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Why Owning a Practice Might Not Be for You – Episode 179

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The successful purchase of a private practice requires the right situation and excellent timing.

Is the decision to buy a private practice as significant as the one you make to get married or have a child? According to Paul Goodman (the Dental Nacho), Reese’s guest on this episode of Dentist Money™, buying a practice may have more influence on your overall life happiness than almost any decision you make in your lifetime. Listen in as Reese and Paul discuss how to make sure the odds for success are in your favor.

Podcast Transcript:

Reese Harper: Hey, Dentist Money Show listeners, it’s Reese Harper here and thanks again for tuning into another episode. This week, I interview Paul Goodman, the Dental Nacho. Paul and I really dove deep into the current state the dentist who is, what he calls, a BAD or a TAD, MADs and SADs, different stages of dentists, at earlier parts of their career to middle stage of their career to latter stage of their career and the challenges that they’re going to face in this new dental economy, and I hope that this episode really helps you understand where you’re at in that cycle and how to make the best choice for your wealth and your future.

Announcer: Consult an advisor or conduct your own due diligence when making financial decisions. General principles discussed during this program do not constitute personal advice. This program is furnished by Dentist Advisors, a registered investment advisor. This is Dentist Money. Now, here’s your host, Reese Harper.

Reese Harper: And welcome to the Dentist Money Show, where we help dentists make smart financial decisions. I’m really excited about this episode. A friend of mine that has been on the podcast once before with his partner, Rob, you may remember the Dental Nachos from about a year ago. Today, I’m bringing on Paul Goodman, the biggest chip in the nacho stack, if you want to say that. Rob won’t take very kindly to that, but we’ll shout out to Rob anyway. Paul, it’s nice to have you alone today on the show and diving into some of your unique expertise, man. It’s good to have you back.

Paul Goodman: Awesome, Reese. I love what you’re doing. I love the episodes that we did and I’m just happy to be talking with you.

Reese Harper: So, at this point, it’s you and your brother, and you guys have three associates that support the practices at your locations?

Paul Goodman: We have two locations, but one way I share, and this is great for your listeners, we have two locations, but technically we’ve acquired more than two practices because we did a chart merger, which is a home run.

Reese Harper: Yeah, totally. [crosstalk]

Paul Goodman: …guards, and we also did a dentist merger, where there’s a dentist who was… He had a shoulder injury. He had a small practice. We took him and his practice into our second location. So even though we have two locations, it represents more than two practice transitions.

Reese Harper: Oh, yeah.

Paul Goodman: So, that’s not bragging, by the way, Reese. That’s just sharing that…

Reese Harper: Yeah. No, totally, man.

Paul Goodman: Good.

Reese Harper: I just had a conversation yesterday with somebody that was really debating… They’re in a parking lot, right? And they’ve got another dentist across the parking lot, and they’re trying to decide if a chart merger makes sense, you know? And whether it’s worth paying what they… It’s a very common, I think it’s lesson common transaction, but it is a common opportunity that I think people could take advantage of more often.

Paul Goodman: Oh yeah, I mean you probably have clients that… So, I’ll share this. In life, when you want to make a decision, you usually have something that you want to do, and people often kind of talk you out of it. So, I’ll use this for young dentists. They want to know if they want to do a GPR or AGD. They might want to go to private practice or do a GPR or AGD. Classic fork in the road for a young dentist, and, whenever I talk with dental students, I say, “This is how I believe you should be. You should be thinking you want to do a GPR or AGD. That should be your mindset, and someone should have to talk you out of it, right?” Not, “I don’t know if I really want to do that. I want to go into private practice, make more money.”

Paul Goodman: And I share with them that that’s not all it’s cracked up to be, and that’s how you should look at that decision. With chart mergers, I will tell you, whether it’s being a broker or being an owner or being a buyer coach, they are almost always just a home run. You should almost always do them because we market so much to try to bring in new patients, and now you have these patients that are seeing another dentist. His word is nacho gold or her word is nacho gold, so I’m Paul. “Hey guys, I have a small practice. Doctor Reese is a great guy. Here’s a letter. Go see Dr. Reese.” I will tell you from experience. It works wonderfully.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Paul Goodman: And, traditionally, at the end of people’s career, they become more conservative, which is normal because they’re just tired of doing dentistry.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Paul Goodman: You have the opportunity… I just had a person in yesterday from a chart merger who was on their third dental implant, and I believe we paid about $40,000 total for that chart merger, and in the first year, the production was at least $100,000.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Paul Goodman: It’s the gift that keeps on giving because these patients still need more work. They’re usually in their 60s and 70s, so for your listeners or for your clients, chart mergers are usually awesome.

