How learning to swim, improved my business

How learning to swim has helped me in business

I know it sounds corny, but allow me to briefly explain:

I’ve pretty much always been able to swim. The first time in the pool I still wore nappies, and have frequently pretty much all through my life.  These days, I like to get my mile in first thing in the morning, before breakfast or even a coffee, and over the last 2-3 years have spent time and effort on improving my time over the mile.

According to British Swimming, my current timing (for my age and preferred stroke) is between intermediate and advanced, but still around 10 minutes slower than ELITE. However, recently I’ve chosen not to concentrate of becoming quicker, but more efficient.

I’ve stopped looking at the stopwatch, and spending time perfecting every aspect of each stroke. The kick, the pull, the streamline, the breath, the glide.

What does this all mean?

The ‘average’ stroke per length is 16+, before I began reviewing and amending, mine was 13, this morning it was 8! (Adam Peaty did each length in 5 at the European Championships!)

My heart rate, SWOLF (a score that combines the number of strokes you take and the amount of time it takes you to swim a lap into a single figure) and recovery time have all dropped, which is great. But, here’s what has really surprised me, my average speed hasn’t.

How does this relate to business?

We can all, easily get caught up in the BUSYness of Business. And it’s ruining your longevity, sustainability and productivity. As Mike Vance famously said;

You have to slow down, in order to speed up

Business executives may want to work as quickly as is feasible. Although it may seem like the most effective way to maximize productivity, it might actually have detrimental effects. When you “slow down to speed up,” you give yourself permission to proceed slower in exchange for more control and concentration over your project as a whole.

Let’s see why leaders need to slow down to speed up.

The phrase “slow down to speed up” says that the greatest approach to increasing productivity and efficiency is to choose to move at a steady pace rather than operating at top speed.

Think about this in conjunction with another well-known proverb regarding effectively finishing a variety of initiatives: “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” In other words, when you prioritize speed and downplay taking breaks, you actually make it harder to finish the task at hand. This is why leaders need to slow down to speed up.

The Drawbacks of Speeding Too Fast

Moving too quickly can hurt your job and compromise your well-being in life, business, and leadership. If you are tempted to stay on the go, consider these three drawbacks:

  1. High stress
    If you approach every work at a blazing pace, you will almost certainly experience higher stress levels than someone who approaches things more methodically and steadily. Inhibiting your ability to stay devoted, focused, and upbeat about your work, high stress is a barrier to attaining your goals. Slowing down reduces tension and makes it simpler to continue with the activity at hand in a collected and efficient manner.
  2. High chance of mistakes
    When you move too quickly, you fail quickly. When speed is the top priority, accuracy, quality, and workmanship are ignored. But by doing this, you get more work than if you slowed down. You’ll have to spend time fixing mistakes you made while speeding through rather than producing a high-quality product steadily. This can result in you having to complete two or even three times as much work as you otherwise would have.
  3. Difficulty in communication
    Your team’s ability to communicate effectively with you will suffer if you rush through things. In the near term, you might neglect to tell them pertinent information, which would impede the project’s progress. As these misunderstandings multiply, everyone’s workload increases. Hence it is important for you to learn how leaders need to communicate in the virtual world.

The Benefits of Slowing Down

You should choose a steady pace over an intense sprint when slowing down to speed up. If you follow this advice, you might benefit from three things:

  1. Better Decisions
    Slowing down, mitigates the need for ‘fire-fighter’ management and allows you the time to make bigger, bolder, better decisions. By not always playing ‘catch up’, enables you to plan and work to a strategy you have considered before execution. This in turn, enables you to:
  2. Improved communication
    As you take it slow, you’ll probably find it easier to speak clearly with other team members. Instead of rushing to finish the job on your own, you can collaborate to ensure everyone gets the resources they need. In the long run, better communication results in more productive work.
  3. Increased output
    The first time you slow down, you might be concerned about how less productive you’ll be. Strangely, allowing a break allows you to re-energize and focus on quality and productivity. Increased productivity increases sales and increased sales increase operating profitability. As you can see, taking it slow to get faster has a lot to offer.

How to Slow Down to Speed Up?

Slowing down to speed up can seem paradoxical if your default behaviour is to work quickly. To put this advice into practice, consider the following suggestions:

  1. Communicate with your team
    For advice on how to time your work to prevent overburdening anyone, consult your team members. The work of the entire team will suffer if each day is experienced as a creative exercise rather than a frontline conflict. Have a “playback” or retro meeting after a project is finished to determine how you may reduce your responsibilities and lessen the urgency to finish quickly.
  2. Keep an eye on your stress levels
    Remember that working too quickly and feeling stressed out will significantly impair your creativity, ability to make decisions, and overall job capability. Pay attention to stress signs when they appear since they mean you need a break. Take a few moments to meditate. Use your phone to play a game. Go outside. You’ll be better equipped to start each day strong and avoid burnout if you give yourself time to recover.
  3. Strive for balance
    The key to moving faster while moving slower is striking a balance between efficacy and efficiency. You could prioritize speed over quality and self-care if you’re overwhelmed and exhausted. As an alternative, you might want to work more productively if you feel like you’re always putting things off or doing things slowly. The key is to always strive for balance, readjusting as necessary, and taking breaks when necessary. This will allow you to work as constantly and effectively as you can.


