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Be clear what you want

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds” Albert Einstein

 

be clear what you wantWe’re in full swing of holiday season here in the UK with school holidays at least one week in now. But do we all feel in holiday mode? Are you taking time off this summer, or are you juggling business, family, friends and holidays? It can be frustrating having more things to juggle at this time of year can’t it?

Or, you can look on this time of year as a time of reflection, review, celebration and time out, before the next phase of the year starts. What are you choosing to do with your time this summer?

I’ve often felt frustrated in the summer months when I can’t “get on” with things as much as I’d like. It’s felt like my spirit has had to be tamed to suit those around me. However, now I’m a bit older and wiser, I know that I should never feel “tamed” in any part of my life. I can’t help who I am, or the vision I have, so why should I turn the volume down in the summer to suit others?

So, this year, I’ve been very clear with the family what I’m wanting to achieve & the hours I’m working each day. We’ve got a detailed family schedule for all of our work (eldest son has a part-time summer job), sports training, and social times. It’s not just for the purposes of menu planning or transport arrangements. It’s to make it clear that work time is work time, and if I’m called on to do other things, I won’t be able to achieve the work for my business, or my clients. My boys have started to equate my work “rewards” (income) with family treats, so they’ve got a better idea as to the impact their demands have on our overall family situation.

I know we have our own mind monkeys at work every day too. But what if you told them what your grand plan for these next few weeks is, and you harness their energy to get everything done you want to? Our monkeys are generally of “mediocre mind” as Einstein puts it aren’t they, and aren’t fully briefed on the bigger picture we’re working towards.

Be clear what you want

It’s not just distractions which prevent us from achieving what we want, or our own procrastination or mind monkeys. I believe it’s because we’re not clear enough what we want to achieve, and how we’re going to do it, in the time we have available to us. Oh yes, I always underestimate how long something’s going to take me, so I build in wriggle room now to my schedule! Do you?

Whether you have a team working with you in your business, or if you’re by yourself, this time of year can be crucial to meeting the targets you set yourself at the start of the year. Be clear with the time you have available for your business and make those around you aware of the importance of this time you’ve got and what it will mean to them if you’re able to complete the tasks you want.

Oh, and when it’s holiday time, please switch your technology off. That’s the benefit of a holiday. Total switch off. You’ll feel the benefit of it when you come back.

I’d love to hear how you’re managing the holiday season, particularly if you’ve got more people wanting your attention at this time of year. Maybe I could share your tips next week?

The Stay on Track programme has proved a popular support to business owners wanting support this summer. I’ve got just 3 places left now for 1-1 support for 6 weeks. You have 20 minutes a week for 6 weeks which keeps you focused and on track, putting things in place for when you’re back to full hours at the end of the school holidays. So if this would help you, please get in touch & book your place today, for just £132. [Those in the Business Cheerleading Club, are making the most of a group weekly programme]

If your not sure if this would help you, why not book a free Explore Call (20 minutes), and let’s work things through together.

If you’d like Monday Thoughts, and our weekly business tips delivered direct to your inbox, you can sign up here:

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How to use live video for growing your business

You’ve probably heard that using live video in your business could help you engage with your customer. They can get to know you better through your conversation or showing what you do in your business.

But many business owners are scared by live video, so simply don’t do it. I’ve heard the following reasons excuses for not doing live video. How do these sound to you?

  • nobody wants to know what I do
  • I’m not very photogenic
  • I don’t have a video camera / the right lighting / the right microphone

Really? Your customers don’t want to know what you do? Why on earth not? If they want to buy from you, why wouldn’t they want to know more?

And the others? Well, I guess you have a mobile phone or computer as you’re reading this? Who says you’re not photogenic?

live video tips by alice andreatIn my interview with Alice Andreat, she gives some great tips to get started with live video.

