This week we share a couple of really big success stories. One of my former coaching clients was the epitome of a stressed out dentist for years before he discovered how getting more productive led him to such great increases that he could go to 3 day weeks. He even had so much free time on his hands that he took up serious tournament bass fishing.
His story is NOT unique for those who have the fortitude get their practice productivity house in order. Great things can happen. Hear his story plus a bonus story about another great productivity success.
In this episode you will learn:
- The lengths you need to go to protect the environment in your practice, including letting team members go who may be good at parts of their job, but drag down the whole team. If you have the guts to do what’s right for the practice, you create an atmosphere where you can burst through your current plateaus.
- How Dr. Brian finally got serious and actually increased his production while decreasing his weekly patient schedule to 3 days per week and how you can start down the path to Weekly 4 Day Vacations Each and Every Week.
- How to set the stage for our Practice Achievement Formula
And Much, Much More…
The Dr. Chris Griffin Show – Season 1 Episode 12
“To think accurately, you must separate facts from mere information.” Now who said that?
Welcome to the Dr. Chris Griffin Show. Your resource for leveraging systems and technology to easier workload, increase productivity and provide you with the time off you deserve to live the life of your dreams. It’s time to practice productivity in the passionate pursuit of a better life with your host, Dr. Chris Griffin. The Dr. is in.
Hello everybody. Well if you had a little trouble with that one is because it’s a bit of an obscure quote but don’t let that fool you because the quote itself comes from the one, the only, Mr. Napoleon Hill. Now Napoleon Hill, and I’m sure you guys know who he is but I’m just going to go over this for the folk in the back row who may or may not have read his most famous book. He wrote a book called “Think and Grow Rich”. Now “Think and Grow Rich” appears on the top 10 reading list of all business books of all time that I’ve ever seen every list I’ve ever seen has it up there.
And he basically studied the lives and got to be really personal friends with some of the biggest shots of his time in the world. This is to name a few of them. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, John D. Rockefeller, Charles Schwab, Woodrow Wilson, okay? W. Wrigley, the list goes basically on and on. It’s a who’s who of his snapshot in time and he studied these folks and bold down what he found what was like their essence of success into first, a gigantic book called “The Law of Success in” 16 lessons. And later, a more condensed version called “Think and Grow Rich”. And he’s just if you have not read it, go buy it, go read it. Now it’s a little bit out there at times but the concepts, the basic principles are absolutely rock solid.
And the reason that I used him and that book as an example today because one of my favorite chapters in the book is called “Accurate Thought”. And what he’s trying to get across is that you absolutely must find a way to separate facts from pieces of information but it’s basically separating facts from fiction when you’re making good decisions. And that affects each of us every single day. And I get into that a little bit is we go back and we listen in a little fly on the wall back in Oklahoma City, in my recent lecture there. And we’re going to talk about that then we’re going to head into some other really cool topics. We’re going to talk about some hiring, some firing. And then how we became by some, coined the most productive Dental office in America. So sit back, relax, enjoy this little segment. And we’ll see you on the back end.
Alright, Okay. So I told, I was told in the back I need to hurry up and get to my solutions. So that’s what we’ll do. I’ll try, I’ll try to…I’m trying to paint a picture for you guys right? So anyway, I’m here until you guys get tired of asking me questions whenever today or two. So like I gave that book the Accurate Thinking chapter is all about you know, it’s great to set a goal and set a deadline and say “I’m going to do this.” I’ve been in a lot of coaching groups as you’ve probably figured out. And almost a part of every coaching is setting goals and trying to achieve them. If you read that chapter in that book or if you just take my word for it, that sometimes you just have to get serious with yourself and say, okay not only is this an achievable thing that I’m trying to do, but even if it is achievable, am I really willing to pay the price that it’s going to take?
