Putting up with the ‘brown whiffy stuff’

Terry Sage of Trades Coaching New Zealand

I’m not one for name dropping or flaunting the circles in which I mix, but I had a personal invitation to the best seats in the house for a record-breaking concert in Auckland recently.

As the saying goes, it’s not what you know but who you know and, in some circles, it’s what you know about who you know that really gets you places — if you get my drift.

Just before I lose my entire fan club of three for twisting reality a wee bit, the invitation came from my two beautiful daughters — and the best seats in the house were the cheapest, as they were high in the stands and under cover.

Yes, we went to the Adele concert at Mt Smart Stadium on the Sunday, along with the rain and thunder.

Shame for those who spent thousands to get close and soggy.

So apart from skiting, what has this to do with building? Come on — every story has something to do with building!

So, here we were among 45,000 people, paying small fortunes, standing in mega-long queues on the roads, at the gates, to get food and drink and to get up the stairs to our not so soft seats.

Then we do it all again after we have shouted and screamed (our version of singing) for a couple of hours to get home. Why?

Well, it sounded like a good idea many months ago. It was all talked up to be the best ever. It might even be life changing, if not at least memorable. Them up the road said they were going so we don’t want to be left out, and the list goes on.

It’s the day after now, and you think back at what you had to endure for a dozen or so songs belted out of a thousand odd speakers with some not so bad pyrotechnics.

Did it really live up to the hype, the expectations, the effort and the cost? Did it change your life or even come close?

If I had a dollar for every time a business owner said “it sounded good at the time”, “everybody said being a business owner was the best thing ever”, “if that rather dim, not so pretty person up the road can run his own business why can’t I?”, I would have probably been in the front row at that concert getting wet and a couple of grand poorer.

My point is, as business owners we endure and put up with so much of the “brown whiffy stuff” for a dream or a promise. The long hours, the stroppy clients, the ever-taking staff, the slow cash flow, the IRD, the cheque is in the post line, the stress — and we do this for years and years.

And, just like the concert, we do it all for one or two highlights every now and then.

Now don’t get me wrong here. For many, the highlights outweigh the brown stuff tenfold, and that’s why we do it — but there are also many that drown in the brown stuff.

My message for those who are drowning is you don’t have to — you deserve the highs, so get help before it is too late.

For me, I left home at midday, was in the car for a total of almost nine hours, stood in queues for what seemed another eight hours, had to wait because the lady decided to turn up late on stage, got wet, ended up with a sore throat, and got home at two in the morning — and would do it all again and again.

It was worth every bit of the brown stuff — and my two daughters? Well, they’re just the best.


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