Leading with Heart: Dr. Laura Mach’s Journey in Dentistry


Podcast Summary

In this insightful episode, Shawn Zajas engages in a candid and empowering conversation with Dr. Laura Mach, a dentist and life coach, shedding light on her journey towards professional and personal fulfillment. Dr. Mach shares her transformative mindset shift over the last decade, emphasizing the transition from a fear of upsetting others to a focus on who she serves and how. This shift has enabled her to define her own path in dentistry, even if it means some patients or employees may leave due to misalignment with her values. 

The discussion delves into the critical topic of branding in dentistry. Shawn, a branding enthusiast, points out that many dentists may not realize they have the permission to authentically brand themselves. He uses the analogy of aligning a dental practice’s branding with its ideal patient base, comparing a practice to either a Whole Foods or a Walmart. Dr. Mach stresses the importance of recognizing and challenging irrational beliefs that hinder progress and embracing the discomfort of change. 

Shawn inquires about Dr. Mach’s readiness to step into new ventures. Dr. Mach confesses that she has a natural inclination towards trying new things, attributing this willingness to a desire to continually grow and improve. She advises that the fear of failure or rejection should not deter individuals from pursuing their passions, emphasizing the elation that comes from serving others with one’s unique gifts. 

The conversation shifts towards the challenges dentists face in their leadership roles. Dr. Mach identifies common mindsets that hinder growth, such as reluctance to ask employees to adapt or fear of losing patients by going out of network. These beliefs often lead to stagnation and frustration. For female dentists, societal conditioning to prioritize others’ happiness can result in suppressed emotions and, ultimately, burnout. 

Dr. Mach introduces the concept of nurturing intentional emotions as a pivotal leadership tool. She explains that by recognizing the source of their emotions and understanding that they originate from thoughts, individuals can choose to let go of limiting beliefs. This process enables them to lead authentically and with purpose. By nurturing positive emotions like empowerment and confidence, leaders can shape their actions in alignment with their intentions. 

Shawn applauds Dr. Mach’s perspective, highlighting the importance of emotional alignment for personal and professional success. He acknowledges the challenges of breaking free from toxic emotions and commends Dr. Mach for offering a transformative approach through her coaching. 

As the conversation comes to a close, Shawn shares a hypothetical scenario: if Dr. Mach encountered her 18-year-old self, what message would she convey? Dr. Mach offers an empowering sentiment: “You can do more than people think you can. Or people say you can’t, that’s what you can do more than people say you can.” Shawn underscores the universal applicability of this message, encouraging listeners to recognize their own potential. 

In a final exchange, Shawn commends Dr. Mach for her pioneering spirit and the positive impact she is making in the field of dentistry. Dr. Mach expresses gratitude for the opportunity to share her insights. The episode concludes with a reminder for listeners to follow the podcast for future episodes and to explore innovationindentistry.com for further dental industry insights.

Connect with Dr. Laura Mach: 

IG: @drlauramachdds

FB: @drlauramachdds

Website: loveyourpratice.net


Podcast Transcript

Laura Mach  00:00 

If I made a graph of the negative feeling of rejection or failure, versus the elation of helping someone in a way that only you can, because you have these unique gifts, the elation is much higher. 


Shawn Zajas  00:16 

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? Okay, so today, I could not be more excited to be with Dr. Laura Mach of love your practice, and you you’re a dentist and a life coach, you’re pretty much a big deal. And before I set you up, let me just say, thank you so much for letting me interview you today. 


Laura Mach  01:05 

And thrilled to be here. And thank you for flattering my ego, I can always use that. 


Shawn Zajas  01:12 

So I think we have mutual friends that told us Hey, Shawn, you should check out Dr. Laura, if you haven’t already. And I love meeting new people. So So Laura, the reason why this podcast is called Innovation in dentistry. It’s not really because of clinical innovation or technological innovation. I love both of those. But I believe behind every innovation is an innovator that says, why not me? They just raise their hand and they say, Hey, why can’t I pioneer positive change? Why can’t I bet on me? And you’ve done that? And I want to hear about. I mean, if you want to talk about your origin story, I think that might fill in some gaps. But I’m just curious, how is it that you’re pioneering positive change today? So what got you into this crazy space? Known as dentistry? Okay. 


