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Regarding student loans, David Rice explains, "I've never been in a room where the average debt was less than $325,000". The time to crush it is now--and you totally can!
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Dr. Rice graduated in 1994 from UB Dental school. In 1995, he completed a GPR. From there, he completed continuums at the Pankey Institute, The Dawson Center & The Spear Center. He is the founder of the nations largest dental student and new dentist network, igniteDDS and maintains his practice in East Amherst, NY.
Howard: It is a huge honor to be interviewing my buddy David Rice who the last time I saw you we were both lecturing at University of Buffalo in Buffalo, right?
David Rice: We sure were.
Howard: You had so many dental students there fired up. You started ... You have the nation's largest dental student dentist network IgniteDDS, and you maintain a practice in East Amherst, New York, and you date probably the most charismatic hygienist I've ever met in my life, [Anastasia Tourett 00:40]. That video you you did of you guys doing a song and holding up flashcards to [inaudible 00:00:46] I was laughing out loud and spitting out my coffee watching that. Tell us your story. You got out of school in '94 and now it's 2015. You've been out 20 years, 19 years, right? Tell everybody your story and how did you decide you were going to focus on the next generation at IgniteDDS and get these kids fired up? What are you doing for these kids and how are you helping them get out of school and blossom faster, easier, and quicker?
David Rice: So yes ...
Howard: Is that enough questions? I'm such a horrible interviewer. What I do is I say "I suck, I'll just throw 20 questions out there and maybe one of them's good and you'll bite."
David Rice: As long as something sticks we're all good, we're all good. Gosh, let's see it's 20 years ago for me graduation from Buffalo. Went on to do a residency in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You know I like to travel really far. Lived there for 2 years, went out west and spent some time with David Hornbrook so I could learn some cosmetically driven dentistry.
Howard: I didn't know that you and David hooked up.
David Rice: Yeah, it's through [inaudible 00:01:49].
Howard: You work in David's office?
David Rice: No, not in his practice, but just spend a lot of time out west with him learning from him, the master. He's talented man.
Howard: When I got out of school and I was going to have all my amalgams replaced I went to that guy. I took my assistants. He's an amazing man.
David Rice: Terrific.
Howard: He's got an amazing podcast now too. He's with Shaun Keating at Keating Dental Labs and now they have a podcast. He's doing it totally David style. He's got a movie producer, a Hollywood producer the guests are floated live. I'm the hillbilly hick from Kansas doing it on Skype for a dollar. So you moved ... You hated Buffalo Bills and you wanted to be a Steeler's fan. Then you went out to David Hornbrook and you became a San Diego Chargers fan, so continue.
David Rice: As most do from Buffalo, New York you, someway, some how you meander back here and sadly became a Bills fan again. Yes I have the Steeler's blood in me with Anastasia and apparently she's also a Dallas Cowboys fan. I'm not sure how that works but that's our gig.
Howard: Probably because she looks like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. That might be the deal. So is Anastasia from Pittsburgh?
David Rice: She's originally from Altoona, PA.
David Rice: So yeah, closest major city I would say Pittsburgh for her. Grew up a Steeler's fan and so now she's here in Buffalo which is a little painful for her because she's been down south for a while, in the Outer Banks, but the weather here is going to be special for her in the next few months and I'm sure she ...
Howard: Where was she down south? Was she in Nashville or ...
David Rice: She was Kill Devil Hills, NC.
Howard: North Carolina. Yeah, that's what I always thought. North Carolina.
David Rice: Yeah.
Howard: So man, she must be in love to move from North Carolina to Albany. I always thought that was intriguing when Ivoclar wanted a North American operation that they picked Amherst, New York, a suburb of Buffalo. I'm like dude, did you not see Florida on the map? Did you have one of those old ancient European maps that only covered the Boston Plymouth Rock? Everybody seems to like it up there and love it up there and stays up there.
David Rice: It's a great place to launch from. However, Gary Takacs reminds me all the time as a former Clevelander, it's a great place to be from. So we'll see what happens in life.
Howard: Who said that?
David Rice: Gary Takacs.
Howard: He's from Albany?
David Rice: He's from Cleveland, Ohio.
Howard: Oh, I did not know that. Now he's up the street from me.
David Rice: Yeah. Rub that in the next time you see him for lunch.
Howard: I'm in the poor Phoenix area and Gary's in the rich Scottsville area.
David Rice: That's a [inaudible 00:04:27] for Gary, right? So yeah. I moved back here, started a practice. Actually bought a practice. Small world, you'll know Mike [Gaglio 04:37] from Clarion.
David Rice: So I bought Mike's practice 17 years ago, or so.
David Rice: Yup. Small world. We've had a wonderful relationship with Clarion and that's probably been a huge help to me to get in front of different people around the country because they got an opportunity to see the dentistry we did. They were down the road and thankfully, they liked what we did. So that's how the speaking and teaching began. I landed with students and young dentist quite frankly, because they're just my favorite people in the world. I love every minute of working with them.
Howard: I know. I get paid handsomely to lecture, but I always do it for free at dental schools. I like the free ones I do at dental school more so than the ones you get paid for because we're just bright-eyed and busy-tailed. When I look back at my dental school experience, if it wasn't for my next door neighbor Kenny, who just spent a gazillion free volunteer hours with me answering every question at his dental office from sixth grade to the end of dental school. Then in dental school, it was the part time instructors who came in, and they were getting paid like what, 200 dollars a day? They could have stayed in their office and done one occlusal from 8:00 to 8:30 and gone home. They come in their and work all day for the price of an occlusal, but they were tethered to the real world. They were the most exciting people of University Missouri, Kansas City where it's all the academics, kind of an institutional structured thing. Man, the volunteer, in fact, one of my friends Tim Taylor crushed it form Monday to Thursday. He works in the local dental school on Friday and same thing, the money is penance. He said that's his most fun day of the week.
David Rice: Yeah
Howard: Whenever you go to the bar and have a beer with him and watch the game and he starts talking about dentistry, he only talks about his one day a week that he gets paid for an occlusal filling at university, AT Still Dental School. He never even brings up his dental office.
David Rice: It's amazing, isn't it?
Howard: Yeah, that young people just have fun energy. That's why I have so much fun living in my house because three out of my four boys, they all had moved out, gone to college and all that. One by one, the three of them came back. One got married. Just having that much raw testosterone in the house, 20, 22, and a 24 year old. The whole house is just exciting again, you know?
