Impossible is Nothing

Let me tell you a story

On 6th May 1954, British athlete, Roger Bannister ran the world’s first recorded sub-four minute mile (3 minutes 59.4 seconds). Up until then, athletes thought it was impossible to run a mile in less than four minutes.

It was an amazing, landmark run. What is interesting is that the record only lasted for 46 days and that same year, more than 16 more runners recorded a sub-four minute mile. Why was this, when up until Roger Bannister ran his sub-four minute mile, nobody had managed it?

It was because people then knew it was possible, and therefore believed that they could also achieve the sub-four minute mile.

The reality is that we are all capable of achieving amazing results if we have the self-belief to “go for it”. One of the most common reasons we fail to achieve is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of looking a fool, and so the list goes on. Fear can and does inhibit action.

If you look at a list of some of the most successful people in business, many have had a long hard slog with hundreds of attempts at getting their service or product perfected and then getting rejected, very often hundreds of times. They then either find an organisation that believes in them, or like James Dyson and Colonel Sanders (of KFC fame), they set up their own business. All the major vacuum cleaner manufacturers rejected Dyson before he set up his own business and went on to international success and he still continues to grow.

If you have a business or a business idea that you truly believe in, one of the key ingredients for success is self-belief and confidence, both of which you can learn and develop with support from an expert and this then leading to taking action.

Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.

Lao Tzu

Ealing Business Forum at Chat and Meet

A huge thank you to everybody who attended Ealing Business Forum this month. Also a huge thank you to Richard Palfreeman, CEO of award winning estate agents Northfields, who shared many excellent tips about how to market our businesses effectively. Bellow, I have added the top ten marketing tips that particularly resonated with me.

Here are some comments about the evening from attendees:

“A great event. And a very friendly vibe”
“A useful talk and great people”
“The marketing tips were really good ou acheter cialis pas cher. So was the hot chocolate!”
“Thanks @ContactusEaling for recommending Ealing Business Forum, it’s left me feeling warm n fuzzy. Or is that the organic espresso?”Last night was very enjoyable and informative”

The next event will be held on 3rd June 2014 at 6.30pm, venue and topic details TBC.

Northfields’ Top Marketing Tips

  1. Talk and listen to your customers regularly. Find out what they like or do not like about your business.
  2. Involve your customers in your marketing activities, using their thoughts, ideas and experiences.
  3. Re-brand every four years to keep your image fresh and up to date.
  4. Ensure that your website is mobile compatible so that it can be viewed and navigated easily on mobile devices and tablets.
  5. Make sure that your contact telephone number is clear and visible on every page of your website.
  6. Develop a structured approach to using social media. When using social media, use a ratio of 4:1 for “giving”:promotional messages.
  7. Use videos to improve website search engine rankings, keeping them to around 45 seconds to maintain viewer interest.
  8. When using e-mail marketing avoid using “Dear” in the introduction and ensure that there is a great subject line otherwise it is most likely to end up in spam mail.
  9. The best marketing tool you have are your team.
  10. Get involved in local community activities and actively participate.

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The Grass isn’t Always Greener

Nor the hay tastier, so don’t do a Herbie!

It seems to me that people are always striving for the next best thing in their lives, believing it will be better, and dissatisfied with what they already have, if indeed they even know what that is.

In many respects, wanting to learn new skills and different ways of approaching life is a great way to be, it shows enthusiasm and provides “stretch” in our personal and business lives.

We are constantly bombarded with messages, very often in the media, about what is possible if you just apply for that job, earn this much money, buy that, join this, travel here, change that, wear this, smell like someone famous . . . the list goes on and on.

The reality is that sometimes we forget what we already have, – until it is too late. It is very often true that having a go at something new and different can be exciting and exhilarating – at first. I would suggest that it is beneficial to invest some time in looking at what you have right now, before you dive headlong into something new (and seemingly exciting).

Think about what you have in your life with regards to your health, fitness, relationships (including family, friends and work colleagues), hobbies, job satisfaction, learning new things and the career prospects in your current job. Again, the list can go on and on about appreciating what you already have in your life.

Once you have really explored all the great things that are already present in your life, you will be in a much stronger position to think about how you can enhance this in a positive way with small steps and changes.

