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Embracing Your Neurodivergent Quirks with Mike Cole | 016
Episode 1615th February 2024 • Architecture Business Club - For Architects, Architectural Technologists, Surveyors & Designers • Jon Clayton
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In this episode of Architecture Business Club, host Jon speaks with Mike Cole, an IFC-accredited coach and qualified accountant, about embracing neurodiversity in your architecture business. Mike discusses his experience with dyslexia and the strengths it has brought to his work, such as problem-solving and big-picture thinking. He shares his journey of self-acceptance and encourages listeners to lean into their uniqueness and find the most efficient ways for them to work. He also highlights the importance of understanding oneself, both strengths and weaknesses, to build a profitable future-proof architecture business. Mike has also created a quiz to help you discover what's holding you back in your businesses and career.

Today's Guest...

Mike Cole is an ICF-accredited coach and qualified accountant with a wealth of business experience from leading multinational teams in £multi-billion corporates to supporting solopreneurs to develop their unique, profitable businesses. Mike combines skillful coaching, and extensive business experience to guide busy people, who are overflowing with ideas, along their unique path to success. He creates calm, collaborative spaces that unblock thinking, generate rapid insight, and result in actionable steps.

Episode Highlights...

00:00 Introduction to Neurodiversity

00:55 Guest Introduction: Mike Cole

03:19 Understanding Neurodivergence

04:23 Mike's Personal Journey with Dyslexia

06:09 Overcoming Challenges in the Workplace

13:26 Transitioning to Small Business Ownership

15:18 The Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring

16:45 Building a Business Around Your Strengths

19:25 Understanding and Embracing Your Unique Strengths

20:23 The Coin Analogy: Embracing Both Sides of Your Personality

22:19 The Power of Big-Picture Thinking and Trust

25:08 The Impact of Diagnosis and Self-Understanding

27:50 Leaning into Your Specialness: Final Thoughts and Encouragement

31:44 Connecting with Mike and Final Remarks

Key Takeaways...

👉 Embrace your quirks or your neurodivergent attributes. Whether in business or life, try to understand and lean into your unique traits and strengths, even if they may deviate from the 'norm'. This promotes authenticity and usually leads to better results in one's work.

👉 Take time to understand the best working methods for you. By analysing and adjusting the way you work you can leverage your strengths, and boost efficiency. 

👉 Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Find peace with your weaknesses and focus on maximising your strengths. Your strengths are what make you valuable to others.

👉 Consider problems from different perspectives. Different people understand and solve problems in unique ways due to their varied experiences, skills, and thought processes. Embracing this diversity of thought can lead to innovative solutions.

Links Mentioned In The Episode...

Mike’s Quiz - https://www.milico.uk/quiz

Mike’s LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/thismikecole/

Mike’s Instagram - @thismikecole

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It’s the FREE step-by-step formula to freedom for architects, architectural technologists, and architectural designers.

https://architecturebusinessclub.com/blueprint

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https://architecturebusinessclub.com/waitlist

👇 And if you enjoyed this episode…

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👇 Follow or Connect with Jon on LinkedIn at...

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrjonclayton/

In The Next Episode...

Next time, host Jon shares stories and lessons learned during the past decade as a sole practitioner in architecture.

Transcripts

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But you dyslexic or neurodivergent in some way.

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Or maybe you've heard of neurodiversity, but don't

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understand what that really means.

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This episode is all about.

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Understanding your diversity and embracing your neurodivergent quirks.

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So either way.

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You're going to enjoy this episode of architecture business club, the

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weekly podcast for solo and small firm architecture, practice owners,

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just like you who want to build a profitable future proof architecture

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business that fits around their life.

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I'm the host John Clayton.

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If you want to get notified, when I release a new episode

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and access to free resources and exclusive offers, then go to Mr.

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John clayton.co.uk forward slash ABC.

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And sign up to my free weekly email newsletter.

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Now let's dig into our topic all about neurodiversity.

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Mike Cole is an IFC accredited coach and qualified accountant with

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a wealth of business experience from leading multinational teams

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in multi billion corporates.

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Just supporting solopreneurs to develop their unique profitable businesses.

