Farhan Ahmed says growing up in a Glasgow cornershop instilled an unstoppable work ethic.
He’s come a long way since filling sacks of potatoes for dad. Farhan’s earned a name as one of the go-to clinicians for complex implant cases and is now one of the field’s most sought-after trainers and mentors.
In this episode, Farhan reveals what motivates his restless drive, discusses the mindset required to be an outstanding clinician and tells why he now feels more unstoppable than ever.
“I’m an individual that looks back and says. ‘I’ve done that. What’s next?’ I did dentistry school. What’s next? I did medicine and worked as a doctor. What’s next? Then oral surgery. What’s next? Implants. What’s next? More complex implants. Great. What’s next? Start teaching this stuff…And now it’s what’s next? What’s next?” – Ferhan Ahmed
In This Episode
01.30 – Backstory
09.03 – Dentistry and medicine
13.35 – Scratching the itch
17.06 – What kids want
21.33 – Into implants
24.41 – Teaching and complex cases
32,22 – Self-development
33.51 – Ideal course candidates
40.18 – Promotion and cooperation
45.16 – Blackbox thinking
57.40 – Mentoring, encouragement and mini-mes
01.06.00 – Scottish identity
01.07.59 – Being Unstoppable — The Mindset of a Great Clinician
01.10.38 – Drive and purpose
01.22.23 – Fantasy dinner party
01.23.40 – Last days and legacy
About Ferhan Ahmed
Ferhan Ahmed qualified from Glasgow University with a BDS in 2005 and went on to earn an MBChB at the University of Liverpool in 2012.
He has focused on training and research in oral and maxillofacial surgery and now carried out complex bone grafting, extra-maxillary implants, pterygoids and zygomatics.
He now teaches and mentors on dental implants and surgery.
In 2021, Ferhan published Being Unstoppable — The Mindset of a Great Clinician. The book is available on Amazon. The proceeds will help the Dental Aid Network build a dental clinic in Kashmir.
[00:00:00] I prefer the dentists being able to work independently as much as I love patients and being able to change lives. For me, ultimately, if I’m able to pass on a skill that I have onto another clinician and they are then able to do what I do, get the results that I get, that’s the best feeling in the world and people appreciate that I help them. That’s great. But I don’t want that. I’m not looking for that. It’s great that they see. Thank you, sir, and thank you. Messages are grateful. But it’s like an internal thing for me that I helped you. I passed on a skill job done next. It’s a really nice feeling.
[00:00:40] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki
[00:00:58] Gives me great pleasure to welcome Dr. Friend Ahmed onto the podcast first carved himself a nice little niche in immediate loading situations where there’s not much bone. And I was looking through some of his talks and my goodness me, not not not the kind of industry I would ever venture into, but hopefully he’ll tell us his story on how he got there. Absolute pleasure to have you for him.
[00:01:26] Thank you so much, Payman. Thank you so much, Prav.
[00:01:29] Yeah. Great to have you.
[00:01:30] Prav Welcome. It’s good to be back. It’s good to be back as the dynamic duo and our first guest back in the new year hand. We know we’ve spoken in the past and. Just before we get into that. Just give us a little bit of info about your back story.
[00:01:47] So I suppose the back story really starts with my dad. He came over from Pakistan when he was nine years old and he came over with his uncle. And life was tough. He was at school away from his parents. Can imagine which he had, you know, scary moving away from your country, from your family, from your siblings, from your parents. Yeah. With a family member. But coming to somewhere new and really the man that he is has really shaped the person that I’ve become in good ways. And I suppose there are negatives to that as well. So my dad came over to the UK when he was nine and he didn’t get a bit of an education but came out and he was a shopkeeper and he’s a shopkeeper today, and so he has a newsagent in the south side of Glasgow. And growing up, I was one of five children and growing up in an Asian background, but the Scottish culture was there in Glasgow. I was very lucky to have a diversity at home. It was quite traditional outside. I wasn’t restricted in any way. I embraced Scottish culture. I feel Scottish. I am Scottish and I like any child we buy for our parents attention. As one of five, I had two ways of doing that. I could have been an arse and got into trouble, or I could have been like the golden child. And for me, I was the golden child. I was someone that really tried to get my parents attention through academic success, always being the child that did his best, you know, sort of teachers, type of person. And so that was me. I’d go to the shop with my dad, helping me do the best I could
[00:03:37] Be the oldest firm.
[00:03:38] I’m the second oldest. I have an older sister and so I really kind of, you know, really studied hard at school trying to appease my parents, specifically my dad. He didn’t get an education and knew that that’s what he wanted. He wanted us not to go through what he went through a working in the shop. He wanted us to have the best life possible and that was through an education. So I worked hard. I did well. And like any typical Asian family, you’ve got three choices really when it comes to deciding on a career, you’re a doctor or lawyer or a failure. And I always wanted to kind of stand out. Stick out, do something different. So I did dentistry. And it’s as simple as that. I did dentistry because it wasn’t medicine, and I went to dental school and there was a quite a few of us in my class. At school, we all went to classical dental school and dentistry was fun. It was really good fun.
[00:04:37] Yeah. What was it like growing up? Did you grow up in the shop? Did you live near the shop at the back of the shop above the shop? Were you in there? Do you do cash and carry the stock with serving customers? Talk to me about the shopkeeper life.
[00:04:51] So my dad owned the shop with another gentleman to my uncle and to develop partnerships with the demand and the family wasn’t as high. Mm-hmm. But the profound memories are Friday. I’d finished school and my dad had come home for a lunch break. The shop was about half an hour, 40 minutes away, and then we drive to Airdrie, Coatbridge and Lanarkshire, just outside Glasgow. And I remember getting stuck in traffic on the Kingston Bridge. I remember going to the shop. It’d be cold and my job on a Friday afternoon evening was to pack. Potatoes into bags into £3, £5, £7 bags, and we used to pack washed and dirty potatoes, and I remember growing up I couldn’t lift the bag of potatoes, I think maybe 20 kilos. Then as I got older, I could start to lift and go into the store room next door and bring these bags of potatoes. So that’s my strongest memory. And my dad never told me we’re going to make 10 10 big bags and I’m going to put them into packs. I just they just kept coming. They just kept coming. And that’s my memory of that early life working in the shop. And then the other really strong memory I have is Christmas time. It was an off licence, packing the van with tenants we couldn’t export Buckfast and hooch. All these alcopops were coming in to Kreis and then unloading them into the store warehouse, packing them up. I mean, I brewed our national drink is just piling them up, taking them from one side of the shop to the other delivering leaflets. That’s my memories of growing up.
[00:06:30] The shop found it so, so sorry to interrupt you, mate. But you know, obviously that probably taught you consistency and hard work and all that. But talking to Prav and Kailash, whose dad also owned a shop, both of them put most of their success down to that shop and the relationships that, you know, they had to be able to talk to different types of people. And both of them are amazing speakers. Now when you when you talk to them and you know, it’s surprised me that a bit, did you did you have that experience too? Do you feel like, you know, you can connect with people more because you have to connect with the whole public?
[00:07:08] Absolutely. From a young age eight, nine, you’re behind the counter, you’re you’re talking to people and then naturally, people come in and customers come in and they want to speak to you. Who are you? Whose son are you? And you start to build a rapport and its regular customers. One thing leads to another, and absolutely, it’s probably the earliest experience to sort of communication relationship building that I had. But then growing up, I had that connexion and still working in the shop. To this day, I still have to cover my dad at the shop and I do it reluctantly, but I have to cover him at the shop. Sometimes it’s life, it’s just the way it is, and he appreciates it. And so I absolutely have no problem doing that. But then sort of in an early age, I always had a job. So not just the sharp end of people around. I worked at next. I worked at TJ Hughes, I worked at the bank, I worked at KFC and it’s working in teams with people from different environments that exposes you to building that confidence and building relationships and getting on with people. And I’ve always felt that one of my strongest qualities as being a people person and being able to adapt and get on with people. And it’s fortunate. It’s just my experience and my environment has allowed me to do that. But then I would say, Yeah, I’ve got a foundation there. But dentistry was good and it was fine. But it was really in medical school where I really learnt more about psychology and empathy through the training through medical school, which changed everything. And that allowed me to really take my communication skills and understanding and listening ability to another level
[00:09:01] And double qualify.
