live your dream

Featured on Pick the Brain: How to use visioning if you're not that visual

04 05 2014

If you’ve ever picked up any kind of self-improvement book, I’m sure you’ll have heard of the many benefits of visioning.  But what if you’re not much of a visual person?  

I’m featured on Pick The Brain where I’m sharing:

– Why the technique of ‘mental rehearsal’ is so popular

– How visualisation can be the catalyst to propel you towards your goals

– My 5 tips for making visualisation work for you if you struggle to make mental pictures.

You can read the full post on Pick The Brain here

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Featured on: Mumpreneur UK

03 27 2014

I’m excited to feature on Mumpreneur UK where I’m sharing my thoughts on ditching the masculine business plan.

In this post, I share:

– How my desire for freedom influences business basics

– Why a business plan gathers dust

– My tips for writing a business plan with heart/

You can read the full post on Mumpreneur UK HERE

IMAGE SOURCE: {1}

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Can you play out? How to unwind and have fun

03 23 2014

Remember when you used to get a knock-on the door from your friend asking you to play out?  Well, this week, I’m that friend…

I’m asking you out to play, to let your hair down, to unleash your inner silly side.

There are so many reasons to be sensible – responsibility to your children, money to earn, chores to be done – and I’m guilty of letting all the “grown-up stuff” take over.  But where’s the fun in that if you’re not living a little too.  So, this week I’m encouraging you to be silly and have fun.

What makes you laugh so much that your cheeks ache?

What makes you feel carefree and childlike?

How can you let loose your silly side?

My silly list includes: dancing to my favourite cheesy iPod playlist, singing at the top of my voice, having a go on the aerial slide next time I take my little boy to the park (I keep wanting to have a go but have resisted looking like a big kid!!!).

I’d love to hear from you: what will you do this week to play a little?  Share in the Comments below… you could maybe even share a picture if you’re brave enough??  

Image source: Elle Walker

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Secrets of my Success: Meg Biram

03 20 2014

Prepare to be inspired… Meg Biram is a journalism graduate turned multi-passionate entrepreneur. After giving five years to roles in the corporate world with The Observer Media Group and Hallmark Cards, Meg followed her entrepreneurial instinct.  She’d been blogging to curate fashion, interiors and art since 2007 and, four years later, was able to turn her online home into a business.  From there her business has evolved to include a shop, online marketing and social media consulting, speaking and collaborations with brands including Kate Spade New York, Nike and Macy’s.  Meg also co-founded The B Bar – an online ebookshop.  

I’m excited to introduce Meg today as she shares the secrets of her success….

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today?  What motivated you to start your own business?

I don’t think there’s been a defining moment for me, I just always knew I’d be an entrepreneur. There are a lot of entrepreneurs in my extended family so I grew up thinking it was normal. I did the corporate world for five years and it just further solidified that it was not my thing.

 

How did you go from the seedling of a business idea to ‘open for business’?  How did you get started?  And how has your business evolved (into now multi-passionate!)?

When I started my blog back in 2007, blogging wasn’t really a business for most people. None of us realised that blogging itself could turn into a business so I always thought I’d be doing something else and blogging was just to help market it.  Obviously that changed as it became possible to monetise blogs, but once I left my Senior Designer position at Hallmark Cards in early 2011 and moved to Washington DC that’s when I started consulting seriously, and the rest of my businesses grew from there.

 

Tell me about your vision/goals for your future.
I’m always thinking about what’s next. I plan for it and act on my plan, but I allow flexibility and let things evolve and surprise me. I’ve got a lot of things in the works for 2014. 

 

How do you stay motivated and inspired?
I guess I’m never not motivated or inspired. It’s just innate for me.

 

What has been your biggest lesson learned?
That even sometimes good ideas I have aren’t necessarily what I want to spend my time doing. 

