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Stress Free Guide to Exams – Works on anyone looking to achieve more at stressful times too!

As I sit next to my snoozing poorly daughter who has another migraine (In the hope we can starve it off) I want to talk about stress and its impact on your success.

The irony is that my gorgeous girl used to have a 3 to 8-day migraine every month until she started on Tessellate CBD so it’s a shocker to find her suffering a 2nd one after only 4 days from the last one. She’s being investigated for Lupus like her Mum and so while we expect it to be a big tougher for her, the exam stress is already getting to her and they aren’t for another 4 months!

I’m impressed by how many emails her school send me about revision guides and after school revision sessions, but devasted that I’ve not heard one word mentioned relating to;

  • Overwhelm.
  • Overloaded.
  • Burn out.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Stress.
  • Mental health.
  • Wellbeing.
  • Time management.
  • Planning.
  • Achieving goals.

Shall I go on?

According to a study by Girl Guiding Organisation “More than half of girls (52%) say exam pressures affect how happy they are, yet four in five say they don’t get the support they need to manage exam-related stress.”

And in my role as a coach I see many women who suffer a lack of confidence and if you’re happy and positive about your capabilities guess how confident you feel? I honestly question if there is a direct link between the drop in confidence in our young adults and the pressures of teen life.

It is something I’ve long wanted to be involved in schools, because so many of my coaching clients are;

  • Overworked.
  • Unproductive – or no way near as productive as they become through our coaching.
  • Working ridiculously long hours – clients soon learn how to achieve more and leave the desk at a decent hour.
  • Stressed bordering on burn out.
  • Uncreative – their brains are far too full of life and stuff!
  • Have no social life – there’s not enough hours in the day for that!
  • Bordering on being mentally unwell.

It is not a crime to look after your mind so that you can look after the body and your success so I really struggle to understand why the school is only dealing with the knowledge and not the vessel they hope to store the knowledge in!

AS I advise clients, you are not a robot or a superhuman so if you don’t listen to your body it will play up just when you need it most. Do you get ill just before a holiday or Christmas? My clients not only achieve their goals they also find they get ill less – no shocker is it that our minds impact on our bodies is it?

So for all teenagers out there about to sit exams, all worried parents and any one else that loves supporting the success of teens here’s a top tip guide to creating a stress free exams tool kit.(For the record it works just as well on executives, business owners, CEO’s, job seekers, parents and everyone else on the planet that wants to achieve more.)


Teens aren’t the only ones that hide what’s really going on. And they aren’t the only ones suffering as a result. To change the results, you get you need to be honest about what you are experiencing. In coaching I raise awareness to what is going on, help clients take ownership of it and responsibility for it (believing it’s just life or it’s nothing to do with you, stops you from creating lasting change) and then they can create a plan of action. So, find someone to talk to. It could be multiple people;

  • A coach figure to help you create a plan of action, to visualise the results you want, keep you motivated and supported.
  • A parent that you can off load to. Not expecting any help, just a hug and 2 good listening ears. (If that person talks more than you then they aren’t a good listener and you aren’t getting what you need from that relationship.)
  • A friend who will take you away from all that.

Think about what kind of support you would like and who in your world could provide it?

Be honest – ask for help!

None of us like owning up to needing help. Remember as I talk about in Fight the fear even the cross-channel swimmer gets someone else to rub on the Goose fat otherwise they can’t see where they are going because their goggles are greased up! No one successful get’s there on their own. A perfect example of this is the clients who I helped get life in order and now they still see me because they want to keep life in order. Asking for help is not a sin in it’s a saviour! So, look for the reasons why you are not honest;

  • What are thinking?
  • Have you assumed that person won’t help?
  • That you can’t be helped?
  • That there is no solution?

Challenge your thoughts to be able to get over yourself and speak up.

Study and play

Studying together is great if you make time to veg out, watch TV, hang out at the shops, slap on face masks, share dodgy Memes, and anything else that takes you out of your daily life. We all need down time, ideally don’t be attached to your phone, but phones are useful too (see below). So, ask yourself if I had a go to wish list of things to do with my friends over the next 5 months what would they include? Make it visual. Tell your friends. Get the diary out and book something and don’t cancel it! Your brain needs space to process what you are learning. (That’s not an excuse not to revise!)

Phones are friends, not foe.

I struggle to understand why phones aren’t taught in school. We have never seen so much anxiety and mental health in this planet and I think it is in no small part down to our inability to use our phones for good, not destruction. A successful person has apps that;phones for business and happiness safe use

  • Monitor your productivity
  • Monitor your social media time.
  • Calendars.
  • Mind maps to process thoughts and goals.
  • Productivity tools to ensure your to do list gets done in priority order.
  • Music.
  • Even games that bring mindfulness and calm.

