It’s been awhile since we had a virtual coffee date together. Over 3 months, in fact!
Hope you’re all well especially now as life is returning back to ‘normality’ around the Globe.
Got my coffee, so grab a brew and let’s have a catch-up!
In truth, I’ve not been too great of late. It’s a combination of many things, mostly just how busy life has become recently. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, however sometimes I’m well aware I spread myself to thinly which causes stressful situations.
I could beat myself up about it, in fact I already have to a point. I could quit but that’s not an option. So I decided I must try to manage my time a bit better which isn’t easy when there’s the School Holidays on here in the U.K.
University wise, an admin error meant I was well over studying which I could do had I not returned to comedy and started a business. So I’m in talks now to try to get that sorted out which means it’ll take a touch longer to get my Masters but it’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with waiting another year or two and I must keep telling myself that.
Comedy wise, it’s been crazy since May! I’m trying not to take too much on as pre-pandemic sometimes I had 3-4 gigs a week which is fine on paper but when you’re driving a total of 5 hours for probably a total of 20 minutes on stage, it’s not that glamorous at all. I’m really pleased with the two venues I run nights at. And I deem it a success that I’ve booked up every date til Christmas with quality new and not so new acts on the Circuit.
This Tuesday, I’ll be performing for Tom Douglas at his night in Sheffield here:
Then on Thursday, I’m running Comedy @ The Commercial again here:
Consulting/Learning wise, I’m still in the process of getting the first course finalised and ready to go so hoping that we’ll have a fully deliverable programme in the very near future.
Of course with it being the Summer Holidays, I’m absolutely shattered. We aren’t going anywhere this year as it’s not worth the risk or extra costs involved due to COVID19. But little man and I are having some lovely days out and just enjoying being at home not having to do school runs and lazing in pyjamas if the mood takes us. But? I’m really tired. Was chatting to a friend the other day and I realised I’d not read a book since 2018 other than any reading for university. I’ve tried, but I fall asleep after a few lines. This is extremely out of character as I am an avid bookworm and it’s actually quite upsetting because I genuinely feel like I don’t have the time to just sit and read.
I’m not sure if it’s just a case of poor time management, or getting older and losing the ability to concentrate, but it’s frustrating. I’m finding driving longer distances really take it out of me too and that makes me sad. It’s becoming more frequent that I feel ‘mortal’ now and with that comes such a sense of despair.
I still have hopes, dreams, goals, objectives. I’m not ready to die just yet.
So, I’m hoping I can find the motivation to carry on and maybe get a good night’s sleep.
Thank you for joining me this morning over our beverages of choice!
Nice to sit down and have a catch-up with you all. How are you doing? Tell me below
I want you to remember something important; there is always a solution to any problem no matter how big or bad it is. It may not be instant, it may take effort, yet a solution is and always will be there.
You can drown out that noise and find peace once a solution is found. This gives you that chance to rediscover YOU because you are important.
Lord, wouldn’t it be great to have that as a constant counsel and support?
Many people have asked me how I got through the time I was a crime victim, and I will tell them I got through it by applying certain principles I’ve learnt.
Sadly, we usually have to go through adversities to garner the wisdom to survive. Which is really how I personally got into teaching and comedy. Both give the recipient so much while making me feel rewarded when I’ve helped them.
It’s a great feeling to make someone smile.
And next weekend I’m hoping to do more than make someone smile as I return to stand-up at Brighton Fringe.
It’s a good few hours drive to the South Coast so I’ll see you all back here for a brew after the U.K. Bank Holiday weekend!
But for now, let’s have a chat in the comments below!
Another mad busy week here at CS HQ with a to-do list as long as your arm, feeling slightly overwhelmed most days to straight out frazzled!
So since we last got together, in case you missed the last post, I’m going to be performing on a Triple-Bill at the Brighton Fringe Festival! So I’ve been working on a set that I’m now refining for stage.
It’s been well over a year due to COVID restrictions that I’ve performed live and yes I’m extremely nervous. However, I’m very much looking forward to this experience and a little anxiety is a good motivator sometimes.
