Category Archives for Business Coach Townsville

The 3 Biggest Goal Setting Errors – Part 1

☁ Instant Improvement Tip ☁ Jan 2015

3 Biggest “Goal Setting Errors” Pt 1

Chances are that you recently reviewed goals, or at least thought about it.

Based on your past success – you may have decided NOT to play any more. There is some very solid thinking that says SMART goals may do you more HARM than good – unless you know the HOW to make it work for you! (Later in this series, I will cover an alternative that may just TURBO your life success – so be sure to CONNECT with me.)

So – what is one of the biggest errors that most people commit when doing “GOALS”?

Here is clue. I believe that up to 85% of the value created (or lost) in a process is in the FIRST 15% of that process. Get it wrong – your results will be mediocre.

Ready? Number one error is:-

Choosing your objectives/dreams/goals/preferences/values WHEN YOU ARE IN A LOUSY STATE OF MIND.

One of my tenets (cool word for principles) – is that ALL beliefs are STATE dependent. Beliefs include all things you believe true, important, possible, allowable.

Simple example – creating your goals, creating your life plan when you have a stiff neck or headache or hang-over, or feeling like cr@p – WILL affect what you believe is important, desirable, possible.

It is like putting a massive wet blanket over your strategic plans. So – here is the key. BEFORE you make the most important decisions in your life – STOP!

Stop & check your “state”.

There are dozens of ways to alter ANY state to a more positive/empowered one. Just read any Tony Robbins stuff.

I have some simple drills that will move ANYONE to a more resourceful state – but FIRST STEP is the AWARENESS that state is very important – and to CHECK it before you begin your life designing processes. Drills can be physical – just do ANYTHING fast – do 10 jumping jacks (fast!) and your state will move. Even just READ words that infer a better state – you will change (a bit).

BELIEFs are _ _ _ _ _ dependent. Put it on your pre-flight checklist!

LinkedIn Instant Improvement Tip July 2014

Each month I place an article in my summary page on LinkedIn.  It is part of a test for the impact of giving useful info that is easily used, rather than prattling on about how awesome my programs are.

I will be putting these articles into Slideshare, Video and Audio soon – but you can read the text version below.  Read the article of August (soon) here – and connect me on LI.

Instant Improvement

Instant Improvement

☁ Instant Improvement Tip ☁ July 2014


Last month I wrote about how to balance your intuition with statistical thinking – to avoid the BIAS that lurks in your thinking. Yes – you have systemic biases in your thinking – we all do – and they are likely the source of your repeated frustration, your blocks in your business and other pain.

Today I want to be very direct, not educate about biases. (“Thinking Fast & Slow” by Kahneman.)


If you are even >wondering< about getting some outside input about your business (or life) – then the answer is “YES, get some extra input.


Our brains have two separate thinking systems (Kahneman) – called System 1 (fast and easy) and System 2 (slow and requires effort). It is the role of our “slow” thinking System 2 to attempt to reduce the errors made by our fast thinking System 1.

System 2 requires focus and attention – hard work our brains do not really enjoy. Like doing maths – eg calculate now:

19 x 23

Your System 1 tells you this is a maths problem & that you could easily solve it with pen & paper. But the answer does not come to mind.

And you are wondering if you should bother to calculate the answer or if is “not worth the effort.”

If you have not done so – find the answer.

As you did this mental work you experienced “Slow” System 2 thinking. It was a slight strain. Your eyes will have dilated, and your blood pressure elevated slightly.


2 x 2 – answered by easy fast System 1

Here is the point.

If you have even an inkling in your mind that you would benefit from an outside input (like a coach), that is your slow, bias-avoiding System 2 trying to help you avoid further intuitive errors.

“Should I consult with someone” thoughts are big flashing warning lights on your dashboard.

Ignore warning lights at your peril. Get outside help, do NOT wait for MAGIC to save you.  It will be a very loooonng wait.



Show Me Your Friends and I Will Show You Your Future

Who Are You Hangin’ With?

Because the answer is a very strong predictor of your future.

From decades past comes the term:  “I knew he/she would end up badly – he was mixed up with a bad crowd.”

You may have been told about concepts like “Your income will average to around that of the 5 people you most associate with.”

Network science infers that not only do our friends have immense effects on our self perception/image – but staggeringly – the friends of our friends exert even more impact on us than our friends do directly.

