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How to create flexible working business case

This week I’ve had the honour of accompanying two business owners to celebrate their flexible working businesses at the Mum and Working Awards. Both started, and run their businesses, around their young families. They both created a flexible working business case for them to work through with their husbands before taking the step of setting up by themselves.

The awards were and inspiring couple of hours, with many of the judges sharing their own flexible working decisions with us. It wasn’t all about business owners either. Julie Baker, Head of Financial Inclusion and Enterprise at Nat West, shared her story of how she created not only a flexible working business case for herself and family when she wanted to carry on working and developing her career. She also came up with an idea for a friend of hers who was working nights, whilst her husband worked days so they could manage looking after their own child. Julie created the flexible working business case for this lady to become a child minder, look after her own child as well as Julies, and create a more family friendly home life for her family.

We heard from more than one woman who’d been working in businesses which wouldn’t, (or couldn’t?) consider flexible working. So they set up their own businesses, to find the right flexible working environment for themselves and their families. It felt very much, “I can’t get what I’m wanting here, so I’m going to create it myself”.

Inspiring.

As I write this, on International Women’s Day, with the slogan, PRESS FOR PROGRESS, it feels like we shouldn’t have to write a flexible working business case, but it should be a core value in our society. Every business, large and small, should understand that working flexibly ensures skills and talents remain in the business and economy as a whole. Even though some jobs or roles may be difficult to organise flexibly, there’s no reason not to believe that flexible working is important to our economy.

Your business may also need more flexibility to respond to fluctuations in customer demand. So looking at your flexible working plans, and how things can work best for your business, using a flexible work force, should be part of your business review process.

Creating a flexible working business case

Whether it is for yourself, or your business, creating a business case for flexible working will help you see the opportunities and challenges.

Things to consider in the business case:

  • What do you mean by flexible working
  • How many hours are the minimum required for the job to be done well
  • Where does the work need to be done
  • How can each team member remain part of a team whilst working flexibly around each individuals needs
  • What are the core functions and hours of the business and how will they be staffed
  • Can technology help flexible working in the business
  • Is training needed for team around how flexible working will benefit them and work in practice
  • How will communication need to change for flexible working to be effective

It’s not necessarily about reduced hours, or working at different times of the day. It’s an opportunity to look at your business processes and identify what has to happen, and then work out the how & who will make it happen.

For yourself, if you’re creating a business case for your employer, or partner, think about the end result you want. Is it about continuing to do fulfilling work, but reducing your hours. Or is it about putting children, or caring responsibilities first?

Flexible working businessBoth Emma, from bras4mums, and Zoe from Bournemouth Bra Lady created a flexible working business case for themselves, and have created their businesses around their families. They were both finalists of Self Employed Parent of the Year, showing just how much that planning has helped them create the flexible business they want.

If that’s what you want, you can do it to. If you need help seeing all the options, personally, or for your business, book a call with Tracey-Jane & let’s explore together.

Are you managing difficult conversations at work

Difficult situations are never easy to deal with. Some will need us to have a difficult conversation, which makes us feel uncomfortable. We may prefer to avoid the conversation, or the situation altogether.

What happens then? If we avoid it?

The situation often gets worse. We feel worse about the situation. Other people may be affected, and not feel great about whatever it is that’s going on.

At home we may find we’re taking our work frustrations out on our partner and family. They may get frustrated with us, and a spiral of uncomfortable and difficult conversations may happen. We may shout and get upset. We may not sleep as well as usual.

All because we’re not managing difficult conversations at work effectively.

How to approach difficult conversations

Whatever our approach is, the first thing to remember is:

  • the conversation needs to happen

If we avoid having that conversation, the situation will get worse, and it’s likely that feelings will get out of control from the original situation that occured.

When managing difficult conversations, it’s important to remember to:

  • listen to the words that are said
  • listen to the words and actions not said out loud
  • listen to your feelings

Listening is such a skill, that many people, including business owners, forget to use it. Allowing someone to talk whilst you simply listen, allows them to say what’s on their mind.

