Something Great wasn’t Easy

Earlier this week I gave a talk as part of the excellent Heroes of Mobile event in Leeds.

The talk was called ‘Nothing Great is Easy’ and provided lessons for business learnt from open water [particularly channel] swimming.

Photo by Lizzie Jordan of Yello Story

It seemed to be well received and to go well – it’s often hard to tell when you’re stood at the front of the room, but there were lots of interested questions from the group.

Thanks to Helen for inviting me, to Lloyd for facilitating the sessions and to aql for sponsoring it. The day finished with a Swedish Beers event, so some memories are a little hazy!

Now for more book writing!



Nothing Great is Easy

I’ve been quiet on here recently, but lots has been happening behind the scenes. Some of that is now bursting out and it’s going to start with me giving a talk in Leeds next week.

I’ll be talking about the lessons for running your own business that can be learned from open water swimming. If you’re in Leeds on Tuesday at 2pm, you can sign up here – Nothing Great is Easy.

It will be part of the excellent Heroes of Mobile as it ventures up north. There are lots of other great talks, app demos and of course, Swedish Beers drinks in the evening.

Hopefully I’ll see you in Leeds.

Present for Xmas 2015

So now that Xmas is over it’s time to take stock and plan for 2015.

For those training for big sporting events, it’s now time to plan the training schedule and think forward to the rewards (rather than thinking about how cold it will be when you get up before the rest of the house). If you’re in business then you are probably planning your goals for 2015 and how you will achieve them.

You might even have got some presents from Santa to help you with this.

If you didn’t, you could buy yourself a present for Xmas 2015* that would help with both sporting and business targets, planning and successes. The book I’m writing will help you with all of this and you can pre-order your copy here:

Go on, treat yourself.

*At this stage I can’t guarantee publication by Xmas 2015.

Striking a chord

It would appear from the stats on my crowdfunding page that I am striking a chord with people. I only set up the page eight days ago and already I have had nearly 1,200 views on the page – that’s nearly 150 per day!

I have to admit that I’m very pleased with that.

Correct as at 5:45pm on Friday 7th November

Correct as at 5:45pm on Friday 7th November

Obviously I’m doing my best to promote the page far and wide, but I’m not sure I know 1,200 people, so people must be passing it on their friends, or finding it organically – or coming back and viewing it many times. Whatever the reason it shows that it is worth reading and considering.

Unfortunately that hasn’t yet converted into lots of backers for the project – to date I’ve had seven backers (and I’m grateful to you all). But I suspect that like lots of things like this, people are viewing it, [hopefully] liking what they see and then planning to back it later (whenever later may be).

Either way, thank you all for checking out the page.

Presentation feedback

As I mentioned I recently presented to a local Nottingham business and provided business lessons and motivation based around the lessons learned from open water swimming.

It went well, the talk was well received and got lots of good feedback on the day – and I even got to share a beer with the team afterwards.

However, it’s always nice to get the feedback in written form:

One of the attendees emailed to say:

“I thought Patrick’s presentation on Friday was great. I love motivational things like that; I felt pretty pumped going into the weekend! … There were some great messages in there that we could use around the place.”

While Geoff, the CEO of Esendex said of the presentation:

“We’re always looking for new ways to inspire the team and Patrick’s talk really did this and resonated in many ways with all of us.”

I didn’t manage to completely convince them on the swimming bit though, as he went on to say, “Whilst we are a very sporty bunch, talk of an Esendex channel swimming team may be a bit premature…”

If you want me to present at your event or to your team then please get in touch.

Skilled Learners

I saw a great post recently about how the best learners learn and how we can all improve our ability to learn.

The full article is here – 25 Things Skilled Learners Do Differently – and I advise you to read it all (and if possible adopt some of the tricks into your life).

However, while reading it, it occurred to me that open water swimming can and does help with may of those elements that skilled learners do better.


– Meta learning (point 1 in the article) – developing, honing, updating, accessing our own training plans definitely fits here.

– Working with others (points 2, 11, 22) – the open water swimming community is all about asking (and answering) questions, offering pointers to others and sharing our knowledge – Was it rough? Which route did you take? What’s that drink you use?

– Curiosity and new things (6, 17) – for many open water swimming is the new thing, but on top of that one of the joys of open water swimming is that it is always different, there is always new scenery to look at, new swims to do or just new people to meet and stories to hear.

– Objectives (24) – I want to swim from here, to there – you can’t get a much clearer objective than that.

– Living with uncertainty – I know what my objective is, but I will never know what the conditions will be like until I’m swimming. As an open water swimmer life is always uncertain, if I wanted certainty I would have stayed in the pool!

I don’t know whether people who are naturally more skilled learners gravitate towards open water swimming, or the nature of open water swimming can make people more skilled learners – but there is clearly a link and clearly a business benefit!

Dressed for success

I’m presenting on Friday – as with all of the Open for Business stuff it’s about the lessons that can be applied to business from open water swimming. The group I’m presenting to is an internal team at a local company. They regularly do a ‘Show & Tell’ session on a Friday afternoon to widen their knowledge and experiences.

I was privileged to be copied in on the email that went round the group explaining that I was to be speaking at this event and what my presentation would be about.

However, the email finished with:

“He assures me he’ll be fully dressed…”