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Journey to a better you.

March 15, 2017

Journey to a better you

We all want a better life for ourselves but what do we do about it? Most of us carry on as we are hoping that something will happen to change the course but how can this happen if we keep doing the same thing over and over – quite simply, it won’t!

I find myself approaching my 50th birthday and reflecting back on my life’s achievements. Have I been successful? What have I achieved? What am I most proud about in my life? The answers were not always what I wanted to hear but what could I do about it? I can look back at moments in time and see accomplishments but I can also see some pretty horrendous mistakes. Like most of us I have a personal side and a professional side and to be honest I have been fairly good at keeping the two separate. I had a successful career in England but I never found my “home”. My personal life was a mess and if there is one thing I could change it would be this. However, I know that we cannot change our past but we can control our future and this is what I want to help other people do as well as myself.


When I moved to America in 2010 it was for a fresh start. I wanted a simple life with no responsibilities and to enjoy the sunshine and quality of life that Florida offers. I had built my career on delivering excellent customer service so I knew that I wanted to work for Disney because, after all, they are the number one in the world! I got my job at Disney in October, 2011 and thought that was it. I had a good relationship, a good job, made some great new friends, what more could a person want? After a short while working at the reservation center and seeing how things worked I thought “there is a better way of doing this”, I knew that I had more to offer and secured a leadership role after 3 months – quite unusual I later found out. I had a small team and was able to instill my beliefs and practices into the team by coaching them that results come as a by-product of behaviors. I was professional at work, I had that down, and I soon started to progress even though that wasn’t my original intention.


What I didn’t realize at the time was that I hadn’t changed on the inside. On the face of it I had everything; a good marriage, a house, pets, a good job, and a busy social life – success, right? Wrong! I was slipping into old habits, thinking only about myself and not of others, and while I didn’t see it at the time my personal life was slipping away again. I made some bad decisions, let people down, and nearly lost everything as a result of being selfish and living with my eyes closed. I tell you this not for sympathy, I don’t deserve it, but to help you start to look at your own circumstances and assess where you are in life, personally and professionally. If you have everything you need and are happy then I am extremely pleased for you and wish you well, but for the majority of us I doubt this is the case and I encourage you to read on, I think I can help you.


The moment of truth


I thought that I had lost everything, blown my chances, and didn’t know what was going to happen to me. It is at times like these when we truly find out who our friends are and I was blessed to discover that I had some amazing people that really cared about me. Now I knew it was time to start caring for myself and get my life back in order, I still have plenty of living to do! As a result of my poor decisions I was faced with some hefty expenses. Should I give up and run away as I have in the past or should I stay and fight for who I really am? This was a big question and I can tell you the easy thing would have been to run, but I didn’t. Why? Because I had a support group that cared for me and I hadn’t realized just how much before. As I said earlier, I had been going around with my eyes closed and I suspect if you are honest most of you do the same.


Reflection


I had always enjoyed a drink with my friends and colleagues and didn’t see anything wrong with that. Growing up in England it was a part of the culture, everyone did it, or so I thought. What I never really took stock of was the effect this drinking had on people around me. Again, I could blame others for not understanding or trying to control me but was this really the case? I thought so at the time but in my time of reflection I knew it wasn’t. I could stop for a while and when I did I can now see that my relationships were better because I was being me – shocker! Don’t get me wrong, I was never an alcoholic as my drinking was social, but it did get out of hand. I would go out for one or two and end up staying much longer and drinking four or five. This wasn’t a problem though, right? Wrong again! My career was progressing and I gained several promotions. People respected my work and I made a difference. What I wasn’t looking at again was the result on my personal life. I was in a viscous circle and couldn’t get out. I thought my move to America and my new life was the answer, but it wasn’t. I was still in this cycle of doing well at work, enjoying socializing with my friends, but I still had my eyes closed regarding who I was becoming again.

The first step in recovery for me was learning to love myself. This sounds like an easy thing to do but believe me, it isn’t. I had to really look deep into my soul and be honest about my history, asking myself some difficult questions along the way and yes, accepting blame where it was due. On reflection I started to understand that I had always looked for excuses as to why things went wrong, and invariably the reasons I had come up with in the past were not me, but we all know that cannot be true all of the time don’t we. Accepting that was my first step on the road to recovery and finding my true self. The first thing I did was to stop drinking and start living my life.


The lightbulb moment


My light bulb moment came to me as a result of the events on February 13, 2016 but I will give you a little back story as a build up to this day. Before Christmas I had posted a status on Facebook asking if anyone had suggestions or ideas for something that would make a difference to people’s lives. This was always a passion of mine and while I knew that I had been successful in my professional life at making a difference I wanted to help more people, I just wasn’t sure how. I had even received a prestigious award from Disney based on stories my peers had submitted about me; quite simply the most humbling and proudest moment of my life to date!