[00:09:03] Yeah. So I did dentistry and qualified in 2005 and then did medicine in Liverpool 2008 to 2012. So I really do my grind of an education, but it was like I finished dental school and I went into hospital. Max Max and I saw these like individuals that I aspire to be like, and I was like, I want to be like them what I need to do. And I was always like continuous pushing myself, What can I do next? What’s next? So the next natural course was medicine. So I went to Liverpool, moved away for years in Liverpool, and then I came back up to Scotland to do host jobs. And then at that point I had to make a decision. They go and follow the route as an exemplary surgeon or do I come out and go into practise and develop as a surgical dentist or surgery sedation implant industry and an opportunity arose? I was able to invest and get involved in a Dental group and a partnership that were growing, and that’s what I did and the best decision I ever made.
[00:10:06] How did the two compare medicine? Dentistry is courses.
[00:10:10] I don’t have a mate. I’m not a fan of medicine, as in I just it’s just tough. It’s just tough. It’s just chews you up and throws you out and a wee. But it’s different because, you know, I was 30 year old as a junior doctor and an environment is challenging. I think for me, it’s hard to really give an opinion on medicine. It’s just I was glad to get out and the thought of because during this pandemic, I got my registration back. So I’ve got like partly registered on the GMC. I’ve never come off the register. And then during the pandemic, I was allowed to go back on and if I was required, I would have. I would have gone in. No problem. However, if I was basically to put it, if I couldn’t work as a dentist, I wouldn’t go back to medicine the way it’s it’s just it’s just tough.
[00:11:05] Would you would you rather buy got fifty five pound sacks of potatoes into five pound bags?
[00:11:12] I I wouldn’t do that, but I would rather open a coffee shop. Yeah, yeah. I’d like to see our people coffee. I like the smell. I like the taste. And I like the conversation, background, music and just smile.
[00:11:29] Were you actually you actually considering staying on as a hospital max fac?
[00:11:34] I did medicine because I want I wanted to improve, and I want I had this ambition for more knowledge. I didn’t do medicine to become a maxillofacial surgeon. I just wanted that degree and part of me, probably from early childhood and the environment and the culture I grew up obviously had an influence that there was something attached to being a doctor or qualifying as a medick. And I was like, Well, I’ve done that cool on my two years as a junior doctor. Yeah, cool. I’ve got that. Got that badge. What’s next? And that’s what I’ve discovered about myself because I’ve been on a journey of self-awareness is that I’m an individual that looks good, right? Cool. I’ve done that. What’s next? So did dentistry cool? What’s next? I did medicine to the doctor. What’s next? Then oral surgery? That’s cool. What’s next? The implants? Cool. What’s next? Then more complex implants. Cool. Great. What’s next? Start teaching this stuff OK. Yeah. Cool. And now it’s like, What’s next? What’s next? And so I really look at my life, and I think we should look at life as chapters.
[00:12:40] I don’t believe in retirement and it’s like it’s chapters, and I’m always looking for the next chapter in my life. What am I going to do and lay off off? We were chatting about. I’d hate to go to get sixty six, five seven think go, yeah, I was a dentist for 40 years. I’d like to look back in my life and go, Yeah, I was in. I did dentistry and I loved it and I did that and I did the best and then I did medicine, and I did that for a while and and I still use my medical training, so I’m so glad that I’ve done it. There’s no regrets. And then now, presently, most of my work is training and education mentoring. Amazing. I love it. I see myself as a teacher, as an educator. It’s so satisfying. But I can’t be doing this for the next 10 to 20 years. I have to see what’s next. And I’m just always looking to discover what that next step will be. And I’m open. I’m really open to trying things, seeing what happens.
[00:13:35] I find that it’s kind of the the the advantages of that mindset are kind of clear, right, because you’re constantly improving. I’m quite interested in what’s the disadvantages of that mindset. I mean, are you someone who gets bored easily?
[00:13:51] You, it’s not bored. It’s like, like, I don’t feel like I’ve achieved anything. You don’t feel like this is enough. It’s not. Yes.
[00:14:01] You didn’t find peace and contentment.
[00:14:04] No. Like, I’m content. I’m very fortunate. And you know, I’m a big believer in practising gratitude that I am content. I’m happy. But inside there’s a niche. There’s a coin like, do something else, what next? And this is not enough. Like, I can’t. I can’t be satisfied to the point where I was in a partnership and Dental Dental practises. But I’ve never been like an entrepreneur by myself, so I was like, Well, OK, I’ll buy my partner and practise. I would write in Edinburgh right till now. My job is, can I turn it into that one two million pound business turnover business within the next twenty four months? And I want to push myself, set targets and go, Can I do this? And I’ve done it. Yeah, I did it right. What’s next? And it’s like looking back to I don’t know if you follow Tim Grover when he talks about Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, the all time greats of basketball. They were never satisfied. They got the rank and then they were like, OK, next, next. They were never satisfied. And I don’t know if I just because I’m around this environment and I’m fortunate. But for me, it’s like, Cool, what’s next? You had a good year. What’s next?
[00:15:19] Yeah, but but you know, when I said this advance is like, I know a bunch of super successful people who don’t see their families at all. And so, you know, that obsession mindset that you’re kind of putting out. There’s always a negative to to to to these positives. Just just the example that we were talking off air and you were saying your wife’s very understanding and all that, which is amazing. Someone who, you know, lets you get on and do all the things you dream of doing. But did you find another like a competitive mindset that sometimes hurts, you know, something like that? Because I love it. It’s beautiful. And as a positive person, you probably not very confident, comfortable talking about negatives the way I’m framing it.
[00:16:04] How do you balance everything and you don’t you? It’s impossible. You never balance it. It’s going one way or the other, and something has to give. And naturally, it’s family life. But then you also have to remember I didn’t see my dad much. Yeah, I didn’t see my dad. You know, he got up five o’clock in the morning and he’d come home at 10:00 at night. Young kids, we didn’t see my dad much. And so that feels normal. It feels normal. It really does feel normal. And I’m like, I try to do the best for my children, give them like as my dad worked hard for us to give us everything that we know, never wanting for anything. He sacrificed his well-being and everything in his life to give us the best. I’m like, Well, I’m just being the team. And we turned out OK. I’m one of five. There’s two teachers, two teachers, a lawyer and another dentist. And we’re not we’re not perfect like a lot of we’re not far from it, but we’re OK. We’re OK.
[00:17:06] I’ve got I’ve got a question for you, Fran. What do you think? Is that your children want?
[00:17:14] So my kids naturally want my time. Yeah, but so this this is and I’m open, I to talk about it, but I also have to think about who I am as a person and we need to be the person I am. I need to be allowed to do the things that I need to do for my own sanity, my own well-being, like I need to get up early, I need to run. And that’s I don’t. I need to do it like my wife got. She was unwell recently and she was in hospital and she was like, You calling me and you’re out for a run? I was like, Yeah, but for me to be the father, for me, to be the husband that you need, I need to be in the right place to. I need to be able to push myself in this work and do this and do this and be able to travel abroad, abroad to teach to do these courses, get on Zoom and chat to this. I need to be able to do this. If I don’t do these things or restrict myself, then I’m I’m going to hurt myself. So, yeah, we’re not perfect.
[00:18:15] But no, no, no, I I’ve been in that situation where, you know, I’ve done the last, what, 15 years, 12 to 18 hours a day, six to seven days a week. And the story or the narrative I’ve been telling myself is, I’m doing it for them, OK, I’m doing it to give them a better life. I’m doing it to give them a better future. But actually, if I look inwards, yeah, it’s mostly for me.
[00:18:44] So I completely agree. Prav Yes, I’m doing it for them, for them, but ultimately I’m doing it for myself. I am completely honest with myself. This is for me. I need to run and I need to do all this.
