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Discrimination

By Members, Newsletters

Hello again.  In this newsletter I will be talking in generic terms.  When I use the word WE I am referring to the British Public.  I am well aware that much of the psychology I am discussing here will not relate to the people reading this newsletter.  Only those who are self aware, with a fire in their heart to make something of their lives would bother to read my inane ramblings. 

If you read the newspapers (which really, you shouldn’t be doing, you’ll be a lot happier) you will have undoubtedly heard the case of a “rich” dentist using the disabled parking badge of a deceased relative.  Apparently to some editors, this is worthy of large sections of newsprint.  To me, the story isn’t the dentist, but how the media pounce on those who are wealthy when they make a mistake.

It is a contagion of this country.

Dentists are a prime target because they aren’t particularly well liked and they are, on the whole outside the system.  Let me explain what I mean by outside the system, and why you are being discriminated against.

If you work for government in any capacity, and you keep your mouth shut, you are protected by a conspiracy of silence that seems to exist across the board.  Mistakes happen, and yet nobody ever seems to get reprimanded, nobody ever seems to get admonished and nobody ever seems to get sacked.  Private corporations waste billions of tax payers money on schemes that never seem to work, but they always seem to get other contracts. Oh sure, the occasional higher echelon type resigns, but they usually get moved into another cushy little number on a higher salary.  The system protects those that help run it, and tries to destroy those who go against the status quo.  There are countless stories of whistleblowers having their careers destroyed whilst those they expose seem to slip out unhindered.

But the majority of dentists don’t work for government.  We are self employed contractors, and so really, we aren’t in the club.  This, in my opinion, makes us fair game and makes good copy for the soul destroying swill that we call “the media” in this country. 

The story of the dentist with a liking for other peoples disabled badges is a non story.  4000 children died today because of a simple lack of poor sanitation.  That’s a story.  But the latter cannot raise the ire of the populace, to the extent of some rich person acting inappropriately.  As I said, the media is a contagion, but it simply reflects an even deeper sickness in our society.  Why else would people buy the newspapers?

The English as a society don’t admire the rich.  Oh we don’t object to some footballer or a performance artist making money, because that represents a natural skill that few of us are born with.  And we don’t so much object to the wealthy royal cousin who is “famous for being famous”, because well, they are better than us aren’t they?  Upper class don’t you know.  Pip pip, sticky wicket eh what!  But should someone build a business up from nothing and make a bit of money…well now, we can’t have them parading themselves around showing the rest of us up.  No we can’t have that at all, so we wait with baited breath and secret glee for the skeletons to be unlocked from their closet.

This is not jealousy folks. 

It’s fear. 

The fear is the fact that, by becoming wealthy and successful, that individual makes us feel incomplete and inadequate.  When they drive past in their flash car, it is a glaring beacon in our face that we too could be a success….. if only we got off our arses.  If I stopped going down the pub every night and stopped watching Eastenders, then maybe I could start up that part time business I was thinking about…..

The majority of the people in this country are their own worst enemy.  And the thing is, they are getting angry.  They think they are getting angry at the rich bankers and the politicians who have taken the economy from hero to zero.  But secretly they are angry at themselves, because deep down they know it’s all their fault.  After all they elected the politicians.  They put their money with these bankers.  They didn’t object when house prices were booming and the money was flowing.  They took out the mortgages, and spent on the credit cards.  And they didn’t object when the UK became the world’s second largest exporter of arms.  No, we like to think we were ignorant about all that.

And it’s difficult for most people to be honest with themselves, especially in a society where responsibility is being stripped from our psyche.  So we blame other people.  And blaming others for our mistakes is never a solution.

If we want someone to blame, we don’t need to look at the politicians or the mega corporations.  We need only look in the mirror.  I’ll give you two dental examples:

HTM 0105….. that’s our fault.  We should have got our act together, with press releases about the latest standards of dental practice cross infection, organised by the BDA and the DPA.  But we left it to government.

NGDS…. that’s our fault.  We let the government impose it and didn’t tell them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, on mass.

So what am I trying to say?

If you become successful, the population will turn against you.  You will be called “Greedy” and a “cowboy”.  You can be the most ethical dentist in the world, but if you make a bit of money, people will still be there to poke you with sticks and harass you with lawyers should you make a mistake.  Those who make something of their lives, especially if they start with nothing, are reviled in this country.  You will be labelled “dodgy”, and they will complain that you don’t pay enough tax. 

So what should you do?  You should do it anyway, and be all that you can be.  If people want to “hate” you because you have a bit of money in the bank, well, that’s their problem.  You certainly don’t want to go reading the newspapers.  Personally, I don’t even think you should engage in visible displays of your wealth like driving flash cars, or wearing expensive watches, but that’s just me.  I have always been of the opinion that if you don’t look like you have much money, then they won’t try and take it off you.

Just a thought.

Oh, and before I go, I just wanted to let you know about a new test product at my new website www.burntheweight.com.  This is how I learnt to stop mid life spread, lose a stone in weight by eating more and doing very little in the way of aerobic exercise.  Give it the once over.

See you next time

Stephen Hudson BDS, MFGDP, DRDP

Book update

By Members, Newsletters

Most of the articles for the book are now in.  There are one or two authors still to send in their contributions, but these last few will be in by the end of next week.  The end of September is now the official deadline.  If an article isn’t in by then, it doesn’t go in the book.

So far there are 28 confirmed contributors.  The book cover has been designed, and the printer has been chosen.  Details on how to pre-order the book at a reduced rate will follow shortly.  But be advised, when it finally goes to print, I won’t be promising anyone “next day delivery”, because it will just be little old me stuffing envelopes…….. and I only have 2 hands :)

Next newsletter soon

Dr Stephen Hudson BDS, MFGDP, DRDP

Here’s a first….

By Members, Newsletters

Today I am actually going to talk a little bit about clinical dentistry.  Careful now, don’t choke on your Horlicks.

This is because I got chatting to someone the other day, and when she learnt I was a dentist by trade, she asked me about her veneers.  Let’s just say they weren’t the best in the world…. and no, they weren’t done under NHS contract.  But what struck me more than anything was her next statement:

“It was the most painful, the most horrific thing I’ve ever had done, and I haven’t been back since”.

This procedure was done two years ago.  Now obviously there can be a thousand and one reasons why this individual had this experience, and I may not be in possession of all the facts, BUT (and I use that word deliberately) patients should not be leaving our surgeries with this experience lodged into their psyche, especially for a procedure that is predominantly unnecessary for obtaining dental health.  I had to ask myself what the state of those teeth and the associated gums will be in 10 years time.  I suspect their lifespan has been considerably shortened.

Now believe it or not, I’m not having a go at the dentist.  For all I know s/he could be recently qualified and inexperienced.  They could be suffering a health crisis.  The patient’s recollection of events could be “expanded”.  I could never comment on the clinical ability of a dentist based on one case.  Hell, when I think back to the mistakes I made in the past, I sometimes wonder how I’ve gone so long without being sued.  If I got to meet the dentist, saw how they worked, and got to understand their way of thinking, then that would determine my response to what they have done.  Until such time, I can only comment on the actual dentistry done, not the dentist.

And as you may well have guessed by now, I am not one of these individuals who thinks people are afflicted with too much enamel.  Whilst I am happy to replace the occasional failed veneer, many of the people who have come to me asking for “those veneer things” have been more than happy with the results I have given them with a combination of whitening, cosmetic contouring and direct composite.  I know how to do veneers properly, I just personally think that there are other ways that are worth trying BEFORE one takes a diamond to the enamel.  This is not to say I am right, it’s just my opinion

And this is where dentists get into trouble sometimes.  We seem to forget that there are often different ways to do different treatments.  \there are different opinions.  It is very interesting to see a new patient and stare open jawed at the absolute neglect evident in the mouth.  It is very easy to berate the dentist for his supervised neglect, and unleash an expensive treatment plan to salvage the dentition.  The patient armed with this, goes to a lawyer to instigate proceeding against the previous dentist to pay for it all.  You feel righteous in your honesty and are eager to get started as this patient’s saviour…

And then the patient does not attend for their next appointment.  You then discover that the patient couldn’t go back to their “last dentist” because they failed to attend too many times.  Not only that, but when they did attend, they were completely uncooperative for treatment to the extent that the patient was referred for IV sedation…… which they didn’t turn up for.  You sense of moral superiority soon turns into a dark churning feeling in the pit of your stomach as the patient, armed with your words and your treatment plan becomes your responsibility, your heartsink.  The eyes of me’learned friend turn towards you when, on the occasion where the patient actually attends your clinic, everything goes tits up.

