S2 Ep01 – Steve Curtis Intuition and its impact on workplace safety | FAQ Business Podcast

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Episode 1 of Season 2 of the FAQ Business Podcast features our host, Jane Tweedy Founder of FAQ Business Training interviewing Steve Curtis of The HeadFirst Personal Safety. Do you know how to prepare for and visit a client’s premises to ensure you have situational awareness and can maintain your workplace safety? What about if a person unleashes inside your office or retail premises? Steve will cover some tips to handle both scenarios. He also shares why intuition needs to be paid attention to. Like in Steve’s case, it could save your life!

You can listen to our podcast, watch on YouTube or refer the transcript below.

Steve will cover 3 of our pillars being a new small business owner (businesses like you), actionable education on workplace safety (including in homes) and thought leadership on intuition. Listen to the episode, watch on YouTube or if you prefer to read, jump on our blog for a transcribed version.

Steve held a specialist position in the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command with the UK police (protecting the UK Prime Minister) before moving to Australia and changing tact to be a stay at home dad and then a small business owner.

Seeing a need for situational awareness training to improve personal safety, Steve started his small business The HeadFirst Personal Safety.

Disclaimer – All information provided today is general in nature. Please reach out to Jane or Steve Curtis as required for personalised advice. 

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FAQ Business Podcast is proudly brought to you by Jane Tweedy, Founder and Lead Trainer at FAQ Business Training. Our mission at FAQ Business Training is to avoid you getting ripped off through what you don’t know, and teach you enough to DIY or outsource with confidence.

FAQ Business Podcast is for growing small to medium business owners who want to make a meaningful impact on the world. Hosted by Jane Tweedy and features a diverse array of guests covering the four pillars of actionable education, thought leadership, inspiring leaders and businesses like you.

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Season 2 Episode 1 FAQ Business Podcast transcript featuring Steve Curtis on intuition and its impact on workplace safety

Welcome back to Season 2 of the FAQ Business Podcast. We are kicking off with a guest episode with Steve Curtis from The Headfirst Personal Safety.

00:09 – Jane – Podcast covers 3 pillars

Today’s episode covers a number of our pillars – businesses like you. Steve is a fairly new business owner having a special secret job in the UK previously. Actionable education in the form of workplace safety and thought leadership on intuition.

00:30 – Jane – Welcome to the FAQ Business Podcast

Welcome to the FAQ Business Podcast for business owners covering four pillars actionable education, inspiring leaders, businesses like you, and thought leadership where we challenge your thinking. Hosted by myself, Jane Tweedy. I’m founder and lead trainer of FAQ Business Training, where we want to avoid you getting ripped off or ripping yourself off.

We’ll feature an amazing diversity of guests with lots to educate and inspire you. Let’s jump into today’s episode of the FAQ Business Podcast.

01:06 – Jane – Steve please introduce yourself

Thanks Steve for being here today to launch Season 2 of the FAQ Business Podcast. When I heard Steve’s background and what he’s trying to achieve in his new small business, I knew he’d make a great guest. Steve, can you please introduce yourself with a bit of background about your life before arriving in Australia in 2019?

01:26 – Steve from the UK and studied biology at university

Hi Jane. Well, thank you very much for having me here. It’s a great pleasure and it’s always really good to talk about this kind of thing. Yeah. I’m from the UK grew up in the north of England, Yorkshire. I’m a Yorkshireman. I studied at Newcastle University, studied biology at Newcastle University. Graduated in 1995, came out, didn’t really want to continue on. I enjoyed science, but I didn’t really want to take it any further. I knew I wanted to work outside and I wanted a job that was quite active.

01:52 – Steve – Joined the Metropolitan Police on a whim

And a little bit on a whim. I sort of applied for the police and if I was going to join the police, I wanted to join the biggest force in the UK, which was the Metropolitan Police in London. Applied, came down, I joined the Met Police in 1998. It was a very steep learning curve, let’s put it that way.

02:10 – Steve – Not streetwise and dropped in a rough area

I was kind of quite naive, not particularly streetwise, and I was dropped in at the deep end. The first posting you get out of you, when I came out of Police Training College at Hendon, was the east end of London Whitechapel. Most people associate Jack the Ripper or the Crater, things like that.

02:29 – Jane

Safe area then.

02:33 – Steve – Unarmed police officer

And it’s a busy area for a police officer. It’s very busy. And I think the crucial thing to mention with that is that, unlike the Australian police, the British police are unarmed. So you’re going to everything that normal police officers go to. You’re dealing with robbers, burglars, violent husbands, drunks, drug dealers, everything. But you don’t have a gun. You get given an extendable stick baton, which is called an ASP, which is next to useless to be brutally honest.

03:04 – Steve – Your biggest weapon is your verbal and de-escalation skills

The biggest thing that you’ve got, the biggest weapon you’ve got to defend yourself is your verbal skills. Your de-escalation skills, and that’s where the majority of what I learned came from. So I did that for six to seven years. And like I said, it was really busy. I learned a great deal. But then I applied for joined the Met Police’s Specialist Firearms Unit, which is a unit called CO19, and I was with them for twelve years. Now, that was a lot of training, a lot of assessments. It’s quite a hard unit to get into and it was great. I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot from it, but it was hard work.

03:41 – Steve – Moved to the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command (RASP)

And after twelve years, I was carrying a couple of injuries and I decided that it was time to move on and do something else. So I did even more training, more assessments, and I joined a unit called the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command, or RASP, as they’re known. They’re the ones who you see the bodyguards, police bodyguards who look after the members of the Royal family and high-ranking members of the UK government.

04:03 – Steve – Protection including the UK Prime Minister

I had four principals. I looked after the Chief Rabbi of the UK, United States Ambassador to the UK at the time, which was a guy called Woody Johnson, and then two Prime Ministers. Briefly looked after Theresa May and then Boris Johnson before we decided that a better life awaited us in Australia. So that, in a nutshell, is my life up until now.

04:24 – Jane – Very different from Australia

So extremely different from life in Australia? I’m sure you’re not hobknobbing with the Prime Minister and royalty over here.

04:31 – Steve

No, I don’t think Scott Morrison is going to be too bothered about my opinion at the moment, so he’s probably got better things to do.

04:39 – Jane

So, since arriving in Australia and settling into Sydney, what have you been up to and why have you sort of started down that track?

04:46 – Steve – Married an Australian so made the move

Well, in my personal life. I married an Australian. So while I was in London, I met an Australian girl and we were together for quite a while and then got married. We’ve got two little boys. We talked about moving to Australia for quite a while, but it was like most things at the time just didn’t seem right. And I was really happy with my career and she was with hers.

05:05 – Steve – Stay at home dad for a year

And then an opportunity came up. It seemed the right time to go. We thought we could give our boys a better quality of life here. We moved in 2019, and I always knew, because I’m not an Australian resident that I wouldn’t be allowed to work. So for the first year, I was a stay at home dad.  And that gave me a bit of time to think about what I really wanted to do. Because I’m too young to retire, just.

