In this episode of the show, Michael and Simon are once more embarking on a long walk. Having completed the South Downs Way, they are now following the Pilgrims Way from Southwark to Canterbury. This is the trail immortalized in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales but was a well-used pilgrimage route before Chaucer and his companions made it famous.
History and Geography
This walk is very different to the previous one, and Simon and Michael reflect on the similarities and differences of walking these two well-known paths.
The Pilgrims Way offers greater diversity in the environment they walkthrough. For one thing, there are more obvious signs of the history of the route, and of the country. Michael and Simon consider the impact of history on the present day, and how we can draw lessons from the past. They discuss what the route, and the experience of walking it, might have been like for those pilgrims centuries ago. The historical sites and green spaces are broken up by industrial parks, a clear change from that long-ago experience.
Routes and Maps
Another big difference is the need for a map. The South Downs way is clearly signposted throughout, and it would be almost impossible to get lost. But the Pilgrim’s Way isn’t clearly marked, so they needed to refer frequently to the map. This led, of course, to a comparison with business. Many business owners find themselves going off-track, and they may not have a clear map to refer to recover their direction. Simon shares some great insights and pointers for how business owners can create their own map, and how best to use it to their advantage.
Each time they veered off the path, they would realise, consult the map, and get themselves back to where they needed to be. But that is not the only lesson to be drawn from this. There is also the fact that they were walking this road together.
Groups and Gurus
In the early days of setting up and running a business, entrepreneurs can feel lonely. They don’t know where to go for advice, or who to trust. They may turn to the so-called business gurus for help, but while many of them offer great information, they’re not all as good as each other, and it’s not always easy to tell them apart. Michael talks briefly of his own experience.
Simon is a great proponent of groups. Not just networking groups, but peer-to-peer support. He refers to a fantastic historical example that included some stars of the business world and then goes on to talk about how people can access this kind of support today. The benefit of a peer support group is that it grows into a tightly knit unit, where each member supports the others, cheers them on, celebrates their success, and offers practical support and advice to help solve problems. There are a number of opportunities available to get involved in this, or similar activities, sponsored by the government. Listen in to hear more details.
Simon also talks about the King’s Summit, an annual business event that he runs. This year, they are back to meeting in person, and one of the outcomes planned for the event is that attendees can connect with like-minded business people, and leave with the beginnings of a peer-to-peer support group established. There is much more to the summit though, and to find out what’s on offer and how to access it, with a spectacular ticket price, listen in to the show.
PILGRIMS WAY – To Recap
Michael and Simon walk together and talk together. They discuss aspects of their own businesses and business in general. They share insights and tips that benefit any business owner, whether just starting out, or already well on their way to their destination.
Michael CraneEntrepreneur, Business Owner, Presenter
Michael has built and runs a successful business for the last twenty years. He’s learned many lessons—some of them the hard way—and he’s met and talked with many other businesspeople. He’s sold thousands of products and learnt the one hundred and one things needed to run a thriving business. Now he’s bringing this knowledge and experience to educate, motivate and inspire other entrepreneurs.
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