In order to accelerate, we must first slow down. By taking regular reflection breaks, we can ensure that we are responding appropriately, fully utilizing our leadership vision, and working efficiently. This is rather than reacting and becoming overwhelmed by hectic work.

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Navigating Analysis Paralysis

Simplifying Data for Strategic Decision-Making

In a world brimming with data and metrics, analysis paralysis is a real concern for business owners. The sheer volume of information can be overwhelming, leading to indecision and missed opportunities. However, there are effective strategies to distil complex data into actionable insights, enabling business owners to drive strategic decision-making without drowning in a sea of numbers.

  1. Set Clear Goals and Priorities

Start by defining your business goals and priorities. What are you trying to achieve? Are you focused on increasing revenue, improving customer retention, or optimising operational efficiency? Knowing your objectives narrows down the data you need to focus on, making it easier to filter out irrelevant information.

  1. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Select a handful of key performance indicators (KPIs) that directly align with your goals. For instance, if your aim is to enhance customer satisfaction, focus on metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer retention rate. You avoid getting lost in a sea of data points by homing in on a few critical metrics.

  1. Regular Reporting and Visualization

Create a routine for reporting and visualisation. Use dashboards or reporting tools to display your chosen KPIs in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand format. Visual representations, such as graphs and charts, simplify grasping trends and patterns at a glance.

  1. Use Benchmarks and Industry Standards

Comparing your data to industry benchmarks can provide context and help you gauge your performance. If you’re falling significantly below industry averages in a certain area, it signals a potential area for improvement.

  1. Focus on Trends, Not Just Numbers

Pay attention to trends over time rather than fixating on individual data points. Are your metrics improving, declining, or remaining steady? Trends provide more meaningful insights than isolated numbers.

  1. Apply the 80/20 Rule

The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, suggests that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Apply this principle to your data analysis. Identify the few critical metrics that drive most of your business outcomes and concentrate your efforts there.

  1. Seek Expertise

If data analysis isn’t your strength, consider seeking help from My TrueNORTH. One of the things we specialise in is reviewing data to guide you through the process and extract actionable insights.

  1. Embrace Iterative Decision-Making

Strategic decisions don’t have to be all or nothing. Embrace iterative decision-making by making smaller, informed choices that can be adjusted and refined over time. This approach reduces the pressure of making a single monumental decision.

  1. Keep it Simple and Actionable

When presenting data to yourself or your team, keep it simple and actionable. Clearly highlight the implications of the data and recommend specific steps or changes based on the insights gained.

  1. Trust Your Gut, Informed by Data

While data is invaluable, balancing it with your intuition and experience as a business owner is essential. Let data guide your decisions but take your instinct seriously.

Data-Driven, Not Data-Drowned

Overcoming analysis paralysis is about finding the delicate balance between utilising data-driven insights and avoiding data overload. By setting clear goals, focusing on a select set of KPIs, visualising trends, and seeking expertise when needed, business owners can confidently make strategic decisions that lead to growth and success. Remember, the goal is not to drown in data but to use it as a powerful tool for informed effective decision-making.

The Get BIG or Go Home Principles

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles™

Accelerating Your Thinking, Transforming Your Outcomes

With both innovation and competition at an all-time high, embracing a mindset that can not only keep up but thrive is essential.

Evidence-based around six core principles, the #ADDAZERO Get BIG or Go Home Principles™ offer a revolutionary approach to accelerating your thinking and transforming your outcomes. These principles empower you to push boundaries, challenge limitations, and achieve results that exceed your wildest expectations.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 1: Think Beyond Limits

Principle 1: Think Beyond Limits

The first principle of the #ADDAZERO philosophy is to think beyond limits. Many people settle for mediocre results because they confine their thoughts within self-imposed boundaries. To truly accelerate your thinking, you need to break free from these limitations and explore the possibilities that lie beyond. Whether it’s in your personal life, business endeavors, or creative pursuits, daring to dream big opens doors to innovation and transformation.

However, we immediately hit a problem: How do I think BIG

One of the first hurdles we hit with this concept is letting go of the current reality in order to release the shackles of our imagination.

• I haven’t got the time
• I can’t afford it
• What if it doesn’t work
• What will people think of me

A million and one limiting beliefs, thoughts, and ideas shroud the possibility of us ever moving past our current reality and prevent us from truly being creative!

The Power of Future-Oriented Thinking

Current time thinking is deeply rooted in our brain’s default mode. This mode is focused on preserving energy and ensuring safety by relying on familiar patterns and experiences. While this thinking pattern serves its purpose in routine tasks, it can inadvertently limit our potential for growth and innovation.

When we think from the perspective of our current reality, we tend to anchor our ideas and solutions within the boundaries of what we already know. This can hinder our ability to see beyond our immediate circumstances and envision possibilities that lie outside our comfort zone.

The Brain and Visualisation

Neuroscientific research shows that our brains don’t always distinguish between imagined and real experiences. When we vividly visualise achieving a goal, our brain activity mirrors that of actually experiencing success. This phenomenon is known as “mental rehearsal” and has been extensively studied.

