I was really pleased to be a part of the Keep it Moving series of online motivational videos. This video talks about the importance of the people you have around you. Like it or not, they have influence, that is why it is so important to be careful who you have in your life and even more important to be wary of what they bring with them. Sometimes it's necessary to let people go because they are not conducive to your success. Every one that you have in your circle serves a pupose. Make sure it is positive.
One of the hardest challenges anyone has to face
One of the first lessons I had to learn was how to give myself permission and it is one of the hardest things to do when you are starting out, We all have insecurities, that feeling of 'what if it goes all wrong?' 'What will people think of me?' It could be that you lack personal power, it could be that you are unsure of yourself or if you suffer from imposter syndrome. It could be that you are scared of failing.
Now, nobody knows what is going to happen and I don't know about you but I get ideas and not so great ones all the time. Having learnt the hard way and wasted the most invaluable resource of all which is time I certainly want to encourage you to build your own traffic light system of looking around, sounding people out, going online, doing market research and seeing what is out there before you apply your energies into something which can't go the distance you need it to, or abandon everything that isn't going to give you the impact, pay-off or outcomes you want it to. Time is precious remember, understand that success and failures leave tracks and sometimes it is better to understand the stories of people who have taken a path and either made it or failed so you can repeat their success or avoid their mistakes. However, once you have done that (and done it properly) you have to give yourself permission. You can't be waiting for other people to say it is ok or not. You can't be waiting on other people to show up and see something with the same importance as you because the reality is this is your dreams, your goals and your ambitions. The reality is, you are going to have to be the one who makes it happen.
So the question is: What are you waiting for?
How are your stress levels? Do you know how to take care of yourself? Have you heard of the Headspace App? If not you could be missing out. I know quite a few social entrepenuers who swear by the Headspace App. Why? Because life is stressful not just business, let alone those who are trying to save the world as well as their families. Don't like apps? Well there are a number of books well worth checking out that cover the principles. Why not check them out here
St Giles is a social justice charity celebrating their 60th year helping people held back by poverty, exploited, abused, dealing with addiction or mental health problems, caught up in crime or a combination of these issues and others. They show people there is a way to build a better future – for themselves and those they care about – and help them create this through support, advice and training.
In this podcast they spoke to me about the importance of relationships, how I build them, the lessons I've learned, the people I've met and helped, and much more.
The reality is you can only be a leader if people choose to follow you
This was one of the legendary first videos shared with me at the start of my journey and it remains the most simple, yet powerful to me and still makes me giggle to this day.
It is one of the most quickly forgotten rules of any business yet utilised right can change the landscape.
People talk about leadership but the reality is you can only be a leader if people choose to follow you. Leadership may include managing people but it is not the same. Being a manager has different dynamics and different power values. For example, you can be a bad manager, you can shout at people, you can command their time and your business may be successful but in the end people will only give you as much as you are paying them for and that may not include their respect. For some people they may not even tolerate or put up with being treated badly, they will simply walk away.
Being a leader naturally instills the values in the staff that people want to follow you, be like you and in this case, dance like you. Money may still be important (like oprah winfrey said its rights up their with oxygen) but it's not the only reason why they will stay. They then beccome leaders to others because other people want to follow their 'dance' and then, that's when the ripple of change really starts to emanate outwards.
What leaders do you look up to and why?
What skilset and values do they have that you could cultivate for yourself?
Why would people want to dance with you?
People face challenges getting insurance for all sorts of reasons, bad credit history, CCJ, risky occupations, or maybe like me you have a criminal conviction.
One of the biggest challenges I had trying to rebuild my life after my release from custody was shedding the perceptions that other people had of me. I wish it was as simple as you do your time and once you are released you are able to move on but the reality is anything but.
Believe me nothing feels worse than having to disclose your convictions only for the person on the end of the line or across the table to ultimately judge you or more times than not say "no". Even now with everything positive I have done I still get doors shut in my face. Getting car insurance was almost next to impossible until I told them to have a google of me and that I had an OBE. But how many people getting released don't have that?
I know lots of people reading this will be probrably thinking "If you can't do the time don't do the crime" or some other dated statement like that, but the truth is once you have made your mistake and paid for it you have to be able to move on. Fair enough that may mean depending on the seriousness of your offence you have to be monitored but you have to be able to be given a chance or else how can you ever move on? I have found even if people say it is a confidential non-judgemental chat you still feel the change in atmosphere, that change in their attitude or how they look or sound towards you. That's why for many when they they decide to go legit and they knock on doors only to get it closed in their face they give up or try and cut corners.
When I set up my company it was a no brainer, even with a conviction that would never be spent (It was 12 years reduced to 10) I wanted everything present and correct from top to bottom. No excuses mentality, it had to be done and that is when I came across this AMAZING company and just as importantly my broker Mark. I consider him one of the best things to happen to me. He has never failed me in terms of finding insurance over the years and he is the one contact in this field I would recommend without hesistation. If you are looking for business insurance then please, check this company (and Mark) out first.
Author: Junior Smart
I have been fortunate enough to be asked to motivate, help and support social entrepeneurs in their mission to make life better for those less fortunate.