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Mike combines skillful coaching and extensive business experience to guide

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busy people who are overflowing with ideas along their unique path to success.

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Mike has also created a quiz to help you discover what's holding you back

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at work and what you can do about it.

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Just visit millico.

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uk forward slash quiz.

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Mike, welcome to Architecture Business Club.

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Hello, john, thank you so much for having me along.

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It's an absolute pleasure to be here.

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Oh, it's great to have you here.

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Mike, you're a busy guy, but, but when you're not busy, you like to

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take strolls in the countryside, don't you, in your free time.

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What is it you particularly enjoy about that?

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I do.

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I love getting out.

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And I think there's something particularly in amongst a busy day and maybe lots

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of mental things going on lots of sort of mental demand and load about just

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the peace and quiet and the It's going to sound a bit cheesy, but you know,

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the wind on your face, getting sort of breath of fresh air, hearing the birds.

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I was just before this, went for a walk and, uh, the birds are, uh, cheaping

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away very loudly in the bushes and just absorbing that for a moment while moving.

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And something also about moving, um, which as someone who spends most of their time

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behind a desk, sometimes stood like this.

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often sat, you know, it's, there is something lovely about that, that?

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change, uh, and getting out.

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Oh, I love it too.

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Since we, we got a dog a few years ago, that's kind of forced me to

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get out and go for walks more often.

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I always love going for walks as well, but I just probably never did

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it quite as frequently as I should do.

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And now I'm out, you know, every day.

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And, um, yeah, it's, it's really good thing to do.

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I suspect that makes you hardier than I am because, uh, I

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do pick the weather moment.

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So I'm like, Hmm, yeah, it looks all right right now.

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I'm going to go, uh, if it's all rainy, then often I'm like,

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I'll, I'll wait for another time.

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yeah, yeah.

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I'm, I'm out most weathers to be fair.

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Mike, we're going to talk about.

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Neurodiversity, specifically dyslexia and how we can embrace

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our neurodivergent quirks.

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You're dyslexic, Mike, we're going to dig into that a little bit

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deeper, what that means for you.

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But firstly, what does neurodivergent mean?

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Great question and a great place to start.

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And so I'm going to not do the sort of dictionary definition, but rather

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just the super simplistic view.

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It means that your brain works differently.

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to someone who's defined a norm, don't really know who defined the norm, but, but

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if you have, if you have a neurodivergent brain, your brain works differently.

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And there are, there's a bunch of different forms of neurodivergence.

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Um, and if you have Uh, two or more of them gathered together.

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We call it neurodiversity, just in case anyone's wondering why we're saying

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neurodivergent rather than diversity.

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Uh, and, and to say the kind of main four that, that jumped to mind, uh,

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dyslexia, um, key in my mind, because That's the one I have, uh, dyscalculia,

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uh, ADHD and autism are often the four that are most spoken about, but there

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are other forms out there as well.

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That's brilliant.

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I like that.

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A succinct answer that I can actually understand.

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I like to keep it simple.

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Mike, you were diagnosed dyslexic.

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How did that come about?

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Yeah, so my, my brother at school showed, I'm going to say those stereotypical, Uh

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dyslexia, challenges shall we say, you know, um, he struggled with reading we

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can put it that simply he struggled at a young age with reading at the time it

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was in the 80s They were beginning to be aware of this idea of dyslexia and maybe

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there's a thing going on and we were lucky enough to get in front of um an

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incredible professor who Did some tests and said yep, your brother's definitely

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dyslexic, but he went further so he said we're beginning to think there's a genetic

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link and In this genetic link, if there is a genetic link, there is a reasonable

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chance, maybe even a high chance that his siblings would also be dyslexic.

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And we'd like to test this theory.

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And he said to my parents and I guess to me are you up

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for, are you up for the test?

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You know, can we do it?

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And can we see?

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And so back in the, uh, what was it sort of early to mid nineties, I was tested.

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Almost as part of a, maybe part of a study, might be a nice way of phrasing it.

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And if I'm honest, it was a big surprise that it came back as,

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yes, you're, you're dyslexic.

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Oh, wow.

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Okay.

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I think in, in, in the school way, it kind of showed at a surface level,

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it's not obvious, but when actually you start to dig in, then you can really

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see what's going on and where it is.

