Business Development

Don’t look at the tree- Focus and surviving the storm


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It’s a time of year- moving into winter, and an economic season- bloody cold- that can combine to make anyone with a new business responsibility feel like staying in bed. When even the weather is against you feeling sunny, it takes a few simple truths to get you out there doing what you’ve got to do. Focus here is the key.

I remember sitting at the wheel of an old Subaru Impreza being taught how to “drive to survive” on a skid-pan, and amidst the howling in terror- mine, and the tears- my instructor’s, as I failed to follow every single one of his instructions, a useful lesson has stuck with me. The guy was a serving police officer of 20 years standing and I quote…

“When you’re heading for an effing tree at 60 miles an hour, you’ve got to look for the soft landing and steer for that, don’t look at the effing tree, concentrate on where you want to go…” And he was right. In his short-haired, no-bull, black and white life of cleaning up the mess after kids and drunks in cars had hit trees, he’d learned the hard way. And after a few goes of not being able to stop looking at the thing that I was heading towards and hitting it, I learned to look for the soft landing, I was amazed then and think of it now.

That’s what this is about. Focus on the place you want to get to, not the tree looming towards you, and all of us, at the speed of the clock ticking. Most of us will be OK in this crisis, particularly those of us who know where they’re going and can keep looking at that.

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
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