Self Starter Magazine October 2018

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Optimal October

* what is Empowering donna kennedy? * going from employed to self-employed * letting go of the pressure of having to have it all

Meet The Team


Publisher & Editor-In-Chief Kajsa Kinsella Arklow County Wicklow Ireland

Wendy Merrigan

Lynsey Hanratty

Sharon Thompson

Claire Gallagher

Éadaoin Curtin

Siobhan Fitzpatrick

Paul Dunphy

Special Guests

Donna Kennedy

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Marie Shields

Orlaith Carmody

Emer Halpenny

Inspiring Energetic Connecting

Editor`s Welcome

BY KAJSA KINSELLA Hi Everyone & All. I`m SO delighted that we have gotten the sun back in our Irish lives for a little while longer! It was sorely missed, as I was far from ready to lose sight of the best summer I have ever spent weatherwise on this island. It did the old soul so much good, to be warm and cared for. Long may it last this time too! This month, we have loads of incredible content for you; the up-close and personal story of the bestselling author and Women`s Empowerment founder Donna Kennedy; Orlaith Carmody, bestselling author, keynote speaker, and business coach; articles written by incredible Irish female entrepreneurs and much much more. The lunch recipe this month is a dish from my Swedish childhood-super simple, super healthy and super tasty! We recently joined forces with the talented business and marketing mentor Finola Howard of How Great Marketing Works, as we decided to take part in her online course and learn how to market the magazine and what it stands for properly once and for all. Each month, we will learn how to turn us into marketing experts for Self Starter Magazine, and you get to come along too! The course offers so much more than we can explain, so have a look on her website and book her 14-day free trial, we know you will love it! Read about step four in this issue. Make sure to submit your entry in our exciting new competition-Grab Yourself A Mentor. Win a 30-minute consultation with one of our three experts to get feedback, advice or simply to brainstorm. Let`s welcome our new columnists, Marie Shields of Moss Marketing, she will teach you all about Social Media, how it works and how to utilize it best.

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For You This Month

P 7. Multiple bestselling

P 16. Finally Lunchtime!

P 22. The Cream Of The Crop,

author, mother and

Recharge the old batteries with

showcasing Ireland`s best

entrepreneur Donna Kennedy

this yummy chunky vegetable

produce, design and

tells us her powerful story.

soup. It`s full of goodness and


P 12. Learning to let go of the dream of having it all straight away is not easy, but, for the longevity of your business, letting it take its time, is advisable.

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flavour, you`ll love it! P 18. Use Your Hashtags! Each month, we`ll give you some of the most popular hashtags in various fields of business.

P 24.The Price Is Right, Or Is It? Getting to grips with how much to charge your customers is often very confusing. Wendy Merrigan will guide you through it.

For You This Month

P 26.The dapper, handsome and

P 36. Dignified, Determined and

oh, so eloquent Paul Dunphy

Distinct, three words which

Esquire is our very popular Irish

describe Orlaith Carmody. We are

author-portrait and book editor!

delighted to feature her story.

P 27. Siobhan Fitzpatrick, our International Irish Female Entrepreneurs Correspondent, interviews The Mindful Money Coach Karen McAllister.

P 39. Be in with the chance of winning a 30-minute brainstorming sessions with one of our three experts!

P 40. Creating a website is all fun and games, but, before long, it will have to begin making money. Website strategy expert Claire Gallagher will tell you how. P 45. Our brand new Social Media Editor Marie Shields will teach you all about how to best master the various platforms and why.

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I Learned To Never Ever Underestimate The Power Within! P 07



It`s not often that you come across true powerhouses like Donna Kennedy; she is a three times bestselling author, multiple entrepreneur, international speaker and mentor, and founder of the very popular event, the Women`s Empowerment Summit (WE Summit). Donna is the only Irish woman to have shared the stage collectively with international leaders in personal and business development such as Bob Proctor (The Secret), Brian Tracy (Eat that Frog), the authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Sharon Lechter (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) to name but a few, and her worked has been used by leading organisations to train staff and market product. As such she knows how to spot the very best people to deliver relevant life changing information to attendees at her events. The Women’s Empowerment Summit is a gathering of likeminded women with a common goal, to become the best versions of ourselves in life and/or business. The event is open to ALL women, not just business women, and is supported by leading experts in various fields of goal achievement, people who have proven results, allowing every attendee to feel confident in the knowledge that they are learning from the best and will be empowered as a result. Speakers at events have been diverse (after all everyone has unique goals) and it is important to have a broad range of speakers to teach you the various skills needed for life and business success, everyone from humanitarians such as Christina Noble (movie NOBLE), to leading sports people such as World Cup rugby legend Joy Neville. As we chat about life, children, work, business hopes and dreams, I get a distinct impression that Donna is a woman of her word. If she says she is going to do it, it will be done, no matter what she has to learn or achieve to reach the goals she has set for herself.

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"EVERYONE IS BORN SUCCESSFUL BUT OVER TIME CAN BE CONDITIONED NOT TO BE. IT'S ABOUT CHOOSING TO REMEMBER WHO YOU REALLY ARE AND DOING WHAT IT TAKES TO GO AFTER WHAT YOU WANT!" As women, mothers and wives, we often tend to take a step "to the side" and wait for everybody else`s lives to happen, before we take care of our own. It`s a natural trait and it`s something which often happens, without us even noticing. This is where Donna comes in, to awaken the fire within, to help you see the potential in your life, in your person. With drive and fire, Donna manages, with her partner Pat Slattery and young son Ashton by her side, to get the best of both worlds, merging business and family life, letting neither suffer from lack of attention. Donna has faced several challenges in her life that to many might seem insurmountable. Having been raped at 7 years old, she then battled with anorexia nervosa as a teenager and later developed epilepsy resulting from a car accident, yet despite all that, she empowered herself and became successful. She is real, and she is not one to sit idle by and let you slip through her fingers, if she feels you are in need of a helping hand, a kind word and a shoulder to lean on. We are all in this life together and we should support each other, it`s as simple as that. Donna found strength within herself and her family and created a path out of misery, and in her early 20.s, began seeing the light of life again and was adamant, she was not going to let it extinguish. There is a certain type of inner flame, a special kind of determination within people who have overcome the worst of times, that simply cannot be found in those who have been lucky enough to have had a smoother ride in life. It is the primal instinct of survival that shines through and in Donna, this is very evident.The fact that our past is not what defines us, but how we react to it, is what gives us the power to push ourselves and our vision of female empowerment further and further each and every day. Through her work in media, as a motivational speaker and through her books, Donna is dedicated to spotting the very person who is in need of a confidence boost; the one who is struggling, uncertain of themselves and the one who is hesitant to take the step towards living the life they were meant to. Her creation, the Women`s Empowerment Summit is an annual event which is very well established, and it`s popularity and attendance-numbers doubles at each event. Donna This year, on the 20th of October in Citywest, Dublin, we will enjoy international stars like Maia Dunphy-female spokes-person, writer and broadcaster; Niamh Kavanagh-Eurovision Song Contest winner twice over and female empowerment advocate; Derval O`Rourke-one of Ireland`s most successful track & field experts, and the ultimate sports star; Orlaith Carmody-established business coach and twice bestselling author; Gloriane Giovanelli, celebrated health & wellness consultant & international speaker and last but not least, Vera Twomey, a woman, who`s fight for the wellness of her daughter took her, by foot, from Cork to Dáil Éireann. It will be a day to remember, a day which will transform both you and your business. We here at Self Starter cannot wait to meet you all there! P 09

