Mar 09 2018
I recently wrote a piece for Collective Hub on productivity and what to do when you just can’t seem to get anything done…
“I don’t know about you, but I can go through days of feeling unproductive… days. And it only seems to get worse the harder I try to work things out. I’ve recently discovered that the best thing for unproductiveness is to stop. Yep, just stop. And I’ll tell you why…
So often we get stuck in this spiral of being unproductive because we just can’t see past the problem. When we stop, take a break, and step back from the day to day, we can come back with fresh eyes and a new perspective, ready to tackle our problems head on.
Getting clarity of what you need to do and your next steps is so important in business and your career. My tip? Go home. If you can’t do that, go for a walk. Clear your mind of all your worries, pressures and concerns. Do something that has nothing to do with work, take your shoes off, get distracted by it all, and soon your mind will begin to feel free and you can start the day over.
As business owners, we often get caught in this trap of thinking that we must be working all the time. Well, that’s just not the case. Working in over time can cause serious burnout, which will ultimately bring on the unproductiveness. Even when you think you cannot afford to take a break, or you think that the business will collapse without you (it won’t), make time for yourself. Trust me, I learnt this the hard way. I was once forced, literally forced, to go on holiday and it was the most refreshing time. I came back full of ideas and a clear vision on where the business needed to go.
Try sharing your problem. You know that old saying, “A problem shared is a problem halved”? I am a big believer in it. You might think that no-one would ever understand. Well, they might not, but what’s the harm in trying? Find a mentor (we have plenty here at Think BOLD) or someone in your industry you can vent to. You never know, an outsider’s insight may just be the answer you need!
So next time you feel stuck and can’t see past your problem, go away, do something that calms you. Whether it’s praying, walking or whatever it is you do, do it. Seek advice where you can and soon enough you’ll reset and start to see that vision again with new creative ideas to help navigate your way through.”
Read the full article here: collectivehub.com/2018/03/just-cant-seem-to-get-anything-done-try-this/
Feb 13 2018
For such a long time I had been chasing money and I guess fame in business and I thought that was considered success. To a certain extent there’s nothing wrong with that, but let me tell you that success comes a lot quicker and a lot more abundantly when you’re not in it for the money.
What are you chasing?
If you look at some of the wealthiest people in the world, even though they have everything they could ever want in life, a lot of the time they are still very unhappy. Money helps and enables us in so many ways to be happy, but it’s important to note that no matter how much you have sitting in your bank account, or how many cars are sitting in your garage, if you take time to regularly look around and count how blessed you are, 9 times out of 10 you’ll see it’s our purpose and passion, and the people who surround us that bring us the most happiness and success. They are the ones that make us rich.
I will always dream big and strive to go far in business because that’s just a part of who I am but I do know that success looks different to what I originally thought a few years ago. Success is not once I’ve hit a certain figure in my bank account. It’s not how many times I go on holiday per year. It’s doing something that I am truly passionate about, something that brings meaning to my life and other people’s lives. And it’s the people who surround me; it’s my happy, healthy family who have a roof over their heads, who are fed well and have the privilege of living in this magnificent country.
So, what are you chasing? Is it a lavish lifestyle of fancy things that, in the long run, don’t actually mean anything? Or, is it to live your best life doing something that you love, with purpose and your loved ones surrounding you?
Spoiler alert: When you actually start to focus on your passions and purpose in business rather than making a quick buck, I guarantee you, you will see success a lot sooner than you think. Finances included.
Book your 1:1 mentor session with Emma today at thinkbold.co/find-a-mentor.
Feb 06 2018
Co Founder of Think BOLD, Emma Stewart, recently wrote a piece for Collective Hub on that feeling of being stuck in a rut and how to get out of it…
“Ever feel like you’re sitting in standstill while everyone else seems to be flying by? Probably one of the most frustrating feelings in the world. You’re working as hard as you possibly can, yet you don’t seem to be taking any steps towards that end goal. It’s like you’re one of those old-school cartoon characters madly moving your legs, but not actually going anywhere.
During these times, it’s so easy to lose faith, to question your abilities and wonder if it’s ever going to work out. Here are some simple steps to help get you out of that business rut…
Take a step back from your business. Move away from the day to day and take a look at what may be holding you back or stopping you from moving forward. Look at your situation as an outsider and jot down some of the hurdles that you face. Can you eliminate those hurdles without major implications on the rest of the business?
