We live in a time where the pressure is on to have it all. To have a thriving career, while still having time to bake homemade cookies and be an ever-present parent to your children. To have independent interests while nurturing a loving and supportive relationship, and all while keeping a perfect home. But is this even possible? If you’re feeling exhausted just reading this, don’t get overwhelmed just yet. The truth is that you can have it all, but first you need to figure out what this illusive ‘all’ means for you.
A good place to start is to break down your life into four bite-size portions; wellbeing, work, connection and play. Each of these plays a key role in your life, happiness and success. It’s important to understand how they all fit together and to know that at different points in your life, some parts may take preference over others. And that’s okay.
This one is perhaps the most important of all, as without it none of the other parts of your life can thrive. But despite its importance, health and wellbeing is often the first thing to be neglected when you’re busy or stressed. It’s also important to remember that looking after yourself is not only about taking care of your physical body, but your mental and spiritual health too. It’s vital that at least some attention is given to this area at all times, regardless of your current focus or priorities. Whether you’re training for a marathon, or just managing to squeeze in a weekly jog and morning stretch, taking care of yourself should be an integral part of your everyday life. The key is to ask yourself what wellness activities you have space for your life at the moment, and then stick to those as non-negotiables.
The next area to focus on is your work. Remember that this doesn’t necessarily just mean your career, but includes other areas of work such as taking care of your children, running a household or any other activity that takes up your time. It’s important to understand how some of your life choices can have an impact on your career. Although starting a family doesn’t mean that you need to put a hold on your career, the introduction of a new baby may lead you to rethink your priorities and that’s okay too. The most important thing is to find the right work scenario to suit the phase of life that you’re currently in and being happy with the choices you’ve made.
This one is all about the things that simply bring you joy and happiness! Whether it’s in the form of a hobby, a sport, or a relaxing pastime such as reading a book, or visiting an art gallery, living a well-rounded life is important. All too often life becomes so full of things you have to do, that there’s no space for the things you want to do. But by neglecting the activities that truly make you happy, you can quickly end up resenting other parts of your life. So, never feel guilty for focusing on you and sectioning out some time for your own ‘play’, as the rest of your life is sure to benefit from it too!
This one is all about relationships. What are the most important relationships in your life and how much time should you dedicate to nurturing each one? From a romantic relationship, to friends and family, the people that you choose to surround yourself with are vital to your happiness and development. But all too often we end up giving far too much time and energy to people who don’t add to our lives. That’s why it’s important to take the time to reflect on your relationships and to decide for yourself how much time you’re prepared to spend and on which people.
Once you have a good grasp on these four parts of your life, it’s time to figure out which part is most important to you right now. Then adjust the time you spend on each to align with your current priorities. Keep in mind that these priorities can and will change throughout your life depending on where you are and what is most important to you at the time. But as long as you allow yourself some time for reflection, you can always make sure that you’re having it all; just not in equal measures all of the time.
So, YES, you can have it all?
Now tell us, are you feeling you have it all?
Imagine working hard every day, only to wake up in five years’ time to realise you’re living a life you never really wanted; one that maybe you didn’t even choose. After all, if you have no destination in mind, who knows where you’ll end up?
In life, it’s easy to get bogged down by mundane duties and essential everyday tasks. Juggling your career, home life, relationships and health can be all-consuming, leaving you without a moment to step back and reflect on where you are, what you want, and which direction you’re going in. Although it’s important to work hard and keep your head down, it’s even more important that you don’t forget to look up every now and then to get a glimpse of the bigger picture.
Think of your big picture like a roadmap, one that can help guide you towards taking the right path and the right actions that will eventually take you to where you want to go. Having a clear vision for your future can help make you more productive and effective in the present. If you have a good understanding of where you’re going, impossibly big life decisions become far easier to navigate. Instead of asking if an opportunity is good or bad, you will be able to ask yourself if it will help move you towards the future you want; a far more specific question with a more definitive answer.
