A grateful flamingo – an entrepreneur’s perspective after injury

As an entrepreneur, having your life change in one small slip on a wet pavement could be enough to send you swimming head first into a deep sea of stress and anxiety.

I remember sitting in a hotel room the day after I broke my ankle worrying about how I’d get home; how I’d navigate the hotel reception area, the airport, the plane, the taxi ride home. Worrying about how I wouldn’t be able to drive to visit clients nor earn enough money to pay my bills.

But once I was home (airport special assistance are amazing – highly recommended!), those big fears vanished beneath a wave of logistical planning and hours of rest and relaxation.

There simply wasn’t space in my head to accommodate stress and healing at the same time.

I instinctively knew that getting better was my priority.

Yet, how many times in running a small business do we forget to prioritise our physical and mental health?

Being given the opportunity to step back and see things from a new perspective was an unexpected gift.

One for which I’ll be forever grateful.

Of course, it’s easy to say that it would be great if I hadn’t broken my ankle, but then I would still have been procrastinating about various projects and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience so much kindness and love.

And I definitely wouldn’t have got round to researching charity walking challenges for 2020 – which I’m even more driven to take part in now! #bringontherehab

So, if you’re reading this as a fit and healthy but overwhelmed entrepreneur, my advice is simple:

Take time out away from the noise.

Meditate. Breathe. Spend time in nature.

Ask for help.

Take on a cleaner, a VA, an accountant, a web designer, a copywriter, or someone to cook healthy food. Wherever you need help in your life or business, don’t be afraid to reach out and pay for expert help and support.

I put off getting a cleaner for the last 15 years.

I kept thinking that I couldn’t afford it, or that I wouldn’t like having someone in my house.

But then my ankle injury forced me to think differently. And once my friend’s cleaner came to join me, I realised how much pressure it took off of me and how much it reduced the stress and arguments I would have had with my teenage daughter.

I’m free to rest and recuperate and my daughter only has to do the day to day cleaning up after meals which frees her up to spend more time on college work.

Win-win-win I think!

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Lorraine Pannetier | Intuitive Copywriter | The Soulful Word

If you’re currently injured, or have a friend or relative with a broken bone, here are ten things I’ve learned in the last four weeks that might make you smile or prompt you to help a friend in need (especially if they’re not fond of asking for help):

  • Healing bones is tiring. You’ll sleep and rest far more than you thought possible. If you try to do too much your body will soon tell you to slow down! (In fact, it was probably giving you signs before you broke your ankle that you ignored…)

 

  • Asking for help is fundamental to recovery. When you’ve broken your ankle and are hobbling around on crutches there are so many things you can’t do. You basically become a flamingo – and I’ve never seen a flamingo make a cup of tea or pick up their child’s shoes from the floor. For a few weeks you’ll need someone to cook, clean and bring you drinks. Plus, you’ll need lifts to hospital appointments and someone willing to push you around in a wheelchair.

 

  • You’ll become very good at single-legged squats. When you’re not allowed to put any weight on the injured leg for 6 weeks, sitting down on the toilet or pushing up from a low step involves using every ounce of strength and balance from the good leg.

 

  • Shimmying up and down the stairs becomes a new game – one that thankfully strengthens your upper arms (bye bye batwings) and allows you to dust the skirting board or between the bannisters. (Trust me, when you’re down at that level you notice everything!)

 

  • Old backpacks and aprons that were sitting in that ‘declutter’ box in the hallway suddenly have a new lease of life. After all, how else are you going to get from the kitchen to the lounge with your sandwiches and water bottle? And that backpack will be your saving grace when it comes to taking your phone, charger, medication and other personal items up the stairs to bed each night.

 

  • You’ll soon become a pro at injecting your tummy with blood thinning medication (vital to stop blood clots in your immobile leg). Honestly, it’s scary when the nurse first tells you what you have to do, but like any challenge, once you’re over that first hurdle it becomes easier than you ever imagined and you wonder why you were so worried in the first place!

 

  • You’ll become truly grateful for Amazon grocery shopping and local food delivery services. If you live alone, or with children who are too young to go shopping by themselves, having food delivered to your door is a life saver (although you’ll need help unpacking too!). If you don’t have anyone to cook for you then definitely take advantage of cooked meal-prep services that cater for all diets and tastes.

 

  • Patience is a virtue – and one you’ll develop pretty quickly. The art of only doing what’s important will become a new skill to add to your ever growing list of talents. With all your body’s energy being channelled into healing that broken bone, there will be very little left for physical or creative pursuits. So pop those book-writing, course-creating, decluttering goals to one side and focus on your healing.

 

  • There are a whole host of health and medical services in place to help you through this period. From shower chairs to hospital transport to airport special assistance, the infrastructure and services are there specifically for these moments when you simply can’t do it alone. If you’re a single parent, on a low income or live alone, make sure you ask for help. Don’t let pride get the better of you!

 

  • You’ll receive kindness, compassion and help in unexpected places, from family, friends and strangers. Accept those hands that keep you steady, the food that keeps you nourished and the flowers that brighten your day.

 

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who’s played a part in this broken bone journey so far…

The staff at Thai Edge restaurant, Leeds, who gave me water and a chair after I slipped over and helped me (and paid for) a taxi to hospital.

The taxi driver who held my hand as I struggled to hop into the car.

All the medical staff at Leeds General Infirmary A&E.

The amazing team at Premier Inn, Leeds Whitehall – especially Ryan for going out of his way to help us.

The staff at Jet2 customer services online and at the airport.

The friendly and compassionate Special Assistance Team at Leeds Bradford (Yorkshire) airport and Jersey airport.

All the medical staff, nurses and operating teams at Jersey hospital.

Anne from Jersey Occupational Therapy services.

Marta for keeping my house clean and tidy (and Joanna for sharing her with me!).

My mum for sending me a beautiful hand made card.

Plus, my amazing friends who’ve taken me to hospital appointments, pushed me round in a wheelchair, done my food shopping, collected my daughter, bought pet supplies, brought me flowers and made me cups of tea. Annette, Emily, Tracey, Jayne, Fiona, Polly, Chantelle. I’m so grateful for all your help, love and kindness.

A huuuuuuge shout out to my 16 year old daughter who has had to completely change her lifestyle to cook and clean for me every day and is getting a crash course in how to run a house… Thank you 💗

And a massive thank you to my wonderful 18 year old daughter who was with me when it happened… thank you for looking after me at hospital, taking photos of my deformed, swollen ankle and pushing me around in a very awkward wheelchair. Thank you for going to buy me cheap black leggings that I could cut to fit over my plaster cast! 💗

And finally, to all my Facebook friends who’ve sent me lovely messages (and Tina for the special gift) – you’re all amazing and I’m so grateful we’ve connected over the magic that is the internet.

Lorraine xx

 

 

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.

 

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

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