Sometimes it’s hard to have an unbiased look at your business, so it’s good to get advice or seek a mentor. They can give you an honest opinion on your situation and help you come up with a plan of attack to see progress again. (At Think BOLD, we have 25+ mentors in all areas of business who are ready to help you and your business grow!)
While I will never encourage anyone to give up on a dream, you do need to be realistic and think long and hard about changes that need to be made. It might be an employee that is having a negative effect on your business or a process that just takes up too much of your time. Sometimes, we need to let things go to move forward. As hard as it can be, these tweaks and changes can be so beneficial to getting you back on track.
Have regular time out
While we can look to other factors as the reason for things not moving forward, quite often it can actually be us! It may be a case of being completely and utterly burnt out. You may feel like you’re working really hard, but in reality, you’re so drained, you’re actually not being as productive as you think you are. It is SO important to take time out, even if it’s just half a day a week, to relax and refocus. It will help you more than you think.
Have a clear vision
Sometimes we can’t move forward because we don’t actually know where we are going. It’s easy to get so caught up in the day to day that you don’t actually realise you’re going nowhere. Make clear goals and targets. I like to look at the big long-term goals and work my way back to monthly and weekly targets. Soon enough, you’ll see that breakthrough you’ve been wishing for!
Create short-term goals
Once your vision is clear, start every morning by setting your goals for the day. Tick them off as you go. This helps to feel like you have accomplished something and can often have a bit of a snowball effect to get you ticking off those bigger goals.”
Read the Collective Hub article here: STUCK IN A RUT!
Dec 18 2017
We had the pleasure of sitting down with the Founder and Creative Director of Smack Bang Designs, Tess Robinson.
In this interview you’ll hear Tess’ top tips when it comes to branding, her do’s and don’t’s and some of the highlights of her journey with Smack Bang Designs!
(If you want to learn more about Smack Bang Designs and their new ‘Calling the Shots‘ ebook, click the link below the interview)Calling the Shots: A Practical Guide to Launching and Running Your Self-employed DreamAvailable at: https://smackbangdesigns.c
om/ebook-calling-the-shotsEbook + Accompanying Workbook available as a bundle or single purchaseAlso if you want to offer your audience 10% off your code is: ‘THINKBOLD10′More resources from Smack Bang Designs: How I built a branding agency in 6 not so simple steps Nov 20 2017
We are rapidly approaching the end of 2017 and apart from being in complete panic as to how quickly time is flying, we are in a time of reflection and looking forward into what the new year holds.
At Think BOLD, we always go back to our vision, our reason why we exist and work through our new years goals from there. While my own New Years Resolutions come and go (especially when it involves any kind of diet or exercise regime), I am a firm believer that setting a vision or goals at the start of the year is HUGELY beneficial. The start of the new year is a great time to reignite that passion for your business, to start a fresh and forget any mistakes that were made in the past.
We believe that having your goals clearly written down makes a big difference, especially if you are looking at them often. It keeps you and your team accountable and helps you to visualise reaching that ‘end goal’.
- Your vision should be at the heart of everything you do. Start by writing down what the heart and soul of your business is. I heard recently that your vision should stir passion. What are you most passionate about for your business? This heavily comes into line with your brand values. What is most important to your brand and what makes you stand out? For us at Think BOLD, our heart is to see growth and development within our community.
- Who are you targeting? I like to put this in here as I think it’s SO important to always know who your audience is and make sure what you’re doing and where you’re going in business is relevant to your target market. For us, our community is hugely important and we want to make sure they are at the centre of everything we do.
- Next up, how do you want your customers or your community to feel? Take time to list some of the ways you want them to feel after an experience with your brand. If you own a fashion label, do you want them to feel confident, comfortable, or both? We want our community to feel valued, equipped and resourced to name but a few! Knowing these will help to set your goals for the year.
- Once you have the above laid out, you can set your goals for the year. For example, at Think BOLD we want our community to feel equipped and resourced so one of our goals is to create more resources to help you with everything you need to build a business. TIP: Start with the really big goals and work your way backwards, breaking them down to monthly and weekly goals. Look at financial targets, customer database goals, team goals and personal goals etc etc.
