Tag Archives: media

Life changing events – leaving work to focus on future opportunities and dreams

Last Friday was my last day as Managing Director of a company I helped to build from scratch over 12 years ago. I was one of 6 people who set out with 6 chairs and 6 mobile phones.For most of that time I was Marketing Director, spending the last year as MD. It has been an amazing adventure and experience. I have met and worked with some inspirational people.

I took the decision to leave and not face the complications of another internal restructuring. This will be the first time in 25 years that I do not have a full-time job, but I have 3 months garden leave to consider my future.

life changing events opportunities dreams
Best wishes.

As well as the day job, over the last decade I have also developed a successful sideline as a fitness and yoga teacher. My passion for yoga and teaching, plus my keen interest and experience in marketing, social media, speaking and blogging suggest to me a whole series of opportunities and dreams. And these are the areas I think I will focus my attention.

Offering consultancy services in marketing and social media, picking up some speaking engagements and of course teaching yoga, Body Combat and Body Balance sounds like an ideal combination – if I can get the business mix right.

I’ve already made a start. On my first day of garden leave I went along to a local club and covered a yoga class. It was a class I hadn’t covered before. In the studio I met 15 ladies who were quite surprised to see a male teacher. That’s hardly surprising as most yoga teachers in Edinburgh are women. An hour later I finished the class in my usual way and invited questions from the participants. Was there anything about what we had done today that they wanted me to explain in more detail?

One lady put her hand up and said, “I only have one question. When are you coming back to teach us again.”

I love that sort of feedback.

So I am sat in my garden, slightly nervous that I no longer have the safety net of corporate life to support me. But I feel very excited about leaving the politics and bureaucracy behind and looking forward to possibilities and opportunities of working for myself.

To quote from one of may favourite songs.

“I’d like to make myself believe.

That planet Earth turns slowly.

It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep.

Because my dreams are bursting at the seams “

Your turn: Have you made a big leap from a secure full-time job into the world of consultancy or full-time teaching? I’d love to hear your stories. Leave a comment below or post a link to your own blogs or articles.


Worth sharing – the history of social media infographic

Here’s another fabulous infographic from Copyblogger – this time on the history of social media.

This is what they say:

“I’m going to let you in on a well-kept secret.

There’s nothing new about “social media.”

The concept behind Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking tools isn’t new. These sites just give us new, sexy, and easy-to use ways to do what we’ve always wanted to do online — exchange ideas and information.

The Internet has always been social, and it always will be.”


A History of Social Media Infographic
Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

Over to you: If you liked this history of social media infographic go ahead and share it.

Worth sharing – the best content marketing infographic I have seen

Here’s the best content marketing infographic I have seen.

I’ve written a few posts about content marketing or inbound marketing as it is often called and how you can use it to promote your business in the local community and elsewhere.

Here are two of them:

Getting Found – the difference between inbound and outbound marketing


Content marketing for fitness professionals – how to get customers to come to you

But this is the best summary I have seen so far and it is so good I just had to share it.

The best content marketing infographic
With many thanks to Copyblogger.

Click here for the full-sized infographic.

Over to you: If you like this infographic please click here to tweet it. If you have any other great content marketing resources why not share them by leaving a link below?

Obsess about the content not about the shade of blue

Should we stick rigidly to brand guidelines? Should we obsess about them? I used to think so.

My first marketing manager once called me into his office and pointed at two identical blue brochures lying on his desk. I had been responsible for getting them printed by two separate print shops.

“What the hell do you call this?” he snarled.

I put on a great impression of looking totally confused. The two brochures looked well produced and exactly the same to me.

“The two shades of blue are different. They are supposed to be the same,” he said. I dared to say I thought they looked identical so he produced a printer’s magnifying glass. These gadgets let you see the millions of dots that make up the colours on a page. When I looked through the glass, even at the microscopic level, the colours looked the same.

Obsess about the content

“It’s a disgrace get Printer#1 to do the job again and make sure they bloody well get it right.”

I left wondering whether any customer would either notice or care about the imaginary colour difference. But he was the boss and I did what I was told.

Over the years other bosses have waved brand guidelines books at me and insisted on similar correction of non-existent mistakes. Actually some haven’t been able to wave them at me because the “bibles” were to big and heavy and needed to be fork-lifted around.

Inside the rules are spelled out. Which colours you can use. What font. How much space in millimetres that you must leave, under pain of death, between the brand logo and anything else that appears on the page or screen.

Then after many years I learned another much more important lesson. I was watching colleagues debating about the colours and the position of the graphics on a promotional flyer.

Then it hit me. The headline they had was a dud. The copy sucked. And yet the guys were more worried about the colours and the graphics.


Because they had probably had their own “printer’s magnifying glass moment”
sometime in their career.

Obsess about the content, the headline, the messages and the call to action.

You won’t find me giving anyone who I work with any such lessons in trying to find a millionth of a difference in the colour of a booklet.

I tell them brand guidelines are important. Of course they are. But they are just guidelines. Guidelines don’t sell products or engage customers.

obsess about the content

In the digital world we have to act fast. You might see an opportunity at 9am and need to get an email, or advert, video or pod-cast out by 11am. You can spend that long arguing about colours and positions.

Don’t obsess about the shade of blue, obsess about the headline and the content. That’s what is going to have your customers clicking or watching or replying.

Or buying.

Over to you: I know loads of brand marketers will disagree with me on this. The rules are the rules right? All I’m saying is have some flexibility and worry more about your message. If the message is strong your customer won’t worry about the colours. Do you agree? Please leave a comment and let me know. Or click here to tweet about this post.