Kyle Stanley

and Robert talk about the challenges of dentistry, where even the most successful dentists feel like no one trusts them. Patients are afraid and sometimes hate them. Their own staff can feel distant and then wrestling with the insurance companies to get paid is worse than pulling teeth. He stepped out of the pressure and into entrepreneurship and wants to encourage others who feel stuck by the sunk costs to consider they have other options.

A little bit about Kyle...

Dr. Kyle Stanley, named "The Next Generation of Cosmetic Dentistry" by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, “The Top 10 Young Educators in Dentistry” by the Seattle Study Club, and "World's Top 100 Doctors in Dentistry" graduated from USC and then went on to complete a dental implant residency and dental implant specialty in Brazil. 

He is a researcher who has published in some of the top dental journals about esthetics, implants, and plastic surgery topics. With his company Pearl, he is changing the way patients are treated through artificial intelligence and is a leader in this field. Dr. Stanley is the most prominent advocate of mental health in dentistry and through his Light Side community has helped countless dentists reduce stress and anxiety. He maintains a private practice in Beverly Hills where he focuses on implant surgery and prosthetics.

Check out more of Kyle


Instagram: /drkylestanley/

LinkedIn: /in/kyle-stanley-72807b50/

Facebook: /drkylestanley

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Kyle Stanley
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Show Notes

Robert Peterson 0:12
Welcome to the Add valued entrepreneurs podcast, where we're on a mission to end entrepreneurial unhappiness. If you're an entrepreneur with a burning desire to change the world, this podcast is for you. We're here to help you transform your life in business so you can achieve the freedom and fulfillment you crave. This show is dedicated to entrepreneurs who want more out of their life, more meaning more purpose, and ultimately, more happiness. You deserve it all. And it's possible. I'm your host, Robert Peters, Pastor turned life coach for business owners. I believe that success without happiness is not true success at all. But there's always hope for those who are willing to take action. Join us every week as we bring you inspiring leaders and messages that will help you on your journey towards success. Thank you for investing your time with us today. Let's get started. Our guest today is Dr. Kyle Stanley. Dr. Stan was named the next generation of cosmetic dentistry by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the top 10 young educators in dentistry by the Seattle Study Club, and world's top 100 doctors in dentistry, graduated from USC and then went on to complete a dental implant residency and dental implants specialty in Brazil. He is a researcher who has published in some of the top dental journals about aesthetics, implants and plastic surgery topics. With his company Perl. He is changing the way patients are treated through artificial intelligence and is a leader in this field. Dr. Stanley is the most prominent advocate of mental health in dentistry, and through his lightside community has helped countless dentists reduce stress and anxiety. He maintains a private practice in Beverly Hills, where he focuses on implant surgery and prosthetics. Dr. Kyle Stanley and Robert talk about the challenges of dentistry where even the most successful dentists feel like no one trusts them. Patients are afraid and sometimes hate them. Their own staff can feel distant, and then wrestling with the insurance companies to get paid is worse than pulling teeth. He stepped out of the pressure and into entrepreneurship and wants to encourage others who feel stuck by the sunk costs to consider they have other options.

Robert Peterson 2:29
Dr. Stanley, thank you so much for joining me today I'm looking forward to learning and learning more about, obviously, you're into technology and AI and some of these, these new leading edge things and how they're going to impact the world of dentistry, but of course, also how they've grown your business. And so I'm I'm looking forward.

Kyle Stanley 2:50
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Robert Peterson 2:52
Absolutely. So typically, I let my guests kind of share their entrepreneurial journey. And obviously, you're a dentist on on one hand, but now you're also running a business in the AI space. And so I guess just share that journey.

Kyle Stanley 3:07
Yeah, so I'm the son of the dentist, the brother of a dentist, and started getting into dentistry thinking that every dentist owns a practice and that's what they do and practice clinically their entire life. So I did that I started a practice in Beverly Hills with a few partners and still have that practice. But then I found other avenues of dentistry where there were opportunities. One of them was the speaking world. So I started speaking a lot now currently speak about 30 to 40 times a year. And then back in that 2016 started to explore this idea of bringing artificial intelligence to the dental world. So we built a company around that it's venture backed, we raised around round of financing and now have clients all over the world in 120 countries. So it's been a wild ride that I would never have expected in this profession.

Robert Peterson 4:13
Well, clearly because obviously you're right that the typical dentist goes to school either gets hired by practice or starts a practice and pretty much does dentistry their entire life until they make enough money to stuff away in the bank to close the doors or sell it to someone else. So very,

Kyle Stanley 4:32
everybody did that. I didn't even know these other avenues existed when I got into dentistry, but there's so many different ways to to be successful and to utilize your dental degrees and your knowledge. So it's been nice to learn that and have my hand in the laboratory business and the corporate business and research and universities and see all these different sides of this profession.

