Category Archives: Blog

Friday Tip – Relax and recharge over the children’s summer holidays

How to fully relax and be productive over the (children’s) summer holidays in your small business. No need for being switched on the whole time – here’s how to give your mind a well earned rest 🙂

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – First Steps to Tackling Resistance

Been feeling resistance to that new thing you want to do in your business? I get it. I’ve been there. I still am sometimes. Here’s what I do to overcome it 

Have a great weekend,

Clare

How to not get Distracted by your Competitors

Which camp are you in?

There are usually two camps when it comes to how small business owners see their competition.

  • There are those small business owners who view their competition as the enemy. They don’t want to connect and engage at all with one another.
  • Then there are the successful business owners who welcome collaborations. Collaborations work well in many situations: passing work that fits better with how a competitor delivers, becoming a bigger market force to be able to deliver against larger projects and sharing knowledge and expertise in a healthier way.

Ultimately, it’s always useful to connect with those who are seemingly in the same marketplace as the right clients will choose to work with you and vice versa when it’s right to do so. It’s good to know who else is out there working in a similar market. We all have our own unique and niche way of delivering and who we work with and what problems we solve with tends to be very specific anyway (although we may not always realise it from the outset).

It’s liberating as a small business owner, with choices, to have a back-up plan – when you know someone who approaches you would be better off working with a different business.

Tackling ‘Competitor Comparison’

With social media it’s very easy to follow your competitors and their every move without them even knowing. As a business coach I would encourage small business owners to find how competitors are interacting with their audience – what kind of conversations are happening – as this is where the learning starts and newcomers can listen and watch how to find their own voice on social media. There is a line that needs to be drawn on this following, checking on them and you know when this needs to be drawn…

The best way (and only way!) to stay out of the competitor comparison trap is to focus on your own approach and this being the best you can possibly make it. This involves having a plan. What do you want to achieve with social media and your marketing and how will you go about it? There is plenty of help out there on this, so go out and find it.

Usually, if you are falling in to the Competitor Comparison trap it’s because that someone else is doing what you feel you should or want to be doing but there’s something’s getting in the way. Know what that is. It’s most likely fear of failure, fear of success – yes, this is a real thing or lack of knowledge *insert your reason here*. So learn to be more of that person. It’s likely the person (your competitor) shouting about their good news, success stories has learned exactly how to overcome a *reason* and has invested in themselves – both financially and time wise. This is a good thing, right? All small business owners are on their own path and are just trying to be the best they can be with what resources available to us at the time.

We are all unique and understanding your business USP (unique selling point) goes a long way in addressing any imbalance you may be experiencing.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Friday Tip – Trust Your Intuition

Ever make a decision in your business and think later on well that was the wrong one to make or it would have been better if I’d have taken that different path?

For some reason we tend to talk ourselves out of something and into the wrong one. Perhaps it’s a busy mind or old patterns or habits getting in the way. Here’s how to change that.

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – Feeling Overwhelmed?

Feeling overwhelmed? Or perhaps not feeling quite like you at the moment and not sure why? Check out these 3 strategies to help you combat. Thanks to Sharon Taylor at Complete Harmony for the inspiration x

Have a great weekend,

Clare

Friday Tip – Where can you find great business contacts?

Where can you meet lots of interesting, ambitious businesses on your door step, gain access to funding and attend workshops and speed networking?

Here…is where…

Have a great weekend,
Clare

Friday Tip – How to get your business development done every month

Always behind with business development, snatching an hour here, half an hour there if lucky? Here’s how to get it done every month.

Happy weekend,

Clare

Breakthrough to Financial Freedom in your Small Business

Efficiency drives business growth

This statement is so true for all sized businesses and especially pertinent for the small business owner. When, if working alone, your time is literally money. Unless you have a passive income, when you are not working with clients or directly on client related work you are not earning. So, how do small business owners get around this challenge?

