The Entrepreneurs Library – inside ‘Freedom After the Sharks’

Podcast with ‘The Entrepreneurs Library’ about my first book, ‘Freedom After the Sharks’.

“In this episode, Geoff Hudson-Searle shares his book Freedom After The Sharks where he helps you make dreams become reality and shows you how to be the master of that journey.

In his book Hudson-Searle takes you on his life’s journey after working in 160 countries to helping fortune 100 companies and starting his career into entrepreneurship. His goal is to show the truths, trials, and tribulations he went through when going into business and launching a company.

This book is perfect for entrepreneurs who learn what it takes to succeed in life by following the experiences of other entrepreneurs who have struggled and made it to the top.”

Enjoy!

Geoff

What It Takes To Become An Inspiring Author – Huffington Post interview

Today Huffington Post published the interview that Ehsan Khodarahmi (@eksays) held with me on being a writer, my first book (“Freedom after the sharks“) and my second one (“Meaningful Conversations” – to be published in January 2017). As you can understand, I’m very proud and happy to share it with you – enjoy!

huffington-post-logo

Having read a book called Freedom after the sharks by Geoff Hudson-Searle, I became curious to find out about the author of the book and to learn what drives him. Here are a few questions I asked him and I believe you’ll find what Geoff has to say quite interesting and inspiring.

Why do you write?

Like most writers, I write through experiences, my first book Freedom after the Sharks was a true story, the facts were that I was planning to write another book. Once a writer starts to put pen to paper the truth will run through them, at times it is impossible to stop. It’s not exactly a compulsion, but it really does come quite close to that. Writing makes sense of one’s world, which is what most of us want to do on some level or other.

Which authors do you admire most?

Some of the most powerful authors that have inspired me or touched my life have come from the business world. The first book was from my late Grandmother authored by T.A.B Corley titled Quaker Enterprise in Biscuits, Huntley & Palmers of Reading 1822 -1972, Mark H McCormack was a huge inspiration to me with What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School, Paul R. Lawrence and Nitin Nohria with Driven, Stephen M.R. Covey with The Speed of Trust, Meister Eckhart with the book of the same name, Joseph Campbell and Hero with a Thousand Faces, Nicholas Sparks with True Believer, Richard Layard with Happiness, Carl Honore with In the Praise of Slow and Robert Greene with The 48 Laws of Power and Mastery.

Describe the route to ‘Meaningful Conversations’ being published…

I started as a writer with a non-fiction and Meaningful Conversations was always to be a fiction the book deals with the constant root cause of today’s plethora of life and business challenges. It explores the whys and wherefores of communications, strategy and development and growth in our ways of thinking and experiencing the world, and then uncovers a way ahead through 50 short stories based by MIT, Harvard, Stamford, Oxford and Cambridge research in to valuable timeless logic. It draws upon Eastern and Western wisdom and blends philosophy with pioneering new thought. Are you up for crossing the threshold? Here we find the answers to our pressing challenges.

In a few sentences please describe what this book is about?

This book demonstrates the relationship between communications (human-to-human), strategy and business development and growth. It is important to understand that a number of the ideas, developments and techniques employed at the beginning as well as the top of business can be successfully made flexible to apply. This book provides a holistic overview of the essential leading methods of techniques. It will provide you with a “hands on guide” for business professionals and those in higher education.

Where do you write from?

I live in London, United Kingdom however most of the creative origins for the book were established with my time in Arizona, United States of America.

Briefly, what led up to this book?

I was writing weekly on communications, strategy and development and growth as a different persona. The terms ‘Communications’, Strategy’ and Business Development and Growth’ have become overused during the last decade and have become devalued as a result. In this book, I aim to simplify these terms and to re-value management and leadership by addressing topics and subjects in each distinctive chapter.

What was the time frame for writing this book?

I wrote this book in direct response to being told that you cannot call yourself an author with only one book, thanks Lisa! Now I have produced my second book, I am being told you cannot call yourself an author with only two books. The time frame between Freedom after the Sharks and the release of Meaningful Conversations was approximately 3 years.

What were your one or two biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

You have to be yourself in your writing. You have to pick a genre that suits you as a person and you as a writer. There are enough obstacles for a new author, don’t create more for yourself, write in a style you are comfortable with. If you are not enjoying writing it, if you are not comfortable writing it, nobody is going to enjoy reading it.

Do not take it personally, I do read the bad reviews, writing is completely subjective you may have 1,000 people that love your perspective, genre and story but 3 people may just not get your point and they never will, you are in the creative industry accept criticism with a smile.