Just research apps for stress and you will find something right for you. Not convinced it’s never been so important to master your phone.

Phones are not currently listed as an addiction, is that because they aren’t addictive or because the list has not been updated! Phone issues I see in clients include;

  • Unable to step away.
  • Fear of missing out.
  • Convinced they must answer everyone immediately.
  • Stress, overwhelm, sadness and a fear of failure because their lives don’t look like those on their social media.
  • Distress that the world is ending and nothing good ever happens!

These are signs that you aren’t controlling your social media – your social media is controlling you! Here are a few ideas to take phone control;

  1. Create rules for answering people – i.e. “I will not answer text/email/social media messages between the hours of 8pm and 8am.”
  2. Change who you see – if you have a social media friend that only shares disturbing, destressing and upsetting content whether you feel it at the time or not that is impacting on your mindset (and we don’t’ have time here to talk about the damage that has on your success!) Snooze them or unfriend them, they won’t know. And if they say anything just say, “you know those algorithms!” your social media should inspire you, motivate you and make you feel good about life – if it doesn’t you need to change it.
  3. Notice how your time on your phone makes you feel.


When my children sat their 11+ they were the only children that ran out of school with big grins, parents would often remark “Why aren’t your kids stressed out?” The reason my kids stayed sane was because we discussed them before hand;

1. We talked about how the exams were measuring the school’s ability to teach and not them.

2. The secondary school they were going to had already advised they took no measurement from the 11+ so it was not important, their overall attitude and learning capabilities were far more important.

3. If they failed and couldn’t get into their perfect school, it was not the end of the world.

Failure is good for you

For most of our children this is their first big adventure into the scary land of failure. As a child your parents would ensure that you got what you wanted (or Father Christmas did!) then suddenly it’s landed on their shoulders. After GCSE’s many want to go to University, some can see dream career paths (my daughter wants to be a cardiac thoracic heart surgeon!) and suddenly there is a potential block in the road.

Successful people understand that when obstacles arise, we can always overcome them. Failure helps us to understand who we are, it helps us define what we want out of life and how we will get it. And it helps us appreciate how much passion we have to ensure we always have the drive to keep going.

It is not this has to work or that won’t happen

As I advised my daughter, if she is not suited to passing exams there will be other ways to help people. It could be that cutting people open and saving lives is not what she is meant to do in the form of a surgeon but that won’t stop her from training as a paramedic, there’s no denying their brilliance!

There is always a way and GCSE’s are not the end of the road, they are just the start. So don’t think so laterally. Think big picture.


I’m really unhappy how much pressure is created in schools. You must pass!

For the record I only got a C in A level English and I have a book that is in 5 languages sold around the world and made it to WH Smith’s top 10 books! Miss Grimstone, My English teacher, told me I was a lousy writer and here I am writing for Lifehack that has over 150 million readers!

Check out the celebs that failed too; Lord Alan Sugar only has 1 GCSE and he is worth about 1.4 billion! And poor old Richard Branson left school at 16 and now has 200 companies in 30 countries around the world, while loser Steven Spielberg was rejected from Film School! And there’s plenty more including Adele, Harry Styles, Zoella, Eminem and Leonardo DiCaprio.

My daughter’s own Grandad has severe dyslexia, rarely attended school and had an automotive business that he sold for well over a million pounds. Not through what he achieved at school, but damn hard work, dedication and commitment. Exams are not the be all and end all – sorry teachers, they really aren’t. Look at how you adjust your perception of where you are right now.


As you look to shift perception, look at what values matter most to you and then no matter where you go in life you will find true happiness and success that matters to you.

Values may include anything you like;

  • Fun
  • Money
  • Family
  • Travel
  • Success – what does that look like?
  • Learning.
  • Respect
  • Kindness
  • Music
  • Art
  • Creativity
  • Helping people

Come up with 10 values that mean the world to you and then use the values exercise in chapter one of my book to see how essential that knowledge is for life.


You can’t fuel your body on sugar and crap. My daughter makes herself a proper breakfast every day – she will have a variety of things including scrambled eggs with salmon, toast, fruit, cereal, but always  a proper breakfast and she prepares a proper meal every day for lunch and often cooks the evening meal . You may ask why I’m not doing this?

  1. Within 2 years she will be at University and I won’t be there to do it, so she needs a repertoire of dishes she can rely on now, that way at university everything else that is new can be handled and cooking a decent meal will be second nature.
  2. Time out from study gives your brain space to process what you are learning and practice “Do I really know Pythagoras theory”?
  3. It is unrelated to work in any way so it’s good for reducing stress, calming down and switching off. Ever made a cheese sauce and noticed you get a Eureka moment on something you’ve been struggling with? Your brain will create solutions if you give it the space (and time) to do it.


