In this episode, I share the practice I use to help me keep gratitude at the forefront of my mind and why it’s so important for all of us to remember all the reasons we have to be thankful.

Key Quotes:

  • “All that risk, all that sacrifice, all that courage {from our veterans} preserves our comforts and convenience that sometimes we take for granted, and I don’t want to be that way. I don’t want to take things for granted.”
  • “What you appreciate appreciates. If you’re thinking lack all the time because you’re not appreciating, or it’s not quite right, or it’s not enough, or it’s a financial issue, or it’s an economic issue, you really expect to have more? It’s just unrealistic to think that if you’re taking things for granted that you’ll be blessed with more abundance.”
  • “The focus on what’s not right will rarely get you more of what’s good.”
  • “It may be a nice challenge for you to think about taking time over the holidays—maybe it’s Thanksgiving, maybe it’s when you have a week off between Christmas and New Year’s, maybe it’s just another Saturday or Sunday, or you’re taking time to think about all the things, all the seeds that have been planted to give you the life and the opportunities that you have today.”
  • “Everything changes when you take your focus off the news and the critics and the naysayers and look at what is really provided for you.”

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Retirement and Work-Life Balance is B.S.

What comes to mind when you hear the term “work-life balance”? How about when you think about retirement? I get a fair amount of questions about these two topics—likely because this podcast is all about engineering a practice that provides for your epic life—but I’m here to tell you that I think both work-life balance and retirement are complete b.s.

In this episode, I go on a bit of a rant about why these two ideas really bother me. Listen in to hear why I don’t agree with the thought that we should have a clear distinction between work and the other aspects of our lives, the reason I think retirement is a bad idea, and how we should all go about designing lives that give us purpose and fulfillment.

Key Quotes:

  • “Is ‘work-life balance’ implying that one is bad and that we should balance it with the other one? I don’t know—I have a hard time with that. Most people get their purpose and a lot of their identity from their work.”
  • “Why can’t we have a vision that blurs the lines between work and play?”
  • “I think that’s a common theme in 100% of people, that you should be growing and evolving and serving. And most people do that through their work.”
  • “My life is fueling my work, and my work is fueling my life. So can we just all call it life and integrate it?”
  • “I, quite frankly, want to work the day before I die. I want to work until the end, delivering value.”
  • “You’re serving the patient by being influential. You’re serving your team by giving them a culture, a place that they enjoy and collaborate and have a shared vision. All those components fuel your life.”
  • “Five years we’ve been talking about designing an epic practice to fuel your epic life. It’s a vehicle to get what you want—to live the life that you want—but it all has to be engineered with intention.”
  • “Can we stop talking about retirement, and can we stop talking about work-life balance? I think they’re both complete bullshit, and I think they take people down paths that they shouldn’t even consider.”
  • “Design a work schedule that gives you purpose, that gives you meaning, that gives you challenge and allows you to grow, and let that fuel your life.”

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Struggle and the Titans of Dentistry

The road to creating the long awaited Titans of Dentistry book has been difficult and fulfilling. In this episode, Dr. Justin Short and I will discuss the journey and the process of creating this exciting project. We talk about how the book is laid out, the importance of embracing difficult processes and challenges and much more.

We discuss the challenges we faced while putting together this book and why we found it all rewarding and pushed through the difficulty. You’ll get a glimpse of some of the people we profile in the book and why they are so influential and inspiring. You’ll also get a taste of what the book holds – from the career changing moves to how the titans got through the most difficult times. It’s an important book that can play a big part in shaping your career so grab your highlighter and get ready to dig into and implement the wisdom of the Titans of Dentistry.

Key Quotes:

  • “You’re not gonna get an extraordinary life, an extraordinary practice doing the same things that everyone else does.” – Dr. Justin
  • “We think that a better crown margin is going to skyrocket our practice and our life, and not that that’s un-important, but there are many more things at play here.” – Dr. Dave
  • “The success is defined by the individual.” – Dr. Dave
  • “It’s not always about doing more.” – Dr. Justin
  • “Many of those setbacks would have brought a person to their knees but a lot of the titans used that as fuel to get to the next level.” – Dr. Dave
  • “We all have those days, we all have setbacks. It’s not the absence of those that separate the boys from the men or the girls from the women, so to speak, it’s how you act in the midst of those that creates a separation.” – Dr. Justin
  • “All these people have some kind of greatness of achievement and they all came about it different ways.” – Dr. Justin
  • “At the end of the day, there is nothing magical about them that I don’t have.” – Dr. Justin
  • “Our goal isn’t to find the top 30 dentists, our goal was to find a variety of paths.” – Dr. Dave
  • “These people are willing to do whatever it takes whenever it takes.” – Dr. Dave

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Foo Fighters and Your Most Productive Appointments

One of the biggest things to work on in life is making sure to not take your work issues home and not take your home issues to work. This week I’ll share about how I made a shift in my life and mindset where I don’t put work first and I’m not afraid to take days off. This doesn’t mean work isn’t important, it’s all about making sure to fit in the most important things and be intentional about your scheduling.

By fine-tuning your priorities and sticking to your non-negotiables, you will be able to fit in the most important things in your life and practice. I’ll share a list of the most important things to make sure you fit into your schedule and make a priority – everything else should come after these. From taking care of yourself and developing your skills to spending time with family and truly feeding into your team, it’s so crucial to make sure you are being intentional and scheduling in what matters the most so that the little things don’t steal your days.

