Be The Queen With Knees Knocking, And Still Take Action! (Fear Is Okay!)

In this blog post, I will share to be the Queen with knees knocking, and still take action.

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So you’ve decided to step up as a Queen. Hooray!

Now comes the tough bit!

Are your knees knocking underneath that beautiful Queen’s dress you’re wearing?! I get it, I feel like that too, a lot of the time actually.

BUT, you cannot let fear hold you back.

When you’re a Queen you will naturally have obstacles to overcome, it’s kind of one of the things that comes as part of the whole package of being a business owner.

If you want to grow your Queendom though, you’ve got to figure out how to overcome those obstacles, fear or not.

You’re a Queen – you don’t let obstacles get in your way. You know you have the power to work through your challenges, and any fears that might be holding you back.

There is always more than one way to achieve the success you desire as a Queen. I can bet there have been many, many obstacles you’ve overcome over the years. You can draw on that strength to overcome challenges you’re facing right now and in the future.

You can shatter any limiting beliefs with your sceptre, and get that crown of yours shining again in no time!

Yes, you may have to get help to get creative to come up with a plan, but it’s all possible. I believe that when things are meant to be then everything will feel like it’s in alignment. If you’re hitting obstacle after obstacle, then it might be time to reflect on whether you need a different battle plan.

Sometimes those challenges and detours can be the best thing ever in your business, as they help you to think creatively.

Being a Queen means learning from repeated ‘failures’, disappointments and lessons, but often that’s when the magic happens! You reflect, learn and find other fabulous ways to grow your business.

Very often, the biggest fear in your business is the one around bringing in money. You worry that you don’t have the sales skills to help convert clients, you worry that you won’t be able to pay your bills, you worry that you don’t have the services people want to pay for, the list goes on.

One of the skills that really helped me work through my money blocks, and still does, is EDT, Emotional Dowsing Technique. It doesn’t matter what level of business you’re at, we all have more money blocks that can come up from time to time that need clearing. With money blocks, often fear is attached.

I recently ran some EDT Money Block sessions, and it was amazing what came up for clients. Blocks that were hidden that they didn’t even know they had. Once they were cleared, the clients and money started to flow.

Sometimes I know it can feel like you’re pushing water uphill, and nobody is listening to you. Keep singing your song, keep telling people about what you do, keep pushing through that fear. The consistency pays off. And remember to always bring a bit of fun into your biz, it’s the best way to save your sanity!

Here’s three simple strategies to help you work through your fear:

  1. Write down what you’re feeling fearful about

    Let’s work through some of the stories you might be telling yourself about your biz right now. Here’s a few common statements my clients share with me:

    • “I have to work really hard to be successful.”
    • “It’s challenging getting new clients.”
    • “I find technology really frustrating.”
    • “Sales conversations are awkward.”
    • “I never have enough time to do what I want, or need to do.”
    • “I take two steps forward and one back.”
    On their own, these statements don’t seem that powerful, but when you attach them to a story that’s fearful, which might lead to things like:

    • “I won’t be able to pay my mortgage.”
    • “I won’t have time to spend with my family.”
    • “People will judge me”,
    you can see how it can make you feel fearful.

    Just saying these statements out loud can remove some of the power the fear has over you, and you can then start to explore ways of moving through it.

  2. Challenge Your Fear With Some Questions

    Taking this a step further, ask yourself a few questions around what you’ve put down. Challenge your thinking.

    • Is it true?
    • What evidence do you have around that fear?
    • What could you learn that might make this all seem easier?
    • Who could support you?
    • What would be a better way of thinking about this, that would empower you rather than hold you back?
  3. Use the Circle of Control/Influence

    Consider using Stephen Covey’s Circle of Control or Influence. If you haven’t heard of it, think of an archery target with three circles. The central circle – the bullseye, and the two outer circles.

    In circle one, the bullseye, you list all of the things that are within your control.

    In circle two, you list all of the things that you can influence.

    In circle three, the outer circle, you list all of the things that you can’t control.

    This is such a simple, yet amazing little tool for helping you to work through your fear. When you place your different areas of concern in the circles, you will be able to release some of the fear as you will realise there are only certain things within your control that you can actually manage or influence.

    So, let’s get that crown shining again. Clear the fear in your business, so that you can run your Queendom with confidence.

    Be the Queen with knees knocking, and still take action, knowing that fear is absolutely okay. On a side note, I have been in the place where I’ve literally had my knees knocking in a presentation when I was doing my HR degree, so when I talk about knees knocking I mean literally and figuratively.

    Before I go, let’s do a quick recap to shift that fear: 

    1. Write down what you’re feeling fearful about
    2. Challenge your fear with some questions
    3. Use the circle of control/influence to guide you

PS. If you want to clear your fear, and other limiting beliefs around your business, while having some fun obviously, book a Dolly Magic Session (which is an EDT Session) with me. My clients are getting some amazing results and feeling on top of the world, just like the Queens they were born to be.

Until next time, ciao for now!

If you’d like to do some money clearing, check out my Dolly Magic Sessions

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5 Things To Do When Life Feels Uncertain

In this blog post. I’m going to share 5 things to do when life feels uncertain

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Do you find that you’re feeling quite fearful right now? With everything going on in the world it’s natural to feel unsettled. I know I have. It’s a time to trust in the process of life. Yes, do the planning, the preparation and take the action, but then trust that everything is happening exactly as it’s meant to be.

I’ve personally been going through a period of transformation, and I’ve been thinking about what it is I’ve been doing. I’ve realised for me this has been a time of 5 R’s. I’m going to share them with you:

     1. A time to … Reframe

One of the things I like to do, and do it all the time, much to the annoyance of people that like to complain – is to reframe.

For example, I don’t like the restrictive feeling around the word, ‘Lockdown’, so it’s been renamed in our house. It’s now called a 🌺 Spring Retreat 🌺 Lockdown has such a negative vibe. Not for me!

