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Building A Successful Dental Clinic Working Three Days A Week

Summary:

The legacy that you want to leave and the number of people that you want to impact are what’s going to help drive your success.

 

In this episode, Dr. Matt Bynum, Owner of Bynum Aesthetic Dentistry, delves into his expertise in implant dentistry. He explores the evolution of implant materials and advises amateur dentists to start with immediate implants as a way to gain experience. Matt shares that he has built his clinic, working only three times a week, and stresses the importance of effective marketing for getting new leads and growing the business. Looking ahead, Dr. Bynum expresses his desire for a fulfilling life, of which dentistry will still be a part, as he envisions teaching and influencing fellow dentists. Finally, Matt concludes with a powerful message about the significance of focusing on people and changing their lives through his craft.

 

Tune in and learn how to balance professional success with a fulfilling personal life in the world of dentistry!

Secure Dental_Matt Bynum.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental_Matt Bynum.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Secure Dental Intro:
Welcome to the Secure Dental Podcast. Through conversations with the brightest minds in the dental and business communities, we'll share practical tips you can use to scale your practice and create financial freedom for yourself and your family. My name is Dr. Noel Liu, CEO and Dentist at Secure Dental, and also co-founder of DentVia. I'm your host for the Secure Dental podcast and I'm so glad you're joining in.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Hello, everyone. This is Dr. Noel Liu, another segment of our Secure Dental podcast. Today, I have a good friend and a colleague, I mean, this guy is so awesome! Dr. Bynum and I, we go back about a year and a half, where we started off with our real estate journey, and this guy has been nothing but amazing and keeps inspiring me. So Dr. Bynum graduated from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1995. He maintains a private practice for the past 28 years in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with emphasis on aesthetic, restorative, physiologic, and implant dentistry. This guy is like a full-arch master. He is a co-author of an acclaimed book, The Boomerang Effect. He also serves as a consultant to several dental manufacturers as well as laboratories. But most importantly, he's a great, great husband and a father of three young men, a leader, and a man who rather call himself a dad or a coach before being called a doctor. So this shows how down-to-earth he is. Dr. Bynum is an educator, a mentor, and an international lecturer speaking on topics of restorative dentistry, implantology, practice success and development, goal setting, motivation, and helping everyone become the best version of themselves. So, Dr. Matt Bynum, great to have you here, my friend. Welcome!

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Noel, my man, it's so great to be on this call with you and so appreciative of our friendship. And thank you for having me on.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, it's been a pleasure. It's great. Let's try to dive right in, right? There's a lot of stuff in your intro.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
You know, I wrote it, of course. What do ...

Dr. Noel Liu:
But, see, I've been knowing you for about a year and a half. Half of this stuff I did not even know. So tell me a little bit about yourself. How you got started in dentistry?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Here's the truth. All my life, I think I kind of wanted to be a dentist, but at the same time I was an athlete. I played baseball in college. I went to University of California, San Diego. This was a long time ago. And I really thought I was going to play baseball, man. I, once I started playing college baseball, I thought, this is it. And then about halfway through that college career, I had a shoulder injury that changed some things for me, and I realized this is probably not going to happen. So I had to go back on what was it I want to do. So here I am. I'm living in Del Mar, California, four houses from the sand. I used to surf a couple of times a week. So, what am I going to do, right? And I went back to tea, and I thought, there's nobody in my family that's a dentist. But I knew everybody that I knew in dentistry was an orthodontist. And I loved their lifestyle. I loved that they got to go on vacation with their families. They had this nice practices. They drove these nice cars. They had a beautiful house. They had all this stuff that, you know, somewhere inside of me, I really want to acquire those things, right?

Dr. Noel Liu:
So you were in college at this time, right?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah, I'm in college, and I'm kind of, I knew people through high school, but, pardon me if my voice is a little cracky. I'm coming over this sinus stuff that's going on.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, you're good.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
So. Yeah. So it's finally college. I gotta make a decision. So I graduate college, and I studied zero. You gotta understand, I studied zero for this. What do I got to do to get into dental school, right? I know that I have the requirements. Oh, my gosh, I got to take this test. Well, this thing called the DAT, I've never, I've not even studied for this DAT, so. I took a year off after I graduate and I'm working three jobs.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Wow. This is, reminds me of a living color if you're my age.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Are you lazy, man? I worked three jobs. So here I'm working three jobs. I wait tables. I am working at a warehouse where I'm lifting sinks and refrigerators and dishwashers and stuff like that. And then I served as a part-time electrician with a friend of mine who had an electric company.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You did three jobs, three jobs. Nothing to do with dentistry.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Nothing to do with that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I love it, I love it.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
So here I'm studying for the DAT. My now-fiance at the time was in nursing at UCLA. And this is not my wife Ann. My wife was a dentist, is not the nursing fiance. That's a different story in itself. And we'd have to take up a couple podcasts talking about it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's a different episode, right?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah. Different one. So anyway, I applied to dental school and I figured I've got a connection at UCLA I'm in 'cause I knew the guy running the ortho department. I thought, man, I'm, actually I'm from LA. I can get into UCLA no problem. I went down, did the interview, and I always remember this guy. I don't know his name, but I remember sitting down in his chair and I don't know about you, Noel, if you remember these interviews that you had in dental school, this guy sits across from me and he looks at me and he says, So, Matt, do you want to know what I see here? And he's got my folder, right? This is right when I sat down. And I said, No, why don't you tell me? He says, Well, I see an ex-jock whose grades are not that great and whose test scores do this. And I looked at him and I said, So am I in? And he started laughing. He said, No, not not quite. But I got put on the waiting list at UCLA and probably could have got in if I didn't accept it where I went in Iowa. But anyway, drew me into a tailspin because I thought, like, I'm thinking I've got connections, right? So I'm in. That wasn't the case. So I went on this Midwest tour and we had five schools in five days, fell in love with the University of Iowa. And the reason was way, way back when I was applying to dental school in the like 1990 was very simply that Iowa was seeing clinical patients restoratively second year.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, wow!

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah. Which is so different than any other school at the time. So we were doing hygiene our first year, and we were drilling and filling and under billing our second year. That's what led me to, to the University of Iowa. But I got into dentistry originally. In the interviews, I did the normal, Hey, I want to help people and I want to do all that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Sure, sure.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
But the truth of the matter is, it's not really probably why you get into dentistry. But the truth of the matter is, as you age in dentistry, 'cause I've been doing this now almost 29 years, and the reason I do it now is to help people. It's crazy because it's like you come full circle and you really want to do things to impact other people, leave a legacy, but at the same time you have an impact on others that, when I started in dentistry, that was nowhere near my thought pattern. I was just like, Hey, I want to get out. I want to make money. I want to have this great life. And what I realized later is as a dentist, we lead a very good living. But you're not necessarily going to make a very good life with just dentistry. So we've got to use other resources and other vehicles, which is why we met at Multifamily Conference, man. Yeah, that's basically it. That's how I got into dentistry, bro.

Dr. Noel Liu:
It's such a crazy story because when I was at that AIM NatCon, I think I met you at the event, at that real estate event, it was such a coincidence because I dropped my badge and I was walking away and you were like, Hey, bud, did you, did you drop this? And I just turned around and we just hit it off. I mean, that's, you know, who would have thought of that, right?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
I thought what was crazy is you and I were having this conversation in this group of maybe seven people after that. And the guy says, Hey, so, I asked you, I remember saying, Hey, what do you do for a living? You said, I'm a dentist. And I looked at you and said, You're a dentist. Well, I'm a dentist! And then a guy across the way in the same group as where says, I'm a dentist. And I'm thinking, what the hell is going on here?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly, exactly. So this shows like there is a level of understanding and a level of people wanting to learn in our profession. Like, what else do you do besides dentistry?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yes, there's so much more. There's so much more to life than just dentistry. Like I said, dentistry affords you a great living, but it's not going to give you the life and the quality of life that I think we really want and that we're wanting to set up for our families. You know what I mean? And this is where you've got to expand outside of dentistry. And even if it's in dentistry, you've got to move outside of your normal realm of practice in order to seek that kind of life that you want.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So which brings up my next point. You are great with implants. You love Implantology, right? And where are you today? Like, I know with all these years that you've been practicing, when did you start placing implants? How was that journey with implants? And where are you at now?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Well, as a general dentist, I probably sit where everybody that's listening to this podcast as a general dentist started, where we were told in my generation dentistry, only surgeons and periodontist should be placing dental implants. General dentists should not be doing this. So the fear of God was kind of put into us in dental school that we should never touch dental implants. Well, I've never done things kind of the way that I was told to do them. I've always kind of strayed away from the path and done things my own way, I've kind of forged my own way. And for some reason, dental implants still stuck in the back of my head and I didn't do it. So I trained on dental implants, probably, God, probably 15, 16, 18 years ago. And didn't do anything with it. Zero. Didn't place one implant, went and learned it, and I thought to myself, Gosh, this is great. Why am I not doing this? And one day, I had a patient come in that one of the surgeons in my town had seen, and he was doing, he did a lower incisor implant. Well, there's one tooth here, there's one tooth here, and where do you think that implant went? It wasn't where my face was. It was like right here, like, snugged up on the tooth. And I had to restoratively make this thing look good somehow. And it was at that point that I realized, you know something, I've been trained in this. I should be the one that's taking charge of my own destiny, so to speak. So I started doing implants, probably, I want to say maybe ten years ago is when I started doing some playing around in the arena. I started placing guided implants when I first really got into it, because again, the fear of God has put in you that you're going to screw something up. I was using guides for even single implants and I, you know, it's great. It's easy. It's, this is awesome. And then I started to expand my repertoire from single implants into multi implants and started realizing, maybe I tried a guide one time and the guide was setting the implant kind of out the buckle wall. And I'm thinking, Wait a minute, I planned this.

Dr. Noel Liu:
What happened?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah. What happened? And it was then and there that I'm like, Hmm, maybe this is time to start Freehanding. And that's when I started taking charge. I jumped into the the multi-unit game, and then I got into the all-on situation with a group called Teeth Tomorrow, who was led by Michael Tishler. Michael Tishler was a dentist out of New York that was doing a whole lot of all-ons through his company that he started Teeth Tomorrow. So I went up to New York. I was with him for two days. I watched him. I trained under his wing as to what was what he was doing. Everything made sense to me. Everything, there was no surprises in anything. And I decided that it was time to start playing. So I came back, and next thing you know, I'm one arch turns into five arches, turns into 25 arches. And now we're having conversations about doing full-arch implants. And I'll tell you, this is something that I've been doing for the last, I'm going to say eight years, and this game has changed 180 degrees from when I started, like drastic, drastic. I remember in the early years doing, doing acrylic all-ons, and having them fracture. My fracture rate was like 35%, the failure rate, and my patients are coming back with this thing. They're like, Hey, and I'm going, you don't want to pull my hair out? And started realizing there's something else out there. So I started searching for it, and I started looking at zirconia, and I started looking at different types of PMMa, and I started looking at the process and what's been used. So now the thing's really flipped on its head. I do mostly zirconia screw-retained, but I've been playing in the arena now lately with the thing that's called Smileloc. Okay, have you heard of Smileloc?

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, I did not know Smileloc.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Let me tell you something. I think my, my good friend Young, who's developed this smile lock, and you guys, you can put it in the chat for the dentists out there. We'll put a link so you can check it out. But I'm going to tell you, I think this is going to be the next thing for the all-on situations that leaves your prosthetic with no holes because it's minimally invasive underneath, but no screw holes up through the top. So no weaknesses, no, no fracture points. And it uses a thermal conductor to release the proprietary abutment. It's pretty amazing this thing.

