This episode is a raw reflection by Kiera on the Little Black Dress Podcast with Dr. Ashley Joves (a cosmetic dentist). Nothing is off limits — Kiera shares her experience with eating disorders, a path to divorce, suicide consideration, IVF … all while building a business.
If you take anything away from this listen, know that you can create the you you want to be.
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0:00:05.6 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 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 team. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast.
0:00:51.0 KD: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera and you guys. I am so excited for you guys to get to listen to this podcast. I actually recorded it with Dr. Ashley Joves on Little Black Dress podcast, and I just felt like it was something where guys, I share my whole life. And I have been hesitant to put it on the Dental A Team podcast, I don't know if I wanna share this much about me, but on that podcast, I just felt like I really gave the real raw me. And the reason I wanna put it on today's podcast is because I want you guys to know that success doesn't just happen, that becoming who you are doesn't just happen. That there's a lot that goes into the scenes and you need to give yourself a high five and a hug for where you are today and who you have become. So guys, I hope you enjoy it. And as always, thanks for listening. I'll catch you next time, on the Dental A Team podcast.
0:01:42.2 Ashley Joves: Welcome to another episode of Little Black Dress pod. I'm your co-host, Ashley. Collin is actually in the other room working behind the scenes, and I'm super excited to have our guest of honor here today, my personal friend and CEO badass of Dental A Team, Kiera Dent. Welcome to the show, Kiera.
0:02:05.8 KD: Thanks, Ashley. I am so excited to be here. One, Little Black Dress is the cutest name, so kudos that way.
0:02:12.3 AJ: Thank you.
0:02:13.5 KD: Two, it's fun to catch up with you, my fellow sac town girl.
0:02:18.3 AJ: Yes.
0:02:18.5 KD: And three, just excited to be a part of any and all things that you guys are doing. It's really fun to be here.
0:02:22.4 AJ: Oh my gosh, well, I'm... Thank you for carving us into your crazy schedule. Like, it's... I can't even keep up with where you've been. And normally we have a whole agenda, but from my understanding, you are so busy that you did not fill out a pre-interview questionnaire.
0:02:42.4 KD: So, I looked for it, [laughter] and I was like, did I miss it?
0:02:47.5 AJ: It's okay.
0:02:48.4 KD: Did Collin send it, and I just missed it? Which it's honestly probably me, so...
0:02:52.8 AJ: It's... No, it's totally fine. [chuckle] 'Cause I told Collin, I was like, you know what, I honestly... I just wanna talk to Kiera. We're just gonna fly by the seat of our pants. [chuckle] And that is honestly the best conversations. So, we... Before I hit record, like, Kiera and I were catching up and I said, you know what, I'm just gonna freaking hit record, because this is already good stuff and we were just talking about. So, I... I mean, Kiera is... You're all over the place and you're so present. And what are the things that you are not comfortable talking about with our audience, because I wanna be respectful of her boundaries? And I loved her answer. And will you tell them what you told me?
0:03:41.9 KD: Of course, I said, Honestly, Ashley, nothing is off-limits, because I believe as influencers and Dental A Team has grown, and one thing I promised myself when I built the company was, I'm not going to be a company where if you come, peel back the Wizard of Oz curtain and see who's behind that, that it looks different than what it is in real life. Because I feel so often people listen to podcasts, they watch people, they see as they're watching social media, and we're comparing ourselves to a very false standard. And so, I said, Ashley, it's an open book here, there's nothing I wanna hide, because I feel like if I can share who I really am, that's a real standard, that's a real person that you can mimic, you can mirror. And those are the people I like to affiliate with, to associate with. And Ashley, you're the same way, like, everything's open, you wanna talk about partnerships, you wanna talk about personal life, you wanna talk about relationships, divorce, there's a thousand things...
0:04:39.6 AJ: Right.
0:04:40.5 KD: But just being very honest and authentic is what I feel we need in this world so people cannot always be measuring against something false, artificial, but have people that are real and genuine and realize that the path to where we are today, Ashley, it did not come with like, roses and flowers, but it was paved with a lot of hard work, sweat and tears as well.
0:04:58.1 AJ: Yes. Absolutely. And I introduce to you the real Kiera Dent, [chuckle] ladies. So, you're in for a treat. The last time I was on her podcast, it was just like Chicken Soup for the Soul, it was like, honestly, we had no format that we were following and we were just talking and it just flowed out and that's why I love Kiera. It's just such a natural conversation, because when you don't have your guard up, things just spill out and I'm excited. So I have so many things to pick your brain about and one... Like, I remember one of the first episodes that you talked about on your podcast, Dental A Team, was your history of eating disorders. And then currently you are undergoing IVF, and you're doing it all while running a very successful team of women and where shall we start? I mean, [chuckle] are we just gonna dive right in?
0:06:12.4 KD: Dive right in. This is the Kiera Dent. Honestly, I'm fine with whatever because you know your audience and so like if it's eating disorders, if it's the stigma of having to be a certain person in a professional world, if it's talking about my latest endeavor of IVF and the future potential of a podcast called Maybe Mama. I'm not sure if I wanna launch it.
0:06:35.5 AJ: Oh man!
