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.

 

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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
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5 Things You Need to Hear if You’re Juggling the Kids and Work This Summer

This is a post for all those freelancers and small business owners that will be working from home and looking after their children over the summer holidays. This will be my third summer doing the juggle and I’m still not a pro! In fact I think I’m the least organised and prepared that I’ve ever been!

Whether you are feeling ‘on it’ and armed with a ton of activities, booked holiday clubs etc, or if you are facing the six weeks with trepidation here are some things you need to know.

 

You Can Do Anything But Not Everything

 

This is my summer holiday mantra for sure.

Managing my expectations (and my children’s) is key to the summer. I won’t be able to get through my work AND do fancy day trips every day. Something has to give. A great thing to do is to take a few minutes to think about the work you have on and when and how you’ll do it, chat to your kids and get some ideas of what they’d like to do. Maybe involve them in the planning? This will communicate to them what’s realistic for the holidays, ie expensive days out every day may not be do-able. Some parents find that working in the evenings when the kids are in bed means that they have most of the day free, or getting up early to work before they wake up. It’s going to depend on the age of your kids and when you work best. Personally I try and get a couple of hours done in the morning most days when I know my daughters (7 and 10) just want to laze around in their pajamas watching TV. 

You cannot do it all though, if you try you’ll most likely end up feeling frustrated.

In light of that..

 

Don’t let the parent guilt take over

 ‘We get 18 delicious summers with our children. This is one of your 18. If that’s not perspective, I don’t know what is.’ Jessica Scott. 

Have you seen this floating around social media recently? Talk about piling on the parenting guilt! If you’re a working parent whether outside the home or from home this kind of quote is just so shaming. I don’t know about you but as a child most of my summer holiday memories involved me playing out with friends. I think I can count on one hand the trips I went on with my parents. Yet, I can hand on heart say I had the best childhood. I don’t look back on the summer holidays and wish my parents had made sure the summer revolved around me. Now, as a parent myself I am definitely not buying into this emotional manipulation. It’s not like I’m locking my kids away for six weeks, we will do fun things together, but both my husband and I are showing them that hard work goes into giving us the life that we have AND everything does not revolve around them! 

We can’t afford a fancy holiday this summer and I know that in the next few weeks my Instagram will be flooded with families having wonderful holidays. It’s hard not to feel down that I’m not giving that to my children this year. This is where my resilience has to step in and I put my positive pants on. I find that if social media is causing the comparison monster to rear its head I know I need to step back and re-evaluate. Sure, we might not be sunning ourselves in the south of France but we can create good memories here too. They don’t need to be insta-worthy, just fun for us.

 

Don’t be afraid ask for help

Swallow that pride, you really don’t have to do this on your own. In my post on surviving the summer one of the business owners tips is to organise childcare swaps. Chat with your friends and arrange a few days where you take their kids and another day they take yours. This frees up a day for each of you to work. Maybe you have family members near by who can take your kids out to the park one afternoon? Hit people up and plan it in, you don’t always need expensive holiday clubs – though they are useful.

We don’t have to do it all alone, we were never meant to – Brene Brown

 

Be present over perfect

Right, let’s get this out of the way  – you probably won’t have a plain sailing, perfect summer. Do yourself a huge favour and get the idea of perfection that you are hoping for or dreaming of out of your head. It doesn’t exist. Things with be so much better if you approach the six weeks with a dose of realism. Be present in each moment rather than wishing it was different or better or more Instagrammable. Honestly, you’ll find you enjoy things much more if you appreciate them for what they are rather than always wishing they were different.

 

You’ve got this!

However you decide to organise the summer holidays just know that you can do it. You and your kids will survive, and most likely will make some great memories in the process.

 

Free Weekly Summer Holiday Planner

If like me you’re a bit of a planner and you love getting ideas down on paper you might find my weekly summer planner useful. You can print off six copies and use them to break down the long weeks. I find having a few trips out planned and put down on paper help my kids know what’s going on and that mummy won’t be working all the time! If you’re dreading the holidays this is a great way of breaking the weeks and days into smaller sections so the six weeks don’t feel quite as daunting. However you’re feeling about the summer holidays having some ideas up your sleeve or a visual plan is always going to be helpful

free printable summer holiday planner

Download

 

 

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free weekly summer planner

 

 

How are you feeling about the summer holidays?

If you’d like any tips and help on how to practically balance work and kids then take a look at this post full of advice from parents that are in the same boat – The Juggle is Real

 

 

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Are you at information and influence overload?