05:28 – Steve – Took time to consider next career option

So it was really thinking about what I wanted to do as a second career. And I wasn’t really thinking about whether I was going to. I didn’t want to join the police here. Felt like I’d done that. I didn’t want to carry it on, but I kind of felt that I had something still to give. The knowledge that had accrued over 22 years in the police, it was worth something. And I had to think about it.

05:50 – Steve – Situational awareness something he wanted to teach his kids

And then I thought about kind of things, self-defence courses. But then I thought, Well, I don’t really want to teach sort of self-defence. I thought about the things I’d want to teach my children with them growing up. And situational awareness is a thing which is often ignored. It’s not particularly taught very well. In fact, when I did my research, I could find very few organisations that teach it. So the year that I was a stay at home dad, and obviously that was a full-time job in itself. I sort of Covid hit as well, started writing this course, which originally it was just going to be a blog.

06:20 – Steve – Started The Headfirst Personal Safety

I was just going to have it put a few tips out that people could see. But then it sort of started to develop into more and more. And then I thought, well, I could do videos, but be better in person. And then I thought, you know, why don’t I just do a course? I can teach people this. I think I’d quite enjoy doing it. And so out of that, my company The HeadFirst Personal Safety was born.

06:40 – Jane – How are you coping with the change to small business?

Awesome. You had a background that was very high profile, high risk and things like that. So you’ve used your background to start your own business here. It must be somewhat of a shock to the system to change from being in that role where you’re dealing with Prime Ministers and things to running a small business. How have you found this change? Because I know people changing from corporate to small business, kind of struggle with that. Yours is even kind of bigger shift. How are you coping with that?

07:06 – Steve – In the police was institutionalised

Yeah, it’s a big shock to the system for a number of reasons. I mean, from a personal point of view, the police, much like the military, you’re very much institutionalised. You’re brought into a system. It’s a big team sort of working organisation, which is true of a lot of businesses and organisations. But in the police, I would suggest, like the military, you’re dealing with things that the majority of people don’t see, thankfully don’t have to see.

07:30 – Steve – A big change from cameras to washing up

You do become sort of, you don’t realise it, but you become sort of brainwashed is a bit of a strong term, but there’s an element. When I left, I didn’t realise how institutionalised I’d become. That I was going to miss it as much as I did. Like you said, working with the Prime Minister, I was at Downing Street for the last year of my career. From having that career where it can be exciting, it can be interesting. You’re in front of the media and the cameras almost as much as the Prime Minister is, and so on. And then to I’m doing washing up four times a day and looking after my boys, who I love. I absolutely adore, but it’s a big shock to the system.

08:05 – Steve – Realised no team to rely on

And so then coming to start a business, where I’m not a member of a team anymore, at least not when you’re a sole trader. I’m now on my own. The buck stops with me. I make the decisions. It’s down to me how I progress. So, yeah, that was a big shock to the system for me to realise that I’m kind of on my own, really.

08:23 – Jane is this why you’ve joined networking groups?

I’ve come across you at quite a few networking groups. Is that part of the reason that you’ve joined those is to get that sort of feeling of some sort of team or some sort of backing?

08:32 – Steve – Need to know your limitations and ask for help

Absolutely. I think you’ve got to accept where your limitations are. I know personal safety inside and out, and back to front, but I don’t know business, and I’m still learning. It’s like I said when I was learning how to become a police officer, I’m now learning how to be a business person. So, you need to surround yourself, just like I did in the police. You surround yourself with other police officers who have done the job for a long time, and now I have to surround myself with other people in business who know what they’re doing and how to do it, because this is not my background, and I’ve got to learn it quite quickly. So, yeah, joining Business Chambers, speaking to people like yourself, really soaking people to try to squeeze that information out of them as much as I can, is just invaluable. You can’t be too proud about this. You need to ask.

09:18 – Jane – Expert in your field, is not an expert in all of business

Absolutely. And I think that’s where a lot of people do go wrong in making the move, particularly from more corporate type roles, is that they were such experts in their field. They forget that they weren’t experts in all the other fields in the business and they don’t reach out for help. And that’s when I see people that are really struggling and they leave it too long, which is really sad. So it’s great to see you getting involved with different organisations and different people. It’s fantastic.

Steve – Yeah.

09:43 – Jane – Are people looking for what you offer or is it self-defence?

With your business, I know you wanted to focus on what you call sort of the missing link de-escalating via head and words rather than through fists and violence. Is this something that you’re finding people are actually looking for or are you finding they’re really looking for that self-defence class.

09:59 – Steve – People didn’t realise an alternative to self-defence

A little bit of both, but I’m increasingly find people. It’s almost something that people didn’t realise that they needed. I think if you are a person and you wanted to learn how to protect yourself out and about, there’s kind of an assumption that it’s self-defence or nothing, that you’ve got to enjoy fighting or you’ve got to enjoy learning how to fight in order to do it. And that’s just simply not true. Some people don’t want to do it.

10:20 – Steve – Focus on what you do best

I have done martial arts in the back in the past. Not everybody wants to do that, and that shouldn’t preclude you from being able to protect yourself when you’re out and about. And the analogy I always use is that if you are the captain of a ship, then which would you want to spend the most time doing? Learning how to man the lifeboat’s or learning how to navigate it? Remind me how that went for the Titanic. It’s really important.

10:45 – Steve – Navigation is situational awareness

The navigation part is the situational awareness. Learning to man the lifeboats means something has already happened. You’ve already been hit or the attack has already started and you’re kind of in the last part. I’m not saying that it’s too late to do anything, but there is a lot you could have done beforehand to avoid it in the first place.

11:02 – Steve – Can protect yourself without a fist or a kick

The corporations and organisations that I’ve already delivered this course to, the feedback has been really positive and it’s been along the lines of like, wow, they didn’t realise that there is this kind of training available. That there’s so much you can do to protect yourself when you’re out and about. That doesn’t involve learning how to throw a fist or a kick.

11:20 – Jane – What high risk situations were you in?

So in those sort of high-risk, high-exposure type roles you were doing in the UK, can you give us a couple of examples of some of those sort of high-risk situations that you were facing then?

11:30 – Steve – More danger in unarmed policing than protection policing

Yeah. Most people tend to think, there’s a lot of big assumption that when I was in the more highly trained units, like the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command, like the firearms Teams, that’s where the bigger danger is. The truth is that, in my opinion, some other police officers might disagree, but I always felt I was in more danger when I was doing normal policing, unarmed policing.

11:49 – Steve – You’re going into an unfamiliar environment

Because, like I said, I didn’t have a gun. And you’re going into an environment that is often unfamiliar to you, but familiar to the person you’re going to. For example, when you’re dealing with domestic disputes, you might be getting a call to go to a house where there’s a violent spouse or partner there. It’s their environment, it’s their house, they know where everything is, and you’re going to go into it and have to deal with it. And like I said, I didn’t have any weapons to defend myself.