Dr. Noel Liu:
What is it? It's not screw, it's not screw-retained. It's more like, okay.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
It's not like a locator. You don't take it in and out. When you put it on, it doesn't come off unless I use a thermal conductor to release the clamp, to release the smile lock. It is, to me, this is one of the coolest technologies I've seen in a long, long time. So I'm really loving working with it and it's become prevalent in my clinic here as of late.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Let's connect after this show and let's, let's talk about it.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah, I'll share some stuff with you on that. It's awesome.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exciting because, you know, like me, I have like multiple associates. I need to make it as easy as possible. And how do you make it easy? If you have, like, a proven system that works time after time. And that's exactly what I'm looking for. So one thing I've just, I just love what you just said. Like, you've been playing around with implants for a while. You've been doing a lot of courses, but you never got started the last ten years. What was it? Was it mainly psychological or was it something where you just had that fear? Because I feel like a lot of guys, I just met another colleague, brilliant guy, 41 years old, and he's telling me that, You know what, I'm too late in the implant game, and I don't think I can get started. Do you think that's true?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
No, not at all. As a matter of fact, what I would tell him and any of the people that are listening or watching and it would be very simple, would be, I think the way to get involved would be very simply just to start doing immediate implants. Immediate implants will change your entire perspective on dental implants, because it'll immediately increase your productivity and it'll create effectiveness for your patients. And when you see that happen in front of your eyes, predictably, wow, that is a game changer. Most people are afraid to do immediate implants because they think you've got to go in and you've got to graft, and you've got to wait four months before you can go in there and drill for an implant. Why not place the implant immediately if you can? So the only place you really can't do that a lot of times is in the upper molars, because there's no structure that's left to be able to utilize any kind of thread grab at all. But I think the place that I would encourage him to start would be placing immediate implants 'cause if you can get security in doing that, then all of a sudden your game changes. You can start moving into doing more. And really capturing the, the place that you're going, the longevity of what you do and how you do it is not dictated by somebody else, it's dictated by you. You take full responsibility. I like that. I don't know, I know you like that, and I know there's some people that they don't want that responsibility. I want it to fall on my shoulders. I don't want the end result to fall on my shoulders when something's been done improperly underneath it and I don't know about it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Now, was that your turning point when you said, You know what, I'm going to take everything in house and I'm going to start? Was that break, that turning point for you?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah. That, that implant that I explained to you that was placed right next to the lateral, it was at that point that I needed to take 'em because what I'm being dealt with, I've got to make look good somehow. Being a restorative dentist and being somebody that I taught aesthetics, and I did that for a long time. I taught aesthetics for about 17 years out in Vegas, and I learned from the gurus, the Hornbrook's, and the Larry Rosenthal and the guys that I don't even know the young dentists today even know who these people are, but.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Everyone follows, everyone follows up by now.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah. And these were these were the guys that I was coming up with. And that's who I learned the trade, the craft from. But being the guy that's making things look nice, I've got to work with some things that aren't placed very well and I've got to make it look nice. So how am I going to do that? Well, I want to start controlling that environment. And that really flipped the switch for me and changed the game completely.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So next question. Office operations for you. I know you're a busy guy. You're trying to get all these cases wrapped up and get done. What is a normal office day look like? So all these, you do a lot of marketing. You have a lot of social media presence going on. What are you doing, like, with the leads coming in?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah, that's a good question. So here it is, it's Monday. I normally don't work Monday and Friday, unless I'm doing surgery. I do, I try to do my surgeries on Mondays if I can, but that all depends on whether I get anesthesia time or not, because the limiting factor where we're at is can we get anesthesia? And I don't want to do that myself. I'd rather work and concentrate on one area. So we have an anesthesia group that's basically based out of Pittsburgh that comes into the Greenville area. And they, there's only two groups in the market right now, and those guys kill it. But it's depended upon time. So here I am Monday, I'm up in my office, and if I just toured the camera around, you'd see I'm doing paperwork and I'm working on the business. I do that on Mondays. I do that on Fridays. I might do that on the evenings when I finish at 3:30, because I've built my dental career working on three days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for seven hours a day. I've done that for 15 years. People said, How do you do it? Like, there's no way, you can't do that. And I've been doing it from the beginning. I've also done it as a cash practice, Noel. That's something you and I have never talked about either is I do everything I do without the influence of insurance whatsoever.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Gotcha. Okay.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
I'm a, I've been a cash practice since I started, and cash practice, to me means I'm either paid for the procedure in advance or the day of the procedure, not the insurance for 50% or 40%. We wait for it to come back and then we build the receivable. That's not how it happens. I can't, I can't buy groceries that way. I don't get to do anything else that way in my life. I don't think patients should be able to do that either. So I just don't let insurance be a factor. When patients come in, and I know there's people that are watching that are thinking, Well, gosh, that's not a reality. Sometimes insurance is a big factor. Well, it's really not when you think about the maximum allowable being $1,500 if they have a really good insurance, like really good insurance. What is $1,500? How does that play into your overall scheme of doing a smile change, or a quadrant of implants, or a full-mouth restoration? Nothing. Nothing. As a matter of fact, I give away $1,500 to do a full-mouth case or a full-arch case. No problem. And I think anybody out there would do that too. So I just, it's just not an issue for me. But going back to your question. So, yeah, we do, I do a lot of marketing. I've been doing marketing in Greenville for a long, long time. I'm a big believer in radio. I've been doing radio marketing for, gosh, over ten, 11 years now.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh wow. That's cool.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah, it's different. And my only caveat to that is I tell people, If you're going to do radio marketing, then you have to capture the morning radio host in your town, like you've got to capture the big name. So one point I had the Country Music Morning host and I had the Talk Radio Morning host, because if you look at the demographics, talk radio is demographically more profitable for Dennis than your pop station, Okay? And believe it or not, Country Music Radio has a better demographic than your pop station. And you just have to look at the people that are listening. So you got to pay attention to those things. So I've worked on those DJs because DJs have terrible teeth. I mean, I don't know if you have any DJs in your practice, but these guys, they sleep all like through the night. They're up at three in the morning. They're doing Jolt Cola and Monsters and candy and all, just kind of stuff that is great for dentistry, you know what I mean?

Dr. Noel Liu:
You're dropping some serious nuggets here. Oh, shoot. I mean, here's the thing. I was marketing via radio when we first started, like with 1 or 2 locations. But we were marketing the wrong station and we were attracting the wrong crowd. What I learned from you just now is who to market and when to market. That's amazing.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah. And if you're going to go to market, then own the market. Like, literally own the market. So that's like if you're going to go, if you're going to go in a magazine in your local area, okay, of course they pitch you magazine. You could be on the 10th page. You can have the inside cover. Why not have the cover, Noel? I mean, let's say you're going to go into the inside cover for four grand for a one magazine. Why not pay 12 grand for one shot? Because I guarantee you it's available if you ask for it. And where are you going to be seeing more on the cover of the magazine or the back inside cover? You tell me. If you're going to do something, you've got to command it and you've got to own it. And I'm a big believer in that. Be it radio, be it print, whatever it is. I've got some billboards at the airport here. Now Greenville, Greenville Spartanburg is an international airport I want you to know. Okay? Two small terminals either way, but we've got BMW, we've got Michelin, we've got Fluor, Daniel, we've got GE. We've got all these big companies here. So they have people that fly in and out from the countries into Greenville, sometimes through Atlanta but sometimes directly into Greenville. Either way, I've got billboards on each terminal that talk about full-arch implant replacement.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Love it, man, love it. You're on fire, dude. On fire, man.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
And all I want is I want people to see it. Whether they, it might not be the call to action, but I can't tell you how many times through the years people have said, Gosh, and this is funny, I saw your TV commercial that's, that was so awesome. And I'm like, Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it. I don't have a TV commercial. The reason why they think I have a TV commercial is because I've been branded in so many different places that when something else dentistry comes up, they think it's me. It's just the way that it's been put out there because I've commanded enough on the space and I think it's really important.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Brilliant. So you're like, like omnipresent everywhere.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
We try. I'm not, that's a big word I wouldn't use that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I think what you're telling me, man, these are some serious nuggets. I would say to all the listeners out there, even if we did half the marketing what Matt is doing, I think we can still kill it with the full-arch game.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Oh, you could, the full-arch game is for the taking. I mean, let's be honest, it's, it really just started becoming popular in the last two years, right? Exactly. So more and more people are starting to gain access to this because they're getting the training and they're getting, because there's patience, guys. This is the whole deal is, there is so many people that are in need of this product and this service. Their alternatives are removed the teeth and do a denture, or remove the teeth and do some implants, whether it be a locator, whether it be a smile lock or whether it be screw-retained zirconia, I don't care. They want alternatives for security. As long as you have an avenue for that and a means to finance it, they'll find a way to make it happen.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly. I think it's just about changing the patient's lifestyle. If we can paint this picture onto the patients, I think they would just, without doubt, they would be running up front and just being ready to pay a deposit and getting it done.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah, for sure.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Because if you can relate that message like what you just said, like what you can do for the patient, what else? If it's not you, then who else? And if it's not this, then what else? Right?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah. And I think another key important thing to, to have in your arsenal in regards to your practice is you've got to have some people inside of your facility that know how to sell. And I know probably half the people watching out there just kind of went, Oh my God, sell? So you know what? We're all selling people. I got news for you. You start selling from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. How many of you wake up in the morning go, Hey, honey, good morning, how are you doing? Hey, what do you think about for dinner tonight? I don't know, maybe just consider this. Maybe we go get some Chinese tonight. So you're trying to sell right there. And we can get more explicit than that and be like, Hey, honey, it's bedtime. You know what I mean? You're trying to sell yourself. That's.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And you better hope you're a good salesperson at that time.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
You got that right because you got to be able to close, right? But here's the deal. If you don't have the right people on board with your team to be able to talk to patients about options and alternatives and possibilities, there's the keyword, possibilities. If you don't share the possibilities with somebody, they'll never know. So why not it be you? Why not you do it? Why don't you sit down and have that conversation? So I think getting some kind of sales training is critical for all the team. Big time.

Dr. Noel Liu:
1,000%. So, Matt, one thing, one last thing here for you. What's your future, man?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
What's the future? Wow.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Future for your practice, for your personal life, for your, everything.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah. So.

Dr. Noel Liu:
In a nutshell. What are you, what are you, what are you looking?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
We were talking about the podcast that Blaine and I do called Happy Trails.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Happy Trails. Yeah.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Happy, Happy Trails and Real estate. So here's the reality, Noel. And I know you've been practicing less time than I have, but I've been doing this for going on 29 years. I don't know about anybody else who's been doing it that long, but you probably have some shoulder issues. You probably have some back issues. You probably have some neck issues. And there comes a point in your career where you step back and go, Wow, I probably can't do this for another 20 years. Well, I'm there. And it's something that Anne and I have had to look at and decide, what is it we want our careers to finish like, and what do we want our lives to look like? And the majority of what we've been taught in this generation is you work hard all the way to the end, and then you retire on what you've built and you just, you finish your days out that way. Well, I don't see it that way. I think when I leave dentistry, leaving dentistry for me probably still puts me in the office about a day a week doing full-arch or restorative or cosmetic or, 'cause I love doing it, man, like you. I know you do. Because you have to love dentistry, man. Dentistry is one of those things that when you get the power to impact and change somebody's life, there's nothing like it, right? So that's my thing is, I want to continue doing it until I can't. That's one thing. But the reality is, is I'm not going to be able to do it in dentistry. So I've got to find another avenue, and be it in multifamily real estate, be it in any kind of syndication or commercial. I'm looking for alternatives to make this so vacation for me and Anne, when we're done with dentistry, means we can go away for 2 or 3 weeks. Right now, if I go away for a week, I feel guilty. Like, I've got it back, right? I got patients to see. When, when's my time? And I think my time is now. So I think building this full-arch practice and seeing and impacting the patients has allowed me the luxury to step back and go, you know what? This is the avenue that I'm going to step away in. I'm not going to leave it completely until I have to, but I'm going to play in the arena and still have fun doing it. But I'm going to start going out this way and really turning the money that I've made in dentistry into bigger dollars without having to work it. Because, like, being here on Monday and Friday, I have to be here to oil this machine. I've got to grease the wheel. I got to do all this stuff. Well, wouldn't it be nice to have something where you can make money and you don't have to do that? And that's what you and I are both looking for.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly. You and I, we both know we're still trading time for money, right? And what happens is, I think we can relate to a lot of people who are listening to this, they can relate to your story and my story is that you got to find an alternative. Now we're not talking about like, transition, like, you completely leave dentistry. We're talking about expansion, right? Expansion in the sense that you're expanding your personal lives and your financial life from dentistry, but you still have something running parallel so that you know that one day when you stop making money in terms of doing it yourself, you got something else going on. I know, like, from a dental school point, when you started before dentistry, like the whole thing, you said you had a goal, you saw orthodontics, you saw a lot of people. Do you feel at this point in time that you hit your goal?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
I don't think so. I don't think so. I think I think by all standards, people looking in at me and my practice and the life that Anne and I have built, I mean, everybody would say by all standards that we've made it. But I think the day that you decided that you made it is the day that you lose. There's never going to be a day that I stop and go, Man, I've arrived. Because that just stops the journey. So for me, it's just what's next. Every day is what's next. Like, how do I, how do I do, David Goggins, man, how do I dig deep and just give it to me? What's the next thing? How can I make this better? How do I refine this? How do I improve the quality of this? How do I reach more, like, you're trying to figure out like me, how do I reach more people with this full-arch game? This is, full-arch is, is very profitable but I've got news for you. It's very expensive too. It's expensive to do and it's expensive for patients to do. So can we find a way to make this more affordable and less expensive on our end, so that we can see more people and impact more lives? I think that's the ticket. When we learn how to impact people's lives, then the money just comes. So that's not a factor for us anymore. But man, I've enjoyed dentistry all the way from the beginning to the end and I don't see myself leaving it. But I do want to have a life outside of dentistry. And there was a life that I used to have where I used to do a lot of speaking and a lot of teaching, and I did that for a long time, and I stopped doing that. I could see myself picking that back up here in the next several years and trying to impact other people, not only patients that we do in our practice, but like you said, how do I impact the dental profession? How do I impact these young dentists that are coming out of school, or they're getting burned out and don't know how they do it? I really like the debt service that they come out with, I'm amazed. Like, I didn't come up with that, people. I got news for you. I didn't come out with that. They're coming out three, four, $500,000 in the hole if you do extended specialty or GPR. Maybe you go up and you're six, six, 700,000 for residency. Holy Crap. There's no way. How do you start with that kind of deficit? I think it's insane. But I think the way that you build on that is you got to have a plan, you got to prepare for it, and you've got to lay it out in front of you. But at the tail end of it, the legacy that you want to leave and the amount of people that you want to impact is what's going to help drive your success. So I don't see myself leaving dentistry ever. But if I could go into, let's just say, if I could go into your group, Noel, you've got a group of dentists. How many people?

