Enquiring Minds


In his brilliant book ‘Drive’ Daniel Pink examines what factors are behind human motivation and what produces drive. He identifies the pursuit of mastery as a critical component to our drive but warns that only engagement can produce mastery. The fact is most people are not fully engaged in their work. The majority of practice [...]

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Special Abilities


Inc.com recently quoted Warren Buffet, one of the world’s most successful investors and currently the fifth wealthiest person in the world, on what is the best investment you can make: “The best thing you can do is to be exceptionally good at something…whatever abilities you have can’t be taken away from you. They can’t actually [...]

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Podcast Episode #44: How To Increase Conversion Rates Through Expertly Handling The 8 Common Objections And Client Fears


Sharing this podcast with your team could literally stop hundreds if not thousands of pounds walking out the door of your practice every single day. This session is so valuable for staff training and will show your team how to capture the missed sales opportunities that are happening in your practice every day. In this [...]

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I Don’t Have All The Answers…


Shock News: I don’t have all the answers. Nor do I claim to. But what I do have is a well-honed ability to ask the right questions. It’s not about having all the answers. It IS about asking the right questions. Questions are a powerful thing. In a dispensing/selling situation I tell my team all [...]

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Podcast Episode #43: How To Be The Trusted Eyewear Experts And Go-To Practice In Your Town For Clients Who Want To Buy Premium Eyewear


In this episode of the podcast, we’re sharing a session from a recent 2-day staff training workshop in Manchester with you. This session is about trust-based selling, and how you and particularly your staff think about selling. This one is full of takeaways for your team that will help your staff increase their conversions and [...]

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Progress!


Research has shown that of all forms of human motivation the most effective one is progress. Why is that? Well I’m glad you asked… It’s because a small, concrete win creates momentum and affirms our faith in our further success. This is both simple and profound. You could say it’s common sense. Indeed it is [...]

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Pause-Points


On a masterclass call (on advanced client retention) I described a customer experience gone wrong at Jones And Co. where a client’s glasses had been ordered incorrectly without transitions, then delayed, and the client justifiably went beserk in the practice. I described the process Kathryn followed for handing the situation and averting disaster. If she [...]

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Podcast Rewind: Stop Trying To Do Everything Yourself


In this episode of the podcast, Conor lets you into the secret to achieving more success in your practice, and it’s so simple! Stop trying to do everything yourself! He also reveals the one mistake – that 100% is happening in your practice, that is stopping you from selling sunglasses. This one mistake could be [...]

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Do the right thing rather than trying to be liked.


In an interview, talking about the transformation of fashion retailer N Brown, chief executive Angela Spindler shared one of her secrets for succeeding in her role. Namely “Do the right thing rather than trying to be liked.” It’s good advice for any business owner. The truth is you’re being negligent if you worry more about [...]

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Who’s In Control Here?


Let me share an email with you. We received this at Jones And Co. It reads: Hi there, I wish to find out more information about the Progear Optical OPT-1109 model, I understand that you have a trading account with the Norville Group who distributes this model. May I ask if this item is available [...]

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Podcast Rewind: The Staff Dress Code Minefield – You’re Not Wearing That Are You?!


How do you tackle the minefield of telling someone what they’re wearing doesn’t look good? Or worse, what they’re wearing is not making your business look good? Should you have a dress code for your staff? How would you enforce it? In the episode listen to a live snippet of a Q&A from our staff [...]

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No Doesn’t Mean No


Remember The Apprentice TV show? It was better in the early seasons but always entertaining viewing and full of lessons. It was more useful as an example of what not to do than anything else. One classic task was to work as a team and source a variety of obscure items within a certain timescale. [...]

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Distractions


I’m re-reading Alex Ferguson’s book “Leading” at the minute and it’s so good. I’m recommending it to you… But first a warning. Before you think “I hate Manchester Utd and Alex Ferguson.” Or, “I hate football.” Or, “Seriously Conor, I run an opticians, not a premiership football team.” Well, I know all that. It’s exactly [...]

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Clarity


Most people are really confused. They lack clarity. As the Cat said to Alice, “If you don’t know where you want to get to, then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” Most people aren’t very clear about where they want to get to. They spend their days just reacting to circumstances. As a business [...]

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Putting Personality In Business


I’m a fan of Paul Smith. There is a great Paul Smith documentary on Netflix which tells the story of how he got started in business and how he grew from 1 little shop in Nottingham to now over 300 shops worldwide and an annual revenue of around £200 Million. Paul Smith enjoys an almost [...]

