Motivational Monday #50 Courage to Continue

Knocked down

Motivational Monday #50 Courage to Continue

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts”

― Winston Churchill

On a day where the British credit rating was downgraded to two stars from three it pays to remember that such events are simply steps along the road.

Back at the beginning of the recession I was working for a company which appeared to be immune from the downturn. We had heard the news obviously and we were aware that many of our competitors were struggling but we appeared to be untouched. 

People’s pipeline was strong, there were strong expansion plans in place and everyone appeared to be doing fine. 

And then things fell off a cliff.

In a single month virtually half the pipeline disappeared never to be seen again, the lay-offs started and the political infighting for survival erupted. 

Nearly five years later I understand that things are again rosy. The company has relocated to larger offices, rehired staff and is expanding positively into various new market places. Indeed the reality is that the failure of the business back at the end of 2008 was just a point in its history. 

Having spoken to the Managing Director recently I know that things aren’t as they were but rather they are in a new and possibly stronger place with everyone having learnt some lessons along the way.

Their next challenge of course will be to manage the success that they are having in a more long term and sustainable manner than they did in the past. 

To learn from the past and accept that every point on the road, whether high or low, is simply a point on the road rather than the end of the road takes courage and conviction to accept.

Churchill’s words challenge us to avoid complacency and continually look to better our situation.

I also think his words are a personal call for each one of us to focus on what is ultimately the most important thing – carrying on. Few if any of you reading this article will be at the point of retirement. Rather you are all somewhere along your career path. The highs and lows you experience are not show stoppers even if they derail the train for a while your journey will still be continuing in some fashion.

Through my development and coaching work I see a lot of people expending a lot of time and energy over the negative events and knock backs that they have experienced. I’ve also witnessed the laziness that can follow success and the attainment of a business victory.

One of the signs of a truly professional business individual is someone who continues working, and striving, in the face of both success and failure.

So whether you are at a high or low point in your career recognise that the path continues and keep working and keep striving to progress yourself further along it.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,

Motivational Monday #49 Begin at Once

Photograph of a brilliant blue sky with some clouds edging across the sky

Motivational Monday #49 Begin at Once

“Began at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.”

― Seneca

Someone very close to me dodged a metaphorical medical bullet last week. Results came back from some scans and tests that they had undertaken and the news was good – the results were all clear.

Which might not sound like very much but I think you will grasp the enormity of this news better when I tell you that there was a reasonable chance that the results would come back with a terminal prognosis. 

So it’s all good. This person is not seriously ill and they, and those around them, can now start to relax and return to normal thoughts of a long and happy life.

But it was a close call. A lot closer than anyone would have liked to have had. And it made me think. Think about all the things that we put off, that we will do later and you know something, sometimes there isn’t a later. Sometimes there is only now.

I’m not suggesting we all run around in a blind panic over the fact that if we cross the road in the wrong way then we might not get home but rather that we consider living in the moment more. Living with more of an eye to today than to tomorrow.

It’s great to plan and have goals but the journey to those goals is really the thing that matters and if you accept the reality that many goals are never reached it makes the journey all the more important.

So take today as your starting point and live it to the fullest. Engage with people, have real conversations and truly live every moment. When you look closely every day is unique.

Yes the overall routine might be the same, or similar, to the day before, or the day after but look deeper. It is in the details and nuances of every day that makes them unique.

The sun will never shine in quite the same way, the wind will never blow as it blows today and the office life of hustle and bustle that flows in the office will be just slightly different this day over the next.

It takes an effort of will to see the details. You can stand on the same train platform and catch the same train to work every day for years and experience it as one monotonous repetition or you can really look at those people around you. Look at their faces, their body language and their actions. Wonder where they are going and who they will meet when they get there.

The birds that fly overhead as you stand on that platform won’t fly over it tomorrow. That’s a one-time event. Never to be repeated in exactly the same way. We can let our awareness drop to a level where everything levels out and the colours dim to a continuous grey or we can take charge of our life and see the world fresh and beautiful again.

There will never be another day quite like today in your life and I urge you to saviour the uniqueness of this day and live a full and happy life one unique day at a time.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart

Development Specialist,
Motivational Wallpaper created by Edenchanges using a stock photograph from – used with thanks
To download left click on the image to see full size and then right click to download 

Motivational Monday #48 Exceed

A mans reach should

Motivational Monday #48 Exceed

“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.”

― Robert Browning

I was working with a Yorkshire based business woman recently and after looking through her sales plans we started to discuss the marketing strategy she was planning to run in parallel with the planned sales activities. This in turn led back to her and a discussion on how she presented herself to her client base.

Now this individual works within a bigger organisation and heads up a division and is on the surface a successful individual. As we were talking about her I praised her recent innovations and to my surprise found her getting quite emotional.

It transpired that she’d never really been encouraged to succeed as a child and that she had always held the private suspicion that her success in business was more down to luck than skill.

Indeed when I put forward the notion that she had the skill, talent and potential to independently plan and lead her division to success she was genuinely surprised. More surprised was I when moments later she confessed that no one had ever said outright to her that she had the potential for great success in business.

