Secrets of my Success: Polly Noble

07 11 2013

Polly Noble is one busy lady.

Aside from writing her second book, she’s a certified health coach, raw food chef and, most recently, a partner in a new venture – a juice bar and holistic lounge. Phew, a huge achievement don’t you think? What’s most inspiring though is that Polly’s first priority is her health and wellbeing. Having been diagnosed with cancer twice by the age of 28, Polly is living her passion by using her experiences to empower, inspire and motivate others to live healthily and happily. She’s just returned from a 6-week sabbatical to focus on her healing and has kindly shared her Secrets of Success in today’s interview.

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What is your title/position:

Writer, certified health coach, raw vegan chef & coach.

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

Being diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 24.

How did you get to where you are now?

It’s taken a lot of hard work, faith in myself and a belief that when you do something from a heart-centred place and the intention behind it is genuine and authentic, that you will be rewarded.

Tell me about your vision/goals for your future.

I’m currently writing my second book, a diet and lifestyle guide, which I can’t wait to release and I plan on writing many more. I have just opened up a juice bar and holistic lounge with my friend Kris, The Core, which we are confident will be the first of many. Within The Core I have launched my raw food brand The Noble Kitchen which I am looking at expanding into other healthy eating establishments and juice bars. I am also talking to a production company about making a food tv show. But other than that, I plan to keep walking my talk, improving my health and living from a state of joy! (Click to tweet it)

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

Doing something everyday. I like to be proactive and keep busy so just taking one small step every day towards actualising my dreams has been the most effective for me.

Where do you start?

My business and website have grown very organically. At the beginning I had no idea or vision of where I wanted to be, or where I was going, so I have kind of made it up as I’ve gone along. But these days, I have a very clear idea and vision of how I am growing my business and my brand. For those starting out, I would say; think hard about what you want to put out into the world, think about your messaging, what you want people to take away from visiting your site or business and slowly start to take steps to building it. (Click to tweet it)

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

Ambition. I know what I want and I know that by taking consistent daily action that I will achieve my goals.

What has been your biggest lesson learned?

I have learned that you can’t control everything and that you will make mistakes along the way and that’s okay. I have also learned that being 100% genuine and authentic to your message and work is absolutely essential to success.

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

My biggest challenge is to remember that my healing regime, how I live my life and what I put into and onto my body, is more important than anything else. I have a desire to serve which can sometimes mean I make other things (like work) more important than they are. My other challenge is being more selfish and putting myself before others which I can sometimes find hard.

What do you believe is the secret of your success?

Being real, being myself and being honest about where I am with my healing journey has helped people to relate to me and feel motivated by the information, recipes and wisdom that I love to share.

What 3 tips would you offer ambitious women reading this?

Make a decision – get really clear about what you want and why

Take consistent action on a daily basis

Believe in yourself and trust that the Universe has got your back.

What book has most inspired you?

Where to start?! There are so many! The two books that completely changed my course of direction were Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life and Brandon Bays’ The Journey which both opened my mind to the possibility of self-healing and the concept of mind-body connection.

You can connect with Polly on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To visit Polly’s website and find out about her books, click here.

If you were to take Polly’s advice and make a decision today, what do you want and why? I’d love for you to share with us in the Comments below.

 

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The Wealth Files: Two money fundamentals every female entrepreneur should remember

07 10 2013

How do you feel when someone asks your fee or the price of your product? Awkward? Embarrassed? Maybe even a bit guilty?  What if you were to double your fee/price?  Now, how do you feel?

I asked you recently to put a number on your ‘money ceiling’.  Turn to a clean page in your notebook and right down your desired digits now (without currency symbol).  Say it out loud.  How does that feel?  Now ask what it is going to take to get you to that goal?  What do you need to be charging  from today to get there?  

The chances are you know, deep down, that you’re under-charging so what is holding you back from charging what you’re worth?  

“I’m not sure how to…”

“I don’t want to lose my customers…”

“I don’t have as much experience/feel as qualified as my competitors…”

Or simply, you’re missing the confidence to really put a value on yourself.  I say this with kindness because I have been (and still am) that girl.  Money has always been an awkward necessity for me.  And asking for money, toe-curling.  BUT, I’m working on it…. and want to remind you of these money basics that may give you the same ‘lightbulb moment’ they gave me.

– Money is a symbol.  It is us that attach the meaning to it.  To one person it may be a joyful thing that creates freedom, to another it may be “the root of all evil”.  What is it to you?  Something clicked with me when I was reminded that money is simply a means of exchange, a transaction.  Instead of me exchanging two chickens for that book on my Amazon wish list, I use coins/notes/plastic .. or Paypal!  Yes this might be obvious but seeing it as a tool changed my perspective.

