Treasure Hunters

Sometimes relationships can feel so easy so simple you wonder why everything in the world cannot be this way. Some chums and I have set sail on a little adventure, the ease of which is so joyful we know we are bound for great things.
Ease of approach, shared values and a love of strategy between said treasure hunters makes for further simplicity in developing our ideas and our maps. The project isn’t about money it’s about helping people find a certain type of information based on our research and our questions to other people ‘what do you seek?’ We’ve researched the gaps and found another little niche to dive into as winter approaches. The waters may be getting colder, but the pull of the outcome is strong and hot.
I’m not calling this a start up even though technically it might be, I’m calling it a smart up; together we’re taking our smarts combining them and serving something fresh. The added bonuses, we are made up of artists and manager/leaders with entrepreneurial flair, a rather marvelous combination of natural talents, ideas and business savvy. If you want to succeed then the best crew on the planet is needed.
A plan has been hatched, thinking and development time is in play, design and content afoot, shared values and language underpinning; we know what we’re cultivating and this makes for an exciting treasure map. We have our X, we have a plan, we’ll travel one degree at a time.
I’ve had a chance to share and flair in manner of a cocktail yielding bar tender Business Master and will continue to do so. My own business is evolving, the outlines of my dreams are colouring in and soul sister journeys are riding along beside this treasure hunter ship in manner of beautiful sea creatures, mer-folk and dolphins. The hunt is on my friends and I’m finally at the helm of my adventure, standing side by side with my beloved and our crew of treasure hunters. Our heart songs yield the same tune and our sea shanties are in time with the north winds and ocean waves as we sail towards our prize islands and beyond.

How do you know when you’ve had a good idea?

Within Business Mastery (BM) we learnt a lot, there are more sophisticated way to say this, but a lot sums up my child like enthusiasm for the whole adventure. We were given oodles and oodles of tasty thoughtful treats, gifts of knowledge and how to utilize our knowledge build action steps out if and take massive action towards being the best version of ourselves and our businesses.
Two such treats, what is business? Simply put it’s innovation and marketing. This means finding out what your customers want, asking can you do it and if you can give it to them. As I wrote earlier this week don’t give people what you think they want, give the customer what they actually want.
Innovation has been a buzz word across many sectors for a long time and can often illicit a rather empty feeling when only the word is used, but the ideas are withstanding, so how do you know you’ve come up with a good idea? You’ve done your research, you’ve sat in your thinking space, you’ve asked really great questions and thought around everything you can, you’re notes tumble around you and your writing hand aches with the effort of capturing everything on paper, of everything is front of you what’s good and what’s meh? For me it is literally the light bulb moment.
I trust my knowledge, the research, the process, my mulling time as I call it when I’m commuting. Wherever I am, the great ideas feel as if they come from the back of my brain and push through into my minds eye, I see them clearly, I sit up straighter and blink repeatedly. Sometimes I get goose bumps, other times my heart rate increases, sometimes I get both and occasionally a head ache, it’s always followed by ‘That’s it,’ and I know it’s the idea I need.
How do you know what a good idea, in fact an outstanding idea? Where in your body do you feel it, see it, sense it?

Thinking Time

In the land of Business Mastery we talked about the importance of scheduling thinking time. I LOVE THIS CONCEPT. Have I done it yet? Nope. Have I scheduled it, well yes actually I have, for this Saturday. What am I going to think about? Well that would be giving away too much too soon dear reader.
I hear you all asking, but Ducky what the devil is thinking time and why would we want it? A very good question and like all good questions the answer is within the query. We need specific time to think, to test ideas, to reflect, consider, digest and integrate learning, to solve, to heal, to source, find and strengthen all that we are. Exciting, yes?

Rule number one: Schedule silent thinking time
Two: Ask yourself a question during your pondering stint
Three: Choose a consistent spot to sit and think
Four: If you’re old school like me bring a note book and pen along for the ride I believe in the cognitive difference it makes to our minds if we use pen and paper verses iPad etc.
Five: Allocate at least one hour, two is better; once a week is marvelous, twice a week will change and raise your standards further.

