You are your business 24/7

June 23, 2012

I remember being at primary school and one of my fellow pupils had done something against school rules.  Nothing unusual but this time the misdemeanour had been committed outside of school.  He got really told off by the teachers since they said he had ‘brought the school into disrepute’. 

I remember being really confused by this.  Firstly, why did the teachers think they had the right or the jurisdiction to tell him off when he was outside of school AND outside of school hours?  Secondly, what did his ‘crime’ have to do with the school – why did they say he brought the school into disrepute?  He wasn’t wearing his school uniform, nobody would have known what school he had gone to.

When I thought this whole thing through as a ten year old boy it did slightly freak me out! I was never a fan of school (although primary school was pretty good) and it made me think that the teachers owned me.  Did it mean that if I did something at home that was wrong, I could be punished at school?  Could I go to another county and do something wrong and it would be still under the rule of law from my school?  Would the power that the teachers had over the school kids ever end?  Would I still be bringing the school into disrepute if I did something wrong as a thirty-five year old man?

Hopefully not.  As I write this as a thirty-five year old man, as far as I’m aware, I am not still accountable to my teachers and won’t be ‘told off’ any time soon by a teacher if I make a mistake.  A comforting thought, since I never did ‘choose’ to go to school and sign up to their school values, my parents made me go there.

However, when it comes to yours and my business – different story.  If you are a business owner, there is no line.  You are your business 24/7 whether it is business hours or not, whether you are in a suit or not, whether you are ‘working’ or not, you are constantly looked at not just as a person but as a business owner.  You represent your business at all times.  You are unlikely to be ‘told off’ by anybody, but hopefully you will be attracting people to your business at all times rather than putting them off.

A sobering thought!


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