Heavy weather

There’s something to be said for the heavy artillery of a weather bomb.

The explosive effects of this week’s hoolies and skin scouring hail showers certainly blasted this wee wordsmith into a wide-awake state. Maybe the air’s full of positive ions or sumfink, but I for one was well and truly invigorated by Mother Nature’s latest north Atlantic antics.

But it wasn’t just the gale forces which blew away the cobwebs this week. A blast of clear blue sky thinking also breezed its way into my business planning, a real breath of fresh air. Just as well, because without it, this single-minded sole trader may well have encountered a spell of entrepreneurial heavy weather come the new year.

Let’s not get too gloomy tho’. It’s been a good year in the world of words, and the forecast is set fair. Or at least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself. And with good reason – my bright-eyed and bushy-tailed optimism is largely based on hard facts, feedback and a reasonably healthy balance sheet. However, if I’m really, really honest there’s been quite a wedge of wing-and-a-prayer going on in there too, and not enough clear-eyed focus on fiscal fine tuning. I wasn’t completely oblivious, I’m not that daft, but like so many gallus Glaswegians I’ve tended to blank what’s staring me in the face in favour of battering on.

Thankfully, my tendency to stick to the prevailing commercial conditions were cleared up by a good firm tap on my small business barometer. This came in the form of an unofficial business review and preview, freely offered and gratefully received, courtesy of someone who’s been round the business block many more times than this blinkered entrepreneurial eejit. Turns out that my own half-baked attempts at commercial and fiscal forecasting were falling somewhat short of the mark – the rude health of my balance sheet is actually a bit peaky in places.

The thing is, when you’re right in the eye of the sole trading storm, it can be kinda tricky to find space for clear-sighted analysis, let alone apply some long range forecasting to the future. I knew in my heart of hearts that there was the potential for heavy weather, and that I needed to watch out for setting silly sole trading precedents (particularly when it comes to pricing), ‘cos one day they might bite me hard on the small biz backside. But somehow or other the blinkers stayed firmly attached.

Those blinkers were removed ever so gently this week when my very own wonderful wise owl cast her experienced entrepreneurial eyes over my attempts in enterprise thus far. It’s not that I’ve been getting it all wrong exactly, but thanks to the insight of an outsider, I can see clearly now that I was making some schoolgirl errors, ones which need to stop now if I don’t want to sail into stormy seas. This wise owl’s cool analysis of what’s working for Word Up, and what ain’t, was accompanied by real warmth and encouragement, and was just about the best Xmas gift this amateur in enterprise could’ve wished for. What’s more, it was all offered from the goodness of her heart, for the price of a cappuccino. Now that’s what I call Christmas spirit.

Whilst the weather bomb was in its pomp, the fiscal fog was being well and truly lifted from my very own mince pies. So, to my very own Christmas star – thanks, you’re an angel.