Archive for the ‘Motivation’ Category

From building sites in the UK to teaching 1.3 million young people in Africa to code

October 27, 2018

 Africa Code Week

If you want to get anything done you should ask a busy person!

This must be the big lesson that I picked up when I sat down to record an episode of the Fuzion Win Happy podcast with the CEO of Camden Education Trust and Co-Founder of Africa Code Week,  Bernard Kirk.

An early experience on building sites in the UK set off a powerful light bulb moment for Bernard – without education you will struggle, as he witnessed so many Irishmen slogging their way through life until they could no longer manage the physical toil that was required to do that job.

Bernard is a teacher who progressed to teaching teachers and then got involved in a myriad of events and initiatives that encouraged our youth to advance themselves.

When a Minister asked him to organise a Science and Technology Festival in the West of Ireland this sparked an endless involvement in other projects and initiatives all with the same goal of advancing the potential of young people through education.

Running Africa Code Week, which brings together 1.3 million young people in 35 different countries is a colossal, mind bending achievement.

Where would you even start to organise such an event – Bernard says you pick up the phone, you bring people together, you leverage connections and so on and so on.

Nothing is ever that easy and it is clear that this passionate man doesn’t see roadblocks, he sees opportunities.

Bernard reckons his Irishness is one of his Superpowers and it gives him the unique ability to open doors everywhere.

Click below to listen to the podcast and hear about how this very busy man does it!!

Fuzion Win Happy Podcast – Education is the key to everything

Enjoy the show!

Greg 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Social Media Consultancy Services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

From a rugby career ending injury at 28 to a global successful software business with Conor O’Loughlin, CEO of Glofox

September 25, 2018

Conor O'Loughlin, IBYE Winner 208

In this episode of the Fuzion Win Happy podcast, Greg chats with Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2018, Conor O’Loughlin, CEO and Founder of Glofox, who shares his story of huge disappointment with an injury, which finished his rugby career with Connacht at the age of 28 to a new career in computer software.

Realising that his rugby career and dream was over, he started a web development company where through his client work he discovered an untapped niche in bespoke software solutions for the gym and fitness sector.

With the help of a Competitive Startup Fund from Enterprise Ireland he managed to start developing a bespoke solution and later accessed further funding as part of the High Potential Startup Fund.

Fuzion Win Happy podcast thumbnail

This business has expanded globally from Ireland thanks to the hard work and focus of Conor and his team and the careful navigation of the complex world of funding with Enterprise Ireland, Angel Investors and VCs.

Despite the huge demand for IT talent in Ireland and in Dublin, Glofox have managed to continue to attract great people to their team who are enjoying the excitement of being part of a place where they can make a real difference.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the link below:

From a rugby career ending injury at 28 to a global successful software business with Conor O’Loughlin, CEO of Glofox

We hope you enjoy Conor’s and the Glofox fascinating story!

The Fuzion Win Happy Podcast is produced by Greg Canty

 

Are you creating Hygge [Hoo – gah] at work?

August 20, 2018

HYgge

I had never heard the Danish word ‘Hygge‘ before but a podcast that I listened to recently from Freakonomics titled “How to be Happy” resonated with me.

When Helen Russell, fashion editor of Maire Claire moved to Denmark from London with her husband, who had taken a dream job with Lego, she decided to write a book to try to figure out exactly why this country is officially one of the Happiest in the world!!

Her cleverly titled book, “The Year of Living Danishly” digs deep into the psyche of Denmark and why this dark, cold, highly taxed and very expensive country is so happy.

At Fuzion we always talk about #WinHappy as being a core philosophy of ours, creating a positive work culture, where we do great work for great clients but with a smile on our faces.

Some think it is a little Utopian but we believe it is possible.

In Denmark they talk about a very special thing called ‘Hygge‘ , which I found very interesting as it is one of the core reasons attributed to their ‘Happy’ success.

Even on the Visit Denmark website they describe it:

Hygge: The Danish Art of Cosiness

Hygge is as Danish as æbleskiver (Pancake Puffs!!) and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul.

In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Cosying up with a loved one for a movie – that’s hygge, too. And there’s nothing more hygge than sitting around with friends and family, discussing the big and small things in life.
Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world.

I remember visiting a Danish fashion client that we were doing work for and being quite surprised to see candles lighting at the doorway of the offices and in the reception area. The warm glow of those candles certainly softened the atmosphere and was conducive to a positive working environment.

The owners of the business had also brought their little dog to work, who was running around the place! Maybe I should bring Honey and Bert?

