Yep, it’s that time of the month when all business becomes funny business. A chance for Tim Reid (Australia’s #1 small business podcaster) and Andrew Griffiths (Australia’s #1 small business author) to get together and throw around some issues that are on the collective mind of the small business community. In this month’s episode we discuss:
PLUS I tackle a listener question that came in from a long-time supporter in Gino, who among other things, feels that the show is full of lots of talking about the individual which has very little to do with marketing. Tune in to see what I have to ay about that!!
#123 Funny Business 5 – Goofing Off, Doing Business in Cafes and How to Overcome Setbacks
Tim: Today on the show, episode 123 of Small Business Big Marketing, I go head-to-head with my old buddy, our old buddy, Andrew Griffiths, the most published small business author in Australia, mind you, with 11 books under his belt, soon to be 12, although, he won’t tell us what that 12th book is. I kind of have a little bit of inside information but I’m not going to share it with you because it’s a secret. He’s going to launch it soon. But on Funny Business, we always get together sort of once every four or five weeks or so and belt out a few wishes that we feel are relevant to you and your business in order to make business a little bit more fun. That is the intent. After the episode of Funny Business, which I am just about to roll, I am going to comment on an email I received from listener, Gino, long-time listener, Gino, in which he comments on last week’s episode 122 in which I interviewed Jonathan Krywicki from Pitch and Woo, a start-up that is going to go places. Amongst other comments Gino makes in his email, he says, “At times, I feel there’s a lot of talking about the individual which has very little to do with marketing.” Hmmm. Well, I’ll make comment on that and the rest of Gino’s email after this episode of Funny Business. So let’s wander down the passageway and into the Funny Business studio where Griffo is waiting. See you on the other side.
Andrew Griffiths, welcome back to Funny Business.
Andrew: Good. I’m good. I was going to say good afternoon, good morning, good evening, all of the above, Timbo.
Tim: Great. It is lovely to have you on board and fifth episode of Funny Business. We have quite a bit to cover. We are going to talk goofing off time. Are you allowed to do it as a small business owner? We are going to talk about … we’re going to ask ourselves the question, can you give away too much? We are going to talk about overcoming business setbacks of which you have had a couple of recent weeks; one which is particularly funny. How far go with that one, I don’t know, but we’ll see what Doris has to say. Now, we’ve got to dig ourselves out of that because people have no idea what we’re saying, but we’ll go with that. Griffo?
Tim: I’ve had a busy day today. I just came back from a two-hour meeting in a cafe and, I don’t know, I think we might have had a chat offline about this at some point in the last 12 months. But what do you think about doing business in cafes?
Andrew: Oh, I love it. Personally, I’m a major addict of doing business in cafes. I think there’s something about it that you just … you think a little bit differently.
Tim: You’re serious, huh? I thought you were as against it as I was.
Andrew: No, not at all. I do most of my businesses done in cafes these days and it has been for about four or five years.
Tim: Right. Because you are a bit of a road warrior, you are travelling all the time so it’s not as if you can say, “Come back to my mahogany tiled office.” Sometimes we’re forced to do business in cafes. Why do you love it?
Andrew: Well, yes, it’s really because I’m a road warrior is number one. But the main reason, of course, is the fact that I’m too tight to pay for an office. (Laughs)
Tim: <inaudible> *0:04:59
Andrew: Well, I had the office. I’ve had lots of people. I’ve done all that kind of stuff. And I’ve got to say, I just love being in a really nice cafe, it’s nice and relaxed, people are on a different head space, you can have better conversations. I find doing business in a coffee shop is more enjoyable for me and I think it’s more enjoyable for people generally. I mean, there are things that I certainly wouldn’t talk about in a coffee shop and I have venues that I use when I need to if it’s a bit more confidential and I get all that kind of stuff. But, generally, when you’re catching up, when you’re doing updates, when you’re having your marketing meeting, whatever you’re doing, honestly, I think they’re the most wonderful venues. You don’t seem sold by the sound of things.
