Monday, 9 August 2010

Rolling with the punches (pt 2)

Thanks for coming back to part 2. If you missed part 1, please click here, although your world won't end if you don't :)

So we talked about some tough breaks and coming back to win. Some of you will know that recently some of my plans to take part in some marathon running events have gone awry due to injury. Nothing too desperate but enough to stop all running and the need to engage a sports physio. A little sore, but actually more annoying than anything else.

Imagine how I felt when, whilst at a country park with my family at the weekend, I met a guy who had had his sporting endeavours brought to an abrupt end through real injury. I'd mistakenly thought he might be an ex-serviceman. I asked him what he'd been doing to himself as it looked as though he'd been more than a little careless with a can opener. This was his story..

He had been a climber and was very experienced. He and 2 friends had decided to climb a mountain and as it was no mean feat (4,400ft), they had to do it in sections. On the day of the last section, one of the guys dropped out as he wasn't feeling well. The other 2 pressed on. Having gotten through the worst of it, they arrived at the approach to the summit, which having already scaled the ice and rock, was easy in comparison as it was a case of ridge walking to the top. All was going well and the atmosphere was jovial, as you'd expect between 2 friends.

At one point one of them cracked a joke and the other turned around to look at this friend. At the same time a huge gust of wind swept one of them from the ridge. They were tied together. They lay at the bottom of the precipice for 16 hours in -20C conditions. He was found suffering from severe hypothermia and clinging to life. 13 days later, one of them was lucky enough to wake up in hospital. His hands were covered in vaseline and in plastic bags. This was to allow the nursing staff to try to massage the blood into this fingers to combat the 3rd degree frostbite. Looking further down the bed, he realised a leg was missing. His remaining ankle had been so badly damaged that if the operation to fix it had failed he would have lost that leg also. He'd also suffered a fractured skull.

He also discovered that when the rescue services had found him, his friend and climbing partner had lain dead by his side.

Today he has only half of his right hand remaining and fingers of his left hand only to the first knuckle. He has a false leg. There are various other scars and injuries as a result of the fall and due to frostbite damage.

He was also a talkative happy sounding guy who was there with his wife and 3 children and having fun. I looked him up. He runs his own business in a similar field to mine.

Despite everything that has happened to him, he appears to have not only got on with his life but is winning. Nobody knows what goes on on the inside of course but I know this. I'll think twice before I whinge and whine about a minor ailment again. This man was a true inspiration to me.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

More time, more money, more life... We all want that right?

How many of us start our own businesses because we get tired of giving everything we've got to a faceless corporate employer? A lot of us is my guess. And how often do we find that running a small business is even harder work than the 8-6 treadmill job that we left? Why does that happen to so many of us?

When we work for 'The Man' we have our set role. We go to work, we do our job and then we come home again. And the next day, we go back, the place is still there, pretty much as we left it. Except the cleaners have been in, the coffee is on, the bills are paid, the suppliers are dealt with, the customers are serviced... And the list goes on.

Someone coined the term Chief Everything Officer and I think that title's really quite apt for where many of find ourselves within a short time of starting our businesses. We have to do everything unless we either employ others to perform tasks or we outsource from day one. Not many of us want to do that. We try to keep costs down by doing as much of the actual work and administration as possible in-house. And of course, in-house means you and me, right?

So whether it's strategic thinking, business development or ordering paper clips, the decision and execution of the task rolls back to us. Eventually, we hire someone to help with the day to day. Usually admin. We let them order the paper clips. But hang on a minute.... We don't want someone with a stationery fetish ordering Post-It Notes by the truck load (is it just me that thinks new Post-It's smell great? Thought so... ). So just to be sure, we get them to come to us to have the order signed off before it goes to ACME Office Supplies. Err.. What? Yes, we may as well have done the job ourselves. Most of us are really poor at delegating to start with.

That said, I was the other end of the scale in my first business venture and that didn't work either. So as with all things we're talking about finding a balance.

But what else? We're overworked, rubbish at delegating and most of the 'systems' and 'procedures' are really just pretty pictures in our heads. If we're lucky!

And because everything is in our heads, others have to constantly come to us to know what to do, where to go, who to speak to. Can I give this discount or that refund?

