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How I made £18,696 (approx. $25k) in one day through my passive income product

Black Friday – love it or loathe it, a lot of sales are made on Black Friday.

If you look at all the ‘famous’ internet marketers, they weren’t thinking “oh, I don’t like what Black Friday stands for” or “I don’t want to jump on the bandwagon”… No, they just cracked straight on with it and presented a great value sale.

The way I see it is that if I can offer my passive income product (my Legal Academy) at even greater value to encourage people to take action right away and while doing so, I make more than most people make in a month or even a year in one day, then everyone is a winner. There’s nothing to apologise for or be reluctant about….

But first of course, you have to actually HAVE the passive income product that is going to bring in the ££££££.

So how do you create a passive income product (PIP) that will bring in the ££££££ on auto pilot??

1. Deliver massive value

The most important thing is that your PIP needs to be super valuable to your target audience.

In my Legal Academy, I have stacked on the value and keep adding to it – there are over 60+ legal template documents in there, over 20 video guides, checklists, case studies, action plans, quick start videos, an 8 week mini law school, training webinars, a Facebook group, mp3 files, transcripts – basically everything I could think of that would make putting legal protection in place super easy for small business owners.

As a result of that value, members are more than happy to recommend my PIP wherever they think it appropriate. A lot of sales are made purely because members love my Academy.

2. Start small and build up slowly

Saying that, don’t think you need to create all of the above content on day one… I started very simply with files in Dropbox folders and videos hosted on You Tube. I did not create my all singing all dancing membership site on day 1. Nor did I have a fancy sales page.

I kept it simple and I sold the Academy v1.0 over 4 webinars. The webinars were all on different areas of the law for small business owners with a very small pitch at the end for my Academy (ie about 95% valuable content).

I offered lifetime membership to the early adopters for a very low price so that even though the content was not as comprehensive as it is now and even though the delivery was not very sophisticated, the initial members still received tremendous value.

I had at least 50% of the people on the webinar take up the offer!

3. Sell before you create

This is very important. There is absolutely no point slaving away for hours creating a PIP that you think is amazing if you don’t know for sure that there is a good market for it.

Yes it takes a leap of faith to take people’s money before actually having the product, but with some careful planning it is absolutely possible.

It also prevents the catch 22 dilemma where as an expert, you can’t clear the space to create your PIP because you need the income from your one to one paying clients.

4. There is no perfect time to create your PIP

That leads me nicely on to the point that there really is no perfect time to create your PIP.

I had thought about launching my Academy for about two years before I finally got round to it.

It was actually thanks to Bernadette Doyle and one of her training videos where she was being particularly emphatic about this point that there is never a perfect time – the thing that separates the winners from the losers is the winner’s ability to take action now.

This convinced me that I had to just get on and do it.

And it was probably the worst time ever! My littlest was only 4 months old and I was still breastfeeding her twice a night.

My husband thought I was completely crazy….

But after a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears, it was done. And from then on, I literally did earn money in my sleep…

5. It’s not easy – in fact it can be really bloody hard…

Like I say, I decided to create my PIP when my littlest was 4 months old. I really could not have picked a worse time.

I was having to create 3 to 5 legal document templates a week, 2 to 3 video guides, a checklist, a case study and an action plan.

For 8 weeks I think I got about 3 hours sleep a night.

It is probably the hardest I have ever worked in my life!

And that is saying something seeing as I used to work at the world’s largest law firm where 18 hour days were the norm…

I had imagined it would be easy to home shoot my own videos – how wrong could I be. It was a complete disaster!

I ended up running really behind on the videos but my initial members were very forgiving when I explained I was going to have to get a professional videographer in.

Enter my Knight(ess) in Shining Armour – Mi Elfverson of True North Vision. She came to my home, made it look beautiful and we shot all of the videos in one day.

Anyone who tells you that creating a successful PIP is easy is lying… You have to do the graft upfront.

