Know yourself

I really like the idea of having your child go through a Myers Briggs type assessment, while on their ‘year out’ after tertiary education, to work out,  according to e.g. Myers Briggs, their personality type.
We all know what our kids are like, but that’s just because we live with them daily.  They’re cute, funny, annoying, cheeky etc.
The above is not something we can easily structure into a tool or maybe even a profile/statement of them, which they can easily reflect on and understand how it will help them in later life.
The old adage of ‘you can’t really know what you can offer someone (in this case being goods and services, or support) unless you really know yourself’ is very true.
Everyone (IMHO) should know themselves i.e what they’re like, having done some sort of personality test, just so they know

This ‘self’ is obviously very different from social media profiles and has a totally different need.  It won’t necessarily be needed to get you a job, it’s more for the individual to see how they score (from a disassociated perspective) according to how they answer certain questions.   The questions are usually answered pretty swiftly, without thinking for too long about them.  Just going with the gut feeling.
Q – What do you think about this?
Remember, this is all to do with the inidividual knowing themselves and then taking a step into the unknown, but knowing of their arsenal.
Have a read of the following  –
I will be getting Ria to do this as part of this project.  I’m certain that there is more value in doing this testing and then following up with targetted action based on the results.  Not sure exactly ho it will work out, but it feels right.
The only time I’ve gone through any psychometric testing is at work, as part of a personal development plan.  I wonder how different my career/life choices would have been if I’d had this support earlier on in my life…..

There’s usually (IMHO) some pressure to wedge yourself in somewhere..

Taking a year out after a levels usually means getting a job, then after a year, possibly sticking to it, or starting your studies again, maybe do an apprenticeship, possibly just as bewildered as you were a year earlier.

There’s usually (IMHO) some pressure to wedge yourself in somewhere.


There has to be a more effective way of using that “year out” that puts you in a position of becoming super employable, super good at something OR multiple things, so you can be flexible about the choices you make and the path(s) you choose to tread.

That “year out” should nurture you, leaving you feeling content with what you choose to do and confident that you can turn to do anything, to give it a shot and just see how it goes.

As I write this, it feels like a deeper issue than I first imagined.

#11Months11Projects #Experiencecounts #AlternativetoUniversity#NoUniNoCry #Bestjobintheworld #Collaborationstartsathome#Proactiveparenting

#A-levels #Alevels #gcse

Do any job well


Interesting thing happened to me at my work place.

We have this thing that each team takes it in turn to keep the communal kitchen area clean and tidy, for a week, per team.
This usually involves –
  • wiping down work surfaces
  • washing the odd dish
  • loading and unloading the dishwashers
  • sweeping the floor
There are about 200 people in the company, on site and this kitchen area is used heavily at various times of the day.
It’s a known fact that this job is not liked much and nobody looks forward to it.  That includes me.  Having to clean up another person’s mess is not nice.
It’s a culture thing…..We (at giffgaff) all look after the kitchen area in turns and it helps people sometimes get to know one another and keeps everyone grounded to the “giffgaff” culture,
giffgaff translated: an ancient Scottish word that means ‘mutual giving’.
I understand the kitchen duties as follows.   We give a little, we get back a great place to work, we live the culture daily, we get other perks like company days out, team building sessions, which all add up to the great place to work, mentioned earlier.
This is my take on it.  I may be wrong.
There is an understood expectation to do it, although it’s obvious that “some folk” just don’t do it.
There are some who will just pretend to forget and claim that they were really busy when it comes down to doing this work.
If you know me, you will know that I muck in whenever necessary and I’m a team player.  On the week that my department had kitchen duties, I noticed a few folk that were conveniently ignoring their responsibility and not taking the job seriously.
I could see that there were some faces in the team just not showing up, because of various reasons.  When I managed to get them into the vicinity of the kitchen I heard the reasons why they were reluctant to get there.  Some of them I have highlighted below –
 – I just don’t do this kind of work
 – I’ve never used a dishwasher before
 – my wife usually does this kind of work
 – we’re not cleaners, why are we doing this?
 – I don’t know where to start
Now… it’s a kitchen for god’s sake, it’s not brain surgery.
I could see that it would be quite easy for the ones ignoring the work to continue to do so.
I did the following to try and get everyone involved –
 – I set-up a calendar invite with all the team members at 10am/2pm and 5pm so they got a notification saying “Time to clean up the kitchen”
 – I also created a mutual messaging space (using the company messenger service) and sent a message each time we needed to clean up, so that all the members got the message
 – I even walked up to the potential no-shows at the times mentioned and took them to the kitchen
From my side I made every effort to organise folk and make sure they turned up.  It was really easy to do this bit.  The hard part was dealing with no-shows, when they ignored all the messages I was sending them.
The other hard bit was dealing with the frustration when I went to the kitchen to clean it up myself…….but I still did it.
Some folk were genuinely not available, i.e on holiday, or away from the office, so they were not in the “no-shows” camp.
It may be that I was seen as a mug in this instance, but, I couldn’t sit there and see a job done badly, even if it is seen as a “menial” cleaning task.  It unfortunately highlighted things about the no-shows work ethic, to me,  through this observation.
In summary –
I received much praise (from other folk) for trying to organise my team and making sure everyone got involved, as well as getting stuck in myself.  More praise than I have received recently in my regular duties, that it showed how visible a perceived menial task is to those that use the kitchen (about 190 other people).
It also highlighted a perception of the no-shows, which was formed based on them not turning up.
Integrity and respect take much time and hard work to build up.  Don’t lose them by avoiding a task that you think doesn’t hold any value.
Moral of the story –
Do any job to the best of your ability.  You’ll feel better for it and you’ll show others around you “how to do a job properly”.  Don’t just do the menial tasks when the boss is watching.
You don’t have to want to get noticed for doing a job like this one, but your attitude towards the job will get noticed without you even trying.
Plus you’ll have a clean kitchen and happy faces coming towards you.

