The Power of Tinkering: How Iteration Drives Innovation and Success


Podcast Summary

In this insightful interview with dental industry innovator Melissa Turner, conducted by Shawn Zajas, the two delve into the themes of change, discomfort, and growth. Melissa, a successful businesswoman, mother, and influencer in the dental world, shares her experiences and wisdom on embracing challenges and transforming them into opportunities. 

The conversation begins with Melissa reflecting on her journey as a mother and how discomfort has played a significant role in her personal and professional growth. She discusses the tendency to avoid discomfort, but points out the importance of acknowledging it and using it as a catalyst for change. Drawing a parallel with coal turning into diamonds under extreme pressure, Melissa emphasizes that true growth comes from facing discomfort head-on rather than seeking shortcuts. She credits her renewed resilience, gratitude, and sense of fulfillment to her willingness to walk through discomfort and emerge stronger. 

The discussion then shifts to the topic of rejection. Melissa shares that as a leader, rejection is a common part of the journey, whether it’s in business or personal life. Understanding that rejection is a numbers game, she encourages listeners not to take it personally but to keep moving forward and trying new things. Shawn also adds that rejection can be part of the process in entrepreneurship, but Melissa’s perspective provides a valuable reminder that embracing rejection is essential for growth and success. 

Throughout the interview, Melissa’s passion for dentistry and her desire to empower others in the industry shine through. She speaks about the importance of making positive change, innovating, and elevating the field of dentistry. She encourages dental professionals to start pursuing their passions and ideas, reminding them that they are capable of bringing positive change to their industry. 

As the conversation unfolds, Shawn asks Melissa about her plans for the future. Melissa shares that she sees the upcoming decade as an opportunity to “unleash” her potential fully. While her focus has been on her role as a mother for the past years, she anticipates a shift in her priorities as her children become more independent. This transition will enable her to channel more energy into her career and continue her journey of personal and professional growth. 

Finally, Melissa offers some words of wisdom to her 18-year-old self, encouraging her to embrace change fearlessly. She shares how she has learned to shed preconceived notions about herself and allow herself to evolve and adapt. Melissa’s journey of self-discovery and transformation serves as a powerful reminder to the audience that growth and change are essential for personal development and professional success. 

In conclusion, this interview with Melissa Turner provides valuable insights into the power of embracing discomfort, overcoming rejection, and embracing change. Her story serves as an inspiration for dental professionals and entrepreneurs alike, encouraging them to pursue their passions fearlessly and unleash their true potential. Melissa’s experiences and wisdom will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the audience, inspiring them to embrace growth and innovation in their own lives and careers. 

Connect with Ilan:
IG: @perfectfitortho
FB: @PerfectFit Ortho
LI: @PerfectFit Ortho

Podcast Transcript

Ilan 00:00 

Someone just quit. You know, should I give up? This is no, let’s figure it out. Let’s keep going. If, if things didn’t change, you know, we won’t have Apple watches and iPhones, you know, it’d be the old world of the old analog phones. So things change. We just got to kind of figure it out along the way. 


Shawn Zajas  00:18 

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? I am incredibly excited today to be able to interview Dr. Ilan Abramowitz, and I hope I did that Justice did awesome. I did awesome. Okay. So before I set you up, let me just say like, Ilan, thank you so much for spending time with me and letting me interview you today? 


Ilan 01:06 

Well, I appreciate the opportunity, you know, to build on that connection we had in the past. I mean, I’m excited, Shawn, thank you for inviting me. 


Shawn Zajas  01:14 

So, Ilan, and I, we literally just met at the DEO was that two weeks ago, and I found myself at a table with you. And I was just so fascinated hearing what it is that you’re doing in dentistry right now, with Perfect Fit Ortho. And we’re gonna go into what that is all about. But first, you know, innovation again, it like Perfect Fit Ortho is a perfect example of like, an innovation that has to do with, you know, like a model and a delivery. And, you know, consumers are gonna get massively impacted in great way because of that. But I’m curious as a dental professional, how it is that you even decided to say, yeah, why not me? Like, why can’t I be a co founder of something like this and just step up? Like being a dentist is hard enough? Running your own practice is hard enough, but to actually say, yeah, let me pioneer something different. Like Was that something that was easy for you? Did it come naturally for you? I’d like to know a little bit more about your process of how that even got started. 


