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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.

 

 

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ADVENT – DAY 23: MINDSET METAPHORS

Mindset Metaphors

I’ve followed Lottie Moore for a while, and been fascinated by her work at Mindset Metaphors. She’s in an online group I belong to, so it’s been easy to sneakily learn a bit more about her and her work.

When she invited me to join a 28 day affirmation challenge during December, I thought, “why not”. It’s a way I can learn more about affirmations and the work she does, and obviously see how affirmations can help me in my life and work too. So I have been learning each day with Lottie, and it’s interesting. The way that the words we use may not be quite what we mean when we really think about it. It’s been great to use time to really think about what I want for 2018 for myself, my family and the businesses I want to work with.


lottie moore of mindset metaphorsMindset Metaphors believe that everyone has the right to live to their full potential in all areas of their life, and we support them to make that happen in three key ways:

  1. Training coaches and trainers to facilitate life changing Mindset Metaphors with their clients, including glass and fire walks
  2. Hosting events and retreats for individuals who are seeking deeper connections and conscious living.
  3. Working with organisations to develop their teams, allowing each member to experience empowerment, whilst exploring their vital role within the team. Creating a mindset for success.

Their founder, Lottie Moore, is a Sakahani Master Firewalk Instructor, and multi-award winning trainer, speaker, and mindset coach, who has been empowering inviduals with an array of breakthrough activities for many years. Drawing on her learnings from while she lived in Burkina Faso, Lottie brings a unique perspective to her training and events, igniting the passion and productivity within everyone she works with.

Lottie has marked herself out as the expert in her field, and is the ‘go to’ person for creating change, growth, and ultimately success, for all she works with. She is best known for taking people out of their comfort zone to create the results they seek from leading women to the rooftop of North Africa for International Women’s Day, to working with teams to create exceptional and dynamic results.

Lottie is passionate about enabling as many individuals and teams as possible to experience the life-changing transformation that Mindset Metaphors and Firewalking can bring.


Lottie has just run an event with 108 firewalks! Wow! Most of us haven’t ever walked on one fire have we?

If you want to learn more about Lottie & how Mindset Metaphors can help you, or your team, change a mindset, please get in touch directly:

Phone: 0333 772 9692

Email: team@MindsetMetaphors.com

Facebook: MindsetMetaphors

Twitter: MindsetMetaphor