Niche

The deafening sound of silence

You've heard The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel, right? Classic 60s tune. The other day, this version popped up in my Facebook feed, by a metal band called Disturbed. I'd never heard it before, or heard of them. I've since been playing it (almost) on a loop... it's one of the most beautiful [...]

When we go to the cinema, what we really want is to spend a couple of hours being whisked away into a different world. Isn't that right? We want to leave reality behind for a time and experience something other, which is why I love The Electric Cinema in Birmingham so very much. Rounding the [...]

Cake or death?

If I offered you a choice between cake or death, what would you choose? Cake, right? Of course. It's a no-brainer of a choice. What do you offer your customers and clients when you sell to them? Cake? Or death? Is there a really sweet offer in there that's good enough to eat on its [...]

I had a letter the other afternoon. An actual letter, from my best friend in Cornwall. It came in an anniversary card (it was our 7th wedding anniversary last Monday!) and it put a huge smile on my face.  Why? Because letters do that. We receive so few of them these days, and the ones [...]

Sell them the dumplings, not the swords

What are the chances a big fat panda could become the Dragon Warrior, huh? Slim (if you'll excuse the pun) to none, you'd assume. But in Kung Fu Panda, that's just what happens. Noodle seller Po is selected by a wise old tortoise to become the valley's next Dragon Warrior, ready to save the world [...]

I  don't know about you, but I used to struggle to focus. Or, at least, I thought I did. The truth is, I've always focused just fine... when I picked something to focus on.  My problem, more often than not, was distractions. Deciding what came first. Setting a priority. So how did I fix this? Well, I [...]

A tiny tip that could help you enormously

I get all sorts of emails, which I really enjoy – not as much hate mail as I used to, mind, which is actually a little disappointing. Some of it was trés amusant. And I often get lovely little notes, like this one: "Received my book, choccie bar and lovely lovely card yesterday - wow! So [...]

This should be your bare minimum…

If you want your customers and clients to love you, you can start by doing what you say you're going to do. And if for some reason you can't – and things do happen – tell your customers and clients why, apologise, and fix it. Joe and I get a meal box from HelloFresh every Monday. It's a great [...]

Why I’m learning to draw cartoons

So, a weird thing happened in Greece. It was our last morning in Kalymnos, and I was sat on the balcony of our hotel room, listening to thunder rumbling around the place and dodging intermittent rain storms. Most remarkable. Probably not if you're a Kalymnian, but definitely if you're a visitor who's only ever experienced perfect hot sunshine [...]

Have you ever cut your prices in response to your competitors doing so? Or thought that you could cut prices and make up for it with volume? I’m going to show you why that’s a really, horrifyingly, amazingly dangerous thing to do to yourself and your business. Are you sitting down? Good. Okay, now imagine [...]