There are various breathing exercises that have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in seconds. Life hack mandie holgate overwhelmed mindOne practised by the Navy seals is called the Box method.
Breathe in for 4 seconds, then breathe out for 4 seconds, smile right? Do this for a minute and notice the results.
According to Examined Existence this works because (and here’s the science)

“This breathing method works because of the physiological effect breathing has on the nervous system. Breathing slowly and deeply activates the hypothalamus, which is connected to the pituitary gland in the brand, to send out neurohormones that block stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline from being released. This thereby triggers a relaxing response from the body.  Additionally, breathing deeply and slowly triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to secrete hormones that decrease blood pressure and heart rate, which also induces a relaxation response in the body.”

Notice your breathing and practice at bedtime, there are lots of apps that help you do this.


Getting out in nature has been proved to reduce stress, so don’t be a slave to your studies, record your revision on your phone and get walking. This interactive way of learning has many benefits. And a change of environment is good for you. Many business owners tell me they do 16-hour days, that’s not impressive, it’s foolish. Step away from your desk at least every 60 minutes (smart watches are great for reminding you to do this!) Read on for more on this…

Time management

Don’t work harder, work smarter, I’d love just a penny for every time I hear this. Here is a quick down and dirty guide to actually doing this, what will you include in your stress-free exams tool kit?

  1. Boundaries – tell people what you are doing by when.
  2. Honesty – if you fear you can’t complete the tasks by when, ask for an extension, don’t whine, show your teachers/parents your planned actions for today and this week and ask “Where will I have time to do this? Ensure your planner outside of school includes a walk, reading for fun time, reading for revision time, self-care time and don’t move it.
  3. Be open to working in a different way. Listening to what works for others can lead to top time management strategies. “Only if you put them into action!) None of us know everything so try new techniques.
  4. Be realistic, you do need to study too! Showing your peers your planner and your teachers and parents helps them and you to be accountable to the solution.
  5. Clear goals – be realistic on what can be achieved in an hour. And set chunk goals – 40 minutes to do X, 20 minutes to do X. Any task that takes longer than that needs breaking down again, but don’t get bogged down in planning – wow I’ve seen some great flow charts, mindmaps and gant charts from new clients – heck they’ve done none of it, but hey it looks pretty.
  6. Show your plans in a way that suits you – not trends. I have only 3 to 5 tasks per day on a small piece of paper, it keeps me motivated, accountable and focused. I also have a 10-day plan on a large piece of paper, and you guessed it only 3 to 5 tasks towards my goals (that are written on the top of the paper) per day. This works find a plan that suits you.
  7. Time it – if you procrastinate, hate it or just loathe doing it time how long a task takes. Interestingly clients that do this report that the things they love take longer than the things they hate, so set a stopwatch and get going! Sorry, but that includes tidying your room, helping out with chores and other things you think you can shy away from. In the big wide world of work, you will have deadlines and commitments, learning now how to juggle personal and professional life will put you way ahead of your peers (and other job seekers!)
  8. Look for weaknesses, my weakness is social media, so I turn it off. I leave my phone out of reach but in ear shot. Be honest here, you are only fooling yourself. If I really can’t be trusted to not go online then I give my phone to my daughter!

Panic stations!

Know on a good day how to deal with a bad day. It’s not easy looking for solutions when you are stressed out, so know today what would help you change your mindset, calm down and get back on tract. Write a list, create a vision board, make it visual to remind you.


Choose different music for study, for relaxation, for fun, for stress release – don’t choose the same music, it loses its power.


Students who take water into the examination halls may improve their grades; a study of 447 people found. As reported by the BBC water could improve your grades, so don’t always wait for the exams to ensure you’ve water at hand!

A little helping hand.

I have always used a bit of Rescue remedy, when I was petrified of public speaking, I would use this, whether it was the placebo effect or the remedy it helped. So, I’m getting my daughter some. (For the record, that is why I’m so good at fixing people’s fear of public speaking because I know how it feels!)

My daughter is good at reaching for the aromatherapy. Rosemary for study. Lavender for sleep. We have over 80 oils in our house and she will explore how she is feeling, look it up on her phone and choose and oil accordingly.

Tessellate CBD. I have been taken this since May last year and it’s changed my life (I know how crazy that sounds so I rarely talk about it) it’s not illegal, it aids sleep, anxiety and many many symptoms my daughter and I used to suffer. I’m going to get my daughter on the higher 10% dose for the next 5 months to help. She has only ever taken the 5% before.

