My Journey

Wednesday Wisdom

Today I have been thinking about Wednesday Wisdom’s the trend to post an inspirational or thought provoking saying, statement or quote on our social media to remind us of what we have or to help others when they may be feeling low.

There are many that I feel translate well in to a ‘working’ sense.

In a previous blog I have spoken about the power to change, the power to do and the power to believe.

Those three things are so easy to say and yet they are so hard to do.  Why? Because they all have an element of risk attached to them.

The Power to change – but what if I change and it doesn’t work?

The Power to do- but what if it isn’t as easy as it seems. What if I fail?

The Power to believe – Will people judge me?

I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason, and if it isn’t right yet you aren’t at the end of that particular journey.

Some, say that they are silly and that ultimately, we control what happens and we control where the end is.

It would be easy to say OK, I am wrong. But I don’t, I stand by these two beliefs as they have seen me through so incredibly challenging times and I can think of one area right now where the second keeps me going, keeps me trying, keeps me believing that we are not yet at the end but at some point, we will be and everything will be as it should.

Now, don’t get me wrong I don’t think we can achieve world peace with these beliefs alone, but I do feel that they give me more compassion, more patience and make me look at the situation more clearly without letting my emotions take over all the time.

I saw this today when scrolling through Wednesday Wisdoms…

‘What’s Stopping You?’

Is it your fear of change? Fear of failure? Or fear judgement?

Take a depth breath, believe that everything happens for a reason, and remember it may take a while but once it’s right you will be at the end of that journey.

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My Journey

Perspective

Whenever I use the word perspective I can’t help but think of Ross and Rachel in friends when they get back together (briefly) after the whole ‘We were on a break’ debacle.

I think perspective is something we could all benefit more from. What I mean by this, is having the ability to stop, look at the bigger picture and really think and consider the situation properly.

We live in a time poor society and spend our days rushing around trying to cram everything in, I don’t know about you but quite often I seem to blink and it is Friday AGAIN and I wonder how on earth it is here again already and wonder what did I achieve this week.

Or, we wish Monday – Thursday away, praying for the weekend. To get out of the office and spend quality time with friends and family – But do we ever manage it?

This is where I believe we ALL need to improve and get some perspective on our lives, goals and how we spend our time generally.

Over the last few weeks I have been lucky enough to speak with and spend time with some very successful business owners and the overwhelming feeling I was left with is that they really understand the power of stopping, thinking and assessing.

One in particular stands out to me…. They had worked for years in the same career and they loved it.  But after a fundamental change in their family life, they knew something had to change.

They didn’t rush in to a new venture, they didn’t just bury their head in the sand and hope that the niggling feeling that they needed to change would go away.

They invested time and effort in to understanding what they and their family wanted.  Where did they want to be in 1 year, 2 years and as far ahead as 10 years?

They asked themselves some hard questions – what would you do if you had 6-12 months to live?

But also, some fun questions like if you won £3million on the lottery what would you do?

When I asked why? The response was simple.  To get perspective and to understand what was really important to us individually and as a family so we could plan to achieve our goals.

So, take some time.  Be honest with yourself and your partner, family and gain perspective on your life so you can take control and achieve your dreams.

I have lived for so many years running around like a headless chicken and at 33 it is time to stop.

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My Journey

Inspiration

As I was writing confidence, I began to think about what it is like when you feel truly inspired.

There have been many times throughout my life when I have felt truly inspired – my Head Master at Primary School, inspired us all and continued to inspire children every day for the next 16 years.

My Dad, who despite some really tough times he taught me and my brother how to be good people and most importantly to believe in ourselves.

My Mother in Law, who every single day gives selflessly to everyone around her and is so filled with compassion it is humbling to see.

But, if I am 100% honest I have never used this inspiration as much as I could have.  I have said to myself so many times, I am going to be better, try harder, do more and like most of us I have maintained it for a couple of days but never really made that change to the best of my ability – A bit like when I say ‘right, from tomorrow I am back on the diet’ and a few dates later I have once again fallen of the wagon.

I am lucky enough to be a mum to my gorgeous little one IC and I want him to grow being inspired everyday by me, with what I do for work, my outlook on life but most importantly on how I help him to grow and learn.

