Something spooky happened to me a few weekends ago. And I swear to you every word is true!
I have a vision board over my desk and for the past couple of years, I have had the photo below on it.
Even though I have my own office in my house, I have always yearned for a separate space outside of the house but also a space that I can sit and relax outside.
Every day I look at this picture and imagine myself having this built. I have also wandered around our garden many a time and thought where could it go, how much will it cost etc. But there has never seemed to be the right place to put it and I thought it would be cost prohibitive.
And then the strange but true thing happened.
My lovely gardener came over and we decided to tackle an area of the garden that was wholly inaccessible due to a HUGE amount of ivy, old grape vine, and many other things growing. We had a little shed that was in danger of collapse from the amount of growth over it.
And when the debris was cleared, we found this!
Yes, I swear, I had no idea that we had this amount of space completely hidden. And just compare this photo to the one of my vision board.
It’s the identical footprint!!!!!
Both my gardener and I were completely flabbergasted when I ran indoors and grabbed my photo to show him.
Yes, it needs work, but nowhere near as much as I first thought. The outline is there. And even more spooky, the plant is in exactly the same place as my vision board picture.
Some things are just meant to be and maybe if we really believe we can have something, it comes to us in the most mysterious ways.
And here’s another thing
Oh, and talking about spooky, no one else sees my vision board. Below is another picture of an item I have on my vision board.
Now, my husband is usually completely and utterly useless at choosing presents for me. In the past, I have received an iron and a microwave for birthdays and just last year had a mop for Christmas as he says he never knows what to buy.
But this year was different. It was my 50th birthday and this is what he bought me.
The photo really doesn’t do the watch justice but apart from the colour of the face, it is practically identical to what I had on my vision board, even down to the number of diamonds around the face and between the numbers!
If you don’t have a vision board yet, go create one. Even if you don’t believe and you do this for fun you will enjoy it, but you may just be seriously surprised at what happens over time. It really can be amazing what can happen when we really focus on something.
P.S. Have you ever had anything like this happen to you? Did you have something on your vision board that suddenly materialised? Let me know in the comments below
This month in my business club, I am working with the ladies on getting into the right mindset for business. But why is this so important.
Well, it’s as simple as this. You can have the best product or service out there, you can know everything there is to know about how to market it to your ideal client, but if you don’t have the right mindset, you just won’t have the confidence to go out there and go after those paying clients.
You may well dabble a little here and there but you will get sporadic results. You will stumble when asked for a discount and may well end up giving one! You may start to lose motivation when you get rejected by someone and you find out they buy elsewhere.
Getting in the right mindset is critical and the very first thing you need to before anything else when building a business in my opinion. Forget reading up and watching more webinars on how to grow sales through Facebook until you truly believe in yourself and your product and are prepared to stand up and shout it out from the rooftops how fabulous you are.
And once you have that cracked, as fired up and enthused as you may be about creating your own business, it will take hard work, commitment and personal investment on your own part along with self-responsibility for making things happen.
There is no point sitting and dreaming about what you are going to do. You have to get off your backside and do it!
Putting it quite simply …
Action takers win
The following tip is from one of the wonderful ladies in my business group. We were talking about how it’s ok doing all your planning and getting motivated, but at some point you are simply going to have to take action.
Karen Thomas from Red Oak Coaching showed us an example of what she uses in her workshops. She held a tealight in her hand and asked everyone to close their eyes and really focus on blowing out the candle. The reality of course was that when everyone opened their eyes, the candle was still lit.
It was only when someone took action and used their breath that the candle was able to be blown out. It’s all very well having plans and dreams but basically until you get off your arse and take some action, nothing is going to materialise.
Harsh but fair.
And Karen has allowed me to share her video with you to watch.
What are you going to take action on today? Leave a comment below and let me know.
The day was so perfectly planned. I was starting an all new women’s small business club. I had run them a few years ago and I had been asked incessantly to start them up again.
I wanted it to be something different. Not just one of those networking groups where all that happens is that everyone is simply waiting for their turn to speak and hand out their business cards with no real interest in anyone but themselves. I wanted this to be a fabulous group that would grow together and support each other so that everyone came away with something positive each time.
I had obviously sold this idea as the group was oversubscribed within a few days of me opening up bookings.
And one lady, an existing member of my Small Business Kit, was prepared to drive for 3 hours in able to be able to attend!
As she was coming such a long way and didn’t know the area, I suggested she come to my house for 9:30 am and I would then drive her to the venue.
I had visions of her arriving at my home and seeing what a super sophisticated woman I was in all my perfect make-up and beautiful clothes and she would admire my domestic goddess status with my wonderful home being so perfect and welcoming.
