320: Plans Derailed? Here’s What to Do.

Let’s give a warm welcome to the returning Dr. Jenny Perna (Yogi Dentist)! Listen in as she and Kiera discuss Dr. Perna’s plans that went awry in 2020 — her attempts to acquire an office and work with moving parts, as well as the many lessons learned.

What would Dr. Perna change, looking back?

  1. Assemble your transition team early

  2. Don’t be afraid to stray from recommendations

  3. Include as much in your Letter of Intent as possible

Those are only a few of the many tips she provides, but you’ll need to press play to get the rest. More advice includes dealing with banks and what kind of mentor is imperative to have.

Listen to our previous episode with Dr. Perna: #261, Associate to Owner, Taking the Leap!

Dr. Jenny Perna grew up in Merritt Island, Florida, where she spent her early years performing as a dancer, singer, and actor. While attending the University of Florida for her undergraduate education, she worked as a dental assistant and saw how her two worlds of artistry and science could combine in a career in dentistry. Dr. Perna attended Nova Southeastern University and received her Doctorate in Dental Medicine in 2014. During her time in dental school, she participated in multiple dental missions trips and saw the life-changing impact that dentistry can have on her patients. After finishing dental school, Dr. Perna advanced her dental knowledge by completing her General Practice Residency in Asheville, NC. 

Dr. Perna currently practices in Austin, TX. She aims for every patient to feel at ease and comfortable with a complete understanding of their dental needs during their dental visits. She runs a dental instagram blog, @yogi_dentist, where she educates, entertains, and attempts to break the barrier between doctor and patient. When she’s not thinking about teeth, Dr. Perna enjoys being active, yoga, traveling,cooking, and playing with her doberman, Gio. 



Kiera Dent: Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent. And I had this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective, because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants where we have traveled to over 165 different offices coaching teams. Yup, we don't just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress, and create A-teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast.

Kiera Dent: Hello Dental A Team listeners, this is Kiera. And you guys, I think all of us can say that maybe 2020 wasn't the year we had planned, we're moving into 2021. And I think the question I want to pose today is, what do you do when plans don't go as planned? I think a lot of us probably had a lot of plans that shook out. And I'm super excited, you guys know her, if you don't follow her. She's been on the podcast, she's on Instagram, she's one of my favorite Instagram people to follow, Yogi Dentist, Jenny Perna. She's been here. I love her. We're dear friends. And she had a twist in her 2020 that she just wanted to get on the podcast with me again and give back to the dental community her experience because it deals a lot with things I think you guys are all quite experienced. So Jenny, how are you today?

Dr. Jenny Perna: I am doing well, all things considered. Thank you again for having me on the podcast. I'm excited to share some challenges that 2020 presented and some tips and tricks for the dental community, and I'm so happy that you offered your podcast for me to do so.

Kiera Dent: Yes. Well, I think for those who do know me or don't know me, pre-consulting I actually was going to school for marriage and family therapy. And so, this might be a little therapeutic to talk about it. I think we all have experiences, not just for ourselves, but for other people. So I'm just grateful that you are willing to share because I think what you learned that we've talked about... I was with you through this process, we had talked about it, we'd had coaching calls about it, we were getting all jazzed about it, and now you're here. So that's just a teaser for you guys. Dr. Jenny, I'm going to have you just like walk us through the process of what happened that was a plan that didn't go as planned.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So when you look at 2020, I think we all have a different story of plans that we may have had, plans that were in the process of happening and then the whole world went on halt. Well, during that process, it wasn't too crazy for me. I'll start by saying, in the fall of 2019, I found what appeared be the absolute perfect practice to purchase? One of my goals-

Kiera Dent: Jenny.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Yeah.

