Educating others one by one

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela

education is powerfulI spent last week educating people, one by one, about how to fit and wear a bra. It was definitely powerful, and I even had people using the words “life changing“, in what they’d learnt from me, and the Bra Lady team.

Sometimes we don’t think what we’re doing is important. Or that if we’re “only” helping one person that it’s not enough, so we won’t bother. Why do we do that? If you’ve had children, you’ll know that you can spend hours helping a child to learn one small thing. Or watching them learn – to walk, to use a crayon, learn to read, ride a bike. We wouldn’t NOT spend time with them to help them with that development step would we? We want them to learn.

The bra fitters from Bra Lady team felt exhilarated with each person they educated. They talked about the ripple effect – if we educate one person, they’ll talk to someone else, who’ll tell another person what they’ve learnt. We will never quite know the impact of our work last week. All we know is that we’ve affected the individual lives of 100’s of women, which we know will in turn ripple out to 1000’s more in time.

Remember the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”? Each person you educate, or share some of your knowledge with will be impacted in some way to make a difference in their life and possibly the lives of others.

It can be hard when you’re running a business to see the impact you’re having on other people. They may buy a product or service from you. They may tell other people about your product or service. They may never tell you how much they’ve benefited from you. But they have. We usually hear from disgruntled people, rather than happy ones!

So if you’re struggling to see the impact you’re making, remember that you are – one person at a time. Keep educating your target customers, and be consistently available to talk to them about the benefits of your product or service, and they’ll come to you when they’re ready. Sometimes it’s that consistency which will have the biggest impact on others. Just by “being there” is the support that some people need in their lives.

How do you educate others day by day? Do you think of what you do as educating? Could you share more knowledge so people can learn more from you and understand you, your product and/or service more? Customers are usually those who know, like and trust you and the brand, and the product. How are you helping them to know, like and trust you each week?

If you need help with this aspect of growing your business, book a free 20 minuteย explore callย and let’s work it out together.

Listening, being creative and writing for your business

Thoughts from my week – I hope they inspire you to be creative, listen to yourself, and write. We all have talents and skills hidden away. I believe today is the day to start finding them and using them ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Friday & it’s a beautiful autumnal sunny day here for me right now. I hope it stays that way for the weekend ahead – eldest has his final athletics competition of the year in Lincolnshire, and it’s always a nicer weekend without the rain!

It’s been a strange start to September for me, with some clients moving away from needing support, (which is always fantastic to see), new ones asking for help, and some projects going live. It’s exciting and scary all at once. I’ve had the opportunity to explore new opportunities, and open my mind to my creativity, which is fascinating. Do you open your mind to creating new things each week? (new recipe, new idea, new textile, new exercise?) I highly recommend it. It’s very freeing.

Listen to yourself you have your best interests at heartI’ve delivered a Listening course this week as well, in a volunteer role for the One2One Listening project in Preston, Lancashire. Training takes so much out of you, as you try and share everything you know in such a way that others understand and can use that information in their own lives. This week we were focusing on listening to ourself, which can often be quite challenging. We often keep our ‘real’ selves hidden, especially from our clients or customers, which means we shy away from our self in every day life. We think it’s not important. But I’ve learnt over the last few years that spending time listening to myself has been the most important part of my personal and business development. This listening has helped me move away from the things (and people) who’ve hurt me, and allowed me to find my confidence to do the things I love – loving my family and supporting others.

This week, I finished the book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. You may well know it very well. If so, why didn’t you tell me about it before? I’ll let you read my review rather than talk more about it here. However, I think that’s what I’m going to really focus on now – my Why. Everything I do will fit with my Why from now on. I may have seemed focused up until now, but it’s only these last few weeks that I’ve had my own lightbulb moment which is now helping me move forward with my own goals.

And then this came through this morning – http://mybook.to/bloggingbook The ebook of the 30 day blogging challenge. Today it’s FREE so go grab your copy. You can use the information in this book for all sorts of writing for yourself and/or your business. There’s support and information about how to make your blog/website better & if you want it, there’s a free support group to help you become a better writer/blogger/business owner. I’ve done the challenge a few times, and it’s always helped me move forward – personally and in my businesses. Whatever you want to achieve in your business, and your life, there’ll be some nuggets of advice in this book to help you along the way.

I hope you’ve had a positive start to the new school year, and are excited about the next few months for yourself and your business. I’d love to hear your plans, and what you’re creating with all your skills and talents. Let me know if you’re starting to write publicly for yourself or your business, and I’ll share your work with others.

Have a great weekend. I hope the sun shines on you and your family,

Achieving goals – I’ve done it!

I’ve done it! Written, and posted, one blog post every day in January! Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚ Feeling good at achieving my first goal of 2017.

