Georgina Walsh Business Coaching

…strategies for success

Georgina's Blog

3 Went to Mexico but only 2 Came Home

Posted by April 24th, 2015

20150410_162640My family and I are just back from a great trip to New York and Mexico. This is a trip that started in 1999 when three of us were traveling around Central America…..but only two of us came home.

My friend Jo fell in love with a guide that took us on a trip close to the Mexican / Guatemalan border. They are now verily happily married with two gorgeous boys and it was great to visit her and see the wonderful life they have in Mexico.

It was a big decision for her to stay there. At the time I counseled her to stick to  the original plan she had around returning to work in London, whilst our other friend counseled the opposite, to follow her heart and see what happened. We still laugh that she thankfully didn’t listen to me!

Jo’s decision taught me a lot about having flexibility in your plans and listening to your heart. But I still don’t discount the head either. I now really encourage clients to listen to their heart and intuition about how they want to shape their business, and what markets or customers they would like to work with most.

BUT we then bring in the head – What is the most profitable option? Which one is easiest to market to? Which one will provide the most repeat business?

Are you more Head or Heart?

  • If you’re more head take time to sit still, feel where your intuition is within you – listen to what it says. It has so many of the answers you need.
  • If you’re more heart take time to weigh up the pros and cons of different options. Look at what each will give you, but also cost you in terms of time, money and energy.

So, now that my youngest son has been taken on the much promised trip to Mexico to see his Godmother Jo, and I’m feeling rejuvenated by connecting with such a great country and a good friend, it’s back to work.  Arriba, Arriba!

Woof!

Posted by March 27th, 2015

paddyWe have two Czech Woofers working here at the moment. A Woofer being someone who works on an organic farm, as a working holiday, in return for board and lodgings.

My children pointed out that ours is not technically an organic farm, I countered with the fact that it is all so natural (i.e. fairly wild!) that you couldn’t argue it was NOT organic.

Getting the Woofers up to speed here coincided with a few client sessions I had last week about taking on new staff, freelancers or hiring additional help by the hour. The three crucial points being, deciding what you need, finding the right person and bringing them up to speed.

Here are a few of the things I have done with our Woofers / discussed with my clients:

How do know you’re ready for help? Any of these sound familiar?

  • You’re working at maximum capacity
  • You’re making mistakes
  • You’re feeling totally overwhelmed
  • You’re not enjoying some of the tasks that you know someone else could do

Can you afford someone?

  • Increase your targets to cover your additional costs – what you focus on happens
  • Hire someone part-time or freelance to keep costs more manageable
  • Use the rule of thumb if you can afford to pay 50% of what someone will cost, their addition to your business will cover the other 50% (and hopefully more on top!)

What exactly do you want them to do? You know you need help, but to do what exactly?

  • Sit down right now and make a list of everything you need help with
  • Make a grid with 4 squares: I love doing, I’m good at, I hate doing, I’m not good at. Shape the role from there
  • Or over a two week period, as you’re working away, write down every job or task that you come across that you think someone else can do for you (this is often a great way to shape a role)

Who exactly do you want?

  • As well as the what, think about the who, the type of person you want
  • Think about their outlook, their values, their disposition

Getting up to speed:

  • Working arrangements often fail if time isn’t taken to bring someone up to speed
  • It’s going to take time to get someone doing everything you want in the way that you want, but it’s time incredibly well spent so don’t scrimp on it
  • Be extremely clear about what you want done; show and show again if necessary (don’t be tempted to take tasks back and re-do them yourself, you are only making a rod for your own back)
  • Be very clear on what you expect from them and what they expect from you – these expectations are not always verbalised which is where frustrations and misunderstandings begin

So, we had a few ups and downs settling in our very lovely Woofers, including language barriers, losing them in our local town, and the ponies being fed twice in one morning (the ponies were thrilled), but we are now on a great even keel, and they are helping us here no end.