Lastly, over to you.

Yoga, running, dancing, painting, singing, hobbies, tai chi, look for things in life that make you feel good and at them too!

Very lastly (promise) make it visual.

You won’t stick to these stress-free exams tool kit unless you make it visual;

  • Make an info-graphic or poster and stick it on your phone as your home screen.
  • Pin it up in your wardrobe door.
  • Paint a picture that reminds you of your plan to stay stress free, focused, calm and avoid the overwhelm, over load and overworked that I see in so many professionals (before they start working with me) It will be a game changer for your future self


  • January 16, 2020

How to Effectively Set Goals in Life to Get Where You Really Want to Be in 2021

I’d love just a penny for every time I’ve been able to help someone achieve their big goals fast with the idea I’m going to share here. It is that recurrent that I’d be a millionaire a good few times over!

Often people looking to get somewhere in life arrive to have coaching and advise that they’ve;

  • Read 100’s of books
  • Watched tons of Ted talks
  • Attended workshops and masterclasses around the world
  • Invested in programmes
  • Wrote a journal
  • Changed their lifestyle

And even transformed what time  they get up in the morning and yet miraculously they’ve not achieved their goals!

How frustrating!

What can possibly have stopped them, when they’ve put so much effort into achieving more?

And can you really share one thought and change a persons life?

The fact is that in a coaching conversation I’ve watched many a client have a look that is a mishmash of horror, elation, eureka and annoyance as they realise that it is this one thing that will define their chances of success. And that it has been stood in their way like a giant rock for years.

Here I share what that is.

And how to ensure you get the rocks out of the way of your ability to set powerful goals that get you where you want to go.

Your brain didn’t get the memo

It can seem obvious that if you are looking to achieve big and get somewhere in life then you will take the time and money to invest in finding the best ways of achieving that. The issue with this is that your brain didn’t get the memo on what was supposed to work. Let me give you an example (I could give you thousands!);

A client says that they have been getting up at 5am because they read that this was the Golden Hour if you want to achieve big and it was laid out what you should do in this Golden Hour.

I asked “Is this working?”

They replied “well I am reading more and I’m learning, but I’m grumpy as a bear by the afternoon and rowing with the kids and don’t even get a cuddle with my partner in the morning”

I questioned “So, is it working?”

They answered “I suppose in some aspects yes but in most aspects no.”

“So why are you still doing it?”

They retorted “Because the book said it was good to do!”

I then asked them a personal question, unrelated to business, careers or success “Do you like the mornings?”

They laughed “Oh gosh no, I’m a night owl, I hate the mornings!”

So why were they going out of their way to utilise a system that relied on them going against the very fibre of their being?

When I raised this to them, they looked like someone had just thrown a bucket of ice cold water over them. It would obviously never work long term because they were fighting who they were.

Remember while these books are selling in their millions and these speakers are amazing, what works for one does not by definition mean it will work for you. You have to work with ideas, tools and techniques that play to the person you are. It is no good fighting who you are, eventually your brain will fight back, it never got the memo, it didn’t know this was the new way of working and it is not going to play ball.

(There is an argument that you need to stick with things to make your habits change and while I agree with this in principle if the ideas encourage you to stray massively away from the human you are it is highly likely you will fail.)

So how do you fix it?

Look for the things that resonate with you. If you hate things structured and like to be free flowing then look for ideas that empower you to think and work in that way.

Another great example is the client who had a big figure in their head that they wanted to earn.

And they were going to do it.

The only issue was that the journey was practically killing them. They were working stupid hours with little down time and their health, personal and social life was suffering, no big deal right? Short term losses for long term gains?

Except that this person performed the Values Exercise from my book Fight the fear – that looks at the 12 biggest fears that impact on success. And discovered that the top 3 values that matter most to them was actually caring about others, friends and exercise. Making money was right down the list at number 8! While it’s fine to go for a goal that is not your top value, you do need to still honour the values and the things that make you, you. When you don’t you can hit all sorts of barriers and road blocks to getting what you want, so don’t fight who you are, your brain just didn’t get the memo.

Your Brain is a spongebrain learning for business success mandie holgate

Big goals, bucket lists and ambitions. The problem is that while you are busy creating these plans so you achieve them, your brain processes everything you experience.


From the dog asleep by your feet, the trees moving just at the edge of your vision. The couple arguing in the corner, the coffee stain on the edge of your cup, the siren in the distance, the beep from your phone – everything.

Whatever is around you, your brain is processing it on some level. While in itself that is amazing it also means that you need to be clear on what you say to your brain. Not only is it processing every smell and sound it is processing every thought, belief and word you hear. That’s a lot! Filter out the stuff you don’t want and be careful what you allow in.

