Tag Archives: Stairs For Breakfast

Battery recharger needed to have new book printed!

It’s been a few months since my last email/blog update. I had an amazing time in Spain and now am half an Ascension meditation teacher! More on that to come soon.

For the 2.5 months I’ve been working long hours; finishing my second book, converting it into book format, making videos and updating my website:

This video is on the front page of my website.

Thank you very much to the people who have already pre-ordered my 2nd book ‘Screw It, I’ll Take The Elevator’. I am planning to publish it on 15th April 2018, as I need more pre-orders to have the book printed. You can order my books here and now http://stairsforbreakfast.com/buy-now

People say Stairs For Breakfast is very funny however my second book is even funnier! It covers October 2000 to April 2017. If you’ve met me over the last few years you’re probably in the elevator!

Having worked so hard I am very proud of my books and everything I have achieved. Thank you for reading this and for helping to get my second book published.

How to get paid by Access to Work

I am writing this blog update to help people as a result of the delays and issues I have experienced with the initial payment claim with AtW.

It’s important to note that you employ your support worker (on either an employed or self-employed basis) and you are responsible for paying your support worker, which you then need to claim back from AtW i.e. Maggie is employed directly by my company and as such, I am responsible for paying her salary, as well as her tax, National Insurance, pension etc. and generate payslips, hence it is advisable to have an accountant to assist.

AtW pays you a lump sum hourly rate for your support worker, which needs to be taken into consideration when working out the salary for your support worker, as all deductions for the employer and employee need to be deducted from this lump sum.

The grant is paid in arrears and claims are submitted on the last working day of every month, by submitting completed timesheets, along with an invoice from your employee for the hours worked for you/your company. Please allow at least two weeks for the payment from AtW to be processed and reflect in your bank account after submission of all necessary monthly documents.

To prevent delays from AtW, ensure that your employees invoice reflects the following information:

Employee full names
Employee postal address
Mobile number
Email address
─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Date of invoice

Invoice To:

Employer’s company name
Company address

Description of services, example: Support worker services (Assistance with typing, making phone calls, general office administration)

Period worked: example 1st January 2017 to 31st January 2017

Number of hours ______ (@ £rate per hour)

Invoice Total: £_________

(Very important to include)

* PLEASE NOTE:-

1. I was paid on (date) __________________
2. I am not self-employed, I am employed and paid directly by (Company name)
3. Employers Unique Tax Reference: xxxx xxxx
_________________________________________________________________________

How to apply for an Access to Work grant to employ a full time assistant

I have been asked to write this blog post because I have recently been successful in obtaining a grant to employ a Personal Assistant from Access to Work (AtW). It is a tedious process but if you follow the correct steps, it’s simple.

AtW use the term Support Worker rather than Personal Assistant. This is because the grant is to employ somebody for the tasks which you cannot do yourself. As my assistant (Maggie) says herself, she’s my hands and feet.

The first thing I could have done better is having a business plan before I submitted the application form. After submitting the form I had a call from someone at AtW to make a phone appointment to go through my application, the guy only gave me four days to complete my business plan. Having never written a business plan before I found a template online and spent three days completing it. When I went through my application with the guy on the phone, I said my business plan was a draft and needed more work on it. The guy said that he would take my application step by step but a few days later I received a letter from him informing me that my application for a grant had been rejected because my business plan was not viable.

I naturally appealed saying I needed more time to complete my business plan, I needed some help from someone who knows how AtW operates, it took a few weeks to find Start Ability Services who are brilliant, they gave me this simple business plan template and helped me with it. Also they advised me that I needed a business case (the tasks I need of a support worker to do).

There are three things you need to do before you submit the initial application form:

1. Here is the business plan template, all you need to do is answer the questions in it, Kath Sutherland and Jane Hunt can help you with it and your application for a Support Worker
2. Write a business case outlining the tasks you need a support worker to do. It is advisable that it is in AtW language. Click here to download the business case that I submitted
3. Obtain a unique tax reference (UTR), you can do so by phoning: 0845 915 451

Although it may not be absolutely essential to set up a limited company, I would advise you to get advice from an accountant about doing so. My accountant is Yvonne from Frampton & Co.

I hope you have found this article helpful. In my next blog post I will let you know how the grant is paid to you.

New Year, New Me!

It feels like such a long time since my last Blog update (that’s because it is!). I have done (and am doing) amazing things:

In September I went to Spain, you can read about my experience here. Ascension has become a greater part of my life and I am choosing to observe my thoughts (rather than identifying with them) more and more. It is interesting to notice how my life is changing.