Over 20% of litigation is now down to what a second dentist has said.  And more and more of this litigation is actually turning against that second dentist.  Until you have treated the patient, gotten to know their history and their personality type, how can you even possibly have the AUDACITY to comment on the quality of the dentistry in their mouths? 

When I first bought my practice, we opened up our doors to all and sundry, because that’s all I knew.  And I saw some bad dentistry…….. and I also saw a lot of patients who were probably primarily responsible for that work being the way it was.  I soon changed that policy, because 50% of the new patients were not acceptable in their manner or their attendance record.  So we then started a waiting list, and your only way on the waiting list was to be referred by an existing patient.  The problems melted away , along with those little hot potatoes sat in my filing cabinet.  The existing patients soon learnt that they could get a same day emergency appointment, and have their filling done within two weeks, under NHS contract if that was their wish……… but on the condition that they followed our rules. 

  • Turn up on time for your appointments
  • Keep a civil tongue in your head
  • Pay promptly when we request it
  • Come regularly on the recall schedule

Those are my four rules.  When they are broken, the patients get a warning.  Two warnings and they are invited to seek their dental care elsewhere.  I also expect them to look after the work I put in their mouths, and when they don’t I put a strict limit on what I am prepared to do.

Seems to work.  Especially as we now have even more restrictions on the acceptance of new patients. You know what, I should write a book about this…..

Speaking of which……..

In the next few months I will be making an announcement about a book I will soon be releasing, and you fine folks will have the first opportunity to buy it.  The price will be £19.95, but newsletter subscribers will be able to pre-order a copy for £15, a 25% saving.  The book is called

Messages From Dental Masters, Mastering the Secrets of successful dental practice

It is a collection of never before seen articles from the likes of:

  • Chris Barrow
  • Amarjit Gill
  • Tony Kilcoyne
  • Brian Lux
  • Ellis Paul
  • John Renshaw
  • Sheila Scott
  • Paul Tipton………
  • And many more.

I’ll keep you posted.

Oh and 40% of all profits will be spilt between the BDA benevolent fund and the Dentists’ Health Support Programme.

Yours in commerce

Dr Stephen Hudson BDS, MFGDP, DRDP

What are you going to do?

By Members, Newsletters

In my recent newsletter Conspiracy? I put forward the concept of dealing with the irritations and annoyances in life by either accepting them completely, or taking massive action to change them.  Both concepts are designed to empower you and give you back your piece of mind.  Both actions are designed to change your focus, and I want to talk about these concepts in more depth.

 Of course as we both know, it was never going to be as easy to accept such things.  It is amazingly hard to accept that your council’s traffic planning office is run by complete numpties who should have been sacked years ago, especially if you drive to work every day.  Imagine then how hard it can be to accept blatant corruption and injustice in your own supposedly civilised country.  Can you look at the crimes the banks have been allowed to get away with and not feel a tad irritated?  Can you see the growing underclass of people in this country that have been beaten down psychologically (and sometimes physically) by the system, who see themselves as having no future within that system and not feel just a smidge annoyed?  Can you stand by as our politicians order our military to act as judge, jury and executioner in countries that many in this country couldn’t find on a map……. without raising an eyebrow?

It’s difficult isn’t it?

 But here come those questions again……… 

  • Can you actually do anything about what is troubling you?
  • And if so are you actually prepared to do anything about it? 

 Are you prepared to take the massive action required, to put your head above the parapet and to make yourself a target to the establishment?  Are you prepared to take the flak for your beliefs?

If the answer is no, then for your own psychological (and in some instances physical) health I would argue you have to accept it.  Grumbling about it, complaining about it and writing “letters to the editor” or your MP as an individual will do nothing, and as the situation worsens your dissatisfaction will only grow.  It is perhaps time to focus your life somewhere else, and stop reading the damned newspaper.  Switch off the TV, and go outside, breathe deeply and revel in the miracle of life.  This world is amazing, so if you either can’t or won’t do anything about the problems of the world, then I would say it is time to focus on what is right, and how your life can be improved.

 And another thing.  Don’t think I am going to judge you if you said no.  There are a million and one scandals, famines, wars, corrupt politicians, crimes and injustices in the world to keep you busy ever second of every day.  Whilst I would argue that one person CAN change the world, you are not necessarily that person.  I’m certainly not, I realised that months ago.  For years I’d been raging about this, and ranting about that (amazingly I kept most of this out of these newsletters…no honestly) and it didn’t achieve a damn thing except a deep feeling of dissatisfaction and indignant.  Here are a few, just as a taster:

  • The fact that the Blair government went into an illegal war in Iraq
  • The fact that we are the third largest exporter of weapons in the world
  • The fact that the electric car has been a viable technology for over 30 years and yet has been suppressed…… and if that’s no enough, put the following into Google “Japanese cars that run on water”
  • The incompetence of all western governments in dealing with this financial crisis
  • The fact that big pharma are not researching new antibiotics because there’s not enough profit there……… whilst our battle against bacteria slowly slips towards the dark ages
  • The fact that there are poisons in our food……….
  • Rant rant rant, repeat until sectioned under the mental health act.

 Well, enough of this.  I can’t change any of that.  And even if I could, I’m not sure I have the courage or the fortitude to make that change.

I can still take massive action though, for my health (mental and physical) and my wealth.  I can take massive action to remove the impacts on MY LIFE by voting with my wallet and by taking control of what I think and what enters my body.  I can take massive action for my business and in my relationships, and I can choose to do that RIGHT NOW.  And so can you.  One of Ghandi’s most famous sayings was

Be the change you want to see in the world

You can make your life a shining beacon of wealth, health, honesty, compassion and love.  You can’t change the plight of the Palestinians or the fate of the rainforest, but you can change yourself.  You control

  • What you eat
  • Where you shop
  • What you focus your attention on
  • Who you spend your time with
  • What you read
  • What you wear
  • What you drink
  • And how you spend your time 

Does anything need to change?

 And of course, some of you will have answered YES to both of those questions.  Some of you will see some problem, some injustice, and just not be able to sleep at night if you didn’t at least try and make a change.

Again, I have no problem with that.  BUT, when it comes to this, there is no try.  There is only DO…… thank you Yoda.  To make change requires guts, commitment and perseverance.  It requires focus and conviction.  It requires your life’s energies.  And you may well be the next Ghandi, the next JFK, the next Martin Luther King or the next Brian Haw.  But all of those people made great sacrifices for what they believed in, and all of them paid the ultimate price.  If you are going to do this, you need to leave your naiveté behind

So what are you going to do?

Are you going to BE the change you want to see in the world?

Or are you going to try and MAKE the change

That decision I leave up to you…….  But to do nothing just makes you part of the problem.

May you live in interesting times 2

By Members, Newsletters

This Newsletter kind of follows on from one I wrote back in November last year. 

Newsletters have been a tad rare recently due to me being extremely busy.  Unless you’ve been living in a cave of course, you will have noticed that things have gotten a tad interesting out there recently.

  • The worlds stock markets have dropped 15{ff71c3037dff5beb7dd55adc1b5b127705de899bd3c2cb9535e7f1468b6f6175}, with likely much further to go
  • Ben Bernanke, the US Federal Reserve (a private bank just so you know) has stated that interest rates will be held at their present lows for at least the next 2 years.  This to me indicates that the US (and thus the rest of the Western World) is probably heading for a deflationary depression that will make 1929 look like someone losing a £20 note.
  • A few little cherubs have decided to test the liberal tolerances of the middle classes.

Still, could be worse eh!

Does any of this surprise me?  No, especially not the rioting.  I’ve been expecting that for several years now, so much so that I moved to the very edge of Sheffield, a city that so far hasn’t joined in the “festivities”.  Perhaps Yorkshire folk have more sense.