So what exactly details as IgniteDDS, and what are you exactly trying to accomplish with these kids?
David Rice: Yeah. So my focus is, I guess what I've learned over the last 20 years teaching part time, is they're missing the same things you and I were missing when we were in school. They learn very little about how to run a business. They have massive debt so they, far more than I ever had. Very little about communicating with patients and the team, leadership, and some of the technology is limited depending on the school too. Either because the school can't afford it, to their may not be someone on faculty who knows how to use it. So we try to bring all those elements to the table. My goal is really just to give them a ten year jump start on life that I didn't have.
Howard: So, what kind of student loan debts are you seeing? So you work ... How many days a week do you work in Albany dental school?
David Rice: So I'm actually formally not at that dental school in Buffalo any longer. I'm probably with that student group maybe, twice a month. Just because it's home court for me. I'm in my practice three days and then if I'm not at Buffalo, I'm at a school somewhere.
Howard: There's 56 dental schools. How many schools are you working with?
David Rice: About 45 of them right now.
Howard: Holy moly dude. You are a busy man. So you live in a airplane then.
David Rice: Essentially, yes. Anastasia likes that though. Travel is fun.
Howard: Yeah, I love it international, but going back to Cleveland for the 15th time is, you know, you don't say, oh, I get to go back to Tulsa. Going to Australia or all those places are fun. So when you go to do a dental school, is it a half day program, and all day program? How long is the program?
David Rice: Awesome question. It depends on the school. So I work directly with the students. Sometimes it's a half a day, sometimes it's a full day. Occasionally it's an evening seminar for two hours. So it's different everywhere. Kit just depends on student group, venue, how many times we've worked together, whether we have an online component or it's a purely live component. So it's different.
Howard: Is this mostly an American play? Or do you throw in Canada since Buffalo technically is Canadian since they're gonna buy your football team anyway?
David Rice: We've got that Labatt's Blue six pack downtown, so I feel very drowned in Canada now.
Howard: I think it's funny how every time the owner gets upset he always says he's gonna sell the team to Canada.
David Rice: Yeah it's crazy.
Howard: Is it mostly U.S.? Are you doing Canada? Other countries?
David Rice: It's mainly U.S. in the moment, however we've got some people interested in Canada as well as Rome and a few other places. So we'll see. It's just about time right now.
Howard: Well you know, if you got a two or three hour lecture, when I look at the, Dental Town's got 205,000 members. When we print them out by, a lot of the kids in dental school, they all have their dental school email address. So my team can see where the email's coming from. We have a lot of dental students from over 200 dental schools.
David Rice: Awesome.
Howard: So if you out an online CE course for IgniteDDS, all that, you'd be talking to dental students in probably every continent but Antarctica.
David Rice: That would be amazing. I would love to do that.
Howard: Yeah. That'd be amazing. So what type of student loan debt are these kids coming out with?
David Rice: It's interesting because you know how it works, [inaudible 00:10:16], the ADA, they'll throw out number like, 250, but I've never been in a room where the average was less than 325, and I'm in a lot of rooms where it's 450, 500,000 dollars.
Howard: That number is very misleading, because that's just the people that have student loans. There's a lot of kids who's dad's a dentist. When I was in dental school, a third of the class, my roommate. His dad was a dentist, his grandfather was a dentist, it was all paid for including the car, the rent, the electricity. What percent have no debt because their dad's a dentist?
David Rice: That's the million dollar question, right? There's probably about 15 percent who have little to no debt because mom and dad-
Howard: 15 percent?
David Rice: The numbers, like you said, the numbers get so skewed because most of these kids are rolling out with massive numbers and it's getting offset by mom and dad on the other small percentage.
Howard: The million dollar question is actually, really, is how much is the average student loan debt, and then how much is the average divorce settlement for the dentist's first divorce? I still think the student loan debt is gonna be only 25 percent of their total debt when compared to their divorce. Do you coach them on that, prenuptial? Do you just have an hour on a prenuptial agreement?
David Rice: I really should, because I've walked that path.
Howard: That's always new. We should get all the divorced dentists on Dental Town to rewrite your ignite DDS score, sat hey, forget everything David's telling you. This is what needs to be covered in a prenuptial. No I'm just kidding. I'm never bitter about my alimony because she gave me four of the most amazing kids in the world. For that, I'd pay it tenfold.
So then the million dollar question is this, really. So if you're walking out of school with 325,000 dollars in debt and everybody's throwing marketing at you that you need to buy a 150,000 dollar Sirona CERAC machine from Sirona Dental Supply. You need to buy 100,000 dollar CBCT from Galileo, Sirona, or Carestream, or ICAT. You need to buy a 75,000 dollar BIOLASE laser. What do you tell them about the toys? I mean, monkeys like shiny objects. That's never gonna go away. They just love shiny objects.
David Rice: Yes they do. As much as you and I tell them, don't go buy all the shiny objects, they're gonna buy some anyway. I tell them, dentistry, your practice is a business. You have to have a business plan. You have to look at cash flow. You have to look at your ability, your buy viability as a business. So take a step backwards. Develop a vision of where you want the be in two years, five years, ten years and understand that the whole world has something to sell you. It may make sense for you today, it may make sense in five years. It may not make sense for you at all, as shiny as it is.
Howard: What are you, in your program, what does your low-hanging fruit takeaway points for these students? What do you try to get them to focus on? Business, obviously, but more specifically, what do you tell them?
David Rice: Yeah. We just launched a program about two weeks ago called Crush. It's really five strategies as a new dentist that can help accelerate your path. Seeing crush is all about continuing your education. My own experience, I think the experience of many dentists is, the more you know, the more you're gonna be able to do in your practice every day. So many dentists, they're not doing endo, they're not doing surgery, they don't know hoe to do this, they don't know how to do that. They're sending everything out the door. Maybe just from a treatment planning standpoint, they're not seeing everything they should be seeing. So we start off talking about, how do you expand your education, so you can expand your services. I think that's gonna be huge in dentistry as time goes on. The model's come full circle. The GP is really running the show again. That's our first of five pieces that we focus on.
