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Episode : #746: A Consultant, Financial Advisor + Dentist Perspective On Life

Podcast Description

If you’re wondering where to find insight from a dental consultant, dental financial advisor, and dentist in one go, THIS is the episode you’re looking for! Kiera, Ryan Isaac, and Dr. Ashley Joves come together to talk about common industry trends from three different perspectives. They discuss:

  • Prioritizing a personal life

  • The shakeout of major transitions

  • Today’s dental industry environment (DSOs + multi-location practice owners)

  • Increasing cost of people in practices

  • And more!

Episode resources:

Check out Dentist Advisors

Tune in to The Dentist Money Show

Then, listen to The Making Of

Listen to episode 590, Unfiltered Advise on Choosing a Financial Advisor

Listen to episode 742, Secret Sauce to Having an Engaged Team

Reach out to Kiera

Subscribe to The Dental A-Team podcast

Become Dental A-Team Platinum!


Ryan (00:00.146)

you know we’re just gonna continue a conversation so it’s all good so it’s totally fine go ahead yeah I mean I’ll do one on our own anyway but go ahead no this is a conversation they just dropped in mid-sentence conversation okay so I’m gonna pose a question for Kira but then Ashley the dentist in the trenches in the


Kiera Dent (00:00.383)



Okay, well, are we just gonna, do you want me to intro or all of us just do our own intros?


Well then let’s not intro. No. Okay, this is… Alright, right, Ryan, you host. You hosted it up.


Kiera Dent (00:24.293)



Ryan (00:28.874)

Well, I say trenches, but then I saw pictures of your new practice and I wouldn’t call those trenches.


Kiera Dent (00:33.387)

No, she’s in like the bougiest of the bougie of the most gorgeous like I want her to decorate my home type practice. She has Ryan hold on as we’re talking it will be a consultant dennison advisors perspective. Ashley will come back when she wants to come back to the party. But with Ashley you’re gone again. Um, with that, Ashley has right I kid you not in her sterilization room, gold handles for the drawers and sterile


Ryan (00:40.642)



Ryan (00:46.222)

Okay, so popping back on and off.


Ashley Joves (00:47.701)

I don’t know.


Kiera Dent (01:02.639)

with black countertops of just like pure bougie, gorgeousness of sterilization. I was blown away. I’m like, you could, like you wanna eat dinner here, but it’s gross sterile, but it looks beautiful. It was so pretty.


Ashley Joves (01:14.133)

I’m sorry.


Ryan (01:14.85)

but it’s clean. Well, let’s, okay, let’s use that for the beginning question then, because this is fascinating to me as a financial advisor, Kira, this is your whole business, and I get questions on this all the time. Ashley, how did you decide to go to that location? What was going on in your life, in your other practice, with your goals, with your money, cashflow, your patience, all of it? What led you to go from where you were to where you are now, in apparently this gold-handled?


uh, palace of dental, dental dreams.


Kiera Dent (01:48.568)

It is. It’s beautiful.


Ashley Joves (01:48.925)

Um, well, I, okay. So man, how long, how long do we have? No. So in my first location in Folsom all day, all day, I love it. In my first location, it was six or it is six ops. We had at one point 13 team members, no, um, no room to breathe. And honestly, like I feel stifled when I’m like too close to people.


Ryan (01:56.534)

All day. Doesn’t matter.


Ashley Joves (02:17.905)

I think it’s also, as I’ve gotten older, I just don’t wanna be around that many humans anymore. Is that weird?


Kiera Dent (02:25.627)

Mm-hmm. No, so relatable. Oh, you guys have the Lomo, not the FOMO, the love of missing out. Okay, I got you.


Ryan (02:26.574)

so relatable like you are this is that’s my love language. Anti-social behavior is my love language. It’s the love. Yeah, oh yeah. Yeah.


Ashley Joves (02:29.929)

Great, yes.


Ashley Joves (02:35.973)

The love of Missing It. And we’re both Enneagram sevens. So, yeah. So.


Ryan (02:40.212)

Yeah. Uh huh.


Kiera Dent (02:41.495)

Guys, I still have FOMO, so I can’t completely relate, but I do enjoy my alone time after being with people. I’m like, no, shut this off, I’m done.


Ryan (02:44.042)

I actually have huge FOMO. Yeah. Just leave me alone. Yeah, yeah. Very relatable though. Yeah.


Ashley Joves (02:51.261)

Just shut it off. So I had this one really successful practice. We were just cranking six ops, running full steam ahead, like chickens with our heads cut off. And I honestly, I dreaded just going to the practice. I was like, this is claustrophobic. When I first started this location, it was super zen. We had almost nothing on the countertops.


we had like plants and that was it. And now like I walk in and they’re like sterilization is just crazy. And it was just not fun anymore practicing and especially with COVID. So with COVID, like the pandemic, I mean, I didn’t have COVID, but with the pandemic, things just changed. Now we needed to have all this PPE. Now it really took away that personalization even more. I mean, dentistry was already a tough sell for people, right?


and now we have like the masks. It was just like, we need to get away from each other. Like that whole social distancing, I feel was almost like a blessing in disguise, quite honestly. Yeah. Does anyone else miss it? Like quarantine? Cause I kind of do. Yeah.


Ryan (04:00.558)

Can we bring it back? Yeah, yeah. Let’s go back a little bit, a little bit.


Kiera Dent (04:01.255)

Mm-hmm. Yes.


Ryan (04:08.83)

I feel like I shouldn’t be too positive because it was very, very bad for so many people, but I didn’t have the worst year of my life. It wasn’t the worst. Yeah, yeah.


Kiera Dent (04:09.735)

Thanks for watching!


Ashley Joves (04:17.981)

No, it wasn’t.


Kiera Dent (04:18.251)

I think it was something where it just recentred all of us, right? It went back to more family time and spending time with people that I want to, and then enjoying when I’m at work. I did miss the… I think human interaction was missed, but I think it became something of like, I feel like we were human interaction on steroids. Then we went to no interaction on steroids to where I think we’re trying to find what really is the happy medium between the two.


