Coming September 2024.


Making the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life

Praise for Avoiding Propeller Blades

“Chris Taylor shares life lessons from the heart and personal experiences. This book is thought-provoking, relatable, and excellently written. A must read for anyone experiencing change, disruption, or challenges.”

— Charles Marcus, International Speaker, Canada

“Chris Taylor has lived a life—father, husband, worker bee, consultant, immigrant, and passionate student of personal and professional development. He’s a man who doesn’t take the first answer as the right one but who delves deeper into the psyche of the human existence for answers. This book will reflect your own humanity and give you a path and a vision to conquer your own challenges and become the best version of yourself.”

— Mike Handcock, FCSP, Chair, Circle of Excellence Group, South Africa

“Chris Taylor is a remarkable author, and Avoiding Propeller Blades is a thought-provoking and very funny book with life lessons on how you can become a better all-round person. Chris combines personal stories with lessons he learnt from them that he is now passing on for us to do with as we wish. Your own self-leadership starts with this book and its many actionable insights and observations! Highly recommended.”

— Chris J. Reed, CEO and Founder of Black Marketing, Singapore

“From growing up in the UK and bravely leaving everything and everyone behind to move to New Zealand in search of a better career to the joys of marriage and fatherhood, Chris Taylor has a plethora of stories and doses of wisdom for everyone who is trying to muddle through this often confusing, but also rewarding life, and not get hit by unseen propeller blades. Enjoy Chris’s self-deprecating humour, apply his hard-earned lessons, and reap the benefits of his wisdom.”

— Patrick Snow, Publishing Coach and International Best-Selling Author of Creating Your Own Destiny and The Affluent Entrepreneur, United States

“If you are stuck, worried about the ‘What ifs,’ then you need to stop what you are doing and grab hold of this book. Chris Taylor takes you on a wonderfully crafted narrative that takes him out of his ‘I can’ts’ into the world of possibilities of ‘I can.’ Avoiding Propeller Blades has an accent (a Northern-England, Geordie accent to be precise) that encapsulates the author’s essence. We can all resonate with the stirring within our soul, the longing for something different. By reading Avoiding Propeller Blades, you will realise there is a pathway to implementation. Through the well-positioned questions and reflections at the end of each chapter, you can go from a ‘what if’ to an ‘I can’ should you choose to implement.…”

— Elias Kanaris, CEO Mentor and Executive Coach, New Zealand

“Chris has the aspects you really need when looking for someone to change your life and business direction. Not what you think. He is willing to look internally and not assume he knows it all, which so many do. And he continually improves himself, which I think gives him the right to work at changing you. He cares more than is good for him and works to make it work, managing to combine this goal with the ability to get you results. I value ‘human’ in the people I work with because it gives the balanced view. He is the guy I would recommend to anyone who wants this fine and unusual balance to work with any time.”

— Bill James CSP, Director of Training and Development, Attain Ltd., New Zealand

“Here is a book that is filled, in every sense. It’s like a clown-car where you think, “surely it can’t fit anymore in there” and yet another thing comes out. Chris writes with unbelievable wit and humour. He draws on metaphors in a way that few others do, and all in service of providing concise, bite-sized nuggets of golden wisdom. It’s a unique blend of informative instructions while being wildly entertaining. If you react with the desire to laugh, cry, be inspired, take action, or reflect, then you are getting it. This book can be simply paper and ink, or it can be a powerful tool in your kit. Chris let’s YOU choose how to use it.”

— Cam Irving, Business Owner, Investor, Entrepreneur, New Zealand

“Funny, raw, and relatable. Chris blends a combo of real experience and wisdom to provide practical ways to get the best out of your life. Be careful where you read this book. You might fall out of bed laughing or have people on the bus staring at you when the words hit deeply. A great read to ensure the gold medal is yours!”

— Karen Tui Boyes CSP, CEO Spectrum Education, New Zealand

“In Avoiding Propeller Blades, Chris Taylor shares tales of the mistakes he’s made, the damage they did, and how you can avoid making similar ones. Now and then, he even shares how he successfully avoided making a mistake (hitting a blade) himself. Whether the blades are related to personal relationships, family, business partnerships, or hobbies and sports, they all culminate in a curious mix of quirky stories with valuable and heartfelt lessons to help you enjoy more freedom and suffer less pain.”

— Tyler R. Tichelaar, PhD and Award-Winning Author of Narrow Lives and The Best Place, United States

“Chris is writing a book—excellent and about time. Aye, about time because he is a man with a message. I know this because we have shared podiums (Toastmasters) and pints (many places). The message I know will be from the heart and delivered in a style only Chris can offer—funny, offbeat, challenging the status quo, and leaving us inspired. This will be a read not to miss.”

