Be Kind by MAGIC – Inspiring Yourself

Being Kind is your business super-power.

How do you Be Kind in Business? By applying the MAGIC formula:


It applies to:

Your clients
Your team
Your prospects 


How do you inspire yourself?

It’s all about asking questions.

Questions about:

– your dreams,
– people you admire, and
– the situation or the task at hand.

Dream on, Dreamer

Give yourself space and time to ask yourself, “What if?” 

Do you have a dream? What do you want to do? What do you love doing?

What would you love to do if you could?

Why can’t you do it? Is there a reason why not?

Think about what you love doing. Could you do that as a business? Would you want to? If you can, talk to people who do it as a business already. Find out if it is as much fun doing it for a job as it is in your spare time. Maybe you just want to keep it as a hobby?

But if you wanted to take it further, what would have to be true to make that happen? Could it work? What would have to change to make it possible?

Interrogate the Pedestal

I’m sure that you have people that you look up to, role models. People you look at and think, “I wish I could be like them.”

Maybe you know them personally? Perhaps they are famous? Ask yourself, “How are they different to me?” And, “How are they the same as me?”

“Could I do what they’re doing?”

“What would I have to do so that I could do what they are doing?” Maybe the answer is just some training, a bit more experience and/ or a bit more self-confidence.

If you know them, talk to them. Ask how they got there. How did they get to do what they’re doing now? If they’ve written one, read their autobiography. Ask yourself, “Could that be me?”

Everybody’s story will be different, but you may find inspiration for your own journey. Would you really like to have the life that they are having, or your own version of it?

What Is and What Could be

Asking ourselves about possibilities for our work situations can inspire and motivate us.

In leadership, ask, “What could the future look like, what might be possible? What would have to change to make that possible?”

In sales, ask, “What would be made possible by closing this sale? What improvements will be made for my company, or my life?” “What difference will this make to my prospect, how will their life be better as a result?”

If you work with clients, ask, “What difference will my action make?” Picture your clients’ lives being better as a result of your involvement.

Allow yourself to imagine these things, and it will inspire you.

Goal setting

Once you are inspired, you have the emotional fuel to allow you to achieve your goals, but first, you have to set your goals.

Michael Hyatt  is insightful on this. He observes that we could set goals in

– our comfort zone,
– our discomfort zone, or
– our delusional zone

Goals in our comfort zone are too easy. They don’t stretch us, we won’t make progress. Goals in our delusional zone are unachievable. We will never achieve them, and we will get frustrated and discouraged if we try.

He advises setting goals in our discomfort zone.

Stretching ourselves slightly, going slightly beyond what we’ve done before. Achievable, but not easy. Set goals in the discomfort zone, and you will grow.

Once we achieve them, we will feel great.

How will you inspire yourself today?

Download my free eBook “Be Kind to Yourself” and learn how to:

  • Adapt to new ways of working
  • Harness the power of habits
  • Optimise the use of space in your home
  • Use clothes to boost productivity
  • Focus on what matters
  • Plan for the future amidst uncertainty

Be Kind by MAGIC – Giving to Yourself

Being Kind is your business super-power.

How do you Be Kind in Business? By applying the MAGIC formula:


It applies to:

Your clients
Your team
Your prospects 

Giving to Yourself

This whole idea of giving to yourself might seem selfish or frivolous, an unnecessary luxury.

However, business people need to give to themselves so that they remain effective.

We need to give ourselves:

– the necessary resources,
– time for recharging, and
– recreation and inspiration.

Eat, Sleep, Break

To flourish, we have to give ourselves permission to sleep enough. We require the right nutrition. We need to give ourselves adequate breaks.

Leadership and sales are taxing occupations. We need time for thinking and reflecting on our work.

If you are a creative, you need time to brainstorm, to dream, to come up with new ideas.

I was once told that you can always spot the Chief Executive. They are the ones with their feet up on the desk. Not resting, thinking.

Modern life takes its toll. To be effective, we need to be healthy, both mentally and physically.

Come Apart…

I love the saying “Come apart before you come apart”. 

Do you take enough days off? Do you take proper holidays? We need to be intentional about time off in the always-on age. Give yourself permission to be switched off sometimes.

I once heard the now Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, talk about the “radical unavailability” of Jesus. Jesus, at the height of his ministry, used to take himself off and become unavailable for days at a time. He would recharge, reflect, and be all the more effective when he got back.

Soul Food

You need time to feed your soul. Time to inspire yourself, to relax, to feel good. Time to build your self up.

What hobbies are you engaged in? Hobbies that are not necessarily related to your work, but enable you to nurture another side of yourself.

