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Take your medicine

I find life is littered with many powerful analogies that apply to numerous aspects of our personal and professional lives and success. They can beautifully and powerfully draw our attention to obstacles and how to tackle them. These parallels can also enable us to reframe, rethink, assess and evaluate our lives to get more of what we want and remove what we don’t.

We all know the saying “Can’t see the wood for the trees” and as a coach I often hear clients say after a session thatMandie holgate helping you see the wood for the trees coaching they feel like they’ve “brain dumped” everything and suddenly it all becomes clear, because we can all become entrenched in our lives and struggle to see what we really want or what really needs to happen and thus struggle to get it.

This was beautifully if a little scarily highlighted to me in my own life the other day. I’ve been injecting a chemotherapeutic medicine for 12 months to help treat my Lupus and other autoimmune diseases and the dose has slowly been increased. The great news is that as time has progressed I’ve had many benefits and it’s really helped me lead a better quality of life that I’m loving, the downside of this is that there are a few side effects that are becoming, let’s just say “less fun” and while I can put up with the severe insomnia, weight gain and other “fun” stuff I noticed last Saturday night that as I went to inject myself I felt a massive sense of loathing.

I am someone that truly appreciates the power of what we think in all aspects of our life and how it can impact on our success and so whenever I’m confronted with a negative emotion or thought, I process to understand it;

Why am I thinking this?

Is this impacting on my actions?

How is this making me react?

Etc, etc.

And I became aware that I was starting to resent the very substance that had given me so much life back. By processing this thought I was able to see that I was filling that 3 minute injection once a week with negative emotions and thoughts. Why is this relevant to you and your success?

Because not everything we want to achieve in life is accessible through passion, dedication and thought alone, it will require hard work. (Everyone knows that right?)

However, we often put off the things we don’t’ want to do, that are the very powerful game changers in our lives. We resist the needed action and this creates negative emotions that impact on our actions and thus our results.

For me I had to restructure my thoughts. Take the negative association of my needle and swap it for a positive. For me it was this thought “How amazing that 12.5ml of a liquid can give me so much life, I’m so grateful for this.” This thought then led me to remember that 5 years ago when my illnesses were a “mystery” I had a specialist tell me that I had to accept my life was over and I’d never work again. How wrong was that specialist! And it was just 12.5ml of a golden liquid that had done that! (Well maybe not just 12.5ml of liquid, it also took fighting a lot of specialists and determination!) See how powerfully I’d changed my view on an essential task in my existence?

And I’m reminded of an intriguing experiment that I read about years ago. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese Professor of Alternative Studies was said to be able to manipulate rice in a jar depending on whether negative or positive statementsPower of thought with Mandie Holgate were told to it. It’s since been proved and disproved by many people and official bodies with some stating that the experiment never had the right controls to be “science”. Regardless of your viewpoint, many of us have heard of soul food or food made with love. My own Nan used to stir cakes or the Christmas puddings and tell us to make a wish, and I’ve never tasted finer cakes. So whether it’s true or hocum, the point is that our intentions can impact on our results, because our thoughts are powerful. There are stories of soldiers in the first world war believing they’ve been operated on under the safety of Morphine only to later have learnt that the poor doctors had run out of Morphine weeks ago and they’d undergone what should have been excruciatingly painful procedures with nothing more than a saline solution!

So what in life are you seeing as disastrous or out of your control?

What activities do you loath, put off or groan at just the thought of?

Process the emotions and the beliefs you hold to these activities and allow them to play out in full force. What results are you likely to get? How is this likely to further impact on your success?

You see life has a habit of giving us clues it’s just up to us whether we wish to see them or look the other way. Our mind is the most wonderful computer that will ever exist and we have to learn how to look after it, nurture it, and program it to get what we want.

The next time you find yourself in a fug or procrastinating ask yourself what the underlining feelings are.

And if you can’t find the wood for the trees, I’m always happy to have a chat and often share inciteful Facebook live webinars for you to benefit from for free. Sometimes it is scary to appreciate that the one person in control of our future is us, it is also something that you can restructure to think “Wow, I’m in control of the future I get!” Powerful stuff, right?

  • January 7, 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

How to turn conversations into customers

Have you ever walked away from conversations thinking “Why didn’t I say that!”? or found that you lose your true voice when talking business or waffle on and then think “Why did I say that!” or that you wish the ground would swallow you up when asked “what do you do?” or “speak for 60 seconds about your business”? Do you struggle to find the right words to turn a conversation into a customer? Public speaker Mandie Holgate

Communication can be incredibly powerful for enabling a contact to turn into a client. In this article, I would like to share with you 8 top tips to be a compelling, confident communicator that does not fear the competition and can speak powerfully to anyone, anywhere.

I see people in business make fatal errors in the way they communicate, when I host a training session on this Conversations into Customers topic I often get them started with the simple question “What do you do?” Because unless you can tell someone what you do in less than 20 seconds, you risk not engaging with that new connection. Ideally, if you learn this skill and the science behind what could be powerful for you to say, people will be saying things like “that’s interesting, how did you get to that? or “How does that work, tell me more?