Having a big picture can also help you avoid giving into procrastination. By understanding how even the smallest of tasks ties into your ideal future, you’re able to give these activities more meaning. In this way, you’ll keep motivated to perform these tasks and everyday chores, no matter how trivial, with the knowledge that they’re taking you one step closer to your future goals.
Without a clear vision for the future you leave a lot up to chance, which can feel very unnerving and unsettling. Even worse, you’re often leaving your life in the hands of other people; people who may be looking after their interests first, and yours second. By taking responsibility for your life and the direction you’re going in, you essentially take control of your life. And by taking control of your life, you’re bound to grow in confidence and strength as well as getting to where you want to be.
In creating your vision for the future, the first thing you need to do is to figure out what you really want and what is most important to you. Always remember that it is you who should be the leading star in the movie of your life, so don’t build your visions around someone else, or other people’s expectations of you. Remember to focus on all aspects of your life, not just your career. Family, relationships and health are all vital to your overall happiness, so make sure your big picture includes a clear view of what these parts of your life will look like too.
Now you have the reasons as to why you need to have your big picture clear, next step is to define it. If you would like to know a way to easily do it, head over here to get all the steps.
Decision-making is tough at the best of times. But making a decision that goes against the norms of society, popular opinion, or the beliefs of those closest to you, can feel downright impossible. Whether you’re deciding to leave a successful career to follow your true passions, or choosing not to have children despite the pressures to start a family, there will always be people around you who will tell you that the choice you are making is wrong. But just because your choices don’t fit the traditional mould, doesn’t mean that you should be too afraid to do what is right for you. Here’s four steps that can help you make those big decisions that go against the grain.
1. How does it make you feel?
Imagine making the difficult decision and taking the unpopular plunge. Picture yourself in the scenario and then ask yourself how it makes you feel. Make sure that when you do this self-reflection exercise you’re as honest with yourself as possible. You may be surprised by the feelings that come up.
2. What does your future look like?
When making any decision, it’s important to look forward and have a vision of what your life will be and also what the implications of that choice will be, as opposed to simply focusing on how the decision will impact you right now. Try to picture what your life will be like in five, even ten, years’ time. Where will you be financially, geographically, emotionally? Will the decision you make today have a positive or negative impact on your life?
3. What are your regrets?
Imagine yourself as an old person looking back on your life and reflecting on it. Will you have regrets later on about a decision you make today? Will you have bigger regrets if you don’t make the tough decision that goes against the norm. It’s sometimes easy to get caught up in your feelings and emotions, but taking a reflective look on your life can help you to get some perspective.
4. Who is in control?
The most important thing to remember when making any decision that may go against the grain, is that it is you, and only you, that will have to live your life, so why should you allow others to control it? Make sure that you’re prioritising your own happiness and investing in a life that you want to live. And remember, that if people truly care about you, they will support you in your decision even if it means your life will be different to the one they imagined for you.
Hopefully these steps will make it a bit easier to make that decision that goes against the grain. If you would like further support come and join our facebook group TAC She Sisterhood, a group full of women on their journey to create a life where they thrive.
Remember it is never too late to create a life you love!
Although rewarding and exciting, the journey to starting a successful business is often littered with potholes. And while there’s no fool-proof way to achieve start-up success, you can learn from the mistakes of myself and others to help make sure things go as smoothly as possible.
Here are our top five mistakes start-ups make that you should try to avoid.
1. Expecting success straight away
To develop a successful business takes time, hard work and a lot of perseverance. All too often new entrepreneurs get disheartened when they don’t achieve immediate success. Even worse, a lot of businesses crumble before they even begin, as they’re unable to deal with the challenges that come their way. By planning for the worst, you can make sure to put the necessary safety measures in place so that if the business takes longer than expected to get off the ground, you’re able to cope.
2. Creating the perfect product before your start selling
Why waste time perfecting a product that nobody wants to buy? Rather, focus your energy on developing a MVP (minimum viable product) that you can use to test the market. This way, you’re able to gain valuable insights from actual consumers, which you can then use to further develop and perfect your offering down the line. Trying to be perfect at everything from the get-go can be detrimental for a start-up, and can really slow down your momentum. That’s why it’s important to always consider the cost versus benefit, helping you prioritise what is essential to the core product.
