30 January 2015



According to the comic books unless you’re Batman you need a superpower in order to be a superhero. In many cases the hero doesn’t know they have a power until something happens to draw it out. Unfortunately this is the real world and we are not talking about being able to fly or being invisible because that would be brilliant, we are talking about the real superpowers we all have, the ones we have right now that just need to be discovered.


So within the scope of this post what is not a business superpower? Well, let's imagine that you are a painter of beautiful landscapes, or you are good with your hands and enjoy making fine handmade contemporary furniture, or you may have an eye for design or enjoy helping businesses with their VAT returns. These are not Superpowers these are skills…


Or, more specifically: a combination of smaller talents brought together to achieve something brilliant.

Your superpower could be a talent or a collection of small talents that you can use to get your skills in front of people who want to use or buy them. In short, it's the motivation and promotion of your skill to achieve a goal.

I believe that everyone has at least one business superpower, it's just a case of finding, recognising and using them.


I met an artist once, he was a very nice chap and quite famous now and it was on meeting him that I first started to consider the theory of the business superpower. You see his superpower was not that he could paint, or even that he could come up with the concepts, or the fact that he knew people at major London galleries so giving him a way in the back door, or the fact that he simply lived in London. His superpower was an absolute unshaken belief that what he was producing was undeniably brilliant and so simply had to be exhibited to the world. He knew this without any doubt at all.

It can be argued that his superpower was his self-belief in his skill, and that motivated him to bring all the other elements together. History has shown him to be right, he is now a world renowned artist and sells his pieces for millions of pounds.


Finding your superpower depends on you and can be more difficult for some while others, like my friend the artist, can discover theirs, use it, benefit from it and not even realise it. Most of us will need to think about it a bit more and perhaps develop it over time. But what might be the clincher and help us on our road to discovery is to consider that a superpower might not be big or monumental, but instead be the combination of several smaller talents that when used together can add up to something really, really great.


We are all self-aware right? We know who we are and what we want, right? Well maybe, but if I had 10p for every entrepreneur I have met who couldn't tell what their business did let alone how they made it a success, I would have about £260 sat in jam-jar somewhere. Becoming more self-aware will help you to think about yourself, your business and what you want to achieve.

As an exercise could you tell someone in one sentence, what your business does? For a bonus point could you tell someone what your business does and include a benefit? Within the scope of this post, this is the beginning of being business self-aware. Being able to think about what you do and to be able to simplify it is just the beginning, but ultimately it will help you to think about what you want and what you are good at and to put them into an order that can be applied to the mission, your project - your business.


If you are a modest person thinking about yourself and what you are good at can feel uncomfortable. However, it is no good to expect other people to know what you are good at if you can't really put your finger on it yourself. You will really need to dig deep and really consider where your talents lie and furthermore what you enjoy, because quite often they are one and the same. It doesn't matter how small the talent is, it may well be the key to unlocking your superpower.


Very recently I explained this theory to a friend and asked what he thought his business superpower was. As a successful blogger he replied that his superpower consisted of lots of smaller powers; the ability to be able to come up with ideas for posts that people seem to like reading, to be able to sit for a week and actually write something worth reading, the ability to design the post so it looks appealing and not being nervous about putting his ideas out there for people to potentially disapprove of. He also admitted that ultimately he did it all for himself. It didn't matter if anyone read his posts, he just liked to come up with ideas and see them real on the page. He did it for his own enjoyment and by being able to share it, others were able to enjoy it too.

So in short his talents where:

1. Being able to start a project and finish it.
2. Not being reliant on the approval of others.
3. A general enjoyment of the work.
4. Doing it purely for himself
5. His drive to see his ideas realised.

These all added up to be his business superpower and to bring about the successful production of his blog.

But to help make the point let's look at it from a negative point of view.

1. If my friend the blogger wasn't able to see things though to the end, a post just wouldn't ever get finished.

2. If he was interested in the approval of others, he might be so worried about criticism that he might never post anything.

3. If he didn't enjoy the process he simply wouldn't be able to keep it up; he’d get bored and go down the pub.

4. He didn't do it for others, he did it for himself. Luckily others like what he writes so that’s a bonus.

5. Finally, without wanting to see the post real on the page, the project would have never have got off the ground in first place.


