Sunday, 31 August 2008

Great Publicity!

I was a little perturbed (miffed?) to read in today's Sunday Times that Katie Price had been nominated 4th in a BT Tradespace poll of Britain's 'most admired entrepreneurs'.

Naturally I had to find said poll - to find out where I had been rated of course - only to discover that it consisted of 10 choices of entrepreneur with just 119 votes cast, of which Katie received 9. Highly conclusive then...

But what great publicity for BT Tradespace!

Friday, 29 August 2008

Quality of Vibration

Further to my last post about Gratitude I thought I'd write a bit further about the Law of Attraction, and my own experience of how the quality of your vibration is really key in getting good results...

As SKY commented on my last post, whatever you are putting out there in terms of your vibration pretty quickly starts to show up in every area of your life.

For example, last week I was on holiday in the Algarve, reading Esther Hick's book Ask and It Is Given, enjoying every moment of the beautiful sunshine, the kids having fun playing on the beach, eating delicious food and generally vibrating in a place of joy, positivity and empowerment.

I then came back home to 400 emails full of great wonderful stuff - new opportunities, fan mail from America (Dragons' Den has just started airing there), lovely thank you emails from people who'd read my book Business Nightmares, various invites to speak at business events plus some nice cheques in the bundle of post.

Then this week we took the kids to London and had a very stressy, angst filled couple of days... Returned home and next day had a visit from a business acquantaince (who I thought was popping by for a coffee and a catch-up) who was incredibly negative and nasty to me (her own energy soured by various events in her life) - to the extent that I ended up asking her to leave my home. (By the way, this is someone who constantly puts out requests for more money but is constantly penniless and scrimping, because the money never seems to manifest.)

Plus various irritating emails and negative blog comments also showed up on the same day.

Luckily I was conscious of what was going on - I had allowed my personal energy to slip and so had attracted the negativity, which was sucking me further down the spiral - and immediately started to restore my equilibrium by focussing on positive things. And today has already been 1000% times better than yesterday!

The point I am making is that whatever frequency you vibrate at will attract things with a similar frequency into your life. Therefore the simple act of trying to stay positive (even in the face of hatchet faced bitches arriving on your doorstep!!!) works wonders to attract wonderful things into your life.

The more consistent and stronger your vibration, the faster the energy will flow - and the better the results will be, especially as they build over time.

I'm still working on it (you may have noticed I do still get a little angry when people piss me off) - but I will know I have been totally successful at this when I no longer attract any negative comments on my Blog !!!

Have yourself a great weekend!

Monday, 18 August 2008


There are moments in life where everything feels so perfect that you can't help sitting and relishing the wonderfulness of the moment... Those moments can be as simple as sitting in the garden watching the children play or sitting on the verandah of a 5* hotel enjoying the warm breeze and a cool spritzer.

Today I am revisiting one of my now favourite books (which arrived into my life directly as a result of a comment on this blog)- Ask and It Is Given by Esther Hicks. It has reminded me that the source of the Universe is a stream of well-being and joy, available to everyone to the extent that they allow it...

It has also reminded me that the most powerful gift you can give yourself is to fully experience the delicious joy of the moment, and in that moment you have the absolute power to shape your destiny.

Enjoy the moment!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Changing Opinions...

Now I am on the train I will write a slightly longer response to the comments from the 'anonymice' elsewhere on this blog that I 'have a breathtaking inability to see myself as others see me'.

As the person who reads my postbag/email inbox, as well as receiving google alerts on myself for the past 3 years I think I am probably in the unique position of being the only one able to truly assess public opinion.

Immediately after RLD crashed I would agree there was a lot of hate - probably one piece of hate mail to every two messages of positive support.

These days there's still the odd nasty message (or blog comment) but for every negative one there are now 99 positive ones - whether in response to speeches I have made, from people who've read my book, taken my profiler or who I have helped in some way.

How have I done this? Through a three year long process of focusing my energy on helping people in the small business sector, being candid about my experiences and the associated emotions, and generally being accessible via my Blog as well as replying to my own emails ( rather than having a PA bat back responses).

The work continues, but I would suggest that it is the 'anonymice' who are the ones stuck in the past with the breathtaking inability to see that their views on me are old and outdated.

Time to move on guys don't you think?

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The £Million Desk

I've got some wonderful clients and none more so than Northampton based PhotoArtistry. They reproduce digital prints in all types of media - on canvas, wood block, aluminium and embedded in acrylic - and in return for my help created this beautiful bespoke acrylic desk for my new office.

Those of you who follow feng shui will know that it's good to have lots of wealth and money symbolism in the area you work; the desk is a bed of £50 notes sandwiched in acrylic, and is a nod to the piles of money the Dragons had in the Den.

Thank you PhotoArtistry - the desk is just fabulous and is loved by everyone who sees it!

