The 7 year itch

If you’ve ever been in a long-term relationship, you’ve probably heard one person or another throw around the concept of the “seven-year itch.”

(A coin of phrase originating from the 1955 American romantic comedy film of the same name directed by Billy Wilder).

How to survive the 7 year itch

This phrase usually refers to a point in a relationship where one or both partners start to become bored or dissatisfied in the relationship. And whilst there is little to no evidence to support this directly, there is an emerging amount of evidence as to why we should pay more attention to it.

The human body constantly develops and changes throughout the human life cycle. The significant stages of the human lifecycle are:

  1. Pregnancy
  2. Infancy
  3. The toddler years
  4. Childhood
  5. Puberty
  6. Older adolescence
  7. Adulthood
  8. Middle age
  9. The senior years

In the Bible, Psalm 90:10 (King James Version)

The days of our years are threescore years and ten.

And, if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

In this sense, it was always assumed the average lifespan of humans is around 70 years, and should we survive longer than this, it be a decline in both our ability to function and our desire to do so.

Therefore if we use this as our model, and divide the 9 stages of life across the expected lifespan equally it supports my theory that we actually grow up in years of SEVEN!

7+7+7

For the first 7 years, we have been entirely reliant on others. (Be that parent, Guardian etc)

Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” ― Aristotle

Between 7 and 14, we are learning to become independent. From 14 to 21 we are demanding our independence. From 21 to 28, understanding where our independence fits inside society and the world at large.

From 28-35 many people settle and become co-dependent, and some between 35-42 choose to have their own dependence (and so it goes on).

So what?

Well, knowing this, we can now ‘plot’ what else may be happening in their lives, and where there priorities may lay?

To best give an example of this, I’d like to sell you a washing machine!

You are 25, and you walk into my store advising looking for a washing machine:

“I’ve got just the thing for you. This washing machine comes in 17 different colours, is available on no deposit, with nothing to pay for three months and 0% interest-free finance payable over 4 years. What’s more, we have them all in stock and could have it delivered and fitted for you tomorrow. Would you like to buy a washing machine?”

You are 35, and you walk into my store advising looking for a washing machine:

“I’ve got just the thing for you. This washing machine has won several national and international awards for its eco-credentials, saving both water and electricity. What’s more, with its intelligent programming, App-enabled functionality and 9Kg drum. You can put the whole week’s wash in one load and it will work out what and how to wash effectively. We will also gladly take your old machine away during the installation and recycle it in an ethical manner. Would you like to buy a washing machine?”

You are 45, and you walk into my store advising looking for a washing machine:

“I’ve got just the thing for you. This washing machine is the industry leader and comes with a 10-year guarantee. Not only does it wash, but also has a rapid dry function, a ‘forget-me-not’ draw on the front for those last-minute editions and is the quietest machine on the market. Would you like to buy a washing machine?”

So what?

It’s the same washing machine!

Determining what else you’re likely to have in your life will determine which of these features and benefits are more likely to be of importance to you. And tailored my approach to what to share to demonstrate its suitability!

The Cycle of Life x 4

Just as we’ve looked at the 9 periods within a human life cycle, there is also other life cycles to consider:

  1. You
  2. Your team
  3. Your products/services
  4. The Industry/Profession you operate within
  • You: What period of the life cycle are you? And what are your highest priorities right now?
  • Team: Do you have a young, middle-aged or ageing workforce? Who are the emerging leaders ready to take this business to the next level?
  • Product/Service: How relevant are you? Are you an innovator, or are you becoming a laggard?
  • Industry/Profession: Where in the Industry heading, and are you leading the way or struggling to keep up?

Ready to have a discussion?

We’ve made it our mission to support 1,000,000 Business Owners to Significantly and Sustainable Scale-Up for both themselves and their businesses.

Have you got what it takes to #ADDAZERO?

Why are you called My TrueNORTH?

I’m often asked “Why are you called My TrueNORTH?” so thought it best if I shared the story behind our #brand. (After all, every business has its own story, right?)

The Story of the Explorer’s Compass

Imagine. You are an explorer standing exactly on the North Pole. It’s been a long journey and it’s freezing cold. You pull out your compass.

What direction would the needle on the compass point?

The answer may not be what you think!

In order to answer this question, you will have to understand the difference between the true geographic north and magnetic north.

Because these two north locations are completely different.

What is the Geographic (True) North Pole?

The Earth rotates on the geographic north and south poles. The geographic north and south poles are where lines of longitude (meridians) converge in the north. The south and north pole are directly opposite to one another.