Business Coaching

From Employee to Entrepreneur

By Lynsey Hanratty

How to make that transition without feeling overwhelmed. Lots of people dream of being their own boss, dream of having more time to work on their own projects, work with people they want to serve, and have the flexibility in their day that the 9 to 5 can’t give them. The transition from full time employee to entrepreneur can be a challenge and requires some forward planning to avoid overwhelm or exhaustion at the early stages of your business. Making a definite decision to move into entrepreneurship and out of the office job creates amazing energy and momentum to keep you on track. Giving yourself a deadline of 6 months or 1 year to ‘get out of Dodge’ will really focus your mind on what needs to be done. Make the escape plan and stick to it! Putting the decision on the long finger and talking about it as if it will happen ‘someday’ won’t serve you in the long run. P 10

And while it all sounds nice and idealistic to quit your job and follow your dreams, the reality is that you need to pay your bills in the first few months while your business gets off the ground. Best to run your side business for a few months while working your full-time job and create a financial cushion so you have one less thing to worry about when you go solo! It’s not easy to burn the candle at both ends but knowing that you can make money from your side venture before you jump ship makes it easier to leave the office. It’s important to plan each day to a T at the beginning, this will help you stick to a routine while you make the transition from full time job to entrepreneur. If it helps, plan your day around normal working office hours initially while you figure out what works best for you, and adjust as you go. It’s best to work to your most productive hours, that will depend if you’re an early worm or a night owl. Don’t work all the hours, best to have a cut-off point each day to reduce stress, tiredness and overwhelm.

Business Coaching


“Give it your best shot, believe me, it’s worth it.”

When making that transition to full-time entrepreneur, focus on the money today, the money tomorrow and then everything else. Work first thing every day on the things that will create money or profit for you today, then work on the things that could bring money into your business tomorrow or next week, and then after all that is done, do the admin or social media or arrange those networking events. Don’t start with emails and social media, or else you’ll get sucked into the rabbit hole of being busy, and not being productive!

2. It’s important before you leap into the world of business to take a good look at your budget and outgoings. How much money do you need to make ends meet? How much is a client worth to you? How much product do you need to sell to make a decent profit margin? What can you do over the next few months to ensure the pipeline is providing new clients for you? Knowing the numbers and the profit plan will help you keep your eyes on the prize.

3. It’s important before you leap into the world of business to take a good look at your budget and outgoings. How much money do you need to make ends meet? How much is a client worth to you? How much product do you need to sell to make a decent profit margin? What can you do over the next few months to ensure the pipeline is providing new clients for you? Knowing the numbers and the profit plan will help you keep your eyes on the prize.

4. There will be days where you feel it was all a big mistake to leave the security of the 9 to 5, there will be days where all you get is the word ‘No’. It’s important to realize that your product or service may not be for everyone, it may only be for a chosen few who understand, who ‘get it’ and who will be ambassadors for your brand and business. Remember why you started the business in the first place – to be your own boss, to control your own destiny, so don’t panic.


You can make the decision today to start your escape plan and be your own boss. It can be a scary and uncertain time making the transition, and you will never work harder than when you run your own business. Being an entrepreneur is personal development on steroids, you will learn a lot about your capabilities along the way.


But if this is something you dreamed of for a long time like I did, you come to realize that there is no alternative, except a dreary life in the office until you’re in your late sixties and put out to pasture with a handshake and a ‘keep in touch!’ from your colleagues. Life is very short. Too short to waste your talents and your true calling to the beat of someone else’s drum who has no vested interest in your future. Give it your best shot, believe me, it’s worth it.

Lynsey Hanratty worked in the wellness arena as a neuromuscular and physical therapist for over 4 years before moving into coaching to fulfil her ambition of helping wellness practitioners realise their potential, create more profit, and have the business and life they want. She does this by way of one to one business coaching as well as speaking at various events. If you would like to avail of Lynsey’s 30 minute complimentary Profit Road Map Session to explore what you want to achieve and create in your wellness business, you can contact her at or call her on 086 3569689. P 11



Letting Go Of Having To Have It All Growing a business takes time, blood, sweat and sometimes tears... By Kajsa Kinsella

The road to success is never straightforward...Starting out in business a few years ago now, I thought that the first thing I came up with; running a small Swedish bakery business, was going to make me the millions I had dreamed of for so long. Nope, it proved to be incredibly difficult to break the market and keeping my finances from being drained, due to the products having such a short shelf life. Plus, trying to get into shops was next to impossible. So, on to the next thing. I began working with something else I love to do: making patterns on Adobe Illustrator! Let`s see what I can create out of this, I thought, and had my smaller patterns made into rubber stamps, then created a porcelain range with the help of these. Let me tell you, it was SO much fun! But, again, traveling around on markets to test this out, with a young family and fulltime job in tow, was not sustainable, so I had to leave the ceramics to the side and think again. Instead, out of my Adobe patterns, I had fabrics made, and sewed some lovely household items and little toys out of them. This was something that I truly loved, but, again, the cost of carrying a 12 pattern fabric range was to become too much for my bank account and as I was not able to hire someone to help me out, the workload simply became far too heavy to carry on my own. During those years, I also wrote two books, co-wrote another two and worked a lot with international magazines, supplying tutorials to them. What I`m trying to say here, is that it takes time to figure out who you are. The road to glory, as we see it when we first step out into the entrepreneurial spotlight, is never a straight one. The path to success is lined with all kinds of obstacles, many which are just SO annoying and uncomfortable, but, they are the ones that teach us how to do it better, how to be smarter and how to become laser-focused on how to get where we want to go. Let go of having to have it all now, and let it take its time.

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"It takes Patience, Persistence & Plenty Of Perspiration To Succeed!" *Learn from your set backs* Rather than shying away from the fact that the business venture you dreamed of didn`t quite work out as you had planned, let what occured teach you. Learn what to do and what not to do next time around! *Look After The Money* Failing in business is absolutely no fun, but not even half as un-fun as when you have proper money invested in it, on top of the expectations of others, potential investors and staff...Don`t go full force into a business too soon however tempting the idea of making a heap of money seems. Take your time and let it settle, let it grow and it will show you its potential or nonpotential in time. *Pick Your Company With Care* As in any situation in life, there are people who want to bring you down and there are people who want to lift you up. Be careful of yourself, and choose to spend your time with people who are encouraging you, rather with those in who`s company you feel selfconscious and inadequate. *Get back Up On That Horse!* If your business hasn`t brought you where you want it to be, get back up and dust yourself off. Look tings over, as if you were your own customer, your own target market and see what they see. Why are you not taking the world by storm? Why are you not making the millions you know you deserve? Begin putting steps in place to build a business that will make you happy and hopefully wealthy too.