Laura Mach  02:11 

So I feel like maybe you want a tiny bit of background into how I got into demonstrate first, and then maybe more into how I’m innovating how we lead? Yes. 





Laura Mach  02:25 

Okay. Well, I just grew up a young Mormon girl who was taught that having a professional career for girls was naughty. And there were seven children in my family. And my dad had an undiagnosed health problem, which left him basically unemployed the entire time we were growing up. And so I the only thing that I did have was that I was really good at multiple choice test questions. So I had like, this academic ability. But this on the other hand, I had this cultural drag, where I had to basically claw myself out of poverty slash patriarchal and misogynistic opinions about what I should do with my life. And so as a married mother of two, I decided that I wanted to be a dentist, and I did it. So I mean, the only reason I did I would only say that I saw it as a as a way to get out of poverty and to provide for my family. And I knew that since I could take those tests, but I could do it. 


Shawn Zajas  03:45 

So you were already married, and had two kids when you decided to step into dentistry? 


Laura Mach  03:53 

Correct. And I had three, by the time I graduated, because of this hole, I still believed that it was my role to be a mother first, which I had been taught. And so I was like, Well, I guess I’ll demonstrate that by having another one. So, so yeah, it was um, it was an interesting entrance into the field. But at the same time, it was so magical because I do love science and I do love people as well. So it’s great and I even though I have this other skill now I still love my practice. I love my patients and my employees and I love using my hands and my smarts to create smiles and to improve people’s lives. So that’s the short version. 


Shawn Zajas  04:42 

Okay, so my partner in a different podcast, the authentic dentist, Dr. Allison house, she talks about going through dental school with young kids and how crazy that is. Like, I don’t think it’s it’s the Road most people take, how was that like, for you? I’m guessing you’re getting maybe a lot of support at that time from, from your husband, at least because it’s like it’s a long road to become a dentist. 


Laura Mach  05:15 

Yes, he was very supportive of my choice. And I also had my sister as my live in nanny. She was 10 years younger than I was. So she had the time to devote to that. And I’m so grateful and indebted to her for that. And then the other thing is, you know, when you have children, it’s just really hard any phase of life that you’re in. So I just always tell people, yes, it was hard. No, I don’t recommend it. But it’s what, wherever you are in your life. Having children is hard. So we’ve just just heard during that time, we were used to being poor, so we were just poor for a little longer. 


Shawn Zajas  06:02 

Okay, so you graduate dentistry, then what happens? Did you know where you were gonna go? Did you join a practice that you were like, What was your first experience? As a dentist? 


Laura Mach  06:16 

I bought my practice nine months after I graduated because I felt like I was behind. I was 32. And I felt like I needed to hurry up. And like, my, my classmates were six years younger than I was. So I needed to get on the financial bandwagon. I didn’t have any savings for my children’s college, blah, blah, blah, all that stuff. So I was like, Well, I guess I’ll just buy this now. So I just I bought a practice from a seller who had a very old school practice. And he worked for me for five years, the practice had been a one dentist practice, and we grew it to two. And the way I grew it was just like, I would take anybody so if you had Medicaid, come on down. I mean, so many Medicaid dentures. I did so many fillings on people with pop mouth or whatever. Oh, yeah, we call it pop here and Iowa. Whatever, Mountain Dew. Yeah. And we just grew it until it was a bigger, more modern practice. And then five years after that, he left and retired. So that’s been my practice ever since. 


Shawn Zajas  07:33 

So you bought a practice? I mean, that’s, that’s amazing. I don’t think that’s very common out of school. But you? I mean, you just felt like, again, you had to catch up? Why not? The opportunity came and you just took it. 


Laura Mach  07:50 

Yes. And I had no idea how little I knew about leadership, business, all that stuff. I was completely clueless that I was like, Okay, let’s find the brightness, you know? 


Shawn Zajas  08:04 

Well, so judging off of based off of you saying that, when When did all of a sudden the lights turn on and you’re like, Oh, my God, this, this running a dental practice thing is very different than simply the clinical side of dentistry. When did that become very apparent to you? 


