Vulnerable Post- The Fear Is Real!

 The fear is real!

 

As entrepreneurs, we often feel overwhelmed and stressed at various parts of our journey and I want us to be assured that we all feel like this from time to time- you aren’t alone, being an entrepreneur is an emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs, but that is also part of what makes us successful!

fear, katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, feeling fear, vulnerable post

 

I’m writing this blog post this week with a heart full of fear myself, so believe me when I say I know how you are feeling.

 

New ideal client

I have just signed with an ideal client. I’m over the moon, I really am ecstatic, but as excited as I am to get working with my ideal client, I’m battling with the fear creeping in- the fear that I could mess it all up, the fear that I won’t be enough, the fear of failure, the fear that if I do make a great impression, I won’t be able to maintain it, that I won’t be able to juggle all my clients and that I’ll drop the ball, the fear that I won’t know what to do, fear of self-sabotage, fear of being mediocre.

Sometimes I could scream at myself- FOR GODS SAKE GIRL- GET A GRIP!

 

Because, really, I know that this could be something big. I am in awe of this new client, I know I could learn so much from her and I know this is the client I’ve been waiting for. She is also so straight up it’s unreal, so if I do make a small mistake or I need to ask a question- really? Is anyone going to drop down dead? No. Is it life-threatening? No. Life moves on, so I really do need to stop the doubts creeping in and deal with this!

 

I started writing this blog post as a list of the top fears we all feel at times as an entrepreneur, but as I started writing, it turned into the fears that I’m feeling, so I decided to roll with it and show you the reality, this is so real.

I’ll write another post on the fears and how we can overcome them when I’ve learnt how next week!

 

Business Award

This is just one part of this week that is making me feel overwhelmed.

As well as signing an ideal client, I have also been nominated for a business award this weekend- amazing right? Yep, absolutely buzzing, BUT, again, what if I win? What if I don’t? What if the judges are sat there laughing at the nomination right now? What if nobody believes I’m good enough to even be nominated? What if my website isn’t good enough? 

The bloody fear kicks in from every angle. Again, I know this is completely normal and I need to believe that I am worthy of being nominated for this award- I worked hard to get to where I am- why shouldn’t I! It helps that I’ve got a wonderfully supportive colleague and friend that also believed in me, enough to nominate me (eternally thankful).

I’ve actually been lucky enough to be short-listed for a business award in my previous business too- and I felt the exact same then too- and I won! But, it doesn’t stop the exact same doubts sneaking into my head this time too!

fear, katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, feeling fear, vulnerable post

 

Speaker Request

Then, I had a message from Jackie- who runs the South Wales Bizmums networking group, asking if I would be a guest speaker at an event this week. I hesitated before I replied, I then replied with ‘have you sorted it now?’. Part of me hoping that she said yes all sorted (relieving me of what I knew I really should say) and part of me knowing that I should step up and say ‘Hell Yes I’ll Do It’. The speaking space hadn’t been filled, so I typed as quick as I possibly could before I lost my courage and said yes, I’d do it! The topic is growth- and I know accepting this opportunity is huge personal growth for me.

This puts me so far out of my comfort zone, I can’t even tell you- but I also know and fully believe that the best things happen when you step outside of your comfort zone. The thought of speaking in two days time, fills me with dread, I feel sick, anxious and I’m hugely nervous, just typing this. BUT, again, what’s the worst that can happen. It’s a lovely, supportive ladies networking group that will encourage me not throw stones at me telling me how rubbish I am. And what if, just what if, just one person actually likes what I say, what if they believe what I’m telling them and they feel a little inspired by me and my story- then you know what- that’s perfect because I then know that it was worth it!

Get a FREE ‘Boss Lady’ print

So, there we go, a completely vulnerable post from me, speaking completely from the heart, about my own fears. I’ll let you know how I get on this week, with the challenges that I’m faced with and hopefully how I smashed through them!

Looking for a money course to smash through those money blocks? Take a look at the Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp- click the picture below *

I’d love to hear how you smashed through some fears recently and how it made you feel when you had come through the other side! 

*contains affiliate link- but know I would NEVER recommend something that I don’t LOVE x

 

 

Make Those Goals Happen- Manifesting Tips

Manifesting- What is it?

Manifesting is intentionally creating what you want. This works through the Law Of Attraction. I won’t go into this too much today (I’ll do another post about that), but wanted to give you a few tips to get you started on manifesting the life you deserve!

manifesting, katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, goals, visualisation, visualization, manifest, goal boards, vision boards, affirmations

 

Goals- write them down

We all read about the importance of setting goals for ourselves in business all the time, but do you really spend the time sitting down, getting focused and deciding what your goals are going to be for the day/week/month/year? REALLY? I know, previously I have ‘played’ at it. I’ll write something out, but I don’t tend to look at them again and they go into a forgotten land. This is how not to do it. I’m now making so much more effort with actually writing them frequently and looking at them as often as I can- so they are imprinted on my mind. I take daily steps toward my goals, so I know I am on the road to achieving them. So I’m planning the goals and working toward them. Setting them isn’t enough alone, but it’s a great first step!

