How to discover your most powerful inner resource

We are the sum of our reactions to good and bad things. You improve your dexterity in this by being forced to dig deep inside to retrieve your most precious, probably-untapped well of resources like willpower and psychological prowess. You can deploy these fuels when everything seems overwhelming and others appear to be suffering from a sensory overload, drowning while you float on a raft of inner strength and craft.

9 months ago, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and, like the journey an embryo takes to emerge as a new-born baby, it has taken me this long to birth the biggest lesson from the experience. You see, people think of arduous activities like mountain climbing as tasks which are solely predicated on physical fitness when, in actual fact, there is a far greater deal of dependency on the mind as opposed to the muscles. My 7 day expedition was evidence for this as Africa’s giant partially dormant volcano extended its full weight and might on my mental strength, testing it to its tether, and from this I was taught an invaluable lesson.

The experience in Kilimanjaro (and numerous other smaller occasions before and since) has taught me how to summon the inner strength needed to overcome any external obstacles which are thrown my way. Whether its freezing temperatures and exhaustion or an unexpected bill and a delayed train, the way in which we react to these external difficulties will become the sum total of our character and success. Being able to manage one’s inner factory of emotion is key, from; determination and willpower to being cool-headed and logical. It takes a skilled and learned foreman to produce the right items at the right time in the right quantity.

The reason why it took something as adventurous and dramatic as Kilimanjaro for me to have this epiphany and experience this evolution in mental machismo, is because in ordinary day-to-day life the external obstacles I face are easily overcome by simply escaping or forgetting. If I were to be hit by a big bill, or to drag the analogy into darker dimensions, a big bus; my response to the former could quite easily be to put it off or pay it and then do something pleasurable to take my mind off it. With the second example, if I was to be in an unfortunate accident I would be taken to hospital and my problem would be in somebody else’s hands while I once again seek escapism to forget. How often do you hear the phrase, “Oh just take your mind off it”? It is usually followed by an invitation to a form of escape or pleasure. This isn’t dealing with the issue at all, it’s putting them off or lathering them up with honey to disguise the dirt beneath. A treacherous task like ascending Kilimanjaro (and descending) doesn’t afford you the luxury of leaving or doing something playful to avoid the confrontation – you must savour the sweat of anguish and swing swords with the dirt. I was demanded to dig deep and face what was before me by looking inside, pushing with gritted teeth and manhandling my mind’s mechanics to accomplish the challenge. In those moments, some of which lasted hours on end, I was forced to examine my feelings and thoughts rather than flee – there was no turning back and no alternative options.

When speaking with a friend of mine who is a world class expedition leader, he confirmed my suspicions that the number one takeaway from traversing the tops of peaks is indeed that you learn to react and respond to life’s hardships more masterfully. You discover that you are equipped with far more than what meets the eye. Your toolbox is packed with hidden compartments of wisdom and know-how, laced with drive, determination and willpower. The ability to be cool, calm and collected while retrieving the right resources from your internal storage is one which becomes sharper, stronger and more accessible after you truly test your limits.  We are the sum of our reactions because your internal response to external obstacles will determine how much or little damage and progress you take from life’s unpredictable projectiles.

How to find a good copywriter in London

How can you find the best copywriter in London?

The title ‘best copywriter in London’ has been a sought after medal since the dawn of the dictionary. From Oliver Twist to Ogilvy, London’s linguistic history is a meandering, magical one. As London’s best copywriter, it is my job to extrapolate the wizardry from wordsmanship, combine it with practicality and stoic salesmanship to bring you real results.

The best copywriter in London should be somebody who not only conjures up sentences which sparkle and grab attention but actually converts traffic into enquiries and sales. Unlike most other London copywriters, I come from a real sales background – having worked in various sales positions from retail to corporate. I learned how to put together sales scripts, I immersed myself in the strategies of sales and the psychology of persuasion. These are invaluable assets which grant me the title of ‘best copywriter in London’.

