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A Year Of Saying YES!

A story of Life, Love and Business

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.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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No.52 - Know Your Value Proposition

2018 Nov 07, 2018

October 2018

One of the biggest obstacles to making lots of money is not a lack of good ideas or opportunities or time, or that we're too slovenly or stupid, it's that we refuse to give ourselves permission to become rich"

                                                                                                                 (Jan Sincero)
 
In my experience when most us start our first business our principal goal is to get paid for doing work that we love. We hustle to get our first offerings out there; we strive to find our first customers; we hone our skills and with luck we begin to earn a living.
 
But sometime later most people are struggling to grow their businesses...
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No.51 - How Do You Sell?

2018 Nov 07, 2018
“As a sales person, we must be visible. We must put ourselves out there so that the buyers, when they are looking around for answers, can find us”
 (Koka Sexton) 
At first glance this sounds like a stupid question doesn’t it? Such an easy one for any business owner to answer. But surprisingly all too often it isn’t that easy to answer after all!
 
For most small business owners they start their business to do the thing that they love every day and help as many people as possible along the way. Most of us are not ‘sales people’ by nature.
 
In June this year we ran one of our most popular Business Bootcamps to date - it was entitled ‘How To Sell, Without Being Sales(y)’. For so many people it seems the thought of being ‘sales(y)’ is unthinkable. Yet as we said at the time - every business needs to sell (otherwise it’s not a business!).
 
                 ...
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No.50 - What Do You Want To Be Known For?

2018 Nov 07, 2018

October 2018

 

Think about the brands that you buy, the brands you follow and love.
What makes them stand out for you?
 
What is it that makes them different from others that provide the same products or services?
 
Have you ever really thought about it? I mean consciously thought about it?
A core element of the foundations of every successful business is that they have absolute certainty and clarity about who they are, what they do and why they do it.
 
Truly achieving this requires you personally getting to the bottom of what you want to be 'Known for'; what you want to be 'Seen as' - what you want to be associated with in the eyes of your customers and potential customers.
 
Conversely you need to be equally as certain about what you definitely don't want you and your brand to be associated with. This is also about your under-lying Values.
 
It's only when you really are clear yourself about these things that you can start to form clear messages to...
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No.49 - Visibility is Viability

2018 Nov 07, 2018

October 2018 

 

"You’ve got to find a way to make people know you’re there”
 
For the last couple of months we have been busy working on the next phase of our plan to take our Business to the next level.
 
We started our Business here in Scotland in the spring of 2017 by launching our Business Bootcamps in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The run up to our first event in both Cities saw me carry out a personal Business Challenge (The Meet 1000 People in 8 Weeks Business Networking Challenge).
 
This was a very strategic plan which enabled me to meet enough people to make our first events a success. It enabled me to make an impact, and hopefully a lasting good impression on a significant number of people. The Challenge itself became a Story that people could take an interest in and follow as weeks went on. It made me memorable and helped others to pass on the word about what I was doing. It was a great PR tool.
 
Hot on the heels of our first event...
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No.48 - Consistency is the Key

2018 Nov 07, 2018

September 2018

 

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shape’s our lives - It’s what we do consistently” Tony Robbins

Starting your own business is one of the most rewarding and one of the most difficult things that you can do. It takes personal vision; drive; determination; action and consistency. 

I can’t over-emphasise the importance of being consistent.

All too often as small business owners, we can end up working in a very minute-to-minute, day-to-day kind of way. Whilst this can be forgiven at the very start of our business it cannot be part of a long term strategy. 

In order to build a successful business we need to make sure that we strive for consistency in a number of areas of our business. It’s not going to be easy:

QUALITY - Delivering consistently high quality products and services that demonstrate your brand values and help to build your reputation as the leader in your field. 

MESSAGES - Ensuring that you...

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