Another amazing thing I have done in the last few months is being interviewed on the radio. When I think about it, it’s bonkers that I can talk on the radio! The fact is, I knew I could do it and therefore, I wasn’t worried about it, you can hear my two interviews on BBC radio here. My friend Roy presents a two hour weekly radio show on Seahaven FM, and I was his guest for the whole show one week in December. It is one of the most exhilarating things I have done.

Towards the end of last year I self-published Stairs For Breakfast as a new book. It’s here on Amazon.

Hay House has now published an American version of Stairs For Breakfast but I think that might be a dead end because they are now asking for $2,000 to $14,000 to promote the book!

The most amazing thing now is that I have Maggie my full-time PA (as a result of applying for an Access to Work grant). Maggie is excellent (and I’m not just saying that because she is typing this), she has transformed the way I work, helps me with my typing, makes phone calls for me and drives me to events. I could not wish for a better PA.

Here is one of the videos Maggie helped me to make:

Maggie’s first day was last month, when she came with me to Glenn Armstrong’s Mastermind day in Milton Keynes, Maggie says it was fun but not knowing anything about property investment, she was a bit lost!

For the last month I have taken yet more scattered action. What I find frustrating is, I understand a lot about property but am unsure what strategy to do or even if I want to do property at all.

Having had a one to one with Glenn, who advised me to decide whether I want to do property or internet marketing. Therefore I am now looking into a couple of property strategies to do in Brighton. However having written my book (and having Maggie helping me edit my second book) the most logical thing for me to do is learn how to drive traffic to my website and to promote myself online.

I am motivated by achievement and ever since reading Rich Dad Poor Dad in 2010, I have wanted to find a recursive strategy that suits me, it is obvious that when I know how to do something (writing a book and applying for a government grant to employ a PA), I do it very well. What I find really useful is having a step by step approach and breaking it down into a to-do list.

My plan for the next month is to increase my visibility online, which I am going to do by creating a Facebook page and doing a weekly video, I am also going to look into:
• Tim Grahl’s, online book marketing
• Chris Farrell’s, website on how to generate traffic
• And other ways of promoting myself online

One of the things I love is public speaking and I am looking into events I can speak at.

After all, promoting myself online and public speaking is what I said I would do in my business plan I wrote to get a grant for a PA.

Glenn advised me to go on Simon Coulson’s and Daniel Vagner’s internet business courses, however those are different strategies, which I shall most certainly explore..

I have a good product (my books), a good website and good at public speaking, all I need to do is get my website and myself more online visibility, it cant be that difficult?!?

Summer update

It’s been a few months since my previous update – and a productive time!

  • After creating my limited company, I’m in the process of applying for an Access to Work grant to employ a support worker to assist me with my work.
  • My Stairs For Breakfast manuscript has been converted into US spellings/notation and I’m in the final production stages with Hay House, who are publishing my book in America.
  • I’ve been out and about on a mobility scooter and doing book signings. In the last 3 months I’ve sold 300 copies of my self-published book and also raised money for Scope.
  • I’m currently arranging hiring a mobility scooter to take to Spain, where I’m off to on 1st September to the ascension meditation retreat.

Each of the above has taken time and effect, I’ve learnt a lot and feel proud. Whilst going out and selling my book to strangers isn’t the smartest way to inspire people and sell my book, it has reinforced my desire to do public speaking. I see my CP as a gift because I inspire people so naturally. I’m also organising several events, including doing a talk at Brighton Library and am in touch with Waterstones about doing a book signing with them in Brighton. (I may need to visit Waterstones in London because my submission, to get my book onto their database, may have got lost on their system!).

In doing a book signing at my local polling station on the EU referendum day, I had a good conversation about public speaking with artist Alison Lapper (who I’ve been bumping into in Shoreham for years) and journalist Laura Raymond (who I know from working in radio) has offered to help me gain publicity on regional TV and in the national press. I also sold a book to a guy who works at BBC World Service and Radio 4, who, after reading my book, has offered to show me around his workplace.

Here’s a piece I did on local TV

Latest TV piece

When I started the process of applying for a grant for a support worker the DWP only gave me 4 days to write a business plan! Having never written one before I found a business plan template online and spent 2 days drafting one – which the DWP then rejected!

It took a few weeks to find the right people who could help me with a business plan – Association of Disabled Professionals (ADP) – a charity that helps people in obtaining Access to Work grants to employ support workers. Thank you to Kath Sutherland and Jane Hunt for your help and time (you are amazing people). Their business plan template is straightforward. Having now written a second business plan (and business case), Kath says it’s great and I’ve got an extremely good chance of getting a grant. My business plan needs a little tweaking (which ADP are doing) and I’ll re-apply for a grant when I return from Spain. I’m confident that the DWP will approve my application but even if they don’t, having a good business plan/case, I can approach other people/organisations for a grant. Thank you Jane West from c2cbusiness.org.uk for finding ADP.

