Thanks for nothing winter solstice…or maybe one thing…

Are you feeling like there’s a LOT going on at the moment?
You wouldn’t be alone.

Apparently with the winter solstice comes lots of change. (I have no technical term for this, but it’s a ‘thing’…and not just for woo-woos!)

Believe it or not, the winter solstice may affect a lot of things in your life, including your mood, your sleep schedule, and maybe even your sex drive. But there is one upside…Here’s the lowdown:

1. You might just feel a bit ‘blah’.

Everyone’s heard of the winter blues, but there’s a real science behind why this time of year has you feeling bummed out a lot of the time.  Your brain’s serotonin level (the “feel-good” neurotransmitter that your body produces) are largely affected by the amount of exposure you get to daylight. So when the days start getting significantly shorter, and there’s a limited amount of sunshine, your serotonin levels can drop, causing you to feel a little moody and melancholy. Adding self care practises to your routine — such as deep breathing, meditation, leisurely walks, and yoga — can help boost your serotonin levels, and as a result, your mood and overall well-being.

2. Your sleeping patterns might go cuckoo.

When you’re not getting enough vitamin D — as a result of not being exposed to enough sunlight — your body can feel super exhausted and lethargic. The change in seasons that brings us into the winter solstice can affect your body’s circadian rhythm, which regulates your normal sleep cycles, as well as your ability to produce melatonin, aka your body’s sleep hormone. To put it simply, the lack of sunlight could definitely take a toll on your snooze time. But the dark circles under your eyes don’t need to be your default winter aesthetic. Take a vitamin D supplement or invest in an electric light box to remind your body that there is, indeed, a light at the end of this dark tunnel we call the winter solstice. Or you could just go to Queensland for a few months.

3. Your head may go bang.

Though the research isn’t definitive, there are reports that cases of migraine are on the increase during the winter months. The swift change in temperature can lead to changes in the body that result in tension headaches (you know the ones where it feels like there’s a rubber band around your head?). Try some essential oils, a warm bath, or a big block of chocolate…I hear that helps anything!

4. Apparently your sex drive could take a toll, as well.

Who knew?  Apparently testosterone plummets during winter. Maybe try getting cosy in front of a fire or finding a way to make ugg boots and a dressing gown sexy!

5. Finally, a light at the end of the wintry tunnel.

The winter solstice isn’t bad, guys! It might have you suddenly feeling like Vincent van Gogh (minus the whole cutting off your ear thing, hopefully), and you may just be inspired to tap into your creative side. While this isn’t a concrete finding, an increase in creativity during winter months is basically all about perception. When the chilly temperatures of winter force us to go inside and bundle up with a warm mug of tea and cosy blankets, we’re more likely to connect with others and as a result, inspired to create and to brainstorm new ideas. So…embrace that. It’s a GREAT time to get working on that book you’ve always been meaning to write, that blog you’ve been meaning to start, or that new social media channel you’ve been meaning to tackle.

Have you felt the effects? Positive or negative?
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Feeling those New Year/New You vibes?

The irony is not lost on me that I’m currently drinking detox tea whilst eating a chocolate (admittedly, it’s homemade and has a high content of cacao, but still…). But sometimes that’s life and it’s also business, right? Sometimes things are just topsy turvey or not quite as expected or a real clash of ideas and effort.  But guess what? It doesn’t matter one little bit. I’ve stopped worrying about this stuff now. I’ve stopped trying to be perfect in my life, my parenting, my business. Because God knows it was killing me trying.

I do however, always strive to be my best at what I attempt and to give my all to whatever I’m doing, but sometimes life deals you broken arms (my son’s second in 4 months), absent partners (my husband is overseas for his second 3-month stint in 7 months), accident-prone pets (my cat had his second trip to the vet in 2 weeks – first a broken toe, now a laceration to his belly), or cloudy brains (I just can’t quite get mine into full-on work mode when it’s so warm). And that’s ok.  As long as you roll with it, don’t act like a victim, and learn to alter your course a little to adapt. (I did a short video about this yesterday, with some ideas on how to adapt)

Why am I telling you this?

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4 awesome ways you know your content matters

At an event I spoke at recently, a question was asked of me: “Does content matter?”

Ooh….

Hells yeah it matters!  With a caveat…

Content for content’s sake is garbage and a waste of time. Content that is purely self-serving and sales-oriented is also icky.  But content that adds value, educates, enlightens, inspires, motivates, challenges, raises awareness, absolutely fricken matters. And that’s what we should all be aiming to create. Content with an impact.

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I want to be a dolphin trainer

Over the years I’ve wanted to be many things: a showjumping champion, a dancer, an actor, a lawyer, a journalist, a food photographer, a dog breeder, a travel writer and tour operator. At one point I even wanted to just be a lady of luxury on a yacht. I’ve often found myself SO inspired by the place I find myself standing, or what I’ve just experienced, or who I’m with, that I seriously have considered big career-altering-life-changing shifts (CALC shifts).  I am able to perfectly envision myself doing that thing daily, and I’m filled with joy and excitement.

My recent trip to SeaWorld – unexpectedly – filled me with that same sense of opportunity and desire.

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Are you one of the ‘lucky’ ones?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the structure of my business and what I offer and what really lights me up.

