The Truth about Writing

I read a really interesting quote by the famous Ray Bradbury recently – it said: “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” Ray was an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer, I have followed some of his work and, as with Woody Allen, one compelling fact is that they both shared tremendous passion for reading and writing, Woody Allen once said: “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time, if you have imagination”.

When I decided to become a writer and made the commitment to write “Freedom after the sharks” and then “Meaningful conversations”, every single day, was not a working day, it was the one factor of writing that kept me awake for the next 1000 words.

Sometimes I would not sleep, try to sleep and then wake up again, I would surface, get up early, make my exceptionally strong coffee, and sit down to write, I was incredibly fortunate the words just flowed in abundance.

When writing “Freedom after the sharks”, I was fortunate to be in one of the most spectacular destinations in the world, Sedona, Arizona – I compare Sedona with the Hawaiian Islands and even remote places of inspiration like Deia in the Spanish Island of Majorca, a remote and inspired destination where you can look out to mountains, space and feel the creative imagination flow.

“Meaningful conversations” was born in Eugene, Oregon on a beautiful May afternoon with my business partner and associate with his wife – we were discussing some of the problems of leadership in business today, whilst drinking a fine glass of Oregon Pinot Noir, watching the sunset over the Jasper Mountains and Mark expressed how he enjoyed ‘Meaningful Conversations’ across leadership.

I only ever had one point of writer’s block to date, and this was with “Freedom after the sharks”: it was with chapter 13 of the non-edited version, which finally made itself to becoming the epilogue in the book. Writing has a funny way of making you confront your fears, anxieties and only focus on your heart and the truth.

I have learnt through this experience that choosing a wrong point of view to avoid “the truth”. Perhaps you are writing from someone else’s point of view and not your point of view, which is generally why readers will purchase your book. Writers who uphold someone else’s version of a story rather than their own will find the unconscious hesitate if the flow of words and content. If you are blocked or you come to a stop, ask yourself. “Am I writing from my point of view?” Sometimes coming to that realisation can be enough to help your writing to flow once again, being true to yourself is being truthful to your readership, because it is from the heart.

Writing about something unimportant to you. Sometimes “writer’s block” is the way your unconscious has of telling you you are not writing about something important enough. Sometimes the writing flow is waiting for you to come up with a more substantive idea, your unconscious really does have a way to push your imagination, breaking new or better grounds to accomplish an idea that will command your loyalty. If you feel blocked, explore your current topic: does it warrant the time you are putting into writing it? Sticking to a topic of secondary importance is not conducive to good writing. It doesn’t command your loyalty.

We all love a great story. Whether we read or write or both, great stories can take us on emotional journeys of excitement, anger, love, despair and can live on for centuries. For thousands of year’s people have been moved by storytelling told around campfires, at bedsides, in theatres, in public squares… and today on Medium, Pulse, Thrive Global, WordPress, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, and books are sold in the Million’s everyday via Amazon, Barnes and Noble (Nook), Waterstones, Googleplay and iTunes etc.

The way the story is structured does not really matter; what does matter is the power of the story, how the story engages and connects with its readership.

Tell the right story the right way and you can illustrate even the most complex issue into one that is engaging and easy to understand and one that unlocks the mind’ creativity and imagination.

One of my hero’s in writing is Joseph Campbell – he explores the theory that important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years all share a fundamental structure, which Campbell called the monomyth. In a well-known quote from the introduction of his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, Campbell summarised the monomyth:

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

In laying out the monomyth, Campbell describes a number of stages or steps along this journey. The hero starts in the ordinary world, and receives a call to enter an unusual world of strange powers and events (a call to adventure). If the hero accepts the call to enter this strange world, the hero must face tasks and trials (a road of trials), and may have to face these trials alone, or may have assistance. At its most intense, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with help earned along the journey. If the hero survives, the hero may achieve a great gift (the goal or “boon”), which often results in the discovery of important self-knowledge. The hero must then decide whether to return with this boon (the return to the ordinary world), often facing challenges on the return journey. If the hero is successful in returning, the boon or gift may be used to improve the world (the application of the boon).

