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We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.  Stay safe over the holidays and we will see you back here in the new year.

Merry Christmas from Admin Bandit.

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How long has it been since you saw or read the Scottish play? The Danish play? The Merchant of Venice? Did starting your own business rob you of the free time you need to read for fun? But what if I tell you that your business knowledge has enabled you with a certain set of skills that will allow you to read through the works of the Bard and perceive them from a new perspective? Some scholars read Shakespeare in the light of the Queer Theory, others try to find hidden messages in his works.

We are going to translate 3 business lessons from Shakespeare so that you can apply them at work and take advantage of their wisdom.

Lesson 1: All events, especially those involving other businesses, should be planned appropriately

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What happens if you don’t plan the way you should? Definitely a tragedy when the representatives of two competing businesses die, taking with them a number of other less important managerial and administrative personnel on their way. Before dying, the representatives took some really bad advice from a seemingly experienced business consultant, who encouraged them to sign a deal without waiting for the final decision of the CEOs and the board members (despite knowing what this decision would be). All in all, this was the result of very poor event planning, insufficient market research and almost no coordination in the actions of the board members.

Lesson 2: Never make promises you cannot keep

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This Shakespearean piece of advice is even more straightforward than the business wisdom we can draw from Romeo and Juliet above.  Another of the Bard’s famous plays, The Merchant of Venice, teaches us that the successful businessman should always keep his promises and failing to do so may cost you more than just money. When borrowing money for your business, always make sure you give it back on time or you may face serious financial consequences and even bankruptcy. Also, if you want to be trustworthy and respected by the people you make business with, don’t break your promises – not everyone is a sport like Bassanio’s wife, and failing to live up to expectations, may put an end to your business relationships with other parties. In addition to all this, The Merchant of Venice teaches us that it is always good to create new connections, because at the end of the day, that’s where we can find solutions to our problems.

Lesson 3: Be creative

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If you ever feel that you have lost your creativity and start becoming mediocre at what you do, start something new – in business, middling means failing. The townsmen of Angers found it really inappropriate to have to choose between the King of France and the King of England. So they came up with a very creative way to get out of it – they said they would support the rightful king. The problem, however, intensified when neither of the kings were happy with this solution, so they decided to join their armies, sack the town and fight over it. This again put the townsmen between a rock and a hard place, but also motivated them to be even more creative. As a result, they came up with the idea of a royal marriage that would solidify the bond between the royal families and make it unnecessary for them to choose a side. Their plan was so brilliant that it actually worked and although it completely messed up the relationship among the royals and resulted in bloodshed, the townsmen were left out of it. The conclusion? Always maintain that creative element in your business strategies that will help you save your business.

To cut a long story short, Shakespeare, was many things including a natural businessman. These three business lessons are only a small part of his infinite corporate wisdom and we hope we have opened a new door for you. Next time you are re-reading your favourite play or sonnet, make sure you look for a piece of advice in it. Chances are, you can find something in every work by Shakespeare that can successfully be applied in your business. Happy reading!

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We thought that it was time for a touch of humour and luckily we found this poem by Helen Silverwood of Personalised Poems.

If you are an entrepreneur you will relate to this.
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A Poem for Entrepreneurs.

I’m staring at the screen,
On this sunny day today;
Got to get my work done,
Before I rest or play!

My work is never done though,
I’m feeling tired and grey;
I need a break, I’ve had enough,
Though to live I need some pay!

But if I have a little break,
Perhaps 10 minutes per hour;
I find my productivity,
Really starting to flower!

It’s difficult to stop though,
When the target is the sky;
And when it’s your own business,
You’re bound to reach up high!

You want to make your fortune,
But it’s not worth killing yourself!
You need some sleep, you need some rest,
To ensure you keep your health!

If you enjoy what you’re doing,
Then you’re probably onto a winner;
But make sure you have a break when you can,
Even just for sleep or dinner!

 

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Doing it differentlyThe NSW Government are consulting with the Centre for Social Impact to develop a pilot Social Impact Bond in New South Wales. An article in Online Opinion reports on the anticipated outcomes of such a program.