I’m now making so much more effort with actually writing them frequently and looking at them as often as I can- so they are imprinted on my mind. I take daily steps toward my goals, so I know I am on the road to achieving them. So I’m planning the goals and working toward them. Setting them isn’t enough alone, but it’s a great first step!

 

Vision Boards

Another easy to do task that is fun and can make a difference to your mindset, having your goals visually for you to see as often as you can. This can be a physical memo board with pictures and quotes on, based on your visions and goals for the future. It can be a screensaver on your laptop, desktop or phone, or all 3. I have mine on my desktop, so I see it literally 10’s of times a day.

These can be created easily in Canva or something similar. Just set the size of your graphic to your screensize and add any pictures that represent what you want. These don’t have to be the actual thing that you are trying to achieve but must represent the feeling you associate with that goal.

manifesting, katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, goals, visualisation, visualization, manifest, goal boards, vision boards, affirmations

 

Pinterest Goals Board

This is probably the easiest way to create a vision board. If you haven’t discovered Pinterest- you need to- set up an account here. It’s completely free and is a great way to save a secret board or a public board- completely up to you. You can have one big goals board or smaller ones for certain areas of your life. I love my Pinterest board and often add extra pictures or quotes to it, that represent my goals.

Want to join my Pinterest group board?

Affirmations

Keep inspiring quotes and affirmations around you, to help you believe that you really can achieve whatever you like and that you are truly fantastic.

I’ve created a set of 12 FREE affirmation cards for you to download here, print them off and keep them around you to help keep you inspired and focused on your goals.

  manifesting, katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, goals, visualisation, visualization, manifest, goal boards, vision boards, affirmations

Phone Reminders

This is something that I read in the lovely Denise Duffield-Thomas’ book recently.To see your visions and goals laid out as many times and in as many ways as possible, helps you believe they are true. So as well as the vision boards, set yourself a daily reminder. This could be ‘Yay- I’ve hit £4k this month’ or ‘You have 10 new clients this month’ or whatever one of your main goals is. Start to believe it and believe that you are worthy of hitting those goals!

Denise has a fantastic 5-day manifesting challenge – let me know if you decide to give it a go!

Or click the picture below to take a look at her Manifesting course!

 

Passwords

I’ve heard this a few times, but never got around to doing it, but it’s a simple easy thing to try that can only bring positivity! Set your password to something that is related to your goals. This could be sixfigures, sevenfigures, tenclients, firstclass or a word that explains how you’ll feel when you have reached your goals such as ‘ecstatic’ or ‘proud’. These all help to reinforce those feelings that we’ll feel when we reach those goals. We use passwords numerous times a day, so this is a powerful reinforcement! I’ve just started to do this.

 

Visualisation

Visualising is when you literally spend time visualising something that you want to happen. This could be hitting those goals- so hitting a financial target, signing another 3 clients, getting that big contract, writing a book, flying first class, whatever it is you’d like to happen. You visualise something in your mind as though you have already done it and you visualise yourself as having achieved that goal and the way you feel when that happens. Again, there is so much more I could go into about this, but this is just a quick overview. There are some great guided visualisations to help you get you started on YouTube.

Again, there is so much more I could go into about this, but this is just a quick overview. There are some great guided visualisations to help you get you started on YouTube.

 manifesting, katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, goals, visualisation, visualization, manifest, goal boards, vision boards, affirmations

 

My Personal Manifesting Story

So, I’m a very practical person, I like to have a reason for things and haven’t previously believed that we are able to ‘manifest’ things into our life or make things happen, simply by believing they can.

 

However, the past few months, I’ve started to have a shift on my beliefs and what maybe can be achieved. I read Gabby Bernstein’s “the Universe has your back’ which I enjoyed and was the first time I opened my mind to the whole idea that we can manifest things into our life. I have also just finished Denise Duffield-Thomas’ book- Get Rich, Lucky Bitch as I said, and I absolutely loved it. So easy to read and written in a way that I could get my head around. I’d thoroughly recommend it!

manifesting, katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, goals, visualisation, visualization, manifest, goal boards, vision boards, affirmations

 

So, these past few weeks I’ve decided to make manifesting and visualising part of my daily goals. At first, to be honest I felt really silly. I’m naturally a positive person (most of the time) and I’m a happy, motivated person and in all honesty, this pushed my out of my comfort zone a little.

