Saying it cannot be done…

I was given a book mark yesterday by one of my colleagues. It carried the following inscription.

Those who say it cannot be done…

Should not interrupt the person doing it.  

(Ancient Chinese Proverb)

There’s no telling how the wisdom of China came to be on the bookmark, or yet still how to test the veracity of its origins in the short time since I read it.

However, I had been thinking about it through a couple of politically bumpy client meetings yesterday. Having a vision, having scoped alternative courses of action and begun the journey to realising your project, then there should come a time when the nay-sayers or constructive critiques about the original concept should fall gently away…I would wish to argue.

If your project has a sound ethical and inclusive focus, then you should remain true to your vision, realising that new enterprises, of whatever type, are difficult to begin, difficult to make happen and difficult to manage when they go live.

You need that period of buoyancy and enthusiasm in the start-up phase, untrammelled by the gloomy onlooker, to enable you to realise your successful outcomes.

My bookmark reflection led me to two conclusions today.

As an accidental serial entrepreneur in my own tiny corner of existence,  I recognise that occasionally projects do fold in on themselves no matter how good your heart or muscular your approach.

I also chided myself for not saying any of the above during the meeting.

(I think there’s another blog entry in that last line too!)

Tim Smith

Partner at SmithMartin

The National Archives for School Resources



I wondered why I had decided to to travel to Kew to spend an afternoon at The National Archives.

Not normally for me to be interested in row upon row of carefully sealed shelves and files containing invaluable documents and manuscripts.

The London branch of The School Library Association had planned the day and it was fantastic!

One hundred and ten miles of carefully sealed shelves, only ever to be touched by the white gloves….we looked at maps of the 1600’s and the invasion of Caribbean islands, beautifully painted in water colour.

In the Education Room we studied a document which, after a Dan Brown type of investigation turned out to be a police report about two suffragettes burning a hotel in Felixstowe.

Lots of resources and an incredible website, where material can be downloaded(good plan to mention The National Archives) and can be a real bonus for research and for collecting more information. Excellent for schools and for anyone ready to learn.

Sue Martin

Dolphin Booksellers the best in children’s books always on line