0:06:38.4 KD: But I think all those pieces. So I would say, Ashley, you get a... This is an open, open story time...
0:06:44.8 AJ: Okay.
0:06:44.9 KD: And just a casual conversation, because I feel like all those made me who I am, I feel like... But also, those are some things of... They were hard times. And so truly, if you wanna start with the IVF side, if you wanna start with eating disorders and growing a company, whatever you think is... [chuckle] There you go, that's the title guys, Eating Disorders and Growing a Company. [laughter] Collin, you're welcome. I didn't fill the survey out for a reason, here we go. [chuckle] But yeah, wherever you think would be best to start, I'm all open to it, Ashley.
0:07:14.0 AJ: Okay, I think let's start with your eating disorder, because I think that will play into how we view ourselves, how we view perfection or the idea of perfection, and how that has shaped you into who you are now, which is incredibly real and authentic. So let's start there.
0:07:39.6 KD: Okay.
0:07:39.9 AJ: Tell me about... So, who was Kiera before all the social media? Like, who were you when you... When were you suffering with this eating disorder?
0:07:54.1 KD: Sure. So we'll just go back in time, so I grew up in a family of seven kids, and I was number two of seven, and there's four boys, so it's a boy, me, three more boys and then two girls. So my youngest sister was born when I was 15, and I just had an identity around being skinny. So I was really little my whole life, and that's what I would get attention for in high school, that's what boys would comment on. And so, I loved to be liked by people, and so that's really where it started. Also shockingly, I wasn't even in dental yet, but I truly... And I didn't even know this was a real thing. I just thought it was a Kiera thing, I was terrified of having food in my teeth. Like, that's really where it started. So, wanting to be skinny, and being so scared of eating at school and having food in my teeth, like, legit terrified of it. The simple solution is, let's just stop eating. And so, then it kinda started to perpetuate into... I'm 5'8', and in high school, I was about 97... Between 90 to 97 pounds, and just very...
0:08:57.0 KD: But I thought like, that was what was attractive. I thought that that was what people wanted, I would get a lot of comments on how skinny I was. And so that... Those habits, those lifestyles, I would throw my lunch away and my mom made my lunch every day, but just really... Really just being in that world, and then I went to college and I was dirt poor. So let's just keep perpetuating this cycle, not really realizing that I wasn't eating for nutrition purposes, but now it's to be skinny. I also don't have a lot of money in college, and let's be real, food can be dirt cheap, but it also was a control thing, and also to get guys to like me. Then let's fast forward, I did model for a while. All of that just like, perpetuates the problem even more of...
0:09:43.9 AJ: Yes.
0:09:44.5 KD: You really have to watch your weight and what you're eating. And so then, I started to realize, I kinda have a problem. I am so obsessed with not eating, I'm so obsessed with being skinny that I actually had a really good friend mentor say, Kiera, you would be a lot more attractive... It was a female, she's like, You'd be a lot more attractive if you put 10 pounds on and stop looking at a scale. And I idolized this girl, she was someone that I just looked up to so much and I thought, "Okay, well, if Danielle thinks that that's what would get me more guys and make me more attractive, then maybe I'll try that." But it was hard and to be completely honest, eating disorders are still a part of my life, it's just something that I'm aware of, and I have written a lot of affirmations around it. Because I started just realizing, I felt terrible. Like, I'd brain fog, I was always cold. Like, I am talking 5 foot 8, 95 pounds.
0:10:42.9 KD: And then I feel like where I really just hit this hard was when I was in Colorado, I started my first dental practice with a doctor out there. And this is where I feel like it was a pinnacle rising of Kiera Dent's crash and rebirth of who I am. So, I thought in order to be successful, to be liked, to be a good partner, I had to work psychotic hours. So, I was working 2:00 AM to 10:00 PM, food was an afterthought. Like, I just wanna eat. It was a control factor. I'm flying back and forth between two different states, I have no time for my spouse 'cause I'm putting everything into this business trying to be impressive to this doctor, and I just start crumbling. And then this doctor started... It was just kind of weird how it all shook out, [chuckle] she started telling me if I went home, I wouldn't have a job. Like, those are some weird comments that probably shouldn't be made, but I'm so dedicated to wanting to be the best that I stopped taking time for my husband, I stopped taking time for me, and I got to this spot where I'm like, perfect.
0:11:44.7 KD: My marriage is ruined. I was on divorce row, I stopped eating, because that was a control piece, and also I knew if I stayed skinny at least someone would like me somewhere, and then it spun into, I hate who I am. I have no family relationships, I have no marriage, my boss is threatening me all the time that if I don't do X, Y, Z and work more, and output more and stop seeing my family, I'm going to lose my job, and that's my only identity right now, to where I actually... That was the first time I actually attempted suicide, and I... 'Cause I just hated who I was, I'm like, How can I keep up with all of this? Everything I stand for, I don't even exist anymore. And so, thankfully, I flew home. I don't even know how I did it. I remember just leaving that office, it was not the best ending of how things worked, but that I feel like my internal survival instincts kicked in and I'm like, I'm not eating, I'm about to die, I'm ready to commit suicide, I hate everything in my life, my marriage is in shambles, and I just packed up my car and drove.
0:12:51.1 AJ: Oh, my gosh!
