When the going gets tough…
Regular readers will know that three days a week I go for a run along the Ouseburn river valley up into Jesmond Dene and back before sitting down and writing this blog. I do this rain or shine – and today it was just rain, no shine (for proof see pic right).
What surprised me was that I was the only idiot out there running – in fact the only people I passed were a twitcher and a school age couple enjoying a quick snog before classes (a bit of rain won’t dampen young love).
Where was everyone else? I thought of the clichés my VIII would shout at each other with tongue firmly in cheek back in my rowing days – “If it’s not raining, it’s not training!” and “no pain, no gain!”.
One of my favourite business/sporting analogies is “The Tour De France is won on the climbs, not the descents.” This is particularly apt for green business in the current economic situation – there is a huge temptation to batten down the hatches and hope it all blows over, telling yourself you’ll make progress on this “when things get better”.
While it’s tempting, it is also incredibly shortsighted. If your competitors decided to go for it on this uphill, they’ll be whizzing down the other side long before you puff to the top. They’ll be cutting costs through energy, waste, raw material and water savings and competing more strongly in the market place with their green credentials. In other words they’ll be winning more business and making a better margin on it.
You may say “but we don’t have any cash!”, but that’s not an insurmountable problem – most businesses can make significant cost savings at little or no cost in terms of investment. This can then be reinvested in other environmental improvements to improve competitiveness. It’s more a question of attitude and inventiveness than pounds/dollars/euros.
So don’t forget one last well worn training cliché: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
And for good measure I’ll add one of my own: Green Business – no place for wimps!