Tim: Oh, no, not at all. Not at all. I’ll tell you why in a minute. Just tell me – do you then … are you happy to do business in any type of cafe or do you go, “Huh, we’re going to have a business meeting in a cafe. Choose wisely.
Andrew: I always choose wisely and I always have a bit of a reason. I tend to have my favourites in a city. There’s a place where I will go back to, and I like the fact that there are certain coffee shops where you can have a bit more privacy and be a little bit quieter than have the music blaring, all those kind of things. Did I tell you about a coffee shop I went to in the states? We talked about this on the show.
Andrew: Sorry. It was really interesting. Last time I was there, a mate of mine who I was doing some work with in Arizona said, “We’ll go hang all day at the coffee shop.” And I went, “All day?”
Tim: All day? Is there a water slide there?
Andrew: Even I’ve got my limits. We’ve gone to this enormous coffee shop. It really was a coffee factory I think is what you’d call it. But what was really interesting was in one part of this place, they’ve actually set it up for entrepreneurs and business people to work –
Tim: There it is. That is exactly what I’m talking about. That’s what I want to see.
Andrew: And you know what, mate? Okay, so what makes this unique, you have your own toilets, which was just – and it’s a little area that said this is for people who run their business, entrepreneurs, small business owners – I should have taken a photo – that work out here basically is what it said.
Tim: The toilets have little platforms for your laptop?
Andrew: (Laughs) Well, just about. Interesting. There were clocks in the toilets so you could keep track of time.
Tim: You say clocks?
Andrew: Yeah, clocks. A lot of people don’t wear watches. Keep it clean. There were – you’ve got free wifi. You got high speed wifi. If you’re an entrepreneur in there, they give you a different code. You get discounts. They gave you a card when you came in so if you’re there for the whole day, you get specials on meals. They have photocopying stuff that they can use, all of these extra bits and pieces that you didn’t pay for, they were just services that encourage people to go and spend the day there. You can plug in your laptop and all your gear at the table. It was fascinating. And we were there for 12 hours doing business. I got to tell you, it’s a gruelling day, and you just watch people come and go all day long.
Tim: You would have knocked back a couple of … what are we talking … almond croissants, vanilla slice, a couple of burgers in there? It’s 12 hours.
Andrew: That was the first day, and it’s America so it’s all low-cal and light.
Tim: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Small serves.
Andrew: I would have been like a Chihuahua with the amount of coffee that I drank at the end of the day. I was wired.
Tim: Oh, god.
Andrew: So many people are like that.
Tim: Pick up Mr. Griffiths. Pick up Mr. Griffiths. Where do they put red horses next?
Andrew: <inaudible> *0:08:27, mate. Thank you. You’re filled with Levingtons. (Laughs) But how long ‘til we start to see places like that happening in Australia, which I know we’ve got some hubs and things like that which are fabulous. And I’ve been to the one in Melbourne which I just thought was fabulous. I forget the name of it now but, you know, there are central entrepreneurial kind of places but I think coffee shops are there catering for people that have … I mean, we’re just kind of getting coffee shops that are offering wifi, well, men, there are so much more you can do than that. And in this entrepreneurial place in this big coffee factory in America, it was chockers, absolutely chockers with people. Isn’t that interesting, hey? So –
Tim: Well, there you go. That’s exactly … I would be convinced of doing business in a cafe like that as a good idea. I think I might have even talked about it on a Small Business Big Marketing episode previously where it’s kind of the idea is to have a Qantas club or, you know, like airline club that makes your home office, and it’s like then that works. But, you know, for me, doing business in a cafe, just any cafe like I’ve just done, I had the bloody sun shining in my eyes, there was music blaring, the tables were too close next to me, the chairs over the course of two hours got a bit of a sore buttock, the left cheek went to sleep. Man, it’s too much information, but it was the reality, you know. Have you tried to do business with pins and needles in your left buttock?