And so I tried my best to just break down what I felt like made up of dental practice that would succeed in Ripley, Mississippi. And I read a lot of books like you know, that’s why I’m giving away these books. And I just took this the other day just for the heck of it. So this is like my office downstairs, I do like my wife won’t even come downstairs in my house. It has my office, all my computer stuff like I got 4 or 5 computers and I’ve got a media room with a you know, 60” TV. That’s where I watch my ball games, I got movies, chairs and stuff. And so, but my wife just refuses to come down there because she says, you know, she says I’m a pack rat and it’s junky and she refuses to clean it or anything like that. And then I say, well then I say, “Well can I hire somebody to clean it for me?” “No! Nobody’s coming into my house and clean something in my house.” So I think she’s getting it. She wants me to clean it but it’s probably never going to happen. You know I’m just, I’m kind of a pack rat.
I mean I’ve got banker’s boxes, like if I wanted to, if you had a bunch of good articles and books and stuff on the internet, I would like to make a banker’s box with your name on it. I would turn off all these 3 ring binders full of information and threw all the boxes, and threw all the binders in the box and write your name on with a Sharpie and I’d stack it up. Now that’s how I do research. So I got these banker boxes everywhere and you know, it’s probably never going to satisfy my wife. Occasionally I can bribe my daughter to come down there and do something but I do truly believe that the more you read, it opens your eyes to more possible solutions right? And I brought some of my favorite books that I’ve really gotten a lot out off over the years.
So after doing a lot of thinking, remember that girl that I had put on the throne and let her rule the whole office? I decided, I had to get rid of her. Now this turned out to be one of the most painful instances in the history of my life. But still, she was ruining everybody’s life. And finally, I said “Well, good Lord! This could blow up the whole practice. I guess I got to get rid of this person.” So I thought about it, of course my wife gets so torn up about stuff. I mean she flipped out, she said, “Oh my God, this is going to ruin us. We’re going to have to leave town, we’re going to have to change churches.” You know, I mean it was so bad.
But anyway, I made up my mind. I got my actual data together. So I just called her in and got a witness and sat her down one morning. She always got there real early. Now there’s a tip for you. When somebody gets there real early, and they stay real late, that is never good, right? It’s never good. So everybody does that now, thankfully I used to think, “Wow, she’s such a hard worker.” Anyway, I called her in and said, “Listen, I’m going to have to let you go.” She’s like, “Is this a joke?” She’s kept saying it over and over I’m like, “No, I’m sorry. I’ve decided that I’m just going to have to let you go.” She’s like, “Is this a joke? What’s going on here?” you know, she’s looking for Ashton Kutcher to come out of the closet or something, I don’t know.
Anyway, she throws this gigantic fit, finally after 15 or 20 minutes she kept saying “It this a joke?” and yeah “I can’t believe this” and all this. Finally, I just I said “Look, I’m sorry. You know I’m going to go ahead and pay you vacation for the year but you just need to go and get your stuff and go.” And I got up and walked off. It’s bad, I mean it was as bad as it gets. She finally left. So all they say was like “Killing the wicked witch” you know or that Fantasia movie where you throw somebody down or the witch down the well and they just claw the sides and she just, she did not want to go. I mean it was bad, bad. But after she left, it is crazy because I got like 80% of my staff came up to me 1 by 1 over the next couple of weeks and said, “Oh, I’m so glad you got rid of her. I was thinking I was going to have to quit because I just couldn’t take the mental abuse anymore.” You know, it’s crazy. It’s crazy.
And I didn’t know any of it was going on. You know why I didn’t know it was going on? Well that’s one reason but she was smart. You or anybody knew what she did all the time? She would always come to me, she would always pat me in the back “Hey Dr. Griffin, do you need anything?” Oh and she would bring me baked goods and she was always, you know she would publicly talk about how great I was. She knew how to work it, man. She was always on my side. Every time there was any kind of discussion in the office, she was right there. She was on my side. And she would just you know, she would lay down the law to everybody else. I was, my ego got in the way and I believed she was really that great.
So when I let her go, however, that started the revolution. So, so now we were freed up because we could actually, maybe we’d get something done because everybody now. We fired somebody, let me just tell you this. Have you guys already fired somebody? You all have fired somebody? When you fire somebody, like there’s a…there’s like a period right, of just this wonderful delusion or whatever just for a couple of weeks to a month. Or people actually are scared you might fire them and they’re actually like “Oh crap, I’d better really do what’s supposed to be done.” You know? I mean it’s great because you can get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time.
