Category Archives: marketing
…and not in a good way!
So when is it OK and not OK to be naked…for me I love getting my kit off, probably because I am an exhibitionist, or more to the truth, I really do like to kick back and shed the weekday attire and feel the sand between my toes and the elements on my skin, but that naked is OK…I am asking about the feeling you have when someone you have looked up to and aspire to be as good as if not better turns out to be….well to quote a phrase ‘not all that’
I guess the only way I could feel any more naked is if, there were others.
Others, who on the outside or from a distance have a good ‘show’ a presence, a swagger, a reputation and integrity.
OH NO…it has happened….Like Icarus, I clearly got to close…and substance – missing, ability – lacking and integrity – do not pass go, do not collect £200.
So there I am about to spiral…now which way do I go…?
Up and risk the ego taking over?
Or down and risk the ever too faithful human sabotage take over…Oh wait there is another way…of course there is…because I AM CONGRUENT.
Congruent I hear you ask? Yes, Congruent. A mid-15th century Latin word Congruentum meaning ‘to come together, agree, correspond with’ A word that I use regularly with clients and myself. To me it means simply this. For me to be the best coach I can be, I need to be coached.
I need to understand how it feels when someone holds the mirror up and I am there, looking in, squirming…
I need to understand how I feel when I am being questioned about what I have or haven’t done to result in what I currently have or am.
I need to understand how empowered I feel when I am aided in reaching the point I need to reach to make it happen
I need to create my own solutions and have someone who I can bounce off, an outside voice who will not be my ‘yes man’ and help me see how it really is….
..Show me when challenges need facing and when brilliance exactly that, brilliance.
So I turn to my coach, I am naked (they don’t laugh, which is also a bonus!!) and I share what I am feeling, a little lost. Something has knocked me sideways and I can quite place it…See that is the beauty of having a coach and being coached…a voice at the end of a phone or a welcome face over a coffee to listen, questions, facilitate and empower me.
I had begun to think my ego had gone and got way out of hand…I am no shrinking violet I know that, but what I was witnessing, experiencing, was mentors and business professionals who I looked up to and admired, possibly even to aspired to be, behaving in ways I never imagined I would experience. Then I began to think, maybe it’s not that, maybe it’s that my compass was way off and I had been looking in the wrong places or looking for the wrong things…
What transpires is simple. It is something I am very aware of and many reading this will be too…and there it is folks…the best learning’s are the life lessons that keep showing us that we are alive, they are not complicated or scientific, they are simple, powerful and right there.
We are a constant.
That was it…where I was years ago, to where I am now, where my mentors were to where they are now is just different. Not better, not worse, just different.
What I wanted then and was getting out of bed for then is not what drives me now.
And here is my compass.
I am here to inspire, educate and motivate.
To encourage the world to think and act differently, one step at a time.
I help people believe. And if you wish to dismiss that, then go and try something that you don’t believe and let me know how you get on!
My ethics and my morals bound me to only do what is right for me and my clients. I choose the game now and I can play to the level that I want, that I choose.
My mission is to help you realise the game you wish to play and importantly the level that you want to play it at.
Because life is just a game. A beautiful, emotional, passionate, romantic, harsh, humorous & real game. Step up to the plate, pick up a bat and swing…you can’t win if you don’t swing the bat, that is a fact.
So I am extremely grateful to the path that I have chosen and the routes that it takes me every week…burning new pathways, establishing new relationships and building new opportunities to make this world better, one step at a time.
I am grateful to my coach and my clients, past present and future.
I am grateful for my health and every day that I am given to get up and make it happen.
Whatever you do, do it to your best and the best will find you back.
When you are ready to take the bat and start winning…call me. The Congruent Coach. +44(0) 1792 911881
Having seen some of the press this week that chartered the end for men in business, triggered by Hanna Rosin’s new book ‘End of Men’ where she highlights mans lack of want to change from old gender roles. I wanted to share this piece by Joanna Judd I saw a little while back. As men so say struggle to balance work and life balance, so do women. As women so say struggle to balance the guilt of good parent and business person, so do men. We have similar challenges yet we are very different in our make up and how we re perceived.
