“I’d rather be a pirate than join the Navy.” — Steve Jobs
What did he mean by this?
Steve Jobs saw the Navy as representing the ‘establishment’ and the established way of operating – run by an elite few, often to further their own interests. He said this in 1984 at an Apple leadership meeting. When we think of Apple we can understand this. His business did things differently, taking a different approach.
How well do you REALLY know the financial situation of your agency (or any business). I am not talking Profit and Loss as this only shows historic performance.
I am talking about the real figures that indicate the financial health of your business NOW and most importantly in the future.
Run your business as if you are going to sell it tomorrow, even if that is not your end game.
Why? Because people only buy well run businesses. We can get a huge insight into how we should be running our businesses from what people look for when buying a business.
Nine times out of 10 when you ask a marketing agency ‘what they do’, they list their services – “we design great brands”; “we build websites”; “we manage your social media” – you get the drift.
These bland statements do not communicate the value you give. Every single agency that does what you do (and there are thousands) can say exactly the same thing. You drown in the sea of sameness. The result is that the only single aspect you can compete on is price because there is nothing else to compete on.
You don’t often expect to go on holiday and gain a fantastic business insight, but on a recent family trip to New York, my daughter persuaded the family to go to a place for breakfast that her friends had recommended.
It’s called Ellen’s Stardust Diner, and they have singing waiters and waitresses, or waitstaff in American! It was only a few blocks from where we were staying and, although the idea did not appeal to me very much, I agreed to go.
There is no coincidence that high performing sports people become management and leadership consultants. What they learn in their, often short, sporting career is probably more than most of us than in a lifetime.
I had the pleasure of attending and IoD event recently where we were exposed to some real insights of what we can take from the sporting world and apply to our business world. Thank you to Anna Hemmings, Richard Parker and Sarah Winckless for your insights. Here are my key takeaways.