Ilan 02:16 

Awesome. So I’d like to say over time, it did become natural. And you know, it just didn’t happen. All of a sudden, I always found myself as the one to take a situation kind of reevaluate, and tinker with it, and see if I could find something more efficient. Maybe something that would give a better result and just keep tinkering with it over and over until, you know, some something was a value. And even then you still have to update it, you still got to tinker with it, make it more efficient, make it more valuable, make it a higher quality. And that’s that’s kind of where it was. So obviously, I’m an orthodontist. Now. So I’ve been studying that for about 17 years, and aligners Come on. So when I was a resident aligners were the devil, you know, you couldn’t do aligners with braces, aligners do minor things. As I started to again, use it, I started to realize, you know, you could actually do anything you wanted with aligners. And then we come around to that quick company formation of the first direct to consumer company that went straight out there. And while chaos ensued in my profession, I was like, that’s a pretty cool idea. I’d like to learn about it. So instead of going to, you know, the government and the AAJ, ODIO or the ADEA, and trying to fight it, I said, let me let me figure this out. Let me see what they do. Let me see how it works. So I became a patient. I learned about it, I learned the system, I can see what patients were attracted to with it. And I could see these were the things that just don’t work. And I was able to, you know, put my orthodontic mind on in my divergent mind on and say, let’s figure out a way to make this work efficiently and give it the top quality that all the consumers want. And that’s when I started to tinker around with what became Perfect Fit Ortho. 


Shawn Zajas  04:00 

Now, timeframe wise, how long ago was this that you just started paying attention? Because it seems like you kind of took that curiosity that you have? And like you said, that divergent thinking of like, well, just because this is how it’s being done right now, doesn’t mean this is the best way in the market for consumer for delivery. When did you start kind of questioning that and thinking that maybe there was something that you could create? There was a better way? 


Ilan 04:26 

Sure. So in my experience as a patient where I actually got to prove it to myself, so you know, the mindset told me that there’s only certain things that someone can do on themselves, it’s just not the same. There’s pieces from these direct to consumer aligners that just will not give results that most people want. So what can I do to create something that I can efficiently allow clear aligners to create any possible result that some type of patient would want? Okay, and so messy, you know, using Invisalign for any case taught me the little intricate sees what to do and how to do it. And then through COVID, I was able to say, You know what? Dental monitoring was a great company that just woke me up to it. So during COVID, all my Dental Monitoring patients were still fine with treatment, and everything was easy, and they loved it. Patients that came direct to my office for every visit, has two months stall, you know, they had a two month delay in where their treatment was going. In addition to realization of that, I was also reading a book before COVID. And I finished it during the COVID shutdown here in Florida. And it was called The Future of Professions. And you know, just having that mindset, finishing that book, and actually seeing what’s happening. It just kind of took my vision and reality and said the time to do it is right now. 


Shawn Zajas  05:48 

So when you were patient was that four or five years ago, 


Ilan 05:51 

I was a patient about 2018. 


Shawn Zajas  05:54 

Okay, so this is relatively new in your bill, I’m just going to go from idea of like, okay, I’m starting to be aware, now I’m a patient, I’m going to this on my own, to all of a sudden, finishing the book during COVID. and being like, why not now, like, this is happening fast. 


Ilan 06:11 

Yeah, it happens fast, you know, once you get the idea. And remember, it started in 2018. So I was just trying to explain it to people. And then when COVID came, I was like, not only can I explain it, but let me show you the proof. And now it’s when it just went from really fast to it just it’s blowing up. 


Shawn Zajas  06:26 

Now, do you view yourself as an entrepreneur? 


Ilan 06:31 

I do. Now, you know, in the beginning, I didn’t in the beginning, I like to say I wasn’t you know, the zone of comfort, you know, in a comfort zone, where do you want we just achieved excellence, you know, we’re happy with us, you know, that’s like a doctor. And then as I started to develop, I said, you know, I want to get outside that zone, I want to be like in that zone of I heard turned zone of genius where I can go above that zone of excellence and just stay there and start to do things that most people don’t see as a reality. 


