What’s your motivation?

OK, so I’m writing this to try and explain a little bit about motivation. It’s clear to me, that I’m the type of person who needs to have little goals to work towards to get things done. I’ve known that, and understood it, but it’s becoming clearer to me as life moves on.

My motivation

it's not about having time, it's about making timeWell, during January, I challenged myself to write everyday on this blog. It was a challenge, but I loved it. I enjoyed pushing myself, making time for something I wanted to do, and sharing thoughts and discussions with others. So, now 13 days later, and not having written another word, I’m thinking about motivation.

I think it’s worth discussing don’t you? Motivation. What motivates me?

I may now skirt around the topic, which could be called procrastination. I have been focusing my time on other areas of my business and life these last 12 days. I’ve been learning more about LinkedIn this month, with a fantastic programme called Leads and LinkedIn. It’s taking my time, and I’m doing some writing over there which is taking my time.

But that’s just an excuse for not sharing here isn’t it?

My family motivates me. I’ve spent time this month getting swimming galas, and athletics competitions, booked. They’re in the diary, with accomodation secured where needed. We’ve all eaten well, and we’ve had clean clothes every day so far.

I’m working for a number of clients at the moment, who I’m motivated to support, complete tasks, and help them move forward. I’ve been doing marketing, creating content, setting up systems, researching, mentoring, all of which I love doing for myself and others.

But I’m still not close to My Motivation am I? What is it that’s making me get up and get on every day?

I have long term goals, which are broken down into steps I need to take to get there. I’m very motivated by them. I’m very good at picking out other people’s linkages, and helping them with their steps. I see the bigger picture easily, for myself and others.

So, why have I stopped, or not been motivated enough, to do something I love? Writing here, sharing and discussing?

Scheduling.

That’s all it is. Writing allows me to explore options, and discuss themes with others. It allows me the freedom to research ideas, and read other people’s work. It’s nothing to do with motivation, it’s purely down to my lack of proper scheduling, to get everything done I want to.

We all do it, don’t we? We think we’ll do something, or we think we’ve created a habit, and don’t write it in our diary any more. And then a few days go by. Then a few more. “I’ll do that later”, becomes the mantra in our head. Later gets busy, or tied up with other important things.

So, this week, for me, whilst I get back on track to write more, (probably not daily, but definitely weekly), I’m going to re write my schedule and ensure I make the time to do the things I love.

Sometimes it’s not the motivation we lack, it’s just our lack of planning. Don’t beat yourself up, (I haven’t). Just get back on track with your tasks and goals. You have the motivation, you just need to be a bit cleverer about your scheduling, that’s all.

What motivates you, and are you much better than me at getting on with everything you want to do? Would love to hear from you below.

Are you in a fog right now?

I had an exhilarating walk today, in the fog of the Peak District. There weren’t many other people out. That was fine. For me, it was perfect for thinking, letting my mind wander, whilst not having to think about anyone else.

I’ve not been on a walk like that for a long time. I’d like to do more, and am going to aim for one ‘good walk’ a month this year. My legs are aching now, so that’s all good!

Are you in a fog right now?

are you in a fogI know I’ve had times in my life when I’ve been in a total fog. Even now, with life moving forward at a great pace, there are times when I think I’m travelling through fog. You can’t see exactly where you’re going, but you know that by putting one step in front of the other, you’re going slowly to your destination.

Sometimes we don’t know what the destination is, and that can be frustrating and confusing. A real deep fog in our minds. Today taught me that actually, it doesn’t matter if we’re not totally clear where we’re headed. At least we’re headed somewhere. We can move, try different paths and see which way suits us most.

When you walk with determination, you’ll get to that place where you walk out of the fog. Everything becomes clear. There may still be different options ahead of us, but we have more clarity as to where we’re headed.

Even in thick fog, we can usually still see far enough ahead of us to see obstacles, so we don’t fall off the cliff. As long as our eyes are open, and our minds are working on the job in hand, we know we’re safe. We just need to trust our instinct to keep walking, and don’t look back. Keep going forwards, and you will reach that clarity of purpose and direction.