Kiera Dent: I'm just going to interrupt. You're an associate right now, right? We've talked about you. On the last podcast you were on, we had chatted about thinking in an owner mindset as an associate. So now, I just will fast forward, if you guys missed it, go listen to it, it was such an awesome podcast. But that's where you're at. So you've been an associate looking for a practice, found this dream practice in 2019. So continue on.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Yeah, absolutely. So yes, I've been a practicing associate for about six years. My 2020 goal was to own an office. It was really where I wanted to take the next step in my career and my vision. So we found an office, when I say, my fiance and I found an office, and it was everything that I wanted. It was fee for service and included the real estate as well. I was purchasing that. The owner doc was going to stay on as my associate for a smooth transition, which you really want to rely on whenever you're transitioning an office, especially a fee for service office. So essentially had absolutely-

Kiera Dent: I'm going to say, I'm not a huge fan of owner doc staying on, and you and I had talked about this, but especially fee for service, people come to a fee for service for that doctor, otherwise, they'll go somewhere more convenient. So I did think that was a really smart choice. I just want to make sure you guys know Kiera's hardcore philosophy is, it usually feels awkward, but such a good thing you had going in a fee for service. Absolutely.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Absolutely. And I had many a conversations with this owner as well throughout our time working together. And it was going to be a really good, or it appeared to be a good working relationship we'd be able to cultivate. To speak on that, Kiera, I've worked in a transition before that the owner doc stayed on and it ended up being a tad bit of a toxic environment. So I've seen the other side of it as well. So I agree with you in totality that it may not be the best to have the owner doc stay on, but I agree in a fee for service, you need to transfer that goodwill.

Dr. Jenny Perna: And you'll see, anyone listening, if you've got into a practice acquisition, when you're going over the sales agreement with your attorney, is there is an allocation for goodwill in terms of the purchase price. So you definitely want to have it in any transfer. But anyway, that was the goal. And of course COVID hit and put a big halt on everything.

Kiera Dent: Everything.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Absolutely everything. And I'll go into the process of what steps to take when you're looking to acquire an office. But I just wanted to give a brief overview first. So COVID hit and everything got put on hold, because obviously, we didn't know what was going on in the country, how long we'd be shut down. All of the uneasiness and worry and confusion that the whole country faced, obviously, is going to be shown in a practice acquisition as well. Once the country started to reopen, something that occurred, it was another little setback. I was working with a bank and they kept wanting to see more and more and more numbers from the office.

Dr. Jenny Perna: The bank I was working with was like, "Push the acquisition going through." It just kept pushing it and pushing it, saying that they wanted to continue to see numbers. And then after about three months of that and a lot of frustration from me and the seller, the bank actually dropped out. So from there-

Kiera Dent: Oh God. Just dropped? Did they say why they dropped out, or?

Dr. Jenny Perna: The reason that they gave was that they were evaluating every single practice case by case and that they had actually completely stopped funding any startups and they stopped funding any businesses and the only real thing they were funding were acquisitions. When I was talking to them and they kept asking for more numbers, I asked for parameters, "What parameters are you looking for?" I understand the parameters of smile design, I understand the parameters of dentistry so that I can excel, and I thought they would be able to give like a little checklist, "The office is doing X. We see this much in revenue, we see this much in collections, we see this much in overhead."

Dr. Jenny Perna: You would think there would be a checklist and they really didn't have any answers. And then just one day they said, "Sorry, we're not going to go through with this deal." That was a little bit of a gut punch, but I found another bank to work with and everything was going good. And we were moving forward, moving forward. And then right before the holiday, the seller backed to out.

Kiera Dent: Oh my gosh. Do a dramatic pause right there because, see you guys, Dr. Jenny and I had been on calls. You called me and you said, "I want the Dental A Team to coach," which by the way, huge thank you for even considering us to be your mentor through this process. That's what we do best, is help practices start and before they start. So I was so excited. I remember texting you and said, "Today's the day. Sending out good vibes. Let me know when you're done, and let's get started." I remember texting you. How did that happen? You were up to signing date. It's like you guys were getting married and then one of you said no.

Kiera Dent: I feel like it's that dramatic because I feel like when you've been through that much with the seller, and this is a practice and this is your livelihood, and this is your future, and this is everything about you, and now it just stopped.

Dr. Jenny Perna: It did. It did. It was the biggest gut punch, obviously. The holiday has had a lot of highs and lows because of this. I can't be in the sellers mind, all I can do is reflect on the whole process as it panned out. We had started this in the fall 2019, like I said.