The only response I got was from a friend who asked if I truly wanted to help people as if I did she had something she wanted to talk to me about. The opportunity turned out to be an anti-aging skin care range. I asked myself what this could possibly do to help me fulfil my wishes about helping others. I didn’t follow through but this friend was persistent, she kept sending me messages with information and eventually I decided to look further into it. I read product reviews as well as success stories from people who had entered this business. I started to see that maybe this could be a way of helping people and making some spare money at the same time. I took the plunge and signed up as a brand partner. I knew that I would have to use the products and see results myself if I was going to make a success of this and, despite my skepticism and partial surprise I did. I have been blessed to find the love of a good woman, Mary, over the last few months and her support personally has been amazing. She was also skeptical about the product but was also surprised at the results.


So came the day of February 13, 2016. I attended my first regional marketing party and training session. The energy in the room was incredible and it was impossible not to get caught up in it. I had also arranged for my first real results party to be that night – forgetting it was valentines weekend of course so only a few people were coming! Everything was set, I would pick up some wine and snacks on my way home from my afternoon of volunteering at the Second Harvest Food Bank – another great way to make a difference to many people in need.


I have not been blessed with the best of health over the previous year and after two visits to the ER I was diagnosed with pneumonia, sinusitis, and asthma as well as having a persistent cough for months. I was struggling to breathe on my way home but knew that I had time for a breathing treatment before my guests arrived. About an hour into the evening I started to feel bad, I was wheezing and short of breath. I left my guests in the lounge and took another breathing treatment thinking this would make me better but it didn’t. I called Mary and said that I needed to go to the hospital quickly. We left our guests and headed straight to the ER. It was one of the most frightening times of my life as I honestly thought I was going to stop breathing; I remember telling Mary that I was going to die. When I got to the ER they rushed me straight into a trauma room where they put me on oxygen as my level was at 82% and it should be over 95%. They brought in a portable x-ray machine to check my chest and I had my first ever CAT scan. After several hours I was feeling somewhat better but the doctor wanted to keep me in for observation. Reluctantly I agreed and was moved to a ward around 1:00am.


After more tests and checks on Sunday I was told that I needed to be signed off by a specialist as there were some complications showing. This resulted in another night in hospital so Mary brought my computer and a copy of “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. I had received this book with my starter kit but hadn’t opened it. Many references were made to the book at the marketing party so I thought it would be an opportune time to read it. I didn’t get a chance to start the book on Sunday but Monday morning I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. So many things made sense all of a sudden and I was becoming inspired. I knew that I had been presented with this opportunity for a reason and now was the time to take charge of my life and allow the real me to shine. I was eventually released from hospital on Tuesday afternoon, February 16. I woke up in the middle of the night with a song going round in my head and I had no idea why. It was ABBA, “Thank you for the music”, a song that I hadn’t heard for years. It prompted me to get up and read the lyrics:


I'm nothing special, in fact I'm a bit of a bore

If I tell a joke, you've probably heard it before

But I have a talent, a wonderful thing

Cause everyone listens when I start to sing

I'm so grateful and proud

All I want is to sing it out loud


So, I say

Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing

Thanks for all the joy they're bringing

Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty

What would life be?

Without a song or a dance what are we?

So I say thank you for the music

For giving it to me


I saw my future in these words, not as a singer but through my desire to help people by teaching them to do the simple things well, create good habits and thus start a ripple effect. I continued to do well in my Disney career gaining two more promotions and moving into a new area where I have learned a tremendous amount. I have also been able to start changing perceptions and after introducing some of my coaching techniques and ideas the team are turning a corner and thinking about what they do differently. It is the greatest feeling in the world to see people start to blossom and grow and I want to experience that even more. 


This leads me to the next chapter of my life where I am honored and privileged to work as a certified coach, trainer, and speaker with the John Maxwell team.


My message is simple but powerful, you have the potential to take control of your life and I can help show how - it really will be my pleasure!

My Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Journey to a better you.

March 15, 2017

Journey to a better you

We all want a better life for ourselves but what do we do about it? Most of us carry on as we are hoping that something will happen to change the course but how can this happen if we keep doing the same thing over and over – quite simply, it won’t!