Howard: I agree. I tell everybody I can. I've been out three decade. I've been out 28 years and going back, all the dentists who signed up to get their FAGD and start to committing to 100 hours of CE or more. Whether they got their FAGD. I look back, all the dentists that were friends of mine that devoured 100 hours of CE a year, they ended up doing, all their dreams came true. Whenever, in this big city of Phoenix with 3,800 dentists, whenever you of to a CE course, it's the same 100 people. They're all happy, and healthy, and functional, and have friends, ... So getting out of dental school and realize that your education just begins the day you graduate. Everything they taught you, algebra, trig, and physics, and all that shit was just the barrier you had to pass to get into the tribe and it's all useless. So CE. Do you recommend a diet of so many hours? Do you recommend a number?
David Rice: I don't have a set number. It's interesting. As I sit down to talk to them, most of them get it. Even to the tune of, f it's a post-graduate program of some sort, but a lot of them, they're like, so Dave, how do I write that check for the great CE when I'm just moving back in with mom and dad to afford my loan payment and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Friday? So I kind of start them off and tell them occlusion's huge. If you're gonna be a restorative dentist, you need a foundation. Make sure you can do endo. The future's gonna be about placing implants, if it's not here already. Take as much as you can take. I think your experience, what you said earlier holds true. You're gonna see the same 100 people in the room. The more CE you take, the more you're gonna find a way to keep taking more.
Howard: That's the only reason I started doing these podcasts because I realize that if they do 100 hours a year, every year. I'm doing that. I try to get the best implantologists, endodontists, I'm trying to cover the full spectrum on everything because they're driving to work. They don't have dime and a podcast is an hour and that's the average commute. I'm trying to , if I can make fast, easy, free, high-quality, with speaker from around the world. If they just get this little habit of listening to dentists from here to Kathmandu for an hour, the next thing you know, they'll have so many right answers in their head they'll just fall into success. That was my whole goal. So what would be number tow, besides CE?
David Rice: CE. Number two would be for me, is relationships win. Life is about relationships. Every business is about relationships and understanding who's in your community. Who are you trying to attract? Who that patient is, sitting across from you? We learn dental speak very well in school, but that's not what a patient understands. So understanding a new language, a different skill set to help patients get what they want, what they need. So very helpful.
Gary and I have talked a lot about disc and a lot about-
Howard: Gary Takacs?
David Rice: Gary Takacs yeah.
Howard: When you achy you guys talk a lot, you mean on his podcast? Or does he lecture with you?
David Rice: A few of his podcasts and we touch base probably just every few months to say, hey, how's it going? He's over at Midwestern's dental school.
David Rice: On a part-time basis. We're always talking strategy-
Howard: He's just doing that for the money. They pay him a couple hundred thousand dollars a year just to work one day a week.
David Rice: He's gifted.
Howard: Yeah, that speaks volumes of a person when they always want to give back at a dental school.
David Rice: I love it. I love it. I think-
Howard: I'm sorry I interrupted, but you and Gary talk once a week about what? The relationship side?
David Rice: We talk about the relationship side and how is it that you sit down with a patient and understand .. Who wants dentistry a tooth at a time, and who wants all their dentistry today, and everybody in between? How do you figure that out? So that, for me, is a bi part of pour education because you're gonna offend some people if you give them that whole big chunk, and you're gonna offend other people if you don't tell the the whole bog story. Helping a patient the way they want to be helped, I think, is very very important.
Howard: I want to stop right there because I believe that ... When I started school I truly believed, in 1980, that if I mastered physics, and chemistry, and algebra, and trig, it'd be the answers to the universe. Now here I am, lived half a century and never used any of that shit once. I look at all success as the people who are gifted in people skills. So the problem with dentistry, you have this abnormal group of people that nobody could enter the club unless that got As in all these sciences. So you're getting all the geeks in the library, where as if you would have entered them all on who won a karaoke contest, we might not be having this conversation. If it was the smartest bartender contest, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. So it's abnormal selection. So how do you ... Is there any reading material courses? How do you try to train the scientists, an engineer, a mathematician, someone who knows that glucose shits out 23 ATPs in the Krebs Cycle. How would you educate that person? What would you recommend to where they can be more touchy-feely, intuitive, listen, feel, communicate because that's the whole game. You know what the dentists tell me point blank? You'll tell them about this, that's fluff bullshit. I'm going to learn how to bone graft.
David Rice: Yup.
Howard: They don't even know what they don't know. They don't even know that that should be 80 percent of their CE, should be relationship skills. If you can't keep your wife, you can't keep your staff, you're not gonna keep your patients. It's all the same thing.
David Rice: It sure is.
Howard: When you read through the newspaper, it's all people stuff. Religion is just people. Government is just organizing people. Business is just organizing people. That's all I see. It's all relationship issues. There's nothing different between reading the New York Times and watching the Orange wife housewives of Beverly Hills, Atlanta, whatever the hell. It's just all the same thing.
David Rice: Yeah it is.
Howard: In fact, football is the most stupid because you want your team to beat the other team just because the have a different uniform on. I mean, there's not even an issue why you're fighting. You're just fighting for the sake of fighting. So what would be the diet course of information to learn this stuff?
David Rice: I start off most of the groups we work with with disc. I think it's a simple system-
David Rice: Yeah, disc. So it's a behavioral style assessment. We usually run a, that's about a three hour workshop that we run live. We flip the classroom so we have everybody take an assessment online before we come to their school. They have a little bit of background. What's really fun is you take those geeks in the one corner and you take the socialites in another corner and you take the Donald Trumps in another corner and thee really soft-spoken people and we show them how easy to is for us to butt heads and how simple it is to screw up. Then, after that course, we talk to the a lot about Gallup's, strength finders, because some of those-
Howard: Gallup strengthfinders?
David Rice: Strengthfinders.
Howard: That's a book or a website? What is that?
David Rice: So Gallup is a big research company and the put out-
Howard: Out of Nebraska, aren't they?
David Rice: Yeah, out of Nebraska. They have strengthfinders, they have a 2.0 version. The one I like to work with students on is strengthfinders for leaders.
David Rice: Yeah. That's a sold book. It's an easy read. Same thing, it's a simple assessment. So-
Howard: Is that written by a single person? Or is that just put out by Gallup?