Reese Harper: Yeah. I’ve seen that be very effective. It’s very effective, man, and there’s a lot of situations where, if there isn’t a chart merger that happens, the practice just kind of expires. You just have to find it at the right time, you know? [crosstalk].

Paul Goodman: And also, one thing, I know dentists. They’re my people, Reese. I know them. I love them. They’ll say, “Well, why don’t I just let the practice expire and let their patients come to me anyway?” It won’t happen without that dentist’s word.

Reese Harper: That referral is critical, and it increases the likelihood of case acceptance as well, on diagnosis, which is probably more important than just getting the patient in the first place, right?

Paul Goodman: Yeah. I totally agree with you, and to use Rob, who you mentioned, Rob Montgomery, dental focused attorney and we talked about this recently. You know, when you set these things up, whether it’s a practice purchase, a chart merger, an associate agreement, you want it to be a win-win. You’re not trying to get away with paying the least possible to this dentist, and you don’t want to overpay. You want to create a scenario with your advisors, so both parties win. I mean, that’s just what I believe in life.

Reese Harper: Outside of clinical, you know, talk to me about the evolution of… how much time was going to dental nachos, essentially. We’ll just call it that because from day one, we’ve been calling it that, kind of since day one.

Paul Goodman: Yeah. Cool, cool, cool. Yeah well, dental nachos… You know, I sat with my wife and said I thought it would be a couple hundred people talking about implants and practice management, 2017. It’s when Facebook groups were becoming popular. I never imagined it was going to grow to, I think, close to 15,000 members, now, but Rittenhouse Consulting was my group that I ran all of my speaking and my study clubs stuff through that nobody knew about, that was before dental nachos. Then, I was running dental nachos, so a lot of people knew me as Paul, the dentist from Philly who got people jobs or sold practices or spoke about implants. Then, this whole other group of people started to know me as this dental nachos person, and I don’t think that I’m a particularly good marketer, but I think I really do love nachos. It comes from a real place.

Paul Goodman: When I was a kid, I was a chubby little kid, and whenever my parents wanted to go out to eat, I would demand to go to the Mexican places because they gave you chips right when you sat down. I loved that. So, I thought I’m a lot of different toppings, broker, speaker, dentist, that’s dental nachos. One of my mantras is: Everything that matters needs a system, and everything matters. Right? In a dental office, if you get too busy, you add a hygienist. At a dental office, if you outgrow your space, you look for a new space, but I know that world.

Paul Goodman: In your world, you know, the entrepreneurial world, it doesn’t feel the same, right? It’s like you know, you’re busy, there’s emails, there’s calls, but I likened myself, Reese, at one point with dental nachos to a dentist who would be like, “Hi Reese, nice to see you for your appointment. I will walk you back to the operatory.” Then, back in the operatory, I’d be like, “Hi Reese, I will do your filling.” That’s it. “Hi Reese, I will take your money.” “Hi Reese, I will sterilize your instruments.” And I was just new at this, but I was just doing way too many jobs for one person.

Paul Goodman:I wasn’t delegating like I do in my dental office. I’m really good at delegating, and I’m good at being patient. See, my dad was a great dad, but we had different personalities. He was not patient. The takeaway I would tell your listeners is: You sometimes need someone from outside your box looking at what’s going on inside because, just like with sports, you’re playing the game, right? You’re getting up. You’re playing the game. You’re tackling the people. You’re taking the shots. You need a coach to say, “Hey, I know you’re trying real hard to do this, but you should not be doing this job. We could outsource this piece of what you’re doing.”

