startupgold

How decluttering your workspace can improve your ability to make decisions

2020-02-21T21:06:46+00:00 February 21st, 2020|Categories: startupgold|

ENTREPRENEUR MINDSET

It is a well known saying that cluttered space equals cluttered mind. While that may be true there is also the saying clear space, clear mind.

Decluttering and organising helps keep your mental health in check and improves your ability to make decisions.

Having a tidy and well organised office usually means a much more productive working day and a clearer space for thinking when it comes to work but it is probably easier said than done sometimes.

Quite often, a work space can easily become overrun with paperwork, ongoing projects, lists of things to do and plenty of ideas strewn around on notebooks, pads or whiteboards. Sounds familiar?

Most small business owners and entrepreneurs get stuck in the mindset that everything has to be done now and in quick time.  Income and cost reduction are high on the list of important items in the business and quite often, when a business is doing well, it grows so quickly the owner has little time to really assess their working environment. 

When I talk to business owners and entrepreneurs that are growing a business quickly (or quicker than they anticipated), they are struggling with overwhelm and disorganisation in their workplace. Their response to the suggestion to take time out and get their surroundings in order so they become more productive and less stressed is – ‘I haven’t time to do that’.

If you continuously work in a disorganised and stressful environment your business will suffer.

Not only because the systems that should be in place for when your business has growth aren’t available to you but because it has a negative effect on your mental capacity to do well and focus on the big things.

If you were to take a day or two out of your working week to make sure the way your office is set up works better logistically and you can plan or rearrange the current systems to work better. While you lose a day or two initially, ultimately your working environment would be better suited to your needs. Your systems would be better setup for the workload and you would be less stressed.


Here are a few things to consider when trying to create a positive and productive working environment:

1.            Lighting

Natural light is best to work in during the day as it helps with your serotonin levels which keeps you awake and focused. Try to work on the side of the room that has a good amount of light. If you are a late night worker, invest in a daylight lamp to keep you going.

2.            Desk

Desks are important both in position within a room and arrangement. If you like to write lots of notes, make sure you have a small pot for stationary but don’t put your whole stationary cupboard on your desk. Keep the bare minimum on your desk and store away the rest.  If you have a lot of paperwork, make sure there is a filing system on your desk so you can store papers in a manner that allows you file it away at the end of the day and easily find what you need when you return.

Position your desk away from draughty doorways and windows and close enough to your filing system or storage units so you can easily reach them when you need to get a new file or put something away.

3.            Storage

Choose storage solutions that fit your files, boxes and style.

Sounds silly but if you buy the storage before you know what is going in them, inevitably you’ll find they don’t fit the shelving properly, you don’t have enough space, or worse still, the storage is too big for the space and so dominates it. So be clear on what you need before spending on storage items.

If you are someone who needs to see what you have to remember you have it, don’t get storage with doors and drawers to hide things. Create open drawer storage with baskets and labels that doesn’t look messy.

So next time you’re in your work area, take some time to assess your space. If you catch yourself thinking you wish your systems were better organised or you are struggling to find what you need. Consider taking the time out, assessing what you need and deciding if you need to bring in a professional to help or do the work yourself.

You’ll find yourself, and your business in a much better place going forward.

Have you signed up for the next Business Builders LAB?

A three week program for you to build up the skills you need to attract your ideal customers, convert them to fee paying clients and retain their loyalty as your business grows.

LAB opens on March 2nd.

Improve your business income in 2020. Click the button below to get more information and enrol.

How to communicate like a boss and engage an audience

2020-02-17T20:09:09+00:00 February 16th, 2020|Categories: startupgold|

BRAND BUILDING

Connecting and collaborating with businesses is a key part of growing your brand. You do this by sharing ideas, your purpose and motivations with your ideal audience.

Business leaders that stand out from the crowd are great communicators. They have clocked a method to engage their audience and capture attention. While some people have a fantastic natural and effortless way of communicating, for some others it doesn’t quite come so easy. The good news is it can be learned by being aware of the gaps and methods that help achieve effective communication and engagement with an audience.

Sylvie Lui, is a professional, voice, public speaking and communications coach who has worked with entrepreneurs and executives in big companies like JP Morgan, Amazon, Sony and HSBC to name a few. Sylvie coaches private clients and holds group workshops in the UK, around Europe and Canada.

