Growth or survival – your choice

Given a choice, what would you prefer?  To have a JOB (just over broke) or a business that really rewards your efforts?

It may seem a bit of a dumb question – Surely you’d like a successful business that provides you the wealth you feel you deserve.

The thing is, you already have the business you deserve right now.  Yep; that’s a sobering thought.

I’ve found over the years that it isn’t always about having more money (yeah right), it’s about having the funds and time you feel you need to live the life you think you want – and the feeling that you’re worth it.

Working with people starting their first enterprise, through to those who’ve developed and sold one or more companies, the challenges and issues are pretty much the same – they just seem bigger/smaller.

So what to do about it all…. those that know me, know that I’m not a ‘believe and it will be’ sort of guy… I’m the ‘how to’ coach.

Part of the ‘how to’ is to have good self esteem.  When you look in the mirror, do you respect the person looking back?

If the answer is no or, not sure, then we need to talk.  Between us we can change that. With a program of robust and motivating coaching sessions to get the confidence levels up.

Then we can work on developing your business.

Currently I’m working with someone who ‘got it’… their feelings of self worth and esteem have grown tremendously.  Their business has just quadrupled.  Another client now has a very successful business with a team of 5; when previously they were on their own.  Others I’ve worked with have also grown their company successfully.

Some clients are still works in progress – as a mentor and coach, I’ve learnt that you can’t make someone go quicker than they can cope with… it’s too easy to fire someone up and think your job is done…. unless the foundations are robust, their house will fold like a pack of cards.

I’m a firm believer that we are all awesome in our own way…. the issue is that we often don’t realise how great we are. Part of what I do is to help people envision a great future.

Are you ready to let your awesome side loose?  How excited would you be to achieve what you promised yourself?

For a practical, pragmatic and proven approach to business…. lets talk and see how we can make your business work for you.

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Who’s stupid now?

With all the recent announcements from national retailers of their losses and upcoming closures, it made me think as to why they are in trouble.

There are lots of experts saying about changing markets and internet sales.

There was even an item about it on a well known news broadcasting channel. They identified an innovation that would make things better…

The ‘innovative’ solution was a ‘smart rack’ that will identify the clothing item and will tell you it’s price, size & other attributes.  It can even do a ‘compare’ on multiple items.  This is all very clever, but, and this is the big but….

Everyone seems to have forgotten that people buy from people….

Where is the real, face to face, professional, courteous, 1 2 1, sales assistant, professionally helping the customer to buy?

Have you noticed how many sales people have no knowledge about the stuff they are selling?  Or worse still, don’t care.

I came across this post on Facebook recently from a sales person…

“An angry customer said us salespeople were stupid.  What they don’t realise is that we talk about them behind their backs… and laugh about them… whose stupid now?”

And that my friends is why customers don’t go back!  They may as well just buy on the internet and not feel insulted.

Maybe, just maybe, the real reason for all the losses is that the big retailers have lost sight of why they are in business?  Maybe they have forgotten to educate their staff to understand that, as irritating as a customer may be, without them coming back and buying more, there is no business!

The small retailers who give proper customer service are getting it right. One of my clients is able to open another premises to cope with the expanding trade that is coming their way. At the core of what they do is ‘excellent customer service – as standard”.

Time to train your team to be professional and polite to YOUR customers, after all ‘all the money you will ever earn is currently in the hands of someone else.

Why not accelerate the learning process and work with me on an ‘engaging and serving the customer’ session.

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Are you being held accountable?

As part of my coaching and mentoring, I’m often required to hold my clients accountable for the tasks they have chosen to undertake.  It is easy to think of this role as just prodding someone.  But, and this is a big but, it takes a lot of thought as to what is ‘the best way’ to motivate them, in a constructive way.

Some character styles are happy with a ‘verbal’ kick up the rear; that’s enough to get them back on track. Whist others need help refocusing on their goals’ and why they chose them in the first place – delivered in a way that suits their character style.  There is a very fine line between being bossy/nagging, and constructively motivating someone to achieve their goal.

I have seen a number of people become demotivated when ‘bullied’ by the coaching approach.  Not everyone reacts in the same way.  There is no single approach.

So, as a motivator of people, I implore coaches/mentors to take time to work out the best way to help get someone on track with their tasks.  After all, it’s about how well the coachee does, not how clever the coach seems.

I’ve worked with clients, where much of my work, revolves around rebuilding their self-esteem after a poor experience.  This can also be from well-meaning family and friends.  The ‘just pull yourself together’ or ‘just do it’ type of approach doesn’t often help.  We work on the ‘how to achieve it’.

One of my clients calls me their ‘jiminy Cricket’ like the character in Dumbo; who is Dumbo’s conscience. I’ve been told, more than once, by clients that they have thought of me, and what I’d be saying if I was there; and feeling motivated to get the task done.  “even when he’s not here, I can still hear the damn man”.