Kiera Dent: Oh my gosh. This is a year of courting, guys. They dated for a year.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Absolutely. Lots of phone calls. And the seller and I got along very, very well. If I could just reflect on it, I feel that there's a lot of... Anytime you're acquiring an office, there's a lot of moving parts and pieces. There's the seller, there's the purchaser, there's attorneys that represent each, there's a broker, there's a bank, there's a CPA, there's a bunch of different players in the game. And I think a lot of times it can feel like too many cooks in the kitchen.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Everyone's stepping on each other's toes, and as a new buyer, I've never done this before. I'm the type of person to cross all my Ts dot all my Is, understand the why things are happening, making sure that in no way, in terms of the LOI or the APA or the real estate that I would be taken advantage of. And through the process, what I've noticed is that there are certain aspects that maybe I would've done a little differently. And one of those big ones, and you know what, I want to preface this by saying I'm sure there's some wonderful practice transition brokers out there, however, I found that role to get in the way the most in this particular scenario.

Dr. Jenny Perna: I don't know if that's what it came down to the end of the seller backing out, but I do know the seller and the broker worked very closely together. And oftentimes, what would happen is the broker was talking to my lender or the broker was talking to the attorneys, a lot of things would get confused. I don't know the conversation between obviously the broker and the seller, but then I would have to like clean it all up, which would only delay things more, which obviously isn't what the seller wants, the seller wants to transition into the next phase of their career, I obviously want to transition into the ownership.

Dr. Jenny Perna: So there was just a lot of things that happened in the process of that year and a half, I mean, speaking COVID as well was a huge hit on everyone. And so it just all accumulated into this big grand finale that wasn't in anyone's favor, I suppose.

Kiera Dent: I love that you call it a grand finale. That feels stressful. I don't like those kinds of grand finales. You talked before, I think part of buying a practice, one of the most emotional stresses, you guys I bought a practice, I'm in the process of buying a house, as you're saying, and I'm like, "Oh yeah, don't worry. Fall in love with it, you get your heart set on it, then it gets ripped away from you. A home, yes, that's going to be my future. There's a lot of those practices, I feel it's got be the right doctor, the right patient base, in the right area. This is your future career. I think there's just so many emotions that go into it.

Kiera Dent: And you guys, every time don't want to bid on a house, like I had one house that we lost the bid on and it came back on the market and we lost it again. I cried for a day. I stayed on the couch. It was terrible. And that's about a house. And anyone who has not gone through that experience, you can laugh all you want because I would laugh at somebody too and think they're dramatic and emotional, but when you've gone through... your heart and soul, your dreams, you've envisioned yourself here, you've made plans and then it's ripped away from you. So walk us through, you said, there's a lot of things you learned through the process. And I know that's why we wanted a podcast today.

Kiera Dent: And I love your good soul of who you are. This is why I love following you on Instagram too, is you're just constantly giving back to the dental community, constantly looking for ways. That's our mission as well, like, how can we positively impact? How can we take our situations and help you? How can we learn from all these other practices and give you the fast pass? Just this guys, don't take the long road and make all the mistakes, let's help you. So what are some of those things as you went through this? I feel like it's like salt on the injury. We're talking not even a month fresh of this wound right now. What are some of the things that you went through that you would do differently if you could go back?

Kiera Dent: Are you guys sick of trying to figure it out on your own? I know I am. When I'm trying to run a business, sometimes I just think like there's got to be a better way to do this. And so for me, my answer has been to find someone who's done it and does it really, really, really well. I'm talking to the best of the best of the best. I want someone who's been in my shoes, somebody who understands what I'm going through. When I was looking for the consulting business, I found a coach who literally has run a consulting business. Well, that seemed like the perfect fit.

Kiera Dent: So you guys, right now, we have a few spaces open in our Platinum Consulting. That is in the consulting where we actually come to your practice. We help you get systems implemented. We don't just tell you what system to implement, we actually implement them with you and for you. You guys, it is one of the best investments I've ever made, is to hire a coach who understands the business I'm in, who's lived it, who's done it. And that's what we in the Dental A Team do. We literally physically fly to you. So if you're sick of trying to figure it out on your own, if you just want somebody who understands you, join our Platinum.

