Two big shows are running on our screens at the moment a Game of Thrones and Game of Votes.
The first is obviously a work of pure fantasy while the other is purports to be a reality show. But take a closer look and you'll discover that the reverse is true a something that those of us in business should heed!
History was never this exciting at school
Game of Thrones is fictional and set in a mythical world. And yet it is a mash up of real events from the past. You'll recognise Hadrian's Wall, the Wars of the Roses, Ghengis Khan and his marauding hordes, the world of Renaissance Italy and Machiavelli. What's more, the messages are pure realpolitik â trust no one, do unto others before they do unto you and be ruthlessly pragmatic at every turn.
Although it's fantasy every episode is full of valuable life lessons for those hell bent on success in the real world.
Trust me, it's going to be great
Game of Votes is obviously being played out in real time, by real people in the real world. And yet there's a huge element of fantasy to it. The politicians seem to inhabit another planet from the rest of us. What's more they are throwing out promises of how they'll provide us with the "good life" and a "fairer society" for "ordinary hard working families" with no regard to practical fiscal reality.
The cupboard is bare
A recent issue of Money Week (17th April) declares that "everything we hear from politicians is delusional". Despite George Osborne's talk of "rescuing" the economy we are more broke, as a country, than ever before. The editor points out that our total public debt is around 80% of GDP - up from just over 60% when the Conservatives took over. Is the figure coming down? No. She tells us that our underlying budget deficit is 6% of GDP so we're still spending about £90 billion a year more than is coming in.
Don't hold your breath
Over recent weeks all talk of austerity has disappeared. The party manifestos are stuffed full of give-aways and promises of extra spending on things close to our hearts, like the NHS, housing and education. The only way, however, that they can realistic deliver a fraction of these carrots, without going on a further borrowing spree, is by raising taxes or making massive cuts elsewhere (neither of which get a mention).
Even if one party manages to form a majority government (unlikely, despite what theyâre telling us) and doesnât have to appease coalition partners by watering down their pledges, thereâs little chance of them delivering on these promises â the numbers mean it just isnât going to happen.
Keep calm and carry on getting more customers
This sounds pretty pessimistic but the chances of anything going seriously wrong are slim. Weâll get a new government and things will carry on pretty much as before - a lot of talk, fudge and muddling through.
What does this means, and what should you do, if you run a business? We suggest that waiting for the politicians to make life easier and better for SMEs (another thing theyâre all promising, in the hope of getting the 15.2 million votes of those who work in the sector) is highly ill-advised.
Here at Leads to You weâre not going to worry about things outside our control that might or might not happen. Instead weâre going to concentrate on business as usual and work hard to generate lots of good quality leads for our clients. That way, whatever the future brings, weâll all be in good shape to cope with it.
Itâs a realistic and pragmatic approach thatâs closer to Game of Thrones than to Game of Votes!