Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Achieving More "

How to control that voice in your head! The 4 step Voice Exchanger strategy

Here is a proven way to get that negative voice to shut the hell up.

This is only a quick article so I don’t have the time to explain why you need to do this but a client just messaged me to tell me how powerful this little technique is that I created that I thought I would share it with you too. As always let me know how you get on and of course my books and courses are packed with strategies, tools and techniques that work so let’s work together and make you more successful.

I call this the 4 Step Voice Exchanger strategy for when your head is full of negativity and you tell yourself bad things like;

  • Where did that wrinkle come from?
  • Is that what I really look like from the back?
  • They are never going to want to work with me!
  • Why am I so useless?
  • Wow, I suck at maths, grammar, public speaking, asking for what I want!
  • I can get anything right!

Whatever negativity that voice is giving you I see it damage clients success and happiness all the time, it even destroys your confidence and undermines your ability to believe you can achieve and not fail again and again and again. So let’s get rid of your negative voice and get a healthy one in your head. Here goes…

  1. Start to notice what you say to yourself. Notice the negative things you say to yourself for 1 week. Don’t try to change them, don’t try to explain them, just notice them. If you want to make this step mega powerful write down what you notice. You will need to carry a pad and pen with you or store what you discover on an app on your phone – it could make step 3 a lot easier.
  2. Say No! We often assume the next step would be to change that voice. Change is sometimes easy but often hard so let’s make this an easy process. In the 2nd week every time you hear a negative statement in your head tell it No! Actually for a lot of clients they don’t tell it no, they tell it “Oh you, F**k off!” Sometimes this step is made easier by imagining that voice has a body to go with it. For one client we imagined it was a squawky brightly coloured parrot. You will see in step 4 what we did with the parrot! For another client we imagined the voice was an evil version of themselves. I asked them to tell me what it said to them and I said to them. “I really don’t like that person” my client agreed and said the nice version of her who took her to yoga and out for cake was going to tell her to naff off – get’s to the point right? Don’t think you need to be imaginative to make this work. If saying NO is enough for you then that’s fine. Do this for 1 whole week. If you don’t manage it, then notice what happened. And start week 2 again. This is about bringing lasting positive change to your life so don’t assume you will fix it straight away. For some clients they come back and tell me they failed and we work on the reasons why it failed and discover what was causing the lack of progress – so you see even failing is achieving if it moves you forward!
  3. Say the positive. In step 1 you ideally wrote down what you were saying to yourself. All that negative self talk. For every statement write a positive statement. For instance; “Why are you so rubbish at that!” becomes “I am proud of what I know about this and would like to know more” or “Wow fatty lay off the cake” becomes “I love my food and I love my body” You can be as creative or as blunt as you like. It’s in your head and it is only for your ears. As a rule to guide you if you wouldn’t say it to me, your best mate or the love of your life then you can’t say it to you EVER AGAIN! If you struggle with this stage (and many clients who lack confidence or have something holding them back do) then post to my mastermind group and I/we can help you create new positive sentences to say to yourself. At this stage (and this is very important) you don’t have to believe these sentences, you just have to choose to say them for a whole week.
  4. Notice. For week 4 just notice what is happening in your head. It will be one of a few things; either 1. You will notice your voice is changing, you may slip up but on the whole you are getting a far kinder, helpful supportive voice in your head. Notice how it impacts on your actions and results, this will become a good motivator to keep going. Remember the client with the parrot as their negative voice? They came back 2 weeks later and told me that every time they heard that parrot they cooked it with chips! Chips were their favourite and they had joked with me that they could eat anything as long as it came with chips. Such a daft flippant statement turned out to be the perfect way of destroying their negative voice. I last spoke to that client 2 weeks ago and they told me they had achieved an amazing promotion with a very healthy pay rise and it couldn’t have happened had they not destroyed that voice in their head that told them they weren’t good enough – this strategy seriously works! 2. You notice you are getting no improvement but you are noticing all the bad stuff you tell yourself (this is still an improvement, so praise yourself for it. 10/20+ years of telling yourself bad stuff doesn’t always get fixed overnight.) It’s all too easy to only tell yourself off for failing at this proven strategy that Mandie uses with her clients and not appreciate how far you’ve come. Don’t go it alone, ask for help. I’ve been developing strategies to help people achieve and overcome adversity and confidence issues for many many years I know this to be true. 3. You gave up half way through week 2 and never got to week 4! If this is you look to what makes you disciplined and stick with things. How can you migrate those skills to this easy 4 step exchanger? If you don’t do this ask yourself this question (and write down the answer) “

If I don’t do this 4 step process what will I be agreeing to?”think it’s a load of crap and doesn’t work

4. You think this is a load of rubbish and it doesn’t work. In my experience when I’m coaching teams I’m often confronted with someone who thinks my methodology is a load of rubbish and that I’m a tad flippant and far too jokey to be doing any good. And that is fine. They are usually the first to be asking me questions on the practices I use and tell me how life changing they are. So if you do think this is a load of rubbish it tells you more about what you think about yourself and your ability to change than it does the strategy. And that in itself is worth investigating, in a coaching session it would probably tell us why you do what you do and how to get the better results you want.

