In the last year I have had the privilege of being a columnist for @FocusMagazineNZ, a Women's lifestyle and business magazine. By women, for women. The magazine is printed and available online right here.
Focus Magazine Article - Rise and Reclaim what belongs to you
Life. It can really suck sometimes am I right? Let’s be real. It’s not all fluffy kittens and sweet smelling roses. We all face stuff, and sometimes that stuff can send us spinning wildly in a million different directions.
You might be quietly minding your own business, then all of sudden WHAM! – out of the blue you get smacked between the eyes with something difficult, challenging or even tragic. Yes, all of a sudden everything changes and you’re left wondering how on earth you’re going to get any semblance of your old life back.
Will it ever go away? Will you ever get better? Will your heart ever heal? Will your bank account ever recover? Will you have the future you’ve been planning for all this time, or will the world stop spinning on its axis in response to your pain? That four letter word happens to all of us right? (life that is)
I personally don’t know anyone who hasn’t been through a trial or two in their life, but this article is for the women out there who feel like they’ve fallen too far and can’t crawl back out of that deep dark pit. You may not have admitted this to anyone yet, but deep down you know what I’m talking about. It’s that feeling that tries to convince you that you’ve missed that crucial boat in life, or sunk to the bottom of the ocean along with it. That feeling is more common than you may think – and no you are not alone in your leaky boat.
Focus Magazine Article - Overcoming distraction when you work from home
Do you work from home and find yourself getting distracted with the everyday necessities of life?
Working from home is no joke. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard people sigh longingly, look at me wistfully, and even declare that I was lucky to have such a cruisy life because I got to work from home.
Yes, I can’t deny it, working from home has its perks and we’ll get to that in a minute, but for the most part, working from home is damn hard and completely underestimated. It is also extremely fulfilling and rewarding if that little thing called balance is applied.
Ahhh BALANCE. Easy to say that word, not so easy to outwork right?
I’ve discovered that balance is possible, but we simply cannot have a perfectionist mind-set toward it if we want to thrive. We do however, have to have a non-negotiable attitude and of course, a plan.
Working from home requires a woman to have iron clad discipline, razor sharp multitasking skills, expert time management abilities, limitless self-motivation and the ability to capture elusive inspiration out of nowhere. Every day she must practice kicking stress to the curb, and have thick skin and a strong heart for those times when things don’t always go to plan and there’s no one around to rant with.
She must deal with every facet of business - just like any other business - and staunchly avoid the temptation of the couch, the TV remote or the cosy (still warm) bed calling to her from down the hallway. She must limit the coffee dates with her girlfriends because she knows half the day will disappear faster than a speeding bullet, and my all-time favourite; She must have the ability to walk past that hurricane mess her family so thoughtfully left behind on their way out the door, and get to work without letting the disaster zone distract or derail her. THIS is where the rubber hits the road for a woman who works from home. If you’re situation is similar to mine, your desk is right in the eye of the storm and you can’t even glance to your left or right without seeing something that simply NEEDS to be done. It’s like an itch you just have to scratch, and before you know it you’re knee deep in that washing pile, or elbows deep in the dishwater, and half the day has disappeared before you do what you should have always been doing.
When embarking on a new business venture, one of the very first tasks you will need to consider is what to name your business. It is also one of the very first mistakes you can make if your not careful and fail to see the strategic importance of such a task.
Many new business owners make the mistake of naming their business according to personal epiphanies, and while personal identity, values, and clever ideas are important in establishing and satisfying YOUR idealisms, they may not have the same effect on your customer.
The trick here is to put yourself in your customers shoes.
Is it attractive to your customer?
Does it make your customer interested and inclined to buy your product or service?
Will your customer have some idea about the product or service by looking at the name?
Does it make sense to your customer?
Is it easy for your customer to remember your name?
These are just some simple questions that you should ask yourself before making a final decision about your business name.
Breaking immobilisation and boosting your productivity
Ever get to the point where there is just SO MUCH to do that you find yourself skidding to a dead stop? You don't consciously do it mind you, and part of that busy brain of yours is screaming ‘get back to work!!’
But another part - the part that has hijacked the control tower - is resolute in its stubbornness and quietly giving you the middle finger. First comes the stress, then that overwhelmed feeling, then it’s like someone jams the gear stick from full throttle back into park. The engine screeches (and probably blows up), but one things for sure…you aren’t going anywhere. This is your minds way of saying "Can't deal! Can't deal!" and it may override your will and shut you down altogether. When the gear stick is stuck in park, it’s hard to force it back into drive - almost like someone lathered it with super glue. It’s hard – but not impossible. Here are a few strategy’s you can use to unjam that gear stick and get your forward movement back;
Recently I experienced a home business service that grabbed my attention - for all the wrong reasons.
