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Grow Your Dental Business with Penny Reed : Howard Speaks Podcast #130

Grow Your Dental Business with Penny Reed : Howard Speaks Podcast #130

8/28/2015 2:00:00 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 579

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Success "starts in a place that's different than most dentists believe. And it really begins with their attitude."

Stream Audio here:

AUDIO - Penny Reed - HSP #130

Watch Video here:

VIDEO - Penny Reed - HSP #130


Penny Reed shares the five keys to growing your dental business. They might not be what you think.


Penny Reed, president of Penny Reed & Associates, is a dental consultant who began her coaching business in 1994 after working as a dental office manager. She is passionate about helping practices grow. She is the author of the book, "Growing Your Dental Business."

Penny is a member of the National Speakers’ Association and the past president of the Tennessee Chapter. She has been named a Leader in Dental Consulting by Dentistry Today, each year since 2007.

Penny is passionate about working with dentists and their teams to grow their dental businesses. She utilizes a combination of in-office and virtual training and coaching to assist dental teams in achieving their goals. By utilizing the principles in Growing Your Dental Business, most of her clients achieve an increase in collections of 25% or greater.

Penny Reed & Associates

Phone: 1.888.877.5648



Howard: It is a huge honor for me today to get to be interviewing Penny Reed, who I've been reading your stuff for literally two decades. It's an honor to have you on here. How are you doing?

Penny: I'm awesome. I'm excited to be with you today.

Howard: Rumor has it you have a new book.

Penny: I do have a new book, and funny you should ask because of course I have one right here.

Howard: Let me read it. Growing Your Dental Business by Penny Reed. How long have you been growing dental business?

Penny: About two decades, since 1994.

Howard: So you started when you were twelve?

Penny: I did, I was twelve. I actually went to work for my dentist in 1992. He hired me to come in. I had been in management with Walmart, and he hired me to come in and run his practice, and I thought, "Wow, no nights, no weekends, no stress." [Crosstalk 00:00:58].

Howard: The hardest thing about doing these interviews is we just passed a hundred and twenty-five thousand downloads on iTunes. Then you got to throw in Dental Town and YouTube and all that stuff. The problem is we're averaging about seven thousand listeners, and they're anywhere from a junior and senior in dental school to older than me, sixty-five, seventy, whatever. It's so hard talking to an audience when they're all at different levels, and so I try to mix it up over the hour, but just generally succinct. When you see successful dental offices and you see unsuccessful dental offices, what is the low hanging fruit of the difference? Is it because they're in the wrong city? Is it they're in the wrong town? Taking insurance, not insurance? What would you say are the low hanging fruit obvious differences between those who are crushing it, having fun, killing it, making money and those all the way to the other end where they go check out?

Penny: That's a great question and it's one, believe me, that I've had to ask myself from time to time, because I'll see someone that's doing well and then there's another doctor that's struggling, and of course my role is how do I help them make that shift. It starts in a place that's different than most dentists believe and it really begins with their attitude and one of the most common factors, I've shared this with the team, in Tupelo, Mississippi yesterday. 

Howard: I've lectured there. 

Penny: Yeah.

Howard: Was it at the casino?

Penny: That was actually in their office.

Howard: Oh, okay. I've lectured at a casino in that city.

Penny: Yeah, me too. He was talking about a couple of years ago he made a shift and really began to express appreciation to those around him and his patients, his team, and we may not be able to control, for example, the economy. Maybe we've got a lot of financial pressure on us, which the dentists that have been in this for a while have seen some unpleasant changes in their reimbursement to put it lightly. In spite of that they're still able to encourage their team, let their patients know how much they appreciate them, at their core, I'm going to call it gratitude. They have a sense of gratitude for what they have, no matter what. The team isn't coming in and thinking, "Well we had a really bad day yesterday. What are we coming into today?" They come in, they're fresh, they're focused, they're ready to get going.

That points to the second part, which would be the people that you surround yourself with. I've had dentists ask me before, "Okay, if I was going to think about hiring you or another consultant, how important is it that I have the right people onboard," and that's everything. I can share with you the best practices of what to do, but if you don't have folks on your team that are capable of doing it and most importantly willing to do it, you're going to struggle. You're going to be beating your head against the wall. I think those two, often we overlook it. We want to jump straight to the how-to's to systems, which I love those. 

We've got to have the right leadership in place, the right members on the team and them be in a place where they're willing to make those changes. That resistance to change is there, no matter what industry you're in, so get them to do that. From the standpoint of the low hanging fruit of the systems, I think we get fizzy. I'm trying to get on autopilot. You and I have been doing what we do for quite a while, so there's a kind of shift in autopilot. It's like driving a car, driving a stick shift, you don't even think about it anymore.

Sometimes we roll into the office, we look at the schedule, okay, let's get going. That's where the opportunity starts in my opinion is the huddle, knowing what to look for. Not just reading off the patients on he schedule but looking at and getting focused on who's coming in today, do they have family members that don't have scheduled appointments? Instead of just looking, "Okay, we've got this at ten, we've got this at eleven. We can put an emergency in here," what opportunities are available to us? I think the amount of focus that happens in the office is critical.

Howard: It's funny because we've both been trying to help dentists, I've been doing this my whole life, and if you talk about attitude, they're just like, "That's all fluff and bullshit. I want to know what to do." Whenever you talk about attitude, it's all fluff and it's all everything. I mean Southwest Airlines, we hire on attitude, we train for skill and the fault of this are the deans of the dental school because they only accept people that have 4.0. If you go to college and you have a girlfriend and you join a frat and you go out a couple nights a week and you make As, Bs, and Cs, you don't have a prayer in hell in getting into med school, dental school, law school. If you're a total nut freak like me who went to the library after school and stayed there until it closed at midnight seven days a week and got in a year early, you're not well rounded, you're crazy.

The natural selection is all these algebra, chemistry, physics geek majors and then they get out and they're in the people business. Even vets make the wrong mistake. They go, "Well I'm going to be a vet because I don't want to deal with people." Well who the hell brings in a cat?

Penny: Right, I haven't seen it drive a car.

Howard: I've never seen a cat driving a car, and it's all the people business. It's so funny because the ones crushing it are people persons that just go in there and shake their hand, "How you doing Penny? Great to see you. It's been a while." What's funny to me is I've had the luxury of tailing all the successful dentists in continents around the world, and they all only have one thing in common. Not quality of their dentistry. Not whether or not they have a CAD cam or a [inaudible 00:06:56] or a CBBT, but these walk up into the operatory and light up the room, "Penny, how are you doing," and they shake their hand. "How's your mother? I haven't seen her for two years. What's going on with you?" It's like three minutes and the person just completely lit up.