Women are beautiful beings! Your natural feminine energy is to be soft and vulnerable which can be difficult to maintain in the masculine world of business. The challenge for women in business in the 21st century is to remain feminine whilst still being strong, in control and independent.
As you know, men and women are different and we wouldn’t want it any other why. Whilst we should all be treated equally, we are not identical or the same. It’s the differences that make us ultimately complement each other and when you understand the differences you can use them to your advantage when dealing with men and women.
What’s the main difference between men and women? Its hormones. Testosterone is what makes a man a man and oestrogen is what makes a woman a woman. Hormones flow through our body influencing not only how we deal with things physically but also emotionally. Whilst men and women can demonstrate both masculine and feminine qualities, men essentially have a masculine energy and women, a feminine energy.
The business world is largely a man’s world, charged with masculine energy and men have always been part of it. Men are raised to know they will always work and that business is the natural place for them to be a man. Until recent times, women always knew their work place would be their home and family and as a society we accepted the roles that both men and women filled.
Economic times have changed however so whilst men remain in their “natural” workplace and energy space, women today have dual workplaces of both home and business requiring them to be multi-dimensional, moving constantly between the traditional male and female energy spaces. To be a man in business he just needs to be a man and be in his masculine energy. To be a woman in business, she needs to move out of her feminine energy into her masculine energy and if not given the opportunity to stay connected with her feminine energy, a woman can end up feeling disempowered from who she really is: a woman.
Surveys on what drives or motivates men and women, regularly show that the top three motivating factors for men are: sex, power and achievement. For women, it’s security, relationships and love. This generally explains why for 87% of men, work is the most important area of their life, whilst for women, it’s only 5%. If money was not an issue, the majority of women say they would choose not to work, preferring to do something for the fun or enjoyment of it.
For example….sampling the delights of the GUCCI on their page below (click the link…some heavenly things there)
This is not advocating that women should not be in business or want to be in business – there are many, many women in business achieving excellent results and loving what they do. The challenge for women is to remain naturally feminine whilst working in a largely masculine business world.
Men need space to be a man and women need space to be a woman. Knowing this, the different energies of men and women can be bought into play within a company so that everyone benefits. For example, whilst the competitive male energy will keep a company focused and moving forward, feminine energy will keep a team working together. The two energies complement each other to the benefit of everyone.
Naturally soft and nurturing, women step out of this feminine energy each day to participate in a masculine world of power and achievement. The toll for women is when they are not able to easily return to their natural energy state, is that this can often cause clashes in partner and family relationships. Men are attracted to the feminine energy of a women (it allows them to be more masculine) and having spent a day in the battlefield of business, they yearn to come home to the soft, nurturing energy of their partner and home: it’s what creates the balance in their lives. So if their partner is still powering along in her masculine energy, men can feel home is not the safe place they were looking forward to retreating to, and stress can prevail.
For women, stepping out of that masculine work energy does not always happen the instant you put your briefcase down and change out of your suit. It takes time to let go of the day’s issues and soften. Both men and women need to be aware of the energy shift that women are required to do each day and make space and time for this change at the end of each day. A loving hug to welcome each other home is a simple and ideal way to initiate the energy shift and reconnect as a man and a woman.
The business world is no longer the sole domain of men. Women are valid participants adding great and unique value and business benefits tremendously from the blending and melding of masculine and feminine energies. The key for women however is being able to step out of the business world is to re-emerge into the beautiful, feminine energy that makes you women. Consider a hug: hug your partner, your children and life!
Or as the legendary Phil Evans would say….”Fancy a Cwtsh?” (click his picture and you’ll see)
So if the end of the world is nigh for men….according the the press this week, just remember we have lived in relative harmony for centuries from the cave to boardroom. We need each other t survive and evolve…so to me it is about us, not ‘them and us’
Applying You….You; Simply better.