Sometimes my brain is like an internet browser with too many tabs open. It’s buzzing with ideas, to do lists, projects as well as family things – what I need to get in the next food shop and when swim training is. Not only that, it can end up full of conflicting messages and ideas, it’s like I absorb information and other people’s feelings and internalise them, turning them over and over in my head like a pebble in my hand. I’m taking on so much information from so many different spheres that it ends up impacting on my mental health. When we reach this information overload it means we aren’t giving ourselves time or space to process what we are consuming. We are just not meant to process the level of information thrown at us on a daily basis. It’s not just the level of information either it’s being mindful of where it’s coming from too. It’s the news apps, the Facebook comment threads, the podcasts, the blog posts, the Instagram captions, we can end up feeling overwhelmed from being endlessly marketed too and shouted at.

When this is at its worst it can impact your mood, your resilience levels and relationships. Let me share an example. I know if first thing in the morning while I scrolling on Facebook I can easily fall down the rabbit hole of a thousand heated comment threads. This can then causes me to end up feeling cross and very distracted. If I then wake my children up and have breakfast with them while I’m in that mindset, they then pick up on my bad mood and act out. Not the ideal way to start the day! Something so little can have a huge impact.

I recognise that my sense of overload is partly due to my personality type, as an introvert, or more specifically an INFJ, I am prone to internalise and carry other people’s feelings, yet I think that dismissing this as just a personality thing would be rash. From talking to friends, especially those with a strong social media presence, personally or professionally, they too admit they can end up in this kind of space too. It goes beyond personality type -it might just look and feel different or be triggered by other influences. 

When I’ve reached peak information and influence overload I have to ask myself questions about what I’m letting speak into my life and then set clear boundaries to build up my resilience levels.

Let’s start with those questions,

 

Who or what is influencing me?

What I am allowing to take up too much space in my life?

Is it necessary? Can I do without it, or even just step back from it for a while?

 

Why not grab a piece of paper, ask yourself these questions, and write down your answers, transfer it all from your head and out there onto the paper. Then reflect on it and set yourself some boundaries. 

When you are setting boundaries in general it would be easy to have a knee jerk reaction and for example choose to stop reading the news because it upsets you, or not listen to that friend who has called you out on something you don’t want to face. To just cut everything out. Let me be clear for a moment, I’m not advocating cutting ourselves off entirely or only surrounding ourselves with ‘yes men’ – the people or influences that only affirm our world view and don’t challenge us. The last thing we all need is an echo chamber that is cut off from diversity of thought. It’s about that magic word, balance. Not ending up in an echo chamber is a whole other blog post in itself, but just be careful and keep this in mind when you re-evaluate what influences you.

Points to consider

Are we letting people influence and speak into our lives that haven’t earned the position to do so?

With social media playing such a huge role in our lives we are subject to more and more opinion and perspective. This can quickly become overwhelming and even mean we lose a sense of ourselves. Let’s use Instagram as an example. I know when I’ve let Instagram take up too much space in my life when I have unanswered text messages from friends yet all the messages in my Instagram DM folder are replied to. When I want to garner the opinion of people I don’t know over the friends that truly know me and can speak into my life with context. Instagram and the people on it aren’t the crux of the problem, it’s the amount of space and influence I’ve given it.

 

Are you giving space to a person or voice that’s not good for you, whether online or offline.

Is this leaving you feeling deflated, confused and end up questioning yourself.

There are many ways of addressing this, maybe it’s something simple like having an unfollow spree on social media. Ask yourself, does this account spark joy or make me feel crap? It’s not a value judgement on that person or account, this is about you. It might be something we step back from and pick up again when we’re feeling more resilient or in focus. I have friends that delete certain social media apps from their phones when the influence on their lives from spending too much time on them is negative. I appreciate that this is simpler to handle when it’s an online issue, it’s far more complex when it’s a ‘real life’ or ‘offline’ friendship or relationship. 

 

Could it be the sheer volume of information we are trying to consume?

If that’s the case for me then I set myself boundaries by limiting my time on social media, cutting down the podcasts I listen to, stop watching that all consuming box set and being more mindful of who I give my time to. I make sure I have time to really switch off and recharge, these ways are really helpful to me.

 

I hope that if you’ve been feeling distracted or feeling like you’re lost in information overload that this has been a useful post for you to read. Do let me know if you take the time to work through the questions, and work on the boundaries you may feel you need to set for yourself at this moment. If this is something you’d like to talk through more then feel free to leave a comment or get in touch.

 

how to break out of information overload

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You are the expert – respect your value!