Penny: Sure.

Howard: Then the geek dentist will look at the x-ray box on the side and look at himself because he's looking for a physics problem. The great ones will have it up in front of the patient and go over it, "Well looks at your x-rays. Here's on the upper right and it's looking good," and they always give compliments. The bad ones are always making people feel bad, like "Oh who did that root canal? Was that Stevie Wonder's first root canal? That's horrible." Then you're saying you made a decision earlier to go to the dentist and you gave them money and now I'm telling you that you were stupid because it's a shitty root canal and it needs to be redone. It's all people, and then that reflects under the whole staff. The people you surround yourself, I want you to address this problem.

When I go into a dental office or I know dentists or whatever, it always seems like the worst employee is the one they think they can't live without. He's been there twenty years. I'm like, "Dude, okay, she's nuts and all your other employees only last one year or two and they all leave because of her, and you think you can't live without that person." I want you do this. You have seen probably a thousand offices. This dentist listening only sees his office. What are red flags that you really got the wrong player on the team?

Penny: I would say a lot of the time how they respond when you ask them to do something especially if it's something different than the way they've always done it. In other ways, "I talked to a couple of my buddies. They went to this workshop. This is really working well in their office. I want us to do this this way." Are they even open to it? Do they shut down? Do they also shut down other members of the team? Do you have a team member that I would say they're unapproachable or, and this has even happened to me even though I'm not a dentist. You have a team member that you're thinking, "Yeah, I'd really like to do that, but maybe I'll do it myself because I don't want to ask her to do it." It's just that whole fear and dread. 

Someone who uses their emotional muscle, I'm going to say to bully. We think that there's just bullies on the playground, but there are grown up bullies in the workplace and they're also in the dental office. If it's someone in that practice that has more power than you, Howard, the owner, that's when you've really got to be afraid, and that person that you think you can't live without, I've seen it happen because they took another position. I've seen it happen maybe because they were actually caught embezzling. I've seen it happen because they were in some sort of accident and maybe passed away. That person that you can't live without, it's like a basketball team and you've got one good player. You know what, we give the ball to that player and that player shoots and it goes in all the time. What happens if that player isn't there anymore?

Sometimes the dangerous person can be the superstar, the one that thinks, "Oh well Susie isn't here. We're not going to hit gold next week because Susie wasn't here." Your team is only as strong as your weakest player, and that's one of the things that when we look at growing a dental business, there are things in dentistry that we can't change and that's one of the reasons why I put the book together. First thing a doctor will say to me, second thing would be ... First it's, "Fix my staff," because they think they're the ones that are broken." The second one is, "How do we get reimbursed more? Tell me what codes to use," and I'll say, "Well number one, I'm not the code guru, and second, reimbursement's flat. It's creeping along. There's not a lot more money coming in for procedures, so we can't control that but what we can control is how we respond to it and things that we do in our office."

I'm a big advocate for you've got this team onboard, and you as the doctor, you're improving your skills. You're wanting to learn how to do a better root canal, a quicker root canal, how to take out wisdom teeth with more ease, and yet your team is still struggling to find their way around the dental software system or your practice act laws have changed in your state and you're afraid to allow them to go and take those expanded function courses so that they can help you. I think as far as being able to move forward, move beyond, we can't just rely on that one key person, we need to continuously work on developing the efficiency of everybody. They need to continue to get better and better regardless whether they're processing entering payments or verifying dental benefits. They need to be ninjas, bastards at whatever it is that they do.

Howard: I want to ask you a question I've got like three times last month, and I thought this morning I'm going to lay this question on you. Dental offices will bring in a hygiene consultant to improve their hygiene department, and they'll sit down and tell the dentist, "We think you should do this, why don't you talk to the hygienist," and they say and I quote, "I'm afraid of my hygienist. I don't want to confront her. She might get mad." It blows my mind that you would give an employee money and you're afraid of them. I think successful people are the ones who are fine with having the most number of uncomfortable conversations.

Penny: Sure.

Howard: We've got these dentists who they don't want to have an uncomfortable conversation with their hygienist or employee, they want to come in and say, "How was your weekend? How was your birthday? Did you have a barbecue?" They don't want to sit there and say, "Hey, I read the average hygienist does this dollars of production per day and you're $300 under that." What do you say to a dentist who is afraid of his hygienist and doesn't want to talk about the uncomfortable data?

Penny: Couple of places to start. One would be I would try to take them into the future. I'd start with where they are now and try to take them into the future to say, "Well Howard, let me ask you, how does it feel when you're coming in everyday and you're being held hostage by this member of your team." "Well it kind of makes me sick to my stomach." Well can you imagine it still being that way four or five years from now? It's like, "Ugh, I don't even think I want to do this anymore." Why don't we look at a way to sit down with them and let's try to have them talk about what their goals are.

Now it could be, because I've seen it happen, it could be that they've had control of that practice for so long, that one or two team members, whether it's a hygienist or whomever it is, that they're at that point of no return. That does happen, but it's also possible when you sit down and say instead of, "Hey, I want you to do this," "Hey, let's look at we're kind of stuck." Have them give some buy-in. Where do you guys see that we can make these improvements. We may not go from here to an additional $300 a day, but if we could increase that by $100 a day and then involve them in that process. You hit on something, and I said this yesterday to a new associate in the office, we were having the team meeting and this team has grown and they're getting ready to bring on two new people.

I've had the owner doctor, I said, "Okay, you guys have built this culture. You're creating phenomenal results when other offices around you think that those types of results aren't even possible. You guys are doing it. When you're bringing some new folks onboard, what is it that you as a team and you as the owner doctor want them to know about what are some things that make owner doctor happy?" It's like well when we're ready. When we're in the room and when we're ready. I said, "Well what drives them crazy?" Seeing us on our cell phone. They were making a list, they're going to go over this with the new folks. I look at this associate dentist and I mentioned to her, and I asked her, I said, "What about you? What are some things?" She's like, "I'm so new. They know more than I do." I said, "Well let me encourage you that the first time you see somebody doing something and you wish they would do something else, get started now giving them feedback."