Robert Peterson 4:59
Well and and One of the things that I've learned in, in entrepreneurship and in this space is the average millionaire, you know, I guess you'd consider millionaire secure, have have seven streams of revenue. So just even that idea of, of a different stream of revenue than owning a practice, which is really a job right. If you go by Robert Kiyosaki, yeah, definition Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it's, it's essentially a job that you go to every

Kyle Stanley 5:29
dentist when they're buying a practice or buying a job, right is important, you know, because it's better to have a job than not have a job. Oh, absolutely. I, I remember having a conversation with someone. And they told a story. And I think the story was told by Tony Robbins, perhaps, but anyways, and they said, someone was with their friend on a ski lift. And when they got off the ski lift, they said, You know, I just made $25,000, while we were on the ski lift or something like this. And it made me think, because at the time, I was really only making money as a dentist practicing clinically, and also as a speaker, but nothing was really passive. I can never make any money if I wasn't working on a patient. And it made me think that I needed to start thinking about something that could scale and something that didn't require me to be hunched over a patient my entire life. So I started looking at different avenues. And, you know, that's where I started to branch out.

Robert Peterson 6:36
Yeah, I think, obviously, the easiest branch and I think there's a lot of dental groups now that are coming together and, and doing real estate investing, buying office space rent, you know, renting it to dentists. And, and I think real estate is definitely a pretty easy forum for some people to step into, and step into it passively, right. It's not something that requires management all the time. But not everybody's even thinking of something in that regard. And so very interesting. And so when you started speaking, I guess, were you speaking to dentistry speaking to what was your what's your primary keynote and an area of interest? I guess, who's your target? Yeah,

Kyle Stanley 7:16
when I started speaking, which was about, I guess, 13 years ago, it was mostly clinical dentistry. So you know, how to place implants, and do smile design and digital dentistry and all of that. And over time, it's really evolved into some topics that no one's really talking about. So one of those is artificial intelligence, which, you know, because I started a company, Pearl. Everybody wants to know about AI, and what's happening there. And then the other one is mental health and mental wellness and dentistry. That again, almost nobody is talking about, because it's so taboo. And so those have been my, you know, in the last maybe a year or two, where most people are inviting me to speak about I still speak about implants and smile design and whatnot, but at a much lower amount. Now, much lower percentage of my, my speaking events are those clinical topics. Well, clearly,

Robert Peterson 8:15
we're gonna have to talk about AI because the world has just opened up and been, it's been revealed to the world. And we're talking today and beginning of middle of January and 2023. And, and obviously, chat GPT has just opened its doors to the public, and people have gone crazy. And universities are writing rules, and high schools are writing rules. And all these people are saying, oh, is bad, and it's terrible and scary. And, and, and yet, there's something incredible about AI. So I definitely want to go into obviously, if you started working in this AI space, that your your business is in 120 countries, and AI has been impacting, obviously dentistry in a way over the last eight years. 10 years. That's, that's pretty amazing. That that it's you. I assume it's working in the area of smile design. What other ways is artificial intelligence working in the dentist space? Because it's obviously not writing your essays for you?

Kyle Stanley 9:15
Right? Yeah, so AI is working in many different ways. Now you have a few different types of AI, you have AI that is looking at predicting patterns. Those are things like we all use every day with Waze and Google Maps, and, you know, bank alerts and things like that. But then you also have ways that we're using and first I'm just talking about in general and not necessarily in dentistry, but we also have something called natural language processing, which is what everyone knows that that's Siri and Alexa. Right? So a computer being able to listen and understand and interpret human speech. Then you have what I think is the most important one which is computer vision. So computer Vision is allowing a computer to understand what's in an image and make decisions based off of that. So you know, in a non dental related space, that's just saying, this is a blue cat sitting on a table, for example, and you can sell ads for that, or you can, you know, target people specifically for that, or whatever. But in the dental world, you can use computer vision to do a lot of things. So you know, what we do at Pearl is look at radiographs and find things that are happening in X rays that can now be documented cross reference, we can show areas of interest to a patient or a doctor, you know, look at the treatment plan, see if there's anything that could be missing. There's a whole, just large amount of tasks that can be automated once you can understand what's happening in radiograph. So, you know, why do we need this? Well, we've done some studies, where we looked at the consistency of dentists. So we had one study where we looked at almost 9000 images. And we had three dentists. And we just asked them to mark where they saw a cavity, basically. And what we found is that they only agreed 4% of the time, wow, 4% of the time, and that's with each other. When you look at do we even agree with ourselves, we did another study where we asked dentists to mark about 1000 images, and then we waited, I think it was three months and had them do it again. And what you see is they only agree with themselves 70% of the time. And unfortunately, I have to include myself on that study that I only agreed with myself 70% of the time. So what that comes down to is that us humans, not only dentists, but all humans are inconsistent. And you know, Robert, you know this one day you wake up, you don't have your coffee, you don't do as well, you don't sleep as well, so that they don't perform as well. Or, you know, you get an argument with your husband or wife or you know, it goes bad traffic. We're not always performing at our ideal level. And so when you add when you take a dentist that is inconsistent, up and down days, good and bad hours, and you add something that's very consistent, which is AI, you can get much better performance out of the human. So we found that anytime you took a human reading radiographs, you added AI to them, they always got better 100% of the time, and we were able to get nine FDA approvals by being able to prove that.

