Episode 58 - Mike Pagan

How fit for purpose are YOU? Making conversations about mental wealth count!

Enjoy a conversation with Mike Pagan, Mental Wealth Strategist


Mike Pagan mental wealth strategist

Make sure you click one of the players to listen to the latest episode: How fit for purpose are YOU? Have you made the necessary transitions to preserve your mental wealth?


Asking for help is NOT a weakness. We cannot do this thing called life, in isolation, on our own.…”

Mike Pagan, Making Conversations Count (November 2021)




Transitioning is tough. It’s daunting, it’s terrifying. But you cannot succeed without making the mental changes necessary to make it work.

Thoughts are powerful things!

Follow and listen on Apple Podcasts now

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Remember that often small mental shifts allow for big mental changes…add value to your mental wealth portfolio – each day brings different mental investment possibilities.

But what do we mean when we talk about mental wealth?

In this episode of the Making Conversations Count podcast, Mike Pagan – author of “Stop Faffing About” – talks to us all about the importance of investing in the necessary graft, research, and planning, to align ourselves with the right support systems.

How it’s important to work with the right people to expose ourselves to new thought processes that break us free from habits that have been learned over time and sometimes through failure.

Mental wealth also means having a brain that has had its share of positive activity – being sensitive to issues in life…

Our brains are immensely intelligent devices with the capacity to learn every single day. Wendy Harris’ brain feels differently after talking to Mike in this episode, so there is some clear evidence.

mental wealth image

What IS mental wealth?

People are saying mental wealth is the new mental health.

Having a conversation about mental wealth with Mike Pagan, motivational speaker, author, and swimmer, will be deep-down good for you!

How about this for a tantalising reason to listen?

Are you trying to give up smoking? Lose weight?

Mike offers a terrific example of why saying “I want to give up smoking” won’t necessarily work.

Listen to the story he tells of how his wife used another angle when it came to helping a loved one kick the habit. (10 minutes in)

The undertone is that mental wealth can be hard to measure but it’s critical if we want to enjoy life fully.

He also talks about how mental fitness comes in all shapes and sizes and that sport is always one of them.

Mental wealth in sport

Not only has Mike Pagan worked closely with Olympians and Paralympians, but he’s also endured his own share of sporting challenges, in swimming.

And to great levels of success, too!

(17m50s – hear how Mike actually outperformed Michael Phelps!)


Wendy shares the story of watching the movie Cruella with her daughter, and how Emma Stone’s portrayal of the character showed a true genius who had grafters supporting her!


“The ability to switch off is so much harder now. Understanding boredom helps you understand yourself more. An advert comes on the TV on the programme you’re watching. What does everyone around you do? Picks up the phone and checks their social media again!… You missed out on NOTHING.”

The importance of asking better questions of ourselves when it comes to our mental wealth is also something that Mike talks about at length in this potentially life-changing episode of “Making Conversations Count”.

mental wealth people

Listen to other episodes on your favourite platform…

Full Episode Transcript


Making Conversations Count – Episode Fifty-Eight

Wendy Harris & Mike Pagan

25th November 2021



00:00:00: Introduction 
00:02:00: Self-reflection 
00:03:39: Your team 
00:06:25: Long term as we get older 
00:09:32: Emotional connection 
00:12:43: Self-care 
00:15:11: Four areas of support 
00:16:55: Mike vs the Channel 
00:19:16: Active mindfulness 
00:22:33: Mike’s pivotal conversation 
00:25:46: Anti-academia 
00:27:52: Final thoughts 


Interview Transcription 

Wendy Harris: Welcome back to Making Conversations Count with me, Wendy Harris.  Today, we are going to be making conversations about mental wealth count. 

What’s new Wendy Woo?  Well, we’re continuing to get wonderful feedback and I just want to take this opportunity to highlight that every guest writes a letter to listeners inviting you to carry on the conversation with them directly and often they are gifting us free downloads and resources and special offers for you.  There’s also links to books if our guests have written something on their topic, so please do go check out the website www.makingconversationscount.com and go to the Guest Offers and Resources Page. 

Today’s guest comes at it from a slightly different perspective, and you know me, I like to bring you all the different variety of perspectives that I can, because I know that that’s what helps me, so if it helps me, it’s likely to help others too.  Now, Mike Pagan is better known for swimming the channel in a relay, in the fastest time, in the highest tides and that’s our connection, that’s how we got chatting because of the swimming angle.  I’m going to let him explain more about the conversations that he has had that has led him to the journey that he is on. 

I think the listeners really want to know a little bit more about Mike and how those conversations come about in the first place, because I’m guessing that a lot of people have a bit of resistance to change; want the transformation and want the end results, but maybe don’t like the how they have to get there and the things that they’ve got to do, so I thought that would be a good place to start. 

Mike Pagan: It is that fine line of the necessary graft, the necessary research, the planning and all those things.  I had a meeting recently with a gentleman who refers to himself as a visionary.  He starts stuff. 

Wendy Harris: He never finishes anything. 

Mike Pagan: We need people in our lives that are completer finishers if we’re visionaries and we need people who are visionaries if we’re very, very good at making stuff happen.  Part of that is the self-reflection and knowing what sort of person you is.  I intentionally did that in my best English. 