Books and publishing is such an up and down industry – you can be flavour of the month one minute and struggling the next, even when you have had a certain level of success. Until you have enough money coming in to be able to justify it to yourself, don’t give up the day job.

Everyone wants to live the dream and write full time, but it is a very difficult industry to get into and a very difficult industry to stay in. Learn to write around your day job in the beginning.

freedomsharksbooklaunch_150914_20

Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break into writing?

I think it was what I did wrong that helped me break into writing. In life you survive. You move on but with a purpose. A great philosopher and friend in the US once told me that you are in this world by divine right and you have the right to reach your highest potential through your own uniqueness. I know so many people who are only in bliss when they are miserable. They blame their parents, their spouse, their family, the system, their employers and event friends.

You can do whatever you have to do to get past the challenges of writing and writer block etc., you can do it. The question is how much you want the right way, your dream or the purpose.

On that note, what would you have done differently if you could do it again?

Every audience has a different dynamic, a different rhythm, and a different reaction. The audience wants, needs, and expects pertinent, real-life information to enhance and support their lives and importantly what they’re facing. I believe it was my destiny in life to push things to the limit. You only get one chance to make an impression. I gave Meaningful Conversations every opportunity I had and I believed to be right book at the right time for readership, I am not sure I would change a thing given a second opportunity.

In what ways do you ‘service’ your books?

If one is fortunate enough to have one’s books taken up in a significant way, there is a tremendous amount to do in ‘servicing’ the books. Speaking opportunities, blogging, social media, interviews, PR, travelling and often attending book festivals and other events all over the world. Although it can be quite burdensome, it is always very interesting to meet the readers, and I think that is what keeps me going.

What advice would you give to an aspiring novelist?

Trust yourself and never give up. Be determined right to the end. You should always write about what you know and love. This is not just a matter of principle but solid writing advice. Editors and readers have a good understanding whether a book has a purpose, it is their intuitive know-how.

You have a story to tell that cannot be told by anyone else, in any other way, and if you’re talented and lucky and work hard, you will find the right way to tell it. In other words, be truthful to yourself and you can communicate the truth to others through writing. This is not to say that you cannot be creative, but rather that your voice, your true voice, is what will draw people in to your manuscript.

On another note it is quite possible that one publisher will reject your book for a number of reasons while another loves it for those very same reasons. The trick is to secure a great editor and find a publisher whose interests align with yours.

My advice is to write a book and then immediately go on to the next one and to the one after that. In other words, the more you write, the better you will become.

Best piece(s) of writing advice we haven’t discussed?

Always, in every place across the world, people have written. Writing has not changed since the Roman days. Writing affords me a chance each and every day to just sit with my thoughts and be still. I live in a very busy city with people everywhere on mobile devices, and I love that. But I also think it’s important to sit and be quiet, to reflect and to use creativity with yourself and your thoughts. Writing for me is very meditative and calming, and helps to keep me peaceful in a very frantic world.

Every writer is influenced by everything they’ve ever read or seen. All the books and news articles that have passed through your hands have also somehow made their way into your thoughts, whether you are aware of it or not. I love that idea. I love to think that when I write, I am in some ways sitting down with all the books I have ever read, and in some ways, sitting down with the writers who wrote those books. I like to think that I’m connected to a long line of people just like me; people who also loved to write with the ability to leave a legacy of my work that someday will be read and hopefully inspired upon by others.

What’s next?

As my good friends and colleagues constantly remind me on a daily basis, I must write version 3.0. I do have some quite amazing and credible ideas. This is in my thoughts and given the time I am sure it will come. I need to be in a creative space with my notebook and some great coffee. It will happen! Outside of 3.0, I am enjoying my weekly blog writing, spending time with fellow authors, sharing experiences, PR, interviews, and of course my day job which is always challenging and interesting, never ceases to amaze and surprise me in life.

Meaningful Conversations will be available via Amazon in late Janauary 2017. I hope this interview with Geoff Hudson-Searle proved to be helpful to you if you’re planning to write your first or even second book.

ehsan khodarahmi – Follow Ehsan Khodarahmi on Twitter: @eksays

To download this artical in PDF-format, click HERE.

This interview was originally published on 6 December 2016 by Huffington Post UK here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ehsan-khodarahmi/what-it-takes-to-become-a_b_13200850.html

My interview on Entrepreneurs Library

I am thankful for the great reviews like this one:

5.0 out of 5 stars Great entrepreneurial resource! October 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
 
We had Geoff on our podcast, The Entrepreneurs Library, to give a deep dive of Freedom After The Sharks. Geoff is very intelligent and has loads of advice coming from all his years of experience.
 