Very few myths contain all of these stages—some myths contain many of the stages, while others contain only a few; some myths may have as a focus only one of the stages, while other myths may deal with the stages in a somewhat different order. These stages may be organized in a number of ways, including division into three sections:
Departure (sometimes called Separation), Initiation and Return. “Departure” deals with the hero venturing forth on the quest, “Initiation” deals with the hero’s various adventures along the way, and “Return” deals with the hero’s return home with knowledge and powers acquired on the journey.

“The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, Campbell’s theory, has been consciously applied by a wide variety of modern writers and artists. The best known is perhaps George Lucas, who has acknowledged Campbell’s influence on the Star Wars films.

So, in summary, whether you’re a novelist, a poet, a short-story writer, an essayist, a biographer or an aspiring beginner, when you write great fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, amazing things can happen. The best way to increase your proficiency in creative writing is to write, write compulsively, but it does not mean write whatever you want. There are certain things you should know first… it helps to start with the right foot…..

Another interesting quote by Ray Badbury which states:

“You will have to write and put away or burn a lot of material before you are comfortable in this medium. You might as well start now and get the necessary work done. For I believe that eventually quantity will make for quality. How so? Quantity gives experience. From experience alone can quality come. All arts, big and small, are the elimination of waste motion in favor of the concise declaration. The artist learns what to leave out. His greatest art will often be what he does not say, what he leaves out, his ability to state simply with clear emotion, the way he wants to go. The artist must work so hard, so long, that a brain develops and lives, all of itself, in his fingers.”

Can a Blue Moon’ really affect our behaviour and emotions?

SAM_1235I personally just love Blue Moon’s. I was excited by the Blue Moon that occurred on July 31st this year, the moon’s vibrancy, mystical movement and amazingly strong energy, apparently and according to the astrologers this year’s Blue Moon was in Aquarius which explains a lot about my excitement, but exactly what is a Blue Moon and how does it affect us in everything we do?

Whether you believe astrology, it has guided life for 5,000 years. I say guiding because the ancient Babylonians, and later the Greeks used the star filled Mediterranean sky to navigate and bring their ships safely home. Over time the ancients began to notice patterns on earth that corresponded to heavenly patterns and planetary movement. Eclipses were particularly significant. Imagine the effect of seeing the sun darken mid-day (solar eclipse) or the Moon’s beams dimmed (lunar eclipse).This was surely a message.

So this brings us to the Blue Moon. This occurs when there are two full moons in a single month.

There was a full moon July 1 and there was one on July 31. This calendar occurrence does not happen every year. There were blue moons in 2011 and 2014; the next series will be in 2017. When the lunar energies are so concentrated we can expect heightened emotions, agitation and dramatic actions. It is true. The full Moon brings out all of our emotions. We howl. Ancient doctors avoided surgery at the full Moon because they observed an increased chance of haemorrhage. On the other hand, it is said that those wanting to start a family can use the power of the moon; it is supposed to be a very good time to conceive.

Experts say, all full moons bring us in touch with our emotions, our sensitivities and our inner-selves.

When we are in tune with the natural energetic currents of nature, we can combine our own energy forces so that we have an extra surge, which helps to push us in the right direction.

Apparently and according to experts, everything from our past is about to be illuminated and areas that desperately need focusing on will be brought to our attention and during this blue moon, there will be no looking away.

We will meet with certain issues that have haunted us face-to-face and rather than being fearful, we should see this as an excellent chance for growth and transformation.

So with all this extra energy, we will deal with all our current issues, not fear the unknown, progress with confidence and our dreams and intentions will become reality– amazing!

SAM_1219Can something so powerful as the Blue Moon, really be the catalyst for so much change, transformation and success?

There is a famous quote:

“You have no control over how your story begins or ends. But by now, you should know that all things have an ending. Every spark returns to darkness. Every sound returns to silence. Every flower returns to sleep with the earth. The journey of the sun and moon is predictable. But yours, is your ultimate art.”

~ Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

The legend of the full moon’s effects on human behaviour has existed for centuries, popularised by the myth of the werewolf. The words “lunacy” and “lunatic” are derived from the same Latin root that gives us the word “lunar,” as people often attributed intermittent insanity to the phases of the moon. While many people believe the full moon influences behaviour, scientific studies have found very little evidence supporting the “Lunar Effect.”

So with all the world’s scientific research, what makes the full moon lunacy theory still so popular?

Perhaps it’s the media, who know people are more likely to read a good story, as one of my colleagues said we can always blame it on the moon?. Or maybe people just want to hold onto an ancient legend that’s been around for hundreds of years?

A more scientific answer may be selective memory. If some bizarre change in behaviour across emotions, work or family caused a confidence occurrence, people are probably more likely to remember it if it happened during the night of a full moon.

What are your stories around the Blue Moon, I would love to hear if something miraculous happened on Friday July 31st?

Do we embrace fear or fight fear?

meaningful-lifeA very good friend of mine was discussing films with me a few weeks ago, whilst I am not a huge digital streaming guy for films, I still can be quite old-fashioned and be known for ordering the occasional DVD from Amazon, after some time. My friend convinced me that I really should see the film Peaceful Warrior.

The story is about a young gymnast Dan Millman played by Scott Mechlowicz, and his struggle to make sense of his life in which he is successful but still unfulfilled. By chance he meets his “Yoda”/Shaolin priest/Boss Paul who helps him “git his head straight” after which he goes on to be comfortable with his athletic prowess albeit not exactly Olympic caliber. When one is successful, one does not have the time and patience to look back or forward. Dan is leading his life in chase of a dream – to get a gold in the Olympics. He and his coach knows that he is the best, but still inside he too knows that something is missing. It was in one of his sleepless nights that he meets a petrol pump attendant who changes his life – step by step. He also realizes the change but he is not ready to let go the garbage within him. As the petrol pump attenders says “I call myself a Peaceful Warrior… because the battles we fight are on the inside.”

The movie takes a u turn when Dam meets with an accident – where his leg bone just shatters, it is not only the leg that breaks but also his heart to go forward for his only love, the Olympics.”A warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds the love in what he does.” Socrates(as Dam calls him), the petrol pump attendant teaches the guy to find his long-lost love and dream. But towards the end he finds the hard truth that Socrates was a illusionist character – whose sole purpose of life was to take Dan to his dream and make him prepared to win the battle within him. This is almost a “Rocky IX” type movie with a wonderful happy ending.

Have you thought that through within your own life?

fear-of-failureMany people are afraid of the thought of change without having change in their life. We all have our own examples of how fear can be such a huge, impenetrable barrier.  Fear…some would rather bury it, walk around it, build bridges over it, cover it with medication or another substance, stay busy to deny it, ignore it, avoid it by staying within a box rather than name it, or even embrace it joyfully.

As children we were told to always fight. Always resist ‘bad situations’. Shake them off. Be happy. Always feel good, taking the positive from everything we do.

That is impossible, although Audrey Hepburn did once say ‘impossible is I’m possible’. We all feel the negative end of emotions. And that’s just the way things were supposed to be as humans. Without the negative end, we wouldn’t be able to feel the positive end of emotions. No one wants to float in the neutral zone all the time, life would lose all meaning and we would all be walking aliens.

Anxiety is one of those negative emotions. It stems from fear and then leads to stress. Usually fear of the future. And fear stems from the mind, from our thoughts.

Imagine what would be possible if you embraced fear and considered it to be one of your greatest teachers in adversity? If you resist fear or react when you feel fear, then you cannot learn from it or even recognise any lessons that would contribute to your continued evolution. And if you are not learning from it, then you can’t look at the fear as something that can be reframed into a positive opportunity to grow and change.