From Cows to Camels

Posted by March 4th, 2015

20150228_173103Do you make sure you break away from your routine?

I’ve just taken a few days to swap the Irish countryside and a view of cows for a view of camels. I worked from Dubai. My husband was working out there and I took my laptop, myself and a very open mind to join him.

I did some work for clients, but also took a couple of business related books and did some big planning for my business.

  • I stretched out by the pool, and really stretched my thinking
  • I enjoyed lunch at the top of the Burg Khalifa, the world’s tallest building and thought big and tall (…and thankfully avoided vertigo)

New avenues, bigger thinking and bigger results.  The biggest difference in my planning was that it was not a half day out of routine, but four days.  I could have used Dubai as a holiday but I used if for both holiday and work. The joy of running a lifestyle business.

I suspect it will be a while before I have such a glamorous planning session again, but it was a great reminder of the importance of breaking from routine and planning and thinking big regularly.

  • How often do you currently break from your routine? 
  • How can you make this more often?
  • How can you make it longer – it might be not be in a four day stretch, but could it be two mornings in one week and two in the next?  I guarantee that time will be time well spent.
  • What books / creative thinking could you use?

Make sure you set yourself some big, hairy (and exciting) goals.
Think big, act big and it will help to ensure the next 12 months are your best year yet.
One of the areas I read up on was the Law of Attraction and positive thinking.

The Law of Attraction

I determined to think positively about getting an upgrade on my flight home.  My husband, who works in travel, declared it impossible due to the ticket I was on. Guess where I’m writing this from, seat 8A with a nice glass of Veuve Cliquot in front of me. Next time I’ll set my mind to First Class….
Think positive and set big goals!

Happy With No?

Posted by February 18th, 2015

NOI made the switch to being Happy With No and my sales went up.

I adopted a mindset where I was fine if a potential client said no thanks, you’re not for me.  I was fine for them to walk away.  If I wasn’t for them, then they weren’t the right client for me.

Since then the number of people who said No dropped, in fact, I can’t remember the last time a potential client who was having a discovery call with me actually said No.

As well as more clients, it has brought less stress. ‘It’s OK if they say No’ is quite a liberating feeling.

How happy are you with No?  What could you do to be more happy with No?

In fact, push it further, how can you make it easy for someone to say No?
Use a bit of reverse psychology; when people don’t feel the pressure and feel you’re happy to walk away it can actually turn a prospective No into to a Yes. It changes all the dynamics.

Collect Your No’s
If one of my clients is downhearted about not getting enough sales, I challenge them to see how many No’s they can collect, for example, by collecting 10 No’s they might get at least 3 Yes’s.  I may then challenge them to get 20 No’s and they’ll probably get at least 6 Yes’s (and the happier they get about collecting the No’s the more Yes’s they’ll actually receive).

Avoid Maybe’s
I am obviously happy with Yes’s, I’ve talked to you about my happiness with No’s – what I ALWAYS try to avoid is a Maybe. If someone is going to say No, get the No out of them sooner rather than later.

‘Maybe’s’ drain your time and energy.  You can spend hours, weeks or even months chasing a Maybe as they lead you a merry dance of indecision, eeking from you as much as they can get, without agreeing to say Yes.

If you can’t get a Yes or No immediately, give a deadline (very politely, of course!) for a Yes or No by a certain date.  But don’t tolerate any more Maybe’s.

Let me know how you get on with your Yes’s, No’s and Maybe’s!

Running for my flight

Posted by January 20th, 2015

ArrivalsIt’s a quick one today as I’m literally about to head off to the airport to catch a flight to London. I’ve got three days there, running a number of Fast Track Sessions, helping my clients plan a bumper year. I can’t wait.  Working with great clients and also catching up with friends…….and maybe just a wee bit of checking out the January sales too.

Do you concentrate on building a business that delivers the WAY of living that you want, not just the financial living you want?

