Struggling, becoming desperate, close to giving up ……what is the lesson?

Struggling, becoming desperate, close to giving up

……what is the lesson?


Are you struggling?
Do you feel times are tough?
Did you set out on your current career, business quest with high energy, focus, enthusiasm and loads of belief and now after many weeks and months, maybe of obstacles and challenges, are feeling worn down and beaten up?

Then maybe you will allow me to tell you a story of one of my sales team who was struggling during the recession of the early 90s. For the purposes of this tale let’s call her Sophie.

Now Sophie was ambitious very talented with many skills but was struggling to generate sales and move her business forward and her life too. Though she was in her early 30s, very attractive, both personality and appearance wise, Sophie was encountering numerous challenges with men too who were unwilling to accept her as an equal and in some cases her ambition and perceived success made them uncomfortable.

To make things worse in the previous 12 months she had left the company we were both now working for but due to a takeover of her new company by our present employer she now found herself back in the same place, with the same job, at the same desk feeling very exasperated.

I too had only just joined the company and was faced with managing and helping Sophie.

You can well imagine however how frustrated Sophie was feeling, like she had nowhere to go, no one to turn to and totally like giving up.

As Sophie’s manager I sat down for a chat with her and she shared her troubles and feelings with me. I listened and reflected back to her on a practical level places where I believed she could improve her performance but I felt there was more to this. So at the time not knowing Sophie well I took a risk and shared with her a book I recently been made aware of; If life is a game, These are the Rules by Cherrie Carter-Scott.

If you are not familiar with this book then I suggest you check it out. In the book Cherrie Carter-Scott shares what she considers the 10 Rules for Being Human and it was the first four rules I shared with Sophie.

  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period.
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, “life.”
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”
  4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.

I am delighted to say that Sophie did this and went on to be very successful with the company and eventually become a Sales Director and run her own business as well as finding a loving, caring husband who respects her and with whom she now has a lovely family.We discussed the rules but most particularly No 4. I pointed out I did not know what the lesson was that she was not learning but what I observed was that life was for some reason repeating a lesson. As her new boss I was prepared to work with her and help and support her whilst she worked through this lesson.

Since the early 90s I have met many more people who I have coached and supported, who have had similar issues with a lesson being repeated because in my experience that appears to be the nature of the universe.

In my experience if you set out with intent to achieve something the universe will support you initially but in order to achieve it you will have to undergo an element of personal growth. The bigger the vision you have, the greater the personal growth you must undergo.

So I suggest to all of you that if you feel like it is Groundhog Day. If your dream seems a long way off and you have feelings of giving up then look at yourself. Look into your dark corners and ask yourself what is the lesson I am missing.

You will be amazed that as you work through it how this will release all those other blockages in your life.

One piece of final advice is from Albert Einstein –

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it

Good luck on your journey

Hard work always beats talent…..

Tonight as I watched the World Cup, seeing the reigning world champions Spain well beaten by Chile; I can’t help remembering the training session I delivered to a team of potential world champion recruiters this week in Cardiff.

During one of our discussions we reflected on the Kevin Durant quote:

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”

For those of us that watched the battle on our screens, the match was a great example of how hard work will always triumph over talent when talentedfootball performers don’t perform. There is no doubting the talent of Iniesta, Jodi Alba, Silva and co, but equally the result was never in any doubt. The desire of the Chile players to win was far superior to Spain’s. One might even say it overpowered their talent by denying them the ability to play.

During my 30 years in recruitment I used to see this week in, week out. Many times ambitious, tenacious and hard working rookie consultants would beat their more experienced competitor consultants to fill jobs.


The great Thomas Eddison himself summarised it neatly:

 Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

To those who have achieved greatness success is down in the main to hard work.

Sadly some successful consultants become drunk on their own achievements, they become sloppy and lose their hunger and desire.fernando

Recruiters need to learn and never forget this lesson. Our industry is full of determined and hungry rookies ready to steal your crown. New ones are joining the industry daily. Talented old hands like Iniesta, Busquets, Alonso and Casillas cannot afford an off day. As we all know there are no prizes for coming second in recruitment but so often many old hands fall into this trap.

Being a world champion recruiter, which our programme is designed to deliver, requires a “winning-mindset” as well as talent. In the words of Dr Steven Peters, famed for his work with Team GB Cycling and Liverpool FC, it’s about managing “Your inner chimp.” Just ask Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendelton or Sir Bradley Wiggins.

I have been very fortunate in my career to work with some of the most talented people in our industry, many who have earned over £250,000 a year several years running. Some have even gone on to work in other sectors for global companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Avaya.

Creating a winning mindset was the key to their success.

So as you recruiters enjoy the spectacle of this summer’s World Cup, learn the lesson of Spain. Remember and never forget Kevin Durants saying:

“Hard work beats talent when Talent doesn’t work hard”football3

As the day you do is the day you cease being a world champion recruiter because that rookie in the corner will steal your crown.


(*football images from