• What To Write On Your Website And Why You’re Stuck

    What to write? 

    So every week I have to come up with a new idea about what to write.

    And in the last few weeks, I’ve come up with ideas — non-stop.

    It is too many ideas, but now I know which ones to use.

    How to know what to write.

    So I know what to write because I’m always talking to people and asking questions.

    And like most things in life- the problem is never the problem.

    If you look at Brené Brown’s original TEDx talk about The Power of Vulnerability, in which she says to her therapist — I just need some strategies, none of that family stuff.

    She thinks she knows what she is doing.

    And a lot of starting work with clients goes like this:

    I was like, “Okay.” 

    So I found a therapist. My first meeting with her, Diana — I brought in my list of the way the whole-hearted lives, and I sat down. 

    And she said, “How are you?” 

    And I go, “I’m great. I’m okay.” 

    She says, “What’s going on?” 

    (And this is a therapist who sees therapists because we have to go to those because their B.S. meters are good. )

    Brené then states — “Here’s the thing, I’m struggling.” 

    And Diana asks, “What’s the struggle?” 

    “Well, I have a vulnerability issue. And I know that vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love. And I think I have a problem, and I need some help.” 

    Then Brené follows with, “But here’s the thing: no family stuff, no childhood shit. I just need some strategies.” 

    Diana says “It just is what it is.” 

    Brené replies “Oh my God, this is going to suck.” 

    And it did, and then it didn’t. And it took about a year.

    You think you know what you need

    People, especially me, think they know about marketing their business.

    They read all the books, the blogs, buys the online courses and quotes HubSpot and Seth Godin but never actually takes any action.

    Look at this list of London Coworking Spaces to see who has their website in check.

    One of the problems is that people only want to do marketing when they think it will sell something.

    They are afraid to experiment because:

    A. They’ll look silly — and who likes looking silly? 

    B. They’ll lose money — and who wants to lose money?

    C. and most of all, it won’t work — who want to do stuff that does not work?

    Experience is something you don’t have until just after you need it.

    Doing the work

    It is after you have sent emails, done calls and posted blogs and recorded podcasts that you will know.

    This year, I’ve had the most consistent marketing and communications regime I’ve ever had in my life.

    In this lockdown, I’ve hosted over 60 group calls for Coworking space owners, recorded 30 podcasts, sent around 100 email newsletters and I’m still working it out.

    Was it the COVID air or is it just me? 

    I’m still working it out because a website is never finished; there is always a new story to find and share.

    There is always a new question to answer and problems to solve.

    Don’t go at it alone. 

    The thing I’ve picked up most on this year is asking for help.

    There are so many good things to do and some I am 100

    So my message for the blog this week is to keep making content!

    People don’t care what you say they care what you publish. – Jammy Digital

    For example, people would come to London bloggers meet up and say we’re thinking about our SEO and I’d ask what do you mean? 

    They’ll say they were looking for ways to write a post that would get them to rank and this is why they had come to the meetup. 

    So before they’d even made a website, they were tactical about SEO.

    So If your website is about milkshakes and all your article headlines have the word “Cup Size” in the title you might attract a lot of ladies who are not looking for Mike Shake recipes.

    At the beginning of most websites, this is all you need to think about.

    Most of these people never get off the ground with their websites. 

    If you had opened a coworking space in London in 2012 and posted –

    You would have 419 blog posts on your site, and if they all had the words coworking and London, Hackney, Brixton or Camden in you would be ranking very high organically. 

    PLUS people would know who and what you care about. 

    The posts that bring the most traffic to my site were the ones about Trello from around 2015 when my mate Nil’s and I launched an online Trello course. 

    If only I’d written ones about marketing your independently owned UK based coworking space!

    I’ve been learning and practising marketing non-stop since 2005 when organised the website for the event staffing agency I worked at.

    Other than the ‘big companies’, we were one of the first with a website!

    I just thought you need a website? Isn’t it?

    I’d worked with Off To Work as it had started and Philip Atkins the founder, well he had a website, and I could book work through it, so why isn’t everyone doing this?

    So really I just copied him. 

    Philip now has branches all over the UK, and because of Philip, I got to serve the Queen her Beef Wellington when Swindon’s new council offices were opened. 

    Since 2005 websites have got way more accessible. 

    Email newsletters and marketing have got more straightforward and more manageable. 


    When you start, you need a super simple website and email list. 

    Corner Studio Brixton — is a small space with one owner and this website does the trick.

    Mainyard — (where I’m based)  Affordable Work-spaces Of All Shapes And Sizes For Small Businesses

    Platform 9 — I’ve been following Seb and Jo from the beginning and they’ve always been plugged in the the local area on the their site.

    The Skiff — Jon and Anna are slowly enabling the members of the Skiff to own it, I’ve always loved the vibe of this site.

    The Arc Club — Bill themselves as a ‘neighbourhood workspace’ and they are, the Q4 cohort of the Urban MBA program will run from here.