You may not solve your question, the gift is to allow yourself to think everywhere, I’m avoiding saying outside the box, as sometimes thinking in the box is exactly where the answers are unearthed.
The key is to pop a time or two in your diary and stick to it, get playful with your questions and thinking, it can be about you, your work, your service, personal life, the world.
Make it something you want to know more about, settle into your intellectual space and crack on as we say in the UK.

(Note: 302 words in 8 minutes…this shorter writing task is working for me this week, how is it for you?)

Pick up the phone…

Carrying on with the telephone theme of yesterday and 300 word challenge, I wanted to share more of our learning from Business Mastery.
Many of us communicate via email, text or other means we constantly risk misunderstanding, particularly when reading emails, for some strange reason we are in the midst of an odd avoidance epidemic, no-one really likes to call people anymore. Or if they do, everyone assumes something bad has happened.
Thinking of my grandparents phone table again, the only query ever asked was after 9pm, ‘who would be calling at this time of night?’
I made rather a lot of calls yesterday, my ear stretched open in an attempt to pick up every available nuance from whom I was speaking with. I think we may well have lost the art of the telephone call; there was distraction, keyboard clicking and the callers mind was on more than one thing as papers shuffled or hands muffled over the receiver to answer another question. At times I closed my eyes listening even more intently to unpack what was happening at the other end.
As Tony Robbins encouraged, we really ought to pick up the phone more often, make the call, address what needs to be done immediately and follow up with email, don’t send an email first and then sit back twiddling thumbs telling ourselves we’ve done all we can. Have we done all we can? Without speaking to the other person, probably not.
I was blessed enough to make some fascinating connections across the week and will be making calls tomorrow afternoon to say hi, remember me, fancy a cuppa?
It’s unorthodox I know a) to actually follow up from training and b) to really pick up the phone, but if I don’t lead by example how can I expect my team to follow suit and to ensure the value chain is strengthened further? If we are to lead change, we must be the change we want to see in the world.

300 word limit…what can we write?

This week continues to be about priming my space, my mind and myself; I’ve jiggled the study around clearing more crap. How can you have anything left to clear? It’s a good question, but by moving things around more than once we discover all manner of cobwebs, dead bugs, dust and elements no longer useful to our lives.
Where once I wanted shiny pastel coloured filing cabinets I’ve swapped things around and now my baskets are filled with notebooks in every size, pens in every colour and a Fortnum & Mason picnic hamper is now home to my files, clients, training notes all neatly leant spine to spine supporting one another.
Could it be I have almost reached a stage of actually being organised, a mere four months after Unleash The Power Within and mere days post Business Mastery? What joy, what a gift, what oddness!
I’ve taken some time today to verify and clarify what truly wonderful chapters are unfolding, it’s marvellous.
I’m a natural planner, however the lessons of the value chain from Business Mastery are ringing loud in my ears. I’ve sent fewer emails than I have in months and I’ve picked up the phone more than I can remember; I’m adding value. It takes less time to call, it leads to better deals, it makes people feel cared for.
As a kid the phone table in my grandparents hall table was a place of make believe and fun. It was a beautiful piece of furniture, I adored it; phone books and note pads with pens sat atop the surface or in a little drawer and whenever the telephone rang you would find whomever had answered, perched delicately on the edge confirming plans to which no-one would be late.
We’d arrange to meet, I’d be there and so would you. This is my promise to my path, my work, my life, I’ve sat down at the phone table, answered the call and made the promise to meet life when I said I would, head on, no excuses, on time filled with excitement to be here.
(355 words….not bad)

