Julian’s Business Tips.. Help from Buckingham Palace

Help from Buckingham Palace

I’m writing this the day before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

In these days of limelight-seeking celebrity and the hunger for fame and recognition, the understated way he brilliantly supported the longest serving monarch in history is a remarkable achievement.

He also did a lot of good in his own right, and one of his greatest legacies is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

Like thousands of other teenagers, I was lucky enough to take part in the ‘D of E’ while still at school.

When my local paper interviewed me after I went to the Palace, they asked me what the hardest part was. That stumped me for a minute. Nothing was ‘easy’ – freezing in an icy tent in Snowdonia, first aid courses, horrid cross-country runs in plimsolls – but none of them was really difficult either.

The answer I gave was that the hardest part was keeping going – doing all the components of the bronze, then the silver, then the gold, over a 4 year period whilst being a teenager and trying to pass my exams. There were so many times when it would have been easy to stop – but I didn’t.

Those four years gave me ‘stickability’ – the ability to endure something, to persevere with something, to have staying power (some might say bloody-mindedness?).

When I first went out to work and self-doubt used to sneak up on me, it really helped to recall some of those memories and remind myself of my strengths.

These qualities are very important for everyone, but especially for small business owners and managers – you really need the persistence to follow your dream, to keep going.

Whilst I’m sure you have similar things that you reflect on to give you courage and confidence, as a young man I had Prince Philip to thank for mine. Thank you, Sir.