At 65 years of age, Colonel Sanders received his first social security cheque of $99. He was broke, owned a small house and a beat up car. He made a decision that things had to change. His friends used to like his chicken recipe very much. The fact that this was the only novel idea he had, he decided to act upon it.
He left Kentucky and started his travels to different US states to sell his idea. He would tell restaurant owners that he had a chicken recipe which people liked and he was ready to give it to them for free, in return for a small percentage on the items sold. He got rejections after rejections, but did not give up. In fact, he got over 1000 rejections.
He got 1009 NO’s before he got his first Yes. With that one success Colonel Hartland Sanders changed the eating habits of the whole world with Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC.
(This story comes care of yourstory.com)
It is National Storytelling Week. So my question to you is: what is your business story? By business story, I mean the reason your business exists, how you got started or why you got started. It's the storyline that underpins your brand and your mission.
Everyone has a reason why they started up their business. Some admittedly are more exciting than others. But even if you don't have a very exciting business back story, there are things you can do to transform it into something more memorable.
Before we get into how to come up with a good business story, let's look at why you even need one:
So how do you come up with a good business story? Answer these questions:
Why did you start your business?
Think beyond simply needing to make a living.
What was your background?
Imagine being at a dinner party and someone asks about your life.
Have you had to overcome something significant, experienced a tragedy or hit a major milestone?
Everyone loves a story about people who've hit rock bottom and had to climb there way back up. But you don't have to have hit rock bottom, you may just have had something happen that affected your status quo that led to you starting a business.
For example, an previous client of mine got the idea for her baby and toddler friendly travel company after her 2 year old fell into an unenclosed pool while they were on holiday.
Have you had a light bulb moment or chance opportunity?
Some of our best ideas happen when we're busy making other plans. For example, when I was weaning my baby, I decided to make baby food for a living. While researching the market, I came across a baby food company I'd not heard of. I got hold of them and suggested they could do a better job marketing to mums. They hired me. I went on to set up a PR business helping companies in the parenting sector. That became my business story.
Have you got a terrific customer story you can tell?
Perhaps your business started up because you had a client that you helped and off the back of that awesome work, you set up an entire business. Like I did, with the baby food company.
There are plenty of ways you can tell your story if you think creatively. But what if you just don't have a story?
Sometimes we start up businesses for two very simple reasons: it's what we can do and we need to earn a living. You don't have a brainwave. You don't overcome some tragedy. You don't have to overcome any insurmountable obstacles. In fact, let's make up a story based on the truth behind many small businesses:
Penny - in her 30s - had a nice, normal childhood growing up in the midlands. She had no major family issues and no health scares. She went to college and got a book keeping diploma. She began working at a local business in her home town. In her spare time, she cycled and enjoyed a glass of wine and a chat with her friends. She's just a friendly, bubbly person who is happy to help others. She met a nice bloke, got married and had kids. They're all fine too. Her husband earned a good salary as a manager at a local IT company. They realised that someone needed to be at home with the kids while they were little, and as her husband earned more, Penny decided to stay at home. She volunteered at the pre-school by acting as treasurer and did a little bit of book keeping work now and then for extra cash. She still cycled when she got the chance.
Once her kids go to school, she decides to set herself up as a freelance book keeper so that she can still be there for the kids when they get home but she can actually start to earn some money. She has a think about who might need her services and decides to target the small to mid-size businesses near her. Now she's stuck. She doesn't have a big vision. She doesn't really want to set fire to the world and create a bookkeeping empire. She doesn't have a burning desire to transform the bookkeeping world. She just wants a steady stream of paying customers. How does she market herself? How can she create compelling marketing based on her story? She has nothing to say that makes a good story. Right?
Here's what Penny might do:
How to craft the story
Once you have the nub of your story figured out, it's a case of sitting down and writing it.
No matter who you are, you can craft a story and a brand that reflects the true you and will attract your ideal clients. If you want help telling your story, get in touch. I offer a clarity and / or copywriting packages that will help you get to the heart of your story.