[00:18:57] Yeah. And so I asked, I asked my daughter because we always talk about birthdays that come up now. My birthday was on Christmas Eve, and I’ve just had an intense sort of three or four months of work where I’ve withdrawn from family life, right? And so it was just my my birthday and then my my youngest daughter is on Valentine’s Day, right? So she’s now giddy because daddy’s birthday is over and her birthday comes next. So we’ll have these conversations and I say, So how many? What do you want for your birthday? What would you dream up your your dream day? What do you want for your birthday? I said, Dream anything you want. And she goes, Daddy, all I want for my birthday is loss of daddy time. That was it. No toys. No presents nothing. Lots of daddy. So, yeah. And that kind of hits home that, you know, sometimes you do have this self-talk right where you kind of convince yourself you try and justify to your partner, your wife, whatever. I’m doing it for you guys. Yeah, we’re in fact of this part of it. You’re doing it for your own self progression, your own ego, whatever it is. Yeah, that the benefit is that you give those people who’ve allowed you to sacrifice that a better life.
[00:20:16] I think I think there’s teaching in it as well, though. Yeah, there’s certainly an example, you know, of course. Of course, it’s not just, you know, let’s say you do your next big deal and the million dollars drops in your lap. Okay? You can give that to your kids and and they can split it between them, and they might be able to do something they couldn’t do before or whatever. Yeah. But I think watching dad make some sacrifices to be the best is a great lesson to learn for a kid in the same way as and watched his dad make sacrifices. Absolutely. In his own way right back in the day to make that shot work, you know, he learnt lessons that have now got him sticking implants through the sinus. You said, you said trans sinus. I was like, Sure, that just music comes near the sinus. And then I watch the thing and it goes through the sinus and comes out in the nose. Yeah. Blew me away, man. I didn’t realise that was a thing. Let’s let’s move on, buddy. So you did your medicine, did your dentistry, did you the other way around? What was the first job you did? Were you thinking straight away? I’m going to be doing implants. Was that was that the plan?
[00:21:33] So, so after after medicine or finishing as a junior doctor? Naturally, all my work and training had been around surgical dentistry. So taking the first step and you just don’t start and implants. So it was very much surgical dentistry along with surgical dentistry. It’s a very symbiotic relationship. Naturally, a lot of sedation because that’s when I was very comfortable. So I was looking after the oral surgery services for the practise group. And then I did a lot of kind of visiting sedation work, really built up a network because I was visiting so many different practises as a visiting sedation doctor. And then naturally. I suppose the progression as you look to improve, improve and try new things and improve your financial situation, financial situation is you start to get into dental implants or from single multiple, more complex implant work bone grafting. It was a natural progression over years, over a different mentors, different courses and a lot of travel. And sort of if I look back, I left medical training in 2000 2014. It’s been a seven year journey to get to where I am now, but I would say that it’s been pretty rapid. I to you know, I’m very fortunate I’m doing a high level of implant dentistry, and it’s really thanks to the environment I’ve been around and the people that have helped me. I’m here because of them and the exposure I’ve been there.
[00:23:07] So who are some of those mentors
[00:23:09] Who were the mentors? Yeah. Oh, so first of all, my business partner is Abbott Fakir, and he’s well known implant dentist, former ADA president. So I was very fortunate. It was his interest in his interest to treat me as an implant Dental. So that was great. So I got that first exposure and then on a on a random and life, you know, it just just shows you it’s important to go out there, put yourself out there, meet people who chat. So I was in this implant course in South Africa, and I’m a colleague called George and we hit it off. And when we came back, he allowed me to come and visit him. He put a lot of time. Effort to treat me really allowed me to develop my skills as an adult, don’t a complex implant surgeons who are doing a lot of the work. And he spent a lot of time, effort, no charge, which I’m forever grateful for, and that those two individuals are bad initially and then George have been instrumental. And then obviously, there are so many other people that have directly or indirectly influenced my implant career. And to this day, I feel I’m influenced by the clinicians I teach and mentor and hopefully vice versa, because we’re always learning. It’s always a journey. I never feel that it’s complete. It’s it’s great. It’s not. It’s always constantly learning, trying to get better or perfect the art.
[00:24:41] And then how did you get into teach him first, and I think it was around the sort of lockdown COVID time that you you definitely broke out into the social scene and I didn’t know who you were before then, but then all of a sudden you were on every feed that I was seeing and doing these, you know, webinars and little snippets of content and stuff like that. So talk us about how that came about.
[00:25:05] So I suppose. I remember when the pandemic or lockdown happened, I remember being in my surgery in Edinburgh and being scared for my family, for the business. The patients we had to close up and one mentor told me there’s a gift in every situation and it’s our job to find that gift. And for me, I thought I sat at home just where I am now because I turned my morphed into an office. What can I do now? You know, this is my time to shine, or I can just sort of recluse into a ball and just do nothing. And for me? Covid was the biggest gift because it allowed me to. Connect with so many people and make that decision, I’m going to put what I know and help try to help as many people as I can, and really, I sort of developed a real ambition and target to educate and make an impact. And I knew that it doesn’t matter how good an implant surgeon I am or how many fill arches are limited by my two hands and if I want to have a bigger impact as possible. Well, there has to be education, so there’s only so many people I can rehabilitate with by myself. Only so many cases I can do a year. But if I can teach one hundred dentists a year to predictably reproduce good quality for large implant treatment, then my impact is bigger. And so starting the journey to for me to just this drive this obsession with impact, and that’s where there is now, where I want to have a big a bigger impact as possible, and that can only happen through education, training and mentoring.
[00:26:55] Tell me about how you got to doing this complex stuff, I mean, was it because of those, those mentors that you had?
[00:27:02] I suppose it is. It absolutely directly related to the mentors. It’s also my background and experience in maxillofacial. My natural environment was the first open job in U.S. it opened out tone being cut free flaps. So I was very comfortable with big surgery and also, I suppose that inner drive to just keep pushing, pushing to the pinnacle or to the extreme of the of the speciality to it. All these three things combined then drives you into a certain area. And yeah, I’ve been very fortunate to. I do. Yeah, conventional implants and then ekstrom implants are put in implants in less conventional areas because it’s just from an anatomical point of view. I’m very comfortable exposing those areas and certainly implants into them because I’ve had that exposure from early on.
[00:27:55] So talk us through. I mean, I watched I watched a video, but talk, talk, talk us through as well as you can without showing it the process of, I mean, I saw one where you’d printed off the maxilla, but then you weren’t using a guide. A surgical guide for the for the drill was, is that because you could see perfectly because you opened everything up so much?
[00:28:16] Yeah, absolutely. So I’m a big believer in access. Good visualisation. The whole process starts at, you know, pre-planning to when I’m working with clinicians, it’s about trying to get them to really visualise the whole process in their head. And so we print out 3D models so they can do a rehearsal of the surgery beforehand. It’s very much like because one of your guests on a previous podcast and I really resonated with it was the Samson sisters talked about The Queen’s Gambit and how I’ve gotten slides in the band, and she just sees things before and the chess pieces is moving in the sky. Honestly, that’s what I try to do in front of me. I see the jaw. It opens up in front of me and I can see every single step that I’m trying to make, and I want to try to give that to another clinician. And because that’s just the easiest way to do it, you’ve got to try to get the picture in your head and see everything in front of you. And so that’s that’s a process. You’ve got to have the knowledge the skill comes, but you’ve got to have the knowledge and the theory behind a specific technique. Then you have to have the radiographic imaging to start to begin the visualisation process and then a 3D model and surgical rehearsal really works. And it’s that and then it’s practise like anything is practise, practise, practise and knowing that you may feel and it’s not unusual to feel and have problems and failures, you just need to overcome them. And it’s that ability to overcome failure when you’re doing this type of work, which allows you to push on. And it’s the resilience.
[00:30:01] I think something you said on on on one of those things was, you said it’s simple surgery in a complicated area. Yeah. And it’s very true. It kind of resonated with me because in the end, what is an implant? You drill a hole and stick the implant, right? But in your particular field, you know, with the terrible territory and the just the longer ones that you’re using, it’s all about the angulation. There’s no second chance.
[00:30:26] But is there a lot at the time? There’s not a second chance. Absolutely. And it’s a really good observation, but it is. It’s simple surgery in a complex territory, but it’s important to for me, especially as someone that’s educating. I got, I got I have to be able to transfer that simplicity or break it down to the essence of a process and give it to someone I can’t put put it to them in a complex manner, although they won’t get it or they’ll be put off by it. But it’s my responsibility and my duty to simplify the whole treatment process. And if I can’t simplify it, that’s my that’s a deficiency in my knowledge. And so I always start off when I’m teaching people, this is simple. If I can do it, you can do it. Never think you can’t do this because ultimately surgical dentistry, and that’s all I can talk about. It comes down to self-confidence and the belief in yourself. That’s what fundamentals is belief and confidence and mindset. That’s finding your footing, having to do.
