Taking the proverbial

- April 23, 2012 2 MIN READ

I’ve always been a prolific reader but as the mother to two preschoolers, most of the books I’m exposed to these days are somewhat beneath me. Or so I thought.

The kids were given a book called Proverbs from Far and Wide by Axel Scheffler (illustrator of The Gruffalo) and it’s been surprisingly resonant.

Making new discoveries from it has humbled me into realising learning is not about setting aside time to absorb information, nor is it about looking ‘up’ to learn. It’s about having your eyes and ears open all the time.

Here are three proverbs that gave me serious food for thought.

A hasty man drinks tea with his fork (India)

I’ve noticed that whenever things at Flying Solo are super busy, basic procedures can unravel under the pressure, leading to inefficiencies at the times we can least afford them. As Ops Manager it’s my job to keep things on track. When everyone’s under the pump it can feel like herding cats.

Two things that fall by the wayside when we’re squarely in the urgent/important quadrant are our regular meetings and regular exercise. The problem is, foregoing these also means foregoing their centring effects. While it’s true that we’re clocking up more hours at our desks, we’re also less focused, less efficient and frankly, not as nice to be around.

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I need to constantly remind myself and my colleagues to keep meetings and exercise squarely on the agenda.

The fox that waited for the chickens to fall from their perching place went hungry (Greece)

Hopefully everyone reading this will appreciate the importance of chasing business down, rather than waiting for the phone to ring. A similar saying I was exposed to recently states “Good things come to those who work their asses off and never give up.” True that.

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back (China)

The smartest business owners I know are the ones who never stop learning. No matter how experienced they are, they keep looking for sources of inspiration. Whether it’s from books, mentors, coaches or, as the saying suggests, industry elders, they’re on a constant quest to work smarter.

Conversely, the not-so-smart business owners fail to reach out for guidance, and often end up floundering. Naturally this doesn’t describe any of Flying Solo’s audience, because here you are.

I will be doing some mentoring of my own over the coming weeks as I show the ropes to the very lovely Jodie McLeod, our new Editor who started with Flying Solo this week. Hard as it is for me to relinquish my editor’s crown, I just know she is going to do great, great things for this community. I do hope you’ll make her feel very welcome.

What business proverbs hit the spot for you? Share your thoughts below.

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"