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Inside Dentistry
November 2015
Volume 11, Issue 11

A Conversation with Tony Robbins

As a successful financial and leadership coach, and a world-renowned author, Tony Robbins was one of the keynote speakers at CEREC 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Inside Dentistry sat down for a one-on-one interview with Robbins to discuss dentistry and how dental professionals can get the most out of their practice and professional life. To view the entire interview, visit

INSIDE DENTISTRY (ID): What specifically attracted you to come to CEREC 30 as the keynote speaker?

Tony Robbins (TR): I have been involved in the dental community for 25 years—Fortune Practice Management is something I co-founded. A lot of people know it’s the No. 1 practice management company in the dental field.

About 25 years ago, the dental practice affected my life. I had really bad teeth and a big space between them. The change in my sense of identity when I had somebody take care of me was something that I never forgot. I used to meet with about 25 practices and we would do 4-day sessions every 90 days. I would say, “Tell me every problem and I am going to solve them.” We went over everything from insurance to inner conflicts with your team to people making appointments and breaking them, and we put these systems together.

I really wanted to come here because I wanted to share with people some insights and how they can take things to the next level. I think most dentists and their staff work their tails off, but I don’t think that most of them have the quality of life that they deserve. I have some tools that I think can really make a difference there.

ID: Dentists don’t learn a lot of business skills in dental school. What sort of advice do you have for dentists to gain the tools to run a small to mid-size business?

TR: I have the same drive that most dentists do. I love to light people up. I hate to see people hurting or in pain. I tell people, “If you are stressed, then you are a business operator.” You need to be a business owner and think differently. What I’ve done is teach people tools that allow them to still do their art, but enable them to create something so they don’t have to be there every moment to grow. People think it is too complex, but you can do it a step at a time.

My business today, we are doing over $5 billion annually and I am just a guy. I didn’t have any business background. I learned tools to compress time. My goal is to help people compress decades into days. Why would you want to learn by your own experience? It is too painful. It takes you years, decades, and maybe you’ll never learn. If you find the most successful people and you model what they do, you can save yourself a decade or two. That’s really how I think most dentists need to move, from pushing so hard and working so darn hard to being able to love what they do once again and to have the financial freedom that they really want.

ID: What are some of the key takeaways you hoped to get at this meeting?

TR: I think I wanted to figure out what is actually happening in the dental profession. I see some patterns that are really interesting to me. I see so many people going to corporate dentistry. I see so many women that are choosing to move in that direction. I also see the pattern that I see in all small businesses, which is this Baby Boomer generation that is getting older and going to retire. There aren’t as many dentists coming into the system and you have an aging population that needs even more dentistry. It is probably the greatest time on earth to be a dentist. If you use digital tools, build a great team, and get your psychology together, you can help more people, have more impact, have more free time, and have more economic freedom for yourself and your staff. If you do those things, I think you can really have amazing freedom.

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