– Your customers decide what is a fair swap.  If I asked which has more value, a gold bar or a loaf of bread, I imagine you’d go for gold.  But, what if you were starving, couldn’t wait and your immediate need was to feed yourself and your family – you may think differently.  Start to think about what need you’re solving for your customer – your ideal customers will see the worth in the solution you offer and will pay you what they believe it’s worth in exchange.  Don’t charge based on what you need, charge based on the value you offer in return.  

What is/are your customers biggest worries or needs? What solution do you offer? What value can be placed on that solution? Tell us what need you solve in the Comments below…

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Behind the scenes with Joy LaForme

07 09 2013

They say art comes in many forms.  For Joy Laforme, schooled in art and design, her artistic talents span across websites, branding, stationery and textiles.  I recently discovered her Illustration Daily project and immediately loved her style.  Joy is kindly taking a rare ‘time out’ to share a peek behind the scenes of her business…

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What is your title/position?

Designer & Illustrator

Tell me a bit about your business: 

I’m a freelance designer and illustrator, and soon-to-be shop owner. A lot of my business is a catch-all for anything design and illustration related! I’ve worked with stationery and print clients, web clients, and textile clients. It’s both stressful and rewarding at the same time.

Describe your typical day/week schedule. 

My schedule is flexible, which I love – but I’m definitely a workaholic! I usually have to force myself to take breaks. I do my best work in the morning, so sometimes you’ll find me up before the sun. I’ll often take a longer break in the afternoon, to go find new inspiration for a project I’m working on.

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

This wasn’t always easy for me! I’ve learned to make to do lists based on priorities, client urgencies, etc. I think that is the tip I can best offer to others – prioritise! Sometimes the things that are stressing me out the most, I will prioritise the highest. It helps me get stress and cloudiness out of the way so I can focus on the good parts of my business.

Joy LaForme illustrations

What are your essential office tools? 

What aren’t my essential office tools?! My desk is swimming in paper, paints, pens, ink, and sketchbooks. I also enjoying having music play while I work.

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

I invested in an invoicing tool called Pancake about a year ago and I would be lost without it! It helps me manage my projects, clients, and all of their milestones.

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

I have my textiles and illustrations all over the wall in front of my desk, along with my favorite books and sketchpads. It helps me see my work and the things that most inspire me, right in front of me. I’m also a very, very, organised person. I like to keep things as neat as possible in between projects or it clouds my thought process. Mess around me reflects itself in my work.

What book has most inspired you?

Max Lucado’s Fearless has inspired me so much. For almost three years I toyed with the idea of starting my own business, but looked for full-time work on the side. It was never something I totally invested in, because I was afraid of failing. (Who isn’t?!) I’ve learned over the past few years not to be afraid of failure but to look at moments where you didn’t perform how you wanted as teachable experiences to learn from. (Click to tweet it)

What’s your typical working lunch? 

My favorite is a big plate of vegetables and blue chips, with hummus. It’s a snack-type of meal that I can eat and keep working if I’m working through lunch.

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

This is a tough one because I don’t often take my own advice. I try to not look at my email, which is really difficult, especially if I see clients are emailing me. But I try to keep my work during my working hours, so I can still do the things I love to do that have nothing to do with my job.

What makes your life sparkle?

My family. I wouldn’t have any of the success I have had without them. They are so supportive and loving. They make each day a great day.

See more of Joy’s work, including the gorgeous illustrations above, here

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Tools of the trade: Daily planner to download

07 08 2013

It’s fair to say I was more than a little distracted last night as I planned my week (*tried to*) with the excitement of the Wimbledon Men’s Final in the background.  

A few people have asked how I plan my time, so I thought I’d share … along with a daily planner which is free to download.

– I have one big ‘master’ to-do list on Todoist.  This is the place where I pool everything that needs to get done – ideas and inspiration for future work projects, plans for our home, activities and creative play with my baby, and on it goes.  Each mini ‘task’ sits within a project folder online.  

– Each task gets a rough deadline.  These are never set in stone but, for me, it helps to put a date on the ones that are immoveable and immediate, and ‘file away’ those that are longer-term plans and ideas.  As I mentioned before, Todoist is great in that it syncs with Google Calendar.

– Ahead of each week, I use Todoist and Google Calendar to look at tasks for that week.  I then start to plot these on my daily planner, one for each day of the week.  I try to allot time to things if I can… I tend to over-estimate what I can get done so this helps me to be a bit more realistic!