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And I look forward to exploring that more with you, John, through

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the next sort of 20 minutes or so.

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Well, yeah, I'm looking forward to it too.

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Okay.

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So, so that, that diagnosis happened in your school days.

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What about when you entered the world of work, uh, initially, I guess as

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a, an employee after you left school.

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So back when you were an employee, how did it affect your day to day work?

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Yeah, and maybe, maybe a good place to start is to say I

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kept it very much to myself.

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I, I saw it largely as almost as a weakness.

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It's something that I can't really do anything about, that's definitely true.

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And that if I told other people about, they just probably hold it against me.

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And that, you know, maybe now that would be a wrong assumption.

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Maybe not, I'm not sure, right, right now.

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Back then, absolutely, dyslexia was a You're broken almost, you're

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weird, you don't function properly.

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and and I was lucky enough to work for some of the biggest companies in the UK.

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And that was a huge privilege, but you need to be on your

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game and be really good.

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So, So it showed up sort of day to day as.

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affecting my reading, um, which basically is, is slow and tiring for me, um, I,

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I can't skim read, that's not a thing I can do, so I, I have to read every

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single word on the page, and there are some real plus sides to that, but,

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but there are negatives to it as well, and so, so reading was one challenge,

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um, I'm pretty slow at writing, that's not a huge problem, uh, we're typing

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most things out, even back then.

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I know I'm of an age, but we've had laptops thankfully at that point but when

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it comes to memory and processing speeds, they're the, the sort of big ones for

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me, reading, writing, memory, processing.

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And as soon as you say processing to someone that just makes you

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sound like you're thick, you're a bit slow, it's a bit dim.

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You know, all those sort of connotations.

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So I was very, very careful to, to hide those and make

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sure they, they didn't show up.

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So there's a few different challenges that you've described there.

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What, what did you do to offset those?

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Silence.

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Oh yeah.

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Well, and this is, this is where it starts to get interesting.

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So for, for, if I do the processing one first and it's the one that still

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makes me feel the most vulnerable.

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And I've been talking about this now probably for the last two years.

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Before then, I didn't say anything about it at all, and even now, two years of

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talking about it, I still feel vulnerable talking about this bit, but I know,

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safe audience, right, and we're, we're willing on, um, so, so for me, processing

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meant, if someone instantly said, Mike, I need a decision on this, yes, no,

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are we doing it, are we not doing it?

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Um, my sort of gut reaction is, is not very good.

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I'm better to just let that stew in my subconscious and come back to it.

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And so what actually would happen is we would do meeting and then another

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meeting and another meeting and all these back to back meetings, almost

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the entire day, all with different decisions needing to be made, but

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normally without enough information.

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So almost always at the end of the meeting, there'd be a follow up.

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We need to do.

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something.

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We need to solve this problem and we don't know how.

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And then everyone rushes off to different meetings talking about

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an entirely different problem.

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And what I discovered was when we came up for air, let's say at lunchtime,

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I would suddenly have these ideas.

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Oh!

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Well, we could just do this.

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Oh, we could just do that.

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And people are like, where's that come from?

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How did you work that out?

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And the honest answer is, I don't know.

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My subconscious just told me an answer and it, and it was a brilliant answer.

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Um, so I, what I found is some bits of the way that the world worked

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actually played to my advantage.

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But there was some other bits that, that were a real hindrance.

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And if you'll indulge me for a minute, I'd like to share a bit more of a specific

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story around the writing and memory piece.

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Is that, are we happy with that?

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Yeah, yeah, that'd be great.

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Fab.

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So I started this one role in particular, and this was

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probably about 10 years ago now.

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And I was literally given a, a notepad and pen.

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I mean, I had a laptop and stuff, but I was given a notepad and pen

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and I was doing a project role.

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I was effectively the project manager.

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And we'd go into these rooms of, let's say eight people sat around

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a big table, and we'd go through actions, you know, who's done what

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actions, what's going on, what's key for next time.

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And the process was to write down the key actions.

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And then I, and then.