I'd love to hear your story. Share it in the comments below or over on the Campfire Club on Facebook.
If you have a Facebook page, you may be getting increasingly frustrated by the low engagement or eyeballs you're getting on your posts. A recent change to Facebook's algorithm means that the posts from family, friends and groups will be given priority.
That doesn't mean you should get rid of your Facebook business page. But you do need to ensure that the content you share on your page is going to generate conversations between users, and not in a spammy way. Ways to boost the visibility of your page posts include using live videos, not sharing links that send people off Facebook, paying for advertising and creating content that gets people talking.
But what about groups. Should you create a Facebook group for your business? After all, the new algorithm specifically says that groups will be given priority. But is running a Facebook group just another job to add to your to do list? Will it actually do anything for your business?
I run two Facebook groups. One supports my business, the other is the business. Here's my experience of running groups and tips on how to do it.
The Campfire Club
This is a free Facebook group I set up as an extension of my Campfire brand. I set it up because I know how hard it can be running a business. It can feel lonely, overwhelming and demoralising when everyone else seems to be nailing it, yet you're battling to make any money. Sometimes you just want to ask a quick question or get advice, without having to pay a fortune for an expert's help. So I set the group up as a way to have a virtual campfire with a warm, supportive and friendly vibe. It's my way of giving to people who may not be able to afford my services.
How I run it:
I have three set days to drive discussion:
What does it do for my business?
I set this group up a year ago. At the time I didn't have a Facebook page and I had a basic website. I didn't have a business. All I had was an idea - to get more women out walking and to help them connect. I set the group up as a way of doing that. It has grown to over 900 members and is largely the business. For now (I am working on other ideas behind the scenes). It acts as a way for women to find other women to walk with, share ideas, pictures and walks.
How I run it?
What does it do for my business?
Facebook groups have given me a completely new way of connecting and communicating with my ideal target audience. Yes it has added to my workload, but the insights the groups have given me have been invaluable. So would I recommend having one? Yes - if you have a community that you want to learn from and a business you want to grow. Be sure you know who your audience is before setting it up. Keep it targeted and you're more likely to be successful.
How to set up a group
Got any tips on how to manage a Facebook group? Share them in the comments. And if you want to join either of my groups, feel free.
Click here for the Campfire Club
Click here for Glamoraks (women only)
I often hear small business owners say: 'I spend so much time marketing my business but it doesn't seem to do anything. I still don't have enough business.'
That could be because they're marketing in the wrong place, to the wrong people, or using the wrong messages and attention grabbing stories. Or they could be too tactical. They see an opportunity and think,' Heck I need to do something for that!' and they cobble something half-heartedly together at the last minute. Funnily enough, it doesn't work. I speak from experience here. I have often seen last minute opportunities (which I could have planned for) and pulled something together at the last minute and lo and behold, tumbleweeds.
For other small business owners, they know that they need to put out regular content but they are stumped as to what they should say. They are all out of creative ideas.
What they need is a strategic plan. And that's not as scary as it sounds. It simply means thinking more carefully about where you want your business to go, who you're trying to reach and how you can help them - and then making sure that whatever marketing you are doing, supports that.
Which is why I will be running an hour-long workshop on Wednesday 17 January at 10am to help you get strategic and focused in your marketing to help your business grow. It will cover:
You will also get (if you haven't already got it) my free content calendar that plots out all the major events, initiatives, awareness days, anniversaries and more throughout 2018. It comes in a pretty to look at version and an easy to print one. PLUS you get my free plan template, which we will use as the workbook for this workshop.
You will leave with a clear sense of where you should be heading. More than that, you will be able to confidently cut out a bunch of stuff you're currently doing if it isn't moving your business forward. Less work with better results. And did I mention that you'll be buzzing with ideas that you hadn't thought of before?
I'd love to have you join me. The cost is just $35 (£25 approximately) which is nothing for an hour of training, advice and super useful documents that go along with it.