What got me thinking about this was watching Herbie in the picture above, as he strained to reach some straw on the other side of a barbed wire fence. He was doing this at the risk of getting stuck and not being able to get his head back through the fence and at the risk of cutting himself on the barbed wire, or even puncturing the skin on his neck! Herbie persisted in stretching to reach some “stray” blades of straw even though there was plenty of straw on his side of the fence. It was of exactly the same quality in significantly greater abundance, and also in a safe environment where he wouldn’t risk injuring himself to get to it. Herbie was unable to appreciate what he already had easy and safe access to on his side.

Once you have explored all the possibilities and amazing things you already have in your life, if it still seems the right thing to do, to have a go at something different, then go for it with all your heart.

My suggestion is do the right thing for you at the right time, and do it authentically appreciating what you already have and don’t do a Herbie!

Ealing Business Forum Visits Waitrose

Message from Geoff Langston

Thank you very much to everybody who was able to join us at Waitrose this evening. It was a pleasure to see so many new and also familiar faces in the room and also to hear conversations continuing to take place as we left, and outside the venue! I am sure that you will join me in thanking Paul, Sarah and the team at Waitrose for being excellent hosts. Thank you also to Raj from Metro Bank who gave us more insights into the UK’s newest High Street Bank.

It was great to hear that business has already been done between attendees of EBF and I anticipate that this will grow as we get to know more about each other and our business relationships develop.

The next EBF event will be held on Tuesday 6th May 2014 at 6.30pm (venue tbc), and we welcome businesses from W3, W5, W7, W13 and beyond.

Membership and attendance at EBF will always be free of charge. EBF objectives are to:

  • Support the economic well-being and growth of Ealing businesses and residents
  • Provide a forum for the business community to meet each other and share experiences
  • Enable the Ealing business community share their knowledge

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Images courtesy of Carlene Bender of Contactus Ealing.

Go Ahead . . . Please Make My Day!

In our last newsletter, we talked about the importance of developing our resilient core enabling us to live life to the full, each and every day, and how to do this. So now you may be dveloping new beneficial habits and practising what you have learnt.

So what?

In a world where people keep telling you how busy they are, it is helpful to remember that our own attitudes are often infectious and can easily affect those around us. So, when you choose to recognise the good in people and actually celebrate their successes, it is likely to encourage them to feel good about themselves and go on to even greater things. It is also highly likely that these positive “infectious” attitudes and feelings will spread out like a ripple in a pond.

We know how easy it is to give our family, friends and co-workers a “thank you” for a job well done, yet how often do you take just a few seconds to do this? It is a free gift; it takes seconds to do and very often helps to release hormones such as serotonins and endorphins, which improve health and mental well-being.

So go ahead and make somebody’s day today.

Say “thank you”, “congratulations”, “you’ve done a great job” and see what a difference it makes to both the recipient and you.

In the words of Christian D Larsen (New Thought leader, 1874-1962)

Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger commander cialis sur internet.

Ealing Business Forum March 2014

Thanks for attending Ealing Business Forum and many thanks to Metro Bank for hosting the event. The ‘Slides’ from the social media talk by MW marketing are below. Details for the next event will be announced shortly.

Ealing Business Forum:

EBF Membership is free.

Events are held on the first Tuesday of every month and will always be free of charge to attend.

EBF objectives are to:

  1. Support the economic well-being and growth of Ealing businesses and residents
  2. Provide a forum for the business community to meet each other and share experiences
  3. Enable the Ealing business community share their knowledge

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Ealing Business Forum Launches

SUCCESSFUL INAUGURAL MEETING OF EALING BUSINESS FORUM

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Image courtesy of Carlene Bender of Contactus Ealing.

Ealing Business Forum has been launched with a successful meeting at Mail Box Etc in Spring Bridge Road Ealing

“Relaxed and informal networking, easy to get involved”

‘A very pleasant, informal and more friendly experience, meeting really nice people without the stress/obligations of referrals and follow ups’

Ealing Business Forum’s objectives are to:

  1. Support the economic well-being and growth of Ealing businesses and residents
  2. Provide a forum for the business community to meet each other and share experiences
  3. Enable the Ealing business community share their knowledge

During the first event, Geoff Langston, founder of Ealing Business Forum and Director of Arizion.com gave a presentation on “The Art of Networking”. A copy of the slides that supported the presentation CAN BE FOUND HERE.

