February 27, 2017
April 26, 2017

For those of you who follow my sometimes-ranting, opinion pieces, you will know that I am always on the lookout for new business strategies and I have a hot new one for you this month. It is inspired by the great philosopher Winnie the Pooh, and his famous saying “Oh bother”. If you want to build a stress-free business just become a Why Bother, One-hit Wonder.

Here’s the thing:

It would seem that the why bother, business philosophy is fast becoming the number one business strategy for companies big and small.

It makes perfect sense. “Why bother doing the job correctly,” says the electrician, while installing new garden lights. “Instead of sealing the fittings why not leave them unsealed so that water can flow freely through the electrical connections. This would increase the “current” and eventually the tide will trip the entire house”.

 “Why bother, completely sealing the roof”, says the roofing guy, “when we can just do half the job, charge the full price and wait for the customer to complain. Then we will blame the customer, or the supplier or Zuma or Zilla or El Zinio (I didn’t have another “z”). Hey, why even bother returning the phone calls of the irate customers. If we ignore them long enough they will go away! It really doesn’t matter if they don’t do business with us again because we’ve hit them with our bill and they’re wondering what the hell to do about it. We’re one hit wonders.

And just in case you think that the why bother, one-hit wonder philosophy only pertains to tradesmen – Nope.

“Why bother repairing his knee perfectly?” says the specialist surgeon. “We will just hit the medical aid with a wonderful bill and we won’t even bother seeing the patient again when he comes to our rooms in pain 3 weeks later”.

“Why bother”, says the dental surgeon “removing the tooth with care and precision? He’s the one who will suffer pain weeks on end. And if he is desperate enough he will come back and I will give him more pain until he stops coming back and finds a dentist who actually cares and knows what he is doing. I have his medical aid money and besides what’s he going to do about it? There are so few of us left in this country that my diary is full of stupid, sick, desperate rabbits and I am a God.”

I hear that we also have a few Why Bother speakers in my industry. “Let’s charge clients in excess of R40 000 per keynote, some as much as R86 000 per keynote”. I know!! I nearly fell of my bar stool too. The real scary part is that some corporates are dumb enough to pay these fees. (The mind boggles). “We know that we can never deliver content to justify these fees, but so what! We’ve made a sale based on a fancy website, a B.S CV and credentials, and who cares if the client never books me again? I have his money and it’s easier to find a new sucker than to perform and build a client. So why bother?” In out, wham bam, thank you Sam!

Why bother doing my job properly? They can’t get rid of me, I am protected by the labour board or the CCMA or my union.

Why bother managing properly when I can just make excuses, blame other people, the economy, or the rand dollar exchange. If push comes to shove I will simply be shifted sideways to another management position.

Why bother opening emails, answering the phone or getting stressed?

I can hear you saying, you should bother because they can be reported and there will be consequences. What far off, alien planet are you from? 3 years later I am still waiting for a response from the medical and or dental Association. Tradesmen do not fear the labour board or the ombudsman because they are, for the most part: toothless, incompetent bodies filled with Why Bother practitioners.

If you think about it, this is pretty genius stuff. You never have to worry about customer service, complaints or ongoing annoying people who want what they pay for.

Good news – my research now shows that the Why Bother system is now prevalent in marriages and relationships too.

It’s pretty genius for relationships. Why bother trying to understand your partner and to do the things that you know will build the relationship and foster a feeling of love? Why bother working on the relationship, they won’t leave? Why bother spending the time, making an effort, asking, working on it, doing the little things, focusing on the big things, it’s just too much bother.

If you want a stress free, no effort relationship just say, “stuff it!” and don’t be bothered, always live by the saying, “I just can’t be bothered!”

How to implement the Don’t Bother, one-hit wonder business philosophy?

You just have to make promises based on skills you do not have, hardly bother to pitch or perform, insist on most of the money upfront and then disappear. They will wonder why things don’t work and they will wonder where their money has gone but you can just move on to the next mark.

Why bother building a relationship with a customer? The energy and the effort are just too much. It’s easier to find a new trusting human than to be bothered doing the job.


Knowing that this philosophy is rife in business today you have an amazing opportunity to make more money than you can spend if you just bother to do what everyone else can’t be bothered to do.

If your name is attached to anything make sure it is perfect every time.

No matter what job you do; do your best and take pride in your name, brand and reputation.

People who actually do bother and who do not want to ‘one-hit wonder’ other people, build solid relationships and are referred to others. If you are truly serious about building a relationship (personal or professional) it’s all in the ‘bother’. The more you bother the more the relationship grows.

It really bothers me when people just can’t be bothered. I bother to send thank you notes to every client. I bother to get written feedback from all my audiences. I bother to have all the feedback analyzed in a report and sent to the client. I bother that if I don’t get an “A” or “A+” rating by more than 80% of the audience, I will give the client their money back. I bother to watch my pricing and to always give value. I bother to send my clients birthday wishes as well as a personal text message. I bother to customize and create new presentations and to keep communicating with my customers. It really is no bother. It’s my pleasure. I suppose that’s why I’m still around 25 years later.

If you know of people who do bother then you should tell others about them. Let’s start a network of people who go the extra mile, do a professional job and … who bother. Those who don’t bother will one day be in the Pooh!

Thank you for bothering to read this it was really no bother writing it for you.


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