    The Melting Pot – Is one of the oldest coworking spaces in the UK and as Scotland’s centre for Social Innovation always has a lot going on.

    These places all capture the character of the people there and the place.  

    You have to be realistic about who much time you have to give, but if you are the leader in the business, I always think it pays to write something regularly.

    If you think your post on your website is equivalent to Michelle Obama doing her podcast, you’re missing the point.

    Someone who I’ve known for years who always leads from the front is hilarious and has a long-standing business is Helena who runs Sister Snog, a long-running women’s networking organisation. 

    She shares without a big head and just enough glitter to be a princess.

    Posting an update every week by email and blog could become the lifeblood of your community. 


    I’ve looked a couple of examples, Jonathan Stark sends a very fucking useful email every day.

    When I asked him in awe how he does this, he said, when you commit to posting every day, you just wake up to what is going on around you. 

    You notice more and can spin it better, then you gather ideas in a folder and then before you know it you never run out of ideas. 

    How often

    The more you post there, the more committed your following, people who don’t want an email every day don’t follow you. 

    When you post once every two months, and it is hey we have an event, want to buy a ticket?

    People have no idea who you are. 

    I’ve been sending an email on and off for over a decade and when I send it every week amazing things happen.

    I don’t mean I get hired for a million quid every week,

    I tell people to ask me to do things or recommend me, I’ve very rarely sold anything in that email, but people have hired me all over. 

    Talking of regular posting I’ve been recording a podcast which we’ll launch early October and it will fire out twice a week. 

    It is people from all over my network offering specific tips on how to market your coworking space the simple way. 

  • Another email newsletter???

    Have you ever said that to yourself when you received one of those? You know, you subscribed to one of those cause you were really into the product they’re selling. You really want to know what they have to say, what’s new with them. And then you kind of lost interest in what they have to say. (Or maybe you got conned into subscribing into it).

    And you’re probably thinking “what if my subscribers think like that too?”. 

    How often do I have to send an email? 

    What if people unsubscribe because I send out too much? Or maybe they lose interest because I send out too few? 

    “What do I put in there?”

    “What’s the best way to send them out?”

    And the next thing you know you’re sitting by your kitchen table or office staring blankly at your monitor or out the window.  (Which I can say happened to me a bit more than I like.)

    How often do you send out an email newsletter?

    When I was starting with my website, I also have to struggle with those questions. I don’t want to come off annoying by sending too much because that would make people unsubscribe or mark them as spam. 

    Some say that ideally, you can send once or twice a month. 

    However, that frequency of email newsletter will possibly result in less engagement from your subscribers. It may seem like you are not that committed to keeping their loyalty to your brand. 

    Can I send once a day then? 

    That will only work if you have an event that you are promoting. You can send as much as 4 times a week the closer it is to the date of your event. Otherwise, you’re just spamming.

    How MANY should I send then?

    Once a week is the right frequency of sending an email campaign. If you take a look at this graph by Smartrmail:

    You can see that by sending on average 1 to 2 email newsletters per week, has the highest engagement from your subscribers. And then it gets low as the numbers increase. Sending one every day will definitely make your readers either mark you as spam or worse, click that unsubscribe button. 

    When is the best time to send out newsletters?

    Doesn’t any time work? Sure. If you want to just hit send and people to not open your email. 

    And that is just lazy marketing. You know, just like doing a school project from your least favourite teacher. Doing it just for the sake of getting it out of the way. Half-assed and has utter disregard for the result of that project.

    Of course, you’re not like that. This is your business we’re talking about. You actually want people to open your email and read your newsletter. You didn’t just pour all that effort in doing a great email newsletter just for it to be get lost in the vortex of emails, right?

    Well, it turns out, there are certain days of the week that has higher opening rates than the rest of the week. And you have to take into account the time too. For instance, Tuesdays at between 6 to 10 in the morning are when most people check their emails. Or you know at 8 in the evening just before people get to bed. (Check this blog by Coschedule to get what I am saying).

    Which Email Marketing tool to use?

    There are tons of email marketing tools that can help you deliver your newsletter. I can’t say for much which one is really the best. That is somehow would be subjected to my own bias. 

    But if you insist, when I was starting with my own email marketing campaign, I don’t know which one to use. I have tried a lot and the apps that I find to be compatible with is MailChimp or ConvertKit

    Even then, I can’t decide which one I like most. And then back in March 2020, MailPoet for WordPress landed on App Sumo and I was hooked.

    The bad news is that it is built for WordPress and does not work on other website platforms, so skip to the next bit if you don’t use WordPress.

    What I like most about it is it shows up neatly in the sidebar of your WordPress dashboard and writing an email is as easy as writing a blog.

    The styling, H1, H2, H3 and paragraph are super simple before I always had styling issues when I copied and pasted text from Grammarly into Mailchimp – it drove me mad.