Having the conversation, to move things forward, is often more important than the words used. I’ve known people put off having the difficult conversation as they spent so long on trying to find the right words to use, that the situation was overtaken by other events, and everyone involved felt much worse.

It’s not always easy managing difficult conversations at work,  but we must do it. It the issue is affecting your work place, it may also be having an impact on other staff, partners, and most definitely customers. If there’s an “air” about the workplace, it’s not always comfortable for others, and good work is unlikely to be happening. Your top quality customer service may also be affected if you’re not managing the situation as well as you could be.

At the end of the day, it’s your business & you’re responsible for all that goes on within it.

Managing difficult conversations at work – Workshop

Managing difficult conversations with Simona Frumen

The hardest part, in my experience, is starting the conversation. Once you’ve started, the people affected are happier that it’s being talked about.

That’s why our next Business Cheerleading Club workshop is all about How to Start that Difficult Conversation, with expert mediator and lawyer, Simona Frumen. Anyone can join this, by booking your place , (if you’re a member of the club, this is free for you & details will be sent later this week). The workshop will be recorded if you can’t join live, and you’re welcome to ask any questions, or share a situation you need help or advice with, in advance.

As a mediator I was leading their difficult conversations without shaming, humiliating or hurting the parties involved.When we resolved their issue, they were so grateful for the relief they felt.

Simona Frumen

Club members get the opportunity to share situations and get help from other business owners to work out the next steps, and get support when managing difficult conversations at work.

What’s your experience of managing difficult conversations at work? Le

Do you know the secrets to financial freedom?

Many people start a business to create financial freedom for themselves and their family. For others, the freedom of running a business is in the flexibility of time around family commitments.

When I started my first business, I had no plans of financial freedom. It wasn’t even a concept that I’d heard of, or was thinking about. I started the business as I had a passion to help other women, and I knew I could earn a living, and contribute to the family finances through my work.

As life moved on, and the ups and downs of growing a business, and a young family, and investing for our future became a bit more in focus for me. I guess I was more aware of what I was doing with money. I chose to invest profits into the business to grow it. I chose to find premises and move out of home, as it seemed the most sensible thing to do. My turnover was growing fast, and even our most pessimistic estimates suggested that all our base line expenses would be covered, including my basic income from the business.

If you know my story, you’ll know that the credit crunch hit my business hard. The same month as my Mum’s cancer prognosis was terminal, the credit crunch halved my turnover. Yep, in a month. I’d literally only signed the premises lease that month & now I was saddled with 3 years of paying for a retail unit that I may not need.

Crippling is a good way to describe this section of my personal money story.

I still wasn’t looking for secrets to financial freedom.

I was simply working through each day trying to regain the sales I’d lost, and grow my audience to sell less to more people. Whilst, spending time with Mum and Dad. I was doing what any business owner does, and battens down the hatches, and does what they think is right for their business and their family in times of struggle.

Are there really secrets to financial freedom?

secrets to financial freedom with millen livisYou may have seen people who’ve followed a plan for finding their own financial freedom. You may have had conversations with people who tell you that “you too can have financial freedom, if you just do this”. You may well have planned meticulously for every eventuality and have pots of money in different places to help you ensure you have financial freedom.

I’ve always believed that I’ll find my own way back to financial freedom, after the setbacks I’ve had. It took me a long time to realise that I had to stop blaming others though.

Yes, I know the credit crunch wasn’t my fault, but maybe if I’d saved 6 months money to cover expenses, maybe, just maybe we’d have got through things differently?

Over the years I’ve tried this, and I’ve tried that. I’m getting there with my own financial freedom.

However, it’s only this year, and finding Millen Livis have I really, truly understood what financial freedom really means to me. Taking responsibility for my own financial freedom.

It’s strange. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to friends, family and clients, helping them “do things in the right way for you”, so why has it only just clicked for me that my own financial freedom will be very different from someone else’s?

