Jeffrey Shaw is once again on the podcast, this time to talk about his book, The Self-Employed Life! Kiera and Jeffrey run through highlights of the book, including what success really means, how team members can gain value from learning about self-employment, and business evolution versus a pivot.
Jeffrey also shares the three elements that need to be healthy and thriving in order to maintain an ideal business ecosystem:
Daily habits to create sustainability
As always, Jeffrey brings his A-game on the podcast, and this episode is no different — it’ll have you full of motivation and inspiration by the end of it.
Tune into The Self Employed Life Podcast
Listen to episode 352: The Benefits of Being Business Intrigued
Listen to episode 375: Self Employment: Foolproof Ideas for Success
Subscribe to The Dental A-Team podcast
Review the podcast on iTunes
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. Yep, 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.
Hello Dental A Team listeners, this is Kiera. And you guys, I am so honored to bring back Jeffrey Shaw. You guys have heard him. I know his podcast has resonated with you so many times. I was on his podcast, we talked about business intrigued. So if you guys haven't heard that, be sure to pop on over to his podcast, The Self-Employed Life. But Jeffrey Shaw, he the author of The Self-Employed Life, which has just recently come out. I feel super honored to have received a copy of the book. I've been reading it. And as I've been reading it, I feel this is speaking to me. And I feel like our dental offices and our dentists, this is our life, we are self-employed, we are running our own businesses.
And so I sent a text to Jeffrey Shaw and asked him, "Hey, would you be willing to come back on the podcast and specifically speak about your book now that it's out? Because I feel your book resonates with our audience so well." And he was generous and kind, he is such a busy man, and I'm so honored to welcome him back to show. So, Jeffrey, how are you today?
I am great. I am so honored to be back. And I have to say, seeing that you have a copy of the book with Post-it Notes in it, that just thrills me. So I'm honored that you want to do a deeper dive into our conversation.
Absolutely. Well, I did send you a picture of me at the airport reading your book, and you did say that your dream was to see this book in someone's hand when you're traveling somewhere. And I definitely believe that it will be, because it just speaks so authentically. And I know I texted you and said, "I feel like you're talking to me directly." And you said, "It's easy to do so because when you are a self-employed owner, this is your life as well." And so I just wanted to do deep dive. People who haven't experienced your book yet, definitely you guys, it's on Amazon. And if you are an early adopter, please leave him a review. I know I have left him a review.
I know that's the easiest way for us to share his book and his work with other people, because I know something that I've struggled with as a self-employed owner is not feeling like anybody else's out there, or, who can I talk to? Who is that community? And I feel this book just so, so easily just roadmaps what the self-employed life looks like. So that's my thought on it, but you're the author, so tell us your inspiration for writing this book and just some of the behind the scenes talking with you specifically about your book, The Self-Employed Life.
Yeah. Well, the important thing to me is that the word life was in there because that to me is what never existed. And I did my due diligence, go to Amazon, go to other websites, check what books were out there for self-employed people, and there were things like for taxes, really boring stuff or just very segmented. And that actually is one of the biggest problems of being self-employed, is that because we're not compartmentalized businesses, it's not like we have a marketing department and a customer service department and the HR department, we don't have that advantage. So we wind up having to hire people for specific roles that they can play in our business. So we hire somebody to help us with our marketing, hire someone to help us with our social media. And so books reflect that.
Any business books are out there that are very specific, but there just was nothing that was all encompassing. And I wanted to create a book that really reflected the life of being self-employed. We have to also be aware of the integration between our personal lives and our businesses, that's a big part of being self-employed, and the correlation between how we develop and how our success can expand, because to me is one of the fundamental differences of being self-employed, is that your level of success is directly related to your level of personal development. You personally have to be ready to receive your next level of success, otherwise, you're putting a lot of hard work towards a wall.
You're putting a lot of hard work and effort in, that's why there's so much personal development in the book, until you do the personal development to receive the next level of your success, the work you're putting has no place to go. So to me, that was the most important component, was that the word that it really reflected the life of being self-employed and not just another task.
