Like all entrepreneurs and business owners, dental practice owners experience tremendous personal and professional growth when they undergo leadership development training. In this episode of The Art of Dental Finance and Management podcast, Art meets with Chelsea Myers, Founder and CEO of Dental Life Coach to discuss how dentists can learn new strategies to empower their dental team with leadership development training.
Reach out to Art if you have any questions regarding dental finance and management for your dental practice. More information about the Eide Bailly dental team can be found at www.eidebailly.com/dentist.
Reach out to Art if you have any questions regarding dental finance and management for your dental practice. More information about the Eide Bailly dental team can be found at www.eidebailly.com/dentist.
Being more strategic in all aspects of your dental practice will lead to increased profitability.
Show Notes and Resources:
- Eide Bailly’s Dental Practice
- Decisions in Dentistry magazine
- Academy of Dental CPAs
- What Business Areas to Focus on in Your Dental Practice
- Planning for Financial Independence While Building Your Dental Practice
Art Wiederman, CPA: Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of The Art of Dental Finance and Management with Art Wiederman, CPA. I'm your host. My name is Art Wiederman. I'm a dental specific CPA located in Southern California, and we're recording this podcast on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon in late September. And, you know, one of the topics that I have always been passionate about is entrepreneurship and leadership. And, you know, it's funny, a lot of dentists don't want to hear about entrepreneurship and leadership. They want to it's just not it's not really great or sexy or anything like that. But my guest today is Chelsea Myers, who is a leadership development life coach. And I've gotten to know Chelsea and the information that she has to share with you today about your practice and your life and your brain. We're going to get into your brain fog. So if you have any problems listening to things about your brain, you better get ready because we're going to do some really cool stuff with Chelsea and we'll get to Chelsea in in a couple minutes.
But again, I want to thank everybody for the honor and privilege of the of your time and listening to our podcast. Again, we have thousands of listeners every month and we get calls and emails and thank you. I got a you got a guy called me the other day and he said he said, Art, I started, I found your podcast. I can't stop listening. I said, geez, you need to get some hobbies or something. And he says, No, no, no, it's really good stuff and we are very proud of what we've done. But part of our success is our wonderful, wonderful partnership with Decisions in Dentistry magazine, which is www.DecisionsinDentistry.com. It's a clinical magazine. For those of you who are new to the podcast, you can actually purchase up to 140 incredible clinical continuing education courses for a very, very reasonable price. They've got articles from the top clinicians in the world on their website and in their magazine. So please, if you're not looking at the website or getting their magazine, please go to www.DecisionsinDentistry.com.
We are now in late September, so folks not sure if this podcast is going to come on before after October 15th. It's going to be right around there. But your personal tax returns are due on final extension for 2021 and by October the 15th and then we get into planning season. The one thing I want to tell you is that if you have a CPA and you are not sitting down at the end of the year, November, December, with that seat with your CPA and figuring out where you're at, where can we save some money and how much money do we put in our retirement plan and what kind of equipment do we need to buy and getting service this year?
One thing you need to think about, folks is this if you're thinking that you're just going to call your equipment rep and get a new operator I put in on December the 29th, you might want to check with them now because their supply chain issues that I'm hearing about that sometimes it's taken months to get equipment. So if you're planning on some equipment to be placed in service in your office before the end of the year, you might want to start a little earlier rather than later because, you know, the dental supply companies, the Henry Shines, the Patersons, the Ben Coles of the world, they know at the end of the year they got to be ready. But we've got a different animal going on here. And if you need a dental CPA, we're here for you. Eide Bailly I'm a dental division director at Eide Bailly and my phone number, direct phone number of 657.279.3243. That's 657.279.3243. And my email is awiederman@EideBailly.com. Give me a call if you need some help. We are also affiliated with the Academy of Dental CPAs, 25 CPA firms across the United States that represent over 10,000 dentists. And that's www.ADCPA.org.
All right, let's get to our topic today. I'm really excited. I love talking about leadership and entrepreneurship. I mean, one of the things we do at the ADCPA is we want to promote the private practice of dentistry and helping doctors to be the best that they can be. And Chelsea Myers is the person that is going to help you to learn about that. So let me tell you a little bit about her. Chelsea is the CEO and founder at Dental Life Coach. She is also a fellow podcaster. She is the host of the Dental Brain Crops podcast and I have to ask her how she came up with the name in a second. DLC purpose is to optimize the health, happiness and success of dental entrepreneurs and executives.
She started her career at Wells Fargo Bank. She fell in love with the dental community. She is partnered in some dental businesses. She continued coaching and spent the next few years learning, designing and refining her coaching tools to best serve entrepreneurial dentists. Chelsea's programs proved themselves highly valuable and successful, pushing her focus entirely towards the growth that her company has recognized. And she leads a team of incredibly talented individuals who personify dental life, coaches dedication to making exceptional, enriching lives accessible to all. That sounds really cool. Chelsea, welcome to the Art of Dental Finance and Management.
Chelsea Myers: Thanks, Art. Thanks for having me on the show.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So you've been you've been a coach. How long is your company? I want you to tell us a little bit about your company. How long have you been coaching dentists?
Chelsea Myers: Yeah, so I've been coaching for almost a decade. And really what's really fascinating is COVID was actually kind of a turning point where we just really started picking up some steam with everybody trying to figure out what they were going to do and how they were going to do it. So it's been an exciting couple of years.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Yeah. And what I found is that COVID gave dentists an opportunity that most of us professionals don't get. You don't get an opportunity to just say, you know, I want to take 8 to 12 weeks off and think about what I want to do the rest of my life. That's kind of what this did for everyone.
Chelsea Myers: Yeah.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And so did you get a lot of people what were some of the I mean, we're going to get into what you do here in a minute and how we can help our doctors. But what were some of the big questions you got through COVID? I mean, what your clients are calling you up? My office is shut down. Life is over as we know it. I'm going to have my final meal. I mean, what were they telling you? What were they asking you?
Chelsea Myers: Yeah. You know, it was a great time for us all to take our own temperature on our ability to handle unprecedented situations that are highly intense and without really a timeline that we can predict. Right. And so a lot of the questions were circulating around, what do I do? How do I know if that's what I really want to do and when do I do it? And is this anxiety ever going to go away era?
