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ISSUE NO.05

Digital Business Women

BADA*SS BUSINESS WOMEN LEARN ABOUT THE CHALLENGES, THE UP AND DOWNS, THE ADVICES, THE WHY AND ALL GLORY OF BEINGÂ IN BUSINESS.


WELCOME

Thank you for joining us in this journey! This is the FOURTH Issue of Digital Business Women eMagazine and our main goal is to keep the debate active inspiring women around the globe.

CANDYCE COSTA founder

This edition is all about women who believe that beign strong and take responsabilities in supporting others is the right way to make changes.

They all know you only can make a difference and have a voice if you believe in yourself. Thank you for accepting my invitation to speak out loud about your life and business expertise. The main goal is support women in business with genuine advise and techniques. If you are looking for support and collaboration, you have found your place here - we believe in collaboration and serious business. If you want to join us, contact us! We hope you enjoy this one.

DIGITAL BUSINESS WOMEN LONDON BASED BUSINESS EVENTS FOR BUSINESS PEOPLE

Our Mission and Vision is to empower serious business women to achieve their dreams... Some of our goals are improving skills through business workshops and talks about digital and innovation in business, talks about personal experiences in business sharing hands on information and advise, cases studies to reveal the though process of creating a business, and all is to enable you to learn, implement and find

Our Mission To empower and nurture women in business and life to achieve their true potential and connecting them to create a collaborative and powerful community. Our Vision To create the most collaborative and encouraging platform to accelerate the change of the role of women in business and in the modern society.

the success that you deserve.  

CONTACT US

CONTACT ARTICLES

Candyce Costa @candycecosta

Emma Willams emma@digitalbusinesswomen.com

THANK YOU RACHEL STUVE RENATO MELO EMMA WILLIAMS ALICIA JOHN


INTERVIEWS AGA GAJOWNIK ALDEEN SIMMONDS-THORPE AYUMI MOORE AOKI DANIA HAMMAD EDITA ATTECK FANNY DUNAGAN DR. JEN FABER KIM TRATHEN LAURIE WANG LILA SMITH LOUISE H REID LOVELDA VINCENZI MARI WILLIAMS MARIE NARSOO RACHEL MUNNS SHELLY ELSLIGER TEJAL WAGADIA VIVIAN ACQUAH

ARTICLES YES, I’M AN ADULT! HOW MY APPARENT AGE AND LIFE STAGE HAVE AFFECTED MY CAREER OVERCOMING OVERWHELM: THE 2 MAJOR COMPLAINTS I HEAR AND 6 STRATEGIES TO TAKE IT HEAD ON! HEAD + HEART + HAND THE FORMULA FOR SUCCESSFUL EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT THE ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: CHANGING PERSPECTIVE THROUGH ADVERSITY WHY WOMEN NEED TO GET MORE SELFISH HOW TO BE SUPER PRODUCTIVE EVERYDAY WHY ZOMBIES KEPT ME AWAKE LAST NIGHT LINKEDIN IN HIGH HEELS: RISING UP AND LEADING ONLINE AS I SAID, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. HOW TO ATTRACT HIGHER PAID SPEAKING GIGS USING THE 3P MAGIC FORMULA WHY VIDEO CONTENT INCREASES YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE


Aga Gajownik, CEO of Innovation and Integration Ltd

AGA

GAJOWNIK Tell us about you and your business. I started supporting women entrepreneurs in 2010 when I launched my first consulting business. It has been an amazing journey across various countries, building communities and programmes focused on the practicalities of being an entrepreneur. I believe the potential for entrepreneurship is in everyone and you don't need a business to unleash it.

How do you find inspiration? It's the inspiration that finds me. Amazing ideas always come when needed. I often look at the world around me and listen to people's problems. When brainstorming, I pick a few interesting concepts and mush them together adding some of my knowledge and experience. Once I have something "brilliant" I take to it to the market as it always changes after tested :)

What did you learn from your biggest failure? Always secure your basic cash flow before coming up with crazy growth ideas.


AGA GAJOWNIK What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? We offer various development programmes including SCRUM Educational Experience hacks for young people, I&I startup consulting for active entrepreneurs, and BASICS workshops for those who look for balance.

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? I started my first business straight after uni and failed miserably on the financial side. I wish I knew how to build a good business model and structure my offering in a smart way to maintain the cash flow.

Have you ever turned down a client? I left a few projects and said “no” to several potential clients. There were various reasons for that, including my services not covering what they needed, lack of motivation or drive on their side or simply having a full agenda.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Learn how to fail quickly, improve or pivot and keep going.

What is unique about your business? Our approach is holistic and focused on the entrepreneur. We are passionate about bringing the worlds of technology, business, and coaching together to engage, educate, and support people to realise their strengths and achieve their goals.

What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? Our mission is to support ambitious people in their personal and professional development so they can do what they love and live a happy, balanced life.

To what do you attribute your success? Resilience. What's your favourite quote? You never try you never know. What's your productivity secret? I take many breaks, say “no” a lot, and put everything in my calendar.


LEARN HOW TO FAIL QUICKLY, IMPROVE OR PIVOT AND KEEP GOING. PIECE OF ADVICE TO SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT AGA GAJOWNIK


Aldeen Simmonds-Thorpe, Founder | Chief HR Transformation Officer | HR Catalyst Aldeen Simmonds-Thorpe Consulting.

ALDEEN

SIMMONDS-THORPE What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? My words of advice to someone looking to start a business in the HR space would be to focus on two things. First, focus on defining your customer. That is an art, just defining your customer. Second, focus on providing value to your customer. Once you define who they are, be the best or one of the best at providing a valuable solution.

Tell us about you and your business. At Aldeen Simmonds-Thorpe Consulting, we help businesses optimize human resources, processes, procedures, practices and technology aligning HR strategy to business strategy. My team and I provide comprehensive human resource solutions that transform the way businesses keep up with constant legislative changes, manage and maintain compliance. Â

What is unique about your business? Our competitive advantage comes from using our unique perspective, creative strategic thinking and coaching strategies to create aligned HR and Business strategies, operation optimization, and increased employee engagement and retention. What did you learn from your biggest failure? Having been in business for almost a year, I wouldn't say I have had failures, but lots of opportunities to learn. My team and I have been in our industry for just over 4 decades, but innovation, evolution and experience keep us on our toes and that helps us provide better solutions to our clients.


 IF I CAN HELP SOMEBODY, AS I PASS ALONG THEN MY LIVING SHALL NOT BE IN VAIN. MAHALIA JACKSON

FAVORITE QUOTE ALDEEN SIMMONDS-THORPE


ALDEEN

SIMMONDS-THORPE

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? Our services include: - HR Shared Service Solutions - HR Project Support - Risk Mitigation and Technology - HR Consulting - Coaching - Individual, Team and Organization - Workshops and Masterclasses on Career Development and HR Professional Development To what do you attribute your success? I would say my success is a result of 3 things: purpose, positive-thinking and persistence. As a Christian, I believe I am blessed with a purpose, and I thank God for the ways He's been blessing me with opportunities to live that purpose and helping me stay positive and persistent.

What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? Our mission is to provide flexible, comprehensive and innovative human resources solutions and strategies that combine people, processes, policies and technology to provide the most cost effective and efficient modern human resource solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. What's your favorite quote? My favorite quote comes from a song by Mahalia Jackson, "If I can help somebody, as I pass along Then my living shall not be in vain." I believe that my purpose is to be of service, and if I can touch or be of service to even one person in this life, I would have fulfilled my purpose. How do you find inspiration? My inspiration comes from my family - my husband is one of my best and worst critics (but always insightful), my team, my colleagues and just life experiences. I am a believer that experiences are for us to learn, and for me they have been a great source of inspiration as well.

What's your productivity secret? My productivity secret would be constantly organizing and optimizing. With all the things that happen in a day, I try to ensure I am present. I am constantly finding better ways to automate and optimize my tasks. Have you ever turned down a client? Yes. We have not had to turn down too many clients. The main reason for turning down clients has been due to out of scope work. In those cases we connect them with one of our affiliates or partners. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? My one piece of advice to someone starting out, career or business, would be find your purpose, define your values and then align those to what you want to do. It's easy to get swayed by ideas, money and pressure, but when you have a purpose and values to lean back on, those can easily be a compass. Mine are: ignite, inspire and empower. All my decisions must fit into one of those buckets. .


Ayumi MOORE AOKI Women in Tech® Founder & CEO ayumi@women-intech.org Social Brain® Founder & CEO ayumi@socialbrain.fr

AYUMI

MOORE AOKI What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? We lead a number of actions in both local and global spheres. Our next major event will be the Women in Tech International Awards that will take place in Lisbon on the 7th November, during Web Summit. Our jury will reward the people who innovate, inspire and transform the Tech sector as we know it. There are 15 different categories.

Tell us about you and your business. Women in Tech® is a nonprofit organization that helps women Embrace Tech. I founded it in 2017 for different reasons. I started my career as an entrepreneur in the digital scene in 2008 and for the past 10 years I observed the increase of the gender gap and the difficulty of hiring skilled women in the industry. As a mother of 4 children, I witness in first-hand how in education girls don’t receive as much support as they need to discover the benefits of a career in STEM.

What is unique about your business? Our strength is that we DO things. Real actions big or small - we make things happen. Women in Tech® is more than simply a networking group, we are a global movement representing all people - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation, or disability status. We have members in 53 different countries.


AYUMIMOORE AOKI What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? We have a double mission: to close the gender gap and to help women embrace technology. Women in Tech® focuses on 4 primary areas that are a call for action: Education, Entrepreneurship, Projects, Awards. The aim is to educate, equip and empower women and girls with the necessary skills to succeed in STEM career fields. To what do you attribute your success? To dreaming BIG. To always believing in me and focussing on the mission and vision of the project. To having strong human relationships in all spheres of life and having a dream team to work with – we can never succeed alone. To never taking no for an answer. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Be clear about what you want and take on a project that has a purpose for you. Believe in it and believe in you. Take actions. Share your goals in a way that you will inspire people to invest in you and in your project. Start TODAY, never leave it for tomorrow. What's your favourite quote? There are no problems, only solutions. John Lennon

What's your productivity secret? Passion. I truly love what I do, so I put all my energy into it. I think that it's important to work on projects that have a meaning to you. I also carefully choose the people who I collaborate with: they must be positive, open-minded and professional. A solid team who you can count and rely on. To be organized is the final secret. I save time for my family, friends and also for myself. What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? I am glad that I didn't know all the difficulties that you face when building up your business, otherwise,  I would never have taken the step :-). I always followed my intuitions, focusing on my "DREAM", my project, and not on the difficulties that I find on the way. How do you find inspiration? Everywhere! I keep my eyes wide open at all times. My main inspirations come from traveling and meeting passionate and creative people. It makes you open up your mind, step out of your comfort zone and it lets you see things from a different angle. Music & Art are also great getaways that fill up my soul.

What did you learn from your biggest failure? My biggest failure was partnering with the wrong person - it's worse than marriage! It teaches you that human relationships are fundamental in life and in every project that you undertake. You must really take the time to choose the people you want to share and work with. I also learned that I am stronger than I thought I was and that I must trust myself. Integrity is precious. Have you ever turned down a client? Yes, several times. I have turned down clients (for Social Brain) and partners (for Women in Tech) because I realized that we had very different values. I believe that your core values are the essence of who you and your business/organization are. No quality work can be done if it is not in line with your deeper aspirations.


THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS, ONLY SOLUTIONS. JOHN LENNON

FAVOURITE QUOTE? AYUMI MOORE AOKI


Dania Hammad, Dose of Dania Productions, Host/Video Producer.

DANIA

HAMMAD What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? The mission of DOD Productions is to help business owners think outside the box when it comes to social media and content creation. How to effectively talk to people and not at them. Also helping create a compelling brand story to tell. How do you find inspiration? I find time to reflect. I listen to Oprah's Super Soul Sunday Podcasts. I go out and explore NYC!

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? Videography, social media posting, logos and graphics. What is unique about your business? What is unique about my business is that I come from a diverse background. With my art school education, brand agency and production experience I'm familiar with many forms of storytelling. I bring creativity and strategy to each client I work with.

Tell us about you and your business. DOD Productions is a business I started after college. I shoot, edit and produce videos for companies and business owners who are looking to grow their personal brands and advertise on social media. A lot of my work involves script writing, leading camera crews, and putting a creative idea into motion!


DANIA HAMMAD Have you ever turned down a client? I've never turned down a client, rather I've faced a lot of rejection when it came to starting out as a freelancer. What's your productivity secret? I'm a list maker! I'll write down all of my To-Do's 100 times just to keep it in my mind space. What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? Rejection is okay and totally natural! Be open and go with the flow. You'll get smarter + wiser with more experience.

What did you learn from your biggest failure? I don't believe in failures. Everything happens for a reason.

To what do you attribute your success? Putting myself out there with no expectations. Most people find it hard to take that first step. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Just start! Starting is the hardest part. What's your favorite quote? "The only thing constant is change" because it's true!


I DON'T BELIEVE IN FAILURES. EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE? DANIA HAMMAD


Edita Atteck, Edita Atteck Creative Living inc., Owner.