Well, I'm glad that you brought that up first because, don't worry, I have this starred, marked, and thumbed over because I love that you said you live by that quote because it's pointing out that the way to reach your next level of success is to grow personally first. And I love that you said having a successful life in business requires that we first learn who we are, then do what we have to do in order to have what we want. And I love that it talks about we have to learn who we are. So I'm curious, why do you believe that your success is always about personal development? How did you come up with that?
I know you quoted Jim Ronan here as well, but that's a philosophical belief. So tell me why you see networking with hundreds of business owners across the world, you yourself having multiple businesses... I loved your story about delivering eggs, it was one of my favorites. I felt like I got to know a whole new side of you. You guys have to read his egg business and what he was doing as a young child. But what have you seen? Why do you feel it's so much about self-development in order to be successful?
I think there's two ways of looking at that. One, and I often joke that to me being self-employed is like personal development on steroids.
Because it's, "Oh my gosh," right? Because it's everything happening harder and faster. Everything's magnified, it happens at a faster rate. Every button you have is going to be pushed and it's always going to push you to... We're always in the process of figuring out how to gain more patience, more understanding, expand our empathy. So everything's being pushed. So we can't help it develop at a more rapid rate. So for me, honestly, and going right back to the egg story, to me, I literally used self-employment, even beginning at the age of 14, and then again as a photographer when I started out at 20 and then later years as a coach, every time I've taken a level of change and expansion of my business, it's been because I personally wanted to stretch myself to the next level.
I was a very comfortable photographer for 25 years, and I suddenly had this harebrained idea that I wanted to make a bigger impact in the world. So I took up public speaking, which was literally the biggest stretch I could imagine I would take at that point in my life, because I identified as being shy. I was very aware that while I had a very successful photography business, it was very sheltered, sheltered because I worked with a very specific affluent clientele. It wasn't high volume, and it was a very sheltered world. It was very sheltered. They all knew each other, they would refer me to one another. So the biggest stretch for me was becoming a speaker.
So I have always used being in business for myself as a way to find more in myself. So that's one way. The other way of looking at it I think that helps a lot of people understand the correlation between personal development and your success, because I also know we self-employed people like tangible results. We love mindset and stuff, but we don't exactly have time to sit around the fire and sing kumbaya. So we want results, right? So when we look at it from capacity, here's why it matters. And I always feel like when I explained this, people are like, "Okay, I'm willing to do the work then." If you look at it as a level of capacity, you have to increase your capacity to receive the next level of your success.
You have to remove any ways that you are thinking limited, any ways that you are thinking that what you think you're capable of, the level of success you think you can achieve, or what I find is the biggest one, whatever you think you deserve, you have to take that to a whole other level. You have to expand the capacity of what you're currently thinking you deserve in order to get more. You have to be willing to lean into what other people think you're capable of, even if you don't believe it yet. That's the personal development part, it is first going through this stage, when you want more success in your business, it's first going through this stage of personal development to open up the room above where you're currently sitting by thinking bigger, more expansively, stepping into being clear you deserve more.
Then, when you apply the action, like I said, there's like space to receive it. That to me is the practical application of it. It's like, you want more success? Do that work first so that the action you put in works.
Hello Dental A Team listeners. All right. One of my absolute favorite quotes is, "You are always one decision away from a totally different life." So what life do you want to have? Do you want more accountability? Do you want a team that's trained? Do you want to have somebody who thinks outside the box and creates just for you? Do you want to have a coach? Do you want to have team training? Do you just need somebody to kick you in the rear and get you going? Okay. Don't worry, I'm in every single one of those boxes. And that's why we created Dental A Team Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
It's going to be customized team training for you on the terms you want. So Silver, Silver is more for accountability. Gold, Gold includes all of our online training, plus the accountability. And Platinum includes all of that and in office. You guys, I would strongly suggest you go join Dental A Team Gold today because you're always one decision away from a totally different life. So what are you waiting for? Hop on over to thedentalateam.com today. You guys, we only have so many spaces, so get over there today and sign up for Dental A Team Silver, Gold, or Platinum.