Paul Goodman: At some point, you can’t be in two places at the same time, and Rob had given me great advice. I was driving back from Philly, we were talking, and he said, “You’ve got to look to replace yourself.” And the business that I knew was dentistry, and we do the same thing over and over again, so I started to think, “I’m going to bring on associates.” And I love training other people to help other people. That’s what I love. I can’t scale any of this, even in the most basic way, if it all depends on me every day: dentistry, dental nachos, brokering, anything. So, I love teaching people, and I started with my associates, and I’m lucky to have my brother. He’s a great trainer of associates, so I take our associates and we put them through a program where we train them how to talk and what to do, and then I say jokingly, I give them the joy of doing fillings, Reese. Why should I hog all the fillings myself? It’s pretty selfish of me, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Paul Goodman: But, you know, right now while we’re talking, people are at the office. I’m here doing stuff. I mean I think that’s the fun part of life, and most dentists don’t think that way, and it’s not a criticism, it’s just that that’s how you’re trained in dental school. You’re the guy. You’re the person. In our office, sometimes it’s… For your listeners who are dentists and think… I have a practice, and I might want to buy another practice, right? I’m a solo practitioner, but everybody likes me. Everybody wants me. You know, even with your business Reese, maybe people say, “I want Reese.” You know, a guy who cuts my hair, he always says, “They always want me.”

Paul Goodman: So that challenge is to get your clients or patients to be open to seeing someone else, and I work hard at that. I say, “Hey Reese, I checked your mouth. A night guard would be a good idea. We have an awesome new associate, Dr. Evan, and he’s going to do that for you.” And then I say, “If you have any problems with Dr. Evan, please let me know personally. But, if you also like him, let me know personally.” And then the patients usually love it.

Reese Harper: Describe your audience mostly right now? If you had to say, “This is generally who my audience is.” Who do you think that… how would you describe them?

Paul Goodman: Great, great. I like that question. If I was thinking that you’re going to speak to the representative of dental nachos, the most, it’s going to be a dental associate, three to five years out of school. Someone who has some experience. Someone who has been working. Three to five years out of school captures it because there’s plenty of practice owners by that time, so three to five years with a sub-group of, new owner or I’m looking to buy a practice.

Reese Harper: Okay. And so, it’s a person that is a prospective owner, most likely, and they’re struggling with this myriad of decisions, right? That they’re trying to make. Do you find that… because you’ve been speaking to that audience for a long time, is there a point where they kind of fade away out of your circle of influence because they feel like they’ve made the decision? Or do you feel like, no, it starts somewhere… because I think what you said right now is, where the person starts, who they are at the beginning. Is there a point where you feel like the pain that you’re commonly addressing kind of goes away?

Paul Goodman: Well, it’s interesting, you know? I was just talking to someone about Disney World. We went a few times as kids. I know it’s changed a lot since then, but I think that’s sort of the entry into the nacho plate, and then the ones who like it… No, it’s not for everybody. People get it. People don’t get it. It’s okay with me. There’s raving fans. There’s people who don’t think it’s for them. But once they get into it, actually there’s more to then dig into in the plate because it’s hiring people in your office, working with advisors, very common sub-group when to buy a second practice.

Paul Goodman: And then it’s interesting, and I don’t know if you’ve caught it on my group, but I have these little short acronyms for dentists, so a baby-aged dentist, they’re BAD. A medium-aged dentist, like me, that stands for MAD. And then one of my implant students was 56, in his mid-50s, and he goes, “I need a name for us.” And I go, “Yeah, you guys are seasoned-aged dentists.” And that stands for SAD. So there’s a lot of SADs in the group, which are awesome because they’re thinking of, “Do I add an associate or sell my practice? What’s it like to sell my practice?”

Paul Goodman: What’s very interesting, Reese, is we are the kids, and they are some of my biggest champions, whether they come in person or they’re online, they’re kind of like, “You don’t know how lucky you are to have this dental nachos.” I just ate dinner with one of them, and he was a super nice guy, and he said, “You’re like the dental Messiah.” Very nice. In his early career, he didn’t have a Reese Harper or Paul Goodman or Rob Montgomery, and he made some decisions that were not good ones He goes, “I would have given anything to be able to ask someone.” So these SADs, it’s like when we tell our kids, “You don’t know how lucky you are to have a cellphone. We had to call collect and pretend we weren’t going to get picked up and say [inaudible].” So, they kind of stay in the plate if they like it because we have other toppings, and then I’m really big into live CEs, so I’m trying to bring everyone together for stuff like that.

Reese Harper: One of your points of concern that I’ve observed in a lot of your content is making sure that, before people just jump into practice ownership, and assume that it’s just going to be rosy, that they realize there’s a big cost hurdle here. Student loan debt is very high. How do you really feel about practice ownership? What advice do you give an associate about practice ownership?