So that’s it, it’s a lot longer than most techniques I teach which can make changes to your life and success within a few hours, but for something so deep rooted this is a powerful way of getting that negative voice disintegrated and get a voice in your head that says “Wowsers you are amazing, let’s do great things together!”

As always let me know how you get on and feel free to get in touch any time. I know how to make your brain work powerfully for you so you get amazing results in all areas of your life.

 

  • August 12, 2020

I know why you will work on a bank holiday – and you aren’t going to like it.

I know you have a mountain of things to get done and the bank holiday seems like a great opportunity to get ahead, right?

But here’s the thing, I once created a 10 day week for a client, and they could see that no matter how much time you create – you will fill it.

Mountains of research points to the benefits on your minds ability to problem solve, get creative, get productive and even sell more from having a bit of down time. Space.

That’s not checking your phone. That’s going for a bike ride. Painting a picture. Walking the dog. Yoga. The Gym. A barbecue with friends. Reading for no other reading than you love the book. Tinkering in your garage/studio/hobby room or garden.

Just real brain space from work.

The reason you won’t do it is because there’s a real fear hiding there;

  • The fear that you will let someone down.
  • That you will miss out on an opportunity.
  • That someone will think badly of you.
  • That you will look unprofessional.
  • That you won’t get it all done. (MYTH; No one ever gets it all done. Those that are looking to achieve big, that believe in more will ALWAYS be able to find something else that “needs to be done.”)
  • That you believe the only way to success is through agonising hours and making sacrifices (Assumptions are never good for success.)

The list of excuses for not turning off the phone and stepping away is endless. And I’ve probably heard them all;

  • You don’t get it.
  • It can’t be done like that tin our industry.
  • It must be done immediately.
  • I’m very driven – and it has to happen today.
  • No one leaves these.
  • Etc, etc.

In every case the client has been able to see the detrimental effect that needing to work 24/7 has on their long-term success, their happiness, their family and friends, their health even their ability to make more money.

So, trust me when I say, step away from the phone/laptop/report.

Escape.

If you want lasting success – Escape. It’s just one day.

But before you escape you need to;

  • Work out what fears stop you. Fixing one day won’t fix the fear – find it, take ownership of it and get a plan of action to fight it. (I’ve seen this work so powerfully, thus please do take action.)
  • Put into place clear structure to your working day – that others know and respect too. You may work at 7 am and 8 pm but is that 7 days a week? Is there an hour on a Thursday where you go to a class that is yours? Don’t be afraid to own time.
  • Put boundaries in place – if you will answer emails 24/7 do you expect everyone else to as well or is it just you that needs to be a superhero?
  • Know your goals. If your goal for this month is to achieve X – how will that still happen with 2 working days off? What needs to happen? Who needs to know? What adjustments do you need to make? (A great thing to remember here is if you can make 2 days disappear for fun this month and still achieve your goals, think how much more you could get done next month since you will be gaining 2 days!)
  • Trust – have faith. Don’t get me wrong I can still hyperventilate if there’s a lot going on at work about turning the phone off for 17 days (last holiday duration) but with the right processes, the right clients, the right team, the right attitude and the right believes – wow it’s good for you and your success.

Not feeling it?

Feel this is impossible to do?

I’m more than  happy to have a chat anytime. Well you know how it is right?

 

  • May 6, 2019

Oh Wow!

I wonder if you do the same as me?

Someone says something uber nice or cool about me and I just smile, maybe thank them and quickly dismiss it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud to be Mandie Holgate* however I rarely hold on to what people say;

“That was an awesome keynote Mandie, you’ve changed my life”

That’s nice I think, but I don’t think “Wow Mandie, aren’t you amazing!”

So is that a good thing or a bad?

For me I know that I’ve processed all of the above thoughts and personally I like to think “I’m only as good as my next coaching client session, next key note or next article.” I rarely hold on to the past successes (although I would add I do acknowledge they exist.)

And the reason I do this is because I want to always be upping my game, improving, learning and striving to be the very best coach, speaker and writer I can be.

So why do I tell you this?

Because before every coaching session or speaking engagement I’m as nervous as I was the first time! Okay so not that nervous, but nervous enough to notice and nervous enough to question “Is there something you need to process and understand here Mandie?” Usually the answer is no, because I realise it’s just me mentally preparing to perform in the best way I can. However I did stop just now when I received another message saying;

“Oh Wow Mandie, this is why people rave about working with you.”

(The rest of that message is confidential!)

The point is I was just about ready to reply with “so pleased working with me is working for you. Keep in touch, etc, etc” When I stopped and thought “Mandie you gave that person 2 hours of your life and you changed their life, how awesome is that?”

So for just the slightest moment I’ve let myself really feel that persons message and it feels like I’m standing on the top of a high mountain top  looking out over the beautiful ocean, maybe a few whales or dolphins are swimming by giving me the “Hi Mandie” Flipper wave and the sun feels like the powerful energy source it is as it electrifies every wave in the ocean and I really do say to myself “Oh Wow.”

