Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Postcard from Devon

As regular readers of this blog will be aware I am on holiday in south Devon at the moment.

Following a quiet start to July, work has suddenly become extremely, explosively busy, to the point where despite being on holiday I'm doing a solid three or four hours work a day to keep things ticking over.

For example, this morning I rose at 7.45am and went into my office (apartment kitchen) to check e-mails and plan some work for the day, had a client telephone appointment at 10.00am and then did a few bits (including this post) before leaving the apartment to shop at 11.00am.

I also have client calls at 12.30pm and 1.00pm too. Then on my return tonight more e-mails and three client reports to plan out for the next few days. I also have dinner reservations in town at 6.30 pm.

Phew !

Working part time is not conducive to a relaxing holiday !

To keep up with me, check on my Twitter feed : @localventure1 to see what's happening on holiday.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Holidays ... Yay !

Today is my last full business blog post until Monday the 12th of August, when I return from my Summer break (I will be down in Devon with my family from Friday the 26th of July but am in full prep and packing mode tomorrow !).

My kids : Megan (13) and Ryan (7) on the beach at Oddicome near Torquay
around three or four years ago

The last month or so has been a very odd business period with large volumes of business in the pipeline but very little converting to actual new business as people enjoy the sun, BBQ's and obviously going away. I for one will be glad, from a business perspective when we hit September and things get back to normal.

One tip though for late summer sales and marketing. Every year I reissue all of my marketing information, beginning with everything sent from 1st of June onwards a second time in early September. This is a good way of ensuring those people that you missed or were away do get the sales message and it usually means (in my experience) that October and November are much busier months.

Last thing to mention, as I allude to above, whilst away I won't be as pro-active on social medical as usual for obvious reasons. I will be doing the odd post here when I get chance (probably travelogues or personal posts) but I will try and keep people updated via two main media : Twitter and the best one to look out for is my main person account : localventure1 - please feel free to follow me, and also I may do the odd thing on Instagram which I'm playing with for business and you can find me there as user : pkn4395.

Take care and have a good summer and thanks for the on-going support of my readers here.

Don't forget incidentally to check out my podcasts on iTunes search for PMICast or Where's Wilson and at the web stream :


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Episode 20 of Pmicast now available for upload

PMICast is officially 20 today.

Since early March this year we've been podcasting the only 'cast devoted to medical insurance in the UK.

It's been a real roller coaster ride and a significant undertaking to begin but with a strict schedule in place now and a good number of episodes in the bag I think it's going well. From zero listeners in March we quickly peaked at around 600 monthly downloads in April, in recent weeks though we've hit and exceeded 6,000 downloads per month and it is likely that the new episode - number 20 will take us over 7,000 downloads in the last 30 days.

We're taking a short break over the summer and returning in mid August with a new season, new episode 1 and whilst we will admittedly have more of the same we will also try and include some new ideas and features where possible.

Thanks for listening, we appreciate the support and interest and of course the downloads. If you like the podcast please feel free to comment by e-mail on and of course it would be great if you could leave feedback on iTunes - ideally four or five star please !

You can download PMICast in iTunes - just search under the podcast name and subscribe or visit the web feed at

Thanks and here's to getting to ep 50 our next milestone !

Monday, 22 July 2013

New Vodcast - Tech4Biz episode 3

I get asked regularly about how I am able to provide a consistent level of support to both my clients and introducers when I am not in the office. This becomes more of an issue as I am an a
entrepreneur running several businesses at the same time.

I in fact won a very good case earlier in the year with a corporate client on the back of being able to prove to the MD that I could support him as a client regardless of where in the UK or the world I happened to be.

With this in mind and the fact that I am away on holiday from the 26th of July for a fortnight I thought it would be interesting to put up one of my regular tech vodcasts on the subject of client support that I am able to offer remotely via my investment in technology and cloud services.

You can view the video on my You Tube Channel : pkn439 as usual the link is :

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Riffing on Evernote

As it is both the weekend and a few days before I go away on holiday (26th of July but don't worry clients, I am in the UK and will have my full mobile office with me and will be working at least part of every day) I am slightly changing the focus of my work over the next few days and doing less proactive marketing and looking at ensuring everything is 100% up to date and considering some of the work 'thought processes' I might mull over whilst I am away - things to improve the service I offer to clients, take the business forward and so forth. This is something I often do whilst I am away, when the 24/7 work pressures aren't quite so intense. For example, the decision to set up the business as it is now was taken whilst away on holiday in 2010.

