by John Passmore
Have you noticed how blokes watching the DVD always flinch when Ruth Curzon comes on.
“I’m a single mum,” she says. “I’ve got two small children but I can still find time every day to do this business without a problem.”
You can just imagine her multi-tasking, making appointments at the school gate – saying she’ll pop round for a coffee and a chat as if that really is all she’s going to do.
No wonder women are so much better at this business. Men either go to work or go fishing.
But if you added up Ruth’s working day, how much time do you suppose she’s talking about?
Today I found out. Today I was a single Dad. Tamsin had taken our oldest to an audition in Cambridge, number two son was sailing and number three played tennis all day.
That left just me and Lottie. Lottie is eight and quite happy to spend all her time drawing and writing long and amazingly detailed stories about people getting married and having babies. But I really didn’t want to leave her to her own devices for hours on end. It seemed a waste of that “quality time” we’re supposed to have with our children.
However, writing this blog every evening does put me under a certain amount of pressure. How can I admit that today I decided I just didn’t need to speak to six people? So the question was, how fast could I do that – and without cheating.
It was probably this pressure that persuaded me to wander across the car park by the tennis courts to the plumber sitting in his van: “Excuse me, I’m on the lookout for plumbers – not for the pipes or anything. I’m just keen on having plumbers in my business. Would you be interested in earning some more money alongside what you do already?”
Turns out he wasn’t – but who cares, he was prepared to listen and I was up and running. Best of all it was still only 9.30 in the morning.
Of course the real reason for the excitement was because I have this theory that if you put in the effort then for some unaccountable reason, opportunities will start popping out of the woodwork.
Well, out of the letter box, actually. When I got back I found the postlady had left a little magazine called The Services Directory – and it was full of adverts from small businesses…
I started off with ten texts and immediately got two replies. One of them wanted to look at the website – and as a bonus, so did the man from Federal Express who interrupted me by delivered the dog’s whelping box.
On a roll now, I tried ringing some of the adverts – and found a woman who ran a cleaning company who said she was interested. Hey I was up to five already!
By the time Lottie came in with her painting of a mermaid for my pin board, I’d done my six – and all in 90 minutes. So off we went shopping – and since we were on our own, we decided to award ourselves a pub lunch.
And it was over the lunch that a customer sent me an email with the MAC code for his broadband and somebody called David replied to one of those ten texts and wanted me to call at 7.00 p.m.
As it turned out I was too late and obviously the football had started.
So what. He can be one of the six tomorrow…