  • The words financial freedom may mean something quite different to you
  • What’s right for me, may not be right for you
  • My methods of reaching financial freedom, may be quite different to yours

And that’s fine. Durrh! I feel a bit silly really. I’m sharing here, as you may also be in a bit of a rut with your own money story and need a bit of help.

Millen’s Secrets to Financial Freedom

….are simple. She even calls them “common sense”, and describes that as it’s not so common now, it has to be listed for people to follow.

  • Don’t spend more than you earn
  • Don’t borrow more than you can afford
  • Build multiple streams of income

millen livis secrets to financial freedom free downloadTo me, these make sense. I got in touch with Millen to tell her how I’d had an “Ah ha” moment when listening to one of her webinars. I also asked if she’d be happy to do a short interview with me as I know there’s others like me who could benefit from her straight talking, common sense approach.

She said yes! 🙂 She’s going to be live with me on Friday 2nd March 5pm GMT on the Facebook page. I can’t wait! I’m not sure I’ll be getting any more “ah ha” moments, but if I can help just one more person to find theirs then our time together will be totally worthwhile.

Millen’s new book is fantastic & simple to read and follow. Millen has got a free download for you, telling you her secrets to financial freedom, and much more, which I highly recommend. Whether you’re stuck in a money rut, or looking at growing your wealth or financial portfolio at the moment.

Why not come and speak with Millen yourself on Friday at 5pm? You can chat via the comments box and I know she’ll help you, just like she’s helped me.

If you like what you see, Millen also has a Lasting Wealth Academy which may be just the thing for you to take you and your finances to the next step.

I’d love to hear what your “ah ha” money moments have been.  What are your secrets to financial freedom? I think we’ve shied away from talking about money for a long time, and that has to change if we’re to help educate our children about living with their own financial freedom. Leave your comment below, or share your ideas in the Business Cheerleading Club, a safe place for coaching, training and supporting business owners

 

 

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Stress busting techniques from Esther Nagle

stress busting techniques for business owners from esther nagleWe all encounter a little stress in our lives, so it’s important to know some quick tips to reduce and remove our stress. These stress busting techniques were shared with us by Esther Nagle, from Balance and Breathe, in our recent online conversation.

Stress busting techniques

1. SLEEP

Esther’s top stress busting tip is getting your sleep right. Many business owners struggle to sleep well as your brain is buzzing with ideas, or you “just want to get this done”. Instead of getting good sleep, and letting our bodies and brains rest, we often believe that we’ll work through it.

Without sleep, we’ll start to feel more stressed, and out of control. Sleep helps us get a more balanced view of our work, and life.

2. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF IN THE MORNING

After your great sleep, Esther suggested that you need to make time for yourself in the morning to set up your stress free day. Whatever you do with that dedicated “morning routine”, (and you may need to play a little bit to get it right for you), be it exercise, meditation, planning, or a mixture of different activities, will be important to the day ahead.

3. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS

This is one area we know that business owners struggle to do. And it’s often the ‘regular’ bit of it that’s missing!

Whether you set an alarm to keep your day broken up, or schedule your day with breaks into it, it’s important that you step away from your work, take a break, before returning to it.

Having a drink, (why are brew areas so important in offices? Not just for the social interaction, but the act of moving from your desk to get a drink), going for a short walk, stretching, dancing, singing. Changing your physical and mental state for that whole body and brain change is important.

4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE

This is an interesting one, but one you’ll probably have heard of. It’s interesting that Esther thinks this is important as a stress busting technique.

Knowing that you have a lot to be grateful for can really help you to focus on what’s fantastic about your work and business, and know that the current frustations (stresses), are only there to make your business better in the future.

Some people write down their #threethings each day in a journal or diary, or even share them on social media (making you accountable for what’s good in your life). Others will have times during the day when they’ll think about what they’re grateful for.

5. GET HELP

I know from personal experience that business owners are often bad at asking for help! We think we have to know it all and do it all. Hmmm. That’s not going help our stress levels is it?

