Starting / Business startup

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to dealing with bad days

“It is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are … those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”


Do you have days where you either feel like you are in outer space – or wish you were? If, like me, you’re a fan of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy then come along with me as I share what five quotes from that classic book can tell you about dealing with bad days and making sense of it all:

1. A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Do not try to please everyone. Just ensure your website works and your business is ready to deliver a stellar product or service. Nothing is foolproof and you will not be able to make everyone happy all the time. People can have unrealistic expectations. Just continue to deliver excellent products and services and your reputation will overcome the rest.

2. “Funny,” he intoned funereally, “how just when you think life can’t possibly get any worse it suddenly does.”

You will have one of those days. You will have a lot of ‘those’ days. But breathe, plan, schedule, put your head down and you will get through it. Tomorrow is always better. (Or worse, but then that means today was actually ok.)

"Leaving your safe and steady paying corporate job is scary. But you only live once and you don’t know if you don’t try."

3. Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

Sometimes you need to step back and take the time to be proud of your work and your business. Yes, you should always work on your business to improve and implement suggestions of customers, update your website, ensure your technology and shopfront is the best it can be. But you also need to stop and appreciate what you have done and achieved.

4. “Listen, three eyes,” he said, “don’t you try to out-weird me, I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.”

Be prepared. Not all your customers will be wonderful. Some will ask a lot of you, some will waste your time, others will be difficult. Concentrate and focus on the good ones! There are many! And don’t waste your time on the few that take up all your time and energy to exclusion of the good ones.

5. Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.

Leaving your safe and steady paying corporate job is scary. But you only live once and you’ll never know if you don’t try. Get out there, put your heart and soul into it. And if you are not ready to put your ‘all’ into it, then wait until you are. For there is no business done well that is half done!

Are you a Hitchhiker’s fan? Do you have any favourite bits from the book you reckon could be applied to dealing with bad days in your business?

Vanessa Emilio

is a Practice Director, Lawyer, Founder and CEO of Legal123.com.au, a legal website business with easy-to-use, inexpensive legal templates, forms and agreements for everyday Australians as well as lots of useful information.


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