Don’t let this stuff suck the joy out of building your business

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There are two mindsets towards Health & Safety (in fact all compliance) that I see in business.

One sucks the joy out of starting, building and growing a business. The other enables solid progress and puts all that compliance stuff in its place.

Can you guess which one the most successful businesses have?

Let’s be honest, nobody really likes dealing with the health & safety issues within their business. Why would they? It’s far from the most exciting subject. Of course every business owner aims to meet their obligations regarding the relevant legislation. But enjoy it, look forward to it, no way.

Nobody starts a business and says “Wow, I can’t wait to write a Health & Safety Policy” – In fact I’d worry about them if they did! But how you approach health & safety is important. And not just because the safety issues of your business need resolving, but because your energy and focus towards other business matters are affected if you choose the wrong mindset.

So…..the two mindsets:

The first: Imagine an ostrich sticking its head in the sand. That’s pretty much the first mindset. It comes with the hope that all the hassle, frustration and work of getting the health & safety sorted for a business will just magically take care of itself….or go away if ignored for long enough. As you can probably guess, this mindset does little for progress, compliance or the owners peace of mind. This mindset is common among business owners. The snag with this mindset is that it tends to leech into other areas of business management. This mindset sucks energy, slows progress and is contagious.

The second: Imagine you’re taking up chess. You’d be very keen to understand the rules. You’d rightly assume that, to succeed in chess, you need a thorough grasp of every potential way you could get your ass kicked. This is similar to the second mindset that (less) people take towards health & safety in their business. These people understand that health & safety and all those other pesky compliance issues are just the rules of the game. They accept the UK has a complicated legislation framework. They fully understand these rules are real, whether they like them or not. After all, how successful would one be at chess, after a half assed look at the rule book?

It’s not about whether we personally think business compliance is to strict. It’s about business effectiveness. Which mindset is the most effective in enabling a business to succeed. Which rejects truth, in the hope of an obstacle free future and which accepts reality, for better or worse, and shapes itself to meet that reality. Often, the most successful businesses understand the rules better than the legislators who enforce them. With some early effort, time and shrewd thinking, health & safety can just tick along in the background. An emotion free cog, quietly turning away in your business system.

At the end of the day, health & safety isn’t the thing. Building your business is the thing. Business compliance can sometimes suck the life out of building and growing a business. It takes courage, blind faith and nerves of titanium to start and grow a business. You need your energy and enthusiasm high for the road ahead. Any mindset that helps with that, must be a good thing.











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