What happened was ……
I woke up on the morning and started to load the car with a flip chart. display board, refreshments etc. It was only at this moment in time I realised I was going to have to create a Houdini type of act to be able to fit this all in the back of my car! After much faffing, grunting, groaning, pushing and shoving, it finally all went in.
However, I was left looking like I had been dragged through a hedge backward!!!! It was not a pretty sight!
I dash back into the house and check the time. It’s ok. I have time to shower, wash hair and then come down and vacuum the carpet of blonde dog hair from my Labrador who has started shedding her coat in the last 24 hours (only someone who owns a Golden Lab will understand the absolute blizzard of hair they can create just from one 5 second body shake when shedding their coats!).
Off upstairs I go and start the water running. I am just putting my foot into the shower when the phone starts to ring. Should I ignore it? Yes? No? Of course, I can’t ignore it. It might be the lovely lady on her long drive who is lost. I dash to grab the phone and no, it’s not my lady. It’s a family member who is ill at the moment.
Wrenching with my conscience of needing to be there for her but also conscious of time, I let her know I am busy and need to dash. But she really needs someone to talk to and I can’t not listen. Over 45 minutes later, I manage to get in the shower.
Oh, s***! I’m seriously running out of time.
I get out of the shower, check the time and realise I only have half an hour before my lady is due to turn up. Time to start getting slightly hot under the collar.
And then it happens. THE DOORBELL RINGS!
No!! It can’t be. It must be the postman.
I dash downstairs in old (but incredibly comfy) dressing gown, old faithful, but seen better days’ slippers and a towel wrapped around my head. Yes, it’s worse case scenario!
My lady has arrived early!!!!!!
I let her in and was in the middle of explaining my predicament when blonde bombshell Molly (my Labrador) comes bounding out to say hello. She instantly jumps up and sheds a few pounds of hair all over the beautiful poncho that my guest is wearing.
Cutting the story very short or we would be here all day, there was only one thing for it. I hustled my poor frazzled guest into the kitchen. I told her under no circumstances to take her shoes off or she would end up with feet resembling those of a yeti from the carpet of hair on the floor. I then thought sod it, showed her where everything was and told her to make us both some tea whilst I went and got ready.
Eventually, I made it back downstairs, although needing another shower due to antics of the morning so far getting me somewhat hot and bothered.
We sat down together in the kitchen and started to greet each other properly and sip out tea.
Then all hell broke loose. I saw the cat trying to catch a fish out of the pond in the garden. I stood up but the dog got there first. The ensuing chaos could really make a comedy sketch. The cat has a fish, the dog is now chasing the cat, I am now chasing the dog and my poor guest is sat looking on in astonishment.
I’m a fake!
Hell. My cover really is blown! I’m faking this super sophisticated domestic goddess status. My life is generally chaos!
Eventually, we got to the business club and I simply had to relay the story to the other ladies.
And do you know what? I think they loved me all the more for it. One lady said how she followed me and listened to me because I was so real. She loved the fact that when I did my live videos my dog would suddenly bounce into view and on more than occasion knock the camera over.
They loved that I wasn’t sat in perfection with the humungous vase of roses, the bone china, the stilettos, hair done by (hang on, who is a top hairdresser these days?) and picture-perfect makeup. They could relate to me. And that made me so happy.
I simply don’t have to be perfect. I just have to be me. Chaos and all.
And do you know the best thing? My lovely guest is coming back again next month. Yippee!!!!
Have you had a perfectly planned day that went pear shaped? Share your experience below and let me know I’m not alone!
Let me take you back in time. This week, I was having a sort out and came across the following diary entry. It was certainly an emotional read looking back.
29th October 2007
10 months ago I woke full of enthusiasm and ready to take on the world. I had so many ideas and was fully energised to turn them all into a wonderful business that I could run from home and that would give me the income I had always dreamt of.
I would be able to work when I wanted, from where I wanted and to my own rules. No more being told where I had to be, what I had to do, when I could take a break or when I could take a holiday.
Profits from the business would go into my pocket, not that of some faceless bodies sat in their ivory tower. I would sing to my own tune and have both the financial and time freedom that I had always craved.
And here we are today, nearly 12 months down the road. I have endlessly worked more hours than I ever have. Weekends off with family are a distant memory and if I do get to spend time with them, every waking moment is worrying about the lack of sales and diminished bank account.
I have started numerous programs and flitted from one to other without results.
I have watched endless webinars, touched on what they have taught me, but never really put them fully into action, or if I did, the results didn’t come flooding in as expected.
I have about 16 unfinished business books my bedside as I jump from one new idea to the other.
This morning I woke up feeling exhausted, drained and tired of trying so hard for so little return.
I’m tired of making excuses to my husband that the money will come in time
The first thing I did was go online and skimmed through available jobs and now just want to cry. I don’t want to go back there and admit defeat.
But maybe it’s time to face the facts that perhaps I’m simply not good enough and I don’t have what it takes.
