Category Archives: Uncategorized

WHY?

I started my newest business this year because I wanted to maintain the flexibility and financial freedom that I enjoy from running my own business.

I’ve enjoyed over 20 years of serial entrepreneurship, with a few ‘normal’ jobs in between. Mostly I’ve benefitted from the joys of being my own boss and living a flexible lifestyle, so much that I couldn’t change that now.

I’ve been busy building a life that I want, rather than one with too many compromises, and I want to continue to do that. It is so important to me that I’m flexible for my family, to make sure I’m on hand in times of need. My newest business helps me to do that. ‘Time’ is the most precious gift we can give.

I’m excited to be building a team of people from all backgrounds. It can be lonely as an entrepreneur or CEO, but my newest business provides me with the opportunity to recruit team members and grow the business quickly.

Even though I’m self employed, the new business – True Ambition Forever, is under the umbrella of a global company, established for nearly 40 years, offering a range of incentives for the teams. How would you like a new car paid for 3 years, and holidays with spending money provided by the company? These are some of the incentives available.

I’ve enjoyed every minute of this business! I can see my friends more often than I have done in the last 15 years, I’ve got time to make new friends and still get back in time to collect my daughter from school, and be at home during school holidays.

I only have one regret…. I wish I’d have started this business years ago! Don’t make the same mistake….start building your business now. My team and I will give you full support and excellent training.

Make sure you join the road to freedom, with me. Join my team http://true-ambition.flppro.biz

Check my Facebook page True Ambition Forever

Message me for more info

20160406-230318-82998337.jpg

Love networking like it’s your best friend’s party!

Business Coaching is the most rewarding part of my work.  I love to see entrepreneurs in a new business start to grow and develop new confidence, building their dreams and achieving success.

Each time I start on the journey with a new entrepreneur, it’s like climbing into a roller coaster, the anticipation of success, charged with the fear of failure.  I support them to learn about business tools, and building their confidence, supporting them through the negative moments and self-doubt to reach a positive outlook.

I’ve been business coaching in various roles for the last 14 years, learning so much along the way.  My recent business coaching with new Forever Living businesses has shown that team work and enthusiasm can push beyond the boundaries that constrain negative attitudes. The fear of networking can be limiting and debilitating for a business.

The biggest, most consistent fear among all the ‘newbies’ is their fear of networking.  People who are usually reasonably confident, suddenly cringe at the thought of networking among a room full of people.

The fear of networking; is it a rational fear? Are we not all there for the same reason?

My reasons are simple, 1. To meet people; 2. To find customers; 3. To stay updated.

As I work through their support I share my basic tips for entrepreneurs to keep focused and enjoy networking.  Once they grasp it, their whole perception and participation rate changes.

  1. Change your mind-set: Imagine you are at your best friend’s party – be happy, friendly and interested.
  2. Be prepared, have your business card to hand and know your 30 second pitch, brilliantly.
  3. Be genuine, be you, don’t try to fit in, be proud of who you are.
  4. Work the room. Don’t fall into your comfort zone with someone and end up sticking with them, mingle, talk, agree to re-connect and move on.
  5. Make sure you take relevant contact details. The fantastic people will return to you.
  6. Remember everyone has a story to tell, including you. Make it relevant to your audience and keep it brief.

Admittedly, I’m not always so good at working the room.  I’m so fascinated by people that I stay too long with the first few I meet, wasting the opportunity to meet the others.  I’m improving though, keeping it consistent and not allowing my interest radar to distract, after all, I can find out more later.

Business is all about providing solutions for your customers.  For me this means helping people to find and talk to their customers, learning from them, supporting them to make the best possible decisions.  To do this they have to enjoy it, they must make networking their happy place, where they can showcase the business they love, their pride and joy.

I’m lucky, I’ve found my calling and it’s easy to rave about that.  My business is about helping others to build their business, and to make sure they have the passion and enthusiasm to thrive at networking.  Each one of my newbies will soon adapt to love networking like it’s their best friend’s party, and then they’ll learn how to pass those skills on!

