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Celebrity cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman has practiced for over 30 years in the Beverly Hills area and is known as the ‘America’s Dentist.’  He has transformed the smiles of celebrities such as Katy Perry, Usher, Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Jackman, Jessica Simpson, Mark Wahlberg and Eva Longoria, among many others.

In this interview, Dr. Dorfman shares life lessons that have guided him to pursue success and happiness. In addition, Dorfman discusses how believing in yourself can change your life, how to recognize and capitalize on opportunities, and the value of giving back.

Dr. Bill is the founder of the non-profit LEAP Foundation. LEAP is a week-long motivational/leadership program taught at UCLA every summer to more than 400 students between 15-25+.

More than just a dentist, Dr. Bill Dorfman is an author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, TV personality, health and fitness enthusiast, proud father of 3 daughters, and much more!

– Dr. Bill Dorfman

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Dr. Bill Dorfman

Topics covered in the interview

Dr. Dorfman’s business
Image in business
Lessons from childhood
Confidence is currency
Confidence versus arrogance
Commit to not quitting
Practice makes permanent
Copy Genius

Dr. Bill Dorman’s Bio

Celebrity cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman has been practicing for over 30 years in the Beverly Hills area and has had a career unparalleled to any other dentist in history!

He has transformed the smiles of celebrities such as Katy Perry, Usher, Anthony Hopkins, Fergi, Hugh Jackman, Michael Strahan, Jessica Simpson, Mark Wahlberg and Eva Longoria, among many others.

Dr. Bill was the only dentist featured on ABC’s hit show Extreme Makeover, and is currently a recurring guest co-host on the CBS Emmy Awarded daytime talk show, The Doctors.

Referred to as the ‘Michael Jordan of Dentistry,’ he has also appeared on numerous TV shows including Larry King Live, Oprah, Access Hollywood, E!, Extra,  and Entertainment Tonight.

As the founder of Discus Dental – one of the world’s leading dental companies – he helped lead the company from its inception to more than $1.3 BILLION in sales primarily with award-winning tooth whitening products such as ZOOM! and BriteSmile.

Dr. Bill has received 20 lifetime achievement awards, 2 Guinness Book of World Records, is a New York Times Bestselling Author, and recently was the first dentist ever Knighted by the Royal Order of Constantine.

As a passionate philanthropist, together with country singer Garth Brooks and the Crown Council of Dentists, he has helped raise more than $44 million for children’s charities.

Dr. Bill is also the founder of the non-profit LEAP Foundation. LEAP is a week-long motivational/leadership program taught at UCLA every summer to more than 400 students between the ages of 15-25+.

More than just a dentist, Dr. Bill Dorfman is an author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, TV personality, health and fitness enthusiast, proud father of 3 daughters, and much more!

Follow Dr. Bill Dorfman

Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Dr. Bill Dorfman 00:00
I think that having confidence is really supported by achievements. Whereas arrogance is just inflated. You know, baloney.

Welcome to the Susan sly project where entrepreneurs rule startups launch and the side hustle becomes the main hustle. Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Susan Sly.

Susan Sly 00:30
Well, hey, everyone, wherever you are all over the world, I just want to send you some love and acknowledgement. I'm so excited. You're here. My guest today has been on ABCs hit television show Extreme Makeover. He is a recurring guest and co host on the CBS Emmy award winning daytime talk show The Doctors. He's referred to as the Michael Jordan of dentistry. I mean, well, we'll be talking about that he has appeared on Larry King Live and it's something we have in common. Both knowing the former now deceased Mr. King, Oprah, Access Hollywood, E!, Extra and Entertainment Tonight. He is a celebrity cosmetic dentist who has been practicing for over 30 years. But if you go over to Raw & Real Entrepreneurship on YouTube, you're not going to understand how that is because you'll wonder if he started practicing when he was five. He has two Guinness Book of World Records, which is incredible. He's a New York Times bestselling author. He was the first dentist ever knighted by the Royal Order of Constantine. He's also a dad, a passionate philanthropist and an outstanding human. So with that, Dr. Bill Dorfman, thanks for being here.

Dr. Bill Dorfman 01:46
Thanks so much, Susan. It's an honor.

Susan Sly 01:50
Well, let's jump in. I want to ask you this burning question right away. What was the first business you ever started?