EDITAATTECK Tell us about you and your business. I am a Mentor, Coach, Speaker, and Author. I am leaving my footprints on the planet through helping professionals thrive, embrace their wholeness and become true self-leaders in their lives. What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? I help professionals find a roadmap to mental and emotional freedom. My mission is to change our workplaces and families for the better.

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? I just published my book AWAKEN YOUR INNER LEADER: TRANSFORM STRESS, DEVELOP EMOTIONAL MASTERY AND THRIVE. It is a comprehensive guide full of experiential exercises. I wrote it for the selfleaders who want to grow and contribute to creating a healthier world. I also offer private coaching/mentoring, guide group sessions and speak publicly. My book is now available on Amazon worldwide.

What is unique about your business? I incorporate a deep understanding of how the human nervous system works, how emotions are connected to our health, behaviour and how we show up in the world.


EDITA ATTECK What's your productivity secret? Believing that every new day is a new opportunity to create something. Have you ever turned down a client? Yes. I am very particular about creating the right accountability partnerships. I do my best to ensure my clients and I are a match as this is the only way my clients receive true results and transformation. Any relationship is a two way street. I am always happy to refer clients to other professionals and my highest priority is always my client's well-being. To what do you attribute your success? Perseverance and believing that I was born to do this work. For me, it's actually a calling. If it was only work, I could have given up a long time ago.

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? The importance of having clarity as to who my ideal audience is, and how necessary it is to focus on a niche group of clients who: 1. Want to address their pain point and 2. Will commit. What did you learn from your biggest failure? The only way to show up in business is not from a place of fear but by being authentic and willing to figure out 1,000+ different ways of pursuing my dreams. Â How do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in so many places. Some of my favourites are: gazing at the sky and watching the clouds change shapes, from walking barefoot in the grass, spending time in nature, animals, books, and a genuine human connection.

Contact Details: info@editaatteck.com

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Don't be afraid to experiment and find out this is not what you want. What's your favourite quote? Whether you believe you can, or you believe you cannot, you are right. Â


DON'T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT AND FIND OUT THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT. PIECE OF ADVISE EDITA ATTECK


Fanny Dunagan, Co-Founder & Partner, PathLynks, LLC.

FANNY

DUNAGAN What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? PathLynks, LLC plans, manages & executes job fairs, hiring events, product launches, charity events, networking events, workshops and more. We help businesses promote their next event or product to a wider audience through video, social media, print & email marketing campaigns. I also coach job seekers on creating video content to enhance their job search.

Tell us about you and your business. PathLynks, LLC was first founded to organize job fairs to connect employers and job seekers in our local communities. Over the last 5 years, our services have expanded into business event planning, graphic design, social media marketing and video content marketing for small and medium size companies and nonprofit organizations. To what do you attribute your success? I believe we were put on this earth to learn, grow and contribute. I genuinely care about people and want to help them reach their career goals. I think they feel that and trust is built.

What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? I am driven to promote positivity and foster transparency in the job search ecosystem. It is my goal to build a supportive community and improve connections between recruiters & job seekers and employers & their potential hires.


DO WHAT YOU LOVE BECAUSE THAT’S WHEN YOU EASILY GET INTO A FLOW. WHAT'S YOUR PRODUCTIVITY SECRET? FANNY DUNAGAN


FANNYDUNAGAN What's your productivity secret? Do what you love because that’s when you easily get into a flow. Mihály Csíkszentmihályi defines flow as the “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.” When I’m interacting with people that are passionate about what they do, I can easily talk and work with them for hours and it’s productive, creative and deeply satisfying. How do you find inspiration? When I’m looking for creative inspiration, I go to museums, look at National Geographic Instagram photos, listen to music or go for a walk. If I’m feeling worn out on a particular day, I watch TED Talks, learn something new and make a list in my head of things I’m grateful for that day. What's your favorite quote? “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who spends himself in a worthy cause…who at the best, knows in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Teddy Roosevelt.

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? To be honest, I had no idea how hard it was to be an entrepreneur. If I did, I may not have started and just stayed in the corporate world. Instead, a volunteer position evolved into a business idea and every year, new business opportunities came along. It wasn’t until I was willing to take risks and be out of my comfort zone, that the unexpected rewards of entrepreneurship came along. What did you learn from your biggest failure? I was let go from a role in my late twenties. I went from sadness to anger to selfreflection. My first reaction was to blame the organization. Ultimately, I saw my own responsibility in it. I learned: 1) it’s always better to surround myself with a good team then to work alone, 2) to continually engage with senior leadership and 3) to address issues when they first arise.

fannydunagan@pathlynks.com

What is unique about your business? I created a LinkedIn video series, #jobsearchstories, to highlight tips, advice and insights from hiring professionals and career coaches. Looking for a job is a full time job. It can be a very challenging and emotional time in our life. The goal of the series is to create more transparency and build better connections between those that are hiring and those that are looking for a job. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Surround yourself with people that have similar values but different strengths then you. There is so much to learn along this entrepreneurial journey and it would take too long to do it on our own. Collaboration is key.


Dr. Jen Faber Founder of Elevate Your Life Method, Author of The 90 Day Life.

DR. JEN

FABER

What is unique about your business? I look at success, life, and freedom from an unconventional lens. Too many people wait for a "golden opportunity" to live into what they want in the hazy future. I sold my six-figure practice and everything I owned to live out of a suitcase and reconnect with my truth. This decision has fueled me to teach people how to live by using the clock to your advantage rather than take time for granted.

Tell us about you and your business. My work is encompassed by one word – ELEVATE. I work with successful but stressed 6-figure+ professionals and entrepreneurs whose work has become their life. In my Elevate Your Life Method, I will help you discover how to exponentially elevate your happiness, connect with your truth, and transform your life at all levels in the next 4 months. What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? I work with high-achieving individuals who are successful, but feel stuck on their paths. Their lives look good on paper, but they want more in life beyond their professional paths. I focus on helping people discover how to redefine success in a way that elevates "The Four Elements" - purpose, mind, body, and soul.

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? Picture this. You wake up each day with renewed energy. Your work is nourishing, purposeful, and abundant. Your self-image is strong and confidence high. Your body has never looked better. And you have this thing about you. People can’t put words to it, but they notice, and they’re looking. You’re a magnet. You’re joy. You’re alive. In other words, you’re crushing it. But not just in success. In life. Life Elevated Academy is about more than just creating more prosperity. It’s about creating a fully transformed life that taps into the potential that’s been hiding for years. That’s what I deliver.


DR. JENFABER How do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in the unconventional thinkers. People who break out of the box of what they're told is possible and push their own limits. It's easy to let past decisions, current circumstances, or challenges block our paths in life. There’s a power that we all have, and that is the power of CHOICE. You can choose to change the perception, path and quality of your life at any instant. What's your productivity secret? Focus on your energy first, not your to-dos. I used to define a productive day by how many things I crossed off of my list, then would find myself feeling like a failure if I didn't accomplish everything I set out too. It was a vicious, selfdefeating cycle. So I gave up to-dos and switched my focus to connecting with doing the things that excite me and fuel my desire for impact. Have you ever turned down a client? Absolutely. As a coach, I believe in clarity, authenticity and structure. I think we all perform better when we have the right accountability partner by our side. I am also exquisite with my time and who I bring into my life. I don't work with people who are tire kickers or too attached to fear and failure as their life story. I work with the people who are successful and selfinvested.

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? This is about connecting with principles rather than settling for compromise. I think we compromise too much in our early professional experiences, not valuing what we're worth, how we want to work, and who we want to be in the work we're doing. Had I known this, I wouldn't have spent two years settling for a business that focused on low fees, long hours, and burnout. What did you learn from your biggest failure? One of my biggest failures was when I did an online product launch to an audience that I felt disconnected with. I didn't make one sale. Not a single one. That's never happened before. What I discovered was CLARITY. I needed to redirect my message, my mission, and who I wanted to serve. Rather than stay attached to who I've been, I saw this as an opportunity to grow and change. To what do you attribute your success? "What will I miss out on if I don't try?" That was the question I ask myself on a daily basis. Then I ask, "What does my life look like in 5 years if I keep letting fear hold back?" It reminds me that there is no choice other than to act, because I would rather fear not trying than fear failing.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Connect with what elevates you and stay true to that. When I started out my career, I was so attached to getting a job that I forget what I wanted in life along the way, so I settled for a big city rather than create a life in the mountains, which is what I wanted all along. This goes back to the concept of stay true to your values, so every decision you make is in alignment with your truth. What's your favorite quote? “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” — Lao Zi

www.drjenfaber.com linkedin.com/in/drjenfaber/ instagram.com/drjenfaber


IF YOU ARE DEPRESSED, ARE LIVING IN THE PAST. IF YOU ARE ANXIOUS, YOU ARE LIVING IN THE FUTURE. IF YOU ARE AT PEACE, YOU ARE LIVING IN THE PRESENT. LAO ZI

FAVORITE QUOTE DR JEN FABER


Kim Trathen, Business and Marketing Coach, Founder of Kim Trathen Coaching.

KIM

TRATHEN

What is unique about your business? I launched my business in early 2018 and have grown it while working in corporate and raising 3 crazy, active boys (who are each involved in multiple sports!). I love showing other women that it is possible.

Tell us about you and your business. As a business + marketing coach, I help female entrepreneurs learn how to leverage their social media accounts to grow their businesses. One of my passion projects is helping women gain confidence and knowledge to utilize live video in their social media strategies. I also host the joint Facebook live series, Girls Talk Business. What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? Supporting women became incredibly important to me after a friend was murdered in an act of DV in 2010. I became a speaker/advocate & developed a deep passion for supporting women. I’m happy to use my business as another way to support other women. As a mom to 3 boys, it’s important to me that other moms know they can be a great mom and build a great business (it’s not one or the other!).

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? I offer a mix of 1:1 coaching and group coaching programs designed to help women increase their online presence. Sometimes, a lack of confidence is the number 1 factor holding her and her business growth back. With the right mix of education and accountability, many women are surprised at what they are able to accomplish. I offer a program to help women dive into their social media and utilize it to grow their businesses (Social Launch), and I also offer custom business coaching programs.


KIM TRATHEN How do you find inspiration? Sometimes life throws curve balls at you that you can't foresee. 2018 has been a particularly difficult year for me and the stress piqued with my dad's passing on the 4th of July. It would have been easy to give up at different points, but I have a very clear image of what I want our life to look like 5 years from now and those goals keep me moving forward through stress and grief. What's your productivity secret? My fave quote is, "We all have 24 hours in a day, it's how we use those 24 hours that separates us." My simplest tip: When you are working on your business, set your phone on vibrate and lay it face down on the table. You will notice the buzzing of a phone call but will not be distracted by social media notifications. Have you ever turned down a client? I have told a potential client that I didn't think she, necessarily, needed my services. She had all of the marketing knowledge already and really needed someone that would offer "done for you services" to alleviate her time.

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? Life is too short to live with regret (regretting the college you chose, the major you chose, the company you work at....the industry you're in....etc.). You have the choice to create the life you desire, but it's up to you to step out of your comfort zone to make that dream life a reality. It may not be easy, but it's worth the try.

What did you learn from your biggest failure? My biggest failure was decades in the making. It was living a life I didn't love because that's what society (and my parents) told me to do. Go to college...get a good job....buy a house. I'm so thankful for all the goodness in my life, but when I realized my fear of regret far outweighed my fear of failure, my life began to change. To what do you attribute your success? My husband is the #1 person that has supported me while growing my business. He supported our financial investment into it and our time commitment. In regards to the online growth I've achieved, I credit consistency and live streaming.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Don't let other people's negativity about your dream dissuade you from trying. That person may not share your vision and they may be content with things you are no longer content with. What's your favorite quote? Well, shoot, I already included one above about 24 hours in a day. I also love the quote, "Whether you think you can or think you can't; you're right."

I am a Business + Marketing Coach. You can contact me at: info@kimtrathen.com, www.kimtrathen.com, FB + IG: @KimTrathenBusinessCoach


WE ALL HAVE 24 HOURS IN A DAY, IT'S HOW WE USE THOSE 24 HOURS THAT SEPARATES US. PRODUCTIVITY SECRETÂ + FAVORITE QUOTE KIM TRATHEN


Laurie Wang, LW Digital Influence Ltd Founder.

LAURIE

WANG

What is unique about your business? What I love about my business is that I can work and live anywhere on my own terms. I'm free to choose the kind of clients I want to work with and the ways that I collaborate and help them. It's so rewarding to see the impact I've had on client's businesses and lives!

What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? Instead of saying “impacting my followers”, which I think is a silly metric, my mission is to help 1 million people with the content that I produce in every way possible, such as those that read/view the useful content that I share regularly, to those students who ultimately join me for a live workshop and marketing coaching session. What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? I offer several types of services and products: Online Marketing Consultancy, Online Marketing Coaching, Bespoke workshops, Group workshops, Online courses (most popular one is Instagram marketing).

Tell us about you and your business. I help ambitious entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers and bloggers to learn and profit from building an authentic brand and audience online, turning followers into buyers.