Dr. Noel Liu:
About 16.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
16 dentists that range from a year out of school probably up to, probably nine years out of school, something like that. How can I, as a guy that's been doing this for a long time, who's experienced ups and downs, the ins and outs and the little things, how can I have an impact on those people's lives so they don't have to make the same mistakes that I did? That's, that to me is the key to being a successful dentist, is how do I help influence other people to become better than I ever was, and do it in a fashion that they profit more than I did, and they don't have to work near as hard? That's my goal. My goal is for my associate that's been with me for a year, Dr. Molly, Molly, or my son that started his first year of dental school, Luke down...

Dr. Noel Liu:
Congratulations!

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Thank you, man. So we got one that's in the fold. But I want more than anything in eight years after he starts, I want him to be able to step back and go, You know what? If I didn't do another thing in dentistry, I'd be okay. Because now you do dentistry because it's something you want to do and it's fun. You don't do it because you have to, and it's what you trained on, it's your only way to make money. I want to create that kind of freedom for other people. So that's really what drives me, man. I know it's what drives you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly, because what you just said is so powerful that once you start shifting your focus from the money and dentistry into people, like your people, like your patients and your staff and your doctors, that changes the whole paradigm. For me, it happened like about four years ago. I was all into like, Hey, what's a profit and loss? What is the production? What is all the numbers, right? But then sooner or later you realize that, hey, it's people that make up the business, not the other way around. And when I found that out, it was like an eye-opener for me there, Matt. I mean, I cannot explain the powerful impact it had upon me and my business, because at that time, everything switched over. Yeah, that is the same exact thing, I can kind of relate with you what you're saying, you've got to focus on people.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
It can't be about you, man. Dentistry can't be about you. It's, you're just. One of the things I'll tell your listeners, Noel, is you're just a vehicle, and you're the catalyst in what's going to spark somebody to go from here to here and that jump is life-changing. The ripple effect that you have the potential to have in the profession, but not only that, in your communities and in families. I take it down to the granular level is, let's just say that you have an impact on a mom that builds back some self-confidence and self-esteem. So now when she comes home from a job that she's actually making more money because she's happier, she now gets to be home with her kids. She's not splintered anymore. She's not, Oh, woe is me. I gotta pay the bills. They get to be themselves with their kids, and now their kids lead a different lifestyle because everybody's happy. That granular level and that ripple effect that you started is the reason. Well, you can see it up there. See that little ripple effect right there? That's one of my little things I have in my office, a little painting. But man, being the vehinle, being the thing that starts the catalyst to improve somebody else's life and I guarantee you the success will come when you make it, not about you, you make it about other people. It will come to you in a flood. And I know you've experienced that, Noel. I've watched your success in the last year and a half and so awesome to be friends with you and watch you grow. And I feel that same way about Blaine. And watching your friends be successful is so cool.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You and I, we should collaborate on an implant center because that is my next, that's my next gig. I'm getting, I'm getting a little bit tired with general dentistry. So let's talk, man.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
We got, we got lots to talk about.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Right, right, right. Yeah. I'm going to leave it up with this. Your success is not about the destination. It's more about the person you become and trying to achieve this, that goal, that thing that you want. So it's just the year after year after year of transformation that we go through. And you always a better version. And I love your bio when you said to change everyone for the best version of themselves. That is so true.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Let me tell you, when you're, as a leader, as a boss, like, you, you lead your practice and you lead your group. You can be seen as a boss, as a tyrant, as somebody that you're driving people to be successful. But when you get to be integral in a change because you want to see them be the best version of themselves, and that changes the dynamic in your practice, guys. If you just invest in the people that are with you so that way you don't have to hire more people and lose people and hire more people, think of all the money you got to pour into training. What if you train that core group and you brought them along with you in a fashion that says you cared about them, and then you watch them grow? I'm telling you, it's worth any bit of money that you could spend on any course. But success also leaves clues, right, brother? Success is dropping clues along the way. You either pick them up, or you walk over them. And I think to the degree that you're willing to pick them up is how you're going to transfer that onto other people.

Dr. Noel Liu:
No, absolutely. You're so right. Because success leaves clues. It's up to us to identify the opportunity and pick it up and let's go.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
You got that right. Let's go!

Dr. Noel Liu:
Let's go, let's go. So Matt, lastly man, how do people get a hold of you in a podcast? We're going to put that by the way too.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah. We'll put the link for the Happy Trails podcast you guys and give it a watch. Give it a rating. Send questions. Like, I told Noel, I think Blaine and I have more fun doing it than maybe the people watching it, but, that are listening to it, but it doesn't matter because we're, we do it every Friday. We crack up.

Dr. Noel Liu:
It's just contagious, man. It's contagious. You guys have fun. It will, people will watch.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
So you got all the social Dr.MattBynum.com or Bynum Aesthetic Dentistry. You can hit me up. My email is Matt M A T T at DrMattBynum.com. So Matt@DrMattBynum.com. And I'll throw this out there to everybody else man because I'm never afraid to have somebody contact me. My cell (864) 414-9790. Shoot me a text. Give me a call. I'm happy to share anything I can with anybody, because if I have even a small ounce of influence in your success and your future, then I'd love to be a part of it. So, I just, I'm grateful to be on here. Noel, thank you so much.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Man, that's awesome. You're giving out your cell number. That's huge.

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Yeah. Don't take advantage, but I'm here for you. I'm not afraid to do it. It's just something that, I don't know, I feel strongly about this profession. I love it. And I feel strongly about, about helping other people, because that's the only way that I'm going to become better is if I'm helping somebody else. And I'm just honored and I'm grateful and just happy to spend time. And to have met Noel and the fact that we came across each other, man, I still think that's crazy. Like, I told Blaine the story. Yeah, I told Blaine that story, and he said, Really? And it's just the way that it works, man. That's a great thing. That's, those are called, those are God ways, man. And I'm a I'm a big fan of whatever God puts into my heart, so.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Amen to happen, right?

Dr. Matt Bynum:
You got it. Always.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Alright, Matt. I appreciate you coming up. Thanks again. Well, ladies and gentlemen. This is great. This is great. I don't know what else to say. I'm so overwhelmed with all the information I got from my buddy Matt today. So this would end our, another episode of our Secure Dental podcast. Stay tuned. Like and subscribe. We'll have more coming up. In the meantime, everybody go and make it happen!

Dr. Matt Bynum:
Make it happen!

Dr. Noel Liu:
Kill it!

Secure Dental Outro:
Thanks for tuning into the Secure Dental Podcast. We hope you found today's podcast inspiring and useful to your practice and financial growth. For show notes, resources, and ways to stay engaged with us, visit us at NoelLiuDDS.com. That's N O E L L I U D D S.com.

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About Matt Bynum:

Dr. Matt Bynum, a seasoned professional in the dental field, has an illustrious career as a dentist spanning 28 years. Graduating from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1995, Dr. Bynum has been a fixture in Simpsonville, South Carolina, where he runs a thriving private practice, Bynum Aesthetic Dentistry. Specializing in aesthetic, restorative, physiologic, and implant dentistry, he has earned the title of a full-arch master and co-authored the esteemed book, The Boomerang Effect.

Notably, Dr. Bynum’s expertise extends beyond clinical practice; he serves as a consultant to dental manufacturers and laboratories. His influence in the field is not limited to the confines of his practice, as he is a dedicated educator and mentor. Despite his impressive professional achievements, Dr. Bynum prioritizes his role as a husband and father of three young men, embodying a down-to-earth and relatable demeanor.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Dentistry provides a good living, but a fulfilling life requires more than just practicing dentistry.
  • If you are a dentist hesitant about implants, start with immediate implants to enhance productivity and effectiveness for patients.
  • Taking responsibility for both positive and negative results is crucial in the dental profession.
  • Radio marketing can generate new leads for your practice if you know your audience.
  • It’s important to have some people in your facility who know how to sell.
  • The day you settle is the day you’ve decided to give up. 
  • The legacy that you want to leave and the number of people that you want to impact are what’s going to help drive your success.

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Dr. Matt Bynum on LinkedIn.
  • Visit Bynum Aesthetic Dentistry on their website.
  • Listen to Dr. Bynum’s podcast, Happy Trails!
  • Call Matt at (864) 414-9790.
  • Email Matt at Matt@DrMattBynum.com.
  • Grab Dr. Bynum’s book, The Boomerang Effect, here.
Categories
Podcast

Comfortable Being Uncomfortable: Embracing the Grind

Summary:

In this episode, Dr. Alex Shore shares his journey from dental school to opening his dental practice. He emphasizes the importance of a strong work ethic, humility, and taking charge of one’s life. He talks about the mindset of always striving to be the best version of oneself and not letting complacency hold you back. Dr. Shore also highlights the value of patient care and the privilege of being entrusted with a patient’s well-being. Throughout his career, he emphasized the importance of showing up and being dedicated to providing excellent patient care. Dr. Noel Liu, his interviewer, also discusses the significance of understanding the value of money and work ethics, especially in dental school and dentistry. The episode provides insights into the mindset and approach that has led to Dr. Shore’s success in his profession.

Secure Dental Podcast_Dr Shore .mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Secure Dental Podcast_Dr Shore .mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Hey, everybody, this is Dr. Noel Liu. This is another segment for our Secure Dental podcast. Today I'm joined by one of our ex-associates, Dr. Alex Shore. Dr. Alex Shore joined us back in 2019 and today we are at his practice, Signature Heart Smiles. Dr. Shore, welcome, man!

Dr. Alex Shore:
Thank you for having me. Yeah, yeah. So it's been a ride.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I know it's been a ride. It's been like, what, five years? Four years? Yeah. Four years. So introduce and just tell us a little bit about yourself. Like how did you get started and what prompted you to go to dental school, what got you into dental school and out. And then after that, how did you find us?

Dr. Alex Shore:
I was originally born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. I went to and graduated at Michigan State University, and I had really no intentions of leaving, ever. As a kid. I wasn't really, like, super thrilled about my smile, I had crowding over classic orthodontic problems, self-esteem issues, and I really had great providers growing up. My pediatric dentist was awesome; my orthodontist was awesome, my general dentist was awesome. So dentistry was never a scary thing to me. But when I saw kind of like how it changed me, okay, I realized that was an art to change somebody's through tooth movement. And just the simplest little thing can lead to self-esteem, confidence.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Is that what prompted you to write down to school?

Dr. Alex Shore:
And it really hit me when I saw my before and after pictures, because my father was a photographer and we had a lot of art around the house and when I saw before and after pictures, it clicked. All those years of being around him and all those years of bad teeth and then seeing it, I think that was the art. The art was the canvas. I was the canvas. So that was what led me to get into dentistry at age 14. I said, this could help. I could help other people. 14. At 14, I knew when I got my braces off, I said, this is it. This is my calling. It was just too many things lined up and that was my calling and that was it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Like, I always believed that there was a thing that shaped your life. So what happened between the age of 14 till the age when you decided to say, hey, I'm going to go and sit for the dental exam? What kind of what kind of life did you have?

Dr. Alex Shore:
Well, I mean, I can't say that I had a super big struggle or anything, but I had parents who pushed me to always strive for one ounce better, whether it was a B-plus on a test that wasn't good enough, whether it was got a driver's license, guess what? Now you got to get a job. Got to fill the tank. So it was always that humble reality check that I always had.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So you never got it, like on a platter?

Dr. Alex Shore:
No, I got to I got to really credit my parents a lot for that. They were the ones. They were the ones who always made me dig a little deeper. Right. And go a little farther and go the extra mile. And your best is never great enough. You can always be better; you can always improve. And it was every step of life. Because when I got to college, right, it was for undergraduates. It was go get a job, go work 20, go get involved. And that was ingrained in me from just being around them from 14 to 18..

Dr. Noel Liu:
Did you hate them for that or...

Dr. Alex Shore:
At that time it was a little extreme, right? Yeah, yeah. Now I look back, and they say without that, without that constant push on the shoulder, you're not going to the next level. You're not going to ever look back and peel back the layers and say, what can I do more? What can I do better? I'm here. How do I go to the next step? How do I step forward? So that was kind of between the dental boards and 14. It was always that hey if you want.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So that gave me that base baseline and the base work. Right.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Exactly. The framework of how to just continuously strive for more.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So now did that help you in decision making? Because I see a lot of people struggling to decide. Right. So what's your take on like from 14 till dental school? What was the path that you took? I'm trying to see I'm trying to get a sense of where was it that click point? Maybe it can help somebody else. Like if they can do it, you know, down the road in their life. So what was that aspect or was it like series of scenarios or situations?