In a random Google of the topic around workplaces I spotted an article that mentioned seven ‘Hygge’ tips:

1. Bring a mug from home

Ironically, something we used do in Fuzion was to buy everyone a mug that we thought suited their character!

2. Make a relaxing work playlist

Hmmm…in my work space in the Cork office, close to the graphic design team we always have Spotify playing something that is not too intrusive. It’s more difficult with the PR teams in Dublin and Cork as they are on the phone a lot.

3. Spend lunch outside or take that time to unwind

Too much time is spent by some of us at our desks including lunch break – that is not good and is something that we definitely need to improve on.

4. Decorate your desk or workspace

There are a few pics from home and fun things on people’s desks, but I guess we could go a little further to make the place even more personal.

5. Host a potluck with co-workers

I had no idea what this meant but apparently it is savouring home-cooked meals that your work friends have cooked and vice versa.

I do love when Alma brings in some of her tasty home cooked treats – there is something very special when someone brings something in that they made at home.

“When everybody shares, everybody gets hygge,” is what one author on the topic said.

6. Do random acts of kindness for your co-workers

I love this simple idea as it promotes the idea of friendship and treating your fellow workers as something more than that.

7. Embrace teamwork

Apparently team spirit is part of the Danish culture. From childhood, Danes work in groups and are taught to seek and/or give help in the face of adversity. They are encouraged to remain confident despite their weaknesses and humble despite their strengths.

While we have a great team and do a lot together, too often when you glance down the office we are all busy, busy, with our heads stuck in whatever client work we are doing.

In Fuzion we do our own few things in the spirit of ‘Hygge’ that we could add to this list:

Breaking bread together – Fuzion Friday

Every Friday in both Dublin and Cork offices we down tools and we go for lunch together. We chat about the wins, we chat about the losses and frustrations of the week and we laugh and share weekend plans.

Cuppa anyone?

No one makes a cuppa without asking if anyone else would like a cuppa!

Birthdays

A present is always bought for you on your birthday and wait for it…. our people get a day off for their birthday, which they must take on the day (or very close to it a least). Our client, Regus does this and I thought it was a great idea so we introduced it two years ago.

Slagging/Banter

There is always a nice amount of friendly banter in the office, which is nearly always lighthearted and never bitter.

Holidays

The person who goes on holidays is given a token few quid to buy a meal on us but they nearly always buy some chocolates or biscuits for the office on their return.

Working Late

We don’t like to see anyone caught working late at the office – Saidhbh is the biggest culprit lately!

While it is never perfect and there are the normal pressures and stresses of work I think we do a pretty good job at creating our own “Hygge” – after all, why would anyone want to work in the opposite atmosphere? ….I certainly don’t.

What do you do to create your own Hygge?

At Fuzion, I guess we call it Win Happy!!

Greg 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Learning from Emma!

March 19, 2018

Storm Emma

This St.Patrick’s weekend, the snow threatened once again and it brought the memories and huge impact of Storm Emma, The Beast from the East and our very own Snowmageddon flooding back.

While there was major disruption, which threw our little country into chaos the stories of communities banding together to look out for, and after each other during the worst of the snow was heartwarming to say the least and gives us a fantastic reason to celebrate our special Irishness!

Thanks to social media we were able to capture some of these gorgeous moments and preserve them forever.

 

 

 

Storm Emma

Across the country, businesses are still counting the cost of Storm Emma. For some, business may have been booming and for many others, their financial forecast may be gloomy.

So why don’t we try and reward that strong community spirit, witnessed by many of us during the storms and let’s focus on supporting local business!

Buying a coffee – why not try a local roast house instead of a chain, looking for bread, maybe think of your newsagent, or better yet, your neighbourhood bakery, looking for a good book, or even the newspaper, why not pop into your local bookshop?

Beast from the East

 

Beast from the East

Local spending is powerful, because it circulates within the local economy, paying wages for example, which are also…..yes, you’ve guessed it…..spent locally.  

So now that the memory of our storm has passed, let’s all do a little bit to keep supporting each other, at home, and in business…

Alison Nulty, Fuzion CommunicationsAlison

Alison Nulty, of Fuzion Communications is a Senior PR Account Manager, Media Trainer and part of the Crisis PR team.

I had a great year because….

January 2, 2018

Visualisation

For the last few years I have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help me get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

I have found it to be really useful and it has made a big difference and as I look back at last year I can see the things that I have achieved as a result of this focus. In Fuzion we also ask all of the team to do this – it is really important to us that everyone in the team achieves their own personal and career goals.