12:16 – Steve – Been threatened with a variety of weapons

The biggest thing I was able to do was be able to de-escalate the situation. I’ve been threatened with virtually every kind of weapon you can think of. I have been threatened with knives, hypodermic syringes, martial arts weapons. I had a gun pointed at me once when I was an unarmed police officer. It’s not pleasant, which is why I can speak from some degree of experience of how it feels and how it will feel for anybody when it happens. If hopefully it doesn’t. But if it does happen to anybody.

12:42 – Jane – Cops scared me half to death

It’s certainly one of those times when your heart starts racing and all that sort of thing. And I know, even for me, in fact, two times that I was followed down streets and followed down alley ways, it was actually by cops. They scared me half to death.

12:57 – Jane – Was being followed by a car down an alley way

I used to work at Maccas and I used to work this late night shift that finished at 1:00am or whatever. So you’re going down the street at 1:00am, and it was an alley way to get to the car park. And literally this cop car is coming up behind me. Of course I can’t see who they are because I can just see the lights and I’m like, why is this car following me slowly down the alley way? And I’m starting to freak out. So I’m holding my keys with the keys sticking out and stuff.

Steve – I’ll speak to you about that in a minute.

Jane – Yeah. And then eventually they sort of go: ‘Are you okay there? We’re the police?’ Oh, my God. Could you not have identified yourselves earlier?

Steve – Right.

Jane – Whereas my little heart is going, yeah.

13:36 – Steve – There’s a time to use your phone and a time not to!

One of those things about best intentions. But it can be a bit of a tricky subject, situational awareness, because people don’t really understand what it is. But I think there’s a bit of a disconnect in modern times. We obviously are a lot more reliant on phones and mobile technology and that kind of thing. And people might worry that my course is about telling people to get off the phones. Yeah, okay. A little bit. It will be unrealistic. And I use my phone as much as anybody else. It’s just knowing:

There’s a time when you can use your phone, there’s a time when it’s very inappropriate to use your phone.

Steve Curtis

And if you can recognise that, then you’re halfway there.

14:14 – Jane – Was getting my key out to stab someone a good idea?

So was my getting my key out ready to stab someone a good idea?

14:20 – Steve – Improvised weapons can be better than nothing

I would never say don’t do it, because any kind of improvised weapon is better than nothing. But you have to be realistic about what you want to achieve with it. Talking about putting the key between the fingers, Wolverine style.

Jane – Yeah. Having a little claw sticking out.

14:37 – Steve – Are you prepared to use the weapon and cause damage?

Yeah. And that’s the problem. Okay. Realistically, how much damage would that do. To somebody, particularly through a padded jacket? If they’re wearing, if you are going to do it, you need to be aware of where you’re going to be aiming for, which is soft tissue, like the eyes or the throat. And then you have to come up, and this is part of situational awareness, is dealing with the reality of it, and being are you prepared to do that?

Because if you’re not, you’re not actually willing to stick your keys in someone’s eyes who is threatening your life, then why are you doing it? The reality is you’re going to have to catastrophically damage somebody to get out of this, or that there is a possibility you’ll have to do that.

15:14 – Steve – Keys could damage you or you could lose your access to safety

So the problem with keys is also they might cause more damage to you because the force pushing back will rip your fingers. Keys get knocked out of the way. If they’re your car keys and house keys, you’ve now lost access to the one place that can give you safety. So I wouldn’t say no. But make sure that you visualise what you’re going to do with it and how you’re going to use it as an effective weapon.

15:35 – Jane – Now I would’ve called my partner

See now I would use the phone. So now I would have called my partner up and said, hey, somebody is following me in a car.

15:45 – Steve – If you’re concerned, call the police

If you’re really that unhappy, then call the police. There’s a thing which I talk about in social pressure is that some people are too scared to call the police because they’re worried that they’re going to waste their time. As long as the call, and this I can speak from experience as being a police officer for as long as I was, if you have made the call in good faith, then police are not going to be angry at you. They are not going to be angry at you at all for it.

They don’t want time wasters, but time wasters are people who think it’s funny to call the police because it’s a joke. If you’re doing it because you’ve got genuine concerns, call. The police can decide whether or not it’s worth them attending, but it’s always worth giving them a call. Don’t ever feel bad about it.

16:23 – Jane – The non-traditional lead magnet lead generator

Awesome. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that in a second. But I was just interested. You got your first client recently because of offering a freebie, but you didn’t do it the typical way of getting a lead and getting the email. So can you let me know just a little bit about that?

16:37 – Steve – Genuinely want to help people

Yeah. This was a bit sort of when I designed this course, when I wrote it, it sounds really soppy to say this. It came from the heart. I really wanted to help. I thought, I’ve got something to offer still, something that can actually genuinely help people stay safe when they’re out and about. And to my mind, not very many, if anybody, anyone’s teaching it in Australia.

When I’d finally written it, I come up with a lesson plan and learning objectives and things like that. I wanted to test it and I wanted to do it for free. I wanted to help. So I wasn’t in a rush to make money. I was more in a rush to educate people. So I thought if I can get word out as quickly as possible that this training is available and how it can help, then that’s more important than getting money back for it. Ultimately, I do have to make a living from it, but I wasn’t in any rush to do it.

17:22 – Steve – De-escalation strategy for addressing angry customers

When the Covid crisis was that some shops were going to have to refuse service to vaccinated and unvaccinated and that kind of thing. I’m not stating my opinion on it whatsoever. That’s personal to me. However, I was aware that some shop assistants and staff were going to have to deal with confrontation over it. So I said, look, I’ll give you this cheat sheet if you like, for free on de-escalation, how to deal with verbally and physically aggressive people. It’s completely free. I didn’t put any attachment to it, no links, nothing, other than to say, if you’ve got any more questions, just ask me. That was received really well. A lot of people were happy to take that. And again, it was more about what I could give to the community. And I think if you genuinely want to help, that will show in your business. That’s what I’m finding got a couple of clients off that.

18:11 – Jane – A different approach to getting the email first

I think it is a different approach because I think a lot of people do the lead magnet or whatever, which often that sort of thing would be because it’s a useful document for somebody. But it’s always that, okay, I need your email, download it. Now I can contact you. Whereas you didn’t do it with any of that expectation. And I think that’s a very different approach. And like you say, it was the showing that I’m genuinely here to help you, which then makes people actually go well, you are genuinely wanting to help me, now I will actually come to you and I’ll use your paid service.

18:40 – Steve – Wants people to reach out for help

Yeah. Look, the last thing I’d want is people. And it’s nice that I can put this out here on the podcast is that I would hate people to delay from emailing me a question on their personal safety because they’re worried that I’m then going to bombard them with calls or offers and things like that. Because I’d rather they just want to know the answer. They want to know how safe. I don’t want them to worry that I’m going to try and get them as a client because I’m not. If they want to come to me, that’s great. But I’d rather they feel comfortable about asking me questions.