Reframe this new version of the world we’re currently in, start to notice how you can feel more positive about what’s going on. Maybe it’s a Spring Retreat for you too, maybe it gives you chance to learn some new things online, or dance, sing, play more. There will be some positives, if only you take the time to look for them.

     2. A time to … Retreat

You may have found yourself hiding away, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’ve been over cautious, worried what people might say if you’re out there promoting your business, when there are so many other things to be focusing on. It’s okay as a Queen to retreat, in fact I’d say it’s a vital part of running your Queendom. You will be an all round better leader when you take time to fill up your own goblet, before helping others fill theirs. (My ‘Queen’ role model/inspiration is Medieval, hence the goblet. No chopping off heads in my world though!)

As a leader, aka a Queen, you need to be pro-active and not re-active. You also need to know when it’s time to slow things down.

I’ve been in a place of full stop, never mind slowing down, when it comes to my blog posts. I’ve been trusting I’ll have the right thing to say at the right time. I knew I needed to retreat, rather than step in to sharing too much too soon.

When you retreat, new ideas come forward. You’ll know when it’s time to come out of your safe space, invite in optimism and start planning for brighter things to come.

     3. It’s a time to … Recharge

I said in a Facebook post recently, that sometimes you need to step back to step forward, particularly when you’re a Queen. How often do you take the time to recharge?

One of my coaches helped me realise I hadn’t taken a break for nearly two years, so I took a week off, and I have another week off planned very soon. The step back allows you to review what’s working, what’s not, and to replenish yourself. I always say that if you were working for someone else, you’d take time out for holidays, days off etc.

Now is the perfect time to restore your soul, to do all of those things that light you up. What lights you up?

Lots of people are cleaning, decorating and gardening. All wonderful things to do, but what about you? What do you need to recharge you?

For me it’s all things creative, card-making, crochet, doodling, Bullet Journalling, gardening and pottering around the house. Add in some beautiful walks in nature, Qi Gong, dancing, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), lots of reading, some standard journalling and of course many, many cups of cappuccino. That all fills me up, so that I’m ready to serve again.

     4. It’s a time to … Reflect

While these times are weird, for sure, they are also the perfect opportunity to spend some time reflecting on what really matters in your life and your business.

As a Queen you want to be your best when you put yourself out there, and that means taking great care of yourself.

We’ve just been watching the second half of the New Amsterdam series (a hospital drama). A Trauma Surgeon has just been introduced to the series, and he was sharing how taking time for his self-care is the best way he can show up for his patients. It was initially frowned upon by a colleague, until he explained why it was so important. While it might seem counter-intuitive, sometimes it’s absolutely THE number one best thing you can do to serve your clients in the best way.

Be gentle and kind to yourself, celebrate how far you’ve come and all that you’ve achieved, both internally and externally. Be mindful of the words you choose right now, whether that’s for you or others.

While you’re probably used to working from home, things may have changed for you, particularly if you have young family to think about, or perhaps you’re spending more time with your other half. Be kind to yourself as you go through a period of adjustment.

Thankfully, my hubby and I get on very well, so we are really enjoying the downtime together. I say downtime, he gets a list of daily jobs to do, I kick butt at home too, haha. Don’t worry, I do my fair share as well!

As part of my transformation, I’ve been doing some work with two lovely coaches – Debi Haden & Janine Kathleen Shapiro, and here are two key things I’ve learned from them over the past couple of weeks, one of the areas we’ve worked on was another one of my 5 R’s.

     5. It’s a time to … Release

Debi: Release anything that no longer serves you. If it’s a ‘should’ or ‘must’, then ask yourself why you’re doing it.

Janine: What parts of your life feel heavy?

These are things we already know and, like me, you possibly even work with clients on this, but sometimes we need others to help us move forward. When you go a lot deeper on this, you find out so much more about yourself than you expected. As a Queen, you don’t need to hold onto things that don’t serve you. Banish them from your Queendom entirely and free up some space for lots of fabulous new things to come in.

You won’t need to feel afraid of letting things go, when you trust. You may well have heard the phrase of the opposite of fear being love. It never quite resonated with me. I realised recently, that for me the opposite of fear is trust. Trusting the process of life, trusting that everything happens exactly as it’s meant to, trusting the universe to provide. Fear dissipates when you have this level of trust.

The universe is still supporting you, the universe is still listening, there is still no limit to all that you can experience, even right now. Especially right now, as you take the time to reframe, rest, recharge and reflect – exploring more about who you are and what you want in your life. Maybe you’ll also realise that you need a retreat too.

Remember the universe has a plan for you, are you listening?

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You Need To Change How You Do Business When You’re A Queen

When you step into the role of Queen you need to change how you do business.

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You can no longer be all things to all people.

You can’t constantly give away your time, without being paid. You’re running a business dahlinks.

You need to set clear boundaries around what you will and won’t do.

Having a really solid business model will serve you well, so you are really clear about what you will and won’t take on.

The other thing that will help you as a Queen is learning how and when to use the word, ‘No’!

When you run a service-based business, you want to be of service, and that’s great. But at what cost? In order to master your business as a Queen, you need to make sure that you’re smart with your time, strategic with your action, and focused when you do work.

Sometimes you need to set boundaries for yourself, as it’s not others who are the problem, it’s you! You’re a Queen, but you’re also trying to do every single job in your business, and all that leads to is burnout.

So, if you’re sitting at your desk or on your sofa answering emails at 11pm at night , you’re training your clients to expect you to be available 24/7 (figuratively, not literally). If you don’t want to work at 11pm at night, then something has to change. It starts with not replying to emails at 11pm at night (unless you’re a night owl and that’s when you want to work).

Another example that a lot of my Queenies (clients) love is that I only work Monday to Thursday as a general rule. No evenings, no weekends. It’s something I chose to do a few years ago. It means that when I do work, my time is very focused, and it means I get a life outside of my business too. Boundaries.