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Podcast Episode #42: OSA on Tour: Austin, TX – Cowboy Common Sense


This is a special episode of the podcast direct from Austin TX. Conor is bringing you some ‘Cowboy Common Sense’ and a few big lessons and principles, that if you follow them, you will get everything you’ve ever wanted from your business! This episode is full of tips on how to get inspired by what’s [...]

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Has someone else got this covered?


  Yesterday over lunch I heard a snippet of an interview on BBC Radio 6 Music with Tom Yorke, frontman of Radiohead. It is 20 years since they headlined Glastonbury and they’re still going strong. (I was a fan 20 years ago, but not so much these days.) In the interview, he was talking about [...]

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Human Connection


There is a book called Fanocracy with the strapline ‘Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans.’ Here’s the premise of the book:  “The pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online communication at a time when people are hungry for true human connection. In a digital world where our lives are [...]

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A New Year Message From Conor


I hope this message finds you feeling festive! Before I sign off for the year I wanted to wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope you take some time for recharging and reflecting and having a bit of laughter and fun. I also hope you show up to [...]

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Higher Standards


I came across this recently, sent a few years ago, from long-time member Shockat Patel who has been a part of OSA from year one, and has made huge strides with his business over those years. Shockat shared this snippet of an interview about Leicester goalkeeper (at the time) Kasper Schmeichel with me: “Kasper is [...]

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Recharge & Reflect


John Dewey said, “We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.” At this time of year, it’s the perfect opportunity to slow down a little bit and truly reflect. Because you’re ambitious your tendency will lead towards diving straight into setting new goals and projects and targets for 2024. But before [...]

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Podcast Episode #41: 2 Vital Parts to Your Annual Planning


Conor’s back with a gold mine of annual planning wisdom just for you. In this episode, he’s putting the spotlight on his absolute favourite tool—YOUR CALENDAR. Master its use, and you’re on your way to crafting a strategic roadmap for the year. Picture doing more, achieving more, earning more, and enjoying quality time with your [...]

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Podcast Episode #40: Setting SMART Goals and Why Time Management is a Myth


Time management is a myth. You cannot manage time. Time, just ticks by. It doesn’t care about you, doesn’t care what your goals are, it just keeps going. It marches on. You cannot get more time. There is no such thing as more time. There is only 24 hours in a day. There is only [...]

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No Harm In Asking


From HBR on “The (Better Than Expected) Consequences of Asking Sensitive Questions” We often shy away from subjects that could make others uncomfortable, such as money, lifestyle choices, and relationships. Is such circumspection really warranted, or are our conversational partners hardier than we think?  Across five experiments, people overestimated the interpersonal costs of asking sensitive [...]

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Race to the bottom or Race to the top?


An offended optometrist got in touch recently and asked, “Why is it acceptable to charge so much for a pair of glasses?” Clearly this person thinks if someone is being charged as much as £1000+ for a pair of glasses they are being ripped off. Let’s talk about this because you also will have to [...]

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Dispense-Maths


We had a client appreciation event last week and a bumper week for sales and it inspired me to share this dispatch from the archive with you. Consider it a refresher!   …Yesterday at Jones And Co. was our second-best day ever, missing out on best day ever status by just a few hundred pounds. [...]

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Podcast Episode #39: Why NOW Is The Time To Start Your Annual Planning


The year end is approaching and now is the time to be thinking about annual planning, and creating your plan and your goals for 2024. Over the next couple of episode Conor is going to take you through concrete ways to create your annual plan and what pitfalls to avoid, so that you can have [...]

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A Well-Run Company


We got a Google review recently that read: “Fantastic range and advice from a well-run company that makes you feel special. Worth every penny to get a pair of two of designer glasses.” The fact that this customer called us ‘a well-run company’ warmed my heart. Most Google reviews rightly focus on the front-line team [...]

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Delegate and Elevate


Jeff Bezos started Amazon in 1994, from his garage, as an online retailer of books. Jeff was pretty-much the guy who did everything. He was the CEO, but he was also the guy who packed the books into a box and drove to the post office every day to ship the orders to customers. As [...]

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Podcast Rewind: The Ultimate Success Formula


On this episode Conor literally reveals the formula for success in business and in life! When you understand this five-step formula you’ll be able to see clearly when something isn’t working in your practice and what to do to get the exact results that you truly desire. Would you like to know the Ultimate Success [...]

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The Unvarnished Truth (from Yours Truly)


My experience of growing my businesses over the last 20 years has taught me that personal growth must precede business growth. Not just in the early years, but still today, and in the last 12 months or so I’ve been in a big phase of personal growth. What does that really mean? Well, it means [...]

