Making Tax Digital with Xero (AD)

Are you a notepad and pen kind of person or are you someone that favours technology over the traditional? I must admit I fall somewhere in between the two. When it comes to planning or working through ideas I’m definitely a note pad or big piece of paper kind of girl. I love making notes, drawing up ideas, crossing things out and making arrows to connect thoughts. I think there’s something so creative in the physical act of writing and drawing things on paper, I find it more fluid than typing on my laptop or phone. I’m sure there are fancy apps and programmes that let you express this but I’m sticking with pencils and paper for now. I have embraced a digital calendar and diary however, as I found that I just couldn’t keep up with having a paper and a digital calendar. Our family is organised by a joint calendar on our phones and we have ones for our businesses on there too. I definitely would be lost if we didn’t do this, our whole lives run through it!

Paper or digital, or a mix of the two?

Business wise when it comes to working out my expenses I find it so hard to keep track of receipts and printed out invoices and general paperwork. At one point I had box files full of them with the promise that I’d deal with them later – this made doing my accounts such a stressful experience. This is where technology comes in for me. I’ve previously talked about the cloud based accounting platform, Xero on here and my experience of using Xero as a small creative business owner. Any necessary paper receipts are scanned and organised and synced, everything else is digitally recording through my banking and Paypal streams. If going digital can make my life and business more streamlined and efficient leaving me time to concentrate on the side of business that I love then I’m all for it.

From April 2019, as part of the government’s Digital Transformation agenda, UK businesses that are VAT registered and above the threshold will be required to keep their records digitally and submit VAT returns to HMRC using Making Tax Digital compatible software, like Xero. Neither myself or my husband’s businesses are VAT registered (his is exempt and I’m not earning at that level yet, so I’m a sole trader). With this in mind I had a chat with a few of friends that do have VAT registered businesses on what MTD would mean for them. The general consensus was that they weren’t aware of this change- here’s hoping their accountants are though! Alisa, head of interior design company, Inside Studio, hopes that the change will save her time requiring less back and forth with paperwork between her company and the accountants.

Making Tax Digital with Xero

Xero is included on HMRC’s list of software suppliers supporting Making Tax Digital for VAT, following successful VAT returns using the beta version of Xero’s Making Tax Digital for VAT functionality. Our accountant is a registered partner of Xero so I had a chat with him about the up coming changes.

“As an early adopter of Xero, we have minimised the impact of MTD to ourselves and to our clients because most of our clients already use Xero and therefore it should ‘just work’ in the background without too much fuss.  For those clients who are VAT registered, but still do their bookkeeping using spreadsheets or even the back of an envelope, we see MTD as a win:win situation whereby the client can massively benefit from all that Xero has to offer and we get to help them out along the way.  Ultimately, it will lead to happy clients… which of course leads to happy Accountants!”

Jonathan, Whitehead & Aldrich, Chartered Accountants in Preston

 

All in all, it’s not something to feel daunted about, if this change impacts your business all you (or your accountant) need to do is record your taxable records and submit your VAT returns through MTD-compatible software – like Xero. As both Alisa and I have said, anything that streamlines your business activities and saves time is a positive change for sure.

For more advice and useful information on tax digitalisation visit Xero’s Making Tax Digital Hub 

 

morganaMaking Tax Digital with Xero (AD)
read more

September Little Loves

The back to school and back to routine month of September was met with great enthusiasm from me.. but I fear it’s ending with me dreaming of the lazy summer days! I think I’d forgotten just how busy our term time lives are. I honestly feel like I’ve not stopped all month! I’m not complaining though as most of what we do are things we’ve chosen to do or chosen to support our children in. It’s been a month of big changes for us too with my husband setting up his own business and me fully focusing on Coffee Work Sleep Creatives and my social media coaching. This all goes some way to explaining why this blog has been quieter than usual and why this post is going up late!

Without further ado lets get onto the wonderful little things from this month, go on grab a cuppa (or a glass, depending on the time of day..!) and have a read.

 

 

  read 

 

I’m part way through a few books at the moment, with one in a bag for when I have a spare moment out and about, one on my bedside table and another in the living room. Ali Smith’s Autumn* is currently on my bedside table and I’ve only read a couple of chapters through rather bleary tired eyes. I’ve got a quieter day tomorrow so I’m hoping to get the chance to curl up with it and properly get going with it. Another book, the one in my bag, is Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race*, and I’m finding it such a eye opening book. I know a fair bit about Black American history but that opening chapters of Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book have made me realise how little I really know about UK Black history, even events that happened in my lifetime.

 

watched

A list of my absolute favourites from this month 

Netflix – Ozarks

TV – Killing Eve

Films – Sierra Burgess is a Loser

Theatre –  Matilda The Musical

It was just as fantastic as I had expected it to be, and both my children loved it. Worth the stressful Manchester city centre driving and the very late school night!

