Something I saw yesterday made me think about how we all solve problems. And in conclusion, I advocate the following.

Don’t blow. Suck.

I lived in Newcastle for 30 years. I don’t go much nowadays. But I was there yesterday. And at a sunny 10am, from my parked car window, I noticed a smartly dressed lady outside one of Newcastle’s best restaurants, with a leaf blower. And as I watched her, I felt sad.

Because she had a problem. And she was blowing. Not sucking.

Right now, we’re revamping our holiday cottages in Northumberland. It’s hard! Cleansing. Upgrading. Adding more beyond-expectation surprises. And partnering with key people. Local fresh food suppliers. Sustainability-focussed suppliers. Local bars. Local restaurants. And neighbours. We look after neighbour relationships just as determinedly as every other business relationship. So they look after us – and our guests.

And that’s why, as I watched the smartly dressed lady with the leaf blower outside the restaurant, I felt sad.

I felt sad because she was chasing leaves from her front door, to her neighbour’s front door. I felt sad because she was solving her own problem simply by displacing it to someone else. It affected my perception of her. And the restaurant.

There’s a life lesson in there somewhere. So whilst I’ve never articulated it quite like this before, here I am. Pondering how the next time I come across something shitty or problematic in my own life, I can sort it out for me and for everybody else at the same time.

In short; don’t blow. Suck.

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