Whatever one feels about the Brexit debate, to many it has become apparent that many of our elected representatives lacked a plan for dealing with the result we got. As Painless Towers deals with its own momentous decision to leave, we hope we can model a better, more considered exit! Yes, after 15 years as founder and then co-director, James is starting his own “Jexit” – read our latest blog for the details, and hopefully some lessons for your own exit planning.

Firstly, the news: This winter will see the next stage in the evolution of Painless Practice – as ownership and leadership of the business shifts from being shared between James and Celia, to being solely owned and lead by Celia. James will be remaining and working with the same clients, but will not be managing the business in the same way. Painless Practice will continue, will still seek to grow, help more practitioners and may even be better able to do so!

As we like to encourage our clients, we have always had a plan – when James and Celia sat down in 2010, next to the canal in Reading, and sketched out the future of their work together, 2017 was always planned as a time of transition. They both considered their Personal Pillar, and realised that this would be a key time in their respective families.

As you know, life dealt some unexpected cards in the following years – so some revision of the plans was needed, but a plan continued to exist. Not everything that was planned got implemented, not everything that happened could be foreseen, but the broad strategy stayed in place and progress was made.

So, with the knowledge that James wanted a full exit by 2020 (he has travel plans), it became apparent that a slow soft Jexit was preferable to a quick, hard exit. As a result, he triggered his own Article 50 a month or so ago, and the negotiations and restructuring are in progress. 

So, what are the lessons for you in your own practice or planning your own exit?

  • Have a plan for your personal aspirations, and how the practice will be a vehicle for them
  • Review that plan when life deals you unexpected blows, or happy new opportunities
  • Keep asking yourself what is really important in your life
  • Recognise when the right time to begin the process is (sooner is usually better)
  • Be open with those you need to be, and seek a mutually beneficial consensus
  • If you are handing over to someone, be sure to pick someone with skill, energy and commitment
  • Recognise that one person’s exit is another person’s entrance.

Despite the obvious significance, this has in the little corner of the world that is Painless Ltd, we’re not expecting the pound to crash, interest rates to change or for major political leaders to resign. The intention too is to avoid any UKIP-style fisticuffs! What you can expect is that we will carry on working every day to see more practice owners enjoying their work and achieving their vision, as we have done since 2002. Only now with better jokes…

Painless Practice News

Thanks to those who have visited the new website and given us feedback – we are really pleased with what Celia and Jon have come up with. Hopefully, it is more modern and easier to navigate.

We have a packed programme of events before the end of the year – all listed on the new website on the events page. Some highlights include our ever-popular course for Practice Managers and Receptionists, this time in Bournemouth on 9th November; our very useful Budgeting for Success course in Manchester on 24th November and then Managing People (17th November), Recruiting and Retaining Associates (29th November) and Social Media Strategy (7th December) in London.

Our courses are a crucial part of our mission to help practitioners achieve their vision – this is by far the most cost-effective way to access sector-specific training on how better to manage the patient experience, get the most from your staff or design your clinic to deliver the personal financial rewards you deserve. We always have small groups, so you are guaranteed to get good exposure to our facilitators to pick their brains and of course you can learn from the other participants. A great way to get some CPD hours in before Christmas too!

Our YouShoot course, on how to make your own video content was very successful and having had a waiting list we have booked another date for February 2017. Do email Celia if you would like to join the advanced booking list.

Finally, we hope to see many of you at the Institute of Osteopathy Convention in November (see their website for booking details) and the Physio First Conference in April (book here). They are both great educational and social events, with great speakers (Celia…) and a perfect opportunity to network with other colleagues. We also advocate attending them even if you are not a member, and even if you are not an osteopath/physio. We regularly see real benefit from bringing professions together and learning from other disciplines. Try it!

As James does relinquish many of his responsibilities, he will pass up authorship of the newsletter too. It has been an interesting journey for him, writing every one of the last 170 issues, but it is time for a new voice. 

Painless Puns

Some thoughts on the exit strategies:

Every exit is an entry somewhere else.

Tom Stoppard

Knowing your exit strategy is an important investment fundamental.

Robert Kiyosaki

The entrance strategy is actually more important than the exit strategy.

Edward Lamport

On the other hand (which we may not agree with):

Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.

Mark Cuban

Some Buddhist thought on change:

Nothing is forever, except change.

Everything that has a beginning has an ending.  Make your peace with that and all will be well.

On a less deep and serious note:

We got really confused last week when buying lettuce post-Brexit. We couldn’t decide whether to leaf or Romaine.

A Scotsman, an Englishman and an Irishman were in a great bar but they all had to leave, just because the Englishman wanted to…

And finally, the rapper 50 Cent has confirmed he will honour his upcoming UK tour dates, despite the recent crash in sterling. He will now, however, be known as Ten Thousand Pounds.

Final Words

On the one hand we want to acknowledge that for some this might be shocking news, especially those who have known and worked with James for years. On the other we want to stress that this is a change in management and leadership, and very definitely a soft exit, so in many ways nothing changes.  And on our third hand (?) we are aware that this may not be big news anywhere other than at the Painless photocopier, and the world will carry on. And that is what we want for you – keep calm, carry on and keep building great private therapy practices that do great work with patients.

And enjoy the better jokes in future!

Warmest regards
James Butler, Celia Champion and the Painless Team


Read our next Blog on Life and Business Lessons on the Golf Course

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