From humble beginnings as the son of a Sunderland shipbuilder, Michael Oliver might have gone into medicine had it not been for the sage advice of a GP.
But medicine’s loss was dentistry’s gain. Michael talks about how it felt to be unexpectedly thrust into solo practice.
He talks us through moving into NHS practice back in the days when it wasn’t such a common move and lifts the lid on dentistry in the 1980s – cigarettes, ashtrays, spittoons and all.
“I was cr*p at running my business in some respects. I ran it on feel…Now and then, I’d end up in my accountant’s office, with him saying: “Michael, what are you doing!” And he’d keep putting me back on track. I also had a great solicitor who limited my stupid ideas and said: “Michael, don’t do that!” – Michael Oliver
In This Episode
02.13 – Backstory
05.56 – Into dentistry
11.42 – Politics
15.08 – Into practice
22.52 – Expanding and going private
31.27 – Exit and aftermath
43.47 – Teamwork and empowerment
46.59 – Risk and marketing
56.09 – Photography
58.33 – Retired life
01.01.38 – Charity work
01.03.44 – Dark days
01.06.42 – Last days and legacy
About Michael Oliver
Michael qualified from Newcastle Dental School in 1983 and worked as an associate with the late Donald Hudson. When Donald retired, Michael purchased a practice in East Herrington, which he developed into a multi-surgery clinic. Michael retired in 2018 and now spends more time on his hobby as a wildlife photographer.
[00:00:00] If you’re going to go down the private side, you’ve got to have a totally different mindset to guarantee the success of your business. And one of the mindsets is getting comfortable with marketing. And it’s no good being good as a dentist in the world, not knowing that you’re good because a lot of patients aren’t aware of what’s a good band that sticks in the throat a little bit because there’s very inequality’s in dentistry. But you’ve got to get the message out to the public as to why they should come and see you.
[00:00:32] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders and dentistry. Your heist’s Payman Langroudi, I’m Prav Solanki.
[00:00:50] It gives me great pleasure to welcome Michael to someone I go back with along the way. Michael, you probably don’t even know this, but you were instrumental to some of the situations that we had enlightened in our early days. You were one of the dentists who used to order lots. And and I was used to see your name and see see the practise name, at least this guy in Sunderland who was doing so much whitening. I could just see I could just see the whitening side of it. And then I met you and we talked about it. And the really the reason I wanted you on the podcast is because now you’ve come to the end of your sort of Dental career. And I’d like to get the pivotal moments and the excellent story of your practise from beginning to end and what you went through. And for me, the inspirational part about your practise is that it’s by no means in the nicest parts of Sunderland. It was a very ordinary suburb and what you made of that place and the success that you had. I just want to just want to get that down on because it’s a it’s a pleasure to have you. We normally start with where were you born? What kind of child did you have? Why did you become a dentist? Yeah.
[00:02:14] Well, lovely to see you guys. And as I’ve just mentioned, it’s quite a nice distraction for me sitting here about an hour away from the World Cup final that I’ve got to be honest, I’m a nervous wreck. So the question you just asked there is great because, as I said, take my mind off things. But I’m certainly glad. I think anybody who’s unfortunate enough to follow me on social media will be well aware of that because that runs on a little bit of both. And I’m very proud of my upbringing. I come from a working class background. My father’s the shipbuilder. I was still alive, but he was an electrician in the shipyards. I don’t come from a privileged background. He worked very hard for his money. My mother worked in a butcher shop and I was well aware that money was tight those days when they didn’t have money to go and spend on food. So it wasn’t a hard upbringing, but it wasn’t. I wasn’t a silver spoon child, that’s for certain. And I think it influenced me right from the word go and my attitude to work, my attitude to Sunderland, the people of Sunderland. So I was born in Followill Sunderland. People have probably heard of football because I was very close to the old football stadium.
[00:03:27] So from an early age, that sort of seed in me was my sporting tie with Sunderland. I’ve always had a passion for football. I grew up, I went to school. I enjoyed building relationship and making friends with a lot of people from Sunderland. I had a father who was adamant that he didn’t want me to do what his father had led him to do with the ship. That’s no disrespect to shipbuilding. Sunderland was famous as the biggest shipbuilding town in the world. You guys might not know that, but there’s a huge amount of pride in Sunderland for the shipbuilding, the coal mining history, glassblowing. And I’ve got Nissan that was called and it was fantastic to see ships being launched. And I used to I used to take down to Sailor and I had a lot of pride in him and for what he did. But he was always adamant he didn’t want me to earn my living using my hands and being covered in oil, and then what he’d done in his in his life. So he wanted me to study and become qualified to do something other than that. And I think it instilled a work ethic in me Payman. So I’m not I wouldn’t consider a hugely intelligent person, but I’m I’m a dedicated person.
[00:04:40] I work hard. If I see something I want to achieve, I’ll work very hard to achieve that. I saw that when I went to university. There was it surprised me when I got there, some very intelligent people, but I expect it to be in the lower end of the scale as far as qualifications go. But there was a lot of people like me who went into dentistry but worked very, very hard to get there. So so I went through all levels as it was in those days and then A-levels. And to get into to dentistry in those days, you needed three grades to A-levels. Can you believe I mean, these days you’ve got to get a leg up and get in. In those days, it was three grade essays, which is exactly what I achieved. So I just got over the white line. There were people on there with is based, but in those days that didn’t hand is like confetti graded on our course. We see today, I think to be with the audience. But so. I’ve had a lot of good fortune in my life, guys, and one of the good fortunes is that I was able to get into dentistry. I got into dentistry, as I said, probably with just a lot of hard work.
[00:05:56] How did it come up to get it to go for dentistry, like after?
[00:06:00] That’s a great, great question. And I actually thought about medicine. And I remember going into my doctor, I forget sore throat or something, and I brought it up with him. I said, oh, I’m really interested in becoming a doctor. And he said, the best advice I can possibly give you is become a dentist. That was from Monnig. And I wasn’t sure why he said that. But I’ll listen to what he said. And a friend, we were in the selling club at the time and one of the members down there was a dentist and they agreed, as you often say, to have me in for a day just for work experience. And I went in and, you know, that was in a different era of dentistry. I vividly remember watching it Dental mixing amalgam in her fingers and squeezing the mercury out into clots. And, you know, as I said, a totally different era of dentistry, but it excited me. I like to introduce quite a character, this guy. And I liked the interaction that he had with his patients. And he was a promising little guy that you’ve been up to. And I think you probably get as soon as you cross the border into the north face, you get a feeling for what the place is about. And there is a community spirit. And that appealed to me. It didn’t appeal to me to go into medicine, to sit at a desk and write prescriptions out to people with sore throats and bad books. So I got the message from Amorally the Doctor about why dentistry was a good route to go down. And it was probably the best decision and best advice that I received really early in my career. So I’m glad I went to the dentistry.