Try this:

1 The List: Make a list of your talents, what you are good at and what you enjoy
2. Think about your mission, what do you want to achieve?
3. Think about your talents and put them in order to achieve your goal
4. BAM! This is your superpower

OK so the above is simplified to help demonstrate the theory. The list should be different for everyone and only you can make your list in your order, for your goal.


The point of this article is that for some of us our superpower is not obvious, it might seem that we don't have what it takes to really make it big especially if we compare ourselves with others who have already made a success of things. But perhaps if we look at ourselves in a different way we can recognise that in our own way we do have business superpowers after all. It's about seeing something great in yourself that you probably just take for granted.

"Everybody has a superpower we just have to find it."

Am I talking rubbish? Is this just Voodoo, mumbo-jumbo nonsense? Your comments as always are welcome. After all, the more thoughts and opinions in the mix the better, since ultimately we are all in this together!

Thank you for reading : )


Deshok is a small but well informed digital agency
very capable of delivering big things on a global stage.
To find out more about Deshok visit: www.deshok.com

When you're ready, CONTACT Deshok and let's talk about
where you want your business to go next.

CALL: +44 (0)1202 388538 - EMAIL: info@deshok.com

21 January 2015


All you need to know to get ahead!
Could it be as easy as 4 simple steps?

I have been in business of one type or another for over 30 years and in that time I have met a lot of great business people and enjoyed chatting to them about their businesses and how they started. In that time it has occurred to me that in nearly all cases, they had followed the same 4 steps to building the success they enjoy today.

These steps are: 1) Having a great idea. 2) Having a way of getting that idea in front of people. 3) Having enough interest in their idea to work hard at it every day. 4) Having the motivation to push their idea to a global level.

Simply put...

1. The Idea 
2. The Route to Market 
3. The Passion 
4. The Motivation

It seems that whether you are a Pig Farmer or a Global Oil Trader (and I’ve worked for both), these 4 principles are usually the same.

Let's expand on that...


Stage one to building a successful business can be easy for some and difficult for others. In an ideal world the idea would come first and be so brilliant, that your belief in that idea will drive everything else forward.

The idea can mean one of a few things: Either you know how to do something, or you have something, or you can get your hands on something that people want. Your idea can be brand new, a niche in the market or something established that you think you can do better; an improved service.

A businessman once said to me "I’ve always wanted my own business, it took me 15 years to come up with the idea, but here I am now!” In my experience of successful entrepreneurs, the idea should create the business and not the over way around. So don't rush or push it, it will come.

You will need - THE IDEA.


Now you have your idea you need to get it out and in front of your customers or clients. This is one of the first things I ask a client;

"Love the idea, how do you think we should promote it?”

The answer to this is your RTM (Route to Market) and should be the second thing you think about right after the idea.

You need to be able tell people about your idea, but the answer from my clients can quite often be;

"I need a website to promote it! That’s why I called you..."

This is great and I do indeed run a digital agency that designs and builds websites, but the truth is that the best, most successful projects I and my company have been involved with, have been simple and yet involved more than pining all hopes on the website.

The uncomfortable truth is that usually, the hardest most unpleasant marketing idea you can come up with, will be the best - the easiest will be the least effective. This is not always the case and it depends on you, but for example; if you are not good at meeting new people and talking about your new business, you can guarantee that networking will be the best way to promote your venture and not the carefully crafted email that you want to send out to everybody. These more gentle methods of marketing can be employed later when you have some momentum behind you.

Yes, a website is a crucial tool in your marketing arsenal, but in the early days and depending on your business type, your website will probably be the place that new customers or clients visit once they have seen you, be it at a farmers market, conference or a trade show – it is your enthusiasm that will drive them to look up your website.

Personally I think that your idea and RTM are so important that under the right circumstances, really that is all you need. With a great idea and a strong and direct route to market the rest will just follow.

You need - a ROUTE TO MARKET.


You need to be as sure as you can be that you will be interested and passionate enough about your idea to be able to work with it every day for the foreseeable future. Endurance is required here; the ability to plod; to start things, do them and get them finished.

You need to do the unpleasant, difficult and outside your comfort zone stuff today, instead of falling into the trap of putting it off to do something that is easy and that you enjoy, all the while kidding yourself that you are working toward your business goals. This is harder for some people than others and is described by some Olympians as the only difference between someone who goes for a jog in the evening to keep fit and someone who ends up being a world class athlete; that is the ability to focus and really put the hours into training, to stick at it and not give-up.

