Dr. Jon Marashi attended New York University’s College of Dentistry, obtaining Honors in their Aesthetic Dentistry program. From there, he served as a Clinical Program Director at the California Center for Advanced Dental Studies. In time, he went on to open a private practice. Additionally, he has been published many times in leading cosmetic dental journals. Dr. Marashi is a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, the Western Los Angeles Dental Society, and the Academy of Microscope Enhanced Dentistry.
Over the years, Dr. Marashi has consistently honed his skills to keep up with the absolute latest in dental care techniques in order to ensure he delivers the best possible outcome for his patients. In an effort to augment this, he includes the most cutting-edge technologies with his services, capable of making his artistic visions come to life. As his practice’s reputation for superior quality work, incredible bedside manner, and friendly office staff grew, Dr. Jon Marashi began attracting some of the top people in Hollywood. With A-list actors, well-known musicians, world famous athletes, major corporate executives, as well as ordinary families returning to his office year after year for cosmetic care, Dr. Marashi has established himself as a doctor who truly cares about the requirements and desires of his patients.
Besides building a long-term, highly-rated private practice, Dr. Jon Marashi has branched out into other entrepreneurial endeavors, including helping to craft a luxury toothbrush model known as M Sonic Luxury Tonic toothbrush. The M Sonic Luxury Tonic is a cutting-edge, custom-designed brush that remits approximately 37,000 cleansing vibrations per minute to clean and brighten teeth, refresh gums, and reduce plaque buildup. The toothbrush, which debuted in 2019, launched exclusively with the retailer Violet Grey, where it met the discriminating and demanding standard of their ‘Violet Code.’
Dr. Marashi also served as the Chief Cosmetic Officer for Byte, helping to launch the company, and cultivating it to be a positive disruptive force in the oral healthcare industry. Byte is a dentist-supervised, direct-to-consumer, clear aligner company that analyzes facial symmetry to create a personalized smile. The company was acquired by Dentsply Sirona in 2020 in a $1 billion dollar deal.
When he’s not crafting the perfect smile, Dr. Jon Marashi’s philanthropic endeavors include serving as a board member for Learning Lab Ventures, an organization that transforms children’s lives and helps to alleviate generational poverty through intensive after-school education and enrichment. He also participates with the Tony Hawk Foundation, which supports recreational programs focusing on the creation of public skateboard parks in low-income communities.
Endearingly known as the ‘skateboarding dentist,’ Dr. Marashi can often be found at the skateparks of Los Angeles. It is on the wheels of a skateboard where he finds balance and relaxation, all the while while exploring the city he calls home. In his free time, Dr. Jon Marashi still loves to skateboard. He also enjoys having dinner with his family and spending weekends with his friends.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I’ve loved smiles and teeth for as long as I can remember, and ever since I settled on dentistry as my career path, I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and have my own practice. I wanted the freedom to be able to develop and design the way I ran my office, and to build on my own vision instead of building on somebody else’s.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day for me centers around patient care. I generally get to work an hour before everyone else, and that gives me a bit of quiet time to return telephone calls and emails to specialists and to finish charting notes. I do handle some administrative duties, but the lion’s share of my day is spent doing patient care. For example, after this interview ends, I have a follow-up appointment to check on a procedure done yesterday. For the next seven hours after that, I’ll be doing what’s called a full mouth reconstruction, where I’m rebuilding a person’s entire mouth, including all 28 teeth. I have another checkup after that, but by that time it’ll be almost 5 pm and time to go home. That’s a pretty typical day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring an idea to life by talking with colleagues and friends of mine who are successful business professionals, basically to soundboard them and see if it’s a good idea or not. If it is a good idea, it’s then a matter of designing a plan for implementation. The rest revolves around execution.
I know that may sound overly simple, but that’s really how it works. Earlier in my career, when I was less experienced, I would get an idea and start trying things, only to change course when the next idea came along. I was always chasing the next shiny object or idea that came my way. That sort of behavior comes from inexperience. But I learned over time that behaving like that creates a pile of half-finished projects that go nowhere. So, bringing ideas to life is really about spending time planning and determining whether the idea is worth pursuing, and then, if it is, following through with it fully.
What’s one trend that excites you?
More and more, people want to improve the appearance of their smiles. That excites me, of course, because that’s the exact service I provide. I’ve always felt strongly that a smile is your most important asset. It’s your greeting card, and the first thing people see and notice about you. So, being in possession of a good-looking smile instills confidence in people. There’s no question that in this day and age, there has been an increased awareness and emphasis on looking better and feeling better about yourself. I can’t think of a better way to start than with a great smile.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Discipline and consistency in whatever I’m doing. I’ll add, also, the ability to say ‘no’ to things. To be successful, you have to be really good at a very small number of things, rather than being average at a whole bunch of things. So, I’ve limited my scope and my focus to a smaller number of things that I know I can be exceptional at executing. Sometimes that means sacrificing other opportunities or things I might enjoy doing because I just don’t have the mental bandwidth or the time to do it. Sometimes you have to be able to say ‘no’ to what seem like good opportunities or fun events because they might take you away from the goals you set out to achieve in the first place.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would remind my younger self that good things come to those who refuse to wait. What I mean by that is make stuff happen. Find a way. Life is not about sitting around and waiting for things to fall in your lap. You have to go out and work hard for it every day.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Jerry Seinfeld had this series called Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. In one, he’s in the car driving around with Chris Rock, and he points out these kids skateboarding and trying to do tricks. They wipe out and fall, but every time they get back up and try it again. They do this again and again, until finally they land the trick.
