The Art of Planning Ahead

John Sports Awards

It seems to be a common theme that I hear over and over again and this is Wanting Instant Results. Many people want instant business, instant success, instant new clients, and instant response to contacts they have made. But in my experience I have found that being relaxed about the time is takes for business to come in is the best way to live.

I used to stress about every proposal I sent out and every contact I made and I put myself under pressure thinking about these potential clients all day long. This changed a few years ago when I realised that the more potential I had out there the less I worried about every one of them coming to fruition. I now concentrate on getting as much potential out there as possible and believe that the right ones will come off.

Seeds of Potential

Every contact I make I call a seed of potential and every one of them has the potential to become a client. But at the same time I don’t mind which ones come to fruition – my job is to keep getting those seeds out there. This is often called the ‘Pipeline’ and is the life blood of any business. We always need to be thinking months ahead and sowing those seeds of communication constantly.

As soon as you have a lot of seeds out there you can feel the pressure reducing and then one by one the clients who you are meant to be working with come in. When I only had a few contacts out there I needed every one of them to come off to hit my target for the month. Inevitably they didn’t by law of averages. and this would keep me under constant pressure.

Private Schools

Now I am working months ahead with lots of seeds out there and am excited about the ones coming in – it’s like Christmas when you find out they want to go ahead! As an example I’ve run a few presentations on Mental Resilience for the staff in Private Schools across the country. My PA Christina sent out an email to a good number of schools and I have already signed one up, with more potential on the way.

Another example of patience and sowing seeds is the company called Champions which is an outstanding organisation who specialise in speaking marketing, creative, public relations, and events. They are extremely good at what they do and they organise the annual Nottingham Sports Awards held at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham, as well as many others across the country.

Nottingham Sports Awards

I was invited by a coaching client to attend the awards in 2014 and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening with my wife Julie and the 600 people in attendance. As we watched the celebrities present each award Julie leant over to me and said that she could see me presenting an award on stage one day.

This got me thinking and I thought about my experience in basketball. I was born and bred in Nottingham, I played for England in the Commonwealth games, I played professionally for Sunderland and I still hold the British record for the most points scored in a match by an individual which is 98 points. This made me think about the possibility that maybe one day I could be one of those celebrities presenting an award.

Presenting an Award

So I contacted Champions and after a few emails backward and forwards they agreed to add me to the roster of celebrities to present an award at the 2015 Nottingham Sports Awards. So last October I had the privilege to present the Community Award in front of 600 people and it was such an honour to do so.

The evening itself was a superb experience and as we were leaving I had an intuitive feeling to go back and find the owner of Champions John Haye to thank him for the opportunity and to see if I could meet him for a coffee. I managed to find one of his assistants who led me to him and he agreed to meet me.

Champions meeting

We met yesterday and it was a fantastic meeting. I didn’t really know what to expect but I wanted to show him my new show reel and to get his comments on it. He watched it then brought 4 of his staff to watch it and they loved it. On the back of my show reel and my testimonials for speaking they have taken me on as a speaker which is very exciting.

They have already booked me for one event and I don’t know how many more bookings I will receive from them but I am completely relaxed about it. This is because signing up with them means that I have another seed out there with potential for work. This is particularly good as I can get on with other seed sowing and they will contact me when they get any clients interested in me.

Keeping healthy

You will be pleased to know that I am still getting 8 hours sleep a night and am taking my vitamins/minerals, omega 3 oil and vitamin C tablets and I am feeling very energised and alert. My cold has gone completely and I seem to be more relaxed and in control. I will keep this going all year and observe the difference this makes.

When I met John from Champions I observed the positive atmosphere, the staff were all full of energy and virtually every staff member who passed me in reception asked if I was being seen to. There was an energy you could feel and when I mentioned this to John he said that this was something he had cultivated over the years and his clients loved it.

Staying Positive

John said that one of his phrases over the years has been ‘Think positive and positive things will happen to you.’ I love this as I really believe that the mindset determines what you experience in life and my phrase is ‘What you See and What you Say is what you Get.’

For your interest I can be hired as a motivational speaker through the champions after dinner speakers agency.

Tips for the week

1. Get lots of seeds out there – the more you have the less the pressure on you
2. Always think ahead and sow some seeds early, even if it may take a year or two to come to fruition
3. It took me one and a half years to get the meeting with John. I could have not bothered chasing up the suggestion by Julie to see if I could present an award but because I did it set a series of events up which resulted in signing up with a great speaking agency
4. Sleep between 7-9 hours
5. Stay as positive as you can all day

Well that’s it for this week and I look forward to sharing with you next week.

Have a wonderful weekend

Warm regards


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