Three Business Wishes. A Folk Tale for our Times.

Genie Lamp with smoke

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

‘A- lad-in a bit of a stew was walking home from work one day when he came across a lamp. Well, having heard the story and being so fed up, of course he felt compelled to give it a bit of a rub. 

‘This is ridiculous! I can’t believe I’m doing this, but it’s either this or another lottery ticket’.

Now if you were expecting a large man with a shaven head and red baggy pantaloons to appear, come on, it’s 2018 and he’s in the middle of the high street! No, he heard instead a digital voice coming from the lamp,

‘Greetings master!  

(The genie still liked a bit of tradition.) 

‘I am the genie of the lamp. I am yours to command. I can grant you three wishes. What is your first wish?’

‘OMG’ thought the lad, quickly taking out his phone so no one would think he was talking to a lamp,

‘Well I am sick to death of my boss. She is so demanding. She can’t make her mind up, constantly  interfering, checking every little thing I do and nothing’s ever good enough. I can’t remember the last time we just had a chat about how the business is going, how I’m doing. I really wanted to work myself into management but she’s never got time to help me. I’d like to leave but it’s good pay, I’m not sure.  Argh, sorry I’m just ranting on.’

‘No problem,’ said the genie, ‘just think now, what will be your first wish?’

‘I know exactly’, said the lad, ‘I wish I was my own boss!’

The next day he found a text in his phone with details of his business, premises, customers, website, the works. He had his own fledgeling business and he was super-excited! 

‘My own boss! Now I can put all that effort into my own business and reap the rewards. I won’t ever have to take any of her crap again. Freeeeeeeeeedoooom! And he set out with a brave heart.

After six months he went back to the lamp,

‘Argh, this business! I’ve got so much work on I can’t think straight. I’m working longer and longer hours. It’s eating into my weekends too, I couldn’t tell you the last time I went for a pint, never mind a game with the lads. This isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I wonder if I made the right decision… but then I just have to think of my old boss and I know I cannot go back. I need to persevere. Genie, I need help. I wish I had help!’

The lad, now a man really, goes back to work the next day to find he has a team of six people chomping at the bit to get stuck in. 

‘Brilliant’, he thinks, ‘now I can be the boss I would like to have had and I can leave them to it and start to get my life back. Happy days!’

A year or so passes and the man returns to the lamp. (Is that a touch of grey at his temples?)

‘Give me strength! These people are doing my head in! I asked you for help last time but all you’ve done is given me six times the work. I have to check everything; they can’t seem to match my standards. I can’t take time off because I can’t trust them to get on. Every little thing needs my attention. I cannot plan ahead or think about opening other stores because I’m stuck with all this tedious, petty nonsense. I’m not going to have any customers left; our consistency is non-existent and don’t even get me started on productivity. I could do it all quicker myself. Then someone leaves and we’ve got to recruit again and train again; it’s draining my profit and time. I just don’t know how to change it. I look back on those heady days when it was just me…

Okay! I’ve one wish left but I’m not making the same mistake twice. I’m going to be much more specific – here goes:

I wish I had a team I can trust, who work consistently and productively, who work the same when I’m not there, who are full of ideas, energy and enthusiasm. I wish I had a strong second line, almost a clone of me, to take on my responsibilities so I can come and go as I please. I wish my business ran smoothly and was such a great place to work that people didn’t leave and our customers stayed. That we have a first class reputation. That people work as if it were their name above the door and can take pride and ownership. That I have financial and time freedom. Okay,’ he paused, ‘I think I have thought of everything so here goes, that is my third wish genie, thank you!’

‘Ah!’ said the genie, with a knowing smile, ‘I know exactly what you need; you need great systems. They will enable the high-performing team you desire and I will grant you a strong second line. Your wish is my command’ and he granted the man his fully systemised business.

A year later the genie can’t quite believe it when he is summoned for a fourth time by the man (who is now looking tanned, chilled and ten years younger), ‘Master, why have you returned, I can only grant three wishes!’

‘Ah genie’, said the man, ‘well, the problem is I’ve got all this spare time on my hands…’

Do one thing: Try and find a genie lamp, or sign up for one of our two-day Systems4Scale Bootcamp where we start to make wish number 3 a reality. 

Follow this link here to read our brochure, and email us at for more information or to sign up!

Upcoming Dates: 13th & 14th June 2018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.