Getting out of the office and having a break, restless nights...

Well it is that time of the year again, thankfully. When nights are long, and it got me thinking after a wonderful run in the dusk.

Looking toward Dove Stone from Wimberry Rocks, known locally as Indian’s Head.

When you run your own business you are always busy, as there is a lot to do and as I have discovered you always want to do more. And you can be restless or have “itchy thoughts”. For example it is quarter past four in the morning and I am typing away. I could not sleep and came downstairs, put the fire on, and have been doing work and personal stuff. I like the word stuff. The aforementioned similarly applies to senior people in salaried roles and I base this on personal experience; you have a lot on, it never ends, meetings during the day have taken your time etc. etc. etc.

What is notable is in both cases I have ended up cross eyed, tired and worn out, and chasing my tail as I seek to manage work load, achieve results, and stay on top.

Yesterday had been a busy day, and it is tough trading conditions at present with the Brexit fiasco. So the temptation is to work hard, or maybe too hard and end up frazzled. Question is what are you actually achieving in terms of results, and your mental health? By way of comparison was the run I took at ten to six in the evening after my day’s work.

When I mulled all over on the run, and it is not the first time I have been here, I remembered that you need a break from work, even if you have a lot on or have to park urgent work.

Diminishing economies of scale - remember this and read on…

“Diseconomies of scale refers to a point at which the company no longer enjoys economies of scale, and at which the cost per unit rises as more units are produced. Diseconomies of scale can result from a number of inefficiencies that can diminish the benefits earned from economies of scale.”

I want you to think about diseconomies of scale from your perspective. Are you trying to work when you should not? Think in terms of work productivity and mental productivity. Think of diminishing economies of scale not from its traditional sense in manufacturing, but from you imagined as a company or production line. What impact it constantly working having on a) your productivity, b) your personal “infrastructure”?

  • Running your own business and occupying a senior role require work, hard work, it comes with the territory.

  • It does not get easier. You will always have your ups and downs, that is business at the top end.

  • But you get used to it. You really do, and I say that after a number of years and my being the ripe old age of 47. Somehow I wished I had learned this earlier.

  • Workloads will always be there, no matter what.

  • Nothing is really that important that it cannot wait until the next day.

  • Rest or simply having a break makes such a difference to productivity. I do believe that setting hours of work, e.g. 9-5.30pm and sticking to them means you focus your activity, the time is utilised correctly, and you avoid stringing tasks out where you in theory have unlimited time. Often the plague of the salary man and woman.

  • But also give yourself flexibility, if you are in the mood for working then work - your frame of mind is important and you can leverage it.

  • Conversely if you cannot work, don’t want to work, or plain cannot be arsed then don’t unless it’s needed, urgent, deadline etc.

  • Remember when you revised, most of us will. You took breaks. For some reason this does seem to go out of the window when in work as an adult in a senior role.

A break, like my fell run yesterday, allows you to relax physically and mentally and be more productive. It also puts into perspective work, something that does not become life controlling. And in this day and age we put work before personal, when it should be the polar opposite. We work to live and not the other way round. What a break allows you to do is to recharge the brain, and nothing is not that important that it cannot wait until the next day. The mental side is probably more important than the physical side (it’s all physical in one sense) as its degradation affects all areas. Have you noticed all tasks end up taking longer, lethargy, snapping at people? And so the list increases. Being fresh enlivens you and others, and makes you realise “it’s only work”, “it’s only a job”. Cliched but true.

Looking down Ashway Gap toward Dove Stone.

My break drew closure to a long working day and one that involved a lot of concentration when on phone calls. I had been tempted to not run and continue working as there is always a lot to do. But this harks back to the economies of scale quote.

I was glad that I ran, it was a wonderful evening and allowed me to forget about work (mostly) and let my brain relax, get out of the work environment, and free up thinking space of all matter of stuff. It is so important. Did I have to push things into the following day? Yes, of course. Were people bothered? NO. And if they are? So be it.


Peter Cobley and Found Us - A quick guide to recruitment Brexit.

Well it’s T-minus less than a month towards the end of the world as we know it. Erm, Brexit for those who don’t read the news…

Returning from Stuc a Chroin October 2017

It’s been an interesting state of affairs in the recruitment marketplace when you look at the last few months. For that matter it’s been an interesting few months on a political level with continuous bickering. A chess game whilst drunk could be a description, with niceties out of the window: the two phrases of herding cats across to walking the plank spring to mind.

A level of vagueness blended with Brexit scaremongering has led to uncertainty that permeates the marketplace. Advertising is a very reactive and reflective business, self centred as well, and in one sense mirrors the bear and bull of the financial marketplace. And this can cause opportunities or chaos for people, depending on how they deal with it all. Point being that it comes down to how one mentally addresses the scenario.

At the moment the advice I give to people, those looking and those hiring, is don’t try to predict the unpredictable and it’s business as usual. But do we adopt the Blitz mentality? Well no not really; that borders on naive or plain daft. One should always have the Ace up the sleeve or alternate plans. And yes you can plan even when I say you cannot predict. There are always generalities even where we don’t know the specifics.

