What To Do When You Are Burned Out With Dentistry

Picture of by Dr David Phelps

by Dr David Phelps

Many doctors and dentists are burned out today.

They are exhausted from being a practicing dentist – fixing the same problems, dealing with the same issues, managing their employees and patients, the grind of running a business.

I've seen a lot of it in the last couple of years, particularly strained and induced by Covid – the great resignation, staff shortages, patients that are short on money, canceling last minute, etc.

The toll on so many people, especially business owners, is evident.

Now, I don’t have a magic bullet to knock out all your problems. I can't sprinkle any fairy dust over the problem and make that better by itself. BUT what I do know how to do is show others the ability to take pressure off of yourself. Remove that feeling and weight of having to drive all the time.

I get it. I've been there. I've been that person. You have to drive, drive, drive and make it happen. If you’re not hitting certain numbers, taking enough money home each month and have the money you think you need for retirement, then it is very stressful and it takes its toll. Not just on you, but on a lot of other people around you.

The Price of Success

I often ask, “Who else is paying the price for what we take on as entrepreneurs and business owners?”

I'm not saying it’s easy to make a change. I'm saying there are other people who depend upon us, not just for our financial security, but for us to be present. Those are our family, children, spouses.

The price that’s being paid for our drive, our ambition, stress of running a practice – it starts at home. When we're checked out or when we're feeling the stress, they feel it too. We don't want them to feel it or notice, but that kind of strain still creates tension. That’s not what we want in any of our relationships.

Of course family isn’t the only relationship being affected. This bleeds out into other relationships as well. Staff can sense our emotions and our mood, even if we don't say anything. They feel how we feel. Patients are going to pick up on that as well. They can sense what’s going on in the environment.

So, what's the answer?

The answer is not the traditional financial model

You still have to keep plowing and working hard, but perhaps you're not working as smart as you could be. I'm not speaking about your practice (That's another area that should definitely be explored and optimized when it comes to leadership and the model you have).

Today, I want to discuss the goal you have for your money.

You might want or need to take more time off. Not necessarily retire from practice, but just free up your time away from the practice to do more of what you actually want. This is giving yourself permission to live life today.

The problem is that most people put their hopes and plans with financial advisors who do the best they can do, but never actually give their clients an actual number (a defined metric or goal) that they need to retire.

Usually it's very obtuse and extremely high, with no clear planning as to why you need that much (What will it go towards? What portions should be designated towards taxes, mortgage, legacy planning, etc.? Where’s the specificity?).

To live the lifestyle you're living, the cost of living and your age right now, they say to shoot for around $8 million. And that might be for someone who's relatively in a later stage in life. If you're younger, they're telling people $10 to $15 million.

I'm not against shooting for those numbers, but that just means more stress that weighs on you right now. If you think reaching for those high numbers is doing you a lot more harm than good (to your health and relationships), maybe it’s time to look for an alternative. 

There’s a better way to less stress, not getting burned out, and more time

What if you had a game plan that wasn’t just a pie-in-the-sky number? A plan that is more than just an accumulation number of the commonly used and constantly failed financial model?

What if you had a number that was actually much smaller, more specific and could be satisfied by recurring, reliable cash flow with an inflation hedge?

What if I told you that there are assets that exist that keep up with inflation and also continue to produce sustainable cash flow? Even if you weren't ready to retire, sell your practice, or free up your time from your career?

Just knowing that number doesn't have to be 8, 10, 15, $20 million is a major game changer. 

The question is… how? 

The first step is to surround yourself with people who have already done exactly that. Those who have successfully made that plan work. Those people are, unfortunately, not your financial advisors. Your financial advisor is still working for a paycheck for a reason. They do the best they can, but I’m telling you what you’ll come to already know – Their best is not enough.

I can attest to this non-traditional model because I’ve done it myself. I left my practice years ago when my daughter was very sick. I was able to do this because I had the passive cash flow, not dependent upon me trading my time for it.

The passive cash flow gave me the flexibility and freedom to live my life the way I wanted to live it, when I needed to with my daughter.

But it’s not just me. Today, we have a community of dozens of other doctors who are successfully using this same model. The members of Freedom Founders are doing the same thing in much less time than they thought was ever possible.

So, it's up to you. You can continue to grind it out the way you've been grinding, thinking this is the only way out. OR you can look for a different path.

You can take small steps and take a look at things little by little, but I invite you to consider other options that aren’t mainstream.

It's your life. Your choice. Your freedom. Make the most of it.

To your freedom!

– David


P.S. Whenever you’re ready, here are some other ways I can help fast track you to your Freedom goal (you’re closer than you think) :


1. Schedule a Call with My Team:

If you’d like to replace your active practice income with passive investment income within 2-3 years, and you have at least $1M in available capital (can include residential/practice equity or practice sale), then schedule a call with my team. If it looks like there is a mutual fit, you’ll have the opportunity to attend one of our upcoming member events as a guest. www.freedomfounders.com/schedule

2. Become a Full-Cycle Investor:

There are many self-proclaimed genius investors today who think everything they touch turns to gold. But they’re about to learn the hard way what others have gained through “expensive” experience. I’m offering a free report on how to become a full-cycle investor, who knows how to preserve and grow capital in Up and Down markets. Will you be prepared when the inevitable recession hits? Get your free report here.

3. Get Your Free Retirement Scorecard:

Benchmark your retirement and wealth-building against hundreds of other practice professionals, and get personalized feedback on your biggest opportunities and leverage points. Click here to take the 3 minute assessment and get your scorecard.

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