David Rice: There were a couple authors. [Rath 22:19] was one, and I'm losing the other gentleman's name, but they collated all of Gallup's content of the last 40 years and essentially dispelled the myth that the greatest leaders in the world were well-rounded. They said, the greatest leaders in the world are not well-rounded. They're excellent at what they do. The focus on their strength, and then they hire around them. If I'm the dentist who has trouble with people, because that's just not my gig, then I need to understand that and build my team of people who are social and let them make that happen with me, or for me.
Howard: I actually have to credit my dad for that one because my dad .. I'll never forget a phone call I got from my dad and he said "Did you see that? Did you see that?" I said "What?" He goes "McDonald's went up an eighth." I'm like, "Well what are you talking about?" He goes "That's son of a bitch Ray [Crock 23:12] died. He's dead and his companies still going and the stick's going up. It didn't even blink." This guys is managing from the grave and most dentists are standing in the middle of the dentist office and can't even manage their own this, or in his world, restaurants and everything.
So for me, from day one, it was not only just hiring people to compliment what I was not good at or interested in or wanted to do, but it was finding someone to replace me. My first two employees were an associate dentists and a president, an office manager. I was preparing to manage form the grave at day one because I know that 100 percent of us will end up in the grave. The faster you get to seeing that big picture.
The problem I have with 40 year old dentists, they won't eve delegate to their assistant to make a damn CERAC. They're over there scanning and drawing the line and it's like, are you kidding me? You used send a rubber impression to a lab that sent it to China. Some chick speaking Mandarin Chinese is making it, but you won't let your dental assistant do it? Are you a monkey? So you can't get them to delegate their CERAC, you can't get them to delegate office manger, everything. So yeah, that's interesting. The strengthfinders. They just find what am I good at, and if I'm not good at it, I'm gonna find someone who's good at it. In my case I find out what I'm good at, and then I find someone who's better at it.
David Rice: Yes.
Howard: Like my president of my company [Laurie Lowski 24:33], she's a far better president than I'd ever be. So she's had the job for 18 years.
David Rice: Awesome.
Howard: That's why I lecture so much because they love it when I'm not only out of the city, but they love it when I'm out of the country. You notice, most of my gigs are Australia, England, Africa. They love it when I'm gonna be gone for a week.
David Rice: Nice. Nice. You know what? You grazed a really of d point talking about the older dentists too, and what you've done is build that team. Exit strategy wise, how many dentists do you see, you see far more than I've ever seen, who they're 65, 67, 72, and they have no idea how they're gonna get out of dentistry.
Howard: What I don't understand is the ones selling their offices. When you tell me you're selling your business, I look at the arizonabusinessbrokers.com. I look at all the businesses for sale. I look at collections, revenue, overhead and all that. I look at just your average dorky, dumb dental office. Why would you sell a business in that protected environment vertical where nobody can compete against you unless they go to eight years of college? Why don't they just sit there and hire these kids from IgniteDDS and learn how to manage that thing from home? They're sitting there working 32 hours a week. They could have ... Out of 116 hours, they could have a dentist work 32 hours every day, say from six to one. They could another dentist work every day from one to seven, five days a week and be making 200, 300,000 dollars year and not even leave their home. They want to sell their office, pay half of it in taxes and put it to the stock market, which is about the same as putting it in Caesar's Palace Casino.
David Rice: It's amazing.
David Rice: I think most dentists don't, not matter how ling they've been practicing, don't understand that they're greatest investment is themselves and their ability to grow that practice. Like you said, bring people on, expand their team and make it work for them. Otherwise, you're handing money and rolling the dice.
Howard: I always tell these young dentists the story of the most amazing dentist I ever met. I just got out of school. I just got down here and there was this like, 80 year old German dentist lady. She left Germany because of World War II and they had better dental schools there. She was Jewish, she fled. She came here, and they wouldn't recognize her dental degree because obviously, Germany with shitty cars like Porsche, and Mercedes, and Volvo. Obviously, their dental schools weren't up to speed. They said, you can't practice dentistry. We don't recognize your school and it was World War II she wasn't going to dental school. A lawyer told her, you can't practice dentistry, but you can own [inaudible 00:27:04] an office. So what'd she do? She had to delegate 100 percent because the lawyers handcuffed here.. She said, "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade." That was the luckiest thing that ever, her ultimate nightmare: I can't practice dentistry, I don't have a job, I can't feed me family, turned out to be her greatest gift because when I met her, she was like, 85, had four offices, north, south, east, west. Each one was dong a couple million. I though to myself, she as having more fun driving around at 85 checking on her little offices, richer than any dentist I knew at the time. That was a great story.
So what else on relationships? So disc. Now, can the go online to just disc.com and take the profile test and learn more about it? How can they do that?
David Rice: Sure, I mean you-
Howard: You should make a course on that for Dental Town, disc.
David Rice: I would love to make that course for you guys, with you guys. That would be awesome.
Howard: Dude, I've seen you lecture several times in the last 20 years. I ran into you, I don't know if it was profitable dentists. I've ran into you several times. You're lucky because you've got the whole tall, dark, and handsome, energy, charisma. You're just the [inaudible 00:28:12]. I would love to have you give some courses on that on Dental Town.
David Rice: Yeah, I'd be honored to do that. That's be-
Howard: We put up 350 courses, and they've passes half a million views.
David Rice: That's fantastic.
Howard: Online distance learning. They don't have to close down their office, they don't have to fly, they don't have to travel, and they just want to do it an hour at a time.
David Rice: Yeah.
Howard: The research I'm reading on education, on learning, is that somewhere between 40 and 60 minutes, everybody starts daydreaming and dozing off and they need to go walk around, eat something, fart, go to the bathroom. They're just, they can't sit there in a dental lecture from nine to noon and just take in information for three hours. That's not a way an ape works.
So then, you recommend getting the book "Strengthfinders for Leaders" by Gallup. What other stuff for soft skills, people skills?
David Rice: I love generational learning too. There's such a big difference from the traditionalist on down, so presently the millennial. I think .. As a seasoned dentists, a lot of times you might look at a Gen Xer or a Gen Yer and say, boy, they need to be spoon fed, and they're doing this and this wrong, and all this stuff. Lets face I. In the next two years, this is the largest buying group in the U.S.. It's the largest group in the work force. You flip the model, and the millennials need to understand the boomers who's practices they're gonna go in , or the Gen Xers who's practices they're gonna go in. So I really try to help people understand who the other person is sitting on the other side of the table at all times.