What happens is we tend to wait until we've had it up to her and then they take it personal. And it is personal. I agree, give that feedback often, but going back to what's the difference, very often doctors will begin to give that feedback, "I want you to change this, I want you to change that," and there's very little appreciation given to them. It's very little praise, a whole lot of negative feedback and then it begins to stir up, the whole team resents them. Next thing you know, you've got the turnover going like crazy, which that not only costs us emotionally, it costs us financially when we have to continue to train new people. It's a vicious cycle. 

Going back to your question, if you've got a team member that's controlling the office, I kind of pull a Dr. Phil. I'm like, "How's that working for you? What are you willing to do about it?" Occasionally they'll say, "Well I don't want to do anything big right now, but let's see if we can't bring them onboard," and I'll be the first to admit I've written a few people off Howard and then they surprised me. We've given them an opportunity to participate, and I thought, "I'm here to tell you she's probably not going to make it along this path," and all the sudden now she got input and she may give a little dialogue and feedback but I've also learned that sometimes just because somebody complains a little bit, it doesn't mean that they won't do it. That's just their reaction. It's like, "No, I'm not really sure I like that."

Howard: I love the Japanese proverbs. Successful man fall down seven times, get up eight. People are always getting back up, reinventing themselves. I did a run this morning with a guy and he told me he hasn't drank for seven weeks, and we're both shocked. We were looking at each other like, "God damn, that's awesome." He said, "I don't even want it. I don't think I'll ever do it again." It wasn't that he was an alcoholic or this or that or this or that, it was just every night he wanted a couple of beers and he just did that forever and shut off. I want to say one thing about the cell phone though. I believe a lot of my success with the dental community is that I've always said to the dentist, I'm not going to sugarcoat anything because I believe in trust and I'd rather hear a speaker tell me what he really thinks than have a speaker tell me what he thinks I want to hear [inaudible 00:18:16].

I hear so many dentists bitching about their staff taking a personal phone call and they'll say, "Dude, how many times at work do you call your wife?" Three. Okay, so now you're mad that your assistant checked in with her husband? If you don't want your staff to make a personal phone call, why do you call your wife three times a day? Is it child issues, work issues, whatever the hell, but it's got to be fair. What I love the most about Hewlett-Packard is Hewlett and Packard when they started HP, they had the same cubicle as every engineer in that place. You go to so many of these firms and the managements have closed room, private and all the people in the cubicles are saying, "I can't even hear myself talk on the phone, but when the CEO of HP was on the phone and he couldn't hear and he stood up and says, "Keep it down," I mean everybody realized these are the rules.

Be the same. If you don't want your staff checking Facebook all day, you don't do it. They can't call their husband, you can't call your husband or wife or whatever the hell. I want to ask you another question. I heard this this morning. This morning another workout buddy is a dentist and said, "I need a new receptionist. My receptionist of seven years is moving and I need a new one. What are any pointers? How do you find a rocking hot receptionist? Where would you go?" Do you just go to Craigslist? How would you address that? We know that who you surround yourself was your second point behind attitude. If I'm looking for a new receptionist, the first line when the outside world calls my office, they ain't going to call the hygienist or the dentist or the assistant, they're going to call the receptionist, I believe the most important person in the office. How do you find a new one?

Penny: We actually work with offices to help them find them. We have a process for that. I love to talk about this. We do place ads on Craigslist, Dental Post, those sorts of things. We also ask if you have a patient or even your team, who do you know that would be a good fit? Because again, we are looking for especially that frontline of administrators, they've got to be people person. Unless you're looking for someone that's going to be back off in a back room working on collections, they have no interface with anybody, we're looking for that personality. When you mentioned Southwest Airlines, it's been probably fifteen years ago I read an article in Reader's Digest that talked about their hiring process and that they started with group interviews, even with the pilots. They'd get a group of folks in there, they wanted to see how they interacted with each other.

That's what we recommend. We put the word out. We get the candidates that are referred in. We get candidates from Craigslist, we're looking at their work experience. We also make sure that they send at least three references, we can't recommend enough actually calling those references. Most offices never, they'll look at the references, "Oh they worked here, they worked here," they don't ever call. Even though professionally we're not supposed to say a lot when we give a reference, it's amazing what people say or more importantly sometimes what they don't say. Do your homework and that group interview, it's a casting call. You got to think let's say we were casting for a production. We get five, six folks in the room, we're asking them questions and we're not only looking to see if I'm asking you questions Howard and there are four or five other people in the room and I have an office manager or another doctor sitting there with me, one of us is looking at you while you're responding. The other one is looking to see what are the other people in the room doing while they're doing that.

You want the ones that are nodding that when you ask them a question, they say, "I love what Howard said earlier." You want to see how well do they play with others, and again, of that dynamic personality, I want the person, we use disc assessments, I want somebody that's a high influencer that also has great attention to detail, and I want that outgoing personality there as an administrator. I think regardless of the source, and it's funny because we'll track Craigslist, Monster, Dental Post, I haven't found the quality of the candidate necessarily to be better from one to another, although with Craigslist, you have to sift through more, "Well I work at the 7-Eleven but I've always wanted to work in the dental office" or "I have zero work experience." You're looking for mainly that high energy, outgoing personality that you can even feel their voice on the telephone that they're warm and friendly.

Howard: I think it's so funny because when you're with dentists and you're at a bar or a club or a restaurant, they just always talk about sports and the draft and the players, and they'll get in these heated arguments about who the Cardinals are going to draft or a wide receiver or a quarterback, whatever, and I'm always amazed. I'm like, these teams have full time scouts that all they do is HR, and then when you needed a dental assistant, you put an ad on Craigslist, two people's up, and you hired one of the two. Could you imagine what would happen to the Arizona Cardinals if when they need a quarterback they put an ad out and two guys show up from college ball and they pick one of the two? I mean all they do is pick the best players, and the dentist will get on Dental Town and they'll argue until four in the morning about what bonding agent to use.

Penny: Right.

Howard: then they treat their HR picks as "Whatever, we got an Amy, we got a Susan. Would you rather me yell at Amy or Susan all day?" That's another thing, we do the group interview too. It's amazing how we both have come to this conclusion, and what I'm looking for, and I almost hate to say this on a podcast.

Penny: That just makes it that much more interesting.

Howard: We have learned through trial and error that the people who come in and just talk about everything they've done have been a disaster even though they might be a dentist, an MBA, whatever they said, and the ones that come in and they'll say, "Well I'm in the marketing department." What is your background in marketing? They'll tell their background in marketing and they'll say, "Depending if I started working here and you're the marketing director, what is your biggest goal in marketing? What are you trying to achieve?" The marketing person will say, "Well we're trying to do this and this and this," and then they'll start engaging and talking about. We sense it's because, number one, it's not all about them, it's more of a team, but we think the best people can find a job anywhere and they're asking us questions because they're actually thinking, "I'm good. I can play on any NFL team. I can be a quarterback on any NFL team," I want to know if I worked here what would I be working on.

