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Exante diet Positive action The Eternal Weight Battle! Weight loss YouTube vlog

Wait, what weight?

When I started this blog I really had no idea where it would go. I just had a feeling that documenting my journey to success (if it actually happened) would be a good idea.

A couple of years on now (amazingly!) and I still really enjoy keeping what is basically a public diary. There have been some really good times, and if you’ve been following recently you will have seen that there have been some REALLY good times in the last few weeks.

IE, I actually got paid. We actually have money in the bank. We have happy customers. Things are going well.

I can’t ever let myself relax of course but I think I can probably give myself a gentle pat on the back because the business – well, both the businesses actually, because we started one and then started another, are doing ok and starting to pick up a bit of traction. Of course, every day is still a school day and all that, but, y’know…

But I’ve always wanted my journey to be about more than business success. I want to achieve financial freedom (actually I want to achieve a whole lot more, but that’s for a different day) and I want a number of successful businesses, but I also want to be happy, healthy and able to enjoy life. And that means I need to lose weight and get fit.

And they are two areas I am definitely NOT succeeding in.

So I started this journey aged 40-ish with some pretty well-entrenched habits about food and rewarding behaviour. I use eating as stress relief. I have a HUGE capacity for food. I could probably eat you under the table, and then I would probably eat you. I have a weakness for buying food, even if I don’t really want it, and when I’ve bought it then I eat it, because I have to. My self-control is about the same strength as a daddy-long-legs’s leg.

Plus, I sit down most of the day, I somehow have got completely out of the habit of moving, and now most of my clothes don’t fit.

Guys, this is an EMERGENCY! I really don’t want to spend another Christmas looking like a fat blob.

A few months ago I met a hypnotherapist at a networking event and it’s been at the back of my mind ever since… what if…?

And so a cunning plan was formed. I’m going to give hypnotherapy for weight loss a go.

In the meantime one thing I’ve been doing even less frequently than running has been vlogging. I started my vlog planning to post partly about business, and partly about weight loss, but it’s ended up being mostly about my weight, and lack of loss. So I decided to start it again today. I mean, if you can’t share your weight with the world who can you share it with???!!




Business success Positive action

Bullet point blogging!

It’s 12 days since I last blogged (where does the time go, hey?) and I’ve got LOADS to tell you.

So much, in fact, that I can’t possibly put it all in just one blog post.

So here’s my first attempt at blog bullet pointing!

Achievements and Events, July/August 2018

  1. Our luck seems to have changed!

Ok, so we’ve made a little money since the business started trading last October, but it would be fair to say that pretty much every job we’ve taken on since then has been pretty challenging. Every challenge has been different, and each one has given cause to eat into profit. I’ve got to admit I haven’t gone through the details of every job, I have known it wasn’t always good news and I didn’t always want to depress myself further. I’ve also known that this challenging time would not last for ever, it was just a case of getting our heads down and keeping going – and that seems to finally have happened, because…

  1. We did our first packages!

Along with our joint number one top employee, T, we’ve been developing various packages to offer to clients, fixed prices that we hope will appeal to people on a more fixed budget. It’s something I would have struggled to do.
Next though, we had to be sure we could deliver the packages – and make money doing them. So, we’ve just done our first two which we treated as a test. We’ve done post mortems on both jobs, going through how the labour worked out, how the products worked out, how the costings worked out and so on. And both went really well! We actually did them on time and…

  1. We’ve actually made some money!

We are still a very very long way from loaded, but the signs are good. We are DEFINITELY on the up and we seem to be over the worst of the problems. Much of that is due to…

  1. We have a third employee!

Part of the problem causing the challenges alluded to in point 1 was that we needed another staff member to join the bathroom team. And it was a challenge to find the right person. Really we needed another D – a good all-rounder with a wide range of skills and who jump on to any job, as a real team member.

We had a few people get in touch. When K rang I liked him immediately, but he was a bit smooth. I thought, you’re either the world’s biggest blagger or you’re perfect. He came to see us and he and D got on immediately, and he joined the team two weeks later.

It turns out, he IS perfect! He’s actually on his way to be our third joint number one employee, joining T and C, D’s son.

It all feels a bit too good to be true, but right now it’s working, he’s working and the team is working so the jobs are working. HUGE credit to the Law of Attraction, which I am sure helped bring him our way, he is a big part of the success alluded to in points one to three.

So it’s all good! So far so good!

