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Business is fun


According to the weather forecast, there is no real snow forecast before Christmas now. Which is not to say that we will be having pretend snow instead.

Many people would say that we've had enough anyway in the last few days, though I for one would not agree - I love the snow. For one thing, it makes everything brighter and cleaner-looking, so in many ways its a bit like slapping on some make up and, in the process, hiding a multitude of spots and other blemishes.

But it is superficial and as we all know, usually it doesn't last, and before long, lumps and bumps reappear, the potholes in the road seem suddenly bigger and deeper and the once clean covering is dirty, brown-coloured and looks a bit like mashed potatoes and gravy, spread all over the roads.


For many businesses, attempting to fix problems is a bit like the snow falling. Superficial fixes which don't address the real problems or people issues will never be long-lasting.



Its a not uncommon thing now to walk into Starbucks or - if you're wiser, into biblocafe in Glasgow's Woodlands road - to find most of the seats occupied by what I call visonistas.

There they sit focussed, on their own creativity, oblivious to the world as it hovers in their presence looking for a share of a table. Few of us, sitting down in a cafe or public space immediately strike up a conversation with the stranger sitting next to or opposite us, and unless the lift breaks down, will easily pass a minute or so in a perhaps embarrassing silence as the hollow cube rises or falls in the lift shaft till we reach our destination.

We have become islands in our own world. And yet, "No man is an island, entire of itself" (John Donne). We should be - are - social animals but still it is the done-thing (no pun intended) to ignore our neighbours.

Pets Cartoon #6011 by Andertoons

Networking teaches an important skill if you are prepared to learn it - the elevator pitch. The elevator pitch is nothing more than a 40-60 second chance to say who you are what you do and why you are special. I suspect that on the one hand to immediately launch into a "Hi, my name is John from NGM Accountants and what we do is..." every time you walked into a lift might be a bit adventurous for many of us and a bit intimidating for our intended audience. I guess though it depends on you and how adventurous you feel of course!

Regardless of how aggressive it might seem to you, think of the opportunities that we miss by saying nothing at all, let alone a pitch.

“Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationships." H Ross Perot.


So do you dare to start spinning a web next time you are in a lift.....?