Category Archives: Business success

A Look Back on October

As with life, business is full of unexpected twists and turns, flips and fuggles and October 2017 has been just that.

As we approach the final day of the month – Hallowe’en (which as someone with a phobia of zombies is really not much fun at all) it is surprising how much things have changed in just 31 days.

And then I suppose that is life itself – you can tread water for ages before suddenly a huge wave comes along that sweeps you somewhere completely unexpected, leaving you tumbling headfirst into new waters trying to catch your breath and hoping your swimsuit hasn’t ended up in a compromising position.

We hadn’t been treading water exactly. The last few years have been full of steady growth – of us, as well as the business. But this month, our first month trading officially as our bathroom business, has definitely been all about swimming in a very different ocean from before.

So we were always due to hit a few waves as we crossed into new waters.

In short, October 2017 has been challenging, rewarding, terrifying, frustrating, demanding and – overall – exciting!

We started our first job under the new company banner on October 2nd. A dated, traditional bathroom to be transformed into a luxury shower room for its elderly residents. It was always going to be a challenge to complete within two weeks as they also wanted a storage unit to be built in one corner, but it was just about do-able.

It wasn’t just the new business name, this was the start of our new way of working, our new approach of scheduling jobs into timescales and making them happen, as opposed to a less confident, slightly airy-fairy approach of things taking as long as they need to take – impossible to plan around. Dean and our newly-trained employee Craig were fired up and ready for the new challenge.

Meanwhile, in my office I was feeling pleasantly smug that we were in a seriously good place. Carla, our wonderful VA, and I had some highly polished systems and we were ready to get busy! We got on great, the time difference between the UK (me) and the Philippines (Carla) completely irrelevant. Her loyalty to us and her excitement for our future matched mine.

And then, the worst happened – she became ill. A few days off turned into a week, then, because she hoped to be able to come back, stretched into a few weeks. I have no reason not to believe her – she has sent me the medical documents, although I didn’t ask – but sadly it looks like she will need surgery before things will improve.

At first her work sat undone, waiting for her return. But when she did attempt to work, it was clear she wasn’t able to concentrate and mistakes were made. Eventually, last week I had to tell her that we would find someone else – someone temporary – in the hope that Carla can return to work eventually.

I called a lovely lady who runs an admin support service, who I had met at a networking event, and as I type this she is beavering away at the mountain of receipts that has mounted up as I waited for Carla’s return.

Staffing, and managing staffing, and knowing how to manage staffing, will be one of the biggest challenges ongoing, I can tell!

Back to the bathroom, which proved to be extremely tough. Once the bathroom was stripped out, everything that could have been tricky or challenging proved to be. The pipework was strange, the drainage challenging.

Dean made a couple of silly mistakes, that he kicked himself for, including prepping the room for a shower tray that measured 160cm in length.

Missing out the crucial extra 20 cm that he needed for the 180 cm tray ordered and paid for and waiting in the couple’s garage!

Actually I may have kicked him for that one, too.

A replacement tray was ordered, and the couple agreed they would be happy with the smaller size. I reduced their bill for the inconvenience – it seemed the right thing to do. Other challenges were – eventually – conquered – and they are pleased with the outcome. We need to go back for one more day to fit the storage unit doors and fit a last trim to the splashback around the basin. We have lost a lot of money on this job, and it will hit us hard.

But the learning was priceless. Even as we pushed our way through it all, both Dean and I had a strong feeling that everything that was happening was right and was happening because it needed to.

As a result, we have sharpened up our practices, improved the wording of how we go to price up jobs and – hopefully – put a few systems in place to prevent silly mistakes from being made.

The next two jobs – one completed and one still ongoing – another elderly couple going from bathroom to shower room – have both gone completely differently. We took the learnings from the first job, and both have been much kinder to us anyway.

As a result of receiving so many inquiries from older people, we also decided to register for VAT sooner rather than later. It was – still is! – a complete unknown for both of us, but October 1st was our start date and so October 31st will be the date of our first return. Gosh. Kind of sums up the whole rollercoaster of a month.

