Member in the Spotlight … Corrine Thomas


Corrine set up her business in 2012 and like many new to self-employment, first ran it part-time alongside her full-time day job.

With over  25 years in IT and business change for large telecoms and financial services companies including Vodafone, Virgin Media, Old Mutual and Bupa, Corrine brings a pragmatic, supportive and results focused approach to working with her clients.

I have known Corrine for many years and she has been  valued member of WOBS and a great support to myself and other members.

Describe your business

I am a career and wellbeing coach and have two areas to my business: 

  1. In the careers part of my work I coach and mentor people who are feeling stuck in their careers and want to find the right direction for themselves. My clients usually work in IT or business change.  In my coaching, I create an environment for my clients that is both supportive and challenging. I help them think creatively and intuitively about their career and enable them to find new insights and perspectives. After working with me, my clients will have clarity on their next steps and the confidence to make it happen.
  2. In the wellbeing part of the business I work with both adults and children who are feeling anxious and
    overwhelmed. In this area of my work I've recently started an outdoor based wellbeing and development community called Fresh Air Fridays.

Many of us spend long hours working from home and it's great to have the flexibility and no long commute. Yet, sometimes this can feel a bit lonely and lacking connection with other like-minded people. My Fresh Air Fridays group allows us to get away from the computer for a few hours and enjoy some time in nature.


How does a consultation with you work?

In my coaching work with adults and children I offer an initial free 30-minute consultation during which we discuss what is keeping my clients in a stuck place and explore strategies for moving forwards. I typically follow up with 6-8 one-hour sessions with most of my clients either face to face or over Skype.

My Fresh Air Friday sessions are held twice a month in North Hampshire and the first attendance is free of charge.

Who do you work with?

I work with people who care about getting the best for themselves out of life. It could be through finding a fulfilling new career or through adjusting their lives to overcome anxiety and live each day more confidently.

What did you do before running Choices Coaching?

I set up my business in 2012 and at first ran it part-time alongside my full-time day job. Before that I worked for over 25 years as in IT and business change for large telecoms and financial services companies including Vodafone, Virgin Media, Old Mutual and Bupa.

What have been the biggest challenges of running your business?

Working out where to niche and get out a clear message on what I do, this is because I like choice and variety in my life. This means I offer a number of different services.

What's in the pipeline for the year ahead?

I'm currently working with two schools in my local area where I'm delivering NLP based workshops on overcoming anxiety and confidence building as well as holding one to one sessions with some of the pupils. In the coming year I plan to create a webinar series for families so that they can learn some easy to use strategies to enhance the wellbeing of all members of the family.

I'm also growing my wellbeing service for adults through developing an outdoor based membership community and a 12-week development programme aimed at businesses and community organisations. this is known as Fresh Air Fridays. I run two sessions a month in North Hampshire and am looking to run shorter 12-week programmes for businesses and local communities in 2018.

What are you most proud of?

Sticking with my business plan when it would have been easier to just go and get another job. Also receiving feedback from parents who tell me their children are doing things which they were too scared and anxious to attempt before working with me.

What advice would you offer wannabe entrepreneurs?

Follow your passion, surround yourself with people who motivate you and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it

Your contact information

Websites:

Choices Coaching

Freshair Fridays with Corrine Thomas

NLP for Kids

Facebook:   @choicescoaching.freshairfridays  and @/Corrine-Thomas-NLP4Kids-West-Berkshire-and-Hampshire

LinkedIn:  @corrinedthomas

Twitter:  @corrinethomas

Corrine is a member of WOBS+ Coaching and Mentoring Click link to find out more.

Member in the Spotlight … Jane Cooke

For the woman who longs to build a gorgeous, colourful, ‘take you anywhere’ wardrobe of clothes and for the woman who longs to BECOME A STYLIST herself.

Jane has over 10 years experience as a Colour Consultant and Stylist, and it was a natural progression for her to teach and mentor new and aspiring stylists and also to guide them through to starting their own businesses.

Jane has been a valued member of WOBS since day one - one of the founding members in fact, which makes it even more fabulous to feature her fabulous work here.

Describe your business

With ten years experience helping women build a gorgeous, colourful, ‘take you anywhere’ wardrobe of clothes, it has been a natural and organic transition to train new and aspiring stylists and to coach and mentor them as they start their own colour and style businesses.

