Behind the Scenes of 2013… and my vision for 2014

01 12 2014

You already know that I LOVE hearing about how other women have created businesses that sparkle: how they got started, their highs and lows, the secrets of their success, the real insights on what’s challenged and inspired them.  I always learn a little something.  During my hiatus over Christmas and New Year, I’ve spent some time reflecting on the year that was and planning for the year ahead, and I thought I’d share my own peek behind the scenes in the hope that I can, in turn, help someone else starting out…

My 2013 highlights

Connecting with inspiring entrepreneurs: 

As a self-confessed introvert, I can happily spend hours working away on my own: writing, creating, planning, I’m one happy lady.  But, in 2013, I loved connecting with women entrepreneurs that have inspired me to share their stories in the Secrets of my Success and Behind the Scenes interview series.  I’ve featured almost 30 women business-owners in a variety of creative industries from photographers to designers, from stylists to health coaches.  I have been so proud to feature these women who are living out their sparkle and making an impact in the world.  And, the cherry on the cake has been hearing from YOU, hearing what has touched and inspired you.  You can look forward to more to come in 2014…. And if there’s someone you would like me to feature, let me know.

 

Growing the Glitterati community:

I’d set myself the challenge of ‘getting the word out’ last year.  I spent time therapeutically blogging in my own little digital corner, but I also challenged myself to write for other blogs and magazines that I admire.  I was a happy lady to achieve the goal I’d set and more, including Huffington Post, Under 30 CEO, Design Sponge and Women Unlimited.  You can see the full roll-call here.  And my efforts have been rewarded by seeing the Glitterati community grow this year… it’s doubled in size and is now represented by 24 countries.  It makes me really proud to know there’s a Glitterati Girl on every continent!

 

Finding my groove:

The more I shared my ‘voice, through blogging and guest-posting, the more I began to find my groove.  All advice I’d read and heard was to find a niche and, in the early part of 2013, I think that held me back.  I felt hesitant about taking the next step because I hadn’t magically ‘discovered’ my niche… I knew for sure that I wanted to use my skills in success-mindset coaching to support women in awakening to their fullest potential but, as the year progressed, it became strikingly obvious which group of women I specifically want to help.  Mums!  I was in my first year of motherhood myself and experiencing some pretty big life adjustments: my whole world changed over the course of the year in unexpected ways.  I truly believe that there’s a lesson in everything and my experiences gave me a taster of the challenges I’d heard so much about: of being a mum and having an identity, a career and a life of your own.  Not an easy juggle.  It became obvious: I can support ambitious mums who feel overwhelmed, have lost their sense of identity and direction to get reacquainted with their inner sparkle so they can nurture their dreams and ambitions as well as their family.  And a niche was born!  My advice: don’t wait to have everything perfect before starting, take baby steps and you’ll find your path.

 

Personal highlights:

  • Learning to enjoy being a mummy: Yep, you read that right.  It took me time to adjust to being a mummy, I certainly wasn’t one of the women that had an instantaneous moment of clicking into mummy mode as I’d heard about.  I was anxious and, in honesty, a bit of a hermit in the first few months of Louis’ life BUT then I started to get out and about more, tried to worry less and began to appreciate all the magical moments.  I’ve loved to see my little baby learn to sit, to eat, to crawl and now, to walk and talk.  He gets funnier by the day and I love our bond, made all the more special now I appreciate how very precious it is.
  • Family celebrations: I am at my happiest when I’m surrounded by my big, loving, crazy family.  We shared some special times in 2013, from Louis’ christening, my Dad’s 60th, Jack’s 30th, Louis’ 1st birthday and lots of little occasions that I’ll add to my ‘memory bank’.
  • Finding time for me again: In my flailing new mum mode, I completely lost my sense of identity, the real Emma.  With a few ‘date nights’ and some well-earned ‘me time’ to enjoy the things I love – reading, yoga, baking and a little pampering – I started to feel like me again.
  • Listening to my intuition: 2013 was, for me, a year of resilience.  When the going got tough, I kept going, all the while listening to what my intuition told me and with the support of my amazing family and friends.  And my intuition has taken me down an unfamiliar path, one that is less safe and secure than is my usual style.  I took the leap into my business, into self-employment, and I’m continuing to listen to the whispers and see how it all unfolds.
  • And last but by no means least… We found out we’re expecting another addition to our little family this springtime.  It was at one of the family parties that, quite out of character, I didn’t fancy my glass of vino but I was hungry like never before … and the penny dropped.  An unnecessary number of First Response pregnancy tests confirmed it, the stork is on its way and we’re ready to adjust once more….