4 years ago I hated my work trips to England, they were far too frequent, sometimes twice in one week, working for corporate clients on big projects which drained me. So I screeched on the brakes and made some big changes.  I wanted to work with smaller businesses or individuals, and I wanted to use more of my advertising and marketing background, not just my business psychology.

I took a deep breath, a dip in earnings and went for it.  I now have increased earnings, but more importantly I’m doing work, and living life, in a way that energies rather than drains. My clients are small business owners or executive coaching clients, and I’ve kept just one corporate client that I’ve always enjoyed working with, Oxford University.

It’s as important to work out what you don’t want as much as what you do want. Here are some questions to help you ensure your business and life work together and energise you:

  • What do you want more of in your life and in your business? And what do you want less of?
  • What is the main group of customers you want to be working with?
  • What product or service do you want to be providing them with? And what are the things you don’t want to be doing for them?
  • What do you need to do to get more of the right types of customers?
  • What is the one BIG change you would love to make, so you have a great life and business?
  • Now create a change ladder – rather than trying to make lots of changes immediately, plan them over time:
    • What do you want to have achieved by Easter?
    • And then by the summer? (Or winter for my readers in the Southern Hemisphere)
    • And by the end of the year?

Oh, cripes, look at the time, gotta fly….!
Until next time!

Super Boost Your Business in A Day

Posted by January 8th, 2015

swanlake2sm

Swan Lake SmTwo  pictures taken from my office. What a difference. One day green fields, the next after lots (and lots) of rain, a serene lake complete with our very own swans – where do the swans come from? They turn up every time!

Such is the difference a day in the Irish countryside can make.  This got me thinking about the big difference you can make to your business in a day.  Not every day, but in a super-boosted super-focused day.

I often do Fast Track Days with my clients; rather than working over 3 or 6 months, we put our heads together virtually or face-to-face for a concentrated morning or day.  Big steps are taken, big ideas born. Taking time out to think about things in a different way makes a huge difference, thoughts build on each other giving amazing leaps and bounds.

Why don’t you plan your own Fast Track Day?  If you haven’t read it already, you might like use a Fast Track Session to work through my E-book 7 Simple Steps to Move Your Business Up a Gear. Download your free copy here.

Whatever you decide to do, here are some guidelines:

  • Start by shaping or updating your vision; not just for your business but for the life you want to lead around it.
  • Focus your planning around your target customer, the type you like to work with the most, put everyone else out of your mind.
  • Keep your brand in mind at all times; what are the three key things you want to be known for?
  • Create simple exercises or highlight areas you want to think through. Think outside the box, nothing is sacred. What would you do if you knew you could not fail, if money was no object, if you approached it all in a completely different way?
  • Be disciplined and make sure you work through all your proposed areas – including areas you have been avoiding due to fear, lack of confidence or of time.
  • Give yourself quite a few breaks; it can be during these breaks that a big thought suddenly appears.
  • Finish off by setting goals; big goals that excite you, but not so unrealistic you know that you won’t work to achieve them.

So whilst I and my temporary swans enjoy the lake until the flood waters recede, have a think about when you could schedule your Fast Track Day, and how you’ll power pack it to make a real difference.

Do You Want a Film Crew in Your House?

Posted by December 18th, 2014

Digital cinema cameraAngelina Jolie eat your heart out, Hollywood is going to be calling me soon.

The film industry in N.Ireland is on a roll. We have Game of Thrones being filmed here and The Fall, to mention but two.

The next thing is Frankenstein, and so I found myself showing a location scout the darkest and dingiest parts (there are quite a few) of my old family home. It’s a lovely Georgian house with a sweeping avenue and beautiful gate lodges, but like many old houses, it’s far more Country House Rescue than Downton Abbey.

My brother who now owns it, is looking for ways for it to pay for its upkeep…..cue the film location scout.  It’s dingy bits for Franenstien, but it would also do well for Jane Austen.