So, if you want to accelerate your success and make better choices in your life both personally and professionally, embrace your fears rather than avoid or ignore them. Only then are you able to distinguish between the facts and the negative assumptions of what may be. Now, compound this with embracing your vulnerability. I am not referring to being vulnerable as in putting yourself in harms way but being vulnerable is in being authentic and human. And if you start embracing your fears, your worries and your vulnerability that every person’s ego has tendency to shy away from, then what else can stop you? Nothing. You have broken the fear based paralysis that keeps you stuck in one place and the grip that fear had on you. This is your success formula for becoming unstoppable.

Key tips for overcoming fear:

  • Make fear your ally rather than your adversary so that you can learn and grow from it.
  • Top executives have learned what average executives fail to learn; to embrace their fears and do what needs to be done anyway.
  • Things rarely happen the way we worry about them.
  • That you fear is not real.
  • Identify the indisputable facts surrounding every situation so that you can make an objective decision based on what truly is, rather than what you think is true but is not.
  • Determine your healthy and pleasurable fuel source to ignite your passion and drive your activity and efforts.
  • You are the greatest gift you can give to your prospects/customers and team, as well as the best-kept secret, so let it out!
  • Fears and dreams are only possibilities that are constructed in your imagination.
  • Bring yourself and your thinking back into the present moment. Since that which we fear lives in the future, the fear can’t get to you in the moment.
  • Shift your focus to the outcome that you do want to create or manifest instead of what you don’t want or what you want to avoid.

In human terms, this is what we call healing emotional trauma. Coming to grips with what makes our perceptions distort certain dangers to the point that we experience helplessness, and healing this. Fortunately, it is possible to do so. It is possible to undo fear conditioning and to unlearn learned helplessness. But this can only happen once we face the actuality of the problem, instead of dismissing it as something we should be able to easily deal with, just as the film Peaceful Warrior demonstrated, if only we put a little more willpower, determination and conviction into it.

Can unforced errors happen in tennis and business?

Geoff playing tennisI recently watched the recent Wimbledon men’s tennis final between Federer and Djokovic, I enjoyed the final immensely. The final triggered memories of a book that I read many years that totally inspired me by W. Timothy Gallwey, called the Inner Game of Tennis.

The Inner Game of tennis is that which takes place in our mind, played against such elusive opponents as nervousness, self-doubt and lapses of concentration. It is a game played by our mind against its own bad habits. Replacing one pattern of behaviour with a new, more positive one is the purpose of the “Inner Game”.

Peak performance at tennis, like any sport, only comes when our mind is so focused that it is still and at one with what our body is doing. The key to the “Inner Game” and better tennis is achieving this state of relaxed concentration so that we are playing “out of our mind” and therefore no worrying about how, when or where to hit the ball.

Whilst the Inner Game of Tennis explores how to overcome mental obstacles, improve concentration and reduce anxiety for better performance at every level. There is no physical reason why this cannot be applied to business. The Inner Games of sport approach makes all the difference.

I personally enjoy tennis with a passion, tennis is a challenging sport, which can really test your fitness and skill levels, it requires:

  • Skill and knowledge
  • Patience and tolerance
  • Movement and varying levels of power
  • Perseverance and determination
  • Strategy and a game plan

businessman-playing-tennis-hitting-balls-35797650How Business and Tennis are similar…

In an article entitled “7 Worst Career Mistakes You Can Make”, Jeffrey A. Krames, author “The Unforced Error: Why Some Managers Get Promoted while others Get Eliminated” quotes Tim Gallwey and on of the principles of The Inner Game. Here is the quote:

“Tennis and business have a lot more common than you may think. In 1982, a tennis professional coined the term “unforced error” to describe what happens when one player who is in position to return the ball makes an error by hitting the ball out of the field of play — or missing the ball altogether. That same kind of error happens all of the time in the business world.”

Research shows that even the smartest managers make the worst career errors. Once again, the same is true in tennis. Even the best players in the world make unforced errors in every match. In professional tennis as in business, the player with the fewest unforced errors usually wins.

Research also shows that at the top levels of corporations unforced errors have taken a greater toll than ever before. For example, CEO turnover is up 60 percent between 2005 and 2014 and shows no signs of slowing down (that according to a Booz Allen). However, you do not have to be a CEO to make a costly unforced error.

