5 Motivation Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs

Are you a self-employed business owner returning to work after the long summer holidays?

Whether you’ve taken a month or two off to spend time with family and travel abroad, or have been mainly at home dipping your toes in your business all summer, chances are you’re ready to get your head back in the game and start creating new projects and opportunities.

Like you, I’m feeling both excited to get started and a little apprehensive about my ability to actually sit down and ‘get sh*t done’! Knowing how easily I get distracted (ooh look pretty interiors on Pinterest), I’ve created a list of strategies that help me to feel more motivated, aligned, supported and nourished, so that I can achieve my goals with ease and flow.

Here are five top tips to make returning to work productive and enjoyable:

  • Set a realistic alarm. Let’s be honest, if you’ve been staying up late (I won’t mention G&Ts) and relaxing all morning over the summer months then a 5am alarm is going to feel pretty terrible! You’ll hit snooze over and over, before finally dragging yourself into the kitchen for coffee a couple of hours later. So be realistic and set a time that you know will work for you. Remember, you can always make it 5-10 minutes earlier each day for a week until you get to your preferred wake up time.
  • Drink a glass of water. Keep a bottle by your bed (I love my 24 Bottles ‘Clima’ bottle that keeps water cold overnight) and drink as soon as you wake up. Hydration is key to a clear head, so keep drinking water all day long. Two litres is a minimum and aim for three or more if you live in a hot climate or exercise for over an hour.
  • Start the day with some meditation and stretching. I found a couple of short meditation and yoga videos on YouTube over the summer and have been doing them every morning for a few weeks and it feels great. I created a playlist that also includes a cardio/body toning workout and some affirmations – so I pick and choose which I feel like doing. Sometimes just the three minute meditation is all I need to feel focused. Find something that works for you and just do it before anything else!
  • Wear clothes that make you feel fabulous. That gorgeous floaty maxi dress you only wore once to a party, wear it! Those beautiful new earrings you fell in love with in the shop but haven’t worn yet, put them on! When you work from home it doesn’t matter what you wear, but by choosing fabrics, textures and colours that make you feel great, you’ll be exuding a more positive energy that will shine through in all you do – whether that’s client projects or boring admin tasks.
  • Plan your most important activities. I’m not a fan of hour-by-hour scheduling, I find it too restrictive, but I do get far more done when I plan the most important tasks each day and give them a time frame. For example, one hour of blog writing, one hour for a video chat with an online business friend, three hours on a client project. I can then be flexible with each activity and work them around cooking for my family, picking up one of my daughters from a friend’s house or going shopping for cat food. (Luna is telling me he’s hungry as I write this!)

However you spend your days at work, always ensure you plan ahead for the important things that make life even better. Things like date nights, family trips, self-care and time with friends – as well as making time to prepare, cook and eat delicious healthy food that supports your body, mind and soul.

Take some time every day to reward yourself for your commitment to your business and to plan ahead for the next few months. Use this time to think about what lights you up, what fuels your passion and what lights the fire in your belly.

As a small business owner or creative entrepreneur, the lines between business and personal life can get repeatedly blurred. It’s important to always allow yourself time to fully switch off from work mode by spending time journalling, relaxing and being in nature so that clarity and creativity flow freely and abundantly.

Lorraine xx

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Lorraine is a self-confessed lover of homemade vegan hot chocolate, fluffy animals and Pinterest. In between looking after her family and pets she effortlessly weaves words into magnetic copy for overwhelmed creative entrepreneurs who need a little word-whispering magic sprinkled over their unique brand. Find out more about Lorraine’s copywriting, ghost writing and content creation services here.

Still haven’t finished your cup of tea? Then head over here to read another of Lorraine’s blogs.

 

Celebrating and Supporting Women

Unless you’ve unplugged from social media this week, or are enjoying a relaxing internet-free break on a tropical island (lucky you), chances are you’ve noticed that today (Friday 8 March) is International Women’s Day.

This year’s theme focuses on Balance – with the sentiment being that ‘a balanced world is a better world’.

Balance is something we’re all trying to achieve but somehow often falling short.

Today, I want to let you know that even if you haven’t reached a particular goal or dream in your life or business, it’s ok!

You’re not a failure for having failed, you’re amazing for having even tried.

