Tag Archives: Business

Weightmans Wednesday – Your Time 2 Change

Mental health is a very important and necessary topic today. How we feel in our personal lives, affects how we feel and perform professionally. If somebody is struggling, it not only has an impact on their professional performance, but also personal relationships inside and outside the office.

Recently I listened to a fascinating talk at this month’s Weightmans Wednesday bi-monthly event in Liverpool. Hosted by Judi Hastings from Your Time 2 Change, the purpose of this talk was to discuss aspects of the mind that affect how we feel, think and act habitually. It was a brief and insightful glimpse into the workings of the human mind, and how it can either help or hold people back.

With a blend of humour, knowledge and heartfelt storytelling, I was impressed with how Judi talked about her background. From being bullied in secondary school, to telling about how a residential course changed her life, leading to learning and coaching people and businesses, Judi showed how you can change your life by altering your mind-set, to overcome challenges and be successful. Listening to her every word, I could not help but admire and learn plenty from Judi’s talk.

What did I learn from the event? The answer is several useful points about how the mind works, and how it affects our reactions to the environment around us. To give you an indication, I have listed some of the key takeaways below:

  1. Your beliefs can lie to you.
  2. Conditioning can be personally empowering or debilitating.
  3. Some of your personal habits are destroying you.
  4. As human beings, humans love what is familiar and comfortable.
  5. Confidence is a skill that you can learn.
  6. The unfamiliar is not something that we as human being like.
  7. When you change what you believe, you can change your life.
  8. Changing your beliefs and habits take hard work and plenty of practice.
  9. Body image starts in the mind and not in the mirror.
  10. How you feel personally affects how you feel professionally.
  11. Know what values your habits provide to you and others.
  12. Everyone is different and unique to each other.

From the above, I have come away enlightened about how conditioning, beliefs and habits affect how we interact with our surrounding environment. In addition, I now understand more how self-limiting beliefs and remaining in your comfort zone restrict your growth as a person, and as a professional. Finally I have learned that habits can be beneficial, if they bring positive value to your life, or they can be negatively destructive. Therefore to summarise, it is important to continue learning and pushing yourself, and that changing beliefs take plenty of hard work and rigorous practice.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Judi for giving an interesting talk and sharing her story. My thanks also go to everyone at Weightmans, for organising a good evening of networking.

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LinkedIn Local Liverpool – A Review

Have you ever tried to get to know the person behind their LinkedIn profile?

As a social networking site, LinkedIn is popular with professionals. With the platform’s ability to connect with colleagues, prospective clients, recruiters and acquaintances amongst others, it is easy to connect and build online relationships. However, this overreliance easily leads to offline networking being seriously neglected. Therefore, it is important to combine online networking, with getting to know your LinkedIn contacts through offline networking.

Last week, I attended a brand-new event called LinkedIn Local Liverpool, which was held in Hinterlands in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. Devised by Leon McCowan of Your Business Mobiles, who is a prominent networker in Liverpool, the purpose of this event was to allow local LinkedIn users to meet and network face-to-face, build relationships and learn from a variety of speakers. As well as being a networking event with a difference, it also included a charitable element, with registrants donating to The Whitechapel Centre, which is a charity that supports homeless people in Liverpool.

From left to right: Dave Verburg, Pam Case, Leon McCowan, Jeanne Hatton and James Wallis.

The event opened with a brief introduction by Julianna Petkovic from The Whitechapel Centre, on the important work they do in supporting the homeless. This was followed by a series of brief, educational and energetic talks by Pam Case from LinkedOffline (who host really good events), Dave Verburg of Asentiv (another of the most connected networkers in Liverpool) and finally James Wallis and Jeanne Hatton from Wirral Digital. From listening and taking in the knowledge and insights of each speaker, I was not only able to consolidate my own LinkedIn knowledge, but it was also a timely and useful reminder of the importance of offline networking, as the effects can be rewarding when both are combined!

I have previously mentioned how you can get the best out of LinkedIn. Therefore, I found this event to be a useful and rewarding experience, as it is important to balance online and offline networking, and there were other takeaways, which I have learned and added to my networking armoury. To give you a flavour, I have included some examples below.

  1. Try to get to know the person behind the LinkedIn profile.
  2. Remember to be your genuine self both online and offline.
  3. Build relationships first, as networking is about collaboration.
  4. Turn your posts into conversations, ask questions and include pictures.
  5. Remember to listen and respect the opinions of others.
  6. With the LinkedIn mobile app, you can search for others using Bluetooth technology.
  7. Make use of filtered LinkedIn searches, as this is a powerful tool.
  8. Storytelling is everything.
  9. LinkedIn and offline networking are about how you can help others.

