441: Dr. Zhanna Konovalenko | Burnout and Self-Doubt in Dentistry and How to Build to a Full Future

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This Episode is Sponsored by: Dandy | The Fully Digital, US-based Dental Lab

For a completely FREE 3Shape Trios 3 scanner & $250 in lab credit click here:
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Guest: Zhanna Konovalenko

Business Name: ZK Coaching LLC

Check out Zhanna's Media:


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Other Mentions and Links:

Master Your Emotions - Book

Dale Carnegie

Napoleon Hill

Tony Robbins

Martha Beck

Life Coach School

Life Coach School Podcast

Host: Michael Arias

Website: The Dental Marketer

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My Key Takeaways:

  • Taking action from a negative emotion will often result in a negative outcome!
  • Look at the reasons BEHIND your money goals. Math is simple, but drama around money can be complex.
  • If discipline is the only way to meet your goals, you may find yourself burning out!
  • Tying your self worth directly to your work performance is a fast-track to negativity.
  • Marketing your practice is about how you can help people, not how you can get more patients.
  • Niching down your services when marketing will go a long way!

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Episode Transcript (Auto-Generated - Please Excuse Errors)

Michael: Dr. K, how's it going? ?

Zhanna: Hi Michael, I'm doing amazing. How are you?

Michael: I'm doing pretty good. Thanks for asking. If you don't mind me asking right now, where are you located?

Zhanna: Uh, I'm in northern California on the peninsula. Uhhuh, and um, foster City.

Michael: Okay, nice, nice. Awesome. So let's dive into it. Tell us a little bit about your past, your present. How'd you get to where you are? .

Zhanna: Sure. It's, uh, it's a long, it's a long story . Mm-hmm. , but I try to make it short. So I am I'm a board certified orthodontist, but I'm also a dental coach. That is my main focus on my passion, is my coaching practice where I help busy doctors create a thriving work and life balance so they can succeed, uh, without burning out and the way I got there.

So I'm a doctor and a coach. I am actually something that's called a foreign trained dentist. So I was born and raised, not in the United States. I was born and raised in the Ukraine. Uh, a country that sadly many people know more about now with what's going on there. and, uh, so I grew up there.

my father is a dentist, so I come from a family of doctors. and when I was about 15, you know, I decided to go to dental school. back home, it was actually in, in Moscow, in the Ukraine, but I've always had. Two passions. I've always wanted to study abroad. I don't even know why , we didn't even have internet back then in the nineties, but I've always wanted to study abroad and I always had passion for, behavioral psychology, motivation.

What makes people successful? Midway through dental school in Russia, I decide to move to Europe. So I turned 18 and on my own I moved to Prague, Czech Republic. That's where I finished my dental school. Five years in in Charles University in Prague. moved back to Russia opened a general dentistry practice with my father, who still practices there.

Worked there for about a year and decided that I wanted to move to the United States. So 13 years ago I moved to the us learned the language went back to dental school. Your listeners who are foreign trained dentists would understand this track. If you are trained in another country, uh, other than the US as a dentist, when you move here, you have to get recertified, meaning you have to go back to dental school for a shorter number of years.

It was two years for me. I went to University of Pacific here in California in San Francisco. And after that I decided to specialize in Orthodon. So I went to the residency on the East coast in Philadelphia, temple, and became an orthodontist. And after that I decided, nah, it's too cold. Moving back, , moved across the country again and have been practicing in Northern California since, since I graduated.

Okay, nice. That's a little bit how I became a dentist or orthodontist. And like I uh, mentioned to you, my passion has always been. , what makes successful people? Successful. I've always been, listening to tapes when I was like, since I was in my teens and early twenties, you know, classics, Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Martha Beck and Tawny Robbins, you know, mm-hmm.

people like that. I've always had it in my, in my ears, that helped me reach to where I am in my career. and when I was practicing as an orthodontist in California, I was in a very busy practice. where I saw close to 100 patients a day. And as you can imagine, it's, you know, you have to manage your mind really well to be successful and still have that work-life balance.

Mm-hmm. . And that's where I stumble across life coaching. Like it's becoming more knowing now what coaching is, but still people are like, Hmm, my coach, what is it exactly? So I discovered life coaching. I hired my coach. She really helped me. have that entrepreneurial mindset rather than an employee mindset where I was able to take control over, just my life balance really.

And then I decided to get certified. I spent a year becoming certified as a life coach through, it's called the Life Coach School. There's different type of schools, but that's where I got certified in 2018. And Fast forward opened my coaching practice mostly because people around me noticed that something has shifted in me.

Mm-hmm. and my colleagues start reaching out, like, how are you so chill? You saw so many patients today. So I started coaching my friends who were also dentists. And then, when the pandemic hit, I just decided to go, full speed into coaching and started my business. It's called ZK Coaching. And uh, that's has become my main focus and my main.

Michael: And you still have your ortho, like your practice, your

Zhanna: orthodontic practice? Yes. I'm still a board certified orthodontist. Correct. But most of my focus right now is in my coaching practice.

