What to do if you really value time over money

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I see so many people in my travels, who profess to not wanting to have to work so many hours and wanting more time for themselves, their families and to pursue their passions. I am here to say if you do really want these things, there is a way and it has nothing to do with a get rich quick scheme.


My wife and I made the choice that whilst our daughter is growing up, that one of us wouldn’t work and one would stay at home to raise her, as that is what we valued above everything else. We didn’t just profess to want it; we went out and did it.

We did it sensibly and now have more truly disposable income than we had when we had two salaries coming in and that is without promotions or pay rises. We just for the first time in our lives started to budget properly. You can find out about how we did it here:


One thing I think a lot us need to learn is how to be content with earning less. We need to get out of this culture of working just to spend money. Instead of working every hour, live the life you proclaim you want to by investing your time and not your money.

Do things unapologetically

If it is truly money that motivates you and you enjoy working, the pursuit of money and buying the latest things is nothing to be ashamed of, just own it. Just decide what you want and go after it unapologetically. Don’t fall in to this trap of thinking you have to say you either want more time with your family, or you want to do better in your career, if these are things which aren’t true to you.

Sadly in life it is very rare that you can actually have a family life and go after a career and riches, so decide which you want and go after it whole heartedly, as it is the only way you will truly get somewhere and be truly happy.

Nothing is forever

Just remember that nothing is forever and you can always change your mind, if you do have a change of heart just have the confidence to go with it and not deny it. Also life can be about seasons and just because you are prioritising money or family at the moment, that can all change in the future when situations change.

Having a vision and doing something about it

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So many of us have ideas, goals, dreams and visions in our head that we would love to do something about in our life time. Sadly it is only for a few of us that those visions are actually acted upon and something done about them.

I have a vision for something I want to create in my head at the moment and I am determined to spend some time over the summer making that vision a reality. I am allowing myself ‘dream time’ every day and trying to formulate ideas and thoughts in my head. Everyday I am trying to do something to make my idea the best it can be and everyday trying to think of the best way to make it happen.

Failure might be the greatest success

My idea may fail and all of this might be for nothing, but at least by the end of it I would have created something, have something I created be out there in the world and I will have learnt from the experience. Even failure will give me and teach me so much that I will gain a lot out of this regardless of what happens.

My idea centers around bring a new product to market. The product I think will be interesting and help people. The product might inspire other people to do something similar or to do something better. The possibilities are endless. All I know is that this summer I am starting something. The journey of the thing I start may only be short or it may go on forever, whichever one it is, it will be a journey worth travelling.

Opening up opportunities for others

Starting something opens up opportunities and opportunities are something I always want to have in abundance. The more opportunities I have, the more chances I have to live a successful and fulfilled life. Not only do I want opportunities, I want to make opportunities for others and that’s what creating something can do.

So I would like to encourage you all today to go out and make new opportunities for yourself and those around you. Your vision might not just change your life but it may change countless lives around the globe no matter what it is. So start creating, as by creating you are impacting and you are being a force for good in this world.

A new day a new challenge

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A great strength to have in life is, resilience. The thing with life is, that it doesn’t always go your way or turn out the way you thought it would. The people that tend to succeed in life are the ones that can dust themselves down the quickest and adapt the quickest. The quicker you can move with what happens to you and around you, the greater chance you have of making a success of life.

In life we wake up each day, never knowing quite what to expect and the quicker we can realize this and be comfortable with this the better.

Switching gears

You can spend a lot of time working towards something and preparing for something, like an interview, an event or an exam but no matter how much we prepare, factors that we can’t control may mean that thing doesn’t go the way we thought it would. In these moments, we cant lament what we have lost in the time and effort we have put in, we need the ability to switch gears and go again, throwing ourselves completely in to a new course of action. Don’t waste any more time than you have already lost.

I am always inspired by people who can distance themselves emotionally for setbacks and just find that energy to go again as quickly as they fall down.

Instead of being frightened of a challenge, I think we need to start embracing challenges, as it is sometimes the challenge and the struggle that make the achievement worth so much more. If you can keep going when everyone else has given up and succeed and come out the victor, then you are a champion.

Character building

Challenges build character and give us moments we look back on in life, where we either say we are glad we stuck it out or are saddened by the fact that we didn’t. I want to have an amazing character so I want all the challenges I can get.