Howard: I notice a lot of older baby boomers, they're looking at the the new class of dentistry. When I was a freshman in dental school, there was one girl in the senior class. Now it's half women. A lot of the older guys, they look at that and they just see the demography boy, girl. I see difference. Or they might be able to see race. Oh, Hispanic, Asian, Irish. It's really understand that the huge change in demographics is the huge change in how millennials think versus baby boomers. The baby boomers need to know how millennials think in order to attract and retain them into their office. The millennials need to learn how old farts like me think so they know what our score card's gonna be. Understanding different generations of minds.
It's the same thing when you go to foreign countries. You don't have any idea what you don't know. That's like when I lecture international, I don't do any humor. I'm doing the [tempi improv 30:42] tomorrow night, or Thursday night. I love doing stand up comedy in my back yard. When I do the improv, it's no holds barred. It's just horrible. I hope none of it ever gets out on YouTube. When you go international, you can't make nay kind of a joke because you don't know what the joke will mean. It could offend the whole damn room. So what else on relationships?
David Rice: Those are the big ones for me only because they're so-
Howard: Was there a book on that millennial, Generation X, Baby Boomer? Is there anything you've read that simply describes that took the best?
David Rice: No, there's not a book that comes to me immediately, but I'll tell you there's a great speaker that if I'm a boomer dentist or a X dentists, his name's Jason Dorsey. Jason is-
Howard: J A S O N D O R S E Y?
David Rice: Yup.
Howard: Where's he out of?
David Rice: Oh gosh, I'm not sure, but he's big in National Speakers Association and he calls himself the Why Guy. I saw him speak at a Crown Council event probably seven years ago. He was, when I say kid, if he was 31 at the time, he was old. He walked out on the stage in front of 1,300 people and everybody looked at each other like, what id this guy gonna teach me? Ten minutes in everybody looked at each other and said, oh my God, what this guy's gonna teach me. He was phenomenal. So nay book that he wrote is a book I would read.
Howard: Jason Dorsey.
David Rice: Jason Dorsey.
Howard: So are you a member of the Crown Council?
David Rice: I am.
Howard: How are those guys doing?
David Rice: They're doing great. They're doing great.
Howard: That's still with Steve out of Utah?
David Rice: Yeah. Steve and Greg. Greg's in Utah. Steve's in Dallas, Texas. They're-
Howard: Steve Anderson?
David Rice: That's them.
Howard: And his brother Greg. Steve, the last time I talked to him he had like, four offices in Dallas.
David Rice: He does. I think he may have five or six now.
Howard: That leads into the other question. We're talking about the millennials where the millennials need to understand this stuff so they know how the old guy's hiring are thinking. The old guys hiring need to know how the millennials are thinking so they can attract, and retain, and keep them. It seems like the people that are crushing this the most is Rick Workman with Heartland Dental Care. He's hiring more dental school graduates than anybody out there. IS that because he understands the millennials? What is your advice to all these kids with 350,000 dollars of student loans who are working in corporate? I notice you're in Albany. You're in Buffalo. Isn't that where Aspen is? Isn't Aspen right up the street from you guys? Where are they at?
David Rice: They are probably, there's four locations here. So they're 15 minutes from us.
Howard: Their headquarters's up there.
David Rice: I don't know where their headquarters is.
Howard: I think it's somewhere between Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, they're up there. What are you telling these guys about the Aspen's, the Heartland's, the Pacific's corporate dentistry because all the old farts, they have an office that's sitting there 168 hours a week, and they're open 32, which is 19 percent of the week. 81 percent of the week, their patients are getting their voice mail, they're completely closed. Those are the guys all bitching at Heartland for hiring all the dental graduates. Well at least Rick's giving them a job. You're closed. Your patients are screwed and you're not hiring the young kids. In my generation, you know who corrected that market failure? It was the Navy.
David Rice: Okay.
Howard: So many of my class went into the Army, the Navy, maybe did the Marines, and the Air Force. So what are your views on corporate? What do you say when seniors say, should I get a job at corporate for a year or two or lifelong/ what's your thoughts there?
David Rice: My honest thoughts are, always go in with your eyes open and understand that in any business and any relationship, there is a give and a take. So when somebody's promising you all this. They're promising you the world. There's a price that comes with that. So if you go in with your eyes open, it's not a bad place to go and knock out some debt. Statistically it seems like three years in, about 87 percent of them turn over, so they're not staying corporate for long periods of time.
Howard: That an interesting percent I've not heard. 87 percent of dentists who go into corporate leave after three years?
David Rice: Yeah.
Howard: I just want to make one little comment there, and not all of these corporate chains are created equal. There's a big corporate chain, if I say his name I gotta go pay a lawyer 400 dollars an hour, their average dentist doesn't stay one year.
David Rice: Yeah.
Howard: So that would be, that's the question I'd recommend all [inaudible 00:35:19] going to a dental office. They're looking at three offices to get job. My only question would be, what is the average employee work in all three of those jobs? If one's average two years, one's average four years, one's average eight years, there's no, then you don't ask about well, they're gonna pay this much and this percent and I pay half. Screw all that stuff. If I was gonna go work at a chain, I'd only have one question for each chain. How long does your average dentist stay here? Then pick the longest one. What's the only airline that's never had a pilot's go on strike? Southwest Airlines. You go get a job at American United, it's just turmoil around the clock. All they do is sue their management team.
David Rice: Yeah.
Howard: So you're telling them that it's a good place to get a job, pay down some student loan debt, and have your eyes open and you'll probably be gone in three years?
David Rice: I guess I encourage them to ... I try not to walk them down a path, per say because some of them have their own mindset and I want to stay in touch with them. If they walk the corporate path and they wan tot go to a traditional model I want to make sure that we can reach out and drag them back to where they'd really like to be. They're a really entrepreneurial driven group so they truly want to own their own business. They just haven't figured out how. That's a large part of what we're trying to bring to the table, is how you do it. Whether it's a year out, two years out, eight years out.
Howard: You're in there with these kids. 45 out of 56 dental schools a year. I don't know. I have heard of anyone with close to those numbers. I'd say in my last, I started lecturing in 1990. I probably average like, maybe six or ten a year. You're doing 45 a year. So I want to throw out two things older dentists say. They say, well the women in dental school, they don't want to own their own practice. They just want a job because they're going to stay home and have babies. The another group who's just really anti-millennials says, are you kidding me? Those kids are so damn lazy these days, they'll never own their own business. They all just want a job. What are you seeing? Do they want to just work a job? Do women dentists want just a job more than males? How many of the do you think deep down in their heart want to own heir own show?
