Because John Said (WT621)

Because John Said (WT621)


WT 621 Because John said

Twenty years ago, I shouted myself a gold signet ring with the initials R&S etched onto the face of the ring.

Overall, I was happy enough with the ring, however one thing bothered me and that was the shape.

In my mind, I had visualised the ring to be more elongated. To me, it was a bit “fat”.

Each time I would look at the ring, I would feel a bit of an “uggh”.

This week I was talking with John who owns a very successful jewellery store and I showed him my signet ring.

He asked to look at it more closely, so I took it off and gave it to him.

“When I look at the ring Shirl, it looks like a perfect signet ring to me”, he said.

“It’s got such a great energy to it and it’s exactly what a signet ring is supposed to be”, he continued.

With that advice, I immediately let go of my 20 years of disappointment.

Because John said it was right, that made it right. I could relax.

Afterwards I thought about my reaction.

How come one or two simple sentences can erase 20 years worth of angst?

It was because I trusted what John said.

He’s an expert and I know he knows what he’s talking about.

If he said it was okay, then it was okay.

Who’s your John?

Who are you a John for?

Make a list of all the people in your circle whom you trust for the right advice.

Analyse your list to see the particular areas of expertise for each one.

And if you don’t have a circle of trusted advisors, then that’s your homework for this week.

Make a list of potential advisors you’d like to have and then set about making it happen.

We all need a John. Why? Because they make us feel better and help guide us along the way.

Thank you John.                                        

P.S. The Loyal Lieutenant – How The Second-in-Command Brings The CEO’s Vision To Life. Order your copy here,

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Overwhelm is a State of Mind (WT620)

Overwhelm is a State of Mind (WT620)


WT 620 Overwhelm is a state of mind

This week I’ve been hearing myself and many others describe their feelings of overwhelm.

“I can’t get it all done.”

“There’s not enough time.”

“There’s too much to do.”

And my favourite, “I’ve got a To Do List as long as a toilet roll”.

It’s time to reveal the truth about overwhelm. Overwhelm is a state of mind.

It describes how we are allowing ourselves to feel.

Thanks to David Bayer, I discovered the unintelligent thinking around overwhelm.

When we’re feeling overwhelmed, we are in what Bayer calls, the “Primal State” where we experience stress, anxiety, indecision and procrastination.

Think about it. When was the last time you felt overwhelmed and in that state, how productive or creative were you?

So how do we get out of overwhelm?

Firstly, by recognising that it is a state of mind and that we can easily change our state.

The number of tasks on your list and the available time isn’t going to change until you change your state of mind.

My best mantra when I find myself in this state is to quote Bayer, “What’s really true is that which didn’t get done yesterday, didn’t need to get done and how do I know that, because it didn’t get done.”

If you take notice, you’ll find the things you need to get done, do get done. In my experience, I somehow find the time or reprioritise if it absolutely has to be done. I expect you are the same.

So let’s drop this word from our vocabulary.

Let’s take charge of our state of mind.

Let’s reconnect with that state of being where we are creative problem solvers and open to allowing the universe to correspond with us.

Take action on the things that must be done.

Choose to live in ease and flow. Relax. You’ll be far more productive. You don’t have to get it all done today. You can still succeed.

Overwhelm is a state of mind.

Trust that if you stay committed to action, while living in what Bayer calls the “Powerful State” (of rest, relaxation and ease), everything you desire will come to you in due time.

Let go of overwhelm. It’s just a state of mind.

P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to

It’s Just Data (WT619)

It’s Just Data (WT619)


WT 619 It's just data

When things happen, do you get emotional?

I do!

Although these days I can usually calm myself down fairly quickly and coach myself out of a full blown tizzy or an unthoughtful reaction.

I thought it might be a useful discussion this week.

When I worked for Kip McGrath Education Centres I really appreciated working with Storm McGrath because he had the ability to be detached.

If something happened (and keep in mind, this was 20 odd years ago), and I got emotional, I knew my logic went out the window.  You may know the saying, “When emotion is high, intelligence is low”.

Well fortunately for me, Storm was always logical and calm. I would go to him for counsel and he would listen, process the information and then share a logical considered response with me which I was able to action. In what we call the Primal state, I would never have been able to come up with the solution.

This week, one of my colleagues, Mark Kentwell, used a phrase which explained how Storm had been able to process my reaction all those years ago.

According to Mark, “It’s just data”.

When we receive feedback, it’s just data. It’s only information.

There is no need to get plugged into the information. That’s all it is.

As David Bayer says, “There is no suffering in the experience. It’s just an experience. The suffering comes from the meaning we give it.”

So, if you’ve found yourself suffering recently; becoming emotional when you needn’t be or losing it when you really need to keep it together, keep in mind Mark’s mantra, “It’s just data”.

Give it a go.

See if it makes a difference and helps you to get out of the Primal and into the Powerful state more quickly.

And if you’ve received some feedback that has caused you to react, remember, it’s just data. It’s only information. You can decide how you deal with it.

P.S. Are you in Newcastle, NSW?  Are you interested to learn How Your Personality Affects How Well You Lead? If so, please join me on Wed 8th June 11:30am for lunch. I’ll be presenting an interactive session at The Lake Macquarie Business Women’s Network. I’d love you to join me.