Shawn Zajas  06:58 

I just find that so fascinating, Ilan, because I mean, a I love I love the name, because anyone that hears the name Ilan obviously thinks is like the most What is he the richest person in the world right now. But 


Ilan 07:09 

you know what the funny thing, Shawn is, that didn’t happen until very recently. Like before, it was like, Who are you? I mean, Ilan, like the skis, you know, skis, 


Shawn Zajas  07:19 

you know, but to go from being an orthodontist, which you still are an orthodontist. And again, not that there’s anything wrong with that. But it’s like it’s a it’s a pretty proven path. You know, you get your education, and then you set up shop as an orthodontist. And yes, there’s ways in which you can express yourself differently, but to all of a sudden, then have an idea and say, Why can’t I create a better iteration of something in the marketplace? That’s, that’s completely different. Like, you know, at that time, no one king came to you and said, Ilan, there’s a guarantee this is going to work. Here’s the guarantee, this is how long it’s going to take. This is the path and at this point in time, all of a sudden, it’s going going to work. So knowing that there’s this uncertainty, how did you like did that? Did that bother you at all? Was that something that you had to wrestle with that tension of this may not work? This may not ever make it to market? 


Ilan 08:12 

That? Yeah, sure. It’s still it still resonates? No, it’s, it’s kind of that internal thing. We all have that fear, that fear of change. And, you know, I think what I’ve learned is when you get to this point of like, resisting the change, that’s when you can finally change it, you can overcome that resistance. And now you can change. So I think, you know, the combination of readings, some Moran some book about business that talked about the future of AI, you know, culminating with Well, I’m living through it right now, this COVID Shut down to like, the time is now. I mean, the time is now I think that’s what overcame that fear. That resistance is like the time to do it is now. Now 


Shawn Zajas  08:53 

I know a lot of professionals that are established in their field, you know, you’re you already are an established orthodontist. Like it’s not like this was the first year of you doing Yeah, right. Now, all of a sudden, you have this established identity that’s respected in the community, maybe even in a professional community. But then you’re going to embrace a new identity of entrepreneur launching a business where you don’t have a track record. You don’t already have established success. Did you at all feel like, well, I’m already respected here. And it’s like safe people. No, no, me. What if I fall fall flat on my face or embarrassed myself? Like, so again, you’re, you’re human. You’re not a robot. So you were still hearing these things, but you, you just knew what the benefit would be better than, like it was worth the risk. 


Ilan 09:43 

I would say it’s just the fear of, you know, your fears are based on the subconscious of that we inherited and that we grew up learning. And I was like, you know, that’s just a fear, and I accept the fear. And let’s go ahead and let’s see if it comes through. way to say it, 


Shawn Zajas  09:59 

I love that. So How many times have you already had to iterate to where you’re at today with perfect fit? Or like, how, how long has it been live in the marketplace? Let’s just start there officially. 


Ilan 10:08 

So a perfect fit has been live since about March. Right. But before that, there was two other entities and that thing, we launched it, my first go around was 2019. And that’s when I would you know, stay busy at the office and just market it to dentists. I knew. And I was tough. That was a challenge, because I didn’t have I didn’t have anybody there to help me. And then I finally convinced my old director of operations for my ortho office. And he was like, Yeah, I see it. Now. I can’t believe I questioned it. I was like, Don’t worry about the past. Let’s go get it. And then we started making connections once he got on board. And then he since you know, left the office, and now he’s in it. He’s a believer, he’s the co founder, and now he’s my partner, and he is just spreading it like wildfire. And it’s just been an amazing ride. 


Shawn Zajas  10:56 

So that original formation 2019. And what it is today, is it the exact same idea model concept in its exact form, or has it just taken on a little bit of nuances. 


Ilan 11:10 

It’s it’s taken on nuances, it’s modified for sure, it’s gotten to the point where you know, I can just do mild things for you, too. I can now do everything for you. I mean, everything. In other words, now it’s become kind of like instead of a coach to consult with I am now the virtual orthodontists from start to finish. 


