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I have read a number of time of the importance of being able to focus.  It is a skill that many leaders recognise as the one that helps them be successful.

A leader who I’ve worked with in the past, has also instilled in me the importance of being able to introduce a sense of urgency into my projects.  I think these two things combined, focusing and urgency, these alone are a powerful dynamic that can help move the dial in the right direction.

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Recently I was let go from my role.  It came as a bit of a shock.  It was not a permanent role, it was a contract – and being told you’re no longer required because of budget cuts does come with the territory.  Nonetheless, it’s taken a bit of adjusting to.

For a long time I’ve felt that people like me – people who are middling – and who are working – tend to be cash-rich but time-poor.  Those not working are usually time-rich but cash-poor.  Of course there are the cash-rich and time-rich and the time-poor and cash-poor as well but I don’t seem to personally know anyone in those categories.

And the biggest impact on me has no doubt been cash flow.  I’ve always had enough to keep me busy.  I’ve kept a long list of things I wanted to do for many years.  It’s my own personal backlog.  Now I can get on with them.

I have a number of mini-projects, which I’m sure I’ll blog about as time goes on.  And of course, I’m busy trying to find a full time role to get stuck into.  And that takes up time as well.

I’m hoping to use the extra time to post more on this site and to do the things that matter.

If you’re reading this post and you’re one of the people that are cash-rich and time-poor – I’ve got a little tip for you…

On 1st October 2017, I opened an account with Ratesetter.  I invested £100.00 and to date (9th October 2020) I’ve made £12.86 in compounded interest.  Which I think is quite an impressive interest rate for savings – although I have locked it away for the maximum term.  Ratesetter is a peer to peer lending service.  It basically means that savers put their money in and this is then lent out to borrowers.  If you are interested in opening an account and trying it out, even with a small starting amount, Ratesetter will give us both a £20 bonus if you use this link.  You must think about whether this type of investment is right for you.

I also started selling a few bits of furniture on Facebook Marketplace.  I’ve found that if you price things at a reasonable amount, things disappear from your house quite quickly.

I also found time to renew one of the domains I had with freeparking.  I had to pay using paypal, and found that they will generate the HTML for you to add a ‘donate’ button onto any website.  So I’ve used that to add the donate button into the right hand margin of this blog.

Now I know that no-one is likely to donate.  And I know that very few people are likely to click on the link above to Ratesetter.  But it only took me about half an hour to write this post – including the Ratesetter link and it only took me about half an hour to add the donate link to the website, so who knows, overtime – either of these initiatives might make me some ‘passive income’.

So at the moment, I’m not working – not in a full time role, but I do feel like I’m hustling.  I hope to keep hustling until I’m back in the more secure land of a full-time role.

I hope you enjoyed this post – and as always – thanks for reading.


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Did you see the apprentice final live last night?  Carina Lepore won.  She wins a £250,000 investment into her business from Lord Alan Sugar.  Over the whole process she has always come across to me as perhaps the most down-to-earth and authentic business person.  And I was very glad that she won.

The runner-up Scarlett Allen-Horton was quite a formidable opponent.  Clearly more confident in the pitch – at least from the edits that we saw in the episode.

Carina pitched her artisan bakery in South London and her plans to expand it into a national chain.  Scarlett’s business idea was a recruitment company aimed at female engineers and manufacturers.

The apprentice is an entertaining  TV program.  I am influenced a lot by the personalities of those involved.  Warming to some like Thomas Skinner and feeling much less endeared by other like Lottie Lion.

During the show last night the final two candidates had to pick their teams.  Carina picked Pamela Laird first and Thomas as her next team-mate, whilst Lottie was picked last.

If you had to pick your team now – from your work colleagues, classmates, or friends and family – who would you choose and why?

Make a list, it might surprise you!

Thanks for reading,


41 of 365

Today I made an extra special effort to get up earlier than I normally would in order to write.  In the 40 previous blogs posts I have created in 2019 (sequentially numbered “1 of 365” to “40 of 365“) I have followed a set formula.  My formulaic approach is to simply write about whatever comes to me of interest and time-box the writing in order to get on with the rest of my day.  I see no reason for this approach to change even after a break of over 4 months from writing.

During that break, in the UK, there has been a terrorist attack on London Bridge and a general election, the Premier League has started (Liverpool F.C. have a healthy lead) and I’ve been back at work in my day-job working on data strategy tooling for a financial institution.

So what can I tell the world ?  What is my message to my audience today?

I’d like to share this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:  What is success?

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate the beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch
Or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded!

This was shared with me and my colleagues by a senior manager at work at the start of the week upon reflecting on the successes of the year.  I hope you have enjoyed reading it.

Thanks for reading


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The rhythm of the ‘copter cutting through the sky
over the horizon as a plane soars by
the busyness of busy-bods setting up for sports
doggies playing friendly games doggies of all sorts

the sound of the clanging gate in the corner of the park
the chirping in the trees, not spoiled by a bark
the excited child’s voice as she throws her dog a ball
surrounded by a peacefulness, enveloped in it all

Sitting on the bench where John Vaughn watched the birds
hanging in the gentle breeze my litany of words


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Monday morning each week I travel to Southend.  And I usually stay 2 nights in a Bed and Breakfast courtesy of AirBnB.  This Monday has been no different.  The drive is about 90 minutes – 75 miles on the motorway door to door.

On the way home last week on Wednesday evening I was very tired.  It has become a habit of mine to stop when I’m tired, but because this journey is so short –  I try not to.

Staying away from home for a couple of nights give me time to catch up on paperwork.  Today I have bought some extra paperwork with me.  I am hoping that this will become somewhat of a routine, because I am very bad at doing ‘admin’.

When I was younger I hated a routine.  I didn’t like the mundane habits, I used to get bored of them.  Nowadays I find a sense of comfort in a routine.  I sit in the same place when I get the tube into London.  I sit in the same desk, even when we’re hot-desking, I have the same breakfast and I have the same drinks.  I watch the same TV programs.  I listen to the same songs on the radio and watch movies that I’ve seen before.

Something tells me that I have to try and break through this in order to achieve my full ambition.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do with my life and career when this contract is finished at the end of the year.  I’d like to do something bigger and better and change not only my lifestyle but my working practices and direction in life.

At the age I am I feel like I’m running out of road.  I don’t want to stay in this comfort zone, I am looking for ways to break out of it.

Watch this space and thanks for reading.


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Denise, Mari and Me.

Today was the day of the 10k run.  Denise and her friend Mari came and picked me up about 8:20.  And we arrived at Adam’s Park just before 9:00 a.m.  We had to sit in traffic for about 20 minutes as we arrived due to the volume of runners trying to get to the ground.

It was a humid day but not as hot as last year.  I had trained whilst on holiday, but haven’t been running regularly lately, so I was not expecting much of a good time.

I was pleased that I managed to run most of the first 8 kilometers.  I walked both of the major hills, I stopped at the water stations and after 8k I had to walk quite a lot of the rest of the route due to just being out of energy.

All in all – it was very enjoyable – especially as Caroline, Alice and Holly came to cheer me over the finish line.

I was expecting to see the greenhouse in the garden when I came home.  Unfortunately the person I had hired to move it – did not think it would just take the morning and couldn’t spend the whole day moving it.  Hopefully he can do it on Thursday.

Thanks for reading and have a good week.