Let me know if you’re ready to start up and get on the party circuit. I’ll be there to help you every step of the way.  Contact me for more information and to join my happy team www.true-ambition.myforever.biz

 

Let the Sceptics smirk!

I am an entrepreneur, a blogger, a writer, a mother, a creative, and I am happy!

I was brought up among logics, and I spent my teenage years and early twenties surrounded by critics that consistently asked me when I would grow up, get a proper job, find an employer, and when was I going to grow out of my little ideas and silly schemes?  I thought I was wrong to be me, I thought they were criticising all that I am.

For a brief spell, I was a good employee, but the constant grind to someone else’s ethics would consistently nag at my entrepreneurial mind.  I tolerated the peak smog of rush hour traffic, the stop start line of unhappy, disenchanted, gnomes, awaiting their fate of the daily chores, for an employer who rarely remembered their name.

I eventually learned to love my education, 10 years too late, two children to feed, and a real life, grown up job, but at least I found education and expertise eventually. My thirst for knowledge kept me enthralled, growing, and stretching like I was waking up at last.  I learned to understand myself, to know I was me, and they are them; and that is actually ok.   I learned that the logic’s and the critics were sceptical but admiring from a distance. They may not make it obvious, but it’s in there, deep down, trying to reach the surface.

I learned it is ok to be a creative, to imagine, dream, believe. It’s what created TV that the sceptics so easily immerse themselves in to escape the daily grind they have accepted so easily.  It created Apple, and Blackberries that make life easier, and more complicated, all at the same time.  It created email, google, and facebook, to reach out, capture imaginations and engage.  It created books, worlds of adventures and years of knowledge, passing on our fuel of mankind.

I guess I’m still waiting to grow up, but I am my employer, I make the rules, I take the risks, I work to my ethics, I refuse to stop the flow of ideas and the creativity, fuelling my ability to imagine, dream, and believe in myself.  I accept I am an entrepreneur, a blogger, a writer, a mother, a creative, and I am certainly happy.

Let the sceptics smirk! Let them live in their world of harsh unguarded criticism, waiting for perfection that will never arrive.  Let them be lost beyond the logic land, never trying to achieve beyond their comfort zones.  I refuse to be anything but me. I’m changing and growing, but I will not scrunch myself within their box of conformity.

I hope my team will learn too. We are a team of logic’s and creatives, mixed with those rare diamonds that have a balance of both.  It’s good to be different, it’s good to be you, it’s good to be me. Let the sceptics smirk, but know that beneath their harsh words, and gurning they are admiring and enquiring, not so critical as they like to believe.  They may need proof of your imagination, and research on your beliefs, but that doesn’t stop you performing. Remember always to be you, and imagine, dream, believe.

2013-05-29 12.21.22

Have You Chosen Your Road to Success?

IMG_1502The road to success is long, it’s usually a steady uphill climb, and it may well be exhausting on some days.

Sometimes you may fall and the road may undulate with potholes, and downhill respites, but it will take motivation to keep going.

Remember – it is still worth heading up there, despite the effort.

 

My questions to you are….’Have you chosen your road to success?’

‘Do you know where you’re heading?’

‘What does success mean to you?’

I’ve been mentoring entrepreneurs for many years and find everyone has a different content to their road to success, because they want to achieve what is important to them.

When we think about the road to success the starting point is your Vision, as in business, the vision sets out the goals and aspirations, the targets you want to achieve.

Without knowing what your vision is, you can not hope to take the correct road to success. It’s like setting out on a journey to somewhere you’ve never been, without taking a map or at least some form of direction.

Of course you could be like my other half, who never reads a map or thinks about direction, and spends far too much time following road signs that take him round and round in circles for hours, but he does eventually get there, after going off on a tangent for far too long!

Preparing your vision starts with some careful thought. Ask yourself a few questions.

Where do you want to be in 5  years time, physically, emotionally, career, family and assets?

What challenges do you need to set and /or overcome?

What would the perfect life look like? Can you see it? feel it? explain it? write it?

What do you feel success looks like?

How will you know you have succeeded? How will you feel when you have succeeded?