Oh and in between it all we are working on our own house. We finally have some heating installed, the kitchen is ripped out and the skeleton of the downstairs is being revealed – stones and timbers that haven’t seen the light of day since approximately 1790. What a gift to have the opportunity to transform a property. What an honour.

Oh! The learning curves can be breathtaking at times but the journey is spectacular! Here’s to November!

 

 

October Goals!

It’s October! Suddenly the summer has come crashing to an end and the year is starting to feel old without anyone really realising.

On one hand I am horrified at how fast the year is speeding past, on the other, the start of a new month means the opportunity to start afresh, to set targets and goals.

I set goals back in August, and then failed to do pretty much all of them except for the ones that involved setting up our new business. But that was pretty all-encompassing and now, with each passing day, there is less to do than there was, so I feel I am starting to get some time back during the day.

So here are my goals for October 2017, to be renewed and re-set in November.

Weight reduction, fitness and exercise goals…

Business goals…

And these are minimum gals, I am kinda hoping to smash ’em!

I am already looking forward to checking in on my progress at the start of November!

What Makes A High Achiever?

Who even IS a high achiever?

It’s all relative, of course. Everyone is a high achiever to someone, the same way everyone is a lesser achiever to someone else (yet another reason why we should never judge ourselves against others).

Simply put, we’re all on our own journey, each with its own challenges and battles. What is easy to one person is tough to the next, and so on.

This is a great video for keeping you focused on your own journey.

Yes, it’s going to be tough. Yes there will be days you don’t want to get out of bed. Yes there will be jealousy along the way. Yes there will be people wanting to see you fall. Yes you will feel like stopping. Yes the world will assume things about you.

I say ‘you’ – but really, of course, I mean ‘me’. I totally, totally have areas of weakness, places where my inner high achiever struggles to beat the lazy scared person.

For one thing, I always find it so hard to get out of bed. Every. Fricking. Morning. And that’s one area I need to work on, to get up, earlier, get started faster, get off my phone go for the day harder.

As this video reminds me, just get out of bed. Just do it. Ignore the rest inside my own head and the heads of others, and DO IT.

Stepping above the rest is not easy. We must surround ourselves with people who also have vision and can see the possibilities for us all. Surround ourselves with other high achievers, and prepare to fight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self Discipline and Success

Self-control. Discipline. Determination.

It’s so easy to let things slip. A new workout regime, a new diet, new working habits, new focus – they’re all great at the start. (I’m talking from personal experience here, lots of it!)

And then, three weeks later, that fantastic new habit has fizzled out. And who do we blame?

I know I blame my lack of self-discipline. I blame my inherent weaknesses. My lack of focus. I tell myself, oh, it’s just the way I am, I guess.

Oh, what total crap!

In the words of Nike, sometimes we’ve got to Just Do It. And this video by InspireDiscipline is a hugely powerful message  for inspiring us to – just do it.

You can’t read the summary here and expect it to work, you need to take the 12 minutes or so and watch it. But here’s a basic guide to the lessons in this video:

  1. Think of something you really, really want, and be sure to engage with that dream every morning. Visualise it, think about it, focus on it.
  2. Work on your focus FIRST, before the chaos of emails, social media, snapchat and whatever hit you. Do your work first, the video advises, so you start your day right.
  3. Block your day out. Don’t leave your day open to randomness – plan your calendar so action is planned.
  4. This is where it gets fun… but you’ll have to watch the video to find out what it is!

Invest the next 12 minutes in yourself, and get ready for what InspireDiscipline calls ‘The Charged Life’.

To self-discipline!

 

 

Setting Goals and Making Plans

This is probably the most exciting two weeks of my life!

No, George Clooney hasn’t turned up asking me to forgive him for marrying Amal, nor have I have won the lottery.

But, exactly a week ago, Dean and I both closed down to the outside world and began working on our new business – a quality, bathroom and wetroom installation company.

And that’s about as exciting as anything could be! Sorry George!

After being a general building company, specialising is a HUGE relief. At last we can get really really good, we can hire people specifically, we can do the same thing over and over which means we can get really, REALLY good.

Best of all, we can now see some really exciting ways to market the business, so we can get even bigger and even better.

