Being Prepared for Challenge

Sarah Butler, Darren Coates, and Sam Dyer delivered a ‘be prepared’ message to our Bournemouth meeting – each from a different perspective.

Sarah got us to think about our financials so that we weren’t caught with our trousers down.  Darren showed how well prepared he and his company are to answer any frequently asked question.  Sam Dyer encouraged to prepare to embrace challenge and stretch just that little further out of our comfort zone, perceiving stress as a potential ally instead of the enemy to be resisted at all cost.

Sarah Butler

Sarah’s charm reminded me of Professor Brian Cox.  You may have noticed the way he smiles so engagingly as he talks about the end of the World!  In a similar way, Sarah beamed benevolently as she calmly talked about death, disease, and having a disaster plan for everything outside our control!  Hey, if you are going to consider the worst-case scenario, why not work on your disaster plan with someone who will make this a pleasant process?

Using case-studies, Sarah shared how being prepared really does cushion the blows that Life can seemingly randomly reign down on us.

This reminded me of Stephen R Covey’s circles:

Most of us, at some time in our lives, waste energy and time worrying about issues in our circle of concern.  Our attention needs to shift, with the help of professionals like Sarah, to what we can influence, and what we can control.

Sarah’s message is that there are elements we are naturally concerned about: death, disease, loss of capability, loss of income – all unpleasant and outside our direct control.  However, with her help, there are myriad ways we can mitigate our losses by being prepared with the right protection and investments.  We may not be able to prevent Life’s surprises but we can certainly influence the outcomes, and preparing for them is 100% within our control.  Furthermore, through Sarah’s experienced assessment of your own situation, you may be delighted to discover you have more resources to cope with the future right here, right now.

Bark Financial Ltd, is Sarah’s company, and if you’d like to know more, here are her contact details:

Sarah Butler DipPFS

01425 461764  07793614304


Darren Quotes

Darren Coates, Local Business Development Manager for Wessex Fleet, began by sharing the new branding of the Wessex family of companies.  Noticing Darren’s email footer, I really like what they stand for: be genuine, be enthusiastic, be dedicated, be effective.  These four principles really resonate for us at TBN.

Founding his presentation on FAQs, Darren posed the following questions he regularly is required to answer:

  • Why would I lease a vehicle?
  • How long can I have the vehicle for?
  • Is leasing only for businesses?
  • What if I damage the vehicle?
  • Can I buy the vehicle at the end of the lease?
  • Is the vehicle new and does it have a manufacturer’s warranty?
  • How many miles can I do?
  • What if I go over miles?
  • Is insurance included?
  • When will I need to lease an electric vehicle?

Darren’s answers to these questions were delivered with such dry wit, that this became my favourite presentation in Darren’s excellent run so far.  For me, the highlight by far was his answer to the question, “Can I buy the vehicle at the end of the lease?”  “No!” was the answer, but the delivery was priceless!

If you’d like to discover the answers to the other questions, there are a couple of quick wins: 1) ring Darren on 07824 332 325, and 2) come and hear him at next week’s meeting at Chilworth Manor!

Darren Coates|Local Business Development Manager

T: 01722 322 888|M: 07880 358 203



Sam Dyer

With a twinkle in his eye, Sam admitted to committing the cardinal sin of presentations: asking us to get our phones out.  This was to use an amazing interactive app from the site.  Jamie Forster led the way in showing the love with a wonderful sense of banter!

“One of the reasons I love coaching is that it gives me the ability to challenge people, and, in a way, it allows me to challenge myself as well.”

Stress is much talked about, but the truth is that some stress is essential for our well-being.

Using the analogy of a Stress Bucket, Sam pointed out that when the Stress Bucket is full it only needs one more drop to trigger a disproportionate response.  The idea, then, is to make sure we relieve the level in the bucket through activities such as talking to a loved-one, or meditation, relaxation… but for Sam, the missing piece is the challenge.  We need a challenge.


Using the “Young Woman/Old Lady” illusion, we experienced first-hand the power of perception.  Which do you see?  And if you see both, which did you see first?

Then it was (or was it?) two faces or one vase?  It’s a difference in perception – neither one is right or wrong.

“Fear and faith are perception – perceptions of the same thing: something you don’t know about or something you are yet to experience.”

Next time you catch yourself saying, “I can’t do this,” or “I couldn’t do that,” transform your thinking into a Challenge.

“With Challenge, it’s about taking that fear and turning it into faith that you can do something.”

Sam is facing his own fear of fire – turning it into a challenge to himself to learn how to not only to firewalk but to become a firewalk instructor.  He’s also going to learn how to walk over broken glass, how to bend bars, chop bricks and kung-fu blocks.

Quoting Gandhi, Sam said,

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the World’s problems.”

Do we give the max every day?  There’s always that bit more that we could do!  Maybe giving ourselves an edge is more within our grasp that we imagined?

Sam’s closing challenge was,

 “How much better will you feel if you challenge yourself even more, and pick those things that perhaps you’re frightened of doing, and turn that what is at the moment fear, turn that into faith.”

Watch out for Sam’s forthcoming podcast, “Firewalk with Me,” on the broader aspects of how Neuro-Linguistic Programming can transform our lives, and more information on his firewalk challenge. – to subscribe to The Boardroom Network podcast on iTunes. and coming soon: – I’m so excited!!!

07927 332 334


Sometimes it is tempting to not think about what could go wrong, and to run away from opportunities and challenges.  Fact is, we need to plan for the future, as Sarah quoted:

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Darren has given us opportunity after opportunity to change our perception about the value of leasing – can’t wait to take him up on that opportunity.

And Sam, the May Queen, has not only shown us how to look great in tights, but has invited us to come firewalk with him, to run towards challenge, and to become the best version of ourselves that we can.

Listen out to Ian Skinner’s “TBN Tuesday Podcast” released on iTunes today!