Amechi Udo on Show #31: Finding a Work-Life Balance

amechi udo

Amechi Udo is the founder of Your Career Matters, a company dedicated to helping individuals, businesses, and organizations create the careers they deserve, hire the right people, and motivate their teams to achieve their potential. He has over 20 years of experience in organization recruitment, human resources, as well as coaching and strategy planning with top performing business executives.

He started his home-based entrepreneurial journey after participating in a coaching workshop that was hosted by Nick Williams – the author of The Work We Were Born to Do. Amechi joins me today to share his story, explain why it’s important for him to take part in mastermind groups, and share his insight on how he finds a balance between his work life and personal life.

“You can either be in the moment all the time, or you can be aware of moments that are behind the now and coming up. You can also learn how to switch from one to the other.” – Amechi Udo

This Week on the POWER to Live More Podcast:

  • Amechi’s “golden era of working from home.
  • Time management strategies to get things done.
  • Productivity strategies
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Shifting gears and finding a work-life balance
  • Removing daily interferences, interruptions, and distractions to get more done
  • Overcoming challenges and obstacles.

Mentioned Resources:

Connect with Amechi Udo:

Connect, Share, Inspire

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Show notes provided (brilliantly, my words not theirs!) by Lidwell Writing Services, LLC

Read Full Transcript

Jo Dodds: Today I'm interviewing Amechi Udo of "Your Career Matters" so welcome, Amechi. Great to have you with me.
Amechi Udo: Hi, Jo. Nice to meet you over the phone.
Jo Dodds: Yeah. So tell us a bit more about you, what you do, and where you do it.
Amechi Udo: What I do is I help individuals and organisations create the careers they deserve. I do it from home, which is now Wellingborough. I recently moved from Croydon. I've got two young children, one who is at junior school and one who is a toddler, just coming up to two. Life is very interesting and the working from home piece has been something I've been doing for about, oh my goodness, 15-16 years.
Jo Dodds: Wow.
Amechi Udo: But it's gone through various iterations as I've worked and developed, and my life has changed and the life of those I've been involved with has changed, too.
Jo Dodds: How do you actually work with your clients?
Amechi Udo: I'm a very sociable character. I prefer to be around people; particularly in terms of generating ideas, developing ideas, and getting stuff complete. I know when I'm stronger and that isn't always my forte, getting stuff completed quickly. I had to start building my own support networks and communities to help.
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: I was very fortunate in that I went into coaching and literally bumped into people who were coaching. I did a programme with Nick Williams who is the author of "The Work We Were Born to Do," and he's the author of many other books and programmes as well, but that was the one for me. I went and I did his workshop, and on that workshop I met two people that stand out. One who became the first live coach that I've met and the other who became my first coaching client. The first live coach that I met, a lady called Judy Shore, she actually said, "Hey, you want to get down to the London Coaching Group. They meet every month. It's a great community, a great network, and you also want to join the UK Coaching list," which was, at that time, a UK-focused online coaching group exchanging information around coaching.
Now for me, that was great because I went from thinking, "Ooh, let's face it. I'm all on my own and I've got no one to talk to to bounce ideas off," to, "Wow. Here is hundreds of people to communicate with." In the early days of email, I mean, I'm talking squeaky noise dial-up.
Jo Dodds: That that was a very good impression.
Amechi Udo: Yeah, the early days of it all.
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: Exchanging emails with those and that group has now evolved into a Facebook group called "The Euro Coach List," which is a close group. You can apply to be a part of that if you're interested in coaching or you currently coach and need more company. The bottom line was I gradually started to evolve working time or working patterns and support systems that help me. I've been part of telephone mastermind groups that have helped give some structure and rhythm to the day as well. I think it's safe to say to use the "D" word, some discipline about getting things done and keep being accountable and developing your thinking because you do. I, for one anyway, need the stimulus of others. I think it's the big evolution and talk a bit more about it later when we talk about resources, but the big evolution is now the access to stuff that can help you with your thinking, with your thoughts, your activities.
