Sunday, June 26th, 2016

Start a business on the side while holding down your job. Or take the leap to self employed bliss. Choose and grow your own business with confidence.

 miniskirtninja_copywriting_lemonadestandTake the leap to self employed bliss

A big shout out to my client who has started her business recently while holding down her current job. Catherine’s started smart by taking over an existing business—check it out here http://www.lifeconsulting.co.nz/

Catherine was inspired and encouraged to plan her business after she read Mid-Life Career Rescue (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late. Sometimes all it takes is a book to transform your view of what is possible.


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Learn from other inspired and inspiring entrepreneurs and make a calculated leap to self-employed freedom and fulfilment

Fourteen individuals tell you their stories in  Mid-Life Career Rescue (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late. Their backgrounds and dreams are as unique as you are. What unites them is their creativity, passion and integrity. In my latest book Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself they share their fears, their struggles and their joys as they overcame obstacles and pursued their dreams of self-employment. Here’s an excerpt:

“Wild horses wouldn’t drag me back to working for someone else.”
Alan Sugar, Entrepreneur and host of The Apprentice, UK

They were doing something they love; their passion drove them.

The list below is what they have in common. As you read this list think how many strategies could apply to you:

Making money was not their sole motivation. Their businesses grew from a desire to serve others; they were not trying to force something on others or to make a killer sale. Instead, they wanted to make a positive difference and create something of value. They didn’t badger people into buying their goods or service.

  • They cared about whether or not they could help a prospective client. If they could, great. If not, they were either quietly persistent until they were needed, or they moved on.
  • They planned for success. Their business and marketing plans were living documents and they managed their finances extraordinarily well.
  • They shared. They communicated their vision, goals and plans with those important to them, and they researched their clients and stakeholders constantly to learn how to do things better together.
  • They listened. They listened to their staff, their families and their clients. Then, and only then, when they understood their issues, fears, needs and desires did they offer a solution.
  • They started smart. When employing others, whether on contract or as salaried staff, they hired the right people for the right job. And, when necessary, they gave their people the training, systems, environment and recognition to do their job well.
  • They took calculated risks. They always looked before they leapt, but they leapt nonetheless. Courage and confidence was something they built as they went.
  • They believed in themselves, or faked it! Even professionals doubt themselves – but they don’t let self-doubt win.

“You have to believe in yourself. Even when you don’t, you have to try,” encourages Serena Williams, tennis super-star and 21-time Grand Slam champion.

“There are moments when I am on the court and I’m like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this’. But then I fortify myself and say, ‘I can, I can’ – and it happens. If you believe in yourself, even if other people don’t, that really permeates through and it shows. And people respect that.”

If the strategies above sound like things you can do, or are willing to try, chances are self-employment is right for you. Be sure to get off to a good start, and be inspired by those who have walked the path of success.

Client Success Story: Business Can Be a Wonderful Box of Chocolates

Lisa Conroy, Director and Empowerment Coach for women’s lifestyle, career and wellness. Box of Chocolates, www.boxofchocolates.co.nz

Lisa Conroy’s passion for helping others led her to start her coaching business. The seeds of change were also cultivated during a stressful time in her former job.

Leading up to my coaching training I had been working for a major sporting organisation for eight years. They were going through massive change and unsettling times. I was up to my fourth restructuring with this company, and management informed us that they were moving the organisation to another city. It was an eight-hour drive away, and an expensive place to transport my family to live.

It had been a toxic environment for some time, HR was non-existent, and I saw first hand during this time of transition amongst the team, the effects of stress and uncertainty. I knew going to the new venue was not in my family’s best interest, so I had to think about my options, which led to a call for change. The idea of coaching and helping others with their life and career goals appealed and seemed to be a growing industry.

I did some investigating and found Cassandra Gaisford and her Worklife Solutions Career and Life Coaching certification programme. Her personality, variety of skills and zest for life just really resonated with me.

I realised becoming a life coach would allow me the freedom, flexibility and independence to do work that I loved in an industry that seemed very rewarding and much needed.

I knew it would be a steep learning curve, but I love a challenge and felt this was the perfect fit for my interests, skills and goals.

My new coaching journey began, which led to a career combo. I decided to start my own business within three weeks of starting my coaching programme and haven’t looked back since…

Do something you love

I have always wanted to have my own business doing something I loved. Once I started my coaching training, I felt this was the perfect match for me to be able to utilise my skills and help others to reach their lifestyle, career and wellness goals.

I also wanted the freedom to be able to work on new ideas and create my own style by offering a unique service in the Wellness industry through my combination of coaching, art therapy workshops, wellness retreats, Reiki healing and aromatherapy pamper parties.

Deciding what to do

My initial focus was purely on the lifestyle, career and wellness coaching but realised it would take time to build my brand, Box of Chocolates, along with gaining trust with clients and networks.

I went into this with a realistic view that it would take two-three years to build to a point of going full time with my business ideas. I also believed that if I had a few alternative strings to my bow, it would assist me in offering a variety of services to a wider audience and give me alternative sources of income.

I was drawn to running wellness retreats where my event management skills, love of wellness and creative activities, and relevant workshop topics would help me attract the right women. Women who wanted to feel empowered and find new inspiration for their lives, and be able to share and learn from others in a safe and nurturing environment.

I was also interested in gaining a certification in Reiki healing as I felt this would complement my coaching and retreats/workshops, which then led onto me becoming an aromatherapy consultant too.

This year I will be focusing on increasing my impact/marketing reach strategies by striving to increase my coaching capacity to offer Skype sessions/coaching packages globally online as well as within New Zealand.

Finding an idea that would be successful

A belief in my abilities, along with a determination to be of service and offer a solution to key problems facing many women helped me find an idea I thought would be successful.