[00:07:38] Where did you study?
[00:07:40] I qualified at Newcastle University and again, I’m probably going about the protocols I look at I’m looking at being in my life. But when I went for my interview with Newcastle, I went to the old Dental school, which was it’s probably been there for decades. And I always remember that there were sterilising instruments and boiling glass containers and it was just a set back into the past. But the year I qualified and got onto the Dental because it was the brand new dental school in Newcastle, which is they were claiming at the time, and I’ve no reason to disrespect the view, it was the best in Europe. It was fantastic. So everything was brand new. And then I had a five year Dental course in Newcastle. Yeah, very, very fortunate.
[00:08:31] And what was the what was Dental school like back in the day? Was it was it very hands on? I know a lot. A lot of people graduating today are coming out, maybe doing one root canal, half a dozen crowns, and then the qualified and the practical aspect is probably not. What was it like for you back then?
[00:08:51] I think it was the same for I think they had a great opportunity when they had a brand new Dental scandal to introduce very modern educational techniques. So I suspect how we would treat a trend is very similar, probably to where they are now. I think our exposure to patients was much greater. And I always remember on the conservation side, we had to collect points that might do that still. But there was a wide range of treatments, if you could do to to collect your points to. You have to have so many points to qualify, of course. But we did a lot of root fillings. We did crimes. The surgical side, the research department at Newcastle was very good. We had some good consultants, so I wasn’t experienced very much at taking wisdom teeth out. And in those days, if you weren’t experienced as a student, you came out and you learnt pretty quick in your first few months as a as a as a qualified dentist. So there was no vocational training. I go on to tell the next stage story in a second, but the student days were very, very happy days. There was seventy five of us and I’m just trying to think how many ladies it was probably more, about 50 percent, maybe more female. And as I say, we’re in brand new facility in Newcastle. So a five year course than what you qualify. But I qualify. I started in nineteen seventy eight and I qualified in nineteen eighty three and I always remember the night of qualification and we had to go into a lecture theatre and read the results. So it was all alphabetical order. I was probably more nervous than, than I was with the gold watch this much but mine name. All of it was well done and everybody was passing and passing and passing it. It’s like a penalty shootout and I’m the one to take the last penalty. But my name was on the list as well. So the whole year that you’ve been and what he really saw was over the moon because he got like that’s what
[00:10:52] We call the winter of discontent. Just do that must have been just as you were going into Dental school.
[00:11:00] Yeah, I can. Yeah, I can remember that. Yeah, that was right about. It wasn’t a certainty.
[00:11:07] That was the year I got to the U.K., so that’s why I remember,
[00:11:11] You know, so, you know, I mean, I was owed nineteen sixty one, I was born nineteen sixty. So my memory for life in general probably starts from maybe 68 onwards. If you were talking about politics, have you remember how Harold Wilson remember Ted, he thought that I don’t remember the miners strike and that had a big impact on me as well. But yeah, I go back a long way, I’m afraid so.
[00:11:42] With the stick sticking to politics for a minute, the miners strike really defined what happened to that part of the world. Yes. Watching that, did you did you I mean, there’s a massive anti Tory sort of sentiment in some people will never forgive the Tories for what happened. But for you, for you seem to read somewhere that you’re more sort of in that sort of wing of the politics of the Tories. How do you how do you balance those things?
[00:12:16] I was influenced in the early days. Politics didn’t really come into my life till Mitt and I have a passion for things. And once I became a practise owner and I, I started to discover how hard you had to work to make to make your money as a business, as a small business owner took on a lot of risk at the beginning of my career. I’ll tell you about that, obviously. But and it coincided actually with the Margaret Thatcher government. So it’s interesting you bring up the winter of discontent, because I had been influenced in that it didn’t affect me because I wasn’t the business owner then, but it was right at the time I was lining up to become a dentist and then move on in the business so that I was very aware of how that hit our country. And then Thatcher came in and I could see why she would have a battle with the the union side of things. My father was in the shipyards and he was a big can you believe a lot of people were labour people? Payman My father has always been a Thatcher man and he respected hard work. And he, in his life in the shipyards, could see how the unions were influencing things. And yes, the Tory government were blamed for the shipyards down what have you. But it wasn’t the whole the conservative government. If that’s had been a profitable business, no government, whether it’s Labour or Conservatives, would to come in and close the down.
[00:13:41] And actually, it led to the things in Sunderland. And you’ve seen what’s happened to Nissan lately, haven’t you? It’s an exciting time in the north. So, yes, I totally understand any bitterness that people involved in a lot of friends and patients actually. So I’ve had a lot of discussions about that over the years. But on the surface it looks as if everybody had such a vote. That is actually the case. There’s a lot of people who work in the mining industry, in the shipyard industry and certainly in the north east actually realised Margaret Thatcher was a strong leader and was making some decisions that needed taking up. My life wasn’t affected by it. If I worked in a lived rather than a mine working family and my parents had been close, I might have a different feeling. But my dad was a shipyard worker. Shipyards were closed in Sunderland. But again, there’s more to that story than just Margaret Thatcher one day getting up and saying, All right, time we shut the ship. Why would anybody do that if it was a successful industry? So I’m not really qualified to comment totally on that. But I just I’m well aware. I spent a lot of people in my career in the Northeast, but there’s always two sides to that story. Unfortunately, my city now is really there’s a lot of investment. It’s an exciting place at the moment.
[00:14:58] And I mean, you’re right. You can put the whole Nissan thing in the end down to Thatcher as well.
[00:15:02] Thank. Yes, of course. Yeah. Actually had a big influence attracting Nissan Muslim.
[00:15:08] Let’s move on to a qualified. What’s next?
[00:15:13] Well, good fortune boys actually qualified in June 1983, I started work about the second or third of July in a single practise. I was promised a lot in that position. But when I got there, it was a two day a week. So I’m very bushy-tailed associate cannot know business knowledge whatsoever. You walk and you think this is going to be great. And in the early days it wasn’t great because the patient numbers was below, but the potential for that business was huge. The my principal at the time was a lovely man and one of the well-established dentists said is if you talk to the population, everybody has a story about no dentists. And Mr. Hudson, who was my boss, must have respect for a lovely, lovely man, was one of those dentists associated with Sundlun But anyway, I started in a part time position in the October. Mr. Hudson, unfortunately, had a heart attack. I came in one morning and I was asking the staff where he was. He lived in the house attached to the practise, and he was upstairs in bed having had a heart attack that night before when I went to see him and he looked dreadful and what have you. And he was unable to come into work, obviously. So that morning I went from having my list to having two lists to work.
