Positive Thought

Friday, June 30, 2006

I'm loving it...

...I've just had a greeeeaaaat week. On Tuesday I went down to London to the B2B Conference for SME (catchy name for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises). The keynote speakers were Tom Peters (I've wanted to see this guy for about 12 years), Sir Bob Geldof (amazing charisma and an uncanny ability to make you b-e-l-i-e-v-e) and Sal Pajwani (founder of ?What if! and incredibly refreshing to listen to). If you don't know who any of this guys are then Google them.

The train arrived in London on time. This left me 2 1/2 hours to kill before the event - so I skipped the underground option and walked from Euston to Earls Court. I was reminded what a vibrant, diverse, cultural and historic capital city we have. I also noticed that all the guys wearing suits looked more miserable then the guys wearing casual clothes!

Today I was invited for a 'cup of tea and a chat' with the Director, Deputy Director and Finance Manager of a local (fairly major) organisation. They seem very keen for me to join them as their Retail Manager - a very challenging but extremely exciting proposition.

It looks like I have some serious thinking to do about my future. It also looks like resigning from my job was definitely a good move.

Happy days :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My first published pic!


C'mon England
Originally uploaded by Mark E.
I was in London yesterday and grabbed some shots of Brazil fans celebrating their 3 - 0 victory against Ghana. Having uploaded the pics to Flickr.com I recieved an e-mail asking for my permission to allow them to be used to support a story on an Internet News Site.

All very exciting - maybe my new career should photo-journalism! You can see it at NowPuplic.com (scroll through the pics to see mine).

From now on I will be sleeping with my camera next to me - waiting to zoom off on any new asignment

Saturday, June 24, 2006

3 Weeks to go...

...I only have three weeks left at work now before I finish working my Notice Period. The last few days have been tough - people keep saying 'I bet you're ready to go now' and the truth is, I am! I was with my boss yesterday and I think I impressed him with my continued professionalism - I certainly kept pointing it out (asides along the lines of. 'I'm sooooooooo professional'). All done with a sense of humour...


The point is that I am really keen to get on with the rest of my life. I'm still not completely certain what I will be doing - but the plan to set up my own Training/Development Business is taking more shape. I have had a couple of offers of some work and Ian is being very, very supportive with some ideas about new business generation.

I also have a lunch date planned with the Director, Deputy Director and General Manager of a local multi-million pound operation - they have asked to meet me and I believe they are looking for someone to take their retail arm forward to an exciting new future.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Peaking too soon...

So the Argies stuffed Serbia & Montenegro 6 - 0 in an awesome display of skillful, free flowing football today - this is great news for England.

Winning tournaments is all about improving through the competition - so if we meet Argentina in the Quarter Finals then we'll be just coming into top form and they will be struggling to regain the form that they showed today.

Well done Sven...C'Mon England

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

We had a great time...

...watching the England v Paraguay match on Saturday. I went down and joined Kev to watch the match in his local. We squeezed in at the back with all the 'hard' blokes (shaven heads, tattoos, etc) - they were a great crowd. I felt really comfortable as soon as they didn't do the whole boorish booing of the opposition National Anthem. They were even careful to avoiding barging us out of the way when England scored and they all rushed down to the front of the pub - despite the cautionary pre-game advice, "effing shift if we score coz we're piling down the front whether you're in the way or not". Much fun was had by all - and the half time beef cobs were great.

Why has it taken so long to post this post-match report? Maybe it has something to do with the huge amounts of Waddies 6X that Kev and I got through.

(Oh yes, and Kev may be looking for someone to carry out some Team Building stuff later in the year...)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Momentum is gathering...

And maybe fortune favours the brave. These things may come to nothing - but I am beginning to see some movement in my idea that setting up as a trainer/facilitator may be a cool career move.

I am helping Ian with a training event for a BIG well known company next Thursday - this will provide me with a great insight and some excellent experience (I'm even going to miss England v Trinidad & Tobago for this).

And today I was chatting to Brenda - a recruitment consultant who does some HR work for my soon to be ex-company - and she mentioned that she knows someone who is looking for someone to deliver some training in Birmingham. My name is going to be mentioned.

Things are looking up....

Can you guess how many?

I was beginning to think that the whole country had gone billy-bonkers with car flags in preparation for the World Cup. So - as work is not really stretching the grey matter at the moment - I did a bit of a survey.

I counted a total of 400 cars in the Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Tamworth areas (Midlands,UK) and I was pleasantly surprised to find that only 21 were sporting flags. This works out as around 5%.

So, the very good news is that 95% of us still have the sense not to stick these things onto our cars. Good news indeed.

And, of course...

...C'MON ENGLAND.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What's up?


Prairie Dogs
Originally uploaded by Mark E.
I thought that the ol' blog would be livened up by a picture or two now and then. I was looking for a cycling one as we went out on the bikes this evening - but I couldn't find a decent one so I decided to post this instead.

I love the inquisitive expression...the whole world is ripe for exploration.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Real Test Cricket...

After the awesome excitement of the 4th Day of the Ashes Test at Trent Bridge last year we were privileged this year to see a much more traditional day of Test Match Cricket. 90 Overs in the day and Sri Lanka plodded on from 45 for 1 to 286 for 7 - the old purists must have been thrilled at the dullness of it all.

However, we still had a good time - plenty of Guiness helped - and I had a good chats with Noel, Kev and Paul about my career plans. I'm definitely feeling optimistic about the future.

As for the cricket - it's HERO time for someone if England are going to pull this one out of the bag.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

What are the pitfalls?....

From The Sunday Times last week:

Studies show that nine out of ten people think they will regret foolish actions more than foolish inactions. But studies also show that nine out of ten people are wrong. Indeed, in the long run, people and in every walk of life seem to regret not having done things much more then they regret things they did, which is why the most popular regrets include not going to college, not grasping business opportunites and not spending enough time with family and friends.

This makes me think more and more that I should sieze the opportunity my current shortly-to-be-jobless situation creates and become my own boss - I am confident that I could do something in the training/facilitation/team building field.

So my question is - what are the pitfalls? Please let me know about your experiences of running your own business. I want to learn from your successes (or otherwise)

My other - much more important question - what are you going to do now so that you don't regret not doing it later.

All comments gratefully recieved.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Wow...Roll on July '07


What's for dinner?
Originally uploaded by Mark E.
I've just been to a meeting about the 21st World Scout Jamboree in Essex next summer.

44,000 Scouts from 114 countries will be at this - the biggest Scouting Event ever. There'll be 8,000 International Staff Members and the UK hopes to provide 2,000 of these.

I've already signed up for this - but there are still plenty of places up for grabs. So, if you're over 18 on July 27th 2007 and you are a member of The Scout Assciation then grab an application form from Scouts.org.uk and come on and join the fun.

A couple of thoughts 1) it'll be hard work 2) it'll be fun

Oh yes - and it'll change your life :)

"One world, one promise"

We had an interesting and potentially very productive time in The Plough...