Dr Bill Dorfman is the Michael Jordan of Dentistry
Dr. Bill may be a dentist, but he is also so much more. Some even call him the Michael Jordan of dentistry.
Speaking to Steve Sims on The Art of Making Things Happen podcast, Dr. Bill explains how he took what many might think of as a boring career and turned it into something special. “I took dentistry as a springboard to a lot of different careers,” explains Dr. Bill. “I’m the only dentist in the world who’s a New York Times bestselling dentist on a book on dentistry. Hell, I was the only dentist on ABC’s extreme makeover…. I built a company with my best friend that became the largest tooth whitening company in the world.”
Growing up in a low-income area, Dr. Bill started hustling from a very young age. “I started working at the age of six. I pulled weeds in the neighborhood and I became like a gardener… And then I started working at Ralph’s supermarket, I worked as a janitor and at my mom’s nursery school.”
But his fascination with dentistry also started at a young age when Dr. Bill had an experience that would have traumatized most kids. He explains, “I was about three and I was playing kind of rough house in the living room and I fell and I hit my baby teeth so hard that, instead of knocking them out, it pushed them back up into the socket. So I had to have oral surgery… Most normal kids would have been scared to death. I was intrigued by the whole thing. Even as a little kid I started wanting to shadow the dentist and I thought, you know, this is so cool. I want to do this for people one day. And it never wavered.”
As the leader of Leap, a motivational leadership program for high school and college kids, Dr. Bill has two lessons he is passionate about sharing. First, “don’t wait for opportunities in life… The universe doesn’t care about you. You need to care about you.” And second, “When you get an opportunity, don’t take it. Master it.”
This was the approach that transformed Dr. Bill’s career into something extraordinary. After being invited to take part in Extreme Makeover, one of the first reality TV programs, Dr. Bill quickly learned he did not come off well on television. Even his grandmother couldn’t find anything nice to say about his TV presence other than, “You looked very skinny, darling.” But Dr. Bill wasn’t discouraged.
He explains, “I took acting classes, hosting classes, teleprompting class. I hired a media trainer to beat me up… And I worked and I worked and I worked. Why? Because I realized that this was a golden opportunity.” And it was, taking Dr. Bill’s teeth whitening company from $75 million in sales to almost $200 million in just a few years.
Dr. Bill continued that way through the rest of his career: not just taking, but seizing opportunities. When he was offered to write a book, he accepted only under the condition that it would be a bestseller. Dr. Bill put in the work to make that book, Billion Dollar Smile, a bestseller, leading to opportunities to appear on all of the top TV shows.
Yet what Dr. Bill was more excited about than anything was raising money for Leap. He says, “To me, there’s nothing that makes me happier than knowing I’ve helped somebody.” Ironically, this very altruistic approach might be the hidden key to Dr. Bill’s success. “Every time in my life that I honestly truly and only intended to give back, I ended up making a lot of money from it,” explains Dr. Bill.
From meeting his business partner at a charity auction to having sales explode as a result of donating products to a children’s charity, Dr. Bill’s career is real proof that what goes around comes around. Now that’s something to smile about.
To learn more about Dr. Bill:
Listen to the podcast: https://www.stevedsims.com/podcast/
Dr Bill’s website: https://www.billdorfmandds.com/