Kiera Dent: I'd love to have you, I'd love to have our consulting team come out and see you, be in your office, be with your team, and truly help you get onto the easy path of dentistry. It doesn't have to be hard. So join us in the Platinum. We'd love to have you.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think a few of the things that I would do differently, I would assemble my team probably earlier in terms of an attorney and a CPA. Once I had decided I was purchasing this office, that's when I started to gather my team and that took time, obviously. You want to make sure you're picking the right attorney, that you ask people for recommendations, that you have the opportunity to speak with them, talk about their fees, their costs, what their services entail. And so if you're considering ownership at all, you may already have a great attorney and a great CPA, but it is good to assemble that team and make sure that the two of them can work together well.

Kiera Dent: How did you find yours? I want to just like back up, because people ask me this all the time and this is not my zone, which is why I love having you on here, Jenny. Yes, I've got recommendations, yes, I have had people. You guys, I do the team training side of it, where once you're done with this part, then you come to me, we'll chat. So how did you build your, if you will, it's almost like your executive board. How did you build that? How did you pick the people out.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Absolutely. As an associate, I've actually worked as an independent contractor for most of my career, so I've already had a corporation in place and I've worked with a certain CPA who is very, very thorough and does a practice analysis all the time, he has a lot of experience with the dental world. So I already had him in place. And then just by asking friends essentially, or anyone that had good references for an attorney, that's how I found my attorney. And it's a pretty popular attorney in the dental world. It's your dental lawyer, Rob Montgomery. A lot of people work with him. And I will say he was an absolute pleasure to work with, even through COVID and everything.

Dr. Jenny Perna: So that's how I made this work, but it did take me a second to find a good attorney. I had gotten some other recommendations. And this is something to note as well, what I have found is that the broker will have connections and recommend certain attorneys, banks, maybe even CPA. And I actually distance myself from those recommendations, and I think that's a good tip. Don't forget everyone scratches each other's back, and I think it's important if it's going to be you that your team or your executive board is representing, that they have your interest at heart and not necessarily the broker or anyone else involved.

Kiera Dent: Totally agree. I want to chime in on that because even buying a house right now, I'm going to relate it to that. I don't like to go with the people they recommend because they all work together and that's purposely... As I say that, I'm like, "Shoot, are people going to trust the companies I recommend?" You guys, the reality is, yeah, there's some affiliation on certain companies, 95% of all the companies we recommend we do not have affiliation with other than them sponsoring our events. And so I try really hard to stay neutral because I don't ever want it to be associated that way.

Kiera Dent: Because at the end of the day, the people that the closest with you are going to recommend all those different pieces. So I think it's important to, like you said, distance yourself and make sure your executive board truly has your best interest at heart not the seller's best interest at heart. You need a team of players on your team, not on someone else's team.

Dr. Jenny Perna: It was very odd that the broker was involved in this process, I think as much as they were. And like I said, my attorney also found it odd. So I encourage anyone going through this process that if you have a broker involved, which you most likely will, make sure that you are the one necessarily talking to your lender and you're talking to your attorney and you're talking to your CPA. And if you find that the broker is interjecting here or there, go ahead and have an honest, respectful, direct conversation with that broker just explaining that you don't want anything to be derailed, you want this to be as streamlined as possible, and that might mean that the attorneys need to talk to one another.

Dr. Jenny Perna: You don't want that broker to be the middleman, because then it's like full game of telephone and it can derail the whole negotiation and the whole process and just make the process longer.

Kiera Dent: For sure. For sure. I definitely agree with that. And I think it's important to, again, going back to make sure you've got your team, make sure you've got the people that are working for you. You don't want to play that game of telephone where people are talking, they're not sharing what you really are trying to say. So as much as you can possibly shake it out to your people, you directing with them, I think is paramount.

Dr. Jenny Perna: I totally, totally agree. And then a couple other things. With an attorney, let me start by saying, I think Rob Montgomery deserved every penny of the amount that I paid him because he did such an excellent job of representing me. But discuss with your attorney about maybe doing a flat fee.

Kiera Dent: Oh, amen. Amen. I remember the first time I worked with an attorney, I was like, "Holy cow, don't talk to me about anything. Don't even say hello, just get right to the chase because you're charging me for every second that we talk." And it's so expensive. I think that's a brilliant idea because by the hour, it can rack up some scary bills that you don't even know and then you get hit with this huge fee and you still don't even have your problem solved.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Absolutely. When you first talk to an attorney, they'll tell you the average of what they expect it to cost, but that's probably in a normal timeframe, they're definitely still charging you their hourly rate. So discuss the flat fee, see if that's an option because the APA will take time or that asset purchase agreement will take time to negotiate. So you want to make sure that everything's getting done efficiently. And if you have the ability to lower the cost if things go a little longer and COVID hits in the middle of your transition, you can protect yourself in that area.