Dr. Alex Shore:
I think it was maturity. Like as a kid I was not super decisive, but okay, okay. As I kind of life happened and those constant pushes on the shoulder and go do better and just social experiences, I think a lot of it was like the friends I picked, the people I surrounded myself with, I was I always felt like I was around people who were more decisive, more driven, okay, and more goal focused than I was. And it was a great thing because you just always kind of wanted to you wanted to rise to the level of your friends, your goods, the company you keep.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And that was one of those ones for me that, like, I kept great company. I had great friends. I'm still very good friends with them today. They're not dentists, but they're doing great in their own line of work. Right?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Right. Right.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And they just constantly have this, like, hunger and like this drive to keep moving forward.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So it seems like you had all this instilled in you when you were growing up.

Dr. Alex Shore:
It's every step of the way, right? Like you wouldn't be around bad people if my parents also at the same place, my family surrounded themselves with great, successful people. And it was never it wasn't like fake. It was always like, these are the choices they made, right? The choices you make are the choices that define you kind of deal.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I'm just gonna interrupt you for a little bit. So it's like basically your parents pushed you. You had this all these mentors and all these people that you hung around with that kind of prompted you to be a little bit more decisive, a little bit more taking your life under control. Right? Right. You just did not let life take over you a very early age.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah. And I think a lot of what happened to me was I was always even when I got to undergraduate, it was, you don't just go to school in the Honors college, and nobody can do your homework for you but you. Nobody's going to take those tests for you. So it all kind of like funnels through you. It was like, how bad do you want? And then when I got to college, the first step because you know, you're going to do the first step. You go to the second step, as you know. So I see somebody kind of mentioned to me and I can't remember who it was. Everyone around you is your competition, but not in a bad way. Like the competition, right? Like it's like you want to make sure that you stand out.

Dr. Alex Shore:
You want to make sure that you are doing everything you can to give yourself the best chance to be accepted in a program. When. You got other people that want the same thing you do. And the other thing was the humility aspect is like there are I never complained about anything or how much work I had to do or how much I had to study, because there's always somebody who wants it more than you do. There's somebody who's dying to take your spot if you get into that program.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Perception. Love it.

Dr. Alex Shore:
So it's like when there was always this humble reality checks of like, I'm not going to play about doing homework for the board exam because this is a this is a blessing, man, to even do it. And there's somebody who is struggling to even get to where you are. What would have killed to have your spot, your chance, your opportunity. So those are the things that I kind of always reminded myself of.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And I think that's the kind of mentality that you're so appreciative of. Whatever you have and you just want to keep striving for it, keep growing and growing. Because here's my thing, right? I like to believe that if you're not growing you're shrinking. So you have this mentality. So. So tell me two things right. Taking charge or being a victim. You know, because I see your mentality. You want to take charge. And you know like I just want your take on it. Like, you know, how would you define like taking charge of your life versus letting life take charge of you?

Dr. Alex Shore:
I always kind of lived and died by the mindset that those who act and those react okay. To react means you're letting something happen to you, and you have to figure it out to act as you're going to set the stage for yourself. And it's always easier to be accurate. It's always easier to charge, right, as opposed to rebuild. I kind of bring that into everything I've ever done, right? Whether it was a sport I played or a fraternity I joined or a leadership role I took.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So you always had this competitive mindset, right?

Dr. Alex Shore:
It was you just want to be the best version of yourself. You don't. You want to give it your all and leave nothing on the table and say, I wish I would have done this differently. I wish I wouldn't have waited or pondered or it is an opportunity I missed because I was complacent. And those are the things that, like in today, I you just remind yourself. It's like you have to continue to be the charge. Exactly. Not let it take charge of you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly. Because if not you, then who else?

Dr. Alex Shore:
Exactly right would always tell you that when I work for you. If not me, then who? It's like you got to do it or else it's going to go somewhere else.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So let's fast forward. You're done with school?

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yes.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So now you got it. Like, how hard was it for you to get in in the first place?

Dr. Alex Shore:
I was not a stellar, stellar student. I was very involved socially in undergraduate and I never, ever wanted to make school priority one, two, three, four, and five, like most people do. Balance. You want to balance your life, your social life and all that stuff. But you know, school is my job, and my parents reminded me school is your job. This is your full-time job, and if your full-time job is done, then you can do whatever you want. And I took that seriously, and I did school well. I was a stellar student but not a stellar test taker. So that for me was a challenge. My score is very average straight middle of the bell curve. Right. And that's that doesn't sound on the paper. So I only I was lucky enough to do one round of applications to get into the school—the number one school I wanted to go to, which was Michigan. But you know, I was struggle applied at 15 schools, get interviews at four.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Okay.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Which means your odds are getting into two maybe. And ironically enough, I told myself, you know, you get this interview, you get there. They already know that you're you're qualified now. You got to blow them away. Now you have to interview. And this is what's going to separate you as a person. Jump off the paper. My story, I got a I got a I got an hour to maximize that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Did you get in the first round?

Dr. Alex Shore:
I did.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh nice. Okay.

Dr. Alex Shore:
It was not December one, like everyone's fairy tale December 1st you wake up, you get the call. Yeah. You got in. I interviewed a two of my four schools before December 1st. I was waitlisted from both.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, wow.

Dr. Alex Shore:
So here I was on December 2nd saying I didn't get in. I don't have any more interviews. Start a gap year. I was already starting to fill out the paperwork of a master's program. I was already starting to figure out, like, draw. My life is like, you know, no is never the final answer in life. Don't let a bad event define you. Kind of move forward and try your best to get in for the next cycle.

Dr. Noel Liu:
All in the mindset, right?

Dr. Alex Shore:
But these are the things that are like, you're preparing. I'm not. I was preparing to get in because, you know, you're reading all these dental forms, the student doctor network, right. And like the classes are full and we all knew the opportunity of a post-December thing. But like the way they make it sound is like it's very limited and very thin and like, you can't bank on that. So I wasn't going to and I fast forward to actually the day before Christmas Eve. I was doing like a part-time job delivering flowers just to make some money on the break. Right?

Dr. Noel Liu:
So you were working as well before dental school?

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah. So yeah, my breaks I would come home, and instead of taking like a month off of school, I'd just go pick up a part-time job for a month. So I was doing flower delivery.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So let's go back in time again a little bit. How many different kinds of jobs did you do before dental school?

Dr. Alex Shore:
I worked at four different restaurants. I worked from busboy to line chef.

Dr. Noel Liu:
This is important. This sets the tone of your work ethics. This sets the tone of, you know, workability and grinding it out.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I did delivery driving on my breaks, like, I just kind of mentioned.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Right? Right.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I did collegiate baseball umpiring and high school baseball umpiring on the weekends, so my weekend job was working on tournaments. And then my day, my day job was like, you know, I would during the summers, I would, I would work. I was a store manager for a coffee shop, and I was in the restaurant industry before that and just working my way up the ranks. So I had probably 8 or 9 jobs and a few odd jobs, even like part-time ones that don't make it on the resume.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah, yeah, yeah...

Dr. Alex Shore:
For years, probably from the time I was 15 to 22. 8 or 9 jobs. Yeah. So that was kind of like just part of growing up. My parents were never going to give you 20 bucks to put your gas. They need to earn 20 bucks to put your gas. They weren't going to give you going out money with your friends to go to a movie need to earn it. Kind of teach you the value of what work takes.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So you really valued dental school by the time you got in?

Dr. Alex Shore:
Well, the time I got there, yeah, I realized when I was looking around, a lot of these people just never they just never worked. They never had the, and we can get to that later. But like, they never really had someone tell them no before. Right. Go to that job where their manager's appointment. Yeah. Or their manager is just rude. And they're working in a restaurant for eight bucks an hour. Yeah. And you worked eight hours and you're covered in grease or somebody's food residue, right? And you got paid 90 bucks. It was the hardest-earned 90 bucks of your week, right? So it's like.

Dr. Noel Liu:
But you understood value of money.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I understood, and I told my son that dental school. There's always something worse out there. I just went through it. What if you worked in the restaurants for the rest of your life? What if you didn't get the great chance to be a doctor, right? Right. And you got to figure it out. It just puts perspective in you. Like, and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with those jobs. You're saying those jobs are hard work and we take those. Yeah, yeah. Every day you go to the restaurant, you don't realize this. These people are on their feet all day. These people have been busting it, and they're not making zillions of dollars here. They're making. Yeah, the wage they're making.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You know, I feel like it just makes humility in a lot of people's character. Once we do this kind of jobs where you realize that. What's going on. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And that was the thing that drove me was kind of like, you know, I had a tough day at dental school, for example. I was like, you know, I was cleaning puke off floors, right? A few years ago. This. This is a great day for the scrubs. I got to help somebody.

Dr. Noel Liu:
It's all perception.

Dr. Alex Shore:
So that was those driving things are kind of like reality check me, you know?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Which is why I always feel like if you've not done an odd job or any other job before dental school or before, like medical school, it's always a tough job.

Dr. Alex Shore:
But it's not impossible. It's just more it's a mindset.

Dr. Noel Liu:
It's a mindset. It's a mindset switch. Right. So now you're in dental school, you got out, you graduating. Right?

Dr. Alex Shore:
So now it was the post-December thing I was playing that year off. And then during one of my odd jobs.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So you thought you were not going to get it?

Dr. Alex Shore:
I wasn't banking on it based on everything I'd been told. It was just that first wave and first-round application. They're feeling 60 to 70% of their seats. And I wasn't thinking I'm if I'm average, I'm not, I'm not I'm not going to be part of the 30. And I only had one in-state school left I didn't hear from it was Michigan's number-one school of the country at the time. And I'm like, you know, like as if they're going to hear me. If the other two waitlisted me and I'm driving on a route, and one of my odd jobs and it's December 23rd, this is the last drop off before Christmas Eve and it's holidays, and I get a call from the University of Michigan admissions department saying, we want you to interview. I just said, are you sure I didn't miss something? Are you sure about this? It's after December. They go, yeah, we do December. He's great. You'll be great. I said, yeah, sure. You know what? I'll I'll do it. You know, I'll come in, and I'll do the interview. And it was January 28th. It's the last day. It was our last day of interviews. You'll be the last day. And I'm thinking, hang up the phone. I'm just thinking to myself, I had nothing to lose at this point because I was already preparing, and I don't really know if it's going to go. I don't really know if this is it. I don't really know if this is just like a corteous, right? I mean, state, and I live here, and I grew up here, and they're just trying to maybe get me out for next year. Right. Like I don't really know that. So what had happened to me is that like my mindset changed from an interview. I said, you know, I got nothing to lose. I have my shoulders down. The first two, I was kind of tense right here. You get nervous. This one, I was like, you know, I don't really know. I'm just going there, have some fun with it. And I went in and do this interview called multiple mini interviews. So they're not asking questions about you, they're asking you about topics. One of the topics I remember was something about, do you think it's right that tobacco companies use gummy bear flavored to target their nicotine through the crowd? And I don't even remember how I answered. What I do remember is that was every year. It was every stage. And I got gotten the car, and it was the same routine. My father would always come with me to interviews, and we'd go together if we were in Detroit. We go together, we do the pickup and drop off, and we would just debrief, go get dinner. He'd pick me up from this one in Ann Arbor, and he got to go. And I went, I'm going to be honest with you, I have no idea. They didn't talk about me. I didn't talk about me. It was more like an IQ test. Like a personality test. I said, I'm not sure if that's going to work in my favor or not, but I was talking and I was hanging out, and I got a call four days later that I got in. The parameters in my brain were like, it's hard to wrap my mind around. You got in your top choice after December and won the most prestigious programs in the country. And here I was counting my chickens, saying, I got to go another year. I got to take a master's program. I got to do all this stuff. It was really like humbling in a way that you were kind of like, here I was already counting myself out, like of the whole cycle, ready to do the next cycle. I was going to quit. I was ready to do next cycle. And then this happens. And it made you it made me realize it's not done till it's done. Nothing is over till it's over. And you never know the chance. It's waiting on another door. And a random day, delivering flowers turned into the opportunity of a lifetime. So it's just one of those weird. See doors opened up.