It’s a good thing I like irony. One of the tasks I need a support worker for is to facilitate me with typing. I have done so much of it over the last weeks and months that I’ve had a left wrist ache for the last week (and glad I’m nearing the end of this update!).

A few months ago I wrote the following 3 articles. I wrote then for Scope but can get them on other websites (eg The Huffington Post).

Part 1: How to write a book successfully

Part 2: How to have someone else write your book for you

Part 3: How other people can provide the content for your book

I really appreciate my natural ability of inspiring people. I see it as a real gift. When I return from Spain, I’m determined to find a mentor who can help/advise me on how to best market myself online and gain public speaking opportunities. Finding a mentor will include making a couple of videos and going to Glenn Armstrong’s Mastermind group. I need to recharge my batteries first!

I could not have achieved what I have over the last few months without my ascension meditation practice. I feel peaceful, proud and pleased.

Thank you to everyone who helps and inspires me – including Maghavat, who found me a scooter to hire in Spain but didn’t have joy finding me scooter insurance. It’s something we both have both many hours researching. I can get insurance for a scooter that I hire/buy in the UK and take to Spain – but haven’t found any for one that I hire in Spain. Maghavat – thank you for helping me find a solution. Can’t wait to get to Guayrapa!

A few months ago, I had the idea of hiring a scooter for an afternoon to sell some books! Thank you to Alan and everyone at Churcers Mobility for your help as well.

My flatmate John and I like saying the word “Scoo’ah”!

 

PS If you would like to have Stairs For Breakfast you can buy it directly from me here. I’m cheaper than Amazon and I’ll send you a signed copy of the book!

2,000 book challenge

1 Brighton pin standing up

It’s been about 4 months since my last email blog update and I’ve transcended all the stress I’ve been through! Since coming back from Spain in November I feel like I’ve had bump after bump. However my last bump was the best one of all because it got to prioritise my peace!

For a couple of months now, I’ve been ascending for between 2 to 4 hours a day. People have been asking me how I’ve got that much time to ascending. As a result of increasing my meditation practice, I’m waking up between 2 and 6.30 every morning – hence it’s easy to ascend for a couple hours when I wake up. When I wake up before 6am, I become tired by about 1 to 2pm – so I ascend for an hour then.

I’m very aware of my thoughts and feel like I’ve uncovered my awesomeness again! I’ve booked to go to Guayrapa in September (and need to hire an all terrain mobility scooter)

My ascension practice is also helping me in becoming more productive with my work! Thank you to my friend Paul Apps, who volunteered to coach and help me to promote Stairs For Breakfast . I’ve got a lot of time and love for Paul, he is inspiring and helping me so much.

I’ve set myself a target to sell 1,000 books (which Paul has upped to 2,000!) by 1st September

These are some of the things I’m organising.

  1. Fund-raising (for Scope) / book signing events at supermarkets/shopping centres
  2. Book signing events at book shops
  3. Book signings at local events
  4. I am applying for a grant to employ someone to help me with my work promoting my book. This will help me tremendously.
  5. I feel when the weather gets sunnier I can sell my book in various places, out and about.
  6. Hay House book update – I’m having my manuscript converted to US spellings/notation
  7. I’ve written this series of 3 articles How to write a book successfully.  I welcome your feedback.

Sitting next to me as I’m writing this in my lounge are 500 books! You can buy a copy here http://stairsforbreakfast.com/buy-now (I’m cheaper than Amazon!)

I welcome people who would like to help me with my 2,000 book challenge!

Thank you

Awesome Patrick 😉

Part 1: How to write a book successfully

1 Brighton pin standing upBefore talking about how to write a book, there are a couple of important points regarding success that I’d like to mention:

  • You can achieve anything you desire in life. All you need is persistence, self-belief and enough desire to do it.
  • It is people that help make the world go round. What product or service can you create that will add value to people’s lives?

You may think that’s a difficult question – but the answer is simple – what knowledge and information do you have that people could benefit from?

I had several motivations for writing my autobiography. One of them was to give people an insight into my life. Ordinarily, due to my Cerebral Palsy, most people see me as being very physically disabled. But I’ve never thought of myself as being disabled. I’ve done so many things and have overcome much adversity. In my first book Stairs For Breakfast I show people how anything is possible.