Making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year we find ourselves at the start of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

Benjamin Zander - The Art of PossibilityA few years ago I was inspired by a book about goal setting in a different way called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor has the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians for his orchestra.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (disbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

This is my approach to his great idea to tap into all of Your Possibilities..

Take a quiet few moments so you can concentrate with a blank sheet of paper and a pen and do some visualisation – Take a few deep breaths and relax and close your eyes.

Now imagine the last working day of this year, just before you head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest. You are feeling really satisfied as you reflect on your fantastic achievements during the year. Some of these were personal things and some of these were professional things – you are feeling great!

Now open your eyes and start writing:

I had a great year because ….

Now off you go and list the things that will make this year a great one for you:.

Take your time and be as specific as you can including all of those business and personal goals that will give you that huge sense of satisfaction on that last work day.

Now you need to study this list and start figuring out how you can make this list come to life.

Put your piece of paper in a safe place so that you can refer to it throughout the year to make sure your wish list stays on track.

Enjoy realising all of your possibilities..

Happy New Year

This clip of Benjamin Zander is really motivational and well worth watching.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Gina London: How some RESOLVE can go a long way to making this year a great one

January 2, 2018

Janus - Greek God

January is named for the Roman god Janus.

He was the god of doors and gates. The guardian of entrances and exits. Of beginnings and endings. Of time and transitions. Ancient marble sculptures depict him with a double-faced head – one looking back and the other looking forward.

And here we are at the beginning of another January. Another new year. Another new beginning. And with it, another opportunity to make a New Year’s resolution.

The first time I remember ringing in the New Year, I was nine. The week after Christmas my parents had driven with my little brother and sister and me to a self-catering hotel in Florida to escape our Indiana snow. Dad announced that, for the first time, we kids could officially ring in the New Year at midnight.

We were so excited about the prospect of staying up late that we dashed into our little kitchen to gather pots and pans as makeshift drums and assorted spoons as drumsticks. Provisional instruments assembled, we paraded around the place – loudly proclaiming our enthusiasm.

As you might expect, this drove my mom crazy. She urged my dad to pretend midnight arrived a few hours early. But he honoured his word to his offspring and we all saw it through to the bitter end. Or beginning.

The next morning, when I woke up, I expected to feel completely different. It was the dawn of the new year. The sun should be shining brighter or something, shouldn’t it?

I remember how surprised I was that I was just the same. I was disappointed.

Then my mom told me I could make a resolution.

An outward pronouncement that something different is going to happen in the new year. Something that I had the power to change.

To this day, I love the prospect of making New Year’s resolutions.

I know, I know..

There are basically two types of people in the world – those who make New Year’s resolutions and those who make fun of the people who do.

We’re creatures of habit, so naturally change is hard.

You can frame your resolve with the word itself: RESOLVE

Reflect:

Before you decide what your New Year’s goal should be, act like one of Janus’s faces and look back. It’s helpful to review your year. Don’t dwell on the negative things, but do reflect upon what you’ve achieved.

I’ll bet each of you have something to be proud of. Maybe you didn’t win ‘Salesperson of the Year‘. But did you enter?

By just how much did you miss the mark? Maybe you didn’t lose 10 kilos, but did you join a gym? How many times did you go? Reflecting will help you adjust your strategy and behaviour to take another move ahead.

Examine:

Why are you preparing to make a resolution? Whatever you decide, it should come from you, not from real or perceived pressure of an employer or loved one. If you personally don’t really want to make a change, then you won’t.

Specify:

‘Losing weight’ is consistently the number one resolution people cite. But that’s so vague.

One of the main reasons people don’t achieve their resolutions, is they’re not narrowly defined. Do you mean one kilo or one stone? You need to write down a specific and realistic goal, so you can measure your success. Imagine how impossible “I’m never eating Cadburys again” sounds.

Instead, get real and try: “I’ll limit myself to three chocolates a week.

Outline:

Now that you’ve defined your goal, list each of the incremental changes you will need to make to support it. For instance, I know I won’t go to the gym unless it’s the first thing of the day. So, I would list ‘set my alarm an hour earlier’ as I outline my steps towards losing those last stubborn five pounds.

Link:

Find someone who will help motivate you or hold you accountable. Or both. Linking up with another person or maybe even a group of people is a big key to resolution success.

Value:

How much do you value yourself?

A lot,” you might quickly answer. But, then why are so many of us already convinced we won’t see our resolutions through?

