What we learned in Toronto

I enjoyed a fascinating conversation with Michael Bungay Stanier over breakfast this morning and I was so inspired that I’ll write an ezine article about it next week – don’t miss it, he is an exceptional person.
For now, he asked me “if I took one of your clients to the bar and they loosened up (after a drink or two) and I then asked them “what were the three main benefits of the last 3 days working with CB?” – what would they answer?”
Great question – made me think carefully before I responded – as follows:
1. Permission to play a bigger game.
We all have a tendency to set our sights too low. I have a “million-dollar practice” and I was thinking about how to generate $2 million in sales in 2008. Michael challenged me to imagine a $10 million enterprise – simply because it would force me to think about different business models, rather than making my existing model more effective.
I have challenged my clients to undertake the same process and, in one memorable moment, a client committed to a 300% increase in revenues and profit next year. She knows she can do it – and just wanted a reason, which revealed itself in conversation.
2. The importance of building a team.
Looking at the sales and profit figures, we noticed a trend – increased sales lead to decreased profit through reinvestment in people (team).
At $30,000 sales, coaches are operating truly solo and have low overheads, high profit (80%?) and no way to grow – they plateau.
At $60,000 sales, coaches are operating with virtual and/or part-time assistance – maybe 50/60% profit and plateaued.
At $120,000, a full-time dedicated assistant, 40% profit and plateau.
At $240,000, a team, 33% profit and plateau.
At $1 million, a full team, 33% profit and plateau.
I’m imagining that, at $10 million, a full team and a full range of multiple stream products and services. I don’t know what the profit margin will be (I’ll let you know) but I guess I’ll be plateauing.
3. The value of community
We have created a mastermind group here in the last year. They began as a disparate group and have evolved into friends for life. My work is done but the group will live on – and continue to inspire each other.


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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.