Now we just need to do it all over again until we’re loaded!




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


Attitude of Gratitude Attracting Success Change your life Law of Attraction Positive action

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.




Business success Goal setting Habits of Success How to run a business Positive action

Holiday – Disaster – Plan!

This is a frickin rollercoaster, folks!

I wrote here – only 11 days ago, for goodness sake – about my latest confidence crisis and how we seem to have overcome.

We ended 2017 (funny how old that already feels) with a tricky client and a job that was hard to price, a mix of various different jobs, much of it very bitty. As some of our jobs do, it has run over the estimated timescale, by quite some length.

Being so busy with our own house I put off doing a final count up of days (yes, ok, I was putting it off, because I knew it would be bad news). I finally did it yesterday and sure enough, it’s bad news.

So late last night I worked myself up into a meltdown which exploded over D today. We so needed that job to go well. Ok, correction. She was always going to be difficult, so the job was never going to make us much. But it needed to make us something. I stared at the final costings and knew there was no way I could charge her the final amount. We’ve simply taken far too long over it.

Last week D’s dad went into hospital so he was away for three days and the job booked for that week was pushed back.

The week before, I decided to book a few days for D and I to go visit my parents for my dad’s birthday – in France.

So we’ve gone from losing money on a job to having to postpone the next job and then booking ourselves on a trip to take us even further from actually getting any work. Talk about a catalogue of disasters. Talk about January being a write off.

Now, we absolutely 100% need a break, so I am looking forward to getting away.

But today I gave D an ultimatum. He needs to step up and get involved with the financial side, which he shies away from because it doesn’t interest him. But then he is detached from the reallity of the job and loses the urgency that he needs to be constantly driving the team forward.

Secondly, he needs to be planning the jobs in advance. As in, writing a list of the daily tasks needed and ensuring they get done. It’s something we started doing but again it doesn’t interest him so it stopped happening. I’ve written a few times about the importance of setting goals and here we have, in perfect clarity, a superb example of what happens when you don’t – there is nothing to measure progress against.

If he/we had planned this job he/we would have been able to identify it was running over. Also, the team would have had something to refer to and measure themselves against. It sounds so simple, and it is. So why haven’t we been doing it?

(I’ve got to bring in the renovation of this property here, it has been a massive distraction. But we could have taken 20 minutes to plan, so there’s no real excuse there.)

So in less than two weeks I’ve gone from thinking that we are going to make it, to sheer panic and the distinct possibility that the business may not survive beyond March.

Just two days ago I wrote about having to get a bit tougher when dealing with the team and with trades. Oh yes.

When we get back next week, I will be talking to the team. In no uncertain words. It’s 100%, 100 mph or nothing. Certain people will get an official warning to improve their performance or they will be out. Each job will get a written plan and that will be checked off at the end of every day to ensure we are on schedule and everyone is playing their part.

And I need to step up. Forget just doing all the office side, I need to be managing the team too. I need to be ensuring the management (D) can feel my boot hovering not too far from his backside, keeping him and the team on their toes and on track.

Or in March we both start looking for jobs. It really is that serious.

I am so glad this has happened now, when there is – just – time to turn it back round. But my gosh it’s scary.








Change your life Change your Mindset Habits of Success Positive action

Is it too late to change my life?

I’m in my forties. In my FREAKING FORTIES.

Somewhere, in my murky past, four decades have sped by. I’ve achieved some things – had a reasonable career, bought some property, had a lot of fun – but nothing of any particular note.

So now I’m in my FREAKING FORTIES and I’m changing my life the doubts creep in. On a fairly regular basis.

What makes you think you can make it now when you haven’t so far?

What makes you think anyone is interested in you?

You’re so old. How are you going to be successful at this age? If it was going to happen it would have happened already.

The good news is we finally have a bathroom floor here in our renovation pit, so if I choose to listen to these voices at least I have something clean to lie on in my defeated depression.

The really good news is I just watched this video by Nas Daily, about four people who did change their lives. Including one amazing guy who learned to read aged 52!

So every now again when the doubts get a bit too loud a good video can drown them out.





Living Green Positive action Positive Thinking

Heart breaking news

I love life! And where possible, I hate to dwell on the negatives, because that really doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

But there are so many things going on in the world right now that can make it tough to keep focused on the good stuff.

I absolutely LOVE the saying ‘energy flows where attention goes’ because it is just so true – whatever we focus on gets the best result. For example, the film ‘The Secret’ tells us if we are anti-war, we shouldn’t focus on war but we should focus on peace.