They're asking us what are we into? What are our problems? Then they start getting excited, like, "Hell yeah, that would be fun. I could so do that." We say, "Wow they're interested in the team members." We bring in the department managers, the head hygienist, the head assistant, the head receptionist, the office manager, and what systems need work on or what system is not working? They'll say, "Okay, well recall." Well I've seen the recall system like that. How are you guys doing it? Well I've seen this, what do you think of that? 

Penny: They're interacting.

Howard: They're working. Our gut feeling, did they come in and work? I didn't pay you. You showed up for an interview and we just worked because we went to lunch with you and it was a working lunch, and we engage and had ideas and we solved problems and I never even gave you a dollar. Imagine what it'd be like if I hired you and actually gave you a dollar. That's my deal. Another thing, these podcasts are listened to on every single country that Apple measures, everything I'm sure knows what Craigslist is, but you've said Dental Post twice. Explain what Dental Post is, and is that a regional play, a national play, an international play?

Penny: I believe they're national. There's and then there's also and there may be some others out there. Those are the two that are dental specific that I'm most familiar with and [inaudible 00:26:46]. If we're looking for an assistant or a hygienist or a dentist, those would be the ones that we would use.

Howard: I wonder why they didn't go

Penny: Maybe it was taken.

Howard: You think it wouldn't be taken now? The other one is

Penny: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Howard: I'm glad you say that, because I've been going to and not quite having the luck. You think both of those are plays for the whole USA?

Penny: I believe they are.

Howard: How does it work? Does it cost money to post an ad?

Penny: Yeah, you pay a fee. There's different levels. In others words, do you just want to post the resume? If you pay more money, you can actually search their database of resumes. It's always fun when we're searching the resume database for a client and we find one of their employees' resume in the database. That's usually pretty exciting.

Howard: Is this for hygienists, receptionists? Does it include dentists?

Penny: Yes.

Howard: Just general dentists?

Penny: [Inaudible 00:27:50] out there as well. There aren't as many dentists out there as there are team members, but we're starting to see dentists looking out there, placing their resumes.

Howard: Do you know where these two companies are headquartered? Do you know the owners or anything like that?

Penny: I do not know the owners. I know I Hire Dental is a division of, which is sort of like a They added a dental division. 

Howard: I'll look into that more. I've heard of, but I don't know much about it. I also get this question a lot. Sorry I keep throwing questions at you, I just want to know. 

Penny: That's okay.

Howard: I get this question a lot. Do you really think a morning huddle is really worth it? How long do you think it should be and what do you cover in a morning huddle? Can you address that? Those are three very common questions.

Penny: Absolutely.

Howard: Are successful dentists more likely to have a morning huddle or not?

Penny: Yes, they are. I've yet to go into a practice that I would say is operating on all cylinders that isn't having a huddle. I'll take it back to, back in the day I was quite the jock. I played lots of sports. I tried to imagine going into a game without having a huddle before the game about who's starting today, these are the plays, let's just a reminder these are the plays that we're going to run, if they do this we're going to do that, and then again you have a huddle at halftime. That's sort of the context for it.

If you're going to have a huddle, it needs to be a tight timeline. In other words, it doesn't need to be more than ten, max fifteen minutes. This is not a staff meeting. This is not a time to talk about training, and it's also more than just reviewing okay, well we've got Sue Smith at eight and Joe Jones at nine. Everybody can read. This is how can we make the most out of the day? I would also say if we want to be efficient, I recommend that my clients have a checklist, and eighty percent of that checklist is the same. It may vary based upon different procedures that they do, but one of the things that we're looking at is what are our high production opportunities not only today, tomorrow and the next day. I'm a big believer, if you want everyday to work out, to be your ideal day, you've got to plan for that.

Yes, everyone on the team has access to the computer and can look, but hey, the assistants are looking at their column or their doctors columns. They're not looking at the other doctors columns. They're not really looking at hygiene. We're looking for what are those next available blocks of time that we need to sell, just like if you're in The Gap and somebody's shopping for khakis, they may not even think about a shirt, but that patient sitting in the chair is in. They have something that needs to be done. If we can convert that for the same day, if we have time, that's great, but what we typically miss is being able to suggest, well Howard, I think the doctor may have a 10:00 available tomorrow. Will that work for you?

Maybe you weren't even thinking that you wanted to come back tomorrow at ten, but your brain has to say, "Could I come tomorrow at ten or no I can't?" It makes the ability to fill those up and coming same day, next two business day times so much easier, and when it happens in the back, it's magic. Once that patient gets up and heads to the front, when their rear end gets up out of that chair and they're heading to the front, they have a couple of thoughts. One is, "I need to use the rest room," two is, "How soon can I get out of here," and three, "I'm getting ready to have to pay money." They're not really thinking about scheduling, they're ready to go. We want to be intentional about letting the team know what's available on the schedule. 

One of the other things that's really valuable in that morning huddle, and I want to tie this into one of the keys for growing the practice, is on the case acceptance. The new patients that are coming in. In a dream world, if I was a dentist, I'd have an [inaudible 00:31:56] camera in every room.

Howard: I do.

Penny: There you go. You shouldn't have to wonder where is it. The minute you have to think where is it, do I need them to go get it, it's there. We use it on every patient. If we don't have one in every room and we have to think about who is it that we must use it on, who is on here that we've been telling them for a couple of visits, you got to get that tooth taken care of, it's cracked. Let's be ready. Pull up the old picture. Let's take a new picture. Let's show them how that's changed. From a marketing standpoint, we all know that we should ask for referrals, but unless we make a point to do it, create some sort of way that it almost jumps up in our face so that we don't forget to do it.

Most practices, they don't ask. They know they should but they forget. We look at who are the patients that we know we want to give a referral card to, and I'm a big believer in route slips. If you want to talk more about that in a minute, we can. I know it's paper, but it's some of the most valuable paper that you will ever print in your office. Paperclip a referral card to those route slips, and then that way the team knows if that cards still on that, no one has told that person how much they appreciate them and that they would love to see their friends and family. We're being intentional about doing that as well.

