The Pain Barrier

Why, I wonder, do so many people procrastinate on making tough decisions about relationships until the short-term pain of making the decision becomes greater than the long-term pain of doing nothing about it?

There’s not a week goes by that I’m not listening to a prospect or client explain in gruelling detail (sometimes for the second or third time) how the performance and/or behaviour of another person is making them unhappy.

My response is a predictable “replace them”.

In business, I’m in the business of fixing people who pay me to fix them.

In business, I’m not in the business of fixing people who I pay.

Neither should you be.

If a client has a problem, I’ll try my damnedest to help them solve it.

You are there to solve patients’ problems.

If a team member or a supplier has a problem, I suggest they heal themselves, get external help or move on.

Would you be surprised if I told you that clients frequently ask me to try and fix their team members?

It’s important to make a distinction here.

I don’t mind training, consulting with, coaching or mentoring team members.

What I’m not prepared to do – not even for money – is try and fix them.

Fixing the person who:

  • doesn’t believe in private dentistry;
  • doesn’t believe in Facebook as a marketing platform;
  • doesn’t believe that collecting patient’s email addresses, testimonials and selfies is important;
  • doesn’t believe that what you asked them to do yesterday and have ready today needs doing today;
  • doesn’t believe in ethical selling;
  • doesn’t believe in your core values;
  • doesn’t believe in your prices;
  • doesn’t believe in unpaid overtime;
  • doesn’t believe in your vision.

If you know who I’m talking about – it’s already time to let them go.

Short-term pain, long-term gain.

Take the pill.


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.