Art Wiederman, CPA: Am I ever going to go back to work again? And it's scary. I mean, you've got somebody who's got, you know, a spouse or significant other children, mortgage. I mean, and now you just said you can't make any income right now. We're going to stop you. And so I would think that that you were very busy during the pandemic and very much doing some crisis management. Right.
Chelsea Myers: It was an exciting time. It really was. But, you know, some really incredible things I'm sure we could just spend the whole hour on that day of came out of COVID and some really fantastic results that our clients were able to see. And so I'm glad we were able to guide in that time.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, I'm sure we'll hit them as we go along here. So why don't you tell us a little bit, Chelsea, about your journey and how you got to Dental Life Coach and where you are today?
Chelsea Myers: Yeah, thank you. You know, building Dental Life Coach is really been an extension of me and a lot of my own personal journey. Looking back, I demonstrated a propensity for entrepreneurial interest from a really young age. I can remember making things to sell and designing things, spending time, daydreaming, new ideas. So it's not a shock to me now that I ended up owning and building businesses, but it wasn't the direction that I thought I was going as I headed into college. In fact, I can recall many conversations with my parents who had worked really hard and strategized carefully to provide for my siblings and I, and they made ends meet and cared for us well. But it didn't leave a lot of room for extras. And so their advice was to do really well in school and choose a career path that promised a comfortable income. Specifically, I remember them suggesting law, medicine and accounting. So they'd be very proud of you.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, I'm glad. I'm glad I actually wanted to be a sportscaster. Oh, but. But then pivot. But then I figured out I was really good at numbers and. But anyway. But that's good. I'm glad your parents would be proud of me.
Chelsea Myers: And, you know, I didn't really find school especially hard. I wasn't always interested in the subjects that I was required to learn. And so my grades normally reflected those subjects, but I did pretty well without having to work up a sweat. But when I was sixteen years old, I came home from school and I was surprised to find my mom and my uncle in the living room. And I was surprised because my mom was normally at work at that time. And her brother, my uncle, lived across town, so I became immediately excited, anticipating what spur of the moment family gathering we might be having. And the gathering, I quickly learned, was in response to the news that my dad had been in a fatal car accident that morning. And all of a sudden my siblings and I were down one parent. And it was shocking and traumatic and sad and everything that you can imagine, particularly for kids.
And we were fortunate to have family that rallied around us, and we had a lot of supports in place. But it was a time of incredible change and a lot of unknowns and intense emotions. And some of my coping mechanisms are really similar to what a lot of us do when something catches us off guard, whether it's big or small. I threw myself into things that I was doing 200%. So when it came to school, I really did school and when it came to work, I was overworking. When it came to workouts and dieting, I was intensely committed. And what I understand and can see now is that I was doing the things I knew how to do, in part to distract myself from thinking about and feeling the things that I didn't have a playbook for.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, and you were 16 years old, Chelsea. That's a very. For a 16 year old boy or girl. I mean, that is a very delicate age just in general. And to lose a parent at that point, so suddenly had to be very traumatic for you.
Chelsea Myers: It was unbelievable. Now, I'm a reader and I have to be interested in what I'm studying. But if I'm interested, I love absorbing information and using my imagination and expanding my mind. So over the next couple of years in my early adult life, I came across self-help books. And one of the literary loves of my life is this book called As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. And in that book, I learned that I had the ability to design my experiences based on the way that I think. And I would read something in the book and try it and it would work. And then I would test some of the theories they describe and they'd work. And this led me to read and research more similar types of materials.
And I was just fascinated with this in my, you know, in my spare time. So I went on to study business finance, kind of a nice combination of my deep desire to build and own my own things while focusing, you know, closely enough on my parents council by adding the financial component. And I began working at Wells Fargo Bank, where one of my major accomplishments was the implementation of some process changes to a group within a business banking department. And when I took that position, one of my very first days, a nearby manager came out to me and she was like, Well, good luck with that. And I thought, Well, that's an interesting welcome.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Yeah really.
Chelsea Myers: And I quickly learned that what she was referring to was that these were going to be stark changes, ones that were going to be uncomfortable to a group of people who are really intelligent, good at what they were doing. And they had been doing it for a really long time. So what I wasn't expecting and taking the position was that there was going to be a significant amount of what I've now learned is called professional coaching to implement the processes. And what started out as kind of a rocky situation had me going home at night, rereading things that I had read that had helped me through tough times and remembering what I had learned about the mind and how it works, and even studying and grabbing onto new information to make it most relevant to the individuals I was working with. And over the course of a year, we just had an absolutely successful project rollout. But not only that, it was a much more cohesive and. I would say almost electrifying teams.
So much so that a nearby manager that we shared the floor with came up to me one day and he was like, What are you doing with that team over there? We're all noticing and can I learn it too? And I was like, Well, yeah, sure you can. I'll tell you what I'm kind of doing to implement this project. And I worked with him for a bit and he was like, You know, you've got to meet this dentist buddy of mine. He's been talking about something similar and he's got a practice in town and he's got to meet you. And so I started working with his dentist friend, and that was just a fantastic professional marriage because I got to engage with him and help him get the transformation he was looking for while learning an industry of absolutely phenomenal people that I haven't left since.
Art Wiederman, CPA: It is. It is. I mean, I've spent 38 years in this industry, and I'm so glad that my life journey pointed me towards the dental profession. So and you're absolutely right. Well, let's get into this some. So I know that you've spent a lot of time learning and researching things relating to the brain. Why is this important? Maybe this a good place, you know, as far as program development, why is this important?
Chelsea Myers: Yeah. So the more that we understand ourselves, the more we can understand the people that we're working with. Right. And so my, my clients are leading teams of people that they're hoping are going to be moving in the same direction, working towards the same goals, which requires a lot of alignment. But in order to achieve that type of goal, you've got to be someone that people want to be led by. And one of the most important things we need to understand is our brains, how they operate, their unique individual strengths are default responses to things, and most importantly, how to reprogram the things that aren't working for us. So we're concerned at Dental Life Coach with optimal efficiency and real world function and research regarding neuroplasticity continues to clarify that the brain and behavior are shape able both by interaction and conscious programing.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And that's one thing that when I talk to doctors about leadership and about being the leader of a team, they go, well, I'm not good. And I've talked to lots of people. And you're just verifying that this is something that can be taught and can be changed, is what you're telling me, right?
