How Dr. Crump and Christianne Crump grew their practice to $2.3 million in annual revenue.

They bought Boise Family Dental Care in 2008, and in 10 years they have grown it to over $2.3 million dollars in annual revenue. The craziest part is they only have one dentist!

Christianne Crump

  • Co-Owner of Boise Family Dental Care
  • Mother of three beautiful children
  • Got a degree in Nursing and Zoology.
  • Helped grow their dental practice from $1 M to $2.3 M
  • contact:

Key Points

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Full Episode Transcription (Automated using

Intro: You are listening to The Pursuit of Purpose Podcast; wisdom, stories, and advice from successful entrepreneurs and inspirational people.

Chris Kiefer: Man, isn’t it true that it would not be a podcast if you didn’t have some overly dramatic announcer voice at the beginning with the cheesy jingle. I finally got the new name and the announcer and I’m still working on that cheesy jingle, but I know that that’s going to be coming soon. Anyway, my name is Chris Kiefer and I am the host of the pursuit of purpose podcast. When I started this podcast, I knew that the most important thing was going to be just beginning and starting to talk to people and interview people, which is something that I really enjoy. So the perfectionist side of me wants to go back and kind of edit those and modify the openings, but the realistic side and the more motivational side of me wants to leave everything as it is and just embracing the fact that as these episodes continue, I will continue to evolve and improve the audio quality by new mikes and some music and variety of other things. But just as a quick reminder for anyone out there that is, you know, considering writing a book or starting a podcast or a blog or whatever it is, I just feel so strongly that the number one thing you can do is to take a stab at it, get going, don’t worry about perfection. Just worry about action and realized that it is far more important to take an action even if it is the wrong action because changing directions is far, far easier than starting. So now that we have that out of the way, I would like to introduce Christianne Crump. She is the guest on today’s episode. Christianne is the wife of Dr. Steve Crump and together they are the owners, a boise family dental care and just to get your attention with a little bit of background information. Christianne and Dr. Crump purchased Boise family dental care from the previous owner in 2008 months before the recession and they took a practice that was just under 1 million in annual revenue and had about 15 to 20 new patients a month to where they are now. Which at the end of 2017, they were at 2.3 million in annual revenue and on average they get between 65 and 90 patients per month and for those of you that are not dentists, those numbers for a single dentist practice are absolutely unheard of. So without further ado, I’m going to hand the mic over to Christianne and let her introduce herself so that I can start asking questions.

Christianne: Thanks, Chris. It’s fun to have a chance to talk to you today and tell you a little bit about the practice and our journey. So yeah, my husband finished dental school in 2006. He’s a graduate of the University of Louisville and my, my profession is in nursing. I have an RN and also a degree in zoology and so when my husband finished school, his father is also going, so we went and practiced with him for a couple of years to get started, but then began kind of deciding, began looking for what we wanted as far as the practice and ended up in Boise. We purchased a practice from a retiring dentist. You want it to associate that for a couple years, that transition went smoothly and we rebranded the practice in 2008 is when all this happened, which was a crazy time to be buying a practice and kind of watching it because that was the beginning of the great recession or however you want to call it. Honestly, if we had done it a few months later, I don’t know if we ever would have gotten financing to buy the practice that we did. We bought a business and went straight into, I think that. And we also bought a practice that was in a larger medical building. We were on the second floor at the end of the hall because zero drive-by traffic, no outside signage. So, we had some other kind of external variables that we had to address in order to, you know, grow our business and survive as a business, honestly because of the, you know, what’s happening with the economy and businesses in general, the time. So all of those were very relevant factors that came into play with our story. And we’re really precipitating events that led us on this journey of learning and growth for our practice.

Chris Kiefer: Just to clarify, so you bought two separate practices?

Christianne: No, but we bought one practice, a dentist that had been in business for about 25 or 30 years

Chris Kiefer: in that particular practice that you bought from the third 25-year-old dentist was in the medical building and that’s when I didn’t have any signage or anything like that.

Christianne: Correct. A large portion of that practice for him possibly faced. He was doing surgeries and I’m, the practice was actually on the campus at one of the hospitals in our town and so you could walk out the back door of the medical building where our office was and straight into the surgery wing of the hospital. And so he did surgeries weekly and brought in a special needs or you know, people who needed that care. And that was really exciting for my husband. He was very interested in acquiring, you know, hospital privileges and that becoming a part of his future for practicing. So, but as the years change, there was this, I think it was 2010, 2011, our practices in Idaho. The State of Idaho changed the provider for Medicaid and everything shifted like basically overnight, 30 percent of our practice population we were no longer able to serve.

