To me, this sums up the last week. If you frequent Thai restaurants, you will of course immediately recognise this as Thai Basil Fried Rice. Mine was with prawns. Otherwise, you probably wondered what planet I am on.

I have had a weird week. Just over a week ago, Helen and I headed off to Edinburgh for a few days. No. I was not slaving over a hot computer to produce my weekly literary effort, as I would normally do on a Saturday. I did that on the Friday before we left, and then my trusty Lauren did the rest, an important member of our team albeit she works for Abbie McCahill at Adder Business Ltd.

We were only away for a few days and got back on Wednesday evening having fitted in some essential chilling alongside eating too many cakes and also Thai, Indian, Spanish and sundry other good foods. We also fitted in the new Bond film and the 25th Anniversary Riverdance. It was great to be back in a theatre.

So, what is the relevance of the title to this piece? Well, you see, we were back in harness from Thursday. At lunchtime on Thursday, I was having a fairly normal lunch that I brought in from home. It struck me that at that same time on the previous day I was eating Thai Basil Fried Rice with succulent king prawns in Chaophraya in Edinburgh, looking out at a panoramic view over the city and enjoying a bottle of red wine. The contrast could not have been starker. It was painful thinking about it.

I am not a great believer in the work life balance. There are goals that we each set ourselves in life and we each must decide if we are willing to pay the price to achieve those goals. Helen and I know where we want to go and we know that to achieve that, we must work hard and smart. We sneak away for a few days now and again and pack as much into those breaks as we can and want to do.

If you run a business, you must accept that if there is nobody else to do the work, whatever it is, you are the one who must get it done. So, you also cannot afford to be too precious about what you are prepared to do. At the end of the day, it is your job to get it done, even if you are the one that has to get their hands dirty. And just because you are on holiday, don’t think you can escape that responsibility. I know that generally you can plan and make sure everything is covered, but we still have times when we go away with a laptop because there is something needing to be done and there is no one else. That’s just one of the joys of running your own business. Get used to it.

I was watching a webinar this morning. It was Brad Sugars who founded ActionCOACH which is an organisation providing coaches and mentors for business owners all around the world. Locally, Stuart Mason is a coach so you can contact him. To find out more about ActionCOACH, Google it.

Anyway, I am used to being told that there are positive and negative goals, that is you are either moving towards something you want or away from something unpleasant to you. But my ultimate goal never really seemed to fit either of these. Brad spoke about a third type of goal, a legacy goal and that made so much sense. This embodies a vision of what you ultimately want to achieve. In his case, it is to provide support and training for business owners around the world for the greater good of everyone. Me, I want to leave a wake behind me just like a boat. That gives me my drive.

But to oil the wheels you need a plate of Khao Pad Gra Prao every now and again, a nice bottle of red wine and good company.

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Alan E Long

The Long Partnership

07770 738770



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