Strategic Planning for Success: Minal’s Entrepreneur Journey


Podcast Summary

Minal Sampat, a successful marketing strategist and entrepreneur, shares her insights and experiences during an interview with Shawn Zajas. Throughout the conversation, Minal imparts valuable advice on overcoming fear, embracing authenticity, and navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship. 

Minal emphasizes the importance of addressing fear and not allowing it to remain an abstract concept. She suggests that fear gains power from its ambiguous nature, but by defining and shining light on it, one can mitigate its impact. Minal encourages individuals to identify the worst-case scenario and assess whether they have a solution in place. By preparing for the worst, one can confidently pursue their goals, knowing they have a plan to overcome any obstacles that may arise. 

The conversation shifts to the concept of authenticity in business. Minal highlights the prevailing belief in the marketing industry that emphasizes numbers and increased budgets. However, she challenges this notion by advocating for a more strategic and simplified approach. Minal’s unconventional perspective urges business owners to question the status quo and consider alternative methods that can achieve greater results with reduced expenses. By embracing authenticity and staying true to oneself, Minal empowers her clients to challenge conventional practices and discover their unique path to success. 

Minal’s journey towards authenticity and alignment with her brand has been a continuous process. She acknowledges the importance of personal growth, learning, and experimentation. Recognizing her own strengths and weaknesses has allowed Minal to build a team of talented individuals who complement her skill set. Delegating tasks and trusting her team members has been a transformative experience for her, enabling her to focus on her core competencies and propel her business forward. 

In response to Shawn’s question about addressing self-doubt and overcoming limitations, Minal offers a simple yet powerful perspective. She encourages individuals to consider the worst-case scenario and the best-case scenario associated with their goals. By weighing these outcomes, one can assess the risks involved and make an informed decision. Minal’s approach emphasizes the importance of planning, preparedness, and maintaining a positive mindset when pursuing aspirations. 

The conversation concludes with Minal recounting a personal story that underscores the significance of facing reality and having a plan in place. She shares an experience during a speaking engagement in New Jersey while her family in St. Thomas was enduring the onslaught of two Category 5 hurricanes. Minal’s ability to communicate her concerns and seek support from her audience demonstrated vulnerability and fostered a sense of unity. This experience reinforced her belief in the power of effective communication and the ability to rally people around a common cause. 

In summary, Minal Sampat’s interview with Shawn Zajas provides valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs and individuals seeking personal growth. By addressing fear, embracing authenticity, and focusing on strategic planning, Minal encourages individuals to overcome limitations and pursue their goals with confidence. Her experiences and perspectives serve as a guide for those navigating the challenging yet rewarding journey of entrepreneurship. Ultimately, Minal’s story highlights the importance of staying true to oneself, building a strong support network, and fostering open communication to achieve success in both business and personal endeavors.

Podcast Transcript


If I know the worst is something that I could emotionally, financially mentally handle, but I’m gonna do it because, hey, if I, you know if I can do this, if I can financially, emotionally and mentally handle, what is the worst that’s going to happen, then why shouldn’t I do it? The future


Shawn Zajas  00:16

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? So here I am today, and I have the pleasure of interviewing Minal Sampat. So before I set you up, for what we’re going to talk about mental thank you so much for letting me interview you today.


Minal 00:59

Oh, thank you for having me.


Shawn Zajas  01:01

Okay, so I just met Minal. At evolution. What was that this past?


Minal 01:07

May? Yeah.


Shawn Zajas  01:09

Was it okay? And it was an amazing event. And you could say, maybe it’s just because I knew most of the other people that there wasn’t anything that just broke the mold, and then all of a sudden, you started speaking. And I was like, I don’t know who this person is. But clearly, we’re related because there’s this fire. And there’s this passion. And there’s this spark that is in you, that was just so almost blinding. Like it was this light that came out that I couldn’t not see. So that’s why when I came to you, and I was like, No, I have to know you. I love what you’re doing. It’s gonna be so easy to have this conversation. So basically, innovation in dentistry meant all that could mean a lot, right? Yes,


Minal 01:56

so many things. That could mean clinical,


Shawn Zajas  01:58

that could mean a technological, and I believe you can’t have either of those until you first have that transformation in yourself. It gives you that permission, hey, I can step up and I can be the change I want to see. No, you are hygenist it’s not obvious that, hey, if you want to get your Rdh, you’ll be able to lead a marketing company, host ridiculous events like you’re doing and make the transformation that you’re doing. I want to know, like, how are you? Why are you right here right now in dentistry.