Sylvie shares her best practices on how to communicate like a boss and engage an audience.

listen to the complete discussion by playing the podcast episode below

Dee: Why do you think some leaders speak and get ignored? but other leaders say the same thing and capture attention?

Sylvie: There are so many things that are coming through in terms of the layers that we have to consider to be heard really well. I mean, number one is the content. Is it relevant? Is the way that you’re delivering the message relevant to your audience? And who is that audience to? Is the audience personally interested in the topic, or is it something that you just need them to sit there and listen to?

listen to the complete discussion on how to communicate like a boss and engage an audience by playing the podcast episode below

Dee: As a business owner or leader, how should we then communicate as an authority so we get the impacts or results we want?

Sylvie: As a person, even if you are not a business owner or leader, it’s really about self awareness. It all boils down to self awareness and understanding what your habits and your patterns are when you’re communicating.

When we get scared and there’s fear that comes up, we tend to have a survival mechanism that comes up. When we have that, we need to know what it is and also we need to start to research how we are coming across to our audience. When I look analytically and I’m observing the audience as I’m speaking to them, are they picking up the way that I want them to pick up?

listen to the complete discussion on how to communicate like a boss and engage an audience by playing the podcast episode below

Dee: How can public speaking help improve our personal and business brand?

Sylvie: I think getting the word out there about your brand really helps.

people like to see who you are and what you stand for as a person. I think the most important thing to take into consideration is that only you as a person, like you for yourself can stand up to show the world who you are Click To Tweet

listen to the complete discussion on how to communicate like a boss and engage an audience by playing the podcast episode below

Dee: Anxiety  can have an effect on your speaking ability….I know this first hand, I have some pretty embarrassing stories to tell…any tips on how to contain this?

Sylvie: Well, what I would recommend for everybody is that when they’re trying to cope with their anxiety and nerves, I always go back to breathing exercises.

listen to the complete discussion on how to communicate like a boss and engage an audience by playing the podcast episode below


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How to empower yourself and avoid self sabotage

2020-02-15T12:37:04+00:00 February 12th, 2020|Categories: startupgold|

ENTREPRENEUR MINDSET


LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE STARTUP GOLD PODCAST FOR WEEKLY TIPS FROM EXPERTS AND ENTREPRENEURS ON GROWING A BUSINESS


Many entrepreneurs have big dreams of living a better life and many of them do one thing that stops them from achieving those dreams – self-sabotage.

Self-sabotage happens every time you play small or fear being visible.

It is also…

  • worrying about being judged for who you are, what you do and what you charge.
  • listening to your inner critic which stops you from stepping out of your comfort zone
  • losing focus, procrastinating or succumbing to self-destructive habits that affect your wellbeing

So how can you avoid self sabotage and empower yourself??

It’s all down to one thing – your mind. Unfortunately, your mind doesn’t care if you are happy, sad, rich or poor. Its only job is to keep you safe. So when you try your hardest to change old habits or do anything that takes you out of your comfort zone, your mind goes on high alert like a bodyguard and tries to distract you or pull you back to the old ways of behaving because doing something new or different is unfamiliar. Unfamiliarity to the mind means unsafe. It tries to stop you doing unfamiliar things by creating fearful thoughts, distracting you with something pleasurable like snacking or social media, or even tidying the sock drawer can seem more appealing than pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone!  

Start changing your self-talk around doing new or uncomfortable things. If you say “I hate selling” then you are instructing your mind to get you away from it because it’s painful or dangerous!

Start talking to yourself as if you were an elite athlete. If they told themselves they hated getting up early to train or pushing their bodies to the limit, they too would self-sabotage and never win. Tell yourself you love selling, being visible, or even going to the gym at 6am!

You need to convince your mind that what you do is pleasurable in order to stop self-sabotage and this needs to be repetitive and made a habit for it to become your new familiar.

If overwhelm sets in, you can use coping strategies. For instance, if the thought of speaking in public to grow your brand makes you anxious, start using the 4, 7, 8 Breathing Technique which calms your body and helps to interrupt the thoughts which can lead to self-sabotage.

To practise this breathing technique:

  • Step 1 – Breathe in for the count of 4
  • Step 2 – Hold for the count of 7
  • Step 3 – Breathe out for the count of 8

Repeat until you feel calm and focused. 