19:11 – Jane – How did intuition save your life?

That’s cool. Can I change tack a little bit here and go into a bit of thought leadership? Because this was something that you spoke about, an event that I was at with you, that you spoke about intuition and how important it was to pay attention to. And I totally agree with this because I think it often saves us as a small business owner from things like problem clients, from suppliers, from going into bad deals and from hiring poor staff. So can you relay to us. You were talking about a particular instance where intuition actually saved your life. So we can really understand that this isn’t just an airy fairy thing. This is actually potentially life saving. So you were an unarmed police officer, I believe at the time.

19:50 – Steve – When an unarmed officer approaching a man at night

Yeah, sure. There’s actually quite a few. However, this is probably the one of the more prominent ones. Like I said, I’ve been threatened with quite a few things in my career. One of the most, was an unarmed police officer. When I was based in Whitechapel. We got a call early hours in the morning to go and investigate a male who was behaving suspiciously behind some garages. I went with my colleague.

Now, this is the East End of London, so finding people loitering behind garages is not particularly uncommon, it has to be said, for whatever reason. We drove around the back of the garages, I got out of the car and sure enough, there’s a guy just in this very dimly lit area, apparently stood behind the garage for no apparent reason whatsoever. It’s dark 2 o’clock in the morning.

20:30 – Steve – Started off being friendly – text book policing

My colleague and I approached him and we were very friendly, very open. We gave what’s called a reactionary gap. So that’s the distance, so that we don’t have to, if he does suddenly attack us, we’ve got that distance to deal with it. Really text book sort of policing. And I was talking to him, quite friendly and said, hello, mate, what are you doing here? We had a call down okay.

20:49 – Steve – Was pleasant till a funny feeling something wasn’t right

And to start off with, he was quite pleasant. He wasn’t aggressive, he wasn’t in any way showing any signs that he was going to attack me, at least not that consciously, which I’ll come to. And then after about, I was talking to him for about 30 – 45 seconds, I just got this really funny feeling that there was something not right.

21:08 – Steve – Took half a step back …

I can remember the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end and just having a sudden desire to put a bit more distance between us. And I just took half a step back. Just as I took that half a step back, he reached behind, pulled basically like a hunting knife out of the back of his, stuffed down the back of his jeans. And he lunged towards me and took a swipe, and it missed my throat by about, it must have been about an inch. It wasn’t very much at all.

Jane – Wow.

21:37 – Steve – Subconsciously intuition told Steve to MOVE!

My colleague and I had a bit of a fight with him, strangely enough, and restrained him, arrested him. But I know now that was intuition. Because consciously, I don’t remember seeing anything that told me what he was going to do. But something in the back of my brain was saying to me, you need to move, now, move, move, move, move now. Don’t. Get out of there and move. And I did. I’ve had exposure to this over a long career, at least I’d been in about three or four years at the time. I knew to listen to it without question.

22:10 – Steve – Intuition is lifesaving internal communication

And that’s the thing with intuition, particularly with lifesaving intuition, with personal safety intuition. It’s the part of your brain that doesn’t have time to tell you why you need to do something. It’s a lifesaving communication between the left hemisphere of your brain and the right hemisphere of your brain.

22:27 – Steve – Intuition is a real physiological thing

And coming back to why intuition isn’t particularly listened to, it’s because I think people don’t understand it. They think it’s some kind of bubble or cloud that exists above the head, or it’s something that exists in fairy tales or stories. And it’s a real physiological thing. It’s the left hemisphere of the brain communicating with the right hemisphere.

So it is a physiological thing, but your brain doesn’t have time to tell you why. Because taking the example with the knife, when I went back to the station, I had to write my notes up as to why the situation’s happened. What made me step back. I had to document every single thing before it goes to court. And when I sat down and I calmed down, the adrenaline levels have dropped and that kind of thing, you then start to remember.

23:13 – Steve – Once calmer your brain lets you know why your intuition kicked in

Your brain starts to feed you the information as to why you felt uneasy. And then I remembered. He kept looking at my neck and he kept looking at the target area at the top of my throat. I remember his right foot went back slightly. So he was basically power loading. He was loading, getting ready to propel himself forward. I can remember he started looking very shiftedly where he was going from my neck to areas around, because he’s obviously looking for an escape route. I remember his breathing started getting very shallow. He was breathing quite hard to start off with. And then he started. It was almost like he was holding his breath when he was talking to me.

23:51 – Steve – There were actually lots of non-verbal cues

So all these things, when you start to realise his hands started dropping down. Initially he was using his hands quite expressively, but then I remember his hands started, you can’t see, but his hand started dropping down. So all these little indicators, these non-verbal things. My brain knew, my unconscious knew what was going on, it knew what was happening, but it didn’t have time to tell me. It didn’t have time to list all these things and say, hey, Steve, you might want to move for this reason, and this reason, and this reason, and this, it just tells me to move. We’ll sort it out when we get back to the station. But right now I need you to move.

24:23 – Steve – Everyone had intuition, women more than men

Now, this is not a police thing. Everybody has this intuition. That is not specialist training, that’s nothing that the police gave me, that’s life saving things. That’s something you have, every person has. And the thing with intuition is. And again, I love reading my papers, and scientific by nature. Studies have shown that women are more intuitive than men.

So you have a thing between the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere of the brain called the corpus callosum, which is a bundle of nerves that transmits information from the left hemisphere of the brain to the right. And that is actually bigger in women. So women technically are more intuitive than men, but they’re also, it’s been shown they’re more likely not to listen to it.

Jane – Wow.

25:06 – Steve – You have intuition, you need to listen to it

I can sort of say a little bit from when I was taking statements from victims of crime, particularly female victims of crime, is the number of times they would say to me after something terrible has happened to them. One of the things they’d say is, I knew there was something not right about him. I knew I shouldn’t have gone with him. I knew I shouldn’t have done this, I knew I shouldn’t have trusted him or I shouldn’t have accepted that drink and so on. So they knew. Their intuition was telling them there’s something wrong, but they didn’t listen to it. And I think that the reasons for that is a broader question. But you have intuition, you just need to learn to listen to it.

Jane – Is there any sort of ideas or tips of how you can tap into that?

25:44 – Steve – Become familiar with and trust your intuition

Yeah. It’s all about really becoming a lot more familiar with it and starting to trust it. Important thing is to distinguish intuition from paranoia. They’re not the same thing. Okay? Paranoia is something that is nibbling away at you all the time. So, for example, if you’re a female who is travelling alone at night and you say, for example, you get a cab home. Alone. Now, it is not practical to say you can’t get a cab home on your own. You can’t be chaperoned everywhere, that’s just ridiculous. Okay.