Why does everyone else make it look so easy whilst I struggle so much?.
So, what are my choices today? Do I keep struggling on or do I admit defeat?
I just want to sit down and cry. I just want to let it all out to someone who will listen and not judge. I don’t want another ‘discovery call’ with a coach who is simply out to sell me something. I just want someone to understand what I am going through so that I don’t feel so desperately alone.
Phew! There we have it.
This was an entry from diary back in 2007. A lot has happened over the last 10 years. But does this resonate with anyone else out there today? If this is you, I beg you, don’t suffer alone. I have been there and done it. I am one of the lucky ones who has come out the other side. But it wasn’t easy. (I had to go back and get a 9-5 job after this entry but came back fighting again with many lessons learnt).
I got suckered into to paying for ‘high level’ coaching that simply wasn’t worth the money and left me feeling more deflated than before. I spent a small fortune that I couldn’t afford with promises of great returns that never came to fruition.
I know what you are going through.
I run my business today because I genuinely want to help people. Believe it or not, it’s not all about the money for me. I am in a privileged place now where money isn’t an issue for me. Yes, I still like to earn enough to afford me the little luxuries in life but I also have the flexibility to give something back.
So if you are suffering, come have a chat with me. I will listen. I won’t judge. I will help if I can and if that is what you want. There will zero sales spiel. That is not what this is about. This is me giving something back.
As a lovely lady said to me recently:
“You’re support and genuine caring is much appreciated in so many ways – thank you – I am gaining confidence by the day, I am continually making progress and continually remaining positive x x x.”
Drop me a message in the strictest of confidence if you would like a shoulder to lean on or an ear that will listen.
Right then ladies. I have had a few calls for help just lately from women who are setting up their business or in the very early stages. They have come to me as they are feeling so overwhelmed when going on social media and seeing how many others there are doing the same as them and who are more experienced and more qualified.
This awful realisation is stopping them dead in their tracks and leaving them feeling deflated and like they ought to give up now.
When you do look for Facebook groups, DO NOT get put off by the more knowledgeable and qualified people than you. Take inspiration from them. If they can do it, so can you. Think how they got to where they are and be determined to get there as well. They had to start somewhere and inevitably, when they started they would have had the same issues as you. The difference is that they ploughed on regardless and remained absolutely determined to get where they are today.
Also, in your industry, people buy people. They will choose who they connect with and who they feel comfortable with rather than who has the most letters after their name. Think about what qualities you have that your competitors don’t. This could be quite something as simple as your location, your age (does a 70-year-old woman really want to be advised how to do her make up by a 20-year-old? – maybe, but quite possibly not), your positioning in the market place and a whole host of other reasons.
I once decided not to use someone purely because of her voice. Yes, it sounds crazy but her voice really grated on me and I just couldn’t listen to her. Accents can also play a part here.
And at the end of the day, think about how many people are out there who need your service. They can’t all be served by just a couple of people. There is more than enough work to go around for everyone.
So, stop being self-defeatist before you have even started. List all your qualities and start to keep a list of all the reasons that people WOULD deal with you rather than focusing on why they wouldn’t.
Come on. Start to believe in yourself because quite simply, if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else?
Some days we get so wrapped with what is wrong with our world, our life, our business, our relationships etc. It’s all too easy to slip into a feeling of gloom and despair, particularly if you are going through a tough time.
One of the well-documented ways to break free of this is to keep a gratitude journal. I keep one by my bed and write down three things each night before I go to sleep of happy things I have done that day, happy things I am looking forward to or just those simple things that make my happy.
Last night I looked back over a few of my entries and pulled out some of my favourites to share with you. Do feel free to let me know you what simple things make you happy in the comments box below.
Here are a few of the simple things that make me happy…
Walking my gorgeous dog – a great time to get fresh air, clear the head and get away from the computer and telephone
The smell wafting from the kitchen when my daughter is baking cakes
Sitting in front of the fire with a good book (or in the garden under the shade of a tree in the summer)
The smell of freshly mown grass
Sipping chilled wine on the patio after a day at work in the summer
The feeling and smell of freshly laundered bed sheets
The sound of baby giggling uncontrollably
The smell of freshly washed clothes
Receiving a hand written letter (far too rare these days)
A long weekend away with my hubby
Watching old black and white movies
A good thunderstorm (when you’re inside!)
Hearing the words “I miss you”
Lying in bed listening to the rain
Finding money in old handbags
Seeing the first bloom on the Camelia bush
Having the family all sat around the table for Sunday roast
Waking up and realising I have a completely free day to myself
Drinking champagne cocktails at The Dorchester (ok, not so simple, but an annual tradition when doing my Christmas shopping!)
Do any of these resonate with you? What simple things make you happy? Let me know in the comments below.