Is 2020 tech any better?

I thought I’d try out the dictation tall again that I tried in 2015 so this is me dictating without any practice any prep. What I couldn’t get it to do last time was to do aSo I will try that now.We didn’t do anything then it just gave a couple of spaces and didn’t type

So it seems to understand what you’re saying and it is not too hard to dictate very clearly even if you pause and stop. You do have to stay there delete. You do have to say. In full but if you say paragraph it seems to pause and not do anything. The word there should’ve been pause that’s quite good it just typed the word Paul the name and then when I asked it to change the word it either already had or it went back and changed it so looks like things are progressing. I definitely think the idea of having to type up a blog when you could just talk out your thoughts like this could really help those people that put off doing a blog because I don’t want to have to sit down and type. For me I can touch type so it’s not really any big deal or lengthy task to type out have a look as I can type almost as quickly as I can speak it and it’s easy for me to go back and correct any errors so they have it there today and it also doesn’t say type out any ERS or MMMS. Delete. While you’re talking. Okay it’s all going wrong now I’m going to stop!

What I was truing to say was that I didn’t know how to get a new paragraph. It just seems to carry on writing and ignore the instruction, but when you say ‘full stop’ it puts a .

On a Mac you just press Function (Fn key) twice to get the microphone to dictate tool. I’ve found these for Commands.

On a PC use Windows key-H and click on the mic. Here you can find commands to use.

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Social media for 2018

What does social media 2018 online look like?  More fun stuff between friends and less advertising it seems – great!

Wendy Ager

Wendy Ager – Social Media / Social Networking

However, how does that affect marketing for small, local businesses?

Long gone now are the days of being able to completely run a business on Facebook via a Page, (not something I’ve ever advocated) but recently the changes are more and more challenging to those reliant or thinking they can easily use social media for their small business.

The Facebook changes will reduce your posts being seen by even your most loyal fans on Facebook, returning Facebook more to the peer to peer friendship site it started out as, with more suitable and relevant advertising slipping into the mix much more occasionally.

Read from the horses mouth on Facebook for Business about it here from Adam Mosseri, Head of Facebook Newsfeed.

“…we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses….As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease.”

YouTube also announced massive changes, affecting tonnes of small business owners.  Again, if you want to know about the correct changes to the advertising rules on YouTube, please read the rules from Google (YouTube) themselves here.

“new channels will need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months to be eligible for ads. We will begin enforcing these new requirements for existing channels in YPP beginning February 20th, 2018.”

So what is going on?  Well, as we know, everyone is getting online and the more and more crowded it is the more it seems, it’s only the place to play now if you are BIG with a huge advertising budge.  However, there is still a place for the small business owner.

Keeping a mix of marketing and changing as you grow and keeping up with changes online will help you survive.   Joining in local Facebook groups, setting up your own and nurturing your fans or customers is a good option. If you have something people want or need, keep your business focus on providing your customer more places to view, see and share with you and others what they want and need.  Next focus on your staff (if you have them, or you if not!) developing and getting better at customer’s wants and needs, getting feedback etc and making money/shareholders last.  I truly believe this is the way to go.  If you get the first two right, the money should naturally follow.

A few years back I went to an Entrepreneurs Academy meeting where they talked about having several ‘pillars of marketing’ to hold up your business.  Never before has this been in my mind as so critical – think if your whole business revolved around YouTube and you have no back-up, or your main sales come from your Facebook page?!

Don’t rely on one customer, one channel, one thing – ever!


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Ask and you shall receive?

I pose this as a question as, in reality, you don’t always get what you ask for but if people don’t know what you want, how will you EVER be in with a chance of receiving it?

What’s brought this to a head for me is how much I put off applying for the Reigate and Banstead Business Support Grant.   Well, I didn’t really put it off, but I did procrastinate quite a bit about it.  Yes, me with my coaching knowledge and working with my coach on me and my business development!

I have known about the Grant probably for a year and have heard of quite a few business owners who had received the grant, and I have suggested and even pushed others forward to apply who I know have been successful.