Dr. Noel Liu:
This is what we always keep saying. Always show up. Yeah, you always got to show up regardless of what are the consequences or what is the outcome. You always got to show up. One thing I liked about what you just said. The interview process, right? What I feel like it's because you were relaxed, you really didn't care about the outcome. Yeah, so your answers must have been like very relaxed state. And secondly, whatever your past job was, all that all jobs that you had that kind of gave you that perspective of life. Like, you know, how the whole process works because that kind of ruled you out from the other candidates who just got everything ready, like about themselves and about the school. It was like a curve ball that if you ask me, it was and you handle it pretty well because you had the experience of life, which a lot of people don't.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And I think a lot, a lot of what had happened to me at that point was I kind of went in and I just thank them all for the time. I never done that in another interview, but I just said, you know what, I want to thank you for your time today. And I'm I'm just happy you consider me.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's you.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And I said that for every station I wasn't scripting, that I was just at that point, I was so out of myself, you know, like a little shook up about being a post-December admit or even just being there after some people had already gotten in, like I was a second choice or I didn't let it get to me. I just said, hey, I really want to thank you for your consideration in the matter of even. So, that was dental school and the application process in my journey. But, you know, some people get it first time. First round they get 15 schools to pick from and life's good. Yeah. So everybody's got a different journey but it's got a different experience.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah. So your whole dental school journey. Yeah. Pretty easy, pretty tough.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And it kind of goes back to what we were saying. I came in there with a I came in there with a very relaxed day, but also this chip on their shoulder saying, hey man, you weren't the first pick. You were like a fifth-round draft pick for them.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
So now you got to show them why you should have been number one. And I brought that in every day and the same lap that stayed the latest in clinicals. I get there the earliest. Right. My patient was at nine. I get there at eight and then I changed my whole life around this. I was getting one. I was one of them. But there were other people just like me. I'm not going to say there weren't. But then I changed my whole life around and said, you're going to take charge now. You're going to be a 5 a.m. riser. I was sleeping until 9:00 in undergrad, so 5 a.m. I get up, work out, took charge of my life, and I wanted to be up four hours for my patients for that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Nice.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I get there an hour early. I looked at their charts. I looked through stuff. I made sure I was the first one there, and if I had to be the last one and do my lab work, I was staying that night to get it done. I wasn't going to let it go to the weekend or the next day if I could avoid it. Obviously there are certain things, but a lot of it was just prove yourself now you got the chance and don't let them down. And I remember when my dad would tell me all the time he goes, Alex, there were 3000 applicants, 300 interviews, and 100 spots.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Wow.

Dr. Alex Shore:
That means by the numbers, there are 2900 people that want to be sitting where you are. So don't let it happen. And the dad drove me every day to. Someone wants your spot. Don't complain. Someone wants to work harder than you. Everybody wants. So work harder than them. And keep your nose down and be humble. Like I wasn't sitting there trying to cut my classmate's knees out for it. I just focused on myself.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So there was never a point where you felt like you were entitled.

Dr. Alex Shore:
No, I felt like you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Always felt like you were working for it every single day.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I felt that because I wasn't. In that first round that I had myself to the day I graduated, and I wanted to prove myself.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's huge.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And I wanted to almost kind of revalidate myself in my head. You did it. You got through. You pushed hard and you gave it everything you got. You did not leave anything on the table. You didn't slack. You didn't. And my patients, it was the same way when we finally got the clinicals. I wanted to show these people that I'm in it for them. Just like the reason why I got in. I'm in a for them. I want to help as best as possible. Anyway, whether it was staying late, or repairing their denture in the emergency clinic, it didn't matter. It was anything I could do. Give them a call after their appointment, I called every single one of my patients after I did a procedure on them. When they got home, it was 5:00, 8:00 at night on my way home walking, I'd call the two people I saw because the point was, is that to me it was. You can't forget why you got it. You have to remember it. That's what my dentist would have done to me. Right. So I was, you know, you got to be the reflection of what you want to see in the mirror, right?

Dr. Noel Liu:
You just you, just provided an extra care.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Exactly.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So devil's business, right? So, you know, we definitely have to keep that in mind.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Dental school was approved. It was approved in time for me. It was proven. You got your chance. Now don't let it slip through your fingers.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So now graduation. What was going through your mind? What's next? Did you ever consider a GPR or specialty?

Dr. Alex Shore:
I did. I did apply, but I wasn't PRs are very competitive. Everything everything's competitive. And this is pre Covid where everything was very still by the book. Is competitiveness correct. Two seats at a program this I didn't really I didn't take it seriously. I applied to maybe 1 or 2 programs to get in. You get network, you find a job, somebody will hire you. You went to the best school, someone will hire you. That was what I thought. I thought that the whole time someone will hire you. And luckily enough, through one of my mentors at dental school, I met a DSO doctor named Abe Gerschtanowitz, and he owns 11 offices at the time. I don't know if it's more or less now. He owned 11 offices in the metro Detroit area, and he was kind enough to interview me. And I say that because when I get to the interview, he goes, I don't interview new graduates. And I went, why is that? He goes, because there's some refinement that needs to be done professionally and personally, and that sometimes comes from a first job. Because when you came highly regarded and I'll take your interview and we just had a nice talk and we just talked about life and we talked about goals, drives, and ambitions. And he hired me on the spot, he said. But he didn't hire me to be a dentist. He said, I'm going to hire you and I have to train you to be a provider first for anything. So that kind of shook me in a way where it's a little harder to get a job that I think he put me on for two days a week, and he owns 11 offices. He could have said he could have, but it was two days a week, and I was with him and one of his other doctors, and we were doing communication training. So he gave me a 40-page package just how to talk to people we were doing, how to make your points clearer, and how to provide value in a day. If someone comes in with a problem, he'd often look, what are you going to do? But you didn't answer me. What are you going to do for them now? There are customers. How will you serve them? And I that showed me a lot about myself. But during that time I was trying to get another job. So I'm only working two days a week and I'm like, man, I'm bored. I'm working Monday and Saturday and I got this whole middle of my week that's open.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Wow.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And I was getting that's tough. And I would apply everywhere. I'm thinking in my head, I'm number one. I went to Michigan. That's the best. That's what they're telling you in dental school. This is the best program you can get. This, that and the other thing. And nobody would hire me. I'd go to a job interview and say, we want someone more experienced. Go to a job interview like you're not there yet. Those were common things. I was getting just hammered with that four months after graduation because. So it's a dense market in metro Detroit for a Michigan graduate.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Correct, correct. And what I'm thinking here is it's more or less like when you're coming out of school. I mean, it's like the reason he was making you go through communications, through all this hassle and all this stuff is because new grads, when they come out of school, it's pretty like a rough diamond. I mean, you got to get refined. I mean, the school puts it in your head that, hey, you were worth all that money, but in actuality, it's not exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And you think? The academia. It almost kind of makes you think there's no one who doesn't want you. In a weird way, it's like you are a dentist and you will serve and people will want you. The reality of the situation is, is we know too well is when you graduate, you are not experienced and experience is what people prefer. That's what people want. It's a service thing. They don't want to be, you know, they don't want you to be the first crown. They want you to be your 1000. People are looking on Google. They want to see all your list of accolades and how many years you've been doing it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So what would you say? What would you say? Like a new grad coming out? What would be the biggest, let's say? The term I would probably use is what is the biggest investment they need to make as soon as it come out of school, to be that valuable gem, so that people are seeking them out and jobs are seeking them out, and these guys want to go out there and say, you know what, I'm ready for prime time. What would be some of the key accolades that that you think?

Dr. Alex Shore:
I would probably state that the first thing you need to look for is volume-based dentistry, and that's not what you probably thought I was going to say.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Okay.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Because repetition and how much you're doing something is what gains you experience. And when you graduate school, you think the Holy Grail grail is going to work is associate with private practice job. That is not true, because a private practice job sees a very limited amount of patients a day, and maybe they don't even take all insurances. And maybe these are healthy people that aren't really doing a lot. Deep cleanings, maybe a couple of crowns. And so you're going to a limited practice. As a graduate, you don't understand that, the place that is high volume and it sees a lot, gives you the opportunity to see a lot and do 30 treatment plans a week, maybe, or maybe even do, a couple of ventures a week with maybe some extractions and some root canals, which we don't get a lot of experience. So. Volume based. The second part I was building on is skill set-based. Go to a place that has platforms. Ask the questions. Can I do denture? Can I do root canals here? Can I go to see like dental implant or Invisalign? And I can do it here. If you go to a private practice, we don't do that here. You're immediately not going to do it because that's the owner doctor's decision. But if you go to like a DSO, maybe the owner doctor, like in your example, you have to carry your implant motors, you carry endo motors, you carry denture equipment, you carry digital scanners. The possibilities are endless. And you you empower your associates to do that. So volume-based and skill set-based are what I would look for first. And the second thing is group practice. You cannot go out and be alone and expect to learn right away. You want to go where this established mentor or mentoring system, or someone you can be around to bounce some ideas off. Because the easiest thing to happen to a new graduate is for them to get their confidence lost. And we've seen that right? We've seen the confidence get shook, something goes south, confidence goes out the window, and they're never doing it again.

Dr. Noel Liu:
They rolled out on the table.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And that is hard because you can't rebound when your mind's made up.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So tell me something real quick here. I see a lot of forums out there. Right? These guys, they want to get paid first. They want to get paid more than what they can provide. What where's where do you see the reality is? And where are these guys lost in. Where do you see the reality is. And where are these guys lost in?

Dr. Alex Shore:
Well, the reality is...

Dr. Noel Liu:
And what are these guys thinking that they're coming up with this mindset?

Dr. Alex Shore:
And I'm assuming we'll get here. It's kind of like our experience together.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Is you told me on my first day of the job is do good work, be successful and the money will follow. Financials will follow a successful person. And that brought me into this mindset of, I haven't done good work because I haven't done anything. I haven't pushed myself to do advanced procedures because I haven't done it right. So instead of worrying about how much money I'm going to make. Why don't we just get some wins under our belt? Why don't we do a bridge that sits perfectly? Or why don't we make a denture that somebody's happy with? Or why don't we do a root canal that got the patient out of pain? Because what's going to happen is the customer will come back. That's what you were trying to teach me. You win the day and their patient will be yours forever. Their loyalty. Your loyalty.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Right.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And you're not asking. You don't rule. I don't ask people stick around go pay a thousand. Sit your butt back down and we'll do it. That's not what it is. Let me get you out of pain. Let me take care of you, and then they will gladly go pay at the register after you have to take care of the patient.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Right.

Dr. Alex Shore:
So the. The financial aspect of this whole thing should be second to your performance, right? Because performance and success will make you financially successful one day.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You chase financial. You never getting it right, right?

Dr. Alex Shore:
You start counting all your money. You count all the balance sheets and looking through everything, and you're realizing it's not there because you're missing the first part. Be the change. Be successful. Do good for your people. You hit all three of those things. People will line up around the corner.

Dr. Noel Liu:
My biggest thing is, you got to make sure you be of service to somebody.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And help them first. And that's how you get paid. Because I always believe if you are not willing to do more than what you're getting paid initially, you will never get paid more for what you do.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Exactly. I think a lot of it is just there's all these groups out there, these groups, they focus on money and they focus on how much is this associate job paying, how much did some of the more popular ones, even the common threads of discussion.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And it's giving and it's giving the new grass the wrong idea. Money this money that.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Correct. You don't make my money unless you're doing high volume or doing great work, and you can't do those things unless you have proven it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
It's true. It's like we're we're working in reverse. You're looking at the end result like a finished home on an empty lot. You've got to plan the whole thing. You got to get the blueprint down and lay the foundation.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
So it's very misleading. And the...

Dr. Noel Liu:
100% agree.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And the mentorship that third leg, you have to have someone who's going to push your boundaries, who's willing to constantly, hey, I'm taking this course you come with or we're bringing implants into our practice, you should learn it would be really good for us, right? Because that's that mindset of what we talked about even earlier, that push on the shoulder forward to always go the extra mile and grab that extra procedure and do the extra service for your patient and not be complacent.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Absolutely, man. Absolutely. You know, I'm going to go back to the after graduation, like after the first job that you had, you called us, right? You found me through LinkedIn or something. Right. So. There were other opportunities. Other DSOs that being like handsome bonuses. Right. And you saw those work conditions, you saw what was happening. And I'm talking about like five-digit bonuses. Yeah. What made you decide to skip all and come here?

Dr. Alex Shore:
For me, it was, never really about the money and the reason I say that. It was never about the money for me, because what was happening was I was seeing 2 or 3 patients a day and not learning, I go to work for eight hours and see three people. It was like a squall over you. But I realized that I was a small fish in a big pond.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Okay.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I was a new graduate in a sea of Michigan graduates. I don't stand out to anybody or anything. I had to earn my stripes like the rest. So I had a paradigm shift in my brain. I was fed up at work one day. I'm like, I saw one patient at 9 a.m. and my shift was 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.. One patient did three hygiene checks for almost 12 hours, and I thought to myself, today, you take charge of your life. You figure it out. It's not working out. You got to do this one for it's not working out. And I'm giving you the chance to build yourself here. And what I did was. I have family, my grandparents, who lived in Michigan City, Indiana. Indiana is from Detroit, Michigan. Nobody's out there. And I went to Michigan. So if I go to Indiana, I say, what the Michigan? I'm a big fish in a small pond, right? There's not many Michigan graduates out there at the time. I'm like, there's nothing. There's nobody. And I could see some crazy cases and do some things. So I went into the area and I started applying people on LinkedIn, and I found your ad and I applied for a Northwest Indiana lead associate position, like I was going to get that right. And the tiger. Remember this day it was fall or beginning to become fall was like early August. It was a cool, crisp afternoon and the Tigers were on television. And I closed my laptop and I was about to crack a beer because I was just having, I was bored, I wasn't doing anything. I was just ready to end my night and do that, and then walk out to the patio and I get a call from an 815 number, and I went, it said Peoria, Illinois on it. And I'm like, interesting. That might be where I'd just apply to. And it was seven minutes and 45 seconds after I applied. And it was you on the other line, right?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yep. I remember.

