I am still on an unexpected, enforced, extended leave of absence following being extremely sick. Thank you all for all your kind messages both via here and on other mediums such as email, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
I have decided with three exceptions to start to retire from ALL active business with immediate effect. I am 100% outsourcing some activities. I will continue to run both my VirtualOffice and PersonalCloud product lines. I will also continue to publish the Weekly Deals Free Sheet.
I will be contacting all associates, clients and partners on an individual basis to discuss this and to minimise any impact very shortly. There are a lot of telephone calls to make and still a bit of work to be done!
I will continue to operate this website and keep it up to date.
I hope to be able to publish the next issue of Weekly Deals in April.
VirtualOffice and PersonalCloud
Can I ask all users of these products to please, please, please log any issues with these products via my ticketing system which is here. The guys that are so admirably holding the fort for me with these products are unable to access my email account, Facebook account or any other medium belonging to me personally.Using these methods instead of a ticket both makes it harder for me to keep track of what is happening with VirtualOffice and PersonalCloud and harder to get your issues resolved.
Well the usual health related stuff has actually kept me out of hospital since my last update. Things have been reasonably busy too, I shall be sharing a lot more about some business developments in the next few weeks. I am also finally managing to change some working methods for the better so it does not matter if I am only able to work 2 days in a week or 4. 5 day /40 hour plus working has not been possible for a while but things are stitching together nicely. My February pilgrimage to Birmingham did not go according to plan and I found Spring Fair far too quiet for my liking with a brought on decent leads to be had. This is down to the unpredictable way things are in the world right now. It is disappointing to have what feels like a wasted trip though.
My main trip to Ireland was cancelled for a number of reason, however I did manage to get a “flying” visit of 24 hours in to Dublin to sort out some issues and “bang some heads together. I should be heading out for a week during March 2017.
The weekly deals newsletters are now going from strength to strength with readership growing every week.
So whats been happening recently? Well its been fairly quiet, but that has been of my own volition. Usual health related stuff and spending more time than I would like inside hospitals has mean’t that business has taken a small back seat recently. I have recently launched the weekly deals newsletter, the next issue should be published by tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing readership of this grow this year! My twice yearly “enforced” pilgrimage to the Birmingham NEC is next week for Spring Fair. I am looking forward to it and still have some space available for meetings at the exhibition. The week after I will be Ireland on business. I will be visiting Belfast, Dublin and possibly Cork before high tailing it back to Birmingham for the franchise expo. Again I have some space for meetings so please feel free to contact me if you would like to arrange a meeting.
August is usually a quiet month, but I have to say this August has definitely been my quietest August in my 21 years in trade and industry. It has left me some short time for rest and recuperation, which these days I need quite a lot of. This is mostly down to business being very quiet generally in view of Brexit.
So what’s been happening?
I have taken a few new things on and dumped some rubbish by the wayside. I have good availability for consulting and new deals from 24 September onwards.
I urgently require lifestyle businesses to sell nationwide.
Project Retail 2018 are looking for new products and I have some exciting other stuff on my desk.
I am looking forward to producing the October edition of The P2 List, this should be a nice bumper issue and will be published on 15th September 2016. Copy and advertising deadlines are looming large.
The usual health complaints are there but so what. Arthritis in both legs get worse all the time. I cannot do anything about it but live with it and try and work around it.
I shall be on the road all of the week commencing 5 September, starting with my annual pilgrimage to the Autumn Fair at the NEC Birmingham and following that with a trip to Dublin for the Franchise Expo. I will be travelling South West to the counties of Tipperary, Limerick and Kerry for 4 meetings in one day and then travelling back to London via a stop for more meetings in Dublin. Hopefully I will not have the traffic issues I faced on the last trip! I still have some space for 1-2-1 meetings in Dublin.
This will be the first major run on business trips since most health issues kicked in so it will be interesting to see how well or how badly things go. I think that getting the worst of the business out of the way first in the form of two days at the NEC is the best thing! I like a good trade event and for an event such as Autumn Fair the NEC is the best place to hold it, but roger me backwards with a steam roller, the place is soulless and not much fun!
I have been asked by some readers of this blog to bring them up to speed with regards to some health issues. This little issue and severe osteo arthritis are the main orders of the day. It ain’t great waking up with a headache, tinnitus and pressure in the ears every morning. Vertigo and the risk of falls or drop attacks are not fun either, especially if you start to feel wobbly on the street. I am still working away on various things gently but on a more part time basis. I tend to need to take time off intermittently from time to time. I need to rest often. Also I cannot walk more than 4 metres without walking aids. I am on some serious medication. If i dont respond to emails and texts immediately please be aware that the answer is above. Edit: This little sod has turned up 🙁
Many regular readers and old friends have commented that I seem to have taken my foot off the gas in terms of this blog and a few other things. So what has been going on? Well firstly I had to restructure my businesses because I did not have enough time to tend to them all. I have also been spending quite some time here. The next issue came in March when I had a small accident. You can read more about that here. This threw up a few other issues incluing severe arthritis which mean’t I would spend most of the year on crutches. Last week I was able to stick the crutches into storage after a procedure in hospital.Only time will tell if this is a temporary as opposed to a permanent solution. Some of you may also remeber this little issue that reared its ugly head a few years ago and started playing havoc with my hearing. I now wear hearing aids full time. Unfortunately this was the start of something more serious. So there is the answer, unfortunately my time has been taken up with other things.