From what I learned and have taken away from the evening, I was delighted to attend the event. For a networking enthusiast like myself, I was delighted to attend and catch up with many familiar faces. It was also a pleasure to make new connections, including Alex McCann and Kirsty James from LinkedIn Local Manchester (hopefully a potential and prosperous future partnership linking both of our great cities, and the Northern Powerhouse).

I would like to thank Leon for devising the event, which also helped to raise over £450 for The Whitechapel Centre. My thanks also go to Alex Clark and Ciara Hutchison of Professional Liverpool, Elaine Courtney of Courtney Recruitment, photographer Arthur Gold, and to Dave, Pam, James and Jeanne for sharing their expertise. This was an event of positive energy which was so infectious, that I loved it, and I certainly would attend another one very soon.

To conclude, I would like to leave you with the following questions.

  1. How do you use LinkedIn?
  2. What value can you bring and add to the lives of others?
  3. Does your LinkedIn profile accurately reflect who you genuinely are?
  4. How do you want your LinkedIn audience to interact with you?
  5. Do you try and measure how productive your networking relationships are?
  6. Do you get to know LinkedIn and other contacts offline?

Thanks for reading!

Ubiquity City Social – Food & Drink SUCCESS Code Showcase

Do you enjoy listening to the stories of others?

One of the joys of networking for me, is listening and learning from the stories of experienced people. Through attending events, I have been inspired and touched by the stories told, drawn from speakers’ experiences in business and in life, especially when they have encountered and overcome adversity.

At this month’s Ubiquity City Social event at Rocket & Ruby in Liverpool, I was privileged to listen to two great speakers in Steve McNicholas and Andy Grant. Not only are both successful, but what made them stand out was how they have encountered and conquered adversity, by taking and rolling with the punches, to become successful speakers and best-selling authors. I was really looking forward to listening to their stories, and I was not to be disappointed.

Steve McNicholas

With three decades in business, Steve gave a fascinating insight into his personal journey, which encompassed the theme of “brown envelopes”. This is because Steve has encountered and conquered several challenges from failing school exams and suffering the indignity of redundancy, to become a successful business consultant, coach and author, with his second book Unlock the Success Code only recently published. Steve has a burning hot passion to help others and raise money for MS, which is a cause very close to his heart, and one that deserves support.

Andy’s story was not only unique, but also inspiring and emotional. As a Royal Marine, Andy suffered serious injuries in a bomb attack in Afghanistan in 2009, resulting in his right leg being amputated, along with sustaining other serious injuries. To overcome such a harrowing experience and become a highly successful motivational speaker, takes courage and heart, and listening to Andy talk about how he turned his life around and achieve so much was incredibly moving. Since then, Andy has gone on to become the fastest 10k single leg amputee in the world, and has also given motivational talks to schools, organisations, charities and even the England football team. In addition, Andy has written a best-selling book called, You’ll Never Walk, which tells his personal story.

As well as being great speakers, and having written successful books, I also noticed other similarities between Steve and Andy. For instance, I was impressed with how both speakers were humble, humorous and approachable to listen and chat with. Both showed a desire and willingness to help others, which is important in business and in life. I also recognised how both Steve and Andy were determined and took ownership, which is very important to improve your personal and professional life.

I also enjoyed the surroundings of Rocket and Ruby. With delicious food and drink, pleasant surroundings and plenty of networking, this made for an interesting and enjoyable evening. It was also good to catch up with several familiar faces, including some I had not seen for a long while.

In conclusion, I loved every moment of the evening. As with all of Ubiquity’s events, this one was not only great for networking, but also to listen, be inspired and moved by Steve and Andy’s experiences. This was an experience that I shall treasure, and I admire how both Steve and Andy have shown inspiration and courage in the face of adversity, and by taking ownership and learning from their individual experiences, they are both a credit to themselves, and an inspiration to others. Indeed, what I have learned is the first step to success, is to take personal responsibility for everything you do.

I would like to thank Joel Jelen and everyone at Ubiquity PR, along with the staff at Rocket and Ruby. Finally, I would also like to thank both Steve and Andy for sharing their inspirational stories, which all contributed together for a lovely event.

Creative Kitchen & YouTube – My Thoughts & Recollections

The Internet has changed how content is created. As a powerful open-platform, YouTube has allowed anyone with an idea and an Internet connection to create videos, build an audience, and engage with brands. This means YouTube has disrupted the world as we know it, allowing people to bypass traditional media, and to view and create unique content.

I recently attended an event organised by Creative Kitchen and YouTube. Held at Avenue HQ in Liverpool, the event was to inspire people and businesses to harness the power of YouTube, engage with audiences and to grow their brands. I was very keen to find out more about the possibilities that YouTube offers, and how it has rewritten the rules, making anything possible to achieve.

