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  • Writer's pictureWarren Bobinski

Athlete or Couch Potato Economics

“Learn as if you were to live forever…”


When I grew up there wasn’t an awful lot of support for single moms. Especially those that decide to take their kids a province away from Dads.

When my mom decided to move to Winnipeg and start her life over – we did just that. Start from scratch. Her first job in Winnipeg was joining her friend that moved from Saskatoon at Hudson Bay Cosmetic Department. The pay in those days wasn’t much different than the pay now-a-days. We moved to Winnipeg and lived directly across from Assiniboine Downs in some type of subsidized housing….

I have many interesting memories there to say the least….

On a limited budget, there were often times we were taught lessons about the value of money. It’s likely during these times that I learned not to be hurt that I didn’t get a GI Joe for my birthday – I got socks and underwear. Even at 6 years old, I started to appreciate what needs and wants were all about. Mom loved us, but with a job paying minimum wage it was likely hard to even keep food on the table while paying rent! I only ever remember my mom in fleeting moments, being so in love with those moments…but remembering the lessons of having multiple jobs to make sure we were taken care of. The gifts under the tree at Christmas being oriented around needs more than wants.

Going to visit our cousins and learning not to be upset as they opened multitudes of gifts and being so happy to be able to play with their toys, but not too worried that we didn’t go home with our own. Mom always stressed what the true value of love and caring was, and it wasn’t about getting gifts on your birthday or on man-made special occasions.

It was about showing other people how much you sincerely appreciate them every day. Showing love, not with gifts, but with gestures.

When you grow up with limited funds, you do learn to appreciate every single dollar you earn on your own. While you care about those dollars and how hard they are to come by – you also learn to appreciate the things money buys are more related to security and not happiness. To speak frankly, feeling secure does make me happy and I am scared shitless of ever going back to that life of living on the edge….

As you know from reading my past blogs – my mom did very well in her life. Worked hard and became an accomplished and paid public speaker, minister, business owner. She also worked hard with charities and gave away most everything she earned to very good causes. To this day she lives her life frugally.

I am heading down after this blog to help her auction her homestead farm this weekend as she downsizes once again. This time trying to keep enough from the auction to pay for just enough comfort and health in her retirement.

To this day, I think she measures out 5 squares of TP and makes two pots of coffee out of every batch of grounds….

C’est ma vie.

Athlete or Couch potato?





The difference in overhead for each type.

Athletes spend a lot of time training. They are work, work, work all the time, and pay a lot of attention to what they are putting into their body. They weigh themselves often, measure their performance often. Live their lives to achieve. Hire coaches and have a team working with them in order to perform at this high-level. It isn’t easy, and it isn’t cheap. There is a price to pay as many athletes that achieve high levels eventually crash! Their bodies are overworked, they can be difficult people to work with. Large egos and often thinking that the people working with them have nothing to do with their success. Often these people are incredible talents, but without humility are often lonely and unhappy. Millionaires -that to the outside world seem accomplished and successful….but are they?

Then there is the lean type. They barely eat a salad in a day. Every square of toilet paper is counted. The people around them are suitable for their lifestyle. Making sure to crack the whip if one extra square of TP has been used. They can be almost abusive in the regimen! There is a monthly goal and nobody else should use any more than they do or it’s complete waste!! They are very proud to count every penny they have saved, but don’t realize how many dollars of production they have lost from the diet.

Instead of fueling the body with high-quality protein, the thought was cheaper fuel would be just fine. Eventually the engine seized. The turbine failed. The CHEAP is not so CHEAP after all! If only they had listened to the coach. FUEL that body with quality EFFICIENT proteins. That way you can maintain your budget at the same time PERFORM at a high level. It’s lean AND mean….

On the other end of the spectrum is a really easy-going laissez-faire personality. Never tell anybody how to do anything, and keep to themselves. They like to complain about everything and how it’s the fault of the fast food restaurant that they eat too much. The groceries they buy every 3 days are way overpriced. Everybody likes them because they can abuse them. Especially SALESMEN. They love these personalities, they buy everything! This couch potato is above average weight, and barely ever does any more than is required! The cost of groceries at this house is high, and the people surrounding him also let a lot slip. There are no goals, there is no diet. These bodies are out of shape, the diet is horrible. The boss is generally not happy, but doesn’t know how to change the diet or exercise plan.