Dr. Bill Dorfman 01:59
Oh, my gosh. I mean, the very first business, cliche, lemonade stand. I mean, you know, eight years old, living in Granada Hills, which is in the San Fernando Valley, and it's hot in the summer like 100 degrees. My best friend who I'm still good friends with. Brad Sherman and I set up our little lemonade stand in a way we went.

Susan Sly 02:26
Did you? So I asked all of our guests that question and we I've had several different lemonade stand stories I've had, you know, doing laundry for people in college, all sorts of different things. What is something from that initial business that you started with Brad that is perhaps something you, maybe it's a philosophy or a, an attitude that you would say you still have today?

Dr. Bill Dorfman 02:54
Um, I mean, image is everything in business, you know, I mean, our lemonade stand was spotless, we had the best sign. We, you know, I mean, it was just it, I mean, he and I are both overly compulsive. It was, like, meticulously set up. And we had our little cash blocks. And like, we were like, we were on it. You know, I mean, that actually wasn't my first job. My first job was as a gardener, when I was five. We grew up pretty poor. And, you know, my parents, what I wanted this toy or something. And they said, well get a job. Well, what could a five year old do? So, I started pulling weeds for my neighbors and I got, I don't know, 25 cents an hour. And I pulled weeds. And then I did that until I was old enough to get a real job, which was babysitting. And I did that. And then my mother was a nursery school teacher, so they hired me as a janitor. So I would come out to school and clean up the nursery school. And then when I was legally able to work, I got my first real job at at Ralph's grocery store. And then I upgraded to Swensen's ice cream parlor. And literally I started working at five. I have never not worked my entire life. All through school I worked, I've always worked and, and I've had a lot of really weird bizarre jobs, but I've always worked and I've always made money.

Susan Sly 04:34
What is the job that you've had that's very bizarre that people might not read about in the news or hear about on Extra?

Dr. Bill Dorfman 04:45
Okay, this is probably the most bizarre, I don't ever really talk about this. It's kind of funny. So when I started dental school, I had an aunt and uncle that lived up in San Francisco near the school that I didn't really know that well, because we never lived that close. I mean, you know, I saw them at family events and stuff. And so when I started school, they had me over for breakfast. And, you know, they said, hey, we'd really like to help you with school, we're going to give, you know, $500 a month, which was a lot of money back in 19, you know, 80. And, and I'm like, wow, that's really nice. I appreciate it. But, you know, I, I don't even know when I'll be able to pay you back. They said, No, we're not loaning you, we're giving you. So I was very appreciative. And about a year later, my aunt calls me like, panicked. And, and I said, What's wrong? She goes, Look, I have a huge favor to ask him. Like, don't even ask, I'll do it. She goes, No, no, no, you need to hear it first. I'm like, I'm like, I'm just telling you, whatever you need me to do. I will do for you. You have been so incredibly kind. Well, her best friend was having her bachelorette party. And the male entertainment canceled. Like 30 minutes before the party, he was sick. And she needed entertainment. And now this is something I had never done before. And I said, I said, well, I can do this. But you're getting, like, speed up. I mean, like, I'll take off my club, but you're getting speed like no jockstrap. No. And she's like, We'll take it. I did that. And apparently, her friends liked it. Because I got to do that again a few times. And it was pretty funny when you come home from work and you're getting undressed, and there's like dollar bills falling out your clothes. But the weirdest thing was like two months after that, I went to my to my cousin, her son, his soccer game. And as I was walking to the seat, I realized all the women in the audience, the soccer moms, were all pointing at me and showing me to their husband. So I would say that was the most bizarre thing I've ever done.

Susan Sly 07:27
So Channing Tatum if you're listening, Dr. Dorfman is a yes to the next Magic Mike movie. He's got some moves.

Dr. Bill Dorfman 07:37
Yeah, I wasn't so magical. But it was actually really funny.