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is the key to supercharging your business success and  by changing your self-talk and telling yourself you CAN do it to override the negative thoughts, you can avoid self sabotage and empower yourself.


Have you signed up for the next Business Builders LAB?

A three week program for you to build up the skills you need to attract your ideal customers, convert them to fee paying clients and retain their loyalty as your business grows.

LAB opens on March 2nd.

Improve your business income in 2020. Click the button below to get more information and enrol.

Getting started with email marketing and sales funnel

2020-02-15T14:14:45+00:00 February 5th, 2020|Categories: marketing, startupgold|

MARKETING


LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE STARTUP GOLD PODCAST FOR WEEKLY TIPS FROM EXPERTS AND ENTREPRENEURS ON HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN BUSINESS


Today, marketing funnels are talked about a lot in the online business world. But what are they? And how do you build an effective sales funnel using emails to win more business?

Wonder no more my friend, here is all you need to build your email funnels.

What is an email funnel?

In a nutshell, an email funnel is an automated series of emails designed to funnel subscribers towards an end goal, usually to buy your product or service.

It is called a funnel because of the shape. At the top is where everyone who decided to join your email list enters. As you send more emails nurturing them towards your goal, people will drop out as they decide whether or not they are a fit for your offer.

Don’t be surprised or take it personally if people unsubscribe from your list during the course of your funnel – you only want people who buy into you and your products/services in the funnel. 

Disinterested and unengaged email subscribers will cost you money in the long term. The bigger the email list, the more your subscription to an email marketing provider will cost you. So always be aware that a bigger list doesn’t necessarily mean better.

What do you need to build an email funnel?

An email marketing platform

Email marketing platforms provide you with the tools needed to create an automated sales funnel. This includes storing your subscribers, the ability to create forms for people to sign up to your list, tracking statistics and more.

A personal favourite is MailerLite. It’s easy to use especially when it comes to setting up your funnel and is free for up to 1000 subscribers.

MailChimp is another popular choice but since they made some big updates in 2019, I’ve found it to be very clunky to use when it comes to setting up sequences of emails.

A lead magnet

A lead magnet, also known as an opt-in or opt-in freebie is something that you offer people in return for them giving you their email address.

Strictly speaking, it’s not 100% necessary to build an email funnel, but you’ll find that people are a lot more willing to hand over their email address if they feel like they’re getting something in return.

Most people offer cheat sheets, email challenges or even access to videos as their lead magnets. What you choose depends entirely on your ideal client. It should be something that offers a quick solution to one of their problems.

For example, one of my lead magnets is a workbook that helps people structure their landing page to attract more sign-ups, it also helps with deciding on what lead magnet to offer.

A landing page

This is where you’ll send people to join your email list and where your sign-up form will be.

You can either create a standalone page on your website for this, or some email marketing platforms will let you create landing pages within their software too.

My preference is to create a page on my own site because I get more control over the layout and the look and feel. But if you don’t have a website yet, don’t let it stop you from collecting leads. Use a landing page from your email marketing platform.

On the landing page, talk about how your lead magnet is the solution to that one problem your ideal client has in order to convince them to part with their email address.

Your email sequence

This is where the magic happens! The only thing left to do is to get sending those emails.

Your email marketing platform will allow you set up triggers relating to your form. In this case you’ll want to start sending emails as soon as someone signs up. The first email should have a link to your lead magnet, or instructions on how to access it so that clients can see how awesome you are at solving their problems asap.

How many emails the funnel should have will ultimately depend on what it is you’re nurturing your subscribers towards. People will need more contact and nurturing from you for higher ticket products and services.

The next cohort of The Business Builders LAB starts March 2nd.

Enrollment now open for businesses that need the skills to build confidence and attract their ideal customer, convert them to fee paying clients and build customer loyalty.

Click to visit the builders page below and get more information.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LAB

So how do you build an email funnel that wins more business?

Traffic

For an email funnel to be effective, you’ve got to get people into it in the first place. Once you’ve got everything set up and ready to go, you need to shout about your lead magnet from the rooftops.

Here are a few places to promote it:

  • Your homepage
  • Your website menu
  • Social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and all the other social networks
  • Social media ads
  • A popup on your website
  • A blog post about the topic and link to it throughout
  • Your email signature
  • Guest blog posts  
  • Podcast interviews

Writing your email sequence

So when it comes to writing your email sequence you need to keep your end goal in mind. You need to send emails in a sequence that give your clients all the information they need to be in a position to click your buy button when you send the final email.