 

 

MAde

On Wednesday I had my September Meet Up event for Coffee Work Sleep Creatives, it was the biggest one yet and completely sold out, so I was a little nervous on the run up to it. I shouldn’t have been though, it went so well and I’ve had nothing but positive feedback. I’m so proud that everyone that comes along appreciates the vibe and just seems to get it. It makes all my hard work behind the scenes so worth it. We are super informal and there’s no pressure to speak in front of anyone, in fact you can speak to as many people as you want to. The aim is to get to know other local business owners to make useful contacts for work or collabs but mostly be surrounded my other people that just get what it was that we do as indie business owners.

These gorgeous photos from our event were taken by Liesa Jane Photography

 

 

 

 

A couple of little selfies for this section as I feel like I still haven’t mastered being confident in front of a camera on a tripod.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I still haven’t gone back for this River Island dress! Fingers crossed I can squeeze in a shopping trip next week. I did, however, get my hands on this much wanted Joanie Clothing Bronte Readers Club sweatshirt! I have the original colour way but when they released this one I wanted it so bad but couldn’t justify it. I was super excited when I won one in their Instagram comp the other week. It’s so comfy and is me down to the ground. FYI if you order one then definitely size up.

 

heard

I finally got to live the dream of seeing Incubus live! They have been one of my favourite bands since I was 17 so it’s been a long time coming. We actually had tickets to see them when I was pregnant when my eldest girl but they ended up rescheduling the gig and it was too close to my due date for me to go. Getting to see them in a smaller venue like the Manchester Apollo was so good, I much prefer it as a venue to big arena concerts.

 

They, unsurprisingly, didn’t play the song we had for our first dance as it’s a little known album track, but I thought I’d share it here anyway.

Another band that’s been on repeat this month for me is the Mercury prize winning Wolf Alice

 

 

and lastly

If you fancy joining in but don’t have a blog but you do have Instagram then you need to save this picture and upload it to Stories! Be sure to tag me in it @coffeeworksleep and use the hashtag #littleloves

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend (and month ahead)!

 

 

**********

Fancy joining in?

Just copy the headings and use them as prompts in a blog post then link up below and let me know!

Please only link up your posts that follow this format.



Don’t forget to show some love to the fellow bloggers sharing the little things that they’ve loved this week, by having a read and commenting on their posts too – especially if you’ve linked up a post. Be sure to use the hashtag #littleloves if you’re on twitter so we can all keep an eye out for the posts and promote each others.

Here’s my badge if you fancy popping it on your post:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
 
 

 

(the links marked with a * are affiliate links, for more information on affiliate links then click here)

morganaSeptember Little Loves
read more

An Autumn Survival Kit

It’s no secret that Autumn is my favourite time of year. The change in season starts to bring golden leaves falling from the trees, a cool breeze, extra layers of clothes and cosy evenings. I must admit my love of Autumn probably started as a child because September is my birthday month so it always had some excitement… though I can’t say I’m quite as excited about getting older these days! September still holds that little bit of magic, like a fresh start and a hope of things to come.

With Autumn beginning there comes a change of routine, especially when you’ve got older children. School is back, along with all the clubs, activities and commitments. Routine rules and organisation becomes key to survival. With work and life kicking up a gear I like to try and include some treats to survive this busy time of year and embrace those darker evenings.

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall” – The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald

Self care has become such a buzz word, or should that be phrase? Either way it’s cropping up everywhere are the moment – not that this is a bad thing – sharing the message that we all need to look after ourselves in the midst of our busy lifestyles can never really be bad. I’ve written about self care before and simple ways to include it or small changes to help you embrace it.

In this post, however, I’m going to have a little fun and share with you my Autumn Survival Kit List. These are all inspired by things I already own as well as a few things I’ve got my eye on. Whether it’s a good coffee to face those darker mornings with, a cosy blanket and book for the evenings, a warm (but stylish) stylish coat to brave that cooler wind, or an additional to your skin care routine to give your skin a little more love.

 

 

Petite Burgundy Revere Collar Longline Coat – New Look |  Normal People by Sally Rooney | Avid Readers Club jumper – Joanie Clothing |

Coffee by Girls Who Grind Coffee | Keep Cup | Let’s Do This note pad – Rifle Paper, Trouva | OPI Black Cherry Chutney – Beauty Bay |

Age Defy Facial Oil – Green People | Kankan backpack | Yellow blanket – Habitat

 

Chuck in a lush bath bomb and face mask and we’re on!

Of course you don’t really need anything to survive Autumn, this is just a bit of fun and a way to share the things I love about my favourite season.

 

What’s on your seasonal survival kit list?

