2013 November

Stop sleepwalking: 8 tips to awaken your brilliance

11 12 2013

I’m excited to feature on the Huffington Post today with this post below…

Silly season is almost upon us. High streets are gearing up, plans are being made with family and friends, Christmas cakes and puds are soaking in brandy in kitchen cupboards – the holidays are coming.

Is it quality time with loved ones, the break from routine, or simply the milestone turn of the year that causes us to reflect on the year gone by and set new hopes and dreams for what’s to come? Why is it that time out of the rat race or big life-shocks are the only time that we tend to draw breath and be reflective of our status quo? Why do we allow ourselves to drift along with our choices without giving them the once-over every now and then?

Too often I work with women who’ve let years go by without lifting their eyes up from their busy day-to-day. They’ve drifted along with choices they made that they’ve outgrown or that they never consciously chose in the first place. They make the best of it. They smile and carry on.

Sound familiar? Have you been sleep-walking your way through 2013?

Here are 8 tips to awaken your brilliance:

1. Make yourself a priority
If you change nothing, nothing will change. No one will do it for you. You need to choose now to make time just for you, to invest time, as much as you can muster at first, to unfold the most brilliant version of yourself.

2. Take stock 
What areas of your life bring you the most happiness? Which need a little TLC? Get clear on how satisfied you are with the different areas of your current lifestyle. You need to know your starting point. If you need a little help, try this free exercise.

3. See your genius
Know your strengths. What comes easily to you? What do other people seek your help with? What are you known for amongst your nearest and dearest? Be clear on your genius and start to see ways in which you can use your natural aptitude more in your day-to-day.

4. Daydream
What is it that you really want? If you could have your hearts desires, your biggest, boldest dreams-come-true imaginable, what would they be? Be the child in the sweet shop. Every dream realised starts with a picture imagined. What’s yours?

5. Be still and listen
Why do you want each of the goals you’ve day-dreamed of? If you dream of turning your passionate hobby into a thriving business, why do you want that? Is it so that your talents and skills will be recognised among your peers? Is it so you can have the freedom of entrepreneurship? Get clear on the intention behind your goals, their fuel. Take each of your goals in turn and sit quietly with them. Ask yourself why you want that specific goal. Let your intuition guide you.

6. You’ll never be ready
If you’re waiting for the perfect time, or if you’re waiting until you have perfected your art, or if you’re waiting the economy to pick up, you could be waiting a long time. You’ll never have the perfect conditions to make a change, you have to work with what you have. Build your confidence by starting small, taking baby steps out of your comfort zone. Little by little push yourself beyond the familiar into the territory where dreams are made.

7. Enlist a support squad
You will hit bumps in the road. You will get knocked down. But the trick is being prepared for the inevitable obstacles and, with the help of your support squad, getting back up again. Who do you have around you that you can rely on for support and encouragement? What help do you need now or might you anticipate needing in the future? Recognise where your strengths are and where you need a little helping hand, and rally your troops. Share with them the changes you want to make and how they can help you get there.

8. Celebrate the victories
Pat yourself on the back with every small step you make outside of your safe but unfulfilling comfort zone. Celebrate each little success that gets you closer to awakening and living your true brilliance.

Image: {1}

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Go on, break the rules. I know you want to.

11 07 2013

Back in 2010, pre-wedding and pre-baby, I completed the Leeds 10k run. Now, for you serious runners out there this may seem quite a tame achievement but for me it was monumental. You see, I’d never been a runner. I was always one of the girls chugging in last when cross-country running was on the school timetable and pretty much always the last to finish in the town’s school meets. (Yes, I was on the school team but it was a small school and slim pickings!) So I never saw myself as a runner. Running – not for me. But then, when I hit my thirties I decided to give it another try. Not to compete but as it was exercise I could fit in around a busy work schedule and with little expense. One thing led to another and I applied to run the Leeds 10k – and run it I did in one hour and 3 minutes.

