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!)



Bob Proctor – M1, M2 and M3

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.

At almost two hours’ long this film is well-worth 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 this! 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.





Taking a breather

Something amazing happened this week!

I decided, with everything that we have going on right now (selling our old home, business getting super busy, dog training, my parents here to stay, etc) that I would take a little break from losing weight.

The Exante Diet has been brilliant, but, as you’ll know if you’ve been following, I have been slightly less than brilliant. At least, my willpower has been on the weak side.

So, this week I took the pressure off and decided to let myself chill out for a few weeks. So did I stuff my face?

NO! The weirdest thing happened – as soon as I told myself I could have food, I so didn’t want it.

I did eat in the evenings – two days a homemade pasta in tomato sauce, one day Quorn fillets mixed with salad, but during the daytime I seriously didn’t want anything. So I ate my usual Exante products. And yet when I’m dieting I would kill for non-Exante stuff.

It’s official. I am a weirdo!

I weighed in at 12 stone 1lb and 1/8th this morning, so a slight increase on last week. Not unexpected, because yesterday Dean took me out for a candlelit lunch in the Asda cafe (so, not candlelit then!) in between pricing up jobs (seriously, that guy is just sooooo romantic) and I chose one of my favourite ever foods – baked potato with beans and cheese – yes, that’s me, queen of the fine diners.

And then when we got home I made some vegan ice cream by blitzing up frozen bananas with dates and a little water (sooooooo yum, I seriously recommend!)

The challenge now is to see if I can maintain my weight. If I can, it will be a great confidence boost and spur me on (hopefully) for the next 22 lbs. If I can’t, well, it looks like a future of reinforced mattresses and seat belt extenders awaits me 🙁


I Should be Buzzing!

I really should! I should be yelling from the rooftops!

Last week was amazing, for three stunnalicious reasons:

Reason 1: Our house has sold!

For pretty much the asking price, meaning we will get some money to do up the property here and finally, finally, move forward.


Reason 2: I have finally reached the 11 stone bracket! (Just! – more on that later!)


Reason 3: I employed someone who I think is going to take our business to a whole new level!

The lovely Carla started as our VA (Virtual Assistant) on Wednesday and I could not take the smile off my face! She’s just fab, and the questions she was asking made me realise that with her energy and expertise we are set to fly!

So why am I not screeching with happiness?

No particular reason, really. Except that we (Dean and I) are both just exhausted.

We’ve just spent another weekend back at our old home, clearing it out ready for the sale, which completes – hopefully – next week (it was this week but the buyers pushed it back).

It is EXHAUSTING. Two hours drive each way, we’ve removed the built-in castle beds that Dean built for his boys, we’ve cleared the loft, cleared the garage… you name it, it’s been cleared.

And then there are so many little things, the things that seem to be never ending. We moved into that house in December, 2008, as a part time family of six. And although not all of Dean’s four children lived full time with us, it was a busy house. So many people coming and going, so much going on, not to mention dogs, rescued battery hens, rabbits, guinea pigs…

We’ve literally cleared tons of stuff out of that house. Toys, computers, clothes, socks, nerf guns, nerf gun bullets, old notebooks, piles and piles of bank papers, CDs, DVDs, videos, camping equipment, remote control cars, horsey stuff (mine), rat cages, bedding (SO much bedding!) – you name it, we’ve shifted it. As much as possible to charity/recycling.

Dean is going back there tomorrow so meet the charity people who are picking up the dining table and chairs and the welsh dresser. And then later in the week I will make the final journey back to do the last clean, read the meters and catch the goldfish in the pond (to relocate in my cousin’s pond). And then, hopefully oh hopefully, it will all be over and we’ll have some money in the bank.

Here is my solemn promise: I will never, EVER have so much STUFF in my life again!

Granted, I’ll probably never have a family with young children again, but even so, I am living streamlined from now on. You read it here first! Too many possessions weigh you down, sitting heavy like a solid chain around your neck when you want to move on.

So in between trips to the other side of the country and working with Carla to help her get her head around our business and Xero, the online accounting system we use, there hasn’t been too much time for weight loss. But I did manage to stick to the wonderful Exante Diet for nearly three days – Monday, Tuesday and most of Wednesday (broke it with a meal of Quorn fillets and salad, followed by a hot chocolate). Thursday was a food day, Friday was 100% back on it and I weighed in on Saturday as I knew I wouldn’t be here on Sunday.

11 stone 13 lbs and three-quarters! Woohoo! I’ve done it, made it into the 11s!

Not the biggest loss, granted, but I think I am accepting by now that I probably won’t be losing the next 21 3/4 lbs in huge leaps – unless I find a sudden burst of willpower this one will limp along. But, even a limper can reach the finishing line, I just have to make sure I keep going!

We might just need to sleep for a month first, which actually would probably be great for weight loss 😉

(Here’s my latest vlog, I can’t believe how exhausted I look throughout most of it, my apologies!)