Having been assured I could apply, I still didn’t really want to ask….. Why?

STUPID GREMLINS – those negative voices in your head. That’s why. See this post!  I’m not worthy, my business is too small, I don’t live in the borough, blah, blah, blah!

What nonsense.

I make a difference, to people in the borough.  Even if it’s small, even if I don’t make a load of money and my figures therefore don’t look like that of a thriving, successful business.  I’ve created what I want, for now.    A business that I love, doing what I love, growing and helping others in return.   I can fit it round family life as I wish and do as much or little as I like.  I have total flexibility and freedom.  It’s exactly what works for me right now and I love it.

Anyway, the point of this post is that if you DON’T ASK YOU DON’T GET.  You can’t.

Nobody is going to offer up what you want on a plate right there for you – if they don’t know what you need.  You need to say it, ask it, desire it enough, be a little bit bold.

So, I got my grant and it has already spurred me on to book more small business workshops for September and I’m exited about what I will do with the grant money in the autumn.

So please, if you need help, or want something, don’t just think about it – put it out there – ask for help, ask and you might just receive.

I’ve seen a fellow Purley Festival volunteer make a heart-felt plea for help with his business, which got him a tonne of people offering advice and help, a local cafe who got broken into ask for help to buy CCTV equipment through crowdfunding who got £600 donations almost overnight, and I got my grant money – it’s in the bank!

The one thing we all have in common is ASKING for what we want and need.  Don’t be afraid, tell somebody, send that email, make a post, share your thoughts about what you want or need.  You might be pleasantly surprised and get what you ask for.

If you think I might be able to help, please do ask me!




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Forming new, better habits

What new habits would you like to make……. and how hard is it, really?

Wendy Ager, Get Better Coaching

Wendy Ager, Get Better Coaching

I’ve talked and blogged on the topic of ‘change’, and making and forming habits has come up, in personal development and coaching, over and over again now.  So, how and why do we form new habits, rituals and how much do they affect us?

We know we do things by habit, all the time, all day long.  From what you do when you first get up, we all tend to do things the same way, from morning through to last thing at night and what we do before bed and sometimes we don’t even know why!

Traditions, rituals, habits, the way we do things, whatever we call them, they are many we repeat over and over again daily, monthly, annually.  Some are great, some not so great.  So let me tell you about how easy it could be for you to change them, for the better.

The thoughts in our head (see Gremlins blog!) can be the most harmful, and some are ingrained in us from childhood, some are learn’t and some we make happen!  These are habits too.  Talking ourselves down, negative thoughts.  The thing to remember is….. you can change your habits and those thoughts if you try, you can decide what you think or do by just consciously making yourself, until it becomes a habit.

Evil Gremlin

Evil Gremlin!

A habit is something you do without thinking.  It’s automatic. Like locking the car or house when you walk away.  How refreshing would it be to create that new positive habit now?

What would your world and life be like if you changed just one habit of yours?

Especially the words you say to yourself in your head.  ‘I’m shy, nervous, no good, scared of…I can’t”.  Because the thing is, simply, you CAN!  How about forming a habit of talking to yourself positively, recognising your strengths?  Silence that Gremlin!

I think it all stems from the belief that you can.   First and foremost, if you believe you can, you can and if you can’t you probably can’t, or won’t!

So, decide and believe you can.

I thought I’d never be able to drink tea without sugar in, and when I decided I could give it a go I actually found it pretty easy.   Well, not that easy in that I didn’t finish a cup of tea for 3 days, but on day 4 I did and on day 5 I didn’t really notice there was no sugar.

Now I can’t stand sugar in my tea.  To me it just tastes OF sugar. Yuk!   For years and years, I’d had sugar in every cup of tea out of habit.  I dread to think how much that amounts to or how bad it was for me.  It only took 5 days to change that habit – 5 days!!

