It’s all about positive thinking!


The theme for this year’s InspiringBusiness seminars is wellbeing, with a focus on helping those taking part achieve a better work/life balance. Delegates attending our first event of our 2019 campaign, on 7th March, formed a rapt audience for our speakers, internationally-renowned hypnotherapist Sheila Granger and Tony Bowler, founder of The Business Culture Hull premier business network.

Both Sheila and Tony were able to offer valuable insight into getting that balance right through their own personal experiences where, like most humans, inevitably they’ve sometimes got it wrong.

Focusing on the person as well as the business

Sheila told her listeners: “I often give talks, how the mind works and what we can do to improve things, and how we can focus better. But this is slightly different, because I’m sharing my personal story.

“I was adopted as a newborn. My adoptive parents are brilliant, but my mum was super critical, so I grew up feeling I just wasn’t good enough and I work from this underlying feeling all the time. So, I’ve always thought I drive that feeling in a positive way, and try to keep proving that I am good enough with my career.

“I might have been driving business success with that approach, but not my personal life. What we do consciously and what’s going on subconsciously are often two different things. I ended up making myself ill with an incurable auto-immune condition. I’ve had to learn to take better care of myself, and the people around me, as well as my business.

“We put ourselves under pressure by what other people think we should do, and sooner or later, your body says no to that. Our mind and body are all part of the same system, and there comes a point where you have to learn to let go.

“If we can learn to relax a little, take a step back and focus on one thing at a time, it will benefit our bodies, and I’ve found this very helpful with success in my business, my health and my personal life.”

Seizing the moment and embracing change

Tony discussed his journey from Hull’s Orchard Park into the military, then onto his IT career and more latterly his current endeavour, The Business Culture Hull.

He shared a number of fascinating anecdotes with the audience, summing up by saying: “I was working with Nick at James Legal, and we were in a meeting and we went around the room asking what your life plans are, what’s your direction. I was 49 years old and my answer was ‘I haven’t got a clue!’ I couldn’t answer that question.

“I’ve always just done whatever’s been there floating around like a leaf on the wind. So I thought it was about time I put a steering wheel on it and took time to think about what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve always liked talking to people, I’ve always liked understanding what they do, and I’ve always enjoyed connecting people. But how can you make a business out of it?

“So Nick and I sat down and talked and I had six months to sort myself out. I surrounded myself with positive people and focused on what I wanted out of life. That was three years ago, and I haven’t looked back. I’m a great believer in whatever you think, you can be, whatever you want, you can get.

“There’s always time to do something with your life – don’t wait, let’s live now.”

Nick Miller, Solicitor and Managing Director of James Legal, said: “I’d like to thank Sheila and Tony for their engaging and entertaining presentations. They gave everyone some real food for thought and the audience clearly appreciated what they had to say about the lessons they have learned on their path to business success.”

You can view Sheila and Tony in action here. To discover more about our InspiringBusiness2019 campaign and this year’s competition, visit – or email your details to if you’d like to receive notifications of future campaign updates.

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