26:14 – Steve – Better to be right once than pay the consequence of being wrong

But if you’ve got a cab home 100 times that year and it’s been fine, but there’s one time you just feel, I’m just not happy about. You’ve looked at the driver, you’ve looked at the car and you thought, I’m not happy about getting into this car. That’s intuition. Because you get what’s called that spike, where it’s your brain telling you there’s something not quite right. So, the best thing you can do is listen to it. If there’s an alternative, get another cab or get an alternative form of transport. But listen to it. As I always say, it’s better to be right once and nothing happened, than wrong that one time and have to deal with it for the rest of your life.

Jane – Yeah, that wouldn’t be good.

26:58 – Steve – Consider later what made your intuition feel uneasy

It’s better just to listen to it that one time. And when you do listen to it and you walk away from the cab, have a think about it. When you’re in a safe area, have a think about what was it that I didn’t like about this situation? What was it about the driver that made me feel uneasy? It’s not just about the person, it’s about the environment.

27:15 – Steve – There may have been a lot of signals indicating an issue

Was there someone else hanging around? What else was happening in the environment that made me feel uneasy? Was it dark? Was it the type of clothing that he was wearing? Or was it his demeanour? You might not have consciously acknowledged it, but did you notice that maybe his ID tag or something wasn’t being shown or something like that? It can very often be something that you haven’t consciously acknowledged, but only when you calm down your adrenaline drops that you actually realise there was a lot of information coming in at that time?

27:42 – Jane – We couldn’t process all the messages in our brain

Well, that’s the thing. We are receiving so many messages to our brain. Our brain doesn’t consciously process them all. We physically couldn’t.

27:50 – Steve – You filter out what information you don’t need

No, I mean, I studied neuro linguistic programming for quite a while and they talk about the 11 million bits of information that come into your brain every second. That’s a huge amount of information. The room that you’re sat in now, that your listeners are sat in right now, in addition to what they’re hearing from my voice, they will still be aware. They might not be aware of the chair that they’re sitting in, until I’ve now just brought it to their attention.

Jane – Oh, uncomfortable.

28:13 – Steve – We filter out discomfort in the movies

But this is it. We’ve all sat in a cinema for 3 hours and not realised that we’re actually in pain. Now, it’s not because you weren’t getting those signals, it’s just your brain prioritised that that wasn’t important at the time. And it’s the same when you’re out and about. Your brain prioritises out of a huge amount of information that you get from your five senses, what is important.

28:31 – Steve – To be situationally aware you prioritise the right information

So people who are situationally aware, it could be said they prioritise the right bits of that information. Because you only get to consciously acknowledge maybe seven to nine bits of it. And when you’re stressed, that will go down to about two or three. So you’ll get things like perceptual distortion and things like that. So it’s really important to make what you consciously observe count. And if you don’t consciously observe it, listen to your intuition because it’s got the stuff that really does count.

29:00 – Jane – Red flags or your intuition are often ignored by business owners

Yeah, I think that’s a fantastic tip is to listen. Because like I said, I think it definitely impacts business owners so much. I see constantly things written down, we’ve got this problem client, but they always say, oh, there were some red flags at the start, but they ignored them. And it’s about paying attention. So that’s awesome.

29:18 – Jane – Segue into workplace safety tips working in someone’s home

So that kind of leads as a bit of a segue into giving some sort of workplace safety tips. Many of our listeners have a work from home type situation or they potentially work in the homes of others. Maybe they’re a cleaner or a disability worker or something, so they don’t really have a choice.

29:37 – Jane – Sent to random strangers’ houses for business advice sessions

And I know for me, as a Business Connect Advisor, we were expected to meet all our clients face to face, at their place or at their chosen place. That meant that we were going to a lot of homes. And we did this for about five years, well certainly I was there for about five years before something happened. Don’t quite know exactly what happened, but something happened. And at that point in time they realised maybe not such a clever idea going to some random stranger’s house where, like you said earlier, you’re in their domain, it’s their place, they know everything about it. We don’t.

30:11 – Jane – What can you do to protect yourself in a client’s home?

Can you give some sort of actionable education around how to handle that situation. That you get there and you’ve got that off vibe. The intuition is kicking in and you go, I don’t feel comfortable or the person is starting to get agitated, and you realise that maybe they’re on something. What sort of things can you do to protect yourself?

30:30 – Steve – You need to prepare beforehand

Okay, well, first of all, you need to take a step back, because we’re talking about what happens when you’re already in there. You need to prep beforehand.

Jane – Yeah, policies, procedures, whatever.

30:39 – Steve – What information do you know about the property?

Yeah. And also, speaking from the experience of being a protection officer, we would never go into a premises or to a location without researching it. Find out as much as we can about it. Now, those skills are applicable to people who are working in houses. No reason why you can’t use the same skills going when you’re going to someone else’s house. If you know the address that you’re going to, how much information can you get from that?

31:02 – Steve – Check out the property on Google

You can go to Google Earth. Have a look at the house from above. You can see, is it fenced in? Does it have, in Australia, we have things called battle axe. So at the end of long lanes, which are private driveways, and these houses are hidden and tucked away, and they might have a gate at the end, which is all gated. So are you going to take your car all the way in or are you going to park on the street?

31:26 – Steve – What do you know about them and their living situation?

Do you know how you’re going to be able to go and get in and out? Do you know entrance and exits? I’ll come back to in a minute, because they’re a huge thing that we look at with this. But presumably if they’re a client, you know a little bit about them.

Do you know, do they live alone? Do they have a dog? Any other animals there? Because personal safety isn’t just about getting attacked by people, unfortunately. I’m a dog lover myself, I’ve got a dog myself. But we do have to be practical, so that’s something to consider. And get as much information as you can before you go.

31:57 – Steve – Have a real or virtual chaperone

Have a what we call a back-up person. You might be working on your own, but is there someone who you trust, a virtual chaperone, if you like, because ideally what you want to do is go to these places with someone. However, if that’s not an option then you want a virtual chaperone. So do you have a friend or a trusted colleague or someone who knows the location you’re going, knows what time you’re going to be there, roughly how long the meeting is going to be, and they know when you’re going to leave.

It’s important that you choose somebody who is not going to be asleep. It happens. Who is not going to be in a board meeting of themselves for an hour and a half, and completely loses track of time. You need somebody who for that hour is committed to your welfare. Okay? And they know where you are.

32:43 – Steve – Some apps can register your location

There are lots of apps that you can get on your phone that will show where you are, WhatsApp will do it. To be fair, you can pin your location on WhatsApp. So if you want to do that, to show your location, that’s one thing you can to show where you are.

32:56 – Steve – A person is better than an app

But fundamentally, there’s nothing more important than just having a physical person know where you are and how long you’re going to be. And they’ll check in on you at a prescribed time. On that point also, have a plan. What are they going to do if they can’t? If they phone you up. Say your meeting is an hour long, say their check-in time is they’re going to check-in 15 minutes after that prescribed time to see where you are. You don’t answer. What are they going to do? Are they going to call the police or are they going to wait five minutes and give it another go?

