Have you done these three things today on social media?

Every day I talk to people about social media and a few of them have asked me “what should I start doing?”. There are many things that I would recommend but the ones in this blog would have the most impact.

So, here are the top three things I would recommend people do straight away!

Stop selling and start talking!
Most people go onto social media and put posts out and not interact with people. This is forgetting the “Social” part of social media. You will gain more business and talk to more people by spending 80% of your time talking to people and the following 20% of your time selling.

The benefit of this is when they do see your selling posts, they will be more interested as they have spoken to you and like you.

Make sure you are posting consistently on the platforms that your customers are on. 
If you haven’t posted in the last day on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or LinkedIn then write a post and send it out. Most people do not post enough and as social media moves so quickly, your new visitor might have missed your posts. Aim to post on Facebook and LinkedIn once a day, Instagram- twice a day and Twitter- five times a day.

Post a picture, video or a Facebook Live
Pictures, Videos, and Live Streaming are brilliant tools that some people love or hate. The truth is they have a few brilliant benefits for people who do them:

  1. They get better engagement than a post with just text.
  2. People will look at them for longer and more likely to interact with them.
  3. They accelerate the buying process as people feel they already know you.
  4. They actually save you time as you can use this content on each of the different platforms (just keep videos between 60-90 seconds long and they will be ok on each platform).
  5. You will get better the more you do them. In the next few years, videos are only going to get more prominent on social media and I personally want to make all my mistakes now rather than then!

If you are not sure about what to post, give the viewers a top tip, talk about a Blog, your story or where you have been today. The best bit? You don’t have to post it if you don’t want to but at least you have practiced it!

I hope you enjoyed this blog and please do not be afraid to do any of the above. The worst thing to do is not post at all!

Speak to you soon!

EMPLOYEE ENGAGMENT – WHY BOTHER?

Article by Jackie Richards 19.09.16

You’re a busy small business owner, running around trying to be everything to everyone to ensure your business thrives, but what about the staff you’ve left floundering back at the office? Do you think they will be motivated if they never get to see their boss, for help, reassurance and most importantly, a bit of praise now and then for all of the hours they’re putting in for you?!

 I have worked in all sectors during my 20+ years in HR and have seen many disengaged employees for usually similar reasons, the main ones being as follows:-

  • They have been in the same job doing the same thing for many years and lack motivation;
  • They are in the wrong role but too afraid to admit this and look elsewhere.
  • They have poor managers who do not care about what they are doing, so do not make the work interesting, or show an interest in their employees;
  • In some workplaces, people are being bullied by insecure managers but they don’t have the courage to speak up about it;
  • Lack of communication within organisations – the people at the top don’t communicate what they are doing and where the company is heading, so the staff don’t feel involved in the bigger picture.

And all of these factors result in reduced productivity and hence revenue – I’ve seen a lot of companies who are ‘surviving’ but could do so much better if they focused on the most important asset they have – their people. 
Some of the above might not apply to you, but I’m sure you can relate to one or two there? And putting it right does not have to cost the Earth. Here are some suggestions on how to motivate your people, so that they look forward to coming into work and want to do their very best for you and your company:-


1. Communication – In any business it’s important to ensure two way communication. Employees need to feel that their voice and concerns are heard and if needed, action is taken. You should tell them your plans for the business and listen to their opinions, as the more involved they feel, the more committed they will be to the company.

If possible, have monthly team meetings to give your employees updates on the company’s progress and ask for ideas for new products or services, or improvements that can be made to existing ones – this will encourage innovation and creativity within your team. You should view your team as a family working together to achieve a common goal and let them know that too.
 
2. Trust your staff – give them some autonomy and/or responsibility for their work. If they are doing a good job, this will be an inexpensive reward – recognition for their efforts and some people are motivated by status. Find out what motivates each employee, as it will be different in each case and then work with that to get the best out of them.

 
3. Training and support – don’t assume that once you’ve recruited someone they will ‘hit the ground running’ – find out exactly what they are capable and then fill in the gaps with some training and support. This doesn’t have to be by you, it could be by one of your employees with as much or more experience than you in the area required and support them by asking them how they are getting on and if they need any further help.