LAURIE WANG How do you find inspiration? I find inspiration through my creativity. In my spare time, I go to art museums, galleries and also create my own watercolor paintings. It helps me to use another part of my mind, to relax, and helps me come up with more ideas!. What's your productivity secret? Pomodoro technique concentrating on one thing for 11.5 hours and then taking a 20 minutes break. You'll be surprised how much you can get done in 3 sprints of this!

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? Relationship is one of the key successes in business, never just put your head down and work in solitude, go out there and connect with others! What did you learn from your biggest failure? Owning up to the failure, see it as a lesson in the grand lessons of life and move on. There are no reasons to dwell on it, but instead make changes for the next time you are faced with a similar challenge. To what do you attribute your success? I attribute it to Simon Alexander Ong, my husband, who stood behind me through our struggles and wins, and all of my emotional rollercoasters that comes with running a business! What's your favorite quote? Life is all about the people you meet and what you make with them. - Tina Roth-Eisenberg

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Never be afraid to experiment and fail. Sometimes the best lessons come from failures, and if you never try, how would you know if it would work or not? Be fearless, be bold, and confident. Have you ever turned down a client? Yes. The only reason is because I have too much work and couldn't give them the attention they deserve. So now I'm very selective on who I work with and making sure that it's a great fit! Â

https://lauriewang.com Instagram/Twitter: @iamlauriewang laurie@lauriewang.com.


BE FEARLESS, BE BOLD, AND CONFIDENT. PIECE OF ADVISE LAURIE WANG


Lila Smith, Say Things Better, Creator and Lead Consultant.

LILA

SMITH Tell us about you and your business I reverse-engineered my theater training to create a method of Intentional Communication. It helps people and brands to be effective communicators in 5 steps. It’s the basis of all my talks I give as a speaker, and it’s the foundation of the work I do as a strategic communication consultant. Have you ever turned down a client? I have turned down clients. I focus on helping people who have ethical goals, so I won’t help people who want to be effective in communicating anything divisive or that hurts people. I also only work with people I like, so I turned down someone who was just creepy too.

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? As a speaker, I talk about the power of Intentional Communication. It’s especially important in a digital world to be clear on intention, as so much can get lost in translation without it. As a consultant, I help entrepreneurs and business leaders to articulate their message in a way that gets them what they need while helping others. This creates an ethical culture of authentic expression and builds sustainable connections with employees, customers, and investors. I also do “Verb Your Values” workshops that empower businesses with simple tools for massive results in clarifying and activating intention across all touchpoints. Essentially, if someone has something important to communicate effectively, I help them to Say Things Better.

What is unique about your business? Theater people talking about communication is not new. A lot of us have talked about presentation skills, stage presence, voice work, and storytelling. What I do differently is to use tools pulled directly from my training, traditionally used to create dramatic conflict, and I reverse-engineer those tools to give nonactors a way to create collaboration, partnership, and ethical persuasion.


LILA

SMITH

How do you find inspiration? I I love working in the startup community, because there’s so much potential energy that I can help turn into kinetic. Founders hold all the company values in their hands! Because communication occurs in every single area of a business, and is so much of what makes or breaks a company, I can really help startups position themselves to use those values for sustainable success right from the start. To what do you attribute your success? On LinkedIn, I have a community of incredibly supportive people who ask questions and go deep and connect people to each other and just cheer each other on. Without this net, I have no safety. With them, I feel brave and capable. What's your favorite quote? “Never walk onstage like an apology.” I don’t know who said it first, but I love it. I’ve heard it so many times in theater but it applies to life and business. Go into everything with confidence. Don’t highlight your own insecurities. They aren’t important to anyone but you, and they shouldn’t matter to you, either. Just show up ready to help and you’ll shine!

What's your productivity secret? I work with coach Jake Melton to #CutTheCrap. His method allows me to focus on my Most Important Things every day, and then schedule in time for everything else in order of priority. I am also a very fast worker. Once I start a conversation with a client, we usually make a big impact within only one hour. I like to leave people buzzing as they think about possibilities and next steps. What did you learn from your biggest failure? If you’re honest with people about what’s going on with you, they’ll be a lot kinder than you fear. Give people the chance to forgive you and support you.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Help everyone you can. If you can connect them to someone who would be a good contact, do it! If you can provide advice, give it! If you can support their content, like it, comment on it, and tag in others who’d be relevant to the conversation. Just ALWAYS be finding ways to add value to others.

lila@saythingsbetter.com

What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? I want to empower a world full of Intentional Communicators. This is how I contribute towards unity, empathy, and sustainable relationships. This is how I will support the bridge-builders of the world. It’s also how I can help the global economy. It’s how I can help startups and entrepreneurs to tell their story effectively, and how any business can reactivate and express their values. What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? At the beginning, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect and be everything to everyone, and I held back valuable content until it was polished or just right. I’d freak out if my face looked weird or if a car made noise at a quiet moment in my videos. No one else was putting that pressure on me. It was all from myself. It was unnecessary. Nobody has to be perfect to help others..


GIVE PEOPLE THE CHANCE TO FORGIVE YOU AND SUPPORT YOU. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE? LILA SMITH


Louise H Reid, CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) Coach | Podcaster.

LOUISE H REID

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? What a juicy, wonderful question! I wish I knew...that I wasn't going to be for everyone and that's ok...that I don't have to do everything myself and asking for help is a strength not a weakness...to stay in my own lane and not get distracted by the amazing things others are doing...that "the riches are in the niches".

What's your productivity secret? My morning routine! I truly believe this determines the outcome of your day. When my days start like this, it's a masterpiece every time: exercise, manifesting or meditation, walk with my hubby, a good morning cuddle from my boys, positive affirmations...and COFFEE! To what do you attribute your success? To people who have been there for me while I have navigated life. Here's the short list! My parents-they taught me to always believe in myself and to play to my strengths. A few special teachers and coaches who supported and bring out my confidence and passion. My therapist whose humour and kind honesty changed the trajectory of my life. My kids, and my husband-always my soft place to land.

Tell us about you and your business. I am the founder and Chief Empowerment Officer (CEO) for ‘Redefining Motherhood Academy’ - a transformation program for high-achieving moms who are ready bridge the gap between motherhood and living the life of their dreams. I’m also an global radio host and podcaster focused on interviewing people to inspire and motivate listeners to take brave, bold action in pursuit of their dreams and goals.


LOUISE H REID What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? The women I work with are often at different points in their journey (aren't we all?!) so I have 2 ways they can access my services: through 1-on-1 coaching (for those who know the value of an outside perspective and an accountability partner) OR through a self-paced program (for those who are just dipping their toes into the arena of self-development). If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? 1. Know your "why" and what success looks like to you. It doesn't matter the answer just as long as YOU know it. 2. Stay in your own lane. You'll get distracted by other things, people and ideas. Only pay attention to these if they make you/your product/service better. 3. Believe in yourself more than anything. 4. Surround yourself with amazing, positive people who will help you kickass! What's your favourite quote? “My mission in life is to not merely survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” — MAYA ANGELOU

What is unique about your business? I have life experience (lots of it!), business experience (in HR, coaching and wellness), formal education (degree in biology, wellness, HR, and coaching), and most importantly a gift in helping women take brave, bold action in pursuit of their best life. What did you learn from your biggest failure? I learned I'm stronger than I thought. I learned I am enough. I learned that I want this business to work more than I had ever realized! Have you ever turned down a client? Absolutely! I work with women who are at a crossroads in their life - in work or marriage - and are committed, determined and ready to do the work to get what they want. They don't need to know the path that's where I come in - but they are all prepared for exploration, growth and the journey. Individuals who aren't quite there may be better served by someone else.

How do you find inspiration? I find inspiration everywhere! More specifically in nature (the wood are food for my soul), the laughter of my children (they lovingly bring me to the present and I revel in their joy if only for a moment), my partner (who I met later in life and keeps me inspired everyday), in quotes (they ground me and inspire me to be more of who I am), and in other high-vibing kickass women in business!

What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? My mission is to empower and inspire women around the world to CHOOSE happiness & to live it; a life of freedom, fulfilment, passion and connection. Life's too short to be worried about silly things. Have fun, love hard, work hard, believe in yourself, laugh lots, live without regret, and don't let people bring you down.


I LEARNED I'M STRONGER THAN I THOUGHT. I LEARNED I AM ENOUGH. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE? LOUISE REID


Lovelda Vincenzi, International Moderator MC and Host & Founder of World Class Female Speakers.Â

LOVELDA VINCENZI

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? I moderate & MC conferences. I support event organisers in creating conferences that engage and I empower women to find and get paid to speak. This I do through 1:1 work, group programmes and online programmes.

What's your productivity secret? Rest. I know it sounds ironic. In truth over the years I've found the more time I take out with friends and family and just by myself, the more full of life, energy and zest I am. That and I outsource my life... well as much as I can so I can focus on my zone of genius. The more I do I don't like, the more I avoid that which needs doing and the less effective I am. To what do you attribute your success? That's a complex question. I guess I just kept going and I'm not afraid to say yes to an opportunity if I think I can do the job. I don't need to have done it before, I just need to know it's in the realm of my abilities (even if it's uncomfortable or a stretch). I think often, especially as women we sell ourselves way too short and don't even ask for the opportunities as men do. Â

Tell us about you and your business. As an MC & Moderator, I have the delight of introducing speakers at conferences to stages around the world. I founded World Class Female Speakers to provide support to female speakers in building viable speaking businesses. In this guise I offer consulting, coaching and online programmes to women to find & get themselves booked and paid as speakers


LOVELDA VINCENZI What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? That it really is about the journey and learning to embrace the failures. Being a business owner requires tenacity and an ability to bounce back from adversity. I've not got one of those "lost everything stories" but I do have a string of disappointments and instances that had me question my ability to do this thing called business. Until I was in it, I don' think I fully appreciated it. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Build phenomenal relationships! This is fundamentally different from building a great network. The currency of depth of relationships is incredibly high, for too much human interaction now days is transactional. Relationships open doors and they are built not because you think you can get something, but just because the person in front of you is an interesting human. What's your favourite quote? I have a lot of quotes I love. The one that comes to mind today is: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." Marriane Williamson

What is unique about your business? As an MC I'm an entertainer first. I also understand fundamentally that I have clients - the audience, the speaker & the one paying the bill. I'm a speaker who teaches women the BUSINESS rather than the art of speaking. For me it's about commercialising your talent, not just becoming a great speaker, but understanding the market to package and sell what you do effectively. What did you learn from your biggest failure? It's not that big of a deal! Honestly for the most part the things we as entrepreneurs allow to stand in the way of our progress really isn't that big of a deal. The quicker we can extract the learnings, make the adjustment and move on the better for all (incl. your poor partners, friends & family who are watching you tourment yourselves). Failure does not define us, it's how we deal with it. Have you ever turned down a client? Yes - because they are the wrong fit. I fundamentally believe that we all offer a unique service and therefore we are not right for everyone. The wrong client is bad for you and it's bad for them. The best service you can do is to suggest alternative routes and say no. Anytime I've ignored this instinct, I've lived to regret it. Â

How do you find inspiration? Do something I enjoy. I normally find my inspiration comes when I stop looking for it. The more I'm in flow being happy doing me, the more I get more ideas than I know what to do with. What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? My mission is to give events personality! It is seriously beyond me why (especially in this digital age) so many events are "snooze fests"! I also want to be a catalyst for more gender equality on global stages. This balance can only enhance the quality of the dialogue that is had at these conferences.

www.lovelda.com, www.worldclassfemalespeakers.com, lovelda@lovelda.com https://www.facebook.com/groups/WorldClassFemaleSpeakers/


OUR DEEPEST FEAR IS NOT THAT WE ARE INADEQUATE. OUR DEEPEST FEAR IS THAT WE ARE POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE. IT IS OUR LIGHT, NOT OUR DARKNESS THAT MOST FRIGHTENS US. MARRIANE WILLIAMSON

FAVOURITE QUOTE LOVELDA VINCENZI


Mari Williams The Mind Architect Executive Coach and Therapist.Â

MARI

WILLIAMS What did you learn from your biggest failure? I've always struggled to see failure as anything other than a learning curve. I grew up in a very eclectic way so I didn't have failure drummed into me at school. When things don't go my way, I just think, what did I learn, what would I do again differently and what shall I do now, and I move on. It's rare for me to get hung up on anything. It's all about the journey not the destination for me.

What's your productivity secret? I'm incredibly driven to succeed so I just push myself to do that. My goals of success change with my evolution and I love that. I'm also so passionate about what I do. I am energised by people so I rarely feel drained even when I'm busy. However, I am prone to over do it so I have to watch that in myself! Finding my balance and shifting my own baggage created huge potential and growth for me. What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? I have a variety of services from high end invite only programmes to programmes for individuals who want to create change in their personal lives as much as professional, although for me the two are completely linked! I also give talks, provide team bonding workshops, and I run retreats.

Tell us about you and your business. I work with leaders and professionals who want to push themselves to be their very best. Some of them are aware they have things holding them back and others feel there's just more room for growth. Which ever they are, they get to that tipping point and realise now is the time! What's your favourite quote? 'Tomorrow is a new day, fresh, with no mistakes in it yet' from Anne of Green Gables who I have loved since I was a child.