CONSIDER THIS "If you stay focused and treasure the "failed" business ideas, rather than deny them, you will learn a lot!"

When things are tough, remind yourself of this: Letting go of the expectations of you "having to have it all" straight away is a wonderful thing. I promise you, the entrepreneurs you look ALL have a history of failures, mistakes and unsuccessful attempts to make it in business. You are anything but alone, and you are much better of, setting realistic goals, than over the top ones, for your own sake. Be kind to yourself. You are learning, you are developing and you are discovering who you are in business. Enjoy the ride, and make sure you learn from it and your millions will come! P 13


Learning To Love The Process BY ÉADAOIN CURTIN

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What is a brand, like, really? And, how will you know where we’re going to take the photos?

I’ve been asked these questions a few times lately, so I figured there may be a few other people wondering the same. These questions might seem different at first, but in reality, they're not. A brand is a beautiful tapestry of many things, but to put it very simply, a brand is a considered representation of self or business. A brand is made up of the words we use, the colours and fonts, the images and logos, the places we show up in person and online, the places we don't show up. Your brand is the first impression you make, it's what makes you different and it sets expectations for what's next. So, the next question might be, Is there a shortcut to getting your brand in shape? And the short answer to that is No, there are things you can do in the short term, with guidance, that will get you there in the long term.

You see, as much as anything, your brand development takes time because it is dependent on a process - a process of exploring, discovering, uncovering. And that is what connects these two questions. Because deciding where we're going to take your photos is dependent on a process; a process that I've developed, refined, and constantly tend to. Over the last decade of learning about branding and building my own, I've learned to love, and live by, the process. Ok, so how do we decide where to shoot? Well, after booking a shoot with me, I take my clients through a pre-shoot consultation. There are 4 parts to the consultation and it takes around about an hour right now. We talk about who you are, who inspires you, who you aspire to be and how you want your clients or customers to feel when they interact with you. We uncover recurrent themes and values that come up and we figure out together how we're going to bring these values and your message to visual life. Your locations add to your story, they round out the portraits, they tell part of the story.

Once you're in the process, and you know you're in the process, you can learn to love the process. Contact Eadaoin to bring out the best in you! P 15


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Lunch Time!




"You don`t need to own a silver fork, to eat great food!" Growing up in southern Sweden, I was surrounded by delicious food. My mum was an incredible mealmaker and her mother, Essie, was a chef at a convalescent clinic. In those days, everything was made from scratch with fresh ingredients and my absolute favourite was this simple yet mouthwatering soup...Enjoy! /Kajsa

Directions & Ingredients-Chopping 15 min. Cooking 15 min. 5 Large Carrots 2-3 Large Parsnips 2 Leeks 6 Large Potatoes Freshly Chopped Parsley-Lots! 2-3 Vegetable Stock Cubes Optional-Smoked Sausage Peel carrots, potatoes and the parsnip and chop them into chunky squares. Make the potato cubes twice the size of the rest, as they tend to cook faster and will turn into mush if too small! Cut the leek in thin slices and add all vegetables to the pot. Chop fresh parsley and add that too. Add the stock cubes, then add water to the pot, fill it to just above the vegs and bring to the boil. Let boil for 12-15 minutes, then check to make sure it`s done. Cut smoked sausage into small pieces and fry with a little oil or butter. Ad them to your steaming bowl of soup for that little bit extra. Serve with some wholemeal bread, salted butter and a strong cheese.Yum!

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#Accounting #Finance #Financemanager #Audit #Accountancyservice

#Media #Campaign #Opportunities #Advertorial #Advertisingcampaign



#Counceller #Mentalhealth #Therapy #Councellingadvice #graphic #Councellingsupport

#Naturalcare #Happyinmyskin #Naturalbeauty #Beautycare #Skincaretips


#Design #Graphics #Webdesign #Branding #Logodesign #Graphicdesignadvice

Use Your Hashtags!

Whether you are starting out in business or is a seasoned entrepreneur, don`t forget to use #Hashtags on all your posts and images.#Hashtags categorize all your posts on the internet and lets people find them so much more effectively.



#Brand #Personalbranding #Brandingtips #Brandingadvice #Logobranding

#Cook #Recipe #Cookingtips #Kitchenlife #Dinnerisserved

#Pr #Singing #Sing #Song #Voicetips #Singingismylife #Songoftheday P 18

#PRagency #Agent #Publicrelations #Marketing #PRsupport


#Dance #Dancevideo #Danceforlife #Dancedancedance #Dancingqueen



DUOLINGO - One of our favourite free apps right now. Choose between loads of languages to learn methodically and easily. Find it in your app store

CRELLO - Easy to use, stunning graphics & layouts for all your marketing projects. Find it in your app store

CURIOSITY - Learn that knowledge truly is power. Explore info-graphics & articles that keep your brain sharp. Find it in your app store

CALL RECORDER - One of the best and most advance call recorder available. Record so you don`t forget! Find it in your app store

"OBTAINING MONEY DOESN`T NECESSARILY HAVE TO COST MUCH MONEY" There are SO many excellent free programs, platforms, and apps on the net for business owners, which are just as efficient as the paid ones. You`d be mad not to at least try those out before the ones that charge, but always be careful when downloading anything from the internet. P 19


Why Should You Take The Leap!?

By Kajsa Kinsella

How Would Being Self-Employed Improve Your Life? I have to say, although I was a late starter, the yearning for becoming self-employed and being the master of my own fate is something that has been part of me and my core anatomy for a very long time, in fact, for all my life as my upbringing was very entrepreneurial with my entire family being very creative and business minded. It`s wonderful when you are a child and possible limitations are mere shallow imaginary fences you think you can easily jump over; we have all these vivid dreams and unlimited hopes as kids or teenagers and we`re full of vigor and determination, then, somehow "life happens"! Before you know it, you are a 40-something, working full-time in a job you don`t enjoy and your children and husband, although you love them all to bits, are taking up most of your time, energy and attention. Life as you envisioned it is slipping through your fingers like sand, and you are either too tired or too busy to stop and think or even feel... But-there is a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a beacon on the shore and that is, that it`s never ever too late to become the person you wished to be. It`s never ever too late to develop yourself into a focused, determined and ambitious entrepreneur, with a busy family around you, with a life, with a social life and with an income that will empower and free you. Let`s see how we can achieve this. P 20


"A Positive Action, Combined With Positive Thinking, Creates Success!" Get to know yourself: your values, goals, strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. Wake up to what you don`t want to be.

Who do you wish to be? Be completely honest, allow yourself to be truthful and listen to yourself.

Decide how you wish to feel going forward. With which emotion do you want to wake up in the morning?

Recognize when you have felt weak and neglectful of yourself, make sure to prepare for not feeling that way again.

What skills do you need to develop to be able to achieve what you now know you want to do?