P.P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to

The Happiest People (WT618)

The Happiest People (WT618)


WT 618 The Happiest People

You’ve probably heard of Anh Do. He’s a TV presenter, comedian and author.

He wrote a book called “The Happiest Refugee” based on his experience as a Vietnamese refugee.

From what I have seen of him, he is a great role model for someone who is grateful.

His book title was the inspiration for this week’s thought – The Happiest People.

In my experience, the happiest people are those that are grateful.

They are the ones who gush praise and thanks when someone does something for them.

They are the ones who see the job completed and are so happy that it has been done. They are not the ones who see the bits that were missed or the mistakes that were made.

This is relevant both at home and at work.

When I was a young girl and living at home with mum and dad, I would often offer to hang the clothes on the line for mum.

Instead of being grateful and appreciative of the help, mum would stand on the back verandah and correct my technique – same with the ironing.

The end result – she was never happy with what I did and I wasn’t encouraged to want to help.

The happiest people are those that are thankful for the work or the effort and they express their gratitude, which encourages us to want to do more.

So, which category are you? 

Are you grateful for the help and the work that your team or colleagues do? Do you thank them and praise them or do you often find fault with what they do and let them know how they could have done it better or different?

Next time you might be tempted to become a forensic investigator, put away the magnifying glass and look at the big picture.

The happiest people are those that are grateful.

P.S. The Loyal Lieutenant – How The Second-in-Command Brings The CEO’s Vision To Life. Order your copy here,

P.P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to

The Value Is In The Offer (WT617)

The Value Is In The Offer (WT617)


WT 617 The value is in the offer

This week’s thought comes as a result of an Easter catch up with a long time friend and business colleague of mine – Libby Cornish.

I don’t recall how the conversation got here, however I think it’s a great point to note, especially if you’re in business or a customer service role or you’re dedicated to your customers.

Libby said, “The value is in the offer, Shirl”.

“What does that mean?” I asked.

Libby explained with a little story, “Years ago when I had my hair salons, I used to send welcome offers to new clients and also birthday offers. When we analysed the results, only about 20% of our clients presented the birthday offer so we decided to discontinue it. I didn’t think much more about it, until one day, one of my long term clients mentioned it. ‘You don’t send the birthday offers anymore’. That’s right. Not many people took advantage of the offer so we didn’t think it was valuable to our clients. ‘I would never take up the offer’, said the client, ‘However, I used to look forward to it because it was the only acknowledgement of my birthday that I got each year’, she continued.  Ouch. You never know the value you are providing Shirl. The value is in the offer.”

I don’t know about you, but this story really resonated with me. Thank you Libby.

We used to send birthday cards to our clients. Not just any birthday cards. These were cards that were handmade by Ross and which included one of Ross’ landscape photos on the front.

Not many people mentioned them, although I did notice a stack of them on people’s bookshelves when I visited offices etc. so we discontinued sending them.

I’m wondering now about the importance of the value those cards provided.

What are you doing in your business for your clients that you are questioning whether it provides value or not?

I guess you could ask your clients or just continue to do it or even start doing something, because the value is in the offer.

And for fun, not that I am really considering it, what would happen if I stopped sending the Weekly Thought because I perceive there is no value?

P.S. The Loyal Lieutenant – How The Second-in-Command Brings The CEO’s Vision To Life. Order your copy here,

P.P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to

Almost a Blotched Record (WT616)

Almost a Blotched Record (WT616)


WT 616 OMG! Almost a  Bloctched Record

It’s Good Friday. I was at the sink washing up, preparing for family to come to lunch.

“OMG! I forgot the Weekly Thought”, I screamed to Ross.

With 10 minutes before our guests arrived, I’m sitting here writing to you because I don’t want to ruin my record of not having missed a week in almost 12 years.

It’s an important goal and commitment of mine – to be consistent.

I’ve been working really long hours the past few weeks and I set another goal that I would finish work last night at 5pm and have 4 days off over Easter.

Well, I finished at 6pm, so an hour later than I planned.

Still, I was determined to set boundaries for myself and not do any work.

I completely forgot that I hadn’t organised the Weekly Thought until just now.

You know that feeling, when you remember, remember someone’s birthday right up until the day and then you forget.

“Doh! How painful is that? How much do you bash yourself up, wishing you had remembered on the day?”

So far, I’m not late and my record is intact because the Thoughts are due each Friday.


For me there are a couple of morals to this story.

  1. It’s not too late to go for and meet your goals and commitments.
  2. When you forget, let it go and get on with it.  Carrying negative energy over something you can’t change doesn’t serve anyone.
  3. Set your boundaries and stick to them.

So I wish you a very happy Easter break and I trust you’ll set yourself some boundaries and allow yourself some downtime.

Downtime is important. We need to rest and recharge and the only person who can ensure that happens is yourself.

No need to be guilty.  You do need to take some time for yourself.

Okay – record intact. Guests just arrived.

What will you do next time you almost miss a goal/commitment?

P.S. The Loyal Lieutenant – How The Second-in-Command Brings The CEO’s Vision To Life. Order your copy here,

P.P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to

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