We are both SOOOO excited!

And we’re doing what we desperately needed to do – preparing the business before it begins, setting goals for the business and for us to achieve.

The new van is signwritten (it looks amazing!), the website is being built (we hired a professional photographer to take photos of a few of the bathrooms we’ve done over the past year) and I picked our new business cards up on Friday.

Tomorrow we are fixing our price list. Our systems will also be confirmed down in the next 24 hours. Then we will do 10 – yes, 10! – price ups using our new systems so that when clients come to the new business we will have set ways to handle each query.

So this was the scene on our kitchen table last Monday morning:

List of tasks to accomplish, things to organise, learn, prepare… Setting goals and building a business

I’m pleased to say that some of those tasks are now ticked ‘done’ and others have morphed as conversations have evolved, but we are still working our way through them.

When the Planets Align…

Have you ever felt like the universe shifted to help you?

I had one of those wonderful moments a week or two ago. I was lucky enough to see a post on a Facebook builders group in which someone recommended this book:

Markup & Profit by Michael C Stone – a great read and a real boost to our business

The post was about pricing up and how people decided on what to charge. The person who posted warned that this book isn’t cheap (it isn’t – I paid over £40!) but said the information is gives will be invaluable.

O. M. Geeeeeeepers he was right!

We’re a third of the way in and already Mark Up and Profit is changing how we think and feel. If only we had known of this book years ago! But anyway, we have it now.

Reading Mark Up and Profit is literally like having the author, Michael C Stone, turn up at your home and go through your business with you. He really knows his stuff and even though it is an American book, it works pretty much 100% for a UK business (just a few pieces of US-jargon re taxes, banking etc).

This book is specifically aimed at the world of construction but really there is useful information in there for any business, especially a business that creates things – houses, bathrooms, websites, clothing, whatever. I will definitely use the formula for mark up on jobs when I come to grow my website/video business, Little Red Horse.

If you have ever wondered about how to work out pricing or when to know if your price is too high or too low, I really recommend getting your hands on a copy. It really has changed everything for us.

If you don’t mind me collecting a very small percentage of the cost of the book, you can buy it through this link here.

I cannot describe how grateful I am that as I scrolled along my Facebook timeline on that day, I decided to click on that post and see that comment. Sooo grateful!

New Energy – Setting Goals

As often happens, once energy starts flowing freely in one part of your life, it soon spreads to other areas.

My YouTube channel has been a bit stuck recently, I haven’t uploaded any videos for a while, not quite knowing what to say.

Today I found my diaries for 2014 anbd 2015 and looked back to July 30th on both years. It was interesting to think about what I was doing then, and how much has now changed. (I haven’t kept a diary properly for almost two years and I know I’ll regret it – this blog is partly an attempt to diarise how the journey goes).

Then on tonight’s dog walk I had the idea of posting regular, monthly goal videos – I read constantly that setting goals is one sure way to help yourself towards success, measuring your progress along the way. Also I wrote about it here.

So I grabbed Dean when he got back from golf and pinned him down to some goals for August. Here they are (for both of us):

  • Go running with the dogs at least 8 times – so twice a week
  • Complete two bathrooms as part of our bathroom business
  • Get three subcontractors signed up and part of our team
  • Go to bed by 10.30 pm three times a week (yeah right!)
  • Finish fire safety improvement works to all our rental properties
  • Get our dog recall up to 99.9999%
  • Do three Youtube videos – ‘how to’ sharing tips I’ve learned along the way
  • Do two Tony Horton golf workouts every week (Dean)
  • Eat some fruit and vegetables every day (Dean)
  • Get our new bathroom business completely set up

And here they are in glorious technicolour! (Trust me, there’s nothing like posting your secrets on YouTube for creating some accountability!)

 

 

Struggling!

I’m not going to lie, I’m finding the Exante Diet hard at the moment. In fact, I’m finding any dieting hard right now. I could probably eat you, wherever you are!

At yesterday’s weigh-in, I gained weight for the first time in 7 weeks – just over a pound taking me to 12 stone 2lbs and 5/8s.

I wasn’t suprised, but I was disappointed. This last week has definitely been a week of two halves.

