Energy tracking and how to achieve more, with less stress

Energy tracking and how to achieve more, with less stress

Our work culture is not working for us anymore!

For the past thirty years, our obsession with doing more in less time has exponentially increased. The access to the first home computers and the World Wide Web has opened us to an endless stream of technology to make us more efficient. Today, our smartphones can tell us how well we are eating, sleeping and running, and we have access to an endless supply of productivity apps to help us do more in less time.

Our work boundaries are so blurred that most of us now feel panicked if you ever leave the house without your smartphones, and it’s been reported that 71% of people sleep either holding their smartphone, having it in bed with them, or having it on their nightstand. It’s the first thing they look at when they wake and the last thing they see before they close their eyes at night.

But with all this technology to allow us to do more in less time, how productive are we really?

In the UK, Britons are working an average of 42.5 hours a week, and my guess is that you are probably exceeding this if you include the time spent on your phone, checking emails and hours thinking about work when you are not sitting at your desk.

It’s not just the physical hours spent working; it’s also the mental load of not switching off when you close down your laptop.

Not surprisingly, it turns out we are simply not designed to be working this hard. We have been taught to work in a linear way throughout the year, not taking into account our seasons, changing daylight hours or our own body’s natural rhythms and hormone cycles.

Work and life is designed in 24 hour cycles.

And yet 50% of the population don’t work this way!

Binary female hormones typically work around a 28 day cycle (our menstruation cycle), whereas binary male hormones typically work around a 24 hour cycle. It’s not that women can’t work to a 24 hour clock, but our linear work culture has programmed us to be productive day in, day out, often striving to do more, in less time, and not taking into account our own body’s natural rhythms and hormone cycles.

Plus 2020 has seen unprecedented changes to the way that we all work. Even for those of you who already worked from home, you’ve been dealing with the challenges of isolation, endless Zoom calls, children home from school and partners working from home with you.

A recent study from LeanIn.org found that women who have full-time jobs have taken on way more housework and caregiving than men during the pandemic; estimated at an extra 20 hours a week, compared to men, on top of their 40+ hour working week.

And that’s not all. If midlife women don’t already have enough to contend with, the menopause can hit you like a freight train! If you are already experiencing levels of stress, peri-menopausal symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, raging headaches, aching bones and hot sweats, can slow us down and be incredibly frustrating and exhausting.

How I learnt to change my hard work story

Back in 2012, I hit burnout hard. Still reeling from losing my dad to cancer two years previously, I found myself unable to function and couldn’t get out of bed one weekend. I can look back now and see all the signs; the extreme fatigue, brain fog, body in pain. But because I had programmed myself to keep working hard at trying to get everything to work – life, business, family – I ignored the signs and just kept working harder to keep all the balls in the air.

I was sandwiched between life and business, squashing myself harder as I tried to keep up with it all.

That summer was the start of five years of horrid hormonal imbalance and peri-menopausal symptoms which I realised couldn’t be fixed with a pill or a two week holiday. I had to reset, reboot and take some serious rest, and yet I felt really guilty about taking my foot off the pedal.

I had images of just laying on the sofa and watching daytime TV all day, whenever I was challenged that I may need to rest and do less in my day-to-day life. I just couldn’t do that! I had things to achieve and resting wasn’t something I had been taught how to do.

But I came to realise that doing less isn’t about doing nothing. It’s about doing less of the busy stuff, and doing more of what matters to us and the values we want to live by. And doing it in a way that flows with our natural cycles and energy ebb and flows.

One of the areas that needed to change was the way I was working, and I started on a journey of exploring and understanding what working less hard actually meant. Today, I bring everything that I have learnt condensed into my Ebb & Flow programme, a new approach to managing work, time and energy.

It’s time to stop trying to work to our modern, fast-paced schedules and work productivity expectations (often designed for how factories and assembly lines work, rather than human beings), and experience how to get out of your head, slow down your race to success and embrace your natural work flow and leadership style.

And it all starts with this simple, easy to follow 28 Day Energy Tracker.