Laura Mach  08:23 

Probably when the seller left, because the seller really did take on quite a bit of leadership. Until that time, and also at that time, I really wanted to modernize the practice. And so that is when I realized that when you’re a leader, you really have to deal with your own inner stuff. Can I say swear words on this podcast? 


Shawn Zajas  08:52 

Yeah, I’ll just, I’ll just make it explicit. 


Laura Mach  08:56 

You have to look at your own inner shit. To be a good leader, you have to look at your own, like, insecurities, your own heart to lead other people even if it’s a small practice. And I was very much humbled and made a ton of mistakes during that time. 


Shawn Zajas  09:21 

Alright, so am I calling you Dr. Mach, or am I calling you Laura? I just call me Laura. Okay, so So Laura, what were like Where were you in this time when it came to your, your your shit or like the stuff that you’re dealing with? Like, did you know that like? I don’t know, whether it was the poverty stuff or everything from your dad, and the restrictions based off of what you are supposed to do. Had you dealt with most of that or was that all kind of coming to head at the same time? In your first years in practice ownership 


Laura Mach  09:59 

The Leadership problems that I ran into with my own shit had to do with my security as a person. So yes, you’re right. A lot of it was how I grew up. So I had this thought habit. That’s what I call them, like a belief that ran through my mind, even when I wasn’t really aware of it, that nothing was enough. And so like, as the practice grew and ease, it didn’t take very long we were collecting 1.31 point 4 million, I was the only dentist. And we were doing that this was 10 years ago. And we had all this money in the account. But I still believed that it wasn’t enough. Because I was I had a habit of believing that it wasn’t it. I looked, I remembered my mom trying to get us fed by selling her plasma and taking the $20 to all the before it was cool. And that little girl was still in my brain. And so I’m like Hungry, Hungry Hippo gathering. You know what I mean? Remember that game? I do. I’m just like trying to collect and trying to, and at the same time trying to like my litmus test for whether I thought I was a good leader or not was, is everybody happy with me? Instead of where is this practice going? What do I what am I bringing to the table that’s different than other dentists? What do I think I should be giving my employees? So one employee would want this one patient would want this, I’d say sure. And then this way, and then that way, and that meant that the practice was essentially rudderless. 


Shawn Zajas  11:51 

Yeah, but but you’re not supposed to know this going in. Like, you’re not supposed to know that, hey, if I like peace, or if I like, I don’t know, making people happy. And if I’m really high on agreeableness, then I’m going to be almost like without backbone without a spine. I’m not exerting what I want. And what’s best for everybody. Because I’m just trying to make people happy. I’m sure even coming face to face with that. It just takes courage to face any sense of inadequacy. 


Laura Mach  12:25 

I agree. And that courage is really painful. Like, we’re not talking about the courage where you feel like a million bucks, we’re talking about crap, I’ve been doing this wrong. And I have to look at my mistakes and be like, yeah, I really screwed that up. And that’s hard. You know. But when you see what would happen is, I’ve got busier and busier, you know, the patients were happy because I was doing what they wanted. And I was busy, I was running that hamster wheel dental thing. And what was happening was, I wasn’t having a good time anymore. And I couldn’t, I was afraid to tell my employees what I wanted. Because I didn’t want to piss them off. And I was afraid to say no to a patient, you know, remove myself from insurance contract or whatever, for the same reason, while somebody might be unhappy with me. And so I’m making everybody else happy. And then I’m having to do deep breathing, as I’m coming into the parking lot to try to get myself to go in and do the thing for another day. To other dentists who tell a similar story, right? 


