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August 2020

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Here’s what I find happens.

When buying or selling things.

Clients that pay too low fees are generally a pain in the arse to work with.

And the project is destined from day one to produce a half-arsed sub-optimal solution that’s good for nobody.

Money & Trust.

Now, I don’t mean that people that pay too low fees are a pain in the arse all the time.

In fact, people that pay too low fees probably don’t like being a pain in the arse any of the time, actually.

But they’ll very likely be a pain in the arse on projects where they are paying too low fees.

Here’s why.

  1. When you pay the right amount of money for something or someone. You expect it or them to be fucking good. You ‘expect’ this in order to justify the decision you made about paying the right amount of money for something or someone. Because you trust your own judgement – and so you have to trust them. So you butt-out and leave them to get on with it. So that if your judgement was in deed good, you end up getting the best possible solution for the right fee. And with little or no effort or time from you.
  2. When you pay very low fee or fuck all for something or someone. You expect the results to be imperfect. Because they have shown you that they are the kind of people that are prepared to accept someone like you not paying the right amount of money for someone like them. So you are constantly questioning your own judgement – because you are questioning theirs. From day one. And as a consequence, you don’t trust them. So you constantly butt-in and undermine and interrupt them. So you end up with a shitty, sub-optimal solution that you could have done just as badly yourself. Plus you’d have a bit less money because you didn’t.

Here’s how to mend this.

  1. If you want something doing well, choose someone really good at doing it, and pay them the right amount of money.
  2. If you are really good at doing something, charge people the right amount of money for doing it, and no less. Then be really good.

That’s it.

This is our last chance.

I don’t mean today.

Or tomorrow.

I mean this one life we are living.

Right now.

This is our last chance.

So what are we gonna do?

Last Chance. 

The fact we’re here at all is pretty cool.

Because the odds of each of us being born is about 400 trillion to one.

The fact that we’re still here is pretty cool too.

Because we’ve crossed the road a thousand times.

Drunk far too much.

Exercised far too little.

Ate badly.

Partied well.

So the fact that we’re still here.

Yep.

That’s pretty cool too.

So it feels entirely appropriate to ask what we are going to do with this chance we’ve been given.

This one last chance.

I don’t mean today.

Or tomorrow.

I mean this one life we are living.

Right now.

This is our last chance.

So what are we gonna do?

I’m relaunching Always Wear Red soon.

Sometime in September 2020.

I really am focussed on creating the best hand knits in the world.

Why?

Because I can do it.

And if I don’t – someone else will.

So it may as well be me.

Left and Right.

When I talk about Always Wear Red jumpers to people.

I see two little lights on top of their head flick on and off.

The little light on their right flicks on when they start to desire what I am creating.

The little light on their left flicks on when they look to give themselves permission to have it.

Desire and Permission

The desire light flicks on when I talk about hiding.

Hiding inside a beautiful ‘hug’ of a jumper.

Like the child they used to be.

Hiding from the big, bad world.

The permission light flicks on when I talk about world class quality.

A jumper that will last lifetimes.

A jumper that so rarely needs to be washed because of the antimicrobial quality of 100% Merino Wool.

A jumper with a carefully developed genderless shape so it can be shared.

And the fact that they’ll be surprised by how much they love an Always Wear Red jumper as it wears in.

As opposed to the familiar disappointment they feel as clothing they’ve had in the past wears out.

Brains. 

When you’re building a brand.

Don’t forget brains.

The right part looks for something to desire.

The left part looks for permission to have it.

So talk to both.

For my 52nd birthday.

I got a pen.

I am not sure if it was from my daughter Izobel.

Or from Lisa.

But it doesn’t matter does it?

When your daughter is 4 years old.

It doesn’t matter.

The Pen. 

A minute or two after opening the pen.

Lisa left Izobel and I alone.

My new pen in my hand.

Izobel staring at it.

Wanting it.