How will you become different to all the others out there. Hone in on your new hunger, use it as fire!

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The Very Best Of Irish

k c i P s ` r o t i d The Cream Of The E Crop

Linda Wilson Knitwear MuMe The kaolin clay throuruoghly cleanses your make-up brushes while the goats milk keeps the bristles soft and suitable for sensitive skin. It's gentle enough to use daily without harming your brushes. Solid Make-Up Brush Cleanser €: 12.95

Lovern Leather Goods As a girl who LOVES handbags, I have found my ideal partner for life. Fantastically well designed and original bags-and, it`s red! Curve Leather Barrel Bag €: 345.00

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This beautifully knitted hat comes in many colours, and you can pick which ever you one you prefer. Now, that`s bespoke! Wollen Hat #27 €: 50.00

Kilcoe Studios Sonia Caldwell has created the most exquisite collection of Irish trees we have ever seen. The vibrancy and attention to detail is simply wonderful. Pack of 6: €: 10.50

The Very Best Of Irish

Jennifer Kinnear

Mary Neeson Ceramics

Inspired by her water-loving lifestyle and many trips on her boat to the south west coast of Ireland, Jennifer has created a stunning range of nautical jewellery. Whale`s Tale Necklace € 75.00

The cooler months are moving in, our little feathered friends might need a helping hand and this very sweet feeder is durable and very pretty. Bird Feeder Blue & Green Stripe €: 70.00

Whack Pack Furniture Handmade from solid ash timber, these delightful little stools by Whackpack Furniture are a fusion of old Irish famine carpentry methods with the delicate techniques of Japanese Joinery. Red Creepie Stool €: 39.00

The Irish Handmade Glass Company

This beautiful business is the creation of an impressive team of master craftsmen, coming together after Waterford Chrystal sadly closed. They provide stunning workmanship and quality. Celtic Meadow Bud Vase €: 39.95

Anneco Ann Shields from County Laois has created a stunning range of natural mineral cosmetic makeup, reflecting her love for natural beauty. € See the complete range

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Financial Feature



By Wendy Merrigan

Reviewing what you want to earn per year and calculating what that is per hour (realistically) and to fit with the lifestyle you want, as a starting point. If you want a salary of upwards of €60k per annum and want to work five hours a day, as an example, you need to be earning over 52 euro per hour (for every hour worked). That's taking into account 4 weeks annual leave and 2 weeks bank holidays here in Ireland. If you would like additional time off, the rate needed to be earned is obviously going up. For those of us in the service industry or professional services, we've grown up with this model and it's easy to use with experience. For many starting to understand where their time is going and why they haven't seen the results they would like at the end of the year, this method of valuing your time can help greatly. When you don't see the bottom line impact (take-home pay increase or profits in your business at the end of the period), it can leave you feeling unmotivated. You will feel undervalued, question what you are achieving and perhaps even suffer burnout. When looking at your business from an accounting point of view, it may simply be that your pricing model is wrong. When working with clients this past month, this issue came up more than once. What are the options available to you :

If you are busy constantly and appear to be making progress with sales per month, but your profit level and salary are not reflecting the 'busy-ness' each month or at the end of the year, then it's time to stop and reflect. P 24

Financial Feature

What are the options available to you : Increase your prices Get the jobs done faster Change your offering Or a combination of all of the above I get challenged by clients when I talk about their price structure. The only way we get to this challenging conversation is that they have mentioned how hard they feel they are working but not seeing the increase in profits. From there, it's never really a 'challenging' conversation, it becomes a conversation about changing something. No-one I've met is 100% comfortable with change. When it comes to increasing prices everyone has the same fear - What if my clients don't come back? So we discuss the pros and cons of increasing prices for a short while but it's Einstein's definition of madness - doing the same thing and expecting a different result. You can't really argue with Einstein (even if you want to argue with me). CHANGING PRICES - WHAT TO FOCUS ON So you have decided you HAVE TO increase your prices, what are the next steps?

COMMUNICATION Make sure existing clients know why you are changing your prices and why. Don't focus on you not making profit as a 'poor mouth' style conversation, but focus on what you need to do for them and how your services benefit them. RE-DESIGNING YOUR OFFER The advantage of being a small business is you can change your offering, your services or products a little without too much inconvenience. By rethinking your offering and packaging your service or products in a different way, you can change prices without too much direct comparison to the 'old' you. ADD VALUE Most definitely THE most important issue for all businesses is to ensure your offering is adding value to clients. If you increase prices without focusing on what is adding value to your product or service, you'll face difficulty. Focusing on what's important to clients and ensuring their needs are met and offering more than is expected or focusing on your one key differentiation point, will enable you to clearly communicate with clients exactly why your price structure is what it is. If you continue to be busy without reflecting on what you want or where you are taking your business, then expect the same results for the coming years. If you want to make changes in your business, face the fear and do it anyway. Suffering burn-out is no joke. Neither is working all hours, missing out on the most important parts of our personal lives and missing spending time with loved ones, if we don't get the benefits we feel we deserve. At every stage in our lives, careers, businesses, we have choices. Sometimes we need some time out with someone who doesn't have a personal attachment to it. By having the tough conversations regularly, you can make lasting change in your business.

Wendy is a chartered accountant and financial mentor. Check out LinkedIn for future events and articles posted weekly. Connect, chat, share information. P 25

Paul Dunphy Esquire is a social media consultant and curator and book lover. Contact Paul via and see what he can do for you!

On the couch with Paul Dunphy Esquire!

Welcome to my monthly column 12 on all things 14 book related including reviews and my favourite Irish authors /Paul I’ve enjoyed Carmel Harrington’s books in the past but this new book from Carmel ‘A Thousand Roads Home’ is the absolute best yet! A memorable, powerful book. Don’t be surprised if the movie or TV series rights for this book are snapped up. It’s a very special, full of heart and an important read in 2018. A book about people who feel they are outsiders (haven’t we all at some point), new friendships and overcoming adversity that life can sometimes throw our way. Ruth, DJ and Tom are the principal characters and the most beloved dog ‘Bette Davis’ (classic!) who is a very special dog indeed. A superb story about how these people’s (and dog!) lives intertwine and how their friendships develop and lead to a wonderfully satisfying conclusion. I welled up numerous times and was in bits by end – but in a good way!

This book highlights homelessness and what it means in 2018, how ordinary people like me and you can end up homeless, I knew about this, like we all do, but this book opened my eyes to the extent of this issue in Ireland today and made it more real for me. A book that’s for women, men and in fact anyone that loves a brilliant and memorable story. I could not put this book down, I adored the characters and the words Carmel used brought them to life for me so much that I felt they were my friends by the end (I wish they were!) I implore you to get this book, you will love it and I would move it to the top of your TBR pile, you won’t regret it. It’s out this month. Find out more about Carmel’s books at and check out the vital work that the Peter McVerry Trust do at P 26

International Interview

Here at Self Starter we often share tips and tools on financial matters relating to your business. But have you ever asked yourself, what is my relationship with money? Do you struggle with deciding your rates or asking for money/payment? Have you put in place personal insurances? All important questions when working for yourself and there’s no one better to help you than my guest this month, Karen McAllister, The Mindful Money Coach based in Canada, working globally.