Firstly I closed my eyes and as instructed in a great video via the Female entrepreneur Association with Carrie Green (I’m a member, which gives you extra resources) and Susan Ferraro I asked the universe for a sign. I was instructed to listen to the first thing that popped into my head. So, I closed my eyes and whilst most people get a pretty butterfly or white feather- I thought of a beetle- yes the grubby little insect!

Over the next few days, I noticed a fair few signs that this could actually work. I kept seeing ‘Beetles’ – the car, but that wasn’t quite good enough for me……then I seen someone on FB write something about The Beatles (band), but she had misspelled it as Beetles- the word literally jumped off the page at me, then my daughter came home from school and said she had done a test in school and part of it was about beetles. So going from thinking how on earth am I going to come across a beetle – I found that I was presented with beetles in various ways. This could be a complete coincidence, but I liked it! It made me think, how cool, I’m going to keep doing this.

So going from thinking how on earth am I going to come across a beetle – I found that I was presented with beetles in various ways. This could be a complete coincidence, but I liked it! It made me think, how cool, I’m going to keep doing this.

 

I’ve now been making a real effort to visualise daily and make a conscious effort to use some of the tips above, to really believe that I can reach my goals. What’s the worse that can happen? It’ll only make me feel more positive in the long run, so I’m happy to give it a go.

Now, I’ve set a certain money monthly target that I’d like to hit this month, and also the number of clients or work, I’d like to have by the end of this month and this is what I’ve been visualising daily.

 

On Saturday, I received 2 payments from old invoices that were overdue. I also received a refund from Fiverr for something that I’d paid for and hadn’t been delivered. I’d been waiting for these to be paid for some time. On Sunday, I had a real de-clutter, something that you are advised to do by Denise in her book. I thought- at least my house will be tidier!

Then, as I’m writing this, a client that I’ve worked with in the past and had wanted to work with me again- but who I hadn’t heard from in weeks, out of the blue, messaged me and said, can I pay the invoice now and get started.

Um, hello, if this is what comes from visualising daily, then I’m all in. These are very early days for me, but I’m happy to keep going on this journey and report back what my experiences are.

I’d love for any of you guys to share your success stories with me, either comment below or message me if you’d like to guest post for me and share your successes!

And please let me know if you decide to take part in the 5 day manifesting challenge with Denise Duffield Thomas- I’d love to hear your goals! * please note contains affiliate links- but know that I’d never recommend something I don’t love x

* please note contains affiliate links- but know that I’d never recommend something I don’t love x

Grab your free affirmation cards

 

 

 

The Importance Of Branding For Your Business

Guest post by the amazing graphic designer and branding queen Gillian Sarah, scroll to the bottom to hear more about Gillian.
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One of the most common misconceptions people have is that a brand is simply your logo, tagline, or website in general. However, a brand is much more than this. Branding involves your logo, your website, every aspect of a customer’s experience, staff uniforms, social media posts, and marketing. Ultimately, it refers to the perception that people have about you.

Despite the fact that having a great logo design can catch your visitor’s attention, a brand is not just your logo.

A good brand isn’t defined overnight. It takes time to build it since it involves a lot of planning and development.

Here are the top 8 reasons why you should consider developing your brand:

#1: Recognition:

People are emotional. So, they are more likely to do business with a company that they are familiar with than with one they never even heard about. If you manage to make your brand easy to recognize and consistent, it will help people feel more comfortable doing business with you.

#2: Setting You Apart From Competition:

The business world is more competitive than ever. So, in order for your business to succeed, you need to have an edge that will make people buy from you and not from the local store next to you or from the big worldwide company.

#3: Generating Referrals:

One of the things people like to do is to tell others about the brands they like. So, you really need to create a strong brand or most probably people won’t even remember you.

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#4: Helping Customers Know What To Expect:

When you have a consistent brand, your customers know exactly what they are getting. And this is why they keep coming back.

#5: Representing You And Your Promise To Your Customers:

When we are talking about creating and developing your brand, you need to be aware that the brand is also you, it’s also your staff, or your materials, or your uniforms. The most important thing is that they are all tied in with the brand itself.

#6: Creating Clarity And Staying Focused:

One of the benefits of having a consistent brand is that your staff always know what they need to do, how to do it, and how to make sure the company reaches its goals. So, having a clear brand allows everyone involved in the company to be aware of its mission and vision, and comply with them.