But then once the hard work is done, subject to a bit of updating from time to time, you really can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour over and over and over again.

6. Get feedback and refine

As part of the initial offer for very low cost lifetime membership, I made it clear that the reason the membership fee was so low was that we were looking for feedback on the Academy so that we could improve all aspects of it before we did a big launch.

We had about 100 initial members and my assistant at the time spoke to each and every one of them gathering incredibly valuable feedback and just as importantly testimonials that we could use on the launch.

We asked them if they were happy for us to craft a testimonial from what they had told us and send it to them for their approval. That way we could focus on the benefits that we wanted to bring out in the launch rather than having the woolly testimonials that customers tend to give.

As part of that feedback process we added the quick start videos, the mp3 files, and the transcripts, constructed the new membership site and split the membership into two levels.

Some feedback was considered but not implemented where the cost/benefit anaylsis didn’t stack up. For example some members suggested branded binders to be delivered at the start of the membership.

In theory this is a great idea, but when you look at the cost of producing and shipping the binders as against the value people would get (and how much extra they were prepared to pay) it was a non-starter.

7. Keep the costs down

For my initial sales through the webinars, the costs of creation (other than my time) were very low.

I used Gotowebinar for the webinars (about £60 a month) and my videography cost me about £600.

I was using free video hosting and a free Dropbox account to store the files.

I was paying £150 a month for Infusionsoft which delivered my emails and provided the payment gateway to my free Paypal account, but this is not at all necessary – you could use the free version of Mailchimp just as effectively.

When it came to building the membership site (about 6 months after the soft launch by selling on my 4 webinars), I could have hired someone in the UK to build me one for about £10k.

What I actually did was found a great guy in India who was brilliant and charged me £250… A bit of a difference and I got exactly what I wanted.

Saying that, I had pretty fixed ideas about what I wanted and how it would look.

I think if I had needed ideas about layout or design he wouldn’t have been the right choice.

I used a great free tool called Balsamiq which lets you create wire frames of websites so that I could show him exactly where I wanted everything to go.

He followed that to the letter and added a tonne of content all included in the price.

I also used a fabulous VA in the Philippines who went through all the content for me and branded it with the new brand and logo. She charged me something like £100 for a mammoth job.

I hired someone through fiverr to do a new logo for me and while it is not the most enticing, it does the job for now…

new-sbla

And it was much better than the one I started off with… yes really…!!

old-sbla

I also made the little intro video myself using VideoMaker FX (about £8 a month) and Screenflow (£80) – I can’t believe how terribly home made it looks now – at the time I was super impressed with it!

You can watch it by clicking here http://www.smallbusinesslegalacademy.co.uk/sbla

By the way, that’s an updated sales page to the one we used for the launch but the video is the same – I keep meaning to re-do it….

I used Optimizepress 2.0 and Wishlist member for the membership site – both one off fees of about £200 each.

I love Optimizepress – it is so easy for even a non-techy person like me to add content and edit content. I looked at Kajabi but it didn’t allow the flexibility I wanted and had a fairly hefty monthly charge.

8. Start building your network of influencers right now

Having a super valuable PIP is not the end of the story. You need to get the word out about how great your PIP is.

Now if it is super valuable, you will to an extent have word of mouth sales, but that takes time to grow.

What will bring in the big sales is having influencers promote your PIP to their audience.

When I had created the membership site, rebranded all the content and added the new content, I launched the new Academy v2.0 to about 70,000 people.

This was all without any marketing spend up front.

How did I do that – I had a network of 30 JV partners who were lined up to promote my launch for me to their large audiences of my ideal clients.

I identified 10 people who I thought had a small (less than 500) but engaged list of subscribers, 10 people who had a medium sized list (500 to 5000) and 10 people who had a large list (5000+).

I learned this from Brendon Burchard – it’s no good just going to people who have huge lists.

Those lists may be completely disengaged.

It’s important to get the spread right and indeed some of my best JV partners have been the ones with the small/medium sized lists who have a really engaged audience and where the audience really trust them to add value.

