Letters from a perfect imperfectionist: Lesson

I’ve learned a lesson about myself since January this year.

I’m getting older.

On the bright side, my Barcelona Marathon was a triumph and improved my self-esteem by 1000%, restoring a self-image of myself as a runner.

Before then the daily achievements of my dental friends (many of whom are avid cyclists, runners and triathletes – after all, wouldn’t you be at the end of a clinical day?) have been psyching me out and my last three marathon sufferances left me wondering whether it was time to get an allotment and some pigeons.

Since then, the running shoes are on, Strava downloaded, a new Garmin on the birthday list and my next big addictive disorder will be renewed long-distance running, provided I don’t injure myself – pace not race.

On the dark side, we have been travelling Britain with the Artisan Roadshows since the start of the year and, as the designated public speaker, I have found myself arriving at a hotel after a full day of delivery, expected to fire up the Quattro and give a further two-hours of entertainment.

The feedback has been good – life in the old dog yet and some sparkling success stories as far as business results from the gigs.


After every event I have woken the next day, felling as if whilst I slept, someone poured sand into my eyelids and stuffed cotton wool in my ears until my head was full.

Burn out.

The kind of morning where you are going through the motions, limbs moving independently of brain, language monotone and predictable – no innovation, just repetition of well-worn phrases and ideas.

Not good.

So that guy who, in the 90’s, just kept going and going, sometimes with diminishing numbers of wheels on his wagon – that guy – the man in black with the tinted hair, he doesn’t live here any more.

Chatting to Phillippa about this the other day (and impressing upon her that I didn’t see this as “her fault”) we agreed to a simple remedy.

Three sessions a day – morning, afternoon and evening.

Two sessions working “on” or “in” the business and one session rest and play.

Sounds childishly simple doesn’t it?

First problem:

soonest I can do that CB is July

Second problem:

Im happy to implement these systems CB but then you over-ride yourself and tell me you want to do it

Third problem:

so if travel is work CB, how do I fit in the travel and the meetings?

Phillippa, of course, is correct.

Physician/Coach heal thyself.

The good news at 61.5 years, the pain of doing something about this has become greater than the pain of not doing something about it.

I’ll getting older.

So I’ll go slower.

The next time I am berating a client for poor time management, I will remind myself that it took me 45 years of full-time work to get the message.

“These “letters” are the personal observations of me, Chris Barrow and are not intended to reflect the views of 7connections and its team members, they just give me permission to publish here on the basis that they can keep an eye on me, a bit like a mad relative at a wedding reception. I’m likely to upset the sensitive and outrage the sensible – if you fall into either of those camps then read at your peril.”


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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.