In honour of International Women’s Day, I want to support and promote some of the amazing women who’ve crossed my path in the last twelve months.

All of these women inspire me to be a better version of myself than I was yesterday.

So, a huge thank you to each and every one of you. You’re making more of a difference in the world than you could ever have dreamed of.

Lorraine xx

(As they say on reality TV: ‘In no particular order…’)

Celebrating International Women's Day

MAEVE NORTHCROSS

Maeve is a real-life guardian angel; an effervescent Soul Coach who radiates love and warmth. While we’ve yet to meet in person, our video calls feel like we’ve known each other for lifetimes (and perhaps we have!). Maeve has had such an incredible journey to arrive at this point today where she uses her decades of professional and personal experience to guide clients and retreat guests to a place of personal stillness and joy. Maeve is hosting a beautiful retreat in the rolling countryside of Northern Ireland this summer and for a few lucky people it will be exactly what they’ve dreamed of for so long.

JULES WHITE

Jules is one of the kindest souls on the planet. Her sales coaching work evolves from her deeply held belief that selling is really based on Human Conversation. Jules believes that many of the life skills we possess are sales skills in disguise and that we shouldn’t be afraid to promote our skills, talents, experience and natural gifts with the world. When it comes to action-taking, Jules definitely wins the top award! In the past year she’s spoken at a TEDx event, started a podcast, launched a course, written an Amazon best selling book and been invited to teach and speak all around the UK and in the USA – making her a truly international sales coach. I’m so proud of her unrelenting determination to succeed and to make a difference to small businesses and personal lives.

TINA LEIGH MCDONALD

Tina is one of those unassuming, humble people who really has NO idea how incredible she is and how much of a difference she’s making to young adults in the UK. Tina’s work in schools and the private sector help young people to gain vital skills needed to progress into the workplace. But, more importantly than that, she helps young people to believe in themselves – something that’s absolutely vital for long term emotional and physical health. Tina, I’ve said it before but you truly are amazing. Keep up the great work! xx

KATIE PHILLIPS

When I heard Katie speak at an event last summer, her words touched my heart. To go on a personal journey is one thing, but to be able to share that journey with others in a way that encourages transformation and spreads love is truly beautiful. I’m hoping to work with Katie over the next few months so that I can bloom and grow beyond my wildest dreams – and I know in my heart that Katie’s love and support will be the perfect catalyst for change.

SHELLEY MONK

You may not have heard of Shelley yet, but I guarantee that this little ray of sunshine will be bursting into your world very soon! I first met Shelley a couple of years ago and have watched her evolve into the confident Relationship Coach that she is now. If you’ve been struggling with finding your true, authentic self or are stuck in relationship hell, then her coaching will enable you to find your way and transform into the person you were meant to be. Go follow her now before she’s famous!

HELEN PACKHAM

Helen runs a highly successful and engaging Facebook group called The Courageous Leaders Club – which beautifully sums up everything Helen is about: courage, leadership and collaboration. Helen sets a great example every day in how to successfully run a business from a place of authenticity and vulnerability. Her ability to openly share the messy challenges that affect most of us on a weekly basis means that she builds a safe, supportive place where everyone feels comfortable in being real. The online space definitely needs more people like Helen!

NICOLA ARNOLD

I listened to Nicola speak at Helen Packham’s Entrepreneurial Leaders Live event last summer and was blown away by her energy, love and passion for making a difference in people’s lives. Nicola helps people to build their self-worth and resilience so that they can see, attract and take advantage of all the possibilities that come their way. Nicola’s mantra – ‘This is me’ – and her work as a Life Coach enable people to feel happy in their skin and enjoy the journey through behaviour and mindset change.

SANDY COUSENS

Sandy is a gifted, talented artist and interior designer who is quite simply one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. She supported me endlessly in my previous work in nutrition and food coaching and now it’s my turn to share her skills and talents with the world. If I had the money and the dream house with blank, white walls, I would have no hesitation in flying Sandy over from Australia to give my home a splash of her beautiful artwork and her laid back beach-vibe style. Sandy has created a dream art and design studio where she welcomes people for special events and workshops. If you live on the Gold Coast (lucky you!), do try to attend her events. For everyone else, take a look at Sandy’s relaxing website and online shop.