There is no right or wrong answer on how often you should send your emails, it depends on your content. Usually I tend to add a day between emails, but keep an eye on your funnel stats and tweak as time goes on.

My first email is sent immediately, the second the following day, the third 2 days later, the fourth, 3 days later etc. Remember that if you send time sensitive offers in your emails, aim to send reminders before the deadline.

Be mindful of these 3 phases when it comes to the content of your email funnel.

Awareness, consideration and conversion.

Awareness

Awareness is all about making the people who’ve entered your funnel aware of you, your brand and what you do.

Your goal during this phase is to educate your subscribers and position yourself as an expert.

So for example, if I’m trying to funnel people towards buying my mailing list set up services, in the awareness phase I could send the following emails:

Email 1 – send freebie and introduce myself

Email 2 – educate about the importance of having an email list

Email 3 – educate about the importance of having a lead magnet to increase sign ups

Consideration

This is the phase where you start sending content to get them to consider buying your products/services. Think about the kind of content that would get people interested in your offer. Testimonials, case studies, portfolios all of this kind of stuff will help.

Continuing my example of funnelling people towards my mailing list set up service I could include the following emails:

Email 4 – A case study from working with a previous client

Email 5 – A handful of testimonials from previous clients

Conversion

This is the business end of the funnel. Here is where you make a case for the benefits of using your product/service. You’ll need to really tap into their pain points to persuade them that your offering is the answer to their problems.

Really think about any objections that they might have to working with you. Make sure you address them within the emails that you send.

Consider adding some urgency to your offer by offering a fast-action bonus or discount if they sign up within a certain time frame. Remember that if you give people forever to make a decision, that’s how long they’ll take to make it, so give them an incentive to make it sooner rather than later.

Make it easy for them to buy your offer, include links and buttons to buy your products/services throughout your emails.

Example emails for mailing list set up service:

Email 6 – Introduce my service and include a fast-action bonus offer

Email 7 – Remind them that the fast action bonus is ending soon

Once the funnel has ended…

The last email of your funnel is not the end of the story when it comes to nurturing your subscriber list. You need to make sure that you continue sending your subscribers valuable content to cement your position as a go-to person in your field.

Keep popping up in their inboxes regularly, whether it be weekly or monthly. Consistency is key, so that they get used to seeing your name. Being consistent will build the know, like and trust factor for you and your business.

Now go build your email funnel

In this post we’ve talked about why and how to build an effective email funnel to win more business. Email funnels are a great tool to help nurture subscribers towards your end goal.

To achieve this you’ll need an email marketing platform as a minimum, but ideally your own website to send prospective subscribers to.

You’ll then need to think about the content of the emails that you want to send to your subscribers that will help push them towards your end goal. Unsubscribes will happen during the course of the funnel, and it’s a good thing – you don’t want disinterested people on your list.

Once the funnel has ended, keep sending your subscribers valuable content on a regular basis to position yourself as a reliable expert in your field.

Have you signed up for the next Business Builders LAB?

A three week program for you to build up the skills you need to attract your ideal customers, convert them to fee paying clients and retain their loyalty as your business grows.

LAB opens on March 2nd.

Improve your business income in 2020. Click the button below to get more information and enrol.

3 Steps to getting more productivity out of your workday

2020-02-15T14:19:35+00:00 January 30th, 2020|Categories: EMPLOYMENT & SIDE HUSTLE, Entrepreneur Life, startupgold|Tags: |

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT


LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE STARTUP GOLD PODCAST FOR WEEKLY TIPS FROM EXPERTS AND ENTREPRENEURS ON HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN BUSINESS


Does it ever seem like there are not enough hours in the day?

You feel like you are busy pushing through tasks in your business, wearing too many hats and constantly spinning plates, yet so much gets left undone.

If only having more hours in the day was an option!

Thankfully, it might actually be an option, in an indirect way. It is possible that you aren’t getting as much done in your day because of how you manage your time and what you are prioritising.

As we continue into the year, many of us are setting out our intentions and goals for success.

Follow these steps to get more work done in a day. Practise effective time management, increase your efficiency and add productive hours to your work day.

The next cohort of The Business Builders LAB starts March 2nd.

Enrollment now open for businesses that need the skills to build confidence and attract their ideal customer, convert them to fee paying clients and build customer loyalty.