My training is independent, free spirited and for the woman who long to become an independent stylist herself; free to work without the constraint of franchise or licence - exactly as she chooses. I teach how I've worked with my own clients - intuitively and with my own slant and experience on the tried and tested colour and styling theories.

How does a consultation with you work?

I offer face to face training, distance training or a mix of both. Plus I have a guest room available,  at no additional charge, for those travelling distance to train with me.

Colour Analysis, Body Shape and Personal Style - each consists of ten modules. Each discipline is delivered over ten half days or five full days and spaced to allow the trainee to complete interesting projects and case studies.

Distance learners receive monthly modules at their own pace with follow up phone calls, projects and case studies filling the gap between modules.

Who do you work with?

Free spirited, independent, aspiring stylists of all ages with:

  • A passion for clothes and styling
  • A real interest in colour
  • Natural flair and style
  • An eye for detail
  • Her own sense of style
  • A love to help others
  • The ability to imagine the transformation in others
  • A desire to make a difference

What did you do before?

How long have you got?!

Banker, Full time mum juggling: Flower and Interior Design business, Self Build home.

When the children were older: Manager of Sue Ryder charity shop, Special needs support worker.

What have been the biggest challenges of running your business?

Having sole responsibility and having lots of lovely clients but no colleagues.

What's in the pipeline for you?

1. Making the conscious transition from working 1:1 with colour and style clients to training aspiring stylists.

2. Coaching and mentoring new and aspiring stylists - also those that have, perhaps, been trained elsewhere and are looking to grow their existing businesses.

3. Consolidate my Free Range Women in Business networking and growth group and, having been approached by members, formally offer start up business owners and the newly self employed, both business coaching/ mentoring and clarity/confidence coaching.

4. Clarity and confidence coaching for women and their personal lives - it has been a natural flow to add coaching to my skill set over the years for existing colour and style clients - I'd LOVE to do more of this work so I am offering this as a stand alone service.

What are you proud of?

1. Leaving behind the corporate world at 26 to become self employed and work around being a full time mum.

2. Taking the leap of faith to follow my heart and create DRESS REHEARSAL and, now, Life is no DRESS REHEARSAL.

3. Making a difference to a client's confidence and the 'ripple effect' - her life, her relationships, her happiness; colour and style changes lives!

What advice would you offer wannabe entrepreneurs?

Follow your dreams, trust your intuition, do what you LOVE and build a network of like minded others around you.

Jane's contact information

Website: ​ dress-rehearsal.co.uk

Phone: 01329 667308 or 07742 816435.

Facebook:  facebook.com/janecookedressrehearsal

LinkedIn:  linkedin.com/in/janecookedressrehearsal/

Twitter:  twitter.com/dressrehearsal1

Email: jane@dress-rehearsal.co.uk

Jane is a member of WOBS+ Coaching and Mentoring Click link to find out more.

Member in the Spotlight … Erica Dent

If you love to learn about wine, or even if you just enjoy drinking it and have a favourite type, Erica would be able to teach you all about it, what goes into it and what foods it pairs well with. Erica's company, Enjoy Discovering Wine has won international awards and is hugely successful. Some golden nuggets to take away from this interview!

Describe your business

I am a qualified wine trainer helping those that work with wine get more enjoyment from their jobs, or giving wine-lovers an increased pleasure in their pastime!

I run Enjoy Discovering Wine, for which I am the main trainer, but have a few other educators that also teach on our courses. We predominantly run courses that lead to the students gaining a UK Government qualification, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET®) Awards in wines and spirits.

We run bespoke WSET in-house training for companies such as hotel groups, pub chains, and restaurants, who want to ensure their staff are motivated to give their customers the best possible customer service. Companies such as Four Seasons and the Lime Wood.

We also host courses in Bournemouth and Winchester for these and other companies that want to send individual staff to gain their Level 1 to 3 qualifications but these courses are open to anyone who enjoys drinking wine and just wants to learn a bit, or a lot, more.

For those that do not want to gain a qualification in wine, we also run other fun wine tasting events including food and wine pairing workshops.

My colleague Helen and I are often hosting tailored wine tastings and food and wine pairing events for team-building, corporate hospitality and any other excuses!

How does a consultation with you work?

If someone is thinking they just want to know why they like e.g. Australian Shiraz so much, then I am happy to discuss whether one of our courses would benefit them.

