Okay, it’s been on my mind for some time; Hump Day.
I hate it. No, I don’t hate Wednesday’s I hate the term hump day.
Think about it. If you are lucky enough to live on this planet for 85 years you are choosing to put in your head a hatred of 4420 days of your life. That works out as 12.1 years you are going to tolerate and complain about!
So, if you hate the week and struggle to make the weekend, do something about it.
If you hate Wednesdays rename them. Here’s some suggestions, strategies and ideas for you;
Where you dump the bad thoughts in your head and concentrate on what you do want instead.
Where you dump the venomous relationships with other people (and yourself) and find strategies to handle tough conversations, controlling people and passive aggressiveness (there’s lots of advice, articles, courses an books on this on my website – help yourself).
Where you bump the things you hate to another day – imagine a day where you prioritise all the things that make you happy and productive?
Where you appreciate you’ve been bumping stuff for so long is it really even important? If you really keep bumping it maybe it’s time to dump it? I teach people to dump or deal. I.e., Deal with that thing that’s sat on your to do list for 4 months or dump it for good. Your need to do that job was possibly created by external forces or ambitions. What do you think on the inside about that thing?
Where you focus on how to be motivated, positive and have a mindset that says, “No matter what, I will thrive and achieve great things.” I always say “Know on a good day how to handle a bad day. Check out my mental health tool kit to help you with this too. What people inspire you? Start your day hanging out with them, even if its just on social media. What pumps you up? Does it really need doing? Will it really help you and your success and happiness?
Okay not every month, but maybe have one day a month where you can freely moan. My Dad jests that if we take moaning away from him, he won’t have anything left. The irony being he is someone that always finds the positive and concentrates on inspiring and nurturing rather than what he can’t control you.
I’ve always been tempted to set up a Grump page on Facebook that is confidential. Where you can hop in once in a while, rant, get it off your chest and move on.
Sometimes in life it is tough, and it does feel all consuming. Don’t put up with it. Being grumpy is considered a crime. But if you give yourself permission to grump, swear, stew, and dump that word again) it on paper or to a kind friend. You will get back to a positive empowering mindset faster. (this won’t work for all people – only do the ideas that resonate with you.)
Where you do the things that get you buzzing. I love a dance every morning. While I brush my teeth, make my bed, brush my hair. I’ve playlists that will make me bouncy, concentrate, calm, grateful, laugh. Exercise has been proven to do so much good to our minds, so how will you jump and get active?
Where you plump up what you think about yourself.
You aren’t going to walk down the street greeting everyone with “Good morning, did you know I’m amazing?”Mandie Holgate, Author, Speaker, Coach
However most of us need a reminder that we are awesome and how it presents itself in our life. I get many clients to write a 2-page document on why they are awesome. (Taken from my book Taking Control Of Your Mind) It builds confidence, it reminds you of all the skills, attributes, and successes you’ve had, and you have every right to do it all again.
So, let’s take ownership of those 4420 days and claim them for us. What do you want Wednesday’s to be from now on?
What do you need in your life and how are you going to make Wednesday’s your reminder to go for it and get what you want and deserve in life?
I would just say there is always Rump day too – I could be talking steak which in our house is a treat night, romantic night with my wonderful hubby or it could be something else?
The quality of your thoughts creates your actions, and results in life. So own Wednesday’s you’ve got 12 years of them (at least!)
In this short video I share a strategy I use with clients from individuals wanting to get in that board room or wanting to grow their small business so it doesn’t kill them off and they achieve the results they always dreamed of through to large teams of amazing people all working for one organisation with different views, skills, specialities, fears, obstacles and beliefs.
Often some look at me like I’ve suggested the fluffliest most pointless exercise ever. However even they get on board when they see the results it brings. Never underestimate the power of what goes on in your head.
This coaching strategy will help you take control over what goes on in your mind. If you want more my new book is all about Taking Control Of Your Mind – Lifehacks to resilience, happiness and success. Buy it here or get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.
Here is a proven way to get that negative voice to shut the hell up.
This is only a quick article so I don’t have the time to explain why you need to do this but a client just messaged me to tell me how powerful this little technique is that I created that I thought I would share it with you too. As always let me know how you get on and of course my books and courses are packed with strategies, tools and techniques that work so let’s work together and make you more successful.