Sometimes in life you don’t know who you really are or what you can do until you are challenged. Challenges can be the greatest releaser of potential in a person. I always want to know what my potential is and with every challenge I find out a little bit more. Sometimes my potential in some areas isn’t as big as I thought it was, but I love finding this stuff out as it helps me know what I can actually offer the world and where best to invest time.

How do you get where you want to go?

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This is a question I try and find the answer to a lot in life. With every goal or ambition I have, this question is always my starting point. Most people don’t end up in their dream job, dream house, dream family or dream country by chance. For most people in these situations they did something or many things to get where they wanted to go. Some of these things might be things you aren’t doing or that you don’t know about yet.

It’s important when you see people in the position you want to be in, to not get jealous. Don’t just stand there and think they don’t deserve to be where they are. Try and think, how did they get there? Not in a sarcastic way, but in a way that makes you unpick the possibilities. Then once you have done that, try and find out what they actually did do.

Eliminate luck

Chance and luck can happen to help you get where you need to go but they are unpredictable and you can spend your life waiting for these things to happen. I do my best to eliminate chance and luck as early as I can, work out what I need to do and then go out and do it. Don’t over complicate things; make things as simple as they can be. Work out what you are going to do, the likely reaction to what you are going to do and when you are happy with the likely reaction, go out and do it.

Believe it will happen

If you don’t try to get where you want to go, you will never achieve your goals or reach your full potential. Until you try you never know what you are capable of. You need to have confidence not only in yourself but confidence in your mind that doing the right things and doing them well will pay off. You can notice a big difference between people who actually believe they can achieve what they set out to do and that is important, as it is those people who normally make it happen.

There aren’t signs to direct you everywhere you want to go in life. In times where there are no signs, it is up to you to find a way without them and leave signs for people coming behind you. Just remember whether there are signs or not, to make sure you to take the best path, not the easy path or the path that’s right for you, the path that will make it more likely for you to achieve your dreams.

Never burn bridges

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Something I have seen too many people do over my lifetime is burn bridges. Regardless of your thoughts and feelings for certain people or organisations, it is never wise to burn your bridges with them. Life can be very funny at times and the world can be very small, you never know when you might wish the bridge was still there. Reusing a bridge is easy; building it backup again is hard work.

Being rational and not irrational

I am often put in positions in life where I need help or favours from people to get something done. I wouldn’t manage to get the things I did and achieve what I have so far without maintaining those bridges. Keeping good relationships will make forging new ones easier and improve your reputation. Someone who burns bridges is not the most rational of people and being irrational does not look good to the world around you.

Sometimes people may annoy you, not help you or frustrate you. None of these are good reasons to burn bridges with anyone. My motto is expect nothing and be grateful for everything you get from people, if you keep that in mind you will go a long way. It is a task everyday but one that needs doing to not take hurt or offense from others you have bridges with. You can get places a lot quicker with bridges than without them.

Go forwards not backwards

The people in my life who I have seen burn bridges haven’t got very far. Normally the burning of a bridge has lead to a lot of back steps and a life of bitterness. Nobody owes you anything but you owe your life everything so I for one am determined to give my life the best chance and the best shot I possibly can.

How many bridges do you have in your life? How strong are the bridges you have? These are questions that I try to ask myself regularly and things I always try to work on. I want the world to see that I maintain a lot of great bridges, as this will make me seem like a more valuable person to organisations and people as I go forward in life and continue to achieve my goals.

Hard work creates opportunities

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If you are looking for an opportunity, the best way to get your hands on one is through hard work. The more you do, the more opportunities you expose yourself to. The people that give out opportunities are more likely to hand those opportunities out to those people that work hard, so make sure you are working hard.

I have been afforded many great opportunities in life, commentating at Wembley stadium, speaking at the House of Commons, writing for a national newspaper, coaching my team to a national final and the list goes on. Each of these I can honestly say I worked hard to achieve. None of them came easy and I was beyond thankful for each opportunity I was given but I believe I deserved all of them. That’s the thing; with every opportunity, I wanted to know that I deserved it and that I wasn’t just given it.


Sometimes opportunities don’t come quickly, sometimes they come from unexpected places and at times you don’t expect. It’s like this week I have been asked to be a trustee for one of the best theatre projects in the local area. I wasn’t expecting this opportunity and I have never worked with them before, but because of my hard work in the community they have found out about me and think that I can add something to their board.

