I’m overwhelmed and delighted to reveal that I’m through to the national finals of the prestigious Federation of Small Businesses Awards.

I have been invited to attend a glittering award ceremony taking place at London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel, on 3 May, to discover if I’ve won the national ‘Business Exporter of the Year’ title, for which I’m pitted against 11 other finalists from across the UK.

Running my international hypnotherapy training business from my East Yorkshire home, I see this as all-important recognition for the clinical hypnotherapy profession.

Clinical hypnotherapy is an incredibly powerful discipline which has the ability to literally change people’s lives for the better, but sadly it is often overlooked or dismissed as a form of hocus pocus, simply because people don’t really understand it.

Over the years, I’ve achieved some incredible successes in developing my own treatment programmes to help people overcome problems ranging from over-eating and obesity, to lack of self-confidence and fear of flying.

My focus is now on helping other practitioners around the world to develop their own hypotherapy businesses, to help spread the benefits to even more people, and by doing that to increase the credibility and standing of our profession, against other forms of treatment including more traditional healthcare.

Recognition like my FSB regional award win and national shortlisting are invaluable in helping me to achieve this goal, and I’m very excited to see the result in May although – win or not – just being involved alongside other, more traditional businesses, is an important step forward.”

I was named ‘Yorkshire & Humber ‘Business Exporter of the Year’ at the FSB’s regional awards event which took place at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield in early March.

The judges chose me for my success in building up a successful global business teaching my clinical hypnotherapy and business development techniques to thousands of fellow practitioners all over the world.

Powered by a vision

All of this is great timing, of course, as I’m just about to embark on my latest worldwide tour to countries including Switzerland, the USA and Canada.

In fact, I’ve been living out of a suitcase ever since I achieved international recognition for my pioneering ‘Virtual Gastric Band’, which helps people lose dramatic amounts of weight by re-booting the way they think.

Over the past six years, I’ve built up a network of 2,500 clinical hypnotherapists, in nine countries around the world, giving them the know-how and confidence to turn their practices into business successes, using my methods.

I recently took this process one step further, by franchising my Sheila Granger brand and enabling other, carefully-selected practitioners to deliver therapist business training using my model. This saw my already-successful business grow by a further 20 per cent in just the past six months and I now have 20 franchisees in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Belgium and the United States, using my branded courses covering areas of hypnotherapy business development including marketing, business growth and financial management.

My ultimate goal is to have 200 franchisees on the programme, giving me the potential to reach every hypnotherapist in the world and teach them the foundations of success.

If you would like to find out more about achieving business success by training as a hypnotherapy practitioner with my support, get in touch for more details.

Don’t be Hull’d back!

– I challenge 100 businesses to take my ‘positivity challenge’ for the sake of our city’s 2017 legacy

A positive mindset is not just vital for individual business success. Collective glass-half-full thinking will be the thing to tip the balance in terms of securing Hull a lasting legacy from our City of Culture 2017 status.

This was the crux of my keynote speech at the final James Legal – The Business 2017 masterclass of this year. 

I tour the globe, teaching other clinical hypnotherapists how to build successful businesses and flying the flag for my hometown, and I know from clinical experience the transformative effect thinking the right way can have on every aspect of a person’s life, including how successful they are in business.

And I believe that tackling this collectively is essential to ensuring my city is not held back by its traditional underdog thinking at this pivotal moment in its history.

Hull people are, I believe, some of the most fantastic you could meet,” I told delegates.

“They are friendly, good-hearted and packed with dry humour and edgy creativity. But the flipside of this is they almost like to sell themselves short, as a coping mechanism in case things don’t quite pan out as they had hoped. They expect the worst so that it won’t bother them too much when it happens!

“The reality is, though, that really great things are happening in the city, right now, and to make sure we see this through to the end, we really do need to make sure we take hold of any negative thinking and channel it in the right direction.

“This is particularly true in our business community because it is the beating heart of the city’s regeneration.