 
4. Recognition – give praise where praise is due and if it’s something exceptional, thank them publicly for their efforts and give them a small reward – it does not have to be anything excessive, but a token of your appreciation will go a long way! We are all human and need praise from time to time, so encourage a culture of employees congratulating co-workers for their achievements, so working relationships remain healthy.

George Dickson at Office Vibe has recently posted The 12 Things You Need For Successful Employee Recognition which provides even more tips on doing this for free, the link is below:-

https://www.officevibe.com/blog/12-things-successful-employee-recognition

 
5. Offer incentives to high performers – they don’t have to be expensive rewards, just a bottle of wine for your top performer of the month or a gift voucher, anything to show appreciation will incentivize them to keep performing at that level, or indeed higher, to beat the competition.

 
6. Constructive feedback – if someone has done something wrong, take them into a private office and discuss it with them. Try to start the meeting with a positive – “You’ve been producing some good work recently, but …..” Don’t chastise them, ask them why they did made the error and what they think they can do to put it right. Work together to find a solution and they will feel more motivated to ensure they don’t make that mistake again.

 
7. Employee wellbeing – in a start-up everyone has to ‘muck in’ and do what’s required to win business, but at what cost? Is an employee really going to be productive and sound motivated on the phone to your potential customers when they are exhausted and feeling unappreciated? Make sure you ask employees regularly how they are feeling to ascertain whether the long hours are affecting them, make sure they have breaks and take time off wherever possible in your quieter periods. As in my October blog: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/workplace-stress-things-ever-going-get-any-better-richards-mcipd?trk=mp-author-card workplace stress can lead to a number of ongoing mental health problems which will result in reduced productivity and absenteeism costs in the long run if you do not nip it in the bud!

8. Employee benefits – if as an employer you can’t afford to pay high salaries or reward high performers by increasing their salary, there are some very inexpensive benefits schemes out there now for small businesses. Paybooster UK offer flexible health and wellbeing packages to employers costing as little as £52 per year per employee. For more information visit http://www.PayBosterUK.org

 
9. Have fun! – we are in work a long part of our day, so the workplace should not be all doom and gloom – introduce humour at times (appropriately, of course!) to liven things up, encourage brief chats about home to help staff relax and get to know each other better, or go out and buy staff cakes or icecream on a hot summer’s day – all these little things make a difference to making people happy and happy = productive.
 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog

 

Jackie Richards MCIPD

Owner/HR Consultant

JR-HR Solutions

T: 07807 166456

E: jackie@jr-hrsolutions.com

W: http://www.jr-hrsolutions.com
 

Thanks to Author and Thought Leader Vlatka Hlupic for the inspiration to write this blog

Thanks to DesignTec for the image

 

 

Mentoring and Motorbikes

Article by Tarnya Brink 03.08.16

So now you are wondering what on earth mentoring and motorbikes have to do with one another.

Let me give you some context. When I take off my business suit, I put on my protective gear and get on my 650 Kawasaki Vulcan S and whenever possible together with my husband and/or sons, who all ride too, we go out for a couple of hours on the bikes. Whilst this could be a stressor for some people, this is my stress relief (or mid-life crisis perhaps J )

With my suit back on, one of the parts of being an HR consultant I love, is being able to develop and mentor people and run programmes that enable others to mentor people.

So, how are my two passions aligned? I am currently undertaking an Advanced Motorcycling course through Coventry Warwick Advanced Motorcyclists (CWAM), accredited by the Institute for Advanced Motorcyclists (IAM), and as I was writing a proposal for an advanced mentorship workshop for a client, my husband pointed out the similarities.

I develop and run business mentorship programmes, which can be used to support different types of development within companies:

– People new to their role or company, where a mentorship programme can support induction

– People aspiring to move from good to great in their current role, who may or may not aspire to management or further role progression

– Managers who are qualified and experienced, and want to become tomorrow’s leaders of their business

The IAM course follows the same principles of any good mentoring course:

1. A clear aspiration to achieve your goal

2. An assessment to ascertain what level you currently perform at, against clearly set out criteria, followed up with an effective one-page report

3. Being realistic about the time and pace that progress will happen. Am I going to finish in 3 weeks – No, 3 months – hopefully.