We rarely take the time to notice the impact we have on people; every day, in our work, in our lives and just in the way we may treat strangers in the street. Take a moment and appreciate your “Oh Wowness” and please feel free to share them with me on social media. I love hearing about your awesomeness.

 

*Are you proud to be you? I asked this because rarely can we stand up and be honest about this, and can you guess the impact that this can have on your results and successes?

 

  • October 31, 2018

How to upset a dentist – oops!

It was not my plan to wake up in September and upset a dentist, but upset a dentist I did!

The Dentists email started fabulously with Marcus telling me how much he was enjoying my book but quickly took a negative turn as he pointed out that I’d been rather mean to his industry on page 46. On that page I talked about how unpleasant arrogant people can be and I compared it to sitting in the dentist chair. You know, arrogant people are a bit like dentists, you know you’re not going to enjoy the experience but someone how you’ve just got to get through it.

At the time of writing I carried out some research on “What is the worse place you have to go?” and the replies varied from;do you fear the dentist

  • My mother in laws
  • Work
  • Dentist
  • Hospital

The dentist featured the highest and resonated with a lot of people so seemed the natural choice to select. It also resonated with me because 30 years ago I’d had such a severe phobia of the dentist that I had to be sedated to even have a check and clean! I would pass out in the chair. Not a nice experience and thus because it resounded with me too it went in the book.

My book – Fight the fear is about the 12 biggest fears that impact on success and I share how to get what you want in life and overcome the obstacles and fears to build confidence and success. I have a habit of having a laugh with my coaching clients because it helps them look at tough situations, feelings and obstacles in their life that are usually causing negative emotions, actions and results. So I wanted to bring that style to my book as well as the strategies that I know work.

What do you say to someone you’ve upset and upset his whole profession?

Well I was honest. I did start by asking for a review (since no one ever gets around to writing those!) and then I found that I spent a good few minutes thinking about it.

Did I really hate dentists? What should I say to Marcus?

Marcus had got me thinking!

My Dentist (Miss Rasheed) rocks! She’s so patient and thanks to my Lupus et al sometimes its’ near on impossible to open my mouth wide enough or for long enough and yet she patiently helps me and always checks that my medication is not impacting on my teeth, she’s always kind and when my teeth crumbled thanks to the meds I thought Miss Rasheed was going to cry too at the unfairness of it all!

Okay years ago I went 3 years without a checkup because I didn’t’ get my fear under control (ironic I fix people’s fears for a living now right?) and while visiting the dentist is not on my top 100 days out list, I love the clean feel you get from a dentists clean and I love having a catch up with Miss Rasheed. It’s almost like a review of the last 6 months. You come out grinning because you’ve had a chat and realised you’ve done some pretty awesome things since you last saw her!

So Marcus was right but I wasn’t wrong. How can that be?

Well, while Marcus was very right to point out that “modern confidence building dentistry is as far from this as possible!” because it is. It’s most definitely not a man yanking your teeth out with pliers while his foot gains leverage on your chest. However I was right because factually it had rated highly as somewhere, with someone many of us hate to be.

Would I use that analogy if I was writing Fight the fear now?fake reality mandie holgate blog sept 2018

Probably, however I would have added that it is a perception of reality (that is not correct) that enables us to view dentists in this 18th century style instead of the 21st century carers they actually are. Which in all honesty is also something that happens with most fears – we create a version of reality that doesn’t serve us well and enables the fear (and thus damages our success) scary right? Possibly  worded like this the analogy for dentists would have proved more powerful so I commend Marcus for emailing me.

So what do you do when you are faced with assumptions that damage your life, your results and even a profession?

Challenge

The mistake that most people make is they “tell” the other party their own view and communicate in a way that says “If you don’t think the same as me then you are wrong.” The powerful communications happen when you enable someone to view something differently for themselves so first of all challenge them. Respectfully. Powerful communication is a hot topic throughout Gight the fear so I can see why it appealed to Marcus so much.

Where’s the facts?rogue emotions trying to damage success

Once you’ve challenged them ask them to give you evidence that has enabled them to think like that. In my case I took time to consider “How do I think about dentists?” And was able to see that my own viewpoint is very different to the one of the 15 year old Mandie Holgate. When I ask a client to give me the proof that they are useless, or it won’t work, or they are scared to do something, usually they are able to see it’s not true. And they have plenty of evidence to prove they are more than capable of succeeding, it’s just the rogue emotions trying to overpower the facts! As your coach I enable my clients to learn to notice how they think and talk to themselves. By enabling them to really understand this they have tools for life. Is the dentist really painful? How long are you really in the chair? Creating the right questions helps people look at things in a different way. WARNING word your viewpoint and question in the wrong way and you will lose any chance of getting your view across and respected.

