Wednesday, 26 December 2012

2013 Goals

Instinctively I want my goals to be similar to last year... but with less absolute focus on money. With money I'm making a goal to be worth a certain amount more than I am for this time next year- if I can reach that goal I'll score myself 10/10.

It's probable that I will buy some shares in 2013... at the moment I have slightly too much in cash which isn't earning enough interest. Research has already started for this- two main candidates at the moment are National Grid and GlaxoSmithKline. Royal Dutch Shell is a reasonable share too but I already have BP. This is a good list of shares for me to work on anyway... and I can always add to existing holdings.

Want to keep up with the surveys and poker- in poker I need to set myself small goals and just do them. In 2012 I've actually played very well, much better winrate than 2011, and I know there's no skill difference between me and top players. Just have to allocate a certain amount of money and time to poker and produce. Since writing that I've actually won fair bit more and making progress. I have a clear idea of the volume I want to put in, and feel ready to move up the stakes- if I can reach both volume and stakes target I will award myself 10/10.

I aim to do a fulfilling job... like I've said many times, I aim to do what I want to do as much as possible yet I've still worked for some of the biggest companies in the UK. Probably because I don't really take 'holidays' and have a high level of skill. I'm flexible and open minded about the jobs I do this year, but I'll be aiming to earn good money in all of them as well as performing well. The focus is on money this year though- not just putting time in to improve the skillset.

I'm going to allocate myself a certain amount of money to spend for development. Instictive thoughts at the moment are a bare minimum of money for going out at least once a week... if I don't go out for one week that money will still be there. That's a v low minimum and the amount for development could potentially be a lot more, might include money for travelling places or meeting people. I'm open for people to come and meet me too. Enjoy myself more.

Probably I will force myself to be on the internet less in 2013. I know more than enough 'theory' to win in my chosen areas, time to put it into action.

I want to meet more great people in person and just have more fun experiences. That may be in a business setting, may be in a social setting, may be in a 'other' setting... but I'm going to experience it! I'm glad I'm developing things that I can at least do 'on the side' throughout my life, anywhere in the world. Shares, competitions, poker, surveys, investments... all fun :). All helps towards goals!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

2012 Goal Review

Here are my 2012 goals and my comments on how I've performed.

Even better at sales- killing it. I also want to be an expert in influencing and negotiating. Ready to do this in every way, managing, recruiting, training and selling. Better opportunities, more commission. Same effort level or even more effort, more skill. Better personal presentation, more self investment.


In 2012 I’ve worked in some very interesting and intense sales environments. Been involved in inbound and outbound telesales (including receiving leads from India). I’ve put a lot of energy in, and taken very few days off. Other people in these jobs a lot of the time seem to have the attitude of ‘when’s my next break’ or ‘how can I spend all the money I get’... I’ve just been wanting to get commission and improve my sales ability.

I would like to say a personal thank you to Sky this year for employing me. When I was a boy I always wanted to have Sky TV, and to work for this company was a good experience. The sales team there are professional and pay the staff well, so thanks to Ty Branson and everyone I worked with there. I’ll be more than happy to go on Sky TV if I become famous in the future ;).

Why have I rated myself 7/10? I feel my verbal and overall sales skills are VERY GOOD... however the real measure of a salesman is how much he gets paid and I can’t honestly say for the sales jobs I’ve done this year I’ve been very well paid. It’s really important to really probe before every sales job (right now I’m considering how to probe and research better!) then you have to ‘follow the culture’ of an organisation to get paid. Overall I’d say that doing sales roles in the UK is pretty tough at the moment- you have to perform to an EXTREMELY high level to get good money. Other people are getting money much easier in other jobs. Still, I love sales and influencing people. I think it’s a great skillset to have and I still get a buzz out of every time I sell.