If anything, it's gone the other way now. I can tap into almost anything. I think our kids they look at us both, me and my partner, and see that we are twinned in the sense that we both have iPhones and we both have our headphones in, and we're both listening an audio book or a You Tube or something else. "What did you say? Sorry, earplug."
Jo Dodds: Yeah. Well, the age of information moving into the age of overwhelm. It's interesting actually. Yesterday little Dottie thought she'd tricked me into whether the Tooth Fairy exists or not so she's been quite up on Father Christmas for a couple of years, but I heard her telling her friend a little while ago that she knows that there is no Father Christmas, but she's sure that this is a Tooth Fairy.
So she came to me having lost a tooth sometime in August, and was away at the time so she kept it in an envelope and brought it home, and then she said she was going to put it under her pillow sometime further down the line, which of course is the kiss of death to us parents because then you don't know, and she tricked me purposely to see whether if she put it under her pillow and didn't tell me whether any money appeared under there, and it didn't so then she decided that that must mean that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist and you know how you try and cling. Well, you don't know. Your children aren't old enough yet, but you cling onto these things of their childhood, but I'm a very honest person as well so I was bit like, "Hmm." So I was going to her. She kept on, "No. Come on. Tell me. Tell me the truth. Tell me." So I said, "I'll tell you." I said, "I'm surprised you haven't Googled it yet, Ellie."
We did. We Googled it. "Does the Tooth Fairy exist?" Of course, there is a whole raft of information, including somebody who'd asked the question on Quora, and this lady, an original story about why, of course, it exists. Of course, she exists and why would you be even asking the question? We read a load of stuff online last night, which was really funny, and then she put her tooth under her pillow last night, but she told me, and money was under there and I've now looked and it's not there anymore, but she hasn't admitted it. So we are now in this funny, virtual world of not knowing who is tricking who at the moment, but it just makes me laugh that we were able to Google, "Does the Tooth Fairy exist?" Fortunately, there is lots of resources out there that tell you that it does. She does.
Amechi Udo: There you go. We may have to save this one as an outtake for no spoilers.
Jo Dodds: Well, she does the intros, but she doesn't actually listen back to any of the rest of it so we'll get away with it. Don't you worry. I'll play it to her in a few years' time. I do think particularly some of the things you've said. I think from my own experience is when I'm working from home that so much of it is about self awareness. You talked a lot about needing support and interaction with other people, and that's something that I actually don't need. I get it because I do things where that happens, if you like, but it's something that I don't need to seek out because I am quite an introvert much to people's amazement because I'm also very noisy and sociable when I'm in public but, actually, for me a perfect day is silence, no phones, no people.
Locked in my office so I wouldn't seek out a coffee shop just for that ambient noise because it's not something that I need, but it's taken me a long time to really work that out and craft my life around that stuff and thinking about the things that I do and what I offer to clients. I keep going to offer things that I see other people offering thinking that that's what I should be doing and then realising it doesn't suite my personality and what I actually want to do; whereas, five, six, seven years ago I would have still done it. Now, I would pull back knowing myself better. Do you find that that's what's happened with you? When you say, "15-16 years," have you really got to know yourself well in that time?
Amechi Udo: Yeah. I was reflecting on, I suppose, what I would describe as my golden era of working from home.
Jo Dodds: Tell me more.
