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a blog by Chris Barrow


What a week!

6 days of work and travel that tested even my seemingly endless resources of energy.

The great thing about a week like that is the the unexpected adventures provide plenty of material and storytelling for posting and informing clients.

One of my business partners, Tim Thackrah, called me on Friday morning to tell me he was worried about me.

“I’m concerned that you are burning yourself out”.

I explained that there is a huge difference between:

Burn out – working your tripe out and having nothing to show for it (I bet the Brazilian football team are burned out).

Exhaustion – working your tripe out and having something to show for it – a sense of progress and purpose.

I’m exhausted – no doubt about that – and counting the days to our trip to Tanzania in August for a short holiday and quality time with the Topley family in Mwanza.

But its an exhaustion (like the starvation on “that” Island) that can be tolerated because there is an end in sight. An oasis approaching of calm and rest – along the immense sense of self-actualisation in the work we are doing.

On Tuesday I achieved a bizarre record – 10 railway stations in one day to facilitate my travel between meetings.

A week in which one of our T20 clients reported “best ever” production months in April, May AND June.

A week of early mornings, late finishes, crazy travel, a few dodgy hotel rooms and customer service experiences, two World Cup semi-finals watched alone in hotel bars and the pleasure of meeting up with Jon and Rachel at the end of my lone ranger stint to present at Seminars at 38.

A week in which I met some new clients for the first time and heard inspiring stories about success in the face of adversity.

On Friday another record – confirmation of a “best ever” month for 7connections in sales and profitability and also a personal best month for me in June on fee income.

On Friday and Saturday, two amazing days with my T20 clients.

  1. the patient experience

  2. leadership and management of teams

  3. the language of treatment planning

  4. the long tail in patient care

  5. our new Lifecycle Marketing Planner – a guide to how much profit you are losing through “holes” in your systems

  6. our friend Mubbasher from Welltime demonstrating their new True North business analytics dashboard – dental business analysis finally entering the 21st Century

  7. Digital Smile Design hands on training later this year

  8. and a conversation about Corporate Social Responsibility and the benefits to brand, business and team spirit.

– we listened first to Shaenna Loughnane, UK Operations Manager for Bridge2Aid and then to Mark Topley CEO of Bridge2Aid (live from Tanzania) and my friend and client Colin Campbell, The Campbell Clinic, Nottingham, talking about his Bridge2Aid benefits as a 3-time Gold Unity Partner.

It was mission critical that we did not pass the hat round or emotionally blackmail anyone into “giving” – but I have already expressed my delight on social media that 3 of our clients saw fit to become Gold Unity Partners there and then (and I’m sure more will follow).

What does it mean?

  1. they have agreed to donate £3,000 each to become Bridge2Aid Gold Unity Partners

  2. their investment will be used to train a Tanzanian Health Worker to provide extractions

  3. thus bringing pain relief for 10,000 people per health worker who would otherwise have no access to dental pain relief

In all, 30,000 people will gain access simply because of what we did yesterday.

I’m so proud of my clients, grateful that Colin took private time out to talk with us and equally proud that the 7connections team were a catalyst in that process.

You can read more if you CLICK HERE

So – a week to remember. Back home last night and collapsed on the sofa – today recovery and preparation for a less frantic week to come.

I want to end with a statement made by Colin Campbell on Saturday morning that really resonated with the audience:

“When people ask me how many patients we have at The Campbell Clinic, my answer is….

we look after 3,000 patients in the East Midlands and we also help to provide dental pain relief for 30,000 patients in East Africa.”

In a time when the media, the regulators and the sometimes well-poisoners in our businesses and community are making our lives very challenging, it seems to me that the ability to make that statement simply silences the negatives.

At 7connections we are committed to the cause with Bridge2Aid and will be continuing to help in any way we can – I’m very excited about some of the plans we have – but will tell you WHAT we have done in time.

I’ve had a great month and a great week professionally and I’m very blessed personally – but thinking about the 30,000 that we have helped this weekend beats the lot.

I get to watch the World Cup final tonight with my lovely lady, my eldest son and one of his and our best friends – life is good.

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