Ryan (04:21.676)



Ashley Joves (04:22.281)



Ashley Joves (04:42.801)

Yes, yes.


Ryan (04:43.996)

Yeah, thanks. And that’s interesting to hear. The words that are standing out, Ashley, as you’re saying this story though, these are the words that stand out to me, so this is heavily biased, but you just said you weren’t having fun anymore. And I feel like that’s such an underappreciated part of a career. Like everything is like progress and money and status and achievement and those things are great. Those aren’t bad things. But where’s the fun?


Ashley Joves (04:53.887)



Ryan (05:08.426)

You know, because like we do this for most of our lives. So where’s the fun? I like that you said that as like something you noticed and that became a priority you wanted to focus on.


Ashley Joves (05:17.649)

Yeah, no, and I found…


Kiera Dent (05:18.551)

Yeah, I would agree on that. I think Ashley’s… So many doctors, Ryan, to your point, hearing so many of them, I do feel like they don’t prioritize their personal lives. And I think, Ashley, that’s something you do very differently, which I love to highlight, is they think that fun is not something that they can expect. They think that work should just be like a mode of this. But I’m like, if we’re not working to enjoy life, like…


like are you working to live or are you living to work? And neither one’s right, but I think it’s such an undervalued portion of life and those who prioritize it are happier. I mean, like Ashley, seeing you yesterday in your practice, you were so excited to show me your office. You have your like smile studio. I feel like that energy really is infused back into you. And so, so many offices, I tell them like, you’ve got to have that office as a space that you love if you want to be super productive and profitable. Because when you are…


flourishing and thriving, that’s when you’re actually really productive. When you’re in this like suck of energy, you actually struggle to be profitable and productive because you just don’t enjoy being there. So to Ryan’s point, I think it’s super underrated, but should be top rated if you really want to have that fulfilling profitable life that we’re all searching for.


Ashley Joves (06:16.996)



Ashley Joves (06:34.677)

Amen. And so, Funny, you mentioned fun because fun is one of our core values also, and I know that it’s a core value with Dental A Team. Is it one of your core values too, Ry?


Ryan (06:50.358)

Uh, you know, what’s funny about that is it is now. So we kind of, uh, yeah, no, we like for real shadow to, uh, Matt Mulcock, who was, um, uh, at the, at the helm for Dennis advisors these days. And he kind of helped us re-institute some new core values in our company that we just discussed a few months ago. And actually that is one of our top ones. Yeah. Made me really happy. I love to see that.


Kiera Dent (06:54.863)

Ha ha ha!


Kiera Dent (07:10.954)



Ashley Joves (07:11.445)

Awesome. And so, I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to you. I’m going to turn it over to you.


Kiera Dent (07:14.223)

Like, why don’t we, I’m just going to ask the question for all of our different perspectives. Why do you think that people don’t prioritize fun? Why do you think in dentistry as an industry, fun isn’t something prioritized in, I would say even not just dentistry, but in society. I don’t know if either of you have a thought on that. Ryan, of course, I’m sure you have a thought. We’ll circle to you first, but why do we feel fun might not be, I mean, like for you guys to bring it in as a core value.


Ryan (07:40.823)



Kiera Dent (07:41.363)

I started the company to have fun. So I was like, forget that if I’m not having fun and we’re not adding sprinkles and my life’s amazing, I don’t wanna do this. But I don’t think it’s really there. Maybe it is and maybe I don’t see it, I don’t know.


Ashley Joves (07:43.561)



Ryan (07:43.766)

Yeah, good for you. Yeah.




Ashley Joves (07:48.186)



Ryan (07:53.494)

Yeah, it could be personal perspective. I mean, I would agree with that. It could be generational. It could be the, you know, age groups, how we grew up. It could be cultural upbringing. I mean, you go on social media and scroll through it and there’s so much emphasis on like.


sacrifice and grind. Like it feels like the cheesiest thing nowadays, like what’s your morning routine? It’s like, I don’t sleep. I’m at 2 a.m., I’m cold plunging and I’m meditating. Like those things are so great, but there’s like so much emphasis on like grind and sacrifice. And, but that could be generational, that could be things I notice from my age group and generation. I do feel like, I don’t know if I’d call it fun, but I would, I do feel like younger generation emphasizes.


Ashley Joves (08:15.1)

Thank you.


Ashley Joves (08:27.497)



Ryan (08:40.778)

Maybe call it fulfillment or meaning or purpose better than like my generation does. Um, I don’t know if they’d call it emphasizing fun, but yeah, I think they do a better job. It’s, it’s probably a lot of factors, but it is a thing. It’s a total thing.


Kiera Dent (08:45.863)



Ashley Joves (08:46.374)

I would agree.


Kiera Dent (08:54.959)



Ashley Joves (08:55.265)

And from a dentist perspective, I mean, gosh, we graduate with a million dollars in debt. It feels like you buy a practice, there’s an extra million dollars, you do a startup, it’s now 750,000 is the average to start up plus the 750,000 in school loans. And then we have these PPO reimbursement rates where like insurance companies are just


Ryan (09:03.103)



Ashley Joves (09:24.213)

paying you 50 cents on the dollar. So now you have no choice but to crank. You have to see multiple patients running around with your head cut off. So it’s not surprising that there is no fun in most dental practices. Everyone’s just trying to survive. And in California, I mean, Kira, we went through my overhead with staff costs.


These RDAs with almost no experience, they’re making a good amount of money. And even the fast food industry, Chick-fil-A or what is it? It’s gonna be $20 an hour for fast food. So there’s not a lot of fun in that. You have to compete.


Kiera Dent (09:52.264)



Kiera Dent (10:03.213)



Ryan (10:07.274)

Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah, it’s the pressure.