I then had a Nothing to Lose Moment. I asked the scout if he wanted to see my house. 300 yards further up the avenue, brand new, spacious and modern. Missing the period features (or worries about leaking roofs), it’s our dream house and if it could help pay a bit for itself I wouldn’t complain.

He looked hesitant. I told him about the tree lined lane, excellent for a stage coach to thunder up, and that seemed  to swing it.

He liked it! He said he had house envy. That they’re is a demand for the right modern houses to film in.

My brother says he will be furious if my house gets booked before his! We’re both sitting by the phone……I’ll keep you posted.

What Nothing to Lose Moment could you have? Who do you need to approach and what do you need to ask?

WHEN are you going to do it? Often we put it off until the time is right, the website updated etc.

So answer these now:

  • What Nothing to Lose Moments have you been putting off?
  • What new Nothing to Lose Moments could you put into action?
  • Get 2015 off to a cracking start with these, when will you do them? No procrastination, if not before Christmas, diary and make sure they happen in January, Go For It! You have nothing to lose!

Are You Feeling Warm and Fuzzy?

Posted by November 21st, 2014

Lorne 5Riding my horse through the woods on Sunday, followed by my eight year old son on his beloved pony, Rusty Bucket, I had a bit of a warm and fuzzy moment.

The woods were in a last blaze of Autumn colour, both the leaves still on the trees and those forming the carpet of colour on the ground. The sun was shining and riders and horses alike were in fine spirits.

6 years ago we moved back to N.Ireland to enjoy more space, more fun and of course, more horses and ponies.

However, living in rural Ireland did pose the problem of how to ensure career fulfillment and earning potential were realised.  I practiced what I preach, set my vision for what I wanted and created a business that would deliver interesting, fulfilling work that hit my financial targets.

Whilst of course there have been ups and downs, and I still fly to England to work with clients face-to-face and run workshops, I do more and more of my work from here, connecting with clients via phone, skype and webinar.

How warm and fuzzy are you feeling? Here are two questions for you:

  • Have you stopped to think about your progress lately and given yourself a pat on the back for what you have achieved?
  • Have you stopped to think about what you further need to do to realise your vision?

Part of realising your vision is getting your marketing right. It gives you business success, and in turn the work life balance you want.

I have created a Cork Popping Marketing Plan with a step by step guide, template and example to help you create your own Cork Popping Marketing Plan in just 30 minutes. Click here to access it and if you want a copy in word, just send me an email and I’ll whizz one to you.

If you don’t have a Marketing Plan, here are Five Good Reasons Why You Need One By The End of This Week!

  • Focus, Focus, Focus – under-focussed and overwhelmed is the curse of entrepreneurs and small business owners. A clear plan will help you work out where you’re going and how to get there, step-by-step.
  • Less is More –  there are so many options to choose from in marketing, trying to do too much gets you nowhere.  Concentrate on just three things at first and do them well, then once those are up and running you can add to them.
  • Results – A plan will get you results faster – fact.  A scattergun approach won’t achieve nearly so much. The other result is more time, as you can save time and effort by duplicating different things across different marketing channels.
  • Measure – From a plan you can measure your success and earnings, so you can repeat what works and leave aside what doesn’t.
  • Polish and Professionalism – A marketing plan will automatically make you much more professional and consistent in your marketing.  You will start to see results sooner and you will be less stressed – which in turn makes you look and feel even more polished and professional!

Click here to access your plan and if you want a copy in word, just send me an email and I’ll whizz one to you.

Strength to Build Success

Posted by November 14th, 2014

bigstock-Key-to-success-24060560I’ve just started working with a client whose sales have been dwindling.  They are feeling unmotivated and frustrated, and there is an air of panic in the air.  However, they are also really putting their thinking cap on. They are considering lots of new markets and new product ideas.

Stop!

If you find yourself doing this, stop immediately!  Have a look around and assess where you are.

I find that both entrepreneurs and executives can start looking into new and different areas when they feel things are not going as well as they would like with their business or career.