I don’t really understand why I do it but I rarely appreciate the knowledge or experience I have. I’m quick to downplay any value I have by throwing up a name of someone better than me or highlighting an area I don’t know much about. This kind of attitude is crippling and stifles both my creativity and productivity. For my work (and in my social circles) I talk to a lot of fellow self employed women from different creative industries and this is something I see raise it’s ugly head time and time again. I’m definitely not alone in it. Too often we don’t value ourselves, our knowledge and our experience.

Let’s be honest, realistically there will ALWAYS be someone you perceive as ‘better’ than you, and funnily enough, it actually doesn’t really matter if they are better than you or not. The point is by shining your light on them you are taking it off yourself. You are not valuing your own expertise and knowledge, and you’re believing that their story and knowledge is greater than yours and what you have to offer just isn’t enough. 

I want you to look at this from another perspective, no matter where you are up to in your business or in your life there will also be people behind you. When I say ‘behind’ I’m referring to people with less knowledge and experience than you in a particular field. To that person you might even be the person they think is better than them. Crazy, eh?

No matter where we are on this perceived ladder of ‘success’ we all have something to offer in our field of expertise. 

By focusing on what we don’t know or can’t do (yet) we are missing the value in what we DO know and CAN do. My husband has given me many pep talks over the years when I get in this kind of funk. He will remind me that I know way more about social media and running an online business or blog than lots of people. When you are in a circle of friends who are in a similar industry to you, you can easily forget that the knowledge you all have isn’t what the general public have. Sure an ‘expert’ in social media marketing will know but maybe someone starting up a creative business that’s just opened up an Instagram account won’t.

Value your skill set, you’ve worked hard for it!

I’m not saying we should operate on a level of puffed up importance, sharing all our knowledge proudly to all those around us or even to pretend we have all the answers when we don’t. These attitudes help no one and most people see through that kind of BS these days, thankfully! I’m talking about owning what you do know, and not only should you be valuing this knowledge you have, you also need to believe in your capabilities.

This can be hard though, especially if we’re on the precipice of a big change. Far too often we wait and make excuses, we need to dot every proverbial i and cross every t before we feel ‘ready’. To read one more book, get that extra qualification, to have every eventuality mapped out, to fine tune the business plan again. 

“We have found that women in particular often to seem to feel that until they have the complete solution they can’t start, and it holds them back from taking the first step.” –Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker*

Sometimes we are waiting for someone else to come in and tell us what we should do, to make it happen or to fix it for us. Often the advice we get given isn’t even relevant to us, maybe we try it and it fails to fit , it’s like a square peg in a round hole. Maybe we’ve listened to a podcast on how to get a six figure salary from our business yet we actually just want a business that’s profitable and allows us to take off the summer holidays with our kids – not one where we have to work around the clock to ‘succeed’. The advice isn’t wrong it’s just not for you.

When we take a step back and review often we have the answers, we know what resonates with us. When I was a young mum I’d sometimes feel uncertain about my decisions and be given a whole load of conflicting, but well meaning advice. When I stopped doubting myself I usually found I knew what was right for me and my baby, this applies to running a business too. It’s a mix of knowledge, experience and some instinct thrown in for good measure too.

So if you’ve done your research, you’ve worked hard and are valuing your capabilities and experience there is really no stopping you. It’s not the magic formula for success, spoiler alert – there isn’t one, but it does stand you in strong stead. Whether it’s applying for that job you desperately want but are worried you don’t tick all the boxes, or starting your business that you’ve kept putting off because you’re nervous, you’ve got the knowledge, and the capabilities for it so take that leap.

If you can relate to these words and valuing your knowledge and skills is something you struggle with then I’d encourage you to spend some time focusing on what you do know and can do. You might need to chat to a close friend about it and get their insight. If you’re a blogger look at what you know now compared to when you started out, if you are a photographer look at photos you took when you started and compare them to a recent shoot.

Remember you are the expert in your own field, value that and value yourself.

 

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(*Founders of Not On The High Street, this quote is taken from their book, ‘Build a business from your kitchen table’)

Featured photo by R Swain Photography

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The balance of hustle and rest

A lot has been said about being a hustler when you are self employed. You only have to type the word hustle into Pinterest and you will bring up so many motivational phrases and memes all about hustling. It seems particularly synonymous with women in business with so many of these pins being pink and bearing hashtags like girlboss. I’ll admit I even had Good Things Come To Those Who Hustle up on my wall to give me that kick of motivation. It felt good to say I worked hard, to justify putting so much time and effort into my businesses. When you start up a business it becomes your baby, everything you do has to revolve around its needs, whatever the hour of the day. This is especially true when you’re a one (wo)man band. There’s no one to delegate to, no tech team to call on when your site is down and you’ve got customers messaging you while you are trying to put your kids to sleep. In retail no one sleeps, you can never be off. People expect your service to be 24/7 and I definitely didn’t want to disappoint them and lose any customers. Surely this level of hustle can’t be sustainable though.

