2013 August

The Wealth Files: 3 tips to spend less money

08 28 2013

Are you always running out of cash before the month is up?  Do you rely on guesswork rather than a budget?  

Spend less, save more: it sounds simple … but dull. It can be easier to turn a blind eye when you’re handing over your hard-earned cash for that must-have item.  But, if you want to achieve your financial goals, these three tips to spend less money can help break your overspending cycle.

1. Get your mitts on it:

First off, have a budget.  Once all your fixed expenses like mortgage, car, insurance and so on are paid for, what do you have left?  Budget for what you’ll allow yourself to spend and then draw it out of your account as cash. If you’re forever using your debit and credit cards, you’ll spend a “plastic premium” according to psychology bods – it’s far less painful to hand over your credit card than wads of cash.  I promise, you’ll be far more conscious of your budget if you use cash.

2. Trace your steps:

If, after a couple of months of using cash, you’re still over-spending you may want to track your expenses.  Keep it simple, just write down what you bought and when, and how much you paid.  It can show where you’re big expenditures are and if they’re ones you’d want to cut back on.  On the other hand, it might show that your budget is too tight and you need to allocate more to your spending pot.

3. Ask yourself this question:

If you’re an emotional spender, ask yourself this question each time you’re about to buy something: “do I want it or do I need it?”  This can often be enough to be the wake-up you need before you hand over the readies.  You could even add a want/need column to your expense tracking list.

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Behind The Scenes with Sarah Tucker Events

08 27 2013

As our second wedding anniversary approaches, I’m getting a little misty-eyed thinking back to our big day.  Hand on heart I wouldn’t change a thing… BUT looking through some of Sarah Tucker’s work gives me heaps of inspiration for a re-do! Enjoy taking a peek behind the scenes of Sarah Tucker Events

Hi Sarah!  Would you like to introduce yourself to the Glitterati Girls:

I’m Sarah, the founder of Sarah Tucker Events

Tell me a bit about your business: 

It’s a boutique wedding design, style and coordination studio.  I love creating environments for weddings that reflect the stylish couples well.  I love orchestrating weddings to go smoothly and for all to feel at ease – the couple, the bridal party and guests. 

Describe your typical day/week schedule.

It is 100% different since my son came into the world!    I used to work, work, work… now I feel like I work smarter and harder.

How do you plan and organise your time?  What are your biggest challenges with this?  What tips can you offer? 

I love my day designer by Whitney English – it has helped me tremendously!  I have RescueTime downloaded on my computer to check-in weekly on what I’m spending my screen time on.  It’s been a huge help to identify where I’m wasting time.  I believe in setting your clothes out before you go to bed, and preparing before you go to bed for the next day.  It really starts you on the right track. 

What are your essential office tools? 

I can never have enough scissors!  As well as my Mac laptop, ipad, Photoshop, BlogStomp and Lightroom

Are there any websites or apps that you’d recommend to other entrepreneurial women?

I love Think Splendid, a social media consultant for the wedding and hospitality industries.  Her advice is always on point! 

What book has most inspired you? 

Rework by Jason Fried

What’s your typical working lunch? 

I love to go out to lunch and get out of the house since I’m at home much of the day.  I try to plan about two days a week to go out to lunch.  The rest of the time it’s leftovers from dinner I cooked the night before, or a turkey sandwich and some veggies. 

And how do you switch off once the working day is done? 

It’s so hard to do!  So much of what I do is what I love to do so I’m often finding inspiration for my next project or current project from my own life.  However, when I’m on vacation, I’m on vacation.  I work hard to align everything so I can breathe easy and enjoy my vacation. 

What makes your life sparkle? 

My faith and family.  All of it could be gone tomorrow but if I had them, I would still count myself richly blessed.  

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Secrets of my Success: Natalie MacNeil

08 22 2013

A David Guetta song may literally have changed the course of Natalie MacNeil’s path to success.  The Emmy award-winning founder of Imaginarius, best-selling author and “chieftess” at She Takes on the World shares her inspirations, fears and motivation, as well as that Guetta-inspired ‘aha’ moment  that inspired her to start an online business…

divider-02 EG greyWhat is your title/position?

Chieftess at She Takes on the World Inc.

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today? 

I was torn between starting a business and getting a ‘real job’ after university. I was on a trip in Europe to give myself a change of scenery and the space to decide what I really wanted to do. I was visiting the Czech Republic and listening to a David Guetta song called The World is Mine when suddenly I drove by a giant globe that was two stories high that said The World Is Yours. As crazy as it may sound, that moment gave me all the courage I needed to follow my heart and start a business. It’s also where the seed of inspiration was planted for She Takes on the World, now listed the last three years in a row on ForbesTop 100 Websites for Women.

