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Smell What Sells

I love Alan Sugar’s gruff paternal manner in the BBC Apprentice show. They used to have an episode each series in which the contestants are dropped into a cash and carry of some kind. They are given a budget and get to buy stock to re-sell. Off they go for a couple of days to sell it. As they turn the stock back into cash, they can go and restock with whatever they choose from the cash and carry to repeat the process. The winner of the task is the team with the highest total of cash and stock

So, what’s interesting about this task and how will it help you reach your goals?

The winning team usually manages to identify what the fast-selling line is for the sales location that has been allocated to them and then doubles down by restocking big on that line. Frequently they don’t initially know what the best selling line is going to be, so they cast the net wide with a small number of lots of stock items and then when they see what is selling, they invest heavily in it.

Life is a bit like this. We often don’t know in advance what is going to work for us, what is going to be successful. But if we cast our initial net widely, by attempting lots of things. Seeing what works, what feels right. Then, and this is the important thing. When you find what is working, you must reduce your effort in other areas to double down on the successful one. You must put more time into it. You must invest a greater share of your effort and resources in it.

The key is to think about what is working in your life. Then when you have worked out what it is, do much more of it.

In the apprentice this is called “smell what sells”, for life we could rename this “smell what works!” Rather than wasting your efforts on what’s not working. Go full tilt at what is working. Become an expert at that. Life will feel easier. You will get more done and be known as the go-to person for that task.

I hope you will give “smell what works” a go! Remember we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.

Hi, I'm Luke Bream, the author of this blog, and one of the co-founders of Valentte. Thanks for taking the time to read about our journey.

We are small business based in Nantwich on an old dairy farm. We make affordable, luxurious home fragrance and natural skincare. It smells amazing, works like a treat and comes beautifully wrapped.

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