0:12:52.2 KD: Like, I was already not on really the team, I was trying to come back. It was just this weird dynamic. And I remember going to my parents house, I was so sick, and just thinking like, Who am I like one? Like, one, how did I get here? Two, I feel like if you're into the Bible, I think about people selling their birthright for a pot of porridge, whatever that story was, and I was like, I literally just sold my soul and who I am and my marriage for this practice? That I don't even have now, I walked away, I sold my part of it, and how did I get here? So that was like really... And I remember I had a friend say, Kiera, what's the worst thing that could ever happen to you? And I said that I would be living in my parents house with no job and no identity, and that became a reality. I moved back in with my parents. I was separated from my husband, I wasn't eating, I don't have a business, I sold my soul. And what I should have made from that sell, I got maybe a tenth of what that should have been, 'cause I didn't have a good contract in it.
0:14:00.5 KD: And I was sitting there like, Who the heck am I? I don't even know who to be. And so, that was really I feel how eating disorders went from like a control and wanting to be liked to then feeling like I have no value, so I'm going to keep doing this for some type of value to utter and complete destruction. I did a podcast at the very beginning of Dental A Team where I said at that point in time, I remember waking up and saying, I don't want another tomorrow, and I viewed myself as, I think I'll say, Halons, basically where I'm like this burned ashen person with no little sprigs of green, and I just trying to even find that one little piece of hope to keep moving forward was just this like... It's surreal and it's surreal to see where I am today, but to think about Kiera five years ago, that was my reality. That's where I was at.
0:14:50.6 AJ: This was only five years ago?
0:14:52.4 KD: It was in 20... So I started working in Colorado in 2015, was when my husband graduated, so I started in 2015. 2016 was when I left the company, and then I stayed a part of it for about six more months. So we're talking 2016 to 2017, and here we are in 2022. So, that was like... And people, I haven't shared, that this is the first time I've really shared what all the pieces were, but that was such a moment in my life where... And then, people are like, but Kiera, you're on social and you're so happy, and I'm like, Yeah, but guys, I had a freaking crap life. I was rock bottom broken soul. And do you have a choice at that time of like, do you rebuild? Do you become someone different? Do you go back to who you were before? Do you do nothing? Like, you kind of are faced with three different options at that point, and I will say it didn't come easy. And here we are today, but Dental A Team is a business that was formed out of the ashes of my life, and truly what gave me a purpose.
0:15:58.9 KD: But the real way I overcame the eating disorder was I actually had a therapist and my husband didn't think it was a real thing, and finally it was like, Your wife has an eating disorder. Kiera, you have an eating disorder, this is something you need to face, and either you're going to get professional help for it... I'm a very driven person, and I was like, I will not do that, I can figure this out, I have the will power to do it. And it was legit forced three meals a day of healthy eating, and the affirmation that stuck with me was, I'm gonna eat healthy and feed my body, so I can be healthy and happy for myself and for my future family. And so, that was really... But I wanted to throw up, I didn't wanna eat. I felt like I was gaining weight. So, scales are no longer a part of my life, and it is just to truly feel fulfilled and to feed my body, which is this incredible body that gives me all the availability to serve and to be and to love and to feel and to experience life, to be here today.
0:16:56.4 KD: And I also started writing affirmations of what I loved about my body every single day, and I'll say those first several months, they were not the kindest words that came out of me, but I think that repetition of love, of telling myself why I eat three healthy meals a day, has really transpired into seeing where I am and then realizing when I'm stressed, that doesn't mean I don't eat, it just means, let's handle it in other ways.
0:17:25.5 AJ: Can I just say that in the first 22 minutes of talking to you, [laughter] you literally have... I mean, this is... You have affirmed exactly why I wanted you to be on this show. All the topics, holy smokes, like Kiera, I have... I don't even know where to go from there. You touched on... Okay, you touched on suicide, you touched on divorce, you touched on your breaking point and your feeling of just complete and utter hopelessness, and then building a company. [laughter] Okay, where do I... How... Where do I... [laughter] Okay, so you had therapy. You had all these... Okay. When did you start feeling better? When did your... When did the way you viewed yourself, like... When did you start believing those affirmations and how did you start... Or when did you start seeing the upturn with your marriage and with your company?
0:18:32.0 KD: Yeah. So I will say you have good friends and good family in your life if you're there and I'm so... I don't say this for show, Ashley, I don't say this for, woe was me. The only reason I share my story today is truly because I feel like there's so many people hiding behind closed doors, sitting in their bed, not wanting to wake up because they literally feel so lost of a person. I stopped going to church, I don't have a marriage. Everything I had been grounded and built upon was gone. I don't have any of that. So, I actually was just at a conference last year. I was at Tony Robbins, I'm obsessed with him. He actually is a huge mentor in my life that helped me come back to where I am today and not even come back. I remember I had to tell my mom, I said, "Mom." And she's like, "Oh, Kiera, I can't wait to have the old Kiera come back." And this is something I will say for suicide, for people who are going through identity. I remember I had to tell my mom, and this one still makes me emotional. I said, "Mom, that Kiera is gone, and she'll never be back."