Over on the Campfire Club, someone asked how you manage when you simply have too much to do. I shared some tips on making a list of what has to happen and then outsourcing. But it got me thinking. There are just 5 weeks until Christmas and only 6 until 2018. It's like someone put the clocks on fast forward. And for many people, there is too much to do and not enough time to do it in.
Often the worry of what we need to do is actually bigger than the thing itself. Once you've written a list, it's easier to see what you have to do and can start to tick it off. But sometimes it will still be easier to hand some of the tasks over to someone else.
But that in itself can seem like a job: Find someone to do XYZ, brief them, manage them. What if they don't do it well enough? And so you don't do anything and your to do list gets longer.
I wanted to share three examples from the last week of how I helped people by taking something off their plate effortlessly. They didn't need to spoon feed me or wait on lengthy proposals or micro manage the process. They simply got in touch, explained what they needed and I did it. Job done.
Peter got in touch on Sunday and asked me to write an award submission for him as the deadline was fast approaching but he couldn't find the right words. I chatted to him at 3pm yesterday. He had his completed award submission by 6pm. Job done. He said:
'Thanks Melissa, That looks good.'
Jane got in touch last week, saying she needed words for a flyer for an event, but didn't seem to be getting to it because of everything else she had to do. I took a brief in the morning and she had her copy that afternoon. It's now with her designer and printer. She can hit her event with marketing materials sorted. Job done. She said:
'Yep - this fits the bill very nicely!! Thanks, Melissa - I knew you’d crack to for me!'
I went to see Helen and team on Wednesday last week. She had some blog posts that needed to be written, one of which I felt could make a good press story. By yesterday afternoon I had written a communications plan; four blog posts; three emails going to staff, customers and colleges; researched an industry issue; discovered that it was going to be covered in the Autumn budget speech tomorrow; wrote up a press release; found the email for the CEO of a company we wanted a quote from; reached out to her and got her quote approved via her press team; wrote tailored pitches for trade, regional, national and broadcast press; found the right press contacts; sent the news out; put the news on a wire service; sourced a videographer for them; identified three award opportunities for the company and am now working on those. Job in progress but mostly done. They said:
'Thank you Melissa. All fantastic!' and 'You are a machine!'
My point? You don't have to do this all yourself. If you have little thing that needs to be written or a major project that you need help with, I - or someone like me - can take it off your plate. I work fast and efficiently. If I see marketing opportunities that may benefit you or have ideas that might work, I'll suggest them free of charge.
I charge an hourly rate or if it's a big project, can give you a project-based quote in advance. It doesn't matter if you are a sole trader or a big company, I am the extra pair of hands you need to help you get through your to do list. Get in touch and give yourself the gift of time this crazy season. You will be so glad you did.
I spent most of last year creating an online PR course. It literally took me from January through to September to create it and September to December to launch it.
I sold it to 12 people. 12. Those 12 sales just about covered my costs to create the course but they certainly didn't pay for the hours and hours of time I'd invested in creating it.
Of the 12 who bought it, I'm not sure anyone completed it, even when I ran a bonus Publicity Challenge, guiding and motivating them step by step.
Was it a crap course?
No it wasn't. If they had followed the course they would have learnt a huge amount about how to get in the press. They would have generated publicity for their businesses and had an ongoing content plan to keep rolling out stories to the press, in social media and via blogs and newsletters. Some of the course participants did manage to achieve press coverage regardless by diving on the opportunities I sent their way. I wanted to give them real value and I believe I did.
But here's what I learned. People - even with the best of intentions - don't have time to stick to a course unless it is for an immediate and pressing need. (I'm bolding that just in case you are thinking about creating a course yourself - remember this!).
When I wanted to learn how to create an online course, I bought a course that taught me how to do it. I followed it and completed it because I had set myself a clear goal to get it done. But had I just liked the idea of creating a course but not been committed to doing it, I wouldn't have completed it. Because it took a lot of work! In fact I've recently wasted money on a Facebook advertising course because it all got too complicated and time consuming to the detriment of the rest of my work. Lack of time, lack of a real need and a big financial investment are going to stop people buying your stuff.