Dr. Alex Shore:
We had a 1.5-hour conversation about mindset and goals and what you could do for me, which is something I had never heard. Right. I'm striking out. And what you could do for me, how we could benefit each other. These are topics we talk about and we haven't even met. And I and the, my takeaway was he sees an opportunity to grow something. And that's a bigger deal than what I'm going because right now I'm striking out. Right now it's your ability doesn't match your skill set. And this is the problem.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah. One of the things that I like to check out your frequency where you're at, right. Where are you at, where your mindset is at. Do you like to win? Because I'm all about like, winning. We want to have a winning team. And this is how I always achieve our goal. And you had that in you.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And I was just...

Dr. Noel Liu:
And then. And then what happened? I asked him to come down to Peoria. Right?

Dr. Alex Shore:
So I didn't know very much at the time, but you had asked me, can you interview? And I said, yeah, well, I can interview you go, can you do tomorrow I go, yeah. Where do you want to meet? I'm thinking Chicago 4 hours or 3 hours ago, Peoria, Illinois, and I went, I thought this job was from another state, though it is, I own that office, but I'm headquartered out of Peoria. That's where I work tomorrow, and I like. You're telling me all the ways I could get there, and it's like. It was like 3:00 in the afternoon. I said, you know what? Three days off work in a row. You know I'll be there. I'll make it happen. And we set up for 10:00 in the morning. You know, I'll be there. And I hang up the phone and I look at my dad, who had taken me to all my dental school interviews. I said, get him a car. We're going to Peoria, Illinois tonight. But we broke up the drive. We got to about Chicago area, right, right, right. Went in from there for three hours. It was about a nine-hour total trip. Right. We're driving there and he's like, Alex, why do you want to do this? Your whole life is in Michigan. Your family's here. Your education has been here. Your parents are here. Your friends are here. Why do you want to do this? I said there's something about that conversation that I have. I just have to see it through. And that was the only thing that I was going out there on a see it through mindset. Not knowing what? Not knowing anything about Peoria. I couldn't even find Peoria, Illinois on a map, to be honest, right before that. And, when I get there. And I saw your office and you showed me all the facilities, the standard stuff, and then me, you and Dr. Jafari, who was the other owner of Secure Dental, we sat down, we had a good talk about where I'm at and what we could. What you guys could see in me, which is something I've never heard before. And we went out to lunch, at a neighboring restaurant there. We just had another.

Dr. Noel Liu:
It was wild. Like you drove all the way from Detroit? Yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And we just had a talk, and nobody offered me a job or anything. And you just kept saying. So what do you want to start? I'm like, as a kid, it was just fresh out of dental school because, I mean, I got it. Does that mean we're doing this? And I get in the car and my dad had been driving around Peoria doing whatever, hanging out for the day. And I looked at him and I said, there's something about this opportunity I have to take. I can't tell you what it is. I just there was like this force of attraction in my mind that said, if I do this, I will be great. If I stay where I'm at, I won't. And it was like that was the entire nine-hour car ride home. I just kept telling him, I said. Something about this feels like if I don't do this, I'll regret it forever.

Dr. Noel Liu:
It's a frequency match, right?

Dr. Alex Shore:
And I was like, I will regret this decision for the rest of my life if I don't do it, I just know it. And I got there, and I called you. I said, all right, what do I have to do? You should apply for Illinois license and apply for Indiana license. So once I got them, I put in my two weeks. I moved to this area on a whim. No family, no buddy. My grandparents live an hour away from me because it was the closest to Portage where you guys hired me out of.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So what are we seeing at that time?

Dr. Alex Shore:
I was in Chicago because it was centrally located. And I said, you know what? If they need me to go to any other offices, I could get there from there. And I saw the Davenport ones, the Rock Island Marine, Springfield, because at that point, when I was alone and working, I said, you just came from a job where you weren't given the opportunity. So now what you're going to do is change your whole mindset, and you're going to work six days a week. You're going to give it everything you got and take any hours they'll give you and push it every day. Challenge yourself. Write consistently. Do a procedure you're not doing, just like we had talked about earlier. And you told me, you guys told me in the interview, if you work hard for six months, you won't believe where you are, where you came from. Six months ago. I took that to heart. So. I'll let you talk about this if you want. It's about end of August and I start working for you. And I've done two root canals, all dental school. And you drove up because you guys are mentors. And we did, like, doctors meetings and cloud-based learning, cloud-based software. And I talked to you guys, I called you up and I said, you know, I got like, this guy who needs eight root canals are all covered by estate insurance. And we accepted it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And what did we do? We opened them all up.

Dr. Alex Shore:
We Dr. Liu drove down, you did. And you said. I'll be there tomorrow. Just make sure he's numb. So I numbed him up, and you got there. And we opened every single tooth up and did all eight root canals. And you showed me the workflow and how you're overthinking. You could be overthinking steps or overthinking steps, and you can be more efficient and streamlined. And that was that one day. And I'll never forget it that I realized. I made the right choice. I made the right choice. I put all my eggs in this basket, and I watched myself push eight root canals on one guy and two hours and ten minutes.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Tell by the story when you were working in the Davenport Rock Island office, right?

Dr. Alex Shore:
So. Yeah. So. And that was the other thing too, is. There was a newer office that we hired me into, and you said that you wanted me to kind of, like, experience growing a practice. It was the closest thing I could get to opening my own, be in there and growing, see what happens. And that was unique. But I called you at Dr. Joffrey and I said, you know, I'd really like some more hours. It's going to be a stretch. We need some help for about four months in Rock Island. It's a busy office. We don't have a doctor. Would you do two days a week there? And I said, you know what? Sure. So I would work for you Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday here in the greater Chicago area.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And on Wednesday night, I got an overnight bags ready to go. I'd leave from work and go straight to the hotel in Rock Island. Three-hour drive. Work there. Thursday. Friday. Drive home Friday night.

Dr. Noel Liu:
See, the reason I'm spending so much time here is I'm just trying to get a point across that it takes a grind. It takes grit, it takes commitment. It takes discipline, and it takes accountability to self-realization. Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
That was that was the real thing is like when I told you it was like I had just come from a job where I was like, frustrated. The real frustration with me was I wasn't getting a chance and the dental school thing was proven. And now it's like, I'm not proving anything to anybody, right? And I've made it or made it. I just wanted the chance to prove myself all over again. That first job experience propelled me into everything had done thereafter, and I didn't even realize it. So we did this thing, and I worked for you, seeing 50 patients a day on those Thursdays and Fridays and growing this other side, which was really starting to get traction, and it was all those things when you would come up there because I was closer to you, and I would tell you we'd go over my schedule on the Wednesday night before and I'd say, hey, I got this. I don't think she's got a bunch of bombed-out teeth, and we need to get him out. And you want their front teeth? That's all covered by state aid. Why don't you just try and do some root canals and get her out of pain for a little bit and see if it works? So same thing. I come in and then you're with me, and we're starting your time study. We're starting to do out. You're going to be alone here, but you don't want to take all day. So let's shoot for a target time. Let's test ourselves and monitor how efficient we are, how effective we are, all these things. And we do that with. The next patient was an eight and nine Crown Prep. And in dental school, you get 3.5 hours to prep a tooth, let alone in real life. You just reminded me, you know, someone might be coming here on a lunch break. That's an hour. This is pre-COVID. That's very true. Work. 9 to 5, one hour lunch. And, I told you, we were sitting there one day after that patient, and you have your night coming up. How long do you think it's going to take you? I said. A shout out modestly. 45 minutes. And you wrote the number five on a sticky note, and you said, I want the preps done in that time. Both of them. And I got it done in 17 minutes and I thought I was a champion. And the reality was, is what you taught me is to push the boundary. Push yourself. Right. Grab that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I got to say one thing, though. Every single time I challenged you. You lived up to it. It's like your growth curve was like, you know, like that.

Dr. Alex Shore:
It took the right person to sit there and tell me you have to be better than.

Dr. Noel Liu:
But you had it anyway. And that's that's what you know, we're so proud of because you took everything to the heart and you got it done, and you made sure that, you know what? Let's get the results.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah. And it really came from watching you do it like I watched you do it. So you weren't just saying this arbitrary number that you wouldn't do yourself, right? I watched you cup a crown in ten minutes on a person in your column that day. You said, come here, watch. You put the timer on, you click the timer and you prep it up and you said, all right, take the impression it was nine minutes and 40 and 42 seconds. And you said, I would never tell you to do something I don't think is realistic. And then so it wasn't just like these fake numbers that you're trying to get me to do, so you could make more money. You were truly trying, and I could see it to show me that this is a realistic route you could run. And it's for your benefit and our benefit. Correct. You'll be a better dentist, and we will help each other.

Dr. Noel Liu:
The whole time when we prep our doctors is just so that when they have their own office, they're not struggling, right? They're not struggling patient-wise. They're not struggling financially. They're not struggling with any kind of team members. Even at the end of the day, these guys are just out there killing it. That's the mindset that we want you to have and that's the mindset, hey, you know what? This is not the this is not the work ethic for the masses. Yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
It takes a different it takes a different cut of the cloth. Right.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly, exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
You guys have done such a good job in your offices with you got a great management team. You have a front office back office set, meaning like you have an insurance person, you have accounting teams, you have office managers, you have a staff that reports indirectly, directly to certain people. And you just have a nice structure that really allows for a dentist to go in there and just do your job, rely on your team. Team relies on you and it's really harmonious. Those are the things that a lot of private practice offices struggle with. The dentist burns out, how often do we hear that the staff is unhappy because some other person is calling the shots? So the doctor...

Dr. Noel Liu:
It's usually, the doctor and the wife of the manager...

Dr. Alex Shore:
Which can work. And I'm not saying it can't work, I'm just saying the model you've instilled is the model for true growth, and teamwork, and delegation. That's the real key, because if you can take all those things and plug them into your office and create it, then you can replicate it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You can replicate, easy.

Dr. Alex Shore:
But it just takes the, you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Know, all the stuff that we're just talking about, right? It's you can't replicate it. Just, you know, success leaves clues.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Exactly.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Pick up on the clues and just copy it...

Dr. Alex Shore:
While learning. You know, you're never going to do everything right. Oh, no. And you're never going to do everything right.

Dr. Noel Liu:
We're still learning every day. So let's fast forward. The day when you got the grind done, like four days, four years in and out. Like the day when you were actually decided to. Hey, you know, I want to get my own practice.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Well, I've been working with you and Dr. Joffrey for at this point, almost three and a half years at that time.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
You put me through Implant, you taught me personally how to do implants. Full arch, over denture, root canals.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah, we did them all together.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Orthodontics. And you had grown me over three years because I proven to you, at least I think so is I'm willing to give it my all, and I'm.

Dr. Noel Liu:
We can help you pass. You were so, like, fast at like just.

Dr. Alex Shore:
It came from that drive. Righ?

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah. Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And when I was your associate, I would stay till seven, eight at night. I was never the first one out. I was always the last one. I had my key. I was setting the alarm at least 3 to 4 nights a week. I didn't let notes go. Done, undone. I wanted to refresh. And you taught me this to, your next day starts the night before. You cannot leave exactly, exactly into tomorrow. You automatically become unorganized. So your next day starts the night before. And I kept that. So your next day starts the night before. And I kept that every day I worked out.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's huge.

Dr. Alex Shore:
So I would say you even give us the ability to do our notes at home, I didn't want I stayed at your office, did the notes, did all my lab slips, boxed them, packaged them, taped them up and ready on the manager's desk for the next day. Because the night. Still had to be preparation for the first day tomorrow. First patient. And we would we would always call that first patient mentality. If you can't maneuver your schedule and understand where the high-value procedures are, the low-value procedures are what should be quick, what should take a little longer, what might take a little longer? Somebody is coming in with a little problem that you might want to convert them and help them out into some service. Those are the things that you need to know before you can't sleepwalk through that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And this is the secret sauce. Yeah. If a lot of people ask, like, hey, how do you make your dental office successful and more efficient? This is what we practice every single day in our office, but it all depends on an individual provider if they're willing to put in the work and that effort.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And I've watched you guys do it. Like I said, nothing you had done is something I never saw you not do yourself.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Correct.

Dr. Alex Shore:
So you were

Dr. Noel Liu:
The only thing I was the only take advice from someone who's doing it.

