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a blog by Chris Barrow

Sunday 16th January 2005

Well the last weekend has seen me make what could a momentous decision for 2005 and beyond. You may recall that, a few months ago, I put out a request in the newsletter’s for a driver (in the UK) and a personal assistant to handle the domestic “niff naff and trivia” (NN&T) that bog me down when I do return to base for a few days. I was blessed by 6 responses from readers who were interested in becoming the “Robin” to my “Batman” (if you get what I mean) but I had to take my time in thinking about this. December was consumed with client recruitment, delivery of coaching and internal team issues and then the holiday break was upon us. Client numbers are good but not quite as high as I would have wished – there is a lot of procrastination out there to do with dentists wondering what on earth Options for Change will “do to them” and Barbara has been working her butt off trying to gather clients in. We will hit our client recruitment targets for the year but probably from April rather than January – so we are being careful about expenses. Jen has faced similar challenges in the USA, added to my own uncertainty about residency (still unresolved) and her own recent (and hopefully temporary) illness. So I had to press the brake pedal on this project and allow January to come lumbering in – with a mind to restricted cash flows in the early part of the year as we will be building the client base further as 2005 unfolds. Accordingly I have decided to: 1. Curtail the “driver” until I can afford to do it properly and 2. Sub-contract my personal organisational to a part-time personal assistant who specialises in helping people like me – but working to a tightly controlled budget. Enter a new member of Team CB (as of this weekend) – Julie Pole, otherwise known as Miss Moneypenny ( I first spoke to Julie at a presentation I gave to North West coaches a year or so ago and we have kind of kept in touch since then. I met with Julie over the weekend and described my requirement – a personal assistant who take ALL of the domestic NN&T off my desk and just get it done – leaving me the weekends to rest, travel and think – instead of trying to catch up with laundry, light bulb repairs, sitting in call-waiting systems to get utilities fixed, organising travel – the list goes on. We have decided to pilot the service on my for a while – see how it works, see how we work together and see what it costs. I’ll keep you posted as to developments. I’m already feeling a sense of relief – Julie even offered to pick up some shopping for my 77-year old mother so that I don’t have to wander helplessly around a local supermarket looking for microwaveable bacon rashers (don’t ask).

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