If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.

Sitting in my office as I look out at a snowy scene, we’re variously trudging, finding a way through or grinding to a halt as we cope with the ‘Beast from the East’ as it has been dubbed. Resilient as the UK is, we’re not so good in extremes of weather.

The joy of snow is however unmistakable, whatever the practical implications. Leaving fresh tracks in the snow is magical and a powerful analogy for life.  Whether a new role, product, process or something that is utterly uncharted in your business or indeed the world, making new tracks is as special as it is sometimes scary. Forging a new path or following your passion can be challenging and hard, but it can also be uplifting and satisfying,  as we invariably discover hidden depths to our being.

Earlier this month, I was privileged to interview Billy Ward, global motorcycle adventurer and journalist.  The conversation was about how he forged his own path, how travel and adventure broadens and widens our perspective, and that the tricky obstacles often turn out to be the greatest catalysts to change and growth.


I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.

And if you need some help or inspiration with finding your new path, you know where we are.

As Ralph Marston said ‘There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them.’

My warmest wishes,



And the winner is Optimism!

Tis’ the season for awards after all. 
Okay, before you reach for the bucket this isn’t just happy, jolly January, ‘go for it’ speak, so bear with me for a moment.
There is compelling research out there that states;
       Optimists typically make 30% more sales
       Optimists generally bounce back faster after adversity
       Optimists use a different, more positive explanatory style
       Optimists try harder
       Optimists succeed
And because of all this they are generally healthier, wealthier, have greater life expectancy, better relationships and success.   
Well, if that’s not a reason to find one’s inner optimist I don’t know what is?

As many of you know, I’m an inner biker (the outer one falls off a lot) and fan of Charley Boorman. He must be one of the most optimistic people out there.  Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure is currently showing on Channel 5 and in last week’s episode he successfully navigated the Sani Pass in appalling weather. Unsurprisingly, this journey, leading a path through the mountains in Lesotho commenced on two wheels but sheet ice forced the intrepid biker to jump into a 4X4 when progress came to a halt. When the mechanical mountain goat started to slide uncontrollably toward the edge, the film crew leapt to safety, Charley didn’t, and was rewarded with one of the most stunning views on the planet, amongst other things. It made fabulous viewing for us all at home too; http://bit.ly/VlQNjy
The point is optimism takes us further. It widens our repertoire and resources to deal with whatever it is that life has put along our path and therefore we generally benefit along the way.  Be it in business or personally.
The simplest way to start that shift towards an optimistic outlook and way of life is to be grateful and express gratitude for what we have ,rather than what we don’t.   
Think of three things that you’re grateful for, truly grateful for, otherwise it won’t work!
It might be a relationship, a friend, kids, your job, your boss, a holiday, a book, chocolate, the snow  – doesn’t matter what it is, so long as it is yours and you mean it.  
How did that make you feel?
Then repeat it, daily if possible.
For the cynics out there and I know you’re there, a healthy dose of defensive pessimism isn’t a bad place to start, the end goal being strategic optimism. I.e. instead of the very optimistic ‘’I can do this’’ the toned down, more tactical and strategic optimism of  “what will it take to achieve this’. 
If you’re having a struggle finding your inner optimist, you know where we are and we’d be delighted to help.
Wishing you an optimistic and successful 2013. 
Further reading: Martin Seligman, Authentic Happiness and Positive Psychology.  http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/