Breaking Down Mental Barriers

To what extent does our mindset control the happiness and success levels that we have?

That interesting question is one being constantly posed by a London based hypnotherapist named Deborah. Her approach is one of improvement in many areas of life through her amazing techniques.

While hypnotherapy will not and cannot work for everyone, the reality is that for the majority of people it has the power to help us improve in vital areas of life – such as weight loss, quitting smoking and overcoming fears and phobias.

For some people, just that short list of benefits might be enough to transform their lives. For other people, operating at a high level, being able to cope with stress and break through limits to higher performance levels will be very important.

Whatever works for you will be whatever works for you. Either way, there is little doubt that for most of us, big breakthroughs really are possible if we want them and make them happen.

Pressure On The European Economy

What about trade in Europe then? The global economy suddenly seems to be in all sorts of trouble as the price of oil falls and Russia finds itself in economic problems.

How far this will spread into Europe must be a worry for many business owners and politicians currently. The eurozone crisis seems to be looming on the horizon, ready to make a return, and at the same time, there are structural weaknesses everywhere.

Additionally, there are the more normal threats from competitors around the world. One of those to be feared is the status of Chinese firms that are quasi state entities but compete with EU firms on an uneven level. Whether the Chinese deserve to have market economy status is open to debate, but the impact on EU firms that have to compete with what could be considered to be state funded dumping is very real.

This will be a debate that grows and grows.

Volatility In The Stock Market

In some recent posts (here, here and here) I wrote about the prospects of different businesses on economic growth.

Something that seems relevant to mention right now is the relationship – or often a lack of one – between things in the real economy and the stock market (here).

In recent months the Dow Jones and FTSE have been on a very wild ride. Volatile is not a strong enough word to describe their movements. There are likely reasons for this. The global economy is weak and obviously vulnerable, while the last two years have seen markets rise strongly – is there any wind left in those sails? There is clearly much more risk in the market than was the case twelve months ago, though the underlying world economy looks barely any stronger. As is usually the case, this could all end in tears…

Growth In The Domestic Cleaning Sector

After my recent post about fantasy football, I probably need to out myself. I am based in Manchester and am a huge football fan – partly because two such great teams play locally.

However, while being a big fan, I have to live the more mundane reality of NOT being a pro player. Life just isn’t fair…

In that world, I am involved in helping to run a family business that of domestic cleaners in Manchester. It is certainly less glamorous than the Premiership.

Business has been brisk for some time and we are pleased to be growing as a company. These things are never a straight line upwards, nothing is, but regular progress is regular progress. We hope that the British economy holds and life continues upwards and onwards.

My Latest Sporting Fix – Fantasy Football

Like every male, I am a bit of a sports fanatic. Somehow, despite the demands of a typical working day, I find the time to read about, think about and gossip about the latest football, rugby and cricket news. I am convinced that if sports did not exist, I would manage an extra 15 hours per week of work!

Bringing the games into even sharper focus is the realism of modern supporters games. My favourite, of course, is fantasy football. This season I am particularly hooked on Oulala, an online game that lets armchair fans like me select a weekly team for the coming fixtures. It is amazingly addictive!

The game revolves around a complex algorithm that scores the performance of each player much more accurately than the traditional methods. Essentially it is big data and maths analysis brought to fantasy football. It had to happen.

This all means that the game is online only and the fact that the company is not attached to a national newspaper means that the company only does this. They much love football! I urge you to join and try the game yourself.

The Economic Benefits Of Tourism In Malta

In a recent post I wrote about the situation relating to naturalisation in Malta (here) and then also in Cyprus (here).

The topics are interesting because they demonstrate how small countries often try to generate revenue by simply bringing it in from foreign sources.

This got me thinking about other foreign sources of revenue for small nations and, of course, tourism is a key source. This all got me thinking about my last visit to Malta and the lovely hotel I stayed in in a town called Sliema.

The hotel itself was very close to the sea and had a great view. What was interesting however – and relates to this post – was the entire ecosystem of businesses that existed around the hotel and another located next door. There was a pizzeria, a cafe / restaurant, about ten restaurants, an ice cream parlour, two local shops. All were within perhaps one hundred metres.

So while we think of income into a country or location as being good for the economy, there are all these smaller associated firms nearby that also survive. They provide jobs, create services and feed families.

Smaller countries need to bring revenue in and there does seem to be some form of “trickle down effect” that is perhaps less noticeable in much larger economies and regions.

Naturalization In Cyprus

In the last post on this blog, we looked at the tiny island of Malta and how their government has launched a citizenship by investment programme. The worry was whether an independent Scotland might need to do something similar.

Luckily for Scotland, the “no” vote prevailed in the referendum and such decisions will not need to be contemplated.

However, in recent weeks another small Mediterranean island nation has reviewed and relaunched its own scheme. Cyprus, also a member of the European Union, has relaunched it’s Naturalization Scheme after amending the legislation governing the system earlier in 2014.

It is interesting to view the scheme because from the perspective of this layman, it looks very much as though the plan is to compete directly with the previously mentioned Maltese programme.

In a reasonably savvy move, the powers that be in Cyprus have decided not to compete on money. It seems that the two systems will cost a broadly similar amount of money. Instead, the Cypriot scheme competes on time. It can take as little as 4 or 5 months to obtain a passport from Cyprus. What an interesting move. The grab for wealthy investor cash is well underway…

Citizenship For Sale?

The referendum for Scottish independence is tomorrow. After years of discussing it in hypothetical terms, Alex Salmond will be put to the test finally.

One of the main points of discussion has been the future of the Scottish economy. Will the country have it’s own central bank? Or it’s own currency? What will happen to the economy?

All are important and yet unanswered questions.

Considering that the vote is about “independence” it appears to me that we may become more dependent rather than less so. But without knowing the negotiation positions in advance, who can really say…?

Many smaller nations – which Scotland would not become, but would no longer be part of the more powerful UK – resort to offering tax benefits to others as a way to stimulate the economy. I hope that this will not be the case, but with such a large amount of financial institutions and banks in Scotland, it seems reasonable to presume that they will want to replace or grow their incomes.

In much smaller nations, such as Malta, they took to the decision to launch a citizenship by investment scheme. I hope that Scotland is not forced to take such dramatic steps to raise money in the short-term. If something like that does happen, we can presume that independence was not a success.

My First Post

I used to be a regular reader of the Sunday Herald Salon back in Scotland many years ago. It is a shame that it ceased to be published, but that is life it seems…

I plan to post as often as I can and write about topics that interest me. Something tells me that my writing will not be as lucid, florid or profound as the Salon’s used to be – but that is why I was a reader and not a writer!

Please visit often to see my latest musings.