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a blog by Chris Barrow

Sweat the asset

There is no point in hiring:

  1. a trainer to show you how to do something

  2. a consultant to apply the training in your business/life

  3. a coach to hold you accountable or

  4. a mentor to guide your strategy

and then not ask them enough questions. My first and greatest teacher in coaching, the late Thomas Leonard, taught me back in the early 90s that “the client does the work, the coach does’t do the work”. When I work with clients, they can choose from:

  1. 1:1 meetings

  2. team training sessions

  3. study group hosting

  4. unlimited email access

  5. telephone access via Phillippa

  6. completion of a weekly email progress report

  7. access to an archive of intellectual property

and yet…… I find that, on average, perhaps 40% of the (fee-paying) clients access 40% of the material and services. You would think that “at my prices” they would suck me dry of information and hound me to death – but it has never happened. That’s why, many years ago, I coined the phrase ‘coaching gym’ – because, like a gym, the lights are on, the equipment is ready – but only a proportion of the members show up. A gym never call you and ask “where have you been?” and I don’t call clients and ask “why haven’t you asked me anything recently?” But it is hellishly frustrating when a client pays and doesn’t utilise. The cynic would say ‘the more the better’ but my job satisfaction is in making a difference and watching people grow – not in banking cash for doing nothing. Passive income sucks – you can keep it. It leads to supervised neglect not just in dentistry but in all businesses, even coaching. I love a week like this one, in Ireland, in which I have trained, consulted, hosted, coached and mentored, then answered emails plus phone calls – when I’m exhausted on a Friday night. I love the Irish – they always sweat the asset.

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