"I always feel inspired and refocused when I come to 1230 TWC"
No, really… I’m not, honestly…… I mean it….. I’m NOT!
Sometimes I get asked why I don’t give a 1-minute talk at the 1230 The Women’s Company business meetings.
As the MD of 1230 The Women's Company, I'm always delighted to attend many of the business networking meetings, particularly where, with a whoop and a holler, the 1230 TWC Host will have introduced me at the beginning of the meeting and, to quote the wonderful Caroline Hewitt, “bigged me up!” Some attendees will already know me, some not.
Remember…. I‘m NOT precious. But that introduction gives me a warm glow, because it introduces me to so many awesome business women.
Attending so many meetings in different locations, enables me to cross-refer attendees. Notice I say "attendees"? Yes, of course, our Members always get preferential treatment, but if I can see a connection for anyone attending 1230 TWC meetings, I will make that connection for them.
As 1230 TWC is my business, I can give a talk at any meeting for 1 minute, 2 minutes, 20 minutes, 2 hours – however long I like – remember, I’m not precious.
The opportunity to give a 1 minute talk at 1230 TWC meetings is
YOUR moment to shine;
YOUR moment in the spotlight,
YOUR moment to let everyone know about what
YOU and YOUR business offer.
I’m not precious about me, but my business and those who attend are precious and YOU are precious. And I’m delighted to know you all.
I'm not precious
YOU - ARE!
I have a new, beautiful leather handbag, a Roanne Tote bag to be precise, to be even more precise – a handbag from the Shona Easton Design Studio! You can tell I’m delighted with it, can’t you?
It’s a practical size, made in grainy calf leather in a fabulous pink colour – of course, and is much admired wherever I go. So what can I get inside, quite a lot actually. Mobile phone, which slips nicely into its own pocket, keys have their own secure clip, my purse also has its own pocket, I use the zip pocket for make-uppy bits, tablets, couple of pens and there are 2 large slip pockets – all in a beautiful deep rose taffeta lining. Those of you who know me well, know that I’m a belt and braces person, so my Filofax goes in as well, notebook, 1230 TWC business cards, currently promo cards for Business Women in Action Conference and 1230 TWC Note Cards. I can tuck all my bits and pieces safely inside and zip everything in with a secure zip with lock and key fastening. Also, I can conveniently carry the bag, handbag style, or slip it over my shoulder.
The designer (or Bag Lady, as she is affectionately known), Shona Easton tends to float between the Guildford and London 1230 TWC meetings, that's when she's not designing or visiting her overseas manufacturers. So why not come along and find out what else she has to offer. Shona is also speaking at the Business Women in Action Conference on 4 November.
Just check out the video to see where we've been together!
This time last week I was really out of my comfort zone! I’d anticipated that this would happen, but what I hadn’t anticipated was the invaluable critique from The Red Carpet Academy super star – Leah Charles King! I knew it would be a worthwhile day, but how worthwhile was yet to be seen.
So, where was I? At The Red Carpet Academy 1 Day Intensive Training with Leah Charles King and her team in London, and some super other women – all being put through our paces to “face the camera!” Although I’ve spoken in public on many occasions, both as a speaker and as a trainer and sat in front of my PC/laptop talking to the world – this was something different.
Each stage of our packed training day was critiqued by Leah, gently (but accurately) pointing our little foibles and making constructive, invaluable – yes I know I keep using that word – but it truly was – invaluable – constructive criticism.
So here I am with the delightful Leah, my certificate and “the bag” (that’s another story).
Would I recommend The Red Carpet Academy? You bet!!! So if you’re looking to improve your public speaking and improve in front of camera, check out The Red Carpet Academy web site and book your session.
Lights, Camera, Action!
If you’ve been trying to start or run your own business for any length of time, you know it can be hard work. You also know that burnout eventually sets in, but it can come on pretty quickly too. Sometimes, it’s the burnout that keeps you from succeeding. However, there are usually underlying reasons why you start to feel burned out in the first place. Recognise those reasons, and you can move on and minimise the feeling of burnout as much as possible.
