The Lifestyle Business

Most dental practice owners are building a lifestyle business.

A business that generates enough profit to simply finance your (good) lifestyle and seldom more.

The Gerber’s and Godin’s of this world would describe them as freelancers – people who have built a job for themselves but have no escape route.

There’s nothing wrong with that (after all, I have spent most of my adult life doing just the same). Some of us are just wired that way.


If you are working all the hours under the sun, never get home, worry about your expanding waistline, defend your actions to a frustrated spouse, see your children out of control and a dog that barks at you, have too much paperwork, the inability to delegate because you don’t trust your team, endless “to do” lists and cash that doesn’t flow – you don’t have a lifestyle.

The opposite of a lifestyle business is a no-lifestyle business.

It is never worth it in the end – because there is never any end.

I often hear “I’m going to put the hours in now so that I can ease off later” but people who burn themselves out this way seem to go on doing it year after year.

They have trained themselves to operate in that fashion – and just keep doing it – a repeating cycle of burn out.

The way to design a lifestyle business is to, first, design a lifestyle, second, fit the business into it.

If it doesn’t fit, you aren’t in the wrong lifestyle, you are in the wrong business.


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.