I used to tell myself I wasn’t built for running.  “I’m not a runner”, I’d say.  Well, now I am!  I just decided to give it a go, and it’s become a habit (almost an obsession).  It’s not for anyone else, it’s not about anyone else or proving anything.  I just think it’s a good habit to have to do something physical daily, and I can do it whenever and wherever I am and it costs nothing. I can go for as long or little as I want or can manage.

So, going back to my previous research on habits that I’ve blogged about before.  I’ve mentioned Steven Covey, who wrote 7 Habits of Highly Effective People said it takes 21 days and the UCL study concluded that it varies, though concluded from their research that it took an average of 66 days to form a more complex habit.

What about you?   It only took me 5 days to drop sugar from tea and 8 days to go go from regular to daily exercising.

What habit could you drop or add to make a difference to you?

If you decide to create a good new habit,  you can.  If it’s something you really want, I think you’ll find it actually quite easy!

Let me know what new habit you want to start or kick and I might be able to help you –


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I believe communication is key to everything we do.  In business, in life, in our heads talking to ourselves.

Business Marketing WorkshopHow many times do you hear someone say, or think to yourself, “Well, I didn’t know that – you didn’t ever say that”!

I once saw a video of a man I’ve met and interacted with online for a while being interviewed about his business, and only then did I actually understand what he did!  The first time we met I asked what he did and what he said didn’t make any sense to me at all.  Perhaps, on the spot or in the environment we were in he was caught off -guard and he wasn’t able to articulate it well. The communication in the video interview was clear enough for anyone to understand.  So, maybe we should all think a little more about how we communicate. Not necessarily in what we say but thinking about what others understand from what we say.


What I see is the start of every conversation normally involves a question. “Hey, how are you today?”,  “What have you been up to today?”  Questions establish a conversation and then we tend to go on to other things, maybe a problem, and what can be done about it or how to solve it.   That’s often how conversations go between friends and family as well and business people at business networking events too.

I think we spend too much time worrying about the detail and forget the basics.  Communicate the basics – what do you want or want to do?  Every communication opportunity should benefit you and the other person.   This includes whether it’s in person, an email, text, phone-call or whatever.  Give and receive information, knowledge or make a positive input to get and receive help.  If you are conveying any marketing message for your business, think about what the benefits are to both sides?

EG for a plumber – the problem is, for instance, you have, say a leak and you are the homeowner and can’t fix it.  A plumber says he can fix it, it costs £x because they have the knowledge, skill and expertise to fix it.  If the plumber goes on to communicate that they are local so they can easily come to you quickly and show how they are good at their work – (eg we have recommendations, we’re on Check a Trade with reviews).  This makes it a no-brainer and simple.  Just by communicating a few extra points I can’t really think why you’d bother wasting any time looking for an alternative, can you?!

We spend most of our time communicating with those we are in contact with daily, of course, using our body language as well as verbal and written communication but everything out there – online, available as heresy, advertisements, records etc all provide information about us that communicate who we are and gives a message to others, or not.  If you’re not easily found, the person who is interested in you will formulate an opinion based on their own (probably incorrect) assumptions and/or just move on.  If you are in business, just think about that for a moment!

If you meet someone and want to find out more about them, you ask people about them and probably go and look them up somewhere online. If I can’t find out more about a business or person online, I can only go on what and how they communicated with me then and there, when we met, and what I find out about them through mutual contacts.   If you can find anything else on or about them, then that will be the extent of their communication with you and how you form an ‘opinion’ of them.

If you want to create a persona about you, or your business then you need to be you and share it, whether that’s in person, online, in video, blogs, emails or a website.


You can find out more about me on my Website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube!





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Part 3, How to make positive change

This is the final part of my 3 part Blog on how to make a positive change….. and this is about making lasting change:

* Decide

* Be Positive

* Train your Brain – THIS PART

The first part you should read if you haven’t yet is about making the decision.  That’s the start.  You can’t do anything without really deciding with conviction!  Then I think you need to really understand how to be and stay positive about it.  Don’t let negativity creep back in.   That is Part 2 – Be Positive – and here I’m going to explain what I mean about training your brain. Not training your Brian, as I typed a couple of times!