KAY FABELLA

Kay is a beautiful soul, inside and out and chatting to her is guaranteed to brighten your day! Kay is a talented storyteller with a gift for helping brands to find the message that forms the essence of the services they provide and to share that message with the world. I relate so much to Kay as a like-minded, curious, language lover with a passion for helping other women leverage their authenticity and shine brightly.

EMMA GAYWOOD

Emma is a Spiritual Guide who channels messages and energy from divine sources and is guaranteed to always hit the proverbial nail on the head! I couldn’t believe quite how accurate her reading was for me back in December when I asked a question about writing my book. Emma and I have bonded over a love of cats and spirituality and I’m so grateful to have Emma in my life. I’m excited for her next online gathering later in March.

 

What does a ghost-blogger do? And why might I need to hire one?

You will no doubt be familiar with a well known type of ghostwriting – the wordy talent behind many a famous celebrity’s autobiography.

But you may not realise that many business owners and brands outsource their blog creation to talented copywriters, or ‘ghost-bloggers’ in order to be consistent and visible in the online space.

Of course, it’s easy to think that this is cheating; that the company you love to follow is in some way being inauthentic by not physically writing the words you enjoy reading.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Experienced copywriters, ghostwriters and ghost-bloggers work closely with businesses, brands or individuals in order to help them achieve their goals. They get inside the mind and heart of the business owner and their audience so that every word (or blank space) is there for a reason.

The ghostwriter has no agenda of his own; he simply uses his intuitive and learned skills to create content that attracts ideal clients, nurtures relationships, drives sales and helps to boost a company’s bottom line.

If you’re a small business owner, emerging brand or charity project founder, there’s a high chance that you’ve spent a long time doing everything yourself – from website set up to social media promotion to meeting with clients, plus all the behind the scenes work involved in admin, accounts, PR and business strategy.

And that can get exhausting!

(Especially if you’re running a home, looking after kids and working a paid job at the same time.)

At some point you’ve probably considered outsourcing one aspect of your business to a third party – or at least looked into hiring a cleaner, child care or meal delivery – so that you have more free time to dedicate to the parts of your business that light you up most.

So, what’s the difference between paying a professional to create your website, design a logo, run your accounts or set up complicated tech stuff and paying a ghostwriter to create your blogs?

Answer: No difference at all!

It all comes down to your personal areas of expertise, your business strategy, the time you have available and the money you’re willing to invest.

If hiring a copywriter or ghost-blogger sounds like an appealing prospect right now then ask around for recommendations and don’t be afraid to ask to see examples of their work or written testimonials. Remember, of course, that many people who hire a ghostwriter may not be willing to admit to it, which means the writer won’t be able to share examples created for those clients who prefer to remain anonymous.

Try to schedule in an informal chat with the potential ghostwriter/copywriter of your choice so that you (and they) can instantly get a feel for whether the relationship feels uplifting, positive and filled with magical potential.

To help you get inside the mind of a copywriter and ghost-blogger (aka me!), I’ve created a short behind the scenes sneak peek into my life. I hope you enjoy reading and if you have any questions, please do get in touch.

Lorraine xx

A behind the scenes sneak peek into the life of a copywriter and ghost-blogger…

Jane* and I finally meet on a video call after many months of building a relationship across social media (we originally met in a private Facebook group run by a spiritual coach we both admire and respect). On the call, it feels as if we’ve known each other for ever; we chat like old friends and realise there are so many similarities in our core values (such as integrity, honesty and compassion) and in our desire to create a bigger impact in the world. We’ve shared many of the same life and business struggles and know that this is our time to shine even brighter than before; to be light workers and advocates of change.

It’s during conversations like this that we both know we’ve found ‘the one’; the person that enables us to co-create magic.

After all, a writer needs a subject with a story just as the client needs help to get their message into the world.

It’s a beautiful union of talent, passion and a deep desire to make a difference.

After an initial get-to-know-each-other chat, I ask Jane my favourite question…

‘What lights you up?’

As she shares her dreams, I do more than simply watch and listen. I begin to feel things. I intuitively sense which parts of her story and which words she uses are the ones that are the most important to her and her audience. I get butterflies in my tummy – a sign that I know we’re on the cusp of co-creating something unique, beautiful and special.