Now you might be thinking that if you set boundaries with your clients you’ll lose them, or they’ll fall out of love with you. The reality is some of them might, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set them. Some people actually like boundaries – and people respect you when you have defined lines that cannot be crossed.

Sometimes it can help to have a few phrases to hand, whether it’s a reply to an invite to work with someone else, or a client approaching you with a problem. Here’s a few ways you can set simple boundaries:

  1.  “I no longer do free work, but you can check out my free resources here…” [add link]
  2.  “I only do paid speaking gigs. If you want to know the kind of topics I deliver, here’s a link to my Speaker page…” [add link]
  3.  “I only work Monday to Thursday, and don’t work evenings or weekends. I’m happy to work with you during any of those times. Here’s my diary link …” [add link]
  4.  “I no longer have time to do free trainings in other people’s groups, but here’s a link to some training I delivered for my own tribe. Feel free to share it with your group …” [add link]
  5.  “I no longer have time to do coffee meet ups. If you’re looking for some support though, here’s how you can work with me … “[add link]
  6.  “It’s really kind of you to think of me. I like to give projects my 100% commitment and right now my priority is ‘x’, so I wouldn’t have the time to dedicate to it and give it the full attention it deserves.”
  7.  It’s not something that feels like a good fit for me but I could put you in touch with ….”

Here’s a few reasons why you want to consider setting boundaries:

You are a Queen, you need to retain control of your kingdom (not in a ruthless way, but so you feel like you’re mastering your business instead of others ruling it)

You will be nicer to know! (Grumpy Queens aren’t great to be around. Working too hard is no good for anyone)

You will get time to do things you love (ooh, what could you do with that extra time?)

You will feel more confident (knowing that you are honouring yourself, your family/friends and also teaching your clients/others how to be strict with their own boundaries)

So give boundary setting a go! If you work on your boundaries, you’re going to have to re-train your clients so they understand what is/isn’t acceptable to you. It’s tough, not for the faint hearted, but it’s oh so liberating! And hey, you’re a Queen, you CAN do this!

Action This Week: Spend some time thinking about the boundaries you need to set in your business. Where are you giving your time away? Where are you overworking? What needs to change? Make the changes and then you’ll have time to do your royal duties.

Want to work more on boundaries? Check out this little PDF.

What To Do When You Start To Hate Social Media

I’ve been debating whether to write this post / record this podcast. It’s a vulnerable post, which as we know isn’t so comfortable.

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I’m not just sharing my vulnerability here though, because I’m telling you something that I teach my clients. To get your business seen you need to be visible.

Now here’s the problem, I was kind of done with being visible! I was ‘over’ social media. I was sick of showing up on social media day in, day out, tired of all of the advertising and the ‘buy me’ promoting, bored with being consistent and wondering what it was all about, this ‘machine’ that takes over our lives.

I’ve noticed it’s not just me that’s tired of social media, it seems that more and more people are finding it exhausting and not how they want to do business. Lush being one company recently saying they are coming off social media and Leonie Dawson saying how she’s tired of it too. It can be relentless. BUT we do have a choice in how we play. We don’t have to push ourselves so hard. We get to set boundaries and ‘work it’ how we want to.

In contrast to my recent ‘I hate social media phase’ though, I’m very aware of how amazing social media is. If it wasn’t for social media I wouldn’t have a business, not a successful one anyway. Facebook has been the lifeblood of my business over the past few years. I’m starting to enjoy it again, but I needed to take a break.

A break to recharge.

A break to reflect.

A break to process.

I still showed up for clients, but I didn’t do Facebook Lives, I didn’t do that many blog posts. I didn’t ‘do’ visibility that much at all really.

We had a life-changing year last year, with two house moves, one ending up with a move from England to Scotland, my husband leaving his full-time job to run his own self-employed business, moving from a busy town life into the middle of nowhere and leaving behind many beautiful friends. Add to that our youngest moving to London to go to Uni and empty nest syndrome kicking in.

It’s brought up a lot of emotions, mostly the empty nest syndrome being the hardest to be honest. I’ve found it way tougher than I thought it would be, and I miss my ‘little girl’ like crazy.

There have been times when it’s been incredibly lonely. You can’t just pop to a local cafe very easily when you live up here, and it takes time to build friendships.

There aren’t the same numbers of local networking events that you can go to, so you have to create your own way of connecting with business owners. Online is lovely, but when you live in a remote area you need offline connections too. Even more so when your top values are connection, as in my case.

I became a hermit for a little while, and felt incredibly sad, ‘grieving’ my little girl no longer living at home.

Put it this way, there have been many times when I’ve cried by the tumble drier after a visit from her, and finding the odd lost sock that she’s left behind (why do we always end up with odd socks?!!)

I fell out of love with social media.

I knew there must be a different way.

I was bored with my content.

I had nothing to say.

So I didn’t say much at all.

It’s been tough, but it’s equally been refreshing not living and breathing social media.

In an interview I did a while back with the fabulous Alexandra Franzen, we talked about how one of her blog posts really got me thinking. She’d worked out that if she carried on at the pace she was going, she would have lost 3.2 or 3.4 years of her life to Twitter alone.

I’ve personally made the decision to come off Twitter. I don’t enjoy it and it doesn’t bring me clients – Two things I always say you should consider when choosing a social media platform. (I can’t quite bring myself to hitting delete on my account though, so I’m getting my lovely VA to do it!!)

So, what do you do when you completely lose interest in marketing your business?

Check in on what’s going on – Ask yourself if you’ve lost complete interest in your business or if you need a change.

Keep the content rolling out – That way you can decide when to show up.

Do a LOT of soul searching – Why do you want to run your business? What excites you? Who do you love to work with? What’s the real problem?

Talk to people about how you’re feeling – I talked with friends. Many friends. They were amazing (you know who you are!)

