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Life Goals: Ere, Ear!

Many years ago someone I used to know had her ears syringed at the doctor’s, and came out raving about the procedure, telling anyone who would listen it was way better than any sex or drugs. (She never mentioned chocolate though.)

Obviously, I quickly made getting my ears syringed a life goal. How could I pass up the opportunity to experience sex and drugs on the NHS?

Luckily, a few years after my friend’s experience, I felt a bit bunged up and trotted along to the doctors hardly able to contain my excitement. It was rather a let down, to say the least.

The nurse looked in both ears and said:

“Oh no, they’re lovely and clean, I can see right through to the ear drum.

“You are due a smear test though.”

Imagine my horror. My afternoon went from a glorious experience rivalling the finest in drugs and sex to the non-glamourous, rather painful bad deal that comes when lying down with your feet in stirrups while a stranger sticks a large cotton wool bud up your privates.

And so that was it. My dreams of joining the ear syringing league fell at the first hurdle and seemed to be forever dashed.

Until recently.

As a teenager I went to boarding school. As a lifelong light sleeper, sharing a dorm with several other girls was very challenging and I developed a penchant for wearing ear plugs. Not just any earplugs, the wax variety called Muffles from Boots are the ones that get to go anywhere near my lugs. And they work wonders. The cone-shape goes in, the vacuum sound enters my head and usually I sleep like a baby.

Over the years, concerned about the amount of wax literally melting into my head, I’ve weaned myself off two earplugs and on to one, sleeping on the side that isn’t wearing the plug. And because Baldy has a tendency to sleep facing me, doing his pushy sleep breathing on my face, I usually sleep away from him with the ear plug mostly in one side.

Which means…

You’ve guessed it. Seriously, it could be 20 years since I first heard of the delight of ear syringing and possibly, just possibly I could be about to experience it.

This week I’ve also come down wth flu, which doesn’t help. But the last few weeks I’ve been waking up increasingly more deaf in that particular ear and for the past three days my hearing on that side has almost completely gone. It just sounds either like a very loud vacuum in there or like I’m standing next to an open window with a tropical storm going on outside. It’s almost painful, like there’s some serious pressure in there, but then that could be my flu-ridden head in general.

So, yesterday I made my first visit to our doctors since we moved here nearly three years ago. I knew immediately I was going to get on great with the GP, and she giggled away as I told her all about the life goal situation.

“Oh Izzy,” she said as she peered deep into my deaf lug. “I’m happy to tell you your dream is about to come true. There’s loads of wax in there!”

I punched the air in delight. But sadly my moment of beauty would have to wait.

I have to put drops of olive oil (doesn’t matter what sort – virgin, extra virgin, old tart, whatever) to soften the wax, every day for two weeks.

TWO WEEKS?!?

Ok. I’ve waited two decades. Two weeks isn’t going to kill me. Although the thought of being half-deaf for the next two weeks is a bit of a downer.

But I will be strong. The drops are going in. I WILL get my moment!

 

 

Business success Goal setting Habits of Success How to run a business Positive action

Holiday – Disaster – Plan!

This is a frickin rollercoaster, folks!

I wrote here – only 11 days ago, for goodness sake – about my latest confidence crisis and how we seem to have overcome.

We ended 2017 (funny how old that already feels) with a tricky client and a job that was hard to price, a mix of various different jobs, much of it very bitty. As some of our jobs do, it has run over the estimated timescale, by quite some length.

Being so busy with our own house I put off doing a final count up of days (yes, ok, I was putting it off, because I knew it would be bad news). I finally did it yesterday and sure enough, it’s bad news.

So late last night I worked myself up into a meltdown which exploded over D today. We so needed that job to go well. Ok, correction. She was always going to be difficult, so the job was never going to make us much. But it needed to make us something. I stared at the final costings and knew there was no way I could charge her the final amount. We’ve simply taken far too long over it.

Last week D’s dad went into hospital so he was away for three days and the job booked for that week was pushed back.

The week before, I decided to book a few days for D and I to go visit my parents for my dad’s birthday – in France.

