Is today really any different?

This is not the kind of post I would normally share, but today (23/3/14) is a different day.

6 years ago today my dad died.

It was not unexpected, he had been fighting a terminal brain tumour with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and alternative therapies (mainly Reiki from both me and my mum) for the previous 10 months. The day before I had given him a Reiki session, I had felt the energy shift and there was more energy in the room that day than in any of our other session, I felt a connection to both sets of my grandparents who had passed years before and I asked them to take care of him. I knew it would be our last time together.

His life was about to end and mine was about to change forever, I knew my world was about to fall apart, I was wrong it was about to blow apart.

I thought I was strong.
That I could look after others and not after myself,
that I could ignore the pain and anger that was boiling inside,
that I could carry on without ‘dealing’ with it all

That worked for a while, then I ended up in therapy, borderline depressed (which side of the line I was on was never clearly defined) but I NEEDED to carry on, keep the professional face at work and the “I’m fine” persona the rest of the time.

I was far from fine. (some of you new this, some of you may have suspected it, and some of you may never have know)

My pain and anger boiled over – The shards of my broken world continued to spray out hitting those closest to me for years. People I did not even know when it happened took the brunt of it years later. And for that I am truly sorry.

The pain and stress I caused is beyond measure, and the knowledge of that is something I will always carry that with me.
However these things will no longer burden me.

I have spent years trying to find myself, trying to be the person that I thought my dad would be proud of and instead I have found the person I am proud of.

The things I know, the mistakes I have made (and there are plenty of those), the excuses I have used, things I am willing to share, and the things I am not! are who I am. They all make me stronger (and weaker in the same moment).

So today may be the anniversary of the day my dad died, but it is ‘just another day’ it is another day where I can have a positive and unique impact on the world.

And for that reason I would like to thank you all for being in my world.

When you wish upon a Star

So last night, Tuesday 22nd of April 2012 there was a meteor shower. How many of you got how to look up the sky, so that you could wish upon a Star?Bright Star © Hooyacrusty | <a href="">Dreamstime Stock Photos</a>

We all know in our heart of hearts that wishes rarely come true, but being able to dream a dream helps gives us give us clarity around what we are looking for. A fixed point in time, such as last night can give you that moment that you require to focus one where you choose what to do you really want. One where if everything else, all the pressures ,all the doubts,  were taken away you would hope to find yourself. It is in these moments of clarity that is forced upon us that we can make fundamental decisions and changes.

To make a wish is only the start, to know what to do and how to do it your next steps.

Therefore, if you did wish upon a Star now is the time for action. Make your dream come true by working out the actions you need to take to achieve it. Anything and everything is possible and it is your choice to find the opportunity that will make it happen.

That Friday feeling

Yesterday I spoke about how everybody appears happier, more cheerful and productive when the sun comes out and posed the question:

What would you do if you could, without fear or anxiety, let your inner sunshine out each and every day?

Crunchie feelingSo today it was no surprise to me to hear the good old phrase “that Friday feeling” again we all know that one :

Thank God it’s Friday

Thank Crunchie it’s Friday

TFI Friday (as Chris Evans re-branded it more than a couple of years ago)

What is it that we are also excited about? What is it about Friday or realistically the weekend that we so look forward to?

Does everybody really hate their job that much that the weekend gives them such freedom, such empowerment , such an ability to be passionate, that’s all they long for all week? Constantly waiting for Friday to be freed to be the person they want to be.

Do you recognise this in yourself, or in your employees or your co-workers?

If you do take 5 minutes to explore that feeling, ask yourself the questions that I’ve listed above. What does that Friday feeling mean to you? Why do you long for it? And how much better would your life be if you have that much passion everything you did?

Learning to harness your Friday feeling and use it each and every day so that everything you do it with passion and commitment opens you up to so many more possibilities and opportunities. If you’re suddenly seen as the person in your office or the supplier with a passion and commitment that nobody else is showing you will shine through. Not only will you be recognised and rewarded but you yourself will be more content as you are seeing the joy in the things you’re doing.

I’m not saying this is easy, most people don’t even know it’s possible. Some people are able to do it on their own, others need support and help.

Now that you know it is possible, just think of the value that could be added to you or your business by simply asking for that help.