When I set out to work towards this goal on 1st January, I had no real expectations about what I might achieve. I simply wanted to write every day in a public domain. I do have a journal, but I don’t use it regularly, and I wondered about using this public forum for sharing some of my ideas this month.

I have to say, I’ve loved it! There’s been a couple of days, where I almost ran out of time to write, but I wanted to achieve my goal, so I made time and stuck to my task, to complete it. It feels good to have set myself this task each day, and to have done it, to the best of my ability.

It’s also been wonderful to have had feedback, and discussions with readers. It’s helped me explore some of my thoughts more deeply, this month, so thank you for contributing. I feel that the topics I’ve shared have helped me to develop myself, and others, in a small way.

Achieving goals – what next?

So now I’ve achieved my first writing goal of the year, what next? I’d like to continue writing regularly, but I’m not sure daily is going to be my target for the next month. I’d like to explore new writing opportunities, and develop my ideas further, on a new medium. However, I don’t want to lose the momentum I’ve created here. I’ve loved creating, and we need to do more of what we love don’t we?

Continuous personal development comes in all sorts of ways, doesn’t it? So, here I am, commiting to my continued writing development, here and trying out new mediums next month.

What goals have you achieved this month, and what’s your next step?

I’m enjoying connecting to others

I simply want to thank you for reading my blog and connecting with me. I’m loving life so much at the moment, and meeting such wonderful people doing amazing things. So thank you for connecting.

I don’t know what it is, whether it’s because I’m sharing things everyday, or if it’s simply because I’m open to new connections, that new ideas and connections and projects are starting to take shape. What do you think?

Connecting to others

people meetingWhen you make a new connection with someone, or deepen a connection you already have, (by that I mean learn more about them, what they do, what their dreams are, that type of thing), it really sends your brain off to a whole new level of thinking doesn’t it?

So far, just this month, I’ve learnt more about people I simply had a connection with, and been able to help them with something I have a skill in that they need. Today is a good example.

I met a lady last summer and we had similar interests and were serving a similar customer with some of our products and services. I knew there was more that could develop between us. We’ve been trying to meet since then, but have both been busy with our projects, and businesses. Today we spent a couple of hours together, really getting to know each other, what our businesses do and how we can support each other, and our clients to grow and develop. We’ve both got things we can share with each other to help progress ideas within our businesses, and we’ve both got another place who is understanding and supporting our goals, and will make further connections within our networks.

Two hours is all it took to deepen our connection, yet we’ve both come away feeling enlightened, and our brains were buzzing with opportunities for our businesses, and projects we’re involved with.

So, as much as I love meeting others and finding new tea and coffee shops, (I found a lovely one yesterday and had chocolate and beetroot cake – it was gorgeous!), it’s the connection with others that I love more. Learning more about the world around me, and how I can support others, or they can support me, with goals and dreams.

So, whilst a lot of my new connections have been online, those friendships are as valuable as the ladies I’ve met today, it’s all part of my learning and development. I can’t grow as a person unless I connect with others, every day. I realise that whilst I was hiding away from the world, I wasn’t growing as a person. Stepping out and making connections is a fun and enjoyable thing to do. Most people I meet want to help and support others. We all have skills to share, and we have to get out there to make those connections.

Do you enjoy connecting to others? Let me know below.

Creating a website should be fun

One of the many jobs I do, is help businesses, and organisations, create a website to show off the work they do. I love helping others see their dreams come to life on a screen. Taking others visions and making them happen is a wonderful gift to have.

However, whilst to me, it seems quite easy to create a simple website to get across a person/business/organisation message, I’ve found that not everyone thinks like I do! So, that’s why I help people, through Manage Those Things, with those bits and pieces of stuff which they can’t, don’t want to, or don’t know how to do. (If you want to know how I’ve gained my website knowledge over the years, this post may help.)

computer codingNow, let me get this straight. I’m not a web developer. I’m not a graphic designer. I’m simply a project manager and creative person who can put other people’s ideas into action. Sometimes, I’ll work with a person alongside a web development team. I’ve also managed the web build projects on behalf of the client, once the brief has been confirmed, and act as the in-between person. The person who understands, (most), of the tech speak, as well as what the client is after, so can be the interpreter.

I also get some clients who spend so long developing their website, they don’t have time to create other things, or actually see clients. That’s really not the best plan! A website is just one tool you can use to show off your services or products, or is the place for your training course, or sharing your stories on a blog. It doesn’t have to be complicated, or hard. It should certainly be fun to create, and doesn’t need to cost a fortune. (You can create your own website for free, but be careful what software you use. Speak to me first if you’re not sure).

