Human Design: The difficulty in the beginning. Feeling the pressure from a hanging gate 3.

???? The difficulty at the beginning’ ????

Today I was supposed to be putting together the details of my new offer… I even have people waiting to receive it… who have asked for it. Yet I have procrastinated.

It is all sketched out I know what I want to do… I know what I want to cover and the results it will get… yet I still feel confused.

And the pressure of that confusion has led to procrastination.

Voicenoting my friends is my go to avoidance tactic… so there I was merrily telling everyone I have been avoiding what I am supposed to be doing today and I made a comment along the lines of… I just find it so confusing starting new things…

And a voice at the back of my mind said… hang on a minute… that is one of the gates in the Human Design chart… (My HD chart happened to be right there in front of me at the time)

And there it was a big fat hanging gate 3… The gate of difficulty in the beginning.

I have talked before about most of the people that work with me feeling the pressure from their hanging 9 or 52 gate… so why had I ignored my hanging 3 gate for so long…

Because it is on my unconscious side… the side I don’t recognise in myself.

Yet today it had got my attention (there is another whole story there about transit gates, but this post is long enough as it is!)

Off I set to research my gate 3 and bring it into my awareness. If I know where I might be struggling I can work to overcome it.

And that is what I am doing… with a hanging gate 3 in a defined centre when starting new things I feel the pressure of confusion over what is coming next… Where is this going… why don’t I have all the answers? (Add in my undefined Head and Ajna and we are doubling up on the questions!)

Even though I have my full channel of 9-52… knowing what to do and having the ability to concentrate to do it… the 3 brings along it’s own energy to the mix.

If it’s a new thing and I’m feeling confused about what’s coming next… even though I know what I want to do and supposedly have the discipline to action it… the confusion wins! And nothing happens.

The solution: To let go of the need to control the outcome. To embrace the chaos of the unknown and be playful with what comes next… by allowing the change without trying to control it… you can release the pressure of confusion and can move forward.

Well that’s the theory anyway… how easy it is to put into practise we will see. But awareness is always the first step.

Whether you believe in all things woo… or how Human Design is derived or not… today I was stuck and my HD chart gave me a solution to move through it. And I’ll take that over staying stuck.

Now to get back to what I actually need to start….

————————————

????If you have the hanging gate 3 in a defined sacral you are likely to consistently feel this pressure. (If on your conscious sign you are likely to be aware of it, on your unconscious side maybe not)

????If you have a hanging gate 3 in an undefined sacral then you may feel this same pressure… but not consistently… it will come and go.

????If you have the full channel 3-60 then you are likely to be able consistently go from order to chaos as a repeating pattern… and may experience bursts of rapid change.

If you don’t have any of this in your chart… but it still resonates then take whatever helps you to move forward. The HD chart is a complicated system and there may well be other areas of your chart that combine to give a similar feeling.

Never use your chart as a binary … I have / don’t have… this so it must/must not be true.

Use it to experiment with what is helpful and what is useful to guide you on your journey.

How reliable is your information

Many many years ago I did GCSE and A Level History… I have no idea why I chose them and I’ve never really accredited them with helping me on my journey. 

But actually they taught me some very important lessons.

  • Primary source
  • Secondary source
  • Bias 
  • Propaganda.

History is littered with conflicts and misunderstandings. On a universal scale and in our day to day lives.

Each piece of information we consume is just part of the bigger picture, the ‘whole story’.

Key details may have been dropped, abbreviated, approximated… simplified… changing the meaning.

What we consume will also pass through our own filter of bias and pre-formed ideas.

Even if the information going in is from a first hand witness, by the time they share with us it will have gone through their own filter. By the time this propagates through a secondary source…third, fourth hand story… think Chinese whispers with added spin. 

It is down to each and every single one of us: 

  • To limit our assumptions based on what we consume. (Think we know) 
  • To understand where our info comes from. 
  • To understand our own bias (and that of others) 
  • To fully consider the impact of not actively seeking the full picture. 
  • To limit adding to the spread of mis-information and confusion.
  • To take responsibility where we may have inadvertently contributed to a misunderstanding 
  • To go back to source and have the difficult conversations if needed, rather than rely on secondary information. (Clear the air) 

This applies to so many different aspects of life… if we want to make the online space better, this is how we start. Both in terms of gossip, rumours, judgements and plain old incorrect facts.

