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REALISING MY SOVEREIGN STATUS 2021

WHERE IT ALL STARTED
I have always felt that allowing others to tell me what I can and can’t do, to be rather wrong. As a child, I was known for being “headstrong” and as a grew I knew in my heart that I had the ultimate authority.

Over the period of the Covid 19 pandemic and the ensuing social restrictions, I was lucky enough to be visiting Sweden for a major part of 2020, returning to England in August 2020 to a rather depressingly restricted and “locked down” country.

Lots of research and personal experience told me that the responses of Governments were more about control than protecting the health of the nation. Mask wearing is something that I don’t do as it adds an unwanted separation from our fellow men and women creating an artificial division in society and this is where my path to sovereign status began.

On 25th July 2021 I had an appointment to attend an MRI scan at Northampton General Hospital. I was unsure exactly where in the grounds the MRI department was and so I made my way to the main entrance. About five weeks prior to this appointment I had spent a week on the surgical ward due to a rather nasty gall bladder and liver infection caused by gall stones. Only on a rare occasion did I put on a mask, totalling maybe 2 hours from the whole 8 days. The clinical staff were not concerned about me not wearing a mask and indeed none of the other patients wore masks much either. Clearly, it’s not a big cause of concern for people not to wear a mask, so imagine my surprise that as I approached the main entrance of the hospital on 25th July, I was asked by a “security guard” if I had a mask. I told him that I did not wear masks and continued into the hospital. I was followed by that security guard all the time asking the same question about a mask and eventually demanding that I wore a mask inside the hospital. When I refused to interact with him further he “ordered” the receptionist not to give me direction to the MRI and then called for “backup”. further 2 security guards arrived and although I ignored them they insisted on blocking my way into the hospital and eventually physically assaulted me, picked me up and transported me to the outside of the hospital and told me that I was trespassing!

I could hardly believe what was happening, being denied a pre-arranged medical appointment at a hospital by little more than thugs and bullies. I had the presence of mind to photograph these bullies as they refused to give me their names or show me any identification.

This incident lead me to complain about the treatment I had received and to start doing some research about discriminatory treatment and what my recourse could and should be. I quickly found that complaining lead me round in circles being passed between the PALS (patient access liaison service) and the complaints department each telling me it was the other department I needed.

More research lead me to find the Sovereign Project website and facebook group and to start to understand what my real rights are in cases like this. I am sovereign and if there is no victim, then there is no crime. not wearing a mask does not in and of itself create harm to anyone and does not cause there to be a victim. So what was I to do? I learned that the way to progress this was to avoid using any “complaints procedure” as that would put me firmly in THEIR jurisdiction, but to pursue a lawful remedy through sending a “Notice” to the CEO of the hospital trust by name. It’s taken a while to learn the right approach and to better comprehend the process of a lawful notice but I have sent a notice on 27th September 2021 giving the man that acts as the CEO of the hospital trust 30 days to respond. I am requiring the names and employment status of the 3 men who prevented me from entering the hospital and made the CEO aware that he is vicariously liable for their actions if they are employed by the hospital trust or represent the hospital trust. It is now 23rd October 2021 and as yet I have had no response. I this is still the case once the 30 days are up then I shall be issuing a further notice of claim against the man that is acting as the CEO. It’s important to note that I will be seeking remedy from the man rather than the CEO of the Hospital so it will be his personal and private responsibility and not one where he can hide behind the corporate structure of the Hospital Trust. Ultimately, I could seize property belonging to the man, or place a lien on his house.

It’s a very interesting process and a great deal of learning to do. I am grateful to all the people in the Sovereign Fraternity Facebook Group who have been a very useful font of knowledge, especially pete: stone who set up The Sovereign Project.

My Toastmasters Pathway Begins

It was around 2011 when I first delivered any type of public presentation in a business sense. I’d been providing SEO for small business for a couple of years and was offered the opportunity to speak to a small group of local business people so that I could start to develop a profile for being the “local expert” within the business community.

That first presentation felt seriously good and I was walking on air when I’d finished and got a load of great feedback from the six or seven business people in the room.

