Why A Decision Is Better Than No Decision

24 Sep

decision

We are always faced with difficult decisions in our lives. As you know business is no different. Think about a decision that you have been putting on the back burner. The reason you have yet to act on this decision could be rational and legitimate. What about the decisions that you know you should and could be making right now at this moment? The fear of the outcomes and consequences often hold you back. It may also be that you do not feel confident to make that decision yet.

But procrastination is something you must try to avoid because you are limiting yourself and your business. Like you there are times I am unsure of what decisions I should make. When I am in a dilemma like this I open it up to my colleagues, mentors and clients as they might have something that can help me make a decision. I recently I made a really big decision that I had been thinking about for a few months and I am wondering why I did not do it sooner. The difference was that I had a bit more confidence to make it. What I learnt was that reminding yourself that you will have support of confidence if you seek it.  That confidence can do wonders for you.

For support with the above topic book a FREE Entrepreneur Speed Mentoring session today

Being a Start Up and Handling Pressure: perks & perils of entrepreneurship

14 Sep

des

If you follow my Social Media feeds on LinkedIn and Twitter you may have noticed an article written by Niall Harbison. In this piece posted in The Guardian (Startups and depression: the dark side of entrepreneurship) he speaks about start ups and depression. Interestingly there was a lot of engagement from this article but it is not a subject that seems to be covered much. It is well worth a read. I agree with him that this is definitely a dark side of entrepreneurship. Whilst I am not a Psychologist or Councillor I can say that some start ups do suffer mentally from the inevitable risks of going down the entrepreneurship route.

On a personal level I have not been through depression however I have had some dark times. The immense pressure we place on ourselves can be extremely intense. And no entrepreneurship is not all rosy and great all the time. That would be a blatant lie. When you have put your future on the line it never can be. With most things in life there will be times you really have to dig deep. If things go wrong it can have a devastating affect on you mental state, family and friends. I am guessing that this one of the reasons Start ups may go through depression. I believe it is indeed a dark side that is not spoken about often enough. It has to be addressed through honest and open discussion much other topics pertaining to entrepreneurship. I commend Niall Harbison, being an entrepreneur himself for writing about this dark subject.

If are going through anything like this it is best to speak to a professional. Niall Harbison was absolutely right to this article and bring it to people’s attention. If you’re really feeling the pressure I promise you’re not the only one. Do ask for help as you are not as alone as you think you are. Your business failing does not mean that you’re a failure. It is not a reflection of you as a human being and doesn’t make you a bad person. Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves that our imagination  becomes our reality. I have been guilty of this and I overcome it by speaking to one of my mentors, friends or family. It’s okay to say you’re not coping. The next time you see someone who you believe is successful always consider what did they have to go through to get to where they are?

Don’t forget to leave a comment.

How Little Free Play Hurts Children’s Confidence In Sport

7 Sep

kids

Coaches and teachers are often faced with children and young people in their sessions that have low confidence and are less motivated. This may be for a number of reasons such as shyness, dislike of the activity, boredom or inadequate free play just to mention a few. This blog post will focus on the latter as it is one that is frequently forgotten about  because of the short time usually available (something that the coach/teacher does not always have control over). If you are a parent and you have a child that really adores playing sport but you see a sudden withdrawal of interest from your child it may be that they are getting little free time to actually play the game.

When it comes to children being given little free play time in sport it is often coaches of young elite athletes, talented athletes and competitive sports leaders who are prone it. This  understandably, due to pressures of competitive of youth and elite sport. Equally, lack free play time can also occur in grassroots sports. As noted earlier lack of time in sessions which the can be a huge factor.

Children no doubt often drop out of sports participation due to negative experiences. The majority of children who like sports do seem to do so  because it is simply fun. This fun factor is significantly correlated to their free play. And as we all know, when you take away anything fun from children the will to engage almost disappears immediately. Another scenario that may lead a child into receiving little or no free play is in team games where children are given the freedom to pick their own team and even tactics at times.  As a result children can become very competitive and therefore want to do as much as possible to succeed.

