From Decorating to Dubai!

We arrived back from Dubai last night and what a great trip it has been. I had a mixture of 13 meetings, presentations and talks and met some wonderful people along the way. I really like Dubai and so does my wife Julie. We stayed at the wonderful Doubletree by Hilton in the Al Barsha area of Dubai, within a very short walk of the Emirates Mall.

This is the third time I have stayed at the Hilton this year and it is truly a wonderful hotel. The staff make us feel so welcome and the hotel is spotless with wonderful food. It is important that I am happy when away from home so that I work well and perform at the highest level. This has become my second home and we will continue to stay here when we visit Dubai.

Building new business takes time

It takes time to establish sustainable business in any new country and this is the case in Dubai. I have met two large companies on each of the last three visits and every time we meet we are establishing a better rapport an improved understanding which is leading us closer to doing business together. My Mental Resilience Masterclasses and Keynote talks are of real interest here in Dubai as they face a tough few years ahead.

It was a pleasure to give an interview to the Khaleej Times weekend magazine again on this trip. The Khaleej Times is one of the largest newspapers in the UAE and the weekend magazine is a popular read. The last time I was here they ran a feature on myself and Mental Toughness, this time they interviewed me on a feature they were running on ‘Building a Personal Brand.’

My Personal Branding is working

My ¾ page piece gave my personal views on how I have built my brand based on basketball and Mental Toughness. It wasn’t’ until I reviewed what I had utilized to build this brand that I realised I had some very useful information to share. I have a clear niche in the market place and I have a Unique Selling Proposition with my basketball background. I have used social media to build awareness and my website clearly demonstrates my area of expertise.

The reason I received a 6-page feature in the ‘Arabian Business Magazine’ and a 3-page feature in the ‘Khaleej Times Magazine’ the last time I was in Dubai, is because I have a brand which is clear and relevant. Mental Toughness is needed in this tough marketplace and my sports background as a former England international and professional basketball player brings together the best of sport and business.

High achievers in sport and business

All high achievers in sport appear to succeed once the move into the business world because the same key pillars of Commitment, Motivation, Self-belief, Control and Focus are needed for both. The never say die attitude of a top sports person is the same attitude held by the managing director of a large corporation. Both maintain a positive mindset when they face daily challenges and setbacks.

We are going back to Dubai in the Spring to continue with the building process and to meet our contacts again. I can feel that things are about to burst forth and it is very exciting. What is even more exciting is that I finally got paid for a keynote talk I gave. This is the first time I have been paid for speaking in Dubai and this is significant.

A long painful journey

The reason this is significant is that I made a promise to myself when I first started going to Dubai. The promise was this: ‘I won’t start writing my second book until I have been paid to speak in Dubai.’ The reason if this is because of the title of my second book. As you know I had to decorate for three years to pay the bills as I struggled to build the business.

Then a shoulder injury just over three years ago meant I couldn’t decorate any more so I had to concentrate on my business. This changed everything as I had no plan B. You’ve heard me say that every adversity has an equal or greater seed of benefit and this was the case here. Together with some great principles I came across, I found that my 100% focus on the business was bringing results.

From decorating to Dubai

Now 3 short year after the injury I have been to Dubai three times and have been paid for my first keynote talk. This means I can now start my second book entitled, ‘From Decorating to Dubai. I had a vision of the title of this book 3 years ago but I couldn’t write the book until this moment which is very exciting. I kept a diary during my decorating days which were very painful at times and I will use these memories for this book.

The book will be about the journey from decorating to Speaking and running Masterclasses in Dubai. From what seemed a dead-end situation to the amazement of Dubai. About going through the tough stuff but never giving up no matter how impossible it seemed. My first book seemed impossible but it wasn’t, Dubai seemed impossible but it wasn’t, spinning a basketball on my finger seemed impossible but it wasn’t.

Thoughts for the week

1. What dreams do you have but you have given up on?
2. If you run a business do you have a clear niche in your market
3. All the experts say that if you don’t have a niche you won’t succeed.
4. Are you consistent with your marketing strategy which includes social media?
5. You may think something you are facing right now is impossible, but it may not be, so don’t give up!

Well that’s if for this week.

Until next week have a great weekend and stay positive.

Warm regards


Off the Wall – How to Develop World Class Mental Resilience available here (Special free delivery offer currently available)

Share this post!