Friday, 8 August 2008

WrapIt Crashes

You may have seen the news that WrapIt, the wedding gift list company, went into administration this week after its credit card takings were bonded by its bank.
Exactly the same scenario that happened to Red Letter Days in 2005 and Farepak in 2006.
In Red Letter Days' case, Barclays bonded £3million of the company's cash (as well as holding a further £1.25million in other security against their perceived contingent liability on experience vouchers purchased by credit card), causing a cashflow crisis which forced the company into administration.
12 months after the company crashed, the cost of fulfilling the vouchers claimed by customers (and bear in mind the media surrounding the collapse caused a huge run on vouchers) was less than £1.5million. The rest of the bonded money, instead of going to the company's creditors, went as a 'bonus' to the new owners of the company. This was a deal done by Barclays and the administrators which to my knowledge was never reported to the creditors.
The practice of 'bonding' a company's takings in the way that happened to RLD and Farepak and WrapIt will almost always certainly cause the business to fail. Its quite easy to see why the bank takes the action it does, justifying that it needs to protect itself in the event the company fails but this always becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If we are to prevent similar business failures, the legality of the practice of 'bonding' should immediately be reviewed by DBERR. In my view bonding acts to make the bank a preferential creditor which I believe under current insolvency law is illegal.
If credit card facilities are extended to a company without bonding terms (effectively giving that company the ability to utilise revenue as working capital, upon which they will then base their financial forecasts) then banks simply should not be allowed to alter the terms of the agreement down the line, at least not without a minimum of 12 months' notice.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

The Million Makers

In my new capacity as Ambassador for The Prince's Trust I was proud to be asked to Chair a 'Million Makers' event for them last Friday - a brilliantly innovative idea where companies create enterprising teams who are awarded £3,000 seed funding and are challenged to turn it into £20,000. 50 teams across the UK are expected to take part with the total result that £1million will be raised to help The Prince's Trust support more young people to get into business.

Our Dragons' Den style panel gave really helpful and positive feedback to three fantastic teams from Flogas, RBS and SpecSavers - here I am with my co-Dragons from left to right Colin Walton (Chairman of Bombardier), Brian Kingsley (Director, Specsavers), Paddy Kilmartin (CEO Flogas), Liz Smith (Regional Director, RBS), Nic Hanlon (Associate Director, RBS) and Darryn Hedges (CEO, Bridge McFarland), together with Mir Juma (Regional Director, The Prince's Trust).

The DLOG Blog

At my suggestion The DLOG has created a Blog - so why not swoop by and leave a rude comment or two? :-)

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Red Letter Days still in the Red

Last week was a painful anniversary for me - 1 August 2005 was the date my first company Red Letter Days went into administration, 16 years after I founded it.

An administration which could have been avoided had I managed to raise £2million in equity to match a bank finance offer from HBOS of £2million before I ran out of time. The company of course already had £3.3million cash at bank (most of it held in bond by Barclays which they wouldn't let us touch) so the additional injection would have given it the liquidity it needed to trade through, correct its various problems and then float on AIM.

Interesting therefore to see the latest accounts of the new Red Letter Days just filed - which show a £2.8million loss to 30 September 2007 - that's cumulative losses of nearly £10million (£13million if you exclude the £3million handed to the new owners on a plate by Barclays) since the company was acquired out of administration for the 'bargain' price of £250k.

Losses which are, of course, still being blamed on the old company, despite the fact that most of the old company's vouchers expired on 31 July 2005 and those remaining in retail all expired well before the end of the previous accounting period.

The sad fact is that pushing an ailing company through an administration process is a really tempting trap. The thinking goes: wipe the debt, take the brand and everyone's a winner - except of course the old owners.

The reality is that the administration process DESTROYS huge amounts of value.

In Red Letter Days' case, as a result of the high profile media fallout the brand was severely damaged, it caused a run on voucher claims - which the voucher owners would probably have forgotten about if the crash hadn't been so high profile - and the majority of the suppliers had to be paid out anyway because there is a finite number of experience suppliers in the UK, and these suppliers refused to honour any new bookings unless all old debts were paid.

Think how much cheaper it would have been for the new owners just to have injected the £2million equity required (which, under the circumstances, would have secured a massive equity stake), let the company recover and then sell it on a year or two later at a massive premium (our Brokers predicted, given the profile of the brand, that the float value would have been c£25million).

But then sometimes greed just gets the better of people.

An expensive mistake to make!

And a reason why I urge the government to review the current administration and insolvency laws - which often act against the growth of UK enterprise.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Dear Rachel

I am delighted to let you know that I am now the Business Agony Aunt for the Financial Mail on Sunday's online website

If you'd like my advice on any problem facing your business please email Featured problems will appear on their website shortly!