Kiera Dent: Absolutely. Golly. I don't know, I think lawyers... You have certain people on your executive board that are well worth every single penny, but there's other people that I'm like, "Just make sure you set up a retainer." You got to learn the laws of the land, so I would definitely take that advice. Set up just a flat fee of how much it's going to be versus per hour. A lot of your attorneys are really great, I can't tell you how grateful I am for Greg. He helps me with a lot of my employment and unemployment things, that's a big area that I have. And I'm so grateful that he did not see young Kiera walking in and took advantage of me because he easily could have.

Kiera Dent: I remember one day he said, "Kiera, you need to have attorney management where if we're using other attorneys, you need to know what they're going to charge you before you say yes to the project, because they can run up a bill on you, and you might not even know that." And I am so grateful that he saw me, and the way I found him was from a recommendation from Michael Lomotan, massive appreciation to Mike for that recommendation.

Kiera Dent: So I think it's a good idea. Jenny, you just talked about Rob Montgomery, you guys go with people that are recommended and referred because those are the people where you won't get screwed over and you know they're going to really have your best interest at heart as well.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Absolutely. And like I said, it was really wonderful working with him. So if anyone wants to reach out or wants to reach out to him on Instagram, or, I believe he runs a podcast too, so he's giving back to the dental community as well, which is awesome. And then the last thing that I would probably change or do differently, anytime, just to go through the steps of acquiring an office. First and foremost, you got to know what you're looking for, are you looking for a fee for service office? Are you looking for a PPO office? What's the area like? What's the demographics?

Dr. Jenny Perna: Is it a growing area? Are homes being built? Kind of the landscape of where you want to live, where you want to practice. Is there a real estate involved? That's really great for a tax benefit as well. And so once you decide that you want to buy an office, the office will have a purchase price. Before you do anything further, you really should have like a CPA look at the office and make sure that it is worth the purchase price. And they'll do that by looking at PNLs and looking at performas that have been developed for the business once you take over it and everything.

Dr. Jenny Perna: And so once you're ready to buy the office, you will sign a letter of intent or an LOI. And something that I didn't really do on this office and I would encourage anyone to do is put as much on that LOI as you see foreseeable as like negotiations that'll go into the APA. Obviously you're not going to put everything, but you're going to have the purchase price, you're going to have an NDA that you're not allowed to speak about the office or anything to anyone until the office closes, but you also can put in like, how long you want the doctor to stay, what you'll be paying different elements of the APA.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Is there a lab work that they're going to have to pay for? Essentially, the employee agreement if they're staying, but also the asset purchase agreement. If you can hammer any of that out on the LOI, think it would just help speed up the process of negotiating the API. You're going to go back and forth on that APA, it's normal because you want to make sure that you're understanding everything and that everything is legally bound in a document, so you don't have to, when the questions come up later on, you don't have to be like, "Well, I don't know."

Dr. Jenny Perna: Everything should be done on the front end, but I think with that more thorough LOI, it could potentially speed up the process of the whole transition.

Kiera Dent: Sure. Well, that's great advice. As I was listening, I worked with a lot of doctors who have done this, we come in when you guys are doing all this and we're getting ready to get your systems and you have basically the whole sign on the dotted line now, let's take off and we work with you about a month before, but hearing that LOI I've had a lot of doctors where their first practice does not work out for them. And it's heartbreaking and it's gut wrenching.

Kiera Dent: And when I talked to them, I asked them similar to what we're asking you, normally it's not on a podcast, but I think you just brought up a really good point of not walking into the practice with rosy glasses on, but making sure you get all those pieces hammered out because so many people just walk in and they're like, "Yep, this is going to be great," versus thinking, "Okay, how much am I going to have to pay for the compressor if it goes out, and when is it going to go out? And what about our hygiene? How many active hygiene patients do we really have? And what about the building?"