 

 

 

Love Autumn and just want some more seasonal gloriousness, check out my dedicated Pinterest board

morganaAn Autumn Survival Kit
read more

Amy and Chris, founders of The Northern Dough Co, share their Start Up Story

Sharing the stories behind small businesses is one of my favourite parts of having this blog. I love finding out how they started and what the day to day looks like. Running a business as a parent with young children can be tricky to say the least but Chris and Amy Cheadle are bossing co-parenting and running a growing succesful retail brand. Amy is one of my Coffee Work Sleep Creative Community members and it’s been exciting get to know her over the past few months and to see her business go from strength to strength. 

Hi, we’re Chris and Amy Cheadle, and we run the retail bakery brand The Northern Dough Co. We met at university in Leeds towards the end of our courses, and loved plotting ways that we could run a business together in the future (everything from see-through toasters to achieve the perfect colour on your bread, to running our own restaurant) but after graduation, we each secured corporate roles and carried on dreaming. After we married in 2011 (on the same day as Wils and Kate! An unplanned clash!) we realised the idea had been staring us in the face, as Chris’ family had been bakers for three generations before him. We started The Northern Dough Co. soon after. 

   

Tell us a little bit about your business 

We make a range of freshly frozen pizza dough, that’s available to purchase through supermarkets. Making pizza with fresh dough creates the freshest, crispest pizza you’ll eat at home, and you can top it in a million ways, exactly as you want to. Before we launched the company, the only way to make your own pizza was to make your own dough from scratch, and it put lots of people off as it can be tricky and time consuming. We use 100% natural, premium, store cupboard style ingredients to make our dough in the bakery the family has owned for over 100 years, freeze it as soon as its mixed, and all our customers need to do is defrost, roll, top and bake, and they have a freshly baked pizza in under 20 mins. We sell it to supermarkets across the UK, including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado, Booths and Wholefoods, and its stocked in their freezer departments, meaning we don’t have to use any preservatives to keep it fresh.

 

Once you had the idea how did you go about turning it into a business?

One night, as we were eating pizza that we’d made using dough from the bakery, we realised that we couldn’t just go out and buy something similar in the supermarket. The bakery had supplied Italian restaurants for decades with their artisan recipes, but had never created a brand that individual shoppers could purchase in the supermarket. We realised that was our opportunity, and decided to create a brand, along with some additional products, which is where the chilli and rosemary pizza dough variants came from. We worked with the bakery team to develop new recipes, and then evenings and weekends with a friend who is a talented designer, to create the brand identity and packaging, and then booked onto a food festival in Clitheroe to test it with consumers and see what they thought. By the time we’d sold out of all our stock (twice) at Clitheroe, we knew it was worth pursuing, and Chris quit his job soon after to focus on it full time.

 

The early days!

 

What careers did you have before you founded the Northern Dough Co and does the experience you gained from them apply now?

I (Amy) worked for 14 years in retail marketing and analytics, specifically with brands supplying into supermarkets, so the experience has been the best foundation for building my own brand, understanding how to pitch it to supermarkets, and understanding how to make it sell once its on the shelves. The challenge is the difference in budget, while the brands I was working with before had hundreds of thousands to spend, my budget is a lot more modest, so creativity is key! Chris worked in classic business analysis roles, before specialising in Ux for one of the leading price comparison sites, so his skills apply directly to all the processes behind the business, as well as making sure the creative side pays back in sales.

 

Do you have clearly defined roles and responsibilities when it comes to the day to day of running your growing business?

We’re both very hands on, and its unusual we’ll work in isolation on any single task, as there’s only the two of us who run the business (we make fantastic use of outsourced skills, and love working with independent specialists in their field, like freelance designers and independent marketing agencies) but we do tend to focus on our areas of experience, with me (Amy) working mainly on sales and marketing, and Chris on operations and finance.

Has being married and being parents influenced the way your business works? 

We started the business shortly after getting married, but didn’t have children, and the biggest adjustment was getting used to being in each others’ space all the time. We’ve always been very open with each other, and being married and having no boundaries on what we can discuss has hugely helped us, as it means we get through any disagreements quickly. We had our first baby three years after the businesss started, and it changed everything. We went from being able to pull out all the stops and work around the clock when we needed to, to having to stick to schedules and tag team each other in and out of our home office, the illusion of being able to work while the baby slept certainly wasn’t true for us. The initial months were challenging, as it felt like we weren’t moving forward, but what we realised was that both being at home, and being entirely flexible for our children was a huge goal. Unlike so many Dads who work out of the home, Chris was a co-parent from day one, and continues to be so. We often say that if it all ended tomorrow, the most valuable thing would be the time we’ve both been able to have hands on with our children, despite the huge juggling act it requires.

What do you do to manage your time and what tips do you have for avoiding being overwhelmed?

