Category Archives: business life

why are publishers so reluctant to pay up for content?

I’m in the process of having to take strong action against one publishing house and am actively chasing another for payment for articles that I have written for them and, in the former case, for several photos to accompany the article. Both articles have been published against agreed terms, so what is the problem with coughing up what is owed?

One problem is that it is taking me longer to chase them than it did to write the darn things in the first place, but I am going to keep going even if I end up taking them down the small claims route.

It is a shame as it takes away both the pleasure of having something published and any feeling of support for that publication, but such is life. There are a lot of shysters out there.

Leave a comment

Filed under business life, General postings, random rants, serious stuff

No more RingGo at Swindon! FGW you are wrong

I hear that First Great Western and APCOA are ceasing the RingGo service at Swindon (and other) station car parks any day now.

This is a stupid move and I am supporting the campaign to have the decision reversed. If you are with me click on this link to make your protest heard.

Car park machines are a nightmare at somewhere like a railway station. You either need a mountain of change or, if they have a credit card operated one, the patience of a saint as they rarely work. RingGo makes life easy with a simple phone call and, when its a business trip, I can log on later and get a VAT receipt.

All stress free and one of the main reasons why I have started to use the train much more over the last year or so. I want my RingGo back!

Leave a comment

Filed under business life, random rants, serious stuff

end of another week

Where does the time go? I’m so busy at the moment that the weeks are just flying by. Life seems like an hour glass; as you get into the second half the sands seem to run through more quickly maybe?

Years of learning, often the hard way, to manage my time well pays off in trying to make my days effective and I do try to make time for quality things, whether that is people time or me time. These are the things that make it all work out and help me through the things that I’d rather not have to do.

Making each day a mixture means that I can always finish off with the thoughts that I’ve had some fun and learned something along the way.

They may be quick days but, in general, they’re happy ones.

Leave a comment

Filed under about me, business life, General postings

bullying by colleagues and what you and the boss can do

An email yesterday somewhat preempted the column I wrote on Friday for my Monday Musing for publication tomorrow (10th January 2011), but I’d like to deal with the specific issue here.

Your boss should not be allowing any form of bullying or harassment, but that does not mean that the victim has no need to do anything themselves. Most of these problems in the workplace are mind games; they are about power and control and many, as in the case in question, can seem very innocuous from the outside.

The problem referred to me is in regard of a colleague who has what I can CJ syndrome. For those not familiar with the world of Reggie Perrin, CJ was his boss, and a running gag through the books and TV series went something like; Reggie “I’ll see you at three on Wednesday”, CJ “Fine, Tuesday at ten”. Whatever Reggie suggested, CJ would want something different, and the email to me was about someone who has a similar problem with a colleague who is always changing meeting times for no apparent reason or finding an excuse for wanting them cancelled at the last-minute.

For me this is classic control freak territory and it is being done for no other reason that to have the upper hand. The perpetrator is getting a kick out of being difficult, so what can you do?

Well, as we’ve established, these things are about control, and part of the problem here is that you are allowing yourself to be a victim of the other person’s actions, so be prepared to make a stand.  In many of these cases it isn’t always easy for the boss to see the problem, so complaining is not always the right answer. If you do the boss has to speak to the other party about the issue and, at that stage, the boss is establishing both viewpoints, however distorted they may be. Do you want them just to act on hearsay? Well, yes you do, but they shouldn’t;t if they are a half decent boss.

What they might do is to tell you to get everything in writing and copy it to everyone concerned. OK, if it’s a direct order then you’ll have to do it, but it isn’t likely to work. The first problem is that it is you who is doing all the writing and that is a waste of your time as well as everyone else’s who has to read what you’ve written. The second problem is that, if your protagonist is one of those who is really unpleasant they will turn this against you. I’ve investigated many bullying and harassment cases and can assure you that the really nasty pieces of work love it when their victim gets into putting it all in writing.

No, you are far better off taking the matter on through your normal ways of working. Don’t let them divert or distract you because your performance will suffer and then you have another problem with your boss looming. Stick to your own agenda. Arrange the meetings with colleagues and, if your tormentor wants to change things, say no and hold the meeting without them. Yes there will be some issues, but tough it out. It soon becomes apparent that they are a pain and behaviour will change. You will never become pals, but if they know that they can’t get under your skin they’ll give up on you and try someone else. When you see who that is, help them overcome the problem.

It is difficult when someone is trying to undermine you, but try to fight your own corner. You have friends and family who can help take your mind off these issues and make you feel good. Whatever you do, don’t sink to the other person’s level; be true to your own standards. Office jerks may seem to do well, but that is an illusion that they like to foster and, while they have you under their thumb, it may look that way to you. Get out from under and you’ll see them for what they are, and that is probably the way everyone else sees them as well.

Keep the faith and feel free to write for advice. I’m happy to help.

1 Comment

Filed under business life

Networlding Masterclass: 7 Steps that successful networkers know and you need to find out

When and Where

Thursday 10 March 2011

0900 to 1700

Village Hotel Swindon
Shaw Ridge Leisure Park
Whitehill Way,
SN5 7DW  Swindon
United Kingdom

Why you should attend

You will discover why:

  • attracting followers is a fallacy that leads to your time being wasted and your productivity suffering
  • your true network, when you discover it, improves your net worth
  • you will never need to go to a boring, valueless networking function ever again

You will learn how you can:

  • stand out from 3 billion people who will trade/be active on the internet by 2020
  • cut your marketing and sales costs by as much as 50%
  • harness the true power of social networking most people will never discover

Who should attend?

