10 years back in the UK – this is my story, so far!

10 years today, I had to move back to the UK. I’d spent 4 wonderful years in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I fell in love with Germany during my year in industry from uni, which I spent in Heidelberg. I say I had to move back because it wasn’t something I really wanted to do, but work was looking to make people redundant, and mum was on her own after dad had died a couple of years earlier and needed me, so it seemed the “right” time to come back.

I’ve made friends in many places throughout my life, but those I am closest to and have regular contact with are still in Frankfurt. Frankfurt isn’t as pretty as Heidelberg, and truth be told it took me a couple of years to like it, but it was the people who made it for me. It was leaving that life that hurt so much; I was in tears as my plane was taking off… and although I already had tickets booked to come back and see my friends, it would be as a visitor to Frankfurt, not as a resident.

After moving back, I knew I needed to make new friends because my friends from my childhood and uni had settled into their own lives with their own friends. So, I began an InterNations community (an international networking community whose parties I attended in Frankfurt) in Manchester. I also jumped into the Latin dance scene. I’d done some salsa classes in the decade before, including a handful of times in Frankfurt, but didn’t stick to it because it meant spending less time with my existing friends. I knew this was my opportunity to really learn something new, meet new people, make new friends, and have fun. Through InterNations and dance, I have made friends, made memories, learned new skills, taken a tonne of photographs, and had enormous fun!

The job I moved back for didn’t last long, and I was made redundant again after just 10 months, however, I did meet the best boss I’ve ever had and who I am still friends with today. It also presented me with the opportunity of having my own business. I’d always wanted to be my own boss, and I had begun thinking about it during my last job. But this really went into overdrive because of potentially commuting 90 minutes each way to where a hub for my industry lay, and moving to that area was not an option since I’d moved back to be with mum, who needed me around.

So, I did my own thing! I started freelancing and was happy doing that for the first 5 years. In that time, I also got into a health and wellness business, which taught me a lot about business, and I took advantage of various free business courses that were being delivered at the local uni and other places. Then another opportunity presented itself for me to grow my business beyond just me, and I went for it! I’ve had my ups and downs, had my wins and losses, but I have developed as a person and a professional. From someone who is still a relative outsider in their industry with no previous relationships with people from big firms, I’ve had to knock on many doors to get to where I am! I somewhat relish the challenge of breaking down barriers, building new relationships, winning new clients, and showing them what my team of talented employees can do!

I miss Germany, I miss my friends, I miss my life with my friends in Germany. Sometimes, we cannot always choose the path we want to, but sometimes an alternative path can also lead us on an amazing journey. I am happy and grateful for everything I currently have, but I am not done yet! I have many big and scary goals that I’ve set myself; a couple I’ve achieved, several I am still hunting down! If you’re at a crossroads in your life, your red or blue pill moment, then whichever way you go, make the most of your choice, because if you do, you won’t be disappointed with where you are or where you are not. Life is in perpetual motion, where you are right now is where you are right now, it isn’t your end stop, because, besides death, there is no end stop. So, head up, eyes forward, and go forth! #YourLifeYourRules

Sales!

If you are earning money, be it from your job or your business, you are in sales! Some people hate sales but we all sell! Ourselves, our services and our products! In the end, the type of selling you want to engage in is one that pays you!

Since getting into business for myself, I have put myself in a position of having to sell. I have had some awesome days and some not so awesome ones, meaning that the results were dependent on my form on the day and some luck with the client being in the market for what I had to offer. Basically, the results weren’t duplicable or repeatable because I didn’t have a defined process in place, i.e. a system.

However, that changed recently when I finally got my hands on a copy of a sales book written by my friend Alistaire Jama, called “Sellology”. I was going to buy some sales books a couple of years ago, until Ali, a highly successful salesman, told us that he was writing a book! Now, I have been in some of his workshops so I was confident that the book would be good, so, I waited for it… and boy was it worth that wait! I read it in 4 hours, on the 2-hour train down to and up from London, and called him from both directions with questions because I was hooked! As soon as I got home, I studied the book, made notes and came up with my own sales scripts based on what Ali wrote in his book, and the results were instantaneous! I began getting more meetings than ever, using old school cold calling over the phone, email, and new school social media! Ali keep this book very simple, and clearly one is meant to flick back and forth between the chapters, so this quickly becomes your “go-to” manual on “how to sell”!

Ali talks about communication in terms:

  • Words – what you say
  • Music – the tone in which you say them
  • Dance – the body language

Ali dedicates a chapter to being aware of different business styles and how they communicate (words, music and dance):

  • Actor – aka The Player
  • Doer – aka The Pragmatist
  • Friend – aka The Companion
  • Thinker – aka The Analyst

Ali then breaks down his sales system into 6 simple steps he calls “PROCES”:

  • Plan
  • Reach
  • Obtain
  • Connect
  • Elaborate
  • Secure

The book is 180 pages and easy to read, but oh so effective! If you read, understand and apply what Ali teaches, then you should see an improvement in your number of conversions for telephone or face to face meetings, and closing business deals!

Let me know how you get on! If you have any questions, do get in touch with Ali Jama! And as promised, here is the link to where you can buy the book on Amazon!

