I’m thoroughly enjoying Orhan Pamuk’s collection of essays “Other Colours” and have been reading his review of the works of Andre Gide, French 20th Century Nobel Prize winning novelist. I’m not familar with Gide but I am a trusting reader of Pamuk and quite proud of my discovery of history’s most famous Turkish writer (himself a Nobel winner last year). His comments on Gide caught my attention this morning:
Gide’s words could easily win him a prize for political incorrectness at an American University, illustrating that a passionate love for truth does not always lead to political rectitude.
I have to say that I like to think of my own writing in a similar way, if not with similar talents. My blog posts and ezine articles over the years have occasionally engendered howls of protest from my own support team (when bemoaning the trials of business ownership) and from readers offended by my opinions on the present state of dentistry or the less attractive attributes of some social or cultural groups (not least my fellow Brits). In the past, I have thanked my contributors for their feedback – and then carried on in just the same way, arguing my pledge to sacrifice all in the pursuit of authenticity. Now, however, something has to change – because Chris Barrow, sole trader, is about to become Chris Barrow, partner in Breathe Business – and I have to take more notice of the views of my business partners as well as remianing mindful of our “coporate image” – how suffocating. Don’t get me wrong – my partners are great people and as authentic as myself – this I know as I’ve been on the receiving end of some of that authenticity in the last 6 months as we have stitched our varied personalities into a workable quilt. For the future though – I have to be conscious that Breathe Business intends to champion the cause of the independent dental practitioner and, as such, will have a louder voice in the media. So I accept that CB mouthing off about some of his pet irritations and tolerations will have to be managed more carefully. Its with that in mind that I feel now is the time to change the identity of this blog to reflect the fact that it is essentially the musings of a 54-year old business coach who can swing hourly from euphoria to melancholy, loves fast cars, reading novels, Strictly Come Dancing, Manchester United, gadgets and computers, running in rainstorms, excellent movies, eating out, Oliver Sweeney shoes, getting up really early, men’s handbags, nice clothes, tattoos, good wine (especially Sicilian Cannoneau), journalling, the company of groups of women and boating in Vathi but dislikes bureaucracy, regulation and paying taxes, small-talk, parties, managing personal finances, television (with the exception of the above named), unsolicited phone calls or any intrusion into privacy, any call-waiting system or call centre, the company of most groups of men, gossip of any sort, liver and onions and the sound of metal chair legs dragging on a tile floor. Yes – I’ve taken half a century to discover that I’m the perfect version of me – that others are the perfect version of themselves and that if I don’t like them I have to either change my thinking or remove myself from the equation. So I was thinking about this blog as I ran along the South West Cornwall coastal pathway this morning in a torrential rainstorm (see above list – me very happy) and realised that:
I don’t want to give up writing authentically;
I don’t want to have to scribble my darker thoughts in a little journal, kept under lock and key and to be discovered and deciphered (my handwriting is so bad I cannot read it myself) by an incredulous child after my death;
I cannot continue to be that authentic under the Breathe banner
So I’m going to ask Kim Black to change the banner and identity of this blog to reflect my personal thoughts – and place a big disclaimer somewhere that the views expressed will be those of Chris Barrow the individual and “in no way should be taken as a statement of the beliefs of Breathe Business” – or something like that. That way I hope I can keep playing here – and, by the way, every now and then share some good business ideas as they occur. But the committed reader will have to foster a desire to keep up with what’s going on in my head and my life – if for no other reason, to compare and contrast with the quiet desperation of their own. That OK?