The Key to Success

Ever wondered just what is the key to success?

I only just posted a few moments ago about my weight loss journey, and how I have just lost 22 lbs in only a few weeks on the amazing Exante Diet

Even thought it’s getting quite late I found myself drifting towards YouTube and the latest films uploaded by the fantastic people I subscribe to. Between them, they’re doing so much to inspire me on my weight loss journey as well as the other ways I am bringing success into my life.

And I just couldn’t not share this wonderful productin from the lovely Terri Savelle Foy. Seriously, listening to this lady is like sitting down with a good flat white and your best ever friend.

She has answered one of the questions I have often asked myself: What is the Key to Long Term Success?

You simply HAVE to watch the video, so I’ve shared it here. I just love hearing about how she started out on YouTube, back in 2008, with no followers, and how she has built her channel.

And I don’t think Terri will mind though if I tell you before you watch it, the key to success is to stick to it. Like glue.

Like me, doing this blog and my YouTube channel. They’re only small right now because right now small works for me. But I know one day they’ll be huge – as long as I stick to it.

If I take a break here and there, my followers will take a break too, and they won’t come back.

If my commitment to my success wavers, so will my chances of success, and like my followers, they probably won’t come back.

Stick with it, folks, whether it’s weight loss, business or relationship success, even if it’s training a new dog (which is exactly what we are doing right now) and you feel like you are getting nowhere, stick with it. Results will come! And when they do, you had better be ready for them!



Halfway to GOAL!!!


I’ve lost 22 pounds on the Exante Diet! WOOHOOOO!!!!

Somehow, despite the struggles, the weak moments and the “I’m never going to do this” pitholes, I’ve managed hit the halfway to goal mark.

Twenty-two glorious pounds of fat gone forever.

Yup. A whole twenty and two wobble-a-thons are no longer wobbling around my person.

No longer hugging my inner organs, gripping my inner thighs or hanging heavily around my jawbone.

So to celebrate, and even though it is only Monday, I decided it was time for my first ever #fatfacefriday – here goes:

22 lbs down and I am halfway to my weight loss goal of 44 lbs off aged 44!

(How funny, that there are 22 lbs of flesh between these two photos, about 6 inches of hair, and yet I have still managed to wear a really dodgy fleece?! Some things never change!)

Pros to losing 22 pounds:

Clothes are looser (a lot looser!)
I look so much better
I feel amazing – streamlined and slim
I don’t hate looking in the mirror so much
It makes exercise easier (although I’ve not been very good at that recently)
It makes me feel that if I’ve got this far, I just might make it to the end of the weight loss journey!

Cons to losing 22 pounds:

I can’t think of too many, but I’ll be sure to post when I do!

So what is 22 pounds? One and a half stones, plus a pound, for the Brits. Just under 10 kilograms for the Europeans (9.97903 grams for the precision mathematicians). And, according to google, a toddler! (Exact age of toddler to be confirmed).

Frustratingly, I could have done it much quicker. If I stayed 100% on the Exante Diet plan, on its Total Solution plan, I could be losing 2-3 pounds a week, not just the 1 lb average I’ve been seeing. But, I guess I’m just never going to be that person, the one who gets on a diet and sticks to it religiously. Hey, I didn’t get into this position by being strict with my diet in the first place!

This week I’ve been pretty good (ie, 3 Exante Diet products per day) for about 3 days out of the week. The other days I have failed, either miserably or joyously, depending.

I still live in hope that I will suddenly turn a corner and find inner strength to keep me 100% longer than 72 hours, blasting myself into longterm ketosis and losing weight in a delirious fury of bad breath and a great relationship with my scales.

But I’m realistic. This is me, after all!

Anyway, who cares? I’m seeing results! Now that our business is starting to build momentum we have three networking events this month, and I will be able to wear a dress I could only have dreamed of wearing, with a confidence I wouldn’t have dared to imagine, just a very few weeks ago.

So I’ll take this victory! I’m so bloody grateful I found the Exante Diet and all its delicious, affordable food choices! I’ll take that weight loss, baby!




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.


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!!


We Have Power!

If you have ever lived in a house that was more renovation project than a home, you will understand the wondrous-ness of what I am about to tell you.

Just a year after we moved in here, I am so happy to announce: We. Have. Electric. Sockets.


No longer is all electricity run through the house on a few hideous-looking extension cables.

There are plastic boxes fixed into the walls that, when switched, make electricity happen!

Why have we left it so long? Well, partly we didn’t know what we were doing with the house. And partly we were waiting until we had the money to get it all done.

And mostly because, well, we just kind of got used to it. Humans are pretty adaptable creatures really.

After much discussion, we have finally decided what we will do with this house. The plan is for this house to become a source of income and to finally start to pay us back, giving a return on the money we have paid in to it. I will of course share, once this happens.

But for now, we celebrate, no longer shall my business empire be run off a few plugs. We have electricity, folks, and the future looks brighter than ever before!



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