The Awkward Truth (Episode 1)- Working from Home – Tuesday 12th Jan 2016

The Awkward Truth are group(ish) coaching calls, someone explains their issues around the subject and we work on them.

The Awkward Truth about working from home, what works (for you) and what does not.
How to identify and deal with some of the distractions, and maximise the results by working at the right time and in the right way.


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What do you have to gain? Breeaking down Procrastination

Procrastination is a great one.

To me it is a combination of misunderstandings:

It’s too hard, I can’t do it

Usually the first of these is the misunderstanding about their own abilities. The person feels that the job/task/communication is out of their skillset, the feel that even if they do perform the actions needed they will still not get it right, therefore try to avoid this ‘failure’ by not doing it. Or they want to be proved right , that they are unable to do it, by leaving it so long that they have to rush it and never get to complete it fully, thus proving they were unable to do it. (This gives them a strange self satisfied content feeling that proves they can trust their own judgement)

Need vs Want

The second is that they do not understand the true value of getting that thing done, and how it ties into them achieving their goals.  They do understand that physically that event needs to happen, write a report, do the accounts, clean the house etc, but they do not integrate that with any of their long or short term goals (and the rewards that that will bring) and therefore see everything as a chore that NEEDS to be done rather than a positive action that they WANT to do as it will get them to the point they are looking to be at.
Most people have hobbies/activities that they will always find time for, this is because they WANT to do it because they unconsciously get something from it (pleasure, satisfaction, confidence, interactions etc) this unconscious recognition fuels their want for the next time that activity occurs. (This relates/equates to the self satisfied content feeling mentioned above) Learning to identify the positive rewards from things you WANT to do and seeing if you can find these in the things you NEED to do will help you WANT to do those too.

Lack of, or incorrectly defined goals

This ties in with Needs vs Want, lots of people have incorrectly defined goals, that is to say they have not dug deep enough.
They want a too earn more money, they want a bigger house, they want a partner etc. These are all WANTS but they are not actually identify the true outcome. Earning more money does not in itself change anything, it is what you will do with it (and the rewards that give you) that mean something. Therefore look at the next step to see what that fulfils for you, safety , security, freedom, joy etc as recognising that doing something will bring you joy or freedom is a far better motivator that it bring you an extra £100.

Breatking the cycle

By addressing any or all of these misunderstanding you can break the cycle that you have been caught up in and better relate to completing the thing you have been avoiding.

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.

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

Reflecting on 2011 – How are you going to remember it?


This year has been tough for a lot of people (me included at times) – things happened, situations changed, unexpected events tripped you up, shook you around and dumped you back down.

With the year coming to an end we are about to get a deluge of facebook ‘my year of status updates’ images, and twitter ‘my best tweets’

BUT how will you choose to remember your achievements?

Remember the choice is yours.

Those of you around me will recognise some of the situations and I believe you will appreciate how I chose to remember them.

  • I have identified my own (and others) Ambitions.
  • I have loved someone with all my heart
    (thank you for letting me)
  • I have built a team that have passion and commitment that truly want to make a difference as we move into 2012. We have plans, goals, objectives, the finances in place to ensure we are able to do the things we want to do. And make the difference we want to make.
    (I look forward to working with you all)
  • I have Inspired those around me when they needed it.
    (I am glad I could help)
  • I have stepped out of my comfort zone, and kept walking, only looking back to see how far I have come.
    (Time for the next step)
  • I have stayed in contact with people that are important to me, from all over the world.
    (I will catch up with the more of you soon, as I admit I have missed a few)
  • I put myself in situations that created opportunities.
    (and I spotted them…)
  • I have helped others find their Motivation and in the process I have re-found my own.
  • I have laughed and I have cried with some of the best friends anyone can have.
    (I look forward to more next year)
  • I have met and started working with some amazing people.
    (Who else is out there?)
  • I have taken opportunities that presented themselves to me.
  • I have always shown and shared my passion.
    (And will continue to do so)

These are just a few of my memories and achievement from 2011, if I had planned to have achieved all of this in a single year I would consider the year a Success.

So there we are; a Successful 2011 for me.

How was yours?