Andrew: Well, you know, it’s a battle wound of the modern day office these days, you know, pins and needles in the left buttock, paper cuts, stress caused by flat batteries. It is a war zone out there. That’s all we can say.
Tim: Anyway, enough of that. If there is an entrepreneurial cafe owner listening, then just set it up and Griff and I will be your first two customers. Make sure you got <inaudible> *0:10:16 at the front we can hold on as we walk in because we’ll be there for extended periods of time.
Andrew: But it’s actually a good point you made, though. If someone’s going to come and do business in your cafe, you’d think, “Oh, well, they’re just going to take up space.” Who really wants that? But the reality is – and I have got a cafe in town here where I live, and I’ll often spend all day there seeing different people and I just run a tab all day. It’s nothing for me to spend $200 by the end of the day with various meetings <inaudible> *0:10:44. But I do think it’s so important that everyone has – that is quiet, that you’ve got wifi and that it’s comfortable. So you’ve got to have kind of comfy chairs for exactly the reason we spoke about. So we’ll see more of them, I think.
Tim: And a couple of pinnies, a couple of pinning machines, pinball machines.
Andrew: Great idea. Yeah, that’s just what we need for a trip down memory lane.
Tim: Correct. (Laughs) Griffo, let’s digress. Let’s talk about this idea of how … how do you overcome business setbacks? You have had, in the last, I’m thinking, two or three weeks, a natural disaster up in <inaudible> *0:11:22 where you live. You’ve had some floods. And then last week, when we were about to record Funny Business, you ring me and say, “Timbo, I’ve lost my bags. The taxi has driven off with my bags. I can’t record.”
Andrew: And how strange was that? I mean, let’s be honest. That’s not the most significant of issues to have face on but I was simply swapping hotels, going from one hotel to another, and the hotel where I was leaving from said, “I will put your bags in a taxi, and when you get there, when you finish your business and get there, the bags will have arrived.” And, of course, what became a little disconcerting, though, was that eight hours later when I got to the hotel, my bags weren’t there.
Tim: That’s incredibly trusting. I know you are a trusting fellow but I don’t know … I wouldn’t let my bags go in a taxi. I don’t trust them.
Andrew: Well, I am a trusting … I mean, when’s a taxi driver ever been dishonest?
Tim: Exactly. Exactly. Hello, all you taxi drivers.
Andrew: It’s just – But it was quite interesting, that funny thing. But the flood were far more significant. I mean, <inaudible> *0:12:24 where I lived, we didn’t get flooded but we did have the ramifications of no Internet connection and no … nothing … no phone lines for about 36 hours. Now, that was quite phenomenal because, I mean, normally, we’re used to the power going out because there’s a cyclone, we’re used to Internet going down because there’s a cyclone. We’re used to those kinds of things. But something always worked. You can always kind of always ring someone or <inaudible> *0:12:47 for a few hours. To be without any connection to the outside world for a few hours, for that long, 36 hours, whatever it was, was quite phenomenal. I had a webinar booked and I couldn’t ring anyone to say I can’t do it because I couldn’t get on to a phone, I couldn’t get on to the Internet, I couldn’t do anything. So people just think, “Well, you just slept in” or whatever the case may be. But there were other things I think … natural disasters is such a part of Australia. Look at part of the world now, look at America, the snowstorms that are going, all these crazy things that are happening. But other setbacks in business to me are things like what do you do when you lose a big client? We’ve all experienced that. We’ve lost our biggest customer and it’s like, “Oh, god. What do we do?”
Tim: I think this discussion – because we could talk about, well, what are the steps you take when you lose a client – this discussion is not about that. To me, it’s a mindset thing because you lose your bags last week in Sydney, that’s a reason to raise your hands up and go, “OMG!” And different people handle situations differently. Another person might have completely lost the plug and go on, you know, cancel all meetings. I’m going home, crawling to the corner, fetal position, sucking their thumb. But it’s like you’ve got to look … I guess it’s all about looking at … okay, where’s the positive in this? Where’s the positive in losing all my luggage?