Karen, you’ve not always been an entrepreneur, tell us a little about yourself and the path which brought you to where you are now? I started off as a secondary school teacher, teaching business and languages in Dublin after graduating from U.C.D.’s post graduate diploma in Education. I have always been an entrepreneur at heart, actually, an initiator focused on improving the environment or having greater social impact in whatever I do. Making things better for all is what drives me. I’ve lived in Japan and spent lots of time in Canada and travelling worldwide. Wherever I went I looked for opportunities.The big learning has been the extra complication of actually working it out with others in equal partnership in this with me. This is not an easy task for an innovative, early-adopter solo entrepreneur type. One of my mentors wisely said to me that your weakness becomes your strength. Many great teachers were not the smartest or fastest students in the class. So, learning to lead in a way that motivates and inspires the best in people has gradually become a strength. As a business goes from self-starter to second stage growth, people begin to settle into areas that suit their temperament and talent. I found myself getting more streamlined into raising funds for the organisation. I set up our first monthly donor program and our first capital campaign for a new building. The biggest entrepreneurial endeavour I’ve been involved with is being a co-founder of a mindfulness centre in British Columbia, Canada since 2004 called Clear Sky Study Foundation. We’re still growing fast, 14 years later. My ability as an entrepreneur, to see what was needed in order to move the organisation on, meant I could jump into things and learn along the way. Marketing, funding from the heart, grantwriting, strategic planning, heart-based sales, appreciative inquiry in organisational development, measuring social capital, authentic leadership - sometimes all at the same time. I call this my hands-on MBA for people who are trying to make a difference. I found myself having conversations with members about whether they would like to join the monthly program to support our financial bottom line. And this is where I ran into the heartbreak, distrust, and suspicion people had around money. I was speaking with people from all over the world, hearing how they felt wrong in their relationship with money. Like they did something wrong, they should have done something else with their money. Or the sad face they pulled because they feel they missed out on an opportunity that other people got, “I should have bought some Apple stocks when they were just starting back then. I thought about it.” So I discovered that we have a dysfunctional relationship with money, unfortunately, as a human family with so much shame and secrecy around it. Most people are very private in their suffering around money. This got me thinking that maybe this painful relationship with money, which seems so personal, might be a global cultural thing. I went searching and met two mentors in this field, who I then studied with. Lynne Twist from the Soul of Money Institute, and Deborah Price from the Money Coaching Institute. Lynne’s work helped me realise why I was experiencing the same blocks and fears around money from the international membership at the mindfulness centre. And it was the mentorship of Deborah Price that allowed me to go into the trenches with people, couples, and groups to liberate the behaviours that keep us stuck in money fears, belief, and unhealthy patterns around money. Hence, my business, Mindful Money Coaching was born in 2013. Finally, I felt I had a business which was a great match of my desire to help people and make a difference, with the skills and experience I’d built up through previous attempts and through my hands-on MBA at Clear Sky. Now, I work extensively with big blocks such as fear, dissociation, and betrayal that are common in people’s consciousness around money. Seeing the pain these cause – and the great difference people can make when free of them – has made me fiercely committed to helping people come to a place of flow and empowerment around money.

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International Interview

What’s the most exciting or fun thing about being an entrepreneur for you? I think, it is working out what is needed to serve the community and the people through listening to people. What is missing here, what could be improved? And then I love building things from scratch. Exploring what if I call this person, or what if I tried this. The pure adventure of creating something from nothing. The excitement of not knowing what certain actions or ideas will lead to. I love the spontaneity of being an entrepreneur.

Life can throw us curve balls when we least expect them. What, if any, have come across your path as a female entrepreneur and if you had the time again would you react any differently? I don’t know whether I could really change this. I lacked a lot of confidence in my skills and talents for many years, because the times I grew up in encouraged me to take the conservative route. Ireland was a country that supported set professions like the doctor, nurse, policeman, or teacher. That is why my entrepreneurial qualities had to happen within an established institution, with a paid salary supporting me. I didn’t see them for what they were until they had a chance to flourish abroad and at Clear Sky. Now, it feels like the soil is ripe in Ireland to encourage and support women with entrepreneurial tendencies. It feels very exciting and dynamic for women in Ireland now.

The entrepreneurial journey can be a lonely one at times. Where do you go for inspiration and motivation? Who do you surround yourself with to challenge you? This is a great question. I have a very close mentor, who has been a social entrepreneur since leaving Columbia University, New York in the ‘80s. She has been my guiding light, paving the way in her actions, her communication and in her thoughts. I think “what would Catherine do here”? She also encourages me when I get down about my business. I feel very stimulated and inspired after our conversations. Through being around her, new ideas come to mind, or what I need to do next in my business becomes very clear. I find I get back in touch with why I am doing this. Which brings energy, clarity, and renewed faith in where I am going. I am very grateful for this relationship. I also belong to some business communities that meet on a regular basis. My business is online - so it is important to get out and meet likeminded people in person. I also set myself some networking goals like, "monthly, I will meet with ten people I don't know yet and want to know,” or “monthly, I will meet with ten people I already know and want to know better.” I love meeting, listening and interviewing people. I also carve out the time for things that bring me joy, like a consistent daily mindfulness practice, exercise, and travel. I also take one day where I don’t do any work at all. I don’t go on the computer or look at my phone. My friend introduced me to this, which she calls an “e-quiet” day. I call it an integration day, where I give myself time to integrate things I am learning in my business. It is an open day, no schedule. I might just sip tea and stare out the window or read a novel. I find it refreshes and recharges me.

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International Interview

International Interview

What have been your greatest achievements and what does 2019 have in store for Karen McAllister? My greatest achievement so far is going from thinking I am alone, and not supported in my life - a huge piece of conditioning - to seeing that I actually need a community for my health and sanity, not just close family members. And it is important for me to be part of a community which is about bringing consciousness to everything they do, really training the mind to be more focused, aiming for momentto-moment awareness. I don’t feel my business would be as successful without having my community supporting me. In 2019? Lots of attendance at networking events both in Canada, the United States and Europe. I will be working more with holistic and retreat centres and small businesses helping them in their relationship with money. Also, I’ll be working more with couples on creating conscious agreements around money. Money issues sometimes create fear, tension, and conflict, especially when a couple has not made clear agreements around money in the beginning of their relationship. This coaching process creates an understanding of the patterns that emerge between couples around money and teaches couples how to compassionately communicate in a healthy, constructive ways regarding money.

I believe we all have a goal or a mantra to which we live by. What’s yours? Give it your best shot. Hold nothing back. And stand back at the right times to allow the work that you have done to bear fruition.

If you could share one piece of advice to one of our readers about to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship, what would that be? Do your research, listen to your mentors, surround yourself with supportive community, and then of course trust your instincts and personal resources because they will guide you.

Contact Karen McAllister on

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Get In Touch!