Shawn Zajas  13:41 

Oh, I mean, dentistry. Dentistry is hard, and dentistry. I remember when I realized, like, I’m a small business owner. And when I realized that I didn’t have to be a clinician, I don’t know anything about clinical dentistry. And yet my whole life I spent trying to understand business, grow business, you know, HR, everything. And then a dentist has the same responsibilities as me, but they also have an entire clinical world that I know nothing about. I was like, How in the world, like, I got a degree in marketing. I have business degrees. dentists don’t like, this is a struggle for me. And I can think about it, read about it, study it, apply it day and night. How in the world is a dentist supposed to be clinically great. And at the same time, be great want to know? The thing is there is there’s lots of demand in dentistry because people need healthy teeth and they don’t they don’t have it. So thankfully, there’s lots of demand so you can get away with less than ideal business practices and still have somewhat of a successful practice. Sure. And I think that’s where the door got left open for the DSOs to come in. Because at that same time, in the economy, like in our culture, everything was shifting from the Kmart to like bespoke to more independent coffee shops. And that’s the same exact time when a corporate expression of Dentistry was able to grow. And it’s like, That’s so weird. It was like, it was like, against what was happening everywhere else. And I realized it was simply because the lack of processes, the lack of systems, the difficulty, that dentistry is allowed for, you know, fortune 500 companies to be like, hey, if we put money in here, and, and we bring systems and we bring better business best practices, there’s room for us to grow. But what they miss, in my opinion, is just the heart and connection to the patient. Now, I’m curious, Laura, when did this all come to a head? Do you remember a moment when? I don’t know maybe you looked in the mirror? Or maybe you finished a procedure? Or maybe you got done at the end of the day? And you were just like, I can’t keep doing dentistry this way? 


Laura Mach  16:15 

Okay, yeah, there were a couple of those moments. The first moment was probably near the middle or the end of 2018. And it was that it was the having to do deep breathing to come into the office and like coming in and knowing that the smiles from the employees are not sincere. Like you could feel the stress rising, you could feel that it wasn’t, we were not having fun anymore. And that’s when I got a life coach. I did not realize how I thought that was for me, I didn’t realize at the time that it was also for my business. And but that is the first change that really made a difference for me was understanding how am I emotions affected my leadership. And I learned that in life coaching. 


Shawn Zajas  17:17 

So you had a great experience with a life coach. And I’m guessing because of what you went through the lessons you learned, you probably were like, hey, if I can help other dentists learn these lessons quicker than I did, and find a faster path to fulfillment. And I think fulfillment is probably a good word for this because you can run a successful dental practice when it comes to the numbers, but be miserable inside and there’s absolutely no fulfillment, right. Now, you said you’re a mother of three is that is that kind of where the family stopped? I just wasn’t sure based off of your, your upbringing, if you wanted to go for seven or 


Laura Mach  18:09 

like my family. I do now have a stepdaughter. I got her when she was 10. There’s four total. 


Shawn Zajas  18:17 

Wow. And you Okay, so you’re you’re a dentist still practicing dentists. And at the same exact time. Like when what was the genesis of this life coaching? Where did that start when all of a sudden you decided to step out? Well, 


Laura Mach  18:38 

as I was coached, as I saw how my emotions, like, as I referred to it before, my shit that I had not dealt with was negatively impacting my practice. And I worked on me. And it almost made an immediate difference in the practice, and I was like, I sent an opportunity. Because at the time, there were no life coaches, for dentists. Now there’s several, and they’re lovely, they’re all great, and I can coach everybody, so I encourage it. But I saw that this had made such a tremendous impact on my numbers on my enjoyment on my patients, on my employees that I was like, I’m just gonna give this a try. I’m going to I’m going to sign up for certification. If nothing else, it will help me to better listen to my patients and my and my employees. And then it definitely grew from there. 


Shawn Zajas  19:36 

Was there like a mindset shift in the last decade that either you had to embrace or maybe an old mindset that you had to shed in order to get to where you’re out today? 


Laura Mach  19:50 

Yes, for sure. I mean, like I said, before I was doing everything my litmus test was is is nobody mad at me. And now, after really understanding it, it’s who am I serving? And how am I serving them. And I’m defining that, and then I’m putting it out into the universe. And many patients, or employees will leave the practice because it doesn’t fit what they want. But I’m practicing the way I want No. And that means that I don’t have to do deep breathing, as I go into the practice every day, I can be like, Oh, yep, today, I’m going to help this person, this person and this person, and I’m doing it the way I choose to. That means one has to face their fears about, you know, well, if I go out of network, then so and so’s gonna be mad at me, and maybe everybody’s gonna leave the practice. And maybe my employees won’t support me, or they’ll be mad at me, you know, all these things. Our mind wants us to be a part of a tribe. And unless we very carefully define who our tribe is, our mind will assume that we have to be liked by everybody. And then we start making our choices based on that. It’s just a default way that brains work, because brains know that acceptance is a part of survival, right? And so it takes a little bit of internal work to say, No, these are the people in my tribe. And this is how I choose to serve my community. And I am okay, if not everybody likes that. That is very difficult for a dentist to do. 


