I’ve discovered rugby

Like millions of people I watched England v Wales last night.

I’m not a rugger bugger (even though I played as teenager) so I wasn’t that fussed. In fact I almost didn’t watch it.

And it was bloody brilliant!  Fast paced, exciting, blood and gore!  I loved it it.

So now I’m getting all excited about what’s next. What should I be watching?

And I loved watching Harry and William.Harry and Wills

Speakers

I’ve been a bit pants at blogging lately. Though I’ve never promised a daily blog I should be a bit better than annual!

I really admire those who write a daily blog and some who write two or three times a day. How do they do it?

Anyhoo. I’ve put together a nifty little report and series of emails for people who may have to stand up and speak in public or do any type of presentation.

You can get it here http://www.michaelheppell.com/5-rules

I call it ‘5 Rules To Use For Every Presentation And What It Costs YOU If You Don’t’

So if you have to do present ions or you’d like to. Download it and I’m certain you’ll pick up a few hints and tips.

Next blog is due in July but I’ll do me best to write one before then 🙂

Be Brilliant!

Michael

Care & Could Care Less

I’ve got to the point in my life where I really care about some things and could care less about others.

Here are 5 in each category that are on my mind now:

Couldn’t care less about:

What people think of my work.
I used to read Amazon reviews and feedback sheets taking it all very personally. Now it’s just learning and fluff.

Eating in the best restaurants.
I (mistakenly) thought great food had to be expensive.

Going to the office.
I really don’t need to be there. I have an amazing self-motivated team who just get on with running the business. It’s actually better if I’m not there so I don’t even have a desk.

Living by the clock.
My wonderful wife has taught me that (usually) being five minutes later than planned means nothing.

Having the latest version of…
Being an early adopter meant I was always downloading updates, buying the latest version on the day of release and subsequently having lots of hassles. Now I think, if it works stick with it.

What I really care about:

What I eat.
Knowing the source of food and how it was prepared is important to me. I haven’t eaten traditional ‘fast food’ for years.

Older people.
Maybe it’s because I’m heading there myself!

Quality recovery time.
I used to think I could go go go without the need for rest. Now rest and recovery programmed and I’m happier, fitter and more relaxed than ever.

Listening.
The old Michael Heppell was a broadcaster. I would feel the need to fill every gap. Now I love to listen more than I talk and I’m totally comfortable with silence. You could say the broadcaster has become a receiver.

Family.
Obvious and easy to say but very challenging to do. To really care and be seen to be caring rather than saying is the goal.

That’s mine, I’d love to know yours.

I need your questions

If you are going to be participating on my Webinar on Thursday then you’ll be delighted to know that I’ve been planning it all week and I’ve got some cracking ideas and information to share.finger-pointing

The only challenge with that is I’m sharing MY agenda. What would YOU like me to cover?

Please share your thoughts, concerns and go for it. Tell me what YOU would like me to cover.

You can leave comments here or email info@michaelheppell.com

Thank you in advance of sharing.

PS If you don’t know about the webinar it’s all here.

http://www.michaelheppell.com/2013-kick-off-2

Facebook status

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This is my Facebook status today.

Dear Facebook friends

I love my privacy but I also know that just posting a statement on a page and thinking that Mr Zuckerberg and his lawyers haven’t considered every possible way to make sure they can use our data for their benefit is just naïve.

You see, I too clicked ‘I agree’ to the Facebook terms and conditions without reading them. Like you, I do this with every website I join or piece of software I install. For all I know I could have offered Adobe my house and Apple my children.

But back to Facebook and the stuff I need to get off my chest. I know that looking at a photograph, pressing 1 and ‘seeing something amazing happen’ is just the modern day version of chain letter, so stop it.

And really no one has thought of an amazing way to see who’s looking at your profile the most.

I also know that hospitals aren’t saving children’s lives based on the number of ‘likes’ they receive – think about it for just a second before you inanely click like button and continue the myth.

And guess what? I don’t know where you can find a purple jewel, mysterious broom or wise 100-year-old monkey called Kevin who holds the key to Aurubabong. So stop ‘inviting’ me to look for them for you.

At this point you may think I’m just being a grumpy pants. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love Facebook and enjoy reading your updates of the interesting and crazy things you do. I love reading where you are, films and shows you’ve seen and little snippets of what’s going on. That last sentence sounds sarcastic but it’s not – I really do! And I especially love the fact that post your photographs on FB so I can whizz through them as fast as my Wi-Fi will allow me.

