Georgina Walsh Business Coaching

…strategies for success

Georgina's Blog

Happy You, Happy Business

Posted by September 16th, 2015

Happy cheering couple enjoying sunset at beachHow happy do you feel at the moment?
What impact in turn does this have on your business?

I don’t need to highlight to you the increased success of a business with someone positive and happy at the helm.

It’s been shown that paying attention to your happiness and trying to feel happier doesn’t actually produce the desired results.

The new words on the block are ‘Prioritising Positivity’. What’s that then?  Building into your day things that bring you pleasure and positivity.

It’s not about thinking forwards in terms of weeks, months or years to that Big Thing you feel will finally make you complete and happy.

It’s about starting with today and tomorrow and using what you know from past experiences will bring you happiness, i.e. less about what you think will make you happy and more about what you know will make you so.  These may be some very simple every day pleasures.

Start building these into your days, and enjoy feeling the results……

I’m about to head off for a great big dollop of prioritising positivity with a long weekend away in the sun. I’ve planned into next week some things I know I’ll enjoy so that my return to work after a few sun soaked days is a happy one rather than a bit of a struggle!

Enjoy prioritising your positivity and let me know how you get on.

Stepping Back is the Way Forward

Posted by September 3rd, 2015

Mayo small I always ensure I take a step back from my business in the summer.  Here’s a picture from the beautiful west coast of   Ireland last week.

Do you manage to find time to step back? This time is crucial as it allows me to really assess what’s working for me, frustrating me…..and super importantly what I want to achieve going forward.

During this step back I bumped into a couple of people who were feeling REALLY burnt out from their businesses, not enjoying them and resenting what they have created.

That is not a place I want you or I to be in. I really believe that you achieve more, and earn more, doing things from a place of enjoyment and fulfillment rather than stress and strain.

So what are the results of my summer reflections? Here are a few of my decisions:

  • Do less of the things I don’t enjoy by either doing them differently, stop doing them altogether or outsourcing them.
  • Have a phase of consolidation rather than looking at new avenues or big leaps, concentrate on streamlining and getting things right in my core areas.
  • Concentrate on attracting only the clients who I super enjoy working with and make my work a pleasure.

So having had my reflection time I’m excited to be going into my planning and doing time!

What about you?

  • Where are you on the energised to burnt out spectrum?
  • Do you build in enough reflection time for your business?
  • If not, start right now – what are your immediate reflections on your business?
  • What will help you enjoy it more?
  • What will help you make it more successful?
  • What do you need to do to ensure you don’t get burnt out?
  • ….and lastly, when can you build in some proper reflection time (the sooner the better!)?

Chicks in the Bucket!

Posted by July 24th, 2015

peachicks (3)Quick, chicks in the bucket!!
This cry goes out, as our new baby peacocks are hatched.  We’ve learnt the hard way that cunning foxes and, I’m ashamed to admit, my spritely terriers are no match for these new born creatures.

So a system has been developed.  As the proud mother emerges from the undergrowth with her new chicks it’s all hands on deck. We grab a bucket and dash around after her babies.  Whilst unsettling for them all, it’s very much a life saving measure.

Once in the bucket, we record their chirping, and start our procession towards a safe enclosure. Chicks in a bucket, a phone playing peachick-chirping followed by a worried peahen. The last tricky, and comical, part is getting the peahen into the pen (bless them peacocks aren’t the smartest of animals).

Once done we heave a huge sigh of  relief, until another peahen emerges from the bushes with her new brood…..quick chicks in the bucket!

What point am I going to make about running your business with this story? There will be areas in your business that need a process introduced or improved. If you are lacking the right process things take longer and are more frustrating.

If the process is something you do quite often it becomes a habit, it’s fresh in your mind. What about those things that are less frequent?
How often have you had to reinvent the wheel to get an infrequent task done because you can’t remember what you did last time?  Contacting helplines, raising support tickets, pestering your web developer, arrgghhh.  Or do you just put it off until it gets really urgent…and then becomes really stressful? So,

  • What processes do you need to make things smoother?
  • What infrequent processes do you need to document, so you can put them into action quickly and smoothly?
  • AND how can you quickly find those notes on the process when needed!