If your idea is based on something that you are really good at or are interested in, that can help, and who knows where you will end up. For instance in the case of one of my really long term clients who are in the Aerospace sector, they have been in business almost 50 years and love it today as much as they did when they first started. I guess this is one of the unknowns of any project - who knows how you'll feel about things in the future, but if you are really passionate and focused about it now, right at the beginning of your journey, then chances are you will still be passionate and focused in 50 years and that is a bloody good place to start.

You need - THE PASSION.


This is optional or critical depending on how much you want to succeed. Everybody needs to make a living, you may have an idea and want to see it realised or you may just want to be your own master so there's motivation right there, or maybe for some, passion and real interest in your idea will be enough, but you need a strong goal and/or need, to make it all really big.

Were you poor, hungry and destitute as a child? Did you feel that everyone else had the new toys and not you? Did you generally have an insecure up-bringing? Or are you just really competitive? Maybe you're a bighead, a huge ego, a show off, an egotistical showman who believes that what you do is just infinitely better then what anyone else can do. Self-promotion for you is not only second nature, it’s an everyday prerequisite. These and others can be good motivators to really succeed in adulthood and as an entrepreneur - you may not be very popular, but you may well be rich!

Basically you need to be a little bit broken and it seems that a lot of top money makers have a sob story; a creation myth that they can peddle to explain their rise to riches. Can this kind of hard-core motivation be manufactured? Can we use method? Can we train ourselves to think this way? Maybe that is a subject for another post on another day, but it seems that this kind of extreme motivation means that you are not likely be a very happy person and unfortunately that comes with the territory. It's up to you, if you want big success there will be a lot of worry and sleepless nights, equally you could aim to make a very good living and enjoy a more balanced life.

The choice is yours, but either way you will need - THE MOTIVATION

This post is not about how to summon up a great idea or the motivation to see it through. This post is intend to help focus the mind on the 4 essentials at a time when you will have a lot of distractions.

In the end these are just my observations, my opinions of what I have seen and experienced, you may have a different take on it, but maybe that's the point; the more ideas the better. Anyway I hope you found it useful and will come back for more soon. I will be very interested to hear your thoughts on the above, so please do leave a comment.


Deshok is a small but well informed digital agency
very capable of delivering big things on a global stage.
To find out more about Deshok visit: www.deshok.com

When you're ready, CONTACT Deshok and let's talk about
where you want your business to go next.

CALL: +44 (0)1202 388538 - EMAIL: info@deshok.com

12 January 2015


We were have a good look through the old Deshok archive and came across a folded marked PORTFOLIO 02 - 09 and below is what we found.

These projects were put together in the good-old-days before website design was dictated by Google, Social Media, Apple and Content Management Systems. We felt that we had much more of a free rein with regard to design and interactivity back then and the below are great examples of that.

But do we think things were better then than now? The honest answer is not really. Back then the Internet seemed like a party that we had been invited too but one that we were watching from the outside. Now with improved mobile internet, smart devices, Google search and Social sharing we are right in the middle of the party achieving really great things for our clients, not just looking in through the window. These days a website has to be more than just a pretty face it has to have something interesting and useful to say as well.

Click on any of the images to view gallery.

Affordable Florida - "Luxury Villa In Orlando, Florida".

Client: Affordable Florida
Business: Luxury holiday accommodation
Date: 10/9/08
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Photoshop retouching

About: Deshok wanted to create a website and corporate ID that enjoyed a fresh, sunny aspect, to portray just what it’s like to holiday in an Affordable Florida luxury Villa. As full screen presentation, the website. includes all the key information a client might need to see, to inspire them to book there next stay.

Anthony Sanders - "Fine Jewellery".

Client: Anthony Sanders
Business: Luxury Fine Jewellery
Date: 5/6/09
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Photography • Photoshop retouching  • Consultancy • SEO / SEM

About: Anthony Sanders has been a designer and manufacturer of beautiful hand made jewellery for many years, having fulfilled commissions for prestigious retailers in the West-end of London and private clients, including well known film, television and business celebrities. Anthony has been planning to launch his own nautically inspired collection for some time and wanted a clean, crisp and understated Internet presence to kick-start this new side to his business.

A Bath Wedding - "An evening, city celebration".