When you can tap into understanding who your niche market is and what they need, you can then build a strong foundation of core services to assist them.

I took a leap of faith but I knew in my heart that every time I coached someone it didn’t feel like work to me, it was so rewarding seeing my clients grow from strength to strength and be able to reach their true potential with a boost in confidence.

When you are coming from the heart and follow that guidance, you will always be supported to find the people and resources you need.

However, that doesn’t mean sitting back and waiting for it to happen. Action and dedication are required to build momentum, along with commitment and trust in your abilities to manifest your dreams and goals.

I also knew that there were not many people holding retreats that offered a unique Zen and creative style that my programme offers – you have to think outside the box and run with it! I went along to lots of Wellness industry events, seminars, network meetings and got a feel for what people were needing and built my strategies around that.

Finding the right product for the right market

I did my research, I talked to successful coaches in the industry and I asked for feedback from all my clients, I went online to see what trends were coming through and what topics were hot, locally and internationally.

I read lots of industry related books and blogs and signed up to sites that inspired me to keep my finger on the pulse on what was working successfully for others that I could leverage off.

Keeping your energy levels high

I’m not a big fan of the saying ‘hard work’ as it has stressful connotations. You need to be passionate about your services and ideas, and you need to have the ability to encourage others to use them. It is also important that you make time to promote yourself and get your messages across to your targeted market through various avenues.

Start small and take your time to build confidence, so that when you realise you’re onto a good thing, it doesn’t feel like ‘hard work’ but is exciting to see your business and ideas coming to fruition.When you are coming from a place of authenticity, it will always come through and people will naturally want to refer your services because they benefit from your genuine concern and skills. This is always going to be your best source of repeated business and will quickly amplify your brand through referrals you can use in your marketing material…

Book_transparentbgTo read more of Lisa’s story, be inspired by other entrepreneurs, and gain practical strategies to help you plan your beautiful business, purchase your copy of  Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself TODAY!

Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself is available in paper back and e-Book version from Amazon.


Monday, June 13th, 2016

How do you manage the balance between responsibilities to family with pursuing your own desires?

YOU ASK AND I’LL ANSWER

I received this lovely feedback from a lady who took The Art of Success questionnaire—she was asked in this brief survey, “If you could ask me one question related to success what would it be?”

Her reply was, “How do you manage the balance between responsibilities to family with pursuing your own desires?”

hannah and I my graduation

This is such a great question! When I was a single working parent trying to finish my degree this was a real balancing action. And now that I’m in a relationship it’s still a juggling act! 

I shared the above recently on my Facebook page and my daughter responded (without prompting from me). 

Here’s her reply—spontaneously evidencing what one of my bits of  advice would be:

Mum balanced extremely wel

Share your desires with those important to you—chances are they’ll be thrilled for you. That doesn’t always happen straight away. Sometimes people need to see the results or get used to the new you first. But if they love you and you speak your truth and commit to action it will happen.

Focus on the benefits—how will your family benefit when you’re following your passions and desires. What will they notice? What will be different? Importantly, what benefits will flow to you? How will you feel? How will you be different?

Examine your assumptions—another respondent to The Art of Success questionnaire said her biggest obstacle to success was, “guilt as my son is in his final year of school and I feel I need to be here for him”. 

What is she assuming? Where is her evidence? What might be another way she could succeed and still be there for him? How might she prepare for the day when he no longer needs her there? 

Without knowing her situation these are just a few questions (what, where, how etc.) we can all pose to stimulate solutions.

Hannah and I disneylandNegotiate and schedule “me” time—when Hannah was little and wouldn’t stay in bed at night I ‘negotiated’ an agreement with her. If she went to bed at seven and remained in bed, when I had finished my project (at the time these were assignments related to my degree)  I would reward her.

Hannah, as many small children aren’t, wasn’t the easiest to get to stick to her agreement.  I would set the alarm at seven pm.  And she would go to bed. She would get up and I would put her back to bed. I maintained the habit, no compromises, and eventually she complied!

One of the rewards was a trip Disneyland when I actually finished my degree. A promise I delivered on many years later!

Find your sacred space, and/or sacred hour—designate a room or go off site— do whatever it takes to find some space where you won’t be interrupted. Hang a sign on the bedroom door if you need to. Work out the times you’re less likely to be interrupted and schedule this as “your desire time,” or give your dreams a movie title, or some other fun and motivational  name to claim your sacred creative space.

Response-ability—look at the word responsibility. Break it down. Respons-ibility. You have more power than you think.  If your dreams and desires aren’t being prioritised by those around you make it your mission to swarm over this obstacle until you find a solution. You are able to respond differently. You have that power! Ask other successful people who have similar responsibilities. Look for your role models. 

Delegate—everyone in your family has a responsibility to each other.  Delegate chores and tasks and responsibilities so the load is shared. Don’t be too proud, stoic or soft, to ask for help.

Prioritise you—airlines have it right when they tell you to put your mask on first in case of emergency. If putting yourself first is an area you struggle with it’s time to boost your self-love…and perhaps your assertiveness skills.

#Find YourTime-Hack—you may be time challenged but even 15 minutes a day dedicated to your desires can build momentum. Eliminate leakage.  I haven’t had a TV for five years— it’s incredible how much time this has freed up.

Hannah her graduationDon’t settle. Your success will inspire others. Enough said!

I hope that’s been helpful. I’d love to hear what works for you. How do you manage the balance between responsibilities to family with pursuing your own desires?

YOU ASK AND I’ll ANSWER

Take the short success survey here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DDPJ9MM

HBK5 RenderThe Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed Personally and Professionally will be available in July 2016. To be the first to know and receive a free gift, click here

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