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a blog by Chris Barrow

Running out of steam

Is it OK for the business coach to admit that, by around 16:00 yesterday, I had just "had enough" of the whole thing?

On balance I should be celebrating.

We now have 135 practices in The Regeneration Programme and The Extreme Business Buying Group.

The feedback from the clients on our coaching and support is marvellous.

The excitement around the power of the buying group grows.

The audience for Monday's Daily Briefing with Martin Woodrow was a record at almost 4,500 views.

The plans we have for the rest of 2020 are full of optimism and confidence for the difference we can make.

So why, at around 15:00 yesterday (just after I had finished this week's furloughed team tutorial ) did I find my energy and enthusiasm drop like a weighted body hurled off a bridge into a swirling river?

Before I try and analyse, let me reassure you that I'm back at my desk this morning and ready for another day of it.

At 16:00 yesterday I asked Annie if she fancied walking the dogs with me as I just had to get away from the desk, the screen, the keyboard and the devices. I had to stop staring at incoming emails, posts, messages, updates, opinions, my task list and expectant faces on a Zoom platform.

I've been sat here for 8 weeks and around 50 groundhog days.

I managed to establish my routine after two weeks:

  • 05:00 alarm

  • 05:15 office - morning set up and blog

  • 06:30 Wattbike then breakfast

  • 09:00 working ON the business at my desk (no calls)

  • 12:30 lunch

  • 13:00 Daily Briefing

  • 13:30 Zooms

  • 16:30 dog walk

  • 17:00 Zooms

  • 17:30 Group Zooms

  • I finish at 18:30 on 4 days and 20:30 on Thursday after the Forum.

  • Evening - box sets (1 episode a night), news and 30 minutes reading before lights out.

  • Rinse and repeat.

I think what may have thrown me off the bridge yesterday was the dawning realisation (especially after writing my own blog yesterday, bemoaning the fact that the private sector in dentistry still haven't been given a green light to get back to work) that we may only be at half-time in lockdown.

That I'm going to be sat here until the end of the year ("work at home if you can") and that my much-loved holiday to Ithaca, Greece isn't going to happen in July, my son's Stag Do and wedding are unlikely in August, our trip to France to see friends is looking dodgy - will we make the New York Marathon?

We all really do need the expectation of a good holiday don't we?

My confidence ran into a brick wall, realising that groundhog day is going to be here for some time.

At which point I follow the advice of my coach and count my many blessings:

  • Family all safe and well;

  • No home schooling!

  • The company of my best friend;

  • A brilliant team and coach;

  • Just the loveliest clients one could imagine;

  • My many friends in dentistry;

  • A thriving business;

  • My own health;

  • A bigger future.

I know, I know - I'd tell myself (if I were my client) to stop complaining and get on with it.

I just wanted to admit this morning (to myself and to you) that the coach is human and that, for about 2 hours yesterday, I'd just had enough.

The dog walk helped; fresh air, exercise and a chat with Annie.

Last night at 17:30 I co-hosted a webinar for Invisalign with Marcos White and I'll be the first to admit that I was the warm up for his excellent presentation on digital consults.

It was probably around 80% of my peak performance but, hopefully, the audience won't have spotted the difference and I'll be back with a bang (and some brand new material) for part 2 of our webinar next Tuesday.

At 18:30 I closed The Bunker with a huge internal sigh of relief.

A surprise followed.

Our first Deliveroo of lockdown.

Fish, chips and curry sauce, eaten al fresco in the back garden.

My best friend knows me well. What a star.

In bed and lights out by 22:00 last night and here I am, ready to go again.

My #1 task today is to put some serious focus this morning into a Return to Work cash flow forecast, experimenting with different patient flows, pricing models and team structures.

It's a big job, so I'll be putting my DDND sign up at 09:00 for three hours - Digital Do Not Disturb.

It's OK to have a crappy day CB.

I'm back.

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