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when you feel that there’s a million things you could do to move your business forward if only you made the time. It can make any non-working time really guilt-inducing, even more so if that time isn’t then dedicated to family. I knew early on that the pressure of the business, my own personality and having two children within 18m of each other was a recipe for burnout, so I invested in a coach and it was the best money I’ve spent. She helped me to realise that working flat out is counterproductive, that I had an entire lifetime to achieve the goals I had in mind, that taking time out for myself made me more efficient, and that keeping a network of friends is invaluable. They all sound like obvious points, but when you have someone else’s voice in your mind repeating that advice, and giving you permission to do things differently than you’ve been trained to in corporate environments, it makes a huge difference.

I run on black coffee and chocolate biscuits when I’m working, what couldn’t you live without?

Very similar here! A good coffee machine at home and a big supply of things to nibble on! I couldn’t live without working where my dogs are though too, I’ve worked from home for over 10 years now, and have found myself at my desk for too many hours at a stretch on too many occasions. Its lovely to be able to take a quick break and have a minute with my whippets, who are always lounging somewhere nearby, they say that spending time with animals is a proven stress reliever and it definitely works for me.

 

When running a business these days, you need to build a strong social media presence, which platform do you have the most success with?

For me, it’s different platforms for different purposes, as the different groups that make up my target audience interact on different platforms. For example, I have a big following from outdoor cooking enthusiasts, who love to make pizza in wood fired ovens or on their BBQs, but they only use Twitter, so my content there needs to point to them. Over on Instagram, which receives by far the most interaction for me, it’s more about families and people who are seeking recipe inspiration. I’m lucky in that as a food brand that relies on recipes, there’s endless content that I can create. I create all the recipes for social media and snap them all on my iphone, it can take hours but it’s my favourite part of the job!

What’s been the hardest part of your life as a small business so far and how do you overcome those kinds of hurdles?

Working in retail is a really fast moving environment, and with the size of the individual supermarkets, a listing on their shelves is a huge game changer for our business. The buyers frequently change roles though, so on many occasions we’ve spent months meeting with someone, getting excited about the progress, only for them to move onto a new role and we then have to start again with a new contact. The first time it happened was a big blow and felt like a backwards step, but over the years we’ve talked to so many other small food brands and it happens to us all. When the listing eventually does happen, it always feels like it was the ‘right time’ and that perhaps the previous setbacks wouldn’t have worked quite as well, so we try to keep that in mind when faced with the disappointment.

 

What is the best part of running your own business? Has there been a ‘pinch yourself to check it’s real’ kind of moment for you?

It has to be the flexibility and the opportunity to set your own agenda, especially because we’re married, so taking a day off together because the sun is shining and we want to make the most of it and push work commitments back to the evening is our choice. It works the other way though, with holidays involving at least a few hours of work squeezed in every day, but it’s absolutely worth the balance and to not have to answer to anyone. Looking back on our lives with our four and two year old, knowing that as parents we’ve been able to be there equally for them since day 1 because of our business is something that we feel incredibly happy to have experienced, we never take that time for granted.

If you could go back in time to when you started up and give yourself some advice what would it be?

To be really clear on your objectives, and what your business does and doesn’t do and stick to them when faced with opportunity. What’s lovely about running a small business is the amount of people who offer ideas and opportunities to take your business in a new direction, but when time and resources are tight, it can dilute your focus and mean you’re stretched too thin on the fundamentals. While its always worth weighing all opportunities (some of our best have come out of the blue), making sure that they don’t divert you completely off course is really important, or you can end up with bits of business here and there that are difficult and time consuming to service. Spending a decent chunk of time upfront mapping out your objectives and plans, having a really clear target audience and asking yourself what you provide them with is really important, as if a new opportunity pops up that doesn’t fit with those things, you know it’s either not right (or not the right time) to pursue it. 

What are your hopes for the future of the Northern Dough Co?

We’d love to grow the range of products that we offer, and in the same way we were the first company to bring pizza dough to the UK supermarkets, do the same for other products. We’ll always keep our ethos of ‘great food shared together’ and create products that encourage people to share the cooking experience. We’re so lucky that lots of our customers get in touch to say that they’ve had tons of fun making pizza with their children, or enjoyed a brilliant date night of making pizza for their partner, that as long as we keep hearing that kind of feedback, we know we’re doing the right thing.

Whether practical or inspirational, what is your top piece advice for anyone out there wanting to take that leap and start their own business?