Paul Goodman: It’s a great question. Well, Barry Polansky, Dr. Robert Polansky, turned me onto this article about decision about three years ago, and what I would first share with anyone who doesn’t own a practice is that the most stressful part is all the decisions you now have to make as an owner that you didn’t have to make as an associate.

Reese Harper: Okay.

Paul Goodman: So whoever you are, and it only matters about you, who you look at in the mirror. There’s a lot of stuff on social media, and I’ve been asked to talk about it on podcasts, where people just show… There’s this joke like maybe I’m eating nachos, drinking a margarita at a seat, of course people say, “Look at Dr. Nacho. He’s living his best life.” Right? But there’s a lot of parts in my life that aren’t the best life. There’s a lot of boring parts, annoying parts, stressful parts, so practice ownership, I think, is just something that people should look at the same way that they look at being a parent, and I use this example. It can be extraordinarily rewarding with a lot of hard work, and it has to fit into your life, right? So, it shouldn’t be something that people do just because they think it’s the right thing to do, and they should investigate it as much as they investigate which lab to use.

Paul Goodman: What drives me a little nacho nuts, Reese, is that dentists will spend hours reading articles about Zirconia vs. porcelain vs. PFM, and even Howard Farran talks to this on Dentaltown. I was an early doctor on Dentaltown. He talked about which bonding agent do you use, but they won’t spend any time investigating the most important decision of their life, purchasing a practice. Just like exercising or building up your core, we talk about the boost camp, my hands words. You really have to do your due diligence, your homework, your research into what it looks like to be a practice owner because you probably know clients that thought it would be better than it is, whether that… and it’s not always financial either, Reese, and you know that.

Paul Goodman: Sometimes it’s emotionally. Sometimes it’s socially. Sometimes it’s with their marriages. Sometimes it’s with their families. I just like people to be, it’s a Rob word, be fully aware of what it is, not just look at the rosy parts. When I’m carrying my two girls around Philadelphia dressed up as a butterfly and a caterpillar on Halloween with my wife, people walk by and say, “You’ve got it made, Paul. This must be awesome.” They didn’t see the meltdown from my four year old to put on the costume, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Paul Goodman: They didn’t see my wife saying, “Well, you’re going to be home on time to get there.” So, I just think they should be aware of the whole nacho plate, so I encourage practice ownership, but I just think… We didn’t have this when I was getting out of school. There was no social media with Facebook and Twitter. People were associates for a longer period of time.

Reese Harper: So you’re saying sometimes it’s an overly optimistic kind of point of view that gets painted, right? Instead of the alternative side, which is the majority of you probably are not in a position to own a practice or…

Paul Goodman: A lot of times the main thing, how about this Reese, is the team management. What muscles have you exercised with being able to manage a team?

Reese Harper: When did you start developing this point of view that was more cautiously optimistic, we’ll call it? I think you’re cautiously optimistic. You’re not a pessimist about practice ownership, but you’re very cautiously an optimist. I think…

Paul Goodman: If you want to use a term for the show, I call it dentisting realism, right? Dentisting realism. You come to Philadelphia for the dentisting boost or something like that. I’m going to tell you, you’re going to see some interesting characters on the street. For me, it’s normal. For you, it might be shocking, and, you know, that’s Philadelphia realism. This is dentisting realism from a medium-aged practicer. Really, just a great question. I used to have a text message thread with a lot of guys from dental school. We constantly would just be talking about, “My assistant did this.” Or “What do you do for the 401K?” Or something that you know about, “What do you do for this insurance?”

Paul Goodman: The complexity of decisions you need to make and number as a practice owner, that was when I… So, we were goin that, and our growth was good in dentistry, and over the past three to four years I saw this happening, it’s difficult to increase your revenue as a practice owner. Insurances are paying less for the first time in dentistry. We have DSOs changing the landscape of what’s happening. The ability to be profitable as a practice owner, for most… So I know when people hear this, they say, “But I know a guy in the middle of blah, blah, blah making a million bucks a year.” I know that guy. He exists. I’m glad he’s doing that, but I also know practice owners who are struggling to be profitable at all, so just go into it like you said, with dentisting realism or cautious optimism, and this is a once decision. Rob and I talk about this. When I go to sell someone a practice Reese, that’s the only practice they’ve ever had.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Paul Goodman: So, it’s just important to be aware of all the factors that go into it.