Shawn Zajas  11:30 

So Ilan, the reason why this podcast exists, it’s to encourage anyone that is like on the fence of should I get up? Should I start that thing? Because I don’t know that people listening right now, maybe in their own area, they see a problem. And they kind of see a solution as well. But they’re in that place of maybe second guessing. Maybe they’re in that place of But why me? Or am I credentialed? Or do I have the experience, and even the fact that you’ve shared that is so encouraging of whatever they’re thinking right now, that doesn’t need to be the final version, it doesn’t need to be what the marketplace finally says, ooh, this is a homerun that says, Great. Like, there’s going to be iterations, but you only get there by going by taking that step by starting, and then by listening to the marketplace and adapting. And I feel like you’ve just done that so quickly. And with relative ease. Now, I don’t know why you decided to become an orthodontist. But Did you always know, hey, I have leadership skills. I have this creative divergent thinking. And I think it’s also going to take me somewhere else, or did you kind of just think, man, I think I’m going to be a really great orthodontist, the rest of my life? 



No, I think I always had an open mind. You know, I had I knew what I was good at, you know, the few things we’re all good at things I just found efficiency was something I was really good at. tinkering with things is something I was always good at. And then I just had an interest in medicine, right? In engineering. Those are the two I loved medicine. I liked engineering. You know, first I was towards the medical part, talking to surgeons and whatnot. And when they told me how long school was, I was like, Okay, I’m not good for that. And actually orthodontics came ironically. So a friend of mine told me about let’s go be a dentist. And I said, Well, let me make sure I like it. You know, like I said, I like to tinker with things. So in undergrad, I kind of looked in the list of volunteer opportunities, and it was an opening at the School of orthodontics. So I said, let me give that a try. And that was it after that, that I knew what I wanted to do. 


Shawn Zajas  13:25 

So when it comes to tinkering, you mean, like, actually, with your hands being able to create something. But it also means just with, like tinkering with concepts, tinkering with models, tinkering with ideas, like you just like working them out, coming up with it, playing with it just iterating like, 


Ilan 13:47 

yeah, like I don’t even know, it’s not really a competitive thing. Like I have to win. It’s more like if you tell me, you know, here’s a recipe and here’s how long it takes, I would say let me figure out how I can make this which is good, tastes better and make it make me have less time to prepare it. Or let me figure out how to drive from point A to point B, I got your directions. But now I’m looking at the traffic. Let me find another way to get here at certain times of the day, that will be a little bit more of a smooth ride. That’s just what I do for everything. 


Shawn Zajas  14:13 

When I love that, because I’m always telling people like if you want to own your space, as a dental professional, not just in your practice, but just in the industry. Like the best place you can occupy is a place that’s unique to who you are, like original to your strengths and the things that are going to bring fulfillment to you. Because if you show up as an original with your giftings and your unique view on life, no one can ever replicate that no one can ever out compete you in that because there’s never going to be another Ilan that’s doing exactly what you’re doing that has the upbringing that you have had the triumphs and the tragedies that you had probably growing up that shaped the way that you view life. And the fact that you’re already arriving at out and distilling that and aligning yourself to that. I don’t know, I just feel like that’s what what’s really awesome about the way that you’re pioneering right now, it is so inspiring. Now I know you’ve only been at this since 2018 2019. And in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a very long time, but have you already had one of those moments? Maybe it was a season or maybe it was just a short time where you’re like, Wow, this is like, really, either scary or uncertain, or I think it may not work. And you you almost pulled the plug. You know, when I talked to people, I kind of almost say like, a dark night of the soul where you kind of just start questioning, oh, my gosh, like, do I make a big mistake? Like, have you had one of those in this industry with perfect fit ortho yet? 