 

The 2014 looking glass

With the juggle of one and soon two babies to look after, I know this year will, again, have its challenges.  I also know that I’m super-lucky to have the opportunity to live out my ideal… being a mummy that’s around to enjoy my babies while they’re little AND to pursue my passion in life: to inspire and empower other mums to nurture their dreams too.  With time (and energy!) at a premium this year, my business goals are short and sweet:

Simplicity: To April, I have around 15 hours of ‘work’ time a week.  And then, when the baby arrives, I’m allowing myself at least the first 6 weeks of our newborn’s life to indulge my maternal side.  After that is anyone’s guess.  I will have to learn a new rhythm, find snatches of time to work around the needs of my family.  And so, my keyword is simplicity.  In the final months of 2013 I was putting loads of pressure on myself to do everything: webinars, videos, create new programmes, social media, blogging, newsletters, workshops and speaking gigs…. Argh!  I got totally overwhelmed with all the things I felt I should be doing.  In 2014, I’m going back to basics.  My goals are:

  • to create just one new VIP programme where I will be working with a handful of women through private coaching and a small community.
  • to be selective in writing guests posts for a small number of blogs on a regular basis.  I’ve had a breadth of exposure on different sites, now I want to focus my energy on building a stronger presence with the ones that fit most with my community and my direction.
  • to build my community through the Glitterati newsletter and one blog post per week.

And that’s it.  Anything more will be a bonus.  The biggest challenge for me is how simple it is.  I feel like I should be doing more.  Instead, I’m leaning into a new simplicity: “success lies in doing simple things consistently” – it’s my new mantra.

 

Consistency:  Overwhelm brought a plus-one to the party: distraction.  In 2013, on reflection, I was doing lots of everything and not very well. With my renewed focus on simplicity I’m committing to consistency.  My focus will be on keeping my 3 big goals in mind and, without fail, seeing that they happen.  I will:

  • Write one blog post every week. I love writing so i could happily blog daily (time permitting) BUT I realised I’m not a blogger – I’m running a business.  I’d rather write one high-quality, high-value blog post each week than churn out below-par thoughts more often.  If the mood takes me, I may write more (it is my hobby after all) but I’m committing to one and one only.
  • Connect with my community every week:  This was on my goal list in 2013.  I intended to send out my newsletter weekly.  Sometimes it happened, sometimes it didn’t and I feel like I let myself down… and my community.  The truth is I took too much on (see above!), AND there was a lot going on in my personal life that served as another distraction.  In 2014, I want you to be able to rely on me when I say, I will share with The Glitterati community every week.  From today, on hearing from you busy ladies out there, the newsletter will go out on a Sunday evening (UK time) as I hear that, for a lot of you, this is when you’re ‘getting your head back in the game’ after the weekend and are most looking for inspiration and motivation for the week ahead.  Sunday night, me and you… it’s a date.

 

Getting help: By nature I’m fiercely independent but the past year has taught me that I can’t do it all alone.  This year, I’m going to be a big girl and ask for help more: to create space and time to work, to make sure I’m giving my best to my family, and to make sure I have a little time to recharge the batteries.  I’ve also made an investment in working with a business coach to keep me on the straight and narrow: she’s my very own cheerleader as I work towards growing my business set against my unique set of family boundaries.

And that’s it… 

 

Now it’s over to you. I’d like to know:
– what were your 1-3 biggest successes of 2013?
– what’s your one big focus for 2014?
– if “success lies in doing simple things consistently”, how can you make things more simple and consistent in your life/business this year?

 

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Don't forget YOU this festive season!

12 16 2013

These past few weeks have been CRAZY!  Our home has had a few little ‘niggles’ to fix: plumbing problems, faulty oven, broken kettle, doors sticking.  My car has needed some TLC: winter servicing, a leaky injection fix (whatever that means?) and now a scratch to repair (the hubby was driving!).  Louis has been poorly for most of the past month: as well as the seasonal cough and cold, we’ve nursed him through a tummy bug, croup and ear infection.  Oh, and of course there has been the manic rush to get Christmas cards written, the house decorated festively and Christmas presents for friends and family bought and wrapped.  Any spare energy I have left has been used to nurture the little baby swelling my tummy.  I. am. exhausted.  

