Good chefs.

Cook good food that lots of people might like.

Great chefs.

Cook food that they themselves like.

That a select few then get to taste and fully appreciate.

Cook For Yourself.

In a recent story I wrote.

I made the comment that ‘technique’ always second plays second fiddle to ‘attitude’.

And this is a great example of how that works.

In real life.

Filip Fasten.

Filip Fasten is Sweden’s most famous chef.

Filip won Swedish Chef of The Year in 2014.

And here’s something I heard Filip say in an interview.

Something that stayed with me:

I am cooking for myself.

And the guests get to taste my food.

Filip said this in passing.

Didn’t bat an eyelid.

And carried right on chatting.

Filip’s Food. 

So there you go.


I think.

Always second plays second fiddle to ‘attitude’.

Do I want to taste Filip’s food?

That he is cooking for himself?

Over the cook that cooks good food that lots of people might like?

Too bloody right.

Here’s a simple story.

Of a simple conversation.

About simplicity.



That thing you came up with for that client.

It looks so simple.

It looks like you haven’t even thought about it.


There’s a really simple reason.

Why it looks so simple.

So simple that it looks like I haven’t even thought about it.

It’s because I have.

The End.

I’ve spent a lot of time at home recently.

Funny that.


I’ve spent a lot of time at home and I’ve found myself making a whole load of new choices.

Lots of ‘what will I do today’ choices.

It’s because I get much less pressure from external sources, these days.

So I have more time.

And more freedom.

To choose.


One rather mundane sounding choice that I make each day.

Is what music to listen to.

Or indeed, whether to listen to any music at all.

And that means I very often experience much more of something that I’ve not considered too much in the past.



Silence is such a nice thing.

And I realised just this week.

That experiencing more silence than usual has taught me three things.

Three Things.

First, it has taught me to be grateful for the space that silence gives me.

The space to think.

To breathe more slowly.



To just wait.

Wait for the right thought.

The right idea.

Or the right resolution.

To appear.

The second thing that experiencing more silence has taught me.

Is to be grateful for the sounds in my life.

The crackle of the fire.

The comforting, far-off hum of the radio in the kitchen.

And even Izobel’s often incessant chatter.

As well as Colin’s spontaneous and purposeless barking.

I have grown folder of them all.

I have grown fonder of the contrast.

And finally.

The third thing that a new focus on.

And a new love of silence has taught me.

Is that if I chose to break this rather beautiful thing called silence in the future.

With some words or another.

They’d better be words worth listening to.

For the other person I mean.

Because silence really is a very lovely thing.

And the last thing anyone needs.

Is for it to be broken and ruined by the likes of me.

Without a bloody good reason for doing so.

There is another world.

If you choose to visit.

And it is amazing.


I visited quite recently.

By accident.

I hadn’t planned to go.

It just happened.

And you could visit too.

You could visit as soon as tomorrow.


I awoke at 3.45am.

I don’t know why.

I just did.

Izobel was clinging onto my arm.

And it is of course amazing when your children do that.

But after a few moments I got up.

And that’s when I discovered it.

Another world.

Just Me.





I broke the silence with the click…hiss of a kettle.

The rustle of some packaging or other.

And the snap-snap of the toaster.


It was silent again.

With heavy butter melting on sourdough toast.

With a huge mug of tea and its curling steam tail.

With the opportunity to think.

Without my computer.

Without my phone.

Just me.

Another World.

There is another world.

If you choose to visit.

And it is amazing.

When an artist starts repeating themselves.

Because they think that’s what people want.

It’s all over.

That’s what Thom says about art.

And it’s what I say about business.


Here’s Thom Yorke on Desert Island Discs.

Extended version.

It is early morning.

Or lunchtime.



Background listening.


Two weeks ago.

A friend of mine.


Helped me to answer a question.

Even though it’s a question I didn’t actually ask him.

Even though Ian was relaying something to me that Geoff said to him.

And even though I myself wasn’t aware that this exact question resided in my head.

The Question.


Here’s the question that Ian helped me to answer:

Why are most people’s LinkedIn updates so bloody boring?


This question must have been hiding in my unconscious.



Bubbling away unanswered.

Because when Ian said this to me,

You know what Geoff said to me, Mychael.

And Geoff really is very good at storytelling.

Geoff said this.


Geoff said.

“Whenever you tell a tale.”

“Never make yourself the hero of your own story.”

And that was that.

That’s what Ian said to me.

That Geoff had said to him.

Boring Bloody LinkedIn.

Most people’s LinkedIn updates are really bloody boring.

And I think that this is why.

They make themselves the hero of their own story.

And when this happens.

