Tuan Pham

$1 Million loan, 1st month profitable, almost $1 Million in his first 12 months, How Tuan did it and the timeline

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Pre-launch timeline to first month profit

“How was I profitable my first month? I had to learn everything from marketing, to hiring, to designing my office. This process probably took me 2 years. When I was close to launching, one of the biggest things I did was pre-advertising. I set the biggest signs I could, I built my website early so Google could crawl it, I set up a phone number and hired somebody to take calls. My opening got delayed by the city of Austin. I hired someone to reschedule those appointments.”



“No one really knows this but I used to be a big introvert. One of the biggest things I’ve learned in life is if you are an introvert, you can become more extroverted by learning systems to talk to people. Over time it becomes more comfortable and then even natural. If you choose not to break out of your shell, it’s in general more difficult for you to be successful in business because people buy from companies and people they like and can relate to.”



“Charge more — I’ve bucked conventional wisdom and charged higher fees. In Robert Cialdini’s book ‘Influence’, he tells the story of a lady who mislabeled her jewelry to like double or triple the price. She sold a bunch of it. Life is all about perception. I increased my service, quality and office atmosphere. Then I charged more. Price is a shortcut. Most people assume a higher price means it must be better.”


One of my favorite books

“A book that helped me see my life in a new way is called ‘The Energy Bus’ by John Gordon. There is an equation in it…E + P = O. ‘E’ is for events. ‘P’ stands for your perception which you want to keep positive because that leads to the ‘O’ which is outcome. That’s how I view my life.”


Learning from people who fail

“A lot of people only want to learn from successful. You can learn a lot from people who fail. You can learn why they fail. If you read enough of what they post, you get an idea of how they think about things. They give up or accept that there’s no solution to their problem. Some people just want sympathy.”

Why Listen to Tuan:

Tuan Pham is a dentist who maintains a general private dental practice in Austin, TX. 4 days a week seeing an average of 4 doctor patients a day and has an office production of 1.2 million a year. 

In addition to running his practice, Tuan Pham created Dental Maverick, an online 48 week video series designed to improve your communication, define your vision, transform you into a leader & manager and ultimately lead you to your personal definition of success.

He has had research published on the cover of Compendium (July 2007 Vol. 28 No. 7), has a provisional patent on a forthcoming dental device, is the head of the Dental Products Division of the School of Invention which aids in bringing your dental inventions to patent stage and beyond, is the co-
founder of Monstapreneur (a group for entrepreneurs, c-level executives and business owners with the mission of Relax, Reset, Refocus).

In his free time, he walks his dog, goes fly fishing and drinks beer while watching SEC football.

He has sped away from the cops twice in his life, got away both times and lived to tell the tale.

He went to dental school and admits they don’t train you well on the business and sales side.

Like many dentists just graduating he got a job working for a dentist with an established practice. He asked the owner of the practice how long it took to get that many patients rolling through. The owner told Tuan it took 10 years so Tuan just took it at face value that he would take 10 years to build his own practice once he ventured out on his own.

He assumed he would save up slowly over time and one day have his own practice.

But then one day everything changed. Somebody mentioned this dental forum to him called Dentaltown.com.

He had unlocked a treasure trove of information.

There were dentists from other cities, other states in various different types of dental practices and specialties.

Some of these dentists had been very successful in incredibly short amount of time. This was a lightbulb moment and Tuan asked himself, “If they are successful sooner, why can’t I be successful?”

He found certain qualities in successful people. He read certain other qualities that differentiated unsuccessful people. When successful people encounter hurdles or obstacles they complain about it for a little while, then do whatever it takes to overcome those obstacles.

Tuan decided he would follow the path of those successful dentists.

He drew up a business plan, found a location, went to the bank and signed a loan that totaled almost $1 million.

He broke his options down into three:

1. I can be like Michael Phelps and dominate swimming

2. I can sink and drown

3. I can tread water

He made a solemn promise to himself to be like Michael Phelps, to learn more, adopt the mentality that successful people have, and dedicate and persevere until he got to the other side of success.

His business operations were profitable after the first month. He brought in right around $1 million within his first 12 months of opening his dental practice.

Some Shareables from Tuan in this episode…


“In any business you should be open to change and improvement. I was reading the E-Myth by Michael Gerber. It got me thinking about how Kodak got stuck in their ways and it took them down. What you have now may be great. But any business has to adapt. You still have your core vision and core values. When the path alters, what can you do to get back to your core?”

On debt

“A lot of people are scared of debt. They say, ‘Debt’s bad for you’. That’s traditional thinking. Consumer debt is bad. There are types of debt you can leverage to success. These are calculated risks. If you do the research, then predict the possibilities and plan for them, your risk is greatly reduced.”

#1 path to profits

“I think of business growth as a tree. The bigger, hardier, deeper your roots extend the more successful you’ll be because you can withstand downturns and droughts. Many people just base their business model on traditions in the industry. Every industry has averages. What you want to do instead is learn from the people doing better at the top of the industry so you can improve yourself.”

Peer group

“It’s easy to just get stuck hanging around people at the same level of success as you. They have the same problems and make you feel a little bit better about yours. If you just stick to that it’s one of the biggest limitations to your business. I had a vision that went against my industry to do a lower volume of patients and charge higher fees. If I could go back I’d tell myself not to listen to the naysayers and instead stick to my vision.”

Biggest mistake

“Biggest mistake — It’s easy to get too hyper focused on growth. My business was profitable month 1 and I had plenty of patients coming in. One thing I didn’t focus on was planning on staff and systems to follow up with these newly acquired patients. Nobody likes going to the doctor or dentist. Part of my duty is to remind them about checkups and give them that little ‘kick in the butt’. One of the biggest things I focus on now is consistently communicating with my patients because I spent a lot of time and money bringing them in.”

Favorite part of the entrepreneur’s journey

“I thought just being a dentist was my career. But I like doing a lot of things and different businesses. I love challenges because I enjoy finding the solution. Successful people always find a solution to their problems instead of getting bogged down. That’s been my favorite part of the journey.”

Weirdest thing

“Weirdest thing — I thought I’d only be a dentist. I enjoy seeing and talking to my patients. I never thought I’d teach but started Dental Maverick. I never thought I’d be an inventor but met someone who runs an inventor’s group and now after 10 revisions, I have a provisional patent. I never expected to catch the entrepreneurial bug.”

Separating winners from losers

“If you asked 100 people about their dreams and goals they’d tell you. If you then asked them, ‘Did you take a step toward your dreams?’ Very few people actually do something. Simply the fact of taking that first step is amazing.”

On charging higher fees

“As a dentist, most people think my job is all about hand skills. They do provide me the ability to do dental work. But my real job is to impart information so you understand why you need certain treatments. Dentistry is tricky. People can have cavities or gum disease without pain. The patient often assumes the dentist is lying or that it must not be a big problem. Our main job in any business is to communicate the value of why they need it now.”

Conventional wisdom

“Most people just stick to the norm. The norm does exist for a reason. It provides stability and safety but a lot of times leads to mediocrity. There is nothing wrong with the norm but you’ll never succeed at the highest levels. Find people that excel and emulate them. See what makes them successful. See how they think. Ask them to be your mentor. It strokes their ego and they might say yes.”

How to achieve your vision

“If you run a business you’ve got to communicate well to your clients and your staff. You gotta be a good leader. If you’re not a good leader your staff walks all over you and you never go towards your vision. Your vision is the most important thing. If you don’t have a clear, defined vision then your decisions will take you where you don’t want to go.”

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