People suffer from burnout for different reasons. Some are common factors experienced by a lot of people, while others are not so common. We’re going to discuss the most common causes.
Often, people suffer from more than one of these areas. This can lead to almost total devastation for the business owner and take a while for recovery. Let’s try to avoid these common pitfalls from the beginning. If you’re already seeing these in yourself and your business, then it’s time to make some changes.
1) The Wrong Business
This is the most common cause of burnout and often leads to failure. If you’re in the wrong business, doing things you hate, if you dread trying to work on your business, it’s likely you’re in the wrong business. This does not mean you’re a failure. It simply means you’ve failed to create a business or business model that resonates with you.
When you hate what you’re doing and have to force yourself into doing it, that’s no different than having a regular job outside the home. You came into business to escape that rat race. Don’t build a business that’s going to feel like any other job to you!
2) The Wrong Niche
Another leading cause of burnout is being in the wrong niche. Perhaps you’ve picked the right business model, like affiliate marketing or a niche blog where you sell products, but if it’s in a niche that doesn’t resonate with you, it’s likely you will suffer burnout or maybe even give up on it completely.
Never choose a niche because you think it will make money, or because someone else is making money in it. If it’s not your thing, you should avoid it. Instead, think of a niche that you do love and figure out ways you can monetise it and earn money from it.
3) Not Knowing Enough
This can be frustrating and overwhelming. You know you have most of the pieces to this internet marketing puzzle, but for some reason you can’t get them all together. You even watch your favourite marketers to see what they do, but it still doesn’t click.
What are you doing wrong? It could be that you aren’t doing anything wrong. You simply may not be doing enough of the right things.
It can be really difficult to figure out what the right things are. One way is to scale back on doing too many activities. Target a few things until they become habit.
Once you’ve scaled back, this will help you avoid “shiny new object syndrome”. This is the problem that affects many entrepreneurs – we always feel we need to learn more about the latest and greatest technique, instead of sticking to what we’re already doing.
Sure, you will want to broaden your skills and knowledge at some point, but you can only concentrate on a limited area at first. If you haven’t figured that out yet, don’t keep buying info product after info product hoping that you will. Focus and you’ll eventually feel like things are moving into place.
Of course, if you’re really struggling you can always hire a mentor to kick-start your business (as long as you can afford it).
4) No Systems in Place
This can be a tricky. Chances are you’re not even sure what systems you need to have in place to make running your business more efficient and streamlined. You search on-line for types of systems, but the results you get are just more articles telling you to get systems put in place!
A system can be as simple as having a daily routine. When you have certain things you do on a routine basis, develop a system for getting it done in a short amount of time.
• Set up templates for emails
• Schedule social media updates to go out through the day so you’re not having to check in every hour
• Set up a blog posting schedule
• Schedule a time to update your financial files
5) Trying To Do Too Much
This one can definitely lead to burnout pretty quickly. For example, if you’re still new to running a business, you probably can’t afford to outsource a bunch of the daily tasks yet. In this case, it’s a good time to take stock of where you’re at, what absolutely has to be done and what can be taken off the list.
For instance, if keeping up with Facebook isn’t bringing in business for you, give it a break and focus on another site that is. If you’re getting ReTweets on Twitter, people are sharing your content and your business, which may be a better place to spend your time networking. If neither of those are bringing you results, maybe that time would be better spent in a forum, a membership site or with a mastermind group.
If you’re feeling social media too overwhelming due to all the different networks out there, you can focus on your favourites, or make use of a premium service like Buffer App or HootSuite to make them all easier to manage from one place.
Running your own business really is about balance and juggling a lot of things. You have to decide what’s bringing in results, what isn’t and cut out the things that aren’t bringing you results.
Also consider the quality of the results you’re getting. For example, you may have thousands of Twitter followers and get a lot of replies, but if they don’t lead to sales of your product or service then is your time really best spent there?
