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a blog by Chris Barrow

The Lifestyle Business

Most dental practice owners are building a lifestyle business.

A business that generates enough profit to simply finance your (good) lifestyle and seldom more.

The Gerber’s and Godin’s of this world would describe them as freelancers – people who have built a job for themselves but have no escape route.

There’s nothing wrong with that (after all, I have spent most of my adult life doing just the same). Some of us are just wired that way.


If you are working all the hours under the sun, never get home, worry about your expanding waistline, defend your actions to a frustrated spouse, see your children out of control and a dog that barks at you, have too much paperwork, the inability to delegate because you don’t trust your team, endless “to do” lists and cash that doesn’t flow – you don’t have a lifestyle.

The opposite of a lifestyle business is a no-lifestyle business.

It is never worth it in the end – because there is never any end.

I often hear “I’m going to put the hours in now so that I can ease off later” but people who burn themselves out this way seem to go on doing it year after year.

They have trained themselves to operate in that fashion – and just keep doing it – a repeating cycle of burn out.

The way to design a lifestyle business is to, first, design a lifestyle, second, fit the business into it.

If it doesn’t fit, you aren’t in the wrong lifestyle, you are in the wrong business.

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