So, what can you ask someone else to do? Is it the family to do more around the house if you need to work in the business more? Can a friend help you out at an event, instead of you trying to do it all yourself & not being pleased that you couldn’t speak to everyone? Would an assistant be helpful to do the things you don’t enjoy/aren’t finding time to do?

6. BREATHE

It’s interesting that Esther chose this one to end our conversation, as when she started talking about it, it felt to me that it was the most important stress busting technique that’s available! [Note – Esther has told me since that she could have talked for days about breathing, so she left it until last to ensure she told us the other top tips first!]

Breathing well, helps keep us grounded. Simply breathing in and out, takes the focus away from our busy mind, and focuses on the breath. There’s different breathing techniques you can learn. For starters, simply breathe in and out deeply three times.

I use this when I start to feel a little anxious and is the perfect way to get yourself back in control when you feel yourself getting a bit ‘off balance’.

More stress busting technique support

I learnt loads from Esther, from Balance and Breathe, in our short time together. Her stress busting techniques are all simple to put into practice and are all free! We just need to do them.

Esther shared an excellent 13 minute relaxation exercise. You can contact Esther directly for more information, or support

If you’d like some support, as a business owner, to reduce your stress, whilst continuing to work in your business, the Business Cheerleading Club has other business owners who know what you’re feeling, and going through, and will support you to put your stress busting techniques in place. It’s a place to ask for help.

What else would you add to these stress busting techniques for business owners?

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Why conversation is important to us

I love talking and meeting people and having a conversation. It helps the world go round, don’t you think?

If you don’t have a conversation with your client, how will you know what they want, and if you’re the right business to serve them?

How do find the right supplier, or negotiate the right deal for your business? You have to have a conversation.

I was looking at ways to help business owners learn tips and tricks to improve you improve your time management, or learn how to do something. I know you don’t have much time to go searching for what’s right for you. There’s so many courses and tutorials and youtube videos available, but what’s going to work for you?

Conversation with experts

in conversation with Sarah Arrow blogging for business tipsLast week I decided to have conversations with some experts I know in different areas of business, and personal development. My goal is to spend no longer than 30 minutes with the expert – they’re busy and so are you – getting a couple of #tipsforbusiness owners from them from our conversation.

I love learning, and spend a lot of time reading, and watching tutorials and webinars. But I’m sometimes left with more questions than I started with! I want to ask “what does that mean for me?”, “how do I do that in my situation?”. So, this way, I can do the asking!

We’re carrying out these conversations on our Facebook page as a live interview. So they’re free for anyone to watch, and ask questions during the conversation (or in advance if you can’t come live). We’ve created quite a list in a short space of time, and are now getting experts booked in for conversations in April. It’s wonderful how so many people are wanting to share their tips with others so we can all learn and do better in our lives and business.

Every conversation is recorded and will be available afterwards. For our Cheerleading Club members, they’ll have them in the club resource centre. We’ll also be putting them on our YouTube Channel, and of course on the Facebook page, so hopefully they’ll be easy for you to find what you need.

What would you like to learn from a conversation

So whilst I’ve started learning and having amazing conversations with fantastic people, we’d like to hear what you would like to learn from a conversation with….Who? Who would you like to have a conversation with?

If we can all have more conversations with each other, we’re bound to understand each other better, learn more, and help each other more aren’t we, and grow all areas of our business too?

That’s a dream I’m having at the moment.

Join our conversations & let’s grow together. A full list of our events is here on our Events Page.

 

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Do you love your business?

Do you love your business? I do now, but it hasn’t always been like that.

All the businesses I’ve run have come from passions I’ve had, and I’ve loved them all. However, times change, life happens, and I know I’ve fallen out of love with some of these over time.

My difficulty, in business, came when it took me too long to recognise I know longer loved what I was doing, and I held on to the business for longer than was good for me. The business suffered.

The hardest time for me, was when I was holding on to a wonderful business I set up, bras4mums, when I’d stopping loving it. I loved the results it gave it’s customers, but my focus had been taken away onto other aspects of my life, and I knew I wasn’t giving it the attention it deserved.