Dr. Alex Shore:
You were leading by example. You weren't just saying, do that and going home at 4:00 playing golf. You were doing it yourself because we would have doctor's meetings and we would do case discussion stuff. And you're not doing that if you're not doing it yourself. So I have been doing that for three and a half years, and we had been growing. And it was actually you that. You sat down and we looked at our numbers at the end and he said, you know what? Like this isn't the end for you. Like, you could go on and do your thing. We can collaborate later, which ironically, today, the pinnacle of what we had talked about back in 2021. And we had kind of you kind of mentioned to me, you said, you know, like it's as an associate I was doing in an in-network Medicaid accepting Indiana practice, were doing eight, 7 to $8000 days with and that's after adjustments. Right. So after we're working hard, we're doing it. And you you kind of tap me on the shoulder and you said you should really start thinking about your next steps and how we can collaborate later. And that resonated with me. You're never going to think you're ready. You're never going to know when you're ready. Because my whole journey into that prove it. I'll prove it to you. Prove it to you. I didn't have to prove it to you at that point. I guess I didn't. I didn't realize I didn't have to. What I was failing to realize is I had to prove it to myself. Right? This whole time, I had proven to me that I could do it. And when you told me that it changed me, I was like, you know what? You have these skill sets you're doing, you're years out of dental school. You're doing all of them for is a general dentist. You're three years out of school and you're doing single-unit implant placements in under a half hour. You're three years out of dental school and you're doing molar root canals and same day extractions, same day service and converting on the spot and making it make sense financially, but not because that's what your focus is, because you're just worried about helping people and how to maximize your day.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
So that whole thing...

Dr. Noel Liu:
I still remember the time where you did not even want to do anymore.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah. No. And you pushed me.

Dr. Noel Liu:
This is tough.

Dr. Alex Shore:
That was hard because like in school, everything is so segmented. If it's not an anterior tooth that you go to the specialist. But you said the only person that said the specialist, someone who doesn't want to do it or can't do it. But if you're comfortable doing it, there's nothing wrong with that. Just know when your limits are right and you push me. And I did my first number 30 and I called. You said, look at the x-ray, I did it. How long would it take you? I said, 2.5 hours and you went. That's great. But remember, now you have to do it with the time frame.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You did it. You got the first one done. Now feed it every time.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Right. And that was like a big thing too for me because you could do these procedures. But if it takes you eight hours to do it, then you're not going to be making as much as if you didn't do it at all. So that's the kind of thing where it's like, because when you own and operate an office, you can't just think by yourself. Your staff is relying on you right? To provide. The patients are relying on you to see and be available, and the community is relying on you to be a strong pillar of business in the community. And if you're not successful, then that's wasteful.

Dr. Noel Liu:
All the stuff that we do in our office, everything that we do time study, patient care, patient management, speed, efficiency it's all from a patient's perspective.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Because when a patient walks in here, they want to see a confident, committed, and a dedicated doctor.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Exactly. That's huge. It's kind of like your model when you guys morph your associate I say it to everyone to this day, I wouldn't be where I am without Secure Dental. I wouldn't and I still collaborate. I still try to mentor as many doctors as possible. I give them all my phone number. I try to just jump on all of our calls still right and give back because of what it gave to me. I still to this day realize that my some people who took the journey to private practice will remain in one lane because of my time at Secure Dental. I like have a five-lane highway I drive every day. It could be a root canal, it could be crowns, it could be implants, it could be Invisalign, it could be denture. I rode that highway every day and I never looked back. And I pushed myself through your guys's teachings to just kind of stay disciplined and stay focused and push yourself to get better. That was one of those things that, like a lot of people, will have a negative connotation about DSO, and corporate and ruining dntistry.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So it depends, right?

Dr. Alex Shore:
It depends. But it also is a wrong stigma. Because what I was able to do during those three years is help a lot of people, a lot of people. And those people need care whether they can afford to go to a fee-for-service office and do the fancy stuff or not. Every patient has a different financial and personal scenario that someone might be falling on a hard time that day, but could be a billionaire three years from now.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And you don't know? You don't know. I was grateful for the patients who let me work on them. I tell my patients I'd always. I'd always end it with big cases. It was an absolute honor and a privilege to work on you. And they thought I was just insane for even saying that. But in my head, I would always say you trusted me. On a simple note, it was never about money. You trusted me. You gave me a chance. You let me put your life in my hands from a dental perspective.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Correct.

Dr. Alex Shore:
You are your well-being in my hands. And I was just grateful that they would even think that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And you know what? See, here's the thing. You got the same. You had you had terrific work ethics and a lot of associates do also right now. But you got it. Once you open up your own office, you brought the same work value to your to your patients, to your office, to your team.

Dr. Alex Shore:
It's also worth noting that when I was looking, you actively helped me look. You would say, hey, send me, some of the pictures or what's the doctor doing or what? You. You tell me things like. What should I be looking for? What? When you go to this office, this is what you need to be focused on. You need to have these kind of wits about you when you go to buy. Because you and Dr. Jeffrey had multiple offices, so you could definitely be telling heartbeat, this is good or this is bad, or this is what you should look for, or you should look closer to this. And so the buck didn't really stop with you. I left because even today, I still go to your offices as an affiliate doctor and do big cases. We still work together, whether it's a full arch of implants or singles or helping a doctor out with veneers. I still am there. As an affiliate to help.

Dr. Noel Liu:
But you know what I really love about you is right after you left, sort of left, because he was still with us for about. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Once you had your own office the first year, you did exactly what I was advising you to do with marketing. You did not cheap out on marketing.

Dr. Alex Shore:
No,

Dr. Noel Liu:
You did not cheap on on staff.

Dr. Alex Shore:
No, we doubled our staff. Correct.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You even went ahead and got Dentbio.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah. They were very helpful.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Right. Which is, which is one of my, you know, like side business. Right. So you follow like everything through. And today, man, I mean, like, I was looking at your numbers. You were showing me your numbers.

Dr. Alex Shore:
We've sold 17.

Dr. Noel Liu:
15 days in. And by the way, the three on six you went to. Yeah. You did not say, hey, you know what? I'm going to cheap out. No, you just invested. You went all in. So I think that's the kind of mindset that it takes. Like you got to go all in.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And I was just about to say that I've heard you say over probably the last five years, be all in and everything. I mean, I've heard you say that probably 100 times, and I also have heard you say how you do everything is how you do anything. And those things. It's like when I look at success, I look at people like you and Dr. Jeffrey. I look at my mentors like you too. And I say. If he's advising me to do something, it's because it worked. It's because through trial and error and his experience in your journey and you've realized.

Dr. Noel Liu:
I'm never going to tell you something which I've never done in my life, and.

Dr. Alex Shore:
You are definitely telling me I tried this and it didn't work, but you could try and figure it out for yourself if you think it's going to work for you and you've given me advice like that, it didn't work so well for me. But if it works for you, let me know. And what we did differently.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And and today we are looking at your numbers, right? How many arches?

Dr. Noel Liu:
In the last two months.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I have either performed or planned 17 full arches and I'm only four. I graduated in 2019. It's 2023.

Dr. Noel Liu:
How many of your colleagues right now can say the same thing?

Dr. Alex Shore:
I can't say many. I can't say.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That may be right, but not the masses.

Dr. Alex Shore:
No, not the masses. And it was a full-circle dream because with you in one year. So I did my trainings implant formal trainings like you require, right? You don't just let us go place implant. You required them. You got a certification of some kind. So I did that. And then the first year I did 150 single units with you and your office.

Dr. Noel Liu:
We have a goal.

Dr. Alex Shore:
We had 100 or 10 a month and we beat it.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And every time we beat it, I bought the staff dinner. So that was my reward to them for trying to get people out. Anyways, so we did that. And then the next year you said, all right, you got singles, let's do a medius. Let's do overdentures and let's do full arch. You challenged me to five full arches in a year. Two years out of dental school. Tell me as a. You told me to. Five collages. We did six. Me and you? We did six.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's all. Just coming out of school, like two years out.

Dr. Alex Shore:
We did six and we got through some. We've done some stuff and we may or may not use those companies today, but we still got the leverage and repetition we needed. And even in my head I'm like, you know, gosh, it's I'm entering year three of my career. I've placed at this point over two, 300 implants, and I've rehabilitated several people from a dental. That's what I started to click with me as like, this was a job that I took because I was just fed up. Right? This was at a job I took because of that force of attraction. This was a job that I took because I felt that I would regret it if I didn't. And those were the moments where I just kept as I realized it was a payoff. As I realized it was working, it drove me even more, right? It worked. It's working, but don't stop now. Kind of like you said. All in all the time. One thing I admire about you and Dr. Jeffrey is you're always chasing the next thing. You're always looking at your own systems, and it's not sitting at the pinnacle with your 11 offices and saying, we've done it and we're done.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, never.

Dr. Alex Shore:
You're saying, how can we get better? And our doctor's calls. You're always saying, we're going to try this, we're launching this, we're demoing this, we're doing this. That to me is a is a very you know, I've only been owning for now for about a year. And in some change...

Dr. Noel Liu:
Keep going. Right.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And what it does to me is it motivates me to say my mentors are always changing state. And they've been doing this for years. I have to maintain the same state of mind that they drilled into me every day.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You know, what we're doing today is obsolete. It's all the stuff we did yesterday is obsolete by now. Yeah. It's not like we follow the same suit. The other thing is. Being grateful without being selfish.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And you guys have demonstrated that tenfold.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Because.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Associates.

Dr. Noel Liu:
For me, it's like you're going to be opening up an office. I know my, my, my past experience with all the colleagues that I know. Their employees never helped them open up an office. Yeah, it's always about like, how long can you stay here? What can we do to keep you down? You know, I mean, my mentality is, you know what? Let's keep growing the pie and let's get the new guy, the new guys coming in a chance.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Let's keep growing. Let's keep growing. Everybody keep growing. And that's what I call qualifiers. Once when you learn something. Hey, let's pass it on.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah, exactly. And you guys are just demonstrating that with your associates. Beyond belief. I mean, the, for example, you onboarded with NeoDen, and that was me collaborating with you after. So when I left, I found NeoDen, and I said, you, we really should.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You're the one who brought it up. But, you know, the thing is, they were kind of get through the door for the longest time. But when you brought it up and I'm like, okay, you know what? Let's give them a try.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And I told you guys, I said, they offer this leg or they pitched me this leg. That would really apply to me, but it might apply to you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
About this educational overhaul.

Dr. Noel Liu:
They do. Yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And our big thing was how do we get every associate playing at a very high level and doing procedures, getting comfortable with them. And that was one of those things. When I heard that, I said, I didn't just say, well, I'm done with Dr. Liu. I'm not going to tell him I called you that night. And they said, you should really give these guys more consideration.

Dr. Noel Liu:
But you weren't talking about these guys even before when you were with us.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I just heard from friends of company. I did some of my cohorts. People were saying, you know, that's a great implant for what you're doing. And I said, you know what? Sure, I'd love to give him a shot. Maybe one day when I'm on my own. And when I found out about this whole other leg. Associate enrichment is at the heart of your business, your model, and these guys are willing to train.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh yeah, it was a no-brainer.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And then when and I went, you invited me to this training, which I'm super grateful for. And I was also invited to be a faculty mentor at one of those live, patient things. And I never thought in a million years I'd be training other people. But to see the educational and watch your associates come from all corners of your offices and learn and do demo surgeries and live patient surgery, all within a short amount of time and no courses or no courses. It's like that was the real pinnacle that I saw. You are willing to give back.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, big time.

Dr. Alex Shore:
For your associates. You're willing to invest in them for long or short term. It didn't matter. You didn't ask us. Well, how long are you sticking around? Am I going to put you on course? You're gonna leave. You just say, let's do it. Let's grow because you have something to gain out of that, too. Because what you're doing is bringing in value to the industry.

Dr. Noel Liu:
It's one of those things where we have this associate pool of associates coming in, right? My job is to make them. Trained, right? They got to be trained. It's better that they get trained in and staying with us than getting not being trained and staying with us. I mean, we did have a few ducks right after training the left.

Dr. Alex Shore:
But that was also good because that's fine. You found out the capabilities of how far you could push somebody, and you found out maybe it wasn't the right fit. And if a trainee is the way it becomes the not the right fit, that's probably the best thing.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Which is fine, because for us it's all about being grateful and making sure we provide value.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Of course.

Dr. Noel Liu:
The way we go...

Dr. Alex Shore:
Of course.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah. And the funny part is you and I, we attended other courses. Yeah, but we still learned a whole bunch here as well.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I remember going around to some of those. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I said, well you guys got him two days, took me months to accrue and reminded them all this is an unbelievable experience and so good.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And for me it was an eye opener because I been placing in clients for the last for 12 years. Yeah, I learned something. Even I learned something.

Dr. Alex Shore:
We changed our whole program because of that. We were using a certain type of draft in this. Dr. Bruno Arnold told us about all new techniques, and you and I both called our bone graft person. We said, this is our new product. This is what we're going with. Because when you learn something and you take that and your skill set, it was unbelievable. So when I got this place, I transitioned with all the things you had already taught me.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Okay.

Dr. Alex Shore:
But on a smaller scale. I take it over a practice that was very limited, just general knowledge and reporting everything out. Everything pretty much. Baby teeth extractions, even.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Oh, wow. Okay.