Albeit, this motivation to succeed can come at the expense of another child’s free play time . It is common that this particular child is not perceived as having the ability to make a significant contribution to the team by their peers. Inevitably, the ball might not be passed to them during free play or they may only be used a as a substitute. This attitude must be stamped out straight away otherwise it becomes a very unsporting habit. The feeling of rejection by peers can be even more detrimental to a child’s confidence. Coaches and teachers must always try to stop this happening by incorporating conditions as it is them they are seeking to impress as part of growing up. For instance a condition like everyone needing to touch the ball before an attempt at goal will help. Additionally, limit the focus on outcome goals as this  for children as winning is not the most important thing at this stage. Encourage process goals

Whilst some children are not affected by little free play time others are exposed to feeling they are not good enough and even feeling unsupported by their coach/teacher.  It is of vital importance that coaches and teachers address it if there is a problem of free play time to stop children developing fear of failure. If equal free play time is allocated as much as possible it decreases the possibility of low confidence.

Free play time also involves the period of practising certain skills in drills. It is the coach’s duty to make interventions and corrections during this time. Nevertheless, play should be allowed to go on as much as possible. Too many corrections can be perceived as interruption to play by the child and as a result they could become fed up. The most effective way is to strike a good balance between free play time and corrections.

If you’re interested in receiving guidance on this topic or a talk contact us via our website www.runfunstarz.co.uk/contact/

My Nomination In The Black British Business Awards 2014: Press Release Please Share

7 Sep

STEM Rising Star Finalist

I have been nominated in the Black British Business Awards 2014 STEM Category – Rising Star. I am really happy to be considered. Thank you to everyone that has been part of my journey of entrepreneurship so far. Finalists of this award include Piers Linney, CO-CEO Outsourcery PLC and BBC Dragon Investor, Wilfred Emmanuel Jones ‘The Black Farmer’, Myrtle Dawes, Director of Projects, Centrica E&P, Margaret Casely-Hayford, Chairman, Action Aid UK and Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Space Scientist and Science Communicator, UCL and Science Innovation Ltd. The fifteen strong judging panel involved people such as Adrian Joseph, Managing Director at Google in the Customer Solutions and Innovation team, Donna Fraser, Former Olympian for Team GB, Sandie Okoro, Global General Counsel at HSBC Global Asset Management,  David Craig, President of the Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk business and Priyanka Banerji-Bhatia, Human Resources Director, EMEA for PayPal. London’s Evening Standard Newspaper wrote a short article about the awards, read here. Please see the full list of finalists here. If you have further questions regarding my nomination contact us.

Below is a Press Release for you if you’re a journalist, writer, blogger or digital marketer. You can share this on Social Media by clicking the share buttons at the bottom of this post.

Finalists in the Black British Business Awards STEM Category Announced

The finalists in the Black British Business Awards STEM category are announced today, recognising individuals across the UK who represent the very best of business success across the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics industries. This category also includes leaders and rising stars in the health industry.

The Black British Business Awards, founded by Melanie Eusebe and Sophie Chandauka, aim to support and promote business excellence and to uncover inspirational role models and ambassadors to lead a new generation of business people across all UK industries including media, professional services, finance, infrastructure and manufacturing and STEM.

The finalists in the EDF Energy STEM category are:

Leader
 Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Space Scientist and Science Communicator, UCL and Science Innovation Ltd
 Tunji Akintokum, Director, Middle East, Africa, Russia and CIS, Cisco
 Rashada Harry, Director, Your Future, Your Ambition
 Dr Uchenna Okoye, Clinical Director, London Smiling Dental Group

Rising Star
 Anne-Marie Imafidon, Head Stemette, Stemettes
 Sonny Kombo, Graduate Civil Engineer, Transport for London
 Amie Samba, Fitness Mentor, Run Fun Starz

Fiona Jackson, Head of Strategic Resourcing and Employer Branding of EDF Energy states:

“EDF Energy believes that British business benefits from having a diverse workforce which reflects our society. We know that diverse teams lead to better performance and we want more of this in our business, in particular we want to attract more BAME candidates into STEM careers with us. By showcasing achievements of role models from within the Black community, we hope to inspire young people to choose STEM careers as well as encouraging existing employees who want to progress with us.’

Melanie Eusebe, Chair and Co-founder of the Black British Business Awards commented:

”I started these awards to showcase the contribution made to the British economy by black business people, and with the tremendous support we have received from our sponsors, judges, partners, community and government, we now have a sold out ceremony that is raising awareness, changing mindsets, and inspiring the next generation of business leaders.”