Using this incredible energy, we go on to discuss her business goals, her aims for this project, her ideal clients and all the specific details that help me build a bigger picture of Brand Jane and her audience.

Rather than being a typical ‘sales call’, Jane already knows in her heart that she wants to work together and collaborate on her juicy new project. There is no awkward ‘well it’ll cost this much’ and ‘I can’t afford that right now’; instead we both instinctively know that by harnessing our combined energy we end up with something far greater than 1+1=2.

The call is followed up with a confirmation email and a ‘contract’ that clearly explains my services, boundaries and pricing as well as the information Jane needs to provide before I can begin writing.

The writing and editing process itself is a magical journey that I’ll save for another blog. But for now, I hope that this little insight into ghost-blogging and copywriting has triggered a little thought process in your mind…

*Name changed to protect the innocent!

Lorraine Pannetier profile picture. Navy jacket, pink shirt and colourful necklace.

Lorraine Pannetier is an Intuitive Copywriter, Content Creator and Ghost-Blogger based on the sunny island of Jersey – a tiny piece of paradise surrounded by sandy beaches, rocky coastline, palm trees and castles.

Lorraine uses her intuitive gifts and word-whispering talents to help small businesses, entrepreneurs, project leaders and individuals to project their passion into the world and achieve the impact they desire.

Details of all writing services can be found at thesoulfulword.com

Healing the heart space is scary

Healing the heart space is one of the scariest things we can do.

I know.

Because right now I’m scared.

Scared to open up and be vulnerable in a way I’ve never been before. I know my coach is going to ask me questions that will be uncomfortable – painful even. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

But if I don’t do it I will stay here.

Stuck.

Forever in a place of ‘not quite enough’; a silent haunting that weaves its way through all aspects of life.

When I think about how I’ll feel once we start our coaching journey together I breathe a huge sign of relief. A full, long breath that forces my shoulders to relax and allows my heart to open a little wider.

My eyes begin to well up with tears.

I know that my coach will trigger emotions from deep within me that I have to deal with in order to move forward, rise to the next level and achieve all of my life’s goals and desires.

You see, having an open heart isn’t just about being an animal lover, a kind, compassionate human being or a loving, tactile parent. Having an open heart is about being able to dig really deep into the darkest parts of your soul and to allow those fears to surface; to shine such a bright light on them that they no longer haunt your every thought.

I’m ready to do the inner work and feel the love of the Universe radiate from deep within me. I’m ready to be courageous even through times of fear and uncertainty. I’m ready to choose vulnerable and feminine each time my masculine ego kicks in to take me back to where I’ve always been.

After all, as Albert Einstein said: ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

However cliché it may sound, it’s time for me to step outside of my comfort zone.

I cannot evolve if I stay where it’s comfortable and safe.

It’s time to take a risk and know that the Universe is always there to support me.

If I’m feeling this way, chances are that you might feel this way too.

You KNOW you’re ready to step up your game in life, love or business but there are always excuses…

And when a coach (or friend, lover, parent or child) calls you out on your excuses, it’s as if you have an out of body experience where you can hear the words spewing from your mouth but in your heart you know they’re not true.

That’s why people trigger us when they call us out on our bullsh*t! We sometimes take it to heart as a negative judgement or harsh criticism because, ultimately, the truth hurts.

Now is the time to take that hurt and turn it into something that can bloom and grow into the life and love you’ve always dreamed of.

I’m ready.

I have faith that the Universe will support me every step of the way.

All it takes is that first step.

To commit.

To set the intention.

To say ‘YES, I’m ready!’

(At this point the Universe will probably throw its head back, laugh out loud and say ‘about time too!’)

I’m scared, but I’m ready.

Are you?

 

Lorraine xx

Why thrift shopping makes me feel good

At the end of 2018 I decided that 2019 would be my ‘no buy year’ – in terms of shop-bought clothes. I’d become disillusioned with the fast fashion industry, sickened by the greed of consumerism and watched one too many documentaries to be able to un-see the pain and suffering that goes on in countries on the other side of the world.

We’re all human beings and no-one should have to endure that kind of lifestyle and insane poverty and hardship just for a cheap $5 t-shirt.