I love that perspective because I remember I attended a Tony Robbins' event, I went to his Business Mastery event, which I felt that was... I had listened to him for years, felt like I was a distant learner from him. And I remember at the event, it talked about how human beings have an innate desire to make themselves right. And so he said if people say, "I quit smoking, but I've always been a smoker." He's like, "Your days are limited because you believe that you're a smoker." He said, "Same thing if people are trying to lose weight, but they're like, 'Ah, but I'm big boned.'" He's like, "You're never going to lose weight because you believe that this is who you are at your core. And so therefore, until you expand that, you're going to continue to make yourself right and prove yourself right."
And so I love that you said you've got to do that personal development. Like this sounds so silly, I didn't even know how much businesses could make. I was so naive because my whole life growing up, my parents, there were seven kids in our family, my dad, he had a good job, he taught religion at the college. That money did not go as far with seven children. My parents had a lot of kids and I never realized my life was a little different until I got older. But my parents, we had a family lawn business and my mom always told me, "You want your business to lose money. You don't ever want to have a business that actually makes money because it helped them save on taxes." And so that was my parents' philosophy on business.
So growing up, I didn't even know what businesses were capable of doing. So my whole belief system was, have a business that doesn't make money. And then I thought, "Hold on, there's a lot of people that have businesses that make money, and I think this is a flawed model."
And should. It's a flawed model. I love that.
But like you said, until I even could expand and believe something different, my model was businesses should shouldn't make money. And I will tell you, my first year as a business owner was not a super profitable year. I was like, "I could be a Starbucks barista and do a lot less work and make the same amount of money." So I really love that you said it's the capacity and learning more about that, really does fuel you to then expand. You did such a great job throughout your book of talking about just different ways that you viewed life. I think one of my favorite quotes in there said, "I believe that whether or not we realize it, in the beginning, what motivates us most is the desire to become bolder versions of ourselves, that is, developing into the best version of ourselves is bigger than any fear, challenge or obstacle that we might face."
"It is even more important than the rewards of business with all our desire to make money, earn a living and impact the world. We are first drawn, whether we realize it or not, to our own personal development." And I just feel that encompasses exactly what you said so perfectly, because you're right, the money can drive you, but only for so far, the success, the status-
The money doesn't actually excite you enough to get you through the hardest of times. It just doesn't. It's not a very effective dangling carrot. It's reasonable. And like I said, I'm always certainly a proponent of having money and make life easier and having choices, that's really what money does, it gives you choices. But it's not enough of a dangling carrot to do this. Being self-employed, owning your own business, it is such a difficult challenge. You have to really think, what really... And that's what I propose people ask themselves, "What is it that really motivates you?"
And if you get down to it, like I said, we humans... Carol Dweck talks about the fixed mindset, growth mindset. We're inherently drawn to a growth mindset, particularly successful people. Successful people inherently have a growth mindset. It doesn't mean they don't have to fight against a fixed mindset, but there is a drive to be more, there's just this inherent drive to be more. And that actually is the strongest route of motivation, I believe, more so than money will ever hold up in the long run.
Right. Because I've also heard that progress equals happiness, and so it's that growth mindset. So when they say you're frustrated, you're feeling stagnant, look to see, are you growing in any area of your life? Because you're probably plateauing. And when we plateau, we actually lose that motivation. So I loved it when you also said, "Have you ever really asked yourself, why am I even doing this? Is it really for the money? Is it really for freedom, or control for your future?" You said, "There can be many reasons, but I believe the biggest reason we set out into the world as self-employed business owners is our desire to grow." I'm like, "Amen. I don't mind, Kiera."
And I'm actually at that point right now. The book came out May 4th, and I wound up, because I try to share pretty openly on social media and I try to share my awarenesses when I think they'll benefit others. I have a rule about social media and one of my rules about what I post is I always try to answer the question of, for the sake of what? Because if it's for the sake of myself, then it probably isn't worthy to others, but if I can see a learning lesson in it... And I had this awareness the other day of how exhausted I am. The book came out May 4th. We're a few weeks afterwards. And I will tell you, selling a book, you feel like your song one book at a time. Here you are trying to get it to add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of volume, but it literally feels like one at a time.
