Were you an April Fool?

Spring has sprung, clocks gone forward, and I’ve just celebrated my second birthday in lockdown!

Also, April Fool’s Day has just gone by and I always get caught out by someone.

Why April Fool’s Day?

Some historians think April Fool’s Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar and the people who failed to get the news, or recognise the start of the new year had moved to January 1st, continuing to celebrate during the last week of March, became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.

The idea spread to Britain in the 1700s. In Scotland it became a two-day event, where, on the first day, people were sent on foolish errands, called ‘hunting the gowk’ (a word for cuckoo, and a symbol for a fool). The second day was called Tailie Day. This day, the pranks involved pinning fake tails, or ‘kick me’ signs on people’s backsides.

There is no definite information as to when the tradition started however. Through the ages, people have been happily playing pranks on each other, and even bigger organisations have joined in over the years.

Three Famous Pranks:

  • The TV programme, Panorama played a stunt back in 1957 when Richard Dimbleby (the host), talked about a particularly bountiful crop of spaghetti in Switzerland. After the programme, viewers actually contacted the programme to ask how they could grow their own spaghetti trees.
  • The Guardian newspaper published a travel guide to the mysterious island group of San Serriffe. The two islands, Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse formed the shape of a semicolon. This was in 1977.
  • In 1976, Patrick Moore appeared on BBC Radio 2 and announced that at 9.47am precisely, we could feel the ‘Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect.’ He told listeners, at that exact moment, the planets would align and gravity on Earth would become a tiny bit weaker, so if you jumped in the air at the right moment, you would almost float.  People fell for it.

What things in business have you done which have made you feel foolish? Here’s a few of my mistakes:

  1. When I knew going to lose my job, I was offered training at my former employer’s cost. I chose all the wrong things.  I chose to upskill on useless stuff instead of learning about how to run a business.
  2. I soaked up all of the advice I could, without ever stopping to consider if it was good advice.
  3. I spent a lot of money on an expensive, but useless website (not the web designer’s fault I didn’t know what I really wanted).
  4. Said ‘yes’ to every job without ever considering if I wanted to work with that person.
  5. Spilled my candy in the lobby. In other words, I gave away my ideas to people for free, theh took it and then they didn’t spend any money with me.
  6. Didn’t learn that ‘no’ is a powerful word and can actually lead to work.
  7. I did little due diligence on some companies to check if what they said about their company was actually true, especially around turnover and profitability. This is always worth doing, because some people tell lies.
  8. I did not know the importance of cash flow, credit control and the advantages of working with an accountant.
  9. I took too long to outsource to a VA and tried to do everything myself. It was often, not in my skill set and took up too much time – wasting hours that could otherwise have been spent with clients, earning.
  10. I didn’t consider until much later that selling is a skill. When I did, I sorted out training to be better and that training is ongoing.
  11. Those who gush over you and boost your ego often want things for free – as an extrovert this can pull me in. I was not wary enough to recognise this for a long time as these people are often the worst clients.
  12. Those who are quieter, more considered, and sometimes need more time, are worth waiting for.
  13. I closed my ears to the tech of the internet eg. SEO, algorithms etc – a big mistake – it may not be natural to me to absorb this however it’s absolutely necessary for my type of business. If any of this resonates with you and you’d like to book a power hour with me you can do so here – https://scott-media.mykajabi.com/pr-power-hour

Next week I’ll be talking about ‘what I did right’ ..even if it was by accident