Michael: Gotcha. Okay. So if you don't mind me asking, how many times do you practice clinically in

Zhanna: like a month?

It varies. It really varies depending on the demand. So it's really different month to month.

Michael: Gotcha. Okay. So let's rewind a little bit. Why did you decide to become an orthodontist? Go that. .

Zhanna: Yeah. Such a good question. Why did I decide it? Because I had a teacher in dental school who believed in me, that I could Uhhuh,

Let's fit it this way. Orthodontics seemed interesting, seemed different, you know, in general dentistry, uh, or in dental school, you're not exposed very much to orthodontics. As a general dentist, you do pretty much all of the procedures except orthodon. like root canals, surgical extractions, things that endodontics, root canal specialists focus on you doing dental school, some of it.

So you get experience, extraction of wisdom teeth for example, or difficult extractions, so-called surgical extractions. You do the, in dental school, that's what oral surgeons do. You probably don't place implants, although it depends on the dental school. So you kind of get exposed to different pediatric dentists, right?

Working with kids. You do that in dental school, so, You get exposed to all of the specialists except for orthodontics, you don't really move teeth. as a dental student. And I just remember peeking, in an orthodontic, residency, program at my school at U O P and thinking, wow, this is so cool.

You know, there, it's just you can move teeth. Like what is happening right now from one side to another? That seemed like so futuristic. And I was like, I don't know, it's so competitive. Like, should I, should I not? And you know, one of my instructor, you know, basically was a life coach . Kind of type thing and said, yeah, you totally should, you know, like that little train I thought I could.

So I did. Yeah. I just decided that would be very interesting. And I was always also drawn into aesthetic and like complicated cases. And I also thought as a woman who Had envisioned a path of having a family. You know, in the future I thought that my work, work-life balance would be better with orthodontics versus, for example, surgery.

Although I'm sure there's oral surgeons who have work-life balance. But that's how I thought about it at that time. So that's why I decided to go the, the route of orthodontics. Okay,

Michael: nice. So then fast forward a little. and you decided to hire a coach. I mean, you've always been interested in like motivation, what makes successful people successful, like you said.

Yeah. But where was the moment where you were like, I need something. This can't continue to happen like this? What? What was that like?

Zhanna: Yeah. Let me see when it was, I think it was 2017, I think I was at the gym. I almost remember that. And I was running on the treadmill as many, many successful people, you know, work out to, not just be in shape, but like be in mental shape, right?

Mm-hmm. . And I just remember running on the treadmill and thinking, I am still thinking about my patients. Like I am still constantly reliving all these cases and like, Like, I just want a break. . Mm-hmm. , I don't have this break. Right. And, you know, I'm the kind of person who listens to podcasts when I work out, not so much music.

I think I was looking for something like efficiency, productivity, you know, I was always interested in, how, how to be like, Top organizer. Mm-hmm. . Um, and the podcast came out, the Life Coach School Podcast. So I started listening to her and I was just blown away by the principals that she was talking about, that had to do with mind management around life, really everything.

when I decided to hire her. And things that I had learned completely changed the way I looked at. Work and my goals and my personal life and, just where I was heading and how I was thinking about it, that really helped me be 100% present at work when I was at work and not take it home.

So I think that was kind of like a pivotal moment for me where I honestly just ended up hiring a life coach and I didn't look for it. It wasn't like a thing, at least for me that I knew about. But it was truly a pivotal moment in my life and career, obviously. Mm-hmm. since I became a life coach, that changed everything for me.


Michael: cuz that's super common, Jon, where like you're. , at night, you're thinking about work in the morning, you're thinking about work on your vacation, you're thinking about work. You know, it's just like life of an entrepreneur. So yeah. How did that change, especially when you're looking at goals, because if you, you're taking a flight right, to your vacation and you're like, you're thinking about new goals, you're, you're creative and you're like, oh man, I'm excited about this.

Is that a good thing or a bad?

Zhanna: I think it depends how you look at it, right? So if you're looking at it in a way that's disempowering you, that's probably not a good thing because whenever you take action from a negative emotion, you're not going to create a favorable outcome. Most of the time you really don't.

So the way it, the live designed it actually, which is great because in order for you to hit your goals, you have to like what you're doing. You have to enjoy the process. You know how they always. Not about the destination, it's the process. Mm-hmm. , it really is, meaning any lofty goals requires a lot of action over a prolonged period of time.

In order to do that, there's only two ways. One is through self-discipline, which we all know. One, it's hard. Second of all you, that's how you get burned out, right? You take a lot, a lot of action, and you're like forcing yourself. Verse is way number two. is when you enjoy the process, and then it's a pool, right?

You're pulling yourself towards your goal. So you may be thinking about it when your plane is taking off, but you're thinking about it in an inspiring and empowered way, and that will propel you to take more productive, massive action and feel good.

Michael: Gotcha. So can you gimme an example then, like on how we can utilize this?