I find myself approaching my 50th birthday and reflecting back on my life’s achievements. Have I been successful? What have I achieved? What am I most proud about in my life? The answers were not always what I wanted to hear but what could I do about it? I can look back at moments in time and see accomplishments but I can also see some pretty horrendous mistakes. Like most of us I have a personal side and a professional side and to be honest I have been fairly good at keeping the two separate. I had a successful career in England but I never found my “home”. My personal life was a mess and if there is one thing I could change it would be this. However, I know that we cannot change our past but we can control our future and this is what I want to help other people do as well as myself.


When I moved to America in 2010 it was for a fresh start. I wanted a simple life with no responsibilities and to enjoy the sunshine and quality of life that Florida offers. I had built my career on delivering excellent customer service so I knew that I wanted to work for Disney because, after all, they are the number one in the world! I got my job at Disney in October, 2011 and thought that was it. I had a good relationship, a good job, made some great new friends, what more could a person want? After a short while working at the reservation center and seeing how things worked I thought “there is a better way of doing this”, I knew that I had more to offer and secured a leadership role after 3 months – quite unusual I later found out. I had a small team and was able to instill my beliefs and practices into the team by coaching them that results come as a by-product of behaviors. I was professional at work, I had that down, and I soon started to progress even though that wasn’t my original intention.


What I didn’t realize at the time was that I hadn’t changed on the inside. On the face of it I had everything; a good marriage, a house, pets, a good job, and a busy social life – success, right? Wrong! I was slipping into old habits, thinking only about myself and not of others, and while I didn’t see it at the time my personal life was slipping away again. I made some bad decisions, let people down, and nearly lost everything as a result of being selfish and living with my eyes closed. I tell you this not for sympathy, I don’t deserve it, but to help you start to look at your own circumstances and assess where you are in life, personally and professionally. If you have everything you need and are happy then I am extremely pleased for you and wish you well, but for the majority of us I doubt this is the case and I encourage you to read on, I think I can help you.


The moment of truth


I thought that I had lost everything, blown my chances, and didn’t know what was going to happen to me. It is at times like these when we truly find out who our friends are and I was blessed to discover that I had some amazing people that really cared about me. Now I knew it was time to start caring for myself and get my life back in order, I still have plenty of living to do! As a result of my poor decisions I was faced with some hefty expenses. Should I give up and run away as I have in the past or should I stay and fight for who I really am? This was a big question and I can tell you the easy thing would have been to run, but I didn’t. Why? Because I had a support group that cared for me and I hadn’t realized just how much before. As I said earlier, I had been going around with my eyes closed and I suspect if you are honest most of you do the same.


Reflection


I had always enjoyed a drink with my friends and colleagues and didn’t see anything wrong with that. Growing up in England it was a part of the culture, everyone did it, or so I thought. What I never really took stock of was the effect this drinking had on people around me. Again, I could blame others for not understanding or trying to control me but was this really the case? I thought so at the time but in my time of reflection I knew it wasn’t. I could stop for a while and when I did I can now see that my relationships were better because I was being me – shocker! Don’t get me wrong, I was never an alcoholic as my drinking was social, but it did get out of hand. I would go out for one or two and end up staying much longer and drinking four or five. This wasn’t a problem though, right? Wrong again! My career was progressing and I gained several promotions. People respected my work and I made a difference. What I wasn’t looking at again was the result on my personal life. I was in a viscous circle and couldn’t get out. I thought my move to America and my new life was the answer, but it wasn’t. I was still in this cycle of doing well at work, enjoying socializing with my friends, but I still had my eyes closed regarding who I was becoming again.

The first step in recovery for me was learning to love myself. This sounds like an easy thing to do but believe me, it isn’t. I had to really look deep into my soul and be honest about my history, asking myself some difficult questions along the way and yes, accepting blame where it was due. On reflection I started to understand that I had always looked for excuses as to why things went wrong, and invariably the reasons I had come up with in the past were not me, but we all know that cannot be true all of the time don’t we. Accepting that was my first step on the road to recovery and finding my true self. The first thing I did was to stop drinking and start living my life.


The lightbulb moment


My light bulb moment came to me as a result of the events on February 13, 2016 but I will give you a little back story as a build up to this day. Before Christmas I had posted a status on Facebook asking if anyone had suggestions or ideas for something that would make a difference to people’s lives. This was always a passion of mine and while I knew that I had been successful in my professional life at making a difference I wanted to help more people, I just wasn’t sure how. I had even received a prestigious award from Disney based on stories my peers had submitted about me; quite simply the most humbling and proudest moment of my life to date!