Amechi Udo: I was working as an associate of a particular company and it basically meant that I was working one week in four and I'd go out. I'd deliver my stuff. I'd come back. I'd store what I needed to store for the next time. There might be a little bit of stuff on the computer, but nothing excessive and yeah. I've got to say it was great because I didn't have much more time for other facets in my life and it's something I was going to touch on later, but there is a book by Susan Jeffers called "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway." One of the elements which is often talked about is this whole work/life balance integration blah, blah, blah, but she puts it in very sharp focus. She's got a grid and the first picture is the grid is empty. It's a large box. The second one she says, "Right. Put work in it." That's it. So now, the box is full.
Jo Dodds: Over, yeah.
Amechi Udo: Now, take work out. Now life is empty.
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: Now divide that same box into a grid of three columns and three rows.
Jo Dodds: Okay.
Amechi Udo: So you have nine boxes.
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: In each box, puts things that you have in your life: work, family, friends, partner, pets, holidays, hobbies, interests, travel, for example. Now take work out. Oh, I still have a life. I still have lots of things that I do, that I'm interested in, that I'm passionate about and are fulfilling. Yes. Work is important, but it's in the context of the rest of my life, not all of my life.
Jo Dodds: Yes.
Amechi Udo: Although I can't go back in time to the life I lived back then when I first was working from home, I can take that Susan Jeffers message and look at my life and go, "Okay. There are times when, actually, work may be occupying two or three boxes instead of its normal one." There are still other aspects of my life and sometimes some of the other boxes are empty. We've just come back from holiday. The Olympics has been on. We were away for three weeks out in Poland where my partner comes from. We were in the countryside; days filled with walks in the forest and going to other family members who own farms, and coming back with corn that you pulled off in the farmer's field and stuff like that, very nice.
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: I came back and I thought, "Oh, that's probably been me doing more exercise," being more active, being more thoughtful and reflective around what I'm doing in my business. "Hmm. Is there a message here about time and how I'm managing it?" Obviously, there is and so whilst I can't transport what I had on holiday back here, the lessons I've brought are, "Okay. Yeah. Let's revisit the grid and let's see what else am I doing." I think just before we went on it I was certainly felling, "I'm just working." If I'm not working, I'm doing all the core stuff around nourishing the children in terms of literally food, clothes, and all of that, but not much real engagement and enjoyment of them, of me, of myself and my partner, our lives. We're all running. Nobody is standing still. I think it's probably best summed up when, a few years back, I went on holiday to a place called "Bideford."
Jo Dodds: I know Bideford.
Amechi Udo: Well actually, went to Appledore, but we did a day trip to Bideford and I used to live in London at that stage. I was in London mode. I was zooming through the streets. This lovely lady just turned to me and she said, "Slow down."
Jo Dodds: Wow.
Amechi Udo: I was like, "Oh. Okay."
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: "I get your point." It was such a simple message but, also, so powerful as a command. "Slow down." "Okay." Metaphorically as well as physically, just "Ooh!"
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: Now, when I'm doing a lot of the things that I do at home I am mindful of stuff, even simple things like this morning I was washing up. I was also putting some porridge in a tub for my son. He hadn't eaten all of his breakfast so he could have something later. I found myself attempting, perversely, to try and put the lid on the tub at the same time, and wash up. I just thought, "You could create two whole worlds of mess here." Finish one. Do it. Breathe. Finish the other. I know it sounds like very simple, very trite, very easy, but when we look at the way that we're living our lives, we are running our lives or things are running us. It can be very easy to, "I'll just, and when I'm, and the other, and" ... No. It's not a problem to actually just sit still. Stop. Be. Breathe. It's all right. All the rest of the stuff is stuff.