The other would be looking at where are the trouble spots in the schedule. Just because something is set that way, if we see it looks like the apocalypse may happen at 2:00 if we don't do something about what's going on on the schedule, that's the time to be proactive and look to say, "Hey, could we call Mary to see if she could come thirty minutes later." It's a tight timeline meeting where my opinion is you can find several thousand dollars worth of production opportunities and to not have it, I think it costs you big time. I'm a huge believer in the huddle.

Howard: I go into a lot of offices and they'll leave at the end of the day and the dentist is stressed out and he's going out to his car and he's wheeling out the nitrous tank and he just wrote the script for Vicodin and he's getting ready to hit the drive-through at the Walgreen's, and I'll say, "My god, what happened?" He's like, "Our break even point was five thousand today and we only did four thousand, and I worked hard all day and lost $1,000. Why did I even get out of bed?" Then you go to the staff, "How was your day?" Great. "Why was it great?" Oh Mary did so well and we did the filling on the three year old and she didn't cry. I'm a big believer in going over in the morning huddle the break even plan.

So many offices don't even know what they have to do to break even let alone make a dollar, and I wanted to ask you do you recommend, my dad used to call it the BAM number, bare ass minimum. Then MBA school, basically all MBA school did was give me non-profane words for every word my father taught me in his restaurant. That's all it did. It just took me from rated R to rated G. Do you recommend going over the break even point? Then I want to know what cross the line of abuse? If the only way we're going to hit the break even, say this dental office has to do $5,000 to break even and the 11:00 cancelled, and then we have a tooth ache that walks in at noon and that's a lunch hour, twelve to one. 

Or the other way, the 3:00 to 5:00 cancelled, and then we got an emergency but you close at five and she gets here at 4:45 and she broke a took and we stay an hour over and do the $1,000 cram, we hit our BAM number, and if we don't we lose $1,000, then you're looking at me with these puppy dog eyes saying, "Well we get off at five and I got to pick up my kid and I got to do my life." Talk about that.

Penny: Okay. First, yes I'm a big believer and I call it the break even number. In the morning huddle most of my teams have a white board, I'll call it a focus board, and it's written up there just a reminder, "Here's the break even. Here's how much goes for operative, here's how much for hygiene, here's how we are. Here's where we're falling short, and again, here are where the openings are in the appointments." Then most of our teams, we have agreements or a code of conduct that says if we should work through lunch or stay late, I'm also a big believer in the radios. Hey, we've got an opportunity here at noon, who would be willing to run out and go get lunch? Who would be willing to stay.

I could be about to quote you, this is not something I said but I'm repeating something I heard a client say. We talked about lunch and he said, "If I don't get lunch, that's okay. I've never had a $700 sandwich."

Howard: That's a good one.

Penny: Yeah. The team knows that they will get a lunch and they will work together. Again, if they're cross trained, they will work together, and there may be one that says, "I can't do it today. I've got to run to the bank or I told my husband I would go pick this up," but there's usually someone that can and they get, because I strongly recommend a bonus system in place that's based on the productivity, ultimately the collection. They're vested. They want to hit those numbers. As far as at the end of the day, the office I was in yesterday, their vision statement is it's all about the patient. Short, simple, says it all. It's all about the patient and agreed they can't all stay late everyday.

What tends to happen, my background was the administrative department. Usually if the doctor says there's at least one person administratively stay, because we've got to get everything all tied up neat in a bow before we leave or we can't sleep at night, right, if we don't close out the day. Again, a little short huddle, radios. "Howard he's here. It's 4:30. He's got a broken tooth. He'd like to go ahead and get that taken care of today. I know we normally leave at 4:30 or 4:45. Who can be available to stay?" In many of my offices, they have a rotation. They already know coming in that if there's a potential patient that needs to stay late, well today's Penny's day. Tomorrow's Susie's day. The next day's Joyce's day. 

They plan for that as much as they can, but again, it starts with the team having the buy-in and understanding that it's not just the doctor that isn't winning if we don't hit the goal, that it's the team as well. They're usually pretty good as long as it's not everyday, everyday at lunch, every single patient. Then most days if we're scheduling, putting those pre-blocks in to be sure that we've got an ample number of the higher production procedures, everyday it isn't, "Oh man, we've got to do this right now or we're not going to hit our target."

Howard: You've mentioned radios twice and I'm estimating that probably two thousand of the five thousand, seven thousand listeners don't even know what you mean. Talk about radios. What is a radio?

Penny: It's a walkie-talkie radio with a little earpiece or a headset.

Howard: Name brand?

Penny: Motorola.

Howard: That's what we use.

Penny: And Kenwood are the best ones that I've seen. If you don't want to order them from a dental company, the great thing about now is the customer ratings. You can go and look at the radios, see which ones have the best ratings, but every one on the team ideally would have this radio on. Actually this really hit me one day when I was in the Old Navy retail store, and I said, "Do you have this pair of jeans in a long," because I'm running around with my pants too short most of the time if I don't have a long. I was waiting for the to go to the back and look, and they said, "Let me check," and they hit a button and they said, "Do we have this in a long?" "Yes, we do. They'll be right up with it." I thought well wouldn't that be a shame if Old Navy is more efficient with someone with very little training than our dental office is.

I can remember the days when the first office I worked in that made a square if you went around the office. I would literally walk around a couple of times and happen to miss whoever it was I was looking for. I spent half of my life leaving the front going to relay a message to someone in the back. It takes a little bit of getting used to. I'm a big believer in that so that you can have that instant communication with the rest of the team. One little story that I want to tell you to help define that, I'm sure we have folks watching and listening that are thinking, "oh I've heard about that before, I'll never use a radio." I was having this conversation with a long term client of mine a couple of years ago, and finally on the call he said, "Look Penny, I love you and we're not getting radios. So if it's okay, let's just not bring that up and we'll make better use out of our time." I'm like, "Okay, I won't bring it up anymore."

About eighteen months later, he wound up in a unique personal situation, which had him working at his office four days a week and temping in other offices on that Friday. His first Friday in another office, he had never set foot in this office before. Small town in the south. He walked in, they put a radio on him and I'm just going to say his name was Dr. Farran. They said, "Okay, Dr. Farran, we need you in room one." He said they told him all day long where he needed to go next, and he had a $7,000 day in an office he had never set foot in. He called me, I'm driving back that night, and he said, "Hey, I just wanted to call you and tell you that you were right, and when I get home tonight I'm ordering radios for my office." It was like all of a sudden a light bulb went off for him.

We think we're efficient, but every time a member of your team has to get up and go look for someone or get up and go relay a verbal message to somebody, it's costing you productivity time.