In my international career of 20 years I have seen numerous unforced errors and from some of the smartest executives in business, what are your experiences?

Do start-up businesses spend enough time in creativity and innovation?

startup bizzEvery now and then, I attend a management conference. Usually what I hear is the following: the current environment is characterized by rapid technological change, shortening product life cycles and globalising. All organisations need to adapt to this dynamic environment and be more creative and innovative to survive, compete, grow and lead. To beat the new entrants, aka the startups, innovation is the key! Then startups enter stage. Wow, is the general word I hear from the audience, when the startup guy, usually in jeans and beard, explains his success story.

So can we innovate more, is there the capacity in start-up businesses?

Certainly the engagement and involvement of employees can lead to more commitment from them because their thoughts, ideas and projects can have an impact on the organisation. We can speak of newly developed organisational culture; vision, mission, values and a behavior tone of voice can shift the organisation in new directions.

What are the problems associated to innovation and creativity?

The first major issue is an increased level of regulation and policy to trade.

Economists believe that regulation hurts small business in four ways. First, as Nicole and Mark Crain of Lafayette University explain, regulatory compliance exerts a disproportionately large burden on small companies because the fixed costs of adhering to rules can be spread out over more revenue in large firms than in small ones. In the US, Crain and Crain estimated the per employee cost of complying with Federal regulations at $10,585 for businesses with fewer than 20 employees but only $7,755 for businesses with more than 499 workers.

Small business owners are increasingly frustrated by government regulation, which they say has become a major problem in recent years. Twenty-two percent of small business owners surveyed to the National Federation of Independent Business’s November member survey say that governmental regulation and red tape is the most important issue that they face today, just one percentage point fewer than the fraction that identified taxes the number one problem.

Now researchers at a variety of think tanks are beginning to believe that government regulation is doing more than causing entrepreneurs to gripe. They are concerned that rising regulation could be keeping would-be entrepreneurs from starting companies. Anthony Kim of the Heritage Foundation explains, the rising cost of complying with regulations makes marginal entrepreneurial endeavors uneconomical, which also causes the start-up rate to decline.

How can a start-up free itself of time to innovate and what does this mean for collaborative innovation?

When you want to enhance the innovation level in the organisation and create exceptional results, you need to invite your employees and your team to create white boarding to effect a kaisen, a Japanese term for continuous improvement, this will start tapping into the brainwork of product development sales and marketing, there is no point designing an innovative product if you have no demand generation.

Here are 3 tips for innovating in the team:

  1. Innovation is not the same as invention.

Many people conflate innovating with inventing. While there are similarities, we think of innovation as a way to find more appealing ways to do or make things that already exist, and invention as the creation of something that never existed before.

  1. Always have a head of innovation.

Nearly all companies these days have a head of innovation, although this can be a co-founder or CEO. A business that values innovation needs to have a chief innovation officer (or at least a leading person of influence tasked with that responsibility) who not only drives the innovation initiatives of the company but also works to embed the paradigm of innovation into the company’s vision and culture.

  1. Customers must drive innovation.

Innovation should drive company strategy, customers should drive innovation and provoke thinking. Companies must innovate in ways that make sense to their corporate missions and values; if they break their brand promise to consumers, they can easily lose credibility and trust.

Always remember innovation evokes constant change and driving solutions. The more complex the world becomes, the more problems there is to solve.

The negatives are that start-ups have a tendency to run out of cash. For every founder that manages to bootstrap a startup, there are dozens, maybe hundreds that do run out of cash for any number of reasons: they do not want to give up equity, they do not budget properly, they do not plan for how long it takes to raise rounds of funding, their burn rate is too high, or some combination of the aforementioned.

If gaps in the strategy fail, then the team does not have what it takes. Some founders just can not get along. Others fall apart when the initial strategy fails, as it often does. Still others are out to make a quick buck and are not committed to working day and night over the long haul. Any VC or investment house will tell you, a big part of what they invest in is the management team and not just a great idea.