Chelsea Myers: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So with getting using the neuroplasticity in everything, I mean, this kind of leads us into what makes a good leader, what makes a good leader because lead and again, I don't think leadership is you have to read 30 books and then you're a good leader. I mean, a lot of it is likability. A lot of it is, like you just said, is being, you know, being someone that someone wants. Someone somebody believes in, right?
Chelsea Myers: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. You know, first of all, you got to know what your own definition of a leader is. And I think when we're all starting out, we have mentors and we have coaches or teachers, whomever around us that we look up to and we grab pieces of their leadership style or components of their personality that we want to emulate and be more like right. But at some point we've got to come up with our own self definition of what a good leader is, because other people are moving targets, they're always growing too. And so we've got to figure out what it is we're trying to be and measure ourselves against that. Okay. So that's right. There takes a lot of work getting really clear on who I am, on what I. And it's actually easier for me to be like, I just want to be like Art because then it's all on you.
Art Wiederman, CPA: No, you want to be like Art. You really don't want to be like Art.
Chelsea Myers: Oh, I don't know. I don't, you know.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I mean, I mean, I hit a couple of good golf shots at the range, but other than that, no, I'm just kidding.
Chelsea Myers: Yeah, see, my handicap is just embarrassing. So this is. This is already why I want to be like you.
Art Wiederman, CPA: But my joke is that my handicap is my golf game. But, no, it's getting a lot better. Yeah, but. But, I mean, it is. I mean, if people, everybody do you think everybody has someone they look up to, it could be a parent. It could be a, you know, someone, it could be in dentistry, it could be a Gordon Christiansen that type of a person. I mean, could be Dr. Panky. I mean, it could be all those things. But that's important that someone has someone that they can emulate?
Chelsea Myers: I think it's important that someone has a goal to grow and develop. And so if we decide that we are great, just with everything exactly as it is, I actually feel like that's a great recipe to go backwards because you're never going to stay or plateau. You're either moving forwards or you're moving away from the level of development and involvement that you could have as a human, as a leader, as a dental professional in all directions. We've got to be growing an aspiring towards more.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And that's a great Chelsea. That's a great point because a lot of people get complacent as owners, not just dentists, all business owners. And, you know, you never want to do that. The day you become complacent, the day you stop marketing, the day you stop learning, the day you stop growing is the day your business, in my opinion, starts to die. So why I mean, that's a big part of what you and I are talking about today. I mean, business owners need to be adaptable to change, don't they? I mean, why is that? You know, why is that important?
Chelsea Myers: Yeah, well, you know, in especially in dental, our environments are fast paced and multifaceted, so we're constantly observing and concluding and our brains are suggesting action based on our perception of programing. And like you mentioned, we want to increase our ability to be flexible and adaptable so that our responses are aligned with our ultimate goals. And for my clients and most people that I talk to, that includes leading highly productive teams to. Propel the success of their business or organization. I don't actually believe most people don't want to grow or don't want to improve. I believe they have recognized that's easier.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So some of the aspects of a you know, change and transition that you coach people on. In other words, you come into an office and you talk to a doctor and that doctor is they're calling you because something is wrong, that their business is not doing well. They don't feel right. They don't feel like their team. My team isn't doing a good job. So where do you start with somebody? I mean, where do you what are you looking for when you're talking to somebody to see how you can change them? I mean, how do we how do we start this conversation about change?
Chelsea Myers: So, at Dental Life Coach, everything has been designed around health, happiness and success. Because I'm not guessing. I know that if one of those three things is lacking, the other two eventually get held back and something snaps or breaks. I like to use the visual of a rubber band on three prongs, and if only two of those prongs are moving forward, the immovable prong begins to cause tension and tightening until it either needs to become a strong focal point that we solve for or becomes the reason that the other two areas aren't advancing to their potential. So when we're working with clients, we are heavily invested in creating solutions around their individual needs. And so that takes a conversation to assess. Sometimes people know exactly what's holding them back. Maybe this is their communication style, maybe this is their inability to try and fail and continue to sustain their motivation to move forward. Sometimes they don't know what it is. It's not uncommon, particularly with our younger dentists, to say, I don't actually know what I want. I just know that I'm not feeling fulfilled. And so that takes a little bit more discovery.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So some of the things I was reading on and some of the stuff and we talked about earlier is talk about a dentist being more present. Do you find that dentists are not? I mean, they come in, they say sometimes I have. Dentists give me my hand. Please give me my lunch, give me my paycheck. Leave me alone and I'm good, right. But that that's not the best way to do this. So how about being how is how can a dentist be more present in their practice?
Chelsea Myers: So it's gotta come from the dentist. So if the dentist is noticing that he or she is lacking connection, then we can work on that. But if they're not noticing that we need to work on self-awareness and really self-awareness is so incredibly powerful because once we become aware of what we're thinking and can see how what we're thinking impacts how we're feeling and acting towards others, we are in a whole different seat of control to change and improve and develop. Right. But if we're not aware of it yet, then sometimes those conversations come from, you know, regionals or stakeholders saying, hey, we've got something we need to work with here. And so can we have a training or a conversation about connection and communication?
Art Wiederman, CPA: So a lot of times I see that dentists just are not good communicators and their teams know what they can do, what they can't do, and they're not all in and they don't have a leader. So when you when you get a client and you see that they've got communication issues or personally, I mean, where do you start with them? What do you do? You have them read a book. Do you give them I mean, you sit down and really get into their life. And how do you how do you do a little bit about what you do?
Chelsea Myers: We actually have yeah, I have a really robust LMS system. So we've got video and we've got interactive courses. We have training modules and workbooks. I do have people read books from time to time. I'm going through two different book studies right now, which is fantastic for me because I get to revisit these concepts and see where my areas of opportunity are as a leader. But you know, it really. If a doctor says, I'm not a good communicator or I'm having trouble leading my team. Some indicators of that are going to be a team that's not cohesive or consistently responsive. Sometimes it means we've got retention issues. Really what we want to do is we want to increase revenue. We want to increase retention. We want to improve the culture of our organizations and ultimately increase the doctors take home.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And sometimes I find that a doctor needs to be a little vulnerable and say, listen, I want to be a better leader. I need your help. And a lot of times, just asking for the team's help goes a long way, doesn't it?