Scoffs and loaves

These are words I generally don’t use, Mr S was sharing a story or two last night and described part of his childhood when the supper bell would ding a ling and he and his siblings would come running in from the Surrey greens to enjoy lashings of something whilst scoffing said something and fighting over the end of the bread, the crust or as we call it in Scotland the outsider.
The outsider is a coveted slice of bread, thicker than most, for some reason tastier and so much better toasted and lathered in marmalade. For all Mr S and I have in common, we also share seeming episodes of an Enid Blytonesque upbringing and I like to think of us running across different fields at the same time as children, hearing the call of the bell and suddenly realizing our tummies are grumbling in tune.
As well as a love of the outside of a loaf we are in fact both a little outside of many things in life, this I see as a positive, we haven’t followed tradition in any particularly notable way, our treasure hunter hearts beat to the same map settings and we seek comfort outside of our comfort zones.
During the last week I was acknowledged as part of an unusual pack, a celebrated abnormal bunch as who in their right mind would spend time, energy and resources to sit in a conference room learning all they could in 90 hours about business? Well I and 699 other people would and did and if we’re not normal, thank heavens for that.
Our businesses won’t be normal, our approach to business far from linear, the way we each think a unique combination of advancing our capacity for internal and external growth; we lead from the heart and not the bank, the paper and jingle becomes an added advantage to being clear on what we serve, but it is not the driver.
You know dear readers, how I feel about chasing things, unlike animals and their prey, dogs and a ball, humans who chase things tend to keep running and running with little success. Those of us who allow ourselves to be pulled, to listen to our heart song and to serve with grace connect to our customers and clients, fill gaps in niche markets and read the signs the world presents to us in no uncertain terms.
Our questions are ‘What can’t I see? What could happen to mess this up? Where are things in the world, which could add value to what I’m doing? Where in the life cycle are the people, places and businesses I want to and do work with? What more can I do?’
The last is a favourite of mine, I’d never thought about it before, but I always make sure when everything is done I check for what else could be done today and not tomorrow, where else are the gaps, what might the client adore to find out we’ve already taken care of, where is the opportunity to shine? For years people have commented on my competitive nature and I’ve been uncomfortable with this as I don’t see myself as competitive, I do however recognize myself as bringing my A game to every game and then some.
Name it whatever you want, but the difference is simple I instinctively look for opportunities to be greater than I was yesterday and do the same for my life, family, clients and partners. I’m intuitive and like the rest of my 699 pack one of many outsiders who will lead the world in the latest changes. When the bell dings for winter where will you be, still looking for your pack or sitting in front of a roaring fire toasting and scoffing loaves with marmalade?

Already a warrior and female gladiator is born (who existed by the way, just in case you wondered. Fact)

Five days, ninety hours, occasional snacks, gallons of green juice, sleep which mattered more than any other time of my life, refreshing showers, bringing my A game daily, laughter which filled me, a forest of knowledge to wake up my grey matter and a plan of action the likes of which I have never hankered down enough to write before. Shit is getting done people, I’m primed, I’m awake and I’m able to live my life the way I want to.
This was a week in the Robbins House of Business Mastery. More to the point this was a week with a team of people whom I will call friends for a lifetime. With invitations to Switzerland and New Zealand, a millionaire mentor (thank you to my Italian Papà for saying yes to my downright cheeky question) and for telling me yesterday very firmly, but fairly ‘my pretty one, if you would only focus and discipline yourself you can have everything you want, you will do things only we can dream of, your heart is full, fill it more and your life is unlimited, but you must be disciplined, promise this to me,’ and I did.
For the first time in my life I have a plan, I know exactly what needs to be done and absolutely what not to be distracted by.…although you should know as I was telling Mr S about this earlier, a song came on and I said ‘oooo I love this song, argh distraction,’ to which he replied ‘squirrel!’ I’ve given him permission to say squirrel to me whenever I’m distracted or losing track and I’ve mentally said it to myself about 18 times this morning already, so we constant work to do with the young grey matter, more training as training never ends.
We don’t go to the gym once thinking it will last us forever, well some people do, but really its daily practice of anything, which develops and improves us. The difference between the folks whom stayed in the room for ninety hours and those that left is disciple, some folks came up to say cheerio to my team and I yesterday, they told us ‘ Everyday we’ve seen you caring for one another, bringing up the energy, looking out for everyone you see and everyday you’ve made us happy.’ I nearly cried, I’d led the week from my heart, played full out and victory was indeed mine. By setting my standard higher, other people had lifted there’s and so begins the birthing process of a true leader. Do you want to know what the distinction is? A True leader works on herself and her people until the people work and lead themselves.
For some folks I wanted to say come on now, stay, change your state, you’re not really tired you’re mind is asking you to quit because it loves that shit, it loves reducing you, keeping you on the sofa eating crap, tell it no and rise up to meet who you were born to be. I didn’t say this as it’s not my place, but in their quitting I worked harder, for everyone that left, I stepped up one more person’s energy that had left the room and loved every second of it.
Similarly to my beloved yoga practice, the positions I mentally scream to move on from are the ones, which do me the most good (it pains me to admit this, my teacher will be thrilled, but as it’s taken me a year to train my brain never mind my body into understanding this I’m saying it out loud so as I don’t forget or give in).
Evolution takes time and our heart must constantly reach beyond where we were, where we are and beyond where we want to be. Every nano second, my skills improve, my mind works more efficiently and above all else my heart and entire being pulsed with love.
It feels odd today to not be sitting in a gigantic classroom, I’ve gone through my notes, reiterated my 3 to thrive list, I’ve talked the ears of Mr S and I’m confident I know my mission. It’s incredibly rewarding to take the space you know you need to pull yourself into the next place in your life and it’s something I’ve never truly acknowledged.
You can’t know a person by how they stand in front of you, but you can understand them by the steps they took to get to where they are. I am nothing if not a great stepper, alas this isn’t meant in the American way, as I would love to give it a go squirrel! See what happens, I’m going to have to watch myself really I am. However I have my mantra to focus me, I am a gladiator, winter is my season, victory is mine, give me your fear and pain and I will give you results, I will not be denied, I am a gladiator and so it is.