Kiera Dent (10:08.527)



Kiera Dent (10:12.391)

I like it. It’s one of those things where I mean, if I went back to historic times, and I am trying to survive, there probably wasn’t a lot of fun, I would think in those times, like, of course, you can always make fun in whatever situation you are. But actually, you bring up a good point, if you’re in survival mode, you’re not in fulfillment seeking, you’re in I just have to like, find my daily bread and get through this. But then I think on the other side is that breathing room, that’s the fun thing.


How did you do it in your practice Ashley? Cause you started it with fun. You, I think we’re very different from a lot of Dennis. I know where I mean, I saw you at smile and co the first one. We had a like cute memory yesterday when you fluffed the pillows in your office. And I remember when I went to your first practice, you took me outside to the patio and you fluffed the pillows there. Um, but I feel like you’ve always prioritized fun. Every practice has a lounge area. Ashley’s like, sit on the couch in my office. Cause it’s more comfy and cozy here. Like who has a couch in.


Ashley Joves (10:55.994)

I’m done.


Ashley Joves (11:00.35)

because every practice has a patio.


Ryan (11:04.386)



Ashley Joves (11:09.636)



Kiera Dent (11:11.207)

prioritizes this beautiful space. But I feel like Ashley, you’ve done that even with the debt, even with the startup, even with the pressure. Do you have any thoughts on, from a dentist perspective, like yeah, it’s stressful, but in survival mode, you still found a way to have it enjoyable for yourself.


Ashley Joves (11:26.517)

quite honestly, it was because of a need. Like, I hate the dentist. I think as an overarching theme, most dental practices are awful. They’re not fun for the patient. It’s always rushed. It’s not personalized. Obviously, the people who are listening to this, they’re creme de la creme, right? People who listen to podcasts are always trying to be better. But…


Kiera Dent (11:32.938)



Kiera Dent (11:51.577)



Ashley Joves (11:53.821)

Generally speaking, there’s a lot of sleepy practices and we talked about Kira where it’s awful. It’s awful. I’ve worked in those offices as an associate and it was actually during my time in a pediatric office, I worked in PETO for five years. And it was so nice to sing the Little Mermaid to kids while giving them anesthetic.


Kiera Dent (12:16.911)



Ryan (12:18.686)

Wait, wait, which song? Which song would you actually sing? And can we, five seconds, five seconds. Yeah, you don’t, nah, you don’t, you don’t.


Kiera Dent (12:22.614)

Ashley, can you give us a demo?


Ashley Joves (12:26.101)

I don’t want your ratings to go down guys. I really would never do that to your audience. No.


Kiera Dent (12:29.179)

Oh, I think they’ll definitely go up. I think they would definitely skyrocket Ashley. I mean, I shared my embarrassing Invisalign story yesterday with your team. I mean, let’s just, let’s just keep on rolling with the, yeah, at least the song.


Ryan (12:34.094)

Alright, what?


Ryan (12:41.054)

Which song, at least, were you singing?


Ashley Joves (12:44.115)

But look at this stuff. Isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think?


Kiera Dent (12:48.613)

Don’t you think?


Ryan (12:49.748)

Yeah, okay. All right. So you miss okay anyway


Ashley Joves (12:51.345)

You guys are having me sweat here. So I’m working on these kids and the parents would say, do you guys see adults here? And they would be genuinely serious about the question. And we’re sorry, we’re a pediatric office. And why couldn’t we be silly and dance in hallways and maybe tell inappropriate jokes from time to time?


Kiera Dent (12:52.239)

is… Ha!


Ashley Joves (13:18.777)

I don’t know, that’s just my personality. And if this is the career that I have chosen for myself, there is no way I’m going to work for the next two, three, four decades and not enjoy coming to work. I’m sorry, it’s just not gonna fly.


Kiera Dent (13:34.791)



Ryan (13:37.706)

Yeah, I love that. It’s so much of our lives spent working. Okay, so going back, and then I’ve been thinking of another topic that we could maybe round this out with that both of you have really good experience with. I know our audience will love to hear about this, and I think yours will too. But to finish this out, so the second location, you got this thing going. It’s clearly, from what I’ve seen in here, it’s pretty amazing. How does that, how does that transform things then from where you were?


Ashley Joves (13:39.651)



Ryan (14:06.466)

to how you’re feeling about them now, and then how do you feel about where they’re going in the future?


Ashley Joves (14:12.485)

in terms of like just where Smiling Co is going or?


Ryan (14:16.45)

Sure, like yeah, your career, how does it progress from here for you, moving from the one to the two and did you get fun back? Are you having fun? Was it the gold handles and the patio and the pillow? Is that fun? Did it help? Did it work?


Ashley Joves (14:27.771)

I, um…


Ashley Joves (14:34.229)

It is everything that I could have asked for and then some, but all this to say is, I mean, it’s still a roller coaster. It’s with this beautiful new office, there’s growth and with growth, there is discomfort and when there’s discomfort, there’s loss and a mourning period of what was. So now we’re navigating, what does this even look like for our


Ryan (14:45.782)



Ashley Joves (15:03.745)

We used to be this one big happy family working together, having fun. And now I’ve taken half my team and split them into the two offices. So now they’re navigating those feelings of not seeing each other all the time. And then the vibe is different. And I didn’t realize how different. Well, I guess I knew that the way I interact with patients is different than how


Kiera Dent (15:13.295)

Thank you.


Ashley Joves (15:31.005)

The other doctors interact with patients, not to say that one is bad and one is good, but the vibe is different. And now I’m navigating, okay, what does this look like as a brand, as smiling code grows and as we scale, I still want this to be my blood, sweat and tears and my brand, but how do I take a step back so that it’s still embodying all of those core values.


but not necessarily rely just on me anymore, to be the face, to be the fun, to be this culture. And so that’s been, that’s definitely been a challenge. And it was already a challenge when I took a step back and I hired associates and now let them do all the new patients and the exams. But now that I’m dividing my time, so I’m in the new space,


I don’t want the old space, not the old space, the first space to feel neglected or that it’s not being showered with the love and attention that it deserves. So it’s basically like having a second kid, right? And you have this newborn baby and now your firstborn is like vying for, not vying for your attention, but it’s different. There’s, yeah, the dynamic.


