Small steps, BIG gains

My friends and I are meeting regularly to discuss the world, changing times, the business opportunity and maybe, where we can help and lots of other ‘stuff’ in-between.

By meeting regularly, via ZOOM we’re able to keep ‘ahead of the game’ with a short-cut to solutions provided through trusted relationships.

Around a dozen meet for a little over an hour on any Wednesday, 12.30 (make it for midday if you’d like a one to one with me before the meeting) otherwise, join us any Thursday from 8 am. (London GMT.)

Each week … small steps.

Join us in conversation, all you need is the ability to go online & log-on! The meetings are structured, it’s FREE to attend and once you confirm participation I’ll mail you a link directly to the meeting ‘room’ … then it’s time to step away from the regular routine.

You can be with us? That’s great!! Simply let me know (respond via email – that’s me at the foot of the page or reach out via telephone 01665 577084 … otherwise please use the contact form! )

We look forward to meeting you, ‘having a chat.’ ~ +441665 577084 ~

To-do, or not …

I know, it’s tough keeping the ‘to-do’ list in check during these distracting times, let alone the ‘bigger picture.’ although that should always be top of the list … where do I wish to go and how am I going to get there?

The humble to-do list will keep us on track for the more straight-forward tasks, planning for growth though, to a particularly flat market, during times like now, when we’re looking for other influences offering clarity and opportunity can be … challenging!  

(Is that a strong enough word??)

Most of you know I enjoy the company of peers, I keep a handful of like-minded people close through regular get-togethers and I find the regular conversation helps enormously with the vision – the ‘bizability.’

I do understand that some people can’t see my routines working for them. I hear it … they just don’t make themselves available … ‘peers? I haven’t got time to stop work and simply chat. Business vision? I’m too busy to dream Charlie, I’m busy chasing my next best customer, new business.’

For some, they’re too tied up in the business to work on the dream, the BIGGER stuff.. 

Here’s what I see as utopia in the brave new world …

How about a community for the future, good-will to form part of the fundamental fabric of generations? 

We’ll be ourselves valued, more appreciative of our close friends, more understanding of diversity, enabling a caring society for the well-being of all, eco-environment and community neighbours alike.

With advanced A.I., we would become more aware of ‘what’s possible for us,’ the BIGGER picture, perhaps independent, accountable governance, county boundaries focusing more on keeping local people safe, working on inclusive, sharing prosperity to benefit all. 

We may even see ownership REPLACED by custodianship with less material values becoming commonplace. Each local business incentivised through belonging, cherished.

The ‘home’ county would be self-governed by a co-operative, supported by the popular vote. Trading in traditional, local expertise as well as the future opportunity by sustaining inter-county partnerships.

I dream universal freedom to travel to and from each county COVID free without concerns for health.  International travel would depend on the greater understanding of universal passports when each partner (like-minded country) would be able to support the visitor to the same level of understanding as their home ‘status.’

Sounds right huh?  Pie in the sky?  Perhaps … what about you?

Just now though, it’s tough to be in a position to enjoy the dreamed-up utopia, although there’s one thing for sure … if we don’t embrace change, if we don’t dream BIG, don’t imagine, we won’t see the benefits.

Put dream on the to-do list.

Dream BIG.

So, what do you see?

‘Bob, what’s on your mind? You look puzzled.’

‘How do you see the community of the future Charlie?’

It was a question I wasn’t prepared for although I wanted to give the answer some consideration. After all, the past few months had been a roller coaster.

Until recently Bob had a steady, well-paid job in A.I., only to be laid off like many others due to Covid … and just now he wasn’t sure whether he wanted the old position back.

We all worry about livelihood, of course, the close family Charlie, if we listened to what the city folk tell us we’ll all be subservient cyborg drones in the not too distant. All driven by ‘bots.’

Bob had very nearly become a product of his own industry and I could see this worried my friend as we sat to discuss a series of short-stories driven on his past experiences …

Community very much depends on the calibre of the people for me Bob. Community is a result of close relations with those sharing similar beliefs, values. This is what I know.’

Agreed, but … what do you now see Charlie?

‘As it happens Bob, I ‘bumped into’ one of the near-neighbours at the local grocery this morning. I’d caught her fleeting glance as she looked up from the ‘news’ paper and routinely greeted the face with my brightest of muffled, masked ‘good mornings’ … 

Not taking her eyes from the broadsheet she replied … ‘More bad news, poor kids in school, such a mess, hospitals underfunding, more restrictions and lock-down. When do we get our life back?

The next few minutes were spent discussing what was different for us, the people that we don’t see anymore, the change in routines – plus of course the lack of general freedom of movement. We ‘covered’ the doctors’ appointments online, shopping via google, self-drive vehicles, Christmas on-line and the life that was before … we both walked away moderately sated, happy for the opportunity to ‘rant.’

