Tom Hodgkinson has made a career - and a business - promoting the benefits of loafing and idleness through his Idler magazine and Idler Academy.
“The 9-5 is depressing,” he says. “Doing the wrong thing with your life makes people mentally unwell and extremely unhappy. I’m trying to encourage people to make time for idling, be it walks, fishing, philosophy, reading, whatever – its up to you - but you have to find time for yourself to do it. Longer hours do not equate to greater productivity.”
“It’s about keeping the priorities in your life but also getting the balance right between following your heart’s desire and the commercial realities of making that happen. Socrates said it’s about finding the right life for you. Stick to what you know and what you do well and you can then make good judgements about it.”
As for his tips for business owners, Hodgkinson says the reality is that things are going to be tough in the first few years, but you can’t get depressed at failure or things not working out.
“Bear in mind,” he says. “That even if things aren’t working out, people have a lot of respect for you still in striking out on your own.”
He also advocates becoming a keen student of business itself, and learn to appreciate even the likes of spreadsheets!
“You’ll spend so much time with them anyway you might as well try and enjoy it. It’s a bit like ordering all your shoes in neat pairs and you can feel good about yourself when it’s done.”
Tom Hodgkinson’s latest book, Business for Bohemians, is for people who want to enjoy work, everyday life and make a living from it all the same time.
You can check out the full Ready Business Podcast series here.