You can see from this photo that she’s an expert, and I’m still in learning phase for live video! She was so kind when she said “you are the light Tracey-Jane” 😉

 

Live video tips to take the fear away

  1. Use the equipment you’ve already got when you’re starting out. Your smartphone has lots of tools, and if it has a camera, you can record and share live video from it
  2. Choose the platform which you’re most comfortable with. If you use LinkedIn, use their video function; if Facebook is your preferred place to be, use their livestream; if you’re constantly on Instagram use Instagram stories to share your video
  3. Improve your lighting by getting natural light lightbulbs. Alice herself uses 2 unshaded lamps on either side of her camera, at about eye level. This is important for preventing shading on your face. For those of us with glasses this helps reduce the glare off your glasses
  4. Practice before going live. You can create a secret group on Facebook and practice, practice, practice there. Practice on any topic you like. If you have a safe place to share, like the Business Cheerleading Club support group, practice in the group and get feedback from members.
  5. Test your audio before you start. My first ever live facebook interview will go down in history as a classic case of this! I thought the audience could hear me, even though my guest couldn’t. Ooops! It’s actually a brilliant #tipsforbusiness video as Carrie Eddins gives some excellent PR tips for getting you started which is why you can still watch it! 😉
  6. Stay a bit more the right on your screen and look at the camera, not the image on the screen. It’s hard and this takes practice, but it’s worth trying out and seeing what works for you
  7. Generally use your phone in landscape mode as most platforms prefer this format. It also makes it a better “look” when you download the video and use in other content.

Want to learn more about using Live Video?

Join our online workshop Friday 10th August 11am BST where Alice from Fabulous with Alice will give some more practical live video tips in an interactive workshop. She’ll be focusing on ways you can use live video without being on camera. Sound like something which would help you get going with video in your business?

It’s free to Business Cheerleading Club members (level silver or above), or you can join us for £29 for the one off workshop. This includes the recording. LINK TO FOLLOW MESSAGE ME IF YOU WANT THIS.

What tips would you add for getting started with live video in a business?

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How do you know if your achieving work life balance?

How do you know if you’re achieving work life balance? Is it happiness? Is it the amount of time you’re spending in your garden or with your children?

achieving work life balanceThis article in the Guardian this week explained how a New Zealand company trialled a 4 day working week for 5 days pay to test how this would affect workers work life balance. It’s interesting that this two week trial showed a 24 point increase in achieving work life balance.

In November last year just over half (54%) of staff felt they could effectively balance their work and home commitments, while after the trial this number jumped to 78%.

That’s powerful isn’t it? Would you like to increase your work life balance indicator by 24 points? I think many people would! Especially busy business owners.

Measures for achieving work life balance

What measures do you use for achieving work life balance? We all have different aspirations, so what may sound feasible for one may be totally alien to another.

Amount of time at home v work – Even if you work from home, the separation of home time and work time is often the biggest factor people mention when talking about achieving work life balance. Do you have the amount of time in mind that you want to achieve? Is it 10 hours work time? Or is it about being home by 4pm when the children arrive home from school?

Some people work the other way around – how much time do I have available to work if I need to take the children to school, do my home jobs, do the shopping for my neighbour and be able to pick the children up. OK, maybe that’s extreme, but remember, this is about what’s right for you.

Quality time with the family – What do you mean by quality? Is it a day out? Is it having a meal and chat together? Is it reading stories before bedtime? Is it being in the same place at the same time? Define what this is for you, if it’s important to you achieving work life balance.

Time spent doing hobbies – Do you work so you can play more? Would having more time doing your hobbies be an important measure of your work life balance?

Time doing exercise or sport – This may be about getting away from work at the right time to play the team sport you want to do. Or it might be devising your schedule so you can do everything you want to do in the week. If exercise or activity are important, (and I would suggest for a healthy lifestyle it is), then fitting it into your mix and balancing it into your week is crucial to your work life balance.

Time with friends – Is this something you’d like more time for? Is it nights out? Days walking? Holidays? Theatre? What does this mean to you, and how can you measure it?

