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We help create successful women by changing their state of mind.

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Guest Blog

10 Women Who Changed the World

Gill Donnell

Today's post is courtesy of Northland Family Planning, a women's health clinic in Michigan.

From Martin Luther King to Jonah Salk, it seems like most discussions that revolve around influential people centre around the same individuals. Many times, these individuals are men. While there’s no downplaying the role that men like King and Salk played in terms of shaping modern society, any discussion about the world’s most influential people that doesn’t include women is woefully incomplete.

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Public Speaking? It's not difficult...

Gill Donnell

Today's guest blog comes from Bev Hepting of Discover Your Voice with Bev Hepting.

Speaking is not difficult – we have been doing it for ever.

The only time humans do not have the ability to speak is when we are first born. (putting aside accidents or disabilities) the majority of humans learn how to speak by copying those around them. We learn how to form words and how to ask questions. In fact it is the fact that we learn to speak so well that then causes us the problem of not being able to do it later in life.

 

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How secure is your business?

Graham Smith

Today's guest blog comes from Sarah Butler of Bark Financial and gives great advice about protecting your business against financial loss.

So many small or medium sized business owners run their businesses with little or no financial protection. They insure all the things that are required of them but often overlook or perhaps avoid, insuring the one thing that is essential to their business. Themselves and their employees!

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In too deep? Being aware of you, your business & how one affects the other

Graham Smith

Today's Guest Blog comes from Jo Huey of Jo Huey Business Solutions

After a lot of years working with people and understanding about how they deal with others and how they feel about themselves I have decided that today's post is going to be about us and our business. 
I have spoken to a number of women in business and what I am currently aware of is the pressure they are under. It probably isn't specific to women but that is my only experience so that is what this post is based on. There is so much to learn, do and be responsible for in a small business.

The women I speak to are juggling home life and their business and whilst it is fun to some, to others it is a pressure and one that tends to take a toll on their lives and that of others. There is an increasingly lack of balance between our private and work lives. 

There seems to be elements of self-doubt, self esteem and lack of self-confidence and whilst this is personal it is very much part of their business. It affects how they do business (or don't) and how they interact with others (or don't). 

I spoke to a lady that was struggling with her business, she wanted to take it forward but each of the things she tried wasn't really working. She was adding more and more services but what she lacked was the ability to step back and look at what the business was really about. It was about her, people came to see her, because she was really good at what she did. 

The business aspect I suppose got in the way and she in a sense lost what was the important part, the reason she started up the business. She took time to look at what she did, her skills, her ambitions, her expertise and the light bulb moment happened.

It is important for us to listen to ourselves, sometimes that voice inside our head tells us something but often we don't like the sound of it so we ignore it. Personally I think this is the worst thing we can do. 

Surely we need to listen to ourselves, doesn't that then breed self-assurance and self-confidence. Does that not create a habit in us so we start believing and trusting ourselves? Surely that is a good thing, no?

A lot of tasks can seem so un-achievable due to their size, but we all know that we need to break things down. Taking some progress is better than not taking any at all. These things can paralyse us and we ending being stuck, stuck in a business that may not be serving us well, making money but more importantly making us happy. 

My top tips:
 

  • Take a step back and close your eyes, think about all the things in your private and business life that are causing you concern
  • Make a list, type it up, draw pictures whichever method you use is perfect (when you do this, I suggest just writing/typing/drawing, don't think about getting it right in terms of grammar/colours/spelling etc, just do it)
  • Identify your top 3 that are causing the biggest concerns (they may cross-over and once one is resolved it may resolve others)
  • Pick one on the list, break it down into chunks, think about what/who can help with each one (no man is an island and we all need help & support)
  • Be realistic, what can you actually do in the time you have. This is about action not an exercise to leave and never to return to again
  • Make sure you have "manageable" chunks - there is no clear definition for this in my mind, what is one person's "Manageable" isn't another. Even if it is, get up 10 mins earlier, write 3 things I did well today etc

The next posts will go into more details about progressing with these tasks, taking them forward, tracking and celebrating successes.

If you need help with this, please do get in touch jo@johuey.co.uk

Get Blogging: Make Money!

Graham Smith

Today's guest blog comes from the wonderful Kerry Brind of Write to Win Business

"Blogging can often seem like a monumental, time-sucking, confidence killing content marketing strategy.

I mean, it takes so long to write a blog post… doesn’t it?

And if I start a blog, then I have to post on it two or three times a week… don’t I?

And besides, writing a blog won’t make my business any money… will it?

I hear these objections to blogging all the time and if I’m honest, it’s not really surprising. Because along with all the amazing business blogging advice out there. There’s also some pretty shoddy advice being thrown about by so-called ‘blogging experts’. Urgh.

‘Experts’ who take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to blogging (despite the fact that your business is unique).

‘Experts’ who are giving advice based on the only blog they’ve ever developed… their own.

No wonder, blogging comes in for a bit of a bashing every now and then.

But the truth is, blogging doesn’t have a to be a massive time suck; it doesn’t have to be something you do just  because you think you ‘should’.

Blogging can and should be something you enjoy. And done right blogging should bring real benefits to your business.

I’d like to bust open the three biggest blogging myths that are doing the rounds right now so that you can overcome them to get blogging and make money!