This year I’ve also been involved in my first six figure sale of my Grandad’s property. I did everything I could to help my father with this and I believe he tried his best too. However, I feel he made some mistakes- paying the estates agents Haybrooks FAR TOO MUCH (one of my biggest regrets this year was that I didn’t go to that meeting, even though I had to do sales myself that day) and generally everyone involved with the process too much. In every decision he made I did my best to advise and influence him, but his name was down in the will to do the sale. It is a shame that despite being an accountant (and probably VERY GOOD at doing the role he does) he doesn’t negotiate with people much... I have never seen him do it in my life. Still, I will negotiate with every single significant financial decision I have to make in my life. Companies can sometimes be very tight fisted in giving employees money, and I will be when needed to as well. I promoted the house through social media and advised my dad for free and at the end we achieved a relatively quick sale. I think I would have achieved more money overall for it, if only by reducing costs involved in the sale, but it’s a learning experience. I may well buy my own house in the future and know more about the process now.

By the way, despite him paying the estate agents in total £3,000 including VAT I'm yet to recieve ANY money from him for doing this. This is just one example of how illogical the world is- pay a conning estate agent a lot of money for not doing much then be reluctant to give your son money. Still, either way, I feel OK spending time doing this as it improves my sales skillset

More money- I have an 'at least goal' a 'high goal' and a 'stretch goal'. I will have no wealth barriers, I know I deserve and am worth it. Monitor money better, check sales performance carefully


Well... I’ve phrased this goal as ‘at least’ ‘high’ and ‘stretch’ but rest assured, I know exactly what each of them are At the end of the year I am half way between my at least and high goal. I have really smashed total energy into getting money this year... it’s an interesting goal to have, as it’s something you can measure to the penny. I don’t know anybody else who has a specific financial goal, (although one person says he will make one next year) but it’s definitely a good one to have.

My investments have done very well this year. Some shares I’ve bought about a year ago are worth nearly five times their value, and many other shares I own have gone up by around 50% this year. I feel confident in my portfolio and know it will go up over time, while still producing a good yield. I like looking at my shares going up, although I know they will still go up without me looking at them as much. Probably will aim to do this less in 2013 unless I’m researching buying shares.

I have played a VERY GOOD defensive game this year in terms of saving money. I have been very careful in how I’ve invested it in everything and made decent decisions. However, I can’t award myself higher than 8/10 because my offensive game (earning money) has only been quite good. Made decent money on side from poker and surveys as well as my jobs, and received a lot of good things through the internet for free. In future I need to make myself able to make more good investment decisions in many different ways to really smash my wealth goals. I know I will do this in future.

Done alright on this but want to meet even better ones. Have more to offer! Be more social. Help high value people with their goals pragmatically.


My official phrase for this used to be “mutual fulfilment with high value people”... although now I believe fulfilment and fun might be a better way of phrasing this. Overall this year I've said exactly what's on my mind with no filter... and that's the best way to be the vast majority of the time. Possibly I need to calibrate a bit with some people in some situations, but in an ideal world I'd say just what's on my mind all the time. Doing sales this year has been often hilarious with the amount of things people come up with... I don't think I've ever laughed so much at work! I think this year I've learnt to 'enjoy the now' more, and not overestimate how hard it is to do something. Just go and meet people, or do challenges, it's all a learning experience.

I know great people in many different areas. It’s humbling sometimes to know that great people who’ve achieved a lot want to help me reach my goals. The best way to repay them I believe is to be a success, and I would like all my friends to know that I will be a success. I have achieved some decent things in my life so far, but I will achieve much more. And I will remember everyone who helped me get there.

I have done my best to help high value people, and many people, reach their goals. To be honest, I’ve wasted a bit of time trying to help some people- for example if someone doesn’t want to make money easily (maybe not by wasting it) that’s their decision. To be honest, people like Stevie PUA ... do they actually even need my help in being amazing at what they do? Maybe I can help a bit and hopefully I have but amazing people achieve amazing things anyway.

So why am I scoring myself 8/10? Well, I would like to have deeper relationships with high value people, and meet more of them in person. For 2013 I am going to invest more time and energy into this.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Stop Kirklees Council Overdeveloping Lascelles Hall

I have just seen Kirklees Council's supposed decision to grant planning permission at Lascelles Hall Cricket Club. Rest assured I do not approve of this and will do everything I can to stop it.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Writing in the Modern Age

I think I've read over 2000 'normal books' over my life... but in the past few years I haven't read many 'normal books' from cover to cover anyway. The last time I bought a normal book was in 2008.