So I figure, okay. Like I said, I think how to do stuff. I try to break down the practice for myself. I try to do work what I knew wouldn’t work, read all the books I possibly could read. We started training as a team; we actually joined this you know, practice management group we’re training. Besides that, I actually just literally went down a list of people I heard speak that I knew were good dentists. So then I would call them up and I would say, “Hey can I come visit you and spend a day at your office?” And you know, a lot of them said “Yes”. Some of them were free, some of them cost some money, you know but it’s just… the one I got the most out of ever was the one I got a visit on a guy named Dr. Vince Monticciolo in Tampa Florida. Any of you ever heard of Vince? You and I have heard the same stuff. Probably because of Woody Oak stuff, I’m guessing. He was on there or something.
Anyway, Vince…his was expensive. I mean it was like 6 grand, I kind of spend the day with him but I got so much out of that, Holy Cow! And I’ll show a lot of you guys what I learned there that it really changed the course of my practice. And then we developed the blue print. Then I mean I had to get serious, we had, we set aside times. We would meet as a team for a good 6 months, I would actually bring in lunch, catered lunch every Wednesday. We’d have a 2 hour Wednesday lunch where I paid for the lunch and then we just train all 2 hours, you know. And I hate to say, we’ve lost some of that steam now. I’m so lazy, I just work 3 days a week and then we go take a lunch and then I’m out the door. I don’t even stay around but I will tell you this, if you get things done, if you get it going right, it’s just like that barge going down the river. It’s really hard to get it off track, you know. You get it going good, it’s hard to get off track. It’s hard to get it to turn around if you get into the wrong direction but if you get it going the right direction, it’s tough to get that messed up too.
So this is like, I did this little chart here. This is sort of when I was getting really serious about all these, you know. I went to see Vince and I bumped up a little, I went to see Dr. Gary Cameron in of course he’s from Asheboro, North Carolina. You all ever heard of Gary? His claim to fame is he’s the dentist that was the first dentist to try to sell his practice to Heartland in North Carolina and the State Board sued him and made him give Heartland back 3 million dollars or whatever they paid him. And anyway, he’s a good guy. He just got hung up in a bad deal. Roy Smith, I went to see him twice. The second time I went to see him. If you’ll notice there’s a big bump here. There’s a big bump from there to there. Guess what? Some of these people I would go to just by myself, I would take notes, I’d come back. I would try to get everybody fired up. Well it works to some extent but then I got smart and I said, okay I’m going to carry my staff to Roy’s the second time. So we all spent the day there.
So when your team actually sees what, you know…when you’re team’s looking at what you’re looking at, boom! We just want it like crazy! And then, I started getting in my head. Okay, well now I’m a genius right? So I’m not only going to have this amazing practice, but I’m actually going to try to own a chain of dental practices. So I paid a Dr. Wayne Martin in Louisville $45,000 to spend a day with him. Anybody know Wayne? Wayne’s got like 30 something practices in and around Louisville Kentucky, you know. I think he goes all the way to Cincinnati and down into Bowling Green but he’s got you know, 30 something practices. And the thing that I learned there was that I did not know was how much work it is to own multiple practices right? I didn’t know, I just though “Oh you just put your system into practice then you go to this practice, then you go to this practice and everybody does good after that.”
Well what I didn’t realize, and I should have thought about this, you guys ever seen one of those Circus people that spins plates? Okay, so you get this practice going good right? You go over here and get this one going, and get this one going, well this one over here, this is starting to lose some momentum right? Get it slowly going over here, whoop! And then it’s like, Oh Man! I can’t imagine, 32 practices, are you kidding me? But he said the thing to me that made me realize I’ll be a solo dentist for the rest of my life. Is he said, “Chris, you know, I really love what I’m doing but you know, it’s just good that I don’t like to play golf or fish or anything like that, because on the weekends, when I would be doing that, I’m actually running numbers and working on administrative parts of the practice, of the company.