Next time you find yourself re-inventing the wheel, be strict with yourself and make sure you document what you did, right there and then.

Right, I’m off to feed the peachicks.

Stories Sell, Are You Making the Most of Yours?

Posted by June 9th, 2015

Nissan hutOur doorbell rang unexpectedly this week.
There stood 4 smartly dressed strangers. One said in a thick French accent, “We are from Belgium.” I immediately knew why they were here.

In the Second World War soldiers from Belgium and Canada were stationed here for training and convalescence. A sort of before and after station. My unexpected visitors were two brothers, and their wives, whose father had spent time here.

I took them down to show them where the camp had been, explaining that the two fields used were still called the Front Camp and Back Camp. I showed them the ruins of the last remaining Nissen hut, still with the no smoking sign in French visible. I showed them the woods where the soldiers had carved their initials into the tree trunks, including some carvings with love hearts where local romance had blossomed.

I had connected them with a part of their father’s life and time fighting for his country. Their eyes welled up and mine began to as well. They gave me a huge Gallic kiss.

As well as helping my new friends find what they had been looking for, it got me thinking about heritage and stories that we can sometimes take for granted. I walk or drive past the ruins of the Nissen hut just about every day, it is simply part of the landscape here, crumbling slowly back into nature.

Think about the heritage and stories around your business and your life. How can you bring these more to the fore to explain or illustrate:

  • What you do
  • Why you started your business
  • How you do things
  • ….and importantly why you are different from the rest?

Are You Charging What You’re Worth?

Posted by May 28th, 2015

I was speaking to someone this week about their business, he is at his wit’s end and wants to throw the towel in. He is exhausted, feeling burnt out and whilst he is hugely appreciated by his clients, and has work coming to his door, he is not making enough money to keep his head above water. Sound familiar?

There are a number of different ways you can look at solving this problem….without of course throwing the towel in.

9 Nifty Strategies 3D CoverOne of the first steps is ensuring you’re charging what you’re worth.

As a coach, consultant or small business owner, it can be very hard to charge higher prices. You feel you need to be able to transparently justify your cost, or that your hourly rate is going to look too high. Maybe you’re in the habit of pitching in a last minute discount hoping it will guarantee you a yes.

Do you want more income? To feel comfortable with charging more ?

……not in a daylight robbery, pull the wool over someone’s eyes kind of a way, but in a way that you feel reflects what you’re worth and the value you deliver?

If so, I’ve put together an e-book to help you think about your pricing and it’s got detail on 9 Nifty Strategies to help you Charge What You’re Worth.

Click here to download it – and you can immediately put some of these strategies into action immediately. Enjoy!

Those feelings of real success and those wonderful champagne moments will only be realised when you are charging what you’re worth.

Are You Marketing Like a Peacock or a Peahen?

Posted by May 13th, 2015

Peacock 1Peacock 3To add to our animal mix here we have some unfortunate peacocks and peahens – unfortunate in that when they popped their little heads out of their eggs they found themselves in the soggy Irish climate rather than the lush vegetation of India or Sri Lanka. However we have had them here for years and they are thriving, so it can’t be all bad.

As Spring marches on the peacocks are busy, busy showing off their tails and looking for a wife. Pictured is one particular chap I walk past each day and it made me think about marketing like a peacock.

With limited marketing budgets many small business owners don’t always push themselves out there as much as they should. How are you doing with your marketing – more peacock or more peahen?

Are You Marketing like a Peacock?
• He is consistent. He has chosen his spot, outside the wood shed and there he parades each and every day, come rain or shine
• He makes a statement, look at his tail, he is gorgeous, he is letting the girls know that he is the very best option
• He doesn’t give up…..even when a gust of wind catches his tail and sails him away from his patch, he turns round and gets back on duty
• He is loud; have you heard the peacock’s cry? It certainly cuts through the air
• He is proud….as a peacock

Or are You Marketing Like a Peahen?
• She is there, but she is in the background
• She is muted both in terms of colour and voice
• She doesn’t stand out, you hardly notice her next to the peacock
• She seems more apologetic than proud

What can you do from today to be more loud and proud in your marketing?

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!


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


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.


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


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


 “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?