    Another feature I love with MailPoet is that adding whole posts or links to posts, blogs and other content from your website is super slick and easy.

    It is a ‘drag and drops feature’ that is actually a drag and drop feature!

    You can check out WPKube and WPLift for tips on how to use Mailpoet effectively and enjoy its full features.

    The key is to find the right email marketing tool for you. Most tools offer free trials. Take advantage of those.

    Coschedule that rocking Email Newsletter!

    I have been using Coschedule for years. I have it as a plug-in in my WordPress. And I have of course tried other tools. And I like this one the best. It is easy to use and you can integrate your favourite email marketing tool with it. 

    You can schedule your email newsletters, your social media campaigns and all your content in one place. 

    Start Sending!

    “Signing up is a powerful signal of intent to buy. Send them emails until they do.” – Jordie van Rijn

    You’ve got your well thought out email newsletter, now what’s left for you to do is hit send and get back to doing it again.

    And over time, you’ll improve greatly and that doing your own brand of email marketing would be easy peasy. 

    How about you? Do you have other blocks on email marketing that concerns you, aside from these? Hit reply and let me know or maybe you know, book a complimentary call and let’s talk about it and figure it out.

  • “If Social Media is the cocktail party, then email marketing is the ‘meet up for coffee’. The original 1 to 1 channel.”

    -Erik Harbison

    You would’ve thought that in a world of social media, email marketing would be on the bottom of the tier of effective marketing strategy.

    How come even the big and established businesses still opt makes a massive effort to perfect their email marketing game? 

    The answer? Because it works! Even if a person does spend an average of 2 to 3 hours on social media, sending out those email still yields a higher percentage of acquiring clients/customers.

    Why is that?

    Suppose, you’re browsing on Facebook, do you really pay attention to those paid ads?

    I, for one, tend to tune them out. I kind of think they are a bit of a nuisance. 

    Or you’re on Twitter, you follow people you are interested in, people you know. And when those people plug businesses you read them and then scroll up again. You don’t click links you don’t find interesting or doesn’t cater to any of your needs. 

    Then there’s Instagram. A lot of people seems to also have taken a liking in promoting their business there. However just like on Twitter, you scroll up and don’t really pay attention to the captions, no?

    Marketing through social media only works if you have a massive following. Even then, not all of those are generated into actual income. Am I right?  All these alternative marketing platforms and yet, why does email marketing stay as the top marketing platform for digital marketing?

    Why does it work?


    Almost everyone has an email account. And people are naturally wary of giving away personal information online. And the safest way for them to let you establish contact is through email. Thus, Email marketing provides a more aggressive interaction with your prospective consumers/customers. 

    What do I mean by “aggressive interaction? Meaning that you are actively pursuing communication with your target audience than just passively waiting for the business to pick up by just posting a lot of content on social media. It helps in terms of promoting, of course.

    You see, the thing is, in social media. You can be filtered out by people. Meanwhile, making your email marketing game strong will definitely make people excited to get content from you. 

    However, building the perfect email marketing game plan doesn’t do much on its own no?  what’s next then?

    Build Your Email List


    Building your email list sounds easy enough. You just need to get people email addresses, right? 

    Question is how? The answer lies on your landing page. 

    Okay. You’ve got people interested enough to click on your link. You’ve been really great at your social media campaign. Now the ball is back in your court. How do you persuade your site visitors to sign up for your email newsletter? How do you catch their attention to guarantee a subscriber?

    Well, I have mentioned all about the “Storybrand” book. And that it has been one of the frameworks of marketing strategy that I find to be working the best.

    What I continue to learn from that is that you need to make your customer the HERO. I remember blogging about making your client your hero and how that actually made a guy generate 10 million on sales! If you haven’t read about it yet, here’s the link.

    But that’s about blogging Bernie! Well, you can still apply the same principle for your landing page. 

    Make it all about them

    You’re selling your space yes, but what good does it do them? Does knowing you’ve won multiple awards, going to sell it for you? Bragging hardly seems the right approach, ain’t it? I’ve also talked about that in my other blog post. For now, let’s focus on your landing page.

    Make attention-grabbing “CTA”s


    What prompts me to actually sign up for an email newsletter is that they have a very good “Call to Action” section. 

    You got to elicit a response to your viewers. Give them the prod they need to sign up. Even if you have great content if you don’t have a call to action, then it all for nought. 

    However, what I find compelling for me, might not be compelling for you or your client. Nevertheless, you can make a note of it, see if you can tweak it and make it work for you too. You can make it your inspiration! There is nothing wrong in experimenting. Although, you have to be constant on what you market. 

    What’s your edge? What are your values? Do you have the answer to their questions?

    At this point you must be thinking, ‘what do all of those questions have to do with email marketing?

    To that, I am going to ask you: What would you put on your email newsletter then? 

    What is the sense of a great landing page with an email newsletter with crappy content?

    Content is where the magic happens.


    So you’ve got a great landing page, you’ve built an impressive email list. What’s left? Your CONTENT of course!

