13 July 2014
Imagine if you could see your journey through life up to now, mapped out on a navigational chart. I’ve often wondered what this might look like and I’m willing to bet that for most of us, it certainly wouldn’t be a straight line. Mine certainly hasn’t been, taking me from music to data centres and many other places in between. I think it’s the same for business. You can’t grow a business without making lots of little adjustments along the way, adapting to the changing environment around you. You might pick a spot on the horizon to reach, but it takes a lot of recalibrating and straightening up in order to get there, especially when you’re invariably faced with obstacles along the way – the rocks and storms of life.
Is this why some seemingly great businesses fall by the wayside before the journey is truly over? I can think of a number of high street names that failed to adapt to the changing face of retail and the shift towards ecommerce. Yet it’s not just refusal to adapt that can prove treacherous for a business. It’s when people sit back on their previous achievements that the cracks can form.
Without consistently evaluating and refocussing, even the best of businesses can fall apart. I think you can quite easily compare a boat to a business. Good sailors don’t just leave a vessel in the water and expect it to stay seaworthy – they have to check it and maintain it, keeping the barnacles at bay! It’s also important to remember the value of persistence and the ability to weather the storm. As the saying goes, “a smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.” It’s an old adage, but one that I think holds true against the test of time, and it’s one that I think a lot of people can relate to. Yes, it’s important to enjoy the calm waters and sunshine, but there will always be storms. However, when you’ve got a strong team, or – in our case – a completely crazy team that gets a kick from challenges, there’s no reason why you can’t get through them and come out on the other side stronger and wiser.
I hope you’re enjoying your journey, wherever it’s taking you.