Enjoy your Friday Feeling and I hope you have the same one on Monday.

Understanding yourself will make you more productive

Understanding yourself and how you respond best can be a great advantage to you in both personal and business situations. It can help you be more productive in many different ways.

There are a multitude of personality test out their Myers Briggs, Insight and various NLP communication model tests. These all have their place for detailed analysis and team dynamics, but at the most basic level you don’t need them. All these tests look in depth at the way you respond your communication style and prioritise the methods that you are comfortable with.

But you already know this, maybe only unconsciously but you know it, you are the one answering the questions you are the one having the responses. Therefore, at the most basic level, if you simply look at:

  • the things that you do naturally,
  • that you enjoy doing,
  • that you are comfortable with,

you will instantly have a better understanding of what makes you work efficiently.

To give you an example.

I have always felt that I was bad writing. I struggled with GCSEs and A-levels. I was doing science courses, which required me write essays and reports. I knew I had the knowledge but I couldn’t get it down on paper. This came to fruition when I failed my A-levels and seriously needed to do something about.

So I went to one of my lecturers:

I knew I knew it, he know I knew it and we needed to work out how to make sure that the examiners knew I knew it.

I had all the fears and anxieties of failing and not knowing how to communicate effectively. My lecturer took these away by simply talking to me by getting me to talk through the answers rather than writing them down. Being able to verbally express my thoughts  helped me create the structure and then fill in the detail of what I want to talk about, i.e. the essay question.
By applying this technique of having the conversation rather than writing an essay I was able to go back to my A-level biology exam and get a B grade. Since that day I will known that my best style for communicating these verbal. I’m far more comfortable discussing a topic than writing about. Even to this day I prefer picking up the phone to writing an email.

At this point, I’ll mention that my handwriting has always been very poor. Therefore, I didn’t enjoy writing. So my first solution was to type. By having my laptop available to me. I would make notes by typing them up. This enabled me to get details down. I learnt to touch type, although I’m no personal assistant or secretary, I could get by.
But it was still not comfortable. It was still not easy for me to produce documents. My internal dialogue is always far faster than I could type and I would lose my thread as my fingers were catching up with my brain.

Those of you that follow the AIM to Succeed page on Facebook would have seen my comment about Dragon NaturallySpeaking and how enjoying using it. In the last few days. This has freed my creativity, being able to talk naturally and think on my feet (I’m literally wandering around as I write this) has given me new impetus and a new mode of expressing the things I want to say.

I have given you this is at this as an example, so that you can look at yourself and those around you to see if you can spot something that you consistently struggle with. Once you’ve identified this look at how you would like to do it, changing the style in which you work could dramatically increase your productivity, effectiveness and happiness.

Many of you will look inward and you will find your own answers, whereas others will see nothing but problems.

If you would like to find out more about how we could work together please look at the ‘Ideal Clients‘ and ‘How I work as a Business Coach‘ sections

Remember you need to let go sometimes…

Focus on what you can directly impact and learn to let go when it is out of your control.

This may be a bit off track from the things that I normally talk about but I feel that it is worth sharing. Therefore I am sharing the information I received from Rachel Elnaugh (Ex Dragons Den) They say that holding on to anger/blame/hatred is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die…  By forgiving yourself and others you free yourself up to attract more happiness, more love, more peace and more joy into your life – and at the end of the day isn’t that what we all want? Today’s Blue Moon in Pisces is a rare and special event, symbolising an opportunity for you to completely heal your life.

Healing is not just about physical symptoms it’s about emotional pain too – whether that is anger, blame and resentment over being treated badly by others (or even being abused in childhood), or guilt and shame over things you did (or didn’t do). Unless resolved, these negative energies lower your vibration – making you much more susceptible to ‘dis-ease’ (i.e. illness) as well as far less able to attract prosperity and happiness into your life.

One great way to release yourself from the grip of this emotional baggage is forgiveness.  Forgiving others for what they have done to you.  Asking for forgiveness from others who you have hurt along the way.  And the big one: forgiving YOURSELF for all the mistakes you perceive you’ve made in your life.  (I say ‘perceive’ as there is not really any such thing as a ‘mistake’ when you realise life is one long learning opportunity!)