In the first half, willpower won. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were all good dieting days, with 3 Exante products and small snacks (usually my addictive substance of banana with coconut almond butter smeared on – high calorie I know but super satisfying!) The scales on Wednesday clocked me in at 12 stone exactly.

I even went for a run on Wednesday night, managing just over 2 miles without stopping. This was undoubtedly due to the fact that for the first time since I started running with Foxy and Frankie, I decided to just stick my earphones in and enjoy my music – it’s amazing how much faster I go with some 90s trance hammering away at my brain! Without the music I was worrying about them far too much, but with my music on I could just get on with it, and of course they were fine.

Willpower most certainly lost on Thursday, and didn’t even put up a fight on Friday and Saturday. Leading to Sunday’s figures.

DOH!!!

I really need this diet to work! As much as I want my health to improve, and I’d love to wear summer dresses, we are moving ahead with our business and I want to look as successful as we are in danger of becoming! And nothing screams success like slim!

This week I’m going to try eating a small meal on top of 3 products, maybe putting some ‘proper food’ in my stomach every day will make my willpower stronger.

I’ve also been thinking for some time about getting a personal trainer. We don’t really have spare funds yet and I would prefer to run with the dogs, instead of doing a workout and then taking them out for their walks when I get back home – I don’t really have the time for all that AND three businesses.

But, needs must. I have 30-Day shred on my laptop and I think I’ll give that a go. I always used to do a workout in my hotel room after a day’s filming and while the cold stone floors in the house here aren’t really conducive to working out, it’s time to take some drastic action!

Wish me luck in the week ahead!

On a brighter note, I tried one of the nicest Exante products yet – the Sweet and Sour Noodles! Yum! Along with two varieties of Raspberry and White Chocolate Chip cookies! There is seriously nothing wrong with this diet, it’s just me that is weak!!

xx

Rocking the online accounting!

These days, Fridays don’t signal the end of the week, because weekends are as busy and full as any other day.

(I’m hoping this won’t last forever, y’know, but for now that’s just how it is).

Even so, it’s hard not to feel just a little Friday Night Fever… even if that means switching the TV on and having a cuddle with the dogs, not a full-on downing 20 pints and heading into town with my gladrags on (as if I even could!)

Today, though, I allowed myself a little more Friday night fever than usual. Because, my dear, dear reader, today is the first day I think I can fully say that when it comes to online accounting, I, Have, Got, It.

Just about.

And it feels amazing!

When I took my part-time, temporary, job in a letting agents, which I know went against everything I had vowed not to do, namely not ever having another boss, this feeling was exactly what I was hoping to achieve.

Because I had never had what I would call a ‘proper job’, one where I dealt with income, with cashflow, with profit and loss, with looking into the accounts,  etc etc, I literally had no idea what to do in that area. Working in TV I was pretty much protected from anything like that, it was all about people, stories and pictures.

And of course I was never taught anything at school that might have come in useful in that area – and don’t even get me started on this – why on earth would you not want to equip children with skills that might help them make and manage money later in life?!

So back in those first few weeks and months of getting my head around all the different systems that make up running a property management agency, I avoided looking into the money side of the bespoke property management software*. Franky, I was busy enough dealing with tenancy sign-ups, leaking toilets, snotty landlords and the rest.

But in the past six weeks or so I have steadily forced myself to venture into areas called ‘Property Ledger’, ‘Tenant Ledger’ and ‘Landlord Ledger’. Instead of just looking like a blur of gobbledygook, they have, slowly but finally, begun to make sense.

And, in turn, I’ve been able to bring that awakening to Xero, the online accounting system that we use in our business.

It is still with its challenges – some of which are caused by Xero, because it is not perfect – but I finally feel that I understand what Xero is going to be able to do for us.

Part of learning anything is the learning of how that thing can work for you. Give a calculator to someone who never went to school and they would look at you blankly – they would need to learn maths to understand how a calculator could be useful. Ok, that’s a little extreme but until very recently I felt that I also stared blankly at Xero, not quite understanding what I should be getting from it.

