When You Know What You Need To Do But Just Can’t Do It

When You Know What You Need To Do But Just Can’t Do It

Are you suffering from the following:

  • Not sleeping well
  • Poor concentration
  • Lack of focus/clarity
  • Full of ideas but have to finish other things first
  • You know what you need to do but just can’t do it.

And the list goes on ………………….

Sound familiar?

A lot of you have contacted me recently to say it does, and I include myself in that list.

Feeling like this can be attributed to many factors and for women of a similar age to me, Peri-menopause has a lot to answer for!

All too often we suffer in silence as we don’t want to be seen as weak when everyone else around us seems to have it all going perfectly for them.  But the reality is that others are feeling the same also.

If you feel like this, start to keep a diary of how you are feeling at what times.  Try to see if there is a particular time when you have more energy and focus.  Block out these times to do your core work with clients.  Where you see a pattern of times that your energy is particularly low, block this out to rest.  You must take care of your health first and foremost.

With the problem of knowing what you need to do but not doing it, this is a common phenomenon and I found a great article on this very subject by Jon Covey.

Sometimes when our business feels like it is about to take off, we can self-sabotage.  It’s the fear of the next step and the fear of the unknown.  We have been in our safe place building slowly and then we realise if we do this or that, we can take it to the next level.  And this is where the paralysis comes in.  We get afraid that if we go to the next level we will open ourselves to a wider audience that may have people who will oust us as a fraud.

We get scared and so use distraction techniques by over planning and getting distracted by yet another new idea (anyone else suffer from Bright Shiny Object syndrome?)

You need to take the leap.  You need to take the next step out of your comfort zone.  But with a little planning, it needn’t seem so scary.  Map out what you need to do.  Break it down into small steps.  Give yourself a deadline for each.  And then go do it.

If you are struggling and need help, come join my Facebook group to share your feelings with other women building their business and going through the same struggles.

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What to do when you’re feeling exhausted

What to do when you’re feeling exhausted

Now then, quite a few women I have spoken with recently have told me they are feeling exhausted (and I include myself in that group)

When we feel tired and exhausted, the immediate tendency is to rest. We take time out.  We sleep, meditate, take a bath, have a massage etc.

Yes, these things are important and you do need to rest but something I have learned along the way is that rest must be interspersed with activity.  Sometimes, particularly when we are feeling low, continual resting can exacerbate the situation.  The less we do, the less energy we have.

It really can help to beat exhaustion by getting up and do something active. This doesn’t have to be a 10-mile run.  It could be something as simple as putting on your favourite upbeat music and having a boogie around the kitchen.  Ok, you don’t have to go quite as far as the picture below but you get my drift.

What to do when you are feeling exhausted

But I’m simply too tired I hear you say.  Yes, it can be incredibly hard to get up and move when you are feeling drained and exhausted but just take it in tiny steps. 

Rather than thinking you have to go for a run, just put on your running gear and decide to go for a 10-minute walk.  Once you are out the door you may just find that you want to jog for a minute or two.  Don’t plan to dance.  Just put the music on and see what happens.  Do 10-star jumps.  Or 5 if 10 seem too much.  Or even 2.  Something is better than nothing.  It’s usually that initial moment of action is all that is needed to help change our mindset and get us moving.

Movement can help release energy and endorphins which in turn make us feel better.  Getting the balance of rest and activity is key when we are feeling low. Try it for yourself and let me know in the comments below if it works for you.

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Is a women’s only business club sexist?

Is a women’s only business club sexist?

I was at a networking meeting and another business woman asked me about my monthly support group.  She asked me if it was for women only and when I said ‘yes’, a chap jumped in and loudly announced that he totally disagreed with my group as it was sexist.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get much chance to get a word in edgeways to discuss this comment as he proceeded to do the usual “I’ve got a kilt so I’ll come and wear that” and continued to talk about himself with no interest in finding out why my group is set up the way it is.

But how many others feel that women’s business clubs are sexist?  How many others do not understand the importance of having gender-based clubs?

For anyone interested, here is why I restrict my business support groups to women only.

Women in business have different needs to men.  It’s a fact.  Women struggle with issues that generally affect them more than men.  These include:

Hormones

Having go carry on going with hormones playing havoc with emotions including self-confidence, depression, weight fluctuations etc

Pregnancy

Running a business and being pregnant has its own set of challenges. How long can you continue to work, how long until you return to work, how to cope with morning sickness, how will your business run effectively whilst you are not able to be on hand 100%.