- Finally, once you have your goals in place, you can input a strategy to get there. Another example here at Think BOLD is to partner with our mentors and other experts to bring you the best quality resources.
When you have completed this, stick it up somewhere in the office, send it to all of your employees and I promise you, you will find it so much easier reaching those long term goals.
Nov 15 2017
Emma Stewart, Co Founder of Think BOLD, was recently interviewed by the team at Circle In on juggling business and motherhood.
On managing your career through parental leave…
“While you may not be able to do the same amount of work pre baby, listening to podcasts, reading books and articles in your area of expertise really helps to stay on top of things so that your head is still in the game and you’re learning at the same time…”
On how motherhood has changed her…
“Family is everything to me and although I love business, they will always come first. My husband and I are both in business but we are so passionate about being around for them, especially in the early years, which is why we do what we do. We want the freedom to be able to pick them up from school, be around for sports days and ballet recitals etc. I am really passionate about my husband being as present for them as much as I am. So many dads miss out on a huge chunk of their kids lives so if I have to work a little harder for him to be able to be around more, I will, every time.”
Read the full interview here: Circle In
Oct 25 2017
Failure is just an all-important lesson on the journey to success.
Co Founder of Think BOLD, Emma Stewart, recently wrote a post for Business Chicks on failure in business and how to successfully recover from it…
“Ever had a really messy breakup? Gosh, it hurts, doesn’t it? Running a business is like being in a long-term relationship. You commit your whole life to that business. Long days, long nights. You invest your time and money into it and it may not work out. Messy breakups can happen in business too.
Whether it just hasn’t worked out, it has been an epic failure, or you’ve realised that it’s time to move on; that business was your baby. You grew it from the ground up, through the highs and the lows. You probably shared the ‘L’ word way too early because let’s be honest, we entrepreneurs are passionate beings – we fall hard, and we fall fast. You dedicated the last however many months and years to it so when it doesn’t work out, it hurts. It hurts like hell, and it can leave you feeling broken. Well, it did for me anyway…”
Read the full post here: BREAK UPS IN BUSINESS
Sep 10 2017
When we approached Emma for an interview she was heavily pregnant with her fifth, yes FIFTH child. Not only heavily pregnant, but overdue in fact! So we weren’t expecting an answer anytime soon. Much to our delight, Emma and her fab team came back to us straight away. Mother of five and CEO of Business Chicks, a global community for thousands upon thousands of entrepreneurial women, is there anything Emma Isaacs can’t do?!
With a growing family and as a member of Business Chicks myself, I have been seriously inspired by Emma and her team. Happy reading!
We had the BEST time exhibiting at Business Chicks’ 9 to Thrive last month. Can you tell us what first attracted you to the idea of taking on Business Chicks?
About 11 years ago, a friend invited me to attend a Business Chicks event and I loved it so much that I returned to their next event a few months later where I found out that the business was for sale. The engagement with the Business Chicks brand was off the scale. I thought ‘there are all these women that would walk over hot coals (me included) for this organisation, so surely we can harness that power and energy for even bigger opportunities.’ I saw thousands of switched on, successful women and knew I could really take it somewhere, so I bought it six months later and incorporated it as a company in 2006.
Back then it was a tiny group, but we’ve grown it into the expansive network it is today, spanning two continents and eleven cities. When I bought the business, there was really only one other women’s network in the country so I’d love to think that since then, we’ve played a big part on creating a category and serving women at scale.
What are you most passionate about when it comes to women in business?
I’m passionate about helping women remove the roadblocks that stand in the way of them getting anything they want from their lives. I’m also passionate about serving others and doing what I can to help people. I’m passionate about encouraging women to see that they can get what they want so that might be starting a company, growing their career, having a family, and so the list goes on
You’re currently living in LA where you launched Business Chicks USA. Can you tell us how that’s going and what are some of the challenges you’ve had to face?
From the time I bought Business Chicks, I’d always wanted to take our brand global, and by early 2015 I knew the time had come to shake things up. We’d become such a trusted and established brand here in Australia, and being a typical entrepreneur I’m never truly happy unless I’m experiencing some sort of discomfort or fear. We always knew our growth was going to come from new territories so the US felt like a good first step.