0:19:39.7 KD: And for me to identify and realize that's okay, it's okay to leave who you were to become something more and to change, but for families to not say, "Oh, I hope you come back to who you were before," 'cause guess what? That girl is dead. She's gone. That Kiera doesn't exist anymore. I can't go back in time and not have divorce paper sitting in front of me, I can't go back in time to not attempting suicide. That version of Kiera pre- doesn't exist and so I had to realize, "Okay, I have to figure this out. So, I will say big things for me was I found really awesome therapists and I went through three different ones for different pieces. So, I was terrified, I felt like I'm so weak and pathetic, I have to go find a therapist. Those are literally the comments to myself, but realizing... Somebody said it really well the other day, they said, "I think that therapy is the new gym mentality." We used to go to the gym, and now it's like the big rage of going to the gym and working out, but I feel like therapy is the new mental gym to help out. And I didn't realize how helpful to have somebody non-judgmental on the other side, just listen and give candid feedback to me of true help. So, that started there. A lot of doctors wanted to put me on anti-depressant and for me, that wasn't my path, but I don't think that there's anything wrong with antidepressants, especially to help when you're...
0:21:04.3 KD: Guys, I'm walking suicide road right there. And so I think that you should definitely be cautious of those areas. So, for me, I set a goal that I was going to run a marathon because I wanted to push myself to do something because I'm like, "Well, if I don't have a business, I don't have a marriage, I don't have religion, I could at least try that." So, I schedule a marathon, in October I was running nothing and by December 14th, I ran a marathon. I would not recommend this path either, because my knees have not forgiven me since. But for me, it was a moment of rebuilding myself and I couldn't focus on my marriage at that point in time, I had to rebuild Kiera. And not just rebuild but create the next version of Kiera and I really hoped that that comes across. If it wasn't a rebuilding, it was a creating of who I wanted to be next. And so at that point, I had a good friend who sent me Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, and I will say that was my recipe for coming back to success. Not even coming back, just giving me an outline of what to even do with my day and my life.
0:22:15.3 KD: So, I started journaling, affirmations, working out every day, and then I thought, "Okay, well, what am I gonna do with myself? I've got a lot of knowledge." I wanted to start a company, let's start Kiera's Dental Consulting and guys, I went all freaking in. I bought a thousand folders with my new logo on it and thousand magnets, which ended up in the trash, but it gave me the spark and the motivation to just start doing something again. So when I happened to consult a friend and he started seeing success, but it was really just like you asked how long and I'll say that was a good year to two years, and then once I felt better internally, my husband... Gosh, he's such a good man, and I don't wanna give people false hope. Because I don't think a lot of marriages turn out like my marriage, and I remember my husband, I had my therapist, she's like, "Kiera, maybe you just move in and you act like roommates, so you're back under the same roof."
0:23:13.9 KD: And I thought, "Okay, I can handle that." There's no pressure to be intimate, there's no pressure for... Guys, remember, body image issues here, I was very terrified of that, and so my husband and I started going on dates again, and I will say my husband and I, prior to this, we've always really loved each other and liked each other, and so it's not like we had underlying issues prior to this. And I remember we would have knockout drag-out arguments, I'd be frustrated with things, he would be frustrated, but my husband didn't expect me to be anybody other than who I wanted to be.
0:23:48.0 KD: And I will say mass kudos to him. And I remember the day that my marriage changed was when my husband... We were talking about divorce and are we going to get divorced? And I remember he looked at me and he said, "Kiera, I will never regret being married to you. It has been one of the best things that ever happened to me. No matter where we end up, I will never regret this." And that was a moment where I was like, "I am not a failed person." Again, that was for us, that was for me, and I can't say all marriages are like that, but guys, when divorce is on the line, you're either gonna divorce or create the marriage you want, and so for us, it was a lot of open conversations. And I remember the magical day when we decided to shred those divorce papers and divorce was no longer on the line, and we both chose to be in this marriage. And so I feel like that's a span of probably a year and a half to two years, and I share that because I feel so many people think it's easy, and I'm like, guys I freaking was so mad at him when I got out of the car and walked to the hotel and spent the night at a hotel. So it wasn't an easy path, but during that time, I also am super thankful, I had a lot of clients that took a risk on me and let me start consulting them and...
0:25:03.1 KD: Well, I'd be balling before I went into the office and I pull it together for that office and then go back to my personal life, but for me, that drive of dentistry that I truly love so much, I love dentistry and helping offices do what I did in Colorado with this other office, gave me a confidence boost that I'm not some schmuck, I know what I'm doing, but yeah, I don't have to have my identity attached to a profession or to my career. Now, dentistry is fun and Dental A Team is fun. Being married is awesome because I'm here because I want to be here, and not because I have to or this is who I chose 10 years ago, but because we're here today, and I will say my marriage is different, I prioritize myself, I meditate every morning, I feel like meditation is working out for your mind to control those evil nasty thoughts, really working hard on my diet. So it was really, let's take care of Kiera as a person. When I was healed as a person, then I could outreach to my husband, but I truly could not try and heal that marriage until I felt whole and honestly, if we got divorced, we got divorced.
