Who’s in your Corner Team?

Angelo Dundee.

Wali Muhammad.

Ferdie Pacheco.

Drew Bundini Brown.

These men were the trainer, assistant trainers and physician for Muhammad Ali. Drew Bundini Brown was also a poet and speechwriter and was responsible for penning Ali’s famous words “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see!”

Of course Ali took the blows inside the ring, but his team of trainers and supporters were as much a part of his victories and defeats as he was. It’s the combined effort of all of their skills and strengths that created the champion that Ali was.

Who’s in your corner team? Who are the people that look out for you, advise you, mentor you, build you up with positive words, correct your technique, help you take care of your health, check in on your progress about business and ask about YOU? Running a business can be a lonely pursuit  but it’s essential to have people around you that bring their strengths and character to support you as you walk the road of entrepreneurship. Look around at your network and identify the friends and colleagues who will bring specific skills to your table.

You may have a close circle of friends and colleagues, with others on your periphery. We often think that those we speak to most often will be our go-to for everything. It’s quite natural that we place the people in our life in a hierarchy of “closeness” or “contact”. However, for the needs of our businesses or other decision making processes our nearest and dearest may not provide the objectivity that is required. Not every time, but sometimes! It’s worth considering that some in our circle that we don’t speak to as often will have the exact thing that we need at a specific time – even if seldom called upon.

Try to learn the people around you, in order to know who to call on and when. This is a two way process, but of course what you get from others may not be the same thing that they get from you. Think about what you can offer to others, and be that to them.

Start building your corner team today.

Good luck!

Inspired by The Legend, Muhammad Ali, 17th January 1942 – 4th June 2016


Learning…To Let Go…

I remember learning to dance Cuban Salsa. It’s a pretty technical dance that looked amazing on YouTube videos and I wanted a piece of it! My expectations of myself were pretty high – I thought that I should be able to do it pretty easily. I was wrong.

I remember some nights – my lessons were on a Friday – leaving the club right after the applause at the end of the class, being close to tears, as the music was turned up loud and all of the dancers returned to the dance floor for the social dancing. I was incredibly hard on myself and so frustrated at my lack of “getting it” as I reminded myself “This is meant to be fun!” It didn’t feel fun and my self-flagellating thoughts accompanied my footsteps as I pounded along the pavement to the train station as I made my way home from the torture of not learning.

Then one week and I don’t know why, I started relaxing. In partner dances like Salsa, the male leads. The woman’s role is to be relaxed enough and flexible enough to go where he leads her. The more complicated the move, the more she has to be relaxed in order to make it happen. I thought I needed to learn the steps and the routines. What I needed was to learn to let go.

Once I knew that, it felt like I had access to the biggest secret. All I needed was the basic footsteps and even then I didn’t have to deviate anything until my partner lead me to change direction. I continued going to my Salsa classes long after I learned this secret. I had to continue going to learn how to relax, and how to “let go” and be lead; how to stay light on my feet, never being too connected to one spot on the dance floor and always ready to be swept in a new direction or taken on a new spin.

This lesson translated from the dance floor to life too. I realise that I have to be flexible, that I have to be sure of my footing as well as light enough to take flight whenever I need to.  That there is adventure and mystery “just over there” if I’m ready to go and explore it, like it is with a new step or a new partner that you’ve never met before. I also have to be reliant on those in my space, happy enough to let them lead me sometimes and trusting that they will keep me upright and not let me fall. I have “mastered” Cuban Salsa but I still have times when I dance with a new person and it takes a little while to get accustomed to his way of moving before we are completely in sync.

Life is like that, too…


via Daily Prompt: Learning

Decisions, decisions…

Speaking to a new client yesterday we were discussing how she was feeling low about all the changes she wanted to make in her life. She was overwhelmed by it all, which is a feeling I recognise and could relate to in myself and other people that I’ve worked with over the years.

As we spoke she expressed the challenge she was facing – “How do I tackle all of these challenges in my life?” It’s a common almost verbatim sentence uttered by many of us in our lives at some point or another. The vicious circle of feeling like you need to act to make changes, not being able to see a path through the challenges with any clarity therefore not acting, followed by more self-loathing and upset at not acting, on an endless repeat.

13 Rhythms’ clear cut and highly usable strategies and tools can help to remove this feeling of powerlessness. We work with you to help you identify your ideals and move towards them in ways that make sense to you. The first thing to do is make decisions.This is a huge thing but without it we’ll never move forward. The best thing is to book time with us to fully complete this process, but to get you started we would suggest the following:

  1. Make lists – pros and cons exploring the possible outcomes of your decisions
  2. Try to see through to your true self and goals and remove the influence of social and family pressure from your decisions
  3. Accept that some of your decisions may not be the best for everyone in your life even as they are the best for you.

Once we start to use sound processes for our decision making we find a sense of peace and purpose.

Good luck!


The Comfort Zone

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

There are lots of motivational quotes and images that speak eloquently about the comfort zone and how growth happens “over there”. 13 Rhythms agree with this. However The 13 Way is about being realistic and practical in all our pursuits.

Let’s do this: think  about a time that you’ve attended a training course or a similar type of event. Chances are you found a seat in the morning, returned there after lunch and stayed there until the end of the day. We choose the seat that we like and stay there for the entire day, becoming strongly connected to the plastic and metal chair that we’ve only just been introduced to!  We place our coats and bags around the chair and settle in. We become very comfortable in that chair and don’t move from it.

