Are you breathing your own exhaust?

Shelley and I regularly like to do a speed walk for 45 minutes around town. We picked this habit up during lock-down, and it’s particularly rejuvenating when I’ve been working in Tivoli Studios all day with no natural daylight.

Our favourite route is along Lansdown Road in Cheltenham. A mile-long straight and flat stretch with cycle paths Handy to do a few laps to build some speed up. But this one evening, it was asphyxiating. The exhaust fumes from the cars and lorries were suffocating. The high-pressure atmosphere meant these fumes had nowhere to go except in our lungs. It was a disagreeable experience.

What about you in your business or your career?

Are you breathing your own exhaust?

Are you mixing with the same people, doing everything in-house, working with the same teams year in year out? If so, you’re probably being devoid of new, refreshing ideas.

I know of companies that I work for that are proud of their long-serving employees; some of them have been there for over 30 years. This may have advantages, but in the modern economy, the strengths outweigh the weaknesses as ideas from outside, fresh thinking, new angles are hard to come by from the same people.

Do you mix outside of your cocoon? Do you attend industry seminars, network with others, attend Mastermind groups? Do you alter your association affiliations from time to time? I’ve seen people who belong to the same trade association year after year who also become stale for new ideas.

Do you bring in new people? Yes, advertise internally because that’s the right thing, but encourage others to come into your business.

If you do, you’ll be like me; we nipped down a side alley and found Bournside Road. An equally long stretch but devoid of exhaust fumes. We could breathe in some clean and crisp air at last. Google Bournside Road in Cheltenham¬† – the home of Butterflies’ hit TV series from the 1970s.