4. Working with a single mentor to make progress at a steady pace that you dictate, but having access to numerous other people for support (and in the business sense, sometimes skills or knowledge that the primary mentor doesn’t have)

5. Clear feedback in a positive manner – instant verbal feedback, followed up with a written sheet against the criteria from your initial assessment so that you can track your progress

6. Support – demonstrations (where appropriate), additional support material, clearly identified areas to practice/develop

7. Clarification where necessary

8. Ultimately, getting ready for the final assessment to see whether or not you have achieved your goals

One of the principles of this course is that you already hold a license, and have some riding experience. For my qualified and experienced group of mentees, this is no different. If I was working with a group of Directors/Partners in a Professional service firm and they wanted to mentor their managers, those managers will already be qualified and experienced. The aspiration is to develop the leaders of the future and to add to their current skills set, perhaps change a few of those comfort zones and bad habits they may have picked up along the way, and at their own pace develop them into reaching their full potential.  

 

One comment on aspirations. Understand why people want to aspire to what they have set as their goal right at the start so that the programme can be bespoke to them. Help them to visualise what that will look like at the end of the programme, and allow them to set their own individual aspirations.  

Some people are great in the jobs they do, don’t want to become managers, but are put into positions that they subsequently fail in – this is because it wasn’t their aspiration to be a manager in the first place.

 

So why am I doing the IAM course? I aspire to be the best and safest rider that I can be using the techniques that have been reinforced by my mentor which statistics show results in the significant reduction in serious accidents and injuries to those who have achieved Advanced status – why wouldn’t you want to do it.  

 

If you are interested in discussing mentorship programmes in the workplace, please contact me at tbrink@sagegreen.com​

 

If you are a biker in the Coventry & Warwick area, please have a look at the website http://www.cwam.org.uk/, not only is there the course but some super social rides exploring the countryside with very experienced riders. With thanks to my mentor and all the other great people I have met at CWAM.

And this is the site for IAM (offering Advanced courses for motorists and motorcyclists) https://www.iamroadsmart.com/

 

 

 

Workplace stress – are things ever going to get any better?!!

Article by Jackie Richards 01.08.16

Not that old chestnut again, I hear you cry! But this problem is not going away, in fact it seems to be getting worse! 

According to research from Russam GMS, 80% of senior executives say the workplace is a more stressful place than five years ago, with three quarters blaming mobile technology for creating a more stressful environment.  

60% of those respondents stated that their employers expect them to answer emails outside of work hours and a fifth of respondents said that “switching off from work at home” is their biggest challenge in terms of looking after their health.

Other contributors of stress included more demanding financial targets, the pressure to be on call 24/7 and email which ‘makes things relentless.’

 At the same time, more than 80% of senior executives said their company has no procedures in place for recognising stress in the workplace.

 Fewer than 15% of organisations reported they openly discuss stress in the workplace and/or offer stress counselling or mentoring programmes.

Failing to look after the health and wellbeing of employees has been shown to contribute to stress. The Health and Safety Executive report that 11.3 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2013/14, an average of 23 days per case and the Centre for Economics and Business Research has suggested the cost of work related stress to the economy is £6.5 bn!

70% of the respondents said that a company would be a more attractive employer if they offered more health benefits, and almost a quarter said they would prefer more health and well-being benefits to a pay rise.

However, many of Britain’s workplaces are failing to offer even basic health benefits with a quarter of companies offering no benefits at all. Almost two thirds (65%) don’t encourage employees to take regular breaks from their desks.

According to the research, the top health benefits people would like are measures to encourage cycling, running or walking to work, mindfulness sessions, fitness classes at work, meditation and yoga sessions, plus more health advice available on the intranet. Of those that do, the top four benefits are private health insurance, cycle to work schemes, encouraging lunch breaks and subsidised gym membership.

