As you can imagine, for various reasons, Helen and I have not managed to get away for some time. I think the last trip was to a tax conference in November 2019. I know how to show a lady a good time!
The Covid restrictions seem to have been around for such a long time and it is so difficult to know where you can go, what is open and what you can do when you get there. It is hard to know what to do, so you end up doing nothing.
In business the trick is to make it as easy as possible for a customer to buy from you or you will not maximise your sales. So, it seemed like a perfect short get away, when Scott Murray of Inverness Travel announced at a BNI meeting in Inverness late last year that they were organising a coach trip to the British Grand Prix meeting at Silverstone, and all you had to do was make sure you were on the coach at this end. All the accommodation was provided as was transit between the hotel and the circuit on the Saturday and Sunday, and seating in a stand of your choice. Easy, no hassle and someone else was making sure everything went smoothly. Perfection! We booked it.
This was our first live Grand Prix and it was quite an experience. Well, you have to keep trying new experiences, don’t you? I know it’s not mountain climbing but for an accountant, Silverstone is pretty close. We are also going to our first overseas concert in November, Covid permitting. Not sure what will be next, but I am sure there will be something. In fact I can almost guarantee it.
Business is just like life, particularly these days. Technology moves on apace and so it seems that one way or another, every day is a school day. Upgrades to our software seem to come thick and fast. The tax system is heading for major changes over the next couple of years. Either we keep up or we get left behind. Anyway, change is fun and learning new systems and approaches means that our jobs are never boring, well almost never.
The Grand Prix also reminded us that life is uncertain. Whatever peoples’ expectations of you, you never quite know when something is going to happen to send you spinning at speed off the circuit. I am sure that Verstappen did not expect to finish his race so early. But, he is highly motivated and very competitive and so I am sure he will be adopting the philosophy embodied in the most important word in business – Next!
I imagine that he will be even more driven to succeed at the next race, because of this failure at Silverstone. We all have ups and downs, that’s business. No point crying over spilt milk. Understand what went wrong and then move on. You have just learned a valuable lesson, how not to do something. You are now stronger and more capable than before. Is Verstappen? I will leave you to judge that.
As well as uncertainties there are the unexpected opportunities. On the way back, we left the coach in Glasgow, just so we could have a couple of extra days away. So, we went along to see the filming of the new Indiana Jones film in central Glasgow. Fascinating! Are you ready for the unexpected opportunities when they appear? Are you ready and able to capitalize upon them? I had my camera at the ready!
Inverness Travel seem to have built up quite a reputation in the Highlands. It is owned and run by Scott and Sarah Murray and recently they took over another travel agency and so seem to be on a path to providing even more travel opportunities over a wider area to more people. It is good to see a successful Highland business expanding in spite of all the problems caused by Covid and the doom and gloom peddled by the media.
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Alan E Long
The Long Partnership