Are You Someones 12th Man

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My book uses football as an analogy for personal development. With the World Cup looming, which sets my heart racing just thinking about it, I thought I’d share a chapter with you.

This is taken from chapter 8 of my book – The Beautiful Inner Game

If you are a Norwich or Ipswich fan, you will remember quite vividly and with a smile, the time Delia Smith made an emotional plea to the crowd at Norwich city’s home ground, when the team were performing badly (I do remember those days most fondly!).

She cried out ‘Where Are You?’ to what is known in football as the 12th man – the fans, knowing the importance of cheering the team and creating an atmosphere of encouragement.

Over the 25 years I’ve been attending the matches at Portman Road, I’ve witnessed the impact of having the crowd in fine voice and also of seeing the confidence of players drop right in front of my eyes, when the home fans become agitated or reprehensive. There are many who say that the footballers are paid more than enough to be able to sweep all that aside, but they’re human and having negative comments or jeers thrown at you whilst you’re trying to concentrate, is not exactly helpful.  And yet, they’re expected to take it and play their best football, which they often do in spite of criticism – not because of it.

So what has this got to do with you? Well let me ask you this. Who gains from your successes, and how do you connect with the wider world?

Social media with sites like twitter, facebook, blogging etc mean we have a much bigger audience than ever before and the wider our contribution to society, the more responsibility we have to act with integrity, warmth, compassion and understanding. This doesn’t mean we have to be a saint 24/7 – just that we need to acknowledge what we do has an affect on other people, as well as ourselves.

All of us need to listen to feedback without getting defensive and I am well aware of the many ways in which people (including myself) show subtle signs of defensiveness, rather than gratitude for a constructive insight. Do you do any of the following?

  • Wanting the last word?
  • Justifying everything and so waffle on endlessly about the ‘why’?
  • Blaming or attacking, as best form of defence?
  • Agreeing, just to shut someone up?
  • Not listening and even walking away?
  • Sulking and holding a grudge?
  • Denying altogether?
  • Purposely pretending you don’t understand what the problem is?

If you are really brave, you could ask the people you love to give you some honest, caring feedback on how you could make the changes you need, to reach your full potential, and then listen without saying a single word. Try it and see!

When we finally accept that happiness and peace comes from something within, rather than searching outside of ourselves, the more we can become other people’s 12th man.

The truly confident and grateful will spend time being compassionate and boosting other’s self esteem, whilst those, that have yet to finish this journey, will be too busy searching in the wrong place and blaming everything else, to ever be a Champion of Champions.

Take a look at my testimonial page

to find out how I can help you to be truly, permanently confident.

Put A Spring In Your Step!

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Easter is one of the most special public holidays of the year and my personal favourite.

As the mornings and evenings grow lighter and as the last of the winter frosts disappear, there is a great feeling of a new beginning.

I love noticing as I walk around my neighbourhood, that so many gardens are starting to look fresh and beautiful. People are taking the time to smile and have a chat. It truly is a great time of the year with so much to look forward to over the coming months.

This is also a great time of year to look back at those New Year resolutions, to review progress and to take any corrective action needed. It is the time to clear away the clutter in our homes and in our heads to make way for exciting challenges.

As a confidence coach I realise that the seasons can affect our attitudes and our self esteem.

Now that our surroundings are bursting with the promise of the warmth of summer, this is an ideal time to decide that you too will put right anything that you feel needs correcting in your own life.

This needn’t be an arduous task, as many of my clients will tell you. Several small changes can make a huge difference to your life.

 

So let me ask you a few questions:

 

What have you done over the last year that has been really useful?

What has not been so useful?

What should you do less of? More of? Start doing?

What is it that you do so well, that doing more of it will make the biggest difference?

What would you truly love to create in your life?

 

Take some time to really think about the answers to these questions and write down any new goals as well as review the ones you have already set.

 

Happy seed sowing!

 

And from me a really Great, Happy Easter!Image

How to Focus on Your Ideal Customers

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In this post we will cover:

  • The 80/20 rule in your business
  • How to figure out who your ideal customers are
  • How to figure out what your ideal customers want

The majority of your revenue comes from your ideal customers. This is great news!

