Author Archives: Tom Doggett

Nature’s lessons

Even for small businesses, nature already has most of the answers we need, if you know where to look. Millions—billions—of years of continuous improvement and survival of the fittest offer a pretty solid baseline. In fact, the twelve fundamental principles which have been something of a cornerstone for me over the last seven or eight […]

Primal thinking

I’ve worked with small businesses for over 20 years now, almost always directly with the owners. I’ve seen them—the owners and the businesses—thrive, struggle, fight and flail, and implement just about every combination of the idea and execution multiplier. However perfect or flawed, I’ve had the pleasure of working with people who care deeply about […]


My wife and I recently bought a small woodland. Just under three acres of ancient arboreal bliss; a sanctuary for us of course, but primarily a place for the trees, flora, fauna and fungi to thrive. It’s reminded me—this year of all years—what’s important. Strong and steady is better than fast and furious. It’s also […]

Change it.

One thing a lot of business owners talk to me about is the desire for a clean sheet. “If only I could start again without these particular clients / staff / problems / debts / unpaid invoices / services I shouldn’t have started selling / software I shouldn’t have started using…” It’s like wanting to […]

Circles of influence

I love the replies I get to these emails. Additional snippets of information, tales of success or failure, occasional confessions and new ideas. One came through last week in the midst of a particularly hectic few days about ‘circles of influence’. An expansion on the wish for ‘serenity to accept the things we cannot change, […]

Everything matters…?

Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. In the same way, content – or, as it used to be called, ‘news’ – fills to expand the time available for its consumption. Like a magic porridge pot of curated anxiety, it will churn through your life and […]

A dose of reality

Most people are worse at life than you expect. I spent most of my childhood thinking that adults were fundamentally competent and together (and consider myself lucky to have been in a position to form that view). It was something of a shock to discover the extent to which people are winging it, and an […]

A day in the life

I bought my fiancé a fridge for Valentine’s – you should have seen her face light-up when she opened it. Any form of national event, whether it’s Valentine’s, the appalling Black Friday – literally no more than a day of abject consumerism and baseline behaviour, and even issues such as mental health awareness days are […]

How long is the British coastline?

How long is the British coastline? The old ‘trick’ in this question is that it depends how you choose to measure it… units of single miles make it far shorter than units of single millimetres. But how else might you measure it? And more importantly, why do you want to? If you wanted to build […]

The unwelcome

A lot of businesses focus relentlessly on their target market. Planning, almost to the exact eye colour, the profiles of who is going to buy from them. But how often do you consider who you don’t want to work with? We’ve all had problem customers. People we just can’t get along with, who will never […]