What joy! In the past week we have been taking off the honey and harvesting the goldengages and runner beans that have magically grown through the summer. It is a truly magnificent time of the year!
But our biggest success is the most ENORMOUS pumpkin – grown from two (out of nine) pumpkin seeds that I planted in July sometime. (The birds ate the other seven). Here is a picture of the triffid-like plant when we got back from holiday:
Great Oaks from little acorns grow, as they say. Even businesses have to start somewhere – but the natural powers of nature still let two out of nine seeds (for the pumpkin) and two out of nine hives (for the honey harvest) do SO much better than the rest.
I wonder if there is some formula that someone has noticed about productivity and two-ninths of any system being SO much more productive than the rest?
I always enjoy this time of the year. For me, in many ways, the 1st of September is the start of a New Year.
If you can remember when you were young, or even more recently, if you have children, this time of the year marks the start of the academic year. It is back to school week and also Freshers week for those starting University. It is a out-of-sync start to the year when, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are all heading into Autumn and Winter. Perhaps the original designer for the academic cycle was an Antipodean when it coincides with Spring. Who knows?
Anyway, I have found over the past three years of running a small consulting business that there are definite peaks and troughs in demand for an extra pair of (external) hands to kick-off a new campaign or project. And that cycle is very much in in line with the school year. I can see a definite trend of individuals buying in three cycles – September/October, January/February and April/May/June. Nobody buys anything in August!
So with this New (Business) Year, I decided, whilst on holiday in August, to do a few radical things – just to mark the occasion. I’ve upgraded my apple computer (because the old one broke beyond repair). I’ve changed broadband service provider to Zen (having been struggling with BT’s customer service for several years). And I have also decided to move from my old-style accountant to one that can handle the cloud, is more proactive and help the business grow. All these changes have definitely given me a “back to school”, start of a New Year refreshed feeling.
With these somewhat mundane changes, I have also been reflecting on the past three years and what goals and objectives I should set the business for the next three years. After all, I run a business called Objective Designers! So I was very amuzed to get an email this morning from a great productivity blog I subscribe to called “ZenHabits”. I was reading an earlier entry called “No Goal” – which struck a chord. What if we actually have no goals? What then? I love the two quotes at end of the ZenHabits post:
‘Always remember: the journey is all. The destination is beside the point.’
“A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu
Why do we set all these goals and objectives? What purpose do they serve? Is there really an alternative framework with no goals, no budgets, no plans. Just free-and-easy go-with-the-flow business? I can see this probably wouldn’t work in big business, but for a micro business, it is an interesting idea. Many self-employed folk around the world probably do this naturally anyway!
Anyway, it makes you think – which is what this blog is all about!