If you think starting a business is for you, create it in a market that you’re passionate about. Just because there’s a gap in the market, or an opportunity, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. In the early days, you’ll likely work long hours for little or no pay, and your enthusiasm will soon run out if you don’t love it regardless. Chris and I used to spend up to 18 hours a day doing food festivals, with all the set up and prep either end, and then break even after five days (or lose money if it was a wash out and poured down!). We had to do it to create brand awareness, and we loved it because we believed in the product and we were together, so it never felt like ‘work’ in the true sense. You also have to be incredibly realistic, as starting a business is emotionally tough, while the wins are incredible, the lows can feel very personal and without a team of people, it’s easy to feel isolated and defeated. Surrounding yourself with people in a similar situation is essential, so you can pick up the phone or meet for a coffee and know you’re going through the same emotions as everyone else, a network of ‘virtual colleagues’ is the best team you can have. 

 

A huge thank you to Amy and Chris for taking part in my Start Up Stories feature. I hope you enjoyed reading about them and their business as much as I did. Please do check out their social media – their Instagram especially is worth a follow for lots of recipe ideas!

You have the chance to win an exclusive Northern Dough Co personalised pizza cutting board!

Enter below to be in with a chance of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(full terms and conditions can be found below)

GOOD LUCK!

 

Find out more about The Northern Dough Co

The Northern Dough Co

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

 

 

 

Photos by Robyn Swain Photography

Terms and conditions

UK entries only
The prize is –
1 x personalised pizza cutting board
A choice of design variations

 
There is no cash alternative
Giveaway ends 30/09/2018 at 11.59pm
When the winner is announced they will have 48 hours to get in contact, if they do not then another winner will be drawn
Anyone that does not complete the compulsory entry will be disqualified
The prize will be sent out to the winner by the Northern Dough Co

morganaAmy and Chris, founders of The Northern Dough Co, share their Start Up Story
read more

Using Xero Accounting Software as a Small Creative Business

I’ll hold my hands up, and I’ll admit it, I’m not a numbers person. I very ashamedly fit the stereotype of a creative when it comes to my accounts. Whether it’s the simple things like keeping track of invoices, or saving my receipts for expenses to the bigger issues like working out profit and loss! It’s all been an uphill struggle for me and I’ve definitely had to learn on a trial and error basis. I know that I’m not alone in this, a quick chat in my Facebook group of small business owners, Coffee Work Sleep Creatives, showed that many of us struggled with the same issues.  We focus on the side of our business that we love and can do well and the other bits get put on that ‘to do’ list that gets regularly ignored until panic mode is reached!

As time has gone on I’ve taken the right steps to get a handle on my business finances as a blogger, coach and events organiser. I’ve got a separate bank account and Paypal account just for business so there’s not mix up trying to remember what’s personal spending and what’s business related. I keep spreadsheets to track my invoices and attempt to record my expenses by photographing and logging my receipts. However when it comes to pulling all that together and getting a good overall view of my business accounts I’m left scratching my head.

Xero is a cloud based accounting software platform for small businesses – could it be the answer to my prayers?

With Xero everything is in one place, I can keep track of my blog income, send out invoices to my coaching clients and get all the ticket sales info from my Coffee Work Sleep Creatives meet ups. All the information is at my finger tips, whether I open it up via the Xero app or use the website it gives me a real-time view of my cash-flow, anytime, anywhere. 

You can sync your business banking as well as any business Paypal accounts, this is really useful for me as my meet up tickets are paid through Paypal, and sometimes clients pay me via paypal for ease. Once all your banking info is sync you can label all your in coming and out going transactions making doing your tax return so much easier! If you are VAT registered it even helps you prepare for Making Tax Digital, it makes online submissions easy with simple, accurate tracking for any VAT scheme.

 If you set aside a little time each day, week or month, depending on your level of business, to check your bank statements are imported and up to date, and to reconcile your accounts it soon gets done and just becomes part of your working routine. No more spreadsheets, or folders with receipts and invoices.

Any kind of change or moving over from one system to another can be really daunting. When I had Xero set up for my previous business, an online shop, my accountant set it up for me. If you have an accountant and you’re interested in Xero it’s worth checking and asking if they are Xero partners and if they offer this kind of service. You can find a list of accountants that offer this here – Find an accountant. It makes things even more streamlined. If you’re going it alone on Xero don’t worry it’s very intuitive and easy to use. 

My top tips for getting started

  • make use of the guides and tutorials to get what you need from the platform
  • reach out to the support team if you get stuck, they are super helpful 
  • if you get overwhelmed then just take it a step at a time, you don’t need to master everything at once

 

It even integrates with other platforms, for example when I had my store I paired it up with WooCommerce via Trade Gecko, I know it works with Shopify too. There’s  are loads of different apps you can integrate with it which are definitely worth researching depending on your business needs.

Xero can do so much, and once you’ve taken a little time to get to know what it does and what you need from it it will make your life as a small business owner so much easier. Whether you are a blogger, a freelancer or have a handmaid business it’s worth looking into.