Do you get to the theatre, watch films or good TV that lifts your spirits? Do you regularly escape into a good book?

A couple of decades ago, I read “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron. One of the things that stuck with me from that book was the concept of an “artist’s date”, taking yourself off regularly for a treat. It might be going to a museum, a walk in nature, or cinema by yourself in the afternoon. One of my favourites is taking myself off to a posh hotel and having afternoon tea. Maybe you’d prefer a spa day? You get the idea.

If we’re giving all the time, we need time to recharge, to build our energy back, to bolster our self-worth.


The Golden Rule is, “Love your neighbour as yourself”.

If you’re not giving to yourself, then you won’t be in a position to give to your team, your prospects or your clients.

Download my free eBook “Be Kind to Yourself” and learn how to:

  • Adapt to new ways of working
  • Harness the power of habits
  • Optimise the use of space in your home
  • Use clothes to boost productivity
  • Focus on what matters
  • Plan for the future amidst uncertainty

Be Kind by MAGIC – Attuning to Yourself

Being Kind is your business super-power.

How do you Be Kind in Business? By applying the MAGIC formula:


It applies to:

  • Yourself
  • Your clients
  • Your team
  • Your prospects 

Getting to Know Yourself

We can be more effective and productive if we learn to attune to ourselves.

Get to know ourselves, work out how we tick, and then work according to our natural rhythm and natural strengths.

In what areas can we do this?

  • Our energy patterns throughout the day,
  • sleep rhythms,
  • productivity triggers,
  • work patterns, and
  • personality type.

Energy Levels

I know that my most creative time is first thing in the morning. Following my dog walk, my mind is on fire. That is when I can produce my original material.

Knowing this, I avoid scheduling meetings before 11am. Pre-11am is my time to create stuff.

After lunch, I have an energy slump. I will generally have a power nap and then do routine answering of emails and other admin that doesn’t require vast amounts of brainpower. 

Later in the afternoon, I have a slight energy revival. This is time for fun, creative tasks that don’t require a lot of original thought – things like video and audio editing and non-taxing phone calls.

Obviously, the above only works if I have control of my day – sometimes others will dictate the timetable.

Sleepy Time

I have realised that I don’t work well at night. I like to finish work by 6pm, do nothing else in the evenings and to be in bed shortly after 10pm.  

I’m an early morning person. Other people are night owls.

We are all different. Work out your natural sleep rhythm and design your life and your work to maximise your effectiveness.

Trigger Happy

What do I mean by “productivity triggers”?

I have discovered that I am triggered to be more productive for different tasks by different locations. I like writing in the library. I love reading books in coffee shops. I like doing admin in my office.

I also find that changing my clothing puts me in a different mindset for different tasks, even when working from home.

Underlying all this is my discovery about myself that I am stimulated by variety.

What triggers your productivity? Can you engineer those things into your work timetable?

Pattern Matching

I like to do things little and often. For example, I’m usually reading five books at once, all different genres. I have set locations for each and set times in the day when I read them. I only read them for five or 10 minutes each.

I realise this might seem a bit strange. Other people want to concentrate on one book and read it from start to finish before they start the next one, but that doesn’t really work for me.

What suits you?

Similarly, I like to break work tasks down into short discrete steps and then spread them out over several days. I can then have a variety of work in one day, switching between projects each hour or so. 

What work rhythms, routines and habits, will help you to maximise your productivity?

In Touch with Type

What is your personality type? You may have come across Myers Briggs, the enneagram and DiSC These tools can help you to identify the most effective way to navigate through life and work, how you work both by yourself and with other people.

Are you an initiator or sustainer?

We all know people who are good at starting things but then get bored. Likewise, we all know people who don’t really like starting things but are great at keeping something going. Which one are you? 

How are you at delegation? This is a learning curve for me. I find it hard to delegate things where I have a small degree of competence, but I’m not an expert. Invariably, I have to ask myself, “What can only I do, and what can I pass on to someone else who can do it better and faster than me?”

Attune Time

Take time to find out how you tick, and then work accordingly. It’s a surefire way to increase your effectiveness and productivity,

Be kind to yourself: attune to yourself.

You may find my free eBook helpful. 18 pages and easy to read: “Be Kind to Yourself: Six Magic Insights to Transform Home-Based Working.”Get your copy here:
Please pass this on to anyone you know that might find it helpful.

Be Kind By MAGIC – Moving Yourself

Being Kind is your business super-power.

How do you Be Kind in Business? By applying the MAGIC formula:


It applies to:

Your clients
Your team
Your prospects 

Today we look at the power  of MOVING yourself.