Training your brain


This below is the TED talk on how to Collaborate with your mind by top Therapist, Marisa Peer. It is probably the best thing I watched and learn’t in 2016 and contains the simplest explanation about on what is going on in our heads, how it affects what we do and how to influence it.  It’s so simple, it’s brilliant and if you take it in and think about it, it will help you with making a change or it just help you change your life around!

Watch it!  Collaborate with your mind

I wrote a blog about that inner voice she talks about back in 2102  What makes you feel under pressure? The voice in your head I call your Gremlin.  As Marissa says, it does not have emotions itself and it only knows what it stored in your memory from the past about what happened to you in the past.  That might mean one reaction to one thing you did has been stored as ‘the truth’, maybe even since your childhood, or based on one events, and it has falsely given you fear of repeating that thing or deciding you are not worthy or capable of something.  What?!  Eh?!  What a load of rubbish!

As she says, you can free yourself from this faulty logic of the mind by choosing not to believe its rules anymore, and make up new ones.  Change it, decide and talk positively to yourself.  Tell yourself that was the past and the future and now will be different because YOU HAVE CHANGED, you are no longer the person you were then.

When she talks about your brain loving the familiar and making the unfamiliar familiar this reminds me of both forming habits and the top book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey and the RAS, Reticular Activity System. (See I told you you’d hear that again!!).   Yes, this is cheating, but I’m sure you will hear it somewhere someday.

So, remember you are now training your brain and making something a habit, that is something you do without consciously having to remember to do it.  In the 7 Habits time, it was thought to be an average of 21 days to form a new habit but in 2009 a UCL study suggested that a behaviour becoming a habit takes 66 days.  So you might need to remind yourself, talk to yourself positively and make yourself do this new thing to make the change actively for at least 2 months for it to become a habit.

There’s loads of interesting insights into habit formation in there like how there was no evidence your age or gender makes any difference in here – 2009 Habit Formation study by UCL

Anyway, to create a new habit that will lead to long-lasting change you need to train your brain.  To me, that means train you brain to be positive, tell yourself you want this, you can do this, you will achieve it.   It’s everything rolled into one – the decision, being positive and habit formation – brain training.

I truly believe the ‘doing’ of the things you need to do all comes from what you let go on in your brain and your mental attitude.  Your brain tells you what to do, so you learn to train it into being positive to make the changes you want and then I believe you can’t fail to achieve!

Remember every little step you take… takes you a step nearer that change you want.

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Part 2, How to make positive change

How to make a positive change….. and this is about lasting change….  It is in 3 parts:

* Decide

* Be Positive – THIS PART

* Train your Brain

The first part you should read if you haven’t yet is about making the decision.  That’s the start.  You can’t do anything without really deciding!

So here’s Part 2 – Be Positive

 YES YOU CAN – Will Smith

Nobody can make effective, positive, change without really wanting it.  You need to think about the positive outcome, a lot.  Get yourself to the visualisation of the outcome so you want.  SOOOO desire it and don’t stop thinking about it.  You need to get positively obsessed, imagine it, want it, feel it, attract it.

Make it part of your psychology by using your RAS – Recticular Activity System – this is the part of your brain that sorts out the mumble of everyday ‘noise’ going on in your head so you can focus on what you are or need to do right now.  So you think about it, now, whatever it is you’ve decided you want and it becomes a focus in that part of your brain, in your RAS.

It works like this:  You can’t notice something or focus on it until you know about it, yes?   If you’ve never heard of you Reticular Activity System before, now you will here it somewhere sometime, I guarantee.

Here’s a personal example:  A green smoothie. I’d never thought of having one, though I am working on changing to a more healthy diet. They look awful!  Probably the last thing I want for breakfast, but a nutritionist I follow had been posting about them on Facebook and then I heard two of my friends talking about having them for breakfast. I tried one, got hooked and now, more often than not, that’s what I have.  I love them.  What a positive change for me!

