Don't Say I Never Told You
A guide to life from a loving father to his millennial daughters
Girls, over my life I always sought counsel from my parents. It is very rewarding to see that you are doing the same with your mother and I, long may it continue. However, the sudden death of a friend, who was younger and fitter than me, has been a reminder that there is no guarantee I will be around. So, just in case, here are some of the things that might be useful to you on your journey. Whilst this three-part series was written with you in mind, I hope it is also useful to any of your peers who happen to come across it.
Throughout the three-part series, I have designed checklists and evaluation tools to help you get started. These E-templates are available to all readers free of charge.
Varied and I hope interesting topics
I hope there are topics here that hit you ‘left field’, that push you in a direction that changes your life for the better. I have no idea which ones will resonate the most with you so I am simply firing a shotgun in your general direction and hopefully some pellets will surely hit the target.
Series 1 covers the personal stuff such as ‘family and friends’ and ‘winning personal habits’, and ‘personal development’. Content includes:
The six types of friends
How to find good flatmates
Being more effective with your time
How to face tough times
How to complete your life’s purpose (your Ikigai) and your treasure map so your life has a direction you have actively chosen
How to handle your personal baggage
How to ascertain your natural talents
Series 2 covers life partner, finance and health stuff such as ‘your other half’, ‘you and your money’, and ‘health and well-being’. Content includes:
Finding Wally - tips to help you find a life partner worth keeping
Guidelines when weighing up ‘Should I stay or should I go’ from a relationship
How to separate without funding the legal profession
The twenty tips when buying your first home
Tips to secure your financial future
How to avoid buying a ‘lemon’ of a car
You and your mental health
Simple things to do to increase your survival odds when driving
Series 3 covers the career stuff such as ‘winning work habits’, ‘forging a career worth having’, and ‘some tips for millennial managers’. Content includes:
Embracing abandonment- the most important life skill
Creating strong and healthy work relationships
Handling office drama and a ‘bully of a boss’
The importance of a second passion, a respite from stress
Making sure your career is as secure as a hedgehog
Steps to help you find the right job and avoid being conned
What to check when intending to make a major career change
Tips to spending less time in unproductive meetings
Tips to improve workflow and reduce waste
"Girls, the advice contained in these series has come from a variety of sources. From discussions I had with your grandparents, attending self-development courses, making mistakes and absorbing information from those much wiser than me.
I have not always followed the advice laid out here. I don’t see a problem in that. Do you? For these series is not about me, it is about you and your future."
25 features to consider when buying your property
When looking for your first home, or your next one, set out a list of ten must haves and ten would like to have features. Use this FREE checklist to articulate your vision. Find pictures in magazines of houses you like and put them on a treasure map which you look at each day.
This ‘know what you want checklist’ will need your tailoring . It covers a wide range of needs such as the proximity to schooling, number of bedrooms to ratio of front to back garden (best to have the back garden bigger than front garden as you never use your front garden).
Personal Baggage Checklist
Since you entered this world, you like the rest of us have developed traits and habits that will limit your potential. You will always be running with a cylinder or two misfiring unless you fully understand your behaviour patterns and their impact on those around you.
You do not need to have handled all of your personal baggage to function well. The key is the awareness of your weaknesses. You owe it to your colleagues, your family, partner, friends etc to do something about your personal baggage.
25 things you need to look for in any new job
Whilst you hopefully are going to receive a salary increase, there are 15+ things you need to look for in any job change. These aspects need to be verified rather than simply rely on the interviewers' promises. Always remember that the interviewers will have over sold the job. You need to make sure the next organisation is going to be a better fit, or at least part of your proposed career journey.
Before you move, you need to undertake some of the exercises in 'Series 1 - Personal Development'. There is no point moving from job to job if in the end it is you that is the problem.
The checklist includes points on:
Knowing where your talents lie
Not taking your personal baggage into the new job
The company culture offers better recognition and learning opportunities than your existing position
The opportunity for career growth internally are better than what you had with your existing job
How to find out more about your future manager
The work colleagues in the new position are a good fit
Work life balance is more favorable
Negotiating the right package so that the job is a significant improvement over your current position
It is not uncommon for many promises to be offered in the interview, which in reality will never transpire. In other words, if you're looking for a car in job, don't accept a statement like "we expect in 6-12 months, Joe Bloggs will be leaving and his position will be available to you which comes with a company car". This was once offered to me and the said person was there when I left 3 years later.