[00:31:32] You’re finding actually having to teach that as much as you’re having to teach the clinical side.
[00:31:37] Yeah. And hence I wrote the book. Well, it’s course, I genuinely believe that. A lot of what we do comes down to how we think of ourselves, our belief, our confidence, our mindset, so it can be any, any part of clinical medicine, dentistry, cosmetic implants, whatever. We’ve got to have the belief in ourselves. We’ve got to have the confidence. We’ve got to have a growth mindset. And you will you’ll always win if you keep at it, you’ll always win. I don’t think that’s what sad is. I had to discover that for myself. I guess I wasn’t taught about this at Dental School. Yeah.
[00:32:22] Yes, I was going to ask that question. Was there a time where you weren’t so driven and did you start on this path of sort of you’re going to have to call it self-development sort of path.
[00:32:31] I’ve always been driven and then I’ve met certain people that have supercharged me a lot, something in me that’s that’s phenomenal. And then, you know, it’s no one sees you the average of the five people around you. I’m very conscious of surrounding myself with the best possible people that left me up. I try to stay away from negativity or people are just going to bring me down, and I’m in a fortunate position at this moment in time. And so, yeah, the drive is greater than ever. And sometimes it’s like, Wow, you know why you’re not you’re not driven in your article. Why are you still driving? No, why? Like, you’re financially better now, but your drive greater? And I suppose I don’t know if you’ve read Napoleon Hill think and grow rich. Something happens in the fourth decade of your life. I’m not there. I’m just about to enter the fourth decade of my life. But something happens in the fourth decade of life. Don’t know what it is, chemically what. But I’m more driven and hungry than ever before, so I’m just embracing that and I’m not resisting it. I’m going with the flow. I’m trying to balance it all, obviously with family life, personal everything. Two things don’t get carried away naturally, but I’m riding the wave.
[00:33:51] For him, if I’m an average implant dentist who just sticks the ones and twos in here and there, and I want to start doing the full act stuff, how do I go about like, you know, turn up to a one day to day six month course? I mean, I’ve I’ve seen what you’ve done with one of my clients. So I know that when he started with you, he placed his first full match with you. Well, I think he assisted you and then almost like you, you took your unchained him right and let him loose on his own progressively. Is that a standard pathway for someone to go under when they want to go for him and increase their confidence to go from place in a single? You know, doing them confidently to then say, Right, OK, now we’re going to go full out. We’re going to go immediate. Whatever delayed loading or longer implants? Yeah. Is that the standard approach where you’ve got someone who is sort of steering them in that direction because I don’t see too many mentors and training trainers bouncing it up and down the motorway one day and leaves next day in Northwich, next day in Glasgow, next day in Edinburgh, the next day in Manchester. Do you know what I mean? Literally all over the place? Is that quite unique in the way you operate in terms of the way you hand off and train dentists to progress to the next level?
[00:35:13] I suppose it’s it’s probably two things that coincide with each other. One is I’ll just work as hard as I need to outwork anybody. I love work. It’s everything to me. The work to be nimble. When someone trusts me with their education, it’s a huge responsibility. It means the world to me that someone’s actually paid me to go right and me signed up to my programme and say, Yep, fair hand, I trust you to teach me for large. It’s humbling. So it doesn’t matter what it takes. You know, after fly, you have to stay two nights, whatever. So I travel a lot, and that’s just a journey that I’m in in terms of the training side of things. When anybody comes to join the programme, it’s quite a I feel it’s unique. You can’t just join the programme. Now I need the right people, because it’s the community that makes it what it is. And so when they want to join the programme, I have a Zoom call with them. And if we’re an hour, an hour and a half, I need to get to know them. I need to know what their background is, where they are, where do they want to get to because they may not be the right person and I refuse people entry into my programme. And it’s not because it’s exclusive. It’s not. It’s just not for them. Maybe at this moment in time and I give them the advice that this is what they should be doing.
[00:36:30] So the question is, who’s the ideal candidate or the individual to join a programme to really excel in a specific area with an implant industry? I want people that have experience in implant dentistry and they see themselves niching into just implant dentistry. You know, I I don’t have any kind of ownership over. And then or a guardian or any, yeah, people on me think, Oh yeah, I do a lot of it fine, but I’m just giving my opinion and I feel that when you’re doing this level of work, you have to devote the time and effort and give it the respect. And that’s all I ask what I I devote all my time to this. So I want people that respect it. And what I look for is people that see themselves developing into an implant dentist, a surgical dentist with a with a a career that is focussed in that aspect of dentistry. And that’s all. And so I want individuals that are saying to me, if I’ve started implants have done a basic course and I’m ready to take it to the next level. I’m in the right place. I’m in the environment where the work is going to come in and I’m willing to do whatever it takes. Then you can join my programme. Because like I said, you know, I want to be around people that are motivated and hungry, and because I both of them, it forces me to be better.
[00:37:58] Can you spot talent? So, you know, when when they come on your course or whatever? Can you just sort of pick someone out and say they’re going to be a great implant surgeon? They’re going to be middle? Is that something you can just pick up?
[00:38:13] I think what you can pick up is the is the mindset, the hunger. Your client. I mean, as you know what he’s done with his business, he’s hungry. He’s got he’s just switched on. He’s got the right mindset, the skill that can be learnt. You know, maybe it takes five cases to to to start developing any kind of competency, but someone who maybe takes 10. But I’m very clear it’s we’re all on our own journey. Stay in your lane. Forget the outside noise. You might need five pieces you might need. 10 is irrelevant, but I’m here to support you. That’s it. And it might be two or three. And when I let them go and start doing cases independently, it’s in a very structured manner. So we’ll do virtual planning and we’ll go through it. And it’s a very specific case that they would be allowed to do independently. And then we start building from that. And it’s just a very step wise process and there’s a lot of trust. They have to trust me and I have to trust them. And I’ve had situations where commissions have independently done a case and I’m like, What the like? I’m you’re, you know, you’re on the programme. There’s no charge. Call me would get on Zoom or plan the case. We’ll discuss it. We’ll discuss if it’s appropriate. We’ll discuss the planning. But you’ve just went rogue. I say that’s not on. That’s not acceptable. There is like what was going through your head for you to think or just. The mind it’s mind boggling, because I’m here to help you support your day to you and you’ve not asked, do you think you don’t need help? We all need help. I look to the people that I work with in my community to get reinforcement that what I’m doing is right, that they agree with what I’m suggesting or treatment plans. I don’t think I’m right all the time, far from it. Nobody is beyond having some sort of check in terms of what we’re doing. But you know, it’s a process and we make mistakes and it’s important to learn from them.
[00:40:18] Brandon, what about the mindset of switching from regular dentistry to this sort of high ticket dentistry? Because, you know, at the end of the day, I bet there’s plenty of people thinking, you know, in my practise, there aren’t the patients for this kind of dentistry. Is that is that a thing?
[00:40:39] So I don’t I don’t believe that’s true. I think the patients are everywhere. There’s an abundance of patients. It’s if you mark it correctly. If you’re in the right environment, the practise supports your development, then there’s an abundance of patients so that that doesn’t exist in terms of the sort of high ticket. I’ve never looked at it as high ticket law Typekit. I don’t know. For me, I do this work because it’s impactful. It changes lives. I do believe
[00:41:06] You touched on marketing, you touched on marketing. So you know, you’ve got you’ve got to get the patients. So give us some hints on that subject.