MARI WILLIAMS What is unique about your business? What's different about me is that it's rare to find a Coach, Hypnotherapist and Mediator all in one! I find most people aren't sure what they need! With me there's no risk, you get a blended approach that's entirely bespoke to you. It's the best because you may need therapy to clear limiting behaviours one session and coaching the next. My clients move forward. Fast. Have you ever turned down a client? Yes, right from the beginning of my training, I have believed that it's imperative to find the right person for you, I'm challenging and dynamic with empathy! If you want a chat and sympathy, I'm probably the wrong person for you. I've turned down people I haven't felt a fit with even if they have said yes. It's hard but it's the best thing for them in the long run. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? You have more knowledge than you believe, more willpower than you feel and more potential than you ever imagined. When it goes wrong, have a cry, scream or shout, do what you need to do, then get up and try again. I allow myself ten minutes (timed by the clock) to wallow and then I make a plan!

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? I'm not sure I wish I had known it before! But, to be better prepared for the incredibly hard work and the fact you rarely switch completely off. I wish I had had the full faith I now have in myself to achieve the great things I'm doing. Not having that confidence held me back for a while. My biggest advice? Sort your head before you start and you'll go further, quicker, with more clarity. To what do you attribute your success? My father told me a story last year. He said, when I was 2 they were walking across a ploughed field with the bumps almost as high as me. I kept falling over and he said I would just frown, get up and keep going, he said, I'd always had that determination. I just succeed because I've made up my mind that's what I want to do. I commit and if I 'fail' I just realign and keep going! Â

mari@mari-williams.com

How do you find inspiration? My clients are my inspiration. Everyday I am astounded at the resilience, power, potential and downright love that humans bring to the world. I spent most of my life trapped in unhelpful beliefs and behaviours that hurt me and others. Being the other side of that is phenomenal. When I see others hurting, I just am driven to take their hands and show them through the woods. What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? My mission in life is world peace, cliche but true! I have five children ranging in age from 28 to 12 and I want to leave the world a better place for them. I also feel there's a lot of unnecessary unhappiness in in the way people treat each other. My goal is to work with leaders who know that their own behaviour is going to ricochet down their company and they want that to be a positive bounce.


TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY, FRESH, WITH NO MISTAKES IN IT YET. FROM ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

FAVOURITE QUOTE MARI WILLIAMS


Marie Doralie Narsoo Careernovate Career Coach.

MARIE

NARSOO What is unique about your business? My business is unique because I don't tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear. I ask you hard questions to make you dig deeper and get closer to what you truly want. I am supportive along the way because I know that at times it is not easy to self-reflect.

What's your productivity secret? My secret to productivity is to set myself short deadlines to accomplish the tasks at hand. I set a timer and block out other distraction for that hour so that I can finish what I need to do. A big thanks to the book "4-hour work week for this strategy." To what do you attribute your success? My willingness to work hard and move closer and closer to my goals. My mindset given by my hard working parents who moved to Canada for me to have a better future. The abundance of opportunities out there that present themselves to me or that I go ahead and seek. Last but not least, my desire to help others and myself professionally.

Tell us about you and your business. I am an island girl, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a fiancée, a tattoo lover, a life enthusiast, a foodie and a Career Coach. Careernovate is about helping people identify what they love and how to include it in their career and other areas of their lives by creating unique action plans through guided and inquisitive conversations.


MARIE NARSOO What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? Career Coaching, Job Search Coaching, Resume and Cover Letter Makeover. Have you ever turned down a client? Yes! I have turned down a client based on their unwillingness to put effort in their professional development. As a Career Coach, my role is to enable job seekers to become independent in their job search. I provide the tools and resources required followed by my knowledge and guided conversation. If a client is not willing to put in the work, the results will be not the ones s/he is looking for. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Since I recently started as well, I would say do not stress over the little details and do not compare yourself to others who have more years of experience than you. With time, your voice will be stronger and your message will be clearer but, right now, focus on what you can do and be inspired by the veterans instead of being in competition with them.

What did you learn from your biggest failure? There is always a bright side to things. No matter how bad you fail, you can get back up and do it better. New ideas, new plans and new mindsets can come from failures. Always move forward. What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? My business journey is still developing and changing while going through some trial and error but I wish I knew that I didn't need to have everything to the last detail figured out at the same time. Along the way, I learned things that have completely changed my initial plans. Things will change, ideas will be developed, and it will all work out if you put effort in what you do. What's your favourite quote? My favorite quote is "Life is too short to be working for someone else's dream" - unknown Â

marienarsoo@gmail.com

How do you find inspiration? I find inspiration from the stories I hear from other people. I listen to others and find ways that I can help them. This inspires me to develop articles, services or inspires me on a personal level. I also get inspired when I take time to reflect and step away from all the hustle and bustle. Once my head is clear and I am in a new environment, I feel inspired to create and to develop new ideas. What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? My mission as well as my business goal is to provide valuable Career Services to young adults seeking clarity in their career and in their life. I want them to live and pursue a life according to who they truly are.


LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE WORKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE'S DREAM. FAVOURITE QUOTE MARIE NASROO


Our Recommendations

"Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg Shelly's opinion: I definitely recommend this book because it completely relates and resonates with what I do with LinkedIn in High Heels: Rise Up and Lead Online. It is all about being fearless and the opposite of what is comfortable and expected. Lean-In much like I use Link-In is a catch phrase meant to empower women and have them move confidently along the path to success

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain Shyness, sensitivity and seriousness are often seen as being negative. Introverts feel reproached for being the way they are. In Quiet, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths.

Book Club The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by

Kim's opinion: As a personal development junkie, I have way too many to recommend! But, since I personally achieved a massive breakthrough from Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap, I will recommend that book. Almost everyone has limiting beliefs that hold them back and The Big Leap helps you understand how different messaging you've held as truths in your life are holding you back from making the bigger, possibly scarier but oh so rewarding, choices for yourself.


Intempo 1800mAh Power Bank Charger Compatible With All Smart Phones Inbuilt USB port and micro USB cable 2000 mAh battery power for up to 3 hours runtime. Compatible with most smartphones It can be used with a lightning cable for apple products Approx. product dimensions: 8.3 x 0.8 x 8.3 cm My opinion: Stylish, compact and portable.Super slim! Love the color and the mirror behind.

Nokia DC-18 Universal 1720mAh Portable Power Bank Emergency Lightweight and eye-catching design Charging connectors: MicroUSB Integrated charging cable - Pull the cable out to charge / push it back in to power off My Opinion: Cool. Brilliant small charger, especially with the USB being part of the charger.

Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard, IKOS Pocket Size Mini Ultri-Sim Folding Portable Keyboard Compact size (5.7 X 3.1 X 0.47in) and lightweight (only 5.1 OZ), It is suitable for when I wish to write on the go without having to take my laptop along. It's robust and responsive. My opinion: I am pleased to say that I am not disappointed!

Gadget Club


My journey

AMANDA

BAGALACSA

YES, I’M AN ADULT! HOW MY APPARENT AGE AND LIFE STAGE HAVE AFFECTED MY CAREER As a child, I went through phases of wanting to be a lawyer, a doctor, or anything that I thought I might be good at, and that would make me the big bucks at the same time, but when I was finally of legal working age, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. When I started my first job at sixteen, with nothing on my resume other than babysitting and hobbies, I was prepared to do any entry-level position to start making some of my own money. Even after I graduated with an honours degree from university, I knew I’d still be starting from the bottom. What I didn’t prepare for was the amount of rejection. Though I didn’t expect to get a job in my field, I did expect someone, anyone, to hire me. Maybe it was because I didn’t have enough experience as other people, or the fact that I lived in the suburbs and didn’t want to commute downtown, or maybe it was because I just didn’t look hard enough, but it took me about a year and a half to land a job, and that was only because an old co-worker needed some data entry help. I was convinced that you could only get a job based on who you knew. Should I have spent more time networking instead of studying? After unexpectedly reconnecting with my now husband and moving to a different city, I knew I made the right decision for my personal life, but, again, wasn’t sure about my professional life. Like many fresh graduates, I spent years’ worth of time, money, and effort, to eventually build a career in a field I was passionate about. I didn’t realize at the time that in order to pursue a career in counselling, I had to continue my education with post-graduate studies, which I couldn’t afford. I decided to volunteer to still stay connected to my career goals, meanwhile working in whatever job that would pay my bills. Unlike my younger self, I now had less of a focus on big picture, and, rather, felt like I had to be realistic and just make ends meet. I told myself it was temporary.


A short work-from-home contract and a couple of dead-end jobs later, I found myself at an employment agency, starting from scratch again (surprise!). I had just completed a day of training at a call centre upstairs, which I never actually got paid for, and I figured I had nothing left to lose, so I walked into the random agency on the first floor of the building and handed the receptionist my sad and sorry resume. I never felt so defeated, and worst of all, I hated the fact that I felt like I had no choice but to rely on loved ones to support me until I got back on my feet. Back? Was I ever on? I put a stupid smile on my face, hoping I was a good enough actress to seem like I was worth someone else’s time. And then it happened. He scanned through my resume, and before I knew it, I had completed all the standard Microsoft Office and typing tests, and I was in front of a Recruiter, who was previously hiding in the back of the office, telling me I started work in three days. I didn’t even know what kind of work I was doing or who I was working for; I just said “YES”. My three-week contact is now in its seventh year, developing from a Human Resources Assistant temp to a full-time, permanent Business Analyst. I can’t help but think if that receptionist didn’t give me that chance at that time, maybe I wouldn’t be here today. At the same time, he may have given me a shot, but it was up to me to prove that I deserved to stay, and more importantly, decide if I wanted to. As the youngest person on my team, I was intimidated at first, but my continuously curious nature has proven to be very beneficial, especially in an analyst role. I realized my career path was less about counselling and more about helping people. I find my colleagues’ knowledge and experience invaluable in learning from each other, as well as providing the best possible service to our clients. I am so grateful for our diverse and dynamic environment and the trust that others have in me and my functional expertise. Perhaps it’s because of my more recent positive experiences as a young, empowered, female leader that I’m caught off-guard when I find myself in situations where assumptions are easily made based on superficiality versus credibility. When working with new people or those who don’t know you very well, you have to build that relationship and earn that trust all over again – it’s a different playing field. I may have more experience under my belt now than I did a decade ago, but I still feel like the new kid on the block. While I’ve worked extremely hard to be where I am and consistently take advantage of opportunities for growth, the reality is that my age, or the perception thereof, repeatedly works against me in not only professional settings, but personal and educational as well. Is it really so much to ask to get through an event without having to say, “Not everyone here is as young as you think they are”? It’s hard enough to remain confident and assertive with those who talk down to me, much less have them take my direction or follow my lead. Sometimes I joke about wanting grey hair and wrinkles, because maybe then people would be more inclined to take me seriously. I was even given the advice to wear more makeup, heels, and “dress older,” whatever that means. No one should ever have to make themselves over or disclose their age, status, or circumstances to be treated equitably and with respect. Growing up, I was warned that I would face certain barriers by being a woman, and a racialized woman at that. Quite honestly, I’ve never really felt that my sex or ethnicity have prevented me from moving forward in my career or in life, and I am extremely thankful for that. That said, I never gave enough consideration to the possibility that my age or life stage would be issues.


In the last couple of years, I’ve developed a deeper interest in health as a whole, which has led me to a parttime “side hustle” as an online health and fitness coach. As an at-home business with many coaches being stayat-home moms, the struggle is no longer with my age, but more with where I am in my life, and where other people think I should be. With a petite frame, no kids, no baby weight to lose, or even weight loss goals in general (and a love/hate relationship with salad), I find it difficult to relate to a lot of the other coaches and there are a lot less clients who can relate to me. I’m not hitting up the clubs, nor am I popping out 2.5 kids. It occurs to me now that it almost feels like a second wave of puberty, figuring out where I fit in, but with a lot more sarcasm and debt. Adulting problems. Regardless of the field of work, on one hand, younger or newer (not always the same thing!) employees can offer fresh eyes and points of view that are free of bias and defeatism, and different than the all-too-standard “this is how it is because this is how it’s always been.” On the other hand, they may be thought of as incompetent or naïve. There was a time when I was just starting out, going by the book and following the process, only to be told I hadn’t been doing it long enough to know what I was doing at all, and was then hung up on. Shut. Down. I’ve walked into rooms before, excited and ready to provide training and guidance, and, instead, not even be acknowledged and then told I was assumed to “just” be a student or assistant. *Insert confused/disgusted facial expression here*. So many questions. Fast forward years later, and I am still called a “kid” because I’m young (Is this subjective?) and don’t have any of my own, and haven’t had all of the same life experiences that apparently define adulthood. My psychology major brain ticks every time this happens, wondering if my age or position should even be relevant in these scenarios. It’s discouraging to have something to say, something to teach, to know you’re doing the right thing, and have the enthusiasm about it all, and then be made to feel like you’re “in trouble” or not good enough. I believe in the quality of my work and the service I give, no matter what I do, but fighting those feelings of inadequacy is not easy. There will always be times of internal conflict, when your feelings will make you second guess what you know to be true. Although it’s become a dirty word in recent years, I am a millennial, and I fully acknowledge the equal amounts of hilarity and frustration that come along with that and its stereotypes, including having Imposter Syndrome and the tendency to over-compare. I’m an older millennial, meaning I’m a child of Baby Boomers, sharing most of the same values and growing up with an analog childhood, but I also had a digital adolescence and learned how to type faster due to the incessant “uh-ohs” of ICQ. Being a first-generation Canadian just adds another layer of complexity. But not everyone sees that. Each of us has a unique perspective that comes from the intersectionality of both visible and invisible factors. There are times when we can’t help but make judgements about other people, but you never know what their story is, where they come from, who they are, or who they know. At the end of the day, your work will speak for itself and your attitude will shape your experience, but that isn’t an excuse for stagnation. Who are you? Who do you want to be? What changes do you want to make? Take pride in your progress and know your worth. Know when to have a sense of humour, and when it’s time to stand up for yourself and others who may not have the strength or courage to stand up for themselves. Being a leader isn’t about managing staff – it’s about inspiring others to learn, to dream bigger, and motivating them to do more, be more. Together, we can shift the paradigm, not in spite of our differences and struggles, but because of them.