[00:16:34] We didn’t cancel any patients. I just run from surgery to surgery, improvised. So that was the beginning of a change in the practise because he was off for quite a while when he came back, he wasn’t really the dentist that he was. It was a struggle for him. And I managed to talk to him and influence them into considering selling the practise to me. So I went from being a newly qualified dentist to, after three months running the practise associate to buying the practise the year after, by the time we negotiated and what have you. And that was the time scale you could achieve in those days. These days, I couldn’t possibly do that on so many levels. One, the financial level. I was there young dentists who are struggling to buy you guys a pint of beer at the time. And I had an opportunity to buy a five bedroom, detached house on the dental practise, a touch up into the practise Payman. So you can probably visualise when you go in the front. Wow, that’s the home side. So I can remember walking into a little branch bank, NatWest and the bank manager. I’ve got this idea. I want to buy five five bedroom detached. I was in the Dental practises and he said, all right, because not that offered the money, but it’s so ridiculous.
[00:17:56] I think it was called the sleep scheme in those days. Some ridiculous insurance based loan. The cost me a fortune and I went along with it. He said, oh yeah, we’ll do that for you. We put one hundred percent loan down and I needed security from my parents, which when you’re twenty four, you’re saying your parents are just there for security. You don’t realise the house or you buying in park. You have no experience of running and you’ve got no business knowledge whatsoever. So forever grateful for the backing that I got from my parents, the backing I got from a bank, and I forget what the financial return, but they were very, very good. So it allowed me onto a ladder and I could see the potential for that practise because my principal was an elderly dentist who clearly didn’t want the money at something that he didn’t say a return on his investment for. So if I look back, probably because of the potential, I stole the place, really, but he was happy. My pockets were happy. So I ended up with a twenty five year old and starting at the big house and a nice dental practise. So again, a lot of good fortune.
[00:19:12] I believe you create your own. Look, Michael, you just stumbled upon all this good fortune
[00:19:18] One after another night. Yes, I have just one thing that I’ve learnt in life is that you’ve got to have really balanced risk, I think. Is this a lot of people? Yeah, I’ve heard people say that before. I bump into a lot of people who know what they would like to do, but not willing just to step off the cliff to do it. And of course, this is where the problem comes. If you’re going to step off that cliff, you’ve got to have a soft landing. But I think if you educate yourself with the risk that you’re taking on, you can get a I’ve always had a bit of a sixth sense about risk and I could tell where I was going to get a bloody nose and I could tell when the risk was worth taking. And it’s paid off a little bit in it’s expansion of the business is another example. You know, you’ve got to borrow a lot of money to do that. But you see the risk and the reward is the but yeah, there’s there’s quite a few people are very risk averse. And I think if you’re running a business, you guys have seen it, you you must have come across so many opportunities to take a little bit of risk to progress it. And it’s paid dividends, but being careful not to overstretch yourself,
[00:20:25] Michael, as a twenty five year old kid, having just acquired a Dental practise. Yeah. What were the what were the big challenges and what were the what were the unknowns? Were there any moments? Must have been some moments where you thought, what if I got myself in?
[00:20:41] How do I do this? How do you know? I think when when you as you get older, you you manage to build more stress in yourself that when you don’t say that stress, you don’t see the risk. You don’t always see the risk of what you’re taking on so blindly. When I decided I could rule the world with my Dental practise and just throw everything at it with my energy. One of the most fortunate things I had was that the practise was a two surgery extension on a big five. So I lived in the house, so I was able to dedicate an awful lot more time. So I lived in London on to practise in the middle of the night, troubled, and I would get so close to I was in trouble that people would take I had access to my practise so that I got a bit sick of that, to be honest. And further down the line, I moved, moved out of the practise. But in the early days, for the first few years, it was fantastic to be living on site and built a relationship with the community. So people got to know me as the guy living in that house, because going back to what I said earlier on Sunday is a very community based city and industry, particularly if you’re asking me how I was successful.
[00:21:56] The practise, one of the things I would say is embedding yourself and making friends with the community and having the community respect you for what you’re trying to do for them. And it’s a genuine feeling. You know, I didn’t embed myself in the community, become a successful businessman. I had to look people in the eyes in my sundlun guy. And you’ve got to be able to hold your head up in that community. But certainly in those days, it was very community based. There was a national health dentistry in nineteen eighty three and forty five was pretty much all NHS open our end of the country, maybe not so much down in London, but even so, I suspect London was very NHS based as well. So there was a solid income. The secret was to make one the people come and see you. So yeah but building a bond with the community I think is one of the important things I discovered in the in the early, early stages of my career.
[00:22:51] Take Michael from that sort of early stage. You didn’t know what you were doing and as you started to learn, started to get into the community. And then I came up there just for you, sold just after you sold it just last year and this well oiled machine and got some wonderful team and everything. What were the pivotal moments along that path? It’s a big difference that that two surgery and practise to the what is it, seven surgery private.
[00:23:25] When I saw that we had eight surgeries and nothing short of 30. When I when I bought the practise, that was myself but my old boss who stayed on as an associate for a short period of time. And we had three nurses. But the you talk about the situation at the practise Payman the practise on a nice street in Sunderland. So, you know, that’s a nice residential area. Over the back of the practise is a very large council listed one side and a very large council on the other side, which in the early days with the NHS best practise was a perfect balance. Everything was NHS. We had the patient numbers, but the being no marketing. As we move on here, I’m going to talk about getting the message out. Obviously, bonding in the community I think is vital for any young Dental is wanting to know how to build this practise. You’ve got a bond in the community and I did that in a lot of different ways. But yeah, I was patient. This was absolutely huge month when I bought the practise, but both didn’t even send reminders. I thought it was too expensive to put a stamp on a reminder envelope, but couldn’t equate it to the fact that he had a failed to attend patients. I didn’t need to be a rocket science to say what you had to do there, but I’m just never a moment that I’ll criticise my own boss because I learnt so much from and going into the community what a character this man was. And, you know, he had a cigarette smoking coming to the surgery in those days and to have a cigarette in his surgery and then put the cigarettes out in the spittoon. And we did that for real.
[00:25:11] Is that for you?
[00:25:12] That is for a dispute with a surgeon with the surgery had what was it like British oxygen. And he said and I came in as a young dentist, I could spot all the things that we needed to do. So stop general anaesthetics immediately, because in those days, you could just bring children in off the street and stick Alison inside them. At that time, I just thought, what a dreadful image for dentistry this is. But that’s how it was know, the 50s and 60s. That’s that’s what happened in dentistry. But if we had to have a vision for that practise and its growth, I didn’t want to be associated with putting kids to sleep in a Dental transcending the mode with a scarf wrapped around the mouse. But I always remember you had the oxygen and nitrous oxide or whatever chin to the wall. It was like, oh, well, this factory in. And that’s just how the dentistry was in those days Payman. But I learnt a lot in this relationship building with the patients. What a lovely money.