Ian Joseph adds: “Putting benefits in place to help employees be healthier and less stressed is crucial. These don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Initiatives such as having fruit in meetings, encouraging people to take regular breaks from their desk and allowing them time to visit the gym can contribute to people’s good health and support their well-being.

“If organisations are going to be fit for the future, leaders need to recognise the issue of stress and do something about it. Setting expectations about the use of mobiles and unplugging from emails during holidays is something senior executives should be doing as matter of course and leading by example.”

People Management published an article in July this year entitled ‘Mental Health: it’s crunch time’, in which Tony Irwin, MD of Priority Wellbeing Centre claimed that “A French worker works four days a week to produce the same amount as a British worker produces in five, despite – or because of – France’s much shorter working hours”.  

I have always viewed a culture of long working hours as being counter-productive. Business owners should be improving efficiencies and utilising their staff in different ways (for example, job share, flexible working, homeworking) to help maintain their health and wellbeing and hence increase productivity within their organisations. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. 
Jackie Richards MCIPD

Owner/HR Consultant

JR-HR Solutions

T: 07807 166456

E: jackie@jr-hrsolutions.com

W: http://www.jr-hrsolutions.com

 

How to tackle your bullying boss!

Article by Jackie Richards 06.07.16

Did you know………that 75% of employees indicate that an immediate supervisor’s management approach causes the most stress in their jobs (“Good Boss, Bad Boss” by Bob Sutton, Business Plus)

 There is a lot of press these days on bullying in schools and the odd tribunal case concerning bullying and harassment, but I’m sure from my experience, there is a lot more bullying going on in the workplace than we are made aware of.

I am writing about this not with my HR head on (although it will have an influence, having been in the field for over 20 years!), but from a personal perspective. I have met 4 people during my career in senior HR positions who I would class as bullies and I am going to share with you the most painful experience I had with a direct boss, who was a HR Director.

At first we got on very well, she encouraged me to develop my skills and praised me on my achievements. She admitted she was not a good trainer and did not know what coaching was(?!), but I had sufficient experience and knowledge to perform without this and she gave me support when it was needed.

However, as time went on and I was gaining more confidence and credibility with the staff, things started to change. She began to patronise and undermine me when given the chance, taking credit for the work that the HR Assistant and I had produced with very little input from her. She became lazy, treating us like her PAs and the HR Assistant in particular found her aggressive nature very unsettling at times.

So I decided to challenge her about it and her response at first was ‘Oh, I didn’t realise I was doing that and didn’t realise how I’d made you both feel’. But then a few weeks later when she’d had time to further digest what we’d discussed, she read out to me a two page, patronising document, using the metaphor of me as the sous chef to her master chef, basically explaining that I should not be so sensitive and when she is stressed, she is entitled to behave in the way she does, as she is the boss!

 After that our relationship began to deteriorate further, with us only speaking to each other when we needed to, which made me feel awful for our HR Assistant, as the atmosphere in such a small office was far from pleasant at times! So, I tried a different tack, to build bridges and occasionally pamper her ego when I needed something from her (when I could manage to swallow enough of my pride to do this!). This worked for a while until the next chance she had to undermine me and then we were back to square one! I then dug my heels in and thought ‘I’m not going to let her win, I am not leaving’. I began keeping a note of our ‘exchanges’ and I kept a copy of the essay she had written to me before, with a view to reporting her to our harassment advisor. However, after going through all the possible consequences of this action, I realised that the anit-harassment advisor group was something that she had set up and co-ordinated, so I didn’t think I would get very far with that one?!! 

So, I had 2 or 3 more miserable months of surviving in this frosty atmosphere, using the psychology that this wasn’t about me, it was about my boss and her lack of ability and self-esteem. But then the work started to deplete through reduced headcount and my up-skilling of managers – I had worked myself out of a job! So at this stage I decided I should start looking for another job. Then, I received a complete bombshell – I was made redundant to reduce costs! This was a small company and so the part-time Director wasn’t earning much more than me, but I was told there was still a need for a Board level Director there, which shocked everyone, considering the organisation only had a headcount of 100?! Then during the redundancy process, I was treated even more appallingly, being made to do any menial tasks that my boss desired to keep me there during all of my notice, just in case some big issue arose, so that she didn’t have to deal with it! So I walked (I had less than 2 years’ service so wasn’t owed any redundancy pay) and sent her a lengthy e-mail explaining why I was doing something so out of character, copying in the Chair of the Board and CEO.

