Thursday, 30 June 2011

scary leaders

Eisenhower, who when he was president of the United States held the life and death of the world in his hands, destiny was dependant on him not pushing the nuclear button during the cold war, was reading a cowboy book when he died - West of the Pecos, by Zane Grey. Scary thought!  What might the shape of political leadership be like if instead he could have read the Analects of Confucius.  As long ago as 500 BC Confucius championed moral government, polite social relationships, gentlemanly behaviour, justice and sincerity, and this unifying philosphy prevailed throughout the Han Dynasty (206BC to AD 220) and in fact was inflential in China right up until the changes wrought by Mao in the 20th Century. Perhaps it is time to once more consider the qualities of leadership, the ethics and morality, rather than the drive for legalistic changes that mark current political puposes.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Ten Top Tips for Starting Your Own Business

Do not waste money
There are two aspects to this piece of advice. First, to use the American expression: make sure you always get a ‘bang for your buck’. That is to say you need to make sure that you achieve maximum value for all money that you spend. Glossy advertising does not create business. Secondly, do not create recurring liabilities such as an expensive office rental, or buying a company car on contract; do not lease a photocopier and do not employ personnel who are not revenue generating. Instead consider what people are looking for and how you can make contact with those people in a way that maintains their awareness of your company name at the minimum cost to you, such as social networks.

Learn how to sell
Everything in business comes down to an ability to sell. You have to be able to sell yourself and your service. If you cannot pick up the telephone and ask for business don’t go into business. Lean how to be an effective communicator so that you can enjoy making sales.

Duplicate yourself
Consider how you can delegate or share responsibility. If you are only selling your own time and nothing else there is a limit to how much you can earn. However, if you duplicate what you do and there are two of you selling time then your earnings can double. Therefore, you need to design your business so that it can be replicated and run by individuals who are selling your systems, programmes and trainings.

Don’t save the world
Realise that the only purpose for a business is to make money. You can only do socially responsible work after you have first made the money. Therefore charge proper fees, don’t give your services away and don’t undervalue what you do. If you do not value what you do why should anyone else value what you do?

Consider your finances
Be innovative in the methods you use to access funds for your business. Look for people who might be interested in investing in your business. Never spend more money than you actually have.

Look for a niche
Avoid the oversaturated market and avoid replicating what many other are doing, instead look for an area that you can concentrate on. The people who make money are the people who focus on delivering something specific rather than something general. Specific means specialisation which means greater value and by implication, greater expertise, therefore your specialisation can make yours a successful business because it does its own niche better than its competitors. Analyse the marketplace and find an area where you can become expert.

Care for your clients
Your business plan should set out how you are going to get clients and how you are going to keep your clients. You do not have a business until you have recurring work. If all you’re doing is one off work with a client you’re only as good as the client work you have already done. Your business has no intrinsic value unless it has a projected future workflow based on recurring work generated by what has been achieved. Therefore, your business needs to offer sequential products and/or training so that a client can stay with you over a period of time and can evolve themselves by using the series of products and services and programs that you offer. Design a database that keeps a record of inquiries and client activities so that you know who your prospects are for each of the products or trainings that you offer. Maintain regular email and telephone contact so that you stay fresh in the mind of the client. It takes less work to keep a client than it does to gain a new client, so minimise client loss.

Be realistic
It takes time to build a business. Do not expect to get rich overnight. Ideally you should have a three years plan in realistic terms. Realistic in this context means a results projection that is between optimistic and nothing. Most people overestimate how much they can achieve in the first year. In that period of time much of the ground work has to be done and this as a consequence detracts from sales efforts, which only can become significantly more effective from the second year onwards.

Stay informed
Read everything that you can in connection with the work you are doing, the better informed you are the better decisions you can make.