Kiera Dent (16:43.243)



Kiera Dent (16:46.811)

Thank you.


Kiera Dent (16:57.519)



Ryan (16:58.331)

The dynamic, everything’s permanently changed. Thanks for sharing that, Kara. Can you talk to that about you in the consulting role improving these things? You field these questions, that’s what you do professionally. You hear these concerns. How do you hear that as a consultant and how do you plan to address all this stuff? Like what does that look like on your side?


Kiera Dent (17:10.15)



Kiera Dent (17:19.831)

Yeah, I think Ashley, what you’re describing is what I think anytime there’s a big transition in dentist lives. So like when they go by their first practice, they’re so excited about doing it and instantly their lives change and it’s like, hold on, I like this was a dream I’ve dreamed up and then I think it’s the expectation versus the reality gap, which causes like some deep depression and like some like, whoa, how does this go? And then you’re trying to like navigate now, now you’re an owner, you’re not an associate or a student.


Now you’re a multi-practice owner versus just a single one. And I think it’s the, I just think it’s cyclical of a business and we forget that these are seasons within the business that’s totally normal. And there’s really no way to prepare for it. And it’s really, you gotta go through it and be able to sustain while going through it. So what does that look like? You don’t wanna like suck the fun. Ashley did this to have fun. And I’m sure there are some days, I’m not here to speak for Ashley, but for doctors that I’ve coached and seen.


Ashley Joves (18:08.629)



Kiera Dent (18:19.211)

it isn’t fun. It’s like that you dream of this, like you dream of making a million dollars in the day you do, it’s kind of like, well, wait, it fell short from what I thought I would feel. And so it’s figuring out how to navigate it and I think stabilize the expectation with reality and make it fun. But there is this growing period. And so helping them realize like when everything’s in chaos and confusion, what needs to be prioritized? What needs to happen?


Ashley Joves (18:29.31)



Ashley Joves (18:47.054)



Kiera Dent (18:47.823)

because I think it’s all this all consuming. I feel like I have to do everything right now rather than where do I need to invest my energy? What does this look like? And I call it like the three to six months shakeout of any new change. So it’s a new associate doctor, a new practice, a second location, a third location. It’s usually a three to six months shakeout before things actually shake and settle. But look at the rest of your life when you buy a new home.


Ashley Joves (19:13.418)



Kiera Dent (19:14.371)

when you have a new baby, when you get in a new relationship, like when you get married and you’re adjusting to that life, when you start school. So it’s these big monumental changes and like you get a new team, you get a new office manager, you lose a team member. Like these are, they’re moments in time that I think really need to be given more love, more energy. And also us, instead of doing that grind it out.


Ashley Joves (19:39.753)



Kiera Dent (19:40.139)

let’s prioritize and actually let’s like refuel ourselves internally so that way we can output because there is more output. And so really I just think for me, I would, I put it down to the basic. Let’s make sure you’ve got your profitability numbers figured out. Let’s make sure you’ve got a team and we’re maximizing while simplifying at the same time. So like if I could choose one thing to implement in a team which is exactly what we did with Ashley’s office yesterday.


Ashley Joves (19:53.749)



Kiera Dent (20:03.783)

If I could only choose one thing that’s going to drive and fix a lot of their problems, we’re going to highlight that and get the whole team rowing that direction. And then really like almost center the owner of this is what you do a step A, B, C, and I’m going to check in with you because I think they’re trying to do like the whole alphabet soup and it just constantly spins them. And I really think those were outside perspective, your advisor board, like Ryan, I’m talking this like I’m so experienced in this, which I am for dentists, but my own life, I call


Ashley Joves (20:23.239)



Kiera Dent (20:33.691)

talk me off the ledge, I’m ready to sell this, I don’t wanna do this anymore, I thought this was going to be fun. And so I think it’s just all of us need to have a grounding person that really has the answers and the resources for us, but also give the space that it’s a three to six month period, which seems forever in the moment. And in reality, it’s a small dot on the timeline of your entire life. So let’s not let this small dot on the timeline of our entire life overshadow the goodness of what we wanted this to become.


Ryan (20:33.823)

I’m going to go to bed.


Ashley Joves (20:43.122)





Ryan (20:49.898)



Ashley Joves (20:51.741)



Kiera Dent (21:01.987)

and give it time to become what it’s capable of being.


Ryan (21:06.118)

I’m laughing to myself because in your business, you’re trying to get people to hold on for three to six months while things change. In my business, I need people to give it a few decades for their investment accounts to be okay. You know, like, hey, in 20 years, it’s gonna be fantastic. It’s okay. It’s a lot of trust. Just keep going. I promise it’s gonna be okay. Think to you, thank you.


Ashley Joves (21:06.366)

I love it.


Kiera Dent (21:15.943)

Uh huh. Just keep going. It is trust. Ryan’s my money, money monsters, but I call him like the cookie monster. I’m like, right, I just like give you money, but I actually like don’t know where it goes, how I get it back. And like, that’s probably really good. I do. So but that’s a good way to view you.


Ryan (21:30.622)



Ryan (21:35.086)

Yeah, I mean you do, but we’re working on it. Yeah, just as a disclaimer, your money goes somewhere and it’s protected by a third party and you’re not being scammed. Thanks for, no, yeah, no, thanks for sharing all that, Ashley. I think the questions on your mind are just so relevant for people. The environment of dentistry right now, with all the consolidation, all the DSOs out there, there’s gonna be eventually this big group of that.


Kiera Dent (21:46.575)

I’m not.


Ashley Joves (21:59.573)

Thank you.