Companies are often aware of WSET courses (it is often expected to be on CVs) so it is then just a meeting or conversation to discuss how we can tailor the training to their needs.

Who do you work with?

Anyone that wants to learn about wine. Even though the courses are run in a structured way to ensure success in gaining a qualification at the end, it could still just be for those that know what they like but want to know why they do and then explore that further. It always leads to people having the confidence to explore outside that comfort zone with wonderful results!

We have run in-house training for companies such as Pommery Champagne, The Pig Hotels, Wentworth Golf Club, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Fullers Pub Group, VistaJet, Four Seasons, Treasury Wine Estates, Captain’s Club, and many more. We have individuals coming along from places such as Hotel du Vin, Rick Stein Restaurants, The Cork & Cheese, many English vineyards such as Jenkyn Place and Hambledon, and numerous other respected places. So any company that wants their staff to feel valued and motivated through training.

Erica Dent

What did you do before?

I worked for the head office of the WSET as their PR and Events manager.

What have been the biggest challenges of running your business?

Getting word out that there is a WSET provider in Hampshire and Dorset. Once people hear they are pleasantly surprised, people think you have to go to London to study for these qualifications.

What's in the pipeline for you?

We have lots of past students that have studied as far as they can with us and want more! So I am setting up a Wine Club for those that want to carry on learning but are not ready for the next step which could mean the WSET Diploma which is a big jump (two year’s study!) and not for them.

What are you proud of?

In 2013 I was awarded WSET Educator of the Year. There are hundreds of WSET Providers around the world (in 64 countries last count), so this was pretty special.

What advice would you offer wannabe entrepreneurs?

Ask for continual feedback from your customers and take it on board.

Erica's contact information

Winner of the WSET / Riedel Wine Educator of the Year

Website: ​ enjoydiscoveringwine.com/events

Phone: 07966 499589

Facebook:  facebook.com/EnjoyDiscoveringWine

LinkedIn:  linkedin.com/in/ericadent

Twitter:  twitter.com/EDW_WSET

Email: ericadent@enjoydiscoveringwine.com

Erica is a member of WOBS+ Coaching and Mentoring Click link to find out more.

Member in the Spotlight … Louisa Alessandra Pini

If you love to relax, Louisa is your lady! She kindly gives us a great insight into her holistic & clinical aromatherapy business, which has won several awards recently. Louisa shares insights into what it takes to be a successful business in the health industry.

Describe your business

There are two parts to my business:

As an Holistic & Clinical Aromatherapist I help people to relax using essential oils, massage and acupressure techniques. I am passionate about creating a deep state of relaxation so my clients can fully let go and allow their body’s own healing processes to work their magic repairing and replenishing. I have a wonderfully relaxing therapy space in Beddington, Surrey where I see clients.

I have also created a range of organic creams, balms, oils and sprays, all made using 100% organic essential oils to improve and nourish the skin and promote wellbeing. Every product is made with love and care and with a specific action in mind. For example my Renew Intensive Foot Cream is excellent a softening and hydrating dry and cracked heels. I also offer bespoke oil blends or products made to order for specific conditions like a dry, itchy scalp for example.

I offer workshops on aromatherapy and massage and a latest one that has proved very popular is Mother & Daughter Time for Relaxation Workshop.

How does a consultation with you work?

Clients will often call me to book in for a therapy session. I have a consultation form that I send clients to complete in advance to see how best I can meet their needs and if necessary make suggestions of the most suitable massage or facial. I always contact my clients following their session to see how they feel and how they have slept. I often put together therapy plans with my clients to help achieve their goals which may be:

- to have clearer and softer skin

- to de-stress and relax and relieve tight muscles

- to help improve sleep

The therapy plans are not off-the-shelf packages but 100% tailored to my client’s needs

I also meet new clients at fairs and markets when I am selling my products. It’s nice for people to have the opportunity to meet me in person before they have a therapy session.

Who do you work with?

The majority of my clients are women aged 40+. Women who need quality time out, who are often leading very busy lives. Women who care about what they put on their skin bearing in mind about 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. Women who want to look as young as possible for as long as possible and not spend a fortune doing so.

What did you do before?