And it has been interesting to watch the opinions of others on Facebook and the BBC as they each state their beliefs on how best to stop the rioting.

  • Bring back the Birch
  • Unleash the water canons
  • Use Baton rounds
  • Instigate Martial law
  • Bring back National Service
  • Bring back Corporal Punishment
  • Shut off the phone networks.
  • Round ‘em up, put ‘em in a field…………

 

I don’t know if any of this would work.  I found myself formulating opinions, but then slapped myself for being so stupid.  I know nothing about inner city deprivation, police anti riot tactics or the long term effects of removing even more of our so called freedoms.  So I will keep my opinions to myself, because they are pointless and worth less than Social Contract we all signed up to, and that government and society has mutated into a materialistic con job.

Interesting how many of those initially arrested for the looting weren’t exactly hooded teenagers, but just “normal” everyday folk.  Interesting how the news media isn’t really reporting that fact.  And interesting how the only communities “reported” to have come together to counter the rioting were those ethnic minority communities like the Sikhs and the Turks (remember reported doesn’t mean they were the only ones, it means they were the only ones the news editors wanted you to see).

The media and the government have another song they wish to play you, please be good little subjects and dance to their merry tune.   

And as I write this, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down over 400 pointsand there is a rumour hitting Wall Street that the French bank SocGen is close to collapse…… a rumour that to date is unsubstantiated.

As I said, interesting times.

So where is your focus at right now?  Is it dwelling in fear?  Anger?  Are you consumed by the need for retribution?  Do you feel helpless?  Or have you just sat down in front of the computer with an overwhelming cloud of resigned acceptance?

The first thing to do is switch off the TV and leave it switched off.  The vast majority of you reading this have not and will not be affected by the riots.  You do not need to live in fear. 

So what can you focus on to change how you feel, right now?

I simply ask the question.

And another emotion that will creep into your mind is blame.

So let’s go back through the hundreds of newsletters I have written.  In dozens of those I have discussed the personal power that is gained from claiming responsibility for everything that happens to you, good and bad.  The good things are your rewards for the way you have lived your life.  And the bad?  Well often, the worst moments in your life often morph into the “greatest thing that ever happened to me”.  Life does like to give you lemons, but only because it knows those who are awake can turn said lemons into lemonade……… and then sell that lemonade for a vast profit.  If I go back and look at all the crap I have had to deal with in the last 3 years, it occurs to me that I would not be the person I am now without any of that.

And I like the person I am now, I like him a lot.  And you know what helped more than anything?  I prepared (partly with the help of my Mastermind Alliance Goal setting system).  I perceived certain potential threats, and designed plans to deal with them……….. I then acted on those plans.  This meant I no longer had to worry about the worst case scenario happening.  It also meant I could concentrate on what I wanted, instead of dwelling on what I didn’t want.  When you find what you want, and focus on it with intensity, you often find you achieve that want.  Sometimes you get it and realise that actually, it wasn’t a want after all and you hear the universe laughing at your stupidity.  I like to laugh along with it.

So what are you worried about?  What are you going to do to either stop that from happening, or protect yourself in the unlikely event that it does happen?  Those are questions only you can answer.

Stephen Hudson BDS, MFGDP,DRDP

Deeper down the rabbit hole

By Members, Newsletters

Hello

In the last newsletter I talked of a fictional conspiracy to make you angry and indignant.  Well I had a bit of a revelation yesterday, because I had chosen to feel….angry and indignant.  I had an experience with car insurance renewal that reawakened some knowledge in me that I would like to share with you.

Last year I was paying £600 for insurance.  So along comes my Tesco car insurance renewal, and lordy me it’s gone up by 50{ff71c3037dff5beb7dd55adc1b5b127705de899bd3c2cb9535e7f1468b6f6175} (I don’t even drive a flash car and have maximum no claims).  For no reason.  I tried RBS who I bank with, but they quoted a higher price, even though my account was supposed to give me a 15{ff71c3037dff5beb7dd55adc1b5b127705de899bd3c2cb9535e7f1468b6f6175} discount.  And now I am with Direct Line who quoted me £750.

Of course what few people know is that all 3 of those insurance companies are owned by RBS.  Let that sink in a second.  Then discover that Churchill, Privilege, NIG as well as insurance sold branded as Natwest, Virgin Money, MBNA, BMW Insurance, MINI Insurance, Mint, Egg, Nationwide, Age Concern and Vauxhall Insurance are also all allegedly owned by RBSRBS don’t really care about the banking anymore.

If you go down the list of insurers they are all pretty much either owned by or own someone else.  And it’s the same in other areas.  Look at the media.

Consolidation is not always a good thing.  The bigger a company becomes, the more powerful it becomes.  Look at News International.  It took the massed outrage of the British Public to shine a big light on the activities of the News Of The World.  If we had been our normal mumbling selves, the Coalition government would have done little and the newspaper would still be open.  I can guarantee you a few politicians soiled themselves over all this.  They keep thinking that us Brits can be pushed around to accept pretty much anything.  They forget that because we hold it all back, when we blow, we blow.  I think however, you may find that this media “problem”, which has created a public “reaction” may find itself being used to create a “solution” which is not what we expect.  A solution to legislate against infringement of the privacy of the powerful perhaps.  Don’t forget the politicians are still reeling from their expenses scandal.

So why do i mention this.  I mention this because you are in business.  You got rid of your C/D patients, and you have a nice loyal patient base.  These are people who have to deal with the day to day reality of living in this country.  I’m focusing on the negative in the following because it’s what many of them will be focusing on.  And you need to understand that:

  • Call centres with endless computer tekephone loupes and relentless Mozart if you are lucky
  • Fines for the slightest infraction of some little known statute
  • Doctors who keep you waiting 40 minutes…. and then it’s someone you’ve never seen before (complaints against GP’s are going through the roof at present….. no Rapport you see)
  • Lawyers who require the blood of your first born before they will talk to you
  • Police who sometimes seem to morph into corporate revenue collection officers, and who tazer unruly pensioners and children
  • Insurance companies that will use any excuse not to pay you
  • Food that keep going up in price, whilst being rammed full of fructose and chemicals
  • Politicians who talk the talk, but only walk the Brussels walk
  • Companies that spend hundreds of thousands decorating their service industry premises, only for the staff who interact with the customers to resemble shaved baboons in their customer service skills

This is what the British publish are judging you against.  If they can come to your practice and have a smooth and hassle free experience, you seriously risk obtaining a raving fan.  I know I know, there are some dentists who don’t want that.  They don’t want people wasting their valuable time by actually talking to them.  They want the ten minute check up, a waiting room full and an endless wait for a slot in the appointment book.  The treadmill is still alive and well, which is why I recently added a new page to my website.

Here are some crazy ideas:

  • Have a reception team who are prepared to actually have a conversation with most of the patients.  Your running late, fine.  The patient has been informed, and now reception can engage in friendly banter with the people who are waiting to see you.  If you have the right patients and the right staff and the right practice layout, this will actually create itself naturally.
  • Smile
  • Learn how to listen.  Let the patient tell their story.  If they want to tell you about little Johnny’s world record badger juggling attempt, let them.  If they want to regale you with tales of the time they were the chief Eunuch to Pope Gregory the IX, you make interested sounds and gestures.  How else are you going to discover their WANTS?
  • Under promise and over deliver
  • Systemise your bloody practice so that it runs itself smoothly
  • Build Rapport
  • Tell people how much their treatment will cost.  Tell them how you expect them to pay and when you expect them to pay.  And don’t be afraid to give them their money back if the occasion arises where the result is not up to standard.
  • Have nice comfy leather seats in the waiting room.  You can buy them from Ikea, although the legs cost extra!

“Steve, you’re talking madness.  This is pure hatstand!”  Yes, I know, but what can you do.  A while back I wrote a newsletter about how the Social Contract (the agreement between the governed and those that ruled) was close to braking.  It’s broken folks.  You just haven’t been out to the greenhouse to see the damage that “Treasury Black Hole” football has done to your prize winning marrow.

