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a blog by Chris Barrow


Dreamer, you know you are a dreamerWell can you put your hands in your head, oh no! I said dreamer, you’re nothing but a dreamer Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no! I said “Far out, – What a day, a year, a laugh it is!” You know, – Well you know you had it comin’ to you, Now there’s not a lot I can do

A friend passed on the comment to me at the BDTA that a well-known dental personality had described Chris Barrow as “The Icarus of Dentistry.” Well – quite apart from referring him to Seth Godin’s excellent book “The Icarus Deception” I pondered what that was supposed to intimate and what it actually meant. The intimation is that Chris Barrow has tried to fly too close to the sun and burned his wings. Point noted – I’ve done that 3 times in my career and 2012 was the latest. Godin suggest that the alternative to flying too high – is flying too low – and I doubt I can ever be accused of that. Last weekend at the BACD I had the good fortune to meet quite a few dreamers:

  1. dreaming, 10 years ago, that there was room for yet another association in dentistry

  2. dreaming about opening their own private squat

  3. dreaming of the end to a war with a troublesome business partner

  4. dreaming of a secure and fair route to exit their business

  5. dreaming of breaking through their own glass ceiling

  6. dreaming of delivering outstanding dentistry

The very next day, at TEDx Salford, I joined my eldest son and daughter in listening to more dreamers who:

  1. after 14 rejections by NASA, still became an astronaut

  2. dreamed a story and became one of the first million-seller female writers in the UK

  3. grew up in care and dreamed of writing poetry and discovering parents

  4. dreamed of escaping apartheid and playing football – to play for Manchester United and score on their debut

  5. dreamed of visiting every country in the world without using flight

The world is perhaps full of dreamers who are not prepared to take risks – their dreams remain just that. Then there are the dreamers who take the chance and “have a go” – they are the people who change the world for the better. Nobody stands on a stage at a dental conference or a TEDx meeting and tells a story about how they tried something, it worked first time and they had a great life. The speakers tell of overcoming adversity, challenging the status quo, failing over and over again and, eventually, mostly when they are least expecting – making it. My dreams aren’t over – even after the challenges of last year . I am inspired by the speakers at TEDx, inspired by those who chat to me at conferences and share their dreams, revitalised every single day of my working life by my clients, who never stop dreaming and allow me to be a catalyst in the process of making their dreams come true. Clay Anderson eventually became one of NASA’s top astronauts with over 127 days in space. Joanne Harris published Chocolat and became a super-star. Lemn Sissay is a world-renowned poet who is now organising The Christmas Dinner for Manchester’s children in care. Quinton Fortune is now a UNICEF ambassador and football coach. Graham Hughes now lectures worldwide on his travel adventures, having completed his world record attempt. I have failed in business 3 times in 20 years – and I’m still bouncing back and doing it again. This Icarus is going to fly again.

If I could see something You can see anything you want boy If I could be someone- You can be anyone, celebrate boy. If I could do something- Well you can do something, If I could do anything- Well can you do something out of this world?

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