What I realised is that while my course was teaching people how to do PR, what they really wanted to know was how to do a specific thing that they needed at a specific time. For example, if they are about to launch a new product and need a press release, they want to learn how to write a press release. Or they might have spotted a press opportunity relevant to them but they don't know how to respond to it. Or they might even have got in the papers but now aren't sure how to make the most of it.
Each of these are specific problems they are facing at a very specific time. They don't have the time to go through a whole course just to get the answer they need right now.
So I've been ignoring my course all of this year, feeling disheartened and unsure what to do with all that hard work that I did last year. Do I keep pouring money into it, advertising it and hoping that people will buy it? Frankly, I didn't have the heart (or money) to keep doing that. Here's what I've done instead:
I've created Campfire Coaching.
I took the modules in that course and reworked them. I made each module answer the specific questions I was hearing from people about how to do a particular thing. And I turned them into short 30 minute videos with downloadable cheat sheets or workbooks to help them do the thing they need help with. I have also priced them so that they are £30 or less except for the first video - How to get publicity effortlessly.
(That particular video is £45 because anyone who watches it and implements the very simple steps I tell them, will get in the press with almost zero effort. I show exactly how I got into Top Sante, Healthy, Good Housekeeping, Psychologies, Telegraph and BBC in this video. I believe it is hugely valuable and people I have delivered this training too have said the same. If you do no other training on how to get publicity, do this one.)
Here are the direct links to the various coaching modules:
On top of these coaching modules, everyone is also welcome to join The Campfire Club - my Facebook group - for free. So you can get even more advice and support there.
I intend to add to the Campfire Coaching section of my site with other short training modules on a variety of topics - e.g. how to write great web copy, how to create a USP, how to write blogs people want to read and share, how to create and run a Facebook group, how to write newsletters people want to read and respond to, or how to create a content calendar. I'd love to know what you need the answer to. If I can answer it, I will make a training video for it. Leave me a note in the comments about what training you'd love.
Please do go and check out the brand new Campfire Coaching section of my website. If you order any of the coaching modules between today and 30 November and use the code: CampfireCoupon at checkout, you will get 10% off.
I was at a networking event recently and was asked 'what do you do?'
Now the short answer is: marketing, copy and communications. But the bit that I do most and love best is the clarity bit. My challenge is that it's so hard to explain.
I found myself sharing examples of work I'd done for clients to make what I do more real. I could see the expressions on people's faces change from one of blankness to one of 'oh yeah, that would be really useful.' So what was it that made people go from politely glazed to animatedly interested?
Story telling. That's what.
If I said that I 'help small businesses get clear on what they want their business to be', it doesn't mean anything. But when I told them a story about how I actually helped a client change, they got it.
Story telling is what I do for my clients. And it's what you can do too to bring your business to life for your ideal clients.
Let me make up a story to explain.
You're an accountant. You've left the corporate world and decided to set up on your own. You think you've got your target market sorted: small businesses who can't afford the big accounting firms.
In your head you know that you hate corporate bullshit and you're a lovely, warm, funny person - despite being an accountant (sorry accountants). But you've got this hangover from the corporate days that tells you that you need to come across as serious and professional because, you know, you're an accountant and money is a serious business. So you create a website that shows WHAT you do for these small businesses e.g. tax returns. You may even go to great lengths telling them HOW you do it for them ....with your wonderful step-by-step, bite sized packages.
But you don't tell them WHY YOU. And you don't show them how you are different. You don't show them that funny, warm, lovely side of your personality (which incidentally is what makes you different from all the competitors. No-one is you).
You choose a name like: Whizzy Accounts. You think you're being different and showing off your fun personality. But you're still just another accounting firm with a more brightly coloured logo perhaps.
What if you flipped it over and made your lovely, warm funny personality front and centre of your brand? They're going to be working with YOU right? So make your brand and the experience they have working with you match.
What if instead of dreading doing tax returns, they wanted to come and see you? Because when they see you, they have a laugh and a lovely cup of tea and it just feels relaxed. So why not call it Tax over Tea (or something that you spend longer than the 10 seconds I just spent coming up with) that demonstrates not only what you do but your entire vibe and how it helps them?