Remember – when you do have a stable cash flow, then outsourcing is the best way to expand your business. You simply won’t be able to reach the level you want on your own, and you’ll feel burned out!
6) Not Using Your Strengths
You may be wondering how this can lead to burnout. The truth is if you’re focusing on doing things you’re not good at, it’s not only be a big waste of time it will also suck your mental energy. If you’re not good at web design, don’t do it. Either save the money to have it outsourced or barter with a web designer and offer them your skills in return.
If social networking isn’t your strength, stop trying to be a social butterfly. You can still share useful information and be nice, but you do not have to comment on everyone’s posts to get attention. Just be yourself, share your content along with other great content and leave it at that.
Do figure out what your strengths are and work with those. If you’re good at graphic design or writing, then target people who are looking for those services instead of people looking for complete web design. If you’re good at motivating others, consider a coaching business to help people stay focused and inspired.
Remember – it makes a lot more sense to work to your strengths than spending all your energy working on your weaknesses!
7) Not Specialising
This one can go hand in hand with not using your strengths. If you’re offering a ton of services and having to jump from project to project to get things done, you should consider specialising in only a few things.
Once you’re business is established you can add more services, hire helpers and outsource some of the work. For now, though, stop trying to do so many things at once. Stick to a few things until you’re established in those areas.
8) Too Much Repetition
On the other hand, doing things that are repetitious and tedious can zap your energy and cause burnout too. If there are small tasks that must be done each week, maybe it’s time to hire a VA to get those done.
Using a VA is great for things that only take 15 to 30 minutes, but it will save you a lot of frustration. Most VAs charge by the hour, but they will track how many 10 to 15 mins time blocks they do for you and make sure you get your full hour’s worth of work. You may only need to purchase one hour per month for some things. This makes it very cost effective for you and can keep you from putting off those mundane tasks.
9) Networking the Wrong Way
This one is definitely hard to balance. You need to network and get to know other people in your field, find possible clients and partners, but if you spend too much time in this area, it will eat into your work time. On the other hand, if you spend too much time trying to work and not enough time chatting with other business owners, mentors or people who are trying to start their own business, you can suffer burnout by feeling like you’re all alone in this venture.
The opposite of not networking enough is doing it too much. This can lead you to comparing your success to others who are more successful or further along in the game than you are. There’s a fine balance between being inspired by others, taking action to create your own success or simply watching their success until it brings you down. If all you’re doing is watching their success, it can leave you feeling uninspired or thinking you’ll never make it to that level!
Remember, they put in a lot of long hours and hard work to get where they are today. If you take action and do the same, you can have similar results. However, you still need to take breaks from work or it will lead to burnout.
10) Not Planning
This is an area where many newbies fail. It can lead to burnout because if you don’t spend some time making weekly and monthly plans, you will end up wasting time each day trying to figure out what you should be doing. After a while, this leaves you frustrated and making very little progress.
Spend an hour or two at the beginning of each month deciding what you want to accomplish for the month, whether it’s gaining new clients, building your email list, making more sales or doing product creation. Define your monthly goals and then break those down into weekly tasks.
At the end of each workday, see what’s on tomorrow’s schedule so you’ll know what to expect each day. Also, spend some time on Sunday evening looking over your weekly plans so you know what’s ahead for the week and which areas you need to focus on.
There’s a common phrase that states:
Benjamin Franklin said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
Don’t be one of those. Start working on your monthly plans – you can do this several months in advance or even make out a yearly plan. Just get busy planning.
Remember, even the best plans are bound to change, and working for yourself does mean you have the flexibility to change them if you want to. Don’t let that stop you from planning in the first place, though. It’ll really help your productivity and reduce feelings of burnout!
Following the tips above will help prevent you from becoming burned out in these keys areas. Business building can be hard work and it can take time. Don’t let yourself get discouraged or feel overwhelmed if things aren’t working as fast as you’d like. Simply take account of where you’re at, where you want to be, and which unimportant tasks you can eliminate to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
And remember, if you do get burnt out, it’s OK to take some time out to get things back on track. Things will get better if you work on them!