For example – if the friends of your friends smoke cigarettes (or drink alcohol to excess, or are more obese than average, or ANY variable you can name) – then YOU are strongly affected by that.  If you want to stop smoking – ensure that your friends (and their friends) are NON-SMOKERS…

In your business – do you hang with people (and their friends) who accept that you cannot excel in a tough economic environment?  Maybe they accept that having a business that is not thriving is “OK”?

Consider the way that schools of fish suddenly change direction – the pressure on any individual fish to conform for the safety of the school is enormous.    In the same way – the associates of your direct associates keep YOU in the behaviour that protects the group.

Click Image To Play Video

Trouble is that “being safe” can mean not achieving.

Take time now to consider your full network – and decide whether your current exposure to group culture is in your benefit – or if now is a great time to made some “adjustments”.




Ps – also consider the implications of this idea for your marketing…


Ready, Set, Change… 10 Words To Make You Move To Success

One of my new favourite quotes came to me again this morning…

It came while I was allowing myself to dawdle amongst what felt like a ton of “stuff” that was “having” to be “done”.

W. Edwards Deming said “It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.”

Bastard.  Survival is not mandatory.

A thousand years ago it was clearer.  You adapted and changed when necessary or you starved or were killed.  It was very clear “victim” behaviour.   This is still the case in some parts of our world today – people choose to adapt or die.

Luckily, I live in a part of the world where “survival” is less of a target, and “levels of success” have replaced it.

So – we now have   “It is not necessary to change.  Success is not mandatory.”   We can choose to keep doing the same behavior that gave us our current levels of success – or we can use that success level as feedback – and make changes that will increase it.

Or – we can keep doing the same things.  Greater success is not compulsory?

Do you agree?

Filter Number 1.

Right now in our world there is accelerating change.  On top of that, most of us have our view filtered by the fact that the vast majority of us have no clear definition of success in any of the roles we fill.  This leads to the drive that “I….MUST……DO……MORE…”

We feel we must do more in every role – because lack of clarity of the ideal means that we never get to ‘tick it off’, to know that we have done it perfectly.  So there is always a vacuum and we try to fill it with “more”.

This kinda the “vision” for a particular role.

Business Coaching Townsville

How Many Roles Do You Fill?

Filter Number 2.

How many “hats” or roles do you have?  Make a quick list.  Father, husband, partner, brother, uncle, coach, investor, businessman, health fanatic, school supporter, charity helper, gardener, poet, musician, author…   I am sure you have a few more.

Some of big hats, some little.  Some frequent, some almost extinct.

The filter?  Well – think about every role that you have – and answer the question “What is my vision for this role?”  I am betting that you don’t have any that are really clear, or maybe one or two.

That being the case – how the heck to we make strategic and tactical decisions while in that role if we dont know what we are aiming at?  Without the most important part of strategy development (the target!) – chances are that every single role just adds to your feeling of “overwhelm”.

We go from role to role, bashing ourselves up – because we don’t feel “masterful” about them.  This makes us even more hesitant to make decisions – and life starts to feel “hard”.

We can hide, or use drugs or stay in denial about “everything is fine” – but there is a hole.

So how to do we break free of this hole?  It seems simple – just have visions for every role.  But when you try that – you will find there is another factor.  Imagine you have just created another “hat” or role – “Guardian of the Visions” maybe – with the vision of ensuring that every role you have – has a clear vision.  Cool.  Right?

You just have to determine the vision for each role.  Umm.  How?

Filter Number 3

You need to know the two secret questions.

Luckily I tripped over them one day while juggling roles and visions.  Here they are:

1.  Why did put this role on your list of roles that are important?

2.  “What is important about each of the reasons that answer Question 1?”

These questions are designed to determine our values.  Our values are what we feel or believe are important.   It is handy if you can drill down and be able to list a series of words that define what is important about EACH role with its vision.

So – each role should have a vision and list of what is important about it – to be complete.  If we try to build a vision with considering what is important – if will feel shallow and have little effect on us.  If we have a values without a vision – we will not be able to apply strategy effectively [and will therefore NEVER have fulfillment in that role.

And to swing this back around to Deming – our roles, values and visions do change.  This is not good or bad.  Things that used to be important can become less or more so.   Ignoring those changes and continuing the exact same behaviour means keeping the “hole” – that we usually attempt to fill with “more”.

Please comment below – I am curious about how people perceive this.


James Hooper


27 Words That Will Give You An Immediate Edge In Your Life…

There is a simple model – and you know that I am becoming an increasingly focused on models – that anyone can apply, starting right now, with no further discussion needed, to have a successful life.