Top Tips to turning conversations into customers;
  1. Your perception of reality  Before we even look at what you say and how you say it you need to appreciate your own perception of the world around you. Because your perception of reality will differ from anyone else’s, when I present this topic as a speaking engagement I will often the audience to describe the room to me in one word. There are always various words called out, rarely any two the same and they can range from descriptions of the decor to comments on its cleanliness and the height of the ceilings to the temperature and comments on the people in the room. This showcases to people that what we think everyone else is concentrating on is rarely the same as us.That’s because we forget that our perception of reality is different to everyone else’s. Our brains filter out information. Our eyes have millions of rods and cones in them that help us created our image of the world around us, and research has proved that while we used to think that we only saw what we needed to see, studies tell us that our brain see’s everything but only gives us the information that it feels is relevant to us. And your perception of reality that your brain brings you is distorted in part by your beliefs and experiences in life.
  2.  Hot Buttons. By knowing what your hot buttons are you can ensure that Mandie Holgate shows her passion for success and her bookyou control the way you communicate around these areas. What things get you riled up? What do you have definite opinions on? What are you passionate about? Imagine you are speaking with someone at a networking event or party and you are passionate about exercise and healthy living, what you don’t know is the person you are talking to has just lost a loved one at a very young age and they too had been keen on health and fitness. How well do you think you are likely to connect on a level that allows the conversation to progress from the shallow to the deeper level of connection if you speak passionately about this topic? Our passions are our passions, not necessarily everyone else’s, so as my Hubby’s Teacher used to say “Wind your neck in” ie, great you’ve got an opinion, now stop force feeding it to everyone else. Don’t get me wrong passion is essential for your personal and professional success, however, expecting another to feel as passionate about it as someone else can lead to alienation. (And that bored look!) And that is not good for powerful conversations.Take a moment to write them down.
  3. Confidence. If you want to turn conversations into clients you need to boost your confidence. And first things first I want to teach you is the scariest word in the world. Showcasing how to devalue the pain that this word can mean to us is often carried out by encouraging people to get into pairs and take in turn to just say No over and over to each other in different styles, with different tonality and in different speeds. What this does is enable people to see how much gravitas people give to this word. You see in your professional life so many people hear no and instead of hearing two letters they hear something like “No, go away we hate you and never darken our doorstep again.” or “No you smell.” The word has had a strong meaning to us since we were born, and so for many we still have in built conceptions about what that no is saying to us. It can seriously damage your ability to communicate powerfully if you are expecting a no, and cant’ handle that. Take the fear out of that word.
  4. Turning a no into a yes exercise. Take a piece of paper and create this table. Write a long list of the reasons people say no to you. Now the way to make this exercise powerful is instead of you replying, think of the client that loves everything you do, never pays late, recommends you to their friends, etc etc, they know why they buy from you and that information is powerful to your communication.
    What reasons do people give for saying No? Perfect Client

    What would your perfect client say in reply to this No?

    (Not what you would say)

    Too expensive   You won’t regret spending a penny because this works?
    I don’t have the time   Making the time to do this will save you thousands in the no time and could increase profit.
         
         
         
         

    Look through your table, what pain and pleasure words have you created. If you have bought a course recently you will have received the free gift with 111 pain and pleasure words that can make your communications and marketing more powerful. This above exercise will help you to start to create that list. Knowing the powerful words for your target audience is critical to knowing how to engage powerfully.

  5. Find your true voice I often hear people use my words and phrases and it sounds a little daft. They copy me word for word and it sounds wrong. Why? Because when I’m speaking I am known for being bouncing across the stage, acting and inspiring (Think Tigger on Redbull powered by Duracell) I do have a lot of fun and get the audience, not ly involved, but engaged and thinking due to my laid back style. As such I communicate in a certain way. Someone who is very serious, or who lacks confidence is going to not connect with their target audience with my style, and vice versa. You need to appreciate what do you stand for? What do you want? What is your mission statement? What is our ethos? It doesn’t have to be the same as other people. And by finding your true voice, talking about what matters to you, you will build confidence in yourself because you will naturally be attracting your target audience. Showcasing what you are passionate about enables others to experience that passion too. Just remember to wind your neck in at the right time!
  6. Listen.  There are many benefits to this, however, the 2 that we will look at today are that 1) It enables Mandie Holgate coach and speakerthe person you are talking to feel respected and cared for. And by making someone feel like this you can start to build rapport. 2) You get powerful clues on what to say to power up the conversation. For instance, if someone speaks in detail you will know that this matters to them (so in an email, later on, to follow up ensure you get grammar correct, no apostrophes where they shouldn’t be or mixing up your there, their, they’re! It also enables you to use their own words in the conversation too which not only builds rapport it is also a form of mirroring. Let’s look at that more…
  7. Mirroring Powerful body language to connect is not just about body language. Matching someone speed of communication and utilising on their words will also help you connect on a deeper level. Just remember if you overdo this it can feel creepy. Not sure your natural speed of communication? While it can differ on whom you are talking with, you will have a natural style and become aware of this you will be able to note when you may need to speed up or slow down. If I use my normal voice (for instance) which is quite fast, full of gestures and energy and passion, and I’m communicating with someone who clearly lacks confidence, could be shy and have fears that they wish to speak with me about, if I use my natural way of communication, I’m likely to make that person feel like a bunny trapped in headlights. I need to slow it down, speak quieter and give that person lots of space to speak at the space with their own thoughts. So consider your natural style and how this could impact on powerful communications? By using Top tip 6 and 7 this is not only powerful face to face you can then ensure that this is someone who could be an awesome client for you that you utilise that style of communicating in your online communications too. Would it work in your marketing because this is a style that you note applies to a lot of your clients? 
  8. Ask for it. Lastly, something I think many people are scared to do (in part due to top tip Number 3) is asking for what they want. I appreciate its scary to do because what if they do say No? The thing about No’s is they give you powerful information for your marketing and to gain other clients. No is “rarely no thank you go away”, it is often “no thank you we are too busy with this, could you contact us in 6 months”, or “no we’ve happy with our current supplier” (that again was not a no forever, your competitor may make a mistake and then if you’ve communicated powerfully with them they may give you a chance) By appreciating that no’s are fountains of knowledge in disguise you can learn what leads to a yes. And this doesn’t mandie holgate anxiety I can't do thismean hiding behind copious mountains of email! Pick up the phone, arrange a meeting, be concise, be honest, and ask for it. If you have qualified the person you are speaking to and you know they want what you do if you have used the powerful language and you have listened one thing that people are very good at not doing is asking for what they want. If you don’t want to do this, try asking in different ways to people you know will give you an honest answer on your style of communication. For instance, on the Insiders (a group I vigilate and coach its members on confidentially) you could trail the way in which you ask. ie “We’ve noticed you use X, did you know there is a way of making these that stops you getting that problem you are getting here? Could that be interesting to you?” or “Do you use x in your business, is it something you could see yourself trialling?” Trial different questions and see what feels comfortable, however, be confident to ask for what you want, the no’s lead you to the yes’s with the right language.

