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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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 Business success Change your life Change your Mindset Goal setting Habits of Success Personal fulfillment Positive action Positive Thinking

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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Attracting Income Attracting Success Brian Tracy Business success Change your life Change your Mindset Goal setting Habits of Success Inspirational video Positive Thinking

The Habits of Success

Given the momentous events of today (see my earlier post), this video is extra topical:

I love Brian Tracy, he inspires me every day on my journey to success.

Seems over 1 million people agree.

The one habit I need to adopt… is getting up early, every day. So that means going to bed earlier, every day. Two habits!

What habits do you need to change?

 

 

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