“Do the things you know will make your life better later.  You know the ones, the things that are easy to do, and easy not to do.”

Just make a list, or do them as they appear.  The things on this list are usually the little things.  Like flossing your teeth.  Or checking the tyre pressures in your car when your refuel.  Or telling your children you love them as you say goodnight.  Or just not eating that extra cookie for a midnight snack.  Or ensuring your filing is done properly once a week.  Or – and I believe this one has magical powers – making your bed as soon as you get up in the morning.  Ask a new customer how they heard about us, put it on the leads form.  Walk your retail store every morning and check for dead roaches that crawled out during the night.  Smile before you answer the phone.  Let the other person hang up first.  Have a clean, tidy car.  Have a date every week with your partner.

Regularly doing the little things adds up over our lives.  Having an audio book or seminar in my car – gives me an edge.  Making notes after meetings with clients – gives me an edge.  Clean the dust and dirt off my desk and keyboards , use a sunscreen on my nose, take a vitamin every day, eat fruit every day, all those really easy things to do.

All those things that are also easy  to NOT do.

Here it is again:

Do the things that are easy to do and also easy to not do.



Townsville Business Coach

The Map, The Territory and You…

Today I was having a think about planning.  Having a ‘think’ is something I find enjoyable, and for me usually comes as a result of getting all the “ducks lined up in a row” – with the “reward” of having a bit of a loaf – and a “think”.

I have been listening to and reading a very wide range of topics in the last few weeks – for two reasons.  Firstly – I like it, which is my favourite reason for doing anything.  Secondly I find there is often a kind of “synthetic creativity” that happens – and ideas from different areas interlock to give me insights.  And I like insights too.

The mixture of reading was across hypnosis, sales, nlp and Donald Trump’s book “how to think like a Billionaire”.  Then some “Culture Code” by Clotaire Rapaille, then some research on the diving reflex, hypercapnia and high pressure oxygen as a method of health improvement.

The insight that jumped out of this quagmire of cross fertilization is about the idea of “maps”.

Everyone who creates a map – does so for a purpose.  The early maps of the explorers in the 18th Century – were created both so to not get lost – and also to claim the lands discovered for whichever country they sailed for.  Another example is the use of maps for the American settlers to “purchase” territory from the locals.

More commonly we just create a map for someone – so they can find something.  eg your house or the movie theatre.

Or it might be a “treasure map” with a big X.

In business terms a “map” is the same as a geographical map – in that it (hopefully) takes us from where we are to where we want to go.  And in the simplest terms for businesses – this means having some measures in place with current scores – and our scores will change as we approach the business state or ‘location’ we choose as our ‘target’ or ‘X’.

The measures might be financial ones like sales or profit or ROI or EBIT or Revenue per employee, or bank balance.  Or might be activity measures like number of sales, number of proposals, conversion rates, productivity,  tons of output/day, number of customers and so on – or combinations.

With one most excellent client the key measures proved to be daily  margin on parts and daily productivity % on labour.  The daily scores are on the board for all to see, next to last weeks score and month to date.   So there are just two main things on the “map”.  And it took a great deal of time and analysis to discover these were the best items [so far] to have on the map.

The insight was that in creating a map – for whatever purpose – has at least two vital components.  The first is to know the purpose of the map.   Whether it is to do a land grab in early USA, or whether it is to build a successful business, or to become a person of excellent health.  It is vital to know the purpose of the map.

The second component is the realization that it is not only the “putting things on the map” that is important as a guide to achieving the purpose of the map – it is also the “leaving things off the map” that have an impact.  With the business example above – having only two key criteria made the map easy to follow.  If there were 16 daily measurements plus weekly aggregates on the board – the team would get “lost”.   One of the key determinants of whether the map will take us where we want to go – is therefore what we leave off.

In the creation of the map it can help to determine where we want to finish – and work backwards – especially with everything other than geography.  There is delightful tool called PERT which does this very elegantly – more about that in a later post.

The big insight was that people are often busy following their maps – often without realizing that they even have a map – and rarely ever stop to have a ‘think’ about whether their map is taking them to a place they want to go.  And to check that the right sort of guides are on the map – so it will work better.  One example might be an individuals “Wealth map”.  Firstly –  people mostly don’t realize they have one – and generally have not educated themselves on what needs to be on that map.  eg a quarterly review of your personal balance sheet?  And secondly –  history gives us the appalling stats on average wealth of people at retirement age – and not having one is a reflection of the ‘lack of purpose’ of that map.  In this instance – the purpose of “being at some particular level of wealth”.