Creating a website should be fun

So, here’s how to make it fun, and not take up every waking hour:

  1. Know why you are creating a website. Is it to sell product; tell your story; share information; help customers contact you easily
  2. Once you are clear on number 1, think about the style you want to create. What will your ‘ideal customer’ want to find from your website. How can you make this easy?
  3. Create your menu – the list of headings you think people will need to find things easily on your website. You may need sub-headings too. Try these out on friends and family, and check it makes sense. Some people use a mind map to show the linkages between sections. (I tend to create maps when talking to a client, as it helps me show them how things link together even if they haven’t picked up the connections themselves)
  4. What colours do you like? Is this appropriate for your website? What fonts do you want to use? Keep both simple, but match your branding, so that people don’t need sunglasses to read your website.
  5. Write the words you want on each page. These may be explanations, or information about a topic. Again, keep it simple. People want you to help them, not confuse them!
  6. Find someone you can work with. If you’re creating the website yourself, you’ll need a friendly critic who will be honest with you as you develop the website. If you’re wanting someone else to help you, do they really understand you and what you’re trying to create? How do you know they’ve got the skills to create what you want? Can you see examples of their work, or speak to previous clients?
  7. Do you know exactly what the developer will be doing, and what you’ll be doing? Adding the content to your website can be time consuming. You can either do this yourself to reduce the costs, or, make sure this is part of the deal, once you’ve written all the words you want adding.
  8. Get all the photos you want to use in one place. I use dropbox, and google drive. It’s good to keep things in one place, and share them with others if you need to. Please make sure you own the copyright for all the photographs you use, or are allowed to use them.
  9. Set yourself some milestones and stick to them. Yes, you’re creating something lovely and shiny and new, but it’s not usually the main part of your work/business/life. Keep things in perspective. If you’re working with a developer, keep asking for progress reviews. If you’re not happy, tell them. Keep talking to them, and ensure you get what you want.
  10. Enjoy the journey. I usually find the questions I ask clients are ones they haven’t considered within their business. It’s not just the how to do something online, but things such as, “who will be answering this email”, can often be a challenge for a voluntary organisation if they don’t have a clear structure.

Some people find creating websites scary. I enjoy bringing them to life to support an organisation share their story, or help the next step of a business journey for someone. It’s exciting and fun for me. It can be for you too. Don’t be scared of them, there’s lots of people around to help. Me included, if you want to talk things through.

Just so you know, I use a technical web development team for any aspects of a website I can’t do myself. I don’t know everything, but, “I know a man that can” ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you have fun when creating your websites? What would you add to the checklist if you were helping a friend?

Happy Anniversary

chocolate cakeI’ve just realised that I started blogging 10 years ago, so it’s Happy Anniversary to me I guess? I remember it well, when I started looking into blogging for business, and sharing my knowledge with potential customers.

Wow! Hasn’t time flown!

Over those 10 years, I’ve used blogs for all of my businesses, starting with bras4mums, then Bra Lady, and more recently Stay Fit and Healthy. However, the most pleasure I’ve had, if I’m really honest, is in using my writing, and my blogs to talk about everyday issues. Things that relate to me. My Support4Women blog is now hosted here on this site, as it was right to move things into one place for me to manage.

I know I’ve used blogging to help me through some tough personal challenges over the 10 years. However, I also know that I’ve hidden from public view and stopped writing for quite some time. It was right for me at the time, but maybe I should have kept on writing, just not publishing posts. I’m sure the serial journal peeps out there would agree with that one.

So, what am I doing for my 10th Anniversary? Well, I’ve taken the challenge, set down by blogging expert Sarah Arrow, to write every day for the month of January. You may have noticed I’ve come out of my shell? I’m taking a step out into the world again, and putting fingers to keyboard, and sharing some of my knowledge, insights, and general everyday stuff for you to read, enjoy, challenge and learn from.

I’m really enjoying ‘being back’ and sharing. I’ve missed it. It’s lovely to have some regular readers, so thank you for being here. Thank you also to all those who’ve supported me over the years, through the good and the bad times.

Life IS a roller coaster. You do just need to ride it, (as the song goes). I do love blogging and sharing, and I’m now 9 days into writing again, so it’s not quite a habit yet. However I am loving it, and the eclectic mix I’m talking about. Hope it’s not too random for you?

I’m a Mum, a businesswoman, a wife, a friend, a daughter, sister, and colleague. (I’m sure I’m many more things as well!). I’m also delighted to be back here, in the public eye, sharing, and learning with others on the blogasphere. Thank you for encouraging me Sarah.

Oh, and any excuse to eat cake in my book, (all part of my balanced healthy diet!) ๐Ÿ™‚