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.

 

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. 

The Power of Human Connection

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

Over the last three years my life (and business) has changed dramatically because of one thing:

Human Connection.

I’m not really sure if I’m an introverted extrovert or an extroverted introvert (and I hate labels anyway) but to be able to spend a high percentage of my time safely tucked away in my own home, free from the draining energy of crowds, toxic office culture and negative energy vampires means that I’m a happier, calmer and more creative person than ever before.

But, of course, it’s not particularly helpful to be at home alone when running your own small business, so I’ve found a way to form genuine connections and true friendships with incredible women across the globe.

Setting up one or two video calls each week with women who inspire and motivate me (and vice versa) is the perfect way to boost social connection and engage in powerful human conversations.

And human conversation is the key to successful sales according to my good friend Jules White, a British sales coach, motivational TEDx speaker, author of Live It, Love It, Sell It and podcast host of The Human Conversation. (She’s a busy girl!)

In her book, Jules talks about the role of empathy in sales conversations and how to create strong relationships built on integrity:

‘The beauty of relationships is they last longer than a single transaction, so by conducting yourself with integrity and empathy rather than focusing on ‘winning’ you’re likely to generate future business. Your client will come back to you when they need you, and they’ll recommend you to others. That’s the real win. This is human selling and human connection.’

I love Jules’ approach but I’m also acutely aware that many women will shy away from creating these deep connections because they feel threatened by other women. 

Why is that?

Some might say it’s a link back to ancestral times such as the Salem witch trials when women were forced to expose other women as witches in order to protect themselves and their families. Others might say it’s just in our biological nature or that it’s simply learned habits from the culture we live in today.

But…

Every week I hear stories in the online space of women copying other women’s work, branding, images or words, women tearing others down or using people to get to the top. Not only is it stressful for those incredible, hard-working women who’ve worked so hard to elevate their small business into the online space to help others, but it’s very sad for those women who believe that using and abusing really is the only way to get what they want. (Hint: It’s not!)

When women support each other, incredible things happen.

Yesterday, I had a deep conversation with Georgia Varjas, a motivational speaker, writer and mentor living in Spain, about why women feel threatened by other women. We covered all sorts of angles from confidence and insecurities to labelling and judgment. Georgia reminded me of a quote she used during her amazing talk at Helen Packham’s Entrepreneurial Leaders Live event in Brighton in June:

The tongue has no bones, yet it is strong enough to break a heart.’ (Anon)

Georgia very generously invited me into her creative process and book writing journey and shared her ideas for the theme, chapters and messages within and from our conversation we both went away feeling inspired, motivated and filled with creativity.

When you open up and allow other women into your life and feel confident and secure in who you are, then amazing things really do happen.

In addition to these social connections and genuine friendships being so powerful when it comes to raising your profile and supporting your business passions in the online space, it’s important to remember that relationships are a form of self-love and nourishment and have a profound impact on our health.

Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, says, ‘The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health … Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.’

The message I’m sharing with you today is that building relationships on a solid foundation of integrity, kindness and love is vitally important for our health and our businesses.

I know that I couldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of so many incredible women. And I’m so grateful to each and every one of them.

Are you taking the time to build relationships?

I’d love to know…

Lorraine xx

If you’re interested in anything or anyone I’ve mentioned above, here are the links:

Live It Love It, Sell It – book by Jules White

Jules White – Facebook group- ‘Live It Love It Sell It with Jules White’

Georgia Varjas ‘Slipping and Sliding on the Glass Ceiling’ – live talk from Entrepreneurial Leaders Live, June 2018

Georgia Varjas – Facebook Page ‘Step Up and Stand Out’

Helen Packham, leadership & Business Coach, TEDx speaker and creator of Entrepreneurial Leaders Live events

The Harvard Study of Adult Development