Ilan 15:46 

All the time? And All right, so I mean, the journey is rapid now. But you know, it was like 45 years in the making. I’m 47, out of 45 years in the making 45 years of life taught me like, this was the time taught me how to handle those questions of should I stop? Should I give up? I mean, that comes up all the time. You know, that deal fell through? Should I give up? Or oh, we have a little kink in a system here? Should I give up? Someone just quit? No. Should I give up? This is no, let’s figure it out. Let’s keep going. If if things didn’t change, you know, we won’t have Apple watches and iPhones, you know, it’d be the old world of the old analog phones. So things change, we just got to kind of figure it out along the way. 


Shawn Zajas  16:28 

So in this journey over the last 10 or 15 years, can you think of a specific mindset that you either had to embrace or a specific mindset that you had to shed in order to get to where you’re at today? 


Ilan 16:39 

Absolutely. Okay, there’s two, the one of the mindsets I had to get over was, you know, the comfort zone, understanding my comfort zone and and how fear is such a huge part of how most of us make our decisions, like fear just subconsciously dictates what we do. Right? And so I realized that fear is okay. I’m going to take the fear, absorb the fear and just let it go. Because with fear, I wouldn’t be able to realize new things. The other thing that I think I’ve learned is, besides fear, well, let’s just I think fear would be the big one, just overcome your fears. And once you can overcome those fears, there’s so much more out there. All right, here’s the second one. Now that came to my mind is just being consciously aware of really what’s going on around me. Right? When when you start trying to but in a conversation and just listen, you there’s so much to learn so much to learn. So if you ever see me in the end, why why is he not talking back? What’s that pause? I’m taking whatever opposite I believe. And I’m just saying that makes just as much sense as well. I thought, let me make something better out of it. Let me learn from it. 


Shawn Zajas  17:50 

When I spoke to you at the DEO, and met you right away, it wasn’t like I knew I was talking to an orthodontist, I was talking to someone that was a visionary. Like that was evident. I was talking to someone that had a vision that had ambition, they had a very excellent mind, and already had these really fine tuned mindsets that some of the most successful people in business have. And I was just like, oh my gosh, like, how did this guy get this way, because you don’t learn this in dental school. You If anything, I feel like the default for an orthodontist, or dentist is much more. I don’t know you’re very risk averse, right? Like who wants to make a mistake, and embrace lots of liability. When you’re dealing with someone’s mouth, you don’t want that you want to limit liability like crazy. But when it comes to starting something new, there’s a huge liability, there’s tons of risk, there’s so much uncertainty that you have to grapple with. And that’s why whenever someone can have both of those hats and dance and both of those spaces at the same time. I think it’s incredibly uncommon. I don’t know, but it seems like you also have such a grace for it. But again, maybe it’s because of what you were saying over the last 1015 years. You’ve just had to develop this. 


Ilan 19:06 

I think I mean, development is huge. It’s huge. And then, you know, learning I told you is huge. So you know, I was able to read a lot of books the past four or five years with my commute to that different offices. I mean, when you read the stories of these great successes, you know, I’ll give you Nike for example. I mean, look at Shoe Dog, right Shoe Dog, yeah, Shoe Dog, and even you know, when you read about the formation of Amazon, and you just kind of, or Facebook and you just see what happened, you kind of realize, you know what, these guys, these were normal people, and they just put in the work, kept working at it didn’t accept failure. And, you know, look where they went. Now, I’m not saying we that’s not the goal. The goal is not to be that but it’s like it’s there. You know, it’s there. You can hit the ultimate success or you can just get to the highest level you possibly can but you can’t do that without putting in the work. 


Shawn Zajas  19:59 

I love what you just said Because oftentimes I tell people like, hey, like, it’s so important that you believe you believe in what you’re doing, you believe in yourself and your own abilities. But before you can even believe you have to actually have an awareness of what’s possible, you know, and the word I use is you have to be able to conceive of something like conception actually follows or, sorry, is a precursor to belief. And it’s like, here you are, you’re like sowing the seeds in your subconscious in your imagination by listening to these biographies of these stories of successes, and what is it doing it is rapidly expanding. What is conceivable, and now all of a sudden, Ilan is like, Man, look what I could do. So then all of a sudden you see a problem in the industry, or you see an opportunity. And now because of what is what you believe to be possible, you now know, okay, I can do this. But I still applaud you for just taking that step. Well, thanks. I think that’s where so many people find would rather still lean into the comfort of, am I right now I have some sense of stability, I have some sense of security. And I think we actually don’t want to have to grapple with the fact that we have freedom. I think we have freedom to create, we have freedom to co found we have freedom to pioneer. And there’s really no rules, as long as we do things ethically, and right by people and play that long game. And that’s what I see you doing now. But grappling with freedom is just it can be really terrifying. And I love that you’ve been honest about. Yeah, that can be scary. Were there any like, Were your parents this way? Like, did you have certain heroes or models growing up that that really, I don’t know, kind of had that similar? Fearlessness when it came to pioneering? 