Over the past few weeks I’ve been in tears on too many occasions to count.  I have been busy but I kept reminding myself that it’s the same for everyone at this time of the year?!  I didn’t want to complain but the saltwater welling in my eyes gave me away.  The problem was, there was no balance.  I am happy to work hard, to fix what needs fixing, to get swept away in the seasonal madness and, above all, to put my baby first when he needs me… I just wanted a little bit of me thrown into the mix too.

Rather than just keep going I decided to treat myself.  I’m not talking 5* spa breaks and champagne dinners here.  I know, for me, it’s the simple things that make me feel like me again – simple things like candles, time to read a magazine and pretty pinkies!  I’ve ordered myself some Butter London nail lacquer (Rosie Lee – it’s sparkly, of course!) and I’m taking a day-off on Wednesday.  A day without to-do lists, phone calls to make, commitments to keep.  A day (or at least while Louis is in nursery) of freedom to feel like Emma again.  I’ve earned it.

What are you doing for you this Christmas?  What little treat can you indulge yourself with?

 Image: {1}

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There's a little gift under the Christmas tree for you!

12 12 2013

Can you believe 2014 is only days away?  If you’re ready to make 2014 your year, I have something special for you today.  (Resolution list-makers need not apply).

Are you ready to let go of those little habits that keep you stuck?

Are you ready to set your sights on the prize… the prize being your dreams realised?

Are you ready to be brave, to step out of your comfort zone?

I’ve created a Big Picture Planner for you.  You can download it for free – click here.  

The goal planner will:

– Encourage you to dream BIG

– Walk you through the steps to understanding your bigger purpose and intentions

– Break down your goals into actionable steps to get you striding into 2014 with gumption! 

Your side of the deal is to set aside time to work your way through the planner.  This is sacred time to set out your goals and intentions for the year ahead – make an occasion of it by lighting a few candles, pouring yourself a drink and taking the time to focus on you.

It is time for you to sparkle…

Image: {1}

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The lesson in starting before you're ready...

12 11 2013

Just over a month ago, my digital home – this place – became my full-time gig… or as full-time as it gets combined with my other role as mummy.  Here is where my heart lies, my passion.  For so long I’ve had the entrepreneurial bug, craving the freedom that self-employment brings BUT I held back.  I wasn’t ready to go it alone.  

My life has changed so much in the past five years: meeting and marrying my husband, relocating, welcoming a baby boy into our little clan, and now preparing for another arrival in April.  It turns out my work-style needed to change and move with the times too.  Did I feel ready?  Heck, no.  Circumstances, though, gave me the push to take the leap.

And in the month that has been, already I’ve learned a big lesson.  I realised I could have waited for the perfect timing forever: I could have waited until I had built up a bigger tribe of customers, I could have waited until my babies are older, I could have waited until I’d got just a little bit more money saved as a “cushion”.  I could have waited… and waited.  Only in taking the leap have I seen the mindset shift in being fully committed to something.

That commitment has also brought with it much more clarity and a fresh perspective.  I’m not only committed to my business but crystal clear on who I want to help: if you’re a good girl who’s ready to nurture your own dreams and start-up your own passionate business, I’m talking to you.  If you’re a mummy who’s decided that the time is now to make your entrepreneurial dreams happen, you’re my girl.  

To mark this fresh start, you might notice that things are looking a little different around here.  I wanted to make my online space feel more like me and what I’m about.  I hope you like the new look…  Take some time to have a little look around, get on the list – The Glitterati, and let me know what you think.

Image: {1}

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Behind the Scenes: Lisa Comfort of Sew Over It

12 10 2013

What was a side-earner became a labour of love for Lisa Comfort, founder of Sew Over It.  Today, Lisa shares a peek behind the scenes of her business, the London-based sewing cafe which hosts classes, parties and shares tips and inspiration for wannabe sewers. The Red Hot Woman Award‘s One to Watch spills the beans….

Tell me a bit about your business, including how you went from business idea to ‘open for business’…
I own a sewing café in Clapham, London. We offer over 30 different  sewing classes, have a fabric and haberdashery shop and sell our own patterns and kits.  The idea came to me whilst I was still working in the bridal couture industry. I was teaching sewing to earn some extra money and realised I loved teaching more than my day job. I spent the next six months planning how a sewing teaching business could work, from marketing plans, cash flow forecasts and the rest. I then spent another few months finding the right property before launching in May 2011.
[Tweet “”I was teaching sewing to earn some extra money and realised I loved teaching more than my day job” @sewoverit via @emmagwillim”]
 
Describe your typical day/week schedule.
I now only spend three days a week at the shop as opposed to six the first year! When I am at the shop I usually teach in the morning. I like to teach our beginner classes and pass on my passion for sewing to those testing it out for the first time. After lunch I have meetings or develop new classes with my team. When I am not at the shop I am usually working from home, visiting wholesalers or running events. We have started running events in major retail stores such as Selfridges, River Island, H&M, Miss Selfridge and more recently, Gap.
 
