I view television as one of the biggest time-wasters yet invented, although social media is now running a close second.
As an marketer of course, I do appreciate the value of both channels as advertising media, I also agree that television provides some good entertainment and educational programmes. So do cinemas, theatres and libraries, but few people spend most of their leisure hours every day there.
My problem with TV is that because of its availability, it is just too easy to fritter away hours watching dubiously entertaining, but completely useless, junk.
My TV viewing is limited to international news, some business news, an occasional programme about horses and not much else.
It was completely out of character therefore for me to spend 3 hours on Sunday, glued to the screen to watch the Thames Pageant, part of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Our weather was cool, cloudy and threatening more rain, that was an incentive to stay inside. On Sundays, I do not switch my computer on until the evening. I know that if I do, I will become involved in some business activity and not get outside to do the essential chores that are part of living in the country. It is rare for me to watch the TV at all during daylight hours.
Perhaps it was because of my British roots, having been born in London, England, my military service, my appreciation of the history surrounding the British monarchy, or just the chance to see the old buildings lining the Thames, but within a few minutes I was hooked.
For those that did not see any of the event, it covered a procession of over 1000 boats on the river Thames, including the Royal Barge carrying the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the royal family.
The purpose of this post is not to provide a detailed report on the event itself, but to look at what it signifies and what lessons we can draw for both life and our internet marketing businesses. The event itself and others over the next 2 days will be covered in detail in the magazines and on TV for weeks to come.
What lessons did a procession of 1000 boats on the river Thames provide?
- Organisation, 3 years of planning, every detail covered from exactly where each group of boats joined the procession, the speed 4 knots, to the dismissal point.
- Unobtrusive security, police boats were evident but not obvious.
- History, this was the biggest Thames river pageant for 300 years – but the river has been a commercial waterway since Roman times.
- Sense of duty and stamina – the 86-year-old Queen and 90-year-old Price Phillip stood for the entire 3 hours.
- Duty again from the many boat crews who performed their tasks in the rain – especially the women singers in the choir on the last boat.
- Commitment, courage and determination signified by the inclusion of some of the “little” boats that sailed to Dunkirk.
- Despite the current negative view of empire building and colonialism, a reminder that Britain once ruled the greatest empire the world has known.
All together a fascinating 3 hours. For me as a boomer who was a young child in London at the Queens coronation, a somewhat sad reminder of the passing of a more ordered and stable world. Sad to see Britain’s power wane after WW2, and now to see the USA’s subsequent role as economic leader of the world slipping away.
But a good reminder from both the pageant itself and the British empire that was, of what can be achieved by determination, commitment, and organisation. A lesson also in the value of systems. Long before MacDonald’s and others refined the franchise system, the British government, other colonial powers and successful traders had developed systems for administering huge territories with a handful of officials. Systems that worked without modern communication, no internet, email or telephones of any sort.
Systems that relied on mental arithmetic and hand written correspondence that could take months to arrive. Systems that were good and simple enough that new recruits arriving in remote outposts could get up to speed quickly, often without the benefit of a predecessors briefing because that person may already have succumbed to a tropical disease, encounter with a wild animal, or accident.
Despite those difficulties, huge political and commercial empires were built and managed. Some of the commercial variety still exist today, faring much better than many of the corrupt political successors to the colonial governments.
What are the lessons for Internet Marketers?
My view is that (and I have been guilty myself at times) many Internet Marketers, solo entrepreneurs and small business owners do not show the same level of consistent determination in their own businesses as they did when working for an employer, and certainly not as much as some of those 18th and 19th Century officials or servicemen doing their duty for king and country in the far-flung outposts of the empire.
It is aggravated for those of us who work from home, it is too easy to let home and family life interfere with working time and vice-versa. The lack of stimulation from working with other people can also affect us.
What is the answer?
Planning, organisation and whatever works to keep our commitment and motivation at 100%. Goals, affirmations, vision boards, reading positive stuff, all have their place. Establishing systems to take care of routine activities, including outsourcing when necessary.
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Wishing you success in all your endeavours and good luck building your empire.
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