So, I mean obviously a lot of us are like, I wanna have goals to like, you know, reach a million by the end of the year on collections or whatever. Right. Is that something like you would say, yeah, you should add that in your life, like goals coaching or is it more like be content with 800,000 and you have the freedom and.

you know what I mean? Kind of thing like

Zhanna: that. Yeah, yeah. I see what you're saying. Mm-hmm. , um, the way I approach it, and that's definitely a topic that I coach McClue a lot on, so I always tell them, especially when it comes to the revenue goals, the money goals, there is math and then there's drama. Math is simple. Drama is what I help you with as a life coach. Mm-hmm. , for example. Let's say you make a million dollars in revenue, as a general dentist a year, and you really want to make two for whatever reason. So we would first dive in. Why do you wanna make two? Totally fine. It kind of goes back to how you said, should you be content?

Like your reason, if you want to make 2 million just because Dr. Jones next door is making two, and you feel bad about yourself, this is probably not a strong enough reason for you to do what it takes to get to 2 million. Mm-hmm. . But if it's because you just want. That's a good enough reason, or you want to be able to impact more people in your community.

That's a good reason. Maybe it's because you want a different lifestyle for yourself or your or your family. Do you feel good about it? That's a good enough reason. So we'll start with the reason why you want it. If you like your reason, then the rest is just math. This is what I coach my clients on. Okay, you wanna make 2 million?

In a year, then tell me, we reverse engineer the result. How many weeks a year do you want to work? So let's say you wanna take two months off a year. Okay? 52 months minus eight is 44 weeks. You will be working that year. How many days a week do you wanna work? See, people don't think about that. How many weeks, uh, days of a week do you wanna work?

Okay, I wanna work four days. That's the typical for general dentist. Okay. So then, That means, I think it's something around 178 days if I do my math. Math right. And then you just divide 2 million by the number of days that you're gonna work. So then you have the production goal that you need to make per day.

I think it's gonna be something around $11,000, 11 and a half thousand dollars. And now when you look at that number, that helps you now narrow down, okay, how much should I. What kind of procedures should I focus on? Who will be my target market that I'm going to attract? How will I brand myself to attract that target market?

And what is the value that I'm producing that they will actually want? And then you just do the rest.

Michael: Gotcha. I mean, it sounds easy, Zina by like you've seen it, right? Like a lot of us aren't doing it like that, or something happens. What happens where it. Maybe we do the reverse engineering. We make it happen, but then I guess life happens, right?

Like, I don't know, oh my gosh, an unexpected pregnancy, or, oh my gosh, I'm getting something happen, a natural disaster. I don't know. Things like that, right? Mm-hmm. , is that what, where the burnout comes or where does that come?

Zhanna: Yeah. You know, I, the way I see it is, and the way I coach my clients is that something happens is the, Your brain talks to you or behaves to stop you from getting that goal.

See, I always explain to people in a very, Basic way that we have two types of brains. We have our primitive brain that just wants to keep us safe, right? Everyone says to protect us from pain, give us pleasure and keep us condensing energy. And then we have this higher brain that is capable of planning and, you know, setting goals.

So when you set your revenue goals and you do the math and you decide you know what you need to do that's here using your higher. . But then when you say life happens, like some circumstance happens, you get pregnant or, I dunno what other examples you gave me. You don't feel like it, or, staff members quit.

Your marketing person goes on, I don't know, something, right? Mm-hmm. , these things happen. Our brain, our primal brain kicks in and our primals brain's only job is to keep us from taking action. It does not want us to. because the safest thing to do is to stay like in bad undercovers, watch Netflix and eating

It's the safest way. Yeah, yeah. Right. Don't put yourselves into harm's ways. So you always go to your default unless you manage your brain. I mean, unless you manage the messages that are literally popping all these sentences every day in your brain. So when people say live happens, I always help them make it more specific, because live happens is very vague. Mm-hmm. . And when something is very vague. We can't solve for it. For it. There's no fixing, there's no solving. Life just happens. But when I coach clients and we narrow down exactly what happened, then there's always a solution. For example, you said pregnancy happens. . Okay, so I would ask my client, what do you make it mean?

What does that mean that you're pregnant? And there's always some sort of a story that their primal, like that scared brain is telling them, oh, I won't be able to work, or I will get tired, or maybe I'll be sick, or all these things. And I always like to say, okay, let's write a whole list of obstacles and then we're gonna turn them into.

That's what life coaching does. Unlike a consultant, it doesn't tell you what to do. It's not just about like steps or strategy, because those don't always work unless you have, unless your mind is there, right? Mm-hmm. Coaching helps you tap into your own resourcefulness so that you can figure out very quick and clear ways to solve solutions.

So, in case of a pregnancy, or let's say half of your staff quit . Mm-hmm. . Okay, so neutral circumstance. Let's figure out all of the obstacles right now. Let's say there's nobody tomorrow to like open the office, how we gonna solve it? But if you just say life happened, you can't solve for that. You see? See what I'm saying?

Mm-hmm. , when you're like really narrowed down, become extremely specific, anything can be solved. God.

Michael: So you like hyperfocus on the situation kind of thing, right.