Planning and Organisation!

Everyone loves a holiday, don’t they? How was your last holiday? Did you plan and organise your suitcase with what to wear, your trip to the airport, flight out, transfer to your accommodation, your accommodation, daily plan whilst out there, meals, sightseeing, food, transfer back to the airport from your accommodation, flight back to your country and your journey home? Went pretty smoothly, right? Awesome! Do you apply the same level of planning and organisation to your own life? If not, why not? If your holiday was a success, why can’t your life be a success, with a bit of planning and organisation? It’s a sad fact that most people spend more time organising their holidays than their own lives, disorganised lives which they want to escape from (there’s a blog in the pipeline about that, watch this space!). But it really doesn’t have to be this way! Get going with your P&O!

Plan Your Months and Year

Planning and organising your year(s), month(s), week(s) and day(s) is crucial if you are going to be successful in achieving your goals which I discussed in my last blog. It’s great writing what you want and when you want it by but you also need to have a robust plan that you will stick to, day in day out, especially in the face of adversity to keep you focused and on track! Personally, I plan out my next 12 months at the end of November, and fine tune it during December. That’s just me though! Your 12 months can start today! I segment my year into quarters, months and weeks, which helps me create a detailed picture of how I want my year to look in terms of goals and achievements! If you plan your year first, then your quarters, and months, your weeks and days will be much easier to plan for! There are 52 weeks in a year, and my table gives me 4 weeks off! Which I rarely take off, by the way!

Plan Your Week

Next, I plan my week every Sunday afternoon on my weekly planner. I make sure it has everything planned in, from gym, food, work, family and leisure time, and importantly, sleep (AT LEAST 8 hours)! Segmenting and planning my life has made sure that I have cut off points for all parts of my life, so my work life doesn’t creep into my personal life and vice versa. I want to be successful but I want to do it healthily, and my family means everything to me so I won’t risk or sacrifice them for anything. Now, put your weekly planner up in your office so you can see it ALL times!

I invested in a 24-hour day-to-page diary. If you’d like to see mine, check out my Vlog! I fill my diary with ALL my daily commitments that I have written out in my weekly planner. Yes, it’s duplication but you a) you will remember it better and b) you can carry your diary with you so you don’t miss anything. Your weekly planner helps keep you on task and your tasks top of mind! If you want to do all your planning electronically, please do so, but I urge you to print out your weekly plan whatever you do so you can view your week as a whole!

Plan Your Day

Every evening before finishing up for the day, I look at my diary and weekly planner and plan and organise the next day. I list my 5 most important business-related and 5 most important personal-life-related tasks that I must accomplish to consider my day a success. The top 3 are paramount, so I try to prioritise smartly!

If you plan your days and weeks, your months and years will look after themselves, you will accomplish whatever you wish, no matter what life throws at you! Let me know how you get on!

(If you would like some of my tables I use to help myself and others, find me on Facebook and I will add you to my special group where you can access these and other awesome business materials!).

Goal Setting and WHY Power!

WHY did you start your own business? WHY are you doing this particular business? What is missing from your life? What do you need? What do you want to have? Your business has the potential to help you achieve whatever you want in terms of wealth, health, time, and success, so what are you prepared to do to get the kind of lifestyle you want to have?

This is where your WHY Power kicks in – your reason for doing your business! Emotionally connecting with your WHY is absolutely necessary because that will make you charge hell with a water pistol!

Your WHY should make you CRY!

Business is as simple or complicated as you wish to make it, you have a product or service which you want to bring to market, deliver a certain experience and make money. So what will be your driving factor? What will motivate you daily to strive towards your dreams, especially in the face of adversity such as setbacks, lack of support from friends and family, your rollercoaster of daily emotions? This is where goal-setting is absolutely vital to be the fuel for your fire to propel you to achieve and surpass whatever it is you want!

Over time, your goals will change, and most likely get bigger as you begin to achieve your set goals! Goals will help give you focus and direction. So dream big, set big goals, and then work your arse off to make them happen! Setting goals is crucial because it focuses you on what is important to you, why you are doing this business and what you want to achieve in which realistic time frame. Your goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timed.

 

Remember the saying “If it is to be, it is up to me”!

One of the best ways to set your goals is to imagine that you have what you want from life so you write down a specific date and next to it you write down what you are happy and grateful for. For example:  “January 1st 2020: I am happy and grateful for my dream house”,  or “January 1st 2020: I am happy and grateful to be married with my perfect partner and 2 children” or “January 1st 2020: I am happy and grateful to be financially secure, debt free and financially independent”.

I am quite structured so I love to create tables. You can create your own, encompassing short, medium and long-term goals, both in your personal and business life. So, for example, you can do  6, 12, 18 months and 5-year goals. You may miss your goals, but I can absolutely guarantee you that you will be closer to them if you have them to aim for than nothing at all! You need a destination and an arrival date! Aeroplanes don’t just fly! They take off, travel direction, speed and landing are planned from start to finish! Remember, a goal without a plan is a just a wish! So start planning your life and let me know how you get on!

(If you would like some of my tables I use to help myself and others, find me on Facebook and I will add you to my special group where you can access these and other awesome business materials!)