[00:41:15] I suppose I mean, I’m no, I’m no Martin, but I suppose it’s sort of building your brand. I suppose it starts with, you know, if you’re a practise principle, it’s a lot easier because you’ve got so much more control. You can control the marketing, you can control the team, you can adjust the prices to get the patient to do a number of cases at cost price. You’ve got relationships with patients, etcetera. Apart from that, it’s a big part of it because so often the discussion with clinicians as they joined the programme is Are you in in an environment that’s going to support your development and growth and implant dentistry? If you’re not, you need to move. If you’re don’t one place, it’s going to be hard. Look, I I worked in my group for practises. I worked all over. I travelled, did clinics in in Yorkshire everywhere to build them my experience because ultimately developing is all about practise. And as a practise comes the self-belief, the confidence comes and everything grows with doing more and more numbers. And you need to be in a place where you’re doing this work on a regular basis. Otherwise, it’s a skill that you just will not be able to refine. And I mean, my implant dentistry has gone to a whole different level in the last sort of two years. It’s because I am doing so much. The only reason I’m doing this volume of work is I’m prepared to travel, and I have over a hundred clinicians on my training programme that need mentoring from me. And so I do a lot of this work. But would I get this level of work being a practitioner in Glasgow? Not a chance. Not a chance.
[00:42:51] Yeah. So, I mean, the and this this hundred people, if they only come around in the last since since COVID,
[00:42:58] Yes, I’ve got I’ve got about 100 conditions on my theological training programme and then I’ve got about 40 on my starter and flight training programme. But yeah, Olsen’s since the pandemic.
[00:43:08] That’s beautiful, man. And where did they come from? To talk us through that sort of model,
[00:43:13] I suppose how, however, to initially you have to get yourself out there so you can’t be scared being on social media, trying to build your brand. And I don’t appeal to everybody, but I appeal to some people and those people reach out to you. And I was fortunate. Obviously, I had some exposure to teaching and a network prior to COVID. And so I had some people that obviously knew about me. And then it’s just word of mouth, word of mouth. When you sort of overdeliver on a promise, word of mouth is an amazing thing. And then it’s clear when I go around and I help people and then they get the results and it’s just like complete devotion to their development. That’s all I care about. You know, when people come onto my programme, my whole focus is about them doing this work independently. That’s all I care about. That’s the goal. It’s not. I want them to do this. No, it’s like, how can I get you working independently? Because it’s like, next, because I’m one person, there’s only so many people I can help. And I’ve got a lot of people that I want to help, so I need people on. The programme switched on good getting through the programme, listening to the advice, get in the cases, upskilling, practising and working independently, and then trying to build a network of mentors and build a real community where we’re supporting each other to growth. Because, you know, for the real benefit of this whole community for me has been when you teach people you get better, you’re forced to get better, for sure. That’s why I love teaching because it forces me to be better. But we also learn better in a community. So we’ve got a WhatsApp group and we we’ve we’ve got each other’s back. That’s so important to me. We have to be able to drop everything and help the help. The next person doesn’t matter. We’re the community. We’re a family. We have to look after each other, whatever we need. And and that’s the kind of ethos of the group.
[00:45:16] I think the lovely part about that is that dentistry has always been that way. Historically, you know, we were we were apprentices originally and, you know, learning from each other, such an undervalued sort of thing these days. I think people want to just get letters after their name, don’t they? Let’s move on to darker days. You know, this is high risk work, which is, I guess, a lot of people don’t do it because it’s high risk work. Can you think of a situation where things went badly wrong or patient management went wrong? Or some, some some situation that someone else can can learn from? Let’s start clinically and then secondary. Ever think about something in mentoring where it went wrong?
[00:46:03] So it’s was from clinical. Every important dentist has been there where you’ve tried and tried and it’s not worked and things have not gone to plan and and the communication hasn’t been there with the patient. And there’s just been a mismatch of what you were hoping to deliver and what the patient was expecting. And I think the key for me is I don’t want to be in those situations because they really do affect me. They keep me up at night and I want to. So I suppose looking at two situations once I used to. When I started off, I used to do a lot of orthodontic oral surgery and I used to do canine exposures and I left little cotton wool all under the pallet. And the patient came back and four weeks later there was a swelling and I was like, Well, and I don’t know what’s going on. Give antibiotics and stuff. And then maybe a couple of weeks later, the mom came back and this was in Edinburgh, and she’s like, This came out and I’ve been to the orthodontist. And they said to me, that’s a cotton wool rule, and that should be left behind. Did your heart sink? Yeah. Heart sank, and I was younger, much younger then, and the experience wasn’t there. And I don’t know how I reacted, but it affected me, everything actually affects me a lot. I get really affected by failure or whatnot.
[00:47:30] But what did you do?
[00:47:33] I just say sorry, that was. It couldn’t do anything else. It was done. And she did, did she? No, nothing. Nothing. She just was unhappy. And that was it. No, nothing came of it. Thank God. Then more recently, three or four years ago, I had another gentleman. He just wasn’t happy. I had a number of them. Platinum repeated failures of implants. I just said, you know, I can’t give him his money back. But he was just a real difficult patient. Grumpy, never happy. But I’m always open. I don’t. I don’t fight. I don’t resist. I’m like, Sorry, my hands up money back. That’s it. And I don’t. I just try to move on because these failures or difficulties are far few between. And what I would say and what I implore with clinicians wanting to join and start implant dentistry, it’s really flipping. Forgiving implant dentistry is really flipping, forgiving. Implant work and the work, the majority of time, and if you stick to some basic principles, it’s really relatively easy.
[00:48:36] Look, looking back on those two situations, like the first one. There’s not much you can, I guess, learn from that because it went OK. But the second one, when you reflect on it, is there something you could have done differently from the management side? I mean, you know, there are cases where implants don’t don’t integrate right in patients.
[00:48:54] This this particular gentleman kind of elderly people disease. It was an over Dental case. So I took out the teeth and moved the ball a little bit, putting implants and then give the patient a danger. What I should have done in hindsight is stage the treatment. I’m a big believer as soon as there are any degree of complexity, maybe psychologically from a patient point of view or a patient’s medical history or a challenging case, I love to stage my treatment. So in an ideal world for a lot of the patients that I manage and rehabilitate will take out the teeth adjustable and put the implant to give teeth an idea. Great works, the vast majority of time and the vast majority of patients. It’s appropriate and this is what we do. But it’s the real skill is knowing the patients to slow down treatment, take out the teeth, give them a denture, take them back psychologically. See how the heal, how they respond. It gives you time to build up that relationship with them. And often these patients are often new. Patients are referred patients and you don’t know them. You don’t have that relationship, hence the pretenders historically. And so they’re just presenting any defects and you’re like, Cool. So you don’t want to just jump in and it’s having that experience to know when to slow things down and when you can charge on ahead. And that’s what I’ve really been able to hone over time. And so that’s what I then try to pass on to the clinicians I teach. Sometimes it’s cool to charge on a head. Sometimes you go, Whoa, let’s stop. Let’s take everything step by step and see how the patient responds psychologically and clinically to each step. And so I’d encourage that to anybody and more.
[00:50:37] It’s an excellent point. It’s an excellent point, isn’t it? Because if the patient has no teeth, historically, he hasn’t been looking after his teeth, and now you’re going to put this massively complicated thing in his mouth that he’s got to look after really, really well and differently. And that mindset shift is going to you’ve got to you’ve got to know that that’s there right before going ahead.
[00:51:00] Absolutely. And a lot of especially for large rehabilitation, immediate lord is making the patient aware of exactly what they’re having done. Patients have no idea. And you can explain and explain, but ultimately they have no idea. They don’t unless they’ve seen it in a video on YouTube. And yet some of them do do that. But really, they do. They don’t know what’s going to happen, and they don’t know what to expect. They can’t really relate to what, what’s going to happen, what, what, what they’re going to feel in their mouth. So taking some time to really make sure that they understand that they’re going to have something that can feel different, the speech is going to change. They’re all going be able to eat what they want to eat. Trying to give them the best idea. But for some patients, you can explain all you want them. Just navigate it. And that’s just life. We’re not. We have to accept that things can’t be perfect. We have to do our best. And that’s I go to sleep knowing that I tried my best. And that’s I think that’s ultimately the most important thing that I will always, always try my best. And I’m happy to hold my hands up and say, sometimes I feel, and sometimes I don’t meet the patient’s expectations, but that’s life.
[00:52:12] What about what about mentoring fail? Maybe in your early days when you were mentoring? So I don’t know something. Let me you mentioned the guy who went ahead and did it without calling you.