And I said, whoa! Wait a minute. You mean I can’t play golf or fish? He’s like, “Yeah, if you want to make this kind of money, you got to give something up.” I’m like, “I don’t think that’s going to work out.” So and then he also said something that’s made me shy. I’ve had associates, well I don’t have one now. I don’t know if I will ever have another one, unless one of my kids wants to be a dentist but I have had associates since then, I didn’t like it. So I’ll probably won’t ever have another one. I’m just pleasantly happy doing what we’re doing just by myself. So I came up with this what I’m calling the Practice Achievement Formula, I don’t know if that’s a good name or not; you may think it’s cheesy. It probably is a little cheesy but that’s the handout I gave you guys. And as I would go through this, not the book but the single sheet; the one that’s got the S and the P and all that on it?
So this is kind of what I came up with, Oh, I’ll one more time; I’m going to brag just a little. I don’t get to brag on myself much but this formula actually got an article published in Daily Economics about it. So you know, woop woop! I thought that was pretty good. At that time, I used to think Daily Economics was the best magazine in the world. Also Dental Town, I did a video course for them. Has anybody seen that video course? Nope. Anybody ever watched a video course on Dental Town? No. Anybody know Dental Town had video courses? Okay. Alright. So anyway, I was number 2 in 2014. Yeah, in 2014 I was number 2. And still to this day it’s had 365 podcasts but I think mine is still number 12. So they’ve only been 12 as podcasts it had 1,000 downloads; that’s one of them.
So I feel like there is something to this. It may seem super simple by the time we get through the day but anyway, I feel like it’s help some folks. Yeah I’ll tell you, so here’s I’ve come in my office for different times over the years. So we actually call it, and some of other guy came up with this name but he said I could use it because I thought it was a pretty good image. We call it the Navy Seal Day, I was not in the Navy, but I have a lot of respect for the Seals but they say that after they came through and they learned how that we do our process, it felt like this intensive training as if you know the Navy SEAL version of Dentistry. So that’s what we kind of call it.
Oh yeah, so I’ll tell you a couple of stories here to name before we get into because I got to be honest, the 4 minutes of this stuff is kind of boring. But it means good but it’s boring but I’ll tell you a couple of stories maybe to help you understand why that I’m so passionate about sharing it. This is true, different people that have been through the years with me, it takes a little while to get this going. Like this is not something that you just go home Monday, and it just starts working and you’re like “Wow, this is so amazing it changed my life!” This is more like just put this in place, and in 6 months to a year or two years, you’ll look back and you’re like “Holy Cow, that really changed everything for the better.” But it was a little bit effort to get it going.
So it’s multiple times, I have so many times now, I got to tell you. At first, to quote the bible, there’s a lot of ladling and gnashing of teeth because let’s say, let’s take some examples. So there’s a guy, I don’t want to call his actual last name because he is a great guy. But he didn’t tell me to tell this story, so I’m not going… But so let’s just say Dr. Ted. So I’m driving down here yesterday and I actually forgot, I was going to give you guys, this is something I’ll be talking about this afternoon. That’s part of the formula deal but I was going to give everybody a copy of that, right? This is what I’m using in my office, I forgot them. I’m driving here and I’m thinking, Oh Crap! I forgot that. It’s going to be hard to explain without at least a visual aid. If I just had one, I can at least show everybody. I forgot some slides but it’s not the same.
So I’m actually in between Oklahoma City and Memphis, Dr. Ted works. And he came to my practice 2 years ago and you know, his practice was, his practice…well I mean, it’s rough. Like in 2012, I had a seminar in Dallas. So I used to put on these big gigantic events because like I said, I love the idea of big daily events; a lot of dentists, a lot of enthusiasm. And so from 2012 to last year, I put on these big events in Nashville or Dallas or wherever and you know it turned out, it’s a lot of work; really hard. And I’m impressed by you guys showing up here because this is just Oklahoma City. But it’s hard to get dentists to come to this stuff these days, I mean in 2012, it’s actually easier than 2015; it’s crazy but it’s so much effort. But he met with me in 2012, he said “You know, I really would like to sit down and work with you one-on-one but I just don’t feel like my team is where they need to be. I don’t feel like they are even listening to me. You know, If I worked with you.”