Chris Kiefer: Wow, so there are a couple things that I want to dive into your one thing for the sake of the listeners. Can you, so your. I think that there’s an interesting beginning and end and you guys are definitely by no means at the end yet, but so you guys start bought it in 2008. If we zoom forward to now 10 years later, 2018, can you just give me like a quick snapshot of the amount of growth, number of employees, how that’s changed, where like if the location’s changed revenue, what are you guys right now and then we’ll kind of go in and fill in all the details of how you guys got there.

Christianne: For sure. Absolutely. So when we purchased the practice, it was, we paid basically about a million dollars. I think the total loan was 1.1 million. One of the revenue of the practice was, I’m thinking it was right around a million. The practice numbers were actually not very accurate. It was a practice that wasn’t purging inactive patients from dentrix. It had enormous accounts receivable, about a hundred and $50,000 of our kind of hanging out there waiting to be collected. Thirty to 35 percent of the practice was medicaid, like the average new patients per month for our practice with like 15 to 2020. I’m good month. It was a hundred percent referral based. There was no website really to speak of. I think there was one that was a free one that request to the doctor when got a yellow page ad. yeah, that’s what we bought. So that’s where we’re now to [inaudible] we did, I believe we closed 2018, about 1.3, or excuse me, 2.3 million in gross collections.  Our average new patients a month range is between 65 and 90. There’s seasonal variations on that that we track and put it know that someone’s there, lowering someone’s or higher, and we went from just having two hygienists and two front office to three hygienists and forefront office and went to a system to begin with, but now we have three assistants. Me Think what else? We did leave that location. We purchased the building which was actually just across the street and then ended up purchasing another building that directly sits next to get other side by side because the simplest way to say that and my husband literally runs between those two buildings. One is all hygiene with workshops and the other building houses, all the treatment rooms. It has six offs, so he takes 20 steps between the buildings and those back and forth between them.

Chris Kiefer: Wow. So this is some really interesting stuff here. So just to recap, you purchase a practice for around a million dollars. It was approximately a million dollars in revenue each year, but the numbers, it sounds like you were given, there was a lot of people that were not really active patients. Correct. And also all this happening during 2008, the recession is coming shortly after you guys got into this. I think that it’s something that interesting to me is I feel that there’s a lot of value, like extremely tangible value that comes from these times when the economy is not good. Like you have no room for waste. You start looking at you know, how much of those pens costs and why, you know, everything starts getting evaluated to try and figure out why aren’t like what can we do to survive this period of time? And if you can make it through, some businesses do, but when you make it through that period, the businesses that do survive generally are in a place to just skyrocket into, you know, a, a flourishing economy and all that stuff because you’ve eliminated all the waste. Would you agree with that?

Christianne: Well, waste is maybe five percent of it. I really don’t think that there was a ton of waste, but it was so much more than just turning the whole way in which our office personnel function. It’s not about using less paper clips like the way in which they, their workflow is, is different. The way in which our office manager who does financials with patients does that, is totally different. The way in which our hygienists and assistants function in their roles to support the practice and my husband has totally changed and even the way he practices and communicate some talks with the teachers, his patients that had to be more engaged in their own oral health has changed and all of those things are much more important than just the training, you know, waste and inefficiencies.

Chris Kiefer: Right. So can you the one I want to talk about your role in this because that’s something that I think is, especially back in 2008, 2010 when you began, you know, starting to pay attention to websites and online marketing and ranking and all that stuff. If you were definitely way ahead of the curve as far as, you know, other dentists not even paying close attention to that stuff at all. Can you tell me a little bit about when you guys, like day one you purchased the practice? What was your guys plans for the future and what was your role in all of this and how did that evolve over the, you know, the first several years?

Christianne: Sure. So we… like 2008, 2009, we were still just really the bare basics of being a business owner. We did have the other dentist that was still there, so he was kind of coaching and mentoring a little bit, but at the same time we really had to decide how we were going about our business, and it’s this unspoken thing I don’t think a lot of dentists like to talk about, but we graduated from school and had this mental expectation of what it was gonna be like to practice and finally got school and there was a gap. There was like a mismatch between what we imagined and what was happening and we began to have months where the person who answered our phone to call more k then you did like literally there were some months where there was no money left for us to take a paycheck and that any thankfully were savers. So that wasn’t ever anything that was, you know, we weren’t gonna default on our mortgage, but obviously you can’t stay in business if that happens month after month. So it became really important really fast for us to figure out how we’re going to change that in a meaningful way.

Chris Kiefer: Do you think was, related to the recession or was it just quickly realizing that if both people in your household we’re gonna be working at the same place you needed to find a way to make more revenue?

Christianne: Well, a few things. We have to do a lot. We bought practice, it was a million dollars. I’m going to take out a loan for a million bucks are looking. It was like $12,000 a month. We have payroll, our expenses and after all of that, the slice for us was pretty lean.