[00:26:13] When did you start going private? Was that in the 90s
[00:26:16] As things moved on? Obviously one part of this one hundred percent loan had to be fairly stable in the early days. Couldn’t go in. Is that right? This is a private practise now. Yeah, that had to be a tipping point for that decision because actually going back to the Thatcher era, then just take over really quite nicely. In those days, we we run with separate and separate and with children and there was favorit so there was a massive incentive to work hard on the NHS and I know that the moved away from that, but maybe there was some positives that got overprescription was I would say a small issue in those days. But in moving away from Pritam, it opened the door to so many of the problems of older on the prescription. You know, the story goes I don’t know a little bit. But anyway, I went from eighty five and then I went to a talk with a guy called Stephen Noha. I don’t know whether you’ve heard that name, but I think I’ve got the name right. But he was setting up then plan and it was very much in its very early days. It was going around the country doing little talks to groups of people like me, and there was about eight or ten of us would turn up. And he had this idea of private competition scheme, which was Dental and fun in those days.
[00:27:38] And the penny dropped with me. I thought you told a lot of sense. You put some figures down, but how would work financially? And so I took a hook, line and sinker, just one of those. So this is where the risk comes in here, but the rewards both for me as a business owner, but for the patients as well, I genuinely thought that was a win win situation for all of us. So I went when I was trying to think what year that was. I bet it was nineteen eighty eight or ninety nine very early days by then. I think I had two associates working there and they didn’t follow me. But it became infectious for them as well, because they could say it was successful for me, I had quite a little bit patient base and a lot of them came up to the private side. So it showed me that it was even in some way going back to what you were saying. Someone’s not a wealthy city boys, but every city’s got patients who want value for money and are willing, even if it’s more than what the Fed previously, if they attach value to what they’re paying for, it’s going to it’s going to work for them and it’s going to work for us. So it gave me focus on customer service because on the NHS side, it was mass production.
[00:28:55] In the big numbers, there was there was times when I would say 35, 40 patients a day when I thought, there’s no way I’m going to spend the rest of my career doing this, no way whatsoever. So patients followed me. And then as things progressed from that, there was contract changes. And I started to win the argument with the associates that I think it was a fake. But actually, I’m sure there was a strike amongst that. I think I was vocal in that as well, where the government I forget, which go to Blair or I don’t know. But anyway, the fees were cut and there was uproar and it was again another tipping point. The Dental started to come along with me and we then start to invest and have a private funded facility and then the patients start to accept that. So as things stand now, I think the practise is fully private, including children. And it’s one of I was going to say ideas is my dentists, I think may be the most successful private practise I have across the country. So I’m quite proud of that. I’m quite proud of that. So to my dentist, then there’s the odd frustration. But in general, they’ve invested very hard in it and it’s continued.
[00:30:10] Yeah, it’s a testament to that, because we see this happen quite a lot with our users and all of this has kept going, that must make you feel good to
[00:30:21] Because I had worry and I actually maybe that’s unfair of me to say, but I felt that there was one or two colleagues were looking to see if this was going to fail. And I know I can’t be critical of my Dental they did everything by the book with me. I was dealing I know I had a big practise, but even so, I was just an individual in some kind of sundlun lad dealing with a very, very big, powerful corporate. And I can see how it’s easy if the buyer is unscrupulous that that seller could be trampled on. I don’t really let people jump on me very, very often, but I was aware that there was potential. So but there were fantastic. They came in the bids, the practise. They all did that bit because I thought, oh, we’ll get to the week before and then they’ll backtrack on what they’re going to do, all the things that you’d be suspicious of. But yeah, I don’t get paid by, my dentist said. But I am pleased that I stuck with my dentist. They were very good.
[00:31:27] Michael, what was the what was the turning point when you decided I want to sell it now, or did somebody walk into your practise and say, well, this is what worth?
[00:31:36] Well, what led to that? I see. That’s a good question, because it’s a pivotal moment in your career when you make that decision. Yeah, quite a few years. I’m talking maybe five or six years before. I think when you’re running a business, I mean, you guys all know you have days when you get to be think, my God, is it is is this really worthwhile? I wonder what the situation is of a solid body, blah. And then you come down in the way you move on in life. I had a period like that five or six years before I sold it. When I went in and I sat down with one of the long established associates and put it to might be in his interest to come to me with a bid for the practise, which he did. So we had the practise valued at the eleventh hour. I think it was just when the financial crisis was on the horizon. So he he was obviously stretched financially, as anybody would be to abide by the practise. And I totally understand why he would get nervous with the potential storm developing with a financial crisis. And just a few days before he was meant to complete, he contacted me and said he was he was pulling out. So that was a huge disappointment to me and to him, I suspect. But as it turned out, it was probably the best thing that happened to me, because not long after that, as the financial crisis eased, the culprits came into dentistry and the valuation of the practise went through the roof. So if it had sold at that point, he would have got himself a bargain. Looking back now and I would have lost an awful lot of money on the final sale sale of my business. So, again, going back to periods of look in your life Prav, I would say that was a lucky period, really. The sale didn’t go through. And I don’t think the associate probably has any regrets because of the hassle of running the practise. But on the financial level, you probably missed an opportunity. But these things happen in life.
[00:33:36] And what was that? What was the process like in terms of just just told me through you decide to sell it did tell the staff, did not tell the staff all the financial stuff. They were pulling everything together for them. Was that was that a stressful period or was it quite straightforward for you?
[00:33:55] Did they make it easy for you? The situation was that I just had a professional value. You get to a surge of your life where you want to know what your assets are worth. And without professional guidance, you can guess what the value was. But I actually paid for professional valuation firm who was a practise financial management. So they gave me a cost. Mahboba too. But at least I knew in black and white where I stood financially. And then I’d actually approached me. I think they were out fishing and I knew what if I was going to sell the practise, what I would want for it. So I invited the sales guy to come along and we sat and chatted and it looked as if something that would work for them. They were keen. And the thing that nudged me in favour of doing it was at the time when I thought the valuation on practise was probably as high as I could ever achieve unless I worked another five or ten years investing and growing and what have you. And I was nervous that something would happen in the industry, that the swings and roundabouts and the valuation doesn’t have gone from almost selling my practise, but 40 percent goodwill to having bids on my practise? It pretty much. One hundred percent goodwill, so thousands and thousands of pounds swing in the valuation of the business. So I was obviously wary of it going back the other way. So if somebody comes and puts serious money on the table and I was fifty seven, I think 60 was probably my end game for retirement anyway, I thought if I wait another two years and it’s not everybody that comes along with the check, we’re waiving checks like that to you.