The North Pole is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Scientists have tried marking the North pole. Because the water here is permanently covered with moving sea ice, it’s practically impossible to construct any type of permanent station at the true North Pole.

On the other side of the Earth, the South Pole lies on a continental landmass known as Antarctica. Because the ice on top of Antarctica moves only a few meters a year, the United States Antarctica program has installed a marker here to delineate the true South Pole.

What is the Magnetic North Pole?

The Earth is one big magnet. The Magnetic North Pole (also known as the North Dip Pole) is a point on Ellesmere Island in Northern Canada where the northern lines of attraction enter the Earth.

A compass needle rests freely in its casing so it can manoeuvre itself. When you pull out a compass, it aligns itself with the Earth’s magnetic field. The small magnetic pin is how a compass responds to Earth’s magnetism.

This means that a compass needle will point to the Magnetic North Pole – which is different from the geographic north.

But how much of a difference is the magnetic north vs geographic north? (And what has this got to do with my business?)

Where would a compass needle point if you were standing on the true North Pole?

If you were standing on the geographic north pole holding your compass, it would point towards northern Canada at Ellesmere Island. This is a difference of about 500 kilometres between the Geographic North and Magnetic North poles! But, the Magnetic North Pole is actually moving kilometres every year. This phenomenon is known as the Polar Shift Theory.

Magnetic inclination varies according to where you are located on the globe. In order to point you in the right direction, users can compensate for magnetic inclination by using charts of declination or local calibration.

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What has any of this got to do with my business?

When you first set out in business. Whether that quit your job or simply determined you wanted to work for yourself. You had a plan, a goal, a vision of what success looked like for you, your family, your business.

Ever since then, you’ve been busy working towards making that a reality. And yet, in my experience (17 years a Business Owner, and having worked now with well over 8,000 others) those who actually achieve everything they first set out to achieve are few and far between. (Statistics, shows less than 6% of business owners ever achieve what they first intended for their goals and success aspirations).

So why is that?

Ask the 94% who don’t achieve their goals, and they have a long list of reasons as to why it never worked the way they had expected:

  • Recession
  • Government
  • Brexit
  • COVID
  • War
  • Competition

Trust me, if I had £1 for every time someone offered me a reason as to why they didn’t achieve their goals, I’d be a wealthy man! The simple fact is, (just like an explorer seeking to reach the pole) life got in the way and they got blown off course!

So are you Explorers?

Yes, and no. My TrueNORTH is a team of Business #Scaleup Sherpa’s. We work with ethical business leaders, who are seeking to align themselves and their businesses with bigger, bolder, more impactful goals. They recognise they may have been ‘blown off course’ (within My TrueNORTH we refer to this as SOS – Shiny Object Syndrome) and seek help, guidance, support and accountability to recalibrate both them and their business with those aspirational goals of achieving Success Summit

Just as a Sherpa is there to support the Explorer achieve their summit. We tailor our proven methodology to you and your business. Ensuring we align you, your team and your business, to the long term goals and aspirations your first had when you first started. And make this a milestone for all to work towards (But not its final destination…)

My TrueNORTH Methodology infographic

Our holistic business compass looks at your business from 8 different perspectives. And ensures each has the right people, systems and processes, and are aligned with the goals and aspirations of the business leader.

But beyond this, we also work on legacy, helping leaders live a legacy (rather than simply leave one behind), enabling them to love what they do, for what it, in turn, does for them, their stakeholders and their businesses.

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Isn’t it time you reviewed the direction of travel within your business? Our #ADDAZERO ScaleUp Scorecard offers you the opportunity to benchmark your business against more than 117K other businesses and identify the opportunities and vulnerabilities in your business. With practical guidance and where to focus your attention first.

What’s more, it’s FREE

As part of our mission, to support 1,000,000 Business Owners to significantly and sustainably scale up their businesses, sufficiently to generate more new roles than there are those seeking employment, and eradicate unemployment in the UK. We are gifting this in-depth, bespoke scaleup report to you FOR FREE.

Simply click on THIS LINK to get started…

Have YOU got what it takes to #ADDAZERO?

It’s official…..

Today is a day I never considered would happen – but it has!

I can’t put an ‘actual date’ on when I began coaching? You see, long before I ever qualified as a coach, had I continually learned, practiced, and shared my learning with others, that they may benefit also.  Throughout the running of my last FOUR businesses, I’ve forever asked, empowered, supported others within the team to excel in their forte.