So remember to remove the fear from the word No, build your confidence (and if that is still tricky I’ve a course that you can work on at your own pace to help boost yours, learn more here) appreciate your perception of the world and how it could impact on conversations, learn to listen powerfully and mirror other people in tonality, words and speed. Get over your fear of asking for it (which is probably connected to your fear of what they may think – both of which are covered in my new book Fight the fear – how to beat your negative mindset and win in life.) And if you want to know if you are winning on this. Use the pain and pleasure power words from your list or the gift I give with every course to create a powerful sentence that trips up so many people….”What do you do?” Feel free to share what you decide on my social media. And if you are bit scared to do that, why not post on the Insiders for a bit of confidential feedback? And if the confidence is rocketing, what about sharing on Facebook live!

 

 

 

 

 

How to turn Conversations into Customer

Notes;

Compelling, confident and capable speaker

Why didn’t I say that?

Why did I say that?

Or what did I say!

Simple questions can be a mine field. What do you do? And you ramble on for five minutes instead of reply that in 20 seconds gets them interested enough to want to know more.

First we need to consider not what we say but how we see the world

Pee forget our perception of reality is different to everyone else’s.

Brains filer out information.

Millions of rods and cones, research proved that we used to think our brain only saw what we needed to see in actual fact the brain sees everything and filters out what it thinks is not relevant.

Need a pad, meeting at one, next thing you know you are spotting gorgeous shoes

What does that have to do with powerful communications? Your perceptions are distorted by your beliefs and experiences and values

So realities differ.

Hot buttons. What riles you up? What are you passionate about? What do you have definite opinions on?

Being aware of your views on everything from Family, friends, sex, to business impacts on how you communicate.

Exercise – you love others hate.

Moment to write down what you think they may be. Need some help?

Next lets look at how to feel confident. Let’s look at the most scariest word in the world. No I want to de-fear you to this word because its part and parcel of running a business.

Get in pairs and say no – How did it feel?

Lower the fear factor. How to turn a no into a yes. This helps you find your pain and pleasure power words – my course for 111 of them These need to feature in your marketing and conversations.

Find your true voice – don’t say other peoples words, I hear people copy me word for word and it sounds daft. Find your own voice. What do you stand for? What is your mission statement? Know your values?

It doesn’t’ have to be the same as other people. By talking about what matters and using your true voice not only will you gain your own following which boosts your confidence you will natural attract the right target audience too.

Listen – 2 reasons – 1 gives respect and shows you care 2 powerful clues on what to say to power up your conversation.

This enables you to mirror body language with their words.

Adjust the speed you speak at. In pairs speak fast and slow – how did it feel?

Trial the speed you speak and be aware of other peoples choice of speed, pace, tonality.

Use in marketing and if someone likes detail in conversation be aware of that for your emails – you don’t want to get your there their and they’re mixed up and risk alienating them.

Ask for what you want. Women don’t ask for what they want.

Trial how you say it. The insiders is a great place for this.

How can I help you further.

     
     
     
     
     
     
  • September 9, 2017

What is the difference between coaching, mentoring and consulting?

What is a Coach and what is a mentor?

I often hear people say “Why should I use you instead of a consultant or a mentor, What’s the difference?”

And having spent years learning and honing this skill and learning the intricacies of the latest ideas and thinking on the way we think, feel happy, achieve success and get what we want in life I would say that there’s no conversation on the planet like the conversation with a coach!

When I coach a client I can take the coaching hat off and I’ll tell a client I’m doing that to share ideas (that’s consultancy) and I’ll share my opinion if it looks like a client is really getting stuck (that’s mentoring) however coaching is enabling you to break through life time limiting beliefs and assumptions that are costing you success to help you understand what really matters to you, and to explore what you really want to achieve and how to achieve it easier on your terms creating laser focus and accountability.

It’s the most powerful conversation you will ever have, in a confidential, non-judgmental environment by using influential tools that take years to master and hone as a coach. (Although I feel strongly that everyone can learn some skills of a coach to communicate powerfully and think in a more effective way, quite easily if they wish to – it’s something I enjoy helping management and leaders to appreciate and learn!)

Here’s a good example for you;

A consultant may say “You need to do x, y and z?”

A mentor might say “How did you find using x, y and z, do you feel they could help in the future, here is what I found by using x, y and z and how to improve on them.”

A Coach may say “What have you tried so far? What did you notice that seemed to work? What do you think needs to change?” (And a lot more questions like that mean that you don’t just find a solution for this occasion, you learn to understand your natural style of thinking and what naturally works for you, so that as you advance in your goals, reach new obstacles or wish to achieve something else you learn what works for you and how to communicate powerfully into the bargain!)