Shawn Zajas  21:44 

And talking to so I’m a big branding guy. Like I love branding. So in my world, that’s all about like, authentically, finding that that authentic brand in dentistry, and I agree, I don’t think dentists know. I don’t think they know how to do it. But But even before knowing how to do it, I don’t even think they know they have permission to do it. 


Laura Mach  22:07 

For sure, not for sure. Not. Yeah, the golden handcuffs. And they are afraid to remove that. 


Shawn Zajas  22:15 

Well, but what I always tell people is like, Hey, if you’re like a whole foods, and that’s the way you do care, which is you know, higher quality. But somehow, because of, I don’t know, maybe your ads or, or something, you somehow are attracting Walmart customers, there’s gonna be a disconnect there. Because Walmart customers will be shocked when they’re at Whole Foods, they’re expecting the roll back prices, they’re expecting the savings, they’re expecting the just everything is different from Walmart, to Whole Foods. And yet, if you’re a Whole Foods dentist and you’re trying to take care of a Walmart patient, there’s going to be a disconnect, like you don’t want them to actually step into your practice. If they accidentally step in your practice, you don’t want them to find any sense of belonging in that practice, because you’re going to have to be inauthentic to serve them. And that’s going to then drain you and make you feel, I don’t know, like you’re probably not being true to who you are. So when did again, this takes crazy courage, Laura, I’m amazed that this is the the journey that you went through. Because I don’t know too many dentists that I know that actually are able to go through this. 


Laura Mach  23:34 

I want to rollback prior to you complimenting me again to describing what dentists need to do with the branding. Okay? Like you look at a practice and you go, all they have to do is change their messaging, and be okay with a slower influx of patients, right. Because those high quality patients are harder to come by. Everybody’s got their insurance, and they want their free cleaning, or whatever. So it’s easy to bring them in. But what I want to do is help you see why dentists aren’t changing their branding and saying this is how I do it. And it’s usually fear. And unless they can see that they feel the fear and unless they can see that their fear is based on irrational beliefs, they’re going to keep on acting afraid. So my job as a life coach and really it it’s definitely it’s leadership coaching, but it’s leadership coaching through you have to understand you and your emotions. First, we look at why we’re afraid. We look at what our thought habits are. And then we decide, is this a thought habit that we want to keep or do we want to let it go. So if someone wants to change or improve how they’re putting themselves out there in the wilderness, they need to know that they’re going to be open Hey. And life coaching helps them with that. 


Shawn Zajas  25:05 

Okay, so twice now, you’ve commented about me flattering or caught are saying nice things. So I realized, this is the challenge when I interview someone that doesn’t know me. So just super quick. I love people strength, like, absolutely love people strengths, like I am not intimidated by it. I had a brother and sister, they were older than me, they’re twins. And they were amazing at everything. And my parents still somehow made me feel special. And like I belonged, even though I had these amazing siblings. So the gift that my parents gave me was, I want to celebrate everybody’s giftings. And that special light that only they can shine. So when someone doesn’t know that they mistake it as flattery, but 



not offended. I just 



just like, Okay, thank you. Yeah, thank you. 