Delivered by YouTube’s Lucy Banks, the event was a delight for me to attend and learn from. I found this to be a fascinating insight into how YouTube has not only been successful, but also as a call to arms for businesses and individuals to create fresh content to learn, educate, inform and entertain through storytelling that breaks boundaries.

I have included some YouTube facts below.

  1. 2 billion people visit YouTube every month.
  2. 100 countries have YouTube available in more than 80 languages worldwide.
  3. 40% of shoppers have purchased products through discovering them on YouTube.
  4. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine and is also the world’s largest R&D platform.
  5. The number of channels earning six-figure sums per year on YouTube is up by 25%.

The event also featured talks from Christian Hughes, Andy Castell and Lucy Wood who are successful YouTube creators from Liverpool. Each explained about their YouTube journey, and how they harnessed their individual passions for gaming, toddler learning, and fashion into videos, to engage and develop a positive and supportive community. I was greatly impressed with Christian, Andy and Lucy, as I recognised their enthusiasm for using YouTube to share their passions and stories, whilst helping others. I recognised this as I listened, because I sensed their personalities radiating with authenticity, from the words they spoke.

Another common thread that I noticed with Christian, Andy and Lucy, was they all shared a genuine love for their work, and for putting the effort into making interesting content. I found this refreshing because it is easy to fall into the trap of creating videos on YouTube purely for money, which is a sure-fire route to failure. This is because if you are not authentic, passionate, or lack knowledge about your subject, then it is much harder to connect with audiences, as you are not being yourself.

In addition, it can be hard and stressful to create content. As a blogger, I relate to and understand this, as you need to create content that reflects your true personality, interests, values, and has a human touch. Finally, I also learned some other interesting points from the event, which are listed below.

  1. You can learn to do anything on YouTube.
  2. People can find something on YouTube they cannot find anywhere else.
  3. Use your passion to make an emotional connection.
  4. Bigger businesses are at a disadvantage.
  5. The fundamentals of marketing remain the same.
  6. Content must be authentic.
  7. People are always looking for fresh content.
  8. With an open platform, there is also open responsibility.

There are plenty of opportunities that YouTube offers. From developing your brand, engaging with audiences through videos that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, an Internet connection and an idea is a starting point, to getting the best out of the platform.

To get the best out of YouTube, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you stand for?
  3. What stories to you want to share?
  4. What is the value you bring to the world?

In summary, this was an excellent event full of learning and creative energy, from start to finish. I enjoyed listening to the speakers, and of how they turned their hobbies into content that connects with audiences. Therefore, my thanks go to everyone at Creative Kitchen, along with Lucy Banks and all the speakers, as this event has given me creative inspiration, which is encapsulated in the words represented below.

Do What You Can’t!

The Joy of Work by Bruce Daisley – A Book Review

Following on from my review of March’s BIMA Liverpool event featuring Bruce Daisley, who is Twitter’s European Vice-President, I have recently finished reading The Joy of Work. This was a book that offers several fun and imaginative ways to enhance the workplace culture of businesses, which made an incredible impression on me.

I enjoy reading books about business, self-help and personal development. From contemporary to classics, I have read several titles from authors such as Tony Buzan, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill and Professor Steve Peters. After reading The Joy of Work, I can honestly say it is up there with the best of them, as I found it to be a delightful read, and full of ideas to improve workplace culture. Even better is that the ideas listed are fun, sensible and practical, whilst also based on solid and meticulous research.

The book is structured into three parts, which are Recharge, Sync and Buzz. Recharge looks at twelve ways to help in making you feel happier about your work. With Sync, this looks at eight ways to make teams closer, whilst Buzz looks at ten secrets of teams that are motivated and energised in what they do. Each of the three parts is broken down and clearly explained in simple terms, which are straightforward to understand and easily digest.

There was plenty I learned from reading the book. In fact, there is so much to share that I could write forever, which is why I have listed the key learnings below that I have learned and that resonate with me.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep.
  2. Concentrate on one task at a time.
  3. Go for lunch away from your desk.
  4. Ban phones from meetings.
  5. Remember to know when to leave people alone.
  6. Suggest a tea break and laugh.
  7. Focus on issues and not on people.
  8. Have pre-mortems, rather than post-mortems.
  9. Champion diversity.
  10. Admit when you have made a mistake.

From the points listed above and more, I was able to understand how work can be joyful and fulfilling. The book has also reiterated what I learned at the BIMA event about creativity suffering when under pressure, and what can be done for it to thrive in the workplace.