So, I see the time now is for making simple decisions Bob, we either follow the guidelines laid down to enable us control over the virus and so preserve communities as we know them – or we risk the rout of neighbourhoods and the new generation of non-conformance.  What do you think?

Choices yes, but I see great opportunity, Charlie, a burgeoning free-thinking environment for the entrepreneur is rare. I’m excited about the future of stronger communities, those with common values and stronger ties all borne out of the challenges Covid has offered us all.

So, it’s not about getting the life back?

It’s about being patient Charlie, the landscape of the future will be different to ‘old life’ – I see the future as ‘old life with bells on,’ our collective community responsibility is to support and empower the new generation when embracing the opportunities coming our way, getting the new life back, in the very near future.’

a routine change

Hello friends, how was your week?

For me? It was a mix of meeting up, engaging with new potential clients and following up on existing projects, one project, in particular, is the Business Start-Up next Wednesday and I’m really looking forward to hosting this with more of the same interaction, conversing new faces and one or three (not so) old-uns!

Why not come along? It’d be great to meet you, “in person,” via Zoom. Why not?

So this morning I changed my routine and made a conscious decision to step out with the dog. I mean, I’m often out with Dusty Dawg (D.D.) – usually, before my day ‘starts’ although today was special, it’s D.D’s birthday (11th) and so it was an extra-long, special walk as we traipsed down to the favoured spot by the sea.

D.D. paradise destination!

For one reason or another, we haven’t been able to be ‘there’ for a while as it’s been so busy with holidaymakers, families usually (and their dogs) all getting out and sucking up the wonderful air. Giving themselves some justified quality time.

For most it’s been tough this past year, 2020 will not be remembered as one of the kindest. Annus horribilis I believe ‘the Latinos’ would have called this one …

But you know what? There is so much opportunity just now for those prepared to reach out for ‘it,’ seeking exactly what they need, realising what drives them.

The world keeps turning, business operations are opening up and shut down daily and yes, of course, it’s a fact that the current situation with Covid has generated unprecedented hardship and change although with change comes opportunity. With opportunity comes optimism, clarity of vision and when we have the vision we then see what drives us … we’re visualising our goals.

Like you (and D.D.) I’m just happy we don’t have to wear blindfolds as well …

D.D. ready for the walk!

… otherwise we’d never see the opportunity.

So if you’d like to benefit from the clarity that 20/20 vision can bring your life goals or the business, you’d be most welcome to join us next Wednesday from 12 midday (GMT.)

No fees. It’s free.

A change in routine is good for us, we know that already & the opportunity to actually see the benefits that change has brought to others, listening to their learned opinions and then perhaps put some of the lessons of experience into action … all of that can be life-changing!

We’d love to see you next Wednesday. Let me know if you can make it.

+ thank you for your support!

Charlie k.

familiar paths

Isn’t it great, especially during the current times of uncertainty, when old friends get in touch?

I hadn’t heard from Alastair for a bit until he picked up the landline and called me:

‘Charlie, I was wondering whether you can help me …’

Alastair and I have been friends since we worked together on his first book back in 2010.  

We had a lot to catch up on and chatted for a while, Alastair had contacted me to discuss his latest manuscript, something he wished me to consider.

He went further to say he was so pleased that I was still trading, willing and able to provide the same service he was accustomed. I could sense he was also relieved that our conversation was easy, we picked-up more or less where we left off years ago.

It was the familiarity. Alastair wasn’t comfortable with the unfamiliar. Me also, sounds reasonable huh?

He’d found life tough going since the Black Monday stock market crash of ’87. His specialist, fledgeling law practice was hugely affected back then. Ultimately Alastair, his wife and kids lost the business, their home, he turned to drink when ultimately, his family turned away from him.

Alastair spent time surviving on ‘the streets,’ in and out of various institutions. It was tough going for my friend. ‘Back then’ he he did manage to reach out for support from a local charity and he’d joined A.A. I met Alastair shortly thereafter through a referral via the Weekly Business.  

Alistair was coming back strong, he was looking to rebuild, get back on track at the age of 51…

Not that age should be a barrier to picking up the pieces and starting out again, look at what Henry Ford achieved, failing repeatedly before launching the hugely popular Model T Ford. Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Anita Roddick all failing along the way, learning from diversions in the path and recovering. In most cases spectacularly!

Alastair wasn’t looking for anything spectacular in 2020. He wasn’t looking to restart his own practice just now. He was enjoying long-term employ at a local law practice, a position of some prominence, he and family even managed to reunite.

I look forward to helping Alastair with his latest book, he’s a friend and we’ve swapped many vews over the years on success and of course, failure.

