How do you eat an elephant?

A few of you may remember that a few months back, I cycled 1000km around the UK in aid of Hospitality Action.

When I made the slightly odd decision to do it back in January (2021) – deep into lockdown, I never really gave it much thought. It just kind of evolved as an idea very quickly, and I didn’t overthink it.

I knew it was a good idea, but I had no idea what and how it would all pan out. But I started.

Fast forward 7 months: At the end of the ride, as I was driving (on my way back) from Scotland in the motorhome that I had rented, it suddenly struck me that what I had just done was bonkers. I was miiiiles away. In SCOTLAND. And I had ridden there. On my bike. All by myself. Day after day. Rain and shine. Relentless. Monotonous. But I had done it.

When I reached the end (in the Cambrian mountains), I stopped, had a cup of tea, a scone, a small beer and a slice of pizza and then turned around and drove home (well, my support driver drove home). No wild celebrations, no welcome party. Just me and my own warm glow of internal satisfaction knowing that I didn’t have to ride my bike again for the next…..well, ever if I didn’t want to. But stopping before then was not an option. I had made promises: to the charity, to my donors and most importantly of all, to myself.

So, that was my side hustle in the summer. My main hustle (my job) was deep in Covid (sleep) mode. I was working hard on it but let’s be honest, it wasn’t the best of times.

Fast forward again, and here we are. Back. And my business, Venue Performance, is bursting at the seams with energy, ideas, plans, developments and most of all, the willingness to help our clients build back better and stronger. It’s why I’ve added a new bit to our website that I believe genuinely reflects our DNA: Stronger Together.

To truly build back better and be stronger together as an industry, there’s the elephant in the room that needs addressing: Data.

With better data, you can do better things.

But data is complex, it’s unwieldy, and it has many owners. It’s also expensive and time-consuming, and when time and resources are at a premium, it’s easy to put it in the ‘to-do’ pile. It might also be intimidating. Heck, there are many, MANY reasons why NOT starting to sort and manage your data seems perfectly reasonable.

Yet, we all know the benefits of good data. It’s undisputed in the business world. But still, we make do.

There is an alternative approach, and it’s the wise words of my support driver (my brother) who gave me so much encouragement as I pedalled away in the downs, the dales, the peaks, the mountains, the ups and the downs. 

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

The most important thing to do is ‘just start’. Start somewhere. Start anywhere. Just start because data has a better idea.

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