Andrew: It is, and it’s all a matter of perspective. I do believe that I think anyone who’s been in business for any amount of time, you’ve had power ups and power downs and you’ve either learned to cope with that kind of stuff or you’ve had a nervous breakdown because that’s just the nature of doing business. I think that it is about choosing the way that we react to those things more than anything else. I mean, we lose a big client, well, the problem that I see is not so much someone losing a big client; it’s the fact that they almost slide into depression because they don’t do anything about it. Yeah, we got to be upset and we got to be even grumpy about it. We got to wonder around and kick the door and, you know, be whatever it is that we got to be grumpy, you know, however that looks for us as individuals. But the key is you just got to get on with it. It’s like overcoming a natural disaster or fire or flood or whatever. I think we have to be upset about it initially but then I think we’ve got to say, “Okay, now I just got to get on with it.” And I think my goal in life has always been to make the upset period last for the shortest possible amount of time I can make it last.
Tim: Yeah, I agree. Also, when I hear conversations like the one we are having, there are people out there who do really take setbacks really hard, you know, like they’re real … even the smallest of setbacks. So it is a hard thing but you’ve almost got to – even before that happens – as small business owners, we’ve got to acknowledge that, “Hey, buck stops with me. It’s my business. Enjoy the good times and know that there will be tough times ahead.” And almost be prepared like an athlete would in a race.
Tim: Imagine it. What does it look like? What does it look like when I lose my biggest client? What does it look like when my luggage gets lost? I’m kind of getting a bit woo-woo on you but, like, feel that so that when it does happen, it’s not a new experience.
Andrew: You have to use the force, Timbo. That’s the only way to respond.
Tim: Ah, the force. Thanks, Yoda.
Andrew: (Laughs) But you’re exactly right because I think, for me as a communications marketing kind of guy, if I have a new client coming aboard and I’m doing PR for them, for example, in the past, the first thing I do is sit down with them so what are all the worst things that could possibly happen to this business? Let’s start with the worst priority. It’s normally someone gets killed or – I’m working with a shipping company at the moment – a boat runs aground on the Great Barrier Reef would be the worst possible thing you can have happen. So you list all those things and we pre-empt, we’ve written all the press releases for all those scenarios. I mean, you can say doom and gloom but you’ve actually done exactly what you said. Okay, let’s imagine – no one would like to – but let’s imagine one of the vessels has ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef and some people have been killed and the reef is damaged. That’s the worst possible scenario. How are we going to manage that? What are we going to do? How are we going to survive as a company and have those discussions? Who are we going to call? What are we going to do? And it’s really interesting when you do that even at a smaller scale. Say, my little business, if I lost all my computers and everything, you got home and the place had been burgled and I’ve lost everything, it’d be horrible but what would I do? Okay, if you actually got a little bit of a plan of attack for all those worst case scenarios, somehow they’re not quite as scary because, well, okay, I got home and the place has been robbed. Well, I know what I’m going to do because I’ve got my plan of attack. I’ve thought it through. And I think when you think things through like that, it takes a lot of the fear of them happening away from you. And I believe it’s very powerful. I think it’s a very smart thing for business owners to do.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. Do it before it happens. Absolutely, Griffo. Now, mate, you wrote an e-book, actually, on how to deal with natural disasters as you would, a common e-book. But well done for getting it out so quickly during the times of the floods in Australia and everything that was going on. I’m in the process of putting together an e-book on something. I’ve got a client putting one together. A client asked me the other day, “How much do I actually give away? Like, you know, there’s a lot of good content here.” And I hear this question a lot, particularly as content marketing, particularly is this ability for small business owners to put together a podcast, to write a book, to put together a forum, whatever it might be, do some videos. Okay, so you want me to share my knowledge but how much do you want me to share? When is too much? When is too much enough, you know? What are your thoughts on that? Is there a line or do you just keep giving?