How long can we keep working like this and is it any wonder that many small businesses lack a clear vision or strategy? Hands up all those small business owners that would like to take a long summer vacation but daren't because if they do, goodness knows what will happen...... That's what I thought.

So we end up asking ourselves how this happened. Why is this business, which I set up because I didn't want to be a wage slave, not working for me? Surely I should be the number one priority?

You can be if that is what you want! However it doesn't just happen overnight and you need to plan and gear your business to working for you from early on. Preferably from day 1.

Now, I'm not claiming to have the panacea to all ills, but my business partner Michael Christon and I, have just released a video membership programme called Personal Fulfilment Machine ( which, surprise of surprises, helps us avoid or break the cycles we've spoken about. Putting you and I where we need to be and getting the maximum benefit of running a business!

Why did we create this programme? Because we fell in to the same traps early on. In fact, as you'll see in one of the early videos, Michael tells his own story of how he ended up ill and hospitalised after his business took over his life.

I hope you enjoy the videos. Please let me know your thoughts and feedback.



PS - We are taking on a select number of affiliates so if you'd like to know more, please get in touch.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Rolling with the punches - part 1

I took inspiration for this post from Rob Franta's blog post in which he tells of how he went through various trials and tribulations on his way to finding his success. Through it all he persevered and emerged a winner. There are lots of stories that are thrown our way about amazing feats of human endeavour and of course, some are truly amazing. We look in awe at how some people are able to continue when others would fall by the wayside and wonder how? How are they able to carry on? I think some people are just physically and mentally strong to the point of being virtually unbreakable but in many cases I look at it at think, you know what, this isn't about money or even necessarily the achievement itself. They have a very powerful 'WHY' that they are determined to effect come what may.

We can't all succeed at everything we try and more often than not I've learned more from failures than from successes. The key is in not giving up and in continuing towards our goals and dreams. We may have to reset some expectations and sometimes we're going to get a little battered and bruised. We can all get there. With the right people around us, powerful motivators and by engaging fully on what is we want to achieve and WHY, then the only people to stop us is in fact ourselves.

A couple of years ago, I decided to take part in a white collar boxing match. This version of boxing get it's name because the participants have other day jobs covering the whole employment spectrum. However every person that takes part goes through a vigorous training regime in the same way that a normal boxer would and on the night, it's protective gear on and ding ding round one!

I trained really hard for my fight. I used a boxing gym in London which is a considerable distance from my home and like everyone else I found the time to train in amongst my work schedule. I got fitter than I'd ever been in my life and fight night came round in the blink of an eye. All of a sudden I was sat backstage, bout 3 in an eight bout card, listening to the roar of a thousand people all cheering on either the red or the blue corner. My warm up was half-hearted as I was consumed by nerves and then I was walking out to cheers and Welcome to the Jungle by Guns & Roses blared in the backgound. This was it. All the preparation came down to three 2 minute rounds....

I learned something about myself that night. Within the first 30 seconds I'd been clipped a few times and my bottom lip was busted and I had some large swelling going on under my right eye. I guess this is paying the price for a half-hearted warm-up! My corner were concerned the referee might stop the fight at the end of round 1. I remember rolling my eyes as my trainer asked the assistants to pass the end swell (metal gizmo used to push the fluid away from the main injury)... No end swell. OK just the ice then.... No ice..! But we did have water and after getting a talking to and pat on the head I was back out for round two. I realised I had to dig deep. I was looking battered and to sway the judges I had to get on top and work hard. Three tough rounds of back and forth and the final bell rang.

Had I done enough? I felt like I had but I knew it was going to be a close call. We lined up either side of the referee and after what seemed like an eternity the winner was announced. And the winners is.... in the red corner.... It was me! I'd won. I looked like I'd lost but I'd won the fight. I felt like a champ and all the hard work was worth it.

I think back on that night often. When things get tough. It reassures me I have the capacity to carry on, and more importantly to succeed, to win. I had a very powerful WHY that night. I was raising money for a charity at my children's school. All the kids had wished me well and my own boys were incredibly excited. My wife wasn't able to attend but was on the phone to the organisers during the fight and was posting updates on the fight blog to keep friends and family up to date. I wanted to win for them probably more than for myself. I think it was them that kept me going.

So even if we are seemingly swimming against the tide and things just don't seem to work out, sometimes just doggedly hanging in there will get you your result. If we quit we will never know whether success was just around the corner.