Mix things up a bit – I did lots of things unrelated to business. (I am growing veggies, gardening and about to check chickens people – who is this new woman who’s moved to Scotland?!)

Slow down – I still plotted and planned, but in a calm way.

Create a daily routine to allow some thinking space – I started meditation and doing Qi Gong daily.

Think about the bigger picture. I started creating a vision board about what I really want. That bit was tough. At first I didn’t know what I really wanted. I just felt incredibly sad, and really lost. Over time I started to pull together some ideas.

Get help – I coached myself, I got coached.

Release any emotion around it – It’s okay to feel how you do, let it all out. Emotional release is a strength, not failure – I cried. A lot.

Be gentle with yourself – I’m coming out the other side now, and ready to show up more, but I’ve learned that I can be gentle with myself.

Give yourself permission – I am giving myself permission to stop when it’s just not happening.

I am giving myself permission to let go of any beliefs around how you ‘should’ run a business.

I am giving myself permission to focus on only 3 main things each day, and honestly, that is liberating!! It’s amazing how much you focus your mind when you only allow yourself three things to do.

Trust that this too shall pass – When the time is right you will know what you need to do.

So, I’m back! A different, perhaps calmer, and wiser version of me now. The one that knows it’s okay to have a business AND a life, and that you get to create it all on your own terms.

Remember to check out my Visibility Quiz to find out whether you’re a Visibility Lady, Countess, Princess or Queen. If you’re a guy then please change the names to Lord, Count, Prince and King) Once you’ve got your score I’d love for you to come on over to my pinned post on my business page and tell me what score you got. There’s a chance to win a little prize each month.

What Are Your Business Weaknesses?

In today’s blog post, I will share how it’s important to check in on your business weaknesses if you want to build a strong business.

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Read Full Transcript below...

We often talk about strengths in business, “play to your strengths”, “figure out what you’re good at”, “combine your strengths with what you’re passionate about in business and then everything will be easier’. They’re all true, but what about your business weaknesses though? Some weaker areas of your business can be outsourced and then there are some that you either need to understand before you outsource them, or you just need to know them yourself.

Maybe you’re someone that could list 10-20 weaknesses in your business right now, where you’ve got a long list of limiting beliefs, but which weaknesses are real and could do with addressing?

Let’s take one of mine that I’ve been working on lately. Finances in my business. At the beginning of this year I did Todd Herman’s 90-Day Year, and as part of the programme you have to do a review of different areas of your business. I knew without answering any questions where I’d stand on the financials. I’d get my accounts done on time, I had an idea in my head of where my main income streams come from, but there was no way I could tell you exact numbers around specific marketing strategies that were working, not working.

We can feel scared of our weaknesses. I was definitely an ostrich when it came to my numbers. Like anything though, you can’t improve something that you have no real awareness of. The first step is understanding your areas of weakness, then you can set some plans in place to overcome them. I’ve always found writing much easier than number crunching. I can do it. Hey, I managed some big budgets in my HR days, but I have to think much harder when it comes to doing the numbers. It doesn’t come naturally to me.

A few areas that come up with my clients are not having clarity around their marketing message, for some it’s being afraid of the technology around doing a video, or knowing how to write a blog post. For some, like me, it’s looking at the numbers. Maybe it’s being afraid of social media and not knowing what to write.

Once you are aware of your weaknesses, you can get help with them. You can develop the skill set you need to move yourself and your business forward. If someone mentions something to you and it triggers you then it’s worth considering what it is about that thing that triggers you.

Here’s a few quick tips to help you:

  • Write down areas of your business that you feel weak in (areas that challenge you) Ones that make you want to run away and hide, in the hope that they will go away if you don’t talk about them
  • Taking each area in turn, do a mini review
  • Do you need to understand this yourself?
      • If ‘yes’ – then how can you learn more about it? How can you become proficient in this area? (i.e. take a course, read a book, practice, get some coaching/mentoring – I’m waving if you need support!
      • ‘If ‘no’ – then who could take on this aspect of your business for you? (i.e. outsource it)
  • If you don’t develop this area, will it be an issue for your business? (as in if you keep burying your head in the sand will it become an issue?)
    • If yes, what’s the impact of doing nothing?
    • On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is ‘this is really urgent’ and 1 is ‘I can chill about this’, how quickly does it need addressing?

Now you have awareness around each of these different areas, prioritise your list and ask what action do you need to take. Here’s a working example:

  • I have no idea how to schedule social media. It’s taking up loads of time loading it manually every day
  • I’d like some control over it, so I still want to create my own content but I’d love some help scheduling as that’s the bit I don’t find easy
  • If I don’t get my content scheduled, and keep hiding away from doing it, then I could be losing potential clients. It’s costing me money
  • On a scale of 1-10 it’s a 7. I’ve already had people saying that I’m not consistent with my social media and they ended up going with other businesses to get support, so it needs to be a priority now. Ideally I want to get it sorted this month
  • I will speak to 3 different freelancers that do social media scheduling and get 3 quotes. I’ll also pull together a plan of my content so that I know what days/times I want content scheduled, and which platforms I want to use

Remember, you don’t need to hide from your weaknesses in your business. Just get the information and then work on how to make improvements. When you’re in the corporate world you have departments that manage the different aspects of business. You can’t be great at all things, so give yourself a break, but you do still need to know what impact your weaknesses might be having in general.

Hiding your head in the sand won’t help!

So, in case you wondered what I ended up doing around my ‘money ostrich’. I worked with a lovely 90-day Coach, Sara Roach-Lewis, who helped me to put in some simple systems in place to be more money savvy. I now have set days that I work on my finances. Am I perfect?  Ummm that would be a no, I have a looooong way to go, but now I am able to make much better informed decisions because I have the data to back it all up. I also feel just a teeny, tiny bit more growed up now too!