I’ve described the 80/20 rule of business before, but it’s the premise for this whole post.

80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients, and
those 20% are your ideal customers.

Generally, these customers are loyal, spend a lot and spend often. They may be demanding, or ask you to stretch a little bit further, but they’re fair and they’re profitable. You make a substantial amount of money from them. You want to keep these customers in your business, and keep them exceptionally happy.

The rest of your customers can be organised on a sliding scale all the way down to your c-list, or unprofitable customers. These are the people who waste your time, energy and resources. They’re never satisfied, and nearly always cost you more to serve than they actually spend in your business.

The most profitable – and enjoyable to work in – businesses know how to spot and cater to their 20%, as well as how to spot and fire the difficult customers.

This post is about optimising your customer base so you can

a. serve happy, pleasant customers
b. see more repeat business
c. have happier staff
d. make more money

To identify the bad apples, you’ll have to first make a list of your ideal customers.

Go through your database of customers and make a list of the customers that make you answer yes to the following questions:

  • Has the customer purchased from you on several occasions?
  • Is the customer profitable?
  • Is the customer strategically important to your business?
  • Has the customer spent a significant amount of money in your business?

While you do this, you may also wish to make a list of customers who made you answer no to one or several of those questions. Those customers could potentially be unprofitable, or undesirable ones that you need to review.

When you are trying to establish how profitable a customer is, think about how much they spend, how often they spend, and what they buy. Do they buy high-margin or low-margin items? Have they referred other customers to you? Do they pay on time? Do they buy products or services at full price? Each business will have a different set of criteria to evaluate this, but use those questions as guidelines.

Your ideal customers are those that are highly profitable, and a dream to deal with. You’re more than happy to accommodate their requests, and go above and beyond their expectations. These are the customers you will want to cultivate more of in your business.

Your ideal customers are the ones that:

  • Ask you for the products and services that fall within your expertise or speciality.
  • Value your products and services, as well as you and your staff.
  • Pay a fair market price.
  • Challenge you to be better at what you do.
  • Support your continued business and professional growth.
  • Help you move in new strategic directions.

Once you know who your top clients are, ask them what they want and value in your business so you can continue to provide great service.

Why do your ideal customers buy from you? And what more can you do to encourage their business?

Consider sending a survey out to your A-list customers, and provide an incentive for them to complete and return it. Craft the questions to elicit a true picture of your strengths and weaknesses, and include a combination of multiple choice, ranking and open ended questions.

Ask your ideal customers questions about:

  • The products or services they love or would love to see.
  • Customer service elements that are important to them.
  • Why they chose your business?
  • How your business could improve?
  • How could you do more business with them?

You may also wish to create a survey for your staff to identify anything in your business that they feel could be improved. They work there everyday too, so they’re a great resource pool for ideas and enhancements.

Take the information you collect from these surveys, and use it to genuinely improve your business. Fix any problems, and eliminate any activities or services that weren’t identified as valuable. Maximise the activities and services that were identified as valuable.

 

 

Increase your Repeat Business

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Cultivating repeat business is a smart move because you’re leveraging time and money that you’ve already spent. Here’s how you can do it for your business:

 

1. Find out what your customers want.

In many ways, you’ve already done this step. You’ve completed some thorough target market research, and continue to review your customer’s purchasing patterns. You also continuously test and measure your marketing copy so that you are sure to tap into their motivations. Don’t you?!

To go a step further, you need to find out what they need from and think about their experience with your business. You need to figure out what is important to them and what they may not care about.

