Use What You Have

Issue 70

I take great care with my carrier bags and tote bags. It is the right and obvious thing to do. It can help save the planet. And it can help save me money, too. So I cocoon them carefully. One. Inside. The other. That way, instead of just forgetting to take one or two of them to the supermarket. I can forget all of them at the same time.

Business Insight There’s so much to see, read and listen to about business. LinkedIn. Audible. Northern Insight Magazine. The sprawling Business Books sections of a virtual Amazon or a physical WHSmith. And I honestly think that if I wanted to consume end-to-end the business-focussed content I’ve accrued to date, no one would see me for 12 months. Because just as I neatly file carrier bags inside carrier bags. I file business information and insight, too. Sometimes, maybe even alphabetically. But do I read it all? And more importantly, do I act on what I do manage to read? Mostly… no. So why is it that we are so very often looking ‘out there’ for the information we think we need to become super successful? When it is highly likely that whatever it is we need to know – and do – we already have access to? Patterns There are clear patterns when it comes to business advice and guidance. Content repeats. It recycles. The same themes and headlines re-emerge over and over. And I’d wager that if you wanted some information – right now – on any of the ‘biggies’ – it’s filed away on a bookshelf or hard drive you already own. Biggies The ‘biggies’ I am talking about when it comes to ‘business subject matter worth exploring’ include things like consumer behaviour (Rory Sutherland has that covered), storytelling (Bernadette Jiwa is all you need), purpose (that Simon Sinek chap), the power of vulnerability (Brené Brown), brand and marketing (Ries and Trout), brand building (Byron Sharp) and a whole range of other stuff from the ever expanding Do Book Company. But the main point here is that I am probably not introducing you to books, authors and notions that are new to you. You probably own one or more books by these authors right now. You probably just haven’t read them. Or if you have read them, you haven’t integrated their teachings into your day-to-day – properly, or at all. And that brings me back to carrier bags. Dozens and dozens of carrier bags. Nesting inside one another. Gathering muck and crinkles inside some hard-to-open kitchen draw. Not being used for the one, single purpose they were born for. Just like your business books and audio books. So, whatever our ambitions may be, most of us already have more information and insight than we need in order to improve ourselves. To address our potential. To polish who we are and what we do. All we have to do is use it. Use What You Have There is nothing just around the corner or just over the horizon that’s going to take us to where we say we want to be in business. A lot of we need, we already know. Or we already know where to get it. Our own bookshelves. So next time you need to get your beans and your bread and your eggs to the car – for free – open your nest of carrier bags. And next time you want to step-change your business; close off your diary, open your mind, go to your bookshelf, open a book… and read.

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