How to use this 28 Day Energy Tracker

Step One: Download a copy right here

 

Step Two: Print the 28 Day Ebb & Flow Energy Tracker (page 8 in the PDF)

This process is best done analogue because you will be doing this first thing in the morning and last thing at night. You don’t need to open your phone or look at a screen to follow this process.

Step Three: Your Morning Tracking

There are five things to track first thing in the morning:

  1. Where you are in your menstrual cycle
  2. What phase the moon is in
  3. What the weather is outside
  4. What time the sun rose
  5. What was the quality of your sleep

What you are collecting is objective data; data that can be measured consistently and is not influenced by emotion or opinion. When you download the energy tracker, you will be able to read more about how these five things are relevant and how they can affect their energy levels.

Step Four: Your Evening Tracking

At the end of each day, you will decide how in flow you felt and give your energy flow a score out of ten.

This data is subjective, and these scores will be influenced by your levels of stress, tiredness and what you’ve actually done each day. In the energy tracker download, I will help you define your flow to make it easy for you to track consistently.

Step Five: What do you notice?

At the end of the 28 days, notice what patterns occur.

  • Did you experience a higher level of energy flow at different times of your menstrual cycle?
  • How did the weather or the season affect your energy flow?
  • Perhaps you discover your work patterns change with the different phases of the moon, and different kinds of tasks are more easily achieved on different days?

You have a small section to make your own notes on what you notice, but I would encourage you to get yourself a journal to use alongside this tracker to help you expand your thoughts over the coming weeks and months, especially as energy tracking becomes part of your every day routine.

28 days will give you a really great starting point in which to spot your natural cycles, but the more data you collect over more months, the more you will see patterns appear over a longer period of time, especially if you are transitioning through the menopause or recovering from a long term illness.

When I first started experimenting with energy tracking, the biggest benefit I felt was the realisation that I had good days in between the not-so-good days, which really helped me appreciate the days I felt better, and how much in flow I was in and how much I did achieve on those days. It made me realised that I wasn’t failing all the darn time; the not-so-good days stopped playing such a dominant role in who I was defining myself as!

Over the years of doing this kind of energy tracking, I have narrowed down the key things to notice and simplified the process to create this energy tracker that you have access to today. It has since become the bedrock for helping me begin to predict how my energy ebb and flows really worked, and how I could ensure I could achieve what I wanted to do, whilst thriving in the process. And I would love for you to experience this, too.

Let me know how you get on with this simple and easy to use energy tracker. And for those of you who want to continue in the journey, look out for details of our Ebb & Flow programme starting early 2022.

Thank you for reading. Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.

 

 

Shifting with the seasons; why we can’t stay in spring or summer all year

Shifting with the seasons; why we can’t stay in spring or summer all year

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Hi Karen

Walking into my Plotting Shed this morning, there was a distinct chill in the air. For the first time this season, I shuddered and realised it was time for ceremonial switching on of the wall heater.

I love the shift in seasons. It reminds me that change is always happening.

No matter how much we want to stay in the place we’re in, we’re always moving forwards, having to adjust to what comes our way.

There is so much focus on our wardrobe shifts, packing away our summer clothes and dusting off our autumn boots, but to me season shifts are so much more; in life, business and leadership.

As the seasons shift, so do we.

Yes, there are the obvious shifts that take place as we age.

But there are the more subtle shifts as we flow in and out of love for the work that we do.

There’s often a belief that if we lose our mojo that it’s a bad thing; we must stay motivated and have passion for what we do at all times. For if we don’t, then we must be doing something wrong.

Is that really the case?

As I approach my autumn years in age (now 52), I’m embracing the subtle shifts of slowing down, whilst still able to make a bigger impact.

And I recognise that not feeling passionate about what I am doing every day is absolutely OK.

Look at our seasons. Autumn chills our air, which signals for our trees to lose their leaves. And when Winter arrives, our barren trees give us the impression that all is dead.