So, introduce your brain to the decision you’ve made in a positive light.  People change all the time and you can too.   Check out this man, who started out ‘normal size’ and then he got big, and even bigger and bigger.   He just slowly got bigger and bigger but one day he got ‘inspired’ and he ran.  He ran only a little obviously, as he was huge, but he didn’t stop and eventually he ran a whole 5k.   He kept running and got smaller, and happier.  He stayed positive as he was getting positive results – you tend to get those when you are positive and keep going!!

Eventually he ran a marathon with his Dad & his brother.  His words and the story is simple but inspiring – watch it!  My 120lb journey.

All it took was a little inspiration.  Ben says, ‘I can call myself happy’.  If you want to do it.  ALL you have to do is Do It.    I’ve gone on to find out what inspired him and it was his grandmother who simply asked if he was happy with his life. He actually started a blog to share with her having realised for a  long time, he wasn’t, and decided to do something positive about it.   It took him about 18 months to go from that first run to running a marathon.  He has since written a book and he goes on, running and walking.

He was just an ordinary person.  He found a way – you decide to – and think positively you can also make a change.  Once you’ve decided you need to stay positive and you can find the way, make it part of you. You do need to get obsessed with it, focus on it, start with small and build.  Will Smith, tells a story about how his Dad knocked down a wall & told him and his brothers to rebuild it.  He was quite a small boy then.  He says, you don’t think about the wall, the big job, you have to start small and get obsessed, take one brick at a time & start, then eventually you get the wall.

That guy, the running man, he just lost a few lbs every week, over a long period of time.  Of course he’s much more likely to keep it off, and keep going.

This is when I realised it’s about habit formation and rituals.  It’s the actions you do consistently that make the difference, no matter how small.  Everybody has the same amount of time and we are lucky enough to choose what we do most of the time.  That’s from what we put in our mouths, what we do with our time, at least our free time. YES we all have some free time and mostly, you can choose what to do with it.  If you want to watch a soap rather than a business book, that IS your choice!  If you’ve made a real decision to make a change you need to think positively about everything you need to do to make it happen.

Most people’s standard for financing their lives is to pay their bills & have some money to do extra fun stuff they like.  That’s fine if you are happy with how it’s going.  However, if you decide to make a change to that because you really want or need to, you will find a way.  You raise your game.

If you decide to make a change you have ABSOLUTE control over what is going to happen and how you react to the things that happen in relation to that change.  Decide with conviction and stay positive, make it an obsession, form new habits and rituals.  Take failures as learning.  Talk to yourself positively about how you will do it, and overcome obstacles by staying positive.

I’m telling you – You stay positive – that’s both in the way you think about your change and what you actually do.

In ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ (the film) the Dad, played by Will Smith says,”Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something.  You want something. You go get it.  Period.”

So, in this three-part blog, number 1 was to Decide and this is number 2, Be Positive.

* Decide

* Be Positive – THIS PART

* Train your Brain  – a simple and amazing way to help you change, coming up next



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How to make positive, lasting change…

How to make a positive, lasting change…

This blog stems from the talk I did to insurance staff earlier this year and is in 3 parts


* Decide

* Be Positive

* Train your Brain

Decide – Actually Decide with conviction

It only takes a second, an instant to actually, definitely, with conviction decide to make a change.  One moment, one second to decide….. that’s it… you have to just, decide.

Success or failure is determined by the decisions we make and the actions we take every day – Tony Robbins Re-Awaken the Giant Within.   I think it was Brian Tracy who said, “Your results of tomorrow are made from the actions and decisions you make today”.

I repeat this over and over to myself now. My results of tomorrow are from the actions of today.  We are living in the present and can only do stuff in the present.  So, decide today, make a decision to change something, for tomorrow!

We only get one body, one brain and if we can look after those, our physical and mental well-being, just looking after those well, what a good life we might have.  If we learn to master and improve them, our physical bodies and mental well-being, we can lead an even better life too.