My Mum used to say “Treat advice like water in to a sponge, let everything in just wring out what you don’t want.” This is very apt for this top tip. When looking to achieve your goals people will share ideas, advice and books you “Must read!” Let it all come to you and then genuinely ask;

  • “Does this fit the human I am?”
  • “Does this play to my strengths?”
  • “Is this the best use of my time to get me where I want to go?”

While many people love videos and inspirational events, if you prefer to be on your own with a good book or speaking one to one with someone which is more likely to help you understand the power of your brain, create powerful actions and work towards your long term goals in life?

Learn to wring out the stuff that is not relevant to you.

Your Brain likes it simple

Your brain can process 400 billion bits of information a second and yet we only seem to how to keep it simple in business and lifebe aware of around 2000 (Sources include Dr Joseph Dispenza and Encyclopaedia Britannica) So if this is true you need to be aware that what you want is not the only thing your brain is working on. If you want your goals to feature in the top actions to process you need to keep it simple.

For your desires to feature above anything else you need to make it something easy to remember and keep at the front of your brain. Reword where you want to be and what you want to achieve into 1 sentence. Make it a powerful sentence that enables you to “see” your goal. To achieve this you will need to break the goal down. (Which is important for the next top tip) Write down the answers to these thoughts;

  • Think of everything that matters to you about this goal.
  • Consider all the emotions you want to feel and don’t want to feel.
  • Where will you be when you’ve achieved this goal.
  • Will your home look different?
  • Will your workplace look the same?
  • Will you be driving a different car?
  • Will you look different?
  • What colour will your hair be? Is it going to take you 30 years to achieve and you’ve gone grey or will you have found a new level of confidence and dyed your hair pink like you always wanted to?
  • What will tell you that you’ve achieved that goal?
  • How will it impact on your life? Your bank balance? Your relationships? Your career? Your happiness? Your hobbies?

When you’ve considered everything that could feature in your 1 sentence that summarises your goal, then look to create a sentence that does that. Make it a sentence with;

  • An end result (This helps your brain remember where you want to get to and gives it a specific place to end up)
  • Precise actions (This helps your brain to see what process you want to carry out and enables you to see if you are getting there so you can analyse your actions results and where you are in the process.)
  • Something to strive for not strain for. Your goal should aim to make you strive further than you would naturally choose to. (Imagine reaching your arm out to reach something that feels a little tight in your arm as you find yourself thinking “Can I reach this?”) However a word of caution here – A goal that over strains you can drain you picture.

Great sentence choices could be;

By the 25th of September 2021 I will have achieved my goal to own a property in X town with 3 bedrooms at a cost of XXX

By the end of 2022 I will have earned an average of xxxxxx a month by increasing sales of my products by 33% incorporating more interactive marketing techniques that engage with a wider audience of 10,000 additional people online.

I will have moved up the pay scale and be working towards the title of XXX  by the 1st of January 2022

Notice these goal sentences have;

  • Precise outcomes
  • Dates to work towards (ever noticed how some people have months to achieve something and still scrap around getting it done the night before the deadline?)
  • Measurable quantities
  • Precise actions to take.

NB; (Ironic isn’t it that the brain likes it simple and to make it simple I have to explain this tip in more detail than any other top tip! However, what I’m doing is sharing with you a little of the science of why coaching works and how to get these tools in your every day life to power up your chances of getting where you want in life. So do take the time to go through this process.

Your brain does the same things, again and again and again….

Once you have your goal sentence go back to all of the words you wrote down for Number 1 and write down everything you could do to achieve that goal. At this stage this is not what you will do this is what you could do. By doing this you are stretching (not straining) your brain to think further than it would normally about your actions. The problem we have is our brain is processing so much that a lot of what it does is automatic (habit) and to create new powerful actions we need to break past that automatic way of thinking.

As I explain it to clients; You are going to start by telling me the obvious ideas and the ideas that you mull over at 2am but don’t do. You are also likely to share the ideas that you’ve spent months agonising to whether you should do them or not but something always seems to stop you. And after that we can fight through the assumptions of what can be achieved. Overrule the doubts and limiting beliefs about your abilities and get on to finding the real actions that will get you to where you want to go.

Then when you have a long list of things you could do, choose a maximum of 5 actions that you will do to achieve your goal. It doesn’t mean you won’t do more of the ideas on this list, just that at this stage you are creating priority to concentrate on a maximum of 5 goals.

Your brain can’t process too much (and it loves a hit of the good stuff!)