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kajsakinsella @MagSelfStarter @selfstartermagazine

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Personal Story


Of the many jobs I’ve had since my teens, I had never worked in retail. That opportunity only came after twenty seven years at the helm of my own drama school and two years into building a natural skincare business. Although we originally intended ANU to be exclusively online, the opportunity arose in 2016 to be part of a collective in Powerscourt Townhouse, a gorgeous shop called KID, which sells design led children’s products. It was an experience we’ll never regret; not only did we discover a new market and make friends (Eleven women. ELEVEN. On What’s App!) but crucially, we learned how to sell.

Whatever I thought I knew about selling accounted for nothing when I stood in an actual bricks & mortar building and wondered why something wasn’t shifting. There is a psychology of shoppers that needs to be understood and although we sometimes got grumpy about it (Eleven. Women.) we did better when we listened to anyone with experience of visual merchandising or hands on selling. We recently opened a shop unit in the newly refurbished Marlay Park Courtyard, one we share with Patricia Fitzgerald, the mandala lady of Healing Creations. In fact, we’re surrounded by artists, gold smiths, silver smiths, designers and bakers. At the weekend, we have the Farmer’s Market. It’s a glorious work environment and we’re grateful to have the learned skills from our time in KID. That said, retail life is not without its challenges but nothing grounds you like a solid partnership; I’ve always been grateful for the one I have with Caitriona in ANU – how lucky are we that we also have a strong one with Patricia in our shop, which we call 300 Acres. Natural skincare and candles are a good match with meditative art; Patricia’s mandala work brings self care internally – emotionally and spiritually; our’s brings it to the other senses – touch and smell, and a sense of inner beauty from the outside in. P 33 82 P

Personal Story

The theatre called Emer from her early working life in television production; she married an actor, directed professionally and grew her drama school until last year, when her daughters took over, though she still teaches in Loreto Foxrock. In 2014 Emer set up ANU with Caitriona Breathnach ( Also a speaker and features writer, Emer recently gave a TEDx talk (The Power of Decision). She is a playwright, creative facilitator ( and blogger (

It’s one thing to let people know we’re open for business, but quite another getting ready! Here’s what we learned: 1. Visual Merchandising & Display: take advice but do learn the ropes yourself. It’s a creative process, and fun, but important to get right. 2. Know you can pay your rent: while it’s always a risk, box clever; look at the footfall, know your market, be sure you can make ends meet while you are building towards success. 3. Watch how shoppers think: talk to people, watch where they gravitate towards, play around with displays to this end. I highly recommend getting some retail work experience before hand if you can. 4. Prepare for quiet times: unless you’re selling uniforms and school books, September is a very quiet month for example. Plan a flash sale or organize a special offer. Your year should ideally be planned ahead, in the shop and as part of your advertising campaigns. 5. Prepare for the busy times: for example, Christmas – you need to be planning for this from July! Have enough product, don’t get caught – everyone is busy so do as much in advance as you can.

Find Emer on

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Super Crunchy! P 34


"Perfect For A Healthy Snack

Wholemeal Pita Crispy Snacks You Will Need:

During A Busy Day!"

Wholemeal Pita Breads Olive Oil Cracked Black Pepper Garlic Powder Dried Oregano Sea Salt Flakes

These delicious snacks are very simply made, mix and match flavours as you wish! I always feel guilty when I eat crisps and greasy snacks as you can tell how many inches they ad to my waistline just by looking at them! Here is a healthy, low calory option, perfect for snacking on without the bad conscience which you can make to your very own taste and preference. Cut a Pita bread in half lengthways, then cut each half into small wedges. Mix a little olive oil, garlic powder, dried oregano, and cracked black pepper in a bowl and gently brush each wedge with the yummy mixture. Add a bit of flaked sea salt for extra kick just before baking. Place them on a parchment lined oven tray and bake in the oven at 200 degrees Celcius for 7-8 minutes. Enjoy with hummus and some fresh veg!

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I have to say that I was very nervous before my interview with the esteemed entrepreneur and business leader that she is, Orlaith Carmody. But, everyone I spoke to about it prior to the event, reassured me that she was a gentle, professional and warmhearted person and I had absolutely nothing to fear. This was most certainly affirmed on the day of the interview due to the fact that me, being from the countryside and my satnav being from the last century, I ended up being over 30-minutes late as we met at her lovely home a few weeks ago! I, of course, was weak at the knees with embarrassment stepping out of the car, was put to ease as Orlaith embraced me tightly and in a calm and reassuring way, declared that now that I had arrived safely, let`s forget about the lateness, enjoy our time together and get to know each other better. I was offered a delicious cup of peppermint tea and we had a lovely hour together, where I discovered that everything I had been told about her was true and more! Orlaith Carmody is a fighter, a do-er, a laser sharp and focused entrepreneur, who cares for each and everyone she meets, going out of her way to make sure they are comfortable and confident. She is a force to be reconned with.

"Dignity, Determination, Distinction" Life most certainly has dealt Orlaith some of it`s worst cards; issues which are incredibly difficult to work with and work through, such as the heartbreaking event of losing her young husband Kieran to cancer, when Orlaith herself was only the tender age of 28. Many would say: Where do you go from here? She found herself standing utterly alone and the feeling of all the weight of the world having been placed firmly upon her shoulders was instantaneous. In a situation like this, there are only two paths you can choose to travel after an event as uprooting and overwhelming as this; you can travel the dark and dreary and allow yourself to disintegrate, or you can set light to that inner candle, which was so brutally extinguished and you can bring yourself back to life and Orlaith certainly chose the latter. Life moved on, as it tends to do, and Orlaith found love again. This time in the shape of a self-confident and smitten young man and work colleague, named Gavin Duffy. Soon after he declared that he was certain "she was the one to become the mother of his children", the couple married and in quick succession had four healthy, strong children and the lioness in Orlaith is naturally very protective and caring of her lovely family. One can`t help being impressed, as Orlaith has packed an extraordinary amount of entrepreneurial excellence into her life since she began her path of determining what and whom she was going to become, having worked as a journalist, broadcaster and producer for national radio and TV stations, written two bestselling books, developed a career in motivational key-note speaking and career coaching, plus MC-ing events and conferences worldwide. Orlaith has carved out her very own career through gaining experience of leadership mindset and of how to train people to run a business that makes both them, their personnel and the bank manager happy. Together with her husband, presidential candidate Gavin Duffy, Orlaith runs a well-established and respected business "Gavin Duffy & Associates" where the power couple teaches entrepreneurs and businesses the art of leadership, or crisis management, of presentation skills and how to run effective and productive companies, many times transforming failing business into strong, successful market leaders. Due to the presidential campaign, the business is parked for the moment. Orlaith is clearly an incredible advocate of female empowerment and of women daring to stand tall and acknowledge what they ultimately wish to become. Her work for women all across Ireland is evident in media, social media, radio and television. She is an active campaigner for and member of Women 4 Election, an organization which equips women with the most effective tools and personal training, to stand the very best of chance of succeeding in Irish politics, which is something we all can agree is truly needed. Only recently, Orlaith was featured frequently in the media, due to her second bestselling book being published, "Without You - Living With Loss", a project which allowed her to truly process her own grief, laying dormant yet very raw, as anyone can appreciate. This book is a compilation of letters written by the people who were left behind; the ones who are still here to tell the world how precious the people they write about were to them. Don`t read this if you are about to go to a gala dinner, because you will most certainly mess up your make-up! This book is a window into the pain many of us feel, but force ourselves to "park away", to be dealt with another day. I highly recommend it, as well as Orlaith`s first book "Perform As A Leader" which I`m learning an incredible amount from at the moment. It should be on any female entrepreneur`s bookshelf, I find!