Mike Michalowicz gives loads of great advice to small (and big) business owners in ‘Profit First,’ one piece is derived from Parkinson’s Law. In simple terms it’s this:

‘…if your client gives you a week to turn around a project, you’d likely take the whole week – but if she gives you just a day, you’ll make it happen in a day…’

Are you being efficient with your time? If like me, you’ve been indoctrinated with office life of working from 9 till 5 but not being productive in all those hours then some work will need to be done to turn this behaviour around. This will give you your advantage.

Unstructured and sporadic with your business approach

So many small business owners are often heard to say this: ‘Oh yeah, I used to do that, worked really well – not sure why I stopped…’ Running a business can often mean the business owner getting wrapped up in menial tasks – chasing invoices, checking accounts and cash flow, booking events, responding to -as-they-happen-comments on social media. The list goes on…

This results in hours of wasted time, interrupted work and a lack of focus due to seeming time constraints for real business development related activities. Initial time spent on setting the strategy for chasing invoices, checking accounts – systems that will create structure and drive efficiencies in your business so you can start to focus on your business.

This is when you’ll be able to spend the time attracting more clients because your systems and processes allow you time to focus on delivering your products and services.

Consistency is Queen

‘It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.’ Tony Robbins

Being consistent with marketing, messages, branding and how we operate as small business owners not only saves a huge amount of time – it’s the stopping and starting of projects where time wasting lies – it also means clients and potential clients know what to expect and when.

In line with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, humans love routine – it fulfils ‘Safety’ – predictability and order, ‘Love and Belonging’ – participation and commitment and for the business owner ‘Self-Actualisation – we need to feel fulfilled, like we are achieving, that we are becoming everything we can be.

Create consistency around business development activities coupled with spending time more effectively will make for a breakthrough to financial freedom equating to a more fulfilled, time efficient, focused, achieving small business owner.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Friday Tip – Get everybody talking about your business

Want to get everybody talking about you and your business? (in a good way!). Here’s how…

Happy weekend,

Clare

Exposed; the real way to build a successful team

Choosing the right people to work with

“Employees want to feel inspired by their leaders…hire individuals who will lead by example.”  Jody Kohner, VP of Employee Marketing & Engagement, Salesforce

When it comes to growing your successful small business many business owners can be terrified (OK, maybe too strong a word!) of employing. Being responsible for staff and extra team members and all that goes with that; holiday pay, sick leave, notwithstanding all the extra emotional baggage and what can come with working closely with others. It’s no wonder that some business owners prefer to go it alone and therefore stay small.

Do it right and your business could be offering a whole new value added service and take the right kind of tasks off your to do list.

Focus on soft skills

Plan out what soft skills you’re looking for rather than developing a more formal, qualifications type list job specification. The former will help to hone the kind of attributes you are looking for in your potential new team member. So, rather than ‘able to use *specific software*,’ instead try ‘have an aptitude for learning’ or ‘enthusiastic about working towards efficiency.’ For each item of essential skill you are wanting to cover think about the alternate soft skill.

One of my recent business coaching clients went with this latter approach and has just employed his most successful team member yet; someone who is adding real value to his customer experience and is showing a real flair for ideas and is generally not afraid to get involved in any aspect of the business.

Provide a clear remit

It is often easier to get into a culture of blame in an office environment. I’m sure in our past lives we’ve all worked in those types of offices.

From the outset, get clear on what tasks you want your new team member to complete. Create a monthly list of ‘Must Always Complete’ and break this down week by week. Do this alongside of setting expectations on when you want it, and where you want to see the information /completed work. Make sure that the correct training has been provided and the task and results have been understood. Then, step back and leave the how up them. Giving the team member the autonomy to complete and the trust will more likely fill them with pride and desire to do a good job.

Regular team meetings

The holy grail of successful team management! In order to achieve inspire ideas, motivate, cultivate innovation, share knowledge, plans and information. Regular team meetings are integral to all of this. This space, facilitated well, can achieve all of this in a short amount of time.

Give everybody the space to have a role within the meeting and voice their ideas, opinions, concerns and then as the business owner act upon them and you and your business will have a high staff retention and a happy, fulfilled, ambitious team eager to work hard for you and your business.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Step Outside your Comfort Zone with Confidence

Some may think this is an oxymoron. In a recent interview with Kookie Muhretti, a fashion stylist based in London, I shared how to do this with more ease.

So what has a stylist and a business coach got in common? A lot more than you think. As fellow business owners, we both spend time pushing our boundaries – stepping outside of comfort zones, and doing things we never thought we would do. As small business owners we both like to collaborate with other professionals outside of our particular fields, we have started making weekly youtube videos, said yes to dying my hair blue/green – Kookie, jumped at the chance to spend time in New York with my business coach – Clare. You name it we’ve said ‘YES’!

Chatting with Kookie about stepping outside of your comfort zone, we both agreed it takes confidence and a lot of faith to step out and try something different. But, which comes first? From the outside it can look easy for people. Here’s the honest truth from Kookie:

…’if you REALLY know me, then you will know when I’m super nervous I don’t clam up, oh no that would be the correct thing to do! Nope, I develop a case of ‘Verbal Diarrhoea’. My mouth opens and a torrent of words fall out, my voice goes up a few octaves and I – can’t -stop – myself! Even the little people in the control centre (brain) can’t shut me down! They try everything, emergency panic button, faint switch, the lot. Nothing works!’

Then there is the other side, too. The dark side. The part that always seems to rear its ugly little head whenever you’re too close to your ‘Comfort Zone’ boundary! That voice that tells you “you’re not good enough”, “you can’t wear that you’re too fat!” “You can’t get that job, you’re not good enough!”

This is called Imposter Syndrome and here’s how to tackle it.

What does it mean to be Confident?

Confidence means to be happy in your own skin! To be able to face your fears and challenges and overcome them. When a difficult situation arises, a large percentage of the population will say: “That’s too hard!” or “I can’t do that!” or “I’m not there yet!”. Whereas, the rest will say, “How can I do this? How can I become that confident person?”and go ahead and overcome those challenges. You have to be willing to push out of your comfort zone and not allow your ego to get in the way!

What is the Ego?

The ego reflects that negative element of our personality. Whether its come from childhood, developed from adulthood or something that has happened to us along the way. But it’s that something, that gets in the way of us feeling good, feeling confident and feeling successful. Whatever that success looks like to you. It likes to keep you comfortable and away from change or venturing into the unknown. It’s that voice that pops up and tells us we shouldn’t, it will tell us negative things to keep us from changing.

Steps to become more confident

Create a strong ‘I am’ affirmation or mantra. It’s what all the olympic champions use to keep their mindset strong. We all have hang up in some way or another, that stems back to a lack in confidence. Focus on one area you want to be confident in. Focus on it and get really specific. Write a list of all the negative thoughts attributed to that particular area. Then write a counter list of positive thoughts from there to create a strong and powerful ‘I am…’ affirmation. It has to be believable to you for it to work. For instance, Kookie mentioned her inability to run consistently, and a voice that tells her she’s not good enough – Say this ‘I am…’ affirmation out loud before and during every run – ‘I am an excellent runner, I am keeping pace and pushing forward!’ It will make a huge difference!

Stop from falling off the “Confidence Wagon”

It doesn’t matter when and if you fall off your confidence wagon. What matters is when you start beating yourself up about it! You’re allowed two days of wallowing, then after the two days, you got to let it go. It’s about recognising those trigger points, recognising when it’s going on for too long and having the right tools to get you back on track.

A vision board, which most people have heard of can work wonders for this to help keep you on track for your goals. To keep on track in my small business I use a wall of success, written on a large piece of flip chart paper. On each brick, I write what I have achieved in both my professional or personal life until it becomes a wall. This helps to surround myself with positive thoughts and recognition of the good things I have achieved, as well as keeping a grateful outlook on life and business.

You can watch the Kookie and Clare confidence interview here and find out what happens when fashion meets business coaching. To find out more about Kookie Muhretti, check out her You Tube channel.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Utopia – A place to create your business?

Whilst perfection is something I stopped seeking a long time ago (it serves no purpose other than to create stress and failure – after all what is perfect?). I did, however, love the idea of creating a coaching environment in Utopia.

an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.’

A place where an idea, product or passion could be brought to life with a helping hand. Providing everything a business needs to lay a foundation and start to grow. Creating a business that will stand out from the competition and lead the pack.

Why…

Having been in business for over ten years, the start up years were tough and it was only when I started investing in myself; working with a business coach and having an amazing team around me that I started to really reap the success I wanted and knew I was worth.

So, with this as my inspiration I have created a coaching program for business owners who not only want monthly support, guidance and accountability, but for those business owners who desire to work with a successfully proven team. Surrounded by experts, we will create a business that shines, surpasses and one that can be proudly put in the spotlight to reap outstanding results from the get go.

“Clare has great insight, drive and passion to help you achieve your goals – she asks tough questions that bring about clarity along with a list of tasks and challenges to get you to the next step on your business journey.” Raj Johal, Owner at Lanterns

Is this you?

Some business owners take months / years to decide to work with a business coach. Before that point they will have spent valuable time working with a website that doesn’t connect with their target audience, has a poor user journey and doesn’t capture anyone’s interest – constantly tweaking or overhauling along the way.

Some business owners feel embarrassed to refer customers to their marketing as they haven’t invested properly in branding, only to find it doesn’t ‘speak’ to the customers they are trying to attract anyway. Working with a disjointed branding approach across social media channels delivering an unclear, confusing and unprofessional first impression…

Kate of Curry Design Studio says, “Branding is a vital investment for any business. It should be designed to communicate your business values clearly and effectively, directly to your target audience. A strong brand will raise your profile and set you apart from your competitors, generating interest, enquiries and sales.”

Precious time and resources will have been spent putting together inferior customer facing materials when the time could have been better redistributed, spending time more productively on their real passion and area of expertise, i.e. the reasons you went into business in the first place; sharing the services you love to deliver to your clients.

Web designer, Darren, takes away all of the pain that goes with designing, creating and making live a client attractive website and delivers a professional website package that is tailored, without the hard work.

Click here to find out more about Utopia+How can you resist? 


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Work-Life Balance: The Truth about Having it All

work-life balance

Work-life balance has long since become a catch phrase of the naughties and tens, with most people either striving to achieve the elusive feeling, and the rest being highly aware of it being something they should have.

What does work-life balance mean?

Work-life balance is:

the division of one’s time and focus between working and family or leisure activities.’

Quite simple written down, isn’t it? So why does it feel so hard for many of us to achieve?

Achieving Work-Life Balance

Running a successful business and being married with two small children it can feel like a constant balancing act. Situations are always changing, therefore it requires planning, great organisation skills and small, but simple, effective ways to keep you on top of your personal and professional life so you can (have!) and enjoy the downtime. Here are a few simple strategies to help small business owners be their own coach.

The caveat to all of this is to have a partner who contributes equally to the running of the household and its functions and all that is involved in childcare. If it currently isn’t, write down a few small changes that would make a huge difference.  

“Just say No!”

….to coin a well-hackneyed phrase of my youth!

So many different things are vying for our attention; social media posts, events, potential opportunities, the list goes on…

The next time you get invited to do something or get involved, ask yourself this question – will it make me feel good and / or will it make me financially better off? Sound blunt? Good. Asking yourself these two simple questions will help you to easily make the decision that is right for you and your family. Ultimately, the only person in control of you is YOU. Set your boundaries.

Ask for help…

Seemingly, so hard for people to do, especially business owners – who are used to being self-sufficient and able to achieve masses with their day. No dilly dallying at the water cooler for us! However, there are people who run businesses, just like you, who are better equipped to deal with the tasks you don’t want to or the jobs that take you an age to complete. It will cost you less, time wise, financially and emotionally, both in the short and long term.

Create a Mini Habit

What’s that one thing you have been wanting to do / change for ages? That, in reflection, will help you create more work-life balance? Maybe it’s exercising, more mindful meditation, reading, writing? 

Stephen Guise, of Smaller Habits, Bigger Results, suggests:

‘a mini habit is a very small positive behaviour that you force yourself to do every day; a mini habit’s “too small to fail” nature makes it weightless, deceptively powerful, and a superior habit-building strategy.’

So, using this simple strategy what’s your mini habit? Guise started with one push up a day, which over time turned into exercising 3x per week.

If you would like to gain better work-life balance, more clarity and focus for you and your business, book in for your free one hour business strategy session here.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Market right and small business can be easy

In January, to celebrate 10 years in business and a brand refresh, I offered free one hour business strategy sessions. These were taken up in their droves by ambitious business owners determined to get 2018 off to a best start. Speaking to business owners across many industries, it was easy to start seeing patterns in the gaps to business development, which of course, all small business owners go through. Here’s how to combat them…

Ideal Client Clarity

In business we love to think we can help everybody, and no doubt, in lots of service led businesses we can. However, by believing we can service all people, the marketing message your business puts out is far and wide and generic in content. Instead of appealing to the masses as you may hope and plan for, the message is relatable to no one.

It’s a common misconception amongst small business owners by narrowing down your ideal client this will drive away other potential business. It won’t. Those potential clients want to become that person you’re marketing at and will still be attracted to your marketing message. So, time to get crystal clear on your ideal client – create an avatar of everything you know about them.

Feeling stuck for ways to move your small business forward?

It’s easy to feel all avenues to find new business have been tried and tested that any new ideas and inspiration have long since dried up. Working with a business coach means getting asked lots of questions, sometimes challenging, to open up new ways of thinking and approaching a problem.

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, offers a different solution that any small business owner can undertake. She suggests to unlock creativity try something called ‘The Morning Pages’. A strangely ingenious way of getting your brain to behave more productively when otherwise it would feel closed. You spend time writing down, long hand (for 3 pages) your thoughts, even if these thoughts are complete nonsense, it doesn’t matter. They are for your eyes only. Cameron, suggest that they will change you. Having done The Morning Pages just twice since picking up the book a week before this blog post I can also see how powerful they are at unlocking creativity.

Try it.

Make the most of opportunities around you!

It’s no secret that running a small business can be a lonely business! Being able to ask for help and having the foresight to recognise that there is help, support and more often than not people around you who want to see you and your business succeed. It makes for a well oiled local and thriving community.

Be more open to what is going on in your local area; whether this is in person or through social media platforms, although the former will work better for your basic human needs. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce networking events and local community events and see where you and your business can fit in and establish how you can make of the opportunities on offer. There’s plenty out there once you start to look for them.

If you would like to gain more clarity, focus and direction for the best start to 2018, book in for your free one hour business strategy session here.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

 

Your first steps to starting (and running a successful) small business

Start-up business concept. Businessman throw a paper plane symbolising accelerating start-up business.

The Rise of Business Startups

The rise of the second job, prominence of successful online businesses through social media feeds and the need for flexibility at home and work is creating a growing desire for wannabe entrepreneurs to set up their own small businesses.

The UK is experiencing it’s higher ever figures of people setting up in business. This is great news; more people get to create their own rules, working how and when they want, earning more than they did in employment. However, the reality of this is a little different.

People are going into business naively believing they can learn all they need to know from youtube clips, social media posts and webinars. They are spending money on a website and valuable time, energy and resources sitting behind a computer hoping for the business to take off and reach the dizzying heights of, what? Who are they comparing themselves to, they are too busy following an idealised lifestyle of a social media profile.

I recently chatted with a new business owner, through retirement and a passion towards children’s clothing had set up an online clothing company. Beautifully designed, high quality and unique items from UK and European brands. A lovely business with lots to offer the market. Clearly lots of love, time, money and resources had been poured into this business. Yet, 6 months in, it hadn’t reaped any financial return, bar purchases from friends and family.

A Clear Plan of Action

Small businesses need a plan. A plan that will help you to understand exactly what you want to achieve for you and your business.

Whether this is a 3 month plan / or long term 12 months plan. Getting clearer on what you want will get your brain working out the finer details for the ‘how’ to get it.

Set aside an hour (or more) and brain dump everything you want to achieve. No restrictions, no barriers to achieving – at this time leave all these to one side and let your mental capabilities be open to working out the how’s at a later date.

A Free One hour Business Strategy Session

To celebrate the re-brand of Meta4 Business Coaching, owner Clare is opening up 3 days in January for small business owners to book in for a free one hour strategy call to get you and your business off to a flying start in 2018.  The business strategy session will give you clarity, direction, focus and a plan for your next steps to achieving.

The final day of strategy sessions is Wednesday 31st January 2018. You can select a time that works for you by booking your one hour strategy session here.  Look out for an email with a few questions to get you focused on achieving the most from our time together.

Limited availability so book your session today.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

How to rebrand and refresh your small business

Why it’s important for small businesses to keep your branding fresh

A few small business owners fail to think about their business as a brand, and that brand being a reflection of their and their business personality, core values and customer experiences.

My knowledge and experience has developed massively since the start of my business – I’m not who I was in 2007 and of course my business has evolved as a result; my brand no longer reflects the experiences my clients have and the exceptional results they achieve. The courses I’ve attended and money I’ve invested in myself and my business has meant that my values have now developed into: leadership, balance and results.

So, having celebrated 10 years in business back in July 2017, I accepted the *ahem* nudges from a valued graphic design contact, Kate, Curry Design Studio that my business was overdue a brand refresh. After all, the only constant is change…

Even with 10 years experience of running a small business, a core network of trusted small business professionals and the resources to invest, I was still filled with apprehension, nervousness and a huge leap outside of my comfort zone; however having the right team around me has been key to the success of my relaunch…

Where to start with a new or brand refresh

Get clarity around what your customer or client experiences are when they choose to work with you and how do you want your ideal client to feel when they interact with your brand?

We buy according to our emotions, how do I feel now and how do I want to feel when I’ve got this product or service. It’s as simple as that really.

How my brand looks and feels now

From outdated, broad and confusing to bold, sharp and intriguing – The Power of Business Coaching feels truly reflective of the ambitious small business owners my small business is working with helping small businesses to reduce effort and simplify and building motivation to achieve financial freedom.

A Free One hour Business Strategy Session

To celebrate the re-brand of Meta4 Business Coaching, owner Clare is opening up 3 days in January for small business owners to book in for a free one hour strategy call to get you and your business off to a flying start in 2018.  The business strategy session will give you clarity, direction, focus and a plan for your next steps to achieving.

You can select a time that works for you by booking your one hour strategy session here.  Look out for an email with a few questions to get you focused on achieving the most from our time together.

Offer open until Wednesday 31st January 2018.  Limited availability so book your session today.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

What all business owners should know about Atelophobia

impostor syndrome

What is Atelophobia?

Atelophobia is the fear of imperfection, fear of not being good enough. Also known as impostor syndrome. This comes up a lot in my line of work as a business coach and it manifests itself in lots of different ways *ahem, sometimes excuses* with my business owner clients; ‘It’s not the right time for me to get this done right now, I’m too busy with XY and Z,’ ‘That thing I’m putting together that will attract loads more clients; it’s not quite ready yet’ or  ‘I just need to get more *insert any one of – confidence, money, time, knowledge, qualifications…’

This fear of imperfection can be debilitating to your business and your own personal development. It stops you from setting goals of any kind for fear of not reaching them and ‘failing’; it prevents you from really going after what you want and what you know you could achieve, but most of all it stops you from ever finishing projects or tasks you start – which in turn has a negative impact on your mindset and becomes a fully prophesying circle of inaction. You never gain the business development traction you know you could achieve. Many projects you once had huge enthusiasm for sit dormant in folders and in-trays at 80% complete.

In our fast paced environment, if we’re not moving forwards, we’re moving backwards. I once worked with a business owner, a coach actually, who suffered with this fear of imperfection. She put together some amazing new coaching programmes she just knew would attract the kind of clients she would love to work with and knew she could really help achieve massive, positive change. Once she’d done that she filed the beautifully prepared coaching programmes and filed them in her in-tray. Job done.  She’d gone ahead and completed 80%. You never achieve results from things you don’t finish. Obvious, right?

Strategy to remove your doubts (and impostor syndrome)

I use many tools with the business owners I work with to help them move through the perfection paralysis. One strategy is to gauge your perception of the effort and results you achieve of tasks and projects you are involved in, as a percentage. Really think about what and how you deliver, review the results. Once you think and discuss this you may find you over-deliver – way above and beyond 100%. It will stop you feeling ‘not good enough’ or undervaluing yourself or allowing your clients to control your business more than you do.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Do you have the fear of goal setting?

It’s an actual thing, so you’re completely normal! You are suffering from the fear of setting goals. Why? Fear of failure is more than likely sitting at the top of the list – failure sitting there defiantly and yet quietly. You have been holding back from sharing this big fear with other people, so in your head you are justifying the reasons you are not moving forward in your life or business: it’s not the right time, the money isn’t there to support the goal, not enough people want what I want to put out there.

Whereas the real reason is that you are scared that you will fail or even worse…fail again.

By not setting any goals for what you really want to achieve you are experiencing an even greater feeling of failure, one that you are suppressing and pretending isn’t really there. You are diverting your attention onto other, lesser projects or focuses in the hope that the desire to go after that thing you really want to achieve will go away. It won’t though will it, because you’ve been thinking about that thing, whether it has a name or not yet, for a long time, maybe even years. If you carry on like this, you know eventually you’ll be left with no choice but to go after it as that is what your heart wants and it’s not going to let up, so ultimately it’s a case of now is better than later.

The truth is out there!

It’s the sole reason why when clients come to see me to work out their future paths and what they really want to pursue in their business, at this stage they feel they don’t know what that exactly looks like. However, it never takes long before they come out with a great picture of their future business and all the intricacies of what that involves. It shows answers have been buried deep and after a little prompting, a few challenging questions in the right places and reflective exercise the answers were there and waiting all this time.

Let’s call her Pauline. Pauline came to me to gain clarity on her future career or business path. After her 3rd coaching session, Pauline shared that her real passion lies in creativity, recently renovating and up-cycling a few household items, with extraordinary results. Her body language completely lightened, her voice was full of excitement and passion and her face as the realisation dawned was priceless. That’s the power of business coaching…

I used to have the fear too, in my early days of my business. Getting frustrated with setting goals I just didn’t achieve. The difference was that I was unprepared to give up on them. So I kept setting big, bold goals and taking consistent daily, weekly action against them. I knew this was what I wanted to do and was good at; helping others achieve their dream businesses too – we are here to make a difference with other people, for me that’s helping business owners find financial freedom, balance and more simplicity and motivation for their future.

Ready to overcome your fear of setting goals for your business? Follow the link and book your place for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal Setting Workshop.  


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Who’s in your small business team?

Every small business owner needs a team around them. However small you believe your business to be; ‘Nothing ever great was accomplished alone’, so said Reinhold Niebuhr.

Becoming an ‘expert’ at skim reading?

It may be you are experiencing little time to focus on developing your small business and if you did you wouldn’t be confident you could service their needs due to busyness. You are starting to skim read important emails, client interactions, and not responding as you would like to, or know you should be, dropping the ball and generally not treat your clients to the high level of service you originally set your high standards to.

Carrying on in this vein will start to mean you feel like you’re always fire fighting; client issues, staffing problems, supplier challenges – they will start to appear from all angles if they aren’t already.

The entrepreneur not the technician

The E-myth, by Michael Gerber, spells this approach to running a small business perfectly. Are you the entrepreneur in your business or the technician? The one who is creative or the one who is ‘doing’ in the business?

Behind every successful small business you will find its owner managing relationships with a small but perfectly formed team of professionals who can be relied on to have challenges highlighted to and then come up with workable solutions, without too much need of the owner getting involved to any great degree. Running a small business now, even service led is about having a productive website (one that actually works for you) social media presence, a successful marketing plan and successful execution of it. How can you expect to do all this; being the Entrepreneur and the Technician and keep your clients happy with new business coming in at the same time? Build your business to flourish.

Stop asking so much of yourself, alleviate the pressure and start finding people around who can help take away some of the ‘technician’ jobs off your plate. There may be a little bit of short term pain, but the longer term you’ll be opening up your entrepreneurial side to increase bigger and better opportunities.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session

Immediate Increase and Easy Growth to the Next Level

September being a month of new beginnings and the need to make fresh starts, for business owners a summer of both busyness and / or quiet, mean that by the time October arrives we can often be in a state of overwhelm, frustration and even an intense dislike towards what our business has become. Continuing in this vein will lead you into wanting to throw in the towel mixed with thoughts around not wanting to fail either. Hence major resentments towards what you’ve created and confusion around what steps to take next…

There are always solutions. When you’re in the midst of thick fog it’s little wonder you cannot see a way out. Here’s to tackling your top challenges to take your small business to the next level and get out of overwhelm.

Upskill your staff members

Your team / staff members are not working as efficiently and effectively as you believe they could be. You feel they are taking advantage of your good nature and not taking your business seriously. You know you are overpaying them for the work they are doing and could be making their roles work more for your business.

You have probably spent hours reflecting on this, thinking this way and that, bemoaning their behaviour and attitude. Let’s be more effective than this. Write down all the aspects of their behaviour and role that you want to improve (and later in the process, how) and then create an opportunity to discuss and communicate with them focusing solely on the areas that will have the most positive impact on you and your business.

Reevaluate your current processes

A dramatic change in your industry, local demographics, government policy, client contracts or political shift (Brexit) has massively impacted your customer base and their buying decisions. It’s dramatically changed your small business and impacted your usual way of operating. Something needs to change within your business otherwise you will get left behind your competition, being unable to fulfil your client contracts and working harder to deliver against less profitability.

It can be easy in our businesses to overlook the everyday activities, the ones we are doing over and over again, because we have been completing tasks this way for months and years and they work doesn’t mean they will always work best in that way, times, technology, experience changes. Go through your processes and see what can be streamlined, what’s working, what’s not working.

Recently, working with a business owner who runs a business with over 20 staff members, he went through this ‘Reevaluating Processes’ exercise and found he was losing business (and resource efficiencies) due to the fact they were mostly quoting for work whilst on site at the end of the day. He now has changed his process so all ‘quoting jobs’ are started and completed first thing in the morning. This has meant when jobs go ahead (and are now more likely to go ahead) the work can be actioned that very day, making the work more profitable; no need for return visits, making the customer happier too.


Clare Whalley celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. A great milestone to achieve. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business book in for a free one hour business strategy session