However, it is Winter that drives the power of our Spring and Summer. For you to feel full of creativity and energy, it is those quiet, reflective, quiet times that give you the fuel to spring forward.

If you were to stay in Spring and Summer energy all year round, you’d be exhausted and eventually burn out. And yet, this is the expectation that so many of us have about our work and leadership paths.

If you want to learn more about my midlife journey and how I run my own business around my own seasonal shifts, then I have two podcast interviews that have been released.

Rachel Lankester’s Magnificent Midlife Podcast is now in its third year, so I was delighted to be asked to share how I make the most out of my midlife, and share my journey in figuring out what kind of business really suited me.

Plus, I was featured on Joy Burnford’s The Confidence Conversation on how I fit life and work together, and shift my energies to help me step up when I need to.

Would love to know how you are embracing the season shifts; whether it’s simply a change in wardrobe, or that you consciously shift up or down your gears at this time of year.

In the meantime, if you want to find out more about how to embrace your midlife shifts, then join us for our two day Embrace Festival that’s happening on 21st & 22nd October.

Thank you for reading. Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.

 

 

How our fears can be our greatest strengths

How our fears can be our greatest strengths

Back in 2017 … those pre-covid days of being able to attend conferences with hundreds of other people! … I had spent an incredible weekend at the One Woman Conference.

There were 400+ women at this event and I had the honour of being invited up on the stage as one of the finalists of the Lead The Change awards 2017, voted by the community as someone who most embodied the One of many SoftPower Leadership principles.

Having spoken on many stages, it has to have been one of my most nerve wracking performances. Somehow sharing my personal story and the vulnerabilities I’d faced (and was still facing!) was nerve racking. ,

In the run up to the conference, I reflected on what it took to step in to our potential to make a difference, and what it was about me that represented being a leader.

When you spend time by yourself and unconnected with people outside of your immediate family (and let’s be honest, we’ve all plenty of this opportunity for this over the past 18 months!), it’s easy to feel that whatever journey you are on, that what’s ahead of you is too steep or too rocky or that your goal isn’t clear and is shrouded in mountain cloud.

And this was the big lesson I shared on stage that day.

That there are times, particularly when you are alone, that fear and doubt and worry creep up, sometimes from nowhere, and take hold of us.

My fear and doubt appears as a gentle tight grip on the inside of my throat; almost like a child’s hand trying to silence me.

Your fears and doubts will appear in different places. Perhaps a knot in your stomach or a pain on your left side or a buzzing sensation at the back of your skull.

For the years running up to working with One of many, I had used this feeling in my throat to pull me back, like a bungee cord. I’d come up with an idea, reach for it and then the bungee cord would snap me back so that I’d either give up on the idea or just do a smaller version of it. And this happened a lot in the years I was recovering from my burn out, often very afraid of getting sick again.

My journey with the incredible mentors who make up One Of Many, Joanna Martin, Annie Stoker and Susie Heath, had allowed me to now feel into my uncomfortableness … the feeling of vulnerability … the feeling of shame, guilt and whatever my inner shit threw up at me at the time I want to do bigger things and become a bigger version of myself.

That gentle tight grip on my throat became my sign that it’s the right thing for me to do.

And as I stood up on that stage, I felt it appear … so I knew what I had to share was the right thing for me to have shared that day!

Feeling in to this experience of identifying where in our body we feel emotions is incredible powerful. It slows down our over thinking, and often over catastrophising, of the situation we are faced with; whether that’s a difficult conversation, a challenge at work or a relationship with a friend or family member.

Do you feel into your uncomfortableness of fear, doubt, shame or guilt … whenever it appears … and see it as a power? As a sign that you may need to hear a message of stepping up, to challenge?

I’d love to know if you do this already, perhaps even on a subconscious basis, not realising that you are doing it.

Because I’ve come to now feel these uncomfortable moments not as a bungee cord as I had done the years previously. I’ve learnt to slow down, take a moment and feel into knot or the pain or the grip or the buzz because I know now it’s probably trying to tell me something.