People like Catherine Watkin, Lucy Whittington, Karen Skidmore and Veronica Pullen all have amazing relationships with their lists and have proved to be fantastic joint venture partners.

Saying that I also had great results from people who had bigger lists like Joanna Martin, Nicola Bird and Dan Bradbury.

But some people who had big lists produced hardly any sales. So it’s important not to put all your eggs in one basket.

9. Have a launch strategy

When you are launching your PIP, especially if you are launching through JV partners, it is critical to have a very well thought out launch strategy.

This is a time when winging it is not an option.

I actually hired someone to help me with the launch process and set up all of the Infusionsoft campaigns and was very glad I did.

This cost £5000 but the person I hired promoted the Academy and didn’t charge me an affiliate fee so I more than recovered that £5k through sales from his list.

I also hired someone to create the sales page which was a £100 very well spent…

You can see the old version here http://smallbusinesslegalacademy.co.uk/salespage/.

10. Expect things to go wrong

We had a few massive cock ups by the team I hired that if I hadn’t have been eagle eyed about the launch sequence would have made the whole thing a massive failure.

The infusionsoft sequence had been set up incorrectly so that rather than my whole list seeing the offer, only a small fraction would have seen the offer.

But thankfully I was on the ball and narrowly averted disaster.

Then, on the morning of the launch, half of the web page disappeared… Seriously!

And at the same time my mum managed to lock my baby in the car on my drive, wearing hardly any clothes on the coldest day in January…

Could not make it up…

Fortunately my years of things going wrong last minute on multi-million pound deals when I was working in the City had prepared me for this and I managed to deal with it all quite calmly…

Then on the closing day of the offer period, Paypal froze my account. This was despite me having called them twice to let them know I would be having increased sales (as I had heard about them freezing accounts before).

The lady I spoke to informed me that they would unfreeze the account but they would keep 90% of the launch proceeds for 12 months!!!!

I absolutely hit the roof! I had expenses to pay, JV partners to pay and there was no way they were keeping my money for 12 months.

I got heavy with them and they eventually capitulated. They agreed to keep 30% for a rolling 3 months. Not ideal but significantly better than the first option.

11. Build on the success of the launch

On the face of it, we had quite a successful launch (£30k / $45k) but some fairly hefty JV commissions to pay out. After all the costs were taken into account, there wasn’t masses of profit.

But enough to prove that the Academy could be very successful.

And for me, it actually isn’t about the money, it’s about proving to myself that things can be done.

And we did it!

Since then, most of my sales have been though one off promotions. Most people are reactive when thinking about legal matters – ie they only look for help when the shit has hit the fan and not before…

So I have to find a way to encourage them to take action right now and that typically is through discounted sales.

Which brings me full circle to this year’s Black Friday sale and the £18,696 I made in one day.

This time I had a small number of affiliates and I didn’t pay them an affiliate fee.

Instead I ran a competition with prizes of either an overnight spa stay at Lime Wood (in my view the best spa hotel in the UK) or a dinner at the Fat Duck (one of the best restaurants in the world).

I am very pleased that my good pal Catherine Watkin won the competition! Catherine is a very generous promoter and invests a lot in building trust with her list so completely deserves to win.

All I did promotion-wise was send 4 emails in one day setting out the key benefits (not features) of the Academy and stressing the huge discount if they bought on that day with a link to the sales page.

Now I did get about 3 emails from people (out of a list of 5k+) that objected to my 4 emails in one day… I politely replied to all of these people and explained that I believed so strongly in my product and the incredible value I was offering today that I didn’t want anyone not to see the offer. They were all cool with that…

I also put a post on my business Facebook page and paid £124 to boost the post (I wouldn’t normally do boost on Facebook as it’s not the most efficient but couldn’t be bothered faffing about with Power Editor) – I also didn’t bother with any tracking so don’t know whether this resulted in any sales. Again for a longer campaign I would set all the tracking and conversions.

