That Time Between Christmas and New Year

However, this is a great time to be reflective and to become a planner. So, if I may, I would like to suggest the following:


My Dear Beloved Reader,

Diana and I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, and Santa has been kind to you, and you are replete after lashings of food and perhaps the odd modest tipple. Now, I’m hoping that I’ve caught you at that reflective time that lies between Christmas and The New Year. You’re either still at home enjoying a break or perhaps you have returned to work, but it’s a little slow as so many other businesses /clients are still on holiday. However, this is a great time to be reflective and to become a planner. So, if I may, I would like to suggest the following:

1). Let’s look back at the last twelve months and see how things have progressed in your life. I would strongly recommend that you take a new page in your journal draw a line down the centre and on the left-hand side list all your accomplishments during the last 12 months. Now on the right-hand side of the line list everything that didn’t go so well. If the stuff on the left outweighs the stuff on the right, you’ve had a great year! If not, then we need to recognise the need for change, and perhaps we can start that now with a plan! Just remember that as Mark Twain remarked: “If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always have what you’ve always got”.

2). The rudiments of making a plan is to operate from document and not from thought. Sometimes, there’s so much going on in our brain that it’s difficult to focus on an action plan. It’s so much better to get your thoughts out of your brain and into your journal. Incidentally, it’s now proven that those that plan on paper do better than those that plan on a screen. Before you commit your plan to your journal, I believe that you need to start the process with the end in mind. In other words for you to move forward in your life, you need to have a clear idea of where you would like to be in say the next twelve months. Some of the areas for you to consider would be relationships, financial, health, personal development, attainment and I’m sure as you start this journey you will find other areas to consider. Here’s a word of warning. When I first started on this path many years ago, the biggest distraction was the moving wallpaper that sat in the corner of your living room, your television set. Nowadays, it’s the all-pervasive smartphone. I would encourage you to have a ruthless attitude towards your devices. Use them for communication and research. Avoid them for passing the time, and I would suggest that while you are planning the next twelve months of your life, you turn your telephone off! You can catch up on your messages later.

3). Hopefully, you will have been jotting your ideas, dreams and goals down in your journal as you have been reading this article. The next step is to bring some order to your random thoughts. You now need to decide upon the critical areas that you need to work on and start scoping them out in detail in your journal. For me to discuss with you in the short article, all the areas of your life would be impossible. Therefore, let us discuss matters financial.

4). It’s now time to create a visual action plan. I’ve always done this in a ninety-day cycle and have it on my wall above my workspace. First, create a three-month calendar. Just take three sheets of A4 paper and draw out a month on each of them say January, February and March. Now put in the essential elements — your local opportunity presentations, seminars, trainings etc. Now put all the necessary family stuff. Then all the stuff you have to do for the day job. The white stuff that’s left is the time you can put to use to build your fortune. There is no shame in working full time on your job and part-time on your fortune. Using the white stuff that’s left you would list the activity required to initially get the appointments that will lead to presentations and results.

5). It’s essential to be accountable to yourself, and you can use your journal to accomplish this. At the end of everyday list your activity, appointments made, presentations made, customers gathered, new partners introduced. At the end of the week add it all up. Then you can compare week two to week one, month two to month one, the second quarter to the first quarter. Do this for ninety days, and it will become a habit that will never let you down.

Finally, all of the above requires discipline, and it’s accurate to say that the pain of discipline weighs ounces, but the pain of regret weighs tons.

I hope that I have challenged you with this short article and if you need any further clarification, please do not hesitate to get in touch. It just remains for me to wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

Until my next post…………………………Toodleoo!

A reflection on (fairly) recent times.


When I was twenty-five years of age I thought that if I ever made it to sixty-five they should take me out and shoot me! Now that I have just celebrated my sixty-fifth birthday I’m not so sure. I think that perhaps we should revisit this when I’m, say, eighty-five. I have learnt that there are some decisions that are worth taking time over and I think shooting me is one of them! So what’s the difference between sixty-five and twenty-five? My answer would be, a little wiser, a little more experienced, a little heavier, a little thinner on top and perhaps a little more tolerant (although my dear wife, Diana, might not agree with that).