If you are an adviser, accountant, board member, SME business owner, consultant, educator, entrepreneur, executive, intrapreneur, lawyer, leaders, manager, not-for-profit leaders, practice leader, politician, though leader, social entrepreneur, speaker, team leader or trainer – you will gain massively from being part of a networlding group.

Click on the link below for more details and to book your place. Early booking discounts are available.

Swindon Networlding

For SME business owners, non-profit organisations, the WHO is always the final challenge when it comes to finding key influencers and customer groups (or fund givers for non-profits).  Limited marketing budget is the reason many SMEs choose to attending networking events in the hope of chancing on a sale. Why rely on chance? As a community of Networlders, we create a Thoughtful Social Networking experience, both in person and online, to help you to build:

  • better business faster (business growth or a thriving non-profit organisation)
  • better collaboration for innovative ventures (better, faster, stronger)
  • better career faster (career growth)
  • better personal lives faster (personal growth)

Networlding helps you to cultivate advocates for your brand

  • Create great content
  • Get talked about
  • Build a tribe
  • Become a trusted resource for your customers
  • Make it easy for people to find, try and buy from you
  • Make your brand understood, relevant, credible and remarkable
  • Make meaning and create an insanely great customer experience


Networlding is a proven methodology that helps you to grow your network relationships and identify connections and key influencers that matter.

Assuming you are clear about the WHAT, WHY, WHEN and HOW of your goals … you should have a list of WHO’S WHO that you feel can help you (your primary connections).  We are not talking about who you would pay to help you.  We are talking about advocates that will tell others how remarkable you are.

What they say about Networlding

“I have always found myself frustrated with business networking over the years and never really sure why. I have give of myself and done my best. Often coming away with massive numbers of contacts, but this has rarely turned into solid business. Today I think I found out why.  With Networlding you learn from the ground up how to present yourself according to your values and most importantly how to find and keep hold of those precious contacts that suit those values; the ones who will bring you real and valuable future relationships. The ones who care about you not just crash and burn business. In short how to find the other ones like you! What a revelation. Kwai certainly know his stuff and can demonstrate this with personal success too.

And it was obvious I was not alone when the revelation came. Every single person in that room was not only convinced but was by the end of a single day passionate about making each other’s lives better. I have never seen that in any networking group of any kind and I have done them all.  So if you are frustrated with the vapidity of the 50 people in one room but need more than meeting the same six to twenty people over and over again. Can I suggest you consider changing your approach entirely. Don’t be a networker, be a networlder. Take the training day, like I did and work out just where you might have been wrong all these years!” – Jeremy Cobb, Owner of want2change and hypnoslim

“Like all other sectors, charities can benefit from thoughtful social networking.   Kwai’s networlding masterclass is a lovely way of beginning to get your head around the potential for your charity and how you might move forward in good company.  I am thinking through how best we can develop from it.  Thank you.” – Dr Rhetta Moran, Matron, RAPAR

“Superb day! Much of it very different to what I do now.  I see it will enable me to reach so many more people.  Many thanks.” – Roger Jackson. Business For Breakfast Knutsford.

“A must do. Very thought-provoking.” – Ken Lee. BusinessLink Northwest Skills Advisor

“Very interesting and well presented event which promoted great exchanges.” – Eileen Coldrick.  Owner at http://www.worksmartvpa.com

Leave a comment

Filed under business life

I say No Thanks to Berlin Time.

I have been reading of Rebecca Harris MP (Conservative, Castle Point) and her private member’s bill proposal to have the UK switch to Central European Time, or Berlin Time as some folks would have it, presumably to raise the spectre of Johnny Foreigner, here in the form of the Hun, taking over the country.

Xenophobia aside, for me this is plainly ridiculous and I see no point in it whatsoever. Yes it just shifts the day, but I go to work in the dark for a lot of the year anyway; I’m an early riser. Lighter evenings would result and that would be pleasant and no more, but the hard facts that are being touted are largely untrue: Last time we tried this road deaths went up, not down.

Ms Harris may be sincere, but I believe that she is misguided. Surely she could have found something more sensible to spend a private members bill on? Or has she just picked something controversial to make a name for herself?

Join me in lobbying against this daft idea. There are plenty of websites and polls opposing it.

Leave a comment

Filed under business life, random rants

FL Marlins Conned Taxpayers Into Gifting Them a Stadium

Dig your heels in St Pete! Don’t let this happen to you. FL Marlins Conned Taxpayers Into Gifting Them a Stadium.

[tweetmeme source="bowenjohnj"]

Leave a comment

Filed under business life, General postings

Daylight Analysis Software being developed for Security Camera Analysis | FM Expert’s Blog

An interesting Facilities Management blog that you might like to take a look at.

Daylight Analysis Software being developed for Security Camera Analysis | FM Expert’s Blog.

[tweetmeme source="bowenjohnj"]

1 Comment

Filed under business life, General postings

Education vs. Experience – The Trump Blog

You’ll find this topic here and there amongst my blogs here and on Monday Musings (ThatConsultantBloke). Given that many graduates I meet these days don’t actually have a great education then I tend to favour experience, but the Trumpster has a valid point here, and you don’t build a business empire like his unless you’re right more often that you’re wrong.

See what he has to say here: Education vs. Experience – The Trump Blog.

1 Comment

Filed under business life

10 things to do with business cards

Some free advice with 10 top tips over on the Gulfhaven web site Click here to check them out

Leave a comment

Filed under business life