Here are some of the questions which should qualify somebody to be the best copywriter in London:

1.       Tone of Voice – do they understand your brand’s tone of voice and audience?

2.       Have they asked about your customers’ gain and pain points?

3.       Have they spoken to you about calls to action?

4.       Have they asked to liaise with your web designer/ graphic designer? If you don’t have one, do they have a team of their own?

5.       Have they spoken to you about SEO?


What Do You Do?

As I sit on this slow train from Birmingham to London after a few days of ‘letting my hair down’, I find time begging my mind to unravel. I’ll spare you the details of my rendezvous with Johnnie Walker and co; here’s the business end of what’s occurred the last few days.

Lessons learned this week:

  • I don’t know myself well enough; I haven’t defined what I do in a sexy, concise way. Ironic, as this is what I do day in day out for my clients.
  • I need something physical, more than the standard business card and statutory smile, to leave with my clients after meeting them. E.G. a brochure, portfolio etc
  • I need to do more new business development and not simply rely on my peers and existing client base to send me referrals, irrespective of how fruitful this is.

Let’s tackle the first one: 

What Do You Do

I think we, as service providers, are so engulfed in what our clients do and the value we deliver; we are often guilty of neglecting what WE do or at least having a sound definition for it. I can tell you without hesitation what Tastaly, the Sicilian food manufacturer does, or what Asians in Business, the global networking platform provides; and I can tell you in a way that would blow your mind. Because that's my job.

Ask me the same question of my own business and it all gets a bit wish washy. I think I perhaps shy away from wanting to concisely and clearly define what I do for fear of putting myself in a box while the whole reason I started my own business was to be or think outside the box. I am ready to bark about my clients but can only manage a mere miaow when it comes to my own mission. Lesson learned and I will change this.

I wanted to share this with you because it reverts back to one of the earliest articles I published on here about the importance of 'why' we do things. If I didn't have this epiphany or this kick up the rear this weekend, maybe I would have funnelled down the path of losing sight of my purpose and why I set upon this journey in the first place.

Why People Click On Articles Beginning With 'Why'

Being an avid user of LinkedIn and an unrepentant voyeur of the popular articles which are published on it, I began noticing a novel pattern. Novel, however, quickly became nauseating just through sheer repetition which finally induced me to seek relief by regurgitating this article and sharing it with you. 

Let's begin. Count the number of articles that go viral which begin with interrogatives like 'Why', 'How' and 'What'

These titles are designed to alert, tease and lure rather like cheese on a mouse trap. The truth is that as a species we always have been hungry to feed the starving cavity called knowledge which grows in appetite and demands more as you fulfil it. This characteristic and capacity is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. The expansion of the internet has accelerated this and bred millennials who no longer simply enjoy feeding on nutritional information but now crave it. The average intelligent surfer scrolls and browses until he or she finds something to explore which from the surface appeals to have the substance to stimulate and satisfy. From my own experience, it is not uncommon to be trawling the web and clicking on something just because the first few words appealed or the thumbnail struck a chord. Ask any successful YouTube channel operator how crucial getting a good thumbnail is for drawing in an audience.

Articles and their authors are all fighting and pitching for a split second of our shrinking attention spans. Using words like 'Why' in the title lets the reader know that clicking will be a valuable and profitable use of time because it implies that some expertise, insight or solution is going to be revealed within that article. People don't want descriptive prose any more, they want something new, something productive and something that they can take away for themselves. For example, if I had named this article 'Articles That Begin With 'Why' ', you might not have given me your time because there is nothing in that title which indicates any real value. 

A similar case can be and has been made within business. One of my favouriteTedx speakers (by the way, have a look at how many popular Tedx talks being with 'why' or 'how'?) Simon Sinek spoke about how the concept of 'why' truly inspires and creates real value and competitive advantage, using the cases ofApple, Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers as his supporting evidence. His point was that addressing this untamed curiosity for 'why' which we all possess as intellectuals is an unequivocal way to create value, to inspire and to inject in people that crucial gut feeling which leads them to say yes, I am in.

Our palate as consumers has grown increasingly sophisticated in its demands and so naturally, the supply must adjust accordingly. Again from experience, the world of sales has done this very thing; clients and customers are no longer content with swallowing features and benefits; they want to be consulted, they desire to be charmed, they long for authenticity, they want to be massaged into having a good genuine gut feeling and believing in you and your product/ service. 

By scratching that innate, nagging itch called 'why', you can better attract, engage with and unlock value for your audience. This has been proven time and time again in politics, business, music, religion - people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. That's what really drives behaviour.

Think about:

What do you do, what's your cause and your vision?
Why do you do it and how well do you communicate that to your audience?

Continue this conversation with me via LinkedIn or by


A Sicilian Story

I just had a meeting with a potential client and secured his business. I first met them three months ago - endless e-mails, consistent calls and a multiplex of meetings later, we agree on a contract. 

He said something today which struck me and will probably resonate with me for the rest of my life and thus, I am inclined to share it with you. Negotiations took around 1 hour and after spewing as much sales spiel as I could spurn, my beloved client stood up and said you know Riky, I have a sales background too. A wry smile took over his face. I have looked at your numbers, he said, usually I would barter and crunch down and grill you but I have bought into you. I like you and so I want to make an investment in you, I believe in you. 

People buy people.

I knew this, it had been rammed down my throat at my last sales job but its different when you see it play out in front of you for your own business. I did this and I probably took it for granted. The polite persistence I applied with gentle, masseuse-like pressure over the last few months had paid off. Yes my prices are cheaper than the big wig marketing companies but I don't think price alone swayed them. They bought into me and we now have a solid relationship enshrined in trust as well as ink.

Maybe it's because the Sicilians come from humble beginnings and back-to-the-roots type things like trust and the gentlemen's code still hold the most value in business.

Maybe it was the fact that I saved them a lot of money when they were looking to hire a company to do their social media. They were ready to hand over a four figure sum when I swept in and introduced a lovely eager Italian speaking intern who was willing to work for free to gain experience. A week later, they love her and are looking to send her off on courses to gain qualifications in the field.  Maybe it was that show of selflessness and willingness to help without immediate financial gain. I love giving because I know it will pay dividends in the long run, most people might call it naivety but I understand how to build relationships - proven by today's victory.

We are pitching to supermarkets soon and the company is also expanding to the US and China.

I will endeavour to keep you in the loop with my Sicilian journey, but for now, Â saluti!

Why Millions Sacrificed Time For The Blood Moon & What It Should Mean For Employers

This topic triggers something innate in us that we all felt as children, a sense of exploration and awe at the universe, which we may be guilty of burying as we grow older. 

A super moon and a blood moon was enough to bring millions out of their beds, cars, houses and offices, away from the intricate, niggling, complex qualms and quizzes of modern life. The moon, as if with all of the might of mother nature's hand, clicked pause on life for so many, brought much of humanity to it's knees and simply said - look up. 

NASA's press conference yesterday took over most major news networks and rendered political squabbles irrelevant among the bigger picture of planetary exploration. A downpour of perspective flooded the intelligent masses as we learned of the presence of liquid water on the red planet. I was transfixed and I know I wasn't the only one, what is that internal alarm that freezes everything and sets our curiosity alight? Can that emotion be evoked in a commercial context?

For me it is evidence that questions about life itself, our existence and exploration into the universe are what our minds still crave. It's a burning desire for information which our specie has cradled since our inception. To most people these things matter beneath the surface but for me they are an integral piece in the orchestra that my mind conducts on a daily basis - perhaps, this is why I have found it difficult to pledge real allegiance to a 9-5, 8-6 or an 11-11 (which I have done). I am self employed now and it gives me the time to ponder these perplexities, and I feel comfortable. Content.

'The bigger picture' then, is perhaps what I am asking you as an employer, a manager and a business owner to take into consideration. I strongly believe you will notice a spike in productivity and commitment to the cause as your echelons of employees achieve true fulfilment in the workplace. 