When you’ve done the above top tip you need to then work out how you are going to accomplish those 5 actions (only ever have a maximum of 5 actions at any one time. For me I put them on a small 8cm squared post it note, because in this way I know I’m not overloading my to do list. The brain really hates it when you give it too much to process. It’s like trying to load a basket in the supermarket with a trolleys worth of shopping; stuff falls out!)

Break down those 5 actions. This is useful for a number of reasons, firstly it helps your brain stay focused on the action you are taking and the reasons why.

Secondly it also enables you to tick things off of your to do list. This always has a sense of achievement and makes us feel good. In fact clever scientists tell us that dopamine is released when we achieve something (however small) and our brains love a hit of dopamine. It is a neurotransmitter that our brain produces and enables us to stay focused, motivated and get things done. So by breaking your goals down you are rewarding your brain with a hit of the good stuff and that gives you the much needed boost to keep going. Especially if you are incorporating new things into your life that are challenging you to think and act in a new way.

Lastly when it comes to breaking it down you don’t need to write a list. If you are a lover of mind maps then create a simple version of this. If you love a spreadsheet – go for it. And if you like it visual draw it. Whatever you do make sure he 5 actions from the above top tip are broken down and visually near you so that you are able to keep focused on what you want.

Your brain doesn’t “get” now goals.

Your brain may not appreciate the need to get on with the “Now” Goals but your success does. I’ve so often seen clients struggling to achieve what they want to because they’ve not factored in that little thing called life. For instance, you may have a big ambition but you’ve not factored in spending time with family and friends. Big deal right? Short term sacrifice for long term gains right?

While in principle I agree the fact is that while you power on to your big ambitions your brain is still busy processing that sulky look on your child’s/friends/partners/mum’s face that says “You never have time any more.

And while you can justify that its “for the best”. In your head you can create this automatic subconscious process of thoughts that is all negative. I’ve seen clients realise that the reason they’ve not getting to where they want to go is because their brain has started to scupper their own success!

It has rationalised that if they keep working this hard the people they love will never love them again. They realise in their head there are thoughts like “My child/friend/partner/mum thinks I don’t care any more and they will leave me. I can’t afford to achieve this I could lose everyone!”

I’ve seen the same happen when redecorating the office/kitchen/kids room gets demoted for something else. Or when someone drops their weekly trip to the gym or yoga session. Both of these examples create negative emotions that subconsciously start to eat away at us.

So if you want to achieve big have a list of Now goals too. In my experience I help my clients prioritise the top Now goal and the top action for the big ambition. And they don’t move onto the next action on either list until both of the first actions are achieved.

Your brain loves a coachYour brain loves a coach

I hate to say it but going it alone is going to make it harder. You want to find someone that is going to help you get where you want to go. And that is why a coach is so powerful. A coach is someone that will;

  • Listen so you can brain dump. Empty your head of all your thoughts, what you’ve done so far, your worries, your failures, your concerns, everything.
  • Create the space so you can process everything that has been happening, what doesn’t seem to be working, and find a way forward.
  • Challenge you. The problem with turning to friends, family and colleagues is that they all have their own views, ideas, beliefs, values and experiences. And no two people are alike, as such while they may care deeply about you getting what you want they may try and steer you away from tough choices. Your coach won’t. If anything they will encourage you to find the things you fear or steer clear of and help you find a way to remove those obstacles for life.
  • Cheer lead you. Sometimes what we need more than anything is a reminder of how awesome we are. Go around asking your friends for that and you can look needy, arrogant or a bit egocentric. However we all need a cheer leader. This is not just to inflate your ego, but it’s remind you of how you achieve. We all have natural ways of behaving and by having a cheer leader on your side you can stay motivated and concentrate on remembering what helped you achieved in the past and how to migrate those skills, beliefs and actions to this moment in your life.
  • Keep you on track. Alas we are all so easily distracted. And even those going for big goals in life can find that they are on a completely different path and have no idea how it happened. Quite often someone has suggested a great idea to you and while it is a great idea you need to challenge yourself “Does this great idea fit into my big goal or is this a distraction from it?” With a coach they ask a lot of questions so you can really understand your way of thinking and its impact on you and your results. If you find yourself easily distracted other good questions to ask is “For what reason do I get distracted?” and “What is it that I don’t want to face in my own path to success?” Facing your fears and hidden negative assumptions is a massive part of getting to where you want to go and a real power of a coach.
  • Retrain your brain. When I first got my dog she would bark at everything and when I say everything I mean everything. A leaf in the garden would get as much yapping noise as the postman. And for someone who has always had big dogs, even though my dog is more like something Jim Henson created for Muppets she is not going to destroy my seaside peace and quiet (or my neighbours) What has this to do with why you need the right coach to help you achieve your goals? Well you see my dog was on her own agenda and she hadn’t had anyone explain to her that this wasn’t the best way of behaving. (The last owners had got rid of her because she barked too much) she needed to retrain so that she could be happy, but no one had told her this. A coach will confront you with the hard lessons in life. (In a nice way, I like to say “I kick butt, with love!”) My dog is welcome to bark when the doorbell goes or is she thinks there is an intruder but not at the bird having a drink of water or the leaf that flutters across the lawn.
  • Be cautious of whose agenda you are on, does it serve the other party more than you? Will it help you get the result you want. In the case of my dog, endless hugs and attention for being cute and not yappy.