By asking these questions of yourself you can start to build your vision, and not only write it down, but also consider it, ponder over it, visualise it, and tell others about it.

By this point you should start to understand what your vision is.

Remember, it can be adapted, amended or changed to suit you.

The next steps on the road to success are to look at the steps needed to reach your vision. Ask yourself;

How are you going to get there?

Who can help me get there?

What steps do I need to take to get me there?

When do I need to take those steps?

Where do I find the resources to get me there?

It’s important to be realistic and honest with yourself, think about your strengths and weaknesses, and how you need to improve.  No one is perfect, we can all benefit from some improvements.

By working through your Vision and goals you should find your road to success becomes clearer.

Make sure you start on your road, even if you’re still not sure. Nothing will happen without Action.

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

Creating the Super Team!

True-Ambition-logo

My work is varied, because I have different clients with a whole range of requirements.  This makes life so interesting, and at the same time challenging!

This requires me to work with different teams, with a range of personalities, with a spread of extremes to those that perform brilliantly as a team, and then those that fail to perform.

I chose to keep True Ambition small, with a team that are called together when needed, they are my Super Team.  The members of the Super Team are flexible, intelligent and hard working, a team of experts specifically chosen to deal with the problem we are tasked to eradicate.  We identify the source of the problem, develop solutions and implement, working effectively, testing and securing the project before closure.  The work is challenging, and the job is always completed to the agreed requirement, with no time for under performance.  The Super Team earns their name.

Teams need to perform. In a business where deadlines are tight and projects are expensive, it becomes more important that the teams perform well.

How how do you select your own Super Team?  Two major points to consider;

Expertise – mix up the experienced with the learners, have different disciplines regularly work together to deal with problems, combining expertise is essential to find solutions, and also people who are unfamiliar with the problem who can see beyond boundaries, such as external consultants, trainees, and staff from other areas of the business.

Personalities – the type of personality is so important when building your teams. Remember that experts know their area, and depending on their personality type, they may cause ructions within the team.  Check out the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and other measuring tools to make sure you have a good balance.

Creating Super Teams to get together to deal with a specific problem or project has added benefits. It forces people to work together that do not usually work on a daily basis as a team, increasing learning, depth of problem solving skills, and a variation from the day to day tasks, increasing motivation and loyalty.

Good luck with putting your Super Team together.

Looking for Contracts?

One method of growing your business is to win tenders for public sector contracts, to deliver services and supply products.

It can be time consuming to search for contracts and opportunities, which means streamlining the process is vital.

It’s part of my job to be on the look out for new contracts for clients and I use a document to log the public sector procurement sites, and insert opportunities relevant to my clients, when they are uploaded.

Here’s a few links below that will help to find tenders that you may want to apply for.  Although it can be a lot of work to complete a winning tender, it is well worth the effort when you start to build your business.

The information below is biased towards the areas where I work (Yorkshire, Humber, North West and London).

Let me know if you need any help.

Procurement sites:

Yorkshire and Humber Yortender

North West Portal The Chest

Health tenders NHS Sourcing

Most public procurement tenders should be on here Contracts Finder

Tenders Electronic Daily TED 

My Tenders site Mytenders

Procurement for Skills 

Skills Funding Agency SFA

Construction Industry Training Board CITB 

E-Tendering for (some) FE Colleges In-tend
If you click on each link they will open in a new window and you can find opportunities! Good luck!

Be the best BusinessMum

14 Tips to be the best BusinessMum

14 tips for being the best BusinessMum

I know how the days go rushing by in whirl of family, work, house, work, and more work! Trying to fit it all in, and have some sanity time often feels like an impossible task, leaving you drained and desperate to hide away! Here’s a few tips on being the best BusinessMum that you can be, based on the last 26 years of being in Business while bringing up my delightful brood, who are now aged 27, 24, 21 and 9!