One of the things I'm beginning to sketch out on Evernote (one of my current favorite apps and one I'm using increasingly) is a two pronged approach to business - one is scalability - the way of growing, efficiently the scope of this business and then also integration, offering a more solid approach to both client support and also to my business interests in general. I suppose in many ways it is a case of working smarter rather than harder - an age old business mantra. But having had a taste of financial success in 2012 and early 2013 I am really keen to take things forward in a positive way.

Not 100% sure what that looks like right at the minute but maybe after two weeks on hols it will be clearer.

Just to reiterate, although posts during the week here may fall off whilst I am away I am still up and running to support and client or introducer query !

Friday, 19 July 2013

New episode of Where's Wilson now available ...

Just put up an episode of my SF podcast : Where's Wilson on the PMICast stream - check out PMICast on iTunes or at

For this one we welcome back co-host Megan and we talk all things Supernatural plus we come up with the secret origin of a fantastic new podcast idea called : 'Versus' which I think is an excellent and unique plan.

Please download or subscribe as above and please leave us some feedback on iTunes either for PMICast or Where's Wilson.

Have a great weekend.

You Tube Channel Update

As this week has relatively quieter than normal (a function of the heat and summer holidays I suspect) I've had time to do some tweaking on my You Tube Channel and also post some new videos and launch a couple of new ideas and I wanted to give a bit of a break on the content, rationale plus also see if we can get a few people over there to watch videos and subscribe. Hopefully if you read and enjoy this blog or my PMI Cast podcast then you will get something from the YT channel. If you subscribe of course all new content will then be notifiable by e-mail so you won't need to remember to check back all the time.

I've added a new banner header : - this is the main home page for the channel

Hopefully this gives the channel a bit of a brand/identity and it also ties it in with my new podcast website :

More importantly I have amended the channels layout to be driven by playlists (actually I think 'content title listings' is more accurate description) which means that it is now much easier to find the video you're looking for. The playlists are as follows :

1) PMICast - these are the video accompaniment to my audio podcast on medical insurace : PMICast - available on iTunes and

2) Tech4Biz - the aim for this vodcast is to cover relevant business tech and IT issues and hopefully link it to the real world.

3) Business Vodcasts - these are general business items, sometimes linked to one or other of my business but probably more general or 'salesy' - they will be less regular than other vodcasts and maybe a bit shorter too.

4) PMICast Extra - this is a specialist resource for my PMI clients and introducers and I think pretty much unique. The idea here is to cover off some of the FAQ's posed by my clients and professional introducers

In total there are now nine videos and this will continue to grow over time.

Here's a link to the main playlist page which I think is the best way to get in to the channel and find the content.

I would welcome feedback and comments on the videos - I appreciate the content is fairly specialist - they're not necessarily designed to be 'entertaining' so no funny cats, dogs or honey-badgers but hopefully overall they are informative and will help update everyone on what's happening with PMI, my practice and business more generally.

Rather than keep checking back to the channel constantly I'd suggest that you subscribe to my feed to get up to the moment notification when a new video is posted. I'd also be grateful if any of the ads that appear are of interest that you would click through. Although the income from this kind of sponsored ad is minimal any revenue that is driven allows me to invest time in producing interesting and relevant content.

Lastly we're currently at around 150 views - please watch and tell your friends/colleagues and this will get the content to more people both directly and via google/seo presence.

Many thanks

New daily Instagram initiative KEY NOTE blog post

Today I'm unveiling (launching?) a new daily video blog on Instagram video - the 15 second vid just points interested people towards one or other elements of my business or financial empire (?) - I'll try to put this in place once a day, Monday to Friday. If you're interested in finding it, simply search for me on Instagram - my member name is pkn4395

...... and just one more thing, as well as a unique new support to keep all my followers and interested parties abreast of my practice and thoughts I have also begun to develop a new series of short videos to support my clients.