Sophie Chandauka, Co-founder of the Black British Business Awards said:

‘We have every expectation that the Black British Business Awards will forecast, with precision, important boardroom members of the future. Our rising stars are phenomenally gifted individuals who have defied the odds, particularly given the fiercely competitive environment following the global financial crisis. The Awards will serve as an antidote to stereotypes on so many levels. We feel inspired to maintain this level of excellence for years to come.”

Sanjay Bhandari, an EY partner and member of the awards judging panel added:
‘Improving the diversity of UK PLC transcends the responsibility of government, business and individuals. There is no quick fix or silver bullet, but role models undoubtedly have an important part to play. The Black British Business Awards are a fantastic opportunity to uncover hidden talent and shine the spotlight on the UK’s top business leaders. EY is proud to support these inaugural awards and I look forward to meeting this year’s inspirational entrants.’

The winners will be announced in an awards ceremony on 2nd October at the Grange City Hotel, London. If you have further questions regarding my nomination contact us.

You can follow @AmieSamba’s blog on www.amiesamba.com

11 Essential Life Skills For New Entrepreneurs

3 Sep

EN

Here are 11 Essential Life Skills For New Entrepreneurs

1. Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet

One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make as new entrepreneurs is quitting their day job. I am all for following your dreams but it has to be done with minimal risk to yourself and your future. Unless you have prepared 100% for the foreseeable future that you can sustain yourself without a job then that is entirely your decision. Obviously you still need to eat, sleep and some clothes on your back. Not to mention the expenses of living. If you’re in a job at the moment then try to work it around your business as much as possible. It can be tricky if you’re working full-time. Depending on your situation it might be worth having a chat with your employer/colleagues if you can. At the same time if your job is getting in the way because of it’s demands then your business will continue to be a hobby for a very long time. In this case you might want to consider another role/job to make things a bit more flexible for you. I am not saying quit your job, what I am saying is that you need to learn how to manage it so it fits your business.

KEY QUESTION: How much time do I need to spend on my business each week/day/month to see the progress needed?

2. Budget, Budget & Budget

You must know how to budget your money and finances even more as a new entrepreneur because of two major reasons. Number one you”re new to this and you might not have managed to save a significant amount of money. If you have kudos to you. Number two you’re spending your time on a business that might not bring a regular stream of income in the beginning. The very first thing you need to do before anything it look at your current financial situation. Where is money coming in from at this present time? What are you spending your money on? Do you need to add an extra part time job? Whatever your situation is you still need to learn how to budget. Speak to people around you like your friends, family and peers. There are also professional bodies who can give advice about budgeting. If you don’t budget you will get stuck.

KEY QUESTION: Where can I cut down and how can I add another stream of income without affecting my business?

3. Anticipate Opportunity and Challenges

Having the knack for seeing opportunities and dealing with challenges before they blow up is a skill you need to develop as a new entrepreneur. The enthusiasm from being new, inspired and full of ideas can often turn into naive decision making. During your entrepreneurship journey you meet hundreds of people who want to buy from them (vice versa), collaborate, partner or support their business. You will need to be able snuff out people who are serious and people who frankly waste time or do you not have your best interest in mind. This is business so you have to learn to have a little bit of a ruthless streak. What you constantly need to ask yourself is ‘Is this going to help enhance my business or is it going to take me off track?‘. If you have even a little inkling of feeling in your gut telling you something isn’t right then you probably should go with your instinct. The best way to approach is to find people who are at least willing to meet you half way. It is your responsibility to anticipate and opportunity and take on the challenge.

KEY QUESTION: Where will this opportunity take me?

4. Adapt To Unforeseeable Circumstances

Unforeseeable circumstances are inevitable in life. So this means they are even more common in entrepreneurship. Remember you have decided to embark on a journey that is full of risks, external factors out of your control and things are always as unpredictable as the whether. So you have to know how to navigate and change according to what is happening. If your internet cuts off and you have a client deadline due within an hour where else can you go? It might seemed far fetched but believe me it happens. So get your mind into this way of thinking now and you find things a little bit easier. For everything you do get a Plan A, B. C AND D ready. The best entrepreneurs have the techniques to adapt and change when needed to get the job done. You will certainly need it too.

KEY QUESTION: What is my plan when things do not go to plan?

