Keeping Motivated

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Running a business is not easy. If you are in the position of running your own business, you will probably relate to me here. One of hardest things can be keeping yourself motivated.

There are many pressures and demands when running your own business; whether it’s keeping up with orders and emails, issues within the team, client complaints, financial pressures, keeping everyone else motivated, the list goes on, and in the position of a business owner, you do not have anyone to guide you. No one telling you that you’re doing a good job. That these are the areas you could improve. At the end of the day, if something goes wrong, it falls on your shoulders. That can feel a heavy load to deal with, and you can’t just easily go and get a new job.

Don’t get me wrong, there are also so many pluses to owning your own business. I have been a business owner now for over 8 years and I wouldn’t still be here if I didn’t love it.

You have the freedom to chose your own hours, to support and inspire other individuals, generally it’s something you have a passion for, you grow as an individual, and it can be amazing to also see your business grow and to be able to step back and look at what you’ve achieved.

I have had my ups and downs within my time as a business owner. I believe it’s only natural, we’re all human after all. So I thought I’d take a moment to post my top tips for keeping motivated.

So, how do we stay motivated or bring that motivation back?

How do we get back on track and stay on track?

  • I think it’s important in business to surround yourself with other business owners, especially ones who have a similar outlook to you. I am blessed to have many around me who I could call on to bounce ideas off, and to give me a simple boost when I need it. Join Facebook groups in your area or industry, attend business events and seminars, and you’ll find more business connections.
  • Write out a to do list. Pick some of the tasks on there that you have been avoiding, the more challenging things, and get those ones done first. You feel a sense of relief by just getting some of those out the way and your mind will feel a little clearer.
  • Give yourself a little time out. It’s so helpful to just give yourself time away from it all to reflect. Do something refreshing or something you enjoy that will take your mind away from work. Perhaps a craft making class or even just going for a country walk followed by a nice soak in the bath. It’s good to keep a healthy work/life balance to ensure you can stay on track. Why not try a little meditation? The app ‘Headspace’ is a good place to start. Spend time with loved ones. They are there to support you and give you the time out you need. It’s also good to make time for regular exercise.
  • Declutter. It can be hard to concentrate in untidy environments. Occasionally if my office or home needs a little sort out, I find my focus on work is not so good. Take a moment to have just a little sort out before you get back to it.
  • It can be motivating and inspiring to read business and personal development books. Try and give some regular time for reading. A few books I can recommend? ‘The Virgin Way’ Richard Branson, ‘FISH!’ Stephen C Lundin, ‘Somebody Should’ve Told Us’ Jack Pransky, ‘Get Sh*t Done’ Niall Harbison. I find reading really does keep me motivated and on track, even just a little every now and again for a boost will help.
  • Visions and plans. Have a think about what you’d like to achieve, where you’d like to be, how you’d like your business to be. Whether this be making a plan in a notebook, or a vision board with pictures, inspire yourself and remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing and where you’d like to be. Keep it where you can see it. The book ‘Soul of Leadership’ by Deepak Chopra, has some great questions in it to help, if this is new to you.
  • Take a look at what you’ve achieved so far. Appreciate how much you’ve done and how far you’ve come already.
  • Catch up with your team. Perhaps have individual meetings with your team. See where they’re at, what they would like to achieve and how they feel they’re doing. It can be a great reward to see the passion they have for what you’re doing, it is also a great feeling to see you’ve inspired and appreciated them, and remind you of your support within the business.
  • Get the help of a business coach. Some of the greatest and most successful people have had or used business coaches in their time. It can be ideal to bounce ideas off someone else with experience. Make sure you find someone who you can relate to and you find interesting and inspiring.

I hope this helps you as a business owner, and gives you some ideas to boost your personal motivation. If you have any questions or other suggestions you’d like to add then feel free to contact me or comment below.

Thank you.

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Hire for attitude

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I am blessed to have a great team. A team which appreciates and supports each other.

I remember recently asking one of our team members, who’d been with us a few years, how the new team member was getting on. She responded with ‘yes, really well, but whenever anyone new starts they’re always really nice’.

Hearing that meant a lot to me. It meant that my team felt comfortable when others joined them, but also that they welcomed new starters with open arms.

When interviewing I always keep in mind my business ethos, attitude and the rest of the team. I will always chose a new team member based on the way they are and their beliefs fit with me and the team. 

An unhappy team does show to your customers. Upsets within the team can also bring others down and make it a less enjoyable place to work.

You can train someone skills, and if they are willing to learn and have a manner that will slot in with the team then it will only keep the rest of team motivated and happy.