 You now have to set yourself apart from the “squeeze the consumer till they riot” mentality that is becoming more and more obvious in the workings of government and corporations.  They don’t care about you, all they care about is your money.  And the consumer knows this.  The idea of customer service is dying in this country.  It’s all about aff on fees, charges and administration fees.  Show your patients you are above that.

Show them that the money is secondary.  Show them that you care.

Dr Stephen Hudson BDS, MFGDP, DRDP

Note – Nothing in this realease should be considered advice, be that Financial, Medical, legal, Business or spiritual

Conspiracy?

By Members, Newsletters

I want you to imagine, for a moment, that there is a great conspiracy (this is a fictional conspiracy of course, I am not suggesting such a thing exists).  The conspiracy has one goal:

To create anger and indignation within YOU

Dark agents lurk in the fetid bowels of corporations, council and government agencies, traffic planning offices as well as lurking beneath the desk of the countries newspaper editors.  They whisper vile plots, twist and scheme and manipulate those whose morals are corroded, and whose hearts have died.  Let us see how this conspiracy might manifest:

  • On your drive to work you always turn right at a certain junction.  One day you reach the junction and find a no right turn sign has appeared, sending you down an intricate one way system
  • You bust a tyre on your road that is riddled with potholes.  But said road has just been invaded by sleeping policemen and “nobbly” pavements.
  • You email customer support via a secure part of the companies website which can only be accessed by your password, which only you have.  You ask a question and are informed that you will need to ring customer service to get your answer for “security” reasons.
  • Your local council spends hundreds of thousands on “fact finding” trips abroad, whilst threatening hundreds of cuts to front line services due to austerity
  • The government cut the budget by £7 billion, only to then give that £7 billion saved to the Irish
  • You buy something form a shop, “would you like to join up for our blimblam card?”.. You say no, “are you sure, you get 10{ff71c3037dff5beb7dd55adc1b5b127705de899bd3c2cb9535e7f1468b6f6175} off badgers entrails when the sun is eclipsing Orion”.  You say no, “But you get a free Walrus polishing kit”.  Repeat until you walk out of the shop without what you went in to buy.
  • The traffic on the motorway grinds to a halt.  An hour later of 5mph, you find the cause for the delay, an accident ……. on the other side of the motorway!!!
  • You walk into McDonalds at 11.01 and are told you cannot have breakfast because, “it’s all been put away”.  It’s there, in the feckin kitchen. 
  • You are told you must apply for an eCRB check, for a job you have been doing for 30 years.
  • You open the newspaper and are assaulted by how terrible life is.  War, famine, death Aids, recession, depression.  You put the paper down and look out the window to see the sun shining and children playing.
  • Your car renewal insurance comes through, 40{ff71c3037dff5beb7dd55adc1b5b127705de899bd3c2cb9535e7f1468b6f6175} higher than last year, even though you haven’t had an accident that was your fault in over 10 years
  • You are walking past a peaceful protest and see a quadriplegic being tipped out of his wheelchair by the police.  Their excuse?  He was wheeling towards them in a threatening manner
  • You engage in an extramarital affair and find your identity plastered all over the newspapers…. and you’re not even famous
  • You go to your doctor because of a health concern, and all they want to do is out you on some pills instead of finding the cause of your problem

 So how does this all make you feel?  Is that steam coming out of your ears? 

Now as I said, the conspiracy doesn’t exist, it’s just a sad reflection of the way our society has evolved.  The thing is that, although much of this is down to the idiocy of the human mind (with perhaps a fair amount of the devious nature that is often inherent in the sociopathic personality type), it is not a concerted effort on the part of some dark cabal.  It is just the combined result of complete idiots acting completely separately, and yet creating a combined stress on you. 

Of course, despite all this, you only feel anger and indignation in these situations because you CHOOSE to.  This is where you power comes in to play, because with practice you can choose to laugh at them instead.  Does it do you blood pressure any good to allow all this to get to you?  The answer of course to this is NO.  Do you have the power to change any of this.  Again, unless you are willing to spend endless hours on a campaign, the answer is NO.

So ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is there any way you can reverse the decision to put up that no right turn sign?  If the answer is no, then accept it and stop complaining.  Billions of people in the world can’t even afford a car.
  2. Can you get the council to buy you a new tyre?  Well, technically you can, but it would take many hours of administration and letter writing.  So do you go down that route, or just laugh and buy a new tyre?  You can afford it, billions live on $2 a day.
  3. If the company doesn’t know what customer service is, then move.  It’s that simple.  You forget how powerful you are.  Vote with your feet
  4. Your council spend your money for their entertainment?  Vote them out.  Tell all your friends about their antics, create a consensus and block vote for the opposition.  Or, if you don’t see the point in all that, then you have no choice but to accept it.  And if you accept it, you have no right to complain.  You can laugh at the madness of it all of course.
  5. The newspapers print nothing but fear, hate and trash………..then stop reading the bloody things!

You see how this works?  If you have a chance of changing something that bugs the hell out of you, then for Gods sake change it.  If you have no chance then your only healthy option is to accept it and carry on with your life, because to get angry and indignant hurts only you and those around you.  Instead concentrate on gratitude, on the many wonders of our society, of your life and be thankful that you

  • Don’t have to travel across a barren dessert in an attempt to find food
  • Have indoor plumbing with clean water to drink
  • Have a roof over your head
  • Don’t have armed checkpoints on every street corner
  • Have friends and family
  • Have modern medicine that can give people a quality of life where once they would have died in childhood
  • Don’t live in an area plagued by sectarian violence

 So ask yourself, what are you grateful for?  And if your answer is nothing, what COULD you be grateful for if your life depended on it.

I learnt this a long time ago.  I learnt that if you don’t like something you either have to change it or accept it.  There is no other way.  If you accept it, then you have no right to complain, because as I show in my new personal development course, The Emancipation of the Enslaved, complaining gets you nowhere.  In fact it holds you back, and blocks your true potential. 

So you have two choices.

  • Enjoy your life regardless, and be the change you want to see in the world
  • Take massive action to make the change you want to see.  Remember, Rosa Parks helped start the Civil Rights movement when she refused to sit at the back of the bus. 

Both responses are perfectly valid

You choose your life.  Your life doesn’t choose you.  Perhaps it is time to stop bitching and make your choice?

Yours in commerce

Stephen Hudson BDS, MFGDP, DRDP

Testimonials

By Members, Newsletters

I was in London the other day.  There I was in a cafe having my breakfast, and in the corner of the room was an annoying box with “Coronation Street” blaring out.  So you know how when there is a TV on in the room, your eyes tend to be drawn to it…… yeah, that was me.  Do people actually what this trash?

I think I was in the cafe for about 20 minutes.  In that period of time I arrived at the inevitable conclusion that British Soap Operas are a depressing state of affairs.  I think in that 20 minutes there were 3 blazing rows, 2 people bursting into tears, a fight, and a relationship break up.

Crikey

So being me, I decided I would see how many apparently happy people I could spot for the rest of the day.  You know what, I think I spotted the odd one, but the rest of the people I encountered looked like they had just come from a funeral.

Are Coronation Street, Eastenders, Hollyoaks etal entertainment……….. or are they indoctrination?   

The message seems clear.  Life is hard.  Life is a struggle, and those around you can’t be trusted.  Any happiness you experience will be fleeting, and then you will be straight back down into misery.  Get used to it, this is as good as it’s going to get.  And don’t even think about being rich, because they are more miserable than anyone.

I see it every day, unhappy faces driving to work.  Unhappy faces working in shops.  Unhappy faces walking the streets.  Now most of the time when you actually interact with them you can get a spark of life to emerge, get a chuckle and a grin to appear….. but that’s only temporary.  They wake up, go to work (if they have a job) go home and flip on the tube and tuck into their fructose laden food.  All of that done in an almost haze like fog.  That’s not living, it’s barely surviving.  Their dreams are forgotten memories.  Their lives empty shells, a shadow of what they could actually achieve and become.  Millions of people living lives of quiet desperation.

You don’t need a reason to be happy.  You can just stand up now, throw your shoulders back, look up at the beauty of the sky and put the biggest grin on your face imaginable. 

