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Blowing my own trumpet

Let’s make no mistake here, it’s not often I get to sing my own praises by blowing my own trumpet, or indeed any musical instrument. So when I do, I like to play it loud and clear – because it actually seems that part of my plan (or if not a plan as such, at least a crazy stab in the dark) might just be coming together.

The phone call marking the result was from someone who only a few weeks ago would have brushed me away with an irritated smile. Today, though, her tone was very different.

“I’ve been thinking about what you guys are doing, and what we’re doing,” she said. “And I was telling [business owner] what you’re up to and saying you know we really should get together and have a conversation about how we could work together.”

It was a satisfying moment, not just because we could potentially do some good business together, but also because I have a little history with her company, a local letting and estate agents.

We used this agency to set up the tenancy for our property here, the half that was renovated first (after we split this big property into two) and which has been home to a sweet family for just over two years. The manager was very capable and experienced and we had a good experience with them. So when I saw their advert for a job vacancy, just two days a week maternity cover, I decided to go for it.

It was a basic role, mostly admin, and was part of a twofold plan – firstly to get to know the area, make contacts with trades and other professionals – and secondly to learn about business. After working in television production for nearly two decades I had barely any experience of a ‘normal’ job.

It was enjoyable, quite the learning curve, and altogether a good experience. They had some good systems in pace some of which I have adapted and implemented here. But it was also a strange place to work, a very disjointed business where the management had almost nothing to do with the departments beneath them. It is the only place I have ever worked where, aside from the one or two people I worked with, not one person ever asked me a single question about myself, not even where had I worked before, which I would say is basic chit chat.

When the lettings manager left, her replacement was completely unsupported, and the department descended into a disaster waiting to happen. When it did happen, she again received pretty much zero support, nearly had a nervous breakdown and left. The entire lettings department with several hundred properties on its books was left to me and my other part time colleague to run, working alternate days so there was barely any continuity. We worked lots of hours overtime to keep on top of it, but there was no way the equivalent of one full-time person could cope with that workload.

The legal requirements of letting agents on behalf of landlords are huge and leaving a department to two part-time admin staff was a risk I could not believe a business like this was prepared to take. But unbelievably, no one ever said anything to me or my colleague about how things would work, about what we were expected to do, about anything really. No one asked if we were coping. They just carried on as normal and, a few weeks in when I told the business owner things weren’t happening because we didn’t have time, he got really annoyed.

It was a superb example in how not to run a business!

I pushed them to recruit someone full time and offered to leave, because our building business was getting very busy, and as soon as they had someone, they were keen for me to hand my notice in, which I did. On my last day I emailed the business owner and said we should stay in touch as we would be doing more and more in property. I never heard anything back – of course, I never expected to – but I wanted to give him to the opportunity to confirm my suspicions! It seemed so silly, and lazy, and small-minded, not to send even a brush-off reply to someone who had gone above and beyond and who could be a potential source of income, but that was just typical of this company.

The new manager started soon after, and I tried to keep in touch, popping in occasionally to the office. But it was clear I wasn’t wanted, they were too busy to stop and chat and she viewed me as a nuisance. So time slipped by and my time with the agency slipped into the past.

Then last month our tenant told me she was buying a house and would be vacating. I called the lettings manager and asked her to value the soon-to-be-vacant house, also the property we currently live in (which we hope to move out of at some point) and then I also threw in the small terrace house just up the road that we’ve just renovated for a client.

My plan worked. She clearly and suddenly realised I was potentially a tad more interesting than she had first viewed me. And so today’s phone call was sweet. I just love being able to surprise someone!

I said I had been thinking we should have a conversation about who we should refer clients to when they ask us which letting agent they should use. Was she looking for more business, and she assured me she was. I heard £££ signs chiming in front of her eyes. And that’s fine. They chime in front of my eyes too, sometimes.

She also suggested perhaps they could be pushing our services, both within the sales and the letting departments, which was, frankly, quite fantastic to hear. I told her we are developing bathroom packages, makeovers on varying budgets which we are currently testing and which we plan to offer to landlords looking for a cost price new look, and she made a noise that sounded quite interested.

Business is just so exciting! Even more so when other businesses start to take you seriously and want to work with you. It’s like verification that you’re on the right path and going somewhere.

