THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Letters from a perfect imperfectionist: Things I’m bored with hearing

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away I regarded myself as being on missionary work to bring the truths of the business of dentistry to a fragmented market of independent and isolated Principals.

On reflection, an arrogant proposition – “the man in black” used to strut around hotel rooms, telling bewildered teams that what they were doing was rubbish.

I implied that if they didn’t listen to me and change, they would be consigned to a lifetime of struggle and anonymity.

Thus, the phrase “Barrowed up” was born and the Marmite camps took their places at either end of the see-saw of love, indifference and hate.

Some say that they were inspired by the message and the messenger.

Others hated both.

Most didn’t care.

A minority converted over the years to the love end of the plank.

However prophetic the material, even I think back and cringe at my delivery style.

I’m a little bit soz.

Then again, perhaps I was the colonic irrigation that the profession needed at that time?

It has been a relief to stand back as younger, more energetic missionaries have emerged from the bush with bright shiny beads to trade and a new taste of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

With the knowledge and experience that have entered through my own (sometimes self-inflicted) wounds, I hope that my style has mellowed somewhat – certainly (and metaphorically) the Hugo Boss t-shirts, trousers and shoes have long been sent off to the Oxfam shop.

The power clothes, the car, the big fat salary, all gone. I’ve even stopped wearing socks in the summer.

Perhaps, eventually, more tattoos, a loin cloth and mountain retreat where I dispense tweets of wisdom in return for offerings of Paleo food and drink?

For now though, the missionary work is over – I don’t need you to believe me any more.

So can I please submit for your study a list of 7 statements I’m bored with hearing (just to annoy the people who get annoyed when I break everything down into 7 steps just because it’s a reminder of the name of our business – ha!) that, although I would defend to the death your right to use them, I do not intend to respond to any more:

1. Most of our patients don’t have email addresses and, in any event, they don’t like giving them 2. We find it impossible to get patients to like our Facebook page – they are the wrong type of people for Facebook 3. I don’t believe the hygiene “pop-in” or dental health review system will work in our practice, our patients are used to seeing the same person every time and the team don’t want to do it 4. I cannot afford to lose any team or clinical member of the practice, no matter how they perform or behave, as they will be impossible to replace 5. We think that the reason our new patient numbers are down is increased price competition in the area 6. I cannot possibly work 4 days a week clinical – we will not be able to pay our bills 7. Our existing accountant, lawyer, trainer, web designer, consultant, digital marketing agency, architect, supplier, laboratory, et al, doesn’t seem to be fulfilling their original promise any more but we are going to keep using them because change would be disruptive

I’m not going to wrestle with you any more.

If you believe any of the above then you are right.

Don’t call me.

“These “letters” are the personal observations of me, Chris Barrow and are not intended to reflect the views of 7connections and its team members, they just give me permission to publish here on the basis that they can keep an eye on me, a bit like a mad relative at a wedding reception. I’m likely to upset the sensitive and outrage the sensible – if you fall into either of those camps then read at your peril.”

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