When this week started I had no clue this offer would come in and was not expecting it, but it felt so rewarding to receive. The great thing with this opportunity is that it presents another chance to get stuck in and work hard in an organisation that creates opportunities for others. Because I have had so many amazing opportunities I want to do all I can to help create opportunities for others and be in a position where I can give opportunities to others.

Making the most of an opportunity

I now want to do the best I can with this opportunity that has been given to me. If you work hard to get an opportunity and then don’t make the most of it, then was the hard work worth it? I have got no clue where this latest opportunity will take me but I am excited to see where it does. That’s the thing with opportunities, sometimes you don’t know where they are going to take you but for many the journey itself is exciting enough and you never know what further opportunities this one opportunity may lead to.

So people its time to start enjoying hard work and its time to get yourself ready for the opportunities that may come your way. Don’t go in to everything expecting an opportunity to come your way but be ready for any that do. If opportunities don’t come your way then its time to start thinking of taking your hard work and investing it in something else that gets you closer to the opportunities you would like in life. The opportunities are out there and ready for those that want to take them.


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All of my adult life, I can’t remember a time where I didn’t have a project on the go. I am one of these people that likes to fill my time with things, likes to experiment and likes to achieve more than I already have. A project can be anything from creating a piece of art to re-organising the running of your house.


The current big project I have on at the moment is to get my book ready for publishing and to get it published by mid September. After releasing “Unbreakable Bond” in EBook form, I then successfully crowdfunded the costs of making it available in print, both of these were big projects in themselves. Now however, because so many people have so kindly given to get the book to print, the pressure is on to make it happen, as it is something that has to happen.

Getting a book published is not an easy task. There are many moving parts to this project and I have to keep on top of them all if I am to hit the deadline. Before I can even get in to the admin side of getting it to print, I have to get the book proofread and formatted by professionals and I need to work with a graphic designer to get the book cover completed.

Putting the hard work in

I want to one day get my book in to bookstores like Waterstones, this means however that I can’t just go through a one stop online shop, that register an ISBN for you and handle the printing and distribution. For my book to have the possibility of one day getting in to bookstores, I have to register the ISBN myself, get my book printed by a company in the UK and get a contract signed with a distribution company that has routes in to traditional bookstores. I am determined to get my book in to bookstores, so it means that I have to work a lot harder than if I was just happy with it being available online, that I could do in 5 minutes and is something anyone can do these days.


Projects can be stressful and can take over your life at times, so you need to be careful with them. Mot projects you will do in your spare time, you won’t be paid for them and most will cost you money, so you need to be careful not to get too carried away. It is important that you don’t let a project interfere with your work, your finances and your family life.

You only get out of a project what you put in to it. For me personally I would rather try really hard at something and get something out of it that I am proud of, rather than just spending some time on something, not really trying hard and not being too impressed by the outcome. The key thing when doing a project is knowing what you want to get out of it. Once you have finished a project its then time to look at if you got what you wanted out of it and look at what project you want to do next.

Not every project I do is successful, but I don’t think I have ever had a project that I didn’t learn something from.

Reaping the rewards of old work

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Sometimes in life we can try and do something, wanting instant results and get disheartened when we don’t get the results we desire. It is very disappointing when this happens, as the reason you are putting the effort in, is to get the results and whilst you are working, you are already thinking ahead to the results as if they have already been obtained.

When we don’t get the instant results, we will move on to something else, cut our losses and forget about the work we did. The thing to remember, is that just because you don’t get instant results, it doesn’t mean you will never get results from your hard work. It is very rarely that work is in vain and whatever happens as a result of your work, you can always learn something from it and grow because of it.

Written Off

I was reminded of this; by the patch of strawberries we are growing in our back garden. Last year we put a ton of work in and got very little in the way of strawberries for our hard work. I’ll be honest, I was a little disheartened and because of being disheartened I didn’t do anything to maintain the patch since last summer. Because I hadn’t put any work in, I didn’t expect a harvest this year and had written it off.

To my surprise this summer we have had an absolute abundance of strawberries. I have had so many strawberries that I have been giving them away and have exhausted all ideas of what I can do with strawberries. I’ve made strawberry ice cream, strawberry syrup, strawberry jam, strawberry icing and the list goes on.


This summer has encouraged me to never give up on old work and never lose hope that it can be used for good and can come good in the future. There is nothing like when something you did in the past that you have forgotten about comes back in to your life and you see it finally being a success.