Kiera Dent: And all those different what ifs. So, I don't know, it's like when I build partnerships with people, I say, "Think of the divorce before you get married. So what is it going to look like if the partner do ever have to transition away from each other?" So then you can make smarter decisions. Same things when you're buying a practice, make sure you're looking at the end of all the pieces you're going to have to fix post signing on the day and paying for it, that you might want to just hammer out those details beforehand, so you have your eyes wide open.

Kiera Dent: And then once you sign on that dotted line and you're in there, shut your eyes halfway closed, don't look at all the problems, because it's yours, now let's make it the best you can. So Jenny, any other tips or thoughts that have just come to your mind that if you went back or you were advising someone moving forward, what they could do. These have been so helpful. I think you just brought a rolodex of information that I hope everybody took notes on.

Kiera Dent: As yucky as it feels for you, I love that you've just spanned it into something like, "Hey, let's help somebody else avoid these thing, or people that are looking to buy a practice, this is what they can do.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Yeah, absolutely. And like I said, I'm very happy to give back. Essentially, I could look at this whole thing blowing up in two different ways. I can look at it as like, I'm completely misguided in my directions all over the place, which I've had moments of that, I'll be honest.

Kiera Dent: I'm sure. How could you not?

Dr. Jenny Perna: Or, I could look at it as I had a year of a CE course on practice acquisition. So I'm choosing the latter, I'm choosing to have the positive mindset that there's bigger and better things out there for me. And now I just have a plethora of knowledge in this topic that I would love to share. A couple of tips that just come to mind, one is, when you're looking for a bank, and this is going to especially pertain to anyone who's also paying off student loans and saving for retirement and saving, the bank typically wants to see about 10% of either of the purchase price or the startup.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Now, I'm not well versed in startup, so I don't want to speak to that, but they want to see about 10% of the purchase price in your bank account liquidity. So they may not require you to put anything down, but in order to get approved for the loan and go through underwriting with the bank, they do want to see that. So if you are looking to own an office within, I would say the next five years, start saving. Obviously, pay off your student loans, get a good financial advisor that can help advise you on how to save, where to save, how to tackle it appropriately, but you want to make sure that you are hyper-focused on savings so that you can get approved by these banks.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Another thing about banks is that I recommend reaching out whenever you decide that you want to get a loan for a practice acquisition, reach out to a bunch of different banks and get their rates. Everyone's going to have different terms and different rates, and you can negotiate between banks. So if I have bank A and bank B and I've liked working with them so far and they have different rates, I can tell bank A, "Hey, bank B is going to offer me this." And then you can tell bank B, "Hey, bank A is going to offer me this." And bill work to get your business

Dr. Jenny Perna: So just keep that in mind. Right now, I only know the landscape of lending from the banks that I've worked with, and it appears that people are still lending, even though everything with the pandemic and crisis and everything, but the dental world has a lot of success in the business sector. So I think banks are still willing to loan, which is fantastic.

Kiera Dent: And I think as you were saying, I just want to chime in on that. Don't forget like your lab people and your suppliers. As much as I do love them, these are not your friends, you're not meant to, just because you love someone or you think they're great, does not mean they need your business, put on your business hat of thinking, okay, paying a rate for the next 30 years, or six years or however long the practice runs for, that you get the best deal to set you up for success moving forward.

Kiera Dent: Other things I considered, you guys have bought practices in the past, and I do know banks that are local, sometimes those are easier to lend to first-time practice owners. So we went to a local bank and it worked really well. I know for me, another thing that was a factor in deciding was there might be a bank that's a couple percentages higher, or maybe like a point, whatever percent higher, check to see how much that's going to cost over the course of the whole loan of what you'll be actually paying additional.

Kiera Dent: Because for me, also a bank that's super-fast on it, I can get my approvals done, they can waive things for me, that's very paramount and that's worth it, just to make sure, like Jenny your first example, that bank is all of a sudden dropping you. Having a bank that's super responsive even if that costs you may be a skosh more, but make sure you know what that skosh more actually is over the course of the term.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Absolutely. Absolutely. And the bank that drop out is a very, very popular bank, I'll say, I'll leave it at that, and I have not heard many people having good experiences. So ask your friends, anyone who's acquired an office, did a startup, who their lender is and ask how their experience is. And friends will obviously be honest, you can reach out to me, I'll be honest as well. You can reach me on Instagram, but I think you made a very good point, the bank is not your friend, the bank wants business. And so you need to make sure that you're protecting yourself in the process and the years that you'll be lending from them.