How do you plan and organise your time?  What are your biggest challenges with this?  What tips can you offer?
Compartmentalising my week into shop and teaching days and days working from home helps me stay organised. When I am at the shop I cannot do admin and the business side of things – I do this when I am working from home. I try to make sure I have one day a week when I don’t have meetings and can be at home so I can get all the serious stuff done. But most weeks I have to be pretty flexible as events and other bits pop up and so I end up working late or at weekends.
[Tweet “”Compartmentalising my week into shop and teaching days and days working from home helps me stay organised” @sewoverit via @emmagwillim”]
 
What are your essential office tools?
My computer!
 
Are there any websites or apps that you’d recommend to other entrepreneurial women?
I use Google products a lot. Google Analytics is great for seeing peaks in activity and finding out where and why people are coming to our site. I also use Google Alerts. Then of course Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, which we couldn’t do without!
 
Describe your workspace and how it integrates with your working style.  How does it motivate/focus your work?
At home I have a very calming space. I work from our spare bedroom. The room is painted pale greys and blues which I find really relaxing. I also have to make sure the space I work in isn’t cluttered as I cant concentrate with mess around me.
 
What book has most inspired you?
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini as this made me realise how strong women can be. If I am having a bad day, it helps me put things in perspective and pick myself back up.
 
What’s your typical working lunch?
I often work through lunch and sometimes even skip eating which is a bad habit. I try not to as I notice my energy levels dip and, when you work as much as I do, it is important to feed the body and mind!
 
And how do you switch off once the working day is done?
A glass of wine and a good film or boxset usually does it. Otherwise my new yoga class does the trick!
 
What makes your life sparkle?
Feeling lucky every time I walk into my shop and I think, I created this. Seeing happy customers and happy staff. That really makes it feel all worthwhile.
[Tweet “”I feel lucky every time I walk into my shop and I think, I created this. Seeing happy customers and happy staff -that really makes it feel all worthwhile” @sewoverit via @emmagwillim”]
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The Entrepreneurial Cocktail: Part one

12 02 2013

Today, I’m talking business and cocktails, oh my!  

I’m thrilled to be asked by Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society to take part in the Happy Hour Dialogues – conversations with super-talented entrepreneurial ladies celebrating the launch of Hilary’s book, The 4-part Entrepreneurial Cocktail.  I count Hilary as one of my most respected mentors (in fact, I’ve dubbed her my ‘entrepreneurial big sister’) so I can’t wait to get my mitts on her book when it launches on 17th December.  It will be my Christmas pressie to me!

Let’s get this entrepreneurial party started with a little motivational talk… What is it that motivates you?

I’ve confessed before my inner geek… I was fascinated by entrepreneurship way back when I was in primary school.  My friend and I would play ‘businesses’.  We’d carry our plastic briefcases to each others homes and set up our makeshift office: one week we’d be selling luxury holidays, the next property, the next homemade ‘perfume’.  Yes, we did the usual things too, like riding our bikes, having tea parties, playing at the park, BUT playing businesses was my favourite.  And here lies a clue to what motivates me…  

The kick I got out of our geeky little role play back in the 80’s is still the same kick I get out of having my own business today.  I feel I’m creating something that is me, putting a little bit of myself out there in the world.  It turns out that I prize being authentic highly…  

The authentic me is a little geeky, yes.  I’m also reflective, introverted, nurturing – traits that don’t suit the rules of big business too well.  The authentic me now knows that I want to help other people feel the same way – to discover their inner sparkle.  The grown-up me wants to support women who are juggling motherhood to nurture their dreams as well as their family.  Only through entrepreneurship could I mix all of these individual parts to my own unique cocktail.  

So, on days when the ideas just won’t flow, when I’m procrastinating to avoid stepping out of my comfort zone, when I’m worrying about sustaining an income for me and my family, I think of my little plastic briefcase and remind myself what my 8-year old self already knew: my entrepreneurial motivation and my raison d’être is to share the real me with the world.  That, and some really nice stationery.

You can pre-order your copy of Hilary’s book, The 4-part Entrepreneurial Cocktail.  Click here to view more details

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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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