In fact that’s one of the best bits. In the old days we had to sit in your lounge with a cup of tea whilst you explained every single picture to us. Now it’s click, click, click and literally 2 minutes later we feel like we’ve been on that holiday in Cancun too. Who would have thought I’d be claiming FB was a time saving device, but there you go.

I also love a good debate on Facebook. Even though I’m a bit wary when friends of friends join in. It’s like being at the pub having a lively chat when someone you don’t know comes over, sits at your table and says, “You’re wrong”. You can’t really have a go at them because they’re your mates’ mate, but at the same time you can’t help but think, how rude, get your own bloody table/timeline.

And if you need some help JUST ASK rather than trying to make us feel sorry for you or bad for us. Leaving a status like, ‘Why is it so hard?’, ‘No one understands anymore’ or ‘Don’t ask’, should really be left in your early teens. How about? ‘I’ve had a shit day at work. Any tips other than wine?’ Unless of course it IS just about the attention, because not enough people liked your last status made comments, then go for it! Be a Facebook drama queen/king on line, but please don’t be upset if I didn’t like or comment on your pity party.

Or you could get some attention by pointing out my/everyone’s spelling mistakes in this status too as I’m sure I’ve deliberately dropped a couple in there for you.

That’s it, rant over obviously it’s not about you it’s the other numpties. But if you are upset about this post then there’s a brilliant button at the top of my profile page where you can ‘Unfriend’ me. I will take it personally and probably feel the need to write a status hinting that I’m upset but not actually saying why. But obviously I won’t as I’ve got a hilarious video of a cute cat dancing that I need to share with you first.

My Year 2012

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2012 started with working with a couple of thousand nurses sharing with them ideas to improve their ‘patient experience’ and build their confidence.

Most of our nurses are amazing, some could be a lot better. Yes the ones who were great wanted more the ones who needed it didn’t want to know. Interesting.

I wrote a few articles for MyFamilyClub.com – nice people.

I had a ball speaking at The Master Inn Holders Conference – the first of lots of great keynotes this year. Keynote speaking is the best bit of my job!

I also met a legend of service – Danny Mayer.

Our first international job was in Amsterdam. It was Christine’s first visit and she was really shocked by the seedier parts. It’s such a beautiful city with a sad side to it.

The early part of the year also featured many interviews with people for The Edge. Deadlines were already looming.

We went to one of the live Got to Dance finals. Seeing dancing on TV is amazing but live it’s something else. More support for young people in the performing arts please!

ImageIn February Christine, Sarah & I staged The Spectacle for the Emma Newton Fund. It featured many pairs of famous spectacles each with a story to tell. It ended up on the BBC & ITV news and hundreds of people came to see it.

March & April were consumed with speaking and writing with a little treat on April 3rd when we saw Kylie at the Hammersmith Apollo.

May & June were very busy and spent a lot of time in London which was great as the Queens Jubilee was all happening around then. Was this a sign of how good the Olympics would be.

On June 8th at 11am I achieved 20 year goal and managed to get tickets for the Olympic Opening Ceremony. You can read how I did it here. Needless to say I was buzzing!
On the 16th June my friend Nigel Cook carried the flame in my old home town. The Olympic Flame relay made everyone sit up and take note that the greatest show on earth was coming to Great Britain – and I cooked the perfect sausage at the party afterwards.
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We did loads of traveling in the first few months of 2012 and I gave thanks every day that I work and travel with wife. We’re together 24/7. I know that would drive many people nuts but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

At the End of June I spent three days in the recording studio finally doing an unabridged Audio Version of How to Be Brilliant, my first book and The Edge (due out a few months later). By day three I could hardly speak but I set a goal and knew I could finish it. It was only at the end when my engineer told me that most people take 3 days to record one book and I’d done two that I realized I’d been a bit daft. Still I did it and the results are great.

July was the ultimate rollercoaster month. We were in Florence when we received the call from my brother to say my niece had taken an overdose of paracetamol and was in a critical condition. We flew home on the next flight, she had a liver transplant and the next few weeks and even months were touch and go.  The NHS were at their best. All the Brits reading this I hope you’ll never need the care she received but it’s reassuring to know that we have the best public health care in the world.

On Friday 27th July 2012 my 20 year goal was achieved and with Christine I was one of a lucky group of people who witnessed the greatest show on earth – the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.  It was perfect and the launch to an amazing Olympic and Paralympic Games. I posted some pics and things here.