— Tom Fuller, Inventor, Entrepreneur, New Zealand

“Chris has had his share of propeller blades. He’s still on his feet, and as time passes, he is being hit less often. The good news for you is that Chris is happy to talk about his scary moments, even though most people would keep them behind closed doors. He’s happy to share because he’s keen to help you avoid the pain and embarrassment of being hit by the blade yourself. Enjoy the read, have a laugh or a cry, but most importantly…learn to walk a better path in life!”

— Mike Catton, Professional Trainer, Coach, CEO Peak Performance NZ, New Zealand

“Chris’s book is a must-read for anyone who wants to break free from their comfort zone and achieve greatness in their personal and professional life. This book provides real stories laden in self-deprecating humour to inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and embrace new challenges. Chris takes readers on a journey of self-discovery and helps them understand the importance of taking risks. He provides his own lessons coupled with insightful questions readers can use to start stepping outside their comfort zone and embracing new opportunities. Overall, I highly recommend Avoiding Propeller Blades to anyone who wants to live a fulfilling and successful life. This book will inspire and motivate you to take action and pursue your dreams, no matter how daunting they may seem at first.”

— Peter van Eekelen, Business Owner, Investor, New Zealand

“Chris is everyone; he has a self-deprecating approach to his stories; he doesn’t know all the answers and has made the same errors the rest of us make, but his unique background and set of experiences, combined with his knowledge and education, give him an insight and openness that can only serve us, teach us, and make us think. But don’t just read it; absorb it, learn from it, and implement it—you will not be sorry.”

— Sheena Hemens, Entrepreneur, New Zealand

“Chris isn’t shy about opening up to the fact that he’s screwed up in his life. But if you stop and think honestly about it, that’s where the gold lies in this book. He has been mature and open enough to reflect and learn, and generous enough to share this with you, dear reader, to aid you in not losing your nose on the next propeller blade. This book is full of reflective wisdom and plenty of humour.”

— Matt Goodrick, Business Owner, New Zealand

“Chris Taylor has achieved many things in life and learned a lot of hard lessons along the way. This book will teach you how to go from the ‘I’m not sure—I’m afraid’ second guessing we all hear in those little voices to avoiding those massive roadblocks and continually having the ability to move forward and live the life you really deserve. Do yourself a favour; grab this book with two hands and read it front to back. You are worth it!”

— Mark Trafford, Business Owner, Investor, Entrepreneur, New Zealand

“This book provides invaluable lessons drawn from the rich tapestry of Chris’s life experiences. Through his triumphs, setbacks & everything in between readers will gain profound insights and actionable wisdom applicable to their own journeys.”

— Abby Ley, Business Owner, New Zealand

“A brilliant read filled with thought provoking ideas, light hearted humour and a real connection to honest and open thoughts detailed beautifully through each page. It is a book everyone could gain from and would therefore recommend to anyone.”

— Georgia Langridge, Business Owner, New Zealand

“Chris’s book is an inspiration. Hard and soft facts that resonate. I found the narrative an anchor during my own struggles.”

— Mike Thwaites, General Practicioner, New Zealand


Imagine lifting your consciousness, thoughts, and realisation of self to truly know yourself like never before, verucas ’n’ all. What price would you pay to empower yourself to build the life of your dreams?

Imagine developing a language and toolkit to navigate yourself, your life, your family, your anything—finding love, business, and career success, and being the parent you can be proud of on your deathbed (not the glossy magazine cliche). Who would you seek to touch with this new aura?

Imagine breaking through to clarity and personal power and influence to make choices that finally serve you. The deeper you. The real you. At last taking your own reins. What would that feel like?

Imagine transforming to attract those around you, not repel them, to develop an energy that magnifies and electrifies those you touch. How does that stir your soul?

Imagine your partner and kids walking in one day and saying, Wow, you have changed. I love you more than words can say.” Is there any better outcome than that for a living human?

You don’t have to imagine anymore.

In this book you will learn:

  • How to elevate your consciousness to make more effective choices and decisions related to any life choice.
  • How to accept your fallibility with grace, humour, and optimism.
  • How to boss your mind like never before, to empower yourself to live fully and unconditionally.
  • How to navigate your history, stories, and screwups to reset and arm yourself for the future like never before.
  • How you too have life stories, just like in this book, yet you have buried the gold. This book will be the spade to dig the gold out of the swamp for you to invest and use—today.
  • How humour and self-deprecation can set your mind free to get unserious, to get playful.
  • How to embrace your vulnerability to build courage that will set you free on the road to love, fulfilment, and success.

You are more powerful, awesome, and omnipotent than you think.


June 9, 2023

Avoiding Propeller Blades:

Making the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life

Chris Taylor

Aviva Publishing (2023)

ISBN: 978-1-63618-270-4

New Book Explores How to Learn From and Dodge Mistakes

Avoiding Propeller Blades: Making the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life by Chris Taylor is a witty and fun, yet heartfelt and earnest book about how we can learn to dodge the blades that come at us in life so they don’t slice us in the face. Of course, we’ve all taken a slice or two, or maybe more, as Taylor knows—after all, we are human. But if we learn from those experiences, we can grow and make our lives better.

