Category Archives: Achievement

A Dutchman’s Daily commute …… Powered by the Wind

The Dutch Railway Could Run Solely on Wind Power By 2018 if Eneco gets their way

The Netherlands has a fantastic inspirational energy goal: The country wants its entire electric rail system to run on 100% wind power within three years.

Railway Technology reports that Dutch energy company Eneco and the VIVENS rail companies signed a deal to make Dutch electric trains within Netherlands Railways run entirely on energy produced by wind farms. Wind farms already supply half of the 1,800-mile, 1.5kV DC network’s energy—a network that carries over a million passengers a day.

The wind power will come from gusts blowing off the plains of the land of the Tulip, as well as their surrounding neighbours like  Belgium and some Scandinavian nations; part of the strategy is to promote increased renewable energy  in other European countries as well.

In the last few years, wind power has seen rapid growth worldwide. According to the IEC; International Energy Council, the land-based wind power installation rate has gone up around 24+% annually every year since 2000. The council predicts that if world governments stick to plan, wind power could account for 18% of all energy production globally.

Back in the Netherlands, Eneco says it also entered a 10-year deal with Google to make its data center in the northern part of the country totally powered by wind farm energy as well.

The reason this is important is because by proactively sticking your country’s head above the paraphet as they have done hopefully other countries will follow suit and join the programme.

In the UK they are planning for the first time a matrix of offshore  Wind Power networks Round 3, released in 2010 is the biggest so far and features nine zones across the UK. The largest, Dogger Bank, has the potential to generate up to 13GW of power and is one of the largest energy projects anywhere in the world. Round 3 is set to enter construction from this year onwards and has a total of more than 24GW already leased to developers.

Do you have ideas for harvesting wind power?

Lets discuss …come and sign up.

To your success

Steve

 

Tallest Lift on The Planet

It appears like a special effects design out of a Star Wars epic.
But engineers have drawn up plans to build an elevator that would lift astronauts and their craft 12 miles into the Stratosphere.
The idea is that they would take off at higher altitudes there-by burning about 30% less fuel than at ground level cutting costs significantly for manned space flight.
The firm Thoth Technology Inc ( http://thothx.com/ ) has been granted US & UK patents for its “space elevator” which would travel at 7mph up a freestanding tower.

It’s an important breakthrough because…

In the patent the firm explains that blasting off from the ground requires vast amounts of kinetic energy because the propulsion systems are weighed down with fuel and must counter atmospheric drag.

When using their new design at higher altitudes less “expulsion mass” exists working against gravity and lower ascent speeds can be achieved with less fuel in the stratosphere as drag is vitually elimated .

Conventional rockets take off vertically – shedding various modules as they get higher before turning horizontal to enter space. The elevator would eliminate this stage altogether with take offs from a launch pad flying off horizontally. Space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refueling and reflight.

Mind blowing and exciting stuff which will herald a new era of space transportation.

These are the topics I want to discuss in our mastermind group. Please opt in and strike up a conversation. Any Space Junkies out there that want to explore some new ideas?

 

Success is yours for the taking

Steve

 

Richard Branson A Jumbo Jet and An Inflatable!

Todays piece is about doing stuff that may appear bigger than you can handle; but in reality it is just the perception of what’s possible and not to hold back on going BIG!

You’ll surprise yourself that the perception of crazy …”we can’t do that moments” turn out to be the most successful no matter how wacky. Generating ideas and staying in the flow creates a level of inspiration that can turn out to be highly rewarding.

To coin the collective phrase about brainstorming sessions…”Lets do a mind dump” as I experienced regularly in workshops within the “MAD MEN” – Ad / Media world. This is where a lot of unique creative thinking is borne . Stretching the limits of ones mind to market a brand or product. This activity is now used in all manner of industries to gain advantage over market share in growing economies.

I can draw an analogy of this based on my own experience a few years back. Sounds crazy but …I recall back in early 1990 working on the RayBan Sunglass account and coming up with all sorts of ideas to expand the brand – At the time Richard Branson ” The Smiley One” was making huge endeavours to transform the Airline business and I thought there was a perfect fit with our Aviator line of glasses.

Prior to this Virgin Atlantic  had already received a licence to open up the Los Angeles route from Gatwick and the official launch was May that year. We wanted to sell our product within “Duty Free” on airlines and the company had already struck a deal with Virgin. I had this idea of painting a pair of Wayfarers on the nose cone of one of their Aircraft to commemorate the partnership which Richard was very excited about. The launch was going to be a typical Virgin style send off with media reporters, Celebrities, TV networks like MTV attending and Richard wanted to make a mark in demonstrating new horizons for the airline business.

