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Tim Smith, Boost Business Relationship Manager, discovers the encouraging words to help businesses with recovery in a Paul Simon song.

I can hardly remember a time when I wasn’t a fan of Paul Simon. First as the creative half of Simon & Garfunkel and then for almost half a century afterwards, the consummate solo singer and songwriter. (If you’re under 35 and you haven’t heard of him, look him up).

On July 10, 2018, I had the privilege of seeing Paul Simon on his farewell tour. It was one of the red-letter days of my life. I’ll never forget the feeling of pure joy that the performance brought to me.

Simon is a brilliant wordsmith. He comes up with great phrases and fits words together in a way you wouldn’t think possible. He also manages to create thought provoking lyrics about all manner of issues that can set off trains of thought that  find useful in both my personal and professional life.

So, getting to the point, last week I was listening to the ‘There Goes Rhymin’ Simon’ album. The words of a particular song hit home as providing some timely lessons for us all as we attempt to reset, recharge and recover from lockdown and all the other restrictions associated from COVID-19.

The song is ‘Learn How to Fall’ and it contains these very meaningful lines:

You got to learn how to fall
Before you learn to fly

And also:

Oh it’s the same old story
Ever since the world began
Everybody got the runs for glory
Nobody stopped and scrutinised the plan.


I think the first part of the quote speaks for itself but the second part resonates with me as we hear about recovery, resilience and rebuilding after COVID-19.

There’s a lot of people offering help to SMEs and I’m proud to work with Boost which is providing a valuable service. But in our need to help businesses consider their future I think we need to take time to consider what we advise and the businesses need to consider their course of action carefully.

In time management speak they need to operate in ‘Box 2’. That is, preparing to deal with things that are important but not yet urgent.

Making decisions when things are urgent leads to hasty and often poor choices. I’m as guilty as the next person in this respect.

So not wishing to underestimate the seriousness of the situation we are facing and the need to develop robust strategies for us to bounce back, before we press the ‘go’ button lets listen to Paul Simon and ‘scrutinise the plan’.

Tim Smith is an experienced business advisor having worked with SMEs for over 25 years. He specialises in strategy development and implementation, sales, marketing, and change management.

To speak to our Business Relationship team at Boost, to discuss your business recovery plans, call: 0800 488 0057.

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