ARTICLES


OVERCOMING OVERWHELM: THE 2 MAJOR COMPLAINTS I HEAR AND 6 STRATEGIES TO TAKE IT HEAD ON! My weekly LinkedIn Articles and FaceBook lives are designed to inspire and challenge you to take small, intentional action each week that together over the weeks and months that pass, have the effect of transforming your life. This week's topic – OVERWHELM! I’ll share with you about the 2 most common complaints related to overwhelm that I hear as a coach and what you can do about it! “I have lived a long life, most of which never happened.” ~Mark Twain, American Author Those who regularly follow me know I'm a lover of quotes. They make me reflect, they move me, they make me laugh/cry! This Mark Twain quote immediately took me to my work with clients on "overwhelm". I'll start by sharing a little story.

Not too long ago I made a decision to create an online coaching business. It aligned perfectly with who I wanted to serve and how I wanted to blend my personal and professional life. So what did I do? I enlisted the help of a coach who could get me there. I very excitedly looked at all my materials in front of me, scanned through all the online tools I was going to have to master (many of which I had never heard of previously), and looked the time frame I had to complete it all in. And then it happened. PANIC! OVERWHELM!

WHAT DID I DO? I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I was reminded, as I often am, of my dad saying to me during my sister’s long illness and subsequent bone marrow transplant: ONE DAY AT A TIME. My dad asked me back then, can you get through today? (To which I responded yes). Then he told me that was all I had to focus on. During that long and painful time (which thankfully has a good ending!) I learned that the only thing I had and still have complete control over is my mindset. We can't control much of what happens to us but we have 100% control of what we do and how we think when life happens to us. SO WHAT ARE THE 2 MOST COMMON COMPLAINTS I HEAR RELATED TO OVERWHELM AND WHAT ARE SOME STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME THEM?


Common Complaint #1: There’s not enough time! We all know that when forced to do something, suddenly the time is there. For example, you don’t have time to fit in a dentist appointment until you have a cracked molar (true story – happened to me 2 weeks ago). So what can you do? Here are 2 strategies for you to try: i)       Decide if the thing you’re saying there’s not enough time for is important or not. If it’s important, fit it in. If you decide it’s not, that’s fine – then it’s not! This could be the dentist, like in my case, friends, working out, cleaning your house, whatever. I can tell you that when you master this, it frees up a massive amount of space in your brain! ii)      Chunk it down – our brain loves chunks! There’s nothing more overwhelming than looking at giant task list wondering how you’ll get it all done! Here’s an example – instead of giving yourself a whole day to do something – let’s say write my text for my entire website - chunk it down to one hour chunks. Our brains can handle that! No getting up to use the washroom or get a drink or do something with the kids or flip the laundry. That can wait until the one-hour chunk is done. Common Complaint #2: There’s too much to do! My loyal listeners and readers (Paula, Amelia, Roxanne, Cheryl, Tressa, Laurie, Johane) have heard me say this before: ever notice that whenever you ask someone how they are doing, you often hear “I’m good, but really busy.” Those 2 words alone - really busy - were a KEY driver for starting a coaching business for women. It truly pains me that women (and men!) actually say and feel this about their lives. Is this you? If so, I have 4 strategies for you to try: i) Stop talking about how busy you are! Focus on what you enjoy what you do and the spaces in between the doing instead of focusing on the weight of it all.

ii)    If you’re so overwhelmed and don’t even know where to start, ask for help! You know the expression “you can’t see the forest for the trees”? We’re all like that. It’s easier to solve someone else’s problems than our own. Ask a friend, find a mentor, or hire a coach. I assure you that you’ll get from point A to point B much faster (and easier)! iii) Get into reality. Look at your to-do list. And ask yourself some questions. o  What needs to happen right now? o  What can wait? o  Put these on 2 different lists. Hide the “wait” list. o  What are the big important tasks on the “now” list? o  What are the less important ones? o  You now have the most important ones clearly articulated. Do these! The little ones – give to someone else OR put them on the wait list NEWS FLASH: YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET IT ALL DONE SO STOP STRESSING ABOUT IT! iv) DELEGATE – is that a swear word for you? Lighten the load. Loosen control. I’ve talked about this before how many of us women are “gatekeepers”. We keep tasks to ourselves, even though we are overworked and living in overwhelm, because the people we delegate the task to won’t do it our way. Who said our way was the right way anyway? I’ll quote my mum here and I hate this one, but here you go and you’re welcome “get over yourself”. You have 2 options here – delegate or stay in overwhelm. “Do what you can in joy, instead of trying to do it all in misery.” ~Jen Sincero So now I’d like to ask you - Which of these do you identify with and which tip are you going to try? If you’d like to get all of this info via email, sign up for my email list and you’ll get 1 email a week for me – awesome content, quotes, inspiration and a challenge.

Louise Reid


Head + Heart + Hand: The Formula for Successful Employee Engagement Every company runs on employee fuel. Employees are the drivers, movers, shakers and breakers of companies. Whether we believe it or not, if we do not use our employee fuel effectively, efficiently or strategically, our business will fizzle out and grind to a halt. More companies are beginning to see the value of employee engagement. Some of the most common and popular benefits of employee engagement include increased productivity, increased retention due to employee satisfaction, and increased profitability from creativity and innovation. You may then ask, why are so many companies still not investing in employee engagement? Why is it so difficult to get buy-in from senior management? My answer, you need to employ the right formula to get both the buy-in and results. The formula for successful, effective and profitable employee engagement is combining the head, heart and hand of each employee.

HEAD Each employee learns, discerns, communicates and demonstrates their abilities and experiences in different ways. Leveraging the various skills, experiences and expertise in your organization and on your teams will require both tact and deliberate execution. Being able to identify, develop, hone and utilize the diversity and depth of skills, abilities and knowledge is key to both keeping employees engaged and advancing the mission of the organization. How do we do this? We need to align employees, jobs and strategies. We need to ensure the right employee is doing the right job at the right time. Employees want to be stimulated, appreciated and validated. By giving them an opportunity to utilize their skills, get creative and participate in the greater plan and picture, you are keeping their head in the game.

HEART What does heart have to do with anything? Well, most studies on employee engagement recognize a strong connection between employee tenure, performance and engagement with a sense of belonging.


Being part of a mission and vision that is larger than themselves, can give employees a lifeline that keeps them contributing long after the wind of compensation has passed. How do you get the heart involved? Acceptance, involvement and acknowledgement. Humans have a need for belonging and acceptance. Letting employees know that they are accepted for who they are at work, involving them in policies, procedures and plans and providing acknowledgement of their achievements and contributions are keys to keeping their hearts locked in.

HAND The first thought that may come to mind may not be so wrong. Having employees involved, whether with physical or figurative hands, is a key part of the formula to creating strong engagement. Employees want to know that what they are doing is meaningful and valued. Giving employees work just to pass time or to create work can easily create disengagement. With the plethora of skills, experiences and knowledge that your workforce posses, ensuring that work is meaningful, productive, efficient and diverse is crucial not only to employees, but also to the business bottom line. How do we keep the work of hands meaningful and productive? Many companies promote cross-training, job shadowing and employ succession planning. Catering to the needs of employees through variety of work, professional development, cross-functional teams and facilitating knowledge and skills sharing environments further advances the mission of business continuity. A successful employee engagement strategy can be a key differentiator in business profitability, longevity and continuity. To continue to service external customers, your internal customers need to feel valued, supported and celebrated. This positive environment can create positive experience for your external customer. According to Doug Conant, “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.� A successful employee engagement strategy ensures you are winning internally and externally as well. Are you combining the heads, hearts and hands of your employees?

Aldeen Simmonds-Thorpe


The Attitude of Gratitude: Changing Perspective Through Adversity I push the quick-release button on my auto-injector and feel the needle pinch my thigh as it releases my dose of medicine, nearly kissing the other bruises painted on my legs.

But I'm so thankful for modern medicine and the faint promise of remission. I fill a bowl up with peanut butter, bananas, and animal crackers for my son to snack on for breakfast, set it down on his play table, and head to wake him up. When I reach my son's room, I hear the distant *CRASH* of the dish hitting the floor as my sneaky German Shepherd and Siberian Husky quickly clean up the mess they've created. But I'm incredibly thankful to have more food in the pantry so my little guy doesn't have to go hungry. I park my car to drop my son off at his 4k program. My brain doesn't effectively signal to lift my foot high enough and I trip over the curb, splitting my work nylons and peeling the skin off my hands as the backpack and keys fly into the air.

I'm thankful I can afford his education and wrap-around program so I can continue to reach for success and achieve my entrepreneurial dreams. Our small town shut the highway completely down for road work again, causing congestion and a heavy queue of cars. The lady in the white SUV in front of me is on her second cigarette in ten minutes, anxiously flicking the ash out her window as it trails back in the wind to mine. The gentleman behind me is cursing and throwing wild, angry hand gestures at the back up of traffic, sure to be late for his commitment. I remind myself to be thankful for my reliable transportation and a full tank of gasoline. The clouds quickly pass in the gray sky above the fields of crops lining the country road, and a few raindrops drip on my windshield here and there. I take a deep breath and remain thankful for a beautiful country view during this extended commute and the scent of fresh rain in the air.


The Attitude of Gratitude What is it about the attitude of gratitude that keeps my smile and limitless ambition in check? Is it because I've had the pleasure of enjoying a health without painful treatments? ...gone weeks without food or income to fill our tummies? ...lost my vision in both eyes from severe optic neuritis that the gift to see even the ugliest of sights is pure magic? ...was unable to even get out of bed without falling for weeks during relapse? ...was unemployed and terrified that I would ever find a position that would accept my "disabilities?"

Neuroplasticity & Thought Reframing Neuroplasticity changed my life. Understanding the power in thought-reframing was an absolute game changer. When your mental health is strong, your overall wellness is likely to follow. Here's a boiled-down version written by Debbie Hampton, The Best Brain Possible. "Because of neuroplasticity, the scientifically proven ability of your experiences, behaviors, and thoughts to alter your brain, you are sculpting the physical form and function your brain every day with your life. Most of the time, neuroplastic change happens unconsciously as a result of thought patterns and habitual behaviors we have as we go through our lives on autopilot. When living like this, letting your brain bully you and run the show, it can feel as if you have no control over your own mind or life. But the good news is that there are scientifically proven steps you can take to steer your mind and life‌ which permanently change your brain!" The four steps you take include: relable, reframe, refocus, and revalue. Relabeling your thoughts consists of being extra aware of just what negativity you are letting into you mind. Reframing the thought is similar to finding the silver lining, or a positive aspect of the negative thought. Refocusing will allow you to remain positive and focused, expelling your energy in an effective, strategic manner, while revaluing your thoughts will come almost habitually, "When you complete the first three steps regularly, the fourth step begins to happen almost automatically as the result of new thinking patterns. You begin to see thoughts, urges, and impulses for what they are: sensations caused by deceptive brain messages that don’t benefit you." Honoring National Disability Employment Awareness Month The fight we battle in silence, behind closed doors, give us perspective and appreciation like never before. Please join me during the month of October to honor National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Encourage your team to embrace adversity and diversity. Support your team through the good days, and the not so good ones. Reflect on your many blessings to live a life filled with gratitude and joy.

United we are so much stronger.

Chantel Soumis


Why Women Need to Get More Selfish

DR. JEN FABER FEARS ALLOW US TO GET LOST IN OUR OWN HEAD.