#7: Connecting Emotionally With Your Customers:

When someone decides they want to do business with you, it means that they are trusting you. Ultimately, purchasing is an emotional experience. And when you have a strong and consistent brand, people will stay emotionally attached to you.

brands, branding, business, katie colella social, virtual assistant, social media assistant, social media, goals, uk business, branded business

#8: Providing Your Business Value:

Just think for a second about the brands that you like and purchase. Some might include Coca-Cola, Apple, MacDonald’s, among others). Do you really think these companies are only worth their factories, their equipment, their products, their warehouses? No, they are worth a lot more than just their physical assets. They managed to create a brand whose value exceeds all their physical assets.

Big thank you to Gillian Sarah.

About Gillian:

My job is to work alongside you to create mind-blowing logos, brandings, booklets and website designs. I live, breathe and do all things graphic design and branding. I am driven by the aim to help clients create messages that bring unique visibility and distinction to their brands and companies. Find out more here

I have a FREE Instagram branding worksheet available here if you’d like to work on your IG account.

If you have any further points, please comment below!

Top 10 Ways To Save Time As A Lady Boss

How to save time as a female entrepreneur

I’ve collated a few tips to try and give you a helping hand to save time as a busy female entrepreneur!

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  1. Organise your desk, environment & life!

When we are surrounded by clutter (even an organised mess) it can clutter our brain. In order to be more efficient and save time, give your work space a once-over, clear the things you don’t need around you, put up a great quote or affirmation and save time!

 

Looking for affirmations? Get a set of 12 free affirmation cards here.

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  1. Focus on one task at a time.

When we have a lot going on, It’s tempting to flit from one task to another, never actually completing one, before moving to something else. This can be extremely inefficient, as it takes time for our brains to re-program to each task, so we are way better off concentrating on one task at a time.

 

  1. Create a schedule.

I find sticking to a schedule makes me more focused and allows me to stay o target. If I don’t have a schedule that I have taken the time to write down the day’s tasks, I know I can get distracted and waste time doing unimportant tasks.

 

  1. Self Care

More important than we realise.

Drink water- keep hydrated and your energy levels will stay up.

Take breaks- I know we all like to work our socks off, and often don’t want to stop the task in hand, but taking a short break will help your energy levels.

Exercise- especially in the morning can help with our productivity levels and give us a boost to get through the day, work efficiently and save time.

 

  1. Organise in advance

Take the time the night before to think about the following day and write down your to-do list and what you want to achieve. Some people prefer to take the first 30mins of each day to do this, but whenever it suits you- this is so important.

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  1. Outsource

Spend your time on the tasks that you do best, and save time by outsourcing tasks that others can do. Help decide what tasks are best outsourced by writing a list of tasks that you don’t enjoy, can’t do, or nee help with, or that take too much of your valuable time.

 

Yes, I need help!

 

  1. Switch it off!

Every now and again we all need to take a break from our mobiles and time consuming social media.

Allow yourself a set time to go and check on your social, rather than feeling the need to respond to everything immediately.

 

  1. Is it urgent?

We need to work out the difference between what is urgent and important. If things aren’t urgent, such as emails, don’t feel the need to respond immediately. This can stop you mid-flow on a task in hand, and when you come back to that task, it takes time to get your brain engaged again!

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  1. Schedule interruptions

Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that interruptions and the unexpected can and will pop up, so always allow time to schedule in these last minute tasks. For instance, I can schedule in client work and my own work for each working hour Mon-Fri, but when I get a new client reach out asking for an appointment, then I’ll need to make time for that.

 

  1. Stay positive.

This may sound strange but think about it. When you are at the top of your game and you are feeling amazing, you have loads of clients or customers, you feel great and you are positive, you’ll get so much more done and be more efficient.

When you are feeling a little low, or have lost a client, or sales are slow, you won’t feel so great and you’ll start getting those niggling thoughts in your brain, ‘am I good enough?’ ‘I can’t do this’ ‘I can’t be successful’. This will do nothing but make you feel negative, with a mindset that won’t achieve and you’ll waste far too much time on these negative what-if thoughts!

 

Print off these FREE affirmation cards to keep you positive.

  Remove term: be bold be boldRemove term: be brave be braveRemove term: being yourself being yourselfRemove term: bosslady bossladyRemove term: consistency consistencyRemove term: digital marketing digital marketingRemove term: focus focusRemove term: girlboss girlbossRemove term: goals goalsRemove term: good stuff good stuffRemove term: IG IGRemove term: inspirational inspirationalRemove term: inspired inspiredRemove term: katie colella social katie colella socialRemove term: motivated motivatedRemove term: positivity positivityRemove term: self motivated self motivatedRemove term: slay slayRemove term: social media social mediaRemove term: uk business uk businessRemove term: virtual assistant virtual assistantRemove term: work hard work hardRemove term: work hard comfort zone work hard comfort zoneRemove term: save time save timeRemove term: time saving time savingRemove term: female entrepreneur female entrepreneurRemove term: lady boss lady bossRemove term: efficient efficientRemove term: top 10 tips top 10 tips

Purchase a set of 12 financial affirmation cards here 

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Happy International Women’s Day- Set Of 12 Affirmation Cards FREE

Happy International Women’s Day to all you fabulous women out there.