Remove the stigma

You can’t always change people’s views or beliefs however you can help reduce the stigma thus eventually you can see it removed entirely. 11 years ago when I first spoke about trying to kill myself and my own depression people would tell me I was very brave to go on TV etc and talk so openly. I didn’t see it as brave, a firefighter running into a burning building is brave, talking about my past is not. For me it felt like the important thing to do. However now when I’m in the media and speaking up for mental health I rarely get that kind of comment. We are winning the war (all too slowly for my liking) on the barriers to discussing mental health and gaining mental health, and it’s the same for all stigmas.

Interestingly the book was originally aimed at people at work and we changed it to reflect WH Smith’s (the UK’s leading book stores) idea that we pitch the book to everyone. Every week I get messages from people telling me they have read my book and it’s helped them achieve more, overcome fears and their lack of confidence however closest to my heart is the messages that tell me that Fight the fear has helped people over come their phobias, mental health illnesses and emotional distress. I wish Mandie from 11 years ago had known going through hell would change thousands of peoples lives in the future, it may have helped her keep going!be part of the change you want to see mandie holgate blog

So if you want to change people’s mind, talk about it. Get in the press, talk on social media, talk about it on your website, guest blog, blog, tell the world. As the saying goes “be part of the change you want to see in life.” That takes confidence so check your own confidence levels too.

Reframe

Many people don’t know that your 21st century dentistry is not just helping you with your teeth and gums. They can spot Diabetes, Leukaemia, Oral cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Heart disease and Kidney disease (and that’s just a few things they can help detect!). My own dentist was the one to spot that the Lupus and meds were causing Osteopenia. If you can speak up about what a dentist really can do for you then you can help people to reframe how they think and thus how they act.

This is the same for most assumptions. When a client says something to me and I realise its something they’ve said repeatedly I raise their awareness to their assumption and break it down until it is gone, thus enabling a more powerful thought to take it’s place. Reframing works well for this. So instead of “I hate the dentist, it’s so painful” this could change to “It’s only 10 minutes for 6 months of healthy teeth, a good trade off!”

The fact is whether we like it or not like just as your car needs a service and your gutters need cleaning, your teeth need looking after too. It’s something we have to do if we want to keep our teeth, so the outdated inaccurate viewpoint of the dentist has to go doesn’t it?

As my readers and clients know most fears are hidden, (that’s is why they get to have power over you for so long because you can’t fix what you can’t see) and thanks to Marcus I’ve had a look at what I think and realised that if I allowed that negative viewpoint of dentists to stick around then my next visit could start to be like the ones of my teen years – horrific! Because ultimately our brains are big muscles that need exercising regularly to stay healthy.change beliefs article dentist sept 2018

Thank you Marcus, you are doing an awesome job of challenging these views, It begs the question “If you could change people’s beliefs around something what is it and how would you do it?

(If you are looking to change the world, grow a business or just change someones behaviour at work I’m happy to have a chat about the power of coaching to get what you want.)

  • September 29, 2018

Bench Mark Graph – Where am I?

I often find that someone sits before me in a coaching session and doesn’t have a clue what is wrong. Okay work could be better and yes they’ve been snapping at their partner, and to be fair their health could do with a bit of TLC but nothing jumps out and yells “Fix this!”

Whether you find yourself in this situation or know exactly what you want to fix it is a good idea to bench mark exactly where you are now. The reason this is so important is because we don’t always notice subtle improvements or issues that are as slow as super tankers starting to impact on us.

This graph enables you to quickly and easily establish where you are.

Decide how often you will revisit this;

What will you do when you see things aren’t improving?

What will you do to celebrate your successes? (Ask me sometime why this is so important.)

How will you ensure that the actions are working are replicated and migrated?

Benchmark graph worksheet

For more ideas get in touch, help yourself to a bargain course or book, let’s connect on social media and I love that phone of yours ringing me, I’m here to help.

 

  • July 25, 2018

Do you need to be suited and booted to get the big contracts?

It’s a good gauge that if more than a handful of people ask a question then you should help them find a solution. Therefore, when I was asked (again) by a business man during a coaching session and numerous occasions by women from many professions if they had to be suited and booted to get the high-end contracts and the big opportunities I thought it was time to carry out some research.
Can you attract the right clients and dress anyway that makes you feel comfortable or do you risk missing out?

I have my own thoughts however I can’t help but remember the person at a prestigious networking event in the city who happily shared how “2 gentlemen that only wore sports coats to a meeting couldn’t possibly expect to get investment into their company” and that cost them 6 figures. A costly outfit!

So, I asked my social media world “Do you need to be suited and booted?” and interestingly the opinions were very mixed.

In some industries, it would appear anything goes, even flipflops and yet for others if you don’t shine your shoes and straighten that tie you could be damaging your profit margin. Scary right?
So what drives these views?

How can it be that one industry is allowed to rock up like it’s a party and another has to dress like it’s someone’s funeral?

Thanks to all of the views shared it would appear the need to dress a certain way is a little like a supertanker, it’s on the turn but it’s going to take a while. And of the thoughts shared the most shocking was that it was okay for men to turn up in jeans but frowned upon in the same professions for women to do the same.Do some things never change!

