The OOMPH Factor

Forget the X Factor – do you have the Oomph factor? You know, that fire in your belly which made you do things and step into the unknown without as much as a backward glance.  Oomph is all about vivacity, energy and enthusiasm – but I think its more than that – it’s that little bit of something special, that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that just sets some people apart from others.

It’s that twinkle in the eye which differentiates the person who sticks at a job they dislike and complains about it, from the person who seems to have endless time, energy and courage, to get things done and make the changes when life and work dictates.

I bet everyone reading this will have, at some stage, made New Years’ resolutions, or set goals, to be more active, to keep in touch with friends more, to do more with their children, volunteer more – whatever your stage of life – only to see their goals and resolutions fade away. How often have we been inspired by – envied even – someone else’s determination to make things happen and then used a myriad of excuses as to why that couldn’t or didn’t happen to us.

Everyone is capable of getting that Oomph factor.

Eddie Izzard thought he could run 43 marathons in 51 days, on a diet of hot dogs and ice cream, with hardly any training. What a Comedian! Yet he did it. He also occasionally does his stand up show in French and German, as well as English. Not bad for someone who was kicked off his accountancy degree course.

People with OOMPH are everywhere in our communities – running the local football team or guides group, organising charity events. They are the people who don’t just talk about doing things – they do things and get things done. They start new projects. They take on things others won’t. They persevere when others give up.

In business Oomph is vital.

In business terms, OOMPH is vital if you set up on your own, or if you’re to be a successful partner or director – there’s no one around to tell you what to do or check if you’ve done it. You have to have the perseverance to keep going – even in the tough and lonely times.

We recently spent a week working with a group of 10 and 11 year old children. Their hopes and aspirations were infectious – to be an architect, an engineer, an archaeologist, a fashion designer, to run an animal sanctuary. They hadn’t been affected by others saying “ah yes but” or “that’s so hard” or “you’ll never do that”. The worst one I heard once was, “oh you’ll never amount to much”. That one blighted someone’s life for years.

It’s bad enough if others say these things to us. But surely worse still if we learn to say them to ourselves. As a result we stop doing things, we give up on our ambitions, we give up on ourselves.

So what is the OOMPH factor?

We’re convinced this is about attitude, mind-set if you like. Therefore absolutely anyone can have it. Whatever it is you want, start by thinking “OK, what if I could have….. or do…..?” In this day and age many things are possible.  Then, “and what would I need to do to have….. or do…..?”
List out the things you’d need to do, for the various different ways you might achieve it.
You then have to decide – “am I prepared to do that?”

Take responsibility.

Ultimately this is about you taking personal responsibility for achieving the things you want – and for making a choice about whether you’re prepared to put in the work or effort it will take.

And remember – success comes to those who do the things others won’t do.

So no more procrastinating, no putting things off; no feeling stuck; no waiting for others to make a decision for you. Instead, decide and take action. Be one of those people with OOMPH.

Is it still around or haven’t you seen it for years?

About the author: Neil Kirby is a Professional Coach and Director of The Red Rubber Ball Company
After reading “What’s Your Red Rubber Ball?!” Neil and Steve Williams followed their instincts, took action and contacted Kevin Carroll. Their meeting became the inspiration for their business and from where they took their name.
They have created a 4-part Webinar series “OOMPH”.
You can get more details and book at

Be the change that you want to see. Step into your leadership.


Join the Community
Subscribe to the
Women Unlimited Newsletter
Keep up to date with the latest articles, webinars and events that we are running to support you on your journey to being a change maker and change leader
I'm in!
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
Join the Women Unlimited Community
Join now