The first two are already live at my You Tube Channel :

The first discusses the information and process I need to undertake a review of existing PMI cover for my clients

Then there is one covering completion of the PruHealth application form

These short videos are designed to be quick and easy to access for clients to see instantly what info I need or how a process in my advice to them works. If the video is relevant to a client I'll simply e-mail them a link to review the video feed.

This is unique in my market so far as I'm aware and will hopefully add value to what I'm doing with them. I'm calling this new video support service : PMICast Extra - obviously the videos won't necessarily apply unless you're a client in a particular situation but please feel free to check them out anyway !


Thursday, 18 July 2013

You Tube promo for this blog - picking up some buzz on line this afternoon

It's been quite quiet on the phone/emails today so I've taken the opportunity to play with some AV stuff to publicise my business - one idea was a slightly off the wall promo for this blog - i posted it to You tube, Vine and Instagram and it's gotten a bit of a buzz even in a few minutes so I thought it was worth mentioning here too.

Please click on the link and then give me some feedback - quick, cheap and (some might say) nasty way of getting people across to the blog but it seems to be working !

Seem to be getting a few hits on this YT promo for my blog - check it out : #businessblog there's also versions on my Vine and Instagram accounts if you can locate them.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Have five spare minutes tonight ?

Were I to have five or so minutes this evening, I would suggest checking out either the latest episode of PMICast on iTunes or this will give you the latest on private medical insurance.

You could also view my vodcasts on medical insurance and tech at :

If you have a minute left over then visit my new podcast business at - I'm hoping to help both businesses and individuals podcast about their passions - contact me at for more details.

PMICast Episode 19 and Tech4Biz Episode 2 now available

Hi there and welcome to podcasting Tuesday.

You can find the usual episode of PMICast now on iTunes and at the episode this week focuses on a marketing campaign process I am offering to both existing and new introducers over the Summer with a view to developing new business and income for them.

In addition, my new Tech4Biz podcast is also a tie in episode with a 'behind the fourth wall' view of the tech that is supporting this campaign - you'll find this at

Please check both out !


If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395

& my articles for Premier Choice at :

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - & - both available on iTunes

Google Plus :
Facebook :

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

My You Tube Channel - pkn439

You can find my You Tube Channel by clicking the following link :

On the channel there are two main things of interest. Firstly you'll find my occasional PMICast vodcasts. At the moment there are three episodes live - some are full versions of the audio podcast episodes (on iTunes and at and others shorter more specialised segments just for the video podcast. Either way if you're interested in my business, podcast of healthcare insurance in general then they are worth checking out.

There is also my new Tech vodcast : Tech4Biz which will focus on business related tech issues and the first one is an overview of my home office system. The next one, which I'm hoping to get live this coming week will be covering some of the tech elements of a marketing process I'm planning for some clients. If you're an introducer to my medical insurance business or are interested in becoming one, then this will be great for you. There will also be a tie in episode of the audio PMI podcast as well.

More on all this later in the week.

In terms of views I'd really like to get more people watching the videos - so please tell your friends and colleagues - at the moment we've had 94 views of all videos and I'd like to get to over 200 to make them more 'credible' please have a view and if you like please leave feedback or 'likes'.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Podcast Numbers

Been checking the 30 days stats on my podcasts in the last 30 days we had combined iTunes and site downloads of nearly 5,000 - this is up 500 downloads in the last fortnight and well over 1,000 up on the previous 30 days period.

Thanks for listening and keep telling everyone you know.

You can find PMICast in iTunes and also www.pmicast/

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Podcast Update - exciting new Science Fiction podcast

Just uploaded the latest episode of Where's Wilson - the science fiction podcast I run with my kids. This is Ep 7 and is up on the PMICast stream at and on iTunes - search under PMICast.

This one covers Dr Who 50th Anniversary special and Supernatural.

You can also find episode 6 on the same stream which is a review of the second half of season 7 of Dr Who in 2013, finishing with the name of the doctor.

Due to a problem with the Where's Wilson stream ( we don't seem to be able to post there at the moment - hence the move to the PMICast stream.

At the moment Eps 4 and 5 are still on that WW feed at podbean and available by searching for whereswilson on iTunes - sorry it's a bit fragmented at the minute but for the foreseeable future WW will sit on the PMICast stream.