Many of us are way too hard on ourselves. That’s another reason people don’t keep resolutions.

Just because you ate 10 chocolates this week, doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel on the whole year. Forgive yourself and get back at it. You’re not perfect. None of us are. But if you value yourself and your goal, you must keep going.

Evaluate:

Schedule time on your calendar at regular intervals to take stock of your progress. Don’t wait until the following December. Try every couple of weeks or once a month. Target quarterly milestones to track your progress. Don’t forget.

The Romans believed Janus would forgive them their mistakes and shortcomings over the past year.

You can take today to forgive others as well as yourself. The Romans also asked Janus to bless them and help them with their goals for the new year. While Janus may not be the one helping you, it’s also time for you to make some serious plans.

January is upon us – Like Janus, let us contemplate our past achievements while anticipating success in our future efforts.

Happy New Year. Put your resolve into action!

Gina London - Fuzion CommunicationsGina London is a former CNN anchor and international campaign strategist who is now a Strategic Communications director with Fuzion Communications. She serves as media commentator, emcee and corporate consultant. @TheGinaLondon

The Power of Belief – Let the Lions Roar!

July 7, 2017

Conor Murray and Alun Wyn Jones

As the British and Irish Lions set their sights on the weekend, what seemed impossible before the tour, is now only 80 minutes away. A series win against the Webb Ellis Champions!

The All Blacks, are the undisputed force in World Rugby, from schools, club/provincial and ladies competitions; and before the tournament they were 1/6 to win the series outright, 3-0.

After the first test, the usual hard luck stories come out from Northern Hemisphere media; ‘we need to be more clinical’, ‘give away fewer penalties’, ‘make first up tackles’, and all was riding on the second test, a do or die, all eggs in one basket scenario.

As with the All Blacks time and time again, they strangled the opposition with their forward pack, pummeled them into submission and then let their silky backs don the jazz hands and do the pretty stuff. They always believe they can do it and have done it consistently for years.

That’s what they tried to do this time, but the Lions fronted up and limited their effectiveness as much as they could but just as the tide was turning in the All Black favour as it generally does, BOOM! (thanks Jurgen Klopp!!)

The behemoth that is Sonny Bill Williams had a rush of blood to the head, or shoulder in this case and in the process of tackling Anthony Watson’s head without wrapping his arms, he copped a red card. The first one in 50 years for an All Black in a test match.

Where am I going with this, you might ask?

The power of belief for the Lions started then! They now had a chance, 14 vs 15 for the 55 remaining minutes and they made it count!!

They played unlike most of what we had seen from them in the previous six weeks, they played with confidence and outscored the All Blacks with Trys, 2-0. Even down a man, the AB’s don’t cough up tries that easily and ones from Falateau and Murray, along with Owen Farrell’s boot, sealed the day.

Now is when the real belief will need to come in!

The series is drawn one a piece and the Lions are facing the All Blacks in the final test with their full complement returned however, the Lions now know they are beatable, Ireland did it in November 2017 in historic fashion in Chicago, Australia the year before and South Africa before that.

The stage is set, battle lines have been drawn and at 8.35 am on Saturday, 8th July, 30 players will go head to head to be crowned series champions, the odds are in the All Blacks favour once again but if the Lions believe they can, who knows, the odds may be turned.

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right” Henry Ford

No matter what you do if you can make people believe you can do achieve anything.

#Believe

Patrick Jones - Fuzion CommunicationsPatrick

Patrick Jones is an Account Manager in Dublin with Fuzion Communications, Marketing, PR & Graphic Design 

 

Changing from Doubters to Believers

July 1, 2017

Jurgen Klopp - Doubters and Believers

When Jurgen Klopp took over as manager of Liverpool FC in October 2015 he made a huge statement to the worldwide fan base through the media with a simple message:

We have to change from doubters to believers

Jurgen is clever, he quickly picked up on the mood at this famous, previously successful club and he knew that very often it is strangled by the quick loss of faith by the fans if something doesn’t go the team’s way on the pitch during a game.

The fans groan “same old story“, “we’ll throw this one away“, “that fella’s useless” ..when that negativity creeps in it spreads like a virus and before you know it everyone is a doubter.

Fans stop cheering, fans leave early, players get nervous, they choke, fans stop attending, the team starts losing, corporates stop entertaining clients at games, sponsors move on, the best players at the club want to leave and others don’t want to come to the club, success gets further and further away.