Andrew: I don’t know. For me, I think, everyone is different, Timbo. I know that you’re a very generous bloke. You give away a lot of your information. And I think, for many of us who has a little bit of gray hair, that’s also been the way that we’ve done business. I don’t know. My view is, personally, that I have always given away all of my information, whether be in books, whether be in presentations, whether be in articles, interviews, whatever. I don’t really hold back anything and I’ve never really worried about that because I kind of don’t look at knowledge or information as something that you have unlimited supplies. Personally, I look at it, well, that information I’ve given away, if other people used it, well, that’s great because there’ll be some more coming or there’ll be more stuff that I create. I mean, all my books, I’ve done 2,000 articles, which I don’t think my brain’s got any more information than that. It’s already out. There’s nothing left in there. It’s rattling around.
Tim: You and I are similar. I mean, I actually say to people when I’m talking in the sense like, you know what? You wouldn’t really need me to speak here at your conference or where I am. All you need to do is listen to my podcast, read my blog and you pretty much know everything I know about marketing. But I think there’s an aspect of it – it’s just a human aspect – which is people want to deal with people. They don’t want to just listen to a podcast or just read a book.
Andrew: Exactly. Well, if you take the example, Tim, that someone could learn how to podcast, they can go online, they can figure it out, they can do a Google search <inaudible> *0:20:12 or they can go to someone like you who teaches them how to do it from A to Z … a bit of Americanism. I’m just trying to –
Tim: You are an international fellow, Griffo.
Andrew: But if you look at it, that’s the same thing, isn’t it? I mean, I get asked all the time to present on topics where the easiest thing for me to do is exactly like yourself, say it in the book. Buy the freaking book and it’ll save you time. But that’s why a book is such a great marketing tool because, even when you wrote them, you still go to people that want you. And you’re right; it’s that human connection. So when you’re in that situation, you’re presenting and all the rest of it, you’ve got all this information, I personally find that if you’re kind of holding back, it sometimes can lack a little bit of integrity, a bit of alignment. My view is 100% you give them as much as you’ve got and just be open to the fact that there’ll be more information coming and people will only use you more when you’re generous with the information that you give. Even sometimes if you’re not directly really going to make your return … I get freaking hundreds of emails, I’m sure like yourself, every week asking for information, can you give me some advice, can you teach me about whatever it might be, you try and get back to everyone as much as you can. There’s no money into this. No one’s paying you to do it but it’s just kind of people inquiring. But I think it’s a good thing to do. I think it’s a – dare I say – it’s good karma to share. That’s, again, my take.
Tim: I think there’s a lot – I agree. Yeah, I agree. There’s probably a lot of business owners who aren’t even aware of this whole concept of sharing the knowledge and they’re still – you know, I say, there’s just a lot of them still pushing out information, running ads, doing letterbox drops, and it’s full of what I’d call advertising copy, you know, almost like, it’s kind of like just teasing, you know, like, “I know a lot about this. Here’s my services.” But why don’t you … I love that quote: “Don’t tell me you’re funny. Tell me a joke,” you know?
Andrew: Yeah, I agree. I agree. That’s clever, very, very clever.
Tim: Thank you for that. That’s clever. In fact, I was going to … if you don’t mind, I’ll use the headline for this actual episode, “Just Buy the Freaking Book!” <inaudible> *0:22:23 that was the main point from this episode. Love it.
Andrew: If I can add one more thing to that, though –
Tim: Why not?