As Mary Kay Ash put it:

“For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.”

Most importantly though, ask a friend.

no giving up

When did you last give up?

The last time I felt like just walking away, leaving, giving up wasn’t the last at all.  I wouldn’t be human (ok, for clarification on this point, speak with Mrs K.,) I would not be human if I felt that my job, my efforts of encouragement at times fell on deaf ears as the recipient of my attentions paid more eye contact to the infernal device or the to-do list than to what I was contributing to the current crisis.

I get it. We all feel ‘defeated’ at times. There’s a lot distraction ‘out there’ today, and so it’s normal to feel ignored, not heard amongst the cacophony.

Blank expressions do happen, people do miss those predetermined goals we’ve settled on because other stuff gets in the way and so when that realisation of being second choice hits home, our response to this can often be negative … ‘whatever, that’s me, I’m done, had enough’… it’s that assumption when we feel that ‘it’ (whatever that ‘it’ is) simply doesn’t appear to be working’ and we just want to call it quits, throw in the towel, be done with ‘it,’ finito … 

In extraordinary times, what do passionate people do? We certainly don’t give in to market forces, we don’t give up.

We connect with those closest to us, we continue with our own stuff and we move on. Having slept, we find that miraculously, ‘the house’ is back in order with a solution. Some kind of solution is found and pick up the pieces. 

That’s just the way of us humans. Agreed?

We step back, accept our failings, we raise the flag of surrender (for today!) and move on. We talk, we mull and proceed with the next one, other stuff. 

So, what do we gain from the repetition of having lost?

What do we need to remind ourselves of if we’re not doing so already?

Where is the payoff for getting up again and going again and keeping at it? It’s tough times just now, I get it.

We understand the challenges of ‘just now,’ so knowingly we put those disappointments down to experience, put them behind us, we think again and start over. 

Experience is the lesson from loss. Experience is the reward for any failure.

P.S. Let me know how you contend with disappointments in business, I’d be very happy to hear from you!

Right time, right place.

Johannes (Hans) is a friend of mine. I’ve known him my entire career.

We’d met during his reign as a celebrated owner of the local patisserie, Hans had one and all visiting for a weekend treat, or brunch stop.

That was in my old home town of Sydney, Hans lived there for around 18 years before meeting a young lady from Chicago, someone who he knew was Mrs Right!

So it was that off to the USA went Hans, there to meet the father of Susan, to do the ‘right thing,’ asking for her hand in marriage.

At the time, Susan’s family were in charge of Chicago’s eminently successful law practice, so when Hans turned up, seeking to ‘join the family,’ questions were asked:

I mean, after all, who was this oddball anyway?  How does a pastry-cook fit into the family business, the circle?”

I know what you are thinking, I could definitely see benefits!

Susan and Hans persisted and family saw reason, Sue and Hans began to make plans to marry. Although … business came first as prospective father-in-law wished to introduce Hans to one or two in his ‘network.’ 

“Let’s see if we can get you into management,” he says.

So comes the day, Hans was introduced to the local fraternity, it was a regular ‘thing’ and while Hans was not averse to meeting a diverse range of people, this new regime was going to take some getting used to. After all, he was from the catering trade and just now, looking for a job!

After a few months getting to know his new connections, patiently mixing in ‘certain circles,’ he met someone from a distinctly similar background.

‘Hi, I’m in the catering industry and looking to bolster the local sales team. Are you interested?’

It wasn’t long before Hans found himself with a job, the firm he had joined producing stainless cookware and his role found him responsible for developing more local sales.

The story goes that Hans is some twelve months into the new job and finding it tough going until he attended yet another trade fair where he met a buyer for a particular fast-food chain. The buyer was interested in what Hans had to offer and so they set up an appointment which led to the provision of cookware and kitchen utensils for their particular local market. 

From the local market, the client expanded, asking Hans and his firm to provide for the entire North Americas, soon after came the European marketplace and ultimately Hans was providing for the client’s entire global outlets.

Hans, (Global Sales Director by now) and his team began to prosper for over the next 20 years, as preferred supplier, they were to provide stainless steel products for McDonalds restaurants.

Luck? Right time, right place? I’d suggest that luck comes to everyone through determination, hard work, ‘being there’ for your contacts and a solid reputation.

Networking works, if you work at it.

What WILL they think?

Hey, this ‘new normal’ is keeping me on my toes, how about you?

I’m managing to achieve a lot with the extra time I’ve found through not having to travel, achieving more means I’m accomplishing those tasks and schedules rarely given that much attention. Stuff like future planning, new marketing (reaching out) and keeping prospects warm through regular networking.

This ‘new normal’ has been good for me, I’ve seen past how I think people see me.

How I think people, see me?

