Why being lazy can be good for business

AUTHOR Q&A: Tom Hodgkinson, author of Business for Bohemians, offers entrepreneurial advice for the creative type.

by Kate Bassett
Last Updated: 21 Oct 2016

What made you write this book?

Most business books are big boasting sessions written by millionaires. There seemed to be a gap for a funny, humane business book that talked honestly about the difficulties of running a small business. I wanted to demystify the spreadsheet, learn to love digital marketing and encourage bohemians to become a little more money-focused. I'm afraid that through most of the book I was more Basil Fawlty than Richard Branson.

Can bohemians really make decent entrepreneurs? The bohemian mindset has much in common with the entrepreneurial mindset: it's all about freedom. They are people who are temperamentally unsuited to the nine to five. Damien Hirst and many artists, TV chefs, writers and actors have taken their own creativity and turned it into a successful business. So yes, bohemians can make decent entrepreneurs. But they have to shed their distaste for profit!

You say crowdfunding is the most difficult thing you've done. Why?

People have the idea that you make a video, put it out online and watch the dollars roll in. In fact, you have to raise pretty much every penny through hard sweat. And that means trudging round with your laptop, presenting your business plan and slide deck to potential investors. Although the process was hell, it forces you to think through every detail of your business. And it worked, so I am not complaining. Just take your time: it took us six months. And don't ask your friends for money.

When is laziness a virtue?

Laziness means time to think and do nothing. It can mean efficiency too, because it's the lazy ones who invent clever ways of doing things. It is also creatively fertile: doing nothing produces ideas.

Business for Bohemians: Live Well, Make Money, is published by Portfolio Penguin, £12.99

Image credit: Michael Nutt/Wikipedia

Tags:

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Where have all the people gone?

Why are businesses moaning there aren’t enough people to fill their vacancies? Are employers looking...

What's in store for 2022?

To help glide into 2022 more smoothly, MT asked a range of experts to share...

How to manage addiction and maintain sobriety

Struggling to cope? Try this 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique.

What's Lord Alan Sugar really like as a leader?

Lord Alan Sugar is back on our screens as the formidable boss in the latest...

How to boost staff morale

MT Asks: What is your company doing to motivate staff as another year of the...

"Learn from my mistake - don’t be reliant on one supplier'

5 Minutes With… Rosie Khandwala, ethical beauty pioneer and founder of Sugar Coated.