Joseph Duncan

Owner of Youth Futures Charity

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My life was going well and I was happy, until I had some personal challenges which led me to Michael. He helped me to refocus on the areas of life that were important to me and regain some balance. I particularly wanted to work with him on my assertiveness, claiming my value and improving my finances.

I was doing various contract jobs and working with various clients, but not getting paid what I wanted to be paid, or what I was worth. I wasn’t asking for it, so clients weren’t giving it to me.

I saw Michael as someone who had honed his ability and attitude around finance, and his relationship with money. He claimed his value, was doing well, and knew how to manage his relationship with money. He had mastered this and I wanted to learn from him.

Before working with Michael, I was quite passive when people weren’t treating me as well as they should do. He helped me through this to become assertive and not allow people to take advantage. In youth work, there is a culture of doing work for free or low cost and not asking for the value deserved. I had slipped into that culture. I will now tell clients with confidence ‘this is how much I cost’ (which is a lot higher now!).

As well as financial assertiveness, I have developed personal assertiveness. So, when someone isn’t treating me well, or is not giving me the respect expected in a professional relationship, I am now assertive, and this has given me a much more comfortable space to occupy in my businesses.

Michael has a vast network, so is always looking for win-win situations within that network as well. He put forward two formidable people he’d been working with as trustees for our charity, which was a massive boost for us and them. He also connected me with other clients who owned properties. This was beyond the coaching work, but that’s just what Michael does.

For me, my return on investment was around my assertiveness which is very difficult to put a value on, because that’s going to be with me for life. The property connections he gave me and the financial return on that has paid back my investment already. The return is definitely there, on both a personal and a professional level.

Despite the tough guy image, he’s a lovely guy, has a soft centre and is extremely compassionate. When I’m with him, it’s a safe, supported and nurtured space. He’s extremely disciplined, consistent and completely present. He smells BS fast and will nail it as soon as he smells it.

He’s not afraid to share his opinions and you may have strong disagreements with him, but the thing about him is that he’s a really good guy and cares immensely about the people he works with and the people around him.

If you’re thinking of working with Michael - be clear about what you want from it and be ready to work. Do this and you will do well.