Ryan (22:03.91)

you know, neither good nor bad, whatever, it’s just different. And then there’s gonna be a group of probably multi-location practice owners. And it’s gonna be the people in that group who really figure out the answers to the questions you’re dealing with right now. So it’s really healthy to kind of go through all of these. I like the topics you’re discussing though, because the way that this plays out, when I hear you as a dentist talk about this, and I hear the consulting side of how to address it, the way I see it play out is people take these emotions from their career, whether it’s like,


Kiera Dent (22:11.213)



Ashley Joves (22:21.339)



Ryan (22:33.334)

burnout, lack of fun, lack of fulfillment, stress, pressure, and they, we as humans subconsciously take it out on our money decisions, you know, with how we invest, the way we blow money and spend it, the way we like purposely sabotage ourselves by not being organized or we don’t ask for help. So these are super relevant things. Here’s another thing that’s on my mind a lot lately. I was just on a call with a client this morning talking about this and that’s people costs and people.


Ashley Joves (22:42.765)



Kiera Dent (23:00.007)



Ryan (23:01.286)

you were just, when we started, you know, you’re getting new people. How do you attract talent? How do you keep it? I think on all the P and L’s I’m seeing now for the last two years, people cost is up from an average in the 20% now to like 30% people cost. Uh, someone told me the other day that a $1.5 million practice is the new $1 million practice. Like you got it. Like the benchmarks you have to hit to break even and feel okay, or just getting higher and higher. Can the both of you speak to that? People, team leadership, the cost of it.


Kiera Dent (23:13.561)



Kiera Dent (23:20.099)



Ashley Joves (23:25.061)



Ryan (23:31.126)

How sustainable is it? What are you doing? How are you working on it?


Ashley Joves (23:35.381)

Crying? Um…


Kiera Dent (23:39.631)

crying inside just a little crying


Ryan (23:39.919)

Yeah, okay. All right. Thank you, Ashley, for your answer. Kira, what is your… It’s very honest and succinct. Crying. I like that. Yeah. You’re not lying. Yeah.


Ashley Joves (23:43.778)



Kiera Dent (23:51.387)

Just crying, just crying the whole time.


Ashley Joves (23:51.56)

No, not.


Ryan (23:55.37)

Yeah, Ashley, when you’re in the middle of it, you’re testing new boundaries with the growth of it. How do you think about just how teams and leadership and people, finding them, paying for them, where it’s headed, how are you feeling about it all? Not that you have to have the answers. I’m just curious what your experience is like.


Ashley Joves (23:59.817)



Ashley Joves (24:03.71)



Ashley Joves (24:10.983)

I mean…


Ashley Joves (24:14.413)

It is… Do you love cursing on this show? No, no cursing. Um…


Kiera Dent (24:20.411)



Ryan (24:21.618)

Uh, no, do it. Do it and we’ll just beep it out. I think that’s kind of funny actually. Please do.


Kiera Dent (24:23.399)

I mean, if… I’m sorry. B-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-


Ashley Joves (24:25.773)

No, it is. It’s I mean, the environment, especially in California, as you know, Ryan, it the staff cost situation, I’ve always been over like that whole 25 to 30 percent. That has never been a thing for me. And and now it’s now I have the two practices and even. I mean, we ran the numbers of our BAM, Kira, right? Like it’s


Kiera Dent (24:42.8)



Ryan (24:43.512)



Kiera Dent (24:54.2)



Ashley Joves (24:55.197)

It’s insane what overhead is looking like when even when we’re, we’re not even really big. We had two dental assistants, one front office, one associate dentist, and that’s basically it for both practices and one hygienist. Yeah. It’s not that many. It’s, it it’s crazy. And so we got out of network.


Kiera Dent (25:02.809)

Thank you.


Kiera Dent (25:09.655)

I’m one hygienist. Like five people, 10 total people, five in each office. It’s not that many. And it was sky high, sky high cost.


Ashley Joves (25:24.329)

with Delta because we needed to make a change. We were running six rooms and my hygienists were cranking it all day long. And after a full day of hygiene with Delta reimbursements, sometimes they wouldn’t even hit $900. And now hygienists in California are anywhere from 60 to 75 an hour. And you’re paying them even when that patient no shows.


Kiera Dent (25:44.327)



Ashley Joves (25:52.657)

and heaven forbid that’s a two hour SRP, that’s a big hit to the bottom line. So I feel that so much that the new million dollar practice is actually, you have to be at least 1.5. I don’t know. I honestly, it’s really disheartening to see what insurances have done and just the.


these conglomerates, these DSOs, these private equity, where they’re able to capture, you know, such a big monopoly, pretty much, of our space. And then they can pay for all of these equipment and supplies at much lower costs. And how do we compete with that as a solo private office? I really don’t know. And I think…


Ryan (26:31.31)



Ashley Joves (26:49.585)

that it’s such a vicious cycle. Like you want to attract top level talent. You want to attract just people who are going to stay with you, stay committed and be encouraged to treat people well. But at the same time, if you can’t even afford to pay their salaries, like what do you do? It’s, I don’t know, it’s sad.


Kiera Dent (27:11.726)



Ryan (27:13.634)

Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for sharing that. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Kara, when you hear that from your clients, like you do all the time, I hear that from our clients in the last few years, it’s probably the biggest topic people are talking about. How do you hear that? And like, where do you go from here?


Kiera Dent (27:29.655)

Yeah, well, it was interesting when we very first heard the podcast, you’re like, well, I’ll talk about issues we’re hearing. It was going to be the staffing, the morale, and how do you do this? Because I think that everyone would love to run a business. And I hear so often, I love the business, I don’t enjoy the people side. And I’m like, but we fail to realize that businesses are the people. Like the people are what truly make this business. And so I remember a while ago, Britt, one of our consultants gave me a really good perspective shift of


Ryan (27:37.334)

Huh. Yeah.


Ryan (27:49.934)

That’s all it is.