Reese Harper: I’m going to pose this kind of line of thinking and see how you respond to it because in the financial planning industry, a lot of industries that are very… that have a high reward potential, right? Like in dentistry, it’s not unfair to say someone could make seven figures, right? That’s a possibility. There’s not a lot of careers that that is possible for anymore, and here’s my point: The more the entrepreneurial opportunity exists in an industry, the more the failure rate will also be there, right? So you have in financial planning, there’s a very high failure rate because the type of person that can be successful as a financial advisor is a really small group of people. They can be really successful. There’s a lot of financial advisors, just like there are a ton of dentists, but there’s not a ton of dentists who have great communication skills and good team-building skills and good clinical ability and they’re artisans and they love their craft and all this stuff. That person that is all of those things tends to be super successful because there’s this opportunity to go and build this thing, but the average person… the more the entrepreneurial opportunity goes up, the worse the failure rate becomes for the average person, right?

Paul Goodman: Yeah, I mean this is happening. This is what I would say. First, we should share this with the dental school applicants. For many years…

Reese Harper: They should know this, right? They should know this. This is like you’re going and borrowing a bunch of money to pay for an entrepreneurial opportunity, and you may not want that.

Paul Goodman: This is not my dad’s dentistry. So my dad was told by… So my dad, at the end of his career and life, he’s just like, “It’s way harder to be a dentist than when I was a dentist.” He goes, “All the staff stuff? That was the same, right? You know, an assistant calling out in 1981, same as 2018.” But he goes, “All the things that you have to do to run this place. It’s way harder than what I had to do.” He was just a very emotionally secure person to say, “It is more difficult for you. The temperature’s hotter.” Objectively.

Paul Goodman: Secondly, I like the restaurant industry, Reese. I would consider opening up a restaurant, but I know full well that it’s got a high failure rate before I do it. You can’t tell 22 year old humans who are young, “Dentistry, take out $500,000. You’ll be fine.” Which I despise that statement, by the way. Whenever anyone has told me, “You’ll be fine.” I’m like… I listen. I have not been fine, right? Whether it’s, “Hey, you’ll be fine. There will be no traffic.” I’m sitting in traffic. So we should share this with the younger people so they’re aware. So yes, if you’re the type of guy, like Jim Carrey, so you’re saying there’s a chance, right? I’m going to be that guy. Let those people have at it. Just share the awareness and the reality with these people because this what I… I just did my own CD course on this.

Paul Goodman: Dentists think it’s only going to affect the young people, but it’s going to affect all of us, you know? You get out of dental school. You have debt. You have to pay it back. Your back’s against the wall. You’re going to take some bad insurances, like spoiled guac PPO. It’s going to start to affect the MADs, the SADs, everybody, and I like these people. These are my newest colleagues, so I want them to be understanding of what they’re getting themselves into. I’m sure you deal with this with your clients.

Reese Harper: Yeah, and I’ve seen… If you take medicine for example right now, see the opportunity in medicine is shrinking.

Paul Goodman: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And what that creates is it creates lower cost of education because the schools can’t demand a premium anymore, and the graduates getting out of school have incomes that are tighter. Take primary care for example. It’s a tighter window of opportunity. You can’t get out and be a primary care doctor that makes $1,000,000 a year. You can’t do that.

Paul Goodman: Right.

Reese Harper: And the variation in school costs isn’t that dramatic. If you’re going to DO school vs. MD school, there’s some difference. If it’s private vs. public, it’s different. If you look at dental school, the entrepreneurial opportunity that still exists is the reason that the cost of dental school continues to inflate to some level. I just think the point you’re making that I really agree with is I don’t think everyone really knows that going in, and they’re not going, “I have to be a pretty hard-core, committed, delegator that gets a great team around me.” They’re kind of going in going, “You know I could kind of remain this self-directed kind of introverted person that just wants to go in and do dentistry and I’ll be fine.” I’m not ripping on anybody for being that way. I’m just saying you really have to have different attributes to be successful in this age of dentistry.

Paul Goodman: So I work with these great young dentists all the time, and I always went to high school, did well. Went to college, did well. Went to dental school. When a lot of people are out there networking and practicing those muscles from 22 to 26, dental students are stuffed in a lab making a terrible record base, talking to each other. So they don’t even have those… I learned this, Reese, waiting tables and working at a hospital, and I always had this in me. I loved this part of life. Most dentists, the things that I do, they do not like. So the ability… it’s great.