1. Know what you want: Each year I start a new year with my list of what I would like to achieve and what my targets are. This is themed around 4 areas of life 1. Fitness and Health 2. House 3. Activities and Holidays 4. Work and Ambitions.  I scribble all sorts of ambitions on there, and divide it into the months of the year so I know which targets I need to achieve for the next step, for example if I want to go on holiday in August I need to start saving. If I want to run a half marathon in September I need to plan my training.  If I want to do a course in WordPress then I have to factor in when that will happen around my current work.

2. Be organised: Do not set off on a journey without knowing where you want to end up, you must define your map.  Write down what needs to be done and what you want to do to achieve your targets. A planner or diary helps to plot out what needs doing from day to day. Set yourself a daily, weekly and monthly task list and put it on a noticeboard where you can see it.  Renew your daily task list each evening, it should only take 10 minutes and make sure you refer to your weekly and monthly task list when updating your daily one so you don’t miss any important activities or deadlines.

3. Routine: I often have so much to remember that certain tasks may be forgotten, despite referring to my daily task list. It’s important to keep a routine, not only so that you do not have to rely on memory but also because it is good for your children to have routines. It adds comfort in knowing what comes next in their day, which builds confidence, and allows them to take responsibility for certain tasks. As they get older the responsibility grows steadily, developing confident, happy children who are less likely to forget their spelling books or gym kit.

4. Include a business routine: Keep your routine in your business day too, for example check emails 3 times a day and act on them. Do not keep randomly checking emails throughout the day and then not making time to act on them because you were actually in the middle of something. Allocate your day the night before, allowing for some random time in case something changes. If you work from home, keep the office routine as if you were clocking on, including factoring in breaks.

5. Focus: Set a task from your task list and do it to completion. You may have a whole bucket full of tasks to get through, but focus on priorities and completion. Ticking off tasks that are done feels so good!  If concentration is an issue, give yourself timed tasks. See how much you can get done in 45 minutes, reward yourself with a drink and a 5 minute break then return for 45 minutes.  

6. Delete, remove and throw: If there’s anything that you don’t need to do, that has no relevance to what you want to achieve or what you have to do, delete it! Whether that is sales emails for something you might possibly buy next year, a phone call from a friend who always bitches about her husband, or the pair of trousers that your baby grew out of 2 years ago, throw it out, delete it, remove it from your life – it is cluttering up your energy, space and time – you do not need it.  

7. Delegate: Your child of 8 years old can pack their own school bag; your husband can make his own lunch; each member of the household over the age of 3 can remove their dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket (put a laundry basket in each bedroom if it helps); every person over the age of 3 can help to clear up after every meal. Make it routine that everyone helps where they are capable of helping.  This works in business too – everyone who is involved and/or employed in the business can keep their spaces tidy, and be an ambassador of the business, do not leave it all to the Marketing specialist, if you’re lucky enough to have one! You can delegate some tasks to digital tools too, for example payments can be scheduled by Direct Debit, social media can be scheduled by programmes such as Hootesuite, saving you valuable time.

8. Delay: prioritising tasks is important. If your credit card payment day is the 2nd of the month then schedule it to arrive that day, is there any need to pay earlier? Tasks that have a longer timeframe can be scheduled later, as long as they are on your to do list and you do not over delay!

9. Do: I will borrow Nike’s strapline for a moment to say ‘Just Do It’ – stop putting it off, get it out the way, get it done!

10. Be reasonable: You may have a whole load to get done, but you have to be reasonable with yourself and remember that you can only do so much in one day. Do not get stressed out about the little things that don’t matter – the lower priority jobs can be done when you have a few spare minutes, if they don’t get done of day 1 of your list then do not worry. If they are still on your task list by day 10 then you need to ask yourself if it really needs doing (see delete or delegate above).

11. Be flexible: Things happen to surprise you, particularly when you have adventurous children like mine!  You may need to take time out to be a taxi service to the doctors, or see your little one perform in the school play. These moments are important for Mum and child, if you can attend then do so, but do not allow the guilt to set in if it can’t fit in with work.  

12. Time management: Try to make appointments at the beginning or the end of the day to make the most of your time. Get up early and go to bed at a decent time, only allowing a few exceptions.  Being tired drains your ability to work and to be a good parent, factor in your sleeping hours to make sure you get as much as you need.  If you have young children, you may need to learn the art of cat napping to keep sane during those hectic BusinessMum years.  Breaths of fresh air and sipping cold water, help to deal with tiredness temporarily to help you through the day.

