Why 3 weeks at home has been a great start to 2019 – and what you need to do about it

Somewhat of a shock to the system this morning as my alarm call is 04:20 so that I can catch an early train down to London.

Today I’m meeting with my business coach Rachel Turner (RT) and joined by Rachel Barrow for the full day and Phillippa Goodwin on video-link at various points in the proceedings.

The objective of the day is to seriously map out all the tasks and deadlines for:

  • delivery of an exceptional coaching experience to our 2019 clients;
  • development plans for Extreme Business during the year;
  • our 2020 marketing plan to be implemented in Q4 of 2019 (yes – we are planning next year on 10th January this year)

This is my first day of travel since 20th December – which means that I have been home for 21 days.

I simply cannot remember when or whether I have ever had that much time off the road in my 22 years of dental business coaching.

It was planned over a year ago when I decided that I wanted a week’s vacation over the festive season and then 2 full weeks in The Bunker working 80% ON the business and 20% with clients via video call and email.

The experience has been remarkable and today’s meeting with Rachel Turner will be the icing on that cake as we bring all the separate threads together into a comprehensive plan of action, a roadmap to which I know that RT will hold me accountable.

I’ve found so much benefit from this process that it is already booked in for January 2020 and will become a permanent fixture in my calendar.

I have enjoyed huge amounts of uninterrupted time in The Bunker but, equally, time to think as I’ve logged around 150km on the bike, wrapped up against the cold weather but free to breath in the fresh air and widen my mental horizons. Even walking the dogs twice a day with Annie has been an opportunity to talk about our shared aspirations for the year.

I know it’s commercially incestuous to suggest that working with a coach has transformed my life in the last 18 months – but it’s simply the truth.

She charges more than I do – but it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made – she keeps me:

  • very focused on my stated objectives
  • away from distractions and BSOs (bright shiny objects that divert my attention)
  • with my feet in the fire – she will not let me procrastinate or avoid important issues.

I credit her with the best start to a year that I’ve enjoyed since 2001 – that’s a long time ago.

My messages to you today:

  • hire a coach – if you don’t like my style, hire a different coach
  • plan adequate time to work ON your business – adequate means time to think deeply about what you want for yourself and how you are going to achieve that by delivering real value to others
  • plan some fresh air and wide open spaces to stimulate your imagination

By the way – after 10 days of “Dry January” I’m going to embarrassingly admit to feeling much better physically and mentally and encouraged to get back to dry school nights in future.

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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.

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