Overnight success

How do you achieve overnight success?

  • get discovered on a national TV show?
  • rob a train and run to Brazil?
  • work your niche for 15 years?

I unfortunately, like many others, didn’t have the benefit of the first two and have had to rely on the latter.

Chatting to Alison King at The Dentistry Show, HR consultant extraordinaire, who is taking her first steps into the dental market.

She asks “how come everyone knows you?”

And I reflect on my first visit to a dental show – the BDTA – in 1996 here at the NEC.

Wandering around for a full day and meeting one person I knew – Jeff Caddick at Castle Ceramics – not another soul knew me.

Since then I’ve:

  • written articles, ezines, blogs, tweets and anything else I can get my head around
  • driven up and down the country attending endless BDA, BACD, Study Group and Supplier meetings
    • sometimes big fees, sometimes none
    • sometimes big audiences, sometimes few
    • sometimes hit the mark, sometimes bombed
    • made some friends, made some enemies
    • said the right thing – and the wrong thing
    • upset some and inspired others
  • attended multiple trade shows and conferences every year
  • turned up at interminable dinners
  • coached over 700 clients for fee
  • helped many more for free
  • listened to a million stories with an empathetic ear
  • kept confidences and promises
  • heard wonderful testimonials
  • heard outrageously untrue and unfair gossip about myself and others
  • tolerated the greedy and the power-mad
  • started new ideas that have fallen at the first fence
  • innovated ideas that have worked slowly
  • wobbled but never fallen down
  • lifted other trainers, consultants and coaches on the first rungs of their career ladder
  • made catastrophic mistakes and faux pas
  • made a few good decisions

And now I know everyone – and 2010 is evolving into my busiest and most enjoyable year for a decade.

Day one at The Dentistry Show has been superb for networking and, along the way, I have secured over £5000 of consultancy business and agreed dates for more gigs later this year and in 2011.

I’ve also taken possession of my shiny new referral business cards from Cathy Johnson – and I love them.

The quick way to become an overnight success is to take 15 years.

Ready, steady, go!


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.