I’m back at Uni too, so my head is buried in reading and assignments for the next 2 years.
I also launched the Podcast finally! You can listen here: Intro Episode
While this is going on, I’m still working on Online Learning HQ and it’s impending launch.
Join me for a Virtual Coffee Date on Sunday morning where I’ll go into more detail about this.
Prioritising is hard when there’s so much to say and do, isn’t it?
Well last Friday, I told you all about how I was the victim of a crime a few years ago and through official referral went on two programmes to aid my recovery and mental well-being. And that while I found it brilliant, I found some flaws that didn’t sit right with me.
I’m still working creating my course loosely based on those 2 programmes so it will be LIVE soon!
Accessible to all
No official referral needed
Suitable for all situations not just that specific situation the original training I did pertained to.
My aims are to raise awareness of the impact on each of us within mis-aligned interpersonal relationships and to provide tools that encourage safer and more informed choices in our lives going forward.
Today, I’m joined by Yker Valerio, Founder/Editor of Bon Vivant Caffè. Which makes perfect sense as this is a virtual coffee date! It is almost impossible to not smile when you talk to Yker because he is such a passionate character.
This is his story:
“When the Pandemic began, I was working for a consulting firm. I’d been there almost ten years. I was teaming up with another consultant and a client’s Project Manager. Although it was an exciting project, something felt a bit, ‘off’. I couldn’t put my finger on why though.
Leading up to this, I’d been directing my energy into some freelancing projects, mostly translations and writing. I didn’t realise at the time but I’d found my calling.
Writing is a lifelong passion for me, and I just felt it was time to write more. So in 2020, I made my mind up and decided to start my own business as a freelance writer and entrepreneur”
Yker’s next move is great advice to any budding entrepreneurs out there.
“Well, I decided to start my niche research right away, was a coffee blog a good idea? I took Authority Hackersapproach to advance and started working on my coffee blog in July.
Curiously enough, the quarantine helped me to focus and my productivity rose very quickly. Commuting time and small-talk at the office suddenly transformed into productive time and made a huge difference for me.
Then, I realised that I needed some time to work alone. So, I prepared to launch my blog and took a part-time contract as a writer, so I could transition away from my full-time job”.
So as the World rolled down its shutters, Yker was able to reflect on his place and purpose in this world.
“All of my career I’d been around HR-related consulting, with some hints of innovation, transformation, and change.
From my standpoint, I was working in supportive roles most of the time, which was essential to me.
I felt worried about the people around me, but something made me think I would be better working on my own. So, when the crisis was becoming overwhelming for most people, I felt liberated actually.
It sounds terrible, and self-centred, but my experience as a remote freelancer and entrepreneur have given me so much autonomy and productivity I can barely understand how I functioned before this.
It still worries me the current status of the people around, but I can’t think about returning to work the way I did it before. I wouldn’t do it, as I know how I can be a lot more productive now.
With the support of my wife of course, she has always been very supportive. I was a bit afraid of my parents’ response, but without my wife I don’t think I’d have progressed as well as I have.
Fortunately, my whole family and friends have been at my side at every step. I can’t thank them enough for the encouragement and good vibes.
I think it’s key to have a supportive circle of people around to sort the hard times, and I am lucky enough to have a beautiful family and good friends around me”.
See? It’s impossible to not smile…
“I can’t ignore the huge pain the Pandemic has inflicted on so many people.
Still, it has forced many organisations, institutions, and individuals to be more open about remote working, engaging in chats, social media, and all-sorts of new conversations.
I have enjoyed many online events during this year, including some coffee-related stuff like High Density, which was completely mind-blowing. I still watch the replays and learn from them.
E-learning was another huge part of my year, since I developed lots of new skills through online learning. I worked, and studied, and researched, and wrote, round the clock. I can’t imagine how difficult it’s for people without access to the internet to face this pandemic.
Every time I hear the story about people struggling because they don’t speak English, or don’t have access to the Internet it saddens me.