This isn’t a revenge post, I just happened to work there during a really difficult period, although it did expose deep flaws in their management. It is a however a post celebrating the success of how by just keeping on keeping on, other professionals will eventually sit up and take us seriously. Many won’t, of course, but it’s important to take action when the right ones do.

It’s also a reminder that really good things can come out of trials.

And now all we have to do is take advantage of the improvements in our position, and make the most of the ride!



Attracting Success Business success Positive action

So angry at myself

Seriously, I am so annoyed. It’s two weeks since I last blogged and every day something happens that I should be recording.

And yet, I. Am. Not. Flipping. Doing. It.

Because I am not flipping doing it, when I do finally get around to writing a post, it’s only ever a general catch up, or I miss 99/100 of the things that have just taken place. How can I possibly remember fourteen days’ worth of the myriad of details, challenges and triumphs that are greeting us each day?

And yet I should be recording them, every single one! No matter how small or apparently trivial, every step is helping us, forcing us to evolve. As we stumble our way over each obstacle, we grow new awareness, introduce new systems, get better in every way. And although I write ‘we’ I mean this in a persona sense too.

I don’t want to sound trite, or, erm, way out, but since we started out on this path, it literally feels like the energy created by our actions has created its own energy. Seriously, doors have opened, people we needed have come into our lives at just the right time and things have magically aligned. This has made it all feel incredibly meant to be and as though we are heading towards some amazing destiny. (I’m sorry if this sounds ridiculous but that is just how it feels.)

I guess where I’m going with this is that as we hurtle towards whatever this destiny is that awaits us, all these challenges we are facing are turning us into the people we need to be to cope with our destiny, at just the right time. Again, I appreciate this sounds a bit, y’know, fancy.

The road we travel

So, back to my first point, why on earth am I not recording each one of these magical steps? Especially if I’m right and they really are all part of some great celestial plan.

I’m busy, yah yah. So is the rest of the world. I can’t really be that busy, because I still have time to scroll Facebook. And Instagram. And occasionally Twitter.

So here goes. I’m going to try again, blogging daily, when possible. Because one day, when hopefully our journey has reached a different level and we have achieved a level of success, it will be so good to look back on.

And as for today’s lesson/challenge/step/growth opportunity?

Quite a biggie, if I’m honest.

So we’ve just done a refurb of a bathroom and utility room for a lovely, very busy couple. It was the first job I’ve not been really involved with, as T and D went out to it shortly after T joined us. We priced in for some electrical work, just connecting/disconnecting the shower.

When M, the electrician in our regular BNI group, turned up to disconnect the shower he discovered the property needed more work than the basics, this was arranged with the client but unfortunately we did not take control. What needed to happen was a three-way conversation on site with us, the electrician and the client, agreeing how much we would pay for and what would be additional for the client to pay for. Because it didn’t happen, the electrician has emailed me today asking me to make sure that the client is expecting a separate invoice from him, and is not expecting us to pay for it, etc.

Basically, it’s all gone a bit messy and unsatisfactory. The clients have an elderly relative’s birthday party tomorrow so I can’t contact them until Monday, so for the next three nights it will hang over us, a worry.

I just got extremely passionate telling D all about what should happen, and of course he then thought I was having a go at him. Which I honestly wasn’t, I was just seeing, so strongly, so clearly, what needs to take place so this doesn’t happen again. The three-way conversation should have cleared things up, and then we (T or I) should have sent an email reiterating this. But that didn’t happen, and so now we have a slightly messy situation in that I have sent our final invoice today which covers the basic works for the electrics and not the extra works, and the electrician has emailed me asking me to check that the client is expecting an invoice from him (and, more importantly, is going to pay).

It all feels just a bit messy and amateur.

But, it isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. No doubt difficult and messy situations will happen again, (and again, and again, and again) and each time you can bet that I’ll be taking the actions to hopefully prevent them from being repeated.

Making mistakes sucks.