[00:52:23] And the only reason you showed me the case was because it wasn’t great. So I wouldn’t class that as a mentoring field that was just someone being so broke. I had nothing to do with that, and I said, this is nothing to do with me because there’s a big responsibility on my part when people join the programme and say, Oh yeah, I’m being taught by Farhan and he’s mentoring me. I like, right? But there’s a lot of responsibility and a way it’s good because the what they’re doing is a reflection of my teaching and my ability. But also what they’re doing, if it’s not great quality is a reflection of my ability, my training and me as a clinician. And if there’s anything that I really give a shit about is my reputation. I’ve worked over 20 years to be where I am, and I’m very evident that it can be brought down like a house of cards instantly. So I take a lot of pride and ownership on what I’m putting across there and home, helping other clinicians. Any particular mentoring? No, I’ve not, because I’m very, very careful. I don’t sit in the coffee room, I’m right by their side. I hold their hand and
[00:53:33] Today they today go on to place. Do they, you know, you know what I mean? I’ve see it as a failure on many small make over course that a good chunk of them don’t go on to become composite bonding people. You know, and I see that as a big fail on our part. So does that happen? Do you get people to come on the course, do the one case and then never do case too.
[00:53:56] So I don’t see that’s a feeling a failure because they learn they become more aware of a treatment protocol if they decide it’s not for them, that’s cool. It’s not for them. And maybe sometimes they feel it’s going to be for them. They want to get to that level. When they get exposed to it, they realise, no, it’s not for them or they’re not going to get the the case volume to really upskill. So I wouldn’t see that as as a failure. Yeah. So I would encourage. I think it’s important to be aware of the treatment modality. Maybe you don’t need to be on an extensive year long programme with me and having mentoring, etc. Maybe you can do the more bite size programme now that I have available. But no, no, I would really feel it if there was an issue because I’m right by their side. I don’t let them, you know, just do whatever they want. I’m very conscious. I’m aware, you know, I’m on edge, but I never let them see that I’m on edge when I’m doing a mental case because it’s an amazing feeling, actually. And to be in that position, you’re by someone and you’ve got the knife and you’re like, and you’re like, and they’re know who you are or you’re like, Oh my God, you removed this much more. No, no, no, no, no, no. And the patients they are. So you get the patients aware of that.
[00:55:10] They get mentored, but sometimes they’re sedated. Sometimes they’re not sedated. So, you know, it makes you better. I’m a I’m a much better clinician. It’s took me to a whole different level and like the self-belief that I have in myself to give you an idea. I’ve done about a hundred celebrities mentored over the last year and a bit, and that’s a good number. And when you’ve been able to and immediate lord, a lot of these and someone else has done it and you’ve stood there holding their hand or just directing them, it gives you a lot of confidence. So I’m very confident in my training and and ultimately thankful for the people that taught me this treatment protocol. Then I’m now able to pass it on to other people. It’s a nice feeling. It’s a nice place to be. It’s very fulfilling. You know, I sleep all thinking and then I get messages from people when they’re doing cases independently. You know, thanks, Farhan. I did this case and I feel on top of the world. And one of the best feelings that I experience is that look and that sense of euphoria when the clinician does his first launch. Yeah, I tell you what a great feeling that is for me to see them so happy because I remember the first time I did a full. I still get pretty euphoric when I do surgery now, I get pretty excited. It’s interesting.
[00:56:31] It’s interesting because, you know, people will call that the light bulb moment or whatever. And when you speak to lecturer’s, a lot of them are driven by that light light bulb moment. And you know, why is that? Why is that? Is humanity just goes to prove that humans are corporative animals, you know, at the end of the day?
[00:56:51] Absolutely. I think we want to be able to feel loved. It’s one of our human needs. We feel loved, appreciated, feel that we’re actually making an impact. We’re contributing to a couple of the human needs contribution growth. It takes a lot of these things education does, and that’s what it’s what I’ve been able to haul into. So, yeah, and I encourage anybody, you know, to get better or teach other people. And so when people are on my training programme and I’m lecturing, I want them to engage the process of learning as if they were to teach. And that deepens our emotional attachment to the whole process. It really does. So when you listen to a lecture, put yourself in the frame of mind, right? I’ve got to teach this to three people tomorrow. It changes everything.
[00:57:40] Ok, let’s let’s let’s talk about mentoring and outside of clinical mentoring, so the way the way I saw post who was it was saying, Oh, I called my my mentor friend had a conversation, changed my career. So, you know, that’s very interesting because it’s palpable. You’re you’re sort of enthusiasm for surgical dentistry, you know, that just comes out, but you’ve got
[00:58:05] This other side. Yeah. So that’s a particular clinician who’s who’s a cosmetic clinician. Yeah. Early on, not that I spoke to this clinician. I said, Why are you limiting to yourself? You know, one thing I’m really driven by or obsessed with is I speak to dentists and they limit themselves to earnings and what they do. And they’re like, Oh, and I speak to a lot of Dental, but no and not satisfied. I flippen love dentistry. I love and I’m honoured and privilege that I am a clinician, that I help people and change their lives. And it’s given me such an amazing life and hopefully another 30 40 years. And when I see people not like excited about dentistry or being able to help people, it makes me sad. And I’m like, Why can’t you do that? Why are you not doing that? Why are you not pushing yourself? You could be this. You can be that. How much are you earning? I’m really open. I love asking how much you earn, what, what you want to earn. So what’s stopping you? Why are you not doing that? Why are you not putting yourself out there? You know, why don’t you have these ambitions? Why are you working for someone? Why are you not owning your own practise? So I love that. Why do you want to work for someone? What you can do for yourself, working for someone in the process, you want to get to the point where you work for yourself?
[00:59:22] Well, at the end of those questions, you get to a core situation, a core sort of lack of confidence that you then address that one thing after asking all these questions.
[00:59:33] Ultimately, it comes down to self-belief, competence and a self-awareness of who you are, what makes you the person you are. And when you go on a journey of discovery and trying to really understand who you are and what drives you, it changes everything and that’s being around the right people and consuming the right content constantly. And it’s like exercise. If you if you’re not doing it all the time, you’ll you’ll jump off the wagon. And so I listen to podcasts constantly. I like I’m addicted to self personal development podcasts. I’m addicted to reading books. Learning from other giants in leadership and business. And personal development like obsessed. And that makes me the way I am. I have to be charged and then like, I’m involved in business transformational life coaching circles as as a coach. And if I’m not energetic, enthusiastic and pumped, then what impact am I going to have the people that I’m going to be coaching? That’s not good. So I have to be like, hyped up, ready. Let’s go.
[01:00:45] You said you said you don’t want to be known as just the dentist. And it’s as interesting for someone who’s so in it to say that because I remember asking Andrew Dharwad, you know, like if if I gave him a billion, would he would he would he keep on putting implants in? And so when you say that, what do you mean? What do you mean by that? What do you want to be known as?
[01:01:07] I feel I feel that ultimately again comes down to impact. I don’t think my impact is as big as it could have been. I wouldn’t have reached my potential if I stayed or a stay as a dentist. Ultimately, it’s for me, it’s about trying to achieve my potential. And that’s not. There’s no end point. It’s constantly pushing and being a dentist. I don’t think I’ve fulfilled my potential. I feel there’s so much more to me than just being a clinician. And so in this chapter in my life, it’s education, training and mentoring, and I’m excited to know or learn what the next chapter will be. I’m excited by a lot of things business, entrepreneurship, writing, the corporate world investing. I don’t know what it will be, but I’m open and I’m open to try things. Maybe Prav will give me a job in his marketing agency.
[01:02:02] So when you you talked about two things that really fire you work on, one of them is those light bulb moments or those moments when your mentees do their first full large case and send you those words of gratitude or picture of the case. And then those times when those patients that you treat can bite into an apple for the first time or, you know, function or just go and socialise for the first time in, you know, a decade or two, which is which do you prefer?
[01:02:35] I prefer the dentists being able to work independently as much as I love patients and being able to change lives for me, ultimately, if I’m able to pass on a skill that I have onto another clinician and they are then able to do what I do, get the results that I get, that’s the best feeling in the world and people appreciate that I help them. That’s great. But I don’t want that. I’m not looking for that. It’s great that they say thank you and thank you messages. I’m grateful. But it’s like an internal thing for me that I helped you. I passed on a skill job done next. It’s a really nice feeling. I can’t describe the feeling. It’s just immense.