The notion of escaping the comfort zone is often represented by skydiving, rock climbing or doing a bungee jump. We understand that this is out of reach for many of us, people who then feel frustrated that they aren’t stretching ourselves.


But we say this. Next time you’re at an event, move seats. Just sit in a different chair. After lunch, adjust yourself to a new seat, a new neighbour and a new perspective. After tea, swap again. This is “getting out of your comfort zone” too. It’s a small thing, but try it. You’ll have done something different, something that you wouldn’t ordinarily do – that’s getting out of your comfort zone too. Start here and who knows where you’ll end up – maybe throwing yourself out of a plane.

Or maybe just to a different chair…

Good luck!


Being Pitch Perfect!

You’ve secured an opportunity to sell your business to potential supporters or investors…what can you do to make the most of this opportunity?

A business pitch is your opportunity to sell your idea with passion, enthusiasm and simplicity. A good pitch is about The 3 P’s. Follow these steps to help you prepare your perfect pitch with confidence.

Personality: People buy people. We’ve all heard this many times, and in business it’s no different. Your business idea may not be the usual type that investors support, but a connection with you as the business owner can make them diversify. Angel investors and venture capitalists are big proponents of this. They often take a business owner under their wing because they believe in the person, knowing that they can help them solidify their business ideas. Showing your personality in your pitch is important. Be natural. Show your enthusiasm about your business idea and tell people why you’re the perfect person to run this business. Wear comfortable, smart clothes, smart shoes and accessories that show your personality, whilst remaining professional. Your body language should show that you’re comfortable in your space and happy to be there. Be remembered – for the right reasons.

Persuasion: Convey your ideas in an imaginative manner. Draw pictures in the minds of your panel with your words. Help them to see the need for your business, and tell them why you’re the perfect person to run this business. If you’re using PowerPoint or Prezi presentations, don’t load slides with lots of information – you want the panel to focus on you and your words, not struggle to read your slides. Use your slides creatively – add pictures or short film clips to bring your presentation to life. If you have written materials or samples you want to share, do that at the end of your presentation. At the start of your pitch tell your panel that you will have time for questions at the end of your presentation, and make sure you allow ample time for this to happen. Rehearsing your pitch and timing yourself will help here. This is P 2.5 – practice!

Passion: Enjoy your pitch. Your belief in yourself and your business needs to be at the forefront of how you come across to the panel. Remember that over 70% of communication is non-verbal, so your overall demeanour needs to exude interest, excitement and commitment to your endeavours. Showing that you care through producing attractive and properly spell-checked written materials will help, as will your arrival at the venue in good time and being fully prepared. It all adds up to giving a good overall impression about you and your brand.

Practice, practice and practice some more and remember to be kind on yourself. Give it your all every single time and don’t be disheartened if you don’t come out of a pitch with exactly what you wanted. Every opportunity to share information about your business is a marketing and networking opportunity.

Good luck!


Graduate Time! What’s Next?

For many students who completed their studies in May, but who perhaps haven’t worn their cap and gown at their graduation ceremony, they’re in a weird place. Are they a student, graduate, or unemployed person? For those who are working full time hours at their previous part time job that they had whilst studying this is a time that can feel quite uncertain. I went from folding jeans part time in Topman, to folding jeans full time  in Topman. Only now I had debts and a degree!

Having a degree feels like everything should slot into place – the graduate employers will come knocking and the perfect job will fall into your lap. It’s a bit of a rude awakening for some as they realise that the work is just beginning career wise.

Now that you have the qualification it’s time to put it to use to secure a role in the sector of your choice. For most graduate level jobs these five basic rules will help move you closer to your career objectives.

So at 1: Network – this isn’t really step 1 it’s step 0 and is something we should be doing all the time, whether we’re at university, graduated or already in the world of work. Use all possible opportunities to network and think of it as a full task in itself. Engage with employers as often as you can, and think about what you want from them, being specific in your requests. Networking successfully can hep you get noticed by your chosen employer way ahead of the competition.

2. Always be developing – a riff on “Always be closing!” from the film Wall Street, it is essential that you are always honing your skills. There are key employability skills that employers look for: communication, analytical, problem solving and team work amongst others – that apply to almost every job. Develop your skills at every opportunity. Get as much work experience as you possibly can as you’ll learn things that are necessary for the assessment process and the job once you get it. Think widely – running a sports club or society or volunteering can give you great real world experience.

3. Pay attention to detail on your written applications. Speling erors like this are rarely overlooked by employers. They may believe that you don’t care about your work from the lack of care on the application form. Get someone to double check your application form or CV before submitting.

4. Research the company, so that your application form and interview refers to their values and business activities. Demonstrating your knowledge of key areas of their business in your interview will make you stand out – it’s surprising how many people forget specific research in their preparation for selection processes. You doing it automatically puts you ahead of the herd. Show your enthusiasm for the job by showing that you have researched what the company stands for and tell them that you want to be a part of it. This will take you further than you think.

5. The interview doesn’t start when you walk in the room. Every aspect of your application for a role is leading up to the interview and assessment centre. Think ahead and prepare. Don’t leave anything to chance, from your outfit, hair, shoes and journey. Have detailed notes with you and be ready for any curve balls that the employer may throw your way to see how you’ll cope. Be the best version of your job seeking self and ace it!

Good luck!