Winding down

Yesterday was great fun – the morning with a young couple who want to start their own new dental practice in February. They are full of ideas, enthusiasm and talent – a real pleasure to share in and recall those heady, romantic days when we launch a new venture. I look forward to working with them in 2006 and adding a guiding influence.
I took lunch alone in a very nice hotel by Manchester Airport and just enjoyed the rest and a chance to catch up on emails and indulge in a little people watching.
A corporate conference was taking place and the lobby packed with bright young things taking a break from their proceedings. A host of blue suits, white shirts and red ties, smoking vociferously and chatting into their mobile phones. It was a reminder of my corporate UK days (the 80’s), when I dressed and behaved in much the same way, although we didn’t have portable phones in those days and used to fight for access to a pay phone – neither, for that matter, did we have email.
How on earth did anything get done?
I would drive into my Manchester city centre office at 7.00am and spend 2 hours talking into a dictation machine before leaving for a day in the car, visiting my accounts as a sales rep.
Then usually back in the office about 4.00pm to spend a good hour on the phone before clearing the decks for the next day.
With an hour’s commute each way, the days were long but exciting – I was a performer, winning every sales competition going and loving the applause of the crowd.
Looking back, there wasn’t so much technology but I was always very effective and efficient – in fact, a version of the Franklin Covey time management system accompanied me everywhere then and still does nowadays – I’ve been in and out of electronic “to do” lists in the intervening 20 years and ended up back with a paper-based system.
Yesterday afternoon and evening I enjoyed an excellent business meeting and meal with arguably my biggest Strategic Alliance partner for The Dental Business School. We agreed joint-marketing ventures through to May 2007 and I already know that this will maintain my visibility in the profession. To top that off with a relaxed meal in an excellent Italian restaurant – perfect.
Today, I’m sat at a desk just clearing emails, post and phone calls – wearing an old pair of walking pants and a fleece – I look a bit of a mess but that’s one of the pleasures of self-employment.
Last night, I was discussing with my S/A partner his thoughts about retirement, having reached his 60th this year.
“Not a chance – I’m enjoying myself too much. I’ll just focus on increasing my current 14 weeks of annual vacation by a little more each year but wouldn’t think of stopping unless and until I stopped having fun.”
So I begin the day with a start-up couple enthusing about their future – and end it with a 60-year old enthusing about his future.
My blog entries will be intermittent over the days head.
Have a good rest.


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.