It's not like one organization comes along and says, "We'd like to buy 5,000." It can happen, it's just rare. Somebody comes along and says, "We want to buy 5,000 copies of your book." So it feels like one at a time. And then of course I'm at the stage now, the book's out there trying to get more reviews. So I feel like I'm collecting reviews one at a time. And the other day I was feeling that self-employed moment of exhaustion. I was texting a friend of mine, I was like, "This is exhausting. It's like selling one book at a time, one review at a time." And all of a sudden I had this moment, which is what picks you up and motivate you. I was like, "You know what, get your act together, buddy. It's not one book at a time, not one review at a time, it's possibly one life at a time."
If this book, and it will change, hopefully a lot of lives, that's the value in it. The value is looking and saying, "Already the feedback I've gotten back is so amazing." I'm like, "Don't focus on it being one book, it's one life." Next I know, I'm out of the chair, and I stop whining, stop whining to myself, and get out of it again and do what needs to be done, because that's motivated. Let's face it, one dollar at a time isn't motivating, one book at a time isn't motivating, but the root of impacting people and just feeling like in doing so it's constantly stretching you to your next level, that keeps us going.
Yes. As you said that I thought, it might be one book or one review at a time, but I was thinking, that one person has a circle of influence that they're influencing as well. And so your impact has a ripple effect as well. And I love that you brought that up too, it's one life at a time, because I think that that's oftentimes in business, how we, I guess almost fight the downward slopes of business, is finding that motivation and rekindling it and reframing it and realizing, why are we doing this? And how are we growing? And how are we being bigger, bolder versions of ourselves?
Photography is nice and you're impacting that one family, podcasting is nice, but now you're able to impact with this book that has all of your knowledge from so many things specifically geared to self-employed people like myself, like the dentists. Just because you're not a self-employed person, I don't believe that this book isn't for you because I think at a root core belief of all human beings, team members who are working for dentists, dentists who are self-employed, it is that desire to be a bigger, bolder version of ourselves that continually pushes us. That's why team members take on new responsibilities, that's why dental assistants become office managers, that's why office managers grow in leadership, that's why hygienists go to CE to learn the latest technique is, it is a bigger, bolder version of yourself to help more people to grow in a different avenue.
And so I think even if you aren't self-employed, this book is, like you said, it's all about personal development, which is what spurs us to continue going forward in so many areas.
It's so brilliant that you said that because what's come up for me since the book has been out, which I didn't anticipate because actually in my speaking rep and when I wrote the book I'd said to her, "Well, we, I don't know that we're going to get too many corporate gigs because who's going to hire me to come into their company to speak about making their employees self-employed?"
That's a good point. It's a great point.
now, except now the book is out there. I'm thinking there's this aside from there are self-employed, but there's also a self-employed mindset. And I think a lot of people want to work for a company or business where they don't have the pressures of being self-employed, but they want to work. They want to care so deeply that they care for it as much as if it was their own. I think there's a self-employed mindset within the employee sector, and those are, as you described, the hygienists who want to go to the next level. It's because they actually care about the business as if it was their own, they're just not driven to put up with all the hassles of owning a business. I think this is a self-employed mindset as well.
Amen. I agree. And it's interesting you said that because we just had our company retreat, and for the first time, I actually sat back. I have a really incredible team and I decided, instead of me always leading this, let's have other people lead the discussions, let's see what comes about if I'm not the one driving it the whole time. And it was really interesting because Tiffany, who's been in the company for the last four years, she basically has built those with me from the ground up. It was so incredible to see her say, "We've built this, we've done this. This is where we've been." And there was all this, we, we, we talk. And I was so excited because I'm like, "She's bought in."
She loves this company so much that she feels that this is hers, which it is, she's done so much on it. And yet, like you said, she's got that self-employed mindset. She's looking at this business as if it was her own. She's wanting to grow, she's wanting to expand, to help more offices, to grow our team, but yet she doesn't want to go start her own business because she's like, "Katie, you've got that. You take care of all that. I'll just help on this side of it." And so I think that there is, like you said, so much value in here for team members as well and for companies. I also think it's really cool for people to have like a glimpse in of what the self-employed life looks like, because I really do think... I don't know. I felt like it spoke to my heart.
One of my favorite things that you said in here was, "I like to describe the ideal state of mind as a business owner who is highly energized and calm at the same time." And I'm like, "Yes, speak. Speak more." Because there's so much exhilaration and calmness, which we seek as business owners. We want that exhilaration, we want that adrenaline rush, but we also want it to be calm. And I know you talked about aquamarine as the color of your books. So tell us a little bit about that. Tell us about it.