At the recent 1230 TWC Margate meeting, special guest speaker Paul Andrews chose “Collaboration” as his topic. It reminded me of a Blog I wrote almost a year ago to the day “Synergies and Collaboration – why would you?” Here for you to read; and this has prompted me to re-visit the topic and include some vital current statistics - so thank you Paul!
So let’s look first at the definition of collaboration = the action of working with someone to produce something. (Oxford Dictionaries)
Paul’s collaboration and discussions with other business owners, concluded that small (business) is beautiful and good; being a large business has potential to lose sense all of reality and this applies globally, not just UK.
A few stats:
When it comes to team building, as women we have a terrific advantage. Our style is collaborative. We connect and collaborate, do business. There’s that word again - “collaborative”.
Why would you want to collaborate with others? We simply can’t be experts in everything…
Some ideas on collaboration:
Maybe you don’t see the synergies straight away, but they’re clear when you revisit your meeting notes later – you do take notes, don’t you?
Collaborate with another person/s and your business offering is stronger, different, more successful.
Let me know how you get on!
Boost your business Giveaway!
The lucky winners of the fabulous Boost your business Giveaway with a reminder of the prizes, are:
1st prize: Kelly Dunsdon
Total cost, if you bought each item individually is £5,200. The value of course, is priceless
Joint 2nd place: Michele Cole
Joint 2nd place: Aiste Praill
Joint 2nd place: Kaye Dunbar
3rd place: Vicki Raven | Eunice O'Rourke | Leah Harris
These amazing prizes will give the winner the chance to transform their business.
Huge thanks to our generous donators – we look forward to hearing how everyone gets on.
Are venues important?
We think so, we know so!
From day 1, 3 March 2002, 1230 The Women’s Company has always held its monthly lunch-time business meetings in attractive venues with ambience, and delicious food.
1230 TWC is not a run of the mill network with sandwiches and sausage rolls!
Inspiration flows in great surroundings and solid, trust-worthy relationships are built with regular attendance, not only for those who attend, but with our venues too.
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Bexley – Ferrari’s Restaurant
Blackheath & Greenwich – DoubleTree Hilton
Bromley – Aqua Restaurant
City of London – Devonshire Terrace
Croydon – Ponte Nuovo
East Dulwich – Fifty Seven
Hillingdon – Zizzi’s
Margate – The Powell Restaurant
Mayfair – Jak’s Mayfair
Orpington – Scala
Sevenoaks & Tunbridge Wells – The Hand & Sceptre
Don’t miss out, we’d love to see you there – be productive, and, enjoy yourself!
I’m Jane Travis, and I’ve been a counsellor/psychotherapist since 2005 at Reflections Counselling Lincoln, run the Lincoln Counsellors Network and also www.janetravis.com.
I started my counselling business out of necessity because there were and still are woefully few salaried counselling positions, but had 2 small businesses before that. My biggest challenge – confidence. I still find it a challenge to put myself out there!
In my counselling business, I see people with all kinds of issues but have a special interest in executive stress and issues around food. Within JaneTravis.com, I work with women that are people pleasers, looking at self-care and communication to help them find balance in their lives.
As a counsellor, I have seen hundreds of different women that run themselves ragged trying to be all things to all people, their own needs at the bottom of the pile while they are there for everyone else. And it’s a serious issue – they are tired, exhausted, overwhelmed which can lead to stress, anxiety and depression.
And I get it! As a recovering people pleaser myself, I know what it’s like. The need to be accepted, liked and loved is so strong we’ll exhaust ourselves rather than say no and risk disapproval, conflict and rejection.
I use all my training and experience as a counsellor to help them make real, fundamental changes and start to value themselves and protect themselves from the takers in this world.
I have been networking regularly for some years now, and I think it’s a valuable tool for business women. Running a business can be a lonely place so it’s great to form friendships with others that understand the unique issues we have. As a business tool, it helps you raise your profile locally, and give and receive referrals.
I’m a big fan of women-only networking. Much as I appreciate men, there is a totally different feel and buzz to women’s networking events.