To ‘hustle’ is not a bad thing it just can’t be your permanent state of working.

If we are working every hour, never relenting or taking time out and reflecting we would all soon burn out. I’ve seen it happen, I’ve experienced it. You cannot live in the hustle, especially not when you have children. We may have the same hours in our day as Beyoncé but we certainly  don’t have her army of staff! It’s about being realistic as well as being kind to yourself and those around you. We can have periods of hustle but it can’t be our default mode of working. When I fall into the trap of hustle the rest of my life suffers, the house is a mess, I don’t know what’s going on in the lives of my kids and I can’t focus on anything else. Sure, times like this can be a necessity but they are not a sustainable way of running a business or of living. 

Seasons of hustle and rest

When you are running a business or have any kind of self employed profession that’s established (ie not in that early or pre – start up stage) it’s about finding your rhythm of working. You’ve had that hustle season of setting things up and now it’s about ensuring it’s a sustainable way of making your living. This can take many forms and will even be unique to your and your situation. Everyday might be different or you might have a consistent working day with set hours

How to find your rhythm of working

Take some time to think over what your ideal working week (or start with day if that’s easier) would look like.

Add in your non-negotiable commitments, for me this would be the school run and the kid’s activities and commitments. My work has to work around my family, that’s one of the main reasons that I’m self employed.

Add in the time/day you have work consistently booked in, for example working for a client each Tuesday morning.

Do you want to set time aside for exercise, for hobbies and down time?

When do you do your best work? Are you a night owl or a morning person? Consider this when you are planning your work day and week. I am terrible after 8pm, I always have been. I never even pulled all nighters when I was at uni, it’s like my brain switches off in the evening. Instead I use this time to recharge and only use it for work when I have no choice.

Throw out the 9-5 mentality if it doesn’t work for you. You might be able to work heavily and hard for the first four days in your week and then set aside one day for you, to recharge and be creative. I work 9.30-2.30 each day to fit around my family commitments. Each day is different depending on my commitments. It’s up to me to set the boundaries and ensure I have the work to hit my targets.

Value yourself, you are your business

Ultimately you need to make your work, work for you. You are your source of income, if you hustle and burn out you risk your livelihood as well as your health. We all have periods of hustle but don’t let it be your default work mode. Set a working week that gets things done but is sustainable in the long term. Giving the time needed to generate income, keep up your creativity and professional development.

I’d love your thoughts on this

What do you think of our obsession with hustling?

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Celebrate the small wins

I don’t know about you but at times it can be tough staying positive and motivated, whether this is in work life or even in home life. When things feel like they are getting on top of you, or if it seems like everyone else is more successful or more organised than you are we can end up in a negativity funk. I find this is especially the case being a lone worker or small business owner. As much as it’s freeing and exciting to be your own boss it’s also all on you to work hard and be successful, there can be little or no space for down days or failure when there are bills to pay. With this in mind when we fall into the trap of comparison and negativity we need to address it, quickly.

Social media is a wonderful, often free, tool to market ourselves, to make friends and get inspired. I love following creative people and seeing what they’re up to, whether that’s through Instagram or chatting on Twitter. I can tell the frame of mind I’m in when spending time on social media ends up leaving me feeling deflated or even jealous. We’ve all heard the quote, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ and this is especially true when instead of cheering friends and other businesses on in their successes we end up feeling down, and wondering when that’s going to happen for us. Don’t be fooled, this is something that can affect everyone, from the tiny start up to the Instagrammer with 100k+ followers. There’s always someone we perceive to be further ahead or achieving more.

I’ve been reflecting on this and the root of all of this it seems is fear. Fear of never reaching our goals, fear of being a failure, the fear of not being good enough. Comparison and unhealthy competition both come from the fear of feeling like we are not enough. This can be an incredibly lonely and isolating feeling and one that is a breeding ground for negativity.