If a man looks for rest, he will find boredom, if he looks for work… he will find rest

I heard this on a show called “The Call Centre” by a chap called “Nev Wilshire”.  Nev is a great guy, super sharp and with a larger than life character.  Read on and you will find out why.

Nev Wilshire is real and he runs a call centre in Swansea.  He is a larger than life, quite colourful character.  The BBC decided to make a fly on the wall documentary about his call centre and goings on.

Part of Nev’s many responsibilities is staff management.  In one of the episodes he had to deal with someone who wasn’t pulling their weight and wasn’t particularly engaged with their work.

I forget what the actual context was but it led Nev to quote something that really resonated with me.  I immediately liked Nev more, when said this.  He had lots of integrity anyway but had a ton more, after
I heard this phrase come out of his mouth.  I think this is a quote that his father used to use.


“If a man looks for rest he will find boredom, if he looks for work he will find rest”

This quote is by Dylan Thomas actually, but I heard Nev say it first.

Throughout the year and our working lives, some of us look forward to the holidays we are going to get and can’t see beyond them.  There are those that won’t do much else other than dream of their next break, but not make the run up to that time productive enough and are always bored and complaining that they are in the wrong job, are bored or are frustrated for some reason.  In my view you should be shattered by being so engaged in your work that the holiday you are looking forward to is going to be that extra bit more worth it.

Then there are those who plan for themes amazing holidays, stick them in the calendar, but then see what they need to do in the meantime (the job in front of them) so they become involved and either learn a whole heap of stuff, while the holiday time arrives, or they get absorbed in a piece (or multiple) pieces of work, that they become influential in the piece of work and start controlling it.

I like to think I’m in the latter camp, constantly looking for work opportunities and interesting projects to be involved in.  It’s a personal way of working for me, but I  like to dive in with everything or not dive in at all.

Q – Where do you sit?
Q – Which do you think is a better place to be, to be in control of your finances and opportunities?



Why progress stops!

Why progress stops!

  • Overwhelmed?  too much other stuff to do or if you think there is? Maybe…
  • Losing sight of the target? Maybe…
  • Lack of planning your schedule? Maybe…
  • No quiet time to think (BINGO!!)

It’s not having time to stop and think OR reflect that’s caused a stop in my ability to write blogs about my experience of working smarter and being able to take control of my finances.

It may seem like a complaint or whinge, but I feel as if I’ve had a little too much to do of late, in the past few weeks.

It hasn’t been work stuff, it’s just been stuff, walking the dog, attending family and other social events, (s0me) travelling for work, which has left little or no space during my week to spend time writing about my experience.

But today (a particular Sunday) I find myself with some quiet time.  My wife and kids are out at a relative’s house, which I managed to avoid (thankfully).  I have caught up with everything work related (I did that on Friday), my phone and social media world is quiet or I have been ignoring it somewhat,  and the dog can’t be walked because it’s about 30 degrees c outside.  So all seems under control with my world (right now).

I knew I had been ignoring my blogging targets of at least one video/blog a week, based on my experience of working smarter and becoming more in control of my finances. So this quiet time allowed me to re-connect with my “Why”.