David Rice: I will tell you that over, I would say over 75 percent want to own their own shoe. They just don't know how to get from where they are to owning their own show yet. Men, women, it doesn't matter. The women dental students that I meet today, they are highly, highly driven. They have something to prove.
Howard: The who? The women?
David Rice: The female dentists yeah.
Howard: So you don't see them more likely to wan to just have a job and stay home and make babies as wanting to own their own practice? You don't see any difference between the males that want to own their own show?
David Rice: I'm not seeing that. I'm really seeing a lot of driven women as much as driven men. The more we get the message out that you can own your own practice, and as you say, not be in it every single day. You could be off speaking. You could be home with kids. You could teach at a school. There's so many other options. You don't have to be there seven days a week, you just have to keep the practice up and running more frequently than people are doing it.
Howard: Yeah, I think you should just graduate from school and pretend that you're a Jewish immigrant from Nazi Germany and don't use your license. Just pretend that you have this barrier to entry and just start delegating. Another huge myth that's out there is that since they have 300,000 dollars of student loans, they're not gonna be able to get financing for a dental office. When I talked to the four biggest banks in America, and I go to their division that only does dentistry, physicians, and lawyers, they say are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? We'll finance any deal. So there's a total disconnect somewhere, because bankers are all telling me, dud I'll finance it all day long ans then other people say well, they're all working for Rick at Heartland because they can't buy their own practice.
David Rice: I-
Howard: Somebody's misinformed.
David Rice: Yeah. I think it's so easy for-
Howard: Are you seeing these kids with access to finance for a practice.
David Rice: Oh yeah. I totally agree with you. If they want the money, the money's there. The money's there.
Howard: That's why we're the number one economy in the world. We got, it was a 70 trillion dollar economy last year. 17 trillion of it was United States, we're only five percent of the people because in capitalism, rule number one is get your people access to capital. America does it with student loans, they do it with a housing loans. Right now, the banks are full funded and all the top core banks are saying yeah. You got financing. That's what you're hearing too. So that is not an excuse for anybody.
David Rice: No.
Howard: The other thing that's so hard to teach a kid. They always think that if they buy the smallest, cheapest lowest price office, they'll save the most money. I try to tell them, well, it's like a house. You could by 100,000 house, a 400,000 house, or a million dollar house. Then when you go to sell it, one's only gonna sell for 100,000 and the one that's a million's gonna sell, you're buying a cash flow. If I was gonna buy a cash flow, I'd buy a big damn, I'd by the biggest damn cash flow somebody will find. I'd rather go in and buy a million dollar practice all done with dentistry I cant do and hire one or two associates to do it all, and then just sit home and play Nintendo all day. I mean they don't understand that your leverage is other people's money.
Whenever you go to countries where you don t have access to other people's money, it's a third world country. If you have access to other people's money and you can go buy a big cash flow business that's bringing in a million bucks and year and spinning off three, 400, you can cover your loan payment, you can hire someone else to do the dentistry. Business is business. I think the biggest mindset screw-up in their walnut brain is they graduated from lawnmower school so they think they have to push a lawnmower till they're 65. They graduated from dental school. They don't have to run a drill or push a lawnmower. When yo go open up a business, it has ... If I owned a lawnmower business, I certainly wouldn't spend all day pushing a lawnmower, I'd be working on the business of lawnmowers.
These kids go get a job because they think they have no access to capital. They have all the access to capital. They could all go buy a million dollar practice and have that corporation hire themselves as an associate, and hire an office manger that's this rocking, amazing as Anastasia to just run the whole damn show, then they can just sit there and take notes for five years while they're getting rich.
David Rice: Yeah, and I'll add to what you just said. For where they are forma debt load standpoint, they go by a 100,000 practice, it's not gonna generate enough income for them.
Howard: They save so much money.
David Rice: I know, right.
Howard: They save so much money. They went to the worst part of town where there were 40 dentists on the corner and they saved a lot of money.
David Rice: Yeah.
Howard: The you say, okay will if you're gonna buy a restaurant, would you buy Ruth's Chris, or a 30 year old taco stand? They say, I'd buy t he million dollar Ruth's Chris. Okay. So why did you buy the taco stand the. The dental office.
Okay so relationships. Number three was what?
David Rice: Number three I understand your finances, which is a lot of what we've been talking about. Setting budgets. We try to help them create a budget. It's amazing to me how many people don't know how to balance a checkbook, yet alone ... If I have tow loans and one is a 20 percent interest rate and one is six, I should pay the 20 percent first. So we try to help them create a budget, understand fundamentals of money coming in and money coming out. Talk about options for there-
Howard: Wasn't all of that already taught in their tooth morphology class?
David Rice: Yeah. First year in the basement.
Howard: Right after they covered the Cusp of Carabelli, they went right into profit and loss statements.
David Rice: Waxing and investing I though naturally went to ...
Howard: That's a good one, waxing. I like that one. Oh my god. So financing. Here's another thing. With my boys, I learned a tip from my dad. Al my friends in high school had a curfew. I didn't have a curfew. My dad wanted to know who I was with. I was with my boring friend John [Lace 43:30] who's now a dentist. We went to dental school. He said if you're with John [Lace 43:35] you don't even have to come home. You can stay out 40 days and 40 nights. If I would have gone out with my fun friend Allen [Funk 43:41] I had to be home at 9:00.
So eagles fly with eagles, turkeys fly with turkeys. I still think, looking back, I signed up when I was young to the MBA program because I only lived ten minutes from Arizona State University. They had this, it was either Monday, Wednesday night, 6:00 to 10:00 pm for two years, or Tuesday Thursday, 6:00 to 10:00 pm for two years, or every Saturday. What I thought was, looking back, I was with 200 kids two nights a week for four hours, year round for two years, and it was the classes and going out to bars afterwards. It was 200 MBA guys for two years in the '90s and every single one of those kids exploded.