Minal 02:31

So the funny part is, I was always into marketing, I actually went to hygiene after I was in marketing. So I had a flip journey than rest of the industry where they do clinical first, and then they go into their site good. Actually, hygiene was my sidekick, I have never practice hygiene for once a day. I haven’t practice hygiene in the last six years at all, as of now. So for me, I started in marketing, I was a communication biology major. And I just got hired by a pediatric orthodontic practice where our college as their marketing manager. And because I had a degree in communication, and there’s a whole story behind that too, but pretty much I was at Rutgers University in New Jersey. And I was bio in communication and I was pre Dental. So in order for you to be to pre Dental, you have to shadow dental practice. So I remember like faxing or faxing was a thing back then like faxing your resume to all these people. And then like the next thing I know, I have this practice big practice 25,000 patients huge practice. They call me up and they’re like, come on in and shadow us now I was a work study student I was, you know, 18 credits, I had all these communication by all this stuff going, I didn’t have a car. So I remember like taking a bus and like shadowing them through the summer, and they offered me a job, but I was already working two jobs in college. So I’m like, Well, I can’t work for you now. But I’ll let you know. And then I decided that I really love communication, which is marketing, PR public speaking all that fun stuff. Way more than I love bio. So I had to call my East Indian father and tell him that Hey, Dad, what do you think if I don’t become a doctor? What if I don’t go to dental school and this is after me, taking my DTS having my five ready for applications. And I’m like, I really, really love, like the business side of things. I, you know, this is what I want to do. So my dad’s like, you better get it together. You don’t have an option. Like if you’re not gonna go to dental school, you better get this together. And then I graduated in 2008. So 2008 was a very bad year to graduate. You know, so I’m here looking for jobs anywhere that would hire me and be like, Hi, have degrees and I just graduated, I’m work hard. Hire me. And everybody’s like, well, it’s the recession. We don’t need you. You know, we already have people who are experienced, but this dental practice I called the office manager and I’m like, Hey, remember me. I shattered you guys. A couple of years back, you offered me a job, couldn’t take it, then I need a job now. Love would love to work for you. And they’re like, We are not hiring, but come on in at lunch. And you know, you never say no to networking. So I go to lunch. And the next thing I know, they’re interviewing me. And then the next thing I know, the dentist, the owner of the practice comes in. And he’s like, we have no idea what you’re going to do, but we just liked you. So we’re just going to hire you. And we’ll just figure out where you belong. And I got literally trained in front desk, you know, in the lab, I was helping I was a floater. And then clearly marketing because that was my passion is I took over their marketing. So I was always doing marketing, I decided to go to hygiene school to understand patient care, understand patient communication, to understand how to deal with patients to make sure that we are providing the best care we can. So hygiene, funny enough for me has always been my side gig that never turned into more than just a side gig. But yeah, my generous but always been a marketer.


Shawn Zajas  06:03

I don’t even know how to reconcile that. I’m just like, someone that went to hygiene school to understand patient care more. I mean, that’s just one of those, like mind is officially blown. Okay, so you must be like, obviously, a woman of many talents, because hygiene is probably a little bit more of that clinical side. Now clearly, there’s like a patient, like, I get to express empathy, I get to listen, I get to take care of a person. But at the other side of it, you already had that fascination with business. What were you shocked about when you came into dentistry because it’s not an ordinary industry, in my opinion.


Minal 06:43

You know, when I talk about patient care is putting patients first. A lot of times when you look at business in the marketing world, you’re looking at clients and customers. And the end goal is for you to make a sale. Right? Like I grew up in a business family, my parents are business owners. And even when you go to business schools, you know you end goal is to survive is to make money is to have a fulfilling business, which we all do, which is a part of requirement otherwise, our business that will be our hobbies and not a business. So there is that part of that. But what’s interesting, what my entirety shifted, when I went to hygiene school was understanding that this is not about let me make a sale. It’s about how can I make you feel better? You know, patient care came before, let me make that sale. Patient Care came before hey, here’s a $40,000 treatment that you must sign up on. It came before you know what I mean? So it was all about what do you need? Are you how can we make help you improve this and as a hygienist going through that entire process. Now, hygiene school is tough, it’s not easy. You know, the school, I went to only accepted 30 people out of 1000s that applied, and are the 30 people five would fail out the first year because 80 was a see. And if you got below 80 you’re kicked out of school, you have to reapply to get back to the hygiene program. So this was it was not something like let me just go to hygiene. Like once I got it. I was like because I applied late, and I you know, because I guess I had the degrees and education behind me they you know, I got accepted, but it was like, oh, no, this is a reality check. Like this is not a I mean, you’re studying, you’re with patients your understanding, like even community, like we have to volunteer, we have to go to homeless shelters. And we have to this entire process brought the humans in front of you separate from here’s a client, you know, and that humanizing factor, I think has been such a big part of who I am. And also my growth is because I see people as people like I just got off a call from a potential new new client. And I actually told them, Don’t hire me right now. Like, here’s all the free stuff. Like go ahead and implement it. And don’t hire me right now. Call me back in six months or seven months, but do this right now. And she’s like, Oh, my God, you don’t you don’t want like, Are you sure? Like I want to pay your money for this hour? And I’m like, Absolutely not like you’re just starting out. You don’t have the budget for this. Don’t worry about it, like take all this stuff. And she’s like, I can’t believe that you would do that because everybody else wants to sign me this huge contracts. And but what I you know, it’s a relationship, and it’s a humanizing factor for me. And now I have somebody who is who appreciate what I shared. And, you know, no more than that. She’s gonna be back in six months after she implemented what I told her like, Okay, this totally worked. And now I have the cash to pay you. So let’s go ahead and do this more. So it’s the humanization of understanding. What do you need? And what can you serve instead of let me make a sale.