Often, the answer is not about looking at new areas, but closer to home.

Often, they have lost their focus and sight of their key strengths.

Whenever possible, you need to look at new ideas, markets and products from a position of strength, not of desperation. You need to look not outwards, but inwards.

  1. Find the Time to Stop!  We lose focus and perspective as we rush through our busy professional and personal lives.  Finding time to regularly stop and assess where you are is crucial. Even for just 5 minutes; it could make a big difference.
  2. Know What You Stand For. Ensure you are clear on your business or personal brand and its core elements.  What your key values and passions are, what business you are really in, and what value you deliver to people.
  3. Know What You are Good At….really, really good at. Make sure you are still doing this – have you drifted away from it? If so, how can you get back to it? How can you do more of the things you enjoy doing?
  4. Make a Plan….with a timeline, to bring yourself (and your team) back to key strengths, values and passions. Plan how you can communicate these strengths to your customers and colleagues.
  5. Make Another Plan to take yourself forward; once you and / or your business are centred and strong, you can start to make plans to build more success in new and different areas.

Maximum Achievement

Posted by September 9th, 2014

Champagne I hope you had a good summer? After a lovely bit of down-time I’m now ramping up for the final part of the year, and some maximum achievement!

This time last year I asked you to maximise your achievement by taking yourself forward and imagining you had achieved the BIG thing you wanted to by New Year.

I asked you to imagine how chuffed you would be feeling with your success, as the New Year champagne corks popped. Clients said doing this New Year visualisation really helped them put things into action, so…

This year I want you to take it a step further, and also dig a bit deeper into yourself.

Here are some questions to help you do that:

What do you want to have achieved by New Year? What BIG thing (or two!) would you have liked to have achieved that would really make you feel proud, delighted and generally rather chuffed with yourself?
Now, be super brave, and think about pushing that BIG thing even further – what would that look like by New Year – something that leaves you saying “I couldn’t do that, could I? How wonderful if I could!”
When you think of this super-brave-super-big achievement, what do you feel? Excitement, fear, blind-panic?
What is the biggest / most persistent negative thought that comes to you? What are those voices in your head saying – you’ll never do it!? Don’t try, you’ll only fail!?
Now park those thoughts, imagine you didn’t have them at all – free of those negative thoughts, write down the big goal or task you would undertake each month until the end of the year to get to that super-big achievement. Now break those into smaller weekly goals or tasks.
What do you need to tell yourself, or do, to keep those destructive negative thoughts at bay, or, even better, to eliminate them altogether – so that you can really sail forward and achieve BIG before New Year?

Keep super positive and action orientated this Autumn and let me know how you get on!

What Season Are You?

Posted by September 4th, 2014

spring

If your business was a season, what season would it be? Or, in terms of your own personal brand at work, if you were a season what season would you be?

For example, my business brand would be Spring – full of promise, green shoots, new ideas and growth.

Is yours Spring too?
Or Summer; balmy, relaxing and offering escapism?
Or Autumn; cosy, wrapped-up warmth and comforting?
Or Winter; fresh, crisp and invigorating?

What season best sums up your brand and what words and phrases can you bring to your communications or your personal actions to reflect this?

We all know that making money is serious business. Branding and marketing are meant to be the fun bits of running your business.  Doing light-hearted exercises such as the one above can help your business or personal brand by defining the ‘brand personality’.

This helps inform the tone and feel of your brand, a key aspect in designing logos, your website, your promotional material and even down to what clothes you wear.

The classic Brand Personality question is ‘If your brand was a person, what kind of person would it be?’

But stretch your thinking and also think about other things such as the type of car (more Mercedes than Porche?), a particular celebrity, an animal or holiday destination (Rivieria, Las Vegas, Bali?) that you feel reflects your brand in some way.

You can use these to collect 10 to 12 great descriptive words to further help your brand come alive; it’s easy to lose sight of your brand personality, and it can get diluted in the day-to-day hurly burly.