For instance, a study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that individuals who mentally rehearsed playing a piano piece showed the same neurological changes as those who physically practiced the piece. This implies that our brain’s neural pathways can be strengthened through mental imagery alone.

The Power of Future Visualisation: Overcoming Limitations

By shifting our perspective from “How do we achieve it?” to “What does it feel like to have already achieved it?”, we unlock hidden potential. Future-oriented thinking, often associated with visualisation exercises, can break the barriers imposed by current-time thinking.

When we visualise our success, our brain begins to accept the imagined scenario as a possible reality. This shift in perception stimulates creativity and propels us to take bolder actions and make choices that align with our envisioned success.

Therefore, all we need to acknowledge is:

• Breakthrough innovations: Unconventional thinking leads to disruptive ideas.
• New perspectives: Overcoming limitations expands your worldview.
• Inspires innovation in others: Your audacity inspires others to think bigger.

Future-oriented thinking

Backed by neuroscientific evidence and documented success stories, we can unlock our hidden potential by breaking free from current time thinking. By envisioning our success, we reshape our neural pathways, expand our creativity, and propel ourselves toward achieving our goals. Through this transformative shift, we transcend the limitations of our current circumstances and open doors to endless possibilities.

Numerous successful individuals attribute their achievements to the power of visualisation. Athletes visualise their performance before competitions, musicians imagine flawless concerts, and entrepreneurs see their companies thriving. Consider Elon Musk’s SpaceX, aiming to establish a colony on Mars. While seemingly audacious, this mindset led to ground-breaking achievements in space exploration. Or Jim Carrey, who famously wrote a check for $10 million for “acting services rendered” and visualised achieving this success before he did.

By incorporating this perspective into our approach, we can effectively apply the Get BIG principles and begin to think beyond limits, embracing discomfort, iterating and adapting, collaborating for synergy, and pursuing audacious goals with precision execution. When grounded in future-oriented thinking, each principle becomes a powerful tool for harnessing our untapped potential and achieving remarkable success.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 2: Embrace discomfort

Principle 2: Embrace Discomfort


Comfort zones can be the biggest hindrance to growth. The second principle encourages you to embrace discomfort. The path to success is often paved with challenges and uncertainties. By willingly stepping outside your comfort zone, you open yourself up to new experiences, skills, and perspectives that can propel your thinking and outcomes to new heights.

Growth occurs outside your comfort zone. Richard Branson’s journey from music to airlines exemplifies embracing discomfort. Venturing into uncharted territory, Branson transformed an industry with Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Understanding Discomfort

Discomfort, often viewed negatively, is a fundamental aspect of growth and innovation. Our brains are wired to seek safety and familiarity, which can lead to resistance when faced with the unknown. However, embracing discomfort is essential for personal and professional development.

Rewiring the Brain

Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganise itself, highlights the potential for growth through the discomfort. When we venture into uncharted territory, we stimulate new neural pathways and connections. This rewiring leads to increased adaptability and enhanced cognitive abilities.

The Birthplace of Innovation

Innovation rarely emerges from comfort zones. Historical examples abound – consider Steve Jobs and Apple. The introduction of the iPhone revolutionised multiple industries. Jobs’ willingness to disrupt the status quo required embracing discomfort, challenging conventional thinking, and venturing into unexplored territories.

In her book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” psychologist Angela Duckworth discusses how embracing discomfort is crucial in achieving long-term goals. Through extensive research, Duckworth finds that individuals who willingly endure discomfort and setbacks are more likely to achieve lasting success.

Learning Zone vs. Comfort Zone

The “learning zone” lies just beyond the comfort zone. It’s where growth occurs, and new skills are developed. The Yerkes-Dodson law, a psychological principle, suggests that optimal performance and growth occur when we’re slightly outside our comfort zones – neither overwhelmed nor complacent.

Discomfort as a Catalyst

Embracing discomfort is the driving force behind personal and professional growth. Neuroplasticity showcases the brain’s ability to adapt and evolve through discomfort. Historical success stories and documented evidence from experts emphasise the connection between discomfort and long-term achievement.

By pushing ourselves beyond comfort, we enter the learning zone where innovation flourishes and growth is nurtured. In the context of the “Get BIG or Go Home” principles, embracing discomfort serves as the springboard for thinking beyond limits, iterating and adapting, and pursuing audacious goals. Ultimately, it’s through embracing discomfort that we unlock our hidden potential and reach new heights of success.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 3: Adaptability

Principle 3: Iterate and Adapt

The ability to iterate and adapt is crucial in a rapidly evolving world. The third principle of #ADDAZERO advocates for a mindset of continuous improvement. Treat failures as learning opportunities, and view setbacks as stepping stones toward success. By embracing a mindset of adaptation, you foster resilience, agility, and the capacity to pivot when needed, resulting in more successful outcomes.

Iteration is a cornerstone of progress. Apple’s iPhone series demonstrates this principle. Each version builds on the previous one, incorporating user feedback and technological advancements.

The Engine of Evolution

Iteration is the process of repeatedly refining and enhancing an idea or solution. It’s coupled with adaptation – the ability to adjust strategies based on feedback and changing circumstances. These principles are the driving force behind progress and innovation.