To be completely honest, I looked at where my largest networks were outside of Australia, and that happens to be the US. I have close friends and family in the States, and a great relationship with our past speakers from the US (people like Arianna Huffington and Rachel Zoe who went on to speak at our LA and NY launch events).
The biggest lesson I’ve learn so far is that whatever you budget for, it’ll cost you twice that amount and take you twice the amount of time to achieve!!
In your role as Global CEO, you get to meet with some incredible people. Who would you say has been most influential on your Business Chicks journey so far?
There’s too many to name! I’ve been blessed to meet some incredible people, most of whom have gone on to become friends. Some of my favourites include US fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg – she’s quirky, eccentric, a self-made billionaire and a tremendous philanthropist but what I love the most is that she didn’t have to work (she married a German prince at a young age) but she chose independence over an easy life. She’s a role model for all women and I really clicked with her when she spoke for Business Chicks. Another standout for me is Sir Bob Geldof – he has used his celebrity status to catalyse about $150 million worth of aid into Africa and he and I talked about our travels to Uganda and what we’d seen and experienced there. He’s witty, very Irish, very well read and expresses himself beautifully – I could talk with him for hours on end.
Have you had many mentors over the years? If so, what’s one piece of advice that has really stood out to you?
My first experience of having a mentor was through a structured mentoring program when I was in the early stages of my first business. I was a young entrepreneur and the woman I was paired with couldn’t have been any more different to me, which ultimately was the most effective matching I could have hoped for. She’d grown significant businesses with market caps of over $100m and was tough and strict. She lifted me to new levels of leadership and had me question my effectiveness and strengths, teaching me many important lessons, such as the need to develop delegation skills which I’ve taken throughout my entire career. Since then I’ve had mentors through other structured programs, and also through my own relationships – I’ve learned something different from each of the entrepreneurs and business leaders who I’ve worked with and make a point to keep in touch with them.
What are your top tips for ‘success’ in business?
Your mindset and belief system is far more important than any raw talent or skills you may have. As an entrepreneur you have to be able to master resilience and have to be prepared to ask the questions others are too scared to ask. You have to be prepared to bounce back quickly from the failures and continue to think positively!
What would you say is the best part of your job?
The opportunity to dream up crazy notions, and then find the people brave enough to come along with me for the ride as we actualise them. I’m driven to create experiences for our members within the Business Chicks community and I relish the opportunity to enrich their lives in any way I can. In the eleven years I’ve had the organisation, I still get a kick out of seeing women move out of their comfort zones and go on to achieve great things in their careers and businesses. I’ve met some of the world’s most successful business people and celebrities and visionaries, but what I enjoy the most hardly ever comes from those experiences. It’s usually a heart to heart conversation at one of our conferences or events, hearing about someone who has found the courage to leave a job, a business, or even a relationship that wasn’t serving them after something they learned through Business Chicks.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Funnily enough, all the Business Chicks team members have to describe themselves in three words on our website. My words are are ‘rule breaker,’ ‘master of surprise’ and ‘prankster’.
Finally, what are your hopes for the future?
At a surface level, my hope is to build the strongest global community for women, and to keep serving them in whatever ways we can.
It’s somewhat contentious to think a women’s network is still needed in in 2017 and indeed into the future, but all our research confirms it is. We still work in a world where unconscious bias exists and still have a long way to go in order to close the gender pay gap and equal the scales when it comes to executive and non-executive representation. We’ve found that by telling the stories of people who are achieving great heights of success we’ve been able to pave a way for our members to believe it’s also possible for them – so that’s what we’re going to keep doing and we’ll keep reinventing the ways we do it. We come from a place of solid education and content and also providing the inspiration and courage that women need to progress their careers or businesses.
I have a list of hopes as long as my arm though! I also want to make sure I’m a great mother, sister, wife and friend and want to make sure I pack as much living into every moment as I can. Another hope for my immediate future is to have my baby! I’m five days overdue with my fifth bubba and would really like some action!
To find out more about Emma and Business Chicks, head to businesschicks.com
Aug 18 2017
Last month we had the absolute privilege of chatting with speaker, author and educator, Phill Nosworthy. Phill, Co Founder of the latest learning and development program, Switch L+D, spoke with us about his passion to find meaning in business, some of his career highlights, the importance of impact and his top tips for long term success. We were left feeling inspired and I know you will be too! Happy reading!