Robert Peterson 12:46
It just it makes sense, right? Obviously, there's a lot on a dentist's plate, because when it comes to dentistry, they have to do it all they have to read the radiographs they have to decide if that's a cavity, they have to decide what the treatment plan is.

Kyle Stanley 13:03
Yeah, we're prepping, we're getting an injection, we're doing a hygiene exam. We're talking with our spouse we're ordering. Yeah, we've got a lot on our plates

Robert Peterson 13:12
in comparison, right? If I broke my arm, and I go to a doctor, you know, clinics going to take the x ray before the doctor ever sees me. A radiologist actually reads it for them. So then they get the information or they have a conversation with the radiologist. And then at least two of them are involved in in the discussion. And so it's it only makes sense that yeah, we added they added information gives you more confidence in your decision.

Kyle Stanley 13:40
Exactly. One of the good things that you said that is good for dentistry is that looking at radiographs is not all with you. Because of course with AI people are worried about jobs being taken by computers, which is a valid, invalid response and a valid concern in specific jobs that are very repetitive. You do the same thing over and over and over again. More than likely that's better done by a computer than a human. But as dentists, that's just one, you know, 1/20 of what we do every day. You know, we look at about 300x Rays a day. But like you said, we're prepping teeth, we're taking impressions, we're doing smile design, we're you know ordering and building value with the patients by talking to them and building trust. So that's what I love about AI in dentistry specifically is that there's no jobs that are going to be taken by by the specific AI.

Robert Peterson 14:36
Mom, it sounds to me like Well, from my position as a coach, it's going to relieve stress, because we're sure that the dentist has plenty of stress in all of the other areas and they have the stress of is that little white spot or is that little gray spot or is that whitish gray spot a cavity? And then we've got a computer assisting them saying we're pretty sure right and so between the two of them, you get confirmation. And that's a great stress reliever, because that helps them make a better decision. And yeah,

Kyle Stanley 15:06
being a user of the technology, and also talking about stress and anxiety and some other speaking topics, it it really does do that, because you come in, and you're looking at a full mouth set of x rays, so you know, 18 or 20 images, and it instantly is highlighting areas of interest for you. So it's like a cheat sheet almost. And you know, you're still going to review your X ray as I normally do, but there's going to be a little pink area, there's going to be a little blue area or a little green area that draws your eye to that specific area, you probably would have caught it. But maybe you wouldn't have. And you know, every dentist will tell you that they've missed stuff. It happened to me happens, my brother happens. My dad, you know, and every dentist I talked to is like, yeah, there's times when I missed up. And so this is just there. We call it the product called Second Opinion, just to your second opinion. No, really, just to say you're the still the first opinion. And you still have all the autonomy. You know, the onus is on you, it's still your license. But it's here to say, I'm here to assist you. And I'm here to point out areas of interest and back you up and make you more efficient.

Robert Peterson 16:21
Alright, let's so let's talk nuts and bolts, obviously, on one hand, you're defending this second opinion, how is it received? I mean, how, obviously, you've been talking to dentists, and marketing this marketing this to them? What's the what would you say is the biggest fear?

Kyle Stanley 16:44
The biggest fear, the biggest fear is probably lack of autonomy. You know, kind of this big brother idea. And I think the other big fear is the insurance companies using this against them. And we have really focused, you know, I'm one of the cofounders of the company, we as a dentist, we are a for dentists by dentists company, and we're here to support the dentist in any way. Now, there are some AI companies that are working with the insurance companies first, and then kind of working with the dentist has a second point. And we've chosen to really try to stay out of that. And we do work with some of the clearing houses. And what that is, is just to make sure that the claims that you're sending are clean, and you have the images that you need, and all of that, but not working directly with the insurance companies, which is probably the biggest fear in the US at least.