Learning Through Repetition

The brain learns through repetition and reinforcement. Each time we iterate, we reinforce certain neural pathways. As we adapt our strategies, we engage in cognitive flexibility – a hallmark of higher-level thinking. This process rewires the brain, optimising our approach and enhancing problem-solving skills.

Consider the evolution of the automobile. Continuous iteration and adaptation have transformed the industry from the Model T to modern electric vehicles. Companies like Tesla, led by Elon Musk, are known for their iterative approach – releasing software updates that enhance vehicle performance and features.

The Lean Start-up methodology emphasises iteration and adaptation. Eric Ries’ book “The Lean Startup” demonstrates how start-ups can minimise waste and maximise learning by frequently testing assumptions and adjusting strategies based on real-time feedback. This methodology has been widely adopted and has led to numerous start-up successes.

Innovation Through Iteration

Innovation doesn’t emerge fully formed; it results from incremental improvements. The concept of “failing fast” is rooted in iterative thinking. By quickly testing ideas and adapting based on feedback, we avoid sunk costs and optimise resources for what works.

The Path to Perfection

Iteration and adaptation form the path to perfection. Neurological evidence underscores the brain’s capacity for learning through repetition. Historical examples like the automobile industry and the success of the Lean Start-up methodology highlight the power of iterative thinking.

In the context of the “Get BIG or Go Home” principles, iteration and adaptation are pivotal for precision execution, embracing discomfort, and achieving audacious goals. By embracing these principles, we navigate challenges flexibly, continually refine our strategies, and ensure we’re on a trajectory of growth and success.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 4: Collaboration

Principle 4: Collaborate for Synergy

The power of collaboration is unrivaled. Principle four emphasises the importance of collaboration for achieving bigger and better outcomes. By working with diverse individuals who bring unique perspectives, skills, and ideas to the table, you harness the power of synergy. Collaborative efforts can lead to innovative solutions and a collective drive toward success far greater than any individual could achieve alone.

Collaboration leverages diverse expertise. The development of the Internet showcases this principle. Innovators across fields united to create a global network that transformed communication.

Amplifying Strengths Through Unity

Collaboration is more than working together; it’s about combining diverse strengths to achieve outcomes beyond individual capacities. Collaborative synergy occurs when the collective effort generates results greater than the sum of its parts.

Neuroscience of Collaboration

Mirror neurons, neural structures that fire both when we perform an action and when we observe someone else perform the same action, highlight the brain’s predisposition for collaboration. This neural response is the foundation for empathy, understanding, and effective communication – key elements of successful collaboration.

The partnership between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak exemplifies collaborative synergy. Jobs’ visionary ideas and Wozniak’s technical expertise resulted in ground-breaking innovations. Together, they co-founded Apple and revolutionised technology.

Furthermore, research from the Harvard Business Review emphasises the benefits of diverse collaboration. Diverse teams bring various perspectives and insights, leading to more innovative solutions. A study by Deloitte found that inclusive collaboration can improve team performance by up to 60%.

Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

Innovation often emerges at the intersection of diverse fields. The collaboration between engineers and medical professionals resulted in the development of MRI technology. These cross-disciplinary partnerships harness unique expertise for transformative breakthroughs.

Collective Genius

Collaborative synergy taps into the brain’s neural wiring for empathy and understanding. Historical examples like the Apple founders and documented research underscore the value of diverse collaboration in generating innovative solutions.

When applied to the “Get BIG or Go Home” principles, collaborative synergy amplifies audacious goals, fuels precision execution, and enhances the ability to embrace discomfort. By embracing collaboration, we tap into the collective genius of diverse minds, harnessing their strengths to drive innovation and achieve remarkable success.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 5: Audacious Goals

Principle 5: Set Audacious Goals

Setting audacious goals is the fifth principle that drives the #ADDAZERO philosophy. When you aim for the stars, you push yourself to reach heights you might not have thought possible. You channel your energy and focus toward achieving remarkable outcomes by setting ambitious targets. Even if you fall short of your ultimate goal, you’re likely to achieve more than you would have with a conservative approach.

Set ambitious goals and meticulously plan their execution. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos envisioned becoming Earth’s most customer-centric company. This audacious goal fueled strategic execution that revolutionised e-commerce.

The Dance between Vision and Action

Audacious goals are ambitious objectives that push the boundaries of what’s considered attainable. Precision execution, on the other hand, involves meticulous planning and flawless implementation. These two principles together form a powerful duo that drives innovation and success.

Setting audacious goals triggers the brain’s reward centre. The anticipation of achieving a challenging goal releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with motivation and pleasure. This dopamine surge encourages us to pursue our goals with vigour.

John F. Kennedy’s audacious goal of landing a man on the moon is a classic example. This goal inspired the Apollo program, which led to the historic Apollo 11 mission. The collaboration of NASA’s precision execution with the audacious goal resulted in a monumental achievement. And Edwin Locke’s Goal Setting Theory, backed by extensive research, emphasises that specific, challenging goals lead to higher performance. A study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that setting audacious health goals increased participants’ adherence to healthier behaviours.

Furthermore, the development of the iPhone by Apple exemplifies precision execution. Steve Jobs’ attention to detail and insistence on perfection resulted in a product that seamlessly integrated hardware and software, revolutionising communication and technology.

