Elevate Your Dental Practice: Unlocking the Business Side of Dentistry


Podcast Summary

In a conversation between Chad Duplantis, a dentist and co-host of the podcast “Dentists in the Know,” and Shawn Zajas, the importance of planning for the future in dentistry and embracing the business mindset is discussed. Chad emphasizes the need to think about the end game in dentistry and the value of building a practice that is sellable or has investment-grade potential. He challenges the negative connotations often associated with considering the end of a dental career and highlights the importance of creating something of value that can be passed on or sold. 

Chad and Shawn acknowledge that dentistry is not just about providing clinical excellence but also about understanding the business side of things. They recognize that having a successful practice with traction, a following, and influence is valuable in the dental industry. They discuss the potential financial benefits of structuring a practice well and positioning it as an investment-grade practice that can be sold for a higher multiple. Chad shares insights from his conversations with industry experts like Victoria Peterson, who distinguish between simply selling a practice and having a practice with investment value. 

The conversation also touches on the challenges of venturing into new areas and acquiring new skills. Shawn shares his experience of underestimating the complexity of podcasting before he started his own podcast, and how outsiders may perceive certain tasks as challenging even though they become second nature with experience. They discuss the importance of embracing a beginner’s mindset and overcoming the fear of failure and humiliation when starting something new. Chad shares his own journey of realizing that not everyone will be pleased in dentistry, and that it is essential to accept that and focus on being true to oneself. 

Chad and Shawn delve into the topic of handling adversity and the fear of being misunderstood. They emphasize that it is impossible to please everyone and that hate or criticism often stems from jealousy. They encourage listeners to focus on the positive feedback and impact they make rather than dwelling on the negativity. They discuss the power of regrets and the importance of taking risks and not being afraid of uncertainty. They highlight that regretting the things they didn’t do is more significant than the potential failures they could have experienced. They stress the idea that people start paying attention and critics emerge only when individuals are making an impact. 

Throughout the conversation, Chad emphasizes the value of trust, integrity, and playing the long game. He acknowledges the importance of earning trust in business relationships and emphasizes that dentistry is not just a means to an end but should be aligned with personal values and the desire to be remembered for more than professional achievements. Chad credits his partners, Jeff and Jennifer, as well as his family, as his mentors and sources of inspiration. He also pays tribute to Lou Gramm, the founder of catapult education, for his role in Chad’s speaking journey. 

In conclusion, Chad encourages listeners to join the “Dentists in the Know” community on Facebook, follow them on Instagram and YouTube, and listen to their podcast. He highlights their mission to provide valuable information and education to the general public. Chad’s insights and experiences serve as a reminder to dentists and professionals in any field to stay true to themselves, embrace challenges, and focus on making a positive impact.

Connect with Dr. Chad Duplantis:

FB: @DentistsINtheKnow
IG: @dentistsintheknow
Website: https://www.dentistsintheknow.com/


Podcast Transcript

Chad Duplantis 00:00 

In order for me to present, or lecture, or educate whatever you want to call it, I have to be educated myself. 


Shawn Zajas  00:08 

The future of dentistry belongs to the innovators. Welcome to innovation in dentistry. I’m your host, Shawn Zajas. And I believe that the future of dentistry is going to be unbelievably great over the next decade in two decades. But the question isn’t that the question is, are you going to be part of what makes dentistry great? Here I am. And I get the honor and privilege of getting to interview Dr. Chad de plantas. And before I set you up, John, if it’s okay, if I call you Chad, let me first just welcome you. Thank you so much for letting me interview you today. 


Chad Duplantis 00:54 

Oh, thank you very much. Sorry, it was a little laggy there. So I didn’t know if if you stalled out or what. But thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. 


Shawn Zajas  01:04 

So Chad, innovation is pretty broad. Like it could be clinical, it could be technological, lots of different things. But for this podcast, I am obsessed with what is it? That almost gives dental professionals permission to pioneer positive change. Being a hygienist being an office manager, being a dentist is more than enough. It’s a fulfilling career. But I find more often than not that dental professionals somehow, like yourself, almost are like, Yeah, but there’s more I can I can step up, I can lead I can provide more value. And that’s exactly what you’ve done with Dinks among other things, so I just want to know, like, Why? Why did you step up and start innovating and pioneering? 


Chad Duplantis 01:49 

Well, you know, I think it goes to anything is that you, you find a profession or something and just anything in life that you’re either really good at, or you really enjoy. And, you know, when you look around, you see people that are struggling with that same profession or, or that same aspect of life. And you think that maybe that there’s a way that you can enlighten them or help them and show them things that maybe enriched you and bettered you along your journey. And so I would say that’s probably the, the why, you know, as far as I’m concerned, and just just trying to relay my passion, my excitement, you know, in what I do to others, and, and why I’m passionate and excited about it. 


Shawn Zajas  02:46 

Like dentistry, I feel like as a, as a strange industry, maybe as a dentist, you don’t feel that way. But as an outsider, I’m like, Man, you what’s expected of you as a dentist is so difficult, like you’re not just a medical professional, like a doctor that just has to prescribe. You’re the surgeon right. And yet the same exact time, because things haven’t consolidated completely. You’re still a small business owner, when you got thrust into dentistry. Were you aware of like, I don’t know, just the craziness that comes with managing your own business? 