3. Trying to do all at once
As an entrepreneur, time will always be your nemesis. With an endless list of things to do and only limited hours in a day (not to mention limited funds in the bank), it’s essential that you learn to prioritise the most important tasks that are actually going to earn you money. Focus on the crucial few tasks that bring the most rewards or add the most value to your business, and then let the rest of it take a backseat.
4. Not knowing who your ideal customer is
When it comes to marketing and selling your product, it’s vital that you have a good understanding of who your ideal customer is. In today’s world, it's not enough to simply try a broad approach to marketing, you need to understand your customers inside out. Take the time to do the necessary research to find out who you’re trying to reach and where you can communicate with them. Understanding your customer will also drive your marketing
strategy, playing a key role in helping you decide how best to engage with your target market, so that your efforts are well-received.
5. Not understanding social media for business
Gone are the days when your business could get by without making use of social media. But to get the most out of social media, you need to do more than simply have a presence. At the very least, you need a sound understanding of how each platform works, which ones to focus on, and how your business can use them to harness the marketing potential of the Internet. For example, running ads on social media is an easy and cost-effective way to get your business seen by you target market. Tackling something new may be intimidating and take time to learn, but if you’re not willing to adapt and embrace technological advances it can really hurt your business.
So, there you go a few mistakes to avoid when starting out. If you’d like some help in regards to what actually TO DO starting a business then grab your copy of our free Start A Business Toolkit, it outlines all the first steps you need to take to get your business off the ground. Get your toolkit here.
Have an amazing day and remember it is never too late to create a life you love!
Finding and nurturing balance in our lives is one of the most important things we can do. But it’s also one of the most challenging. All too often we find ourselves excelling in one aspect of our life, to the detriment of another. Do you find yourself neglecting your health when you’re going through a particularly busy time at work? Is a bad relationship eating up your energy, leaving you with very little to put into anything else? Whichever way the scales are leaning, it’s a good idea to start working at creating more balance in your life. Here’s a couple of steps you can take to help.
As with many things in life, if you want it you have to go for it. It is the same with having balance in your life - you have to create it. If you would like to start now get our free worksheet here to help you find your own balance.
Remember it is never to late to create a life and career you love.
The only thing we absolutely can count on in this life is change. This statement has never been truer than in the modern world we find ourselves in. But change is as much an internal process as it is an external reality. Growth and development is a part of who we are, and constantly reinventing ourselves is a part of our human journey. However, all too often this is misinterpreted as trying to change who we are, instead of what we do and how we do things.
Are you looking for positive change in your life? Perhaps you’re struggling to develop good relationships or a fulfilling career, or you simply feel stuck and in need of something new. Whatever the motivation behind it, it’s important to realise that although you may need to change what you do and how you do it, you don’t need to change who you are. There are two major reasons for this:
Firstly, you are who you are and your past is what it is. You cannot change who you are by nature, or the sum of a lifetime experience, but you can change who you become by adjusting what you do today and how you do things tomorrow. Use your experience, and I mean all of it the good stuff and the bad, to create the future you want.
Secondly, there is no-one else like you. Learn to embrace the fact that you are a truly unique, one-of-a-kind individual and you’ll soon stop comparing yourself to others or trying to be someone you’re not. There is no benefit in that. Instead, start using your uniqueness and you will always be able to set yourself apart.
There are however, several good reasons why you may need to change what you do or how you do things.
1. Negative self-talk.
Are you stuck in a self-destructive cycle of telling yourself negative stories that lead you to believe that you aren’t capable of achieving your dreams? If so, it’s time to put a stop to this damaging behaviour that is holding you back from your true potential. Reinvent how you treat yourself and how you speak to yourself and you will soon see how this has a dramatic impact on your ability to change what you do.