Ealing Business Forum meets on the first Tuesday of every month and will always be free to join and free to attend events.

Ealing Business Forum’s next event is on Tuesday 4th March at Metro Bank Ealing from 8.30am to 9.30am.

NOTES:

  • More information on the event from:
  • E: geofflangston@ealingbusinessforum.co.uk
  • T: 07780605868

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When The Going Gets Tough – The Tough Stay Ahead!

Be resilient
It seems that these days there is always more to do, fewer resources to do it with, higher expectations from customers, bosses, friends and family and less time to get it all done!  The good news is that we can all develop the ability to not only face these challenges, but to move beyond them. How? By building our resilience.

So what is resilience?
Resilience is being able to consistently rebound or spring back from anything that life might throw at us. By building one’s resilience, typically people suffer with less stress, anxiety and low moods, instead, they are able to manage stress more effectively and have greater satisfaction with life.

Here are five important elements of resilience for your consideration so you can build your own resilience:

1. Meaningful Life (Purpose)
Having a sense of one’s own meaning or purpose in life is probably the most important characteristic of resilience because it provides the foundation for the other four characteristics.
Purpose provides the driving force in life. When we experience inevitable difficulties, knowing our purpose pulls us forward.

2. Perseverance
The determination to keep going despite difficulties, discouragement, and disappointment . . .that’s perseverance.
Resilient individuals are good at overcoming roadblocks; they tend to finish what they begin, because of this, they are dependable. If they say they are going to do something, they do it.
Establishing and adhering to a routine is one way to strengthen perseverance. Setting realistic goals and attaining them builds perseverance.

3. Equanimity
Equanimity means balance and harmony. Resilient people learn to avoid extreme responses and ‘sit loose in the saddle’ to maintain their equanimity.
Resilient people have learned to draw on their own and others’ experiences and wisdom, and to use this to guide their responses. Equanimity also manifests itself in humor; resilient individuals can laugh at themselves and their circumstances and tend not to take themselves too seriously.

4. Self Reliance
Self-reliance is belief in yourself, with a clear understanding of your capabilities and limitations. It comes from experience and the ‘practice, practice, practice’ that leads to confidence in your abilities.

5. Coming Home to Yourself (Existential Aloneness)
Whilst we all live in the world with other people, resilient individuals learn to live with themselves, they become their own best friends.
Coming home is a journey that begins with getting to know yourself well. Along the way, you become ‘comfortable in your own skin’, accepting yourself as you are – in every way.

Thank You Madiba

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
On the sunny banks of Lake Garda in Italy this summer, I read The Long Walk to Freedom by Madiba, the late Nelson Mandela. The story of Madiba’s life had a profound effect on me during the holiday and this has continued since our holiday.

What resonated for me about Madiba as a result of reading his book, watching the film Invictus and reading about him more broadly was that he consistently demonstrated some important qualities, values and characteristics. You might benefit from reflecting on his:

  1. Humility, the way he looked out for the good of others and was more concerned about what is right rather than being right
  2. Determination for peaceful resolution in the face of adversity
  3. Integrity, sticking to what he really believed in and working unerringly towards his goal of peace, acceptance of diversity and equality
  4. Humour, even when things were tougher than most of us can imagine
  5. Ability to form deep, long lasting, positive relationships with friends and foes
  6. Trust in people to do the right thing if they were given the opportunity to do so
  7. Ability to forgive unconditionally

Think about what you can learn from these qualities and also from the many stories about Nelson Mandela that will be celebrated in the media over the next few days, weeks and years.

Boosting Your Memory

10 tips for boosting your memory

1. Try to reduce stress

Do you ever sit down after a particularly stressful day at work and as you start to relax, suddenly realise with horror that you have forgotten to do something quite important during the day? Stress is one of the most common causes of poor memory performance. Stressful situations, lasting weeks or months, have been shown to impair communication between the cells in the regions of the brain responsible for learning and memory. The good news, however, is that if you can take steps to reduce your stress levels, your memory performance will start to return to normal after just one week.

