Is it for you?


You're in a job, but you're not fulfilled. You're sharpening pencils when you could be making vital decisions. You've got big ideas but your boss doesn't want to hear them, unless you convince him that it was his idea in the first place. You're undervalued and overlooked. You've got talent, you've got instinct, but you it's going to waste...


You're always having run-ins with your boss. You have ideas above your station, suggestions above your pay grade. You feel trapped in a creative desert, peopled by robots, happy to do what they're told by leaders with no imagination. You don't respect your boss and you're not keen on their instructions. Is it time to do something about it?


You keep drifting off in idle moments (or not so idle), dreaming of the life you wish you had. You can imagine the excitement you want to feel, you can sense the fulfillment that it must be possible to have. You can see yourself in your new home, your new relationshiop, in your new life. Yet without action, dreams are all they will ever be...


You'll work endlessly and are driven to succeed. You are highly industrious and conscientious adn in truth you can excel as an employee, or you could excel in your own venture. Yet the difference is that when you do well for your employer, there is still something missing, a scratch that you can't seem to itch...


You are a born problem solver. You go through life encountering problems that have been solved badly and you can immediately see how it SHOULD be done. You're always coming up with solutions - you tell your partner, friends, family and anyone who'll listen - if only you had a chence to put them into action...


You are a person of conscience, highly motivated to do the right thing. You can imagine a better world. You see all the foolish things that people do and you know that if they'd only see the light and do it differently, there would be so many fewer problems in the world. Given the chance to influence, given the chance to make a real impact, there is so much good that you could do, if only you had that chance...



Laying strong foundations


Starting a quest requires a personal audit. You have to develop understanding of your own personality, what are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?


Knowing your values acts like a compass when navigating the journey through startup. It generates self-confidence and makes decision making simple. Knowing how to apply your values in running your business is essential. 


Understanding your story is fundamental to mental strength. If you are uncertain of your story then that uncertaintly will pop up at crucial moments on your journey and can cause failure. Get your story straight and fortify yourself for the journey.


One of the most common traps that entrepreneurs can fall into, is infatuation. Learning the difference between infatuation and passion is crucial to success. One will trip you up and the other will sustain you.


How do you plan for success? You need to understand what the business design process is. Once you understand its nature, you will be prepared for the surprises and you will be able to rediscover your path when you're lost.  


Failing to plan is planning to fail. Learn how to get planning and be prepared for your plans to change. To plan is to create momentum forwards, we dont' always go where we think we're going, but we will progress!


Days prevaricating saved


Naysayers ignored


Good reasons to start


Time to waste


Two people determined to demonstrate that successful business can be based on a desire to do good, solve problems and going toe to toe with life's dragons.

Cassian Hall & Catherine Sexton

We're two people who found each other five years ago, having both come out of long realtionships (34 years in total!) We'd had to learn some seriously hard life lessons and there was definitely a period of recovery, then renewal and now creativity. However, we found that by facing the worst life has to offer, you can end up finding the best. It's a principle that is now very much embedded into the course, whatever you think is bad in your life, be sure it has an equal measure of something fantastic to offer, if you can find it.

Back in 2013 we had decided to set up our communications company, Tin-Can Telephone. We wanted a way to work together and combine our complimentary skillsets and its been fun and difficult at times. We have worked with all sorts of startups, established businesses, charities and social enterprises to help them with everything from devising strategy, creating communications plans, to PR, brand design and personal coaching. What we have discovered is that if the right foundations aren't in place, then our job was so much harder and communication so much more difficult. It was mainly through these more difficult experiences that we first had the germ of the idea to start creating the course.

We live in Edinburgh, Scotland with Cassian's two sons, James and Alex, our 12 year old cat M'lee and a new puppy, Indie (she's a rescue from Romania and no we don't know what breed or breeds she might be!). Our weeks are a mix of getting boys off to school, walking dogs, working either at home, our favourite coworking space (The Melting Pot) or with clients in their offices. Friday night is homemade pizza night and we love nothing more on a weekend than hiking up a Scottish mountain, visiting a castle and drinking in the incredible landscape. On a cold winter's night, our local pub serves an excellent pint of organic porter brewed in the north of Scotland on the Black Isle and of course, a good selection of single malts. The Puppy seems to really like the pub...