Zhanna: Instead of you always have to, because brain just likes to throw hands up in the air and say it can't be done. Mm-hmm. . And you have to zoom back in and say, well, what exactly are we talking about here?

Gotcha. Kinda like going back to the basics.

Michael: So can you gimme. An example and also like a really good definition of what burnout is exactly. Sure. Cause you feel like sometimes we're like, I'm just burnout. But it's like, are you tired or are you like still, I feel like sometimes I can, you know, you can work all day and you feel still excited and happy, but that's not burnout, so, or is it?

I don't know.

Zhanna: Yeah. Good question. So a true, true burnout. , like a combination of mental and physical state where you are at a point where you literally cannot get out of bed, right? You are just so down. You have zero energy, you're completely exhausted, and you can barely move around like your environment, And it has three stages of the burnout, first stage. So it's not like you wake up and. Literally burned out like a match. Mm-hmm. , the stages are typically first you feel very low energy. You're very tired, you're constantly exhausted. You're having these perpetual thoughts like, oh, another day at the office, right?

Like mm-hmm. You're looking at the clock and you're thinking, oh my God, another hour, another patient. Right? Stuff like that. Then there's that second stage. You becoming, it's called depersonalization where you become very cynical, right? Where you like look at your schedule and let's say you say, oh, is my 4:00 PM here yet?

Like, you don't call people even by their names, right? You call them by a time, right? Or like, did that crown prep show up or are they running late? You know what I'm saying? Yeah. , you're deep like you are taking the person, like a person out, like you're grouping together, your patient, your person with.

the procedure that you're doing all the time slot, whether a schedule, and then the last stage is where you are just constantly unsatisfied with your own achievements. Like nothing you do is good. You're self critic. You know, we all have that inner voice that's self-critical. That's always like, oh, I should have said this, or My hair was wrong, or, I should have changed the angle on the video or something like that.

Yeah. That critic becomes so loud that you just can't stop. You're not happy with anything you do. It would look like, you know, oh, I should have cleaned the cement more around that crown that I prepped. Oh, my stitches were not great after that surgery or for orthodontist. I didn't finish with a great overbite.

I could have created a better orgen for that patient, but that's for every single person. So you. Extremely self-critical of yourself, of others, and that mental state becomes psychosomatic, meaning so many thoughts, negative thoughts, start affecting your body so that you physically have no energy and you cannot.

almost get out of bed. You can barely function. That is a true burnout and that is something where life coach cannot help you. You know, you have to see a psychologist, psychiatrist, you might need even medication therapy. If you're a non, if you're non-functional as an individual in a society, life coaching is not the best option for you.

You can work together, you know, with a therapist and a life coach. But that's something you wanna address first. What you were talking about. You know how people say, oh, I'm so burned out, you know, I'm feeling like I'm burning out. That's not true. Burnout, it's pre burnout, but nobody really calls it pre burnout.

So I usually tell people I'm a burnout coach. Mm-hmm. . And then when I do consultations with clients, that's when I determine are they in true burnout or are they, are they in pre burnout? , but if somebody can get on a call with me, they're probably not burned out. You know what I'm saying? Mm-hmm. , like they're functioning, they're walking.

They could press the button. . Yeah. So the Iron Am Burnout, uh, phrase that's been thrown out there regularly, is typically like a mental state which has several characteristics typically, uh, you. Pre burnout, when you do a lot of work, a lot more work to get somewhere. So in other words, you are not hit like you.

You have your goal, you want to make certain amount of money, or you want to produce 10 podcast episode a month because you wanna have this rating and you don't see that rating. So you start producing more and more and more. And so like you're taking so much action and it's not rendering the result that you want.

but all this action has an effect on your mentality and your physical body. So you are getting in this pre burnout state and those qualities that lead to that is typically perfectionism. So people who, hold themselves to unrealistic standards. Right. This we can be perfect. Yeah, it's impossible.

But perfectionists, they understand that intellectually, but they're like, yeah. I'm gonna try . Yeah, right. Close as possible. I know, I get it. I understand you cannot be perfect, but I'm really gonna try. Mm-hmm. , and that's what sets you up for failure. So perfectionistic mentality, people pleasing, and a lot of the, that's a big one, especially for dentists.

we are trained to follow these protocols, to cut this perfect class to cavity or have this perfect class one molar. You know, when we finish an Orthodon case, Like we are literally trained to be micro-focused on a perfect outcome really, and that permeates your life and your personality. So it's really hard to separate what you do at work.

Like Sure, strive to do your best is different than strive to be perfect because it's unattainable and it leads you to. Extra amount of action that you're just literally spinning the wheels and not moving in a productive way towards your goal. And that creates burnout, right? Okay. So perfectionism be, uh, people pleasing, which kind of like a side effect of perfectionism where, you know, you wanna do your best and you have these unrealistic expectations of what you can achieve.

And so when patients come into you, you wanna acc, acc accommodate them no matter what, because you're tying in your self worth to your work, right? In other words, you are thinking, you know, I'm a good doctor if I can help every patient. I'm a good doctor. If the patient leaves me a good yield purview, right?