Wendy Harris: Do you know what, my eldest daughter would say, “I is someone who has lots of ideas and sometimes the ideas come so thick and fast that we can’t actually get through them”.  But I think, in some respects that’s a process of your brain working out getting to the best outcome, and of course that’s why I’ve got my daughter helping me, is because she can keep up with me usually and can help cut out those bits to get it done.  It’s the difference, isn’t it, between us having ideas and then beating ourselves up because we’re not finishers and having good ideas and getting people to help us finish it for us or with us. 

I’m old, I class myself as old now, when you get to 30-plus years in career, if I look back 30 years, anybody that was over 40 was old, so I’m being generous! 

Mike Pagan: To be fair, ancient I think would have been the phrase I’d have referred to! 

Wendy Harris: Yes, that’s it, but I think that’s the wisdom that comes, isn’t it, with that period of time to give you a reflection to test and measure on things.  We seem to be in this society and there’s this perception that we, on our own, in our own being and in our own skin, can be the everything that we want to be.  The misconception is that you can’t do it on your own, you can’t do absolutely everything on your own.  I don’t know anybody that can do it on their own, that’s why we have families.  That’s why you have male and female roles, that’s why you have people that are good at one thing and good at another. 

Mike Pagan: This is why I get so passionate about my mental wealth team, that support network, because we can’t do it all.  Whether you are the best entrepreneurial mind in the world, the casualties, it’s like the Cruella de Vil blowing through a room and leaving debris behind and people having to clear up, and everything else that goes with it. 

Just the dynamics on one side of the spectrum and the graft is on another but everybody in between, we cannot do this thing called life successfully in isolation on our own, because in isolation it kills creativity, prevents decision making and then can have a detrimental effect on our mental health.  It’s so important to have those right people around us, challenging, provoking, cajoling, because they get more out of us. 

Some of them have a vested interest because they’re family; others, they’re employees, but it’s selecting those people that really help us step up and raise our game. 

Wendy Harris: It’s interesting, because I did watch the new Emma Stone version of Cruella over the weekend with my 13-year-old and what you’re saying there is absolutely right.  While she comes across as this real rebel, visionary in fashion, there were key people behind her that actually helped lift her up.  Even if she didn’t see that, as an outsider watching we could see that, the dynamic of that relationship.  Of course, the last 18 months has shown us evermore so that isolation and decision-making can’t be done in isolation.  To be positive about it, because I like to always try and stay positive about things, we can still get on even in a really difficult and challenging environment, can’t we?  We can still do business and have relationships and make decisions. 

Mike Pagan: Totally, I will focus on people that I work with on specific ways of building that support team so that it’s fit for purpose for the way forward.  That’s a key demarcation line, fit for purpose for the way forward, because I learned this with the work I did with professional elite sportsmen and women, transitioning to their life after sport.  Obviously, that is very poignant at the moment with Olympics and Paralympics and everything else been going on recently. 

Wendy Harris: Sure, yes. 

Mike Pagan: When the guillotine comes down, and you are retired, those 35 people that kept you on the track, in the pool or on the pitch yesterday are no longer fit for purpose for what you’re going to do next.  Most of us, our transitions are not as draconian or absolute as that, but we transition from being a student at school to a sixth-former, from a sixth-former to an apprentice or a student doing a degree or whatever the equivalent, to the first time we buy a home, to having a partner, a life partner, becoming a parent, having a dog, whatever it happens to be.  The way through to all of these bits through our lives, we transition from being on the shop floor to getting our first managerial role, when we go from management to executive, whatever that journey. 

Every time we transition, the team we need around us has to adapt and there will be certain people that we leave behind because they are no longer fit for purpose, we need 2.0, we need 3.0 and everything else of that person, because they’re going to help us achieve more because they’re going to ask the better questions than we ask of ourselves.  That’s where the key to all of this comes from, is where you’ve got people asking better questions of ourselves because then, we can really uncover the magic. 

Wendy Harris: That analogy of sports people I know that I have a couple of past guests that have been on like Steve Judge, he was a Para-triathlete.  He’s now a professional speaker and he inspires through Scouting and the different activities that he does.  David Smith, “Smithy” is actually currently as we’re recording this, in Tokyo winning his battles from his wheelchair doing Boccia.  It’s interesting because they have this mentality, that they have always got this forward plan of plan B as such. 

They are totally in the moment in terms of what they’re doing now, but they have always got in mind what is next.  They know the journey is just a chapter, I suppose, in what it is that they’re doing.  Not a lot of business owners see that longevity, see that plan.  They might think, “Business plan, five-year goals”, but are they prepared for a curveball that’s like a pandemic.  It’s been trying for us all, hasn’t it? 

Mike Pagan: It’s that short-term thinking versus medium- and longer-term thinking.  As a child, you do short-term thinking the whole time, because you can’t see past lunchtime, you can’t see past next Tuesday, whatever it is.  There’s no long-term thinking, then eventually you start to realise, actually I need to plan out my work so that I don’t fail my exams, so that I can go on.  It’s what we do, as we get older, to have the people challenging so that we’re not only reacting to a catastrophic medical diagnosis to make us give up the self-sabotaging habits that we have that are preventing us from being awesome more of the time, most of the time. 

The foundation of all behavioural change is an emotional connection.  Anybody who says they want to give up smoking for example, that’s not going to happen, very rarely does that happen with a click of a switch, unless you have managed to get some brilliant hypnosis technique that works, and for some it can work.  More often than not, it’s a diagnosis that scares the whatsits out of you that makes you clear on that decision. 

