Members Area | Login
Search Articles & Videos
The Buzz

Shirlaws UK

Join Love Business

...and receive our latest business growth articles as soon as they are published. Join now


Become stronger by replacing your inner critic with an inner cheerleader

By Ed Percival, Shirlaws UK Business Coach

Listen carefully to others and you will often hear they are giving themselves a hard time.

Critical of their performance, focusing on their weaknesses or predicting a trajectory of general doom.

What they are not conscious of is that this is actually making their whole energetic system weaker.

You can prove this with a friend, using a version of muscle testing.

Have them stand and hold up their strong arm, parallel to the ground.

Ask then to resist the pressure you are about to place in the middle of their forearm, as you say “ Hold”.

That provides a benchmark for their natural strength.

Let their arm relax to their side and ask them to go inside their mind and give themselves a critical review of the last three months or so, focusing all everything they did that they perceived as “wrong”.

Get them to do this in silence – you don’t want to hear this!

You could suggest, for example, work you did that wasn’t up to your own high standards, promises you failed to keep, relationships you damaged and didn’t repair, deadlines you missed, people you let down. You get the idea.

Get them to relive all the “ wrong” they have done recently.

Ask them to hold their arm up again and say ”Hold” as you press down again with the same force as before.

Most times, they will have become apparently much weaker.

This will “demonstrate” if not “prove” to them that when they criticize themselves, it has the effect of making them weaker.

It does not seem useful to leave them that way, so now suggest they go back inside and review the same period – this time reflecting on all the “good “ things they have done.

This time you might suggest they remember all the good work they have done, promises they kept, relationships they have built and strengthened, beating deadlines and people they supported.

So, reliving all the “right” things they have done.

Retest the strength when you ask them to “Hold” and usually they will appear stronger, thus “ proving” that  positive feedback helps make them stronger.

This experience can have a profound effect on those who are asked to lead or manage others or even coach young people in sport.

For you on your impact journey, it demonstrates you can make a more useful impact by giving someone else some positive feedback


Get your inner voice on your side

By Ed Percival, Shirlaws UK Business Coach

Are you aware of your inner voice?

Have you realised how powerful it is in driving your behaviour?

Begin by paying attention to what it is telling you, and the tone of voice it’s using.

Is that the tone of voice you would use when speaking a loved one?

The champions out there probably have an encouraging, positive voice inside their mind.

The sheeple probably have other people’s scripts running, telling them how they ought to be behaving.

The Victims probably have a voice that is predicting failure and disaster.

Whatever story your inner voice is running may well become a self- fulfilling prophecy.

“ I have a really good chance of being chosen for this job”

“People like me have no chance of getting a job like this”

“ The clients coming into our shop today are likely to  really enjoy their experience “

“ I expect that all we’re going to get today are time wasters.”

The most important lesson for you today is that-


The second lesson is –


So it naturally follows –


That will save you reading all sorts of best selling books.

That you have now become aware of your inner voice and decided to change your inner story, you’re ready for the next step.

Is the tone of your inner voice supporting the story it is telling you?

If you speak to others with a  nagging or whining voice, how well do they respond?

- not fabulously?

Then if you speak to yourself that way, what response can you expect?

Listen to the tone of your inner voice.

Now begin to take control.

My old mate Colin Blundell, a most well read man who knows more about learning and teaching than anyone I have ever met, realised he was not motivated to wash the dishes [ he never owned a dish washer]

He noticed his inner voice demotivated him, so washing dishes always came with a struggle.

Marilyn Monroe was a beautiful woman who could adopt a very sexy tone of voice. So Colin put her voice into his mind when the time came with the line.

“ Hey Colin, how about we wash some dishes together?”

He claims that cured him of not wanting to wash the dishes.

There are times when I notice that I am holding a limiting belief then I shift my inner voice to Daffy Duck, who always sounds ridiculous to me. Then the limitations seem to have much less power and show up as ridiculous too.

Now go experiment with putting different voices inside your mind and notice the results.


Jump your business forward, it's time to aim higher

Shirlaws' client conference season finished last week with a fully packed room of 200 entrepreneurs, CEOs and business owners now ready to make their jump to grow their businesses. Over two days of inspiring content Darren Shirlaw unlocked the path to taking the next leap and uncovered the common blockages and pitfalls that stunt growth.

There was fantastic energy throughout the conference as we listened to, and learnt from, key speakers including Linzi Boyd and Nick Giles.

We revealed why now is the perfect time to focus on growing your business, and shared brand new intellectual property specifically designed for this point in the economic cycle.


Put the “Great Recession” behind you…we are in the midst of the “Great Recovery”

Trends show that the economy is beginning the next up-period. We see this lasting around 18 years, with a few ups and downs along the way. During the recession, many business owners found their business stuck at the same turnover, and struggled to make it to the next level of growth. Now is the time to press go.

The people who invest with confidence in their business will grow fast and grow big. The right systems, culture and energy in your business will help to create and sustain growth.


The timing is right to innovate, invest fearlessly and find gaps in your market

When was the last time you refreshed your brand? If your brand looks like a small business, it will be difficult grow. Brands that constantly refresh, rather than running the brand out then renovating it, constantly grow.

Industry shifts occur every 30-40 years and in this time, new products are conceived that position against old products. Creating a new product requires spending. Fast growing businesses don't regard spend as spend...they see spend as “investment”.

How do you make your business jump and grow quickly? It’s a numbers game…

Over the past 15 years we have met 1000’s of businesses that get to £1.5m and then get stuck. They ask – what can I do? How do I leap to the next number? What is that number? We know from our experience that £3m is the next target they need to reach before they flatten out again. After that it’s £6m, £12m, £20m…

Along the journey there are ‘black holes’ you can fall in to. Where are they?

Dependency on the CEO can lead to a ‘black hole’. CEOs often attach personal feelings to revenue and profit numbers. Growing a business quickly can sometimes require getting the CEO out of the way. If the dependency is removed and the CEO is put two steps ahead of the business, the ‘black hole’ is easier to avoid.

Being fearless and confident in the choices you make to create jumps will get you to where you want to be quickly.



Kitchens International - Working with Shirlaws Business Coaching

Paul O'Brien, Co-Founder and Brand Director of Kitchens International, the largest luxury kitchen designers across Scotland, talks about being introduced to Shirlaws and how perfect it was for him and his company .

Kitchens International - Working with Shirlaws Business Coaching from Emma Perry on Vimeo.


How fully do you implement your plans?

By Fergus King, Shirlaws UK Business Coach

Ask a group of people if they get the concept that going to the gym is a good idea and what happens? 100% of hands go up. Then ask how many have gone to the next step and documented a Fitness Plan? 40% of hands stay up. Then ask how many consistently turn up at the gym week in week out and fully implement their plan? About 10% of hands stay up.

Sound familiar?

I observe that entrepreneurs typically don’t need new concepts, they need to do more with the concepts they already have. They need Vision AND Strategy AND Implementation.

In the absence of a destination, will any road not take you there? In the absence of a Vision, won’t any Strategy do? And what value does a Strategy have if it’s not fully implemented? Implementation is where the value/ROI sits. Fully implemented, an investment project’s ROI will fund the next investment project and so on along the journey of growth.

Simple as it may sound, I observe the only real difference between a successful business and a very successful business is that the latter implement their plans more fully than others do.

How fully do you implement your plans? Are you the 100%, the 40% or the 10%


There are 14 key stages that each business needs to go through to get to advanced, sustainable growth - including two brick walls which many companies never break through.

Find out where you are in the lifecycle - and what to do next. Complete stages and download your 15-page action plan.

Take the Stages test