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Cheesy Chips – A Metaphor For Modern Business Problems

Cheesy Chips – A Metaphor For Modern Business Problems

It had been a very long weekend.

Between taking my 2 young boys from various activities, my wife performing at a concert (Verdi’s Requim no less), speaking to my elderly mum, giving relationship advice to my daughter and a myriad of other household chores, by the time Sunday evening came around I was tired and hungry (very hungry in fact).

Not particularly wanting to spend too long cooking something and not feeling that inspired by local takeaways we decided to have cheese omelette and chips. Quick & easy – and thanks to the chickens in our garden – way cheaper than a takeaway.

As happens to most people when they grate cheese, portion control is a tad difficult. As it also happens, my wife and I prefer different cheese, so we ended up with 2 larger than required piles of cheese. Without thinking (I told you I was really hungry) I just put all of my cheese in my omelette and thinking about nothing more than stopping my belly from rumbling.

My wife on the other hand, only used part of the cheese for her omelette and put the rest on her chips and something struck me…

…I was too intent of satiating my immediate hunger that I didn’t take even a split second to think “is there a better way”.

By taking just a moment, my wife ended up with a cheese omelette and cheesy chips (I never said it was a healthy meal!!!) … we both had the same amount of time, same ingredients and yet she had made her meal better literally by making a split-second decision.

As I sat there eating my cheese-less chips the metaphor struck me.

Too many business owners are focused on the immediate here and now: the pinging of emails, the ding of instant messaging, the ringing of a phone, a knock on the office door and so forth.

As I sat there eating my cheese-less chips the metaphor struck me.

I’m sure that most of us will say that these immediate activities are fundamental to running our businesses, and indeed they probably are.

But, a distinction needs to be made between what is urgent and what is important.

Business owners need to spend just a fraction of their time asking themselves “can I make this any better”.

It is far too easy to get wrapped up and involved in various tasks to fulfil an immediate need. Taking even a few moments to reflect on a potential alternative can bring around a fundamental shift in outcome.

It’s a rare luxury for a business owner to take prolonged time out to just sit and contemplate life. For those of you who have not seen the excellent documentary on Netflix called “Inside Bill’s Brain”, Bill Gates regularly takes himself away to a log cabin for a “Think Week” (he also seems to take an extraordinary amount of Diet Coke with him, but that’s just my observation). This gives him time to reflect, review and just be with his own thoughts.

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