Today was a perfect day for me. Walking into the fog with the clear focus of having a wonderful walk and having Me-First time. I actually cleared my head, had some wonderful ideas, and thoroughly enjoyed all the aspects which the fog can teach us.

If you need help clearing your own fog, why not book a clarity session with me? It won’t take long to find your way out of the fog you’re currently in.

Ebay – earning a quick buck, or a waste of time?

I’ve met quite a few people recently who are spending loads of time trying to sell things on ebay, in the hope of earning a “quick buck”. It’s one of the things we often see advised isn’t it, if you’re cashflow is a little tight – “Is there anything around your home you really don’t like, need or want? Sell it!”.

That’s all very well, but some of these people I’ve met recently are selling things for 99p. Now, I know all the theories about consistency in your approach being key to your success. But, are 100 items at 99p really going to make you the quick buck you think they will?

Cost benefit analysis of ebay

So, what I ask these people, is:

How long does it take for you to add your item to ebay?

How long does it take for you to wrap your parcel and take it to the post office?

How much is the minimum wage in the UK?

Now, I do sell some things on ebay. I’ve sold excess stock, and personal items, over the years, but I don’t think I’ve sold anything for 99p!

I may be doing it all wrong, but, with writing the ebay description, getting all the details in all the boxes, taking photos and adding them, it can take me 10-15 minutes sometimes for one item. Wrapping the parcel, again, depending what it is, can take some time. Let’s say 5 minutes for this example, and 10 minutes travel to and from the post office. Let’s assume there’s no queue, so that’s taken 30 minutes to sell this one item.

Minimum wage in the UK, at the time of writing, is £7.20 an hour. So, this item has cost me £3.60 in time, that I could have spent on something else, (potentially, I know, so don’t shout at me. I’m trying to get you to think about this).

If I’ve earnt 99p on this item and the postage cost is neutral, then you’ve got the ebay fees to consider.

ebay fees

So, let’s say, we’ve used our 20 free listings this month, as we were on a roll with decluttering the wardrobe. When you sell the item, ebay will take 10% of your final sale price – 99p. That’s 10p.

If you take payment via paypal, (which you have to offer, I think on ebay), paypal will take a fee off the payment sent by your buyer. This is about 5% of the overall payment (final fee, plus postage). This is a recent item I sold for £10 wtih free postage:

paypal fee

So, now, let’s have another look at our earnings of 99p from selling that item we wanted rid of:

Sold item for £0.99
Costs:

Ebay fee

Paypal fee

My time for 30 minutes

-0.10

-0.05

-3.60

Total income received -£2.76

Now I know you may be really clever, (and much cleverer than me), to load lots of items all at once. However, the people I’ve spoken to recently have been selling one off items, which all need describing, photographing and cataloguing.

Please everyone. I’m sure you can think of more worthy things to do with your time than “selling” home items for 99p. If you’re job hunting, then why not take your items to the charity shop, and see if you can do some voluntary work there and get a reference from them?

This may seem a bit ranty, but I’m seeing lots of people not valuing their time, in all sorts of ways at the moment. This is just one example.

Please think things through before thinking that all ‘selling’ is good, and earning you an extra income. If you’re looking for another income stream, get in touch and let’s talk through some options which won’t waste your time!

When things are better than expected

We all have them. Days, or things, that you’re not really looking forward to, and then they turn out to be better than expected. Why is that? What do we dread so much about certain things that then make our perceived ‘bad’ thing turn into ‘good’?

dandelion sunriseWhen things are better than expected

I’ve no idea why we sometimes think that something we have to do is going to be awful. We build it up in our head, or prepare for the worst, don’t we? We often just think that it’s going to be awful. So when we have a lovely time, or the thing goes better than expected, then we’re even more delighted with ourselves, or ‘it’ than we expected.

Bizarre? Or human nature?

If we think something is going to be awful, then more often than not, it will be. We believe, so it will happen. But we can also believe it will be alright, and still think it may be hard going, or not enjoyable, but it can be worse. Why is that?