Robert Peterson 17:48
So insurance companies denying claims. Yeah.

Kyle Stanley 17:52
Denying claims. Yeah.

Robert Peterson 17:55
But the reality is, if the AI is saying, This is what the dentist thinks it says, you think that that would make for more confirmation?

Kyle Stanley 18:04
Yeah, well we, we've seen is that when our clients are sending screenshots of our images, and it's circled, or there's a box or there's a little blob around something, they tend to get more things approved. And we even had someone recently who they had, I can't remember what it was, I think it was Karis, but they had 20 different patients that got denied. They screenshotted it sent them back and 100 of those 100% of those patients got approved. So we have some anecdotal evidence coming from our clients, saying that even just sending a screenshot is helping them with getting more approvals for their patients, which is nice to hear.

Robert Peterson 18:44
Nice. Well, so how long has this product been available? And I mean, how new is it in the marketplace?

Kyle Stanley 18:51
Yes. So FDA approval was just the beginning of 2022. Okay, really been ramping up ever since then. So before that it was kind of in a beta stage of testing stage. So, you know, just last year,

Robert Peterson 19:05
nice. So it's really fairly new, even for the insurance companies, although there are competitors out there sounds like doing similar things on the insurance side?

Kyle Stanley 19:15
That's right. Yeah, yeah, fairly new technology, you know, even computer vision in general, really didn't come. You know, come to fruition being used at this level, you know, until like the last eight to 10 years. So it's fairly early. It's fairly new technology in general. So getting into dentistry Yeah, is also fairly new.

Robert Peterson 19:40
So So with your clients on, I guess the idea that an intro oral photo helps helps patients accept treatment because they started to see something. How much does Second Opinion help with case acceptance by pay?

Kyle Stanley 19:55
Yeah, we've seen a huge uptick in this and that kind comes from the fact that we can take the image and segment out colors and areas and make it so that the patient can really understand what's happening. Because I've done this where I've said, you know, Mrs. Jones, you have decay between these teeth. And here it is right here. And she's looking at it going, What the hell are you talking? I don't know. It's all black and white. I don't know what what am I looking at here, you know, and the I can automatically segment out for example, this is the enamel. This is the dentin, this is the pulp, this is the bone, this is the Karis, this is the crown, whatever it is, and show the patient in colors, so that they can really understand what's happening. And what I also like about having this is, it's non biased. So as dentists, we are bias, we have financially driven diagnosis, whether we want to think that or not, we make more money, when we diagnose more, and our patients know that, which is why we're one of the least trustworthy professions in the world, which It pains me to say, because I'm so pro dentist, I think we're, we're all you know, I mean, 99% of dentists that I know are good able people honest, trying to help their their patients and support their families. And we get this bad rap in, in, you know, by consumers that we're always trying to rip people off. And we're just trying to find more things and, and whatnot. So I love about the AI, is it somewhat separates us from that. It's like, I think you have Kerris, but also this third party AI system that has no reason to find more Karis agrees with me. And because of that, you know, that's why I think we should get this done today, or get it on the on schedule or whatnot. So it can really help build trust with the patients. And that is something that I'm very passionate about, because I think many dentists have anxiety about that. We patients don't think so. But we actually love telling patients, you don't need anything, right? It's a great trust builder. You know, of course, you may not have anything, but hopefully you're gonna refer your mother and your neighbor and your sister and your brother. And and they'll eventually come here, maybe they'll have something we could do. But I think building that trust with technology, like you said, anytime we have technology that's very visual, that visual communication people love learning, from a visual standpoint, can really help build trust with our patients. So this is just one more addition to that.

Robert Peterson 22:37
Absolutely. Well, and, and it's heartbreaking. Like you said that, that obviously a few bad apples, or even just the myth idea of well, if he finds more cavities, then he makes more money and he's out there driving a big fancy red car. And, and, and yet, the truth of the matter is, you know, 99% of dentists really want the very best for their patients, they really want them to have a healthy mouth to have have the longevity because they've taken care of their teeth. And and they're not interested in making stuff up. Obviously, there's plenty of people out there with messed up teeth that need lots of help. We don't need to make any of it up. But yet, that's that's a reputation and and it's another place where you we've both just mentioned stress and anxiety. We will be right back after the short break. Are you an entrepreneur who started their business with purpose and passion, only to lose sight of it amidst the daily grind, we understand how frustrating that can be. That's why we're offering free strategy calls to help you gain clarity on the barriers holding you back from achieving your dreams. In just 30 minutes, our experienced coaches will work with you to identify obstacles and develop strategies for overcoming them. There is no commitment or pressure. Just a chance to get some assistance and clarity unique scheduling is easy, simply visit smiling and select a time that works for you. Let's jump on a call and build your business together. It's time for you to add value and achieve your full potential as an entrepreneur. Welcome back. Let's get back to more great so let's go to that other side of your speaking of the work that you've tried to do in in helping dentists deal with this stress and overwhelm and anxiety from all of these places. We've mentioned the the insurance companies not wanting to pay the patients not wanting to accept cases the the lack of trust just in the industry itself. And and they want to be nice guys. They want to be nice guys and gals and they want they want to be loved. You feel like nobody, nobody leaves you look at face to face trust you.