I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking a great entrepreneurial resource!
 
If you would like to hear a review from the author himself be sure to check out episode 63 on the EL podcast.
 
Thank you all!

Interview with Geoff Hudson-Searle

Author Geoff Hudson-Searle
Author Geoff Hudson-Searle

I love to read and crawl into people’s minds. Why did the author write the book in this style? Why that example? I am also curious about the writing process authors go through from the moment that their idea for a book to the published book.

Reflecting back after your début book comes out is very insightful to find what you did right and where you needed help.

I sat down with Geoff Hudson-Searle, the author of Freedom after the Sharks, to ask him about his experiences as a writer. His book was released in September by Troubador Books.

Below are my questions and Geoff’s answers. Your thoughts on these issues are very welcome so leave them in the comment box below this post.

Enjoy!

1: How do you deal with writer’s block?

Interesting enough, my writer’s block came to me in chapter 16 of the original manuscript, which is now epilogue. I was in full flow and then suddenly my heart could not write any further. Potentially this was the hardest challenge that I had ever experienced in writing to date.

I took a step back from the book, from what I was writing at the time and examined my emotions. Where was I in life and I asked myself certain questions. Whilst this had been a very hard set of questions for me to answer, the truth was examined. It was the very reason the story got hard for me to write.

I examined the particular chapter and after a while felt it was not worth writing. After contemplation I was ready to move forward again. I reaffirmed my purpose and the epilogue was born again which made a perfect completion to the book.

2: What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Always, in every place across the world, people have written. Writing has not changed since the Roman days. Writing affords me a chance each and every day to just sit with my thoughts and be still. I live in a very busy city with people everywhere on mobile devices, and I love that. But I also think it’s important to sit and be quiet, to reflect and to use creativity with yourself and your thoughts. Writing for me is very meditative and calming, and helps to keep me peaceful in a very frantic world.

Every writer is influenced by everything they’ve ever read or seen. All the books and news articles that have passed through your hands have also somehow made their way into your thoughts, whether you are aware of it or not. I love that idea. I love to think that when I write, I am in some ways sitting down with all the books I have ever read, and in some ways, sitting down with the writers who wrote those books. I like to think that I’m connected to a long line of people just like me, people who also loved to write with the ability to leave a legacy of my work that someday will be read and hopefully inspired upon by others.

3: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Trust yourself and never, never give up. Be determined right to the end. You should always write about what you know and love. This is not just a matter of principle but solid writing advice. Editors and readers have a good understanding whether a book has a purpose, it is their intuitive know-how. You have a story to tell that cannot be told by anyone else, in any other way, and if you’re talented and lucky and work hard, you will find the right way to tell it. In other words, be truthful to yourself and you can communicate the truth to others through writing. This is not to say that you cannot be creative, but rather that your voice, your true voice, is what will draw people in to your manuscript.

On another note it is quite possible that one publisher will reject your book for a number of reasons while another loves it for those very same reasons. The trick is to secure a great editor and find a publisher whose interests align with yours.

4: What are you working on now?

As my good friends and colleagues constantly remind me on a daily basis, I must write version 2.0 Life after the Sharks. This is in my thoughts and it will come. I need to be in a creative space with my netbook and some great coffee. It will happen soon, I promise guys! Outside of 2.0, I am enjoying my weekly blog writing, spending time with fellow authors, sharing experiences, PR, interviews, and of course my day job which is always challenging and interesting to life.

5: How do you get inspired to write?

Inspiration was never a concern for my time with Freedom After The Sharks. The obvious inspiration was the honour, respect, and love for my Grandmother and Grandfather. This was the main driver for my book. Secondly, I was in a very special destination in the US called Sedona, Arizona. The Red Rock formations surrounded me and my work daily and it was a channel for the words that came from within me. I felt that my heart and soul truly were providing the words that delivered the manuscript.

I had moments where maybe this was not going to be a book. Then I realised that these moments in my life were coming with their own memory of the realisation. They have the incentive to create a grand moment about themselves, to share with others the lessons of adversity. If you are more deeply connected with yourself in these moments it is very easy to write in the flow of your words even for someone like me.

