Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 is a beautiful representation of the dull, mindless slog most people feel like they go through every single day, in order to get their paycheque at the end of the month, with no recognition, resulting in making rich men richer. The chorus is extra-specially fun…
“Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’
Barely gettin’ by, it’s all takin’ and no givin’
They just use your mind and they never give you credit
It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it
9 to 5, for service and devotion
You would think that I would deserve a fat promotion
Want to move ahead but the boss won’t seem to let me
I swear sometimes that man is out to get me!”
Well boo-hoo, Dolly. Boo-hoo.
Last night at about 11pm I walked into my room in Tignes, France, and heard the ever-common sound of the PistenBully doing what it does best: Prepping the piste. When I woke up at 6am, I heard them again.
Left: 23:00 / Right: 06:00
For those who don’t know how a standard ski resort operates, it’s quite simple:
- Open lifts at designated time.
- Let people ski/snowboard all day while you (a staff complement of hundreds)operate lifts, restaurants, etc. servicing said snow-lovers.
- Close lifts at designated time.
- Using heavy machinery, work through the night to prep pistes for the following day.
Ski resorts are not 9 to 5. They’re 24/7. Take everything else out of the equation, like the hotels and restaurants and bars that service the ‘town’ side of things, and the ‘mountain’ side of the operation is still a monumental task that runs all day and all night. Your ski pass gives you access to the slopes over a period of time, and when you’re enjoying your après-ski after a hard ride on the mountain, people are getting to work to ensure your next day is just as amazing.
Which got me thinking about the current standard of work, especially working hours (thanks Dolly). There’s massive pressure from employees these days – driven quite strongly I believe by the woe-is-me millennial culture – to BYOD, work flexi-hours or flexi-location. Basically to have everything their way and work how they want to work. Which is great. Seemingly tough to manage as most corporations are trying to get it right, however with security issues, larger companies are generally struggling to get this to work while maintaining a level of comfort in their leadership teams. You know, because staff can’t be trusted, right? 🙂
On the flip-side, though, this still focusses on physical man-hours. Your staff spending time doing stuff. Whether it’s 9 to 5, or at 3am, it’s your people getting things done. But what if you didn’t have to have your people spending time to make you money? What if you made money while you slept?
There are a few ways this is possible, like:
- Outsource work to people all over the world. This is beneficial from a project-based perspective, as all outsourcing is budgeted for and allocated accordingly, helping you plan your finances.
- Build something once, sell it a hundred times over.
I’m particularly partial to the second option.
While ski resorts have shifts of individuals doing the work, they also have lifts and stations that were built once, and are being used over and over again to make the company money. Do they need maintenance? Of course. But what doesn’t?
So my questions is this: What can you implement in your business that you’d only have to make once, but could be sold over and over again?
Would love to hear your thoughts.
Originally posted on LinkedIn.