Ashley Joves (27:50.503)



Kiera Dent (27:58.427)

do I see my people as a liability or an asset? And I think sometimes like when I’m looking at the P&L, they feel like a liability, like, oh my gosh, they cost this much. But if I realize that they’re actually the asset of the business, it does do a flip of the script in a different filter position. And so one of the greatest things they say, like the biggest cost on a business is your like employee turnover. And so if you can find a way…


to number one, hire better, which none of us do. So just put it out there, like, you’re not bad if you have turnover. It’s just learning to navigate through this to change your perspective and realize, like, you’re gonna have turnover regardless of how great of a boss you are, and that doesn’t matter. Like, you can be nice and you can have it there, and some of, being the nicest boss in the world, you’re still gonna have people turn over on you. And I don’t think giving your, like, my mom has a quote on her fridge that says, like, parents who are afraid to put their foot down have children who step on their toes.


Ryan (28:42.75)



Kiera Dent (28:51.939)

And so when I say being a nice boss, it doesn’t mean giving them everything because I actually think they actually stop respecting you. So it’s having the balance of expectation because as a team member, what I care about is I want you to tell me your expectations clearly. I want to know how can I win? And then I want like true genuine praise from my doctor. And so realizing that that’s what they’re looking for. But the staffing costs are there. And so I feel like instead of being


Ashley Joves (28:52.053)



Kiera Dent (29:19.631)

frustrated with it because that’s one path. Let’s look to see how can we make this the best it can be. To Ashley’s point, it’s hard. It’s super hard. It’s hard to see those costs get there. Can you find different ways to become competitive and can we get scrappy? For solo owners, there’s buying groups that we can get into. There’s ways that we could reduce our supply costs. There are…


budgets we can put into place, like let’s scrap down and be super intentional on the things we can control so we can offset the costs of labor. Like it is a give and take. And then that’s also where you do go out of network or you bring in membership plans, like to realize that there are options that we can do. And then sometimes it is just the cost of it. Like I realized this year, I’m gonna sacrifice a little bit of profitability in my own business to ease the stress of.


Ashley Joves (29:57.946)



Kiera Dent (30:11.171)

like fitting within this 30% category. So like, what is your priority? Is it the profit, which I don’t care if that’s your choice, there’s no right or wrong, or is it the hit like, great, if I hire a few more team members, that’s gonna alleviate my stress exponentially. But if I’m putting that staff cost in there, I need to expect them, give them correct job descriptions and expect them to show up here. Because if I’m gonna pay for it, I wanna make sure that they are really doing what I need them to do. So again, it’s just like all around.


Ryan (30:14.818)



Kiera Dent (30:38.799)

But really, I think my best thing that I can do is, is almost give the dentist a hug, remind them that like, this is normal, you’re not abnormal. This is hard. And now let’s figure out a solution that’s going to be doable. So like Ashley figuring out your BAM, got it. We at least know the number of what you have to produce and collect. We came up with a pretty easy solution. We’re going to put it in play, try it in three months. And if it doesn’t work, let’s pivot again. But like


Ashley Joves (30:44.233)

I’m sorry.


Ryan (30:48.45)

Thanks for watching!


Ryan (31:03.274)



Kiera Dent (31:04.375)

It was COVID. It was the great resignation. I had a really brilliant mentor once tell me, Kira, all of these problems that come to you are just the flavor of business. So see it as the flavor of business, not the like identity of the business, because it’s going to shift right now it’s staffing costs, then it’s going to be supply costs, then it’s going to be insurance, like, every one of these is just part of business. And truthfully, I want to just remind us like, this is what we signed up for when we decided to become business owners.


there’s success and part of success is suck. Like there’s a suck portion of business and then there’s the happy part. Like, wait, like this is the suck part of it. Like we can’t take the whole enchilada and be like, well, I don’t want that part. Like business and success has two sides. Like there is a suck portion of being successful. And then there is the beautiful side of success as well. And we don’t get both without, you have to have both to make it happen. So that’s kind of my perspective from it.


Ryan (31:35.95)

It’s the sock and success. All right.


Ashley Joves (31:38.808)

Yeah. I love that. I’m gonna steal that.


Kiera Dent (32:02.775)

Ryan, I’m sure you’ve got a different one. And it’s interesting. I want to just point this out. I think Ashley’s got the here and now dentist perspective. A consultant has your like three, six, 12 months. Like, let me get you this plan to get you through it. And Ryan, you’ve got the like in 20 years plan. So all three of us have this very different vantage point. And I think all are super relevant because without the here and now, like I’m in it. I’m in the trenches. This is real life. The consultants, the bird’s eye view of like, let’s get you these tactical pieces.


Ashley Joves (32:17.353)



Ryan (32:20.524)



Kiera Dent (32:31.311)

And then the financial advisor that’s like, hey, remember what you’re actually working towards? It’s this life, it’s this thing, like this is what it’s all going to be for and living in the here and now even while providing for our long-term financial future.


Ryan (32:35.114)



Ryan (32:43.95)

I love that. The one thing I think that stands out to me that you just said, Kira, was, and you could just teach this lesson, you could take exactly your same words and teach this lesson about being a good investor, which is like, what’s the scary flavor of the economy of the month? I’ve been in this job now for 15 years. I don’t think, there’s been zero years so far where there’s not been something scary. And we’re still here. We might not be tomorrow, but we’re here today.


Kiera Dent (32:59.888)



Ashley Joves (33:11.112)



Ryan (33:12.33)

And, but that’s such a good lesson because it’s like, go look at 10 years in the news and you tell me what hasn’t been scary, you know? But the world marches on, we find a way. Maybe one day again, we won’t. We’ll just all become extinct one day. It will be, finally it will be the, it’s different this time and we’ll all be wiped out, you know? But until then, I think what you said is just really helpful, whether it’s business, it’s investing, it’s your personal life, there’s always something. And…


Kiera Dent (33:29.459)



Ryan (33:40.034)

but that means you’re always learning something too, and you’re always adapting and growing from that, and now you’ll be better for it in the future. Like all of us having seen our businesses and our clients and friends and family businesses shut down for months at a time, taught us something, and we are better for it in a lot of ways. Not discounting that it hurt in a lot of ways too, but I like that you said that, because it’s the same thing with like the economy and markets investing, there’s always something, it doesn’t signify the end, it just signifies


Ashley Joves (33:55.101)



Ryan (34:10.25)

the new flavor and there’ll be another one next month. So that was good.