Susan Sly 07:42
It's, it's, I love that you're so candid about that. Because the, one night in LA, I was doing a speaking event the next day with John Assaraf, and a bunch of people and I'm sitting there and I can't sleep. I'm in the hotel, and I'm watching A&E biography. And it was Natalie Cole. And I'll never forget this. She said, You only see the glory, You don't know the story. And so people can look at you and they're like, oh, he's been on television and you know the, your company's, zoom, BrightSmile. Over 103 point billion dollars in sales and they can look at all of this success and not know that origin story. And I would love if you would share, you and I, before we went into recording mode, We're talking about your childhood. And that you came from very humble beginnings. And the question I have for you have had so many guests who've endured trauma, poverty, Brandon Steiner, he was on food stamps. What is a lesson you learned from childhood or hardship you endured that has helped shape the person you are today?

Dr. Bill Dorfman 08:54
I mean, we'll talk about my LEAP Foundation in a little bit. But kids always come up to me and say, Dr. Bill, Dr. Bill, what's the secret of success? And I'm like, It's no secret. Work your bums off. That's the secret. I have always worked hard. You know, my parents never pushed me. My parents literally had no clue. I mean, when I applied to UCLA, I did it all on my own. You know, the, the acceptance letter comes in the mail. I opened it at dinner. I'm like, Mom, Dad, I got into UCLA. They're like, Oh, sweetie, that's so nice. Congratulations. When my kids got into their colleges. I feel like I got accepted. Like, I did the applications with them. I hired the woman who helped me. I mean, it was like a whole, my parents literally had no clue. I mean, I was just, I'm just, I'm not a normal person. I was born different. And I realized that at a very early age I was, I was in kindergarten, I'm five years old. And I came home. My first day, my parents said, you know, son, how's school? I said, you know, school is okay. But the people, my class are so immature. I'm five, who does that? Then a year later, I come home at six. And I told my parents, I wanted to have a conference with them. They're like, a conference? I say, yes. So they're like, Well, what kind of conference? I said, Well sit down, and I'll explain to you. And I said, this is very simple. I know how to read now. They said, Yes. And you do very well. I said, so I don't see why I need to go to school. I could just read everything I need to learn. They're like, No, you need to keep going to school. Okay, and that's the other thing. Okay. How weird is this? I never got in trouble my entire life. Like never. And I thought, well, maybe I forgot. So I asked my parents this recently, I said, Mom, Dad, didn't I ever get in trouble for anything? They're like, No, you were an easy kid. I just, I kind of always just did what I was supposed to do. You know, I mean, it's like, you knew right from wrong. Like, why do wrong? You know, I just, I don't know, I am wired really differently. And this is, this is the, the pinnacle of it. So I'm graduating UCLA, right. And I get a phone call from the chancellor's office, congratulating me on being awarded the Outstanding Senior in my graduating class of 1980. Like this a kind of a big deal, right? So I call home and my dad gets on the phone, I'm like, dad put mom on also. And they're, they're both there. And I said, Mom, Dad, you won't believe this. They said, what? I said, I just got a call from the chancellor. I'm going to be outstanding senior for the class of, of 1980. And my mother says, what's not to believe? And my mom, she goes, Do you honestly think there's anybody better? I'm like, no mom. There's 10,000 people graduating with me, they picked me. She goes as they should. My parents never got it. It was just the funniest thing. And then we go to this big banquet, and my mom's like, wow, this is really impressive. I'm like, I know, Ma. So it's funny, they were so naive. I mean, but, but so loving, and I'll tell you something, as a parent, the best advice I can give any parent, the greatest, greatest gift that you can ever give your children. Not a car, not a wardrobe, confidence. Give your kids confidence. Confidence is currency in life. And my parents did. I mean, they always made me feel well, and thank God, we didn't have a two story house, I probably would have tried to fly. You know, they always made me feel like I could do whatever I wanted to do. And it's priceless. And, you know, that's one of the things that, you know, we really work with, with kids at LEAP is, you know, giving them the power to believe in themselves, and then supporting them with a community of kids to help, you know, boost that when they're not feeling 100%.

Susan Sly 13:32
I love what you said confidence is currency. And there, because this is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, there, there is a massive difference between confidence and arrogance. So how would you define that? Because someone listening who's thinking of becoming an entrepreneur is gonna say, Wow, Dr. Dorfman, you're so confident. I'm not as confident as you are. And maybe they perceive that there's an aspect of arrogance, but you're not an arrogant person. So how do you delineate between those two?

