Category: Business

Office Skills!

Office Skills!

I’m sharing this here due to popular request! I apologize to everyone who is not in my field; these posts are not going contain much that can hold your interest. I’ll get back to rambling about other topics later this week.

Back Office Skills

This is the “skills checklist” we give to new members of our back office team. They can bring it with them when they request raises if they want to.

Obviously, this is not going to be super useful if you are not in our particular field (orthodontics). Even if you are in this field, you will want to design a skills list that fits your unique practice, team, and office culture.

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$500k of Business Debt Bites the Dust

$500k of Business Debt Bites the Dust

Honestly, it’s mind blowing for me to write this post. I have major imposter syndrome anytime I even think about numbers this high.

And before we go any farther: please don’t send me messages telling me I’m limiting myself by “not thinking big” or some such nonsense. These are freaking huge numbers. And not only on a global scale (where the median household income is under 10k) but in the USA as well (where the median household income is about $61k) and even in the shiny bubble of doctor salaries that I live in, where the average individual income is anywhere from $100k to $300k depending on your specialty and time in practice and blah blah blah.

So, yes, it feels crazy to write this post. It’s also really fun for me to write this post, because I’ve been waiting impatiently for this day ever since I realized it was within my grasp this calendar year.

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The Infamous Operating Agreement, Part 4

The Infamous Operating Agreement, Part 4

Make sure you have read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 before you read on.

This fourth and last (and longest!) post about our operating agreement probably contains one of the most critical sections – the details on how we agreed to run the show day to day. You’ll also find our agreements about indemnity (snoozefest, but still important), non-competes and other restrictive covenants, and some miscellaneous agreements that we felt were important. Schedule B and C toward the end were the agreements that each of our spouses signed.

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The Infamous Operating Agreement, Part 3

The Infamous Operating Agreement, Part 3

Before diving into this post, read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

In this third post about our operating agreement, you’ll see how we handle money (income and losses) as well as our plans for the depressing events of injury, death, or divorce of a partner. We also made plans for what we will do if we want to sell our shares of the business (you’ll see that we designed future sale terms so the junior partner is incentivized not to sell until at least 10 years after their buy-in), add a new partner, or liquidate our company.

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The Infamous Operating Agreement, Part 2

The Infamous Operating Agreement, Part 2

If you haven’t already, read Part 1 here.

This second post about our operating agreement covers how we assigned rights and duties of our “manager” (which we decided would be one of us) as well as rights and duties of all business partners. Per our agreement, none of us – including the manager – can make any big decisions or changes to the business without the agreement of the other members/partners in the business. We designed it that way on purpose.

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The Infamous Operating Agreement, Part 1

The Infamous Operating Agreement, Part 1

This is what I get asked about the most when talking about my business partnership – this lengthy, complex agreement that took us the better part of a year to put together and is one of the big reasons our partnership has remained strong (and fun) for over 5 years while 70% of business partnerships fall apart around us.

Note: if you are not interested in business partnership agreements, stop reading now. Our OA is about as wordy as the Treaty of Versailles (although arguably much more successful), and the only interesting photos in these OA posts will be the banner pics. 

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Why Business Partnerships Might Just be Perfect for Millennials

Why Business Partnerships Might Just be Perfect for Millennials

Millennials are changing the workplace. Love ’em or hate ’em, this is a reality.

And it’s a reality we’ll all have to deal with for the next several years, since the tail end of the Millennial generation is just starting to graduate college, move back in with their parents, and apply to part-time jobs so they can spend 20 hours per week at rallies protesting student loans.

Haha! I’m totally kidding. Sort of.

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Teaching Your Employees How to Ask for a Raise

Teaching Your Employees How to Ask for a Raise

I believe that we should be teaching our employees how to be successful – not just in their specific roles in our business but also in their own career paths as the professional men and women they are. This means they need to know how to ask for raises and negotiate pay.

I don’t do raises or performance reviews just because another calendar year has passed. I meet with my employees when I need to or want to. I have an “open door” policy that allows my employees to schedule time to meet with me when they feel the need. This has worked well for my particular business.

I want my employees to love their jobs. I want to empower them to ask for the things they want out of their job, including raises.

The instructions below were written with the help of an excellent employee of mine who has been with me for four years.

Here is what I ask my employees to do when they feel they have earned a raise:

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FAQs on Student Debt, Loan Forgiveness, and Refinancing

FAQs on Student Debt, Loan Forgiveness, and Refinancing

Okay friends, I’m starting to get questions about student loans pretty frequently from my fellow doctors. It’s some version of “Good for you for getting your student debt under control and all, but WTF am I supposed to do about mine?”

Usually the more detailed questions go something like the following, so let’s go through them one at a time and I’ll do my very best to answer in a reasonably helpful way:

How did you decide what to do about your loans?

Great question!

Here’s why we decided to destroy our student loans, as well as the update on our progress from May of 2018.

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Doctors with Money Problems

Doctors with Money Problems

I was just about done with the original version of this post when the Wall Street Journal published this article with the apparent goal of making my profession look like it’s composed entirely of Tesla drivers who can’t do math.

This article of course popped up almost immediately in my social media doctor groups and in my social media finance / FIRE groups and got thousands of comments and shares and emoticon reactions.

The doctor group’s reaction was largely along the lines of “No one understands what doctors go through, student loans are the worst, school costs so much, the educational system / federal loan program is oh-so-broken, etc.” The FIRE group’s reaction was (to bring it down to PG vocabulary): “Stop whining and pay back your debts like you said you would, you spoiled rich brats.”

Things got so exciting that Dave Ramsey got involved.

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