I call this the 4 Step Voice Exchanger strategy for when your head is full of negativity and you tell yourself bad things like;
Whatever negativity that voice is giving you I see it damage clients success and happiness all the time, it even destroys your confidence and undermines your ability to believe you can achieve and not fail again and again and again. So let’s get rid of your negative voice and get a healthy one in your head. Here goes…
If I don’t do this 4 step process what will I be agreeing to?”think it’s a load of crap and doesn’t work
4. You think this is a load of rubbish and it doesn’t work. In my experience when I’m coaching teams I’m often confronted with someone who thinks my methodology is a load of rubbish and that I’m a tad flippant and far too jokey to be doing any good. And that is fine. They are usually the first to be asking me questions on the practices I use and tell me how life changing they are. So if you do think this is a load of rubbish it tells you more about what you think about yourself and your ability to change than it does the strategy. And that in itself is worth investigating, in a coaching session it would probably tell us why you do what you do and how to get the better results you want.
So that’s it, it’s a lot longer than most techniques I teach which can make changes to your life and success within a few hours, but for something so deep rooted this is a powerful way of getting that negative voice disintegrated and get a voice in your head that says “Wowsers you are amazing, let’s do great things together!”
As always let me know how you get on and feel free to get in touch any time. I know how to make your brain work powerfully for you so you get amazing results in all areas of your life.
I was invited to speak at the worlds biggest online conference for Luminary Learning, a company that works with some of the biggest organisations in the world – 18 speakers, 17 hours. (They are doing a bigger one in October and I’m speaking at that too!)
And in the lead up to the big day I had meetings with the team to see if I would fit. I was keen for this to happen because I’m not your usual conference speaker and I didn’t want to stand out (for all the wrong reasons) like the proverbially sore thumb!
I rarely have slides (unless the hosts really want them) and I don’t’ usually follow a set script. Choosing instead to find out what they want for their audiences and what they want the result to be. In that way I will create a mass group coaching style session that is really powerful and ensures people get personalised solutions rather than generic ideas.
As I chatted with the hosts, I ended up showing them my Disney mug of coffee, my tiny dog and even my Olaf Keyring… such a grown up. They loved my honest, fun style and said that with my exceptional knowledge on growing businesses and people I’d be perfect.
So all good right?
Except when you don’t see your audience whether you are a speaker, professional or a business leader it can be tough.
Usually body language gives us massive clues on this. The crossed arms changing to hand at face in deep thought is always a good one to aim for. Along with obviously the laughter and relaxed poses.
So with our world moving to online can you deliver to the same high standard?
Yes of course but watch out for the confidence levels.
As the day of the big event got closer, I found myself writing copious amount of notes on the subject of leadership and building great people. You know, the subject I spend my life coaching people and teams on!
How ridiculous I found myself thinking you know this stuff inside out. “Why are you writing it down?” “Why are you adding stats that you could recite in your sleep!” I shrieked at myself. “Are you likely to lose your mind between now and Saturday!”
It was a dip in confidence. Not to be confused with a sensible level of nerves because you want to do well. One is good for your performance, the other can destroy it. (If you aren’t sure pick up a copy of Fight the fear where I help you reduce your fears to a sensible level often getting rid of them all together but being mindful that sometimes a little nerves is good for you.)
So I did what any good coach would do and I talked to another coach. Me and Gordon Tredgold have been proverbially kicking each other’s butts for years. In fact it’s thanks to him I’ve achieved more and I know I’ve been able to help Gordon too. (I love relationships that are win win like that. I highly recommend Gordon’s books, and yes you guessed it Gordon highly recommends mine too!)
So I messaged Gordon. Something along the lines of “Hey Gordon, I’ve got the major wobbles about Saturday. I know I can do this with bells on but still….”
Gordon replied with the right words as we usually do for each other, but when you are bordering on a dip in confidence that can induce fear (and trust me as author of Fight the fear I know this stuff (again inside out!) if you don’t fix the confidence then fear is only a step away.) So despite the fact I believed Gordon and if Gordon Tredgold tells you, you are an awesome speaker, then you are an awesome speaker I still was feeling concerned at a level I didn’t want to take to the event.