I honestly wish more people could have more opportunities to thrive, even in these challenging times.
Many people are afraid and anxious. Others are optimistic. Still, I think the major difference between them is those want to return to the old normal opposed to those who want something different.
As I touched on before, when I realised I was more productive and energetic working on my own, I chose to take the entrepreneurial path.
It’s risky, but no one is safe during a crisis like this one. So I took the bold step.”
Iagree with Yker, itwasa riskthoughI understand the motivation behind it.
“Energy or lack of, was the biggest reason that compelled me to take action. I felt tired after a meeting as a consultant, but could write the whole Saturday for my blog!
When I noticed I could focus for 10 hours in a row on my writing, I decided that I needed to take it seriously.”
I asked Yker to reflect on the decisions he made, here’s what he said.
“I have had my ups and downs, but I feel confident that I took the best decision.
It’s challenging to deal with financial instability, but I didn’t have any guarantee it was going to be any different as a full-time employee anyway.
I have a lot more mental stamina than before. The Pandemic put everything in perspective and it’s easier for me to see petty obstacles, just as they are.
Additionally, I am more creative and productive than I was. On the downside, I am more sedentary!”
Yeah, you and most of us now!
“I care more about impact than perceptions now. Working as a full-time employee I did my best to contribute to my employer’s bottom line, while presenting myself as an expert consultant.
Today as a freelancer and business owner, I can only see clients, providers, and partners as people. It’s incredible how alienated I was from this simple idea, but as I see human beings in business, my decisions are better grounded and easier to make.”
And that’s not all Yker learnt from this experience…
“Process and results are equally important. We tend to focus so much on goals that we forget that they come from our effort, energy, time, and skills. The pandemic has made me think about my fragility.
My advice is don’t overthink about your purpose, and put top. skills to work instead. I tried to convince myself about my purpose. Yet, my goals and skillset are evolving, day after day. Looking for a purpose can be exhausting and confusing. Since I found that out, I do my best to put my skills to work whenever I can.”
And last piece of advice?
“Love. Sounds cheesy, because we’re so blind that we’re afraid of loving and even say the word. It’s the most powerful thing we have, so sharing love with everyone has become crucial for me”.
Yker drives home a great point here.
“There’s no magic solution or a Eureka moment that deals with lack of purpose or an odd feeling about your job or your business. It’s easier to find good things in what we have, than waiting for dreams to come true.
I just prefer to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. And I honestly believe everyone can do that as well”.
And as that concludes our interview, readers can connect online with Yker.
“My passion in hobby and business is coffee and writing about coffee, so the easiest way to know more about me and engage with me is on the Website
Mmm, nothing hits the spot like the first gulp of coffee in the morning.
Hope you all had a great week! So what have you been up to? Please do share with me here
Been a very strange week, weather-wise. Since I had my son, I’ve not been able to stand wearing things like turtle-neck sweaters. Used to love them! Now, I feel like I’m being strangled if I wear anything like that around my neck. Weird, eh? Quite hardy to the cold however I’m cold!
The sudden realisation that I’m getting old is depressing.
Back to school for everyone last week, some sense of normality is returning and I’m seeing more events planned, more people out and more road traffic. Which means more assholes out and about.
Your car is equipped with an indicator light as standard. Yes YOUR car too. I’m not psychic, shouldn’t have to play “guess which way the dickhead is going”.
I have really missed kiddo, yet it wasn’t as grim as I suspected. Because I have been thankfully distracted by many resources available, such as masterclasses and webinars. In fact this coming week, I’m double booked all week on two free training workshops! Luckily one is recorded so I can access it after I’m done with the other.
These are specific to Online Learning HQ so I can ensure its success as we’re nearing the launch of our first digital course.
Smashing my way through every resource available right now as from May, I’ll be even busier with University. Going back as a postgraduate, working towards a Master’s Degree.
Why do I do this to myself?