Prior to that, in my time in change management within the PLC world, I was forever asking, probing, enquiring with others as to how they could continually improve, offer up a new idea and take charge of implementing them.  And prior to that, throughout my Military career, qualified as an Adult Education Teacher, and continually learned and then shared with others.

So, it was both an honour and privilege in 2014 to be nominated (and subsequently won) a Kauffman Institute Global Entrepreneur ‘Big Impact to Business’ Award, for the work we were doing in researching and sharing the cause of Big Business Failure.

Then, a year later, I was flown to the US, to present our findings to the Kauffman Insititute and many of their entrepreneurship scholars, only for them once again to acknowledge the level of content we shared and its impact it had on the audience. By awarding the event as a Global ‘Big Impact to Business’ Event.

And, in 2017 I was invited by one of the United Kingdom’s largest investment management companies to an event, at which we were added to their ‘Clear Business Thinking’ POWER 100 list recognised for the Ethics to which we both operate and share with our clients.

However, early today I have been bestowed with an acknowledgment that gladly takes pride of place amongst all of these other accolades!

For as long as I’ve been in Business – Ralph Watson’s name has been synonymous with the professional coaching fraternity.  A well-established and highly respected figure throughout not only the UK coaching community but worldwide.  Having forged a coaching career over four continents and almost four decades.

As Founder of the International Association of Profesional Coaching, The APC grew out of the realisation that a great many people in the coaching profession are seeking a membership body to join that offers something different from that currently available. It is the passionate belief in the immense potential of every human being and the tremendous support that high-quality coaching, training, and personal development intervention offers in helping people to achieve that potential that underpins our work and our commitment to building something more than just a membership organisation; a supportive and sustaining community.

The APC has become an independent professional membership body dedicated to promoting and supporting the highest levels of quality, professionalism, and ethics in the fields of coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and allied disciplines, such as hypnosis, at an INTERNATIONAL level, with a growing membership from across the world of those seeking to join, and benefit from such an organisation.

Ralph and I have known each other for a good many years, originally meeting through both being professional keynote speakers on the Euro-circuit. And subsequently, as fellow coaches and NLP practitioners, attending many of the same events, either as speakers, workshop facilitators, or delegates.  I have long supported the work of both Ralph and the APC, and benefited both personally and professionally from both Ralph and the APC.

Ralph and I had arranged to meet this morning, for what I thought was for me to share more with him, regarding the progress we are making in preparing to license the methodology enabling other suitably qualified and experienced coaches to offer this also.

However, Ralph clearly had an alternate agenda!

You see, whilst I’ve closely followed both Ralph and the APC, He has also been following the progress and contribution we have been making!

“I am delighted to confirm the invitation to Fellowship with the Association for Professional Coaching.  This position is by invitation only and is extended in recognition of your ongoing contribution to ethical and professional coaching and work in this field.”

I have written extensively about the power of awards.  I continually encourage my clients, to be more conscious of the impact they have in the world, and to stop and acknowledge recognition when it is given. And whilst qualifications and experience are both essential, both can be learned and earned, but neither automatically make you nor determine you are ‘good’ at your job.

Being nominated for any form of achievement or public recognition is a significant and important milestone.  Becoming a finalist and even a winner even more so. To be ‘measured’ against others, and determined by either a judging panel of experts or our peers as having ‘tipped’ the balance is a huge moment.  However, today has brought a tear to my eye. To be personally invited to accept the highest level of recognition from an independent but global organisation specifically designed to support the professional standards within our industry is for me the highest accolade one could ever have hoped to achieve.

It is with immense gratitude and as much humility as I can muster, that I proudly share: From this day forward, I am now a Fellow of the International Association of Profesional Coaching.

More can be learned of the APC by visiting: https://www.theapcinternational.org/about-apc

Should I put my prices up?

I’m often shocked when I ask business owners the last time they put their prices up?

It’s very rarely
Recently…
It’s infrequently
in the past 12 months
And sometimes
they can’t even remember it was that long ago!
I just don’t get it!
You pay more at the pump almost EVERY time you fill up with fuel. Your groceries, your clothes shopping, your weekend away – EVERYTHING else in your life has gone up recently, and yet when it comes to raising your fee’s there’s a vague look and tumbleweed rather than a definitive YES!
In today’s episode, we unpick the cost of not putting your prices up, and share 14 different pricing strategies YOU can implement TODAY across your business to begin to generate more revenue and more profit!