I think that, that having confidence is really supported by achievements. Whereas arrogance is just inflated. You know, baloney, you know. And the one message I love to give to people who really want to build businesses and become successful, is that you need to shift your thinking in this way. I never fail. Okay, that sounds arrogant, right? Not really. I never fail because if I do something, and it doesn't come out the way I want it to, I don't look at that as failure. I look at that as practice. And then I'll do it again and again and again until I get it right. And you really only fail When you quit, so if you commit yourself to not quitting, you will never fail. You know, you will always be successful. And, you know, you also need to kind of shift this, this thinking we always say, you know, practice makes perfect. No, practice makes permanent. If you're doing it wrong over and over again, no, you won't succeed, find a mentor, go online, do research, you know. Change and find out what it is you need to do to become successful. You know how I became a successful dentist? I went to Beverly Hills, I researched and found the five most successful dentists, I call their office, and I went in and I shadowed them. And I sat there like a sponge, and I wrote down every single thing that they did that I thought would be valuable to building a practice, and I didn't shadow them. And I'll tell you something I've had over 500 students come and shadow me, in my dental practice, not a single one has done what I'm telling you right now I did. And this is back in 19', This is after I finished my residency program. So that was 1986. I walked into the office early. Oh, that's a new concept. I sat in the waiting room. I watched the patient come in. I looked at the intake forms, I watched what they filled out as they entered the office. I then walked with the patient to the treatment room, I saw them diagnose the treatment. I saw them explain the treatment. I saw them go through the financial part of how you're going to pay for the treatment. I then saw the dentist deliver the treatment. And then I watched the patient go back to the front office, I watched how they collected money, how they check the patient out, how they set up the next, like the whole ball of wax, you know, and I watched the five most successful dentist in Beverly Hills. And then you know what I did? I went and did it better. And within two years, I literally had the most successful practice, the busiest practice, in all of Beverly Hills. And all these people are looking at me going like, how do you do that? I'm like, well, it's easy. It's called Copy Genius. I looked at the most successful people, I looked at what they were doing, I copied it and I tried to do it better. And for anybody in your audience who wants to start a business, go out and look at another business that's incredibly successful doing what you want to do. And then do it better.

Susan Sly 17:33
Yeah, that's beautiful, because that, visualizing you there observing, taking notes, internalizing, thinking about it almost from an engineering process. Right. And Dr. Dorfman and I were speaking just beforehand, because the listeners all know my latest venture is an artificial intelligence company. And Dr. Dorfman, I haven't written a line of code since 1992. So how did I, you know, how did I become the co-CEO and co-founder of an AI company? I observed, I learned, I went back to school at MIT, I got an AI mentor. And then everything that everyone was telling me, I compiled it, and I said, Okay, what if we can do it 30% faster? What if we can exit 30% faster, we can raise money 30% faster. And now what if we can do it? 30% better, right? And it's challenging yourself. I love that. So, as someone who's self proclaimed a little bit like OCD, as you said a little bit, you know, going back to lemonade stand, walk us through your day, because modeling success is the fastest way to get to success, as you've said, so what does your day look like? When does it begin? What are you doing? Walk us through.

You know, I know a lot of people like to do like this morning ritual and da da da. Like, I'm a simple, simple guy. I wake up, I shower, I have breakfast, I love word games, I play Word with friends while I'm having breakfast, that kind of just, I don't know, it's fun for me, I pack my lunch, and then I go to work. I see patients all day. And then after work, I always go to the gym, I go to the gym every day. And then typically, I'll have dinner with a friend or one of my kids. And, and that's what I like, it's pretty simple. Um, I don't have any big secret morning magic things or anything like that. But I did want to comment on what we're talking about just prior to this in that, you know, probably the biggest break I ever got in my career that really helped my company grow exponentially was when ABC put me on Extreme Makeover. And you know, this was in 2003 that we shot the pilot and I auditioned for the show. And you know, the thing, the thing that really helped here is I, you know, I invented Zoom. I wish it was video conferencing but it was Zoom tooth whitening. And we started that company and we grew 2 million, 4 million, 8 million. And we kind of plateaued at like 76 million, we just couldn't break that barrier, there were Crest White Strips, and all these other products. And then Extreme Makeover comes out. So I get an opportunity to be on the show. And, you know, we had the highest ratings of any pilot ABC had for years. And then we immediately get picked up for 24 episodes for our first season. So we go in and we, we shoot, and I'm watching. I'm watching the, the TV show, and I'm thinking, I stink. Like I'm really not good. I mean, the dentistry was good because I've been doing dentistry, but like, they don't teach you how to be on TV, when you're in dental school, right? So instead of sitting there and waiting for ABC to fire me, what did I do? I took acting classes, hosting classes, teleprompting classes. I researched and found a woman who worked with all the kids on American Idol. And I had her teach me interviewing skills, how to read a teleprompter, like all these things. And so little by little, you know, I became a lot more adept at being on TV, and I was the only dentist on that show. You know, they had 10 plastic surgeons and weight trainers and all these. And I'll tell you something else. I'm the only person on that show that didn't get paid.