Your call to action: Review your weaknesses in your business and put a plan in place to turn them into strengths, or at the very least put a plan in place to outsource the areas you’re not so good at.

Want to know more about outsourcing? Read an article I wrote about it here.

Remember to check out my Visibility Quiz to find out whether you’re a Visibility Lady, Countess, Princess or Queen. If you’re a guy then please change the names to Lord, Count, Prince and King) Once you’ve got your score I’d love for you to come on over to my pinned post on my business page and tell me what score you got. There’s a chance to win a little prize each month.

Also, I would love to interview Ladies, Countesses, Princesses & Queens on my podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz. I’ll be asking you all about what you do on visibility right now, what’s working for you, what’s not and where you’d like to be. If you’re interested then apply for your spot here – http://bit.ly/PodVisQuiz. In order for your application to be considered, you’ll need to have completed the quiz though as I’ll need to know what you’ve scored etc.

Have You Eaten Your Frog?

In this blog post, I will share 8 ways that you stop procrastinating and get things done in your biz

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Read Full Transcript below...

Procrastinating can be fun. Until it’s not! It can dent your confidence, where you keep putting things off and not achieving what you want to achieve.

I do think there are positives to procrastination too though. What I mean by that is sometimes you’ll be procrastinating because you don’t have all of the information you need, or the timing isn’t right etc. This blog isn’t about that! This is about not doing the things you’re meant to be doing. I’m going to share a few ways to beat your procrastination.

This is a little list intentionally. If you’re a procrastinator giving you yet more to read or learn isn’t going to help you crack the habit of procrastinating!

  1. Clear Your Energy Drainers

There are things in life that we tolerate, we let them build up.  It might be a blown light bulb, a shredding bin that needs emptying, some paperwork etc.  Each time we see this pile or list of jobs to do it can drain our energy. It also has quite a powerful impact on how we feel about ourselves.  If we can’t achieve the simplest of things then why would we even bother trying the bigger stuff?

Write a list of the top things you are putting off and work through them one by one.  Your confidence will grow as you achieve them.

  1. Don’t Over-Think It (Less Time Thinking, More Time Doing)

This is pretty straightforward – don’t over-think it. I’ve just finished the book, ‘The 5 Second Rule’ by Mel Robbins. She has a fabulously simple little strategy of counting down from 5 to 1 and on 1 doing that thing you’re putting off. It helps you get loads done! (Read her book for more info)

We spend so much time thinking about tasks that need doing and yet put them off.  Less thinking, more doing = more time doing the things you love.

  1. Eat Your Frog

As Brian Tracy says in his book of the same name. Get the big jobs (that one you know you’re totally going to put off) out of the way – it makes the day way more fun.

  1. Most Important Tasks

Set yourself up for success.

Set your top Most Important Tasks for the Day or MIT’s (I first learned this from Leonie Dawson, I think it might be from Stephen Covey originally, I’m not sure)

  1. Use the Pomodoro Technique (Check Out This Link For More Info)

Set a timer for 25 minutes to see what you can achieve. Break down the task (Pomodoro) (set a 15/25-minute timer, put in 100% effort on that task.  When the timer goes off, put it away – just take one step at a time).

  1. Don’t Wait For Perfect (I know, this one is tough if you’re a perfectionist)

Sometimes you just need to take a risk and put it out there. Remember mistakes are ok. There will also be mistakes that you make but it’s how you learn from those mistakes and what you do differently next time that will make all the difference.

Often the fear of it not being perfect can result in procrastination.  There is debate about this but I know certainly for me I put off things because by not putting them out there means I can’t get it wrong.  I’m a work in progress.

Choose a ‘have a go’ attitude.

 

  1. Give Yourself Permission

You need to give yourself permission to make mistakes. If someone else made that mistake we would encourage them to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and try again – we ‘give them permission’. Not so easy when it’s you, I know.

  • Give yourself permission to be you
  • Give yourself permission to change your mind and go in a completely different direction
  • Give yourself permission to be happy

If you have learnt something from the mistake and want to keep going that’s great – but conversely if it’s really making you unhappy then it’s ok to give yourself permission to change your mind!

  1. Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously
  • Lighten up!
  • Take responsibility for your own life
  • How can you bring more fun into your life?

Recommended Reading:

Call To Action: I’ve shared lots of different ways to stop procrastinating. Now go and eat that frog!

Remember to check out my Visibility Quiz to find out whether you’re a Visibility Lady, Countess, Princess or Queen. If you’re a guy then please change the names to Lord, Count, Prince and King) Once you’ve got your score I’d love for you to come on over to my pinned post on my business page and tell me what score you got. There’s a chance to win a little prize each month.

Also, I would love to interview Ladies, Countesses, Princesses & Queens on my podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz. I’ll be asking you all about what you do on visibility right now, what’s working for you, what’s not and where you’d like to be. If you’re interested then apply for your spot here – http://bit.ly/PodVisQuiz. In order for your application to be considered, you’ll need to have completed the quiz though as I’ll need to know what you’ve scored etc.

Are You Really Focused In Your Business?

In today’s blog post, I will share two ways to be super-focused in your business.

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I used to think I was really focused. I wasn’t. I was just under the illusion that I was.

I was working hard but I wasn’t focused on the right things.

I’d set up goals and then wonder at the end of it if I’d even achieved them because they weren’t that clear.  That was, until I read two books – ‘The One Thing’ & ‘The 12 Week Year’, which really changed how I do things.

Side note: I am also one of those weird people that loves bitty admin! If I can do a bit of admin instead of the bigger stuff then I will, it’s fun! (Yeah #Weird, I know!)

It all started with the book, “The One Thing” by Gary Keller – which in a nutshell is about focusing on ONE thing at a time. You don’t need to read it now haha. No, seriously, do read it. It will get you thinking differently about how you do things.

Sounds easy focusing on one thing, doesn’t it? It’s really challenging!

