Episode 579: Life ROI and How to Get It

life coaching life hacks Sep 21, 2022

 For this episode, Kiera is joined by Alex, the amazing creator of these fantastic show notes you’re reading right now :) The two talk about getting a return on investment in LIFE — appreciating where you are, physically, mentally, emotionally. They also touch on reviewing why you dislike certain aspects of your life and how you can flip your attitude about them.

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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 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.


0:00:51.8 KD: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera and, you guys, today is a magical podcast because today we are actually bringing to the forefront of the scenes someone who's usually behind the scenes. This gal has worked with me for, gosh, since almost like inception of the podcast. She is the gal who writes all the show notes, who links things for you, one of my dear friends, and she literally sent me a text challenge, which is why she's coming on the podcast, so please guys, do a huge welcome with me. Alex, welcome to the show today! How are you?

0:01:23.0 Alex: [laughter] I am so good! It is truly an honor to be on the front end of receiving one of your famous introductions. Truly what an exciting moment for me.


0:01:33.6 KD: So I adore Alex, guys. She's got a background in journalism, we are good friends, and I happened to need a show note writer, and I just was like, "Hey, Alex, can you write these show notes?" So Alex, guys, has listened to every podcast. I feel like you know me so well because you hear my whole life, and yet it's just funny, you journal my life, you're on the show, and Alex and I will meet up for a coffee here and there, and we'll see each other 'cause we live in the same town, and Alex is like, "Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that person. They were on the podcast!" So guys Alex knows you. She writes it. I just wanted to publicly express massive gratitude to you while you're on the show. I've said it a couple of times, in a few others, but truly, you make Dental A Team what it is, you make life so easy and I just appreciate you. And guys, like the witty title she comes up with, Alex is a magician with that keyboard. So super excited to have you on today.

0:02:27.2 Alex: So generous, so generous. No, this is great for the listeners, I am like... The only dentistry stuff that I know, or at least knew when I first started writing for the show notes in 2019, was just when I went twice a year to get my normal check-up. And I feel like I've learned a lot about the world of dentistry.


0:02:47.4 Alex: And honestly... And I know Kiera talks about this a bit on the podcast, 'cause again, I've listened to literally every single second of every episode since, I think it was episode 54 that I came on.

0:03:00.6 KD: Mm-hmm.

0:03:01.0 Alex: But I feel like a lot of the truths that you drop, Kiera, are applicable to my own life as well. So I've been able to not only learn about the world of dentistry, which has been weirdly interesting and fascinating, but also just like... I don't know, tidbits about my own career and what I wanna do, and personal reflection and just being happy in my life and everything. So it's been a really random but really fun side hustle I have going on here. So I'm happy to be here.

0:03:30.0 KD: Well I love it. I love it and I appreciate you so much, because it is funny when Alex and I hang out as friends and not just talking about podcast, to hear you say, "Kiera, I was at the dentist and they didn't do this," and I'm like, "I'm so proud of you, this little Grasshopper is growing so much." I'm just so proud of you.

0:03:50.1 KD: But today's podcast, guys... So, Alex has heard, like she said, every single podcast that I have pretty much created since inception, and she's been hearing me brag a little bit on the Reno location. And so Alex sent me a text last week and said, "Kiera, I am requesting that you do an entire episode of how great Reno is, and I'm mandating that you do it." And I was like, "Alex, bring it. Let's do a podcast together." And the reason I wanted to do this, because of course, guys, I'm going to tie it into your personal life, I'm going to make this massive value, as always, even though it's gonna be a good time, 'cause Alex is... You're gonna hear, she loves this Reno place, [laughter] you're gonna get both sides of the coin. She's like, "I need to un-brainwash all the listeners on Reno." But I thought that this is really how to get an ROI on your life, because when you love where you live and you find beauty and joy and all the great things of where you live, that is a massive ROI that cannot be calculated. And so this is life ROI and how to get it.

0:04:50.7 KD: So Alex, take it away, this is your time to un-brainwash all the listeners on Reno. And really, guys, it's something fun, but I want you to really think of how can you get more ROI on your life of living your best. And so, Alex, take it away. I'm super excited 'cause you're probably gonna try and un-brainwash me. It's just gonna be epic, I can't wait.