Something troubled me though, and after a few days, I started to realise that I could have delivered a talk or workshop with so much more confidence. I’ve always been very self-critical with the ability to review my own performance and note many of the failings that maybe others would have seen too. I knew that I needed to improve if I was to continue to deliver public talks and training session, which is something I also knew that I would love to do more often.

A few weeks after that initial presentation / workshop, I was chatting to another local business person at a networking group and she mentioned that if I wanted to improve on public presentations then I should go along to a Toastmasters Speaking Club. She was a member of the Brghton and Hove Speakers Club and would be very happy to introduce me to the club. I was curious about how this would work and agreed to go along to the next meeting.

Toastmasters is a great place to develop and hone the skills needed to deliver a great presentation to an audience and over the next 5 years to 2016 I learned the skills needed to progress to what is known in Toastmasters as a “Competent Communicator”.

After a five year break from Toastmasters due to a massive lifestyle change that had me travelling around the UK adn all over Europe in a motorhome, I have now decided to settle down a bit and reenter Toastmasters and join the Northampton Speakers Club, currently running meetings every 2 weeks on Zoom.

I’ll be a fully paid up member starting from April 1st 2021 and will begin my journey along the Pathways Education program in order to continue to develop and home the skill to deliver great speeches to a public audience.

My aim is to eventually be good enough to deliver an impactful speech to a TedX Audience and to start getting paid as a public speaker.

I’m documenting my journey on the Toastmasters Pathways program through this blog and through a Podcast that I have just started to publish on Anchor.

Most Important Things When Creating a Podcast

You’re thinking about creating a podcast or have made a few already. Your mind probably wonders how you can make your podcast as popular as some of those you listen to, that seem to have thousands of downloads or millions of listeners.

Maybe you’re thinking “if only I had a better microphone” or “I wish my voice sounded better”, those things really are not all that important when you start out producing your podcast.

Your listeners and potential listening audience need to feel engaged and involved in your conversation. Feeling like they’re involved keeps people listening, helps with interaction, and keeps people coming back for more episodes. But how do you create that feeling for your audience?

Put simply, you need to tell stories that your audience can relate to; stories that your listeners feel that they could be telling. Situations that they’ve maybe seen or experienced first hand.

Creating some excitement and energy in the podcast by the use of your voice tonality, volume, and variety of expression.

When my children were young and I read them stories during the day time, I’d try to make to book exciting and add character voices at appropriate times, this made them want more!

However, if I read a bedtime story, I’d really want them to fall asleep so I wold change the way I read those stories to a smooth, calming and quite monotone voice. Essentially, making the story as boring as possible.

Do you listen to podcasts and audiobooks? If you do you’ll know that some are really interesting and engaging while others can send you to sleep.

Things to avoid

It’s all too easy to slip into that monotone way of speaking especially when you’re not getting live feedback from your audience. This monotone voice is to be avoided at all costs as it will certainly have you audience switching off and never coming back, leaving your podcast among the crowded backwaters of audio presentations.

Another thing that’ll have your audience running for the hills is too much tech talk that is not converted into plain english for all to understand. Part of that is the use of TLAs or Three Letter Acronyms, of course not all acronyms are limited to three letters so avoid all acronyms unless you are following them up in that same sentence with the full description. If you’re using an acronym a lot throughout your podcast consider explaining what it means a few times so people can make sense of what you’re saying without having to look it up externally to your podcast.

Things to do

Making your podcast interesting and, importantly, sharable can be easy but it takes practice. Try thesse things in your next podcast audio presentation:

  • Vocal Variety (tone, speed, and volume)
  • Change in volume of your voice (both louder and softer)
  • Add interest by maybe whispering into the mic (get closer to the mic)
  • Add more energy into your voice
  • Get excited about the subject

try these things and compare your recording with a previous recording and I’m sure that you will notice the difference. You’ll also notice the difference in your listenership.

