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Charles & Steve

About Charles 

What do you do?

I inspire, help and coach people to live happier more effective lives.

This is the guiding principle of my life from which I decide on and against which I review all my actions.

Putting it up here encourages me and everyone I engage with to hold me accountable for this statement. It took a while for me to pluck up the courage to place such a bold statement on this and other websites but now its done it pushes me to achieve my purpose.

  • Why inspire? – It reminds me to set and achieve high standards
  • Why help? – It reminds me to be active and “hands on.”
  • Why coach? – It’s effective in helping people to succeed
  • Why happier? – It’s a fundamental driver for everyone
  • Why effective? – Being effective produces great results.

My name is Charles de Lastic and at the time of writing this in 2018 I am 62 years old. I live in the sleepy village of Wheathampstead in Hertfordshire, England with my long-term partner of 23 years Heather. Heather and I met at Salsa dancing classes and she is, without doubt, one of the most organised people in the world – we make a great team. Our daughter Kirsten, is a primary school teacher after successfully completing her business studies course at the University of Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

My father died when I was very young. My mother Rita (87 this year) is living on the Gold Coast in Australia and playing a lot of golf. My two brothers  – Robert lives in Australia in the same town as my mother and Peter lives in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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charles de lastic

I love to ski (downhill on snow), any form of water sport (especially kite surfing) take lots of interesting holidays (as you can tell by the tan in the photo above) and have meals out with friends.

At age 18 I started work in the equities department for the Queens Bank Coutts and Co in the city of London. After a few years, I decided I preferred working more with people and joined Sainsburys, rising to become a deputy store manager. This gave me a solid foundation in business operations, systems and team management. I “semi-retired at 31” to run my own business – a bar and restaurant on the Greek island of Lefkas. For 7 years most of my summer days were spent windsurfing and evenings working in the bar. In the winters I indulged my passion for skiing and worked as a holiday rep in the French Alps for Thomsons and Inghams.

Eventually, I decided I was getting a bit long in the tooth for that hedonistic lifestyle, so I returned to the UK and trained to become a financial adviser with Lloyds Bank and then Barclays Bank.

In 1998 Heather and I started our current business as independent financial advisers which continues to this present day.  I have a separate consultancy business as a specialist in Inheritance Tax and Estate planning and we help the wealthy retired, investment property owners and business owners with their tax, financial planning and wealth management.

What qualifies me to be a coach?

I have spent the last 19 years actively goal setting to improve my effectiveness in all areas of my life.  I spend a lot of time reading (around 40 books a year), almost all on personal development or business related.

Money and personal finance – I am a qualified Independent Financial Adviser and this has been my main work and living for 18 years. However, my personal focus is helping people reduce the need for earned income by building long-term sustainable income streams.

Personal development – One of my biggest passions. This has made an enormous difference in my life and I continue reading a lot of books on the subject to help myself develop further. My view is if I can read a book which takes 10 hours and learn just one new point or perspective to help improve my life and the people I engage with that time has been worthwhile. I have been on a large number of personal development courses including Tony Robbins, Landmark and NLP practitioner to name the better known. I started the “Landmark Curriculum for Living” personal development course in January 2010, on the recommendation of a close friend. The program which involved 8 courses over 3 years proved to be one of the best things I have ever done as the intensive coaching gave me great insights into how I think and how to go about changing how I deal with people and situations.

I am currently in a personal development coaching program myself to stay on the cutting edge of this field.

Health and fitness – Another passion, as my target is to live a long, happy and healthy life. I am fascinated by the science around longevity and healthspan and so I have read over 40 books and over 60 research science papers on this subject alone. I watch numerous documentaries on TV and Youtube to further enhance my knowledge in this area.

Small business advice – I have run my own business (more than one) for 18 years and also while in Greece. I also help and coach many clients who are business owners to improve their lives and business. Once again I continue to read avidly around this subject and help many of my clients with their own businesses. Currently, I work as a consultant and run my own IFA practice within a larger business.

A surprising fact about me

Barring accidents, I fully expect to live to be 100 (fingers crossed) as I take very good care of myself. I am almost obsessive about my health and vitality and pay very close attention to my diet, exercise and sleep and I don’t really drink alcohol (no more than one or two small bottles of beer a month) – however, I don’t let that slow me down at parties.

Why I wanted to do this project

Around 15 years ago a very successful financial adviser suggested I join a ” goal cultivation”  group course (setting medium term goals and holding each other to account by meeting every 3 months). As well as meeting Steve on that course, those 3 years turned out to be one of the most “successful” periods of my life as I got a lot done and really moved my business forward. This taught me the power of being held accountable in a team and reading “self-development” material.  I now have read over 300 books looking for practical methods to improve my business, my life and health (many more than once).