So we’ve gone from losing money on a job to having to postpone the next job and then booking ourselves on a trip to take us even further from actually getting any work. Talk about a catalogue of disasters. Talk about January being a write off.

Now, we absolutely 100% need a break, so I am looking forward to getting away.

But today I gave D an ultimatum. He needs to step up and get involved with the financial side, which he shies away from because it doesn’t interest him. But then he is detached from the reallity of the job and loses the urgency that he needs to be constantly driving the team forward.

Secondly, he needs to be planning the jobs in advance. As in, writing a list of the daily tasks needed and ensuring they get done. It’s something we started doing but again it doesn’t interest him so it stopped happening. I’ve written a few times about the importance of setting goals and here we have, in perfect clarity, a superb example of what happens when you don’t – there is nothing to measure progress against.

If he/we had planned this job he/we would have been able to identify it was running over. Also, the team would have had something to refer to and measure themselves against. It sounds so simple, and it is. So why haven’t we been doing it?

(I’ve got to bring in the renovation of this property here, it has been a massive distraction. But we could have taken 20 minutes to plan, so there’s no real excuse there.)

So in less than two weeks I’ve gone from thinking that we are going to make it, to sheer panic and the distinct possibility that the business may not survive beyond March.

Just two days ago I wrote about having to get a bit tougher when dealing with the team and with trades. Oh yes.

When we get back next week, I will be talking to the team. In no uncertain words. It’s 100%, 100 mph or nothing. Certain people will get an official warning to improve their performance or they will be out. Each job will get a written plan and that will be checked off at the end of every day to ensure we are on schedule and everyone is playing their part.

And I need to step up. Forget just doing all the office side, I need to be managing the team too. I need to be ensuring the management (D) can feel my boot hovering not too far from his backside, keeping him and the team on their toes and on track.

Or in March we both start looking for jobs. It really is that serious.

I am so glad this has happened now, when there is – just – time to turn it back round. But my gosh it’s scary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change your life Change your Mindset Habits of Success Positive action

Is it too late to change my life?

I’m in my forties. In my FREAKING FORTIES.

Somewhere, in my murky past, four decades have sped by. I’ve achieved some things – had a reasonable career, bought some property, had a lot of fun – but nothing of any particular note.

So now I’m in my FREAKING FORTIES and I’m changing my life the doubts creep in. On a fairly regular basis.

What makes you think you can make it now when you haven’t so far?

What makes you think anyone is interested in you?

You’re so old. How are you going to be successful at this age? If it was going to happen it would have happened already.

The good news is we finally have a bathroom floor here in our renovation pit, so if I choose to listen to these voices at least I have something clean to lie on in my defeated depression.

The really good news is I just watched this video by Nas Daily, about four people who did change their lives. Including one amazing guy who learned to read aged 52!

So every now again when the doubts get a bit too loud a good video can drown them out.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Business success Change your life Goal setting Habits of Success

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!

Attitude of Gratitude Attracting Success Gratitude Personal fulfillment

Stop Complaining and Get Grateful!

I LOVE this lady, Terri Savelle Foy!

Her clear and compassionate films offer guidance and support for almost all life’s challenges.

I always feel better when I listen to her.

This film is definitely worth putting 10 minutes aside to listen to – and then put her suggestion into practice.

It could actually send you leaping forward over whatever hurdles are holding you back right now – so enjoy!

 

 

Affirmations Change your life Exante diet Habits of Success Positive action Self-Discipline The Eternal Weight Battle! Weight loss

Worth the Weight

I didn’t want to say anything too early, but I’ve just completed my first week back on the fantastic Exante Diet.

As part of my Project to develop a Successful Life, I am determined to make achieving a healthy weight a big part of it. And at the grand old age of 44, I decided to set my target at a reduction of 44lbs.

I lost 22 of those lbs a few months ago, documenting my progress on my YouTube channel. And then I lost focus and decided I would maintain for a while – yeah right – and got back into eating my own body weight on a regular basis, gaining 10 of those lbs back.

Plus, I’ve been so busy recently getting the business ready that I’ve almost forgotten what exercise is. Literally, hours of sitting at the computer, writing copy for the website, writing contracts, writing blog posts – or not! Even dog walks have been down to the bear minimum.