Fears allow us to get lost in our own head and get in our own way, and what often happens is that these fears actually cause us to put ourselves last. Our desires get masked by our insecurities. Our wants get masked by our responsibilities. Our goals get masked by our demands. We can forget ourselves along the way because of things outside of us, be they circumstances, our current situation, and others’ needs from us. The longer we keep this up, the more likely that we realize we have proverbially “let ourselves go.” I find that this is all too common for women. For a long time, I was so much more focused on other’s needs that I forgot to tend to my own, thinking that the more I nurtured, the more fulfilled I would be. But I felt exhausted, stressed, and, to be honest, resentful. It was at that point that I realized that the needs that merited the most attention, but got none, were my own. I want to introduce a concept that is going to sound contradictory for a moment: To live into your potential and have an extraordinary life, you have to get selfish. This applies to all facets of life – from your health, to your relationships, to your business. You have to put yourself first. This is actually a good thing, but the world tells us that it’s not. By selfish I don’t mean that you are egocentric, self-serving, inconsiderate, narcissistic, mean-spirited, and downright petty. And I’m certainly not suggesting that you get so lost in what you want that you forget others.

That’s the classic definition of selfish and the ugly kind of selfish. The kind that steers people away from you and leads to a miserable existence. I'm going to flip the definition of selfish on its head and introduce you to the good, loving, uplifting, soul-nourishing, life-fulfilling kind of selfish.


When people put themselves last in life, they think they are doing everyone a favor, including themselves, because they focus on others’ needs and get stuff done. They’re typically seen as highly productive and are greatly appreciated by the people in their life. Their loved ones know them as a compassionate and giving person, the kind that would give the shirt off their back. By the way, the end-result of incorporating this type of selfishness is that you will be better equipped to not only tend to yourself, but love and support the people in your life. It’s a win-win.

Practicing Selfishness To learn the art of putting yourself again, I’ll break this down into three simple steps: Step 1. What are the things that pull you from your own needs on a regular basis? I like to think of these as the distractors in your life. Where is your energy getting pulled in ways that actually don’t benefit you? It could be things like spending too much time on email or social media, getting frustrated watching the news, constantly trying to uplift a needy friend, putting toxic foods into your body, or having regular negative thoughts dominating your mind. Walk yourself through a given day and think about the things you are doing that are NOT taking you closer to your goals. Think about the things that you say “yes” to because you feel obligated, but if you think on it deeper, you wish you would say, “no.” Where do you over-commit yourself? You need to understand and reassess the things in your life that are taking up your energy that are not serving you. Step 2. Start to look at the things you want or wish you could be doing in any given day, week, or month but put on hold because you’re telling yourself things like, “I’m too busy. I don’t have enough time. It’ll have to wait.” These are the things you know that, if you put more time and focus on regularly, you’d be happier because of them. I like to call these the self-shifters, because they will tip the scales to putting your needs first. Think about how you want to be spending your free time, such as engaging in new hobbies. These could be things like going to the gym, making dinner rather than going out to eat, having a weekend with your friends, going to the spa, or taking your bike out for a ride. Here is the distinction that I’m going to point out:

You can only go on so long putting other’s needs before your own. Love is what makes the world go around, but at the foundation of that is self-love. How are you treating yourself? What are you doing to create and sustain internal joy? How are you satisfying your own needs?


Do you love who you are, how you spend your time, and the direction your life is going? If the end-result of how you live is that you put your needs last, you will never be able to create any time or energy for you. Obviously, the people in your life have needs. Your partner, parents, children, friends, coworkers, community, clients, and customers, among others. But so do you. If you have an imbalance between your needs and others’ needs, it’s probably leading to things in your life like anxiety, resentment, sadness, fatigue, frustration, irritability, among others. You may not recognize why these emotions are there or you try to channel these emotions to smaller nuances of day-to-day life, like getting into a fight over taking out the garbage or doing the dishes, but that’s just a projection. You’re just channeling those emotions there, because it’s safer to do that than it is to channel them toward what is really going on, which is that you are neglecting something that is important to you. Getting selfish (in a good way) is about creating self-love again. To start to listen to what your mind, heart, and being have been trying to tell you about what they need for a long time, and to not let that part of you go quiet. Step 3. Look at that list of things in #2 and rank them, then direct your attention to the top item on your list. Put all your attention there and ask yourself, “what is one small step I can take right now to incorporate this into my life today?” Now here’s the big takeaway - How would the people in your life benefit if they got to experience a happier, more fulfilled you? This question is so important because being selfish actually allows you to put more energy into the people, work, and causes you care about. By putting more focus on your needs and wants, you can nurture yourself and have more energy to focus on other people in your life that you love and support. The people in your life benefit by your newfound selfishness.

Dr. Jen Faber


Rachel Munns Mental Health Awareness, Resilience & Wellbeing training. Improving MHA & Wellbeing for all. Trainer & Public Speaker.

RACHEL MUNNS

What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? People suffer needlessly because of the stigma associated with mental health issues. Our goal is to break down this stigma, enabling people to help themselves and/or to access professional help as soon as they need it. This will benefit individuals, families, schools and businesses alike. We also aim to support people to push past these issues to become the best that they can be.

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? Primarily, we are a training company. We run workshops on Mental Health Awareness, Building Resilience and Personal Wellbeing, Raising Confidence and Improving Personal Leadership Skills. We have also produced a beautiful daily journal that people can use to support positive mental health and will be publishing our first book on 'Resilience for Teenagers' in the very near future. Our next step is to look at creating e-learning opportunities.

Tell us about you and your business. Our passion is raising awareness of mental health issues. Helping people to recover from these issues and to protect themselves is our mission. We achieve this through a range of workshops and other resources that we use across all sectors education, charity, public and private - and for all age groups from young children to chief executives.


RACHEL MUNNS What is unique about your business? There are a plethora of companies out there offering MHA training or Resilience training. Some offer both but not at the same time. We pride ourselves in offering a holistic package that is delivered in just one day. It comprises: Stress and how it leads to MH issues, a broad awareness of MH issues, Resilience and Personal Wellbeing. Have you ever turned down a client? No, my company is still relatively young and, thankfully, I have never had to do this. However, if I felt that a company was procuring my services for reasons that were opposed to our values then I would most definitely decline. How do you find inspiration? I love reading books on personal development and I love attending networking events, seminars and personal development courses. I have met some amazing people along the way and continue to improve my knowledge and gain inspiration simultaneously. What did you learn from your biggest failure? Sadly, I learned never to mix business and friendship. This almost led to the collapse of my company in its first year.

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? I wish I knew how exhausting it could be and how many legal requirements there are especially now with GDPR. It can be very lonely too which is a mental health hazard in itself. I would definitely recommend building a good network of people you can talk to, turn to or lean on from time to time. To what do you attribute your success? I am always myself. I don't try to put on airs and graces and I never try to 'fit' just to get the work. If someone doesn't like my approach then it's probably best that they find a company to work with that suits their own style better than mine. I am very approachable and very open about my own experiences. This doesn't work for everyone. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? Be very sure of where you want to get to and why. It's a lonely road to begin with and there are many hurdles along the way. Having a powerful reason 'why' keeps me going when things get tough.

rachel@resilientme.co.uk,

What's your productivity secret? My own son suffered dreadfully with anxiety issues which landed him in hospital. When I'm feeling tired or low I simply remind myself that the work I do can help others to avoid this type of problem and it helps to motivate me. I also have a good team of people around me that keep pushing me forward. What's your favorite quote? "The one without dreams is the one without wings.� (Muhammad Ali) I write my own quotes though and publish them every day on my Facebook page. One of my own favourites is... When YOU believe in you, other people will too.


WHEN YOU BELIEVE IN YOU, OTHER PEOPLE WILL TOO. rachel munns

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE? RACHEL MUNNS


Shelly Elsliger Globally Recognized LinkedIn Trainer |Career Specialist|Linke dIn Learning Liaison| Confidence Coach: #BeSociallyFea rless

SHELLY Tell us about you and your business. 1. My business is called Linked-Express. It is all about empowering people to not only build their LinkedIn story, but to feel empowered, and love the LinkedIn experience.  I also have an offset of Linked-Express, called “LinkedIn in High Heels: Rise Up and Lead Online”.  It is a workshop / talk / keynote all about leading online: finding your voice, owning your space, building confidence, and successfully sharing your story with the world.  My goal is that LinkedIn will act as a catalyst for women in the same way it helped me to find my voice. I should also say, that I also work at the University of Toronto as both a LinkedIn Trainer and Career Specialist. I put these two things together to create many “ahha” moments

ELSLIGER

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? I do a lot of keynotes, talks, and group coaching. I work a lot with women groups in diverse settings.  I really don’t do any one-on-one coaching anymore because my business and mission has shifted.  But I travel and spread LinkedIn love as much as I can.  I am very passionate about what I do.  My business came my way because I paid a coffee forward. So everything I do. I always think back to how it came about and how I can use my professional superpowers to continue to pay goodness forward.

What is unique about your business? My business is unique because I am not a traditional trainer. I want people to not feel burdened but inspired, not just strong but empowered.  I don’t just tell people how to build a profile, I live the experience with them.  I am a certified Confidence Coach so I really focus on confidence building and how LinkedIn can be a tool to help build, nurture, and grow one’s confidence.


What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? I wish I knew, and believed that I could do anything. I came from a family of pretty conservative folk; from a small village called Jacquet River, NB. They expected me to go into teaching and I did because I thought that is what I had to do.  But, later I learned that it just wasn’t enough.  I wasn’t fulfilled. So, I learned everything I needed to learn and found mentors who gave me the “push” I needed.   To what do you attribute your success? I attribute my success to a few things: I am a connector. I love connecting people, helping people, and seeing others rise.  Secondly, I have found personal and professional mentors who have been there for me through thick and thin; giving me tough love, advice, suggestions, and an abundance of support. And finally, decluttering my life from negativity in all its forms.  I surround myself with positive people, both on and offline.

Have you ever turned down a client? I have turned down a client. The last thing I was told, the day I finished my coaching certification, was that it is totally OK to get paid what you are worth and stay true to who you are.  If a client is not inline with you, it is not about failure but rather about opportunitythat client was meant to be with someone else and so was I.  At first, it was not easy to do but I learned from lessons along the way. I had a client I knew was not open, not positive, and really said some mean things in the “heat” of the moment.  This unacceptable behavior showed up more than once and my gut told me to do the “right” thing.  I got up the courage to let the client go and knew it was the right thing.  It is important to listen to our gut!

What's your productivity secret? My productivity secret is to have What did you learn from your biggest failure? fun! LinkedIn gives me so much Open up about it and learn from it.  True joy so it doesn’t feel like work.  I success comes from failure. Many people don't have built so many relationships, like to open up about their failures because and have had so many they fear negative judgement but  we all opportunities, that even when I makes mistakes.  There was a time that I was am doing work, I am having fun! scared to let my guard down. However, luckily  LinkedIn has paved the way for friendships, collaborations, job I realized that being "emotionally vulnerable" offers, podcasts, speaking helped me to connect even more with people engagements, LinkedIn Local because we are all imperfectly perfect. invites, and a global people pod. What more can I ask for?  At the How do you find inspiration? university, I do so many things, I find most of my inspiration through lists and that I never get bored.  I am a learning.  I always have a list going and Career Educator, LinkedIn Lead continuously push myself to learn new things.  and Trainer, Confidence Builder, Workshop Facilitator, Speaker, Right now, I have decided to push through all of the uncomfortable feelings and learn how to and just recently- the New LinkedIn Learning Student be good at creating and editing video for Ambassador Liaison.  I like to be LinkedIn.  I am taking a course, practicing, able to continuously shake and building content, and working getting involved stir things up. When I get bored, with other content creators who know their I lose productivity.

stuff.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? My biggest piece of advice is that every expert was once a beginner. So many people suffer from “Imposter Syndrome”: doubting their accomplishments and knowledge and feeling that there is someone else who can do the job better, has more knowledge, and is more believable and worthy! I say, push through that fear and do it anyway! We all, including some very famous people, experience Imposter Syndrome at one time or another.  Internalize your successes, share and write them down, take risks, and don't stop even when an uncomfortable feeling comes up because "This too Shall Pass!"


INSTEAD OF WAITING TO BE NOTICED FIRST, BE A LEADER IN YOUR SPACE LEAN IN, LISTEN IN AND LINK IN! FAVORITE QUOTE SHELLY ELSLIGER


Tejal Wagadia The Recruiting Daily, Sr. Recruiter.

TEJAL

WAGADIA

What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? My mission is to help people find jobs that are better than their old ones.

Tell us about you and your business I am a technical recruiter with 5 years of experience and a very active blog

What is unique about your business? Uniqueness is my personality. It's not about the money for me. It's about finding the right fit, helping people knowing I might not be able to place all of them.

What's your favorite quote? A life with no regrets is a life not lived.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? You have to be respectful and kind to another human being, even when you can't make money off them.


TEJAL WAGADIA Have you ever turned down a client? Yes, I am staunch believer that not every recruiter is for every candidate. What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? SI have placed many people in my career, most of them love their new jobs, because to me it's not just about filling a role, it's about finding the right fit.

How do you find inspiration? I workout a lot, it helps me clear my mind and get things going. What did you learn from your biggest failure? I learned that I can't control everything. My job comes with disapointments and I had to learn to accept those. What's your productivity secret? Putting everything on my calendar. If it's not on the calendar, it's not happening.

To what do you attribute your success? My passion and my amazing mentors. What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? Be kind. Treat the candidate and client with respect. .