So, the moral of this story is, you can try to tackle your bullying boss, but if as in my case, you don’t succeed, then think of your health and sanity – they are far more important than working for someone who does not appreciate you and could potentially damage your career – life is too short!

 However, on a positive note, this Director gave me more confidence in my abilities and strengthened my resolve to become a self-employed HR Consultant, so that I don’t have to be managed by someone like her ever again!

 

Thank you for reading my blog
 Jackie Richards MCIPD

Owner/HR Consultant

JR-HR Solutions

T: 07807 166456

E: jackie@jr-hrsolutions.com

W: http://www.jr-hrsolutions.com

 

 

 

 

Are you attending the right networking events?

Article by Sandra Garlick 20.06.16

When you start out in business it is often tempting to attend every networking event you can find. It is often referred to as “He/she would attend the opening of an envelope!” We have all done it in an attempt to make as many contacts as possible in order to fill those long days ahead with new clients and ultimately work.

However, this can have a few negative implications:

• Your marketing budget dwindles fast.

Not all networking events are free and if you have to pay a membership as well as an attendance fee, these soon mount up. It is important to have a budget for networking and to stick to it.

• It may give the impression you have no work. 

If you are out every day networking, when are you actually doing all your work? So many times people introduce themselves and say what they do, followed by a statement that they are so busy…networking. Great if it’s your business but if not it tells another story.

• You increase your waistline! 

 If you attend breakfast, lunch and dinners regularly, you may soon start to see an increase in weight. There are only so many cooked breakfasts you can eat in a week. So ask for a healthy alternative if you find your diary full of events with meals included.

So how do you find and choose the right events to attend?

1. Ask others for recommendations about good events to attend. They may even invite you along as a guest. It is often better to attend an event where you know someone or know something about the event in advance. It can also save you time and money.

2. Take a look at Eventbrite for events that are happening in your local area. It is wise to start locally to build up your network. This keeps travelling time and costs to a minimum.

3. Ensure that you leave time in the week for actually doing your work. If you are out networking all day every day, when are you going to earn the money to pay for it? Plan your week so that you have sufficient time to deliver your work and work on your business.

4. Are breakfast, lunch or evening events best? This largely depends on your capacity and whether you have other commitments. You may not be a morning person. You may have childcare or caring responsibilities. If you are a morning person and breakfasts work for you, that leaves the rest of the day clear.

5. Where will your clients be? Many people often overlook this and just attend events that they like, which is great. However, if you are never going to reach your clients then why are you going?

6. Look for events that allow you to visit a couple of times before you pay a membership. You need to ensure that the event is right for you and your business. If your target client is not going to be there, are there people attending who could introduce you to your ideal client?

7. Try and find free events. There are many of them around and advertised on groups and pages via Social Media.

8. If you have already visited an event and didn’t enjoy it, make a note not to visit again. In fact, make a brief note after you visit every event so that you have data to refer to. It is surprising how easy it is to forget if you are doing a lot of networking.

9. Choose events that resonate with you. You are far more likely to feel comfortable and confident when you attend. There is no point attending an event where you feel uncomfortable as this will show over time. Are you paying a monthly fee for an event which you rarely attend?

10. Think about attending events where you can meet a lot of people in one go. For example, attending a Business Expo will give you the opportunity to browse, connect and network throughout the day. These events are usually free to attend.

11. Include social events in your calendar. It is surprising how many contacts you meet at parties, weddings and on the golf course.

Once you have identified which events work for you it is a good idea to stick at them for a while. Whilst you may attend a networking event and pick up a new client straight away, it is rare. It is more important to build up relationships and trust over time. Once you secure a client, make sure you record where you met them. You will then build up a data trail of which events are working for you.

Happy networking!