 

Celebrate the small wins

When I spot these signs of falling into a negativity funk, I know it’s time to do something about it. One of the ways I’ve learnt to combat this is to think of the things in my life that have gone well. I’m not talking about hitting those huge goals, I mean the small wins, the ones we often forget or even dismiss. You’ve had a positive review left on your Etsy store, someone has commented on your post telling you how helpful it was. Maybe you’re a mum with a young family and you managed to get a shower today. We know what an achievement that can be! Maybe you’ve managed to tick off all the tasks on today’s ‘to do list’. These small wins will look different for each of us as individuals. It’s going to depend hugely on your own mindset and your business, home life or overall goals.

 

Nothing is too small

Reflect on your goals or aims, those big ones you’ve set for yourself. Then grab a pen and start listing your small wins from the last week, firstly the tiny things that are related to your big goals. You’ve got an income goal of £x what little things have you done to work up to it? Have you pitched to a new potential client? Ordered new business cards?  Then think of the unrelated feel-good wins, like going for a run, getting up the courage to talk to a mum at the school gate, making a phone call you’ve been putting off. Nothing is too small! It might feel silly at first, but don’t dismiss your wins. Maybe you haven’t achieved that big goal you’ve set yet but I’m sure you’ve taken little steps towards it.

Just this small exercise can kick start a change of mindset in me, it’s a practical way of getting perspective and focus. It helps me stay in my lane, so to speak, to focus on my life and situation, and not fall into the comparison trap. I spend Monday morning reviewing the past week and making plans for the week ahead and setting goals. Listing the small wins of the week is perfect to incorporate into this and definitely helps me if I’ve found the previous week tough or difficult. Why not make this part of your weekly routine, you could even keep the lists to look back on.

Download this helpful worksheet to remind you to think of your small wins each week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t stay in that fearful negativity funk, celebrate your small wins and let’s get back to cheering each other on!

 

 

 

 

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morganaCelebrate the small wins
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My word for 2018

Over the last few years I’ve spent time in January thinking of the year ahead and what I’d like to see and achieve. I’m not one for unattainable goals and self improvement resolutions as you know, from my recent New Year, Same Me post, but I like to pick a word to inspire me. It’s not a woo woo kind of thing where the word has some magic properties, it just encapsulates what I’d like the year to reflect.

Last year my word was grace and oh boy was it put to the test at times! 

For this year while working through Jen Carrington‘s book, Your Wholehearted Year, I grabbed a piece of paper and started to jot down ideas for words that could reflect 2018 for me, both personally and professionally.

I kept coming back to the same word.

S i m p l i f y

Like most families these days we live busy lifestyles, with dictated draws on our time, whether it’s children’s hobbies and activities, our own, our overflowing business responsibilities or most probably all of the above. Familial and professional responsibilities are often non-negotiables. So how do we cut back and focus on what’s necessary and important instead of facing that uneasy sense of overwhelm.

This is where simplify comes in.

 

What can go that we just don’t need?

What can I change to make things run more seemlessly?

What can we do differently as a family to make the most of our quality time together?

 

One of the big things we’re working on to help simplify is decluttering.

I should I say I’m working on it.. my children are yet to embrace this and let go of their hoarding ways! I’ve made a little headway with my youngest and have managed a small bag of toys she’s grown out of for charity and a bag a rubbish and broken toys for the bin. But oh boy, her negotiating skills are something else!

 I’m a firm advocate of William Morris’ wisdom,

‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’

It’s just a shame my children have very different definitions of beautiful and useful to my own!

It’s a learning curve for all of us and I need to remember that and let each person go at their own pace. As frustrating as that can be at times. The last thing I want is this intention to simplify to become a source of stress.

I would like us to be more mindful of what we buy and bring into the house. Less clutter and less waste being key in that. The girls are keen to do this, especially after watching Blue Planet, the marine documentary. They want us to use less plastic and less electricity, which I’m one hundred percent behind.

All this is key to us embracing a more minimalist lifestyle. Slow living and minimalism are two movements, (excuse how lala that sounds!) that are so appealing to me. I’m really enjoying reading blog posts in these genres and following Instagram accounts to encourage it. Of course there’s an Pinterest board to help me too, I’ll share it at the bottom of this post.

Above all else simplifying should not be chore or a goal, it is a word and an intention. I’m not going to stress or get worked up about it, after all that is the opposite of what we’re trying to be like! This isn’t about resolutions or a having set of goals to work to doggedly and rigidly, it’s a shift in mindset and an opportunity to be more mindful in the choices I make and that we make for our family. It’s supposed to be helpful, not a hindrance to our lives.

 

What do you think of choosing a word to reflect your intentions for the year?

Got any bloggers or instagrammers that I should follow for inspiration? Please do link them below.

 

 

morganaMy word for 2018
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