What do you think of when you hear this word?

The beauty to me is that it will produce different answers from everyone, it’s very personal and very emotive.

Like happiness, it can be difficult to measure – but if you approach a love or a challenge to overcome with a enthusiastic will to achieve that outcome for yourself or for others…

you’re half way there.

Defeatist?! Nah, I’m Ryding on the crest of a wave –

A wonderful highlights package of European Golf’s 2012 Ryder Cup victory, a comeback of all comebacks, really struck a cord with me and not just because I’m a sporting nut.

There’s something revealing about the human spirit when faced with an impending loss. A determination takes over which is more complex than the ‘fight or flight’ theory. It has more to do with the digging in, never say die mental attitude.

Staring defeat in the face, it could be easy to throw the towel in, but there is a very emotive power that can dispel all that. Belief in your ability.

Yes, it’s not life or death, but the qualities displayed last year, so brilliantly brought back to my consciousness through the DVD, can resonate so much when you need it most.

To Win 8.5 points with only 12 available on the final day envoked a mental calmness in the players knowledge that they just needed to play their purest game and believe.

And that they did, defied the odds, becoming the stuff of legends and a shining example of not ever knowing when you’re defeated.

In sport and as in life, never give up.

Just Because…

Visiting a well known Portuguese restaurant which serve a variety of spicy chicken, I knew exactly what I was gonna get… Quick, quality food which is pretty good value too.

When asked the obligatory “how is everything with your food?” you give the same answer, “everything’s A OK thanks” and then you get on with your meal. Except this time was different…a quick comment stating that the place had never let us down, turned into one of the nicest gestures I have been witness to in the restaurant trade…

Two minutes later, same lady arrives with a ‘chicken cheque’, a voucher for two meals of the same value for when we next visit just to say thanks for taking the time for giving them that positive feedback – now THAT, ladies and gentlemen is service.

I got some bloody good food, in return they get a loyal customer… Simple as that.

Thanks Nando’s…. we’ll be back, again & again.

Blurry Weekend?…No, Not the Booze!…

In what ways does your weekend become blurred in terms of the typical work / life balance?

The ability to connect with customers can extend beyond the 9-5. How clear is the distinction between the office and home (it maybe both in your own case)

It’s easy not to ‘switch off’ at all in the new fangled network of networks. BUT the ‘dying’ 9-5, rather than seeing it as a threat to the structure of our norm, is now the biggest opportunity we have, we just need to strike the balance as individuals and clearly define what we want out of our day, week and month.

How do you, as a business owner, employer, employee find a clear way to balance your time? Is it instinct or a system?

Anticipation is a choice…

How often to we get excited about something?

Today, two sporting teams I follow (Bristol City & The England rugby tram) go toe to toe with rivals in ‘do or die’ matches…

See, I built my own anticipation there, I surround myself with people who are equally excited. Family who are coming over to watch the match, friends on Twitter are just as enthused…

How excited we get about events and scenarios are constantly determined by how personally we allow to connect ourselves to that. Be it a sporting event, a friends birthday, a new job or a birth.

It down to us as individuals to create our own anticipation but to also share in the joy of getting excited from others for their own special moments in the lives and helping them be happy.

Do you REALLY believe in your Art?

I’ve just finished Seth Godin’s ‘The Icarus Deception’ – being a fan of Godin, it was an easy purchase. However, it really has left a mark, not just today, but with what I intend to do with my ‘art’.

It has made me think, do I believe in my craft, not just the outcome of ‘a job’ but the substance given to that. What am I doing it for? How am I connecting with my audience?

For example, I’ve haven’t been convinced as to how often I should write. I do however intend to pen my journey, my craft as often as I can, if that means every day, great.

The book looks at the age old resistance and the ‘lizard brain’… the doubt that lingers in the back on your mind – the suppression on your creativity and Godin has always urged us to accept it, tackle it and embrace your talent and bring your art to your audience…

Moreover, He quite brilliantly points towards today’s ‘connection economy’ – the ease in which your message can reach a unique, defined audience, and not to pander to the masses. For me, It has helped re-enforce the view that all things to all people just doesn’t achieve a real connection with the individual.

He also challenged me and other readers to think about the ‘sink or swim’ culture embedding the fear of failure into projects and your art. How can we overcome years of accepting the ‘safety and comfort zones’ of our work and craft and instead to reach out and make a difference.

I’ll leave you with a great quote from the book “The old system made you popular for fitting in. The new one gives you a chance to stand out.”

Spot on, Seth.

Pushing the ‘Same again’ Button?

I asked yesterday why didn’t cafe’s have a ‘same again’ button on their tables, Boosting revenue and loyalty was my thinking…

Why hasn’t this been done yet? If it has I’d love to see it! They (the companies) must spend millions on innovation (surely I haven’t come up with the next big thing?)

Is it due to the time it takes to make and serve? Maybe it’s more cost effective consumers if takeout and go….

From a pure marketing point of view this should work, if only to sell more coffee. From the consumer point of view, yeah sure they’ll spend more money…

However, another question to counter this could be to ask do people really want the same, day in day out? Maybe it will entice them to stay, connect further, maybe with different people? could it be a way of creating an all day work station for folk?

Or maybe just stay at home and drink instant with friends?


Where’s my 30K Job?

I’m a graduate…

A GRADUATE…. Where’s my 30K job? That was me for a short while, years ago after getting my degree.

It took me a little time to realise that all those exams, the coursework in education was a benchmark, a standard for me to adhere to, a pattern if you will..

It’s that defined system of school, college, Uni…then what? What do you do now? Some, ‘maybe’ most still won’t have a clue after.

Now I’m not saying I’ve wasted years in further education, I did a great course, but I’ve since grown the opinion that it’s your ability to connect, to listen and to help that gets you places…

Influenced by the great Seth Godin, I intend to go…

And create my craft, my art.

What art do you craft?

100% Happy. 100% Attitude

Can we truly be a 100% happy, 100% of the time?

Of course not..

Things will try us, piss us right off, to the extent of wondering what really is the point.

There are challenges to overcome, obstacles that get our our way of our paths etc…

But here is the ‘Thing’ – if the approach is right, the attitude, the commitment to a ‘happy’ and ‘prosperous’ way, then surely you as an individual are half way there?

“We hardly ever score from short corners…..”

We don’t…believe me, I’ve seen it far too often, the team has tried it a few times and it came to nothing.

That’s right Mr ‘Patron of Positivity’ had a pessimistic moment, and man did it bite me in the arse!

No sooner had the comment left my voice box you can guess what happened…

We scored from that short corner…

Now, my comment was derived from experience, the joy of watching my beloved Bristol City through thick and thin, offering my obvious expert opinion from stands like I had a clue knowing what was best for the team, but I learned something…

Lesson? Always keep trying to deliver that winning ball, always remember that not every opponent will know your next move and most important of all?

Always believe