I know in my family, my wife would love to have talked to her mother at the age of 40 and told her to give up smoking, because that was going to take her life early and she wouldn’t therefore have a relationship with her grandchildren.  It’s one of those conversations, well that’s an emotional connection which changes the game.  Once we’ve made that, then everything from self-care, losing weight, nutrition, all the things that we need to do to help us perform better, we will go and seek the support of the right person who is going to help us do that, because uite often we can’t do it on our own. 

Wendy Harris: There’s something a little bit self-sabotaging about society as well, isn’t there, because we know that we’ve got a fantastic NHS, although it’s under pressure right now, that if we have something that happens to us, we’ll go and they’ll kind of fix us.  There’s not enough emphasis I think on the preventative stuff that we can do for ourselves, is there?  Like, being able to look ahead and go, “Do I want to be around for my grandkids?  Yeah of course”. 

I remember I had two sets of grandparents, one that couldn’t really get out the chair and the other one that would run round on a football field with us.  Two completely different physical grandparents, so our relationships were completely different, so the question to ask yourself is what kind of grandparent do you want to be? 

Mike Pagan: That’s an easy question but the answer is not simple, “Yeah, I want to be the fun one”. 

Wendy Harris: Yes, I want to get my revenge on my children. 

Mike Pagan: Yeah, exactly.  “What do you mean you shouldn’t feed them these sweeties?”  You talk on the medical support and that difference between reactive and proactive and preventative, we make choices and obviously illnesses and afflictions and so on aside, we still make choices that make the probability of things more or less likely.  Obviously, we want to live a life so that means that you will have scars, you will have bruises, you will have things going. 

One of the things I find that’s very interesting, I lived in Australia for a number of years, in their GP practices, in their medical centres, they will have their GPs, but they also have a whole load of preventative non-medically approved systems in place. 

Wendy Harris: Alternative and holistic approaches. 

Mike Pagan: Surely not, yes, and they’re under the same roof. 

Wendy Harris: Yes. 

Mike Pagan: One is reacting to a problem or a situation or a diagnosis or an illness and the other one is trying to feed the soul, the body and everything else, to make sure that at they put less of a burden on the other one because people are taking better care.  It’s something that doesn’t happen in the UK yet, but I’m sure that hybrids like that will build. 

It comes back to that whole thing of self-care and for me, self-care is the first step of building that mental wealth team.  When we’ve got the self-care in place, we’re doing it proactively, rather than just waiting for something horrible to go wrong, that we’ve got to fix the tyre now. 

Wendy Harris: It’s that kind of heart, soul and mind, isn’t it?  Sort of analogy, that sometimes the emphasis is put too much on just one thing.  Whereas our mind, if you get a chance to listen to Rob Begg blew a lot of our listeners’ minds, because he was talking about how ego reads the same books, talks us out of doing things that are bad for us.  It’s the knock-on effect that that has to you, your emotions as well as physical self, so there’s a lot to be said for trying to bring that 360 approach into living a great life. 

Mike Pagan: For me, I would talk about having a coach because coaches for me get more out of you than you do on your own.  It’s giving people permission to really have your back and knowing the difference between those who are just social noise, versus people are that are truly supportive of you and will call you out when you need it, but you can call them out.  You can be open, honest, transparent, naked with them as you ask for that support. 

Asking for help has always been historically that sign of weakness and that’s not how it should be.  Asking for help is just part of getting other people who know something better and different to you.  There’s 1,001 analogies we can use on it, but the reality is other people have more stuff, more intuition, more experience of a particular environment, fine.  Why wouldn’t you invest 30 minutes in learning from somebody else who knows what you’re about to go into better? 

Wendy Harris: It’s an interesting point that you make there really, Mike, because there are so many coaches out there that it is really hard to wade through who you should be dealing with.  I think the best coach for you is somebody who has usually been through a very similar experience that you’re in right now.  That’s the homework that needs to be done, isn’t it?  That if you can see some alignment with that coach there’s got to be that real connection to what you do. 

Mike Pagan: It’s that chemistry bit.  I always talk about the four areas of where you can get support from, so the consultant who comes along, they investigate what the issue is and the challenge is, they give you a report and a bill and then you can ask them to implement it and if it’s successful it was your choice, if it fails it was the consultant’s fault, obviously. 

Counselling, by contrast, is sort of deep dive, going into the background, the personal, the everything from childhood to psychology.  There is so much of a different approach there, with a medical vein to it.  The mentoring I’ve been there, I’ve done that, I’ve built it, learned from my mistakes, let me share with you my cleverness and my knowledge along the way.  But for me, the coaching is actually a blank piece of paper.  Where are you trying to get to?  What are the options available to you?  How can we help you build those?  Which of these angles that we’ve been discussing are you going to commit to acting upon?  It is not about telling somebody what to do.   

Quite often we will coach people totally outside of my sphere of knowledge and experience as far as the product or the industry, because if they wanted that from me, then they’d want mentoring or they’d want a consultant.  They need somebody who is going to help them lift and raise the bar.  That comes from finding their goals and their challenges to the point that when you meet them again in the next session, if they turn round and they haven’t done A, B or C that they said they were going to, then why did they commit to it in the first place?  We did all the graft around you wanting to do that, so what’s changed?  What was missing?  Why isn’t that working?  How does that come together? 

Again, it’s back to that raises the game, be that in a performance, in business performance, on a stage, or performance in a swimming pool, whatever it happens to be. 

Wendy Harris: I’m so glad you brought swimming up, because that’s really how we got chatting in the first instance, wasn’t it?  We’re both swimmers.  I can’t claim to have swum the Channel though. 