“Where is your evidence Mandie?” I asked. “Have you got on a stage before and tanked it?”
“Have you let an audience or hosts down?”
“Er again, I’m going to have to say No”
“Have you made audiences laugh and learn and have eureka moments that changed lives and business?”
At this stage I was beginning to hate myself just like my clients do when they are faced with the facts that they don’t suck and they are awesome! I knew how my coaching clients felt under my scrutiny and it wasn’t easy to accept but accept it I did. I’m good at my job.
I wanted to share this with you because people often say “You are so confident I bet you never doubt yourself” As a human we all do it, the difference is as a coach I can get myself back into a great mindset and get the results I want because I coach myself and control what is allowed to go on inside my brain. Hence the new book Taking control of your mind is so popular because it helps you do just that.
And just so I don’t let that dip in confidence come back I printed off the amazing words that one of the team sent to me.
If you want to stay positive it’s important you give yourself visual clues so you don’t revert to negative and stay there because that’s not good for you, your team or your business. And remember people like to be with positive people. People that inspire and motivate them. Those people make tough days and obstacles to success so much easier to overcome.
If you would like to know more about any aspect of this feel free to get in touch and if this made you rethink what you allow to happen in your head a donation on the button on the right would be appreciated, thank you.
I can also request white labelled copies of Fight the fear for your company – minimum order 100 copies.
Not getting as much done as you would like?
Please don’t read another book.
Please don’t write another list.
In my experience and I’ve helped individuals, mums, CEO’s, teams of 10 and teams of 200+ to achieve more and even apps aren’t enough!
You need to go back to the beginning.
As a coach people mock me for some of the questions I ask thinking they are wishy washy, however having achieved awesome results with my clients (they do most of the work, I’m just the catalyst) these woo woo questions are the ones with the power, so for starters;
What do we stand for?
What do I want?
Why do I want it?
What will this give me?
What are my values?
How do I want to impact on the world?
What do I fear?
Can I confidently say No?
What will my actions lead to?
What are my goals?
Where will they take me?
What stays on the to do list that I never get around to?
How does that make me feel?
What to I assume will happen?
Ditch or deal with everything on your to do list.
Money making first.
And if you really want to achieve more, I share at The BWN and speaking engagements and with clients my 10 day week.
So damn powerful and makes even me achieve more. (I can’t share it here because it’s too visual to work).
And lastly if you have more than 5 things on your list of to do today, you are setting yourself up for long term failure.
There’s a ton of other things but time management and achieving big things is not rocket science. It is about understanding the power of who you are (not an author, guru or expert) and utilising that power, stepping up to the stuff that you fear and having the accountability and focus to get on with it.
I love coaching because it’s so powerful. And the silly little thoughts that crossed over your mind just now, they could hold the key to maximise the use of every hour from this moment on!
There’s more that I teach and share – communication rules and laws, boundaries, respect, open door policy and when not to. Company policy, mission and vision. So much, but this should get you and your team achieving more.
Remember if you want to achieve more you have to create space to and that means making time – time management coaching enables you and your team to do this.
Tough questions, but they ensured that I’d get on with work and light a candle so that I had something nice to look at instead of concentrating on the thing that was annoying me.
Jump to inappropriate jokes and I’ve learnt that if I’m with new people I will apologise and explain “I’m sorry I make bad jokes when it’s stressful, it helps me reduce my stress.” Honesty, fallibility and sharing – instead of disconnecting you from those around you, it can connect you on a new powerful level, but it takes internal confidence to be able to do that;
I’ve learnt that the right people will always accept you, hey they may not get you but they will accept you. So what about your natural style could stop you from connecting on a deeper level with those at work and at home?
How could you style be the polar opposite to others and what impact could it have on your communication skills success?
How could you overcome that? And turning into a whole new person is rarely the best option.
So what has this got to do with you?
Coaching clients learn with me who they really are and how to utilise that knowledge so that no matter what they face or want to achieve they can fall back on the knowledge of who they are and own it.
If you’d like to learn more about understanding the science of who you are, who your team are and how to get better results at work and at home – even reducing stress and working less hours, get in touch. I’ve a proven track record of coaching individuals and teams to achieving more. And I’m happy to give you references that you can call to share their views on why this 2020 I’m their coach of choice. 01206 381482.