Kyle Stanley 24:57
Yeah, yeah. So how it started was that I really went through a difficult time. In my own practice, I was stressed about, you know, liability, I was stressed about complications, I got sick of patients telling me they hate me every day. And it really wore me down almost to a point where I almost quit. I really almost just completely quit dentistry because I couldn't handle it. I didn't realize how difficult it was to be a dentist. And you know, I had good training, I had great mentors, I had a lot of opportunity. But it dragged me down in my first seven years of practice. And I got, again, I got to the point of where I wanted to quit. So I was looking for people to talk to, I was looking for support groups, I was looking for courses, that would help me and I couldn't find anything. And luckily, I had my father and my brother, who are dentists that I could talk to. And what I found was that no one understands a dentist, unless you're a dentist, and I relate this back to this idea of, you know, the military, I will never understand what it's like to be in a bunker getting shot at risking my life, you know, not wanting not knowing if I'm gonna see my family the next day. But in a similar fashion, no non dentist will know what it's like to be working on a lower third molar of a patient that has a giant tooth and your giant tongue and a giant cheek and can open wide and doesn't let you put them back and says they hate you and says that they're paying for your, your kids college fund with this $200 filling, and all of this stuff no one will ever get unless you're a dentist. And so I realized that so many of these dentists didn't have someone to talk to. And they were going through similar things that I did, I wanted a support group, I wanted some support. And so I use my platform that I had that was fairly big with my instagram with my, you know, my speaking career to start talking about this. And I ended up creating a community called Light side. And the The name comes from the fact that I was in the dark side of dentistry. And I got out and got to the light side. And so now I have, you know, an on demand course online, I have in person courses. And I also have a twice monthly support group of dentists from around the world that we get together and, you know, talk about dentistry and talk about the difficulties and relationships and everything. And it's really been one of the most rewarding things that I've done in my career is helping my colleagues in this way.

Robert Peterson 27:52
Nice. Well, obviously, gosh, the idea that your clients who you definitely need tell you on a daily basis that they hate you or that you're lying to them or man that's there are a lot of villains in, in dentistry. Yeah. And then I can't I mean, obviously, you have to deal with staff. And you have you have staff that in many cases are plotting mutiny. Because Because obviously, if the dentist is stressed out, then his staff is stressed out. Yeah.

Kyle Stanley 28:33
And you know, a lot of the woes of my participants were called the light ciders are stressed out about staff, giving raises finding staff members, people showing up late people saying things in front of patients that they shouldn't. It's difficult. And, you know, that's one of the things about dentistry is different from, I would say maybe 60% of other aspects of medicine is that we run our own businesses. You know, we don't work in a hospital where all the administrative staff or all the administrative stuff is taken care of, and the orderings taken care of and all that, you know, it's one of the great things that we have the autonomy to, to run our own businesses. But it also comes with with added stress and anxiety for sure.

Robert Peterson 29:21
When and it's all stress and anxiety that you're never you're not taught or prepared for in Dental. Yes,

Kyle Stanley 29:27
that's exactly right. Yeah, it's, you know, we know that dentists getting out of school haven't even learned everything in dentistry, but let alone how to run a business, how to, you know, be married, how to be a parent, how to, you know, do taxes and how to not get sued and all these different, very, very important topics, that no one's talking about

Robert Peterson 29:54
how to lead, how to lead, how to lead a staff that has no upward mobility because every position in the office is based on education. So nobody can get promoted to somebody else's seat. Yeah. And if you've just throw money at all of them to make them all happier, at some point, it becomes undoable, because you only have so many resources.

Kyle Stanley 30:15
That's right. Yeah, you get it? Oh, yeah. Well,

Robert Peterson 30:19
it's, it's a very unique position to throw somebody in. And, and the truth is, they became dentists, most likely, either, obviously, because of family connections. But really, ultimately, because they want to help people. That's right.

Kyle Stanley 30:34
And yeah, and I think that's the hardest point is, at least for me, I love helping people, I love getting them out of pain. I love you know, increasing their aesthetics and making them more comfortable and making them healthier. But it was like at what cost. And it came to the point of where I was giving, giving giving to my patients. And I had nothing left to give when I got home. So my family and my friends and my neighbors were all suffering, because I had given everything to my profession.