 

Sandra Garlick is a Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Public Speaker and Trainer. Sandra is also the Founder of the Woman Who…Awards. Sandra will be exhibiting at the Kenilworth Chamber Business Expo on Friday 24th June at the Holiday Inn Kenilworth from 9am-3.00pm. Entry is free.

http://www.sandragarlick.com

@SandraGarlick

 

The 7.1 Key Steps to Building Your Authority OnlineStep 3 – Identify Your Ideal Market

Article by Sam Thiara 11.05.16

How many times have you thought … “I know I could have helped them” only to find that someone else is working with ‘your perfect client’.

Lost opportunity?

It goes without saying that opportunity is all around us and whether your future clients are nearby or on the other side of the world we often dream about the bountiful paradise of clients lining up to do business with us.

The sad fact is it’s not true for everyone.

One of the most underutilised activities in the customer acquisition process is research but you have to quit thinking only about the ‘sexy’ part of bringing on a new client. The often unseen aspects for sustainable success are research, research and more research!

Spending your time evaluating prospects using tools such as a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is a great place to start.  
This is where you begin to build a customer DNA, the path to sustainable growth in your career or business.


At this stage, and if you have followed my previous blogs; you will have crafted your vision, mission and unique value that lie at the heart of your business and where your passion is centered.

You intimately know your unique value, that gift you possess that can change people’s lives, build greater success for you, your business and bring rewards of greater prosperity, be it spiritual, personal or financial.

So many tools exist to help the process in identifying your perfect client or ‘avatar’ as we often call in the world of digital marketing. The honest truth is most professionals still do not use the tools effectively.

Spending time undertaking desktop research into who, where and why someone would want to work with you, and only you, is a skill in itself and the one activity that will deliver the sort of business results that only a few can imagine.

We are in a time that has never before bought us an incredible opportunity to use free to low cost customer research and acquisition tools and all too often remain overlooked.

Master the art of using social media, chamber data, forums, online communities, market reports etc. to review profiles of those who you believe could benefit from your products and services. When in a face to face environment get to know people, learn about their business and avoid thinking about the sale.

After all we are in a world where social selling is the new way of doing business and out goes the antiquated methods of the hard sell.

Make it personal; find out about their goals, aspirations, what has and has not worked for them, what they read or watch, their preferred hobbies, what success means for them and equally what failure means to them. The deeper you go the more you can help.

This is an excellent time to decide whether you are in fact the right person with the right product or service to help a prospective client. If not then ask yourself a hard question – “if I work with this person will my product or service deliver results for them “. If not then move on otherwise you could be entering ‘lose-lose’ territory and that’s never good for your long term success.

Look out for my next blog


Sam Thiara,

International Sales Manager, Internet Marketer & Trainer

Is Confidence Overrated?

Article by Marie Haycocks 20.04.16

 
I was 21 years old, a few months into my first ‘proper’ job after graduating from University, and this was what my boss said to me at the end of my three-month probation period….

“The thing that is holding you back Marie is your confidence, and the only person who can give you that is yourself”.

I remember thinking ‘Oh no, is it that obvious?’. But I didn’t really know how best to respond or even know what to do about that feedback. I certainly didn’t know how to give myself confidence or recognise the impact that not having confidence would have on my life.

From then I just ‘got on with it’, burying how I felt inside. Other than the occasional periods of blushing I thought I hid it pretty well.

A bit of history

For as long as I remember I lacked self-confidence. Growing up, I moved schools a few times (6 times in 18 years!) following my dad’s promotions at work. Whenever we moved house in an attempt to settle in quickly and be liked, I learned to demonstrate confidence externally – making eye contact, approaching and talking to other students.

Despite my external confidence, it didn’t stop me having ‘imposter’ syndrome i.e. always comparing myself to others and doubting myself. This got worse as I progressed through University and my career. On the inside I was very self-conscious, lacking confidence in myself and my own capabilities.

It wasn’t until I was 39 years old that things changed. I was made redundant after 18 years in the same company, and assigned a coach to help my transition back into the workplace. It was with the help of my careers coach that I finally found my inner confidence! The process didn’t happen overnight and she didn’t explicitly say to me that what she was doing, however, it did transform my confidence levels and me… for the better, and I am eternally grateful for that.