33:24 – Steve – Maybe your phone on silent is a bad idea

Make sure you as the person going to the premises, there’s a temptation to put your phone on silent because you’re in a meeting. But really, I would suggest you don’t really want to do that.

Have the phone so that you can see it, or at least that you can feel it in your pocket vibrate. But personally, I’d make sure that you can hear it. Okay, because you don’t want to forget. You don’t want to be halfway down the motorway on your way home and the police are out looking for you.

Jane – That would be embarrassing.

33:46 – Steve – Have a plan beforehand

Give me a little bit. Have a virtual chaperone. Have a plan. Know as much as you can about the venue. Know as much about you can about the client. And then when you go, then we can talk more about what happens when you arrive.

34:00 – Steve – Have an excuse if your intuition suggests entering would be unsafe

The first thing, as you mentioned, you’re at the door. You knock on the door, they answer it. Again, intuition. If there’s something doesn’t feel right about it, have an excuse ready, where you say, I’m really sorry, I was about to come, but something’s come up and I was just letting you know that I can’t come in today. Okay? Don’t feel bad about doing this, alright? If there’s something that doesn’t feel right about the location, then listen to it.

34:23 – Steve – Position your car to make a quick exit

And have a way to get out. If you’re arriving in a car, make sure the car is turned around. You don’t want to be having to do a three point turn on the driveway to get out of somewhere quite quickly. So where possible, if you can reverse onto a driveway or into the area that you’re about to leave from. Go in and everything seems to be fine.

34:41 – Steve – Maintain a reactionary distance

There are a number of jobs where it’s not practical to say that you can’t move around. If you’re say an interior designer, you might have to go around. You might have to go upstairs, you might have to look around the house in general, because that’s the way it is. Even in a confined place like a house, you still should be keeping a reactionary distance from somebody.

34:58 – Steve – Know where the entrance and exits are

The one thing you don’t want to do, is ideally is never put the person you’re talking to between you and an exit. Wherever possible, always try and make sure that there’s nothing between you and the exit. And on that point, make sure you know where the entrance and exits are. So you know you’ve come through a front door. But I’m not suggesting you go for a wander around the house at your own behest.

35:19 – Steve – Take note of the door locks and how they open

But, can you see where the door is likely to be? Have a look at the locks. When you come up to the door and you’re about to knock on the front door, have a look and note where the locks are, because it might be just a twist lock to get out. But you don’t want to be doing that when you’re panicking. So when you go in and the door closed behind you, have a look.

Notice how the person who owns the house, how they shut the door behind you. Do they turn the lock to shut it, that kind of thing? Because then that will let you know how to open it if you need to get out quickly. Okay, so entrance and exits know where they are, know how they open. That’s the main tip.

35:53 – Steve – If things go wrong take cover!

If things should go wrong, cover. You need to put something we talk about time and distance. We always want to create time and distance between ourselves and a potential attacker. Can you put something between you? Can it be a sofa? What about a table? Anything at all that creates even just a couple of seconds of distance between you, makes it difficult for somebody to grab hold of you. Again, just make a mental note of where it is, and also for trip hazards as well, obviously.

36:19 – Steve – The kitchen is the biggest danger point

And finally, the last thing is yes, we’ve already mentioned it. You’re going into someone’s house, they have access to potentially a plethora of weapons. The kitchen is probably the biggest danger point. I always used to get a little bit nervous if I was conducting an interview on someone, particularly a violent spouse. I never wanted to conduct that interview in the kitchen.

You want to have it somewhere where they can’t get access. Now you can’t bar people from going into the kitchen. I get that. But wherever possible, you want to be in an area that doesn’t give them immediate access. So, suggest an area away from that.

36:53 – Steve – Notice what around you, you could use as a shield

And from your own point of view, when we’re talking about improvised weapons, we’re talking about something that you can use as a shield. So a chair that you could hold up, something like that, even if it’s light enough or something. A bag. If you’ve got a big enough bag, can you hold it up to defend yourself? Anything that you can see around you that you could use to defend yourself or to get out of there as quickly as possible.

37:11 – Steve – Can you run in your shoes?

Another thing to mention is we tend to obviously dress according to if we’re representing our business. But shoe, footwear in particular, if you need to get out of somewhere, can you run? Is your footwear appropriate for you being able to run, or is it going to be a bit of a problem? It’s extreme that we’re talking about this kind of situation.

37:30 – Steve

If you need to climb over a fence or something, can you actually climb over a fence? Can you do that? Again:

“I’m not suggesting you need to start going in fatigues or army combat gear”

Steve Curtis

but if you genuinely have concerns about going to these places on your own, you can still dress professionally without doing something that may impede escape out of there, if you like.

37:51 – Jane – So the dining table attached to the kitchen not such a great spot

It’s so much to think about. And yeah, it’s interesting when you’re saying this stuff, because I’m sort of thinking, okay, yes. Often when you go and sit down at the dining table attached to the kitchen area, and you’re kind of going maybe not the best place to be.

38:04 – Steve – Still need to conduct a business

Well, I’ll keep it simple. I mean, you’ve still got to conduct a business, and I appreciate that. But the main thing is I always talk about three things. Entrance and exits, cover, and improvised weapons. They’re the three main things. Okay.

38:19 – Steve – Preparation and virtual chaperone most important

The prep that you can do before is probably the most important thing. Knowing enough about the house, how big it is? On Google Earth, can you see how to get in and out of the place? Where are you going to park your car, turn the car around so you can get out again? Just doing a little bit of prep beforehand can make things a lot easier and make you feel a lot more comfortable as well. And obviously, we’ve talked about it, the virtual chaperone is just invaluable having somebody who will check in on you.

38:45 – Jane – Hadn’t occurred to me these things for a work meeting

I’ve certainly done the virtual chaperone on when you’re doing crazy dating and all that stuff, but never even thought about some of those things with the entry and exit type things for a work meeting. It wouldn’t even have occurred to me to even think about that. So it’s very helpful, I think, to have raised this today. So hopefully people are getting some ideas for what they’re doing in their businesses.

39:06 – Steve – Technology can be useful

Just on that point. Technologies can be quite useful. There’s a couple of things. There’s a company called Sonder who do a check in.

Jane – How do you spell that?

S-O-N-D-E-R-I think. Okay. Anyway, they are a check-in facility where they’re a company that will actually, if you haven’t got a friend or a virtual chaperone, they’ll do it for you. So you tell them where you’re going, that kind of thing, and then they’ll check-up and if necessary, alert the emergency services. If they’re not happy with the situation.

39:33 – Steve – Emergency Plus App

One of the apps I would encourage people to download is the government endorsed one, which is Emergency Plus.

Jane – Yeah, I’ve got that.