Listening to some back editions of WW it really is quite fun and funny (I hate listening to my own podcasts but can sit and listen to WW and laugh outloud at some bits - so I would recommend it whether you like Sf or not.

Here's link to the Dr Who trailer we discuss in the podcast :

Ethical use of Linkedin

I spend a goodly proportion of my work time within the hallowed halls of Linkedin. I find it an invaluable resource for me as a business person and from both a networking and a sales/marketing standpoint it regularly provides me with new leads, introducers and clients. It is a resource that I wholeheartedly embrace.

On Friday I had a minor spat with a person on Linkedin (as usual, no names no pack drill) who objected to receiving a brief message from me highlighting some of the services offered by my business. Although I understand his point, that the message was unsolicited ... it was. I do not think actually that the point is valid in the context of Linkedin.

The whole point of Linkedin is to network with like minded colleagues - business people who are interested in meeting (on-line) their peers and learning about what is out there in the business world, locally, nationally and across the world. However, if you are not connected to someone you cannot freely message them, so the person in question has joined (several) entrepreneurial business groups local to me, as have I. To expect no one to ever contact you on Linkedin, who have similar interests (in a business context) with any kind of sales and marketing message is frankly ludicrous and to waste the resource of having access to a unique tool like Linkedin for a business is in my opinion not ludicrous but rather naive and a little foolish.

So I think sending and receiving sales and marketing missives on Linkedin is actually part of the value of this social media website and I for one always read sales messages from contacts - I don't always buy from them obviously but I'm always extremely interested and appreciate them if only from the standpoint of understanding who they are and what they do. This means when I actually want to buy a service I always have lots of options from good Linkedin contacts and often get a brilliant deal - it's not rocket science.

Receiving a message on Linkedin is not like receiving unsolicited sales e-mails (which again I personally do always check out before deleting if the service isn't relevant to me) there is a tacit 'buy in' to the networking element of the site and as described above if you then choose not to make use of the resource actively, then more fool you.

I did apologise to this person for, as they perceived it, wasting their time and pointed out I could to a point understand their view but that mine is different and I couldn't agree with their basic premise.

If you want to connect with me on Linkedin please feel free - the link is here :

If you would like to sell me things, please have a go - the more the merrier. I might not buy from you but if I need your service I will come back to you and if your idea is clever I might include it here (happy to give anyone free advertising !!!).


If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395

& my articles for Premier Choice at :

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - & - both available on iTunes

Google Plus :
Facebook :

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Camping the Next Generation

When I was 11 I had my only real taste of proper camping when I went to the Lake District with middle school for three or four days.

It was proper camping in that it was two people to a tent - so cramped and uncomfortable, food was rotten. lots of walking and climbing and of course it rained like a bitch all the time.

In October 2011 my little boy (Ryan) then six now seven asked for a ten for his birthday. We got him, sorry, the Birthday Camel (long story) got him a two man tent with two sleeping bags. Someone foolishly said that when the weather improved, you've guessed it ... daddy would camp in the back garden with Ryan.

Fortunately the weather in summer 2012 was pretty much uniformly bad so the camp out never quite got off the ground. The current heatwave and my sons elephantine memory mean that I have no excuse and for the first time in over 32 years I am about to sleep under canvass. My next job is to 'pitch' the tent I believe is the vernacular - we have supplies : crisps and pop plus of course my trusty iPhone and iPad - luckily we're still within wifi range.

Ryan is excited, I am less so but here we go ..... I may be gone quite some time.

Been playing with podcasts for my business for a while now and I think it is an excellent opportunity to get my sales and general informational messages out to an enormous prospective client bank (PMICast has around 5,000 listeners per month after just 18 episodes and this is growing month in month out).

I've also been a fan of podcasting since 2007/08 when I first started listening on my iPod nano first gen (yes I'm that old !) - having now joined the on-line media revolution I'm now beginning to work on a business that will (hopefully) help others start their own successful podcasts (both business and personal) and indulge my own passion for this ever growing media.

Find out more at the website has only been live for two days and I've already had my first client contact me to discuss a series of marketing podcasts for a new product launch so clearly there is a niche within the market.