Ilan 21:49 

Such a good question, I’m gonna have to give that a lot of thought, you know, obviously, this is not just me, This isn’t me is, you know, what was created for my life. So I know, you know, after I’ve made it to orthodontics, I had some amazing mentors who would do things different, you know, so orthodontically speaking, I don’t treat the way 70% of the orthodontist. Do. You know, that’s the old way, there’s a different way I treat, it makes my treatment faster, it makes the results look good. And then most orthodontists would say you’re doing it wrong. And I would just say, you know, thanks, I think is pretty good. And ended it that. So, man to go by my life, there’s probably so many mentors. This is definitely not my creation, this is all of theirs. And I don’t think I, I can even go over all the names right now. And we need some time, that’s a great thing for me to do one day when the kids are not here and just create that list of all those people that created me, I think that would be a great, great piece of work to create. 


Shawn Zajas  22:48 

You know, I would love to just hear actually a little bit more about what perfect fit ortho is actually doing and how it’s, you know, changing the rules, because I don’t know if our, all of our listeners know exactly what it is that he’s doing right now. So why don’t you just talk to that. Okay, 


Ilan 23:05 

so what I’d say Perfect Fit creates a win win win for the patients for the primary treating doctor. And then of course, for the company, and what our goal is, it’s not to necessarily say, hey, dentists, you can’t treat anyone with clear aligners. Alright, you can’t. That’s not what I’m trying to say I’m saying you can do whatever you want to do. But you can’t get the training. You know, a DIY company can’t provide the professional service with a trained professional, at the same level that I’ve worked, what 20 years to get is it’s just not possible, they won’t happen. So an efficient way to do it is say, you know, patients you stay with who you’re comfortable with your doctor, your primary dentists, that is your number one source with trust, that’s part of the family, you see them at least, you know, every six months, that’s the one your family goes to, all right, you know, dental side, you want something to take care of your patients, you know, you can send them to the orthodontist down the street, you can tinker with clear aligners, or you can say you know what, how can I affordably take care of my patients under my house, like I do with other all the other things that I’m open to providing for these patients. And then for me, I’m here to say, You know what, I don’t want to just keep myself treating my couple 1000 patients, how can I take what I’ve learned, and just spread it out to anybody interested in providing the best orthodontic treatment to their patients? Okay, now, I’ve limited that just to clear aligners. Because clear aligners seem to be what’s going on in this market right now that everyone seems to be able to do whether you do it yourself or you’re a dentist, or an orthodontist, and you can all get these clear liners. The difference is, how are you creating the smile that you want? And that’s what most people don’t understand. It’s like if you want to get the best result, you can’t Just you know, order something you’re done in 10 trays, it just doesn’t work like that. And I’m here to make it easy for the patient convenient for the patient and the dentist’s, affordable for the patient and the dentists. And then like I said, and treat as many patients as I can possibly share everything I know, in orthodontics, too. 


Shawn Zajas  25:21 

So right now, it seems like you You are still gonna be functioning as the orthodontists to these practices, is that correct? 


Ilan 25:31 

Correct. So the way if I don’t know the system system that we do is there’s quite a few systems out there. Don’t say anything, and I’m not gonna say, you know, obviously, I’m a perfect fit ortho, so I say you got to test got to test our and I say, test them all, see which one works for you. What I’m trying to do is say, you know, so you, Dr. Shawn, you got your dental office, and you say, I want to do these clear aligners, and I’m gonna say that’s great doctrine. Whatever you feel comfortable with, you know, go ahead and try yourself. If you would like me to kind of help consult you throughout the case. I can take care of that for you. If your treatment coordinator doesn’t really understand how to sell the orthodontic case, well, we can take care of that for you as well. If if you are struggling with how to bring orthodontics in as far as financing goes, we can take care of that for you as well. 