Paint the picture of what that feels like. Show photos of you having a laugh with a client while you drink cups of tea. Sure you do tax returns. But really what you do, is take a truly shitty part of running a business and turn it into something fun. Isn't that awesome?!
Your approach should be front and centre of your brand story. And I don't just mean having a cup of tea as part of your logo (in this particular case). Remember, a brand is so much more than a logo. It's the entire story you tell people in every single interaction they have with you.
One thing to remember as you tell your story: You need to tell it in a way that shows how you help your ideal client. This isn't about you and how wonderful you are so much as it's about how your wonderfulness helps them. There's a subtle but important difference.
So ask yourself: what is your story? What sets you apart? Are you telling that to your clients?
No? Then change it.
A final thought: doing this can be hard as it's difficult to see ourselves clearly. We're too self-critical or close to what we do. Sometimes we need someone to hold a mirror up to us and say: hey, you are THIS. If you need someone to hold that mirror for you, drop me a note. That's what I do. Find our more here.
Self-employed parents up and down the country are breathing a collective sigh of relief as the kids return to school and they can finally focus on their business again. For others, September marks the first time their babies are off to big school, while those at the opposite end of the spectrum are facing an empty nest for the first time.
Whichever you may be, September is the new January when it comes to fresh starts and the opportunity to try something new. Now if you still have kids at home, flexibility is paramount, which is what makes working for yourself so appealing. Flexibility and doing something you're passionate about is just as important for people who've either been stay at home parents for years or who have been on a stressful career path and now want to live life on their terms.
Even those already in business can feel the need to change things that have gone stale or just aren't quite what they want their business to be.
But how to do it?
It can seem overwhelming if you've never worked for yourself to know where to start or what to do first. And it can be easy to get carried away with the excitement of it all that you don't stop and check whether it will work.
So I have created an easy to follow FREE e-book that outlines 15 steps you can follow that will help you set up your very own business without spending more than about £100 (and even that is variable depending on the type of web hosting and domain name you go for!)
I have included all the tools and super low cost or free ways you can get your idea out of your head and into a start up.
Here's what it covers:
I won't pretend that this mini guide covers all you need to know about starting up or pivoting a business. But it will give you some quick and easy pointers to get you started without you spending heaps of cash. They are all tools and services that I have used in starting up and running my business. None of the links in the guide are affiliate links. They are simply useful things that may help you.
If you want the guide, click here to get it. If you want extra advice or support, head over to The Campfire Club on Facebook where you will find plenty of likeminded small business owners who aren't going to claim that they've made 6-figures over night. They are simply trying to follow their dreams and do something they love. So why not take the #30daystostartup challenge and see if you can have a business live in just 30 days.
Ever since I set up Campfire Communications (almost exactly three years ago) I have wanted to run a virtual campfire for small business owners and start ups. But I wasn't sure what it would do or be or if it should be free or a paid membership club.
I've done plenty of research and asked my regular tribe of campers. A few things kept coming out time and again. They just want to feel less alone, more motivated and less intimidated by all the apparently successful people out there. They want to chat and discuss things, rather than have to consume heaps of information. They're overloaded with information already.
What they want is a friendly, non-judgemental group who they can ask questions of, get advice from or simply be supported by, without feeling as though they have to fake it or pretend to be something bigger than what they are. They want to find business besties, accountability partners, butt kickers or actual business partners.
These are the people who have ambition and dreams but equally value honesty and integrity. They may lack self-confidence or self-belief. And they may feel very small in contrast to what everyone else is achieving. Or they may have felt like that in the past and have now got to a place where they feel so much stronger, more confident and happier about where they are in their business journey.
Based on all of that, I have created The Campfire Club. This is a free group run on Facebook. It is open to anyone thinking about starting up a business, new start ups, people who have been running their small businesses for a while, people who want to pivot their business, career changers, sole traders, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. It's open to men and women and you can be based anywhere in the world.
The aim? To make you feel less alone as you head out on this adventure of running a business.