After completing a degree in European Cultural Studies mostly made up of Publishing, Linguistics and Literature units I did an Executive Secretarial Diploma because I wasn’t sure quite what I was going to do and I knew these skills would be useful. The idea at the time was to go into Publishing. I was offered a job as a PA to Director of an independent mobile phone shop and it was here where I learnt all the skills of running a business so well that I could make it all tick along so the Director didn’t need to come in that often! I was only 23 at the time. This gave me a great understanding of all the different parts of running a business from maintaining stock, customer service, marketing, accounts, staffing, but I wanted to do something more rewarding and that’s when I started a course in aromatherapy. It had been a passion for mine for years but I hadn’t thought of it as a career option. I worked as a PA to another Director for a few years and moved into HR whilst building my business which I set up as a therapist back at the end of 2005.

What have been the biggest challenges of running your business?

Most of my challenges have been on the products side of my business. My suppliers discontinuing all my containers! Brexit affecting the costs of my ingredients and containers. Juggling a part time job with building my business and keeping a work-life balance. Marketing - getting people to recognise my brand and how it’s not just another franchise but each product is handmade by me.

What's in the pipeline for you?

I’m really excited about my new rebranding that is underway mainly because my main supplier discontinued all of my product packaging! EEEEK! My new range will have a whole new look. I will be launching some new products later this year – cleanser, eye cream and body moisturiser. I am planning to do more workshops and creating some online courses too so lots in the pipeline at the moment.

What are you proud of?

I am very proud to have 3 awards over the last year. Best Local Producer for Surrey in June 2016, CAM Business of the Year October 2016 and Trusted Sales Award 2017 in February. I’m also very proud that two and a half years ago I was able to take the leap and concentrate on my business full time, leaving my part time employment!

What advice would you offer wannabe entrepreneurs?

Definitely look at getting funding and don’t be worried about borrowing money as long as you have a good business plan. I never looked into funding early on because I just don’t like being in debt and in hindsight this has slowed the growth of my business. You can’t do it all! To grow you definitely help whether it is initially outsourcing some jobs or taking on staff. Know your strengths and outsource what you are not so good at or what you don’t need to spend time on. Take care of your health and have boundaries so you don’t end up working all hours.

Louisa's contact information

Louisa Alessandra Pini, Creator of Just Be Natural skincare, Member/Director at Carshalton Lavender CIC, Holistic & Complementary Therapist at Louisa Alessandra Pini

Website: ​ justbenatural.co.uk

Phone: 07888 689881

Facebook:  facebook.com/justbenaturalskincare

LinkedIn:  linkedin.com/in/louisapini

Pinterest:  uk.pinterest.com/justbenatural/

Twitter:  twitter.com/JustBeNaturalLP

Google+:  plus.google.com/u/0/+LouisaPiniJustBeNatural

YouTube:  youtube.com/channel/UCKA0_HKfkxxRzpee51UrH1g

Email: louisa@justbenatural.co.uk

Louisa is a member of WOBS+ Coaching and Mentoring Click link to find out more.

Member in the Spotlight … Kerstin Ochel

Kerstin Ochel shares with us an insight into her passion and the great work that she does with (mainly) women, to help them to look and feel their very best for special occasions, business meetings, or just day-to-day when they need that bit more confidence ...

Describe your business

Womens' confidence in their appearance (and outfits they wear) may be good, bad or somewhere in-between. My aim is to lift it to a very positive level, no matter what occasion, location or situation they find themselves faced with. I want my clients to feel great about themselves – at all times.

My business name is Fashion Fantasies and my clients can choose from my box of tricks to assemble a package enabling them to strengthen the confidence in their look. The box contains Image Consultation (women’s colour and style), bespoke dressmaking, artisan jewellery design and also 1-2-1 classes in sewing and jewellery making.

Image Consultants normally “just” offer colour and style consultations, however I take it a step further by designing clothes and jewellery to complement best colours and style requirements.

Offering a bespoke service to fit my client's shape and style is my motivation and I often say that “my client’s fantasy is my limit”. I love the diversity of projects I created over the last couple of years and converting a sometimes vague specification into a unique piece of garment or jewellery is very rewarding.

How does a consultation with you work?

When it comes to bespoke designs my clients usually have ideas in mind for a special occasion. We get together to discuss their ideas and I give advice on colours and style reflecting their lifestyle and shape. I will take all the findings from our meeting and work out a proposal so they can see what we have discussed. I usually provide sketches and /or photos to visualise the design. After the go-ahead I work on the design, we meet for fittings(s) if required and a bespoke garment or jewellery will be theirs to enjoy.

