My 100-Day Challenge!

My 100-Day Challenge!

By May of this year, one of our major clients hadn’t paid us for 2 months work, and then the news broke that its European arm had filed for insolvency. At that point, we had several projects ongoing and we were told we would be paid, so based on good faith we worked until the end of May, at which point our total outstanding balance was just under £40,000.

I have my goals, dreams, and ambitions, and I wasn’t going to let a client’s insolvency, or a pandemic stop me from achieving them! I hadn’t come this far to only come this far! Therefore, in the middle of May, based on the awful news from our client, I made a decision which was going to have an impact on my personal life but would hopefully help safeguard the immediate future of my business. I had decided to go for my 100-Day Challenge – for 100 days, I would be doing business development every single day, without fail, including weekends, no excuses. Truth be told, I had no other choice. Getting angry and worrying about the £40,000 wasn’t going to help me. As I’ve said in my vlogs and blogs before when faced with a problem, I look for solutions – and this was my solution, working my arse off to protect my business and keep dreams alive! To add to my woes, we were in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic meaning business was slow, and our business development manager had to go on furlough because he has 2 very young children.

I knew that if it was to be, it was up to me! I had to quickly get used to working long days during the week which involved projects, meetings, teamwork, running my business, and business development, and making the choice, not a sacrifice, of working weekends. Although some weekends would be full working days, I did make sure that after a month or so, I would work for only half the day – the house chores and shopping weren’t going to do themselves, and we were in lockdown, so I hardly had a choice of places to go to anyway! But, I had my focus and goals, this was me fighting hard for the survival of my business, and I wasn’t going to give up without a fight; it’s not in my nature to take any shit lying down! So, with my head up, eyes forward, and laser-focused on my short, medium- and long-term goals, I got going.

It’s been tough, most people didn’t reply, and I received many “no’s”, which I expected – I feel it’s better to receive a “no” rather than no reply because at least I’ve been acknowledged! Nevertheless, I persevered and with some luck, and help, my business is in a much healthier position now than it was 100 days ago! Nothing is a given, and although we have picked up some good new clients, and projects with existing clients, I know that had I not put in the effort from over 3 months ago, and actually told people about our situation, I wouldn’t have had any luck or help; I wasn’t going to let the silliness of pride get the better of me. I also believe in the “Law of Attraction”, you can call it prayer, belief, whatever you want, but if you want something from God, or the universe, or wherever, then it’s a simple 3-step process of “Ask, Believe, and Receive”, and I am happy and grateful to have asked, believed, and be receiving.

Talking about luck, I try to be a responsible business owner. I don’t take silly money out of my businesses and I had built enough capital in the bank to pay my staff for up to a year in the event of no work coming in. I think that’s common sense and smart, to run a business with some sort of slush fund to ride through rough times. It’s not easy finding good staff, so if your business or industry goes through a tough time, you want to be able to retain your team because if you put the effort in, better times will return and your staff will be there to spring back into action, as has happened with us.

From just over 3 months ago where I wondered, momentarily, about what was going to happen to my business, to now, where I’m hiring new staff, it is a 180° change! If you are going through a tough time, my simple advice is this: focus on your goals, get your head down, and do WHATEVER IT TAKES to keep your business going because that could be the difference between your success and failure!

I know I couldn’t have got to where I am without a strong mentality and serious tenacity, traits which I have been forging throughout my life. I also know I couldn’t have done it without help from my wonderful friends. No one gets anywhere alone, no one is self-made, everyone is part of a bigger team. As the gestalt theory goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and I am just a lone medical writer without my amazing employees and set of friends who help and inspire me.

So, to Lesley Taylor and Tim Hardman, thank you for being there for me and for helping me; you are true friends and I hope I can return your incredible favours one day!

10 years back in the UK – this is my story, so far!

10 years today, I had to move back to the UK. I’d spent 4 wonderful years in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I fell in love with Germany during my year in industry from uni, which I spent in Heidelberg. I say I had to move back because it wasn’t something I really wanted to do, but work was looking to make people redundant, and mum was on her own after dad had died a couple of years earlier and needed me, so it seemed the “right” time to come back.