The only way to make a mistake is to learn from it to ensure it doesn’t happen again, which we will. It doesn’t change that I’m feeling a bit rubbish about it, so here are a few quotes about Learning from Mistakes, and the people who allegedly said them (I wonder if they really did?):

“Experience is merely the name we give our mistakes,” Oscar Wilde

“Making mistakes is a lot better than not doing anything,” Billie Joe Armstrong

“It isn’t making mistakes that’s critical; it’s correcting them and getting on with the principal task,” Donald Rumsfeld

“Mistakes and pressure are inevitable; the secret to getting past them is to stay calm,” Travis Bradberry

“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake which, at least, others can learn from,” Al Franken
and… sorry, couldn’t resist ;):
“All men make mistakes, but married men find out about them sooner,” Red Skelton


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Take the baby steps

This beautiful message popped up on my Twitter the other day and I had to share it here.


The poster was @mikedooley who I think appeared in the film The Secret (if you haven’t seen it, do!)

Since Dean and I started on our journey to taking control of our lives and creating wealth, we’ve taken steps every day. Sometimes those steps have been strides, mostly they’ve been the babiest of baby steps.

But I have to confirm that what it says in the last paragraph is true.

“Take the baby steps, they summon angels, unleash energies”

OK, I don’t know much about angels, but so many amazing things have happened since we started, that I have to agree 100% that energies have been unleashed, and continue to be unleashed more and more every day.

Doors have opened for us, coincidences have made connections, necessary, helpful, people have come into our lives.

All this is of course just a natural result of taking action and getting out there, meeting people, networking and just being in the world of business.

But some things have been – more.

Our move to the other side of the country definitely unleashed an energy which I am glad to say we grasped with both hands. Since then I have never felt more aware of another force pushing and driving us forward.

Is it God? The Universe? Natural energy? I don’t know. I do know I love it!

(I really hope we don’t waste it and mess up.)

The message, whoever it is coming from, is that it really doesn’t matter what size steps we take, we just have to keep on moving. Big strides or baby steps, it doesn’t matter. Just keep heading forward, and the energies will help make it happen.

In other words, take the baby steps – and the rest will follow!

With big love and thanks to the powerful energies that are surrounding us right now.




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Stop Complaining and Get Grateful!

I LOVE this lady, Terri Savelle Foy!

Her clear and compassionate films offer guidance and support for almost all life’s challenges.

I always feel better when I listen to her.

This film is definitely worth putting 10 minutes aside to listen to – and then put her suggestion into practice.

It could actually send you leaping forward over whatever hurdles are holding you back right now – so enjoy!



Attracting Income Attracting Success Business success Change your life Change your Mindset Habits of Success Positive action Self-Discipline

What Makes A High Achiever?

Who even IS a high achiever?

It’s all relative, of course. Everyone is a high achiever to someone, the same way everyone is a lesser achiever to someone else (yet another reason why we should never judge ourselves against others).

Simply put, we’re all on our own journey, each with its own challenges and battles. What is easy to one person is tough to the next, and so on.

This is a great video for keeping you focused on your own journey.

Yes, it’s going to be tough. Yes there will be days you don’t want to get out of bed. Yes there will be jealousy along the way. Yes there will be people wanting to see you fall. Yes you will feel like stopping. Yes the world will assume things about you.

I say ‘you’ – but really, of course, I mean ‘me’. I totally, totally have areas of weakness, places where my inner high achiever struggles to beat the lazy scared person.

For one thing, I always find it so hard to get out of bed. Every. Fricking. Morning. And that’s one area I need to work on, to get up, earlier, get started faster, get off my phone go for the day harder.

As this video reminds me, just get out of bed. Just do it. Ignore the rest inside my own head and the heads of others, and DO IT.

Stepping above the rest is not easy. We must surround ourselves with people who also have vision and can see the possibilities for us all. Surround ourselves with other high achievers, and prepare to fight!








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Self Discipline and Success

Self-control. Discipline. Determination.

It’s so easy to let things slip. A new workout regime, a new diet, new working habits, new focus – they’re all great at the start. (I’m talking from personal experience here, lots of it!)

And then, three weeks later, that fantastic new habit has fizzled out. And who do we blame?

I know I blame my lack of self-discipline. I blame my inherent weaknesses. My lack of focus. I tell myself, oh, it’s just the way I am, I guess.

Oh, what total crap!

In the words of Nike, sometimes we’ve got to Just Do It. And this video by InspireDiscipline is a hugely powerful message  for inspiring us to – just do it.

You can’t read the summary here and expect it to work, you need to take the 12 minutes or so and watch it. But here’s a basic guide to the lessons in this video:

  1. Think of something you really, really want, and be sure to engage with that dream every morning. Visualise it, think about it, focus on it.
  2. Work on your focus FIRST, before the chaos of emails, social media, snapchat and whatever hit you. Do your work first, the video advises, so you start your day right.
  3. Block your day out. Don’t leave your day open to randomness – plan your calendar so action is planned.
  4. This is where it gets fun… but you’ll have to watch the video to find out what it is!

Invest the next 12 minutes in yourself, and get ready for what InspireDiscipline calls ‘The Charged Life’.

To self-discipline!



Attracting Income Attracting Success Business success Change your life Change your Mindset Goal setting Habits of Success Positive action Running with dogs

Setting Goals and Making Plans

This is probably the most exciting two weeks of my life!

No, George Clooney hasn’t turned up asking me to forgive him for marrying Amal, nor have I have won the lottery.

But, exactly a week ago, Dean and I both closed down to the outside world and began working on our new business – a quality, bathroom and wetroom installation company.

And that’s about as exciting as anything could be! Sorry George!

After being a general building company, specialising is a HUGE relief. At last we can get really really good, we can hire people specifically, we can do the same thing over and over which means we can get really, REALLY good.

Best of all, we can now see some really exciting ways to market the business, so we can get even bigger and even better.

We are both SOOOO excited!

And we’re doing what we desperately needed to do – preparing the business before it begins, setting goals for the business and for us to achieve.

The new van is signwritten (it looks amazing!), the website is being built (we hired a professional photographer to take photos of a few of the bathrooms we’ve done over the past year) and I picked our new business cards up on Friday.

Tomorrow we are fixing our price list. Our systems will also be confirmed down in the next 24 hours. Then we will do 10 – yes, 10! – price ups using our new systems so that when clients come to the new business we will have set ways to handle each query.

So this was the scene on our kitchen table last Monday morning:

List of tasks to accomplish, things to organise, learn, prepare… Setting goals and building a business

I’m pleased to say that some of those tasks are now ticked ‘done’ and others have morphed as conversations have evolved, but we are still working our way through them.

When the Planets Align…

Have you ever felt like the universe shifted to help you?

I had one of those wonderful moments a week or two ago. I was lucky enough to see a post on a Facebook builders group in which someone recommended this book:

Markup & Profit by Michael C Stone – a great read and a real boost to our business

The post was about pricing up and how people decided on what to charge. The person who posted warned that this book isn’t cheap (it isn’t – I paid over £40!) but said the information is gives will be invaluable.

O. M. Geeeeeeepers he was right!

We’re a third of the way in and already Mark Up and Profit is changing how we think and feel. If only we had known of this book years ago! But anyway, we have it now.

Reading Mark Up and Profit is literally like having the author, Michael C Stone, turn up at your home and go through your business with you. He really knows his stuff and even though it is an American book, it works pretty much 100% for a UK business (just a few pieces of US-jargon re taxes, banking etc).

This book is specifically aimed at the world of construction but really there is useful information in there for any business, especially a business that creates things – houses, bathrooms, websites, clothing, whatever. I will definitely use the formula for mark up on jobs when I come to grow my website/video business, Little Red Horse.

If you have ever wondered about how to work out pricing or when to know if your price is too high or too low, I really recommend getting your hands on a copy. It really has changed everything for us.

If you don’t mind me collecting a very small percentage of the cost of the book, you can buy it through this link here.

I cannot describe how grateful I am that as I scrolled along my Facebook timeline on that day, I decided to click on that post and see that comment. Sooo grateful!

New Energy – Setting Goals

As often happens, once energy starts flowing freely in one part of your life, it soon spreads to other areas.

My YouTube channel has been a bit stuck recently, I haven’t uploaded any videos for a while, not quite knowing what to say.

Today I found my diaries for 2014 anbd 2015 and looked back to July 30th on both years. It was interesting to think about what I was doing then, and how much has now changed. (I haven’t kept a diary properly for almost two years and I know I’ll regret it – this blog is partly an attempt to diarise how the journey goes).

Then on tonight’s dog walk I had the idea of posting regular, monthly goal videos – I read constantly that setting goals is one sure way to help yourself towards success, measuring your progress along the way. Also I wrote about it here.