2. You didn’t make a choice.
Do you ever sit back and wonder how you ended up where you are? All too often we find ourselves on a path that has happened to us, rather than one we have actively chosen. Perhaps you felt pressured by parents, partners or friends, or simply didn’t take the time to reflect on what you truly wanted so you ended up taking the first opportunity that came your way? If you want to change your direction it’s up to you to decide where you want to go and then start taking the necessary steps to get there. Remember that if you don’t create your roadmap, someone else will do it for you.
3. You’re feeling stunted.
If you find yourself feeling frustrated, bored or stuck in a situation, it’s a clear indication that you need to look at changing things up. Perhaps you’ve been in the same job or career too long? Alternatively you may have been without a job for a while and now can't see a way back. Whatever it is start taking the first steps to change your circumstances, and before long you will be on a path to reinvention.
As with most things in life it starts with raising your awareness. Figure out what is going on, what is working well and what you would like to change. When you have that clear it is much easier to start taking the right action, the action that will take you where you want to go and to become the person you want to be.
If a new career is on that list you should have a look at our Career Design Lab, which has just been through its own re-invention, the 2.0 version is going live very soon. You can check it out here.
Have a wonderful day and remember it is never too late to create a life and career you love.
Many people have great ideas, but very few are able to transform these ideas into successful and profitable businesses. This is often because there are far more factors at play than simply having a great idea! It’s also the reason why it’s so important to spend time doing the necessary groundwork and researching your business ideas before investing too much time, energy and money into them. Thorough research will help keep your expectations in check, while also uncovering any potential challenges or potholes in your thinking. But how do you go about researching an idea? Here are four quick and easy things you can do to help you evaluate your big idea.
1. Do a price point check
Regardless of your product or service, identifying the right price point is vital to successfully starting up any business. By figuring out how much can you charge, you’ll quickly learn how much you need to sell to make a viable and profitable business. But figuring out your price point can be tricky. If priced too high people won’t buy it, but if you ask for too little then your profit margin slides or people may presume that your product is poor quality. To figure out your perfect price, you need to first factor in all your costs and then see how you can maximise your margins while still remaining attractive to customers. It’s also a good idea to look at what competitors are charging, as this can serve as a good guideline to what your future customers may be prepared to spend.
2. Learn about the need
The best way to learn about the needs of your target audience is to simply ask them by putting together a focus group of relevant people. The point of this exercise is to figure out whether there is in fact a demand for your business idea, how people feel about existing products currently available within your market, and how much they would be prepared to spend on your product or service. Reach out to friends and see if they would be willing to help you test out a business idea and provide some feedback. Your goal should be to put together a broad group of people, instead of simply focusing on close friends and family who are more likely to give you a biased response. By sending out a quick and straightforward email survey you can gain valuable insights from honest responses. Social media means that you now have access to a far greater network of people than you previously would have, so don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and/or advice via a status update too.
3. Understand your competition
A great way to help develop and improve your business plan is to analyse your competitors. If you can figure out what they are doing wrong, you can adjust your business to cater to your customer’s needs by providing a superior product or service. A good starting point is to read customer reviews of similar competitor businesses. For this exercise make sure you focus on the very bad reviews, as these are likely to give you the most insights and guide you on where you can improve, or what you should avoid.
4. Do a SWOT analysis
Although it may seem obvious, few things are more beneficial to researching your business idea than conducting a good old-fashioned SWOT analysis. A SWOT is an analysis of the strengths of your business idea, product or service; the weaknesses of your product or service, and potential opportunities and threats to the industry. By gaining a greater understanding of the strengths and flaws of your business idea, looking at everything from product development and cost, to external factors such as foreign exchange rates, politics and market trends, you’re sure to gain a better understanding of whether your product or service is likely to become a success in the current environment.
Now you have four ways to get better understanding if you have a viable business idea or now. Next, maybe some extra feedback and support is of interest? If so come over to our Facebook group TAC She Sisterhood and say hi. It's a group full of likeminded women on their journey to create a life and career or business they love. Hope to see you there.