5. Build Relationships

Your communication has to at it’s best. Look at the top entrepreneurs that you admire. I can almost guaranteed that most of them will be great communicators too. One of your priorities as new entrepreneur is to build business relationships with people you can assist and whom can also support you. I believe business relationships are your biggest resource when you start out. So leverage business relationships with people who have the expertise, resource, know – how, skill and contacts. It could mean that you need to spend some money and you will have to if you want the best.

KEY QUESTION: Who do I need to get in touch with to take me to the next level?

6. Guard Your Reputation With Your Life

Your reputation will be key to how smoothly things go for you as a new entrepreneur. Your main tasks at this point should be to build an excellent reputation as part of your personal and business brand. You have to persuade people to trust you, like and vouch for you. Right now people will not have a clue who you are but one day they will and you will want good things said about you when you’re not present in the room. Deliver on the things you said, always aim to give the best, listen, be respectful, humble and courteous. The former could seem a bit condensing but you would be surprised how many people underestimate what tact and care can do for your reputation. At the end of the day you want people to be attracted to your brand story and your business. If you want people to recommend you and put you forward they have to have confidence in you and they can only do that if you have a great reputation.

KEY QUESTION: Who is able to recommend me or write testimonial for me?

7. Ask for Help/Support

One of the dangers in being a new entrepreneur is believing you can take on the world all by yourself. You can’t. Simple. Ask for help and reach out to people. Entrepreneurship can be lonely, stressful and really disheartening at times. So please do not isolate yourself. Go and seek the assistance you need. Join a networking club, space hub or group.  You need something that involves you interacting with people. The last thing you need is things affecting your mood and this will come across to other people without you noticing.

KEY QUESTION: What/who is my support network when I am stuck? Where can I go for support?

8. Take Action

Inaction will be an obstacle to your business if it becomes a habit. Positive and negative things will constantly occur in your surroundings. Sometimes fear of failure or even success can stop you from acting. You have to take action as action is what often leads to progress or improving circumstances. Without action your business will not exist. That doesn’t mean that you have to make rash decisions it means you have to make a decision. Your biggest challenge will also be taking action when your confidence is low and motivation has gone out of the window. It will come because you’re a human being and cannot operate at 100% all the time.  The difference will be how proactive and reactive will you be to it.

KEY QUESTIONS: What happens if I don’t act?

9. Know When To Take  Break

Yes you’re new to this and you’re an entrepreneur but again that doesn’t stop you from being a human being. Always have planned breaks in your routine. This also includes getting away from a business completely. People have their own preferences. Some like going for a walk, getting something to eat, reading, sitting in silence, taking naps or having a few weeks on holiday. Whatever it is find your thing. That is not to say you will not have long nights where you have no choice but to knuckle down to get things done. Yes your business can start to dominate but you cannot allow it to take over your whole life as this can be bad for your health and mindset. If you feel you’re no good to yourself then your body will tell you. Listen!

KEY QUESTION: Why am I feeling moody? Are my concentration levels where they should be?

10. Accept Failure & Move On

Having thick skin will be the difference between giving up and continuing with your entrepreneurship journey. In order for things to work out for you you must learn to accept failure as part and parcel of what you do. You will have disappointments. A person that doesn’t keep to their side of bargain, a client that doesn’t end up buying but wastes your time, that huge contract that went to your competitor or your ideas being picked apart by funders. It happens but don’t give up. Change things, take action and make it better. As human beings we are so harsh on ourselves and I believe as entrepreneurs it is made ten times worse because of the pressure and high expectations. Accept failure and move on please do not dwell on it. This is how you develop resilience.

KEY QUESTION: What or who can help me bounce back when I feel low? Where can I get a mentor?

11.  Focus On Process Goals

Setting goals is vital to what you would like to achieve. We often tend to set more outcome goals which are results driven. Here the most obvious result is turning a profit. There is no denying that you have no business if it is not financially viable. However by also setting process goals which are must more about the progress you’re business is making towards the end goal it is a good way of keeping tabs on how things are going overall. This is significant when you start as you’re not likely to hit the big outcomes straight away. So set process goals as well as outcome goals. You will see that even if you didn’t hit specific goals it can do wonders for your confidence that you’ re moving in the right direction.

KEY QUESTION: Where do you want your business to be in one years time? What action do I have to take now to get there?

