I Was Absolutely Useless

Yes, I was absolutely useless. But the worst thing? I thought I was good. I’ve been having a garage spring clean and came across a box of old MiniDiscs. For younger readers, MiniDisk was the technology after cassettes and before MP3 players. I popped one into the old garage hi-fi, hoping to find a disco […][...]

The Curse of Chaos

Early in my career, I was invited to work with a ‘creative agency’.   It was a hoot! Painted pigs in reception. Table tennis and space invaders. Pizzas on Thursday. Pub on Friday.  ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here – but it helps’ posters.  You get the idea. And almost everyone was happy to work late. […][...]

Are my networking days dead

It’s called ‘In the Middle’ and you can find it right in the middle of Corbridge, Northumberland. It’s our friends’ new sandwich, snacks and coffee shop and it opened this week. Sublime chicken, pesto and mozzarella toastie – but I’m not writing to you about that. I’m writing to you about Jerry. I was waiting […][...]

Why Our Retailers Must Step Up

I’ve presented at several retailer conferences this year. The atmosphere has been buoyant at some and desperate at others. Sometimes, when I’m giving a keynote, I use fear as a motivator to give the audience a whack on the side of the head. For retailers, I used to name the shops which no longer exist […][...]

Happy Birthday to ……

20 years ago, October 1st 1998, I started a new job. Founder of Michael Heppell Ltd. I was stoked. Totally clueless … but stoked. My own business, first day of trading and loads of people said they would book me. But, as many entrepreneurs know, someone saying they will buy your services and someone actually buying […][...]

Unsexy Business

We all love a bit of tech – the latest gizmo or gadget. Investors love it too. Do you remember the dot com bubble? But while the headlines are being grabbed by sexy flash-in-the-pan start-ups, it’s the grafters who are the real backbone of any economy. Unsexy Businesses JR Cleaning services is owned by a […][...]

Why We Offer a 100% Total Satisfaction Guarantee

‘That’s ballsy’, said my potential client. ‘I know’, I responded, ‘but it does two things…’ A response I received recently when I informed a new customer that we give a ‘100% total satisfaction guarantee’. It’s not a gimmick – it’s a brand promise. And one we’re proud of. I just wish more companies would do […][...]

Why Most Ideas Are Worthless

Everyone likes to think their idea could make a million. But very few will. When you do find something that is truly innovative, disruptive and exciting you can’t help but get a buzz. The trick is turning the idea into a reality. I had an idea in 2001 to offer online discount vouchers. This was […][...]

How To Brainstorm

Everyone claims to know how to brainstorm. The rules are universal: Be open Listen Explore all ideas Actively contribute Make connections Write everything down Never say NO! You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. So why do most brainstorms fail? Because of the (often) unsaid rules. Leave ego at the door Be fascinated […][...]

Be what is missing

Every so often you hear an idea* which is so simple, yet so brilliant, you have to share it. This is one such idea. And it’s especially brilliant for anyone aiming to be a great leader. Be the person who is missing from the room. That’s your job as a leader. Here are a few […][...]

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