Chris Kiefer: So then the oldest, I’m curious you specifically, you got involved in this and basically it just an operations person, correct? You’re kind of office manager.

Christianne: We, we talked about it when we first bought the practice and I have little kids leave the home and I also didn’t want to get in the way of the people we pay to the front office. I wanted to let them do their job. I did have some roles and responsibilities. I did run payroll, accounts payable that remotely. I never showed up to work. You don’t five at the office, but I guess where where things really got interesting is when we decided that marketing what’s going to have to really become something we got serious about because we had to grow and so that’s where my background is in science and my husband didn’t have time to learn about marketing and we weren’t even taking a paycheck so we couldn’t afford to go pay someone to do the marketing and so it became something that I just decided, OK, I’m gonna figure this out.

Christianne: This was, I’m gonna say the straddles 2010 and 2011. So I’m smart, but I knew I couldn’t go to websites. So we did. We did find a company, a local company who could help us create a website. We had had a website before, but it was from a company that just like a 10 templates. You picked which one you wanted and sent them your logo when they put it on top of their templates, super generic and it really didn’t convert and it didn’t really amount to any appreciable new patients for us. So I knew that really wasn’t working and we needed to go a different direction as far as our online presence. So we connected with this company and they are contract contractor. Commitment from them was that they were going to do a ground up website with us but they weren’t dentists.

Christianne: So they said, OK, you have to tell us what you want this to look and you’re going to have to write your content because you know what you need. And that was incredibly laborious. I had no idea it was going to be some laborious, but I spent the first couple of weeks, you know, preparing to kind of sit down with them and they said, you’ll go find the stuff that you like, show us what you’re looking for. So I sat down and I started googling dentists all over the country, New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Portland, any major metropolitan city I can think of and my hope was that somewhere out there had a rockstar website that I could basically mimmick and I had a really hard time finding any loved, so surprised. I’m not gonna be getting like New York City, the top five dentists when I Google New York City, Dennis, this is what comes up. Now, I say that there were some pretty good ones, but I was by large underwhelmed when I was like, wow, nobody’s doing anything awesome. And of the few that I found, I started to create this running list of like, oh, that’s cool. I really like that thing. And so I started to think, OK, these are a few elements. I’m going to kind of do something like that and someone like that and I also honestly, I started, I left industry all together. I’m looking up major hospitals, major medical practices. Some of those have great websites. All of a sudden I’m googling universities. I’m googling, you know, just big organizations that were in there helping people quote unquote industry like what are they doing? And I started to see cool stuff and that kind of gave me then a few things that I thought, OK, I want some of these elements that come through and we ended up with the first iteration of our website.  I was given really good counsel that I had to write the content. It had to be completely unique because Google hates template content. So it took me months. I would just write stuff and then my husband and I were saying, OK, you edit this, one of this makes sense and what I’m going to add. And so we went through all like legal pads of scratch until we had content. And anyways, long story short, we finally had a website and we had thought about what some of the important key words would be that we would want to rank for and we did choose to invest and purchase. Boise dentist dot wasn’t, was owned by someone who had bought it strictly for the intention of selling it guy in Georgia. So we reached out to him and made him an offer and came over and wrote a check.

Chris Kiefer: I have to know, because that’s something I think that’s during the dot com bubble. There was a lot of people, I feel like I’ve heard Mark Cuban made his money basically buying domains before people realize that they were valuable for, you know, 10 bucks or five bucks and then selling them for thousands of dollars on imagining. Like nowadays where my experience buying a major city where the word dentist com as a domain, they’re up in like the, you know, $10,000 to $20,000 range, especially for really big cities. You guys remember what you paid for, that

Christianne: You’re gonna die. We pay $1,500

Christianne: $1,500 in 2011. That’s crazy.

Christianne: It was probably 2010, what’s so funny is that we, we first bought the practice, we bought Boise family dental That was the original one we launched and so we [inaudible] but we didn’t use it for years. I honestly think that we did not start using boise. Dennis on was about something like 2015 or 2016. It’s crazy.

Chris Kiefer: He just bought and sat on it for a few years because he didn’t really. There wasn’t any particular reason to switch and I’m sure there wasn’t a ton of research on these areas. Now in all of the different little minute factors that Google is taking into consideration when they are ranking

Christianne: well, so we launched the voices sound like they don’t at that time the competition for quality dental websites in our market with very low. Like when we launched that first one site, we ranked awesome almost right away. So it was working and we wrote it. We just let it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So we’ve just left Boise family, don’t care. Dot Com as our primary domain for years and then time’s changed and all the sudden the value changed and it’s like, OK, if we’re going to rank where we want to rank, like my goal was always top three, one, two, three and we’re not in the top three. It’s time to have a look, pop the hood.  And we started to see other dentists in our area coming out with quality websites, original content, all the, all the different components. And so it Kinda felt like that point your princess bride where he’s doing this or fight and it’s like that either. And so they switched it the other hand it to the next level. It was like, OK well I’m not looking that pump. So we did it, refresh, redid our website and we launched that second iteration of our websites with [inaudible] dot com. And honestly even a little bit of scary time for me because there was a month or two where it took time for Google to re index and kind of re rank us as we can to Stockholm. And there was a huge drop off in the new patient calls that couple months.