We first saw you speak at a Kick Start Smart event and were captivated by your passion and energy to see change in the everyday workplace. Can you tell us about this thirst to find meaning in business and when this passion to help others do the same came about?
I’m not sure that there was a thunderous moment for me. Some people experience that, but for me, finding my way as a professional has been something of a constant evolution.
Personally, I think the idea of ‘finding your way as you go’ can be a real comfort to many people. It is true that for some people, ‘finding their thing’ is like getting hit with a bolt of lighting – but for most it will be a constant chipping away to find and reveal their deeper passions and purposes in life.
The point here is a willingness to constantly evolve. Muhammed Ali said that “the man who at 50 is the same man he was at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life!” This simply means that we SHOULD change. Imagine for a second that I was still running on the goals that I had for myself when I was 16! That would be crazy. It’s far better to constantly check in with yourself, and ask – who am I now? and who do I want to be now? and how have my experiences shaped me and changed me? and what does that mean for how I need to show up each day?
My dad is a Baptist preacher and pastor, and a really extraordinary one at that. So I grew up surrounded by people who were incredibly invested into the lives of others – and that obviously left a mark on my heart and on my mind.
I grew up with a deep drive to work in a way that married purpose and impact with the ability to build a beautiful quality of life for my family. And nothing has changed about that as I’ve grown older – I still obsess about helping people find meaning in what they do, and to get what they go to work for. You see, people spend so much time at work – and so whether by default or design, work is the biggest lever people have to pull on to create an incredible, fulfilling, and adventurous life that they are proud of.
What would you say are the key things to consider in the pursuit of finding fulfilment and enjoyment through what you do?
Funnily enough – one of the biggest challenges people have at work is trying to rationalise our collective obsession with happiness and the real life realities of going to work. Everybody wants to be happy – of course! And it’s a beautiful emotional state to find yourself in. But like the tides, happiness comes and goes. And some people are very confused about that – they think that they have to be happy ALL the time – and get really troubled when they aren’t. They think to themselves that something must be wrong.
I feel that people have been sold a bit of a lie that life is ALL about being happy. There is definitely more to it than that. Take for instance me and my role as a Dad – one that I love with all of my heart. My little girl is, quite frankly, THE best thing that has ever happened to humanity – in my opinion of course! But as much as I love her, it doesn’t make me happy to get out of bed at 2 in the morning when she is teething and needs a little help! There is NO happiness in that equation, but my god, you wouldn’t find me anywhere else.
Why? Because there is so much more to life than just being happy. The aspect of life that we are calling out here is the meaningful parts of life. And they sometimes overlap with what makes us happy – but not always. And it’s important for people to know that. In fact I think a great life is one that enjoys happiness when it comes, but vigorously chases meaning all the time.
My team and I have worked over the years to search out the science and arts of creating a meaningful life – one that we love living, and one that satisfies the deepest needs of our hearts. We took in a lot of academic literature and research along with looking at the core tenets of myth, and faith and inspiring movements over times and we found that through them all – seven core pillars of meaning started to show themselves time after time after time. Let me share them with you. If you want to create a deeply satisfying and meaningful life, you’ll want to double click on these areas:
Mastery: People want to get good at something. No one really likes not being good at something. So take the time to invest yourself and your attention into one thing. This is sometimes tough right now in the way that we work – but if you can adopt a ‘craftsman’ approach to your work, and not try to rush everything all the time, and take the time to grow your skills and your mastery of something – that’s very important to achieving that sense of meaning that you are after.
Second is Autonomy: You want to create a sense that you are the master of your own life and destiny. No ones likes being or feeling trapped. Make decisions as often as you can that create more freedom for you.
Purpose is the third pillar. People need to feel that what they do is for a reason. And whether your faith and beliefs give that to you, or whether it comes from a strong sense of determination and a decision you’ve made for yourself, having a sense of purpose – something that shapes your decisions and gets you out of bed in the morning is really important for living a life that counts.
Next are the three big C’s:
Connections: Do life with people you love and trust and constantly include more people into your world. We are a social species. So more time with real people and less time with screen people.
