To a certain extent, I agree with the author. There’s still that popular misconception that all business owners are greedy ‘fat cats’ who live off the toil and sweat of their underpaid, beleaguered workforce. In a few, usually large businesses, or businesses in certain sectors, that may well be true. In reality, of course, in most micro and small businesses, the owner is often last in the queue when the money is being apportioned. [Read more…]
This blog is longer than my usual offering but worth it, I hope, for the point it makes.
If you don’t have the time (or possibly the inclination!) to read it, you can listen instead:
I’ve just come back from a week away, travelling around the UK on business. I stayed in three hotels on my travels. The first two failed with their customer service in such small, easy-to-put-right ways — the third showed them how to do it. [Read more…]
Well, it was my turn to smile in recognition today whilst reading the excellent Selling the Invisible — A field guide to modern marketing by Harry Beckwith. In the section, ‘Planning: The Eighteen Fallacies’, Beckwith writes, ‘You can easily get stalled in the shift from strategy to tactics because you are paralysed by your desire for excellence.’
Doing something you care about more
How right he is. So often, I have fiddled and tweaked pieces of design work — in books, brochures, logo designs — in an effort to make them perfect. In my design company I would spend hours trying to produce the perfect design for our clients. I would work into the early hours of the morning in my efforts to get the job ‘just right’.
The first car I owned after passing my driving test was an Innocenti Mini Cooper S. It was a great car, pillarbox red with a black roof, and I loved it.
Exhilarating to drive, and also very scary, it was so light and fast that it was all too easy to get into trouble. Luckily, because it was so nippy and responsive, it was also just as easy to get quickly out of harm’s way.
The old-style Mini was very low and close to the road, and the suspension was so tight that I felt every bump. As I sped along with only inches of metal between me and the tarmac, I definitely knew I was driving at speed! I felt every movement and nd I also felt very small and vulnerable as the big trucks sped past me. No safety cage, no airbags. Just me — and that tiny, racing steering wheel — between delight and disaster. As I drove, adrenalin pumping, I certainly felt alive.
Just like running a small business, then!
When you own your own business, you are always inches away from exhilaration — when you get the new contract, sign the new deal, get the order — or disappointment, as the contract falls through, the deal is called off, the order rejected, or your competitors go thundering past you. [Read more…]
When I first had the idea about publishing our Essential Business Guide, all those years ago, it was as a result of my own experience of starting and running businesses. Although technically skilled in the various ventures, I was definitely not skilled at business. That came later.
In the meantime, whilst struggling to get out of the trap of working ridiculous hours simply to make a living, I knew I had to learn to work smarter, not harder. (That old chestnut.) [Read more…]