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to try out Xero for yourself then they offer a no obligation 30 day free trial via xero.com

 

I’d love your thoughts on this.

How do you keep track of your accounts?

Are you a natural numbers person, or like me, do you need all the help you can get?

 

morganaUsing Xero Accounting Software as a Small Creative Business
read more

My August Little Loves

What a month, it’s hard to know where to begin! It’s been a juggle of work and spending time with my daughters, but I think we’ve done pretty well and certainly made a lot of memories. The glorious weather didn’t stick around for long into August, did it? No matter, we are pros at grey and rainy British summers now! We’ve taken day trips, had pajama days, been on a mini break to North Wales and so much more.

Without further ado lets get onto the wonderful little things from this month, go on grab a cuppa (or a glass, depending on the time of day..!) and have a read.

 

 

  read 

Playing Big by Tara Mohr

This book is one of those life changing reads, the kind where you want to underline so much and wish you could just absorb the wisdom via osmosis. It’s a book I will keep coming back to that’s for sure. If your inner critic likes to run the show or you just want guidance on how to make most out of your career then you need this book in your life.

The Party by Elizabeth Day

I actually read a novel! Woo! And this one was devoured in two days. I love literary novels that are character driven but not at the expense of the story, and this one had me feeling like I knew the people, like I was watching the whole thing unfolding. Fantastic. Definitely going to order her other books.

 I’ve also stumbled across Morgan Harper Nichols and her beautiful quotes via Pinterest.  

 

 

 

 

 

watched

surf snowdonia wales

We had a mini break in North Wales where of course we just had to have another trip to Surf Snowdonia. It’s a wave garden which generates the perfect waves for learners and pros, my kids and husband all had lessons and were fab. You can read about our stay there last year – Learning to surf at Surf Snowdonia

Netflix – Orange Is The New Black (the latest season and now I’m starting from the beginning again with my husband!)

Prime – Unreal (the latest season is on fire!)

TV – Bodyguard (BBC1 Sunday 9pm) From the team behind Line of Duty, so you know it’s going to be unmissable TV

Films – The Incredibles 2,  A Quiet Place

 

 

MAde

There’s a country lane that runs behind our estate with hedges full of brambles, we picked a huge tubful of blackberries, perfect for homemade blackberry and apple crumble, yum. 

 

 

 

You know me, I’m rubbish when it comes to getting outfit shots. 

I’ve lived in my Birkenstocks and my yellow mac, and of course various outfits too!

What I’m really excited for though is the change from summer clothes to autumn (don’t hate me). I love the darker colours, the layers, boots and tights, so I’ve been excitedly pinning ideas

 

 

heard

I love a good podcast, and I’ve managed to put together a list of all my favourites and also recommend episodes to listen to.

Click below to have a look (and a listen)

 

female podcast creative business twitter

 

Moses Sumney, Doomed – This track is in the last episode of the latest OITNB and it hit me so hard. The scene is incredibly emotive and this song is perfect. 

 

and lastly

If you fancy joining in but don’t have a blog but you do have Instagram then you need to save this picture and upload it to Stories! Be sure to tag me in it @coffeeworksleep and use the hashtag #littleloves

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend (and month ahead)!

 

 

**********

Fancy joining in?

Just copy the headings and use them as prompts in a blog post then link up below and let me know!

Please only link up your posts that follow this format.



Don’t forget to show some love to the fellow bloggers sharing the little things that they’ve loved this week, by having a read and commenting on their posts too – especially if you’ve linked up a post. Be sure to use the hashtag #littleloves if you’re on twitter so we can all keep an eye out for the posts and promote each others.

Here’s my badge if you fancy popping it on your post:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
 
 

 

 

morganaMy August Little Loves
read more

Female Hosted Podcasts for Creative Business Owners and Bloggers

 

I am a huge podcast fan, I really enjoy finding shows that inspire me and push me in my business. I’ve collated the main podcasts that I’ve been listening to as I really think that you will find a whole lot of wisdom and inspiration in them too. If you are a blogger, a maker or a ‘one person band’ business that’s looking for female led podcasts, well, you’ve come to the right place. Each of these podcasts and hosts have positively pushed me to think differently and work smarter not harder. If you want loud, salesy, pushy podcast hosts that tell you to get a six figure (plus) business whatever the cost, then these are not your people. Instead each of these podcasts focus on aspects of building a sustainable business at your pace for your life.

 

Small and Mighty 

Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess is social media and branding coach for small businesses. In her podcast, Small and Mighty, Sam interviews small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. There is a great variety to her guests and I love hearing from so many people from different sectors. I actually discovered the One Girl Band podcast that I mention later on through Sam interviewing Lola. I’ll pop the link to that one below too.