Many of the creative industries shared ideas like international graphic designer Esther Feltham from Eyespeak “people don’t expect designers to dress formally.” Adding “there are expectations associated with dress and profession. It’s all about identity”. A view shared by many as James Brand CEO From Innovative Creatives Ltd (UK) shared “I think it very much depends on what you are selling and who the corporate is. I believe while they might be buying a product or service they are buying into a company selling it. If you are a creative company I think a really formal dress can make you appear not to be creative and less innovative. It must be a judgement call based on the individual client.” A few shared by many.

Fascinatingly views varied from Facebook to LinkedIn too. Facebook commenters were far more likely to say “wear what makes you feel good and comfortable” whereas LinkedIn commentators raised more concerns that it could be a risk to get it wrong.
Adding that it wasn’t just about your outfit’s impact on you and your customers some believed that what you wear can even impact on your ability to perform. And the ability of others to see you as the expert. Would you trust a doctor or lawyer who dressed in a T-shirt and jeans?

As someone who’s employed to enable people to think more powerfully, override built-in limitations, enable innovative thinking and empower higher performance I, like many of our commentators sit in the middle on this one. As I explained to one client who bought this question to me I’ve even changed the colour of my lipstick or nails to be “more in keeping” with what my audience of that day would like. And yet I’ve also turned up to a corporate event where most of the people in the room would fit the £100,000K+ bracket and wear a long satin baby pink skirt (think Sarah Jessica Parker from Sex in the City) just because I’ve known that it would be a roomful of grey and black suits and that I would stand out. (And yes that has worked very well for me!)

Would I have done this years ago? Probably not. in my 9+ years in the automotive industry, I never wore jeans to work. I was always suited and booted, why? Because I was dealing with people who had just been involved in a car accident and were relieved to be alive. They wanted someone to look like they had authority to take charge of the situation and put their minds at rest. Could I have done this in jeans and a jumper? Probably, however, would the paramedic, police or fire services be anything other than in uniform? And does a uniform help create feelings in us?

Another reason I have never worn jeans to work is because my parents saw denim as workwear and as such it would have been disrespectful to wear. This is also a thought-provoking point that came up time and time again that to not wear the right outfit showed a lack of respect for the company you were aiming to work with as well as the people that you led. One commentator said, “It doesn’t have to be a designer suit, however turning up and looking like you care, shows that you do.”

So it’s one thing to be disruptive and another to be disrespective? It’s good to stand out and sometimes it’s definitely better to fit in, but how can you know when you should pull out your favourite outfit and be a metaphorical giraffe in a field of cats and when should you buckle down, shine your shoes and look like a row of eggs?

One business owner said that they realised that they’d misread the company and it probably cost them the contract because they’d not dressed in the right way. “It wasn’t about the fashion, however, I shouldn’t have arrived in a full suit, it made me look stuffy and not with the times. “So how can you ensure you get it right?

As an individual or representative of an organisation, it is important to know your brand. What do you stand for? What is your mission? What message does your company wish to portray online and offline and do you mirror this in real life? What words would your ideal clients use to describe you?

This is interestingly where I often see a lack of alignment between on and off line and it is the “gut instinct” reason why people don’t buy from you, because something “didn’t add up.”

My company was one of 2017 top 100 small businesses for The Guardian and at a celebration ball we had to find a business that we’d been handed the name of, like a giant treasure hunt. Towards the end of the evening someone was struggling to find their “treasure” when I asked the persons name and what they did I guessed the person (out of over 200 people) straight away. The group of people I was with were astonished and retorted “you must already know them!” I didn’t I’d just put 2 and 2 together and worked out what they were likely to look like. As a coach, you are pretty good at sussing people out fast, and on this occasion, I’d looked at the branding, the colours, the tonality and the profession and it had been easy to find them.

Try it at an event you attend. Guess what the person you don’t know does for a living. It could help you to appreciate the impact your outfit could be having on your success, your brand’s strength and your contracts.

If you become more aware of your brand and the way you portray yourself, you can also then start to ask yourself if your brand matches that of your ideal clients. In this way even if you get the outfit wrong if you correlate in all other respects the contract could still be yours. Do you use the same terminology? The same language? Do they use a ton of jargon but you don’t?

When you know who your target audience is and what they would like to expect it, you can showcase your respect for the individual and the organisation by getting this right. However here is where the clothes can become irrelevant. Ultimately it is about what is on the inside.

You can be the best-dressed person in the room however if you can’t impress with your knowledge, ideas and ability to communicate effectively then you still lose out. And that is not just about being the best qualified for the job it is about being the most confident to believe you are right for the job. (Are we then back to the clothes and the argument that we should wear what makes us feel comfortable? You can see why it can make it a tough call and easy to get wrong.)

I’ve been given opportunities that I’ve never imagined because of the way I’ve have portrayed myself, (they ignored the Eiffel tower Mickey Mouse earrings, it was my passion for their success that mattered more.) Then we are doing a complete 360 back to that your outfit is not important, because if your outfit makes you feel good, then you feel differently, and if you feel different you act different and if you act differently you get different results.