A succeeding team is always a happy team, so their happiness means a lot to me.HABA 2015

What team values are important to you?

Step back with fresh eyes

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All to often we can get caught up in our business and not notice what’s going on around us.

Every so often it’s good to just take a step back and see things through your customers’ eyes. Perhaps have a visit in your business and have the team treat you like a customer, or just go in and look around – what do you see? How do you perceive your business by doing this?

It can be great to involve the team in the too. Get them to look around and take notes on little details they spot… What could be improved? What needs to be tidied?

You’ll probably find by just stepping back for a minute, that you’ll be very surprised. You’ll finish with fresh ideas for improvements and your business will only grow from this.

Do it today. What did you gain?

The power of music

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This morning I had a message from a very dear friend, Sarah, suggesting music and motivation for a blog post.

Funnily enough, I had a conversation just yesterday with another friend about the effects of music and how powerful it can be.

A song can evoke many feelings and memories, taking you right back to that moment.

Being a leader, you need to ensure you keep yourself balanced. Looking after your wellbeing is important. This means eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. I also find that music can really motivate, inspire or calm me.

I recommend regularly taking a moment to listen to some music, particularly if you feel your mood is in need of a little boost. Whether you need to sing along, or close your eyes and absorb the melody and lyrics, do what is best for you.

I have quite a varied taste in music, but here are a few suggestions of songs that can help me – whether it is due to the beat, voice, or a memory it brings me…

I generally find something upbeat motivates me, currently songs like:

Happy‘ – Pharrell Williams

What makes you beautiful‘ – One Direction

Firework‘ – Katy Perry

We found love‘ – Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris

Stronger (What doesn’t kill you)‘ – Kelly Clarkson

The World’s Greatest‘ – R Kelly

Make me smile (come up and see me)‘ – Steve Harley

Something that calms and relaxes me?

Thinking out loud‘ – Ed Sheeran

Come away with me‘ – Norah Jones

I see the light‘ – Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi

Are you with me‘ – Lost Frequencies

See you again‘ – Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth

Take it easy‘ – Eagles

Hold back the river‘ – James Bay

Everything is fine‘ – Josh Turner

Sunshine on my shoulders‘ – John Denver

What songs motivate or relax you?

Today is ‘Book Lovers Day’

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Today is national ‘Book Lovers Day’. What book are you currently reading?

I do love a good book. At the moment I’m enjoying business and mindset style books, and I am currently reading this one…

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Slightly ‘out there’ title, but a great book nonetheless. I have found it such an interesting, enjoyable read that I am half way through it, and that was pretty much in one sitting.

The book, I think, allows you to be so much more relax about life. If something doesn’t work out right or isn’t as you’d like it do be, no worries, move on.

I haven’t finished it yet, but would suggest it’s worth a read.

One of my most favourite books is ‘The Virgin Way’ by Sir Richard Branson.

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Richard Branson is obviously a very inspiring man.

It’s great to read how he has put himself out there, and has grown his brand and name.

I love customer care and, having a business within customer service, this book gave me further motivation, inspired my creative side, and got the mind ticking over on what we could do to improve our service.

This was a book I couldn’t put down and would definitely recommend.

Tell me… what book would you recommend, and why?

A floating wish: Take time for yourself

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Yesterday I decided to enjoy a day ‘off’. Now I say ‘off’ in that way, as if you’re a business owner with the passion for it like me, you’re technically very rarely really off and little work things are still done when off, as you love it.

However, I think it’s so important to take time out and switch off where possible and yesterday I managed to do just that.

I met a friend for a morning coffee, sitting in the sunshine by the river. After a while we took a good stroll along the river. The birds were singing and the water gently rippling, it was calm and peaceful. It was definitely a good start to the morning.

Afterwards I decided that as I had my book with me, I was going to head to one of my favourite chill-out places, The Bull at Linton, for some lunch in the sunshine. Now, I don’t want to rave about it too much as my peaceful chill-out place might get crowded!

Seriously though, if you haven’t been, I would recommend it. I don’t live as close as I would like to now, so yesterday was a good chance to head back. Outside the back of the pub, you can sit on the decking, relax and enjoy a spot of lunch; it has the most amazing views!

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It was a beautiful sunny day, the food was fresh and delicious, and I completely took the time to switch off for a bit. I read some of my book, and just looked around and appreciated the little things. Out in the scenery I saw a floating dandelion, so pretty, drifting along.

A while later, one gently brushed over my arm.