Some favourites

Holly Tucker MBE, Not On The Highstreet, Holly & Co – I read Holly’s book, Build a Business From Your Kitchen Table, written with Sophie Cornish, and it helped me hugely when setting up Little and Fierce. In this episode Holly talks about her new venture, creative agency, Holly & Co.

Helping Your Shop to Thrive and Not Just Survive with Lucy Ward, Brand Director, Trouva I love Trouva, and listening to Lucy talk about it made me love it even more.

 

One Girl Band

Lola Hoad

I’ve followed Lola for a long time now, and what I love most about Lola’s podcasts, and what makes them a must listen each time an episode is released is her authenticity. She is honest and open and it feels like you’re having a pep talk from a friend that just ‘gets it’. Her strapline for the One Girl Band is perfect and I’m kicking myself that she got there first – ‘a podcast for female entrepreneurs and creatives who work for and by themselves’.

Some favourites

What to do when you feel stuck  – this episode is SO GOOD. I was feeling low and a bit, well, stuck, the other week and listening to this really helped me to re-focus. It’s reassuring to hear that you aren’t alone when it comes to the pitfalls of being self motivated in business.

How to fire your inner critic – I am terrible for letting my inner critic run riot and end up stopping new projects before even starting them. Lola talks through ways she has worked on moving past this and I found it really helpful.

 

Courage and Spice

Sas Petherick

Sas Petherick is someone that I discovered through Sara Tasker’s podcast, Hashtag Authentic. She mentioned the launch of Courage and Spice in an episode and I made a mental note to have a listen when it was live. Unlike some of the other podcasts featured here this one focuses on one main topic, understanding and overcoming self doubt.

Self doubt is crippling and is especially prevalent in women. I know it can creep up on me and massively impact on my work and productivity. The more you let it grow, the more it will take over. This podcast is so helpful in addressing this issue and giving advice and sharing the experiences of others.

Some favourites (with my favourite people in too!)

Imperfection and Instagram with Allison Sadler I LOVE Allison, and have been a huge Insta fan of hers for years now. She started up the hashtag, #freeupmyinsta in response to the algorithm and everyone getting stressed overthinking their instagram feeds. 

Success and Self Doubt with Sara TaskerI found this to be a really helpful episode, especially when I can’t seem to have any success without self doubt creeping in!

 

What She Said

Lucy Lucraft

This is new podcast for me and one that I would say is aimed at bloggers. Lucy is really easy to listen to and I love her calm and chatty style in this podcast. Each episode interviews a different blogger and gives them a platform to share both their story and give tips on relevant topics.
Something to be aware of with this podcast is the sound quality isn’t always great, especially on the older episodes and you’ll need to push the volume levels up high to catch bits.

Some favourites

Starting a blog, minimalism and avoiding comparison with Jessica Rose Williams – I love Jessica’s blog, I don’t even remember how I stumbled across it now. Maybe Pinterest? Either way as someone that’s into slow living and minimalism I find her blog super inspiring. What I didn’t know was just how new she is to blogging, she’s getting fantastic levels of engagement and traffic for someone so new to the scene. If you’re a blogger this is a lovely listen.

The Power of Focus, Community and How to Sell with Kayte Ferris – Kayte has such a beautiful blog, Simple and Season, it’s one that I read regularly so this was a must listen for me. As Lucy says, if you want to learn how to sell without feeling gross or need a boost of focus and creativity this ones for you!

 

On The Make

Josephine Brooks

This is a new podcast to me and I found it when researching this post. A podcast mostly aimed at makers and designers, more than service based businesses, but there is plenty of good advice and wisdom for all of us in there.

Some favourites

Slow Living and Being Intentional about Creating the Lifestyle You Long for with Becky Cole – I enjoyed hearing Becky’s story, I’d not come across her blog before, but slow living is

Getting Organised for the Busy Season Ahead  – A perfect listen for those that are creators and makers for whom Christmas is their busiest time. This helps you get ready and geared up for it.

 

Make It Happen

Jen Carrington 

I’m not sure how I found this particular podcast I think it was a suggested one on iTunes, however I found it I’m so glad I did. In fact Jen was featured in this weeks Hashtag Authentic talking about her ideal week (find it here). I love how Jen describes her podcast, Make It Happen is a podcast where I share ideas, insights and conversations about building a big-hearted business and living a wholehearted creative life. I find Jen so easy to listen to and I love the way she puts her ideas across.

Some favourites

Five reminders for big hearted creatives who are feeling the business blues – it’s hard to stay focussed on the positives sometimes, especially as a ‘one woman band’. Jen talks us through ways to work through these times and reminds us all how far we’ve come and what we’ve achieved.

Answers to five of the questions my clients always ask me about creative living – Jen talks us through issues like freaking out about money and paying the bills and how to not feel ‘icky’ when we market ourselves and our businesses.