Shawn Zajas  25:58 

But Laura, you are, you are brilliant, and you have a light to shine that only you can shine. And I guess that’s kind of part of my introduction that I forgot to share is that I see that dentistry is advancing. And I know it’s going to be great in a decade. But my whole question is, is the person that’s listening going to be part of what makes it great? Or are they still going to be on the sideline, because when I look to the left and the right, I meet all these amazing people at conferences, and I see so many of my friends, advancing dentistry, but yet I still see these vacancies where people haven’t occupied the space that only they can. And that’s why when it comes to like abundance, I don’t believe it’s just financial, I believe that like, only you can occupy the space that you are meant to occupy. And there’s people that are listening that between the lines of what you’re saying and what I’m saying, they’re thinking of the dream on their heart, they’re thinking of, of that thing that would be fulfilling for them. Maybe it’s a life coach, maybe it’s writing a book, maybe it is starting a podcast. Maybe it’s something that hasn’t even been done before. And my whole goal, in interviewing people that have the courage to be honest and vulnerable, like you is that that would encourage them to step up and step out. Now, instead of waiting for them to be perfectly ready. Like were you perfectly ready to start your practice? 


Laura Mach  27:29 

Absolutely not. Nor was I ready to start a life coaching business either stepped on some toes and made some mistakes. And yeah, I just did it. 


Shawn Zajas  27:41 

But it seems like you you’ve you’ve not struggled with stepping out or starting something new. Was that in you even as a kid where you just didn’t mind trying new things? Or leading or pioneering? Or is that something that’s more in your professional life recently? 


Laura Mach  28:01 

No, I, you’re right. I am a person who is like, Okay, let’s try it. You know, I don’t mind giving it a go. And sometimes I fail. Or sometimes I embarrass myself. But that’s if you want to save yourself from failure and embarrassment. And you just have to stay where you are. And like you said, there are people who might be listening to this podcast, who are like, I have this thing I want to create to help people. But what if they don’t like it? What if I get rejected? Yeah, you might, you will probably get rejected sometimes. But do you want to stay where you are? Or do you want to get going? 


Shawn Zajas  28:52 

I love that message. I mean, I tell people all the time, there’s no guarantees. Like, there’s if you’re looking for a guarantee, or you’re looking for some reassurance, that what you do is going to work. It’s just not there. But I think you should do it anyway. Because if it’s if it’s part of you, and if it’s your expression of art to the world, like something you’re releasing that something you believe in and you care about, then it’s I can come in on you like you need to share that. You know, I feel like everybody is gifted in order to be a gift, like the point of giftings is that you gift it to others. Like you use your giftings to be a gift to others. You use your light to illuminate and help other people where they might be stuck. That struggle, and oftentimes we’re scared that we might struggle. You even said the F word failure. And, and I think that’s one of those words, Laura simply because if you think of failure and you think of it clinically, that’s scary. That sounds like liability. It sounds like a really poor outcome. where someone’s going to be upset. But yet, when you think of it in terms of business, it’s just the opportunity to move forward. And to continue learning. The fact that you have those mindsets, I’m just saying that that is gold. Like, what? Where did you get this from? Were you just self educating? Are you reading is it through some of the life coaches that you hired, 


Laura Mach  30:23 

as the coaching has definitely helped. But the coaching program that I went through really helps you look at rejection and failure in a new way. And to not be afraid of negative emotions. It makes a difference, for sure. And, you know, when you think about you mentioned, sharing your light, and sharing your gift with others. And I have to say that if I made a graph of the negative feeling of rejection or failure, versus the elation of helping someone in a way that only you can, because you have these unique gifts, the elation is much higher, and the rejection and the failing feelings, they’re not going to kill you, they’re going to suck, but they’re not going to kill you. And it’s a price you pay for the elation. So if that’s what you’re seeking, you have to be willing to face some negativity on the way. But it’s worth it, I think. 


Shawn Zajas  31:35 

Absolutely. So again, in like, my hope, again, for for the podcast is always just to give people that extra nudge. To, to start now, and to not be afraid you work with so many dentists? What are some of the mindsets that you see that keep them that keep them back? Or maybe they keep them more hidden instead of toward full expression? 



Okay, um, 


Laura Mach  32:08 

the most common one right now that we work on all the time, is I can’t ask my employees to change because then they might quit and I can’t hire somebody else. You run into that? Do you run into that? 


Shawn Zajas  32:24 

Okay, yeah. 


Laura Mach  32:27 

And then there’s the similar, I can’t go out of network because everyone will leave and then I won’t have a practice anymore. 