So, relax, ask yourself some of the questions above and make sure you have a radiant, unique and attractive brand personality that really shines through.

Less Is More

Posted by July 16th, 2014

Less is MorePhew, I’ve been going like a dingbat from the beginning of the year, and now I’m going to slow it right down – I’m so excited!

Then from September to December I’ll be in full flow again, and I’m really looking forward to that too.

I am now entering my ‘Less is More’ period.  Running my own business gives me the flexibility to slow down, reflect and gain perspective. It started a few years ago, doing less during my children’s 9 week summer holiday that they get here in N.Ireland – but I’ve found it really helps to propel my business forward.

My brain is given time and space to recharge, but equally importantly I reflect and gain perspective on my business.  I keep working with clients but slow down on other aspects.

Here are some of the questions I ask myself:

  • What is working well and what is working not so well?
  • What do I need to do more of and less of going forward?
  • What am I not enjoying doing – and how can I do less of / eliminate / outsource those things?
  • What do I enjoy doing that I am not doing enough of?
  • To really leap forward, what big changes need to be made, or fears need to be overcome?

Do you take time to do this on a regular basis? What additional questions do you need to ask yourself to make your business leap forward?

Here are My Tips for Making Less is More work:

  • Cover your Less is More period Financially: My business is built around earning 10 months of the year – September to June, anything earned during July and August is counted as a bonus.
  • Keep Strong and Focused on Doing Less: If you own your own business you are a natural do-er, so doing less can be hard.  I have set rules e.g. running no workshops, limited flying to clients in England.
  • Set Yourself some Goals Outside your Business:  (don’t worry your sub-conscious will still be working away for you!) For example, my horse is already seeing a lot of more of me….and in getting her fitter there should soon be a bit less to her waistline.
  • It May Sound Obvious: But set yourself the questions you want to think about and make sure you answer them…….and then act on them.

So plan when you are going to recharge and reflect, and let me know how you get on!

Holidaying with a Huge Sense of Achievement

Posted by May 13th, 2014

Good old father time is doing his thing and plunging his way through 2014.

The first third of the year is over, the economy is bouncing back, and bringing with it additional business but also the dreaded……… overwhelm.

Quite a few clients I spoke to last week are panicking about their To Do lists.  They started with a clear plan for the year and a short and punchy list of priorities.

But those punchy and focused lists seem to be getting out of hand; new ideas, interruptions, unforeseen circumstances, self-doubt and fear all mean that not as much gets done. Your list gets longer and it’s hard to focus and see the wood for the trees.

I want you to hit your summer break feeling pleased with progress and profits (and I hope you’re going to have a break, whether it is faraway, close to home or even at home.  Another great friend of getting things done is having enough R&R).

So to get you there you need to ensure you’re focused and clear on your business priorities. Here is another of my 5 Minute Coffee Break Sorters:

Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea (or a glass of wine or beer if it is that time of day) and a clean sheet of paper, or clean sheet of ipad.  Then jot down the answers to the questions under the minute prompts below:

Minute 1:What have been your successes over the first 4 months of the year? Write down all the good stuff you have done – often people start things by focusing on the negative – what they haven’t achieved – let’s start at the positive end.

Minute 2: Now think about what you have not achieved but would have liked to – don’t beat yourself up about this, just use it as a realistic assessment of your progress so far in 2014.

Minute 3:Sit back and close your eyes and take yourself to that summer break – you are relaxing and basking in feelings of achievement and pride. What would you like to have achieved by then to feel like that? What do you need to do now to REALLY move your business forward and boost your bottom line?

Minute 4:Convert that boost into 2 or 3 clear priorities or goals.  Being clear on your business priorities will help you put overwhelming small stuff aside.

Minute 5: Break those priorities down into smaller goals to achieve in the following weeks.  Also, very importantly, write down what you need to say to yourself to stop self-doubt or fear getting in your way.