Chris Kiefer: So what you guys have, you guys got rid of the boy’s family dental website and in that process obviously it changed the. Do you guys basically ganesh temporarily as Google’s indexing you and you’re starting to gain traction again?

Christianne: Yes. Yeah, but thankfully we’re talking, like I said, 2015, 2016. We already had a great big practice. So it wasn’t, back to the days where we were going to be able to take a paycheck. It was just like, oh, the schedule is not overflowing, you know, we’re not turning away patients that we’d being happen month over month in the past just because normally. So anyways, it was interesting. The other thing that was interesting with the second iteration of the website is actually a data. The second time around we were able to look on our website and you know, we kind of looked at our analytics a little bit. OK, what patients, what pages on our website or our acquiring pages first, where do they go next, what are the most popular pages on a website? Like all that became data that informed our next version. So it didn’t take nearly as long as we turned out that next version in like two and a half months.

Chris Kiefer: So your first website that you launched with that company, it sounds like was was this direction from the company to start tracking all the analytics data or was that something that you had been doing since it was created? The first version?

Christianne: No, it was something that as we to think, OK, it’s time to do a second version that we honestly, we hadn’t been looking at the data a ton and until, until it was time to start doing the refresh. And as we began looking at the data, then it began to inform and help us decide what we wanted to make the emphasis on the next time around. So with the second version of our website, our concern was less about all of the information. We want it to people like cram as much on the home page as absolutely possible. We narrowed our focus into what our data had told us. People wanted to know when they go to the dentist website and that’s what we put on the homepage. If they can’t find it without having to click away to a secondary page, we did something wrong. So the emphasis shifted.

Chris Kiefer: So that’s, I think a lot of people that you started, first of all, one of the things that a lot of dentists are just business people can relate to is that at any given moment you have so much stuff that you need to be prioritizing and it’s often the prioritization and then the execution of your big To-do list that determines how successful you’re going to be. So I think the first thing you said about, you know, the first website was doing fantastic and then all of a sudden everybody else catches up and then it takes a moment to go, you know, let’s take a look at this and you realize that we can do significantly better. You start reworking in, retool and everything. But the thing that I think is probably, at least in my opinion from working with a number of dentists being, so you guys are so involved in the process of the website and the marketing of your practice that I feel most, most dentists have a minor understanding of the specifics and like the actual critical, you know, just even analytics, analytics data is something that most professionals have no concept or idea that, that stuff is even available. So I guess I’m kind of curious, how did you find out about that particular type of stuff and was it an obvious thing for you to do or was that like what was the motivation to kind of dive into the numbers to make decisions as opposed to what I feel like most of us do, which is what everybody else is doing this or aesthetically I like how we have this information on this other page because I want the homepage to be clean and whatever. You know what I mean?

Christianne: Yeah. I guess for me it might be a function of the fact that I have two science degree. So I guess I skew numbers, data research and that’s what’s medicine nursing, even dentistry, a lot of that degree was like research methods and statistics, chemistry and genetics and stuff. But we also ended up looking at analytics and stuff because I was honestly super intimidated by the thought that Google had some sort of algorithm like how am I going to give Google what they want? Oh, and you mean Google had an analytics say OK, well I should probably check that out. They have this whole lifecycle webmaster tools. Maybe there’s something in there that I can read or learn that will help me dish up what they feel like it’s important. You know, I just felt like I knew that whatever Google wanted I had to learn and so I kind of dug in and got intentional about Google even half out there for people who have websites. And honestly, if you’re looking, it doesn’t take you very long to run across those resources. And then you, you know, you can go as far down that rabbit hole. There’s so much stuff there.

Chris Kiefer: So what you’re saying is that basically you became aware that obviously there is an algorithm that Google is using, and that prompted you to kind of fall back on some of the analytics and just the numbers that you were so familiar with from schooling and then basically without any formal training on it, you started diving into and reading articles and looking at different tools and we did some things and you could do but you basically just started chipping away at like page by page and seeing if the content was relevant or needed to be moved forward in the website or do we did. And that’s how you made those decisions.