I really see the future of writing being in the internet more and more. The question for the modern writer is- how to make money from this? It's a difficult question, but one I'll aim to find the answer to, then write about!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Social Intelligence Pays Off

Quick post here.... just going to jam it out while listening to this

In the UK, the kind of 'intelligence' promoted by the academic system can be summarised as analytical intelligence. You're taught how to do maths, how to read books, how to fit in and be a cog in the wheel.

Newsflash, in a lot of cases in the twenty first century this kind of intelligence is not going to pay off much! Sure, you might get some good grades in school, college or uni, but a lot of that is based on your ability to perform well in an exam.... or perhaps even cheat at coursework! (Not that high a percentage of people do that in the UK... but some do. I'd say around 10% will have performed some kind of action which could have been considered 'cheating'... very few are caught though. At uni I was told it was really bad to even ACCUSE people of cheating!)...

But that doesn't mean you're going to get fun or money in the real world. The kind of intelligence which generally pays off 'in the real world' (aka most none academic enviornments... even in academic environments it pays off pretty well) is social intelligence. If you don't know what it is, google it and learn it :)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Having a Long Term Perspective


This year, when I've talked about my financial goals to people I've had such remarks as "You can't take it with you" and "There's no point being the richest man in the graveyard".

It's neat that these people are usually trying to make me enjoy myself more, so as a quick thank you to them (and because it's been on my mind for a while) I'm writing this post.

Most people who've achieved anything significant have had a long term persepctive. Let's go through a few examples. Chuck Palahniuk, George Orwell... MANY writers didn't have anything published until they were in their thirties. For years before that, they were practising their writing, getting good, then getting rejected many times before society at large realised they were good. Did they give up just because they got rejected? No. Writing is what their life was about, and to give up on it would have been like giving up on themselves. So through all their rejections they carried on, and still believed they would be a famous (and meaningful) writer one day. For a lot of writers, it's only after they're dead that they're appreciated, but many know that will be the case when they're writing anyway.

(Just from my perspective here... I do definitely want to write more, but it's whether society will reward me enough while I'm alive to do it... we'll see.)

Let's bring it back to money. In the UK in many of the jobs I've done, as soon as people get ANY money they just spend it. Throughout their life they will have either little or no money saved (in fact many of them will be in thousands of pounds of debt... which many will never pay off. Society thinks that's OK, but I don't. I think people should be responsible for themselves.)

Now they're just doing what makes them happy, or gives them an instant buzz, but that's not how I want to live my life. I wouldn't want to be dependent on government handouts, or worry about money. Like I've said, money is just like a score in a video game to me... but if you've got enough money you can do things, challenge your body and mind, that you couldn't do without it.

Also, if you want to get a lot of money usually you have to be patient and prudent. Read Think and Grow Rich and The Millionaire Next Door for monre info on this. Getting rich generally follows what Brian Tracy calls 'The Law of Accumulation'... small efforts add up to something big.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Should you go to University?

Stevie PUA gave me a tip about using examples to illustrate my themes that I talk about... so I'm giving that a try :).

As you're already aware, a lot of people are conditioned by society to do things that fit in with the crowd. These things may be good for 'society at large' (or at least politicians and the police etc may think so!) but are they good for you?

University season is starting again soon, and maybe some of my readers are thinking about whether to go or not. Have to be honest, apart from one brief moment of doubt, I never thought about whether I would go or not, I always assumed I would. That's what my parents and the education system had told me what's best for me.

In the UK, a lot of smart young people are conditioned to think like this. They are told that "going to university is the (only?) way to get a high paying job". There is the groupthink to an extent that because LOTS of people are going to university, you should as well! My sixth form college was great, best education I've had, but I remember one time when we were sitting in a tutorial and the teacher was asking us what we were going to do next year. Practically everyone there said they were going to uni (in fairness there might have been a couple of people who 'bunked off' who might not have wanted to go!) but there was one person who didn't. Suddenly, the happy atmosphere was gone and the person was subjected to intense questioning about WHY he didn't want to go uni. After the questioning he was told it would be the best thing for him.