That is the craziest thing. Oh my gosh, I really coach of mine from many years ago said something once that I just think it's so true in life. And he said that synchronicity is a sign you're on purpose. Isn't that beautiful?
I love that. Yeah, those coincidence. There are so many moments in life and you realize that there's such a profound synchronicity that it has to be assigned to keep going, it has to be a sign of something, and this covers one of them. And honestly, I think it's the most beautiful book. It's just a gorgeous color.
It is. I told you that as soon as I got, it feels good, it looks good. I'm like, "Man, you did a great job on the cover."
All credit to the designer at the publisher. His name is Peter Cocking, and my publisher, Page Two. He designed it and they sent me a few versions, way back in last August, I was actually on a business trip, I got the covers and I knew instantly, this was the color, this was the cover. And I just was so moved by the color, then I got curious, I reached out, I said, "Why did you choose that color? I was moved as to why you chose it." And he said, he found it to be really representative of the self-employed life that it had an energy and a calmness to it, that led me down the path of, "Uh, what does this color aquamarine mean, the psychology of color.?"
So then I started Googling what's the psychological meaning behind aquamarine. And it literally said, "Like the ocean, aquamarine represents that blue, green combination where like the Aquamarine Ocean, it has the energy of waves, but the calmness that we typically feel near the ocean." And it struck me, it's like, "I wrote that exact thing in the book." It was crazy to me. And then I contacted Peter, I was like, "Peter, did you read the book and extract that from the content?" His answer was, "To be honest with you, I didn't read your book. I just designed the cover." And I totally get it, how many books can the guy read if he's designing all these covers at a publishing house? But isn't that crazy?
The color that he chose represents what I described to the book as the ideal success state of mind. And I'll tell you how I learned the meaning of that, which is such a crazy way. I don't know, have you ever been to a Russian Turkish bath?
I definitely have not, but that sounds exciting, so tell me more.
A Russian Turkish bath is a super-hot sauna, that's kind of the Russian experience. It's a super-hot sauna and they're throwing water on the rocks and it's steamy. So it's, I don't know, 110, 120 degrees super hot, and then you walk out of that and you take a plunge into a 40 degree cold bath. That's the Turkish part. So it's like this Russian-Turkish experience. And then there's all the warnings, don't do that if you have a heart problem because this is a shock to the system.
It will probably shock you.
The effect is undescribable. And I can remember every time I would... There was there was a Russian Turkish bath in New York, I would go spend the afternoon, and you would do this a few times. And I would leave there feeling as if you just had an incredibly intense massage and ready to take on the world. Think about it, usually when you have a massage, you're puddy, and on the other hand, you can go to a Tony Robbins' event and be so pumped up, you're ready to take on the world, but rarely do we have the experience where your body is actually feeling both ways at the same time.
And I realized that it's exactly the perfect state of mind for success, when you actually have that high level energy of impact and energy and what you want to accomplish, but you're able to do so from a place of calmness and clear decision making, so there's a groundedness because at the end of the day, success is a long game. It's a long-term game, unless you're just in the type of business you're in, you're going to be in for year or two and flip it, but hey, even that, it's with clear intention, but most of us are in business for the long game. That is a strong quality to a success mindset, to stay excited, but be able to make decisions from a calm thinking.
And that's so important because we have so many urgent situations in our lives. We have something urgent on a daily basis, but also we have sense of urgency when there are catastrophes, 9/11, the pandemic, we face urgent situations. It's the calmness prevents you from being reactionary. What if you turned your business completely upside down in the beginning of 2020 because you reacted too quickly without realizing that... And I actually was very much opposed to the word pivot, which was used so much last year. And I kept saying, "I don't think that's great, particularly for self-employed businesses, it's not likely to be a pivot, that might be too drastic of a term and too drastic of a change, it's probably an evolution.