Jo Dodds: Yeah. I think it's interesting. We're just recording this. It won't be going out for a little while, but we're just recording this as the children go back to school and I just reflect on the last six weeks. I think it's probably been the best summer holidays we've had and I enjoyed so much time with the family and with Ellie but, also, got stuff done and sorted my office out, and some of the house out, and we've got a new rabbit, and we've gone through all of that settling in stuff. The amount that we've packed in that I'm reflecting on that I could still pack a lot in now and continue to work in the same sort of way. It doesn't have to be just in the holiday. It's interesting. I want to slip back in traditional work mode when I know that I can get lots done if I work in holiday mode almost so I'm trying to work out how I can continue with that whilst it not being the holidays. There we go.
Amechi Udo: But in the fact that you're willing to explore it is enough in itself.
Jo Dodds: Yes.
Amechi Udo: It's all an exploration. There is no, "Oh!"
Jo Dodds: Moving on a bit, let's talk a bit about getting stuff done. We've talked about that whole reflection and whatever so we're currently at the [inaudible 00:16:34] where we're not going to actually do much work.
Amechi Udo: Productivity. Delivering.
Jo Dodds: [inaudible 00:16:40] on holiday, but how do you get stuff done?
Amechi Udo: How do I get stuff done? I think my favourite tool to help me getting stuff done, at least in capturing what is there to do, is my phone. I use the iPhone Notes part of it a lot and the audio recorder as well. Prior to using the iPhone, I was a big fan of the Palm and the Palm pilot. They were great until mine died. I use that to schedule things in. At a basic level, I know appointments. I know things that might be coming up. I'm an NLP practitioner and one of the elements that I've learnt around that is you can either be in the moment all the time or you can be aware of moments that are behind in the now and coming up, and you can also learn how to switch from one to the other. I was very much in the moment a lot of the time when I was doing work. Oh, yeah. I'm just focused. This is great and I'm just getting on with it.
"Oh, is that the time?" Which can be great as long as there is nothing else scheduled. Now, quite literally because of the digital switch in terms of diaries, I couldn't do ... Well, I could do paper diaries, but I never really connected with them. I never really enjoyed using them, but a digital diary allows me that opportunity to look forwards and backwards, and at the present. "Oh, right. Last week, I spoke to this client. I agreed to do this, this, and this. It's now a couple of days on. Have I sent it? Yes. I have. I'm waiting for it to come back. Okay. Next week I've got an appointment with them again. Looking at where I am now, is that appointment still okay? Yes. It is. No. I need to make an adjustment around that," et cetera. That makes it very easy in that respect.
Jo Dodds: Yeah. You use your calendar for those appointments. So when you talk about using notes and using the audio, do you end up with just one big, long list or do you define it by the object or by surname?
Amechi Udo: No.
Jo Dodds: How does that work?
Amechi Udo: No. I have different notes for different things so ideas will come and sometimes those ideas will come again and again. Initially, that is, "Well, I've already thought about this," and now I go, "I've already thought about this so this probably needs ... It's on my mind and it's important. It's probably something I feel confident enough to take forward."
Jo Dodds: Right.
Amechi Udo: I can then take it off the phone and say, "Right. I now need to email it to myself and cut and paste it into a document, and develop it." Either it's a blog post or it's a webinar or it's a [inaudible 00:19:45] call or it's any or all of those, but there is something I can do with it. It's been taken out of my head and stored for later use, which is brilliant for me because I need that. I do suffer from ideas-itis sometimes.
Jo Dodds: So actual notes. What other tools or apps do you use?
Amechi Udo: The audio bit around that is also really useful because there are times when ... I don't know about you, but I've got a writer's voice so I can actually hear myself expression things in the way I want to.
Jo Dodds: Right.
Amechi Udo: I just want to remember that. The editing voice kicks in and it's going, "No, not like that." It never quite comes out on my fingers the way that it comes out in my mind and out my mouth. Not always, but it takes a lot longer to get into that mode.
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: I'm very grateful for working with a wonderful writing coach with Karen Williams, Labritus Books, and she is really brilliant at helping you to formulate your writing style and your writing methods and encouraging you to explore, to experiment with what works for you. I remember saying to her. "Look. Karen, I'm really stuck with actually sitting down and doing my words for this book."