Howard: Now you're over in Memphis, Tennessee, right?

Penny: I am.

Howard: Are you in Memphis? It says Collierville

Penny: Collierville is a suburb of Memphis. 

Howard: Didn't BB King just pass away?

Penny: He did.

Howard: How long ago was that?

Penny: It was about I think maybe four weeks ago.

Howard: I just wanted to say that I've been to fifty countries, and I think the three hottest music towns in the world is Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Bill Street in Memphis and I don't know the name of that street in Nashville, but it's the same thing. It's about six blocks of bars.

Penny: Is it 2nd Street?

Howard: Is it 2nd Street? I actually was lucky enough, I saw BB King on Bill Street. Did you ever see that?

Penny: I saw BB King in Albuquerque. I've been BB King's on Bill Street but I never actually saw him on Bill Street.

Howard: This was way back. I think it was like 1990, but I want to make a couple comments. The reason I ask where you're from is because when you said radio, it struck me so funny. What I think of a radio is an AM/FM radio in your car, and I always out here in Phoenix it's called walkie talkies.

Penny: Walkie talkie.

Howard: But you call them radios, and it is a radio wave I guess. I don't think I've ever thought of a walkie talkie as a radio, but it is a radio, so that's a regional play. I just want to say that I think the two things I agree with so much is that we do the walkie talkies because you go into any office, I just walk to the desk and ask for my buddy. "Hey, when's Tom going to lunch?" "Well hang on just a sec," and they'll get up and walk away. It's like, really you had to get up and walk away?

 You realize when I first took my four boys to Disney Land you always saw employees at Disney Land running because there's like lost kid, running, running. Now they're all on radios. "Hey, we got a lost kid. He's a red head," this, that, whatever. The second thing is I went paperless in 1999 just because that was the only way I could get the staff to pull the chart a hundred percent of the time when the phone rang because the reality was when the phone rang and I'm talking to Penny and all this stuff I'm not going to get up and go spend five minutes trying to find her damn chart and then when the patient comes in you didn't record any of that conversation, and then I said, "You know what, the only way I can get my front desk to pull a chart every single time is to get rid of all the charts."

Now when you call, I just type in Penny Reed, and boom, I pull the chart instantly. I think communication is everything. If your number one cost is labor, you should be investing all of your money. If you're spending twenty-five percent on average for your staff and paying thirty-five percent on average for the dentist, that means just like the S&P 500 they spend fifty-five percent on people. If you're going to spend fifty-five percent on people, you need to spend all your money on making those people go faster, easier, higher in quality, lower in cost, get this train going from a mile an hour to two miles an hour. 

I also want to say one thing on the, what do you call it, the break even number?

Penny: The break even point, the break even number.

Howard: You call it the break even number. I've never heard that term either. I need to spend more time in Memphis. Break even number, but that sounds better than a break even point. I like break even number better. We'll call that Big Ben. Should you coin a term? Big Ben.

Penny: We could. We could call it Ben.

Howard: It's a [inaudible 00:45:38] in London and I like Ben. I like Ben. That's cool. A lot of dentists do a Christmas bonus because they're born in a Christian country that's eighty-two percent Christian, and nothing you can do at Christmas would be motivating your employees the day we're filming this, which was July 9th, nobody is changing their behavior on July 9th for a Christmas bonus on December 25th. I think those are insane. The monthly goal numbers is what the dentists that do track, they just go a monthly goal, but again, it's too little too late to know if you hit or miss a monthly number, and everybody says one day at a time, take one day at a time. If we're going to do what your goals are, this is a number we got to do today.

If you just focus on that number today, we just get her done. We just get her done today. My team, and you're right on those walkie talkies. Staff have babies, need to leave at five. A lot of times they'll say, "I'll give up lunch," and if you've got three hygienists and four assistants, someone can give up lunch. Then the twenty-seven percent of American baby boomers had no children. In my office, those are the ones that most likely will stay late including me because my babies are all raised and gone. My boys are twenty to twenty-eight. Get the number done today. Let the day take care of itself.

Then one more thing on that attitude, I still always find dentists, they say to me all the time, you can be biking with some dentists, they say, "You know what I hate? I hate these freaking emergencies. These people just walk in, no appointment and haven't been to the dentist in five years. They don't floss." They talk like they're just bad people, and I love emergencies because ...

Penny: Oh absolutely.

Howard: Not just for the financial deal. I just think it's cool when someone comes in and they're swollen and they're in pain and they may be crying and they didn't sleep. That's why I went to school for eight years. I didn't go to school for eight years to do cosmetic veneers on some pretty woman who's after here she's getting her hair dyed and a boob job. I didn't study eight years of college for that. If you want to focus on, that's great. I could never do that. I could never be a pediatric dentist. If I had to work on crying children, I'd just shoot myself right now. I mean I would absolutely. I'd give up my dental license and my American citizenship if it meant I had to move to a foreign country to avoid being a pediatric dentist.

Penny: That's just funny.

Howard: I'm serious. I go in there and when a little three year old's crying, my heartbeat is like 145, I just wish I'd be anywhere than that. I just cannot deal with a three year old screaming kid. I just love the emergencies. I just love those and I think it's so important. What we have found in our office with Motorola walkie talkies is that you're on the phone and someone's canceling their appointment and then you can immediately push to talk and say, "Howard's 10:00 in room eight just canceled." The girl sitting next to her is dealing with an emergency, and then the three hygienists all immediately look at their patient's treatment plan and say, "Penny you need two fillings done and Dr. Farran has an opening in ten minutes at the end of this appointment, you're here from nine to ten, and his 10:00 just cancelled, so from ten to eleven, he's free right now. I can finish cleaning you, move you to room eight and do it right now."

I got three hygienists working existing treatment plans. I got every receptionist who's ever they're having a conversation with just got prompted, the 10:00 just got open for an hour in room eight. I got three assistants. The dentist, they always will have you come in and we'll do a filling on your right side, and then they'll bring you back for a filling on your left side, yet oral surgeons work on all four quadrants all day long everyday, and you should just ask the patient. You should just say, "Penny, I know if I numb up both sides and you got pulled over for a speeding ticket they're going to give you a DUI, but do you just want to say? I mean we did the right side. The 10:00 just opened up. We can just numb the left and keep going and be done."