We think we’re good at focus, but are we really? I don’t know about you but I know that if I see a little red notification pop up on my phone, I’ve completely lost focus. I can’t concentrate until I check what it is. I have to turn off my notifications or they will take me off track. Same with the desktop app for my email. Seems silly really, but needs must.

I also know that I want to check my emails about 20 million times a day. Okay not that much but I’m guesstimating it would be nearly 75-100 times a day. I am working on checking it 3 times a day and it’s killing me man! I know I lose a huge chunk of time by checking email constantly, so have had to take drastic measures.

What if something comes up that needs action? It will be fine, I know that realistically, but my addiction wants me to ‘just check really quickly before you do your next task on the list, it will only take a moment’. Yeah, right, down the rabbit hole I go! Constant work in progress is what you should be hearing here!

If it’s client related, all of my clients know to message me in Asana (a project management tool) and not my inbox as I always have that open.

What I do now though is bring back the focus – I ask myself – “What am I meant to be working on right now?” And some days it’s something I have to ask myself a gazillion times a day. It’s actually a great thing to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed too. When you’ve only got one thing on the list to concentrate on you’re telling the other things they can wait until you’ve completed. Completing feels gooooood!

Focus on ONE single thing at a time. Tell yourself you CAN do it, even if like me you have to do it over and over again for it to actually happen!

Onto book two, the 12-Week Year. This book has been a game changer for me. Essentially you set yourself goals and then rate your performance against those goals, with stats. Have I lost you yet?!!

Let’s say you set a goal to create more content – the overall goal would be broken down into various elements and a percentage attached to it. Here’s what that might be like in practice:

Overall goal: Create 7 days of content to share across my 4 main social media platforms

Tasks to achieve that goal:

  1. Write 1 blog post
  2. Write 1 Facebook post
  3. Create a guest post plan – who to contact/when
  4. Do 1 Facebook live

So 4 elements, with 100% being the overall goal. Each element = 25% (100 divided by total number of tasks)

Now let’s say you only achieve 3 of 4 tasks, you will have hit 75% of your goal. The aim is to hit 86% or above.

All sounds easy, but you need to be REALLY clear on what the initial goal is and how to break it down or you can get to the end of the time period you’ve set without hitting your goal because there were more elements to it than you thought. So you learn very quickly about being really specific with your goals, so that they’re easily measured.

I usually set myself 3 main goals to work to, that way it’s not overwhelming and everything I’m working on is linked to those 3 goals. Often I’ve got one main business goal, one mindset goal and one personal goal, all of which get broken down into different elements.

This system isn’t for everyone and when I did the 90 Day Year it added even more structure to the mix, but if you’re someone that likes accountability then this might work for you. Either way, getting more clarity around what you want to achieve in your business will help you measure your goals much better and create way more success. You need to keep focused. Added bonus:  you won’t feel a slave to your notifications either!

Call to Action: Check in with yourself – how focused are you really being? Maybe it’s time to start to notice and then make some changes!

Remember to check out my Visibility Quiz to find out whether you’re a Visibility Lady, Countess, Princess or Queen. If you’re a guy then please change the names to Lord, Count, Prince and King) Once you’ve got your score I’d love for you to come on over to my pinned post on my business page and tell me what score you got. There’s a chance to win a little prize each month.

Also, I would love to interview Ladies, Countesses, Princesses & Queens on my podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz. I’ll be asking you all about what you do on visibility right now, what’s working for you, what’s not and where you’d like to be. If you’re interested then apply for your spot here – http://bit.ly/PodVisQuiz. In order for your application to be considered, you’ll need to have completed the quiz though as I’ll need to know what you’ve scored etc.

What Stories Are You Telling Yourself?

In today’s blog post, I will talk about fear and shares a simple exercise to help you work through your fears in business.

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Read Full Transcript below...

Running a business can be scary. The trouble is, we can also make it SO much scarier than it needs to be.

We can create ‘stories’ around our business that don’t serve us.

If you want to be successful in business, you want to have stories that empower you, rather than disempower you.

For most business owners, the thought of showing up and being visible can feel really uncomfortable. It can make you feel anxious, and sometimes even physically sick. Your mindset monkeys can get in the way and you might be asking yourselves things like:

  • What if they think my service/ offering isn’t good enough?
  • What if I market my services and nobody wants to work with me?
  • What if people don’t like me?
  • What if they judge me for what I put out there?
  • What if I’m successful?
  • What if I’m a failure?

Let me ask you something different:

  • What if the opposite is true?
  • What if your work is good enough?
  • What if people do like you and do want to work with you?
  • What if you do become a success?

What you’re telling yourself every day is building on your story. Let’s talk about the story you might be creating in your biz right now. Maybe this is what you’re telling yourself:

  • I have to work really hard
  • It’s challenging getting new clients
  • I find technology really challenging
  • Sales conversations are awkward
  • I never have enough time to do all I need to do
  • I take two steps forward and one step back
  • I’m going to have to go back and get a ‘proper’ job

Let’s shine a light on all of this fear, so that you can step into the successful business owner that you want to be.

Here’s a simple exercise for you:

Write down any of the fears that come up for you as you think about your business. These are all becoming your story, and we want to create a much more fabulous story instead!

Once you have a list of your fears, now you can start to do something about them.

I developed an acronym of FEAR, which was inspired by a coach I used to work with. She used, “I see you, I acknowledge you, I release you.”

Here’s what FEAR stands for and how you use the exercise:

F – Feelings – get into the feelings that are coming up for you and write them down
E – Express – read them out loud
A – Acknowledge – that it’s okay to have those feelings, thank them for showing up and choose to view things differently going forward
R – Release – Choose to release them one by one, by focusing on each one and saying “I choose to release you now” as you cross each one off the list

Here’s how it works in practice:

What you’ve written: “I have to work really hard in my business…”

Feeling: Mine is you have to work really hard, that brings up a feeling of anxiety in my tummy, it makes me feel worried that I won’t be able to do the other things that I want to do. (You can write the feeling if you want, or just feel into it – if you can. I often have to ‘think’ into it, but I do know if I really think about the issue it does bring up some kind of sensation/feeling for me)

Express: I have to work really hard to be successful in my business – say this statement out loud

Acknowledge: Say “Thank you for bringing this fear to my attention. I acknowledge you” (your mind is trying to protect you by bringing up this fear), acknowledge that this is how you feel. It’s okay for you to feel that way.