Here’s a great technique which I learned through listening to a telesummit with happiness guru Marci Shimoff recently.  It is based on the traditional Hawaiian forgiveness ritual Ho?oponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) and it’s very simple… Bring to mind a person or situation or negative feeling which you would like to have healed and say these 4 statements (tailored to the situation):

  • I’m sorry [I hurt you]
  • Please forgive me [for letting you down]
  • Thank you [for all the good times we shared]
  • I love you [and always will] Even if you are asking for forgiveness from another you can do this ritual completely alone – or you can express it to another person either in person or via a phone call/letter/email. Or if you are angry at yourself you can do it in the mirror! And if the source of your anger/resentment is what someone else has done to you, you can use the ritual to forgive them:
  • ‘I’m sorry [I got angry with you]’
  • “I forgive you for [the way you treated me]’
  • ‘Thank you for [the lesson I learned from this]’
  • ‘I love you [and wish you well in life]’

Again, it works even without the other person present, though you may eventually wish to express it to the other person. — I know that receiving this email today has made me think about tensions that I have been holding onto in my own life. So I will be running through the exercise above over the next few days, doing my best to change my perception of some situations in my world. Please try the exercise yourself and share with anyone you know who may get some benefit from it.

7 Ways to Motivate Employees

We all know how important it is to keep ourselves motivated, but how do we ensure those in our businesses are as motivated as we are? I have written an article explaining the following 7 ways to motivate employees
1. Understand your own values.

2. Respect everyone.

3. Understand employee values.

4. Gain employee respect and trust.

5. Value your employees opinions.

6. Simply work out how to say “thank you”

7. Help employees plan their own future.


I felt it was so fundamental that I have made it an integral part of the site rather than just a blog post so follow this link  7 Ways to Motivate Employees to read the full article..

What final thoughts are you taking into 2012?

As I prepare for an evening out, the last of 2011, I hear the phrase

always account for variable change.

In  the context it was said, it was quite literally, ‘know the game you are playing, play the hand you are dealt and look forward to the things that ARE going to change’

As you reflect on 2011 and look towards 2012 always remember that things will change, everything does, if it did not you would get bored.

Ensure is that you account for these changes when formulating your dreams and know where they fit into your future. When you don’t see the change coming it is a surprise and then you are on the back foot. When you have considered the variables and how they impact your desired outcome you will have a better strategy to help you achieve your goal.

Enjoy 2012 and everything that it brings you

Lead Yourself – Personal Responsibility be your own volunteer

When you volunteer to do something there is usually an overriding desire to achieve, to get something done for a better purpose. A passion that drives you on.

There are a number of influences that have driven me to write this post:

  • Talking to Jamie Dunn about the difference between formal and self education
  • Personal reflection on the topic of Lead Yourself, part of the new Leaders Workshop I am working on with Kai Roer
  • And starting to listen to ‘Leadership Great Leaders Great Teams Great Results’ by Stephen R Covey, where he talks about the concept of employees being volunteers and therefore needing to be lead rather than managed to get the best out of them.

All of these got me writing…. It all starts with Personal Responsibility.

Being part of a voluntary organisation in my spare time, I often hear ‘they are volunteers, you can’t expect x,y,z they are not getting paid for it’

Personally I think I can have expectations as it’s nothing to do with money it is about giving your word. As a volunteer myself I do expect those around me to do what they commit to, if they don’t it impacts my volunteered time and energy, but it goes further than that, let me explain.

In a company you are contractually bound to do your work, if you don’t the long and short of it is you get fired. (After a fair and documented process obviously!)

If you volunteer to do something in a voluntary organisation you are personally bound to do it. You are responsible for your own word and for ensuring the task is done.

The only carrot or stick influence involved in a voluntary organisation, is to you and your reputation, you either do (and improve/maintain your reputation) or you don’t (and damage it)

If your situation changes, protect your reputation and let people know, communicate, share, re-attribute the work. (They only need to know about the tasks, your personal details are your business, a simple ‘I can no longer complete the task’ is sufficient)

This is your personal responsibility when you take on the task.

This lead me to the thought that this in essence is all you really ever need to do.