Hey, here’s an idea – maybe if we all made a HUGE fuss about peace there would be no more wars?

Before Donald Trump was elected it was clear to see the attention around him, attracted by and fed by the focus on his bizarre story and campaign. Even the most outrageous stuff worked for him and it was no surprise to me when he made it to the top spot.

So I think it is crucial not to give negative things too much thought and importance. But these days with so much bad news going on constantly it can feel like the world is spiralling downwards.

Today my newsfeed is full of clips from the fires in California and my heart is breaking for the people and animals affected.

An out of control fire is terrifying. I can’t contemplate that people actually start fires on purpose*, and I can’t imagine the horror of being caught in a fire. I also don’t want to contemplate a world in which fires increase, but that seems to be the way we are heading, with more extreme weather and no one seems to be able to do anything to stop it.

So what’s positive about that? Ok – I admit, I’m scratching around for positives here, but I think I’ve found one…

I am already quite a ‘green’ person – an ardent recycler, supporter of green issues and I try to limit my own consumption – but I am determined to make changes in my life that will ensure I tread even more lightly on the earth than I have been doing.

We’re close enough to the start of 2018 for me to make it my first official New Year Resolution.

I know that whenever I start doing something, several million other people will also be doing the same thing (hey, I accepted that I am far from unique long ago!).

So maybe, just maybe, by the end of 2018 a few million people are going to consciously be less of a burden on our precious planet. And if one good thing can come of those catastrophic Californian fires, a few million people living greener would be a fitting result.

And then there’s this guy – the man rescuing rabbit from the fires. Someone who risked his own safety to save a terrified animal. How on earth can I say that it’s hard for me to stay positive, so safe and far away, when this brave soul in the face of danger shows such love and courage for a helpless creature?



*I’m not suggesting these California fires were started on purpose, but many fires every year are started around the the world, some by accident and others deliberately. People are sooo weird!


Business success Positive action Positive Thinking Start a business

A Look Back on October

As with life, business is full of unexpected twists and turns, flips and fuggles and October 2017 has been just that.

As we approach the final day of the month – Hallowe’en (which as someone with a phobia of zombies is really not much fun at all) it is surprising how much things have changed in just 31 days.

And then I suppose that is life itself – you can tread water for ages before suddenly a huge wave comes along that sweeps you somewhere completely unexpected, leaving you tumbling headfirst into new waters trying to catch your breath and hoping your swimsuit hasn’t ended up in a compromising position.

We hadn’t been treading water exactly. The last few years have been full of steady growth – of us, as well as the business. But this month, our first month trading officially as our bathroom business, has definitely been all about swimming in a very different ocean from before.

So we were always due to hit a few waves as we crossed into new waters.

In short, October 2017 has been challenging, rewarding, terrifying, frustrating, demanding and – overall – exciting!

We started our first job under the new company banner on October 2nd. A dated, traditional bathroom to be transformed into a luxury shower room for its elderly residents. It was always going to be a challenge to complete within two weeks as they also wanted a storage unit to be built in one corner, but it was just about do-able.

It wasn’t just the new business name, this was the start of our new way of working, our new approach of scheduling jobs into timescales and making them happen, as opposed to a less confident, slightly airy-fairy approach of things taking as long as they need to take – impossible to plan around. Dean and our newly-trained employee Craig were fired up and ready for the new challenge.

Meanwhile, in my office I was feeling pleasantly smug that we were in a seriously good place. Carla, our wonderful VA, and I had some highly polished systems and we were ready to get busy! We got on great, the time difference between the UK (me) and the Philippines (Carla) completely irrelevant. Her loyalty to us and her excitement for our future matched mine.

And then, the worst happened – she became ill. A few days off turned into a week, then, because she hoped to be able to come back, stretched into a few weeks. I have no reason not to believe her – she has sent me the medical documents, although I didn’t ask – but sadly it looks like she will need surgery before things will improve.

At first her work sat undone, waiting for her return. But when she did attempt to work, it was clear she wasn’t able to concentrate and mistakes were made. Eventually, last week I had to tell her that we would find someone else – someone temporary – in the hope that Carla can return to work eventually.

I called a lovely lady who runs an admin support service, who I had met at a networking event, and as I type this she is beavering away at the mountain of receipts that has mounted up as I waited for Carla’s return.