Today our accounts assistant Ade and I – Xero was new to her too, although she had used Sage before – looked at each other and agreed that we are nearly, practically, just-about, almost in a position to say we are sort of getting there!

Actually, I think we’re further on than that, but setting up a new business (well, 3), and setting up a new and unfamiliar accounting system, on top of everything else has been challenging.

Then there seem to have been millions of interruptions and distractions that have got in the way.

But, maybe, just maybe, on this quiet, dark little Friday night, I really can celebrate a milestone.

Even though it has been really tough fitting in the job, on top of the business(es) and everything else, I am so glad I took it on, and so very glad I stuck with it, and so very grateful that it has worked out as well as it has done.

And who knew it would ever really be possible to love online accounting!

 

*I don’t want to name the property management software that my bosses use. It’s not great, and while that isn’t necessarily such a bad thing, I have found them as a company extremely unresponsive to suggestions for ways to improve. Many of the processes are clunky and very time-consuming/wasting, and could be made so much easier, but it seems they have grown too big to care. So, I won’t name the software, but if you are considering investing in property management software feel free to email me at success@projectlifesuccess.com and I will happily name and shame!

 

Project: Life Success

Changing career aged 40+, learning about and building my own business, losing weight, building passive income & finally making a success of my life!

 

Exante diet day 7 – Disaster and Salvation!

VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet). Day 7 – January 15th 2017

Sunday Morning Weakness – the Croissant Crash

Hmmmmph. You know when I posted about eating not always being due to hunger? You know, when I talked about emotional eating, ritual and habits?

Yeah, that.

So today Dean and I got up super early and took the dogs out for a long walk. It was no mean feat – first we had to take old boy Sam out as a long distance is too much for him, then give them all a half feed, and then sneak out before Sam realised what was happening.

Following our visit by the dog behaviourist we have both upped our assertiveness and that includes our walking speed, so we practically power-walked our way around 5 miles. It was great! And to say I’ve been eating hundreds rather than thousands of calories for the past week, in all honesty I could not tell. Actually, it has been AGES since I walked so far and I thought I might crash halfway round, but this ketosis malarky is superb, trust me!

But then we walked back through the village, past the queue for croissants at the village shop (best croissants ever!) and back home the little voice inside my head reminding me “It’s Sunday morning, everyone has coffee and croissants on Sunday morning” just would not be quiet. Not that I tried very hard to make it go quiet.

So somehow I ended up back at the shop buying “Two croissants please”, oh, you only have one left… a pain au chocolat then please… and back home they were about to be the best things ever – except just before my first mouthful a neighbour from one of our rented properties called to say they’d had a power cut, the alarm was going off and did I have the number as the tenant had given her a spare key but no alarm number (I trust this neighbour implicitly). As she filled me in on the comings and goings of everyone in the little cul de sac – which I moved out of over 10 years ago and barely know anyone anymore – the still-warm pastries cooled and the moment vanished and really I should have put them in the bin.

But of course I didn’t. My very, very bad. But they were still good.

But then something amazing happened. Just as I wrote the rest of the day off, and started to wonder what other delights I could get my mouth on, I remembered the bars in the Exante box.

The Chocolate and Coconut bar was my salvation! It tasted just as good as earlier in the week and filled a very dangerous gap… sadly for only a short time, as I spent the rest of the day lurching between sticking on plan and giving myself a day off (well, it was Sunday – whatever that means?)

Dean headed over to the driving range to practice his golf in the middle of the day, leaving me to work on prepping some quotes we have been doing for clients. It was dangerous of him to leave me in this half-weak state, and sure enough I finished half a bag of turkey and maple syrup M&S crisps and wolfed a few handfuls of salted peanuts (there was me thinking all the good things had been cleared out of the house).

By late afternoon I gave the Tiramisu shake a try. Very yum! Although not terribly Tiramisu. But who cares! It is amazing, frankly, how filling the shakes are, and how they manage to curb cravings.

The chocolate niggle never left, so meal 3 was the Chocolate and Caramel Bar – eeeeeeek, how delish! (A definite sweet theme going on today!)

So that’s three bars so far, all with a giant tick of approval. Exante-licious, if I may be so bold.

