• The End Of My First 12 Week Year

    On Tuesday we start our Working Out Loud (WOL) group at our coworking space, it’s also the end of my first 12 Week Year.

    Oddly, I feel an imposter when I write about “productivity” part of me wants to tell you ‘I did the 12 Week Year now have a million dollar start-up and run a marathon daily.’

    Those of you who run marathons or become parents know things don’t happen in the flick of a switch, so I don’t know why I think you might expect me to turn life around in 12 Weeks.

    It’s tempting to joke my goal for the WOL is to stop dicking around.

    Becoming a Dad in 2011 and being depressed made me stop dicking around.

    The horror of not being able to get off the couch and feeling suicidal followed by the gift of wanting to wash up and meet other human beings showed revealed to me the difference between depression, learned helplessness and being a spoilt brat

    I Blame The Parents

    Turns out I have more spoilt brat than I’d like, not Veruca Salt type spoilt – more of an inner subconscious compass with a warped take on responsibility.

    I was tempted to blame my parents, after all, they brought me up.

    My Dad wasn’t Nelson Mandela, George Orwell or David Bowie those guys were off doing other work.

    My Dad worked with what he had, right where he was and he certainly wasn’t out to fuck me up or create a spoilt brat.

    My Mother, died before she was scheduled to, I miss her but her timing was inconvenient for me emotionally.

    Stopping blaming my parents – easy.

    Admitting I was blaming them – hard.

    I can’t even tell you what they did wrong.

    I know other people blame their parents, but this isn’t something I’d stoop to doing.

    12 Week Grit

    As I beat depression over the last two years I realised we don’t wake up one day and immediately become free from debt and depression.  

    In the last 12 weeks I have developed a level of grit and determination I’ve craved all my life. Building a tiny little bit daily is where the real pay-off is happening.

    Ten years ago my friend Mike would joke about how I’d jump between extremes in my life.  

    I’d start the month as a T-total juicing marathon runner and end it eating fish and chips while hoovering up a lethal cocktail of class A drugs at a music festival, the weeks in the middle were a void.

    I am interested in a better use of the time I have now. I guess I attempted to speed up space and time and instead discover slowing down and being myself is a better way to live.

    Make Permission 

    At the peak of my break down my mate Daniel would feed me Argentine food and encourage me to ‘give myself permission to relax’.

    At the time being married, being a parent and having a mortgage seemed less of a commitment than ‘giving myself permission to relax’.

    The horror lay in stopping to look around, even more fucking scary was working it all out  a way forward. These days I rage about coworking and food because these two things combined made the solid foundation to getting my life back.

    You Don’t Have To

    Just to be clear, you don’t have to eat avocados and coworking space to prevent a shit life, this is what worked for me.

    My faith in the next 12 weeks is high, I mean my faith, not my expectation is high.

    I have faith I’ll be in an even better place on 26th January 2017 when the next 12 weeks ends, even with all the changes that will happen on the way.  

    Next Sunday I’ll share a few simple things that worked for me on this first 12 week journey, below are a few things I have been using.

    1. This Worked The Best

    My Miracle Morning


    My Miracle Morning
    I have been working on this 'Miracle Morning' thing for ages and now I have it down to a fine art. I know the title sucks and sounds like a coked up TGI Friday's waitress called Polly Anna, but it works.

    2. This Also Worked Best

    Productive - Habit tracker - Daily Routine


    Productive - Habit tracker - Daily Routine
    This app  is SUPER simple to build daily routine & reminders for goals & resolutions. You can see how you are doing and be honest with yourself about what is really working and where you are kidding yourself.  Beware come near me and I'll MAKE you download it 😉

    The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks


    The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks
    You will NOT pick this up, read it and have everything work.
    I read A LOT and chose to commit to this book with blind faith, so watch out for my evangelical tone on this.
    I have to stress that it is not the first 'system' I have ever encountered, also I am sure that everything else I have learnt makes this work for me.
    It is worth pointing out that there is no cult to join, $100k cruise to go on or other wanky upsell's to endure for following this books program.

