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Blogs from Lawrence Jones

Thoughts for Today

Out of Date


Are high street stores past their shelf-life? Another high street giant has this week announced bad news. Debenhams reported an 85% slump in profits. The downturn follows the news that a stream of retailers are closing their doors and cutting jobs including Toys R Us and Maplin, whilst New Look and CarpetRight have announced store closures. So what’s going wrong? Are we just not shopping on the high street anymore? When you look at this...

Would You Walk Out of a Meeting?


Meetings on the mountain! There are very few things that are equal in life, but there is one thing that we all share: time. It’s our most valuable asset, yet all too often we are careless about how we spend it. Interestingly, this week Elon Musk called for people to walk out of meetings to improve productivity at Tesla. Car production at the firm has famously been slower than expected and the leaked email from...

Apprenticeship Reform


Some of UKFast’s apprentices with one of our former school teachers, Arlene. What is the most important ingredient of success? It’s simple – helping the next generation to grow. You and your business cannot have a legacy if there is no one to continue the work you’re doing to change the world. So hearing that some employers are exploiting apprenticeships by delivering programmes with limited skills and duties like pot-washing is incredibly concerning. I read...

A True Inspiration


Claire completing the marathon – image from @manchestermarathon on Twitter. I remember writing about health and technology earlier in the year for a column in Business Cloud magazine. In it I mentioned one of my favourite innovations: the ReWalk robotic exoskeleton device and a remarkable woman using it for real good. Ultimately, the device enables people with paralysis to walk again. The innovation enabled Claire Lomas MBE to become the first person to complete the...

The Greatest Advice


What does it take to be an entrepreneur? What’s the secret of success? How do you make a million? I must receive hundreds of messages via social media each week asking these questions and more. That’s why I write these posts, in the hope of answering some of your questions and helping you on your journey. Having spent 30 years in business, I have learned some truly valuable lessons. And, honestly, I’ve made some mistakes...

Toeing the Line


Media interviews at UKFast. When did clicks become more important than the news story itself? Reading through the headlines today or scrolling through social media, it is hard to see one positive story. Instead articles are sensationalised to the point of completely changing the actual story itself. Where is the line drawn between sensationalised content and fake news? Surely when we’re in a so-called ‘Post Truth Era’ it is common sense that the traditional media...

Turning Tide?


Mark Zuckerberg has been speaking to Congress this week in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. When did we let the ‘big four’ tech companies take over so much of our world? When you reach out to friends, do you use Facebook? If you need something delivered quickly, do you use Amazon? When you need to know the answer to that question at the back of your mind, do you Google it? And, are...

How Would You Respond?


Indulging my creative side in the studio at UKFast. So, you’re about to go into that big presentation. You’re prepped. Your slides are ready. The adrenaline is flowing. You’re ready. Then you walk into the room and deliver a presentation you’re proud of. How do you react to feedback? To  criticism? As a creative, these situations can leave you feeling vulnerable. You’re presenting your work to the world and that work, regardless of what it actually is,...

A Waste of Time


Time out building snowmen with the family. I often talk about the importance of taking a break and how important this is for mental health and, ultimately, success. But, do you ever grant yourself that time? There’s a common misconception in the business arena that you have to work every hour of the day to be successful. Whilst you absolutely have to put in an extraordinary amount of work and make sacrifices, especially in the...

Trade War?


I was interested to read that China has imposed tariffs of up to 25% on 128 US imports, like pork and wine, following American President Donald Trump’s move to raise duties on foreign steel and aluminium imports. This is a trade war where the Chinese have more to lose. Look at the graph at the bottom of the linked article. This means if both countries squeeze each other with tax increases, it directly inhibits people...

LJ Blog

Would You Quit Social Media?


It’s a simple question: would you quit social media? Perhaps the question should be could you quit social media? Think about it, how much time do you spend on it a day? I bet it runs into the hours rather than minutes. It’s scary to think about, really. Consider this: on average, adults in the UK spend 173 mins (2hr 53min) on social media every day. That’s almost more than 20 hours a week and...

Dreamer


Two dreamers! With Scotty outside the Farinet in Verbier. Are you a Dreamer? Flying back from a couple of weeks in Switzerland, whilst I am refreshed and ready for the next stage of growing and developing UKFast, I am sad to leave my friends and the peace and quiet of the Alps. Verbier is a special place. Quite unique from my limited experience of global travel but certainly very different from any other place in...

The Greatest Advice I Can Ever Give You… Part Three


Taking some time out in the mountains. How has your week been? Busy? Stressful? Successful? In the final of these three blog posts, I am set to share three more pieces of advice that I have learned over the years that will transform your weeks from busy and stressful to successful. It’s a simple formula. Flick the switch OK, so you are an obsessive person. I know this by the fact that you are hanging...

The Greatest Advice I Can Ever Give You – Part Two


You want to reach the top, achieve your goals? Of course, you do! So how do you become ‘one of the lucky ones’? Over the course of more than 30 years in business I have learned that luck only plays a tiny part in your odds of success. Last week I shared the greatest advice I can give you: the tips, the lessons I’ve learned and the mistakes I’ve made in those three decades in...

The Greatest Advice I Can Ever Give You


So you want to be successful? Of course you do. We all do, but do you want to break through the layers of success that the 0.1% of global society reach? Imagine the difference you can make to other people’s lives with access to such wealth. Imagine the places you can visit, the adventure, the excitement. Reaching the top of anything, (sport, business, art, music) of course requires huge commitment and effort. I have no doubt...

Extraordinary


Lawrence and Gail Jones cycling through Morocco on the way to climbing Mount Toubkal on the STRIVE challenge for Big Change. Sitting with my daughter Poppy earlier today, we were going through her homework for the week ahead. Her task was to design and create a travel brochure for any mountain in the world. As anyone who regularly reads my blogs knows, my heart is in the mountains so it’s a perfect subject for Dad...

Happy Mother’s Day


Happy Mother’s Day to my wonderful wife, Gail. Today we celebrate the most important women in our lives – our mums. The women who picked us up when we fell, who soothed our bumps and bruises; the women who support us throughout each part of our lives, whether they’re here with us or in our hearts, whether biological mother or otherwise. Our mums have a huge impact on our lives and give so much to...

Impossible


Roger Bannister completing his epic run. (Image @BritAthletics, Twitter) I was sad to read that the legendary athlete Roger Bannister passed away today. Back in 1954 in Oxford, Roger was the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes. Whilst it stood as a record time for just 46 days, he was the first to break that boundary. He showed what is possible. Roger became a Commonwealth Gold medallist and, later, a leading...

Power of the People


Jim Collins writes: “An important and crucial quality of (Level 5) leadership is is to never blame others when things go wrong.” The same applies to leading brands and their responsibility to the community they serve. It’s essential a brand talks with one clear voice and that the message is clear. The message from the National Rifle Association (NRA) this week was certainly clear. But they make a cardinal sin by blaming everyone for their...

Gunning For Change


Today as I write and you read this, nearly 80 people in the US will die from a gunshot. My earliest memories of gun crime in America came from the song Don’t Like Mondays by the BoomTown Rats. It has the most amazing piano intro and I fell in love with the tune long before I knew what inspired Geldof to write it. The song reached Number 1 in the UK but was banned in...