Personal blog - it's only taken 5 years!


When did blogs and blogging register in my awareness as being significant?

Probably in about September 2007. I was browsing through the books in the wonderful Norrington Room of Blackwells in Oxford (10,000 square feet, apparently in the Guiness Book of World Records as the largest single room selling books). I bought "Clear Blogging" by Bob Walsh. I started to read it on the bus taking me back to the Peartree Park and Ride in Oxford, and I finished it that evening. I immediately concluded to start my blog.

And just like so many people, I realised that it wasn't as easy as that.

It wasn't that I had nothing to say, or that I was unable to express myself. I've been keeping a personal journal since I was a teenager and I've found writing to be the best way of developing my understanding.

No, the problem was that I wanted to do it right. And I didn't know what "right" meant back then.

So I had a go. I created some blogs on various platforms and began to write. And I read lots of posts about how to develop a good blog. I became even more convinced about the value of what I was trying to learn.

It's taken five more years to get a load of things clear. Over this period, I've:

  • Read loads of blogs and I've learned what I like to read and what doesn't work
  • Tried all of the major blogging platforms. With Wordpress, several times in various guises!
  • Changed how I work, and how "work" and "not work" are balanced

It's this last change that's been the hardest and most rewarding. In relation to blogging, it was particularly significant for me because I've worked independently for over 25 years. My web identity has been primarily about business.

Initially, I was unable to distinguish between blogging that related to business and what I might write purely for pleasure.

But the changes are now in place. The summary is:

  • My son Stephen joined me in the business almost two years ago
  • The business identity has become much more clearly
  • Stephen and I have done some really good work together
  • We've just been joined by an old friend, Matthew Turnock, who will bring financial rigour to all that we do
  • To launch this new way of working at the CBI conference last week, the new business website was created

All this has meant that I can get on with blogging. In this personal blog I will write about the things that I find interesting. Perhaps others might share my interests, and it will be great to see conversation in comments.

In the blog on, the posts will be of more interest to people in business who want to improve sales results.

So, I'm underway with the blogging strategy!

It's only taken 5 years.

Attention, GO!

I race a kayak as a member of the Banbury Canoe Club

Races start with the big build up. There's the preparation in the week before. On the day, the kayak goes on top of the car, the kit is assembled, the drive to race venue, the race briefing, and finally onto the water.

A few minutes later and I'm on the start line. It's really important to get away cleanly. A bad start and the race is effectively over. The starter waits until we're in line...



Digging deep, spray flying, water boiling, trying to stay upright, accelerate the boat, stay with the leaders...

And the connection with the first post in my brand new blog?

Like everybody else having a go with blogging, experience quickly taught me that starting a blog takes little effort. The biggest challenge by far has been to clarify how it fits into life as a key way of communicating.

After some fairly extensive research and a number of trials, I'm hoping that as of now, things are now under way.

My hope is that this blog will allow me to:

  • share some of the things that interest me
  • enable me as I write, to understand better why these things interest me
  • prompt some interesting conversations

I've been working on the plan about how best to do this for about five years. Today I get to start...

Attention, GO!