    Sure it’s easy enough, thinking of content for your landing page. Those are kinda constant. You don’t actually have to change what it says as frequently as you would.

    However, your email newsletter needs to be fresh. You have to put out new content every time. 

    Here are some ideas that can set a foundation for your email marketing content.

    Are you a start-up? You can focus on putting your brand out there. Your story. What you can do for your client. The whole introductory shebang. 

    You’ve been around for years? You can promote new products. Give freebies. Reintroduce your brand. Milestones of your business. You can even let your clients know who is your freelancer of the month. 

    Still a bit confused? I’d be more than willing to guide you through that! Just book a complimentary call and let us chat all about it!  Or if you think a chat isn’t going to cut it, take a look at my email marketing workshop and start sending out your brand of email marketing.


  • Why September Is The Best Month To Get Writing

    So I had a friend, and on their wall, they had a poster with the caption “A year from now you will wish you’d started today.’

    It would make me roll my eyes; I’m not sure why and that is not the point of the story.

    Start a little writing habit

    Maybe five years ago, I started using a website that a lot of Write Club members are on called 750 Words, where you write 750 Words every day.

    No one else can see them, and you write what you want, no one cares.

    I’m up to nearly 2 million words now, by doing a little bit every day.

    I used to cry at the thought of writing 2500 words for University now I’ve written more words than there are in three copies of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. (There are 587,287 words in War and Peace.

    I’m glad I started this writing habit, I’ve not published a book, but I have developed the self-confidence to write a lot.

    People like us

    Through write club, I’ve met authors, freelancers, academics, comedians, marketers, bloggers, developers, event managers, musicians, poets, lawyers and sailors who have helped each other keep going and get unstuck.

    We’d love to see you on Thursday and Friday, whether you are getting the courage to start or are sweating because you don’t know how to finish your sixth book.

    Why is September 2019 the best time to get writing?

    Because September is now!

    Write Club is free, fair and alive:

    RSVP for Thursday in Mile End here

    RSVP for Friday in Old Street here

    And of course, a year from now you’ll wish you started today!

  • How To Kill Writer’s Block And Thrive

    When you have to write a post, you’ll want to do everything but write that blog post.

    It is much easier to think about stuff than writing it.

    The main reason only a few people do well at blogging comes down to just a few people execute and post stuff.

    Everyone else licks blogging wounds, looks for SEO tricks and talks about blogging, without doing much blogging.

    And that included me.

    I found it very hard to write and post stuff, but every time I ship a blog post a good thing happens.
    Sometimes this is a good business thing, but most of the time a handful of people talk about my post.

    When I was deep in depression, I blogged about how I was doing. This wild act of sharing connected me on a deep level with people close to me and also people I have never met.

    There are a few businesses that blog on a consistent basis.
    They get to inform potential customers, build a stronger relationship and save a crapload of time in their sales cycle.
    By now I have met enough people who got down to posting on their site and everything changed for them within six months.

    How To Kill Writers Block And Thrive

    1. Just write.

    Open a page and write something like:
    “I don’t know where to start I wanted to write a blog about writer’s block, I mean beating writer’s block but ironically I don’t know where to start, so I guess I’ll start here, and wait, oh wow I’m in action already…”

    You will have to get over the fact you’ll need to delete a lot of stuff.
    But you will have written something down, and starting is always half of the battle won.

    2. Know where you are going.

    And when you first sit down, you won’t know where you are going, which is why you have to work out where you are going.
    By this I mean get some paper or a google doc and scribble down where you could go.

    What topic is your blog or website designed around?
    What would the next ten posts be?

    When you realise you don’t have ten posts on that subject, it will be the reality check you need.

    And when you recognise you have 25 blog posts, you’ll know where you are going.
    Both are great.

    You’ll find brilliant methods about this on the roadmap on the Fizzle website.
    Committing to the Fizzle Roadmap is one of the single best things I’ve ever done for my professional freelancer life.

    3. Accept your limitations at this moment in time.

    When I am too busy, anxious or pulled in too many directions blogging does not happen for me. It takes me ages to get into the right place, and then I polish it too much, and then I think everyone will hate me.

    It is not the best place for me to go.
    So I don’t.
    What I do is accept it is not going to happen today and work out when it is going to happen.

    Keep a notebook either online on in real life

    In this notebook write the beginning, middle and end of a post after you have had the idea.

    Let it sit and then come back to it a few days later; I find I can write the blog post in one go after doing this.
    Or write a paragraph about each idea and see how far you get.

    I swear the fear of finding out our concept is not going to work is ten times the fear of posting, this way you can uncover the weaknesses in your work.

    4. Get serious

    I am writing this standing in my kitchen and have set a timer. I keep wandering off to see what else I can do instead of this post and then make myself carry on writing.
    I know what I want to say and why I want to write this post.