Menopause

At the other end from pregnancy is menopause.  Some women sail through this but many struggle to the point they feel they can no longer continue.  It’s a subject far too detailed to go in to here but anyone who has not experienced the trauma first hand, cannot possibly fully understand.

Appearance

Yes, you could argue the case on this one, but in general, for a woman to go out the door for business takes a lot more thought and planning than for a man.  Think:

  • Tights that don’t snag
  • Makeup that will last the day and won’t run
  • Heels that are comfortable to wear all day
  • Consideration as to how any dress wear will be viewed and if it gives out the wrong message– too low cut, too short, too tight.

Personal safety

Whether walking to meetings alone on a dark night or meeting male clients alone, extra thought can be needed.  Think Suzy Lamplugh.  No, it doesn’t happen often, but the statistics are far higher for women being attacked than men.

Being taken seriously.

Yes, unfortunately, even today, a woman introducing herself in a male dominated environment can be subject to prejudice and outdated presumptions.

Balancing business and family

Yes, I admit a generalisation here as I personally know a few men facing this challenge, but the norm still tends to be the woman is responsible for sorting childcare, support for elderly or ill parents.  This leaves them torn and stressed when having to choose between working late or another weekend yet again or taking care of their family.

 

With all the above aside, women tend in the main to deal with business in a different way to men. 

Their selling style is different, they usually prefer a softer approach to selling than a more direct one used by men.

They tend to be more afraid of failing and suffer a lack of confidence.  Much of this can stem with others looking at them with scepticism from the start whether they are starting a home-based business which can be viewed as ‘just another hobby’ or entering a male dominated industry.

 

I could go on and on but hopefully by now you get my drift.

 

Buy why a women’s only business club?

I run a women’s only club so that other women can come and discuss any issues in confidence and safety with other women who understand what they are going through. They want an environment where they can be open and honest and let the barriers down.  They don’t want to go to a meeting where they feel they are once again having to prove themselves and keep up the brave face.

They don’t have to be afraid of ridicule or being seen as weak by male attendees.  They also want to come with no hidden agenda, not having a man tell them ‘I noticed a young and attractive lady on her own so had to take the opportunity to come over’.  Yes, this still does happen!!  And was actually said at the networking meeting I was at!!

 

My meetings are not sexist.  They are providing a need.  Women’s only clubs can have more of a supportive, collaborative feel than many mixed groups where the competitive nature can be more apparent. 

As mentioned in the article No boys allowed, having a women-only environment opens a comfortable space to start intimate, important conversations that might not otherwise happen.  Personal subjects can be discussed that may otherwise be left unsaid if a man were in the room.

 

I’m sure this post will spark controversy, so if you have an opinion one way or the other, feel free to leave a comment below.

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How to get your business back on track

How to get your business back on track

What to do when you wake up and realise you are going in the wrong direction and need to get your business back on track

Yesterday during another fabulous business group get together, more than one lady in the group had the same feelings.  They were feeling uneasy because their businesses weren’t fulfilling them as much as they had expected.

They weren’t full of excitement when they thought of doing what they are doing now in 10 years time.

They had come to the realisation that rather than following their absolute true passion, they had taken the easy option of doing something they were good at and brought the money in quickly.

Whilst this could be viewed a sensible option to start with, it’s just not sustainable.

Two particular ladies were going through difficult times and had lost all excitement and enthusiasm for their business.  They just felt as though they had fallen off track.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

What you need to learn in building a successful business, is to be adaptable.

You need to be prepared to amend your success plan and goals subject to mitigating circumstances.  We never know what is around the corner and how our plans may have to change.  If you aren’t where you want to be, you need to find a way to get your business back on track.

It is rare for a business to end up as it was first planned.  A fact that I heard personally from an ex-Dragon of Dragon’s Den fame is that nearly every business that starts out does not end up as initially thought.

And when I did a survey a few years back, this was the case in 100% of people that I spoke to.  You may find that you enjoy one particular part of your business more than another and so start to work in a specific niche area.

This is exactly what has happened to me.  I set up my business consultancy to support local independent businesses face to face in the North Devon area.

Slowly it transpired that I was working with a lot of women who found they were struggling in business due to external influences such as confidence, family commitments etc.  So, I adapted my business to just work with women and to incorporate lifestyle coaching.  I then started to get enquiries from outside of the North Devon area so set up online support and workshops for those who couldn’t get to me in person.  Hence, The Small Business Kit was born.