So, there it is, throughout all of the inspiration I have been lucky enough to have throughout my life, a little 1 year old, who just wants to absorb everything around him is the inspiration I need to be a better person, to be more thoughtful and ultimately teach him to be kind, compassionate and loving as he grows up.

When were you last inspired to be better or to make a change? Not sure?  Why don’t you have a look around you?

The Inspiration could be lurking in the place you expect to find it.

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My Journey

Confidence

Wow – I have been terrible at blogging over the last few weeks, and the main reason is because I have been feeling overwhelmed.

I have, suffered a couple of setbacks that have seriously dented my confidence – am I cut out to be an entrepreneur, am I good enough to do this?

Yesterday I attended a seminar, I was honest and said I was there to speak to local business owners and see what opportunities there were for me to work with them and help them improve their marketing and grow their businesses.

I wasn’t sure how it would go.

I walked out 3 hours later and not only had I made 3 really good connections but the seminar itself had taught me so much.

The presenter was so passionate about what he did, his enthusiasm was infectious and he left us with a couple of quotes both courtesy of John Rohn (Look him up, he talks a lot of sense).

‘If you will change…. Everything will change for you’ and ‘If you want to have more… Then you must become more’.

And these really did resonate with me.  Change is something we all find difficult but often if we make the change as uncomfortable as it is, we can look back in a few weeks’ time and feel empowered by what we have achieved.

So how can I relate this to now?

It is really easy – I have to be the business. I have to remember that offering Marketing isn’t unique, but I am (yep quirks and all!).

People buy from people and that is what will make the difference to me.

But how do I become more?

I have thought about this almost constantly since the seminar and I think this can be interpreted in so many ways.

It could be an activity, an approach or even how many hours you work/play.

I have been amazed recently by my Aunt, who has taken on a challenge to walk 10,000 steps or 5 miles a day every day in June. Not only has she absolutely smashed the challenge and is walking closer to 10 miles a day but for her I believe this challenge has become about so much more.

I want that feeling, I haven’t yet decided on how I am going to become more.  But by 30th June I will have implemented a new approach or activity to help me become more than I am today.

Confidence is a funny thing – In a true business sense mine has been shaken to the core, but by attending one seminar and talking to likeminded people and drawing inspiration from my family, I am feeling bolstered and ready.

If you are ever in a place where you lack confidence – be honest with yourself.

Do you need to make a change and what can you do to become more and I am certain that not only will your confidence return it will be sky high!

My Journey

Brave?

I have deliberated for a while on whether to write this blog, but something that happened to us as a family back in August 2016 is the reason I made the ‘brave’ choice to start my own business and get the work life balance how it should be.

So, where do I begin?

From the outside looking in, I had everything in 2016.  A loving, caring and extremely handsome Hubby, a beautiful, smiley, happy baby boy. I was just starting the dream job, running two brands of a successful health and beauty business and a 3 bedroom 1950’s semi-detached home in suburbia – you know, life doesn’t get much better, does it?

Well it suddenly did – We were pregnant again!! Now, OK, it wasn’t ideal I was just starting a new job.  IC would only be 14 months old with the baby arrived.  But we would make it work and our family we felt was almost complete.  We giggled at the thought and excitedly, started researching double pushchairs and planning where everything would go.

Sadly, this joy was short lived and at 11 weeks, we sadly lost our beautiful baby. Even now, 8 months on from that day the sadness overwhelms me.  But as a family, we rallied together and kept normality for IC who was just at the most incredible stage and really starting to develop a little, very cheeky personality.

I threw myself into my job with a renewed focus. This was my chance to be a success. This is how I would be the best Mum I could be – by not being there?!

IC was thriving and enjoying every moment he spent with all of his family, but he was getting clingy.  If I was around, he didn’t want anyone. Surely, it was just a phase.

Well this phase continued for months, and by November the penny was slowly beginning to drop.

Working all the hour’s god sent wasn’t being the best Mum I could be, I had got my priorities all wrong and frankly, I wasn’t managing working and being a Mum as well as I could be.