Click to visit the builders page below and get more information.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LAB

1.     Create a task list. 

A task list is necessary if you want to ensure maximum productivity.

It’s a great way to get a snapshot of your plans so you know what’s ahead of you.

It is not about overloading your task list or trying to add on as much as possible. It is really about taking time to identify….

  • The tasks you think you should prioritise
  • The tasks that allow you make the most impact on your goals
  • The tasks that are best use of your skills, time and expertise.

Creating your task list is somewhat like mind mapping.

To get started, write your to-do items down as they come to your mind. Give very little consideration to the size of the tasks at this point.

As you review your task list, you might find that it contains activities you do not necessarily need to work on or can assign to others. That’s great, this will give you some hours back in your day.

Your task list helps you get some control of your day. It’s a great way to develop the calmness you need at the beginning of each day. You’ll find it much easier to cope with stress when you have your tasks listed.

A written task list on a notepad the traditional way is fine or you may want to consider using a software or App like Monday.com, Asana or Trello.

2.     Prioritise responsibilities. 

 The items you listed on your task list are all important. But some are more important than others? You bet they are! To make the best use of your time, it is important to organise them accordingly.

Prioritising items on your task list helps you allocate your time and effort based on the significance of each task.

Naturally, you would want the things at the top of the list to get most of your time.

It is recommended that you consider your own priorities only and not the one’s you feel compelled to do for other people. Sure, everything requires your attention, but avoid ranking someone else’s urgency above your own important tasks. Remember your hours are precious!

Once you’ve prioritised, take some time to consider whether you can truly give everything your full attention.

The things that aren’t as important may need to be moved to another day, perhaps delegated (if you have a support staff), outsourced or even dropped.

As you do this, don’t forget to consider using technology to automate tasks where possible.

3.     Allow yourself to focus. 

If you think you are on track after prioritising, think again!

What comes next is ensuring you develop the focus needed to work on each task you’ve listed.

Sometimes creating a task list gives a false sense of being in control of what needs to be done. But remember that you’re aiming to extract more hours from the day. That’s going to involve focusing on each item as you get to it.

Focusing prevents external factors from affecting your ability to concentrate on the task at hand.

It means taking only the necessary breaks and knowing where distractions need to be minimised.

This simple three step formula allows you gain extra hours each day. Give it a try and see how much more productive you can be. Remember time is free, but it is priceless.

Pretty soon, you will be achieving more, growing your business and reaching your potential all because you took five minutes to read this post and follow these steps to get more work done in a day.

Have you signed up for the next Business Builders LAB?

A three week program for you to build up the skills you need to attract your ideal customers, convert them to fee paying clients and retain their loyalty as your business grows.

LAB opens on March 2nd.

Improve your business income in 2020. Click the button below to get more information and enrol.

Coping with a paid employment & side hustle

2020-02-15T14:49:02+00:00 January 4th, 2020|Categories: Career, startupgold|Tags: , , , |

EMPLOYMENT & SIDE HUSTLE


LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE STARTUP GOLD PODCAST FOR WEEKLY TIPS FROM EXPERTS AND ENTREPRENEURS ON HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN BUSINESS


Running a business is a marathon as they say and not a sprint. As you run your own race, you do have to be mindful of your personal circumstances.

In the early stages of business, some people have the financial support they need to dedicate their hours to growing a business. For others the business starts as a side hustle while they get some financial support from a daytime job.

Regardless of whether you run your business full time or as a side hustle. The goal is to find fulfilment in what you do as you work on achieving your dreams.

Here are a few things to consider when coping with a paid job and side hustle :

Be mindful of opportunities you have and take advantage of them.

  1. Make the most of your paycheck as a means to support your business financially. Knowing what you earn each month, have a plan to manage your income. Consider a budget for your personal commitments, savings, investments and set aside something for your business. Click to read on how to fund your business by bootstrapping.
  2. Take advantage of employee perks and offers. Many companies offer employee discounts to retailers and events that could help you reduce the costs of items you need for your business.
  3. Make the most of your time in the workplace. Seek opportunities to learn how a business runs, how to stand out in the market, attract customers and keep them happy. Find ways to learn what employees on other teams do. Continuously look for ways to increase your knowledge of business management. This would help as you build your side hustle. Read more about learning in your workplace here

Running a side hustle while working a job can be a true test of patience and organisation skills. It is important you remember to prioritise your health and wellbeing as you juggle your priorities. This is even more important if you also have to juggle study and/or family responsibilities.