Top tip: When you look at your week’s tasks, before you plot them onto your daily planner, it’s worth checking in to see if they’re actions that are a good use of your time.  Get in the habit of asking will this get me closer to my goal of…?  

Do you have any planning tips you’d like to share.  I’d love to hear from you in the Comments below x

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Office decor inspiration: Wimbledon Whites (and a touch of strawberry)

07 08 2013

The tournament may be over but Wimbledon fever is high! We’d recorded the match as we were busy in the garden, so we were incommunicado with friends, family and social media until we were able to settle down and enjoy what was Andy Murray’s moment of glory… What a match!

To continue the theme, today’s office decor inspiration is crisp Wimbledon white and a splash of fun, strawberry-red.

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On the menu for the #GlitteratiSocial... Strawberry & Coconut Batida

07 05 2013

What a beautiful summer’s day it has been so far.  The sunshine may well have you looking ahead excitedly to the weekend. How about a drink to start it in style?  On the cocktail menu for the #GlitteratiSocial today is the delish, Brazilian favourite – a Strawberry & Coconut Batida.

***Hands up, I didn’t make this one so I’m reliably informed of its recipe by the mixologist who created this beaut.

You will need:
A handful of fresh strawberries
1 shot condensed milk
1 shot coconut milk
A large shot of vodka or cachaca
Ice

To create:
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Serve in a rocks glass and garnish with a strawberry.

Join the #GlitteratiSocial get-together on Twitter today at 5pm (BST).

I hope to connect with you later x

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Secrets of my Success: Joy Thigpen

07 04 2013

admire: “to regard with pleasure, wonder or approval”

For another definition, of the visual kind, take a look at Joy Thigpen‘s beautiful work.  Oh. My. Word!  Creative Director and Stylist Joy says of her work, “basically I just like to make things beautiful and interesting”.  And, to boot, Joy is just about one of the most lovely people I’ve had the pleasure of “virtually” meeting.  Enjoy this week’s interview with creative entrepeneur and mummy of four, Joy.

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What is your title/position:

Creative Director + Stylist

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?

Several come to mind. But perhaps given that we just passed Father’s Day and that my dad just narrowly dodged death a handful of weeks ago, it seems they all go back to a conversation I had with my dad while I was in college. I was agonising over which major to choose–so many seemed so very interesting to me but very few of the ones I was most interested in were the ones with high paying careers waiting on the other side. But my dad advised me not to worry about the money. “Just do what you love and the money will come.” (Click to tweet it).  I’d say that piece of advice is really what set me on this path.

Tell me about your vision/goals for your future.

How long do you have? I just love making beautiful, engaging, natural, subtle, and sumptuous environments. There are so many avenues for that kind of work and I love them all. I hope to continue doing some weddings (such a perfect moment to design for) and I hope to work on some more permanent environments and ultimately a town. I have this reoccurring dream (like, every day) of how we could all live better and more beautifully and more sustainably.

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

Sometimes it takes me a while for the visions to materialise into something tangible enough to name and begin to describe – the biggest and best visions, anyway. I feel like so much of my work is to be a dreamer and I take that part of my life and my imagination quite seriously. I’ve learned that at the earliest moments possible it is important to me to start taking steps toward those dreams, even when there’s still very little ground to start on. It can be messy and scary because there is still so much unknown and I bump into things in the dark BUT its always best when I get moving right away. Otherwise, the vision is given to someone else and they will do it if I won’t and then I end up kicking myself that I didn’t do it when I got the urge.

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

Most of the time I can’t help but feel motivated and inspired about something. It’s just not always the things on my to do list.  Getting to spend as much time as possible on the things I’m feeling inspired about is always fueling. With a full time job and family with four little ones I can feel drained by all the little stuff that keeps piling up. Outsourcing as much of that stuff (cleaning, etc) as I can helps, as does travelling. Sometimes I feel like a worn-out mule carrying all these weighty yet lofty dreams. I don’t think I even put them there but there they are. As long as I can stay in touch with them I am motivated to keep going. I guess its the dangling carrot…

What has been your biggest lesson learned?

I feel like I am constantly learning big lessons. Lately if I had to sum it up, it’d be something about taking things one step at a time. Enjoy, be present in today and keep stepping. (Click to tweet it).

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

I want to make the world a more beautiful place. Its hard for me to see all the ugly, terrible things in this world–I’m talking about everything from bad fonts and polyester to hunger and sex trafficking. My biggest fears are somewhere in the realm of not spending my life on things that matter and fearing that my dreams are too big to ever happen. My best chance of overcoming those fears are to try to do my best to bring to life as many of the dreams I have been given as possible. I think those are the things we are called to do. If each one of us would be faithful to the visions we are given (the good and beautiful and helpful ones) we would each be doing our part and this world really would be a more beautiful place.