    4. I Liked This. Not Everyone Did.

    The Full-Time Job Is Dead


    The Full-Time Job Is Dead
    The full-time job, used to it as we are, is not some natural state of human existence.
    Before the 1800s, few people worked a structured “work week.” That conceit was dreamed up by early industrialists, who needed to bring workers together in a factory at the same time to efficiently make products. For the past 100 years, the 40-hour job has been the centerpiece of work life because there was no better way for people to gather in one place at the same time to connect, collaborate and produce.

    5. Work Alone. Together.

    A focused weekly club for to engage in "deep work"


    A focused weekly club for to engage in "deep work"
    When Philip from @WorkHubs put this on Meet Up the whole dynamic changed, every week a mixed group of people who need to write something come together for a couple of hours and write.
    I have 'grown up' about making time to write at every session I have taken part in.
    "Our weekly Write Club 'Deep Work' is ideal for anyone who writes and needs a block of time to write without being distracted."

    created in Publicate

  • Under Pressure – Childhood to Fatherhood to Fascination

    WOW! My spine tingled. I had forgotten this.
    Two of my favourite things ever (other than you my reader) are Queen and David Bowie.

    I had the Queen Live Magic! And played it until it broke. Back then we lived in Southampton, went to school on Hayling Island and only person in our road had a car phone.

    I must have thought about this line every week of my life since I first heard it:

    “Chippin’ around, kick my brains ’round the floor
    These are the days – it never rains but it pours” 

    Something up?

    Hey, I am fine today, in fact I am know this is head stuff has got better. In the last week I have felt more focused and driven than ever before.

    I wanted to share this as I spend so much time walking around thinking about that line.

    This is certainly not a negative post.

    I am not sure what I want to say, it is just that I still pinch myself that I am a Father, that I made it this far and we laugh together. Recently my Dad has gone from 60 – 80 in the space of a few months.

    We have to work out where we are going to eat and things like that now, a day out on a bus needs to be planned and we have to walk through parks with benches.

    I heard a rely in a podcast today where the guy was talking about how his Father had had a hard life growing up and that he had to work hard or his family would starve.

    The guys said his Father had to be the man of the house as his own Father had died when he was fifteen, the guy being interviewed said that no matter how many times he heard the story he still could not get his head around it.

    He then recounted a line he had heard, “You don’t become a man until your own Father dies” – I am still reflecting on this – it did strike me hard.

    I would be pissed off if my Father died now, him and #babybernie have made a connection that has enabled me to make a connection with both of them.

    When #babybernie was born as euphoric as I was it hit me hard, I grew up 25 years in three years – I could not see and was numb, it was not his or anyone else’s fault.

    I really felt like I was kicking my brains around the floor, so many times I’d sung that song at parties and in clubs without a care in the world and now here I was with my brain actually out on the floor and I was kicking it around.

    Some days after #Babybernie was born I’d lay on the sofa and imagine my brain rolling around the floor trying to find a solution. If I had been off my face it would have been ok, I could have explained that to myself.

    So where am I going with this?

    I have been humming the beginning of this song a lot lately and it occurs as the start of something that is building rather than a last chance saloon. I often listen to this song next:

    Which has me spinning around on one foot and typing fast.

    I love it.

    So does #babybernie – we move like tigers on Vaseline to it.

    See you on Periscope at 06:30am for some #LLBS shorts – or what ever I end up calling it. – This is ten minutes every weekday morning here are the first few – they are HORRIFIC – but I am ok with falling in public. 




  • Am I Unemployable?

    I thought I was doomed, weird and broken, now I know there are others like me

    We are the unemployable.

    There are a lot of us around, and most of us have read the Cluetrain Manifesto.  It’s our guide. . I was playing golf with podcasting legend Neville Hobson a few years ago and he proudly said ‘I’m unemployable’.

    I thought, “Neville you drive an Audi, wear jumpers without logos and open doors for ladies – how can you be unemployable?”

    Then we started to talk about tech, leadership and sales – I could see how he would piss people off very fast. Well, let me clarify that – he’d piss off the people who were committed to the status quo, collecting a pay cheque and playing their cards close to their chest.

    Over the last year, I began to wonder how employable I had become.

    Then I looked back at all my life – getting jobs was easy.