No matter what you have been through this year, you have the choice how you remember it. Make the choice now, identify what things meant to you, why they were a struggle or hurt so much and recognise the achievement you have made within what others may see as ‘hard times’

By taking these achievements into 2012 you will be able to build on them, knowing that you can and do succeed, enabling you to take a slightly easier route next year to your next success.

Above all, be true to yourself, take responsibility for your own memories…

What is more powerful than Why, yes it is.


What is more powerful than Why’ is a statement not a question.

I saw this tweet by Jamie Dunn @ JDEntrepreneur this morning

‘The “Why” should always be bigger than the “How“… Focus on the reasons why you’re doing something, instead of how you’re going to do it.’

Which is perfectly correct in that when you focus on ‘How’ you are going do something you lose the spark of energy, the passion for the initial reasons are you doing it. These reasons are the real insight into ‘What’ you want to achieve.


If you look at the recent disturbances, they were termed Riots but once they got past the initial activity were just opportunist looting in the main, and ask two questions with the same intent yet different structure, you will elicit different responses.

Qu: Why are you kicking that window in?

Answer: Cos I want that pair of trainers

Qu: What will you (do you hope to) achieve by kicking that window in?

Answer (if they actually had an agenda):
I hope to make a political statement about the unjustified shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham
I hope to make a political statement about the lack of opportunities for young people in the job market
or maybe even
I want to get that pair of trainers so i can sell them to get £20 so that I can put some dinner on the table for my family tomorrow night.

Unfortunately the more likely answer from the looters is:

I want to look cool in a nice new pair of trainers.


When you ask ‘What’ you as the questioner are prompted to add the ‘do you want to achieve’ or ‘are you hoping to get out of’ etc therefore making your initial question more explicit and focus around what you want to achieve.

Why did I write this blog?

Because I enjoy playing with the language we use day to day.

What do I hope to achieve by writing this blog?

I want other people to question the language they use and challenge themselves to get better outcomes.

So I will leave you with 2 questions that you can ponder.

Why does that person annoy/frustrate/upset you?
What do you get out of letting that person annoy/frustrate/upset you?

I am not expecting you to be able to fully answer the second question (or understand the answer you come up with), that is where coaching comes in all I want you to see is that you get two totally different answers.

If you would like to find out more about how restructuring the language you use day to day can help you change your perspective and therefore the results you achieve, please call me on 0118 324 1010.

Where do you think you are going?

Following on from my last post ‘You can achieve anything you want‘ I will pose you the question ‘Where do you think you are going?’ and to make it easier for you to answer it I will rephrase it as two questions.

Where do you want to be?

Are your current actions getting you there?

Phrasing it this way takes away lots of the logical analysis and self criticism that usually rushes through peoples minds when they are posted with the question in the title of the post.


Therefore asking ‘Where do you want to be?’ enables you are able to truly let yourself go and dream your dream anything you want, not even the sky is the limit. 200 Billion pounds in the bank, having Bill Gates as your butler just because you can afford it, or more modestly, a house by the beech, able to look after those you love, surfing, diving or going out on your boat whenever the weather suits. Posing the question free of the shackles of self criticism empowers you to give the true answer.


Now the second question. A simple yes or no is all that is needed.

Are your current actions getting you there?


If you answered Yes – Congratulations you are one of the very few people that are already shaping their own world and that of those around them. (Was it an honest yes?)


If you answered No (to either ‘are your current actions getting you there?’ or ‘was it an honest yes?’) – You have just empowered yourself. Well done.


By admitting that what you are currently doing is not taking you where you want to end up, you can do something about it.


Keep following the AIM to Succeed blog or like the fan page for more idea and pointers

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.

7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Habit 5: Seek First to Listen, Then to Be Heard

Take a step back.

Look to see what people actually get from your service.

The old adage of sell the sizzle not the sausage has never been more true. Listen for what the end user will find interesting rather then the bit you want to talk about. Yes the yield to cost ratio of a blah blah blah may get you excited but having enough money in 2-3 years to pay for a child’s university education is what someone is more likely to be searching for when they find you. (If you do it right)

Once you understand what people are willing to listen to you can then ensure you talk about what interests them. Including all the correct keyword hooks that tehy want to hear.

As soon as someone is interested they will actually listen to what you have to offer, and how it will help them at that point your message will actually be heard.

References and Inspiration in 7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Intro