Three words stand out to me as I write this interview, and they are "Dignity, Determination & Distinction", words which I find describe Orlaith perfectly. She is a true professional, a strong mother and wife and she is a dedicated advocate for women worldwide. Thank you, Orlaith for letting me get to know you better and I`m sorry again for being late! /Kajsa Kinsella

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Subscribe to Self Starter today and get your ticket at the sold out "Early Bird"-price for "Women`s Empowerment Summit" Join us on the 20th of October, an event created by entrepreneur & multiple bestselling author Donna Kennedy. Subscribe today and get your discount code!


Teri Morris, Founder of Impulse Hub & Website Expert

Niamh Hogan, Founder of Holos SkinCare & Retail Expert

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To WIN A 30-Minute Consultation With One Of These Experienced Professionals, Simply Got To & Submit Your Entry The Three Lucky Winners Will Be Drawn At Random And Notified On The Of October

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Website Coaching

Creating Website Magic By Claire Gallagher

How to create a high converting homepage for your personal brand website You don't have to be a technical whizz to achieve this. You just need to have the right elements in place. The homepage of your website sets the tone for your personal brand and when it's done right you will: ● Get known as an expert ● Build an engaged audience ● Get leads and clients Find out what works! Here is the essential list of homepage elements but I really want you to understand that this “magic formula"is just a starting point. For your homepage to be really effective you need to get it out there and see what works and what doesn't. Improve your homepage over time by testing it. Check analytics data to see what buttons get clicked! Or simply ask your clients for feedback. P 40

“The heart of a successful online business is an effective website. And the heart of an effective website is a homepage that brings you, clients.” -- Claire Gallagher

Website Coaching

1. The hero section


The hero section is the first thing that site visitors see and can make the difference between staying on your site or heading back to search further. Add a crystal clear statement in easy to read text that tells people what you do and who you serve. Let them know enough to feel “this could be what I'm looking for!” If they understand that you can help them solve their problem they’ll stick around. Keep the statement short and to the point. Focus on how you can help them. Use a high quality image of yourself so that they can see who they're talking to.

2. Client testimonials Prove that other people are prepared to vouch for you. Showcase the results you helped other people to achieve. Get a photo of them if possible and if you're feeling fancy, add some stars! If the testimonial you received is long, edit it down to focus on the value you offer and make sure you get the OK from your clients before adding their words and image to your homepage.

3. Call to action The call to action on your homepage is the point at which you capture their contact details so that you can follow up with them. Start a conversation, build your list, book an appointment. Chose one action. Just one! If you're asking people to do 3 different things they're not likely to do any of them. Giving them one juicy button to click with the promise of something valuable in exchange for their email address will get the clicks and start to fill up your list of potential clients. Include the call to action section towards the top of the page and then use a recognizable version of it throughout your site.

4. Blog content or additional information

Bring site visitors further into your site with content designed to resonate with them. Blog content, free training or other valuable stuff will encourage your site visitor to read more of what you have to offer and get to know your brand. Try to limit blog content to 3 posts maximum on the homepage so you're not overwhelming them with options. Use your most popular posts not your most recent to increase the likelihood of getting them to click through into your site.

5. Simple navigation

How many links do you have in your main navigation bar? If it's more than 5 you may be overwhelming the visitor with options. Too many options mean that you lose them and lose control of their experience on your site. Forget about adding your social media links front and center. If you're sending someone off to Instagram or Facebook, they're likely to stay there which means they've left your site and may never come back!

6. Add your personal touch

Your homepage is likely to be the first place your site visitors will get the full experience of your brand so it's important to make a good and lasting impression. There are lots of ways to do this. ● Have your homepage be the richest example of your brand or personal style. ● Use good quality images of yourself rather than stock imagery. Find Much More ● Write your text in your own voice. From Claire On ● Allow your site visitors to meet you by creating a short introduction video!

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Marketing Magic

We Have Teamed Up!

The highly influential, experienced and superbly talented Marketing Strategist and Brand Builder Finola Howard of How Great Marketing Works and I have joined forces. This is THE place to go to become the master of your own marketing, a skill which will impact everything that has to do with your business. You will be trained and coached in getting to know yourself and your business inside out, back to front and front to back again; to think like a marketing strategist every step of your entrepreneurial path. The programme, which will challenge you to get to the top of your game by teaching you how to best utilize the power and passion you have as a self-starter and entrepreneur, is made up of 12 modules of bite-sized steps and easy to understand videos, practical worksheets and lots of help to keep you organized and on the right track. Each month, I will share my discoveries, my inspiration and my revelations with you all.

Don`t wait until you get too busy and forget about this again - sign up to Finola`s 14-day free trial TODAY and see how you can take charge of the future of both you and your business.

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Marketing Magic

Module 4 Each section is constructed in a very clear and simple to follow way with a video which includes easy to understand imagery. Finola is there to talk you through each step and the full text is inserted beneath, so you can refer back at any time. Sign up, make sure to print out your worksheets and we`re good to go!

* The fourth module is all about “Choosing The Right Customer”- Get up-close and personal with all your different types of customers; which ones are fly-ins, which ones are repeat customers and which ones put something in the "basket", but never complete the purchase. Learn to understand how they are thinking; walk in their shoes and interpret why are they choosing you, or, why are they not choosing you. Your job in Finola`s fourth module is to figure out who your best customer is; make them into your BFF and to keep them close, so that you, and only you can satisfy their needs. * By going through each and every possible customer category uniquely, you will find out which one or ones are fitting your business best. Learn all about them, then, go out there and get them! With your newly required knowledge of the people who choose you, you are now in the position of choosing them!