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;
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;
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?
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;
Think about what kind of support you would like and who in your world could provide it?
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;
Challenge your thoughts to be able to get over yourself and speak up.
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!)
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;
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;
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;
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.
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.
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;
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?
There are various breathing exercises that have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in seconds. One 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…
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?
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!
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.
Yoga, running, dancing, painting, singing, hobbies, tai chi, look for things in life that make you feel good and at them too!
You won’t stick to these stress-free exams tool kit unless you make it visual;
This time of year our social media is awash with golden beaches, azure blue pools and half naked friends on holiday in locations around the world. While I adore sharing your moments and feeling your happiness I am a bit confused.
Why are you not actually on holiday? It’s a bit like business owners and employees who work in the business but don’t work on their business.
These holiday makers are in the holiday but they are not on the holiday.
Let’s start by looking at why you are probably shouting at me in scorn right now saying “You don’t get it, it’s not that easy to disappear for 2 weeks….” I really get it, honestly I do. I hear this from new clients all the time. If you care about your career/business you want to do all you can to look after it don’t you?
You don’t step fully away from business when you are on holiday because;
The list is long and I’m sure I’ve not covered all the excuses I hear as to why it’s good to keep your phone on this holiday, however would you like some evidence to shock you into considering truly walking away from the office, before we crack on how to achieve it and what kind of results you could get for your professional life with your phone turned off?
Great Mandie you’re guilt tripping me here and while I know this stuff, that doesn’t mean its’ achievable, business never sleeps right?
I get that, I really do, so between us we have a good idea why you don’t turn off completely and we also know why it’s imperative you do. What about if I shared how I get to go on holiday (and my clients do too), turn the phone off, get the holiday automated message on and have a guilt free fabulous holiday AND grow their business and gain new opportunities?
Would that help?
As an example I’ve just had 9 days away from my business (I’ve already had a 4 day break in the winter and 17 days in Disneyland in April and I’ve got more holidays booked for later in the year too – I tell you this so you can see this is not a one off, this is a lifestyle and business model that is sustainable long term.) And on every occasion the phone is off. I really am out of the office. I’m only back to work for 5 hours and already I’m aware of these great things that have automatically happened for me;
And I’ve not even finished opening all my email and social media messages yet!
How is that possible?
Here’s some ideas for you so you can enjoy that holiday 100% (guilt free.)
Plan months in advance. My retained coaching clients and BWN team already know when I’m on holiday to the end of the year and are already aware of my developing Summer 2020 plans. Whenever I see a client, a connection, lead or opportunity I finish by ensuring that they know when they will have whatever it is I’ve promised them and when I’m not able to assist further. (I also will include an emergency number, usually my husbands number, not mine, so that they know its for genuine emergencies only.) If you are doing your very best for people then this is adequate. See below for what that is.
Trust. I too used to check my phone on holiday. It takes only a few minutes to jump online and check there is nothing to be worrying about, right? However if you know anything about flow it takes us on average 15 minutes to get back into the flow of what we doing (Just as good to remember for at work too, so turn off your phone, turn off your laptop sounds so you can concentrate and get more done!) This means that when on holiday you are constantly being propelled back into work mode, work thoughts, and automatic pathways, Here’s some examples for you;
I completely understand how this feels, and the additional ideas below will help you create a better way. But for now trust is key. Trust you have done all you can for everyone you work with, trust that on your return you will do an awesome job as you always do. And remember that great bosses, teams, customers and suppliers will respect you and trust that you will do your best for them – and they will say things like they do to me “Mandie we know how much you care about our success, go and enjoy your holiday and we look forward to working with you on your return. You deserve it”. Working with the right people is good for business too – I only seem to attract driven passionate people who want to do their best for themselves and their teams and as such they care about me as their coach too – they pay on time, don’t get in touch late at night or at the weekend and really care that we have a win win relationship. If you find you are not convinced of this, ask yourself for what reason? That will help you create a plan of action to allay your fears and tackle theirs too.
Respect – If you want people to respect you and your life then you need to respect theirs too – don’t dump last minute jobs on people’s metaphorically desks. If you need something urgently then ask yourself “What is this persons preferred way of communicating?” Again this is also good for long term success too.