What changes can you make to help be part of the solution?

Katy x 

How to interpret your Human Design chart

When it comes to Human Design there tend to be 2 types of people.

Those that want to jump down the rabbit hole and learn how to interpret their chart themselves, learning ALL the things and understanding how it all works.

And those who just want someone to tell them what it all means.

The Video on this page is for the former… and if you don’t know which type you are yet after watching you will!

If you don’t have your chart yet, you can download it here.

Human Design isn’t necessarily complicated, but it is involved. There is a lot to learn and many moving parts which can seem overwhelming.

The aim of this video is to help explain the anatomy of the chart, explain some of the terms and where to start if you want to research your chart yourself.

If you start to watch and think woa…. then you would probably prefer booking in a session to have the main points explained to you.

If you liked this video and want to know more, then head over to my free group Your Introduction To Human Design over on Facebook. In it I take you through the basics to get you started on your Human Design Journey.

And if you would like to know more about my Human Design journey including my recommended resources you can read some of my other blogs here.

So on to the video…


Woo vs Science

If you think about it, the way you are reading this post is pretty much beyond comprehension and makes no sense.

There is a piece of plastic on my desk, I hit some keys on it with letters on, it is not attached to anything at all, and the words appear on a screen in front of me. Then I hit enter, and they appear on a device, again not attached to anything, that you are holding in your hand. That you can also pick up and speak to people on anywhere in the world. You can see moving images, and hear people talk. Like how does that even happen…? (And the desk, well did you know there is more empty space in that desk than solid matter?)

Science says so, so you don’t question it. But the reality is science doesn’t understand it either, we’ve just learnt how to use it to our advantage.

There is a quote by Richard Feynman that says “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.” And having studied it as part of my degree, I can confirm that to be true! No-one really understands it, it doesn’t make logical sense.

So if science doesn’t even really understand it, why are we so comfortable with it? Because you can see it, feel it, touch it… so you believe it to be true. You don’t need to understand it, you can see the tangible result. So that is good enough. Stick some popcorn in the microwave… boom, magic happens!

Where am I going with this… stay with me.

Over the last 3 years, mainly thanks to going online over covid, my world has expanded to include some lovely people who, I am going to describe as woo. They themselves would say they are all the way woo. Old me would have actively avoided them, not for me thank you. But situations and events conspired for us to cross paths, and a chance for me to learn and see what it is all about.

When we don’t understand something we can often label it ‘weird’ and I fell into that category. I did a Physics Degree, I look at life through a very logical lens, through science. So me? Most definitely not woo.

However, by spending time with people who have a different perspective to me I have come to realise, that actually I kind of am, at least a little bit. I just didn’t know it.

Once I started to understand what being woo meant, what all the terms mean, it’s not really that weird. Most of it is just a different language, a different way of explaining things, different terminology. And a faith in not needing to be able to explain everything logically and tangibly.

The very thing that I thought made me anti woo – my science back ground – is now making me think some of it is no weirder than you reading this post on your phone.

Take crystals for example… healing, energy work through crystals, or reiki.

Most of you will have heard of a quartz watch. Do you know how that works? Quartz is piezoelectric, meaning it can transform energy from one form to another. The watch uses the properties of the crystal to create an electric pulse that keeps time.

We know that the human body generates its own electromagnetic field, virtually every single process which is keeping you alive can be traced back to an electric field that some component of your body is creating. The heart generates the biggest. Bigger than the brain.

If you start thinking about energy, all the different types, Kinetic, potential, chemical…, the laws of thermodynamics – it will probably make your head explode – but everything is energy of some kind or another, and cannot be either created, nor destroyed, merely changed into a different state.

If a crystal can make a watch work, through use of energy and magnetism, is it such a stretch to think that it can interact with the energy and magnetism of the human body? Or that one person’s electromagnetic field and energy can influence another’s?

Why is that any more weird than a caterpillar going into a chrysalis, turning into a pile of goo, literally digesting itself to return to base molecules, rearranging all those molecules and emerging as a butterfly.