I still almost think, you know what, maybe the first thing you should do is after you get your jobs and all that, sign up for an MBA program. Who cares if it's at community college. The books are all the same. You can go buy the books and read them yourself. It's the hanging with your classmates for two years. Just all this ... Like you. You're a smart, charismatic, fun. When you're hanging around with 200 kids like that that are all bright-eyes and bushy-tailed and trying to figure out the whole world from a smart phone to a whatever the hell. That was just so much energy. You couldn't have fit that in a bottle of Jameson Whiskey, and I'm Irish.
I still look back and think that that was probably my second luckiest business move. My first one, just being born from my dad who had nine Sonic drive-ins. That guy just ate, lived, and breathed it. Everything about business. The second was probably that MBA program.
David Rice: For sure.
Howard: The information didn't change because I just G-rated terminology. My dad used to all it the BAM number, bare ass minimum, and I thought, that might not be the correct term. It turned out it was the BEP, the break even point. So all MBA school was change all the profanity terms to rated-G Disney terms. What do you think about them going back to get to their MBA? Do you think that's overkill, or would you recommend it?
David Rice: I'll tell you, if they've got the drive for it and they can do it in a fashion like you were mentioning where you can go to work and then pick up your MBA over two years, absolutely. I think that information's power and as importantly, like you mentioned, the circles of people that you travel in. Your first three to five years out I think absolutely shape the next 30 years for you.
Howard: That's was the importance of getting my fellowship in the AGD. You start hanging out with all the dentists in your tribal village who really wanted to learn and had an open mind. A lot of times the instructors would leave, and a lot of times I'd find out later that night at the bar that I didn't even understand what the instructor had said. I didn't realize what he said was so controversial. Just hanging with that group for five years to get your FAGD and then another five years for your ... Going to the Pankey Institute. I learned far more at the evening, in the restaurant, the dorms and the hotels, debating what you just learned. They know that. That's what they're trying to foster. They try to steer everyone into group dormitory sleeping arrangement because they know that they're gonna start the conversation all day, and you guys are gonna go debate it till three in the morning.
David Rice: So those 6:00 to 9:00 pm sessions that I went through, they were good right?
Howard: Yeah. So is there anything on finance that they can read? Is there any low-hanging fruit books that kind of explain anything you like?
David Rice: I's honestly defer to you. I think probably would have so much more knowledge on the right book for them to read there than I would.
Howard: Yeah. There's a lot of them. So what's number four on crush?
David Rice: S is starts with you. So that's sort of our leadership track-
Howard: Wait. C was for continuing ed, R was for relationships, you said three was finance, where's the U? Understanding finance?
David Rice: Understanding finance, yes.
Howard: All right. Understanding finance. Then so now we're at S. What's S?
David Rice: S is starts with you. So leadership and how, whether we like it or not in practice, where we bring our team is where they're gonna follow us. Attitude you bring to the table, who you are, how you focus on your strengths and build your team around you all so very, very important.
Howard: So the million dollar question that everybody debates in leadership, and go back to that Gallup book, are leaders, are they born that way? Or can they be made? I look at some of these Hollywood movie stars where they say that off the screen is the most boring person on earth. You know what I mean? They can play this rebuttal character. It's kind of what I always wonder about leaders? Can you be an algebra queen, but when you step in stage to your dental office, you're this 25 year old leader? Can you learn to be a leader, or are you born that way?
David Rice: I believe two things. I believe that there are some people where everything just comes so natural to them and it's an easier path. It's a learned skill set just like scratching enamel. The first time you bust out the hand piece it wasn't easy, but eventually, you got the hang of it. Eventually, most of us got pretty decent at it. You can t learn it. It's those circles of people you mentioned early on in your career. Who you're hanging around with because odds are, you're gonna become so much more like them. So hang around with people who know how to lead. Find people who are successful doing what you want to do they way you want to do it and copy genius.
Howard: Your favorite leadership book, is it "Strengthfinders for Leaders" by Gallup?
David Rice: I like that one a lot. For them, I think that's a great place for them to begin to understand that we're not all good at everything and that's okay. As a young dentist, there were days I felt like I was proving myself to somebody. Sometimes it was an invisible somebody all day long, and understand that hey, I'm pretty good at this, and that's okay. I don't need to know all the answers. I just need to know to ask the right questions and build a team around me to help me learn as I go.
Howard: I still think, and I can cite a dozen HBR, Harvard Business Review articles on it. I still think the number one trait that all great leaders have is humility. They listen. They listen to their customers, they listen to their employees, they listen to everybody around them so they're always absorbing information. They also show that the smartest CEOs are introverts because introverts listen.
David Rice: Yeah.
Howard: Extroverts, they didn't even hear what their team ... Some dentists should never even have a staff meeting because they go to staff meetings and it's a staff lecture.
David Rice: Yeah.
Howard: They get all their staff in there and just lecture at them. Some of them are so bad they bring PowerPoint. It's like god. The I in team. I would just say humility. If you ask anybody in America, describe a doctor or a lawyer? Describe an adjective. Would humility come up in the top ten?
David Rice: Not so much.
Howard: Yeah. Asshole might. Arrogant might. Cocky, conceited, know-it-all. The first ten would be horrible. A Mother Teresa, [inaudible 00:50:54], humble lady come up? That wouldn't even make the list. Also, check them on this. So in my life, I was born in '62. Walmart was started in '62, of course everybody knows Walmart because his name is Sam Walton. Another one that grew 30,000 percent was Walgreen's. Name the CEO of Walgreen's.
David Rice: Oh, I'm losing.
Howard: No. Nobody knows him. I've never met anybody because he was a short, fat, humble, bald guy. Operator, just listening to everybody, and just in a massive operator by listening, and built a monster. Just down toe earth, humble ... Sam Walton, his desk was a door sitting on two saw bench. Those wood saw benches. He had a door for a desk just to remind everybody. Oh, I'm a billionaire and own Walmart, but my desk and my chair didn't cost ten bucks.
David Rice: Yeah.
Howard: Okay. So then what's the H stand for?
David Rice: So the H is all about-
Howard: Howard. Howard?
David Rice: Howard. It works.
Howard: All right. Howard. What is the H?
David Rice: It's hone your team. I think most dentists focus on their team within their four walls, but it's an expanded version of that. It's having the right financial planner, the right accountant, the right attorneys, the right advisors, the Pankey people, the Crown Council folks. All those mentors are the most critical part of your team. Especially early one because when you get them early on you'll keep them for 30 years. So H is all about developing that team.
Howard: That is ... This crush program is one hour, two hours, three hours? How long is it for you to give your spiel.