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After the meeting, which was meant to be, like, an hour later, but in reality

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it was the next day, because you just had, like, a whole day full of these

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meetings, you'd sit down with your notepad and you'd write out the minutes or key,

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key points, and you'd email everyone.

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And at that moment, I sit down and I look at my handwritten scroll,

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because my writing's not great, I can't overly read what I was trying

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to write to get it down in time.

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Or I've captured some bits, but not all of it because of

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the speed of the conversation.

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So now I need my memory to kick in.

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Memory's weak.

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So,

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So,

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write better?

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Do I do memory training?

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I do do memory training to improve it.

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And I stopped and I said, actually, no, what's just the

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best way for me to do this.

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And by far, the best way of me solving this problem was to take my laptop in.

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Cause I can type fast.

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We're in this meeting.

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I've got

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the, uh, basically an email up ready to go to everyone.

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And I type in the key actions and I can type fast enough to capture what they say.

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We get to the end of the session.

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Are we done?

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Yeah.

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All finished.

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Yeah.

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Good.

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Hit send.

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I don't have the right up the next day.

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If you do eight of those, that's a huge time saving.

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And so what happened was everyone got the results faster, which is good for them.

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And I ended up going to my boss going, I have spare time.

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What do you want me to do?

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And this is a phase in my life where I got the top grades that you can

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get in your performance reviews.

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And I, and I was flying and, and it came from a fundamental, like I struggle

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to do it the way you want me to do it.

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So why don't I try and do it the way that's right for me.

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Know thyself, I think if you can figure out your strengths and lean into those,

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I mean, that's just one small example of.

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Just making a small change in how you do things so that it's in a

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way that works better for you.

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And then you've, you've saved a ton of time and made yourself

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so much more efficient.

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So I think we can all take something from that.

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You know, whether or not we are dyslexic or neurodivergent in any way.

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I'd say a key bit on that is, is this phrase efficient me, it's saying, what's

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the most efficient way for me to do this?

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Let's ignore how everyone else does it just for a second

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and think what's best for me.

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And it's particularly powerful when we're stuck doing the things that we're

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not great at what's the most efficient way for me to solve this problem.

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I left that company.

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I did a whole bunch of different roles there, but I left six years later

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actually to then set up as a coach.

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And when I left the final meetings I went to, and probably for the few years before.

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Everyone took their laptops in and everyone typed their notes

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up because it was just the most efficient way of doing it.

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That's what came and I think, yeah, architectural business

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owners would be very, very used to solving problems, right?

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Like that's,

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this is the thing, this is what they do day in, day out.

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And so, so taking that lens against the wider remit of what they're looking at

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and the challenges they're facing and just saying, well, how else can I solve this

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problem based on who I am and how I work?

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I hope that's a very exciting piece of encouragement for them,

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because it certainly meant that way.

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Absolutely.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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I love it.

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I think that's going to be really helpful.

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I think this is a good point that sort of neatly segues on to where you're

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at now with your, your business.

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You're a small business owner now, Mike.

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How have the challenges changed from when you were in employment years ago

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to now being a small business owner?

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Oh yeah, that's a great question.

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And, and it's interesting, if I reflect on the challenges, they, the same challenges

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are there, if you like, in a way, the reading, writing, memory processing, but

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they show up in such a different way.

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That they actually need different solutions, but I love that.

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So I don't do back to back meetings.

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I mean, let's be honest, who wants to do back to back meetings all day?

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I guess I I've started building my business in a way that

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really leans into how I am.

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Emails tire me, so I'm have shaped a business that doesn't

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involve lots of emails.

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I do a lot of group coaching, a lot of getting on calls with people.

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I take some notes that helps me with the memory piece, but it also means

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I can bring back and say, these are the words you used when you said

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that, which from a coach or reflection perspective, it's really, really powerful.

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So the, the nature of the work I do leans really well with,

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I don't need a great memory.

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And coaching.

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I'm not a mentor.

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I'm a coach.

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And, and if, if anyone's unsure of the difference, I don't tell you what to do.

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I help you work out what you want to do.

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is that the difference between a coach versus what like a mentor, would that

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be the, the differentiator that so just to just explain that again for

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everybody, because that's quite an important differences in it, because

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Sometimes people will think, Oh, I need a coach, or maybe there'll be

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approached by a coach and maybe not necessarily understand the differences

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between coaching and mentoring.