Chad Duplantis 03:19 

No, not at all. And I think that I mean, I think you knew some of it, but I don’t think you know the extent of it, or know how it can impact your career. I mean, there’s, there’s dentists out there that are really good clinically. And there’s dentists out there that are really good on the business sense. And there’s dentists that are a great combination of both. And unfortunately, I don’t know that I’m the world’s best businessman, I’ll be the first to tell you that. I think I’ve I’ve got a decent business sense about me, and I know more than than others who aren’t in business for themselves. But by and large, I’ve learned the business aspect of it from, you know, the school of hard knocks. I mean, I don’t think we’re really taught that very well, in dental school. It’s, it’s, you know, talked about, but I don’t think we’re, we’re really taught to as well. So that’s a long answer to your short question. But the short answer is no, I don’t think I was prepared for everything that I was being thrust into. And I think that’s the same with a lot of dentists that are out there. 


Shawn Zajas  04:30 

So basically, like the listeners hear my whole contention to them is that I know dentistry is going to be great. Like, that’s not my question. My question specifically to that listener is, are they going to be part of what makes dentistry great? Like, are they going to all of a sudden go, Hey, I keep seeing a problem, whether it’s with insurance or whether it’s with the community and dentistry or whether it’s with people knowing what’s going on, I don’t know what specific area and then all of a sudden going well, why not? Why not me? And I feel like that’s exact The way that you and the two doctors that you guys formed drinks with, like, what happened with that? But could you just tell me a little bit about the story of how you guys started DINKs and what things is up to? 


Chad Duplantis 05:11 

Yeah, so, Dinks, for those of you that don’t know, is Dentist in The Know. And it’s, it was kind of a passion project, you know, March of 2023. I don’t know if anybody remembers that far back. But there was apparently this virus going around that, okay, 


Shawn Zajas  05:30 

you just said 2023, or 2020 2020. I’m 


Chad Duplantis 05:33 

sorry. Yeah, scratch that. Let’s go back to March of 2020, there was apparently a virus going around, that had a profound impact on our profession. And so you know, you sit there and at the time, I would say that I was at the height of a speaking career, at least I was on an upward trend. And I was very, very, very busy. And my practice was very busy. My family and I left for a vacation. And as we were leaving for vacation, we were joking in the airport, about I had grabbed some masks from the office, because I don’t think we really knew what all was really going on. And then we came back a week later. And I basically had no job to go to. So you know, you’re sitting there in 2020. And you’re like, what else could go wrong? You know, you think you think, you know, what’s what, what’s possibly the worst day of my life. And here we are, in this day of mass confusion. I’ve got a family to feed, I’ve got no business to speak of everybody is on the schedule. Some people are fearful, some people are not. But basically, you’re just taking all the dollars out of your own pocket by by order of the government. So anyhow, fast forward, I will say that, what I thought was one of the worst days of my career, actually ended up being one of the best. I mean, if you think about it, how many of us are going to take that much time off of work, and have a forced reset and a forced new outlook on life. And so sitting around for a few weeks, we started looking at what dental education was going to look like. And that was obviously going to be very different, what practice was going to look like that was obviously going to be very different. We all knew that at some point in time, we’d go back to work, but we’re going to be walking in looking like Martians are we were we going to be walking in, you know, to practice as usual. So, you know, we spent a lot of time at the office making changes spend a lot of time at home thinking about what the future looks like. And throughout this process, mind you, I had the speaking career that was on an upward trend. I had great relationships with manufacturers. We didn’t know what their positions were going to look like with the economy and what could happen. And so a buddy of mine and I were talking Dr. Jeff Horowitz. And we said, hey, what can we do, you know, during this pandemic, that could be beneficial to the profession. And Jeff says, I’ve been thinking of like a TV show type of deal where we bring manufacturers, we bring educators, we bring dentistry, kind of the forefront and share the people. You know, I almost feel like I’m reading the Bible, but share the good news that’s been shared with us over the past several years, and how we, how how Dentistry has impacted us. And so he said that I said, Dude, that’s like, exactly what I’ve been thinking, you know, how could we do this? And I was like, Well, you know, other people have Facebook forums, you know, maybe we could do that. So that idea kind of went into motion. And obviously, the the original vision has changed. But we were already back in the office. We were on air. I think our first show was around July 4 of 2020, not 2023. And I think since July 4 of 2020. Every Wednesday night, we do this. And I think we’ve missed maybe twice that we didn’t have a show three times at worst, but we’ve always aired something or something and something relevant that maybe we had pre recorded but you know, it’s it’s been a fun journey. 


Shawn Zajas  09:39 

And I love I love the fact that like, like no one came to you and said, Hey, you should do this. No, and then no one also came with this whole idea of by the way chat, it’s gonna work like like, here’s the guarantee that if you step up and try something unique, it’s going to work and you’ve made massive impact. and really inspired and made such a big difference in dentistry from what I’ve seen. And yet, that’s the beauty about innovation is that no one’s going to be able to actually say, though this is going to work you have to grapple with, with the unknown. Before we kind of dive a little bit more into that aspect, when did you start actually speaking? And how did that come about? Because I’m really curious. If you kind of always knew, hey, as a clinician, I think I’m a good communicator, and maybe I can start leading. Or even if, in the beginning of that career, did you have like the whole? I don’t know, like, Can Can I do this? What if, like, did you have the whole self doubts or impostor syndrome? Or were you just pretty much self assured? And you’re like, I got this? 