On my daily commute, I started thinking ‘I would never get these moments with Isaac back & if, we only have Isaac would I be able to look back and say, ‘yes I did everything I could to nurture him and help him grow’’ and I realised that I was hiding behind my job and using it as an excuse to not address my emotions about our loss or the guilt for not seeing enough of IC.

So, I began to look at how I could get the balance right, how could I enjoy my baby boy – who was growing so much every day and still work and provide.

The rest they say is history.

So why did I call this blog ‘Brave’? Well I have on a few occasions recently been called brave for starting my own business. I don’t think I am.  I think the brave people are those who make the big decisions early.  Who sacrifice in some cases, their careers for their children.

I feel the balance is now how it should be and I am blessed to be able to see so much more of IC.

My advice, is to not hide behind an emotion or a loss, be honest with how you feel. Talk about it or write about it and ultimately be honest with yourself.

My Journey

How Much?

I can’t quite believe that I am almost at the end of my 2nd month of running a business!

The days have flown by and I feel pretty chuffed with how they have gone……. I have even been paid (PHEW!)

One of the hardest challenges I have faced so far is knowing my worth.

When I started, I had a clear figure in my mind and that was it.  I would charge that regardless of who I was quoting for, a completely new business, or work through ex colleagues etc.

But, within a couple of days I had already broken my one rule.  I was wobbling on what my time was worth and muttering to myself ‘well they only need this so…’ or ‘I don’t want to lose the work so I can just about afford to it for..’ Suddenly, I was shy, embarrassed to say how much it would cost (Not a side of myself I had seen before).   

Luckily, the husband isn’t quite so, mmm…. ‘Soft’ when it comes to matters of money and he said;

‘What do you think your time is worth?’ and ‘If you think you’re are only worth X you will only ever be paid that’.

These words have had me thinking and viewing every quote in a different way.

Whenever, I have been in a position of being offered a job I have never been shy of negotiating the salary or benefits so why would I be now? Am I somehow worth less now?

The answer is no. Then I started to think about this scenario in a personal sense. If we allow people to undermine, bully and hurt us – are they therefore devaluing us?

Am I worth less than them?

‘When you accept less than you’re worth, that’s what people are going to keep offering you’

Now I can’t put a figure on what my feelings are worth to everyone I know but I know one thing for sure.  I don’t want to wait until I am in my 40’s or 50’s to be comfortable in my own skin, knowing who I am and what I am worth.  I want it to start today at 30 something and enjoy life with my nearest and dearest who value my ability to drink copious amounts of wine, to cook a nice dinner, to offer a shoulder to cry on or my ear to listen as they unload their concerns.

So, every day, I will be reminding myself of a quality/ skill or trait of mine to take into the day ahead.

Today I choose my ability to drink wine – Who’s with me??

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My Journey

Flexible

I am no contortionist but I have always tried to be flexible in my working life, start early if needed, stay late if the current ‘urgent’ task required me to.

Over the last 17 years I have done this almost without blinking, that was until I had IC and then I began to ask for my employer to be flexible.  One was a rigid as a wooden ruler (I left) and one was more like a bendy shatterproof ruler and happy for me to work at home, leave early take IC to the doctors etc. and in return they got more from me.  More dedication, more commitment and ultimately more respect.

So here I am like so many trying to balance motherhood, a career and attempting to be a good wife (I fail here a little too often… Sorry Hubby!) and I have realised that being flexible in the hours I work to suit my family has a fantastic impact on my productivity.

My thoughts on this are why are so many of us still chained to our desks Monday – Friday 9-5 (or whatever your core 37.5 hours a week are)?

Why do employers insist that their staff sit in god awful traffic for an hour in the morning and an hour on the way home or battle with overcrowded public transport?

Are we all at our most productive at these times?  Or is it historical bull sh*t, that the majority are too scared to change?

For me I am at my best from 7-10 and 2-6 so that is how I balance my day. I take breaks, I enjoy a coffee or 5 and I have a lunch break.

So come on businesses, join the revolution give your staff more freedom to work when they are more productive and haven’t gained yet grey hairs thanks to the daily commute and in return, I can almost guarantee that you will have a happier, more dedicated and flexible team to help your business to grow.