Or the moon having an effect on your body any weirder than the fact it makes the tides go in and out every day…

I am not declaring I’m now all the way woo by any means… or that I understand it anymore than I understand all of the science behind technology. (it’s been 23 years since I did science). But what I am starting to realise, is just because I can’t tangibly see it, doesn’t automatically mean it isn’t true.

There will always be con artists and charlatans in all industries, but for some reason it seems to be that in the spiritual world everyone is tared with the same brush, it all must be a con! (Which I find ironic in a world where religion is so widely accepted, religion is the very definition of believing in something you can’t explain)

But why is that…why does a whole industry get labelled a con, by so many?

The internet likes to divide us, to take sides, and stick our stake in the ground and declare our position. I’ve seen so many posts actively slating anything ‘woo’ by people who then go on to talk about using their intuition, believing in the universe, everything happens for a reason etc, (All woo terms).

So my invitation to you is to consider… is it possible woo isn’t so weird after all? It’s just science hasn’t caught up yet. 200 years ago the science we have now would not have been believed, and would be thought of as ‘magic’.

I am still deciding, but I am not going to declare it ISN’T true, and start slating an entire industry, because I have no idea if it is true or not. (No more idea than if Schrodinger’s cat is indeed alive or dead). Instead, I will continue to be curious, and open minded, but with a small side of scepticism, just in case.

If you want a successful business, at some point you will have to get to grips with your time management

My journey with time management, timesheets and time blocking started way back in 1999 when I was on my University placement.

I worked for the Transport Research Laboratory on my year out digging up roads! (If you haven’t heard that story yet, then ask me about it!)

Even though I was there as a Pavement Engineer, yes there is such a thing, they pretty quickly realised I was highly organised and had a good grasp of tech. The company had a new boss and he was implementing a new timesheet system.

They selected me to go and learn the new system and teach everyone else in my department, and then gave me the job of Timesheet Liaison Officer. Exciting Stuff!

From there, I went on to work at a marketing agency in the West End where I then designed and built an entire online system with the company’s developers for all their internal systems. You guessed it, it included a timesheet system.

When I left in 2013 to become self-employed, I thought I had finally escaped timesheets! However, it soon became clear that I still needed a way to make sure I stayed on track and got everything done. Enter time blocking. When you are making wedding cakes, you can’t just shuffle everything along to another day!

My point being it doesn’t really matter where you are, or who you work for, somewhere along the line there will need to be some way of organising when you get stuff done. And that is all time management is.

If you need somewhere to start, then you can find my time blocking training up in the guides section of my Facebook group. Now you may not need to be as regimented as this, but it is a great place to start! The Missing Piece: Actionable small business advice

How can I make more sales?

Right now a slow down in sales is not something anyone wants to see, but for some it is a reality. Below are some ideas to help you focus and make some tweaks to keep bringing in those sales.

Review your products and services… what ones would be most helpful to your current audience right now? Focus down on the things they need at the moment.   

Adapt your sales copy to be relevant for their situation now. Things might be changing for them – acknowledge that in your copy and your posts.

Follow up on past leads. If someone was thinking about working with you before, could it be the case that they need it even more now? Or there is a slightly different version that would be more suitable?

Engage with the audience you already have. Don’t just put content out there, comment reply, talk to the followers you already have.

Do a mini review of your SM links and website etc, are they all working, is it easy for your client to buy from you? If they were on the fence and hit a road block you’ll loose them.

Social media reach is unpredictable at the best of times, and seems to be even more so at the moment. Review your website and your google presence, is there more you could be doing to be found online by search engines.

Go old school – how are your relationships with other people in your industry and network? Even old clients. Is it time to pick up the phone and check back in to help remind everyone who you are? Referrals and word of mouth recommendations are going to be even more important at the moment.

The main thing is whatever you do don’t panic. Double down on what has worked before, or make some tweaks. Normally the last thing we need to do is chuck everything out the window and start again. Knee jerk reactions made from panic and fear aren’t going to help anyone right now. Take a step back, review and amend. You got this!! 

If you need more support than have you joined my Free Facebook Group: The Missing Piece?

Katy x 

Today I failed…

Or did I?

I was supposed to be working ON my business today, and pretty much all week, with some trips out mixed in.