Really? Yeah. Wow. And I'll tell you how that happened. At least I always tell students, you will have life defining moments. Sometimes you plan them, sometimes you don't, sometimes they just happened. And this was a just happened one. I met with the producers. You know, in the pilot, I just did three zoom whitening. That was it. And I met with the producers before we did our 24 episodes. I said, Listen, dentistry can do so much more than just zoom whitening. And I showed them a bunch of before and after case of how we really transform smiles. And they say oh my gosh, we didn't even really think about that. I said, Yeah, this could be a big part of the show. And so the first patient I had for the first episode needed 20 porcelain veneers, 10 uppers and 10 lowers. Well, at the time that, we're charging like $1,500 a tooth that was like $30,000. So I get a phone call from ABC like, Doc, like, we didn't budget that much for dentistry. I said, What do you want me to do? They said, Well, can you just do three veneers? I'm like, No, this go with work, weird, like three white teeth? Her teeth were black. So I made a deal. I said, Listen, I'll do all the dentistry for free under the following conditions. Number one, I'm the only dentists. Number two, you highlight Zoom Whitening in every episode. And number three, you mentioned DaVinci, my lab for the veneers because I didn't want to have a $10,000 lab bill, especially when I'm not getting paid. And they said fine. Now that would never, ever, ever happen in reality TV today. But we were the birth of reality, they didn't know. So they said fine. So no, ABC never paid me. But let me tell you what happened. The first year on extreme makeover, our sales went from 76 million to 101. The next year 135. And the last year I was on the show we did almost $200 million in sales as a result of this little deal.

Susan Sly 23:57
It's genius. And it also is a reflection of your heart because I remember watching you on that show. And I don't watch a ton of TV. It was not long after that ABC asked me to be on undercover millionaire. And I actually, I turned them down because my, my thing was I said, listen, the only way I'll do it is if you have educational courses for the people on the other end because it, you know, if you give someone a bunch of money, but they don't have the skills to handle it, they're going to be in the same place. Right? And they said no, that's not what we do. I said then I have to pass. And I love that you were in that place where you said no, I'm gonna stand by this. I'm still going to serve the people because it was it, you know, you're very humble. I thought you were excellent. Even in the earliest episodes. The dentistry was not just good, it was great. But it was life changing for the people. It really, really was. And so to think about that, and, and that leads me to the next question because so much of entrepreneurship is still standing for what you believe in and what would you say to that person who is listening right now, who says, I don't know if I can stand up for what I actually know is the right thing to do. Even though I know it could be a career make or break for me.