The Dance of Achievement

The dance between audacious goals and precision execution is a dance of achievement. Neuroscientific evidence, historical examples, and documented research highlight the synergy between setting ambitious objectives and executing them with precision.

When applied to the “Get BIG or Go Home” principles, audacious goals fuel thinking beyond limits, while precision execution ensures the journey is marked by iterative adaptation and collaboration. This dynamic duo propels us to new heights, transforming aspirations into tangible successes.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 6: Precision Execution

Principle 6: Execute with Precision

The final principle revolves around executing with precision. While big thinking is important, it must be backed by focused, well-executed actions. Details matter, and the smallest adjustments can significantly improve outcomes. Implementing your ideas precisely ensures that your efforts align with your vision, driving you closer to your desired results.

A Symphony of Excellence

Precision execution is the art of meticulous planning and flawless implementation. It involves attention to detail, adherence to standards, and a commitment to delivering excellence in every aspect of a project or endeavour.

Attention to detail is a cognitive process governed by the brain’s prefrontal cortex. This region is responsible for higher-order thinking, decision-making, and complex problem-solving. Precision execution stimulates this area, optimising cognitive functions.

NASA’s Apollo 11 moon landing is a prime example of precision execution. The meticulous planning, rigorous testing, and flawless implementation of each step led to a successful landing on the moon. The Mars rovers, known for their longevity and success, also demonstrate precision execution in space exploration.

In his book “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell famously popularised the idea that achieving mastery requires approximately 10,000 hours of practice. This concept underscores the significance of precision execution – the relentless pursuit of excellence through practice and refinement. Companies like Tesla and SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, prioritise precision in every aspect of their operations. This commitment to excellence results in ground-breaking products and advancements.

The Elegance of Excellence

Precision execution is an embodiment of excellence. Neuroscientific evidence, historical achievements, and documented principles all underscore the significance of meticulous planning and flawless implementation.

Applied within the context of the “Get BIG or Go Home” principles, precision execution ensures that audacious goals are achieved, iteration and adaptation occur seamlessly, and collaboration is optimised for synergy. This principle transforms vision into reality with the elegance of excellence, marking the difference between success and mediocrity.


The #ADDAZERO Get BIG or Go Home Principles™ are not just a set of guidelines; they are a transformative mindset that can reshape your thinking and redefine your outcomes. By thinking beyond limits, embracing discomfort, iterating, collaborating, setting audacious goals, and executing with precision, you position yourself to accelerate your growth and achieve lasting results.

So, are you ready to #ADDAZERO to your aspirations, your efforts, and your outcomes? Embrace the principles, adopt the mindset, and watch as you propel yourself toward a bigger and more rewarding future than you ever imagined.

CLICK HERE to get started!

We’ve made it our mission to eradicate unemployment in the UK.  By supporting business owners (just like you) to significantly and sustainably scale up their businesses. That collectively, we can create demand for more new roles, than there are those actively seeking employment. 

Why you should choose Relationships over Transactions

Why Business Owners Choose Relationships over Transactions

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, it’s becoming increasingly common for business owners to prioritize meaningful relationships over relentless client acquisition. More and more entrepreneurs are recognizing the importance of working with providers who genuinely care about them and their businesses.

In this post, we’ll explore why this shift is occurring and the benefits that arise when businesses prioritize relationships over transactions.

The Power of Trust and Loyalty

Business owners understand that trust and loyalty are vital components of long-term success. And yet, we continue to see a glut of businesses continuing to focus all their time, attention, and marketing spend on winning ‘new’ business.

But at what cost?

By choosing providers who genuinely care, you begin to build a foundation of trust and loyalty that goes beyond a simple transactional relationship. Providers who clearly demonstrate theirs take the time to get to know you and your business by investing the time and effort to understand their client’s needs, challenges, and goals will always win in the long term over the ‘stack ’em high attitude of only ever looking at the front door.

As a result, they can provide tailored solutions and support that truly align with their client’s business objectives.

This is why, Amanda Daniels-Allen and Jay Allen have chosen to ‘cap’ entry to our collaboration event: Fusion at no more than 20 people. ensuring we are able to truly serve each and every one present with the questions, queries, and challenges they face within their businesses.

A Focus on Partnership and Collaboration

When business owners work with providers who care, they often find themselves in true partnerships. Instead of just being another customer, they become valued collaborators, working together towards mutual success. Providers who take the time to listen, communicate, and engage with their clients, foster a sense of teamwork and shared purpose. This collaborative approach leads to innovative solutions, improved efficiency, and ultimately, better business outcomes.

It’s why everyone who signs up to join us, are sent a questionnaire, enabling us to ensure the entire day’s learning is tailored specifically to those in the room!

Enhanced Customer Experience

Providers who genuinely care about their clients understand the importance of delivering exceptional customer experiences. They go above and beyond to ensure their clients’ needs are met, providing personalized attention and support. By prioritizing the customer experience, these providers create a positive and memorable impression, fostering client satisfaction and loyalty. This, in turn, can lead to valuable referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations, driving organic business growth.