Anyway, I'm aware the tone of this post may be slightly 'anti uni'... so I'll try and balance it out, or at least give you some info that might be useful for you if you do decide you want to go! A lot of people believe that going to uni will get them a higher paid job... will it? All depends... a lot of figures showing graduates earning more through their life time are based on past events... the fewer people who have degrees, the more valuable they are, and more and more people are getting them now.

If you do decide to go to uni make sure you research it extensively first. Check out all the modules and the people who will be teaching those modules. Check out the whole uni by visiting it (probably on an Open Day), talk to the students there... (I was a student ambassador for over two years in uni)... but also if you want to be smart, go on a regular day too, and ask regular students about it. You could even 'crash a lecture' for free!

Another key point to consider... going to uni could well be three years of lost earnings for you. Quite shameful to say this, but I was partly in the mindset that you couldn't get a decent full time job until you'd finished uni! You can! There have been people doing the same job I've been doing just recently straight out of school. If you are at uni or want to go, I'd recommend you doing a job at the same time. I did, you'll have plenty of time to do so, and you'll learn at least as much from that as you do from the course.

Remember to be aware of all the costs in going to uni too... you have to decide for yourself whether they are worth the investment.

Quick key point before I blast out... remember that the people you meet at uni and the relationships you develop are VITAL. (This is a plus point for going to uni tbh.) If you're a money thinking kind of person, they're worth money. If you're a social kind of person, you won't even need to be told this and you'll like meeting new people anyway ;).

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Knowing Your Value

It's really important to know your value. Previously I've been guilty of not knowing in regards to work... when I first came out of uni I thought ANY full time job would be good... as I'd never had one before. Most people sell themselves short.

Take a look around in your workplace. Are you smarter than most of the people there, or are they smarter than you? If you're young and looking to learn then it's a good thing if most of the people there are smarter than you, or at least have skills or attributes that you'd like to learn. If you're young and this isn't true (there should be at least a COUPLE of people you feel you could learn valuable skills from) then you're probably in the wrong job.

Another important question to ask yourself is... am I mainly in this job to learn or earn? If you're an inexperienced salesman, for example, learning should be around about as important to earning to you. Think of sales skills you learn as having a monetary value and that will inspire you to learn more.

But if you're an experienced salesman, do you really need to learn the same things over and over again? No. You should be looking to push your comfort zone and learn new things. Good news- in MOST sales jobs, there will practically always something new you can learn about the product knowledge, either that of your own product or of your competitors. Use your work mates as a resource too- if you're in good worksplace there will be much you can learn from them.

Say you're working online... your fellow employees can be anyone you know from forums or who you have on msn. There's a massive amount you can learn!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Energy Saving

Going on an appointment to save money on a client's energy bills... only charging £5 (should only take 10-15 minutes)... I reckon I'll save him around £200 per year. If you want me to perform a similar service please let me know :). I'm also available for online consultation.

Actually recieved £10 for doing it (he wanted to give me £10 plus free drinks and chocolate). Saved around £200 per year... by staying with the same provider! Enjoyable and ready to do again!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Chess Books for Sale

I've decided to sell practically all of my chess books.

Mastering the French Neil Mc Donald and Andrew Harley £5 Three Steps to Chess Mastery A Suetin £3 Batsford Chess Openings G Kasparov £5 The World's Greatest Chess Games G Burgess J Nunn J Emms £3 Master Chess N Davies D Kopec... £3 The Polgar Sisters £3 Steve Davis Plays Chess Steve Davis David Norwood £3

Winning Chess I Chernev and F Reinfield £3 Weapons of Chess B Pandolfini £3 Logical Chess Move by Move I Chernev £3 Winning Chess R Keene £3. Bulk buyers preffered for postage costs.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Everybody's doing what they think is best for Themselves!

This is a concept I've had for a while now... and I think it's interesting to write about.

Everything anyone says or does is what they think is best for themselves. Totally natural, nothing 'immoral' or 'wrong' about that. What you have to do is calibrate getting what YOU want when other people are trying to get what THEY want. One weakness I've had is to be thinking of other people's interests too much... for example giving them money saving advice when they weren't really interested in money. Waste of my time and theirs- I won't make that mistake in the future.