This is a picture taken a few days after the event. My kids were proud. And yes, those bruises were as sore as they look but not for long and it was all worth it!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Story of Stuff

Thanks for Jacqueline McGinnis for bring this video to my attention. The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard.

Food for thought.....

I'll be sharing this with my children as it's a great way to get a serious point across. Thanks again to Jacqueline for sharing it this week.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Out of 'adversity' comes opportunity

In this case I'm not talking real challenge and drama. Just something that knocked me off-track a little recently. Those of you that have been tuning in for a little while will know that one of the things I like to do is to run. I'm not particurly good at it in that I've never really been built for endurance sports but I'm improving quickly.

At the end of April I signed up for some running events, which started with a (ridiculously difficult) 20K off-road event and the initial block of 5 bookings culminates in a 45 mile ultra marathon in January. I know...

Anyway, I duly started training like a madman and lo and behold I picked up and injury. And surprise of surprises, I sort of ignored it. And when I say sort of, I ran on it including a 16K treadmill run a few days ahead of the 20K race. I think it was at this point that my poorly knee said enough's enough. You idiot. And loud enough for me to pay attention. In the back of my mind I was thinking if I could just run through it (stay with me) I'd be fine for the half marathon road race scheduled for August... Uh huh.

So as I lay on the physio's couch 10 days ago and having a variety of pain inflicted as part of the examination, I casually asked about the prognosis. Afterall, I've a half-marathon to do. You can forget that said Physio. No running for 3 weeks at least. 3 weeks? At least?! :-( (And yes, I'm looking for a replacement event, probably late September..).

I was sent away with an order to rest, ice and take anti-inflammatories. Oh, and to maintain cardio fitness I have to swim. As many times per week as I can fit in. Great. From running out in the sunshine in the great outdoors I have to flap around smelling of chlorine.

Many moons ago, I was a competitive swimmer, so I know my around a pool without drowning (so far). It even turns out I still have some moves, which surprised me. But not as much as how completely exhausting swimming is compared to running. First session I was winded after just 2 lengths of the pool. This can't be right?!. I can run 12+ miles and I'm fairly fit! Different sport, different muscles, breathing etc. etc.. All in all, seriously hard work. However....

Turns out I rather like it. In fact, time allowing, I've been in the pool almost everyday since being ordered there under sufferance! I've got a bit of a routine worked out, spoke to a lifeguard who's an ex-triathlete who gave me the use of some floats to work arms and legs separately and gave me some tips. All of a sudden I'm transported back in time to days when I was up at 5am (then not now!) to swim before school and loving it.

So there you have it. Could be a bit of good old fashioned 'if life give you lemons, make lemonade' in action. I should do that more often!

Thanks as always for stopping by.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

One more step....

Life's a funny thing at times.When I say at times, I really mean often. Funny strange. And funny ha ha too. But definitely strange. Do you ever feel that despite doing all the right things, you just don't get the breaks? It may not be of any consolation, but it happens to us all, and probably more often than most will admit.

This week has already been a rollercoaster ride and it's only Wednesday!

Monday I chased up a contract that should have been in the bag (and the bank!) about a month ago. No news. Nothing I can do to speed it up so it's a waiting game.

Monday I also went to the physio (finally) to get my knee looked at. Not just for the hell of it. That would be weird! I went because I've had to lay off the running due to knee pain. I'm not used to getting anything other than the odd twinge so this is new. And unwelcome.

The good news is that the physio identified the problem. The bad news I have patellar tendonitis and this means another 3 weeks off the road and the only cardio I can do is swimming. Oh joy.

Tuesday I came home from a day on the road seeing potential customers to find water dripping through the kitching ceiling. No sign of anyone so I put the buckets down. Ceiling stayed put - bonus! - but that will be a plumber and associated costs....

Today one of the laptops went pop. No warning, no obvious issues, just checked out, took it's ball away and went home in a sulk. As I write, it's being taken to computer hospital and a new laptop is being sought to replace it. No small expense there then. Although the kids will be grateful to have a hand-me-down to replace the ones they broke/abused/infested with numerous viruses. I'd like to add 'delete as appropriate' but it was all....

However, on a rollercoaster you get as many ups as downs and so the week has been. The upside of the delayed contract is that it hasn't gone away, it's in the ether being signed off by the man with the big pot of cash. This is a good thing..