So, why does confidence matter?

Research has proven that people with high self-confidence and self-esteem are happier and more successful. Certainly in my case, I know that it was lack of confidence that contributed to me:

  • Making the wrong decisions about relationships
  • Staying in a career that I was unhappy with …for 18years!!
  • Not realising that I was capable of achieving more.

I also hid it from others, thinking that I was the only person who felt like that. This is what stopped me from seeking support. It felt quite lonely at times.

It wasn’t until many years later that I fully understood, accepted and valued myself – my strengths, preferences and values – and that I felt truly confident in myself.

So, with my real life experience and further research on the topic of confidence, I would like to share my top tips on how to increase your confidence to enable you to have the success and happiness that you deserve.

How to find your inner confidence

I agree that there is an element of ‘fake it until you make it’ when it comes to confidence, but based on my experience the danger to this approach is that it can lead to you to feeling quite empty inside. Therefore, my top tips for finding your inner confidence are:

1.Learn to understand and love yourself – 

Acknowledge and appreciate your key achievements in your life. Notice what qualities and skills you demonstrated at that time. We often put things down to fate, but these successes don’t happen by accident! You had a role to play that led to a successful outcome. Take time out to reflect on, and accept, all of your achievements and unique qualities.

2. Find and trust your inner compass –

Our values are the things that are important to us. I believe that your values act like your inner compass when making decisions. Ask yourself the following questions, using examples from both your career and personal life;

When have I been happiest? What were you doing? Were you with other people? Who? What other factors contributed to your happiness?
When have I felt most proud?
When have I felt most fulfilled and satisfied?

Then determine your top values, based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfilment.

3. Take control –

It is easy to be a victim and think that we are being ‘done to’, however there are many things we are in control of. We can control how we think (what we say to ourselves) and how we behave/act. Write a list of the things that you can take control of and action them NOW! This sense of empowerment and progress will then help boost your confidence.

4. Step out of your comfort zone –

If we stay in our comfort zone we might feel safe, comfortable, calm however this can become the zone of stagnation and negatively impact our confidence. By doing things out of your comfort zone, you will build your list of achievements and this will increase your confidence. Seek support if required.

5. Ask for feedback –

Ask people close to you for feedback about your qualities and strengths. Hear what they are saying. Accept these compliments with gratitude. This will help you on your journey of recognising and appreciating your own strengths and qualities and boost your levels of self-belief.

6. Manage your mindset –

Neuroscience has proven that our thoughts drive our feelings which in turn drive our behaviour. Therefore, if we repeatedly say negative things to ourselves, and effectively beat ourselves up, this will knock our confidence. Start recognising what your inner dialogue is saying. Write it down. Consider ‘how is it helping me’? Then decide to change your inner voice. Talk to yourself like you would a friend. Be kind. Be gentle.

7. Focus on the right things –

You might have heard of the expression ‘You get more of what you focus on’. Instead of dwelling on the bad, fill your mind and time up by setting yourself some positive, exciting goals. By focussing on your goals and dreams, and taking action, it will release positive endorphins helping you feel more positive about yourself. Click here http://www.certanovo.com/articles/make-2016-your-best-year-yet/ for my latest article on goal setting.

8. Embrace your body image –

It sounds cliche but it’s true that if we look good we feel good. It easy to focus on the things we don’t like about our body. Instead, take action to improve your body with exercise and nutrition or embrace what you have. Learning how to dress to suit your body shape will help you look your best and feel more confident about yourself. 

9. Utilise your strengths –

Once you understand your qualities establish which ones that make you feel strong and good about yourself i.e. you strengths (Tip #1), then find or create a job where you can use them as much as possible! For example, I am reasonably good at maths (I got a ‘B’ grade at A level) and quite analytical, however when I put these into play they don’t make me feel strong, instead, they make me feel weak. But when I am utilising my people skills I feel strong and confident.

