Every now and then you have to take stock of what you’re part of and what is expected of you in this multi-demanding world we find ourselves in. Either every teenager is expected to want to go to university, or everyone over 50 is expected to don their dancing shoes, shake off the years and become lean, mean fighting machines, or every public sector worker is expected to turn into an eagle eyed entrepreneur and set up their own business, often on the flimsiest of pretexts.
This latter expectation is particularly worrying given the myths and legends which seem to populate public fantasies about what it’s like to work in the business world. So, here’s some advice on how not to become part of that world, should you wish to stay sane in your own personal world of education, employment or imagination.
1. Don’t think in terms of targets, key performance indicators, goals, strategies, visions, missions, or any thing else that has vaguely military overtones to it. Don’t even use these words. Ever.
2. Don’t dress to impress or invest. You can spend far too much time worrying about what you look like in other peoples eyes, particularly those who you imagine might have access to large wads of cash. They frequently don’t.
3. Don’t polish your shoes. Ever. Shiny shoes are a sign of mental anguish and a desire to please the craven. They promise the world and deliver the gutter.
4. Dowse the word ‘marketing’ with a large cup of petrol and throw a match at it. Stand well back. Try not to promote anything to anyone, ever.
5. Imagine your world shorn of logos, brands and tradmarks. Aim to live your life with the minimum of these commercial albatrosses around your neck.
6. Either trade in your passport for or take out as many as you possibly can. Refuse to identify with any one nation, one corporation or one brand of chocolate.
Go on, you know you want to.