What has been most effective for you in your achievements so far, in turning your goals/visions into reality?  Where do you start?

My signature plan is called the MAP (Master Action Plan), which I walk people through in my book and in The Conquer Club, a hybrid in-person and online community for entrepreneurial women on my website.

My MAP combines goal setting with vision boarding and strategic planning. It’s a business plan for those of us who are creative and like visuals. I look at my own MAP every day, morning and night. It’s my guide. In my MAP Sessions I help people get clarity on what they really want, define their perfect customer, slay the dragons that get in the way of success, set bigger picture goals and milestones, and a whole lot more.

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

I find inspiration everywhere. I travel a lot and the change of environment and scenery keeps me inspired. I’m also very motivated by all the emails I get from my readers around the world, hearing about how my book or blog or work has inspired them. I always read those emails on the entrepreneurial down-days to pick myself back up and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing. Entrepreneurship can be a crazy roller-coaster ride.

What has been your biggest lesson learned?

Trust your gut. Always.

[Tweet “”Trust your gut. Always” @NatalieMacNeil via @emmagwillim”]

What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them?

I had a lot of fears around writing my first book. When I finished it I was afraid of what people were going to think, especially because you can’t change it once it’s out there. I held my breath when I got my first review and breathed a sigh of relief after reading it. It’s hard to put yourself out there sometimes and I think we all care, at least a little bit, what other people think about us and our work.

To release my fears I have a meditation that I do. As part of the meditation I write the fear on a little piece of paper then burn it and watch it go up in smoke. It always feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

What do you believe is the secret of your success?

I think the people you surround yourself with – employees, mentors, friends and family – make or break you. I don’t allow anyone to bring negative energy into my business or my life and that makes all the difference. I think there is a lot of truth to the Jim Rohn quote: “you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.”

[Tweet “”The people you surround yourself with – employees, mentors, friends and family – make or break you” @NatalieMacneil via @emmagwillim”]

What 3 tips would you offer ambitious women reading this?

When I was starting out with my first business I had no idea how to move forward but I MOVED FORWARD, and I figured it out as I went along. If you keep taking steps forward you will always figure it out. No successful entrepreneur has ever felt 100% prepared; I guarantee it. So my advice is to just start, seek help from mentors and experienced entrepreneurs, then launch and learn from your mistakes.

[Tweet “”So my advice is to just start, seek help from mentors and experienced entrepreneurs, then launch and learn from your mistakes” @NatalieMacNeil via @emmagwillim”]

What book has most inspired you?

I read a lot of entrepreneurship and business books that feed me with new ideas and inspiration, but Marianne Williamson’s Return to Love and The Law of Divine Compensation have probably had the biggest impact on how I view my business and my purpose. 

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Behind the Scenes with Alicia Cowan

08 21 2013

Hello Alicia. Please introduce yourself to the Glitterati Girls:

I’m Alicia Cowan, social media + online marketing mentor at AliciaCowan.com, and creator of the online training community Twitter Brilliance.

Tell me a bit about your business:

I demystify social media and online marketing for solo workers and entrepreneurs. I teach them how to create buzz for their business and be brilliant online using time efficient, results oriented systems so that they can enjoy the business and life of their dreams!

Describe your typical day/week schedule.

The beauty of running my own business means that I get to choose my schedule, and I like to keep things varied! I listen to my body and energy levels – sometimes that means starting at 8am, other times it’s 11am.  The time I start will determine when I finish but if I start early I like to take an extra long break for lunch and begin my ‘second shift’ working into the evening.

I’ve got the worst habit of reaching for my phone the moment I wake up no matter what time it is. Checking the time ALWAYS leads to browsing my emails, social media and the weather (what can I say? I’m a weather obsessed Brit!). It actually works for me because it means I’m not distracted by emails as a first task when I start work – I’ve already done it.

After I’ve fed Humphrey, my cat, I rustle up a nutrient-packed green smoothie and mentally prepare for the day. Three times a week that involves a 4 mile run in the park where I have my best ideas. Sometimes I’ll be blessed with a shopping list of beauties. So desperate am I to remember them that I have to race back home to note them down. Then, I get on with my day…

How do you plan and organise your time?  What are your biggest challenges with this?  What tips can you offer?