David Rice: It's about two hours long. We just out, so we have a whole series of success guides. The first one is just coming out now. They're all titled CRUSH. We're gonna bring five different thought leaders to the table to represent each one of those categories and I know you're a crazy busy guy, but I would love to have you do a chapter in one for us sometime if you could.
Howard: Hell yeah. Absolutely. I love dental students. Yeah. Anything you want me to do. So it's www.ignitedds.com. A lot of my viewers, I don't know what percent are students versus old guys. Who is that site for? Would a 50 year old guy find anything on it for them, or is this a kid site?
David Rice: I'll tell you. If you're a student or a new dentist, your first ten years out, you're gonna learn a ton. If you're a 50 year old guy and you want to learn a ton about your next associate. The person who's gonna buy your practice one day, or just how your patients think, it's a great place to come by, see, and just ask and absorb what that next generation can do with you, for you, et cetera.
Howard: Huh. Well that ... Is it a free site, or does it cost money to join? What's that?
David Rice: We're a free site in the moment with everything that we do. Then my goal is to be a connector. So what I know is, although hone your team is hone your team, it is about Howard and Dental Town because my job is to bring people to the next level and say, I know this much, but I know a lot of amazing people who know so much more. So my job's to connect people to the right folks. So were free and building up.
Howard: I think some people misread me or they're [inaudible 00:54:27] where they'll think, well, I don't want to come on Dental Town, that's Howard's. No it's not that. There's a howardfarran.com. The only way I can describe it is, not to be arrogant, but it's kind of like family guy and Seth McFarland. They're two separate people. Yes, Seth McFarland owns Family Guy, but how also want to do movies and host the Oscar's whatever stuff. It is Dental Town, not Howard Farran show, or whatever. I always think .. I never think in fear and scarcity, I always think in health, growth, and abundancy.
I look back, and here's another trade I can give these young kids to remember. I go back 30 years. All good dentists who went and played with all the other dentists in their neighborhood and their building and all that stuff over ten, 20, 30 years. They were the healthiest, happiest, they got help. They could have an upset patient go to the, they could send them down the street to someone else. They just had rich and rewarding career. All the dentists who thought the guy across the street was a competitor. I've gone into dental offices where there's aid that, I'm not even making this shit up. This is absolutely true. There are dental offices in my Phoenix town where there's like eight dentists in the building. None of them have ever gone to lunch or dinner or met each other in a decade. Those are always the most miserable people.
Like my other dental magazine. I interviewed dentists that are editors of other magazines and all that stuff. I never met a dentist that read one magazine. [inaudible 00:55:51] MBA school we were at Ink, Fortune, Forbes. Fear and scarcity is just a disease. We're all gonna die. We're all gonna be lowered in the same damn casket, and those who master the people skills, they can [inaudible 00:56:05] their abundancy, reach out, help everyone, meet everyone, be humble, live and learn. They're all gonna crush it. You're crushing it. I'm so thankful for all that you for these students. I'm glad that there's people like you doing it. I wish you the best luck. If there's anything you ever need from me, or Dental Town, or whatever the hell. I just think you're amazing. Tell Anastasia if she ever gets sick and tired of Buffalo that if she married me, shed live in Phoenix with golf courses and palm trees. It's so beautiful out there, she wouldn't even notice that I only look one tenth as good as you.
David Rice: You know what, she's my ultimate proof that I'm a little bit of a marketer is getting us [inaudible 00:56:46] Buffalo, New York.
Howard: Those ... I could listen to t a southern belle accent for the rest of my life. Something about when Australian women and southern belle women talk, it's just, you could listen. It's like when you go to Europe. All the languages sound so brutal except for the French.
David Rice: Yeah.
Howard: You don't know a damn thing they're singing, but it sounds like they're singing a song. Hey dud, David Rice ... By the way, Rice, you'd think if someone saw your name David Rice, you would be some Asian guy. How did a gringo cracker like you get a last name Rice? They don't even grow rice in the United States. Well I guess they do a little bit in Louisiana, they got some rice fields there. How did you get a last name Rice?
David Rice: The greatest question in the world is that. My grandfather was about 25 years older than my grandmother who never said boo. We don't know where he's from or what happened, but we just wound up here.
Howard: Was he Asian?
David Rice: No he was, to the best of our knowledge, he has some German background. Could've been some American Indian background and I have no idea how Rice worked into, Welsh maybe? We don't know.
Howard: Well you know what funny is, back in the day when I was in Kansas, I used to ask by grandparents like, "What are we?" They would say "Kansan." I'd say "I know, but what is your ethnicity?" They'd go "My momma was born in Kansas and her momma was born in Kansas, and we've been living here for forever." I'm like "I'm pretty sure it wasn't forever. I'm pretty sure you cam from somewhere else a long, long time ago." Yeah. They actually ... when I got out of school luckily, when I moved to Phoenix it's like the second largest Mormon population outside of Utah. The Mormon's and their temples. They're huge into genealogy, in fact geneaology.com is right out of Salt Lake City. It's just like cut and past e of the Mormon tabernacle choir genealogy deal.
I went down there and I paid a lady to do our genealogy and she said "Well I'd have to charge you." I said, she's 76, I said "well how much do you charge?" "Four dollars and hour." I'm like "All right." So I gave her a 100 dollar bill and said "Go for it." It turned out later she needed a new removal, I can't say because of HIPAA , but some dental work. So I went in a couple thousand more. Anyway, it was kind of funny because I had two parents, four grandparents, and eight grandparents, I was still 100 percent Irish.
David Rice: Wow.
Howard: The grandparents didn't even know.
David Rice: Yeah, I'm the ultimate mutt. I'm not sure where we're from. Parts unknown. That's where we came from.
Howard: All right well hey, David, seriously I think your mission is valuable. I think it has purpose. I think it probably has the most important mission. Teaching a bunch of 50 year old guys how to place in implant is one on thousandth of important as you working with the next generation that's gonna take over the sovereign profession. In all honesty, I tip my hat to you. I love, adore, and respect you and your mission. If there's anything you ever need form us to help spread your word, you just let me know. I'm Howard at dentaltown.com, buddy.
David Rice: Thanks, I really appreciate your time today.
Howard: Tell your darling wife I said hello.
David Rice: I will do that.
Howard: Okay, bye bye.