Christianne: And honestly, I mean that sounds like a huge process. I think that it wasn’t me writing the content while I’m writing meaningful content that spoke to the keywords that we’re targeting, but kind of learning the overarching principles that Google wanted that didn’t take that much time. Give me like two weeks, and let me go skim the internet and you know, reach out to reach out in the sense of like they’ll search out kind of the movers and shakers of the, you know, Google and web development and all these types of things. It doesn’t take long for kind of the main point to come across about some of those things. And I mean just pay attention and just be like, OK, well these are the experts and if this is what they say this is important. Right?

Chris Kiefer: So then the other thing, and I’m actually looking at your website right now. I’m Boise dentist. I don’t know if you need to reference this. One thing I’m curious about is in reflecting back on the changes that if you even think back to the early, early web site when you just want to get your first page is there or your home page. Are there any things on here that you feel like you’re really proud of or like big, things are like, oh yeah, I remember, you know, making this decision and changing this or do you ever get compliments from people or do you receive feedback that was like really solidified and it can be something very minor or, you know, pretty substantial that, that I’m talking about. I’m just curious how all those little things played out on the site that we can see today.

Christianne: There’s things I love about where our call to actions are and how their written. I think it worked well. I also meet a particular point that we have this scrolling testimonials right there, but up below the fold I made a point of making sure there’s like, I think there’s like 20 or 30 in the code that feeds that. I was like, you know, well, I don’t want just like four that rotate. I mean there’s got to be enough there that if someone’s going to take the time to sit there and read those, which nobody does it have to look at the analytics. I know nobody does, but please don’t tell me the same things over and over. Yes. Like just little things. I still love that these are actual pictures of the doctor and you’re all wonderful. Yeah. When people look at our website, that’s us. That’s what they’re going to see when they show up. And that’s important. Like there’s no stock photography on this website. That’s a big deal to me and I think it’s picked up the people who were kind of does that. And also it’s a really big deal for google. I think doctors who short-chain just grab stuff while no doctor’s website developers in general, no matter who they’re serving and they’re not taking the time to get original photography for the sites they’re developing for those businesses. They’re not doing their companies any favors because Google is not going to rank them as well if they just pull stock images off, you know, stock footage websites.

Chris Kiefer: Definitely, for sure. But I guarantee you, you’re just like. And I know that this is being developed. I don’t know how heavily this was using algorithms, but Google is working on image recognition as well to the, you know, where did it make logical sense to me that they would be able to scan every image on the website and not just by the file name but you know, even mock it up or change it or crop it or whatever. And it would still be able to identify, oh, this is a similar photo as this other, you know, on the other side of the world or the other five websites and also use the same documentary. So I think that that’s definitely something as Google continues to develop and get smarter as well with their own algorithms that I could definitely see that playing a role. But anyway. So moving on to, do you think it’s possible to hire out what you did or to even hire someone to do what you did? Because from my perspective, something that’s super interesting to me is basically the intrinsic reward or the, the other motivations that you had in not making sure that you are crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s and you know, taking an extra minute to think about the sentence or words that you use rather than just trying to get something done for the sake of getting it done.

Christianne: So honestly, I would’ve loved to have the money to outsource the whole thing in a lot of ways that would have been awesome, but we weren’t short-changed ourselves a lot of learning if we had done that. So I’m glad that that’s the way the car smell for us and that we have had the opportunity to learn so much. But I feel like now honestly. OK. So this second iteration of our website, we did use a different company to help us because I still have the quarter, so we hired a company to help us code this site. And, some of the graphic design stuff. And I liked working with them. They did a great job. I don’t regret working with them when we go around the horn. Next time I’m going to have to pair up with a company to help us with the website. I think that there is tremendous value in working with professionals. I think that, you know now in 2018, I haven’t been keeping up with the absolute latest and greatest on what Google wants and all this and that and I. If I hire a company I. My expectation is that when I show up as a client, they are well versed and they know exactly what to do and that they’re going to lead me in the right direction. That’s why I went to all the company and they say, Oh, we’re going to was all this stuff photography. Well that should be a good indicator. You need a different company, like they’ll find someone else who’s going to make you do what you have to do to actually have a successful website. They’re not making you talk about your key words and really dig into keyword analysis and plugging that into your code. You need different company. Like, those things are probably always going to be important, but there are probably new things that are going to be important as well. And so absolutely, you know, there, I think having the right company, working with you will just accelerate your success. But I think that people would fill out the count for the professional. There’s a ton that you can learn on your own if you’re willing to take the time and then just outsourced the absolute bare minimum. Like I totally knew I couldn’t go to the upside. So that was, our bare minimum, I just need to find someone that can code, fine. I can write the content that we can take the pictures.