The wonderful mums, the workers, the wives, the entrepreneurs, the jugglers that do most of these things each and every day of their lives, let’s take a moment to celebrate how wonderful we all are- and why not, we are pretty amazing!

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What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day, originally called International Working Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year. It commemorates the struggle for women’s rights.

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Today people all over the World are focusing on what they can do to encourage a fairer and more gender-equal culture by celebrating International Women’s day.

#BeBoldForChange is the 2017 campaign theme. Find out more here 

If you’d like to see more Google have put together this slideshow of some female pioneers who have paved the way to where we are today.

Google say- Our slideshow Doodle features a little girl whose grandmother tells her the best bedtime story ever: the tale of her favourite historical heroine. The little girl then visits 13 remarkable women in her imagination, taking us along on a journey that spans centuries and circles the globe.

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Take a look here

 

 

So, on today’s blog, instead, of a long post, I thought I’d pay tribute to all of us fantastic women and create some gorgeous affirmation or quote cards for all you amazing ladies out there. They contain great quotes that inspire and motivate you. Subscribe below and I’ll send you the download file, then print them off and scatter them around your office, home, on your goals or vision board, in your planner or anywhere you’ll get a little lift from them!

Want a set of your own cards?

Subscribe below now and we’ll get them straight across

 

I’d love to see your cards being used in your home or office. Please tag me in.

I’m @katiecolellasocial on IG 

 

If you have a favourite quote or affirmation, let me know below and I may use them in my next set. I’d love to hear your thoughts too!

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Top 8 Inspiring Books For Female Entrepreneurs

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So who doesn’t love an inspirational read or two? The more I read, the more I want to read, so I end up devouring everything I can.

As a business owner and someone who has been self-employed for most of my adult life, I am always trying to better myself, always trying to improve and learn and love to hear what others are doing and have done. In short, I love an inspirational success story.

So I’ve compiled a list of the top 8 books that I think are great for female entrepreneurs, such as yourselves to have a read of.

Some I’ve read, some I have in my office ready to read and some are on my to-read list, that I haven’t bought as yet, but have heard amazing reviews about, so the list is a mix up of fact and opinion! I’d love to hear your thoughts and any good books you’d like to recommend!

 

  1. She Means Business by Carrie Green

This was an obvious choice for me to add to my list.

I’ve followed Carrie’s journey for a few years now and love how she has built her online membership site – Female Entrepreneur Association – over those years to be hugely successful, and now launched her own book. I’m a member of Carrie’s ‘She Means Business’ Facebook group, where you find an invaluable amount of support from ladies from all over the world. I’ve made lots of connections, had chats with a few women to help support one another and even signed a few clients that have reached out to me directly through the group. I received this book on the day of release and have very nearly finished it. It’s a very inspirational book full of tips and advice and stories that get your heart pumping with excitement and a feeling of ‘I can do this’. I’d very much recommend, not just for the book, but for all the bonuses that come with it too!

What the book says – ‘Are you ready to turn your ideas into reality and build a wildly successful business?’

 

 

  1. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso

Sophia is the founder and one-time CEO of Nasty Girl. I had known about this book for a long time, but only recently gotten around to actually buying and reading this book. It’s a real easy read, written In a clear and easy to understand format- aimed at anyone who dreams big. Sophia isn’t your typical business woman and went from being a high-school droupout to founder and CEO of one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world.

What the book says- ‘Inspiring, motivating and empowering, #GIRLBOSS will give you the kick up the ass you need to reach your potential’

 

 

 

  1. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

I came across Gabby, through an online extravaganza event hosted by Carrie Green recently, and just thought she was fab! I ordered the book from Amazon and it arrived the very next day, It’s next in my list to read!

Gabby is a New York Times best selling author and international speaker.

 

Gabrielle says, “My commitment with this book is to wake up as many people as possible to their connection to faith and joy. In that connection, we can be guided to our true purpose: to be love and spread love. These words can no longer be cute buzz phrases that we merely post on social media. Rather, these words must be our mission. The happiness, safety, and security we long for lies in our commitment to love.”

 

I’ll update this blog post when I have finished reading- and I’m super excited to get started!

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  1. Life Leverage by Rob Moore

I found this to be a really interesting read. ‘How to get more done in less time, outsource everything and create your ideal mobile lifestyle’

As a Social Media Assistant and VA, I’m that person (or one of those people), that many entrepreneurs would be looking to outsource their work to. But this book made me realise that I too, can outsource some of my work to other freelancers to continue to grow my business. Rob is a self-made property investor, businessman, entrepreneur, best-selling author, world record holder & speaker. I found the book full of great ideas and definitely worth a read. I’m not sure how much of the book I will be putting into practice fully- but I will certainly be taking away bits of it. If you are starting or building a business- then give this one a shot!