Shawn Zajas  09:37

I love that. It’s people first. Like I love that lens. I feel like it oriented everything. It’s almost like that plumb line, so to speak, that kind of put that right priority in the right alignment, where it’s like, yeah, this is people first and then that fits into branding. It fits into the marketing. Everything is about that patient, their care. Their experience their journey, and not just random colors or random offers that we have. It’s centered around their 360, holistic view of how do we elevate that? You know, because there are people, so, so no, have you? Have you always known that you’re an entrepreneur or like a visionary entrepreneur? Like, when did you all of a sudden get up and be like, This is who I am? And I own it?


Minal 10:25

I guess, I guess so. I mean, I don’t think it was ever a question. You know, I grew up in a business family, my parents are immigrants to this country. And they came here in their 40s, not because they had to, or anything like that we had a very comfortable life in India, my mom had five mates that came every day. And we lived in a mansion, and we had a flourishing business. So it was not a let’s go do more. But my parents decided to come to the US in their 40s because they wanted a better life, they just wanted to make sure that my brother and have the best option, so I kind of, and you know, they came here, they were bought that they came here, they open up their own business. I mean, they brought they bought us a computer before they bought a car. So you know, we had a computer so that my brother and I can go to school and be just like every other kid. And I remember walking to grocery stores or taking the dollar bus to go get groceries and stuff like that. So and they opened up their business and you know, all that stuff. So I kind of grew up seeing that, I think. And because of that, that was always in me to do something to be your own boss to be able to work hard and have a good work ethic and be kind to people. So I decided why not? Let’s go for it. Let’s see what happens. What’s the worst that can happen? And here we are.


Shawn Zajas  11:42

Okay, so when is that? Like, I want to know timewise? So when do you actually get your official like Rdh


Minal 11:48

I got it in 2011. So 2008 is when I graduated college, I got my bachelor’s and then from 2000 Yeah, and then I graduated that and then I got 2011 is when I got my hygiene license. And then in 2013 is when I opened up my first company.


Shawn Zajas  12:11

Okay, company, as in a marketing company in dental.


Minal 12:15

I opened up. So we opened up 2013 is when I opened up my first company, and we opened that by breaking the Guinness World Record. So that was that was a fun thing as well. And then that company, I bought out all my partners and everything. And then later, about five, six years ago is when I bought everybody out and I rebranded to Manal Sampat LLC.


Shawn Zajas  12:37

Okay, so, in 2013, you start this and you said, hey, why not? I’m more curious about kind of that that mindset, like, did you have some of that? self doubt? Imposter syndrome? Like the fear of like, oh, shit, this may not work? Like, did you feel that? Or was it kind of like, I only you only saw the upside, or let’s just do this. Like, I’m so curious, what was your mindset or frame of mind in that kind of season or that moment, so to speak,


Minal 13:13

I still have to find a person who hasn’t had doubts, or hasn’t had the fear of failure or hasn’t, you know, I mean, I went through all of that, like, Oh, my God, I’m gonna fail. Oh, my God, I don’t know what I know what I’m gonna do. What helped me was three things that helped me the first thing that helped me was I was standing on to soldiers, like soldiers of giants. And I don’t mean that in a, here’s a weird way, but no, like, literally, if I just shared the story with you, you know, somebody hired me because they liked me. And they’re like, let’s just see what we’re gonna do. And here we are, you know, and taking over or, you know, when I decided to open up a company, I made a whole business plan, and I had people ready to invest in me, they didn’t even know what I could do, because this was my first company, but they were ready to invest in my company and provide the financial foundation. And the third part was also like I said, I always have because I’ve grown up that when I’ve seen my parents work hard and give up luxury, to fight for a better life. I always look at anything I do. And I said, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? And what’s the best that’s going to happen? Right? And if I know the worst is something that I could emotionally, financially mentally handle, but I’m gonna do it because hey, if I you know, if I can do this, if I can financially, emotionally and mentally handle, what is the worst that’s going to happen, then why shouldn’t I do it? Because imagine what could happen the best that could happen after it right? So I knew it was gonna be a lot of hard work. It was scary waters. It was, I was scared. I was a 20 something you were female coming into going, Hey, I know what I’m doing. And you know, they’re like, Who are you like, so we had to work a lot harder. I had to work very hard. And but, again, if I didn’t do it, I would be asking myself why did I do it? So I rather just take the risk.


Shawn Zajas  15:03

So a lot of our listeners, like my whole challenge to them is look dentistry is going to be great. Like I’m convinced the question is, you listener? Are you going to be part of what makes it great? Like, are you just going to be on the sideline, and consume podcast after podcast, read the blog post, go to the events, but not actually rise up and take your place? Whatever that looks like. And I’m not saying everyone has to be an author or speaker. That’s not my point. My point is, I believe dentistry wins. When everyone does shine that unique like that only they can shine. Like, there’s not competition here. I can’t be Marinol. Like I would love to try. But I can’t. You are so unique. The essence that you bring is so unique. And that’s why I think a lot of the listeners are like, Yeah, but But what if, like, you know, there isn’t guarantees, there’s not, there’s not like no one said, No, when you do this, you will be able to continue, you know, stepping up leveling up making more impact. There’s no fear, it’s a paved certain path. There’s no such thing like no one had done what you did. And that took courage. It took belief, it took resilience. And so being willing to just fall flat on your face, did you ever fall flat on your face?