But ask me now if I’d ever compete in a marathon and you’d get a firm no. I’m too old, too unfit, I’m not a marathoner. But then, why do I chose to believe this?

Why do we sell ourselves short? Why do we make these limiting decisions about ourselves that limit our choices and opportunities?

What decisions have you made about yourself? What rules have you imposed on yourself? What if you chose to break those rules instead?

This November I’ll be working with an exclusive group of women in the Awaken Your Brilliance group programme. The programme will help identify those old rules and beliefs that each of us hold about ourselves and help this select Glitterati gang break through these shadows and step into their unique brilliance.

I made a quick (amatuer!) video to tell you a little more about the programme.

You can find out more HERE

You can sign up HERE: applications open until Friday 15th November

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Behind the Scenes: Ring Cozy founder Ana Maria Muñoz

11 05 2013

As much as any form of networking event puts the fear of God into me, I can’t deny that you just can’t beat meeting someone in person to get a real feel for them and their business.  I busted out of that comfort zone back in December 2011 when I took a spur-of-the-moment decision to go to the London bloggers meet up.  It was there that I met the lovely Ana Maria Muñoz, known to her friends as Anamu.  Since then, Ana has tied the knot, spent 18 months living in the beautiful Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and launched a new product business, Ring Cozy.  Today, she shares a peek behind the scenes of her location-independent business…

 

Welcome Ana.  Please introduce yourself to The Glitterati…:

I’m Ring Leader at Ring Cozy, blogger and creative travel bug at anamublog.com

ring cozy 
Tell me a bit about your business:
Ring Cozy is a ring protector that I designed after constantly worrying about my engagment ring getting damaged or lost during hands-on activities. You can wear it while playing sports, swimming, working out, or simply playing in the great outdoors … it let’s you enjoy/do more and worry less about the state of your cherished ring. I take one everywhere I go, always ready for action! 

Describe your typical day/week schedule.
It’s been unpredictable lately since my husband and I just moved from Malaysia back to my hometown, Los Angeles, for a while. Before the move, a typical day would start at 6 or 6:30am. We don’t have any children so the early rise while in Malaysia was more for checking on any urgent emails or calls from the States as we were 16 hours ahead. If there were no such emails or calls scheduled, I enjoyed taking a quiet morning to drink tea while going through personal emails and getting caught up on the news and social media. A work out would be next, followed by breakfast and a shower.  By 9am I would be back at my desk ready to work on the day’s tasks.  Those tasks mainly consisted of emails with manufacturers, research, design, web admin, planning, and every little bit that comes with starting a new product-based business. For lunch I’d whip something up at home or meet my husband or friends at a nearby cafe. A few times a week I’d run errands so that we could have more free time during the weekend and not have to deal with grocery or dry cleaner runs. I’d be back to work around 3pm always with the goal of wrapping up before my husband came home but you know how things never really wrap up  when you work for yourself from your own home! At night I’d work on my personal blog and make any phone calls to/from the US East Coast after 9pm. Lights out was usually around 11:30pm.
 
Now back in L.A., my typical day will eventually look a lot like it did in Malaysia minus the time zone differences. Right now my schedule is a bit all over the place as we settle back in but I’m excited for the face-to-face opportunities I’ll have for sales, marketing, manufacturing, and events that were not possible while living in Malaysia. I’ll definitely be making the most of that during the next few months to expand Ring Cozy’s reach beyond the website where we currently sell directly to customers. 
 
How do you plan and organise your time?  What are your biggest challenges with this?  What tips can you offer?
I thought I was great at time management until I started working for myself! With no one else to give me timelines and directions, I quickly learned that I had to take smaller yet more impactful steps on a daily basis to get anything accomplished. This is what I came up with: to start, I write every action item that comes to mind into either a WORK notebook or a PERSONAL notebook. Everyday I pick at least three action items from the work notebook and two to three from the personal one based on what can and must be done that day. Those selected items get written onto a notecard that I post above my desk and cross off as I go through the day completing each task. That night or the next day I cross those same ones off of the master lists, or notebooks, and start all over again with a blank notecard. I know that it’s totally archaic in a world of Evernotes but it’s the only thing that’s consistently worked for me so far. And if anything else, I love flipping through the notebooks of crossed out items and seeing how far I’ve come with each little step … It makes me feel proud and keeps me motivated to do more. 

