How do you cope with the sloths?
<p>I work for myself because I like to think for myself. I'm one of those awkward souls that organisations in the West are going to have to learn to live with, if we're going to find a way to compete in a globalised world.<br /> <br /> I tend to have my own opinions, and I'm not very good at towing the party line. But I'd argue that the awkward squad are just the kind of people who will help to make change happen.<br /> <br /> But it's not easy being a freelancer in the world of regeneration. Without wanting to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doing_a_Ratner#The_speech">do a Ratner</a>, I'd like to politely suggest that there are plenty of organisations in the field of regeneration that are not particularly dynamic. And if I'm going to make money, I need to work with them. <br /><br /> My favourite business book is <a href="http://www.marketingjudo.co.uk">Marketing Judo.</a> In Marketing Judo terms, the organisations I'm referring to are sloths. Big, bureaucratic and slow. Fond of endless meetings. Staffed by people whose remuneration packages are not related in any way to the social change that they help to create (or too often stifle).<br /> <br /> Marketing Judo talks about how to spot and take on a sloth. By being fit, fast and focussed, you, as a small business, can run rings around them. All very well, but in the regeneration world you often have to find ways to partner with the sloths. That, for a freelancer, can be tough.<br /> <br /> What does it mean in practice? Loads of time spent trying to get contracts, filling in random tender documents. Constantly chasing people, and re-arranging re-arranged meetings. Endless re-juggling of diaries and cashflows as this month's planned work gets delayed til Christmas. The chance to change the world - strangled by bureaucracy.<br /> <br /> I'm not giving up. I think what we need if we're going to create change is increasing amounts of entrepreneurial energy. I find mine partly through working for myself. But I'm working hard to work out how to take on the sloths. <br /> <br /> Have you worked out ways to live with the sloths?</p>