MYTH 1: I don’t have time to run a blog
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to blogging. Lots of so-called ‘blogging experts’ will tell you that for your blog to be successful you have to post 2-3 times a week, minimum.

This isn’t true.

Sure, if you’re aiming to make the majority of your income via ads then page views are important. But if you’re writing a blog to boost your business and promote your products and services, then don’t tie yourself in knots over creating endless articles. Blog at a pace that YOU feel comfortable with.

It’s much better to put out one brilliant post a week, a fortnight or even a month, than it is to post a rushed load of drivel every other day. Quality content is much more important than quantity.

The key to finding time to blog – as with most tasks – is to plan ahead. Decide how often you want to blog and create a content calendar, setting yourself deadlines for posting. Assign a set amount of time to blogging each week/fortnight/month and do your best to stick to it.

 

MYTH 2: A blog doesn’t make you any money.
Your blog is not a direct sales tool, it’s a place to start a conversation.

But used right it can:

* Supercharge your SEO, placing you higher in search engine results.
* Help you to grow your e-mail list, giving you a direct connection with your customers.
* Boost your industry authority, and brand visibility, building trust with potential clients.
* Establish a relationship with your readers, making them more likely to buy from you in the future.

Yes, you can use your blog to announce new services, and promote products but it MUST be done in balance. Most people just aren’t interested in hearing your sales messages, in fact they probably aren’t that interested in your business… harsh but true.

But, they ARE interested in what your business can do for them.

So, when it comes to business blogging, stop thinking like a salesperson and start thinking like a mentor, an advisor, a tipster… a friend.

 

MYTH 3 – I hate writing /I can’t write a blog
Lean in… I’m going to tell you a secret…

You don’t have to be a great writer to write a great blog post.

Blogging isn’t about creativity, it’s not about prose and creating the perfect article. It’s about giving your readers mini tips, advice or solutions to their problems and like good writing, there are structures you can use to simplify the creative process. Here’s just one:

Create a Mind Map

Let’s say you are a nutritionist. In the middle of the page write down the (or a) key component of your business (e.g. eating well) and then around it, write down other stuff related to that subject (e.g. five a day, rainbow foods, smoothies, healthy recipes, counting calories) Spend 15-30 minutes or until you run out of subjects.

Ta-da! You’ve just started creating a content plan. The subject in the middle is your blog category and the smaller components around it are your post subjects.

And this works for every niche

Let’s say you are a PR Expert and your key component is: Press Coverage. Around it you might list subjects such as: Guest blogging, pitching the media, finding the right channels or writing a press release.

Let’s say you are a Beautician and your key component is: Flawless Skin. Around this you might list subjects as: exfoliation, facials, facial brushing, skin supplements, sun protection, skin boosting foods, make-up miracles, handbag essentials.

Remember you are an expert in your business and you are brimming with interesting and useful information that the average person on the street wouldn’t have the first clue about.

You started your business because you were passionate about helping people right? Passionate about solving problems, changing perceptions and creating abundance; well your blog is the perfect place for you to do this.

So forget about structure and grammar and syntax and just write; write about subjects that get you excited. Get those amazing ideas down on paper and worry about tidying them up later.

Happy Blogging!"

Kerry x

 

What one piece of advice would you give to younger women?

Graham Smith

Kathy McNally, who spends part of her retirement on cruise liners as a Guest Speaker lecturing on her favourite subjects - spying and espionage; answers today's question...

“I am usually reluctant to give advice it assumes too much responsibility for outcomes. But there is one thing that I can say with absolute certainty; nothing that you learn is ever wasted.t doesn’t matter what it is, the best way to make an omelette or how to create a website, the day will come when you’ll say to yourself, “I’m glad I learned that”. If you are bored or aimless or depressed, start learning something new and it may help you to separate from those negative feelings that can be so crushing.

Of course there are subjects you have to learn to pass exams or progress in your job. But beyond that, learning does not have to be classroom based. There are so many subjects, so many methods, it’s possible to be in a permanent state of learning and that’s just how it should be.

Languages have always fascinated me. No, I don’t have an aptitude for learning foreign languages; I find it just as difficult as you do. But I love being able to communicate, even if it’s just to say good morning and order a coffee. A couple of years ago, I missed a flight, and hence the ship I was contracted to speak on. So I had to catch up at the next port. Arriving in Italy, I took a taxi from Naples airport to the Cruise Port. My Italian was limited to giving urgent directions. The driver’s English was non-existent. After a few false starts we discovered that we both spoke French. I explained that a young driver, drunk and reckless, had caused an accident outside Southampton. We shook our heads at the behaviour of ‘les jeunes.’ I even managed a Gallic shrug. He put the pedal to the metal.

At the port of Naples, as I dragged my suitcase along the dock, he shouted ‘Kathy! Ciao, au revoir, good luck’. Laughing with relief to see my ship in port, I shouted back “Grazie, merci, thanks!” Memo to self: borrow more language tapes fromlibrary.

So that’s my one piece of advice; start learning. Unless you’re brain dead there has to be something you’re interested in. Being ignorant is not smart. You don’t need to have a long term goal, just start with a subject that arouses your curiosity; archaeology, cooking, drawing, space travel, the opportunities are endless. Whatever you choose, one day it’s a certainty that you will say to yourself, “I’m glad I learned that.”

 


 

 

 

 

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