The nights are getting lighter!

Assuming you are also in the northern hemisphere, I hope wherever you are that the nights are getting lighter. Here the difference from December 21st, only 25 days ago, is quite incredible. I don’t think I noticed January being so light before, it must be due to us being so far north. But doesn’t north mean more darkness??? Or is it possible for one year to be lighter than another? Is that even a thing?

Tonight I left the house at 5.15 and headed out with the dogs, putting my torch away as we crossed the fields as we just didn’t need it. It was a wonderful walk, as usual no one else around so I could take Frankie’s muzzle off and let her enjoy her favourite pastime of chewing branches in the river.

The darkness of winter has been very liberating in its emptiness, and I find myself dreading the lighter nights and the crowds of people everywhere. Especially with a large, reactive rescue dog. We really need to get to work on where we are going to live next and how, because I really don’t want to be living in the centre of the village in summer.

The lights of the village pub twinkled as we headed home, and I was half-tempted to suggest to Dean that we went for a meal. Part of me could just have eaten some good, proper food. But then back home all I wanted was water. This Exante diet is quite staggering in how little food now fills me.

Podcast – Michael Gerber – The E-Myth – talking to Stephan Spencer

I’ve started listening to podcasts recently. Rob Moore of Progressive Property does some great podcasts along with a 10-minute ‘caffeine cast’ which is fab if you just want a quick, sharp hit. But today I landed on a podcast by Stephan Spencer, called Marketing Speak. He was talking with the great Michael Gerber, the genius who wrote The E-Myth. It is two years now since Dean and I began turning our lives into success stories and that book played a big part back at the beginning.

It was wonderful to hear Michael talk about vision statements and mission statements – basically, what you are going to be, and then how you are going to get there. Now that we have decided on the niche his business will go in – bathrooms – we can really, really start to build the dream of what we want it to be, and then get to work on getting there.

In the evening we called over to see the neighbour whose bathroom we will begin this week, it was so good to chat through everything as this is a project that has truly evolved. As we left it struck me how most people probably would not spend nearly two hours with a client on Sunday evening.

I insisted Dean listened to the podcast while I took the dogs on their final walk, and it got him so fired up again.

Life is good. Tomorrow is my first weigh-in (let’s see if the croissants show up!) Dean’s business finally has a purpose and a mission. I will put my own businesses on to a back seat slightly while we concentrate on this one. That’s fine – this has to take priority – and it is doing, that’s why we spend Sunday evening talking with a client – we both want a business we can be proud of, and one we can sell. If in three years’ time we can make enough to buy a farm in Yorkshire then all this hard work will be worth it.

I am conscious, though, that already we are two weekends into 2017. The year is already slipping away so fast, and there is so much we have to do.

I – we – don’t have a second to waste.

 

Project: Life Success – changing career aged 40+, building my own business, taking control & making a success of my life!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy near-end of 2016!

Merry Christmas! I hope yesterday was wonderful for you, whether or not you celebrate the actual festival, and I hope you have been able to take some time out from the busy rush of everyday life.

We closed Dean’s construction business on December 22nd until January 3rd, so, asides from the mountain of paperwork I still need to go through – more of that in a later post – we’ve actually been able to take some time off, which has been wonderful.

I discovered a fantastic app called Enlight which allows you to do amazing things with photos on your phone – so I couldn’t resist sharing this of the girls on Christmas morning!

 

Yesterday was a quiet, pretty steady day – just me, Dean and his youngest son Sam, aged 15. Plus the dogs, of course. Even though it was just the three of us, there were all the phone calls to the rest of the family, text messages and of course the constant stream of Facebook posts to answer, so it felt busy even if we weren’t too crazy!

Even so, if we can find the time, Christmas is always a good opportunity as the end of the year approaches, to take stock of what we have achieved so far.

Dean and I covered this in our final 2016 call with our business mentor just a week ago. It really was so helpful. The thing with a mentor or coach is they will ask you what you want to work on with each call, so that you take responsibility for your own journey, and it felt appropriate to look towards the next 12 months and where we want Dean’s business to be (and also I couldn’t think of anything else to suggest!)