Perhaps the most important tip I can give you is this: If your startup fails, it is worth spending time to understand what went wrong. That’s the only way you’re going to improve the odds of making it next time. And, I am sure there will be a next time for you. Hopefully when you start planning and exercise the business strategy you will see the paradigm between a good idea and commercial reality and importantly what’s needed to be implemented to drive business growth and success.

10 ways to start 2015 on a positive note

sun_feather_imageWith all the geo-political unrest in the world, it is stated by The Conference Board, that global economic growth in 2015 will hold at a rate of 3.4 percent. Downsides to the global outlook relate to intensifying political and economic risks; upsides relate to the ability of policy and business to invest in people, raise productivity, and rebuild trust and confidence

Interesting enough, Forbes took an end-of-year look at companies leading the way as valuations get extra frothy, ranking the Hottest Start-ups of 2014 by fastest growing valuation over time between funding rounds. These aren’t necessarily the most successful (or most hyped) start-ups — but they are the ones that investors are betting the biggest bucks on for the future.

The Forbes 2014 list included some big names, like private taxi juggernaut Uber (3rd), which announced another $1.2 billion funding round in December, coming just six months after a previous raise of $1 billion-plus. And investors aren’t just bullish on Uber’s future (at a $40 billion valuation) — they love the whole ride-share category. Uber’s arch-rival Lyft also appears (7th), along with smaller competitor RelayRides (14th).

Home-rental service Airbnb is the second-largest start-up on the list (at 15th). After raising $450 million in 2014, Airbnb’s valuation jumped to over $10 billion. It’s also yet another Silicon Valley disruptor growing despite fierce opposition from regulators in certain places. Cloud human resources company Zenefits, the 1st startup on their list, is also fighting against laws that restrict its business practices in Utah.

Some of 2014′s hottest start-ups are already graduating out of private company life. Since raising $90 million in its April 2014 series F funding round (and adding nearly $3 billion to its valuation), Lending Club went public on December 11, adding another $870 million to its coffers in the IPO. Shares quickly shot up to $24 a share from the $15 price, giving the company a new market capitalization of $9 billion.

The most recent recession saw tens of thousands of people suddenly lose their jobs after spending most of their adult lives on the same career path. This prompted many to consider whether it would make more sense to work for themselves and not for a company. These days, more people are deciding to take their future into their own hands and become entrepreneurs.

It is a fact that no business is guaranteed to succeed. But with the right level of energy, passion, determination to a belief in yourself and your product/service you can progress independently with your dream idea and business.

sun_feather_imageThe beginning of the year has arrived and while it’s important to take some time to assess the positives and negatives of 2014, it is also worthwhile ensuring everything is ready for the year ahead so that 2015 does not start with unnecessary stress.

Many entrepreneurs are passionate about their chosen trade but aren’t always strong when it comes to the financial side of business.

It is the little things that people often forget about. Simple things, like cash flow and budget, that can make all the difference.

The following 10 tips would make sure business owners cover all their bases and have a successful 2015.

1)      Budget for the year ahead

2)      Understand your business and its customers

3)      Analyse your monthly management accounts

4)      Keep your accounts and taxes up to date

5)      Secure your IP/IPR

6)      Know your limitations

7)      Invest in good legal and accountancy experts

8)      Build revenue streams with trusted relationships – no matter how small

9)      Invest in cash recovery experts

10)   Take a holiday and exercise every now and then

If you follow the tips you will see the benefits returned ten-fold.

What is happiness?

smiley faceThere has been much discussion around happiness and the opening of our hearts to truly experience passion and energies which have a profound effect over our ability to elevate our emotions and increase productivity, relationships and success in life.

Pharell Williams, the music artist, had an unbelievable global success with his song ‘Happy.’‎

But with all this in mind, exactly what is happiness?

A few years ago I arrived at Hong Kong international airport earlier than anticipated and purchased a book by Professor Richard Layard called ‘Happiness’ In this new edition of his landmark book, this book shows that there is a paradox at the heart of our lives. Most people want more income. Yet as societies become richer, they do not become happier. All the evidence in the book show, that on average, people have grown no happier in the last fifty years.