Lastly, give yourself a cheeky extra minute to think about what extra reward you will give yourself, when on holiday, for having achieved these goals.

Good luck and let me know how you get on!

What is Your Why?

Posted by April 11th, 2014

Why

 “The internet is a very big room and you need to have a clear brand to be able to make any noise in it at all.” This is a phrase I heard the other day. Are you able to shout loudly and be heard in that big room?

 A clear brand is so vital for entrepreneurs to get the success they want, but it’s sometimes hard to know where to start.

 Many small businesses try to differentiate their brand and shout loudly by being clear on What they do and How they do it.  But the real secret to building a clear and successful brand is firstly understanding exactly Why the business does what it does. 

 This often starts with why YOU do what you do.  What is your Why?

 We all have different motivations and whilst you will want to earn money and have a good lifestyle, there is very likely more to your Why than that. 

So what is your Why?  You may already be clear on your why – if so, is it part of your brand story? Does it come across in your communications and enhance and differentiate your brand?  How do you take it through to your what and how?

If you’re not clear on your why – you need to be.  It is one of the key foundations of determining your brand and thereby increasing your profits.  

Your why, will be something that means a lot to you and may well relate to formative experiences in your childhood or when you were growing up.  Work through the following questions to explore your why:

  • What are you really passionate about?
  • What are your key principles?
  • What principles and key passions do you bring into your business?
  • Why did you start your business? 
  • What sort of success do you want…. and why do you want it?
  • How do you feel you make a difference / could make a difference?

Now pull your thoughts together:

  • What is your Why around your family and / or lifestyle
  • What is your Why around your business?
  • How can you bring more of your Why into your marketing messages?

Do You Believe….In Yourself?

Posted by March 20th, 2014

bigstock-Key-to-success-24060560

Do you feel super strong, buoyed up by resolve and positivity everyday?

Or, does self-doubt and a lack of confidence creep up on you all too frequently?

Business success may not be down to what your business offers, or your marketing, but what your internal thoughts and dialogues are saying to you.

Are you your own biggest champion, or your own biggest saboteur?

I know the difference between the two, as I have been both of these things.  I used to run two businesses, a consulting business and another one which brought business psychology into the home and helped people to find and importantly, manage their childcare.

For this second business, I had my Business Psychology Masters, I had the experience of successfully managing people in my own home for 10 years, I had proven marketing skills from my years in advertising and strategic marketing agencies. I had even got an agent and publisher and written a book on finding and managing childcare…………….but, you guessed it, I didn’t quite have 100% self-belief. 

I felt like I was a bit of a fraud because I hadn’t run a nanny agency, or had not worked as a nanny, or had not……well, the reasons changed, but the fact remained. So the business never soared to the heights I wanted.  Whilst on the other side of the coin, my consulting moved to include coaching and went from strength to strength.  The fundamental difference in both of these businesses was my self-belief.

These two sides of the coin lead to different cycles, one upward and one downward.  If you don’t believe in yourself, you don’t get good results and this re-enforces your thoughts. The opposite is true if you do believe in yourself.

I closed down my childcare business, and looking back took from it one of the most important business lessons you can learn.  I wish I’d had the perspective I have now and could have worked to change my beliefs.  However, I now help my clients apply this perspective every day to help them create the self-belief and positive mind-set they need for success.  Here are four simple questions to get you to explore your business mindset.

  • If there was one negative belief that you could eliminate once and for all what would it be?
  • What is this negative belief costing you?
  • Who or where would you be without it?
  • What positive belief could you replace it with that would really make a difference?

 Do you want a strong business with a strong brand and strong self-belief?  Have a look at my Positivity and Profit Course which helps you work through my tried and tested Business Breakthrough Formula.

How FAB are You?

Posted by February 9th, 2014

gold-medal-10011486I suspect you and your business are pretty fab, but here are some pointers to help you make your business even more fab!