    But I get imposter syndrome, scared and all sorts of things that are mental distractions from doing the work of writing this post and publishing it.

    Luckily I have got serious and cut out everything that could distract me from finishing this and posting it.

    5. Eliminate distractions.

    Which builds upon point five, get serious.
    Decide what tool, notebook and platform you are going to use.

    Choosing the colour of your business card, writing app and website is a small but lethal form of distraction from the real work of putting your heart and soul into creating content.

    Whether your art is words on a blog, video on Youtube or a podcast messing about between Google Doc and Evernote is a waste of your precious creative energy and time.

    You get results and learn by doing, not by preparing and choosing, unless you are doing a space jump, then you need to do a lot of preparation.

    6. Anyway, how come you get writer’s block?
    You don’t talkers block, do you?

    Featured Image Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

    We’ll be deep diving into “How To Kill Writers Block And Thrive” next week at London Bloggers Meet Up at The Studio in Camden, the new home for all our coworking and Ouishare London antics.

  • How To Develop An Epic Content Creation Process

    At our weekly London Bloggers MeetUp, I keep getting asked how I write a blog post, and I never have an answer.

    I can’t bullshit my answer anymore.

    I realized that even after all this time I don’t have a system or process for writing a blog post.

    The same goes for building a podcast episode.

    I have got together with my freelancing coworking buddies Cat and Trevor to sort this out on our the OuiShare Radio Write Club podcast here.

    Stop Reading And Pondering

    Even after all the productivity books and courses, I have consumed, there is still a gaping hole in my processes.

    For podcasts, I always know in my gut where I want to go, and I have the gift of the gab; so I neglect to prepare much.

    Notice I said neglect, not “I’m so good I don’t need to prepare.”

    And this is one of the things that eludes me in getting more done.

    The lack of a defined process in this area of my life makes each new blog post or podcast a new and exciting surprise, even to me.

    Email Newsletter Process

    For email newsletters, I have a process. I adore curated newsletters, and therefore, I read a lot; tag it in Pocket App, send it by magic to, and then when it is time to send one, I pop in  hit a tag and then pick an article, then copy and paste the code to MailChimp, send a test, and then hit publish.

    When I am on form, I make a few editions in a row, and the themes are constant.

    I am curating a supportive and helpful newsletter; not a breaking news email so I can work ahead of myself.

    The time-consuming part is writing the words each week, and often I leave this until the last minute, which takes longer and ends up as a disjointed reading experience for you, the reader.

    Josh Bernoff’s ‘Iron Imperative’

    Something that got branded into the side of my head last year was the ‘Iron Imperative’ from Josh’s book, “Writing without bullshit;” which is that the readers time is more important than your own.

    In turn, this made me think about what I’m motivated to seek out.

    In my world, there are hardly any coworking spaces where I read their blogs.

    I keep up with people, but I don’t go out of my way to seek out their words.

    The “Iron Imperative” stopped me for a bit, and not in the right way.

    But this does not mean I should ignore it.

    I started to think about what I write, and is it useful?

    The Coworking

    Most coworking blogs occur as recycled productivity tips, and even they are not done well.

    There is an “I hope this works” thread like they are trying to copy James Clear blogs without the experience and insight.

    There are people who write consistently and interestingly about coworking life, like Cat Johnson and Laetitia Vitaud; but they are writers, not spaces.

    The only coworking space where I look forward to what they are doing is the Impact Hub Birmingham; miles away from me, but their work makes a difference, and as someone who helps run a space, I am inspired by what they do.

    I’m even a little bit jealous!

    We podcasted with Imandeep Kaur from Impact Hub Birmingham at the beginning of their Radical Childcare project in 2017 – here on OuiShare Radio

    Reading Non-Stop To Find Out What I Think

    There is a list of what I read here on, and I pick up articles from Pocket, Medium, Anders Pink.

    I learn every day from the communities I am part of:

    Working Out What To Write

    The truth is, I wasn’t sure my words were any use, which leads to doubt, and fear, and all those ugly things that happen when you write and post content.

    Prompted into action by the ‘choose a topic course’ on, I had to ask who would come to my blog and read this?

    So I looked at who reads my shit, and most people who talk to me about my work are people in coworking spaces, who are either freelancers, run a micro-business, or identify as self-employed as part of a small team.

    I know that sounds like everyone in a coworking space, but it is not.

    So I had my primary audience.

    What Makes Me Read Stuff?

    The content I hold out for weekly is nudging me, reminding me, or solving an issue as I read along. Best of all it makes me think.

    A great example of this is a Fizzle post; I am a fizzle member and the blogs and podcast act as a commentary on the content in the community.

    Other examples would be the

    Yoast blog,

    StudioPress sites podcast,

    Josh’s blog,

    Freelancer to Win,

    Blog Tyrant, and ironically, the Process Street blog.

    This is all right on point for me.

    Right now I am working on writing and podcasting more with less work.

    I am actively building a deliberate practice and looking to get even better results.