Contributions: Giving to things that you believe in and that matter to you is central to a meaning making life. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it does have to cost you something. Find something important to you and give to it – time or money or your expertise. A meaningful life always looks to give.
And Challenges: Happiness tends to rise out of times of ease, but meaning is manufactured in challenging times. So set goals that stretch you and enjoy the challenge of it all.
And the final pillar is Legacy: Legacy is about your work counting and leaving a lasting mark on the world. We want to be remembered for doing great things and being a great person. Big or small, it doesn’t matter, what does matter is whether you leave a mark.
Can you tell us a little more about Switch and why you started it?
Around 4 years ago now, I was the Head of Partnerships and Business Development for a very significant behaviour change firm, Change Labs. We designed large scale change programs for governments and large corporations that applied the engine of their business to big, embedded social challenges like health, and financial literacy. It was incredible work and I loved it. But one morning I woke up and felt something that I had not felt in the past 7 years that I had worked there – and it was this : ‘it’s time to leave’. And in the way that I see life, as an adventure, I had the guts to listen and finished up and stepped out on my own. I tell people I left my dream job for my dream job.
In February 2014 I got started in my own practice – Switch, and in the years since have been privileged to work with some incredible teams and organisations all around the world. Companies like Microsoft and Universal Music and ING Bank.
Our work is in advising the careers and leadership styles of people. We work to make sure that people are good at what they do and get what they to to work for. That takes the form of research and speaking to big and small groups on things like personal mastery, personal branding, knowing how to inspire and lead teams and how to be an effective communicator and coach.
We’ve worked in maybe 25 countries now, across 40 cities and are very proud of our work.
We really love what we get to do.
Through Switch Inc you’ve been able to speak into the lives and businesses of some incredible people. What have been some of the highlights?
Oh man, that’s tough. It’s all a highlight really, getting to work with such wonderful people. And for us, what matters most is that we are working with people who are hungry for growth. If I’m sitting with three people in a cafe in Istanbul or speaking to 3000 in a conference centre in Brisbane – what matters is that people are hungry for and chasing after their own version of greatness.
But of course there have been really cool moments too. We’ve hosted sessions at Soho House in LA and Barcelona with CEO’s and entertainers that I’m not allowed to name and athlete’s that earn more in a week than I have in my career.
We’ve held sponsored parties at The Standard in West Hollywood and at The Apollo in Sydney. I’ve been lucky enough to speak in 40 cities around the world – in places like London and Prague and New York. And from a coaching perspective, I have been able to coach award winning actors and entertainers and world champions.
But through it all, I would have to come back to our client Microsoft for whom we worked to support and advise their global talent program for early-in-career high-potentials. To be able to work with, what I consider, the world’s most significant organisation, and with their brightest young talent and help them understand HOW to build a career that matters, is a gift beyond measure.
For someone who is still in his early thirties you seem to hold so much wisdom. What life experiences would you say have developed you into the person you are today?
I know this; that I can’t give what I don’t have. And if I am going to be of any value to anyone, my biggest task in life is to be sucking in high quality insights so that there is a deep reservoir of knowledge and know-how to be able to connect with the challenges people are facing.
So for me that means I’m relentlessly curious. I’m always reading, always learning, always challenging myself and trying to be as divergent in my thought process as possible. It means deliberately seeking out world-views and books that are bigger and different than my own. And thats because I’m way more interested to in growing my mind and my worldview, than just confirming stuff that I already know.
For me, the best personal growth strategies are reading, having challenging conversations, listening and being able to share my opinion with people who will disagree and challenge me on my assumptions. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to listen, I mean really listen to somebody’s idea and not try and convince them of ours.
You touched on impact before, can you tell us why you are so passionate about ‘impact’?
Impact is the result of how you choose to show up each day. Talent and experience are beautiful things, but in contrast to impact…. well, I’m more interested in impact, because we all know smart and experienced people who leave trails of human destruction behind them.
Impact is hands down, and by far the most important thing to consider in building a life and career that matters. And the answer to the quality of your impact is found on the other side of the question; ‘what happened because I was here?’ – were people made to be better, or was the energy and life and potential of the people I spent time with negatively affected by me being there?