So, having trained in Law and a fan of empirical evidence and Sherlock Holmes:

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” 

Let us look to the impossible whilst paying homage to the Sleuth.

Is the UK and all those who sail in her going to be cast adrift? No, that won’t happen. So from a macro point of view UK Limited won’t be going down the toilet, nor will you lose your job.

Will the advertising world sail off the edge of a flat world? NO. Advertising is more than linear and straddles borders with messaging that is human orientated not State led.

Do I need to look for a alternate job or colleague? Well, my answer to that is the same as usual for senior people. You should move when you have the right reasons, and the same applies for hiring someone. And being British is like the weather, there is never a good or bad time. I sometimes say to people that they use a SWOT analysis blended with a bit of common sense. And I don’t want to resort to management speak or acronyms. You can pay people for that. It comes down to common sense as mentioned.

For someone looking

Have your LinkedIn up to date, as well as the CV. The beauty of LinkedIn is you can cross refer to speeches you may have given as well as your interests. It makes you think about you, and that’s important. You’ll gain a realisation of who you are, where you have been, are, and are going. You may want to alter what is to come, or change some of your thinking and behaviour. Don’t change who you are. LinkedIn and a CV won’t get you a job, please be aware of that, just use them as a “me” exercise as well as an “introduction” for people. Don’t get hung up on them, too many people do.

Play with a SWOT analysis of yourself and be holistic, don’t just look from a work perspective, ask some other questions, for example: What do I like? What do I not like? What am I good at? What am I bad at? And so forth. Try and also put some timelines in there, e.g. short term one year, medium two to three years, and five years plus for longer term. Be selfish and think about what you want even if that excludes family. Give back and don’t be a taker, and from that you will grow as a person, be happy, and rewards naturally follow. I know this sounds straight out of a management book, but I strongly feel that in doing what actually makes you happy you will achieve what you want. That happiness rubs off and can also be offered to people, it is a thing, a rare thing. Sadly only a few get this.

Running a business

You run a business and you need to replace someone, or plain hire someone. So you write a job description, advertise, find the person. Blah, blah, blah. But did YOU feel fulfilled, not just the candidate? We all look to the specifics of a role, but do we honestly look to the person, the person who we should really empathise with? Maybe try and write down or picture before anything happens what it would be like if you applied for the job. This helps form an idea of what you would be as a person in that role, or for that matter ought to be. What should be their moral compass? Can you have a drink with them when it’s all going wrong? If you’ve done your research correctly they can do a job, question is who are they? We are all individuals - corporeal; companies are incorporeal.


What is frustrating is the contraction of people moving and people hiring based on fear. We all make decisions based on risk and maybes. So why change that now? My advice ultimately is to keep growing your business and your career. In times of uncertainty there is one certainty, the opportunity to fill gaps, niches and exploit the marketplace. I refer directly to BREXIT, but also expand this to encompass living life per se. There is never a bad time to do something, only ever good times as you have the ability to exercise volition.

A good example is Saturday just gone when running the Haworth Hobble, a 32 mile ultra fell race starting and finishing at Bronte’s Haworth, with 6,000 feet of climb across the moors. We all started the race in blistering rain coming in horizontally accompanied by gusting wind. Horrible. Just awful. By this point I considered giving up, but stuck at it. I was panicking, worried, thinking the worse. And here is the rub. We all do this and it is normal and correct. Point is you don’t give up. You plod on like a fell race, as your thinking does improve, as does the weather, and you get into a pace. You get used to it. And that can be your career, life, whatever. Just keep at it. Being miserable at times is normal and builds character.

Alongside Walshaw Dean Reservoir.

Why not just say f**k it and do something different?

Has your business thought about attracting that much needed staff member, or of creating a business division? As a person, have you thought of offering your services to fill that gap, create something as against slavishly apply for the identikit job description?

Be a bit wild.

Donut eating at the last checkpoint before finishing the 32 mile Haworth Hobble fell race in March 2019… Be wild.

Found Us after the Half Term Break, and The Highlands.

Well it back in the driving seat after a break in Arisaig in The Highlands. Team Found Us enjoyed the spell away; Claire, Ted, and myself crammed in a mixture of work and pleasure. So, there were calls and e-mails blended with fell running, beach wandering, exploring, eating and drinking. All of which under the gaze of wonderfully unique, and remote scenery.

Chairman Ted of Found Us

Moving into Christmas we are focusing on client side roles and client side candidates, one of the specialist areas in media and advertising we work in. It is an area we are successful in possessing strong experience of offline and online media.

We are also cultivating our expertise in sales and commercial work as consultants with our looking to expand on work with clients to enhance their sales practice and results.

The mentoring and senior training side continues apace working with our partners.

Recruitment is and shall always be a funny old game, but this is what we like - the challenge of working with people, helping them, taking the rough with the smooth, and we still keep going after four and a half years of business.

The website? We work in senior search and selection and don’t post all our roles or candidates, so it is always worth contacting us to find out more. The approach we take is one to one and so can’t be encapsulated in a website.

So, if you fancy giving us a try, then please don’t hesitate to contact Peter Cobley. We work with Sales and Marketing Directors across to Heads of PPC.