But after many discussions the CAA wouldn’t agree. Too “Over The Top”- they said  – it would effect the “aerodynamic stability” was the official line. How the acceptance of the norm has changed over the years – There’s painted branded aircraft everywhere now.

Anyway…. Determined not to be put off by their decision I remembered that Richard loved ballooning as part of his crazy promotional Virgin activities. I thought why not set the scene for a summer beach theme at the check in gate with a Jumbo pair of Inflatable Ray Bans resting on the nose cone of the Jumbo Jet. How  crazy is that —— Well after going back to talk with the various  “officialdom” …..Imagine my astonishment when it was all approved.  “As long as the Pitot tubes are turned off ..(they measure air speed / pressure ) they get very hot when systems are being charged during maintenance so can burn plastic”. they said.

Here are a few picks of the set up in prep before the launch  ( me in the foreground) making sure everything would run to clockwork on the day.

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And here is Richard Branson joining in with the fun before the inaugural flight.

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Never let the initial possibility  of “what can’t be”  get in the way of “what could be”. Go and fulfill your potential and become an expert in something new.

As Richard would say ” Just Go For It” …

 

To your success.

Steve

5 Tips to Turn your Success Switch “ON”

You’ll be amazed by how much of a difference just getting out of your own way really makes.  Self-Defeating Behavior causes life’s biggest struggle.
Life’s biggest tragedy is waking up at the end of your time only to discover that you havent accomplished what you would have liked to have  done.  Then realizing that you have done it to yourself and it’s too late to get a second chance. Few things make you feel worse about yourself than engaging in self-defeating behavior and having to live with the consequences. Fortunately, however, few things make you feel better about yourself than overcoming those self-defeating behaviors and replacing them with life-enhancing habits. ie Turning your Success switch “ON”

Overcome those self-defeating behaviors one of which is a major contributor including procrastination, obsession, self-pity, rebellion, and guilt to effectively cope with the challenges that lie ahead.

Over the years, I have heard many excuses for people not getting the success they want or believe they deserve from an opportunity. I have been known to use a few myself here and there.

“The opportunity wasn’t really there.” 

“The timing wasn’t right.”

“I just didn’t fit in with those people.

“I’m just not Lucky”

” I don’t have the skills to do this”

“Its’ been done before” ….and on and on and on ……..

It’s not that the excuses weren’t ever valid. It’s just sometimes the excuses come whether or not they are valid. Many people start excusing themselves from incredible opportunities before they have the chance to fully explore the possibilities.

When you find the right opportunity, the one that can take you to a whole other level of success, you want to be able to grab it and run.  The last thing you want is to trip over on your own two feet and let it get away or worse, be the immoveable object in the path to success.  Here are five tips for getting out of your own way on the road to success.

1. Be disciplined. If you truly want to win the big game, you can’t be sloppy.  You are competing against people who train and learn and practice. You need to be in control of your own destiny and that means  being in control of your daily activity. Have your priorities figured out. If you don’t know them, you’ll be prone to distraction. If they’re wrong, you’ll get off track. Be able to focus the right amount of thought, energy, and activity on the actions that will get you close to your goal. Learn to focus and dismiss distraction when it’s time to get to work. It’s like exercising a muscle. The more you do it the more it strengthens.

And most importantly, learn how to rest. No one can work all the time without being exhausted. You need time to recharge if you are going to play at your best. Burn out is a poor excuse for failure.

2.  Be confident. I have battled my own share of insecurities. When you are blazing new trails, it’s hard to be 100 % assured, but you have the control. I was winging to a friend when I was younger that I wished I were more confident.  He looked at me and said: “Steve why don’t you just decide to be confident.” I did and have not looked back since. Nobody is in control of how you feel inside. Confidence comes from preparation and your own decisive state of mind.  When I am speaking and presenting, I feel most confident when I have done my research and have practiced my speech at least a dozen times in front of people, my wife , daughter, son etc. Give yourself what you know you need. Whether it is practice, prep time, food, sleep, or funds take away the material excuses so you can move forward without concern.

3. Be bold. Many people just stare on the sidelines waiting for an opportunity to drag them into success. Being timid brings very little value when chasing your dreams. You need to take action and jump two feet in. Be Terrific …Be Bold

However, this does not mean be careless. You have to do your homework and analysis.  The most successful people have shown their boldness by waiting while everyone rushes an opportunity too early.  Study, prepare and assess, but know when it is time to stop analyzing, theorizing, practicing. Then make the decision to jump in or launch and just do it and do it big. It doesn’t have to be perfect each time. Otherwise your always be waiting.

