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‘If you dream big, the universe will arrange itself around you’

Cressida, the superwoman
Thank you for coming to my book launch. If you’d told me a few months ago, when I wrote a LinkedIn post about my morning routine, that I’d be a published author, I’d have told you I couldn’t possibly fit it all in. With six kids and a global business, I’d have said, no way. Yet here is my latest baby, She Sweet. I didn’t come up with the title — I credit my assistant, sorry, chief of staff, for that gem.

But if you dream big, the universe will arrange itself around you. You just have to aim high and throw a bit, or a lot, of money at it.

Obviously I’ve had some help. Sheryl Sandberg read an early draft. Sheryl! Lean In was such an inspiration. How many women can lay claim to being the power behind the throne? And not just Zuckerberg but Trump too! Without Facebook’s news feeds he’d still be an obnoxious media star. Anyway, Sheryl pointed out that highlighting systemic issues won’t sell any books. So I’ve cut out all the tales of institutional sexism. No mention of the boss who pushed me out when I announced my first pregnancy. I wanted women to believe speaking up in meetings, requesting pay rises and looking businesslike would enable them to reach the top. Why dismantle the system when you can work on yourself? There’s nothing more transformational than a blow dry and soft tailoring.

I wanted women to realise that kids needn’t get in the way of ambition. My philosophy has always been to earn enough to pay for someone else to raise them. There’s an art to pretending you don’t have kids — I’ve included a worksheet at the back. I reveal tips like telling your kids they share the same birthday so you only have to organise one celebration. How to conduct parents evening via conference call. And my USP, breathing through the contractions while on a client call.

Read also: CIAPS e-Platform to tackle all forms of sexual, workplace harassment

Anyway, go forth women and trailblaze. One woman at a time!

Baz, the personal trainer

Simon is it? I’m Barry. Welcome to Uttermost Gyms. You can call me Baz, Bazzer, the Bazmeister, whatever. Can I call you, Si? OK: Simon it is.

What are you looking for from your “Extreme” workout today, Simon? Can you be a bit more specific? What do you do for a living? You move money. Like in armoured vans? Filling ATMs? So you’ll be wanting to improve upper torso strength . . . Ah, got it — that sort of moving money. How much? Ten million? Ten billion! I should have guessed from the new trainers.

All right, no need to get shirty, Mr Master of the Universe. I don’t care what you’re the chief of. But we get a lot of your sort, telling your assistants to book the Extreme, to show who’s boss. But for the next 45 minutes, I’m in charge.

So: let’s do this! You’re already warmed up, but a few stretches to start. Grab that back ankle and pull it in. All the way! Here, allow me. Just. Pull. It. In! That hurt, did it? Believe me, if it ain’t hurting, it ain’t working. And no, we are not done.

Now, press-ups. Keep those elbows in, work those triceps. Get down, City boy, and give me 10! OK, five. All right then, one . . . and a half. Hands off your Apple watch! Whatever it is, it’ll have to wait.

On your feet, now, aaand lunge! Switch legs. Two more. I’m not trying to humiliate you, no. What made you think that? Now skip the length of the gym. Skip, Simon! And back!

Says in my notes you want to get rid of that belly, so let’s work those abs, shall we, mate? Grab the dumbbells. Those are the lightest ones, Simon.

Four, three, two, one. Lift! Keep your core tight. Arms straight up . . . and gently down. I said, gently down! Look out! Well, that removes the temptation to look at your watch.

Take a break. What’s that? I can’t hear you. Out of breath? Si: that is the whole point. But just think how much money you’ll be able to move after this!

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