The history of my dental career reads like a parable of a fool… a blind idiot wandering the wilderness getting taken advantage of at every turn by those smarter, faster, more experienced and less morally encumbered. I’ve done an incredible amount of stupid stuff. Here’s a short list with examples of my bigger failures but this barely scratches the surface:

  • I’ve loaned significant money to ex-friends. They were friends a the time of the loan but not for long after.
  • I’ve hired felons because I didn’t do background checks.
  • I’ve trusted office managers to input insurance, start contracts and file with the state only to find later that they just stuffed it all in their desk drawer until no more would fit and then quit.
  • I’ve taken people’s word that they have credentials they did not – people who told me they’d passed professional boards/exams and held professional licenses when, in reality, they were too dumb to pass even after several attempts (but they were still smarter than I am apparently).
  • I’ve issued credit cards and gas cards to offices only to have them abused massively.
  • I’ve trusted people to oversee my collections department only to have them write off literally tens of millions of dollars because they were too lazy or too stupid to do it right… writing off and sending to collections everyone who was a minute late was their solution to keeping the collection percentage high. Again it appears they were still smarter than I!
  • I’ve trusted insurance agents – ones I really liked – only to find out later that I’ve been paying multiples of the amount I should/could be paying.
  • I’ve trusted real estate developers and brokers who I liked only to find out later that the rent I’m paying is well above the market rate.
  • I won’t even talk about all the contractors I’ve trusted and the horrible results!
  • I’ve hired failed salesmen believing they weren’t failures (because they told me so) in the hopes that they could teach me how to sell better only to find that they had zero ability beyond talking a good game. Ironically these people who couldn’t produce collected others who couldn’t cut it and then went on to fool some in our industry into thinking they were experts!

Most recently I trusted a “broker” for my practice sale. Yeah, I did it again. Now that the deal has closed I can tell you a few things I’ve learned about brokers in general.

  1. If someone is not a licensed broker it’s illegal for them to take a commission in most states.
  2. Amateur brokers and even most of the professional ones will become impediments to the deal before it’s done.
  3. The law firms and bankers who do dental practice sales don’t like most brokers for reason 2.
  4. Most brokers are extremely consistent. They will always want and think they deserve more and they don’t care about anything but getting paid.

Here’s my point. If you’re thinking about selling your practice DON’T SIGN A DARN THING until you send me an email or a text or a Facebook message. I can help you and I don’t want a dime from you. I like helping people and I know a bunch of buyers who I can connect you with DIRECTLY! You may still want/need someone to help you but if you have options for buyers and the legwork done before you talk to them then you’re in a much better situation.

If you don’t want to talk to a dummy like me I totally understand that POV but if you’re bound and determined to hire someone to represent you off the bat then call Chris Bentson. If you want/need a law firm then call The Waller Firm. I know for a fact they will take good care of you and represent you well.

Don’t be dumb like me!!

PS The funny thing is that even with all my stupid mistakes and trusting nature things have still worked out pretty darn well for Bridget and me. To be clear, I’m not complaining here. All of these failings are my own fault and I own them. I’m just hoping that by sharing perhaps some of you can avoid the stupid stuff I did. The good news is that I’ve paid dearly but received one heck of an education. The better news is that we orthodontists are producers and it’s very difficult for others to take that away. Have a great weekend!

PPS I have no interest in and get no consideration from Chris Bentson or The Waller Law Firm.

4 thoughts on “I’m Dumb – Don’t Be Like Me

  1. Only a team who acts has the opportunity to fail so many times! You and Bridget are inspiring! Your family deserves to enjoy some relaxation and freedoms. I hope you build another Braces by Burris somewhere and continue to share your stories!

  2. but through all this you gained some valuable experience. consider it an expensive in person MBA degree. as you know the true definition of experience is ” experience is what you get when you did not get what you expected to get”. thanks for your contributions to others. best, bill

  3. Glad I’m not the only one that has paid “the stupid tax” from time to time! Thanks for the advice!

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