Finding the balance between business and self-care

Working for yourself as a solo entrepreneur or a freelancer it can be tricky to balance the desire to do well and succeed (whatever that looks like to you) and taking care of yourself.

There are so many demands competing for your time, your clients, the marketing – whether that is through social media or speaking or radio or TV or whatever channel you are working to connect with your clients on. Plus life, your family, your friends and even your own health.

It’s challenging to make time for everything and more often than not, if you are in the service professions the person who comes at the bottom of the to do list is ourselves.

If you are an entrepreneur and wonder why you feel so tired, depleted and resentful at the end of the day then it is likely to be because you’ve put yourself at the bottom of your list for way too long.

The reason you are tired, depleted and resentful and likely struggling, at least a little, with your health is because you’ve forgotten to take care of yourself.

It’s hard for anyone to be successful when they feel that way.

If you are a solo entrepreneur or freelancer then you are your business. So it is important to take care of the core asset, you!

The best way to make sure that you do that is to give yourself time to rest and recharge.

This is easier to do if you schedule it in, preferably in advance and in conjunction with the other parts of your life. If for example you’re a woman with monthly cycles and you know that you get tired around the start of your period then it’s scheduling a lighter load for that time of the month. It’s also doing what you can to schedule in activities that light you up and recharge you after especially taxing days, weeks or activities.

Scheduling in your time for you first is a great way to make sure that it gets honoured and is non-negotiable, and that the other tasks are scheduled around that.

If you want to know more about prioritising then take a look at this post.

I’m curious what are you going to schedule in today, this week and this month to make sure that you are at the top of your to do list? What are you going to schedule in to rest and recharge yourself? Share with me in the comments below.

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Become successful – Master your emotions

There’s a lot of talk about mastering your mind and your emotions when it comes to success and being successful.

The problem with that is that it can seem like “successful people” don’t feel or have emotions when that is not the case.

What they do is they manage their emotions and don’t allow them to take over.

Have you ever had a day where you just couldn’t put your finger on it, but you were kind of mad? Or sad or whatever other emotion you want to name.

What successful people are able to do is not ignore their emotions, which really doesn’t work, but to find a way to cope with the emotion.

Perhaps that’s by going for a run or a work out of some kind, perhaps it’s by journalling or talking to a friend or perhaps it’s by tackling whatever the issue is head on, taking whatever step needs to, and can be taken right now.

What most people do is try to ignore it when they feel down or bad or angry which just makes things worse like a volcano waiting to erupt.

Something that I’ve found that helps me to deal with my emotions is EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping.

This is a really simple straightforward and pain-free process that when done right helps you to feel much clearer and grounded.

There are a ton of books and video’s that you can find on the web.

A video that I found useful was this one from my friend Kate Winch.

Check it out here:

Have you ever used EFT? I’d love to know what you thought about it in the comments below.

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The Power of Fear

A friend and I were talking about fear as we were on our way home recently. My friend shared that they thought it best to have some fear rather than none at all, and after some thought I realised that I disagreed.

The problem with fear is that it can grip us in place and keep us stuck. Especially if we aren’t aware of it and don’t do anything to shift it.

The problem with not having any fear is that you can rush headlong into situations and fail to take precautions to protect yourself.

Both are not the ideal.

Fear isn’t a bad thing. It does it’s job when it alerts us to a potential danger that we need to be aware and mindful of. Fear is designed to keep us safe.

The thing is though that life is not meant to be lived safely.

The joy, excitement, happiness, fulfillment doesn’t come from just doing the same things day after day. It often comes from facing our fear and discovering that it is just an illusion. That there is something even more wonderful than we ever imagined on the other side.

Fear is the power that if we learn to embrace it, helps us to move closer to where we want to go.

How do we embrace it?

First, we get conscious of it. We become aware that we are afraid of something, whether that is heights or crowds, networking or public speaking.

Then once we are aware of our fear we ask how it is serving us. What does this fear protect me from?

Then knowing that we can make a conscious choice to continue to be afraid or to take action in removing that fear.

I don’t think anyone is ever truly fearless, it is healthy to have some fear, and most of our fears are not serving us and just keep us stuck. It’s up to us to look our fear in the face and work out if it is helping or hindering us and take action.

If you’d like support to stare your fear in the face and work this out then get in touch.

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Networking is like dating?!

After finding myself single last year I was surprised by how nervous I felt about dipping my toes back into dating. Granted, it had been 15 years since I was single!

I remember feeling that I didn’t know what to do at an event one Saturday night until I recalled that I teach people how to network and knew exactly what I needed to do to build relationships with the people that I was meeting.

You can discover the three ways that networking is like dating here:

If you’d like to take part in the updated 2017 challenge please visit bit.ly/ccchallenge17 or just get in touch!

