How Hamlet is helping me build an agency

‘To be or not to be-that is the question.’

So speaks Hamlet in one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines. It’s a line I’ve thought about quite a bit lately as I’ve started to think about the next phase of my agency’s growth. What on earth has that line got to do with your agency’s future Michael, I can hear you say?

Well, it’s a good question and here’s the answer.

The question for me is not to be or not to be. It’s a question of to do or to be. Let me explain. For most of my working life, I’ve had to-do lists. Those never-ending lists of things you know you have to get done, either for yourself or your clients. We all know that you can never get to the end of them, but they are a lovely comfort blanket for those people like me who are obsessed with getting things done. They are also a great way to make sure you don’t miss anything important. But, here’s the thing. The to-do list isn’t your most influential list. It’s certainly not your most important list when you’re trying to build a business, keep yourself well and look after others. In doing that, you need your all-important to-be list.

In our business, we want to be more creative, more strategic and more proactive this year. In my life, I want to be kinder and more supportive of others. And, in looking after myself, I want to be more aware of how important sleep is. You get the picture. There’s a vast difference between a to-do list and a to-be list, although both are important. I use my to-do list to get things done efficiently. I use my to-be list to plan the kind of life I want, the sort of business I want to build and, most importantly, the person I want to become. 

To do or to be. That’s the question.