Time to do home jobs or personal appointments – Just like the research in New Zealand, having time available to do your household tasks and get to the dentist on a day off, or take those things to the tip can be so beneficial to you feeling great. Right? So how can you get the balance right for you if this is important to achieving work life balance?

Quality & length of sleep – Yes, sleep is important 🙂 We talk about it a lot, and sleep is one major factor in reducing stress. But isn’t this what achieving work life balance is all about? Living a happier more fulfilled life?

How do you know if you’re achieving work life balance?

Personally I think balance changes over time. In my experience what was right for me when my children were small is very different now they’re teenagers. I don’t think my values have changed, but what I want to do with my 24 hours a day has a different focus.

In the Business Cheerleading Club we’ve been talking a lot about mindset recently, after our workshop with Lottie Moore. This shift in emphasis of mindset I think helps us look at what we want to achieve in life and not just in business.

I’ve got 5 spaces left on the Summer Programme if you’d like help with reviewing and achieving your work life balance. In just 20 minutes a week we’ll get that focus on your work and life, and set the actions for the next week. Simple steps of moving forward, with the support of an experienced listener and business owner may just be what you need to find your work life balance, this summer, and get ready for your autumn business growth.

Book now for only £132 for your summer support to keep you balanced and on track so you hit the ground running in September 🙂




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Practice and persevere

 “Follow your dreams, work hard, practice and persevere”. Sasha Cohen

practice and persevere tools for business owners We had another sporting weekend, but this time it was watching it. This quote from Olympic ice skater Sasha Cohen sums up what inspired and made the family exclaim “wow”, (amongst other things!), at the weekend.

Whether you follow sport or not, learning that someone has been at the top of their game, crashed and burned, then fought their way back to being at the top of their game again, 16 years later is truly remarkable. I’m talking Tiger Woods, (Golf), here. But then that’s quickly followed by those “amazing” (read bonkers in my book), cyclists who are currently riding for 5 or 6 hours each day across France. And some still have the energy to sprint for the last 5km!

How much practice and perseverence do these athletes put in to follow their dreams? They work hard, and simply practice practice practice. Every day. What would your business look like if you practiced more and persevered more? Mine would be bigger. I’d be helping more people to grow themselves and their business. So why haven’t I done it if I know all the theory?

Yes, probably the same reason as you. I haven”t always believed in myself. My talents, my abilities, and even if I’m on the right track! That feel familiar? Yes, you’re really not alone in wondering all these things.

How do you feel when you put in so much work and effort on something, and you get no clients, or sales from that piece of work or idea? I often feel silly.

But what if, that new idea or product was just so new to those around you that it took them time to understand what it was all about? What if, you persevered and kept talking about it, in different ways, or working out how your product or service could offer the solution your customer is looking for? What if the timing just wasn’t right before? What would happen if you persevered?

So, with this in mind, pick one thing that you’ve put to one side recently that you know is a good idea but hasn’t “worked” yet. What can you do to share with your audience again and keep talking about it, and persevere with it.

If you know it’s right to follow this particular dream, dust it off & bring it to life again. Your customers need it don’t they? They just don’t know you offer it 🙂

Practice and Persevere with support

Today I’ve started a Stay on Track programme in the Business Cheerleading Club, aimed at those who have less time to spend on their business in the summer with children being at home. This is a group programme offered as part of the monthly support. We’ve already had one business owner say, “ah ha!” and get some clarity on what their focus will be for the next 6 weeks. I’d be delighted if you wanted to join us for this.

Or, if you’d prefer 1-1 support, then I’ve still got 5 places left on the summer holiday programme.  6 x 20 minute focus sessions for £132. The idea being you have 20 minutes a week for 6 weeks which keeps you focused and on track, putting things in place for when you’re back to full hours at the end of the school holidays. So if this would help you, please get in touch & book your place today.

By asking for help, and saying things out loud, you can help yourself work things out. If you need someone to listen to you, please book a free Explore Call (20 minutes), and let’s work things out together.