Fire fighting – Fire fighting is not a long term solution to professional success and if you are constantly doing this then leaders aren’t leading, staff aren’t self sufficient, and adequately trained, boundaries aren’t in place and a clear vision, mission, goals, plans, actions and expectations are not being created. Create these and everyone feels safer at work, every day. Getting rid of the fire fighter approach is not just good for stress free holidays it’s also good for sustainable business growth and happier, less stressed staff – and do you know what less stressed staff are great for? Creativity, productivity, better health, happier work environments and even higher profitability! A good reason to know your vision, mission, goals, plans, actions, expectations right?
Think of the children (and your trusted network!) If I am faced with a client that really can’t see a way to change from their current mode of thought and actions then I will quite often ask if they have children or people that they love working with (as we all do) and I will ask them this; “Would you want this for your son/daughter/colleague/boss/team?” This invariably gets a “of course not!” to which then they have to admit “OK so why is it good enough for you?” If you work 24/7 and you are never allowed a day off or a life away from work ever again, what does that say to those around you who you are a role model for? (And we are all role models for someone). I hear antiquated dangerous and not good for success comments like “You can only be successful if you work 24/.” Really? Guess how much harder success is going to be with that mindset? Is that really inspiring you and spurring you or killing off your passion? And think about how that may impact on those around you and their own beliefs, scary right?
Whether it’s fact or fiction that Archimedes came up with his great principle of buoyancy in the bath or not the fact is that he was a great thinker and didn’t just do his thinking at a desk. If you’ve ever found your mind wandering and then noticed and pulled yourself back to reality you will know how freeing it can feel. What were you thinking about? It doesn’t matter, because that down time enables your brain to keep working even when it feels like you aren’t! I remember a few years ago I was strolling along a beach in the South of France looking at shells and splashing in the waves and I suddenly had this thought “How can I help more people that don’t necessarily have the budget?” And I just left it and jumped in the sea. Only for me to emerge from the sea, legging it across the too hot sand back to my lounger thinking “How great would it be to have a confidential 24/7 mastermind group – we could create a bank of ideas and support that was accessible every day!” And behold The Insiders was born! Was that magic? Of course it’s not! I’d given my brain the space and permission to work on anything it fancied! True holiday’s can do that for you too.
Start of the new year. For me my year doesn’t run from January to December, they run September to July. It all started years ago when I read about the English Rugby team who’d been performing horrifically until they worked with a life coach. The premise was that at half time, they’d come back out in a clean kit. Because it made them feel like the start of the game and that anything was possible. This and other ideas they put together with their coach enabled them to become great again. I come back from holidays refreshed and buzzing with ideas. So August (I hadn’t missed it out accidentally!) Is my planning month. I review the previous 11 months and assess what I want to achieve by the end of the true year end (31st of December) and that then is a mini goal stage to my big goal for July. Creating your own agenda ensures you stay motivated, focused and accountable to your goals. And August is a joyous month for me as I concentrate on my own growth, happiness and success. So ask yourself when do you create the time to work on your business/professional success?
When did the holiday message not become an acceptable “I’m sorry I’m out of the office” reply? When did it become a success requirement that you would be attached to your professional life 24/7? Seriously I’m intrigued. I was working with a team of 55 people and many lamented that email were a hell of their working life. It didn’t take long to discover that everyone had different beliefs on what should be answered as a priority, what could be ignored (reference only) and what was expected of everyone. Putting our thoughts together collectively they were able to create a far more powerful strategy to email and free up a lot of time in their working day. If you have a message that says I’m out of the office today in the event of an emergency, etc,etc then abide by it too. In this way you are helping to reduce the stress for those that you work with too. We can’t have a change in professional culture without the brave.
Automate your marketing. I’m one for real conversations but if you consider the evidence for why you need time out, you can see that sometimes you need to automate and schedule. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The same principles can be used for when you are mega busy. It’s not just your marketing you can automate. Create standardised letters that you personalise for things that you find yourself repeating, separate emails into separate folders so you prioritise. There’s a ton of apps to help you get organised, find the ones that work for you and your time management improves too!