Over the last year, we have been hard at work on the course - 'How to Start & Run a Legendary Business'. It is a distillation of all the lessons that we have both learned over many years, both in our own work lives and business enterprises and also working with so many different clients, lessons gleaned from success but more so from great failures - nothing teaches you more than a great failure. Although it serves an important role in bringing all that learning together, it is really only the beginning of a new journey, the journey we want to have with you. Together we can develop this learning community and make this the best place to come for support when you're trying to get your business going. A place for like-minded people to share knowledge and experience.


In a rich and varied career, one thread has run through everything I have done - Story.

I grew up in a house of writers. As a schoolboy, when I wasn't selling painted lead figures to the other kids (my first business), I read screenplays for fun and lost myself in books as often as possible. After studying at York and then Oxford Universities, I became an archaeologist to study the untold stories of human past. I set up business as a roving archaeologist, which took me to the deserts of Syria on Roman Al Anderin, and in the Gulf on the ancient Bronze Age Saar of the era of Gilgamesh. In Libya, I investigated the ancient Greeks, and in Italy I sought the lost villa of Pliny on the Presidential estate of Castelporziano.

From writing up excavations, I moved on to writing stories and turned my hand to writing screenplays for TV. This led to my getting into the production business and I spent a decade developing TV projects, editing scripts and cutting together films for my TV company. During this time I worked with a host of great writers on their projects, including some of the UK's most successful authors. I pitched to executives on both sides of the Atlantic and negotiated co-production contracts.

There was much to love about this business from a creative perspective and a business perspective, and yet I found two major problems with working in the media. The first is that there was no respect for family life, children were mostly considered a hindrance, but for me it was a priority to be a good dad. And secondly, that too many people were less than honest in this industry, and its not a trait I can get along with. And so I turned my storytelling capabilities to the service of smaller clients, helping to hone their messages, craft their copy and write their press releases.

The pursuit of story is what has driven me from childhood to parenthood. I have studied story in all its rich and varied texture in film, soil and text. And working with so many businesses gave me a deep and abiding love of the pursuit of business creation. It is a fantastic expression of human drive, creativity, logic and persistence. Business creators want to make a mark, solve problems and build something of value and worth that outgrows them and outlives them. I can see little better endeavour for a person to have.



Growing up I always had a pencil or brush in my hand, making art was natural and instinctive. In contrast, my parents, both scientists, instilled a logical and pragmatic approach to my work and life. So it was no surprise that at Art School I not only loved creating my art but also organising and planning exhibitions. My passion for the creative process and the simultaneous quest for clarity and order, has found me managing creative projects throughout my career.

I cut my teeth in Project Management on a multi-million-pound construction project in Portsmouth and delivered world-class exhibitions for the National Museum of Scotland for over nine years. Amongst many highlights, I organised for one of the last Concorde aircraft to be installed in The National Museum of Flight and for its' story to be told in the Exhibit. I worked with Pixar to showcase their original drawings and artwork of all the characters we know and love from the likes of Toy Story, The Incredibles and many others. I also worked to bring a Catherine the Great exhibition to Edinburgh from the State Hermitage in St Petersburg.

More recently, working as part of the FIDRA team, I have designed, planned and launched a successful environmental campaign on the effects of micro-plastics in the marine environment, gaining international press and recognition. Through my work with Fathers Network Scotland, I am part of an award-winning team behind, Year of the Dad. This led to a debate in parliament, where there was cross-party consensus, to have a UK wide Year of the Dad following Scotland's example. I have acquired a deep understanding of the creative process, visual communication and the orchestration required to deliver projects both large and small. The joy of Tin-Can Telephone is the opportunity to experience diverse and inspirational people and projects and helping them to realise their dreams and ambitions.


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