Having the right answers is important, but having the ability to ask the right questions, well that is invaluable. If you want to be a advance your career, find balance in life, get an employee to perform or simply helping your kids to become the best they can be learning how to ask powerful questions is right up there with the most vital skills you need to have. So, what is a powerful question? In short, it’s simply a question that promotes deeper thinking. Whether you’re trying to encourage better performance from yourself, or those around you, it’s a good idea to start practising the use of powerful questions in your everyday work life and personal relationships. Here are seven tips to help you develop this invaluable skill.
ASK OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS
Asking questions that are easily answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ don’t create any conversation and rarely yield any results. Rather opt for open-ended questions that invite reflection and start a discussion, as these are far more likely to help develop interesting insights. Questions that promote deeper thinking and accountability are also vital to promoting personal growth. Spend some time thinking about these questions in advance, to ensure that you get the most out of your question time.
GET BEHIND THE ASSUMPTIONS
Every decision is based on assumptions and if you don’t understand what these are, you could end up making a bad decision. Your logic may be sound, but if it’s based on faulty assumptions, your conclusions are bound to be wrong! That’s why it’s always important to dig deep, asking questions that reflect on what is being assumed about a situation or scenario before deciding. In a business situation, you might want to extend this question to your colleagues or employees too. Remember that it’s always important to get both (or all) sides of any story before drawing conclusions.
Keep the questions coming. Rather than commenting on every question you ask, try to follow-up your initial question with other questions that dig deeper or that relate back to their previous answers. This means that if or when you do offer some advice, it is likely to be far more informed and worthwhile. Remember to put your judgements aside and simply be curious to find out their thoughts and feelings, rather than putting your own spin on things.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Always remember to keep your questions, short, simple and straightforward. You don’t want people worrying about deciphering your question, when they should be spending the time thinking about their answers.
GET COMFORTABLE WITH SILENCE
In today’s world, it has become a natural reaction to feel uncomfortable with silence. But when asking powerful questions, it is this quiet time after the question has been asked that promotes deeper thinking that leads to real insights. When asking these questions, you’ll need to actively refrain from filling silence and rather embrace it as time to practise your listening skills. Don’t bother speaking any words of encouragement or rephrasing the question, simply look on with supportive eyes and wait for them to come up with their own answers.
HELP PEOPLE DISCOVER THEIR OWN INSIGHTS
The best leaders ask rather than tell. By asking the right questions you can encourage people to discover the answers for themselves, something which is far more impactful and memorable than simply being told the answer. By questioning people’s statements, they will be able to come to their own realisations, while encouraging them to get to the heart of the matter. In this way, you’re able to encourage people to find their own and perhaps unique solutions.
Not only does note-taking show the person you’re speaking with that you respect them, but it also allows you the opportunity to look back on the discussion and discover new questions that you haven’t yet thought about asking.
These are a few things that you can do to learn how to ask powerful questions. Would you like someone to practice on? Come and join our Facebook group TAC She Sisterhood, a community full of likeminded women on a journey to create a life and career they love. Come over and say hi!
Have a wonderful day.
Starting a business and leaving the comfort and security of a job for a more uncertain financial future is a big step. It’s why far too many people are sitting in jobs they hate, too afraid to take the plunge. If this has always been a dream of yours, then perhaps it’s time to stop procrastinating. Here are five reasons why you should quit your job to start your own business.
1. Prioritise Passion
Starting your own business means that you can make a living while pursuing something that you have a strong passion for. This often leads to more fulfilment and a happier life in general. Working for someone else means that you don’t get a choice in the projects you work on or the clients you work for. When you are your own boss, you have the autonomy to decide which projects you accept and which clients you don’t want to work for. Essentially, you’re able to build the career you want.
2. Flexible Lifestyle
Are you tired of the typical corporate grind and sitting behind the same desk every day? Starting a business can be a way to lead a more flexible lifestyle. Working for yourself means having the freedom to plan your schedule according to your own productivity instead of being bound by eight-to-five work hours. It also means that (deadlines permitting), you can schedule in medical appointments, exercise or personal meetings during non-busy times of the workday, allowing you to live a fuller life. Flexibility can also mean working from wherever you want. Whether you’re at home, the local coffee shop, or even on an exotic beach, for a lot of businesses all that is needed is a good Internet connection. Plus, gone are the days of the hours spent commuting from your home to your office during rush hour traffic. Even if you do work from an office space, you can plan when you go into the office to avoid wasting time in traffic. This means you’re more productive and less stressed.