As soon as I made the decision to let the business go, by selling it to someone who loves it, the weight lifted off my shoulders, my mind became clear, and I was able to focus on my other work and businesses. I started flying again, and loving everything I did.

How do you know if you love what you do?

do you love your businessI often get asked this. For some people, it’s obvious. They know as soon as they wake up in the morning what they’re setting out to achieve, and the small step they’re taking that day to work towards it. For others, it creeps up on you, like it did for me.

It may be that you love working with customers, or creating the product, but you don’t like all the pfaff that goes with running the business. Or, you love working from home and the flexibility it gives you, but you don’t like worrying about when you’re going to get paid next.

When I’m asked this, I get people to simply stop, and sit quietly. I ask them questions, and we explore together what they love, and what they could easily never do ever again. They work through the different ideas about:

  • why did you first start your business?
  • do you love your business?
  • what do you like least about running a business?
  • if you didn’t have to work for money, what would you do?
  • what’s the most important thing in the world to you?

These questions generally spark ideas, or questions that they have been hiding from themselves about what they love, and what’s not so great at the moment.

What’s the difference between love your business & love your family?

Well for me, I knew that when bras4mums came to life, it was a new baby in our family. It wasn’t just that this business was born 6 months after my youngest son was born. It grew with us as a family. Whilst I didn’t have to feed and clothe it, if I didn’t love and nuture it, it wouldn’t sustain it’s own life.

I know some business owners keep their business life quite separate from their family life. There’s nothing wrong with that. But as business owners we are who we are, and bring ourselves to our business. Does that separation mean that this business isn’t part of a nuturing family structure? (maybe that’s a question for another day).

I believe you can love your business with passion, in the same way you love your family. Your business can give you back enough love and support, from customers, and the joy you bring others through products and services, to warrant it’s “seat at the table”.

Now your family may disagree with the amount of time you’re spending on your business, and say, “you love that business more than you love us”. Is that how it feels sometimes? Just think of a poorly child. How much time will you spend with the child to nurse them back to health? Will you do the same with your business?

“I’m not sure I love my business enough”

Enough for what? The time away from the family? Time v Income equation? Effort v Reward?

Go back to the questions I ask my clients. Why are you in business? What’s important to you?

You need to be really clear about what you’re doing with your time, and what you want to achieve. Not just in your business, with your time. We only have so much of it, and we know we want to make the most of what we have.

Find Your Why

I’ve been learning a lot about myself these past few years. I felt there was something missing, or I’d missed something vital. It was almost like I knew I hadn’t found my “thing”. When I read Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” book last year, everything started making sense again.

I undertook my own Find Your Why session and was amazed at what I learnt about myself, and it was almost like a game of Ker-plunk, where everything starts falling into place. Even though I loved what I was doing, I didn’t know why I was doing it. Once I learnt why all these different things were important to me, I started doing more of each of them, and loving them all even more.

Do you love your business?

If you answer YES straight away, that’s fantastic. I’d love to interview you for our #inconversationwith series, so please get in touch.

If you’re wavering, and saying, something like, “well, I think so”, or, “I love this part of it”, or, “I used to love it”, then maybe it’s time to review what you love doing. There’s nothing wrong with reviewing your business (we should do it regularly anyway), and your role within it.

Let’s book a Find Your Why session together, and really get to why you love your business, (or parts of it), so you can move forward with confidence to grow yourself and your business.

Recently I was lucky enough to attend a ‘Find Your Why’ session with TJ. This session is really worth your time for both your business and personal life. In fact what TJ will get to, is what your personal strengths and traits are and how these can be incorporated into a successful business. TJ is an excellent listener, and this is essential to this session. You need to be prepared to ‘go deep,’ tell the stories you really want to tell and watch TJ bring out the main themes and characteristics to help you bring your core values into your work life.
If you feel like you want your business to be a reflection of you, I would advise you invest in the time with TJ and watch how things develop. We have lots of future plans now and I can’t wait to see how these unfold. Finding your ‘why’ with TJ will help motivate and inspire you.