Don’t fear asking for help. I can be guilty of this. We feel like we have to be super human don’t we? Doing everything for everyone, well guess what? You don’t! And if you ask for help when you want to holiday guilt free others will help and then you know you are truly part of a team. All striving for the same goals. Get over your fear of asking for help (My book -Fight the fear looks at this) and you could find this a lot easier and life in general a little easier too.
From FOMO to JOMO – Fear Of Missing Out? Try Joy Of Missing Out! I love being connected to you and your lives and sharing in your special times, your tough days, trials and celebrations, however I also love not having a clue and then meeting up with you and hearing all about it. We are so used to knowing everything instantly we’ve forgotten the joy of being completely absorbed in our own worlds. And if you are a highly sensitive person (I am, it’s nothing to be ashamed of if you handle it well. It can actually be a blessing in business and life) then being connected all the time can be really damaging. Just like the news always being delivered is bad and drags us down, so too do other people’s struggles that we can’t fix. You have complete permission to disconnect. I think that is why I adore my caravan so much. To get into nature, away from people and disconnect makes me feel amazing. Try some JOMO and see how it feels. At first it may feel alien, but trust me it will feel good in the long term!
And lastly I was in a conference call today and of the 10 people in the call, I’m the only one that said “ I won’t be about between these dates. I’m away” Everyone else said things along the lines of “I’m away but I will be answering my emails.” Not one person was giving themselves a true break. And one even said “Wow, you’re brave!” I replied, “No, I’m organised”. It’s no good just going on holiday and hoping it will all be good when you return. It’s all in the planning, communication, boundaries and goals that you guessed it I started planning last September! So if you are going away on Monday, you may find that you need to do an extra level of work this week to get even a third of this in place, but wow will it be worth it. And then you can plan how all of this factors in your future to make the holiday after this one stress free and guilt free too!
If you’ve never done this before start small. Get strict. If you say you are finishing work at 6 pm, then don’t look at your phone again. If you say you are away this weekend. Don’t look at your phone. When I’m major busy and buzzed up at my clients success I can be tempted to live on my phone. My go to actions are 1. Give my phone to my hubby and tell him that under no circumstance is he to give it back. 2. Let my phone go flat – good for the planet too – just think how many hours of energy we could save! 3. Remind my teenagers that 2 hours before bedtime you should not use your phone and that they are to remind me that if I expect them to do something, I need to be a role model and do it too! What go to actions do you need to get strict?
We care passionately about our customers, colleagues and those around us, however I’m often fascinated by the fact that rarely do people put themselves on the priority list too. Time to change? Because you’ve now got the evidence and the ideas to make it a reality.
If you have a hardworking passionate team I’d be honoured to group coach you to action these tools and many more especially tailored to you. Just get in touch to learn more.
Recently I spoke for WEConnect International. Here you can access the full webinar: ‘How saying ‘no’ can positively impact your business success’ I hope you enjoy the session and learn a lot about how saying no can make you more focused, less stressed and more productive!
And below are additional links to further learning and support. Let me know how you get on and if you aren’t signed up to WeConnect you – please do!
If you’d like to listen back or if you weren’t able to join us on the day, the recording of the webinar can be found here: https://youtu.be/mAHT7Zrfq5E
Accompanying slides can be found here.
If you have any issues with any of these links, you can also access them online here.
You can find details about my best-selling book Fight the Fear (now in 5 languages) that looks at the 12 biggest fears that impact on success including our fear of saying no and our fear of what people think of us here: https://www.mandieholgate.co.uk/books/
And here are the additional articles as mentioned:
Courses on powerful communication anywhere, building confidence and other business related subjects – https://www.mandieholgate.co.uk/shop/
And the confidential mastermind group that is a very powerful group for female business owners https://www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/bwn-insider-benefits/ – a great way to access a coach 24/7!
If you found the webinar useful and are able to leave a review on Linkedin or Google that would be greatly appreciated.
Mandie offers team coaching, 1 to 1 coaching and mentoring to help women and their teams achieve more and is very happy to offer a discount for all our WEConnect International webinar attendees (not reviews). Please contact her to avail of this!
Finally, if you have not yet registered your business with WEConnect International, you can register with us for free online here: https://weconnectinternational.org/en/womens-business-enterprises/self-registration.
eNetwork and Operations Manager for Europe
It’s the weirdest thing. I’ve had 8 years of being pretty much trapped in my home due to ill health (Lupus) and for the last month I’ve been feeling really well. Not put on a fake smile and act well because people are so bored of you talking about pain and exhaustion, but genuine bouncing out of bed, looking forward to the day well.
