26-02-2020 - - 0 comments
How's the wife? Are you getting your life / work balance right?
I don’t literally mean your wife but I do want to ask about your home life.  Since reading the Howard Kennedy research into relationship breakdown and the workplace, I’ve been thinking about the impact work has on the private lives of high earners and how success can have such unfortunate consequences.
19-02-2020 - - 0 comments
Are you sitting comfortably?  You shouldn't be!
I spend a lot of time thinking about my goals - and sometimes it feels like I’m never going to reach them - but what do we do when we have achieved them?  If you’re anything like me, you start thinking about the next thing (if you haven’t already embarked on it) but my question today is, does that next thing actually challenge you?
12-02-2020 - - 0 comments
Not just a drink. How to enjoy wine as an investment
This week I am handing over my Pluralists Newsletter to Caspar Bowes of Bowes Wine with whom we have started a Pluralists Club Wine Offer.  Members get a wine voucher every month and Caspar will regularly attend our Pluralists Opportunity Club events with some wine to taste and talk about.  Caspar is also an expert in wine investing so his insights below will be of interest to members and non-members alike.
05-02-2020 - - 0 comments
Investment is a natural next step
People embark on a pluralist life for all sorts of reasons; to have a better work/life balance, to explore new options, to pursue a passion or to give something back.  We all have different motivations and priorities but what’s interesting is that trying one new thing can so often lead to trying a whole range of other new things.  Meeting new people opens doors in so many ways too, be they educational, practical or financial.
29-01-2020 - - 0 comments
Are we credulous fools?
There are all sorts of things that most of us just accept without question.  These things sometimes shift and change (the environment, political discourse, gender issues) whilst others are fairly constant (death, taxes, human nature) but for the most part, we accept those things which we are used to and only challenge new stuff. 
22-01-2020 - - 0 comments
5 ways to mange information overload
I won’t surprise anyone by saying that sometimes my phone is my worst enemy.  Half the icons have notifications on them and some of those notification numbers are scarily high.  Text, email, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook… most of us are pretty much in thrall to these - and many more - whether it’s for work or for leisure.  We have to develop skills to manage the information coming at us so that we can deal with urgent situations, keep track of our loved ones and remain on top of everything else.
15-01-2020 - - 0 comments
No regrets
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?  Hang on to those shares for a bit longer?  Buy that property that didn’t seem quite cheap enough but was, in fact, an absolute bargain? Take that other job with the slightly lower salary but which would have been so much more interesting?  Study something else at university? Marry that person?
08-01-2020 - - 0 comments
Where is the joy?
It’s hard to get back into gear at this time of year isn’t it?  Even if we feel fired up by our new year’s resolutions or we’ve successfully been to the gym a few times, the dark, damp, cold days, the rest of winter stretching ahead and the thought of a whole year looming in front of us, full of tiresome commitments can make it very difficult to feel enthusiastic.
26-12-2019 - - 0 comments
12 days of Christmas planning
Yes, I know you were hoping to relax and not think about work BUT this is the perfect time to consider what you really want from life.   Away from the usual routine we can reflect, strategize and begin to implement a new career which suits us so that, come the new year, we are ready to go.
18-12-2019 - - 0 comments
Don't stop the music!
I caught the second half of a song I had completely forgotten about the other day and was so excited to be reminded of it that I actually downloaded it.  It’s playing in my head as I write and making me feel very jolly.
12-12-2019 - - 0 comments
When life interrupts us
It’s interesting at this time of year how easily we all start to slough off our work personas and begin thinking about spending a week or two with our families, safe in the knowledge that everyone else is doing the same.  It’s a time a of year when it is reasonable to unavailable, there’s nothing much going on and no one expects particularly urgent results.
04-12-2019 - - 0 comments
Abuse isn't productive
Even after all these years, I’m still a bit shocked when I get abusive messages on social media platforms.  I mean, we all know it happens but I very rarely post anything very contentious and the level of fury always seems out of proportion to the issue at hand.
28-11-2019 - - 0 comments
100 years of women's equality
Last year marked the centenary of (some) women obtaining the vote and that was a great landmark, though it would be another 10 years before women got the vote on equal terms to men.  December this year, however, marks the anniversary of women doing more than just voting.  1919 saw the enactment of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act – an astonishingly far-reaching piece of legislation, though not one that produced instant results it must be said.
06-11-2019 - - 0 comments
Do you work with idiots?
If you tell me that you find everyone you work with is intelligent, focused and useful then I’ll call you a liar.  No doubt most of your colleagues are most of those things but very few people are all of them and some are, unfortunately, completely the opposite.
30-10-2019 - - 0 comments
Is it time to step out of your comfort zone?