Robert Peterson 31:10
And that's a pretty high price.

Kyle Stanley 31:12
It's a very high price. And with dentistry, you know, we're 17 times more likely to commit suicide than a non dentist, we are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, and panic disorder, over 90% of us have chronic musculoskeletal pain. So it's a hard job. And I think the hardest thing is that we make fairly good money. And so a lot of dentists are in this stage where it's kind of the golden handcuffs where they make good money. So they don't want to change anything. But they're, they're suffering with their back and their neck. And you know, their team members. And you know, maybe they're getting sued, or they're being extorted. I mean, it's happened to more than I'd like to say,

Robert Peterson 32:07
well, and just the idea that they're self extorting, in many ways, right, that they've got a number and they've got to get to that number. And then they can sell this whole thing and get out from under it, and retire in Mexico in their mind. And the problem is, by the time that happens, they've got two officers, they've had a heart attack, and, and they've got high blood pressure. And by the time they quit, they're no longer in any shape to travel anywhere. Right? Yeah, it's heartbreaking. I mean, really. So obviously, we've mentioned a lot of a lot of unique situations, your support group is really powerful. What else gives them some freedom and can help them not feel like they're handcuffed for these next 1015 years, they need to run their practice?

Kyle Stanley 32:53
Yeah, I think one of the biggest differences that I made in my life was realizing that my profession is not my purpose in life. Yeah, so good. So many of us dentists, you know, it takes a long time to be a dentist, you have to do good in high school to get into college, you have to do good in college to get into dental school, you have to do well in dental school to take your boards or get into residency or whatever. And it's kind of drilled into us you no pun intended that you are Kyle, the dentist. And unfortunately, when we align our profession, with our purpose in life, and it's a profession like ours, where you're bound to fail, and what I mean by that is, a crowns gonna come off or a patient's gonna want their money back or a team member is going to quit, you know, the day before you have a super busy day or there's going to be these these micro failures that happened. Your whole self worth will drop. If you align your profession with your purpose, and that was really my fault. That was what I did. I was kind of a dentist I was Dr. Stanley 24/7. And so when I had these difficulties, when I had these failures, I thought that I wasn't worth anything. And what I had to realize was that my true purpose in life was to be a husband to be a father to be a neighbor to help others. And I can love dentistry. I can be passionate about dentistry, but it's what I do. It's not who I am.

Robert Peterson 34:28
That's so, so good. My wife works with emptiness women in the same area that their identity as a mother is not their purpose and they have to discover their purpose. It's the very first thing we we do when we bring on a dental client is is to help them find a mission and purpose outside of I fix teeth. Yeah, because because, obviously you fix teeth but but the team needs a mission. The team needs a purpose you need to be making an impact in the community. then that your hygienist, your, your receptionist, your assistant, everybody can buy into that all of you are helping you accomplish this, this mission in this purpose, because because they all want to be doing something that matters, too. And they don't want to just be working for a dictator that says, Do this, do this, do this, do this. Nobody wants that kind of job. And no dentist really wants to be that kind of dictator, but they feel the pressure of being. Dr. Kyle, the dentist, who has to have this practice that puts on this impression. And in that dictatorial becomes the only thing they know how to do typically, because they haven't been taught how to lead a team and how to bring people together and how to have healthy relationships in the office to to help but it all starts with purpose. Yeah, exactly. Right. Oh, so good. So good. So once they once they can untie themselves from being the professional. I'm a firm believer in the work I've done with with other entrepreneurs, our primary driver is what is the life that you want. And then let's design the business to support it. And obviously, Dennis make enough money that they can do that if they choose to. But sometimes they get caught up in the empty chair, and in the empty chair, and they look at the empty chair, like you said earlier, when you first made this leap, you realize that your entire life is tied to that chair, if there's not somebody in that chair, you're not making any money. And then you're in freakout mode because you got to pay the bills. But the truth is, if you design your business in a more holistic way, you can take your focus off the empty chair, and focus on the life that you really want. As a father, as a husband. And and, and even the number of hours that you want to work in a week, versus I'm a slave to the chair, because now the chair is driving the business and I got to get to that certain number. So how do you help people transition that that idea?