The weird thing is that while my body is well my mind doesn’t seem to have caught up yet.
For instance I was up early to take my son to his last day of college today (that’s a sad but exciting milestone right?) and as I drove home I knew the morning was starting with a coaching session and I thought “Oh no I’m on my own all day.” (Client was only on the screen so not there in person to have a cuppa and chat with first.)
Usually if I’m coaching for 2 hours I’d need a few hours to recover. Then I could work for a couple of hours and then I’d need to rest before my children got home in the hope I might have some energy to talk to them and maybe help cook tea.
But I had to physically remind myself today “You can do more Mandie!” and so I went for a walk. 45 minutes may not seem big to you but 4346 steps is epic to me.
Usually I would even have to limit my time on the phone (pacing is not just about your physicality as I learnt the hard way – your brain uses up a lot of energy too.) But today I’ve made and had over 10 phone calls already!
This all reminds me of clients who I’ve worked with for a while and in a session they will say something and I’ll challenge them on that thought. Often it’s because they are still using the same language they used before we started working together. Not really appreciating how much has changed.
For example a client said to me “But I’m rubbish at marketing.”
“Are you?” I asked “What evidence do you have to that statement?”
They smirked at me because they realised that this wasn’t true anymore. The person they are now is very different to the one of a year ago. But that negative thought had still sneaked in.
We have to be mindful of every thought we have and ask ourselves if it is empowering us or demotivating us?
Is it moving us forward or holding us back?
But even that is not enough. You then need to take ownership for what you thought and focus on what you actually want.
I’ve started mentally noticing the little things that I’d forgotten about;
I find these and so many other things are making me grin, but there’s a but. And it’s one I didn’t think I’d ever have again.
Walking along the beach I realised that I still haven’t factored in anything in the evenings. The last time I went out at night was to End game on the 25th April, before that it was the 16th December, regular right?
The hardest thing about balancing a long term health illness is that you have to ditch so much of your life. A social life is something I know exists because I watch Facebook friends having one. But now can I have one?
I’m scared to speak these thoughts.
I even have found myself using my clients words “What if?” And unlike me, I’m not assuming it’s going to be awesome! I’ve been assuming with real terror;
Lucky for me I am uber speedy and epic at reframing. I can be in a bad/sad mood and flip to being positive/happy and ready for anything with a lightening speed thought.
So that’s what I’ve been doing;
Of them all the last one makes me hyperventilate. I’ve worked so damn hard on being happy and as well as possible despite Fibromyalgia, Lupus and a myriad of other illness and problems. Even before this mini miracle I felt truly happy and joyous with my life. This? Well this just makes me feel super human!
My friend is 94 (Sorry Irene, I told everyone your age) and she is one of my role models in life. Flying around the world visiting nephews, ski-ing (Ok just the apres ski – you can’t blame her!) and living life to the fullest. Irene summed it up today when she said “Sometimes to go forward we have to go back”. How perfect is that sentence?
I have absolute gratitude to be able to go for a walk. To be able to drive a car and work. Things I would guess that 9 years ago I didn’t really acknowledge. And having to gain a level of tenacity, determination and self belief that Iron Man would be proud of, how well set up am I for going forward?
If feeling ill I can walk 27000 steps around Disney Land Paris (okay, with enough medications in me to rival any A and E Department!) what can I achieve without the brain numbing, gut destroying, nausea inducing, sleep robbing drugs in me?
I like that I work with a coach, and I like that I can coach myself. The fear is going to be allowed to stay (just a little) why? Because it’s sensible to go a little steady. As Dinah Liversidge (Wow I love that woman!) said “When I was on the road to recovery I only walked for 10 minutes a day, and I didn’t try to push it. Go little and often to build stamina.” (Dinah is also the awesome lady that told me that to get through Lupus I’d need Cannabis and a hot tub. I got both, well the legal version of the Cannabis!
I never stop working on my emotional intelligence, beliefs and personal development, if you’d like to explore this with me, get in touch. I’m also that in love with CBD I’ve signed up with Tessellate to sell it!