Mike Pagan: Let’s be fair, I’ve only swum bits of it, because I did a relay not a solo, which means I’m mad not stupid or stupid not mad, I can’t remember which one it is. 

Wendy Harris: You didn’t do it at the best time of year either with the right tides and things and so you really pushed. 

Mike Pagan: We got on a spring tide rather than a neap tide, because mother nature was not letting us go.  We set off in thunderstorms over Northern France, and it was swimming in a washing machine filled with all sorts of beauties, and dark and rain.  The second half of the swim, the tides changed, it went very flat because it was a spring tide, the tide was huge.  It’s 22 miles in a straight line from Dover to Calais, and on the swoosh, we did 35 miles, but we were the fastest men’s relay team, full relay team that year, when we did it, 2015.  At one point, I was swimming for an hour, and I was swimming faster than Michael Phelps.  I did 7.2 kilometres in an hour.  Apparently, there’s a tide involved that helped me. 

Wendy Harris: I was going to say I’m not going to call out Michael Phelps, I’m going to put it down to Mother Nature’s helping hand. 

Mike Pagan: Mother Nature was certainly helping, I was flying.  It was brilliant. 

Wendy Harris: What was the best experience?  What was the key highlight for achieving that challenge? 

Mike Pagan: There’s two sides, I’ll give you the cynical one first and the real one afterwards.  The cynical one is more people have climbed Everest than have swum the English Channel.  I’ve got bragging rights for life. 

Wendy Harris: Yes. 

Mike Pagan: True, so I’ve got that one.  The more personal one was sitting on the boat coming back afterwards and just all of us just sitting there with that sense of pride and glow of what we’d achieved.  We’d taken two years to learn how to swim in open water, we’d never done stuff like that before.  Just getting used to cold water swimming, because you are just swimming in budgie smugglers and a hat.  Learned so much about myself, fell in love with this active meditation or mindfulness, as I refer to it nowadays. 

Wendy Harris: Yeah, I love it, yeah. 

Mike Pagan: I can’t sit still and sing Kumbaya in my head and go on, and I know that’s totally being dismissive of people that are very much into the world of meditation and mindfulness, but for me swimming long distances or longer distances in open water just plodding along, that repetitive nature of the stroke after stroke.  You get out the water and it’s so cathartic and if it’s cool or cold water then utter invigoration as well and that proud glow about you, “Look at what I’ve done, I’m feeling really good”. 

Wendy Harris: It’s amazing, isn’t it?  I know that it’s being in tune with my breathing that really helps settle my mind and then my mind just goes off on all sorts of places, so the repetitiveness that you mention is in swimming and when I do the ironing.  I’m sure everybody’s going to love that I’ve shared that, but just that doing something, I know how to do that without really putting my brain into any gear as such.  It is much the same as swimming, I can do that without putting my brain into too much of a gear, so the thoughts that come out from that activity, I would say, even if it is that you’re washing the car or mowing the lawn. 

Mike Pagan: It’s the cumulative effect of a repetitive action.  That’s where I would put active mindfulness or active meditation, again dependent on which badge sits better for you.  Walking up a hill, going climbing when you’re going through deep snow, or whatever else.  Or as you say ironing, anything that is ongoing, repetitive.  When I was a child, obviously there was a lot of people still did hobbies and whether that be from whittling to making stools and whatever else. 

Wendy Harris: Bobbins. 

Mike Pagan: Absolutely.  Part of the skill of when you were doing hobbies, was just tuning out.  Tom Daley doing his knitting, at the Olympics. 

Wendy Harris: Yes. 

Mike Pagan: That’s a repetitive action that is just ongoing, ongoing versus nowadays where we’re just being stimulated by a screen and everything that’s going on there and he said/she said, FOMO nonsense and everything else in between.  The ability to switch off is so much harder now.  We are allowed to get bored, and understanding boredom helps you understand yourself more, but if you never, ever get bored because you’ve always got a phone.  The advert comes on, on the TV show you’re watching, what does everybody around you do?  Picks up their phone and checks their social media again, because of course it’s so important.  You missed out on nothing in that timeline, but we do it, so we don’t allow ourselves to switch off. 

Wendy Harris: No, I’m laughing because that’s exactly right.  “Go make a cup of tea, go fetch the treats”, that’s the other one, isn’t it?  We’ve had a hard, busy day; we’re going to reward ourselves now.  It can teach you an awful lot, boredom I think, and certainly those children that have been doing home-schooling, I do hope that they learnt some other lifelong lessons like how to cook for themselves, or just by helping out because the added pressures and things.  You never know we could have a really good generation for the next Bake Off in ten years’ time, I don’t know! 

It brings me to that point really then, Mike, where I ask every guest the same question but of course, I don’t know what the answer is, and that is the conversation that has created a turning point for you in your life, and what happened next.  Are you happy to share with us what that was? 

Mike Pagan: The conversation that created a turning point for me, this is a slightly long story, but I will keep it succinct.  My father lived in Singapore for a number of years, in the 1950s and early 1960s, and whilst he was out there, he made a lot of friends.  These were his bachelor years.  Long story short, one of his best mates that was there then lived in Thailand and I stayed with him when I went travelling as a backpacker. 

