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It's Time to Start Smiling!!

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In the UK we are really the best at creating negative media, we rarely hear about good news stories, and we thrive on seeing the glass half empty instead of half full. Go on admit it to yourself, you are part of it as well and the more we focus on it, the more we will see doom and gloom all round us.

I visited Thornton chocolates yesterday and I knew they were having a hard time, because I had met one of their key managers at a Franchise show, recently. Anyway I asked the sales guy, how sales were for the store (Kidderminster) and his faced just dropped to the floor and his shoulders dropped in tandem and he said, 'it's just so awful'. So I said 'but with Christmas coming it will improve for you for sure?' His answer: 'Oh well, by now we should be selling big time for Christmas and there is just no sign of it and they will probably come in the last week before Christmas'.

His attitude was just completely wrong, not his fault though, it's the negativity that we all thrive on and he was just being affected by the sea of bad news.

It's time to start smiling, get a new perspective on things, be grateful for what you already have in your life and tell people that the only way things will improve in the country is to start with a new positive outlook (and buy someone a box of chocolates from Thornton's!).

And, yes, even if you have been made redundant or you can't find a job. The media are suggesting it's the worst unemployment figures since 1996, but the big difference is that it's not 1996!! We are in 2011 and things are different, Social Media did not exist in those days, the Internet was not half as developed as it is now. Job boards did not exist. There was no YouTube. There are just so many more ways to get yourself in front of potential customers, potential employers. We need to become more creative and think outside of the box. Protesters around the world are doing it, look at what happened with the Arab spring, Robin Hood Tax, 38 Degrees and many more.

They would not be able to get their message out if it wasn't for Social Media and the Internet.

Start focussing on the positives in your life, how you know that things can only improve and look for positive stories, ask people to mention just one thing that has happened to them in the past week that is positive and thrive on that good news story.

And let me share one with you that I saw just in the last 30 minutes. Virgin Money has bought Northern Rock for £747m. This means that tax payers have just been repaid a huge amount and it sounds like that it will eventually be £1 billion. What great news, Virgin is a great brand, who treat their customers fairly and ensure value for money. What's more they will really shake up the UK banking industry. They have done so with other industries, so there is no way to think they will do differently here. What a FANTASTIC STORY!!

Now its over to you! Looking forward to hearing your 'positive news stories'!

Who is losing out in today's UK politics?

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Can't say that I am someone who likes any of the political parties or the politicians that run them, hence my compelling to write this little piece.

Whilst UK politicians are continuing to fight with each other, stock markets are plunging and whole countries are on the brink of bankruptcy.

What doesn't make sense are the messages that they are sending out. They try and contradict each other, looking for incorrect policies or strategies to run each other down.

Let me ask you a question. "Are we in the slightest bit interested what they think of each other?"
The answer I hear you say is a massive big NO!!

Broadly everyone agrees with the message that we have to cut spending and reign-in our expenditure, so guess what, that's what we're all doing.

So why is everyone so surprised that companies are struggling, unemployment is increasing, confidence is low and the public is retreating into their shells?

When consumers stop spending, which is what we are being told we need to do, the economy slows down to a grinding halt!

There is a fact that I learnt from Tony Robbins: "You get what you focus on".

You focus on "cuts" and this is what you will get, everyone starts cutting, companies, consumers, banks, etc. Second fact I learnt, things occur in cycles, the earth is on a cycle, the seasons and life is a cycle too!

Economic cycles occur approximately every 7 years, so if we look back at when the global credit crisis manifested, it will be 2015 before we will start a new economic cycle. This may be a worrying thought for most of us, but armed with this information, you can start to think about what action you need to take.

To believe that we can manage ourselves out of the situation within a few months or even a few years is being overly optimistic. To allow banks to think they can get back to "business as usual" with big bonuses and excessive charges is not even being optimistic but just damn right stupid.

I firmly believe that we will continue to get these economic scares with whole countries going bankrupt until governments start looking on how to inject consumer confidence. Until consumers start spending again things will only get worse.

Don't wish to be a doom merchant, just being a realist.