Chris Kiefer: So basically, your advice or your answer is that, yes, it’s definitely possible to outsource or hire someone else to do what you did. It will take some money to do that. But if someone does not have that kind of money or the resources to it at this time, you definitely think that with some relatively simple searches, you can come across the all the information that you would need to kind of get a moderate level or at least a good enough level to do. You have to improve yourself on the web. For sure. Now I’m gonna jump over to something you had mentioned earlier on. You said that in the beginning of the practice of going through the recession there was kind of an overhaul of everything that you guys were doing in the practice and not so much eliminating waste, but just redoing the way that you guys operated. Did you seek the resources of other, you mentioned seeking professional help for websites and did your husband or did the, you’re the office manager or you seek the assistance of any people to basically provide insight on best practices for roles, you know, job descriptions for the various, you know, hygienist, office manager, front desk or did you guys just invent this on your own?

Christianne: No, we did have, I think over the course of the years we’ve grown our practice. We have three different consultants. I’m the first one we had just cause at like panic mode and then the second one my husband met at a Ce and all these guys don’t sign up with them. And then the third one we met like they came into town and little luncheon or whatever and you haven’t heard the person’s feeling and that last consultant that we had, I will say, did it really help us to break through that ceiling that we kept hitting? We did finally feel like there was some real value that came out of our time with the consultant to the first two. I mean if you looked at our numbers, they were pretty much flat. There’s nothing really. It was the, the state where we sent them like tons of reports and then they would just say us back something and say, Oh, you’re spending too much on supplies. Well thanks, how do we fix it? You know, look at all these patients that you need to do recall for. OK, awesome. What do we do? You know, it just didn’t feel like nothing happened. So, we didn’t actually get without where they give us, like action items when we went and were able to actually grow and change and made a huge difference and I will say we work with that and that helped. But the difference between we in second year in the first year was way different. The second year it was just Kinda like, OK, you’re doing great. Is there anything you feel like you. I’m like, I thought you had more like what else is it, you know, so it, it felt like it kind of flattened off as far as what came out of that relationship. So we don’t let her have that relationship and kind of the things that we’ve learned have morphed and evolved. Like we’ve really customized it for OK, this works even better. And that’s where I think when we started working with them we kind of broke through that like 1.3, 1.4 into like really getting close to touching on 2 million, 1.8, 1.9, and then it was like boom. Then we really looked at a few other things and made some more changes and the few more tweaks, and it’s so fun I mean now we’ve kind of built on and evolved over the things that we’ve learned over the years to something, you know even better and our emphasis last year was it really was more on efficiencies and we had this interesting situation where in 2016 we brought in associates. The practice was so big. We’re like, OK, we need another copy about this other building two buildings away for another doctor. That’s how we break through when I get to the next level. So we brought in this doctor and thought that we were going to be that he was gonna end up being a partner, but long story short, that didn’t end up being a good fit. And so all of a sudden after having a few months with two doctors and two full schedules and now needing to compress that down to one doctor’s time, it forced us again, because we were in difficult situations to figure out, OK, how can we do this?  So they’re just became a whole nother evaluation of efficiencies. And it’s not like, how can we save on supply deficiencies? It’s time efficiencies. Doctor only has so much time. How can we make his time absolutely as efficient as possible and still makes sure that the patients that he sees, I feel like they have had quality time and enough time with the dentist and he’s not feeling rushed through his procedures and as we’ve drilled into that were almost able to honestly to run the schedule that we’re working with two doctors with one doctor, it’s nuts. So we got our financial spectrum, our accountant for 2000 taxes and she showed us that’s for 2017 at the practice revenue was actually down seven percent and that’s that little drop away from having to Pakistan and dentists to one. But the net income was up 37 point five percent. And that’s a function of having nearly the same schedule.

Christianne: I have two daughters and not having to pay out the second phase. The second doctor’s. Yeah, PJ and retirement and stuff. So. And we never would have pushed ourselves and looked to find those ways we can be more productive, efficient. And we hadn’t been in that kind of crisis of like, holy smokes, people are going to schedule, how are we going to certain locations? So there, I mean there’s gold in those moments. That’s the moment. I mean, back when we had to figure out a website that was awesome because it forced us to learn and when that that’s how she left it felt like a crisis. But in hindsight, best day ever, it was such an opportunity for us and when we look at it as an opportunity and really had to get my husband because he saw it as an opportunity sooner than I was just like, what the fuck are we going to do? So he just immediately went straight into problem solving mode and he, he rethought his entire day was awesome.

Chris Kiefer: You can go back to, you know, Dr. and Mrs. Crump 10 years ago, what’s something that you would have liked to have told yourself a for the journey that you had ahead of you?