The reason coaching is so effective is because we help you work authentically, according to the person you truly are. Tailor made coaching means a whole lot of listening. Consulting and mentoring involve a lot more talking!

  • September 5, 2017

How to kill your team spirit

Over the last few years, I’ve seen a worrying increase in the number of people looking to quit their “high Flying, this is what I’ve always wanted careers” for a different life. More and more people are becoming disenchanted and disengaged with working for large corporations and the joys and treasures that this can hold for them. I’m inundated with people looking to set up their own business and “escape” the city. It makes it sound like Alcatraz and for many perhaps it is. With a growing trend for down sizing, a rural lifestyle and a better work life balance how can a corporation compete with working around families and life styles, across a chatty family dinner table, a commute to the back garden in your slippers with a dog in tow and no one telling you what to do or how to do it?

If you look after a team and are seeing this trend what can you do to look after your team and show them that actually, it’s a great place to be and still reach your targets each month?

As well as the increase in highly successful people looking to run away that I’m coaching, I’m also seeing a trend for more people who wish to showcase to their staff that we genuinely do care, and we do want you to achieve and excel as much as we wish the organisation to. So how can you ensure your team are happy and what should you steer clear of to stop your team from proverbially running for the hills?

Here are my top tips for how to kill your team’s spirit and how to fix it;

Expect them to care as much as you do.

It’s likely you are highly dedicated, hard working person who gets what they want in life. And as such you find yourself looking after a large team of people. And one of the first things that many clients learn is that your interpretation of what matters and your definition of what is important may differ greatly from that of the people that work for you. You care about the end result because it’s your department, however, not everyone has that level of passion for their work. Take a step back and imagine that you are a member of your team. Do you feel that you strive for the bosses’ job? A seat on the board? Or do you feel that you may have other priorities in life? There is no right or wrong answer here. And by understanding the different drivers in peoples lives, you can tap into this to help people feel cared for and listened to on their own values and passions in life.

Don’t listen to them.

I actually once heard a person say “You’re not here to think you are here to work” And as incredible as that sounds and as far removed as this ethos is to most organisations that understand the need to get the most out of the people. Inherently it can still feel like this is the case to some. If you want your team to love working with you and your firm then you need to help people feel heard. And that’s easy to achieve at a review however not so easy when the deadline is looming and 3 people have called in sick. Learn phrases that feel natural to you that enable you to effectively say “I hear what you are saying and wish to address this let’s get this project completed and let’s book a date to discuss.” Or “This must feel incredibly (frustrating, disappointing, hurtful, disrespectful, etc) to you, and I want you to know that this concerns me, I would like to look at ways to ensure this doesn’t happen again.” Showcasing that you wish to hear their views makes people feel valued. Which brings me on to….

Argue with them.

The minute someone argues with you, it get’s your back up. Try it with your partner, sibling or child and you will see that if you push against a person, they will push back. Arguing is never productive. A difference of opinion is different, and it’s about learning powerful ways to communicate that enables that person to hold on to their own views and hear yours too, without emotion, guilt or intention. Their view is their view, and you don’t have rights over that. Remember that person has got to this stage of their life with their beliefs, values and experiences. You will have a unique combination of those too that enable you to think, behave, act and achieve as you do. Helping someone to overcome their limitations and obstacles does not start with a conversation that says “You are wrong.”

Shut them out.

A quick way to see staff leave is to shut them out of the big picture. You can quickly turn your organisations next big plan for success into a war zone of gossip, and upset if you don’t help your team feel involved in the big picture. Organisations hit hard times and to shut people out so that they don’t panic, doesn’t work. If anything it can create “The conspiracy theory attitude” that says “We are all doomed!” Helping your team to appreciate what you as a team face and listening to concerns and ideas will help to make people feel like they matter and that you aren’t about to cut them loose. Batting down the hatches can scare people fast.

Moan about people.

It has been proved that by talking about a third party many people feel like they are part of the “in crowd”. It is often used as a way to make that person feel special and valued, because “I’m sharing this with you because I trust you” feelings. That’s great on one level, however subconsciously (even if not with awareness) if you are prepared to talk about someone else, how does that person not know you are going to talk about them too. Professionalism indicates that most people understand this, however what about with other companies, suppliers or departments? Speak as you wish to hear about yourself. Bambi’s mate Thumper had that one sussed “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” As many clients have learnt saying nothing can be a far more powerful way to get your message across on a negative.

Personalities.

On a planet with over 7 billion people, it’s not surprising that you may rub someone up the wrong way and they may dislike you. Your job is not to be Mr or Mrs Popularity your job is to help everyone work together effectively and powerfully as a team feeling like they matter and are well respected and valued as a member of that team. And that can get tricky when personalities clash. What you see as an insulting way of speaking is just another persons idea of a fun way of behaving. What you see as professional may seem cold hearted to some. Learning to see the world from other people’s view points can help. And learn to listen to people’s natural style of communication. If you have investigated this for yourself you may already know about the different styles of learning that people may favour. And this extends to their natural chosen way of communicating and learning about the world that surrounds them. If you are an auditory learner and you are speaking with a kinesthetic learner, you can alienate that person and make them feel like they are not being heard or understood if you don’t pick up on their verbal and visual clues. It’s a whole article on its own to look at the power of using other people’s natural styles of communication, so for now, start to consider;

Does this person use lots of body language?

Does this person use words like “I see what you mean” or “I hear what you are saying” or “I feel that this is the best approach”?  