Minal 16:20

Oh, yeah. So many times? Are you kidding me? I mean, I have fallen flat on my face so many times. And thank God I did, because I would be such a big arrogant jerk. I’m finding not right. But no, you have to be able to take failure as it comes and grow from it. And I know that again, all of this sounds like a soap, you know, we are just talking about it. But realistically, this is what makes us better humans and better business owners is understanding that failure is a part of growth. And, yes, you’re gonna have great days, and some not so great days. But at the end of the day, if you have a goal that you wanted to achieve, and you still have it in you, to get to that goal, to make that impact to change that life to share your message or your story, or whatever it is, then it shouldn’t stop you. And I’ll tell you, and I’ll share this with you. And this was an interesting thing when I was at Rutgers where I got my undergrad. This is when I was deciding between going to dental school or really focusing on business is when I went to my college counselor, because I my entire life, I thought I’m going to be a dentist, I’m not even lying. Like that was my entire life. And here I am in college and really loving this marketing communication and business and PR side of stuff. And I remember I was so conflicted that what should I do? What should I do? So I went to my college counselor at Rutgers. And she told me something that shifted everything in me. And she said, I don’t know if you believe in faith. But if you think you want to do something, you already have the power to do so. Right? And that kind of made me take a step back and say, Okay, I think I want to be in business and I already have the power to do so. The ability that I can think that right gives me the capability of the action that could make that happen. And she literally told me that and I quoted that quote in magazines and interviews and everywhere because it really shifted the way I was thinking and it took out the fear. Because it’s so true. The simple thought if you are like, You know what, I think I want to make a grilled cheese. Well, if you think you want to make a grilled cheese, you probably have it in you the actions needed to make that grilled cheese. And is that that simple fact.


Shawn Zajas  18:39

Like, I didn’t respond simply because the weight of it was like it just needed to like sit there. Like wow. Okay, so, okay, so you think something you are now aware like this is something viable? What level of preparation? Do you feel like it’s necessary, like, meaning I heard Jeff Bezos say, like, not I wasn’t in the room, I thought I clear that, you know, one of the times that we’re hanging out at night, and he’s just like, Shawn, and I guess he’s fine with making a decision with 70% certainty, which means 30% Unknown, he’s fine. Saying, that’s, that’s good enough. So meaning, some people still want to like beat the horse dead. Like we need 98%, clarity, a plan, a strategy, a vision is going to work. We’ve talked to people, we talked to more people, we did market research, and it’s like, oh, you’re not moving anywhere. Right, there’s no action, you’re not going anywhere. So in that same way between the thought and then what is that minimum viable product, so to speak, from your perspective,


Minal 19:49

and it’s very true with you know, with Jeff Bezos and I think he also said that on a daily basis, if he can make two good decisions, he’s happy. You know, if he’s like, I make two decisions. I’m good for Are the day right? So something like that. But I like I said, for me it comes down to again, what I shared earlier is, what is the worst that’s going to happen? So let’s say we have, we’re making a grilled cheese. Okay? What is the worst that can happen when we make our grilled cheese? Well, we don’t have cheese, or we have our bread has gone bad, or Okay, so I can go buy the bread and the cheese and I can make the grilled cheese right? Or I make grilled cheese and it falls on the floor. Okay, then I want to make another real cheese. But what I’m saying is that you literally come up and say, What is the worst that’s going to happen? And I mean, be honest with yourself, like, what is the worst that’s going to happen? And then if that’s the worst that’s gonna happen, do you have a solution for that? And is that solution, something that you’re capable of reaching to? Because now there is a method behind your madness. And you’re prepared when the worst does happen. And you’re like, I already thought about that. I know what my next steps aren’t going to be. And that’s what helps me so I always look at everything that I do. And and you know, in my so far, in my 10 years of entrepreneurship, it’s been a wonderful journey with achieving a lot of stuff. But it always again, comes down to what’s the worst that’s gonna happen. Whatever that is, can I deal with it? If I can deal with that, then I’m gonna go and do it. Because the best is always better than the worst. So if I can be the best and great if it doesn’t work, I can still deal with it. Because I have a plan in place.


Shawn Zajas  21:26

Okay, you so I feel like this. We’re having like a consulting session. And I’m the one on the receiving end, because I feel like that just unlocked something in me. Because like, the way that fear works is the only reason why it’s powerful is it’s because it’s an abstraction. Yeah, it’s, it’s this like, like, abstract foreboding of like, oh, no, something bad could happen, I could look bad. But when you nail it down, and you actually define it, and shine light on it, it’s like, wait a second, that’s what I’m afraid of. And then I come up with a plan to just mitigate it. To some extent, that’s actually not that bad. But when it stays that like fearful abstraction, well, gosh, it could mean, I’m not gonna put my you know, finger on it, but it’s something bad. It’s something terrible, like God mean, it’s ridiculous. And that’s your does.


Minal 22:18

And that’s what fear. And that’s why we have so many problems in the world if we just communicated how much of the issues that we have because of miscommunication. Right? And like, I’m also that person that picks up the phone and says, Listen, what’s wrong, what happened here? And the next thing, you know, there was nothing wrong. It was a simple whatever he or she said, right? It’s the same thing. I think. Fear is like what you said it is the unknown. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know. And I think, for me, if I’m prepared for it, then I can deal with it. And if I can deal with that, then hey, I got it. I got this, I got this. And if I can’t deal with it, then I’m like, maybe I should work on dealing with it first, before I go for it.


