Not a swimming blog, but I’ve been chatting to a few people about my ‘philosophy’ for work recently, so I thought it was time to blog about it.
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I used to run a traditional, medium-sized PR agency – back in my London days. And when it was good it was great. We had a great team, we did great work and we went to the pub nearly every Friday.
However, when it wasn’t so good it was bloody hard work. We still did great work and we still went to the pub, but the team became a struggle to afford and it would weigh heavily on my shoulders. We had some work for them all, but not quite enough to make them profitable, but too much to get rid of anyone.
It’s the curse of medium sized businesses, especially service ones.
And too many businesses are wedded to this way of thinking. It means that if new business opportunities come in the only criteria they are judged on is income. Everything else is deemed irrelevant.
How can it be done differently?
I don’t know about you, but there are two reasons why I work – money and fun.
Money is important, it pays the bills, puts a roof over my family’s head and allows me an occasional nice thing. I like nice things, they make me happy and when I’m happy I work better – which is also why fun is so important. I don’t mean fun in a ‘wacky’ kind of way, but plain and simple enjoyment in what you do. I think that’s pretty important, especially as we all spend so much time working nowadays. So ‘fun’ also means doing a good job and seeing the results of your efforts.
But that’s it – money and fun.
I set up a different kind of agency to work in this way – and that’s how we judge whether a new project is for us: will we make money (and the best clients are those that understand that we all have to make a bit of profit along the way); will we have fun (which includes getting good results)? I’ll be honest, if one will be high, then we can accept sacrificing the other a little.
But money and fun, why else do you work?