Amanda Daniels-Allen is a #customerexperience #specialist with an exceptional eye for detail and a devotion to creating memorable and immersive experiences. The sessions she shall be leading on shall be showing exactly why and how to achieve this within your businesses.

Long-Term Value Creation

Business owners recognize that working with caring providers isn’t just about immediate gains; it’s about long-term value creation. That’s why both Koogar : Marketing + Alignment and My TrueNORTH, The UK’s leading Ethical Business Coaching Company take a holistic approach, considering the bigger picture and the impact our services have on the client’s overall business success. We provide ongoing support, guidance, and expertise, adapting offerings to meet evolving needs. This commitment to long-term value creation solidifies the client-provider relationship and fosters sustained business growth.

Positive Impact on the Bottom Line

Contrary to popular belief, prioritizing relationships over transactions has a positive impact on the bottom line. Business owners who work with caring providers experience increased client retention rates, reduced customer churn, and higher customer lifetime value. Happy and satisfied clients are more likely to become repeat customers, increasing revenue and profitability. Additionally, the strong client-provider relationship can lead to valuable cross-selling and upselling opportunities.


The paradigm shift towards working with providers like Koogar and My TrueNORTH who genuinely care about business owners and their businesses is gaining momentum. It’s no longer just about chasing more clients; it’s about fostering meaningful relationships that drive long-term success. As business owners prioritize trust, collaboration, and exceptional customer experiences, they find themselves reaping the rewards of increased loyalty, customer retention, and business growth.

If you’re a business owner looking to learn more about how to embed this within your business – you can do far worse than to check out and imparticular our #Fusion interactive seminar.

You’ll find both Koogar and My TrueNORTH really cares about your success. Look for providers who align with your values, demonstrate a genuine interest in your business, and prioritize building long-term relationships. Remember, the path to sustainable success lies in the hands of those who understand the power of long-term partnerships over front-end sales.

Choose to work with Amanda Daniels-Allen and/or Jay Allen and you’ll quickly see how they go beyond transactions, and discover the transformative impact they have on your business’s growth and prosperity.

The truth about influence

Exponential impact requires exponential influence.

If we can’t win hearts and minds, our ability to make big things happen is limited by our own personal productivity.

In fact, we could say:

Impact = Skills X Influence

The brutal truth is, no matter how influential we are, we don’t (yet) have the influence we need to achieve our biggest goals.

  • You can influence your team – but can you mobilise your organisation?
  • You can influence your client – but can you get in front of their CEO?
  • You can influence your entire business – but how about your industry?

You can see that influence is one of the key constraints that can hold us back at any time in this journey of ever-greater impact.

The obvious next question – how do we grow our influence?

Here are three key principles to put to work immediately.

  1. Master one conversation at a time

Self talk

The importance of honing your conversational skills is essential to enhance your influence, leading to successful business expansion.

Conversations serve as the building blocks of relationships, and relationships are the foundation of business success. When you engage in meaningful conversations with clients, investors, or employees, you have the opportunity to foster connections, establish trust, and convey your vision effectively. Each conversation is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression, and by mastering the art of communication, you can expand your influence and propel your business forward.

To make a significant impact in your conversations, active listening is paramount. Practice truly listening to others, allowing them to express their thoughts and concerns. By paying attention to their words, body language, and emotions, you can better understand their needs and expectations. This insight will enable you to respond appropriately and tailor your message to resonate with your audience, thereby increasing your influence.

Influence is built on trust, and establishing rapport is vital in this process. Focus on building genuine connections with the people you engage with. Show empathy, ask relevant questions, and show sincere interest in their perspectives. Creating a positive and trustworthy atmosphere will foster stronger relationships and increase your ability to influence others meaningfully.

In the realm of business conversations, clarity and conciseness are key. Learn to articulate your thoughts, ideas, and business propositions in a straightforward and concise manner. Be mindful of your audience’s time and attention span, delivering your message with clarity and purpose. The ability to convey complex concepts in a simple and understandable way will enhance your influence and help you garner support for your business endeavours.

To scale up your business successfully, you need to master the art of persuasive communication. Clearly communicate the benefits, value, and competitive advantage of your products or services. Use compelling storytelling techniques to engage your audience emotionally and intellectually. Support your arguments with data, case studies, or testimonials to strengthen your credibility. You can influence decisions, secure partnerships, and drive business growth by mastering persuasive communication.

Improving your conversational skills is an ongoing process. Actively seek feedback from trusted mentors, colleagues, or even clients to identify areas for improvement. Embrace constructive criticism and make necessary adjustments to enhance your communication style. Continuously learn from your experiences, engage in personal development activities, and stay updated with industry trends further to refine your conversational prowess.

  1. Calibrate push and pull behaviours


Mastering the delicate balance between push and pull behaviours can be a game-changer when it comes to scaling up your company. The ability to calibrate these behaviours effectively allows you to enhance your influence, build strong relationships, and drive business growth. In this blog, we will explore the significance of push and pull behaviours in the context of business expansion and provide practical strategies for calibrating these behaviours to improve your influence.