Shawn Zajas  26:22 

So are you setting up any training side on the Orthodox orthodontic side so that you can have a whole arsenal of Perfect Fit ortho trained orthodontists that that see the way you see that? Do it the way that you do it? Like are you going to come up with almost like a methodology so that this is even more scalable beyond the hands of Ilan? 


Ilan 26:45 

Yes, definitely. We we’ve already got that in the process. We’ve got two other orthodontists on board already. So that’s, you know, that’s really taken care of and the beauty with the aligners is unlike with braces, which is a kind of a visit to visit clear aligners that’s done up front. So we got it, we got the setups down pretty much to that, you know, like I said, that treatment philosophy that I learned in orthodontics with braces. And then we’re working towards now what’s out there with with our system with our dental monitoring virtual system, and we’re able to look at things and treat things and pass on that experience to those doctors that just don’t have that guidance without us. 


Shawn Zajas  27:24 

Okay, so see, I just, I love what you’re doing. So just really quickly, back to like, the whole mindset thing. I think, again, what holds up a lot of dental professionals is because of the unknown because of that fear. If they’re just like this idea of worst case scenario is going to happen. I’m scared of what I don’t know is about to happen. Like, how scary has this actually been? Like, I know, you still have to battle with, hey, is this gonna work and you’re believing and you have that conviction? But I’m just saying like, fear ends up masquerading in these really general and ambiguous sense where it’s like, hey, Ilan, it’s gonna be horrible. Like, like, it’s gonna be the worst thing ever. And they just, it just stays ambiguous. But I don’t, it hasn’t been that bad, like, meaning it’s like, I just want you to almost speak to, hey, you know, to those people out there that are still waiting, because of some unknown fear. Like, the second you step out, I almost feel like that fear vanishes, you know, 


Ilan 28:22 

so there’s an equation, there’s an old and a couple of equations out there. But the one that like the best basically said, Fear. All right, now, let me rephrase that it was your vision, times your fear, plus your first steps, once that’s greater than your resistance, then you can create the change. Wow. And that that just rang true. You know, you we all have our visions, if you can really take that vision and start to over and then when that vision is multiplied by your fear, that’s that number. When you add your first steps, and we all take first steps right there baby steps are the crawls. We do that. But when we can get that number to be greater than greater than that, I think it was at a chat was it fear times effort plus for steps greater than I just blanked down on what that last one was. I’m wondering what think about a man because I just blanked on this. It’s a good thing. Fear Is fear time dissatisfaction plus first steps greater than something equals change resistance. That’s it. All right. So when we can overcome that resistance, that resistance was usually once you open your mind, yeah, that vision number becomes very high. And it becomes enough to overpower you over that resistance to create your change. And then just more comfortable doing it. 


Shawn Zajas  29:46 

So so what I say all the time is like, I look to the left and the right of me. And I see that there are so many people that are enlisted in doing what they can to make dentistry great. But if I look close enough, I also see vacancies, I see places where people haven’t stepped up and taking their spot. If you hadn’t stepped up back in 2018, or whenever that specific thing was, which I know, that’s when it started, like, I wouldn’t have seen you at the DDL. That’s right. Because maybe in your head, you’re like, Well, again, who am I, maybe I just need to play it small, play it safe. And nobody wins when you play it small, and you play it safe. You know, and because we met, now, all of a sudden, I’m getting a chance to try to use whatever platform I have to educate the marketplace about what it is that you’re doing. And it’s like, that’s where the abundance mindset comes in. I really believe that everyone can need to own and occupy the space that only they can occupy, like, we’re not competing, we’re all out to be the fit and be the answer and be the light that we can be. And together we make dentistry even better. So I just want to even honor you, Ilan for the fact that you did step up and that you did step out, and that you were willing to dance with that tension of what what was uncertain. Because as an orthodontist, you already had a sure path to to success, you know, to provision to fulfillment. It wasn’t like you had to do something else. There wasn’t some urgency of oh, man, I gotta find a way to take care of my family. It’s an optional thing. I think it’s an optional thing for most dental professionals is to step up and say, you know, what? Is it okay for me? Like, should I embrace something uncomfortable? Should I embrace something new, something difficult. And my message to them is, please, like you don’t know the impact you can make? And you don’t know those people that need you to make that impact. So please step up, step out. What, Where do you want people’s eyeballs to go right now? So they’re listening, and they’re like, Okay, I want to find out more about perfect fit, ortho, where do you want them to go? 


