Shall I change my career?

Shall I change my career?

  February is my busiest month in this business. My clients have typically spent January thinking about getting a new job or starting a business, and (thankfully!) they decide to get some assistance to  work through their options. If you are sitting at your work desk, staring out the window, wondering if you should stay or go, then try this effective exercise to help clarify your thinking. This exercise is taken from my best selling book “Corporate Crossovers – when it’s time to leave the office and start your own business”. A letter to myself – Sliding Doors This exercise allows you to imagine what life could be like in five years’ time, depending on what decision you make. By thinking five years’ into the future, you loosen your grip on the current reality and your perspective shifts. This will help you make a cleaner decision away from the frenzy of the moment. Write yourself a letter entitled ‘Sliding Doors – Path A Versus Path B’. You will create two stories of your life, each one dependent on the decision you could take now. Path A: Write a story of what your life will be like in five years if you stay in your job, remaining in corporate life. Path B: The write another story of what your life will be like in five years if you leave your job now and start your own business or change your job. In both stories, be as detailed as possible. Describe clearly what your typical day and week would be like for each option five years into the future. Imagine the...
5 signs it’s time to leave your job

5 signs it’s time to leave your job

“Should I stay or should I go now?”  is not only a great song by The Clash, but also a constant refrain in many of my clients’ minds, as they contemplate what to do with their future. Feeling disenfranchised with their work, the culture of the workplace, questioning the value they may be adding, or asking ‘is this all worth it?’, are common experiences for my clients who want to move from disgruntled employee to inspired entrepreneur. They spend time weighing up the pros and cons of staying in their job, or starting their own business. When I interviewed 50 Corporate Crossovers for my first book “Corporate Crossovers – when it’s time to leave the office and start your own business” – the criteria that they used to decide whether they should stay or go were very similar, and are best summarized in the diagram below. If you have a niggling and you feel like you are weighing up whether to stay or  go, then see if these signs apply to you. Sign 1. You are at a career crossroads. Your job no longer satisfies you, and you have a hunch that getting a different job isn’t the answer. You desire more freedom, flexibility and control over how you spend your time and what you do. Click To Tweet Sign 2. The alarm rings, you roll over hit snooze, and instead of enjoying a couple more minutes snooze, you feel dread in the pit of your stomach about going into work. Your mind springs into action as you imagine the difficult meetings and tension of the day. You are...
Fail to plan – plan to fail

Fail to plan – plan to fail

“Fail to plan – plan to fail.” How often have you heard this quote from Benjamin Franklin? When I was a very young marketing trainee for Colgate, fresh out of university, my Marketing Director would boom this out down the halls of our marketing department. I still can see him to this day! Planning can seem like an onerous task, and therefore something that never happens. Click To Tweet So, instead of having a simple and effective plan to execute through out the year, you do things as they come up, maybe a bit last minute, and chances are you feel frustrated that you didn’t make the most of the opportunity. I know how that feels. There have been times when I have felt like this. And there have been times when I have had a plan, and running my business became much easier, as I knew what I had to do each day, and what I was aiming for. I know what worked best for my business and how much I enjoyed it. To help you get in the best shape for 2015, I would love to share my December Accelerator Academy webinar for you. In this 40 minute webinar, you will discover: how to make a strategic plan for your business what a SWOT is and how it helps you move from overwhelm to focus an effective way to decide what to focus on a very simple planning tool to ensure you do the work to get your goal   Click here to access the webinar I would love to know how you got on with your planning,...
Has your year ended how you wanted?

Has your year ended how you wanted?

Among my friends New Year’s Eve is always polarizing. They fall into two camps: 1. Some love it, the idea of celebrating the year with a bang, and eagerly anticipating the new year 2. The others are rushing for the year to be over, as they didn’t enjoy it, and they are not that enthused about the coming 12 months either. Where are you? And given I love to help businesses grow – into which group do you fall when you consider your business? Especially at this time of year, we can feel busier than normal. We often miss the perfect time to take stock and reflect on what has passed. Click To Tweet We then miss out on the learnings, and therefore, risk making the same mistakes as we enter the new year. I would love you to avoid this cycle! I have made a simple reflection chart for you to complete. Below is a photo for you to copy…told you it was simple. 😉 Simply answer the questions… 1. What did you love about this year? 2. What could have been better? 3. What did you learn? Then compare your actual income for the year against your goals. How did you fare?   And from what you wrote above, what insights does that give you about your business and how you run it? Doing this work will give you a great foundation to start the planning process for the next year. And hopefully, it will give you reason to be in the first group when you celebrate on December 31st! Please set aside the time, consider it...
How giving helps you grow your business