If you’re interested in receiving guidance on this topic or a talk contact us via our website www.runfunstarz.co.uk/contact/

3 Brilliant Customer Loyalty Skills I Learnt From Being A Cleaner

29 Aug

clean

In business it goes without saying that people buy people but I’m going to say it anyway because it’s true. People do indeed buy people. Before I was able to dedicate my full time to being an entrepreneur I had to take up all kinds of jobs to ensure I had a stream of income to keep a roof over my head as well as feed and clothe myself. I am highlighting the work of a cleaner because it is one of the most toughest jobs you can do. It is physically demanding, you need attention to detail and you must have excellent customer skills to do it well. There are not many out there who can do all three at once. I believe being a cleaner gives an extremely unique perspective to the importance of customer service because the environment you’re working in is very intimate. When you’re working in someone’s home you’re in a way invading their privacy although at their request. So here are three brilliant skills I developed from being a cleaner that are equally useful for your customer services.

1. Put People At Ease

Putting people at ease with you and what you are about to do is fundamental. Why do you think your Nurse tried to put you at ease as a child before that painful injection? I would often enter a person’s home where they would immediately stress the things that had to be done and how it should be done. This is normal. You have to try your best to address their concerns as they may be apprehensive due to a negative experience in the past. This is your chance to avert it. By reassuring and agreeing that it will be done people will naturally feel at ease. It is also your responsibility to make your client aware of the challenges and being honest. Depending on the personality of your customer (and you can usually get an idea after a short time) you might need an ice breaker. My ice breaker was usually to look at something I liked in their home and ask about it. Instantly the person would open up and end up telling some sort of a story or the background behind it all. When I was working at huge  house a while ago I had one of the most interesting conversations with a woman who had lived in London for 30 years before moving from Iran. Her mother was a Psychologist and I had studied Psychology as a minor at university so we had common ground. Due to this conversation she felt at ease with the whole experience.

2. Ask Permission

During my time as a cleaner some customers would request that we should  only use specific products/equipment. This was often to avoid things like damaging surfaces or that they simply preferred it that way. ‘You said your floor was sensitive to harsh cleaning products, would it be okay to use wood polish on your cupboards?‘. Ask questions for your customer along those lines. So when you offer your service/product think about whether your client might want be consulted on particular things. Why should you ask permission when they came to you for help? Because you could be missing out on important detail. You have to see your customer as a partner rather than just someone you bombard with instructions. Your customer will not always know what they need so you have to ask on their behalf. This is especially relevant if they’re unfamiliar with what you’re offering. Do it on a regular basis to show that you are thinking of them and you do care about giving them the best. This is a technique to involve people in the decision making process. Your customers would be on board much more if you let them know what’s going on and ask those questions they want to be asked. It also shows that you’re interested.

3. Accommodate

The advantage of being a small business or start up is that you can be super adaptive. Large companies find this to be a problem but you can do it.  When I was cleaning homes I would sometimes be find that the customer was busy doing something in the home. For example a lady was travelling abroad a few hours after I cleaned her home. She was still in the process of doing some major packing when I arrived. There were suitcases and bags all around the house. Knowing that she was stressed out I opted to begin cleaning the kitchen so she had the bedroom and living room to herself. This very basic stuff but it makes a world of difference to your customer. How can you accommodate your customers better? They will thank you for it.

The list is not exhaustive I’m sure you can think of a few more but these are ones that I constantly try to implement when I’m in contact with customer.

If you’re interested in receiving guidance on this topic or a talk contact us via our website www.runfunstarz.co.uk/contact/

Why Entrepreneurs Should Start Partnership Work ASAP

22 Aug

collab

It can be argued that the formation of partnerships for newbie entrepreneurs is still an underutilised strategy. Often it is not until much of funding and resources dry up entrepreneurs sit up and realise that their long term strategy in delivering services/products may be unsustainable. Many initiatives like Economy of Hours can be useful to help you  reach a specific audience.

Partnerships have demonstrated the increase in acceptance that business on a mass scale requires a more systematically collaborative approach. Take a look at the most efficient organisations in your industry you should be confident they have an  alliance of a number of companies who follow the same framework and ethos of finding opportunities by sharing resources and ideas. I believe as soon as the ‘Gold Rush’ period of investment and funding for start ups nears, there will be less money available for the entrepreneur that needs the support to continue. However the Government is continuing to announce financial support for entrepreneurs. Sooner or later investors will want a return on it.  The question that should be on your lips is what happens after that? The answer is you have to deliver. It will be easier for you to that if you solidify your partnerships now.

