When I was about 12 I washed up in an Indian restaurant — when I was 14 I was flipping burgers in a Wimpy bar. Wages were well below minimum wage (if it existed then) but it was enough to keep me in treats.
I never have been greedy, never wanted to be a gazzillionaire (although I’ll gladly relieve the ‘i was happier when I was poor’ rich of their hard earned) — if I have enough to get what we need then I’m doing good.
When I took my driving test I didn’t tick the ‘do you want to include motorbikes?’ option because I never thought I’d ever have one.
A car I needed (at the time), a motorbike I didn’t.
A good few years later, when I had both the money and the requirement for a motorbike, I went to buy one only to be told I had to take a test — the rules had changed … obviously.
Being poor has it’s advantages.
Being poor teaches you to be resourceful.
Being poor teaches you to appreciate stuff.
Being poor forces you to justify everything you buy.
In my industry I need to justify a lot of
Slowly but surely, over the years, ‘stuff’ has crept into the daily life.
Stuff is just stuff. Want is not need.
Stuff is just luxury overheads.
It’s what we spend our cash on when we want — not need — to better our lives?
Like assumption, consumption is the route to confusion.
In business we tend to gather stuff. A lot of stuff. We assume that we need to splash out on expensive brochures — that ultimately end up in a box at the back of the cupboard.
We assume that no-one will want to work with us unless we have a posh West End office — which ends up costing so much you need to bring in more work just to get by.
We assume that we need to wear a suit to be taken seriously — or that someone not in a suit isn’t running a proper business.
The only company that needs an all singing, all dancing, super swishy website is the company that sells all singing, all dancing, super swishy websites.
You don’t need any of that superfluous stuff, just provide a quality product that people need.
Look around you — what’s stored in your Galant file cabinet that you haven’t touched for a while?
That new tablet you got all excited about, spent a fortune on but haven’t used for months, boxes of embossed, laser cut compliment slips?
I’m not saying we need to burn all your possessions and go the way of the Zen monk. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t explore and innovate with new things.
But just to look around and think — is this the best option for me/ my business?
Can you justify all this stuff?
Is this a want or a need?
Is all this stuff just rhetorical stuff?