0:26:11.8 KD: And it was a fun ride. I'm super thankful I didn't have children during the mix, and I'm very grateful even though now we're in infertility, but to think of having to deal with children and navigate those hard conversations and times with the pressure of having a family, I think would have been very hard for us, and so that's my path, but I think the biggest piece I hope is conveyed through all of this is one, it was not easy. Two, it took a lot of work. Three, there is no right, there is just your path and falling in love with yourself and being your biggest raving fan. Can you honestly look yourselves in the eyes every morning and say, "I love you, Kiera," because, at the end of the day, it's me, myself, and I. No matter who's there, what friends, what family, what people are around me, it's me. And do I love myself? And do I care about myself? And do I genuinely love... Guys, if I've gained weight, I don't weigh 95 pounds anymore, but can I look at myself with love? I don't love myself perfectly, I still I'm like, "Kiera, get those freaking sit-ups done."
0:27:18.2 KD: There are still times when I am not thankful for my body, but if 80% of my life is more tender, is more love, is more care for me, I found that that love is then translated to other people, but if I don't love myself first and I don't have that for me, I can't give that to other people. And so that's really kind of the waxing and the waning of how my path was, but I really hope people don't compare against me, and don't hope that your marriage will turn out that way because I didn't have an outcome, I didn't have a set like, we will stay together. It was, what is ever going to be best for us and for me and for Jason is what it's going to be. And I would say the coolest thing was last year in December, I was at a conference with Tony Robbins, I was saying this, and I remember Tony Robins on stage saying, "This Tony in front of you, I created him." And it was a moment where I'm like, "This Kiera Dent standing here today, I created her. It's not my parents, it's not my religion, it's not who my clients want me to be, it is literally, this is Kiera Dent, and this is the version of me I wanna be today. I'll change and morph, but that's who I created myself into, not who I was expected to be and I think that that's where true love and freedom and fulfillment lies, even though life is still hard and not always peaches and cream, but just an easier path when you really do love yourself and who you are.
0:28:40.6 AJ: I have goosebumps listening to you speak, Kiera. Oh, my gosh!
0:28:47.8 KD: Hey, Dental A Team listener, this is Kiera, and you guys, I am beyond giddy about the fact that we are having a way for you guys to kick off your 2023 in the most epic way. That's right, I want you guys to go into 2023 with direction, with a plan, and to actually get something done, done and done. If you've been looking at that operations manual, it is time, guys. For three months, every single week, I'm going to be doing a workshop with you and your team in January to get that operations manual done in three months. Guys, this is a value of over $10,000 that I know you're gonna freaking love because you're actually going to get it done. So if you wanna get your Ops manual done in three months and kick off your January ultra-strong, head on over to thedentalateam.com/opsmanual, and I will see you January 5th for our kickoff.
0:29:43.3 AJ: Holy smokes. How long were you and Jason separated?
0:29:48.3 KD: We were separated for about a year.
0:29:51.3 AJ: Wow. And you were living with your parents?
0:29:54.4 KD: Yep. Sleeping back in my bed from high school, twin bed, sleeping in that bed, with my parents in the same bedroom, but I will say during that time upon separation, Jason was really awesome, guys. That man loves me deeply, and I was so thankful for that, even though I didn't... I felt guilty that I didn't have the same love. And again, this doesn't work for everyone, but I will say kudos to Jason because he would still text me, he would still come down, he would drive down to my parents' house, sleep in another room, and drive back up to work. So 4-hour round trip before he had to be to the office at 6:00 AM. He would plan dates, but with no pressure, so we would meet at certain places and go to a lunch and if I needed to leave 'cause I didn't wanna be there, that was fine. But yeah, it was a long path and kudos to my parents, but during all that time, it was a complete and total self-absorption of therapy, of healing myself, of making sure I wasn't suicidal, making sure I was eating healthy. And truth be told, my mom is a haven for me, she's one of my best friends, and so to be there with no judgment from my parents who I knew loved me no matter what, was really, I think, paramount for me, but it was... Gosh, it was like nine months to a year before I actually moved back into our house.
0:31:14.0 AJ: Wow. Oh, gosh, okay. There are a couple of things that I wanna touch upon because I was literally listening to Tony Robbins this morning. I too am obsessed. Tell me about that. How many in-person seminars have you listened? And I also wanna pick your brain because you're a part of his inner circle now.
0:31:40.4 KD: Yep.
0:31:41.4 AJ: Can you dive deep into that?
0:31:43.3 KD: Yes. So Tony Robbins, the reason I loved him is because when I wanted no more tomorrows, I remember having him on and playing YouTube while I'm in the shower, shampooing my hair, and he says, "Life is happening for you and not to you." And that was the moment guys, I say like, "You can survive anything if you have a glimmer of hope, but if you don't have hope, that's when the lights go out." And so to hear that life was happening for me, and he said, "Are you a manager of your life or are you a creator of your life?" And I was like, "Wow, right now I'm just managing it." So I knew I loved Tony, and I just felt like he fed my soul and he didn't speak BS to me. It's not like, "Oh, figure out... It was like, "You got to freaking work hard, and are you disciplined? And What do you feed yourself every day?" And so I was like, "This guy, he's on to something." So I actually attended my first Business Mastery event in 2019 in August. I was terrified, it was over $10,000, and I'm a new business owner feeling like I'm giving all my money and let's just try this, but man, I learned more about business at that event than anything else. And our team won. Our team was Live to Give, and you have a competition of building a business while you're at an event, and I broke down feeling like I was the worst business owner in the whole world. But then realizing this is a real-life business.
