Deal with what is in front of you

Recommended reading:
The Chimp Paradox – Stephen Peters
The Will Smith – Biography

Hands up who was made redundant this year? Who didn’t get their bonus? Who didn’t get a pay rise? Who has been facing automated rejection after rejection as part of their job search? 

You are not alone. Resilience has been a big part of many of our worlds of late, this is a follow up to my Year of Fear article. Thanks to Antony Lockyer for his input and Garry Costen for his advice a few years ago.

Okay, first let me confess this article is a little bit of a cathartic process for me. I have been royally screwed over by a greedy client slap bang in the middle of a lousy economy, so you join me at the point of clearing up the empty bottles and Pringle tubes at the tail end of a pity party. 

Running a business for the past 11 years has not been easy, mix in some family illness, deaths, a house build, a week in a coma, managing a team etc. and I have had to dig deep in to the resilience pot, none more so than in the last six months after this dishonest client chose to default on well over six figures of revenue for work we completed for their consultancy despite their being paid by the end client.

It’s a sorry tale of broken promises, greed and poor morals that I won’t bore you with.

So… what has this got to do with you? Well, I wanted to highlight this article isn’t a fluffy lifestyle coach, offering up opinions from their idyllic Cotswold location. 

I have the scars to prove I’m in the trenches with you feeding my kids, supporting aging parents and facing all the challenges we all do each week. 

Clearly, it’s not been all doom and gloom over the years but it’s important you recognise this article comes from my lived experiences alongside shared experiences from Founders, Entrepreneurs and job seekers.

So how do we keep laying a brick each day to build that wall despite the headwinds that most of us face in life? 

“The first thing you need to accept…Life isn’t fair. It owes you nothing, and greedy individuals will always have no issue screwing you over.”

Mark Hurren


Your employer, friends, family, colleagues, financial advisor (you get my point) may not always do right by you, and life will throw you a string of challenges that you didn’t deserve. 

Not the uplifting sentiment you all hoped for, I’m sure. Stick with the article, it’s a process, and this bit is important.

Accept it, there is no such thing as fair! No, really, read that again. The minute you get your head around that concept, you’re lightening your load.

For me litigation is ongoing, and I hope to make it to court so there is a public record out there like a lighthouse waving innocent folks away from the fake smile and little boy lost routine that lulled me in to trusting this individual. 

Now the Pringles tubes and empty bottles are in the bin and the pity party has drawn to a close, it’s time to move on and let the solicitors do their thing. 

But how can we all thrive after a setback or the deeper wound of a betrayal? The below are some practical approaches to take back control.

“Deal with what’s in front of you”

Garry Costen – Secure ITAD


It’s not for me to tell Garry’s story, but this chap was a stranger to me. He offered up his time and his help a few years back. This comment was one I come back to time and time again. 

Stop trying to write your life’s story in one sitting. Life comes in chapters, stop worrying about next month and think about today, is the distilled version of this part of our conversation.

Here are a few ways to help you swallow the whale.


The sentiment behind something often shapes how we react to it, in my recent example if the end client had failed to pay my client, It would have changed my perspective, the outcome would be the same but how I view the experience would be different. Unfortunate events versus greed. It’s the same outcome, but through a different lens. 

Did your old boss really enjoy making you redundant? It’s highly unlikely. It’s more likely financial need forced the decision or a decision being made further up the food chain. It’s not lost on me, Greed has been a factor for some of the layoffs that have taken place, but it may help lessen some of the feelings of betrayal if you can change your vantage point. Same outcome but different positioning. 

You could view the event as a catalyst to a positive change “I have been unhappy for a while, this is what I needed to leave and focus on the next thing” You’re looking to the future, seeing this as an opportunity to move forward. As opposed to focusing on the past with rose-tinted lenses. 

It’s also worth noting if the individual in question really is just a nasty piece of work, with a history of screwing people over. Someone with that approach to life cannot be coming from a happy place. No one who is feeling content with their life is going to live their life trampling over everyone around them. 