Last Sunday I woke up and just decided it was just time to get back on the Exante diet wagon. One of those unexpected but agreeable decisions that come from the feeling ‘enough is enough’.

This time, I decided I would record not just my weekly progress but daily – every mealtime in fact. That’s quite a commitment, as I discovered!

It’s also quite a lot of footage! Too much for one film! So I split the week into two – this is the first film covering Days 1-3:

The week ended on a real high at my weigh-in this morning with 6.5lbs gone – half a lb off half a stone!

Needless to say I feel so much better already – my stomach is flat(tish), I have more energy and my clothes are fitting more loosely.

Returning to the Exante products has literally been like meeting old friends again! Why I didn’t keep it going while ‘maintaining’ I will never know – I really could have replaced one meal every day with a product and that would have helped. I know now that is what I need to do to maintain, once I achieve my healthy goal weight of 146 lbs (10 stone 6lbs).

So I finished the week with this film.

I’ve been doing some affirmations recently (if you don’t know what they are, check out this article which explains all about them and gives some good examples you can use).

I’ve been reminding myself that:

“I am strong, focused and self-disciplined” because these are three areas I figured I needed some reminding about.

This week, I’ve felt stronger, more focused and more self-disciplined than ever. I actually feel that I am going to get to goal, and I’ve never, ever felt that certainty before.

Many successful people swear by the power of affirmations, but I have to admit I’ve never done them rigidly enough before to give them chance to work.

Could it be that I am experiencing some of their magical effect?! Whatever it is, I like it!

 

 

 

 

Attracting Income Attracting Success Business success Change your life Change your Mindset Habits of Success Positive action Self-Discipline

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attracting Income Attracting Success Business success Habits of Success Self-Discipline

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!

 

 

Attracting Income Attracting Success Business success Change your life Change your Mindset Goal setting Habits of Success Positive action Running with dogs

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!)

 

 

Attitude of Gratitude Attracting Income Attracting Success Bob Proctor Change your life Change your Mindset Habits of Success Law of Attraction

Bob Proctor – M1, M2 and M3

[Note, August 2018: A year after writing this post, I wrote this update about whether or not I have managed to become M3…]

NOTE, THIS POST ORIGINALLY FEATURED A YOUTUBE VIDEO WHICH IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE, SO I’VE REMOVED THE LINK. THE MESSAGE HASN’T CHANGED.

The rain has not stopped all day today, giving the perfect excuse to spend the afternoon inside and clear the pile of ironing.

As usual, I took the opportunity to jump on to YouTube and gain some education and inspiration.

This film of a presentation by the amazing Bob Proctor was so good I just had to share it!

Like many people I first came across Bob Proctor from his appearance in the film The Secret (which if you haven’t seen, you must!) and he is a really inspirational and likeable guy. The Secret is based on the book of the same name, by Rhonda Byrne, which you can buy here if you prefer to absorb your inspirational stuff through words instead of pictures. Personally I love how Bob Proctor comes across in the film – completely genuine, likeable and really wanting to share his knowledge to better everyone.

At almost two hours’ long this YouTube film is well-worth watching and listening to.

If you don’t have that long to spare right now, join him at 37 minutes in. He explains how most people (96% of all people) do M1 – working for a living – which will forever keep them poor and limited. We will only ever get so far if we only ever trade time for money. Sad to say, I am guilty as charged – or at least I was up until a year ago.

M2 is a definite improvement (3%) which is investing money to earn money. I’m glad to say I have done this, still only in a small way, and I’ll be increasing my property portfolio in the future.

M3 is where we should all be aiming for. This group set up multiple sources of income, and they get others to do the work for them.

I am definitely guilty of not being M3-enough! Right now, we are growing the business and I can feel myself struggling within my own limitations.

I know I am probably holding the business back right now, through my own weaknesses, but am I just thinking like an M1?

Surely an M3 person wouldn’t even need to think twice on this. They would just hire someone to do what they can’t.

As usual Bob has got me thinking. We don’t have the disposable income that a successful M3er might have, but by clinging on to M1 status I could be pushing that income further and further away with my own indecision.

 

 

 

 

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