0:33:02.5 KD: We have to create businesses while we're in business, you have to deal with things, you have to learn to prioritize which things to do that it was literally mind-blowing for me to see where I could go, what I should do, and mixing around with cool people. So I was not part of platinum at that time, and our year was one of the first years that a non-platinum... So we were just the regular people overturn and won and beat out the Platinums that know what business mastery is about, and it was so cool to be part of a cause that raised... I think we raised $165,000 in three days to give back and feed millions of people, and it was pretty awesome because our team won. I actually got a hug from Tony Robbins at my first event, and I was like, "This is the greatest thing in my life." And that's when I decided I wanted to join platinum. But guys, Platinum is $80,000 and I was like, "Oh okay, that's an aspiration for me to go to." So I attended during COVID, I went to UPW, so Unleashed the Power Within, I also attended Business Mastery too, which was broken up into two parts, the virtual, which I loved. And then last year, I was just going to do Life Mastery and Date With Destiny, 'cause I'd heard... At that point I was ready to just change my life and do a new thing.
0:34:16.5 KD: And so in December last year, I just decided to bite the bullet and join Date With Destiny. Literally, I think Jason and I, we joined Friday night, I'm talking 10 o'clock at night, kudos to the Tony Robbins team. They are there for you any time, day or night, and we were on a plane the next morning flying to the event in person. And I had some of the most incredible breakthroughs, and it's been an awesome, awesome inner circle, I've met the coolest people you... They're real, they're real people and they're all there to serve and to help, and it's not a facade. And Tony's there and Sage, his wife, is there. And it's awesome. It is one of the cool things I've ever done.
0:34:53.7 AJ: Oh, my gosh, 'cause you hear lots of inspirational speakers out there, Neil Robbins, Tony Robbins, no relation. I'm not sure.
0:35:04.0 KD: Nope.
0:35:05.5 AJ: But you've obviously, you drink the Kool-Aid and you've seen the results in your life and your professional career.
0:35:16.1 KD: Business alone, Ashley. He has 5 X to my business in three years from... That's just on the business side, not to mention my marriage, not to mention my health, not to mention all the other things, but just that alone has paid for that tenfold over.
0:35:40.7 AJ: Just being surrounded by like-minded people who lift each other up, that's what you need. You need that support system. And so how often do you meet? Or are there in-person meetings right now?
0:35:58.1 KD: Yeah. And the reason I joined them is 'cause I wanna feel like the freaking smallest fish there, which I am. I think I've got this great business. And then you go meet people that are way further along than you are, but I love that because it shows me what I can aspire to, and I needed bigger mentors, I needed people that did bigger business things than I was doing... I hang out with dentists all day long and I freaking love them, but I'm like, "I can't sit here and coach you to bigger industries and bigger things if I'm not pushing myself as well." so in platinum, they have three Platinum-only events. So we did wealth mastery in February, and that was crazy weird. You were sitting... I feel like you're in the billionaires' club 'cause you really are. Ray Dalio, Paul Tudor Jones... These big wigs come and you can't record anything, you can't repeat things, because they're speaking so authentically and they love Tony that they'll do anything for him. So I sat there feeling like I was learning Chinese. I'm like, "I don't even know anything." I felt so naive, but also so awesome to hear what I don't know, so I could go learn that.
0:37:09.0 KD: They do an adventure trip, which I wasn't able to go on because of IVF, and then every other year they'll rotate either a spiritual trip, which is this year, and then the second year is relationship, then spiritual, then relationship. And then he's got a lot of hybrid, so only plats can go to a virtual event and we all hang out with each other, and that's what they just did with Business Mastery and with Date with Destiny. So you're with all your plats and it's so dang fun. You're on a freaking cloud nine, and then you also have your personal coaching calls as well. So you could theoretically go to, I think, five in-person events with everybody each year. This is with COVID and hybrid and all the virtuals, but it has been so awesome to just meet people in the fine peer groups, and just for me to constantly be re-energized and elevated. But I hang out with Tony Robbins because he's, in my opinion, the best coach in the world, and if I'm a consulting company, I wanna go learn from the best of the best, and ask questions and pick their brain and watch to see how they do it, because he always says success leaves clues, mimic and mirror and take the short road to success as well.
0:38:18.5 AJ: I love that. I may just have to join you.
0:38:22.8 KD: You can, Date with Destiny in December, and it's a great tax write off for business owners. So that was one of my biggest thing 'cause I'm like, "Take it all, get those off my books," because then you're really getting Tony platinum for 40% off pending upon your tax bracket, and to me, it was a no-brainer, and I will say it's been one of the coolest things. Also, my team can participate in it, so I'm elevating my team. They're able to watch virtual events and learn, and also just grow as people and individuals as well.
0:38:51.2 AJ: Well, thank you for sharing that. I'd love to hear... I love what you just said, that success leaves clues, and why we create the wheel. If someone has already accomplished what you are trying to accomplish, do exactly as they did and learn from each other. I want to circle back because that was a tangent, that was my own selfish thing that I wanted to...