Over recent years I’ve bought less and less items of clothing and tried to emphasise quality over quantity. Add to that a penchant for decluttering on a frequent basis and by December 2018 I was pretty much down to a minimal wardrobe, with only a handful of items I wore on a daily basis. It became a bit of an ongoing joke that I only had one ‘going out’ jumper and one pair of jeans – and when they finally wore thin and split around the inner thighs, it was time to invest.

I made a list of my ideal capsule wardrobe and decided that during my ‘no buy year’ I’d acquire clothes only through swapping with friends, buying locally at thrift stores (charity shops) or buying second-hand from online apps like Depop, except for a small list of items such as bras, pants and a specific brand of jeans that fit perfectly. (Second hand jeans might work well on a 21 year old Instagram model, but finding the right slim fitting, flattering pair on a curvy, 45 year-old body with a little too much muffin top, was never going to be easy!) 

Other than those few items, everything else needed to be sourced away from all the usual high street stores – which made our first few visits to town rather interesting … I ended up in the library and vegan cafe instead.

After effortlessly getting through January without buying anything except a pair of well made, Italian brown leather gloves from a ‘designer’ second hand store I found near my mum’s house,  it was time to step away from the fears and judgements I was holding on to and approach thrift shopping with a fresh new perspective.

At the start of February my teenage daughter and I headed to a large, local charity shop with a budget of £50. Having watched many YouTube videos beforehand, I was armed with top tips like checking labels for materials, looking at seams and carefully inspecting for any damage. Plus, my Pinterest boards were bulging with variations of all my favourite clothing styles, colours and materials. It was time to shop…

Here are a few things that have made me feel good about ‘pre-loved’ clothes shopping and why I’m already hooked:

  • Most charity shops are run by volunteers and they’re really friendly. When your shopping trip begins with smiles and hellos, it brightens the whole experience (fashion stores take note!).
  • When surrounded by an eclectic selection of clothes, you find yourself tuning into the fabrics and textures that most appeal to you, rather than being lured into buying this season’s latest trend. Shopping soon becomes about aligning to your core desires rather than being persuaded into buying an outfit you’d never previously imagined wearing (and we’ve all had plenty of those in our wardrobes, right?).
  • Second hand clothes in charity shops cost a fraction of their original RRP and when you take your time looking carefully, you’ll uncover some absolute bargains. Only today I found a Guess designer denim jacket for just £12 – original price would have been around £125! I’ve seen plenty of cashmere jumpers too and bought one gorgeous indigo blue linen shirt, again for about a tenth of its shop-bought price.
  • Brand new items with labels attached are also frequently found – which give you a real buzz when they’re exactly what you were looking for.

While it’s amazing to find new clothes that you can love for many years to come, ultimately the biggest high of pre-loved clothes shopping comes from knowing that the action you’re taking is helping to reduce the environmental impact of fast-fashion manufacturing methods all around the world.

We may not have to wash in polluted water or inhale toxic fumes from factories, but other people -human souls just like you and me – are living in inhumane, unsanitary conditions and I don’t want to contribute to that any more.

Will you join me in reducing your consumption of fast fashion?

Lorraine xx

If you’d like to learn more about the impact of the fashion industry on the environment, watch these online documentaries: The True Cost and River Blue.

Do you need a content strategy?

What is a content strategy and do you need one?

As business owners and entrepreneurs, part of our daily work includes raising our visibility, building relationships with potential clients and collaborators and increasing our credibility amongst our audience.

In the online space there are four main ways in which we can do this:

  • Written content: blogs, articles, social media posts and engaging with online conversations.
  • Video content: Facebook live videos, Instagram video, video stories, YouTube, LinkedIn …
  • Audio content: podcasts, radio interviews, online interviews.
  • Visual content: Instagram, Pinterest, other social media channels

When it comes to creating content for your business, you probably naturally favour one of those over the other three; it’s the one that comes the most easily to you and the one you enjoy the most. Equally, you’ll also have a preferred type of content that you use for education and personal growth or entertainment.

Personally, I love consuming written content. I love to read well written articles, books and inspiring blogs, but statistics show us that video content is being consumed at a record level (thanks mainly to smartphones). According to HubSpot, 78% of people watch online videos every day and by 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic (Source: Cisco).