Push and pull behaviours represent two distinct approaches to influence and persuasion. Push behaviours involve assertiveness, directness, and proactive efforts to persuade or convince others. On the other hand, pull behaviours revolve around attraction, collaboration, and creating an environment where others are drawn to your ideas and vision. Both approaches have their merits, and mastering the calibration of these behaviours is key to successfully scaling up your business.

To effectively calibrate your push and pull behaviours, it’s crucial to assess the situation and understand the context in which you’re operating. Consider factors such as the personalities involved, the organisational culture, and the specific goals you want to achieve. By comprehensively understanding the situation, you can adapt your communication style and determine the appropriate balance between push and pull behaviours for maximum influence.

Push behaviours are particularly useful when conveying a clear vision, making critical decisions, or driving organisational change. Be assertive in expressing your ideas and beliefs, providing logical reasoning and supporting evidence to strengthen your position. However, it’s essential to avoid becoming overly aggressive or dismissive of others’ perspectives. Strike a balance between assertiveness and openness to maintain trust and collaboration.

Pull behaviours are essential for fostering collaboration, building strong relationships, and attracting others to your cause. Cultivate empathy and actively listen to the needs and concerns of your team, clients, and stakeholders. Seek common ground and build consensus by involving others in decision-making processes. Incorporating their input and making them feel valued creates a sense of ownership and loyalty, increasing your influence in the process.

The key to effective influence lies in striking the right balance between push and pull behaviours. Recognise that different situations may require varying degrees of assertiveness and collaboration. For example, a more assertive approach may be necessary when faced with a high-stakes negotiation. However, a collaborative and empathetic style will yield better results when building long-term relationships or inspiring your team. Continuously assess the dynamics of each interaction and adapt your behaviour accordingly.

Authenticity is paramount regardless of whether you lean more towards push or pull behaviours. People are more likely to trust and follow those who are genuine and consistent in their actions. Be true to your values, communicate with transparency, and let your passion shine through. At the same time, remain flexible and adaptable. Recognise that different individuals may respond better to varying degrees of assertiveness or collaboration, and adjust your approach accordingly.

  1. Practice big asks.

As an entrepreneur or business leader, scaling up your company often requires bold actions and influential requests. The ability to practice BIG asks—seeking out significant opportunities, partnerships, and resources—can greatly impact your ability to grow your business. So let’s delve into the importance of practising BIG asks to improve your influence and provide practical strategies to help you unlock new avenues for scaling up your business.

BIG asks involve stepping outside your comfort zone and seeking opportunities that may seem ambitious or even audacious. These requests can range from securing major partnerships and investments to negotiating strategic alliances or accessing valuable resources. By practising BIG asks you can challenge conventional limits and open doors that were previously unimaginable, propelling your business towards exponential growth.

Before embarking on your journey of BIG asks, it’s essential to cultivate a growth mindset. Embrace the belief that anything is possible and that you have the ability to overcome challenges and achieve extraordinary results. A growth mindset allows you to approach opportunities and setbacks with resilience and determination, increasing your chances of influencing others to support your BIG asks.

To effectively make BIG asks, meticulous research and preparation are key. Identify potential partners, investors, or resources that align with your business goals and values. Understand their needs, motivations, and pain points. Develop a compelling case for why your request is mutually beneficial and present a well-crafted plan to demonstrate your commitment and potential for success. Thorough preparation will instil confidence and credibility when making your BIG asks.

Influence is built on trust and strong relationships. Prioritise relationship-building efforts with key stakeholders long before making BIG asks. Establish connections by engaging in networking events, industry conferences, and relevant communities. Nurture these relationships by offering value, demonstrating your expertise, and actively supporting others in their endeavours. Building trust and rapport increases the likelihood of receiving positive responses to your BIG asks.

When making BIG asks, it’s crucial to articulate the value and vision behind your request. Clearly communicate how your proposal aligns with the interests and goals of the other party. Highlight the potential benefits and outcomes that can be achieved through collaboration or investment. Craft a compelling narrative that captivates their attention and conveys your passion and determination. A well-presented value proposition significantly enhances your influence and increases the likelihood of obtaining a positive response.

Not every BIG ask will yield the desired outcome. Rejection is a natural part of the process. Instead of being discouraged, view rejection as an opportunity for growth. Analyse the feedback received, learn from the experience, and refine your approach for future BIG asks. Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders often encounter multiple rejections before achieving breakthroughs. Perseverance and the ability to iterate based on feedback are crucial for continuous improvement. What’s your influence goal?

Let’s end by coming back to the brutal truth I started with:

You don’t (yet) have the influence you need to achieve your biggest goals.

The fourth Impact Multiplier, then, is Increasing Influence.

So, dream a little.

If you could expand your scope of influence, who would you be able to reach and what would become possible?

Drop a comment below and let’s strike up a conversation about that……

Are you a firefighter?

Are you a firefighter?

In the fast-paced business world, it’s not uncommon for owners and leaders to find themselves caught up in a never-ending firefighting cycle. Constantly tackling immediate problems and putting out fires are necessary to keep the business afloat. However, this reactive approach can lead to many risks and challenges without a well-defined strategic plan.

Today I want to highlight the dangers of relying solely on firefighting and emphasis the critical role of an independent mentor in challenging current business thinking to prevent burnout and ensure long-term success.

