“I had 29 airlines ganged up against me” – Scale Lessons from Freddie Laker
On this very day in 1982, pioneering budget airliner Laker Airways went bust. I’m sure you’re aware of Freddie Laker’s story, he’s renowned as ‘Legend of the Airways’ because:
- Not many business people change all our lives. Laker had one clear vision – to fly ordinary people, make it available and affordable. He started attracting a new and younger market that, until then, was not used to flying.
- Not many people invent an entire industry. Laker went about revolutionising the travel industry with his unique business model – an airline that would operate like a railway: customers would turn up, buy a ticket and pay for meals and extras as they travelled. Airlines were traditionally elitist, targeting the top-end fare paying passengers and treating leisure passengers ‘like cattle’. Their systems penalised those wanting cheaper tickets, making it a hostile environment for a customer.
- Not many ‘suits’ have the public willing to bail them out. On 5th February 1982, despite planes having to turn around mid-air, and despite 5,000 passengers becoming stranded, the public phoned in asking if they could donate money to save the firm.
Yes, Laker did eventually go bust, but he paved the way for Branson and co., and his remarkable story shows you can take on the big boys, you can challenge the status quo, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.
I’m certainly not proposing you become the next ‘maverick’ or set out on a mission to change the world.
BUT today is a reminder that you CAN change: your mindset, your focus, your market position, your bottom line…
The biggest excuses I often hear from business owners are:
- “I don’t have the time” We all have the same 24 hours a day, it’s how we use that time. Have you tried planning out each week with 90-minute slots dedicated to specific activities?
- “I can’t do that” Nobody is super human, but we can all seek to learn. We all have access to books, courses, technology, colleagues, networking groups, masterminds, go-to-experts, mentors etc. that we can invest time and money into. Or you buy that skill in because you cannot be the owner, MD, HR officer, accountant, and marketing dept 24/7.
- “I’ve had bad luck” I don’t believe there is such a thing as bad luck in business. Many people ‘hope’ things work out, but we all know hope isn’t a strategy. And, yes, everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how we learn from them that’s important.
- “My industry is different” It’s our experience from working across 65+ industries, that it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. If you’ve set up the right environment with the right structure and team, you have a clear vision and defined path to reach that, and have alerts in place, then you’re set-up regardless of who you are and what you offer.
- “I don’t have the energy” Business is hard enough, but if you don’t currently love what you do, it’s a thousand times harder. If you’ve lost your mojo, you MUST take some time out to remember why you set-up in the first place, why you left that ‘safe’ job to take that big exciting step to do it all better and with you in control.
Finally, be realistic with what you want.
I say this, because business owners are often lulled into a ‘make me a millionaire overnight’ mindset.
But isn’t this all about a balance?
A healthy bank balance to give you financial freedom and opportunities to discover more fun?
A better work life balance to spend more time with family, friends, or spending more time doing what you love?
Here’s a recent video we were sent by Mark which talks exactly about this. If there’s one thing to do today, it’s to watch this, because I know you will relate to this (it’s NOT about me, it’s about Mark and how he’s turned his life around for the better).
Have a great week, I hope this has re-ignited some passion and given you the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what you really want this year.