Jo Dodds: Yes.
Amechi Udo: I had a breakthrough. I'll do it on audio because that actually is really where I ... I want the reader to hear me and to write as a speak in respect to some of this so they really get it, not just, "Wow. That's beautifully edited and great topography and a quite dull, sterile kind of text." There is no life to it.
Jo Dodds: Yeah. What's the app that you use for that.
Amechi Udo: You literally use just the audio recording facility on your phone.
Jo Dodds: Just the iPhone? Yeah.
Amechi Udo: Yeah.
Jo Dodds: Okay.
Amechi Udo: Again, because I can then type that in, put it on my computer, send it as a file if I want to, if I wanted to store it elsewhere, I could use Audio Acrobat to store it all online. When I get around to it I can send it all off to somebody to audio typist to just get it all typed up and say, "Right. Great, thank you." Because I don't need to do that bit.
Jo Dodds: No.
Amechi Udo: I'm not a touch typist.
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: Even if I were, it probably wouldn't be what I'd want to focus my time on.
Jo Dodds: No.
Amechi Udo: I'd much prefer to give it to someone who can, "Oh, wow. I do 90 words a minute."
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: 90% correct the first time and I can take what you said and do it in a couple of days.
Jo Dodds: No. Definitely. I've been looking at doing audio for my blogging recently because I used to do a lot of written blogs and now I just do so much audio that I just think it'd be a lot easier just to record something, have it transcribed and edit it, job done-sort-of-thing. Yeah. I buy into that, definitely. Lovely. Any other tools or apps that you'd recommend?
Amechi Udo: My tools of choice, the latest app I'm playing with in relation to my Twitter account is Crowd Fire. It's using the free version and that is ... Or should I say "freemium"?
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: It's a bit more than just a filter for people to be subscribed or unsubscribed on your Twitter account. It gives you some data fields to fill out to suggest who you might want to follow or who your competitors are. It will then do a bit of analysis and come back and say, "Okay. Here are some things that you can now do that potentially can enhance your following and, also, manage the levels of relationships you have with people on your Twitter account. So, for example, it might say, "Oh, unfollow these 24-odd people because their accounts are inactive."
Jo Dodds: Right.
Amechi Udo: It makes sense to me because they're just hanging around and there is no conversation. Equally, it might say, "Follow these 50 people who are followed by your rivals." Okay. It makes sense.
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: They've got a shared interest. It takes about five minutes a day to do it.
Jo Dodds: Right. Yeah. Do you have any more on your list or shall we move onto ...
Amechi Udo: Yeah. I've just downloaded the LinkedIn App.
Jo Dodds: Okay. Yeah. That's good.
Amechi Udo: Which, again, for me it's moved things along in terms of being able to get in. See my stuff. Respond. Promote. I think I'm moving much more in raising my profile and I found it far quicker to do that off my phone than I have off my desktop. It is far more laser focused because you literally, "Right. I'm going to that app. I'm doing these things. I'm coming out."
Jo Dodds: Yeah. That's true and that goes back to what you're saying about using your phone mostly for a task management tool. I find the same things I just do on my phone because they work better on the phone than they do on the computer and it is less distracting. Isn't it?
Amechi Udo: Yep. I feel it's okay to go in and out on my phone.
Jo Dodds: Just talking about zoning out then. Talk a bit about what you do when you're not working, how you relax, how you keep health and that sort of thing.
Amechi Udo: I think some of it's about being in tune with myself.
Jo Dodds: Yeah?
Amechi Udo: If, for example, I think, "Oh, God. I've been doing this and I've been running from here to there to get this done and that done." Actually, it's about just putting that break in and sitting down. Whether that's turning the TV on or not, it's more the actual enjoyment of sometimes just being at home. Sit down, not at the computer, but on the sofa and relax. Children are asleep. Your partner relaxing herself. I don't need to think, exercise my head much, if at all. Just come back down. Even where we live now, it's much easier to go out and about for a walk. We've got lots of parks and a big country park probably about half an hour away on foot from where we live, but it's a small town so it doesn't take much to be back outside in greenery, which makes a big difference. We've got a garden so just going out there.
