I love to read – I think it is one of life’s great pleasures, although despite that I still don’t get quite as much time as I’d like to plough into my books. As such, I am always interested in refining my to-read list, to get maximum value out of my reading time. This year one of my resolutions is to read at least one book a month – and many of those will be business books.
I think it’s incredibly important to keep alert to new trends, new ways of thinking and new ideas that can help evolve your business and its market impact – not to mention your own growth as an entrepreneur and a businessperson. Especially when the nature of business is changing so quickly – and in such exciting ways.
Work-life balance – it’s a phrase that’s easy to say, but for many of us it’s significantly harder to put this elusive idea into practice. For a start you have to define what that exactly means, and I think it means different things to different people – and at different times of their lives.
In my life there was a time when I worked significantly longer hours than I do now, and the majority of my time was weighted toward work. I was younger, starting out and I felt I needed to do it at the time – and indeed when you are setting up businesses I do think you need to put inordinate amounts of time and energy in to get things off the ground.
I love new year – the symbolic idea of a blank slate to build on is very appealing to me and new years give us time to re-evaluate what has been working in our lives, what has perhaps not been working quite so well and where we can add in some new challenges and enrichment. New year’s resolutions are a great way to focus the mind. I don’t mean the clichéd, half-hearted ones that always seemed based in negativity (“start a diet to lose 40lbs” which ends up as “eat a whole cake the next day” or “take up jogging” followed by “give up jogging a few days later” etc.) – but the ones that take unique stock of where you are in life and what you want more of (not less of!).
If travel is not on your list of new year resolutions then it definitely should be! For me, there is nothing more invigorating and healthy than to travel – experiencing new cultures, new foods, new sensations and getting some valuable perspective on the world. Lorna and I have our favourite places, and we do go back to them, time and again – Val Thorens in the French Alps where we are at the moment, and beautiful Beaulieu sur Mer on the French Riviera where we keep our boat – but we also enjoy exploring places that surprise us and keep us on our toes. I am always on the look out for interesting trips to take – and as the owner of a luxury travel company I keep an eye firmly on travel trends and up-and-coming destinations. So, before you make your travel plans for 2016 take a look at my hot tips for the new year around the world …and then maybe change them!
We’re leaving the slopes and returning to the UK soon from Val Thorens for a few days to celebrate Christmas with our “UK children” – and one of the things we’ll do, like everyone else, is enjoy some family time over a good meal.
I love to eat well and I think food is one of life’s great pleasures. I really enjoy eating dishes that are made with lots of fresh, organic, locally sourced foods, as I really think the way that food is produced is of the utmost importance when it comes to nutrition – and taste. What we put into our bodies is so important to our health and well-being, and I totally agree with Hippocrates, who said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Continue reading →
A few weeks ago I talked about the traits that I think every entrepreneur shares. I had some interesting and uplifting responses from you and it got me thinking about other key components to success. So I’ve put together my top six things that I know from experience make a big difference to success levels if you practise them regularly. I know it’s a little early for making New Year’s resolutions, but practising any of these more in 2016 will definitely give you a life advantage – so which one will you be focusing on this coming year? I’d love to hear your thoughts – leave me a comment or tweet me.
December is here and the run-up to Christmas – and for us that usually signals our first ski trip of the season. We are off to Val Thorensnext week, which is always a wonderful change of environment. It is a place that fills us both with delight; there’s such a fresh, healthy feel to it. Our apartment there is an exquisite place – it’s relatively small, compared to our house here, but we have spent years making it just how we want it to be – and that includes glass walls so we can wake up and look straight out at the mountains. For me, that is something that always lifts the spirits.
Winter is always welcome to me – mainly because it means I can indulge in skiing, one of my big sporting passions. I am a big believer that exercise keeps you young and strong. Age is no barrier to being physically active – in fact, I’d say that you can’t stop exercising when you’re older, just because perhaps you’re not as good at it as you once were, and expect to keep strong and fit. Keeping active keeps your body working at its best and keeps your mind sharp. When you accept that exercise brings a plethora of health benefits, such as increased bone density, reduced blood pressure, increased muscular strength and power, and improved balance, it seems obvious that we should make the time to move our bodies.
I’ve been thinking about risk and self-belief recently, and the close relationship they have. To me, the ability to take risk is one of the things that defines an entrepreneur.Steve Jobs would take huge risks and people would say they were “calculated” – but by its very nature risk is still risk and you can only predict so much. The question is: how do you think about risk so it doesn’t stop you moving forward?
I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in the UK autumn is, so-far, a bit of a grey affair. It’s around this time of year that I start to miss the warmth of the South of France, where we spend a lot of the year on our boat – and start to look to where I can get a sunshine top up. For Lorna and I, as for many people, the answer is a winter break in the Caribbean.
Swapping leaden skies and puddles for blue horizons and soft sand beaches seems like a great deal to me. But I think you do need to be careful where you book to avoid the crowds who agree! As the founder of a luxury holiday provider I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot of the Caribbean and discover some of its unexpected corners, beautiful and untouched by the rampant commercialism of many of the bigger islands. If you want a relaxing break with a difference then here are my top three suggestions for a sunshine break this winter….