Chad Duplantis 10:46 

No, I think it’s, you know, I was asked by somebody last week, who wants to get into speaking and I think I kind of fell into it. So my, my journey and in speaking or education started, I knew I always wanted to teach. And I, I actually, when I graduated, I taught at the dental school here in Dallas for two years. Really enjoyed it. But it was it was kind of a a time grab, you know, it was every Monday, it was a Monday out of my practice, as my practice started getting busier, I didn’t have the time to dedicate going into Dallas, which is a bit of a drive, you know. And so, so that kind of dwindled. And then I guess it was 2012 2013, I started doing some things for three M, and three M gave me my first dental speaking opportunity, and it was product driven, and then ended up being a lot of fun. And then, you know, as I was talking before, I have a young dentist that wants to start speaking and I think you’ve got to find your niche. I mean, you know, I can go out there and promote a product as long as the day is, but people don’t want to hear that, nor do they get education from that. So you’ve got to find your niche and dentistry and your message. And it may be multiple messages, multiple messages that are okay, especially if your general dentist and, and I think that, you know, I found you know what I’m passionate about what I’m what I’m good about. And I would say that my speaking journey has made me a better dentist, because in order for me to present, or lecture, or educate whatever you want to call it, I have to be educated myself. And so when I started doing these deep dives, I really, you know, like, you know, they, they asked me to talk about a cement one time, and this is in 2016 2017. And I was like, Yeah, I can do that. But am I selling cement? Or am I teaching people how to cement a restoration. And so I just started this really self driven deep dive into dental segmentation. And I and I found that okay, I know, it sounds kind of boring to somebody who’s not in dentistry, but I found out why, why things fail, you know, and why things succeed. And, and I’ve continued that journey. And so I, I’ve taught myself a lot more than I ever would have, if I didn’t take that journey into speaking. 


Shawn Zajas  13:32 

Now, in the beginning, like, did you feel like you had to, I don’t know, like, show some sort of credentials. Like if you don’t have a speaking career, everyone has to start somewhere. So in the beginning, was it more of like, Yeah, I’ll speak there. You’re raising your hand or when was it Three M, and that came to you? Did they come to you again, because you were already getting known clinically. Like, how did that birthplace even began, like, how did that opportunity show up? 


Chad Duplantis 13:57 

Oh, that’s a that’s a deep question. And I’ll explain that in a minute. But really, Three M had this panel they have, they have several different panels of dentists but they had one that was called the counsel for an innovative dentistry and those dentist are sought out by sales representatives. They’re not necessarily speakers at that point in time, but maybe the sales representative sees okay, this dentist is a little bit cutting edge if you will, and they would probably make a good addition to the three and portfolio so I always joke to counsel for innovative dentistry is is is where they find the four out of five dentists that like certain toothpaste and like certain cements and stuff like that, because really, it’s a consumer panel. It’s a it’s a panel of their consumers. And then that’s kind of where it started. And what’s really funny is that when I started the Council for Innovative Dentistry, which was in 2004 It’s a four it was, I don’t know what it is now, but it was a four year rotation, fly you up to Three M, you learn about their products, and you give a lot of valuable feedback on what drives a consumer to purchase Three M products. I met some of the most powerful lecturers through that, that went on from that consumer panel, if you will, to become key opinion leaders or, quote unquote, experts within the industry. And so that’s where it really kind of evolved, some people become key opinion leaders, because they’re already speaking because they’re already innovative. Because people, they have a captive audience. And some people become key opinion leaders because, you know, the, the company sees something in them, you know, that, that could put them to that next level. So that’s how it started for me was when I was a key opinion leader, that’s when they started asking me to go out and speak on certain products and, and whatnot. And, and, and then I gradually you drift away, although there are certain products that are gonna be evident in your presentation, you, you drift away and become more of an educator than a than a than a speaker, per se. And that’s, that’s what my goal is always to be as an educator, so. 


Shawn Zajas  16:20 

So since you knew kind of identity wise, like, Hey, I feel like I’ve, I’m an educator, you already been doing stuff out in Dallas. When these opportunities came up, you kind of just settled into like, Hey, this is my time. I can embrace this. And it seemed like you must have been good. If all of a sudden then the demand is going up for Dr. Chad to plan is sorry, I think I said it wrong. No doctor, Dr. Mel Gibson. So so for those of you that have never met Chad in person, you could do a double take maybe even a triple check and be like, Is that is that Mel Gibson? Is this William Wallace? Because, you know, you’ve got those striking, manly, handsome features. I’m just I just gotta throw that out. I appreciate 


Chad Duplantis 17:02 

that. I’ll take William Wallace any day, all day long. I do like Mel Gibson. I was actually when I was visiting Japan and dental school, I was asked to sign an autograph as Mel Gibson. And I had to let them know that I was not Mel Gibson, and I did not even have gray hair at the time. So it was it was kind of funny. 


Shawn Zajas  17:19 

But okay, so I didn’t know I’m not the original that said that. You get this all the time? 


Chad Duplantis 17:23 

Not all the time. But I have heard it from time to time. So 


Shawn Zajas  17:27 

your does your wife like roll her eyes? Like oh, here we go again? 


Chad Duplantis 17:30 

Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know. She’s, she’s she doesn’t see it. So I just kind of roll with it. Yeah. 


Shawn Zajas  17:38 

So have you ever felt at odds with the the prospect perspective as a clinical dentist, as an educator, and the way that you show up in that sense, versus as the business owner, entrepreneur? Like, if you ever see those mindsets, or lenses coming at odds with each other, or for you? Is it kind of one of the same? 