Chelsea Myers: Absolutely. You know, I think that everybody in the you know, in the leadership realm is familiar with Brene Brown at this point. And, you know, her bringing to light the power of vulnerability has been just so impactful. If it wasn't already on our radar, it sure is now. And when you humanize your approach with your team members, it doesn't mean that you that you murky the waters of, you know, the org chart. It means that you're creating connection and saying, hey, I know how to do this and I'm working on this other thing. You know, I was talking with Pat Bauer the other day, the CEO of Heartland Dental, and we were talking about the pandemic. And he was very candid with his team and said, you know, I don't know what this is going to look like. But I'll tell you what, I'm going to put every bit of effort that I have into figuring it out and taking care of this company. And that's what they did.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And that well, Heartlands, they've got a couple of hundred close to a thousand offices. They may even be at that over a thousand now. It's a huge, huge, huge dental company. And so, you know, Chelsea, I want you to take a second. And folks, I want to make this comment. We talk about all kinds of things on this podcast. We talk about saving taxes, we talk about retirement. But at the end of the day, in your dental practice, if you want to be successful, I have been convinced for 38 years, 38 years that I've been a dental CPA, that being a good leader. And I learned it myself through when I was with the Pride Institute from Jim Pride and Phil Whitener for you gray hairs like me. I learned about leadership and I learned about, you know, being a leader.
And it's not rocket science. I'm not trying to, you know, put down what it's just doing the right things and knowing how to do it. And if there's something going on in your practice, in your life that is holding your practice back from being everything that it could be to where you can go into your office every day and say, Oh my God, I'm so excited to be here, as opposed to maybe some of you go, Oh, what's going to happen today? Is Susie at the front desk going to have another melt down? Are we going to have a terrible patient who's going to be mad at her? I mean, if that's where you're at, I want you to think about maybe having a conversation with Chelsea. So, Chelsea, tell us a little bit about your company, how you work, and what if people want to get a hold of you to just have a conversation about what's going on in their life? How does that work?
Chelsea Myers: Yeah, you know, I would say probably the best thing to do is just let's hop on a call and see where you're at. And I either will help, you know, what we can do to help you or make a strong recommendation of someone else that could maybe do a better job. I want to make sure that we're taking care of our people in the industry, but my website is www.dentallife.coach and my email is Chelsea@DentalLife.coach. I'm also on LinkedIn and some other things, so do reach out to me in any of those any of those departments and I'll make sure that we take care of you.
Art Wiederman, CPA: You want to just get those out? You want you got a phone number or just, just the website in the in the email?
Chelsea Myers: Really I think the email would be most effective.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Perfect. Okay. So guys, if you have a if you have a question, something doesn't feel right. You want to talk something through this lady is I mean, the more I've gotten to know her, the more I just really like talking to her, cause she's just really smart and knows how to take things in different directions. I'm required by law to say that my guests are smart or they just shut off button, right. And stuff like that. So. So there you go.
Chelsea, let's get into stress, overwhelm and stress. And obviously, as we've talked a little bit, the beginning of the podcast, I mean, there has never been higher stress, I don't think, than what this pandemic caused. And I don't want to get into a whole thing about the pandemic unless you want to take it that way. That's fine with me. But, you know, you talk about overwhelm and stress. And so when you work with a dentist who's in overwhelm, they're stressed, it could be financial stress, it could be marital stress, it could be staff stress that every time they come in, they don't even want to look at their team because they don't like them. I mean, you see that, too. So, you know, regarding overwhelm and stress, when you work with an entrepreneur, you know, what are some routes that you find?
Chelsea Myers: Some of the things that I see. The first one that came to mind is you were mentioning all of those different examples is just the way that we sometimes compound our own stress. By overthinking or thinking things that aren't necessarily true. And so if I let's take the team, for example, if I'm frustrated and stressed out and I don't like my team and I think that and I think about that enough, it's going to become a really negative environment that I'm dwelling in, right? Because we all live in our own heads. And so the next time that I see those team members, it's highly probable because of the way that the brain functions, that it's going to be looking for pieces of examples and evidence to support the belief I have that this is not a likable team and everything that they do wrong or everything they don't do right or everything that could be done better is going to jump out at me. And so. Not to negate from the fact that there may be actual and genuine reasons in our lives that things are less peaceful than we'd like. What I'm saying is we can make it worse depending on where we're placing our focus. You know, one thing I like to do is just question. Is that even true? Like, do I even know I don't like these people? Like, why are they irritable to me? Why are they frustrating? And do I want to keep thinking about that? Is that even true about them? You know, and sometimes the answer is yes. The you know, they're this, this, this. I don't really have a desire to be around those people any more than I want to be around those people. So then the solution would be to redirect how often I'm thinking about that, because it doesn't feel good and it puts me in a negative environment. Right?
Art Wiederman, CPA: But yeah, you're right. But you have to figure out, I mean, it could be that the doctor is the problem and the doctor is the one and that they have a really good team. But that doctor, because of his or her actions, are, you know, making it such that that team cannot be the great team that, you know, it could be. And they really are good people and the. So what do you do when you start talking to someone and the doctor is the problem? How do you approach that?
Chelsea Myers: Well, Art, this might come as a surprise, but that's usually the problem because.
Art Wiederman, CPA: That's not a surprise to me.