10. Power pose!! – 

This is my favourite tip. Research in America has proven that if we practice more open body language this has the effect of increasing the level of testosterone and reducing the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in our bodies. Additionally, research has proven that more confident people also have higher testosterone and lower cortisol. So start power posing NOW and notice the effect on your confidence! To see Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on this click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc

  
Why I do what I do

Self-confidence does have a big impact on our success and happiness, and I don’t want anyone, especially teenage girls, to spend their life beating themselves up, comparing themselves to others and feeling like they are not good enough, like I did.

I would like every female to reach their full potential and be confident within themselves. This is why I retrained to be a coach, to give my clients the support, empowerment and accountability to find and keep their inner confidence.

If you would like to know more about my Confidence & Clarity coaching programmes for individuals, professionals or young people and have a free initial discovery session then please contact me on 07554883026 or mariehaycocks@certanovo.com. I would love to help you.

Building Your Authority Online

 Article by Sam Thiara 18.04.16

Step 2 – Clarify Your Unique Value

Take a moment to reflect on yourself…..what do you want to be recognised for and more importantly why, when it comes to your business? You may have spent years achieving mastery in your subject matter BUT do you really reach more of the people in your niche, industry or community knowing ‘deep down’ you could help them but can’t get to them?

 A developing trait amongst those who have reached the pinnacle of success is often based on a core philosophy of selfless service or ‘Seva’. This comes from religious teachings and is a service which is performed without any expectation of result or award for performing it. Such services can be performed to benefit other human beings or society and in business we see this going beyond the norms of customer service. 

Often the principle of ‘Seva’ is lost on those who fail at creating true value in their marketplace. They then spend time wondering why and how others, probably no more talented or skilled than them, are at the top of their game.  

How and where do you start?

You should look to change the focus of how you engage your marketplace and begin to create and nurture an environment where your prospective clients become immersed in learning how to overcome whatever ails them. This could naturally bring your solutions to the table; a significant difference between your USP and your UVP.

Ever heard the term – ‘What is your USP’?

Your Unique Selling Proposition is a mainstay of ‘sales talk’ and no doubt a term you have come across time and time again. This was effective back in the day when the focus was to SELL, SELL and SELL. If you are still a believer in this approach I hate to blow your bubble but it doesn’t work anymore and it won’t if all you seek to do is to SELL. This is apparent in all walks of life and unless you change your focus and start to build your UVP; “Your Unique Value Proposition” the success you so hope for may just elude you.

If you are looking for a new job, career or a client you’re ‘UVP’ should be central to your core values and beliefs.

What are your core beliefs? What virtues do you aspire to, and hold in high regard when you see them demonstrated by others? What will you not stand for? These are extremely important questions that are only asked by about three percent of the population, and that small minority tends to be the movers and shakers in every society.

So when it comes to you wanting to enhance your life, what values and core beliefs do you stand by that helps others enhance their lives. Helping clients become successful is not always uppermost in most people’s minds and you can see examples of this every day when you watch programmes like BBC’s Watchdog and hear stories where ordinary hard working people have been scammed out of their life savings or experienced a terrible service that significantly affects their lives.

As you look to share, amongst your business community, the expertise you possess and the drive, passion and sheer desire to help your clients become successful, your eBook or ‘Lead Magnet’ as it often referred to) will help you attract your perfect client(s) as you build and create authority in your subject matter.

The power and reach of marketing a low cost, high impact and authoritative ‘educational information product’ is a recognised marketing best practise and will help you on the road to achieving the vision you have crafted for yourself.

So when Stephen R. Covey, author of THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE wrote about his holistic, integrated, principle-centred approach for solving personal and professional problems and presented penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes to support his philosophy he impacted millions. Covey revealed a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity – principles that give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

 
Did he know this would be so successful? He ‘believed’ and his ‘Seva’ was to teach others what he felt would be life changing. Covey coined the idea of abundance mentality or abundance mindset, a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and successes to share with others.

Having an eBook that reached millions made him a household name so even if you want to become a household name in your niche, industry or local community would an eBook help you empower your business and inspire your clients? This may be just the start of a new journey to a more abundant life and business, one that can bring you more time, money and freedom. 

What can you do to inspire those around you?

  
Look out for my next blog.  

Sam Thiara,

International Sales Manager, Internet Marketer & Trainer