Image consultation sessions take place either in my studio or at my client’s place, depending on which service they book. If they need help putting it all into practice, I also offer personal shopper support.

Everything happens in a relaxed and confidential setting which is very important for my clients. I still remember how apprehensive I felt prior to my first meeting with my Image Consultation trainer and how she put me at ease to enjoy an exciting and very personal journey.

Who do you work with?

My female dressmaking clients contact me when they need an outfit for a special occasion, or look for properly fitting everyday clothes. They might be mothers of the bride or groom, brides-to-be, business women, really women from all walks of life.

I also work with men designing casual wear – shirts and outfits but no classic tailoring. 

My jewellery designs suit both female and male clients but to date I mainly work with ladies to design pieces matching an outfit or incorporating healing crystals.

What did you do before?

I hold two Master’s degrees, one in Mechanical Engineering (Project Management) and one in Marketing. I worked in marketing departments of international engineering co-operations and managed training events, trade shows but also designed many types of marketing collateral.

I loved being the mediator between sales force and techies – helping them communicate and understand each other to design and sell products required and appreciated by a diversity of customers.

How does that fit with what I do now? Listening to clients to understand what they want to achieve is crucial in my business. Converting those ideas into a 3D object requires a lot of engineering thinking and when combined with over 30 years of experience in sewing and jewellery design it all comes together.

What have been the biggest challenges of running your business?

I cannot nail it down to just one challenge; it all melts into a package. Get the word out to potential clients, be confident in pricing – don’t we all underestimate the value of our services and fear to say 'No' if a job just doesn’t feel right? Being patient – business will come, being open-minded to other services which I can offer to my box of tricks.

What's in the pipeline for you?

I look forward to expanding my Image Consultation services, either as 1-2-1 or group sessions but also sharing my knowledge with larger groups as a speaker.

My box of tricks has so much more to offer and I look into promoting it in more depth moving forward.

I love learning new things so I will branch out into more intricate wireworking jewellery designs over the next months as well as new garment designs.

What are you proud of?

Every time I see a big smile spreading across the face of my client when they wear a bespoke piece or explore new colours & styles– that is one of the most rewarding moments for me. When I cannot prey them away from the mirror and then hear them say “that is me, that is so me, I feel so good wearing it”.

What advice would you offer wannabe entrepreneurs?

Writing my business plan helped me tremendously to get a grip of all those ideas swirling through my head. It might have been a tedious job but putting things into some kind of order was good.

Networking is also very important, getting used to talking about your business, gain confidence in yourself and your services and make use of the open support you receive from other business people. Don’t be too proud to ask for help – trading skills is a great way to give & get support without monetary investment.

Keep going, be confident and trust your gut feeling – it will work out.

Kerstin's contact information

Kerstin Ochel, Fashion Fantasies, Colours and Clothes to Suit your Shape and Style

Website: ​ Fashion-Fantasies.com

Phone: 07533 300086

Facebook:  facebook.com/FashionPhantasies

LinkedIn:  uk.linkedin.com/in/KerstinOchelFashionFantasies

Email: KerstinOchel11@gmx.com

Kerstin is a member of WOBS+ Coaching and Mentoring Click link to find out more.

Member in the Spotlight … Catherine Daley

Catherine Daley shares with us  ...

Describe your business

My business has been slowly morphing over the last 6 months and continues to change as I write. What I do is support people to reconnect with their true nature and not the one that has been taken on through the expectations of others and to be in full expression of themselves despite what life throws at them.

How does a consultation with you work?

I invite my clients to don their wellies and dress for being outdoors and join me and a herd of four amazing healing horses in a field near Petersfield.

Together in the presence of nature and the horses we explore various aspects of wellbeing. The horses support this work as they are a living breathing embodiment of being present and respond to the emotional and felt sense of whoever is in their environment – they are like a dynamic representation of what is happening even when clients may not know what is going on for them.

Through their natural ability to be present to everything the horses provide an experiential connected mind and body learning experience that clients relish as their new learning is not just recognised on a rational thinking level but also felt deep within their bodies and it is this felt sense that they take away with them.

Who do you work with?

I work with people who have been experiencing anything from mild anxiety to full blown panic attacks and this ranges from women who run their own business who get an attack of the nerves at networking events through to survivors of physical and emotional violence to military veterans who are experiencing emotional numbness, disrupted sleep, physical pain and post traumatic stress disorder.