It was a sheer miracle to sit down and sprint through my life as it happened, visual-by-visual, word-by-word, I did have notes. The emotions have overwhelmed at times and this has simmered in my mind for a while. As much as we might hope that we can sit down and write that easily, it’s not always possible. Fortunately with Freedom After The Sharks the words flowed freely and through me to the manuscript.

6: Where did you get the idea for your book?

The idea for the name Freedom after the Sharks came to me because to some extent or other all of us carry a reflection of the experiences of our lives. However, whether and how we succeed is determined at least in part by how we cope with those experiences and what we learn from them. The only exception is that nobody has ever written transparency about the journey that takes us from hardship to happiness and love.

Freedom after the Sharks is a non-fiction and I have not held back on the truth, the events or adversities that took place in my life or across my successes. Once I committed to writing the first chapter the words just flowed through my body, an amazing experience, and a life changing experience – one that I will never forget, a complete stimulus.

Launching Freedom After The Sharks with a book signing at Waterstones

My book was launched and it has been an incredible journey. I am so proud of my book and hope you will enjoy reading it.

I wish to pay tribute to my late Grandmother and Grandfather Annette and George Searle, who I love dearly. Of course, I could not have done this without the support of many friends and colleagues who are all amazing.

Below you will see the images of the day!

Enjoy,

Geoff

book signing at Waterstones Grid A

book signing at Waterstones Grid C

book signing at Waterstones Grid B

Life after the sharks

Geoff SearleFreedom After The Sharks has really changed my life. I have always believed that it is your right to speak truthfully in all matters that concern you and to speak from the heart.

It has been an overwhelming experience to receive emails and phone calls from people across all walks of life wanting to share their experiences, their story. Entrepreneurs, business people, students, children, and charitable causes have approached me for key note sessions, general advice, and inspiration leadership.

I have been overwhelmed with inquiries but will continue to expand and express the journey that each and every one of us deserves, within our heart-motivated purpose in life, because there is ‘life after the sharks.’

Every audience has a different dynamic, a different rhythm, and a different reaction. The audience wants, needs, and expects pertinent, real-life information to enhance and support their lives and importantly what they’re facing. I believe it was my destiny in life to push things to the limit. You only get one chance to make an impression. I gave Freedom After The Sharks every opportunity I had of the events that took place for what I believed to be right and true.

In life you survive. You move on but with a purpose. A great philosopher and friend in the US once told me that you are in this world by divine right and you have the right to reach your highest potential through your own uniqueness. I know so many people who are only in bliss when they are miserable. They blame their parents, their spouse, their family, the system, their employers, their friends.

You know what’s amazing — and I’ve said this for years  — you have the capacity to love and be loved with an open heart. You can do whatever you have to do to get past your problem, you can do it. The question is how much do you want the dream or the purpose.

It’s your quiet inner drive and tenacious disciplined focus that will set yourself apart from those who seemingly fall by the way side. This may sound a little strange but when I’m asked about the key to my success, it has always been that guttural ignorant persistence. You do more, you give a little more of yourself in everything you do until it becomes a natural part of your lifestyle, it is also important to be a mentor to those who need help, encouragement and share.

If there is any question I can answer for you please leave me a note.

Available in print September 2014

Geoff SearleMy book “Freedom after the sharks” will be available in print coming September, 2014. The cover is still in preparation. As soon as this is done I will update the blog.

I am very excited about the great reviews that the book has received so far. Here are two examples:

“Discover the secret to succeeding in your business life, 11 Mar 2014
By Stevie Kay

The read of Geoffrey’s experiences is one that we see in SME businesses whether we admit to it or not, the book describes how irrespective of what background or circumstance you can succeed, the question whether you admit to or not is how much do you want to succeed. Life, career and setting up your own business takes courage, guts, drive and determination, a great read for those people in any walk of life considering change or transformation in their life, it delivers the tools, what to do and what not to do, but importantly has a good read to take you on the journey with an inspired ending, highly energized read for the serious entrepreneur.”

“A deeply inspiring read, 2 Mar 2014
By Otto 

With a new author, one never knows what to expect. This is probably one of the most deeply moving books I think I have ever had the pleasure of reading and I have been completely blown away by the incredibly inspiring story contained within. Only half an hour into the story, one begins to connect with the main character Geoffrey in such a way that one is almost moved to tears, knowing all the while that it is a true story. I wanted to scoop the little boy up and take him away from the sorrow that was his childhood after he gets battered again and again. Then there is a beautiful shift and the sad story turns into one of great resolution. I became deeply touched by Geoffrey’s determination to make something of his life and his perseverance throughout the many challenges he faced. As the plot unfolds, a great tale of forgiveness and the strength and freedom that comes from that forgiveness is a great message for us all to take away with us. I don’t usually write reviews for my books but I felt compelled to do so as never before has a book made me want to get up and make the most of my life as Freedom from the Sharks. This is a great read of how the hardships this little boy faced created a role model to inspire us all. A truly great read.”