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Podcast Rewind: Jason Kirk on Eyewear Expertise


Jason Kirk is the co-founder of Kirk and Kirk, a unique line of eyewear designed to inspire those who wear them. Their designs have been nominated for prominent design awards, widely written about in the media, they are sold in over 30 countries worldwide and are often seen on the red carpet and in popular [...]

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The Four Hour Rule


From oliverburkeman.com – There aren’t many hard and fast rules that apply to everyone, says Oliver Burkeman. But there might be one: “You almost certainly can’t consistently do the kind of work that demands serious mental focus for more than about three or four hours a day.” This seems to be the rule for the [...]

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Fall In Love With Your Practice Again


I’m currently on holiday in Lanzarote so I was inspired to share this dispatch with you from the archive. Enjoy!… Last week I returned from a 10-day holiday in Scotland. We had two different locations on our trip and there happened to be an OSA member practice in each of the two towns. I did [...]

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Podcast Episode #38: Success Secrets from Magic Johnson


In this week’s podcast we have a special message for you from NBA legend and entrepreneur, Magic Johnson! Conor and Magic dive into the secrets of achieving your goals through the help of coaching and utilizing your peer group. And Magic shares his formula for what it takes to make a team succeed. Turn this [...]

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On Focus and Belief


In 2021 Phil Mickelson became the oldest golfer to win a major tournament. Afterwards, sitting next to the PGA Championship trophy, when asked how he was able to pull off such an inspiring victory, the 50 year old said he always believed he could win another major, but the focus hadn’t been there. That’s a [...]

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On Consistency


Let’s talk about consistency. But let me reverse back into it. You’ve likely heard me say that successful people do the little things that most people think don’t matter. Yet that is why they are successful. Because they understand the importance of doing what others class as not necessary. Consistency is one of those things. [...]

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Podcast Episode #37: Acres of Diamonds


So many practice owners get caught up looking elsewhere for acres of diamonds, they don’t even realize the opportunity that they have around them. If you want to know how to stop missing the opportunities, that you don’t even realise are right there in front of you, you need to listen to this episode of [...]

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Capacity Crisis


In A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes says: “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful [...]

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Frustrated? Join the club


I spend a significant amount of my time being frustrated. According to psychologists, frustration is an emotion that occurs in situations where a person is blocked from reaching a desired outcome. So pretty much, it’s to be expected for business owners. If you set any goal (never mind lots of goals) you will be met with [...]

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Podcast Episode #36: Why entrepreneurs are saving the world


  How often do you feel like the bad guy for running a business? Or trying to make money? Or just being an entrepreneur? Well Conor is here to tell you why you’re saving the world! This episode is all about how amazing you are as an entrepreneur and why you need to back yourself, [...]

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Commit and Begin It!


Let’s examine and reflect on a quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who was a German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist. As an optical entrepreneur, it one of the most important quotes to know and understand. Its meaning and lessons have served me well over the years and gives [...]

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Podcast Episode #35: How Your Business Growth Will Never Surpass Your Personal Growth


Do you want your business to grow? What’s the secret? It’s you, you’re the secret. Your mentality, your attitude, your behaviours, and your mindset, are the key to what will really drive the growth of your business. Listen to this edition of the podcast to get tons of tips and insight into how supercharge the [...]

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Time To Lead


What exactly is leadership? We talk about it all the time, but what exactly is it? I certainly didn’t know much about it or how to do it when I started out. I definitely didn’t know how to do it in a way that was comfortable and natural for me. Happily, I discovered with the [...]

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Judgement Creep


A brilliant Harvard study in the 1940’s asked participants early in their careers and marriages what things or accomplishments would make them happy. The list was extensive, down to the size of television, number of cars in the garage, household income, freedom to travel, level of education etc.  The study identified a 40% gap between [...]

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Podcast Episode #34: Success Lessons with Orgreen Founder Gregers Fastrup


  In this episode of the podcast Conor chats with Orgreen sales director Gregers Fastrup. If you’ve ever struggled with putting together your stock, your inventory or collections you need to listen to this! You’ll hear the secrets of how to do it and do really really well. Gregers also has some great insight on [...]

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Book it and Enjoy the Anticipation!


I’m writing this the day after getting back from my holiday to Ireland. It’s a national holiday and the whole country is off today but I’m at my desk – it feels like a bonus day to get some work done. And I can’t complain, after 3 and a half weeks off this summer. So [...]

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People Like Us Do Things Like This.