“For the first time, probably ever, we are seeing major investment by big international players; interest from around the globe in what we have to offer in terms of everything from art to property and, at last, some positive PR about what it is really like to spend time here.

“If we can grasp that and really, really believe in it, it will transform our fortunes and the way we are perceived all over the country and the world, forever.”

I explained to the crowd that all of this boils down to whether people have a fixed or growth mindset. Those with a growth mindset are unafraid of risk and naturally seek to learn and overcome their limitations, whereas those with fixed ones tend to stick to what they know for fear of failure. I also explained that there are techniques for changing your mindset to achieve more positive results.

My convictions on this topic stem, largely, from a series of interviews I undertook with famous and successful Hull folk for my book, Go the Hull Way, which is being published this Autumn. For that, I spoke to the likes of boxer Tommy Coyle, the ‘Bee Lady’, Paul Sewell of Sewell Group and ‘gadget man’ Jonathan Elvidge, about their ingredients for making it. I found that, in all cases, it was an attitude of mind that had got them where they are today.

I told the masterclass attendees: “People with a growth mindset believe anyone can be good at anything because your abilities are entirely due to your actions.

“The growth mindset believes trouble is just important feedback in the learning process, and flaws are just a ‘to do’ list of things to improve.

“Growth mindset entrepreneurs show long-term resilience, repeated innovation, and the necessary drive for future enduring success. Some of Hull’s most successful people do this naturally, but anyone can learn to do it.”

And this is where I laid down a challenge to the city’s businesses at the masterclass.

Can our businesses influence the mindset of a city?” I asked them. I told them I believe they can be the catalyst for long-term change, and become the role models of a growth mindset for the city. I gave them a ‘100-day positivity challenge’, aimed at moving away from ‘pushing’ the people of Hull to think and behave in a certain way, to ‘pulling’ them up.

I invited them to do this via steps like altering the customer experience we create in the city, to leave people with a lasting, positive memory, creating a good vibe among their teams and instilling confidence, and even giving their businesses a positive makeover – for example, removing any signs that contain negative messages and replacing them with smiley faces!

How many people could we impact collectively? Well, if 100 businesses now take up my challenge, and each business deals with just 20 customers a day – 200,000 people could be impacted by the positivity, creating a ripple effect of irresistible positivity, renewed confidence and, as a result, increased success.

Almost 100 businesses attended the ‘Mind Over Matter’ event, at the Hallmark Hotel, North Ferriby, last Wednesday.

The event also saw James Legal announcing the two winners of its Business Booster competition, that will share a raft of business growth support worth £45,000, to help them move to the next level. They were marine, hazardous area and offshore specialists Pearson Electrical Ltd, and non-for-profit organisation Lessons 4 Life, which is on a mission to eventually bring first aid skills training to every child in the city and beyond.

James Legal organised the masterclass as part of its James Legal – The Business 2017 campaign, which is designed to act as a catalyst for helping the region’s companies to seize the opportunity this special City of Culture year represents for Hull and its environs. The campaign is one aspect of the fresh-thinking legal firm’s commitment to giving something back to the community it operates in.

The Hull-based firm teamed up with a range of partners to run the campaign and competition, including the Yorkshire & Humber arm of the Department for International Trade, the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, Sirius, the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce – and local businesses including Computanet, Elliott Hygiene Ltd, Peacock Finance, The Business Culture Hull, 360 Accountants, Fifty Squid Video, The Marketplace, Arrival Design, Yorkshire Bank, Dare Greatly and By Tracy Fletcher Ltd PR.

James Legal MD and Solicitor Nick Miller said: “Sheila had some fantastic advice for the businesses attending our event, which will help them to achieve even greater success in the years to come.

“It was a fitting end to a great year for the city and we’ve been privileged to play our own, small part in its success, through our campaign and competition.