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How to deal with uncertainty in business

There’s no doubt that starting and running a business and working for yourself is a risky endeavour.

It can seem so much more secure and safe to work in a job for someone else, than to take on the responsibility of working for yourself and making sure that the bills are still paid.

It’s risky when you don’t know where the next client or influx of money is going to come from and there are ways to deal with that risk.

I want to be really honest with you and share a couple of things.

Starting and running a business is really not easy. There are many challenges to overcome, and if you can, taking precautions before you go down the path of being your own boss will help you to feel more secure.

So if you need to save up X amount before you do it then do that. If you need to learn the skills you need to succeed in business (sales, marketing, accounting, management/ HR) then find a way to do that. If you need to make sure you can get clients and make the business work fully before you jump into it full time, then working it part time while you work for someone else is possible. It’s all about working out what would work best for you and doing that.

Be mindful though that achieving something you have never done before will require you to do things you have never done before so your ideas of what feels safe may keep you from reaching the goal you set for yourself.

From my experience I’ve found that the real security comes from knowing that whatever happens you can find a way out. Knowing that there’s a solution to every problem. So rather than attempting to prepare for every eventuality, knowing instead that whatever happens you will find a way and that what you need will be provided for you when you ask and take action.

As Marie Forleo says,

everything is figure-out-able!

When you have this belief you know in your bones that you can find a way whatever the situation or scenario.

Let’s face it, no matter how good you are at predicting the future(!) no one really knows what life has in store for us, and when we know that we have the tools – the skill, the discipline, the will – to do whatever we need to to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, then we have all the certainty we need to take action toward our goals and dreams.

If you’d like support to build a business in a way that works for you, give me a shout.

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What do you do when you lose your focus

Running a business can be overwhelming. There’s all the work you do to promote your business, then to convert that into actual clients and money and then the actual work that you do to deliver your product or service.

It’s too easy in the day to day running of things to lose track of yourself and go from working a job, to working a job disguised as working for yourself! It often feels more thankless than working for someone else because at least in a job you get paid holiday and sick leave, but when you work for yourself you don’t. Often you feel like you have to just push on through until things get done.

Sometimes that is the right thing to do, other times though taking a break and resting can mean you are recharged enough to do what you need to without compromising your health!

It’s a fine line to walk.

What’s helped me in the times when I am so busy and overwhelmed my brain feels like it can’t stay focussed on a single task is to allow it to be unfocussed for a set amount of time, say 15 minutes, and journal it out.

I allow my brain to just go off on one for a whole 15 minutes and once the time is over some how I’m able to stay on track and get things done with more ease and clarity.

That may be because dumping out thoughts and worries unloads them from my brain, or it may be because I’m not fighting with my brain and forcing myself to do something I can’t yet do, but it works for me.

Try this out yourself the next time you find you can’t focus and let me know in the comments below.

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If you’d like more support to get into action in your business then give me a shout.

How to make friends with marketing

When you start a business, there are really just a few skills that you need to learn in order to get started.

The one that most introvert’s struggle with is marketing.

The one where we have to stand up and share about our “thing”, whether that’s our passion or product or whatever, and the more personal it feels the harder it is to do.

Or maybe it’s that we use social media or online tools to do the same thing.

Either way, most introvert’s struggle to promote themselves if they haven’t changed the way they feel about promoting themselves.

However if you want to make more money from doing what you love, then it’s important to get comfortable with marketing yourself and your business.

While I’ve been promoting the 5 day challenge over the past month I’ve become more aware of my unconscious blocks and resistance to marketing and promoting myself online.

While talking with my coach the other week while they were making suggestions of tasks to do I noticed a really strong internal feeling that said I didn’t want to!

Kind of like my 2 year old nephew when he doesn’t want to do something.

It was an interesting thing to experience and notice.

It got me to thinking about what the issue is.

Despite being an introvert, I do love to connect with people in person. Due to my personality quirks though, I find it harder to connect with people I don’t already know online.

Something that helped me to shift the way I felt about marketing both online and more generally, has been to think about marketing like dating.

It’s all about building a relationship! (Which might sound familiar if you’ve attended one of my talks.)

No matter where you “meet” people, or people come across you, it’s all about making a connection and getting to know each other slowly over time and repeated “meetings”.

It is a bit different with online marketing because it is a little bit more disconnected in time. I mean you could have published a blog or podcast or broadcast live and people could see it at the time you post or afterward, whereas in person they get to see you in real time.

The key is that they get to meet you, know you and like you over time. Just like they would if you met in person.

So if you know how to network already then you are already marketing.

If you’re struggling to network though I’d love to help. I’m running a free 5 day Get Clients Offline Challenge, find out more and sign up here, or get in touch.