Here are some ways you can do this:

  1. Conduct a survey of your existing customers. Create a short customer service feedback survey, and ask all your customers to complete it. You can easily do this through online survey programs, or hand out cards. You may need to provide an incentive for customers to fill it out – like 10% off their next purchase, or a chance to win a prize. Keep the survey short – about 10 questions – and focus on asking a mix of multiple choice and open-ended questions. I use survey monkey.
  2. Cultivate meaningful relationships with your customers. If it is appropriate, nurture a social relationship with your clients. Take them out to lunch or dinner, or a sports game. In these relaxed environments, you’ll be able to easily learn new things about your customer that will show you how you can go above and beyond their expectations.
  3. Go to trade shows and industry events that matter to your customers. This will give you insight into what your competition is doing, as well as what products or services your customers are interested in. Remember that if your customers are keenly interested in a topic – like the environment, for example – that is not directly related to your business, you may also benefit from attending.
  4. Keep on top of trends and anticipate needs. Keep on top of trends in your industry so you can stay up to speed and on par with the competition. Also, if you follow what your customers are doing – if, for example, they’re athletes or high-powered businessmen – you’ll be able to anticipate their needs.
  5. Always ask for suggestions and feedback. Provide an ongoing place where you customers can provide their feedback or suggestions in an anonymous form. Review these cards regularly, and make changes and improvements where possible.

2. Give your customers what they want.

Now that you have cultivated a greater understanding of what matters to your customer base, you can start giving it to them! Here are some general suggestions for ways you can enhance your customer’s experience.

Remember to take their feedback and incorporate it wherever possible. Don’t be afraid of getting creative – unique touches will make sure your business will be remembered and revisited.

Here are some guidelines for enhancing your customer service:

  • Everything you do should be customer-driven. The service the customer receives is exactly how they would like to be treated when buying your product or service. It is reflective of your target market, and appropriate to their lifestyle. Customers would probably not appreciate white linen tablecloths at a fast food restaurant, but they would appreciate a 2 minutes or less guarantee.
  • Make your customer’s life as easy as possible. Your customers are coming to you for a solution to their problem or need. They’re coming to you to make their lives easier, so go a step further than just providing the product or service they need. Make it nearly effortless for the customer to spend money at your place of business. Convenience can take many forms – location, product selection, value-added services like delivery – and it is also consistent.
  • Be consistent with your products and services. The standards you establish for customer service need to be maintained by every person in your organisation. Same goes for every product in your business. Expectations should be clear and followed through. When customers know what to expect (and are happy with the service), they will choose your business because they trust that you have their best interests in mind. They want their buying experience to be risk and surprise-free.

Easy really! – More on this next time…

How to Write an Effective Headline in 6 Steps!

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1. Identify who you are trying to target.

You need a clear understanding of who you’re writing for and what their motivators are before you can attempt to reach them.

If you are trying to target a more specific group within your target market, you can choose to segment your market into sub-markets by demographic or behaviouristic characteristics. For example, you might choose to focus on only men, or only women with children under five years of age.

The more specific you can be with your market, the easier time you will have identifying and reaching their emotional ‘hot buttons.’

2. Identify what you are trying to communicate.

Once you know who you’re speaking to, clearly define what message you need to communicate to them. Be specific, and even write it down in plain language before you start drafting your headlines.

To clearly articulate your message, ask yourself questions like:

  • Do you have a solution to their problem?
  • Do you offer a new product or service that they need?
  • Can you provide the information they’re looking for?
  • Do you have a better option for them?

3. Identify the motivators or “hot buttons” that will elicit an emotional response from your audience.

Take the list you drafted above, and highlight or write down the words that will pique your target market’s interest, or trigger their ‘hot buttons’.

If you’re selling vacuum cleaners to young mothers, you’re going to want to identify words that would appeal to her desire to keep her home germ free for toddlers, and make her cleaning efforts easier and less time consuming.

When you’re writing for sales and marketing, always try to paint a picture for your audience. Carefully select descriptive words they will relate to and resonate with, and strong power words.

For example, phrases like “challenging outdoor experiences” would appeal to physically fit readers, but not those who don’t like to exercise.

4. Choose a type of headline that will work best based on the emotional motivators you have identified.

Direct Headlines clearly and simply state the offer or message, without any attempt at humour or cleverness. Pure Silk Scarves – 40% This Weekend Only | Brand New Security System Just $99 Per Month

Indirect Headlines are subtle, and often use curiosity to pique a reader’s interest before providing an explanation in the body copy. Clever puns, figures of speech and double meanings are often used. 