3. No Job Security
In today’s world, no job is truly secure. With so many retrenchments happening across industries, who’s to say that holding down a permanent position is more secure than creating your own business? If the company you work for can find someone cheaper to do your job, your position is at risk. In today’s increasingly automated world, more and more people are being replaced by technology and algorithms, which is why it is more important than ever to oversee your own destiny.
4. Learn New Skills
Starting your own business, whether in the form of a product or service means that you will have to learn and master countless new skills. From learning how to manage your money and keep up with your financial paperwork, to strategizing and project managing your business growth, the learning potential for new business owners is endless. Plus, not only are you up skilling yourself by learning all the elements that go into running a business, but you’re also opening yourself up to endless possibilities as the master of your own destiny.
5. Earning Potential
Although there are no guarantees, there is some comfort in the knowledge that the harder you work on your own business, the more you can potentially earn. Even if you work overtime in a regular job, you’ll always only be taking home the same salary at the end of the month. When you start your own business the days of putting in extra hours for no return and watching your employer pull in the profits will be over.
What do you think? These were a few reason to take the big leap and GO FOR IT. If you have been thinking of starting up your own business but feel you could do with a little bit of extra support, then come and join our Sisterhood, it's a Facebook group full of likeminded women all on a similar path trying to create a life where they thrive. Join now.
Have an amazing day!
Change can be difficult. It’s why all too often we would rather continue as we are, even if it’s holding us back from our full potential. But when you start feeling stuck, you’ll know that it’s time to make a change. It’s actually acting on that knowledge that’s the tough part. We’ve put together some simple tips on how to get unstuck, so that you can start moving forward and tapping into new opportunities.
1. Reframe your limiting mindset.
All too often, we get stuck before we even get started. Have you ever decided it’s time for a change, only to be stopped in your tracks by that nagging voice of self-doubt? If you listen to that voice, you’ll always lack the confidence you need to move forward in your career or your life. Your inner voice will always be able to find an excuse as to why you can’t do something. But it’s important to remember that these limitations only exist in your mind. Practice tuning out that inner voice and rather focus on more productive things like creating a plan of action or finding a new skill to master. Do this and you’re sure to build confidence as you conquer each new task.
2. Create real options (but not too many).
When you’re trying to make an important decision in your life that will cause a significant change, you first need to figure out what the problem is that you’re trying to solve and then come up with realistic alternatives to solve this problem. This way, a lot of the guesswork is taken out of the decision-making, as now your choice is founded on well-thought out scenarios and solutions. Remember that your first option, is not always the best option. So be sure to spend some time investigating different scenarios, so that you’re able to make the best decision possible.
3. Don’t focus on impossible problems.
When it comes to moving forward, there’s no point wasting your time on problems that are not really problems, but are situations that can’t be changed. Do you really want to be a poet, but know that poets don’t earn much money? Well, if having enough money is important to you, then don’t waste your time trying to figure out a solution to this unchanging situation. Rather accept it as a fact and focus your energy on other options that will better serve you and your end goal.
4. Learn from your mistakes that are worth learning from.
Every now and then, we all mess up and make mistakes. But the mistakes you want to focus on are the ones you make that could have been avoided if you’d known more, as these are the ones that can be avoided in the future. Make sure you spend the time to figure out exactly where you went wrong, and how you could have done things differently to achieve better results. This way you can use your mistakes to propel you forward in the future, and avoid making the same mistakes that will leave you stuck in the same situation. And then equally important, do not waste energy on the ones that are simply screw ups - they happen, accept it and move on!
It is easy to get stuck, but remember there is always a way forward - and you don't have to do it alone. If you want to create a life and career you love, in support of likeminded women on a similar journey join our Facebook group TAC She Sisterhood. Hope to see you there.
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.