Chad Duplantis 18:05 

Yeah, I guess you do. I mean, you always want to practice what you preach. But, you know, I, I think that, you know, I’ve always practiced in a way that I’m not going to do, I’m not going to do anything deceptive when I’m lecturing. And I don’t know that. I mean, I’m not calling anybody out for certain, but you know, you always want to, you always want to practice what you preach. And I think that’s, that’s the biggest thing. And, and that’s what, what makes people good educators is that, you know, I’m gonna show you the way that I do it, come to my office, and you’re gonna see the exact same thing, you know. So, well, I 


Shawn Zajas  18:47 

guess I meant more in terms of like, when you’re doing things clinically, my guess, again, not a dentist here. Yeah, is that you’re trying to reduce risk, reduce liability. And I’m sure there’s room for innovation, but it’s, it’s more of a macro or micro sense, because you want to follow best practices. For most reliable outcomes. I’m guessing. Does that sound at all, like, kind of a mindset or a way of looking at clinical dentistry? 


Chad Duplantis 19:18 

Yeah, I mean, you always want to follow best practices. And my biggest advice is to follow best practices, you have to do something that dentists are horrible at. Absolutely horrible at it. It’s reading instructions. I’m serious. I’ll say that 100 times in a lecture, but you know, yeah, I mean, you know, yes, I am very liability averse. I want to make sure that I do whatever I can to, you know, to make sure that I’m doing things the right way. I guess I’m answering your question. I’m not sure what to know. 


Shawn Zajas  19:55 

So you’re just confirming which is setting me up for what I’m what I’m like, here is my contention. Is that anyone that then starts pioneering? Or starts embracing more of that I’m an entrepreneur or I’m a visionary entrepreneur that wants to pioneer positive disruption. Well, now you’re you’re balancing with this tension of I need to almost like fail as fast as possible, because I don’t actually know what the marketplace is going to reward. I don’t actually know what’s going to get traction. How do I need to, like, like, so within the confines of ethical, ethical innovation? There’s not a lot of rules. And I’m saying contrasting that to ethical clinical dentistry, where it’s like, well, yeah, you’re not really doing something crazy out of the box, because you could really get in trouble for that. So that’s all I’m saying is like, in one sense, you’re again, limiting liability. On the other way, it’s like, well, no, you have to embrace massive risk in order to get massive reward. And like, what things you guys didn’t know that was going to work? Or did that did that just seem like a small step for you? Because to me, that was a big deal for you guys to step up and lead the way you did. Even with such a consistency to it. 


Chad Duplantis 21:05 

Yeah, I mean, it’s i i think that I don’t think we ever realized I don’t think we ever thought that we were taking a real risk with Dinks, you know, but I will say this is that okay, so I’ve mentioned my business partner, Dr. Jeff Horowitz, I have not mentioned yet my biz, other business partner and and Dinks, Dr. Jennifer Bell. I, if Jeff and I had started this venture alone, you know, here we are three years into the pandemic, three and a half years almost into the pandemic, or I don’t know, if we’re out of it. I don’t know what the hell’s going on anymore. But anyways, you know, what I’m saying three and a half years ago, this virus came around now. I don’t even know if people test themselves anymore. 


Chad Duplantis 22:00 

But if we hadn’t abroad on Dr. Jennifer Bell, Jeff, and I would have probably lasted three months. Because you know, you get into something, you do something and it becomes kind of boring. You know, whereas what Jennifer Bell brought, you want to talk about innovation, Jennifer Bell has brought a whole new level of innovation. And she’s really kept this idea of very young. We had two full days of business meetings this past weekend. And, you know, we started talking about an exit strategy, you know, okay, what, what is what does an exit strategy look like? And the funny thing is, is that this is a great lesson for any practice owner, you always need an exit strategy, or any business owner, you always need an exit strategy doesn’t mean that you’re going to exit tomorrow. But you need to know what the future looks like. And at some point in time, everything’s going to come to an end. I don’t want to be doing this when I’m 90 years old. I’m sorry, I love what I do. But I’d like to have a life after dentistry. So you know, we started talking about an exit strategy. And it’s funny, we both started, we all started kind of talking about it. And we all take this mindset and look at one another and be like, Wait a second. Are we calling it quits? No, no, we’re not calling it quits. We’re just trying to figure out what our end game is, you know, do we want something that’s going to sell for money? Because if we do, then we’ve got to redirect a little bit. Will do we feel that there will be value? Are we going to hand it off to our kids? None of our kids are going to be dentists that we know of? Jeff’s aren’t mine. Aren’t Jennifer’s got three young ones? Maybe they will be I don’t know, are we going to hand it off to another? You know, let’s call him an influencer in dentistry. But what does it look like for us? Or are we just going to ride off into the sunset, close the chapter in the book and move on, you know, and so, you know, Jennifer has really kept us young. And I think that developing that edge exit strategy, or that end game is also part of our innovation. It helps us direct where we need to innovate and where we need to change. And I think that she’s really the mastermind behind some of the good things that we’re doing. I mean, you know, we started off as a Facebook group, and that was it. And now we’ve expanded the Facebook group is is larger than it once was. But our our goal growths aren’t there. Our goal growths are elsewhere, Instagram, YouTube, podcast, that’s where our goal growths are. And so, you know, dentistry, your side gig, whatever. There’s always got to be constant innovation. 