Going forward I would also like to work with children with special educational needs, autism and who might be facing or are already excluded from school.

What did you do before?

Before the horses came into my work I practised as a craniosacral therapist, which is something I still do alongside the work with the herd. Prior to that I ran a personalised gift company creating engraved glass gifts for special occasions. And before that and the arrival of my three children I was a product manager for a large global manufacturer of toilet roll.

What have been the biggest challenges of running your business?

Knowing what it was I actually wanted to be doing.

What's in the pipeline for you?

I am putting all of my focus on developing The Herd Centre for equine assisted wellbeing and learning. Currently I am looking to find a more permanent base for the herd so I can create a wellbeing hub somewhere in the countryside around Petersfield. A website and facebook page are all in development along with various programs and offers.

What are you proud of?

Sticking with the uncomfortableness of not knowing what I truly wanted to be offering and not going back to a desk based job working for someone else. It has been quite some years in the making to get to this point here and now it is in full flow and that feels great.

What advice would you offer wannabe entrepreneurs?

If you feel true passion for what you are doing or want to do then stick with it and seek out help for you own personal development. At the end of the day most often it is ourselves that hold us back and everything else is just excuses.

Catherine's contact information

Catherine Daley

Website: ​ wholebeingwellbeing.com (and theherdcentre.uk - coming soon)

Phone: 07919 542583

Facebook:  Facebook.com/wholebeingwellbeingthewholebeingbetter 

(and Facebook.com/TheHerdCentre - coming soon)

Email: Hello@wholebeingwellbeing.com

Catherine is a member of WOBS+ Coaching and Mentoring Click link to find out more.

Member in the Spotlight … Emma Paxton

Emma Paxton shares with us  ...

Describe your business

I draw stuff! I am a graphic recorder and illustrator – I draw live at events to capture the key outcomes and ideas and I create bespoke illustrations for the web ad print.

Who do you work with?

My graphic recording clients are generally corporates and not-for-profits – conferences, meetings and training days.

My illustration clients are varied – one day I am illustrating a book, the next a social media post or website image. I also create planners, training materials and visual agendas for the events I’m graphic recording.

What did you do before?

I worked in the events industry – I organised thousands of business support events for Business Link.

What have been the biggest challenges of running your business?

Loneliness! – after having people around me to bounce ideas off and share the responsibility I found working on my own the hardest thing of all.

What's in the pipeline for you?

This year my graphic recording business has really taken off – in the 7 years (lucky number 7!) since I started my business I think I’ve finally found my thing! Bookings are coming in – I’m getting repeat business and I’m actually confident enough in my offering to actively go out and sell myself.

What are you proud of?

The above! Finding the thing I love and finding other people love it too!

What advice would you offer wannabe entrepreneurs?

1. Join WOBS Plus Coaching & Mentoring and get support and advice from lovely people.

2. Find your tribe – get together with other people doing the same as you and learn from them.

Emma's contact information

Emma Paxton

Website: ​ imagistic.co.uk

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/imagistical

Twitter: @imagistical

Email: emma@imagistic.co.uk

Emma is a member of WOBS+ Coaching and Mentoring Click link to find out more.

2

Stop being a Christmas Superwoman

Hello - it is 2016 is it not? - so why am I hearing so many women saying they are overwhelmed and that the men in their lives are not sharing the additional work that this festive time of year brings?

Sorry, not sorry for sounding sexist -  oh but hang on, it can't be sexist when it's based upon facts can it?

Men think they do equal work at home, when facts show otherwise

The disconnect among men about how much they’re doing around the house may lay in the fact that women are much more likely to do mental work Source 

Ah ha "mental work" ...

I was chatting with a friend last week, where I likened Christmas to weddings and I am going to blame her now for this blog - she encouraged me to share this and I must admit I did get a little carried away since she said that - cos at the time it was all of one sentence.

It's a bit of fun - tongue partly in cheek, please do feel free to print these words, make changes and pass onto your significant other.

Warning - contains nuts and a few words of the swearing variety ... 

NB - any likeness to my ex or my friends is purely coincidental.

"Darling

Christmas reminds me of our wedding day,  in that so much work goes into one day; you invest so much energy, time, thought, planning and love into creating an amazing time for everyone  it may seem, like our wedding day, that I just turn up - put down my pint in the pub and head to meet you in church.