Don’t say thank you.

It may seem so obvious and yet the amount of times I’ve had people tell me that they just got fed up with no one ever saying thank you. “It’s your job, what do I need to thank them for?” I’ve heard in retaliation. The fact is it takes a short amount of time to say thank you and gratitude is such a powerful tool in so many areas of our lives. These people weren’t marched in and made to work in your offices, they choose to. Okay, they may have mortgages and mouths to feed however ultimately they are making the decision to invest in working for your organisation to get them what they want in life. And that is not just about perks and salaries. Taking all the praise and forgetting to share the glory can kill their attitude to you and the organisation. Some people don’t need praise, they are just pleased to see the job done and go home at night, however, I’ve seen many a person light up when they’ve plucked up the courage to say to their boss “actually do you know you never say thank you?” and that person has appreciated this and started to say thank you more. That member of your team feels appreciated and respected and that is ultimately what we all strive for in life, not just the joys and treasures of a corporate career.

  • August 25, 2017

Don’t Catch The Shiny Thing Syndrome (The STS)

Of all the things that are big obstacles to success. I think the one that is the most frustrating for clients (rather than scary or stressful) is when The Shiny Thing Syndrome hits.
Don’t know The Shiny Thing Syndrome?

The STS (Shiny Thing Syndrome) is when you are working towards your goal and then a new idea, new opportunity, or a new “expert” comes along and you think “Oooo this could work faster, easier, with less work, money, time, effort.” Basically, the idea takes weight in your mind that the course of action you are taking is not going to get you to your dream destination and that you need to look somewhere else to get the results you want. And before you know it you’ve signed up to a new course, a new way of thinking, the next “guru” or book that has all the answers. And guess what?

3 to 6 months later you are starting to lose momentum with what this course of action required and are already looking around thinking things like;

  • “That looks like it could work.”
  • “They seem to have it sussed, I wonder what they did to succeed and if I should copy them?”
  • “I really don’t know if this is the right product/service/person to be going for.”
  • “I don’t think I’m getting the results I want because I’m not going for the right things, I should try something else.”
  • “They seem to be getting there faster than me, I wonder what their secret to success is?”

Whatever your train of thought it will be a pattern of thinking that takes you away from your action and focus and in a new direction. Hence the “oooo shiny thing syndrome” because you are easily getting distracted to move in a new direction and not stick with what you are doing.

Why is this such an obstacle to success? Because if you keep moving in new directions all of the time you can end up going around in circles, never getting anywhere!

So the next time The STS hits what can you do about it?;

  1. ValuesMandie Holgate values exercise

One of the reasons we flit from one idea, goal, target, guru to another is because we lose sight of what matters to us. We are so keen to learn and strive for greatness that we forget to remember our brain has not read the memo and doesn’t know you are supposed to be achieving according to someone else’s definition of success. As such before you choose even one action you need to know what matters to you most. Because when you know what your driving forces are in life then you keep moving towards them.

ACTION; think about something right now that you care passionately about. Maybe it’s your partner, your dog, your kids, animal welfare, and end to starvation, a charity or a cause. Now imagine someone suggested you dump that and go for the Anti Oxygen Society as the thing you care most about. Crazy notion right?

Now bring it back and think about that thing you care about with all of your heart and mind, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most powerful);

  • How passionate do you feel about the actions and goals you have in your life?
  • Do they give you the same rush of passion, love, determination and desire to support it as the thing you care passionately about?

If not then you are not living to your core values. In chapter 1 of my book Fight the fear, there’s an exercise that will take you between 20 minutes and 1 hour, go back and do that now. And if you have already done this exercise, do it again! (Your core values could have altered or you haven’t appreciated their value to your success.) You can not achieve what your heart does not truly desire.

  1. Clear GoalsClear Goals Mandie Holgate Aug

It’s all well and good to create goals, however, are they so crystal clear that you can feel like they already exist?

From the age of 8, I wanted to be a published author, and despite serious illness and only working part time I knew with every fibre of my being it was going to happen. Now, this is not just magic thinking, or the power of the secret. Yes, it started with a goal I would do anything to achieve, however it then had the right actions and beliefs to ensure I worked tirelessly and without fault to that goal.

ACTION; We will look at your actions in more detail in top tip 4 and top tip 6, however for now ask yourself;

  • Is my goal in line with my values?
  • Have I laid out clear actions to achieve it?
  • Do I understand what it will feel like to achieve this?
  • Do I appreciate what I will NOT look at to get to this result?
  • What do I need to do to understand how to reach my goal?
  1. IgnoreIgnore Mandie Holgate fight the fear

This one is where you really only notice you’ve slipped from positive action to negative action when it’s too late because it doesn’t feel like you are doing anything wrong. If anything it can feel like you are taking control and stepping it up a gear. However one of the quickest ways to Shiny Thing Syndrome is to listen to every new idea that comes along. As much as there are tonnes of great books out there, with the best will in the world you can only physically read one word at a time, so taking on 10 books with 10 lots of actions, ideas and opinions is not going to work.

One thing at a time. And that means ignoring the rest. It doesn’t mean forever, however it does mean that you don’t keep looking over your shoulder for a faster, easier, quicker way to get where you want to get.

ACTION; So ignore other experts, for now, ignore other ideas, ignore new ways and most importantly at this stage ignore the competition. They are on their path and you are on yours. And as we’ve already established if you keep changing direction you end up going in circles, and like wise if you keep jumping on other people’s paths you get other people’s destinations!