You know, my mantra for life, learn, so you can earn and then return. Hmm. My career has exceeded every expectation I ever had. And, you know, I told you, you know, the year I applied to college at UCLA, you know, I had to fill out financial aid papers. My family's combined income was $11,000, with five kids. Wow. I mean, we didn't even hit the poverty line, you know. And as soon as we started our company, I give a lot of credit to my partner, Robert Heyman, who started Discus Dental with me, Robert grew up in one of the most successful families in Beverly Hills. His father was Fred Heyman, who started Giorgio cosmetics. And Robert grew up with a background in the cosmetic industry. Plus, he was an MBA from Boston. And the very first thing he committed to doing with our, with our company was to give back to the Children's Dental Center, we then formed a partnership with the Crown Council of dentists and Garth Brooks, we raised over $45 million for children's charities, and we gave and we gave and we gave, and we gave, so you know, it doesn't really matter what business you're in, you can give and you know, we talked about this prior to the show, you can give on different levels. Yeah, giving money is awesome. You know, and a lot of charities need that. Giving time is even more awesome. And that's why we started the LEAP foundation, I was actually invited to come as a mentor to the program that was a precursor to LEAP. And the founder was 85 and passed away. And I thought, you know, this is too important. This is a program that teaches kids skills to be successful in life. So I changed the name, I took it over, and I created the LEAP Foundation. And for the last 15 years, every summer for one week, we do a one week program, where we get amazing speakers and mentors that come and teach these kids I mean, Paula Abdul, Mark Walberg, Michael Strahan, Hannah Brown from the bachelor, Kathy Bates, Anthony Hopkins, Apollo Ohno - the most decorated winter Olympian. Eric Garcetti, our mayor, and on and on. Usher and Jason Alexander, I mean, I could go on and on and on. And, you know, we, we get these kids there. And, you know, we give them skills to be successful in life. And for me, that that's the one week every year that I look forward to most. I would, if you can make it to LA, I would love to have you come. The program culminates on Friday with something we call a mentor workshop, where I bring in over 100 different professionals from doctors and lawyers to, you know, firefighters and police officers to restaurant owners. I mean, you name it, and the kids get an opportunity to sit, it's like speed dating, and every 30 minutes we rotate, and they just fire away questions. So they ask you about your challenges in business and how you overcame them and what your goals are and it's really, really phenomenal.

Susan Sly 28:34
I feel like you need to do a LEAP for adults.

Well, you want to hear something funny. This came out of a program for adults. So there was a program for dentists to go to that taught them how to be successful in business, because they don't teach you that in dental school. And it almost became cultish, this group. And at one point, some of the dentists are like, Why can't we do a version like this for our kids? And so they formed a group that did this. And so they would invite me every year to come as a mentor, because, you know, my career as a dentist is not normal. Yeah. And you know, and so I did this for several years. And then unfortunately, the founder of this other program passed away. And I thought, you know, this is too important to go away. So I brought it back. I made it a nonprofit, and we're in our 15th year.

Susan Sly 29:29
It says stand and then though, I want everyone who's listening to check out the LEAP Foundation, and I would love to come as a mentor. I'm so passionate about empowering children, right? That next generation. I have two more questions for you.

Wait, before you do, I have to interject something because you had a rare opportunity right before we started this podcast. My daughter, Georgie was here. And Georgie was a featured speaker at LEAP this year, and it was really, really cool because my daughter started up her own clothing line. And for those of you who have daughters that are in their 20s and 30s go to, all one word and you can see George's line. And I actually had Georgie come to LEAP this year, and go through the steps of starting up a business, how you got your business license, how you create an LLC, how you got all your domain names and your social media. Like she did the whole thing, soup to nuts. And I was like, I was in the back like bawling. I was so proud of her. It was like such a great, like Daddy-daughter moment. So it was pretty cool.

Susan Sly 30:43
Georgie is going to be on the show. And her site is ridiculous. I know I'm going to be doing some Christmas shopping on there for my girls, but shhh, don't tell them. It's a, it's a global secret, right?

Susan Sly 30:54

Susan Sly 30:55
let me ask you this. You and I were speaking before. And there are a lot of professionals who listen to the show. And they, they come to me and say, you know, how do I transition from being an attorney, being a physician, being a dentist to becoming an entrepreneur? And we had, if the listeners haven't heard Blake York's show that was one of our top listened to shows, he put himself through school, was going through divorce. And you know, working full time as a nurse and then opens up a med spa clinic in Dallas, is like on fire. And people love that. And so Dr. Dorfman, if you could speak to that person, that professional right now who's listening, going, I want to be an entrepreneur, but I've been programmed to be an attorney, be an, you know, a physician, be a dentist, what do you say to them?