It can feel a bit hash to tell someone they need to do more/do less, or change; but if I don’t, it means ‘Nothing Inside me Cares Enough (NICE) to tell them how it is.  We usually only really reach our potential when pushed. That’s what the coach is for.

Make sure that the coaching/mentoring you choose, uses the style of accountability that suits you.

Email me if you would like to find out more.

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Upgrade your presenting skills

Do you want to make your presentations more effective?  Do you want to convert more delegates to buy what you’re selling?

Then it’s time to upgrade your skills…

Take a look at this recent Case Study for the Managing Partner of a corporate law firm…

Presentation skills Case Study

email to find out how we can help you achieve more from your efforts.

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Interesting financial News from Dubai



At the start of 2018, taxes will be formally introduced for the first time in Dubai. The implications are deeper than they may first appear.

It’s not so much the actual tax itself, I understand that there will be VAT at 5% (after a period of 0% to allow companies to implement the changes), it’s the fact that many businesses have not previously kept formal accounts.

Typically the bigger companies do have proper financial controls in place, but, it appears, that there are some companies which do not have robust financial controls in place.

Some business owners have been looking to sell their company before the requirement for more formal accounting; but who would risk buying an enterprise where you couldn’t be sure of the actual results the business has achieved.

It is a great opportunity for financial experts, accountants and bookkeepers to assist in putting proper financial management systems in place.

It will be interesting to see how Dubai develops with the new taxation approach.

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What sort of business model have you chosen?


There are many ways to build a business; I’m thinking in terms of long term or short term.

Most of the companies I work with are what I’d call long term.  Businesses that develop from a small kernel of an idea; or a fairly large investment to create a business with a reasonable size team.

These businesses develop their client base and position in the marketplace and continue to trade for a long time.

In my experience, some business owners have a clear idea of what their business will achieve, spanning many years (even decades).  They’re in it for the long term.

Many business owners I ask, haven’t thought much about the details beyond a few years, if that far.  This is a fairly typical model of the S of the SME world.

What about a different approach?

Here in Dubai, and I know it’s not only here, I learnt more about a culture of quick in and out.  Build a business quickly make a big profit from an opportunity, and move on.

It led me to think about the way a number of business owners I’ve talked to, plan (or rather don’t plan) the model of their business.

What is the end game, and how long should a business run?  Is the business something long term, or could it be that it would be better to gain a quick return from a specific opportunity.

I’ve met a number of people who now have a portfolio of long term business investments, built on the profits of a short-term opportunity.

One example I can think of, was when Ireland changed to the Euro.  Lest just say that there were a number of people who had savings in Punts that they didn’t want to transfer to Euros.

I’m thinking of one specific sector for my example.  The marine sector. Namely the building of racing yachts.  In 2000, Cork Week (a big sailing competition), there was a massive increase in new yachts.  A number of boat building companies took the opportunity to up production within a specific timeframe.

The thing is, people that were ready to take advantage of the boom years, made significant profits; and then, either finished with that business, or descaled back to a previous operating level.

So, if you’re looking at an opportunity in business, there may be some that arise around the changes due to Brexit; Could you set up a short-term business that has clear goals and a specific timeframe/targets?

From my point of view, it would be an interesting and exciting opportunity to mentor business owners of short term/specific target businesses, and help them then develop long term companies.

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Does your technology pay for itself?

Those that know me, know that I love my tech. I like the way my Apple kit coordinates and syncs across all the linked phone, iMac, MacBook and iPad. Other platforms also work well.

Underlying all this tech is the need for it to make my business more efficient. I have this kit to make my company easier to run – and I would be the first to admit, I like how it looks. Yet; it has to work well or I’m not interested!

Make sure that the new tech you are buying for your business, actually pays for itself.

All too often a business will acquire new technology that makes working ‘better’.  Be careful that it doesn’t just make work prettier.

For example… many years ago, a company that I worked for, used a simple word processor system on green (or orange) screens.  We had to send reports on the weekly success of a project for the production meeting.  All the reports were around 80 to 100 words – succinct and to the point.

Then we got a wonderful new system that allowed the reports to be created in differing formats and layouts.  The reports looked great! Colourful, beautifully laid out and….. verbose! Some were 250 to 300 flowery words long.

The reports became weekly works of art; and the upshot was that the contents of the reports, what was actually required, became almost useless.

It was just an example of how our office became excited with the format, rather than keeping the content useful and to the point.  With all the new tech toys, it is so easy to get carried away and forget what the aim of the task is.

Be strict, and make sure the tech you buy for your business, deliveres productivity- whatever that means to your product or service.

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