Putting your prices up

For me, there are at least 3 rules when it comes to raising your prices:
  1. Do it NOW
  2. Review it REGULARLY
  3. Continue to put them up regularly also!
The simple answer is, rarely do business owners put their prices up enough, or often enough.  There is this innate FEAR of ‘losing’ business, which either prevents them from doing it or when they do, still not charging what they SHOULD be charging for the value they deliver!
Then, when they finally do it, they do it nervously, almost apologetically, often blaming something else (Government, Recension, Brexit, COVID) rather than simply doing it because you’re worth it.
And finally, once it’s done, we quickly see a multitude of Sales and Discounts under the pretense of offering added value but simply as another means of apology for having raised the price! 
(Sound familiar?)
In this #ADDAZERO Podcast episode, we share no less than 14 different pricing strategies, for you to consider, review, and introduce to YOUR business

When did you last put your prices up?…

Attitude = Altitude!

Accordingly, to psychologist and Life coach Cliff Arnall, (A tutor of the Centre for lifelong Learning), Today is the saddest day of the year.

Blue Monday‘ is Cliff’s concept and is based on a mix of bad weather, long winter nights, the aftermath of the festive period, and a week before the first ‘pay day’ after Christmas.  He concluded, as many people ‘overspent’ in the run-up to and over the festive period, have in the past 48Hrs received their Credit Card statement, and taken a big Gulp as they realise the impact ‘such’ a good Christmas has had!

It’s also the day that MOST people who made a New Year’s resolution to “Stop…..” be that Dry January, Give up Smoking, Go to the Gym, etc FALL OFF THE WAGON!

Whether it’s the Credit Card reality or forming a new habit, be that NO MORE of THIS or MORE of That, How’s that going for YOU right now?

“If you always do, what you’ve always done;
you’ll always have (at best) what you have already!”

An alternative approach: Attitude + Altitude

There is nothing more exhilarating than being around people who exude the energy of endless possibilities. These kinds of people are needed in our lives if we wish to see what is attainable.

There is nothing more exhilarating than being around people who exude the energy of endless possibilities. These kinds of people are needed in our lives if we wish to see what is attainable. When we surround our environment with people who believe in the harshness of life we are drained of energy and vitality. Therefore, the choice is really up to us – do we want to reach the stars or do we want to stay on the ground constantly looking up secretly wishing that we were among the dazzling jewels that grace the heavens. A strong, positive, and resilient attitude will help elevate you to unimaginable heights.

In life attitude is everything. Check the people around you and observe their attitude barometer – negative or positive – and if the results are negative then you may need to look at your own attitude and make certain adjustments. Usually, people mirror our own unconscious feelings and attitudes about life that we perhaps are not acknowledging head-on. Remember, your attitude determines your altitude. That’s why it’s so important to be choosy about who we do spend our time with. I believe that we do become what we think about, and who we surround ourselves with every day strongly influences what we think about or become. A positive attitude is not about displaying a fake smile, a happy face, and a forced spring in our step. It is simply a way of responding to life in a manner that allows us to accept the contradictions, the contrasts of our experiences. A positive attitude enables you to make a difference in the world around you because when you are able to see things in a positive light, you help to influence and shape other people’s attitudes as well.

What is attitude anyway?

It is the mental state or position you take regarding your life and affairs. This means it’s not what you think but how you think it. Your attitude forms every event in your life, whether you realise it or not. Out of your attitude comes your enjoyment of life and gratitude for all your blessings. Out of your attitude also comes your disappointment and anger at how things have turned out. Out of attitude also comes the feeling that no accomplishment will ever be good enough or that you are not good enough. Every day, your attitude is challenged by other people and by external factors. How will you react? Will you allow adversity to stop you from moving forward? Will you allow a negative person to ruin your day, make you lose your cool, or force you to give up on your dreams? When such temptations come knocking on your door, stand at the door of your mind and declare powerfully and silently, “No one is home”. In other words, cease to engage.

We’ve made it our MISSION to support 1,000,000 Business Owners #ADDAZERO to their Business. And just one of the ways we are doing that is through our in-person #ADDAZERO Activator events – An opportunity for you to take a little time out of the business, to work ON the business (As Gerber taught us), AND to look at it through a completely different lens!

On this highly interactive and bespoke workshop, I’ll ask you FOUR questions you are NEVER likely to have been asked before, which once you are able to answer (more than 96% can’t when I first ask them) will COMPLETELY change how you see and operate within your business FOREVER!

It was Einstein that taught us:

“You will never overcome any problem, using the same level of intellect, than that which created it”

Who do YOU know, that deserves to make this year their BEST YEAR YET.  Who works hard, isn’t frightened of putting the hours in, but still hasn’t achieved everything they deserve, and really ought to do more, earn more, be more?