    Keeping those jobs?

    98% of the people who have fired me have rehired me and 99% of the people who have fired me remained my friend.  In fact,  a lot of those people came to our wedding.

    I have been invited to some very decent interviews over the years – think Cloud companies, San Francisco and so on – even when I sat down to lunch with the VP of whatever it was,  I chatted and had fun but I just could not be bothered.

    I did not sit at the table thinking, “I can’t be bothered,” but the venom was not there, no fire in the belly. . I did not find myself scribbling in little books, making mind maps and losing track of time like I do with other things.

    When it comes to the blog you are reading now and OuiShare,  I am always on red alert and in the last few weeks that has turned into some kind of flow and grit.

    Flow and grit?” you ask.

    I don’t know what that either is but I clench my teeth, type faster and feel happy when I write it.

    Suddenly I am not day dreaming or losing concentration – I have huge problems to solve and I am finding newer, faster ways everyday.

    Cold Calling

    I was on the phone with my mate Ann Hawkins just now and in my best “super-cheese-self-development-guru” voice said,  “You know what Ann, I manifested my dreams and the law of attraction opened up the universe to provide for me!”

    The next thing I knew,  Ann appeared in front of me and started to smash me round the face with a huge wet fish that she had filled with concrete. ‘Don’t talk bollocks Mitchell!’

    I explained it was just an impression I was doing, which was awkward as I was in a kids’ playground with #babybernie and now the side of my skull  was hanging off and I was dripping blood on his Spiderman Scooter.

    She quickly cleaned me up and fashioned a head bandage out of an eventbrite t-shirt she had in the back of her car.

    I cleaned the blood from the screen of my iphone and opened up iTunes.

    ‘Look Ann! Brian Clark from Copyblogger is doing a podcast called ‘un-employable’ – and I don’t feel like I am mad any more.

    Economy of hours (Echo) is running a program called Echo++ in September where you can launch your product and I am going to launch a product!

    The Mind Map dudes at Mindmeister have just added a task feature that works like a Scrum or Trello board – and works on iOS!

    “So this is what you mean by the universe and all that Bernie?” asked Ann with the same air of suspicion used by a treasury agent when politicians hand in their expense claim forms.

    Full Nelson

    A twig snapped behind me and there was a cough.

    “Nelson!” I said excitedly.

    “Have you met Ann?”

    “Who are you talking to Bernie?”


    “There is no one there, Bernie.”

    “She, er, was.”

    “I heard everything was going your way,” said Nelson as he took off his sandal to remove a stone.“People will think you are mad if you stand in kids’ playgrounds talking to yourself. And why have you got a Sainsbury’s bag on your head?”

    “Aren’t we talking Nelson?”

    “No,  I am on the screen of your computer as you type so you can fill in gaps between the good stuff, if you regurgitate the three quotes you know from me you can look as though you are smarter than you are. Besides it is more comfortable for you to get me to say smart things than say them yourself”

    “How do you know?“

    “Well, dick head, that is what you just did.”

    “So Ann was not in the play ground?”


    “The eventbrite t-shirt and the smack on the side of the head?”

    “That was #babybernie on the rope swing, you looked down at your phone and he crashed into you. Then you put a bag on your head – I don’t know why.

    90 Days of Massive Action #3

    Any massive action today?” Asked Nelson.

    “Yes, I called Sarah and Alex at Echo so see about the Echo++ and if it is a fit for my product idea.I went through my ‘what not to do list’ and cut out a load more things, so now I am down to a core plan of landing pages, email and podcast interviews – the next time I can work in a block is on Saturday morning. “

    “I am not sure what that means, Bernie, but it  sounds good. You seem to have lost your energy on this blog.”

    ‘No, I want to go for a run, I am sitting here in my shorts and knee support and want to run around the block before the feeling goes. I have waited AGES to be inspired to get off my cute little butt and run. ‘

    More tomorrow – thanks for reading!

    ‘Anything else Nelson?”

    “Keep going! That’s what Brian says at the end of his Unemployable podcast.”

    Connect here in person:

    Join the Echo360 Summer Social at Netil360 roof top co-working bar by London Fields 29th July