Like our wedding day,  I thought I had helped out. I had input into the seating plan and  made sure the best man and ushers had their suit fittings and yes I did find it stressful - you remember how hard it was to choose my best man, didn’t want to offend one of my best mates …

So when you started to get all stressie, and that one amazing flounce you had where you burnt all the ‘fucking invites’ I have to admit I didn’t really *get it*. I thought bloody hell, I’m stressed too!

And then, on the day of our wedding, everything seemed to flow, it was magic, magical, but it wasn’t magic was it? All those weeks and months where you invested so much energy, time, thought, planning and love into creating an amazing day … paid off .

All  of all of a sudden, I got it, by jove I got it! I got what you had been creating; the church, the flowers, the food,  where our guests could stay, the colour 'theme' - OK I did get involved with that one, but to be honest I did start to think,  its one bloody day darling and and what the hell are those shrouds covering the chairs in the reception hall?!

Darling,  what I am trying to say is that I have got complacent over the years, every year I think, "oh gawd it’s Christmas,  she’s got one on her again", cos like our weddingI forget just how much it means to you to look after everyone and make it a special day,  and every Christmas day its like WOW this is amazing and everything seems to flow … it’s magic .. magical … but it isn’t magic is it …

I know I’m a bit late to the party this year, so next year, maybe October or  November'ish lets go away to a spa, or a city break (or the pub!) and you can let me know what I can do, give me a list, cos I need it spelt out. I. I know I am not allowed near the tree decs ever again and I get that (tbh I don’t really get that but I do remember that year ‘treegate’, I call it where I had a go with the baubles – and you shouted ‘for fucks sake cant you see you can’t put those colours on the tree together’ – since then I do give the tree a wide berth in case I move a branch ..

No I am not just saying this cos I’d like a shag before March next year .. although I did read that research that men who do 50% of housework etc get more sex …. So ….. darling …."

Member in the Spotlight … Jean Maund

This month, my very own WordPress and all things techno person, Jean Maund, shares with us  ...

Describe your business

I make all things online easy for my clients. Technology is often the stumbling block for small business owners who somehow feel that they should be doing everything themselves.

My business name is Just Ask Jean. I came up with this a few months into having a business with no name. I had so many calls from people saying ‘Lisa says I just need to ask Jean about this’ the name followed naturally and people seem to respond well to it.

My aim and passion is to help people understand and harness the huge power of online marketing. I love enabling my clients to build their businesses with ease.

I create beautiful WordPress websites that work as well as putting in place online systems for lead generation and sales.

What makes me different from other web designers or online marketeers is that I help my clients to go from where they are to where they want to be without blinding them with jargon. I’m all about enabling my clients to do it themselves if they want!

How does a consultation with you work?

I love finding out about people’s businesses and their goals. I then use that information to help them put in place a strategy to grow their business.

Who do you work with?

Typically my clients are expert professionals; coaches, consultants, speakers and authors who want to spend less time swapping their time for money. They generally have reached a plateau in earnings which has been capped by the amount of time they have available and are looking for ways to leverage their expertise.

What did you do before?

Before I started my business 8 years ago, i worked in education. I trained teachers and IT advisers in the best use of technology. Before that I was a teacher and trainer for many years so am well used to explaining difficult concepts in an easy to digest way. My clients have commented that I can translate Geek in to English! I’ve always been a semi-closet geek myself building websites for people as a hobby in the early days.

What's in the pipeline for you?

I love to learn and am always looking at ways to expand my knowledge. I have many interests outside of business including dog training which also keeps me fit!

I’m aiming to run more workshops in the near future as I love to help people one to one and in a group setting.

I just love my Massive Action Days - one to one working with business owners giving them the skills to massively transform their business.

What are you proud of?

I’m proud of still being in business after 8 years. No mean feat these days. I’m also proud of my two daughters who despite the odds (i.e. being my children) have grown in to beautiful, kind and successful young people.

What advice would you offer wannabe entrepreneurs?

Get help whenever you can! Don’t feel you have to do it all yourself. If you can’t afford to pay someone else to do work for you look for opportunities to swap skills. Oh and don’t judge your inside with everyone else’s outside - chances are the people you think are doing so well are also having their own challenges are envying you!

Jean's contact information

Jean Maund

Website: ​ justaskjean.co.uk

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/justaskjean

Twitter: @justaskjean

Email: jean@justaskjean.co.uk

Jean has 1/3 off the first 5 people who book a Massive Action Day in 2016 - which can be taken in 2017. Read more .