What about sharing

Most people will be happy to share your podcast with their contacts who they think would benefit. However, most will not think about sharing your podcast so you’ll need to ask them to do it. Provide easy ways to share and guide your audience to the click to share buttons.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed and gained something from this short article and overview. Please do share it with your contacts 🙂

Is a Smartphone Good Enough

Is a Smartphone Good Enough

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Hi and welcome back to the how to start and grow your YouTube channel.

What I want to look at today is what sort of equipment can you start off with okay I’ve got radio microphones like wireless microphones I’ve got a Lumix G90 camera which is pretty decent gives great quality video and grateful quality still images as well if you want to take some still images to put into your video production when I started making videos and some of the advice I would give to my small business clients way back behind 5 10 years ago was if you have a smart phone you can use that now I’ve got a iPhone 10 and what I’m gonna do is just click the record button now and excuse the phone being in front of the lens there but what I want to do is just get get a bit of framing done on on the phone just to make it look about right so it’s all got this nice white background going on lots of sunshine which my might make it look a bit bright but I’ve got the the camera the phone held in my hand here and I’m gonna switch to the iPhone footage now and now we are gonna switch away from looking at that camera which is still recording and looking straight at the lens which is up at the top of the iPhone and just talking to that lens making sure that I’m making a connection with you people the other side now I’m holding it with my hand and it might look a bit shaky although the iPhone 10 is pretty good at steadying the footage so my it might be shaky it might not but we’ll see in the Edit and later on in the series I’ll be making videos about how to edit what software you might want to use how you can edit on mobile devices like an iPhone or an iPad my arms are getting tired so I’m going to switch back to this camera and get on we’re talking to you about the equipment you need as you can see the iPhone or any smartphone with video capability and for that matter any cheap camera that can take video so long as you can get that video off the camera onto a device where you can edit or in the early days I would do what I would call one take wonders I would think about a subject that I wanted to talk about and I would just put the put the iPhone up on a shelf and I would just start to talk and that confidence to talk came out of my time I spent at a Toastmasters club the Brighton and Hove speakers club down in Sussex in the UK spent five over five years five and a half years just learning a process of talking being confident and comfortable with public speaking and if you if you’re not that sure about public speaking speaking to a camera which is public speaking it’s still daunting isn’t it you should maybe consider going to your local Toastmasters club there’ll be one within a few miles of you but I would pop the camera or the iPhone up on a shelf I would practice practice practice my talk and maybe I’d make two three four five minute video and I just go into it and just get started talking if I did lots of arms as you know that sort of hesitation they could always be cut out and you could shorten your video down to really really concise message and then publish but I hope that’s been helpful I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the difference between a steadied camera on a tripod and let me let me just let me just record the one on what I’m seeing this is what I’m looking at right now you see the road radio mic receiver on the top there I’ve got the flip out screen going over there and well that’s that’s the nice steady I’ve got the tripod there you can see the place where I’m at in the background I’m actually on a campsite in Sweden right now and you know it it just goes to prove that you can formulate a message record it and get it out there wherever you are so long as you have something to record it you have a message and you have some internet access anyway that’s it for today thanks so much for watching hope you enjoyed see the differences between the types of kit that you can get started with the main messages here get started the kit doesn’t matter I’ll see you again next time bye bye for now

Start a Youtube Channel

Start a Youtube Channel

Video Transcript (scroll down for the video)

Welcome to this first in a series of how to start and grow your YouTube channel. I guess you’re here because you want to have a following, you’ve got a brand that you want to promote, you just want to get your message out there in a forum that lots of people can and will consume. 

They say “CONTENT IS KING” and these days content in the form of video presentation is one of the best ways to get your message out there. I want to show you how to build and grow your YouTube channel and I’m filming this as a demonstration.

I’m outside at a country park, I’m actually in a nature reserve in Sweden and so you know you can film pretty much anywhere to be able to get your message out.