I met this chap and that was one of those “I’d met this person”.  When I moved out to Australia at the age of 29, my father was still chatting to his friend in Bangkok who said, “Well, Mike’s going over there.  Tell him he needs to meet my mate, Newton, we did some land deals back in the early 1970s, he’s a really top guy”.  Long story short, I moved out to Australia, I get this random bloke, my father’s ex-drinking mate he used to do deals with 30 years previously.  We’re knocking on the door of this very affluent area and this guy answers the door.  “Hi, I’m Mike”.  “I’m Newton.  I’m feeling a bit crook mate, just had my first dose of chemo, but come on in, let’s have a chat”.  I just don’t know where this is going. 

He then starts talking about a business that he was considering investing in, but he said, “They don’t have any commercial skills and from what you’ve been describing, could be a good fit for you”.  Long story short, he didn’t put the money in, he put me in.  So I joined this organisation that I was with for several years, then when I moved back to the UK, they bought me out several years later.  I did further studies because of the people that I met through that organisation, which was totally transforming the way I worked and what I did. 

The sad part of the story is, three months after I met Newton, he died.  It was just that snapshot of time going back to my dad getting drunk in the late 1950s in Singapore with his friends at the cricket club.  If I’d not been there at that time, I wouldn’t have met Newton, who wouldn’t have then introduced me to these other people.  Talk about quantum life-changing directions and everything else, was utterly huge; and to this day, the people I used to work with in that organisation I still count as friends, and I’ve literally just introduced them to somebody else who is moving out that direction who I know that they can complement through the universities and other work that they do. 

Wendy Harris: So, it’s kind of gone full circle then that the help that Newton and your dad have given to you, you’re now passing on as well. 

Mike Pagan: Absolutely. 

Wendy Harris: That’s fantastic. 

Mike Pagan: Beauty of making your network, work. 

Wendy Harris: Yeah.  Have you ever thought what would have happened had you have not been in that snapshot of time, what you’d be doing? 

Mike Pagan: I’d have probably landed up getting a job when I moved out there, that would have been a very different journey in my time that was there.  As a result of that, when I came back to the UK, I took commercial skills into businesses, which nowadays would be called business coaching, but at that time it wasn’t.  So, yeah, it’s sort of unlocked all sorts of things, and my father, he was a very emotionally intelligent, clever man who was 100% allergic to academia. 

Wendy Harris: There’s a few that could probably relate to that, yeah. 

Mike Pagan: I think he got 2% in his geography O Level, because he spelt his name right on the piece of paper they said. 

Wendy Harris: But he knows where the pub is, that’s the most important thing. 

Mike Pagan: He got himself to Singapore. 

Wendy Harris: It’s fascinating isn’t it, because an academic life is not for everybody and I’m not discounting it.  I know I’ve joked before about Gary Vee and how he says, “Save yourself $40,000, $50,000” or UK pounds or whatever, because it is an expensive education; but for some it just doesn’t work, does it?  You’re better off getting the foundation of a job and earning a small crust and learning on the job as you go. 

So, I’m with your dad on that one, that’s exactly what I did.  I didn’t do academics either, but it’s fascinating. 

Mike Pagan: By contrast, I have gone on and done things in academia, but my writing natural style is the way I speak, which grammatically is not the way it should be. 

Wendy Harris: Phonetics darling, phonetics. 

Mike Pagan: Absolutely, I married a grammar queen, so she rips apart a lot of what I write, but for me I’ve published four books now, but that’s not because I’m a flowing Bronte, Jane Austen author whatever, but I write in a very conversational style.  It’s very real, it’s very humorous.  That’s the only way I can do it, which obviously for some people works perfectly, for others it doesn’t float them.  That’s great, that’s the whole point.  It’s finding the writing style that works for you. 

Wendy Harris: Not trying to be something for an audience that you don’t know. 

Mike Pagan: Exactly. 

Wendy Harris: Mike, I’m going to have to check out your books.  When it comes to carrying on the conversation, because I always encourage listeners to reach out to guests after the show, where’s the best place for them to find you? 

Mike Pagan: Two simple bits: the joys of having a surname like Pagan, there aren’t many Mike Pagans out there.  If you find the one who lives in Hawaii and does lots of surfing, that’s not me.  Just saying, I do occasionally get some information.  So, www.mikepagan.com is the absolute simplistic way or stalking me via LinkedIn.  But please, if you do want to connect and chat to me via LinkedIn, share a message in the connection request. 

Wendy Harris: Mention the show. 

Mike Pagan: Exactly, make it work. 

Wendy Harris: Yes, make it relevant absolutely.  Mike it’s been an absolute pleasure chatting to you, thank you so much for being my guest. 

Mike Pagan: No problem, thank you for your time and your faith in inviting me to come and share – I was going to say pearls of wisdom but that’s a bit conceited; nonsense stories of travels and joy. 

Wendy Harris: It’s been wonderful, thank you. 

Will that conversation that Mike and I had affect you in a way that you can start to look at the relationships that you have in the real world in a different light?  I do hope so.  Next week, it’s a young man who I met a decade ago, who was the Young Entrepreneur of the Year.  He’s made his name in chocolate and gone on to do all sorts of other incredible things.  His name’s Louis Barnett. 



We don’t want the conversation to stop there!

All of our listeners are important to us, so we would love it if you can connect with Wendy on LinkedIn and send her a message with your favourite episode!


paula senior YMCA

Episode 1 – Paula Senior

In our first episode, we speak to Paula Senior from the YMCA. Paula is a fund-raising officer and is currently preparing for the annual Sleepout to raise much needed funds for the night shelter, how covid has stretched them to the limits and how they have risen above the challenges faced by the homeless.