News Headlines mimic a headline you would read in the newspaper and are a great option for a new product announcement or industry scoop. These work best when you actually have news, and can stay focused on benefits, not features. 

Question Headlines ask the reader something they can closely relate to or would need to continue reading to discover the answer. Questions are easy to read, and can immediately tap into your reader’s emotions.

‘How to’ Headlines indicate that the rest of the copy or the offer itself will describe a step-by-step process of interest or use to the reader. These two words create headlines that work wonders. How to find a job in a recession | How to start a profitable internet business from scratch.

Command Headlines are similar to direct headlines, but always start with a strong verb or command for action. It usually focuses on the most important benefit you offer your reader. Triple your energy in just three days | Stop wasting money when you travel.

‘Reasons Why’ or ‘Ways to’ Headlines precede lists of tips, suggestions, product benefits or even mistakes of interest to your target audience. Keep the list to a reasonable length or you’ll run the risk of losing your reader. Eight ways to save money around the house 

Testimonial Headlines use other people’s opinions and expertise to persuade a reader to keep reading and begin to build trust. Quotation marks are used to indicate that the words are a testimonial, not the words of your business, and they can increase readership by almost 30%. 

5. Draft at least ten different headlines and pick your best three to test and measure.

Use the number of words you need to get your point across, without writing a paragraph. Remember that your headline needs to do one thing: get the reader to keep reading.

Don’t be afraid to draft pages of headlines or sift through the pages of a thesaurus before you get yours just right. Sometimes you’re only a word or two away from transforming a boring headline into a really effective one. Some examples:

Example Headline Templates

  • How to become the smartest _____ in _____
  • How to end ______
  • How I improved my _____
  • How to develop _____
  • Seven ways to add to your _____ without cleaning out your bank account
  • How to begin _____
  • 12 innovations in _____ design
  • How to enjoy _____
  • Introducing the four key rules for _____
  • How I _____
  • Six things to check when buying a new _____

6. Always test and measure the effectiveness of your headlines. Try two at a time and compare which generates the best results.

As always, you will need to test and measure the strength of your headlines. Try to test at least two “hot buttons” in different media to determine where your target audience’s reaction is the strongest.

You can leverage off of the information gathered from testing and measuring your powerful offer as well. For example, if the offer geared to safety and security concerns was a roaring success, headlines that tap into those motivators will also be successful.

You can apply these headline writing techniques to all your marketing materials.

How I help you to be Confident and what is NLP?

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I am asked on a regular basis about how I can make people more confident, what do I do and how does NLP work?

There is no quick answer to this so it’s not often I get to give the long answer.  I thought I would take the time to give more of an explanation.

My one to one clients are different from the bespoke programmes that I offer small business owners but eventually all will confide in me on both personal and business issues because I take a holistic view of their lives and check where they may need help.

Often people will come to me with what they think is the problem, when in fact it is a sympton of the real problem. I have been told many times that I unravel this in an uncannily speedy time! I think I’m just great at trusting my intuition, and often hear what is NOT being said.

Basically I use 4 main tools, although this is not the full tool kit;

A structure for the session including a main aim for the client in each one with action points to take away

The Wheel of Life in which to take that holistic view

Deep incisive questioning to make my clients more self aware and to answer stuff they have never thought of before

And Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

NLP has, in the past, been viewed with scepticism but for me my licensed practitioner’s course was the best thing I’ve ever completed, for my own personal development as well as helping to exceed my client’s expectations (90% say they didn’t expect to have such great results in such a short space of time).

So what is it?

Neuro

The nervous system, including the brain and the five senses and how we interpret the information we receive via our filters

 Linguistic

The verbal & non-verbal language symbols with which we code & transmit meaning.

 Programming

The ability to structure our neurological and linguistic systems to achieve certain results.

 The Fundamentals

1. Know what you want (Outcome / Direction)

 2. Get the attention of the unconscious mind and become more self aware

 3. Know whether you’re getting what you want (Sensory Acuity)

4. Adjust what you’re doing accordingly (Behavioural Flexibility)

NLP makes some presuppositions as follows. These are not necessarily true but can be very useful for successful communication influence.