Find Out More On

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Sharon Thompson’s debut crime novel, ‘The Abandoned’ was published by Bloodhound Books UK on 25th June 2018. It launched at #1 Best-seller in Kindle Irish Crime Fiction. Sharon has signed for a further two crime novels and her other manuscripts are on submission, through her agent, Trace Literary Agency. Sharon lives in Donegal, Ireland and writes anything she can! She co-founded trending, tweet-chat #WritersWise and also started an exclusive, online writing group called On Sundays, her regular column Woman’s Words, is on the successful Donegal Woman website. Sharon’s #indulgeinbooks short-lists new book releases on the stylish woman’s online magazine She is also a regular guest writer on Ireland’s leading writing website

Find Sharon on or @sharontwriter


"Falling For A Farmer" by Maura McElhone Blending amusing anecdotes with thoughtful reflections and lessons in love, life and farming, Falling for a Farmer takes readers on the journey of a returned emigrant coming back to Ireland looking to rediscover home, and does so, albeit through unexpected means. A sort of Bridget Jones’s Diary meets All Creatures Great and Small, Falling for a Farmer is a true life story of her journey from wide-eyed townie to full-blown farmer’s girlfriend. From pulling calves and wrapping bales, to being 'stood up for silage' and receiving the phone call that every farmer’s loved ones dread, Maura McElhone’s memoir chronicles the often humorous, with sobering experiences that ensue when town & country collide.

"The Reckoning" by Clar De Chongaile

"Pilgrim" by Louise Hall

I have a story to tell you, Diane. It is my story and your story and the story of a century that remade the world. When we reach the end, you will be the ultimate arbiter of whether it was worth your time. You will also sit in judgment on me.

In Dublin, fourteen-year-old Jen and her father, Charlie, are struggling to cope with the death of their mother/wife. Charlie, in particular, seems to have given up on life. When Jen’s aunt, Suzanne, convinces them to go on a pilgrimage to a strange village in Yugoslavia, solace or healing may be brought to their broken lives. On their arrival, they find a village in upheaval. An influx of pilgrims have swarmed into the village, each looking for their own miracle. Then there are the local police, who aim to suppress this socalled ‘revolution’. Jen makes a friend, Iva – one of the children who claims to have seen the Virgin Mary.

Published by Mercier Press

Published by Legend Press

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In a cottage in Normandy, Lina Rose is writing to the daughter she abandoned as a baby. Now a successful if enigmatic author, she is determined to trace her family’s history through the two world wars that shaped her life. But Lina can no longer bear to carry her secrets alone, and once the truth is out, can she ever be forgiven?

Published by Mercier Press

Social Media Coaching

Learning To get Social HOW, WHAT & WHY ON SOCIAL MEDIA

“What can social media actually do for my business?” People often ponder this question, and the simple answer, it can (and does!) create; visibility, competitive advantage, innovation, community, communication, and sales. P 45

Social Media Coaching

Social media marketing provides a low cost way for brands to reach a larger audience, and gain brand recognition. Social networks already have established online communities, so businesses can gain exposure by signing up (for free!) and creating good, regular content and engaging with users. If you’ve got an idea, a business, a campaign, a message, an event – chances are, you’re currently thinking about the various ways to promote it. You must be a creative, industrious, hard-working and brave person (even if you don’t always give yourself credit!) You know what this means though? You’ve got a story on your hands, a story of your what, your why, your when, your where and so much more. Your story deserves to be shared, and social media is the perfect place to do so. Harnessing the power of social media is a natural next step, become part of the daily online conversations, and increase the visibility of your project, on your terms. It can be scary, putting ourselves and our brands ‘out there’ often doubt creeps in, we get creative blocks, the constant changes in tech can intimidate us – there are endless excuses not to go for it, all of which do us a massive disservice. All you need your phone (or computer) and an ounce of motivation to simply get started.

Here Are Your Five Steps to Starting on Social Media # 1 Decide on the channels to use to share your story. A massive stumbling block can be this feeling that we need to share everywhere, be on every platform, we then spread ourselves too thin and end up having profiles that haven’t been updated in months. Increasing our social media anxiety, and giving the public a bad impression. Decide – which social media platforms are best for your business (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Youtube, Snapchat) Ask yourself three key questions: Which social media channel do I enjoy using/am I comfortable using? Which platforms are my customers likely to use? (based on age and interests) How many channels could I realistically keep updated in the time that I have? (Only you can answer these – and be honest, move on from there to begin, rather than opening seven different accounts at once!) P 46

Social Media Coaching

#2 Create and name your accounts. Create your accounts using your exact brand name (if available) or one as close as possible in a variation of it, so perhaps same spelling but perhaps adding and underscore in between (e.g. @moss_marketing) or ‘.ie’ if this is your website domain (e.g. Try to avoid using something that doesn’t relate to your company name, or anything that’s completed to say or spell, as it’ll make it difficult for people (potential customers!) to find your page. #3 Prepare a bio and tagline for your pages. Creating and filling our your online biographies, in other words your ‘About You’ section is something of the utmost importance when starting out on social media – bio sections have so many useful purposes. Have you got a tagline? Have you a business back story to share? Write it down, and edit to fit the various social media channels. For Facebook, you’ve a lot of space in terms of word count, however – for Instagram you only have 150 characters to communicate who you are on your ‘bio’ and for Twitter, 160 characters. Three questions to help craft your ‘bio’ 1. Who are you? 2. What is your unique selling point? 3. Why should we follow you? #4 Document your day-to-day. You’ve set up a couple of social media channels – now it’s time to populate them with content! What do I post?! You ask. Well, content that reflects your brand values - images, videos, quotes, gifs – whatever you want! But, keeping in mind what you have the resource to create and share, and what your audience want to see. Easiest way to start making content? Be yourself and document as much (or as little) of your business life, to give the audience a sneak peek of production, a day in the life – forging a deeper connection with the community of people that are starting to follow you and providing them with simple content you’ve created yourself. “I have no followers, why bother?!” Well you won’t get any, if you have no content, have a think about what you can post. Be consistent and authentic and you will grow your pages. Tip: Video content is the future! 80% of social media users can recall a video ad that they viewed in the last 30 days. (Via: Single Grain 2018) #5 Use your hashtags. Looks like a waffle, and is all of this jargon we hear about hashtags, waffle too? No! Think of a hashtag # as a magnet or catalogue tool, that attracts (interested) people to your social media post based on a particular subject or theme. How? Place the # symbol before a relevant word or phrase e.g. #wildatlanticway appeals to people who search for it on social media, if you are a business located along the WAW - and you've used the hashtag, you could attract people searching that word or topic on social media, to you! Especially effective on Twitter and Instagram, but increasingly on LinkedIn too. It's like a keyword, driving people online to your posts # You can use up to 30 per Instagram post. Also, keep them relevant or you'll run the risk of being perceived as a spammer. Take a look at what similar brands are doing. Hashtags # increase the likelihood of your post being found which equals potential customers and followers. Marie is a digital and PR nerd who solves awareness and social media marketing challenges for brands she believes in, in a collaborative, goal orientated and positive way. Guiding brands to gain national and international publicity and sales. I love to champion great people, places and brands by creating content that cuts through the clutter - to stand out. @mossmarketing P 47

Thank You! I hope you have enjoyed the magazine, that it has inspired you and given you a bit of a boost to start on your own path of entrepreneurship. My most sincere gratitude to this month`s contributors; Lynsey Hanratty, Wendy Merrigan, Sharon Thompson, Claire Gallagher, Éadaoin Curtin, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Marie Shields, Paul Dunphy Esquire and to the wonderful Donna Kennedy and Orlaith Carmody, who so generously allowed us to tell their stories.

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