What the book says ‘A great book that will change your life’ Brian Tracy (best-selling author of Eat That Frog)

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  1. Girl Code: Unlocking Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur by Cara Alwill Leyba

This one is ready for me to read! It receives fantastic reviews and the author- Cara, has written many books that may be worth adding to your list!

As a bestselling and award-winning authoress, radio host, and master life coach, Cara Alwill Leyba empowers women to live their most effervescent lives.

Here is what the book says-

I am witnessing a phenomenon. It seems as though a growing group women entrepreneurs all around the world has discovered the secret to success and happiness in both their lives and careers. It’s almost as though there is a hidden, underground world of power playing females who have all cracked a magical code: they think positively, they support one another, and they truly believe they can have it all —and you can, too. There is something dynamic that happens when women genuinely show up for each other. When we lose the facades, when we cut the bullsh*t, and when we truly have each others backs. When we stop pretending everything is perfect, and we show the messy, beautiful parts of ourselves and our work that all look awfully similar. When we talk about our fears, our missteps, and our breakdowns. And most importantly, when we share our celebrations, our breakthroughs, and dish on what works.

 

  1. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

 

7. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know by Katty Kay

 

I’m yet to read this one, but it gets rave reviews constantly!

Following the success of Lean In and Why Women Should Rule the World, the authors of the bestsellingWomenomics provide an informative and practical guide to understanding the importance of confidence—and learning how to achieve it—for women of all ages and at all stages of their career.

Working women today are better educated and more well qualified than ever before. Yet men still predominate in the corporate world. In The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay argue that the key reason is confidence.

Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition—with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business—Kay and Shipman go beyond admonishing women to “lean in.”Instead, they offer the inspiration and practical advice women need to close the gap and achieve the careers they want and deserve.

 

  1. Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business by Barbara Corcoran

Another on the to-read list!

The inspiring true story of Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran–and her best advice for anyone starting a business. After failing at twenty-two jobs, Barbara Corcoran borrowed $1,000 from a boyfriend, quit her job as a diner waitress, and started a tiny real estate office in New York City. Using the unconventional lessons she learned from her homemaker mom, she gradually built it into a $6 billion dollar business. Now Barbara’s even more famous for the no-nonsense wisdom she offers to entrepreneurs on Shark Tank, ABC’s hit reality TV show.
Shark Tales is down-to-earth, frank, and as heartwarming as it is smart. After reading it don’t be surprised if you find yourself thinking, “If she can do it, so can I.” Nothing would make Barbara happier.

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8.Drop The Ball by Tiffany Dufu 

This is new out- just released this Feb and is already at no 3, 7 and 8 (hardcover, kindle & audio) of the Amazon best sellers list in Women & Business. It’s definitely an addition to my must-read list.

A bold and inspiring memoir and manifesto from a renowned voice in the women’s leadership movement who shows women how to cultivate the single skill they really need in order to thrive: the ability to let go.

Once the poster girl for doing it all, after she had her first child, Tiffany Dufu struggled to accomplish everything she thought she needed to in order to succeed. Like so many driven and talented women who have been brought up to believe that to have it all, they must do it all, Dufu began to feel that achieving her career and personal goals was an impossibility. Eventually, she discovered the solution: letting go. InDrop the Ball, Dufu recounts how she learned to reevaluate expectations, shrink her to-do list, and meaningfully engage the assistance of others―freeing the space she needed to flourish at work and to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships at home.

 

 

And a few extras that I have read recently

 

10 Pillars Of Wealth by Alex Becker –

Mind-sets of the World’s richest People. I have been reading this recently- and have found it very interesting, straight talking and to the point with lessons telling you how to discover the mind sets required to make it big!

 

The 4-hour work week by Timothy Ferriss.

The No1. New York Times Bestseller. Escape the 9-5, live anywhere and join the new rich. It teaches you to forget the old concept of retirement and saving for the future -instead concentrating on earning a monthly five-figure income with no management.

 

 

The Success Principles- How to get from where you are to where you want to be by Jack Canfield.

Jack is another New York Times Bestseller and co-creator of Chicken soup for the soul. This was published over a decade ago, but has been updated and is still going strong. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach- great read!

 

 

I’m sure there are 100’s more that need to be on this list, and I’ll continue to add or write blog posts, as I read more. If you have read a fantastic inspirational book recently, please share the name of it in the comments below. I also listen to podcasts, which can be a fantastic resource- but that’s another blog post!