The writer is not really writing for you and me.

They are not gifting me anything useful or interesting.

They are chest beating.

They are writing for themselves.


So if you want to stop being really bloody boring on Linkedin.

Or at least to make a step in the right direction.

Do this.

Never make yourself the hero of your own story.

Thank you to Big Ian Donaghy, and Geoff Ramm.

I help six business a year.

As a brand consultant.

I like working with businesses I like.

Businesses that are focussed on making change that they.

And I.

Believe in.

And about six businesses each year does me just fine.

Brand Consultant.

I’m very good at being a brand consultant, actually.

I’ve been helping businesses for 25 years.

I’ve built ten meaningful brands of my own.

I’ve worked with some of the greatest brand brains around.

But that doesn’t mean I’m great for everyone, of course.

Because just like there’s more than one way for a football team to win a football match.

There’s more than one way for a business leader to win at business.

Taking a brand-driven approach is just one way.

And narrower still.

Taking my brand-driven approach is different again.

Brand Consultants and Football Teams. 

I’ll always tell you what I think you should do.

And why.

But whether you do it or not.

And exactly how you do it.

That’s up to you.

Klopp’s Liverpool.

Fergusson’s Manchester United.

Mourinho’s Chelsea.

They all played football.

They all won the Premiership.

But they all won it in their own way.


The way that I choose to build brand is clear.

In a word, it’s:


Because braver brands are much more likely to be noticed.

They are much more likely to be remembered.

And they are much more likely to be chosen.

Boring, Boring Business.

Business is largely boring, to me.

Businesses colour their logos in the same way as the businesses around them.

Businesses name themselves in the same way as the businesses around them.

Businesses speak in the same way as the businesses around them.

Then they wonder why they’re neither noticed.


Or chosen.


Building Braver Brands.

Of course, if you are going to be different.

(And you should be different.

That’s not negotiable).

You need to know how to be different.

And that’s where I come in.

But just like there’s more than one way for a football team to win a football match.

There’s more than one way for a business leader to win at business.

Taking a brand-driven approach is just one way.

And narrower still.

Taking my brand-driven approach is different again.


Whether you work with me or just listen to me and take my advice.

Be braver.

Build a braver brand.

Plan from tomorrow.

And start soon.

You’ll be glad you did.

When I made music in my 20’s and 30’s.

It was fun.

Pete and I wrote songs with great care.

Influenced by The Gin Blossoms.


And Iggy Pop.


Sometimes, however.

We cared less than that.


We relaxed.

And that’s when we wrote songs for Buff Carradine.

And lead guitarist Tommy ‘Salt & Vinegar’ Timpson.

(We never addressed or explained the ‘Salt & Vinegar’ part).

Buff Carradine.

Buff Carradine is.

(In his own mind).

Errol Flynn.

Buff wears smart shirts.

Cuban heels.

Lots of aftershave.


And he winks at people.


Buff sings about magicians.

Pink and yellow balloons.

Black bow ties.


And his sleaziness creeps unapologetically into the lyrics of every song.

It’s just the way Buff is.

Up In A Balloon.


Have a listen.

(Pete (Tommy) sings the first two verses.

I (Buff) sing from the first chorus to the end).

Up in a balloon (original).

Creative is good.

Bravery is good.

But Creative Bravery.


Now that’s something else.


Creative Bravery is classic ‘1+1=3″.

The whole being far greater than the sum of the two parts.

If creativity is using our imagination and ideas to create something inventive and (at least in part) new.

Imagine doing that whilst being brave!

Imagine doing that whilst being courageous enough and ready enough to face and endure – or if you want to, ignore – anything that anybody said, thought or did to potentially derail you and that which you were creating.

You’d be unstoppable!

Creative Bravery.

Be Creative.

That’s brilliant.

Be Brave.

That’s brilliant.

But true Creative Bravery.

That is so rare.

And so special.

That is where the magic happens.

If you think you’re good at something.

Do it.

Don’t flounce about telling people how good you are.

Advertising the fact.

But never actually expressing yourself in the way you claim you can.

(There’s a lot of that about).

Get off your arse.

And just do it.


Imagine meeting a comedian for the first time.

Imagine they told you they were really, really funny.

You’d feel nothing.

Because a good comedian doesn’t need to tell you they’re funny.

They just make you laugh.


50odd is 3,650 stories.

1 each day.

For 10 years.

50odd is a reminder to live the life you were born to.

Inside your short, 1,000 month visit.

And 50odd is proof that.

If you look more closely.

And live more fully.

We each have a story to tell.


Can I tell stories?




I’m not sure.

But one thing I am sure about.

Is that there’s only one way to find out.