I am going away to Bath for the night on Wednesday and yesterday when I looked I couldn’t find the booking confirmation anywhere. I was starting to think I had failed to properly book the hotel. (Which is totally not like me)

I decided to ring them this morning, and spent half an hour on the phone to a lovely lady at The Bath Spa Hotel to discover, no I do not have a booking! Computer says no.

Once I was off the phone feeling sad I no longer had a trip to go on, unless I paid £300 now instead of the £150 I booked it at, I was looking at the website I had taken the number from and it said Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel…. Hmmm I thought it was The Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel…

I swear when I lived there, granted over 20 years ago, there was only one. THE Bath spa hotel.

Now there appear to be two!

In my defence everything in Bath looks the same, all buildings are built of the same bath stone it is what they are famous for. Couple that with the same Regency interior and mention of the spa, they do look pretty similar. And so do the websites!

Anyway, start again with the other hotel and yes I do have a booking! I still don’t have any of the original booking info, (yes I checked my spam) but it is now sorted.

So I wasted half the morning, ringing the wrong hotel, then the right one.

Then my friend phoned who I haven’t spoken to in ages and so obviously I told them the whole story and it’s now 14:30 and I haven’t done any work yet!

I am leaving here at 16:00 to go to the pub with my friends, my pre-planned reward for spending the entire day working on my business.

My first thought was, I have failed.

Well done Katy you haven’t managed to achieve anything!! You’ve wasted the entire day.

But have I?

Working on my business was an arbitrary goal I set myself, I am working on it all week off and on. And turns out on Friday my plans are cancelled so I have all day then to catch up.

So actually no I haven’t failed at all. It is only my own self imposed version of failure.

I also had the perfect example of how my conditioning from 20 years ago (assuming there is only one Bath Spa hotel) led me into making a mistake to share with my membership group, which tied in perfectly to this weeks message about how important it is to always question what you think, is it still helpful? Does it still serve you? So that was a win!

Someone else I told the story to said, ooo lets go to Bath in October, so I am getting another trip away. Another Win

And I have a topic for a newsletter and some social media posts! 

But my point is, next time you tell yourself you have failed at something, check in and see if that is really the case.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Maybe everything worked out just fine.

And most importantly – remember if you are visiting Bath, there are two Bath Spa Hotels!

Discover what parts of your business are holding you back.

One of the most valuable things I do with my clients is to run My Business MOT on their business. It helps you get unstuck and discover what parts of your business are holding you back. And what you might be missing.

It is super simple, you do a mini review of your business against the 9 sections below and ask yourself a series of questions for each one.

Business MOT by Piece of cake coaching

You start with reviewing where you are now, so go and get a piece of paper and give yourself a mark out of ten for each section.

How confident are you for each one? Make notes as you go through for anything that come up for you.

Goals – when was the last time you checked in with your goals?

  • Personal
  • Business
  • Financial
  • Learning

Review where you are. How far along are you in achieving them? Do they need updating? (Do you even have any?)

Selling – are you clear on what you sell?

Seems like a silly question, but is one of the biggest things that holds back my clients. If I asked you for a list of what I can buy from you right now, would you be able to tell me? One of the main reasons people struggle with what to post on social media is this. If you aren’t clear, how can you tell others what you do? Once you know and are clear exactly what you offer, your marketing becomes much easier.

And I don’t just mean generically, so take cakes for example. A wedding cake. What type of cake, what size, what style, what flavours, at what venues, in what areas, to who? And at what price point? Get down into the specifics of what it is you actually offer. Do your clients buy from you because they need what you sell, or because they desire it?

For services, what packages do you offer, how many are there, do your clients work through them in a certain way?

How do you sell? Is it through direct selling, having a conversation, a consultation perhaps? Or do you sell online and buyers click to purchase? Is it 121, group, bespoke, product based, handmade, imported in?

Knowing all of these factors will help you when it comes to marketing.

Knowing your numbers.

Step 1: Check in with your situation now, how much profit are you actually making? When did you last check in with your accountant? Are you on top of your finances? If not what do you need to do to catch up?

Step 2: Moving forward. Now you know what you are selling, at what price, and you have set your financial goals, do the numbers add up?

If you are selling a 121 service at £40ph, and have 10 hours a week but want to make 100k – you are going to have to rethink.