If you’d like Monday Thoughts, and our weekly business tips delivered direct to your inbox, you can sign up here:

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Failure is learning

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Samuel Beckett

failing is just part of learningI’ve failed lots over the years. In business, in friendships, in parenting. But then I’ve learnt so much by trying. What we often perceive as failure, is just us learning how not to do something isn’t it? It’s how we react to something and learn from it that is important.

With the World Cup football, and Wimbledon over, we’ve learnt lots about trying and failing, trying again and learning from the experience. So many of us look on as we watch elite athletes at the top of their sport when they’re heartbroken when they don’t succeed. We don’t see them as they train for hours and hours each day, but we learn about it from their interviews.

We’ve seen and heard about how much mindset is crucial to top athletes success. We saw it at an athletics championship this weekend too. Young people aspiring to be world class athletes who are learning from their mistakes, and tweaking their training and ideas. Eldest son had an amazing weekend, far outweighing his expectations. His biggest failure was in an event he expected to do well in, whilst others he hadn’t expected to do well in, he excelled. Yes, he’s learnt lots from his failures, and he knows he won’t let his mind get the better of him next time.

Speaking of mindset, I spent time with a client last week and helped her listen to herself as she let her mind monkeys speak her beliefs. It was fascinating. Watching her face as she spoke out loud where the beliefs came from and seeing that she knew that it was ridiculous to hold onto that belief now. We talked about all the ways she was actually doing this thing really well in many areas of her life, but when it came to her business, the mind monkeys took over. She sent me a photo on Friday of where she was succeeding in her life and could now recognise that she could do this “thing” which she was getting stuck on. She was smiling too, and knew that it was just in her head that she couldn’t do it 🙂

Asking for help isn’t failure – it’s taking control

By asking for help, and saying things out loud, you can help yourself work things through. Failure is learning. If you need someone to listen to you, please book an Explore Call (20 minutes), and let’s work things out together.

To help you over the summer holidays which I know can be a challenge, I’m offering 5 x 20 minute focus sessions for £132. The idea being you have 20 minutes a week for 5 weeks which keeps you focused and on track, putting things in place for when you’re back to full hours at the end of the school holidays. I’ve only got 9 places, and Business Cheerleading Club members have got first refusal on these, so if this would help you, please get in touch & book your place today.

Individual Focus sessions (20 minutes) can be booked, if time available in my diary for £33 a session (if you’ve had your free one already), which you can book here: Explore session)

If you’d like Monday Thoughts, and our weekly business tips delivered direct to your inbox, you can sign up here:

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Monday Musings – Be yourself

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

be yourselfSo whilst I’ve been working on improving my scheduling to fit everything in to my business and family life, you may think that all this work isn’t working for me, so how can it for you? If I’m a day late with one of my promises to you, surely I’m not the right person to help you get unstuck or move on with your particular situation.

We all have choices. Yesterday I chose to put my business schedule aside, even though I’d spent my usual 15 minutes in the morning preparing it and was confident when I wrote it that I’d achieve it. Why? No-one was even ill! Yet, to me, I chose to put my family first.

It was my eldest son’s high school prom last night. And he told me when I dropped him off at work at 9.30am that he needed new shoes to go with his suit. Really? In famous tennis player John McEnroe’s words, “You cannot be serious?” Yes, he was. Grrr. So I juggled things around, and whilst I did not shop all day on his behalf, it certainly messed up the time I had available for my own schedule.

We got him sorted, and whilst I’m disappointed that I didn’t get this to you yesterday, it’s just another tale to prove that we can run our businesses in the right way for us We choose what we do with our time. Has my business come to a grinding halt because I didn’t send this to you yesterday? No of course not. You may realise I’m no longer a person you want to hear from because I’ve let you down this time. I’m sorry for that. Or, you may realise that I can really help you get unstuck with that thing that’s really frustrating you at the moment in your life or business.