Angie Webb, Glenbreck Health Ltd

N.B. The Find Your Why session is a bonus in our Confident Business Owner programme, for extra value.

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What to do when you feel lonely

It’s hard enough being a business owner sometimes, but when you feel lonely, life can feel so much harder.

Loneliness is becoming an ever present topic of conversation. We’re used to loneliness being talked about with our aging population. But loneliness in business owners? Really?

Unfortunately, the answer is “yes”.

At work, loneliness reduces task performance, limits creativity, and impairs other aspects of executive function such as reasoning and decision making. For our health and our work, it is imperative that we address the loneliness epidemic quickly.

Vivek H. Murthy, Harvard Business Review

There’s all sorts of research available, to show that loneliness is an increasing problem, and there’s much concern about all communities about what to do when you feel lonely.

Business owners aren’t immune to feeling lonely

As a business owner, you know how lonely it can be sometimes. Your partner doesn’t understand why you’re working so hard. Your family don’t understand why you need to work when they want you to be with them. Your friends don’t understand that you can’t go out with them tonight as you’ve just got to get this customer order finished. You have no-one to talk to, or share with.

There’s no-one in your usual support team who you think will understand what you’re going through, or the difficulties your facing of making decisions. So, you look inwards to the inner strength you have as a business owner, (it feels like you’ve got a super power doesn’t it?).

You think that running your own business is better than working for someone else, but then you find that you’ve no-one to talk to when you make a brew. There’s no-one to tell what a fantastic weekend you had when you ‘log on’ for work. It can be quite isolating.

I know this feeling only too well. I have some great friends, and lovely supporters, but I’ve had times where I felt so lonely in what I was doing. I felt I had to do “this thing” all by myself. I felt that no-one understood. For me, this period of my life started a period of depression, which took a while to come out of.

Find someone to listen to you when you feel lonely

what to do when you feel lonelyI’ve learnt so much about the power of listening in the last couple of years. It’s a powerful tool for all of us, in every walk of life. For business owners it’s even more important, that it’s something simple you can do when you feel lonely.

Your friends, family, partner, network colleagues, and strangers don’t need to understand your situation. But they can just listen to you. They don’t need to advise, or find solutions for you. In fact, that’s not what you need. You just need to share, with someone, what’s on your mind. You have all the answers in yourself, and by sharing what’s on your mind, you’ll find that it becomes clearer to you what your next steps are.

There are some listening services springing up all over the country now, as more people recognise that listening is way of helping who feel lonely and isolated. I’m a trained listener, and have helped set up a listening service in Preston, near where I live. It’s been so valuable to help those who are lonely, or don’t know where to turn.

Ensure your support network is working for you

Whatever your business, or where you’re based, your support network is important to you. Not only to support you grow your business, but to be there for you when you feel lonely.

Our support network, as business owners, may well be a network group, (online or offline), who understand our business, and our needs. It may be a co-working space we enjoy being in, which offers support to us in not being alone in our day to day work. However we see many business owners sticking with something that isn’t working for them, and that’s making them feel even more lonely in their work.

One step from today is to review who and how you’re being supported in your network. Is it working for you? Do you feel lonely as a business owner? Could you improve your support network in some way? What would that be?

This isn’t about money either. It’s not about how many networks can you be part of, so you don’t feel lonely! It’s about being with the people you feel comfortable with, who can listen to you, and you can listen to them when they need it. You may have friends and family that can do this for you. Or you may have an online group you feel comfortable with, (but there’s nothing better than talking out loud to help you – it does something wonderful in your brain. We need that connection).

Review what you’ve currently got in place, and be honest with yourself if this is serving you and your business at the moment. It’s fine to change support groups as our business grows. Think of it as a child growing up – they need different support as they grow too.

We’re hearing that business owners are finding the Business Cheerleading Club a comfortable place to get support, and be listened to. That’s fantastic, and we’re delighted to be able to offer this place where you’re listened to, you can share your anxieties and successes, and you’ll be understood for who you are, and what you do.