Given the company’s size today, it can be hard to imagine that Starbucks was once a small retailer with a handful of locations that most people did not believe would grow beyond Seattle. Founder and CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz was inspired by his first experience of an espresso bar in Milan while on a [...]

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Podcast Episode #32: Greetings from Norway


Conor has just been on a family holiday to Scandinavia, getting some much-needed R&R in preparation for OSA Live Scale up for Success. He’s recorded this special episode of the podcast on location in the wilds of Norway to bring you some entrepreneurial inspiration direct from the Fjords, and a special message about OSA Live! [...]

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Who do you hang out with?


At every OSA member meeting and conference I’m reminded of Jim Rohn saying:   “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  Think about it for a minute. Who are the five people you spend the most time with? Chances are your income is the average of those five people, [...]

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Podcast Episode #31: Success Leaves Clues! Practice of the year winners – Sarah and Paul Banks


Do you want to make changes in your practice that will give you the business you’ve always wanted? Listen to this prestation from the OSA Practice of the Year winners Paul and Sarah Banks. Paul and Sarah are real examples of pushing beyond excuses that would stop most practice owners dead in their tracks. This [...]

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Podcast Episode #30: Turning Ambition into Achievement


Do you find it hard to see past your blind spots? When you start looking at examples of success outside of our industry, you can uncover valuable lessons that will help you differentiate your approach to how you manage you practice in powerful ways . By looking in a diverse area, for inspiration for input [...]

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The Royal ‘We’


All highly successful practice owners have built a team around themselves. The fact is you can’t do it alone. If you rely only on your own sweat and hard work you will quickly reach the limit of what you can physically can get done. Working smarter and being personally highly organised helps but it will [...]

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Be Curious. Not Judgemental.


One of the most profitable consumer products in modern history, the iPhone was a flop in surveys conducted before it was released. When asked in a survey whether they “like the idea of having one portable device” to fulfill all their needs, only about 30% of Americans, Japanese, and Germans said yes. They seemed to [...]

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Money Can Be Replaced. Time Cannot.


From Oliver Burkman – author of Four Thousand Weeks…  There aren’t many hard and fast rules that apply to everyone. But there might be one: “You almost certainly can’t consistently do the kind of work that demands serious mental focus for more than about three or four hours a day.” This seems to be the [...]

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Podcast Episode #29: Call It Like It Is!


If you really want to succeed, you need to ‘call it like it is’. And more importantly you need your team to ‘call it like it is!’ In this episode Conor will tell you exactly how to get your team to speak up, fix issues and get comfortable with holding each other to a higher [...]

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Podcast Episode #28: What’s On The Menu? How To Sell Multiple Pairs Like A Classy Restaurant!


Do you want to sell more multiple pairs? In this episode of the podcast Conor will give you the hacks that will see you dramatically and quickly increase conversions, dispense value and multiple pairs in your practice! You don’t want to miss this one! Turn it up loud and make sure you share it with [...]

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Step Aside


Jeff Bezos started Amazon in 1994, from his garage, as an online retailer of books. Jeff was pretty-much the guy who did everything. He was the CEO, but he was also the guy who packed the books into a box and drove to the post office every day to ship the orders to customers.    As [...]

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Podcast Episode #27: Lessons from Cleveland


Taking time out to think about your business is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. I’m just back from sunny Cleveland, Ohio. I was there for five days to attend a conference, to meet with my coach and mentor and to take some time to think about the bigger picture of my business. Listen in [...]

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Brute Force Not Necessary : What exactly is leadership?


What exactly is leadership? We talk about it all the time, but what exactly is it?   I certainly didn’t know much about it or how to do it when I started out. I definitely didn’t know how to do it in a way that was comfortable and natural for me.   Happily, I discovered with the [...]

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Do you want to know how to really connect with your customers?


The book Fanocracy – ‘Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans’ says… “The pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online communication at a time when people are hungry for true human connection. In a digital world where our lives are increasingly cluttered and superficial, we’re missing something tremendously powerful: genuine [...]

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Do you ever feel frustrated and want to give up?


I spend a significant amount of my time being frustrated. According to psychologists, frustration is an emotion that occurs in situations where a person is blocked from reaching a desired outcome. So pretty much, it’s to be expected for business owners. If you set any goal (never mind lots of goals) you will be met with adversity, [...]

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Putting Personality Into Your Business


Putting Personality Into Your Business   I’m a fan of Paul Smith. There is a great Paul Smith documentary on Netflix which tells the story of how he got started in business and how he grew from 1 little shop in Nottingham to now over 300 shops worldwide and an annual revenue of around £200 Million.  [...]

