Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
1871. A good year for holidays as the Bank Holiday Act was passed in the UK. This restricted all good citizens from making payments or doing acts that they would not do on Good Friday or Christmas Day. So, a good thing for good citizens then.
The thing is, when you run your own business, a bank holiday is a bit meaningless as you just win a day to sort admin and catch up on all the things you said you’d do the week before.
Maybe I should stick to the spirit of them and do no banking, despite the easy lure of online accounting.
What can be confusing is that England, Scotland and Ireland can have bank holidays on different days. Wales, seems to side with England I think, and please don’t write in to tell me otherwise, as I’m really not fussed if that’s a mistake on my part. This blog is about mistakes after all.
In my haste to blank out bank holidays in my diary I accidentally awarded myself one of my own. My diary did say, bank holiday, except it was for Scotland and I don’t live there.
The happy result of this mistake was that I had an unexpected day off, having kept the time free of clients, on the assumption they’d be off too.
Even though several people pointed out it wasn’t a bank holiday, they were wrong, because I had written it into my diary and once it’s in there it must be true.
I also decided not to do any admin and actually take the day as one free of work, which was rather lovely.
As mistakes go, this turned out to be a happy one and I think I will repeat the hiccup next year.
In fact it occurs to me that many countries have national holiday days and I could have some fun in awarding myself a smattering of those, to supplement the meagre English ones.
We often talk about the global online world and the internet making us all one big population group. So, perhaps it’s time to have Online Bank Holidays and refresh the 1871 Act. I’m sure it could do with an update by now. A little polish to bring it in-line with online working patterns.
I like my mistake and I like the thought of making it again, on a global basis. Why not?
What happy mistakes have you made recently?
Sometimes in life a mistake can turn out to open up a whole new way of thinking. That is something worth taking a day off to celebrate!
Happy holidaying and keep well.
WhatsApp. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. All full of words and pictures and constant contact with the wider world. Sometimes this is a force for good, as it prevents people from feeling isolated.
Other times it’s a barrage of noise, pushing at us and causing stress.
FOMO. Fear of missing out. A new-ish phenomen, driven by people sharing their wonderful lives and projecting constant happiness and cute pictures of their successful projects, children and pets.
FOMO can add to the distraction of social media and cause ordinary mortals to wonder what they’ve done wrong. How come they’ve not baked an amazing cake, taken idyllic pictures of smiling well behaved children, or been happily married to Mr DIY for a million years?
Clearly they must be under-performing at this thing called life. Letting the side down, by not eating chia seeds and drinking the latest green health juice.
There’s nothing wrong in celebrating success and I’m all for that, providing it’s genuine and well-earned.
What can be tiring is the incessant noise that is generated by apps and their pinging notifications, urging us to check out the latest post by Mrs Amazing and her 12 tap dancing children.
Social media is useful and promotes contact with people and I like that. People who over-share can be a nuisance and I wonder what their lives are really like?
This is a business blog, so what’s my point?
Well, to be successful in business we need to think clearly and we can’t do that if we are burning up our energy wondering how we can get our dog to do backflips, so that we can post the little rascal looking athletic. The world really doesn’t need to see that.
We need to find space and time to be quiet, so that we can process information and allow new thoughts and ideas to percolate.
FOMO can invade our business planning too. Oh no! We don’t own the newest, smartest car, so we must be a failure! No, we are not a failure and we don’t need to drive our business planning to achieve meaningless goals, based on a sense of deflated ego.
We can stick to first principles:
1. Are we generating enough cash to run our business?
2. What are the trends with our sales?
3. What do we need to change to keep on being successful?
4. Where is our ego getting in the way?
To answer these questions we can switch off the noise and retire to a shady spot to think about where our business is and where it needs to be.
We can be quiet and bring calm into our lives as a useful tool to increase our success in business.
If we judge ourselves against our perceptions of others we could fail to recognise that their car is rented, their kids resentful of pushy parents and those pictures of a cosy home life are wall papering over deeper cracks.
We can be quiet. We can be true to ourselves and we can can ignore the chattering masses and quietly get on with being successful …and happy!
Be quiet this week and see where it takes you. Switch off the piano playing cats and focus on what you want to achieve in business.
And of course, keep well.
Next week: The Bank Holiday Mistake
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