13. Seek Help, guidance and a confidante: Whether life is going well, or if it isn’t, you must make sure you have someone to talk to, someone to confide in, and someone to share your ideas with. Do not exclude yourself from the world. Husbands, partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, siblings, older children, colleagues and best friends should be there to help, to advise, give you guidance, listen to your dreams and hear your tears. Make the most of them.

14. Be positive: When you’re tired and anxious it can be so hard to enjoy your days, and getting bogged down in negativity can impact on your health relationships and your business. It is important to remain positive and enjoy your time as you’re living it now.  I’ve coached many entrepreneurs and CEO’s whose negativity has nearly resulted in tearing family’s apart and killing businesses, life should never get so bad that you hate to get out of bed in the morning. Take positive action if you feel everything is getting too much. Every morning, think about what makes you happy? What are you grateful for? What do you love about your life? In the words of Peter Pan ‘Think Happy Thoughts’ – your family, and your business, needs your positivity to thrive.

Some of these points you may be already doing, and perhaps you think about doing some of them, or not at all. Try to get a balance of thinking, doing and enjoying in your life, always enjoy the moment you are in before its gone.  Your children won’t stay little for long and nothing is permanent, life is always changing. Make sure you and your brood are changing, learning, growing and happy :) Good luck to all the BusinessMum’s out there! Let me know how you’re getting on.

Unconditional love

Does it matter what I wear?

Does it matter what I wear? I think it matters to be relevant for the environment where I am at that time. I wouldn’t wear my bikini to ride my horse or my riding boots in the pool.

Photo 02-12-2014 12 29 49

I’d like to spend my life in jeans with a scraggy top, but it just doesn’t do to turn up at a business meeting that way. If only I could have my own personal stylist to make suggestions when I go shopping, before a meeting and practically each morning. If I think I look ok on the outside then I feel confident enough to tackle anything life wants to throw at me, mostly.

We are coming up to Christmas party season and I’ve got two parties to attend early on in December, with a few other social events also pencilled in.  Some of them are work related and some are personal.

Photo 02-12-2014 12 29 15

The dilemma of what to wear at one party has been solved as it’s fancy dress, giving me the opportunity to be whoever I want to be! Fantastic! As long as it fits the ‘Heroes and Villians’ theme.

As for the other parties, I still have no idea.

I often have no idea what to wear though because anything other than jeans is probably out of my comfort zone!

As the Joe Browns catalogue hits both my doormat and my inbox simultaneously, my dilemma increases. As not only are the party pieces perfect, but I could absolutely fill my whole wardrobe with Joe Brown clothes! (I’m not an affiliate – I just love them!).

Photo 02-12-2014 12 29 05

I have noticed that every time I wear my favourite Joe Browns jacket, I receive compliments and definitely get noticed.

However would I be stepping into the boundaries of repetitiveness if I just wear Joe Browns?

Photo 02-12-2014 12 29 36

The brand does reflect my creative nature, and reduces the need to worry about what to wear. Although I couldn’t quite be a Steve Jobs and resort to the same outfit (unless it was jeans all the way every day). I must feel comfortable and my problem is that once I find something I like, I want to stick to it.

Sadly my budget doesn’t allow all the items I want from the Joe Brown catalogue, and I wrestle with the thought that I would still bypass that amazing dress in my wardrobe for my skinny jeans anyway. So I’ll keep my selection of skirts ready for the next meeting and take comfort in the super Joe Brown jacket that always wins compliments.

Yes, it matters what I wear, to be appropriate within the environment in which I sit.  I’ll resist the gluttony of fashion with the excuse to feel confident and take comfort in the old faithfulls, but still I cannot resist enjoying browsing through what could have been my wardrobe!

Note: There are no Joe Brown affiliate links here because I don’t have enough followers :(

Have  a look yourself (they do men’s stuff too)…

 

Photo 02-12-2014 12 30 02