Why Magnus was so right…


Magnus? Who’s Magnus? For those of you of a certain vintage, you won’t need me to tell you, so please skip to the next paragraph. For those of you who are lucky enough to be below around 35, I’m talking about Magnus Magnusson, an Icelandic journalist who lived in Scotland for most of his life. He was the host for many years of a TV quiz show called Mastermind, and had a catch phrase ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’ if a question was interrupted by the buzzer for the end of a round, allowing the contestant the chance to answer.

As business owners, we all tend to like the bright and shiny new ideas. We like the next App that will save us time, and the new software or equipment that will show how successful we are, or just feed our gadget craving. We start new processes but dont’ necessarily bed them in, and start to implement new ideas that have worked well in other businesses.

What we don’t tend to do quite so well is finish!

  • The App is downloaded but not populated.
  • The new software is downloaded or installed, but never quite set up fully, so it sits, neglected for a while.
  • And we may not quite implement the new processes fully enough that they stick, and they fall by the wayside.

We fully intend to come back to them but we’re busy people…

We had a perfect illustration of this some time ago with a client company. They identified that a new piece of equipment was going to make a HUGE difference to their business, and would save them upwards of £100,000 a year, in return for an initial outlay of less than £15,000, a significant sum in itself. The equipment arrived, and sat in its box for months, because there was no-one with the time to implement it.

There will be examples in your business where the same is happening.

You’re spending money, or time, on starting a project, but it doesn’t quite get finished. I’m sure you can think of several examples if you take a few minutes.

Maybe you don’t need a few minutes to think of them!

My recommendation would be to sit down and make a list of the things that are started and not finished within your business this week, and channel Magnus ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’ and see what impact that could have.

You should also think about Magnus before starting anything else, to stop adding to the list of things you need to come back to, which becomes distracting in itself. If you can’t be 100% sure that you can finish something, either make a note of it for later, delegate it to a team member, or ignore it completely.

Adopting Magnus’ catchphrase could save you money, time and stress – what’s not to like?


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