I have always admired Anita Roddick. I used to be involved with The Body Shop Direct, which I loved and really admired her authenticity, business acumen, courage and ethical stance.
A book I would highly recommend is ‘Business Networking’ by Heather Townsend, a must read for anyone that wants to get the most from their networking.
There are a couple of regular places I use for coffee or lunch with networking friends, but Doddington Hall just outside Lincoln is a favorite. Beautiful home cooked and produced food in a fabulous rural setting.
I am extremely proud of my course ‘How to say no without feeling guilty or changing your mind‘. It’s written for people pleasers to tackle their fears and start to protect themselves from the takers and manipulators in this world. It’s effective, but lighthearted – one comment I received was ‘Jane makes a lot of sense, and her writing style is very easy to understand. I also like her sense of humor. What could be better, learning and laughing. Thank you Jane.’.
Women and men do business differently: we are different animals. As women, we are brought up to believe it’s our job to care for others which can make it harder to stand up for ourselves. Yes, a sweeping generalization I know but true nonetheless. The more we help each other, collaborating instead of competing, using our vast and diverse skills, the more we all rise.
I’m Libby and I’m the founder of www.behappycourses.com and I started the business to spread more happiness! Cheesy, but it’s true! I help people (all sorts of people from all walks of life), especially people who are feeling down and know they need to “pick themselves up again”. I do this with my 7-day challenge on becoming happier. Here I help the participants become mindful in their life and return back to happiness.
I love the idea of business networking. I have always been a huge advocate of women in business so this fits in with my ethos particularly well, and one of my favourite women in business is Michelle Mone.
I actually, never do lunch with business! Eating and business are too important to mix – it would mean I had to divide my attention and that just wouldn’t be right!!
I do heaps of work with charities that I’m involved in and although it is my birthday on Christmas Day, I always work on Christmas Day and give my counselling services away for free. I know how challenging a time of year it can be for a lot of people and it is incredibly rewarding to be able to do this. The best part of my work is being able to help people who otherwise might not have access to mental health services and education.
I’m Julie Dennis the founder JD Enterprises which I’ve run since 2013.
I was made redundant in 2013 and quickly realized I didn’t want to return to commuting and working long hours for companies where I didn’t feel like I was making a difference.
The biggest challenge for me when I launched my business was that it was just me! I was used to working as a part of a global team with loads of support. Suddenly I was covering IT, HR, Marketing and Accounts!
I specialise in helping professional women manage their menopause symptoms so they can remain cool and confident at work.
I know from personal experience how debilitating menopause symptoms can be if you don’t have access to expert advice. I want women to know that when symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and anxiety strike they are not alone and that with the right knowledge and the right attitude you really can navigate your menopause years with grace and ease.
I love business networking. It’s a constant source of advice, support and of course business! I’ve made excellent business contacts, connected other people and made some good friends
I draw inspiration from so many female business owners. I love Suzanne Dibble for her you can do and be absolutely anything you want attitude and Sarah Arrow for her generous support to so many business women. I love Rachel Henke’s freedom business model and Karen Skidmore’s no-nonsense approach to marketing. Caroline Ferguson, my best business girlfriend, has been a constant source of advice, accountability and fun.
My favourite book by a female author is Life without Limits by Chrissie Wellington. Her achievements in sport are incredible as is her generosity to other competitors. After each ironman race she won, Chrissie remained at the finish line to cheer each and every competitor home.
My favourite venue for business networking has got to be Limewood which I visited last year with my mastermind group.
My best business win is just about to come. I’m working towards getting an article on Managing Menopause in the Workplace into the national press.
We need to increase awareness for business around the impact of menopause so they can effectively manage the female leadership pipeline and ensure female talent isn’t lost.
It’s equally important that women get access to expert, balanced advice so they can then make an informed choice as to how to manage symptoms.
I am on a mission to get business talking about the impact of menopause in the workplace and work with companies to integrate a menopause policy into their health and well-being strategy. Watch this space!