Here are some tips to keep you motivated and working at your best:

  1. Work out a plan to help achieve your dreams and use your paid job and side hustle as a platform to get you there. If either your paid job or side hustle does not get you to your dream then you should not be doing it.
  2. Keep in mind the reasons you are working your side hustle and job. Stay positive and practise gratitude each day for the opportunities ahead of you.
  3. Be disciplined and diligent to manage your time each. You do not have a lot of hours each day to waste. If you are not working in your job or business, spend quality time with family and loved ones, do something to uplift and keep you fit, improve your skill and business or just get some good rest.
  4. When you network, ensure you are getting valuable return for your time. Networking is an essential part of growing your personal brand and business. However all too often, people waste time at network events that offer little or no value. Have a plan to ensure you get something out of attending network events to support your personal and business growth.
  5. Keep in mind that you have a duty to the employer at your paid job. Be aware of your performance objectives and commit enough hours in your day to doing a good job. Employer referrals and recommendations go a long way in building your personal brand.
  6. Avoid any conflict of interest between your paid job and side hustle. Read your contract employment. You may be obliged to disclose your side hustle to your employee. Be mindful of this to avoid disciplinary or legal penalties.
  7. Lean on your support group. In your day job, delegate what you can to your team if you have one. The reason for this isn’t to give you more hours for your side hustle but to allow you time to focus on activity that doesn’t need your attention. At home, lean on family to get through your responsibilities and commitments. It is easier when they know what you are dealing with.

Consider these if or when you decide to leave your corporate job to focus on your business.

For more tips on coping with a paid job and side hustle successfully, subscribe to The Startup Gold newsletter.

You can also follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where we post community updates and new podcast episodes.

Have you signed up for the next Business Builders LAB?

A three week program for you to build up the skills you need to attract your ideal customers, convert them to fee paying clients and retain their loyalty as your business grows.

LAB opens on March 2nd.

Improve your business income in 2020. Click the button below to get more information and enrol.

Learning the business of Macrame with TwoMe

2020-02-01T14:40:49+00:00 September 13th, 2019|Categories: Entrepreneur, startupgold, TheStartUpGold|Tags: , , |

Is there anything more rewarding than mastering a craft you love and sharing it with others?

I never knew what Macrame was until I came in contact with TwoMe, a creative business run by Isabella Strambio who teaches the craft. Macrame is a type of textile produced using knotting patterns and techniques.

Isabella started originally with a blog about learning twelve crafts in twelve months. She tells The Startup Gold “My first craft was macrame and I got addicted, the same thing with natural dye. After about six months of starting my blog, I started teaching workshops and I haven’t stopped since“.

Isabella loves teaching and sharing her knowledge with others, inspiring people to be more creative in their daily life. In summer of 2017 she quit her career as an interior designer to work on Twome full time. Today she teaches regular workshops, at events, team building workshops, writes tutorials for magazine, blogs and runs online courses. Since her article published in the Sunday Telegraph , she has been asked to run macrame workshops at big brands including Facebook, Moo, Beyond, Nandos & Creative Debut.

She also has a curated online shop with natural dyed and macrame homewares. One of her favourite items, a naturally dyed Japanese apron, is a finalist for the Etsy Design Award 2019.

You can join one of Isabella’s workshops in London or in the lovely English countryside here. You can also sign up for an online course if you are abroad or just want to test the waters before attending a workshop.

Shop your home living, style accessories and learn the business of Macrame with TwoMe

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Back to School survival tips for working mums

2020-01-04T21:49:18+00:00 August 30th, 2019|Categories: Entrepreneur, startupgold, working mums|Tags: , , , , |

It’s the end of August and plans for autumn are in full kick off. Between curating your wardrobe, planning an autumn or winter escape and clearing the garden……dear lord, the kids are going back to school.

For some mums it’s a relief and for others..breathe, inhale, exhale and repeat – crazy hectic mornings and part time taxi job are here again. If you barely survived the summer holidays you may want to read Mums Make Lists school holiday survival tips.

Moving on, here are some tips to help you thrive as you run your business and navigate back to school in the months ahead.