Can you hit your goals and lead the lifestyle you want with the types of products and services you offer? Or do you need to change something?

Systems and procedures

Not everyone’s favourite part but super important to make sure your business is running smoothly. Do you have the right legal structure in place, terms and conditions, invoices, GDPR etc? Can you automate some of the tasks that drain your productivity? Do you need to outsource? If you scale and grow your business do you have the right structure to cope?

Customer Service

We have sorted out what we are selling, what happens when we make that sale? How good is your customer service and your follow up? Do you let yourself down at the last hurdle?

Is there something you could automate? Do you have systems set up for when you are away?

What can you do to make sure your customers have a great experience of working with you?

Marketing!

This is a big one and writing your marketing plan is a whole other exercise entirely, but working through these steps will mean you are now in a position to do so. Remember to be intentional and know WHY you are doing what you are doing.

But for now, think about your current marketing. What is working, what can you do more of? What isn’t working, what do you need to change?

Remember to think about:

  • Ideal client (who wants what it is you do?)
  • Client journey (what happens when they enter your world?)
  • Decide your strategy (don’t just post and hope!)
  • Pick the right platforms (you don’t have to be everywhere)

Knowledge/Learning

By carrying out this MOT you have been looking at the different parts of your business. Identifying areas that we need to improve or make changes. Now it is time to update our learning goals to reflect this.

What will you have to go away and learn to be able to implement the things you have uncovered in your business?

We are all constantly learning and improving but making sure we do it strategically to fill in the gaps in our business will have the most impact. And we will be less likely to be distracted by learning for the sake of learning, or attracted to shiny objects we think are ‘the answer’.

You (Your Mindset)

You are your business. You are the most important part. Our mindset and how we take care of ourselves plays a massive part in how successful we will be in business. When planning your week don’t forget you!

  • Remember to eat
  • Remember to hydrate
  • Remember to create movement for your body
  • Remember to create some quiet for your mind

Also check in to see if you are holding yourself back. Are you subconsciously self sabotaging and not moving forward because of your own blocks? Be honest with yourself. Do you know what you need to do, but for some reason you still aren’t doing it? If the answer is yes, then don’t be afraid to ask someone to help. There are some brilliant mindset coaches out there that can help you move you forward.

Time Management

You can write the best strategy in the world, but if you don’t have time to implement it, you aren’t going to move forward.

How much time do you have in your business, time to work IN your business and time to work ON your business? How much time do you have outside of your business?

How well do you manage your time?

How did that feel?

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you have what seems like a long to do list don’t panic. The beauty of this exercise is you are uncovering what will make the most difference in your business and you can take the right actions. Having a clear picture means you aren’t going to be placing unrealistic expectations on your progress either. You can make adjustments, you can concentrate on what actually matters instead of getting distracted by shiny objects.

Next steps

We have reviewed where we are now. What’s working what isn’t, identified things we might need to change. Take a step back and re-read all of the answers, does looking at the whole picture highlight anything else for you?

If you want to look ahead to new goals, you can run the process again, this time thinking about what new things you would need to add in, and what might stop you from getting where you want to be.

Then you plan, plan in when you are going to do all of the things, you are now perfectly placed to write your strategy! Start working out WHEN you are going to implement all of what you have uncovered. And then you can get started and know you are going to be making the most of your time and actions.

If you love the sound of this but would like to do it together then take a look at my Business MOT session. It is 2.5hrs on Zoom and we work through this together. Or if you are now ready to write your strategy I can help you with that too!

How did I become a coach?

Well it started in 2013 when I left my job at a Marketing Agency in London’s West End to start a cake business, KatyBakey. A few years later that business evolved into Wedding Cake Design ByKB and in 2018 I started Piece of Cake Coaching.

One lead to the other.

The first because I wanted to be my own boss and cake making was something I was good at, so seemed the obvious choice, the second to help all of the other business owners I met while running my cake business.

I actually started my career as a receptionist at a small design/marketing agency in London’s Westend in 2000 after 4 years at Bath University studying Physics (Yes I did say physics) I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I did know I needed to do something so I could move out from my parents, and receptionist seemed like as good a job as any. I stayed there for 12 years, and worked in every area the business had, from office manager, to accounts, HR, project management to doing the marketing for the agency itself.