Release: I choose to release you now, cross it off the list. You can even say ‘Rubbish’ or ‘Nonsense’ or whatever word works for you to release any power it has over you. It’s SO freeing! You could even burn or shred the piece of paper, whatever works for you.

Now sometimes the fears don’t come back, but I’ve found that sometimes they are persistent and will still be there which is where we can then dig a bit more. The more you work on your fear, the easier you can clear it.

So, it’s time to let it all go and start creating a new, more empowering story.

Don’t let fear stop you from sharing what you do with the world. You’ve been given gifts and talents that people need you to share!

Your call to action: Shine the light on your fears by writing them out and working through them.

Here’s a link to my Fabulous Resource Centre: http://bit.ly/FabResCtr You’ll also get access to lots of other biz resources too!

3 Simple Strategies To Get Visible When You’re Super Busy

In this blog post, I’m going to talk about tripling time, tomatoes and a simple yet powerful word.

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Read Full Transcript below...

It’s all well and good planning out whole days in your diary to work on your business, but what if you’re so busy with clients, you just don’t have that much time to hand?

That’s when you need to be super smart with your time.

Sometimes, just taking baby steps is all you can do. The good thing is that baby steps forward are still better than doing nothing, so don’t let limited time stop you from being visible altogether.

Here’s 3 simple strategies to help you get smarter with your time:

  1. Plan In Some Pomodoro Time

I love to use Pomodoros to keep me focused. If you’ve not heard of them it’s a fab little technique by Francesco Cirillo. You basically set a timer for 25 minutes and work until the timer goes off. It’s amazing what you can get done when you put some time pressure on yourself. No more messing about! You can get some great Pomodoro apps. I personally use Be Focused Pro on my iPhone, just search for tomato timers or Pomodoro timers. Failing that, just set a kitchen timer.

In my Rock Your Visibility programme, we use Pomodoros to get stuff done. It’s a great way to clear things off your list.

If you’re shouting at me saying, 25 minutes, if only I had 25 minutes, then just do 5-10 minutes. Even doing a focused task for 5-10 minutes is going to be progress.

In 5-10 minutes you could go into a group and comment on 3 posts, you could share a quote, ask a question on your social media etc. You could send that follow-up email to a potential client you keep saying you’ll send.

Keep a list of possible 5-10 minute jobs, then pull it out when you find yourself with a bit of space in your diary and get some stuff done.

  1. Know where your time goes

Sounds obvious, huh? But how often do we actually stop to think about this?

I have THE worst concept of time. Seriously.I think everything takes waaaaay less than it actually does. Once I learned that I need to at least triple the time things take, I’ve found I’m much better at getting things done in the time available. I would really stress myself out by thinking things should be done, but the reality was they were taking so much longer than I had planned. I now use this simple tripling strategy which really keeps me on track.

There will be places where you know your time goes, keep a track of them. Ideally you want to be focusing on money-making strategies in your business first. I love making images on Canva, but does that bring the money in? Well I could argue with you that it helps me be visible, but if I get honest I know that shouldn’t be the first job on my to-do list.

I used to have a sticker on my laptop saying ‘Action Producing Money’. Listening to the latest webinars, reading blog posts, downloading freebies etc. all have their place, but know how much of your time you’re allocating to them and keep checking in as to how these extras help you to meet your business goals.

Maybe you’re aiming to be visible in groups and find yourself constantly on social media, only to find yourself going down the rabbit hole of chatting all day. Allocate yourself a set amount of time to spend in the group, and then stick to your boundaries so that you get other tasks done.

We also have an odd strategy in our house that really works where we set all of our clocks ten minutes fast.  That way we always have a buffer of ten minutes.  Yes, my poor concept of time rubbed off on my hubby/daughter, but with simple strategies you can make things a lot easier, and so much less stressful!

I love this quote – “The bad news is TIME FLIES, the good news is YOU’RE THE PILOT” – Michael Altshuler. 

  1. Manage distractions from other people 

Do you find yourself dropping everything when a quick query comes up, or an email captures your attention? Stop it!!

I remember a poster I used to have on my HR office door which had little characters rolling on the floor laughing, saying, ‘You want it when?’!  Help other people know that their urgency doesn’t have to be yours!  I have to remind myself of this in the reverse sometimes. I can be a bit lastminute.com so think that everyone has time (It goes back to that tripling time thing again).

Think about some of the demands that come up for you in the day. Maybe you’re checking into your Facebook Messenger every 10 minutes, or checking your email and feel compelled to respond. Could you allocate a bit of time in your diary to deal with requests that come up, so that you’re not just dropping everything instantly? By ‘parking’ the request you can get on with the task in hand and if you drop them a quick note to say you’ll get back to them, they won’t think you’re rude 🙂

Are you immediately responding with a ‘yes’, without thinking things through? Start practicing no.  Think about some different responses you could use:

  • “I’d love to but I’m already committed to ….”
  • “That sounds lovely but I’ve committed myself to some biz time while the house is quiet. Another time?”
  • “It’s really kind of you to think of me. I like to give things my 100% and right now my priority is ‘x’ so I wouldn’t have the time to dedicate to it and give it the full attention it deserves”

Remember, each time you’re saying yes, you’re saying no to time you could use to be visible. 

So, there you have it – 3 simple strategies to get visible when you’re super busy.