Shawn Zajas  24:47 

You know, and I love that you guys are unafraid to talk about the end game because it’s like, it makes sense when it comes to dentistry. No one’s wanting to put 30 years into the practice and then be like, Well, yeah, but at the end of the They, like, I don’t want anything for it. It’s like, Are you kidding me? Like, you want it to be sellable for the moment you want to walk away or hand it to someone like meaning? Why would you not right? Yeah. But yet oftentimes people are like, wait, the fact that you’re thinking about an end? There’s just all these bad connotations. Sometimes I’m like, Well, that means you can’t be authentic now, because you’re thinking about being greedy at the end. And it’s like, well, no, not at all. If you just sailed into the sunset and stopped doing this, what you guys have created has actual value, because it has traction because it has eyeballs because it has following like, people in dentistry vendors will pay for eyeballs. Like, that’s just the nature of the game, right? You know, the influence you’re stewarding is valuable to people. And trying to figure out exactly where you guys want to go with that, I think is, is really, really prudent. And that’s why I’m saying like the whole business mindset is, is sometimes different than then just kind of the the game that you’d play as a dentist, because maybe it is expected that people are like, Yeah, I’m going to sell my practice. But that’s why even you know, I’m talking to Victoria Peterson. And she’s like, Yeah, it’s different to like sell your practice, than to actually have like an investment grade practice where you can get it for a multiple, that’s, you know, instead of selling it for, you know, 700 or 1.2, we’re talking, are you willing to sell it for like, 2.5, you know, because there’s a multiple, because you’ve structured everything, right? And evidence or EBIT, it looks a certain way. And it’s like, the business side of things sometimes can be intimidating, or I don’t know, like the whole, like, someone was talking to me the other day, like, Hey, can we do an exchange of services? Because I don’t know anything about podcasting. And I’m thinking, what is there to know about podcast app, but it’s only because I’ve been doing it for three years, you know, with with, you know, the authentic dentists, my original podcast, that to me, it’s like, well, this doesn’t seem challenging at all. But to an outsider, it’s like, well, I don’t know how to syndicate it. I don’t know how to, you know, all the even like, what you guys are doing with things going live once a week, some people don’t know how to do that. And you guys might take it for granted the fact that you had a successful Facebook group that actually got a following, like, 10 That’s a big deal. That’s awesome. 


Chad Duplantis 27:13 

Well, no, I appreciate that picture. You’re right. I mean, we didn’t know how to go live the first time we did it. And you know, we, we used a one platform, that platform sucked, we’ve switched to another platform that platforms, okay. But you know, I think it’s one of the best ones out there. So you’re right, it’s, it’s, there’s, there’s a lot of what ifs and now we have a person that converts the episode into a podcast, we have another person that converts the episode into a YouTube segment. And then we have a person that splits it, we have a person that’s doing our marketing, so I always joke it, although there’s an income coming in. It’s the best non paying job I’ve ever had. And maybe one day it will be paying but that’s okay. It’s that’s not what it’s it’s it’s there for you know, so. 


Shawn Zajas  28:03 

So I’m always fascinated by high how people handle adversity. And I think part of it is because the reason why a lot of people don’t start something is because of the what ifs I, what if I fail? What if I fall flat on my face? What if I get publicly publicly humiliated? And part of it’s because it’s hard to embrace that like beginner’s mindset or become like a newbie at something? When, on the one hand, if everyone in your community knows you for Clinical Excellence, and you’re a respected dentist, to then all of a sudden do something publicly, where you’re not respected? And you don’t have expertise, yet! It could be like, I don’t know. Like, that’s, that’s scary, that feels very insecure, you know, so then all of a sudden is like, well, then how do I show up already as an expert? Well, you don’t like you didn’t show up as an expert with Dinks, knowing how to go live, knowing how to, you know, hoax, some sort of TV type thing where you interview people, and yet you got like, I don’t think anyone was paying attention to the first or second episode or third episode saying, all these guys suck. They don’t know what they’re doing. Like, but but that’s like, that’s the thing we hear, you know, in the back of our head, like, as the reasons why we don’t step up, step out. What were some of the, like, was there a mindset that you had to shed over the last 10 years? So that you could be where you’re at today was like some some mindset that was either trying to hold you back or play small. 


Chad Duplantis 29:29 

Yeah, I think I think it’s a mindset from you know, when I started in dentistry, just as a dentist, you know, is that there’s a couple things you need to get over. One is this, dentist, or usually, at least the dentists that I went to as a child, I always saw dentist as kind of, you know, community people, everybody loves them. You know, that’s, that’s why we chose our dentist. We moved to Houston years ago, and we found out that there was this dentists that everybody loved, he was nice guy. And that’s where we went. And you know, we did the same thing. When we moved to Dallas, we found a dentist, we loved him. And that’s, that’s we went to. So I always thought dentists were just lovable people. And, and, you know, they were, they were outgoing, they were talkative. They were, you know, just nice, nice people. And that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to start a practice with grace, compassion, understanding, you know, I wanted to be everybody’s friend. And I think it was, it was real quick that I realized that you’re providing a service, that whether you like it or not, sometimes it’s gonna cause pain. Whether you agree or not, it’s not an exact science, you’re dealing with the human body, people heal different differently. People have, you know, different outcomes from different treatment. And I think the hardest thing to realize in the practice of Dentistry was that you’re not going to make everybody happy. No matter how hard you try, you are not going to make everybody happy. You’re not going to be everybody’s friend. Whether you like it or not, you’re going to hurt somebody at some point in time, God forbid it be intentional. And you’ve got to get over that. I mean, I had a lady that came in right around Christmas time, I told her that she needed three crowns. And to be honest with you, she probably needed 10. And she left the office that day. And she called and she said she wanted her record sent to another dentist, because all I was trying to do was get money out of her so that I can buy my kids Christmas gifts. And I will never, ever forget that because she doesn’t know me. And that’s not who I am, I’ve always been very conservative, I’ve been probably conservative to a fault at times. And so once you realize that, you’re not going to be everybody’s friend, then I think the world becomes a better place. You just You just got to be you, you got to be you. If if you feel and you know, if if if 95% of the people that you’re around, say that you’re a pretty good person, then let’s go with the 95% versus the five that say that you suck at life. And I think that that goes with speaking, and that goes with, you know, running dentist in the know, I mean, look at if you want a humbling experience, look at your reviews from lectures, as long as 75 or 80% of them are positive. That’s pretty good. Because there’s gonna be the the people in the audience that never give a five no matter how good it was, just because that’s the way they are. And you know, you know, you’re gonna get some comments on there that you know, are untrue or whatever. But, you know, you’re not going to be everybody’s friend. That’s just the moral of the story. Not everybody’s gonna like you. And I think that that’s where we go with, with dentist in the know. And once again, you know, knock on wood. We don’t get any re raging complaints or anything like that. But we get a lot of, hey, that was a great show. Hey, thanks so much for sharing this. You know, we enjoy you guys’s banter. You guys are funny. Thanks for bringing the news. Thanks for this. Thanks for that. And that’s what keeps us going. It’s the positives that keep us going. And, and, you know, like I said, it’s just just get over that stigma. And and I think life is gonna be much better for you and for everybody around you. 