Whilst I am certainly not against the idea that some businesses need considerable financial backing to work such reliance on funding can play a part in your partnership work becoming fragmented. In some ways it can also stifle your creativity. When you have the funds needed there is a possibility that you think you don’t need to consider using an outside network to achieve objectives. You couldn’t be more wrong if this is your outlook. Unless you are an organisation that has all the resources at your disposal to match all of the needs of all your beneficiaries it is almost impossible to operate in your field without some kind of partnership work.

Like most football clubs in the UK Manchester United Football Club, one of the biggest clubs in the world is partnering with bigger international companies down to the smallest local organisations you probably have never heard of before to further their cause. Of course a huge Football Club like this cannot entirely be compared to you starting out. But if you look at your industry overall you will see that the most successful companies seem to be the most stable as they have long understood the advantages of partnership work being part of their organisational strategy. They would have started the ground work early. What you don’t want to do is start playing catch up when the chips are down and your competitors have started working with your ideal partners. Strategic partnership work is not only the most sustainable option at the present time but it there is almost inevitability about it. Those who fail to act quick enough risk their entire existence.

 If you’re interested in receiving guidance on this topic or a talk contact us via our website www.runfunstarz.co.uk/contact/

Why People Are Not Interested In Your Business They Are Interested In Your Story

4 Aug

story

People are often interested in your story rather than what your business actually does.  Have you ever read a book that gives you that uplifting feeling? It is almost like having an epiphany. If your brand’s story can give this feeling to your audience then you’re well on your way. People want to know what you had to go through to get there. They would like to understand the sacrifices you made. Essentially they are expecting you to show a human side. People are constantly looking for originality and inspiration. I always stress that the most important inspiration has to come from yourself then from others around you. Nevertheless your audience is craving this information from you so why not give it to them?

You don’t need to share every single intimate detail if you’re uncomfortable. At the same time if you want people to embrace your business they must first embrace you. What are you really about? ‘Successful’ entrepreneurs rarely make it overnight  and I use inverted commas here because we all have different definitions of success. You don’t see the hard work, tears, sweat and exhaustion. What you see is the result. One of most popular questions I get asked is how did you get to this stage?

I had to worked for it. I am sure you have heard the saying work smart not hard. In order to work smart we must work hard at some point. Be weary of people who give the impression that never worked hard at any point to get to where they are. The truth is they needed help and they got it from somewhere. They must have come up against the odds and failed too. We all fail. I fail all the time. People are sometimes not as interested in your business and instead they’re interested in your brand’s story because they want to be able to relate and take confidence from you. The below quote by Dr.Maya Angelou summarises my point very well.

‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

If you’re interested in receiving guidance on this topic or a talk contact us via our website www.runfunstarz.co.uk/contact/

New Entrepreneurs: Define Yourself Today Or Be Forgotten Tomorrow

28 Jul

 

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One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my entrepreneurship journey is defining what role I would like to play and the means to get there. If you’re a new entrepreneur right now you may have a clear idea of your business idea (s). You think you have what it takes. But you need people to help you connect the dots. To get from A to B means you need a good network to support you. In your quest for that network you are also susceptible to giving up what makes you unique, your true passion and even your talent. I would say new entrepreneurs experience it because of naivety and over enthusiasm. Sometimes this enthusiasm turns into desperation.

Desperation is a dangerous thing for an entrepreneur because it throws you off track. It can destroy your dreams and dampen your confidence. The moment you act due to desperation it is often a que for you to get out of the situation QUICK. I am far from a pessimist but in business you have to choose your partners and the people you work with very carefully.  The risks you have decided to take means that the stakes are higher if things go wrong. The most obvious one in is financial risk. You must also think about the kind of reputation you would like to build. You don’t want to ruin a reputation you have yet to build.

If you involve yourself with questionable organisations or individuals then obviously it will not end well. Another obstacle is having the confidence in yourself and your business when you’re faced with a tough choice. Lets assume your business is viable and has a market. You’re asked to work with a more established individual. However you’re asked to sacrifice a core aspect of what you do or how you do it (and it will come inevitably). The consequence of doing the latter gives an impression that you do not have faith in what you do. It sad to say that there are people who will take advantage of this when they sense it in you.