It has given me plenty to think about, and I have since successfully applied some of Bruce’s suggestions to my professional life. These include focusing on issues faced, being honest about mistakes made, and having lunch away from the desk during lunch breaks. By applying these ideas, I have been able to maintain a positive attitude to my work, as well as learning from my experiences to develop as a person.

If I could conclude with why I recommend this book, it is for the following reasons. Firstly, it is intelligently written and concise, making it easy to read and understand. Secondly the ideas suggested are simple ones, which can be tried and applied to your organisation. Finally, these ideas can also be applied by anyone, from office workers, cleaners, shop workers, CEOs, managers, company directors, entrepreneurs and many others.

I recommend purchasing the book from Amazon, any other bookstore, or even download the Kindle version. You can also download the audiobook from the iTunes Store. I have since downloaded and listened to the audiobook, and I enjoyed listening to Bruce speaking the words. Suffice to say The Joy of Work is now a permanent fixture in my collection.

If you enjoy Bruce’s book, you can also listen to his highly successful Eat Sleep Work Repeat business podcast.

Ubiquity City Social – El Pecado

Last week, I attended the Ubiquity City Social networking event at El Pecado. Located and hidden away on Bold Street in the heart of Liverpool’s Ropewalks, this cosy little Spanish eatery provided an ideal backdrop, to a delightful evening of networking. It was a lovely event to attend, and I came away afterwards not only impressed with the networking, but also of the venue and its homely surroundings.

Arriving at the event early, I was greeted with friendly welcomes and smiles. This was followed by refreshments including tapas that was tasty enough, to satisfy the hungry and salivating appetites. Other refreshments included glasses of sangria and wine, which was certainly popular with several attendees.

The event featured an interesting mix of people. Naturally there were several familiar faces, including some I had not seen for a long while, and I was also delighted to meet some new faces too. These included Heather Anderson of The Hive Youth Zone, Russell Gannon of Baltic Triangle Area CIC and Jane Slinger-Brennan of Rutherford Diagnostics. It was interesting to listen to their stories about what they do, which not only gave me food for thought, but also some potential ideas for future blogging content (watch this space).

El Pecado was a homely yet atmospheric restaurant. This is because I noticed how the tables and chairs were neatly arranged closely to each other. I also noticed the low-hanging lights on the ceiling and the closeness of the kitchen, which gave a sense of intimacy. In my opinion, El Pecado has the feeling and touch of an old-fashioned family-run restaurant with a soul and sense of comfort, fitting in nicely within the unique community and vibrant surroundings of Bold Street.

My thanks go to Joel Jelen and everyone at Ubiquity PR for organising a fine networking event. I also would like to thank the staff of El Pecado for the tapas, the sangria and the other refreshments, which all helped to make for a lovely evening.

Thanks for reading!

Professional Liverpool – Creative, Digital & Tech Sector Group Launch

The city of Liverpool has a vibrant and fast growing creative, digital and technology sector. Across the entire Liverpool City Region (LCR), there are many businesses who utilise technology to collaborate and work with partners and clients. However there needs to be a single unifying voice, to represent the interests of Liverpool’s creative, digital and tech community.

I was delighted to recently attend the launch of Professional Liverpool’s Creative, Digital and Tech Sector Group, at Roxy Ballroom in Liverpool. The purpose of this group is to provide a representative voice to the sector, and to raise awareness and promote it to the LCR and beyond.

Collaboration was the theme for this event, including the importance to businesses. This featured guest speakers who provided an overview of the group’s purpose and aims, along with why businesses need to collaborate. Led by Paul Furlong of Opus Media, who is the group’s chairman, the other speakers were Kelly Forshaw of Laduma, and Neil Atkinson of The Anfield Wrap, who gave some interesting examples of successful collaboration from their experiences in business.

The launch had a feel-good vibe to the atmosphere. With a warm, informal and quirky touch, there was plenty of networking, and collaboration with a packed-out audience feeling at ease, leading to hearty laughs and conversation. This was helped by the drinks, pizzas and chicken wings provided, along with the indoor golf, bowling alleys and table tennis.

I certainly hope the Creative, Digital and Tech Group is successful for Professional Liverpool and the region. Judging by the success of this event, I have great hopes for this group to encourage Liverpool’s creative, digital and technology community, and to collaborate successfully with other businesses and organisations. In these tough and digitally connected times, businesses and industry sectors can no longer afford to work within silos.

This means collaboration is the way forward for businesses and organisations, regardless of public, private or charitable sector position. This can only be achieved through open and honest communication, teamwork, and a willingness to listen and work together.

I was glad to have attended, as I am looking forward to learning more from future events. It was a pleasant evening and I would like to thank all the speakers, and everyone at Professional Liverpool and Roxy Ballroom, for coming together and successfully collaborating on a successful group launch.