I'm not a gardener by nature. I let nature do the gardening and if it gives me something useful, then I'll pick it and eat it. We got some nice blackberries in the garden at the moment so when nature says, "Right. It's time for the weeds to die off and all that to move back," then I'll get out there and do a bit of pottering around and tidying up. It doesn't take over then that's okay, but a lot of it is just, like I say, more just slowing down, turning off, and getting engaged with other stuff; simple things like reading. At the moment, I'm reading a book by John S. Williams called "Screw Work. Break Free." He's also the author of "Screw Work. Let's Play." It's a really simple book, a very enjoyable book. I'm reading it on the phone, Kindle. Those are my treats. I think, again, because of where we live now some of the treats are just being out and about, taking the air. Summer is still lingering so enjoy it while we can.
Jo Dodds: Exactly. You've talked about reading that book and you've talked about quite a few books as we've gone through. Is that the main way that you learn and improve yourself?
Amechi Udo: I'm a polyglot me! I'm all over the place, me, in terms of where I get my learning from. I'm not posh. You Tube is a biggie for me, particularly Ted Talks in relation to the whole work/life stuff that we are talking about. There is a great talk by Nigel Marsh.
Jo Dodds: Right.
Amechi Udo: How to make work/life balance.
Jo Dodds: Okay.
Amechi Udo: It's about six years ago, but I still think the messages are as true then as they are now.
Jo Dodds: Did you say it's how to make work and life balance?
Amechi Udo: No, "How to Make Work/Life Balance."
Jo Dodds: Work/life balance? Okay.
Amechi Udo: It's Nigel Marsh.
Jo Dodds: Yeah. Okay. I'll have a look at that.
Amechi Udo: I particularly like it because he's got a good turn of phrase and a bit of wit and humour about him as well.
Jo Dodds: It was interesting. I was listening to a podcast the other day and I heard the same guy say this before that he doesn't think work and life should balance. They used a metaphor of sitting on a swing. Not on a swing at all. Ignore me. I was going to say, "My child is too old now. So I can't remember all the playground things." Sitting on a seesaw and how if you have the seesaw balanced, it's actually really boring, which I thought was a really interesting analogy. I can't remember what phrase they came up with instead, but it wasn't balance.
Amechi Udo: Yeah, integration.
Jo Dodds: I tend to use integration, but it wasn't even that and I can't think of what they said now, but I thought I was interesting that they were saying. He talked about shifting gear. I think I've talked about it on my newsletter that when you drive a car you don't balance your gears. You shift gears depending on what's going on. You speed up or slow down depending on what's going on around you and I quite like that as an analogy for what you do within work and life, and all that sort of thing. Can you remember the main point of the Ted Talk? I mean, I am going to go and watch it.
Amechi Udo: Yeah. The long and the short was they don't balance.
Jo Dodds: Right. Good. Spoiler alert.
Amechi Udo: Yeah, spoiler alert. They're always competing.
Jo Dodds: Yes.
Amechi Udo: It's apples and oranges. You turn around to your boss even if you're self employed and say, "Hey, do you know what? What I'd like to do is I'd like to dedicate a full one hour with you and then I'd like to go home, take care of all my domestic stuff. Come back. Do another hour with you then go out. Meet some friends. Come back. Do another hour with you, et cetera.
Jo Dodds: Sounds like my life.
Amechi Udo: Yeah. That's what some people might want to do, but there are very few companies, if any, that start on that premise.
Jo Dodds: Yes.
Amechi Udo: There are very few bosses who turn around and say, "Well actually, I don't mind how long you take to get the work done or what method you use, as long as you get it done by this point."
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: I'm not saying there aren't roles that that can happen because there are, but generally we've got this constriction. I mean, the same issue is true for school, especially in the teenage years. You got kids because I do a lot of programmes in schools and for colleges, and around the enterprise and entrepreneurship, and you will invariably see kids who are tired; tired because they're growing, tired because they're not going to bed at a reasonable time, tired because it's a hot classroom, tired because they haven't had breakfast and a drink, and so on and so on. They're because their bodies are actually saying, "Excuse me. My body clock says I have a rest around now." I've got a great screenshot on my phone of the human body clock saying every hour this is what your body is doing, how it's functioning, and we're trying to beat that.