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Are You Solving The Right Problem?


Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of magazine The Idler, said “To solve the right problems for your patients, customers, or clients, you just need to step outside and pay attention to what is so commonplace, so everyday, so mundane that everyone else misses it.”   As independent opticians, how can we pay better attention to what our competition [...]

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Marketing B.S.


Do you remember this from a few years ago? A bleeding 69 year old passenger wasviolently dragged off a United Airlines flight by security. They oversold the flight and selected him at random to give up his seat and when he refused they removed him by force. United Airlines got it wrong on lots of [...]

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News flash! Consistency Pays!


I play very little golf and watch even less but when I do watch it I can feel the pressure of every shot. I’m no expert but I find golf a very unforgiving game. It can so easily go wrong. And that’s what makes it so impressive watching the top professionals in the world. To [...]

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“Do the right thing, rather than trying to be liked”


“Do the right thing rather than trying to be liked.” That’s what Angela Spindler, CEO of retailer N Brown, said about how she transformed the company. It’s good advice for any business owner. And the truth is you’re being negligent if you worry more about what your staff will think than doing what is right [...]

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It’s a question of character


A few days ago Manchester City beat Real Madrid 4-0 to progress to the final of the Champions League, the annual competition to determine the best football team in Europe. In the lead up to the game, Carlo Ancelotti, Madrid’s manager, said something really important that I want to zoom in on here. It has [...]

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Life Lessons


Last night we had a client appreciation / birthday event at the practice. We had about 60 clients show up to help us celebrate our 14th birthday. But what exactly were we celebrating? Isn’t this a business?   Don’t businesses operate in the world of market forces? Prices must be paid in return for services [...]

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Optical Lessons from the King’s Coronation


  The coronation of King Charles III takes places on Saturday kicking off a weekend of events and celebrations in the UK. So before you enjoy another long weekend let me examine this historic event for a few success principles you can digest at your leisure… 1. Putting On A Show! Lessons will abound about [...]

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Weekly Dispatch 28-04-23: What are YOU afraid of?


I read this Tim Ferris quote yesterday: “What we fear doing is usually what we most need to do.” Read it carefully. Can you relate? I can. Last weekend I was in Belfast hosting a two-day mastermind meeting with twenty high-flying practice owners. These are members of OSA who have already achieved great successes with [...]

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What Every Optometrist Should Be Asking Themselves In The “New Normal”


The ‘new normal’ is a phrase that is bandied about an awful lot. I’d confidently bet it has slipped into your day to day vocabulary, like it has into mine, but let me slam on the brakes right here, my fellow optometrist. I have a vital distinction for you. The media, politicians, your friends, family, [...]

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Have You Not Been Paying Enough Attention To Your Profits For Too Long?


The average optometry practice owner may find the idea of building a stronger and more profitable practice distasteful, somehow unethical, beneath them, but what really happens if you become more profitable? You improve your practice in every way to the benefit of everyone who comes in contact with it. How? As an example, let’s look [...]

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A Pandemic Proof Independent Optometry Practice


The mission at my independent optometry practice, Jones & Co., has always been to help clients look good and feel good in glasses. We do this with our unique blend of amazing independent eyewear, unrivaled optical expertise, and customer service that is personal and makes every client’s day! So how does this translate to a [...]

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Build Your Recovery Plan For Your Independent Optometry Practice


The worst of the shock is over. If you want to be successful and come out ahead of the game after all this, it’s time to pivot from crisis to opportunity and start creating the practice and life that you truly want. Never let a crisis go to waste. It’s an opportunity to do things [...]

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Business Survival Checklist For Independent Optometrists


Would you like a guideline on how to best manage your optometry business while navigating this uncertain time? Here’s a peek into exclusive advice from Conor Heaney, founder of the Optical Success Academy, and an independent optometry practice owner. In the Optical Success Academy, we offer the blueprints on how to run a successful independent [...]

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How Rachel Grew Her Eyecare Business By 35%


Have you ever Googled “how to run a successful optician’s business?” That’s what Rachel Murray did, here’s what happened… Rachel Murray, owner of Rachel Murray Eyecare, was working 6.5 days in her 5-month-old optometry practice. That means no full days off! For an optical business owner, no matter where you are, what situation you’re in, [...]

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How I Set My Independent Optometry Practice Apart And Beat The Corporate Box Stores


Most optometry practices by definition are ‘average’. They look the same. They are run the same. They have the same problems. And they achieve the same average results. That’s because the ‘average practice’ owner spends their time watching and copying what everyone else is doing. And they keep doing things the way they have always [...]

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