Kiera Dent (34:11.143)

Mm-hmm. Yeah, Ryan, I want to piggyback on that real quick. I would say like iron sharpens iron. So these hard experiences are sharpening you. And I think, and Ryan, you and I have a different perspective than Ashley does, even though we’re equally business owners in our own realm. I feel all these experiences, like truly to me, I feel like the sign, like the mastery of business is being able to maintain like levelness.


throughout all the wild ups and downs. So that’s like you’re investing your emotions, like the staffing, this, like it’s so easy to be volatile and that becomes reactionary versus being able to like truly sharpen your skill of being able to just navigate the waves and stay more even kill and more level-headed to make smarter decisions even when you’re hit with this because it’s going to keep coming. And Ryan, I think you teach that really, really well of how to stay super level-headed.


Ashley Joves (34:49.266)



Kiera Dent (35:07.335)

Throughout all of it, even when everything’s turbulent around you, to me is a sign of mastery of an exceptional leader, an exceptional business owner, and those who can just cut through and make the right decisions, even when the emotional pieces are tying, like tugging at you and to stay steady throughout while being able to pivot and make the correct decisions throughout it.


Ryan (35:25.142)

So hard. Yeah, thank you. It’s a thing we’re all trying to work hard and get better at. Speaking of staying steady and calm, I think maybe one thing that helps we can wrap on this idea is maybe a little bit of wine every once in a while. So Ashley, why don’t you tell us about the Making Of event that’s coming up? What, next month already? Kira, you’re gonna be there? I think I’m gonna be there. And so, yeah, I already said yes, I’m going to be there. Yeah.


Kiera Dent (35:39.436)



Ashley Joves (35:46.033)

Yes, you already said you are, Ryan. You can’t, no take backs. Yeah, no, we’re gonna have so much fun. So we are hosting our second annual Making a Retreat in Sonoma, California, November 15th to 17th. It is a Wednesday to Friday and.


Kiera Dent (35:47.771)

It’s gonna be a great time.


Kiera Dent (35:52.579)

Yeah, he’s in.


Ryan (35:54.294)

I’m going to be there with my microphone and we’re going to be having conversations. But what’s, tell us about it.


Ashley Joves (36:12.049)

Yeah, that was a mistake. We’re not gonna do it midweek next year. I promise you guys. But gosh, it’s gonna be a meeting of the minds. We’re going to have the best speakers in the world. I swear, the best speakers in the world. And just talking about dentistry, about money, about fulfillment, mental health, depression. And then we’re gonna.


wrap up in the conference room, but then we’re gonna take our little sesh and move it over to the vineyards where we can really talk about the hard things, the things that light us up. Because I, so this, you know, like I started Smiling Co. with this idea of creating a different dental experience. And this whole retreat was born from all of my, so I’m a,


I’m a self-professed CE junkie. Like I love going to conferences, not just for the content. Yeah, it will.


Kiera Dent (37:12.099)

Mm-hmm. It might be on her P&L of a CNL budget. Just so you know, the P&L, she has her CE budget on there. We put it in there. So I can tell you, this girl’s a CE junkie through and through.


Ashley Joves (37:20.821)

That’s right.


Ashley Joves (37:24.577)

I love CE so much, not just for the content, but some of the best learning took place at the bar during happy hour, at dinners over whoever we met at that conference for the weekend. And I wanted to take exactly that and build an entire retreat around that whole vibe because so much of this stuff, like as a dentist,


it can be very lonely. You feel so isolated in your four walls. And if you are already dealing with turnover and these rising staff costs and lower reimbursements, who are you really talking to about that? And that’s why I think mental health is such an under spoken about topic. Is that even a phrase? It is now, it is now. So we…


Ryan (38:18.058)

It is now, doesn’t matter. Yeah, we get it, yeah, we get it.


Kiera Dent (38:19.014)

It is, I like it.


Ashley Joves (38:21.809)

I just wanted to create something that was going to be memorable, but also fulfilling. You can go to so many CEs, but if it’s not really lighting you up, I want people to leave this experience feeling like a better human, feeling like you’ve just connected with 80 of your closest friends, people who will have your back. I know that I can call Kira, and Kira’s going to be like, I got you.


it’s gonna be fine or I can talk to you Ryan and say, Ryan, I’m worried about this and you’re gonna be like talking me off the ledge, it’s not been 20 years yet, you need to settle down. But I want that for everybody because I experience it from podcasting and from the community, but not everybody has that luxury, not everyone feels connected to other people and it’s a shame.


Ryan (39:01.175)



Ashley Joves (39:16.253)

Like we should all feel connected, especially after the pandemic. So I’m excited.


Ryan (39:20.974)

Mm-hmm Where do they where do people find? Registration on our show this episode will probably come out like next week So there’ll be there’ll be some time if there’s still if there’s still room. So where do people find the making of we dream? Yeah, yeah


Ashley Joves (39:28.76)

Oh nice, nice.


Ashley Joves (39:32.881)

We have limited spots. Thank you so much. We have limited spots available. Make sure to come listen. Ryan, you’re gonna do like your whole spiel about dying with zero. What are you talking about? Anything? We’ll figure it out. Just dying a little bit every day. Dying.


Ryan (39:47.851)

We’ll figure it out. Dying, just dying in general. That’s it. Dying inside. Yeah, dying inside.


Kiera Dent (39:48.955)

You don’t know Ryan yet, Ashley. Just dying. Ryan will do his presentation the night before. I have presented with Ryan so many times and I’m like, Ryan, what are you talking about? I was like, Kira, it’s not the night before. I’ll get it there the night before. And mom was like, Ryan, I can’t.


Ryan (40:01.662)

We’ll figure it out. Well, you gotta arrive on scene and feel the vibe. You gotta check the vibe and then you adjust. Okay, where’s making, how do they find and register if that’s possible this time?