And what we're seeing is didn't most restaurants didn't pivot, they evolved into increase in their takeout business. It doesn't mean they got away from having tables and seats, and that's why we say where we stand now in 2021, I think most people are aware that hardly any business or industry is going to go back fully to the way it was. Every industry has integrated things that have actually expanded their business, so they have evolved. The most successful businesses right now evolved through the process of the pandemic, and they didn't necessarily pivot and go into a whole different direction that they're now trying to figure out.
Right. I love it. And so I'm going to tease this out because I think people, you probably intrigued them. You're exactly right, I want that calmness, but that excitement. And I think that that's what your book does dive into is how do you maintain that perfect mindset? So I'll let you tease it out. It does a beautiful thing. You talked about the ecosystem of a business and how to really be able to manage that mindset. So just from like a high level, giving us a sneak peek into your book of those pieces, how do you maintain that mindset of calmness, but energetic excitement as well, being in that perfect equilibrium, I feel what are some of the ways that you address throughout your book that you would like to highlight?
Yeah. The whole experience of being self-employed is that everything in your life is integrated. We don't shut off our minds and go home, we're still thinking about our businesses and we have things going on our personal lives that's coming into our work environment. So there's higher level of integration. So knowing that, that's when I started looking at businesses in ecosystem, where there are three main elements of a successful self-employed ecosystem, and they are personal development, business strategies and daily habits to create sustainability. And I'm cautious to say, a lot of times in life, in fact, there are a lot of personality assessment tests and such where you can score at different levels. My point is that I hate to tell you, but you have to be highly healthy in each of those three areas.
That's the problem. That's what I do on a daily basis is work with businesses to help them strengthen what is weak, because you can't have a healthy business and a healthy ecosystem if all your effort is going towards business strategy, but you haven't worked on the personal development. You're not going to have a successful business if all your energy is going to developing yourself personally, but you're not getting into action. All three parts have to be healthy and thriving in order to have health. And I relate this to an ecosystem in nature. If any one element is often an ecosystem in nature, it can kill the whole ecosystem. And we need to recognize that your business operates the same way.
And I'm not saying that one element is going to kill a business, but what I can tell you with absolute certainty, if any one of those three elements, personal development, business strategy, and by business strategy, I don't mean just action, but the right action, and daily habits, if any one of those three areas is off and everybody until this is explained, everybody has one part of their system that's weaker, it may not kill your business, but I can guarantee you, you're working harder than you need because a lack of flow.
Yes. When I read that I was like, "Huh, that's a relief."
It's not until all three areas are really solid. Everybody, clients and somebody, they're amazed at how easy it is when everything's healthy. When everything in your business is healthy, there is ease. And when there's ease, you can be more productive, you can live a happier self-employed life, you have more time to yourself. And that's the goal, isn't it? That is why we went into business for ourselves.
Yes. And I think it's fun because it actually is proving that what we thought business could be, can actually be an actuality, because I think so many times we get into business and I'm like, "Whoa, I actually have to work 2:00 AM to 10:00 PM in order to be successful. I have. I'm a highly competitive person so I'm going to go for the success status and making sure my business is thriving." But at the same time, me personally is dying off on the other side of it, but it's like, "Just keep going. Someday, this is going to get better." And realizing that it actually doesn't have to look that way unless you choose to have it that way. And I think for me, it gave hope and clarity that there is a different way. There is an easier way, and seeing it in that perspective.
You guys, the chapters he has in here is, get out of your own way, what moves you forward? That's your personal development part. Then you have the self-employed, which talks about embrace hug marketing, create an emotional journey, build business models of multiple, set up systems for success, develop loyalty, other things on the business portion. And then the self-employed daily habits is, create a steady foundation, create what's going right journal, expand your thinking, switch it up, and what's next. So just helping you guys see some of those categories he's listed out there that I really love because it does tie in...
Get out of your own way is one of my favorite chapters, because this is you're creating happiness and if you just get out of your own way, you'll be a lot happier, a lot less stressed and have more time, because like you said, that is what I think so many people dream of a self-employed life being, but oftentimes the execution creates a much more stressful, exhausted where I feel like it's all exhilaration and no calmness, and that does definitely to burn out.