Kiera Dent: For sure. For sure. I know you were going to go into another point, so I'll let you go because this is so good and I love learning a whole different world. So thank you, Jenny.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Yeah, you're so welcome. And again, I appreciate everything that you've done, that coaching call that you and I have had, it just made me so jazzed and so excited. And although I'm pivoting a little bit, the valuable information that I gathered from that was amazing. So again, I'm just happy to give back and continue to support the dental community. The only other thing that I would say that I had on my mind of things that I maybe would have done differently, and I'm still in the pursuit of this, is that it would be so good to find a business mentor.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Someone who's done this, someone in the field, even if they did a startup and you're looking to acquire an office that has success in the business realm of dentistry, understands the business realm and can help guide you because you don't know what you don't know. And you're entering into this agreement when you're acquiring an office and it's a lot, it's a risk, you're buying a business. For me, I was moving across the country, I was quitting my job, which I did quit, which was a little bit of a bummer when this feel through.

Kiera Dent: You've got sometime on your hands now.

Dr. Jenny Perna: I wish you do.

Kiera Dent: You're like, "Let's pick up some new habits, new hobbies."

Dr. Jenny Perna: Exactly. And I can find anything to occupy my time, especially when Netflix is so readily available.

Kiera Dent: She's in school now in Netflix guys. Don't worry, she's taking a year of CE on Netflix right now. So any good recommendations, send them on over?

Dr. Jenny Perna: Oh, that's too funny. But I really think you don't know what's normal in negotiations, you don't know what it's normal to work with a bank, to work with attorneys, and CPAs, and the seller, and the broker, it's all new. So if there's anyone that can mentor you through that, I know that's a hot word in dentistry, you're always looking for a mentor, whether it's clinically or business wise, but I think that would be a really valuable resource to have. So if anyone wants to be my business mentor, just let me know.

Kiera Dent: I would also say, I was going to chime in, I think one of my favorites is Shared Practices, I know personally Richard Low and George Hariri they've gone through it, they coach a lot of people. I do think that they're great. They work on the doctor side, we work on the team side. They're great, it's like a group of people there. So even if you just messaged them or check out their podcast, I know they walk through a lot of this, but I agree, someone who's done it...

Kiera Dent: Also, you guys, we're so readily available on social media, look for people who are starting up their practices and ask them because they're the most current, most recent, ask brands, ask reps in the area, you can ask those. There's so many people, but I agree with you, Jenny, it's finding somebody who can guide you so you don't get burnt, and you're avoiding those pitfalls before they show up. And then also I would say, just love yourself though, that it doesn't matter how great your mentor is, it doesn't matter how great your coach is.

Kiera Dent: It doesn't matter how many people you talk to, there will still always be things that you're like, "Ah, I should've done that." And I suggest, and I would suggest this to you, Jenny, of write down every single thing that you've learned. So go back, and I'm sure you've already done this because you're just on top of your A-game, write the whole experience, what would you do differently now? Because right after an experience, whether it's positive momentum like you just crushed your best year or you just had like a terrible thing, write what happened, all those steps.

Kiera Dent: I remember I wrote down all my steps of acquiring a practice and I literally had pages and pages and pages of what I did step-by-step timeline. So now I can help offices, "Okay, great. In your first 90 days, it's going to be a crazy shake out, this is where we start. So really use that time. And then you can share it with other people, I think, is a fantastic way to take what we've learned and pass it forward or help ourselves learn from it in the future as well.

Dr. Jenny Perna: I think that's great advice. I've been journaling for about over a year now, in 2021 I want to make sure I'm journaling every single day, so this'll just be like a sub journal, like, what happens with everything that went down. And you're right, that's the thing about life, there's going to be ups and downs. If this is one of the worst that's happened to me, I'm doing pretty good.

Kiera Dent: [crosstalk 00:35:40].

Dr. Jenny Perna: Of course. And I'll rise above it. And that's for anyone out there, no matter what stage of your career you're in, I think our mindset plays such a big role. Like I said, I can look at this as the worst thing that ever happened, or I can just be like, "You know what, this doesn't change, how successful I'll be. The assessment change, this doesn't change the ambitions and the goals and aspirations that I have. So as long as I stay intentional on my vision and what's next, things will happen for me." And so I hope that message rings loudly for everyone that we're going to have setbacks in our careers and our lives, and we just have to continually rise above it and keep a smile on our face and a positive attitude, and gear up and learn all the lessons for the next time things go derailed.

