Monthly Archives: July 2011

He’s missed 9,000 shots and still, he’s world class!

(See bonus video for blog visitors below)

Hey there.

Here’s this week’s shot of inspiration on a Monday:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.
I’ve lost almost 300 games.
26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan.  NBA Hall of Famer and one of the greatest basketballers ever.

Suffering from a few setbacks?

Dropped the ball in business?

Feeling a bit sorry for yourself?

Anyone who succeeds fails.

And based on the above quote from one of the greatest ever living sportspeople,
it seems that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves.

Maybe, just maybe, making those mistakes yet staying the course is the key.

Food for thought…

Have a great week,

ps – see Top 10 Michael Jordan Dunks below if you’re that way inclined…

*** This text is taken from a weekly email sent out by Shane for free every Monday.  If you’d like a shot of inspiration then please got to and subscribe.***


Insights from Business Owners

Had a great session today with the Inspired Business Club Workshop that runs every month in the Glenview Hotel.  There was a nice ‘active’ mix of business owners based in Wicklow, Dublin and Kildare.   Apart from a healthy exchange of ideas, insights and useful contacts, there was also a useful discussion around ‘Critical Thinking Time’ and top lessons learned over the past month.

Here’s some of the insights shared:

Top Lessons Learned:

– As the business grows, there’s a critical need to have clear consistent messages sent to customers.  The danger is the messages vary from person to person.  One possible solution is to create a strategic marketing document that includes the top 10 messages to convey.

– It’s vital to completely disconnect when on holidays.  This is vital for rejuvenation and downtime, especially when you run your own business.  Checking in on the odd email negates any benefit of being ‘away’.  When on hols, dis-engage.

– Be aware that how you operate as a business owner probably doesn’t help your staff’s productivity or learning.  Most business owners operate at a fast level (or they should!).  Interrupting your team to tell them something can knock their concentration.  Maybe you can be more effective by having focused daily huddles to communicate changes/ideas.  And maybe you could also have a once a week focus meeting?  Think about your team like lasers.  Are they fully focused or are you interrupting them with consistent changes/ideas/corrections etc.  Basically, are you distracting your team the way you’re communicating?

– Tell your team about the bigger picture and the stuff they can’t see.  It helps with their motivation and makes them feel like they’re part of something.

– Your key strategic client relationships are the ones that need to be maintained by you and no-one else.  Others can help and manage the account.  But you’re most important clients need to know they can talk to you when they need you.

Focus Topic Today – Critical Thinking Time:

The highest paid people in society are those who think the best.  But how many of us take time out to really think?

Critical Thinking Time is time 100% focused on 1 Topic.   There are multiple ways to do this and here’s some output from the discussion today:

1. The Benefits of making time to THINK:  

*Better thinking leads to better decisions which leads to better actions and results.

*You will get better ideas for your business and life

*You spend valuable time on the bigger picture for direction, rather than being mired in the day to day

*You will see more opportunities for the long term

2. How Best To THINK?

It’s different for everyone.  Here ‘s some ideas:

Move to a new environment and isolate yourself.

Do it in the morning to get it done as a priority.

Phone and email has to be off!

Be 100% engaged and ensure there are NO interruptions.

Do it for 30 to 50 minutes in an intense way.

Plan it in every week in advance, otherwise it probably won’t happen.

Use someone else to help you stay focused and use as a sounding board.

Have some music on in the background.

3. Useful Reading:

This month’s recommended reading is

Thanks to everyone who attended and looking forward to the next workshop on Friday 26th August.


ps – Very useful website recommended by Fintan Murphy of Damson Cloud –

Take me to the island

I spent an interesting day & overnighter as part of a workshop in the spectacular Inish Turk Beg island
Last week. This pic is one of the amazing views of the island.

Great place to get away from it all but also to get inspired. 5 star accommodation & a 25 m indoor heated pool helped as well…

Great vision to create it by owner Nadim Sadek.


Results: What Is Your Top Distraction In Work?

Hi there,

I recently composed a poll to see what are some of the biggest distractions in work. This poll got such a huge response that I would like to show you the results:

Email 41%

Other Colleagues 34%

Social Networking Sites 10%

Phone 7%

Other 7%

(This included ‘My Mind’ and ‘Reading BlogPosts!!)

So why not limit the time you spend on the above, and use your time doing more productive work. Only check your email at certain times – don’t leave it on all day to distract you. Get into ‘Focus’ mode and don’t let other colleagues distract you.



Super Productivity – The Trick Of Train & Plane Time.

I don’t know about you but I get through an amazing amount of work when I travel on a plane or a train.  I also get some of my most creative ideas, so much so that a couple of times I’ll admit to getting on a train to Cork even when I didn’t have to! i.e. I did it because I get so much out of that ‘special’ kind of time.

So why does it happen?  What’s special about the experience of being on a plane or train that gives this ‘Super Productivity’ and how can we bring some of it into our normal days?

Here’s my thoughts so far:

1. You have to sit in 1 place for most of the time which helps focus.

For most there’s always a reason to be distracted.  Whether it’s email, a call, surfing the net or unmanaged interruptions the typical work environment is not designed for ‘Super Productivity’.  On a plane or train, there are no emails to check (if you don’t have access to wireless broadband). There are no phone calls and you have to spend most of your time sitting.

2. A different environment makes you think different

Getting out of your normal routine and environment changes your perspective, even if you don’t intend to do it.  I see this all the time when I facilitate ‘off-site’ reviews for clients versus ‘on-site’ ones.  The change in scenery automatically ‘freshens up’ your thinking.   Plus when you’re seeing unfamiliar places your mind tends to pay more attention which is great for accessing your creativity.

3. There are reduced chances of interruptions

On a flight there’s no phone access or e-mail (although this will change in time unfortunately).  On a train the mobile and wireless coverage can be ‘iffy’.  Plus there’s no chance of the dreaded ‘walk-in’ interruption that breaks your concentration.

4. Definite start and stop time – Plus intensity!

When you travel on a plane and train you know (hopefully) how much time you have to work.  And there’s nothing like a deadline to get you focused on flying through stuff.   Urgency helps the intensity.

So based on the above, here’s one immediate idea you can take to bring ‘Plane & Train Super Productivity’ into your normal business day:

Plan 1 Hour Every Week For ‘Out Of Office’ Super Focus:

  1. Change your environment completely at least once a week – For me, the best is a coffee shop up in the Wicklow mountains.  Just by sitting there I access a different part of my thinking.
  2. Set a defined time to do ‘Super Productivity‘  e.g. start at 3pm, end at 4pm.

3. Turn off your phone and email – Go on, the world will still go on!

4. Let yourself work on whatever you most want to i.e. whatever you’d enjoy doing.

Next Action For You:

Share with us your best tip for Super Focus & Productivity in the comments below, and then Take the poll to rate your top distraction.