 

What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them?
I tend to put myself in a lot of situations that challenge me because I feel like you can’t grow or you aren’t taking enough risk if you aren’t kinda scared sometimes. So I know that as long as I put myself in uncomfortable positions sometimes, I’ll come out of it stronger.

 

[Tweet “You aren’t taking enough risk if you aren’t kinda scared sometimes” – @MegBiram via @EmmaGwillim”]
What do you believe is the secret of your success?
Persistence and hard work.

 

What 3 tips would you offer women on how to follow their professional ambitions and design a life that sparkles?
Research anything and everything about the industry you want to be in.
Talk to as many people as you can that have done what you want to do or something similar.
Make sure that what you want to do is unique to you.  Don’t just copy what other people are doing because you think it looks fun.  Dig deep to find your true passions and work hard to make them original to you.

 

[Tweet “”Dig deep to find your true passions and work hard to make them original to you” @MegBirman via @EmmaGwillim”]

 

Images: Abby Jiu

 

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How to keep things simple when overwhelm creeps in...

03 09 2014

This week’s blog post is brought to you with a KISS: I’m Keeping It Short and Sweet.

You might remember that at the beginning of the year I chose a theme for the year for my business (and life) goals: simplicity.  Well, as I hurtled into March I took some time to reflect on my goals… and realised things had become far from simple.  So, with renewed determination, my theme of simplicity is back.

This means:

– As you know I like to plan my week ahead on a Sunday night so, this week, I’ll be thinking about what’s really important.  Yes, there are 101 things I should or could be doing but only a handful that really matter.  Have you heard of the 80/20 rule?  80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.  80% of your happiness comes from 20% of your activities.  As I think about my goals, I’m reminding myself of the precious 20% that really counts towards my ideal future, my goals and making the days count right now.

– I’m trying to get rid of some of the white noise.  Social media counts as a work activity for me.  I love the community that I’ve found in Facebook groups and contacts (and online friends) I’ve made on Twitter, but I too easily get drawn into discussions and attracted by new ideas that, for now, aren’t my priority.  First off, I’m imposing a limit on my social media time and I’m planning to use it with reason – not to consume more and more information but to connect with people with meaning.

– I’m adding in more quiet time.  I’m not sure where I heard this phrase a few years ago, but it really speaks to me: be still and listen to the whispers.  I know when I slow down the pace and have healthy doses of quiet time, everything becomes that little bit clearer.  I get flashes of inspiration and answers to questions… and I just feel so much calmer.  

If 80% of your results come from just 20% of your efforts, where will you focus your attention this week?  How can you listen to the whispers a little more?  

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Nesting for business and a baby... with a success mindset

03 02 2014

Our house has been upside down this past week.  We’ve been emptying and decorating our spare room to make room for our new little arrival in April. The teeny baby clothes are out of storage, washed and ready for their new home. All the kit and caboodle a newborn needs has been ordered.  Nesting season has officially started.  There are 7 weeks to go and I’m getting prepared.

Among the chaos, I realised something. We’re making room in our home and our lives for something we want to happen – welcoming the new addition to our family.  We’ve got total belief that, this springtime, we’ll be a family of four.  That belief has created action in the form of a big, pre-baby to-do list for me (and mostly for my husband).

Where in your life could you do with a bit more belief?  Where should you be ‘nesting’?

Think of a goal or vision you have for your career or business.  Do you believe 100% that you WILL make it happen, that you will bring that goal into the world?  And are you ‘nesting’ for it?  Imagine when you want to have achieved this goal.  If you knew it would absolutely be a reality on that date, would you be ready for it?  If it arrived into the world a little early – like today or tomorrow – would you be ready for it?

I realised I’d been ‘putting off’ a few things in my own business as I was waiting until I’d got ‘there’, achieved my big goal.  What my little nesting frenzy taught me is that, by waiting, I was keeping that goal just out of reach.  If, instead, I had total and utter belief that it will happen I’d be doing a few things differently.  When I asked myself “if I’d achieved this goal today, would I be ready?” I couldn’t honestly answer yes.  I needed to get my house in order.  I needed to ‘nest’ for my business.