0:05:10.9 Alex: [laughter] I hope it's epic. No, it doesn't need to be epic, but I think it's important just to... I don't know, when you carry that weight around of... Well, I think when you carry any weight around of being unhappy about a certain aspect of your life, there are some things that aren't as easy to change. For example, where you live. I'm sure many people, many listeners, can pick up and set off to a new location, but I don't know, having that... Not enjoying where you live, that is a burden that I don't think everybody really wants to have.

0:05:46.0 Alex: It drags down every aspect, or so many aspects, of your life. And so I will say, I know Kiera talks about Reno and how much she doesn't love it, but I will say, Kiera, I was thinking about it, kinda thinking about this topic, and I do think you have really done a great job about making the most of your life here. And so I do think, should you ever leave, I do think there will be many more aspects that you'll miss...

0:06:11.4 KD: Oh, absolutely...

0:06:12.4 Alex: That might surprise you. [laughter]

0:06:14.0 KD: Absolutely. One: Coffee... Alex just introduced me to The Coffee Bar, and that place is pretty epic. So any of y'all who come to Reno, that Coffee Bar is hip, chic, it's not downtown, it's not like ghetto. It is adorable. And Alex was like, "Yes, you should come." And I do agree with you, Alex, I think that while, yes, I can say it, there are so many things that I have fallen in love with here, that you're right I would miss it. And I love what you said about having that weight. And that's actually why I was super jazzed to do this podcast with you. One: Get to bring someone from behind the scenes to the forefront, someone who's just done so much for the podcast, give you a moment of spotlight as well. But also that point, and I don't care if it's where you live, because dentists can't up and move most of the time, you guys are freaking stuck, you got your practices, you're stuck in that area, and if there is a drag or a suck on your life, that's just years of your life that you can't get back, and it's just a... It shadows the rest of your life.

0:07:10.8 KD: So Alex, sway us, I'm super excited to hear all about the Reno magic. And you guys are all gonna wanna freaking come here, I know it's gonna happen, we're gonna have an influx of travelers, Alex. Get ready. [chuckle]

0:07:21.5 Alex: It should happen. It should. And I think it's important to know, so I grew up in Las Vegas, which for those of you who know or don't know the state of Nevada, Vegas and Reno are the main cities. In Las Vegas they're separated by like seven-and-a-half hours. I think some people think they're a lot closer than they are.

0:07:42.8 KD: They really to do. They're like "Oh, did you just go to Vegas?" I'm like, "No, it's actually an hour-and-15-minute flight." [chuckle]

0:07:49.9 Alex: Exactly. Yeah, so they're like sort of, but they're also insanely different in terms of just everyday life and weather, and Vegas is very much this tourism town, transient population. And also, I mean, growing up there, going to school, we were taught that Reno, this dumpy little brother, sister city up North was like a trailer-trash town, all these things, like the colleges are super big rivals, all these things. And so I grew up just like, "Reno is this four-letter word of a town. I do not think about it, I do not ever want to go there." But the way of my life kind of unravelled... Not "unravelled", goodness. [chuckle] The way my life has played out, or maybe... Honestly, maybe, I didn't think it was unravelling in a moment, but I decided to come to the University of Nevada Reno for grad school. And so I was like, "Okay, it's like a great grad school for journalism, I'm gonna go up there for a year-and-a-half, I'm getting in, I'm immediately getting out, I'm not gonna stay long in Reno 'cause I don't want to." And I had this... Even driving in, it was like sunset, there was a beautiful river passing through the middle of the city, there were these beautiful mounts, it was just...

0:09:08.3 Alex: It was kind of the first moment where I was like, "Maybe I need to reset expectations in a good way, just a little bit." And so I had my year-and-a-half of grad school, and during that time, admittedly, this was a big up then point for the Reno category, but I did meet my husband, who's a born-and-raised Reno guy, who loves... He's one of those crotchety people who's like, "Reno in my day was so wonderful, and it's gotten too big," and all these things. But he showed me these wonderful little parts of Reno, it was also... We're so close to Tahoe, which Kiera does hype up a lot.

0:09:45.2 KD: I do. I do love Tahoe.

0:09:46.7 Alex: That is a positive point she'll give to Reno. But super close to Tahoe but also the mountains, the four seasons, everybody is just really nice here. I just feel like there's a lot of that genuine kindness from a lot of the people, and because I grew up in Vegas I am a Team Nevada person, I love Nevada, and so that was not hard to adopt that love when I came up here, 'cause in Reno they're a lot more hometown pride for Nevada and stuff. So it was kind of this special transition where I was this little grasshopper, just like I was for this podcast, who came and I just kind of slowly but surely acclimated. And it hasn't always been easy, and I have that type of personality where I did push myself to branch out and make Reno my own, so I'm not just Chameleon-ing my life after my husband.