Nat schooler

Episode 2 – Nat Schooler

Can one conversation really influence where you are driven? Nat Schooler

Influence marketeer Nat Schooler joins Wendy as they chat about how important it is to produce strategic content online. Nat spends his time podcasting, writing, and driving across foreign continents for fun. However, their conversation quickly turns to the importance of building relationships with the people you want to work with. Nat places trust as the highest asset everyone should nurture.

Azam Mamujee M Cubed Tax specialist

Episode 3 – Azam Mamujee

In this episode, Wendy is joined by Managing Partner, Azam Mamujee a tax specialist with a voice of velvet.

Azam agrees that conversations count however he explains how numbers can tell a much more powerful story. He has a catchphrase “Give Azam the facts, I’ll save you the Tax”.

Jenny Procter Marketing for introverts bondfield

Episode 4 – Jenny Procter

Jenny Procter – Bondfield Marketing

Making Conversations about Marketing for Introverts Count

Let us introduce you to Jenny Procter, a marketing consultant and self-proclaimed introvert.

Jenny writes PR and communications for B2B clients and has her own podcast show, and she discusses issues around running her own business as an entrepreneur.

Andrew Deighton team coaching

Episode 5 – Andrew Deighton

Andrew Deighton – Team Coaching. Making Conversations about Teams Count. We are joined by Andrew Deighton today, who helps build and develop high-performing teams through strategy and processes in today’s remote working world.

Wendy has worked with Andrew in a second business through mentoring and knows firsthand how his advice relates to many aspects of running a business.

Nicky Pattinson sales expert public speaker

Episode 6 – Nicky Pattinson

Nicky Pattinson – Leading Sales Authority & Public Speaker. Making Conversations about Personality Count. Nicky Pattinson speaks the Truth in all she does! A northern lass who traded on the markets at the beginning of her career, similarly to your host. Now, Nicky has a best-selling book “Email: Don’t Get Deleted” and her own YouTube channel NICKYPTV.

Buckso Dhillon Wooley

Episode 7 – Buckso Dhillon-Wooley

Buckso Dhillon-Wooley – Actress, Speaker & Business Coach. Making Conversations about Self-Belief Count. A true diamond, Buckso is very much aligned with herself and the many facets of her own personality.
As an actor, speaker and coach her mission in life is to help people connect with their higher self.
Being aligned with yourself on a spiritual, physical and emotional level allows you to shine brighter in everything you touch.
Buckso Dillon-Whooley is a well known Actress, who has starred in Disney’s recent remake of Aladdin and is a long-standing actor on Coronation Street with appearances on many UK TV shows.

James Daniel Copywriter

Episode 8 – James Daniel

James Daniel – Copywriter
Making Conversations about Copywriting Count
Joining us in this episode is copywriter James Daniel.
He describes himself as ‘That old guy who writes copy – you know, the beardy one with glasses.’
We should point out there could be other old guys with beards and glasses out there!
It’s easy to like James’ style of writing because he’s a conversationalist who realizes that people don’t speak geek or tech.

Henny Maltby Digital marketing agency

Episode 9 – Henny Maltby

Henny Maltby – Digital Marketing Agency, Pink Elephant Media. Making Conversations about Digital Marketing Count. When the Pandemic hit in early 2020, Henny Maltby turned to her husband as they both realised their business was going to change forever. Offering online marketing to large corporate businesses who cut budgets left a hole to fill. By opening the conversation up with local businesses, it was obvious what the next chapter would be for them at Pink Elephant Media…

Kim Walsh Phillips

Episode 10 – Kim Walsh Phillips

Kim Walsh Phillips owns Powerful Professionals, a business that helps empower entrepreneurs to turn clicks into cash and identifying the superpowers in others so they can fly high. Kim is an expert in social selling strategy.

Amelia Thorpe Wellbeing coach

Episode 11 – Amelia Thorpe

Amelia Thorpe – Mental Health Wellbeing Coach. Making Conversations about Mental Wealth Count. Meet Amelia Thorpe, founder of Wellbeing 360, who talks to Wendy about how important it is to give equal priority to our mental and physical health. Listening to Amelia’s story will bring a beacon of hope that we can all take charge of our own conversations which will give us back the control that slips sometimes when times are tough. Amelia is a wellbeing counsellor.

John Attridge capacity business

Episode 12 – John Attridge

John Attridge – Guiding Businesses to Reach their Full Potential by Tapping into Spare Capacity

Making Conversations about Capacity Count. John Attridge, owner of BBX turns spare capacity into value for many businesses. When you listen to John you just know there is a bigger story to this guy as his accent gives it away!
John has successfully built a business network and community to help people fill spare capacity and exchange services. It is a brilliant concept and if you’ve not come across it before yet in touch with me and I’ll tell you more. Using the BBX community helped my own business through the lockdown and has provided such a lot of support and new relationships.

Clara Wilcox return to work coaching for parents

Episode 13 – Clara Wilcox

Clara Wilcox runs The Balance Collective, Specialising in Return to Work Coaching for Parents. Making Conversations about Returning to Work Count! This is a conversation that every Mum will resonate with, juggling home and work is not simply a balancing act but a superpower!

Clara recognized through her own personal journey that the right support for Mum’s returning to work was only available from the employer’s point of view. This causes a biased approach and is not always helpful in an emotive decision-making process.

dr ivan misner bni networking

Episode 14 – Dr Ivan Misner

In this episode, Ivan and Wendy explore how conversation is the foundation of all growth and learning. How times have changed, looking back and also predicting our future generations experiences, yet communication will still be the underpin even it how that looks has changed.