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A very important point And I'm going to caveat this by saying that

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some people call themselves coaches when maybe they really fit under

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this mentor bracket, but absolutely let's just distinguish these two.

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So a mentor has probably been there before.

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They've probably, they're probably walking the same path as you, but

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they're some distance ahead of you.

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And so they're sharing their wisdom, their experience, their knowledge

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to help you work out a path.

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It might be the same path as them, or it might be a better path than them because

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you're learning from their learnings.

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And that's fantastic.

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Really valuable, definitely has its space.

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Not great for me and my memory, to be frank.

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As a coach, so coaches and particularly what Coaches like to call pure

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coaches, which is a really technical, boring phrase, but here I just

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mean someone who's really leaning into this concept of coaching.

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The idea is just to ask questions and to provide insight by saying things

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like, Oh, you've used that word.

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What's going on there?

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John, in the last sentence, you used this word three times.

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What might that say?

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Oh, you've leaned in and you look really excited by that.

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Oh, you look really flat and bad and you've, your, your

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energy's gone from that.

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What might that say?

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So it's a lot of reflection back and a lot of asking just simple, open questions

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and letting there be space to think.

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And.

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It's a great way of bringing someone through their own thoughts from basically,

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let's say a clutter of thoughts to bring it down to know I want to take this action

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or this step or this is holding me back.

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How do I overcome it?

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And I think I was skipping over and you're right to pause it and find those two

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because I started down the mentor route.

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When I left corporate, I thought that's fine.

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I'll, I'll go down the mentor route.

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And what I discovered when I did my coach training, first off is there's

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a difference, wasn't aware of that.

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And then actually I'm going the wrong way.

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The coaching piece is by far a better fit with my, the natural way my brain is.

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And then I can build the rest of my business and my approaches around that.

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So that I don't do lots of email, I don't do lots of back and forth

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and all those sort of things.

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And that makes it a more natural, easier flow.

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That makes sense.

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Thanks for taking the time to just explain that for the listeners.

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I think that's really valuable and I love the way that you have been able to

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make some adjustments to how you go about running your business that leans into.

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Those quirks and the things that, that work for you.

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I think that's really great.

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There's a strong lesson to be learned there for all of their, the business

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owners that are listening to the show you don't have to do things the way

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that you used to do it at the other place where you might've worked before.

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I think often we do that.

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That's the default position when we perhaps start out in our, uh,

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own business journey, but you don't actually have to do it that way.

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Remember, don't forget to subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter.

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You can do that at mrjonclayton.co.uk/abc.

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And if you are enjoying this episode then please visit podchaser.com,

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search for Architecture Business Club and leave a five star review.

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Now, back to the show.

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I think starting with the default position makes sense.

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Because if we didn't start with that, then you're trying to work everything

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out from scratch on your own.

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That sounds horrendous.

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But it's almost recognizing.

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I'm starting on the default.

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I need to look at what does and doesn't work.

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And then I need to fine tune from there.

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And I'm such a big fan of finding the things that work and doing more of them.

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Cause that's where we, why does someone come to us as an architect, uh, or in

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an architectural business, well, they come because of the value we provide.

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That's most likely to lean to our strengths and yes, we'll have

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some things like our weaknesses.

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We'll have things that.

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We wish or might wish would be slightly different.

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We might be slightly better at, but that's not why someone comes

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to get our help and support.

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One of, one of the bits for me is actually the more we understand ourselves and

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the more we design our businesses, but also even if you're an employee in a

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practice, the more we talk to our work about how do we shape it so that we lean

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into the bit that makes us super special.

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Which is better for them.

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We provide faster value.

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It comes back to me saying to my boss, I've just saved X number of hours a week.

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What do you want me to do with them?

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Which boss doesn't want to hear that?

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But I think one of the keys is we need to look, when we look at our

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weaknesses, like I look at memory and processing and writing and reading, and

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I have to look and just go, it's okay.

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They'll never be amazing at those, but they're not actually causing any

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real harm or the harm they cause.

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That's just how I am like this.

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There's an equal, I've got it.