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full 2 years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path and this cheered it some. But at the end of tile trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on YOUR side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.
For 2 years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots.
Some of us don’t grow old gracefully, some are not so smart, some are tall, large & big, some bald, some physically challenged, but it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.
You’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. There is a lot of good out there. There is a lot of good in you.
Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape. Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life! Or as I like to think of it – If it’s not for the crackpots in my life, it would be pretty boring.
I hear this a lot from business owners I meet. “How do I get more business?”
Well, without offending their gentle souls…here is an idea, it may seem radical, revolutionary and perhaps even Lunacy, so I will whisper it…
“get out from behind your desk and laptop screen and go and find people”
OK, in case you didn’t hear or it didn’t sink in, I will have to shout it aloud
“GET OUT FROM BEHIND YOUR DESK AND LAPTOP SCREEN AND GO AND FIND PEOPLE”
Social media is a brilliant tool, the telephone is a brilliant tool, email is a brilliant tool. But in my life, I have seen trends, fads and the next big thing come and fizzle away…what remains through time is the whites of the eyes, the smile when you greet someone, the handshake, the nerves just before the initial meet, the little voices giving you advice and checking,
“is my right hand free”
“are my hands clammy”
“am i flying low!”
Face to face meetings, networking, exhibitions, speednetworking, seminars and workshops, peers. You can invest your time focusing on actually meeting people and taking your company, your brand, yourself to the people. And you could do each of these separately OR you could leverage your time….How?
Allow me to introduce to you Neil & Tracey Davis. A client of mine who are passionate beyond belief in creating, building and developing proactive, productive business relationships with a unique fusion with all of the above.
So far they are rocking their business shows in the UK which combines the style of exhibitions and networking, with educational seminars, speakers, speednetworking and over 100 plus businesses at every show keen to meet, greet and ‘do’ business in the room.
Yesterday they ‘Rocked’ Gloucester at the Cheltenham Chase Hotel. A brilliant venue, easily to locate, plenty of parking, friendly & efficient staff and fab scenery! A great indication of a vibrant, active and results orientated show is when people turn up at the beginning of the day, are still there in the afternoon and follow up meetings post show are happening in the bar…yesterday had all that in spades.
From the moment you arrive you are greeted by a positive vibe and grown up, friendly fun approach to doing business. The reception crew were ace. Tracey and Neil greet everyone (believe me that is no small feat) and they go further than that. Prior to the show they get to know their exhibitors well. Their network is also strong, so the delegates tend to be on first name terms, if not, it certainly doesn’t take long. This means when Neil and Tracey say you to, “I want you to meet someone” it is because they truly do. They can see, how what you do, could benefit the person they wish to introduce you too and vice versa. A networking masterclass happening right before your eyes (take time to notice and learn from these guys).
As you entered yesterday you were greeted by the shows sponsor Complete Vending Services (CVS) with their awesome coffee machines. http://www.completevendingservices.co.uk/ are a preferred distributor of Douwe Egberts. I think it is safe to say ‘A major hit’ with all exhibitors and delegates. One important note to add here, if you are in business, their solution is affordable, very high quality and with the touchscreen coffee machine will leave a lasting impression on any visitor or customer coming to your premises.
Let’s run around the room and pick out some highlights for you… Phil M Jones was one of the speakers yesterday, with his ‘Forward to basics’ educational workshop on Sales. Phil, a Sales Professional who trains and coaches businesses and their teams in Sales and Business Growth. www.philmjones.com
Then we had http://www.carsondemand.co.uk/, with over thirty years experience in the motor industry, Cars on Demand are specialists in the supply of Short Term Contract Hire and Leasing. Our Flexible Contract Hire and Leasing products include the supply of both Cars and Vans. Whether you are looking for a flexible business solution or flexible personal lease, our small dedicated team offer you the ultimate in flexibility, service and value for money.
Who could miss the ‘Ladies in Red’ from http://www.redvirtualoffice.biz/ RED is a professional, first class customer service focused business team. They are an affordable outsourced service provider, giving you time to concentrate ‘on’ your business, while they work ‘in’ it. Find out how they can help you whether you are in the start up phase or an established business, their service and your budget can fit very well.
