One of the sayings of my youth was “use it or lose it”. I never quite understood what it means but laterly in looking at the 3 Laws of Business and living in the purposeful paradigm, I am becoming more aware that if we can’t use something or haven’t used it in a while, perhaps we need to lose it.

The question that arises from that is why oh why do I have it in the first place. I love gadgets and the new but…

Advertising and Usefulness

One of the biggest culprits for me is that I am and I believe you may be too, a sucker for slick advertising.

Take a look at the new Apple Iphone advertisement. Amazing features but what pray tell will you do with your old iphone? How can you responsibly “lose it”. And really do you need all those cool new features?

The world wide campaign against plastic wrappers, bags, packaging is growing. Two questions arise from all of this:

  1. What do we do with the current lot of bags, wrappings and plastic that we have?
  2. How do we stop merchandisers creating big boxes and plastic wrappers to display their wares? What happens to the packaging once we open the product? Can we lose it before we buy it or maybe we should return all excess packaging to the store.

Unfortunately, I believe that  most of retailers would just put the packaging into landfill.


Buying only what I need is an illusion. I buy what I think I will need, might need or could need and that leads to waste.

Do you know what happens to all those car and truck tyres that need to be changed every “50,000” miles? If it is worthwhile they get sold or recycled but mountains of tyres exist.

I wonder if they could become the basis for homes for the homeless?

Do you know what happens to all that clothing that you no longer want to wear, I know several people with three and four closets full of clothing in different sizes. If you want to recycle be aware that most clothing shops only accept recent designer labels not anything more than a few years old with a “brand” label.

I wonder if there are children and adults in rags who want old clothing? 

Electronics waste- old computers, phones, televisions, tablets, stoves, fridges, microwaves, washing machines, and more: what can we do with the old ones, especially when we realise how toxic parts of them are? Some can have parts removed but in many places they just go to landfill and pollute the soil. 

I wonder if how they can be dismantled and reused?

Food is the number one waste product reports say. But we have millions of people going hungry. The major challenge is how do you get the food not used to the people that need it? That has always been the major challenge world-wide, whether it is corruption or lack of transport, moving the surplus from point A to those who need it?

I wonder if we should go back to buying what we need on a daily basis?

What would happen if we only bought something when we absolutely could not live without it?

What does this have to do with Business?

Needs change. Awareness changes, Commitment to a path changes. Clients change. 


And as it does business must respond. Here are just a few examples of changes.

  • Video stores are dying. Streaming has replaced the need for videos, CDS and other media today. Did the entertainment industry foresee this change?
  • Smoking habits changed as awareness of health issues are identified and laid at the feet of big tobacco. But what has happened to the tobacco growers? And cigarette manufactures were major supporters of sport, fashion and events? Has all that sponsorship money been replaced with healthier options?
  • As fast food is gaining a reputation for causing obesity problems, what is happening within these businesses?
  • Accountancy is changing as more and more business owners move to online tools from Xero and MYOB?
  • Online banking and payments have changed the way clients spend money and unless you accept credit cards, your business may not be paid for its services.
  • Many business meetings take place either on-line or in cafes.  This is having an impact on owners of leased offices.
  • Today a small printer can print brochures, flyers and other marketing materials totally personalised for the client. Printers are looking at other ideas.

So business needs to be aware of the use it or lose it mentality of their clients. They need to respond to trends without losing or committing resources to fads.

The snake oil merchant of the last century is still alive and well. They now work in marketing and IT. They create rigged demonstrations and slight of hand. They do an awesome magic show but be careful what you buy.

Research, awareness  and “Can I afford not to”

Clients are getting smarter. They use social media, google and other tools to check out the latest products and services at the best price. When money for essentials is tight, other choices are made. Instant everything matters and patience is a virtue that seems to be lost.

Transformation, change and looking for new ways of meeting client needs are the only way you can use it and prevent losing it. Take time every few months to review what is needed and why. And never ever get stuck in the “we’ve always done it that way” mode or you will LOSE.

Purposeful Business work understand and implement the 3 laws of business and understand the use it, change it or lose it mantra. 

Need help. Take a look at the mentoring programme and see if you qualify for the 50% government support.

Enjoy your purposeful success




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