You wouldn’t arrive at the airport and say “I will go where he is going” oblivious to the destination of the man in front of you in the queue, so why do it with your success? You are on your path, heading in your direction. By ignoring everyone else for a while you can concentrate on getting there. Remember with success there has to come failure. And you can’t know if you are on the right path until you have actually travelled on it. Changing lanes gives you no information to enable you to appreciate what really works for you.

  1. FocusFocus MH August article Mandie Holgate fight the fear

You have probably heard from a lot of experts that you need to be focused right? And another reason the STS hits is because you start to question if this is the right way to go;

  • “Am I concentrating on the right things?”
  • “Should I try this instead?” etc, etc.

As we looked at in Top Tip 3 you need to explore one path at a time. Experience the failure so that you can understand;

  • “What worked?”
  • “What do I need to improve?”
  • “What have I learnt from this?”

ACTION; When you remember that staying focused on the plan of action you have decided on you can challenge yourself with questions like;

  • “If I don’t keep going with the actions I laid out, what am I agreeing to?”
  • “If I change focus now what am I agreeing to?”
  • Am I scared to keep going on procrastinating about doing this?

And you are likely to discover you are agreeing to confusion, procrastination and worry that you are doing the wrong thing or that it is not going to work. The only way you can know if it is going to work is by actually sticking with it. (And there is more advice about that in top tip 6)

  1. One size actually fits all (sometimes!)Mandie Holgate blog Aug

A quick search on Google showed me that there are literally hundreds of diets that I could use. And yet still new ones are invented, why? Ultimately our bodies still have the same components in it that they had in them 50 years ago so why the new diet trends? Because we don’t want to do what we need to do.

The fact is that actually to a degree one size does fit all when it comes to weight loss – as one friend put it (a bit crudely!)“You’ve got to move more, eat less and go to the loo more” That’s it. No rocket science. And yet if to lose weight it just takes 13 words why is the diet industry worth over $60 billion dollars! It reinforces that one size can fit all.

ACTION; Stop doing new stuff and stick with what needs to be done. It is highly likely you’ve heard the saying that is reported to have come from Einstein (but just as likely to be Franklin, Twain or Rita Mae Brown!) “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect different results.” And yet we’ve become so obsessed with the idea of doing new things that we forget to keep going. Remember 1 more book, 1 more expert, 1 new opportunity is all distracting you. Therefore become aware of your desire to go for something new all of the time;

When does it happen?

Is it within weeks of getting started with a goal?”

“Is it when things get tough, scary or out of your comfort zone?”

Instead of moving in a new direction, tackle the underlining cause of distraction and redirection.

  1. AccountableAccountably coach mandie holgate

When The STS hits you how will you stay accountable? It is all too easy to turn to your new idea, guru, book and say “this last idea didn’t get me to where I wanted to go, you will won’t you!”

ACTION; Before you move on again, stop and ask yourself (honestly) if you are taking responsibility and ownership;

  • Have you really done all that you said you would?
  • Have you really challenged your mindset and actions to get to where you want to go?
  • If not who and what could help you?

Remember your environment can impact on your actions and The STS as much as your attitude and belief, thus;

  • Look around you, are you with the right people?
  • Do they support you, give you faith and belief that you can achieve?
  • Or are they constantly throwing new information at you, when you’ve not finished processing the last lot?

Mastermind groups, networking groups, friends, relatives, colleagues, can all come under these categories; ie they are either going to help you stay focused and accountable for the end result or they are going to distract you with ideas like;

  • “Well it was a lot to ask of yourself”
  • “I didn’t think you really wanted this”
  • “We still love you even if you don’t achieve your goal”
  • “It’s not for everyone.”

Remember other people are on their own agenda, and because they love and care about you (or want the opportunity themselves!) they may wish you to stop going for your goals and sometimes that desire is subconscious so they don’t’ even know they are doing this to you!

Do you remember as a child when things got tough, you would turn to your parents and either cry, whinge, or share your fears that you’d never be able to do it?

And what did your parents do? They reassured you, they showed you they believed in you and they encouraged you to keep going. None of us get up and walk for the first time without a few slips. And your parents had no way of knowing completely that you could do it. It was their job to encourage, motivate and support so you kept believing in yourself. Just think of it like riding a bike, how tough did that feel? Have you ever taught a child to ride a bike? It can be really tough to work out what to say or do so you just keep encouraging and supporting, who is doing that for you now?

  1. Just do it.Mandie Holgate coach just do it

Ultimately The STS is about negative emotions hitting you and making you question and second guess your choice of action and goal. And as scary as it can be to step out of your comfort zone or to keep going when you don’t feel like you are getting somewhere you have to “just do it”. There’s a reason why Nike is still using that tagline, because ultimately when it comes to succeeding that is what your success needs.

No one gets on the track and runs their personal best the first time. Formula 1 racing drivers don’t start in F1 Cars, they start in go carts!

ACTION: Just do it! I appreciate that you might be thinking “That is easier said than done Mandie!” okay so ask yourself;

  • “For what reason is that easier said than done?”
  • “What fear is underlining your lack of action and just getting on with it?

Fight that fear, because ultimately I believe in you, I’ve seen people like you take responsibility, ownership, set the goals, live to their core values, adjust their beliefs and achieve big, so what evidence are you relying on to the contrary? And if you need new people in your team to ensure you get there, feel free to give me a call anytime.

  • July 24, 2017

Book leads to speaking engagements for WH Smiths HO!

I’m honoured to speak for anyone that asks me and will always deliver something unique to that audience. Fight the fear WH SMiths book of the monthEven if it is a subject I’ve covered a thousands times I will always write something fresh for that audience. And only in that audience will be those delegates so you are guaranteed every event has its unique moment, because its very important to me that you and your delegates get to ask questions and get personalised solutions.