4. Be gracious. Graciousness is not just about being nice. It’s also about being humble. True success is best served among friends and teammates who share in the glory and accomplishment. Start getting out of your own way by admitting when you’re lost, behind, or overwhelmed. Accept the greatest achievements come from the combined work and thought of many. Invite smart, energetic people into your journey and share the wealth and the credit along the way. Revel in their growth happiness and success, and they will celebrate yours.

5. Be grateful. Every day, I feel blessed. I have had my share of challenges and difficulties throughout my life, more than some, fewer than others. But with those roller coaster times came growth and opportunity. I always seem to find myself further down the success path. Even after complete loss and reinvention I still managed to find opportunities that made it worth getting out of bed and smiling.

Those times of loss make me more sensitive and grateful for the happenings in my life. Be it people who love me, good health, positive cash flow or just the chance to laugh daily, I never forget to share my appreciation with those who support me along the way.

 

To your success

 

Steve

 

 

Are you a “Disruptive Talent” – How to Challenge the Norm

During my long career in the commercial world ..I’ve always felt a bit of a square peg in a round hole. And may have come across to me colleagues as a bit of a maverick that doesn’t toe the party line & play corporate politics. Maybe that’s why I experienced a few redundancies along the way as I was deemed too dangerous for the business. Maybe I was born in the wrong era or just joined the wrong companies as doing things differently just was’nt the done thing! . …I succeeded anyhow!

But now there seems to be many square pegs that have bucked the system and have succeeded in their quest to “do things differently ” But not only that, the system ( ie the so called commercial world ) has come to respect and embrace these game changers as HR departments encourage the flow of talent as part of the employee mix.

“The term disruptive talent is an interesting rebranding of people with an identifiable character, people who we have all been working with for many years to try to help them better understand the impact they have on others,” says Mr Duff, who is a partner at UK business psychology consultancy Pearn Kandola.

“We do a lot of coaching people like this, people who are very bright in a particular role, very inventive and creative, but who have no chance of fitting into the wider culture of the business. How ironic!

“As a result, other people in the organisation cannot cope with the amount of antagonism and disruption they bring with them. That is why people who you can classify as disruptive talent tend to instead start their own businesses.”

Sir Richard Branson, who has an estimated net worth of £3bn ($4.5bn) has certainly thrived running his own businesses and is a classic example of a disruptive talent that has broken through red tape & politics.

He says: “I think anyone who sets up a business is to an extent a disruptive individual, because starting a business is simply someone thinking ‘I can do it better than anybody else, and I know how to do it’.

“For that idea to succeed you have to be doing it in a disruptive way, otherwise you’re just doing the same as everyone else and you are going to fail.

“When I came up with the idea of starting my airline and space company, people gave me every reason why I shouldn’t do it. In the end you have to be a leader, you have to give it a go.”

This belief in your own idea and that burning desire in your gut that tells you that you need to do this ; is one example of being disruptive; challenging the norm & ignoring the naysayers.

Carving out your own path completely blinkered to others criticism and ignorance is part of the challenge we all face in life. But its the hard part that makes it good. Being a maverick is cool and looking for new answers to do things better is what builds your character and allows you stand out from the crowd.  Too many times, when leaders think deeply about a problem or challenge, they are merely doing what they have been socialized( ie fitting in) to believe is the right way to think about a problem or process, and it is very difficult to break this habit. All great business innovations and inventions in history have come from people who have not bought into this logic. Consider Steve Jobs. Who would have thought that a computer could have color? Or graphics? Or be a piece of furniture or art? We need to be conscious of our surrounding culture and be able to step out of it so we can produce original thinking.

Another great example is  take a look at the success of Amazon. They fundamentally deconstructed the traditional relationship between a reader and an author, but kept its essence in place; the author writes a book and the reader buys the book. What was fundamentally restructured was how these two events occurred. Gone was the bricks n mortar  bookstore to be replaced by an electronic one; traditional stock was replaced by one of the most efficient just-in-time supply chains imaginable. Then they followed that by restructuring the traditional physical book into an electronic platform that cut down on the weight and exponentially increased the number of books that could be purchased and carried efficiently by a reader. This sort of fundamental deconstruction and reconstruction is possible in every business sector; it simply takes a different way of thinking.

Share this post with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above as this is the stuff I want to discuss.