I’ve made a few new connections recently (not all are new to business or career changers either,) those who have been unsure of their abilities, stressing about the validity of their offer or whether they qualify to deliver such a product or service.  I understand this, the feeling of “we are not worthy” comes to us all – myself included. 

It was that long ago … ok, I had a bit more hair when I met my first recession in ’91, the second downturn arrived in 2000 and of course, we faced more upheaval in 2007 etc, etc.

Now? Today?? I’ve learned to almost expect the unexpected and you know what?  Each time I’m kicked in the guts, start doubting the tools in my box, the skills I carry, I recall another lesson.

We cannot be everything to all people, but if we stick to what it is we do best and tell as many people we can about why we are so passionate about the skills we offer … then perhaps people will eventually see the value, the benefits in an alliance with you.  Once you begin to really nurture those true alliances, then your reputation begins to work for you, people begin to see you for how you make them feel.

So, how does working for the future work … when your vision says there’s nothing to work for?

Here’s how. Look past the fright of a ‘new normal’ and beyond that expectation, the ‘choke-hold’ we naturally seem to take on ourselves. Free your potential by broadening that vision!

You/I are continually working on the ‘best version of you’ (sorry) and it’s the best things, the ‘good things in life that take time’ (sorry, once again.)  Take time for the future planning, new marketing by reaching out regularly to prospects and your close community, because it really is good for business, believe me, it’s been more than 25 years of reaching out, engagement for me.

To be sure of your offer, your products?  Ask your close community, keep asking questions, offer support and you’ll be ready for the enquiries when they arrive, successful over time because you will be confident in what people think of you … or maybe it simply won’t worry you that much any more 🙂

Networking has a purpose, start when you are ready, do the business and don’t look back.

Let’s have a chat, every Wednesday 12.30 and Thursday 8 am (GMT):

having a chat …

Networking works for everyone, anytime, anywhere … and the magic is … all that is required is participation through conversation.

If you’re prepared to commit time in developing relations, reaching out by offering support and sharing ideas (or lack of ..!) along the way then, as a naturally inquisitive bunch, we’re going to create engagement, the opportunity that comes through affinity and the stronger connections. 

People love to do business with those who they know and trust.
… you may even find that networking is good for business.

So, if you understand the value of having knowledgeable, ‘giving’ people in your circle of contacts and if you are prepared to offer time during the conversation in developing stronger ties with those like-minded colleagues, we’d love to meet you for a chat at the Weeklybiz forum: 

Next Wednesday, 9th September (Thursday morning also) via ZOOM from12.30.
Meeting ID: 884 9911 5214 Passcode: Ya1UM4

‘people buy from people’

set up the win

So the world keeps spinning, stories are told, published, people hear and some even listen. The mainstream ‘news’ can be misleading, divisive, rabble-rousing. 

So, who do we listen to?
I find it helps to stay mindful, understanding that ‘news’ is designed to sell.

No-one wants to hear what a fantastic holiday you’ve had, although if the holiday turned out to be an extraordinary conversation with alien business angels offering pots of dosh … this may grab a few headlines. Perhaps.
Recently I’ve made a conscious effort to step away from the usual trough of misinformation to consider how lucky I’ve been for the projects keeping me busy these past months. I’m fortunate that I work with clients who need exactly what I have to offer. Stories. My clients understand I have knowledge of my given industry, trusted contacts in support of my goals, time for those small things during the conversation, the consultation and of course depth in recommendations.
I’ll continue looking to the future for inspiration while avoiding the continual mainstream dross, misinformation. I’ll maintain awareness of how fortunate I am with mental notes only on the positive as I reflect on the past several months. 
It’s now September and 2020 is approaching the final quarter.

So, bear with me …
I’ve played a bit of competitive rugby during my time, learning how to stay in front of your opponent with points on the board, staying ahead and playing for the win in the last quarter of the game … so it’s one of my routines to look at the calendar year with a sense of imminent completion once we reach September. Nearing completion, approaching the fulfilment of pre-set goals … the win.
OK, so it’s been an extraordinary year for all of us. Many people have lost loved ones and lost jobs, some have chosen to change their career. There are those who have made plans to start their own business and understandably the goals, the prize, the vision have all been clouded through uncertainty.  We all need to revise the plan.
Four months to go and we can still make a difference if only we’re mindful of preparation to this new beginning. We’re still able to finish this year on a positive note if we visualise, imagine where our efforts may take us … to what awaits.

So, who do we listen to?

Remind yourself of why you are moving in the direction you are and remember, you are creating change, the opportunity for future success, giving yourself exactly what your future seeks …  consultation with credible contacts, the opportunity to excel, new business, solid relationships and growth.
Be mindful of your actions, surround yourself with trusted people, listen to the positive you and … disregard the rest. 

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