What will you do in the next 6-9 months of your life?

Day four made us look time and time again at this question and more. What do you want your life to be? What will you do today, in the next week, in 6 months, in 36 months where will you be? Where do you want to be? What does financial freedom mean? How do you achieve it? If you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond the reality of achieving a spectacular life is yours to realise, it’s in the palm of your hands, your team’s hands and in every decision you make.
We discussed how it does help to hang out with folks in the money, current millionaires, not bottom line figures, but cash, in the bank, it’s no mistake as to why the rich get richer, as they have the in’s, the contacts, the information needed and in reality with so few of them they kinda need buddies who get it; no-one wants to emulate Elton John for example, who despite spending 30 years in the music industry, selling out tours with sky high album sales had to file for bankruptcy. Do you know why this is? Because he didn’t have a longterm plan, he didn’t have a plan, he didn’t make his money work for him and he spent. Everything. He. Had. And. More. Thirty years of work for, not a lot, as my Grampa used to say.
I have taken in so much information, I have developed coaching skills, I have financial skills I have no idea what to do with as I don’t quite understand everything, but this is absolutely fine as I’m only days old, sometimes hours in these topics, I’m excited to continue to learn and now truly understand the issues, difficulties and patterns of so many organisations, individuals and folks working in what they think is an innovative and entrepreneurial way. I’m here to tell you, Ducky Productions can help you reach your potential and your dreams. We’ve got the people power, the knowledge and the passion.
With the final day at my fingertips I cannot wait to lock into it. My grey matter is stronger than it was on Monday, everything is, the amount of physical movement we’re enjoying is fantastic, my triceps don’t hurt anymore and my shoulders have changed, not a bad extra outcome considering I came here to learn how to Master Business. I may not have mastered it, but I am no longer a dabbler, I’m on my way to mastery and I say thank you to everyone who made it possible.
I met oodles of fab people today, the law of attraction was working her magic and everyone I’ve smiled at over the last few days came up and said hi or vice versa. We had an actual break , an hour, it was heaven; in that time I set up a few meetings, made some calls, laid out an immediate action plan for next week to develop my business, to shift into being an owner and step out of the operator role, the team is expanding my friends and we’ll be in touch.
I found what I thought would be a quiet place to sit down with a cup of tea and unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, this seemed to only attract more people to me and I ended up in conversation with even more people.
It’s an amazing environment to be in to meet people, even just smiling and saying hi knowing your smile and eye contact will be met is refreshing. It’s sort of like a jacked up Sadhana crew, although my yoga crew are very hard to beat.
Speaking of Sadhana my practice has been committed and hones this week, I’ve turned to the stability it now absolutely gaurantee’s and my daily practice has been enhanced by days in which I have apparently less time than ever….as usual the more I do, the more time and energy I generate and so can we all. So in the time you make for yourself over the coming days, ask yourself what will you do in the next 6-9 months of your life? Do you know what hell on earth might be? Meeting who you could have been.