How giving helps you grow your business

“Tis better to give than receive.” How often have we heard that, especially at this time of year. I remember the first time I heard it. When I was six years old, it was almost Christmas when I was helping my mum in the laundry folding clothes. We had the discussion about being grateful for any present I received, whether I liked it or not, then the old chestnut came up; “and of course, Wendy, this time of year isn’t about getting, it’s about giving.” Being a typical, self-centered six year old, I didn’t quite understand what she meant, but I knew how she wanted me to behave on Christmas morning! Roll forward many years, and I have a very similar discussion with my clients about ‘Business Karma”. When I interviewed 50 Corporate Crossovers for my book, I discovered that they all practiced and had received a lot from this. Whether you are starting your own business or have been in business a while, Business Karma is key. Click To Tweet Business Karma is simply delighting people. To be more specific here are some examples: making the time to have a coffee with that woman who is new in business, even if you are really busy checking in with clients randomly, asking if they need any support, and having no strings attached being generous with trial offers, samples for people to try offering to lead or be on the committee for your local networking group volunteering your time as a mentor The key with this is to give with the spirit of generosity. Stepping forth with this mindset gives...
How to get new ideas to grow your own business

How to get new ideas to grow your own business

Is your head spinning with how much there is to do at this time of year? Not only is the year end closing in, with lots of business tasks to be completed but it’s also a crazy busy festive time, with lots of seasonal events and parties. Often at this time of year, we can experience a tension in our thinking. One pull point is that we are feeling relieved that the year is coming to an end, and we will ‘get through’ the whirl of activity, and then the opposing point is often a pressure to get into activity to get the business moving again in the new year. The great thing about tension, is that when it is released, so too is a significant amount of energy. Often though, to release the tension, a stress point occurs, enabling you to ‘break through’. Ugh! I’m all about making things easy as possible. Business is supposed to be enjoyable; to stimulate and reward, not tax and deplete. Click To Tweet So, here is an easy approach to release the tension and to generate some fresh ideas to grown your own business. How to get ‘fresh business thinking’. 1. Create a new file on your device or find a beautiful notebook. 2. Before each festive event you go to, spend some time intentionally thinking about it. Ask yourself the following questions about the event: What could I learn today that would help my business? What business concern would I love to have solved? What sort of person would I most like to meet? 3. Go and enjoy the event 4....
How small things make the biggest difference to your own business

How small things make the biggest difference to your own business

I’ve already started thinking about my new year’s resolution. I know, we haven’t even got into the final two weeks of the year, and I am jettisoning myself into 2015. Here is what has led me to my resolutions – a sense of too much change, too many bright shiny things, and frankly, not sticking at one thing long enough to see the difference. For some reason, 2014, has been a very magpie-like year for me. If you have known my journey for the last 18 months you could probably understand why. However, 2015 promises to be a year of relative stability! So ….drumroll please- – my 2015 resolution is to do small things every day to achieve big change. When I have focused in such a simple way in the past, it has worked. Worked for me in that I have gained: More clarity More confidence Calm Increased traction in my business Better financial results When I dart from here to there, then my results reflect that. I feel constantly on the treadmill, always looking over my shoulder for the next big thing, and seeking more external validation than ever before. These are not supportive habits to grow a business. Clarity, confidence and commitment will help you start and expand your business. Click To Tweet The three small things I will do everyday are: –       Meditate – to give me calm, clarity and congruence in my thinking –       Imagine – reflect on my goals (personal and business) and rehearse them coming to fruition –       Thrive – do something I love! This could be coffee with a friend, a beautiful...
Do you move like Jagger?

Do you move like Jagger?

I made a dream come true on Saturday night – I saw the Rolling Stones live…..it was IN-CRED-IB-BLE!! Watching Mick strut his stuff as a 72 year old was impressive. Age was not even a consideration. He was electrifying, captivating, omnipresent and energizing. Wow – he did move like Jagger, and had the entire stadium in his hand, watching his every move. Thinking about the concert the next day, I wondered how does he do it? And what is it about him that has legions of fans globally prepared to pay hundred and thousand of dollars to follow the band on tour around the world?   Impact.   I know the Stones are legendary, and icons of the music industry but without that impact, they would be just another has-been band from the 60’s and ‘70s. Even as I write that, I can’t even contemplate the Stones just being ‘another’ band.   Whether you are still in a job, or growing your own business, what impact do you have?   Are you memorable, will people you meet be thinking about you the next day, or will you be relegated to the back of their mind? When I think about impact, I like to think about engagement. How engaging am I to the people I am with? I’m not talking about small talk scripted by Professor Higgins for Eliza Doolittle, but how engaged are you in the connection you are making. Watching Mick on stage, and we were close, he was giving it his all. He wasn’t thinking about the after-party, or what he was going to have for supper,...
5 steps to avoid a demotion when you start your own business