Live and Kicking

When I watch a live performance, it moves me. I get set free from day-to-day preoccupations and taken somewhere else. Maybe you are the same?

When I am performing, and I see my performance producing a similar experience in others, it feels great. I feel like I’m in my groove.

Live performance makes me emotional because I know its power.

Our feelings are enormous motivators. Most of what we do is motivated by emotion. Sometimes we like to think we’re mainly rational, but actually, our feelings are way more powerful.

It is important to remember this.

Jaded and Faded

You come across some close-up magicians who are jaded. They’ve been doing the same thing for too long, they’ve lost the joy and the spark. You can spot it a mile off. It contrasts so hugely with those who are loving every minute of it and bringing joy to those they entertain.

They’re just not feeling it anymore.

If you feel like you are lacking energy or motivation, find a way to reconnect with the feelings that got you going in the first place.

What started you off?

What is the bigger picture?

Paper Tigers

On the flip side, it may be that you had a feeling that stopped you doing something: nervousness, apprehension, fear of failure. Can you examine it, work out where it came from, test its validity? Once these negative feelings are recognised, many of them go away. Others can be worked through and conquered.

Connecting with our feelings is essential if we want to make progress, grow and continue.

Environmental Friendliness

How do you do this? How can you reconnect with your feelings, so that you’re always motivated and energised?

Think about your working and living environment. Surrounding yourself with stimulating or comforting pictures on your walls and objects on your desk can help. Watching films and theatre, going to particular places may well excite emotions that will motivate and inspire you.

Day-to-day and in the moment, music can also be a great energiser. I like to listen to AC/DC, Guns N’Roses or Led Zeppelin just before a big meeting, just to get my energy up and my mind into a faster rhythm. I’m then more energised and alert.

Similarly, exercise, nature and pets can help to lift my mood. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest: do something creative, go for a walk, phone a friend. Change your mood state, be moved, connect with the emotion that is driving you.

Feel the magic, because feeling is magic.

You may find my free eBook helpful.
18 pages and easy to read: “Be Kind to Yourself: Six Magic Insights to Transform Home-Based Working”
Get your copy here:
Please pass this on to anyone you know that might find it helpful.

Be Kind by MAGIC – Introduction

Being kind is a superpower in business. 

What do I mean by this?

In this context, kindness is not an airy-fairy concept. It is intensely practical. I am not talking about random acts of kindness here, although they are lovely and to be commended. This is about something different.

Kindness can be intentional, and kindness can be planned. I’m talking about your mindset, of how you set priorities and how that affects your present and future actions.

Be kind to yourself and then be kind to others.

A Kind Magic

It is rather like being a magician.

You have to resource yourself before you perform for an audience; be kind to yourself so that you can be kind to them. You undergo training and rehearsal. You look after your health so that you have energy. Then, when you perform, you put the audience first: you work out a show that serves them. How can you best present the best of what you have in a way that is best for them? 

The How

How do you be kind in business? 

You apply the MAGIC formula: 


The Who

Who should you be kind to?

  • In the background, you need to be kind to yourself. How do you manage and lead yourself? 
  • In service industries, you need to be kind to your clients. How do you serve your clients? 
  • In leadership, you need to be kind to your team. How do you manage and lead your team? 
  • In sales, you need to be kind to your prospects. How do you serve your prospects?

The Detail

Over the next few weeks, I will be taking a detailed look at what it means to apply the MAGIC formula in all these areas.

Be kind, by MAGIC. 

It’s a business superpower.


Download my free eBookBe Kind to Yourself” and learn how to:

  • Adapt to new ways of working
  • Harness the power of habits
  • Optimise the use of space in your home
  • Use clothes to boost productivity
  • Focus on what matters
  • Plan for the future amidst uncertainty

The Magic of Kindness 6 – Connecting

How do you apply kindness in business? 



In this final part of my introduction to The Magic of Kindness, I will focus on Connecting.

Magic Book

David Berglas is a living legend in the magic world. Some years ago he was on TV regularly and a household name.

I have had the privilege and pleasure of meeting and talking to him at The Magic Circle headquarters in London. I also heard him lead a session on his favourite magic books. David said that his favourite magic book was not actually a magic book. It was “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie (#ad).

I smiled when I heard that, I had read it a few years earlier.

Foundation Creation

Before I read Carnegie’s book, I felt awkward in social situations, didn’t know how to get conversations going. Carnegie taught me to smile and ask people about themselves.

People love talking about themselves. When you show interest in them, it says, “You are important to me.” It lifts their status.

Once you’ve asked a few questions, you can find a point of connection. Maybe somewhere you have lived, studied, holidayed; perhaps common interests or people you know in common.