“We’re very grateful to all the partners that have joined forces with us to make it possible, and we’ll be announcing plans for keeping up that positive momentum soon.”

Lorry driver lost almost half his body weight and now rides up mountains on his bike.

For people who enjoy getting out in the open air, there is little that can beat the simplicity of a bike ride. Yet the sense of freedom enjoyed by cyclists is not something Pete Smith would have imagined before he took control of his weight, using only the power of his mind.

Now, life couldn’t be more different for Pete. The 46 year old lorry driver from East Yorkshire shed 9 stones after success with the virtual gastric band, with clinical hypnotherapist Sheila Granger and dropped from 21st to 12st in just 10 months.

Pete Smith looks back at his life before hypnotherapy and cannot believe he is talking about the same person. Four years later, you can find him cycling hundreds of miles around the UK and Europe, having just returned from a two week holiday testing out his fitness in the iconic climbs of the Pyrenees.

But this is a million miles away from his old life. After trying and failing with various diets, Pete Smith knew drastic action was needed. The familiar story that many dieters experience, following a diet for a period of time and then piling weight went back on, and more.

Clinical hypnotherapist, Sheila Granger says:

“I recently caught up with Pete to find out how he was getting on with his fitness lifestyle. His continued success shows that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is about having a positive mindset. Hypnotherapy supports this way of thinking, rather like flicking a switch in the brain to be satisfied with smaller portions of food and choosing healthier options. It gives us control over what we put into our bodies, rather than mindlessly eating the wrong types of foot and feeling guilty afterwards.”

As a result of the virtual gastric band, Pete’s life has transformed beyond recognition. Fours years on, he still works as a lorry driver and has continued with making health meal choices and he is motivated to exercise, spending his spare time out in the countryside, cycling long distances and holidaying in some of Europe’s magical beauty spots which can only be seen by getting out on a bike.

He says:
“I really wanted to help myself and make significant changes to my health. The virtual gastric band helps to become more aware of food intake, I found myself enjoying different types of food and not always feeling it necessary to clear my plate.”

“I had four, weekly sessions with Sheila at her clinic in Beverley and within a short time had started to lose weight and feel much better about myself. Now four years later I am able to explore the world on my bike, something I would have never though possible.”

‘I’ve never hypnotised anyone – they do it themselves’

This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Catherine Lea, business editor of the Hull Daily Mail.

We spoke about my work with schools to help students overcome exam anxiety and being tasked to help big corporates to reduce stress levels among employees.

We even took a trip down memory lane, back to where it all started, when I read about a woman who could’t stop hiccoughing and offered her free hypnotherapy. I’d only been qualified for a couple of weeks, so it was a bit of a risk, but I felt it was something I could help and it certainly paid off in the end.

I took Catherine on my globe trotting journey and we touched on some of the 1000 trained practitioners that are accredited to deliver Sheila Granger Hypnotherapy, as well as licensed trainers in four different countries.

Every time I am approached for an interview I still get surprised, because at the end of the day I am just doing my job and that is to help people. And as the saying goes, if you love your job, it doesn’t feel like work.

Sheila eyes prize for work with youngster’s minds

A SELFLESS East Yorkshire-based clinical hypnotherapist has been nominated for the Mail’s Pride of East Yorkshire Awards for her work helping students adopt a positive mindset and deal with exam-related anxiety.

Sheila Granger, a professional lifestyle engineer and clinical hypnotherapist who works as far a field as Australia and the USA, launched the Educational Performance division of her business four years ago in response to growing concerns over the number of children on mental health service waiting lists.

She recognised that by providing support mechanisms to those young people with lower levels of anxiety, it would prevent their problems from escalating into something with much more devastating consequences.

Now, she has trained a team of more than one hundred Educational Performance Practitioners worldwide to ensure young people, their parents and their schools can access support of this nature no matter where they are.

Sheila has been nominated for the Mail’s Business in the Community award by her communications partner Mercury.