That bungee cord pulling me back to safety is all very well. Because, after all, safe is lovely place to be, particularly on a warm, cosy Sunday afternoon when you want to snuggle up on the sofa with a good book or film.

But if you want to make a bigger impact on this world around us, then safe will only keep you safe. It doesn’t allow us to take risks and stretch us into our potential.

As Brene Brown so eloquently puts it,

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

So let us get vulnerable and, more importantly, feel vulnerable because I know this has the potential to let out the leader that’s within you, too.

Thank you for reading. Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.

 

 

 

 

How to start your week off right

How to start your week off right

There’s absolutely no doubt, that what you do on a Monday morning sets the tone for the rest of the week. And often the weeks proceeding.

I’ve learned the hard way.

If I start my week faffing about and scrolling through social feeds, the rest of my week will follow in a similar pattern. I end up drifting from one thing to another, reacting to what comes in to my inbox and I start to lose any clarity that I may have had about where it was I was headed.

At the other extreme, I have at times when I started my week with a blaze of energy, jumping into multiple projects and taking action. This may sound great but starting my week like this, I was always in danger of pinging from one thing to the next over the following days, working faster and faster until I hit Friday like a brick wall.

Over the years I have tried out different Monday morning routines, and have worked out what I need to do to keep myself on track each and every week, without over stretching myself yet still achieving what’s important to me and my business goals.

So I thought I would share these with you today to help inspire you into reviewing how you start your week and decide on the two or three key things that have to happen to ensure you remain focused and on track, without drifting through your week or hitting that Friday brick wall.

1) Check in where I am in my energy cycles

Having gone through some pretty horrid years of recovering from burn out and dealing with menopausal symptoms (still ongoing!), I now make sure I track my energy ebbs and flows. I have had to redefine my workflow and understand the patterns that I naturally go through during my menstrual cycle, as well as how I am affected by the seasonal changes, weather patterns, daylight hours and moon phases.

Some parts of my energy cycle I feel clear headed and naturally in flow. In other parts, my body feels stiff, my brain is foggier than usual and I feel myself retreating. I call these our natural Ebb & Flow energy cycles and once you start to become body conscious of them, they are incredibly powerful to help you do your best work.

So at the start of the week, I remind myself where I may be in my menstrual cycle (which has become far more erratic as I approach my menopause), where we are in the moon phase (I have a clock on the wall that tracks this for me and helps me see quickly at a glance) and what the weather may be doing in the week ahead.

If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend you get a copy of my Energy Tracker which will help you embody this work. I liken it to checking your weather app on your phone and if it says there’s 60% of rain, you’d probably take an umbrella with you if you are going out. You aren’t trying to predict how you are going to feel energetically, but preparing yourself for whether you are more like to experience ebb energy or flow energy.

And if you are interested in how your menstrual cycle in particular affects your productivity, check out this article here: Marketing with your menstrual cycle

2) Overview of my business objectives and intentions for the week ahead

Next I give myself an overview of what is happening short and medium term in my business. I have a Big Vision and a strategy for the year ahead, but for my Monday mornings, I focus on what is due to happen over the next 4 to 6 weeks. I review what I have planned and have scheduled in my diary and then I drill down what needs to happen on one piece of paper.

This “one piece of paper” concept is important. I don’t have running to-do lists that go from week to week (these can distract and overwhelm you if you never seem to get the bottom. Read more about how to-do lists distract you here.) and I actually don’t use any fancy online scheduling tools because of the time it used to take me to maintain all the notifications, priority colour changes, etc. I’ve tried various ones but this way just doesn’t work for me.

My intentions for the week get put down on to one A4 sheet of paper, and that sheet remains on my desk until the end of the week or I have completed them all, whichever happens first. I then decide who needs to do each task or short project on that sheet of paper so I either put my initials next to or the initials of somebody else that it needs to be delegated to. So quite often a lot of the things that go down there have the letter A to it, which stands for Alexia, who is my VA and looks after my client and diary management.