What to write about

Have you got an inspirational story inside you? People love being inspired. If you can write an entertaining, inspiring and informative book you’re onto a real winner.

What skills and interests do you have? Can you write a ‘How To…’ book?

For more ideas on what subject to write about visit your local newsagent and look at the range of magazines for sale. Additionally, go to www.dummies.com and browse the vast array of ‘…For Dummies’ books. Books and magazines would not be published if there wasn’t a demand for them.

What are you passionate about? When you write about something that you absolute love doing, you’ll write it well.

The process of writing a book

You could write a series of short stories/experiences. If you wrote a 500-word blog post per week, in just over a year you would enough words (28,000) to publish a book.

I wrote my book in a very systematic way. Before starting each chapter I typed a list of things I wanted to cover in the chapter. Then, as I was writing the chapter – and had covered each item – I crossed it off the list (using Strikethrough in MS Word) and moved it to the bottom of the list. Doing this gave me a great sense of achievement.

It’s important to reward yourself when you’re doing something which requires time, effort and persistence. Treat yourself when you’ve reached a milestone. With writing a book for example, go out for a nice meal when you’ve finished a chapter.

There’s no doubt, I had the self-belief, the desire and the persistence to write my autobiography. I knew it would help and inspire people – and that it would give me a platform as a public speaker.

I was so motivated to write a book that on average I typed 700 words a day (all with one finger). It took me 15 months to write 216,000 words. Enough content for two books. My second book is yet to be published but it has the title Screw It, I’ll Take The Elevator.

When I told my mentor Glenn I was going to write my autobiography, he replied “At the end of every day email me the number of words you’ve written that day”. So I did. At the end of virtually every day, for 15 months, I sent Glenn an email – with just a Subject line. For example, “Words today: 752”. Although I had the desire to write a book, it was such a simple way to help keep me motivated.

I’m a great believer in setting yourself goals – but when you also make a commitment to someone that you’re going to do something, it radically increases the likelihood of you achieving it. You don’t necessarily need a mentor. It just needs to be a person you respect, who believes in you – and who will give you a nudge, if you need it to keep going.

One important factor to being successful in life is the ability of working with people. Whatever you want to accomplish, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to do it in isolation. You’re probably going to need people to help you along the way.

Collaborating (people joint-venturing together, working as a partnership) is a common practice in the property investment community. Joint-ventures are very effective and successful when people complement each others’ strengths and skills, eg some people have strong people-skills whilst others are better at number-crunching/using spreadsheets.

In Part 2 I’ll explain how to have someone else write your book for you.

Part 2: How to have someone else write your book for you

dd boundless jpg

If you’ve got a book inside you but don’t want to write it yourself, have someone else write your book for you! There are a number of ways you can do this.

Verbally speak your book into a voice-recorder and find someone to type it for you – such as a Virtual PA (VPA). You can find VPAs who live near you by Googling ‘virtual pa’ [followed by your town or city]. Furthermore, by using an online voice-recorder, you could work with a VPA who doesn’t live locally.

To find an online voice recorders visit http://stairsforbreakfast.com/record to see what I use.

Alternatively, if you’re passionate and have good knowledge about a subject but find it difficult to formulate the information in an engaging style for a book, find someone who’s good at writing – and share your knowledge, ideas and information for a book with them. The person you invite to write the book could be a friend, relative or VPA – or a professional ghostwriter.

Having someone else write a book with you can be a fun, simple and effective process – and can be done over the phone. It’s an easy process to maintain by following these steps:

Set up an initial phone call with the writer to discuss your ideas for the overall book. Record the call and ask the writer to email you a summary of your conversation.

It goes without saying that communicating well with the writer is vital. Recording every phone call with the writer will give them invaluable information to work from. If you don’t have a good call recording solution, visit http://stairsforbreakfast.com/record to see what I use.

The initial call – and the summary email of your conversation – will give you a good idea if the writer is an easy person for you to work with. Let the writer know if you would like any changes made to the summary email. If you would like to work with the person to write your book, you can do so as follows:

  1. Set up another phone call with the writer and record the conversation. Tell them everything you want to include in the first chapter of the book. You don’t need to be word-for-word. Just give the writer an outline of the content, including any important points.
  1. Ask the writer to draft the first chapter and to email it to you.
  1. Get back on the phone with the writer when you have read the first draft. Detail any changes you would like made to it. Record the phone conversation.
  1. Ask the writer to make the amendments and to email you a new draft. Discuss any further changes you would like until you’re happy that the first chapter is complete.

Repeat the above four steps for each chapter of your book.