Over the years I’ve learnt to plan my time according to my needs and energy zones. For instance, I’m not great in the morning – I hit my best time after lunch so I don’t schedule important meetings or calls too early.

This works well for me as many of my contacts, team and clients are based in the US who are up to 9 hours behind where I’m based in London and Ibiza so I do most of my own business planning and marketing in the morning. It’s not unusual for me to be working into the evening.

I plan my next week out before finishing up on a Friday but I love to lock everything down on Mondays getting a head start on big tasks and I use Fridays as a ‘mop up’ day to clear the decks before the weekend. That means I usually keep meetings to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Email is my biggest distraction so I keep it closed for big chunks of the day. Another distraction which is harder to control is social media! As it’s part of my business I often have to go check things on Facebook or Twitter and invariably the moment I’m in I lose myself and momentarily forget why I’m there! A good tip I practice is remembering my intention before jumping in so that I can do what I need and jump out again without too much interruption.

My biggest challenge when planning my time is that my days can easily span 12-15 hours. This used to be a regular occurrence but having burnt myself out working long hours and 7 day weeks in the past I have more discipline now. These days I’m mindful of why I choose to work for myself – the freedom and lifestyle that creates for me – so I make a point of making the most of that.

[Tweet “”I’m mindful of why I choose to work for myself, the freedom and lifestyle that creates for me, so I make a point of making the most of that” @AbsoluteAlicia via @EmmaGwillim”]

What are your essential office tools?

I can’t work without…

Seize the Year planner – a lovely designed wall planner for the year. It’s not only functional but also looks great! Mapping out my year and seeing it laid out in front of me keeps me focussed, motivated and inspired. 

My desktop PC is a big hulk of a thing with lots of memory and I have a Mac Air for when I’m working away from my office. Plus my iPhone – it’s my back pocket computer.

Notepads – my guilty work pleasure. I’m forever scribbling in notebooks and doing that in a nice book is much more fun and productive than on the back of an envelope!

Are there any websites or apps that you’d recommend to other entrepreneurial women?

I have soooo many but here are my top picks…

Hootsuite and Buffer for managing my social media marketing. I believe without tools like these you can’t successfully manage your online marketing and expect results from your efforts.

Google Apps for everything from email, my calendar and documents so I can easily share them with my team, and access them from anywhere.

Trello is a new addition for me. I’m using it to manage the 4th launch of Twitter Brilliance happening in October. It’s a free and really intuitive project management system to share out tasks with my team. I LOVE it.

Contactually is a really fabulous contact manager that helps me manage my relationships with private clients and prospects. Follow-ups are key for running a successful coaching business and Contactually helps me do that easily saving me time and brain space.

Dropbox. This has been an invaluable tool since I started my business over four years ago. It’s ideal for file sharing, especially big files, and it means I can access my files wherever I am – whether I’m on my desktop or working from my laptop in Ibiza or my iPhone on the go.

Skype for keeping in touch with mostly everyone. Many of my 1:1 client sessions and consultancy calls happen over Skype, although Google Hangout is becoming a firm favourite for mastermind sessions and  group meetings.

As for websites, I’m a regular contributor to Women Unlimited and I also love the digital monthly magazine This Girl Means Business – both have fabulous articles and tools to inspire and educate female entrepreneurs.

Describe your workspace and how it integrates with your working style.  How does it motivate/focus your work?

It was always my intention to be location independent so that I could work from anywhere I choose. It means that working from cafes, my garden or Ibiza, where I’ve recently bought an apartment with my husband, is easy. I love the feeling of space and freedom that presents.

Saying that, I get more done working in my home office and prefer the familiarity of a base. That’s why having a place in Ibiza is a perfect solution for me.

I strongly believe that working should be a pleasurable experience so wherever I am I make my workspace as inviting and comfortable as possible. I want it to be a space that’s practical and also soothes, motivates and inspires me creatively. My essential office items are all within easy reach and I add finishing touches; fun notepads, fresh flowers, candles, mood lighting and my favourite music making my work more of an entertaining past time than hard graft.

[Tweet “”I strongly believe that working should be a pleasurable experience” @AbsoluteAlicia via @emmagwillim”]

What book has most inspired you?

Wow, so many! The books I’ve read most recently that had a profound affect on my outlook are Start With Why by Simon Sinek and Anything You Want by Derek Sivers. Next on my reading list is Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield.

What’s your typical working lunch?