It’s likely the individual in question is trying to fill a hole in their own lives, thinking more shiny things, more money, whatever their vice is, will make them feel better.

All our situations are unique, but try to find a different lens to view your problem from. 

It’s a cliché, but as one door closes, another one opens; you will grow from the experience you are going through.

The Big picture: 

Context is everything. Often when you are going through a tough time, it’s hard to focus on anything else. You’re compounding your problems playing out all the ‘what if’ scenarios in your head. Try to broaden your perspective through some of these thought processes. 


Stress has the effect of shortening our time horizons. If you are involved in an argument, your ‘chimp mind’–Will have you shortening your time frames to minutes. Even if your stress is less obvious, you will find yourself thinking in days, weeks and months as opposed to years. 

In moments of stress, ask yourself, will this matter a day, week, month, or a year from now? You will reach a time point where it becomes more obvious this recent setback doesn’t have to dictate your life’s next chapter. 

Longer time frames usually equate to better thought processes and a more productive mindset. 


Let’s face it, very few of us are in a position where we cannot find someone in our community who hasn’t been handed a worse hand than you. If you can raise your head from the funk for long enough, you will see others close to home or overseas that are going through a harder time. 

It doesn’t change your circumstances, but it can help you see the positive elements in your life you may be taking for granted, and who knows, you may be in a position to offer them some help. 

We are stronger together has always been my mentality. Despite those out there that would take advantage, most people actually want to help.


Who or what is influencing you? Something as simple as hearing an upbeat song can change our mood, so imagine the impact of the people you surround yourself with. 

Who is speaking into your life? Have you chosen to surround yourself with negative people? Individuals stoking negative feelings?  “I can’t believe they did that, you should…” “I would get your own back” etc. All this is doing is focusing your thoughts in the past on a past event. You can’t change what has gone before, you can only change what comes next. 

If your thoughts and the people you surround yourself with are focused on the past, then change your influencers, even if it’s just for a while, until you get back to a balanced way of thinking. 

Another view…

Antony Lockyer may be a face you have seen in your LinkedIn feed over recent months.  Antony was a stand out part of my feed at the end of 2023, having been made redundant from Credit Suisse after 23 years, his world was turned upside down with redundancies impacting many individuals across the business. 

Antony had to dig deep to not only stay positive but also to overcome, he provided a diary of his work search, not a doom gloom account but a upbeat, stay positive insight to his search for work.

He showed real resilience in the face of a tough hiring landscape. I asked Antony how he approached his search for work.

Mark – Were there any stand out challenges you faced during that and overcame?

Antony – The whole thing felt a lot harder than I thought it would. While on gardening leave, I felt very relaxed and imagined I’d take a bit of time off. The second I was ‘terminated’ that feeling changed though. I overcame by putting in a process, adapting it where I felt it needed it, and just following through on a daily basis.

Mark – What advice would you offer anyone struggling with a long search for work.

Antony – Start looking before you need to. Without being too transactional about it, focus on network, post on LinkedIn. Avoid reading too many posts about job hunting. There is a lot of doom and gloom about. Treat looking for work like you would any other job.

Mark – What daily habits did you adopt?

Antony – As above, just working on the job of finding work. I had a list of follow ups to make, made sure I saw every new role that was posted that day that might be suitable.

Mark – How has the experience changed your life outlook.

Antony – I’m a little more conscious about having investments that are liquid enough to live on if needed. From a work perspective I’ve ended up somewhere good and feel I probably could have looked for work sooner rather than hanging on for a payout.

If life is unfair for all of us, does that in its self-mean it’s fair?  Like everything in life it’s often the perspective you choose to look at it. 

Recommended reading:

The Chimp Paradox – Stephen Peters

The Will Smith – Biography

Looking to add talent to your team, or looking for the next step in your career?