0:39:20.8 KD: That's why we podcast, Ashley. We gotta ask those questions we wanna know. Absolutely.
0:39:25.8 AJ: Yes. Yes. That's right. That's right. Now, I wanna know, how are you doing today? How is IVF going? Can you walk us through when you started this, and if you don't mind sharing...
0:39:39.5 KD: No, I told you, open book. It's free forum here. So IVF, let's just circle to Tony Robbins again. I have struggled with getting pregnant. We miscarried while my husband was in pharmacy school, and I was like, "Forget that. I don't wanna try this anymore. I hate my body. Let's just circle all the pieces together." And then started building the company, then we're on divorce row, and then we get to a spot where we love each other and we wanna have a family together. So about two years ago, we tried to get pregnant. We've been trying, and I've internally really struggled because, as a female, I feel like I really like to be all in, and so I've really struggled internally of how can I be a successful business owner and a killer mom and a killer wife, and not kill myself off in the process?
0:40:33.6 KD: And so I think, internally and subconsciously, I really put a big wall of, "Well, if we can't get pregnant and I'm infertile, then no harm, no foul. We're good to go." But when we were at Tony Robbins event in December, there was a girl and he did an intervention with her and she was really wanting to get married, and I don't know if he's got prompts guys or if he's just really this good. I think he really is just this good, but he was like, "You're wanting to get married because you're concerned about not being able to have children," and this girl just started bawling. He was like, "You know that there are other options, right? Like freeze your eggs, and then you have options for the future."
0:41:12.8 KD: And in that moment, I was like, "That's exactly what I wanna do," because it allows me to be a mom, if I wanna be a mom. We haven't been able to get pregnant for two years. So right then and there, in December, I called up our clinic here in Reno and started down that path. I was able to go in in January. We found out my ovarian egg reserve is lower. And Jason and I both got COVID, so figuring out Jason's side my side. But we did our first round in March, and I wasn't successful, we got three eggs, and one of them wasn't viable, and the other two both assessed at day five, and I'm not going to lie, I don't think I felt heartbreak that much in my life of just feeling like I might not ever be a mom and I decided I wanna do this, maybe I'll do surrogacy, maybe I'll do my own, but to feel like that wasn't even an option, and then you really start questioning like, Well, because of my eating disorder did I ruin my body, and you gotta not play those games because guess what?
0:42:17.0 KD: We're here now, and it doesn't matter, it's not gonna help me any to hate on myself for that, and so my friend recommended a book to me called, It Starts With the Egg... And I followed that diet to a Tee, I found out it takes three months for your eggs to mature, so the eggs we're getting today are from three months ago, and so whatever you're doing during that time will radically change your egg quality, and so we did another round in July. And I had been more open about IVF, and thankfully I was, 'cause I feel like having a good community of people around can really help and not just like my mom... As much as I love her, she can't empathize, she's got seven kids, guys, she's like, Oh, I know it was hard when we couldn't get pregnant, was like... Yeah, for four years when you had three kids, I was definitely a little bitter, [chuckle] you already had babies, but... So we did another cycle in July, and I will say I feel like a walking bag of lethal hormones, like I don't know who I'm gonna show up that morning trying to run a business, watch out everybody.
0:43:24.3 KD: I just warned everyone like, I am on high doses of hormones, so I might cry, I might swear, I might laugh, I actually don't know. And it's really exciting for me as well. So we did that and again, only two eggs, one made it a little further, but both ended up not making it and that one was crap, I hated this last round because I just felt like maybe I won't be a mom, and how do you even reconcile, so I was told all my options and there's like, I feel IVF has made me ethically question a lot of beliefs that I never thought I'd have to question, like you have to sign off that if I die or Jason dies, what do you do with these eggs because it's both of our DNA, and what do you do if someone passes away, what do you do if... Now we're on this mode of we can try IVF again, we can do IUI, which there's like a 5% success rate, so probably not in our forte, we can have a donated egg with Jason's sperm, and I'm like, "Great, so then I'm just carrying your mistress."
0:44:29.3 KD: That's weird psychologically to me, I don't even know, and I don't think it's anyone's... Some people are totally fine with it. Other people are not... For me, I haven't quite psychologically wrapped my mind around it. A fourth option is you can have a donated embryo and carry it, which for me, I have a lot of siblings, so I think I'm more at a spot of I'd rather have our own kids, but that's who I am today. And talk to me in three months, and I might be a very different person. We can adopt or we can try a different option, so I am currently today, I had a consult with an office in Indiana that came from a friend, and they have a very different protocol which I like better, so right now I might be traveling to Indiana to try one more round of IVF.
0:45:17.9 KD: And then decide from there. I also have friends who have adopted that I have lunch, lunch is set up to just ask very personal questions, and I think that all through IVF, which is why I think I wanna make the podcast called Maybe Mama, is because I feel like there's so many pieces around identity and around, can it be a successful career person, am I going to lose my career? Will I be a good mom? What if I don't wanna have kids? What if I can't have kids? And I just feel there's so much around that, and there is no right and there is no wrong, there's just your path, and so I just feel like there were so many questions I wish I would have had answers to prior to starting that, that's probably where the podcast, it will probably happen more for me and more for just having a community, 'cause when I had those mornings of none of my eggs made it, I thought, "What the heck?"