Take it from my mantra, learn so you can earn. Okay, so we start Discus Dental, right? And kind of, at the very inception of it, we're sitting in a boardroom, we're going through all the finances of the company and projected growth, and, and. And I felt like a complete idiot. Like, I didn't understand any of this, EBITDA, what's that? You know. I mean, I didn't like, I never learned finance. I never learned accounting. So, you know, yeah, I can create dental products. Yeah, I had a vision, yeah. But to really add to the company and be in the boardroom with all these brilliant businessman, I felt like a zero. So I went back to school. And so I took extension classes at UCLA. And this was not easy, you know, I would wake up at five in the morning and go to the gym, because my wife insisted that I was home for dinner, and she was right. And then I would work an eight hour day, and then I would do charts. And then I would come home and have dinner. And then I would go to UCLA, and I would take courses, you know, 8, 9, 10 o'clock at night, and learn the skills that I needed to be the best that I could be at what I'm doing. So it's education, you need to learn, you know, pick up a book, you know, find a mentor. But if you are an incredibly skilled baker, and you want to now become a yoga instructor, learn what you need to learn. You have to learn everything there is to know about yoga, I mean, and don't just kind of do it. My philosophy is when you go, go big. You know, I want to be the best yoga instructor in the world. I want to be the best dentist I can be. And that's always worked for me. So you know, copy genius. Find people that are doing what you want to do, look at what they're doing that's successful, look at what they're doing that's not successful, and copy the successful parts. And you know, and start your business.

Susan Sly 33:59
I love that because the, I've done several speaking events with Tony Robbins, one of the things Tony always says is immersive learning, right? Immersive Learning is the fastest way to learn. And you're not going to have immersive learning, sort of just sitting back and getting a lot of theory. It's like Dr. Dorfman, I'm going to go and observe and I'm going to do and I'm going to learn do review and wash, rinse, repeat and do it over and over again. And going to school as an adult and a parent is not easy. I have a massive MIT assignment due this weekend. And people always say, Susan, how do you do it all? And I'm sure they say the same thing to you. How do you do it all, how do you respond to that?

Dr. Bill Dorfman 34:39
I have a lot of help. You know, especially as a man it's really hard to ask for help. A lot of men look at that as a sign of weakness, I don't. I look at it as a sign of strength. You know, I have Nicole who is my PA, my personal assistant. She runs all my personal stuff, all my travel, all my lectures, all my everything. I have Janine, she's my agent, she negotiates all my business deals with me and everything. I have Sennet, she's my office manager, she runs my office. And she's amazing people, like dentists from all over the world come and watch her work. She's, she's a one of a kinder, and I have Evelyn, my ex wife, who runs all of our family stuff, we're still best friends. In fact, she just left here 10 minutes ago. So you know, having the support that you need to run your life and your business is really important, and you need to put that team together. Because without that, I couldn't do 1/10 of what I did.

Susan Sly 35:38
I thank you for your vulnerability there. When Dave Asprey was on the show, we were having similar conversation. I remember he said, you know, Susan, he had a checklist of all the things and it was two dishwashers. He said, You have to have two dishwashers, and someone to do your laundry and he was going down the list. And it was in that moment, you know, I have a lot of help, I do. I have a whole team of VAs and all these different people, but I didn't have someone doing my laundry. And so when Dave Asprey, who you know, invest in Bulletproof coffee, very successful entrepreneur, amazing human, when he tells you to do something, you do it. So the very next text I sent, was to my housekeeper, I said, Do you know anyone who wants to come in and do our laundry? And it was like, yes. And now that would be the other thing, any, you know, when you hear someone as accomplished, as Dr. Dorfman saying, go do something, just do it, just, just do it. Now, speaking of big goals, and all sorts of things. Rumor has it that you are potentially the oldest person to be featured in GQ magazine in a spread? Is this true?

This is true. So right at the beginning of the pandemic, they asked me to do a feature article on home fitness routines that you can do, because people weren't going to the gym for men over 50. And I'm 63. So I'm like, Okay, well, I'll do it for, they didn't think there was a big enough audience for men over 60. So whatever. So I did that. And yeah, that was pretty funny.

Susan Sly 37:14
So yeah, I'm very excited about that. So my, my husband's in his 50s. And we both are avid, you know, we work out like, it's no matter how tired we are, if I've just gotten off an airplane, whatever, like, we're gonna get that workout in it. It does. It's a standard, right? We don't get our goals, we get our standards. So last question for you is, what's your favorite body part? So someone's gonna like Google that shoot like, you know, what's your favorite?