There are many facets of creating a strong brand which in turns helps you to deliver strong sales. My favourite part is the FAB part. As you may know, in branding terms FAB stands for Features and Benefits.

Thinking through what your Features And Benefits are can often help your small business and brand take a big leap forward. (more…)

Feeling Competitive?

Posted by February 2nd, 2014

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“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” Coco Chanel

When you started your business you quite correctly, looked at the competition.

But as time goes by, do you keep looking to see what is going on out there, and ensure you are standing out from the crowd?

Try to do a market or competition audit once a year (twice a year would be even better); it will naturally lead you to think about your offering and your brand.  This will help keep you ahead of the curve.

I suggest you try to find a spare hour or so in the next week (easier said than done, you cry!) and work through the following 5 steps, I guarantee it will give you some great inspiration and ideas. (more…)

Feeling Stupid

Posted by January 12th, 2014

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So how stupid was I feeling yesterday afternoon, standing with my 9 year old daughter on the side of the motorway waiting for an AA tow truck, having put petrol in my diesel car.  Extremely!

I’ve never done it before and, as the AA man politely pointed out, I’ll never do it again.

My daughter didn’t get to gymnastics (sorry Thea!) and as I stood there shame-faced I was more angry with myself for breaking my main New Year’s resolution, not even two weeks into the year.

It was: To slow down and do less, and in doing so achieve more.

Why did I put petrol in a diesel car? Because I was running late and trying to achieve too much in too short a time.  So, I’ve taken my foolish mistake as a wake up call to stick to my resolution.  (more…)

How To Get Customers Knocking at Your Door

Posted by December 8th, 2013

knocking

 As business owners we, of course, love customers to come to us via a referral.

 As customers, we all trust word of mouth recommendations when making a purchase.

 So with these points in mind, I’m often surprised when small business owners don’t have a referral process or system to help bring keen and eager customers to their door.  To make referrals work for you, like any other part of your business you need a system (a simple one, but a system nonetheless). 

Just the briefest of reminders of why referrals are so very marvellous:

 They cut down on marketing costs

  • You get good quality leads who are often ready to buy
  • Growth feeds growth; with your ever increasing band of brand ambassadors out there singing your praises (more…)

Are you Attracting the Right Customers….or the Wrong Ones?

Posted by November 10th, 2013

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Do you offer your product or service to anyone who will listen, and even if they are not listening, do you offer it anyway?

 How can you stop offering to everyone, so that you are just saying yes to the right types of customers? This can sometimes be quite daunting and involve a leap of faith, but it can also be very liberating…..as well as financially rewarding!

 So how do you work out which customers are right for you and which are wrong?

 Do a Bit of Sorting

As a small business coach I often help my clients to segment their customers into groups – sorted by their attitude and behaviours rather than more traditional demographic means, such as age or where they live.   Having done this it is easy for them to create different messages for different groups (as well as decide on the groups they don’t want as customers). This is a strategic marketing tool that all the big brands use very successfully.

Let me show you what I mean from my own business. To begin with my doors were open to all small business owners – Come on in! I can help you! Let’s get started!

However, pretty quickly I created my first ‘segmentation’ and split potential customers into ‘Doers’ and ‘Dreamers or Twiddlers’. As their name implies Doers do. They get on with things and subsequently achieve results. They are fun and rewarding to work with and it is great helping a Doer achieve even more than they could on their own. 

The Dreamers or Twiddlers are another kettle of fish – I have nothing against dreaming, in fact it is one of the first things I encourage new clients to do when creating their vision. But once you have dreamt, you have to do.

Dreamers or Twiddlers don’t get on with things, and there is always going to be something that is getting in their way, or something that they are twiddling with rather than making bigger steps. Some coaches work brilliantly with this kind of group – so now when I come across a Dreamer or Twiddler I politely say no, but always have another coach I can recommend they could work with. These other coaches refer back to me in return – so by saying no to the customer I don’t want I get back the sort of customers I do want. (more…)