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There's an equal and opposite side.

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So.

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John, and anyone listening, do you have a coin to hand?

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What's your favorite side of a coin, John?

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Let's say like the face side of the coin.

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Yeah, very good.

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Um, I'm a tales person, and I tend to be tales only because

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some of them are quite exciting.

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I would like everyone to pick a side that they love.

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I want them to consider the side they don't like as their

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weaknesses, for a second.

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So what we can do is we can, now this might be illegal, but just, so don't

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actually do this, but go with the idea.

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We could try and file that side down, couldn't we?

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Say we don't, I don't like that side.

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So maybe, John, maybe you're looking at a tail side and you're thinking, I

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hate that side, I'm gonna file it away.

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But no matter what we try and do to that side, The side of the coin still exists.

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We could go the other way, and say I'm going to make it pretty.

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I'm going to put nice colours on it, or I'm going to decorate it in some way.

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But that side of the coin still exists.

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But that's not why we get the work we get.

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We deliver the value we deliver.

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Let's be honest, that's not why we have the friends we have.

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We have the life, we have the connections that we've made with people.

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All exist because of the other side so I've found peace with my weaknesses.

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And I think if, if, you know, if I can encourage people to embrace

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their quirks, then fantastic.

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That's like, you know, level five in a computer game term.

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Yeah, level 50 is the moment when you go, I'm totally, when

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you're genuinely totally at peace.

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With the thing you're finding difficult, to the point where you're

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like, but it's, it's so, I'm so at peace with it, it's totally okay,

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because I'm amazing over here instead.

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And I think that is proper next level, and it's taken me a long time to get

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there, but that is incredible moments.

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Thanks for sharing that, Mike.

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So something that I just, you've mentioned there was about

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embracing, embracing your quirks.

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I think that's probably the overriding theme of the conversation really today.

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So in what other ways does it help you?

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Yeah.

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So one of the biggest advantages I have, and this is one of the

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most common for dyslexia is different for different people.

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It can be quite a broad term in its own right, can show up in very different ways.

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One of the more common themes in dyslexia is to be good at Problem solving

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and to be good at stepping back and seeing the big picture of a problem.

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And, um, probably, probably no example is stronger than when I

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stepped into a role and they'd had a team working to solve a big problem,

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big conceptual problem they had.

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They had a team working on it for six months.

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And I first joined this big company, big multinational company, lots of complex

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structure in it, and they said it'll probably take me three months just to

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get my head around how things work, let alone then start to make a real impact.

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Yet, three weeks later, I was in talking to a very senior stakeholder about,

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on a single sheet of paper, I had explained how to solve the problem that,

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this team had struggled to solve in six months.

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Single

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sheet of paper on my own.

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This is how you fix it.

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Six months, they made very little progress.

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in, a year, based on a plan that I sketched, I wrote on a single sheet of A4,

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we nailed this incredibly complex problem.

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That's not a unique skill only to me.

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But I see the world in a different way in my world I'm in right now,

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it means I can talk to someone who's experiencing difficulties and

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I can make some suggestions, some ideas, and I have absolutely no

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care whether they do them or not.

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I don't mind.

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But it's just my brain's gone ping, ping, ping.

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How about these?

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There's another, if I can share this one too, that, and I don't think

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this is dyslexia coincidentally, I think this is personality.

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People trust me.

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In my corporate days, I used to go out for coffees with people back when we

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were all in offices, I'd go and catch up for a coffee, we'd sit down and

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we'd chat, and I'd say what's going on in my job, and they'd say what's

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going on in their job, and we'd share ideas, and it'd be really helpful,

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and I just thought everyone did that.

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I just thought that was a thing, right?

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I tell you, doesn't everyone do that?

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And honestly, no.

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But what it did for me is it painted this ever bigger picture.

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So I like big picture thinking, and it helped me fill in the,

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the, the painting, shall we say, or put color in the painting.

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And so then when I had key decisions to make, actually, I

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had more insight than maybe, well, than anyone else would have had.

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We have bits in our personality, whether that's because of a neurodivergence,

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whether that's just because our brain is, it doesn't matter.

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But those things, if we recognize what they are, then we can

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use them to really help us.