So okay, 2013 he comes to me ahead of Nashville. He said, “I’m ready to sign up, let’s do it!” so he signs up, comes to my office a couple of times. We sort of started getting everything in place, so this is his numbers are just not improving; just not improving. You know, I’m feeling bad because I wanted him to do good, right? I want him to do good. That’s one of the reasons that I quit, I quit doing like I used to do this big coaching programs where you charge people 35 to 40 thousand a year to be in it. I quit doing that because I just could not take it because it is so painful to try to get a dentist to do anything. It is just so painful and so I just couldn’t deal with it. And so I quit doing the big programs and so now I just do short, you know, people come into my office if they want to and I just do that.
So anyway, he comes, he’s having trouble, he’s struggling. And so, well let’s see…well anyway, how about your team? So we got his whole team in. So his whole team, so many people drive to Ripley Mississippi and they spend a day with my staff personnel, Lupita, she’s not on the picture, she’s on the other one. Anyway, Lupita, is she’s my in-charge of everything person. She knows how to do, if something happens there I’m in trouble probably. But anyway, she actually took a day away from being my office manager and she sat with them and just talked to them while I’m working. And then I came in and met with them for like an hour. This guy, such a nice guy, this hurt me. That’s one of the reasons I quit working with this, it hurt me so bad because you just know what needs to happen but it hurts you when you’re…they all became my friends.
They’re…anyway, time goes on. All of a sudden, and so weekend came he actually sends another person that he thinks would be a great office manager. She trains with us, anyway, a couple of years go by and I think of him and I thought well he might have some copies of this where I could run by and grab one and bring it to Oklahoma City. So I go in there yesterday, not really knowing what to expect and I go in, he’s running now. He’s gotten so big, I couldn’t find where to park, there’s 20 cars in the parking lot. He’s heading down to his building, he’s running 4 hygienists, just him, no associates. And he had you know, 5 or 6 doctors off, it looked like everyone was full, I didn’t ask him what he’s doing but just being in enough offices by now, I know he’s probably doing about a 150 a month. And he comes out, he’s smiling ear to ear and he’s happy as could be and 2 of his assistants came up and then they’re like “Hey Dr. Griffin, you saved our practice…” blah blah blah. I’m like, “Well I didn’t save your practice, I haven’t even been around you all in a year.” But she’s like “Yeah, I know it took us a while but we finally got it going.” Blah blah blah…
Anyway, so anyway, yeah and of course I said, well I like taking credit you know and I said I feel a little embarrassed. Don’t give me too much but I do like taking credit for something. But anyway, they gave me a copy of this so I’ll show you this a little bit when we go over it. But this and there’s one other thing I’ll show you that really changed the way that they practice, once they got all the right people in place, then they could move forward. But I’ve seen so many times, if you have the wrong people in place, it’s hard to move forward. Somebody in the back was telling me, this morning you’re telling me this morning that you like for your staff to come with you but it’s tough to get them to come right? It’s tough. You guys, that’s why I should applaud you all for being here. You all are A pluses because it’s hard if the staff didn’t come, you know or if they stay on their cell phone that during the lecture, it’s hard to get anything accomplished. Alright, I’m kidding.
Anyway, but here is my favorite story; that’s one story of a success story that I’ve seen. And it’s happened more, there’s another…I have another guy, it took him 2 years in Nashville, in a rich part of Nashville. And he’s trying to do a cosmetic-y kind of practice which I hate but he sort of drank my cool-aide and he’s doing more than general stuff. In 2 years he’s gone from 50,000 and now a 125,000 and he’s super happy. What’s interesting to me is people, a lot of times, will it’s like when they start doing real good, I quit hearing from them. When they’re doing terrible, I can’t get them off the phone, right? And when they start doing great, I don’t even hear from them. And so when I don’t hear from people, I just automatically assume they’re doing great.