1. Be mentally prepared

When you are aware of what’s coming and accept it, you unconsciously become prepared to cope with any challenge that comes with it. The good news is many working mums have charted the same path and thrived. In moments when you begin to doubt your ability to cope with balancing work and home life, motivate yourself with inspiring stories from other successful women. Surround yourself with words of inspiration that keep you fuelled with positive energy. Facebook groups like mums in business association as well as parenting forums like netmums and mumsnet are great for venting and getting support from other mums.

2. Mobilise your support network

Don’t do it alone, life is so much easier when you have a support system. This is more true when business and kids are involved. Sick days and untimely school appointments are sometimes unavoidable, so have a system in your business that gives you some flexibility to adapt. This might be a trusted virtual assistant, colleague or a partner. If you don’t have one, you may want to invest in proper gizmo to make having meetings on the go much easier. Take care to avoid calls while driving and only engage on calls when it is safe to do so. Cisco Webex, Skype and Zoom are some good options for voice conferencing and mobile meetings.

You should definitely have a reliable support system outside of your workplace as well. This might be other mums you can call on when running late for pickup, out of school clubs, family or a childminder.

3. Stay organised

Be diligent in keeping a note of school events, appointments and deadlines the same way you track meetings and appointments in your workplace. Have these stored on your favourite mobile app so you can receive reminders and notifications on the go. This works better if your work and home calendar are synchronised or on the same app. You may want to decide how you use this though, if you have a shared calendar with your work colleagues, you may not want to share details of your personal events.

The other part of staying organised is planning ahead for your appointments. A last minute dash to the store to grab packed lunch for a forgotten school trip, improvising with random items in your kitchen to complete a science project that’s due in tomorrow or carving an email to your favourite teacher explaining why costume for the school play hasn’t been handed in can be avoided by being diligent with your calendar and planning ahead.

4. Make yourself a priority

Be disciplined about taking care of your health and well being so you can operate at your best. Each day that passes may require a lot from you to deliver at work and at home, stay fuelled with a positive mindset and keep to healthy habits. In between the hustle and running around, make time to recharge and centre your thoughts. You aren’t much good to your kids or business if you are burned out, stressed and exhausted. Wearable technology for keeping track of your sleep and stress levels can help monitor unusual activity. I particularly like the Leaf Urban from Bellabeat that’s wearable as a clip, bracelet or necklace.

5. Live in the moment

Life really is hard on some mums and it’s almost cheeky to tell them to “enjoy the moment”. At times even with a support group, staying organised and using every other tip out there, being a working mum can be a most trying exercise, so you say it at your own risk when you tell some mums to enjoy the moment.

Being a mum is the single most selfless job that exists. Regardless of personal circumstances or situations we find ourselves in, we owe it to self to live in the moment with our kids. Find things to be thankful for, remain optimistic and hopeful that all of the today’s hard work is for tomorrow’s success.

43 amazing Inspiring quotes for business owners

2020-02-01T15:58:30+00:00 June 9th, 2019|Categories: Entrepreneur, startupgold, TheStartUpGold|Tags: , , , , , |

Running a business can be a true test of personality, strength and courage. In between the overwhelm, a good quote can be your source of encouragement. From art, to religion, music, politics, business and every walk of life in between, quotes have inspired people through challenging times.

"Nothing is impossible, even the word itself says I'm possible."

During periods of self doubt or experiencing a challenge in your business, this is a quote that reminds you not to give up. Keep this in mind as you find methods to overcome the obstacles in your way.

Stephen Covey will be remembered most as the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which has sold over 25 million copies. Rather than being a victim of your circumstance, accept that life happens but the ultimate goal is where you are headed. Make a choice to avoid blaming your circumstance and take a stand on making decisions to get you to your ultimate goal.

When one door of happiness closes, another open, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us - Helen Keller

Love, Love this one by Helen Keller. Helen was a political activist and author who was the first deaf, blind person to achieve a bachelors degree in Art. How amazing is that? she could have looked at her obstacles as closed doors but she accepted and used them as a platform to become a world famous advocate for people with disabilities.

"Build your dreams or someone will hire you to build theirs" - Farrah Gray

So harsh but so true. If you have an innate desire to create something, to bring an idea to life, do not let your fears or circumstances stop you. Go for it.

Ideas without execution have no value. We must apply our knowledge, and act on what we are willing to do for the dream to materialise.