So with this in mind, can money buy love, or even happiness?

It is certainly natural to believe that success will bring you happiness, but a variety of psychologists, including Harvard’s Shawn Achor, have argued that this common sense understanding is actually backwards. Success does not make you happy so much as happiness makes you more successful.

But how much more successful exactly, and how can you ever rigorously scientifically test something like that?

Interesting enough, something as simple as writing down three things you are grateful for or three things that you have intentions towards, every day for 21 days in a row can significantly increase your level of optimism and happiness.

Happy and unhappy people have the same pain and trauma. The difference is happy people have a disposition which helps them bounce back very quickly. When you cultivate a happier attitude, you become less dependent on external sources of validation, and trust your thoughts, emotions and behaviours.

It’s a proven fact that happy people are:

·        Smarter and more creative

·        More stable and happy marriages

·        Make more money

·        Healthier and live longer

·        Are more generous

summer pictureMany organisations wrongly assume that employees dealing with things like stressful commutes or worrisome family problems can simply check their emotions at the door. Most cannot. But there are steps that both employees and employers can take to reset the bad moods that compromise job performance.

One important way employees can reset a negative mood on their own is by creating an intentional transition. That might mean stopping for a coffee, listening to a favorite piece of music or taking a more scenic route to the office. It Is more than just a feel good strategy, it can set the stage for making a better impression at work.

In terms of relationships and happiness at home, according to a new Brigham Young University study published by researchers Lori Schade and Jonathan Sandberg, romantic couples who text each other with confirming messages (“How are you?” “How’s it going?” “I miss you!” “I feel tingly just thinking about you!!!”) tend to experience greater relationship satisfaction. Confirming messages are best conveyed with an emotional dimension – communicating essentially: “I care about you,” and “You’re important in my life.” In fact, sending affectionate messages to one’s partner yield even greater emotional satisfaction than receiving them.

On the other hand, couples who rely on texting for conflict resolution tend to experience lower relationship satisfaction. When texting, vital verbal, non-verbal and emotional cues are invariably missed, which can severely limit a couple’s ability to reconcile.

What makes you happy and how do you manage work and personal happiness?​

And the winners are …

Book Launch The five winners from the book competition have been contacted by email and they were all given instructions how to get their signed copy.

The correct answer? There were five books in the stack.

I hope you will all enjoy reading it and maybe later you could tell me your thoughts about the book. I would appreciate that.

My publishing company Troubador has posted about the book signing on their website. You can find it here.

On 22nd September, a large group of guests gathered at Waterstones in Charing Cross to join Geoff Hudson-Searle as he signed copies of his new autobiography Freedom After The Sharks.

After the event, Geoff and the guests moved to The Cinnamon Club in Westminster for a speech and further signing.

I am very grateful for the many reactions, the positive feedback, the great reviews, and discussions that resulted from the book.

Thank you all!

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!

Win a signed copy of Geoff Hudson-Searle’s Freedom After The Sharks!

Win a signed copy of Freedom After The Sharks!

competition stack to win a signed copy
Can you guess how many books are in this stack?

For your chance to win a signed copy, look closely at the image and guess how many books are in the stack.

You can click on the image to enlarge it.

Leave your answer in the comments section at the bottom of this post. The 5 closest or correct answers will win a signed copy!

The competition closes at midnight on 28 September 2014 GMT.

The five winners will be announced next week and will be given an email address to contact us to claim their books.

Tweet this competition!

Download a free chapter.

Book Cover "Freedom After The Sharks"

Freedom After The Sharks is the story of a man who, despite a difficult family life, developed the determination, drive and skills to create a successful business and a happy life.

Freedom After The Sharks shows how, even in a declining economy, a business can survive and even succeed.

It covers real-life experiences and offers some suggestions for dealing with problems and issues.

It provides a guide to finding your way in the business world.

Why not download a free chapter?