First thing to do is listen to a couple of my own podcasts : PMICast on iTunes and and then Where's Wilson also on iTunes and to see examples of both a business and then a personal podcast and then visit the new podcreateuk site to see how I'm planning to help new podcasters.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Tearing my hair out with DNS changes on a website

Having a frustrating morning trying to move one of my websites from a free Weebly hosted account to the proper domain name for the business ( to - don't bother clicking the link, at the moment neither are working!).

The frustrating thing is that neither the web host : Weebly or 123 Reg who look after my web domains have particularly clear destructions for pointing the right DNS address at the right host (or whatever ..... my web design skills are good but I'm still just a dabbling layperson).
As a result I think I have it set up right - I have the advantage of having done this process before between 123 and Weebly so have the template of another site to look at and compare but still the changes don't propagate instantly so I might have to wait up to 48 hours to see if the damn thing is working or not.

Probably should have waited and done this at the weekend !

PodCreateUK (evenutally) for all your
business and personal podcast needs 

If you are trying to view the podcreateuk website, sorry but it will be back up soon - hopefully.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Happy Blog Day !

Not quite a birthday for this blog but an important milestone nonetheless. We launched the blog formally in its current guise on the 26th of February and yesterday (9th of July) went over 11,000 visits.

This is an average of 2,444 hits per month and growing !

Thanks to everyone who is reading and coming back again and again - the purpose of the blog of course is to create buzz around my businesses and enable me to both increase my profile and of course pick up new clients. Also though, I do try to inform and entertain and hopefully the growing readership is testament to the fact that in some measure I am succeeding - thanks for your support and long may it continue !

The original Localventure logo from early 2010

As an aside, it actually is my birthday next week - all gifts and cards will of course be gratefully received !


If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395

& my articles for Premier Choice at :

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - & - both available on iTunes

Google Plus :
Facebook :

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

PMICast episode 18 - now live

The latest episode of my podcast, PMICast - the only UK podcast devoted to private medical insurance and related health insurance is now live on either iTunes or at

In this edition I run through some of the advantages of the modular design of the current crop of medical insurance plans. In particular focusing on individual plans.

Please listen if you get chance and remember to tell all your friends and colleagues that you think it might be of interest for.

Of course if you have medical insurance you would like me to review please feel free to get in touch.

If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395

& my articles for Premier Choice at :

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - & - both available on iTunes

Google Plus :
Facebook :

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 

Monday, 8 July 2013

E-mail Process

Been thinking about e-mails this morning.

I'm using various gmail accounts for my personal and some business uses (my medico legal business and the podcast are both on gmail hosted accounts) and my PMI business uses a Talk Talk e-mail account configured to look like a hosted address that is then inserted into Mac Mail to replicate out onto my iPhone and iPad in a kind of bastardised solution to a problem that arose with the Premier Choice e-mail system a couple of years ago.

The system isn't perfect (I can send and receive e-mail from the PCH account on my iMac and Macbook Air but only receive, not sent on my iPhone and Ipad for some reason) but I'm used to it now and although we are looking at an update I'm hoping it won't affect my work flow.

For me the key issues with regards to e-mail

1) Compatibility across my devices, and by this I mean instant, simple, no updating or tweaking

2) Speed of replication - info on the web travels almost literally at the speed of light - that how electrons work in wires. It annoys me therefore that it sometimes takes 2 hours for a mail to travel between servers - this is poor software underpowered hardware.

3) Attachments - there are lots of ways of sending large files to people but 10MB is not a large file - small files shouldn't be blocked by e-mail systems

4) Ease of manipulation - I spend hours a day in e-mail clients - I need to be able to add data and content at will and format it quickly - gmail is OK, Mac mail is better.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Review of the King Killer Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss **No Spoilers**

Well, I've now read the first two books in this fantasy series : The Name of the Wind and then Wise Man's Fear and with the release of the 3rd novel due sometime in 2013 or 2014 I wanted to put down and then upload my thoughts so far on the journey of Kvothe.

I'm a big fan of some fantasy writers in particular Joe Abercrombie (First Law trilogy) and Richard Morgan (Steel Remains, Cold Commands) and I think that Rothfuss works slots in nicely in terms of sheer innovation of storytelling and subversion of the fantasy genre, repeatedly. His work is probably a bit less gritty but the story and immersion in the Four Corners world is as strong if not stronger than the world building of Morgan and Abercrombie. 