This is often a fairly quick exercise taking no more than half an hour or so, as long as I do this every week. If I’ve been away or haven’t done this for the past few Mondays, it can longer. Sometimes I need a bit warming up, a coffee, sometimes a walk, depending on where I am in my energy flow.

3) Money Management

The next thing I do every Monday morning, is my money management. Often it takes me just 10 or 15 minutes to dive in and get this done. I go into my Xero online bookkeeping system, where I have all my bank account reconciliations to check to see what money is coming in and what money is flowing out. I check what I need to still pay for, and what invoices of mine maybe still outstanding. And I also review my revenue spreadsheet so I know how balanced I am moving towards my financial targets for the year.

This simple process gives me a real grounding about where I am financially in my business. It’s what keeps my eye on my profitability. It makes sure I don’t get carried away with all the dozens of ideas that I’m always coming up with it, to ensure they financially benchmark against where I’m going from the money side of my business.

When I don’t do this, I could go weeks before realising that maybe my cashflow was about to dry up or I was overspending. I would often bury my head in the sand, especially when sales weren’t what they could have been, which meant I didn’t have the right energy when I showed up for my sales conversations. So now this money focus happens every single Monday morning.

4) Weekly team meeting

The fourth thing that I do is I have a zoom conference call with my team, Alexia my Operations Manager, and Melina, my Senior Coach. I didn’t really do this for the first eight or nine years of my business. It didn’t seem necessary when it was just myself and Alexia, who was more of a virtual assistant back then. But this weekly 45 minute call has made a huge difference to how we work together.

If you know me personally, or you have worked with me, you know my brain can work incredibly fast. I’m full of ideas; I’m a very creative and innovative person. And the danger of being this way is that I am always racing ahead and Alexia’s trying to keep up; trying to work out where I’m going, and what’s the latest thing I’m doing.

Our team meeting now grounds our week, gets us all focused on what is happening in our client programme, Momentum, which of our clients may need extra support, as well as what tasks are needed for events or campaigns coming up.

These are the four things I do every Monday. I’d love to know what you do each Monday morning to start your week.

Do you do the same things or do you do things differently?

Or perhaps this has inspired you to put some regular tasks or appointments in your diary every Monday morning.

What’s important is that you have a regular focus to your Monday morning (or it could be Sunday evening if you prefer – whatever works best for you) so that you don’t have to rethink Monday morning every week, and it gets you working on what and where it is you need to focus your time and energy on, rather then just jumping straight into your to-do list and reacting to the week.

Having this approach will give you that focus; reviewing, and possibly resetting your focus to ensure that you know where are in your journey and bigger plans.

If you don’t have this weekly grounding of planning, scheduling, tasking, working out where the money is, and who in your team needs to do what, it’s really easy to go adrift. It’s really easy to get carried away with ideas or get lost in the confusion and drown under information and feel you have too much to do.

So what can you do every Monday morning to start your week?

Thank you for reading. Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.

 

 

 

 

Your Dream Team: hiring the right people for your business growth plans

Your Dream Team: hiring the right people for your business growth plans

One of the big problems of running your own business, particularly in the early years, is that you will often believe that you are the one to do anything and everything in your business.

If you are still in the first few months of start-up, there is no doubt that you are doing almost everything yourself. From answering your emails and sending out proposals and brochures, through to writing your blog posts and maybe even creating your own website, you will have started your business journey being a one-person show.

As you grow your business and start to take on more clients and sell to more customers, delegating often isn’t a natural instinct for many people. Some are self-confessed control freaks and like to do everything yourself because you want it done ‘right’.

Others get trapped in by being too busy to recruit. Or worry that their business isn’t making enough to hire someone.

And then there are others who want to hire someone but genuinely don’t know how to hire or how to find the right person, so it always feels easier to keep doing it all yourself until you find yourself so busy that you are too busy to find the time to recruit.

The question I am asked again and again is ‘When is the right time to hire someone?’

My answer is always the same; ‘Three months before you need them.’