5 steps to avoid a demotion when you start your own business

As I write this, I have spent the day in the back end of my website sorting out technical issues with my new Accelerator Academy, the webinar service and my mail provider. Aargh!!!! Being submerged in the technical detail is not my place if genius. In fact, if I’m really honest, it’s days like this that make me want to get a job again, where I had an IT department and a marketing team to sort all this stuff out. And I worked on the ‘big’ stuff. But with my wonderful VA on maternity leave, I decided to do some of her tasks myself. BIG MISTAKE! Not only do I feel like I have given myself a demotion, but I know that every minute I spend on a detail oriented task is a minute I am not adding value to my business. I am being a busy fool. As someone who advises business owners to outsource and spend their time on revenue generating tasks, you can imagine that this did not sit well with me.  I fell into the common trap of thinking that if I can do it, I may as well do it, instead of taking the time to find lower cost, expert resources. This is not a sound approach to building a business.  As much as I resented the day, it firmed my resolve to follow my own advice and take the steps outlined below to avoid giving myself a demotion next week. If you feel you are getting frustrated by the minutiae of your business, and want a fresh approach, try these steps and let...
A lego surprise and your new business

A lego surprise and your new business

After a particularly grueling work out at my new gym, which lives by the mantra that you need to get to the point of failure at each workout station so your muscles grow faster (the science stacks up but it is challenging!), I decided to treat myself and pop into a new café for a coffee. It had a trendy inner city feel, exposed brick, wooden floors and beams and very hip staff. “Nothing special here” I thought as I placed my order with the barista. As the young woman took my order she handed me a lego creation, built to represent the number three. Totally unexpected and so not in keeping with the décor. Suddenly my attitude towards the café and staff shifted. Through the whimsical lego shape, I saw that the place had some humour, personality and a sense of fun! And yes, the coffee was fab! Back in the café today, this time I receive number 21, I reflect on this quirk and how it allows the personality of the brand really shine through. During a business coaching session with a client this week, we were discussing how she could let her true self and voice come through in her business. After 15 years in corporate, she had mastered communicating through her corporate filter, and of course this served her well then. But now, growing her new business, she realised that it was time to drop the armour and let her true personality and voice come to life. There was no need to hide it away any longer. In many service businesses, as her was, potential...

Is your fear still holding you back?

Fear. Fear holds back. I write about this today because I have spent a lot of time on the phone this week coaching women through their fears of leaving their job to start their own business. Fear of not making enough money, fear of not being a success, fear of not having the right skills, All valid concerns. And if you have taken this journey already, you know that fear continues to plague us as we step up and do things we haven’t done before to achieve our business goals. I had a wonderful dinner on the weekend with two people I worked with 25 years ago. Back then I was fearless and frankly, naive. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. But damn it! Did I make things happen! Seeing my old work mates reminded me of the spirit inside all of us which can be quelled over time, as we experience more ‘no’s’ than ‘yes’ and we listen more to that nagging voice inside our minds. Whilst I know fears are valid and real, in the most part they are only thoughts. I have decided to revisit my 21 year old self, and reclaim my youthful courage. Now I know what I don’t know, it should be a much better combination….right? I would love you to think about how you can reclaim your courage and conquer those thoughts masquerading as fears. And if you, or someone you know is thinking about starting their own business, then take a look at my new course starting in a few weeks. It will conquer those fears once and for all!...
Come and join my twitter chat #StartUpQA

Come and join my twitter chat #StartUpQA

  I know starting your own business can be a scary proposition. Fear of not making enough money, wondering if your business will be a success and whether or not you have the right skills are all valid concerns. And then, there is the practical side….all those things you need to do to get your idea out of your head and into your customers’ hands. Join me on my first ever (gulp) twitter chat, on Wednesday April 9th from 8 – 9pm BST, 3 – 4pm ET and noon PT. Come along and watch the stream on #StartUpQA and ask any question you may have! And I will attempt to answer it in 140 characters! I can’t wait to get started…and if you have questions already – comment below!! You can follow me twitter too  ...
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