Then you have a connection – something to build on.

I started trying this out in my close-up magic gigs. It made a huge difference: I could see precisely why David Berglas liked it.

The wartime proverb tells us, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.”

Carnegie taught me how to get to know people. And then I practised it.

Know, Like and Trust

How does connecting apply in sales? In his book Endless Referrals (#ad), Bob Burg famously observed that people buy from people that they “Know, like and trust.”

You have to make a connection for this to happen.

People need to connect with you, and they need to connect with the idea that you’re selling. If they’re a Star Wars fan and the purchase you’re offering enables them to feel closer and more connected with Star Wars, then you’re onto a winner.

If you’re selling an idea, they need to feel connected with the idea.

I spend some of my time working for a charity, ZANE, that helps people in Zimbabwe. It is no surprise that most of our supporters have some sort of connection with Zimbabwe.

The Power Lead Connects

In terms of leadership, we naturally want to follow someone with whom we feel a connection.

We need to know, like and trust our leaders. As Michael Hyatt says, “Everyone is a volunteer. “ 

As leaders, you’re selling your vision and mission to those you lead.

Kind Connection 

How is connecting an act of kindness?

Well, to connect, we have to let part of ourselves become entwined with part of another person. And we have to accept part of them. This exchange creates a connection.

Just connect. Everything else flows from there.

The Magic of Kindness 5 – Inspiring

How do you apply kindness in business? 



This post examines Inspiring.

Add One More Ball

When you are teaching somebody to juggle for the first time, there is a wonderful point when you take them just past what they thought they could do. Suddenly they have achieved something new.

They get a certain look in their eyes.

Now they are inspired. You can then take them on, way beyond what they thought was previously possible.

Sideways Magic

When you are performing a magic trick, you sometimes see a similar look. A great thing about magic is that it encourages people to look sideways at life. It challenges assumptions; maybe there’s a different way to perceive things, a different way to do things?

Inspiration is a kind and powerful thing to give someone. It helps people to stretch themselves. It helps them to see possibilities. It helps them to be a bigger version of themselves.

Lightbulb Moment

Thomas Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb, famously said:

“Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”

That may be true, but the inspiration has to come first, it is what motivates the perspiration.

Inspire Desire

In sales, inspiration will lead people to buy.

Give them some excitement about the possibilities you are offering, tell them about benefits they hadn’t thought of, paint a picture of what could be possible. 

Let inspiration do the rest.

Part of the Story

In leadership, you can enable people to glimpse possibilities and glimpse their potential. Help them to see a vision of the future, how they can be part of the story. Encourage them to join in.

Inspire them, and they will grow and flourish.

Who can you inspire today?

The Magic of Kindness 4 – Giving

How do you apply kindness in business? 



Let’s focus on Giving.

Please Give them a Round of Applause!

When I was a student I used to go down to London and sit in Covent Garden for hours, watching and learning from the jugglers, magicians and breakdancers.

Have you ever seen a street show? If so, you have probably noticed that the biggest round of applause always goes to the volunteer, brought out of the crowd to get involved with the routine. The entertainer has been generous, giving the helper the limelight.

The crowd love it, therefore they love the performer even more.

Less experienced acts might want the biggest round of applause for themselves, the more experienced know that the best show happens when someone else is given the glory.

Exceed to Succeed

I know from my magic business that, if I can give something to the client, everything runs more smoothly. 

If I can be helpful and friendly with the booking process; if I can give ample information so they can make a good decision; if I can help them to plan a better event than they had in their imagination. And then, when I get there, exceed expectations and over-deliver. 

The result? A very happy client who will recommend me again and again.

Emotional Bank Accounts

Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (#ad), introduces the concept of emotional bank accounts. Every time we meet someone we open an emotional bank account with them. Every time we do something good for them, we make a deposit. Every time we mess up, make a mistake, need forgiveness, then we make a withdrawal. 

Life runs smoothly if we can maintain healthy positive emotional bank balances. We do that by giving to people.

The whole premise of giving is that we don’t expect anything back, but the wonderful thing is, we will probably get something in return.

It may or may not be something tangible, but it will almost certainly lead to an enhanced relationship.

Service Mindset

How does this apply in sales and leadership?

In sales you can shift your motivation from “profit, profit, profit” to “service, service, service” – from making the most money for yourself to giving the best solution to the customer. If you put the extra effort in, with a genuine desire to help to solve their problem and get them a better solution, then you will become a better and more effective salesperson.

In leadership, you can give your time, your effort, your understanding. You can listen to people, understand them. You can stand by your team member when they are facing opposition. You can take risks in delegation: delegation is a  giving of control, an act of generosity so that someone else may grow. How can you best serve those you lead?

