Jesse Green, Founder of Savvy Dentist on Legacy, Financial Success and Investing in Yourself

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On this week’s episode, I interview Jesse Green who is an author, speaker, and founder of the Savvy Dentist – a coaching program focused on helping dentists improve their businesses and practices. Jesse provides some incredible insights on his childhood experiences that shaped his relationship with money, what wealth means to him and what he would do if he were to start over again.

Connect with Jesse:

Show Notes:

00:00 – Intro

02:01 – Introducing Jesse & what lessons he learnt in childhood about wealth?

04:41 – Overcoming bad money habits and beliefs

06:33 – What it means to be generous with money

07:56 – Has making money been easy or hard?

09:13 – How has becoming wealthier changed your perspective on making money?

11:40 – What was some of the early decisions you made on your investment journey that had an impact?

13:38 – Legacy and Stewardship

15:05 – The greatest struggles with building wealth

17:05 – What would you do if you had to start over?

18:20 – Advice for the younger generation for building wealth

21:32 – What does financial success mean to you?

23:01 – Thank you

Q: Tell me a little bit about how money showed up in your life?

  • Grew up in a household with a little love but not a lot of money
  • At the age of 5, he recalled about his parents being stressed about money and didn’t really ever master anything about money
  • At the age of 6, he remember seeing his mum fretting about being able to pay for the house and imminently felt that they would end up homeless
  • As a result, financial security and abundance has been a massive driver of his life


Q: Are there any money habits or beliefs you felt you’ve had to overcome?

  • Grew up in a family where money was a scarcity and still sometimes carry that to an extent
  • The biggest turning point came when his father got a job overseas. This was a financial gateway to better times
  • As a result, Jesse went to boarding school. He met people from all walks of life from the seriously rich to the seriously down to earth and everything in between
  • From the age of 11, because he was at a boarding school, his parents were no longer the primary influence on his life
  • From a wealth point of view, it made him realise that there are multiple points of view


Q: People who have come from a wealth scarcity background can sometimes be stingy, however this isn’t the case with you. Why is that?

  • His father was a very generous person and would give the last cent he had
  • Jesse saw him as a great model and someone he looked up to
  • Learnt where he wants to and doesn’t want to spend money
  • Frugal in certain elements while extravagant in others – trying to be conscious about that


Q: One of the qualities you possess is great determination and grit when achieving goals. You run a very successful dental coaching business. On a scale of 1 to 10, how easy do you feel money is to make?

  • If 10 is hard and 1 is easy – 6 to 7
  • Fortunate to work in a profession that earns well and more about controlling expenses
  • It’s not about how much you earn but how much you keep


Q: You’re in a situation now where you’re well passed earning a living. You’re in the realms of luxuriously play with the money you earn. How has that changed your experience of creating money and the way you think about money?

  • Not a great deal
  • Personally, as someone who is now 49, materially there isn’t much that he wants
  • He doesn’t really aspire to material wealth that he used to aspire to
  • He enjoys simple things and experiences rather than material goods


Q: As an avid investor, if you think back to when you joined the force. What were some of the decisions you made in your investing journey that had a significant impact on you?

  • He had a scholarship in university to join the navy as a dentist. From 3rd year of university, he had a salary already
  • Graduated with $15,000 – $20,000 in his bank account and a car
  • Most of his colleagues graduated with student debt and no money
  • Early on, it was all about saving
  • Number 1 thing to do was to always pay yourself first and use that money to do something productive with it, which he’s been doing it for most of his life
  • Been very good at quarantining money for investing


Q: Has there been a shift in how you care and look after your money?

  • It has changed now that he’s got two daughters
  • Thinking a lot about legacy for the next generation in both the financial and habit sense
  • Thinks about how he can instill good financial habits for his children and an annuity income stream into the future


Q: Often from the outside, people can look at you and say “he’s got it easy” or “he’s very lucky”. What’s been the struggle and tension around wealth creation for you?

  • Probably not knowing what to do with it
  • He’s lost money in various investments that have hurt him financially such as shares, negative gearing of property
  • The accumulation of the “nest egg” was not the issue, it was making it productive
  • Struggled with having a simple plan to execute on the deliverables consistently


Q: If money wasn’t there tomorrow and you had to start over, what would you do first?

  • -Sell a solution to solve a problem


Q: Where do you see the greatest opportunities with creating wealth in the next decade?

  • Investing in themselves, their own education and deliver more than expected of them
  • One of the thing he’s always tried to teach his kids – make themselves invaluable to the organisation
  • This sometimes mean delivering more than they pay for. To become the go-to person
  • One of the things he notices is that the current generation are in a hurry to get to the top
  • If you want to be paid well, you’ve got to be paid in direct proportion they bring to the organisation
  • A little bit of patience is important, just like a bottle of wine
  • If you think of your life as a bottle of grange, you’ve got to have grapes grow, mature on the vine and then go through the wine making process, rather than a cheap bottle of cask wine at the local bottle shop
  • A lot of the young kids are thinking about the short term rather than the longer term


Q: What does financial success mean to you?

  • It’s all about choice – freedom of choice of what, where, when and how you want to do things
  • It depends on how much choice you want in your life
  • To make sure my kids and their kids are better off because of the things we’ve put in place for them
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