Shawn Zajas  33:46 

I mean, there’s so much you said their child that’s just, like, kind of like worth repeating or breaking down. Like I know, whenever you start anything, it’s so natural. We’re supposed to model like you model hero, someone you look up to, even as kids what you do is you model like, what how your parents act like that’s just how we were, you know, it was built in for us to learn. But then at some point, you got to start realizing, Well, who am I like, how do I do dentistry? Or how do I want to do dentistry? And yes, I have a local market and a local community. And you know, I have services that pay the bills, but then how do I also kind of infuse my personality, my perspective, the way I want to do dentistry where there’s some alignment between the two, because maybe it’s not like, I can just talk about fishing all day long with my patients because I love fishing, and somehow that’s gonna get the bills paid, maybe it won’t. But still, like I love the fact that you stayed on that journey and you kind of found your authentic self in the practice of dentistry, as a speaker, and then even as a contributor to drinks and I was just interviewing Brandy Hooker Evans, and she’s like, Shawn, someone told me and it helped me so much like it’s none of your business what other people think about you and you don’t like. So what? And like, I feel like, as I interview people I don’t want to minister to but I get so blessed by hearing the breakthroughs that they’ve had. Because honestly, most of time, it’s the struggles that I still am having, like, I don’t like being misunderstood. I don’t like it when someone doesn’t know where I’m coming from. You know, and at the same time, I think that’s probably limited the impact I could have had, because I overthought it or I knew that maybe if I did this one thing, that could really help a lot of people, there’s a chance that a good amount of people would also misunderstand. So because of that didn’t do anything. 


Chad Duplantis 35:42 

Yeah, I mean, you know, well, even, you know, what we talked about before. If somebody says, you suck at life, you know, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt anymore. You know, when when people say that, it just means that I’ve got this mechanism that I’m just going to brush it off, and I’m going to move on, because you know what, that’s one person, you know. So, you know, it hurts, like you said to be misunderstood and misinterpreted. But in the end, that’s a small thing in life. We’ve got much bigger things in life to worry about. 


Shawn Zajas  36:23 

Yeah, and I, I’m convinced now, people have tons of different views on regret, you know, I know it became popular a long time ago, like, oh, I have no regrets live with no regrets. And yet, like, I think the power of regret, when used the right way is amazing. Because when I look forward, I know I’m gonna have more regrets over what I didn’t do, than the stuff that I did do that didn’t pan out exactly. Like I thought it would, you know, in so many times, I know, what’s gotten me stuck is like, hate the world’s watching. And they’re gonna see if I fall, or if a launch isn’t good enough. And somehow, the world is going to end. And it’s just not true. Like, it’s almost like nobody cares about. I don’t know, like, nobody, nobody cares about what you’re doing until you give them a reason to so the second you get haters is also the second you’re making an impact. 


Chad Duplantis 37:12 

Great, exactly, you know, and I would say this, and social media is a wonderful place to watch it unfold is that a lot of hate stems from jealousy. And so, you know, if you’ve got haters, then you’re being noticed. And, quite frankly, a lot of times, if you dig deep enough into it, maybe they, you know, deep down inside, want to do what you’re doing, or some of what you’re doing, you know, maybe they wouldn’t do it the exact same way. But they do see that it’s valuable to you, you know, it’s not for everything. But I do think that a lot of hate stems from jealousy. 


Shawn Zajas  38:05 

I think you’re definitely right on about that. And that’s why it’s like with a true abundance mindset, the whole idea that like only, only you can be huge that like no one else can try to duplicate you or be like you. Well, I think dentistry is 


Chad Duplantis 38:19 

a good go for a while. 