Shawn Zajas  32:35 

So they feel stuck having to do it, according to the dictates of insurance. 


Laura Mach  32:42 

Yeah. Or the twin of that is, I can’t go out of network because I’m not special enough. Oh, my gosh, so many people have told me that one. I don’t have enough special skills, that type of thing. Someone will say something like, Well, I can’t make any changes, because I’m booked through December. So I’m, you know, again, it’s that handcuffs thing. I’ve made all these commitments to people, and so I can’t change right now. And so whatever it is, you know, maybe it’s not seeing children anymore, or doing fewer fillings every day, or whatever it is, I going to kois or spear and you have to like close your practice to elevate your education, but you always have three or six months of patients waiting for you. These are the types of mindsets that we run into really frequently and for women, which is who I coach, there’s also this whole, you know, we get taught that our job is to make other people happy starting when we’re like I don’t know, 18 months old, two years old, you’re so cute. Look at you in your trash. So you made me so happy. You know, and then and then we start to learn Oh, my job is to make other people happy. And to serve everybody else and to put myself last. And so what happens is the employees asked for things and they ask for things or they don’t do what you ask them to don’t do what you ask them. They don’t do what you ask. And you just keep on internal internalizing the anger. I’m not supposed to feel angry. I’m just gonna stay right here. I’m just going to, you know, and hold it in, and then all of a sudden it goes and then they lose their ship. Because they’ve held it in for too long. And then they get a reputation for being crazy. Oh, you don’t want to work for her. She’s crazy. Whenever I hear that. What that means is that woman has been people pleasing for so long that she’s tired of it and she doesn’t know how to lead in a way that’s not angry. 


Shawn Zajas  34:55 

So how, how do you do that? Like, I mean, this seems this seems almost paradoxical, right? So you don’t want to be people pleasing but you don’t want to completely just piss people off. How do you own your strength and walk and be in like that place of freedom where you’re not stuck and bound, but do it in a way that acknowledges your feelings and yet, doesn’t cause chaos and offense from those people around you. 


Laura Mach  35:33 

Okay, I’m gonna do my best to explain this without sounding too Coachy. 


Shawn Zajas  35:36 

Say you be you, Laura sounds coaches you need to be 


Laura Mach  35:42 

the first step is to recognize why you are feeling the way you are feeling right now. So why are you feeling like you can’t? Okay, and recognizing that our feelings always come from thoughts, thoughts being the way that the electrical mean, between our ears, processes, our environment. And the electrical mean, between our ears makes a lot of assumptions. Okay, so we look at how we have been assuming our practice exists. And we question it, we decide. So this is a voluntary thought, maybe it came default, maybe it was instant, that we told ourselves we couldn’t change. But is that true? Do we still want to believe that we can’t change? And then once we’ve established that, okay, yes, this thought this belief is not serving me, I want to let it go. Then we look and we say, well, how do you intend to lead? If you could, without if you could take emotion out of it? And you could just lead however you chose? What would that look like? And every time you ask a leader, that question, they don’t come back with some selfish meenie Pooh answer. They’re like, Well, what I’d like is to give them a standard, and to reward them for following it. And then we’re all having we’re having a good time. Like, okay, well, how would you need to feel in order to act that way, and then they go inside themselves, and they go, Well, gosh, I don’t know empowered, confident, proud, something, and then we work on nurturing that feeling, so that they can be the way they intend to. And these are the coaching sessions that we do, where we learn how to nurture intentional emotions inside our bodies. 


Shawn Zajas  37:48 

Okay, that is just like, powerful, because I feel like people don’t have the alternative. It’s like you either have these toxic feelings and emotions, or you numb out. And then you can’t live aligned to your power source, which is your feelings in your heart. And being aligned to that is beautiful. And it’s amazing, and it’s a gift. But if neglected, or if you’ve got these toxins stay there, then they can hurt people around you and your left, like what do I do? Almost like, Is there something wrong with me? And you feel all crazy in your fields. And that’s not good for anybody. 


Laura Mach  38:27 

Oh, it’s not in brains, the way brands work. Plus dentistry like modern day dental practice ownership. This is like a recipe for unhappiness. Like unless we look at that brain and just take care of it a little bit. We’re all going to be unhappy. 


