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a blog by Chris Barrow

Friday riff

1. Here's a link to my article in Dental Tribune on "The Patient Experience"

2. and here's a link to a free webinar I'll be running for National Dental Seminars on Wednesday 2nd August at 19:00 - 2 hours on "How to stay popular, busy and profitable during an economic downturn" - loads of marketing ideas for you.

3. Day 5 of 6 of this week's road trip. After 2 days in Ireland I'm back in London today to meet a close friend and long-standing client who owns a completely self-managing dental business. We will be "shooting the breeze" - which involves (weather permitting) just walking around London and talking as we walk. If it rains we head for a museum or art gallery and carry on talking.

4. Bob the taxi. It's been a long time since I chatted with my taxi drivers - the pandemic put paid to that - but this week I've chatted to a few in Ireland. On Wednesday morning at 07:30 Bob picked me up from Shannon for a 30-minute ride to Limerick.

As I dropped my bags in his boot, he invited me to sit "up front" (that hasn't happened since before Covid) and we enjoyed a long conversation during our journey.

Bob (probably in his 70's) lost his wife to illness last year and hates living alone. He has three adult children who keep an eye on him but he's the first to admit that they have very busy lives and he doesn't want to be a burden.

He sets his alarm for 03:00 every morning, 7 days a week, and, after a quick wash and a coffee he has his first pick up at 03:30. The local hotels know he is available and he does a lot of airport runs first thing.

Then it's school runs, shopping runs and the general needs of the local population.

He finishes at 13:00 and heads home, where he enjoys a bottle of red wine every afternoon - and is off to bed at around 19:30 most days.

Bob was very excited to learn that I was considering the West Atlantic Way as a cycling tour in 2025.

He became very energised as he gave me firm instructions:

  1. When you are in Sligo you MUST take a detour to Drumcliffe Cemetery and visit the grave of W. B. Yeats to read his gravestone on which is written "Cast a cold eye on Life. On Death, Horseman pass by."

  2. Whilst in that area, go and see Glencar waterfall and The Devil's Chimney;

  3. Later on, as you ride through County Clare, make sure you travel to see the lighthouse at Loop Head and "see the mighty Shannon as it reaches the Atlantic".

As we reached our destination, Bob leaped out of his taxi and pressed firmly into my hand his little home-made business card - "Bob's Cab - on time - every time".

He shook my hand vigorously, looked me firmly in the eye, and said "If you are ever in trouble, anywhere, call me."

4. Even though it's Friday, I'm excited about tomorrow because I'll be spending the day with my business coach Rachel Turner, designing Chris Barrow from ages 70 to 80.

My bucket list is getting longer.

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