January 27, 2010

Ask and you’ll receive

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

I want you to think about your best memories….                     

For most of us our most pleasant memories include other people: parties, holidays, weddings, births….

We are happiest when were in the company of people we like and love.

Of course you may be one of those completely self-reliant people, but for most of us we need to share our doubts, our worries, our dreams…

Don’t get me wrong we all like a bit of peace and quiet now and again, but in the immortal words of Bob Hoskins, “It’s good to talk” unless it’s a tele-marketer phoning you at 7 in the evening, and then they can in the immortal words of Bob Hoskins …

The truth is we all need support from our friends. Barrack Obama wouldn’t have run for President without the support of his wife Michelle, and I would have never managed to perform at Edinburgh without the support of my wife and friends.

(Don’t, worry, I’m not even trying to compare my comedic journey to Obama’s presidential run, but we both probably  got to make jokes at George W Bush’s expense).

Occasionally however our friends and loved ones aren’t as supportive, they say, “that will never work“, or “that’s too risky”, etc, etc.

Sometimes they are right, sometimes they will raise issues you hadn’t thought of, or come up with problems you didn’t see.

Of course, they just might be just scared, and would rather not try than fail.

Since starting my own company my Mum has constantly asked me “when I’m going to get a proper job?”

When I told her I was going to go it alone, she actively counselled me against it.

You wouldn’t call my mum a natural risk taker. She’s a good catholic Irish woman,

“Jesus tried that speaking lark and look what happened to him!”

The thing is, she did it out of love, and she didn’t want to see me struggle. I had a good job, a nice house, a new wife, why would I risk all that?

So if we’re facing a dilemma what should we do? Should we surround ourselves with “yes” men and women who tell us what we want to hear, or should we also listen to the cautious ones?

When I started my own company, and went to Edinburgh, I actively canvassed friends and loved ones’ opinions, but more than that, I also sought out experts who I thought could help and advise me.

Many of these “experts” started out as total strangers but have now become firm friends. 

Whenever I have a problem or a new idea I always seek out these people to ask their advice, and if they spot a potential problem, I always ask: 

“How could we solve that problem?” or “How could we minimise that risk?”

Invariably we always find some way to mitigate the risk.

So the next time that you have an idea, don’t be afraid to ask people’s opinions, and more importantly listen to what they say.  They might have a solution to a problem you haven’t even thought of yet!

Marc

If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 12:52 pm
January 25, 2010

Marc Hogan’s Showreel

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

My new showreel!



If you would like to find out more about Marc,  visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 12:21 pm
January 8, 2010

New Years Resolutions

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

I can’t make you thin, confident or more successful, only you can do that but perhaps this will help?

Last week, my wife Kirsty asked me, “So what are your New Years Resolutions?”

2009 had been a momentous year.  I had in 11 months became a comic and had performed a one man, 1 hour comedy show at the Edinburgh Festival the world’s largest comedy festival for 21 nights.

I can honestly say it was the most exhilarating, depressing, terrifying, and hardest 11 months of my life…

As a public speaker I now share that story with businesses to help them achieve their goals.

I recently came across some research by Professor Richard Wiseman on the subject of motivation

Professor Wiseman tracked more than 5000 participants from around the world who were attempting to achieve a wide range of goals including losing weight, gaining a new qualification, quitting smoking etc.

One group was followed for 6 months, the other for a year.  At the start everyone was confident of achieving their goals, however by the end only 10 percent of participants had achieved their goals.

The successful 10 % used the following techniques:

1)      Made a step-by-step plan;

2)      Told other people about their plan;

3)      Focused on the good things that would happen when they achieved their plan;

4)      Rewarded themselves for making progress;

5)      Recorded their progress.

Now whilst I didn’t use all of these techniques, I did do the majority of them. For me the biggest influence for achieving my comedy goal, was telling other people, simply because I couldn’t bare the thought of failing in front of everyone.

Even when friends, other comedians and business customers thought I was mad and told me it couldn’t be done, I continued to broadcast what I was doing.  I found that telling everybody I met increased my commitment and made me persevere.

So this year I’m making public that I am going to write a book. It may be a thin book, but it will be a book that I will have typed with my own fair hands at 3 words per minute.

Apparently the average book is 30,000 words long, so that’s 10,000 minutes, which is about 166 hours.

If I can write for 1 hour a day I should be finished by June!

So what are you going to achieve this year? Feel free to tell everyone!

I also want to loose ½ a stone… Now where did I put that Paul McKenna book?

Marc

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 12:21 pm

Every Little Helps

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

So what summed up 2009 for you was it the credit crunch, the death of Michael Jackson, the parliamentary expenses scandal, or something else?

For me 2009 can be summed up in 5 words, “Unexpected item in the bagging area”

Not since teenagers use of the word “like” 20 times in every conversation, ever has a phrase become so ubiquitous and annoying at the same time. I’m a 35-year-old male; I gave up working as a supermarket “checkout chick” when I was 18.

But now for some reason, I think it’s to do with the Large Hadron Collider I’ve been magically transported back in time and I’m now scanning my own shopping!

What the hell is going on? I don’t go into Starbucks and make my own coffee! I don’t get on the bus and drive it; and I have never picked my own strawberries!

I don’t even like it when a hairdresser uses clippers, I’m paying 30 quid for this haircut, I want you to use scissors!

I’m 35, I’ve got a degree, not only do I now have to carry my shopping in organically certified, fair-trade recycled hessian bags, I’ve got to scan it as well, perhaps you’d like me to a little stock rotation for you in my spare time?!

When did intelligent hard working people become checkout staff again? No offence to anyone who works in a supermarket, but checkout staff should be students or part time mothers or ex bankers, everyone else has no excuse.

I wouldn’t even mind but I’m useless at it. Every item takes at least 4 times to scan, I’ve tried numerous approaches, the fast glide, the slow glide, the plop down, and my personal favourite the roll over, nothing works! Most of the time I have to enter the handy 47-digit barcode or I have to wait for the young lady to come over and type in her top-secret password to get the scanner to work again

The lady in charge of these check outs inevitably ends up walking over to me and giving me the “Aahh bless, can’t use a simple infra red scanner” look. Its not my fault, I simply don’t have the wrists for it! What’s worse, her name badge asks, “How can I help”?

Well you could start by scanning my items!

It’s ridiculous. Not only do I have to scan my own shopping, I then have to sort it into the 4 colour coded bins when I’ve used it! Every week I recycle my rubbish, but for some reason the majority of drinks cartons cannot be made out of recyclable material. For crying out loud, there’s a black President of the USA, we have the technology to make Fern Britton thin, Gordon Brown has made the Tories popular, this is the future, surely it is not beyond the wit of man to create a recyclable drinks carton?

These self-service checkouts are apparently about good customer service? How?
How does spending 20 minutes scanning my 10 items (or Less) equal good customer service? I know I don’t have to even go to the supermarket I can do it all online, (and to be fair it’s brilliant) but that only works if the supermarkets have snowploughs to deliver the stuff!

So I don’t care how quick these self-flagellate checkouts are, I’m going to queue at a checkout with a real person, and talk about the weather, and their plans for the weekend.  In my humble opinion, great customer service will always involve a person…

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 12:20 pm