In this month’s show, Michael and Simon are talking about the lessons we can take from history and the opportunities that we face today. Why is learning about history so important?
History gives us a very clear picture of how the various aspects of society — such as technology, governmental systems, and even society as a whole — worked in the past so we understand how it came to work the way it is now.
They begin by talking about the opportunities that we face today and what we can learn if we look back into history. Michael mentions the Spanish flu outbreak, how many people died during this time and what happened 10 years later. He then asks Simon why is learning about history so important to which his friend replies that the start point is to see if we can learn from history; if we can learn from history, it might help us to have that hindsight to make better decisions.
For Michael, it seems that certain things are repeating themselves and the main question is how does this time help us reflect and learn the lessons that people 100 years ago were experiencing?
Based on events such as the First World War, The Spanish Flu and The Great Crash of 1929 Michael believes that this current episode is different. At that time we had less money in our pockets, the government were buying weapons or producing manufacturing weapons but now, the government have bailed out the population by offering furlough and grants and loans. So even though these events hold similarities, the wealth distribution is so much more different.
For Simon, it’s a better way of doing it than before. Because before, if you didn’t do it, you cause this deflation, which causes mass unemployment, and all the complications, problems and all those horrible things that society faces through history. Whereas pouring stimulus into the economy, is like putting a pump into that blow-up bed, you’re pumping, and the bed is getting bigger and bigger. It causes inflation which, in Simon’s opinion, is better than deflation.
In Simon’s opinion business owners need to look ahead three to five years from now to start thinking about what might happen in the next years, run some scenarios (What’s the worst-case scenario for my business? What’s the best-case scenario?) sit down and spend some really good quality time and draw that classic SWOT analysis, looking at the strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities and the threats, and really hone in on that threats box to see where can they deal with those threats right now and turn those threats into potential opportunities. Because if they’re a threat for your business, there’ll be a threat, the same threat for your competitors.
Business owners and entrepreneurs need to be fit need to be sharp and make flexible decisions, ones that they know where it’s okay to do a U-turn if they think we might actually have got that wrong, or suddenly the economy swings or something changes.
It also comes down to knowing your business, your market, knowing your distributor distribution network and your manufacturers and working on that supply chain.
Start in business, stay in business and thrive in business. That would be a good statement – what do you guys think?