Client: Self
Business: Weddings and event management
Date: 27/10/07
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Print • Photography • Photoshop retouching

About: The black, white and gold theme was one that we agreed on early in the conception of the day and was inspired by the beautiful, marble floors found in the Bath Terrace and the Victoria Art Gallery. This theme was also appropriate as this was an evening, city wedding. The menu features a rendering of "Bacchus" the Roman god of feasting which toward the end of the evening, became quite appropriate.

B.E.C. Group - "Giving life to plastic".

Client: B.E.C. Group
Business: Manufactures in plastic. Tooling consultants
Date: 20/9/07
Work: Website • Design • Photography • Photoshop retouching • Consultancy • SEO / SEM

About: An engaging concept that will inform the industry of B.E.C. services and give a general appeal, to inspire casual visitors to dig deeper. Since its' launch the new site has attracted new leads and enquires from all over the world, including the far east.

Brightside Cottage - "Your very own country retreat".

Client: Brightside Cottage
Business: Holiday accomodation
Date: 18/7/06
Work: Website • Logo • Design

About: Brightside cottage is a small, independently run country cottage, on the south coast of England and as such required a simple presentation to set the mood inform the visitor and inspire the booking.

Chefsolutions - "Run by chefs for chefs.

Client: Chef Solutions
Business: Catering industry recruitment
Date: 11/2/09
Work: Website • Design • Photoshop retouching

About: Chefs Solutions brief to deshok here was simple and to the point. They wanted something so quick and easy to use that a chef, looking for a new position
or career change, could register their interest and C.V. details in between services.

Deshok.01 - "Illustration  |  Nu-media  |  Design".

Client: Deshok.com
Business: New-media
Date: 12/8/02
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Illustration • Print • Photoshop retouching • 3D animation • Animation

About: This is quite an amusing example of an early website for Deshok. It has everything, from 3D animation to music and voice overs and was intended as an example of what can be achieved with the technology, as well as a showcase for Deshok's work. Enjoy the site but you may want to turn your volume down first : )

Deshok.com - "40 degrees show Earls Court London".

Client: Deshok.com
Business: Company promotion
Date: 10/11/03
Work: Logo • Design • Illustration • Print • Photoshop

About: Back in 2001 –2003, Deshok participated in the “40 Degrees Show” London, a promotional exercise. The show was for street fashion and so a cool image and striking colour palette were chosen to really stand out against other marketing materials that would be floating about. The character "Jane Gunn" was created to lift the promotion from the bland and to give the client something of Deshok. Business cards, Flyers, Tee shirts and Combat Jackets were all designed and produced to help with this mission and with it's surprisingly successful outcome.

EMpwr Ltd - "High Energy Business Mentor".

Client: Emma Wimhurst - EMpwr
Business: Business Mentor
Date: 16/10/08
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Illustration • Print

About: Cosmetics millionaire and all-round, top flight business woman; Emma Wimhurst wanted a totally integrated, continuity of style, for her new business mentoring project and brand.

For Goodness Shakes - "A world class sports recover drink".

Client: For Goodness Shakes
Business: Sports recover drinks
Date: 27/4/05
Work: Design • Illustration • Photoshop • Animation

About: Deshok was commissioned by W3D to produce this entertaining, animated, introduction, for the For Goodness Shakes website.

Faith - "High Street footwear brand".

Client: Faith High St footwear retailer
Business: High street footwear retail
Date: 23/10/02
Work: Design • Illustration

About: This was a favourite illustration project for Deshok as provided a real – “We did that” feel, every time it was seen in high street stores or swinging off point of sale. Although Deshok was proud to product these illustrations and help develop the Faith character, it was very heavily inspired and art directed by the client on behalf of Faith shoe stores.

Gablehurst - "A Boutique B&B in the hart of the New Forest".

Client: Gablehurst Bed & Breakfast
Business: Bed & Breakfast accommodation
Date: 20/2/08
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Photography • Photoshop retouching

About: A unique boutique B&B, located in the hart of the New Forest, Gablehurst required a simple presentation for the establishment. Presenting It’s rooms, facilities and beautiful location in the form of large, high-resolution photography and extensive galleries. To set the scene and inspire bookings.

Glass Exchange - "Double glazing maintenance".

Client: Glass Exchange
Business: Double glazing maintenance franchise
Date: 2/8/09
Work: Website • Design • Animation

About: Glass Exchange commissioned Deshok.com to design and implement a new, multimedia rich, Internet presentation, to promote the Glass Exchange franchise, brand and services. Requiring a website that would be both, strong with-in search engines, visually dynamic and interesting to the visitor, this HTML
Flash hybrid is fit for purpose.