Now, let me tell you about Bryan. Now Bryan is not just…he’s not just somebody that was a client of mine. He’s actually one of my best friends. So we graduated dental school together. Now Bryan, he had a lot of trouble early on like he went to a place in Arkansas and had a really disastrous problem. But anyway, Bryan left that situation, he moves back to Memphis, knocked around as an associate a little while. Had a few more bad experiences, he finally decided to start his own practice in his hometown in West Memphis, Arkansas. So that was, you know, that was I guess a good move but he goes in and he’s just kind of beating down, things aren’t going great. I don’t know, any of you ever been to West Memphis, Arkansas? Yeah, so you know, it’s a rough place. It’s not Germantown Memphis or whatever is nice here. What’s a nice part of Oklahoma City? Edmond probably? Okay, it’s not Edmond. I mean it’s rough. I’ve got a video I’ll show you guys after lunch though; after we kind of got a turnaround going.
But he gets, he’s in there and what we do every year, we’ve done for this year would be 20 years in a row, is we go to the SEC basketball tournament together. He was a really good basketball player in high school and then gave it up to you know, focus on academics and stuff. But boy, he made our dental school basketball team really good. I mean we’ve whipped up on the medical students for you know, that was joyful, a joyful experience. But anyway, we’re going to the SEC tournament every year and I’m kind of going through a gung-ho dental phase most of the time. I’m always trying to share with him what I’ve picked up and what I learned and he’s always, he would tell you this too and he’s always changing the subject. He didn’t want to hear it, he didn’t want to think about dentistry, he was one of those guys and he left the office, he didn’t want to think about it again.
I mean that’s it. I don’t…he’s like, he’s not going to get any better, there’s no way I can make it better. I give up, I’m just going to do what I do and not even think about it. But at some point, along the way, he got in a place in his life where he decides, “You know what Griff?” “Okay, tell me about it.” So he came down, spend the day with me, took a lot of stuff back to West Memphis with him that we were teaching and you know, within the course. Now when he gets serious, he’s serious. Like he’s like say he was a great athlete, when he’s gung-ho, he’s gung-ho. He struggled real bad like we had a pharmacology final and he had like a D going into it. And I helped him a lot, he studied with one of our friends and he’s a little bit crazy. So he came in the morning of the test, next he was wired up, his eyeballs were real big and I’m like, “What’s going on man?” He comes up to me of course, bumps chest. You know how you are when you’re young. He’s like, “Man, I’m in the zone today.” He goes he’s painted backwards on his fingernails “Z-O-N-E”. So he goes into that final and he did, he aced that thing and he got like a C in the class or something. He was super proud of it. So when he gets serious, he gets serious.
So he got serious about his practice and he at that time was working 5 days a week. They were doing, I don’t know. Anyway, he goes on and he…for the first time, I guess 3 years ago, it took him about 2 years, they finally went over a million dollars. And then he got serious about taking time off because he’s like, “You know I don’t want to stay around here and work this hard forever.” So then they went from 5 days a week to 3 days a week and they still did a million dollars a year. And he has taken up like a tournament bass fishing. So now he works 3 days a week in a dental office and he tournament bass fishes on the weekends. And so he is like one of the happiest guys around. Now just recently he’s done something that I think is peculiar but he’s actually gone to 2 days a week and he’s taken a part time teaching position at UT, which is odd I think. I don’t know why he wants to do that. But anyway, he’s still…well I think he’s still been doing a million dollars working 2 days a week. But this is just the kind of thing, you know, when you apply this stuff, you can either use it to make more money, or you can use it to buy yourself more time off or whatever you want to do. Just make things less stressful in general.
So there it is everybody, the stories of Dr. Ted, Dr. Bryan and the beginnings of the Practice Achievement Formula. Pretty good episode if I say so myself. And next time that we delve a little deeper into the lecture, we’ll be getting more and more in depth with the exact details of the Practice Achievement Formula. So I look forward to sharing that with you guys, thanks so much for your time. We’ll see you next time.
We appreciate you joining us for this episode of the Dr. Chris Griffin Show. Be sure to visit drchrisgriffin.com for the latest resources and updates to keep you more productive every single day you’re at the practice. So when you’re not working, you can do the things that matter most in life. We look forward to having you join us in another episode of the Chris Griffin Show; where the doctor is always in.