Kyle Stanley 36:56
Yeah, it was a it's a topic that I was just having with a bunch of friends this weekend was? How do we make ourselves not dependent on our hands? Even though we love to work with our hands? You know, we enjoy that but not having that dependence on there. And I think it's a difficult one for dentists because, you know, the easy answer is get an associate, you know, duplicate yourself train this person. But it's difficult in the sense that what if that person leaves then, you know, what did you take all this time you train this associate and they leave? Or I think what's even more difficult for us is giving somewhat of autonomy away meaning? Wait, what if they don't use the right rubber dam that I use? Or what if their margin isn't 0.3 and 0.4. And, I mean, we get so nitty gritty, and we're so anal about so many details, that we have a hard time letting that go. And I think that is where you have to make the decision on. Are you going to be a slave to this profession? Or are you going to reap the benefits from this profession and allow this other let's say you're training and other dentists in your practice, allow them to learn and allow them to make mistakes and be there and nurture them so that they can turn into this great dentist and remember that you weren't great when he first started either. So,

Robert Peterson 38:30
so much in that I love I love that. So obviously dental school is an art dentistry is is is an art and the majority of dentists go through dental school and they come out perfectionist, and they've been taught to try to be perfect in, in treating all of the things that need treated in and making everything look aesthetically beautiful and having perfect margins and having these these perfect standards. And the interesting thing is entrepreneurship is the complete opposite. entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship requires you to take risks and to do stuff that nobody else is doing and to to say, Wow, how can a computer help us read an x ray and to ask questions that are completely different. And so we need to help dentists continue to be perfectionist in their dental practice, right and in the clinical act of dentistry, and yet, find the freedom to take some risks in business and do some things differently in business that don't have to be perfect. In fact, if you try to be perfect, you'll you're just holding everything back and and most dentists are probably holding their team back. They're holding their team back from talking to their patients they're holding their team back from from making from giving them ideas that would lead to better acceptance of their cases, to better communication with their patients. I mean, I think the majority that perfectionist dentist inside them holds them back from being really good entrepreneurs.

Kyle Stanley 40:01
Yeah, it's so true what you said. And I think that's why there's not a large amount of great entrepreneurs that are dentists, larger amount of great dentists. But most of them aren't great entrepreneurs. And there's a small amount of great entrepreneurs. And many of those people are not good dentists. So it's so hard for us because we want to be that detail oriented, great dentists. But we also want that autonomy and freedom, and we have that drive to be an entrepreneur. And it's a struggle, you know, for me, it was a struggle as well. But I think you have to make the decision at some point in life, that I can still be a good dentist or I can still be a dentist in general, because I think that's also a problem is that whole idea of our our profession defining us, when people think like, Oh, if you're not practicing five days a week, you're not a dentist, or if you're not practicing three days a week, you're not a dentist, or if you don't own your own practice, you're not a dentist or something like this. And, you know, that's really not the case.

Robert Peterson 41:09
It's interesting, I come out of ministry and have a ministry background and, and it's similar people ask, are you still a pastor? Um,

Kyle Stanley 41:17
of course, yeah, right. Nobody,

Robert Peterson 41:19
nobody took nobody took my nation away. You know, I chose to become an entrepreneur, but I'm still, I still did all the things, you know, nobody's taken away my toys. Yeah,

Kyle Stanley 41:33
I was just talking to. I was gonna say, kid, but, uh, someone in college and they were saying, you know, should I be a dentist, and one of the things I said was one of the great things about getting a degree like a doctor, it is they can't take it away from you, you know, is you'll always be a doctor now, maybe don't have your license or something they can know, when you go to the airport, they're still gonna say, Dr. Stanley, and you know, and then when you check into a hotel, they're still gonna say, Dr. Stanley, and there's something to be said about that.

Robert Peterson 42:08
Absolutely. All right. You mentioned, obviously, your your support group. And I think maybe for those dentists and entrepreneurs listening, that's one of the biggest things in my world is this lack of connection. And they feel like they're out on an island. They're supposed to be the expert. They're supposed to be the one that knows all the answers. And, and there's an unwillingness to ask for help. Because they feel like they, I'm just supposed to know this, I'm smart enough. I'm smart enough to be a really good dentist, I'm smart enough to figure this out. I should, I should know, right? I should, I should be able to get this and yet. They just need a connection. They just need a willingness to ask somebody else for an opinion for for Hey, what do you think or so let's talk a little bit about the value of connection and, and what you've seen in the doctors that you've connected with and, and created opportunities for them to just be human. Be authentic? Yeah.

Kyle Stanley 43:09
So you know, with lightside dentistry, I think that's one of the best things is that I, I see the most vulnerability that I've ever seen in anywhere in dentistry is we have people that there's no bullshit, you know, it's just like, This is what's happening. This is, you know, not everything is great in my life. Not all my cases work, not all my staff members show up on time. And once you have that vulnerability, you're really seeing that everybody else is having this great courage. And so it allows other people say, you know, he or she's being so courageous, I'm going to share my difficulties as well. And when you feel understood, because that was what I wanted, when I was at my really dark time was I just wanted to feel understood. And like there was nothing wrong with me. Because I was like, why is everyone every other dentist I know is, is rich, and they're like, the practices are amazing. And you know, they have, they have all this stuff going for them. And they never had complications and none of their implants fall out and this kind of stuff. And the real story is that that's happening to everybody. But nobody's talking about it.