    So, Bernie How Do You Write a Blog?

    Not how you think.

    After I had worked out who will read this stuff, I then discovered the three topics in the ‘choose your topic course‘ on Fizzle online community had revealed my sweet spot.

    We talk about the choose your topic course on the @Work Hubs podcast here

    So, I narrowed my focus to coworking, podcasting, and productivity.

    I started just to write. not the best way I could do it, but it at least I started!

    I ended up with acres of Google docs that I lost track of.

    Sure, it was a healthy thing, and joy to write non-stop, but I did not get any articles to publish.

    You have to know where you are going and map out a few episodes and blogs, then think about the journey you want people to go with you.

    I Did Not Know Where I Was Going

    I am involved in the Fizzle community to the extent that I talk about fizzle offline with people at our meetups, who are also members.

    Outside of that, I follow the podcast, which points me towards what is happening.

    At the end of 2017, I joined an online mastermind group.

    My purpose was to be with a group of people who I’d ONLY talk to about making my blog happen.

    One of the first questions we all asked was ‘where are you going?’

    I knew where I was going in other areas of my work but not with my blog.

    So we all quickly involved in “Steph’s 15-minute planner exercise,” where she doubled her email list with an improved lead magnet.

    The lead magnet came from asking people like me what mattered and that became the fifteen-minute planner method.

    This method then became a week-long goal setting course, the way Steph looked at goals made us question ‘productivity gains vs desire’.

    I have a HUGE desire to make my website work for me in 2018, and I am finally prepared to go through the struggle, mess and humiliation to build a blog that matters.

    Not Just Another Goals Course

    A few of us here @Work Hubs embraced the planner and Steph’s Fizzle Goals course.

    At this stage of the game, I think that following a course with a group of people close to you enables you

    As I have dared to think about this in more detail, I’ve worked out that I need to batch and design my process for researching, writing, and posting a blog.

    I looking for how to glean more in-depth focus and course correction, so this is useful stuff.

    That reminded me, there are 50 blog process templates here on Process Street.

    For the first time since I was five years old, I know what direction I am heading.

    The next step for me is to get even more precise at keeping on track with both my current 12-week plan and long-term goals.

    If this post spoke to you and you’d like to learn how to develop an epic content creation process come and join in a weekly Deep Work Meetup @Work Hubs:

    Not So Manic Monday

    Art Club

    Blog Club

    Write Club

    Photo by Dalibor Bosnjakovic on Unsplash

  • Never Let Me Go


    Summer 2oo2

    I was sitting in a cafe bolted to the side of a mountain in Greece, I was looking into the darkness of the night sky.

    I turned to Roy and asked him what the secret of his many years of marriage was.

    He stirred his cappuccino and replied he got a strong sense early on that Margret was never going to let it fail.

    This conversation was about 15 years ago, at that time they’d been married about 4o years.

    At the time I was in halfway between shell-shocked and reflective.

    My mother had not long since passed and my Dad spent his days walking around looking stunned and lost.

    I knew I had no idea how my Dad felt but I kept trying to guess.

    Besides, it was easier to think about his heartache because I did not have to think about mine.

    Summer 2017

    This week I was thinking about that time we were all in Greece, I was even listening to my ‘song’ from that trip.

    The song I played standing on the top of Marathon in Greece, hoping I’d find someone like Roy had. (I did BTW)

    I remember sitting at the back of the coach gazing as acres and acres of olive trees shot by.

    My ‘uplifting house and garage music’ dropped more euphoria into my head.

    The Email

    Tuesday Roy emailed that Margret had passed away.

    After 50 years of one of the most amazing marriages, I will ever know.

    Margaret died had this week and can still feel her hugs, she was one of my mums best mates.

    After my mum died every time I did something dumb I’d expect a sour look Margret would instead give out hugs.

    It taught me a lot about how we react to each other as humans.

    When I see people with signs saying “free hugs’ I think of Margret.

    When Lorena came along Margret had known her ten minutes and already it seemed like ten years.

    Never Let Me Go

    I have never stopped thinking about Roy’s reply.

    Cheeky coffees with a side of whisky or port with Roy are some of the most important words I’ve had in my life.

    I know they are important now because they have stayed with me for so long.

    For meMargaret was somewhere between Julia Child and Maria Montessori

    In the late 1970’s Margaret won a Ford Capri for being the best Tupperware party organiser in Essex.

    I never saw the car but I’ve always been both delighted and jealous.

    I love Tupperware and these days I’d love to have Ford Capri more than ever.



  • All I ever wanted was a blog, well a website with a blog.

    I LOVE blogs and people who blog.

    I read daily and lap it up and I write daily and have often gone through stages of publishing something daily.

    Not a ‘publish daily’ daily blog, rather between projects running alongside each other.

    For a couple of years now I have produced a podcast weekly in the same fashion. But all I see are projects on my computer that are getting ready to go, they are almost there and it drives me insane.