  • · The map is not the territory
  • · Each person is unique
  • · Having choice is better than not having choice.
  • · People make the best choice available to them at the time
  • · Every behaviour has a positive intention.
  • · There is no failure, only feedback
  • · The resources the individual needs are already within them.
  • · The meaning of a communication is the response you get
  • · There is a solution to every problem
  • ·· Mind and body are one system

So what sort of people come to me? I have coached barristers, politicians, accountants, managers, executives, nurses, teachers, students, construction workers, housewives, brides to be, sole traders, service providers, architects, bankers, web designers – you get the drift!

I have helped them to be confident in communicating, networking, speaking, presenting, interviews, managing people, managing personal relationships, focusing, being more successful, happy, reducing stress, releasing their creativity and genius, finding their feet again after a setback, marketing, getting rid of procrastination to take action, and much more.

I do this face to face as a one to one, telephone, skype, group coaching or deliver an interactive workshop or a combination of medias.

Confidence is key to so many things but that gives a flavour.

Please take a look at the testimonials on the home page or contact me for more information

5 Ways to be a Confident Networker

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Groucho Marx once said ‘I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member’!

So my first tip is:

1) Value yourself and your time. Its easy to go to every lunch and breakfast meeting advertised and achieve very little. Work out the cost of your time on an hourly rate and use this when prioritising and planning your strategy for marketing, networking etc. Believe that you have something fantastic to offer to the right people or business.

If belief in your product, company or yourself is 8/10 or less, what would make it a 10/10?

2) ‘Me Ltd’

I do a whole workshop on this one. It isn’t about the branding of your company, I leave that to the experts, but about how you portray yourself to the world via social media and face to face. It needs to be consistent, authentic and have integrity. What makes you different? What is your USP? Make sure your target market knows who you are, what you do and how you do it. And if you can’t describe your target market, then that’s the first thing you need to do!

3) Get Confident

In my workshop ‘Confidently Smart Network’ I show you how to use Neuro Linguistic Programming to feel confident working the room and how to put together a brilliant elevator pitch to make you feel confident when standing up to speak or for first introductions My top tip here is to go to any networking event with the mindset that you are there to help others connect with each other and to build relationships. Think outwards rather than inwards. You will make far better relationships with this attitude than trying to get people to help you.

4) Make a list

Go back over old ground on this too. Who are your past clients and what could you offer them now? Friends, family, neighbours, school gates, hobbies – who do they know that fits your target market? Get introduced or go for coffee. Also think of companies that have the same target market as you. Consider joint ventures or being able to use their database with a special offer etc.

5) Blow Your Own Trumpet

Use testimonials in everything you do. Website, brochures, presentations, social media. Use LinkedIn to get recommendations. And change your ‘features’ to ‘benefits’ in all communications. Its not the F Word but the B Word!

6) An extra Tip

Come on my workshop or ask for in-house session at your company! Previously delivered by yours truly for Business Link, this is my most popular and highly praised workshop which I am delivering to East of England and via Suffolk Chamber soon.

And get more hints and tips about this and your marketing strategy here

If time were money, how would you manage yours? – Part 2 Self Management strategies

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Here are a series of effective strategies for improving your time management skills, and for doing more in less time.

The strategies described below will help you take charge of your schedule and use your time in a more effective manner. Grab your pad of paper and start by choosing five or six strategies to try, take some notes as you read through and decide which you will try first.

Remember this is an individual process – everyone works differently – so if you have to try a few different things to get some meaningful results, that’s okay/normal!