When it comes to podcasts, listeners are apparently loyal, affluent and educated, with 45% of monthly podcast listeners having a household income over $75k. Almost half of podcast listeners tune in at home, with 22% listening while driving. Smartphones have overtaken computers and tablets as the preferred device for listening to podcasts. (Source: podcastinsights.com)

So what do these statistics mean for your business and the type of content you produce?

There are two ways to look at this…

Firstly, you could stick with your main style of content creation and do it REALLY well so that you become known as the expert in your industry and naturally attract ideal clients who really love what you do and how you do it. (And engaged, ideal clients buy…simples!)

Secondly, you could diversify your content creation so that you cover at least two of the four main types of content: video, aural, photographic or written. So if you currently stick to writing, perhaps it’s time to add in some video; or if you’re all over photographic content then perhaps it’s time to add more written content in the form of guest blogging. Of course, there are numerous combinations possible and each has to not only appeal to your audience, but also be exciting and energising for you to produce (because as a business owner you’ll be producing a lot of content and it’s very time consuming!).

do you need a content strategy

Which leads us on to Content Strategy…

A content strategy is, in essence, a plan of the type of content you’re going to produce alongside a schedule or calendar. For example, you might decide to create one blog or video a week, one social media post every day and send an email to your list once a month. Within that schedule you can then define certain topics or themes for specific dates that coincide with the types of content your audience will be searching for: e.g. January is often about weight loss, while the school summer holidays might lead to a spike in searches for how to entertain bored children!

But before you create a content strategy you must be clear on your audience, your message, your services and your brand’s vision and goals for the year ahead as well as having clarity on everything your brand stands for so that all content remains in alignment. If you’re still in the early stages of your business and haven’t got all this sorted yet, then make that your priority. Once everything is clear you’ll find that creativity flows more easily and attracting the right audience will happen organically.

The benefits of creating (and sticking to) a content strategy are:

  • The content is more likely to stay true to your brand image, values and goals.
  • Regular content will create more engagement from your audience (and higher engagement = higher sales).
  • As your visibility and credibility increase, you’ll become known as an expert in your field which may open up new and exciting opportunities.
  • Regular content can be tracked and statistics analysed in order to create an even more focused strategy for business growth and increased sales.
  • Focusing on one platform for a sustained period can help you to understand whether it’s bringing you the engagement and customers you desire, or whether it’s better to switch platform (or content type).

What are your plans for 2019? Have you got a strategy and content calendar all planned out? Or do you prefer to ebb and flow with your feminine energy? Or perhaps it all feels too overwhelming and you’d rather stay snuggled underneath your duvet with warm, homemade banana loaf and a cup of tea?!

As for me… I’m putting together my vision and goals for 2019 and breaking that down into smaller chunks for content planning. I’ve been back in my happy place for the last three months creating lots of blogs and I really love writing pieces that inspire others to make changes in their life or business. However, after researching stats on video and audio consumption, I know that in order to keep up with the fast-growing world of online content, I have to diversify.

Whether that will be behind a camera or a microphone, you’ll just have to wait and see!

Lorraine xx

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Photo credit: Jakob Owens @Unplash

 

Do you want to create a business that feels aligned to your heart and soul?

NEW! Listen to the audio version of this blog here.

Having been a business owner since the late 1990s I can now look back and see the strategies and mindset shifts I had to put in place, and the action I had to take consistently, in order to feel like everything was aligned to my core values.

 And of course, it had to light me up every single day! 

There’s so much I will share about how I’ve ended up where I am today, but for now, I’m keeping it to some simple action steps and tips YOU can take over January to make sure you have your most successful, productive, abundant and happy year yet!

❤️ Listen to your gut. Sometimes in life, love and business, we make decisions that we feel aren’t quite right, but we can’t see another way so we take them anyway. If you get that feeling that something is a little ‘off’ or gives you a funny feeling in the pit of your stomach, hold off for a few days (or at least a few hours) before you take action. Always listen to your intuition – it’s usually right!

❤️ Don’t sell out to companies and products you don’t believe in. If you’re offered the chance to represent a brand or product but it really doesn’t sit well with you, then feel confident in saying ‘no’ and walking away – however much money it may be worth! Ditto goes for working with clients who really don’t fit your niche or those who will end up costing you lots of time, stress and grey hairs. It’s your company, you are free to choose who you work with and who you don’t.