Now you might wonder how do I get this nice white background, well let me show you what it really is, so here you go this is what the nice white background is. I’m standing in front of my motorhome that I use to travel around the UK and Europe. You see, I want to prove to people that you can start and grow your YouTube channel with almost any type of equipment and from almost anywhere and still make it look pretty good so that you can get your message out now my message that I want to get out there to people just like you is that you can start and grow your YouTube channel and you don’t need any fancy kit ok I’ve got some slightly fancy kit like a lapel microphone or Lavelier Mic with a radio transmitter like this. These are from RODE the RodeLink System but there’s all sorts of other much much cheaper ways of doing that, you can have a wired lapel mic you can stand closer to a camera without an external microphone so I’ll be running through all of the equipment that you must have all the equipment that would be nice to have and some of the equipment that would be really dream stuff if you really want to go into the higher quality production values of almost cinematic video most of us don’t need that to get our message out there we just need something like a smart phone a way to hold it steady or not if you’re walking around and getting your message really really well honed and I’ll be talking about how you can improve your presentation skills on camera so that you get into a conversation with your audience and one of the things I love to do is to look at the camera and notice I’ve got my sunglasses on there’s a bit of sunshine around clouds come over a lot of people make the mistake of when they’ve got a camera with a flip-out screen they look at themselves like this and that’s really disconcerting for you guys isn’t it because I’m talking to myself rather than to you and one of the things one of the little tips I’m going to be walking you through and how to do this and how to get comfortable is to look straight down that lens and make that connection like I’m hoping and making a connection with you right now hope you enjoy the series don’t forget to come back on publishing videos so twice a week depending on where I’m traveling and how the internet is for me to upload but I’ll be doing that and hoping to get two videos a week out on Tuesdays and Fridays so check back then don’t forget if you want to get involved and learn how to start and grow a YouTube channel following my journey because I’m starting and hopefully growing this YouTube channel subscribe and if you’ve liked this video click the thumbs up button oh if you want to get notified about videos that are coming out there’s a little bear icon next to the subscribe button after you’ve clicked it click that and turn on all notifications I’ll see you again next time thanks for watching bye bye

Series Introduction

Series Introduction

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

Hi, I’m Steve Counsell and I guess you’re here because you’re thinking about starting your own YouTube channel, well you’re in the right place because I’m about to start that journey with you.

I’m going to show you exactly what it takes and all of the steps to get your own channel up and running.

What it takes to promote it and to get subscribers and views.

In this video series, I’ll show you how to monetise your YouTube channel through Adsense, Affiliate Marketing and by selling products from your video.

This isn’t the first YouTube Channel I’ve started, I’ve run other YouTube channels and helped small businesses to start up their own in order to promote their business, services, and products.

Why not follow me on my brand new journey and let’s be successful on YouTube together.

#SuccessfulTogether

Watch the video below and then follow the link at the end for more detailed information and training on how to get your Youtube Journey to provide you with the recognition you deserve.

Speaking to your audience

Speaking to your audience

Identifying your audience is probably the first step in making sure that your presentation is going to be a success.

Do you know who you’re talking to?

Many people I talk to about public speaking would answer that question with something like “Well, it’s really aimed at everyone…”

Of course, we would all like to think that when we present our talk to an audience that it’ll be of use to everyone who is sitting there listening. However, that is very rarely the case. Aiming your presentation or talk at everyone will in effect connect with no one. There is a need to finely target your speech at a select audience who will be able to relate to your story and that your story will resonate with at a deep level.

There are over seven billion people on our planet living in all sorts of circumstances from very diverse cultures; you are not going to be able to present your story to all of them and have it resonate with their situation.

The answer is to aim at the one person who will relate to and understand your presentation on a personal level. Narrow down your target and speak to an emotion that drives your point home for your audience.

Travelling Entrepreneur

Travelling Entrepreneur

In 2016 we made a decision to travel more and to create more memories rather than to collect new things.

The journey has seen us touring the UK in a Caravan and now several European countries in an Auto-Trail Comanche Motorhome.

The decision to travel meant that Wendy had to leave her job as a pharmacy assistant in Brighton and Steve closed his business providing digital marketing to small businesses around Sussex.

Of course, living in today’s modern World without an income can be very challenging and so we have been working towards creating a way or earning an income and building that up to create a way for us to continue to create the memories we so enjoy.