You know what's really weird about CAD cam, Penny I can't believe I'm saying this but I love [inaudible 00:50:02] and I loved it, and our staff loved and we got trained on it and its been awesome. I'm realizing that the other side of it is patient experience. We keep saying same day crowns, but the reality is that's a two hour appointment. Now I've been asking, "By the way, so Penny, here's what we can do. We'll numb up this tooth, we'll prepare it and I can scan it and mill it and make it right here today and you'll be here two hours, or I can take a rubber compression, leave it tempering one hour. Then you have to come back in two weeks and I'll cement it on. It can be an hour today, come back in two weeks for thirty minutes, or two hours today." Do you realize two out of three people want to come back? 

I first got that team I had because I couldn't imagine sitting in a doctor's office for two hours. I'd go insane. Then also imagine what's their day look like. Penny might sit there and say, "My daughter stacked her car last night and I really need to go to the State Farm agent and I almost didn't come here today. I so much want to leave in an hour and come back in two weeks." We have it. We offer it, but a year ago we were probably [inaudible 00:51:18] crowns were probably all made in office except for gold or highly aesthetic and anterior, and now we're two thirds back to labs now. Because you've got to be patient focused. You've got to be patient focused. You can't be dentist focused.

When a dentist tells me he's patient focused, it's always followed by, "And my hours are Monday through Thursday, eight to five." Wow. 

Penny: With an hour for lunch and we don't answer the phone during lunch.

Howard: We take the lunch when everyone else does when they could be at work, taking a break and on the call. Hey, I want to ask you about why did you write this book?

Penny: I wrote it because I know you've done a lot of speaking, you've done some consulting, I love your take on why you don't enjoy the consulting because at times it's frustrating. Just like you guys get frustrated with patients that aren't compliant. I saw in my consulting business a mirror of what was happening in the dental industry. When I first began doing consulting twenty-two years ago, Howard, I could come into your office, have you raise your fees five percent, maybe ten percent, have you make a couple of tweaks on your schedule, have you start focused on asking for referrals and like that you'd be at thirty-five percent.

Literally there were times when I thought maybe I had some sort of magical talent. Really it was just a no brainer. That began to be not as effective as the insurance companies came into play and corporate dentistry came into play and dentistry got to be a little more competitive. It wasn't that what I was sharing with them and teaching didn't work, but they were doing the same things that they've been taught and they weren't getting the same results. I noticed that case acceptance had gone down a little bit, that we had to see more new patients and more recall patients in order to get the same amount of operative. If you think about the serenity prayer, the "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change," I came up with the dentists serenity prayer because I kept having these clients that were frustrated and bitter that. I'm sure you've talked with people like that right?

They've been in practice at least fifteen years and they want it to be the way that it was. Well mama ain't coming and you and I both know that that's not going to happen. The focus on, "Grant me the serenity to accept the aspects of the current dental economy, the courage to proactively make the changes I can to grow my practice, and the wisdom to be able to coach my team." I thought okay, what can we effect, and what is a handbook so to speak, what does the need to know if they're like, "Okay, let's just start over mentally. What do I need to do to be able to grow my dental business?" It's everything in there from you with your MBA, starts out knowing your numbers.

You can't just occasionally look at your numbers and effectively manage your business and be as profitable as you can be. Then the rest of the focus is just settling down to some key points, five areas, five keys to growing your dental business so that we can sort of take a look, all right where are we now, and if we will increase these different areas by only ten percent, depending on the size of the practice, we can grow the practice twenty-eight percent, might mean another $300,000 in revenue, but we've gotten sort of stagnant, because we're doing the things that we were taught to do in the 80s and 90s, go to the cosmetic courses, target the high end patient, try to stay out of the PPO's, and I can remember putting my hands on my hips in my mid-20s and being in the front of the room and telling dentists never, ever, ever participate with a PPO. Well nobody was on PPO's back then.

I've had way too many clients come to me and say, "You know what, even my best friends have left my practice because they want to go somewhere in network." I'm not saying that you have to participate with them, but they're here and if you do participate with them you're discounting your fee. How are you going to make up for that dollar difference? It's got to be in efficiencies and increasing your hygiene membership. Patients, their reimbursement is not what it was. We have to help the patients find their want to. Let's face it, patients don't buy what they need. They really don't. They buy what they want.

If we focus on, as you were saying, the physics of it, let's look at this x-ray, you see this fracture, what does it mean to them? Helping them increase their want to. Increasing the total number of active patients. If practices are not monitoring how many of their patients are active, and by an active patient my definition is the last twenty-four months, if the practice begins to shrink they don't really notice it until it begins to hit their net. That's a figure that needs to be tracked at least once a quarter. I have my clients track it monthly. It's easier than trying to remember to do it four times a year. One other key point about the frustration about the emergency patients, it dawned on me a patient can't buy dentistry from you until they come into your store, your store being your practice. 

They can't buy it over the telephone. They can't buy it on your website. We've got to become awesome on the phone. When they call in, my assumption is if you call and you're not a patient in our office, it doesn't matter what questions you ask me, that question behind the question is, is this the practice that I want to be my dental office. We've really got to be aware and focused, and primarily get the team to understand these five areas to really be able to grow the practice because it's not going to get less competitive, it will get more competitive. We've got to be ahead of the curve instead of waiting and saying, "We're flat again or our practice is starting to shrink. What do we do?" Well then you're digging yourself out of a hole.

I want to create more of an awareness. Yes, there are things we can't change, but I don't want to waste my days and hours worrying about that. I want to focus on what are some things that we can do right now that will help us grow from where we are.

Howard: Can they order the book right now at

Penny: They can get it at They can get it at It's in print there. Kindle, it's on iBook and Nook, Barnes and Noble. 

Howard: How much is it?

Penny: The hard copy is $20 and I believe the digital version is $9.95. 

Howard: The digital to read or audio?

Penny: No, there is not an audio. The Kindle, iBook, Nook, those are $9.95.

Howard: You know what I have figured out? I have figured out that guys like me, I'm a book reader. If I pan this camera over, I've got a thousand books, but most monkeys don't want to sit in a chair and read. They like to multitask, and the reason these podcasts have exploded, because eighty-five percent of them are doing audio only. Only fifteen percent are watching us right now on YouTube or Dental Town or video. They like to listen to that while they're cleaning their car, doing their dishes, doing their laundry, on the treadmill, whatever. Dental Town is launching our first audio book. I got to go into a sound studio and read my new book, and my god, I couldn't be more honored than to debut our audio book with you.

Penny: That would be awesome.

Howard: Think about that. You think you might be interested in that?

Penny: I would love that.

