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A Year Of Saying YES!

A story of Life, Love and Business

No.62 - Are You Ready For Brexit

2018 Nov 29, 2018
Last week I was invited to speak on an Expert Panel at the Edinburgh Business Show. The subject we were focusing on was:
 
“Technology as a driver for growth for Edinburgh-based businesses in a post-Brexit world”
 
My preparation for this event saw me examine in detail my own reaction not just to the subjects of technology & business growth (in Edinburgh and beyond) - which I talk about very regularly, but also the dreaded B-word - ‘Brexit’.
 
Yesterday was yet another watershed day in our Brexit journey. One more step in the journey has been ticked off the list… so we continue to move ‘forward’ (depending on your personal view point).
 
I must admit that over the last two years since the Referendum I haven’t spent a great deal of time thinking about it. That may seem strange, as I am a Business Coach, but for me once the dice was cast and the result was in, it was clear that for some considerable time to come...
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No.61 - The 3 Killer Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Run A Live Event

2018 Nov 22, 2018
Sometimes the excitement of planning your first live event can run away with you.
It’s easy to get caught up with the more creative details; are you going to provide a workbook, what’s the best layout for the room, what are you going to cover in your content, what will your slide deck look like. This stuff’s always fun.
 
But, before you start to get carried away with the fun stuff, I want you to ask yourself 3 serious questions.
 

1) Why

‘Why run the event for your Business and Why run the event for your attendees?’

The most successful ones, and ultimately the ones that sell the most tickets, all have one thing in common. They know their Why.
 
They are super clear on their event goals and objectives. They know before they start, what they’re trying to accomplish.
 
They have clarity on whether the end-game for their event is to:
  • Generate leads
  • Make sales
  • Increase brand loyalty
Once you’ve defined your goals, focus on...
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No.60 - You Are Closer Than You Think To Securing Your Next Customer

2018 Nov 19, 2018
Do you know how close you are to securing your next customer?
 
This is a subject I’ve been reflecting on a lot just recently. 
 
To be fair, it’s probably the top issue preoccupying most small Business Owners.
 
I’ve been rigorously reviewing our Customer Touch-points; as our Business Club membership steadily grows and as we approach our fastest-selling Bootcamp ever, it’s important that we understand, in detail, which interactions convert potential customers into paying customers so that we can rinse and repeat.
 
For me, Touch-points are ANY time a customer or a potential customer encounters your brand. This can mean absolutely everything; adverts, chats at networking events, promotional materials, your live events, social media content, Facebook groups, marketing copy, website experience, email nurture sequences, speaking gigs or other customers’ reviews.
 
Imagine an old-fashioned pin ball machine, as your...
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No.59 - Why Just Creating A Brilliant Event Won't Sell Your Tickets!

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2018
[12 November 2018]
 
 
I’ve been performing on stages for about 40 years now. First as a member of a rock band, then as an NHS Chief Exec and freelance Management Consultant and now as a Business Coach and Mentor.
 
For the events before beginning my business here in Scotland, I didn’t have to worry about filling the room.
 
For our gigs, the audience largely turned up for the beer & the music and for the NHS events, well, the audience pretty much had to be there! But for my Events here, the buck stopped with me.
 
I knew I could create dynamic learning environments and I was confident in my ability to keep and hold an audience’s attention, but I’d never had to sell tickets to an event before.
 
Probably like a lot of you I figured that I just needed to get it onto Eventbrite, create some content, invest in a couple of Ads, and Bob’s your Uncle. And to be fair I did sell 1 ticket just days after placing my very first...
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No.58 - Excellence is not a Skill it’s an Attitude

2018 Nov 10, 2018

[June 2018]

 

For over 30 years I have had a business that has worked with Public Sector organisations. My work has been extremely rewarding and the organisations and individuals that I have worked with have been extra-ordinary. But over the years the culture within Public Sector organisations in England has changed drastically, and not always for the better.

I was reminded of this recently when talking to one of my students. We were talking about having a BIG VISION for our businesses and the conversation turned to the subject of focusing on our customers needs and ’striving for excellence’.

In many large organisations as the need for more governance, regulation and monitoring increased they began to introduce systems and processes and the focus of the whole organisation began to revolve around a need to hit their ‘compliance’ targets.

