What’s Important Right Now?

May Marketing, Motivation and Meaning

by Paul Copcutt

It may already seem like an age, but realistically we are at the beginning of one of the most disruptive events we are likely to experience in our lifetimes. 

We have a whole new appreciation for the people we live with, work with, buy from, depend and rely on.


Like me, you have probably been asking yourself similar questions;

When can we broach the subject of doing business again? 
What is acceptable when it comes to marketing a product or service?
Is it appropriate to promote on social media? 

Everyone is going to have different methods, feel differently about what is okay and what is not, start earlier than others. 

For you, the answer is easy. 

What’s Important Now. For you and your business. 

You may be ready, you may not be, but you will know when you are. It might be now, tomorrow, next week, next month. And that is okay. 

Three conversations to have to help figure out when that is; 

1. A conversation with your present self first. 
Whatever plans you had for 2020 have likely changed. Take the time to revisit those plans and redefine what you want the rest of 2020 to look like. Then you can start to work out what it’s going to take to make that happen. 

2. A conversation with your clients or customers. 
If you have not done so already, reach out to your clients or customers and see how they are doing. Not with any agenda to sell anything but from a genuine desire to let them know you are there to help. Listen to their concerns and goals, it will help you determine how can you best serve them. 

3. A conversation with your future self. 
Many conversations I have had with others have revolved around the silver lining of this crisis. What it has helped them appreciate, not miss or even redesign for themselves.  Many have said they are not going back to how it was before. 

This may be the opportunity for you to look at this whole experience and do or start something that you otherwise might never have done. Or perhaps it gives you the opportunity to finally do that one thing you have been holding off for whatever excuse.

More on what I have been thinking about next time. 


I have always been one to get up earlier and for the last few years have a morning routine that includes reading, usually a latest business book.

More recently I have been looking to supplement my business reading with daily motivational or inspirational content that helps me think differently and manage the current uncertainty this crisis brings. 

Two books that I am working my way through with small snippets each day are;

The Daily Stoics by Ryan Holiday  – one of my favourite writers, pretty much everything he writes gets added to my ‘To read’ list. 

Check out one of his articles ‘All You Need Are a Few Small Wins Every Day” – very appropriate for right now. 

Principles by Ray Dalio – perhaps one of the most enlightened business leaders right now. More life advice that applies to business than the other way around. 

What are you reading right now that is helping you? I would love to hear. 


I was touching base with a former client and friend this past week and we were talking about his previous plans for starting a newsletter and sharing his thoughts and perspectives with a wider audience.

I challenged him to what Seth Godin calls ‘shipping it’ this week.  I am glad he did and wanted to share it with you.

Although he aims it toward financial advisers it is totally applicable for us all – I particularly loved this line “We are washing our hands a lot these days and yet not practicing brain hygiene as much as we should”

If you would like to be added to his list drop John an email [email protected]

Human Capital Insights
John Scott, Toronto
Human capital: the collective resources of an individual and the capacity to bring them to bear for the highest good of all.

Source: Life thus far – a career in financial services, domains of positive psychology, high performance sport, mindfulness, neuroscience and compassion.
Intention: To help move sales and service professionals in the wealth management business to experience less suffering, live with greater joy and support them in healthy, sustainable performance … from grind to great so to speak.
Insight: It’s ok to close your eyes.
When you get back on a plane, you’ll be reminded, “In the event of a loss in cabin pressure, secure your own oxygen mask before helping your children or others.” Well we’ve had a severe “loss in cabin pressure” lately and it is taking an enormous toll economically and in terms of mental health. If we look after ourselves though, we can best help our loved ones and others we care about.
It’s ok to close your eyes. It’s ok to take a break. To rest is ok. High performing athletes do this exceptionally well. About 30% of our brain is activity consumed by sight. Closing our eyes provides immediate rest for our brain. And breathing, like our life depends on it, while our eyes are closed, is … well, a beautiful thing. Our brains weigh about 3lbs or 2% of a 150lb body and require 25% to 30% of fuel we consume for the 86 to 100 billion neurons. Our brain is the master regulator for our whole body (around 100 trillion cells). Our brain needs to be cared for. Being on all the times causes stress and depletion. We are washing our hands a lot these days and yet not practicing brain hygiene as much as we should.
Closing your eyes during the day to take a micro rest, taking a walk, deciding to slow down and unlearn rushing, eating a healthy meal are examples of self-care. Time for just you is ok. You matter. And a break, a walk, a pause doesn’t mean you are less of a parent, uncaring for others or a bad employee. As a behavioural habit lots of people are pretty good at helping others and less so at being kind to themselves. I asked a dear friend the other day how she was doing and it brought tears to her eyes at the degree to which she rarely thinks about that. It’s hard to argue that generally men are not skilled at looking after themselves. I know lots of time that tough exterior reflects we are the best of the best, we are handling it all. Tough guys (and gals) don’t need the sleep others do and consume lots of beer and wine to ease the stress. The want of feeling part of a group, being privately self-critical, showing emotion, expressing feelings, being just you is seen as weak. This imbalance or misalignment is not a requirement. Each of us can be an equal priority with others in our lives. Imbalance and misalignment are energy consumers and balance, alignment, humility, authenticity and compassion are energy creators. We will live longer and be healthier with the latter.
We are designed to thrive and each of us has a birth right to be happy, healthy and fully alive. Of course, we all want that for our children. It’s ok to want it for ourselves too. We all experience painful things in life. Our opportunity is to understand that self-compassion, to alleviate the suffering is available to us and has significant benefits:

  • High correlation with increased wellbeing, positive emotions and resilience.
  • Reduces depression, anxiety and risk of burnout.
  • Allows energy for compassion for others. Builds stronger relationships.
  • Self-compassion is a strength .. a Super Power!

Rightly so at this time there is considerable recognition of and appreciation for frontline workers. Additionally others in some essential services get that well deserved recognition and our respect.
Maybe we could all think of ourselves as frontline workers and offering essential services. As parents with kids at home or having elderly parents, we certainly can feel the need to be activated to help. In that context we are frontline workers. It is an essential service we offer the support, patience and attention required to help others through this time. We are essential to many people in our circle or network.
People in the financial services sector dealing directly or indirectly with people who have lives and are providing love and financial security for their children are frontline workers and essential. Might we consider that we are an essential service to ourselves? Not just in this time, all the time. It is essential for living a full rich and happy life to optimize this body and mind we find ourselves in.

  • Hard to be happy and depleted.
  • Can’t be mentally fit and resilient at “one bar” of power.
  • Hard to express our uniqueness at the highest possible level by not doing for ourselves too.
  • Hard to see clearly the mind blowing miracle of evolution from one-celled organisms 4.3 to 3.8 billion years ago to human beings today in a fog of fatigue and self-criticism

There is a different way to do life that can start now. Here are some ideas to get you moving on that better route:

  • Breathe deeply, exhale slowly (when exhale is longer than the inhale an onboard “switch” calms us down).
  • Try get 7 to 9 hours of good sleep.
  • Exercise – even a good walk is great for the system, in nature is optimal.
  • Meditation. This is a high performance strategy. Calm.com. Headspace.com
  • Eat well. The only things that fuel you is what you eat and drink.
  • Before you fall asleep review at least 3 good facts from the day.
  • Gratitude – be grateful. You are breathing … start there!
  • Be kind – to yourself and others. We have little information about how others are coping these days. Err on the side of compassion

May you be well. It’s better that way,

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