"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear - George Addair

No further words needed on this quote by George Addair. As you start a new week, remember that fear is the greatest thief of your blessings. Be bold to do that thing that scares you and start making the moves to achieve your dreams.

It does not end here, we have 37 more quotes for your mantra list and they are oh so good. Daily inspirations remind you that you are not alone. Write them and pin up in prominent spaces in your environment such as your fridge, desktop, somewhere you will be sure to see them every day. Share them with friends, family any co-workers and let it frame your conversations.

The Boss Lady recipe for building a thriving business

2020-02-01T15:55:46+00:00 June 1st, 2019|Categories: Entrepreneur, startupgold, TheStartUpGold|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Boss Lady – Two words that define the successful savvy female leader. In business, a boss lady executes and delivers big ideas. This trending breed of entrepreneurs are your go to kind of people to get things done. Confident, knows her value, quick to learn and adapt, does what she says she would are only a few qualities of a boss lady.

Making your mark as an aspiring female entrepreneur in a growing world of business can be daunting. With lots of things to consider as you start your business, staying true to the things that matter can be a challenge. Here is a recipe you can live by to remain focused as you work your way to building a successful business.

#1 Work on building a business you can take to the bank

Herein these eleven words lies a tonne of effort that justifies the reason your business exists. Unless your goal is to run a non-profit business, you need a way to monetise whatever it is your business is about. Say for instance, you have a huge social media following but not converting this to sales of some type either through paid ads, affiliate marketing or promoting a paid service or product you aren’t quite scratching that boss lady surface yet. Think of ways to monetise your skills, talents or ability to solve a problem.

“Sales are incredibly important because that’s what really makes or breaks a business

Ade HASSAN
FOUnDER NUBIAN SKIN

#2 Find and know your ideal customer

Marketing your service or product to everyone, promoting your content without knowing who your target audience is like playing a game of tag with blinders on. You are feeling around hoping to catch someone with no clear direction of where everyone is. When you know who your ideal audience and customer is, then you can start to create content or products that delight them. You keep their attention focused on what you can do for them. This is a great way to build loyalty and a way to grow your business.

#3 Confidence, Optimism and Resilience

Wear it, feel it, own it…. there is just no other way to it. If you are not confident of your ability to deliver why should others be? If you are scared to market your business and sell, do not sell yet. Go back to learning more about your offering, fix any gaps before going back into the market. When you can stand 100% by what you offer you will feel more confident of your ability to deliver.

Optimism will get you through tough times that will come. Maintaining a positive mindset that your business will thrive regardless of internal or external challenges is a must have for you as a business leader.

Below is a video from Refinery29 I quite enjoyed on 5 women entrepreneurs who share their secret to success.

The saying that tough times don’t last but tough people do, couldn’t be more true. A mix of confidence, optimism and resilience will keep you on top where other business leaders have failed.

#4 A daily routine

Many successful entrepreneurs practice a daily routine. It does not necessarily have to be a series of back to back activities but something you live by to improve yourself and ability daily. It is best not to copy someone else’s routine but find one that is meaningful and works for you so you can sustain it.

#5 A support network

No-one builds a business alone. A support network in the people around you within and outside your business circle can be one of the most powerful tools for your business growth. Most women juggle a number of hats in between work and life. A support network can be a good outlet to help find a balance. The online world has a growing community of support networks for busy women in business, one of which is our facebook group at The Startup Gold

#6 Good business and finance acumen

We’ve discussed the idea of building a business you can take to the bank and targeting your ideal customer. There are other skills essential to running a successful business. You do not have to be an expert in all and can hire the support you need. There are however areas you need to be comfortable with. Some of which include understanding business contracts, cash flow management, marketing, leadership, presentation and communication skills.

#7 Self love and care

I use almost every opportunity I get to remind entrepreneurs of the need to properly manage their health and well being. Why is this important? The mind is a space where the entrepreneur works a lot. Out of it will flow ideas for project plans, creativity and decision making. Keeping the mind flourishing requires self care. Resting regularly, exercise and a good diet are all part of this. A lot of people take this for granted and almost always at some point will reach their breaking point. For a business to thrive it needs a leader that is constant in her ability to work and deliver. Maintaining proper care for health and well being is essential.

Hope you enjoyed reading and will try some if not all of these. Can you add anything else to spice up the recipe? Share them in the comments.

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