Don’t think too hard

Sometimes when we are really busy, it is hard to plan our next move, because there is always something there to distract us. Even if we try to plan, racking our brains under constant work pressure is rarely productive.

That is why the most important matter to plan is to schedule our time off and take it. That includes time during our day not in front of our screen or on the phone or hammering away at something.

I get my best ideas when I am not trying to think about business. I enjoy walking in the countryside, and while looking at butterflies, some bright idea can pop into my head quite spontaneously. Of course I always note it down straight away. Actually I carry a small dictaphone, but a mobile or cell phone or a notebook will do just fine.

Always be ready for an idea or a solution when not at work. I made an important decision only this morning while shaving. Ten seconds earlier I was thinking more about the foam than the email I decided to send, but that is how it works for me.

So do not think too hard, and thinking will be easier. Don’t pressurise yourself. Relax and let the ideas in.


Do you have a tax issue I can help you with? Get in touch and I will guide you.

Why it is good to have a quiet time in business

A Spring walk next to the hornbeam wood.

We all like to be busy. I like to be busy. What is important for us is to be busy doing useful things, and not to be too busy that we are not thinking and planning.

Being busy is good for an active mind, but I have always found it valuable to give myself a break outside the work environment. I go to the gym quite a lot, but that also involves being busy and thinking what I am doing while I am doing it. It isn’t the sort of break from work I need for my mind.

I need to relax and let my mind relax. I recommend you try it. I go for a walk and listen to the birds, and try to pick them out and have a good look at them. I am lucky, or maybe it is by design that I live close to woods and open fields and not too far from the river. Sometimes I like just to sit quietly.

A quiet time with Gandhi in Tavistock Square

I have been trying to have quiet times during the day a long time before I set up my own businesses. When I worked in London I always walked in my lunch hour and after work. A decade or more ago I was able to spend time sitting quietly in the pleasant squares of Bloomsbury, close to where I worked.

In my quiet times I have most of my best ideas for improving and expanding my business, and for going in new directions. Many of my blog posts originate from observing when I am out or from just letting my mind drift. The more I relax, the fitter my mind is and the better I am when I get back to work.

Of course we are all different, but this works for me. Why don’t you try it? Do you like to get out for a breather in the fresh air?

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Why it is the season for bright ideas

Christmas sky

Christmas is upon us. Unless our business is a 365-day-a-year sort of business we do need to take a break for a few days. It will do us good. If you do have a 365-day-a-year business I am sure you delegate to others so that you can grab time off later.

One advantage for me is that I have some of my best ideas when I am relaxing and not working. I expect you do too. Sometimes inspiration strikes when I am out for a walk, sometimes sitting at home. Now and again I have good ideas when taking a shower.

It is important to write down a good idea when you have one, or use a voice recorder. Otherwise those ideas can evaporate like the memories of many of our dreams. Getting out of the shower, of course we have to avoid getting water in our electronics or getting our notepaper soggy.

Grab those ideas, take care of those candles and have a Merry Christmas. I will be back after Christmas to wish you a Happy New Year.

Why starting a business is hard work for the brain

Holiday times are when we have space to think about the future, and for some it will be to seek new opportunities in starting a business.

When we go back to first principles to start a new business we need a business plan, and not just one for the bank. We need to think whether:

  • There is room in the marketplace for our business
  • We can stand out from the competition.
  • We have enough money to spend and to survive on before we get into profit.
  • If we borrow money we can pay it back
  • We know how to market and have done our research
  • We have support from our family and friends

We need to think hard about each of these things. We need to spend time going through each aspect. We need to think about lifestyle changes and the effect on our families and ourselves.

Getting on our bikes is never easy but it can be very fulfilling. It is not wrong to accept help along the way and even to hire someone else’s expertise or their bike of course. Just do it!

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