Chelsea Myers: And you can relate to this, I'm sure, because it's true for me too, when my team is performing to the level that I'd prefer, and we're talking about people who I want to keep on the team, right? We're not talking about people who aren't really a good fit for our organization anyway. Right. But if these are the people that you want to keep around and they have potential and they're just not measuring up, it looks like I have some room to do as a leader. I need to look and figure out where do I need to develop as a leader to inspire and encourage the types of growth and behaviors that I'm hoping for in these team members that I've already decided are worth keeping.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I remember about 15 years ago. Something was not going right. My CPA practice and I've told this story in the podcast, I believe when you when you've done almost 200 podcasts, you don't remember what you saying from one that, you know, being a podcaster or. Yeah, but I went to this dentist CPAs boot camp back in upstate New York, and I finally realized that I needed to make some changes. I needed to come back and I needed to be a better leader and I needed to have a plan. And I came back and I put a plan together. And, you know what happened is the first time I ever did it, my team stood up and applauded. They said they almost said, like, Art it's about time that you did this. And then we started building and the business did well and all this kind of stuff. And it was it was really, really, really great. So when you have a doctor who they are, the problem are you able to get through to them and say, Doctor, you know, it's not your team, we need to work on you? And do they get that? And if they don't get that, what can we do to make them get that?
Chelsea Myers: Yeah, you know what they actually do? I work with some absolutely fantastic individuals and what I have found over the years of working with people and just, you know, when you were introducing me at the beginning, you talked about refining and designing my programs. I think that I've gotten to the point where I understand best how to see things, how they're best received by people. But the people that I'm working with, they want to improve. They're coming to us because they want to know, how can I reach that next level? And so for the most part, we've got people who are looking for those types of conversations to take place. And in these coaching conversations, they're not only learning about themselves, but as they develop, they're learning how to then approach others in a way that still cultivates that environment of trust that we need to have in our teams for people to feel safe developing.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I would also imagine that when you do your work, Chelsea, a lot of the information you get from talking to the dental team gives you a lot of insight that the doctor might not share with you. Does that happen a lot?
Chelsea Myers: Sometimes, yeah. Sometimes there's interesting perspectives that aren't being picked up on, and so we can help create clarity and help people develop a wider repertoire of questions they can ask or ways to answer that feels comfortable to them, but is still bringing to light the important issues and opening up channels of communication that need to exist for those transformations to take place on the teams.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And I have found, and you can comment on this, that most teams when you present change that's positive and that's good for the practice that most teams will embrace. And the great thing about a process like what you take your clients through is don't you find out who the bad apples are? In other words, people go, Well, you know, everything is fine the way it is because I get to come in, fill a seat, do nothing for 8 hours and get a paycheck. They don't quite say it that way, but that's what they do. But does it this process that you put your clients through, Chelsea, doesn't it really allow you to to find out who the real great team players are and who the the people who need an exit strategy are? Doesn't it, isn't that what happens?
Chelsea Myers: It is. You know, people want to be a part of something that's moving and growing in the direction that they hope you personally. Right. And I was just I'm smiling as you say this because there's a client that's been working with us for several months now, and she has just made absolutely outstanding progress as a doctor, as a leader, as a professional. I mean, she is going places. I'm so excited for her. I'd want to hire her. And as she's been going through these changes, her team has just transformed and it's just been so exciting. And every time I talk with her, there's just this new cool thing that's happening except for with that one girl. And that one girl seems to be she's now at at the point where she's like, I think I've got to let her go. And she's really struggling with this because she's had this team member for a really long time. And we were having the conversation that, you know that team member may have been a great fit when she came on years ago because of where everyone else was at. But now, as you've grown and up level as a leader and as your team has grown and developed. If that's not who and what she wants to participate in, if that's not what she's about and it's not going to motivate her to come to work each day, one of two things happens either she starts to taint the culture and we start seeing resentment build up among team members who are wondering why that person's not pulling their weight, why they're dragging the team down, why they're allowed to do that, or she leaves. And so, you know, we've got to make those decisions sometimes, but. Really even that in that conversation, we were able to. Their silver lining in all of it, isn't there, because.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Oh, yeah.
Chelsea Myers: Even if this team member leaves, she will have been a better she'll show she's leaving a better person having been a part of this team. She's had access to the guidance and training. She's had access to the coaching with. Not only Dental Life Coach, but just other supports that have been put in place over the years. And so one of the things that I think can be neglected when we approach those types of transitions is that sometimes we're opening the door for that person who's made themself an obvious misfit in this group. Now, maybe she's a perfect fit on another team, and by opening that door, she's going to be able to find where she can thrive and grow.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So as with the doctor, when you see the doctor and you say, doctor, you're kind of the issue here. We need to make these changes. Are you able to work? Have you ever had situations where you have that one person like you're talking about who just doesn't fit and you can really sit down and you say, Yeah, there's really a good team member there. We just need this team member to make some changes. Does that happen?
Chelsea Myers: You know, I think I differentiate myself as a coach from a consultant in the sense that I don't tell my doctors or even really strongly advise who they should and shouldn't keep. I help my doctors understand what they are thinking or, you know, help my CEOs understand which. Same thing with the doctors that they're dealing with. Help them get really clear on what they want and strategize that rather than make recommendations on personnel.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I see. Okay. Before we get on, I want to talk about competence here in a second. But you work with a lot of multiple practice owner groups, like larger groups, right? I do. How is that? How is the coaching? Because then you've got layers of management and CFO and I.T. and H.R. and all the stuff that goes along with owning multiple locations. How does your coaching differentiate when you're coaching with someone who owns multiple practices as opposed to someone who owns one dental office?
Chelsea Myers: You know, you're right. I'd say it like you said it. It's the layers. You know, there's a lot of change management when you talk about the groups, whether that's, you know, adding new associates or merging smaller DSOs into a bigger group or implementing new tech, outsourcing, those types of things. And there's really not one definition or right way to implement change, especially those big transitions. But with change management, one thing is certain and that's that we need everyone aligned and engaged in the movement and assuring that the human aspect of the organization is being addressed. And so one of the biggest oversights I'd say, that we see is when an organization will expand or acquire a new practice or merge with another organization and neglect to put in place the right supports to facilitate the people component of those acquisitions.
