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Attitude of Gratitude Attracting Success Change your life Law of Attraction Positive action

Take the baby steps

This beautiful message popped up on my Twitter the other day and I had to share it here.

 

The poster was @mikedooley who I think appeared in the film The Secret (if you haven’t seen it, do!)

Since Dean and I started on our journey to taking control of our lives and creating wealth, we’ve taken steps every day. Sometimes those steps have been strides, mostly they’ve been the babiest of baby steps.

But I have to confirm that what it says in the last paragraph is true.

“Take the baby steps, they summon angels, unleash energies”

OK, I don’t know much about angels, but so many amazing things have happened since we started, that I have to agree 100% that energies have been unleashed, and continue to be unleashed more and more every day.

Doors have opened for us, coincidences have made connections, necessary, helpful, people have come into our lives.

All this is of course just a natural result of taking action and getting out there, meeting people, networking and just being in the world of business.

But some things have been – more.

Our move to the other side of the country definitely unleashed an energy which I am glad to say we grasped with both hands. Since then I have never felt more aware of another force pushing and driving us forward.

Is it God? The Universe? Natural energy? I don’t know. I do know I love it!

(I really hope we don’t waste it and mess up.)

The message, whoever it is coming from, is that it really doesn’t matter what size steps we take, we just have to keep on moving. Big strides or baby steps, it doesn’t matter. Just keep heading forward, and the energies will help make it happen.

In other words, take the baby steps – and the rest will follow!

With big love and thanks to the powerful energies that are surrounding us right now.

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Living Green Positive action Positive Thinking

Heart breaking news

I love life! And where possible, I hate to dwell on the negatives, because that really doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

But there are so many things going on in the world right now that can make it tough to keep focused on the good stuff.

I absolutely LOVE the saying ‘energy flows where attention goes’ because it is just so true – whatever we focus on gets the best result. For example, the film ‘The Secret’ tells us if we are anti-war, we shouldn’t focus on war but we should focus on peace.

Hey, here’s an idea – maybe if we all made a HUGE fuss about peace there would be no more wars?

Before Donald Trump was elected it was clear to see the attention around him, attracted by and fed by the focus on his bizarre story and campaign. Even the most outrageous stuff worked for him and it was no surprise to me when he made it to the top spot.

So I think it is crucial not to give negative things too much thought and importance. But these days with so much bad news going on constantly it can feel like the world is spiralling downwards.

Today my newsfeed is full of clips from the fires in California and my heart is breaking for the people and animals affected.

An out of control fire is terrifying. I can’t contemplate that people actually start fires on purpose*, and I can’t imagine the horror of being caught in a fire. I also don’t want to contemplate a world in which fires increase, but that seems to be the way we are heading, with more extreme weather and no one seems to be able to do anything to stop it.

So what’s positive about that? Ok – I admit, I’m scratching around for positives here, but I think I’ve found one…

I am already quite a ‘green’ person – an ardent recycler, supporter of green issues and I try to limit my own consumption – but I am determined to make changes in my life that will ensure I tread even more lightly on the earth than I have been doing.

We’re close enough to the start of 2018 for me to make it my first official New Year Resolution.

I know that whenever I start doing something, several million other people will also be doing the same thing (hey, I accepted that I am far from unique long ago!).

So maybe, just maybe, by the end of 2018 a few million people are going to consciously be less of a burden on our precious planet. And if one good thing can come of those catastrophic Californian fires, a few million people living greener would be a fitting result.

And then there’s this guy – the man rescuing rabbit from the fires. Someone who risked his own safety to save a terrified animal. How on earth can I say that it’s hard for me to stay positive, so safe and far away, when this brave soul in the face of danger shows such love and courage for a helpless creature?

 

 

*I’m not suggesting these California fires were started on purpose, but many fires every year are started around the the world, some by accident and others deliberately. People are sooo weird!

 

Business success Positive action Positive Thinking Start a business

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!

 

 

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 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!)

 

 

Attracting Income Attracting Success Gary Vaynerchuk Positive action Positive Thinking Weight loss

How to Stay Motivated?

O.M.G. I do love Gary Vee!

So I just came across this short little video and if you have ever, EVER, found yourself lacking even the tiniest bit of motivation, you need to watch this:

Are these the three lines that win the Internet 2017?

“How do you keep yourself motivated?”

“By remembering that you might die tomorrow.”

“That’s true.”

GAAAAAH!!!! Thank you Gary!

So today I’m hitting the edit suite while the rest of the country enjoy a long weekend – I’ll be cutting and creating for the next four days.  Eating 100% Exante products. Because I actually could die tomorrow, and all this would be over, without me doing what I need to do or being what I want to be.

And THAT’S the scariest thought of all!

Stay motivated, folks!

xx

 

 

Change your life Change your Mindset Exante diet Positive action Running The Eternal Weight Battle! Weight loss

Exante Diet update

The vlcd Exante Diet is going well – almost too well in fact. As in, when it feels this easy, surely that’s the danger zone?

I feel amazing – so much energy, flat(ish) stomach and already waking up earlier and, um, livelier, if that is even a thing.

I am probably in low ketosis (where my body is burning fat, not just carbs) and the difference to living in a high-carb state is phenomenal.

I’m still hitching a ride on the raised energy levels of these beautiful early spring days – but hey, whatever works!

Last night I even took Foxy and Frankie for a run using my new double lead which I bought on Amazon which attaches, rather cleverly, around my waist. I expected them to run ahead of me, pulling me all over but they did brilliantly, as though we had been doing it for years! (Which of course means I now have no excuse not to run with them!)* (silent groan)

I had a few issues with the double lead, but on the whole it worked well, and it was great having my hands and arms free while running. Very liberating!

Running for Weight Loss

If you are considering taking up running, I really, really recommend it. It’s cheap, pretty easy-ish and it can give a major boost to your fitness and confidence.

I have no running physique – big boobs, short legs – seriously if I can do it I reckon most other people can too.

Years ago when I first started running I could barely last 100 yards. But then I found a great programme which advised starting out by running 1 minute, walking 1 minute, then repeat 10 times. I did this, running very, very slowly at first, gradually building up the length of running time and decreasing walking time.

I was so embarrassed I ran at night time for the first few months, wearing black. It was more important that I was not seen by anyone than it was not to be hit by a car!

The really good news is that it actually doesn’t take long to get to a point where you can run for 25 minutes-ish. THAT is so empowering it will boost you in every way imaginable!

And, best news of all, once you reach a certain level of fitness, it seems that stays with you. I haven’t run in months, and yet last night I ran probably just under a mile and a half.

Before I started running there was no way I could have run that distance, but yesterday it was no issue at all. I could have run much more, if I’m honest, but I didn’t want to give my body and legs too much of a shock on the first go!

Going public…

So last night I took the terrifying step of posting my vlog about Day One of Exante on the Exante Facebook page.

Even though I am not anonymous I haven’t exactly shouted about what I’m up to, so it was seriously scary! But, there’s nothing like exposing your secrets to the world to keep you accountable – and I really hope by posting here and on my YouTube channel that will keep me accountable in those weak moments!

I’ve been overweight for over a decade and it is time to reclaim my life – and if that means drastic measures then so be it.

Anyway, here’s how days 2 and 3 went…

xx

 

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!

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