Shawn Zajas  38:23 

He looks a lot older, though, you know, we’ll leave that there. Yeah, yeah. They should use you as a double for anytime he wants to look young and handsome. There you go. But the idea that I think dentistry is better when people step up and occupy the space that only they can occupy because it’s almost like if your friend Dr. Jennifer Bell, was somehow not connected to you guys, because somehow she didn’t go to that show where you guys met or something like that. Or when you talk to her, she was like, Oh, I don’t think I’m ready yet. Maybe I’m not qualified, or it’s a little too scary. Like things wouldn’t be what it is today without that confluence of her strengths as well. And I wouldn’t have started a podcast three and half years ago, if Dr. House wasn’t like, let’s do this together, like let’s go for it. But, but like, I only met her because she already was in motion, leading, doing something different. And that’s how all of a sudden you like almost I don’t want to say like make it too woowoo. But like, someone in motion recognizes someone else that’s in motion, someone that’s wanting to make a difference and change and is inspiring. It’s like you can tell when someone else’s have that same sort of energy so to speak. And that’s why it’s like when someone just gets up and says, Hey, you know what, why not me? Let me just step up, lead the way i i See, you know, here’s COVID Things are shut down. What do we do? We start a Facebook group and look what’s happened. I think that’s what makes dentistry great because I don’t know who I need to meet at the next conference I go to, but if they’re playing it small and they’re second guessing they’re not going to be there. No, and and you don’t know what business could form or what solution or what value could come so that’s why it’s like I’m always encouraging people like stop being fraid of what you can’t control, you can’t, you can never predict the market. You guys had no clue that Dinks would actually catch on gain of following and be something that’s instrumental as it is. And I’m so thankful you didn’t give up. Was there ever a time when you guys were like, a little disillusioned? And you kind of just thought, is this really making any difference? And you wanted to give up? 


Chad Duplantis 40:17 

No, I don’t think there’s ever been that. I mean, I’ll be honest with you, I think that we each have a Wednesday where you’re like, Oh, I just want to kick my feet up. I just want to go sleep. I just 


Shawn Zajas  40:31 

want to make some excuse of why I’m not accessible. Like, 


Chad Duplantis 40:37 

you know, for instance, last night, we had a, sometimes we have guests for months out, okay. Last night, we had a guest that, you know, we were meeting this weekend. And there’s a number of reasons that we haven’t been booking out as far right now. But we realized, okay, hey, guys, we need a guest for this week. And Dr. Horowitz is like, Hey, man, I’m going to be in Germany. So you also need to, you know, you two, are running it. So we kind of said, Alright, let’s do something different this week. Let’s have a guest host. So we put together a list of guest hosts first person that we go out to give them a shout out Dr. ADAMA, notre Antonio, great dentist in the cosmetic world. wonderful human being. Great story. Talk about innovation. I think he’s somebody you need to speak with. Said ADAMA, you want to come and host with us on Wednesday night. Right away. Absolutely. And so we said okay, said hey, do you have anybody you want to be a guest? Yeah. Chris Ramsey. So, set. Alright. So anyhow, Chris, I’ll give Chris a shout out to fantastic dentist fantastic human being. Chris sent him a message. On Monday, I said, Hey, man, I guess you’re gonna be our guest this week. And he responds for what? I was like, for the podcast, you talked to Dom about oh, yeah, man, I’m in whatever. So anyhow, I said, Send me a bio. Send me a headshot. I’ll get the graphics going. We’ll get everything out there. Well, yesterday, the podcast starts at seven. I get everything from Chris. He’s like, Oh, crap, I forgot. Here it is four o’clock. And you’re just like, Okay, this could be really good. This could be really bad. Excuse me, I’m sorry. And I would say this to Chris. Just because I didn’t know what was gonna happen. Well, anyways, we got Chris on there, he showed up. And the stories that he told and the way that he positioned who he is in dentistry. And that’s the way that it always works out, you know, the times that you’re kind of sometimes the most apprehensive as to where’s this gonna go? What’s going to happen, and you leave, and you’re the most impressed. And we’re all texting each other afterwards. That was a great show that was so well received. That was such a great message. And, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s what keeps us coming back. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s, there’s going to be another week that I’m tired. But you know what, that’s, that’s, that’s my new job. That’s my job. That’s Wednesday night at seven o’clock. And I’m always going to be a hard worker, no matter what job I’m doing. And, you know, I look at it as a fun job, because I’m obviously not getting paid for it. But it’s a fun job. And, you know, so so that it, it all works out in the end. You know, and I don’t know, I went off on a tangent. Sorry, buddy. 


Shawn Zajas  43:35 

Well, I think part of what No, but part of what you’re saying is even this like idea of like, we would love to have clarity on like, perfectly planned, right? Because in dentistry, again, you planned, you plan as much as you can, because you want a predictive outcome. You need that clinically, like no one’s saying, hey, go ahead and start winging stuff. The second you, you meet up with the patient don’t have a clue what’s going to happen. Yeah. But there’s something about in the business world where like the even Jeff Bezos says he’s fine with only 70% certainty, which means 30% uncertainty, he’s fine making Gamble’s on big decisions with 30% of I have no idea. And I think for a lot of type A dentists that want to have every duck in a row. They want to make sure the market research is there to make sure that we’re 99% Sure this idea is going to work. You beat the horse dead like No, don’t, don’t wait to 99% that could take two years to wait to 99% like, be fine launching at 70 and then letting the market tell you. You need it. Just change it a little bit. Yeah, that was almost good. But maybe the messaging is a little off and then you actually are learning you know, and the fact that again, you guys had this episode and didn’t exactly have it scripted perfectly prepped, perfectly planned. And it was amazing that that’s just a testament to that. 