Like you're tying in your self worth to your. , and these are two separate things. And when you do that, then you wanna please everyone, right? Because you want them to say, oh, you're so great. Thank you, doctor. You're amazing. You're the best. I'm gonna write you a yield review, which has nothing to do with you as a person.

And that has everything to do with the service that you provide. But the service cannot be perfect because it's impossible. So you're becoming unrealistic with what you're promising to your patients. And when you cannot meet what you had promised them, you start pupil pleas. , you know what I'm saying?

Mm-hmm. . And that just leaves you feeling icky because it's unauthentic. You know, you start going oh yes. You know, Mr. Smith, you came, for the third time this week without an appointment. That's okay. We're gonna squeeze you in. You know, you came an hour late for your appointment. Oh, that's okay.

We're, we're going to squeeze you in. because you are afraid that if you don't, Mr. Smith will get so upset and maybe throw a tantrum or write you about, you'll review or I don't know, scr at your staff and something like that. So you're not setting these healthy boundaries mm-hmm. that these patients really need.

You know, boundaries is another big component, because you don't understand your Owen, limitations as a clinician and, and as a person. and then the last one is, it's a personality who's highly self, self-critical. , you know, low self-esteem. Mm-hmm. , people who are like, have a lot of self doubt.

which sadly happens in a lot of women dentists. Which has to do with the way we're socialized. You know, men and women are socialized a little bit differently, so we're not as assertive as men and we tend to be more, more looking within ourselves and criticizing ourselves. That's why there's so fewer women leaders in dentistry, especially, you know, who are stepping forward and leading the industry.

So we tend to be more self-critical. So when you are. Perfectionist, expecting impossible things from you, and you are self-critical. No matter what you do, you find the flaws. Yeah. So you'll end up people pleasing because you want them to like you, and then at the end you feel just crappy because you're not showing up as yourself, you're not being authentic, and you can't deliver what you had promised.

Which feeds even more being self-critical, you end up doing extra work. More and more miles for people who will never be pleased and you end up earning out. So it's

Michael: like a, let me see if I got this right. So, so if you're being very self-critical mm-hmm. , you tend to, you said compensate with perfectionism.

Yeah. Pretty much. Okay. Perfectionism and then that's impossible to reach. Right. Right. Be perfect. So then you tend to people please mm-hmm. and. If somebody gets upset, then you'd be so critical against, so it's like a little

Zhanna: It's a it, it's a cycles. Exactly. So it's a rated cycle. Wow. Which forces you like the only solution that you're braining him up with, will I have to do more?

And then you start doing more work. That's not necessarily a thought through work. Right. Like for example, , you just start accommodating all these patients who show up without an appointment. You start giving them discounts just because you want them to like you. Like it's completely defeating the goal of your revenue and what you're set to do.

Mm-hmm. . Right? Which also ties in. You probably haven't thought about your brand and what's your positioning with these people, right? Cuz you're starting to mix your personality with your business . Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then you just start spinning the wheels, Throwing every, all the resources that you have and burning out, unfortunately.

So then when people, you know, end up coming to me, we have to unpack all of this and go back to the basics, okay. What exactly success looks like for you at the office? What exactly does it look like for you at home? And let's make sure that your self-worth as a human has nothing to do with these two.

Your self worth is. Your self-worth is Absolut. , there's nothing you can do or say that will make you more worthy or less worthy. So once you start with that, dealing with your business and your personal life becomes so much easier. See what I'm saying?

Michael: Yeah. You're able to separate kind of the, the two.

Mm-hmm. , uh, when it comes to, cause I think that's the hard part. I feel like a lot of times we, we don't separate it or we go through seasons, right? Mm-hmm. and I, I don't know, you can tell me if I'm wrong or not Jonna, but like sometimes I believe like. There's gonna be seasons where you're gonna have to work really hard, right?

And it's gonna be like, mm-hmm. , I'm gonna do everything. And then there's seasons where you're like, yeah, we could watch Netflix today. Or, you know what I mean? We could relax and stuff like that. But there's hardly ever a moment where everything kind of just feels balanced, if that makes sense. Mm-hmm. ?

Zhanna: yeah, so you could do it this way. , but you could also a little bit even things out because a feeling of balance is a feeling that's created by your thoughts. So there's sometimes things in life where it's easier to do something and sometimes it's harder.

Like for example, weight loss actually comes up a lot for my clients. Mm-hmm. . And you know, if it's I'm trying to think if it's September or August or September. It's easier for people to lose weight when, rather when it's end of October in November, in December, right? Mm-hmm. like the holiday spirit because of the environment.

So people always say, oh my gosh, the holidays come in. There's no way I'm like, around all these food pushers. It's so much harder. So it's kind of like that rollercoaster that you described, that people think that it's easier to lose weight when. , they're not surrounded by holidays and cookies and, and Turkey and all that stuff, right?