They are not coachable, they are stubborn. They live in a bubble where it a blame game of why the “body” is in the shape it is, and maybe even are quite content to just keep ignoring it all….

Then there is the average joe and mary. The people that works out just enough to burn off enough calories to stay lean but are not afraid to have ice cream once in a while! They pay attention to what they eat, but everything in moderation. There is no extreme diet and no overindulgence. The most important goal is constant improvement and having fun without stressing too much or comparing to other people!!

Do you recognize yourself?

I’m an athletic couch potato

I have spent my life being a little bit of everything. In my younger and more ambitious days I thought I needed to diet and workout six days a week / twice a day. I’ve burned out, but I also learned that exercise was important. I learned to keep track, set goals and mostly to be efficient. It matters to me to watch overhead, not to buy a car that is too expensive, and make sure I shop around to control my expenses, but not to the point where I don’t enjoy going to work every day! I hate having to buy a new car every three years! At the same time it’s kind of fun to shop for one and enjoy the benefits that come with success. It is almost impossible to maintain a 24 seven 365 workload so I mix in some fun! I am willing to forgo some dollars in my pocket and give it to my friends through discounts, and to the people that work with me by allowing a higher overhead for my business so they can share the rewards.

The net result is a more efficient business with a little higher overhead, but a team that will stick around. We accomplish goals together!!

Overhead 101

Overhead 101. 💰

If you spend $500 💴 at Costco next trip, that doesn’t mean your grocery 🍎🍊 bill for this month went up $500. Your ACTUAL bill is whatever you ACTUALLY consume!

We go to Costco because it’s cheaper to buy in bulk.

Instead of a small box of Tide costing $2 a load to wash those questionable stainsout of little Johnnys pants 👖, you buy the massive one and it’s now only .80c!

That box 📦 will last you a year!!

No different for those “overpriced” 👹 supplies. It doesn’t really cost you until you use it....and that use of the $3 bond, $6 restorative and $10 miscellaneous results in a patient invoice of $300. 💍

The point? 💪🏻Keeping a budget is about understanding use. Knowing what is actually still on your shelf. Making sure not to throw too much “💩 “you didn’t use !

When we ALL 👴👮🏻‍♀👷🏽‍♂👨🏾‍🎨👩🏿‍pay attention to this consumption, we all win!

Less expensive dentistry, more efficiency, more profit.... 💰


Three things


1 – Overhead 101. Your average supply cost IS NOT what you just spent at Costco – its’ what you used!! Remember to INVENTORY your products, rotate the products that expire. The offices that are at 6% overhead that I work with buy EXCLUSIVELY (almost) through our company. I also have offices that are at 10%++ that use MULTIPLE dealers and shop all over the place.

The difference is NOT WHERE they are purchasing as much as it’s what they are consuming and how organized they are.

2 – Planning. Reducing overhead costs comes from watching what you eat. Learning what is good (TIMEfactors) and efficient. Understanding that your TIME and EFFICIENCY also make a difference in your overall health. You can’t just eat lean and stay healthy – you need to work smart!! Your cost of supplies is 8% but your labour is 30% - yet you still don’t understand the value of TIME?

If you fuel your body with the right product, you may not have to work as hard to maintain your weight….get it?

There ARE magic pills for your practice, and coach Warren can help with TIMEfactors!!

3 – Just Do It. There are happy couch potatoes. It just happens. Nobody has to change anything. Just keep doing what you are doing, but don’t expect anything to change! At the same time, if you are not prepared to “diet” hard and “work” hard – then the 6 pack UNICORN abs may never be in your future. How about just paying a little attention to what you eat? Just a few minutes THINKING about it can make a WORLD of difference in your “body”

Eat more vegetables, a little less red meat. Healthier carbs, but don’t eliminate the things you love – just learn that you may pay a little more for those indulgences.

Have a great weekend,

Warren Bobinski

Success in Dentistry and Life


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