The knee thing is really annoying but the good news is I have a diagnosis, it'll be treated and I'll know how to avoid it in future.

Yesterday I had a great meeting with a prospect which I know will translate into business and spawn more contacts and additional opportunity.

Last evening I went to watch my eldest son, who is 10 years old, in his end of term play and as usual he left me amazed at this confidence and bursting with pride. He only had one line, but then the I guess the Mayor of Munchkin City never was one for big speeches.... That said, he sang really well. I clearly don't remember the Wizard of Oz particularly well.

Today, having finished the proposal for the above business I took myself off swimming for the first time in I don't know how long. Back in the day I was a competitive swimmer and today reminded me just how long ago back in the day was! But I also know that I'll end up fit and healthier and with luck I may have inadvertently rediscovered a sport about which I was once passionate.

Today I've also discovered some other opportunities with great potential and reconnected with some old friends.

I think overall the week is evening itself out. No matter how bad we may feel about a situation, it can get better. But you have to take one more step. Or you'll never know....

Sunday, 11 July 2010

The Art of Noise

In this case the noise is language. We communicate verbally and non-verbally. I'm not about harp on about body language and get all 'new age' on you, fear not!

I do think though, that we've lost the ability to properly communicate with one another. We've become accustomed to taking in lots of data at a 'skin deep' level. To effectively scan-read through the day. As we're bombarded with information, our minds filter out the noise to let us take in the 'important' bits... It's amazing really when you think about how much information that washes over us throughout any given day.

Take for example a 1 hour drive to work. As you switch on the ignition the radio comes on and soon delivers the news of the hour. The SatNav tells us where we are, where to go and to perform a U-Turn as soon as possible (OK that one might just be me...). The phone rings and we speak to a colleague, which may spawn the need for other calls and some of us, although not me naturally officer, even check emails, text messages and apps on their smartphone of choice.

And this is besides breakfast on the run, a buzz-over with the electric shaver and a coffee balanced on one knee. Has to be one knee, the other one is steering. Kidding. I don't do that anymore, honest!

And that's just in the car. When we arrive at our destination we can't remember the journey. The reason for this is that our brains filter out all but the vital information.

I often feel that many days communication is like this whether we're in the car or not. A colleague drops by to tell us something but we're distracted by the blinking light on our phone, or the envelope that pops up on the screen to tell we have yet more email. We find ourselves nodding, say uh huh, whilst wondering what we missed.

When I finish work of an evening and spend those first few minutes with the family it's vital that I have every other distraction out of the way. No phone, newspaper or TV news report to distract me from the important things that have happened that day.

Most of the time anyway.... I've lost count of the number of times I've been told "I did tell you" or "you clearly don't listen". I listened, but didn't hear. I was distracted. My brain filtered out something that was actually very important. If not to me at that point in time, to my wife or children. That's not a good thing! Sometimes the amazing systems of filters put in place by the human mind let us down.

The shocking truth is that we all do this every day whether we're aware of it not, to some extent. We filter out 'noise' and focus, sometimes fleetingly, on that moment's important thing. We miss huge red flags that friends, family and colleagues are waving in our faces (see Opportunity post).

On a particularly dark note, what's the most common reaction from family, colleagues and employers when someone commits suicide? It's "we didn't see the signs", "we had no idea" and "it's all just such a shock". But should we have seen the signs, had an idea, or feel genuinely shocked? The signs will have been there in many cases. We 'choose' not to see them. Filters are powerful things. That and we were just too involved with other matters.

This is an extreme example, but over the next few days I'm going to redouble my efforts to give people my undivided attention when they want to speak. This doesn't mean dropping everything the minute someone appears, but rather, when I'm supposed to be speaking to that person, they have my undivided attention.

Communication can be a magical thing. We do it every day yet miss so much of what is being said or conveyed.

I'm lucky in that I'm involved in an organisation that specialises in teaching advanced communication skills. Another opportunity to take some of my own medicine I suspect!

If you'd like to know more about what clear, concise, honest communication can do for you and your business, please feel free to get in touch via a comment here or through the contact form on the Acquire site.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Sales Surgery Part 2 - Sales Managers

So first an apology. I said this would be the next post after the original Sales Surgery post and a couple of others squeaked in ahead, so sorry about that. Such is the hazard of a spur of the moment blogging style!