While we are talking about passionate people, if you have never invested any time with Robin Cook of http://www.fheconsulting.com/ then you haven’t lived. This guy has bounds of passion for his gifts and he has many of them, IT being one of them. Anyone that can engage with you and not lose you when it comes to IT gets my vote, Robin, I will be asking you to quote soon.
Someone else who I met Friday, (we speed dated….doh, speed networked!) and never got round to chatting more as the day was busy with delegates, is David Holland of http://exela.co.uk/ and I mention David as not only am I hearing good things about him personally, but as a Sales Professional myself I always bang on about systems and process for sales people on top of charm will make a sales person dangerous (in a very good way). Infusionsoft® is the world’s best and fastest growing Marketing & Sales Automation software for the small to midsize company. Infusionsoft®provides you with the tools you need to capture leads, both online & offline; nurture those leads and then turn them into sales.
For those who saw the video for the Bristol Show, will know this next guy. Richard Snell of http://www.lister-communications.co.uk/ who are probably Gloucestershire longest standing reseller of mobile and fixed voice and data services for businesses. No business can survive without communicating, so pick up the phone to Richard and let him sort your telecoms out. One question, who won the ipad?
If you have received an email from the BGS group then you will have seen what http://www.sentori.co.uk/ can do for your business. Email Campaigns, click throughs, marketing and measurables so you can drive volume to your business.
If email campaigns are not your thing yet picking up the phone to business owners and key decision makers is…the only question then is ‘Do I have the data?’ You do now, http://www.b2bleadforce.com/getting-started/ £25 a month gets you access to the UK’s biggest B2B database and it is simple enough to use (even I could!) Give Rupert a call and sit down with him, so he can WOW you with the awesome potential and simplicity of B2B Leadforce.
We also had our very own ITN and BBC qualified cameraman and video producer Alastair in the room.
http://www.sunflowerfilms.org/ a guy who sells what he loves and love his craft he does. With the increase of video in marketing for your business, I would book him before he goes into production!
And finally, before I introduce you to the family that is building in the bottom right hand corner of the room on Friday, I give you Paul Spicer of http://www.lnpsound.com/home/ This guy never stops. Audio, visual, PA systems, video and all round networker. Paul is everywhere. Anyone who has ever used a PA system for speaking or a plasma screen for exhibiting will know, your conversion rate increases when you do. Invest in your business and show you prospective customer you are serious about your business and theirs.
And now, to the family (which makes me sound very Corleone) that is developing all the time.
http://www.talking2minds.co.uk/ are an amazing charity who support ex military. Talking2Minds is leading the way in the effective management and treatment of PTSD and other severe stress related conditions. Their unique programme is key in creating positive outcomes for those that suffer from severe stress related conditions including PTSD. They also support family members and partners that may suffer by proxy/ secondary stress. They specialise in helping complex cases and long term sufferers for whom other approaches have not worked and the mental scars have not healed.
http://www.officedoctors.co.uk/ are far more than de-clutter specialists. They assist people and business to get order in their lives. This comes in many forms from enhancing your knowledge or productivity through to organisation of your information, de-cluttering and organisational layout. The best bit, is the people who carry it out. You wont know until you experience the, so get in touch. Simple.
http://www.ethosdevelopmentltd.com/ Michelle makes an impact wherever she goes. Ethos Development – The Business Generation Machine. Everything that ETHOS does has a shared end objective. The Generation of New Business.
And our End to End solutions for businesses. We recruit YOUR sales and marketing professionals. Then we train YOUR sales and marketing professionals to reach their optimum performance levels. We then coach YOUR team to keep them there.
All that is left for me too say is, if you are not on the list above, come and make yourself known next time. If you want to know how to get more business, get off your backside and go get it. Come to the next show and showcase YOU.
Neil and Tracey – take a bow. Lets rock Cheltenham in September.