Ilan 31:51 

Come on our website, Take a look. Just read through it. If you want to schedule a meeting with me or my partner, you can do that on our Calendly. Just click on the link set a time that works for you, we can explain it in as much detail as you need it. I’m here to consult you, I’m here to let you create the best smiles using your comfortable clear aligners on your patients. And I want to build on something you said, you talked about the abundance mindset. And I think that’s a key point. Because you know, the opposite of living in that life in abundance, is living that life and scarcity. And so many of us fall in that trap of the scarcity mindset, where we think you know, there’s only so much money, we got to go fight to get it, or there’s only so many patients, we have to go fight to get it. And now that’s not true. Everything is out there. Everything’s abundant. There’s only so much I can do, I gotta do as much of what I know how to do. Now you can do whatever you want to do. You know, we just have to change our mindset. And that’s why I’m so grateful. We sat at that table, together with that group, believe it or not, that group is pretty pretty much been inspirational. And you know what happened for reason, man, we all collaborated for a reason it was destiny. That’s just the way it works. 


Shawn Zajas  33:04 

You know, and back to what you were saying, though, about abundance mindset is like I can understand the scarcity mindset when someone is not living aligned to who they are, because you feel like you have to fake it, or be like somebody else. So and then all of a sudden, it’s like, well, you are competing, because you’re just trying to be like that person. And you’re trying to be better at that person than they are. But that’s actually just who they are. So I can understand why like when we’re not mature. And when we’re not starting starting to like identify, well, this is who I am. These are the gifts that I have. These are the unique perspectives I have. And like you you’re aligning your your curiosity, aligning There you go with the liners, your your ability to tinker, the natural leadership giftings that you have. And all of that, in the confidence comes together with perfect fit ortho, like, it makes sense. You’re not having to try to be somebody else. You’re not trying to model someone else’s success, and try to perform because that’s exhausting. And I can then understand where the comparisons come and why people are like, well, there’s not enough room for all of us. It’s like, well, there really is when you identify who you are, and you just own that space. And then it’s not as much even work it becomes so much more of like, I don’t know, not it’s like it’s always played, but like I love doing these podcasts because this is this is part of who I’m called to be. And I don’t have to work at it. I don’t have to struggle at it. And that’s exactly why like when I met you, it’s just like, Man, I love where Ilan is going. I love the energy that you had the vibrancy. Okay, so here’s a question. Ilan, in closing, if you were to walk past a 18 year old version of yourself, let’s say you see him off in the distance. And you know, you just have a really brief moment to communicate one sentiment to him. What do you share with 18 year old Elon? 


Ilan 34:54 

That’s a good one. I’m going to share with him that you know, life is like the ocean is like the beach there’s going to be waves Big waves, little waves, calm waters between waves sometimes not so much. Everything happens for a reason. And the way it works is absolutely perfect. Just enjoy the ride. 


Shawn Zajas  35:14 

That’s awesome. Like, seriously, thank you so much for taking the time today. Thank you for saying yes. And pressing through those obstacles pressing through the voices that were telling you like don’t do this. Thank you for stepping up and allowing dentistry to just receive the gift of what perfect fit ortho is doing. Thank you so much. And again, thank you for letting me interview you today, 


Ilan 35:37 

Shawn, you’re so welcome. And I look forward to further collaboration with you. You’re an amazing person and thank you for helping our profession. I appreciate Awesome, 


Shawn Zajas  35:46 

thank you. 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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