0:10:43.8 Alex: But it was just kind of this cool journey, and still journey. So I'm like six seven years into living in Reno, and I'm like, "Team Reno for life." I love it, I love it, I love it. And so, Kiera, who I just love dearly, but she's here just like... I'm like, "These listeners probably think the worst of Reno." And I know people don't think very fondly of Nevada, I'm sure, especially the northern part that's not Vegas, but it is a really special place. So that is my pitch, my elevator pitch.

0:11:16.0 KD: I love it. I love it so much. And what I loved is, number one, guys, I think one of the beautiful things about what Alex just said is, get around people who have the same mindset that you wanna do in a positive way. Alex knows, I mean, she hears the podcast and in real life we are friends, that you'll hear me kind of rag on Reno. But yeah, Alex has such a love for it. And when I'm with Alex I do find a lot of great things about Reno that I love. I will also say, and I think it's time for me to let go of the Reno dislike. And I actually thought about it Alex since you texted me, and I'm like, "What is it? What has been my cause of disliking Reno?"

0:11:58.1 KD: Because I do think, guys, when you look at anything you don't like in life, we're gonna use me and Reno as the example today, but for you, look at your life and see what do you dislike, and then can you figure out why? And I figured it out, Alex, I know why I dislike Reno. And it is because I grew up in California and I went to school in Utah and, guys, Reno was like the pit stop before getting home and it was also the pit stop of like, "I'm leaving my family and I'm off to freaking school and I hate my life." So it was literally this place that was clouded by negativity. And then my husband moves here for residency, which is how we ended up in Reno, and the reason he did it was to be close to my parents, and I will say when I list off all the things... We just did an episode, guys, where I was like, "Hey, here's the things that I want."

0:12:41.4 KD: Reno truly does have almost everything I want. It's got an airport that's easy for me. Literally, I will text my husband as I'm about to land and he leaves our house and picks me up right at the doors as I'm walking off. Guys, there's really no other airport in the world that does that. Are my flights a little more expensive? For sure. Do I have bumpy in and out of Reno? For sure. Do I get sick? Absolutely not, I'm fine, I usually sleep right through them. It's got Lake Tahoe, it has mountains, it has mountain biking, it has floating the river which we are obsessed with doing. I will say the food scene has gotten so much better. And yeah, I also realized I was being snotty and cynical, when have I really given Reno and the food options a choice? The answer is no, there are so many restaurants people tell me about I'm like, "I've never eaten there, I've never done that." And I think it's one of those moments where when you texted me and you're like, "We need to un-brainwash the listeners," I just giggled and I thought, I think more than anything, I need to un-brainwash myself.

0:13:34.7 KD: I've been living a story and a life that I don't feel has been serving me to my highest good, just think, guys, of how excited at the beginning, how much energy have I been inputting into life of being Negative Nancy over here about where we live when instead I could be embracing it because we're here and who knows how long we will be here. And so I really feel like what areas for each of you can you un-brainwash? What areas can each of you look to see why are you negative about it and how could you change it? Because honestly, Alex, when you sent that, I was like, you're right, it's time for me to be Pro-Reno and who knows how long we'll live here. But I mean, man, Alex, you just came over, Jason and I have been trying to build our house forever, and we have the most epic view of the mountains that I will get a wake up to now every morning, you but believe my love of Reno has enhanced a little bit.


0:14:20.6 KD: But it's just having good people and meeting down to earth people and it's fun to have the Reno pride and it's like Nevada means home. And why not jump in because I can either jump in or jump out, and who am I hurting in the middle of it? Just myself. And so Alex I love that you brought this up. So any other thoughts you've got.


0:14:40.5 KD: Are you guys sick of trying to figure it out on your own? I know I am. When I'm trying to run a business sometimes I just think there's got to be a better way to do this. And so for me, my answer has been to find someone who's done it and does it really, really, really well. Like I'm talking the best of the best of the best. I want someone who's been in my shoes, somebody who understands what I'm going through. When I was looking for the consulting business, I found a coach who literally has run a consulting business. Well, that seemed like the perfect fit. So you guys, right now we have a few spaces open in our Platinum Consulting, that is in the consulting where we actually come to your practice, we help you get systems implemented, we don't just tell you what system to implement, we actually implement them with you and for you. You guys, it is one of the best investments I've ever made is to hire a coach who understands the business I'm in, who's lived it, who's done it, and that's what we in the Dental A team do, we literally physically fly to you.