As I mentioned before, the guys at Acquire Coaching and I have recently started running sales workshops and sales surgeries. They are proving to be popular with sales people and are returning fantastic results. Why? The sales guys like the ability to have an open and frank conversation in a non-judgemental environment, to be able to learn from their peers in a workshop setting and to have dedicated 1:1 time with an objective sales expert.

We're also working with sales managers. If I use the IT space as an example, most sales managers I meet have had no formal training. As in zero. Surprised? Don't be. The reason is that in many instances the sales manager has been promoted from the sales ranks and therefore knows the systems, people and many of the procedures. Which is great, and probably makes for a faster start in turning in completed forecasts to the big sales boss. So that's the report taken care of.

Now, what about the team? Most sales people appear to be part of a team or operational unit. However, in practice, they are a team of 1. They get paid on their own results. There may be a 'team' element to the compensation plan but in the main, it's every man for himself.

So how does that translate to being at the head of the 'team'? In many instances not too well. So often we see a style of management where the manager berates the employee for a low forecast. The employee seeks refuge in submitting higher numbers, and then is in the firing line again when he under-delivers against his unrealistic forecast!

A potentially never-ending circle ensues, which isn't great for anyone involved. A good sales manager has to lead, manage, motivate, mentor and support his team. The manager must make the most of his experience in the field by passing on that knowledge to the benefit of the business.

A typical sales team is often made up of an eclectic mix of individuals and personalities of differening age, experience, attitudes and interests. How do you bring those disparate pieces of the puzzle together? How do you motivate individuals when they all have their own unique goals, values and requirements?

That's the $64,000 question. We get asked this all the time. And the answer? Part of the answer lies in the statement from the first post: A great salesman does not a good manager make. Not automatically anyway.

A great sales manager needs to care and have humility for others. He can't look out just for himself anymore. He must also have chameleon like qualities. One face to 'the management', another to customers, another to staff? Why? It's how you build relationships that work and get you where you need to be. That isn't to say you must be fake. Far from it. Be genuine in all things, and be aware of how you are perceived in order to get the most from the 'transaction'.

Let's put this in some everyday examples. I'm working at home and I'm on the phone to a new customer or prospect. I'm being professional, polite and crisp in my speech and communication. As I put the phone down my youngest son (who's 7 and likes to scare the hell out of me by creeping in to the office unnoticed) walks in and asks me a question. How do I respond? Do I continue in the manner that I used with the customer? No, I automatically switch to an appropriate 'language' for my son.

We do this all the time at home. We've just finished yelling down the phone at the call centre operative trying to sell us something and then in the next breath gently say 'would you like a coffee darling?' or something similar. You get the drift.

We also need to look at what motivates the individual. In the same way that if, like me, you have 2 children who are very different in temperament, you have to use different methods to get the best response. This exact same thing needs to be applied in a team setting if you're going to get the best out of that team and the individuals within.

This last point is often the trickiest bit of all. Either it's missed completely or just not performed very well. This is where we're making a real difference.

We need to constantly nurture our team for it to grow in the way we want and need (that's the link to the picture, in case you thought it bizarre :)). There's so much more, but not for today's post!

If you'd like to chat about how you can overcome some of these issues, please to get in touch.

Thanks as ever for stopping by.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Opportunity Comes in Many Forms... Don't Miss It!

So here we are at 5pm on Friday and work is all but done (in truth I think most people have been done since lunchtime - a bit of sunshine and scrrrrammm....!). It's been a funny week. In a strange sense not ha ha :). Having had an important piece of business delayed and with some other initiatives start to take shape, another extremely interesting opportunity presented itself this week. A bit of a blast from the past from my time in the IT sector, a former colleague came to me with a proposal to work together on a project completely outside of my current scope. There's a lot to be done before making a decision but it got me thinking.....

We talk a lot about the importance of goals and how staying focused on those goal keeps us on track. Most of us have, or maybe should have(?!) a plan of action around what we're doing and what it is we're trying to achieve in the short, medium and long term.