Shawn Zajas  22:58

Yeah, where it might actually reveal something like, Hey, maybe it is a little foolish for me to embark on this alone. Maybe I need to bring in a partner or two Exactly. Or maybe I need to, right. So all of a sudden, it also allows you to be more strategic, because you’re facing reality, or potential reality instead of just avoiding it, you know, so okay, I love that over the last decade. What mindset or belief set might have been the hardest for you to be like, because of the way that you’re wired. This is still that one nagging thing, but I got set free of it, or I overcame it. Like, is there something like that you can you can think of,


Minal 23:36

I’m 100%, because of the field that I am in, which is marketing and business. Like I said, a lot of people in my field, their end goal is numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers. And that is the end goal. And that is true. Like I said, in many ways, it’s true, right? But in my world in my thinking, like I’m a marketing strategist. And my book is called why your marketing is killing your business. And my book is called how you should not be different, right? Like I have all these things that I say which is in a rebellious way very different than the norm of what is said in the industry. So the hardest thing to come out of it is how do I stand ground and show easily, and simplify the process of okay, you don’t need to spend all this money. Like whatever marketing you’re doing right now, you can slash that by 20% and still increase your production. And that’s a guarantee that I can give you because I have done it with multi multiple different ways. So but when we talk to a marketing company, they’re never gonna say decrease your marketing budget, they’re always going to say increase your marketing budget. So that’s the mindset that I had to kind of overcome and not become a part of because it’s just the norm in the industry. And it’s also a mindset that I have to speak to my clients when I when I chat with them. Because, as you know, and you could talk to anybody who has worked with me and they will always say oh, she’s She’s very different. She the way she does things, the way she’s teaching us to do stuff is not what we have been told. So it’s also not only for me to overcome that, but for them to overcome that. And to understand that, that’s been the biggest, I would say, a roadblock but at the same time away way for me to connect with people a little bit more, because again, they come first and not how much money they’re spending on what


Shawn Zajas  25:27

I absolutely love that. Okay, so when I, when I see human, I see such a, again, aligned person that has such an authentic brand, the messaging, the energy, everything seems aligned. Now, you know, since 2013, has it been? I don’t know a journey in like finding that alignment and authenticity, or did you kind of just show up on the scene of like, this is me, and somehow my parents gave me this gift. And I just know, this is who I am. Oh, yeah,


Minal 25:58

that definitely has been a journey, I think I would be, I would be very sad. If I was the same person I was few years ago. If I’m not growing and learning and experimenting and taking some risks. I think I’ll be pretty sad. So no, it’s definitely been a journey. It’s been a journey to understand my own strengths, my own weaknesses, and to be able to accept what I suck at what I’m weak at, right? Like I am, I realized that I like to surround myself with people who are talented in their own zones in their own niche, you know, they are brilliant. They are kind humans, in their own team. And I can even tell you, like, my team is just so they’re just good humans. They’re super, ultra talented. Like, for Christmas for the holidays, I send out an email to my team, and they get bonuses or whatever. But I sent out I said, Hey, you’re gonna get bonus, but what’s on your wish list? Like, tell me what’s on your wish list. I also want to send you a gift from me. They came back to me and they say nominal, this is a charity that we have decided to support, can we just have that money go towards this charity? I mean, come on, you know what I need, like, I just so I think that the biggest thing for me was to understand what my weaknesses are. And I have many weaknesses, when it comes to different things. And you know, running a business, as a business owner, I can do anything, just not everything. And because of that, I had to get people to do everything else that I know that I can’t do. And that was the hard part to accept, I think the hard part to accept for a lot of business owners is to understand that, okay, I need help. I just can’t do everything, even though you may be good at something, you may just not have the time for it. So because of that, that was the hard part. But now I am at a place where I have realized how to ask for help, how to find people who are good at that. And then delegate and not micromanage. Just be like, go do it. Because you’re awesome at it. And I trust you and you know, we can talk about this, we can collaborate on it, but you go do this, and we’ll talk about it later.


Shawn Zajas  28:00

I mean, that’s just powerful. And that’s, that’s why like, I know what you’re doing is going to continue to just almost like snowball, like it’s going to continue to grow because you’re actually empowering people to own who they are in the place that they can provide value and strength. And you’re not trying to be some one woman show, even though you have lots of strengths. So So having that wisdom, and I was just amazing. Okay, so I want to back up cuz I realized, you said something so profound when you were talking about the advice, if you can think it, then you have the so what would you say to our listeners right now, that thought of something in that moment? Because you don’t I mean, like between the lines, were saying things, but then all of a sudden people are like, Oh my gosh, for me that could be like that all of a sudden desire or that dream might have come back up. And all of a sudden, they have all those voices of why not them? Not now not ready? What do you say to them?