What do you believe is the secret of your success?

The parts of my life that are the most successful are the parts that I am most diligent about. I guess that has a lot to do with defining what success would look like for me in any given area and then doing it – which isn’t that hard once you can imagine how good it could be. 

What 3 tips would you offer ambitious women reading this?

1. Be ambitious! We need you to go for your ambitious dreams!

2. Don’t be afraid to have a family, too. I want my daughter and sons to be ambitious and faithful to their dreams. The best chance of that happening is if I follow mine (and spend time with them). Yes, its more exhausting but they are part of my dream (I mean, I really wanted them) so it works out. I can’t imagine my life without them.

3. Get help/build your team. You can’t do it all on your own. That’s ok. There are other people that love and want to do the things you need help with! Its perfect!

What book has most inspired you?

Most recently (and by recent I mean in the last 5 years–I don’t often get to read a lot)–The Alchemist

 

Image via Joy Thigpen

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The Wealth Files: Re-new your money vows

07 03 2013

What is your earliest money memory?

One Christmas a (very) long time ago, I bought my sister a blue, interlocking-heart-shaped, plastic bracelet – snazzy eh! (Coincidentally enough she’d bought me exactly the same – I’ve only just twigged that my parents maybe had something to do with that!).  So, why do I share this?

I mentioned recently that my recent Wealth Detox has had me paying close attention to my money mindset.  It seems that many of us (me included!) made childhood ‘vows’ around money that we’re loyal to well into our adult years… some more healthy than others.

So the blue bracelet incident… When I think back to that time, I remember how nice it was to spend money on something that made someone feel happy.  I love to treat, even to this day.  But I also remember having to buy on the cheap, that I couldn’t afford many things and, frankly, to spend whatever I have (those coins were burning a hole in my pocket!).  OK, maybe some of these associations are based on more than just this one incident but, the thing is, questioning some of these memories highlighted some ‘weeds’ that were long overdue uprooting.  Looking at the language I’ve associated with money – “I can’t afford it”, “it’s a struggle” – are unhealthy at best, sabotaging at worst.

So, I’m aware of the weeds, now what?  Well, it’s time to take a little responsibility for my money status quo and I’m making some new vows.  

Would you like to renew your vows? Take 10 minutes to ponder these questions:

  • What is/are your earliest memories of money?
  • What were your parents attitudes to money?
  • What messages were you given about money?  About those people with it?  About those people without it?
  • What one word describes the feeling you had about money as a child?
  • What one word describes the feeling you have around money now?

Look over your responses.  What did you learn?  What would you like to change? Make a commitment, say it out loud.

I’d love to hear from you.  Please share your money vow below…

Image source

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Behind the Scenes with Lisa Butler of Elembee

07 02 2013

Making the internet a pretty place. With a strap-line like that, my attention was well and truly grabbed, with both hands!

Earlier this year I stumbled upon Elembee, the creation of the very talented Lisa Butler, and immediately knew that this was my website’s fairy godmother-to-be (I’m saving hard to make it happen this year!).  Lisa, who is a former magazine editor and print shop designer, is a whizz at marrying beautiful designs with the techie bit, coding, to make online spaces that are just dreamy!  I can’t wait to work with her myself and wanted to share her talents with you too (and you can get a more frequent fix by reading her blog). Today, Lisa is giving us a peek behind the scenes of her business

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What is your title/position?

Owner, web designer/blogger

Tell me a bit about your business.

I create web designs that are pretty and functional, for the business-minded blogger and creative entrepreneur. As a creative entrepreneur who was able to launch my own business through blogging, I love working with people like me who see the value in blogging and want to use it as part of their business strategy.

Describe your typical day/week schedule.

I’m not a morning person at all, so I typically ease into the work day. I try to wake up around 8, lay in bed a little while longer making sure my latest blog post went up and checking emails and Twitter, then I make breakfast and schedule my social media for the day. Lately, I’ve also started walking in the morning to help me wake up.

I usually spend most of the morning working on my own business tasks — blogging, social media, emails, and then any client tasks I can handle quickly, like revisions or support issues. I’ll usually dedicate my afternoons to one or two projects, whether that’s spending a few hours putting together initial design thoughts for one project, or the entire afternoon finishing up the coding for another. I try to end my day around dinner time, but sometimes I can’t resist finishing one last thing.