I posted in my High Performing Women group very late in the day as I was promoting 5 other ladies’ Black Friday sales.

And that was it – not much effort at all to get my £18,696 in sales.

Saying that, please do not forget the effort spent in originally creating the content, building and nurturing my list and nurturing relationships with influencers. There is effort involved, but it is great with a PIP to be able to turn on the tap of sales every so often without a lot of extra effort.

Aside from the creation of the content and the membership site, the launch and the one off promotions, on a day to day basis I probably work one hour a week max on my Legal Academy.

So to have earned over £160k (nearly $250k) from it, is not bad at all!

And after I had created and launched the membership site, it pretty much runs itself – which has allowed me to set up my Masterminds and mentoring groups and quickly build a separate 6 figure business.

I am currently working on the SEO of my site and an evergreen nurturing campaign in order to get more regular sales without the one day promotions.

12. Get some help

There is A LOT to think about when launching a PIP and a lot to get wrong…

Do not go into it lightly…

As Peter Voogd says “the most expensive way to learn is from your own mistakes”.

I invested £4k in mentoring programmes and £5k in planning my launch. Yes still mistakes were made but a whole lot less than if I had been going it alone.

So to help you, I have put together a Passive Income Product strategy planner.

If you want to get hold of my free Passive Income Product strategy planner, click here.

Then you can start the process of planning out your PIP and taking your first steps to recurring passive income – surely the holy grail for every small business owner!

Cheers!!

Overcoming Setbacks

It’s not always easy running our own business.

We have some good days when all seems to be in flow.

And then we have days when it seems we are pushing a ten tonne weight up a hill.

Last week was one of those ten tonne weight weeks for me.

I made an offer that I thought was compelling.

I had run the programme a number of times before and it has always received amazing feedback.

I thought I had presented the benefits well, the price was, in my mind, a no brainer – and yet no one, yes I mean NO ONE took me up on the offer.

When we are running our own expert businesses and put so much of “us” into the offer, it really can affect us if we don’t get the responses that we had hoped for.

It’s completely different from selling when we are employed – yes we might not get the sales bonus we were hoping for, but we don’t take lack of sales as a personal affront.

With selling our own expert products and services, it is very easy to take rejection of our offers very personally.

We start to think ‘nobody wants my help”, “maybe it’s all rubbish”, “I’m no good” and other demoralising and disempowering thoughts of not being good enough.

So what to do, sit back and lick our wounds and wallow in self-pity or take all the steps we can to learn from the failure and move on past it.

After a few hours of wallowing in self-pity, I chose the latter smile emoticon

If you are having a ‘pushing a ten tonne weight up a hill week’, here’s some simple steps that really helped me that I hope will also be helpful for you if and when you need them:

1. REFLECT ON WHY YOU ARE DISAPPOINTED WITH THE OUTCOME

I realised I was so disappointed with the outcome because I feel incredibly strongly about helping people in this area.

I know the hugely positive difference becoming the Go To Expert has made in my life and I feel called to help others do the same.

The easy thing would have been for me to give up on my Expert Authority work and continue with the legal side, as there is always big demand there.

But I realised that when challenges like this arise, ‘easy’ is not what is important. Being true to ourselves is what is important.

Tapping into my disappointment and how much I cared about this made me determined to persist, to up my game and to deliver even more value.

2. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU COULD HAVE DONE BETTER

I thought about what I could have done better.

In retrospect, my email announcing the offer was weak, it had no urgency in it, I sent it on a Friday (the poorest converting day for offers), the energy was all wrong and I could and should have done a lot more in terms of adding value before making the offer.

The webinars leading up the offer were based on another persons’ style of webinar and not my own – there was too hard a sell for my target audience and I don’t feel my personality came across – how could it when I was following someone else’s style…

I focused too much on selling “Expert Authority” and talking about helping people with the “authority journey”, but actually what I do is help experts to make more money and work less by increasing their leads, increasing their prices and helping to set up passive income streams, and I could have brought this out a lot more in the webinar.