❤️ Create a secure financial situation for yourself. Easier said than done for many of us, I know! If you’ve come out of a well paid job and have savings worth six to twelve months of your previous salary, then that’s a great place to start. However, if, like me, you started out as a small business charging clients on an hourly basis, then you may simply not have had the ability to save any decent amount, nor have high limits on credit cards. My top tip is to start saving at least 10% of your gross income (if your living costs enable you to save 20% to 30% that’s even better!) and put it into an account where you can’t access it easily. Once you feel financially secure and stable, you’re MORE LIKELY to take action that is aligned to your heart, soul and core values.

❤️ Take some time out to plan ahead with YOUR DREAMS and goals in mind. It’s easy to get swept up in financial planning or social media marketing strategies (both of which are needed too), but it’s also important to take time on a regular basis to look at whether your business is still headed in the way you wish, or whether changes need to be made. I made the biggest strides ahead in my business after I took two months off to tune back in to my feminine energy, spend time in nature and read, write and create things with no pressure to sell or promote my business.

I’d love to hear how you’re taking time this week to focus on what’s really important to you and your business throughout 2019 and on into 2020.

Lorraine xx

How to start 2019 the right way

As one calendar year ends and another starts, it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of setting new goals and intentions and celebrating our successes and achievements.

But what about the stuff that we drag along into the new year without realising?

The languages we say we’re going to learn but then don’t. The new career we say we’re going to move into but then don’t. The sports we say we want to try but then don’t. There’s all this silent negativity sitting on our shoulders, draining our energy and stopping us from creating the impact or lifestyle we truly dream of.

Every year, I say I will learn to play tennis and learn Italian. I’ve been saying this for at least four years now, possibly more. And how many words of Italian have I learnt? Zero. (Pizza Express menus don’t count!) How many times have I played tennis in the last four years? Once.

I hadn’t ever stopped to consider how carrying this baggage around with me was actually preventing me from living my best life. That was until I happened to watch this video by Chelsea Fagan of The Financial Diet, aptly titled: ‘15 Things to Cleanse Your Life of Now So They Don’t Follow You Into 2019’.

Chelsea suggests that we give ourselves permission to accept that those projects we keep putting off year after year simply aren’t going to happen. Instead, it’s time to let that energy go in order to create space to allow in more of the things that really light us up.

What will you give yourself permission to release before the end of 2018?

One other point that really stood out for me in Chelsea’s video was the things that fall to the bottom of your to-do list. These are the things that you keep putting off. It might be simple things like sending thank you notes, getting a dress altered or having shoes repaired. Or it could be something bigger like organising your accounting paperwork or booking the car in for an overdue service.

As you read this, you’ll know straight away which things always get pushed off your to-do list from one month to the next; seemingly unimportant yet sapping away quietly at your energy.

Chelsea suggests taking ONE of those things and getting it sorted before the end of the year. That way you get to waltz into 2019 with one less worry and stress on your shoulders. Sounds good right?

So, what is one thing you will commit to taking action on before the end of 2018?

Me? I’m booking a car valet because getting round to vacuuming my car just never happens! Starting the new year with a sparkly clean car and free from the assumptions that I’ll be a star tennis player and fluent Italian speaker in a few months is already allowing me to breathe a big sigh of relief.

What would allow you to start 2019 with a big weight off your shoulders?

Lorraine xx

How can I be the best version of myself?

NEW! Listen to the audio version of this blog here.

How can I be the best version of myself?

Is that a question you’ve asked yourself lately?

Or ever?

We spend far too much of our time worrying about living up to other people’s expectations without pausing for a while to consider our own.

What values do you hold in high regard?

What traits do you most admire in others?

How can you spend more time living and breathing as the best version of yourself?

As a small-business owner (or heart-centred entrepreneur, as I like to say) I used to spend far too much time trying to create services and packages that would appeal to all different kinds of potential customers. If someone suggested a different angle I hadn’t thought of, I’d add that too. And I got tired. Exhausted. Burnt out.

As the old saying goes, I was trying to please all of the people, all of the time and winding up not pleasing anyone! Least of all myself.

Something had to change.