I'm in the classroom and there is this ... The kid's are tired and I just, "Do you know what? Some of those kids are night creatures."
Jo Dodds: Yes.
Amechi Udo: Wouldn't it be great if they could go to school at night?
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: Our kids they're morning creatures and others kind of can do anytime and others kick in a little bit later during the day, but we don't do that. Again, in terms of working from home, you better know what your patterns are because, boy, if you're by yourself, great, and I can certainly say that when I was a single man living in my own space. It didn't matter. I got up and I went to work when I was ready to go to work, from the bedroom to living room, but as soon as you add a significant other, whether that's even a friend or a partner or a other relative, you've got to start to work out, "Hold on a minute. What are my natural routines? What are my natural habits? Am I going to have to shift some of that stuff? How does that fit with the dynamic of another?" Because they've also got their own rhythm and their own needs, and their own patterns.
I think it's Tim Gorway who describes performance as "potential minus interference."
Jo Dodds: Right. Yes. I like that.
Amechi Udo: You are at home and have you turned your phone off? Are you only using one tab on the Web at a time? Do you have any deliveries scheduled for during the day? Is your fridge full? Have you cleaned your house already at the weekend or in non-work time? If you've taken a lot of that interference out, then there is a good chance that you're going to get your stuff done.
Jo Dodds: Yes.
Amechi Udo: If you haven't, then you've got a fundamental question, which is: What am I avoiding in order to focus on this other stuff? That fluffing the corner in the ceiling really wasn't a priority the day before yesterday, but now I've got to do that proposal.
Jo Dodds: Now you got to write that proposal, exactly. I knew you were going to say that.
Amechi Udo: I think I'm going to be so much productive.
Jo Dodds: Yeah, exactly. I don't know. We're running out of time here a bit.
Amechi Udo: Yeah.
Jo Dodds: Tell me a bit more books, films, music. You've talked about some people.
Amechi Udo: "Screw Work. Break Free," John S. Williams, highly recommend. Structured 30-day programme to play with one idea and develop it, and see if it's got legs rather than a myriad of projects that you never get started.
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: "Manage Yourself, Manage Your Life" by Ian McDermott. I've lost count of the number of times I've given this book to people never to reget it back because it's so good. I think it's now out of print, but I didn't look before the interview whether it was available on Kindle. I certainly know it's available secondhand on Amazon. To me, I think it's the best book on NLP without having NLP written anywhere on the front of it ever just because it gives people ... We all use NLP so it's not some secret art. It's just about what we think, what we say, and how we act. Sometimes it's just right for certain environments and sometimes it's just wrong for certain environments. It's got lots of stories and examples that just get you to think, "Oh, right. Okay. Now I get why that wasn't working over there. It's because it wasn't the right tool. Here are some other tools that might be better."
"Let me experiment and maybe if they work, great. Use them. If they don't work, let them go and use something else."
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: I mentioned Susan Jeffers "Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway." Ted Talks, great. Because I help people around getting the jobs that they want, and create the careers that they deserve, I'm a strong fan of people who are job seekers actually understanding how the process works and the best person I know to illustrate that is a guy called Lou Adler. Lou is American and he's given lots of talks that are available on You Tube, both in terms of helping organisations to understand their system is broken. They can do it better in terms of hiring people and, also, it's increasingly now he's working on helping job seekers understand. "Excuse me. What you're doing is actually potentially sabotaging your success so here are some other ways that you could be successful."