Sometimes it’s little things like that, the nature around us, that we just don’t take a minute to stop and absorb how wonderful it is.

Taking this time out meant that my mind had cleared a little, and in fact even more ideas and motivation were drifting into my head regarding work and my personal life. Extremely refreshing!

Look around you today. What can you see that perhaps you never noticed before?

What can you appreciate that maybe you wouldn’t have noticed on a usual busy day?

Surround yourself with like minded people

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After my first blog post ‘Don’t let anything hold you back’ I received a comment on social media from my cousin, Clint, who said ‘we can learn and take inspiration from each other’. I thought this was a great comment.

This goes with my thinking that it’s important to surround yourself with like minded people. Those who can have a positive outlook, can keep you motivated and inspired.

I like to think I’m a very positive person. I always try to see the good in things and the silver linings. I am lucky to have a good number of friends who see life in the same way.

I was blessed to recently enjoy a holiday in Thailand. A beautiful country, kind people, and wonderful culture. Leading up to my visit I had a friend, Jennie Lawson, message me asking if I was looking forward to it. I replied that I was, but that the weather showed thunderstorms for pretty much the entire time we were going to be there.

Now I wasn’t actually stressing about what the weather was showing, I was looking forward to exploring, reading, and relaxing, but like most of us… on leaving the UK for a holiday abroad in sunnier climes, I was hoping I’d see just a teeny bit of sunshine.

Her response?

‘Thunderstorms there are amazing! Just enjoy the rain, it’s incredible’

That made me smile.

I realised how great it was to have other positive people in my world and I was looking forward to enjoying the rain!

Thankfully we did see some sunshine!

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Do you have some like minded people around you?

Be Kind

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Every morning I wake up to this…


A beautiful quote; it’s a great reminder to always be polite, courteous, kind and considerate to others.

You don’t know the story of others whom you come across in daily life. You don’t know who you are meeting and what’s going on in their lives.

Treat everyone with respect, they could just be a special someone who is doing amazing things!

Look around… Just wonder… what could be happening in their world right now, see the good. How special are they? What can you see?

Don’t let anything hold you back

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You may have heard the quote from Walt Disney ‘if you can dream it, you can do it’. A quote I love, which is so very true.

You often hear of people overcoming obstacles to succeed in something they dream of. It’s always very inspiring and shows that it can be done.

After a couple of recent comments, I guess this made me think of my story and I felt like I wanted to share.

So, little ole me… the Founder and CEO of The Reef beauty retreats…

This is me aged about 5

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I believe that may be my younger brother in the background to the left, but we won’t embarrass him too much right now.

So, I was born with a condition, called localised fibrous dysplasia and congenital pseudarthrosis, of the tibia bone in my right leg. This basically meant that the bone was very weak, wouldn’t grow as it should and would just crumble and break.

I first broke my leg at the age of four. An ambulance was called and I was rushed to hospital for it to be fixed and plastered. After another easy break and more issues, doctors realised something was wrong and tests were carried out. As it’s an extremely rare condition, doctors at the time had no idea what they were dealing with and my parents were told many things, including that I had cancer. A scary time for them.

Thankfully, I was eventually sent over to a specialist surgeon in Surrey, Mr Robert Simonis, who was treating someone else with the same condition and was trying different things to put it right.

I was in and out of hospitals from the age of about four to ten, having various operations – such as a battery in my leg to stimulate bone growth, then having a bone taken out of my hip and put in my leg with a steel pin to keep it together. This meant I missed a lot of school in my younger years. I attended school very occasionally in hospital, but this was generally more playful.

Then from the age of ten to sixteen I was regularly visiting Mr Simonis for check ups and supportive equipment, such as crutches and leg braces. These would often cause distractions in class.

I was very shy as a young girl and this is something that would often attract attention to me, which didn’t help.

Due to missing a lot of school when I was younger, my grades were not high flying marks…

I think, back then, if anyone had said to my family that I would be a founder and CEO of two multi award-winning businesses, a judge in the national awards of my industry, with a name in the industry, they probably wouldn’t have believed it. I’m not sure I would have either.

Now, I always appreciate that many have had to deal with a great deal more than I have had to, and I never forget that. However, it crossed my mind recently that this could have been something that very easily may have held me back.

So, if you have a dream… go for it! Push yourself out of your comfort zone, through your shyness, work hard to learn more if you need to. You can do it!

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Thankfully it doesn’t cause me too many issues these days, I’ve climbed mountains to waterfalls, and I will always try to ensure it doesn’t hold me back.

What’s your dream?