A LIFE WITH NO REGRETS IS A LIFE NOT LIVED. FAVORITE QUOTE? TEJAL WAGADIA


Vivian Acquah, Viva la Vive Workplace Wellness Advocate.

VIVIAN ACQUAH

What is your mission? (or) What’s your company’s goals? My mission is to help employees go from disconnected, unmotivated, burned out to happy, healthy, engaged and productive so that they become the best version of themselves. That is why I am committed to helping organizations with keeping their employees happy, healthy & safe. Which is a win for employees and organisations bottom line.

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? The value of having the right support group. I call them my inner circles / sisterhood, my mentors to excel in life and stand in my greatness. As entrepreneurs / employees, we are responsible for ourselves. Surrounding yourself with the right type of people can help success come more naturally to you than being around those who might hold you back.

Tell us about you and your business. I am a workplace wellness advocate. I help organisations with keeping their employees healthy, happy and safe. Organizations can say adios to absenteeism, stress and burn-outs. I focus on the health of employees. Not only the physical health but the holistic health by applying the principles of workplace wellness.


VIVIAN ACQUAH What's your favorite quote? I have 2 favourite quotes by Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” An extract from her poem Phenomenal Woman: “’Cause I’m a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.” Every girl/woman should listen to or read the poem "Phenomenal Woman" frequently, it will instantly “kill”self doubt! To what do you attribute your success? I got an opportunity to learn more about becoming an entrepreneur and being authentic at the same time during my time at Going Social. This sisterhood helped me in turning my dreams into missions and tapping into my inner strength. I also learned a lot from role models: my grandmother, son, Oprah, Lisa Nichols, Maya Angelou, PWN, BLT. Have you ever turned down a client? I have turned down a potential client because I felt that a partner within my network could help the client better than me. Especially when the client shared their challenge regarding creating the best employee journey, which is not my expertise but I am lucky to know people who can do a better job than me. I see it as a partnership. It takes a village to raise a company, in this case partners.

How do you find inspiration? My grandmother Maame Acquah is my inspiration, even though she is no longer among us since 2009, she inspired me to become the person that I am today, the workplace wellness advocate. I am going back to my Ghanaian roots to prevent others from losing their loved ones, so that they can become a healthy role model for the next generation. What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? For organisations who are longing for happy and healthy employees. I offer uncommon team building sessions such as “Move Like The Manager’, “Walk It Out”, “Don’t Sweat The Technique”. Different workshops to increase employee engagement, creativity, improve quality of life, improve company culture and build more resilience at the workplace. What did you learn from your biggest failure? As an entrepreneur, you have to learn to be vulnerable, visible and be true to your core values. Crowdfunding is 100 times this feeling, you have to be out there to share why people need to support your mission. I got a lot of media coverage from the crowdfunding, which gave me another perspective in doing the crowdfunding, even though it was not a success.

What's your productivity secret? My productivity secret is starting and ending my day with affirmations. Planting seeds and nurturing my inner soul to become a better person each day. Another secret is my last name: Acquah, I do my best daily to drink plenty of water to keep myself energised during the day. Dehydration is a risk for a lot of businesses, it can lead to tiredness, headaches and difficulty with mental tasks. What is unique about your business? I am a workplace wellness advocate because of my past and my future, my grandmother and my son. My life story proves to be a great inspiration for organisations to show appreciation by taking care of their employees and employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to become the best version of themselves.


 DO THE BEST YOU CAN UNTIL YOU KNOW BETTER. THEN WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER. Maya Angelou FAVOURITE QUOTE VIVIAN ACQUAH


ARTICLES


HOW TO BE SUPER PRODUCTIVE EVERYDAY We’ve all been there. With a mountain of work to finish, it feels like you just never have enough time. You feel busy and overwhelmed by that never-ending ‘to-do list’ and find yourself having to multi-task or getting distracted easily. With 2 months into 2017, it is inevitable that we want to become a better version of who we are at present, accomplishing and growing more as an individual. To help get the rest of your 2017 off to an insanely productive start and help you say ‘goodbye’ to endless ‘to-do lists’ and ‘hello’ to more time for yourself, I want to share the following three hacks with you. 1. Block Out Time for Single Tasking We live in an ever distracting world, which steals our attention and focus from that which is most important to us. By giving in to constant distractions and attempting to become a multi-task master, we often end up being busy for busy’s sake. In reality, it’s avoidance of executing on the actual work that needs to be followed through to completion. Our mind is wired to be innovative on one thing at a time, not on multiple tasks. The latter causes a dilution of attention and means that we are never fully present on the task at hand. We must recognise what happens when we are not consciously in control of our focus. There are a couple of rules I have for myself when single tasking: 1 ) Know what I want to accomplish for the upcoming single task period (whether that’s the next 30, 60 or 90 minutes) in order to ensure I can measure my progress. 2) Work in a minimalist fashion by only having window s and apps open that are of relevance to the single task at hand. Eliminate all other distractions until the single task period has ended. 3) Make it clear to family, friends and colleagues that you are not to be disturbed during this period unless it’s an absolute emergency. Simply setting your phone to ‘flight mode’ or ‘do not disturb’ usually helps.

LAURIE WANG


2. Begin Your Day with an Energising Morning Routine Did you know that it takes around 30 days of repeatedly doing the same thing on a daily basis to adopt that thing as a new habit? From the moment you wake up, walk over to the bathroom to brush your teeth, nearly everything you do on a daily basis is habitual and has been developed over many years, if not decades. If we are able to develop greater self-awareness as to what habits no longer serve us and what new, positive and empowering habits we can embrace, we are able to experience phenomenal increases in our productivity levels and accomplish things faster than we could ever have imagined. I aim to begin nearly every morning with a refreshing and energising exercise routine involving cardio and weight training. This simple habit has made a dramatic difference to my energy levels and my mindset for whatever challenges may arise throughout the remainder of the day. On the rest days between workouts, I embrace something I like to call ‘active rest’ in which I meditate using a process called creative visualisation. This allows me to imagine what my day will look like and plan what needs to be accomplished in my head. As Einstein once said, “Imagination is a preview of life’s coming attractions”. This has had a powerful impact on my focus in accomplishing my key goals for the day. The clarity that comes with a regular meditation practice really needs to be embraced more by society! 3. Build in Regular ‘Renewal Periods’ Into Your Day When was the last time you had your most creative ideas or moment of insights? If you’re like most people, then chances are it was when you last had a lovely warm bath or shower, on a long holiday away from your day job, or when going for a walk in nature with just your headphones and the music it played for company. Having regular periods of renewal is just as important as focusing on your most important tasks on a given day, because clarity and insights come more often from a mind that is still than one that is busy. And it’s why employee wellness is becoming an increasingly area of focus for companies if they want to retain and nurture their most talented employees, as well as be continuously innovative. The ability to combine single tasking with planned renewal or rest periods, can do wonders for how much you accomplish and how much of your innate creativity you are able to access, leverage and apply. My typical set-up, for example, is to single task for 60–90 minutes and then have 15 minutes break before repeating the process. Studies have shown that the human mind is only able to maintain a high level of focus for up to two hours before it needs to recharge. I personally believe that when you’re able to cross off your most challenging and important goals for the day, you feel like a superhero and that energy will continue for the rest of the day. Whatever happens, you know you’ve already accomplished something of significance and that you can be proud of.

Laurie Wang LAURIE WANG


WHY ZOMBIES KEPT ME AWAKE LAST NIGHT I hesitated to write this because on the surface it’s hilarious and humiliating, but if by being vulnerable I can help you have a giggle and learn something, it’s a fair swap. On one level this is very funny, it’s just that at 3.45am when you are tired… it’s not. A bit of background. I don’t like horror films, or in fact any film where anything scary happens, I think my fear reflex is probably around a PG, pushing to a 12A and a 15 is a challenge! However, I love cinema and have one of those monthly card things, so I see a lot of films that I probably wouldn’t ‘pay’ to see. I’m also trying to challenge myself if I think the film is worth seeing. For example, I really wanted to see ‘Flatliners’ as I thought the original was brilliant. The new one is terrifying, especially for those of you with a slight culturally inherited shower curtain fear. On Friday night I trundled off to Cambridge town to see ‘Maze Runner’ – the third film. I’ve watched the others and they were fine, including the standard weird creature trying to kill them. I can just about manage ‘The Hunger Games’ and it’s the same level… or so I thought. This last film portrays the earth having succumbed to a virus which not only kills you horribly but leaves you as a zombie. (I’m never sure of the virus/zombie link, why can’t people just die, why do they have to ‘turn’ and while I’m at it,why do they have to hide and jump out, surely the element of surprise is that you are a zombie, not that your ability to hide well has returned to that of a small child?)

I digress, over the course of the film we realise that one of the main characters has been bitten and is slowly dying. Of course, there’s a possible antidote and they race to save him and the world. The problem is (spoiler alert), they don’t save him, slowly his eyes turn black and he starts spitting black blood and trying to kill his friend. So here is my issue, my rational brain knows full well it’s not real, zombies do not exist, it’s great make up and he is in fact the actor who played the cute little boy in ‘Love Actually’. So why does it completely terrify me?! Full credit to the makeup people, it’s realistic enough to spark off my genuine fear response. The problem is that the brain can’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy so while I ‘know’ it’s not real, part of my brain thinks it is and after 2 hours of having zombies jump out at me through the screen, my fear response can’t switch off just because I’ve left the cinema. Which for my partner isn’t great as it means I trail behind him room to room because I don’t want to be alone, I refuse to turn off the bedroom light and want to read into the night to try to settle myself – this is not good because I’m actually reading quite a dramatic book at the moment (aimed at 10 year olds!) so it’s not relaxing. My brain’s protective spirit has come out in force and ignoring all the sensible REAL signs (!), is thinking… well, that zombie thing killed all those people didn’t it, so let’s stay on full paranoid alert to protect you. This is part of what happens with PTSD as well.


It’s also the basis for anxiety reactions. It’s in fact the underlying basis of most of the things in your life that keep you stuck, even those emotional ones you think have nothing to do with fear.The night after the zombie film I’m better – it’s daylight and they don’t often attack in daylight unless you go into dark creepy places and we’ve all watched enough films to recognise those - I drop my plan to clear out the loft. This weekend is poor timing in that no one apart from me is in the house, given that I live with 3 other adults and 2 young teens this is UNHEARD of and something I was really looking forward to…until the zombie film. I’m joking with my partner that I might go stay Saturday night with a friend, he laughs but underneath I’m frantically skimming my mental fileofax of friends to see, a) who has a spare bed, b), who will not strike me off their sane friend list when I ask if I can stay so I can avoid being attacked by a zombie, c) what excuse can I come up with to not admit to b? However, my pride and rational voice tells me to pull myself together, I’m 45 this year after all. On Saturday I had a great day alone, catching up on work, music playing, doing all the things I tell my kids not to do; leaving plates lying around, eating in the living room, generally not tidying up after myself and that was all good… until I wanted to go to bed. Then zombie fear pops up because it’s dark and I’m having to turn off the TV and it’s very quiet where I live. I’ve already stayed up to 1.30am so I’m really tired. I contemplate sleeping on the sofa but pride (and my incredibly comfortable bed) wins and I go to bed – I don’t read the book for 10-year olds in case it scares me more. I do all the normal things and then lie there, is that the sound of screaming in the distance or just my stomach reacting to me eating a whole bowl of jelly before bed? I’m going through all the reasons that a zombie can’t get in – I mean, all the doors are locked just like normal, if a zombie was inside it would have eaten me already right? Or do they prefer to jump out and then eat you – are you tastier scared? Finally, I shut my eyes – light turned down but still on, not brave enough for complete darkness and just fall asleep. I surface several times in the night (probably due to the light, not zombies) and thankfully it’s light when I properly wake up. I survived the zombie apocalypse – I feel I’ve earned a t-shirt.

We can all laugh – I’m fine today, although I definitely have a slight jumpiness still! The problem is that this fear reaction isn’t funny if it’s taking over your life. If you have a phobia, a behaviour or even a belief that stops you, it’s because your mind thinks it’s protecting you from death – it’s very simple your brain, life or death is its main concern and it muddles abstract emotions with concrete physical threat and produces a response to ‘protect’ you. In my case, hypervigilance. It’s also not helped by the fact that in our family, jumping out at each other has become an art form, get it right and you are rewarded with a ‘well done, that was a good one’. I don’t know where this started except that I am also guilty of doing it, so I can’t complain. The best one was when my partner, waiting until I had my back to the door in our bathroom and just as I was pulling the shower curtain back, jumped out screaming from behind me. That scare is in mythical legend in our family as the time Andrew made Mum pee her pants and cry for half an hour. All true I’m afraid. So back to the brain, it’s seen something that has scared it, it also has historic reasons for not feeling entirely safe in the house (on the issue of things jumping out anyway) and so it puts itself on full alert to save me. Now, in this case, not too much damage done, I’m okay, if a bit tired and I know that reflex will disappear quickly, but what if it didn’t? It would really start to affect my decisions, my ability to go away alone, be alone, it would limit my life experiences. This is what has happened with my coaching clients, just probably not around zombies! If you have something that affects you on a more than funny level, then don’t put up with it, get some help to clear it. It’s a matter of getting your unconscious mind to stand down and realise that behaviour isn’t working for you. It’s completely achievable. Until then, watch out…for the zombies! To clear your zombie fears and to discuss how coaching can help you, do get in touch for a conversation.