I believe it’s down to our preparation, of ourselves, and the situation/job/our team. If we prepare ourselves for all eventualities, then everything is covered, isn’t it? We know we have contingencies in place for x, y or z happening. So even if it does happen, we’re in control and work through it.

Our plans for the event, if we think it may not be enjoyable, are often more thorough than if we think we’ll breeze through something. Surely this must teach us something?

Yes, planning is key to success. Even the things we’re not looking forward to, or not as skilled at. If we plan in advance, then we’ll make everything we touch a success. For ourselves and our teams.

You know that saying? “Fail to plan; Plan to fail”.

It’s very true, and we can make sure we don’t fail in anything. Even the things we’re not looking forward to.

Today, I’ve proved that to myself and my family. And I’m very proud of all of us 🙂

When have you experienced something that was better than expected?

Doing things we don’t like

We all have to do things we don’t like doing. From classes at school we have to do, to cooking or cleaning, or driving. There’s lots of things in all our lives we don’t like.

Some of the things we don’t like are a “have to do”, and some are on our “ought to do” list. Some might even be on our “like to do” list, such as bungee jumping, or skiing, on a bucket list, or similar wish list we may have.

It’s how we deal with these things we don’t like doing that gets us moving forward though, isn’t it?

Doing things we don’t like – case study

My eldest son loves athletics, and is quite good at it too. As he’s a good all rounder, he competes as a Combined Events athlete, just like Jess Ennis-Hill, and Daley Thompson, who are names you may have heard of.

Last year, in the two different competition levels, England Athletics, and English Schools Athletics, he had to do all ten events which make up the Decathlon. This year, he’s in a new age group, and does all 10 in one national event, and 8 in the other.

U15 Combined Events octathlon 2016He didn’t enjoy pole vault from the start, but he had to do it, to start getting practice in. He learnt some of the basic skills, and as he has to train for 10 events, he only trained every other week for pole vault. He did his event in the summer, actually coming 2nd overall, which was an amazing achievement. He then decided, “no more pole vault”.

Well, it is only 1 in 10 events. However, when you’re competing in combined events athletics, you get points for every event. Yes, you’re running against other competitors, but you’re trying to do your best in every event for the points it will give you. The person with the highest points overall at the end of the day, (or two days), is declared the winner. So, in theory, you could do 9 out of 10 events and score zero for one of them. That’s not great though, and not something his coach was going to entertain.

As a 14 year old, we left him to it really. His coach was brilliant, and didn’t linger on the negative stuff, just focusing training on all other 9 events. He didn’t need pole vault for another 6 months, so why sweat over something you don’t need to do?

During that time, she found him a different coach, with a totally different style, and no1 enjoyed his time with him straight away. After his second place last summer, he started to really believe he could go to the Olympics one day. But, to be a decathlete at the Olympics, he has to do pole vault. 9 out of 10 just isn’t good enough.

So, whilst we’re only half way through the winter training period, today was a “eureka” moment for him. His coach clapped and cheered as he put into practice all the tips he’d been teaching him. No1 came away from his training session, saying, “I’ve cracked it!”. He truly believes he has, and I believe he’s now got the confidence to compete well in all 10 out of 10 events this year.

I’m always proud of my children, but they teach me so much. He really, really didn’t like pole vault, and at one stage was even thinking about giving up athletics! He’s taken a breather; he’s had good support around him, not pushing, encouraging and congratulating the positives. With gentle encouragement, and a change of scenery, (coach), he’s made great strides forward.

I believe it’s because he has his eyes set on the end goal. He doesn’t want to be 9/10 good enough, he wants to do his best in everything, even the things he doesn’t like doing. That way, he knows he’ll have given it his best shot at achieving his dream.

Small things make a difference in all our lives. Whether it’s opening your post the day you get it, or ironing your clothes the week they’re washed, these small things could make a massive difference in our lives.

What is your 1/10 thing you don’t like that’s holding you back?

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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.