A story of Life, Love and Business
25 May 2016
Today is my birthday - 53 years of age!! Quite a scary number, when in my head I am still someone in my thirties!! (And I'm sure Kate would tell you that most of the time I have barely reached my teens!) But today would also be my Dad Trevor's birthday, if he were still here with us... He would be been 87 today!!
Because we shared a birthday it has never been a straight forward day for me and over recent years it has become a bit of a day of reflection. Not in a sad way, just taking stock - wondering what my Dad would be thinking about how I am doing.
Dad was not a straight forward man, and he had his flaws! He was a 'mad inventor'; a perfectionist, with high expectations of himself and others! But he was driven by a personal desire to do well, and to create his ultimate business. He was the entrepreneur of the family. Both he and my Mom started numerous successful businesses over the years, but the world was a very different place then!
So, as I have been busy working...
A clever chap called Jim Collins in his book, "Good to Great", wrote that 'good' was the enemy of 'great'. He was referring to the fact that many people or organisations 'settle' for being 'good' and don't motivate themselves or their staff to go the extra mile and strive to be 'great'.
I was thinking this morning about my own shortfalls and frustrations particularly about the progress I am making with my new business venture. The business that will ultimately give us the lifestyle we have committed to (in our new chosen home, Scotland!) and I think 'trying' is the enemy of 'doing'.
Let me explain:
I am known for 'Making Things Happen'. Both at home (with projects; house moves; new businesses or whatever) and at work (where clients call me in, give me a simple brief and I 'get stuff done' - and get it done well, may I add!). Why then is it taking me so long to get my new venture off the ground?
Well... I think it's because I am 'trying' too hard! And why is that a problem you ask?...
Fathers Day has once again set me thinking... 12 years now since my Dad has been gone, but I was reminded of him again last weekend when a friend used the expression ‘Jack of all trades: master of none’. This was a favourite expression of my Dads.
In our house being a ‘Jack of all trades’ was not necessarily seen as a bad thing… My father understood the value of having a wide range of skills and expertise, and the opportunities it could open up for you. Rather than you becoming stranded down one little path, he believed that you needed to be open to many different paths in order to succeed. He recognised early on in his life that having a breadth of knowledge and skills, far from being a draw-back, was actually a huge benefit. So I grew up believing that too.
It was only when I was older and ventured out into the world I began to realise that other people often used the phrase in a derogatory sense that I began to question it.
Hearing my friend...
Be Yourself with Passion & Skill · Monday, 11 July 2016
Even the most confident of us sometimes feel like we are lacking in some way that will keep us from achieving our dreams. The undermining ‘self-chatter’ in our heads; the unhelpful words from those closest to us often over power our own self-belief to such a degree that they render us unable to act. Unable to be our best selves... and yet underneath it all, you KNOW that you are better than this! You KNOW that you have something in you that you need to give, and that the world needs to receive.
Well I believe that the surest pathway to our achieving our dreams is in discovering our unique strengths, talents, and gifts, and putting them to work every day! It is here that our true personal (and financial) wealth resides.
Developing your unique strengths and talents will require hard work, but once you recognise your value that work will not be a hardship, because you will truly be doing the thing that you...
Welcome to my around up of all things ‘Yes’ for the month of June!
When I wrote last we had just lost our second buyer for our Staffordshire home but were hopeful of attracting a new buyer. Well, we did indeed find another buyer, which was great news! But having learned the lessons from the first two ‘sales’ our celebration has been somewhat muted! We live in hope that this one will go to completion, but have in the back of our minds the reality that it isn’t ‘sold’ until the ink is dry on the contracts... and that’s a while off!
For Kate and I you will remember that uncertainty is one of the worst scenarios – it’s our kryptonite! So the on/off nature of selling houses does not suit us well, as once again it is hard for us to make firm plans (our 'comfort zone'). So for us this is most definitely one of those 'humps' to get over that we described last month!
As for the wider happenings during June, well there has...
May has been an interesting month full of ups and downs as ever, but still very clearly motoring in the right direction!
At the start of the month, although we had some very positive things to look forward to, we found ourselves quite thrown by the reverse of fortune brought about by the loss of the buyer for our Staffordshire home. The potential for this to impact on our plans in Scotland seemed to loom larger in our minds than it perhaps needed to… and we both felt quite despondent for a while!
Luckily it’s generally the case that we don’t both get down at the same time! So we can usually help each other to get things back in to perspective and move forward.
Last month I wrote about the need to recognise that the journey we were on was a marathon not a sprint and we needed to have faith that the things we are doing will each contribute towards getting us across the line and full time in Scotland once and for all.
So, in our usual fashion we reassessed...
Greetings from Scotland!! Where apparently (for a few days at least) the weather is better than down in England!
As I write this I am sitting in the home office we have created in Scotland. This is a lovely space in the eaves of the house, from where I can see trees and for the time being at least open fields. From Kate’s desk she can see the Sea!! This is an idyllic spot. But on a practical note the office space is nowhere near big enough for our future needs – more of this later.
March has seen some major steps forward for us on our journey towards our new life, so I thought I’d share a couple of them with you now.
The last two weeks before we came up here were absolutely manic! Following our plan for the year we decided to call in the estate agent three weeks ago and get our house on the market in time for Easter. So why the manic two weeks? You must have watched the programmes on TV? For those of you that...
I know, I know!! It's a line from a Human League song… But what can I say? 1980’s music is the soundtrack that plays in my head!
So, how was February for you?
Did you make some positive plans for your year ahead?
February has been another month of gradual steps forward for us. Our time has been split between our new life In Scotland and our old one here in the Midlands, and we have continued to plot our route towards moving to Scotland full time.
This month saw our first venture working in a different sector (with a national Charity). This was a fabulous experience. We applied many of our new business formats to our tried and tested Workshop model and we ran an extremely rewarding and well-received two day event! Once again, as with our work in Scotland in January, the new delivery model and tools that we are applying to our events has delivered additional value to our customers and more enjoyment to us... so that can’t be bad!
February has also seen us...
January 2016 has been a brilliant start to my ‘Year of Saying Yes’. It has been a hectic but extremely rewarding few weeks. I have broken some old habits and patterns and established some new ones, both personal and professional. I have truly ‘worked’ for the first time in our new base and have taken some very positive steps forward.
Many of my experiences in January have helped to reinforce my self-belief and some, surprisingly, have given rise to moments of reflection and unexpected conclusions about the last couple of years – professionally. All have served to make me more committed than ever to our Vision for the future in our new surroundings.
How about you?
Has January 2016 offered you some exciting new opportunities or reflections that have made you take stock?
The month began with a rare opportunity for me to spend time in my office here in England. For the first time since I don’t know when I...
I don’t know if I am alone in this, but rather than setting myself individual unrelated resolutions at this time of year, over recent years I have taken to giving each year a title or theme – rather like a Mission Statement. Something which is aligned to my overall goals in life, to keep me on the straight and narrow and help me focus my efforts. For instance 2015 was my ‘Year to Make Things Happen’. So, as 2015 bows out I find myself, like many of you, reflecting on what I have managed to achieve during the past year and evaluating if I really did ‘make things happen’.
Looking back, whilst there have been some unexpected challenges during the last year, overall I am very pleased with the progress I have made… And I think I can certainly say that I did indeed ‘Make Things Happen’ in 2015!
How about you? Did you make things happen in 2015?
Towards the end of...
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