When was the last time you talked to someone completely different from you?  It’s all too easy to find that our social – and our professional – circles are quite limited: friends who live near us – they are similar to us; friends from school or university – similar to us; friends we’ve made at work – similar.  In a roomful of people, there will inevitably be a few to whom we naturally gravitate, even if we couldn’t say exactly why, and it is likely the reason for our attraction to them will be some sort of similarity.
23-10-2019 - - 0 comments
Do you have a shoulder to cry on?
Whatever the cause of the stresses in your life, it’s a truism that a problem shared is problem, if not halved, then very much easier to deal with.  Talking things through, as I’ve said many times before, is always a helpful way to develop and crystallise one’s thinking and there are usually plenty of people to have those sorts of conversations with.
16-10-2019 - - 0 comments
Baby steps are the best route to a successful Pluralist career 
I love the enthusiasm of new Pluralists.  Those who join the Pluralists Club – and those who talk to me about it prior to committing – are full of ideas and excitement.  Their brains are firing away in all directions, they’re exploring a great wide range of interesting new options, they’re completely ready to jump into a new life.
09-10-2019 - - 0 comments
Are you over committed? Is it time to quit?
No!  I don’t mean quitting your Pluralist life but I have been thinking about all the things I do and have done and I’m wondering about whether I should put some of them aside. It’s amazing how our commitments stack up, incrementally, until we realise that every moment of the day is accounted for.  It’s so easy to agree to things, to take on a ‘little’ project, to add one day a month (it’s only a day!).  It’s easy to get involved in a discussion, have strong views, feel passionately about something, only for it all to translate into an obligation we slightly resent. 
03-10-2019 - - 0 comments
Time management: think of a number..and double it
There are many common themes amongst the conversations I hear at Pluralist Club events but the word I probably hear the most is ‘time’.  Time to do all our work, time to fit in meetings, time to research new projects … time always seems to be in short supply. However, there are also occasions when time is our enemy in the opposite way.  We rush about making arrangements and plans, only to find that other people aren’t ready.  We believe that we have got organisations involved, only to find that their decision-making processes are glacial, leaving us high and dry.  The more people and companies involved in a project there are, the longer the chain gets and the slower everything becomes.
25-09-2019 - - 0 comments
Tunnel Vision is a Pluralist speciality, but you need more than one tunnel
You would think that tunnel vision or single-mindedness would be incompatible with the Pluralist lifestyle but in my experience it is in fact a vital component of a successful portfolio career – the trick is to have several tunnels.
18-09-2019 - - 0 comments
Resilience is a must for successful Pluralists
I rather like the way that ‘resilience’ is a noun that applies to both people and materials in similar ways.  ‘The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’ and ‘the ability of a substance to spring back into shape; elasticity’ (Oxford English Dictionary).  Resilience is a quality we all need but particularly if we are going to put ourselves out there and offer ourselves up for new roles or experiences.
04-09-2019 - - 0 comments
September is a good time for new resolutions
Even if you don’t have children at school, it’s impossible to escape the New Term feeling around us in early September.  The shops, newspapers and TV schedules all tell us that summer is over, as do the longer and colder nights.  Unlike New Year, we are feeling relaxed and refreshed at the end of summer, rather than bloated and hungover as we often do in early January.  It seems like a good time to review our lives and think about what we are going to do next.
07-08-2019 - - 0 comments
What would your friends say about you (and have you asked)?
It’s hard to know how other people see us and however they do, it’s even harder to try to be someone you are not.  Most of us have probably reached a stage in life where we no longer try to fit in with other people’s ideas of what makes a useful or interesting person.  That said, we almost certainly have characteristics which our friends readily identify and to which we are oblivious, or, at best, indifferent.  Yet these characteristics are often the ones we should be using, developing or taking into new fields. 
25-07-2019 - - 0 comments
Taking time out: what will the summer do for you?
As I write, those of my children still at school have just broken up for the holidays and sun-filled weeks of carefree joy stretch ahead of them until September, after which they will go up a year and embark of the next stage of their educations refreshed and ready for the challenges ahead.  Well, that’s the theory anyway.  The reality of course will be squabbles, boredom, rainy days, lack of parental engagement, long car trips to disappointing places and, if we manage to fit it in, a trip to stay somewhere else where all these things will be intensified.
18-07-2019 - - 0 comments
Who’s taking care of your professional development?
Being the boss, being self-employed, having a portfolio career, volunteering – these are all things I see Pluralists doing but all are environments where it can be hard to assess the gaps in your career development or to access the training you need.
11-07-2019 - - 0 comments
It doesn't always have to be about making a profit
‘Social responsibility’.  It makes your heart sink a bit doesn’t it?  Not the actual achievement but the knowledge that companies have to think of something to put on their website and into their constitution so it just becomes a box ticking exercise and nothing really changes.  The main problem with social responsibility is that many of the things we need to
19-06-2019 - - 0 comments
Reinvention can happen at any age -  in any direction
Do you sometimes wish you’d had a different career? Perhaps you harbour a secret ambition to write romantic novels or whittle spoons?  Or you trained in law but regret not choosing physics?  It may be that the career you always wanted turned out to be not so great or that it has simply run its course.  Working from our early twenties until whenever we retire is a long haul and it’s hardly surprising that we can get a bit bored and dream of better things.