The session ended very positively and it was delightful to see this talented woman buzzing with the notion that future successes lay ahead of her as a result of her own skill and talent.

The events of the session got me thinking about this week’s quote and how sadly too few of us have received the genuine praise and encouragement that our talents deserve. Not only do we all have the potential for greater things but we should all be encouraged to actively strive past our current place in life.

So at the same time as I would have you consider your own potential consider the people in your life and think who you could genuinely give some praise and encouragement to.

I think it would be a great act of kindness to reach out to those people in your life and help them see their untapped potential. And by doing so it might just help you realise just how much potential you also have.

Until next time;

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,
PS It irks me that the quote is old enough to have been written in the male context – a more inclusive version would of course be
“A person’s reach should exceed their grasp.”
I used the original as it’s the original quote but I wanted to share my personal thoughts on it!

Motivational Monday #47 Not in Kansas Anymore

Red shoes like Dorothy's in the Wizard of Oz

Motivational Monday #47 Not in Kansas Anymore

“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

― Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz

Welcome to 2013. Yes over half way into January but I held from blogging earlier as I knew the dust was settling from the Christmas and New Year festivities.

So now that we are all back on track and back into the groove of our regular daily lives I think it’s time to take stock again and make some plans and the first thing we should realise is that we aren’t in Kansas anymore …

Yes I’m being metaphorical … what I’m referring to is that we aren’t in 2012 any more we are in 2013. And that’s actually a huge thing.

All those plans, aspirations and dreams that you had for last year – some will have been realised, some might have faltered and others will have never seen the light of day. But the thing is all of that is past now. This is a new year. All the absurdities and nonsense from last year can stay in last year if you want it to.

This is a brave new year in which you can reinvest in yourself and your success and live a different life.

I’m not going to be trite and say how this could be the best year of your life or this is the year your dreams come true because that’s just naff and I know you expect more from me and these articles. What I will say however is that this is the year, the month and maybe even the moment when you CAN do something different.

Want to smoke less, get fitter or have better relationships? Whatever success or failures you had with those things in 2012 doesn’t count. There is no baggage right now (unless you choose to bring it with you) as this is a new year.

Feel free to make a fresh choice.

Sure you can click your heels and wish for the good old days and home but if home is a less successful, less healthy place than it could be then maybe this new land of 2013 is where to create and set up the home that you really want.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,

Motivational Monday #46 Creative Evolution

Blind future

Motivational Monday #46 Creative Evolution

The future belongs to those who fuse intelligence with faith, and who with courage and determination grope their way forward from chance to choice, from blind adaptation to creative evolution.

Charles Merriam

The truth of course is that we are all blind when it comes to what will happen in the future but despite that I believe it pays to consider where we are going in the light of experience and to apply our best intelligence and faith to our future endeavours.

We are approaching a new year and it can be tempting in the New Year to simply do more of what we have done before but I think we can do better than that.

The Christmas break gives us an opportunity to take a breather and consider where we might go and what we might do next year. The only certainty about 2013 is that it will be different from 2012 and with that in mind I think a clever person would take the time now to consider their options for next year.

Some of what you do in your business, and personal lives at the moment has probably arisen in response to events in 2012. What is interesting is that it might be the case that some of those actions hold the key to a positive 2013. With proper consideration you might be able to move from, as Charles Merriam put it “blind adaptation to creative evolution”.

As an example consider the following questions …

What work or personal habits have you adopted in 2012 that could be refined and improved to create an even better return in 2013?

What has your company done to survive in 2012 that could be developed further through the application of greater resources?

What did you do as a family in 2012 that brought you closer and how could you do more of that in 2013?

Examples only – I am sure you can come up with more pertainent questions for yourself. My point today is that it might well be worth taking some time out over Christmas and considering such things.

We might be blind going into the future but with forethought and an optimistic faith that the best is yet to come we can walk forward confidently.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,

Photo credit – from the talented Cathleen Tarawhiti and used with thanks.


LinkedIn Applications Are Dead Here’s How to Compensate for Their Demise

LinkedIn Applications Are Dead Here’s How to Compensate for Their Demise

Okay so I didn’t expect that. Suddenly the applications that millions of us have used and enjoyed have gone from our profiles. 

What’s a bit rubbish is that the email I got from LinkedIn only mentioned one application being removed whilst in fact it’s all of the applications that have been deactivated. 

Interestingly a contact sent me an email he had received in which again he was told only about one of his applications. The long and the short of it is that it appears that none of the third party applications displays information on your LinkedIn profile any more.

Confusingly the email from LinkedIn said

your content will still be available on your LinkedIn profile

but if it is I can’t see it anywhere.

So whilst all that sorts itself out what can we do to breathe some life back into our profiles?

Two features of the new LinkedIn profile now come into prominence – Projects and Publications – let me list one tip for each which will go some way to compensating for the lost applications.

First up here’s a tip for recruiters and anyone else hiring

If you were putting your vacancies up as files in for people to download you can still do that but you will need to do it slightly differently as you will need to post it as a vacancy – here’s how

Posting a vacancy as a project on LinkedIn

Step One

Upload the vacancy details in word or pdf format to as you previously did. I prefer pdf as it’s less easy to change and this strengthens your data integrity.

