A thought for April

April is in full flood; that wonderful mixture of rain showers and wind tearing the gorgeous blossom off the trees and gluing it all over my car! The school Easter holidays have started, the Grand National and Boat Races remind us it is spring. Here in Bedford we are in the midst of a mayoral and local council elections. People are working on new exhibitions, new performances, TASTE of Bedford and the new community arts festival. Lots happening!

I have been thinking a great deal about excitement and its different forms.

My heart goes out to parents and children who are all suffering with school Easter holidays that have started two weeks ahead of Easter. How do you deal with little children who have had Easter egg hunts before schools broke up and expect to have their chocolate eggs at home now? It makes no sense to them. Waiting is fine when you are an adult and can savour anticipation. That does not work when you are six and want it now. I understand there are even some parents who have given in to temptation and eaten eggs put away for their children or grandchildren. Shame on you! Now they have to replace them but not too soon in case they are tempted again!

Eating chocolate is wonderful but how do you feel about anticipation? Do you like the excited build up to events? Is half the fun of the holiday the countdown?

I wonder whether anticipation is going out of fashion. Things we used to look forward to are now with us at the click of a mouse. In business we still build that anticipation. We use it as a marketing tool. If we are opening a new site we might have a countdown in the window, or we might build excitement with a teasing email campaign. If you watch Strictly Come Dancing: It takes Two on Friday nights, you see a ticking clock counting down to the live Saturday show. TV uses this method all the time to countdown to both good and bad events (plenty of that lately – you know what I mean).

We might try to build some excitement at work. In some businesses this is easier than others. If you are a farmer then the count-down to lambing or harvest may not be to a specific day, but it is there running in the background, waiting, waiting. It is incredibly exciting when the first lamb is born usually just at a moment when you are least expecting it. I have watched very excitedly as all the harvest machinery set off in convoy to its first field.

Sometimes we try to generate excitement at work, to create a thrill. Perhaps we construct an event like Black Friday or the launch of the new spring/autumn/winter ranges. Maybe we incentivise the office by putting sales results up on the wall with a countdown to the end of a quarter and a reward for the best performing team or person! Sometimes we construct best employee awards for the person of the week or the month. Lots of freelancers and self-employed people are putting in for awards. Awards are everywhere and then the excitement of dressing up to go to a glitzy award ceremony cushions the blow even if we do not win! All these things work and generate an extra interest in what we do.

So what do you do to create excitement in your business? Does it work? Let me know and I will share these good ideas. In the meantime if you want to see what excites me take a look at my new website www.elizabethtoogood.com. Yes, it is great for me because so much work has finally come to fruition, but also because eight wonderful clients stepped outside their comfort zones to make videos. I am always excited when people push themselves to do things. I bless them for making my day! Of course I am very fortunate because as a mentor I see this sort of bravery and growth on many days and then in a very excited way we celebrate!

If this Thought has been interesting, please share it.

Working with a mentor is one of the major ways of getting advice that will improve your business, management and personal skills. It is a great way to work through any business issue that is preventing you achieving what you want to, as fast as you want to. Why not chat with me about how it might work for you.

Life is good; let’s live it to the full, enjoy it and be the best we can be.

Elizabeth Toogood – Insightful Business Mentor – www.elizabethtoogood.com[email protected] – 01234 273644 – 07968 822275