We hope it’s not just a place to go when you feel lonely, but for whole business support.

I also offer listening sessions to business owners, as I know how much this can help. Yes I can coach you, but sometimes, you just need someone to listen to you. Whatever support you need, don’t be lonely. Ask for help. We can’t help you unless we know, (just like your friends would tell you!).

What do you do when you feel lonely at work?

Book a listening and/or coaching session with Tracey-Jane:

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Do or not do. There is no try

“Do or not do. There is no try”

This is a quote from the iconic Star Wars character Yoda. He is so wise isn’t he? (I haven’t watched the newest film yet, so no spoilers please).

I’ve always found Yoda to offer deep questions to those he works with. They may not always understand the question, but once they ponder it, their brain takes on the challenge, and works out a way of moving forward, or answering the question.

We can all learn from this way of questioning and thinking.

Thinking through a problem

We all learn and process information differently. We’ve been helped over the last 18 months from the Mercury Model, to understand these differences. Some of us love new information, others of us take time to let any new piece into our head.

So when a friend or colleague asks us a question about some work we’re doing, we’ll all have a different response to it. Depending how they ask the question, we may be defensive, or accepting, and then our brain will do something different with that piece of information.

If we work with a coach, or have someone we use to bounce ideas off, they may well challenge us, just like Yoda does, and ask ‘difficult’ questions. I know I often think, “ooh, that’s a hard question to answer” when challenged in this way. But once I’ve let my brain mull the question over, and try a few different scenarios out so I can answer, I realise that it’s a question that goes to the heart of what I’m trying to do. If I can find the answer to this question, then I know I’ll have answers to more of the questions and problems I’ve been having recently.

Taking action – Do

do or not do. there is no try. yodaThere’s LOTS of motivational quotes about taking action. And my social media feed is full of ‘take action’ blurb at the moment, (as in, it’s all very well having these amazing ideas for 2018, but you’ll only achieve if you DO something about it).

It’s true! Only by doing will you achieve what you want.

And Yoda is right to. What do we mean when we say, “I’ll try”.

  • Will we try to do our best?
  • Will we try and contact that supplier we’d love to work with? Or,
  • Will we try to be the best parent ever?

What does TRY mean anyway? Surely we’re going to be DOING something whilst being our best at the time? Aren’t we BEING a parent & DOING what we think is best for our family at the time? And we either pick up the phone or we don’t with that supplier we want to work with.

It’s only by DOING that we’ll move things forward, or tick things off our list. If I TRY to complete everything on my list for today, I’m not focusing myself on each individual task I’ve listed. If I focus on the task and then DO that task, I’ve done my best and I’m making progress to achieve my daily tasks.

Choosing to Not Do

There will be things that we choose not to do, as they aren’t priority. Or they’ve been on our list for ages, and we haven’t done them yet, so are they important now?

By saying. “I’m not doing that”, we’re taking action on something. We haven’t failed. We’ve just prioritised what’s important to us. Life and business moves on. What felt important a month ago, may now be unnecessary, (and some may say, that’s why you didn’t do it at the time!), so cross it off the list and move on.

No try

I’ve always found it interesting that a rugby score is called a try. If you’ve ever watched a rugby match, then you’ll know that it’s a physically demanding sport, and everyone in the team tries hard to pass the ball, tackle, with the goal of scoring a try.

That’s the only place I can think of where you want to ‘try’. Every other situation we face, we want to DO and not simply TRY to do our best.

Try v – aim, attempt, do one’s best, do one’s damnedest, endeavour, exert oneself, have a go, make an attempt, make an effort, seek, strive, struggle, undertake

Collins Dictionary

Do you tell your children do “do your best”? Even if we use the word ‘try’ as from the definition in our dictionary, it says, “do one’s best”, and “make an attempt”. That’s all we ask our children to do – just their best on the day. That’s all any of us can do isn’t it?

