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Posted by on in News

I've been doing for nothing what I generally get paid to do for a long time.  That used to be solely as a Business Mentor for The Princes Trust.  For a number of years I've also been doing that for Buckinghamshire New University.

They've recently started giving mentors the chance to say a few words online to encourage new mentors, and indeed new mentees, to step forward.  I was delighted to be given the chance to say a few words, and you can read what I said at  http://thebucksgraduate.com/2016/02/15/mark-harris/.

Re the words there from my mentee, and from the University, it's nice to be appreciated!

Tagged in: mentoring volunteering
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Posted by on in News

Today marked the start of Laptop Monday – an idea which has been kicking around for a few years, but to which I really started paying attention a few short months ago.

I work from home, and it can be pretty isolated.  Sure, I chat to people on the phone, and even Skype with clients, but that’s just not the same as interacting with people face-to-face in the same way that those who work in an open plan office get to do every day.

So, I designed & built Laptop Monday – a co-working event, to be held every 2-3 weeks at a hotel nearby, and started to promote it and invite people.  I did lots of tweets, pushed the events on LinkedIn, got articles in both of the relevant local papers, advertised on Marlow FM, used the auspices of the Marlow Chamber and generally networked my socks off!

The result?  There were 10 like-minded people there and, I am delighted to say, the objectives were achieved. 

Sometimes there was absolute silence, with 10 work focussed people hunched over their laptops.  Sometimes, only one or two were working, while the others had a group discussion about the late lamented Mr Bowie, the benefits of FSB membership or the latest resignation from nice Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet.  Sometimes the babble was all pervading, as four or five separate conversations took place simultaneously.

Some of those conversations were most certainly within the domain of “co-working” – a range of help was given, a number of business cards were swapped, some old acquaintances were renewed and some new relationships began – as I left, the last two were in the bar discussing how they may be able to be of help to each other moving forward.

The only formal-ish part of the event was the “Lunch’n’Learn”, delivered by Sally Hindmarch of http://partnerswithyou.co.uk/, covering off “The five P’s of Presentations”, although she actually gave us six!  A useful interactive workshop from which everyone in the room benefitted.  As someone said afterwards, that session alone was worth the £15 for the day (which included tea & coffee all day, as well as free parking & free wifi).

So – onward!  The next event is 25th January.  Two places already booked.  Some of those in the room today said they’d be back.  10-ish people seemed to work well, but there’s room for more – happy to have you join us for 25th Jan, or one of the other planned events.

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Posted by on in News


I needed a meeting with someone in or near Beaconsfield the other day.  He suggested Costa.  I suggested the Regus centre in the services at J2 on the M40.  He agreed to my suggestion.

It is a little bit weird parking at the services for a meeting, but once you’re over that mental hurdle and go upstairs to the hushed office environment, the weirdness goes away and you feel like, well, you feel like you’re at work.

You’re met at the door, your Gold Card is swiped and you’re in.  Given the 2 hours max parking, make sure you sign in to the visitors book – that gets you free parking all day.  Help yourself to the free refreshments.  Log in to the free wifi.  Enjoy the free air con.  Smile at the other people around.  Then the bad news – you’re supposed to get on with some work!

My meeting went well – the only bad news was the stifling heat when we left the lovely air con – never mind.

So – is this a shameless plug for Regus?


I mentioned the Gold Card you need to get all this for free.  Well, you could buy it from http://www.regus.co.uk/products/businessworld-membership/gold.aspx for a mere £25 / month.

Or, you could get it free as just one of the membership benefits of the Federation of Small Businesses.  That’s where I got mine.  Go to http://www.fsb.org.uk/office-solutions to get yours!

Business advice from Enterprise Doctor – for free!  I suggest you take this medicine – it’s not at all unpleasant!!

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Really surprised it’s 7 weeks since I blogged – life is a bit of a blur, but that’s no excuse.

Actually, I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago.  It’s on the subject of outsourcing, why you should, when you should and such forth.  So why haven’t you seen it?  Because it’s going to be published on someone else’s blog in a couple of weeks as a ‘guest blog’.

What’s the rationale?

Well, she doesn’t have to write a blog, so that’s easy for her!  It also means that she can publish a blog that she’s comfortable will be of relevance and interest to her readers and that they will be entertained / stimulated / given food for thought from a slightly different perspective to her usual standpoint.

For me, if her readers find me interesting, well, maybe they’ll follow my blog, or my Twitter feed (@enterprisedoc), or at least have a browse of my website (http://www.enterprisedoctor.co.uk/), which will hopefully be to their benefit and to mine.

Why am I telling you this?  Well, firstly as a bit of a teaser – in a couple of weeks I’ll point you at her blog so you can see what I had to say on the subject.

But also to make you an offer.

Do you think you could write a blog that would appeal to the type of people who might follow me & read my stuff?  If so, would you like to submit a guest blog to me?  If you so, I may choose to publish, if I agree that it’s interesting and relevant.  All my fans will then know a little about you.

Not quite sure who the loser is here – my kind of outcome!

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Posted by on in News

I realised on Thursday (and I’ll tell you why in a mo) that I’ve not blogged in a while.

Why not?  Because I’ve been busy!

As a brief run-down, so you know I’m not just making excuses since I last blogged I have:

  • Enjoyed watching the views go up & up on Youtube for the Christmas show on Marlow FM I did with Mike Duckett of http://www.coachingforsuccess.co.uk/ – 69 views so far, so little old me is quite happy with that!  If you want a listen (it’s quite entertaining) go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I-Xnasc3sc on your next lunch break & prepare to be entertained.  How long will it take you to guess who the guest was?
  • Wrote a marketing strategy for a professional Institute – they wanted it partly to use as an aid in recruiting their new Marketing Manager – they liked it so much that they asked me to write the job spec & person spec, and then they asked me to take part in the whole recruitment process – challenging work but thoroughly enjoyable & delighted that they’ve made clear they want to put more work my way.
  • Went to Spain for 6 days.  It was work – honest!  OK, so I played some golf, ate some food, lounged around a bit too, but I was actually working with a business owner I know out there, helping him primarily with his first real foray into social media.
  • And speaking of social media, we had Vicky White of http://www.outsourcepaservices.co.uk/ in the studio.  As the web address implies, she’s a PA you can hire by the hour or the day, but one of her key areas of expertise is social media, which she proved a number of times on air.  We’d heard that a number of Beatles songs had social media references within the lyrics – hear Vicky’s explanations at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsAsKkqGGug .  Her thoughts on Google + (perhaps more positive than yours!) are at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-pdSGMMaOo – have a listen – it may well give you food for thought!
  • Mike and I often try to out-do eachother with absurd but true topics – to hear Mike telling us about a treadmill with a desk built in, so you can walk and work at the same time, have a listen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shGjyc4Cba8 – I think he might win!

Oh, and what prompted me to get back into blogging?  Vicky, of course.  No point talking about social media without doing it!

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