Here is a summary of some of the key things we discussed at the Breathing Space that took place in Retford on 5th June 2018.

Feel free to add your own comments and keep the discussion going.

A reminder to everyone that everything that was discussed was confidential, so I'm not mentioning any names or going into much detail.

For those who have not been before, be aware that no-one was forced to say or share anything they didn't want to.

The theme today was around Enjoying Business.

Whereas the other meetings are usually bottom up (recognising the area that causes issues and then looking how it develops in real life), today's meeting ran the other way round. What are the issues being faced now and then drilling down into the areas underneath?

Sure enough, however, we were soon getting into conversations that match the Business Enjoyment model such as purpose, fear of rejection, self worth, money issues and so on.

When we looked at what gave us the most satisfaction in our business, the answer was pretty universal. It all came down to helping others – a fundamental element of 'purpose'.

However, when we looked at biggest frustrations, a very common theme that arose was around other people – not doing what they say, not bothering to put the effort into their own business, not taking responsibility for themselves.

We had lots of discussions and ideas around how to make sure you bring in the right people in the first place – customers should be recruited in the same way a team member would be - and then, if some bad apples sneak through the filter, how to get them out quickly. These included charging higher prices, requiring the customer to take several steps before they get helped and being very clear of conditions up front in order to make it easier to enforce them.

Ultimately, it revolved around putting up some boundaries and being clear about your position. The challenge is, of course, that by not taking people on or letting them go if they're not the right client, we are directly in opposition to our main purpose around 'helping others'.

Consequently, the thing that generates our best moments, also causes the worst. This tends to make us hold on for as long as possible and then explode as the see saw tips in the other direction. 

It requires discipline and control to maintain the boundaries and, like strengthening a muscle, we need to lightly exercise it at first and then build it up. Go too fast and it all breaks down.

By the end of the session, everyone had something that they could take away - an idea, an insight, a plan of action – that they could use to move themselves forwards

The theme of the next Retford Breathing Space will be on Finding Your Purpose and will be held on 10th July at midday at:

Focus Collection
Retford Enterprise Centre
Randall Way
DN22 7GR

You can book on at:

There is also going to be an Evening meeting just south of Sheffield, starting on 27thJune from 6pm. For more information, go to:

For those in the West Yorkshire area, the next North Wakefield Breathing Space is on 19thJune and we will be discussing Money Hangups. The link here is:

See you soon