Minal 28:57

Again? What is the worst? What is the best? Just use that, you know, it’s a simple to me, it becomes very simple when I do that, and it pushes me to take risk. And then because I am aligned and I do have a plan and listen, there will be times where what you thought was the worst may not be the worst. And even worse and worse may happen. Like I’ll share with you a very personal story that I haven’t shared ever. But my I grew up in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. And in 2017 if you remember hurricane Arma and hurricane Maria, both Category Five hurricanes hit St. Thomas within two weeks. So category five hurricane hitting. This is where my parents live my brother, my you know, my niece was one years old and my family’s living there I am in New Jersey at this time living in New Jersey. And I remember I had I had a speaking engagement and I know this is not as big but I had a speaking engagement in front of her and it was 100 and 150 doctors, and so our Erma had Hit already and I wasn’t able to get in touch with my family for three days. And then Maria came and you know, was hitting. But as Maria was hitting St. Thomas, I was in front, in a room with 150 doctors who paid for me to be there to teach the marketing. And I thought the worst that’s gonna happen is okay, there was a hurricane. And that’s it right. But the worst that did happen to me is it affected me mentally that thinking of my family going through a second hurricane, holding a door tight or hoping the roof doesn’t fly off, or they’re hoping they’re alive. And this is a category five hurricane second hurricane hitting them. And so yes, are there times, but you know what happened? I realized, as I communicated that, when I started my presentation, I said, Okay, I’m so thankful for be here. And you guys are amazing for having me. As you just heard, like, in my bio, it says, I grew up in St. Thomas. And as you know, if you’ve been watching the news, St. Thomas is being hit by a second category five hurricane, I’m worried about my parents, I’m worried about my family that’s there. And I would never share personal stuff with you. But today, for the next three hours that I’m teaching you marketing, I need you to engage and be interactive with me and I am here for you. But please know that if I need a break, or if my phone rings, I will be picking up that phone, because I’m just gonna have to right. But I communicated that. And Shawn, the amazing thing happened was everybody rallied around and everybody was like, This is great. And it turned out that New Jersey Dental Association was in contact with the St. Thomas Dental Association, and they came up with this entire thing for charities and to make things that, but what I’m saying is, there are times that you don’t know what the worst is, but what in my journey, what I have realized is even you have that worst happen. It could be mental, it could be financial, it could be physical. I think we forget the power of surrounding by good humans. I think we live in a world that is so focused on negativity and bad things that happen that we forget that there is the good. And by simply being authentic, and sharing that and say this is where I’m having difficulty right now, or I am in this journey right now. And this is what I need help with and simply saying that out loud to somebody changes everything. You know, and that’s what I realized is yeah, you can prepare for the worst that you think is the worst, do your best think what is the worst. And if you think there’s something worse out there, if you’re surrounded by good humans, you’re still going to be okay, you’re still going to be fine. You know, if you if you have a financial issue, you’re still going to be okay for some time, you know, good humans, same thing, mentally, same thing physical. So whatever you’re going through, just know that there are good people out there, supporting you, cheering for you rooting for you, you know, are happy, when you are happy, they are happy when you succeed in what you are doing. Well, they’re also there when you feel that something. So find your people who are there who can make you that unbelievable, make you feel like a superhero, those are your people.


Shawn Zajas  32:55

That took a lot of courage. Like, because there’s no playbook for a moment like that, you know, it’s not like you are prepared for that. You know, the other day I went live, and I had an idea of what I was going to say I was gonna say something about honoring a tradition in my family that my mom and dad had started. And because my mom passed away four years ago, I didn’t know that when I got to that part I like, yeah, I couldn’t compose myself, it was really difficult, you know, because I had this general idea. So I can imagine, here you are, people have paid and you want to give this unbelievable value and be so generous with it. And at the same exact time, the clash of our humanity, where you have loved ones that you’re actually worried about their well being in a serious way and handling it that way. And then but then also the grace that they gave you like what a beautiful story Minal,


Minal 33:52

thank you. And like I said, I It’s a we are surrounded by good humans, I think we just have to, and it’s very different for me because I do not share my personal life. Like if you go I’m a marketing strategist, social media coach, but if you go to my social media, on an annual basis, there may be four posts that showcases my family, I do not talk about my family, I do not talk about my home life. I do not talk about my marriage. I do not talk about anything. My personal life is personal. So for me to share that in a room full of professionals and to have that moment of Are You Being professional by sharing this, but I knew that I had to do it because I just have to get that out and just say listen, this is happening. I am here for you. I’m here, but just know that that phone rings are just not the time to step out is just because I need a moment to gather myself right. And I never thought I would do that. I always thought go and you know, go through this, like be a professional. What are you doing, you know, kind of thing. So yeah, there are moments where you will have that shake, you know something that shakes you to your core, something that you’re completely unprepared for. But like you said, it’s just I think that’s the time that you believe in the humanity. That’s the time you believe and being good and being kind and just openly sharing and I guarantee that you’ll be surprised by how people react to it. There will be some jerks, but there’ll be a lot more decent people.