Why not seriously think about your employee's well-being and personal ambitions. You have interviewed them, plucked their attributes from them but have you really shown any interest in what makes them tick as people - what really matters to them? I don't think clock in, clock out, leave your worries at the door works any more nor is it sustainable in 2015 and beyond. 

When was the last time you joyfully sacrificed hours of personal time, even lost sleep to show commitment for your boss or employer? If they dissolved the wall between your personal self and your professional self, would you be more willing to run through walls for your company? It is an experiment I would suggest is worth undertaking  for most managers.

[Part 2]: Why Content Is Still King Of The Online Jungle #Evolve

As a business owner, you will know that keeping your finger on the pulse at all times is crucial. Particularly in an age where your surroundings can move so fast and leave your head spinning on the spot. That's why companies engage with their community and spend galleons of marketing dollars ensuring that their audience isn't just engaged but married to the service or product which is being sold.

It is cliché to reference Apple now but seriously, Apple is a great example.

Good content on your site and on your social media accounts will help you to gauge your audience's response to what you are doing. Analytics tell stories of their own and can help you to mould your business in a way which best suits your audience. 

It is all about being innovative and not being afraid of change but also showing this through your online content.  Your customers will see you not as the titanic but as the slick, slaloming speedboat ready and poised to overcome challenges.

Your presentation and the perception your brand has online ought to be in line with the aspirations of your audience.

There is no better way to evolve and understand when/ how to evolve than through online content. Attach yourself to the right events, videos, images and stories. Start etching your brand into the brains of your audience and leave a lasting impression. 

If you don't evolve, your competition will and the demise of your company will be due to ignorance. If you don't have time or the expertise (which can be a brave thing to own up to) then you have my details.

Get in touch and I will point you in the right direction.

Why Content Is Still King Of The Online Jungle [Part 1]

Whether you have a product to sell, a brand to promote or a cause to champion - you need good content and you need it regularly. There is no point roaring loudly on the internet unless you have something to roar about. 

The number of social media users in the world is just shy of 2 Billion. 
Everybody is shouting at them for attention, the noise is horrendous. 
But what are YOU saying and how are you saying it differently to anyone else? 

Survival Of The Fittest

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? 

You really need to know yourself in the on-line jungle. Take a real, in-depth, hard look at yourself, your business and your story.

  1. What are you good at? 
  2. What are your rivals better at? 
  3. What are your rivals bad at which you happen to be good at?  

Once you have figured these things out you are then in a position to create the spine of your content, your brand. The beauty of my method is that the answers you arrive at will render the content authentic - this is key. In the on-line jungle, the inhabitants know what's real and are more conscious than ever about where they choose to spend their time and money. Authentic content and real story-telling will let existing clients and potential clients know that they are in safe hands.

  • Here is a task I perform with my clients: 

    Take a blank A4 piece of paper. In 60 seconds write down as many words (draw doodles if you so desire) that come to mind when you think about you and your business. Adjectives, verbs, places, celebrities, emotions. Compile a Picasso-esque portrayal. 

    [Message me to find out what to do next, I'm not going to give ALL of my strategies away publicly]


In the next segment of 'Why Content Is Still King Of The Online Jungle',  I will discuss the necessity to evolve.

Part Two coming soon

2 Reasons Why Older Doesn't Necessarily Mean Wiser Feat. Walt Disney

Before you decide to fill somebody's shoes and follow in their footsteps, check the sole thoroughly; what is it made of, where have they been, why are they where they are? It is your prerogative, and I would argue your duty, to interrogate and investigate anybody who casts assertions on your life through advice or otherwise.

 1. Just because they couldn't do it, that doesn't mean youcan't!

Walt Disney failed often and was fired several times. On one famous occasion his superiors at a newspaper company told him 'he lacked artistic integrity' and sent him packing. I don't need to patronise you with the details of what happened next. 

It's kind of fun to do the impossible- Walt Disney

Your colleague's, your boss's, your father's take on what is impossible, what is viable and what is a bad idea could be out of date by 20-30 years. Things change, rapidly. In 1903,  most of the world thought manned flight was impossible, in 1969 there was a man on the moon.