The only response I got was from a friend who asked if I truly wanted to help people as if I did she had something she wanted to talk to me about. The opportunity turned out to be an anti-aging skin care range. I asked myself what this could possibly do to help me fulfil my wishes about helping others. I didn’t follow through but this friend was persistent, she kept sending me messages with information and eventually I decided to look further into it. I read product reviews as well as success stories from people who had entered this business. I started to see that maybe this could be a way of helping people and making some spare money at the same time. I took the plunge and signed up as a brand partner. I knew that I would have to use the products and see results myself if I was going to make a success of this and, despite my skepticism and partial surprise I did. I have been blessed to find the love of a good woman, Mary, over the last few months and her support personally has been amazing. She was also skeptical about the product but was also surprised at the results.


So came the day of February 13, 2016. I attended my first regional marketing party and training session. The energy in the room was incredible and it was impossible not to get caught up in it. I had also arranged for my first real results party to be that night – forgetting it was valentines weekend of course so only a few people were coming! Everything was set, I would pick up some wine and snacks on my way home from my afternoon of volunteering at the Second Harvest Food Bank – another great way to make a difference to many people in need.


I have not been blessed with the best of health over the previous year and after two visits to the ER I was diagnosed with pneumonia, sinusitis, and asthma as well as having a persistent cough for months. I was struggling to breathe on my way home but knew that I had time for a breathing treatment before my guests arrived. About an hour into the evening I started to feel bad, I was wheezing and short of breath. I left my guests in the lounge and took another breathing treatment thinking this would make me better but it didn’t. I called Mary and said that I needed to go to the hospital quickly. We left our guests and headed straight to the ER. It was one of the most frightening times of my life as I honestly thought I was going to stop breathing; I remember telling Mary that I was going to die. When I got to the ER they rushed me straight into a trauma room where they put me on oxygen as my level was at 82% and it should be over 95%. They brought in a portable x-ray machine to check my chest and I had my first ever CAT scan. After several hours I was feeling somewhat better but the doctor wanted to keep me in for observation. Reluctantly I agreed and was moved to a ward around 1:00am.


After more tests and checks on Sunday I was told that I needed to be signed off by a specialist as there were some complications showing. This resulted in another night in hospital so Mary brought my computer and a copy of “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. I had received this book with my starter kit but hadn’t opened it. Many references were made to the book at the marketing party so I thought it would be an opportune time to read it. I didn’t get a chance to start the book on Sunday but Monday morning I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. So many things made sense all of a sudden and I was becoming inspired. I knew that I had been presented with this opportunity for a reason and now was the time to take charge of my life and allow the real me to shine. I was eventually released from hospital on Tuesday afternoon, February 16. I woke up in the middle of the night with a song going round in my head and I had no idea why. It was ABBA, “Thank you for the music”, a song that I hadn’t heard for years. It prompted me to get up and read the lyrics:


I'm nothing special, in fact I'm a bit of a bore

If I tell a joke, you've probably heard it before

But I have a talent, a wonderful thing

Cause everyone listens when I start to sing

I'm so grateful and proud

All I want is to sing it out loud


So, I say

Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing

Thanks for all the joy they're bringing

Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty

What would life be?

Without a song or a dance what are we?

So I say thank you for the music

For giving it to me


I saw my future in these words, not as a singer but through my desire to help people by teaching them to do the simple things well, create good habits and thus start a ripple effect. I continued to do well in my Disney career gaining two more promotions and moving into a new area where I have learned a tremendous amount. I have also been able to start changing perceptions and after introducing some of my coaching techniques and ideas the team are turning a corner and thinking about what they do differently. It is the greatest feeling in the world to see people start to blossom and grow and I want to experience that even more. 


This leads me to the next chapter of my life where I am honored and privileged to work as a certified coach, trainer, and speaker with the John Maxwell team.


My message is simple but powerful, you have the potential to take control of your life and I can help show how - it really will be my pleasure!

Being intentional

August 13th, 2017

If we are honest I think everyone would admit that they have a tendency to go through life without a real plan, we take what comes our way, right? Successful people do not do this, they are intentional about their actions and think about what they want to achieve in life. We can control our destiny but it has to start with us. 


Henry Ford summed this up perfectly when he wrote; ""Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right." Being intentional is a skill that we can all learn. It starts with keeping the end in mind at all times. If we don't know where we are going how do we know if we are still on track? Even when we do have the goal clearly defined we need to consistently review our progress and adjust as needed. 


What is reflection? For me it is asking three simple questions:

  • What did I learn today?
  • How can I apply what I learned today?
  • How can I pass on what I learned today?

The next stage is acting on the answers, but be honest otherwise the only person you are fooling is you! I have started an accountability list which includes things that I have determined need completing for my personal and professional development. I have the list on my phone so that I can check it daily and make sure that I am on track. 


What are you going to do today?