Shawn Zajas  35:13

Oh, gosh, yeah, Dentistry has a really beautiful and supportive community. I am so thankful to be in dentistry and the people that I meet, they’re just amazing. Okay, so based off the fact that you are a marketer? Can you speak to either some of the innovation that has happened maybe over the last five years, or what it is that you see? You know, for the next five years, however you want to take it, I’m just curious, from your perspective, how you see innovation, in marketing, within the context of dentistry,


Minal 35:48

I think what happened is COVID changed everything. When it comes down to marketing, right, marketing was a little bit different. When we think pre COVID World pre COVID world, we did talk about just what do we do and our treatments and talking about a number of patient experiences. Post COVID, we are living in a world where people are one worried about their health, they have gone through this and they are worried about their health. And two, they’re also making decisions on how safe they feel coming to you. Or they’re also making decisions on who were you when the world shut down? Or how did you react? Or what did you do? Right? I’ll give you an example of one of my clients in New York, and they see particularly seniors is what they see. And when the world shut down. You know, they reached out and they said, Okay, what do we do? And we’re like, Well, I’m like, okay, so you’re seeing seniors, let’s talk about this, let’s come up with something. And they had a marketing team in place and everything that I was working with, and came up with this idea. And I said, this is what I want you to do, I want you to look at all the all the, you know, your patients that you have the patients that you know, in a certain age group or whatever, and I just want you to send them, you know, get on the phone with them and say, X, Y and Z, for example. Miss X, thank you. No, thank you so much. You’ve been a powerful patient for such a long time we know that COVID just had, we know that you’re probably not feeling safe going for grocery shopping, if you place your order online, go pick it up and drop it off for you. Right, and that changed their entire trajectory? Because who does that? Now, did everybody need that help? No, but the simple fact that you cared and the ones who didn’t need that help you bid it for them? Like which? Which what dentist delivers your groceries to your door? Because we know it’s not safe for you to go there. Right? Or how do you go about it? I think our we have changed the way we connect with humans now. And we have changed the way that we select which practices we go to. We still have reviews and websites and social media and all that typical stuff. But it’s about what are you sharing on your social media? What are you sharing on your reviews? What are people writing one liners? Or are they giving you a love letter when they write your review? Right? How are they feeling when they come to your practice, like one of this other clients of mine who never wanted to make reels and now can’t stop making reels his and he doesn’t he doesn’t dance or do anything like that. But He changes lives every day. And he started just capturing people’s reaction when they see their beautiful smiles. And Shawn I kid you not. If you watch this videos, you start crying yourself. Like every time I played this video, I was in a room full of people. Everybody’s like, oh my god, that is so amazing. That is so sweet. That is so great, right? And all of this is happening because they’re simply sharing how they’re changing lives. And other people are seeing how they’re changing lives. So our technique is the same. Our technology, AI is here, which we can have any conversation without AI nowadays, but our technology while is the same, it’s our messaging has changed. And how we connect with people has changed. Like I’ll give you an example. How much time do we have? Are we on time I blabbing too much, just let me know, to stop and be like shut up and I’ll shut up. But so here’s a strategy that anyone can use who’s listening to this, and I this is what I mean by this. So there is a difference between marketing and marketing strategy. So what I’m talking about is marketing strategy. Marketing is we have a website. And we have an about us page on a website, right? Everybody goes to About Us page is actually in the top three pages visited on website, because everybody wants to know about you. Now, usually, when you go to an about us page, what do you have, you have a picture of the doctor or the team, they’re crossing their hands across the whole site. Posle no fork on their face. They’re wearing a white coat or one of their dress shirts or dresses. And then right next was their bio, where they went to school the accolades they have, you know, organizations they belong to. And then the last thing is, and in their free time, Dr. Z loves to go skiing. Now everybody who’s listening, that’s your about us page and that’s okay, I get it. That’s marketing. Let’s change to our messaging and marketing strategy. Now, let’s say I’m a dental hygienist, as we’ve talked, and our pediatric dental hygienist to be specific. So let’s say We changed that. So now if you go to this website where I’m working at and you go to the About Us page, there is not a photo, there’s a video, and the video goes something like this. Hi, my name is Minal Sampat, I am so honored to be a part of x, Pediatric Dentistry. One of my favorite things to do is to laugh, I have the big belly laugh that you could just hear from the other room. And you’re but you know, when I was looking at photos of me, as a child, I wasn’t smiling. They were laughing loud. Because you see, I was born in India and I had black spots on my teeth. Today, I’m a dental hygienist because I don’t want any child to feel like they cannot smile bag or laugh, love. I look forward to meeting you and your family at x Pediatric Dentistry. And just underneath that video is three bullet points of my school, my accolades, my organization’s same marketing, right website about us page, but our messaging is completely different. What we share is completely different in that 32nd video that parents knew who I was, why I do what I do, and why they should bring their kids to me. So you see, this is what I mean, when I say how has it changed, it has changed completely. And it’s free to do a lot of this is completely free to do it’s just that we just have to focus on that messaging and say, How do I make you connect with me in a world where everybody’s trying to connect with you? Why should you connect with me? And that’s where we kind of start figuring things out a little bit.


Shawn Zajas  41:31

That is amazing, because I know so many dentists don’t know how to like tell the story really succinctly of why they’re different, or or in some way that just gets relatability. That that it’s not we’re not talking about some vulnerability about some tragedy that happened. We’re just talking about humanizing yourself so that you’re not just the person behind the mask behind the white lab coat, which we can’t relate to as nonprofessionals like do you know what I  mean. And yet that just invites. Oh my gosh, like, sorry, that’s amazing. So this is what you actually help. Dentists,


Minal 42:13

this is what I did be able to do. This is what it Yeah, kind of take a look at everything you’re doing in your marketing, and then strategize the whole thing. And let’s see what how we can make it better. And how do we get your message out in an easy sustainable, not spending money away.