I always start the day with a powerful green smoothie to rev me up for the day. I make enough for an extra hit mid afternoon. Lunch is usually something light – fresh fruit, some rice cakes with almond butter and banana. Yum!

And how do you switch off once the working day is done?

Even though I often work into the evening I don’t work too late – for me that spells doom for a good night’s sleep. My working day ends when my husband comes home or Humphrey nags me to pay him attention.

My wind down process starts with me checking my schedule for the next day, giving my desk a tidy and switching everything off in my office (so I can’t sneak back in to do ‘just one more thing’).

I’ll catch up with Matt, maybe watch some TV, read a book. I’m learning Spanish and spend 15-30 minutes a day on that. In the evening I make a point of trying not to check my phone for emails, Twitter or Facebook updates. Working in social media, that’s a hard ask!

What makes your life sparkle?

Having the freedom to create a business I love and knowing that I’m helping many other business owners do the same by helping them get their message out into the world. Meeting countless business owners online – learning and being inspired by them everyday thanks to social media and the internet – that gives me goosebumps! Hanging out with my husband,Matt, Humphrey the cat and friends in the sunshine.

divider-02 EG grey

Alicia Cowan is a social media and online marketing mentor for solo workers, and creator of the online Twitter training community, Twitter Brilliance.  Having been featured on ProBlogger and Social Media Examiner, in 2013 TopRank named her one of the UK’s top 50 online marketing influencers and bloggers.

Alicia combines her love of systems and marketing geekery with straight talking clarity. Finding simple ways for her clients to attract more business buzz in an authentic and practical way is what she gets excited about.

You can sign up for her bitesize marketing tips here

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The Wealth Files: 5 daily affirmations for a wealth mindset

08 20 2013

We’re sweet-talking this week. Now you have your wealth vision statement, it’s time to woo it with daily affirmation.

What you focus on grows.  With a daily affirmation, you can shift your focus to a wealth mindset.  It’s not a magic wand, it’s not going to immediately change your reality BUT with focus on a new way of thinking about your wealth, you can’t help but shift into a new way of behaving.

Here is a round-up of my favourite wealth affirmations:

I have everything I need. I am safe.

I deserve great success.

I am worthy of receiving wealth now.

I am a magnet for abundance.

And one of my own:

I am a channel to receiving wealth with ease.

How to: 

Make a new habit.  Instead of worrying and thinking about what you don’t want, spend five minutes in the morning focusing on what you do want.  Quiet your mind and, as you say each affirmation, feel it.  Notice where you feel the feeling in your body.  And then move onto the next…

I’d love to hear how you get on with these affirmations, or would love to hear affirmations of your own.  Share the love in the comments below.

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#GlitteratiSocial: Self-care for women entrepreneurs

08 16 2013

The #GlitteratiSocial topic this week: Self-care for women entrepreneurs.

I hear it again and again: you’re so busy squeezing out every little fragment of time to work on your business plan, catch up on emails, be seen on social media, play the domestic goddess… and the sum total of time you spend on looking after you is nil.  Or at best, last on the list.

Today our get-together will be about sharing tips to make sure you’re nurturing yourself as well as everyone and everything around you.  What has worked for you? How can you encourage other creative ladies to give themselves a little tlc?

The Twitter chat starts at 5pm…

See you there, Emma x

the skinny

Glitterati Social is a weekly get-together for creative female entrepreneurs.  Each Friday between 5-5.30pm (GMT), Emma Gwillim hosts a live Twitter chat focused on a nominated topic so that the Glitterati community can share their experiences, offer advice, build new relationships and encourage one another to design a life and business that sparkles. #GlitteratiSocial

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Secrets of my Success: The fierce, fabulous and free Nisha Moodley

08 15 2013

Nisha Moodley describes herself as a student of freedom.  While, she says, its easier to stay in your comfort zone and do nothing, Nisha’s own path has seen her shake off the shackles… and has created a business that encourages women, “change makers”, to do the same.  In this week’s interview Nisha shares her definition of success and her personal formula for turning her big, bold dreams into reality…

What is your title/position:

Nisha Moodley.  I’m the founder of Fierce Fabulous Free

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today?  How did you get to where you are now?

After overcoming years of struggling with emotional eating, I feel a deep desire to help other women do the same. I decided to study nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and created a thriving practice helping women find freedom with food.

One day, a few years into my practice, I was really struggling in my marriage and in the midst of an argument with my then-husband (we’re now divorced), I threw up my hand and said “I don’t have time for this, I have work to do”.  As I sat down behind my laptop I had a painful realisation that I was using work the same way I had used food, to avoid uncomfortable emotions that I didn’t think i could handle.