So it’s with great pleasure I announce that after being their first book of 2017 “Book of the month” I will be speaking for WH Smiths’ at their High Street Head Office and their Travel Head Office in May. It’s Learning at work week (LAWW) and I’m delivering two sessions. Orignially it was going to be one, however as is often the case they took a look at the topics I could cover and wanted more than one, and I’m happy to oblige! 

Session 1

Fight the Fears that impact on your success

Not all fears wake you at 1 in the morning in a pool of sweat. Some fears hide out in our personal and professional lives for years untouched and undiscovered damaging your success.

International Speakers and Authors have said that this is an “absolute must read” book for not only highlighting the fears but for giving you the tools and techniques to fight them and get rid of the obstacles to your success.

In this interactive sessions Mandie will hear from you. What are the fears that plague you? Do you fear asking for help? Taking time off? Public speaking? Setting goals? Speaking up? Do you lack confidence or worry that people will find out who you really are? What ever your fears (you might not even know what they are!) get personalised solutions in this 90 minute session aimed at you and your success.

Session 2

Creative thinking, writing and your success.

Despite serious illness Mandie Holgate was asked to write a book by one of the UK’s leading nonfiction publishers. Learn how that happened. How Mandie uses her writing to gain new opportunities, win awards and get in the press. Learn how to think creatively and why it’s good for your personal and professional success. Whether you love creativity or loath it, learn tools and techniques to enable you to think more powerfully and work in a way that powers up your brain. Learn what stops the process and ask any questions you like. In this interactive session it’s less about Mandie’s’ journey its more about making yours the best one possible.

  • April 25, 2017

International Best Selling Author Interviews Mandie Holgate

Recently I was interviewed by best selling international author and speaker Gordon Tredgold. He asked to interview me because he had read my book and wanted more insights into the ideas and how I came up with them. (Especially since as Gordon mentions in the interview he got half way through “Fight the Fear – How to beat your negative mindset and win in life” and took action.)

It’s a 40 minutes show where Gordon asked me anything he wanted to and knew that I would answer honestly and with as many good ideas as I could squeeze into the time.

Within the first week it had over 10,000 hits!

And led to Gordon writing an article for Inc about my book which you can read here.

Next thing I know Gordon is getting in touch from his home in the US to say “Check out your book being in Maddyness!” Which is a huge French publication that translated Gordon’s article from Inc.! Check it out here.

To say things are going well with the book would be an understatement. And I love the fact that for just £12.99 people around the world are getting to access these life changing, mind altering tools and techniques that as Gordon says “really work”.

A massive thank you to Gordon, (an international speaker and author that if he is not on your radar you need to get him on it!) and thank you for helping to raise awareness of my work. It really is a mutual love in with us two!

Learn more about why I think Gordon is so awesome on his website here.

And coming soon in my newsletter is news of 2 events that I’m incredibly chuffed to be asked to speak at looking at creative thinking, the fears that I cover in the book and how I was asked to become a writer for one of the UK’s leading non fiction publishers, Pearson’s.

Sign up to the newsletter to learn more.

Not got my books? Buy yours here

  • April 23, 2017

How to have a guilt free holiday (actually turn that phone off!) And why its good for your success

When I wrote a chapter in my book about the biggest fears that impact on success, the one chapter that my publishers were not sure that was right for the book, was this one. “Is it really that big a fear?” they asked. And that fear, is the fear to take time off.

And I bet there are many that read this article that think “I go on holiday, fearlessly, what are you talking about?!?”

The fact is over many years of working with people looking to achieve more, so many fear actually stepping away from work and being in the moment. But what is the big deal?

Why do you need to turn your phone off to succeed?

Why should you leave the laptop in a different time zone?

5 reasons to leave it all behind;

  1. With over 11.7 million days lost at work due to stress related conditions in the UK alone, if UK businesses could find a way to keep people physically and mentally well it could be worth billions to the UK economy.
    How to be successful even on the beach

    It was another tough day in the office, but Mandie soldiered on…

  2. Studies have shown that after only 6 days on holiday people can experience physical and mental benefits for up to a month
  3. The Chinese government invest billions into Research and Development every year and one of their big concerns is that their     industries lack creativity. Creativity has long been the “thing” that can’t be forced with scientists even allegedly turning to Sci Fi shows of the 60’s to come up with new and ingenious inventions. What’s that got to do with me taking a holiday? You ask. The fact is ideas need space to grow and that comes from having a brain that knows how it likes to work. Rarely do people take the time to understand and appreciate the way that their brain likes to process problems, ideas and opportunities. It is when people work with me they learn that behind every successful person is their own “science” of what constitutes a great way to think. While some benefit from that 5 am alarm and an hour to hone their success, others are far happier with a spreadsheet than a blank canvas and a pack of coloured pens to spurge their ideas out and create a mindmap. Holidays enable our brains to have that space that they crave to process everything that has been thrown at it. Imagine your brain is like a huge old fashioned filing system. Whether you realise it or not you are throwing questions and problems at your brain all of the time, and even if you didn’t really mean to ask “Why does this always happen to me?” or “Why can I never find my keys” your subconscious is still going to spend precious brain space metaphorically wading through filing cabinets looking for the answer.
  1. Holidays create brain space, which enables new ideas and solutions and that is worth a lot in any commodity to your success.
  2. Productivity declines when we do the same thing. However much you love your work if you are working every day, you risk damaging your productivity. Ever noticed that sometimes your heart is just not in it? Or as I like coaches like to say have you ever noticed how you don’t seem to flow at work? That is your mind’s way of letting you know it could do with doing something different for a change. Still not convinced. Think back to the last time you were sick. Really sick. So ill you didn’t move from your bed for days, and then you got up too early and tried to get back to things and were floored again with strict instructions from a “doctor/partner/Mum” to “Go and rest or you will be sick for longer”. Now think about that enforced rest. How frustrating was it?Remember when you could get back to things and how revvedTaking time off to achieve success and raring to go you were? That’s because your brain has had a chance to think, process stuff and wants to get going again. Holidays enable us to do that. (Oh and if you are ill, there’s a good chance you didn’t listen to your body and mind saying “is there any chance of a few days off, we’re are exhausted?”. These things like our bodies have a habit of enforcing rest if we don’t take it.