Christianne: I would tell myself, it’s so funny. I remember when we were in dental school, that’s pretty drunk. I remember him saying to me, he says, I want to get to the point where we’re. Our take-home pay is $500,000 a year, and I was like, oh no, honey. That’s. I mean, that’s crazy. Like I came at that with like skepticism maybe that’s so greedy. That’s nuts and I forgot it wasn’t a. I mean obviously there’s a number attached to that, but he was like [inaudible] concept to feeling successful. He wanted to feel like he was a dentist that was successful and it pushed him. He wasn’t going to be satisfied just being an associate for his dad. He’s like, I’m gonna, go find a practice. I’m going to buy a practice or build a practice. So it pushed him and pushed him again when all the sudden we’re gonna take any paychecks and then it keeps.

Christianne: It keeps pushing him. And so I think what I would say, it’s probably what he already knew that I needed to hear and wish someone had told me is don’t be afraid to go for it for us back then. Fucking thousand dollars in your take home. Pay For me sounded ridiculous and a little bit too ambitious and now we’re past that. Now. That’s awesome. He’s already onto the next week. Let’s just in this office. Don’t be afraid to dream and push and look outside your own box because that’s where the next dream is. Now for us, you know, we’re like, OK, we’ve got this practice. It’s doing amazing. It would be super easy to sit here where we are now comfortable and just build the retirement account. Work another 10, 15 years and then retired or somewhere else. But that is not who my husband is. He’s all about his eyes already on the next prize and he is still is driven and motivated and so don’t ever be satisfied with the success that you have and don’t be afraid to dream big.

Chris Kiefer: That’s awesome. So what advice do you have for other dentists that are, let’s say, that for some reason there’s a dental student in dental school and this is kind of as far as on are not focusing on the part of the goal side, but like step one, you know, year one advice. What do you do? What would you go back or what would you tell yourself to a dental student, entrepreneur, new graduates coming out of school and kind of has that ambition out. I want to do something I want, I want to achieve. I’ve got big dreams. What do I do right now? I’m in what direction or how do you determine. Because obviously the probably different depending on the circumstances, what would be an action step to like start taking action towards something?

Christianne: Well, here’s one and it’s free. Basically free, It’s cheap. Cheap. You need to start, keep learning because when you graduate from school you have so much that you don’t know and you need to get tunnel vision and super focused on learning and surrounding yourself with big dreamers and big thinkers, you know, read books, whatever, to really grow. Because I think we’re capable of achieving almost anything once we make up our mind and once we think that it’s possible, do you think it’s possible you’ll just go crush it and just get super, super focused. I mean, my husband had a number of $500,000. Like he, his, it was measurable. I mean somebody just coming out of school. What does your future look like and that, I mean that doesn’t sound like a school setting, but you don’t know. You’re never gonna get there and if he didn’t, if he hadn’t had that direction, I mean who knows already, but it certainly wouldn’t be where we are today and so someone who’s just getting out of school, your action item is like, where do you want to be in five years?

Christianne: You’ve got a truckload of student loans to get that paid off. Are you going to go work for a corporation? Maybe you are. Maybe that is what the first couple of years looks like, but think past that. Then what’s next? What’s your exit out of that and onto the next thing. I just really think that the secret to success is so generic. This is so beyond dentistry. I think anybody who’s successful will tell you this. The secret to success is always be moving forward and have a plan. Yet so many people with so few people do it.

Chris Kiefer: I think that that is a fantastic one of those things that it’s not very complex advice and really it’s not that difficult or the hardest part about making a plan to actually what is, what is the direction and how do you know when you’re moving forward? Like you said, we all know it, we’ve all heard it, but how many people actually take a day or a week or even an hour to say, what do I want? That’s what I want it by this date, this is how I’m gonna measure it, and now I’m going to go in that direction. But, I think that that’s, that is very, you know, it’s just a good reminder for something that, you know, probably a lot of us have heard or been told at some point. But, we just need to go do it.

Christianne: I’m going to have one thing. One other thought that came to my mind on that and this is from Mel Robbins, The gal who has that Ted talk about the five-second rule. One of the other things that she says is every day when you get up, write down one thing that you want to accomplish. I’m a list person, this resonated with me. You know, we get, I love to create this epic to-do list of like way too many things that I can accomplish, but she doesn’t give you that direction. She says one thing. The other thing I would say to these new grads or dentists to aren’t where they want to be is, OK, to do what you want to do? OK, now pick one thing today that’s gonna. Move you in that direction. Just one. Maybe you need to spend some time researching. So that’s your one thing. Maybe you need to, you know, whatever it is, it’s got to be completely different for everybody, but if you spend a little bit of time every day making one step closer, you will get there.

Chris Kiefer: So do you worry about failure. One thing that immediately thinks that is the advice to always continue to move forward. And think of the one thing that I want to do is very, like, it’s very practical and it’s a good reminder, but I think sometimes, at least for myself, I get, if I focus too much on I have to move forward, I have to move forward, I have to move forward. What happens on the days where, you know, 30 percent your patient base has gone. Like are you, how do you turn that into still moving forward? And then I guess I should say, to stay focused on this question, do you worry about failure amidst this mindset that you have, and what is a failure and how would you define that?

