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a blog by Chris Barrow

Paying it forward

“Sorry” is, at least, a start and makes a refreshing change from individuals, corporations and other super-rich/powerful organisations who seem incapable of accepting responsibility for their blatantly obvious wrongdoings.

So (leading on from yesterday’s post), Google sent a very nice person along to say “sorry”, although they didn’t offer a solution to the original problem, offering merely to take a look at things.


Yesterday was fun.

After a morning in The Barrow Bunker, catching up on emails and preparing for the week ahead, I borrowed Annie’s car and drove over to Alderley Edge to have a long-delayed lunch with on old friend, financial planner Keith Thompson.

Keith was my top customer in the early 1980’s when I was a very driven and ambitious sales rep for Hambro Life Assurance and inherited his account from a former colleague.

His support rocketed me to the top of the company league tables and formed a springboard from which I built a successful career as a financial planner over the following 10 years. I owe Keith a debt of gratitude for his early support, encouragement and mentorship – he took me under his wing and demonstrated “best practice” in business and in life.

He is now in his 70’s, fit and active and Chairman of Clarion Wealth Management, providing financial planning services to HNW (high net worth) individuals.

From there to Ashley Latter’s training centre in Radcliffe to record the latest episode of our podcast.

Ashley was less than 24 hours from his landing after a week delivering courses in Sydney and Melbourne, so a decent dose of caffeine preceded our conversation about booking the time for holidays, some highlights from my Oman trip, from his Australian trip and then a detailed conversation on why referrals are the best way to grow your business, why they are not requested frequently enough and what to do about it. Watch out for the latest episode of Two Reds are Better Than One in the next few days.

Returning home, I was chatting last night with my good friend Simon Reilly (business coach for North American financial advisors). We meet every month on Skype simply to catch up and share ideas.

Simon and Laura have recently taken an extended retreat in a remote resort in Southern California and their time “off the grid” has produced expected benefits – re-charge, refresh, renew. Most importantly, time to think.

My last Skype before dinner was with a new friend, Jessy Rodriguez currently lives in New York and has 25+ years experience as a dental practice manager, working with her last Employer to grow sales from $400,000 to $1,200,000 (that’ll do as a CV).

She has decided to launch a career as a dental business coach and was referred to me by her coach/mentor, another old friend Terri Hase.

I’m going to meet with Jessy monthly by Skype to answer and questions and pass on what I can – there will be no charge for that, it comes under the category of “paying it forward”.

In this way, the world turns and we evolve.

30+ years ago, Keith Thompson mentored me.

20+ years ago, Ashley Latter and I met and became friends and cross-referred clients ever since.

10+ years ago I mentored Simon Reilly and have seen his practice and his wisdom grow.

Yesterday I made a new friend – as a result of a referral.

It’s amazing what happens when we make the time for other people.

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