Jurgen understood this and from the beginning he sent messages to fans in his press conferences, in the match programmes and during the games he encourages them (by gesturing frantically!) to support and scolds them for not doing so – at a match that wasn’t going according to plan at the very beginning of his reign he scolded the fans who left early in his post message press conference – you can play your vital part in the success of this team.

We are all like Jurgen with the teams that work with us, with our customers (or clients if we are being posh) with those who we would like to be customers and all other stakeholders.

We have to change them from Doubters to Believers.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

New Year, Same Me… (But how can we really change?)

January 12, 2017

Failed New Year's Resolutions

So how are those resolutions going?

You know the dreaded New Year’s Resolutions – To lose weight, eat healthy, go to the gym, give up cigarettes, drink less, etc. etc. etc.

Well, according to reports, only about 8% of people actually follow through with their resolutions and carry them on through the year, with January 17th being the faithful date we generally fall off the wagon. It has also been found that, it can take up to six months to shed the weight gained over the festive period. But why?

The problem herein lies not in our determination but in fact, our expectations. 

The majority of us, set unrealistic expectations for ourselves, and get disheartened when those expectations are not achieved. We take on too much all at once and may expect that by a certain date; we will be fitter, can run a marathon and/or be completely free from cigarettes, chocolate, booze etc.

However, when that date arrives, we seem to have achieved few if any of the goals we have set.

What are we missing?

The answer: Little wins – small goals along the way to let us know we are on the right track and help keep us motivated.

Instead for example of setting the goal of getting fit; aim to learn a new activity like rugby, swimming, yoga, Pilates, etc. Cut down on cigarettes gradually rather than going ‘cold turkey’ or just reduce the amount of sugar or chocolate rather than cutting it out altogether.

A few steps that I find are really helpful:

Be realistic

Set realistic goals – instead of trying to lose a stone all at once, aim for 2 or 3 lbs a week.

It’s a journey, not a destination

Don’t focus on the end result; rather aim for small progression and a lot of little wins, which will culminate into a BIG result.

Make it Fun

Instead of going for a run on your own, get friends involved and go for a walk or run with them to make it more enjoyable.

Take up a Hobby

Aim to do something new – Join a walking/running club, a swimming club or if the gym is your poison, join a class rather than trying to push yourself alone.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

On the rare occasion that you may give into temptation or stay on the couch instead of going out in the cold and wet of January, don’t worry about it, start afresh the following day and keep it going.

By following these simple steps along with reasonable expectations should ensure that you hit your goals and keep focused. So before you fully give up on those resolutions have a fresh look at them and start small,

I’ll leave the last word to a wise man..

“You never fail until you stop trying” Albert Einstein

Patrick

Patrick Jones is an Account Manager in Dublin with Fuzion Communications, Marketing, PR & Graphic Design 

The Art of Possibility – I had a great 2017 because..

January 1, 2017

Klopp - We believe

For the last few years I have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help me get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

I have found it to be really useful and it has made a big difference and as I look back at 2016 I can see the things that I have achieved as a result of this focus. In Fuzion we also ask all of the team to do this – it is important to us that everyone in the team achieves their personal and career goals.

Making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year we find ourselves at the start of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

Benjamin Zander - The Art of PossibilityA few years ago I was inspired by a book about goal setting in a different way called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor has the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians for his orchestra.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (disbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

This is my application of his great idea to tap into all of Your Possibilities..

Take a quiet few moments so you can concentrate with a blank sheet of paper and a pen and I want you to do some visualisation – First take a few deep breaths and relax and close your eyes.

Now imagine the last working day of the year just before you head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest. You are feeling very satisfied as you reflect on your fantastic achievements during the year. Some of these were personal things and some of these were professional things – you are feeling great.

Now open your eyes and write at the top of the blank page the date:

Friday, 22nd December, 2017

Now write down this personal statement:

I had a great year because ….

Now off you go and list the things that will make 2017 a great year for you:.

Take your time and be as specific as you can including all of those business and personal goals that will give you that sense of satisfaction on that last work day.

Now you need to study this list and start figuring out how you can make this list come to life.

Put your piece of paper in a safe place so that you can refer to it throughout the year to make sure your wish list stays on track.

Enjoy realising all of your possibilities – it’s there waiting for you.

Happy 2017!!

This clip of Benjamin Zander is really motivational and well worth watching.

(the pic at the top of the post refers to the quote that Jurgen Klopp made when he was recruited as Liverpool Football Club manager. His message to the fans was that he wanted to change them from ‘doubters’ to ‘believers’. He gets visualisation! )

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


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