Chad Duplantis 44:59 

No It was and you know, one of the things I want to say you made me You made me think about this a lot throughout this, this, this podcast in and you know, sometimes things just kind of come to your head but you’re you’re really good at what you do. And I like to think that I’m really good at what I do, you know, I’m a dentist. But I don’t mean this to come across the wrong way. But what I do is a means to an end. Okay. Dentistry is a wonderful profession, it’s been very good to me for the past 23 years. It puts food on the table, it affords us some really nice things. But you know, all of that being said, when I’m gone, I don’t want my headstone to say Chad to plan, this was a really good dentist. Chad Duplantis was a really good Dink, you know, I want that headstone to say, Chad was a really good dude, he had a hell of a family. He was a good father, he was good husband, he had a strong faith. That’s what I want that headstone to say, I’ll always be good at the other things, and if I keep that foundation of doing what’s right for my family, doing what’s right, for my, you know, my kids, and doing what’s right for me to go to bed at night and not, you know, and sleep well, then that’s, that’s what I want to be remembered by. And, you know, like I said, I don’t mean it negatively, that dentistry is not a means to an end. I mean, you know, when I say it’s a means to an end, I, I love what I do. But I don’t want that to define me. And, and I hope that message comes across, in whoever I speak to, it’s going to be about dentistry, but you’re gonna get to see the real me, you know, and, and I think that’s really important that we stick to who we are. 


Shawn Zajas  47:00 

Let me affirm that because I was actually going to kind of tie that into my clothes, which is soon. But before that, I honestly want to say like you are playing the long game, whether you realize it or not, because you’re a man of integrity. Chad, like when I met you, I knew you were who you said you were. And because of that, you earned the hardest thing that anyone can earn. And that’s trust. And in life, anywhere, all we’re doing is brokering trust with other people. And if I feel like you’re playing the short game, and you’re doing what’s in the best interest for Chad, and you’re constantly trying to get ahead while walking on other people, I’d be like, oh, man, like, I don’t wanna do business with this guy. But you’ve constantly stayed as like, man, Chad, no matter what comes up. I know. Like I’ve told you before, if all of a sudden there’s a business, and I want some clinical director or I’m talking to you, because I know you are someone I can trust. And that is the most important thing. Not just for me, I would say for any business person. When it comes to partnerships, when it comes to anyone, it’s not about their excellence. It’s not about their skill, at the end of the day, it’s about but also can I can actually trust them, their character very true who they are. And through and through. That is you. And if our listener is like, I don’t know if that’s me, you got to work on that. Or else you’re not going to get anywhere long term because then it’s really small enough that stories get around, you got to do right by people, right? 


Chad Duplantis 48:20 

That’s very, very true, man. That’s very true stories do get around. So yeah, okay, so appreciate that. So thank you. Same way, my friend. 


Shawn Zajas  48:30 

Well, thank you. Thank you, Todd. Okay, so I’m, uh, I have one question for the close. But before that, is there anyone just in the spirit of honor that you’d like to? To honor that was kind of like a mentor? Yeah, just for you, you in either dentistry or on the business side of things? 


Chad Duplantis 48:47 

Man, you know, there’s a lot but I think most recently, since we’ve been talking about my journey in education, I mean, obviously two of my biggest mentors in life that that, that they don’t know, this, but it’s it’s Jeff and Jennifer, my partners. I learned so much from them on a daily basis. My wife is is a mentor. I learned so much from her on a daily basis. My kids are mentors. I mean, who says that about their kids? I don’t know. I mean, my kids, I learned so much from them. You know, but if we’re gonna go to dentistry, I’m gonna have to give a shout out to Lou Gramm. Lou. gramm is founder of catapult education. He’s a wonderful speaker. And you know, Lou Gramm could be talking about selling ice to the Eskimos and people would want to hear him talk about it. And Lou is an and I say that facetiously because he’s one hell of an educator, but Lou Lou really kind of helped my path forward in dentistry through speaking and so I’m forever grateful for that. I’m no longer a member of catapults but it will will always hold a place very near and dear to my heart. So if since that’s kind of the topic of today where we are right now I’d have to give Lou a lot of credit. 


Shawn Zajas  50:10 

Well, thank you. If our listeners right now are like, hey, I want to find out more about Chad or what he’s doing or connected things, where do you want their eyes going? 


Chad Duplantis 50:20 

I would love for them to, you know, start by joining our Facebook group, Dentist in The Know, if you’re not a Facebook person, we’re on Instagram, Youtube podcast can be wherever you get your podcast from. I hope that we will always maintain our mission of providing valuable information and education to the general public. And, you know, we just love to have you. 


Shawn Zajas  50:48 

Okay, so Chad, do you know what my closing question is? Are you ready for it? Or you have no idea? I’m ready for it. Okay. So here you are, you’re walking down the street. And often the distance you see a younger, more handsome, 18 year old version of yourself. Maybe he’s not yet more handsome, but He’s younger. And you only have one sentiment, time for one sentiment to communicate to 18 year old child. And again, the assumption is you can live your life over from 18 like that, that you don’t I mean, so what do you say to him? 


Chad Duplantis 51:24 

That’s very deep. But I think what I would say is, whatever you do, live life to the fullest. have no regrets and have a boatload of fun, because life is too short, to not have any fun. 


Shawn Zajas  51:50 

So that is the message to the listeners today. That it has been such a gift. It’s been so easy just to honor you as an innovator as someone that literally is pioneering positive change not just to your patients, not just to every dentist you talk to as you’re speaking across the country, but also just through dentists in the know what you guys are doing to encourage to bring. Just even make dentistry entertaining and interesting. And keep people in the loop like I love what you’re doing. I’m 100% in your corner behind you, Dr. Horowitz and Dr. Bell, but again, just thank you so much for joining me today. 


Chad Duplantis 52:30 

Thank you, buddy. I appreciate it. It was a lot of fun. 


Shawn Zajas  52:34 

Thanks for listening, and be sure to follow so you never miss an episode. To learn more about what’s going on in dentistry. Check out innovation in dentistry.com 

More Podcasts