MARI WILLIAMS


LINKEDIN IN HIGH HEELS: RISING UP AND LEADING ONLINE You know the women, who shows up online, has a story to share, delivers a worthy message, and can get people’s attention. She stands tall even though you can’t see her height. She appears to be always wearing heels, even if she really loves and swears by her flats. She gets attention and respect when she shares, not because she is speaking loudly, but because she has mastered her online presence with confidence, energy, and ownership. That woman has achieved what so many other women want and need; the ability to transfer, transform, and revolutionize the way we lead; the way we achieve leadership presence online. It is no longer enough to hone offline leadership skills and forget the importance of a digital footprint. I have met many powerful women, in my lifetime. A few years ago, I had the chance to interview some women leaders and was surprised to find out that many were unable to “feel” like a leader online; often experiencing Imposter Syndrome, a lack of LinkedIn Intelligence, and for some, a sheer unwillingness to try and flex their LinkedIn muscles in a similar way. After digging a bit deeper, it was strikingly obvious that it came down to “fear”: fear of losing credibility, fear of not knowing what to say, fear of not being seen as enough, fear of not standing up to expectations, fear of getting lost in the crowd, fear of criticism, and fear of not being able to have that presence that comes so easy and natural offline. It all comes down to embracing change. Of course, developing a leadership presence online is not instantaneous and will take some work around “mental mindset”.  But, for women leaders, up to the challenge, the benefits will be well worth the effort. How can you accelerate your own leadership development, so you can successfully cultivate this vital skill and be recognized as the leader you are online?


1. BE AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR AND LISTENER An effective communicator online embrace diverse opinions, suggestions, and ideas, ask open-ended questions, include others, and continuously show you are open to feedback. Listening online network builds trust, shows respect, and support for those surrounding you in your online network.  It encourages relationship building and creates the space necessary for the flow and the exchange of information .

3. STAND TALL AND OWN YOUR SPACE Even online you can think and act like you are standing in high heels and have presence. Even your posture can show up online. And speaking of “showing up”, online leaders do not get recognized by being lonely lurkers.

2. DISPLAY CONFIDENCE One way to lead online is by being totally confident in what you are sharing. One of the best ways, is to feel prepared to share or introduce a topic. Write in a way to take ownership of your space and don’t forget to write a confident story; written in 1st person and written for your audience.  Make it about them (WIIFT-What’s in it for them) as opposed to what’s in it for you (WIIFY- What’s in it for You). Furthermore, know what you stand for and never lose sight of your message, your mission, and your brand.   

4. INVEST IN RECIPROCITY An online leader harness’ the incredible power and acknowledges the importance of being kind. This will enrich the people around you and you will be rewarded; especially with an internal sense of fulfillment by an online people pod that will not only long to follow you but also want to pay your goodness forward. Be a “Go-Giver” instead of a “Go-Getter”

5. OVERCOME IMPOSTER SYNDROME You did not get where you are because you don’t deserve it or live up to it. If you don’t believe in all you have achieved, how will others believe in you? Own, celebrate, and share your achievements because this supports self confidence, credibility, and the idea that it is totally fine, for even leaders, to be imperfectly perfect. Leadership is not a title, especially online; it is totally about behavior. Remember that a great leader inspires people to push themselves to greatness. LinkedIn gives everyone a piece of online real-estate for people to do what they do well. So, leaders think about the kind of leader you want to be and instead of pushing away, “Listen-IN, Lean-IN, Link-IN, and Lead-IN”; be that incredible online leader you were meant to be!

SHELLY ELSLIGER


My journey

RACHEL

MUNNS

AS I SAID, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. My name is Rachel and I run a training company called ‘Resilient Me’ that specialises in building people up to be the best that they can be. Our flagship programme – The Circus of Life – looks at how stress can make us ill, it raises awareness of what mental health issues are and then focuses on helping people to master the skills they need to build (or regain) positive mental health. This is followed by a brilliant course that increases confidence and boosts personal leadership skills. The decision to become a trainer is still a little strange to me though. My childhood ambition was to be a popstar or a famous actress (me and many millions of others). I even got some way towards this by working on and off for ITV as a newsreader and reporter for 10 years. So why would I give this up to go into training? Well, I love to get an audience response (this doesn’t happen with a TV camera) so when I was offered the chance to work as a trainer/presenter with large groups of young people, I grabbed it. I also continued working in TV but, little did I know that a few years later I would be writing and selling my own material following horrific family experiences…. Seven years ago, I came home from work to find Tony (my husband) in a dreadful state. He was grey, shaking and sweating. He was in shock because he had almost blacked out at the wheel whilst driving home from work. Only good fortune (and luckily quiet roads) saved him that day. We went straight to hospital where the doctors asked if he might be suffering from stress and we just laughed. Tony never worried about anything and he was a very calm and controlled person. Also, a very strong and capable person. At the time though we didn’t actually know what stress is or how it causes illness (neither did the doctors it would seem!!). Everyone assumes that someone who is stressed runs around like a headless chicken, worrying about everything and, essentially, being a weak person. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Stressful situations (normal stuff like work pressure, managing finances, relationship issues etc) produce a chemical response in our bodies which, over time can lead to a toxic build-up that can cause both physical and mental poor health. Tony’s body was warning him that he had reached that limit (without even knowing it). Overnight his personality changed, he lost all of his confidence, a lifelong heart condition was triggered and that was just the start. For two years I didn’t even know the man I was married to. Since then I have become almost an expert on the subject of stress, stress management and resilience – and so has he. We have learned many lessons; he has fought his way back to health and is now much more like the man I married – but not exactly the same.


This is a good thing though because, through understanding stress and its causes, he has learned to look after himself. He doesn’t just assume that he can cope with everything and he doesn’t allow others to think that he can either. It’s not just Tony who has become resilient – it’s both of us – and it’s just as well because a bigger challenge was just around the corner…. Two years after Tony’s near black-out he was promoted. This sounds amazing, but it meant a relocation from Sussex to the East Midlands. Not such a big deal for Tony and me but, for our children, it was a different matter altogether. They had spent their whole lives in one town in Sussex and now we were asking them to leave everything and everyone they knew and loved behind them to start a new life somewhere they had never been. If we’d had a choice we would have said no but, the alternative to accepting the promotion was to accept redundancy. At the time our youngest son was just coming to the end of year 4 and we managed to get him in to a great primary school where he made new friends quickly and soon shot to the top(ish) of the class. For our eldest son however (Year 9), all his worst nightmares began to take shape. Kieran is autistic and autistic people have difficulty in reading social situations (among many other difficulties and amazing abilities). We selected a new school based on promises that they would support his integration in every way possible but, sadly, these promises were not kept. He found it extremely difficult to make new friends at his new school and this quickly led to a great deal of bullying. Add to this, the pressure of the GCSEs when he moved into Year 10 and things started to go very badly wrong. Slowly but surely, he began to fall apart. For his sake I am not going to discuss all of the details, but I will say that he showed all the classic signs of advancing stressinduced illness: blackouts, panic attacks, severe nightmares, little sleep, withdrawal…. the list goes on and these are only the bits I think he’d be ok with me talking about because these were the bits that others could see anyway. The hidden stuff was SO much worse. In the end we had to take him to the doctor for a suicide assessment.

And then came the great turnaround – and the inspiration for creating Resilient Me in just two years Kieran completely turned his life around - no longer showing any signs of stress (except nightmares at times when he was under a lot of pressure); he became physically very fit and healthy, choosing to work out any anger or frustration by running and by going to the gym; he got almost the highest marks possible at college and now works full time as a lifeguard; he has a small group of friends; a lovely girlfriend; and, to top it all off – he is now helping other young people who are experiencing similar problems to those he suffered himself. Only three years ago I was worried that he would not survive until his 16th birthday. Today I simply can’t wait to see what he achieves next. Reaching rock bottom with both my husband and my son taught me so much about mental health issues and the dangers of stress but, far more importantly, through ‘lived’ experience we have learned the art of resilience and it is this that is the core of our passion at Resilient Me. All of our workshops are based on tools and techniques that are simple to use but very effective, and all proven to work in real life situations. I now plan to spend the rest of my life helping as many people as possible to avoid going through what Kieran and Tony did. It is my mission and my passion. I truly believe that you can be what you want to be in life and that it doesn’t matter what obstacles (physical, mental or emotional) you have to overcome. Anything is possible. I love reading books about inspirational people and one of the first I read I would recommend to anyone. It is Richard Branson’s autobiography. Richard is dyslexic and yet his first business venture was to produce a college magazine. Another great book is ‘The Answer’ by Barbara and Alan Pease. They were self-made millionaires and lost everything because of a dishonest accountant. Alan fell into depression but, two years later, with Barbara’s help they began to build their empire once more. Once again, they have made their millions. As I said, anything is possible.  


HOW TO ATTRACT HIGHER PAID SPEAKING GIGS USING THE 3P MAGIC FORMULA With years of experience in the speaking business, one thing I can tell you is that I have spent a tremendous amount of time thinking about how best to reach my audience. I have boggled my mind trying to come up with the perfect topic for female speakers for this post, and you know what? I finally have it. I am going to take you through what I call the magical 3Ps in this article. These are three considerations I always factor into building my speaking business and that I feel could help you attract higher paying gigs for your speaking business. Let’s begin.

The 3P Magic Formula Proof I work with a lot of high-end meeting planners and it is from them that I learnt the importance of perception to attracting high-paying clients. If I am an event planner looking for speakers for my stage, for instance, the first thing I would look at if you approached me would be your background, your portfolio. Do you have a professionally-done website I could visit before hiring you? What about footage, showreel, photos or testimonials from past works? You see, a lot of the big bucks don’t just want to hear that you are great and impactful and will make their event a success. They want to see it. Therefore, if this is the clientele you want to attract, step up your game. Put the proof together. Let them see what you have to offer.


Presentation So, you have been hired for a high-paying gig, congratulations. It is time for you to impress your client and retain them. Now, what matters is your content and the way you present it. It’s time to ask yourself, what do I have to offer this audience that will wow them? How can I build my engagement base? Is my content wellinformed and up-to-date? Is my structure engaging enough to keep my audience interested or do I need a few more anecdotes to connect with them? When you analyze your content, structure it logically, and consider your verbal and non-verbal cues when speaking, you’re more likely to make enough of an impact with the audience to keep your speaking business profitable for years down the line. Pull Cultivating your pull is the third and final P that will help you attract higher paying gigs for your speaking business. Your pull is your attractiveness in the eyes of the audience. It’s about who shows up when you’re hired to speak. If you want to grow your speaking business, you have to have a large fan base (how to get one is a story for another time). High-paying meeting planners will be interested in hiring you when you draw a large audience, large enough to spend significant amounts during events, large enough that meeting planners can get return on their investments by putting you on the stage. Takeaway When you regularly and equally work on your three magical P's until they are in order (that is, you have compounded the proof, polished the presentation and cultivated your pull), you can attract and command high-end speaking gigs. Which brings me to my bonus P – paid. If you want to earn more, you must learn to market yourself. Ask for the work, and if they like you, they will hire you. Remember, getting recommendations to speak at events is a great way to build your portfolio, but recommendations won’t expand your company – they’re unreliable. Generating leads and converting them into clients is what will grow your business in the long run.

Are you looking get on more stages in 2018? Join other women just like you in the World Class Female Speakers community. I am a firm believer that the world needs more female leaders sharing their message from stage to HUGE audiences.

Lovelda Vincenzi


WHY VIDEO CONTENT INCREASES YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE

People like to watch videos. Period. Post done. Ok, although I could seriously end this post with those 5 words, maybe you're curious to know a little more than that, especially if you are terrified to go live for your business. HubSpot conducted a survey where they asked respondents how much video they watch everyday and people reported that, on average, they watch 1.5 hours of video everyday (with 15% admittedly watching 3 hours a day!). Diving deeper into video consumption, Sproutsocial released a report specific to the amount of video watched on Facebook and found that, on average, 8 billion videos are watched on Facebook everyday with about 20% of them livestreams. That means, on average, 1.6 billion livestreams are watched on Facebook everyday. So, it’s pretty clear that video is a powerful tool to grow your business and your personal brand online. Why do people prefer to watch video? As every marketer knows, people need to know, like and trust you to do business with you. I define written social media posts as 1-dimensional marketing because all your audience can do is read it. However, I classify video content as 3-dimensional marketing because now they can see you, hear you and interact with you live. Everyone is also trying to figure out how to crack the Facebook algorithm to get their posts seen by more people. It’s common knowledge that video content will rank higher than written posts, but how does livestreaming stack up to prerecorded videos? I haven’t seen anything specific on this yet; however, Mark Zuckerberg has publicly stated that the goal of Facebook is to create real and open conversations between people and I think it’s safe to say that livestreaming is the best way to have an open conversation with your audience in real time. I know livestreaming can be scary. And, trust me, you are not alone.

Kim Trathen


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