You’ve got that one. And that gives you the main emergency calls on them. But it also shows your location. But most phones now because they’re things called AML. So advanced mobile location, will send your location to the police as and when you make a phone call.

39:57 – Jane – What about when you’re working in a store or a café?

For those that are working in things more like cafes or retail shops. I know when I was a teenager manager at Maccas, I had a delightful person come in one day and smashed somebody else’s face along the front counter and just left a stroke of blood everywhere. It was disgusting. I was on the shift with another manager who was a massive island guy from Niue thinking he’s the big security type guy on. He took off and head in the crew room and left me there. And I’m thinking, oh, my God, I’m this tiny little girl, at that time.

What am I meant to do with these abusive or angry customers that in are front of me? And I think it comes back to what you were saying before. I did actually manage to, by fluke I think talk them into calming down and behaving. And we obviously had somebody call the cops and things as well. But what sort of tips can handle that type of situation where you’ve got someone that’s angry or abusive and making a scene?

40:51 – Steve – Physiological response to being threatened

Yeah. I mean, first of all, it’s terrifying. It’s obviously happened to me a lot as a police officer. I honestly cannot remember I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had people threatening going to rip my head off and all that kind of thing. There are certain things that are going to happen to your physiologically. You’ll get a huge adrenaline buzz. It will cause shaking. It will cause perpetual distortion. You will get things, your vision, tunnel vision. Auditory exclusion. It will sound a little bit like you’re underwater. These are just some of the things that can happen to you. So you need to accept that’s going to happen.

41:24 – Steve – Safety is the most important thing

With regards to how, first let me just point out with your Islander colleague who went to the back. Now, again, it’s difficult because I’m not there. He gets zero points for chivalry. However, to a certain degree, the only thing really, he’s kind of done the right thing. In terms of if somebody is getting verbally aggressive, depends without seeing it, I can’t tell you. But you’ve got to remember your safety is the most important thing. Okay. If you think you can de-escalate the situation, it hasn’t gone beyond that, then yes, by all means, do.

41:56 – Steve – Create time and distance

But like I said before, we want to create time and distance. So you mentioned yourself that some poor guy has already been assaulted. So that person has shown their inclination to do that. We need to create time and distance. So you’ve got a bench, I would suggest you don’t want to be standing too close to it. I’m guessing that guy got grabbed because he was stood too near to it.

42:15 – Jane – We were responsible for the staff on the shift

So they came in and sort of having a bit of argy bargy anyway. And it was based at the front counter. So we had a massive long front counter, and he basically literally smashed his face from one end of the counter to the other. It was a really long counter. But it was quite like you say, you’re just suddenly freaking out, because it just suddenly happened right in front of you. But the trouble is, the issue I had with the other guy taking off was the fact that we were the managers on the shift.

Steve – Right.

Jane – We are responsible for the staff on the shift. And you know there’s 10 workers.

Steve – Bad management.

Jane – So I was like, dude, there’s ten people here that you just basically walked away from. And yeah, I had a bit of an issue with that because I was like, hey mate.

43:01 – Steve – De-escalation of angry people

Okay, so let’s talk about de-escalation proper then. All right? So when you’re dealing with somebody who is angry, and there’s a difference between somebody who’s been angry and sociopathic. Sociopaths are people who you can’t negotiate with. So we’re talking about somebody who’s basically in a rage, they’ve lost their temper.

43:14 – Steve – People lose control when they’re angry

The first thing to understand about people who are angry is that they, to a certain degree, they’re no longer in control of themselves. There’s a part of the brain called the amygdala. It’s part of the limbic system has now taken over. So trying to negotiate with them and offer things about why they’re angry. Why was the guy angry? Just out of interest?

Jane – They were drunk.

43:34 – Steve – Dealing with drunks is another issue

They were drunk. Okay. So dealing with drunks is another thing as well. Yeah, but you’re going to struggle a little bit because you want to be able to seek. You’re seeking a connection with somebody. Okay. So trying to negotiate with them and trying to solve their problem, even when they’re drunk, is not going to work until you address the emotion first. So I’ll be interested to know how you did it.

43:57 – Steve – Deal with the injured person first if safe to do so

But personally, if I was there, you’ve got one person who’s injured. So I’ll be trying to get somebody to deal with that first. You’ve got to safely if they can, but don’t put yourself on offer. And then there’s a temptation to say, ‘get out or I’m going to call the police’. But that’s unlikely to address the issue at the time.

44:18 – Steve – Address the person’s emotions first

So you want to address their emotions. So you’ll be saying something like, look, I can see that you’re angry. I can see that you’re upset that you’re not being listened to. And you need to start addressing the emotion first, because if you don’t do that and you just start saying either threatening them with the police or saying, what is your problem? Just calm down.

“Saying calm down has never worked in the history of the world.”

Steve Curtis

Jane – Something that incites people the most. Right.

44:47 – Steve – Show you acknowledge them (you don’t need to condone)

Yeah. It is usually because no one likes to be told what to do, but acknowledging how they feel. And as long as you can sure that you can see that they’re angry, that they’re upset, even when they’re drunk, that is usually the best path to getting them to actually calm down without saying it. Because they’ll start to realise that you understand, that they’re being understood. Because part of the problem when you’re angry is that you don’t feel like you’re being understood. And particularly if you’re drunk.

Jane – I think at the time played on the fact that he had hurt the other person.

Steve – Yeah. Again, that’s another good thing, is, again, you’re dealing with the emotion of how they’re feeling.

45:27 – Jane – He was remorseful when pointed out he’d hurt his friend

Yeah, cause obviously he felt somewhat remorseful, because they did know each other I think. So it wasn’t just a random attack, it was two people that knew each other. So obviously him seeing his friend with his face all smashed up was not the best thing.

45:40 – Steve – Need to make time for them

Yeah. The other thing to mention is that you need to make time for it as well. You need to show that, it might go against the grain, but you need to show that they are actually the centre of your world at the moment, and that they are worth talking to. Because if you start to being dismissive of them and saying, I’m not dealing with you while you’re drunk, while you’re angry, that kind of thing, that’s just going to make the situation worse. So you need to be able to show that, you might not feel it, but you need to show that you’re interested in what their problem is and that you want to try and help them.

46:11 – Steve – Can people leave safely?

Again, it comes down to the three things I mentioned before. Entrance and exits. Have a plan with your staff that when you do have violent people, there is a line where you’re like, right, okay, that’s it. We’re out of here. And you go to a panic room or what we call a panic room or some kind of secure room where you can call the police. Because there will be people who you’re just not going to be able to de-escalate.

So try if you can do it from a position of safety behind the bar or whatever, that’s there. Always be aware that you need to be able to put time and distance between you and the person who’s been aggressive.