So this is really funny. This was, they asked me this, they, you know, they, they always say like, you know, how, how can you be in such great shape? I said, Well, it's three things really, diet, exercise, and genetics. You control to the other one, you're lucky or you're not. So I was lucky there. My favorite body part. I told them, I won't let you photograph it. But I have a really big part.

Susan Sly 38:17
And that is quite obvious, photoshoot or not.

And I love what you said, when Dr. Bill says do something, do it. I want to say something, sign your kids up for LEAP, I promise you, it will be one of the greatest experiences. And we now offer the program virtually and in person. So if they can't make it to UCLA, the dates this year are going to be July 17 to the 23rd. And they can do it virtually. And the program is phenomenal, virtually, but it's even more phenomenal. And I'll tell you why we work Susan, I'm a dad, I have three kids. If I tell my daughter to do something, she's not gonna do it. Now, if 10 of her little girlfriends tell her to do it, guess what happens? She does it. And that's why we worked. We put the students in a group with 10 other students their age with their same interests, who act as a support group to help them be better versions of themselves. And it works. And most kids who go to LEAP will tell you that they're best friends in life, the ones that they've been friends with for years and years and years are students that they met at LEAP. It's really phenomenal that my director, Charlie Gallagher is now 30 years old. He came to LEAP when he was 16. Both his parents are dentists. He saw a LEAP brochure on their desks, said, Mom and Dad I want to go. He was a LEAP student. He went through the program a few times as a student, then came back as a coach then came back as a speaker and then I hired him as our Executive Director.

Susan Sly 40:01
Well, I'm very coachable. So as soon as we're done this interview, I'm signing up my 16 year old for LEAP. So we will be there. We have lots of friends in LA so it's an easy yes and one of our good friends and shouts out to Giorgio. He's the executive chef at Eataly. And they live near UCLA. So shout out to Eataly, Mario Batali, you know, restaurant if you've not checked it out, do. That's an unsolicited plug for Eataly. You'll need your dentist afterwards. So Dr. Dorfman, thanks again for being here. I would encourage everyone to go and follow him on Instagram, at And here's a secret. So he answers all of his DMS, but don't send him like weird ones. Okay, just cool ones. But something you're getting from the show, follow him on Instagram, check out the LEAP foundation. They're doing amazing things for this next generation of leaders. And once again, Dr. Dorfman, thanks again for being here.

Yeah. And one last thing, Susan, I also have my own podcast. It's called ‎Meet the Mentor™. And we started it because I interviewed all these amazing people like Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Hopkins, and Eva Longoria, and Kathy Bates, and Usher and Jason Alexander and whatnot. My podcast is ranked in the top two and a half percentile of all podcasts worldwide. We're weird, like number one in Yemen. Number two in Iceland, number three, and I don't even though. We just got this, I don't know if you could see in the back. There's this crystal microphone back there. I was awarded for being in the top 100 podcasts in over 100 countries. So it's, it's really fun. And these people are phenomenal. And I mean, like Mark Wahlberg literally talked about being put in prison for being a gangster. You know, Anthony Hopkins talks about his battles with alcoholism and how, you know, it almost destroyed his life. Kathy Bates, insane. It's really riveting. So please, you know, listen, to Meet the Mentor. And, you know, Susan's not lying. I actually am the only, I think I have more followers than any other dentists in the world. But I actually answer all my DMs myself. So if you DM me on Instagram, it's easy at @DrBillDorfman, I promise you, it's really me answering,

Susan Sly 42:25
Which is so cool. So and check out Bill's show, ‎Meet the Mentor™, which is awesome, and the LEAP Foundation. And once again, thanks for being here. And to all of the listeners all over the world, we would love a, wherever you are, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, wherever we are, wherever you were, we would love a great review. And so whatever you're getting from the show, and we'd love for you to share the show. Go ahead and tag me on IG or Twitter or wherever it is that you found out about us. And with that, God bless. Go rock your day and I will see you in a future episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Susan Sly.

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Susan Sly

Author Susan Sly

Susan Sly is considered a thought leader in AI, award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, best-selling author, and tech investor. Susan has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime, ABC Family, and quoted in Forbes Online, Marketwatch, Yahoo Finance, and more. She is the mother of four and has been working in human potential for over two decades.

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