What children's rugby can teach us about business development

When we introduce children to Rugby, one of the first things we teach them is how to pass a ball. 

Passing is a fundamental of the game and really important to learn well early on. To help children learn to pass we teach them a technique called the Magic W. 

This is where they hold the ball in both hands, thumbs together and their hands form a W shape. Then when they want the ball to go to someone, they simply line up their thumbs with that person and pass the ball. Done right the ball flies straight to them – these are kids of course and it still takes practice, but the technique makes it easy for them to learn and master quickly. It takes something complicated and makes it simple. 

By teaching passing this way it’s easy for the kids to understand, easy to put into practice, and above all, it works.

In business, when we want to go in the right direction we often manage to complicate things. There are lots of variables in business. Lots of things to think about, to control and decide on. Just like passing a rugby ball. 

However, we are not kids, we are grown up, so we often forget that making things simple usually makes them easy to learn and put into practice. 

Shouldn’t we just just stop and put our thumbs together, line things up and pass. The answer is yes of course, but to do this we need to stop and look at things objectively. 

The Magic W’s of our business

To simplify our business developement we first need to understand the Magic W’s of our business, We need to understand our Why, Who, What and Where:


Why should our potential clients use us? What is special about what we do?

What is our message and when we tell people what we do, do they really understand how we help people?

What is it that we can do for them that they see real benefit in?


Who are our ideal target clients? Do we really understand who we should be doing business with?

Who within our client base are the clients we love to work with and who truly value our service? – these are the kind of clients we really should be focused on.


What is our plan, our strategy, our system?

What do we do now that works that we should do always and more of?

What else should we be doing?

What are we doing to find and be found by these perfect people?

What is about effort. What is activity. What is about doing things.


Where are we focussing our Why, Who and What?

Where are we spreading our referable message – with what groups and what strategic partners?

Where are we where we should be, and where are we really?

If we line up our business thumbs and get all these things Magic W’s understood then the rest can become really simple.

Please stop overcomplicating what you do. Get to understand the basic fundamentals of your business, and the winning tries will come a whole lot more naturally.

Contact me

For more on developing yourself, your staff and improving the profitability of your business, please do get in touch. You can email me at james@jamesnathan.com, or call me on 07736 831151. Follow me on Twitter at @jamesnathan, connect to me on LinkedIn, or follow me on Facebook.

I look forward to speaking soon.


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