Over the weekend, celebrating at The Waldorf Astoria, Diana and I had chance to reflect upon the people we have known, and the people that we know today and we discussed why success seems to be bestowed upon the few and eluded by the many. Success can be applied to many things. Financial, relationships, health amongst others. However, it would seem to me that the one key element to attain success, in any area of life, would be the ability to focus. My observation is that most people drift through life without any real purpose or forethought. Of course, students will focus on completing their examinations and finalising their degrees but once settled in a career an awful lot of people drift through their working life without making any real decisions and end up in retirement wishing that they had done better. Now, of course, there are plenty of exceptions and as you are reading this blog you are probably searching for the elusive key to success or perhaps you are already successful and you should be sharing your ideas. If so, please feel free to comment.

It never ceases to amaze me that most people spend more time planning their holiday than they spend planning their future. Why would someone do that? I think that the answer is that it’s easy. Designing a life plan isn’t easy but it’s relatively simple. One of the tools that I have found to be most helpful is to keep a journal, so you can capture your thoughts and ideas. The physical act of writing seems to crystallise your thoughts and help clear the muddle that sometimes goes on in your head. I’ve never met a real leader who isn’t a good reader and every one of them keeps a journal. My mentor got me into this habit over twenty years ago and guess when I started making some serious money?

As a first step in your life plan it’s essential, in my opinion, to know exactly where you are. You can describe where you are in your relationships, health and family in your journal but for ease I am going to confine my remarks to financial matters. It’s a good idea to describe, in your journal your nett worth. It’s very simple to do. First take a new page and draw a line down the middle and list everything that you own (your assets) and on the other side of the line list everything that you owe (your liabilities). Then simply deduct your liabilities from your assets and the balance will be your nett worth. When I first did this exercise, many years ago, the result was underwhelming! Now, you may have some financial issues that need to be resolved but I would ask you to look further ahead because I don’t believe that anybody leaps out of bed in the morning thinking “Another day, another opportunity, to earn the money to pay the lousy bills”. I just don’t think that this scenario is particularly motivational. I believe that it’s very important to have something inspirational to look forward to. So, somebody says, “If only someone would come by and turn me on!” My question would be, “What if he doesn’t turn up? Inspiration, usually isn’t something that just turns up.

Inspiration has to be searched for. It requires you to make an effort. For you to become inspired requires an ambition to do better. It’s not sufficient to make enough money to pay the lousy bills. To experience life to the full requires you to be financially free so you can meet your obligations and then you can seek the experiences that your inspiration will drive you to. True inspiration will have you getting up early, going to bed late and being excited by the promise of tomorrow. No matter what obstacles are put in front of you, as an inspired person you will find your way around, over or through any obstacle in your path. Pouring the effort on in a focussed manner will have you making progress in a measurable time frame.

Inspiration can be found by dreaming! The problem is that generally adults have the ability to dream knocked out of them as they become older. To find true inspiration it’s often necessary to learn to dream like a child where all things are possible without any self limitations. Please don’t misunderstand me that I’m asking you to ignore your financial duties to yourself, family and loved ones but f you start to work towards your dreams then any financial issues tend to be resolved through your own common sense.

I think it’s hard to become financially independent working for somebody else (job) as your remuneration is controlled by others and is usually beyond your control. Therefore, you need to be in control of how you generate your income. That’s the beauty of our opportunity as it allows you to work full-time on your job and part-time on your fortune. It’s governing and balancing the time that’s important. That’s why it’s essential to design a life plan. If you don’t have your own plan, it’s highly likely that you will fit in someone else’s plan and guess what they have planned for you. It’s probably not a lot!

Until my next post…. Toodleoo!