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New entrepreneur Catherine Salway shares the secrets she learned from working at Virgin in today’s guest blog. Since leaving her role as Group Brand Director at Virgin, Catherine has set up Redemption, new events where you can spoil yourself without spoiling yourself. Here’s her top business tips gained from working with Richard Branson and co…

1. The customer is king. It sounds obvious and old fashioned but it is really important to remember, no matter how big you get, that all your income comes from the public deciding to spend on your product or service. So you have to be on trend with cultural shifts and be on point with meeting customer needs. During my 16 years at Virgin it grew exponentially and yet Richard kept his in-built respect for the customer. At the launch of Redemption I chatted with the customers to get their feedback and I honestly listened to it.

2. Think of everything holistically and be a multi-tasker. Richard was ahead of his time when he starting thinking that earning money should be fun and rewarding and it should do some good.  Nowadays the lines are blurring between commerce and charity and state, so any organisation has to have a positive impact on the whole ecosystem. So I’ve created Redemption to be a business with a ‘heart of gold’ where we have a positive impact on society through not harming animals or the planet and by making it on-trend for people to avoid the ever-present booze and make healthy food choices.

3. Once you’ve thought through points one and two, be brave. Plan to succeed. Have a contingency in place for when it doesn’t, but build your plan and focus your energy around where you want to be.  This is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur: building a vision.

4. Linked to this – Screw it let’s do it. Time is money. Just get on with it. Don’t sit around agonising over every decision. Learn to let some things go. Be willing to let some things fail. Break some eggs to make the omelette, etc. At least this way, if you are going to fail, you will fail quickly. If you fail slowly you will waste both money and time.

5. Enjoy it. There’s nothing better than chilling out with your team and poking fun at how stressed everybody got today, or consoling one other after a run of bad luck, or celebrating an amazing success. One of the things I have in common with Richard is that we enjoy a party! Don’t let the business dominate your entire existence. Have a lie in. Hang out with your kids. Phone your dad. And if you over-do the work-hard/play-hard, come to Redemption and we’ll sort you out!

Redemption is running a residency at Netil 360 on summer Sundays, and a permanent residency at Goldfinger Factory from September 8th.

By Catherine Salway


One of the Best Gigs Ever!

by inspire on June 14, 2013

guitars 2010

This morning I directed a fantastic guitar concert with primary school kids I’ve been teaching all year.  The kids range from ages 8 up to 12 or 13.

Each Friday we meet up before school starts to practice for about 40 minutes. Some mornings in the winter are dark and dreary. Sometimes it’s bitterly cold. Yet the kids still manage to make it to practice most weeks.

This year was my third year teaching primary school kids guitar so I wanted to stretch it a bit. Could they learn and perform more?

Well I’m just back from our second concert this week and it was for sure the best yet. We had the whole audience (other young kids and their teachers) singing along.

As they played and sang along I couldn’t help but feel overwhelming feelings of gratitude for it all. Surely I thought one of the greatest things we can do in life is to give of ourselves with all our hearts. And all of us may know how many seeds they’re are in an apple but who amongst us knows how many apples will come from each seed!

The kids performed 7 songs in total -

The Lord of the Dance

The House of the Rising Sun

O Ro Se (Irish traditional song)

This Land is Your Land

The Whole World in his hands

Ob La di Ob la da

The Lion Sleeps tonight

We had also planned for them to do some lead guitar on the Lion Sleeps Tonight and they played it brilliantly.

When we see the potential of such kids, let us all relax and know the future of our world is in very safe and capable hands. They’re a very wise generation!

A very wise lady once told me “God gave us many talents and gifts, it is up to us to find them use them and above all … Share them!” I think she’s right!

Carpe Diem! Sean


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May 13, 2013

“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” - Arnold Toynbee Following your passion can be a tough thing. But figuring out what that passion is can be even more elusive. I’m lucky — I’ve found my passion, and I’m living it. I can testify that it’s the most wonderful thing, to [...]

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March 13, 2013

Last week one of my childhood friends Dad died. He was one of my hero’s while growing up. Always friendly. Always smiling. Always encouraging. When we were kids he took my friend and I to a beautiful beach in Ireland called Brittas Bay. I remember enjoying very happy carefree days with my friend there, rolling [...]

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February 20, 2013

This morning, like every morning, I sat cross-legged on a cushion on the floor, rested my hands on my knees, closed my eyes, and did nothing but breathe for 20 minutes. People say the hardest part about meditating is finding the time to meditate. This makes sense: who these days has time to do nothing? [...]

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How to be Purpose Driven by Sean M Kelly

February 13, 2013

Recently while delivering a training course on How to Be Purpose Driven to a global company I asked the participants the following question: “Why do you do what you do?” Most of them responded with answers like “needs must”, ”I don’t know”, “earn some money”. And these are all fine, if that’s what we want our lives [...]

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Your Palette Awaits … by Sean M Kelly

February 5, 2013

Clear is the water from which we came Crystal clear and sparkling for the life beyond the rain … But the water’s now muddied battered and bruised From the embittered thoughts and woes Singing those 12 bar blues … The white wolf howls echoing calls of faith from the past but darkness clouds its distant [...]

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