A Social Impact Bond (SIB) is a financial agreement in which social investors such as corporations, private individuals, charitable trusts and foundations can invest for an agreed term of 3-7 years in an achievement of social outcomes to be delivered by a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) or a Not For Profit (NFP).

Successful SIBs in the US have included infrastructure development projects in New York City and the focus of a pilot SIB in the UK has been a program to increase the success rate of rehabilitation for prisoners with lower sentences.

Investors may consider SIBs a more sustainable alternative to gifting grants, as they can recycle their returns into other SIB programs, while covering many of their costs with the 7-13% interest on their investment. Having the ability to systematically analyse the evidence of the achievement of social impact by the NGO/NFP helps them to feel more engaged with the NFP.

The concept of the Government being able to share the financial risk of investment in NGO/NFPs is unique to Social Impact Bonds and is seen as an innovative social development with tangible benefits to all of the stakeholders. SIBs are now being considered in future planning by Governments, Investors, and NGO/NFPs alike.

It seems that social investors are willing to fund intensive early intervention programs over a longer timeframe and participating NFPs are provided with capital up front for investment in their programs. This encourages more creative development and earlier impact for their participants and beneficiaries.

NFPs that have working systems in place with proven positive outcomes and integrated systems of analysis and monitoring will make the most successful transition into a Social Impact Bond for their funding.

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This is a poem that has been circulating the internet for a while and it just seems so suitable for this blog.  I have no idea who wrote it but it is reputed to be by Dr Suess.  At the very least it is written in a similar style and with some humour.  I hope it puts a smile on your face!

The Lost Dr. Seuss Poem (I Love My Job)

I love my job, I love the pay!
I love it more and more each day.
I love my boss, he is the best!
I love his boss and all the rest.

I love my office and its location, I hate to have to go on vacation.
I love my furniture, drab and grey, and piles of paper that grow each day!
I think my job is really swell, there’s nothing else I love so well.
I love to work among my peers, I love their leers, and jeers, and sneers.
I love my computer and its software;
I hug it often though it won’t care. I love each program and every file.
I’d love them more if they worked a while.

I’m happy to be here. I am. I am.
I’m the happiest slave of the firm, I am.
I love this work, I live these chores.
I love the meetings with deadly bores.
I love my job – I’ll say it again – I even love those friendly men.
Those friendly men who’ve come today,
In clean white coats to take me away!!!!

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How to get the work done  (even when your mind is not on the job)

Some days are harder than others, aren’t they?  Iknow that some days I struggle to get things done and yet other times I seem to fly through the work.  I don’t like wasting my time so I have found a few ways to get things done even when your mind is not on the job.  These are my three secret tips to being productive even on your worst days.

1.  Clean up.
Even if youhate cleaning, there is something therapeutic about tossing things into the rubbish bin.  A clean work space is always more comfortable, too.  Just watch what happens to your mind when it has room to move in.  It is as though it suddenly has space in which to stretch out again and set itself free.

2.  Go for a walk.
Stretch your legs by going to get the mail or shopping for those office necessities that you have not had time to get.  Just get out of the office for a little while.  Grab a coffee or browse through the business magazines at your nearest newsagent.  It helps clear the fog for you.  A change of scenery is always a good thing if you want to release your thoughts.

3.  Daydream
I love to daydream.  People think i am not working but really I am at my most productive.  If your mind isn’t working it means that something is blocking it.  Daydreaming can reveal the issue but it also lets you come up with some incredibly creative ideas and solutions to all the things that have been holding you back.  Your brain will flit from idea to idea like a butterfly to a flower. Try it.

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I hear lots of people talking about social networking and the value it brings to their businesses.  I sometimes hear people questioning it and asking why it is of use?

Social networking means using systems like Twitter and Facebook to connect with others online.  It can do wonders for your business but only if you use it properly.  The best explanation of social networking and is value to business comes from Seth Godin.  This man ‘knows his stuff.’  If you are thinking of using social media for business, or you are using it and wondering why it isn’t working for you, you need to listen to this.  It’s a very short clip at under 3 minutes but the information in it is pure gold.

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