One of the clients that I began working with fractionally as a cultural executive had acquired a few smaller groups and had a lot of great operational pieces in place, but had a lack in getting buy in and creating that electric culture that they had envisioned. And so luckily they had the awareness that things weren't going as planned and that it was lacking. We began making incredible gains. But I'd say that having alignment with the executive team and the stakeholders is crucial for a growing organization because whatever you're going to scale. Is going to scale accordingly. So if you've got dysfunction and disorganization that scales and I think it scales more quickly and more easily than organization and unity does.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Okay. One more thing on the DSOs. And again, we could do a whole podcast on how to, you know, life coaching DSO owners. I get a lot of doctors who call me up and they go, you know, I want to own 50 practices in the next three years. I want to own ten practices by the end of this year. So what can you say to one of our listeners out there who says, you know, I do have some entrepreneurial spirit and I want to own multiple practices and I want to I want to do this as part of my plan and all this stuff. What would be the the mental brain coaching, life coaching aspect that you would say to somebody before they start that journey?
Chelsea Myers: Mm hmm. So what I've learned, you know, I've had a handful of practices, a couple of dental businesses Dental Life Coach, of course. So I'm not I'm speaking from experience and then also from the experience of my clients. What I would say is that particularly in connection with stress and overwhelm that can come from owning businesses and building businesses, is that your planning phase cannot be overlooked. In fact, I don't know if I can emphasize enough the importance of laying your plan out, having it in very manageable chunks so you don't have to know every single step, but you do need to have the supports in place. And so you've got to have your accountants in place. You need to have your advisors in place. You need to have a clarity around where it is you want to go and what the next thing is you need to do and what that looks like for you.
Because when we don't have clarity, we get overwhelmed. It feels like so much. But really, when you break it down, you know, it's kind of like looking at a big laundry basket. It looks kind of daunting, but if you kind of break it down, you're like, Well, there's just towels, and then there's the whites and then there's some socks. It's not as overwhelming because you can just do the towels now come back in the do the whites and then do socks, you know.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I'm never able to match up socks. So I always have like the socks. Maybe you can, maybe I can hire you as a consultant to help me to make sure that my socks match up. Can we do that?
Chelsea Myers: You know what? My husband taught me this really valuable lesson when we got married, and it's that you don't fold the socks over each other, you just lay them on top of each other so that the elastic stays intact.
Art Wiederman, CPA: You know, that made this whole podcast worthwhile for me. All the other stuff you said, I'm just kidding. I'm like, there's so much I want to talk to you about. Talk about confidence. I know that that a lot of people lack confidence. I can't do this. I can't go after what I want. I'm not good enough. I mean, that might even go back to childhood that, you know, people are told you're not capable. You why would you do I mean, I told my two boys and I talk about my two boys, Nathan and Forrest. I love them to death. They're both really great, great young men and very successful in their own right. And I told each of them, you can do anything you want in this life if you put your mind to it. So talk about confidence, Chelsea. Why is that? That might be the linchpin of the whole darn thing that we're talking about today. And how do you coach people to be more confident?
Chelsea Myers: Okay. So confidence is really fascinating because is not what we think it is. Somehow when we're small, we have genuine confidence and then when we grow up, we have this other version that we think that we're aspiring to have of confidence that does not exist. I want to go backwards. When we're adults and older people, we think that to be confident about something, we need some sort of proof that it can be done or evidence or past experience that points to our supposed success if we go this route. But if we go backwards to when we're little kids, when we're learning to walk or tie our shoes or reaching for a light switch, a lot of times those first times doing those things, there's no proof that we've done it before. There's no past experience having done it. We just assume we can do it, and we keep trying until it works. You know, you keep reaching for that light switch until you can touch it. You keep trying to walk until you no longer fall. And so when we're paralleling that with our professional lives, presumably you've never been five years into the future, whatever that looks like for you professionally. So to have confidence to keep going and growing, it's not going to be because you've already been there. It's going to be because you're sure that no matter what that experience is like, you have the mental, emotional and spiritual tools to get there. And if you don't, you need to access them, get them in place now, because that's where the true an underlying confidence is going to come from, that we're all going to need to take those next steps and to sustain the motivation. When things get really uncomfortable and when everyone around you is going, you have four practices. Why do you need anymore? But you really, really want ten? You're going to need a level of confidence that doesn't come from proof or past experience. It only comes from the absolute determination and security that you have, that you can do it like you told your boys. You could absolutely do it.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Exactly. And I've shared with my audience that I visited a clinical psychologist several years ago, because there are some things I mean, you know, just because you run a podcast doesn't mean that your life is perfect and wonderful. And everything in my life is pretty darn good. I have no complaints. But the fact is, I had some issues in my life that I needed to talk to a professional about. And this this doctor taught me about the difference between faith and fear. And faith and fear is and I'll tell this story again. I told you a couple of times, but I can't tell it more. I mean, it's really right there. So you got two people standing on one side of the river, Chelsea, and they got to get across the other side of the river. So the person who lives in fear says, I'm going to jump to the first rock, but I'm not going to the next step until I'm absolutely positive that that next step is guaranteed that I can get there. That's fear. And then she explains to me, the person who has faith goes to the first rock and says, You know what, this is going to happen. I'm going to get to the other side. It's just going to happen. I'm going to make it happen. I'm going to find a way. I mean, is that a little bit about confidence and kind of what we're talking about here?
Chelsea Myers: Yeah, it really is. And then I think the other component to it is how we're talking to our self throughout that process. You see the learning centers in the brain shut down when they feel threatened or humiliated or discouraged. And so parenting style, leadership style and self leadership style become really important if advancing is the goal. We need to be accountable but approachable in our own self talking and our own coaching of ourselves as we move throughout, you know, from step to step or stone to stone.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, as it sounds like in the work and again, I want to talk in a second here about personal awareness, but it sounds like in the work that you do, doctors, if you're going to work with somebody like Chelsea and who's a life coach and who's going to help to get you to where your life is better, your practice is better, it's going to affect your personal relationships, your marriage, your family and everything like that. You know, as long as you have a really good attitude about it, if you're willing to change, if you're not willing to change, I know there's something wrong, but I like I'm not going to change anything. I had a lecture Chelsea 35 years ago. I was speaking and I remember this was in Waco, Texas, and I walked up to a doctor and this doctor says, Well, all right, like everything you said, can you refer me to a dental management consultant? But I don't want to change anything in my office. Really? Did you just say that to me?