Check here for more reviews and how to get the print version of my book. And, if you have questions drop me a line in the comment box.

Great news: I am joining Matador.

book cover Geoff SearleLast week, I signed a contract with Matador for the release of “Freedom after the Sharks” in hardcover format. This will be in addition to Amazon and SmashWords.

There are already two reviews up on Amazon so check there to see what others say about my book.

If you are an entrepreneur and you have start-up questions, please contact me!

QUEST

I believe that companies must define their brand in a way that moves both employees and clients, and to communicate that effectively. In order to do that, it is critical to have a deep understanding of the role sales, marketing, and communications strategy play within a company’s overall business.

Note that while a consultant always asks for information from the client in order to diagnose problems and find solutions, the quest is to find the information that really matters. This is how the concept “QUEST” was born.

  • Qualities
  • Understanding
  • Expertise
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Time

If you think strategically about the most significant underlying factors that affect business performance, it is clear that employee motivation impacts customer behavior, and customer behavior needs to be positive in the relationship to secure new contracts, vertical sale opportunities and business referrals, so maintaining and increasing the motivation of the client companies we work with is valuable.

Q is for Qualities.

When managers are asked what qualities they most want their team members to bring to a given project, they may generate a list that includes responsibility, integrity, initiative, creativity, task orientation, persistence, clarity, co-operation, etc. These qualities exist in every company, and this is where potential skills arise.

  • Which qualities would you like to see more of in yourself?
  • Which would others on your team like to see more of, or less of?

Learning to use and express any specific quality or attribute is one kind of learning goal.

U is for Understanding.

Understanding requires more than just information; it requires a comprehension of all the components of a particular subject or system and the relationships among these components. You can have a great deal of information about a job or task without really understanding it. You may be able to state the mission of the company or of a given project, but do you really understand the mission sufficiently to be truly effective?

You should ask yourself: Given your current performance goals what, if understood better, would make success easier or more likely? Such goals might be stated in terms of, for example, “Expand my understanding of ….” (my co-workers, my boss, the customers, the competition, market dynamics, systems and processes, finance, obstacles, and so on).

E is for Expertise.

Expertise is what you call know-how or skill. It can be technical or emotional. Ask yourself what skills you have or could develop that would let you attain a higher level of performance. What skills are you learning that you could apply to your present role or project? Which of these skills could you learn from experience on the job, and which need some book or classroom learning?

Skills you could choose to develop might include computer literacy skills, negotiating skills, communication skills, accounting skills, technical skills, management or leadership skills, or you could choose to master a given body of knowledge. Once you develop these skills, they are available for you in a variety of future tasks.

S is for Strategic Thinking.

Strategic thinking can be viewed as a quality, a skill, or an understanding. But it is a distinct kind of thinking. It is the ability to step back from the trees and see the forest, to see past short-term goals and view long-range goals. It is a critical skill not just for a few managers and leaders, but for everyone in the organization. You need to ask yourself:

  • How strategically am I thinking?
  • Do I have a strategic perspective, or merely a tactical view?
  • How clear are my priorities in the company?
  • Are my current activities in line with my long-term goals?
  • Am I thinking independently enough?
  • Is my work life balanced and in harmony with the rest of my life?
  • Is my definition of work self-driven?
  • Do I see tasks in relation to other projects being completed?
  • Do I see what has to be done in line with the overall mission of the team and company?
  • Do I think strategically about my life?

Strategic thinking is about more than setting goals and targets in your work and in your life; it is about developing the ability to think strategically when you need to.

T is for Time.

All work is done in time and related to time, and understanding this relationship is critical to successful work. The best strategies and the best experts have failed because of an inability to come to terms with this fact.

  • Do you complete your work on time?
  • How aware are you of the time required to complete the tasks on your to-do-list?
  • Are you feeling constantly pressured by time?
  • Are you constantly behind on time lines?
  • Do you procrastinate?

You may want to consider setting a learning goal around the relationship between time, task and priorities.

The whole idea of QUEST is to provide leadership through dialogue and discussion, to ask questions and to promote discussion and creative thinking around those questions, and thus to help leaders broaden their horizons and persuade others within the mission to do the same.