Prioritise your tasks > You can’t do everything, so you need to decide what is most deserving of your time investment.
> Choose what needs to be completed now, what can be completed later, and what can be delegated to someone else.
> Focus on your top three priorities at any one time, and consistently revise your list so that the highest priority items are on the top, and the lowest priority items are at the bottom.
Delegate > You can’t do everything, so you need to decide what you absolutely need to do, and what others can finish.
> You also need to accept that while it may seem “faster” for you to complete a task initially, spending the time to teach someone to complete the task will save you hours later on.
> Delegation is a vital skill that you need to refine, practise and master as a manager.
Focus on your skills > If you have a good understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, you can use this to your advantage.
> An effective way to manage your time is to only do the things that you know you are good at, or required for, helps to make money, and delegate or outsource the areas where you are not as strong.
Say no > Learn how to say no, and you will reclaim dozens of hours every week.
> It’s so easy to say yes to something in the moment, and later feel overwhelmed when that task is added to your to do list. You may feel pressure to say yes to everything as a business owner, but you do have a choice.
Keep a strict schedule > Create and keep a strict schedule for yourself that supports your productivity, and minimises distractions.
> Include personal and work time in your schedule
> Schedule time for things like closed-door work, work planning, email and phone responses, internal and external meetings, “me time”, family and exercise.
Make decisions > As a successful business owner, you will need to learn to make good decisions quickly and efficiently, without wasting time with deliberations.
> You can only make the best decision with the information you have, in the time frame you have to make it. No one expects you to be able to see the future – be decisive, make some mistakes, and learn from them.
Manage interruptions > Establish which hours of the day you are most productive, and set those hours aside for yourself to finish important tasks, uninterrupted.
> Schedule open door hours, and closed-door hours.
> Schedule windows of time for reading and replying to emails, and for answering and replying to phone calls.
Manage interruptions Avoid duplicating efforts > Take note of how many tasks are completed more than once, or by more people than necessary.
> Establish clear communication systems and procedures to minimise this, and make sure all your employees have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
> Use tools like checklists, meeting minutes and individual task assignments to minimise mis-communication and duplication in tasks.
Stop procrastinating > If you are a seasoned procrastinator, the idea of “just stopping” is usually much easier in principle than in practice.
> The best way to overcome procrastination is to use your willpower to stop. Refining this skill will help to prevent you from procrastinating in the future.
> Try working in blocks of focused time, with breaks or rewards at the end, and break down big tasks into small manageable ones – called ‘chunking’.

Effective time management is just a formal way of saying that you make good choices about how you spend your valuable time.

It really just boils down to making choices, and setting up a structure that enables you to succeed. You have to try a few different strategies and structures to see what works best for you.

Remember that self management is a personal investigation that will look different for everyone. Some people can work in the middle of a loud, crowded room, and others need absolute silence to function at a high level. Respect your own needs.

Next time – How to add value to your business

If time were money, how would you manage yours? – Part 1

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Time is far more precious than money. There are a finite number of days that you will spend on this earth, while money is something you can usually get more of.

If you are 35 years old with a life expectancy of 75… you have already spent 12,775 days on Earth and have 480 months left to fulfill your life destiny. If you plan to retire at the age of 50 you have 180 months to make enough money to retire (a million pounds doesn’t put a dent in retirement nowadays…) and in those months 1,440 days are weekends… so you have 3600 workdays to make it all happen. What are you waiting for… time to stop confusing being busy with being successful!

The fact is that many business owners – like yourself – actually manage their money as though it is more precious than their time. They started the business to choose their own hours, spend more time with their family, and be their own boss. But, somewhere along the way the only goals that mattered became the financial ones. Or, the only item worth measuring and managing was money.

Your time will never be managed for you – you have to make a decision to choose to spend your time wisely. To take ownership of your own schedule, and use the power you have to change what isn’t working. I’ll show you several tools to get you started, but first let’s take a look at what your time is worth first, to attach time to money.

If everytime you do something (that is really a distraction), you might want to think of how much it’s costing your business!

Here’s a really simple exercise to determine what your time is worth based on your annual income and the number of working hours in a year.

Target annual income A. £
Working days in a year B. 235
Working hours in a day C. 7.5
Working hours in a year D. 1,645
A / D = YOUR HOURLY WORTH E.

It’s also unrealistic to assume that each of the 1,645 hours in a year is a productive one. Various studies have put actual productivity at anywhere between 25 minutes and four hours per day. That’s a lot of room for improvement!