My first experience the novels was around two years ago when I downloaded the first half of book one on Audible based on nothing more than a surf of the Audible SF and Fantasty section. Remember that this was well before Game of Thrones blew up and I was part way through the First Law trilogy and waiting for the second of Morgans two fantasy novels. In fact listening to the first 20 minutes I was unable to get in to the book and it sat  unlistened to and unloved on my iPhone. At the time I found the frame and unreliable narrator conceit of the novel a little jarring. I also thought the 'traveling troupe' motif was, to be frank, really irritating. 

I was eventually persuaded to try it again when it was recommended on the This Week inTech  (TWIT) podcast by presenter Leo Laporte (the godfather of the Internet). Leo said that anyone who doesn't like the King Killer Chronicles couldn't be his friend and as Leo always seems like a good guy to me I thought it was only fair to give the books another go. In addition Leo also interviewed Rothfuss on his Triangulatation podcast around the same time giving some insights into the writing of the novel.

In terms of the story I enjoyed the characters, the intricate nature of both the world building and the multiple magical systems. The attention to detail is staggering and on close listening you realise that nothing is ever wasted or padded out in story terms. I am guessing that every narrative thread introduced and built in the first two books will be brought to fruition in book three. Rothfuss is a clever and evil storyteller who drives a taut narrative forward whilst constantly requiring the reader to challenge exactly where Kvothes story will take him next. He has that the unusual gift to write prose that makes you think, creates and builds effective characters quickly but still include fist clenching 'YES' moments interspersed with Hollywood set pieces without distracting you from the underlying premise - this is literary fantasy of the highest order.

On the fantasy elements, there are tons of non real world lore and magic within the books pages but the basic physics of this world essentially matches ours and at around the half way mark of the first book I found myself simply accepting the magical concepts as real (e.g. Sympathy) because they simply fit into the world we imagine but are never used as a lazy 'dues ex machina'.

The triumph of the books though is two fold. The creation of a protagonist so perfect yet obviously flawed immersed in a fantasy world that almost seems created to fulfill his destiny and then the mystery of Kote, Bast and what is going to happen at the Inn in the concluding third book. As I mentioned, originally the framing device of the novel - an older Kvothe, now an Inn Keep called Kote with his young apprentice Bast telling his story over three days to Chronicler - seemed jarring and non intuitive to me. As I progressed through the books the 'interludes' at the Inn become more interesting and I suspect more important. The last handful In Wise Mans Fear are truly genius and in particular the fight with the two soldiers is a massive 'WHAT THE .....' moment and I had to go back and listen to it again to make sure I got everything.

These novels are put simply a tour de force of storytelling and I suspect, from the buzz on the net that if Rothfuss can keep the narrative going (and I see no slip in quality from book one to two - if anything Wise Mans Fear is the better of the two for story and 'wow' moments) then we have a definitive fantasy trilogy that could eclipse LOTR as just perfunctory journey man fiction. I for one would read Patrick Rothfuss re-telling of the phone book !

It's Sunny, back to training and cooking a Sunday lunch

Following my 1st Kyu grading two weeks ago (please see previous karate related posts) I am now back in full training. I actually did virtually no exercise in the week following the grading but this last week I've managed to get in both karate sessions - Monday and Wednesday (I posted about Wednesdays session in the week) and on Friday and Saturday I go in decent runs too. I've also picked back up on my kata practice and ran through all 11 Shukokai kata and most of my Tai Sabaki Do kata yesterday - a total of around 20 kata, I've also run through a goodly chunk of them again this morning.

Ironically whilst doing a little bit of housework yesterday I also managed to pull a muscle in my lower back, left side which is causing some mild discomfort, which is why I'm not running today and have stuck to gentle kata this morning - hoping this won't affect my full karate work out on Monday evening !

Well it's a beautiful Sunday morning and I have the in-laws around at noon for Sunday lunch and afterwards we are hoping to get out into the garden (please see my previous post for a (blurry) shot of my back garden). So enjoy the sun and back to work tomorrow !

Friday, 5 July 2013

Summertime Work Station

Well it's my final business blog this week and to be honest I really have nothing particularly worthwhile to add.

So what I thought I'd do is demonstrate one of the several advantages of working for yourself from a home office.