Paul Goodman:I always love this, Reese. I want to be a dentist and own a lot of practices so other dentists want to work with me. Do you have any dentist friends? I have none. Right? So how are you going to get other dentists to work for you and do that, right? So the ability to interact with dentists, if you want to be entrepreneurial, is very important.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Paul Goodman: Most dentists don’t practice that, so awareness is really just my goal for young people making life decisions, you know?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Paul Goodman: I’ll share being a periodontist and oral surgeon right now has tremendous upsides, so if you’re in dental school, you should look into it. That to me…

Reese Harper: I think it’s just trends… I mean we got to a point in our practice because we’re financial advisors; we’re supposed to give good advice and that’s what we do. We give advice. One of the biggest pieces of advice you could ever give somebody is this crossroad question you said, circle of life of dentistry, right? Are you ready to own a practice? Are you the type of person that should own a practice? Are you the type of person that should ultimately take on that weight and responsibility, and that’s a really really…

Paul Goodman: I’m never going to say it’s black and white. I can’t tell someone you’re meant to be or not because I look at my own self, and I was never supposed to be a business owner, man. I love people. I love teaching. I loved music. I loved English. I loved writing. I just wanted a job, and then I got a job in financial planning and I was like, “I kind of like this, and I’m kind of okay at it, and I’m not the worst at this job. Let me get some more mentors and let me add some people, like bring Paul Goodman into my life and let him talk to me about where he’s been.” I’m saying in a financial Paul Goodman that may have existed for me.

Paul Goodman: Yeah. I mean also, what I would like to share with your listeners here is just because it’s not now, it doesn’t have to be never, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Paul Goodman: I’m not telling someone, “Don’t ever own a practice.” I’m saying just like with children, just like with getting married, whatever you… just go into it with eyes wide open and say, “Hey, I’m going to talk to a lot of people. I’m going to see what it’s like.” And determine when that… You know, I’ll just give you a quick example, Reese. I help a lot of dentists, which I love. Women are saying, “Should I buy a practice before I have children or later?” And I say, “The toughest time to buy a practice is when you have a young child.” Right? Because then you’ve got a practice. They’re a young child that doesn’t even love you. Then you’ve got your own young child. These are things that dental school should be talking about with people. What life situations happen? Hey, I just met with someone on Facebook. He wanted to say, “Should I buy a practice?” But his wife, I think is in a scenario where her job might move in four years. I’m like, “Don’t buy a practice.”

Reese Harper: That’s the worst idea ever, right?

Paul Goodman: Yeah.

Reese Harper: I think that’s so critical because ultimately your job is not everything to you in your life. You want to have a good life and your job is only a part of it, and you’re working so that you can both learn and grow and develop, but one of the primary reasons, whether you want to admit it or not, why you’re working is you have to pay to stay alive. You have to pay for things. You have to pay for food. You have to pay for a house. You have to build some kind of way to pay for living, so going into dentistry, this idea of “I have to be a practice owner real early or I’m missing out on this big opportunity.” I’m with you, man. Extend the education path. Extend the education path, whether it’s clinical education or whether it’s getting an associate position that just lets you stay alive while you learn the right skills. Just don’t assume that if you’re starting practice ownership five years later than the next person, that you’re going to be at a lower wealth position in 10 years because you might not be. It’s not likely that everyone should… everyone needs to just in at a different stage based on where they’re at in their own development, right?

Paul Goodman: And I can share with you in a positive way, as a practice broker, is that all of it is about timing, which is a fancy word for luck. So it doesn’t mean to wait forever, but life is, you know the Seinfeld joke, life can be very long. We’ve got people trying to kill it off doing crossword puzzles on a cruise ship. I love that joke.

Paul Goodman: Private practice ownership, it’s not going anywhere, right? Get the right situation, the right timing because it’s going to be, I believe, the biggest influencer of your happiness level as a person because it’s a lot of work to be able to do dentistry. This is what I was going to say, Reese, real quick is I believe dentists should get together like doctors and put four or five dentists, 20 operatories, four owners, not one owner and 10 associates, and have a 20 operatory practice. This is me being positive. Hey guys, build the space, put four practices in, work together, whether dentists can or can’t, I don’t know.