We are in the fortunate position, whatever you may think of where you are, of being able to choose.  Where to live, where to work, what career to have, what kind of exercise we might do, where we might go or who we meet up with, which calls to answer on our phone, what we put in our mouths – that’s drink, drugs, food…. everything.  We are highly privileged.  

So, the first thing about change is making the decision.  Tony Robbins, says you need to make it your MUST HAVE.  Will Smith says, get obsessed with it.

Stop should-ing all over yourself.  ‘I should do this, I should do that, I should have done’.  If you want something different and better, you have GOT to make some changes, decide to, with conviction and take ACTION immediately.  Maybe write it down or tell someone.

We waste so much energy, time, effort talking about stuff and not doing it – TRYING to do stuff – see my blog  Please Just Stop Trying.   Stop that and just DECIDE, with conviction.

If you want to make a change, focus on one thing at a time, get laser focussed on it, run through all the things you need to do and change to get it done, make new habits, remind yourself, set yourself reminders, use post it notes, get people on board to help you, whatever you need to do it, get it organised and get doing.   Decide to make a positive change for you.


My next Blog  No2: Positivity:

So subscribe to be notified when it’s out!

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Every little step you take…

Recently I spoke to a group of staff at a large corporate company about making lasting change in their lives, positive lasting change.  It’s was another step on my development,  as a speaker.


National Learning at Work Week 2016

Before I share more on that topic with you, I’d like to remind you that EVERY LITTLE STEP YOU TAKE makes a difference.

As slow as I think I’m going with progress for my business and my ambitions for my  future working life (my youngest starts school in September), I do make a little progress every day, every week.   All these little things really do add up.

I know this because I tried all the free ways to market myself online and direct people to my website in my first year of business.  I did lots of little things (all FREE!) and managed to get to Page 1 or even spot number 1 for various searches on Google, like Business Coach in Surrey, Free Business Advice, Croydon etc.

So, I know that all the little things I did back then worked and, as I continue to do more online, these additional things will still have an impact on my website ranking, and help people find me.

Every time you replace a sugary treat with a piece of fruit, every time you walk down or up the stairs instead of taking the lift, every time you speak more openly to your partner – it adds up to the, possibly, massive and lasting change you want.  EVERY LITTLE STEP, every day, every week adds up.

We spend an awful lot of time thinking and saying what we are going to, or were going to to do, or are thinking of doing, or that we will do something soon and not actually doing it. . . . Wasting a lot of time!

May I suggest you just get on and do some of it, and right away is really good.


Really – Stop reading this & go start doing stuff!!






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You MUST do this!

Imagine life without change. It would be static ... boring ... dull

Make your should dos your MUSTs.

If you started out this year with good intentions to do more for you, for marketing your business, to make progress with specific areas of your life or put more effort into something and haven’t done it yet, then NOW is the time to change that.
Change the way you are thinking right now, and make your should dos and should haves turn into your MUST dos and MUST haves….It’s really not too late!   Decide to make that change to a MUST right now!   What is it you said you should do at the start of this year?

Think about it as a MUST, write it as a MUST, tell yourself you MUST.  Now think about whether you want to do it.  Exciting, scary, whatever it makes you feel, embrace it and make the decision to start as soon as possible – now even!

There are still lots of days (30 at the time of writing this) to make a change and DO that thing or those things you said you would do at the start of the year (within the first quarter).  If you think you don’t have enough time, make time. Allocate an hour a day, or a week to being your ‘must time’ to do these things and you really can achieve them.   It just takes a second to decide, one moment, to change them in your head make the change from a should to a must.

If you need some help on clarifying your intentions to make your must do happen, take a look at my most read blog post, about not setting resolutions in January and creating achievable GOALS for yourself.

Let me know if this post is good, has helped you and what you are up to any way that suits you – see how and where here!

PS I didn’t make this up – my turning of shoulds into musts came from following Tony Robbins, another person I follow as well as Brian Tracy, linked on my free advice page on my website.

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