So, over to you.  Think about your goal.  Imagine it’s here now, wrapped up in a big, red bow, ready for you to start living it – are you ready?  What actions can you take now to demonstrate your total belief that it will happen?  Share with us what 1-3 actions you will take to ‘nest’ for your goal in the Comments below.

p.s. Isn’t this little set of Matroyshka dolls cute?  I found it here

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My one big learning from running a business… so far

02 16 2014

I worked in the corporate world for eleven years.  It was all I’d known of my professional life, except for a short spell of freelancing.  I was part of a team, I was managed, I was a manager.  My working life was shared with people.

Fast-forward to this evening.  I’m sat at my desk in my home office, just me and my laptop and a cup of tea.  Were it not for the company of Jake Bugg playing in the background, you could hear a pin drop.

I like to work this way.  Actually, I LOVE it.  I can spend hours happily ‘in the zone’, as my hubby calls it.  I do my best work this way.  But, it has its pitfalls and there was one biggie holding me back.

This past week I ran my first live webinar, The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies.  I’d had this on my plan since last October – four months ago!! – but I kept putting it off.  It was new and daunting and well out of my comfort zone so it got shunted down the priority list, week after week.  As I mentioned recently, I’ve been working with a business coach and, during my coaching session on the 14th January, I committed to hosting the webinar less than a month later.  And guess what?  I made it happen.  And guess what else?  It wasn’t close to being as nerve-wracking as I thought.  I actually enjoyed it. 

As I treated myself to a bubble bath later that evening, I reflected on how the webinar had gone and asked myself what had stopped me doing it sooner.  The simple answer was fear.  I was worried about what people would think.  I knew my content inside and out.  I was confident that I was sharing great value with people BUT I had no-one to reassure me.  I realised that I missed the input that I would have had if I’d been part of a team.  A senior manager to make suggestions and revisions.  Peers to encourage and motivate.  And the simple truth is I was putting off facing into these fears because I could.

It’s not the first time in my career I’ve done something that pushed my limits.  In fact, it doesn’t compare to some of the fear-inducing situations I’ve faced BUT I couldn’t shy away before.  It was my job, my responsibility and I was accountable.  Bingo!  The light went off: I hadn’t been holding myself accountable.

I looked at the other non-movers on my to-do list and recognised the same pattern.  If something was new territory or a little bit scary, I was avoiding it.  With no senior bod to report to, I was letting myself avoid things.  

Decision time.  I realised I had a choice.  I could scratch the ‘scary’ things from my plans completely OR I could face them head on and see where they lead me, personally and professionally.  If you know me at all, there was no decision to be made… I’m all about overcoming the mental blocks and hurdles to design a life and business that sparkles.  So, watch this space.  In the words of the song, from now on every day I’m hustlin’

Now it’s your turn.  What are you putting off?  I’d love for you to share in the comments below what one thing you’ve been avoiding and why… AND what action you can take to make it happen. 

P.S. Don’t you just LOVE this mug by Ashley Brooke Designs in the picture?  I think I need to treat myself to this little beaut as a daily reminder…

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New mum anxiety: one year on

02 09 2014

Let me give it to you straight.

I’m a lucky girl. I have a beautiful family. I’m doing work that I LOVE. My life is full of special people who support and encourage me. I know I’m blessed.

BUT…

Even with so much to be thankful for, this time last year was a low-point.

I’d quietly been struggling with new mum anxiety since Louis’ birth, unable to share with the happy mums I was meeting, and I’d isolated myself. I was negotiating a part-time return to my pre-maternity corporate role while my confidence was at rock-bottom. I felt removed from the true me. I motored through the routine of my day-to-day and had little interest in doing anything more.

My passion is encouraging women to discover and LIVE their sparkle… yet, my own sparkle was waning.

It turns out I wasn’t alone.