Chelsea Myers: Uh huh.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Really? So, I mean, but the good news is most of the folks that that come to, you know, that they want to make some changes and that's really important. So. Talk about personal awareness. I know that on your podcast and in your coaching, the articles you've written you, that's a really important thing. I mean, how does it how does personal awareness relate to creating success.
Chelsea Myers: You know? So where do you spend your thoughts and what your time in your head really looks like tells the future of your life and your goals. So your life is really evidence of what you think and believe. If I think and believe that my family's important to me, you probably will see me interacting with them and making time to have experiences with them. If I think that might, my family can wait until I reach a certain benchmark at work, or until I do X, Y and Z personal things. You will probably see me doing those other things in place of spending time with my family. I'm not saying one of those is right or wrong. I'm saying that my actions will indicate what I'm thinking about. And so if we don't like the results in our life, let's take that example.
Let's say I don't like that I'm doing 500 other things and not spending time with my family. I need to get really clear on what I'm thinking about and understand what I believe. And so there may need to be some adjustments in the way that I'm prioritizing so that all of the important things are taking care of it. Or maybe I need to delegate some things, or maybe I just need to accept that there are seasons for things and figure out which ones are really most important to me. But thoughts and beliefs are subject to change. And so saying that my family's important to me in saying that my business is important to me. Those things can both be true. It doesn't make one more important than the other. It just means that at different times I may find that there's a priority on one or the other based on my current thoughts and beliefs.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And as long as you're dealing with your family and your family knows, hey, listen, you know, we have I mean, I had a client who had an associate dentist who walked out of the office with 60% of the practice. Well, that doctor had had to call time out and spend time on his practice, and that's what he had to do. That was really important. But it's all about communications. So we get I'd love to talk to you for two days Chelsea. This is just so fascinating to me and I hope it's interesting to you because, again, you know, the brain is a very, very interesting thing.
And Chelsea has brought a lot of really great points about some of this. And one of the things I want to talk about is healthy habits, taking care of yourself. I mean, we're talking about, you know, exercising, eating right. But we're also talking about, you know, mentally getting rid of bad habits that hurts your personal wellbeing. Talk about how you work with doctors on that.
Chelsea Myers: You know, our relationship with our self is so important. And so I found that the health lifestyle that you have impacts the energy that you operate from, which ultimately translates to your results in your life. And so if you think about it, like we've all had the experience where we've over eaten or we've experienced illness, and during these times when we're not feeling physically best, it's a lot harder. At least it's a lot harder for me to keep my mind healthy and active and focused on all of the important things, because I am weighed down by the fact that I physically don't feel good.
And so our physical health can't be neglected. And it's not a crash diet. It's something that we do each day. So I encourage my clients to pick one thing that they can do to implement into their daily life and make a habit. It often helps if you habit stack it. So if you have a morning habit of getting up at 6 a.m. and brushing your teeth, then you might before or after that brushing of your teeth, implement your habits. So a lot of people like to start with implementing a meditation if they don't already.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And let me stop you right there. When I went to the therapist, she encouraged me and I started meditating. And folks, I am not a clinical psychologist. I don't play one on TV. I am not qualified to advise you. But I will tell you that meditation has changed my life. And this is interesting, Chelsea, I want to share this because I do share stuff with my audience. And what I do is I'll basically sit there for ten or 15 minutes and I will just shut my eyes in a quiet place, both feet on the ground. I'll go peace calm. And I try and do it. And then things pop into your head and they pop in your head, you pop them out of your head and you start back again. At the end of the day, you look at your things and you say, You know what? And this is what she taught me is, you know, yeah, you've got these issues you worry about, but you've got all this support. You've got your wife, you've got your kids, you've got your best friend, you've got this, you've got that, you've got this. And you can do this. And this is what I mean. And again, I'm not giving a course on meditation because I'm not qualified to, but meditation has it can really help people, can't it?
Chelsea Myers: Oh, my gosh. It's just incredible. And I was going to ask you, do you have a favorite meditation style that you do?
Art Wiederman, CPA: No, I just I do what I mean, sometimes I use the app Calm. Actually, our firm provides that. I think it's great, but I'll just sit there, I'll shut my eyes and I'll just start relaxing and just say to myself, peace calm for 10 minutes or so, I'll put a timer on. And then at the end I'll think about something that I'm concerned about. I'll go, Well, this is how this is going to work and this is how I'm going to get there. And I can do this. And this is not a disaster. Right. And that's kind of I mean, it may not be the most scientific meditation, but, you know.
Chelsea Myers: It's fantastic. You know, positive intelligence is one of the areas that I spent a lot of time researching. And one of the things that we learn is that we can train our brains to respond to us consistently in the ways that we want with that programing. But it requires that we have a really good understanding of using that prefrontal cortex to be the director of what we want to think about and requiring our minds to stay focused on it. And so with meditation, like you were mentioning, things pop up even when you're trying to just have that clear headspace for the moment. The longer that we implement that meditation practice, and the more that we require our brain to obey us, rather than give us directives and give us things to think about, the better we're able to translate what we want in our life to actual realized goals.
Art Wiederman, CPA: The other and that's a great point. The other thing that I have realized through the process that I've gone through is that I really I used to stress about things that I have no control over. Here's a perfect example, folks. Again, we're recording this podcast on the 27th of September, and it's going to air sometime in October. So the stock market may turn around, but the stock market has gotten throttled. I mean, the Dow is down over 30%. The Nasdaq is down, I think 23%. And you know what, guys? I have no control over what the stock market does, so I can't worry about it. Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't be looking and watching and making moves on that, but I've learned, Chelsea in my life, I try my best that yeah, I worry about things that I do control and I try and change that, but things I have no control over. I have no control over, you know, what's going on in Europe. I have no control over a lot of things that that. Yeah. And I can't because if I worry about them, I can't change them. Is that makes sense?