Jean is a member of WOBS+ Coaching and Mentoring Click link to find out more.

Karen Williams

Member in the Spotlight … Karen Williams

Karen Williams, book mentor shares with us  ...

Describe your business

I am The Book Mentor, and I work with business owners who want to write a book that will help them to build their business.

My business name is Librotas. This is an etymology (a made up word), which stems from two words: Libro - latin forbook - and Liberas - meaning freedom.

My clients find that through writing their book, it helps them to build their profile and credibility, reach more people, and get more business, speaking engagements, and clients. I help my clients to understand their strengths and knowledge, and to embrace and own this expertise. This enables helps them to change lives through their wisdom, and gives them the confidence to get their message out to the people who need to hear it. I work with clients through the whole process of writing a book, starting with their idea, and support them each step of the way to help them to write, publish and market it successfully.

What makes me different from other book mentors is that I help my clients to use their book as a business building tool. We work on aspects like their message,their target market, and how they can leverage their time through products and programmes, alongside supporting them with their book.I've also written and published four books myself; I started my first in 2009 (published in 2011) and I'm currently working on my fifth! I've also contributed to seven other business books to date, as well as helping my clients to publish their own books.

How does a consultation with you work?

One of the questions that I love to ask people is this: What do you want to get known for? It is the question that you need to know the answer to if you're going to write the right book for your business.

When someone has a consultation with me, I find out more about the client and their book idea. As well as providing some insights, I want to find out how I can support them to achieve their ultimate dream of publishing their book.

The reason why I do what I do is because I didn't know where to start when I wrote and published my first book, and I want to make it easy for my clients.

Of course, if I feel I can help the client, I will tell them how I work, which can be anything from getting a copy of my third book, Your Book is the Hook, which goes through my six step process, an online programme, writing event or retreat, or working with me one-to- one where I take them through the whole process, so that they end with a published book that supports their business.

Who do you work with?

Karen Williams
  • Typically my clients are coaches, consultants, therapists and other business owners who have a service rather than product based business.
  • They typically have a lot of knowledge and expertise to share. To date this has included many coaches, accountants, therapists, nutritionists, trainers, and a PR expert.
  • My clients usually have an established business, where they have started to gain a good reputation in their industry, and they're looking to write a book to build their credibility and stand out.
  • They may be writing a non-fiction 'self-help' or 'how to' book, and a couple of my clients are using their life story to inspire others.

What did you do before?

I've been in business 10 years this November 2016 and it's been a journey!

I started out as a career coach. My background is in Human Resources and Training in the corporate world, and this was the natural niche to pursue once I set up my coaching business.

When I published my first book in 2011, it put me and my business on the map. I also started working with coaches who were where I was in 2006. I helped them through the process of setting up and growing their business.

Then in 2014, I was approached by many people who asked for my help to write a book, and responded to the request by supporting them. I re-branded as Librotas at the beginning of this year.

What's in the pipeline for you?

I love to travel as well as running my business, and blending the two is the perfect thing for me. I have clients all around the world, so this means plenty of trips for book launch parties, and my team and I run book writing and marketing events in Portsmouth and Edinburgh, and an annual writing retreat in Spain. I've also been approached to run workshops on a writing cruise in the Caribbean in 2017 which is very exciting!

I'm working on my fifth book right now, with ideas for book six and seven on the horizon for 2017. I want to be able to support more business owners who want to write a brilliant business building book!

What are you proud of?

I'm proud of finally finishing and publishing my fourth book, The Mouse That Roars, earlier this year. Writing it was tough as it is about my story and journey into entrepreneurship, and it is pretty much warts and all.

When you're sharing your story and being real, it's a vulnerable place to be, but I felt that I had an important message to share. I want to encourage more business owners to tell their story, and when your passion is bigger than your fear, then it's time to tell your story.

What advice would you offer wannabe entrepreneurs?

Just do it. Yes I've had my ups and downs in the last 10 years, but I don'y regret a single moment. The most important thing is to get clear on your ideal client, where they need your help, and how you can reach them. Oh and write a book of course!

Karen's contact information

Karen Williams, The Book Mentor - Librotas

Website: librotas.com

Facebook: @librotas

Twitter: @librotas

Email: karen@librotas.com

Karen is a member of WOBS+ Coaching and Mentoring Click link to find out more.

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