[00:35:40] I thought you’ve got to grab and run with this. So. So we agreed to figure out the actually offered me a hundred thousand pound more than I wanted. So after all this had gone through and sold the business, but nothing Godavari to solve this by, you know, it was so keen to buy it but I just want a thousand pounds. A lot of money to me is a bonus above what I was actually for it. So but in retrospect I should have played hardball with them. But I was happy, they were happy and it meant that there was a very smooth. They came in and did all the professional valuations and everything, and we were in total agreement that they didn’t try to knock me down, which was nice. They had a vision for the practise that matched my vision for the practise because I was nervous about assets that I didn’t know what they were going to do, but they reassured me and they held the world. But but going on to what you’ve just asked me, that’s when the stress starts. So we shook hands. The negotiation gets tougher is the fine. Details come towards the end like selling your house, isn’t it, when you start negotiating the curtains and not the actual bulk of the cost of the house? But anyway, so I had this enormous secret I had to live with, which crucify me because I’m not good at hiding my feelings and my emotions. So I think I managed to keep progression under my hat for several months.
[00:37:06] But you then get to the situation where strange people are walking through the door volume and you run out of excuses for why strangers are coming in with clipboards to at business and and just stuff on your stuff on digits. I’m sure I had an inkling. But then then things progressed to the big day where you’ve got to announce to the stuff that I was very emotional day for me and it was an emotional day for the staff because I considered the team part of my family. I must have relationships with with the team and I loved working with them. That worked incredibly hard for me. And part of the the growth and the success of the practise comes not not from me, but from the people that I surround myself with. But the bottom line is you’ve just got to push through with once you’ve made that decision, you can’t get cold feet, guys. You’ve just got to push it on through and do what you got. Plenty of hurdles coming your way. I remember two weeks before the completion did the associates still hadn’t signed contracts and were haggling. You know what I probably considered I’m fine details, but that’s stay alive. So I totally respect them for what they did. We’re trying to squeeze as best they could out the company. And I think they got good compromise contract in the end. And but I remember how stressful I was thinking this is all going to come crashing down and no one in the practise and and what have you. But it went through smoothly and I think everybody was happy then. So.
[00:38:37] And what about what about the aftermath, Michael? You go from being business owner. Practise owner, the boss. Yes. To them becoming associate. Yeah, that’s. What was that like?
[00:38:51] I mean, personally, for me, I was determined to make it work, but I can’t hide the fact that it was a stressful experience because there wasn’t a day of my ownership of that business that I didn’t go in looking for opportunity, be it opportunity to have great customer service, opportunity to invest in things that I saw that would be successful for the business opportunity to market the business opportunity to build relationships with the business and a corporate, no matter how good they are. And as I said, I’m singing the praises for my dentist. They haven’t got that personal touch. And so they come in and they have business managers. And if I’m being honest and for want of a better word, I was Krumpet running my business in some respects on the phone. I run it on sale Payman. So how did you do that? It came from fail, really. And then every now and then I’d end up with the accounts of what you do and what you’re doing. And they keep putting me back on track. And I had a great solicitor who limited my stupid ideas and said, Michael, don’t do that.
[00:39:53] So you’ve got to surround yourself with good professional advisors, because if you shoot from the hip all the time, as I’ve got a habit of doing, you can make some mistakes. But corporates don’t do that. They’ve got bottom line profitability, blah, blah, blah. And I found it difficult to. Did not environment, but as I said, I was determined to live in that environment. And but after two and a half years, I would find it a bit of a stretch. And when you’d work too hard and all the fine, successful business is about fine details, guys. You know that, don’t you? The big stuff, every every business you bump into does the big stuff pretty well. It’s the ones that do the fine details well at a restaurant that Dental practise, whatever you’re talking about, it’s the fine details that matter. And on a corporate level, those fine details sometimes get overlooked for the big decisions of buying a hundred thousand pound scanners and putting the carpet down in the waiting room. So I find that a little frustrating.
[00:40:55] And so we tied into those two and a half years or we tied him for longer, did you negotiate? Oh, yes, I was.
[00:41:02] I was tied into that was the contract was two and a half years Prav, as I said, at the initial negotiating position with four years and four years at the time. Four years, my God. That endless but two and a half years flow. So four years would probably fly as well. But I just psychologically to me, the thought of signing a piece of paper, not knowing whether I was going to enjoy my talian period for two and a half years, I thought was a gentlemen’s agreement and a compromise. And I’ve got to say, I enjoyed the two and a half years, but I always went I could see things I wanted to do and I just had to sit and be an associate and industry, which I enjoyed. And I did miss the influence that I could have in the business. So that was probably the tipping point for accepting retirement. I could also say that dentistry was changing from the dentistry that I loved in the early days and for most of my career where it was about relationship building, it was moving into relationships with patients and sign this and I’ve told you this, and this is what we’re going to do. And I’d like to think that for thirty four years I was a dentist. I did everything with the patient’s interests at heart. Obviously, I had a business to run. But the bottom line is I don’t think I ever did anything to a patient that I didn’t think was right and didn’t think it was something that they wanted.
[00:42:25] And we’re in agreement with me. And this taking away that trust relationship that I had with the public. And, you know, I had an incident where I did a beautiful job for patients towards the end of my career, and she tried to get the better of me. And I’ve never been sued in my whole career. Payman, I’ve got something I’m really proud of. This lady got a fabulous job and she tried to make some money out of threatening legal action. And I’ve got to say, that left a really bad taste in my mouth at the end of my career. And she was a cheat. And I’ve got to say, the Dental protection. BUCKMEIER all the way to a barrister, she never turned up. She just kept threatening and threatening hope and she was going to get a payoff. And I’ve got to say that by Dental protection were magnificent in backing me. She never turned up the code. So I left with my head held high. And if you’re asking me, have I got any memories of practise lives that left a bad taste, that’s probably the only one. But it’s going back to what I was saying. Why did I lose a bit of energy for it? Because that trust relationship started to be taken out of dentistry. But I think it goes for any business, doesn’t it? You’ve got to you’ve got to work out your contracts and you know what have you.
[00:43:47] Michael, this feeling that I had when I talk to your people was they were empowered, No one more than most practises when you talk to talk to the nurse and she’s she’s buying all three of something and you say, hey, why don’t you buy 12? And she would say, sure, let’s do that. It was very rare people. It was it was about the time when I was actually the one picking up the phone. So I would I would say the same thing to different practise. And they would say, well, I got to go ask the boss or whatever it was. Your team, your team was so empowered. Give us some give us some of the key team facts, factors that you managed to get such a wonderful team that was so, so, so loyal to you and so into the patients and customer service and all of that.
