Did you miss me?! I was away at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and then my big sister came to visit. So, we took a break from publishing for a couple of weeks. Lauren (everybody needs a Lauren) from Adder, still had some material left to publish so maybe you did not notice.
Over the years I have not been to many live events, so we have been doing a bit of catching up since Covid. Actually, being there is so much better than watching it on the screen, and especially if you don’t mind the weather.
Think of it another way. If you are open to new ideas and experiences, are prepared to tolerate a little discomfort that others are not prepared to accept, then the field opens up in front of you. At Silverstone on the Saturday, it was raining. Everybody headed to the covered stands which were mobbed. I wasn’t really caring about the weather. I ate my lunch on the hoof in the rain and had my pick of the seats in an uncovered stand. By that time, it had stopped raining and everyone moved back into “my” stand.
I always knew it was the same in business. If you are prepared to do the things that other people will not do, to put up with the inconveniences and hard work, you have already outpaced much of the competition. There are others like you but not as many as there should be.
On the same day, I was walking around the site and passed through a small field of cars. There was a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a Maclaren and numerous Range Rovers and others. Many of them had personalised number plates. I think you get the picture. Of all these cars, I think the Lamborghini appealed to me most. It was quite smart.
There was a case a few years ago which involved a guy who rented and serviced cigarette machines in pubs, hotels, restaurants etc. He operated through his own company and the company bought him a Lamborghini with which to make his deliveries. It was not a benefit in kind, he said, because it was supplied purely for business purposes and was essential for his work. He lost! But maybe I have a better chance. Then again, I don’t think the Lamborghini would have enough ground clearance to get up the track to our house. The other problem is that my fellow director would veto the idea in an instant. Nice idea though.
Mind you what would you think if your accountant turned up in his 23 plate Lamborghini? I drive a Ford Kuga and that does me fine.
Anyway, the reason why the cigarette machine man lost was because while he needed a car to make his deliveries, there was a strong element of personal choice in the vehicle selected and that element of the value supplied was not business related.
What else did I learn from my visit to Silverstone? I learnt that not everything turns out as you would like – Verstappen won. I learnt that you can eat a Cornish Pasty and drink while walking in the rain. I learnt that life can often surprise you – Maclaren came 2nd and 4th – I don’t think anyone expected that. I learnt that however uncomfortable your current situation, this will pass – from being soaked and especially from sitting on wet seats, you eventually dry out, and you are in one of the best seats.
So, what do I take from the whole experience? Well, life is just like business and business is just like life. You cannot separate them, you cannot compartmentalise them, they are the same. You can take a few days off from working but your thoughts keep drifting back, and many times when you are working you think about other aspects of your life.
I have heard it said that if you are in business, it takes up such a significant part of your life that you need to ensure, as far as you can, that you enjoy it. When people speak about the work/life balance it sounds like there are two states of being – “working” and “life”. But perhaps a better way to look at it is that your life which includes your work needs to be in harmony.
You don’t need to quarantine your working hours so that they cannot infect the rest of your day. The two states must co-exist harmoniously, without friction. It’s an interesting thought and one which I heard this morning from Sophia Hanson, a hypnotherapist and transformational coach. Harmony seems to make sense to me!
So, if the two parts of your life cannot co-exist in harmony, you could go and speak to Sophia, she seems to be working wonders with many people I know. I’m fine!
Alan E Long
The Long Partnership