Which is fine of course.

That was nice.

But what was not nice.

Was why Izobel said she wanted the pen.

Why Izobel said she wanted the pen took me by surprise.

Because when Izobel told me why she wanted my pen.

It left me cold.

Izobel’s Desk. 

Izobel has a small, blue writing desk.

Under the lid, it is filled to the brim with higgledy piggledy A4 sheets of paper.

Some of them blank.

Some of them containing Izobel’s priceless drawings.

And there are felt tips in the desk, too.

Some felt tip pens with lids.

Some without.

But it’s fine.

Izobel has plenty of felt tips.

What she does not have, however.

And never wanted.

Until she saw mine, of course.

Is a ballpoint pen.

My ballpoint pen.

But as I say.

It is why Izobel said she wanted my pen that took me by surprise.

And it is why Izobel said she wanted my pen that left me cold.

Daddy.

Daddy.

She said.

Please can I have your pen?

So I asked,

Why do you want my pen, Izobel?

When you have so many pens of your own?

And that’s when Izobel looked me in the eyes.

And said it,

Because I want to be like you.

And in a split second.

Inside.

Not out loud.

I replied,

No.

And I repeated it.

Sternly.

Silently.

In my head.

No.

No, you don’t.

Izobel. 

Izobel is more important to me than I am.

That’s just the way it is.

That’s why what Izobel said hit me so hard.

That’s why what Izobel said to me left me rooted where I sat.

Perched next to Izobel.

On the edge of the settee.

Proud.

I watched Izobel beam proudly as I handed her the pen.

And I watched her lift the lid of her small, blue desk.

And carefully place the pen inside.

She was so happy.

Izobel was happy because now she had my pen.

Izobel was happy because.

In her mind.

That made her like me.

Change.

I think that what Izobel said to me on the morning of my 52nd birthday has changed me.

I say ‘think’ because I very often think that I have changed.

In one way.

Or another.

Only to find the same-old-me the following day.

But this felt different.

It was different because later that evening.

As I sat up late at night alone.

It made me think about the two sides of me.

The side of me that I don’t want Izobel to be like.

And the side that I’d be so proud if she mirrored even slightly.

And it made me think quite seriously.

About how to nurture the good side of me.

And shrink the other.

Reasons.

Change is hard.

Well, it is for me.

Sometimes.

Unless of course the reason to change is compelling.

Really compelling, I mean.

So compelling that the change becomes almost automatic.

Habits form immediately.

Change happens immediately.

Slow.

Or fast.

But change happens.

And I think that on my 52nd birthday.

My 4 year old daughter taught me that.

If I really do want to change.

It is not the change I should be focusing on at all.

It is why I want to change.

That’s where the magic is.

I think I knew this important thing, already.

But as with many important things that great big grown-up adults really should know.

It can take tiny little children to remind us.

Read this story here please: https://www.50odd.co.uk/typical/.

So you can see a picture of the person I’m talking about.

Typical.

Here we fucking go. 

This fella.

Talking just a few short hours after the bombing at the Manchester Evening News Arena on the 22nd of May 2017.

Look at his snarl.

Look at his skinhead.

I bet he can’t string a sentence together.

Probably pissed.

The anger!

The judging.

The poison he’s probably spouting about ‘bloody terrorists’.

Probably worse than that but you know what I mean.

And the attack is just one day old.

His fucking aggression and bile.

Probably spewing and spouting racist diatribe about ‘sending them back’.

And ‘closing the borders’.

And revenge.

Definitely revenge.

I’m imagining ‘beep’ after ‘beep’ added by the BBC as Emily Maitland interviews him.

I bet she was scared stiff, too.

I can hear it now.

His pig thick-venom.

No empathy.

Out of control.

Getting drawn in.

Thinking only of himself.

Unapologetic.

Shouting the unintelligent, dangerous claptrap that people like him always say.

Typical.

Bloody typical.