Have a read of this informative and enjoyable review of the Inverness Whisky Fest. I’ll be there next year for sure.
As an eco-friendly business, I always have to look at how sustainable the company’s operating processes and procedures are. I look at consumption of products, fuel, how often tools or machinery need to replaced or repaired. I even look into the processes and procedures of my suppliers to make sure that they meet the company’s minimum requirements to become our supplier. I know this is a bit anal but, think about it. What’s the point of buying eco or organic if the product has a higher carbon footprint than buying it’s non-eco alternative produced locally? It defeats the purpose.
Recently, I decided it was time to use the same method when calculating the company’s marketing spend. We haven’t really had a set budget and have been giving away products, services and committing to financial sponsorship and advertising spends. Looking back, 90% of our marketing was in vain or maybe a better phrase would be “pissing against the wind”. Being someone of a generous nature and finding it very difficult to say no to people, I was sometimes left with commitments of supporting others with products giveaways or services worth thousands for them to give to their customer base. In return, I would get a logo or mention or sometimes, people would forget what they promised and we’d get almost no coverage for going out of our way to support them when in reality, we could barely support ourselves. In short, if I was looking at it from a sustainability perspective, it would be the biggest polluting factor in our business. This year, we have changed our marketing strategy slightly and now no longer support or sponsor willy nilly. We have decided to make some long term sponsorships of sporting events (Emirates American Football League), Product & Service giveaways for competitions in magazines over the course of the year with a clear instruction of data retention for leads as well as some of our charity & CSR initiatives which we feel very strongly about. Other than that, everything else is a bad investment with bad mileage. So, if you’re reading this and thinking of hitting me up for sponsorship, unless you have a sporting event or a youth program, save yourself the time and effort and find a larger company that can afford to throw money away. This business is green in its morals and its marketing.
People look at me weird when I tell them that I wake up at 5:30 each morning to walk my dogs before it gets too hot. It gives me lots of time to get back home and jump in the pool with my son or spend some quality time with him in bed. Before I had pets and a child, I would wake up at around the same time to go running or cycling or to tinker around. It generally doesn’t matter if I’m hung over either, I guess my years juggling work with hedonism ingrained some form of auto-pilot mechanism that allows me to function on little or no sleep. That’s not to say that it doesn’t catch up with me once in a while. Keeping all that in mind, I’m actually a night owl. I hate mornings. I like dark, cold silence. It allows me to think. Growing up, I never went to sleep early. I would hate waking up in the mornings, except for Saturdays. I would be up at the crack of dawn and tiptoe downstairs and watch cartoons until my parents woke up and made breakfast before rushing off to the park to play until it got dark. My parents as well as my uncles had restaurants. As a teenager, the weekend would consist of working in them until early hours of the morning. Now, I usually pass out by 10:30 because I’m exhausted. I still hate mornings. I can’t function right. I need coffee, it takes me half an hour to get from the bed to the bathroom and then downstairs to put the dogs in the car. I hate mornings.
I do a lot of my thinking at night. It keeps me awake. Sometimes, I can go to bed voluntarily at 9:30 but toss and turn with thoughts rushing through my mind. They don’t go away either unless I do something about them. I have to get up and go and work. write a blog or draw up a spreadsheet. Amend a business plan or even worse, write a new one. It drives my wife crazy because she wakes up in the night to find me gone. Even now, it’s 1am. I’ve been trying to sleep for hours and I can’t. I’m excited. I’m calculating and forecasting and thinking of how I can do more. I’m thinking of my staff. Their salaries. Their wellbeing. I’m thinking of news ways to be sustainable and efficient. Less wasteful. I’m thinking of customer complaints that came in this week and how we can reduce them in the coming week. It’s mind blowing how my mind fights me every time I ask it politely to leave me alone. Sometimes, I can be asleep and I wake up with an idea. Actually, thinking about it in all seriousness, some of my best ideas come when I’m asleep. Like the one I had last year for my laundry business. I’ll explain more so you get it and we’ll come back to the point. That’s the other pitfall/blessing of ideas rushing through your mind. You end up going off on tangents.
I have to admit, I’m extremely lucky and blessed to be living in an amazing, palatial home. I have lived in many a large and beautiful villa during my time in Dubai but I’ve also lived in an apartment block. I had been thinking for a few months on how I could increase the number of laundry clients my business had. I have maids who work in apartment buildings but never more than 6 or 7 in each building and not always on the same day. Some of these buildings have as many as 400 apartments. There were so many potential customers that I wasn’t making the most of. I was stuck. It would be costly and stupid to try and open a laundry at the bottom of each building. The investment would be astronomical and wouldn’t make sense. Staff, rent, utilities, fit out cost and God knows what else. One night, in my sleep, I must have dreamt it because I woke up and uttered the words “Drop Box’. I pictured it in my mind. Hell, I dreamt that I used it. That very night, I got up and went down to the kitchen where I drew a picture of it in a notebook. What is it? Well, I’ve attached a picture for you to see but to make it easy for you to understand, if you live in an apartment building and come home through the lobby or through the parking garage, you grab a laundry bag and a set of bill sheets and go up to your apartment. In the comfort of your own home, you fill out the bill sheet and put your items into the bag, very much like a hotel. That evening or even the next day, when you’re leaving to go to work, you take your bag and drop it in the box. We come and collect it that afternoon and then once it’s done, we deliver it directly to your door at the time you’ve specified on the sheet. It’s quite simple actually but genius, even if I say so myself.
Now, like mentioned earlier, I have many an idea in my dreams. Some of them are awful and others are fantastic. Some are related to business and sometimes, they’re for personal amusement. I do a lot of my thinking at night. Rather than suppress that, I have learned to nurture it and allow it to take its course. You can force a great idea. It has to simmer in your subconscious until it’s ready to give you that ‘light bulb’ moment. It’s not always going to be perfect but you can refine it, pass it around and get feedback on it. The main thing is to leave yourself open to those moments. Even if it means losing sleep or waking up early. Maybe it might interfere with your duties at work if your ‘special time’ is three in the afternoon. Some people do their best thinking when they run, some when they’re sat on the toilet, whenever it is, enjoy that time. I truly believe it’s when you’re most relaxed that your brain does its best work.
Electric car maker Tesla Motors (s TSLA) swapped out the batteries of two of its Model S electric cars on stage during an event at its design studio near Los Angeles on Thursday night. The demonstration was created to show that swapping out a battery of one of the Model S cars can take 90 seconds, or considerably less time than it takes to stop for gas in a gas-powered traditional car.
During the event Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla plans to provide battery swap options at some point at its Supercharger stations, which will eventually be called “Tesla Stations.” The choice for the customer will be “free” (the electricity from the Supercharger is free) “or fast” (the 90-second battery swap), said Musk during the event.
While I wasn’t able to attend the battery swap demo in person, what isn’t clear about Tesla’s battery swap tech is how…
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