Henry Shefflin lifted his 2 children up

Henry Shefflin lifted his 2 children up along with his 10th Liam McCarthy cup this afternoon. What an achievement. Both teams are, to a man, incredibly dedicated and it makes me proud that despite colonisation, losing our language, intermittent mass emigration and economic woes, we still have such a unique treasure as all Ireland final day.

It seems like the rest of the world is finally appreciating it too.

I was at a very interesting seminar on Innovation during the week- an Inter-trade Ireland initiative. With 3 quotes (including some drawings, not a strong point), 5 invoices to write and a couple of surveys overdue I very nearly didn’t go. As it happens it was a particularly poorly attended but most rewarding exercise. As another business owner wryly commented if they’d charged a couple of hundred it’d probably be packed out! Having been through the whole invention/ new product development and promotion experience with the Hidbin (see www.hidbin.ie / Dragons Den) I was curious about how the Fortune 500 & Harvard Business School say it should be done. In essence their philosophy is ‘fail fast, fail cheap’. There’s more seminars to come but I left with a great template for a bit of a staff brainstorming session.

The point being we all need to innovate to grow. Many are happy with incremental growth, improving efficiencies etc, but there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious. One management guru from the North said he admired our business acumen down south but “for gods sake”, says he,” get over your charming humbleness”. We’re sometimes too subtle apparently. Indeed that trait could be seen in our Bloom gardens. Successful as they were they didn’t exactly deliver the simple message that we sell synthetic grass.

There’s a marketing message for everyone there. Your USP* must be clearly and easily communicated. I remember my uncle Barry, when admonishing me about being overly modest about my rugby career- such as it was – quoting some verse or other from the Bible ” hide not thy light under a bushel”.

It’s been highlighted elsewhere that as a profession ‘landscaping’ is underrated. It’s just gardening. For fucks sake, we transform the environment, bringing order to chaos, beauty and life to neglect and decay. We have he vision. Most people lack our skill – they just see an overgrown shrub or an ugly garden, we see what it can be and make it so. We make an honest living by the sweat of our brows and the application of our skills and vision. Henry’s a proud man tonight. So too should we be.

Mark 🙂

* unique selling proposition