Janine Coombes marketing coach

Episode 15 – Janine Coombes

Google has recognised this lady as the #1 marketing coach and her video series mixes humour with key messages, it is the lovely Janine Coombes. Janine is a marketing coach for personal brands.
In this episode, Janine and Wendy share how using the right language influences the conversations we have and how it affects our results.

Lizzie Butler presentations coach

Episode 16 – Lizzie Butler

Making conversations about presentations count! Delighted to introduce Lizzie Butler, owner of LB Communications, who met Wendy at a local online networking event and immediately hit it off. Lizzie helps you to grow your business through personal development training and how to achieve brilliant communication.

Jem hills inspirational speaker

Episode 17 – Jem Hills

Making conversations about Bullying count. Jem Hills is an inspirational speaker, trainer & performance coach.
Talking to Wendy in this episode is ex-marine Jem Hills who you might find it hard to believe was affected by bullying and a lack of confidence. As a release Jem discovered Northern dancing and practiced as a bedroom activity that later led to an accidental release of freestyle dancing at a competition. The dancing-built resilience and the foundations for the training to complete the Mud Run and onto his Elite Special Forces career.

Peter howard graphic design

Episode 18 – Peter Howard

Peter Howard runs a design studio that is ranked in the top 100 in the country and was responsible for the WAG brand. Having known Peter and his team for many years, Wendy has heard lots of his stories but knew there would be one she had not heard before.

Taz Thornton & Asha Clearwater business coaches

Episode 19 – Taz Thornton & Asha Clearwater

Making conversations about partnerships count. In a Making Conversations Count first, we are joined by two dynamic guests in this episode. Both Taz & Asha provide business coach services in different areas. Joining Wendy chatting about all the elements that make up a great debate. You are not going to want to miss the observations with Taz Thornton and Asha Clearwater around questioning, opinions, debate and discernment that makes for wonderful colourful conversations.

Vicki Carroll O'Neill

Episode 20 – Vicki Carroll (formerly O’Neill)

Vicki works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and executive leaders who are stuck in their business and need someone as a partner to coach them to their next level of success. Vicki offers growth marketing consultant advice, strategy plans & also organises in-house marketing teams.

heidi medina business coach

Episode 21 – Heidi Medina

This episode contains one of our most important conversations, so we’re definitely going to make it count!
Wendy Harris brings Heidi Medina into the conversation today, who opens up the conversation about abuse she has encountered.
She’s a Linkedin expert and business coach who is the exact opposite of the classic ‘my way or the highway’.
Whether you meet Heidi online or in person she is the same.

Niraj Kapur online sales coach

Episode 22 – Niraj Kapur

In this episode, Wendy is joined by Online Sales Coach Niraj Kapur from “Everybody works in Sales” a business that helps companies with their sales processes.

Steve Judge paralympian motivational speaking

Episode 23 – Steve Judge

A life-changing accident that almost claimed a life but actually birthed a mindset shift.  Making conversations about speaking count!

Imagine losing your limbs in an accident.

That’s a real human test.

Most people would fall into one of two camps.

Feel the loss, and struggle to overcome it, before essentially accepting your ‘job lot’ and just becoming a bit angry.

Many would. And they’d be forgiven.

Then there are others, who would not let it defeat them, or define them.

Steve Judge is definitely in the latter of the two camps.

Nikolas Venios the ideas agency

Episode 24 – Nik Venios

We reflect on how this business man helped his poorly mother solve a household challenge which led to a career of making conversations about ideas and innovation count. We will all eventually lose our parents. Sadly, it’s a part of life. Not many of us have to suffer that loss at the tender age of just six. We couldn’t think of a nicer guy to help us with our goal of making conversations about ideas count. Truly, if anyone can hold a conversation about ideas, it’s Nik Venios of the Ideas Agency. Did you know that NASA has a genius test? During this episode, you’ll find out all about this, and the fascinating stats surrounding it.

Jonny cooper hates marketing

Episode 25 – Jonny Cooper

Most business owners hate marketing. That’s probably because they don’t understand it. Someone who does get marketing is Jonny Cooper, and even he can’t stand it! In fact, he despises it so much, he built a business around it. Welcome to Jonny Hates Marketing! This week we’re making conversations about messaging count. Messaging is so important to get correct. Your entire marketing voice depends on it. That’s why you need to listen very carefully to Jonny Cooper.

Wendy Harris telephone trainer how to sell over the phone

Episode 26 – Wendy Harris

Wendy Harris is an expert telemarketer, who has years worth of experience in cold-calling and doing it right. Now a podcast host, Wendy shares her story and how she became an advocate for making conversations count!

Will Polston Make it happen

Episode 27 – Will Polston

Making conversations about wealth….and Clubhouse….count! Paying it forward. Acting from a position of generosity and giving within the law of reciprocity. We’re talking to Will Polston.

Ray Blakney Live Lingua

Episode 28 – Ray Blakney

Making conversations about language count… Ray Blakney is the CEO And founder of online language school Live Lingua. Can you speak another language other than your native tongue? Wendy admitted to the “Making Conversations Count” team that she doesn’t, and we can’t help but feel she’s definitely not alone.

Many Ward write my book cuddle monster

Episode 29 – Mandy Ward

Mandy Ward is a book mentor, helping people to write their own books under the company ‘Write my book’. Mandy is also an author herself, including the popular children’s book ‘The Cuddle Monster’.

