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a blog by Chris Barrow

The fly in the jam jar – when does the coach need a coach?

Remember the story of the fly trapped in the jam jar with a glass lid?

Stage 1 – the fly repeatedly hits the glass lid

Stage 2 – the fly learns to stop hitting the lid

Stage 3 – the glass lid is removed

Stage 4 – the jar is heated

Stage 5 – the fly becomes frantic but will not hit the (now imagined) lid

Stage 6 – the fly is destroyed by the heat

I have no idea whether there is any truth in that experiment but the metaphor is a useful one.

I’ve always hit the targets, whether set for me by others or set by myself.

Then I’ve become accustomed to operating at that new level and settled into a comfort zone.

Sometimes, heat has been applied (at home – school fees, a new car, bigger house; at work – payroll and operating expenses in an expanding business) and the target has increased dramatically.

That heat has frequently singed my wings (I was once described as the Icarus of dentistry).

Looking back at my working life – this was where my obsession with being a freelancer and not an entrepreneur was my undoing – I assumed that I had to pay the bills myself and not create businesses in which other people generated the extra income.

Lesson now learned – you cannot have the lifestyle of a freelancer and the assets of an entrepreneur (but – by the way – the opposite also applies).

I’ve now chosen the lifestyle of the freelancer (and I’ve rarely been happier).

I’m at a stage in my life where my financial commitments are reducing, as is my taste for any high life.

Thus my PSB (personal survival budget) is lower than at any time in the last 30 years.

But I think it’s making me too comfortable – meaning that I don’t believe I’m operating at my full potential.

I need a kick in the pants to raise my targets – “physician heal thyself”.

It’s not about the money.

I need some professional quests.

The epiphany over the last few days was that I need a coach.

Someone to help me take the lid off my jam jar.

Anyone out there brave enough to take that challenge?

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