By Jasmin Haley, RDH, BSDH, CDA
For this installment of Think Beyond the Prophy, I want to spotlight Shanice Miller, RDH, BS. Shanice is a registered dental hygienist, a graduate from University of Maryland School of Dentistry, and the CEO of Optimal Equity Group, LLC. She is passionate about helping others secure their financial freedom in preparation for retirement.
Many dental hygienists leave their programs eager to start their professional career. How many of these graduates are considering investing, saving for retirement, and creating a financial portfolio? How many offices offer these benefits to the hygienists they employ? Many professionals are not giving thought to securing their financial future because of the pressures of caring for a family, paying student loans, or being financially in debt.
Shanice has always had a passion in preparing for the future. Three months after her graduation, she purchased her first investment property. Four months after that initial purchase, she purchased her second investment property. She eventually took her skills and created a consulting business in 2012, which was featured in 2014 by Forbes and later sold in 2015. She knew she had a higher calling to help other dental professionals acquire and create passive income streams while investing in better returns on their savings and retirement accounts.
Let's hear more about how she thinks beyond the prophy.
Haley: What are you currently up to?
Miller: Currently, I focus only on investing in mortgage notes backed by real estate and partnering with others to help create passive income streams and better retirement returns. I knew that if I broke my wrist, I wouldn't be able to work as a dental hygienist, which could cause financial problems. So I have always looked for passive income streams that would produce income even when I couldn't work physically.
Haley: Why did you become a dental hygienist?
Miller: I became a dental hygienist because I loved the work environment. I really wanted to help people overcome their dental phobias and start to enjoy visiting the dentist.
Haley: How have you kept your momentum to reach your goals?
Miller: I love listening to motivational speeches and surrounding myself with people who are where I want to be in terms of time freedom and wealth. They keep me pushing to pursue my goals.
Haley: What mentoring moment help shape you to think beyond the prophy?
Miller: When I was in my last year of dental hygiene school, I worked as a part-time dental assistant. The discussions that I had with that dentist were invaluable but one of his most impactful statements were, "Don't trade your dollars for hours." At that time, I thought he was telling me to negotiate daily rates instead of watching the clock on an hourly rate (which really helped me negotiate my salary when I graduated), but it meant so much more. It led me to find investments that produced income even when I'm not working.
Haley: What tips do you have for other dental professionals who want to be entrepreneurs?
Miller: The right mentorship is very important and can help propel you a lot further faster. Do not be afraid to invest in yourself to help turn your idea into a reality.
Haley: How do you maintain the joy in your life?
Miller: With the freedom that I have from my passive investments, I'm truly able to do the things that I really want and enjoy and am thankful every day to have that option. To me, joy comes from having gratitude and enjoying life's journey.
Haley: Anything else you would like to add?
Miller: When I was working as a dental hygienist, I ran into so many dentists and dental hygienists that didn't have enough money to retire. One retired hygienist told me her office didn't have a retirement plan so she retired from dentistry on disability until her social security kicked in. At that moment, I realized that dental school/dental hygiene school doesn't teach their students about operating a successful dental practice, being a business owner, how to retire early or how to make your money work for you by investing. If you want to protect yourself from falling prey to life’s unpredictable mishaps, you have to start looking into finding the best investment opportunities for you.
If you know someone who wants better returns on their retirement accounts or wants to discuss investment opportunities and passive income sources, feel free to contact Shanice Miller, at [email protected].