THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Keep laughing when it goes wrong

Sometimes, the only way to respond to adversity is to laugh. Yesterday morning I woke at 5.15am and drove 110 miles to attend a monthly management meeting with my support team. We normally start the meetings at 10.00am to allow for civilised travel but I was asked to attend early so that team members could move on to other meetings in the afternoon. As I arrived at The Southgate Hotel in Exeter, I received a text message from my business manager to say that she was in bed with food poisoning. Ten minutes later, a text message from our mentor coach to say that he was in his own (separate!) bed with a similar condition. They were working together in Bristol on Monday and may have picked up the same bug. My business development manager has driven over 100 miles from London the night before to attend – the two of us are sat there in the hotel reception with our meeting trashed. We ordered coffee. I switched on the brand new laptop and inserted my 3G data card to pick up emails – the laptop “blue screens” and I get a message to say that there has been a hardware malfunction and the system has crashed again. We sip our coffee. What next? Well, after spending a few moments suggesting that this is all a conspiracy theory and my family and support team have decided to share my life insurance, we decide to make the best of it and begin a 4-hour conversation on business development and income generating ideas for the next 90-days. Whilst chatting, we walk over to the Vodaphone shop and an extremely helpful young lady assists me in removing my datacard software, reloading it and the fixing the data card settings – as well as replacing a faulty booster ariel free of charge – good customer service. From there, across the High Street into the O2 shop to have the picture and text messaging services fixed on my mobile phone – a toleration for the last 3 months. Eventually, we finish our meeting over a salad nicoise and agree that we have had one of our best conversations. I then drive over to PC World and, removing a further toleration, buy a new ink-jet printer and a USB hub for my home office. My two hour drive back is filled with constructive follow-on phone calls and the evening concludes in an initial interview with an exciting potential new team member. As I arrive home at 9.30pm I reflect that, today, I have pulled victory from the jaws of defeat and I’m proud of myself.

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