I’ve learnt, throughout my 14 years of business, that if I’m being myself, I actually offer better service to my clients and customers. It’s when I try and squeeze too much in, I do everything badly – including not being the caring Mum I want to be, or the caring business owner helping others achieve success.

Be yourself in business as in life

Are you always yourself in your business? Or are you trying to be something you think you should be? Or doing things you should be doing? I spend a lot of time with business owners exploring these shoulds and either getting rid of them totally, or working out what’s right for them and their business. We’re all unique, and so are our businesses, so following what others are doing won’t necessarily be right for you.

So I apologise that I’m a day late, but I also hope that this week you really think about what’s right for you and your business. If you’d like to explore what’s right for you, why not book a 20 minute Explore call. (or if you’ve had your free one already, you can book a paid for Explore session)

If you’d like Monday Thoughts, and our weekly business tips delivered direct to your inbox, you can sign up here:

Creating a flexible schedule

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. Thomas Jefferson

do you know who you areSo, it’s July. Did it sneak up on you? Or were you all ready for the start of the second half the year? What are your intentions or goals, (whatever language you use), for the next six months? You don’t need to look backwards at what you thought you’d achieve. Only forwards with what you want to achieve with the next steps.

Write them down & share them. I’d love to hear your plans. Isn’t it always exciting (or is it procrastinating?) to hear what others are doing? Well, whatever term it is you choose to use, I love cheering people on. It’s up to me to decide if I’m procrastinating with my time! 😉

I’m going to be honest with you. I’m finding my schedule really hard to juggle at the moment. I’ve been spending time reviewing and sorting my business structures out. Some of that has included sorting systems out at home as well, as for me they’re interlinked.

My day is a mixture of being Mum, wife, cook, carer, coach, accountant, social media ninja, writer, sales person, trainer, supporter, hand holder, encourager, hugger, soother, cheerleader, daughter, friend, volunteer. I like structure in my week, and I like to be clear about my goals for the week, and the day ahead.

So why, with all the systems I have in place am I struggling? Well, there’s something called the World Cup going on at the moment. If you don’t follow football, you may not have heard about it. But in England, it’s quite an important occasion. Especially as the current England team seem to have captured the hearts and minds of the country. And in a sporty household, it seems that everything stops for sport.

It’s not helping that my eldest son finished his school exams and is currently “on holiday”! He’s got a part-time job, but the hours aren’t fixed and it’s just another taxi service to add to my schedule.

So, whilst the football is on, my sons have changed their own sport training times so they can watch the matches. That’s had a knock on effect on my ‘normal’ work times and schedule. It’s also altered what and when we eat as there’s been a lot more eating in front of the television these past couple of weeks.

And communication? Well, to me, it seems like I haven’t spoken to the family for weeks as when we are in the same house, we’re not talking whilst we eat which is where we usually communicate what’s going on.

So, I’m all over the place. My nice neat schedule, and normal routines have been thrown out the window. How do I feel? A bit out of sorts and off balance if I’m honest. But it happens. Life happens. And whilst I want to control my schedule, I can’t control others. It simply means I have to be even more flexible with my work diary than usual, for these few weeks. But I also need to be really clear what I want to achieve. If I’m not clear, time will slip past with all the juggling and nothing will get done.

And yes, that’s one of the reasons why your Monday business tips email is only just landing on your doorstep – my scheduling is a bit wonky this week! 😉

Flexible Schedule – the right way for you

Do you have a similar story about juggling your schedule? It doesn’t matter if you have 5 hours a week to run your business, or 50 hours a week. If you’re not clear what you want to achieve in the time you have available, you can’t do the things you need to do. When you have to complete so many things in your business it can be hard to get the juggling right.

So, as we start a new month, a new week, and the beginning of the second half of 2018, what are you wanting to achieve? Write everything down, then prioritise.

You can only ever do one thing at a time.

If you need help prioritising, I’d be happy to help you in a 20 minute Explore call.

If you’d like Monday Thoughts, and our weekly business tips delivered direct to your inbox, you can sign up here: