Category Archives: Positive Mindset

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.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. 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 get in touch.

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.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. 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 get in touch.

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.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. 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.

60 minute business boostersClare 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 get in touch.

Reasons for not starting your business and how to combat them

positive mindset

Developing your business from ideas through to the taking action and implementation stages can be daunting for most. Fear of failure, effort, stepping outside of your comfort zone are all common reasons for not going ahead with the steps that will encourage the positive changes you really want to see. As a business coach I hear lots of according to those giving them seemingly valid reasons for not starting and building a business. However, those who dream and plan for what they want in life and follow through with the steps that will get them achieving the change they initially envisage, the personal and professional rewards can be priceless…

The most common ‘reasons’

If I had more money or won the lottery I would…we’ve all heard of the lottery winners who have won and then lost it all again, clearly showing that money is not the answer. Being crushed by a meteor is considerably more likely than winning the lottery, so this thought process is, unfortunately, not going to help you achieve your dream business. Developing your thoughts into a plan and taking action on that plan will. Start by taking the pressure off yourself and easing those feelings of fear of failure etc. Take them out of play. At this point, it’s you or you and a coach, trusted friend getting your ideas out of your head onto paper and thinking about the steps you could take to get you closer to achieving your dream business. Acknowledge the obstacles remembering that any obstacle big or small can be overcome. Think about the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart, Steve Jobs – they must have encountered a million and one obstacles and all were solved.

If I were more clever, experienced I would…ask yourself this: in the past how have you got more clever and more experienced at something you loved to do? Is it by actually doing? If you ‘do’ working alongside an expert/more experienced person in that field and reading around the subject you will find you become more clever and more experienced more quickly. Want to start your own business? Work with a business coach, read lots of books about starting and building your business whilst following the steps above. You’ll be surprised at the building momentum.

I just need to do a little more research…this can be a real stumbling block to taking definite and clear action on a plan, how do you know when you know enough? To stop you from continually prevaricating extract small actions from your research stage that make you do and take action on something concrete. For example: speak with a key person to find out more about x, write a list of all the important bits you understand so far, develop a plan for how you might develop and implement the stuff you know so far.

If I had more time…we all have the same amount of time in any given day, week, month. The pressures on our time is continuously squeezed. It’s what we do with our spare time that makes the difference. Think about your time wasters; social media, emails, driving to and fro and so on. How can you use that time more effectively? Time chunk – only use social media and emails during a certain time of the day. Use driving to listen to business audio books. Write down daily, weekly actions big and small to follow through with during the new time you create.

I know of someone, let’s call him Adam who got given the money to start his dream business and went on to wish he hadn’t received it as he felt it dampened his drive and ambition to really achieve his goals.

The key messages are be grateful for what you do have and turn those around, use them to your advantage and start taking action; however small the steps are. Ultimately all of these are excuses. The dictionary definition of ‘excuse’ is: ‘seek to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offence); try to justify.’ Want to live a full and priceless life? Stop the excuses.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. 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 get in touch.

 

Celebrating 10 years in business! Share the success

Looking back to the beginning, I know I wasn’t able to plan for 10 years into the future of my business, who can? All I did know, back in February 2007 when I resigned from my corporate job, was that I wanted to run my own business and I would make it work, come what may! Of course along the way there have been major highs, bigger lows and now like any of my fellow happy, successful business owners, I’ve created a business I’m proud of and one that allows me to live a great life and work with people I love to help. I’m sharing my best lessons learned for you business owners out there on your path to success…

Best Learned Lessons

Get help straight away – no successful person ever said – ‘I did it all on my own’, so as soon as you feel yourself needing help or preferably before this, recognise your knowledge and skills gap and bring in the professional support you and your business need. Do this and you’ll achieve your goals so much more quickly, painlessly and above all bring in the success you seek more seamlessly than you could ever imagine – something that you can’t put a price on. Invest and back yourself from the outset, find the money; you’ll save yourself a fortune in lost earnings and stress in the long run.

Farm out the stuff you don’t want to do – as above, it’s your business, only do the tasks you love and/or you’re great at. All else, pass them on to an expert in that field. You’ll save yourself from demotivation and dislike of your business and in the process you’ll free up the time to focus on other good stuff and the tasks you love to do and that you’re great at – it’s these that will bring you your financial return. You’ll also be surprised at how more easily, effortlessly and brilliantly that same task will be completed by an expert.

Keeping it fresh

Business Development focus – Running a business is like maintaining a well oiled machine. It always needs food, petrol, oil and maintenance of some description. Setting aside dedicated time every month to focus on business development is a must for any business owner. Don’t do this and your lovely ‘machine’ will become rusty, antiquated and eventually, due to lack of customers or poor customer retention, in need of a major overhaul that could take you years and a lot of money to get back on track. A little love and affection (focus!) each month will keep you and your business earning the money you want, working with clients you love and attracting new opportunities and business as you go.

Positive mindset

The key to any successful person, many would argue (including me) is a positive mindset. A challenge when times are tough, but practice it throughout your professional life and it becomes much easier to access. Don’t be afraid to share your fears and insecurities with your trusted network, you’ll be more respected for being open and you’ll be surprised at how many step forward with offerings of the right support and opportunities for you.

Stop berating yourself for mistakes or tasks not moving forward as quickly as you’d like, a high achieving and successful business owner once shared these wise words with me: ‘you’ll never experience entrepreneurial nirvana’. Once I allowed this to sink in I started to enjoy the day to day trials and tribulations of running a small business much more as I knew I’d never find myself in a place thinking, yes, I now have everything sorted! There’s always new and exciting things to be achieved both personally and professionally so let’s enjoy the ride!

A Business Coach’s’ Best Tips

Surround yourself with honest, positive and good people who are just like you. Like great friends and good family your business network will always be there for you when and if you need them.

Think of yourself up as a specialist or an expert from the outset. You have created your business because you love what you do, no one else on the planet does it like you do it and you will always find a way to get the right answers and solve the problem/s your customer has. Right? So, you are more than enough, go ahead and consider yourself as an expert in your field.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. 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 get in touch.

 

Build confidence using accountability to supercharge your strategy

If you’ve set your business goals for this year, the next step to achieving is keeping yourself accountable. With the 20th of January well and truly behind us (the day where 95% of people give up on their new year resolutions and goals) those who remain are left with a clear strategy of what we want for the year ahead. We also know in order to achieve we must show diligence, persistence with our efforts and possess serious levels of commitment. Overall the more you achieve against your goals the more your confidence will increase. Easier said than done, right?! Set some accountability in place and you’ll be dramatically increasing your chances of reaching your business goals.

Build a trusted network:

It’s well documented that high achievers surround themselves with other high achievers. Napoleon Hill, in Think and Grow Rich wrote about it over 75 years ago and the advice is ever more relevant today, when many business owners can stay hidden behind email and a laptop. Right now, you will be able to think of at least 2 other people in your circle of friends, colleagues, business acquaintances who you deem to be like-minded; ambitious, determined, and professionally committed. Highly productive business mastermind groups can run anywhere from 3 – 10 people, as long as you are all able to be open and honest and you have similar ambitions with the people within your group then your business mastermind will work wonders in many ways.

Accountability

Getting together on a regular basis will mean sharing your goals take on a life of their own. Remember just by writing your goals down mean you’re 42%[1] more likely to achieve them. Your commitment levels will increase knowing you will be meeting again to feedback on your progress. This, of course, is all done through a system of support; knowing you have like-minded business owners who have your back when obstacles and challenges inevitably come your way. They help you through those times when otherwise you may not have the right people to turn to.

Support and Advice

When meeting with fellow business owners there is no doubt a plethora of experience, knowledge and skill set available at your disposal. Whatever challenges you are going through, someone has been through it and come out successfully. Whichever success you are aiming to achieve another business masterminder is on that same path or has achieved that particular success already and can help you. Your achievements can be shared for others’ success journeys too. The levels of motivation and inspired action can act as a feeding ground for your day, week, month ahead.

Think about creating your own group of like-minded business owners and make your business goals happen.

Reference

  1. Professor Gail Matthews Dominican University California

About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. 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 programmes click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Building a positive mindset in your small business

2Running a small business and baring all its challenges, the dedication to make it work for you can only be fully understood by other small business owners. The world of self-employment, to be truly conquered, needs self-awareness, personal development skills as well as business related skills too. All successful business owners will agree that your mindset is more than half the campaign.

As a Business Coach and a practitioner of what I ‘preach’, on a weekly basis I will follow through with all of the following practices at some point or another: Affirmations, Reading, Meditation, Visualisation, Daily Accountability, Goal Setting, Positivity and Gratitude. It hasn’t always been like this for me; however, since practicing a more positive mindset the amount of business owners I work with has increased. A direct correlation between the two? I believe so…

Practice is the key to establish which ones work best for you and when. The aim is to incorporate them into your daily routine in order to make your daily life run more smoothly, feel happier, content and be more successful in what you do and who your reach with your lovely business. Some of the exercises take 2 minutes or less, some up to 20 minutes, overall the most time I would spend in an day would be 30 minutes, split across the day. In our busy lives who hasn’t always got space for 2 to 30 minutes? Stop surfing Facebook aimlessly and spend that time on increasing your happiness and productivity.

Practices of a business coach:

Here’s a quick rundown of what a business coach would do:

1.Daily Accountability:

Before you open your laptop write down the 3 most important tasks you want to complete that day in line with your business goals.

Time Required: 2 minutes
Result: Ensures you keep control of your day, not the other way around.

2.Affirmations:

Write down a statement in the positive of the big thing you want to feel and/or achieve, stating it in the here and now, as if it has already happened. ‘I am achieving my goal of…’ Place it somewhere prominent and practice daily.

Time Required: 2 minutes
Result: Keeps your mind focused, positive for a more confident and in control you.

3.Reading/Audibles:

There are so many amazing, life and business changing books to be read (listened to) and just 10 minutes every day will have a big enough impact on you to mean habits will be changed for the positive forever.

Time Required: 10 minutes
Result: endless possibilities

4.Meditation:

Lots of different ways to practice, from shorts bursts of calm and tranquility to hour long focused practices. Find one to suit you and a 10 minute break from your busy life can be all you need to get re-energised, get your creative juices flowing or generally develop the space for calm and peace in your world.

Time Required: 10 minutes
Result: Energised, calm and focused.

5.Gratitude:

When the chips are down, there are still so many things to be grateful and thankful for. Spending even a short amount of time in the positive thinking will increase your happiness and will make you more open and aware of opportunities. ‘I am happy and grateful for…’ Some days this can be a great cup of coffee, other days; an amazing new client with a great business who I can help achieve even more success’.

Time required: 2 minutes
Result: more fulfilment and happiness, open to more opportunities.

So, go and find at least 2 minutes in your day to focus on making yourself happier and more successful in your business…


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. 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 programmes click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Developing a Positive Mindset

Develop a Positive Mindset

In the last couple of years we have seen a huge rise in the amount of talk around mindfulness, mindset and the power of positive thinking. Either that or I am just attracting those conversations, clips and social media posts with my mindset! Whichever way, I can categorically state the most positive I am in my mindset the more successful I become; both in my personal life and in my business. Fancy following suit? Here’s the exercises I follow:

Positive Affirmations

Mohammed Ali said: ‘it is the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction things begin to happen’.

So, think about what you want to achieve, in any situation, any goal etc. Turn that goal into the here and now, starting with ‘I am…’ such as ‘I am feeling strong, fit and healthy’ and practice saying that out loud (every day sometimes 10 times a day) until it becomes a belief and you get an excited, passioned, enthusiastic feeling about achieving that goal. Once you’ve got the affirmation to that point you’re on to a winner! You will really start to experience positive changes. Practice it diligently every time a negative thought creeps in.

Meditation

10 years ago meditation was probably thought of as a bit woo woo. Now there are so many apps, CD’s and downloads, you can find a meditation exercise to suit you, your available time frame and what you’d like to achieve from it. It was even featured on the new Sky Atlantic drama, Billions, as practiced by the billionaires. I’ve found an app called Headspace that is perfect for giving me 10 minutes peace, and at 10 minutes I can always find time to slot that into my day. I’m always so surprised at how refreshed and positive I feel after I’ve stopped for just this short amount of time.

Exercising

I haven’t found anyone to date that finds it easy to get out and exercise and no one that doesn’t feel totally amazing once they’re back home and showered! We all know exercising releases endorphins, which help to make us feel empowered, revitalised and generally feeling pretty good. Running helps to give you perfect perspective from a particular challenge, which in turn gives you the space to think about it from a different angle, talk it through in your head and come up with a solution. It’s the not-having-anything-else-to distract your thoughts or hands. Leave your phone and headphones behind and just treat yourself to run freely. A friend of mine is running to a farther lamppost every run just to get herself out further each time.

Gratitude

I love practising gratitude, as a firm believer in the law of attraction, that states you will attract more of what you’re grateful for. Practicing gratitude is a helpful reminder at the end of each day as to what you’ve got to be thankful for, (there are more than you think!) which makes you feel pretty positive, paying more attention to the good helps you to feel more present in those good times and they bring you more of the stuff you love. What have you got to lose. Go buy yourself a notebook and get writing, remember that – writing?! It’s good for your positive and mental well-being…


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. 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.

60 minute business boostersClare 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 get in touch.

How can I inject the fun back into my business?

Several years into your business can see you getting stale, frustrated, de-motivated and generally lack-lustre about what you set out to achieve and how you’re getting on towards those goals. Speaking from experience, as a business owner of 9 years, I know these mindset issues can occur and as a business coach I know just how to find my way around them.

#1 Create some Time Out

Whether it’s 10 minutes out to meditate, an hour out to exercise or read a book, to two weeks off sunbathing, any or all will do you the world of good in telling you what if anything you need to do next to keep you motivated or get you back on track for succeeding your business growth plans. Time and space away however short or long will give you perspective on your current business challenges.

#2 Go on a training course or workshop

Got an issue in your business that is keeping you bogged down or preventing you from business growth and moving you forward? Book onto a course that will answer those business growth questions that are currently stumping you. You’ll have the opportunity to meet other like-minded business owners and professionals with similar challenges and sharing those frustrations and ways around the problem will alleviate your stress whilst saving you much time and money for your future dealings. Nothing like a boost in your personal and professional development for your confidence levels.

#3 Get a Business Coach

20% of small businesses are now using a Business Coach to grow their business and 79% of medium to large businesses. Not only will a business coach help you develop your business growth plans with confidence, clear direction and structure, keep your accountable for those successful results, they will also keep you motivated and inspired, encouraging you to understand and develop the most productive ways to execute your plans. As a small business owner it’s par for the course to feel lonely in your decision making, get someone on your side who has yours and your business interests at heart and will help you to remember all the reasons why you started out in business in the first place.

#4 Dump it, Deal with It or Delegate it

Think about a) what you love to do in your business and b) how can you can do more of what you’re great at versus c) what do you really dislike doing and d) what are you pretty rubbish at? The UK is a nation of DIYers, with 4.6 million self-employed, now representing 15% of the workforce, can you really experience the business growth you’re after by doing it all yourself? Keep sane, keep motivated, keep inspired; create some space to do only the things you love will help you realise the business growth you want. The time it takes you to do the jobs you hate will free up some much needed time for the jobs you love. Easy maths!

 

Clare at Meta4 has been running her own coaching and training business since 2007. Clare offers loads of great freebie resources to help you grow your business; they’re easy to implement, engaging and most of all they get you your business growth results!

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Be Your Own Coach

March into Action!

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March is an ideal time to reflect on your year so far. January and February have gone in the blink of an eye. So, those goals you set for your personal and your professional life, back in January; how are you achieving against them?

If you find yourself constantly setting goals, thinking about things you want, could, should be achieving, but never actually do; then here are 3 simple tips to get you coaching yourself.

1)      Purchase a Notebook. One you can carry around or have in your car. Jot down a list of your achievements in the last month, either as you go or at the end of every month. This simple coaching technique will act as a great motivator – you will not want an empty list! It will focus your mind, give you momentum and keep you thinking about and taking action on what’s next to achieve.

2)      Use positive affirmations.  If it’s good enough for Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Jay-Z, Michael Phelps etc, it’s good enough for you! Visualising the end result of you achieving your goal alongside powerful positive thinking and personal coaching techniques make it possible for you to achieve what you want. Create 3 affirmations, write them down, say them out loud and share them with like-minded trusted people. Coach yourself to positive success. Here’s an example from one of my current clients: ‘I am running an extremely successful business that brings me £3k per month, whilst also providing high degrees of flexibility, personal satisfaction and personal freedom’.

3)      Be open to all opportunities…That come your way. If it sounds scary and exciting, looks scary and exciting, feels scary and exciting – it’s worth getting involved in! Great things are achieved when you step outside your comfort zone. As I’ve been writing this, I received a call from the YMCA, Sutton Coldfield. I shall now be getting involved in their Sleep Easy Campaign (sleeping rough!) in Sutton Coldfield town centre on Friday 28th March, 7pm to 7am to raise money for youth homelessness. Outside of my comfort zone – absolutely! Coach yourself to more positive success.

Good luck. If you want help setting your goals and you know having a coach on your side would help you achieve, get in touch to find out more.

 

Coaxing and Coaching, the clutter away

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Too much clutter in your life can be a symptom – and also a cause – of stress. As the saying goes, "Tidy house, tidy mind"
Being surrounded by isorganised piles of papers, things you have hoarded and don't know what to do with, and just general mess can quickly sap your energy and make you depressed, unhappy and inefficient.

It takes longer than it should to do simple jobs when the clutter stops you finding the things you need when you need them.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed if clutter has weighed down your home, your work area and your life.

But by taking small steps, one at a time, towards reclaiming a clean and clear working and living space you can start to feel re-energised and happy. You can work more efficiently and have more time for the fun things in life.

In the working day clutter can mean more than just an untidy desk and a non-existent filing system. Have you heard people talk about information overload? Are you finding your inbox full of notifications and alerts and e-newsletters that you no longer need or don't want to read? Cull them down to the essentials and free yourself from the tyranny of unread emails continually piling up all day every day. You can organise your inbox into folders so that designated must-read items can go straight into them, bypassing your inbox. Then you can allocate time in your diary to review them.

Is your computer or laptop desktop full of icons for software you no longer need and random documents and images that should be filed safely away online? A tidy desktop …can also mean a tidy mind.

Your desk and your work area can quickly become cluttered with papers and invoices, receipts and stationery in random piles. Make sure you've got enough storage space for things you need to keep so that there is "a place for everything and everything in its place.

In the home, wardrobes, drawers and cupboards are the places where clutter usually starts – and it can easily spill over on to floors and surfaces. Divide the clutter into things you need to keep, things you KNOW you should throw away and things you can donate to charity shops. Once you deal with the clutter you will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. It's as if your rooms can breathe easily again – and so can you.
It can be a vicious circle when the clutter confuses you until you can't make sensible decisions about what to do with things. That's when it might be time to call in expert outside help: Pam Beale at Mission Accomplished.

Reducing physical clutter will relieve stress and give you a feeling of freedom and liberation – but you may still need to tackle 'life clutter'. Have you taken on too many commitments at work, at home and in your social life? Are you the sort of person who finds it hard to say 'no' and ends up helping with every school, committee and charity event going? Helping others is a source of tremendous personal satisfaction – but it can go too far when you're being pulled in every direction and your own life is suffering. Think about what you really love doing – and consider opting out of the ones that are no longer enjoyable.

If you need help from a neutral and independent expert than coaching could be the answer.

A coach can help you bring some sensible structure into your life – a bit like a filing system in an office. Together you can review your daily and weekly routines and hobbies to see how you can organise your time more effectively. Get in touch with Meta4 if you think that extra help is what you need.

What do I need a Life Coach for?

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Why would anyone need a life coach? That was the thought that went through the mind of one of my clients, he later admitted, as he put off our initial meeting.

Although he was struggling with many aspects of his life – relationships, work and home life – he couldn’t see what value a personal development coach like me could offer him.

But he felt as if he was sinking. So finally he came to a first session where we looked at what he wanted to achieve. Before that first session, as with all my coaching clients, I asked him to complete a document that sets the scene of where they are now and where they want to be.

This is what he had to say about that first session: “I can only liken Clare to a sculptor, and thought of the conversation between the painter and the sculptor. The painter turned round to the sculptor one day and asked: ‘How is it you can carve such beautiful statues out of big lumps of stone?’. The sculptor said: ‘I don’t…all I do is chip away at what doesn’t belong and chisel and refine what’s already there. And this is exactly what Clare does. She doesn’t try and make you into anything you aren’t already. She just helps chip away the fears, the doubt, the insecurities and takes the ideas you already have and helps you turn them into a realisation that you can achieve.”

This man wanted to restructure work, his relationships and personal ethics. There were tasks along the way over the next five sessions looking at all the positives and negatives and his role at work.
His testimonial means such a lot to me because he made such a huge change to his life in such a short time.

He wrote: “In five sessions Clare turned my life around, on a personal level and on a professional level. “If you want to make yourself feel better as a person, then don’t waste money on shoes, or a car for a temporary fix, see Clare for a permanent solution. Thank you Clare. Thank you for everything. You made me open my eyes to myself.”

It’s not unusual for people to have doubts about whether a life coach can help them. Many will delay for weeks, or months, about taking action and booking that initial meeting. But stories like this one show that the results can be a permanent change for the better in your professional life and your levels of personal peace and happiness.

Are You Ready For Change?

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Ideal coaching clients are those ready for change
The other day I began working with someone who is my perfect client for coaching and mentoring.

This person has reached mid-life and is dissatisfied with aspects of both the business they run and their life outside work too.

They understand what business and life coaching services can deliver and they are ready to make changes and excited about discovering how to get the future they want and deserve.
It’s a real joy when I meet potential coaching clients who are enthusiastic about making changes and ready to start that voyage of discovery with me.

Perfect coaching clients know that their life and work can be improved and they can be happier. They may have some ideas already about what their ideal future would look like – but they are also open-minded and ready to look at their current situation with fresh eyes.
Many people do fall out of love with the businesses they have established – but that doesn’t always mean that a career change IS the answer. Sometimes it is – but sometimes mentoring and coaching can help them rediscover their purpose and find a new way of running their business that re-ignites their passion.

Ironically, many business owners hit a slump and get despondent because they haven’t got enough perfect clients of their own.

Let’s think for a minute about A, B, C and D clients – where A clients are the ideal, B are really good clients, C are average clients and D are the clients from hell. We should all be aiming to work for just A and B clients. We can waste lots of time trying to please the Cs and Ds – and never succeeding. They can be far more trouble than they are worth. If we are able to stop working with the Cs and Ds we can enjoy our work with the As and Bs more. It’s also the case that any potential new customers that the As and Bs refer to you are more likely to be As and Bs themselves.

I know that I can’t deliver effective coaching services to everyone. If people don’t want to commit to the changes in thought and action that will get them on the path to a happier, more balanced and successful life – all the coaching and mentoring in the world can’t help them. But if you think you could be my next ideal coaching client then I’d be really excited to help you shape your life and business around the things that matter to you and help you get as much joy out of your work as I do.

Look Good, Feel Good

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And finally, unless you look your best, can you really feel your best? Dull skin and drab clothes makes us feel dull and drab! So, ditch the browns and blacks and grab a bit of colour – even if you can only manage small steps. Perhaps you start with a thin red belt, a shade brighter on the lip gloss or a more cheerful necklace? Small steps lead to big changes and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes and the compliments you start to receive.

Now, there are appropriate times to feel low and you know these without me having to list them. So, next time you feel low, check, is this appropriate and have these feelings gone on too long. If you answer yes to the latter start using the tools and notice the difference. Life is not too short; it’s too long to be unhappy…

Idols

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We all have people we admire on the TV, magazines or at work. Don’t we? Perhaps it’s Cheryl Cole, Jennifer Aniston or the person who sits next to you at the office. They always appear confident, in control and able to deal with any situation that is thrown their way. How do they do it? Well, they’re human just like the rest of us; however, let’s model their seemingly good behaviour and try it on for size. You’ll need a mirror for this exercise. Imagine (insert name) standing in front of you. Step into (insert name) How does he/she feel? What is he/she wearing? What is her/his internal dialogue? What is he/she saying? Where does he/she feel it, i.e. stomach, head, chest? Give the feeling a colour, move it to where he/she feels good. Move the colour and push it from top to bottom. Increase the brightness and double it again. Staying in this person’s perspective, open your eyes, what do you see and feel? Finally, remember a time when someone paid you a compliment. Close your eyes and re-live the compliment. This can all be added to your anchor to make it really, really strong.

Re-affirmations

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This is short and sweet. Do you often hear yourself saying “you can’t do that!” or “you won’t be able to do this?” Each time you hear that voice, tell it to STOP! And completely turn that voice on its head and say the exact opposite “you can do that” “you will be able to do it!” It’s about re-training your brain, start doing it and start seeing some really positive results. This trick will also show you just how negative we can be about ourselves. Henry Ford said: whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t you’re probably right.

Pity Parties

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Remember when you were a small child? Each time you cried, you got picked up and hugged. Yes? This would probably make you cry a little bit harder? Now, as adults when we get upset another adult only has to look at us in a sympathetic way, let alone put their arms out to give us a hug and we all but crumble into tiny pieces. Agree? This is because the childhood hug has created a negative anchor – a movement or touch which is synonymous with a feeling. We get the hug, we get the cry! So, all you have to do is create a positive anchor. And this is how you do it…

Remember a time when you felt really happy/confident/motivated etc, re-live that time – hear what you heard, see what you saw and feel all the same feelings you felt at that time. Make all the colours in the picture really rich, bright and intense. Once you can really feel the changes in every fibre of your being press your middle finger and thumb together on each hand and wallow in the feelings until they begin to subside then let go. Practice this, press your fingers back together and watch and feel the feelings naturally come back to you! This is a really powerful tool and can be used to change your state of mind whenever you want to.

The Secrets to Feeling Good

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First of all, this isn’t about how to feel positive all the time. To me, that’s not human nature – that’s not even natural! We all have our down moments, even down days. This is about acknowledging when there’s a problem; accepting it and being about to move on: swiftly. Read on. And we all have times when we think it’s no use I can’t do this! Below are 5 different and easy ways to help you move on: swiftly. You can use all 5 or pick the one or maybe two that suit you best. Either way moving on can take as little as two minutes if you really want it to…

5 quick, simple, and easy steps to feeling good.

1) Pity Parties

2) Anchors

3) Re-affirmations

4) Confidence Idols

5) Look Good, Feel Good