This group is NOT for people who like to tout how they have made six-figures in a matter of weeks or how if you buy their unique formula you can transform your life. In fact, this is a zero bullshit club. It's also not for people who join simply to plug their wares before leaving again. It's for real people who value honesty.
The vibe: Imagine a crackling campfire. The air around you is crisp and cool, but the fire is keeping you toasty. You have a mug of hot chocolate or perhaps a glass of your favourite red wine. The sun is setting and the stars are coming out. You hear the breeze in the trees and can savour the epic view of mountains, lake or sea. You're sitting with a bunch of people just like you. You chat, ask questions, share some of your challenges, get friendly suggestions, a much needed pep talk or a comforting hug of understanding. This isn't corporate. It's not competitive. It's not fancy. It's down to earth and real. You leave feeling revived, cheered up, motivated, ready to tackle that thing you've been afraid of, knowing you've got a friendly place you can return to anytime you need help again.
What can you do in the Club:
Every Monday it's #CampfireConnections time - your chance to find a business partner, business bestie, an accountability partner, someone who can help you with a specific issue or project or job you need doing, or just someone to kick your butt. Start off your week by asking someone to hold you accountable and make sure you eat that frog by the time the week is over.
Get it off your chest
Every Wednesday it's #CampfireConfessions time - your chance to share whatever it is that is bothering you. Perhaps you feel deflated or flat. Perhaps the thing you launched has failed. Perhaps you feel like a fraud. Perhaps you have no clients but don't know how to get them. Whatever it is, this is your safe space to open up and get some advice, motivation or simply some sympathy. It's not meant to be a pity party or a place to simply moan about how hard it is. It's your chance to get whatever is bothering you off your chest and for others to help you move forward. You will be AMAZED at how often others are in the exact same boat. All it takes is for one person to open up and you'll quickly discover that you're not alone. Together you can help each other to move forward and believe you can do it.
Share your celebrations and successes
Every Friday it's #CampfireCelebrations time - your chance to let us know what amazing things (no matter how small) you have achieved. Perhaps you found a business friend or finally ticked that thing off your to do list or secured your first client or made your first sale. Whatever it is, it's time to celebrate it. Feel free to stuff your face full of marshmallows as a reward.
You can ask questions any day of the week. Just use #CampfireQuestions and ask away. As a member of the club, if there's someone you can help, answer them and try to be supportive. That way, they get the info they need and you get to showcase that you're an expert. It's the best way to win new business. Being genuinely helpful is what people remember and they're far more likely to do business with you as a result.
That's it! It'll probably evolve over time but for now, this is enough to kick us off.
JOIN HERE - it costs you nothing. And please share it with any fellow business pals you may have who might benefit from it too.
Chat to you round the Campfire!
Right. Listen up. If you have returned from your summer break and are finding it very hard to relight your business fire, I am going to try to help. Now admittedly, if you are feeling super low, you probably won't be reading this because it will fall into the 'can't be arsed' category. And it will be YET ANOTHER person telling you what you should be doing, when really, all you want to do is lie in bed and binge watch Netflix or lie in the sun and attempt to recreate your holiday. Except, it's England and it's wet and cold.
I have been you. In fact, until yesterday, this was me. Like all self-employed people, I have been on this particular mojo rollercoaster before. Except this time, I couldn't even be bothered to get onto the sodding rollercoaster. It was like I had business mojo flatlined.
And the worst thing about losing your mojo, is that the longer you don't have it, the harder it is to find. Apathy breeds apathy. Then you feel bad about doing nothing, so you do even less. All around you, peppy people are raving about how awesome everything is and what they're achieving and trying to rev you up so that you can join in their energetic success ball. But frankly you just want to pull the blanket over your head and eat chocolate.
Then I watched a video by Mel Robbins on the micro-decisions that make our lives what they are. I'd seen it before but somehow it popped into my Facebook feed (while I was wasting time pretending to work but not). And it's like the universe was trying to give me a bitch slap. Obviously, my life isn't a movie where I suddenly transformed into an energiser bunny and changed the world five minutes after watching that clip. Nope. I stayed lying in bed binge watching Suits, wondering how come all the women in that show are so incredibly well put together and how many times they say 'Godammit!' in any episode.