Kiera Dent: It's such good advice. As you were saying it, I remember in December, there's Kayla who works with us. She used to work at this, I don't even know, something like gem store in Sedona and she's all into crystals, and I get the luxury of having this amazing crystal thing in my office because she brought in, I was like, "It's actually really pretty to look at." And has all these different words in there. And there's this little pyramid, and honestly, I hope she's not listening to this pod, okay, I hope she is because I love when our team participates, but at the same time, I cannot remember what this thing is, but it looks like a pyramid, this is silver, shiny pyramid.

Kiera Dent: It got four sides to it and they look like, I don't know if you guys remember in elementary school those big like metal sides that would burn your booties if you had shorts on, but you'd like slide down the slide in elementary school. And as I looked at this pyramid in December, I remember feeling like I was standing on the top of this pyramid on every side, it felt like this big slip inside that was going to slide me to my death, like there was a chasm sitting below. And I remember I had a coach tell me, she's like, "Well, number one, Kayla told me that that stone is actually a grounding stone." So ironic that that's what the stone was, that I was envisioning.

Kiera Dent: But I had somebody pivot it and they said, "Kiera, you could slide down." Just like Jenny, you slid down and the practice didn't close. And so is that our death, is that our chasm, or could it possibly be that that's actually a path pave to gold and it's a different path, but it has gold and amazing things and it's happy, and we don't know what's at the bottom of that path. And so just allowing that to be there, you can slide down those slip insides and it might look like it's death and scary at the bottom, but the reality is, there could be sunshine and roads paved in gold and so many amazing opportunities.

Kiera Dent: And I truly believe that that's what life does, when one door shuts... Naomi Cooper and I were just doing a podcast and she said, "Find doors where other people find walls and you're going to find great success from there."

Dr. Jenny Perna: Oh, I love that. I love that so much. And that's not to say I didn't go through all the emotions of sadness, and anger, and despair mixed in with a lot of hope for the next thing, but I think that was such a wonderful analogy, I don't even have to say anything more to it, that just summed it up so, so well.

Kiera Dent: Well, thank you, Jenny, for being on the podcast, thank you for sharing and giving back. You guys, truly, go follow Jenny, she's awesome, so it's Yogi Dentist. I love following your page. And reach out, ask questions. You guys, if you want us just to connect you directly with her, please do. And Jenny, I feel like 2021 has some big doors that are going to be opening real soon. It's winter right now, so they say it's a hibernation, and we will ground ourselves, we'll root ourselves, we take that inter... and just reflect inward right now.

Kiera Dent: We actually can ground ourselves and be ready to really shine bright in the spring and blossom in that time. So I feel like there's going to be some good things around the corner, hopefully real soon for you.

Dr. Jenny Perna: Thank you. I really appreciate that, and I really do. I feel like 2021 is all over a year after 2020, and everything that it entailed. And just like Kiera said, if anyone has any questions about this process or any questions about dentistry, I'm an open book, so you can always message me on Instagram. And thank you again, Kiera, it's always wonderful to connect with you on the podcast, on Instagram, texting. You've been such a light and a positive person in my life, and I'm so happy that I've gotten to meet you and be on your podcast multiple times.

Kiera Dent: Oh my gosh, likewise. Anytime you guys. As much as I did want this happen, Jenny, you texted me and said, "Let's podcast about this." And I was like, "Done, I will podcast with you any time. Let's do it." So thank you. I feel the same way, 2020 bringing us together as friends was one of the best parts of it. So you guys check her out. If you have more questions on this, if it was a great topic, let us know, we'll definitely dive in deeper to other things. And as always, thank all of you for listening and we'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team Podcast.

Kiera Dent: All right, Dental A Team listeners, that's a wrap. Thank you so much for listening. And if you love today's podcast, go leave us a review. It takes you five seconds and your review helps more offices, more practices, more team members, just like you, find out about the Dental A Team. Thank you guys so much for being part of my Dental A Team family.



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