Whilst the regulations and monitoring were introduced for the best of reasons, the end result became that year on year...

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No.57 - Nothing Changes Until Something Changes

2018 Nov 10, 2018

[July 2018]

 

Most of you will have heard the saying that:

"the definition of stupidity is continuing to do the same things but expecting a different result"

and yet how many times have we fallen victim to doing exactly that, either in our work or personal lives?

On the surface is appears to be as obvious as the nose on your face, but understanding it and applying it to your life are two very different things. Until you change something you will see nothing change!

Generally, most of us tend to settle towards a place of equilibrium. It's human nature. By seeking to change things you need to “mess up” the equilibrium, and this therefore is not always an easy thing for us to do.

I was reminded of this myself only this morning.

We awoke relatively early and it was yet again another lovely day in the making. We had plans that involved us being out for a good chunk of the day - without our dogs.

When we first used to visit here (for four weeks of the year - to spend time...

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No.56 - Clarity - Three Simple Questions

2018 Nov 10, 2018
[August 2018]
 
You won't be surprised to hear me say that one of the key things that every business needs to be able to move forward is 'Clarity'. But saying that alone is not exactly 'clear'!
 
What do I mean by 'Clarity'? Clarity about what?
 
The need for businesses to have more 'clarity' regarding Brexit is a topic that you can't seem to get away from at the moment. There are articles everywhere about it aren’t there?
 
Now don't get me wrong, I can see why that is important, very important - none of us operate in a vacuum. But in my work helping businesses large and small to grow I can see that in reality there are plenty of other things that businesses need to have clarity about which are far more immediately important to their success than the impact of Brexit.
 
When I first meet people I invariably begin by asking them three questions. They are very basic questions, the answer to which underpin your potential for business success and their...
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No.55 - Enjoy The Process

2017 Nov 10, 2018
[November 2017]
 
When I work with business owners no matter what the business I always start with spending time with them getting clarity about ‘Why’ they want to have the business. I ask people to explore the ‘Why’ from their own perspective and from their potential customers.
 
I have very good reasons for focusing on this. It’s not all about understanding your end Vision, it’s also about affirming that you are truly passionate about what you are about to do.
 
While going it alone has a range of benefits and can bring a great deal of happiness – not least independence, fulfilment and potential profits BUT it’s not an easy option.
 
At the start you can often find yourself working long hours (perhaps harder than in your old ‘day job’). You may be performing tasks initially that later on your may outsource. You will need to ‘ hustle’ yourself; going the extra mile; encountering and working...
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No.54 - Everyone is NOT Your Customer

2018 Nov 07, 2018

November 2018

 

They say that to be successful in Business:
 
"You have got to know your customer better than they know themselves"
 
But how many of us can say that we really do know our customers (or potential Customers) really well? I mean REALLY well.
 
When I meet people out on the Networking Circuit I generally ask them my 'Three Killer Questions'. These are the questions which I know will allow people to talk about themselves and their Business but also give me the best clues possible as to how I can help them.
 
The first question I ask is 'Who are you and what do you do?'
 
The second of my questions is: 'Who is you Ideal Customer Avatar?'
 
We rarely get past this question, as I often find that this is where I am met by response such as:
 
'Oh, I don't exclude anyone, my products/services are for anyone!'
 
As a Business Coach I know that it is vitally important to define your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA) as early as possible in...
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No.53 - Are You Continually Learning?

2018 Nov 07, 2018

October 2018 

 

'Strive for continuous improvement - not perfection'
So, this week got me thinking about our continued development.
 
Over the last 30 years I have worked in an environment where Continuous Professional Development (CPD) was seen as a 'must'. The NHS is a place where learning and re-learning are part and parcel of the job.
 
With technology and medicine constantly improving it is vital that our health care professionals stay up to date in their thinking and their skills.
 
Over the years it has often been my job to ensure that systems and processes were in place to make it possible for staff development to take place across all levels in the organisations I worked in, and as a 'learning enthusiast' myself it has been second nature to me to encourage and support people in their business and personal development.
 
Changing my business over recent years to focus on supporting smaller businesses to start-up or to scale-up I have noticed...
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