business studies

Walking through the small business park which lies between my residential area and the city centre, I pass ground floor office windows.  Inside are reception areas where middle aged women with good posture look prepared and unproductive, the card game solitaire sometimes active on their monitors.

The truth is unspeakable, that much of office work and business isn’t always busy because the majority of people don’t have very important jobs.  What makes important jobs important and coveted is that not many people can do them, or even want to do them at all.  Not that I’m wishing to disrespect all and sundry.  I’m just saying lots of people probably could do most jobs that exist, therefore they’re unlikely to be all that critical in the grand scheme of things – however it may seem at the time.   (You could also legitimately claim that this is line is encouraged by the fact that I’m pretty sure I’ve never done much in my work that I think really matters, and others might think quite differently.  I’ll take the hit there).

But whether busy or (one might suspect) not, plenty of people feel the press of having to affect and even broadcast their busyness.  It’s a bugbear of mine, the amount of Tweets about nothing other than being bloody busy: “not enough hours in the day” / “where does the time go?” / “how is it that time already?”  The subtext of which is “gosh, I’ve been busy, ergo I am an important and wholly valid human, aren’t I?  AREN’T I?!  HEY, WORLD! KNOW THIS THING!

It makes me wither at the futility of it all or, if I’m in a different mood, want to commit wanton acts of vandalism.

And yet knowledge of the conspiracy also helps me to cope when I myself am not busy.  There will always be peaks and troughs.  I like to think that Barack Obama occasionally turns to Michelle at the end of the day and says, “you know, I did fuck all today.”  I think I’m gradually learning to cope with them a little better than I have done, notwithstanding the occasional panic attack at having nothing at all like any plan or vision of my future five years hence.  It’s an occupational hazard.

Looking wider at business I’m also growing more confident about the recipe for success, how its primary ingredients are confidence (also known as belief, bravado, bluster, the rigid unwillingness to consider any other viewpoints, and bollocks); together with basic luck (having that one key customer who comes along at just the right time, and who you can grow with).  Skill, ability, expertise, a clever idea: they’re important too, but smaller helpings are needed.  Also important is doing whatever you do a lot and working hard and not being lazy; that’s useful.

Belief is king though.  Without the belief, confidence, super ego and free-running bullshit, you’ll struggle to achieve much.  If you don’t believe yourself, if you think you’re a fraud and a chancer, that’s likely to come through.  Added to which, if you’re dealt a blow or two of bad luck that will impact confidence.  But if you carry on having just enough belief to get by, teamed with maybe a little over the average quotient of ability (arrogant bastard), everything should be fine.

Should.

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