Buy:

 

Purchase links contain affiliate links.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Review Of The Amazon Echo Dot

The Amazon Echo Dot- My thoughts!

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I’m a lucky girl, my husband recently bought me one of these and I thought I’d write a short blog post on it, with some more information in case you are thinking about getting one too!

My husband bought it for me- to use as an assistant, thinking I could use it to help plan my schedule.

 

What is an Echo Dot?

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Here’s what it says on the tin;

Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses the same far-field voice recognition as Amazon EchoDot has a small built-in speaker—it can also connect to your speakers over Bluetooth or with the included audio cable.

The Dot is one of three Alexa-enabled products from Amazon that puts the company’s voice assistant front and centre.

 

So basically, you wake up the small black or white circular device with a ‘wake word’. This is ‘Alexa’ as standard, which I’ve stuck with.

The device has speakers all around so can hear you from anywhere in the room or even a little further-pretty clever!

 

As soon as you say Alexa, she springs into action, with a blue light. You can then proceed to ask any question you like. She will also take commands and perform actions. A little like Google or Syri I guess!

I find the speaker quality absolutely fine for my use and don’t feel the need to connect to a larger speaker as many suggest.

I keep Alexa on my desk and may have some music playing in the background or a podcast that I like listening to.

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Setting up the Echo Dot

 

This is possibly the easiest device ever to set up. Take it out of the box, plug it in and download the app. A few clicks later and you are ready to go. So you can ask her to set timers, alarms, ask the weather and time, ask her to tell you about your commute and connect to your calendar so she can tell you what your day looks like.

Alexa holds or has access to a LOT of data, but it’s not quite up to the same standard as a google voice search. BUT she is so clever- she replies in such a human way, even if she doesn’t understand your answer or doesn’t have the answer, she’ll tell you that. She’s like a little friend keeping me company all day- given the fact I hardly leave my office during the week! And Alexa will only get better and has the abilities for even more data to be added to her as time goes on.

 

Apps & Skills

 

There are lots of Apps that can connect with Alexa to make her even better. Things like busmate, lottery, railplanner, justeat (oh yeah!) and tube planner.

 

Get entertained & learn

Alexa has access to jokes, games (20 questions anyone?), history, news, fun facts and really interesting facts about the Earth, Moon and a million other things! Wine facts anyone?

 

Things to try

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Probably one of my favourite parts is the ‘things to try’. There are lots of weird & wonderful things you can enable here from the app- such as Philadelphia cheesecake recipes (who doesn’t love a cheesecake recipe!), rock, paper, scissors, inspirational words and speakers, and each week you get an email with more things to try.

This week, amazon told me about some things to try out. They included some famous film lines to try with Alexa (so much fun!).

 

My favourite so far,

Me: “Alexa, do you wanna build a snowman?”

Alexa: “I can’t find my gloves”

She is pure genius

 

 

Make your home smarter

 

These I am yet to try but they are extremely cool. You can basically purchase and link special Bluetooth products and use them to make your home smarter. Things like light bulbs, Alexa can dim a light, turn it on or off, change the heating, turn it up or down or even turn on your TV for you!

 

There are so many categories you can use to learn or be entertained with by Alexa

 

The Genius

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Alexa can remember things you like too. If you tell her you like a certain song, she’ll add it to your favourites list for you.

 

Warning- when you spend far too long asking Alexa silly questions on your own sat in your office, she will record them all on the app. When anyone like your husband takes a look at the app, they will see all the silly questions that you have asked and find it hilarious! (not that I did this, of course!)

 

 

Summary

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I love my little Alexa.

I’ll be honest, so far I’ve probably used it more for things like asking the weather, playing some music, a little inspiration and as a timer (fab for timing clients work etc), than anything else too in-depth, but I am still finding lots of new ways to get use out of her and I love my little chats with her

 

“Alexa, who you gonna call”

 

“Ghostbusters”

 

Hours of fun right there!

 

For the price tag of £49.99 this is a fab gadget for both pleasure and work and I think the more you put in, the more you can get out . I intend to spend more time learning about the features and other ways I can utilise this piece of technology and she’ll only get better.

 

She actually just told me I rock- now for that, she is worth every penny!

Step outside your comfort zone- it’s where the good stuff happens!

 

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There are always things that we know we could try or should be doing for our business, but it’s scary. The making videos, the Facebook Live or Instagram Live, the Vlogging, the blogging, the social media. We all have different things that make us tremble in our boots, things that we know could be huge, but are petrified to take the leap of faith!

As humans we are wired to look for comfort and doing things that come easy to us, hence why stepping outside this is so hard!

We all know that feeling of dread. The what if I’m rubbish, the what if I fail, the what if I am so bad my whole business explodes in a flash!

