Moving forward

pos

Today I am a guest speaker at Tameside Enterprise Club.

This is a new thing for me, I have spoken to groups before but in an employed capacity.  It feels totally different preparing this time, mainly because I am putting myself forward (selling myself) rather than representing a company I work for.

But you know what, I am also really excited. If I can help a person or a company move forward to achieve their desired outcome, it is worth it.  The sense of achievement outweighs any nerves I have and I would encourage anyone who is starting up or putting themselves forward to be confident in themselves.  If you are not passionate about what you do, then maybe you are not doing what you should be doing.  Passion for a business is really important, especially when you are starting up – if you don’t feel passionate, why would anyone else.

A current client comes to mind when I think ‘am I really offering something worth while?’ – which I am sure so many people do!  Gail is the proud owner of a Beauty Salon in Chadderton and is concerned that they are only really busy on a Saturday and wanted to get people in during the week.  Gail and her staff are really lovely people and when you go into the salon you are greeted with a big smile and such warmth.  She asked me if I could help her with her quest for more clients.  I had a look around the salon, discussed her end objectives, what she is happy with etc.  I then made some suggestions regarding the salon itself (which is freshly painted and looks amazing).  From there we are now working on her ’email marketing campaign’ which will generate a target audience to entice into the salon.  I gave Gail a list of things to do and she has been working incredibily hard to get everything completed.  Here is what she put at the bottom of her last email.

‘Other than all this I just wanted to show I value your input and hope you are pleased with my achievements… I will continue with more and will post asap… come soon xxx I feel I can hand all this over and you can fix it xxx much regards gail xx

Ps obviously this is all a work in progress and I will continue to work on stuff, updating you as i go…’
This is what motivates me to keep working for myself so that I can help businesses when they need it without breaking the bank!
Before I decided to make the move, my perception of a ‘Consultant’ was they come into your business, have a wonder round, chat to some staff and ask question that sometimes seem irrelevant!  They then go away and produce a report telling you what you are doing wrong and not really giving you a way to change it, or giving generic responses such as ‘change the method of finance you use’. I also found that their understanding of ‘what is wrong’ may not be factual as each business is unique.  And to add insult to injury they charge thousands of pounds.
I wanted to be very different from this style of Consultant.  I pride myself in taking the time to understand what the business is about, what the aspirations of individuals and the company are, what their needs are (not what I want them to be).  This is where the ‘7 Step Program’ was inspired and created from.  I wanted to get clients to know what they wanted, make sure it fit with who they are and work towards meeting these expectations in a structured way that is not all consuming.  ‘Recognising Your Unique Business Genius’ helps clients on their way to understanding where they are on the journey. To get a copy of this please email me and I will send you a copy.
So I am ready to go, got all my sales stuff together and an general idea of what I want to say – don’t really like to prepare a speech, I know what I do and am confident in expressing this.  Will let you know how it goes.
If you need help with your business, please get in touch and I will work with you.

 

Crazy Days

 

Portrait of young redhead Caucasian woman sitting in chair.

Over the years I found myself thinking about what it would be like working from home. Dreaming of getting up in a morning, not having to think about getting dressed or commuting to the office.  It had a certain amount of appeal.  The thought of no distractions from the general noise and activity that a manufacturing environment has – BLISS.

Well, in January I got the opportunity to work for myself from home.  I couldn’t wait to churn through my workload, have an hour for lunch and still have time for my hobbies.  The reality is not what I imaged it would be.

It is great working from home, being your own boss, prioritising your own workload and day.  Even getting up and not having to leave the house is great.   But there is also a down side, for me anyway.  At first I found it very difficult to not get distracted  – I’d settle down to work, after 15 minutes I’d be hoovering or putting a wash load in, oh I can just get the beds changed quickly, you get the idea.  So by the time 5 o’clock came around I had hardly done any actual work!  It was so alien to me because I have always worked really hard, put extra hours in when needed and got through tonnes of work.  How is this not happening now, without the distractions?

Some of my friends tell me ‘think of the money’ and you will be motivated to get on with it.  The problem is I have never been motivated by money – it has always been pride in the work I do.  So whilst I have to earn enough to pay the bills, it’s not giving me that focus I need.

So after the first week of distractions, I decided to make sure my day was structured.  I started each day checking my emails, social media sites and posting any interesting articles I came across.  Then I did any domestic stuff that I knew would distract me.  I set my alarm for 8am, once the alarm went off I made myself sit down and work solid for 1 hour with no distractions.  I had a break while I had my cuppa and breakfast for about 15 minutes, then back to work and I worked this way throughout the day.  Whilst I was less distracted I still didn’t feel I was actually achieving enough for the hours of work I put in.

I was getting increasingly frustrated (which is not like me), while I was chatting with my husband about my frustrations (others would maybe call it whining!), it came to me that when I work with clients I tell them to have a ‘to do list’ written at the end of each day so that when they start the next day they have a clear objective.  Always starting with the job they don’t want to do first.  Kind of silly that I didn’t follow my own advise really…..

Week 3 – much better.  I plan my day in advanced, book my client visits around my best telephone time when possible and by 5 o’clock I feel content that I have achieve my daily goals and enjoyed the benefits of working from home.  It is now a set routine that gives me the structure I need but with some flexibility.

Worse part of working from home is you can’t call in and say ‘it’s snowing, I can’t get in today’.  But for me the benefits far out weight the negatives.  So my advise to you would be try and have a structured day, get rid of the distractions before you start work and keep to your schedule where you can.

Good luck if you are also giving it a go working from home and let me know how you have got on.