    I spend my life feeling unfinished, almost there when I have done ‘this’ or ‘that’ I’ll be ready to go.

    I’m forever sharing with people how to progress their own blogs and podcasts. I particularly enjoy this aspect of being part a collaborative workspace. Every few minutes is a chance to discover what someone is working on.

    Eat My Own Dog Food

    My mantra is always ‘hit publish and move it on’, this is how you’ll learn, so I am going to hit publish and learn.

    If nothing else I’ll get the hours I spend daily thinking about hitting publish back. Then I can replace them with whatever comes after I have hit publish, at this stage I have forgotten.

    The blog you are reading came to me while we were sitting at our Not So Manic Monday Meet Up on, er Monday.

    Weekly I turn up and move the same things around my Trello board. I also track how I am doing on this app called Beeminder.

    The things that are never getting done are hitting publish on content and landing pages.

    This is my site and @WorkHubs, both are on the Rainmaker Platform, a WordPress power website, with a few tricks.

    I make this point about the Platform because it isn’t as if I have to get a developer to finish the job.

    90% of the work is drag and drop, and I’m scared it won’t be as good in real life as it’s in my head. Silly me.

    OK, so you’ll be reading this thinking we all have that problem, Bernie.

    Or if you are a little more together and less patient, you’ll be thinking FFS get on with it, you moaning drama queen.

    That bothers me too, so for the purposes of this blog and perspective, this is a personal share. I know people with far bigger issues than finishing a blogging project.

    And yes I do have a lovely life here in the ‘First World London.’

    So with perspective in place, I’ll press on.

    Somewhere in the last decade I found and lost my voice. I’m sure what happened is it had an ugly birth, got a bit of a kick in and then went into hiding.

    Not the finally in my post-depression triumph is step is to tempt it back out the voice cave. May be wrapped it in some cotton wool and spend a few months letting it build up the strength again.

    How do I know this might be a problem?

    Weekly a small group of us jump around the community table @WorkHubs for Not So Manic Monday – “Deep Work” Meet-Up. Here, we plan our individual weeks together and talk about blocks.

    I’m amazed people in real life have blocks in their work.

    They too struggle to fit it all in and look for ways to get more done in less time and have time for families and rest.

    (I thought it was just me)

    Starting each week this way, along with other project stand-ups and tracks I’ve built up a decent momentum.

    So the few things that slip through the net are showing up more and more.

    My other repeating element is the heartfelt encouragement I find myself sharing with other people to ‘hit publish and move on’!

    I dread being someone who pontificates and talks the talk but does not walk the walk.

    Yet on this part of hitting publish I’m all empathy.

    The empathy I have when I see a friend get angry and shout at their child and then they feel bad.

    It’s the feeling of knowing I’ve done the same thing. 

    How I too have lost control a bit, even though it isn’t my idea of how you’d like our family and relationship to function.

    I too have shouted and regretted it.

    Then all you can hear are TV child advisors telling you what a shit head you are.

    So this piece you are about to finish reading is my open letter to kickstart my publishing practice.

    It’s not hard, I LOVE writing and podcasting and getting this far today has restarted my engine.

    30 Something Weeks To A Better Blog

    At our weekly London Bloggers Meet Up we are following the Problogger 31 Days to a Better Blog.

    This will be the framework for our next 30 weeks of Meet Ups.

    Also, I am going back to the Fizzle Course — How To Build A Blog That Matters. 

    Both of these places and Copyblogger have taught me so much over the years.

    Hit Publish 

    Today I am happy to say ‘I am a bit stuck putting this all into practice’ so I am going to do it here on this blog.

    So people like you can see my working out after all this is the stuff I find most helpful and interesting.

  • Let Go And Get Over It

    Hello and welcome to this week’s theme ‘dumb things people say to you when you are depressed’.

