When I first started my business, I promised myself I’d take a month long sabbatical every August. Whilst I’m not heading to Bali this year, I am clocking off and clocking out until September. At least from my blog.
This year has been pretty amazing so far and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting my writing. Another of my wishes when I started my business was to have time to write about business and leadership. I’m very lucky to have a business that allows me to do just this. And I’m lucky to be able to choose the work I take on, the incredibly talented people I work with and the direction I want to take my business.
While some members of the American Senate were voting for a ‘skinny’ healthcare Repeal Bill which would have increased the number of people who are uninsured by 15 million (having demanded ironclad assurances that the legislation would never become law because they knew it made knew made ‘bad policy and horrible politics’) The Elders’ Mary Robinson and Graça Machel were in Tanzania offering help and advice to the government on a set of reforms to pave the way for universal healthcare.
While new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, delivered a vulgar, expletive-laden rant berating Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, the indefatigable Jimmy Carter was back working on the Habitat for Humanity building site, having been hospitalised having become dehydrated while “working in the hot sun.” Because Carter believes that decent housing is a basic human right.
Leaving my local café this morning, the owner asked me if I was ‘fired up’ for the day. As it happens, I was feeling unusually riled, having just read an article criticising Jeff Bezos for his extreme wealth.
If you’ve not caught up with the story, yesterday (27 July) Amazon founder Jeff Bezos briefly overtook Bill Gates to become the world’s richest person when his worth hit $91.4bn (£70 billion). According to Forbes, a sharp rise in Amazon shares meant Mr Bezos’s wealth eclipsed that of the Microsoft co-founder for a brief time. But as Amazon shares fell back, Mr Gates regained the top spot.
When I was growing up, Boots the Chemist was a retail stalwart of the British high street. Every Saturday afternoon, my mum would take me ‘into town,’ and Boots, along with Marks & Spencer and WH Smith made up our itinerary. Before we ended up at the tea rooms for a chocolate éclair…
As a kid, I scoured Boots for birthday and Christmas presents. Occasionally I managed to sneak a quick spray of Chanel No5. I bought my first makeup there. And in my twenties, I started using their iconic Boots No7 range of cleansers and moisturisers. Boots was part of the landscape of my formative years, and my level of brand loyalty was high.
Listening to Roger Federer’s post-match interview following his eighth Wimbledon title, I was struck by the comments he made about his desire to play the perfect tennis match. On the one hand this is an aspiration that has driven his whole career. On the other, he understands that ‘the perfect match’ is unattainable.
The fact is that Federer is driven in large part by perfectionism. This is reflected in his record breaking achievements on the court. Don’t worry, I’m not going to list them all! As well as his philanthropic endeavours off the court. Federer’s Foundation is set to open its 81st pre-school in Malawi, and aims to provide educational opportunities to 1 million children by the end of 2018.
“Brilliant”, “awesome”, “phenomenal,” “the greatest of all time” are just some of the breathless descriptions used to describe the tennis genius that is Roger Federer.
When Federer left Wimbledon last year with a serious knee injury and took six months out for rehabilitation, few people thought he would win another Grand Slam title, let alone a further two (so far) in 2017. Let the record state that I’ve always believed Federer will win 20 Grand Slam titles – although I didn’t think it would take quite so long.
July 18th is Nelson Mandela International Day and commemorates his lifetime of service. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who spent time with Mandela over the years, told “CBS This Morning” that the former South African president taught him many life lessons.
Humility. Have a purpose. Have a vision. Be prepared to sacrifice. Be prepared to listen to the other side.” “And always be ready to change your mind, but never abandon your principals.” General Powell also commented on how Mandela’s was “a life well-lived” and “on purpose.”
Of the many tributes paid to Mandela, this was the one that struck me most deeply.
Fifteen years ago, I was fortunate enough to visit South Africa, and take a trip to Robben Island where I was shown around by a former prisoner. I was struck powerfully by the systematic way in which the apartheid government had set about creating a brutal, humiliating and dehumanising regime, intended to break the spirits of its political prisoners – from the bleak cell, barely 6ft square where inmates lived with nothing but a bedroll on the floor, a tiny stool and a ceramic pot – through to the racial discrimination that meant African prisoners were given shorts to wear and a poorer diet than their Asian or mixed-race (the so-called “coloured”) counterparts.
Can I share something that I haven’t discussed publicly before? I am seriously concerned about the number of people who would have you believe that email marketing is the holy grail of business success. It’s not. And it’s time to stop the email marketing madness!
You can’t log online nowadays without being nearly assaulted with ad after ad of “coaches” and “consultants” telling you how to get your first 1,000 email subscribers. Now it’s so easy to get online and sell stuff, everyone is online and selling stuff. Create a ‘compelling lead magnet.’ Spend a few quid on Facebook ads, despite their low conversion rate, and you’re on your way to online success.
Just because something is a trend doesn’t mean it’s effective or you should do it.
Oh my! How time flies. I’ve just emailed my business coaching clients a set of questions to help them reflect on their Q2 results, and plan for Q3 and Q4. It doesn’t seem that long ago since I was emailing them about their Q1 results.
How was your Q2? Did it bring you the business results you were hoping for?
Here are a few of my June highlights and insights.
I have long admired Liz Earle MBE, so when the opportunity to hear her speak at the FoundHER Festival, I leapt at the opportunity. Liz co-founded one of my favourite skincare brands, Liz Earle Beauty, which she later sold to Avon for an undisclosed sum. In 2015, the Walgreens Boots Alliance acquired the brand for £140 million.
Liz Earle is a powerhouse. A respected and award-winning authority in the world of beauty, nutrition and well-being for over thirty years, Liz is the bestselling author of more than 30 books. A researcher, writer and television broadcaster, made her name on ITV’s This Morning, and the BBC. Her latest ventures include a quarterly magazine, Liz Earle Wellbeing, and an award-winning range of Fairtrade gold and silver botanical jewellery, Liz Earle Fair and Fine.