To be clear, I didn't go there will my consultation hat on chomping at the bit to be an undercover critic. To be completely transparent, I was getting my eyelashes attended to, and was hoping to enjoy a little relaxing me-time post apocalyptic school holidays.
Providing a business from home is no small thing, and shouldn't be viewed as such. Small mindedness can be the death of a home business before you even have a chance to say "what happened?"
One glaringly obvious point I wish to make to all those out there either operating a home business or thinking about setting one up:
Just because your home based doesn't mean you should skimp on the bare professional essentials.
Focus Magazine Article - Put yourself at the top of your New Years Resolution List
Standing at the start line of a new year I can’t help but gaze hopefully at my new horizons.
The beginning of our hopes and dreams for a new year is often filled with excitement and anticipation as we consider all the possibilities and perfect plans we have for a killer year.
New Year resolutions slide off our tongues easily like Friday night’s jello shots, and February is definitely the month we find our groove and make the ground shake with passionate statements and loud proclamations.
Us women are also very good at walking the talk, at least in the beginning – right up until the walk becomes tedious and boring, as time shunts us toward mid-year. Every year it seems to be the same, from start to finish. But it’s that slow never-ending slog up hill that really does a number on all of our good intentions am I right? Half way through we’re unconsciously slipping back into old habits until stress, anxiety, insomnia, and just plain old burn out starts to wave it’s ugly banner around the unkempt corners of our lives.
We get to the end of your year and the finish line is in sight, but now we’re wondering how on earth we’re going to make it past December in one piece (again). It’s here we rediscover that somehow we got booted back to square one - hoping the next year will be different, planning how it will be, getting ready to announce our New Year resolutions to the world one more time. The winds of good intentions fill our sales and we’re off….(again), and so the cycle continues.
I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted just reading that. But the thing that makes me sigh the mother of all sighs, is the hard truth that I somehow manage to ignore every year.
But THIS year I’m calling it out. And I invite you to do likewise. It’s 2018 and the average woman is a freaking legend wouldn’t you agree? Most of us are juggling full time jobs, raising kids, tending to husbands (ha!), keeping the home in a respectable state (ha ha!), running businesses – often more than one at a time, and trying to take care of ourselves somewhere in between it all. This is also the age of the entrepreneurial woman, which if we weren’t already crazy busy enough, now we add an extra X amount of hours that don’t even exist into our overflowing schedules.
We may be freaking legends, but we’re also absolute crap at looking after ourselves.
Recently I had yet another one of those teeth grinding conversations about the Network Marketing business model.
It started off with a not so subtle eye roll, and ended in a very blunt accusation about ‘pyramid schemes’. Oh yes….you heard right. Even though such things are illegal, people still feel justified in making such blatant accusations.
Now I can’t mock too hard, considering I used to be that ignorant myself and may have indulged in a few eye rolls over the years, but in this day and age? Where information is readily available and we are no longer blinded by that which we cannot see?
To pretend that I am not both affected and offended is impossible, although I do try my hardest to respond in kindness and grace without my own exaggerated eye roll taking centre stage.
First of all, if you knew anything about me, you’d know implicitly that I would never involve myself in such a thing, and that integrity and business ethics is one of the cornerstones of my character.
Secondly, I have over 20 years of business experience – both creating, building, and managing companies and not for profit organisations. If this isn’t enough proof that I have half a clue about what I’m doing, then maybe the certificate on my wall that says POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA in Business with an A+ average might convince you. I’m 1 year off my MASTERS and that my friend should tell you something.
Interestingly enough, many of my esteemed Professors talked about MLM or Direct Marketing as the foreseeable way of the business future. Why? Because when technology finally takes over (and it will), human contribution and the diminishing value of it, will become obsolete UNLESS we can find a way to cement sustainable unique value in the workforce. And one of the only ways to do that – is to BE HUMAN. To value relationships and provide our world with what AI cannot. Heart, Soul, Love, Compassion, Connection – all that good stuff.
Direct marketing is all about relationships. At least in my world it is!
Newsflash! It is very difficult to help people, if you don’t have some sort of relationship with them.