Paul Goodman: If you work with an orthopedic surgeon, and he’s replacing a knee, and he’s working hard to replace it, when he walks out of the operatory, his assistant isn’t like, “You know we’re out of paper towels, doctor.” Right? And that’s what they do to you as a dental practice owner. You just are like a small business owner making a million tiny decisions each day, and you just have to be ready for that in your life to do it.

Reese Harper: Yeah, and the cool part about that is that it’s a big opportunity, right? I mean if you’re willing to be the person… Once a marketplace becomes so efficient, like medicine right now doesn’t have the entrepreneurial upside. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, maybe that’s the way medicine needs to be, but I’m just saying, objectively, you don’t start a primary care practice. There’s very few medical specialties that still have entrepreneurial upsides, and they’re usually elective procedures, or they’re orthopedic surgery, which is elective to some level, right? So, in dentistry, if you can be a little bit patient like Paul is saying, you can build your intellectual capital, get prepared for the right opportunity, not feel anxious and urgent to just go… You got $600,000 out of USC, and you just jump right in to buying a $1.5 million practice tomorrow. I mean that’s where you’re going to…

Paul Goodman: No, what I would tell your listeners or young dentists, if I was 30 years old, I’d be looking to collaborate with like-minded dentists. I’d try to get three or four of them, not all the exact same age. I would get together. I would want to build the space that had 20 operatories and say, “Hey, these DSOs are doing well. Let’s act like them. Let’s get six, seven, eight, nine million dollars of dental revenue in one space, and we’ve all got to get along.” I think you can build the ship that can sail through the next 20 or 30 years, but if you’re going to have a $700,000 practice with three operatories, I don’t know what it’s going to look like for you in 20 years. I’m not being doom and gloom. I’m not being negative. I’m just sharing my life of working with everybody in the dentisting space.

Reese Harper: Yeah. It’s great advice, man. It’s been a cool way of helping that younger BAD to TAD kind of decide where they’re at in this stage, right?

Paul Goodman: Yeah.

Reese Harper: I appreciate you sharing all that you have, man. You’ve got a great sense of optimism. You’re always sharing. You’re always helping, and me and you have been able to get along from day one. I just really… You always give me good vibes, and it does help that we always share good vibes over a good plate of nachos.

Paul Goodman: Yeah, yeah. I like that. I like you, Reese. You’re a podcast inspiration. I love connecting people with you. I’m happy your team is going to be out in Philly, and you’re going to come back to Philly soon. That’s a big part of me. I love coming out to Dallas Success Summit, and I think one of my messages is get out and see your people more face-to-face in the dentisting space because I think that just matters so much.

Reese Harper: Well, man, I really appreciate you taking so much time, and I’m going to do our final two wrap-up questions, okay?

Paul Goodman: Sure.

Reese Harper: In your spare time, time-off, what would your number one thing be to do to unwind?

Paul Goodman: That’s a great question. Right now, with my 41 year old, stuffed with love body, it definitely is with some sort of physical fitness thing. I’ve tried different boutique fitness things. I’ve done Peloton. That’s part of my unwinding. Reading is really… My second is reading. I love to read books. I’m the type of person that likes to go to a Barnes and Noble, get coffee and pick a book that I wouldn’t normally think of and read. It doesn’t have to be on business. So right now, I’m busy loving my family, so it’s hard to cram those things in, but those would be my top two choices.

Reese Harper: Okay, last question is what is the thing you’re the most optimistic about in your career right now?

Paul Goodman: That’s a very easy one for me [inaudible]. Dental implants are one of the greatest inventions of the past 30 or 40 years. We have an amazing opportunity to help human beings chew, feel better about themselves, replace their teeth, give them the proverbial new lease on life. Dentistry who has been kind of beaten down by it’s negative, it’s painful, it’s no good. We can do life changing things if you just look out there on social media online, so to me that is the most optimistic. I feel there is just so much opportunity to help people, make money, help your team. Win, win, win, so that’s mine.

Reese Harper: All right, Paul. This has been great. I think we’ve had a lot of great take aways. Look forward to catching up with you soon, man, whether it’s going to be on the road or in Philly, we’ll be connecting soon. Thanks so much for all you do, and we’ll look forward to having you back on the show soon.

Paul Goodman: Thanks so much, Reese.

Reese Harper: Thanks again for listening, guys. I really hope that you enjoyed the show.

Practice Transitions, Practice Value

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