Key Quotes:

  • “The practice shouldn’t run you. There are times it demands more of you but you should be able to harvest cash flow and time.”
  • “If you don’t rise as a leader, the practice will suffer. It’s all about how you show up. If you’re dragging your feet and having a case of the Mondays, you can guarantee your team will too.”
  • “There’s always some undone thing that I kinda want to work on but I need that time [lunch time] to make sure that my afternoon is productive.”
  • “To take days or half-days to really work on your business is something you really need to do on a continual basis.”
  • “Make sure you’re developing the legacy you want.”
  •  “It’s almost a badge of honor to talk about how busy you are but everyone has the same amount of time and it’s about priorities.”

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Practice Growth and the Cave You Most Fear

This episode is all about understanding your fears and finding effective ways to lead and grow your practice. The pain of fear can be so crippling but it doesn’t have to hold you back if you don’t let it. We’ll go over the common fears people have when it comes to their practice and challenge you to not let that fear get in your way by choosing courage over comfort.

First you’ll learn about the different hats that dentists, especially leaders, should be wearing and how to develop your leadership skills to bring out the best in your team. The next step is finding where fear is holding you back so you’ll learn about some common ways that fear keeps you from growing and how to push past those issues.

Key Quotes:

  • “There are several hats that dentists have to wear and I think the leader themselves should wear a few different hats.”
  • “The common theme I see in the purpose of all people is that they should be growing and expanding and they should be serving.”
  • “The way that we’re going to grow now is to grow the people. Grow their confidence and grow their capabilities.”
  • “If you’re not intentional about growth, increasing the skillsets of people that are there and increasing your own skillsets, it’s an easy way to have your practice inadvertently plateau.”
  • “In a practice you actually have to encourage people to make mistakes.”
  • “Capability comes after courage. After some reps you’re developing some confidence.”
  • “You can’t be the leader who criticizes them for making mistakes because they will stop making the effort.”
  • “Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s doing something that you fear. The fears never really go away.”

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Dictators and Daily Disciplines

In this episode Dr. Dave Maloley sits down with Dr. Mark Costes to share some valuable tips on practice leadership, life balance and maintaining motivation and focus on the daily disciplines. The two discuss how to harness your dark side, the impact of mortality motivation, what dictates the upper limit of your practice and much more.

Dr. Dave talks about some painful lessons he has learned along the way and how he stays centered. He shares some really valuable techniques to hold onto motivation, lessons learned and focus without letting it slip over time. Dr. Dave also talks about how to use passion as a rocket booster in your life and which areas you should make sure you’re ‘trending upward‘ in.

Key Quotes:

“It’s not whether or not you ever make a bad decision or misstep. It’s what happens in realizing you made a mistake and what you do with that information.” – Dr. Mark

“I think the practice needs to provide you with things other than, you know, a definite paycheck, consistency and ability to grow as a leader – and that’s to influence and impact others.” – Dr. Dave

“I think there’s a lot of guilt that goes into dentistry when you’re not completely engaged.” – Dr. Dave

“I’m grateful for the journey because it’s only made me stronger going through it.” – Dr. Dave

“Most of us are a blend of personalities but we have a dominant.” – Dr. Mark

“We need to serve our practice and our patience, no doubt, but we need to engineer it in a way that it’s serving us.” – Dr. Dave

“Realizing it could all end at any time is sometimes the ultimate motivation.” – Dr. Dave

“When you have an idea, it doesn’t have to stay an idea – It doesn’t have to stay an idea with enough action and vision.” – Dr. Dave

“At some point, no matter how much we’re rocked, we can get sucked back into that whirlwind and forget how important those lessons were.” – Dr. Mark

“Are we going to be victims of this or are we going to use this to strengthen our relationships, to increase the way we view the world, how we’re going to come at the world when we have future challenges. So did this happen to you or for you.” – Dr. Mark

“If you stick with the fundamentals and stick with the vision, anything is possible. It’s just a matter of time between point A and point B.” – Dr. Dave

“We’re swinging for home runs when the magic is really in daily disciplines and installing new habits.” – Dr. Dave

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Hey Jude and Your Epic Life

One of the most common questions received on this show is how to organize and engineer a high-performance life. In this episode Dr. Dave will be giving you an inside look at his 4×4 epic life matrix that he uses to design and keep his life on track. He explains not only how to use it but also gives examples based on how he fills out and uses his.

Dr. Dave breaks down the basics of this model by explaining the different elements that go into it, such a: values, experiences, development, giving and much more. He shows how these different areas of your life can be categorized, mapped out and organized in a way that is efficient and highly effective.

Key Quotes:

“How do we find the magic moments in each day to feel truly grateful for.”

“I can have whatever I want as long as I can get really clear on what I want and put forth the energy to execute it.”

“As a high performance coach, I’m coaching my clients in 5 categoregies: clarity, energy, courage, productivity and influence.”

“Often times I got to the target and it didn’t necessarily make me feel the way that I wanted it to feel.”

“Who you think you are is really how you interact.”

“If we don’t engineer this stuff, we can spend a lot of time in stress, anxiety, depression and discontent.”

“I actually have a list of people in this category that I want to make sure I’m investing in.”

“I want to make sure I’m giving and I’m serving in a proper way.”

“I’m not looking for mastery now, I’m looking for incremental improvements.”

“High performance coaching is uninstalling these limiting beliefs and installing powerful habits and rituals.”

“We’re chasing other peoples’ version of success. Take some time and make your own.”

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