Shawn Zajas  38:44 

Okay, so is this a book that you’ve written yet? No, but 


Laura Mach  38:48 

I do have a podcast and it kind of lays it out. It’s just called Love your practice. In any event, if you’re not a dentist, but you’re looking to lead in that way, and to nurture the emotions that you need in order to change how you act, you can start there. Or you can call me, anybody can call me I 


Shawn Zajas  39:11 

love your practice. Where’d you get that? I love that brand. 


Laura Mach  39:15 

Thank you. Well, you know, I just thought what was what is the emotion that would help someone to lead in the very best way? Like if you could imagine if you love your business, you are like running towards it. It’s your baby. And you’re investing in it in a way that that that you’re not on the hamster wheel that you’re thinking about it? You’re nurturing it, you’re, you’re enjoying it, too. So 


Shawn Zajas  39:49 

that Okay, so I’m a man and I’m inspired by you. Do you have like a male coach that that you can refer him to? 


Laura Mach  39:58 

Yes, I There are male A dental life coaches and their I know a few who only serve men. And so and they’re great. They don’t they’re not exactly what I do, but they’re amazing too. So I’m sure they could help you. 


Shawn Zajas  40:15 

Yes. So where do you see yourself in 10 years? 


Laura Mach  40:19 

Mm. I think Teto in 10 years, I’ll be almost 60. I hope that physically I can still practice. And I hope that I will still be coaching. And I hope that I’ll have more opportunities to speak on the national circuit. I’m working on that part. I have my first big gig coming up in January. So yeah, more more of all the say all this more of it. And put probably more vacations. Yes. I’ll be done paying for colleges by then. 


Shawn Zajas  41:03 

I have five kids. So I’m, yeah, they’re pretty young. Well, I shouldn’t say that. They’re 14 to seven. So yeah, I have a lot of school ahead of me to pay for. 


Laura Mach  41:17 

Just keep innovating. Yes, yes. 


Shawn Zajas  41:19 

Okay, so Laura, if I am hearing you, and I’m a female dentist, and I’m like, Man, I love her message. I want to get in touch with her. Where do you want people to go? 


Laura Mach  41:30 

Just my website. It’s love your practice.net. But you can also find me on like Instagram, if you don’t want to talk to me if you just want to like, get my vibe. My my Instagrams full of reels and posts. It’s Dr. Laura Mach D. D. S. 


Shawn Zajas  41:53 

Okay, so I think you’re ready for it. This is the closing question. So Laura, today. Now this is a hypothetical. You’re walking down the street. And you see in the distance 18 year old Laura. And you only have a one moment, just one little sentiment that you can communicate with her? What do you share? 


Laura Mach  42:21 

I hope you can edit out this pause while I think you can do more than people think you can. Or people say you can’t that’s what you can do more than people say you can. 


Shawn Zajas  42:39 

Amen. I feel like that’s that’s the message even for the listeners right now. For sure you can do more than you think you can, you can do more than people say you can. And there’s no better time than now. And I feel like so much of your message is so encouraging of like, Hey, I don’t need to be afraid to step out. I don’t need to be afraid to try things. And the sooner I get aligned with with who I am in practice, the more I’m going to feel alive, fulfilled connected to my team, my patients, and the more I’m able to actually love my practice. 


Laura Mach  43:21 

Yeah. And what would be so bad about feelings and rejection? If I knew if I could feel a little rejection, that I would get more aligned. Would I go through that emotion? Yes, I would. Anybody would 


Shawn Zajas  43:36 

know that. That is 100% true. Laura, it’s been easy to honor you as as an innovator as someone that really is pioneering positive change. I think the more we have dentists that are connected to their purpose to their heart to their brand in practice, so that they can be present with patients and present with team and alive, the better it is for dentistry. Seriously, like thank you for what you’re doing in dentistry. I’m in your corner if you need anything. Thank you for letting me interview you today. 


Laura Mach  44:14 

It’s been an honor, thank you so much for inviting me. 


Shawn Zajas  44:19 

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 

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