Shawn Zajas  42:28

So now, what is the next for you? Well, that you can share.


Minal 42:38

Well, I have Well, I do destination see events. So this July, this is 2023, I’ll be having my destination event in Turks and Caicos, which is open to everybody in the dental industry. And but that’s sold out guys. So if you’re listening to me right now that I’m sorry, it is sort of sold out a double capacity. There are 100 people coming and got sold out seven months in advance for Turks and Caicos this July. But if you are listening this in July, the 2024 C on the beach is going to be in Aruba. And I will be I will be opening the opening that event this July to for next July. I’m doing it a year in advance because last time I did nine months in advance, and it got sold out seven months in advance. So this year, I’m just giving people a little bit more time. So if I have to add days and everything, I can figure it all out. But that’s the big next big thing.


Shawn Zajas  43:34

I feel like this is the video dream but like this is it, you have a platform, you’re getting to just elevate dentistry by helping dentists do marketing the way that they need to they can actually make a difference in their community. And you know, when a dentist all of a sudden gets to have that kind of angst or that stress off their shoulders, because they can now be chairside and doing the dentistry that they want to and not have to be staying up at night because they’re afraid they’re not getting enough patients. That is everything. I mean, there’s a real dark side to dentistry, like the lows are really low. I know people out there need help. And what you’re doing is so it’s making such a big difference. Like I just want to honor you like thank you so much for conquering whatever self that was there, whatever obstacles were in the way along your journey. Because this is what I’m saying like dentistry needs people to show up and who they’re called to be and in their strength. It you being awesome isn’t like there’s not enough of us. Do like dentistry is so big and that’s why the abundance mindset is not hard to have. So in the spirit of honor Minal I’m curious, is there someone in dentistry that you’d like to just recognize that has really helped you in your journey?


Minal 44:55

I mean, so many, so many incredible kind humans I would say the one person is Ann Duffey of dental enterpreneur women I don’t know if you guys know and Bessie or if you know dental enterpreneur women, but if you don’t check it out, and is I call it a fairy godmother of everyone in dentistry like she is literally, the fairy godmother. The first time I met her was in 2017, I think is when I met her the first time or 2018, one of those times, just a few years back, and the first time I met her, I didn’t know anybody. As you know, I was kind of starting out in on my own kind of thing. And she was just there supportive, engaging, how can I help you? How can I serve you? What can I do for you, I speak to her on a weekly basis. She hangs up the phone call with I love you to everybody that she speaks to. And she does really love them like I’ll give. I was speaking at one of the events. And I had an issue with my luggage. And so I had a dress mailed to the hotel, and she got there and she literally picked up the dress and steamed it for me and had it delivered to my room. So I didn’t have to worry about my clothes where I was going to a speaking engagement. That is Ann Duffey she is and that’s just a small thing. I mean, she has them beautiful, big amazing things, and she does it for everybody. And she’s just a heart of gold. So if if there is one person, I would say that would 100% be Ann Duffy and that it’s again, it’s not just me that would say that. I think if you go into a room full of people, there will be at least 100 people that will say and Duffy because she’s just amazing, amazing human.


Shawn Zajas  46:37

Okay, so if I’m in the audience, and I’m like, Okay, I want to hire MinalL I want to work with her. I want to go where she’s going. How do I find out more information? Where do you want people to go?


Minal 46:47

You know, Manal I know that’s a weird name. So it’s mi n a l s a m, Pa And our is my website. But literally like going to Instagram. Shoot me a DM shoot me a Facebook message. Just don’t call me. There’s a very good chance if you call I will not be picking up that phone. Text me is okay. Dme is okay. But unless we have a phone call scheduled good chance I won’t be picking up I’m a true millennial. DM me text me shoot me an email. And I’m there.


Shawn Zajas  47:16

Okay, okay. So now this is this is it? This is my final question. Are you ready for it? All right. So now at 18 years old, is walking down the street and you see you’re off in the distance. And you know, you only have a brief moment to communicate one sentiment to her. What do you share, and


Minal 47:42

you’re gonna be just fine.


Shawn Zajas  47:49

I love that because that is such a good cherry on top of this entire episode, you’re listening right now and you’re wondering, man, I thought about stuff that is a dream. Maybe I let go of that dream. Maybe. Maybe I talked myself out of it. And now Minal saying like, hey, like, if you can think it, you have the power to do it. Think of what the worst case scenario is and plan for that and you’re gonna be fine. And then now in this final message, you’re gonna be fine. Like, just trust that you are going to be okay. And you’re gonna have way more regret over what you don’t do than the times that you tried and somehow slipped and fell. Miguel, thank you so much. It has been so easy to honor you, as an innovator, as someone that literally is pioneering positive change in dentistry and making dentistry so much better. Thank you for letting me interview you today.


Minal 48:42

Thank you for having me. This was so great. And it’s such a great conversation. Sean, thank you for all you’re doing and sharing the positivity that all of us need. So, thank you for having me. And to all the listeners. Thank you for listening you again. You’re doing amazing cheering you on and keep doing you.


Shawn Zajas  48:59

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

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