And I am sorry to say many dentists fall into this unhappy category too.  Why are so many of us so serious about life?  Do we actually think that anything actually matters in the great scheme of things?  Many of my peers are really struggling at the moment.  If it’s not money it’s stress.  If it’s not stress it’s the complex orchestra of emotions that can involve being a dentist.  If it’s not that then it’s health.  If it’s not health then it’s the bloody CQC/GDC/Monitor.

Let me just remind you of something:

  • You presently live in the greatest time in human history
  • You have clean running water and access to a choice of food greater than ever before.  All this can be delivered to your home.
  • You have effective sanitation meaning that diseases that used to kill millions are a thing of the past
  • People who used to die routinely are now kept alive and live a good life by merely taking a few tablets a day
  • There is no conscription, you do not live in a dictatorship, and bombs are not falling from the sky
  • You can fly to other countries, swim beneath the oceans, jump from perfectly good aeroplanes, visit every wonder of the known world and read almost every book ever written
  • You do not have to fear the front door being kicked in by the secret police, nor are you stopped at checkpoints where you are asked for your “papers please”.
  • You have the ability to do whatever you want with life………. you just have to want it.

 

So why does everyone seem so bloody unhappy?  I honestly don’t know the answer.  What I would say is that about half the dentists I know personally would go and do something else other than dentistry if the opportunity arose. 

 And I’ve not even mentioned the risks of litigation….

Well you know what, actually I’ll mention litigation now, because I think it’s important to the discussion.  When I left dental school, the risks of my coming to the attention of the GDC were small.  A present day graduate is now almost certain to have the eyes of the GDC on them, at least once.  As for lawsuits, it’s now almost a given that you will be sued more than once in your career.  Personally I’m not happy about either of those prospects, so I took measures to reduce my risks.

The three most important things I did were (remember, this is entertainment only, not advice):

  1.  I got rid of patient who I didn’t like and who didn’t like me.  If we don’t have rapport, I wish you all the best in your search for a dentist more able to meet your customer service requirements
  2. I stopped doing treatments I wasn’t comfortable with.  At first it was apicectomies, biopsies, lower 8’s and IV sedation.  Then I added periodontal surgery and difficult extractions to the list.  And the list is ever evolving.  I’ve not got many years left in this job, so I might as well spend my time doing what I enjoy.
  3. I learnt to listen to the voice.  When something doesn’t feel right, I now listen to my intuition.

You see, you know what the danger areas are.  I ask myself what the risks are for a particular treatment.  If I cannot accept the risks both for myself and for the patient, I will refer where appropriate and decline where non essential.  All with contemporaneous notes, and all on patients where rapport exists.

We don’t have many stroppy patients at our practice.  Those who don’t behave are asked to go elsewhere.  Those who don’t follow our rules get very specific warnings.  Everyone else is welcome with open arms.

So I know what you are probably asking…….. what’s this got to do with testimonials?  Well it’s one of the ways you can build up rapport.  Patients like to see the favourable comments of other patients.  They like to know you have successfully done your proposed treatment before, because your perceived skill is one of the most important factors to them.  If you are nice, and they think you know what you are doing, that adverse event will be seen as an aberration, a one off, something that couldn’t be avoided. 

“That was bad, but how much worse it would have been if it was another dentist doing it”

If you have rapport, it helps shield you.  Because mistakes happen, accidents occur.  Roots end up in sinuses, and patients come back with dry sockets and pain after endo.  Fillings drop out and veneers can fracture.  With rapport comes understanding and forgiveness, without it ……. well then you are just the local butcher.

But how do you get testimonials?  Why by simply asking for them at the end of treatment.  Once your patient has expressed their satisfaction, you give them an opportunity to put that satisfaction in writing.  Look, let me give you a rough example of how I would do it.  Let’s say i was asking you guys for testimonials:

“Dear reader.  I believe you read my newsletter for a reason, and I like to think that this is because you perceive it to be of value.  If this is the case, would it be possible for you to drop me a quick note stating what you like about it.  If you feel it has helped you at all, then I would appreciate hearing about this also.  This way I can use these comments to help promote this newsletter to dentists (and non dentists) that have yet to experience it.  Thank you very much for your consideration in this matter”

 

Now not everyone you ask will agree to do this.  And not everyone who agrees will follow through.  But some will.  And some is all it takes.

By the way, that was a subtle hint if you hadn’t already guessed :)

Stephen Hudson BDS, MFGDP, DRDP

Brian Haw RIP

By Members, Newsletters

Good evening

Todays newsletter may be accused of being particularly ranty.  You have been warned :)

I was pondering life the other day, and I am glad to say I am not the same person I was three years ago.  I have noticed a definite change in my thinking and my outlook on the world recently, which is reflected in my interactions towards others.  I don’t know if I’m becoming more mature or more cynical.  When I did my NLP training and my training with Tony Robbins, I was all “YES, let’s change the world”.  I don’t think like that anymore.  The word it seems doesn’t want changing.

My change in perception all started I think when I learnt the true nature of statute law.

To quote a joke from my favourite comedian, Doug Stanhope:

“They say if you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish…. then he’s gotta get a fishing license, but he doesn’t have any money. So he’s got to get a job and get into the Social Security system and pay taxes, and now you’re gonna audit the poor [censored], ’cause he’s not really good with math. So he’ll pull the IRS van up to your house, and he’ll take all your stuff. He’ll take your black velvet Elvis and your Batman toothbrush, and that all goes up for auction with the burden of proof on you because you forgot to carry the one, ’cause you were just worried about eating a [censored] fish, and you couldn’t even cook the fish ’cause you needed a permit for an open flame. Then the Health Department is going to start asking you a lot of questions about where are you going to dump the scales and the guts. ‘This is not a sanitary environment’, and ladies and gentlemen if you get sick of it all at the end of the day… not even legal to kill yourself in this country…………You were born free, you got [censored] out of half of it, and you wave a flag celebrating it.”

Every interaction you have with government and its many agents is based on the law of contracts.  You drive along the Queens Highway, and you do so lawfully because you hold a drivers licence.  You have to tax your car because when you bought it you registered it, making you not the owner, but the registered keeper.  You bought the damn thing and then gave ownership of it to the government who then let you drive it so long as you follow their rules.  That’s why they can take your car away and crush it if you don’t pay your road tax.  And that’s why if you go at 75 MPH on the motorway you can get fined and have points on your licence.

You agreed to these rules, even though you probably don’t know it.  He who does not rebut, accepts.

I originally planned to go off onto a whole rant about how you can use the law of contracts to your unlimited benefit, but no, not today.  Much of the information I would need to convey would be too controversial, even for this newsletter.  What I will say is that, in your dealings with governments and its agents, you should have a strong understanding of contract law.  For me, reading the nPDS contract and its attached statutes was a wakeup call.  Yes, unlike most dentists, I actually read the contract and the legislation.  I signed it in the full knowledge of what I signed, and have met the terms of my contract every year since.

But there is a problem with today’s society.  As Doug displayed above, there is too much legislation governing our lives.  And do you know why this is?  It’s because of you.  You let this happen.

Now I’m not directly pointing the finger at you personally.  That is a generic you.  And we as a population let ourselves be plundered and molested on a daily basis.  Oh we protest, we march in the streets, we write letters to our MP’s and proclaim our democratic rights, but then we go home, put our feet up with a nice glass of wine and watch whatever trash is on the TV.  The Powers That Were know this.  They know you will go home, proud in your achievement at telling them what you think.  And they don’t care.

If you didn’t go home……….. now that would scare the crap out of them.  Look at what the protestor Brian Haw achieved before he died.  No matter what they tried, they couldn’t get him to move from Parliament square.  He sacrificed himself for his principles and I have every respect for the man.  If there had been a thousand people like him, this country would be a much better place.

But we don’t camp out like Brian Haw and like they are doing in Egypt, Greece, Spain, France and now Italy.  We have stuff to do, we have lives to lead, so we let the Powers That Were get away with what they do.  We let them spend, spend, spend OUR MONEY and then moan when they institute austerity measures.  But we don’t moan too much, and hardly bat an eyelid when the £7 billion saved gets given to Ireland to help bail out their bankers.  No, we just mumble quietly into our expensive beer for fear of being the high nail.  We don’t notice that the deficit keeps getting bigger, that the government keeps spending more and more money.  That’s why it’s not the governments fault.  If we want to know who to blame for the crdit crunch and the home repossessions……. we need only look in the mirror.