If you need help taking doing and taking action, then join our Business Cheerleading Club which will support you take action to achieve the things you want.

Or, if you need more one to one support, book a coaching call with Tracey-Jane and work out what’s important on that list of yours and prioritise what’s left.

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Kick start 2018 with a free coaching session

Free coaching session giveaway

One of my business goals for 2018 is to support more people, businesses and organisations to achieve their goals through listening, business coaching and training. We’re offering one person the chance to have two hours free coaching session with Tracey-Jane Hughes this January in our kick start giveaway.

free coaching session giveaway

We know that many people don’t fully understand the benefits of coaching, and often see the expense of paying for a coach, unnecessary, especially in a cash strapped small business. So, we’re offering one person the chance of spending 2 hours (in one or two sessions, whichever is best for the winner), with experienced listener, coach and business owner, Tracey-Jane Hughes in January to get their year kick started in a free coaching session.

 

“You are one of the most skilled coaches and listeners with brilliant commercial knowledge I have met.

Brave business owners who are ready to do something different and mind set changing in 2018 get in touch with Tracey-Jane Hughes”

Coaching client & business owner

Benefits of having a coach

Some of the well known benefits of having a coach are:

  • Establish and take action towards achieving goals
  • Become more self-reliant
  • Gain more job and life satisfaction
  • Contribute more effectively to the team and the organization
  • Take greater responsibility and accountability for actions and commitments
  • Work more easily and productively with others (boss, direct reports, peers)
  • Communicate more effectively

Institute of Coaching

Personally, we’ve benefited from having someone to talk to who isn’t a close family member or friend about ideas, or frustrations, and working things out with someone outside the situation. This has been extended in more recent years with our knowledge of listening and how beneficial it is to have someone really listen to you well.

Tracey-Jane’s husband was offered a coach through work as part of a work re-organisation package, and whilst he was sceptical to start with, he found that by having a coach helped him stay focused, and achieve more during the time he was working with them. He’s also found that his understanding of himself increased which has stayed with him after this period of time.

Self awareness is one of the major areas a coach can help you with. They ask questions you often don’t want to ask yourself, and that’s exactly what they’re there to do. Help you ask yourself difficult questions so you can look at an issue from all angles. Once you’ve looked at the issue, you can then work out different ways of dealing with the problem, and your coach will help you ensure the actions you talk about taking are clear, specific and manageable in the time you have available.

If you suffer from having ‘mind monkeys’ sitting on your shoulder talking in your ear, a coach can offer a different way of listening and quietening them down, so that you work out for yourself what you want to do.

Coaching can help with many areas of life and business, and some people we know have different coaches who support different aspects of their life – health, sport, career, business development.

What a business coach isn’t

A business coach isn’t:

  • someone who will do the work for you
  • someone who will talk to that annoying person in your office on your behalf
  • someone who will tell you what to do
  • someone who will tell you off if you don’t do something you said you would

A business coach is

A business coach is:

  • a person you feel comfortable talking to about anything that’s on your mind
  • a person you respect and feel is able to help you get to where you want to be
  • easy to talk to. Who listens and asks questions which make you think for yourself
  • keeps you on track when you want to stray and talk about something else – because you set goals at the start of the coaching relationship which you want to achieve
  • a key supporter and cheerleader of everything you do, who doesn’t judge what you do, don’t do, or how you do it

If you’ve had a coach in the past and it didn’t work out for you, maybe they were the wrong person for you?

If you’re wanting to do things differently in 2018, but not sure how you’re going to keep on track, maybe a business coach will be the right person to work with you and help you achieve?

If you’re business is going really well, but you need a bit of personal coaching to get your life back in balance, or your health back on track, then a coach can help you with this goal.

To enter the giveaway to win the prize of 2 hours free coaching session with Tracey-Jane, follow the instructions below:

[giveaway id=1406]

 

Learn more about Action Learning Sets & how they can help you explore issues with an experienced listener, coach and facilitator, if personal coaching doesn’t feel right to you at the moment.