Staffing, and managing staffing, and knowing how to manage staffing, will be one of the biggest challenges ongoing, I can tell!

Back to the bathroom, which proved to be extremely tough. Once the bathroom was stripped out, everything that could have been tricky or challenging proved to be. The pipework was strange, the drainage challenging.

Dean made a couple of silly mistakes, that he kicked himself for, including prepping the room for a shower tray that measured 160cm in length.

Missing out the crucial extra 20 cm that he needed for the 180 cm tray ordered and paid for and waiting in the couple’s garage!

Actually I may have kicked him for that one, too.

A replacement tray was ordered, and the couple agreed they would be happy with the smaller size. I reduced their bill for the inconvenience – it seemed the right thing to do. Other challenges were – eventually – conquered – and they are pleased with the outcome. We need to go back for one more day to fit the storage unit doors and fit a last trim to the splashback around the basin. We have lost a lot of money on this job, and it will hit us hard.

But the learning was priceless. Even as we pushed our way through it all, both Dean and I had a strong feeling that everything that was happening was right and was happening because it needed to.

As a result, we have sharpened up our practices, improved the wording of how we go to price up jobs and – hopefully – put a few systems in place to prevent silly mistakes from being made.

The next two jobs – one completed and one still ongoing – another elderly couple going from bathroom to shower room – have both gone completely differently. We took the learnings from the first job, and both have been much kinder to us anyway.

As a result of receiving so many inquiries from older people, we also decided to register for VAT sooner rather than later. It was – still is! – a complete unknown for both of us, but October 1st was our start date and so October 31st will be the date of our first return. Gosh. Kind of sums up the whole rollercoaster of a month.

Oh and in between it all we are working on our own house. We finally have some heating installed, the kitchen is ripped out and the skeleton of the downstairs is being revealed – stones and timbers that haven’t seen the light of day since approximately 1790. What a gift to have the opportunity to transform a property. What an honour.

Oh! The learning curves can be breathtaking at times but the journey is spectacular! Here’s to November!



Affirmations Change your life Exante diet Habits of Success Positive action Self-Discipline The Eternal Weight Battle! Weight loss

Worth the Weight

I didn’t want to say anything too early, but I’ve just completed my first week back on the fantastic Exante Diet.

As part of my Project to develop a Successful Life, I am determined to make achieving a healthy weight a big part of it. And at the grand old age of 44, I decided to set my target at a reduction of 44lbs.

I lost 22 of those lbs a few months ago, documenting my progress on my YouTube channel. And then I lost focus and decided I would maintain for a while – yeah right – and got back into eating my own body weight on a regular basis, gaining 10 of those lbs back.

Plus, I’ve been so busy recently getting the business ready that I’ve almost forgotten what exercise is. Literally, hours of sitting at the computer, writing copy for the website, writing contracts, writing blog posts – or not! Even dog walks have been down to the bear minimum.

Last Sunday I woke up and just decided it was just time to get back on the Exante diet wagon. One of those unexpected but agreeable decisions that come from the feeling ‘enough is enough’.

This time, I decided I would record not just my weekly progress but daily – every mealtime in fact. That’s quite a commitment, as I discovered!

It’s also quite a lot of footage! Too much for one film! So I split the week into two – this is the first film covering Days 1-3:

The week ended on a real high at my weigh-in this morning with 6.5lbs gone – half a lb off half a stone!

Needless to say I feel so much better already – my stomach is flat(tish), I have more energy and my clothes are fitting more loosely.

Returning to the Exante products has literally been like meeting old friends again! Why I didn’t keep it going while ‘maintaining’ I will never know – I really could have replaced one meal every day with a product and that would have helped. I know now that is what I need to do to maintain, once I achieve my healthy goal weight of 146 lbs (10 stone 6lbs).

So I finished the week with this film.

I’ve been doing some affirmations recently (if you don’t know what they are, check out this article which explains all about them and gives some good examples you can use).

I’ve been reminding myself that:

“I am strong, focused and self-disciplined” because these are three areas I figured I needed some reminding about.

This week, I’ve felt stronger, more focused and more self-disciplined than ever. I actually feel that I am going to get to goal, and I’ve never, ever felt that certainty before.

Many successful people swear by the power of affirmations, but I have to admit I’ve never done them rigidly enough before to give them chance to work.

Could it be that I am experiencing some of their magical effect?! Whatever it is, I like it!





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!