Ashley Joves (40:04.977)

Yeah, you do. You do.


Ashley Joves (40:12.125)

Okay, so it’s go to themakingofpodcast.com backslash retreat and all the information will be there.


Kiera Dent (40:25.295)

Yeah, it’s amazing. I was there last year. And what I will say about Ashley, I know you just said it was a mistake to do Wednesday through Friday. And you’re like, I won’t do that again. But as I just listened to that, and I gave you flack for it to my girl, you think you are going to talk about really putting this into perspective of like, why are we doing CE on the weekends, which should be family time, which should be our personal time? Why not do it during our working days? And honestly, I will say the things that were taught last year at the making of retreat.


Ryan (40:25.465)

I’m so excited for that.


Ashley Joves (40:38.857)



Ashley Joves (40:47.113)

Yeah, yeah.


Kiera Dent (40:55.123)

I feel if you dedicated three days from your business to be working on, to learn the ideas and do it during that working time, one, you’re sacrificing your production, so you’re actually gonna be paying way more attention. Two, you’re gonna make sure that you take things home that you can go implement. I know like the things I’m even gonna talk about alone. If you went and implemented one, two, three of the items I tell you, you will make up that production hands down. And that’s just one speaker on the lineup. Ryan’s gonna teach you long-term. So,


Ashley Joves (41:18.067)



Kiera Dent (41:22.107)

Practical tactical but then long-term fulfillment as well I don’t think you can put a number on that and like kudos to you Ashley for doing it differently like School like let’s do it during the working hours instead of having to do it on the weekend and constantly take time away from our lives So massive shout out agreed like tell them I know Ashley we’re helping with Emily team to do scholarships for people So tell them deadly team send you tell them Dennis money sent you it was an incredible event and Ashley your CE was the only CE event I have ever gone to where I was not


dead exhausted from like over burnout of too much content and so fulfilled with the people in the relationships I was able to form there. So I have to say you give one of the best, if not the best CE events I’ve ever attended and I go to a lot. So definitely sign up, head into it.


Ashley Joves (42:03.315)

Oh, thank you.


Ryan (42:04.162)

Ah, yeah. So excited. Kara, where do they find the A-Team? As if they don’t know.


Kiera Dent (42:10.071)

Oh head on over to thedenilyteam.com. You guys know we got the podcast. You guys, Dennis Money, I feel like Dennis Advisors and Denily Team are like the PB&J, the peanut butter and chocolate. If you know Dennis Advisors, hopefully you know Denily Team because I think between the two companies, you really are like a match made in heaven. Like you really get the financial, the consulting and off you go. So thank you, Ryan. And Ryan, for our show, how do people connect with you? Because honestly, Ryan, you have talked me off the ledge.


Ashley Joves (42:10.761)



Ryan (42:19.907)



Ryan (42:23.903)



Ryan (42:28.626)

Mm-hmm. You’ll be in good hands.


Ashley Joves (42:28.753)

Yeah. Hehehehehehe.


Ryan (42:33.142)



Kiera Dent (42:37.587)

so many times. And it’s funny, I was talking to a client and they said they’ve gone into like all these other financial advising groups and they said, Kira, who do you work with? And I said, Ryan. And I said, even though Ryan is so different than my personality, you are steady, Eddie, for me and you keep me so grounded. And the client I was talking to was like, I just want simple. And I said, that’s Ryan with financial, like Dennis Advisors. You make it so simple for us to invest, to get prepared for our future. So Ryan, how do they connect with you?


Ryan (43:04.462)

Appreciate that. Yeah, denisadvisors.com. Check it out. Reach out, yeah.


Kiera Dent (43:08.687)

check it out. And if you really, if you want Ryan, you have to come through dental A team and I will directly connect you because Ryan, you’re like really hard to get to be an advisor and.


Ryan (43:12.33)

You gotta go there. Yeah. Yes.


Ryan (43:18.338)

That’s, yeah, so, okay, I like the teaser on that. If you want my personal email and get on my personal calendar, just go through Kira. You gotta talk to the A-Team first, and then you can get my cell phone even if you want it. That’s fine.


Kiera Dent (43:22.407)



Kiera Dent (43:30.487)

Ryan to tell me any client I send his way, he will still take on. So that’s my like plug. If you really want Ryan, come through me. We were siblings in another life. So Ashley, if you want to work with Ryan, you’re welcome. This is a connection here.


Ryan (43:35.975)

I will.




We might have been a trio, honestly. This might have been a trio in a former life. Well, thanks for having me in your audience and thanks for being on ours. As always, I think this needs to be like a quarterly event at the very least, so we’ll make it happen again. Yeah, it’s cool. It was cool. You know what’d be fun is to get some listener questions and then we could give perspective from financial advisor, consultant, dentist.


Ashley Joves (43:43.398)

of it.


Kiera Dent (43:44.736)

I think it was a trio.


Kiera Dent (43:52.823)

I agree. It was fun to have the dentist consultant advisor perspective. It was really magical today. So thanks, guys.


Ashley Joves (43:53.205)

I feel it, I agree.


Kiera Dent (44:03.445)

and then


Ashley Joves (44:04.105)

Oh, yes.


Ryan (44:07.63)

Let’s get some peer groups, some listener questions, and then let’s just come on here every couple of months and do it from three perspectives. Answer the same question from three perspectives. That’d be awesome. Okay.


Kiera Dent (44:15.703)

I love it. I think it’d be incredible. So our side, Ryan’s side, everybody, make sure you guys get those questions in. I think let’s just do it. Let’s plan to have it happen.


Ryan (44:25.578)

Yeah, we’ll do it. We’ll field some questions and do it. Thanks, ladies. Thanks, everyone. We’ll catch you next time. Bye bye.


Kiera Dent (44:29.307)

Thanks. All right, bye guys.


Ashley Joves (44:32.073)

Thank you guys.

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