Mm-hmm. . But that's really your perception, your mindset, because if you created a sustainable goal for weight loss and how many pounds you wanna lose per month, and what are all the actions that will take you there, right? Like I'm gonna work out five times a day. I'm gonna walk 10,000 steps.

I'm gonna drink 60 ounces of water. I'm going to be eating, you know, two meals. four ounces of protein and veggies like you, you become very specific, right? Then it doesn't matter. Then it's holidays. All you had to do is just manage your mind around, you know, I'm at a dinner table and my plan says to do this and, Mary here is passing a pumpkin pie.

So you just have to manage your thoughts around. . I want it like a simple thought as I want it. That creates, right, like an urge for you. We think it's a fact. Like I want it means I should have it, right? Mm-hmm. . So it creates that rollercoaster effect. But if you level it out and you expect, remember that, I was telling you about obstacles and strategies, if you, anticipate all the obstacles that might happen, and the majority of obstacles really are our.

How we're gonna think about what my mom says who baked a pie. She's gonna think that if I don't eat it, I don't love her. Yeah. It's not about, you know what I'm saying? Like we do these things to herself. Yeah. But if you explain to her, mom, I love you more than anything and I'm gonna have that pie tomorrow.

But right now I'm just not hungry. Or I choose now to. , then it's gonna, it's gonna create a very different experience where you can equalize and balance out your effort when it's planned. Remember with that higher brain? Mm-hmm. , when you plan it out and then you manage your mind around it so that you don't have this mind drama, then you can just execute the math and everything becomes more balanced and playing field, so you don't have to go through up and down.

Michael: Okay. Okay. Makes a lot of sense. Okay. I wanna ask you so much more about this stuff, but when we focus on like the business side of it, what can a dentist do today to improve their, their marketing and business with this?

Zhanna: Yeah. So, as a dental coach, I think about marketing very differently than as a practitioner would.

So the way I think about marketing is really you are telling people that you can help them. , that's all that marketing is. The majority of doctors think of marketing as a way to get new patients. Mm-hmm. . And when you think about, oh, I have to get people to come to my practice because my practice needs money or something like that.

That's kind of like Anki way to think about it. No wonder they don't go in their, they don't take action. Mm-hmm. . Right. That's why. There's a lot of strategies on marketing out there. There's a lot of great advice, but unless you have the mindset of the person who gave, who gave you that advice, you're not likely to create the same result as their strategy promises.

Mm-hmm. Right. Makes sense. Mm-hmm. ? Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Makes sense. Because somebody will say, okay, let's go on social media right now. Social media is big. You have to market your practice on Instagram. They can even give you like the marketing strategy for Instagram. They're gonna say, this is what you're gonna do. You have to have a long PO post. A short post, a cur cell, a reel, and a testimony. . But if your mindset as a doctor is, oh, that sucks. I don't wanna do that. I'm, I'm, what is the reel? Even like, I am horrible on camera. Mm-hmm. , what kind of reels do you think they will create? Probably not the ones that will ex attract a lot of patients, right?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So if you think about marketing is this is just me telling people that I can help them. Isn't that. You're just, your sign is open. I'm here open for you to come here and I'll help you. And I always look at it as a trifecta. So in order to be confident in telling people that you can help them, you need to believe in your product or service.

You need to believe in your client or your patient, and you need to believe in yourself as a clinician. So let me give you an example for dentistry, you need to believe in your product. What services are you providing? What exactly is your dental practice doing? Are you a general dentist? Are you a specialist?

I am a big proponent of having a niche. I really believe in nicheing down, and here's why I. . A lot of doctors are afraid to knee down because they are afraid that they will turn down, turn away. Some patients, right, they're, they want to attract everyone as much as possible, but if you market to everyone you attract no one buying behavior of people has changed, especially since the pandemic. People still want to buy the best product, but they also want to buy it from the best. Which means that their values need to align with yours or the other way around. Your values need to align with theirs. They want to know about you. Like for example, you, Michael, you help, practices with ground marketing, Uhhuh, , right? For marketing. And you do this by helping put the doctor's story in the forefront, create the website around their story that. The part of marketing where you connect with your customer, you tell them your story, right? You, this is your branding too.

Like they need to resonate with your values and that's okay that some people will not like you, but then some people will love you and they're not gonna hesitate. They're gonna come and they're gonna bring their friends, That's how you create the brand. Recognition and loyalty. Like for example, when you think about Starbucks, what do they.

Coffee, right? Mm-hmm. , like when you think coffee, you think Starbucks? Do they, do they sell sandwiches? Yeah. Do you go to Starbucks for sandwiches? No. Mm-hmm. . So by focusing on one thing, one niche coffee equals Starbucks, you will attract those people and then you can you know, increase, uh, or add other, products that you are, that you are selling or other, other, uh, services that you are providing because these people are already in.

this is how it might look like for a dentist, you know, as a general dentist. And I think dentists also do that a lot. Like, marketing. I am a cosmetic dentist, right? I do just, just be the guy or the gal on the block who does amazing veneers. . It doesn't mean that you don't do rick nails and crowns and you know, fillings, but be known for that one thing.