The time I spent there gave me a full rounded view of what it takes to run a business. Perfect for when I left to set up my cake business. I knew how to run a business not just the thing that ‘is’ the business.

And that is how I transitioned to coaching.

I met so many other entrepreneurs who were passionate about what they did but had no business background. So not surprisingly, found themselves struggling to wear all of the different hats it takes to be business owner. I started helping, answering questions, pointing people in the right direction to help them get unstuck, giving advice, showing them how to post online etc etc etc. I just started coaching… not intentionally it just happened.

My coach at the time became my first client and encouraged me to start charging for what I do rather than helping everyone for free. And Piece of Cake Coaching was born.

My journey to get to this point is why I can help others, I took all of my knowledge working for a company, (often running it when the directors were not there) all of the systems and procedures, most of which I wrote, and applied them to working for myself. Took the parts I needed and adapted them to the entrepreneurial space. Add in all of my marketing knowledge and helping others take a look at how to run their business becomes a no brainer.

Combine that with the fact I am an admin Ninja, super organised, a great listener, I remain calm and people feel safe around me, I am great at explaining things, and that my brain is naturally geared towards problem solving you have a winning combination, how could I not become a coach (Mentor, consultant whatever you want to call it)?

I still run my cake business, but I have scaled it back completely and now mainly take on Weddings at a set number of venues that works for me. Giving me the time and freedom to concentrate on the coaching side of things to help others do what they love, which is what I love! Why did you start your business, I would love to know?

Struggling to plan out your social media content? I may have the answer.

Constantly feeling the pressure to post on social media can sometimes feel like banging your head against a brick wall. Getting no where and feeling like a failure for not being able to plan in 12 months of content like everyone keeps talking about. 

Well there may be two reasons why you’re feeling like this. 

One because maybe you aren’t supposed to plan out all of your content.  If you work better organically and in the moment when you are inspired by something you have seen or heard you can’t plan that kind of content. Simple as that. 

And two because you aren’t clear on what is you are actually selling. So you don’t know what message it is you need to put out. 

Two leads into one, once you are clear on what you are selling you can plan in your sales and educational content, and then add in the rest organically. 

What Are You Avoiding?

We all avoid something every day, going out in the rain, our overly chatty neighbour that we just can’t escape from… being tempted by ALL the chocolate. ⁠?

Some avoidance is good – but in business more often than not the thing we are avoiding is actually doing us harm. ⁠

  • Avoiding doing our accounts – so we don’t have a clear picture of what is working and what isn’t ⁠
  • Avoiding being visible – so we don’t get the sales we want⁠
  • Not asking for the sale – I don’t need to spell that one out to you! ⁠

⁠There are many reasons why we don’t do these things, maybe we just don’t like them, they don’t make us happy, they are beyond our skillset, so we push it to the ‘tomorrow’ list and ignore the fact we know we are self sabotaging. ⁠

But if you want your business to succeed you need to look closely at your WHY, Why are you not doing it, so you can get help to fix it. Either by outsourcing it, getting some training on it, or if it is a mindset problem, getting some coaching and working on your own blocks. ⁠

You need to be honest with yourself so you can move forward and avoid the unavoidable disaster that is avoidance! ⁠(I know, I know that last sentence, but I couldn’t help it ?)

⁠What are you avoiding in your business and how can you correct it? ⁠

Photo: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Are you setting yourself up to fail?

Don’t underestimate how important the basics are.⁠

This is exactly what I did yesterday. It started the night before, I was on the phone chatting to my friend and we didn’t end the call until 11:30 at which point I should have gone to bed. But instead (because I am an adult and I can do what I like right?) I decided to watch Greys Anatomy. I knew it was a bad idea and I would be tired in the morning, but I did it anyway.⁠

Come the morning, surprise surprise I was tired. But not only that I realised I had run out of cereal and bread, so didn’t have any breakfast. I thought about what to have, but spent so long faffing about I ran out of time. I had a PT session at 10:00 and ended up deciding not to eat as I’d taken so long to figure it out I didn’t want it all jiggling around in my stomach during the session.⁠

So I headed into my PT session tired and having not eaten. You can guess how well that went. I also forgot to open the door and got too hot.⁠