And all the time they pass more legislation, because we let them.  The thing with legislation, it only gets more onerous and more pervasive, because the Powers That Were like control.  They like to see you working harder, for less return, bogged down with paperwork and regulation.  And you accept it.  A few rebel, but most of them are easy to deal with and easy to ignore because they are just a few.  The rest of us go about our day to day activities safe in the knowledge that we live in a free and democratic society.  That was an attempt at sarcasm by the way.

So what can you do? (None of the following is financial advice of course, just inane ramblings….. it is meant for entertainment purposes only).

Well you can enter lawful rebellion.  You agree to abide by the legislation, with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your lips because you know it’s all a con.  Every time they pass a new law, you shake your head and chuckle.  There’s no point getting angry, that only raises your blood pressure and make the pharmaceutical companies money.  You can realise that your feelings of indignation and injustice are exactly where they want you to be.  The way you beat them is to use their system against them.  They want a box ticked, you tick a box, and tick a few more besides.  Always give them more information than they ask for.  And then you remember that they use money to control you, so why not use this very same money to remove their control over you.  This is your real power.  You stop buying the useless trinkets and gadgets that you think will make you happy.  You get out of debt and raise your income, and raise it enough to escape the tax trap which I have talked about in the past.  You invest your hard earned money and develop multiple streams of income so that money flows to you whilst you sleep. And when you do buy things, you do so with money you have saved, so you don’t have to pay twice as much through huge interest payments. 

And when they pass a new law, you find a way to use that to your advantage.  That’s why there is a CQC compliance product on my website.  I found there was stuff missing in the usual CQC compliance products and had to write 85 pages of policies and procedures myself.  I would spare you that….. for a small fee of course ;)

The same for my Practice Systems Templates.  I wrote them for my practice, which is why I can have Fridays off, safe in the knowledge that the practice pretty much runs itself.

As I have said before, you want to buy a flash car, then that’s fine.  You want to buy a new kitchen, then go for it.  Or would you rather be in a position where you work because you want to, not because you have to?  Why does the approval of complete strangers actually matter.  Those who matter don’t care what you drive, where you live or what watch you wear.  And it’s easier.  Someone put a dent in my car door in Sainsbury’s last year, but I don’t care because my car is for getting from A-B and isn’t to me a status symbol.  I personally don’t want to spend 6 months wages on a box with wheels.  I would rather have that money working for me.  But then, that’s just me.

You see if you talk to IFA’s, most people with our earning potential don’t actually have any spare capital.  Because they spend it all.  They step onto the earning/spending treadmill and they pump their little legs.  And even if they earn more, they still don’t seem to have any left over….. because they spend it all and never really save enough for tax.  It’s like the money fairies descend each night to empty their bank accounts.

Of course the only money fairy around here is you

That’s the way it looks from here

Stephen Hudson BDS, MFGDP, DRDP

Winter is coming…..

By Members, Newsletters

Howdy folks

It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes I do watch the occasional TV program.  In the new excellent TV series “Game of Thrones”, the motto of the characters of the House of Stark is the phrase “Winter is Coming“.  It represents a down to earth realism that defines who the Starks are.  And I find myself relating to this.

As an example, in the beginning months of 2008 I was heard to utter the insane prediction that the UK would go into recession.  Other dentists on a well known forum scolded me, accused me of being pessimistic and basically disagreed with me.

That later turned out to be the year the Dow Jones Industrial Average went from 13,000 to under 7000, losing almost half its value.  That was the year Northern rock, Lloyd’s and RBS were bailed out by you the tax payer.  It was the year that oil went to $140 a barrel and the US housing market really began its demise. 

Of course, I’ll not mention that I had been expecting that particular financial crisis to hit for at least 3years prior to that.  Nope, I’ll keep that little nugget of information to myself  thankyou ;)

It was not a good year.  And anyone who thinks it’s over, well I have some shares in Lehman Brothers to sell you.  If you actually look at the High Street, if you actually look at the debt this country is carrying and if you actually look at the figures you will see a picture that is far from rosy.  If you also look at the way cycles work in stockmarkets and in societies you can see the way things are heading.

This is why the government have instituted their so called Austerity measures…….. only to give all the money saved to the PIGS of Europe, money that will disappear into the black hole of the FIAT banking system.  There’s something not quite right about that.  No, not right at all.  If the government are cutting the budget to make saving, and then giving away the money saved…….. doesn’t that mean we still need to make cuts in the budget to make savings?

So I was not surprised to hear that business is quiet for SOME dentists (by no means all).  Some private dentists are struggling to get cash flow through their business, and some NHS dentists are struggling to get their UDA’s done.  Nice weather and a lack of ready cash, combined with 2 complete strangers getting married seems to have hit some of our colleagues for six. 

No, I’m not surprised at all. 

And of course every dental practice is different, so there is no way I can be critical of a practice that is presently struggling financially, for most businesses will go through this phase at one point or another.  In fact, times like this are often an opportunity for most businesses, an opportunity to look at themselves and see where they need to improve, where they need to trim the fat, and where they need to up their game.  I did try and get as many cheesy business guru sayings in there as possible, I swear I did :)

3 years ago I went on a course run by one of the new breed of dental business advisers that had sprung up during the so called good times.  Their view was that private practices had to set themselves apart from the crowd, and had to be plush, with marble floors, cascading waterfalls and Renoirs in the patient lounge.  The dentist had to have the Charisma of Bill Clinton, and business sense of Richard Branson.  Go, go to your bank and sign over the next 20 years so that you can have the cash to pay for all this.  Raise your fees to levels never before seen by man so that you could then pay the bank back, with interest, for remember if you build it they will come.  Right? 

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that.  If that’s your dream, and you can deliver and do the kind of dentistry that is demanded by those fees then for Gods sake do it.  I have no more right to tell you what to do that I have to tell you what to think.  It’s just that this kind of business plan isn’t right for everyone.  And if you want to go down that road, just make sure you plan for what might be ahead.  Keep a firm reign on your budget and make sure to keep the tax man happy.

That kind of financial risk is not for me.  I come from the school of thought where you use your business to get out of debt as soon as possible, to pay the banker as little money as possible and build up your financial security as early as possible so that you can get to a point where you are completely debt free, and in a position financially where you work because you want to, not because you have to.  Remember, this means I will never be an empire builder, I will never win awards or have my name in the Dentistry top 100.  I’m cool with that (there are no photos of me on my website for a reason, I have never agreed with the cult of celebrity).  Others won’t be.  Remember, I had, and still have a belief system.  Summer is always followed by Winter.  And Winter can be a breeze of skiing, snowball fights, mulled wine and Christmas Turkey……. so long as you’re ready.

Of course saying all that, there is no definitive right way to run a dental practice.  I can give you my way, but this will not be for everyone.  This is why i do not give financial advice, instead I limit myself to mad crazy talk.  And besides, I’m not even allowed to give financial advice, so I would never even dream of doing that.  I am however allowed to rant inanely.  Here are some thoughts off the top of my head.  And just to be clear, non of this is advice of any kind, OK?  :

  • Spend less than you earn.  Save and invest the difference.  I mean come on, even Charles Dickens knew that old chestnut.  That must have product you can’t wait to buy so that you will feel happy………. won’t make you happy.  That new kitchen soon becomes an old kitchen.  And that new super duper piece of dental kit that you bought at the showcase…… well it’s still gathering dust at the back of the cupboard.  Either use it or sell in on Ebay.  By doing this, any practice owner can be a millionaire by the age of 55.
  • Pay for improvements in the practice by SAVING UP FOR THEM via the profits for the business.  What you don’t want me to give bankers money through fees and interest payments?
  • Refuse to use an overdraft.  Keep 2 months expenses in your practice bank account to cover the unforeseen…… it’s not like you’re going to lose out on any interest now is it lol.  In the first few years of practice ownership, that one little rule saved my arse more times than I care to mention.   
  • Do the improvements gradually so that there is a constant feel that the practice is always improving.  There is always something different for the patients to notice, for them to comment on.
  • Patients do not care that you have a CADCAM machine, they care that the practice is clean, that you are honest and that they are given their options with the associated fees UPFRONT
  • Patients don’t care that you have a host of letters after your name (because many of them don’t even know what that all means) but they do care if you don’t show empathy or you treat them in a dismissive manner.
  • Patients don’t care that you have spent £5000 creating a new practice logo.  They care that the people they interact with go the extra mile, treat them with courtesy and are generally pleasant in their interactions.  The first time you give them a cup of coffee whilst they await an audience with you feels special……… but after that, it becomes expected.
  • Pay the staff well for the area they work in.  Be nice to them, and let it be known clearly what your rules are. 
  • Realise that cost will, in general, become more of a factor over the next three years, for both you and your patients.  Your costs of running a business will go up, the patients disposable income will go down, at least for the next few years. 

