Monday, 30 April 2018

Collaboration Vs Competition

This article originally appeared in the digital magazine - Smart Healthy Women - view the magazine here

I am done with competition. I am replacing it with collaboration. Because I truly believe there is enough work for everyone. I also think we get so hung up on trying to beat others. Comparing ourselves to their highlight reels. We lose focus on us. Our business, our families and ourselves.
It is possible to retrain our brains and change our thinking. When I think competition – I change that to ask – how can I collaborate with that business? Do we have complimentary skills? Do we share the same target market? Are their synergies?

If I see potential, I reach out and invite a conversation. Simply explaining what I do, how I work and maybe an invite for a program I am working on. At worse – I get no thanks. There is nothing lost, other than potential. But, both sides need to see the opportunities, especially if the collaboration is really going to work in the long run.

Collaborative working is the essence of abundance, in a work setting. Believing there is enough for everyone. Believing that more is achieved together than alone. Able to bring your collective ideas and thoughts into the same place. Delivering your message two-fold, with the power of others.

I love working in my business, being the creator of my own world. Yet, when you invite others in, you open your mind to their thinking. You see your world from a different perspective. You make choices to improve your world, your way of doing things. You fine tune your messaging and your offerings to your clients. You become more powerful, not only in you but in the world, you show up in.

Collaboration must be two-way, and often it is. When a collaboration breaks down it is often because one person has grown – after all in business we are always learning and growing. It is the greatest personal development tool available. Creating collaborations for defined projects rather than forever is a terrific way to ensure success.

Being clear from the outset on your expectations of each party in a collaboration is important. Setting it down in writing is helpful, if somewhat formal. However, we all get busy and having expectations in writing makes it easier to come back to and remind yourself what needs to happen and by who.
If you do need to end a collaboration, do it with an open heart. Be careful of burning bridges – acknowledge that at this time it is just not working, you can always come back to it later. In an abundant mindset there is always more….

With so many solo and micro businesses operating, often within a cluttered marketplace. I strongly believe that to deliver our important messages clearly and succinctly we need to work together. I have been rebuilding my business with this value at its core. I am excited for the future of this iteration of the business. Not only for me, my family and clients, but for those like-businesses who choose to walk the path too.

What collaborations can you seek or create in your world?

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Is it possible to choose success?

This article originally appeared in Inside Small Business - see the article here

Being an entrepreneur and business owner is challenging. There are amazing ups, but terrible downs. Of new small businesses being started, 70 per cent are owned by women. Sadly, one in five of these businesses will fail in their first five years.

So, can you choose success? Is it really that easy? What is at play, in your mind and in your physical environment holding you back from being the absolute best version of yourself? Here are my seven reasons I believe some women are not seeing success:

1. Lack of confidence
Women feel the need to be perfect and have all their ducks in a row before they hit the go button. Have you heard yourself say, “I just need to do X, before I could possibly do Y and Z”. Believe in yourself, back yourself and just do it!

2. Lack of a support network
There is no way that we can do all this alone. We need support in our homes, with our children and in our business.

3. Work-life balance
Life doesn’t have to be “perfect” by other standards it only needs to be perfect by your standards. And if your standard of perfect is making you feel unbalanced and stressed then it is time to change your standards.

4. Fear
So many fears in our life. Being too successful. Being too ambitious. Fear of failure. Being judged. Taking on too much responsibility. Being found out as a fraud – the “impostor syndrome”. Fear of being invisible. And the list goes on.

5. Planning
Do enough planning to be able to stay focused in your business.

6. Money mindset
Have a good relationship with money, know your numbers. Where does the money come from, what are you spending it?

7. Lack of understanding of marketing
I believe you need a marketing strategy, which is well thought out and considered. A strategy, backed with sound research, giving campaigns which are measurable – all feeding your customers into a lead funnel which provides sales and customer retention.

With some work around these, maybe you can choose to be successful. It does take hard work, with no fairy dust options available!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Technology is here to stay and it is getting bigger

This article originally appeared in the online magazine - eBubble Life - follow this link

Technology has changed the way we manage our life. Most us have a smart phone in our pocket. Our smart phone is full of apps that manage so many different aspects of your life.  Technology is making our lives easier. It is also moving so fast it is hard to keep up. Technology is becoming intrusive on our lives. And it is getting bigger and bigger.

As a business owner and marketer, I get so excited at how access to technology is giving businesses so many more opportunities. We can tap into data about people so easily and cost-effectively. We can then use that data to customise products and services. To communicate with our customers. To be able to access this information, without copious amounts of research, is pure gold.

However, as a mum, I am watching my 7-year-old daughter becoming more and more ‘addicted’ to devices. She has an old phone of ours with games and music, a tablet, she has just acquired one of our old laptops. Plus, access to the TV which is connected to You Tube and Netflix. She has inherited all these devices from us and has access to the world via the internet – a world she is only starting to understand. Scarily the world has access to her also.

You can’t shut the door on technology. Our kids are exposed to it through school, their friends – it is like telling them they can’t eat lollies and find they are the ones at the party overdosing on sugar. They will find ways to get their hands-on technology. As businesses we need to be across how technology is changing our customers. As consumers we need to be aware of technology and how to protect ourselves online.

Here are some tips:
  • ·         Keep your devices safe by using anti-virus protection
  • ·         Use Google Kids for your children on their devices
  • ·         Be aware of the information that you put online – use privacy settings
  • ·         Monitor what your children are watching and sites they visit
  • ·         Keep an open conversation with your children about what they see online – teach them that it is not always truth

Embrace technology, understand it, try and keep up with the changes. Our kids are adapting to technology so fast, and earlier and earlier. They swipe through phones like they were born doing it. 
They are learning and discovering new things all the time. Shouldn’t we encourage this and keep it safe?

Embrace technology in your business – it will open doors for you. Your competition is. Don’t you deserve to be ahead of your competition?

Use technology to connect with others, to learn new things, to help organise your life. Stay safe and be aware of how and what you share. Remember to also unplug. Give your mind time away from technology, away from reminders and notifications. Look up and be present in life also. As we become more and more reliant on technology, we sometimes forget to plug into the real world around us – and that is the big danger, in my opinion, with technology.