14-06-2019 - - 0 comments
Environmental tech – a better future or a dead end?
Do you care about the environment?  I’m guessing you do to an extent – we all do – though for some people that caring is about having a zero carbon footprint and for others it’s about not leaving the tap running whilst brushing their teeth.  Whatever your view on it, investing in and creating environmental technology continues to promise much.  The question is whether it can deliver.
04-06-2019 - - 0 comments
Do you value your knowledge (and know how to use it wisely)?
Most of the pluralists I know have fingers in a number of pies but it is less usual to find someone who has pies in a number of sectors.  We tend to stick to what we know – and rightly for the most part – since our expertise and experience usually keep us going down the same track, even if there are little diversions away from the main road.
28-05-2019 - - 0 comments
Are you too young to think about retirement?
Despite the liberalisation of retirement age and our ever-increasing lifespan, we remain stuck in traditional mindsets about how our lives will look once we are over 50.   Gold carriage clocks and Over 50s Life Insurance aside, the idea that we will quietly hang up our briefcases the day before our 65th birthdays and then turn our attention to gardening seems extraordinarily arcane and yet that still appears to be what most of our employers expect. 
20-05-2019 - - 0 comments
Mind the ego gap - are you in touch with your inner worth?
How’s your ego?   It can be an incendiary word that is used almost exclusively in the context of self-importance but in fact it means, more literally, one’s sense of self-worth which could be high, low or somewhere in between.
13-05-2019 - - 0 comments
The thin line between a successful career & being unemployable
Guest post by Keith Miller, Executives for the Digital Economy
01-05-2019 - - 0 comments
What do you think charity means?
We probably all occasionally drop a few coins into collection tins or buy raffle tickets.  We may sponsor marathon runners, run a stall at the school fete or offer a prize.  Some of us might be in a position to donate corporate sponsorship or allow employees to take time off for voluntary work.  Most of us have charities we favour.  Many of us have ideas about how we would improve the world.  But what do we do about it?
17-04-2019 - - 0 comments
Time managing your ambitions. Do the sums add up?
I talk a lot about all the things Pluralists can do and how amazing their lives could be.  All those exciting opportunities out there and the Club ready to support and guide you.  All those long-standing ambitions about to be realised.  A new you and a helpful group of people cheering you on.
03-04-2019 - - 0 comments
Time to consider a voluntary role that’s been around for 650 years
Pluralists have all sorts of interests: fiscal, educational, charitable and municipal to cover just a few of the bases.  A combination of activities is what makes a Pluralist and the main constraint I have identified is that of time rather than a lack of interest.  Today I am going to talk about a role that requires a time commitment but which, for the right people, will be rewarding and fascinating in equal measure.
27-03-2019 - - 0 comments
Bridging the communication gap across the generations (Part 2)
What is the culture that Baby Boomers/Generation X can share?  LBB/GX bring a culture of quality, work ethic, and reciprocal relationships, in which the organisation and the employee work together to achieve a common goal. 
20-03-2019 - - 0 comments
Bridging the communication gap across the Generations (Part 1)
Late Baby-Boomers, Gen X and Millennials are the three biggest generations in the workplace right now. Millennials sometimes garner a disparaging view from their older contemporaries, but it’s a two-way street. So, what can they teach each other to capitalise on their collective strengths?
06-03-2019 - - 0 comments
It takes time to form new habits and break old ones (Part 4)
I’ve been talking about moving forward with resolutions for a few weeks now and for my final part of this series I want to focus on the hardest element of change – our existing character.  It’s a truism that the only thing in the way of our success is ourselves so in order to achieve what we want it’s vital that we are completely honest with ourselves.
28-02-2019 - - 0 comments
It takes time to form new habits and break old ones (Part 3)
Failure.  That’s a hard thing to accept.  I have experienced plenty of failures both professional and personal.  Indeed, I would be suspicious of anyone who claimed to have lived a failure-free life; that’s just not possible.  Having said that, we rarely – if ever – set out to fail.
21-02-2019 - - 0 comments
It takes time to form new habits and break old ones (Part 2)
In my last post I talked about the four things you need to focus on to keep pushing your future forwards, but of course in order to get started the first port of call is a good PLAN.  Now there’s a word that covers a multitude of sins!
23-01-2019 - - 0 comments
It takes time to form new habits and break old ones (Part 1)
How are your new year’s resolutions going?  We have reached the stage in the year when reality starts to collide with our good intentions and all those promises we made can start to slip away.  You made those resolutions because you want change and that is still the case, so what’s the solution?

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