Fail to Plan and You Plan to Fail, and Over Night Success

I was at the Hoy half marathon last Sunday in Orkney. An excellent event and a good day out. I was impressed by the comradery of all the competitors. It almost made me think about running, almost! What came to mind as I saw the event unfold was that as spectators we only see the performance and in our case only the last mile as they approached the finish line.

An event like this is a good case of “fail to plan and you plan to fail. ” You cannot undertake an endurance race like this without preparation and planning.  We rarely ever get to see the planning and all the practice that made that performance possible.

fail to plan and you plan to fail.

Tim Ross came over the finish line 1 hour 18 minutes and good 9 minutes ahead of the second placed runner. Quite an achievement but it does not happen by accident. Apparently, he was 50 metres ahead of the pack at the start after the first couple of hundred metres.

fail to plan and you plan to fail.

We did not see the runners at the start of the race. Neither did we see them as they made their way along the undulating course and up and down some punishing hills. Likewise, we did not see the days and weeks of training that went ahead of just being able to finish this race, let alone win it.

We did see Kevin Hancock of Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers. Today I learned that he also took part in the recent marathon in Edinburgh finishing in 4 hours 8 minutes. I did not even know that he was a runner. I thought he was the usual unfit insurance guy. Well, did I get that wrong!

John Inman The Over Night Success

It reminds me of the actor John Inman who after appearing as Mr Humphries in. “Are You Being Served?” When asked what it was like to be an overnight success? He merely replied that after 25 years pounding the boards in repertory theatre all around the country he did not think it was an overnight event, but had been a long time coming based on hard work and dedication.


A Business is all about steady progress

Isn’t this like a business. We see a successful business and we immediately think that they must have found the magic formula. We rarely notice or even consider that this may be the second generation in that business which has had steady growth until in finally pops up and gets our attention.

Fail to Plan and You Plan to Fail

Today I am speaking about the birth of your business. I know that you maybe wanted fanfares but in reality, it is going to be a slog. It will be easier and grow better if you have done the groundwork. There is an old expression “Fail to plan and you plan to fail”. You have to do the preparation and I spoke about this in the last few weeks. Today you open the doors of your shiny new business. At the point of its birth, what do you need to do? How can you make sure it prospers in those first few days and months?

Are you running your business on these principles or do you have another system, I would be interested to hear your thoughts. As ever, any thoughts or questions on other aspects of tax planning, please call or email.

Call us on 0800 180 4401 or email

Slaying your tax dragons and making life less taxing!

Alan Long
The Long Partnership

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