On Business: Resilience is about knowing what to focus on

by | May 30, 2024

This is the second in a series of blogs on business, resilience and entrepreneurship, from our co-founder David Lea-Wilson.

Over to DLW:

Resilience is about knowing what to focus on. So for what it’s worth, here is some advice that has helped me over the years. Forgive me if I go into truisms but they are easy to remember.

First up, some time management advice:

  • ‘The Vital Few or the Trivial Many.’ – Think about what you are really focused on today. Also consider when is your most productive time – often it’s first thing.
  • This links to The Pareto Rule: 80% of the value of what you do comes from 20% of what you actually do. Something to think on.
  • I’m a sucker for lists, though whether I can read what I’ve written is another matter. Write down your vital things list, and do them them first, even (actually, especially) before your emails.
  • Procrastination is all very well but after maybe sleeping on it you just have to DO it as is the slogan. If in doubt just study The Do Lectures – Wales’ answer to TED talks. As soon as you start and make that initial step, it– whatever it is – becomes easier.

Some thoughts on what to focus on:

  •  Something I read many moons ago: ‘Sales are Vanity, some Profit is sanity, but generating enough cash to pay every bill is an essential Reality.’
  • Planning is critical in any organization and time spent planning is almost never wasted. Linked to this is thinking and writing down the weakest points of your businesss. I wouldn’t share them with others but think out a plan to address them. Sooner or later every chain can snap at the weakest link when the tension is really applied.
  • Another area I think about is to have a Plan B. In our case, it led from growing oysters to selling fish to starting an aquarium to starting a sea salt business to smoking sea salt to seaweed barrel bathing. All of these were connected to the sea and all easy to see with hindsight.  But each and every time they have been risky innovations to make us more resilient.
  • Finally, one last thought on resilience. I think it’s a good idea for owners and indeed anyone, to plan regular breaks and treats away from day to day business life. Those are the times to recharge and look at work from outside, to realise that if you don’t take breaks, the business could break you.
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