Simon Calderbank - Simon is an empathetic, entrepreneurial and commercially switched on business trainer, mindset and leadership coach and Help To Grow mentor. His focus is to encourage new and effective positive mindset paths that help people to achieve their dreams and goals, enabling them to live a more contented, fulfilling and balanced life.
What are the biggest three lessons you’ve learned over your career?
1. Know your true worth
Firstly, understanding and knowing my true worth has to be my biggest light bulb moment. And given I’ve been working since my early 20s, it took me setting up Big Knows in 2013 to finally realise that what I’d been looking for all those years was there right in front of me all along…On the end of my nose, you could say!
● Know what value you bring to the world
● Identify who will truly respect (and value) your value
● Place a commercial value on the results you deliver and be proud of your price.
2. Accept that you don't know it all, but surround yourself in those who do
Secondly, as business owners, the perception is that we’re expected to have all the answers.
As if omniscience comes with the territory of running your own company. In my experience, not the case and I speak from having worked under and supported several cracking leaders throughout my career.
What I learned from the likes of Wayne Hemmingway MBE, Tom Bloxham MBE and lesser-known legends Michael Di Paola, Isla Wilson, and Joanne Cowlin is:
● Always play to your strengths, know your limitations
● Accept and embrace that others do and will know more than you
● Surround yourself with these people at every opportunity, showing them your gratitude at all times
At every opportunity, I will always enlist the support and expertise of those who shine brighter than me. Be that designers, copywriters, marketers, mentors, accountants. Make seeking out those who will support your growth your most important strategy.
3. Challenge is good
And thirdly, that challenge is good, that challenge is healthy. Therefore, please develop a mindset that encourages challenge daily. Whether that’s challenging yourself or inviting others to challenge your perspective - the benefits you, your business and your clients will gain could be invaluable.
Added extra lesson alert!
Becoming comfortable being uncomfortable was another game changer for me. To this day, it drives me to look at my world from a variety of different perspectives, enabling me to find more of the answers I’m looking for.
Tip: The answers we’re all looking for are usually closer than you think…
What helps you process through a big transition?
Throughout my career, at times - like us all - I have had to make big changes. The Pandemic certainly saw to that. So what helped me through the process? My gut feeling. It’s my go to. That and my trusted and cherished support network. They both work in different ways yet, usually, feed each other well. Three other key things spring to mind.
1. My resilience is a part of me that I’ve invested in for as long as I can recall. To be resilient is to have the ability to reflect, recover and bounce back from whatever life throws at you. It’s picking yourself up when you get knocked down, holding your hands up and saying, “I need help” and understanding you can’t stop stressful situations. You can, however, change how you feel, think and do about them though.
Resilience means so much to me that we developed our first real client asset to help you understand your resilience that much better - the Big Knows Resilience Quiz. If you’ve not taken it already, give it a go to see just how resilient you are.
2. Reflection is underrated and underestimated. Having lived through a few decades, I have always found this process to be incredibly cathartic to reflect on: the good, the bad and the ugly! Then you can do something about it by making and taking the right choices.
3. My Support Network is a life-saver. Ensure you have a support network that is 100% aware that you may one day call upon them for fresh perspective and help. The more tuned they are to you, the more resonating their support should be. When was the last time you checked in with your support network?
What would you recommend to anyone feeling like they are in a similar boat?
Ensure you have a support network that is 100% aware that you may one day call upon them for fresh perspective and help. The more tuned they are to you, the more resonating their support should be. And keep them up to date on your progress - the great and the not so. And
feel comfortable asking for their perspective.
Remember, all feedback is good feedback.
What keeps you motivated during periods of change?
1. Clear direction of travel in the guise of my purpose - or my ‘why,’ as people are more accustomed to calling it. Once your purpose is clearly defined, every action you take and every goal you make HAS to be aligned to it. If not, remind yourself where you are heading and sense check if what you’re doing is going to help steer you in that exact direction.
2. Have a tracking system in place to enable easy visibility to how your goals are progressing. Writing them down is a powerful way to keep you accountable. I got hold of an old school A2 Chalkboard, which now greets me with my dreams and goals every day as I come down the stairs… And I must go up and down those stairs dozens of times a day!
3. Finally, invest quality time in YOU. Making this time available within your daily schedule is key to your success. 15-30 mins a day is ample. Time to digest, process, and reflect is so undervalued in our busy worlds. Yet, the most fulfilled people I know insist on carving out this quality time and ring-fencing it for their sanity and continued success.
Go for a walk, box breathe, read, journal or meditate - or do them all! Whatever works best for you, grab and then live it. And yes, I do practice what I preach! It’s been a real game changer for me and looking back, I wonder why I didn’t invest in this taking time out for me so much earlier in my career…
Oh hindsight is such a wonderful thing!