But as a coach for so many years, I love that you love to get out of the way chapter. What I want to point out is that having been a coach with so many years, unfortunately, I think most people are teaching people how to get out of their own way wrong. And I think I give such a different approach to that. Fundamentally, just to give a high level, again, we are talking about motivation. Motivation is like this dangling carrot ahead of us. I've been doing this for so many years, I can tell you what's ahead of us doesn't always keep us going. What keeps us going is getting really clear on what you want to get away from. What gets us going is getting really clear that I am sick and tired of being broke.
That is actually what makes you do something about changing your situation, or I'm sick and tired of working so many hours that I don't have the time with my family that I thought I was going to have. To be honest with you, I don't remember if I put this in the book this way, but I've been thinking about it a lot is that if you look at it like a competitive swimmer, what's the first action they have to take to win that race? They have to push off from the edge of the pool. The first thing they have to do is get away from that. And that is same thing with motivation, to be successful in life in business is that, and again, I think I'm the only coach, I've never heard anybody else talk about it this way, but I've been studying it for so many years.
So it's like, pumping people up, giving people a goal, teaching people how to visualize, having the cliché, "If we sit down for a year from now and have lunch, how do you want your life to look different?" It's all well and good, and that's the way every coach talks. And I'm like, "You know what? It's not working." And the reason that's not working is because you haven't helped anybody get clear on what is it that you are so sick and tired of that you're willing to make the change in your life in the first place and stick with it. And I don't know that anybody... I knew that was going to be a controversial part of the book, I'm expected to hear some from some of my colleagues.
And I'm expecting to hear, as you know, I ended the book with the worst possible review, which is, I think a historical part of the book. I literally wrote out, what's the... It's a nightmare review. And part of it was that idea is like, I can just wait to hear coaching colleagues say, "Well, where's the research and the data that proves?" And I'm so sick in life of hearing that, people want research and data. I'm like, "You know what, what about life? What about human behavior? What about as a photographer for 36 years, I've been studying human behavior. And I can tell you in my experience to actually for people to really make change in their life, they have to get clear on what they don't want any more before they can strive towards what they do want?"
Yep. I completely agree. And I love the way you talk about it because we just had an event and somebody left us a review that said like, "You guys need to have more stats and facts." And I was like, "My philosophy very much is I might not have the stats and facts to tell you that this works, but I have hundreds of offices that have done it. I have psychology background that talks about the why." And like you said, it's a lot of just life experience that will tell you that this is how it is. And so I love that-
That will always win. That will always win out. I just had to interrupt you because I just think it's so important too. I'm in the speaker world ad so many speakers live their lives from their head. They live from research, and I'm like, "You know what? I may not have the education that you have, but I will tell you what, I've been in the trenches as a self-employed person since the age of 14, I have studied human behavior. I obviously figured out how to go from a lower middle class upbringing in a country town selling eggs to being the photographer for the wealthiest people in the country. Don't challenge whether I understand human behavior, I know this. I don't care what research..."
And I had conversations like this even when the pandemic started in the podcasting world, where professionals were doing research and putting out data saying podcasting is going to tank during the pandemic because Americans wouldn't be commuting and jogging and doing the things when they listen to podcasts. And I was like, "I'm going to challenge that notion." I said, "Because I'll tell you what, it depends on the content you're putting out. If you keep putting out the same wrote content that isn't meaningful right now, you're right, podcasts are going to tank. If you change your content and you talk about what people need to hear today... "
And our show grew by 33% because we shifted our content to focus on what I felt my audience needed to hear during the situation, not the same old messaging. But again, I made that decision based on gut instinct, not what research and data showed because it's meaningless.
Correct. Well, and I think so often we have trained ourselves not to trust our guts. And yet, I truly believe... One of my favorite quotes is, when you're in your head, you're dead. So guiding and leading from your heart can ultimately grow you in ways that you would never have expected. I was just reading a book by Amanda Francis and she talked about how this whole researching and making sure you do market research before you release something, she's like, "How does the market know what they need? My job is to know what they needed to deliver it." He said, "Henry Ford," I loved her quote. She said in there, she's like, "If Henry Ford would have market researched the audience and ask them what they would have wanted, they would have said, I want a faster horse." He said, "But I delivered a car, something that they didn't even know or could have imagined. And that's what they ultimately wanted and needed."