There’s a common misconception about hiring people, that the day someone starts is the day you suddenly get back more time. But the truth is that if you hire someone for ten hours a week, no matter what you hire them to do, you don’t suddenly get those ten hours back in your week.

What actually happens is that your workload can often double for a week or two (and sometimes longer depending on who it is you are hiring and what it is you are asking them to do for your business) whilst you spend time explaining what needs doing, and training them to understand your business systems.

Even with technical contractors or marketing assistants who should, in theory, be bringing a level of expertise into the role, time is still needed to get them up to speed and understand your business and the customers you serve. For longer-term hires, expect three months before you fully see the return on investment from their contribution to your business. And this is why I always answer with the three months before you need someone.

But don’t let this put you off. As the ‘two best times to plant a tree’ proverb advises us; you either should have hired many months ago, or you can start to think about hiring TODAY. So let’s start this thinking process from a TODAY mentality. No matter what’s going on, or how busy you may feel you are and that you don’t have the time, if you genuinely want to grow your business and have a business that not only gives you more income, but is easier and simpler to run, hiring the right people is instrumental to your success.

And this starts with working out who your Dream Team needs to be.

Who should be in your Dream Team?

Your Dream Team are the people you need to help you achieve the vision you have for your business. They are the people you hire to ‘do stuff’, as well as your strategic partnerships, your suppliers, business buddies and supporters.

You may even find that you need to include people who can support you in your home and personal life, particularly if you are a single parent. I’ve often seen my clients need to include a housekeeper to enable them to manage their home, as well as their business.

Your business will have specific needs, but there are three core areas where I believe you can focus on to help with your thinking. As I take you through each one below, use the image above to write down the names or profile of the person you feel you need in each of the hands. (Click this link to download a printable PDF worksheet version).

There are nine hands there; you may need more hands, but I doubt you will need less as it’s important to recognise the level of support you will need for your future growth, no matter how small a business you want to run.

PA and administrative support

This is usually the first area you may wish to hire in your business because freeing up your admin time is usually the quickest way to speed your progress so you can focus your time on business growth areas, such as business development. There are usually three key areas where someone can add value to you and your business.

1) Diary and email management: not only does a personal assistant help save you time in doing your admin, their presence also helps with your positioning. For example, if you are a consultant working with larger organisations, having someone else confirm your meetings, agendas and send follow-up paperwork can help with your professional image. In addition, having someone act as your gatekeeper helps you avoid unnecessary sales calls.

2) Invoicing and financing: bookkeeping, VAT returns and invoicing are all administrative tasks that you, as the business owner, should not be doing as your business grows.

3) Client management: if you run group programmes or run events, having someone take control of the day-to- day communication can free up your time and mental energy hugely. There’s always going to be someone else who is far better at managing email follow ups and producing client reports than you will ever be.

Marketing and sales support

If the first person you hire is a personal assistant, don’t make the mistake of assuming that whoever you took on can simply take on more tasks in other areas of your business. The skill set needed to run marketing and sales support for you will be different to that of someone you’ve hired to proofread your proposals, organise your diary and hire meeting rooms.

Plus, you don’t really want to rely too heavily on one person to do everything for you. You run the risk of abdicating responsibility, rather than delegating, and if the relationship goes sour or they move on to another opportunity, you’re left with a huge gap to fill.

It may be that you need more than one person in this category, too. Again, you can’t assume because someone is great at researching and writing blogs that they will be good at managing your social media sites. Be very clear on what skills you need to bring into your business, as well as experience in the digital tools you use. Let’s break down the key areas where you may need help as you begin to grow.

1) Creating consistent content: researching and writing blogs, as well as writing and sending out email marketing broadcasts.

2) Social media management: scheduling posts, images and blog posts, as well as potentially managing a busy Facebook group. This role is different from hiring an ad specialist. If you plan to run advertising campaigns, hire at the right level because the skills and expertise needed to run high quality campaigns is often far more than a social media admin manager can offer you.

