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a blog by Chris Barrow

Thinking about my week


On the 06:40 from Cardiff Central to Leeds (via Birmingham New Street) in a first class carriage (thank you Phillippa) and with reasonable wifi and my Bose wireless headphones banging out the Funky House London podcast whilst I work through emails, blog, project work, a few cosmetic last minute changes to my BDA Whitening Day presentation.

Yesterday, as I was trotting through Newbury with a group of 401challenge runners, supporting the amazing Ben Smith, Patrick Allen from Henry Schein asked, “so when are you going to retire CB?”

Answer: “never Patrick – I’m planning to do a Tommy Cooper” (preferably not at today’s BDA Whitening conference).

I work an average 65-hour week because I love what I do, where I do it, when I do it and the people I do it with.

Whether it’s a 25-year old associate celebrating his first few weeks in mentored private practice, or (last night) a 47-year old chatting to me about his options for the next 15 years in practice ownership, I just love this work.

There are weeks like this one where the schedule is exhausting (self-inflicted I hasten to add) but, somehow, when you love what you do, the energy just flows when it has to flow.

This week:

Monday start 05:00 – finish 16:00

Tuesday start 04:00 – 22:00

Wednesday 05:00 – 21:00

Thursday 03:45 (ouch) – 21:30

Friday 05:00 – 19:00 (projected)

Places visited:

  1. Manchester

  2. Belfast

  3. Derry

  4. Penrith

  5. Newbury

  6. Cardiff

  7. Leeds

Types of activity

  1. Management team meetings

  2. Full team meetings

  3. Face to face with owners

  4. Public speaking

  5. Running a half-marathon whilst talking shop


  1. 5 taxis

  2. 2 flights

  3. 1 hire car

  4. 10 trains

  5. 1 pair of trainers

This week I also connected with a young man who was bullied to the point of a suicide attempt as a teenager and decided to raise £250,000 to support anti-bullying charities.

I listened to a business owner and family man struggling to come to terms with his wife’s life-threatening illness.

As always, I shared the frustrations of business ownership with those striving to make it work.

It’s a sunny morning in South Wales and as I travel North courtesy of Cross Country Rail, I count my blessings:

  1. a wonderful career

  2. a loyal and committed support team

  3. a new web site (still being snagged)

  4. fabulous external suppliers

  5. amazing clients who are a pleasure to work with

  6. an amazing lady at home

  7. 5 individually splendid adult children

  8. my mind, body and spirit


Not a chance.

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