I needed role models. I needed mentors to look up to. I was looking for examples of women who’d made the adjustment into motherhood yet still had an identity that was authentic to them… Their sparkle.

I decided to extend an invitation to women I admired – I asked them to share their secrets, their tips and their honest accounts of the challenges they face.  I was inspired.

I began to share some of these inspiring accounts in my Secrets of my Success series.  And I have other gems lined up for this year.  The more I shared my story with women and, in return, they shared with me, the more I realised that there were common threads. Common challenges. Common worries. Common traits of success.

So I decided to put together a free “class” where I’ll be sharing The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies.

If you’d like to learn the 4 “success sappers” to avoid, as well as the success traits of these women, click HERE to register for your spot.

The details:

Tuesday 11th February @ 7.30pm GMT

RESERVE MY SPOT NOW

 

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Join me for free webinar: The 4 secrets of successful working mummies

02 04 2014

Do you feel like you’re constantly ‘spinning your wheels’?  Are you striving to be the best mummy, employee/entrepreneur, wife/partner, friend and feel like you’re failing at every turn?  Are you struggling to make peace with being a working mummy?

When you’re living with the unpredictable demands of mummy-hood, there’s no such thing as “work/life balance”.  But then feeling frazzled, out of control and guilty isn’t much fun either.

There is another option…

Join me for the live webinar The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies where I’ll be sharing:

  • The 4 sappers of your success and energy!
  • The one big reminder that you’re not on your own
  • The 4 “secrets” that successful women swear by to design a style that fits their work and family

Reserve your place —> HERE

I know how it feels when you’re spending all your time and energy striving for your ideal yet missing the mark.  I know that it can get you down!  I also know that it IS possible to create the working lifestyle you desire so you can work on your terms and nurture your family too.  I’ve been learning the secrets of some really inspirational role models and can’t wait to share their insights with you!

Join me February 11th, 2014 @ 7.30pm GMT —> CLICK HERE

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Stop waiting: a celebration

02 02 2014

Once I’ve got a slimmer waist, a tauter tummy, slimmer thighs, clearer skin, glossier hair… THEN I’ll feel attractive.

Once the house is cleaned, the laundry is washed and ironed, the beds are freshly made and the fridge is fully stocked…. THEN I’ll feel like a domestic goddess.

Once my children are fed a nutritious, home-cooked meal, entertained with creative play, nurtured with quiet interaction, bathed in nasty-free bubbles and settled soundly…. THEN I’ll feel like a good mummy.

Once I’ve got that promotion or secured a new business partnership, been recognised by my peers, increased my income…. THEN I’ll feel like a professional success.

Once I’ve made the perfect romantic gesture, created quality time to talk and listen, shown gratitude for the positives and shown patience with the frustrations… THEN I’ll feel like a good wife/partner.

Once I’ve done a regular 30-minutes cardio three times a week, 20-minutes conditioning, 15-minutes meditation and drunk my daily green juice… THEN I’ll feel healthy.

Once I’ve called my friends and family, recognised birthdays and celebrations with thoughtful gifts and meaningful sentiments, spent quality time with all the important people in my life… THEN I’ll feel like a loving friend/daughter/sister/auntie.

…..

What if you stopped waiting until THEN?

What if you chose right now that you are enough?

How about choosing that you are the perfect version of yourself right now?

You are right where you are meant to be.

This is your story.  Celebrate it.

What happened yesterday has gone.

What will happen tomorrow is yours for the taking.

You are who you are and where you are right now for a reason….

You can choose.

You can choose to feel attractive.

You can choose to recognise all you do to create a nurturing home, be a nurturing mummy, a loving wife, a professional success.

You can choose to BE the you that you want to be right now.

Imagine what that would feel like.

How would you act differently?  What would you choose to do right now?  How would you choose to be with the people around you?  What would be important for you to have in your life?  What wouldn’t be important?

You are doing the very best with what you have. 

My lovely, you are doing a great job – be gentle with yourself.

 

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