Therefore while it will always be important to look like you want the job, show respect and be on brand nothing is more important than the internal confidence that says “I’m the right person for that job!” I remember my first boss worked on the garage floor and one day had a meeting with the bank manager when he arrived our accountant said the boss looked like he was a 1920’s convict who had just finished a hard day of graft. To which the boss replied something along the lines “They aren’t interested in my fashion sense just my profit margin.”
So if you feel good, don’t risk offending your perfect clients and your mindset means you perform better then go for it, right?
Just be cautious of the 2 men in sports jackets that completely misread their target audience and missed out on 6 figures.

Afterall people don’t just buy a product or service, they buy the people and the brand behind it.
So while I appreciate the need to mirror my audience I’m also considered someone that is award-winning, innovative and cutting edge, so it’s good to be a part of the forward-thinking movement as long as I know it will be tolerated and not damage my success, and that ultimately comes down to being confident in who you are. As if choosing an outfit first thing in the morning wasn’t hard enough!

Thank you to everyone that shared their views and thoughts on LinkedIn and Facebook, if you would like me to look at other aspects that can impact on our success, please do not hesitate to make a suggestion.

  • May 19, 2018

Mandie’s New Years Solution….

I’m often asked if I set goals and in January I’m inundated with questions about new year resolutions.

Should I set them? Shouldn’t I?

What should they look like? How should I word them? Do I need to create micro actions? Do I have to get up early? Do I have to rewrite my life?

I think that part of this can be impacted on by the fact that whereas years ago in the workplace we’d have 5 minutes chat on the way to the coffee machine now we know what people are thinking, planning and coveting 24/7 thanks to our interconnected world. Thus we can’t help but compare and contrast ourselves to others.

Great in some ways, a killer to happiness and success in others.

So with January rattling on, what do I tell people about New Years Resolutions?

It’s down to the individual. And while some can make it work, for the majority it sets up 2018 with shortcut to failure. While some have the character that means they create the passion and will achieve it no matter what, and others can create a positive addiction to a result. Many have doubts and fears about capabilities, results and even confidence can take a death defying jump off a cliff. So personally I would never set a goal according to a date. It’s ludicrous. 

However, I do perform certain actions towards the end of the year. You see weirdly for me and my partner we have never seen the year as January to December (there are currently over 40 calendars in the world. With our knack for altering our year and our months going back through civilisations – any chance to make it easier to achieve right?) For me and my Hubby we have always seen the start of the new year as September, when we return from our holidays. Refreshed. Relaxed. Brain recharged. Body ready for anything. And lots of ideas and plans naturally make their way to the forefront of our minds. In this way, we find we “naturally” get stuff done in the Autumn and into the new year, without a lot of big pressure or preplanning. All that was naturally done over a glass of local wine in the South of France on a beach!

So the end of the calendar year is a great chance to reassess things;

What is working?

What do I need to change to get the results we/I want/need?

How are my actions impacting on our long-term goals?

What needs to change?

These are just some of the questions we answer to check against our desired goals in business and life. January then is my first marker to how I’m getting on. And I ask additional questions such as;

Do I feel the same level of passion for what I do?

Do I need to change what I do or how I do it?

Are my goals still stretching me?

Are comfort zones developing?

What fears are lurking that could impact on my growth?

Do I need to set new or additional actions?

Do I need to set new or additional goals?

This process often throws up little actions that can tune up the goal engine that gets me to where I want to go. It stops me from stagnating, it ensures I challenge myself and always look the right distance into the future. And for me rather importantly it ensures I stay positive. Being self-employed is epic, however, working in an office with a dog at your feet and only seeing clients via a computer screen may make lots of clients happy and successful and the bank account healthy, yet it does little for a healthy mind, so one of my personal goals that I’m happy to share with you is that I will be networking more in 2018. Not only is it great fun, delivers new opportunities and clients, for me personally most importantly it protects my mental well being.

You see a big reason we fail in our goals and new year resolutions is we just don’t work with what we’ve got. We look around at everyone else and think “I should be in the gym” “I should crave world domination” “I should want to be on TV”, etc, etc, etc and this means we stop listening to the values and passions that mattter to us and if you really want success and to achieve in 2018, start by asking these questions. Honestly and openly, what do you really want?

Now let’s get on with achieving it. Exciting isn’t it!

  • January 4, 2018

Top Tips For Start Up Creative Businesses

I have just started a conversation on social media with a woman who is setting up her own business in a creative industry.

Her big dream is to turn her passion and love for art into a business.

I’ve met many people over the last few months with similar goals.