I knew something had to change. Unless I was going to make my message about the virtues of being a burnt-out workaholic, I was going to have to change my life to align with my message of freedom.

What I discovered is, as my joy, satisfaction, pleasure and sense of purpose has expanded, I have been able to give and love and serve in a bigger way.[Tweet “”What I discovered is, as my joy, satisfaction, pleasure and sense of purpose has expanded, I have been able to give and love and serve in a bigger way” @AskNisha (via @emmagwillim)”]

I now support women entrepreneurs in stepping into the space of supportive sisterhood, so we can explore an expansion of our own freedom, aligning us to make a bigger difference in the world.

The world will be set free by women who are free.  Sisterhood is key.

Tell me about your vision/goals for your future.

My vision for the future is to live in a world where women take incredible care of one another and themselves, enabling us to make a bigger difference in the world.  My goal is to do my part to ensure that it becomes normal for women to experience their own self-worth and have supportive sisterhood in their lives.

I’ve got a few books in the works, and will continue to run my business in a way that feels really aligned with where I am in my life and the impact I want to make.

[Tweet “”My vision for the future is to live in a world where women take incredible care of one another and themselves, enabling us to make a bigger difference in the world” @AskNisha (via @emmagwillim)”]

What has been most effective for you in your achievements so far, in turning your goals/visions into reality?  Where do you start?

The most effective tool that I’ve used is my Freedom Formula: Appreciation + Intention + Aligned Action

Here’s what it looks like:


            – Write a gratitude list of everything you appreciate about your life now.


            – Craft a detailed description of your vision.

            – Visualize what it will look, feel, smell, sound and taste like to “succeed” (I call this a Future Memory)

Aligned action:

            – Create momentum by taking an immediate action that takes fewer than three minutes.

            – Find support to create a plan of action.

            – Savor every step; if the process is pleasurable, you’ve already won!

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

I wake up every day and mediate on my “why” – the bigger vision I have for the world.  This grounds me in my mission, making all my daily actions worthwhile, even when they’re challenging.

I also give myself plenty of downtime to enjoy all that life has to offer, indulging in my hobbies and interests and taking plenty of time with my friends and family.

What has been your biggest lesson learned?

Oh, so many lessons.  I suppose the biggest lesson has been that when we focus 100% on our businesses, we sacrifice our relationships, health and feeling of being truly alive in the world.  When we nurture our lives, including our business, we have the stamina, energy and focus necessary to move mountains.  Life is happening now.

What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them?

My biggest fears have all had to do with ‘haters’.  It’s still a challenge for me to stomach negative feedback, but I focus on the difference I’m here to make, and that makes it all worth it.  I remind myself that the more impact we’re making, the more public we are, the more attention we receive, both positive and negative.

What do you believe is the secret of your success?

While there’s plenty I’m still striving for, I love my life and feel thrilled with the work I’m doing.  To me, that’s what “successful” looks like.

The secret of my success is that I define how success feels, and choose to live that way now.  In this way, success is always available to me, and I am relaxed, calm and focused as I take my daily actions.

What 3 tips would you offer ambitious women reading this? 

1. Don’t be so ambitious that you forget to live.  Go for a walk everyday; smell flowers; throw dinner parties; travel with your girlfriends; read fiction.  It will only make you more able to rock your mission. 

2. Wake up every day and connect with your vision for a future where the thing you work so hard for, your “Why”, is solved.  See the world as you wish to see it when you take your last breath.  It will make all your daily actions worthwhile, and will keep you doing what it takes to see your dream come true.

3. Take care of the woman behind the business: you.  If you let your health and relationships fall apart, will it really be worth it?  Furthermore, will you be leading by example, walking your talk?  It’s time we step up and “be the change”.

[Tweet “”Don’t be so ambitious that you forget to live” @AskNisha (via @emmagwillim)”]

What book has most inspired you?

Danielle LaPorte’s Fire Starter Sessions came right on time for me, and completely changed the way I do business…for the better!

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The Wealth Files: How to write a vision statement

08 14 2013

Think and Grow Richwritten by Napoleon Hill in the 1930s, is seen as one of the classic wealth books.  A fundamental lesson in the book is to have a wealth statement, a vision for your financial future.  As Napoleon Hill puts it: “Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognise failure, will bring riches.

Get started today by writing the vision for your financial future.  You can download the template here:

future wealth image


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