Impact obsesses with the HOW of getting things done as much as it does with WHAT gets done. And it is created every time you interact with someone, in big ways and small ways. It means not being a prick when you order a coffee, it means looking people in the eye when you’re talking to them, it means building other people up instead of having to prove to them that you are so much better than them in the workplace. In small, daily ways, a deeply meaningful and impactful life is created.
Have you had many mentors in life? If so, who were they and what’s one piece of advice from them that you’ll never forget?
100%. Isaac Newton said “If I have achieved anything, it’s because I stood on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton is probably one of the smartest people and one of the most extraordinary humans that has ever existed. So if Isaac Newton needs mentors, friends and help, the rest of us need twice as much. I think mentors are a really smart idea.
What i’ve learned as i’ve gotten older though is that I shouldn’t expect my mentors to be untouchable demigods of every subject area and challenge in life. That is utterly unreasonable. Instead, I’ve learned to seek out mentors for specific help and advice in something that they absolutely dominate. I mean, the very lifestyle of what makes an elite athlete so good at what they do, often makes them dysfunctional in other areas. So I’ll seek their help for health and peak performance, and not ask them about the stuff they’re no good at.
So for me, I unlocked the potential in my mentor relationships when I learned that I should have different mentors for different conversations.
We are big believers in learning from our mistakes in business. Can you remember any life/business lessons that you’ve had to learn the hard way?
Oh my god yes! I live in front of audiences! I have spoken in front of maybe 2000 audiences now. And there is literally not one session that I can look at and say I that I nailed it in every way possible. And that’s not hating on myself, as much as it is being growth minded and willing to do the work to get better.
Each day I’ve learned to ask myself three really simple questions that ensure constant development and growth: “What went well? What didn’t go well, and, What should I do differently tomorrow?”. Without those questions to drive personal reflection, I don’t stand a chance of growing.
Mastery comes from conscious reflection, and deliberate practice. So learning to love the passage of time, and using the experiences of our day to automate growth – that’s the thing that changes a regular day into an amazing opportunity for development.
Daily reflection can go along way to preventing year long ‘cock ups’ too. Monumental failures, i think often arise out of a failure to check in more regularly. It’s not a perfect technique! But god forbid that I would be habitualising a dumb decision for three months straight without ever asking myself the question ‘is this even working?’
Have there been failures? Of course! But I usually try and get them while they are still small. The bigger your feedback loop, the bigger the failure. So if I’m only checking in and asking my team, or even checking in with myself say once year or in an annual review – i’ll be doomed to fail! But if the ‘feedback loop’ is a daily , then the mistakes of today don’t have to be carried into tomorrow. I think people need very, very tight feedback loops.
For young entrepreneurs starting out, what would be your top tips for long term success?
One of the bigger challenges for entrepreneurs and anyone starting out in a new career is wanting success immediately. That inevitably leads to disappointment and frustration, because excellence, and the success that it triggers usually takes a little bit longer than you think at first.
Learning to think in slightly longer time frames, and giving yourself the ability to ride the ups and the downs of any meaningful quest will make the process far more satisfying and comfortable.
But people are impatient! They want it all now!
And they can have it – really, I mean that. I’ve found that most of the time, you will get what you are going for, if you are prepared to work for it and give it the time that it deserves to make it happen.
That, and actually taking the time to define what success means to you. So many people don’t. So they are paying a price – in the form of their time and attention to work and all the challenges and stresses that come along with it, but they don’t know what they are paying that price for.
And you know what the right price to pay for a mystery is?
Me neither! For most things in life, you know the right price to pay, only after you get your head around what it is that you are getting for that price. If you define what you are ‘paying the price’ for, then any price will be worth it to you, if you make it worthwhile.
But as it is, so many people have very little idea about WHY they are actually going to work.
So define success for yourself! Because only you can make the ‘price’ you are paying worth it.
We saw that you, your beautiful wife and daughter recently took a sabbatical in Barcelona. How important is finding that work / family life balance to you?
Balance is a great idea, but I personally don’t know the equation for it! And that is simply because if I was trying to balance the amount of hours I work with time with my family, then we’d all need to rewrite the calendar and fit more days in the week, because there aren’t enough hours in the day to equal things out.
For me, it is far more about understanding the seasons that we are in. Because as the old mystics would say – there is a time for everything under the sun. A time for working and a time for rest.