    And a few suggestions on how to get over it.
    With the best intention people say ‘Why are you depressed?’ and ‘What you need to do is get over it.’
    A mate of mine was in a bit of a pickle with their business and decided to ‘let go’ as in ‘knowing when to quit’.
    Quit as in the book ‘The Dip’ – a very short read and well worth the time.
    Please don’t confuse ‘let go’ and ‘giving up’. They let go and stuff started to work and now the party is back on.
    So a few things come up for me here.
    Developing an attachment to things and outcomes is exhausting.
    Back when I was at the peak of my depression I was anxious about everything.
    I mean EVERYTHING.
    Even on the better days the only way for my world not to end meant this brand of risotto served on this plate in this order to these members of my family using this cutlery.
    As I started to work to be more self-aware…
    I’d noticed would not do the thing that would get me to that place that would stop the cycle of despair beginning.
    Rather than have a big glass of water and walk around the block.
    I’d eat sugar and carbs, even crap ones and watch Netflix none stop and wait for the feeling to go away.
    The LESS TV, movies, newspaper headlines and Facebook I choose to expose myself to the more stable my mood the better the world occurred for me.
    How do I know this?
    I have tracked my activity in Rescue Time, Exist and Productive every day for two years now, and guess what?
    In Exist I need to rate my day and the 3,4 and 5 days ALWAYS happen when I am eating the right food, posting on Instagram and walking.
    Going to bed between 10 pm and 11 pm, avoiding screens, bright light and movies really work.
    When I say really works I mean – fuck me that was life changing.
    It is always annoying in these types of blogs when people say ‘this is how simple it is’ in a self-satisfying smugness.
    So let me back it up a bit, and I’ll do this fast, which is the opposite of what making and accepting a change.
    It has taken me years, Right now I guess it has taken me about ten years to make these changes.
    One of the few things that made me feel less crap in an instant was reading The Power Of No by James and Claudia
    In here Claudia makes the case that it takes five years to reinvent yourself and is painful.
    I am sure I tried reinventing myself and part of my depression was my own resistance to making the change I wanted.
    When I encounter resistance I know what it looks like now and how to tackle it.
    I don’t know how to tell you to let go, I’ll try and work it out.
    In the mean time switch off everything, go for a walk and get to bed early.
    Which could be the best takeaway for you from this.
    One more thing….
    I am TOTALLY offline for two weeks.
    No phone, no nothing.
    When I get back my Podcast will be around again to work out “How to find your voice” 😉
    We are about to leave the house and head to the airport so I’m going to say goodbye and have a remarkable day! 
  • This Year Something Was Different

    I know you’ve been crying into your tissue sodden hand for the last week when this blog did not arrive.
    Sorry, but, well, you know bloody Christmas happened so I took full advantage of the hysteria.

    This year something was different.
    I dread this time of year, I was bracing myself to plunge back into a God-forsaken pit of despair and depression and it never arrived.
    Every day I have woken up and double checked I am in the right life, right family and right blog.

    I love therapy and therapy loves me
    I started to feel better in 2016 I was ready to give up therapy on Tuesday afternoons.
    I had a couple of drab sessions and then BANG – we started talking about topics I’d thought about every day of my life.
    Long ago thinking about these things had become a habit, routine, and unresolved like a dripping tap you can’t find in a very quiet house.

    Now I am encouraged
    In the second half of 2016, I looked forward to being with people for the first time in years.
    My mouth, head, heart and physical location started to be synced for the first time since I was a child.
    I could not wait to get up in the morning.

    Who Has Time To Panic?
    The anxiety, the panic, the dread, the idea of sticking one of our Argentine steak knives into my wrist, of jumping in front of the 66 bus as it thundered down the A-12 or leaping in front of a central line train at Liverpool Street just melted away sometime in 2016 and never came back.

    So What Did I do?
    Everyone asks this. “Bernie what was the one thing that made the difference?”
    I hesitate, giving advice with a sense of “this will make the change you need” is an arsehole thing to do.
    The good people who give direct advice will always take the time to highlight that “you need to do the work, not flick a switch.”
    I am still doing the work and I would say the ONE THING I did was to work out HOW to do the work.
    This WAS the hard bit.

    Doing The Work – Never Ends.
    In order to be able to do the work, which I might add will NEVER END, I had to find more time and the best way to find more time was to shut up.
    I started asking questions rather than TELLING people.
    (I Still TELL people – if you catch me doing it punch me.)
    Please don’t tell anyone but the main reason I do a weekly newsletter and write blogs is so I talk less in real life.

    Parrot Fashion
    I was more than a little horrified at how much of my conversation was me TELLING people what I had just read in a blog or book, followed shortly by an app recommendation.
    There are things that I consider important, call them principles or values, and I repeat the words of others because I don’t feel I can make up my own version.
    So I needed to get my own version.

    Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Hit In The Mouth – Mike Tyson
    In September, I started reading the “12 Week Year” book that advocates planning in 12 Week chunks.
    So a week is worth a month and a day is worth a week.
    Since September I have read part of this book every day, I did miss a couple of days!
    There was my grand plan, I got hit in the face, had a couple of weeks of ‘Groundhog Day’ and-and-and-and “suddenly” time passed and everything was working.

    So Are We Done Here?
    No, we are not done. January 1st, 2017 is the first day of my third round of 12 Weeks.
    If someone asks me what I do this year I will say “I am a freelance writer” – I’ve got clients, customers and everything.
    I knew this earlier in 2016 and spent a few months dicking around and trying to run away from this “writer thing” I have always wanted to be.
    I am addicted, inspired, I’ve found my grit and know what I am doing every hour of every day.
    2016? This year something was different, I don’t know where it started but I know where it ended and I loved it.

    Three things I stuck to this year that I recommend with cast iron confidence.
    1. 12 Week Year- The Book
    2. Rainmaker Platform – WordPress Website with a blog, email, podcast, and online course building. Also, includes ongoing training and tech support.
    3. Fizzle – Online learning community for Indy workers, freelancers and micro businesses.