Dr. Alex Shore:
So I brought it in slowly, like it, buy the equipment, and then trained my staff on every procedure I was going to do, I did. I did my first leg here for free. Just to get one through the door and show them the workflow. Then I had to bring in the reps and show them the products and show we sift through our own products and get that, because I already had my numbers and metrics that you had instilled in me from day one. As associate, you always do as targets. Where are we going to be, what we got to do, and how much we got to see to be effective. Because helping people is also a business side and you have to be in tune with both. So I was in tune with that early on, and I transformed this place for about a half a million a year. To 1.2 million in my first nine months. Now, this year, we're on track to double that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
To taking those systems. And so making them efficient, right. What I'm saying is, is the biggest takeaway. And the biggest thing I did for this place was delegate. I joined the Denvita. I hired an insurance coordinator.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You did not do everything yourself.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I empowered my staff to be financial managers. I doubled my staff size. I trained my assistants to do more than just be assistants. I just make their own schedule. I loop everyone into production.

Dr. Noel Liu:
We kind of give them a little bit of autonomy as well.

Dr. Alex Shore:
We all have autonomy. I taught them that the standard is the standard, and my biggest thing about this place is when the office wins, you win. So we are all a team, meaning like we're doing well, my team will see the results of that.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Right.

Dr. Alex Shore:
It's not just me, it's everyone. So they're all looped in. The business is thriving. They will also grow on this.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So we got the strategy part. I have this 80 over 20 rule where 80% of psychological or 20% of strategy. Right. You dialed it really good. What about the 80%? Like what was going through your mind when you were delegating, when you were spending money or you were missing marketing? You're paying those payrolls coming up. What was your thing? Because a lot of people, they get stuck right there. And I want you to kind of touch base a little bit so that it can help somebody unlock that mindset.

Dr. Alex Shore:
My biggest thing, okay, was the real difficult point is that as a new owner, you have a lot of debt.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yes.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Debt servicing like I had. Multi, I'm up into seven figures in debt building or over 25 years or you name it. Because buying these things, owning these things is not because.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You never had that, that kind of money debt before. You know.

Dr. Alex Shore:
It was like a running tab. We just keep loading it out. That's its own thing in its own way.

Dr. Noel Liu:
How did you overcome that? Thinking that you're going to make this work with the unknown and not knowing the sort?

Dr. Alex Shore:
Because obviously I had you right. I had advice to just keep pushing forward. Yeah, yeah. Do work. Success follows. It was always in the back of my mind, the same you're talking to years ago. Do work success follows. So what I would do or what I was able to do was understand the value of these things because they work for you. You did market. We did these things and you saw what came in. It's like a leap of faith. First, you know, like one of the things I love and I do this every time I start a new market or new product is. Faith is taking the first step without seeing the entire staircase. And that is like when you try a new product, you don't see the end of the road, you don't know if it's good or bad, but you got to have faith. Same thing with marketing. I launched a few marketers. I put my name out there and my few payrolls like, you know, the first couple months were hard. I was I was in the red. You're in the red because you had a lot of bills. You're paying staff. You're not making money right away. Your name is out there. Your schedule is not full.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Is that scary?

Dr. Alex Shore:
It's very scary. And I remember having a call from my accountant. Is this going to work? Am I going to make it like, why am I bleeding chips? And then I realized that all that faith I put in, all that money I was paying towards marketing and all those things you told me at month three, it started to the scales started to go this way. He was red now starting to come up. And then that was the time I was like, get in there and prove your worth. Get those Google reviews. Get good service. Focus on taking care of people and just what they say about you.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I didn't even worry about finances. A lot of these things were just say, pay me when it's over. Pay me when you're happy. But let me take care of you first. Got through there, and then I realized at the end of that first year, I'm looking back and I'm watching. I'm running through all my numbers in a month, month progression. I was like, you know, it all started with that mentality of just take care of somebody and then they'll tell their three before getting paid, before getting paid. And it's not to say that even right now, it's like my year. A year in was a change. My debt servicing is still high, you know, like it is a remodel. We did a new equipment. We got the building loan. So it's not like I'm sitting here telling you that, like, I have it all made up for a year. There's a lot of more work to do and a lot of going, and a lot of the money I do make is reinvested into the business to for, to grow, reinvest for my employees, for them to grow and paying off the debt on the building. So...

Dr. Noel Liu:
Absolutely.

Dr. Alex Shore:
You have to see the success and you have to grow and grow and watch the place start to generate and continuously invest. When I worked for you part-time that first year I worked here, I took zero paydays. I, I said if I work productively, would I do high volume? They're like, I knew my whole time, I know I can pay my rent and pay my car. Put food on my plate. That was it. It was all I cared about. And then I just constantly would let this place invest in itself and let it...

Dr. Noel Liu:
Put the seat, put the seat in.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Which, a lot of people are not wanting to do. They want to stop putting money in day one.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You know, I love them. I love what you just said, man. Faith. Faith. For me, faith is like seeing the invisible.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Believing in the incredible.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And what the masses would call it the impossible.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And that's what it is.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah. I mean, that's for you and your team live by. That's. That's what I learned for three years with you. And, like...

Dr. Noel Liu:
You got to see through the noise. You have to see the invisible, which is not visible yet.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I wouldn't be sitting here today telling you about this if it wasn't for you and everything that you guys had done and all the mindset right here and I can, I can tenfold. Now I'm doing procedures where like I'm like, man, you're getting sticky situations. But I just remember your training. Uncomfortable. Comfortable. Yeah. You can't let it slip. Now you got to think. Improvise. Pivot. Be strong in the mind. Your mindset and your feelings have to come second. Your emotions and feelings are buried when you are trying to do that thing that's making us comfortable. Because if you let that get through your mind, it's like a it's like a sickness.

Dr. Noel Liu:
It'll be done, man. You're done.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And you taught me that a long time ago. Is is the mental.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And and I look at you now, Right.. You believe in yourself. Your awareness level has gone from here to here.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And that's, I think, where the biggest focus problem of a new graduate is, like I told you, it's very easy to get stuck. Yeah. And your awareness is low and you haven't been doing this long enough to see the picture in front of you, what's around you. And it's very easy to get scare and intimidate, right? So, like these new graduates, the advice I'd give them is. Exactly what you gave me. I wouldn't change a thing. It's stay tough. Keep your emotions second to your mindset. Your mindset is sharpest thing in your toolbox. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and keep pushing yourself all in every day. And I mean, that's what you guys tell all your associates. And it really does resonate. It's a unique position to be in. And I'm a living testament. Four years, three years with you, four years out of school and here we are.

Dr. Noel Liu:
If you believe in yourself, think it's possible.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah. And it's that's.

Dr. Noel Liu:
The whole that's the whole name of the game.

Dr. Alex Shore:
It's been a ride. I don't really know how else to get I guess like quantifying what could be out there, because it's like that thing I told you is like, I'm on step two of the staircase. I can't see the end. I just have a lot of faith that, like my teachings and my mentorship that you've given me.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And you know what? Any step you go with that same mindset and you're willing to put yourself in uncomfortable situations, you always get to the next level. Yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And you've been saying that from day one, right? Yeah. And your story motivated the whole getting denied for several dozens of dental schools, the working at dental gyms for five years to open your practice, not going bankrupt to taking 50% interest loans out just to pay your staff for the financial crisis. I mean, it's never easy. We look at you now, right? Like 11.

Dr. Noel Liu:
We got always got to ride the tsunami. And still today we are still riding the tsunami, right? You never stop. You don't stop.

Dr. Alex Shore:
I think a lot of times people will look at you and say, you got it made right. Like you, Dr. Liu, you got him in.

Dr. Noel Liu:
What do we always say, man? Like when you wake up, it's like you're broke.

Dr. Alex Shore:
You told me that from the minute I met you is you got to wake up, like, every day it's blank.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
You don't have a bank account. You got to make one, right? Like so.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You got to start from scratch.

Dr. Alex Shore:
And that to me, is like, I look at you and I look at everything you've done and what people forget to realize. They don't ask you, how did you get there? Did you ever go through a problem? And you have gone through plenty. But people don't ever focus on that because they think this is all they think this is all supposed to be given, or.

Dr. Noel Liu:
We just received it, right? Received.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Your dad was a dentist.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Yeah. Some story, which doesn't make any sense. You see, here's the thing. The future has not been written yet. Yeah. And you can never, ever predict a future based on the past.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So what have we done in the past? Should not even be anything close to what your future is holding it. Because your future is going to be, like ten times more. So that's what I that's what I believe. And that's what I feel for you. Of course you took three and six.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah.

Dr. Noel Liu:
You didn't need anybody's help. You just went in yourself. You invested in yourself. You believed in yourself. You saw the outcome. You saw the goal that was going to do for you. Yeah. And I look at today what's happening.

Dr. Alex Shore:
We got people from all over Wisconsin. Exactly. Cincinnati, Saint Louis here. Indiana. Exactly. I'm covering 4 or 5 states right now.

Dr. Noel Liu:
And that's like self-awareness. Ten-x.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah. And those are those are the teachings you gave us, man. There is literally there's nothing, and this goes back to the full-circle thing. There is nothing you haven't said to me that you haven't done yourself.

Dr. Noel Liu:
But you can get to the heart and you took it to the next level.

Dr. Alex Shore:
That's also part of Right.. You expect that when you give someone advice, that they will heed the advice and apply it in their own way? That's just what you hope for, right?

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's always the case, right? I mean, that's.

Dr. Alex Shore:
What you hope for.

Dr. Noel Liu:
So anyways, yeah, I mean this a good segment, man. I think we can definitely collaborate quite a bit.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Well, yeah. Like and like you said at the beginning is now it's not just because we used to work for you and you and all this stuff is, is over. It's the beginning of now. Absolutely beginning. Now, how are we now going to take each other's, you know, skill sets or wisdom mindsets and move it forward because it's so much.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Easier to remain with you right now because of the same frequency, the same mindset. Yeah. And the same vision.

Dr. Alex Shore:
It goes back to that car. Right. And my dad, I said something about like this. There you go, man. Law of attraction that I had.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Exactly.

Dr. Alex Shore:
If I don't do this. I regret it. And I could safely say, sitting here, I live here now. I've made a reputation out here. My family's still in Michigan, but I don't regret it for a second.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Are you happy?

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah. Most importantly, I. I don't go to work. Yeah. I help people every day in my life.

Dr. Noel Liu:
That's awesome.

Dr. Alex Shore:
That's. There's no better feeling.

Dr. Noel Liu:
All right. Good deal.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah.

Dr. Noel Liu:
Hey. Thanks. Appreciate it. Yeah.

Dr. Alex Shore:
Yeah.

Dr. Noel Liu:
All right. Good deal. So Dr. Shore. Everyone, this is Dr. Noel Liu checking out. Make sure to, like, subscribe. And this is the end of our podcast. Have a good one, everyone.

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About Dr. Alex Shore:

Dr. Alex Shore, a Detroit native, earned his B.S. from Michigan State University in 2015 and attained his D.D.S. degree from the prestigious University of Michigan in 2019. With extensive experience gained across three states, including Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, he honed his skills in various aspects of general dentistry.

 

Dr. Shore’s practice focuses on comprehensive family dentistry and implant dentistry. He’s recognized for excellence in implant dentistry, holding Fellowship and Mastership certifications from the International Dental Implant Association. Furthermore, he’s the first authorized provider of 3 on 6™ full mouth rehabilitation in Illinois after training and certification from Smile Systems Institute.

 

Offering a wide spectrum of services, from emergency procedures to orthodontics, Dr. Shore remains committed to keeping his skills at the forefront of dental innovation. He’s an active member of esteemed organizations, including the American Dental Association, Chicago Dental Society, The Illinois State Dental Society, and The International Dental Implant Association.

Things You’ll Learn:

In this episode, you’ll learn the following key insights:

  • The importance of a strong work ethic: Dr. Alex Shore emphasizes the value of hard work and dedication, highlighting his experiences working multiple jobs before entering dental school. These early work experiences instilled a strong work ethic that carried over into his dental career.
  • The significance of humility: Dr. Shore discusses the importance of humility and being appreciative of opportunities. He emphasizes that there is always someone willing to work harder, and this mindset drove him to continuously strive for improvement.
  • Taking charge of your life: Dr. Shore believes in taking initiative and setting the stage for your own success rather than simply reacting to life’s circumstances. He discusses the mindset of actively pursuing opportunities and not letting life take charge of you.
  • The importance of patient-centered care: Dr. Shore discusses the significance of patient care and the trust patients place in their dentists. He believes in showing gratitude to patients for their trust and ensuring that they receive the best possible care.
  • The role of mentorship and guidance: Dr. Shore acknowledges the support and guidance he received from mentors like Dr. Noel Liu, who advised him on the importance of doing good work and building a successful career.

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Dr. Alex Shore on LinkedIn.
  • Follow the Signature Smile Arts on Facebook.
  • Visit the Signature Smile Arts website.