Luckily, the ladies yesterday had the support of the group and both left feeling motivated and inspired to move forward with some changes to their existing businesses.

If you aren’t feeling the love for your business anymore, dig deep to find out what your passion truly is and look for what changes you can make to keep your passion, and business, alive long term.

 

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Is a home office really the best option for your business?

Is a home office really the best option for your business?

A HOME OFFICE VERSUS AN OFF-SITE OFFICE

Which office type is best for your business?

Every company or business establishment have their own office space where customers or potential clients visit them to conduct business. An office is a place where all professional matters are handled and any business transactions are conducted.  Having an office premise gives a professional image to a business and is preferable for many small business owners.However, some people find working at an office inconvenient whether from commuting time, restricted opening hours if the office is within a shared building etc.  Or, they may simply not be able to afford the premises.  Therefore, many small business owners decide to run their business from a home office.

How do you choose?

Working from Home

Home-based business owners set-up their home office where they handle all work-related tasks. In fact, most set-up their own home office where they can entertain clients and business associates at home. Many find this a convenient set-up since they can attend to their work while being able to still spend time with their family.

However, the accessibility of the comforts available within your home, it is easy to fall into the wrong idea that you are not working. Hence, you need to develop a sound level of self-discipline in order to separate business from pleasure and focus on what you need to do at work.

Which is better?

There are several considerations that one has to make before deciding whether to opt for a home office or an off-site office instead. Each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is difficult to conclude that one is the better option over the other. The best way for you to decide is to come up with a checklist of these pros and cons. Then, determine whether the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa.

Also, you need to consider your own attitude towards work. If you are the type of person who had to be constantly reminded and lacks the initiative to work on their own, then setting up a home office could be a devastating idea. Below are a list of pro’s and con’s that would help you come up with a decision.

Home office: Pro’s and Con’s

Pros:

  • You have more freedom of flexibility in terms of working hours.
  • You can reduce costs such as office rental, fuel usage (from driving to and from the office), and tax deductions.
  • It is convenient since you won’t have to dress up just to get to work. You can have your breakfast or spend time with your family and then conveniently check your email.

Cons:

  • If you’re the type who needs to get motivated to work, a home office might not be conducive to you getting your work done.
  • There are a lot of potential interruptions at home.
  • There are a lot of home office considerations to make such as securing all office equipment you need at home, office furniture, and some other operational needs.

 

Off-site office: Pro’s and Con’s

Pros:

  • The level of pressure and urgency motivates you to produce quality work.
  • The working environment is ideally designed to make working easier for you.
  • You have access to all of the equipment or tools you need to conduct your work.

Cons:

  • You have to commute from and to work daily. It becomes more difficult for those who live far from the office.
  • Dealing with other workers within the building can be difficult for some, especially with clashing interests and personalities.
  • The expense or renting the premises

 

The decision is now yours as to which is best for you and your business.  Whichever you choose, ensure you have everything you need to hand in your premises and make it a professional, yet comfortable place to work.

 

 

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How To Make 2018 The Best It Can Be

How To Make 2018 The Best It Can Be

Here are my top 10 tips to make 2018 your best year yet

Be the best

Be the best version of yourself that you can be. Whatever you are doing give it your absolute best.

Dream big

Dream big and step outside your comfort zone to achieve your goals.

Prioritise

Focus on your priorities.  Choose these wisely and focus on them above everything else.

Focus

Choose activities that will take you closer to your goals.  Focus on money making activities not scattergun time wasters.

Eat that frog

Eat that frog!  Whatever is important; do it first. Create a morning routine to get the important things done first before you turn on your phone or computer.

Visualise

Spend time every day visualising your dreams and goals. Have a vision board.  Take a picture of this and keep in your purse.  Keep looking at it.  It’s powerful stuff!

Question yourself

Ask yourself daily “What can I do to make a positive difference today?”  Then go do it.

Keep learning

Keep learning from the best.  Read daily, listen to podcasts, follow those who have been there and done it.  Spend 30 minutes each day soaking up positivity and focus from these people.

Look after yourself

Take time to relax all by yourself.  Eat healthily.  Exercise regularly.  Get enough sleep.  A healthy body and healthy mind will drive your forward more than anything else.

Make memories

Make memories, not money.  Spend time with family and friends.  Give them your undivided time.  Life is short, and no amount of money will make up for missed moments.

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