I try to stick to a Monday through Friday working schedule and take the weekends off — Mondays are always less enjoyable when I work on the weekends, no matter how much I love what I do. I’ve learned that time to rest and recharge is just as important to the health of my business as getting things done.

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

I am a huge fan of the Pomodoro Technique — it was a total game changer for me when I started using it. The idea is to work in 25 minute increments with 5 minute breaks, though I have friends who prefer to work for 45 minutes with a 15 minute break. I use the Focus Booster app to keep time. What I love about it is that it makes it easier to do those tasks you don’t want to do — for me, that’s dealing with emails. Knowing that I just have to do it for 25 minutes and can take a break makes it easier to get started.

As far as planning my day, I have to add tasks to my to-do list as soon as they come up, or I will never remember to do them. I like to dump tasks on the Monday of the week I want to accomplish them, then each Monday I figure out what day I want or need to do each task. I’d say my biggest challenge is that I often overestimate what I can do in a week, but I’ve learned to accept that my to-do list will never be done. It’s all about prioritizing. And again, the Pomodoro technique helps — maybe I don’t have 3 hours to move a project for my own business forward, but I can spend 25 minutes on it, which is better than nothing at all.

What are your essential office tools?

My computer is essential to my work, so I have to have one that runs well. I recently replaced my MacBook Pro with an iMac. Honestly, my MacBook Pro probably would have been fine with a new hard drive, but with as much as I use my computer, I recognized that it would have just been a band-aid, and I would have been in the same situation a few months later. I knew it would be better to invest in a new computer and use my MacBook Pro for travel only, rather than running it into the ground. You have to invest in your most important tools!

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

Todoist keeps me sane — it’s where I keep up with my to-do list. I’ve created separate, color-coded projects for the different stages of my work (design, development, revisions, other), as well as projects for my own business and blog. For each design project, I add that person’s name as a task under the stage the project is in, so I can quickly see how many projects I have in each stage at a time. Todoist makes it super easy to set due dates and drag things around.

I’m a huge fan of Google Apps for Business, particularly Google Drive. I store all of my business documents and notes there, so I have access to them anywhere, and I also share project questionnaires and other information with clients through it.

I know everyone loves Gmail, but I personally use MacMail, even though my email addresses are through Gmail. I think MacMail makes it easier to organize your emails into folders, and I love having offline access to my emails. 

elembee-workspace550

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

I had been eyeing the West Elm white lacquer parsons desk for ages, and I finally purchased it this spring. Before then, I was using a cheap, crappy desk I bought right after college. It’s amazing the difference a desk can make — my whole workspace feels brighter and cleaner, which keeps me inspired. I keep it mostly clean, with a few decorations, a notebook, and a candle — candles are always good for lifting your spirits. I also have a cute owl speaker for my music — I love that it has good form and function.

What book has most inspired you?

I don’t typically read a lot of business books, or any books that require heavy thinking — I read at the end of the day as an escape, so I prefer fiction. However, Design is a Job had a huge impact on how I see my business — it basically showed me that any issues I run into with clients are just points of miscommunication, where I’ve failed to teach them how my process works. You can use issues as a way to troubleshoot and course-correct, to explain any potential points of confusion up front and avoid future issues.

What’s your typical working lunch?

I really try to take a break during lunch. I usually grab leftovers or make a sandwich, then I catch up on my DVR, find a show on Netflix, or read. I’ve found that I need that midday break from the computer. I don’t perform as well when I’m trying to multitask, so I might as well enjoy my lunch and stop thinking about working until I’m actually back at my computer doing it.

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

I literally have to switch off the computer — otherwise, it’s too tempting to find “just one more thing” that needs to be done. I don’t have a separate office, but my workspace is definitely a designated area in my living room, and I don’t enter that space unless I intend to work. If I want to get on the internet when I’m not working, I use my laptop or iPad on the couch.

What makes your life sparkle?

Doing what I love for a living! I love knowing that when I complete a project, I’ve truly made a difference for the business owner behind the website, and given them a space that represents them well. I also still can’t believe that I get to wake up each morning and set my own rules, and I don’t have anyone to answer to if I want to travel somewhere — I can just take my work with me.

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Free planner....

07 01 2013

Our household is pretty disorganised when it comes to meal-times.  We often decide on the day …. and spend way too much on impulse shops!!  I’m trying to make a new habit, to make sure our little one is getting a balanced diet, and found a little planning helped.  So, here you go – I share with you a meal planner which you can download here if you wish.  Well, if you’re going to have to plan, may as well make it pretty!

Bon appetit x

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