The internet is an obvious avenue for us to explore and some of Steve’s skills in Digital Marketing and helping small businesses offers an ideal opportunity to utilise the “work from anywhere” lifestyle that the internet provides.

Creating an income on the road

When we started out on our adventures we thought the options for earning a living were pretty limited. The obvious one that we think people like us gravitate to is that of Caravan Site Wardens. It’s a very good fit for many people and suited us very well for a while.

In October 2016, some six months after we started travelling and living full time in our caravan, we started to get jittery about the finances due to the seemingly inexorable outflow of cash from the bank and the lack of the usual income that would replenish the account balance.

What are the options

When you’re not in one place for very long and unlike most businesses you don’t have the chance to build up relationships with the local community, to offer your services to them, or allow them to ‘get to know you”. Without a place to store any physical good or be in a place that potential customers could visit it’s a challenge to know who to build a customer base and a pipeline of potential customers. 

However, here are a few options that I’m considering:

  • Website Development
  • Social Media
  • Digital Marketing
  • Business Coaching
  • Database Development
  • Drop Shipping Store
  • Write a book
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Blogging and Vlogging

 So lets have a look at each of these in a little more detail as they relate to my skill set and the ability to generate a good income.

 

Website Development

I started developing websites way back in 1994 when Microsoft had just released their “Internet Information Server” or IIS technology. I was working at Nestlé UK, a Microsoft Partner, and we needed to deploy some data driven information screens around the business relating to food production and sales levels. 

I’ve maintained a keen interest in all things web technology and have been building websites using various technologies and skills that I’ve learned over the last 25 years or more. I’ve also created and delivers workshops and training sessions for small businesses on how they can create and manage their own websites easily and effectively. Of course this is a pretty good way of creating an income to support our lifestyle and one that would be easy to fulfil and to provide an excellent customer service through.
As ever it’s all about gaining the trust of people who are our potential customers for the website provision. In some part I suppose that this blog is the start f that process of building trust with potential customers and to start to advertise the fact that I could provide your small business with a great website from where ever I might be. The internet provides us with great opportunity and facilities to “meet face to face” virtually over things like Skype etc. 

Social Media

When I offered services commercially, from a static base in Brighton and Hove it was pretty easy to meet up with people and get a real sense of who they were and where they saw their business heading. Getting on board with Social Media is, in my experience, a very difficult thing for small business owners to get their head around and one that does not always show a good return on investment (ROI) in the initial stages. While things are getting set up it’s very difficult to understand that social media is about longer term strategy and being prolific and consistent with your social media posts. I have always been more comfortable with teaching the “when, why and how” of social media marketing rather than getting the work done for smaller clients. This is simply due to the perceived payback in the early stages is just not enough for most small businesses to cope with.
The ROI on a training session or social media marketing course is much more obvious though. When a client leaves a social media course it’s pretty easy for them to define what they got for the money they paid.
in terms of creating an income, my feeling is that offering some bite sized training session at a low cost might be the way to go rather than to offer a “full service” as this would enable me to help more people at a much more affordable cost to them. 

Coaching and Training

Getting into the Coaching and Training arena is something that I loved to do when in a set place in the UK. Based in Brighton and Hove I used to hold meet-up sessions on a weekly basis which quickly became very popular with between 10 and 15 local small businesses attending for a 3-hour session over coffee each Wednesday Morning from 9 am to 12 noon.

The sessions were essentially a Q&A where business owners and managers would come along and ask about solutions to the everyday challenges they faced in their businesses. With subjects ranging from how to build a website, what social media platform they should use, to how to find a good and reliable accountant or bookkeeper.

Of course, the Q&A sessions blossomed into a casual business networking session when people would share ideas among themselves and build up relationships between their businesses. This process was an absolute joy to watch and a real pleasure to know that I’d started something that could create such long lasting business relationships. Several years later these business relationships still exist and I see them flourishing on Social Media.

How to recreate this while I’m on the move?

The challenge, as I see it, is to try to recreate this type of “help group” between businesses and entrepreneurs while I am on the move and filling my life with the memories of a World yet to be discovered.