But Mel's message stuck with me. This morning I woke up and decided that I wouldn't lie in bed reading angry tweets about Trump. And I wouldn't eat a big breakfast that would delay me from doing my workout. Before I gave my brain time to think, I got out of bed, got in gym kit and headed outside for a run. I decided that I would use the run to decide what I'd achieve that day.
I tried to do that. But every time I thought I had a game plan, little voices of doubt would creep in telling me that it was unrealistic or the wrong thing to focus on or not big enough. By the end of the run I still had no game plan for the day. And I knew that without a game plan, I would waste another day going around in circles achieving nothing. And my mojo would plummet further.
So here's what I did.
I asked myself, what is the ONE thing you really NEED to do? And what I really NEED to do is make money so that I can buy my husband a brilliant 50th birthday present. I had a clear goal. Make money.
I immediately thought of the billion different things I could do to attempt to market to clients to make money. My mind leapt to fanciful ideas and projects that would take time to get off the ground and I could feel that mojo slipping away. It was all too big and complicated. So I said to myself: If I had zero money and I HAD to make some by the end of the week, what would I do?
The answer was blindingly obvious. Ask people directly for business. I decided to do just that.
Buoyed by getting that done, I noticed two emails that came in about events taking place in the next few months featuring keynote speakers. I decided that I would email them and ask if they needed any other speakers. I didn't hesitate and ask 'Will I be good enough?', 'What if it's a waste of time?', 'Will they think I'm insane asking at this late stage?', 'Will be scary?' I just did it.
I didn't hear back from one. The other replied saying yes. There was a small cost involved. I weighed it up and thought, sod it. No hesitation. Just do it. I am now booked to be a speaker at an event with 100 women next month!
My learnings on how to kickstart your mojo:
If you my lovely reader are feeling mojo-less, take heart. Do not give up. Do not beat yourself up. Just start with one little thing. And then keep going. It will return.
If you'd like my help (now that I have my mojo back) please check out my services. I would absolutely love to help you develop your brand story.
Loss is not simply the sadness that radiates from the space someone leaves behind them when they're no longer there, it's the responsibility to keep on living deeply and joyfully in their absence. Because it is through living and celebrating each day, embracing every experience - the good, the bad, the mundane - that we do justice to the opportunity we have been given to be alive."
I wrote these words this morning after waking at 5am and remembering what day it was. 26 July. A day forever etched into my memory after an unimaginable family tragedy changed all of our lives forever 30 years ago.
I don't normally write about personal issues on this blog but I wanted to share these words here because I think they are so important to remember, regardless of whether you have suffered a loss or not.
Often when I work with clients we look at their values and beliefs. These often shape where they want to take their business. But I wonder how many of them know why they hold those values and beliefs. I've not really examined why I believe so strongly in freedom, honesty and adventure, for example. But on reading my own words back today, I realised that there is a part of me that wants to live fully to honour two people who can't. I want to be free to experience whatever comes my way, to say yes to new challenges and to live openly and honestly because I can.
It's the same reason I am self-critical and lack self-belief. Why I feel that I have never achieved enough. Because no matter how much I might try to do - even if I am unknowingly trying to do it to prove that I'm living a good life in their honour - nothing will ever be enough. Because I cannot make up for two missing lives. All I can do is live my own. And live it well.
Being successful or achieving great things so that you have a rich and fulfilling life is brilliant. But a more brilliant life is to be happy with the one you have. To accept every day, no matter what it brings, and be grateful for it.
The point of this post?
Simply to say that your life has made you who you are. You can't unmake it. You can simply continue the story. You have the ability to change the storyline anytime you like. You can make it as exciting or as mundane as you feel comfortable with. But whether you are writing an edge-of-your-seat blockbuster, or a repetitive, predictable plot, own it. It's your story. You are the author of your life.