So do you still think its pointless to turn off that phone and disconnect from the work place?

Do you still question the benefits to your success of riding the bike, building the sandcastle or prodding a barbecue?

If I’ve got your attention and you know you should turn off your business for a few days, and then find yourself answering “Just this email honey, then I will be there, promise” then here are my top tips to actually being in the moment. Turning your back on your business and fully engaging in something else for a few days of R n R, relaxation, no results fun.

Top tips to dealing with the fear of taking time out;

Know your success. To be able to walk away, first of all need you to appreciate how awesome you are. In my book we use this tool in a different way to power up your success, but here by accepting that you do achieve. That you do win. That you do know how to get what you want, you are able to see and accept the successes you’ve had.

Now if your version of success turns out to mean you’ve worked 17 hour days, 7 days a week and will hand on heart tell me that “it’s the only way it could be done” 2 things – Firstly it’s a long term recipe for disaster, because you are not a robot and your body will make you rest at some stage. The old adage that there’s no rest for the wicked is not one you want applied to you. Or if you are one for the saying “rest is for when you are dead”. Reframe that one because too many people’s lives are cut short because stress, overwork and a lack of time for health and relaxation were not part of the game plan for success. If you really fear taking time out, think of a time when you failed astronomically. How did you get over it? The fact is if you take 2 weeks off and you came back to discover your worst case scenario had in actual fact happened, you have the facts that you could overcome that level of adversity and still be a success. (See below on how to ensure worst case scenario doesn’t happen!)

Trust you will get the results you want. And to do this you need to know what those results are. However you choose to do it you need to take the time to plan your success. Whether you love a vision board, a written plan, a mindmap or a diary with time scheduled to work on your success, you still need to know what your success looks like. What does success look like to you? What goals have you planned? By when? Knowing this helps you schedule in time for time out.

Your Success/Business is in good hand. When someone fears taking time out and I challenge them on that, they often realise that in their mind I’m suggesting they walk out of the office right now and stop work for 2 weeks without planning. Public speaking on fearsAs with all things connected to your success it needs to be planned. This not only ensures you come back rested and happy it ensures that those you work with don’t throw things at you on your return! Just as you would plan your holiday – plan what will happen while your way. Who is in charge? What protocol is to be adhered to? What constitutes an emergency to contact you? If you own a small business you can automate your social media so that people think you are still in the country at your desk. (The only downside I’ve found to this, and you are hearing from a holiday lover who had 42 days holiday last year and couldn’t even tell you where her phone was! Is that LinkedIn and Facebook have not yet set up a holiday message for messages. You can for your business page, but not (as yet) for your personal page.) So respect your team, customers and suppliers, talk about your plans well in advance so that everyone can ensure they have what they need from you. And they in turn will respect your time off. I read about a CEO who never checked anything on his phone after 7pm. Everyone in the company knew this and respected this. Why? I wouldn’t mind betting it’s because every single action that the CEO took every moment of every day was respectful to the staff, the board, the share holders, suppliers and the success of that company. Everyone agreed that he deserved that time to himself for whatever purpose he wanted.

Lastly ask yourself. What kind of a role model are you to your friends and family? You may love 24/7 work but it is not good for you whether you like it or not and what kind of ambassador are you for success?

Are you in effect saying that unless you work 24/7 you can’t be successful?

Have you ever considered that those around you could possibly be suffering trying to keep up with your insane working hours? Not everyone can work 24/7. What levels of guilt and inferiorty get created by someone at work who never seems to take time off?

Success can be made easier and faster with the right actions (trust me, it’s what I do for a living!) but by not taking time off you could be showcasing that the only way to success is back breaking, soul destroying hours. That’s a belief that says to achieve, it has to be really really hard work. Why not try a new belief that says, “I can easily plan for my success and get what I want and still nurture my mind, body and soul and respect the ones that I love.”

Your mind is powerful tool, and if you tell it that it needs to be very hard work and near on impossible to achieve success, your brain will go out its way to prove you right. Be a role model that the next generation can look to and think “Wow a great career, a happy life and people that love them, that’s awesome!” Too many people sacrifice marriages or relationships in the name of success and it doesn’t have to happen.

The fact is that if you plan, automate and cater for holidays then it truly can be an opportunity for your success. While my phone has been switched off I’ve won awards, had free PR in the national press, gained new clients, new sales and even speaking engagements! Now that is defining how you want success and getting it on those terms!

I hope this proves a useful guide to getting a guilt free time away from your career, however it is not time away from your success. Savvy people know that taking time out is a critical part of their success. Do you?

To learn more about the fears that damage your success you can read my WH Smith’s Book of the month Fight the Fear – How to beat your negative mindset and win in life. Learn more here.

  • April 6, 2017