Thing is, if you can find smart people and you both want to get similar things, then you could well be more effective, so that's fine.

As you'll have seen from reading this blog, knowing what YOU want is crucial. If you have clearly defined written goals, and you WANT them, you're a long way there to winning.

This is going to be a quick post, as I'm currently listening to 50 Cent's "I Get Money"... and I want to get some more for fun. But quickly understand, this applies to everything. Christianity, people are 'doing good' to make themselves feel better and to be part of a 'nice community'. In most good sales places, people are doing everything they can to sell, make themselves feel good, and get money. It's quite fun watching it tbh.

Yeah, so done quick update now... will update again later. You'll have noticed I've now got a "DONATE NOW" button on my blog. It's because.... I'd like you to donate now :). Some money will make me more likely to keep writing quality content! Thanks in advance.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Here is the full version of my post published on the ECF forum about the chess tax (supposedly) coming to Yorkshire, unedited by Jack Rudd who seems to think freedom of speech is ok... when he's the one doing the censoring!

Ok it wouldn't stop players joining local leagues (except those who paid the tax) but the player base for playing local leagues and Saturdays are the same. Either way it's still asking for more money for players- I'm very interested to see how the collection does.

Let's have a view from... my perspective! I played chess in leagues for 12 years (with a couple of gaps in between, but in some seasons I played 40 YCA rated matches, including congresses)... there are a number of things which made me stop playing (not being good enough at calculation, being sensitive to things like noise and Neville Pearce deliberately devouring a cheese sandwich to put me off after a long trip to York, the amount of time it took, the type of venues sometimes had to play in, my grading being messed up a lot (the ECF also did this)) but quite a big thing for me when I stopped playing was the realisation... I put all this effort and time into chess... yet I have to pay to play!

How many smart young chessplayers are going to want to play in Yorkshire in the current conditions... answer is very few long term! And the extra fee will be a deterrant to some older new players as well- teams are struggling to recruit players as it is.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

To practise writing, I've been typing out lyrics from songs. Here's the one I just did...

With the same sword they knight you They gon good night you with Shit that’s only half if they like you That even a half what they might do Don’t believe me ask Michael See Martin, see Malcolm See Bigge see Pac See Success and its outcome See Jesus see Judas See Ceaser See Brutus See success is like suicide Suicide it’s a suicide If you succeed prepare to be crucified

Goal Review

Quick post here...

So far I think I'm doing OK for my goals overall for the year... but now I'm going to smash it in sales :). Put the energy in, put the hours in, and sell a lot. Ready to rake in the cash!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

How to Play Texas Hold’em

How to Play Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em poker is the most popular form of poker in the world and this article will teach you how to play.

The game consists of two cards being dealt to each player and then five community card being dealt by the dealer and the players will use a combination of these cards to make the best five card hand. Whoever has the best hand at the end of the betting will win the pot.

Here is the list of the rank of hands, starting with the lowest.

A High card- the highest card is an Ace, followed by King, Queen... One pair is two cards of the same rank, such as two Aces. Two pair is two cards of the same rank and another two cards of the same rank, such as two Aces and two Kings. Three of a kind is three cards of the same rank such as three Aces.

A Straight is five cards of sequential rank, such as 10, Jack, Queen, King Ace. A Flush is five cards of the same suit, such as Ace of hearts, two of hearts, five of hearts, seven of hearts and eight of hearts. A Full House is thee of a kind and a pair, such as Ace, Ace Ace and King King. Four of a kind is four cards of the same rank such as Ace Ace Ace Ace. Straight Flush is a straight of entirely one suit such as Ten of diamonds Jack of diamonds Queen of Diamonds King of Diamonds Ace of Diamonds. Royal Flush An Ace-High straight of one suit.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Listening to the voice inside your head... then ACTING on it.

Are you really living an authentic life if something rushes through your head, be it an image or words, and you don't act on it?

Probably not.

Why did I say 'probably'? Well, you CERTAINLY aren't if you have programmed into your subconscious the right things you want for yourself. Even if you haven't, you probably know them anyway, they'll just be less clear in your head.

