• Adam Whittaker

It’s all about you

I’m really trying to stay busy. I’ve rebuilt my website before deciding that I prefer this one, I’ve looked at where I want to go with the business in the future, how I can future proof my income if something like this happens again. Reflecting on working life pre pandemic I also realised that I was probably losing a day a week in travel and in some ways welcome the necessitated move to on line although I hope it never completely replaces my face to face work.

One of the benefits from this enforced down time has been the chance to tackle the huge reading ‘pile’ I have accumulated over the last however long. This is made up of email folders, books and links that I have saved believing that many of these articles and books would contain immense words of wisdom that would change my life forever. Don’t get me wrong, many of them have the odd nugget of advice that I have attempted to integrate into my every day personal and business life. Great writers and oracles such as Tim Ferriss, Gary Vee, Simon Sinek and the like have opened my eyes and my mind to elements of my life that I could potentially change to better myself and empower me to become a better person and business man.

“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do” – Tim Ferriss

Trawling through reams both on and offline of such thinking can be hugely motivational. However there is a massive amount of dross too. Littered throughout LinkedIn, occasionally Twitter and often on some Canva designed soundbite on Instagram you will come across incredible lifestyles and routines of self made entrepreneurs that are now not only masters of their art, but the universe also. How many times have you read about the boss who gets up at 2am, runs a marathon, creates 2 new businesses, writes a chapter of a book, feeds the kids and invents a cure for cancer, all before they get to the office at 8am (where they work all day while walking on a treadmill at their desk)?

Forgive me for the ‘slight’ exaggeration but this is often how it feels. Story after story is spewed out about these invincible super humans who trot out their thoughts on how you too can live their wonderful life and become extremely rich. There is also a huge amount of contradiction. Some people say they work until the early hours as this is when they are most productive, some say tackle your hardest task of the day first, where as others say pick off the low hanging fruit to get the momentum of your working day going.

If we listened to all or just a selection of these, we would be confused, probably exhausted and spending all of our time in a futile groundhog day of self reinvention and our businesses and relationships would go to the wall. In 1 to 1s I often hear business owners and managers say something along the lines of ‘I read the other day…’ Whilst I admire and encourage broad reading, particularly studying those that have made an unbelievable career for themselves, we are all unique. Some of us are most functional and motivated at 7am and are spent by about 3pm. Others don’t really get into first gear until 10am. You may have kids and their breakfast, school run and homework means that your schedule is often dictated by your offspring not your ambition.

No matter what you read or listen to, just be you. It is physically, logistically and emotionally impossible to be everything to everyone including yourself. Take some key soundbites and try them. If they don’t work, try something else. You are not a failure for not building an orphanage in Oldham by the end of the week just because Bill Gates may have done it (not in Oldham of course). I watched a Jeff Bezoz interview last week. No matter what you may think of the man, he has made a few quid. In amongst his diatribe of tips and experiences he claims he never schedules a meeting for before 10am and the most complex meetings should always be in the morning.

When we are finally free to meet again it will never be before 10 and if we have scheduled you in the morning… you can draw your own conclusions.