I’ve made friends in many places throughout my life, but those I am closest to and have regular contact with are still in Frankfurt. Frankfurt isn’t as pretty as Heidelberg, and truth be told it took me a couple of years to like it, but it was the people who made it for me. It was leaving that life that hurt so much; I was in tears as my plane was taking off… and although I already had tickets booked to come back and see my friends, it would be as a visitor to Frankfurt, not as a resident.

After moving back, I knew I needed to make new friends because my friends from my childhood and uni had settled into their own lives with their own friends. So, I began an InterNations community (an international networking community whose parties I attended in Frankfurt) in Manchester. I also jumped into the Latin dance scene. I’d done some salsa classes in the decade before, including a handful of times in Frankfurt, but didn’t stick to it because it meant spending less time with my existing friends. I knew this was my opportunity to really learn something new, meet new people, make new friends, and have fun. Through InterNations and dance, I have made friends, made memories, learned new skills, taken a tonne of photographs, and had enormous fun!

The job I moved back for didn’t last long, and I was made redundant again after just 10 months, however, I did meet the best boss I’ve ever had and who I am still friends with today. It also presented me with the opportunity of having my own business. I’d always wanted to be my own boss, and I had begun thinking about it during my last job. But this really went into overdrive because of potentially commuting 90 minutes each way to where a hub for my industry lay, and moving to that area was not an option since I’d moved back to be with mum, who needed me around.

So, I did my own thing! I started freelancing and was happy doing that for the first 5 years. In that time, I also got into a health and wellness business, which taught me a lot about business, and I took advantage of various free business courses that were being delivered at the local uni and other places. Then another opportunity presented itself for me to grow my business beyond just me, and I went for it! I’ve had my ups and downs, had my wins and losses, but I have developed as a person and a professional. From someone who is still a relative outsider in their industry with no previous relationships with people from big firms, I’ve had to knock on many doors to get to where I am! I somewhat relish the challenge of breaking down barriers, building new relationships, winning new clients, and showing them what my team of talented employees can do!

I miss Germany, I miss my friends, I miss my life with my friends in Germany. Sometimes, we cannot always choose the path we want to, but sometimes an alternative path can also lead us on an amazing journey. I am happy and grateful for everything I currently have, but I am not done yet! I have many big and scary goals that I’ve set myself; a couple I’ve achieved, several I am still hunting down! If you’re at a crossroads in your life, your red or blue pill moment, then whichever way you go, make the most of your choice, because if you do, you won’t be disappointed with where you are or where you are not. Life is in perpetual motion, where you are right now is where you are right now, it isn’t your end stop, because, besides death, there is no end stop. So, head up, eyes forward, and go forth! #YourLifeYourRules

Bilal Happy

Mental Health and Me

The phrase #mentalhealth has an emotional connection for me.

I grew up in a loving household, but both my parents were afflicted with mental health issues. Dad had bipolar disorder, and because of having to deal with that stress, mum developed depression. These problems split our family up several times during my childhood, the longest being over a year until dad finally agreed to receive help. During our time apart, I put on a lot of weight because of my mother being overprotective of her only son, for which I was bullied at school.

Although I don’t have mental health problems (I hope I never do), I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) level 1 over a year ago. I knew I was different as a kid, and this helped confirm that I was not neurotypical. My ASD 1 helped make sense of the bullying; my classmates bullied me not necessarily because I was fat but because I was different, and they didn’t really know any better so went after my weight. I did eventually lose my weight, and although it got rid of some of the bullying, it didn’t all go away.

Growing up, I had a fear of being predisposed to developing mental health issues, so I did what I could to reduce the chances of that. I learned quickly what made me “happy”, by doing activities that released my endorphins, such as daily exercise, eating healthy and regularly, dancing, and listening to uplifting music. Like everyone, I have had very low points in my life, and anchoring myself to a routine has helped me get myself out of those holes I found myself in.

I know there is a stigma attached to mental health with not speaking about it, but it is an invisible and silent destroyer of lives. I am not ashamed to admit that I consult my psychologist regularly, just like I do my GP, dentist, optician, physiotherapist, and chiropractor.