Andrew: I do think that any business that has a spirit of generosity, by that I mean whether you’re generous in business, whether you’re generous as a solo entrepreneur, generous with your time, generous with your information, I believe that does come back to you. And I’ve seen some examples of people that are generous on every level coming back to them. I’ve seen far more examples of many businesses that have gone broke because they’re just so mean. You’ve got poverty mentality, they don’t give away anything, they don’t treat staff well, they don’t treat their customers well. It’s all about every cent is a prisoner. And sometimes I understand, we all get into that mode, but we shouldn’t. I think one of the greatest ways to grow a really successful business is to be generous in whatever shape or form you can be. Some people will go, “Andrew, that’s a bit freaking <inaudible> *0:23:24 and a big kumbaya-ish.” But my experience over 30 years of doing business is exactly that.
Tim: I wonder what the big guys’ take on that would be, you know, like – I was going to say Carrie Parker but he’s no longer with us – but, you know, like a Lindsey Fox or a Donald Trump. What would they respond to that, you know? They’re giving people.
Andrew: Well, it’s a good question, but there are other ways of measuring success too, like, of course, you know, cliché, I think it was Henry Ford, wasn’t it, who said before your business makes its money, it’s not much of a business. I agree with that entirely as well, and you look at people, even Donald Trump, apart from spending a lot of money on hairdressers, the reality is he’s a very generous guy, amazingly generous guy.
Tim: Is he?
Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. But you wouldn’t ever know that. I think from the outward image that he portrays as this tough-ass kind of business guy, he’s a <inaudible> *0:24:22. You look at Warren Buffett. He’s got to be a prime example, Bill Gates, all those kind of folks. I’m not saying just giving is the answer to everything but I think it’s part of the answer.
Tim: You don’t go to Trump’s hairdresser, do you?
Tim: It’s just something that occurred to me. I don’t know.
Andrew: You’re funny, aren’t you? Hey, funny, big fella! Funny, funny, funny!
Tim: Well, you’re not answering the question. You’re just kind of deflecting it so I’ll take it as a yes.
Andrew: I go to America for secret business trips. That’s all I’m going to say. Next question.
Andrew: Speaking of which, I’m going to lead into the next question here because I’m getting nervous now. As a small business owner, this is something that you’ve raised a number of times, and you’re just way too serious so I’ve got to ask you this question. Okay, as a small business owner, is it okay to allow yourself some goofing off time? What’s your view? What’s your take?
Tim: Well, my answer is damn right, you should have goofing off time, but don’t look to me as an example of that because, it’s funny, you know, like I have ran my own business now for … could be going on eight years and, apart from that, I had about 20 years working in corporate Australia and, you know, 9:00 to 5:00 or 7:00 ‘til 8:00. But I have found it hard to lose that mentality. I love the fact that I can go and, you know, if I want to go for coffee or if I want to do … do want to goof off, there’s no one I have to tell. I don’t have to look behind my back and wonder whether they’re waiting for me when I get back, all that type of stuff. But even when I do goof off, in the back of my head, I’ve got, “Oh, what have I got on? What have I got on? I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to do that.” But, yeah, damn right, I think everyone should have some down time.
Andrew: And what does goofing off mean to you, though?
Tim: It means not working.
Andrew: Just not working. Is it like recharging? Is it kind of doing something completely – go for a ride on your bike?
Tim: Do you know what I need as of today – because I had a very dear friend come around this morning, Griffo, and give me a bit of diary coaching, a bit of calendar coaching – and I have been stuffing around with calendars. At the start of this year, I went and bought a beautiful mole skin diary <inaudible> *0:26:55 going back to paper diaries. I’ve got the Google diary on my iPhone, I’ve got this and I just could not settle on one. Ben, my mate, Ben, calendar coach, came around this morning and I have got a colour-coded Google calendar now. And there is one calendar called Timbo time, and that is made up of might be going to the gym. It might be going out, grabbing a coffee. It might be picking the kids up from school and going out and grabbing a bit of afternoon tea. It’s just not work stuff. Now, what do you reckon, Griffo? Is it okay to goof off?