Particularly with family it is easy to fall into the trap of just trusting their opinion and confusing it for factual information thus negating any critical thinking. By all means take their thoughts on board but please do some independent analysis, zoom out, look at the bigger picture and explore your ideas. Talk to people who are equally unorthodox, go to relevant events, be with entrepreneurial,maverick and forward-thinking folks who are just like you and feed off them for energy and inspiration.

Don't let somebody else's shortcomings determine your own boundaries. You are your own cartographer and choreographer. Draw your own map and dance to your own tune.


2. Innovation is Renovation

Generation Z doesn't just embrace change, we wine and dine it, take it home and fornicate with its feral nature. Gen Z wants to be at the forefront, leading the charge, not late to the party or worse - asleep while it's happening. One tricky hurdle I find with older generations is a stubborn, hostile attitude towards change, innovation or any approach that doesn't conform. At 22 I can only speculate on the psychology behind this, perhaps it is insecurity as their juvenile spirit precariously perishes with time and missed opportunities (you know, the 'what could have been' moments).  

I digress. 

The point is that innovation brings about renovation or modernisation; through every positive change there is a new lease of energy, ideas and disruption that comes with it. The kind of disruption Generation Z gets a kick out of.

An older person's comfort, security and even ego will be tested by these things and can lead them to project their rejection of it onto you.  Don't take it on face value, dig deeper, be independent and self-motivating.

Don't assume they know better, be brave enough and curious enough to find out for yourself.

All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them - Walt Disney

It takes a high level of independent, broad and critical thinking with a healthy dose of contrarian anti-credulity to hold an authoritative piece of advice to the naked light. From experience, I can tell you that it is a habit which blossoms splendidly into an addiction. This is about rising to the challenge of writing your own script. It's a little bit of risk and a salubrious sprinkling of rebellion. It's mental emancipation and renaissance mixed with reason - a recipe which renders your life infinitely more rewarding.

Trust me.

Just because the shoe fits, that doesn't mean you have to wear it.

[Part 2] How To Get Your Millennials To Run Through Walls For You

Here is part 1 - 


Travel Opportunities

In 2015 we are more connected than ever, through the internet and globalisation our minds no longer remain behind the walls of our local area. It is in our nature to discover and then explore; millennials want this more than any other demographic that went before them. 

How many young people do you know who have done internships abroad now or placement years in another country? 

Whether you are a start up hiring an enthusiastic student or a huge corporation training a pool of grads; please keep in mind that they want to see and feel more than just the click of their mouse or the ker-ching of their pay cheque. 

Don't Dismiss Their Academic Qualifications

There is nothing more disheartening to a graduate who has just concluded 20+ years of education than to hear: 'Oh, we're not too worried about your academic achievements'. 

This is a statement that I no longer tolerate in interviews. How would you feel if you were told that everything you achieved so far in your life was worth next to nothing? 

Academic qualifications from GCSE's to degrees are proud possessions of a millennial, placed and enshrined on their mental mantel piece.


This is probably the most important point to me personally. This generation produces entrepreneurs like politicians do promises. Every millennial wants to own something and take responsibility over whatever work they're doing.Giving them a degree of responsibility and increasing this until you feel comfortable is a sure way of keeping them keen and loyal to the journey of your company. 

They might not be self-employed when they are working for you but it would be invaluable if you could take elements of 'being the boss' and implement them into their role. This could mean involving them in managerial processes or delegating some creative control - it's difficult for me to give detailed examples as to how to do this without knowing about you and your business.


If you want a free consultation with me on how to improve your relationship with younger employees, get in touch with me at your earliest convenience.


How To Get Your Millennials To Run Through Walls For You

We all know great leaders inspire action. But do you want mere action from your employees or do you want them to put their whole self behind your cause? Blood, sweat and tears are stuff of the battle field but the emotions, the loyalty and the warrior spirit behind them can be instilled in your own company's cavalry.

What do millennials need from you?