0:15:41.9 KD: So if you're sick of trying to figure it out on your own. If you just want somebody who understands you, join our Platinum, I'd love to have you, I'd love to have our consulting team come out and see you, be in your office, be with your team, and truly help you get on to the easy path of dentistry, it doesn't have to be hard. So join us in the Platinum, we'd love to have you.

0:16:00.5 Alex: Yeah, I think a lot, just as I was pondering when you sent me the topic, I was just like, "What, how do you... " Everybody can find a negative aspect of anything in our lives, whether it is where you live, whether it's an aspect of your job, whether it's an aspect of your commute to work, or your local grocery store, anything, there's always something that you can point your finger at and say, "I don't like that." And I think, again, going circling back to that unnecessary weight on our shoulders when we're clamming on to those dislikes and those things we hate, I think, A... And I know this is easier said than done, but choosing to recognize something that you maybe don't like or have a hard time with, and then just letting it pass through like, I recognize this is happening, I acknowledge it, but I'm going to not let it give a negative weight to my day or to my life. And so it's okay to be aware of that, but I think the more you dwell on it, the more it just sets you up for the spiral.

0:17:07.9 Alex: And so if you can start to look for these good things, these positive tiny things, maybe it's waking up to be truly most epic view ever, I am so I saw you, Kiera, in your place a couple of weeks ago, and I'm still green with envy about it, just like little things that can set you up, a couple of years ago in an effort to really get to know where I live. I did this year-long goal to hike all of the formerly recognized trails in Washoe County, which is where Reno is located.

0:17:40.0 Alex: And so me and my dog, we went and we hiked these 60-plus trails over the course of a year, and it was the coolest, most personal and weirdly intimate time to get to know the surrounding lands of my town, of my home, and so that was some small thing to help me, I don't know, personalize, personalize where I live and make it something that I wanted to love even more. So that's like one super random example, but seeking out, find what know what types of activities you like to do, things that you enjoy, and I find that, find a way to apply that into whatever you're having a hard time with, whether it's where you live or where you work, or how you work, there is the silver lining.

0:18:28.1 KD: Yeah, and something as you were saying, Alex, that really made me think is, at the end of the day, we ultimately are the owners of our own happiness, and nobody else can make me and I get to choose that, but I love that you gave some examples and it's actually ironic, I remember knowing you, I met you when you were doing all these hikes, and so this year, Shelby and I, 'cause don't worry, I can bandwagon with Alex or I can bandwagon with Shelby, Shelby came from Truckee, so don't worry, Reno's the snotty little sister to her.

0:18:58.7 KD: But Shelby and I decided, we live here. We need to... So this year, Shelby and I have coined it, "Operation fall in love with Reno". And I remember, Alex, you saying that you did all the hikes in Reno, and so it's... Truth be told, I pulled up my Reno bucket list while you were chatting, and it says on here, "Hike all the Reno hikes." I've now updated it to Washoe County, now that I know your real goal. But guys, I went through, and I don't even know, it was really funny; there is the Desolation Wilderness, where they do Burning Man. There's these no-light-pollution hot springs out here. There's... If you guys are into bowling, there's the National Bowling Stadium. There is floating the Tahoe river down. There is one of the most epic spas I've ever been in. Virginia City is real close. Mark Twain founded it, from what I've gathered, and it's this freaky haunted city, but staying in a hotel up there, there's downtown music that's playing all of the time. There's rock climbing above the Reno Arts that I've never done. You can bike the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail between Tahoe and Reno and actually do the whole thing. They actually have these really random things. I didn't even know that this was a thing, but there's a planetarium here in Reno that I didn't know about.

0:20:09.7 KD: But when I actually decided to fall in love with where I was... So again, if it's where you live, if it's your practice, if it's that... I think it's the idea of falling in love with it, and when you fell in love with your spouse or you fell in love with your career, what did you do? You weren't just sitting there nay-saying it all the time. You were actively, like you said, Alex, really being involved in the culture and getting to know things, and I think, like we said... I said it earlier, I believe that we are truly the owners of our happiness. And so, I love... I love, one, that Alex is a dear friend and can call me out on my shenanigans and be like, "Kiera Dent, what on Earth? We're gonna un-brainwash your listeners." Two, that I've got really great friends here who support me in my endeavors, who challenge my beliefs and are willing to take a stand like this. And then, three, really bring that beauty, and I will agree with you, Alex. There's actually a doctor who just came to town, and he was like, "Kiera, that was one of my most favorite vacations I have ever been on is when I was... " He was just here two weeks ago. And he went to Tahoe, and he came and ate at my favorite Thai restaurant here in Reno, and he was like, "That food was amazing." But I think that there is so much good, and why not... Why not fall in love with the lives we're living? And if we don't love it, I think it's your obligation to yourself to change it.