Andrew: Absolutely. I think that’s one of the greatest joys of being in your own business is to … I think the secret, though – and you’ve touched on it without a doubt and we talked about it – is to be able to goof off without feeling guilty, and that’s the toughest part when we all feel like, oh, we should be this, we should be doing that, should be doing this, should … and these days, I don’t have any guilt at all. I’ve gone way beyond the guilt stage. If I’m going to goof off, that’s it. I’ve gone fishing. I’m by the pool. I’ve just made the call. That’s it. I’ve had enough today. And I just find that if I don’t do that – I don’t know about you but I find that when I’m sitting at my desk and I’ve done nothing for the last hour and I’m down to the Super Bowl commercials on YouTube and convincing myself that this is somehow something to do with work, that it’s time to go, “You know what? It’s time to have a break.” And I found that the more I have a break every hour, the more I take ten minutes off, 15 minutes off, whatever it might be, just stretch, go to the loo, have a drink, whatever, I get far more done anyway. I think you got to do it.
Tim: I’m going to be the devil’s advocate again because, again, you and I aren’t necessarily representative of – well, we’re not representative of all small business owners. Okay, you and I, service-based businesses. We’ve got enough business to well and truly keep ourselves busy and we’re at a point where we can likely enough choose who to work with and who not to work with. We can say yes and no, right? But there are blokes and women listening to this show who are working in a shop or running a shop all day. So, first of all, 9:00 to 5:00, six days a week, Monday to Saturday, shop’s open. You got to do it. And business owners, good as it could be, yeah?
Andrew: I hear you.
Tim: Where’s Goofy? Where’s Goofy in that scenario?
Andrew: Well, I mean, in my own experience, what I can say is that I’ve certainly had businesses like that in the past. I’ve certainly had businesses where I’ve had an office and I’ve worked ridiculous hours, ridiculous 14-, 15-, 16-hours a day, day in, day out, seven days a week. You know what? Did I run a good business? Absolutely not. Did I make any money? Absolutely not. Did I burn myself out? Absolutely. Did I enjoy it? No. Did it cost me a marriage? Absolutely, because I thought that that’s what you had to do to be successful in business. I had the old small business syndrome where you had to sit around with other small business owners and complain and get your code, your medal, saying, “I haven’t had a holiday for ten years.” And that was almost like the small business owner’s code. You’ve been in the trenches. And, to be honest, I think a lot of people still have that, and I get that times are tough but I think the way to be successful in what you’re doing in business is you’ve got to be fresh, your brain’s got to be working, you’ve got to be enthusiastic, you’ve got to be energized no matter how tough things are because, otherwise, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where you slowly go broke. How many shops have you gone into where there’s someone miserable and forlorn behind the counter because times are tough and they’re tired and exhausted. You’re not going to buy anything from them. Chinese saying, “A man without a smile should never open a shop.”
Tim: I must look that up. I have got a proverb book. If it’s not in there, I’d be disappointed.
Andrew: It’s there. I guarantee it’s there. You know what I’m saying. That’s what we should do because we think we should do it. My view is that shut the shop. Have the shop shut earlier. Have time out, whatever. Don’t be open for as long. I know it’s easy for me to say that but I think that unless we’re in the right headspace and we’re feeling physically good, emotionally good, intellectually good, then I think everything else is far harder than it should be and we end up doing a lot of time but we’re not necessarily productive, we’re not necessarily getting things done.
Tim: There’s a donut shop – and I do a little bit of research on donut shops. There’s a donut shop in Vancouver that operates on the marketing strategy of scarcity, and what they do is they say, “We make X donuts today, and once those bad boys are sold, we’re out of here.” I like that.
Andrew: And what a great way. It’s like the old way of doing business – the old bakeries, the old shops where people just bought something and that’s it. When it’s gone, you move on.
