Lessons about growing your business from a VW camper van

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I’m now back after being away for a week and I wanted to share a couple of reflections about what I learnt from our trip and what that means for growing your business.

Brian (above), our camper van, took really good care of us and helped us see some amazing places in between dodging the rain (typical British summer). The things we realised very quickly about driving a restored 1967 split-screen VW camper van were:

  1. The steering is like flying by wire and it is not as precise as a modern car.
  2. Up until around the start of the 1970’s all VW Camper Vans had drum brakes all round as standard and from 1971 onward they were given disc brakes at the front but the drums remained at the back. Our van was fitted with drum brakes which meant that we had to be much more vigilant about traffic conditions, other vehicles and managing how and when we needed to brake given that we couldn’t ’stop on a sixpence’ like modern cars.
  3. The top speed of the van was 50mph but that it cruised along quite nicely just above 40mph. This made us, mostly, one of the slowest vehicles on the road.

What did we learn? The main two things were:

  1. Certain car drivers assume that other cars are as fast and nimble as they are. In terms of growing a business, what this taught me was that we should be careful when assuming that people, businesses or customers around us can move as fast or are as nimble as we are. Just because we can move fast and are nimble does not mean that the people around us can do so or want to move as fast as us. Assuming otherwise can cause problems.
  2. It’s not all about speed. Being beautifully formed and getting there in the end can be just as satisfying, if not more so, as getting there quickly. When applied to your business, I think it is important to be control of where you want to go and the speed that you are comfortable traveling. This will make the journey, your journey, and not someone elses.

We really enjoyed our trip and are now looking forward to getting back into the post-holiday fray with some exciting things coming up.

What did you learn from your holiday?

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