“Being nominated for this award has come as a complete shock,” said Sheila. “I thoroughly enjoy my work with schools and it’s been incredible to see the Educational Performance side of my business go from strength to strength due to increased demand over recent years.

“We all have expectations placed on us, either by ourselves or by others, and it’s these expectations that can cause us the greatest stress. Students with low expectations who believe they are going to fail, find it difficult to think positively – which ultimately impacts on their performance.

“In much a similar way, top performing students have to contend with the weight of increased expectations and sometimes the pressure to deliver can set them up for a fall. For teachers, there is already a vast emphasis on the delivery of pastoral care and teachers have the added role of coaching individuals through the exam experience, as well as preparing them academically.”

There’s no place quite like home for Sheila. She says it’s been an honour to work with students and teachers on her doorstep, in her hometown of Hull, to make a difference to their lives.

She has been working closely with students at Endeavour High School in recent months, which is closing at the end of this school year, to make sure pupils go out on a high.

Teachers at the school say the initiative has paid real dividends with students better prepared than ever before.

Headteacher Stewart Edgell said: “If you have a student who is worried and you bring someone in who can help them by arming them with new strategies and coping mechanisms, they feel valued that someone has taken note of their concerns and is doing something with them.

“Sheila’s work has dovetailed nicely into giving students a positive outlook and creative ways of preparing for exams, such as setting aside one hour a day when they can worry but during the rest of the day putting any negative thoughts out of their minds for example.

“I am in no doubt whatsoever that this work has had a significant impact on the students who have worked with Sheila.”

Rachael Dean, account executive at Mercury, nominated Sheila after working closely with her in recent months and being inspired by the true difference she is making to young people in East Yorkshire.

She said: “It always moves me when I see the life-changing results of Sheila’s work. As a recent graduate myself, I know how detrimental the effects of exam-related anxiety can be and it’s really inspiring to see how Sheila can help shape someone’s future who, in their mind, might have already lost all hope.”

Endeavour School use hypnotist to help pupils with exams

STUDENTS at a city school are being hypnotised to relieve exam stress.
Clinical hypnotherapist Sheila Granger has been working with GCSE students at Endeavour High School on techniques to help them through the exam period.
Teachers say the initiative is paying dividends, with students being better prepared than ever.
The Beverley Road school closes this summer and headteacher Stewart Edgell is determined youngsters will go out on a high.

He said: “We want the school to go out on a high this year, but ultimately we want our students to achieve the very best results that they can individually.

“The work we have been doing with Sheila is to ensure students are in the best frame of mind when they sit their exams, and that any barriers to them performing at their best have been removed.

NEW TECHNIQUES: Headteacher Stewart Edgell and Sheila Granger with pupils. Picture: Jack Harland
“If you have a student who is worried and you bring someone in who can help them by arming them with new strategies and coping mechanisms, they feel valued that someone has taken note of their concerns and is doing something with them.
“When you get a critical mass of students being looked after in this way, it’s much more likely everyone will perform better across the board.”
Mr Edgell said the school has worked hard with its 101 students to ensure they achieve the best results they can.
He said: “We brought Sheila in to work with students who we identified that would benefit from additional strategies for preparing for their exams, adopting a positive mindset and believing that they can do it when it comes to achieving their potential.
“We have worked with our students to help them structure their revision carefully and Sheila’s work has dovetailed nicely into that in terms of giving them a positive outlook and creative ways of preparing for exams.”
‘Massive student pressure
Sheila Granger, clinical hypnotherapist, said: “With exam season well and truly upon us, the pressure on students gains considerable momentum at this time of year.
“I have been delighted to work with Endeavour High School in the run up to this important time of year and it’s been a real pleasure to work with the students there.
“We all have expectations placed on us, either by ourselves or by others, and it’s these expectations that can cause us the greatest stress”.
If you are interested in any of my services or need some questions answering, feel free to contact me via email or visit my website.