Help yourself as much as you can, and when you can’t, speak to someone, it could change your life… #mentalhealthawareness

Mindset!

You are at a point where you know how your business works inside out, are well organised, know your sales process, and know a bit about social media (many blogs coming up about that!). Ready to rock’n’roll right? Not always, sadly! Many people do do do but never never never progress beyond a certain level! Why do you think that is? The reason is mindset! Creating the right mindset is absolutely everything to your aspirations!

So what holds people back? What stops people making the most of their businesses? What stops people from reaching for their dreams? What robs them of their dream lifestyle? What condemns them to a life less than what they wished? Well, complacency is one, “what’s easy to do is also easy not to do”, but more than that, the four-letter word that has destroyed us for millennia – FEAR!

Fear Is Bullshit!

Fear is the bullshit story your brain tells you why you can’t do or achieve something! It is our default mode for self-preservation and maintaining the status quo of monotony! Fear is not real; it is the product of the thoughts we create. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice! Yes, really! Tell yourself you aren’t scared and see how your life changes! To me, FEAR only has one meaning: Face Everything And Rise! Most people fear change, failure and success itself! The opposite of fear is courage, which forms the basis of belief. Belief is what many people lack when striving for success! Building belief comes from a multitude of factors, but fundamentally, for me, it comes from owning your circumstances, and backing yourself to change them!

Here’s another revelation for you, however good, bad or ugly your life is, it is all because of you! Yes, whatever successes and failures you have experienced throughout your life are ALL DOWN TO YOU! What? All of it? Yeah, baby, ALL OF IT! Your choices and attitudes dictate your life, and it is those choices and attitudes which are fundamentally affected by mindset. A poor mindset will give you a poor lifestyle but an enriched mindset will give you your chance to live your dream lifestyle! So, is it worth making a change? Hell yeah!

Feed Your Mind!

I read, listen to and watch material on personal education, development, growth and mindset daily, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. My car is full of self-help audiobooks so I only listen to them and no music whenever I am driving (confession, I occasionally play the radio after a CD ends!). Why? Well, the successful people I follow, whose material I read, listen to and watch, tell me to! So, if it works for them, then who am I to argue with multi-millionaires and billionaires?!

There is a wealth of information out there to help you get your mindset right! Here are 10 books I recommend to begin feeding your mind with, and I advise you to buy the audiobooks too because the material is genius!

  • John C. Maxwell:
    • “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”;
    • “The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork”;
    • “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”.
  • Darren Hardy:
    • “The Compound Effect”.
  • Rhonda Byrne:
    • “The Secret” (watch the film its only 90 minutes but it worked for me and millions of others!).
  • Napoleon Hill:
    • “Think and Grow Rich!”.
  • Wallace D. Wattles:
    • “The Science of Getting Rich”.
  • George S. Clason:
    • “The Richest Man in Babylon”.
  • Earl Nightingale:
    • “The Strangest Secret”.
  • James Allen:
    • “As A Man Thinketh”.

The material, knowledge and advice are sensational, life-changing and enriching! Do you want to get rich? Get Enriched first! I also advise you to set aside a budget each month/year for new material. If you are spending more money on clothes than investing into your own personal education, growth, development and mindset, then you will not become enriched and you will be depriving your future self of the riches you desire for immediate gratification. Patience is the key to success!

It Will Be Worth It!

How badly would you like to change your life and turn it into your dream life? Well, to have something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done, and ALL change begins within! Remember the motto: “Change your thinking, change your actions, change your life”! Your life starts at the end of your comfort zone, so get moving! this stuff has really worked for me and many others! Give it ago, what have you got to lose?! It will be worth it, trust me!

Other people I recommend to read/listen to/watch, but not limited to, including Anthony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracey, Bob Proctor, Napoleon Hill, Les Brown, Stephen Covey and Wayne Dyer.

Improving your mindset will take time. If you are going to get started, begin with the last 4 books in the list above because they’re cheap and quick to read and let me know how you get on 🙂

Let me know how you get on!