And so I think as business owners, that's part of the fun and the excitement of creating that for them, and finding that, and following your gut, and trusting that you really do know what's best for your patients, for your practice. Whether it makes sense and might go against the grain, I believe listen to experts. I hire experts, that's why I talk to you, Jeffrey Shaw, you're an expert in this world. But I think as business owners, I believe that we are enlightened and we are given knowledge and power for a reason because I believe that each of us has a purpose that is far greater than we could ever imagine. And if we're willing to tap into that, that is where the magic and the ease and the flow does exist.
Yeah. And I think what you've just said is so important for your dentist, because to me that is actually the definition of being an expert. Being an expert is knowing what people need that they don't know to ask for. If you deliver what people ask for, you're serving them. If you give people what they don't even know to ask for, you're seeing them. And that's a big difference. And I say that from the perspective of a photographer. I know my clients always came to me asking me for what they think they wanted. And I just nodded my head and I gave them what I knew they wanted. And that's why they were so happy because I saw what they didn't even know to ask for.
That's what it means to be an expert. That's what people expect when they come to a dentist, they expect the dentist to know what they need that they wouldn't even know to dream to ask for.
Exactly. I love that so much. And I just appreciate you taking time to write your book, first of all, and then second, to come on the podcast and talk about it and just to share your insights, because like you said, there's a self-employed life, which our dentists and owners are experiencing. And then we also have the self-employed mindset, which a lot of our team members, if they're not already embracing, should embrace and thinking about the business as their own business. And if this was theirs, how could they grow it? Because I will tell you, I spent a lot of time in a lot of businesses growing those businesses, helping my doctors, and I loved it. I loved seeing the success of hard work. I love seeing the success of doing these pieces without realizing I was doing a lot of them.
But I really do think getting clear, I want to hone in on that, getting clear on what you don't want to do, so that way you can elevate to the things you do want to do. When I realized I freaking hate details and organization, and putting all that together and let me hire somebody who loves, literally will sit there all day long with checklists and beautiful and organize it, my life became so happy. I asked people, I'm like, "If you could go back in time, what do you wish you would have done? And like, "I wish I would've hired this person sooner because that freed me up and I'm not doing that." I had a coach ask me, "Kiera, if you could wave your magic wand, what would you do today?" And I was like, "This, this, this."
And it was so clear because I hated doing this, this and this. And that was the sludge of business ownership that then once taken off of me, all of a sudden it became exciting, it became free. And I also do feel much more calm and clear because I'm actually in that zone that's really driving me. So Jeffrey Shaw, you're my favorite. I love what you do, I love working with you, I love sharing you with so many people that probably have never been exposed to your work. So if people want to connect with you, if they want to snag your book, how can they do so?
The best place to go for the book is theselfemployedlife.me. So theselfemployedlife.me. And there you can buy the book on various online retailers, because I felt as a book for self-employed business owners, all the money didn't necessarily have to go to the biggest behemoths, that there should be other options. So there are, so there are nine options, but as well, there is a tons of content, there's articles I've written, I've just recently become a contributing writer for Entrepreneur Magazine. So there's access to a lot of other content, all on that same page.
Awesome. All right. You guys, go snag it, I definitely bought it. We're sharing it with so many people. And please you guys, knowing that it's a new book that's out there, please share it with your friends, leave reviews. I encourage all of you to go snag it. It will feel like it's speaking to you. It is speaking to you, so go snag it. And Jeffrey, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for being such a big influence in my life. Every time I podcast with you, every time I talk to you, I just leave feeling like a better version of myself, I feel inspired, uplifted. So thank you for what you do for me personally.
Thank you. And as do I, Kiera, sincerely. But I actually had a prospective client... A prospective client wanted referrals and I sent him to one of my other clients and he texts back and he said, "Did you set her up?" And I'm like, "No, I didn't set her. Why? He goes, "She's exactly like me." And I was like, "That's when you know you're working with your ideal clients." There's a similarity in the people in my world, and you're certainly make me feel that way as well. I like to be here with you.
Awesome. Well, thank you. All right. You guys as always, thank you for listening and I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team Podcast.
And that wraps it up for another episode of the Dental A Team Podcast. Thank you so much for listening, and will talk to you next time.