2. Get enough sleep

Sleep is very important for memory consolidation – the brain’s method of transferring new material and information to our long-term memory. Research suggests that deep sleep is the key not just to storing information, but also to retrieving information when we need it – in other words, to remembering. So how often do you sleep well, both in terms of quality (not waking up too often) and quantity (number of hours)? If you are sleeping badly, or not getting enough sleep, think about what you can do to improve the situation, as it may well be having an impact on your ability to store and recall information.

3. Reduce multi-tasking

We are leading increasingly busy lives and multi-tasking has become second nature to many of us. The brain is less efficient at multi-tasking, however, than we have been led to believe. When the brain is trying to do two things at once, it ‘switches’ tasks rather than doing both simultaneously, which can have an impact on memory. Research has shown, for example, that people who learn something new while multi-tasking are less able to remember what they have learned at a later date. Try to concentrate on doing one thing at a time and you may find your memory improves.

4. Rehearse information quickly

In short term memory, how much we can remember is directly related to how much information we can ‘squeeze’ into approximately 15-30 seconds. When we are trying to remember things we often ‘rehearse’ the information by repeating it either out loud or silently in our heads. The quicker you can do this rehearsal, the more information you are likely to remember. If you speak slowly, for example, you may only be able to rehearse four or five facts in the 15-30 second time slot you have to get the details into your short term memory. Speed the process up, and you may find you can rehearse and recall as many as nine pieces of information.

5. Group information

We’ve all been in a situation where we need to remember say a phone number or a car registration plate and don’t have a pen immediately to hand to write it down. Research has shown that if you ‘rehearse’ the information in groups of three, it can make a big difference to your ability to remember it. Try it for yourself. Take the number ‘145870236’ and try to remember it as a whole. Then break it down in to three groups – 145 870 236 – and see how much easier it is to remember!

6. Chunk it up

‘Chunking’ information is another useful strategy you can employ to help you remember things. If you are giving a talk or presentation, for example, try to break the information down into clusters. This will not only help you remember what you need to say – but will also make it easier for the audience to take in and retain what you’ve told them. This is a technique that can also be usefully applied to learning. If you break the details of what you are trying to learn into meaningful ‘chunks’ you will remember more of it.

7. Make it meaningful

We are more likely to remember information if it is meaningful to us. Some people, for example, can remember all the FA cup winners from the last 20 years. Others would find that almost impossible, but know the birthdays of all their friends. A good way to make information meaningful is to relate something you are trying to remember to something that you already know. You can ask yourself questions to encourage this process – ‘Why do I need to learn this?’, ‘How does this fit with what I already know?’ for example. Think beyond the facts and information being presented to you and consider why they make sense and then you are much more likely to remember them.

8. Pay close attention

When people complain that their memory is poor, it very often isn’t because of stress, lack of sleep or any underlying physiological issue – it’s often because they simply haven’t put enough time and energy into trying to remember the material. Be honest with yourself. How often have you blamed poor memory when you haven’t made any real attempt to remember information? Or do you create a self-fulfilling prophecy by telling yourself ‘I’m not going to be able to remember everyone’s name, so I’m not going to waste my time and effort trying’. Your ability to remember information will be much improved if you ensure you are paying proper attention and making a real effort to remember what you are being told.

9. Use imagery/association

One of the biggest (and often most embarrassing) memory-related problems is an inability to remember people’s names. Repetition helps, so try to use the person’s name as much as possible during your conversation with them, as well as when you say hello and goodbye. Some people find that creating a visual image related to the name can also help them to remember it. Does the person look like anyone famous, for example, or is there an aspect of their face (glasses, moustache, nose?) that is particularly striking. If the visual image is exaggerated or humorous, it will help you link it in your mind to the person’s name.

10. Think about the context

If you are struggling to recall a particular piece of information, try to reinstate the context in which you first heard it. It helps if you are physically able to do this (i.e. return to the room where a meeting was held) but if you can’t do that, it’s often enough just to create a visual image of the situation you were in. Think about the physical surroundings, the smell and the temperature. Re-instating the emotional context can also help, so think about the mood you were in, how you were feeling and what others were feeling at the time.