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a blog by Chris Barrow

Highs and Lows and Burn-out

Arrived back at midnight last night and today I am burned out. It’s a feeling I know and recognise, although I’m glad to say it happens less frequently nowadays. The Patient Journey workshop was delivered successfully in Manchester on Tuesday, Belfast on Wednesday and Watford on Thursday and I reflect on some of the “highs and lows” of the last few days. Highs:

  1. Arriving back in Manchester Airport just 5 hours before the security clampdown. I could have flown from Belfast to Luton on Thursday morning and avoided a 200-mile drive on Wednesday evening. If I had taken that option, 60+ people in Watford would have had no presenter!

  2. A thank-you email from Paul Nelson this morning (my business development manager) to say how much he enjoyed the week, his job and appreciates my leadership style.

  3. The appreciation of the the dental principals who attended this week’s “gigs” – speaking or emailing to say that the work we do is helping them move forward.

  4. The laughter we have enjoyed for the last 4 days – individually silly events in hotels, airports, restuarants – that lighten the day. My favourite was the elderley security man at Belfast City Airport who took one look at my stereo speakers and said “I’m going to have to x-ray your woofta sir.”

  5. Getting my flying banana serviced at Bauer Millett in Manchester and picking up a nice gleaming valeted Pontiac GTO on Wednesday evening (and thank you to John in their service department for world-class customer service).

  6. Seeing my new-look blog this morning (thank you Mark).

  7. The world of business opportunity in which I live – this week alone I have been asked to provide help that could give rise to 3 or 4 additional workshop subjects – so much to offer, so little time!


  1. A necessary email from Bonnie yesterday afternoon to say that cash flow is very tight and we have to discuss ways of accelerating cash flow and reducing/containing expenditure. The good news is that all the bills are paid and we have no creditors but August is proving to be a flat month for new business and it is hitting my bank balance hard. That’s what small business is like folks. Even the “million dollar coach” runs out of money periodically. I’m not going bust but we have to weather the storm – and that always makes me a little miserable.

  2. Sheer physical exhaustion. I turned on the laptop this morning, stared at it for a few minutes and then turned it off again – I’m going to break my own rules and work tomorrow morning – when I have had rest and a good night’s sleep. I believe it important to recognise our own limitations.

  3. 4 days without emails earlier this week. I’m still piecing together the story but it appears that somebody emailed me last Friday asking to unsubscribe from my ezine. A reply was not instantaneous and so this individual contacted our ISP and reported me as a spammer. Sunday night my server closed and it took us until Wednesday to reconnect. Quite scary really – I appreciate that we all need spam protection but this unnamed person closed my business down and I’m going to have to work Saturday to catch up. As Paddi Lund would say, “blame a system not a person” – so we will have to take a closer look at what happened.

  4. Starting to read my latest Haruki Murakami collection of short stories – and struggling to “tune in”. I love his novels, his craziness and labrythine plots – but this latest publication has so far been a series of short enigmas with no deep characters or story lines – I’m finding it all a bit superficial after expecting so much.

  5. Today’s visit to my dentist for a second round of root canal treatment – yuk.

Such is the obsessive attraction of blogging that, even today, I cannot resist the temptation to write. That will do though – back to rest and reading now.

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