Firefighting, by its very nature, is a reactive approach to problem-solving. While it may seem necessary in the short term, it often diverts attention from crucial long-term objectives.

In firefighting, the primary goal is to extinguish fires and prevent further damage. Similarly, in business ownership, constantly tackling immediate problems is akin to putting out fires. It involves addressing urgent issues to minimize their negative impact on the business.

Just as firefighters take preventive measures to minimise the risk of fires, business owners need to implement strategies and processes to prevent problems from arising in the first place. This can involve proactive planning, risk assessment, and implementing safeguards to avoid potential crises.

Firefighting is a reactive approach, responding to emergencies as they occur. Similarly, constantly firefighting in business means being reactive to problems as they arise without a proactive plan. Effective business ownership requires a proactive approach, focusing on prevention, long-term planning, and strategic decision-making.

Firefighters work to contain fires, preventing them from spreading and causing further damage. In business, containment can be compared to managing crises or challenges effectively, limiting their impact on operations, reputation, and overall business stability.

Firefighters rely on specialised equipment and tools to combat fires, such as hoses, fire extinguishers, and protective gear. Similarly, business owners need the right tools, resources, and expertise to navigate challenges and make informed decisions. This can include financial management tools, technology solutions, and access to expert advice.

Firefighting often requires collaboration and coordinated efforts among firefighters to tackle complex situations. Successful ownership often involves building a strong team, fostering collaboration, and leveraging collective expertise to overcome challenges and achieve shared goals.

Firefighters undergo rigorous training and preparation to be ready for emergencies. Likewise, business owners need to be prepared for potential challenges with a well-thought-out business plan, risk management strategies, and contingency plans.

After a fire, the focus shifts to recovery and restoration. Similarly, when challenges arise in business ownership, the emphasis should be on recovering from setbacks, restoring operations, and learning from the experience to prevent similar issues in the future.

Here are some of the risks associated with business firefighting:

With a strategic plan, business owners and leaders may gain sight of their long-term goals. They become consumed by immediate issues, losing the focus and clarity needed to drive the business forward.

Firefighting consumes valuable time and resources that could have been allocated to exploring new opportunities, expanding into new markets, or developing innovative products or services.

Constantly tackling urgent matters can lead to haphazard resource allocation. This reactive approach wastes time, money, and effort, as resources must be strategically deployed.

The relentless nature of firefighting takes a toll on business owners and leaders, leading to burnout, increased stress levels, and diminished overall well-being. This can have a detrimental effect on decision-making and overall business performance.

A firefighting mentality can make it difficult for organisations to adapt to changing market dynamics and emerging trends. By focusing solely on immediate problems, businesses may miss out on opportunities to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.

So what’s the answer?

It starts with a strategic plan acting as a business roadmap, providing a clear vision, goals, and a structured approach to achieving long-term success.

A strategic plan helps businesses define their purpose, vision, and mission. It sets specific objectives and outlines the steps required to achieve them. This clarity of direction ensures that efforts are aligned and focused on long-term goals.

It encourages a proactive mindset, enabling businesses to anticipate potential challenges and take preventive measures. By addressing issues before they escalate, organisations can avoid unnecessary firefighting.

Once the strategic plan is in place, businesses can allocate resources more effectively. This includes financial resources, human capital, and time. By prioritising initiatives aligned with the strategic objectives, resources are optimised for maximum impact.

Furthermore, it enables businesses to stay agile and adaptable in a rapidly changing business landscape. It systematically evaluates market trends, competitive forces, and customer needs, facilitating timely adjustments and positioning for future success.

While having a strategic plan is crucial, more is needed.  Therefore, coupled with having an independent mentor who can challenge current business thinking is equally important. Here’s how an independent mentor can help prevent burnout and enhance business performance:

I bring an outsider’s viewpoint to objectively feedback on the business’s direction and decision-making processes. I challenge assumptions and encourage critical thinking, ensuring business owners avoid tunnel vision and embrace new perspectives.

I have experience and expertise that can guide business owners in developing and refining their strategic plans. And help identify blind spots, set realistic goals, and ensure alignment between the plan and the overall business vision.

Furthermore, I hold business owners accountable for their actions and progress towards strategic goals. And provide ongoing support, motivation, and guidance, ensuring the strategic plan is implemented effectively.

Overall, A mentor acts as a source of knowledge and experience, providing valuable insights and sharing lessons learned from their own entrepreneurial journey and that of the many others they have supported to their success. They encourage continuous learning, enabling business owners to develop their skills and expand their business acumen.

As the pressure of business, environment, climate, and competition continues to grow, constantly firefighting without a strategic plan will lead to numerous risks, including lack of direction, missed opportunities, inefficient resource allocation, burnout, and limited adaptability. To mitigate these risks and ensure long-term success, it is essential for business owners to develop a strategic plan that provides clarity, focus, and a proactive approach. Furthermore, having an independent mentor who challenges current thinking and provides guidance and support is critical.

As a Global Award-Winning Coaching Company, My TrueNORTH brings fresh perspectives, holds business owners accountable, and helps foster a proactive and strategic mindset.

By embracing strategic planning and seeking the guidance of an independent mentor, business owners can navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship with greater clarity, and resilience and ultimately achieve sustainable success.