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Judith Halliday

The Spanish Cockroaches ...

Are you DIY-ing your business?

Posted on: 04/03/2013   By: Judith Halliday

Hardship is one of those things that divides a family into its constituent generations. Back in the Seventies, I remember turning up at a holiday apartment only to find somewhere so grotty the first thing my mother did was go out and buy cleaning products and cloths so she could make it vaguely habitable ...

whether it's Scarborough, Spain or elsewhere, you don't want to start cleaning on arrival

whether it's Scarborough, Spain or elsewhere, you don't want to start cleaning on arrival

But that was a long time ago - although, to be honest, it put me off Scarborough for life - and we knew no different. Those were the days when "It'll do" was a positive response to a holiday home.

As an adult, of course, I would have walked straight back out again. I was, by contrast, quite happy to flop down in our beautiful chalet in the French Alps a couple of years ago despite the disgust emanating from my teenage children who had been landed somewhere with - horror of horrors - no dishwasher! And we all know what that means, don't we kids? Here, have a tea towel.

Cleaning a holiday home, or having to wipe dishes when all you want to do is soak up local culture/watch Harry Potter DVDs on a TV in a foreign land instead of your own bedroom is a pain. We can do it, but we don't really want to have to. It takes up time we could be spending doing something far more interesting or worthwhile.

Just as you don't want to spend your precious fortnight away from the office zapping Spanish cockroaches, when you're at work, you don't want to spend time you could be using to make sales, win contracts or build customers relations having to worry about all those tiresome jobs that linger in the background.

  • You can do your tax return yourself but weigh up the time you spend doing it with the things you could be achieving instead if you paid someone else to do it.

  • You could sit and sift through 300 CVs every time you have a vacancy, but that's not your strength and it's far better to leave it to an HR expert to whittle them down to a few candidates you will want to speak to.

  • You could labour for hours over a press release or editorial for a brochure, but there are people who do that sort of thing every day and will turn it round in less than half the time and say it better and more effectively than you can.

So don't go for the self-catering approach. Life with Spanish cockroaches and no dishwasher can be pretty tiresome, whatever generation you're from. Instead, book yourself into that all-inclusive luxury hotel where all you have to do is sit back and look after the business that matters and let others clear up the rest.

Until next time ...


More about Judith Halliday ...

My writing career began under the bright lights of Gateshead in 1986 - who wouldn't love a job that offered the chance to listen to Gateshead Borough Council's Public Waste Committee debate the introduction of wheelie bins for three hours? It was the start of a working life that taught me what makes a good story and how to tell it and, although I don't have a news editor lurking ready to throw things at me any more, or so much of an interest in wheelie bins, my love of writing and a fascination with talking to people and telling their stories is as strong as ever.

Today I work for Business Times in Northampton and the Northants Evening Telegraph as well as providing copywriting services and press releases for a number of local companies.

When I'm not doing that, I indulge in the things I love most, which include, in no particular order: my teenage children, Sunderland football club, my husband, chocolate, QI, Chinese noodles, my closest friends, Test Match Special, red wine, reading in bed, The Sound of Music and growing vegetables.


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