So here is my top 15 guide to success for creative businesses;

  1. If you don’t have a budget for marketing your business (which is nothing to be ashamed of, think of Richard Branson and his market stall!) Do not start your marketing with a website, SEO (Search Engine optimisation) or advertising. Unfortunately, as you get known and network and tell people about your business, some people are like hyenas around a carcass and will swoop in offering you support to grow your business, get on the first page of Google (don’t listen to that one, it’s not true) and basically tell you for £X amount they can get you lots of lovely customers. Even if they can, don’t start there! Time for top tip 2.
  2. Get on the right social media. In the start you won’t have time to be on all of the social media platforms that could be right for you, so think carefully. Am I a business to business company or a business to consumer company? By answering this you will know whether LinkedIn needs to factor heavily or not. In my opinion for myself and those creatives I’ve worked with; Twitter is great to get known and raise awareness of yourself as an expert in your field. A thought leader. And it has led to some great free PR for me. Facebook gets me clients for The Business Womans Network events. For my training, sales of my 6-week online course, book and public speaking clients. Not so much for the clients that want to retain me for a year. Or invest in a full day with me. (I get them on LinkedIn) Instagram is great to meet new people and share great content without having to think “What shall I write?” Remember a picture paints a thousand words and for your business it really could. Pinterest is great to group my interests, and thus those of people who are likely to like me and what I represent, thus get them interested in finding out more about me and maybe connecting in other ways. YouTube is big business and gaining strength all of the time. Don’t just share images think about what content could you share that get people subscribing to your channel and busting a gut to see your latest master piece.

(There are plenty of others and social media is a constantly evolving monster so be prepared to explore, trial and play with it. So no matter what you can stay current and create an effective marketing strategy organically.)

  1. Are you going to sell online? Will you be on Amazon? eBay or Etsy? Or all of them? Remember there are likely to be new players all the time, so think about what you want your marketing to say about your brand and your products? Do you sit comfortably with Amazon? Will you have a shop on Facebook? Is eBay the right image for you? To help you decide think about your products and research what is sold on each platform. Asking other creatives in forums can also be a good way to research what could work for you. Let other peoples mistakes be something you learn from.
  2. Know your pricing structure. If you can only produce one piece of work in 2 months your prices are going to need to reflect this. On the other hand, if you make 4 items in a day, again will this reflect in your price? Don’t make yourself too cheap. If you were to buy a wedding cake in the centre of London, you could pay a lot more than if you bought one in your local high street. Do you want your products to be owned by all, or admired from a far because they are something to aspire to owning one day?
  3. Know your brand. By deciding on what you make and what you charge you will start to appreciate who you need to target. What are your perfect clients like? Do they own horses, ski at Christmas, holiday in the South of France in the Summer? Do they like to update the look of their homes all of the time? Are they into history? Art? Travelling? Building a bio of your perfect client helps you create your brand. Everything I do is synonymous with showcasing that you can run a successful business without spending a fortune on marketing and helping people to stay motivated, building confidence and overcoming fears. I’m not likely to be online promoting advertising or moaning about the size of my thighs. What is your brand? What do you talk about? Care about? Are you a public “No holds barred” “Wear your heart on your sleeve” artist or private and an enigma? One artist turned down the opportunity to have her work displayed in a New York Gallery because she discovered they used furs and this was against her beliefs. Will your beliefs impact on your business?
  4. Who else will sell your work? I was speaking to a designer of high fashion T Shirts, when she said that her designs sometimes were inspired by her own tattoos. She is now going to talk to her local tattoo artist. Could she be promoting him and she be promoting him? Do you want your work to be in galleries? Promoted by interior designers? Wedding boutiques? Cross promotion is a great way to promote someone else and for them to promote you. Free marketing when you are busy!
  5. Have the guts to go and ask! Yes, it is really scary walking into a gallery and saying “Hello could you take a look at my art, and are you interested?” I get that. However, every business owner on the planet that succeeds has learnt that no’s are good too. A no is a chance to learn. And ensure you don’t use questions that start with Why. Why questions carry guilt. “What is the reason you are not interested?” Has no guilt. What questions could you ask? And yes I get that it is really scary! So carry something to show with you at all times, you never know where you might spot the perfect place to be showcasing your work.
  6. Boost your confidence now. As one creative told me. “Showing people my art is like sharing a little part of my soul, what if they don’t like it. I don’t think I could cope with that.” Know why you rock today. Because business has knocks, lots of them. However, by dealing with those knocks you become a better business owner for it. (I promise) and the first thing you need to do is build your confidence. You should be able to write me a 2 page A4 document of why you rock, are awesome and can make this work. Because when you have a tough day you are going to need to remind yourself that you can do this, and this can work!
  7. Know who you can talk to for non-biased advice and support to stay motivated and positive. The Business Womans Network in the words of so many women, keeps people on target positive and motivated. Where can you go to get that? Being creative is likely to mean you spend a lot of time alone with your work. However, be aware that business success is a lot easier if you rely on the right people. Not people who want to sell something at you. Just people that want to keep you motivated and believing in yourself. As top tip 8 tells you. You need self-belief. It is amazing how many times that I have helped someone build their confidence and magically they have gained new customers and more sales. It’s not magic though, the fact is when you have confidence you believe in your products and when you believe in your products you are not second guessing yourself and undermining your chances of success or the positive result of a sale.
  8. Protect your intellectual property and respect others IP too. Don’t rip off someone else’s work because it will get back to them and could seriously damage your reputation and business.
  9. In your business plan don’t rule out offering corporate events/training days/team building days. Yes, you may wish to be a creative selling to the public, however more and more corporate training is just as likely to head for a pottery barn or a Shabby Chic preloved company as they are the golf course. Just ask ShabbyAnd…’s Ann Beament.
  10. Build a following. Both on social media and on Mail Chimp. A free resource to create a Mailing list of people interested in what you do. The easiest way to start here is set up a mail chimp account and then get one of their integration widgets to get you a link to your Facebook business page. That way you can get people to sign up to hear from you. And at the start even if you are only speaking to 5 people, still send them a nice email campaign thinking about what they would want to hear about from you. On social media think about the magazines, the glossies, the celebrities, the experts who your perfect clients would love. And get involved in their conversations. Follow them. Share their great content and help get yourself noticed and recognised as the expert you are.
  11. Get clever with your time. Things like Hootsuite will enable you to schedule your posts. Think about the times of day your perfect clients are online. The galleries, the interior designers, the image consultants, the celebs, etc. etc. What TV shows have hashtags that would be good to get involved with? # = hashtag. Mailchimp enables you to schedule your emails that go out. Remember if you are targeting people with lots of disposal income, are they likely to be online checking out great interiors for their office or home at 10am or are they more likely to be hard at work?
  12. Create a business plan and a marketing strategy and think about how you will stay motivated and focussed on achieving it. In the early day’s lots of opportunities could come your way. Be realistic, do these opportunities really fit in with your business model? With your target audiences? With what you wish to achieve. Knowing what you want to achieve and having clear goals mean you are far more likely to achieve them. And writing them down can rocket that success even more.
  13. And lastly for now here is a copy of my marketing production line. If you are using 8 to 10 tools on this marketing production line (effectively!) then you should be able to gain new leads, new followers, new opportunities, new sales and get that business of yours up and running. So while you are busy getting creative and doing what you love new business could still be coming to you, now how nice does that sound?
  • January 19, 2016