[00:44:38] That’s interesting. Or you make that happen because that’s one thing I know is the practise gets bigger. A lot of owners of practises can’t let go. And if you do that, won’t you restrict the potential of your practise in his staff? But you stress yourself to bits as well. And I’m not a big one to let myself get stressed. So I wanted a nice life. And I think if you asked me what the number one success to running a big Dental practise is, you’ve got to surround yourself with people that are better at that job. Somebody told me this early on and it just resonated with me. I always try to employ people who were better job than I could ever be, and that obviously wasn’t very difficult. But so I brought good dentists in so I could rely on them just to get on and treat the patients right. The practise management team, the nursing staff. I looked for very, very friendly people. First of all, going back to the story, because we all I don’t think it’s a difficult thing to run a good business. You’ve just got to have the right people working hard and believing in what you’re doing.
[00:45:44] Payman. So and the other thing is, if you bring the wrong people in, if they’re in a good team, they get fined very, very quickly. So going on to your point about empowerment, I trusted the staff to do the right thing because they had people watching for me and I didn’t have to come knocking on my door and said, oh, Jimmy’s not doing his job properly. I could tell by the body language in the team if we’ve got somebody who wasn’t delivering because it reflected on the rest of the team as well. Payman. So but you you can sense when you’re working with a big team like that, who are the top performers, and they tended to be given the positions of responsibility. But everybody, whatever they were doing, I just let go. And if a problem arose, we dealt with it and it tended to work well. And I think it meant that the people working at the practise enjoyed working there because they had that freedom to express themselves as well. So surround yourself with better people than you. And you’re in business,
[00:46:44] Michael, you must be one of the earliest practises to start doing present in nineteen eighty eight. That was still very, very early.
[00:46:54] It was. And again, this goes back to fair and risk.
[00:46:59] What is it, what is it about you, what is it about you that makes you be the person to make that jump.
[00:47:07] Yeah, I think I’m a natural risk taker and I don’t have any, any ability. I’m pretty good at maximising. So if if I think I’m working hard on something that there’s too much hard work going into it for the reward that’s coming out. I look to go down a different road and I also am on the private side. Didn’t want to spend thirty, thirty five years of my life just drilling holes, taking money off people. And I could see most, most satisfaction, a big part of it if I had to blow my own trumpet building up this relationship with the Persians. And if you’re saying thirty five patients a day. Building up that relationship is mighty, mighty tricky, to be honest. So I value the extra time that I got on the private side. I didn’t actually make the rich person, but there was this perception at the time and there was resistance, of course, but there’s a perception always made and he’s wanted to do that. So I could actually, for a large chunk of my career, have been a rich dentist by having a large NHS contract and probably the sale of my practise as well. So there’s a misconception probably in the public, maybe not in the profession, but in the public, that private dentistry is all about lining the pockets of a dentist. I can say you’ve got to work pretty hard on the private side to to run a profitable practise, guys. But you’re well aware of that, aren’t you?
[00:48:37] So did you have much help, Michael, with from people who weren’t in dentistry? I mean, at the end of it, they were definitely very, very linked up to the movers and shakers of Sunderland. Did you talk to those people about the way they were running their other businesses? Get any help from them?
[00:48:56] Yeah, if I wrote one or two things down before we started this chat, what became clear to me, if you were going to go down the private side, we have to move away from dentistry where the dentist had a bracelet on his door and was almost on an ego trip with the brass plate. And that was his statement in the community that it was present. And in the early days of dentistry, we weren’t allowed to advertise. So we had loads of patients. There was an NHS facility. The door opened on a morning and I walked everybody. But if you’re going to go down the private side, you’ve got to have a totally different mindset to guarantee the success of your business. And one of the mindsets is getting comfortable with marketing. And it’s no good being good as a dentist in the world, not knowing that you’re good because a lot of patients aren’t aware of what’s a good dentist, the buttons. And that sticks in the throat a little bit because there’s very inequality’s in dentistry. But you’ve got to get the message out to the public as to why they should come and see you. Now, I had no experience of that whatsoever, and I actually was taken down the road to meet somebody. You’ll have heard of Tony Gege, who at the time is running marketing Pirates of Penzance, which is an abrasive name for a company.
[00:50:14] But he had this public that the public marketing model, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s no good just being in this world. You’ve got to be Knickerbocker glory. I always remember. So if you’re running a business, you’re kind of just a grey walls and a grey front door. You’ve got to have, you know, it’s like for the public, I want to say a little. So it took me out of my comfort zone and had me thinking in different directions about the patient perception of my business, because most dentists turn out similar standard of work. So you’ve got to get the message out to people. Now, that ruffled a few feathers in the early days because marketing wasn’t a big thing in the late 80s. And he’s the young dentist whippersnapper up the road doing private dentistry and just gently pushing the boundaries really on marketing. Those boundaries are miles away now from where we are in marketing dentistry with video on YouTube and Instagram. But in those days when 90 percent of people had a brass plate on the door and that was the marketing, the next step was YellowPages. And everybody thought they were big and bold by being in YellowPages. And then this guy, Tony Gates, comes along to me and the others doing all sorts of stupid things and
[00:51:31] Go into the still some of the things that you did. I mean, was it crazy headlines, some newspaper ads
[00:51:38] Just changing the form of newspaper and instead of Michelotto the ten twenty seven down road Sandland, you know, you might have seen the advert that he actually advised me against. I got involved in to think dentistry, which also is a big opportunity with other practises. Not if you can look after a patient with pain, you’re going to build a good reputation with that patient. So I took a picture of myself pointing my finger like your country needs your type finger. Yeah, and I was stupid enough to run that as an advert in the paper. I’m sure I took a whole load of abuse from a local dentist, but it’s the most probably the most successful thing I ever did in marketing because people associate that this idiot pointing a finger at them to a telephone number that could ring to get a toothache sorted out. So I just try trying to be quirky. I also was lucky enough to become someone football clubs, dentist. In the early days, the club secretary came in as a patient, probably nineteen eighty seven, 88, and the football club didn’t have to touch dentists. So it was a door that I walked straight through and I had a funny. Fosdick, 20 year association with Tournament Football Club in which I built great relationships with footballers and footballers, are a big part of the community in Sunderland and it’s amazing how you get the tackle trade.
