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  • Have you sharpened your pencils? My back to work tips.

    Even though I left the classroom thirty years ago, there’s something of the ‘back to school’ spirit that remains at this time of year. Wasn’t the best bit about returning to school the visit to the stationery shop to stock up on shatterproof rulers and pencil cases?!

    So have you sharpened your metaphorical pencils lately? Are you feeling energised for the term ahead? Read on for some tips to make the best of the coming months.

    1. Choose the right space to work. The importance of where we work is so often under-estimated. We obsess about what software to use to do our work, but much less about where we do it. Here’s my 90 second riff on why we should think carefully about our working environment (watch video).
    2. Fuel-Up your business! Businesses and organisations can often lose sight of who they are, what they do and why they do it. My new ‘Fuel-up!’ package gets to the essence of your business in five weeks. Recently I worked with Stripe Partners, a global strategy and innovation studio. Stripe’s Tom Hoy told me, “Working with Ian has given us the confidence to continue to be different. We now feel more confident in taking our story out to the world.” Click here to download my PDF with all the details.
    3. Ignite your work life. Earlier this month I went to Amsterdam for three days to try out my pop-up office experiment. It was really productive: a change of scenery created space for new thinking. Check out my post: “8 tips to ignite your work life: my pop-up office experiment.”
    4. Deal with stress. Whether you work for yourself or for an organisation, stress always impacts our work and personal lives. Earlier this year I was editor at large on The Stress Report, a 134 page book from The Do Lectures (available here). Here’s one of my stories from the book. It's all about London executive Nick Creswell who likes to travel by boat to his office at Canary Wharf,“Why you need to stop taking the shortcut to work.
    5. Walk n’talk with me. I’m currently running my one hour lunch break walk n’talks where I help executives, entrepreneurs and freelancers crack one big question in their business or work life. Earlier this week I took Andrew for a walk to help him figure out his future. He emailed me yesterday to say, "I'm still on a high after yesterday's session. It's really fired me up on where I can take things next." If you want some lunchtime clarity email hello@iansanders.com and we can fix a time for sessions either in London or by the Thames estuary in Leigh-on-Sea.
    6. Benefit from clarity. It's that moment when the fog clears and inspiration strikes: that blinding flash of clarity when a breakthrough idea arrives. I call it my Clarity Klaxon. Here are six things I do in my life to get it to sound more often:"When inspiration strikes. My 'Clarity Klaxon.' "
    7. Set your ideas free. Lots of us have great ideas about our work and business, but we don’t share what we're thinking with the outside world. Show your co-workers and clients what lies behind your job title by publishing your thoughts online. The objective? To get you noticed, start conversations and shine a light on your story.  If you need help blogging, I’m launching a one-to-one programme to capture and communicate executives' thinking. Email hello@iansanders.com for details.

     

    And finally, if you literally need your pencils sharpened, let me recommend a great little pencil shop I discovered in New York's Lower East Side earlier this year: CW Pencils (they have an online store too!). 

  • Cracking One Big Question: my lunch-break walk n’talks

    I’ve been running my walk n’talk pathfinding ‘Fuel Safaris’ for twelve months. I’ve walked around the streets of London with executives, entrepreneurs and freelancers helping them navigate their ‘what next’ in their business/ career/ work life (check out some of their experiences here).

    Recently I’ve had approaches from people who wanted my help with a work problem, but we didn’t need a half day session to crack it.

    So I’m trying something new: lunch-break walk n’talks. In these one hour sessions I’ll help you fix a work problem or career headache you’re struggling with. You could be a freelancer needing help refocusing your offering, an executive looking for a steer on a career move, or an entrepreneur wanting their eyes opened to new possibilities.

    All that I ask is that we keep it focused and single-minded: you must have a clear question you are wrestling with. Ahead of our session I’ll send you a brief Q&A to answer, then we meet up and I’ll take you on a walk, looking at your question from a new angle. By the time the hour is up, I’ll have given you clarity on where you go next. This is what Nilofer Merchant says about working with me:

    “Those of us working on ‘doing the thing’ can lose sight of why we’re doing the thing, and what is it that matters of the 22 things you’re doing. Everyone needs help to periscope up to the horizon to help see the horizon again, so you can find the fuel to keep going in the right direction. Is it possible to do that alone? Maybe. But I’d rather not risk it. I’d rather get the kind of help that helps hit the goal and do more meaningful work as a result. Ian Sanders certainly can do all of that by insightful questions, and deep listening.” Nilofer Merchant, author & speaker

    For a limited time, I’m offering one-hour lunch-break walk n’talks in London and Leigh-on-Sea at £120 including VAT. Email hello@iansanders.com and we can fix a time.

    If this is the first time you’ve landed on my website, you can find my own story here. A creative consultant and storyteller, I’ve worked for myself for over sixteen years. I’m the author of a series of books on work and business: ‘Leap! Ditch Your Job, Start Your Own Business & Set Yourself Free’ (Capstone/ Wiley), ‘Juggle! Rethink Work, Reclaim Your Life’ (Capstone/ Wiley), ‘Zoom! The Faster Way To Make Your Business Idea Happen’ (Financial Times Prentice Hall) and ‘Mash-Up! How to Use Your Multiple Skills to Give You an Edge, Make Money and Be Happier’ (Kogan Page).