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“12 Days of Christmas” for Business

12 Days of Christmas for Business Image by Matthew BroomheadYou know how the Christmas Carol “The 12 Days of Christmas” sounds? These days having 12 drummers drumming in the office would cause a bit of a health and safety concern and there is no need for 8 maids a-milking with our industrialised farming methods.

So what are twelve useful things to know in business? Here are my twelve that I have written for you. I’ll be the first to admit that some of these are a little convoluted, but one thing is for sure, it makes them more memorable. (I have included more than one idea in some days).

On the first day of Christmas I would share this with thee…

1: ONE Purpose

Know your WHY; the reason to be in business and the thing that will keep you going when you inevitably encounter challenges.

 On the second day of Christmas I would share this with thee…

2: TWO people in a Mentoring Relationship

It has been said that we don’t live long enough to learn everything ourselves so make sure you find Mentors. Whether formally or informally. Remember that no one person can give you all the answers you require, so learn from various mentors.

 On the third day of Christmas I would share this with thee…

3: THREE simple rules for Finance in Business

I heard these three from Hilary Devey:

  • Turnover is Vanity
  • Profit is Sanity
  • Cash is Reality.

 On the fourth day of Christmas I would share these with thee…

4: FOUR cardinal points on a compass

There are four cardinal points on a compass: North, South, East, West. Until we know where we are, and where we want to go, a compass is useless. Once you know your why and where you are aiming to go, then the tool of a compass becomes useful. It does not matter what tools we have at our disposal whether they are computers, the internet or production factories, what really matters is what we have decided to do with them.

FOUR seasons in a year

As we all know there are four seasons in a year: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The metaphor from the late Jim Rohn is simple and yet so powerful. You can’t have a harvest without planting in the spring. We also need to be aware that just because we plant in the spring doesn’t necessarily mean we will have a harvest. We all have Winters in our business careers, but understand that Spring always follows a Winter.

 On the fifth day of Christmas I would share these with thee…

5: FIVE is the number of the human being

The number five is apparently the number of the human being and symbolizes the four limbs and the head that controls the limbs. Take time to remember that our teams are more than “human resources”. They are human beings. Who we are “being” will influence how they are “being”. As we all know we can’t achieve anything significant without the help of others.

FIVE Senses

There are five senses that help make up our experience of our world : sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch. The other element that will determine our perception of our world is our philosophy (combination of our values and beliefs). Our philosophy has been influenced our entire lives by external factors. Many of us have still not discovered that we have a choice of what our future philosophy will be.

 On the sixth day of Christmas I would share this with thee…

6: SIX is the first “Perfect Number”

Six in early Greek mathematics was found to be the first “Perfect Number”. “Perfect numbers” are rare in mathematics.

In business there is no “perfect number”. Some of us think there is. For example, the number of social media followers; the number of Article views; the number of sales in a month.

We can’t achieve perfection, only progress. This is done by asking ourselves, “have I shown up and done my best today?” And then be grateful for whatever our answer is.

On the seventh day of Christmas I would share this with thee…

7: SEVEN days in a week

We all have exactly the same amount of time in a week as Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden. One week equates to 168 hours. How we spend it and how we prioritise will determine where we will be in five years time.

 On the eighth day of Christmas I would share this with thee…

8: EIGHT in China is lucky

Throughout different cultures and individual’s experiences “luck” has been attributed to many things. I’m led to believe that in China the Number 8 is a very lucky number. The opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in China began on 8/8/2008 at 8 pm.

My thinking has definitely changed on this, but currently I believe that in business there is no such thing as luck. Lots of us get confused with opportunity mixed with preparation and action. They then say people were “just lucky”. If we prepare, see opportunities and take them, then it’s surprising how “lucky” we suddenly become.

 On the ninth day of Christmas I would share this with thee…

9:NINE” spoken aloud sounds similar to “Nein”

In the German language “nein” means “no“. Get comfortable hearing the word no, because if we are trying something significant for our followers and clients, then we will hear no rather a lot. One of the biggest influences on our progression in business will be our reaction to hearing the word no.

 On the tenth day of Christmas I would share this with thee…

10: TEN Bowling pins are arranged in the same shape as a tetrad

I have heard another keynote speaker use the metaphor that (in business) “we don’t want to be the best in Bowling”. 300 is the highest score you can ever achieve in bowling and people spend an inordinate amount of time trying to reach that. When it comes to business, is it vital to keep trying to be the best at something everyone else is doing? Sooner or later someone cheaper or better will come along. Perhaps instead we need to be striving to do things that only our organisations can do, therefore ensuring our long term value to the marketplace.

 On the eleventh day of Christmas I would share this with thee…

11: ELEVEN in British bingo calling has the nickname “legs”

Keep on metaphorically walking up your mountain as “you have to be in it to win it”. We can only finish a race if we keep going and cross the finish line. Once we have crossed the finish line then take a breather, assess what we learnt and then decide our next race. There’s the old saying “winners never quit and quitters never win”.

 On the twelfth day of Christmas I would share this with thee…

12: TWELVE books a year on your reading list

Reading an average of 10 pages a day equates to around one book a month. Some of the wealthiest people I know both in terms of money and time are ardent readers. I understand that some of us find reading difficult, so instead try listening to quality professional development audio during your commute.


So that is my 12 days of Christmas for Business. Yes, a few are a little convoluted, and no, it is not very seasonal apart from my image I created at the top. But I think you will agree that the messages are valuable.

I’m just curious, if you were mentoring a leader in business what would be in your 12 days?

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