Ian Hawkins

Speaker, author, conference moderator & coach



Great Women: a personal list #1

To mark 100 years since (some) women were granted the right to vote, I thought I’d celebrate some of the women in my life who’ve made it substantially better. Kicking off: Nadine Dereza.

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The Bitter Agony of Watching Friends Succeed

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

So says actress, screenwriter and metal bikini wearing Carrie Fisher, and I’m right with her (despite the inevitable chaffing).

Looking back over 2012, trying to find some lessons to carry over into 2013, one that comes to mind is this: do not resent anyone’s success.

Easier written down than done. Let’s get to cases.
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You have your sole trader, we have our sole trader

The tree is up, the presents wrapped, and in the final flurry of getting stuff done I’ve put all my best ideas into the work I was actually paid for. So, if you have low self esteem or are easily bored, by all means read on.

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Getting Good Service: 2 tips (and one dirty trick)

Britain, we are told, is not the place to go for good customer service. And yet last night, I had an impromptu mince pie with charming staff at Shoreditch’s BoxPark, and got 25p off my breakfast this morning at Pret.

Perhaps, I reflected, customer service is not something that you are given, but is more an inadequate label we attach to interactions between ourselves as customers and the people behind the counter. How can we customers get better customer service? Here are two tips – and one black-hearted, dirty trick.

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10 business lessons from stand up comedy


I spent five years working for JLA, the UK’s biggest speaker agency. The company has a prejudice in favour of people who’ve ‘been there and done it’ rather than been an armchair CEO and written a book from imagination and not practical experience. So, with a deferential nod to my former employers, here are ten business lessons from what I go out and do – in this case, stand up comedy.

1. Be authentic

Don’t try to be someone else. Occasionally, I’m asked if I want to be ‘the next Michael McIntyre.’ I always say no, I want to be the first Ian Hawkins – and hopefully the last one too. When we buy a McDonalds or an Innocent smoothie, we trust them to give us what they’ve given us before. When McDonalds started selling Innocent smoothies, fans of the drink were initially outraged that these two companies should be working together, it became a big news story, and Innocent had to justify their position. Lesson one: your customer might have a clearer idea of you than you do. Lesson two: who’d’ve thought a smoothie could have fans?

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