Tim: I sometimes wonder – and, look, I could be getting completely naive here and maybe shops need to be open eight hours a day, seven days a week – but what if in retail shops said, “You know what? We’re going to …” I’ll give you an example. Dry cleaners. I don’t get why dry cleaners don’t close during the middle of the day and open early in the morning and open late at night for when people go into work and coming home from work. It’s almost like challenge the … the question is challenge the conventions of your category, you know? One of the conventions is shops are open all the time. Well, do we have to be or when do people need us the most?
Andrew: Exactly. Exactly. I agree.
Tim: And go and goof off in the other times.
Andrew: I guess what that really means, Timbo, is that everyone’s got a bit of a different perspective but I think that we’re agreed at least that goofing off is a good thing. If we can do it, physically, emotionally, intellectually, we’ll end up running our business better and maybe some of the old myths and fallacies around what you’ve got to do to be successful should be replaced with things like allow at least an hour a day to goof off.
Tim: An hour a day?
Andrew: Well, you know, whatever you want to call goofing off. Maybe we need to define what goofing off is, but all this chilling out, relaxing, doing something a little bit different, throwing a stick to the dog, just doing something, it doesn’t have to be coffee, just letting your brain have a chance to catch up I think is what it’s all about.
Andrew: Anyway, mate, we need to start thinking about what’s going on over the next couple of weeks. What’s in your calendar? What’s coming up, mate?
Tim: Oh, Griffo, I’ve got a bit of travel. I’m off interstate tomorrow. I’m running a branding – I run these workshops, called Branding Workshops, where I help a business understand the key pillars of their brand in order to create great marketing communications. So we talk about – we’re helping to get the emotional answer to what do you do when … first, we identify the personality of the brand and do a whole lot of fun stuff around that. So I’m doing that on Sydney, and running a full day workshop on Friday for a bunch of financial type folks, financial adviser type folks. It’s a workshop all around content marketing so that whole concept of ‘can you give away too much’ is really top of mind. And the Small Business Big Marketing forum is getting very close to being open to people to join as members so pretty excited about that, just populating it with content and things at the moment. So what about you, mate? What do you got on?
Andrew: Well, I’m just coming off the back of a very busy couple of weeks. I’ve been on the road for the last two, and I spoke to key people of influence events, one in Sydney and Melbourne –
Tim: Key person of influence.
Andrew: Key people, yeah, key person. Key people of influence, key person of influence. I’m being more of – I’m being <inaudible> *0:35:04 market stuff. But that was a great event down in Melbourne, a great event in Sydney. We had 700 and 800 people in the Sydney one. I did a keynote presentation in a big B&I gala award thing last Wednesday as well so a range of those things. So, for me, the next couple of weeks are really about a bit of regrouping. I’ve got to work on a book. I’ve got some keynote presentations and –
Tim: Your book?
Andrew: One of my books, yup, absolutely. I’ve got a new, little book that I’ve just about finished off now but I just need to go back and actually make it make sense?
Tim: Got a name?
Andrew: Not really. I’m keeping my cards really close to my chest on this one but you’ll be the second to know. That means after I know. And really the next couple of weeks, I’m going to have a little bit of goofing off time and really I think just a bit of planning about the year ahead. It’s got some great projects coming up and I think there’s a really nice air of positivity out there about doing business and people are feeling a little bit more enthused, a little bit more energized, a little bit more excited about the year ahead, and I think that’s what we all want to be honest.
Tim: I love it, mate. Well, Griffo, it’s been a pleasure. Listeners, you’ve enjoyed another episode of Funny Business. We put one of these out as part of the Small Business Big Marketing show pretty much once a month, every four or so weeks. And if there are topics you want us to cover relevant to running a small business, don’t be shy. Send me an email email@example.com or write them in the show notes that form part of this episode at Small Business Big Marketing.com. Griffo, you’re a gentleman. I love you like a brother.
Andrew: Take care, mate. I’ve got to go see my hairdresser now.
Tim: (Laughs) See you, mate.
[End of Transcript - 0:36:53]