So yeah, you have to act on them. In the visualisation I've been doing today, I've been picturing myself at the end of my life, at an awards ceremony or something, saying "Yeah... I wasn't 'supposed' to have the level success I have now, this wasn't supposed to 'happen' to me. But no matter what people said to me, no matter what the situation, I've always had that self belief. People are more skilled than me in certain aeras, but very few have that same level of inner belief." (And understanding I guess.)

Anyway yeah... have to make that happen. I will though. Part of this post came out of writing an email to Stevie PUA- click on link to visit his site. I'd recommend clicking on all of the links if you haven't already.


Friday, 20 April 2012

Goal Review

Right... time for a goal review. Part of me wants to write this... well pretty much all of me does now, some of me didn't before. Taking a bit more time on it than some of my posts- I've got my goals that I set out at the start of the year in front of me and I'm reviewing it.

Wealth wise, I'm doing alright up to press. Decent offensive play in earning money, and good defensive play in saving it. Have to remember in general to keep pushing my comfort zone, trying new ways to earn and save money is fun!

Sales... I think overall so far this year I have performed fairly well. Saying that, I haven't totally smashed it. Let's be direct- pretty recently I left one of the biggest and best companies in the UK for sales. I could have stayed there longer, but I felt that the sales process wasn't ideal (aka it wasn't really workable for the product I was selling... to be honest selling any kind of product in this way in the UK is very difficult now I believe) but more importantly, I wasn't enjoying it.

I left the company on probably the best terms I've left any company and they said they'd be happy for me to work for them again. I've had quite a few other sales jobs ring me up and offer me interviews (some practically giving me the job) but I'm going to be very choosy on what job I take if I'm going to go into another sales role.

Fact is, since then I've been putting more energy into my goals than I have been before really- putting in the hours in poker, surveys and ecommerce every day. Poker has been going pretty well this year... I'm running much better than last year. Cashed in 7 of the WBCOOP events, cashing in a lot of tournaments, cashed in the recent Sunday Storm. SCOOP is coming up and I have plenty of tickets. At my cash game peak, playing very nicely... have to rememebr just to put in the time at the cash tables, the results will come. Truth is, if these things go well enough that will be enough to support me financially anyway- even if I decide to do something else I'm developing great areas to achieve money 'on the side'.

I'm glad I've got a good group of people who're supporting me. Still want to meet more, and I still want my friends to achieve their goals too.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to get in touch if you think we can help each other reach our goals I'm Mark Howitt on Facebook and @MarkHowitt on Twitter.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Breaking Free of Social Norms

You only have one life.

As I've alluded to before, up until around 3 and a half years ago, I over thought things quite a lot. That's what playing chess, writing fiction, studying philosophy does to you. There would be so many thoughts bouncing around in my brain that I wouldn't TAKE ACTION on many of them. I also subconsciously probably had a mentality that I was alright enough to be 'good' at something but not amazing.

Like most people, I was stuck in my comfort zone. Although to be fair, I did push myself more than most. The principles still apply though, I was letting overthinking and social conditioning hold me back from interesting experiences.

As long as subconsciously you know what you want, and you have the right thinking behind wanting it, you should practically always trust your instincts. The default option is to ALWAYS trust your instincts- you will either be right or wrong, and personally my instincts are right about what I want at least 90% of the time.

Malcolm Gladwell's Blink has a more detailed and analytical explanation of this if that's what you're into. I personally found the book a bit complicated and long (although good overall!) and will maybe come back with an Amazon link to it. Not going to do that now though, want to keep the flow.

When a thought forms in your brain usually it's something which should be just acted on. There is a LOT of social conditioning going on in the UK which people don't realise. A lot of it is termed 'political correctness'- in a nutshell, if you're politically correct you're basically giving into a leftist doctrine. If that's what you want, that's OK for you, but it isn't for me. Quite often going around the UK now, when I feel alright at least, I feel like I'm doing what I want, DESPITE an element of 'Big Brother' watching me. Hi CCTV... yeah I'll just do what I want anyway.

I hope you're enjoying this post... now go take ACTION!