And the beat goes on…

For some folks launching yourself into a room with 700 people for 5 days and spending 90 hours with them is the definition of absolute insanity and I’m not talking about the late night infomercials for the back to basics fitness plan. For those of us in the room it is a roller coaster education, which took us to all things financial yesterday, math, as our American friends call it, was made sexy, engaging and incredibly fun. Well it was for me, but then I love a bit of geek chic so I’m happy to work out how to improve my margins, raise more cash and understand everything my accountant does for me, then everything I can do for him.
Yesterday was the equivalent to a Harvard Business Degree. How is this possible? Trust me if you’d been in the room and had almost filled your 200 page note book, gone to the edges of madness trying to follow everything you were being told, then realized of course it didn’t all need to make sense and in that moment where you gave yourself permission to not understand suddenly it all made sense, you too would know the 13 hour day was the equivalent, as we were frequently told, to a Harvard Education.
It’s incredibly freeing to now host this knowledge; it was also emotional in terms of where we can really make a difference to the world and for so little in many ways. The generosity of everyone in the room is extraordinary, made prevalent when we sang happy birthday for two of the delegates at the end of night, we then had brownies and for every brown purchased and gifted to us, the team who bought them in the first place also bought the same number of rooms and meals for 700 homeless people in London last night. This gesture may or may not make a lasting difference, but it will have made an immediate difference to many of our street communities.
The brownie team led by example, it’s something I’m seeing more and more across the course. We had a debate yesterday about why do businesses make customers number one, what about if we made our team our number one priority and in turn they will manage the customers as their number one. I like it, I like the idea of it and I like absolutely putting the team first; I can think of so many times when I’ve felt like crap working for someone who doesn’t understand my drivers, my motivations, for them it’s all about the bottom line and the bottom line my friends is far from the true financial value of any job or company. You only have to look at every busted economic failure to know no-on really knew what going on in the bank.
Stocks, investments, the market, global economics all make sense to me now, understanding how to maximize a business is totally cool quite frankly, for some it’s about getting rich, anyone can do that, the trick is to get rich and stay rich; for most people this is the tricky part. Yesterday really complimented Kate Northup’s Money: A Love Story, if I hadn’t been reading her book, this week would have been harder for me and not in a rise and meet the challenge kind of way, more in an oh dear what am I doing here kind of way.
The team I’m working with, ahem leading are all guys; it’s in stark contrast to my very feminine yoga weekend in Nice recently. I wondered what difference it would make working with woman, if the support and emotion would be more welcoming, but in fact I think I’m really lucky as the energy is very understanding, playful and childlike in fact, not something I expected. Our group has heart. We share notes, snacks (all healthy, one guy is doing a juice fast this week, more power to him), humour, if someone doesn’t understand we work it out, bear in mind we do have a bit of a language barrier as well, our team is international, but we find a way to connect, make the learning meaningful and we progress.
I do wonder where are all the women?… I may have commented on this for Unleash The Power Within, thus far none of the speakers have been women, even the publicity with 70 faces of success splashed across it, includes only three women.
They played Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines yesterday, all be it briefly, but I couldn’t help but wonder how blurred the lines between the genders actually are in the room. I was thinking about gender differences yesterday. It’s true woman are story tellers, it’s in our nature as the keepers of families and communities. We use stories and emotions to connect, guys generally like to solve puzzles, it’s the reason why so many heterosexual couples fight, for example I want to share a story and connect with you, so you feel empathy and make the story feel okay, you want to solve the problem, there is no problem, there’s emotion so we clash. My story is asking you to understand my heart and more, I’m not a puzzle to be solved, I’m complex yes, but that’s the joy of our nature. Truly guys if you want to know what your beloved wants, ask her, ask what do you want and what makes you happy, write that shit down and deliver. At the end of the day we all want what we want, someone trying to give us something they think we want never really works out, I never thought I’d say this, it’s the same in relationships as it is in business. Business is relationships, clients don’t want you to give them what you think they need, they want to be given what they know they need.
I took heart in the most mentally challenging day yet; most of the female clients I work with at present undersell their skills and products, I reckon between Kate Northup’s back up and the G Force we’ve got some incredible potential in the market place and I’m a coming for you, with my choice of beats not anyone else’s.