While on a brief trip to the supermarket a few hours ago I took a call from a former business associate who I have not spoken to for a good few years. He informed me that he was sorry to hear that my business was in trouble. I asked him how he worked that out. He explained that he had seen that I was collapsing and selling off some brands and interests. What an idiot! Lets be clear my business is in good health. Running a number of brands takes an awful lot of time and I only have a certain number of hours in the week available to me. I have a number of business interests here that have ramped up over the past 12 months and are doing rather nicely as well. Brands get tired and take effort to keep on track. By trying to create a timeless piece and cut out a workload is common sense. It also creates a manageable entity with less parts that can go wrong and eat up more time. Personally speaking there are other people and things demanding of more of my time and my health is not the greatest at the moment. I have hived off my IT industry activities into Wimbledon Systems and left it to its own management as I no longer wish to be a part of the industry. I only want to take profit 🙂 I am still here and there is always time to discuss and do deals. If you hear any rumours that my business is going down the pan, please kindly ignore them as they are probably started by an unknowing idiot 🙂 The P2 Set is here to stay. Look out for changes and developments in the coming months 🙂
2013 has for the most part been a pretty crap year for me. What ever could go wrong did indeed seem to go wrong. Health issues, clients going bust, dodgy clients and few other things to boot. The good thing about the gap between Christmas and New Year is the fact that its so quiet at work. This is good because it gives me a chance to do some planning and set some targets for 2014. I thought I would use this post to share a few of these targets. 1) Health. Target: only 6 sick days in 2014. 2) Smoking. Try and give up by the end of the year. 3) Wheels. Range Rover Evoque or Audi Q7 to be ordered by year end. Work 1) Double the size of the business. 2) Grow The Investment Network and get 100,000 visits to the website. 3) Sell the large systems consultancy. 4) Get new offices.
A week ago I celebrated 18 years in the technology trade. That’s just under half my life. It was the start of what would become a career working with the latest tools and technology, a career that would take me all over the world and eventually to a small extent claim my health. It was also the start of a love-hate affair with traffic police up and down the country. I hate them catching me for speeding and they love to give me a fine and at least 3 points on my licence! There have been some great times and some great places I have been thrown into situations I never before thought would happen to me. For a quick synopsis read being in the middle of hotel fires, terrorist alerts and a few other things. I have had clients go bankrupt and probably seen more than I should. There have been great times too I have worked with some absolute morons and a larger number of absolutely amazing people and I have made a large number of enduring friendships throughout my time in the trade. I have worked everywhere from front line support through to consultancy on some fairly big name projects and also my own investments in the dot com sector and The Investment Network. In 18 years I have seen the trade change a lot and the way that clients and customers are treated change a lot too. I wont name the individuals or organisations involved but when an IT Sales Director told me recently that ” I’m just going to tell the customer to f**k off nicely.” I knew that things had changed too much. Last year I encountered health problems with my hearing that prevented me from flying frequently and running around Europe treating British Airways like most people treat a bus service is no longer possible (my record is 190 flights in one year!). I tried to pick up the flying again this year but after only 16 flights the health issues came back. At least my luggage will no longer get lost! Extended hotel stays have also taken their toll and whilst I must proffer thanks to Accor Hotels and Hilton Hotels for their amazing customer service spending over 2500 nights in hotels has taken its toll too. On the subject of travel I will apologise now to Hertz for pranging some of their lovely hire cars 🙂 So why am I telling you all of this? Well after some very careful thinking I have decided to plan my phased retirement from the consultancy side of the trade and intend to retire and change career by September 2016 at the latest when I will celebrate 21 years in the trade. I will probably continue at The Investment Network as this side of my work does give me some pleasure and a bit of a buzz but I will be looking for other interests outside of technology and IT. Aside of this I am actively in the market for new business and career opportunities. I am not 100 % sure which direction this will go in yet. So its onwards and upwards and yes I shall still be consulting for while yet. I shall be posting more about this new phase in my life here so please keep popping back to keep up to date!
So what been happening recently with me, Court Capital Partners and more? As some as you may know I have had a few health issues on and off since 2010. Chest pains, eye problems and now problems with my ears and hearing. As more of you may know I have had for many years a healthy IT consultancy with a large number of clients based in mainland Europe. Over the past 2 months problems with my ears and almost constant earache which gets worse when flying have mean’t that I am now medically banned from flying and driving. Thats 60% of my business and income down the swanny 🙁 as I am effectively banned from business travel. Eurostar also causes problems because of the pressure when the train is underground. and that is not a good feeling. I am not however going to wallow. The doctors have so far been buckshee useless in getting it sorted and getting the pain under control. I am certainly soon to have a major argument with certain parts of the NHS. After an international career spanning 13 years, 900 flights, 2500 nights in hotel rooms, the odd speeding ticket and a pranged hire car or 3 I returned home from my last business trip for the foreseeable future on Friday night in agony after a lengthy journey from Luxembourg via train. A pretty sad but thought provoking event. So what am I doing about it? Well for a start I am putting my non-UK client list up for sale. I have decided to heavily develop Court Capital Partners and before we tail off for the Christmas break you can expect to see a few new things here. I am also looking for new business ventures and casting the net to see what is out there. I will be updating my personal blog here on an ad hoc basis. Also expect to see me doing more face to face networking than I have been over the past 3-4 years, if you feel there is an event worth attending please let me know. I’m looking forward to this new chapter in life and as they say as one door closes hopefully another one opens and I am going to try not to let it get me down.