[Tweet “”With no one else to give me timelines and directions, I quickly learned that I had to take smaller yet more impactful steps on a daily basis to get anything accomplished” @Anamu via @EmmaGwillim”]
What are your essential office tools?
I keep my office tools pretty simple (I maybe use a paper clip once in a while?) but what my desk can’t live without is my drawing pad. Using the drawing pen is much easier for me than working the track-pad since I did some damage to my right hand while working in retail during college (carrying too many heavy loads of clothes on hangers). Anything I can do to avoid the redundancy of the“click” action is huge.

Are there any websites or apps that you’d recommend to other entrepreneurial women?
There are some great resources at our fingertips but I would first recommend finding  local women’s entrepreneurial groups where you can engage with women who are going through what you’re going through or have been there, done that and can help guide you. I joined SMARTY here in LA earlier this year and it’s been amazing to attend Brain Circles during my visits. You just can’t beat face-time interactions. 
[Tweet “”You just can’t beat face-time interactions” @Anamu on networking via @EmmaGwillim”] 
Describe your workspace and how it integrates with your working style.  How does it motivate/focus your work? 
I always try to start off with a semi-sparse space but little by little a collection of objects and papers find their way in. I can’t help but post something that catches my attention, be it colors, patterns, texture, text, or simply a personal souvenir. That’s the designer in me and I think that it fuels the curiosity necessary to keep moving into new and bold directions…with this business or any future ones.

What book has most inspired you?
Most recently, The Lean Start Up. Though some remnants still exist, I used to be a borderline perfectionist. I say borderline because I would still move forward with something after some time even if it wasn’t perfect but that time spent always cost me too much in one way or another. The Lean Start Up clued me in on the fact that a product and a business is always a work in progress so there’s no point in waiting until the design, the packaging, the website, the master plan, the whatever is perfect because even after you think it’s perfect and spent all that time making it so, it still may need some tweaking. Actually, it will most definitely go through some tweaking. The more nimble you are, and less time you waste, the better. 
[Tweet “”The more nimble you are, and less time you waste, the better” @Anamu via @EmmaGwillim”]
What’s your typical working lunch?
Me, my laptop on the coffee table, and a show via Apple TV.
 
And how do you switch off once the working day is done?
Cooking dinner or baking. Not that I claim to be amazing at either but being in the kitchen works all of the senses so differently from being in front (and on) the computer all day. I don’t always feel like cooking but when I do want to get in there, it’s a really enjoyable, tangible experience.

What makes your life sparkle?
Having an adventurous, silly, loving, and supportive partner in crime who believes in me in ways that I don’t even see for myself sometimes. He may have given me the sparkly ring that inspired Ring Cozy but he gives me so much more each and every day. 
 

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It's open: Awaken Your Brilliance A/W 2013

11 04 2013

There are fireworks whizzing and popping outside my window as I type – it’s that time of year again, Bonfire Night.  There’s a frost on the ground and 2013 is starting to creep to a close…  If the thought of another year coming to an end draws your mind to all the hopes and aspirations you had way back in January, it may be time you looked for a little support to help you begin 2014 with gusto!

I’m excited to announce that registration is open for the Awaken Your Brilliance Autumn/Winter 2013 group programme.  I’ll be working exclusively with ten women from mid-November throughout the 10-week programme, supporting them to step out of their own shadows and into their biggest, brightest version of themselves.

If you want to learn more about the programme and how to sign up, click here for more info.

Apply by Friday 15th November for the Autumn/Winter 2013 group.

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