“HOW” to “WHO” – the biggest step you can take in growing your business

There comes a point in our evolution as owners when we run out of time to Get Things Done.

Equally, there will be a time when we run out of personal expertise.

I reached such a point in the last few days, whilst developing a new support service for dental practices that will launch on 1st September 2018.

The last year has been about “getting ready” by doing the research necessary to answer the question WHAT do I want to offer as the new service and HOW would that function and look?

A journey that has travelled up some blind alleys, only to reach a dead end (or an insurmountable obstacle) followed by a reversal back to an earlier point in the journey and a new direction.

My first epiphany was in June 2017, when I decided that I wanted there to be a new WHAT.

It took me from June 2017 to October 2017 to answer the question “what is the WHAT?”.

I thought I’d had a second epiphany when I arrived at my first answer to that question.

I spent from October 2017 to March 2018 struggling up a blind alley, only to hit a wall.

Having said that, the wall turned into my third epiphany, realising that my WHAT wasn’t congruent with my Unique Abilities.

I was trying to do something that didn’t feel effortless and joyful.

So in March 2018, after 6 months of struggle, the WHAT completely changed.

Since then, I have invested a further 3 months in answering the question “HOW would that work?”

“Once I have watched all the tutorials and familiarised myself with the HOW, I’ll then be able to tell other people what to do.”


It took a lunchtime conversation with a best friend on Monday and with my business coach on Tuesday to get me through the blockage to my own thinking and progress.

I’ve run out of time and expertise to familiarise myself with the HOW.

Time to put down the HOW and ask the question WHO?

“WHO do I know who can get the HOW done?”

The search began on Tuesday afternoon with one post on social media, Facebook Messenger conversations with 2 “in the know” friends and a conversation with Phillippa Goodwin.

In 48 hours I have had three applications for the WHO position and I’ll be reviewing them when I get back from Italy (clients) and Spain (Practice Plan).

A timely reminder for us all that my journey from WHAT to WHO was diverted and delayed for over a year by an obsessive need to know HOW.

To grow our businesses exponentially, we don’t need to know HOW, we need to know WHO.


Published by

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.

One thought on ““HOW” to “WHO” – the biggest step you can take in growing your business”

  1. I’d have to agree, and I reckon dentists are above averagely bad at wanting to know about details that they shouldn’t/won’t subsequently concern them with day to day. When I was setting up in private practice I remember spending a long time comparing the prices and capacity of different plastic boxes and driving around Ikea and B+Q and looking at websites. Now I would just ask an employee to figure out a portable way to store stuff, and it would almost certainly be done online as the delivery charges would still be less than the loss of income from working. But these are the things I learn along the way, and would have had a hard time believing it until I’d lived it.

Comments are closed.