[01:03:19] And then you touched upon them, which kind of got from the earlier conversations is that you’re are you in the process or want to create mini mes so other mentors within your circle so that you can scale because obviously you’re supporting a hundred now, right? And then what happens when the next hundred come along or so on and so forth? So how how do you scale that?
[01:03:41] So there’s about a hundred in the community, but actively supporting them at this moment in time? That’s far too many. So that’s not how many are actively supporting, but nobody gets. They’re not chopped off the community, it’s a family. But altogether, and more people join such ever growing. But I suppose if like anything, if it’s to be upskilled, there needs to be people that are sort of approved mentors through through through the programme. That’s one aspect. But then I think that’s always challenging and a difficult aspect to develop the programme. Ultimately, what I’d like to do is bring more people in the bottom level, give them the, you know, some of the enthusiasm, the energy I have, but the large and the balls that you can get from doing this type of work. And if you ask me, what would I like to do this year, it’s it’s reach out with the borders of the UK, try to pass the message on a wider field Europe and America and get people really energised around for large and doing that and getting the results that I’ve been able to get. That would be ideal if I sort of just try to focus and try to build a network of clinicians that are mentoring other people.
[01:04:53] Yeah, that’s cool, and I probably will do that. But my focus is to grow another way on a sort of lower level and communicate virtually with them and with the development of AI and VR. I think that’s going to become a much easier as we move forward. We are maybe in virtual worlds we’ll be able to be much closer to each other and engaging with each other to give the best educational experience. The real, yeah, you know, mentoring one on one. That’s that’s that’s the ultimate. But if I just focus on that, that’s limiting my impact. And so there’s only one of me. I also appreciate the young family and the sacrifice that my wife has to make and the children in terms of time. So I can’t continue driving up and down London to the north of Scotland trying to help people. I need to be able to scale the whole process but not have such a. For that to have such an impact on my time. But that’s that’s a big challenge going forward.
[01:06:00] And you talk about your Scottish identity. What does it mean to you? I mean, there’s now all this debate about Scottish nationalism. It’s weird, man, because I every Scot I ever talked to was was probably a bit of a nationalist. And then when it came to the vote, they decided not to break away. What does I mean? You don’t have to get into that, but what is your Scottish identity mean? What is being a Mancunian mean to you?
[01:06:31] So being Scottish and being identifying as being Scottish means everything to me. I mean, if you think about my wife is from Yorkshire and I remember, you know, Typekit coming to a time when the kids were nearly coming out. I was like, You’re not leaving. My kids need to be born in Scotland. And I think the biggest thing is that although I’m from an Asian background, I’ve never, ever felt that I’m not Scottish or different. I’ve always identified as being Scottish first and then Pakistani background origin second. So it means the absolute world world to me that I am Scottish. And I think the other thing is it’s it’s had such an influence on my life, the fact that I’m Asian and Scottish, and it makes me stand out and different when I’m out and about in England, working or further afield, communicating with people. And that accent, the sort of culture that I’m familiar with and associate with in terms of Scottishness and me has always helped me. So it’s just everything about it is positive seeing that I wasn’t in favour of independence and I’m all for United, all the United Nations team together, so I wouldn’t be voting for independence if and when it comes up a for another vote.
[01:07:59] I have to try and be completely silent during this conversation for him, because the questions are so it’s a bit odd for me because I can’t interject, but that was good. That was good. So tell us about the name of your book. What is about? Where can we get it?
[01:08:17] So the book is called Being Unstoppable The Mindset of a Great Clinician. And there’s that old saying that that when you’re ready, the teacher appears and who it was that time for me where I failed, I had time to sit down and write and someone just randomly came about and helped me do that. It’s a book that I’ve been able to put together. It’s a good three or four months to sort of bring it all together, but a year for me to sort of edit and and get it self-published. Or it’s sort of looking back 20 years of my professional experience in dentistry and medicine and this generation of what I think constitutes a great commission beyond titles, formal education and technical skills. I’ve sort of looked at through through the book mindset, confidence, leadership and other things, which I feel are sometimes overlooked, but I feel are really important stepping stones that we need as clinicians to really progress and further ourselves. So the whole purpose of the book was maybe it would have an impact. Maybe I could inspire people in some way that, you know, sort of reflecting on my career, and I only really became aware of a lot of this stuff in the last sort of five years, although I was progressing well and I thought I was quite driven.
[01:09:39] But when I really delved into the personal development side of things and mindset, I’ve certainly been able to supercharge my career a lot more. And so if I just put that that into writing and I can get it out there, then you know, I’m sort of impacting as many people as possible. And so that’s what the book’s about. You can buy on Amazon and download it on Kindle. So it’s available now from Amazon. Not not all good bookstores, just Amazon and Kindle and all the profits of the book go to charity. And the purpose there is that I’m hoping to build a Dental clinic in Kashmir. I’m fortunate I’m a trustee of Dental Aid Network and we are looking to build a Dental clinic in Kashmir and I’m hoping to raise £50000. It means I have to sail around nine or ten thousand copies of the book and I’m up to about a thousand. So I’ve got a bit to go, but I’m determined
[01:10:38] Just just 10 times. Obviously, this isn’t going to make it through, but it’s like doing a doing a 10 mile run and you’re a mile in May. You just got nine miles to go. You’ll get that body. And where did you drive come from? And I don’t know why always put this or where does your drive come from? And do you have more over time?
[01:11:01] So really, I feel my drive comes from my father and constantly him pushing me growing up to study hard, work hard, not end up like him working in the shop 18 hours a day. And it was constant daily reminders. You don’t want to end up working in the shop. It was cold. It’s horrible. My hands, it’s a hard graft. And then after a while, he I remember when I got to, I got my higher grades and I got into Dental school. He never said it again, and I was and it didn’t dawn on me for a while. My parents are pushing me any more. They just let me go. But because it was so ingrained in me growing up, it’s it’s just continued. It’s become a ritual. It’s a habit now that I just keep pushing myself, pushing myself. And I think a lot of that is also that I know this is what my dad wants me to do. Just keep pushing myself to be better. And I like to achieve things and then tell them about their achievements. And that’s from, you know, sort of getting the degrees, getting a publication, writing a book, getting myself into a magazine. Even what I’m earning my earnings are going up. The fact that I’ve got a practise, all these little things that I do go to my dad and because I really feel that maybe, you know, he he would have loved the opportunity of an education and a life as a as a doctor, as a clinician, helping people. And he never really had that opportunity.
[01:12:38] And so maybe he can gain a little bit of that joy satisfaction through what I’m doing for myself. And so that does really push me, and the drive is quite interesting. You know, you ask, is that drive getting greater? So I’m 40 this year and I feel in the in the last two to three years, my drive has really notched up a number of levels, not one level, but a number of levels. I don’t know exactly why that’s happened to me or why I feel that way, but I feel more driven than I’ve ever driven. I mean, there’s the book Napoleon Hill thinking grow rich and it talks about our fourth decade of life where we really do come of age. And is that something significant and significant about being 40? Probably not. It’s just you’ve developed. You’ve got that experience and practise and you start to think halfway through life, potentially. And what have I done? And you start to question a lot of things. So maybe that definitely has a part to play in it, but I’m more driven than ever and more focussed on being as productive. I value my own time more than I’ve ever valued my time and and I really do think it’s important where I’m spending my time and and trying to be as productive with it as possible. So, yeah, the drive is greater than ever before, and I feel I’ve got a lot to tick over the next 10 years. A lot more to do.
[01:14:14] I think the reason why you’re your dad stops giving you grief when you got your qualification or got into university was you knew you wouldn’t have to be bagging those twenty two fifty five pound bags of spuds again.
[01:14:30] Yeah, yeah. But I didn’t tell you to say no. But since then, three weeks ago, my dad got knocked down walking in a park and he’s got tibial plateau fracture until he’s in a brace. Not have to have an operation, but he’s sat at home and it’s tough psychologically. This guy walks 10000 steps a day. He’s not the fittest guy in the world, but walks a lot and walks in the shop, still standing all day. And now he’s at home and it’s tough. Psychologically, it’s tough. You know, I think I often think about Shawshank Redemption and my dad or or one of our elders in the shop, poldi and that whole lifetime in a shop. My dad doesn’t know anything else. He I don’t think he he would cope if he wasn’t in the shop. It’s like a jail to him.