We all know people who when they are at work, can only ever think about holidays, and then when they are on holidays stress and think about work! So learning to be present – to work when you are at work, and being with your family when you are with your family is highly important if we are going to do life well. Because for most people, there is enough time, but perhaps the way we are using it is the issue.
But yes – for us, a month in Barcelona this year was amazing and important. For a couple of reasons. The first is alignment. Imagine me, travelling and teaching other people about meaning and living a life that matters, and not actually doing it for myself! As it is, I spend around 120 nights a year on the road internationally, and while that is soul satisfying work, if it came at the expense of my family and the people that I have committed my life to? Then I’d change it immediately.
As it is, people are sick and tired of hearing people who know the right stuff to say but aren’t the embodiment of their conversation. So it is about walking the talk.
And then, really, it is about getting huge amounts of time with the people I love most in the entire world. My daughter is 17 months old right now. And time with her is sacred, and it is flying past at the speed of light. There will be more time to write and speak and grow the business, but right now, every time I blink she changes and gets more awesome, and I don’t want to miss that. So for us to get 33 days in Spain together, sunrise to sunset, I know will be something that my 50 year old self would thank my 33 year old self for having done.
Finally, your hopes for the future?
What I see for myself when I’m 40, 50 and 60 – I have no idea how to achieve it. It’s so big and so audacious that it freaks me out to think about. And that’s how I know it is something worth chasing. Because life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all right?
For more information on Phill or to gain access to a decade’s worth of work advising leading brands around the planet through one of Switch L+D’s incredible online courses, visit: switchld.com – You won’t regret it!
Aug 15 2017
Trust in the journey. Believe in yourself. And work damn hard.
Nothing in life comes easy, am I right? Life comes with so many ups and downs and so many tough moments. It’s the same in business. They say it takes about 5 years to become an overnight success. Well, let’s be honest, it’s probably longer. I believe that it’s in the downs and the difficult times though where you are really made. It’s through those times, you have a choice to either step up and tackle whatever comes your way OR retreat and let the situation take over your business.
I, by no means have ‘made it’ in business – I honestly don’t know if anyone ever reaches a point where they can say that they have – but, I have been through many of those challenging times and they have been key to developing me into who I am today. I am wiser for it and I am better for it. They have made me a greater business woman and I am so much more prepared for what life throws at me. The entrepreneurial road is a tough one. You have to put your trust in the journey. Yes, I know, what a cheesy line but it’s true! You have to trust in the ups and downs and know that it is building you as an entrepreneur and building you in business to be the best that you can. Think about how much you’ve learnt from each mistake you’ve ever made. Count that as a blessing, knowing that you will never be in that position again… Not intentionally anyway 😉
Belief in yourself and belief in your purpose is key to getting you to that next level in business. Confidence is something that we as entrepreneurs are often blessed with but I think it’s more than that. I think not only do you have to have confidence in who you are, but more importantly, in what your purpose is. Now, that might sound super cliche but not knowing your why or where you are headed in life can seriously hold you back. Not one person on this earth was born to live a mediocre life. We were called to dream big and to live big!
There was a long time for me when I would question what I had to offer and it wasn’t until a mentor spoke into my life and highlighted the things that I am actually pretty great at. He showed me not only my strengths but my weaknesses too. He explained to me that our weaknesses are only our strengths pushed too far. For example: if you are a confident person, pushed too far that could be seen as arrogance, or a creative person pushed too far might be messy and unorganised. It’s about focusing on your strengths but being very much aware of your weaknesses at the same time. This was pivotal for me and it was at that point that I really started to see my full potential. Realising those strengths and knowing your passions can help you begin to see what your purpose is. It’s about knowing who you are, believing in yourself and your abilities.
We can’t just sit back and expect everything in life to fall into our lap. We have to go out and strive for it no matter what comes our way. Building a business, a successful one at least, takes hard work. It takes blood, sweat and tears – sometimes quite literally. So while trusting in the journey and believing in yourself are all good and well, you’re not going to get anywhere just sitting around. It takes action! A lot of people wait for that perfect moment, but in all honesty, there isn’t one. You’re always going to encounter set backs and hurdles no matter when you start. Courage matters most when you have purpose – put those strengths of yours to good use. Create something amazing today. And if you need any advice along the way – GET IN TOUCH 😉