  1. Plan In Some Pomodoro Time
  2. Know where your time goes
  3. Manage distractions from other people

Which one would be a good one to try? Got some other strategies that you use in your business when you’re super busy? Share them with me. I’d love to learn about them.

Your call to action is to choose one of these, or one of your own, and test it out.

3 Ways To Say No To People Who Want To Pick Your Brains For Free

In this blog post, I will share what you can say to people when you’re done with people picking your brains for free.

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Read Full Transcript below...

As your business grows, so do the requests from people. The problem we can have as service-based business owners, is that we genuinely want to help, and sometimes that can mean we give away waaaaaaay too much of our free time.

At first it might be giving away lots of free sessions of one type or another. Over time, because of your generosity you can become the go-to-person for free support and guidance – as one of my business coach friends would put it – free consultancy.

Now, I personally get this A LOT. This past week alone I’ve had 8 requests for ‘free’ help in one form or another. The thing is, it makes us feel good, doesn’t it? Someone’s thought of little ole you on this area. “Ooh, maybe I do know what I’m talking about. After all, if people are asking for my help, that must mean I know stuff, right?“. It’s fine in the early days, but when it starts to become a problem it gets to the point that you have to set clear boundaries and say enough is enough.

Side Note: If you’re being asked a lot about the same things, you might find it’s a good area for you to focus on in your business. You’re obviously already becoming known for it!

I digress.

Let’s explore 3 ways of how this might be showing up for you and how you can deal with it.

  1. Can you just share a few gems of wisdom with me on… or If I send this over to you, would you just look at it for me.

In some cases, I’ve even had people talking about other coaches they’re working with. Quite clearly that’s not working out so well then, or they’d be asking them and not me!

Here’s what to say:

I’m more than happy to share a couple of gems of wisdom, but if you want to get real gems then let’s talk about how we can work together. You’ll only get a teeny tiny bit of my support by doing it this way. We can get transformational results when we work together 1:1.

On the ”Can you just look at this one” message you could say…

Sure, just send it over. From what you’re telling me, it shouldn’t take too long to work through. I’ll invoice you for an hour of time. If we need more, I’ll let you know before taking it any further. What’s the best email address to send the invoice to?

Don’t do what I’ve done in the past, where I’ve set the boundary at the beginning of the call and then ended up being caught out later down the line! If you have to, write the word ‘Boundaries’ on a post-it note as a reminder not to go back on the boundary you’ve set for yourself. New boundaries take time to establish, we can go back to our old ways without even thinking, so be kind to yourself if you slip up! 

  1. I wonder if you can spare 20 mins or so for a chat with me to talk about ways to… ?

(In my case the common one is to attract clients)

Here’s what to say:

Of course, I’m more than happy to have a chat with you. My fee is £200 per hour for this type of thing. How much time would you like to book with me? Let me know and I’ll send you over some possible dates.

If it’s a coaching client then I’ll say this… “I do have a self-study programme, Discovery Call Magic, that teaches all about how to book/use discovery calls to attract clients (£197). Let me know which option you prefer and I can send you more details 

  1. I wondered if I could pick your brains about something when you have 5 minutes. (Maybe this is from a business colleague, or maybe you’re being asked for ‘mates rates’.)

If it’s someone that could really do with your help, a great way to reply is this:

That’s a great question, pop it in my Rock Your Fabulous Biz Group on Facebook and I’ll reply when I have a spare moment. There’s loads of free support in the group, and often answers can benefit everyone else too, but if you prefer 1:1 let’s book a Pick My Brains Session. It’s 20-minutes for £67 or £97 for a 30-minute session. You can ask me whatever you like. I can guarantee you’ll go away with loads of ideas and a mini-action plan to get you started.

Mates Rates – Just don’t do them! Keep the lines clear between mates and business. Good friends won’t expect it for free. I know. I work with a few friends and because they pay me for my services, it doesn’t get all icky when we’re just out and about being friends. Say something like this:

I like to keep my business completely separate from personal. I don’t do mates rates. I’m happy to book you in for a paid session. I’ve found it works so much better when the lines between friends and business don’t get blurred“.

You’ll still be sharing all of your expertise, and that’s not just since you’ve been in business, that’s all of your life experiences, the trainings you’ve done, the things you’ve learned along the way, the books you’ve read, etc. There is one question to ask yourself on this though….

Is there something in it for you?

I mean this in the best way possible. If it’s a two-way thing, and you’re going to help that person, and they’re going to offer you something in return, i.e. a session, free ticket to an event you’re excited about, a coffee/lunch or whatever you like, then that’s okay. This is about you honouring your worth. I’ve had loads of pick your brains conversations and they haven’t even offered to buy me a coffee! And you know how much I like caffeine!

Maybe they are going to give you a glowing testimonial which is just what you’re looking for to add to your website. Then that’s all good. Usually though, the reply is something along the lines of, ‘Oh, I wasn’t expecting to pay”! A good reply to that is, “Oh, really?”

Enter sarcastic Ruby: “Ummm, yeah, I’m a business owner.”

The Big Sub Message That Makes You Feel ‘Ouch’: I value what you do but not enough to pay you (or even save to pay) to work with you.

Now, I’m not saying don’t help. We all know how that one will work out, we can’t help ourselves. We’re hard-wired to help!

What I am saying is there is a line.

If you’re putting lots of useful content out there, and being of service in lots of different ways, then you don’t need to worry. Send them to that free content and invite them to join your community. You’re still serving, you’re still helping, you’re just not being taken for granted.

For me, I know I have SO much content out there for people. I am constantly sharing heaps of valuable stuff for free, so that way I don’t have to feel guilty about charging. People can either do the work to find what they’re looking for (searching keywords on my blog about a specific area for example) or they can pay me for giving them fantastic mentoring guidance bespoke to them and their business.

Remember: You’re running a business. 

Call to Action: Think about where you’re giving away your time, and get some wording/systems in place to support the people who want your guidance for free.

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