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Monday, 30 October 2017

Everyone - EVERYONE has something to share...

I'm back from a short break.  

Had a lovely relaxing time, and reminded my self how important breaks are and a goal for 2018 will be to take more Michael time.

So, on this break I met and talked, often at length (those that know me will be nodding sagely), to lots of new people.  My wife is amazed how by day two I know everyone around the pool, in the restaurant and of course in the bar :D

This blog may leave you thinking I only talk business, far from it and quite the opposite, I learn many other things from my new friends, but this is a business blog, and I really wanted to share this one conversation.

Three conversations, that became relationships very quickly, stood out...

A guy in the commercial air conditioning industry, very driven, successful, 20 teams on the road every day, and over time he shared with me quite detailed insights to his business, the sector, and his approach to business.  Pay attention, listen, ask questions and people will share so much, and as the title of this blog say's, I believe everyone has plenty they can teach me.  So I let them talk, let them share, let them teach me.  Ask me anything about A/C, I am your man ;)  Seriously though, ask me about the sector, trading conditions, the challenges businesses face in that sector and margins that are possible, margins that are likely and break-even points, and I'll have a considered view thanks to my new friend.

I met a building site project manager, a Manchester United fan ... from Manchester!  I know! I'd read there was one - and I have met him ;).  Great guy, we had a lot in common, mostly bloke stuff - like football, cars, F1, his dog...  But the conversations moved around and he taught me a great deal about the construction sector, not the least the huge difference between projects in the North West and projects in London.  You see, I know someone who is a site manager in London. and he had already taught me a lot about his industry, so I had a benchmark.

But, the most profound conversation I had was with a 70 something Norfolk farmer, working a small farm, surrounded by enormous 'mega' farms, a softly spoken disarmingly gentle man, completely at peace with his life, who as we talked over time told me, and taught me, more and more about rural Norfolk life, farming, business and ... sales.  Sales!  My 10p is you weren't expecting that, neither was I.  He had so many stories about land deals, seed purchasing, produce sales, equipment purchase / lease / loan - when a combine harvester can cost £500k+ you have to be sure you need that one, sure you can afford it and be very good at negotiating... 

He had been sharing anecdotes and stories for a few days, he was as keen to know about me and what I do as I was to learn about him.  He had a wonderfully open mind.  Then the day we parted we were talking business again, and he said this, (I can't type in a soft Norfolk accent - but oooh I wish I could)

"The thing is Mick... You have to let people buy"

Boom, right there, my philosophy in three words.  Let People Buy.  And... he's been doing this since before I was born!!  So, nothing is new, we forget more than we learn, and everyone - EVERYONE has something to share... Its for us to respect everyone we meet, not to judge, listen and... learn...

I'm not sure my farmer friend will ever read this, judging by his mobile phone, he's not an early adopter of leading-edge technology, and prefers a newspaper to 'that there google', and I am not about to suggest he's wrong there, mainly because I'm not sure he is, life's a mix and it takes all sorts, different strokes etc. 

I love Norfolk and he is very likely to get a visit sometime soon, I'm toying with giving him and Amazon Echo and seeing who wins ;)  So long as he lets me have a drive of his tractor - he has by far the best toys - so seems a fair swap.


Lets connect - 

I am on Facebook here - www.facebook.com/mick.holloway
I am on Twitter here - @mick_holloway 
I am on LinkedIn here - linkedin.com/in/mickholloway

And Steve - you can write to me at the Business and Technology Centre, Bessemer Drive, Stevenage, Herts, SG1 2DX