46:44 – Jane – Intuition kicked in and signalled someone to call the police

It was interesting, because it was almost that intuition and that kicking in as well, because I remember literally as soon as I saw that face get smashed on that counter, it was that instantaneous flick back to somebody, like phone. Like call the cops instantly, because the phone was just behind the production bin at the time. So you had to kind of counter area and then the production bin area and that’s where the phone was. So they called immediately. But like I said, in the meantime, the other guy took off and then there is staff there in just disbelief, just going, what the hell is going on?

47:15 – Steve – Remember to stay calm yourself

Yeah, you did absolutely the right thing. Because the other thing to remember is to stay calm. And that’s easier said than done. But there’s a thing called Betari’s Box where what happens in any kind of escalation, verbal or physical escalation, is that, it doesn’t matter who starts it. At some point you have a cycle where your attitude affects my attitude, will affect your attitude will affect my attitude, will affect your attitude. And that cycle starts to spin. And at some point, it doesn’t matter who started it. It just keeps going and it won’t stop until punches have been thrown.

47:51 – Steve – The person is not being rational

So you as the professional there, you have to be the one in control. And you have to understand that that person is not behaving in a rational way. The part of their brain that is capable of rational thought isn’t online yet. And until you address that emotion, until you say, I can see that you’re angry, hey, I can see that you’re upset. I can see that you feel people aren’t listening to you here. You won’t get what’s called the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that’s capable of making decisions and being logical.

We need to get that online, and then you can talk to them, and then you can try and solve the problem that they’re having. And this is true of any customer service.

48:24 – Jane – Sales is the same – address the emotion first

It’s exactly the same with any sales. With sales, you have the emotion first. You hook the emotion. Then they’ll start asking questions. They’ll start going into logic. But if you go logic first, the emotion hasn’t got you connected with them.

48:36 – Steve – People need to feel listened to

No, because it’s not going to work. Because people will still feel that they’re not being listened to. It doesn’t have to be. No one’s saying that you can’t be angry about the situation yourself, that you can’t be upset by the fact that somebody has just been assaulted in McDonald’s. But it’s a lifesaving procedure. That’s what you’re doing. You’re trying to buy enough time so that the police can be called, so that you can get this person to leave without any further injury. Exactly. You’re not agreeing with their actions is what I’m saying. They’re just labelling how they feel, which is inarguable.

49:09 – Jane – Do you have a productivity hack for our listeners?

Exactly. So before we get people to get in touch with you, and see how you can further help them, I always like to get my guests to give a bit of a productivity hack or a tech tool. And I know you said before, you’re not really into the tech tool side, so how about a bit of a productivity hack from you?

49:25 – Steve – Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint

A bit of a productivity hack? Okay, so look, like I said, I’m just starting off this off myself. I think the best thing you can remember starting any business I’m certainly learning, particularly during a pandemic, is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

49:38 – Steve – Do something everyday to get out there

Every day I set myself something to do to make sure that I try and progress the message. I’m trying to get out further, whether it be doing a podcast or putting something on social media or a blog, or trying to get some information out there. It’s natural when you do start your business, you want everything to happen like that. You want it to happen quickly and it doesn’t. And particularly not during a pandemic it doesn’t.

50:00 – Steve – Believe you’ll make a difference

But I think you’ve got to have faith that what you’re doing will make a difference to people. That’s why I’m doing what I do. And if you’re genuine about that, if you genuinely feel that what you’ve got is actually going to help people, and then that will come across in your business. And more people want to speak to you.

50:16 – Jane – How do people get in touch with you?

With people wanting to speak to you. If people want to reach out to you and find out more about the programs that you offer, or they want to get in touch with you about de-escalating oor running events at their businesses, all that sort of thing, how can they get hold of you?

50:29 – Steve – Email for a copy of the de-escalation cheat sheet

Okay, so a couple of things. I actually do have a very single cheat sheet, the one that I mentioned about de-escalation, I give that out completely for free. So if you email me for that or any other questions you’ve got, again, I’m not going to bother you with any kind of selling technique or anything like that. steve@theheadfirst.com.au.

Jane – Perfect. We’ll put that in the notes, so in the comments as well.

50:51 – Steve – Any other questions please email as well

If you have a query about that, or if you want me to come and present to any organisation, corporation that you’ve got, then again, drop me a line. We can talk about that as well.

50:59 – Jane – Thanks Steve for opening up Season 2 of the FAQ Business Podcast

Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for being our guest today Steve, and for kicking off Season 2 of the FAQ Business Podcast. I think it’s been incredibly enlightening in some of the tools and things, you know following our intuition, I think that is just crazy important. And I think we need to do it more consciously, even though it is a subconscious thing.

51:18 – Jane – I hope people take on board the safety tips

Those taking on board some of those personal safety tips, those workplace safety tips, I think is interesting, because some of those are just things I certainly never would have thought of. So I think that’s awesome. Thank you so much for coming along. And I do hope that people reach out to you and get some help so that they don’t struggle in their situations of workplace safety. Thank you.

Steve. Lovely, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you very much indeed.

51:43 – Jane – Subscribe to the FAQ Business Podcast

Thank you for listening to today’s episode of the FAQ Business Podcast, available on all good podcast services. You can subscribe today via FAQBusinessPodcast.com.au or directly on Apple iTunes, iHeartRadio or Spotify. Subscribe, follow, share and where able to, review our podcast or leave us a comment on either YouTube or our blog page.

Thanks for helping us to help you. The small to medium businesses who are growing and want to make a difference. Look forward to connecting with you again on the next episode of the FAQ Business Podcast.

Today’s podcast episode featured Steve Curtis of The HeadFirst Personal Safety. Steve’s details are as follows:

The HeadFirst Personal Safety logo



Email: steve@theheadfirst.com.au

Steve moved with his family from the UK to Sydney, Australia in 2019. Steve was a specialist trained Police Officer in London for 22 years, working in emergency response, specialist firearms, counter-terrorism, hostage rescue and close protection.

Arriving in Australia Steve realised that there were very few options for those people who want to feel safe out and about but have no interest in learning martial arts or how to fight. Also fighting is largely ineffective against things like drink spiking, stalking, or when the odds are insurmountable such as being attacked by a gang or with weapons.

Being an unarmed Police Officer for the first 6 years of his career Steve honed a talent for identifying danger early. and de-escalating extremely violent and aggressive individuals quickly. It saved Steve from a lot of injuries, so he took this and the advanced skills learnt in close protection and put together holistic personal and workplace safety courses.

HeadFirst has a personal mission to educate in what Steve would want the people he cares about to know, and indeed how Steve teaches his own children to stay safe as they venture toward adulthood.

About FAQ Business Training

If this is the first time you’ve come across us you may want to know who we are! FAQ Business Training has a mission to educate and empower small business owners to learn enough to do it yourself (DIY) or outsource with confidence. We do this via face to face training in Western Sydney (currently all training is provided online), speaking at conferences, events and networking groups and we have launched our online school and membership, offering online courses and webinars to appeal to a global (English speaking) audience. Connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn.


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