Chelsea Myers: Yeah, totally. You know, I think one thing that we all agree on is that music makes us feel things. And I find it remarkable that we'll be really quick to change the song or the radio station if we don't like a song or the way it's making us feel or the memory it's creating. But we're really slow to change our environment of people if the people we've been hanging around are creating that negative energy, or if the media that we're engaging in social media, you know, TV, whatever it is, is kind of a downer. It can be a little more tricky. And so it's really important going back to just being intentional and knowing what we're thinking and how we're feeling, it's really important to pay attention to those things because, you know, when I'm around someone who's got it just a down attitude about life, I don't want to be around very long because I don't want to catch it.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Right. No, you're absolutely right. And I have met some people like that and I just try and avoid them. We need to put a bow on this. Unfortunately, I want you to hit some things. You have a you have a workshop on building trust within teams, which I think is really important. Talk a little bit about that and then I want to just kind of one more chance to give you an opportunity to talk a little bit about what services your company provides. And we'll give out contact information and then call it a podcast. So talk about your team building, building trust within your teams and your workshop on that. And then a little more about what other services you offer.
Chelsea Myers: Yeah. Thank you. So, you know, building trust on teams is this has come from years of people just asking for similar types of trainings within their groups. And what we focus on with that workshop is that even when there's uncertainty and even when there are risks and changes and challenges, how do we create the results that we want while nurturing an environment that's open and safe for others? And what that looks like is developing the trust so that there can be that emotional exposure that leads to rich conversations, that leads to problem solving and bonding as a team. Because, you know, the truth is, is that we have choices where to work. Right. And, you know, we had the great resignation and then we had the quiet quitting. Now we have the quiet firing. I mean, we have all of these lack of cohesiveness and different, you know, tags and hashtags to go with them. But what it really boils down to is people are only going to stay if their perception of their experience at work is one that they want to repeat day after day. Right. So got to create environments that people want to be in.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Yeah. So one more time, a little bit about what services you offer and contact information and then I'll ask you to stay with me as I take the podcast out. So tell us again a little bit about the services, what you provide and then how people get to hold you.
Chelsea Myers: Yep. So Dental Life Coach is a full coaching organization. I work with executives and doctors and we have coaches that work with teams. We do workshops and retreats one on one coaching, group coaching. Like I said, we have a really robust LMS system with videos and interactive courses, workbooks and other supplemental materials. And so we really take care of our clients wherever they're at, depending on the goals that they're trying to meet. Our bottom line is that we want to increase revenue, improve retention. We want to have a culture that is exciting, that people want to be a part of that scalable. And at the end of the day, we want our doctors to be making more money so that they can feel like they're fulfilled and successful in their lives.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I mean, at the end of the day, Chelsea, I have always told people who are looking at hiring a in your case, you're a life coach as opposed to a consultant, but hiring. And so whatever it would be someone to help you with your business, they need to do two things. Number one, they need to help you increase your bottom line. And number two is they need to help you make your business more efficient, effective and enjoyable. I mean, that's pretty much what it comes down to, what you guys do, right?
Chelsea Myers: It really does. And, you know, I'd say the one differentiator that we have is, you know, they're billions of dollars spent on leadership development every year in this country. But at Dental Life Coach, less than 10% of us actually attach our results to a bottom line. And so our clients know exactly where we're starting and they are able to see visibly on a map, on a graph, on a chart how the coaching is impacting the results of the organization.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Fantastic. One more time. How do we get a hold of you here? If folks if I guess that again, if you if there's something that's not right and you need someone to listen to you and to maybe get a feel for what can we change? Because as we all know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So if you need some help, Chelsea, how can we get a hold of you.
Chelsea Myers: www.DentalLife.coach or Chelsea@DentalLife.coach and I'm on LinkedIn Chelsea Myers.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Chelsea. That was fun. I love having conversations like this. It's just I feel like I'm empowered myself. I'm going to go out and lead something. I don't know what I'm going to lead. I'll lead maybe I'll lead my flowers in the front yard. I don't know. I'll figure something out. But thank you so much. If you would hang with me as I take the podcast out. Thank you so, so much for your great, great information.
Chelsea Myers: Thank you. It was a lot of fun. Art.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And ladies and gentlemen, thank you again for the honor and privilege of your time. I know how valuable that is. I'm very excited to be able to bring people like Chelsea Myers and the other folks that we've got coming up to you. Because, again, my legacy, as I've told you before, 38 years of serving the dental profession, I want to be able to say at the end of the day that I helped people. I really do. I helped people. And helping people is just so, so important.
I'll just share one thing. I was at dinner with one of my one of my dear friends, husband and wife, and the spouse had had a special birthday. And they told us a story of one of their best friends who I didn't know where they were, just had kids and all this stuff. And this individual, not a dentist, was 72 years old and was riding, we were talking about bicycling trips that I had just taken a bicycling trip to Italy. And this individual horribly, sadly, was hit by a drunk driver and killed. And what I did is and this is not about promoting how I'm a wonderful person, but this is the type of stuff. I went to my friend and I said, listen, I said, if your friend, the surviving spouse, has a great financial advisor, that's wonderful. If they just have some questions, I don't want her as a client. I don't want to make any money from her. If they need help on this stuff, just have her call me. This is the type of stuff that we like to do that I like to do. Why I love having people like Chelsea Myers on my program because, you know, I want your lives to be better.
Dentists are wonderful, wonderful, caring human beings. That's why I've been so honored and privileged to spend my life coaching them as a financial coach, if you will. So anyway, with that said, we I just hit the microphone. I was so excited about that. You might have heard that. I hope they can edit that out. I don't know. But anyway, please go to our partner Decisions in Dentistry magazine www.DecisionsinDentistry.com. 140 fantastic clinical courses for a very very reasonable price. Go to www.DecisionsinDentistry.com.
If you need some help on your taxes, finances, metrics of your dental practice, who's going to win the World Series? I don't know. I told you, my protege who I coached in Little League, Shane Bieber, his Cleveland guardians won the American League Central. We're excited that he's going to the playoffs. So since I can't root for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the playoffs, I'm rooting for the Guardians. So we'll see what happens with that.
But if you need any help by us, my number is 657.279.3243 and my email is awiederman@EideBailly.com and look at our Academy of Dental CPAs www.ADCPA.org. 25 CPA firms across the country of which we are a member and that a founding member that represent over 10,000 dentists.
And with that said, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much again for listening to the podcast. I hope this is helpful to you and if you feel inclined and you like what you heard, give Chelsea a call. We will see you next time on the Art of Dental Finance and Management with Art Wiederman, CPA. We'll see you next time.