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Be like use the uniqueness of us in a really powerful way and and so big

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picture thinking the trust piece played together with There's some of the things

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I've already mentioned Have been a game changer in my life without a doubt.

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Is, is there anything that you'd change?

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Oh, I don't think anyone's ever asked me that Anything I'd change.

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I gave a talk about leaning into what makes you special.

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It wasn't specifically dyslexia, but it was leaning into what makes you special.

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And somebody said afterwards, they said, Mike, I just wish I knew that one.

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I wish I knew this when I was 25.

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And I said, me too, because I've discovered this and learn all of this.

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I've known I've had the dyslexia, but I've understood it and found that peace

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and all of that stuff only in the last couple of years, maybe even the last year.

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And I think to have had that earlier on, I just wonder where my life might, like what

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might be different in my career and the options I've taken and where I would be.

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I don't regret that, but if, if there was a way of having that

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back then, that would be amazing.

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I wonder if that's what every 40-year-old would say.

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, I, I knew this when I was 20.

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Probably.

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Yeah.

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I think there's, from what you've told me, there's been a big gap from,

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from that versus when you're actually diagnosed, which was many years earlier.

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So what if, what if people don't have a diagnosis?

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I mean, does it really matter?

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Should they, should they bother to get one?

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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I think so personally, I'm not that worried about diagno diagnoses and

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I suppose what I didn't say earlier, I mentioned there's different

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types of, of neurodivergence, and yet a lot of it is undiagnosed.

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I believe at the moment and diagnosis is being found because children are being

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diagnosed and then parents are going, hang on, I'm just little Johnny's just

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like me, I struggle with that they're getting diagnosis and, and there's a known

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genetic link so that would also suggest that the more we're discovering in young

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people that must have already been there and, um, and fascinating in my family.

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I don't believe my dad will will mind me saying my dad recently.

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was diagnosis being dyslexic, but only recently.

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I mean last three years, maybe five years.

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I think diagnosis helps if, probably in a couple of occasions, one, if it gives you

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access to support you don't otherwise get.

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I think that's very important.

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It hasn't for me.

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I don't think it's made any difference in that way for me.

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The second is if you are struggling to understand yourself and getting a

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diagnosis means that you feel more whole.

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As a result, and I've, I've quite often heard people get autism or ADHD diagnosis

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and saying, I finally understand myself.

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I don't believe you need the diagnosis to understand yourself.

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But if.

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If that's how the person feels, then absolutely it's worth getting.

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That's a great advice.

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Thanks, Mike.

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What would be your encouragement for our listeners?

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So I would really encourage everyone listening to think about their own

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personalities and characteristics.

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Think of what the stuff is That's really, natural and just works for them.

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That, that might almost be, you know, what happens in their friendship

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groups and why do people come to them, what happens in their work, uh, as

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a small business owner, as a, as a practice owner, as, as an employee,

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you know, where is it that they're super special and the encouragement

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is to lean evermore into that.

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And then where they see their quirks, where they see both positives and

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where they see being different.

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It's really, I suppose, what I mean by being a quirk would be recognizing

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which side of the coin is it on for them, you know, is it on their strength?

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Sort of amazing.

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This is really useful.

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Is it on the idea?

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I wish I didn't have that.

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Well, that's a problem and put your energy back into the.

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How do I use this to help me?

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And two final pieces of encouragement linked to that.

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One is, keep asking yourself, what's the most efficient way

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for me to solve this problem?

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Which could be getting someone else to solve it constantly, that's a fine answer.

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But coming back to your own skills and personality.

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And then the up level, the game change, if you can do it, can you find peace?

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Can you start to find peace with the side of the coin you don't like?

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And honestly, if you can, it's really freeing.

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Is there anything else that you wanted to add that we haven't

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already covered in the conversation?

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Uh, no, I think, I think that's covered everything.

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Awesome.

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Oh, thanks so much, Mike.

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It's been really good to chat about this topic.

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There is a question I want to ask you before we finish off the conversation

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and it's got nothing to do with the topic we've been talking about, but I

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do like to ask everybody this, um, I'm.

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Be previously a huge travel junkie, less so these days, uh, with, um,

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family commitments and all of that.