There are no doubt many more things I could and should have done better and I will continue to reflect on this.

The important thing is to view any setbacks as a learning point. As Thomas Edison said – “I haven’t failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked over; what matters is how many times you get back up.

PS if you are struggling to think what you could have done better, seek feedback from your prospects – I did this and people were refreshingly honest with me (I asked them to be honest) and I gained valuable insights from this.

PPS trying to blame others, criticising, making excuses, complaining etc is not a good way to move forwards – take responsibility for the outcome and see what you could have done better

3. GET SOME PERSPECTIVE ABOUT THE EXTENT OF YOUR FAILURE AND HOW GOOD YOUR LIFE IS

It occurred to me as I was in my first few hours of self-pity that I had a roof over my head, some tasty food in the fridge and family and friends that love me. Plus a whole lot more to be utterly grateful for.

I thought of the plight of the Syrian refugees and of all of the people in the world who were not as fortunate as me and suddenly my doubts and concerns seemed completely irrelevant, insignificant and petty.

I thought about how big my ‘failure’ was in the grand scheme of things and realised that I had experienced many bigger ‘failures’ that I had picked myself up from (such as getting sacked from Andy’s Records when I was 17… devastating at the time…). Yes, perspective and more importantly gratitude is a great thing when you are down in the dumps and doubting yourself.

4. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES FROM THE FAILURE

The quote “when God wants to send you a gift, he wraps it up in a problem, the bigger the gift the bigger the problem” came to mind.

And as Napoleon Hill said “with every problem or setback lies the seed of an equal or greater opportunity or benefit; your job is to find it”.

So I thought about what I had learned from this setback and how it had made me grow.

I learned that sharing my experience and support in this area is not something that I ever want to give up.

I learned that I am not invincible and that setbacks can and do happen and that it is how we deal with them that is what is important.

I learned to deal with my fear of sharing my setbacks with other people (HUGE for me…! I like to present myself as invincible…) in the hope that what I share might help someone doubting themselves or their offers.

I learned that I want to give more freely of my knowledge and experience, without any expectation of reward and am excited about launching my Expert Authority podcast and regular periscopes. I’m going to be planning a 2 day conference for next year and also looking forward to expanding my audience to the US and other countries.

In short, I am more excited than I have ever been about how I can help people with my Authority training and mentoring!

5. SHARE YOUR SETBACKS WITH LIKE MINDED PEOPLE

I also shared my concerns and doubts with people in my Mastermind group, people who I have massive respect for, who shared their own stories about offers that had bombed and how they had turned it into a positive.

Not only did this remind me that many (in fact probably ALL) successful business owners have had many setbacks and failures, but it also gave me some good, practical ideas as to how to move forwards.

If you’re not in a Mastermind group or have people you can share similar stories with, just think about JK Rowling and Thomas Edison and how many times they failed, before you even consider giving up.

6. ASK WHAT IS THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU PERSIST?

When you are having doubts about picking yourself up and getting back on the horse, ask yourself what is the worst that can happen?

For me, I thought, well the worst that can happen is that no one wants to take part in my Authority training and mentoring ever again and I won’t be able to share what I know is my true calling.

If I do nothing and give up my work in this area, then that outcome will be a certainty.

But if I keep going, chances are this will not happen. I will learn more, be more valuable, refine my offer, make more relationships and try bigger and bolder things.

7. ASK WHAT IS THE BEST THAT CAN HAPPEN?

When you have asked what is the worst that can happen, it’s time to look at the upside and ask what is the best that can happen – and then how can you improve your chances of that best case scenario actually happening.

For me, the best that can happen is that I help as many peopIe as need it with their Expert Authority journey and becoming the go to expert.

If I learn more, be more, share more, give more, then chances are that this best case scenario will become reality.

8. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, SPRING CLEAN YOUR OFFICE!

My home office had become a bit of a dumping ground and I had been meaning for ages to clear it out and move furniture about to make it more practical and more aesthetically pleasing.

I spent a day clearing it out and moving furniture and now it is an absolute pleasure to work in – in fact, I keep popping my head round the corner when I am passing to have a quick look at it as it makes me feel so good and ready for action!

I have that feeling that we all had when we started a new exercise book at school and wanted to do our best writing in it. I can’t wait to get started and do my best work in my new tidy, practical office!

So there you have it – my 8 step “Moving Past Failure Plan” – I hope that in some small way it helps you if you are struggling with the same issues.

If anyone has any other advice about how to move on past setbacks, please share! And any personal stories about setbacks will be very inspiring to read if you are brave enough to share them… (gulp!)

The confidence game

So much of claiming your Expert Authority is about the confidence game.

If you’re on an upward spiral of confidence, authority marketing will be easy for you.

If you’re on a downward spiral of confidence it will be one of the hardest things you have to do in your business.

I went for lunch recently with a couple of business friends and in the course of our conversation they made a statement that I was the most confident person that they had ever met.

I didn’t disagree with them – I have always had an innate confidence and it somewhat surprises me that the other people don’t feel the same way.

I reflected on this after the lunch and got to thinking about what it was that made me so confident when other people weren’t.

I decided that it came down to two things:

The first was that people had belief in me from day one. My mum, my dad and my school all told me that I could achieve whatever I wanted to. When you’re told this on a regular basis from an early age, you start to believe it.

The second thing that helped to instil my confidence was success itself.

From an early age I was a high achiever, I was a straight-A student with eleven A grade GCSEs, A’s at A level and accepted into a prestigious Law school to study law. I beat 5000 other candidates to a training contract and job at the world largest Law firm and was the first person to be accepted on secondment at Virgin out of a number of candidates from other top rated law firms, with Richard Branson himself offering me a job. As a result of the success of that secondment I was nominated for and voted runner up in the Lawyers’ Solicitor of the Year, a hugely prestigious awards in the legal industry. As a result of that success I had the confidence to enter the Law Society Awards in 2011 and was again shortlisted and runner up in their Solicitor of the Year Award.

I can point to many other successes in my life but the thing about success is that it breeds more success. It’s the confidence spiral – the more that you take actions and get positive results, the more confident you are that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

I think it’s impossible to get the results you are capable of, if you don’t have that innate self-confidence and self-esteem.

So for you, if you are struggling with confidence and results – how can you increase your confidence account?

1. Surround yourself with people who believe in you – that may be family, friends, business colleagues, a mastermind group, a mentor or anyone else who is going to form part of your personal cheer leading team.

2. Start taking small steps that will get you results. If you focus on what you can do this week rather than how much you need to do to reach your goal, your focus will be on what you have achieved rather than how you are lacking in achieving your bigger goals and your confidence account will increase.

If you are struggling with either of these things, (maybe you’re struggling to find your cheer leading team because your friends just don’t really ‘get’ what you do or maybe you’re struggling because you’re not sure which small steps to take in what order), I can highly recommend that you take on a mentor or join a Mastermind group that will support you, motivate you, challenge you and above all else really motivate you and give you that self-confidence that you need to achieve great things in this world. A good mentor or Mastermind group will get you focused on some quick wins so that your confidence account will immediately start increasing. Due to the long term nature of having a mentor or being in a Mastermind group (which are typically 12 months), the confidence spiral really has the time to be reinforced.

I run a couple of very successful Mastermind groups, which as you might expect are groups for experts and a lot of our focus is on Expert Authority. To see our members blossom over their time with us due to their confidence account increasing is a beautiful thing. One of my members recently commented that “It was fascinating looking back at the notes from our original mastermind sessions. How I felt about my business then and now – there’s no comparison. I just couldn’t love my life any more than I do right now.”