Lead yourself, be personally responsible for your word and your actions in everything you do, your relationships, your studies, your work, your play. When you do this you will set yourself up to succeed at everything you put your mind to, there is no one else to blame, to make excuses for, to hide behind.

So be your own volunteer, decide what better purpose you want for yourself and do something about it. Once you have committed to doing it respect yourself and put your best efforts into it. If your circumstances change admit it, realise the impact of those changes and re-attribute your tasks (personally or externally)

It is your life so live it and be responsible for it, live it to the fullest.

Make better use of your time.

We all receive a myriad of information on a daily basis, Text, Twitter, Facebook, Emails, even good old fashioned newspapers and book.

Working out the best way to cope with all this information, ensuring you are able to quickly and effortlessly absorb and understand it is vital to managing your time efficiently.

So what can you do about it all?

One simple solution is to be able to process it and decide if you need to know it faster. The thing you need to know from this blog post is check out the JCI Reading Speed Reading workshop on 30th June.

Where you will have your reading speed measured, be introduced to the basics of speed reading and have a chance to practice and improve your reading speed.


We all receive a myriad of information on a daily basis, Text, Twitter, Facebook, Emails, even good old fashioned newspapers and book.

Working out the best way to cope with all this information, ensuring you are able to quickly and effortlessly absorb and understand it is vital to managing your time efficiently.

So what can you do about it all?

One simple solution is to be able to process it and decide if you need to know it faster. The thing you need to know from this blog post is check out the JCI Reading Speed Reading workshop on 30th June

You can achieve everything you want,

You can achieve everything you want, you just need to know what you want to achieve.

Achieving your dreams is centred around knowing dreams. If you know where you are going, you can work out the best route to take, if you just “don’t know” you can only guess where you will end up.


Making your own connections

I first met Jamie Dunn (@JDEntrepenuer) via a random search on twitter on 20th Aug 2010. Having taken a look at his website I knew he was someone that would be going places and would make great achievements. So I offered him my support. (First Tweet – @JDEntrepreneur If i can help in any way, please let me know. ) We have been in regular contact since with Jamie being a keynote speaking at JCI Inspiration Day in Reading and providing each other with regular support and advice. Being able to give assistance to your connections when they need it inevitably leads to them providing assistance when you need it.


How did I know Jamie would be going places?

Well at the age of just 18 (at the time) he had clear goals. He had set himself targets and published them for all to see. He had committed to them personally, as well as publicly and was taking positive actions to achieve them.
Basically he was prepared to challenge himself and relished the opportunity to succeed.


So where is Jamie going?:
Ultimately, to the top, Jamie is going to be one of the influential people in business and social enterprise that you hear consistently about over the next 10-20 years.


In the short-term he is going travelling to spread the word and inspire young people in 19 countries. At the end of April Jamie Tweeted that he had a new idea. I have learnt that this is always a good good time to give him a call, so we had a chat. He had decided to visit 19 countries, in 19 days on a budget of £1000 with the goal being to proved that you can do anything, you just need to find a way to do it.

This fits in nicely with his position as BXL Youth Ambassador where he is responsible for actively inspiring young people to make their own choices and achieve their potential. Therefore this project is a great chance for him to stamp out the some of the yeah, but I can’t, its too hard, its it will cost too much, I wont get any support, statements that you often hear when an idea comes to life.


So is Jamie doing this alone? Yes and No.
Yes – He will be travelling alone
No – His first reaction to the idea, was who can help me achieve this? Who do I know that can give me ideas, help with the concept, work on logistics, give me ideas on what to do while I am there. He has even asked for a suggested list of books to read while travelling!


As I have mentioned, I have talked to Jamie about the project, I have reminded him to take advantages of his links with JCI, by talking to Solveig Malvik (JCI UK Marketing Director and 2011 Deputy National President). We are working with Jamie to get him contacts in some of the countries to enable him to share his message and the lessons learned from BXL to an International audience.


Jamie sets off on 19th June and you can follow his progress on the planning and on the actual trip on his website (

He has set himself a clear goal and is well on his way to achieving it.

Therefore: What is your dream, Personal, Professional, or Business?

Once you have decided what it is, get on with it, talk to people, find a way to make it happen. If you would like some help feel free to contact me.