Sarah Townsend copywriter survival skills for freelancers

Episode 30 – Sarah Townsend

Sarah Townsend is a freelance copywriter and best-selling author of the book ‘survival skills for freelancers’. In this episode, we discuss the importance of conversations in the freelance world, and how things can lead to many opportunities…

Paul Furlong visual branding advertiser videographer

Episode 31 – Paul Furlong

Paul Furlong is part of Opus Media, producing TV advertising, videos, and photographs for businesses. He knows a thing or two about visual branding, and is considered a advertising guru!

Masami Sato founder B1G1

Episode 32 – Masami Sato

Masami Sato set up the B1G1 initiative. Helping businesses to do good by giving back. When was the last time you gave, freely Not for tax reasons. And not because you felt awkward at a raffle. We could all always do more.

Ann Hobbs Forward thinking publishing

Episode 33 – Ann Hobbs

Ann Hobbs helps people to self-publish their books with Forward Thinking Publishing. She is also a coach and author of her book ‘Kick ass your life’, helping people to push through adversity.

Kim-Adele Platts Career development coach

Episode 34 – Kim-Adele Platts

Kim-Adele Platts, Career Development Coach. Making Conversations about Leadership Count! If you don’t believe in yourself how do you expect others to? This was a question and topic that surfaced during this powerful and insightful conversation with Kim-Adele Platts.

Marina Hauer branding specialist for coaches

Episode 35 – Marina Hauer

Marina Hauer is a branding specialist for independent coaches. Are you using three different brand ‘voices’ in your marketing efforts? We’re making conversations about branding count!

David Smith MBE paralympian

Episode 36 – David Smith

David Smith MBE is a Paralympian in the sport Boccia. Do you know what Boccia is? David tells you in this episode all about the most inclusive Paralympian sport that helps people with their independence.

Graham Nash accountant

Episode 37 – Graham Nash

Graham Nash, BusinessWise Accountants, has worked in many fields over the years and the one common denominator has been helping business turnaround.

Ian Genius sales coach

Episode 38 – Ian Genius

Ian Genius is the sales coach to help you gain confidence in sales. His Ingenious technique helps clients see the value of your best package to COMMAND a higher price.

Jennie Erikson voice over artist

Episode 39 – Jennie Eriksen

Jennie Eriksen is a voice over artist, her company name is Lovely Voice. She helps her intended listener to learn by being able to bring characters to life.

Stella Da Silva employability trainer

Episode 40 – Stella Da Silva

Stella Da Silva talks about vocations in this episode, as a specialist employability trainer she shares her insider knowledge.
What skills do you need to be employable?

Hypnotist Jonathan Chase

Episode 41 – Jonathan Chase

Look into my eyes! You will feel very sleepy! You guessed it, we’re having one of our many conversations that count with hypnosis star Jonathan Chase.

Brynne Tillman social sales link

Episode 42 – Brynne Tillman

Brynne Tillman is a social selling expert. Her company ‘Social Sales Link’ teaches the importance of connection for selling on LinkedIn and other platforms.

Ruth Driscoll

Episode 43 – Ruth Driscoll

Ruth Driscoll supports people through toxic relationships. Her company the ‘life liberator’ takes her personal experiences to help others.

Rob Begg mindset coach

Episode 44 – Rob Begg

Rob Begg is a results based mindset coach to business leaders & teams. In this episode, he talks about your ego and self-limiting beliefs many of us hold.

Dan Knowlton video advertising

Episode 45 – Dan Knowlton

Dan Knowlton and his brother Lloyd run Knowlton – a social media and video advertising company who create unique, funny content to stop the scroll.

Sudhir Kumar

Episode 46 – Sudhir Kumar

Sudhir Kumar is an expert in social selling to grow your business, he’s written a book ‘Being Human: Marketing & Social Selling in a Digital World’.

Episode 47 – Ann Page

Ann Page is a lawyer who helps other lawyers with her courses. She teaches valuable business skills and teaches the importance of avoiding jargon.

Joe Chatham networking

Episode 48 – Joe Chatham

Joe Chatham set up USA 500. It’s an exclusive member-based organization focusing on sharing his expertise in marketing relationships and networking.

Larry Long Jnr

Episode 49 – Larry Long Jnr

Larry Long Jnr is a sales coach that helps give people, teams, and organizations the motivation to go from good to great.

pete cann laughter man

Episode 50 – Pete Cann

Larry Long Jnr is a sales coach that helps give people, teams, and organizations the motivation to go from good to great.

Hear what people are saying about the show

I love this podcast. The guests you have on all bring something new to the conversation and definitely thought-provoking.

Sometimes this means I change something I do, or something I would say, and other times it’s a real opportunity for reflection.

Thanks for sharing your guests with us Wendy, the podcasts are brilliant.

Paula Senior

I always enjoy listening to Wendy’s Making Conversations Count podcast and admire her talent for drawing out people’s stories and getting to the heart of things for finding out what makes them tick.

We all have pivotal moments and Wendy manages to find the right parts, showcasing the reasons why someone is who they are.

It’s those details that we connect to and come to more understanding of why people do what they do.

Heidi Medina

Love this podcast series. It’s a great idea to have a theme of ‘pivotal conversations’ and the variety of guests from massively different backgrounds keeps it fresh and interesting.

Wendy is a natural host and makes people feel at ease to share their stories.

Andrew Deighton

If you never want to miss an episode, subscribe to our newsletter.

For weekly email reminders, sneak-peeks of the best bits before anyone else & useful resources.
Sign me up