Patience is key, you can put in the hard work but you can’t always going to guarantee when it is going to pay off or even if it is going to pay off at all. If you can do the work and be proud of what you have done, then no matter what happens you are equipped for success.

The FA Cup

With everything that has been going on with FIFA and with getting quoted in the Telegraph, I haven’t had chance to blog about last weekends FA Cup final.

Being a massive Arsenal fan, I sat and watched with great joy as we won the game 4 – 0 with one of the goals being a goal to remember. This is the second year in a row that Arsenal have won the cup, with this latest triumph breaking records for FA Cup wins. To go throughout two years of a competition without being beaten is a spectacular achievement.

After so many trophyless seasons at Arsenal it is great to be winning things regularly again, as it seems in football success is only judged by trophies won if you are a big club. I think this is sad as I think there are many ways to judge success but that is the pressure the big clubs are under where winning is everything.

Now Arsenal have the FA Cup it won’t mean as much to win it again next season and won’t been seen as a big success to win it. Arsenal will now be expected to challenge on so called bigger fronts like the Premier League and Champions League.

I think Arsenal are a team going in the right direction and are building a solid base to grow form and be successful for a long time. I am proud to be an Arsenal fan and I think our time is coming soon. We’ve had to wait a while for it but I think it will be worth it when it comes.

Keeping our manager Arsene Wenger for as long as we have I think will pay long-term dividends. We are different to nearly every other club which seems to have a hire and fire mentality and seem to have teams of egos and mercenaries.

Our playing style has developed this year which is great to see but the philosophy remains and I for one can’t wait to see what next season brings.

Dreaming of success

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If you’re anything like me, you dream about success. When there is something big that has the potential to happen you immediately start thinking of what life would be like if it did happen. No longer are you thinking of how to achieve it as you now have made your mind up that’s it going to happen and that is what life is going to be like.

I think the most common time people act like this is when they have brought a lottery ticket, are applying for a new job, auditioning for a role or starting a new business venture. I am not one of those people that sign up to the ‘life is about the journey not the destination’ way of thinking, I very much think that life is about the destination but you shouldn’t be thinking about the destination before you get there.

Long-term success

Getting the long-term success you crave is based on being successful at every step and turn on the way. It’s only when we get to our destination that the journey starts to matter less. To achieve that long-term success, you need to be present in every situation, daydreaming about it today will make it less of a reality tomorrow. You have to know that there are other people out there that want the same things as you do that are willing to focus on those small steps and do the hard work, so you have to be prepared to as well.

For many people success is about being wealthy. If you want to be wealthy your goal should be to do something that generates wealth, it’s a small change but if you are willing to change your thinking I think you will be more likely to succeed. Success in life isn’t always about having the biggest dream but it is more often or not about being willing and able to work harder than anyone else to achieve something.


I think the reason why so many people give up on their dream or don’t achieve their dream is because people spent too much time dreaming without focusing on their reasons for that dream and their passion for that dream. It is too easy to get lost in the world of dreaming and it is a very dangerous world, as it stops us from achieving what is possible. It’s important to keep reminding ourselves what is important to us and why it is important.

Another time when we can tend to get carried away with ourselves is when someone tells us that there might be a chance of something happening. This can be when a friend says that you should go and do something together or when your boss tells you there may be a work trip coming up or the possibility of a pay rise. We all need to get better at not getting carried away when we hear these things, as just because someone wants to do something or thinks something is going to happen, it doesn’t mean that it will.

If you do get carried away with an idea it only makes you feel worse when it doesn’t happen. Never get sucked in to thinking something will happen before it actually has. We can’t afford to be a complacent generation. There are so many things in life we can’t control that happen around us but there is so much we can control that goes on inside of us.

Having dreams is good but I think dreaming of what life will be like when you achieve that dream can be bad as those things aren’t your dream, they are just things that could happen if you achieve your dream but won’t happen if you don’t achieve your dream. The more you think about life after achieving your dream the more you have to lose.

Don’t get carried away

It’s hard to do, but we need to stop ourselves from getting too carried away. I know I have dreamed of many things in my life and automatically jumped to what life will be like if I achieve those things. I have done this over and over again, but this year will be different as I have goals and I am going to try and spend my time succeeding on those small steps that will make up the journey. Taking them one by one and at each one waiting until I succeed until I take the next step.

Don’t set yourself up to fail, set yourself up to succeed.!