[00:53:03] The football is so whether it’s right or not, it elevates your status in the community so that not only that, but that also in the back of that truck to the people who were quite well known in the community as well. So again, that’s a big part of marketing, a private property. You see it these days, and successful dentists associated with well-known citizens for. But being quick, the wording over the years is working in this particular Knickerbocker glory. And the other thing he told me was, if if you don’t think you can do it, you must do it. That’s another 20 gauge thing. And that’s going to risk taking that we were talking about. Guys that we all come across, hurdles don’t. And we like, oh, my God, I can’t do this. And I just look back to what he told me. And I think if I don’t think I can do it, I’m damn well going to do it. And I get around that hurdle. So you’ve got to come out of your comfort zone to live your life like that.
[00:53:58] There must have been occasions where you must have thought about buying a second or third more practises,
[00:54:05] But you never did. I did have an opportunity in the cancer to remember the guy’s name, but we wanted to set up a mini corporate panel and they wanted me to come down to London and how big they were trying to hedge fund all the performing private dentists in the country to join the group. The problem was that were a few million quid from input free money. And if I was at the beginning of my career and the opportunity came along, I may have taken that further. But once I was I think I was fifty five at the time at fifty five to put all my eggs in one basket when I worked so hard for 30 years to build on what was quite the big asset anyway. Yeah. And I was where did I meet them. In Bond Street and panelled office and I looked around, I saw this guy means business
[00:55:01] We’ve all met people like that helped me politically go on in my life. But I came away from it and I thought, no, it’s not something I need at this stage in my life, get involved in trying to help. And God knows he wanted me to buy the practises in the NHS and turn them private. I didn’t mind that might have worked, but I don’t think so. And I looked in my only stage. I did go to buy into the practise in Sunderland and when I went in I was just so run down my account. Such a well-established dentist and the I looked around and he had a recovery room that had a double bed in. Can you imagine these days where I just had a double bed. And so when you were coming around from your Gillanders, they put the patient in bed. I suspect I may have gotten from the professional tribunal, but the goodwill value of the boot was just about non-existent. So I think I offered a thousand pound for practise, but it worked 30 years of his life and he didn’t accept that was as near as that. Got to buy another practise and.
[00:56:09] I know we’re we’re a little bit short on time, but I do the two other things I want to cover with you, Michael. Yes. Number one, your photography. I would you’re one of my favourite photographers who says semi-professional wildlife. Well, when did you learn that? Was it was it did it come from Dental?
[00:56:29] No, my father in the days when cameras were a little Kodak photographies, moved on incredibly with this technology, doesn’t it? But I always remember my once in my twenty first birthday, I was married to Robert. She bought me a nice cowman camera and sowed the seeds. But the technology excites me that the improvement in technology I remember buying the very first Sony digital camera. I spent nine hundred times in Florida. I like gadgets like you. Probably done nine hundred pounds for a camera that you put a floppy disk in and you can capture the images despite trying to the moon image on the screen. And people thought it was fun. But you have to join the dots to form a photograph that was so pixilated and moved on and on and on. And it’s very kind of you to comment on my photography. But this is a big help comes from the technology these days. Before that, if some of the images that I’ve taken recently of flying hours and
[00:57:34] Amazing and I
[00:57:36] Mean, the cameras help as well. But I’ve got the freedom to get behind the scenes with wildlife photography. You don’t realise how much time you’ve got with sitting waiting for a red squirrel to walk across in front of you. It’s got to through look down. I’ve you know, I’ve been out and about with my camera in the fresh air, and I’m lucky enough to be in the position that I’ve travelled to some nice places. So I ended up with the Arctic. You might have seen the polar bear shot. Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. A grizzly bear shot in British Columbia. I’m lined up to go to India in November to take photographs of tigers in the wild. And so it is a passion. I do enjoy it. I do it reasonably well and but it gets me on the boat. So but I think if you’re going to sorry if you’re going to retire, you’ve got to be careful to fill in the gaps. And I’m lucky that photography tells a lot of gaps in my retirement.
[00:58:33] So is what is retired life like for you now? Was it the day you hung up your drill or whatever it was, was a big weight off your shoulders?
[00:58:42] It was an important emotion. I remember I can visualise the last person. It was a friend. And I remember I finished on the Thursday. On the Friday morning, I flew to Seattle with my wife and then we flew to Alaska and I did a bucket list trip. But the day after I retired and it’s just in some respects as an undeclared, you get excited about it and then it just it was like qualification. I always remember it just the day after everything falls a little bit strange and why I was slipped off the cliff here. But I’ve no regrets, guys. I had a wonderful career. I met some brilliant people, a lot of whom I still stay in contact with. I miss the social interaction with the patients and the nurses and the other dentists. That was what kept me going really through my career, the relationships I built up with the staff and the patients. I met some fantastic people coming through the door, some interesting characters and yeah, from footballers to just people in the community, all really nice people.
[00:59:47] So who is your dentist
[00:59:49] Now, Michael? I go into practise and one of the lady dentists is largely dental patient, as you would expect. And she holds my hand and gets me through a check opened. But there’s a great team of dentists, all of us still. And that’s that’s another thing that I like about what’s up with a practise, because you invest a lot of emotion and it’s still got my name over the door. Guys, it’s always dental practise still. And it would have upset me badly if the reputation of the business had gone downhill. But they rang me the other day. I want to knock a broom through to put it into the surgery. And so I think private practise is going quite nicely. And I think the strains on the NHS telling people seeking out private dentistry. So it’s nice on the back of a pandemic that I thought would hit them hard. They seem to be doing all right. I asked them,
[01:00:47] Did the Peter McQuillan was was that
[01:00:51] What a song Peter was he he just reflects everything I think about our private practise is such a tough guy as a friend and I still keep in contact with her is he’s got a great image as a good looking guy. He’s a good boy. He understands he’s got to try and do dentistry. That’s high quality. If you’re going to be in the private sector, you’ve got a pretty good quality dentistry.
[01:01:17] Who’s going to ask you about your charity work? Throughout the time you were there? You were doing charity.
[01:01:23] But that comes actually, yes. I could barely stand up today. I didn’t if I. Miles on the bike, which is ridiculous, but wow, that was to raise some money for some Land Foundation, which is a charity, and you very kindly sponsored me in the past to do some wonderful work in the community of nations, that it goes back to what I was saying about community involvement. I think it is important that you have that involvement in the community and it’s giving back argument made me feel better and the patients liked it and supported it as well. And I did the coast, of course, last weekend and the charity called Red Sky, that there a lot of work with children, heart patients. But I think the charity side was instilled in me with Tony Gege as well, because he said Mavericks and the Mavericks. You approached me right at the word go, said, Michael. Do you want to get involved in something I want to set up? We’re going to go to a little village in Morocco and treat the kids. They’ve never seen a dentist. And there was, you might know, just some fun to just under the sun. And there was a few of us then. And we turned up. I was taking out the kids at the mountains in schools. And that really so decidedly that’s one of the most emotional and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Go to Morocco with Tony and the Dental Mavericks and the credit to me. It’s continued on Khalik. I just pushed it on as well there in Beirut. And they’re getting some difficult places and they’re doing some wonderful work and still in Morocco as well. So but I fell in love with Morocco. The people are just wonderful. And I did some dentistry. I never thought I would say with buckets and. And the best thing I could talk endlessly about, but I’ve got some wonderful memories of Morocco and working with the kids and become a celebrity in Morocco, when you turn off the Dental and.