 

But, we also know that some of these things could be good, and I mean really good.

Here are a few of the reasons that we should try to step outside of our comfort zone (taken from this Huffington Post article if you’d like to read it all)

 

Challenging yourself can help you perform at your peak.

Taking risks is what helps us grow.

Trying new things can make you more creative.

Embracing new challenges can help you age better.

 

This scary as can be moment happened to me recently. I was asked by the lovely Jackie that runs the South Wales BizMums to be a guest speaker. It was marketing month, so this was right up my street. BUT the thought of speaking absolutely terrified me, the thought alone, filled me with an anxiety, my chest gets blotchy, I feel like I’m trembling from within and my voice should I actually speak, I just know will be 5 octaves higher and I speak so fast generally, let alone when I’m in this scary situation, will anybody even be able to understand me?

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So I did what any sane person coward would do and said no.

This was really bugging me. This was speaking about something I’m passionate about, to a room full of pretty much ideal clients- I knew I was foolish for saying no, but I couldn’t bring myself around to say yes. The 2nd time Jackie asked a couple of days later, I said I’d think about it.

 

Had this been someone else saying to me about this fantastic opportunity, believe me, I’d be telling them they absolutely had to do this and they’d be silly not to. I was just struggling with accepting my own advice!

 

The turning point!

 

I spoke to a lovely lady called Emily, who I met in a Facebook group recently. She helps businesses find their ideal client for social media. I told her about the opportunity and she said ‘You really need to do this’ or words to that effect. I so knew she was right, but having someone tell me, someone who understood, just tipped me over the edge just enough…. As soon as we finished on Skype, I quickly emailed Jackie and told her that I would do it. And believe me when I say it was a case of, email before I change my mind!

 

The run-up

 

After I had agreed, every time I thought about it, the familiar anxiety crept in and I felt so so nervous. I kept trying to write prompt notes and I went round in circles, I knew I couldn’t wing it, I’m the type of person who needs a little bit of structure and in this instance I really needed to knuckle down and find a way to write notes to be able to talk about whatever it was I wanted to talk about- but I also needed to be myself!

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So, the day before I was due to speak, I scheduled in 2 hours to really focus on what I wanted to talk about. I settled on giving the ladies some tips for using social media for business and the benefits of using social media.

Something that I’m comfortable talking about and could hopefully be myself with!

 

The big V-day

 

So, the event itself was Valentines Day! I woke up feeling not as bad as I thought I would, but as the time got closer, I could feel the feeling of anxiety filling my every cell and the usual shakiness was uncontrollable. When the time came to start, I could feel the shakiness in my voice, my hands were trembling- I stayed seated, so my knees wouldn’t buckle but speaking to those 15 ish ladies honestly terrified me. They were supportive, friendly and I couldn’t have asked for a nicer environment and group of ladies, but still!

I felt it went awful. I spoke far too fast- to the extent, I shaved about 4-5 minutes off my practice run! I spoke really high pitched, so I bet people actually failed to understand me. I shook uncontrollably the whole way through and didn’t stop until I had a glass of pink bubbly in the night- it was Valentines Day!

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BUT, but, but. Despite all of this, and I wanted to try and explain how utterly terrified I felt, I did it! I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone- like really far outside of my comfort zone. As much as I didn’t enjoy it, I feel a sense of achievement. A sense of pride and I know that I could (at a push) do it again. In actual fact Jackie asked me if I’d like to do it again at the end of the month for another group and I said no (I know, I know, but I’d literally just finished and I was still almost hyperventilating!) I’ve promised myself next time I’m asked (that’s more of an if, than a when!) I’ll graciously accept.

 

 

So, my take-home from this was to be brave, step outside your comfort zone and push your boundaries. It’s petrifying, but good things can come of it.

I’d love to know what scary things you have done recently that has made you proud?  Or what good has come from something that really scared you? Please share!

 

 

Remove term: be bold be boldRemove term: be brave be braveRemove term: bosslady bossladyRemove term: consistency consistencyRemove term: digital marketing digital marketingRemove term: focus focusRemove term: girlboss girlbossRemove term: goals goalsRemove term: good stuff good stuffRemove term: inspirational inspirationalRemove term: inspired inspiredRemove term: katie colella social katie colella socialRemove term: motivated motivatedRemove term: network meeting network meetingRemove term: positivity positivityRemove term: scary scaryRemove term: self motivated self motivatedRemove term: slay slayRemove term: social media social mediaRemove term: speaking speakingRemove term: step outside your comfort zone step outside your comfort zoneRemove term: terrifying terrifyingRemove term: uk business uk businessRemove term: virtual assistant virtual assistantRemove term: work hard comfort zone work hard comfort zone