I hope you manage to find something useful, insightful or funny in the content of my Friday Footnotes emails. I would genuinely love to know what you think the best thing(s) that I have shared so far are, so I can ensure I can deliver more of what helps.

If you find these emails valuable, please do drop me an email this week and let me know your favourite thing or topic, and I’ll continue to try and make them even better. Thanks in advance!

TRIBEathlon Podcast

Episode 28: Helen Davis is an accomplished swimmer and sports psychologist and is renowned for working with some accomplished athletes – in particular, former Ironman pro, Lucy Gossage. Based on the success Helen’s approach brought to Lucy, together they created IRON-MIND, and online learning platform for helping you get the best out of your training and your races by having the right mindset.

Having been through the IRON-MIND myself, it gives you a brilliant guide on how to address those limiting and irrational beliefs and helps you to focus on what will bring you the greatest success, whether that is to compete or complete.

I wanted to explore these ideas more with Helen, as well as talk to her about her complete career change in her 40s; retraining and switching from teaching to sport psychology.

Episode 29: In the first episode of the podcast with my new co-host, pro Ironman athlete, Laura Siddall, we speak to Dr Emma Ross, Head of Physiology at the English Institute of Sport, helping Team GB finish second in the medal table at the Rio Olympics.

Dr Ross led a ground-breaking campaign to improve support of female athletes within the high-performance system. Through the SmartHER programme she worked to empower coaches, athletes and sports practitioners to better understand the exercising female, and how to capitalise and cope with her physiology and psychology in the context of sport. She is on a mission to tackle the taboos that exist within sport and within wider society when it comes to women’s health; topics such as periods and the menstrual cycle, breast health, pelvic floor health and mental health.

Thankfully, I had previous guest of the podcast and performance coach, Laura Penhaul, on hand to make sure I was asking the right questions in a subject that was definitely out of my comfort zone.

What I’ve Been Reading

This month I have been reading Unreasonable Success and How to Achieve It: Unlocking the Nine Secrets of People Who Changed the World by Richard Koch, a book that looks at the common traits of ordinary people that achieve extraordinary success, so it holds a lot of similarity to the TRIBEathlon podcast.

From Madonna to Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs to Marie Currie and Walt Disney to Winston Churchill or Leonardo Da Vinci, there are common traits that lead to their success, so wouldn’t it be handy to know what they are? Koch explores them in this excellent book.

What I’ve Been Watching

I don’t know about you, but I am really missing travelling. Whilst we live in an amazing part of an amazing country, it is good for the soul to explore new places. Clearly that is off limits at the moment, so I’ve been watching Australia with Simon Reeve on iPlayer with the family.

I haven’t travelled Oz since 1999, and this is a great way to get a small taste of the magic the land down-under has to offer. It is whetting my appetite to return, but also quenching a small part of my travelling thirst; perhaps not quite as much as a cold Hahn Ice after walking Kings Canyon in 40-degree heat though!

TED Talk I’ve Found Interesting

Having dealt with subjects like periods, female hormones and sports bras in the TRIBEathlon podcast with Dr Emma Ross, I figured, why stop there. So, this week’s TED talk recommendation is ‘10 things you didn’t know about orgasm’. “Bonk” author, Mary Roach, delves into obscure scientific research, some of it centuries old, to make 10 surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious.

Quote of the Week

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

  • Yogi Berra

Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering

I was chatting to a client earlier this week who is struggling with a growing income tax bill and they were unable to fund pensions any further to mitigate it. This is a growing problem because, for higher earners, the pension annual allowance can drop to as low as £4,000. One option available to them is a Venture Capital Trust (VCT). A VCT is a risky investment, as it is a fund that invests in smaller companies, however in exchange for that risk, you get 30% income tax relief back as long as you remain invested for 5 years.

I’d always take a pension over a VCT, but for those that don’t have that option, a VCT can make a great tax efficient alternative. That said, they are complex, so always seek advice.

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