So I grabbed Dean when he got back from golf and pinned him down to some goals for August. Here they are (for both of us):

  • Go running with the dogs at least 8 times – so twice a week
  • Complete two bathrooms as part of our bathroom business
  • Get three subcontractors signed up and part of our team
  • Go to bed by 10.30 pm three times a week (yeah right!)
  • Finish fire safety improvement works to all our rental properties
  • Get our dog recall up to 99.9999%
  • Do three Youtube videos – ‘how to’ sharing tips I’ve learned along the way
  • Do two Tony Horton golf workouts every week (Dean)
  • Eat some fruit and vegetables every day (Dean)
  • Get our new bathroom business completely set up

And here they are in glorious technicolour! (Trust me, there’s nothing like posting your secrets on YouTube for creating some accountability!)



Attitude of Gratitude Attracting Income Attracting Success Bob Proctor Change your life Change your Mindset Habits of Success Law of Attraction

Bob Proctor – M1, M2 and M3

[Note, August 2018: A year after writing this post, I wrote this update about whether or not I have managed to become M3…]


The rain has not stopped all day today, giving the perfect excuse to spend the afternoon inside and clear the pile of ironing.

As usual, I took the opportunity to jump on to YouTube and gain some education and inspiration.

This film of a presentation by the amazing Bob Proctor was so good I just had to share it!

Like many people I first came across Bob Proctor from his appearance in the film The Secret (which if you haven’t seen, you must!) and he is a really inspirational and likeable guy. The Secret is based on the book of the same name, by Rhonda Byrne, which you can buy here if you prefer to absorb your inspirational stuff through words instead of pictures. Personally I love how Bob Proctor comes across in the film – completely genuine, likeable and really wanting to share his knowledge to better everyone.

At almost two hours’ long this YouTube film is well-worth watching and listening to.

If you don’t have that long to spare right now, join him at 37 minutes in. He explains how most people (96% of all people) do M1 – working for a living – which will forever keep them poor and limited. We will only ever get so far if we only ever trade time for money. Sad to say, I am guilty as charged – or at least I was up until a year ago.

M2 is a definite improvement (3%) which is investing money to earn money. I’m glad to say I have done this, still only in a small way, and I’ll be increasing my property portfolio in the future.

M3 is where we should all be aiming for. This group set up multiple sources of income, and they get others to do the work for them.

I am definitely guilty of not being M3-enough! Right now, we are growing the business and I can feel myself struggling within my own limitations.

I know I am probably holding the business back right now, through my own weaknesses, but am I just thinking like an M1?

Surely an M3 person wouldn’t even need to think twice on this. They would just hire someone to do what they can’t.

As usual Bob has got me thinking. We don’t have the disposable income that a successful M3er might have, but by clinging on to M1 status I could be pushing that income further and further away with my own indecision.





Attitude of Gratitude Attracting Income Property

We Have Power!

If you have ever lived in a house that was more renovation project than a home, you will understand the wondrous-ness of what I am about to tell you.

Just a year after we moved in here, I am so happy to announce: We. Have. Electric. Sockets.


No longer is all electricity run through the house on a few hideous-looking extension cables.

There are plastic boxes fixed into the walls that, when switched, make electricity happen!

Why have we left it so long? Well, partly we didn’t know what we were doing with the house. And partly we were waiting until we had the money to get it all done.

And mostly because, well, we just kind of got used to it. Humans are pretty adaptable creatures really.

After much discussion, we have finally decided what we will do with this house. The plan is for this house to become a source of income and to finally start to pay us back, giving a return on the money we have paid in to it. I will of course share, once this happens.

But for now, we celebrate, no longer shall my business empire be run off a few plugs. We have electricity, folks, and the future looks brighter than ever before!



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How to Stay Motivated?

O.M.G. I do love Gary Vee!

So I just came across this short little video and if you have ever, EVER, found yourself lacking even the tiniest bit of motivation, you need to watch this:

Are these the three lines that win the Internet 2017?

“How do you keep yourself motivated?”

“By remembering that you might die tomorrow.”

“That’s true.”

GAAAAAH!!!! Thank you Gary!

So today I’m hitting the edit suite while the rest of the country enjoy a long weekend – I’ll be cutting and creating for the next four days.  Eating 100% Exante products. Because I actually could die tomorrow, and all this would be over, without me doing what I need to do or being what I want to be.

And THAT’S the scariest thought of all!

Stay motivated, folks!