0:21:28.9 KD: So Alex, I'm just so grateful that you wandered in my life, and two, that you wanted to like... Let's... Guys, so Reno, come to Reno. Everyone who wants to come, Alex and I will host you. Alex probably knows way more than I do about Reno. But why not fall in love with where you are at and fall in love with the life you are living? I have a quote that sits in my office that says, "She designed a life she loved." And I realized at the end of the day, each of us are designers and creators of our life, so why not design one that we love and create that rather than hating it, because I think it's much easier to hate than it is to love. And I think training ourselves... Actually, I disagree with that statement. I don't think it's easier to hate than it is to love. I think it's a habit and a pattern, and you get to determine what you do more often. Those are my thoughts on it, Alex. Anything else you wanna add?

0:22:12.7 Alex: No, I think... I'm so excited that you have adopted this new Team Reno attitude, and I think your next Dental A Team Slog should be Team Reno, Team fall in love with Reno. [laughter] No, I think your message is beautiful, Kiera. I really do, and I would... The only thing I would add is, if everybody does come here, don't tell my husband, 'cause he'll be pissed that I brought more people to Reno. [laughter]

0:22:36.8 KD: I mean, let's be real. I pay no state income tax, and we are what? What is it, like four or five miles from the California border? You can get... I mean, and how many ski resorts, Alex? There's ski resorts and lakes around us. What is it? Do you know the number? I feel like it's like 10 to 12 of each of them.

0:22:50.3 Alex: Up the wazoo. Yeah, no, it's... It's a lot. And it's... I mean, it's Nevada. Nobody... Well, growing up, I didn't think of snow in Nevada, but yeah, we have all the four seasons, all of the activities for each of them, so any time of the year.

0:23:03.1 KD: And it's very temperate. It's very temperate too. You don't get super extreme hot... You get the beautiful snowfall, but then it's melted by middle of the day. And I really do feel like it's one of Nevada's best-kept secrets, and I just pooh-poohed on it because, oh, Reno. But I'm like, shoot, I don't freaking pay the taxes, and I'm, what, five miles from y'all? So I feel pretty great about that, but it is really... It is really an epic place, and more than anything, it was really... How do you get an ROI on life? And I think it's be around awesome people like Alex. Make sure that you're really loving the life it is and you are actively designing a life that you love. Because to me, I think that's how you get the best ROI, and when you are happy with where you live, with the people you're around... And it's a choice, guys, and like Alex said, it's easier said than done. But I think when we're actively taking charge in our life and realizing, "I'm designing this, I'm creating it," life is beautiful and it's magical. And so, Alex, yes, I agree. Brittany Bober will be making us some Team Reno shirts that I think the Reno crew here, we've now got five people that work for Dental A Team here in Reno. Alex, I'm including you on it. We're just gonna have to make some Team Reno shirts. The Arizona crew will probably make Team Arizona. And it's fine, we're gonna rival best Halloween costumes. But I do agree. Why not love the place and have fun with it?

0:24:18.7 Alex: Hear, hear. I love it.


0:24:21.6 KD: Oh, man. Well, guys, I hope you loved it. Alex, I adored having this podcast. It was so fun, like I said, to just showcase you and to have fun, and also to just have a topic that I think is relevant for everybody, no matter where you live, no matter what is in your life, to just really fall in love with it. So Alex, thank you for being on the podcast today.

0:24:39.0 Alex: Thank you, Kiera. So happy to spread a little love for Reno. Anytime.


0:24:44.8 KD: So guys, fall in love with where you are at. If you think that we should have a Team Reno swag and a Team Arizona swag, send it in. If you want to come experience amazing Reno; like Alex said, don't tell her husband, but let me know. I'll happily... I'm a really great tour guide, and Alex is a fantastic one as well, so we'll show you a good time here. But I just appreciate all of you for listening, and as always, thanks for listening. I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team podcast.


0:25:11.9 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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