0:46:12.0 KD: Where do you turn? Just feeling completely devastated. And so to build a community and just to be a resource out there for more women to battle through this with me, like, "Can you be an entrepreneur plus an awesome mom?" Of course, there are people there, but what if you're sitting on the brink wondering how you can do it, how do you navigate through some of those, so that's my IVF journey as of today, stay tuned, you hear of tons of people like, "I had 30 eggs." And I'm like, "How did you make that many. I've got two and we're hoping and praying, they make it." So I think every woman is different, every family is different, and through the whole process, I have really just told myself to just love my body no matter what it does, because it doesn't benefit me to hate it.
0:46:57.9 KD: It doesn't help anything, and truthfully, the fact that my body can even go through IVF and deal with all the hormones and still wake up happy and maybe sad or whatever it is, to just be so thankful for a body that I get to experience life no matter what that life looks like, and also not having set expectations because, shoot, all the things I ever thought I would be are very different than today, but still being happy with the life because it's your life, and you get to live it and you get to create it, no matter if it's the perfect colors that you thought it would be. It's still perfect for you.
0:47:34.0 AJ: I think... No, I know that this was my favorite episode that we've released on Little Black Dress pod, guys, I mean, Kiera, you talked about so much of yourself and you bore your heart and soul into this talk and... This is exactly why I knew we were gonna be fine without a pre-interview question there... [laughter] Just listening to you speak about your beginnings of the way you saw yourself, the way you had an identity of being the thin one, the way you wanted people to love you, but you didn't love yourself, and it all circles back to recreating... I wrote it down, how you're not rebuilding, you're recreating, you are who you have created, not anyone else, and it may look different than what other people expected, even what you may have expected like this, your story is ever-evolving, and I think that is so beautiful and such a testament to so many struggles that women are facing silently and I mean, the suicidal thoughts and feeling like a failure and going through potential divorce and making that work and navigating all of the things, and then finding yourself and now creating a new life and a new...
0:49:15.0 AJ: Oh, gosh, I adore you, Kiera, and I'm excited because I feel like God gives us what he knows we can handle, and if I listen to this one masterclass and she said, "We turn our mess into our message." And I feel like God may have given you a messy life, but it's because you are the voice that will empower so many. So...
0:49:55.4 KD: Thank you, that means a lot. And I hadn't ever thought about that, a few years ago, I was like, I don't think this life is mine, I could not have created Dental A Team on my own, I couldn't have come up with that, but I also feel like you said, our life... I feel is there to help and bless other people because thank heavens, I've gone through these things, let me help you out, let me share because I just feel so many people were there to help me as well, and so passing that forward and being that beacon, whether silently and I never meet you, or personally, and we chat and I can share any piece, but it all comes from just love, and I believe at the end of the day, like it matters what our heart is.
0:50:39.7 KD: It matters who we become, and I feel like a lot of times, these things, whether whatever my life has been my life, and we can say it's hard, or we can say it's easy, or, it doesn't matter, it's actually not hard or easy, it's just my life, and let's make the greatest it can be without being overly optimistic, this is reality, and just always looking for, who do I wanna become? And I'm going to do that no matter what life gives me, because we can determine that outcome no matter what happens, so it's been fun Ashley, you always bring the best of these conversations out, you navigate them well, and I know you genuinely love and care and make it very easy to share as well.
0:51:22.9 AJ: Well, I appreciate that, friend, and I cannot wait to hear you speak at our Napa retreat; guys, if you wanna hang out with Kiera and me and a bunch of amazing of your... Amazing other colleagues and CEOs and people who are just looking to be better and... Yeah, that's what we all want. We just want to be better. And you're gonna be there, and I appreciate you so much. Thank you for joining us for our... My favorite episode of Little Black Dress pod. You're amazing, and where can people find you?
0:52:01.5 KD: Absolutely, if you wanna chat dentistry all day long, email us, [email protected] You can head over to our podcast, The Dental A Team podcast. I talk all things dentistry, life, tons of fun, or if you wanna email me personally, you can email me Kiera, K-I-E-R-A @thedentalateam.com, I'm happy to share. You can call me 801-885-5351. That's really, truly my number guys, this is not a work number, so if I can help you text me, or if you just need someone who's a friend and your ally, that's me and I'm happy to do so.
0:52:40.0 AJ: Oh, my gosh. I think you were the first and only guest who gave out her personal cell phone.
0:52:47.0 KD: These are topics that you can't be like, "So Kiera, I heard this Podcast and I'm really struggling with separation." Just text me. That's okay. You can absolutely do that.
0:52:58.1 AJ: Alright, well, thank you guys for joining us on this amazing hour of power with Kiera Dent. If you like what you've heard, which I'm sure you did, please connect with Kiera, please text her, shout her out on social media, let her know that what she talked about today really hit home for you, and I cannot wait to see you, Kiera in Napa in November. And thank you guys again for listening, join us next week as we share another amazing story, take care.
0:53:36.8 KD: And that wraps it up for another episode of The Dental A Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you next time.
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