[01:15:24] Let me tell you a story, right? It’s a sentence. Let me tell you a story, mate, because that was my dad for I don’t know how many years, right? And there came a time where we, as in me and my brother, were earning enough. That he wouldn’t need to work in the shop again, right? And they came up where my dad kept saying to us, Son, I just don’t want you to do what I do, right? Whatever happens, you’re not going to be a shock, you’re not going to be a taxi driver. I want you to be better than me, right? So when the time came where we both knew that actually we’ve done it now, we’ve made it in whatever, whatever, whatever that means, right? But we made it to the point where we could look after dad now, right? So we said to that. She’ll shop. Stop working, and we’re going to fund your lifestyle now. So till the end. Right. You don’t need to work another day in your life. And so he found somebody to lease the shop. I bought the premises of my dad, so gave him a gate, gave him a, you know, a chunk of money for what what the premises was worth. So I own the shop now. And you know what? The one thing I will say about him being lost because you mentioned that. Is that now he does a lot of admin for me in my own business. And if he didn’t have that, he’d be lost. Yeah, he needs that drives that work, that purpose to keep him active.
[01:17:07] So it’s just my dad is I don’t know about your dad in terms of literacy and things. He just, you know, because I’m like, you know, come and get in the back something you have to do something. Yeah, he’s in a partnership in a shop. And until someone else is running it, running it, it’s very passive. My dad, he’s never stood up for himself. He’s never been. He’s always been in the back seat. Got, Yeah. And he’s just, yeah, I feel I feel I’m a bit worried that with this situation, how it’s affecting him psychologically, that he really needs to go there and be in the shop or do stuff.
[01:17:46] And he’s still that age. My father in law during COVID, his business just went pop. Ok. And one of the things I’ll say about him is that he’s a different person to what he who he was prior to when he was running the business, right? And so he can’t go back down that route. And now he spends his entire day watching Netflix or, you know, going for walks and all the rest of it. And I can see it in him. He just looks lost. Yeah, he’s got to that age in his life where he’s been used to wheeling and dealing all his life since he left school. And now he’s just stopped. And his sense of purpose as a sort of disappeared and you can see that’s drained out of him. Yeah. So it’s a tricky one, but you know, something to keep him occupied, keeping him engaged interesting. But he needs to feel like he’s providing value. Not not. Ok, I’ll just give my dad something to do because I can. Yeah. But it’s not there is that there’s value for him. I think they really need to feel that they’re making a difference. It’s a tough situation. And so is he at home at the moment?
[01:19:04] Yeah, yeah.
[01:19:07] Leaders cross he gets gets better soon.
[01:19:11] Yeah. Mobilises and then sort of gets back to things. But for the poverty forum? Yeah. But it just shows you, you know, walking in a in a big park. There was some work van that just boom reversed into all these kind of really damaged his the shoulder ligaments, but not broken anything there. But yeah, really shaken up. Wow. Yeah. Got to keep his spirits up. But yeah, that is. It can really resonate with you when you see that about your father and
[01:19:44] I’m a father in law. Yeah, yeah. I think it’s a lesson for us when we get older, right? We’ll always need that sense of purpose.
[01:19:54] Yeah, it’s interesting because I talk about this and I spoke to someone by Van Vicario. Do you know him above?
[01:20:03] And Victoria Baltazar big time implant surgeon, right?
[01:20:07] Yeah, yeah. Yeah, he right character, right? And a great way to. I met one, of course, and I went running with them and I lectured them and I said, Don’t you ever let anybody tell you to retire? You’re not retiring. You’re you’re just going to another chapter in your life. And I think it’s good that you probably want to leave dentistry at sixty three, but you don’t need to think, you know, he’s a multiple multi-millionaire. When I say, don’t alright.
[01:20:34] Yeah, yeah, yeah,
[01:20:35] He’s done all right. Yeah, but I said, Don’t ever let anybody. You buy all your fucking your wife, your kids, you’re not retiring. You’re on to the next chapter of your life because I’m telling you this will kill you off when the people start talking to retire. No such thing, but we’ll want to see at sixty five. No, no next chapter. Then the next chapter is just another chapter in your life. And whatever it is, you’ve got to keep your mind active. I said, Look at you what you’ve done through your life. You’ve achieved so much you can’t just stop now. That’s it. You need to find something next. Chapter is like, You know what? I’m going to write that book because I started writing a book. I’m going to write that book because I was talking about my book. I said, Really write this, but it’s really important we can’t retire. We’ve we’ve got to just find other things to do.
[01:21:25] And yeah, you’ve hit the nail on the head there. You know, my wife always says to me, Look, if you didn’t have work, I don’t know what purpose you’d have, right? And with the greatest respect, it’s where I get my drive. It’s where I get my passion from. Yes, I’d spend time with the wife and the kids and whatnot, right? But I need another sense of delivering value and purpose in my life, right? And what I’m doing in 10 years time. It definitely won’t be what I’m doing today without question. Yeah, it won’t be what I’m doing today, but it would be, like you said, a different chapter. Take the next junction on the motorway and we go in down a different path, you know, and it’ll it’ll involve less stress. Maybe, you know, there’ll be different motivators. Maybe finance will be way low down on the on the priority list, right? Who knows? We need that. Yeah, I digress. I digress. Fantasy dinner party, three guests. Dead or alive, who would they be and why?
[01:22:31] So I listen to your podcast, and I know that the questions at the end, so I prepared, I’m not going to deny it. First one. Nelson Mandela someone I’ve always looked up to from school age when I was learning about what he’d been through and I’d love to pick his brains, what where did that drive that resilience? How did he keep motivated fixing everything? How did he come through at all and inspire our nation and the world? And then Elon Musk, someone that exists now innovating, creating his fingers in so many different ways and always, you know, one man that’s taken a company and made it so influential. And when he can tweet, he can really rock the stock market and cryptocurrency in an instant. How did someone become so influential? I’d love to have him on a table, and I’ve read his autobiography and he’s quite the character. And then Kevin Hart, just to add some humour to to to the dinner party, I find the guy hilarious. So that would be my theory.
[01:23:40] Brilliant, brilliant, if it was your last day on the planet for one hand and you had your loved ones around you. What would the three pieces of wisdom be that you would leave to them?
[01:23:54] Firstly, I’d see. It’s so important to have belief and confidence in yourself. I think fundamentally, that is essential. You have to believe in yourself and you have to have the confidence in what you do and how you present yourself. And if you don’t have that in yourself, then how can you then expect others to have it in you and often working? I’m always bringing this up with clinicians as they’re speaking to patients that you’ve got to believe in yourself, and it’s clear that you don’t. You don’t have confidence in the treatment and you do believe that you’re the right person to do it. So we have to take a step back and really work on that. So that’s what I would see now. Yeah, it’s taken. You know, it’s a journey of 20 years. I have super duper strong self belief and confidence and who I am and what I’m able to achieve. So that’s the first thing. Then the second thing is, you know, always look to help other people in general. And that said, you’ll get everything you want in life if you help enough people get what they want. And I’m a foreign firm believer in not do just go out there and help give give give. And the way the world works, they’ll all come back to you in abundance. And then the last thing I would say is don’t be scared to feel failure has certainly been one of the biggest lessons in my life, being able to experience failure to overcome it. And I see the positives in the failures and then learning. And from that, I’ve only become stronger and stronger and better at what I do. So, yeah, they would be. The three have self confidence and belief. Go out there and help people and don’t be scared to feel.
[01:25:34] So I’m finally. How would you like to be remembered? So fair hand was finish the sentence.
[01:25:44] Farhan was happy. To simply happy. For hand in Arabic means happy. And it’s really important to me that constantly I’m looking to do things that make me happy and. More importantly, to be actually good idea and make trying to make other people happy through. My training programmes through my mentoring, through the work I do and the treatments I’m able to offer patients and then hopefully now and in the future, maybe by contributing through charitable endeavours, whatever it is, I love to be able to to see other people smile and be the the reason that other people smile. That’s really, really important.
[01:26:31] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
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