Our neighbours are selling their house. The selling agent said if they want to get the best price, they should give it a lick of paint. And so the decorators are outside today painting the railings.
There’s no doubt that a fresh coat of paint will brighten the place up ready for auction day. But it won’t be long before the rust begins to show through the paint on those railings again. Painting the exterior might revamp the face of the building, but it won’t improve the fabric. If the owner was planning to stay, my guess is he’d invest in the fabric of the building—not just a facelift.
As business owners, we’re presented with a similar choice every day. Should we do that hard work of investing in the fabric of our business, or should we go for the shortcut of the facelift?
It’s easy to tell a story that on the surface of it will attract people’s attention. But attention is fleeting—it’s not a solid foundation upon which to build a sustainable business or a lasting legacy. If you’re playing a long game, it’s better to work on the fabric of your story than on the face of it.
Image by Henry & Co