In Part 3 my next article I’ll explain:

  • How other people can provide the content for your book
  • How to promote your book while it’s being written
  • How to make money by turning written material into other formats

Part 3: How other people can provide the content for your book

herald-photo croppedI know someone who published a book on investing in property, after getting the content by interviewing mentors and investors in the property investment community.

My friend Paul Apps is publishing a book containing short pieces from 365 inspirational people. He created a simple and engaging one page questionnaire and has emailed to hundreds of people. Not only is Paul getting other people to provide the content for his book – but he’s also got at least 365 people interested in his book before he has even published it!

How to promote your book while it’s being written

You can publicise your book as you are (or someone else is) writing it. One way of to do this is by blogging extracts of your book. You don’t even need to have your own a blog site. Find existing blogs or web forums related to the subject of book. This is a good idea because you are targeting an already made audience who will be interested in your book.

Another benefit of blogging in the process of writing a book is that you can ask people for feedback on your drafted pieces.

One advantage of setting up your own blog/website is that you can start to build a list of people interested in your book. You could ask people to pre-order your book (before it’s been published). This is what I did and I received more than enough pre-orders to cover the cost of publishing Stairs For Breakfast.

All you need to enable people to order your book is a one page website, containing a short video and a link to your Paypal account. To see what I mean go to my Homepage.

How to make money by turning written material into other formats

I have learnt so many things on being successful over the last few years. Different people like to consume information in different ways. Most people like information in small chunks.

Remember – when you have information that adds value to people’s lives, you are onto a winner!

Written information can be turned into different formats. For instance:

  1. Youtube videos (videos between 2 to 3 minutes are popular)
  2. PDF files, such as free giveaways
  3. A series of slides for a presentation
  4. A set of DVDs. If you’re producing information for one or more DVDs, it’s easy to also turn the information in audio CDs. The advantage of CDs over DVDs is people can listen to CDs while they are driving in their car, exercising or cooking, for example,
  5. A training course

What information do you know that will inspire or benefit people?

You can purchase Stairs For Breakfast on Amazon and directly from me http://stairsforbreakfast.com/buy-now (I’m cheaper than Amazon!)

I’ve had a few bumps…

…No, not in my car!

Here’s my festive photo! (Thank you to Keshava for giving his AWESOME hat. He said it suits me.)

awesome hat

My previous update was about the great experience I had in Guayrapa. Well, my experience since then has been a bit bumpy.

About a week after I got home from Spain I started to feel stressful. The stress I was feeling was due to do with the two buy-to-let flats I own. One of the properties has been empty since mid October and needs a refurb.

One of the reasons I decided to write Stairs For Breakfast was because, after buying the two flats, I realised I didn’t enjoy the time/stress/finance owning flats can consume (and I want to do something else which will make a real difference in the world).

When I was told that the refurb on the flat was going to cost £7K, I naturally looked into why it was going to cost so much. And I spent about five weeks getting other quotes for the refurb, looking into selling the flat – and therefore the cost of extending the lease on it.

I understand property and am financially astute but I need to rely on letting agents and builders. I spoke to a few people, who all want to work with me, and who gave me conflicting advice and guidance. I found it so stressful.

When I started to look into it I thought ‘This won’t take long to sort out.’ Now, six weeks later, I’m happy that the refurb on the property has started!

Reflecting on it now, it’s interesting to see how very gradually I felt more and more stressed, and although I didn’t stop meditating, my ascensions did become shorter. Another thing that happened was it knocked my confidence and I experienced fear of an old pattern.

A fear is just a thought – and a thought only appears to be real to you when you identify yourself with it. But by becoming the observer (rather than the identifier) of your thoughts they will just pass quickly in and out of your awareness.

The good is, I realised it was a signal for me to increase my meditation practice again – so I did. I now ascend for at least 3 hours a day and feel much more present (and awesome again!).

About a month ago I went to Glenn Armstrong’s Property Mastermind Day, to seek advice on what to do with my flat. In front of 40-50 people I said “Please can someone help me…I don’t know what to do.”

Thank you very much to Julia Austin for helping me. I don’t know Julia well but by coming to see the flat twice (and showing estate agents round it), she spent time and went out of her way in helping me. That is true humanity.

Stairs For Breakfast – I’ve now submitted all the material to Hay House and they will publish the book in due course. In the meantime I’ve ordered another print-run of my self-published edition. You can order Stairs For Breakfast here and now http://stairsforbreakfast.com/buy-now and I’ll post you the book in mid January.

I owe it to myself to live to most expansive life possible and to let my universe unfold and opportunities come to me.

Happy new year