And just over a week later we were there again for the Mens 100 Metres final. I’ve never felt an atmosphere like it at a sporting event and I’m not quite sure what could top it.

The next day we flew to Ibiza for the rest of the summer. Our first week was staying in Ushuaia where we watched and danced to David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Deadmou5, Avicii etc. The best bit? The party lasts from 6pm til midnight – perfect for the older clubber!

In September our daughter Sarah went to Uni and for the first time since we were married Christine & I were on our own (Michael Jnr left home years ago).  We celebrated this new found freedom by having early nights and a trip to see Lady Ga Ga. What would you do?

My latest book The Edge how the best get 

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better was published by Hodder on October 1st. Seeing it on the shelves and WH Smith Travel making it a book of the month made all the work worth it. When you write a book you usually have some idea what people will think of it.The Edge was a new idea and I had no inkling as to what readers would think. The good news, the majority really liked it. There’s one or two who didn’t and took pride in sharing their opinion on Amazon but that’s all good. Oh yes it was my first book to be published for Kindle too!

October & November are big months for keynote speakers as lots of conferences take place then. As always ours was a busy one and this year included a TEDx event and bunch of diverse talks from The Edge, Flip It, How to Be Brilliant & Five Star Service and a very special graduation ceremony in Lichfield Cathedral.

I also stated to practice Yoga at this time and after a few months I wonder how I ever did without it. I’m having weekly lessons with a brilliant teacher called Gilly. Watch this space and by this time next year I’ll be meditating six inches from the ground.

ImageIn December I ticked a big goal from my bucket list when I performed stand up comedy at the world famous Comedy Store in London. What ever anyone tells you about doing stand up, it’s harder and scarier than you can imagine.

That’s me doing my 1st & last stand up gig.

The world didn’t end, which is just as well as life has so much to offer.  In 2012 I visited several countries and dozens of cities where I met hundreds of interesting people and presented to over 30,000 people. Who knows what 2013 will bring!

Thank you for reading this rambling review of my year.

Here’s to you and yours and making 2013 brilliant.

Michael

Challenging book of paradox

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I’m reading Psychobabble by Dr Stephen Briers at the moment. The sub heading is ‘Exploding the myths of the self-help generation’. I should hate it, it’s the equivalent of a butcher reading a book on the virtues of a vegan lifestyle. But I don’t.

I don’t like it either as I think Stephen has done what he criticises others of doing throughout the book, but he’s an author and as an author your job is to grab the readers attention and shake him or her around a little. He does the shaky bit well.

So I’m in a funny place. I want to like it, I agree with loads of it, I find the constant need to refer to this research programme and that comprehensive study invasive and dull. I’m intrigued as to what he will say next but find it easy to put down.

In short I think this is a book that needed to be written. There is loads of BS out there that so called self help gurus (hopefully not me?) are peddling and I’m delighted that someone is taking the bull by the horns and challenging the debate.

ImageGet a copy for your library, open your mind and see what YOU think.

Psychobabble by Dr Stephen Briers is published by Pearson

Screwing the system

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I’m always well. The closest I get to any kind of illness is little cold every couple of years which I choose to think about as a cleansing.

A friend of mine ran a news agents for 25 years and didn’t have a single day off.

Compare this to my mum’s neighbour who said, ‘I’m off later this week. I’ve still got a couple of sick days I’m entitled to before the end of the year’.

Yes he proudly told her that he had some sick days left. He is ‘entitled’ to take 10 a year. That’s 2 weeks.

And here’s the rub, he works in the public sector, so you and I are paying for him to take that time off (on the sick) so he can do his Christmas shopping.

My mum thought it was terrible but did she say anything? No. And if I saw him would I say anything to him? Of course not.

We don’t like to challenge people who actively screw the system. We just blog about it.

When you challenge rudeness

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I’m sick of rude people and today I made a decision to fight back.

You see, I don’t think rude people know they are being rude until they have it pointed out to them. They don’t like it but then neither do I like receiving the rudeness.

So in recent days I’ve pulled up 3 shop assistants. One who gossiped about a hairy biker who was supposed to be losing weight but she’d sold him a pie.

A few members of staff on the East Coast mainline and the check-in person who almost spat at us as we were leaving Guernsey.

Of course I keep it balanced and always point out when people have been helpful or just nice. ie John Lewis, The OGH staff in Guernsey and a very helpful guy who demystified the self service ticket machine at Gatwick.

Yes it’s time to challenge the rude and praise the helpful. Has to be both, has to be thousands of us doing and has to be now!