There’s a life lesson there. When I see kids skateboarding, I know that those kids are going to be okay. I say that because skateboarding has taught me a lot about life and business. You’re on your skateboard, and you’re gonna hurl yourself toward certain death, and you’re doing it with a big smile on your face even though you know you’re not going to land this thing. But you go for it anyway, and you fall over and over and over again, until you finally make it. And that experience is really a lot like life. Nobody has a certain path, and no one is going to get it right the first time. But if you pick yourself back up, and you keep doing it over and over, sooner or later, you’re going to land it.
That level of commitment and determination is required to create successful outcomes in life. Often people will say “Well, I tried it, and it didn’t work.” But how many times did you try it? Did you try to do it a different way, and if so, how many different ways? You have to keep trying over and over, making little adjustments along the way until you get it right, which is very much like skateboarding.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Continuous learning. Never stop educating yourself, both in business and in life. There are so many resources you can take advantage of in this respect, especially now, considering the development of the internet and sites like YouTube. These days, people have access to the best information from the best sources in the world for free. Never stop taking advantage of that. Be a student for life.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that has helped me grow my practice has been to develop strong personal relationships with my clients. If you think about it, dentistry is actually quite intimate, right? You’re letting someone into a very small and private space—your mouth. It takes a lot of trust between the doctor and the patient, and you spend a lot of time with these people. One of the things that has really brought me great pleasure is getting to know each person that I’m treating—who they are, where they’re from, what they’re interested in, their lives, their families, and whatever else. As a dentist, oftentimes, during the week, you’ll spend more time with your patients than you do with your family. So, for me, my patients have become my second family. My closest and best friends on the planet are actually my patients, which might sound odd to some people. But it’s been an absolute blessing to have these close and personal friendships with people that have entrusted me with their care.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Early in my career, in my first five years of being a dentist, I spent a lot of time developing my skills as a dentist, but not a lot of time on learning to be a good leader and effective businessperson. At that point in my career, I didn’t have the experience or the maturity to recognize my shortcomings and where I needed to spend more time and energy. As time progressed, I gained a little more experience and wisdom and started to recognize that I had areas of operation that I needed to improve, and I used that realization as a motivator to become better at leadership and business.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’m not sure I have a specific business idea, really. What I will say is that I have been an entrepreneur myself, often trying to come up with the next big, undiscovered thing. But I also believe that there are existing products and services that have yet to be optimized. I think if you can solve a consumer’s pain point or meet their needs by building a better mousetrap, there’s a lot of value to that. There are a lot of products and services that I think are ripe for disruption. It’s just about being creative and figuring out how to better solve the pain points for consumers. That usually comes down to efficiency of delivery, quality of product, ease of access, lower cost, and other things like that.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
About a week and a half ago, for no other reason than just because, I bought Starbucks for everyone in the office. It was about $100. To me, the idea of a Starbucks coffee is not a big deal. But to a hardworking staff, it can be an unexpected surprise. Something as simple as that can bring so much instant happiness and gratitude from your team, and as a result, make their day a little brighter. And when their day is brighter, they work harder and more effectively. I did it for no other reason than because I thought it’d be a nice thing to do, but the return on investment on that small action was immeasurable.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
In our office, we use dental practice management software that shows us all of the business analytics pertaining to the practice. It’s kind of like an accounting report specific to dentistry, showing what’s going on in real time. It covers ongoing procedures, procedures that are coming up, what my productivity looks like, how many of each procedure I’m doing, what the billable hours look like, and so on and so forth. If you’re trying to improve certain areas of a business, it really helps to know which ones might actually need it, and having the data readily available to make those determinations is invaluable.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
That’s an easy one. The Road Less Stupid by Keith J. Cunningham. He’s been a business mentor for me, and out of all the books on business that I’ve read, this is by far the best one.
What is your favorite quote?
“You didn’t quit skateboarding because you got old, you got old because you quit skateboarding.” — Jay Adams
The essence of this quote is you’ve got to use it or lose it. I’ve been skateboarding since I was 12 years old. I’m almost 49 now and I’ve never stopped. It’s definitely helped to keep me healthy, active, and flexible. It’s something I plan to continue doing for many years to come. There are a lot of people my age whose bodies can’t take it, but I plan to keep skateboarding until the wheels fall off, so to speak.
- When you have a good idea, follow through. You’ll never get anything done if you just jump from one idea to the next in search of the latest shiny thing.
- Specialize. You’ll find more success as a master of just a few things than as a jack of all trades.
- Success won’t just fall into your lap. Go out and get it.
- Never stop learning. It’s easier now than it’s ever been to keep learning throughout your entire life. Take advantage of that.
- Even the smallest acts of kindness can pay dividends.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.