 Why did I make that last statement?  Well firstly, that statement might be wrong.  In fact everything I say might be wrong.  It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the economy could recover to its former levels.  I’m not going to rule it out, and I’ll tell you what I think.  I think things are going to get a lot worse.  Remember, that right there is the statement of a ranting madman who is wrong more times than he is right.  Make of it what you will

What I do know is we have a war going on in the financial markets at present between Inflation and Deflation.  Inflation in the money supply created by governments is fighting a battle against deflation caused by the writing off of debt, liquidations, house repossessions and bank failures.

Place you bets on the fight of the century

Now I was going to go into the whole economics of inflation and deflation, but you don’t want to hear about that.  Hell you can go on Google and get a thousand people more clued up about those things than I will ever be.

Needless to say I see people having less disposable income over the next 3 years, with the banks sitting on their reserves.  And this is a good thing by the way.  We need to realise that infinite growth cannot continue on a finite world.  At present in this country, private sector debt (this is not including government) stands at 450% of GDP.  So we, the British public, owe over four times what the country can produce.  Even China is starting to realise that now.  If you draw a circle with a 50 mile radius around Beijing, you will find over 85 million people and 5 ring roads (each comparable to the M25).  You will find billions of square feet of empty office space, hundreds of  thousands of unsold cars and trucks parked in fields and a dictatorship seriously struggling to keep a lid on inflation.  And very shortly China will find itself struggling to even feed its population.

Of course, not all practices are struggling.  Most NHS practices have no shortage of patients, but keep in mind the looming cloud of how the NHS dental service may well be funded in the coming years.  Plan for it.  Prepare.  And of course there are many private practices that are thriving, which will always be the case.  They are the ones who know how to deliver quality, consistently, and who have trained their patient base, not only to behave themselves but to also constantly refer new patients.  You only have to see how busy my private laboratory is as evidence of this.  Those are the practices that offer the patients the treatment they want, instead of trying to tell them what they need. 

Do you need a hygiene appointment, or do you want to keep your smile fresh, clean and white?

Even in the Great Depression businesses thrived, because there always were and there will always be people with money.  Remember, recessions are vital to the economy.  They clean out all the dead wood and strengthen the core of the country.  It sheds off the excess, becoming lean and strong again, ready for the next round of growth.  The strong survive, and prosper (more fortunes were made in the depression years than in the boom times that preceded them).  The problem is, the longer the politicians try and hold off the recession (as Labour did) the longer the eventual recession lasts.  It’s time to take your medicine, to hunker down and get ready for what MIGHT be coming.  Because when winter comes, you want the larder full, the logs chopped, the warm winter gloves bought and that shovel propped up against the wall ready to deal with the snow.  That way you can spend time reading stories to your children by a roaring log fire, cuddle up under a warm duvet on a cold winters morning amd enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate  as you watch the snow settle on the ground.  Winter can be glorious to those who are ready for it, but its a nightmare for those who aren’t.  

And remember, even though winter is coming, as night follows day, so is summer.

Dr Stephen Hudson BDS, MFGDP, DRDP

Synchronicity

By Members, Newsletters

 I was asked the other day why I started GDP Resources.  A good question I thought.  I seem to remember Chris barrow advising me to do something to do with systems, but for the life of me I can’t remember what he said.  And that wasn’t the main reason.  What you need to understand is that I have always been a worrier.  The techniques I learnt from Tony Robbins and Bandler helped enormously, but I believe if it is a part of who you are, you never really get rid of it.  The human brain is a complex beast, and no amount of NLP or Thought Field Therapy can completely tame it all.  And with worry comes anxiety and stress, probably the two greatest enemies any dentist can face, because both can be life and career changing, and both are internal.  This is why I think I started GDP Resources.

It’s very difficult to control what goes on inside you head.  As evidence of this, i would ask you to sit still, with your eyes closed and just concentrate on the image of an orange.  Try not to think of anything else, just the orange.  Unless you are well trained in meditation, this will be almost impossible for most of you.  Those random thought just pop in there.  It makes me wonder if Gurdjieff was right, maybe we are nothing more than reactive machines that occasionally have glimpses of consciousness.

Anxiety is something that can start at any time, to anyone.  For some people it is the result of a traumatic incident, for others it is the result of the accumulation of events and experiences over a number of years.  In dentists it leads to avoidance of stressful procedures, worry about the anxiety itself, alcohol and for some people, sometimes even drugs.  It worms its way in there, and before you know it you are having your thyroid function tested because you’ve been getting palpitations.

Now for the exception of the newcomers, most of you will have noticed that the website was a bit quite the last 3 years.  This was a period of my life that can be best described as winter.  This was when I redeveloped a very pleasant illness called Chronic Pelvic Pain Disorder, which I discovered was due to chronic muscle spasms in the pelvic floor.  Very painful, very unpleasant and for some people life changing, because the doctors don’t know what it is or how to treat it.  Fortunately for me I had the skills I picked up in my NLP training to deal with it on an emotional level.  The doctors certainly didn’t help.  In fact the only thing they did was waste a few thousand pounds of tax payers money.  I still to this day do not know how I restrained myself when the consultant urologist said “I’m afraid it’s just something you’ll have to live with”.  Add to that the other events that happened at the same time, and it was Cruise Missile city. 

Now from my experience, the biggest factor regarding chronic illnesses is the psychological trauma that goes with it.  For some, this can be worse than the disease itself.   There is the ever present fear that the illness will never go away, and will in fact only get worse.  As there is a definite link between chronic illness and stress, this is not a good combination.  The brain is powerful enough to create illness in the human body, and make it worse where it already exists.  As proof of this, certain parts of dentistry made the condition worse.  Extractions became a nightmare, exacerbating symptoms to the degree where I would be in dread of doing them.  This then resulted in my having mild anxiety attacks in the surgery.  Not a case of the screaming abdabs, but palpitations, clammy hands and racing thoughts.  There are still occurrences of this, but it would seem I have kicked the beast where it hurts too many times, and now it only dares venture out of its cave on rare occasions.

Christ Steve, you’re a bit of a mess mate!

 Well actually, no I’m not.  What I know is that I am good at what I do, and have had to work hard to actually get some semblance of control over the grey squishy thing between my ears. To some people life comes easy, to others it’s a case of growing a pair or giving up and hiding in the closet.  That might sound harsh, and it probably is and it reflects the two options I felt I was given at the time.  Physically I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, because when you have a chronic illness you learn what you can and cannot do, what you can and cannot eat and what you can and cannot think.  I can still exercise, but I do no more than 10 minutes a day.   Who I am today is down to a lifetime of experiences that I am thankful for.

Chronic Pelvic pain is the third chronic stress related illness I have beaten.  The first was IBS, and the second was gastric reflux.  Those both occurred when I was an associate, who knew nothing about dentistry and was quite frankly lucky to make it through without quitting or getting sacked.  But that was before I discovered post graduate education, which was a game changer.  That changed my mindset, which changed my stress levels which allowed my subconscious to ease up on the warnings.  As to what caused CPPS, I’m not convinced it was the job.  There were other factors in my life at the time, and I remember the exact moment it became a problem beyond being a mere inconvenience. Exercise was always the trigger.