If you need help with your confidence account and need a mentor or a Mastermind Group to support you, then please do get in touch using the contact form on the “Contact Us” page and we can have a quick chat to see if us working together would be a good fit.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE (aka how to get a free first class air ticket!)

I love flying, I love travel, I love the whole experience of finding somewhere amazing to go and stay for a week or 2 weeks or even a few days. Of being in a luxurious place that satisfies my senses, where I can relax, spend quality time with my family and/or friends, have some lovely food, drink some nice wine, be in beautiful surroundings, in a beautiful part of the world. It is probably the thing that I love to do most.

One day it dawned on me that chances are by the time I depart this life, I would not have travelled first class, because for me, the uplift in price between Business Class and First Class just doesn’t make sense.

And that was a thought that I didn’t like.

So I resolved to do something about this, because in my world anything is possible!

For example, when Virgin Media told me that it was just “not possible” that they could get an engineer around within the week to install a second digibox when they had messed up on not coming round when they should have done, I did not believe that this was not possible.

I quickly managed to get hold of the e-mail address for the CEO of Virgin and sent him an e-mail explaining what the issue was and how I would like it to be resolved. Even though the CEO was on holiday he quickly replied to my e-mail, he phoned his secretary who phoned me straight back and – guess what?? The very next day an engineer was here to install the digibox. It was possible after all – who’d have thought it…

So with this mindset of anything is possible I decided that I was going to get an upgrade to First Class.

My next flight after I decided this was to Washington to see Yanik Silver at his Underground Conference. I had booked a Business Class seat with air miles, so I think that I paid about £300 for that (just the airport taxes). Not only was I determined that I would get an upgrade, I completely trusted that I would be getting an upgrade to First Class.

So I thought strategically about this. I thought there were three possible places where I would be giving an upgrade. There was the check in, there was the embarkation point and then it was actually on the plane.

The first place that I tried was the check in and I told the lady that as I was travelling without my children it would probably be one of the only opportunity that I have ever had to fly First Class so if there was an upgrade I would be very very grateful. She was very nice about it but told me that because I booked my Business Class ticket on Air Miles there was no way that she could upgrade me.

Possible upgrade point 1 = failed.

Still I trusted that somehow I would be upgraded to First Class.

The next possibility was the embarkation point but I just sensed that it wouldn’t be right to ask at that particular point. I had already overheard a number of people asking for an upgrade and had been told that it wasn’t possible and it just was not the right environment to ask so I just waited for the plane.

Possible upgrade point 2 = failed.

I got on the plane and was shown my allocated seat which I hadn’t been able to choose myself and I noticed two things.

Firstly Business Class was completely full.

Secondly my seat was one of the seats in the middle of the plane with no divider down the middle so there was not any possibility of any privacy – it was one the “cuddling seats” for couples which is a great idea when you’re a couple but not so much when you are on business trying to do some confidential work.

Now as luck would have it, as that moment in time, I was writing a white paper for the government on certain aspects on the legal profession and it was confidential.

So I soon as I got on the plane I noticed where I was sitting, I noticed that there were no other seats in Business Class and I went to the stewardesses and I said: “look, I am very sorry to ask this but I am writing a confidential white paper and the seat that I am in won’t give me the privacy that I need, is there another seat in Business Class that you could move me to”.

So she said she’ll go and have a look and returned back a few minutes later and said to me “Madam, I am terribly sorry but they aren’t any other seat in Business Class, I am afraid we are going to have to move you to First Class.”

Well, I am not entirely sure why she was apologising for moving me to First class, but moved to First Class I was. I had the most wonderful experience, most amazing service that I have ever experienced, and many thanks to the BA staff that looked after me so well.

Possible upgrade point 3 = WIN!

This absolutely confirmed my belief that anything is indeed possible.

So what is on your wish list?

What would you be sad about if by the end of your lifetime you hadn’t experienced something?

All it takes is the decision to make it happen, to go with your instinct and to trust that it will happen.