And a word of caution about your coach. If they do more talking than listening they are not coaching you. Your coach is there to help you process everything in your head, and that can’t happen if someone is adding more to your brain. A coach listens for over 60% of the conversation. It is an unusual conversation because the coach’s view is irrelevant, the only person that matters in the conversation is you. So if you aren’t getting that from the person you rely on to help you achieve your big goals, then they aren’t coaching you to success, they are trying to tell you how to be successful. And while mentoring and consulting have their place, to really get where you want to get in life you need to find your own answers. And hopefully in this article I’ve helped you do just that.

Do Let me know how you get on and if you loved this article hit the PayPal button, thank you.

  • December 17, 2019

Does Your Business Need A Butt Kicking?

Not the easiest question to ask yourself right?

But the fact is more and more business women that work with me say “I need someone to kick my butt and make me do what I need to get on and do.” They know what they should be doing but don’t get on with it. And that is where I come in.

I see the same thing again and again just wrapped up in different packages. What is happening to a generation of clever, intelligent successful business women that stops them from taking the actions they know they should?

A number of things I would say;

Firstly, fear. If I was to tell you that taking a certain action would result in the desired effect you’re more likely to go ahead aren’t’ you?

If picking up the phone and making 10 phone calls would result in 3 sales, 2 leads and 1 meeting you would make those 10 calls right?

But it’s the unknown and the fear that stops you. And the irony is that every business woman that sits before me plays the What if game;

What if they aren’t interested?

What if they say no?

What if they put the phone down on me?

I like to play devils advacoate here and say silly things to help the business woman realise that the worst they could say is No. I say things like “What if they find out where you live and come round and make you do 50 sit ups and take away your phone?” The fact is the worst someone can do is say no, but the fact is we all fear rejection.

But what about if you played the What if game again in the positive way?

What if they said yes?

What if they’d missed your email and are really pleased that you called?

What if they wanted to buy from you?

What if they wanted to place an order?

Another reason business women fail to take action is because there are too many choices on the table.

As a business owner you have to make the decisions about what direction to take your business in.

What opportunity to develop.

What goals to set and achieve. Which is great, but what about when new opportunities, directions and goals come along?

It’s all too easy to get side swiped and find yourself completely off track. Working with a coach means you KNOW what you want to achieve and you keep on track. And that leads to faster, easier results.

The last thing I would say about kick butting is because us business women can talk ourselves into and out of anything.

Clever right?

But not when it stands to get in the way of your success.

If you hate doing something either learn to like it, learn to do it well or delegate it to someone else.

If you don’t know how to do something ask yourself is this really difficult or am I blowing this out of proportion?

Studies have been carried out time and time again that show when someone believes they are no good with numbers, guess what they are no good with numbers. Do you tell yourself “I’m rubbish with names” Guess what that does to your ability to remember names?

Butt kicking with me comes in many forms. Some business women need a really delicate kind approach and they get that, but many business women want to feel like they are being challeneged to raise their game and get the results.

So if you don’t have the investment to stretch to a coach like me. Ask yourself who can you rely on to be accountable to?

Who can you trust to challenge you?

Ask yourself if your favourite teacher/aunt/best friend was sat before you now would you pleased with the look on their face as you told them what you had achieved. Or would you feel that deep thud in your heart as they look at you with disappointment because they know you are capable of so much more?

Guilt won’t get you there. Butt kicking will!

So chose your butt kicking style for your business and let me know the improvement in results you get.

  • October 4, 2014

Why You Procrastinate Instead Of Get Proactive

In my mentoring groups nothing is off limits and I will happily talk and work through what ever needs to be dealt with to help business women achieve success. And this week I think its possible it could mirror something I’ve seen happen for business women time and time again.

You see quite often the reason your business is not flying high and your not feeling the success you wants, is not an issue of skills lacking from your repertoire, it’s more a case of the mind set has not caught up to where you are  yet.

Have you ever found your self not taking the action that you know would work?

Did you wonder why you didn’t do it?

You know that if you pick up the phone or put into action the marketing strategy you’ve decided on you would get more sales and success and yet you don’t take the action. Ever wondered why?

