I loved this cracking little idea to encourage founders to think about their business each day. Taken from the book ‘The Road Less Stupid‘, I came across it via an email from David Hieatt, Co founder of ‘Do Lectures’ and Hiut Denim (I’m a big fan of both).
Why prioritise ‘thinking’ when we’re already at breaking point?
David Hieatt quite rightly pointed out that ‘your business wants to run you. It. always. will.’
We all know we’re busy. I’ll bet that last time someone asked ‘how are you?“, you likely responded with something like ‘yeah, good…busy. Very busy.‘
Now we may not be quite at Mark Wahlberg’s level (see terrifying schedule above), but as a business founder or leader I’d bet that most of your day is spent dealing with the day-to-day problems that arise simply by being in business, having clients, having a team, keeping the lights on and the cogs turning. Contemplating that this daily business ‘busyness’ is probably stopping you from moving anywhere fast is uncomfortable, but nevertheless true.
Back to David Hieatt and another bunch of revealing truths… ”
“We need to wrestle ‘busy’ to the ground. Each day. Trust me; busy is not your friend. It takes you to overwhelm. We’ve all been there. But like a cheap hotel, you don’t want to stay there.”
And so to the idea.
How can business leaders find time to think about their business? To find a space to make notes on the bigger pictures, contemplate new ideas and better ways of thinking and generally move from doing to thinking?
Here it is:
- Get a chair and put it in your office.
- You can only ever sit in it for thinking about your business.
- Buy a notebook. Put it next to the chair.
- Buy a pen. Put it next to the notebook.
- (These may sound geeky, but they help to make it a ritual.)
- Now, the hard part.
- Find 30 minutes a week to sit in the chair.
Now, the gold.
- Bring a great question to the chair (one which would help your business if you could come up with some decent answers)
- Don’t worry if you don’t come up with an answer straight away.
- Some questions need a few sittings.
- If you create a habit of thinking about your business, you will change your business.
- Thinking is hard.
- But not as hard as being busy as hell without making an inch of progress.
- Flip that.
For me the main takeaway here is the space to do the thinking, away from the ‘busy place’. Mine is sometimes whilst I’m in the garden, perhaps yours is on the treadmill (although I take no responsibility for those attempting to make notes and run). Regardless, it’s worth considering.
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Every Wednesday I book out an hour to hold a FREE agency leaders surgery. If you have something on your mind, a challenge you’re wrestling with or just want an alternative point of view, I’d be very happy to lend an ear and maybe help you start to unpick the issues. You can help yourself to my calendar, here. Speaking to a diverse group of agency leaders helps me stay current and contextualise the issues I’m seeing with my clients. So please see this conversation as a genuine collaboration where we both hope to learn something new.