Howard: I would love it more. Number two, there's different markets. Some people are video and we put up three hundred and seventeen online CD courses and they've been viewed over half a million times, and one of the biggest feedbacks on it is they're perfect for staffing because if I tell my dentist anything, I'm Fred Flintstone, they're not going to listen to me. You're an expert because you're a hundred miles away from home, and I wish you would do a title of your book "Growing Your Dental Business," and make it an online CD course. The dentist could buy the book for each team member and say "Okay, we're going to read this as homework. Then we're going to watch you," and that'd be the perfect set up. Dentists saying, "Well we've read her book. We watched he together as a team," and then that doctor calls you up, what is on your menu? Do you come in? Do you only consult over phone long distance? What is your in-office consulting?

Penny: As far as everything that's available, I do [inaudible 01:00:24]. Sometimes practices don't know where to start. We might start on the phone. The best way to start, which is what most clients will do, is have me come in and spend a day while they are in operation so that I can get more of a feel for what's happening. Honestly, I know more if they tell me their numbers than they think I do without the observation, but it gives the team a chance to meet me, shows them that I'm interested in their practice. Then we follow up, if it's an out of town, more than a hundred miles away, two hundred miles away the next day with a training session. Then when I speak to the principals about how to grow their practice and things to work on, I've got a relevant example of something that I saw the prior day, so I'm not just talking in theory.

There are offices that may just do a couple of phone calls or they have me come in once, or I have a lot of clients that we'll work together for twelve months and I will come in a couple of times over the course of that time and then we'll have some follow-up calls, online like a, go to meeting type sessions in between because part of its knowing what to do. Being sure that it's implemented. If you learn what to do, you get excited. If there's not some accountability there and some steps to get it implemented, most of the time offices don't get a lot out of consulting. 

Howard: My view on consultants is that every single person I know that's doing one, two or three million a year, taking home three, four, five hundred thousand, they're a big fan of consultants, because if I give you a dollar and at the end of the year my practice spins off two more, you just doubled my money. The very best offices I know, they're always doing consultants, and because they always pay for themselves if you have a good one. I believe consultants, the successful ones are counter-intuitive. They tell you everything they're going to do. You wrote a book. There's no secrets. The consultants don't want to say anything because then they'll say, "Well I'm not going to say anything because then you're not going to hire me." Well then no one's going to order you.

Penny: They don't know your message. They don't know your message. I actually, my sister now works with me. She's one of my executive assistants, my big sister, and when she proofread the book, she called me, she said, "Penny, this is really good, but you're giving away all your secrets." I said, "You know what, that's okay. Because when I kept it all a secret, nobody really knew." Maybe they've heard of me, but they're like, "What do you do?" I want them to understand the philosophy, and there will be some that will read it and will never work with me, but they'll get the information, they'll grow their practice, but you're right. It's like, okay, here's what it would be like. This is what we've learned.

Howard: The successful dentists, they're not impressed with a magic bullet or a secret or "She's going to come here with a silver bullet and fix me." They're only interest is, "I want to give you money and you get her done." You come in here, it's implementation. If I want to order Greek food or Italian food or Mexican food, I need to know that first because I don't want someone coming in saying, "Drop all your insurance, be a cosmetic dentist. Be a boutique practice," unless that's what you want to be. You have to look at the message and say, "Yeah, I totally agree with this chick, but I'm never going to get my hygienists and assistants onboard, so I'm giving you money to come in and get them onboard."

We are completely out of time. Hell, we're four minutes over time. Two things, the dentist driving there is saying, "Well Penny, how much does something like this cost? How much does it cost to hire you as a consultant?" How does that work?

Penny: The telephone consulting starts less than $1,000 for several sessions. The in-office consulting as low as $3,500 a day, and then as far as the annual packages, and we'll usually prorate that, that can start at $1,500 a month. One thing that I work with doctors on is we'll have an initial conversation. I'll talk to you, we'll do that initial consultation just like if they came to your office. 

Howard: How can my listeners, do they email you? Do they call you? What if someone wants to talk to you?

Penny: They can send an email.

Howard: At?

Penny: Penny, P-E-N-N-Y, 

Howard: Okay. Penny, like the Are they allowed to call you?

Penny: They are allowed to call.

Howard: What's that number.

Penny: The toll free is ...

Howard: No don't give the toll free. Don't give the toll free. If they're that damn cheap, don't even take the call.

Penny: Okay.

Howard: Dentists email me everyday, "I'm trying to call you but I can't find your toll free number." It's like, "What?" I'm supposed to talk to you for free and pay for the call? I already don't like you.

Penny: Okay, 901-371-6295. 

Howard: Say it one more time.

Penny: 901-371-6295. 

Howard: I want you to cancel that toll free number today, lower your overhead and get rid of all the completely insane ...

Penny: It's on everything Howard. 

Howard: What's that?

Penny: It's on everything.

Howard: Oh my god. The dentists who look for the toll free number, they're always the most irrational, illogical, insane and you can just scream that basket. I do hope that you do our debut audio book. The Dental Town app is why these podcasts exploded. We just passed thirty-five thousand downloads.

Penny: Awesome.

Howard: Having the first audio book be you would be magical. I'm just going to end the dentists with this. You know the problems, you've had them for five, ten, fifteen, twenty years and it's not getting done. I'm telling you that people who are the most successful offices know, "Well if I pay a consultant ten, twenty, thirty thousand, and next year my taxable income to the IRS is up fifty, sixty, seventy, hello." It's like why do I have a personal trainer show up at my house every morning at 5:00? Because if she doesn't show up, it's a hundred percent chance I'll roll over and go back to bed. It's not even a ninety-nine percent chance. It's not a ninety-eight percent. It's a given. 

When I turned fifty years old, I'm like, okay, I didn't work out the first half century, probably not going to work out the second half century. So I'm buying accountability. I'm buying implementation, and I got two Iron Man athletes that live a mile away from me, two different women. They alternate days. They're both same age. They know how a fifty year old body works. They show up every morning at [inaudible 01:07:02] and take me out for an hour or two. Every time their schedule is to where they can't do it, it's more likely I'll be hit and killed by a meteorite than I'll work out. 

Damn it dentists, you're listening to this stuff. You're stressed out. You're financially broke. You're pissed off. Call Penny. I've known this lady for probably twenty-five years. I was a big fan of your writings. You used to help me a lot in the 90s and I'm a big fan of yours. Thank you so much for spending an hour with me. 

Penny: Thank you Howard. 

Howard: All right, have a great day.

Penny: You too.

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