Day two in the Big Tony Robbins House

In manner of Inspector Clouseau I will only say siz once, watching people give up and go home is a sign they’re not playing full out and a reminder to get back in the game, even if you ache, even if you think there’s nothing left, there’s always something inside us, this is the difference between excellent and outstanding, between a dabbler and a master; this is what makes us gladiators.
Most of my team mentally quit by 9pm last night, I could feel it and see it; individual financial tasks tore the heart out of the room, filled with artists, peppered with leaders with a splash of entrepreneurs. The first team member left just before 9pm, the second at 10pm, the third thirty minutes later. Does this say I’m a crap leader, nope, of course it tells me lots, but when I look to my career I know where I’ve gone wrong and where I’m doing well; I recognize it’s about how far individuals are willing to go for their development, for their value and for the place they are in the life right now.
Did I weep upon their leaving, nope, I did exactly what I needed to do, I found another team because we had work to do and I wanted to do it. I could have quit, thought to myself ‘well gee, the team have left, you’re alone, everyone else is in teams already…I’ll get my bag.’ Did I think this, hell to the no, I tested the water with some new folks and got to work, plus side I have more resources now, more people to feedback on my business ideas, the lessons are stronger.
There are times we are seated listening, note taking or working on our business plans, then we are hollered at to ‘STAND UP,’ and so I leap out of my chair, papers falling to the ground and pens frequently flying here, there and everywhere, apologies again to the row in front; now some might call this the actions of an over achiever, but I stand ready for what I’ve committed to do this week to play full out and to enjoy the next physiological shift. I’m all in, 100%, I leap around, jump on the spot, throw my arms about, I have the aching triceps to prove it and then high ten people like my life depends on it. The interesting thing is on day one I really only high fived the 4 or 5 people beside me, by the end of last night I knew the three rows in front of my and because I found a new team, another row from the other side….I run around and know who they all are.
Where people have stuck to their tribe of 5, I’m fully committed to my community of 700 and now I know at least 10% of the community and they know me. This is how we begin to develop a raving fan culture for our products, customers go away, clients stay. Simples.
It was an emotional roller coaster yesterday, Robbins connected with lots more people, quite frankly a terrifying place to be as he can see your bullshit before you’ve even stood up, he encourages you to lay it out, asks if it’s the truth, asks again, asks how it makes you feel, how it limits you then asks what if you didn’t have this thought, this belief how would it make you feel, what would your live be like? You are left with no more stories to limit yourself.
Our consistent goal is to ensure we are in a peak state, to maximize the best story we can and to strategise for our lives. If you are in a less than peak state everything is impossible, we then tell ourselves shockingly limiting stories and we’re stuck, when you’re stuck it’s time to change your state, being stuck doesn’t really exist, it’s a sign of literally laying in a bath of shit, which you drew for yourself, then you got undressed and now you’re wallowing in it. Just for fun you asked a few friends to join the pity party, so they sit around covered in your stink, whilst you repeat some crap story you made up about yourself, for example I’m not good enough, there’s too much to do, I’ll never be able to do it, I can’t leave, I have to stay, I need a new job, but can’t get one. Is this what you want? I don’t think so. What if I fail? What if you fail?! What if you bloody succeed? Get out the bath, change your state and make your move on life. Don’t get me wrong I’ve laid in the BS bath, I’ve perfumed my life with limiting beliefs at times, not trusted my gut, my knowledge, my skills, I know it, you know it, we all do it, the gift is to STOP DOING IT once and for all.
Robbins has another phrase ‘if you’re in your head, you’re dead, get in your heart, live from your heart, from love, serve and make this your mission.’ When he talks of serving it doesn’t matter what you do, just do it full out, with integrity and don’t blame anyone for where you are, you are exactly where you want to be. Ask yourself if money and time were no object where would you be? Don’t worry about the how, play around with the idea of doing your hearts desire, then work out the why, DO NOT ASK HOW! This is the last thing you wanna do, when you work out the why, the human spirit will find a way. Trust me, I’ve experienced this and it’s happening more and more frequently, I know where I want to get to, I’m training myself to worry less about the how and focus on the outcome.
Day 3 is around the corner and I’ve already got energy in my body to pull through, I’ll remind myself of this at 4pm. There’s a pattern of us being told we’ll be getting a break and then it’s 8pm, incredible what you can do when you leave you how’s at the door and bring in your peak state.
If you do just one thing today, step up, step up to your life, make one phone call, send one email to progress you towards the life you want to lead, you are the master of your destiny, live it.