 

To your success

 

Steve

 

 

The Secret to Innovation – Bad Ideas !

What do I hear you say …what on earth is Steve talking about ..

Hear me out just for a second here. There is a hypothetical soloution for new ideas.
Consider this …. you had meeting after meeting as a team bouncing ideas around the room to solve a problem and getting nowhere fast. Times ticking and you’re all feeling the pinch of the deadline looming on the horizon and the pressure is building. We’ve all been there. We’ve all done the brainstorming and then crash the ultimate in writers block hits you all and there is a general feeling of malaise of where do we go next to come up with a salient point that will stimulate momentum… That feeling of pressure to come up with “the right” idea to move forward  has vanished. And you’re all looking at one another with that blank look of dispair.

 

Well here’s a novel method to get back in the flow. Ask your panel / team / committee to come up with a crazy idea no matter how stupid or far fetched. It could be totally unrelated from the topic of discussion.

About a new type of beer from fig juice / sports shoe , food additive/ new fuel for cars run on sweet wrappers ..anything ..Get it out of your head and exercise those crazy brain muscles. As Tony Robbins has said in many of his seminars to change your mental state you need to move your body your physiology. Well think of it like this.. moving your brain to a different kind of tempo. It’s fun and could become part of a scheduled down time to keep you energised.

This action helps dispel the road blocks in your head and gets you going again.. It’s like a reboot for the brain…

Try it out next time you feel your creative wheels spinning ….take time out to reset your clock.

These are the type of topics I want to discuss to help nurture a new community

To your success

 

Steve

Marty Mcfly would be proud ——— HoverBoard comes to life

We’ve all seen the trilogy of Back to The Future …we’ll those crafty scientists at Lexus tech have finally come up with a design that may just bring a dream to reality. The race has been on to develop a hoverboard by many companies over the years with a few falling short of production and application. But now in 2015 seems the year that hurdles have been overcome.

This Hoverboard is called Slide by Lexus and has been teased in a viral video released on you tube to millions of fans. Apparently more videos will be released during the summer.

 

The Hoverboard “uses magnetic levitation to achieve amazing frictionless movement.” with the added benefit of  “liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors and permanent magnets combine to allow Lexus to create the impossible.”

The ‘Hoverboard’ by Lexus has of course got tech geeks excited all over and if you’re a ‘Back to The Future’ fan, you are likely one of those who got excited by the teaser video. I know my 7 year old son was who is a keen skateboarder.

Because Lexus has opted for a superconductor, this creates a different kind of magnetic field, one that does not die away ……..  more on the physics of this in a latter post.

Magnets aside, the Lexus video does not really tell us much about if and when the ‘Slide’ hoverboard will really hit the market. Lexus has clarified that it isn’t looking to build a widely available hoverboard just yet.

Lexus spokesperson Maurice Dumand said  “Back to the Future messed my whole generation up. The world so desperately wants someone to mass produce a hoverboard. Let’s be frank, it’s not novel. There are other hoverboards. To a degree, we weren’t expecting [the reaction].”

In short, BTTF fans should calm down. While the Lexus hoverboard is ‘real’, it’s not hitting the stores anytime soon. Like with many exponential ideas they have a purpose to fulfil design improvements in current tech and this may only be an experimental process that Lexus is going through to bolster their market position.

On the other hand there is the Hendo Hoverboard>>>…

http://hendohover.com

The technology that allows this to happen is called Magnetic Field Architecture( MFA). This involves electromagnets attached to the base of the board that repel any non-ferrous (i.e. does not contain a significant amount of iron) conductive surface.

Greg and Jill Henderson, who are behind the Hendo Hover project, believe that the hoverboard is just the first of many innovations this technology allows. “It enables a new generation of lift and motion technology that will change the way we view transportation,” the Hendersons explained. “Additional applications for MFA technology are virtually limitless – from business, to industry, to healthcare, and beyond.”

The company is hopeful that a model will be on sale in 2015 – coincidentally, the year in which Marty McFly rode around on his own hoverboard.

Christmas comes early for teenagers the world over 🙂  The application of this tech is definately one to watch and is a cue for a future  Q & A on those of you wanting to join in the discussion.

Comments welcome in the chat box below.

Enjoy

Steve

 

10x Your Thinking — You need to be taking moonshots

If you’re a company or wannabe entrepreneur this snippet will hopefully resonate with you.

Most companies are really focused on how to create 10% improvements in their businesses – The usual conundrum is how do we reduce costs 10%? Increase profits 10%?

