A Tuesday morning riff on Dental Students, content development, technology and banking fraud

The Future of Practice Ownership

Over the weekend I was asked to deliver a session on “Marketing in Independent Practice” to delegates at The British Undergraduate Dental Research Conference 2019 (Manchester University).

It was rather a privilege to be the only non-clinical speaker on the curriculum and I was pleased that, of the 300 delegates, around a quarter of them chose to attend my concurrent sessions.

Of those attending, no big surprise that the majority raised their hands in the affirmative when I asked who aspired to own their own practice in the future.

As well as questions on the material I covered (standard stuff on internal marketing), the most common question was “buy or squat?”

I answered, based on experience, that the squat option required deep pockets and resilience, whereas the buy option demanded patience as both team and patients are integrated (often with resistance) into a new way of thinking.

There is no right or wrong way – it’s a matter of taste – but those considering the squat route should be prepared for a long, hard journey.

I enjoyed my afternoon and love these sessions as they are an investment in the future – it amuses me to inform the delegates that they only have 34.5 years left to hire me as a coach.

A Bunker Week

A new development in my own calendar management is the week in which I have no client meetings or travel and invest my own time in content development.

This week I have four uninterrupted days in The Bunker and I’ll focusing on three tasks:

  • this morning – preparation for the second of our quarterly regional meetings in The Extreme Business Workshop Programme;
  • this afternoon and tomorrow – creation of the second online training course to form part of The Extreme Business Club offer (our new online training portal launching in April). My objective is to create The Financial Course – a complete A to Z of everything owners and managers need to know in order to master the finances of their business;
  • later in the week I’ll be continuing work on The Extreme Business Club, with the creation of an onboarding video for new members.

The opportunity to work ON the business is priceless and a welcome change from the relentless travel of recent weeks.

Irritating technology

Last year I set myself a target and a reward for its completion.

The target was for 2019 sales and I’ve hit that.

The reward was a new Macbook Pro 13″, fully spec’ed with just about every power enhancement available. That’s a big investment for me but consistent with power requirements of some of the video software we will be using this year.

The Macbook Pro arrived yesterday and, after a night of data transfer, I’m typing this post on the new laptop right now. Happy me.

Not so happy when I hooked up my 27″ Acer monitor this morning to see a whole heap of nothing happening.

After reading threads online, I discover that my model of monitor cannot cope with the new Thunderbolt ports on the laptop – #fail on my part for not doing the research (although it wouldn’t have stopped me ordering).

I now discover that the monitor has to be shipped back to Acer for a firmware upgrade – we shall see how much that costs and how long it takes.

First-world problem I admit – but none the less an irritation.


As much of an irritation as the call from Barclays Bank last night to point out that somebody was trying to buy cinema tickets in Madrid with my debit card.

Goodness only knows how that has happened – which of the myriad transactions over the last few weeks have resulted in my card information being stolen.

Two blessings counted here – first, that Barclays picked that up within hours and blocked my card; second, that the imagination of the culprits only extended to a night at the movies.

I now have to wait 3 to 4 days for a new card – and figure out how I’m going to access my train tickets for Thursday this week – grrrrr!

In the meantime – client calls for emergencies only and head down now to create some evergreen content.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.

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