In forty short chapters about his life, Taylor explores the times he’s been faced with a propeller blade and how he dodged it or learned from being hit by it. Taylor has certainly led an interesting life. Born in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK—which makes him a Geordie—he moved twenty years ago to New Zealand. During his fifty-plus years, he’s been a chemical engineer; become a coach for individuals, teams, and organisations; been married three times (his current wife is the embodiment of Superwoman); and been a father. All these experiences have had their propeller blades to avoid, and though bloodied at times, Taylor has learned from them all.

Each story is written in Taylor’s quirky style, full of humour, slang, references to pop culture (British rock bands, sports, television and film etc.), and playful tangents that enlighten us to the curious person who is Chris Taylor. The stories entertain while offering valuable insights. Taylor is no stranger to self-reflection, and best of all, he can laugh at himself and the mistakes he’s made. He summarises each chapter with an Aha Moment and Lessons Learned, and then he offers the reader some questions to reflect on how his experiences may be similar to theirs and how they might have handled the situations he encountered. The purpose of the lessons and questions is to empower the reader to make better decisions. As Taylor states, “Empowerment for choice is my mantra.” He believes people cannot delete struggle, that is part of life, but they “can use struggle to build a more self-aware, conscious, and resilient you.”

The stories Taylor shares are too numerous to discuss in detail, but I’ll mention what were a few of the highlights for me. They range from Taylor’s teenage flair in wearing a red scarf to class and not conforming to his forays into mountain biking and public speaking.

But at the heart of the book is what Taylor has learned from his relationships. Perhaps the most memorable chapter is titled “Marrying Superwoman.” Taylor discusses how he met this amazing woman who took him on even though she was significantly younger than him and made more money—wheelbarrows full—than him. Adjusting to being married to her made him question many things about himself, including how eventually to be okay with her being the family’s primary breadwinner.

Of course, marriage comes with in-laws. Taylor shares how he met and got to know his current father-in-law, Joe. The relationship started out a bit rocky, but in time, Taylor came to accept and value his father-in-law. He realised that the opinion he formed of Joe in the beginning needed to change if they were going to have a relationship. Today, they go out for coffee and Joe comes running when Taylor’s car battery is dead and he needs a charge—but that’s a whole story in itself.

Other men have also played key roles in Taylor’s life. He had an amazing coach who sadly died, and he had a friend who failed him as a business partner—one of the hardest propeller blades he ever had to face. Taylor shares about his relationship with his father, who was often an absentee in spirit if not always body. He goes golfing with his eighty-seven-years-young stepfather. Most poignantly, he mourns his older brother Steve, whom he grew up admiring only to grow distant from when his brother became standoffish and made poor financial decisions that hurt the family. I could painfully relate to how Taylor was left with many questions and mixed feelings after his brother died since my own brother died unexpectedly. I appreciated Taylor’s deep honesty about his feelings regarding Steve. In the end, Taylor says, “He [Steve] was a decent, moderate man in many ways, just like our father. He was unavailable for true connection, however. I think of my father and brother, and that word comes back to me. Unavailable. Emotionally, spiritually, authentically. I think they were both lost souls. Adrift.”

Life goes on and so does Avoiding Propeller Blades, with stories about how to find new ways to love and find fulfilment. One of my favourite sentences in the book is when Taylor realises that in marrying Superwoman he will acquire two stepdaughters—and his future wife’s dog, Choccy. Taylor remarks, “Two stepdaughters for one dog is a fair deal.”

Despite all the wisdom he shares, Taylor also makes it clear he is still learning. Not long ago, he thought about buying a sports car, an M3. He tells us, “This story is about letting go of what is not you. The not you—whatever that is for you—is the propeller blade.” Eventually, he realised the M3 was not him. “My deep inner self work led me to a breakthrough of realising that wanting an M3 is all about wanting to belong to a club I do not fit into. A club for others who honour different values.” He’d much rather mountain bike or coach clients than drive a fancy car. I would say he has his priorities/values right.

We can all take a lesson from Taylor—actually many lessons, including always trying to make effective choices, empowering ourselves through constant learning, accepting our faults with grace and humour, embracing our vulnerability, and having the courage to keep going.

Avoiding Propeller Blades offers a unique perspective on many of life’s issues and how we can navigate if not always solve them. Chris Taylor is a welcome new voice in the field of humour and personal development. I hope you will benefit from his words by finding less propeller blades in your life.

For more information about Chris Taylor and Avoiding Propeller Blades, visit— Tyler R. Tichelaar, PhD and Award-Winning Author of Narrow Lives and The Best Place

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