I had a quick turn around to head to a Networking Event – which went well. BUT I didn’t have lunch until 13:30. So I was tired and hadn’t eaten anything all day until the afternoon. I also hadn’t drunk enough water.⁠

Needless to say I ended up with a headache, and trying to get through my work in the afternoon was like wading through treacle. I was slow and not productive in the slightest. Basically I wasted the rest of the day faffing about.⁠

So why am I telling you all of this… because it is important to make sure you don’t make the same mistake. We often underestimate how much of an impact taking care of ourselves has on our productivity and ability to function. If you don’t take care of the basics, like sleeping, eating and drinking… you end up tired, with no energy, a headache and struggling to get things done. And it is so easily done.⁠

Yes we are all adults, but sometimes we need to parent ourselves. How good are you at taking care of yourself?

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

Do you put obstacles in your own way?

Don’t over complicate things!

  • Do you put obstacles in your own way? If you do you aren’t the only one. We often do this out of fear to protect ourselves… keep us safe.

But often there isn’t really a threat and we need to pay attention to the real reason why we aren’t doing something. I recently decided I wanted to create a feature wall in my lounge (I was literally bored of looking at the same 4 walls) In my head painting the wall was going to take a lot of effort and I resisted for a few weeks as it was a big job, I didn’t have time, it would make a mess… blaa blaa blaa…

But actually it wasn’t hard at all, I moved the sofa out of the way and just started painting! It took a few hours, that was it. I was making excuses of how hard it would be, because what I was really concerned about was the colour I had chosen, what if I didn’t like it, what if it looked awful?

To overcome that fear, and so I couldn’t change my mind and give in to my natural aversion to change, I just started paining! Got the brush out, painted a patch, then I was committed. No going back. Is there something you really want to do, but are making an excuse for why you can’t do it…? Is there something you can do to force yourself to do it… overcome that fear that thinks it is keeping you safe?

Do you look at the bigger picture…. or get lost in the day to day?

Today’s lesson from my tidying spree is to make sure you look at the bigger picture as you will achieve the results you want far more effectively. The reason for me starting this epic decluttering spree was well, no internet, but mainly because I have run out of space!! My home is full and it is annoying me I can’t put anything away any more. Every time I open a cupboard or drawer it is like a game of Jenga trying to get at anything. I need more space!

A big part of the problem is my cake equipment, there is ALOT of it! Storage boxes in the lounge, in the hall, the hall cupboard and the wardrobe in my office/spare room. Four different places. Once a year I clear them all out and re-organise etc. and here is the BUT….

BUT I do each area separately at different times independently of each other. Today I am undertaking to sort all four of them at the same time… so far I have only done 2 of them, and already I have whittled down 14 boxed to 10! I have 4 empty boxes…. result the more space I was looking for. Some of the boxes were only half full – by looking at the bigger picture I have consolidated them and achieved the result I wanted. Once I start on the two cupboards as well I have no doubt I will get even more space back… as I will maximise the WHOLE space… not just the four different parts.

So my question to you… do you look at the bigger picture, see all of the moving parts… how they all work together to get the best result… or are you missing something obvious by getting too caught up in what you are used to?

How To Stay Motivated

Sometimes the reality is you just don’t feel like it…. so how do you make sure you stay motivated even on those down days?

The answer is: it depends on you. We are all different and so have different motivations. Motivation isn’t a thing that just exists, you have to generate it. The key thing to understand is what motivates you… what gets you excited in your business and will keep you going even when you are tired or feeling a bit Meh… Some people listen to music, or do some exercise to wake themselves up. Here are a couple of things that I do.

My key motivator is learning, I am always intrigued to learn something new. I get excited and want to know more… so if I am erring for the side of Netflix I start with something that I know is going to capture my attention. Something new. Something that intrigues me and makes me forget about the box set. That way once I get started I will carry on. Motivation is also partly momentum…. once we get started we keep going… the more we do the more we are motivated to do more. It is often the getting started that is the stumbling block.

For me another is planning. When you are tired or overwhelmed we suffer something that is called decision fatigue. Our brains are done with making decisions… we just don’t want to think anymore. It happens all the time… when you go to the supermarket after a long day and have no idea what to buy for dinner… you spend ages picking things up looking around putting them back.. then just opt for the pizza because it was easy. You don’t want to make a decision.