Don't be afraid to niche down and really get good at this because people wanna buy the best product, right? So believe, believe in your service what you're providing, be really great at it, or be like an aligner company. Uh, practice, right? Create the brand recognition, and that's what we'll. your clients. So it's number one, believe in your product or service.

Number two is believe in your client. Really think that your patients want help. They want what you have to offer and what you have to offer will change their life for the better.

Like really like zoom out. Don't just be a doctor who's diagnosing teeth and decay. Look how, what? What is the. The service that you will provide for them, the experience they you'll provide for them will have an effect on their life. So if you really believe that you have the best product, For that person that will benefit from having smile makeover or better bite or cavity free mouth and educated, about oral health so that they can educate their, uh, children and, you know, have a whole healthy family.

The last pieces believe in yourself as a clinician. Mm-hmm. , you know, you need to em embrace and embody that you are the best person to help that patient. So when you, when all this trifecta is working, that's when you will market in the most efficient and the most confident way. Really, I have the best product.

People want it, and I'm the best person to do that. For them to give that service, uh, to them. Now I just have to tell them I have to go meet people, tell them that I'm a dentist and make them offers to. . Yeah. So that's how I look about marketing.

Michael: Okay. And I feel like a lot of the times we get kind of like, tunnel vision or, or maybe clouded with like, we just took out a huge loan, we opened up a practice and now we gotta get these new patients like as quickly and as possible.

And we kind of, go really fast over these three things. You know what I mean? Mm-hmm.

Zhanna: instead of sit down. Meditate. Yeah. That typically, that typically happens because that primal brain kicks in. Right? It's trying to keep you safe. Mm-hmm. , right? Because the primals brain's job is to. , make sure you don't take any action.

So whenever these sentences pop in your head, oh, I just took out this practice loan, we have to make money. You don't have to do anything. You don't have to be an entrepreneur. You don't have to have a practice. You don't have to be a dentist, you don't have to get outta bed. You choose to now ask yourself, why do I choose to do that?

Do you see? You feel like it's a little bit, it's a lot more empowering question to ask yourself. So that is

talking to yourself this way and just be, be kind with yourself, you know? It's okay. It's just my conditioning. This is my habitual thinking is telling me about this loan and the pressure that I'm putting on myself and stuff like that. That's okay. Your opinion is noted, but I'm going to focus on. What actions can I take to actually efficiently, successfully get to my goal by serving people?

That's, I think what's, doctors always often forget that you're not just there to, make money or diagnose cavities or extract decay teeth or straighten their teeth. You are there to serve people. How can you best serve people? Think about that. You know, or when. You are networking with other doctors for specialists.

You know, they go network with general dentists. When you go to the networking event. There was I think it was like a study where they looked at 250 people who showed up to a networking event and they said everybody raised their hand who came here to sell something to another person? Everybody raised their hands all two 50, and they said, and now raise hands who came here to buy something?

One person raised their hand. That's why people hate networking events, right? Yeah. Because we feel like this pressure like, oh, I have to sell myself or my practices or like, send. Send me patients, send me, uh, referrals and stuff like that. But if you're thinking, how can I serve them? Right? Because there's always value exchange in anything you are doing.

You just have to think about it this way. So let's say for me, for an orthodontist, if I'm an orthodontist and I going to go meet my referring dentist, general dentist or just any dentist on the block, I want them to refer me patients, what's in it for them. . Like it's not just dropping off, uh, donuts and saying, hi, Dr.

K, I'm next door. Mm-hmm. , send me patients. Yeah. Like what's in it for them? It goes back to that tripod of, belief system. What is that specific value that I can provide to your patients? If I am the veneer doctor, you know, I do the best veneers You. If your patients need veneers and need smile makeover, I can help them see this like value exchange.

There's something for that referring doctor that you do as another doctor or a specialist. And when you approach it this way, it, it takes this weird sexiness out of it because you're not selling anything really. Marketing is not selling. You're just trying to, help people, show people that you can help them.

Right? So like, thinking about us a little bit differently is very, .

Michael: Yeah, I like that a lot. The reciprocity effect, right? Like, this is what we can do for you, kind of thing. Yes. Okay. Awesome. So then, right now, another question is, what would you like to see more from a dentist? you can put yourself in the shoes of the general population, right?

Or you can put yourself in the shoes of, of what you do as a life coach and think about what would I wanna see more from? What do I feel like they're neglecting or what do I feel like maybe they can be doing increasing more on

Zhanna: just like as, as a doctor in, in their practice? In terms of service or in terms of marketing?

Michael: It could be in terms of, it could be in terms of both. In both. Yeah. let's go for that. Yeah,

Zhanna: so I think it goes back to that nicheing, you know, having, being specific in something I think. Helpful will be for doctors is to figure out what's their target market is, because then they can help the best, these people, these patients, because these patients will receive the exact experience that they want.