In terms of Comedy, it’s too soon to say yes I’m going back on stage because venues still haven’t fully re-opened. I’m seeing people booking nights, selling tickets, advertising their gigs and yeah it’s great, but: not while there’s a pandemic.
The amount of work that they’ve done to get that gig ready would be wasted if for any reason we’re plunged back into another National Lockdown.
Of course, I understand their desire to perform! Their passion and enthusiasm? Yeah totally get that, as I’m the same! But: to a point, regarding comedy. I’m not in a rush to perform in a venue full of strangers after we’ve been told for over a year to stay home away from everyone.
My ego just isn’t big enough to want to put anyone at risk.
I’d hate the disappointment of having to reschedule all over again.
So now, I’m concentrating on CSHQ as a whole, via this website and building the online learning branch.
Join me again next week for a virtual coffee date!
Back on the 3 in 1’s just for convenience… I ain’t judging you!
Since the last coffee together, we had the Easter Break, some of Europe went back into Lockdown as the U.K. is starting to come out of it.
There’s been a couple of high profile and celebrity deaths, it’s also snowed here for the first time in April since 1984! I remember the day well as I was going to hospital to have my tonsils removed.
Schools reopen tomorrow and boy, will I miss my child terribly. Many people are so happy for their kids to return having gone stir-crazy yet my son really is my best mate so I’m going to really feel his absence.
It does feel strange, venturing back to some semblance of normalcy after a year of restrictions. And if I’m really honest, I’m not looking forward to it. I noticed my local shop getting busier and people not keeping 2 metres away in the queue and it unsettles me. I realise just how much I dislike anyone in my personal space, now and it can be quite anxiety-inducing.
Having already been through such an emotional rollercoaster of a time, I’m taking stock just how much my mental health has been tested.
On the plus side, I live in the hope that soon my wingman and I can travel again. I’d love to know your holiday plans, so please do tell me in the comments!
Join me again next week for a virtual coffee date!
Finally, every WP BloggingU course is complete, I’m just working through the Photography ones now in between preparing to launch another aspect of CSHQ.
Hope you’re enjoying the content so far, please do let me know in the comments below.
I’m really excited to share with you all that I’m going to be launching a digital course! Do stay tuned over the next few days to find out more about this. In the meantime, give CSHQ a follow on here and on social media channels and you can even subscribe via email to be in the know!
I’m on the Nescafé 3 in 1’s, I know! It’s not good, I mean I like them, they are convenient yet they can’t be that good for you really especially at the amount I consume daily.
Actually I don’t like them… I’m not a fan since they fixed what wasn’t broke and their “fresher and richer” recipe tastes like pond water. I’m addicted to them. I have a box a day habit and I get rather antsy if I run out.
I did tweet Nestle once to ask if they contained crack however they never replied.
I’m digressing here, I’m aware it’s a problem and I have taken the first step by admitting my ‘fake-coffee’ addiction so let’s move on.
During the night, Daylight Savings Time kicked in here in the U.K. here’s to those warmer evenings, epic sunsets and hopefully a decent summer.
I’ve been very mindful to not say one word on this site, I want to avoid it as much as I can because it’s all we hear daily on the news. I was immensely disgusted at only very recently finding out the Sarah Everard story because the C-word dominates every news broadcast and after a year, I personally got sick of hearing the same reports over and over.
I will address the Sarah Everard story eventually. I’m still processing it and the aftershocks it has caused. Every time I try to finish my drafted thoughts on it, I just can’t finish it because you can’t finish a story like that. How do you just write ‘The End’ to such a tragic story? I’ll figure it out no doubt, just not right now. However, please do get in touch if you feel you’ve something to add or just want to vent your thoughts.
Its the Bahrain Grand Prix today, so we’ll be watching here. And we are on Easter Half Term too so I’m hoping the clocks going forward an hour will bring better weather to be able to get out more as restrictions lift.
I’d love to know your plans for the Easter break so please do comment below.
Do join me again the Sunday morning after Easter for another #VirtualCoffeeDate and if you’re bringing biscuits, tell me which ones you’re a fan of!