I think there is not enough talked about that. I think that especially now too many people are eating up too much of the their time doing the wrong stuff to help them get the careers they deserve and they can do so much better. Just with a little bit of guidance from people like Luke, people like me, and there are others out there as well.
Jo Dodds: Yeah, lovely.
Amechi Udo: Those are my recommendations.
Jo Dodds: Excellent.
Amechi Udo: Oh, and a film.
Jo Dodds: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Go on.
Amechi Udo: "Limitless."
Jo Dodds: Is that a recent one?
Amechi Udo: Well, everything is recent once you had a family.
Jo Dodds: I get your point.
Amechi Udo: Oh, that came out in 1994. Oh, yeah. That's recent.
Jo Dodds: Yeah. You're right. I'm only asking that because I don't go to the cinema anymore so yeah. Okay. I'll check that for sure.
Amechi Udo: "Limitless" came out about 2011, but in short it was about a guy is given a pill to take that can enhance his mental capacity and then what happens next how he uses that and, for me, in some respects, it encapsulates a lot of my clients. They come to me. They feel they're limited in some shape or form. "I don't have the knowledge. I don't have the experience. I don't have this. I don't have that." They swallow some coaching from me and it changes them in the sense that they realise actually they've got a lot more potential, a lot more options. They can focus that potential and actually perform a lot better and likewise, with organisations that I work with they want to get more from their employees. They want to help them achieve more. They want to get more profits. There is no two ways about that.
Actually, with some small changes and minor tweaks they can start to get much more without necessarily having to do too much more.
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: That's why I picked "Limitless."
Jo Dodds: Lovely. Thank you. I will check that one out. What about on a day when things don't go right, when you have one of those days?
Amechi Udo: I laughed when you were mentioning bears earlier on because that's me. I do gripe at the kids. "Daddy was growling." I should try it with my partner a bit more as well on occasion. Yeah. I've got to say I like to be in control of my stuff to a certain degree, part of why I work for myself and part of why I work from home is a degree of autonomy.
Jo Dodds: Yeah.
Amechi Udo: When you're used to a certain level, when that's constrained either by stuff at home or clients just life in general, whether that's getting a train or not getting a train or whatever, I don't always take it well, but equally I kind of go, "Well, these are my emotions and I could mope and grope, and grump. First of all, let me make sure I'm actually putting it in the right place and, secondly, do I need to speak about this? Not shout about it, but actually speak about it. Get it off my chest because if I don't, what might happen then? Then I might freak out because the toothpaste isn't closed. Is that really what this is about? No." That's what happens.
Jo Dodds: Oh, okay. Yeah. What about those days when you end the day knowing that you've had the chance to live more? We talked about holidays and reflective times and being mindful, and that sort of stuff. What do you do? What would you have done on those days where you think, "Wow"?
Amechi Udo: I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it, enjoyed it, enjoyed it, enjoyed it. Well, there is nothing else you need to do. It's great. You're in that moment and you enjoy it. [inaudible 00:42:56]
Jo Dodds: Tell people how they can find out more about you, how they can connect with you. What's the best way?
Amechi Udo: They can look me up on LinkedIn. My name is spelt A-M-E-C-H-I and my surname is U-D-O. They can go to my website www.yourcareermatters.co.uk and they can go on and email me, Amechi, A-M-E-C-H-I @yourcareermatters.co.uk.
Jo Dodds: Lovely, excellent.
Amechi Udo: The website is having a makeover so apologies. It's not the new glam or all singing/all dancing one. It's one that was made by an A. Udo, me.
Jo Dodds: Lovely.
Amechi Udo: So that will change in time.
Jo Dodds: Great. Well, thank you for joining me today, Amechi. It's been great talking to you. I think we've covered off a wide range of topics today so I really appreciate your spending the time.
Amechi Udo: Thank you, a pleasure.

About the Author

I work with business owners and leaders to improve their wellbeing, in these days of overwhelm, whether that be physical, mental or digital, using my POWER to Live More 5 Fundamentals of Simplify, Systemise, Share, Self Care and Sustain. I also work with business leaders to help them to improve their organisational employee engagement and wellbeing. I believe they are interlinked in a lovely virtuous circle.

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