I’ve seen it so often and here’s the good news, it’s not impossible to cure.

If it’s any consolation this doesn’t happen just at work, it happens in all areas of our life. And this post came about because I realised I do it too!
For me I was sat here this morning working away and I realised I had not taken my medicine. I’ve Lupus and been on drugs since they discovered that golden nugget last year. This medicine keeps me well and healthy and I must take it at the same time every day otherwise it can get a tad unfun (see the choice of words here. I won’t let words take power over me!) and yet I don’t like taking them. Its just 8 tablets. What’s the big deal?

And yet every day I delay taking them. I procrastinate. I know they will work for me and yet I delay. What’s that all about?

Its not a skill set issue, I know that they will work. Its a mind set issue. For me taking medicine is a bit like giving up. When I was at my most poorly I had to give in and take serious medicine that left me so high and out of it. But it was the only way to cope with the agony. So for me taking medicine is like giving up. If I took medicine when I was really ill it would mean that my husband would have to step in on school run duties and everything else as I couldn’t even walk. So for me taking medicine triggers that automatic thought process in my brain that says “Mandie your poor husband is doing it all and your laying there doing nothing Lazy Bones!”

Now why do I share something so personal with you?

The reason is that I see it so often that business women dismiss the power of thoughts on their success. Understanding the automatic thought processes that you allow to run  in your brain will help you understand what causes you to procrastinate.

Now I understand the automatic thought process I’ve created when it comes to taking my medicine I now choose to create a new thought process. One that empowers me into targeted action rather than one that robs me of it.

Ask yourself when it comes to the things I procrastinate about, what are they first of all?

Now ask yourself what do I automatically think?

Our brains can easily become lazy so ask yourself what automatic thoughts happen here?

Its a bit like lightening – a thought does not just go from A to B, a thought flashes in many directions and will hit on past memories and experiences and thoughts without you even realising its happening.

And don’t dismiss how powerfully this can impact on your success.

A true coach is not just a business expert and leader they will have a qualification and extensive experience of coaching. The ability to read between lines and spot those little micro expressions that give away your deepest fears and regrets without you even realising you’ve done it. And then use their extensive coaching tool kit to help you change it.

Its the little thought in the back of your mind that has been impacting on your true ability to get what you want.

And don’t doubt how powerful this can be. I had a client who I saw the third time and said “I’m sorry I don’t think we can work together any more, because we are creating these awesome plans of action and then you are coming back to me with excuses as to why its’ not happened. Its wasting your time and money and makes me look like I can’t help you. So what’s got to change?” Sounds harsh but I knew this business woman needed challenging on what the real issue was.

The outcome was that we didn’t come up with things to do in her business, we spent the session looking at what she beleieved about herself. Her plan of action for this session gave her the ability to change her perception of herself. And wow what a transformation when I saw her at her next session! And not just in her but in her sales too!

So play mini coach on yourself and ask yourself these questions.

Then decide what new thought are you going to introduce?

Get stuck?

Hop on by my Facebook page and have a chat or really have a chat – 07989 935556

Lets power up your success.


  • January 19, 2014

Coaching – A waste of time or a god send for your success?

On T.V from makeover shows to personal finance programmes there’s a coach. They’re giving advice and top tips in your favourite glossy, and from sports stars and celebrities to sole traders and International Corporations people have heard if you want to be the best then get a coach.

You may ask if this is an Americanism or ask yourself if it is just a passing fad of little worth. Just because something appears new should you dismiss it as a fad of no interest to you?

Remember that thing called a Personal Computer, or the global phenomena social media?

But do you understand what coaching is?

Unfortunately like so many things it has been diluted in many ways. So if you are looking to make great improvements in your personal or professional life then a coach is a great way forward but what should you be looking for in your coach?

Coaching is not about telling you what to do, if a “coach” is that’s mentoring or consultancy. There’s nothing wrong with that but it dilutes its power. Coaching works with everything you as an individual are.

Your fears, your values, your beliefs, your lifestyle, your attitude to business to marketing, everything.

Think about it, if you are looking to grow your business and your “coach” does not appreciate your absolute fear of public speaking or your hatred of IT, how dramatic are the results likely to be?

Or what about if they attempt to motivate you with goals of money when money doesn’t inspire you?

In its most powerful form expect lots of questions that spark tons of ideas and solutions. After just one hour you will come away buzzing with ideas, motivated to tackle any comfort zones and focused on your goals and the reasons why.

A great coach will ensure you set realistic time frames and dedicate to your goals to ensure success. And that is what coaching is truly about, it is about you getting successful results in every area of your life.

  • September 26, 2013