What’s Stopping You….From Achieving….(I Know!)

I’ve never been busier with my coaching practice for business men and women and although I’m more than happy to concentrate on business or marketing strategy I’m finding more and more that a big issue that underlines the real issue, is firmly rooted in self-belief and confidence.

What is happening that business owners who I see as exceptional in their field do not appreciate how brilliant they are?

What makes a successful capable business owner question themselves and whether success is achievable?

Often you can shift a thought pattern just by proving to the client that they are in fact brilliant. By showcasing the facts that prove that they have achieved great things in the past and thus have the skills to achieve it again. However sometimes people so deep routed in a negative belief will be able to prove that in actual fact the self belief that says they are not good enough or its not achievable is actually correct.

And yet these are astute business owners who have faced adversity, flown in the opposition of negativity and created businesses that work.

So what enables the brain to say to you again and again “You are a fake and you can’t do this”?

Richard Branson impresses me endlessly with his quotes about the human ability to achieve and overcome negative beliefs to get results however these are he’s words not yours. You need to know in your heart why you. Why you truly rock? What stands you out from the crowd?

We all have a wobble. After all our brains are just muscles and the fact is if you don’t use it, you lose it. It will revert to negativity and drag you down. So what do you tell yourself?

Does it power up your business goals for 2015? Or cause you to think “I can’t do this?”

I will never forget years ago when the Home Office phoned and invited me Mandie Holgate Speaking AT The Business Womans Networkto a presentation by the Home Secretary about mentoring business women. I said to the lady from the Home Office “You know I’m just little Mandie Holgate from Mersea Island right? I’m no one special.” I can’t remember her reply but they didn’t retract their offer, I was invited again and that was the last time I was prepared to not believe that I was worthy of the success I wanted or that I was “Good enough”.

We all have to kick our own butts to maintain that internal belief that we are indeed brilliant, we do deserve it and we are capable of it.

We all know with the right support, the right beliefs that no matter what obstacles get in the way, we find a way to get the results we want. So don’t let a self belief be something that stands in the way of your success.

Challenge the negativity and watch out world.

One business women I’ve been working with recently couldn’t believe that all these fantastic opportunities were coming her way “Just because of a new believe” however as I pointed out the old belief had helped her get so far and then it had caused her to see an obstacle that was insurmountable, to the point that it was a accepted rule that this was the limit of her business. Why would the new belief not work to get you want you want? But then I can appreciate how miraculous it can feel. That you change a belief about yourself and suddenly your selling more at a higher price and getting the success you want. Our natural way of analysing things tells us that it has to be hard, it has to be difficult, why would we naturally believe a new thought pattern, a new neurological automatic pathway could enable success. If it was that easy we would all do it right?

I hope this post is helpful to you. I know it will be to my clients that will read this, and thus its likely to be useful to others too.

Read more articles like this on my website or get in touch and I will happily write something just for you.

  • March 31, 2015