Astro Teller, Google’s “Captain of Moonshots”, often talks about how when you try to do 10% better, you are putting yourself in a smartness competition with everyone else in your industry (and everyone else in the world) and it’s a competition you’re unlikely to win. That’s just being average in my book. And average is not going to get you where you need to be. To draw on that well used analogy “You need to get your head space into knocking that ball out of the stadium”.

Don’t get into the routine of competing …you need to dominate!!

What Google call’s “Moonshot Thinking” where you try to go 10x bigger (10x cheaper, 10x faster, 10x cooler) etc.

Why try for 10x versus 10%?

No matter what your background, genetic make-up, or personal connections. In my view, success stems from working ten times harder than anyone else and displaying a “domination mentality”.

Extreme success, by definition, lies beyond the realm of normal action. If you want to achieve success, you can’t operate like everybody else and settle for mediocrity. Don’t allow yourself to come up short.  Prepare to take massive action.

When you shoot for 10x improvement you approach the problem in a radically different fashion.
When you attack a problem as though it were solvable, even if you don’t know how to solve it, you’ll be shocked with what you come up with & achieve.
10X vs 10% improvement is 100 times more worth it… but, it’s never 100 times harder.
Finally, having a moonshot, focuses and motivates your team, attracts the best talent in the world, and critically allows you to solve interim problems and create interim products/services along the way.
Whatever the size of the company you run, business start up idea you want to get going,  I hope this will help you create a sense of urgency around innovation and add new capabilities to spur innovation.

In the world today, the only constant is change and the rate of change is increasing.

You either disrupt yourself, or someone else will.

 
Best

Steve

Allow Yourself to be Great

You have been put on this planet to manifest your greatness…period…no question. To fulfill your ultimate potential

But during these perceived difficult times it can be hard to elevate yourself out of the mire. I understand that.. What with the constant barrage of bad news reported and chatter through  differing social demographic groups its tough to get away from the sea of negativity.

The problem is that who you are – your authentic non-physical self – is already great but you don’t know that yet if you are experiencing
struggle & the constant feeling of just spinning your wheels.

Another way to look at this is imagine the seed of the oak tree. Everything that defines the oak tree is already in the acorn.
Unlike us, the acorn does not live under the illusion that it needs to be something else or needs to strive towards an
accomplishment that is not in its nature.

Your greatness is in your soul, your fibre . Your “self”, stripped of all the conditioning, excuses & contingencies that have created what you believe to be your current limited self.

My observation is that most of us don’t allow ourselves to live our greatness. Instead, we are too quick to place huge limits on what we
can do before we have even begun to do it. Don’t prejudge what your new horizons & discoveries could be and how they will turn out. Just live that quest for life in the moment as you know it to be without over analysing every situation.

The only limits you have are the ones you are placing on yourself.
Listen….  Push them to the side for now. You can always go back to them later if you want to, but I promise you this, you won’t need
them any longer if you practice living in the “flow” and living in”alignment”. Remember, we are as great as we allow ourselves to be.
Allow yourself to be great for the next few months and see what happens.

I hope today will bring you a new awareness, a lesson or a manifestation that you can make progress – If you choose to look for it. No matter how large or small, take out a notepad and record whatever comes to mind. You’ll be surprised of the traction you can achieve.

We are as great as we allow ourselves to be.

To your success

 

Steve

 

What’s time?

“Time is More Valuable than Money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. ” – Jim Rohn

 

Going back to my why …why am I doing this blog. I’ve been thinking…
I want this to be a mission to help ordinary people build their dreams and passions.
I reckon I’ve got another good 30-40 years in me and like a lot of us out there I’m not done yet.
That’s 30 springs, 30 summers, 30 autumns, 30 winters (30 Christmas Days). When you look at life like that …it kind of puts things into perspective… and raises your focus. What are you going to do with yours? Times ticking and we’re not getting any younger
I pulled out some astonishing facts the other day.
Based on certain lifestyle statistics the typical American/ European watches on average 4-6 hours of TV a day. That’s a minimum of 124 hours a month or 2 months a year or to put it mildly 12 years of your life spent watching a screen in the corner of your living room. If you increase this by a few percentage points based on age/ demographic the figures are staggering.
What a waste of time. If you were to now roll the years forward and look back…what would you have preferred to have done with that 12 years? What better use could you have made of your time?
You’ve been put on this earth to fulfill your potential and live a great life.
Think of all those things that could be achieved, all those ideas, all those glorious moments.
Have I grabbed your attention?
I hope so
Time is precious..It’s time to Live in the moment

Until the next

Steve