Have self respect
Respect what you do. Treat it as valuable and worthwhile. Believe in yourself. Understand that excellence is a thousand small gestures, so make all your gestures count by having self belief and making all that you deliver excellent.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Shaping the Next Year

The first presentation of Insight for Excellence had very good feedback and one of the feedback forms even wanted the day to be longer, which was reassuring.  What was particularly encouraging was that of the seven feedback forms, five said they wanted to know about the course Making Intentions Real, which will be in the Autumn, on the weekend 1st & 2nd October.
There are two more Insight for Excellence days scheduled, on 25th June and on 30th July, if there is the same amount of attendance and feedback response, then that will completely fill the MIR weekend.
I am less certain about running a complete Practitioner level course at this time and I am considering just doing one or two specialised modules covering a specific areas, such as a module on Anchoring, and a module on Strategies. 
On the Corporate front I am now able to offer a special Marketing and Sales 4 day training that covers, Brand development, creating a Market presence, building professional connections, understanding how to use a USP, finding the special WHY of the business and communicating this in a way that secures sales within the context of a long term client relationship.  This 4 day programme is called Communicating Credibility.
Using aspects of NLP, together with other disciplines allows us to develop powerful programmes for a wide range of corporate situations and this is a very interesting area of application for our skills.
In the meantime there was a full page article on me published in the weekend supplement of the Jersey Evening Post and that has resulted in a number of people contacting me regarding personal issues they seek to resolve, or for personal development and also for resolving phobias.  The resolving of a phobia in a single session never fails to astound my clients, yet as I point out to them, they learned how to do their phobia in a single session so why shouldn’t they learn how to not do it in a single session.
Perhaps most satisfying of all is an email I had a couple of days ago from a client who made a personal breakthrough with me, and they gave me news of what they were now doing and I was so very impressed with their news, they had been invited to make a presentation to 200 people.  It is great to learn of people having the life quality they always had the potential to have.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Thinking about OZ

According to an email just received, Tad and Adraina James have new alternative health options that have been added to the healing paradigm section of Master Practitioner. Not a clue what that is supposed to mean! However I will find out first hand when I join them as a Coaching Assistant in May when they run the new Master Practioner course in Sydney.  Could be interesting - will let you know. They also have just bought their own training centre, so that also shoud be interesting to see.  In the meantime there is too much to do and it all seems to get done somehow.

Friday, 22 April 2011

ideas over lunch

Went to Lent lunch in support of Christian Aid, (Conger eel soup and bread and cheese) and had a most stimulating chat.  Raised the topic of putting on a Retreat Day in the Autumn and was greeted with an enthusiastic response.   Most encouraging.  By the end of the meal we had mapped out ideas for the day and I even received an offer of assistance. Even more encouraging, so  I am now putting together a plan for the day, based on the Fisherman's Chapel in the corner of St Brelades Bay, Jersey.  This is an 11th Century small stone chapel with wall paintings, link to see it and from the chapel on one side there is a sanctuary path that leads down to the beach, and on the other side there is a pathway ascending through the woods to a headland and a network of cliff pathways. Need to aim for a Saturday in October when the tide is out in the middle of the day so that we can use the beach for quiet reflection. Delighted this suggestion has received a positive response.  Next need to sort out dates.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Lows and Highs - sorting out the balance that works

How do we get the best experience of life; by getting the balance right between emotion and involvement.
In this state we are not involved and we don't care, we have no input and out influence on the outcome.  It is a low stress attitude, yet it gives no creation, no participation and no satisfaction. Not a fulfilling place to be.
Here we care too much and do too little. The feeling is that the situation is beyond one's control, and can be overwhelming.  There is much to care about and a feeling of being unable to do anything about it. Not a mentally healthy place to stay.
This leads to long hours and massive commitment on a roller coaster of highs and lows.  The result is burnout, leading to a need for a period of emotional rest, before plunging into the maelstrom again. Burnout is not good.
Start by being clear about what is within control and what is not, and understand that the outcome does not effect survival because there is always another day.  Therefore seek to enjoy life's journey without emotional stress (for it changes nothing) and instead apply the logic of involvement and discover that doing so activates the probability for success.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Personal Development

Weird, until I did NLP training I was a private person and since the training I am on FaceBook, twitter and now I am starting a blog – weird!  Yet, the way we are is more important than what we are, and what we were; it is the way we are Now that defines our reality.  I like my new reality best.

Each person makes their own contract with life. We cannot accept responsibility for the way someone else makes their contract with life, even if they try to drag us into that contract, for it is theirs not ours.  It is not our liability to live their contract, but it is open to us to assist.  That is where I find NLP such a wonderful set of techniques and tools, for it give us practical ability to not only assist but it also gives us ways to open for them change that is almost magical in its swift effectiveness.
I intend to share some of these life creating techniques at my Taster Days running this summer in Jersey (May 7, June 25, July 30) and I expect that people attending will find immediate benefit from apply these learnings in their everyday life.  Great fun to come!