A long time ago I made a pact with myself NOT to do any more of the things that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. I started this process when I was working in corporate, in fact. I was fortunate enough to have the ear of the CEO so I was able to manoeuvre my way into jobs and projects I loved. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t happen overnight (nor did I have to sleep with him – YIKES!) I had to do the hard yards first and prove myself. But once I had done that, and built a strong relationship with senior management, I was able to ask for what I wanted and, within reason, stop doing what I didn’t enjoy. 
It’s called, making your own way.
And now I run a business that I truly love, using the skills and experience and networks I made throughout my corporate career, coupled with the imprinted behaviours I wanted to model and a dismissal of those I didn’t. I have the flexibility and freedom I want to be a present mother and business owner and wife. I get paid well for the work I do because I make sure it’s damn valuable and what people need – and I ‘over deliver’, or rather, ensure my clients get a super high level of service and knowledge and care, (which incidently I consider ‘normal’). I get to take a break when I want to, and I get to work crazy hard when I’m in flow. I get to run my own show and celebrate my success the way I desire. And I also get to fall apart on my own terms if things don’t work out as planned.

A lot of my friends who work for the government, or in corporate, or at schools think I’m ‘lucky’. They see the midweek lunches, the evening events, the retreats, the volunteering at school, and think I’m ‘lucky’.

It’s actually called ‘engineering’ your life.
It’s called planning.
It’s called making it happen for yourself – because noone else will.
I get that we’re all different. And I get that not everyone has the same drive or know-how or situation. I also get that there are a lot of excuses. And I get that there is a lot of ‘waiting’ for the right moment.

I’m no hero. I’m no superstar. And I’m also not that ‘lucky’ in the traditional sense. (Heck – still waiting to win a raffle, let alone Tattslotto!)

I’m just me, and I took control. And I had a plan. A vision. And I wondered hard enough what would happen if I made it happen.

It’s not perfect every day, but it’s certainly MY day, MY way.

In October I’m running a retreat. And it could be the very start of something amazing for you. I know how much I benefited in the early stages of my business from being immersed in the process of creating. Immersed in the business of business. Immersed in the fold of like-minded people. No distractions, lots of accountability.

If you would like to join me on this weekend – for 3 nights or just one day – please comment below or email me and we’ll talk about what it will mean for you.

This is not a big group retreat where you’ll feel like a number, get overwhelmed or flail. This is intimate and personalised. This is a place where you will achieve what you set out to achieve. I am fiercely protective of who I let into the fold, only because the wrong energy can upset the entire applecart. But I’m super confident that this is the right way to help the right people move forward with their business quickly and calmly, and move closer to that position of ‘lucky’.

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From meat pies to sushi – has your business evolved?

I found myself in between appointments the other day, and I was hungry. Really gut-gurgling hungry.  I didn’t want to go searching far and wide for food, so I opted for the foodcourt that was in front of me – not something I do very often. I’m not pretentious about food, but I do like to feed my soul as well as my stomach when I eat, so I tend to go for deliciously fresh options that are prepared specifically for me.  However, on this occasion there wasn’t a lot of time so my choice was limited.

As I ordered my ricepaper rolls, I had cause to giggle. Two young burly tradies, with their tanned, hairless legs and Northface puffers on, sidled up next to me and ordered Fiji water and sushi.

What the??

Since when did tradies trade the Four’N Twenty pie and the chocolate Big M for imported water and seaweed?? Continue reading

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Positioning and presentation – make your coffee worth lining up for

As I wandered my way through the small local village to the butcher the other day I was struck by something – most of the people I could see were in line for one store. One cafe.  It got me thinking about how important ‘exposure’ is to all of us as business owners and entrepreneurs.

You see, the only perceivable difference between that one cafe and all the others in the village is its position and the way they display their items.

Trust me, the prices are the same (or bigger) for their coffee and food, the quality is arguably the same, the service is equally nonchalant. In fact everything else is much the same.

The only real difference that appears to generate 4-5 times the sales of their competitors is their positioning and presentation.

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5 Ways to Increase Visibility as a Business Owner

Business owners need visibility for growth. In the highly connected world in which we now operate, there are new ways to increase visibility, beyond the boardroom. Don’t get me wrong, I love an old-skool face-to-face meeting with a prospect. Maybe I’m showing my age (!), but when you’re sitting down with someone you have ALL your persuasive tools at your disposal—your voice, your body language, your active listening skills—those are the big guns.

But face-to-face sales take a lot of time and time is the modern business owner’s nemesis. Given many of us work with (or want to work with) clients from all over the world it can be a near-on impossible task to reach people in person. And have you noticed too, that a lot of people don’t want to meet face-to-face as a first step, like they used to? There’s a whole lot of research that happens first…a gathering of information from a variety of sources to help them make up their minds before contacting you.

These realities have forced me to get creative and look for alternative ways to ‘get in front of’ my prospects. None of these options put pressure on people to buy. Instead, they compel people to learn more about you in their own time, which may make them more inclined to buy down the track. Eventually you’ll get the ‘face time’ you want. Continue reading

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The art of resilience – there’s never a wrong age to learn it

This is a story about my girl Lucy. A story of resilience and dogged determination – two values I regard highly. It’s a story whose lesson most adults could learn from, and a story which is equally valid when applied to dealing with tough situations in our business as it is here in the childhood swimming pool.

Lucy was determined to give the school swimming trials a go. As a grade 3 it was the first year she was eligible. Not many of her friends were keen to try out, in fact there were only 8 girls out of about 55 who were attempting it. She’d been equally excited and nervous all week, unsure of what to expect, but really wanted to give it a crack regardless. She’s a great little swimmer but not what I’d call a natural fish.  However, she’s very competitive with herself, so she wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass her by.

Her race was up first and it was the compulsory freestyle – not her favourite stroke, but a necessary one. I could see the nerves on her face, but she patted her friend on the back to encourage her and made a joke at the starting line to cover up her feelings. Continue reading

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The power of a mentor. If not now, then when?

The fastest known way to grow your business is by working with an experienced mentor.

Why?

Because they’ve been where you are, faced the challenges you’ve faced and know what works.

When people message me to say they’re struggling to hit their goals in their business, or that it all feels ‘hard’, I always ask them “who are you working with to help keep you on track?”

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