And that would help doctors too match with more, uh, patients. So I would love for, you know, my colleagues to really look at the map where they're at. Hopefully they have done it before they purchased a practice. Mm-hmm. , they can do it now. And if they figured out that, you know, uh, their practice is focused on dangers, but they're in the middle of their rodeo drive in la.

probably not the service you wanna be selling, right? . Yeah. So you might wanna shift a little bit, or sometimes honestly, the best solution is just to sell the practice and do all that homework and move somewhere else. You know, I always tell my clients, do you want to be bright or do you wanna be rich?

Right? , you kind of have to decide. So really looking into your target market. Who is in your vicinity? What do people want, right? And you can do that by, you know, setting the demographics or really get to know your, your clients, your patient. I think what's really helpful and would benefit both patients and doctors is look at your competitors.

Look at their yield reviews. Look at what people are talking, what are patients not happy about? And then solve that in your practice. That will not only help you help more people, but more people will be helped with something that they need and your competitors are missing. Mm-hmm. , right?

Michael: You see that?

Yeah. Yeah. Makes a

Zhanna: lot of. . Yeah. And you know, really, like I said, look at your numbers, figure out what your goals, figure out how you want to run your practice, what you wanna charge, what kind of people you wanna attract, and what would serve them best. Like what would, what kind of product or service you can create that will really like, create amazing experience for that.

Mm-hmm. , because then that will really benefit. your patience and that will help you grow your practice too. Yeah. Okay. So I think having this like niche down approach and be really specific and serving would be helpful for both.

Michael: Okay. Yeah. Awesome. And then, right now, someone who's pretty involved in like social media, you know what I mean?

Mm-hmm. , like you're, you're out there and everything. And also like you're involved in the industry, but I really appreciate that you're also involved in like the lives, right? Of a lot of these. practice owners and dentists. So I wanna ask you right now, looking at it from your point of view, what do you hate?

And then what do you love about dentistry?

Zhanna: Ooh, what do I hate and what do I love about dentistry? How interesting. In terms of social media, I think. , I'll start with what I love. I think what I love is that I think more doctors are understanding the importance of like personal branding and bringing, bringing their own personality to their businesses, right?

There's two, there's two schools of thoughts when it comes to branding your business. You can either create. Business persona that represents your brand. That is kind of like faceless, meaning you don't have to like necessarily put your own pictures everywhere, especially on social media and stuff like that.

Maybe just one. But. , your customers get a sense of like the energy, the or around your business. Like what exactly, are you a boutique? Are you high volume? Like what, where exactly do you stand? So that's one approach, like this business entity or you can just be yourself and you are your own brand.

Mm-hmm. and I thi, this is what I do in my business. Like what you see is my brand is me. . And I think that creates, you know, the like and trust the two important components for people to, to buy from you. Right? And I think a lot of doctors are starting to embrace that, which is very hard. So I like that, that doctors are starting to do that.

And I um, you know, I applaud them because as professionals we are, we are, we are taught to be professional, right? Like personal life and professional are completely separate, you know, like tight upper lip type thing. But. people are buying from people. You know what I mean? Yeah. We can't just hide behind the mask of the white code because there was a person behind there.

And as much as we wanna be perfect, people know we're not. Mm-hmm. , but they really appreciate if you're passionate about it. So that kind of bleeds into what I, I wouldn't say I hate, but I wish I could see more. Doctors being more passionate about what they're doing, which I think has to do with really finding that niche that you love.

And then when you are passionate about it, people actually, customers perceive, passion as in we are going to do a better job for them. because if, like, think about it, a doctor who just comes in a, in a consult room and just spits out diagnosis, I mean, you're, you're just sitting there thinking like, like, you're an idiot because they're just talking all this terminology at you and then they tell you everything that's wrong with you and how much it's gonna cost.

Right. Versus a doctor who comes and they love what they do, they're interested in you, they wanna incorporate. Uh, work that they're recommending for you with your lifestyle and how it's gonna all make it work with, you know, how much it costs and stuff like that. Who would you rather go? Probably to the second doctor, right?

Mm-hmm. . Yeah, because you think like he or she will do a better job for you because they care. So I would really wish that doctors embraced more the importance of, You know, personal branding and the mindset that they bring to their daily work and finding the area that they truly love and improving as much as possible in that niche of dentistry that they're doing, because I think that will bring the best value to both the doctors and the

Michael: patients. Awesome. Okay. As long as, thank you so much for being with us. It's been a pleasure. But before we say goodbye, can you tell our listeners where they can.

Zhanna: Yes, sure. So the main area they can find me is on LinkedIn. That's where I hang out the most. and in the show notes, we'll probably leave my my coordinates.

It's just my name, Dr. Janko. And there is I have a mailing list where I send, weekly motivational and inspirational nuggets for doctors to become thriving leaders in dentistry. So we'll probably leave a link to that too so I can hop on that mailing list.

Michael: Awesome. So guys, yeah, that will all be in the show notes below.

So definitely reach out to Jean after that. And thank you so much for being with us on this podcast. It's been a pleasure and we'll hear from you soon.

Zhanna: Sounds good. Thank you for having me.