Author Archive Mike Samuels

Talk to Chinese bankers

Following a chance meeting at a networking event with members of the Manchester Chinese business community a couple of months ago the follow up meeting was about my day job of property, and especially social housing.

I was subsequently invited to work with the Alliance Manchester Business School, the largest business school in Europe, in arranging speakers and visits for these people.

The talk went very well, although not as I had planned, but they were a great
group who presented me with a ladies necklace.

You never know where networking is going to take you, maybe an invite to Hainan, China, which looks beautiful.

Best two words

A couple of years ago, on behalf of the charity, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, who do amazing work with sports people, I went to Wigan Athletic Football Club to speak to young footballers aged between sixteen and eighteen years old who were not getting their contracts renewed at the end of the season.

The Trust organised a great day where we were joined by other young footballers from Bolton Wanderers who were in the same situation.

It was a very structured event and there were a couple of actors who put in a running comedy routine.

I was speaking about ‘How to Whizz a Job Interview’ and went along early just to get the flavour of the event.

There were about sixty guys there and I really felt for them as they were young kids who had been kicking a ball since they could walk and their hopes of being the next Ronaldo or Messi were down the pan.

When I stood up to speak I told them that they were all my heroes because when I was a kid I too wanted to be a great footballer, who didn’t? However, at school I never got selected to play, I was always number twenty-three in the selection.

So I chose to play Rugby as mathematically I had more chance of selection and this worked to I played prop forward and had the crap kicked out of me every Wednesday afternoon when we had sports.

They were also my heroes because if I screwed up in my talk only I would know, if they make a mistake playing professional football 5000 or 10,000 or 15,000 people were there to see it and that was not easy to live with.

Last night I was reading a book by the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of Manchester United and he told how he never put a player down.

He always encouraged the players and the famous and most meaningful two words that he used were ‘well done’

In management you sometimes want to scream at a colleague who has messed up but you have to find a way to turn the negative around and take a leaf out of Fergies book and say ‘well done’ but………’

Natalia Cohen Interview

An animated podcast

Sleep Issues

We all suffer from nights when we just cannot get to sleep and spend hours either tossing and turning in bed or usually for me, sitting at my computer either working or playing games half the night until sleep starts to kick in.

The ability to cat nap, which I have, is great as most days at about 4.30pm I sleep for maybe ten minutes and wake up very refreshed, the former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher could survive on just four hours sleep a night but sadly I cannot.

We need our sleep to be able to function effectively and the amount that we need varies from person to person however, we have to stay alert in order to try to be at our best throughout the working cycle.

The NHS have a ‘Sleep Council’ and they advise that 51 per cent of us struggle with getting to sleep and remaining asleep.

I always find it hard to sleep after attending a networking event as I am buzzing with what I should or could have said to the person or people that I met am evolving a strategy to meet up with them again and as to how I can help them (and me) progress our initial discussions.

So how do we cure the problem, well there are several ways but it’s not an easy fix as we are all very different and also we ourselves change.

As I have often said ‘Stuff’ happens, and the stuff gets worse at night, its slow paying or no paying clients, debt problems, sales figures, family, and many other issues.

I have ‘enjoyed’ them all and found that writing a list of issues helps me. After writing the list number the topics in worst order down and in the morning I start to attack them. Starting with the number one.

A word of warning here, night time induces temper and you can find yourself in a right old ‘paddy’ with someone, even formulating your thoughts into a hard hitting email.

Of course, you must draft that email but do not put the recipient’s name into the address box yet. Write down all your thoughts and save it as a draft. Then go back to bed, feeling better.

In the morning you must read it again, think how you would feel to receive this document, if you are happy, enter the email address and press the send button. At least you have given yourself the option of not sending it, as once you send it you cannot stop it from going and also you cannot prevent the recipient from forwarding it.
So be warned. Someone I know sent out some pretty vile and untruthful stuff in the night to a list of their mutual friends and associates, the next morning he realised that he had made a massive mistake and wrote a very sincere apology however, the damage was done and a libel case is now pending.

I will address what can we do to get more sleep without reverting to sleeping pills in another blog post.

Please write and tell me what sleep issues you have had and what steps you have taken to overcome the problem.