[01:03:22] Yeah, like what was what was looking back on your career. And it’s so lovely. It’s all centred on this one practise. You’ve only worked in that one practise so beautiful. But what were the darkest days? When was what were the bits that you might do differently?
[01:03:41] It might be easy to say, oh, you’ve got a wonderful practise in your relationship that you can’t go through thirty four years without having stresses on relationships with some team members and. You know, I maybe got involved in some emotional things with the team that led to a breakdown in relationship with those staff members. I’m not talking about relationships with the staff members. I’m talking professional relationships. But maybe in retrospect, I should have let somebody else handle rather than put my hands up. If I saw a bubble and needed lancing, sometimes I went in and lands the ball and sometimes it needs somebody, maybe a little more diplomatic than I was. I haven’t got many regrets in that respect. And sometimes the decisions are made possibly. Right. But how they handled is important. So I’ve had some relationships with staff that have broken down and I would say I would regret because I’ve always thought the people I’ve worked with were nice people. But on the whole, I can’t think of too many things that I would say I was in a black hole with with the practise. This time, I felt the pressure and stress of taking the risks that I’ve just told you guys about. But that makes it an exciting ride as well, especially when those risks tend to turn out successfully. But you have time to do with yourself when it’s difficult, difficult times. When Mr. Hudson, my boss, as I said, a lovely man, had a heart attack. The stress on me as a 20 year old Dental is going in one morning having to run a Dental practise, which you wouldn’t be able to do these days. But I took you learn pretty quick, guys, I’ll tell you. But that was a dark time when he was struggling with his health.
[01:05:29] I friend.
[01:05:31] But no, I can’t really come out with anything that would excite the audience about it. I was very lucky.
[01:05:41] It’s been lovely speaking to you, Michael. We’ve got a game to get to,
[01:05:47] A point where you can celebrate just
[01:05:55] By the time this goes out. But if this goes well, the audience will be very happy with it.
[01:06:03] Oh, let’s hope so.
[01:06:04] That prevents this with the same questions. Every time I if you don’t indulge in
[01:06:12] Fire away from
[01:06:14] Michael and imagine it’s your last day on the planet and you and you surrounded by your loved ones, your nearest and dearest, and you can leave them with three pieces of wisdom. Three pieces of advice for life, what would they be?
[01:06:35] Something that my parents instilled in me is honesty and I hate dishonesty. I think sometimes people present has been dismissed when really it’s just they’ve been unlucky. But I think if you can go through your life and look at yourself in the mirror in the morning when you’re having a shift and know that you haven’t treated anybody, I think that’s one thing that I hope my children have picked up from me. I think working hard is brings its rewards. I don’t think things will come to you without a lot of a lot of hard work and commitment. And I think I’ve tried that and I don’t know, it’s just just trying to be nice to people sometimes find it difficult to be nice to people that are not nice to me, but just trying to be generous with my time in my life. If somebody asked me to do something I like to think I would do it for them. And yeah, but I think no one I would say is understanding how I try. And I try not to be dishonest because it’s it’s not a good characteristic.
[01:07:38] So I think. And how would you like to be remembered if somebody said Michael was. Finish that sentence off the.
[01:07:52] Michael was a grumpy old ogre, but his heart was in the right place. I’m sure I’m most grateful when I get sick of the sound of my own voice sometimes guys. But I’d like people to think I was well-intentioned and I hope I’ve left a mark on the planet anyway. When I go, I think I hope somebody will say something positive from what I’ve done. Maybe not everything I’ve done, but I’ve really, really
[01:08:21] Enjoyed this conversation, Michael. And just I’m smiling all the way throughout. And Payman is as well, because when we’re listening to you, is this real sense of not really thinking too hard about what you say and not really thinking too hard about what you’ve done over your career. It’s the whole conversation has been very much matter of fact and say as it is, with very old fashioned values that go a long way. That’s what that’s what I’m drawn away from this.
[01:08:51] And I always think of Michael is one of the gents, one of the gentlemen of our profession.
[01:08:55] Well, you guys, in the best time I’ve had for a long time and I’ve been in a mess and you’ve lifted my spirits. And I thought,
[01:09:07] Let me ask you one final question, Michael. Let’s say you are the days left. Well, what would you do for those 30 days,
[01:09:16] 30 days at oh, my goodness, I am not waiting for that red squirrel. Oh, I think, you know, if I would, I would surround myself with my kids. I’m having a tough time at the moment because my daughter lives in Melbourne. And you know that if we wanted to get a home, she could go home. But I think she’s enjoying working at a restaurant. But I’m usually my other two kids that you’re into. Turn one works in the city. One’s a nurse, a children’s nurse. They make me grow in my life. I would I would spend some time with them together. I’d probably try and get a flight to the Arctic and spend some time in a place where you can just sit and it’s totally unspoiled and you’re surrounded by nature. It’s the most exhilarating, exhilarating experience I’ve had. And I’d probably go take some pictures. I don’t know what would I say, pictures of dolphins or something. But I wouldn’t I wouldn’t pick up a golf club, guys, because I would trust me if I want to thing in retirement. Just don’t waste your time following the golf ball around a field like stirringly. Now, I was addicted to it originally, but there’s a lot more to life than a golf golf driving range. But I have met some great people. So, no, I just I don’t want to leave anything undone on this. I try to do as much as I can with my life as I possibly can achieve. So, yeah, I’ve I’ve still got a lot of living left to do. Thank you.
[01:10:50] My lovely to have it. An absolute pleasure. Really enjoyed today. Thank you so much for doing this.
[01:10:56] Extremely well guys. Thanks for asking me to do this. I was a little nervous about it, but it’s liberating actually to have a look back over your career. And as I say, I’ve been lucky and maybe I’ve left a small mark on the industry. So that’s not really a day goes by when I don’t realise how lucky I am. But when I went into dentistry, you know, I’ve had a fabulous career and I hope I’ve left a small imprint on the profession, maybe maybe upset some people, but I didn’t intend to. And I thought I tried my best.
[01:11:30] Yeah, I think you inspired me. I think people listening to this will definitely be inspired
[01:11:37] This piece. Dental Leaders the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders on the street. Your house, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
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