However, had you decided earlier in the day and made a shopping list, you would have been fine. All you would have had to do would be go to the shops…. and buy the things on the list. No decisions needed. The same works in business. If you plan out what you want to do in advance and time block your days even if you wake up one morning not feeling the best your day is already planned out for you.

You can start with what is on the list, no decisions needed. You don’t have to motivate yourself to decide what to do it was already planned out for you. And again this is where the momentum kicks in… once you start and complete the first task the progress pushes you forward… the drive to move forward is always there you just have to pay attention to your own behaviour and learn the best way to jump start yourself when needed.

Do you know what tasks you could turn to to get you started? Have a think about what you were doing the last time you lost track of time and were completely absorbed in what you were doing. If you can identify what type of tasks appeal to you make a list you can go to next time you are struggling to stay motivated.

However sometime as business owners we just need a rest. We all need a day off to recharge and come back stronger. And that is OK too.

Can I teach you how to use Instagram?

Yes I can. However I am probably not going to. Not yet.

My clients often come to me asking me to teach them how social media actually works. How do I post? How do I make a story? What is the grid? They know they need to do something so want to get started and worry about the technicalities of the app itself.

But that isn’t where you should start. Not unless you already have a strategy.

To quote one of my coaches, Lisa Johnson, marketing without a strategy is basically spraying and praying. Spraying some stuff around… and praying it works!

To use any social media platform effectively you have to know who your audience is. Who are you talking to? What is it they want to see from you?

Then you can work out what you want to post. Taking my cake business as an example, my Instagram is targeted at brides. Because that is where brides are. Facebook, not so much, Facebook is where I get my celebration cake orders from. It is a different audience. So I post different content on the different platforms.

My Instagram grid is like a shop window, it is the first thing someone is likely to see when they find my account. So it is full of pretty pictures of wedding cakes, ready to entice them in or in Insta speak follow my profile.

Now I have them as my audience, what do I do next? I speak to them everyday and remind them I am there through Insta stories. Everyday I can drip feed them the information they need to make them know, like and trust me. I plan out the content, I don’t just guess and randomly post. Everything I put on my feed serves a purpose so that they eventually trust me enough to buy from me.

But what happens then? They ordered the cake, they had the wedding, everything was perfect, what next? The second part of my strategy. In my stories I also post my celebration cakes. Not on my grid only my stories. My couples continue to order their cakes from me. For baby showers, 1st birthdays, Christenings, friends and family birthdays. By using my Instagram strategically I keep them as my clients.

Having a plan means you can capture and keep your clients, maximising your efforts. Only once you have this plan of who you are talking to, and what it is you need to say will I teach you HOW to post!

If you would like to work on your plan get in touch to arrange your free discovery call so we can get you Insta ready too.

What is a strategy?

A strategy is simply a plan of what you need to do to get where you want to be.

In business your strategy can be broken down into different parts, you might have a strategy for your marketing, for your finances, your business growth.

Normally we start with a yearly overview… top level targets and goals per month. Adding in any events or themes we need to remember as the year goes on. Something where we can quickly see the whole year at a glance and the key things we need to know/do. What we want to achieve and by when.

Then you break it down for the next three months. Working backwards with any goals… what needs to be done and when, to make sure they are done on time. We put in more detail of what needs to be done, not all of it, just enough so we can see how it is going to work. Is it feasible.. do we need to change it?

Then we break it down some more… into a plan for the month coming up… we add more detail. We focus on when things need to be done, and who is going to do them.

It continues, at the beginning of each week you check the plan to see what needs to be done and you plan out what you need to do each day… adding more and more of the details of the what, when, who and how. Until you are sitting at your desk with your daily to do list… that all started with a yearly top level overview.

When you break it down like this into smaller steps it isn’t so daunting. It helps you see the bigger picture first and then break it down into actionable steps as you go through the months, weeks and days.

Knowing what you are doing when, helps remove the overwhelm, when you get up each day you know what you have to do. It is all there for you, written out in the plan. So when are you going to get started and write your strategy?

If you like the idea but think you might need some help then get in touch to book your free consultation and we can see how best to get you started.

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