This material and a few courses helped me envision a whole new possibility for my life and I am working on a daily basis on my life purpose and towards my goals. Money is no longer as big a driver as it was and I am working on acceptance, calmness and kindness with everyone every day. Unsurprisingly, to anyone who has tried to work on habit change, I do have the odd lapse when I revert to old habits but thankfully they are getting fewer as new habits are embedded and the years move forward.

Although I am really pleased about how it is going so far, I wanted to do something to really push myself to set habits into place that will vastly increase my happiness and the happiness of everyone I engage with. In addition, I love helping and coaching people as I believe that how you think totally shapes your life. I also wanted to give something back to all the writers and coaches who have helped me by “passing it on”. Steve felt the same way and so we started Compass Business Coaching.

Enjoy the journey

Charles

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steve oliver

About Steve

My name is Stephen Oliver. I live in north Northampton, England with my wife of 25 years, Tracey and my two daughters. Tracey and I met working together for an American service industry company in Bedfordshire and she has been my business partner too for the last 21 years.

Having worked for Standard Chartered Bank as well as Debenhams and a Mortgage Broker in Ware, Hertfordshire, I decided to train as a financial adviser and set my own business up in 1990. By 1994 Tracey was working with me full time and we have grown that and other businesses in the meantime, including a successful document storage business and a Wills and Trust provider company serving over 700 financial advisers in England Wales & Northern Ireland.

Much of my work involved training or coaching others and this led to the current new venture Compass Business Coaching.

I enjoy the outdoors, gym work, motorcycling, Scuba Diving, travelling, reading and coin collecting amongst other things. Having studied NLP, (Neuro Linguistic Programming) I have found that communication skills are best-developed face to face.

What qualifies me to Coach?

I believe my experience has taught me, through trial and error, that, we can all benefit from the life experiences of others. Without sharing our ideas, learning can become a chore. Sharing and coaching enhance what we are to each other and ourselves. I am always willing to share and give, which I believe, mixed with my experience, makes me an excellent coach. Using trusted methods with empathy and control can bring out the happier side of us all.

Money and personal finance – I am a financially independent businessman, looking to contribute to and develop others as well as teach what I have found works. I tend to focus more on what progress has been made rather than shortfalls because I believe this makes us happier. Living with a purpose also develops our enthusiasm and drive.

Personal development

My favourite in this field is Jim Rohn. Although he died not long ago, he left a legacy of helping people be the best they can be. If I can emulate him in any way, I feel I would have made good use of my life. Another favourite is Stephen Covey, author of many books but best known for his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Again, he died recently and again a huge legacy of helping others has come from his discipline and caring about others.

Health and fitness – Although I am in my 50’s I refuse to let age slow me down or hinder me. Having had a spinal operation in 2006 I understand the need for a healthy body. Look after our bodies will serve us well. Not many of us are blessed with the perfect physique and I can attest to knowing where my weaknesses are and how to use my strengths. At 6ft 2” I am keen to keep my mobility which I once nearly lost.

A surprising fact about me

I have an unusual ability to know if I have ever seen a face before. Names are difficult to remember for me, but faces are easy. I can tell you if I have ever seen someone before of not. I have shocked a few people with this skill and been tested at the Sir John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford. My results in this one area were off extremely accurate. 

Why I wanted to do this project

This style of business is where I have always wanted to be. Sharing and teaching have always been the things I have been able to do well, without it being any effort. I love it so much – it just doesn’t feel like work. If I can help develop others to be free from the chains of money and our society pressures, live a long active life and live longer than they would otherwise have done, I will feel I have made my own life worthwhile.

Learning how to be happy and productive with being fit enough to keep doing so takes effort and sometimes a big change of thinking. You may need to make a tiny shift that will significantly enhance your life. That must be worth searching for.

I also wanted to give something back for those that have given to me, in the hope that those who receive what I give will pass that on too. Holding on to your gifts or knowledge is ineffective and wasteful. Let us get out there and make 1 plus 1 equal as much as possible. Pleasure comes from doing what I love doing. Finding out how to make that as big a part of my life as I can has been my quest. If I can help others do it too, then all the better.

Having often had discussions about what makes people think, react and aspire differently, I found I was curious enough to continually explore why.

What you see and what I see are often different views of the same thing. To think we have the right answers or even a better understanding than others, can come across as arrogant and naive. It is sharing our views that helps us grow. Please, stay good and share as much as you can.

Steve Oliver
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