Mo'jive - "Put the X- factor into your modern jive dancing".

Client: Mo'jive Ltd
Business: Dance & Entertainment
Date: 20/6/07
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Print • Photoshop retouching • Consultancy

About: Together with Mo'jive's marketing department, Deshok has created a website, brand & printed material that informs Mo'jive patrons of what events
are on, provides information for new customers and promotes Mo'jive's full product range and special offers while remaining visually stunning and entertaining.

Neill Crawford - "And all that jazz, Nice".

Client: Neill Crawford
Business: Jazz musician and tutor
Date: 26/3/09
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Photoshop retouching

About: This website presentation for Jazz musician; Neill Crawford was an excellent use of the technology as it allowed Neill to showcase his music in fully streamed, stereo, 48kbps mp3 without lengthy down-loads or the need for the visitor, to down-load other plug-ins.

Premier Print - "A greener print company".

Client: Premier Print
Business: Litho and digital, print and design
Date: 3/8/05
Work: Website • Design • Photoshop retouching

About: An informative website was called for in this occasion and the client wanted something a little different, to the usually printers portfolio. Instead, the website was allowed to inspire confidence, in a print job well done with it’s bright, primary colours and clean, polished look and feel.

Purewell Timber Buildings - "Quality timber buildings".

Client: Purewell Timer Buildings Ltd
Business: Secondary timber buildings
Date: 18/7/06
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Illustration • Animation

About: Deshok was given a fairly open brief here. It was to present the three main Purewell Timber ranges and to pick out popular models with-in those ranges,
as features. The budget allowed for a little more creativity then the client was expecting and was very pleased with the outcome.

ShokBot- "The award winning Deshok website for 07-08.

Client: Deshok.com
Business: Internet & graphic design
Date: 2/5/07
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Illustration • Print • Photoshop retouching • Animation

About: This award winning website for Deshok, was central to a campaign, that generated over £20,000 worth of extra sales for 07-  08. The theme was; “Communication technology with a friendly face”. So the ShokBot character was developed to put forward that message. This was aimed at start-up entrepreneurs, who felt that the Internet was the way forward but didn't’ know where to get started. This is where Deshok was able to help.

Select Interiors - "A family run business".

Client: Select Interiors Ltd
Business: Bespoke, hand crafted furniture
Date: 11/8/06
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Photoshop retouching • Animation

About: Simple yet visual inspiring. This website features overviews about Select Interiors and their key product ranges, which are supported by concise product galleries. Intended to inspire the customer to email, or call for more information. Select Interiors recognise the strength of the personal touch so this website is intended to enhance that, not replace it.

SOS Lynx - "The plight of the Iberian Lynx".

Client: SOS Lynx
Business: Wildlife consrvation
Date: 31/3/08
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Print • Photoshop retouching • Animation

About: SOSLynx.org was originally intended as an awareness project to promote the plight of the endangered Iberian Lynx. It has since become
a major sources of news and information, attracting 25,000 visits from around the world per month.

Tradesman Express - "Hand fitted Kitchens & Bathrooms".

Client: Tradesman Express
Business: Bespoke, hand fitted, Kitchens and Bathrooms
Date: 15/6/05
Work: Website • Design • Photography • Photoshop retouching • Animation

About: This project is an excellent example of a strong client designer collaboration and what can be achieved, when client and designer listen to each other. Here the carefully guided challenge, was to create a website that closely followed design parameters, laid down in earlier printed and off the page materials and the use of strong, primary colours that have become a major part of the Tradesman express brand.

Water Scenes - "Water Feature Design".

Client: Water Feature Design
Business: Aquatic landscape specialists
Date: 20/2/09
Work: Website • Logo • Design • Photoshop retouching • Consultancy • SEO / SEM

About: Water Feature design provides many services, ranging from restoration to pond design and installation. The challenge here was to cover each subject sufficiently, without making the site look busy or to complicated to use.


To find out more about Deshok click: ABOUT
To view recent projects click: CASE STUDIES and PORTFOLIO

Deshok is a small, but well-informed digital agency
very capable of delivering big things on a global stage.

When you're ready, contact Deshok and let’s start talking about
where you want your business to go next.

CALL +44 (0)1202 388538 OR EMAIL: INFO@DESHOK.COM