Christianne: Well, you know, we’ve been talking and it sounds like we just hit a homer on all fronts, but we actually haven’t. That’s the conversation that we haven’t been having for the last hour. We have had failures years ago. We read that book “Good To Great,” remind me who wrote that?

Christianne: Jim Collins.

Christianne: Collins, yes. And in there he talks about the concept of firing a bullet, meaning you’re just kind of try something on a small scale, just test the water. And so we have done that a few different times with a few different concepts and I’m like mentally running the numbers. I bet we’ve spent $350,000, maybe even a little north of that number on firing bullets for different types of practices or you know, just different concepts that have been, has an awesome idea for a dental implant we need is like 10 and a half million dollars to do clinical trials. But, we spent like $60,000 looking into that idea and we were ready to go forward. But, it became a, there were other irons in the fire that some of them felt like a hotter iron than that one. That may change. Someone, some people could look at that and say, wow, you lost $60,000. And we’re like, well we learned a heck of a lot for that $60,000 and should we asked you to come back to that look at all we already know and how much faster we’re going to be ready to just kill it, on that idea. So, I don’t think that there’s ever really failures. I mean, and I’m not afraid to play like what is a fair failure is a learning opportunity for failure. That he did so many failures and he learned all these thousands of other ways.

Christianne: A Thousand ways not to create a lightbulb.

Christianne: Yes, that’s all it is. All that failure is, is like this nudge that you need to go a different direction, and so great! Thank you for pointing me closer to the right direction.

Christianne: It’s hard when there are dollars attached to it though. That’s like the thing that makes by your scariest like Ooh, what if I do this? And then our income trades every. What if I do this? And you know, there are lots of things you can theoretically fail, but when you’ve just signed your life away in an attempt to. That’s why they thought that the fire, that bullet is not safer. Then you know, we had $60,000 we can pour into an idea and then if we chose not to move forward on it, just be like, OK, we’ll get all the way there. Right,

Chris Kiefer: I think I’m really glad that you answered it in that way because I’m obsessed with failure personally, and I just love that failure is not failure to me. Just like you said, that really the only way like failure is like when the timer runs out, you know, like in a game you can be losing in the first quarter and second quarter and third quarter, but if you win in life or whatever, you’re, you know, whatever you’re seeking or trying to do, who cares what the, you know, how many points the other team or this invisible opponent scored in the second quarter, you know, you’d meet him. And, I definitely feel the same way about failure. In fact, I would even say you need to be seeking failure because if you’re not failing in some scale, it’s just not like you’re trying to just like, how can I blow a million dollars today?

Chris Kiefer: That’s not the goal. But you know what I mean. Like you should be investigating and pushing yourself and you know, diving into your in early days website. I’m sure there’s a lot of minor things like why didn’t work that didn’t work and it doesn’t necessarily. Exactly so, and I think you mentioned this, but I’ll give you an opportunity to either restate this or we provide a different suggestion, but what resources or it could be a favorite movie, Ted Talk Book, audible audiobooks, podcasts. What is a resource that doesn’t need to be the all-time best? Maybe something that you’re just really happy with or that you always think back on? That? One of my favorite,

Christianne: there is a website called marketing profs and I went back to that. I was a paid member and it was like 200 something when I was going through all this marketing stuff that was my university, like being a Newbie, having no major background in marketing. There was so much awesome content on that website. It was huge for my growth and what I needed to learn to do. Anyone who is feeling like they want it to come up to speed on what’s like in the now on marketing and it’s something that you don’t have to have a degree in marketing to understand. I loved that, so I would always put a plugin for them. They don’t know who I am, I am completely off their radar, but just straight from my heart. I loved that, that website and the content that they had, it was a huge component in helping me be effective at what I had to do. So that’s like the very top of my mind, and then I totally am totally an Audible subscriber. I love that I can be knocking out whatever I have to do in my day and be learning something. I think that there’s tremendous value in always learning, 

Chris: Cool. Well, Christianne, I really appreciate your time today. This has been super fun, at least for me. Hopefully with you as well. I appreciate your knowledge and wisdom and sharing today. And, if someone wants to reach out or get in touch with you, what’s the best way for someone to get that for you?

Christianne: Yeah. My email is, C H R I S T I A N N E

Chris Kiefer: Awesome and I will include that in the show notes as well, but again, thank you so much and we will see all of you guys next time.

Christianne: Awesome. Thank you and thanks for having me.

New Speaker: You’re listening to The Pursuit of Purpose Podcast; wisdom, stories, and advice from successful entrepreneurs and inspirational people.