Now, this calculation doesn’t factor in overtime hours, taxes, or expenses. If you work as a consultant for an hourly rate, it doesn’t factor in the cost for you to provide your services. The point is, this is your hourly worth in the best-case scenario.

When you start thinking about time management, the goal is to get more done in less time, and thus increase your hourly worth (among other benefits, of course!). It’s also a way for you to start proritising your actions when you consider the hourly rate it is costing the business.

Going on FB for an hour might not seem so attractive if you think of the monetary value as well as what is not getting done!

Part 2 – some tools for self management

 

12 Indicators to raise your Confidence

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I have been a confidence coach for over 9 years now and in that time there have been some common themes and solutions to aid my clients self esteem, self belief and emotional intelligence.

I thought I would share some of the ways in which people who felt affected by confidence have overcome them by working on these areas. This is not a comprehensive list but consists of the main ingredients that can be worked on.

1) Self awareness – For me this is crucial as a starting point. Only you will really know the truth about how you feel inside, what situations you are confident in and what areas need improving. Only you will know if an event has caused a temporary crash in your overall well being or if this is something that has been building up for some time.  by understanding what your best skills and capabilities are and where or with whom you are at your best, you can transfer it into other areas of your life. Acceptance that you will not be perfect is key.

2) Direction – Having written goals that use all our senses, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic is a must for me. what will we see hear and feel when your goals are reached. How do these goals help you get to where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years etc. I have yearly goals which i break down into my action plan.

3) Values – I have written regularly on this and the importance of understanding how your values shape your behaviour. Take a look at my previous posts on my wordpress blog account confidencenac. Being authentic and having integrity is a vital ingredient to self esteem.

4) Motivation – Confident people take some risks to enable them to do the things they love. Motivation will come easily when we feel passionate about something – effortless but full of energy – but to get to that point some changes may be needed beforehand. Your ‘Why’ for your goals must be big enough and should include small incremental steps. Make the change look small by chunking it into smaller parts, take the first step and procrastination will be a thing of the past!

5) A Positive can-do attitude – Use visualisation and affirmations (in the current tense) to feed your sub conscious with some good food. eg ‘I am a confident person who is decisive and focused’. Use positive self talk, not just to yourself, but to others too.

6) Gratitude – See what you do have every day, never lose sight of the things that mean the most and look at what has been achieved before asking the question ‘what still needs to be done?’. Be grateful enough so that helping others is a pleasure, not a duty.

7) A sense of Purpose – My theme in life is to give confidence to people, empower them and encourage them to take responsibility for their lives. I am here to give love and support to my clients, my community as well as my family and friends. Love is all that matters but we must love ourselves first. What’s your theme?

8) Ongoing personal development – Never believe you have learnt everything or have reached your full potential. You are a genius in your own right but have you given your gift to the world yet?. Whatever profession, there is more to learn and we can just keep getting better. Invest in yourself – often.

9) Boldness – Life is not meant to be easy but the easier you try to make it, by avoiding things, the harder it becomes. Tackle things head on – conversations, people, actions etc and life becomes so much more colourful and confidence-enhancing.

10) Health and wellbeing – Eat good food, drink water, breathe deeply, have mindfulness, listen to others, communicate your own feelings, respect your body, exercise if it’s your bag, walk with nature, have joie de vivre and, of course, good wine (sorry that’s my little pleasure!). Use your intuition, listen to it carefully and then understand what it is telling you.

11) Optimism – the most successful people have this in abundance. It doesn’t mean unrealistic but it does mean a ‘knowing’ that whatever challenge manifests itself, it can be dealt with and could even become a blessing. I love the question ‘What’s great about this problem?’ The only time there is failure is when time has run out, otherwise it really is just feedback.

12) Mindfulness – Savour every moment by using all your senses eg hear the music, the words, see the sky, the smiles, feel the emotions.  There is a difference between listening and hearing, looking and seeing. Plan for your future but enjoy the present.

How do you rate on the above? If any areas need improving and you know it will enhance your life, then invest in a coach.  And start with writing down some of the things you know you should already be doing – your goals and your action points.

Or call me to make this year – 2014 – your very best yet! – 01473 682760