Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

How to translate the clichés in business talk


How to translate the clichés in business talk

There are many clichés in business and in life that turn out to be true: phrases like ‘You have to pay your dues’ and ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’. Part of gaining experience as an entrepreneur is learning what such phrases actually mean.


I work in the arts, media and entertainment world, mixed in with a heavy dose of social enterprise. I describe the ‘job’ I do in my portfolio career as being a ‘media, publishing and social entrepreneur’.


Early on in my career I went to a conference where a speaker said, in all seriousness: ‘Publishing is about fame, sex, money and power!’ It wasn’t a notion I agreed with, and I felt he was drastically missing the point.


Here lies the nub of the problem: there are always going to be individuals in your industry who don’t play fair in order to get what they want. If you thought you’d escaped ‘office politics’ by becoming an entrepreneur, think again. It continues to exist everywhere.


I have been a victim of ‘politics’ several times. For example, ‘politics’ scuppered a publishing project of mine that was due to be confirmed as a Millennium Project, simply because an executive in a powerful position wanted to put forward his own idea. Fortunately, over time you get better at dealing with instances like these and come to know how to avoid the traps.


‘Paying your dues’ turns out to mean that you learn in adversity how to be successful over time. What you might think are ‘free lunches’ often tend to come with strings attached. These strings may leech fame (credit), sex (popularity), power (influence) and money (resources) away from your most important asset - you.


So what, I hear you ask, is the antidote to this merry-go-round of politicking? In business as in life, take care to build positive relationships and help other people. The ‘fame, sex, power and money’ in your career will then look after themselves.


Have you found yourself dealing with unnecessary politics or what clichés have you encountered? Share your story with me in the comments below!

Thought Leader

Thanks for contributing Chris!

If you'd like to know more about Chris - he is the Head of Crowdfunding at Crowdpatch. Chris has had a portfolio career spanning 25+ years of in-house and freelance book publishing, television, digital media, music and film. Chris was Research Director at StoryCode, the online recommendation engine for fiction that featured on BBC TV’s DRAGONS’ DEN.