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How do you keep generating results on your business

As a solo business owner it can be so hard to keep generating leads, content and energy.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a way to generate results on a consistent basis in your business?

That’s why this week’s blog is all about momentum which is really consistent action.

There are a few keys to staying in consistent action.

One is taking care of yourself, on all levels mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.

That means taking time to make sure that you are replenishing your energy, spending time with people and doing things that you love as well as having healthy boundaries and saying no to things and people you feel drained by and that no longer serve you.

Another key is to find methods of marketing that you enjoy doing and find easy to commit to.

That could be using social media, or a particular channel, it could be speaking or networking or blogging or podcasting, or more likely, a mix of these things.

The most important key for consistent action and results, is to make sure you stick to your commitment!

It’s easy to let circumstances get in the way of your marketing, and sometimes it is completely understandable that you do! (Especially if you need to take the time to take care of yourself on a deeper level.)

I totally get this by the way, having dealt with the traumatic unexpected passing of my Auntie earlier in the year. It’s all about making sure that you can still take care of yourself and your commitments too.

Perhaps that means you scale back and announce to your people that you will be doing less. Perhaps it’s you get your team to help you by taking on more tasks. Whatever works for you and where you are at.

The key is to choose actions that you enjoy and keep doing while you take care of yourself, the enjoyment from the tasks and the energy you create by taking care of yourself will serve to get the wheels of your business (back) in motion and over time the smallest effort snowballs so that more and more people find out about you and more opportunities come your way.

If you’d like support to get into consistent action and generate momentum in your business, get in touch.

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How to make it easy to get into action with your goals

Have you ever noticed how when you don’t know what the next step is it’s much harder to get into action?

And when you have a plan for doing something it goes much easier?

That’s where structure, templates or guidelines are invaluable and make it easier for us to get into action.

Often when we get stuck and don’t get anything done, especially at the start of our business, it’s because we don’t know what that next action should be.

Let’s imagine that you are cooking your favourite meal for the first time.

You know what goes in it, but you don’t know how much to put in, what order things go in or what precisely to do with the ingredients.

Now if you have a recipe perhaps from your mum or a good recipe book, it’s much easier to not only know what to put into the dish, and what order to cook things in, but also how much of each ingredient you need to make it taste right.

Of course you won’t know if it tastes good until you get into action and cook it!

But, having the recipe as a guide can be so helpful and save you a lot of time, money and energy!

When it comes to your goals, whether that is building a business or even just a healthy habit, it’s really useful to find people who have done what you want to achieve and then follow their advice, guidelines and templates (if they have them).

It can save you from having to figure it all out for yourself and wasting time, money and energy finding ways that don’t work.

There are no shortcuts to success, but having a mentor or guide and structure to follow can really help.

There are so many people who want to help and support people just like you to get to where you want to go. It’s important to reach out and ask for the support you need. Then staying open to receiving it.

The help you are looking for may come in a different way to the way you expect it, so keeping your eyes open to however that help may come is very useful.

If you are looking for a way to get clients offline, then I am launching the free 5 day Get Clients Offline challenge on the 5th of June, take a look here to find out more or get in touch to see how I may be able to support you.

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Feeling good and getting things done

The past three months have been some of the most challenging of my life, dealing with grief and running a business at the same time is a tricky dance.

While you (hopefully) haven’t been grieving, no doubt you’ve been challenged with getting things done regardless of what is going on around you, and if so then this week’s blog is for you.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a way to keep getting things done despite the circumstances?

As I’ve mentioned I’ve struggled with this the past three months, and I have finally been able to find a reliable way to shift my energy and still get things done.

Are you curious about what this is?

It’s to…

do what makes you feel good.

I know it’s a bit different to the typical advice which is to push through and just get it done.

And I’m sure I’ve written about this in various forms over the past few months, and it is just that pivotal and important if you want to keep getting things done and stay productive.

I’ll say it again:

Do what makes you feel good.

If you are feeling down, slow and lethargic then doing something that cheers you up, gets you up and moving will help you to do what you need to.

So that could be listening to some upbeat and happy music, it could be talking to a friend, reading a book, colouring in soaking in the bath, going for a walk or something else, it doesn’t have to take a long time or cost a lot, but once you have done it and you feel good and energised, then you can tackle the tasks you have to do.

Feeling good isn’t some airy fairy piece of advice, it really does work to keep you productive, and when you feel good and get into action, people and opportunities are attracted to you.

Recently I was feeling quite tired and low, but when I went for a walk and ate some food, I was able to do what I needed and win a ticket to a workshop I wanted to go to. So don’t under estimate the power of feeling good!

If you’d like support to feel good and get things done, let me know.

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