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But I just love discovering new places and I think architecture

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is about place as well.

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So could you tell me one of your favorite places and what you love about it?

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This can be somewhere near or far.

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Oh, great.

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Well, so travel has different connotations for me, as you know, John, I have a

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nut allergy and so some parts of the world it gets quite risky, so I've

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always played it relatively safe.

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A few places instantly spring to mind.

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I really enjoy going to the Ile de Ré, just off La Rochelle in France.

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I've not actually now been for a long time, but it, it is a small island.

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It feels like a French party island.

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They, uh, they clearly, if you go there in, in August, it is busy and thriving

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and lots of lots of French people are partying basically for a lot of the time.

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It's very flat.

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It reminds me of the Fens, uh, which is where I grew up or

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spent some of my time growing up.

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Long, those sort of long beaches, this, I know this will resonate with you, John.

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You know, those sort of really long shallow beaches that you get, and,

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and the odd lighthouse, i, I would mix that in with, I do like a city break,

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and uh, Vienna, when, when I went to Vienna again, too long ago now really.

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We were out for five weeks, very lucky us.

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Doing this amazing trip around bits of Europe, and we spent three days

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in Vienna, and it was one of these moments where we just sat and read our

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books and chilled out on the grass.

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I'm not a huge fan of reading, so I didn't read a book.

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I'll have listened to something probably.

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But we just sort of chilled out in the parks, in the sunshine, and

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amongst the busyness of the holiday, it felt a really beautiful place.

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That sounds fantastic.

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Thanks for sharing that, Mike.

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And thank you so much for joining me today and sharing all those insights

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and stories with the listeners.

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We really do appreciate it.

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Mike, where is the best place online for people to connect with you?

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So LinkedIn and Instagram are my two sort of go tos.

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And on both I've got the same handle, so this Mike Cole.

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That's because there's a lot of different Mike Coles.

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Amazing what my name has been involved with.

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And I'm this one.

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So yeah, this Mike Cole on, on, uh, LinkedIn and on Instagram, and

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I'd love to connect with people.

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Awesome.

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And Mike, would you like to remind the listeners about your quiz

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and where they can find that?

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That

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I'd love to say we've been talking a lot about leaning into what makes

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you special and being, you know, making work the right thing for you.

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And I'm a huge fan that?

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we need the right environment and we need all the different components in play to.

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really maximize, I'm going to say our enjoyment at work of the value

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we give, but also the recognition and reward we get and all of That

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matches in.

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And so we've, we've developed a quiz looking at thriving in business,

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uh, and in a career, two different quizzes, very similar idea.

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And if you went to, or if anyone listening goes to Milico,

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that's M I L I C O dot U K.

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It'll give you the two options, so pick the one that's relevant for you,

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whether you're an employee or whether you run or own a small business.

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And then it asks just nine questions, typically takes less than 60 seconds.

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And it gives you very specific ideas based on your results, based on your

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answers to each of those nine questions.

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And it's a little bonus.

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It encourages you to have a little 30 minute call with me to talk about

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how you can make changes and what might, what the next step might be.

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It doesn't have to be the whole thing, changing the whole

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thing, but what's the next step?

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I would love it if people want to come and take the quiz and

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experience it for themselves.

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sounds awesome.

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Thanks so much, Mike.

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Brilliant.

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John, thank you so much for having me.

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My absolute pleasure.

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And needless to say, if anyone has any follow up questions or anything

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they'd like to ask, if they get in touch, I would love to love to answer.

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Next time, I'll be sharing a few stories and lessons I've learned

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during the past decade as a sole practitioner in architecture.

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Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Architecture Business Club.

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If you liked this episode, think other people might enjoy it.

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Or just want to show your support, then please visit podchaser.com.

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Search for Architecture Business Club and leave a glowing five-star review.

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It would mean so much to me and makes it easier for new

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listeners to discover the show.

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If you just want to connect with me, you can do that on most social media

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platforms, just search for @mrjonclayton.

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The best place to connect with me online though is on LinkedIn.

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You can find a link to my profile in the show notes.

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Remember running your architecture business doesn't have to be hard.

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And you don't need to do it alone.

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This is Architecture Business Club.

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