There’s Better Business if it’s like Show Business

You might be the headline act, but make your helper look fantastic. Let them have the most applause and the show will be better for everyone.

The Magic of Kindness 3 – Attuning

How do you apply kindness in business? 



Today I will look at attuning.

Last Christmas I Gave You My Art

Last Christmas, I had a gig at Arlingtons a wonderful venue in Ipswich run by the top chap that is Peter Gwizdala. It was a corporate party:  ten tables, I was going around doing close-up magic. I had already done some effects at the drinks beforehand down in the bar. 

I went to one table after the starter. I offered to show them something and they said, “No thanks, we’ve had enough magic fort his evening.”  When I was younger I would have tried to persuade them, but I have since learned that this is doesn’t work well. 

I moved on to another table where there was a couple of women having, shall we say, a fantastic time due to the quality of the refreshment. They loved the magic and provided very loud and enthusiastic reactions. The result was that they lifted the energy of the room. This impressed the client who had booked me. And it also improved the atmosphere for all the other guests, including the table that had refused the magic. 

It is important to listen, observe and then modify your behaviour accordingly. Because then you will get better results. This is the art of attunement.

Why is attuning at act of kindness? Because it is all about prioritising the needs of the other person.

Push it, Push it Real Good

Think about a swing in a playground.

If you push someone in time with the swing, they will swing higher.

If you push out of time, they will eventually stop.

Sale Away, Sale Away, Sale Away

How does attunement apply in sales? 

Daniel Pink talks about attunement in his book “To Sell is Human” (#ad). He points out that we have to ask diagnostic questions of those to whom we are selling. They will present with a certain need, they might think they know the solution. But the good salesperson will talk to them, and listen to them, and work out what their real problem is. 

It may be that the solution they think they want is not the best solution and you could provide something better. If you can attune yourself to their real need and provide them with a better solution then you will have a happy customer.

Leader of the Pack

In leadership, attunement can be dynamite.

Talk to those you lead. Phone them up, have a video call. When it is again possible, meet them face to face. 

Listen to them. That is the most important bit. Let them talk to you. And listen properly. 

Work out what will help them grow. One size doesn’t fit all. Work out what is the best way to communicate with them. What kind of language? What kind of style? What medium?

I heard a great talk last year from Michelle Mills Porter about the way she uses the DiSC method to assess people quickly, so that she can attune to them and work out the best communication style for that individual and situation. I thoroughly recommend her work and her insights.

If you push in time with a swing, they will swing high.

Be kind. Give them the magic they need, when they need it.

The Magic of Kindness 2 – Moving People

How do you apply kindness in business? 



Today I focus on moving people.

Maya Angelou said
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I have heard this quoted many times in the fields of both magic and professional speaking.

It is so true. 

A Kind Magic

I know very well that my magic tricks will be more effective if I can find a way to engage with my spectators emotions:

  • If I can get them to lay their hand on another spectator’s hand – I have seen an old married couple almost start weeping when they did this, they obviously hadn’t touched for years.
  • If I can get them to use a personal item – a ring, for example.
  • If the trick involves a personal secret – even if I never get to know what it is.

It is even better if I can empower them to feel like they are doing the magic themselves; there’s nothing quite like the astonished exclamation when a pack of cards transforms between a guest’s hands, or the look on a child’s face when they make little red balls multiply using their own magic.

Enriching Life

But how is moving people an act of kindness?

Well, whenever you enable them to feel something that enriches their life, makes them feel more alive, then you’re giving them a gift. Think about good theatre, good fiction, good film. These are gifts to us from writers, directors and actors. They make us feel something – excitement, passion, humour, fear, anger – they make us feel engaged with a story.

Emotional Buy-in

How does this apply to sales and leadership?

Well, in sales you might tap into feelings of excitement, of relief, of satisfaction. If you help someone to make a good buying choice then you are improving the story of their life. How can you paint a picture of this when you are selling? Can you get them to imagine how they will feel if they go ahead and buy from you?

In leadership you might make people feel encouraged, safe, supported. You build them up,  reminding them of their significance, making them feel like they’re part of a story. 

Everyone is a Volunteer

Michael Hyatt says, “Everyone is a volunteer.”

Obviously everyone who decides to buy something has volunteered to buy it.

But even in leadership, everyone who works for you, or follows you, is a volunteer. They may or may not be paid, but the decision to follow you with their heart is voluntary. Do you make them feel trusted, valuable, significant?

Enable, Give

Enable them to do the magic themselves. Give them the gift. Be kind.

Remember, they will never forget how you made them feel.