I hate football but ...

I am a big anti-football fan, if there is such a thing, and I take absolutely no notice of what's happening in the football season. However, even as someone who hates football it didn't escape my notice that Leicester City may win the Premier League and that this was some kind of small miracle.

I'm sure you've had loads of motivational emails over the last couple of weeks with the whole "David and Goliath" story, reminding you how with team work and focus, etc, etc, the small guy can over-power the big guy. That may be motivational if you have a team or plans for world domination, but what if you're a one-man band who simply wants to take the next step?

I wouldn't normally talk about football (and I'm fairly certain it won't happen again for another 10 years) but I heard something yesterday that did grab my attention and could be motivational whether you have a team in your business or just you. 

In a sports review on the radio yesterday morning someone said that this is the first time since 1978 that a new team won the Premiership.  Not a team that's new to football, but a team who hasn't won the premiership before.  So for 38 years the title has been spinning around the same few clubs, no-one new has broken through, the status-quo hasn't been upset.  I guess that's why it's such a big deal now that Leicester City has managed to break the mould, shake up the establishment.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Can-Do-Copmressed---iStock_000084442213_XXXLarge.jpgI've been in business 10 years this year.  Many people will congratulate me and tell me what a great achievement this is and how well I've done to survive the recession years and still be in business.  But surviving is all I feel I've done.  Survived not thrived.  It's easy to get down-hearted and wonder if, after 10 years of surviving, it will ever be any different.  

So for me the message from the Premiership this weekend is that the status-quo can be broken ... it doesn't always have to be how it's always been.  With a bit of focus and hard work I and many others can break out of the cycle of sameness and achieve things that we perhaps didn't feel we could before. 

Let's go for it!!!


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Do you ask your customers for help?

I have recently launched a new service for the processorising side of my business.  Nothing outstanding in that, but I wanted to share the lessons I’ve learnt whilst I was pulling this service together.

I knew the service I was offering had to change for a number of reasons – some were personal reasons and some were about my perception of the effectiveness of the current service.  The alternative I had come up with was OK in principle but I knew that it wasn’t going to meet the needs of my potential customers and so I had been a bit stuck for a while, trying not to offer my old service but having nothing else to replace it. 

My progress changed when I had a conversation with a potential customer and I ended up asking him how he would like it delivering.  The following week I had another conversation with a different prospect and asked her how it would work best for her.  Armed with this information I found a new way of delivering this service which met both my requirements and the needs of these potential customers. 

Now I know they are only 2 people and their needs might not be the same as everyone’s needs, but it did get me unstuck and help me develop something that I think will work.  Whilst it might not be the answer for all my prospects, I am hoping that it will be the right solution for some of them, and actually some of them is all I need.

So my lessons here are:

1.       Ask your potential customers what they want – it’s no good offering a service that isn’t going to fill a need.

2.       You’re never going to please all the people all of the time.

3.       You probably only need a few customers so No.2 doesn’t matter as long as you’re pleasing someone.

If you want to find out more about the programme I’ve developed (and take advantage of the special launch offer) click here.

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“To Be-ard or Not To Be-ard”?

I’ve just read an article on how the popularity of beards ebbs and flows, and apparently it's an evolutionary phenomenon which gives an advantage to rare traits over more common ones.

The article was saying that beards are perceived as more attractive when there are fewer beards and when beards increase in popularity, clean-shaven faces become more appealing.  And so the bearded pendulum swings.


Personally, I’m not a beard fan and never have been.  If you take a look at the article you’ll see 4 photos showing a guy with different stages of beard growth – I’m definitely favouring the first two!  (And what does George Clooney think he looks like??!!)









 Anyway, this isn’t really a rant about beards, there’s is a point I want to highlight that relates to your business … if everyone in your market is doing the exact same thing, do something different.  Swim upstream.  It'll make you stand out!


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