The start of a new year is, for me, much more than just another new month – it really can be an opportunity for a fresh start. Just imagine, 12 whole undiscovered months lying ahead, each one filled with the potential for fun, achievement and success!

Although I am painfully aware of how far we still have to go until we achieve true Life Success, I have to admit that 2016 has been pretty awesome for us both in terms of our pathway to success. The call with our mentor helped us both to see that – we made some big decisions in that call.

But if I’m going to do it properly, I need to write a list of those achievements, which I will do in my next post.

Then, we can start to look ahead to not only what 2017 will bring, but what WE can bring to the next 12 months to make them better than ever before.

So, I need to do another list – of our goals for 2017.

I’ve written before about goal setting, because it can be really hard to actually pinpoint what we want in life. If you are not particularly materialistically-minded, like me, it can be even more difficult to write that list.

But how good it will be if, at the end of December 2017, I have a list of things I can tick off!

I speak to so many people who say they never set New Year Resolutions, which seems strange. Why would people not even TRY to improve their lives? Fair enough, I may not achieve everything, but at least by setting some targets I’m giving myself the opportunity to play the game.

So, losing weight, earning more, growing our businesses and building our property portfolio are all going to be on list – call it Goals, Aims or New Year Resolutions.

(I’m setting to start my diet on Monday, January 9th. I know it’s a week or so into the new year, but there’s still probably going to be some good food left over on January 1st, and I want to reduce the opportunities for failure as much as possible. My box of Exante diet products has arrived and I’m going to shoot a video to post on my YouTube channel as I unpack everything – I’ve had a quick peek but nothing more so I’m excited to take a look.)

But before that, my immediate goals to do BEFORE the end of 2016 are to write two posts – one of my/our achievements and one to set my/our 2017 goals. There, I’ve said it, and I’m about to hit Publish – so I HAVE to do them now!!!

Thanks for reading!

Izzy

 

Project: Life Success – changing career aged 40+, building my own business & making a success of my life!

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How Not to Waste Time

If you are thinking of becoming a landlord, be aware that when you rent out properties,  there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done!

(Yes, even if you do use an agent to manage your property.)

So here’s the story:

Monday: Email from the letting agent on Monday to say the arm on one of the sofas has broken and would I like them to source a new one (couch not arm) for £295 + VAT?

Positive: Agent would find new sofa and have delivered. No hassle to me.

Negative: Next month’s rent would be around £350 down. Plus I would have to pay for the old sofa to be removed.

Hmmmmm.

Tuesday: Tenant of another property (very local to us here) asks randomly if I know anyone who wants a new sofa. Amazing! I look, it’s in great condition, a couple of years old, still with Fire Regulations tags attached.

Positive: Just been offered replacement sofa for free!

Negative: House is nearly 100 miles away and couch will need to be delivered there.

Hmmmmm.

Wednesday: I speak to Dean. We decide to take the sofa to the house ourselves.

Positve: Even with fuel we will save around £300.

Negative: We’ll use up a huge amount of our own time taking it.

Hmmmmm.

Saturday: We take the sofa but we use the day as best we can:

  1. We turn it into one of our regular property inspections
  2. It’s good to see the tenants again and chat about any issues
  3. While Dean drives, I work out profit/loss on the business
  4. We listen to ‘Uncommon Sense’ by Mark Homer on Audible, to increase our business knowledge*
  5. We take Frankie the dog, which gives her experience travelling in the van
  6. AND I film the day, which turns into this:

So we turned what could have been a wasted day into a useful one. Frankie got to see some of the world, I got my Yorkshire fix, Dean and I both learned something about investing from Mark’s book (which is brilliant by the way, I heartily recommend it and you can check it out here if you like) AND we got a film out of it for the Project Life Success channel.

Which I like to think of as a Successful Outcome. Hurrah and Double Tick!! √√

*Audible is pretty much the best thing EVER! I love to listen to audio books while I’m driving or doing housework (not that I do alot) plus all those other times when you’re still doing things but are in a position to listen. The subscription is something like £7.99 a month and for that you get a book free. Utterly recommended! √

 

Project Life Success – changing career aged 40+ and building my own business!