Social media is a great place to start I think; not limiting myself or other to the like of Facebook, which is owned by a huge multinational conglomerate, a faceless and often soulless place, but to try to combine the richness of personal contact with the benefits of what social media can do in terms of connecting people and allowing them to communicate in some way.

I feel that Video conferencing and training sessions can bring a much needed “spark” to social interaction while in remote and disparate locations and so this is where my focus will be for the next few years.

Focusing on video communication, with regular video blogs, pre-recorded training session, video conferencing in groups (masterminding), and in one to one situations (coaching) where a person has a specific issue to review and resolve.

Database Development

Way back in the late 1980s I saw the benefit of having data in some sort of organised file. Back then I used Claris Works and sometimes HyperCard to hold information about various subject, and even use HyperCard to start to develop my programming skills. For many years I have enjoyed using FileMaker Pro to create business solutions that allow people to manage large lists of things and people, and to even run an invoicing system.

Throughout my career in the corporate IT world I have been exposed to all sorts of data management systems, including SQL-Server and MySQL, tyhe main database systems that most website content management systems rely on to serve the content that we see on web pages today.

In terms of business productivity though, I’d always choose FileMaker Pro for it’s ease of use and flexibility that allows most people to create the types of data management they can cope with on a daily basis.

Making money from this type of service would need some pretty careful thought before I offered my, by now rusty, FileMaker Pro services on a commercial basis. If someone wanted me to help out and point them in the right direction then I’d be very happy to offer a bit of consultancy in data base design and creation.  

Drop Shipping Store

Drop shipping is the process of becoming the “middle man” where I’d offer products through an online store that I will manage and the orders would be directed to my supplier and they would supply and ship the ordered product to my customer and charge me the cost price plus delivery charge for the item ordered. It’d be up to me what price I charged and what type of returns policy I set.

i would then make a profit from the difference between what I charge and what I pay for each order.

The trick with this is to get the marketing right to drive plenty of traffic to my website in order to attract more sales through the store.

Write a book

They say there is a book in each of us but I wonder whether I have the focus to produce a full book about my life.  In recent years we’ve sold up everything we own to go travelling around the UK and Europe living full-time in the Auto-Trail Comanche motorhome. 

In terms of writing a book I think that it will need about 60,000 to 100,000 words to make the book worthwhile and saleable. Writing a book about our lives and travel is our plan for the future. 

Affiliate Marketing

Systems that allow you to earn a commission from products you recommend and that people buy by clicking on a special link you provide are plentiful these days and we have the ideal opportunity to produce an income through the affiliate marketing route. We already have a YouTube channel known as the happy travellers and have a good following with multiple thousands of subscribers and plenty of regular comments for each of our daily video blogs. 

What about the money side of things?

Unless you have just won the jackpot on the lottery, there is probably a need to earn a regular income from the work that you do and that’s no different for me. We have not won the lottery (yet!) and so I’ll need to charge for some of the services I provide.

My first challenge in this new way of working and earning a living is to set prices for my services and products. The good thing is that much of what I provide will be “product” based and not what I call “time for money” based. Te benefits for me and for my customers is that where I create a product, it can be set at a price that is much more affordable than the price I’ll need to charge for personal access to my time. The reason for this is that access to products is unlimited, while access to my time is limited to a set number of hours each day.Let me explain, if I have a product that’s priced at, lets say £30 as a one off cost to my customers, and then I sell maybe 40 of those in the first week, I’ll have an income of £1,200, then I sell 80 in week 2 that £2,400 and so on. You see there is no limit to “electronic products” like video training and so on. However, if I sell access to me and my time on a one to one basis in one hour chunks at £30 an hour, I can sell maybe 40 hours in week one, a tough business for me to run and pretty exhausting, I’d not be able to sell 80 hours of time in week 2 or 120 hours in week 3. I’d be stuck with that £30 X 40 hour wage and tied to a very exhausting schedule while with the products the income is unlimited and leaves me free to provide better value services and time to create more benefit for those customers who do buy products or join a membership system that gives them access to all of the products I produce.