3) Pre-prospect phone calls: if you hate the thought of cold or warm calling, then hiring someone in this field can have a huge impact on your results. Several members of our Momentum business growth community have done this and they are now regularly securing meetings with organisations interested in what it is they offer. If you work with individuals, then a sales administrator may be able to conduct the initial enquiry call and make sure they are a suitable prospect before you speak with them.

Strategic partnerships

These are the people in your Dream Team who have the potential of impacting your growth potential through partnership opportunities. There are three key areas to help your thinking.

1) Referral partners and affiliates: other people selling what you offer to their own lists can open up huge opportunities for you. Depending on your positioning, you may have to think carefully who you want to be associated with and what the quality of their database and reach is. It’s not necessarily about the numbers. I would recommend you focus on how engaged and connected they are to their own customer base because this usually gets you better results. You may set up a straightforward affiliate commission for each sale or there may be other ways of mutually benefiting from your relationship. It’s important to consider it’s not always about the money, and what you are able to contribute could actually be more highly valued.

2) Community leaders and event hosts: what events or conferences are you able to speak or exhibit at? Leaders of online communities or member forums are often looking for experts to contribute content. Perhaps there are professional associations or trade bodies who would love to partner with you?

3) Distribution channels: more relevant for those of you with physical products but it’s worth considering if this is a potential in your marketplace. Perhaps one of your offers could be bundled up and included in another business’s offer, which would allow you access to their marketing channels and database.

Supporters, mentors, cheerleaders & accountability partners

As well as people who you hire, you will need people around you who support you either as business buddies or paid mentors and advisors.

1) Business coach or mentor: Now you will probably guess that I will, of course, recommend you hire some kind business coach or mentor. Having someone who can show you the easier paths to growth, rather than you trying to figure it out on your own (or even worse, via Google!) will always help your journey forward. But you need to think about kind of coach or mentor you need.

At some points of your business, you may need specific marketing advice. At others, it’s a business coach with commerciality and an eye for your profitability (that’s me, by the way!), or even leadership mentoring or personal coaching.

2) Business buddies: Your friends and family may not always be able to give you the support that you need. If they don’t run their own business, they may not understand what it takes to do what you do. So finding like minded business buddies who you can confide in, talk to and support each other is important for your mental health and wellbeing, as well as creating the opportunities to bounce ideas around.

Do review who you have in this category of your Dream Team from year to year. Often, you will find you out grow your network and you end up supporting others more than they end up supporting you. So do go ‘up a league’ as your grow to ensure you are stretching yourself in to the vision you have, rather than staying comfortable.

Support for home, family & life

Finally, what support do you feel you need for your life? If you have a family, perhaps you need extra child care help after school or during the holidays. Perhaps you have a relative you are caring for that you need to ask for help, either from another family member or paid support. Maybe you’ve been putting off getting a cleaner, or housekeeper or someone to do your ironing.

Women especially are very good at doing ‘it all’ at home, as well as in business. And if you want to thrive within your business, you have to make sure you are putting in the support you need in your life, as well. So, who could be in your Dream Team to support you here.

Your Dream Team

Who have you written in each of the hands?

If you’ve still got spaces, keep asking yourself ‘who else?’ until you complete your full dream team. You may want to revisit your business vision and give yourself the space to help you see the potential gaps and ensure you have the right people to help you with your long-term vision.

These people don’t necessarily need to be known to you right now, so if you don’t have a specific name, use a job title or short phrase to help you focus on recruiting or finding them over the coming weeks and months. This is really important because it helps stop your brain telling you ‘don’t know anyone’. You want to open yourself up for the opportunities over the coming months and you don’t need to know exactly who everyone is in order to do this thinking.

Once you’ve completed this process of working out your Dream Team, this is when you take your ideas and thoughts into your next business planning to decide on what steps you need to take to recruit or find one or more of these people over the coming months.

If you need help with any part of this process, then reach out to me for help. I offer an initial call if you want to speak directly with me about this – click here to book a time.

Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.

 

 

 

 

 

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