Step Two

Copy the download link for the file once you have uploaded it

Step Three

Go to your LinkedIn Profile

  • Click PROFILE
  • And then click on PROJECTS – which will be listed on the right hand side as you can see from the screenshot below


Step Four

Once you click on projects your screen will look like the following

LinkedIn Projects

Simply fill in the information as it relates to your vacancy and in the PROJECT URL paste in the download link for the file in

Aside – you don’t have to use – any online file archive which allows link downloading will work I simply mention here as it’s probably what you’ve been using up to now with LinkedIn

One of the neat things about this is that you can add a fairly lengthy description to the DESCRIPTION box which might entice more people to read it. (You move the section by clicking and dragging on the up and down arrow in the top right corner of the section)

Also worthy of note you can move this section of your profile and I would recommend moving it to underneath your summary as this ensure that more people see what is available. 

Top tip – do mention in your description that full details are available via clicking on the project title

How Good is Your Profile v2

PUBLICATIONS – a tip for everyone

Now previously it was cool to be able to list your downloadable documents for people to be able to view them. After all that’s why you wrote them wasn’t it! 

Again was where people would list them and now that has gone so here we want to use PUBLICATIONS:

Using Publications to Present Your Company Brochures etc

(This is almost exactly the same process as above by the way)

Step One

Upload the vacancy details in word or pdf format to as you previously did. I prefer pdf as it’s less easy to change and this strengthens your data integrity.

Step Two

Copy the download link for the file once you have uploaded it

Step Three

Go to your LinkedIn Profile

  • Click PROFILE
  • And then click on PUBLICATIONS – which will be listed on the right hand side  

Step Four

Clicking Publications bring up the following menu


Again fill in the details and paste the download link into the PUBLICATION URL box. You can also add another author if more than one person created the document. 

Let’s say you have uploaded your company brochure well it might be good to link to the head of your department or head of marketing who either had an involvement in the document or would simply be a good point of contact for the viewer.

Top tip – The order of publications can be changed by clicking on the up and down arrow which is shown when you view the section in EDIT PROFILE mode (i.e. immediately after you add them) – see below

Publications 02

Note – this is an amendment to what I had originally said in the first published draft of this article


So I suspect that there might be a more streamlined method rolling out from LinkedIn over the coming months but until I see sight of it the above is a perfectly sound workaround.

For those of use who have been using the application we can keep using the existing links to the uploaded files and we don’t have to do much extra work.

For those of you who have not done this yet then I’d recommend it. It’s a powerful option to have your company marketing, and other literature, available for download directly from your LinkedIn profile.

It takes a few minutes to set up but it might lead to more business and I believe it is time well invested.

If you want any help with the above drop me an email – or click the banner below and connect with me on LinkedIn.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,

Motivational Monday #45 The Beginning

Massage table

Motivational Monday #45 The Beginning

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.

Louis L’Amour

I’ve just spent the day helping my wife move her sports massage and homeopathy business to new premises in Selby centre.  As we were moving her belongings we got to talking about the various stages in her journey as a health professional.

After graduating from the British School of Homeopathy, after four years of study, it seemed that her path was set and homeopathy was to be her service offering. And it was for a couple of years.

But then she began to feel that homeopathy whilst powerful for many ailments failed to have an impact where a person had something physically out of alignment.

This led her to investigate massage, osteopathy and chiropractic therapies. She opted for the sports massage route and after lengthy study and more qualifications she has spent the last few years combining her knowledge to provide both sports massage and homeopathic assistance to her clients.

Operating from fairly small offices these last two years it has been a key ambition to move to a better location and larger premises. Having today joined a bigger medical practice Selby Osteopaths it’s a major goal achieved but already she has plans to learn some additional massage techniques.

So today’s move even though it’s been a long-awaited event and much desired isn’t the end of the story it’s really only the beginning. It’s an opportunity to win new clients, build a bigger business and most importantly of all experience new things.

As we were talking today it became clear to us that at each point in her journey where it had seemed things had reached their peak that peak was simply a precursor for something else. Each peak created a base line for something bigger and better to be worked towards.

Additionally we had the realisation that one of the things that had contributed to her success was the importance of treating each stage as an end in itself whilst also holding on to the awareness that it was simply part of the journey.

So as she learnt a new skill or opened a new office it was important to perfect that knowledge or strive to make that particular office as successful as possible whilst all the time keeping the knowledge in the back of her head that she would be moving on from it in the future.

And when I think of the companies and individuals that I have worked with over the years it’s the ones who have both maximised each stage of their development and kept an eye on the future who have succeeded. I’ve seen many people, and companies, be successful in the short-term but because they lacked a long-term perspective they failed.

I think it’s vital that we strive to provide the best services we can where we are right now but always with the thought of what else can we do, what else can we learn and where can what we are doing now take us to in the future. That’s the mind-set of success.

So for my wife today the new office with its new carpet smell, freshly painted walls and new lighting might seem like the end of her journey but I know she realises that it’s really only the beginning of the next phase of her success.

Chloe Hart Footer

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,