Now that Christmas is over, I wanted to share with you my secret to making 2018 the best year ever.
Now 2017 was amazing and I am grateful for the opportunities my family and I had. In fact, it was my best year so far, but I’m still committed to making 2018 even better.
So how am I going to achieve that?
Sir Isaac Newton wrote: “If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
So, do you know what I do?
I go out and find some ‘giants’ to learn from. Then I stand on their shoulders.
And how do I do that?
Well, my secret, is I read books.
Lots of books. In fact, I read one per day.
I love Robin Sharma’s quote where he says “Ordinary people have big TV’s. Extraordinary people have big libraries.”
And this is true.
Having been fortunate to have met some very successful people and visited their homes. I found that their living rooms aren’t cluttered with the latest flat screen TV, it’s cluttered with books!
Bill Gates, who I met 10 years ago, once said “I try to read about a book a week on average. Even when my schedule is out of control, I carve out time for reading.“
I believe that reading is one of the best investments that you can make. Barack Obama, even whilst serving as the POTUS, read for an hour every day.
They say that Warren Buffett invested 80% of his time in reading and thinking throughout his career.
If it’s good enough for some of the smartest, busiest and wealthiest people in the world, why isn’t it part of your daily routine?
They say that if you’re not growing, not moving forward, standing still, or simply treading water in your life, then you’re going backwards.
The world is changing at such an alarming rate and if you’re not evolving and not keeping up, then your future is ultimately at risk.
Reading contributes towards development and personal growth and I believe that growth is one of our six fundamental needs.
In fact, growth is so important in our lives that despite any success that we may enjoy, we will still not achieve fulfilment without it.
I’ve already got a stack of books as my priority for Q1. They range from The Book of John to Tim Ferriss’ latest book; from business to biographies, from personal development to classics that I want to re-read.
And remember, you don’t need to read the book from cover to cover. Simply apply the 80:20 rule, or if there’s a specific topic that you want to learn, then just read that bit. Give yourself permission to read whatever you need.
Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
So start reading today and watch your life grow!Read More
Episode 12 was the first of the “Be Your Best In Business” Success Stories and I was interviewed for this Podcast.
In the series, they share inspiring stories of where ambitious individuals have excelled in their businesses and their lives, as well as learning their journeys to where they are today.
In this episode, I shared how important it is to tailor your product according to what the market specifically needs, especially when no one has addressed that need yet.
I also talk about how important it is to offer outstanding customer support, as your customer service may set you apart from your competition.
We also discussed about how (in business) if it looks too good to be true, it usually is!
I also shared some points that I implement when a business is not performing as expected, as such:
And finally, I share my views on work-life balance, and how I deal with it!
Golden Nugget Round
Question 1 – What would you tell your 25 Year Old Self?
“First, try and be the best version of myself that I can be, in everything that I do. Second, never stop learning.”
Question 2 – What would you Lecturer at University today?
Question 3 – What was your biggest investment or financial decision?
“Years ago, when I was struggling financially, I had to get a bank loan to buy my shares and it turned out to be one of the best decisions ever.”
“A lot of people think that to be happy, you have to be successful. But I say, to be successful, you have to be happy.”
“Do your best; forget the rest.”
“Don’t hesitate, execute!”
Click HERE to listen to the Podcast.Read More
Work-Life Balance, have you mastered it?
In the Be Your Best In Business podcast series, several successful entrepreneurs, including myself, share our top tips about how we view it and how we manage it in our lives.
Click HERE to listen.
Only A Business That Understands Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory
I believe that there’s no such thing as a winning business.
And before you shoot me down in flames, let me explain…
Recently, I’ve been reflecting on business success and my mind took me in a direction which, to be honest, surprised me.
In the end, I had to conclude that there’s no such thing as a winning business, there’s businesses that understand evolutionary theory and those who don’t. Now this may seem odd to you, but when you think about it it’s true.
Not a year goes by when we see established brands go bust such as Toys R Us, Target, Borders and Blockbuster to name a few and this is not just limited to retail, for example Avaya is currently in bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11.
So Why Do These Companies Run Into Such Difficulties?
Business is no different to anything else in nature, where everything survives according to natural selection, which Charles Darwin put simply as the Survival of The Fittest.
Being first to market isn’t enough. Just ask Friendster, who didn’t make any money, compared to Facebook, who smashed predictions and earned $10 billion in revenue this quarter!
Will it be you?
Maybe you can’t answer that question, but what I can tell you is that it will be the company that constantly senses its environment and has the flexibility and agility to adapt.
In my career I’ve worked in various organisations and one that I admire was Vodafone.
They constantly change and evolve their business model because they realise that nothing stands still and to survive they too must change.
This is what a business must do; it must pivot, it must change and it must adapt to its changing environment.
In nature, Florida’s green lizard realised that to find enough food, due to competition on the lower branches, they had to climb higher. To better cling to the smooth branches, they had to evolve so that their toepads got bigger and their scales got stickier. Their drive for survival forced them to rapidly adapt and change.
When my business partners and I launched a start-up called MaxTag (which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year), our sole-funder pulled out at the last minute, our previous employer threatened legal action if we breached the covenants in our employment contracts and we had to be located 30 miles away from our customer base.
Was this perfect? No. Did we curl up in bed and cry? No, of course we didn’t.
We simply pivoted the business, funded it ourselves, found a way forward and became the market leader with a turnover of £3m within five years.
Today technology, amongst other things, is forcing the business world to change at an ever-increasing pace and if your company can’t quickly adapt and evolve to:
· better serve your customers,
· be safe from the competition, or
· adapt to the changing market conditions,
then it’ll be nature who will determine your fate…Read More
Unfortunately, we all do!
We need lawyers, accountants and other professionals because in business these individuals offer advice that can protect you and your business against unforeseen events.
We’ve all seen the ads “where’s there’s blame, there’s a claim and no win no fee” and it’s a sad state of affairs but we have to face the reality that this is the environment we now live in.
We’re fast adopting the ‘compensation culture’ and as a business owner you need to ensure that you take every possible step to ensure that you reduce your risk of exposure to any form of liability.
Commercial disputes are a part of normal business life and can range from late payers, employee issues to contractual conflicts.
Litigation Has More Than A Financial Impact!
It was estimated that some £12 billion is been spent by British businesses and a further $20 billion by US businesses on litigation every year.
No prizes for guessing who emerges the winner – the lawyers!
The effects of a business dispute can be far reaching, such as affecting growth, having an adverse effect on reputation and goodwill, or causing a downsizing exercise of some sort.
Should any of these happen to a small business it could have a crippling effect. However, the most important aspect and probably the one that is most over looked, is that it takes your focus away from the business and its objectives.
Right or wrong the law does not promise justice – just uncontrollable costs.
Take Action Today
There are certain steps that one can take to avoid this exposure: vet everyone you deal with; have all contracts professionally reviewed; ensure that terms are clear; keep accurate notes and organise records; if a meeting may cause some contention, be accompanied by a third party with the relevant experience.
You may also consider creating a dispute response plan to enable you to act quickly and decisively.
My advice in business is the same as it is in life, always prepare for the worst and have a plan in place should the worse happen.
That way you can immediately implement the plan, learn from it and get back on track doing what you do best – running a successful business!Read More