May 2017

What does success mean to you?

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this question recently. As another election looms, winning or losing seems to be at the forefront of so many minds. From the daily confrontations between politicians and journalists on the radio as I prepare for my day, through to the final arguments on the tv news before I go to bed, everyone is positioning themselves as being ‘right’ and therefore likely to be winning power in a few weeks’ time.

For all of us it’s probably true to say that whether the people we end up voting for are successful or not, there will no doubt continue to be some aspects of government we think are a help to us and some that are a hindrance. And yet, we go on, making the best fist of it that we can and doing our best to find as smooth a path as possible both in our businesses and in our lives.

Yet it’s easy to forget in the daily grind what we started out to do in the first place. For some of us losing our way can have dramatic consequences – as happened for this month’s featured author, Tim Johnson. After a dreadful car accident in which he lost his arm, Tim went on to explore ways to live his life and run a business ‘on purpose’ and has written two books, most recently The Authority Guide to Meaningful Success. In this month’s interview Tim talks frankly about what happened to him and what he has learned as a result. My chat with him was totally inspiring and I hope you will find it so too.

We have another book launch coming up – the next three guides will be launched at Waterstones High Street Kensington on 20 July. We’d be delighted to see you there. Please sign up here for your complimentary ticket.

Wishing you every success – whatever that means for you!

All good wishes,
Sue Richardson
Editor of The Authority

Tim Johnson’s Top Tips for Meaningful Success…

Life is too short to grind it out at work just to pay the bills, yet that’s what many of us do. Many people set up their own business to gain the freedom and wealth that entrepreneurialism promises, but find themselves working more hours, for less money under more stress. The uncertainty of income saps confidence, making success that much harder to achieve.

When we run our businesses on purpose we create more prosperity and possibility, and when we run our lives on purpose we develop more presence and inner peace. When combined together this makes for a magnetic mix and pathway to a truly broadband experience in life.

The Authority Guide to Meaningful Success maps out a clear and simple pathway to achieve this. The key takeaways from this book are:

  1. Do less, and do it well. This applies both to our own lives and our businesses; we find ourselves rushing between competing demands, with an overwhelming to do list, and little sense of accomplishment. Scaling up excellence is easier than scaling up chaos.
  2. Develop a blame-free culture. Both for yourself and the people you live and work with. None of us wake up in the morning deciding to make a mess of things deliberately, so give yourself and others a little slack when things go wrong. The blame game creates defensiveness and cover-ups, a killer to creativity and productivity.
  3. Drive your business in 4-wheel drive mode. Younger businesses tend to be people and sales focused, a front-wheel drive approach, whereas established business can rely heavily on the numbers and the processes, a rear-wheel drive approach. Both sets of drive are important, so use all four wheels to navigate the rough terrain.
  4. Take time out alone. Reconnect with what is important for you. It is so easy to slip into being an employee of your own business. Your business should be working for you and not the other way round.

Tim Johnson is the founder of Meaningful Success. He has previously built two multi-million pound businesses from start up by getting clear on purpose. However, he did so at the expense of the rest of his life and subsequently everything unravelled. Tim took time out to reassess what went wrong, and wrote two books to show how you can live your life and business together on purpose, so they mutually support each other. This is true Meaningful Success.

Each month in The Authority, we ask a business author and leader the question ‘Which business book has particularly inspired you or changed your business and/or your life and in what way?’


This month we’d like to thank Mike Harris, author of Find Your Lightbulb: How to make millions from apparently impossible ideas (Capstone, 2008), General Manager Northern Europe, SVP Worldwide.

Differentiate or Die: Survival in our era of killer competition by Jack Trout (John Wiley & Sons, 2008)

The simplicity of the central argument is compelling, and is a great antidote to overly complex marketing philosophy and planning. To win – you simply need to be different from your competitors. This reworking of Rosser Reeve’s ‘unique selling proposition’ is an easy read – and motivates me when business life becomes challenging. I recommend it to anyone who needs a ‘pick me up’.


The Authority Guide to Meaningful Success