It sort of comes back to one of my over-used statements – if you don’t have goals and a plan – you will get what you are given – and you may not like it.

The things we put on our map when we are designing it – are the things we usually end up with in the long term.  If there is no “X” on your map for each of the areas of life – guess what you are most likely going to get in that area.

So my new project is to recreate visual maps (with a predetermined purpose) for each of the areas of my life.  I will use PERT – which as I understand it is the basis of the power of “The Secret”.

More soon.

James Hooper

Townsville Business Coach

Moses Did Not Deliver “The 10 Suggestions”!

I had a nice chuckle when reading a very different time management system, and came across this simple fact.

Moses did not deliver the “10 Suggestions” or  the “10 Good Ideas”.  It was COMMANDMENTS.

They were positioned as RULES, not general guidelines.  So in our businesses and in our lives – the message is that for some things we need COMMANDMENTS.  “Zero Tolerance” is one way to think about it.

For our employees it can give  freedom to be creative – within the our policies [commandments].   Thou shalt ‘greet each customer with a smile’ or thou shalt ‘actually read the credit card docket and circle the approval and the amount and initial it’.  Zero tolerance.

In terms of managing our time better – the point was clear – if we don’t value our own time and have clear rules [commandments] to defend our own time – then we allow others to steal it.  eg ‘Thou shalt not disturb me for any reason not listed on the emergency list during my scheduled call/thinking/production/writing/planning/quiet time.’

And “Thou shalt word any message left for me in a way that avoids me having to ask questions about the message.”

And “All scheduled activities shall have an “allowed time” for their completion. ”  “No meeting shall begin without clarity on when it will finish.”

In the absence of RULES, people will adopt their own.  And the rules they create without thinking or transfer from their last job where the company went broke – may not be rules that are good for your business.

What are your rules?  For business?  For relationships?  For family? Even for your health?  Have you written them down and considered them?   Do your employees know your rules?  Do your clients or customers know your rules?

Once you consciously know your rules – you move to a position of power of those who don’t.   No longer a victim of the clarity vacuum that makes you weak and uncertain.

And some of your RULES will be COMMANDMENTS that you will be a hard-nosed bastard about defending with zero tolerance.  Because that is what gives you actual control of your life.  The clearer and better defended your rules – the more leverage you have over your time.


James Hooper

Business Coach Townsville

Welcome to James Hooper’s New Business Growth Tools & Systems

If you have come to this site – you are certainly looking for something.  I hope I can help you find it.

This site now will be home to tools and processes to help coach small and medium sized business owners get to where they want to go. is owned and run by me – James Hooper from my base in Townsville.  In a nutshell I have a very wide spread of interests from accelerated learning to respiratory health to business coaching.

This site is related specifically to business coaching, so the most relevant info is that I have been a top business coach with one of the world’s most successful business coaching franchises for 8 years.  I recently moved away from that Business Coach organization to further pursue what I believe are the most efficient and rewarding parts of business.

Lots more information and tools will be placed here shortly – and I invite you to subscribe to my Townsville Business Builder Letter which is in the box below the video on the right of this page.  This will keep informed of changes on the site plus notify you as we offer specific trainings and courses here in Townsville.

These will include Preparing for Yellow Pages, Sales Training Programs, Retail & other service training, Advanced Sales Programs for Commission or Incentivized Salespeople, Basic Operations Systems for Business, Advanced Systems, Marketing Systems [which is different to Operations], Marketing Plan Development Workshops, and more!

So join our Letter list – I promise no fluff.  Probably first off the rank here in Townsville will be Yellow Pages Reviews.  The YP reps are buzzing and the closing date is approaching.  95% of YP ads in the Townsville Yellow Pages are awful, and if they work at all – are under-optimized.  Give me a call to arrange a review of your current and proposed Yellow adverts.  07 4721 0525.  An hour invested with me could save you thousands wasted, and give you thousands more profit from the investment – and YP is still one of the best sources of business.  I absolutely promise not to psss in your pocket.  Investment is $295 inc GST, and a bit more if you have lots of ads.  For most businesses it does not take many extra calls to cover that cost.

Thanks for visiting – remember to sign up for the Townsville Business Builder Letter, and also watch the video in the box on the right from the CEO of Google talking about Business Coaching and who needs it.


James Hooper