The Story


- What's the story behind the business and what's the story behind the work you have set them to do? 
- Why are they doing that work?
- How do we want the story to end?  What will be the desired result of that work and what are the wider implications of those results on the company, on clients and on society/ the world?

Do this and watch them not just be your employees but your ambassadors, proselytising everywhere they go.


- Remember that phrase 'Ask for money, you'll get advice. Ask for advice, you'll get money'. That applies here, ask your millenials for advice and watch what they reap in the form of performance and effort. 
- Encourage them to be able to confide in you, especially about things that are unrelated to work
- Ask them to be proactive and tell you about any suggestions, ideas, recommendations that they have for the business. But do not patronise.
- Speak to them as equals and they will treat you with the respect a superior should get. Speak to them as subordinates and they will treat you with no respect.


- Some millennials are happy to be button pushers, most are not. They want amulti-dimensional role which encompasses a variety of skill sets and challenges. This gives them the mental stimulation they crave to satisfy their curiosity and creativity.


- No real millennial knows what a ceiling is and they don't want to hear about some rigid slowly-scalable structure from you neither. 
Millennials were bred and branded in an era of nothing is impossible- they have witnessed people their age and younger conquer the world in various forms; don't put a damp cloth on their imagination with draconian bureaucracy.
- Preach about the endless opportunity that is on the horizon if they stick by you and then watch them adhere to your vision like trained pit-bulls. 


For more insights into the Millennial Mindset, contact me and improve your relationships right now. 

3 Ways To Walk The Plank Of Life... And Survive!

Time needed to read this article5 minutes

Last night on the motorway I saw a speed camera flash a car on the opposite side of the road. Poor guy, I thought. A split second later, I saw another flash but this time it was red and blue being emitted from an ambulance rattling past us - maybe to rescue a victim of speeding. Poor guy, I thought.

It's funny how things work, almost in a paradoxical way, but they work. Such is life. Randomness, human error and the precariously thin ice we skate on; mean that in order to maintain balance in our lives, we are constantly juggling. It is this juggle struggle that has kept us on our toes and at the forefront of evolutionary innovation. 

Now, let's apply this to you.

In your life - at home, at work, at leisure, at pleasure and the rest - you will have to navigate your ship through storms, hail stone and creatures from the deep. The storms are the uncontrollable hazards, hail stones are the curve balls other people hurl at you and the creatures from the deep are your own internal emotional and psychological monsters. It is a fact. It's set in stone and in plaster of Paris - these things will present themselves to you.


What are you gonna do? The ghostbusters' phone line is engaged. Now what?

1. Storms - Hazards that are unpredictable and out of your control

In a real storm, if you don't want to get fried you better get inside! It is recommended that you head to shore as quickly as possible. In other words, don't be too egotistical to retreat, gather yourself and come back stronger. Whether you are hit by a death in your family or a redundancy at work - have some time to yourself, to calm down, think and galvanize. 

2. Hail stones - an onslaught of curve balls and courage-demanding predicaments

According to, hail storms rarely last more than 15 minutes. This means that torrential downpour of bullsh*t will subside, if you have the courage to keep swimming through it. 

If you're going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill

It is also advised that you don't leave your vehicle. If your life is accelerating and you come across curve balls, don't you abandon your journey for no buccaneers! With experience you'll learn how to circumvent them and even use them for fuel to energise your pursuit.


3. Creatures from the deep - internal issues that brew and breed

Monsters lurk beneath the surface within everyone. Some of us are more adept at taming them, but the vast majority nurture wild raging beasts. Depression, anxiety, insecurity, low self-esteem and all of those inner satans are very real - they don't go away unless addressed with cooperation. Show me a movie where an alien or monster is defeated single-handedly. People will come to your aid when you least expect it and most need it, through knowledge and support. Your duty as captain is to keep the ship steady, hold on as tight as you can and celebrate when you're plain sailing again.

Being the captain of your boat means you have control over your destiny. How fast and how unscathed you arrive will stand the test of the aforementioned elements but whatever you do, get there.