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Business is fun


Don't just hate success?

If you live in the West of Scotland, the answer is probably a resoundingly loud YES. Though it clearly depends on your perspective. If you are the successful person in business you probably love it whereas everyone you meet will hate you for it. You know the kind of thing: "He doesn't deserve that.." or "He seems to forget he was brought up in Cranhill (a district of Glasgow which has had an ambivalent reputation for many years.)" or " Fur coat and nae k......s".

I'm sure you know even more expressions of sheer jealousy or hatred that the Scottish Parliament hasn't yet got round to - .

Business Cartoon #6318 by Andertoons

And what happens, I take two weeks off from literary creativity, resting the business is fun blog while I get on with other things, and I get a complaint or three - What's happened to the cartoon blog? Where's it been? Has it stopped? Success? Not sure I like this anymore.

Take Ebenezer Scrooge for example. He was the epitome of success [well if you want literary creativity, you'll have to put up with literary words like epitome, and characters from literature]: Scrooge ran a tight ship and he stuck to a firm and (actually) fair policy of dealing with his customers. So long as you keep paying, you keep your house - actually no different from today in many ways. His customers knew where they stood - even although many tried to prevaricate [literary word] and wriggle out of their obligations - and what the rules of the game were. Almost nothing caused Scrooge to waver from his rules, and, although he is portrayed in many visualisations as a humbug, he was nothing if not THE successful businessowner of his day.

Should success be unwavering, constant, conscious of nothing but its own rules? Profit the objective and the motive alone? Or can success be achieved with a greater degree of flexibility, with compassion? with morality and with ethics?

Without giving away the story, I think it is fair to say that, while we heard no more about Scrooge's business, you might suppose that it went from strength to strength, and that the requisite happy ending was not limited to Tiny Tim's survival.

So what kind of business owner are you as we approach Christmas yet again? Are you the cold, calm & collected Bond, James Bond who counts every last penny or have you been shaken by compassion and the spirits of past, present and of Christmases yet to come, and been stirred into the new style of business leadership where success comes through people?

Or will Tiny Tim surely (be allowed) to die?





Grey is the colour of an accountant or so popular culture tells us. Personally, I prefer red - for warmth, passion, love, adventure and danger. Maybe that says more about my personality than my profession. Many accountants choose the tried and trusted blue, grey, gold and sometimes, purple.

Designers will tell you that all of these colours have psychological overtones and that is why so many accountants' websites are a cold, chilling blue!

So here we have a very defined interpetative boundary between two primary colours.

Pets Cartoon #6239 by Andertoons

Nothing is so clear cut in life: mostly the edges are fuzzy, one colour often gradually becomes another making it a "grey" area between the two. Clarity and sharpness is an important characteristic of my profession, although my clients always want me to find grey areas in tax!

Many people have a less clear cut, black and white view of life, often finding opportunities to muddy the edges.

Take a very simple thing like an excuse. An excuse is what someone offers e.g. for not having done something they ought to have. A reason for not doing something "feels" more acceptable than an excuse but it depends entirely on whether you are the victim of the failure or the cause of the failure how you see or describe it. The words are the same: " I couldn't do it because..."; interpretation is flexible. So when is a reason really a reason or is it always an excuse?

Whatever your take on those words, what's important in business and in relationships is to take personal responsibility and ownership for the things which are yours, things to which you can (and ought to) say, "I am responsible for that....". That contrasts with the more normal situation where you ARE responsible but don't want to admit it. Once you accept responsibility there is no longer any need for a reason or an excuse. You simply live or die by your actions or lack of them.

The next question is, why was this article not published in the usual timeframe of 5 -9 am on 17th October?

Well, I had a lot on this weekend.....