Here's is picture of my work station today :

Sorry for those of you trapped in an office this afternoon !

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Karate business lessons ... Part 2

Aside from medical insurance (which is my main work and client activity) and science fiction (which I have watched and read since I was four or five) karate is probably the thing I know the most about.
I have studied karate since I was ten in 1980 - that's over 33 years now and I'm a 2nd Dan Black Belt in a style called Tai Sabaki Do (literally 'the way of the avoiding body') and a 1st kyu brown belt in Shukokai karate.

I mention this in the context of my business blog because martial arts are in fact an excellent microcosm of life plus business and in many instances it is possible to draw interesting and relevant parallels or at least parables for life.

I had to run the dojo at yesterday evening at my Shukokai class in the absence of our senior instructor (Sensei). It was a good session and I felt everyone in the class worked hard, listened to me and enjoyed the class.
My thoughts this morning writing this post involves the required trust both by me as the stand in instructor and the students working out under me and I thought created an interesting dynamic. On paper of course there is no reason why the group of disparate people in the class should listen to me or indeed do as I say. This level of trust, especially in a situation where (controlled) violence/danger is a possibility is interesting and is based on a number of factors :

confidence of the instructor and their ability to create a rapport with people; understanding of the knowledge and skill set of the instructor by the students and vice versa (the instructor teaching at the right level for the class which will change session by session) and the ability to create interesting and engaging lessons/content for the class.

These factors (mutual trust, ability to empathise and communicate etc) of course are vital elements of business too and it is no surprise in my experience that many senior karate instructors are also self employed business people in addition to running their own karate class. Of the six senior instructors I know well personally, four of six work for themselves.

Doing karate or any martial art doesn't make you a good business person but many of the skill sets are very transferable and if nothing else the confidence and discipline involved in participating in a martial arts can do nothing but make you a more rounded individual.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Don't forget my podcasts ...

I wanted to give you an update on my multimedia business empire this morning (ha ha) and to ask you  to visit and listen to/watch my various pod and vodcasts. Plus if you'd like, recommend them to your friends/family/colleagues.

PMICast (audio podcast) this is my main weekly podcast and focuses on private medical insurance and related topics. We're up to episode 17 and we have around 4,100 listeners at the moment. We've just announced a new sponsor to the 'Cast and this is something I'd like to develop more over time so please listen and if you think your business would benefit from associating with us you can do so for free on 4 episodes.

You can find PMICast on iTunes (search under the name) or on-line at

PMICast Vodcast - this is the video version of the above podcast. It's on my You Tube channel ( along with other vodcasts. There are currently three episodes there.

Where's Wilson (audio podcast) - this is a light hearted SF podcast I host occasionally with my son and daughter. There are a couple of old episodes at and five episodes on iTunes. You can download the latest episode (number 6) on the PMICast stream which will be WW's new home for the foreseeable future.

Tech 4 Biz Vodcast - this is a new video podcast I'm working on. The aim is to move away from PMI and focus on tech for business, workflow, tips and tricks and so forth. The first edition is online on You Tube as above - please check it out !

If you get chance please check them all out. I'd also really appreciate some iTunes feedback if you get chance, especially on PMICast.

I'm also considering putting together a small sideline business assisting people setting up a podcast either for themselves or their company - if you're interested let me know ( or check back here where I'll update if things progress.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

New edition of the PMICast now live on iTunes and at

Welcome to a new week and a new episode of PMICast is now available (on iTunes and at  - the only UK podcast devoted solely to private medical insurance.

This week the focus is on international cover for UK and third country nationals - this is a new topic for the podcast and an area that I'm talking to clients about on an increasing basis so the podcast discussion represents an initial overview and primer.

It's also the first edition of the podcast sponsored by First Class Learning :

"First Class Learning has successfully offered maths and English tuition with over 12 years experience. 

Students benefit from a varied approach including:

• independent learning
• one to one tuition
• small group revision
• and lots of weekly homework !

There's even classes on 

• maths word problem solving 
• or creative writing

You can find us on facebook or contact 0113 267 1150 

You'll be warmly welcomed at First Class Learning. "

Welcome to Simon at First Class Learning and please let Simon know where you heard about his business if you contact First Class.