 

The Janet Murray Show

Janet Murray

This podcast is a must listen for those with small businesses that are looking for more media and PR coverage but not sure where to start. I’m in Janet’s facebook group and have found it so helpful to chat with other business owners and talk through any problems we’re having. The Soulful PR podcast is more ‘business’ related than inspirational or creative. Don’t let that put you off as it’s packed with practical tips and advice that people pay a lot of money for and Janet shares it for free! There are hundreds of episodes so it’s a fantastic resource if you’re looking for help on a particular topic.

Some favourites

How to get more engagement on Twitter – Episode 214


This is so helpful if you’re new to twitter or feel like you’re floundering with little purpose.

How to tell stories using video with Xanthe Berkley – Episode 215


Xanthe is the queen of creative video and I love listening to interviews with her. I find her really inspirational and this podcast episode is full of 
 

 

Grow With Soul

Kayte Ferris

I’ve been a fangirl of Kayte’s ever since I stumbled across her blog a while back, I really resonate with her concept of slow marketing and working to build a sustainable, soulful business. If pushy sales tactics and click funnels make you feel icky then you need to check Kayte out.

Some favourites

A Slow Marketing Manifesto – This is Kayte’s first podcast episode and really explains the concept of slow marketing so it’s a great place to start.

Slow Living in The Hustle of Online Business with Geoffrey and Grace – Again, two of my favourites in one podcast episode! I’m very anti hustle as a concept and think it’s unhelpful to glorify busy-ness, both Kayte and Melanie shares their thoughts on it and give alternatives.

 

Blogtacular

Kat Molesworth

For those that don’t know, Blogtacular is actually an annual creative blogging conference in London headed up by Kat Molesworth. I went to Blogtacular a couple of years ago and loved it but unfortunately due to other commitments I couldn’t make the date last year and this year we’ve already booked to be in Leeds for the triathlon. Boo. Thankfully I can get some inspiration through Kat’s podcasts and the makers, bloggers and influencers that she features.

Some of my favourites

Episode 21: Allison Sadler – Allison is a bit like Instagram royalty for me. I’ve followed her for years and loved listening to this podcast as she told the story behind The People Shop, her store in Birmingham. 

Espisode 36: The ASA and CAP– This should be required listening for all bloggers and influencers that make money from working with brands.

 

Hashtag Authentic

Sara Tasker

As I mentioned earlier this podcast is by Sara Tasker, Instagram coach and photographic influencer. Often interview based this podcast is perfect for those wanting to work on their instagram, get inspired or hear from fellow creatives. Whether you’re a blogger or indie business owner or self employed creative there is so much to get from these interviews. 

Some favourites –

Is blogging still relevant, with Kat Molesworth – I found this episode so interesting both as a blogger and as a business owner. Kat reminds us of the importance of owning our own space and readers and not to be reliant on just one platform.

Avoiding the comparison trap – Sara discusses how we can keep perspective when the fear of failure hits and we get sidetracked by other people’s achievements. I think this is something we can all relate to and I found listening to Sara’s perspective so helpful.

 

Letters From A Hopeful Creative

Jen Carrington and Sara Tasker

I was really excited when I heard that Jen and Sara were teaming up to cohost a podcast together. Letters from a Hopeful Creative is based around listeners letters and questions to Sara and Jen and they use them to start discussions. 

Some of my favourites –

Let’s talk about pricing and knowing your worth – Whether you are a product based or a service based business, their is a whole lot of wisdom in this post. Pricing can be so very hard to get right and both Jen and Sara shed a lot of light on the issue and I finished the episode feeling more confident in my pricing strategy.

What do I charge for and what do I give away for free? – Again, another money based episode! I find that it’s a topic that isn’t mentioned much – unless you listed to those hustley podcasts that expect you to want a 6 figure business. I always struggle with giving away too much free content, so this helped me to think through how to readdress the balance.

 

Explore Your Enthusiasm

Tara Swiger 

I found Tara through Hashtag Authentic and oh man am I glad I did! Tara is a business coach based in the US and is bursting with creativity and so much wisdom for makers and creatives. I’ve signed up for one of her courses and got her book on order. Yep. Total fan girl right here.

Some favourites

Should You Work For Free – I’ve already shared this on social media and I think it’s a must for any creative/maker/freelancer/blogger

Long Term vs Short Term Thinking – This is something I often struggle with and find myself swinging between the two. Tara helps us make sure the work we do fits in with our long term goals.

 

*******************

I hope you enjoyed this post and found some new and helpful podcasts to listen to.

If there’s any that inspire you that I’ve missed then do let me know in a comment, or if there’s a particular episode that inspires you then share that link too.

 

morganaFemale Hosted Podcasts for Creative Business Owners and Bloggers
read more