You need to find out a lot more about your organisation and your future manager. Any shortcuts here can lead to many months of pain.
The Six Types of Friends Checklist
“..some friends are more equal than others. Robin Dunbar an anthropologist and psychologist believes that we can have up 150 people who we know by face and name. I believe these 150 people can be grouped into six types of friends”
Your ‘bury the body for’ friends are the top 5. If they called you, late at night, and needed help you would be there.
Your ‘hobby’ friends are in the top 15. These friends have similar interests. You might share a passion for sports, hobbies, religion, work, politics, food, music, movies, or books.
Your ‘mentor’ friends are in the top 50. These are friends that you turn to for sympathy when you need it, the ones you can confide in about most things.
Your ‘energizer’ friends. These would be in the top 150. These are your ‘good time friends’ who can make a good day great. However, when times are tough, you are ill, or even in hospital do not expect them to be around.
The key is to have balance and to rekindle some friendships you have left unattended.
How to find a partner worth keeping
Modern day dating apps have created more trouble than good, especially those that start off on the basis that looks are the most important thing. People are investing time to meet someone who is not who they say they are and this has led, in some cases, to tragic consequences. Fortunately, authors such as Rebekah Campbell (author of '38 Dates') and Amy Webb (author of 'Data, A Love Story: How I gamed online dating to meet my mate') have suggested a much better an safer route. This checklist summarises their advice.
The aim is to find, text, FaceTime, and then date in that order. Eliminating as you progress.
Finding a Mentor Checklist
Only the foolish venture forward, without having a mentor supporting them, from behind the scenes. In business, many costly failures could have been averted if advice had been sought from a trusted and wise mentor. The key is the selection (and use) of your mentor/adviser and realizing that just because you have asked once, this does not preclude a second or third request for help. Jack Welch indicated that you should have a cluster of mentors, as one will never be enough. This checklist will help you find a mentor within your circle of contacts.
Finding your strengths
Find out where your talents lie and spend time turning them into strengths. In areas where you are weak, stand back and let others do the work where they excel. When educational psychologist Donald Clifton began asking, “What would happen if we studied what is right with people?” a strengths philosophy emerged. Its assertion is that individuals can gain far more when they expend effort to build on their greatest talents than when they spend a comparable amount of effort to remediate their weaknesses (Clifton & Harter, 2003).
The Clifton StrengthsFinder (CSF) is grounded in more than three decades of studying success across a wide variety of functions in the workplace. I would recommend that you invest your hard-earned money in performing the test. However, in my humble opinion, they still do not have it quite right.
I have designed a simplistic test, based on the CSF and modified to include some missing talents (which are in italics). I have also reworded some of the talent explanations to make it clearer.
How to avoid buying a lemon of a car
It is more than likely that you are, like me, not a motor mechanic. The decision to buy requires some thought, especially since only mugs or companies buy new cars as you will lose 35% of the car’s value in the first 12 months. There are ten things to consider when buying a used car. For a start, you need to work out what car you really need so that you refine your online search. Next, you will need to have the chosen car checked out by a skilled mechanic or an agency that specialises in pre-purchase inspections. This however, is carried out after you have done your own car inspection based on the checklist in this book.
When to get out of the stock market
The first major financial bubble took place in the 17th century. Investors began to madly purchase tulips, pushing their prices to unprecedented highs. The average price of a single flower exceeded the annual income of a skilled worker and cost more than some houses at the time. Recently this has happened with the GameStop shares.
How does this happen? Investors lose track of rational expectations where there is a massive, sustained upswing in the price of an asset. The ‘Fear of Missing Out’ hits them and they believe they have to be in on it. The earnings potential and the valuation of the company all become irrelevant as you are buying because you know that others will buy at even a higher price.
When investors wake up and realize that they are merely holding ‘a tulip bulb’ that is vastly overvalued they start a sell-off. Prices collapse within days, or a week at the outside as everyone else realizes what their asset is worth. As in the 17th century many investors lose most of the sums invested.
If you study the ‘S&P 500 Index – 90 Year Historical Chart’, you will see that there have been five major stock market declines which led to the collapse of a number of once great companies. The last major adjustment was in 2008/2009. If history were to repeat itself which it usually does, the next major stock market adjustment cannot be far away, especially based on some of the ratios that companies are trading at.
Whilst stocks over time will always go up, the major danger of a stock market crash is that hyped companies will fail as they are unable to obtain enough funding for the expansion plans they are already committed to.