Sally Mitchell Photography
Creative & Commercial Photography

The 100 Journal

Mike Coulter - 100 Journal

Mike Coulter photographed at Hawksfield 1st August 2018

Mike Coulter photographed at Hawksfield 1st August 2018

I don’t recall where I first met Mike Coulter, he just gradually came into view on the digital grapevine, which is quite appropriate considering how well he utilises the social networks. Whilst I was shooting the original 100 Portraits series in 2016 I knew that I wanted Mike to be part of it. We met at Relish in Wadebridge one blustery October morning for coffee and I remember him talking enthusiastically about BJ Fogg and the magic of the Tiny Habits method. He was in the thick of writing the Side Project Report for the Do Lectures and had been utilising the Tiny Habits method to help him crack the back of it. I love talking to Mike, his enthusiasm is infectious, he’s an inspiring person to be around and I always come away from a conversation with him looking at the world slightly differently and certainly more positively. I’m really glad to have been able to catch up with him again for a second portrait.

How has life changed for you since I first took your portrait in October 2016? I photographed you at the Hay Studios near Wadebridge, you had your flippers on : )

I still wear them as often as I can. But usually at Polzy or Harlyn: Though my bodysurfing pals would more accurately describe the ‘flippers’ as ‘fins’ Sal : 

[Oh God that makes me sound so pedantic doesn’t it? Bad start. Soz ;-]

It’s an important detail! I stand corrected.

As I recall when you did the original portrait at Hay Studio I was slap-bang in the middle of writing The Side Project Report for The Do Lectures. It was published early 2017, so when we met the creative work was on its final push. I was probably a bit stressed. Wearing the fins in the portrait to distract from my haggardy head.

How long have you been in Cornwall and what brought you here? 

My wife and I came to Cornwall first time round about 25 years ago. We had this naive/arsey dream of being posh-dropouts. We lived in Padstow, when Padstow was, er, Padstow. I worked three days a week in London to pay for our idyllic life down here, but after about 3 years we ran out of money. And I was dragged screaming, kicking and sobbing to Edinburgh where my missus co-founded a start-up. The day I left Cornwall was the day I vowed we’d be back ~ someday. That someday was five years ago.

Mike Coulter, 4th October 2016

Mike Coulter, 4th October 2016

Can you tell me more about the Tiny Habits workshop?

It was the Side Project Report, or more accurately the fear of screwing it up, that motivated me to learn the methods of Tiny Habits in the first place. The Tiny Habits programme, is a skill-set devised by Stanford University professor BJ Fogg PhD. I knew when I got the brief for the Side Projects Report, that I’d need to be on my A-Game for months on end to deliver the thing successfully.  BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits Method for optimising behaviour, establishing strong habits and getting my act together was just what I needed.

I started tiny of course, and simply signed up for BJ’s free 5 day web-based programme. But amazingly, the results I got where spectacular, really off-the scale. After a life-time of screwing up behaviour change in my life, I started nailing things on a daily basis. Things I hadn’t been able to master in decades, like a regular meditation practice, I now had sorted in weeks. And the habits stuck. It was like learning a superpower. So much so, that I ended up doing the full-fat, full-on, fully accredited coach training with BJ Fogg, to be endorsed as one of the few Tiny Habits® coaches in the UK. Learning Tiny Habits changed my life. And my career. So now I coach people and companies in these simple, game-changing skills.

Are you still working with Do Lectures?

Yes, but not as much these days. 

Delivering the Tiny Habits methodology to company management teams and the workforce is pretty much my day job. I’ve also agreed to do some coaching at Plymouth College of Art, which I’m stoked about, and last but not least, a modest Instagram-inspired, and fuelled, art business keeps me busy. 

Some new workshops with the Do Lectures are planned, and a side-project or two with Do is also in the offing. But it’s that old problem of time, focus and what you can prioritise ~ what you have to let go.

At the end of the original portrait I took, you had me photograph you with various pairs of glasses on from Glasses Direct so that Instagram could help you choose - did you pick a pair?

I did Sal, I can’t remember the style I eventually chose, but I did canvas opinion/crowd-source advice:…….AND…… 

Though, as your readers will see, not all the advice/suggestions was welcome/positive.

You can follow Mike Coulter over on Twitter or Instagram.

Sally Mitchell