Through various twists and turns, challenges and plot twists, meetings with inspiring thought leaders and taking the time to tune into what was really important to me (aka core values), my life slowly began to sparkle.

It felt feel really good. Great, in fact.

It was as if all the magic I’d believed in as a child had landed in my lap. 

It wasn’t luck though, or even hard work.

The magic appeared because I’d become aligned to my inner voice and started to truly understand that it wasn’t what I did in my work (and personal life) that was important, but how and why I did it.

Asking myself the question: ‘How can I be the best version of myself today?’ soon became a daily habit.

For many months, I wrote down my thoughts, used oracle cards and my favourite rose quartz crystals, and allowed my inner voice to guide me.

You see, it wasn’t about creating a new e-book about a certain topic, or putting out a special priced offer on a new course, what really mattered was the passion at the core of everything I touched with my love and energy.

I realised that helping other people to shine brilliantly – to be the best version of themselves – was the really important thing to me.

This was (and still is) my why.

It didn’t matter whether I helped people gain business clarity during a quick 20 minute video call or supported them by writing their website copy, sent a quick ‘how are you feeling today?’ message or offered a short training session in their Facebook group.

How I delivered each of those things – from a place of love, compassion, kindness, empathy, experience and integrity – was integral to my personal fulfilment and, ultimately, more business success.

When you begin each day by thinking about how you can be the best version of yourself, you remove the need for expectation. You’re not expecting other people to act or talk in a certain way, you’re focused on how you can be better.

Once expectation is out of the way, it’s far easier to live from a place of love.

There’s no longer any need to act from fear, sadness or anger.

Whether you’re a business owner or not, we all make thousands of choices every single day. Choose the things that are in alignment to your core values, your inner voice, your ‘why’, and together we can create a ripple effect that makes every home, every school, every workplace and every community a more nourishing place to be.

How can you be the best version of yourself today?

Lorraine xx

Are you a passionate heart-centred entrepreneur interested in finding out how I can help you to shine brilliantly? Then hop on over to my Work with Me page to find out more. 

Full Moon – A time to forgive and move forward

If you look up into the sky tonight you’ll see the full moon illuminating the world around you.

You may have noticed your energy has been supercharged over the last few days – physically or emotionally – and tonight is the perfect time to tune into your spiritual energy and put the lunar magic to good use.

Each full moon is the right moment to deal with difficult emotions, and you’ll soon find that working on forgiveness will help to bring you inner peace.

Forgive others, but don’t forget to forgive yourself too.

Human beings aren’t perfect and we all make mistakes and bad choices.

But we must remember that even those bad choices can be the right ones at that particular moment and to look back, not with regret but with forgiveness and love.

Today’s full moon is in the air sign Gemini: a sign of communication, writing, speaking, connections and friendships. The Gemini twins bring double the energy so there’s twice as much to be grateful for tonight.

While the Gemini full moon brings about busyness and chattiness, it’s important to remind ourselves to become good listeners and aim to be the best version of ourselves that we can be when it comes to communication.

Take the time to consider how you’re listening to others.

Could you be a better listener?

The full moon is also the perfect moment to put down our smart phones and laptops and explore what’s happening around us. Spend more time talking to people, visiting local events, spending time outdoors, socialising, asking questions….

The dual aspect of Gemini energy means this full moon is a great time to connect, make new friendships or collaborate with like-minded business people who share your positive attitude, integrity and compassion.

With every full moon, it’s a good idea to write a gratitude list. This helps us to tune into what’s really important to us and keeps us on our path to achieving our goals and dreams. If you wish you can burn your gratitude list (safely) afterwards, or keep it in a moon journal to refer back to in the future.

What (or who) are you grateful for today?

Lorraine xx

 

Moon Rituals:

My Full Moon ritual is a simple one. I light a candle and work through forgiveness and gratitude in a special journal. I love writing down my thoughts as I find this is the best way for me to access my inner voice. I usually pull three oracle cards and write down my interpretation of these in relation to where I’m at and where I want to be. I’ve always got my rose quartz crystal with me throughout and I hold it while I’m working through my forgiveness and gratitude journalling.

I refer to my favourite lunar book, Moonology, which goes into more depth about moon rituals for specific star signs and ascendants.

What does your moon ritual look like?