It may also signify that your counterpart doesn’t really value what you or what you do. I am not saying that when you’re negotiating a working relationship that there should not be a bit of give and take from both sides. It is up to you to clarify your intentions as best as possible. If you’re expecting things to be handed to you on a plate then don’t get into business find something else to do. The warning that I have is that you should not be taken advantage of or used. So one of the first things you need to do is be sure that the people you are working with truly value what you do. Is this sincere? Is it genuine? To be clear you need to define yourself and follow your instinct. Position yourself well. As a result you will minimise bad decisions on your part.

I always say this quote to new entrepreneurs who attend our workshops ”Define yourself, what you stand for and what you would like to do or people will do it for you”. Therefore times will come where you have to put your foot down. I learnt the hard way by hoping and wishing that one day the individuals I was working with would appreciate and the reward would come. Despite something not feeling quite right I stubbornly went ahead. This is madness. It is a waste of time, effort and a whole lot of heartache. It simply won’t get better unless you do something. So if you’re in this situation right now please consider why am I doing it? Where is it getting me? If you do not like the answer change it. You can do it. You either define yourself today or you will be forgotten tomorrow. I know which one I would choose.

If you’re interested in receiving guidance on this topic or a talk contact us via our website www.runfunstarz.co.uk/contact/

Social Media Can Galvanise the Next Generation of Sport & Leisure Professionals

22 Jul

It is cliche but I have made great connections on Twitter. There are some exceptional minds out there and I always aim to learn from people. Through my Twitter feed I have access to people in my industry in a way that I would not have ten years ago after completing my GCSE’s. In a sector where climbing the ladder is part and parcel of your career. Knowing the right people can sometimes determine how far you go. Social Media and going digital can make a difference to this.

Back in April I attended a Sport & Recreation Alliance event in central London. It was the launch of their Directors’ Club. The only reason I was able to attend this event was because a tweet was sent out. I had no other link or contact so I took initiative. The lack of access to information about these events for the younger generation is a challenge that has to be addressed.  It was also a chance  for me to meet the Editor of The Leisure Review whom I had written a couple of articles for without ever meeting. That is the funny thing with Social Media, you can admire what people do from afar and just know that you connect on a number of issues. Social Media has enabled us to collaborate with people we have never seen face to face. I feel it is still underestimated in the sector.

Of course real human interaction can never be replaced. It is why I decided to go to the event. Attending industry events like this can often be intimidating. You’re scared to say the wrong thing or feeling like you have little knowledge in comparison to attendees. I am a fairly confident person however to someone young in the industry who is starting out it can all be a bit overwhelming. A good example was the event held by Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport & Physical Activity at the London Aquatics Centre.

The event invited members and non-members to network and to listen to presentations by Mark Sesnan GLL Chief Executive, Tara Dillon, interim chief operating officer, CIMSPA and Carl Bennett, CIMSPA interim chair and senior health improvement specialist (commissioner), Stoke on Trent public health team. This is a pretty impressive line up. Although I had previously communicated with Carl Bennett over Social Media again we had never met until this event. How do people of my age operating in the industry get to someone like Carl if he is not on Social Media? How can we have an idea of what he thinks and expects of the industry if he did not reach out? The gap needs to be closed.

Social Media is not the only way to encourage the next generation of professionals in the sector. I asked Carl what where the changes the industry needed to make to impact the lives of people. His answer was compelling and you just can’t replicate a response like that over Social Media. What you can do is lead the next generation towards it and allow them to make a decision on their next steps in Sport & leisure.  I understand that many of my peers are searching for direction and support to get ahead. A lot of them will indeed be on Social media but are unknown and are not being engaged. I would not be surprised if a lot claimed they had never heard of Sport & Recreation Alliance or CIMSPA. I was not aware of them during my studies. This generation is extremely hungry. The will is there and Social Media could be a key tool to galvanise the next generation of sport & leisure professionals.

Check out Sport & Recreation Alliance  @sportrectweets

Check out CIMSPA @cimspa

If you’re interested in receiving guidance on this topic or a talk contact us via our website www.runfunstarz.co.uk/contact/

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