My “Why” is “I believe that everyone should comfortably be able to take part in work related activities and have a fully engaged personal (family/social) life without feeling stressed by either of these two spaces.  These spaces and the people that operate in them should work in harmony.  Everyone in these spaces should be 100% responsible for their destiny and options and also understand that people in work will not try to slack off if they are treated as responsible folk.

This quiet time prompted a few topics for blogs which have given me something to write about and for others to read and hopefully learn from.

I don’t get enough quiet time to myself, just to “do nothing”, but I often forget I need it.  Quiet time to myself is one thing that brings my brain back to an equilibrium (feeling centred).

If I feel a little stressed then there’s usually too much noise, which needs shutting off, or turning down.


My Why (Short and Sweet).


I believe that every individual should feel “FREE” from pressure/stress to live their personal/family lives, fully engaged and happily, in harmony with their work activities. In summary, have a fulfilling quality flexible personal life, alongside an engaged and fulfilling flexible work life.

Any working person should be able to work as flexibly as required, whether employed or running their own business, around their personal/family lives.

The concept of “What is your why? came from a chap called “Simon Sinek“. See this video –

See my video at – about my why.

It took me ages to work out my why. And when it came to me, it was like a explosion went off in my head…something popped! I felt kind of free when I worked it out.

It was a really important point to get this bit done and if you’re reading this, I’m going to take a stab that it will be for you too.

Let me know your thoughts.

Q – Need help with your why?

Q – What is your why?


Work from anywhere, by running an online business.

So what does that mean?? I hear you ask.

Before we go on, I know that the picture (below) is a very cliché, but let’s dream a little, at least until you finish reading this blog.


Well it’s not a new concept.

It means that you:

  • aim to create an online presence
  • get yourself known as an expert/influencer in a niche that you are an expert
  • identify an issue/problem within your target group
  • work out a way that you can help them, using your expertise
  • then help them

That’s a nice idea and there are already some challenges there. The point is that there are thousands of people doing this already, within many different niches. A large number of them are actively present, online and making an income from various income streams, but they are free to work from any where in the world AND on their terms.

This means:

  • they can work in the location of their dreams (e.g. in a sunny part of the world, with good beaches and lots of daylight….nice!)
  • they work the hours they choose
  • they can choose to work as much or as little as they want
  • as long as they have a computer (laptop/tablet/smart phone) and an internet connection, they can work

This lifestyle can pay mortgages, allow to buy your car/house outright, put your children through university, fund holiday etc, etc.  You get the picture, right?

But there are some caveats:

  • you need to stay active and in peoples faces, their social media news feeds with blogs and videos etc, especially when starting off in this space
  • you need to create and give away an abundance of value for free, with little nuggets of information that help others get over problems they may be having and possibly prompt them to get in touch with you
  • you need to protect your time or charge a significant amount for it
  • you need to create high value information products to sell, with up-sells to create income from many sources and recurring income
  • you will benefit from joint ventures with other service providers that compliment yours and crossover nicely
  • you need to network with others, online 99% of the time, based on posts you create and respond to other peoples posts
  • you need to stay focused on your niche, the problem your demographic has, and your solutions to it
  • people need to know you are real and do exist, so allowing them to meet you is important, at events you run or at mutual events run by others
  • you need to use all your communication techniques to build up rapport, integrity, trust and respect with anyone you intend to help within your niche
  • rapport, integrity, trust and respect are built up over time, so allow for that time

The goal here is to free you up from a world of “being employed”, “having a boss to answer to”, to a point where you can have the best possible quality family life, while easily running an online business with multiple streams of income.

This doesn’t have to turn into a bashing of employers or the employed way of life. It’s about exploring ways of creating additional and multiple streams of income, so you can happily and harmoniously become more in control of your quality of life.

A blog I follow is that of Darren Rowse – Problogger – .  He got in to blogging not for profit, but (in Darren’s words) “on an impulse one afternoon having seen a blog written by a guy on the other side of the world and witnessing how he used it to amplify his voice and grow a community around his ideas”.

Income came for Darren further in his journey, after exploring the various avenues towards creating an income, in this case as a blogger, but one that has explored many niches and written content on each of them.

I find his manner and approach to sharing knowledge and information very palatable and easy to follow.   The blogs are written in a way that gives the impression that “you can do this too” and that there is a proven system to achieving success from it.

What you’re reading now, is a blog.  This is my attempt to do what this post says, following in the foot steps of a proven blogger.

Good luck in your ventures.