There’s an old joke about newly-weds cooking their first Sunday roast together.
At the risk of accusations of political incorrectness, I’ll simply report the story as I first heard it.
The husband is watching (!) his new wife prepare the beef and is puzzled by the observation that she cuts a sizeable chunk off each end of the joint.
When questioned, the wife replies that her mother taught her to prepare the joint that way.
Later, the mother in law is observed duplicating this strange ritual in her kitchen and, when quizzed, responds that her mother taught her that routine.
Finally, the grandmother reveals that when she was a young wife they owned a very small oven.
The moral of the story being that old systems can sometimes last longer than their usefulness and relevance.
The same could be said of Terminal 3 at Manchester Airport this morning, where my rucksack is surprisingly pulled out of the security conveyor belt and searched (the same rucksack that passes effortlessly through airports most weeks).
After a frustrating wait, the young chap examining my “stuff” tells me that my bag of plugs and leads is packed too tightly for the x-ray scanner to differentiate what’s in there. An opinion clearly not shared by many of his colleagues (given the number of times I pass this way) or the security at many other airports.
Yes – I know – he’s just doing his job and we are all safer as a result. The wait wasn’t overly inconvenient as I arrived at the airport very early so that I could get breakfast and write this post in the aptly named “Escape Lounge”.
I wonder, however, how relevant all this airport security clearance is in 2018 and whether the technology and the abundance of security employees is really what’s needed to keep our skies safe? Or is this just another system that has become embedded and nobody has the time or inclination to change?
Which, of course, brings me to your business (and mine).
I’m wondering this morning how many things we do simply because we always have, rather than because we must?
My own business coach Rachel Turner has been giving me a roasting recently (to quote her “holding my feet in the fire and refusing to let me take them away”) as we review my current business activity compared to my plans for the next 5 years.
If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I’ve been working behind the scenes on developing new products and services that, I believe, will use contemporary technology to allow me to reach more people with my message (and, of course, grow the business).
The project is currently stuck and the problem is ME.
You may recall an earlier post in which my “aha” moment was realising that I needed not to know HOW to do the next stage of my business development, rather to find WHO could help.
I’m now struggling to find the time to find the WHO.
To quote Michael Gerber, I’m spending too much time working IN the business and not enough time working ON the business.
Yesterday was supposed to be a Bunker Day – a day ON.
In the event, it was a whirlwind of client calls, webinars and emails, in there because people want to speak with me and I’m all over the map 4 days a week. A problem created by me saying YES to too many things.
It’s seductive to maximise TODAY’S profits by saying YES and building financial reserves in the process is a fantastic boost to confidence and peace of mind.
The challenge is that, in selling all of my time, I fail to allocate any time to building TOMORROW’S profit.
After 45 minutes of conversation with Rachel yesterday, I took away one mantra:
“Every time I say YES to another TODAY proposition, I’m saying NO to TOMORROW’S future vision.”
A sobering thought and one which, as I wait patiently for my little electronics bag to be searched for explosive devices, drugs and stowaways, makes me realise that I have to interrogate all of my systems, protocols and (mostly) habits and ask myself the question that Rachel posed yesterday:
“What is the CORE SHIFT you need to make to pull this problem out by the root?”
Good question eh?
In my case the reality is that, like our fabled grandmother, I appear to be trying to fit too big a joint into too small an oven – time to get the knife out and start cutting methinks.