It IS important to keep your eyes on the prize, no doubt about it. But.... Let's make sure we enjoy the journey as well as the accomplishments. What's the point of working flat-out to climb the mountain, only to have nobody to share the view with at the summit? It would be a travesty to achieve all that we thought we wanted, only to find that we've allowed the things that matter to wither on the vine along the way? The danger of being too-long term focused is that despite best intentions, today can  pass us by. That extra 5 minutes with the kids, the missed opportunity to get some fresh air, to call your friends, to do something other than work. As we've said before, what's done is done. You can't get it back.

The 2nd thing that came to mind is that opportunity presents itself in many forms. And that form probably won't be somebody stood there with a dopey grin and a sign round their neck with the word 'Opportunity' written large...

There's often a better, smarter way to achieve our aims but these options can be easily missed if we're operating at 100mph at the expense of everything else. How often have we said 'if only I'd known about that it would have saved all that wasted time'? What are the odds that the better way was trying to flag us down as we blasted by but we were blind to it? I'm thinking pretty high.

This week, it would have been easy to say 'you know, I'm really busy and I don't have time to meet you. This isn't my thing. Maybe another time....'. As it was, I took the time and discovered a potentially lucrative business opportunity to work with someone I know, respect and trust.

Sound judgement, or pure luck, I'm glad I saw it and acted on it, even though it's a clear deviation from my own plan. Sometimes the road zig-zags a little for a good reason....

It should also be said that you have to determine whether the things that appear to be opportunities are merely distractions in disguise and that's where our judgement comes in. Take time to evaluate. Our gut reactions aren't always 100% accurate but they often serve as a very effective early warning system. The joys of being responsible for our own destinies....!

So let's all try to look up once in a while, take in the view and enjoy the ride.

Thanks as ever for stopping by.

PS - And to my US friends, I hope you have a great 4th July celebration!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

As England football fans went to bed last night, many, including the players and management (hopefully), will have been reflecting on what might have been.

Another 4 years of builld-up to the 2010 World Cup, promises of success, and fanatical support, came to nothing on a field in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Crushing disappointment, coupled with the knowledge that even if England had scraped a win, Argentina await in the next round, enveloped all those with more than a passing interest in the game.

The good news is that it was only a game of football. Nobody got hurt and we all live to fight another day. I have sympathy for those that paid large sums of money to see a team underperform on the world stage but as with all things, there really are no guarantees. You pay your money and you take your chance, as the saying goes.

Speaking of sayings, one of my favourites, and one extremely annoying to the few burdened people that I play golf with, is 'Coulda, woulda, shoulda'. I could have played a better shot. I would have made the green. I should have used a more appropriate club. They come thick and fast after every dud shot. Never after a great one! As a relatively new player, I still hit my fair share of bad shots, but my mind set has changed. I realise I can only affect the the shot I am playing right now. Not the ones I've already played. They are history and I have to learn from what I did wrong. Not the ones I'm going to play. Other than having the correct kit such as waterproofs if it rains (it is truly miserable playing golf whilst soaked to the skin) and some fluids or a snack, there's not much you can you do.

No, it's just that one shot. Right here, right now....

As I view the position of the ball, the distance ahead and take into account wind strength and direction, it is this shot and this shot only that I am able to influence. My club selection done, I approach the ball and, stopping short, I take a couple of practice swings. I then address the ball, assuming my stance, softening my knees, moving my weight onto the balls of my feet whilst keeping my heels grounded. Club head square to the ball, breathing regular, I start my backswing, keeping my head still and looking at the ball and only the ball. I bring the club head through the ball at an even tempo, still continuing to look only at the ball. Only as I complete the follow through with the club do I move my eyes away from where the ball once stood....

Great shot or terrible, that shot is now consigned to history and the next one demands my undivided attention. There's nothing that a 'coulda, woulda, shoulda' will do to help.

And so it is in life and business. We can say 'coulda, woulda, shoulda' all day long about everything and everyone. But it won't matter. Excuses and recriminations won't help you. Learn from the past, be better prepared for the future, but give your here and now the courtesy of your complete attention.

Today can close the door on the failures of yesterday and open the doors that lead to the success of tomorrow. Today wants all of you to itself, and rightly so. Get out there, make the most of it. Not everything will go to plan, but hey, that really is life!

Thanks for stopping by.

PS - If you find your plans consistently come to nothing, maybe take a look at your plans. Go through them with a friend to get a different perspective. It's a good thing to have a plan but give yourself a fighting chance to start with :)