So why am I telling you all this?  Well, this is why I set up GDP Resources.  I know that I am not the only dentist to have suffered stress, and most of that stress related not to the environment around me, but to how I reacted to the environment.  Everybody deals with stress in different ways.  I now tend to outwardly react to it with a calm indifference.  I’ve known dentists virtually kill themselves treating 40-50 patients in a day.  I’ve known dentists who have had to go home and drink, not one, but two bottles of red wine to get the physiological state change required to deal with the stress of the day.  I knew of one dentist down in London who hated the job so much that she throw up every morning before going to work. I started GDPResources because people were killing themselves treadmilling in a job that they had learnt to hate.  I had learnt secrets that made my working life infinitely easier, and I share them with you on my website. 

I enjoy my job, and I’m good at it.  I’m also a realist.  It is highly unlikely that I will be treating patients 10 years from now, and I’ve already planned for that.  There will come a time when I will know when to walk away.  I’m not there yet.  This is why I talk constantly about planning for the worst case scenario, goal setting and systems.  This is why I produced the products on my website, because each one has reduced the level of stress in my working career.  My practice now pretty much runs itself.   I urge you, if you have not already done so, to check them out and see if they are right for you.   

The key to anxiety is in the acceptance of it.  If you try and fight it, it only makes it worse.  Relaxation, meditation and knowing who you are inside, knowing that the anxiety is a message, a gift almost.  It’s just a message from your brain.  It’s just part of life.  And so we go on with our lives, and see the coincidences that happen all around us.  Some call these coincidences synchronicity.  And very shortly I will be revealing details of a new project i am developing that would not be achievable if it were not for synchronicity.  If i hadn’t been ill in those early years, I wouldn’t have done those extra post graduate courses.  I would have been a section 63 only kind of guy.  From those courses I wouldn’t have learnt from Paul Tipton about Tony Robbins, and from there I wouldn’t have learnt about NLP.  From Tipton, I also probably wouldn’t have learnt about Chris barrow until much later, and this website and this newsletter wouldn’t have been created.  And from Chris I wouldn’t have learnt about Paddi lund and the Panky institute.  Those three combined gave me the knowledge I needed to change the practice I then bought.  I won’t even talk about the number of books I have read since those early days.  I had to move house recently so I could give myself an actual library.

 You see how it works.  Your life is a constant set of paths that connect to the paths of others.  Do you turn left, do you turn right?  And right now I am going to leave you dangling with the knowledge that my new project is synchronicity incarnate.  I’ll tell you more about this soon, because I’m going to be asking 5 of you to help me.

Yours in commerce

 Stephen Hudson BDS, MFGDP, DRDP

The Philosophy of nothing

By Members, Newsletters

Hello again

Sometimes these newsletters just flow off my keyboard like water from a tap.  Otherwise it feels like trying to take out a root filled, ankylosed lower right seven…. with hooked roots.  Today is one of those times, so bear with me.

It’s almost as if sometimes the message doesn’t want to be shared.  Occasionally I will look back at what I have written and wonder just where the hell that all came from.  Most of the time it wasn’t what I intended to write.  It sometimes feels like I just tap into something, as if there is a stream of information just floating around in the ether ready to be accessed.

I wasn’t actually planning to write today, but an incident at the gym has been going around in my head, and I wanted some clarity.  There I was sat, minding my own business when some muscle neck sits down at the computer opposite…… a computer that wasn’t working.

This did not please him in the slightest.  So he moves to another computer, and then another, his anger level growing more obvious.  He finally finds one that works, but there is now literally steam coming out of his ears.  And all because a box that he didn’t own wouldn’t light up.

And you know, I couldn’t help but feel a change in the air before he even sat down at the first computer.  I couldn’t help but wonder why he was so angry, which made me think about the tales of the “instrument throwers” in my region.  I know some of them by name, and have stories of their pulsating blood vessels and have images of luxators embedded in walls.

It is a part that is in most of us.  Some of us control it, master it and make it our pet.  Others let it run rampant, usually resulting in less than favourable outcomes.

With me it doesn’t manifest very often anymore, even when I’m driving.  Of course there was a time when that wasn’t the case.  I have had full on screaming matches, road rage incidents and been very close to fights with complete strangers in my younger years.  Not, I am sure you will agree, good qualities for a health care professional.  Fortunately for me, even in those moments when we lose it, I seemed to possess the ability to take back control just before going to far.  There’s nothing like catching yourself about to do something incredibly stupid to make you really take a long hard look at yourself.

As I said, this was over 10 years ago now.  There was one incident in particular that I remember vividly.  I was doing a crown prep, and I just couldn’t get that margin right.  I think I was on about the 4th impression, and my blood pressure was matched only by my ability to slam instruments down on my Cons tray.  I hate to think what the patient thought.  It had not been the best day either, and I was feeling very irate and irritated.  And then all of a sudden, I discovered that I was being an absolute prat and started to chuckle.  All of a sudden I discovered a switch in my mind that allowed me to turn left of the road to Rage Ville onto the country lane to “Why are you taking yourself so seriously”, twinned with “We don’t do Ego around here boy”.  You know the place it’s right outside the city of

CHILL DUDE

I actually find it difficult to get angry now.  I just seem to slip into bemused acceptance.  I still chunter to myself occasionally in the car, but even then it’s tempered by the belief that perhaps there is a valid reason why the traffic is slow, or why the person just didn’t use their indicators.  And when a crown doesn’t fit, I just give a smile and accept the fact that the problem is probably down to my impression…. although I am known to occasionally swear at misbehaving computers lol.

You cannot change, what you cannot change. 

A lot of this I put down to the information given to me by the likes of Richard Bandler and Tony Robbins.  And whilst I am happy to give them credit for much of my “transformation” most of it was down to me.  Most of us reach a point where we know something has to change, and it happens more than we would like to admit.  For some of us it will be finances.  For others it’s health.  I would like to think that most of us would make those changes, but many of us don’t, preferring instead to try and stay in the safety of our comfort zones.  Unfortunately in these situations, the comfort zones lose their confort pretty damn quickly.   

And then for some of us there comes a time when something else happens.  It’s not a direct, perceptible event like a health crisis, a divorce or losing half your pension in the stock market crash.  No, you reach a point where something just doesn’t feel right.  It’s like having an itch that you can never quite get rid of, it’s there, hiding behind the fog of your everyday existence.  I’ve had this feeling for a while now, a nagging something just lurking out of reach.

Perhaps I should start reading Deepak Chopra again!

Actually, I went through the “self help book” thing several years ago, as my library can attest to.  Hell, I even wrote one myself, which has now morphed into my “Emancipation of the Enslaved” course, the one that comes with 6 hours of verifiable CPD. 

And there’s a reason there are so many self help books out there…… more and more people are realising that the “western capitalist model” is broken.  The trinity of employment, statute legislation and religious doctrine that makes up the Social Contract is crumbling.  It’s like a noose being tightened.  Increased legislation, rising inflation, decreasing physical freedoms and an ever more confused population who seem to live constantly in cognitive dissonance.  The problem is not that there is an elephant in the living room, it is that there are several DOZEN elephants, and we just don’t know which one to deal with first.  And that’s why nothing really changes.  There are so many things that need fixing, that we just don’t know where to start.  So the wheels of the machine just carry on grinding.

Perhaps this is what a mid life crisis is all about….. after all I’m nearly 40

The thing is, some itches don’t go away no matter how much you scratch them.  You have to find the cause of the itch and remove it.  So that’s what I started doing.  I looked at my life and decided what needed changing.  I already had my goal list, but to be honest some of the things that were on there got removed.  I now have targets for health, finances and relationships.  I know what weight I want to be, I know what size Bicep I’ll have in 6 months, and I know how sound financially I will be by the end of the year.  I know what new products will be released on GDP Resources in the next 6 months (which you will be hearing more about in the next newsletter), and I know how much net I am going to earn from dentistry this tax year.  I also know the date when I no longer want to be doing clinical dentistry.

And I realise that life will want to test these presumptuous notions at any and all opportunity.   But has this helped me discover what the nagging feeling is all about?  Actually, no.  I now believe that I won’t find the cause of that little itch.  It will find me when it thinks I am ready.  I look forward to the encounter if and when it comes a visiting.

See you soon

Dr Stephen Hudson BDS, MFGDP, DRDP

P.S.  Yep, it’s happened again.  I’ve no idea where all that came from