Robert Peterson 44:22
And a limiting belief in your head is really holding you back from even telling someone else that I had a crown fall off.

Kyle Stanley 44:33
Know, it's embarrassing. Nolan's talk about their failures that are complications, but once you do and you connect on that level, wow. It's amazing what conversations you get to and so for me, you know, our we call it the lightside club. That's really our support group. It's, again, like I said, it's one of the most powerful things I've done in dentistry and real human connection. What's also cool is we have people from the US can Canada, Belgium, France, I mean, Australia, all over the world. And we all go through the same things.

Robert Peterson 45:10
That's so good. I mean, obviously, there's so much isolation, already taking place just in the fact that you've made a decision to own your own practice. And just in the fact that you've made the decision to, to have your own employees, and in those decisions alone should not be a requirement for isolation that shouldn't. That's not a rule. There's nowhere that says a dentist that works alone can't talk to any other dentists, he's no longer allowed to have any connections. And, and then, of course, that limiting voice in your head tells you, man, you messed up that case, and you messed up that case, and all you think about is all these negative things, rather than the 99.5% of the cases that you did great. And that they're right. And without a way to let go of those things. You can get caught up in that negative space. And, and you've mentioned so many of the things that are the villains, right? But, uh, Dennis doesn't need to be his own villain. No, because he's already got enough villains. She has enough villains chasing after between the insurance company and the staff and the patients that hate them. Who No wonder and they feel stuck because they got a degree in dentistry that they, you know, owe somebody a couple $100,000 for and then they build out a practice and oh, somebody else a couple $100,000 Yep. And they feel like a slave to their own dream. Yeah, that was me. It's become a nightmare. Wow. All right. So obviously, you've become a mentor for other dentists. How have mentors helped you? You mentioned your dad and your brother and the opportunity that you have to reach out to them and, and have that mentorship with them? How have other mentors helped you? Either on the dental side, or this great entrepreneurial leap that you've made?

Kyle Stanley 47:02
My entire life is there's there's no way I would be without my mentors. I mean, I've had some amazing mentors, in dentistry, outside of dentistry, really given me the shortcuts, giving you those little tips that you didn't even ask for, you know, that you're just walking on the street with one of your mentors, and they throw out, hey, you know, when you're doing this, make sure you never do that. I mean, she always do this. And gosh, that has really propelled me in my career, from, you know, early advices, from one of my first dental mentors, Pesco manye, to surgical advice and business advice from other men's recession Giovanna avec, and then personal and speaking tips from Christian coachman. I mean, I can't thank my mentors enough. And you know, that includes my father and my brother. I remember early in college, I remember people saying, like, find your mentors and define your mentors, and I didn't even know how you do that. But it just happened. You find people that you connect with on a personal level, that you can also bring some value to them, I think is important. So it's not a one way relationship that you can bring value to them, they can bring value to you. And if you connect outside of the profession, I think that's important for me, all of my mentors, are there all men in my case, but not on purpose. But we can all we hang out, you know, we can go have a barbecue, or we can go to the beach, or we can you know, wherever or go in the pool, at the hotel or wherever, wherever we are around the world, and just hang out and not even talk about dentistry, or not even talking about our profession. And I think that's so important. It's a general human connection that comes with tips and tricks and shortcuts, and friendship. For sure. And that is that you know, that human connection that's so important. There's a very long I think it's now like 60 years old, or maybe more, maybe it's 70 years old, Harvard study that shows that the happiest people are the ones that have the deepest connections, not the people that that you know, have the most money or have the most notoriety or any of this but really have long term deep connections with other humans.

Robert Peterson 49:36
Dr. Stanley, this has been fantastic. So typically end every episode with you sharing your words of wisdom to those young dentists that are maybe into practice and growing a business. What would you share?

Kyle Stanley 49:50
Yeah, would you say that there's so much opportunity in dentistry, and it's not all in clinical dentistry, you can have a successful opportunity in clinical dentistry. But there's also in tech and in speaking and in consulting and innovation. And I think the last advice I would give that I already gave was, don't align your purpose with your profession.

Robert Peterson 50:13
So good dark stag. Thank you so much for for joining me today. This has been a fantastic conversation. I'm truly blessed.

Kyle Stanley 50:20
Thanks so much for having me.

Robert Peterson 50:23
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