Let’s talk about saving money!

Let’s talk about saving money!

It doesn’t matter if you take home £100 a week or £100 a day – saving money, although hard, is necessary as well as an enabler for you and your future.

As a disclaimer, I am not a financial adviser or have a qualification in such areas. But I am savvy, so wanted to write a post which might help you!

4 Money Saving Tips

1 – Do you know how much money you spend a week/month? If you have answered yes, then great, but if it is a no – this is a great place to start:

Download your banking app and make it a habit to check it weekly. What do you notice? Any trends?

Could your Starbucks coffee every morning causing havoc with your finance?

Let’s say, your coffee is £3.50 a day.

So let’s look at that: £3.50 X 5days a week = £17.50… £17.50 a week X 4 weeks (a month) = £70! … That is £70 a month on a 1 Coffee a day! So how can you still get your morning caffeine hit and save money? Easy! Either invest in a coffee machine at home paired with purchasing a lovely thermos flask (hello, also saving on plastics and paper). Or get yourself some instant coffee. Now repeat for all your other expenditures. Could it be time you start making your lunches?

Open up excel and capture your ins and outs! These are you regular payments that you are committed to each month. But hold on, what is that regular payment there £7.99 for NOWTV but you never use it? Time to cancel? And why is your phone bill so high? Can you get a better deal?

Although this is basic and perhaps time consuming you could end up saving money which could be hundreds of pounds a month but changing your spending habits.

2 – Saving for the future is about setting up your nest egg whether this is an ISA or just a plain old savings account?

Find out the best one for here but researching! Good places to start are with these:

3 – Do you have a huge credit card bill and money to pay it off, yet you just pay the minimum each month? We all do it! No shame, but if you have the money, pay it off NOW. Credit cards, in my opinion are for emergencies – now when I say emergencies, I mean a new boiler not a pair of Jimmy Choos!

4 – Do you know your credit score? There are so many free online tools which can help you find this out and are able to provide an in depth review on credit history.

Take a look at Credit Karma – https://www.creditkarma.co.uk

You are going to need to know this especially if you are looking for a mortgage!

In summary, the 4 points outlined are easy steps to get on top of your finances and help you save money for more important things likes holidays, houses and unicorns!

Comment below if you have any other hints and tips to help fellow readers save money for their future.

It’s a BRAND new world, of personal branding…

It’s a BRAND new world, of personal branding…

But who are you? It is time that you take a lesson from the brands in the public domain, to learn and understand – what it takes to stand out and prosper!

What’s does personal branding mean?

In short, it’s your reputation. Each interaction you have with others has the
opportunity to create a memorable experience, teaching them what they can expect
from you. When you’re consistent in delivering those experiences, you build a strong
reputation. Delivering your brand clearly and consistently across a wide audience
helps open doors to opportunities. Your brand becomes your personal calling card—a
unique promise of value; a distinct and authentic representation of you. In building
your personal brand, you will define your individuality, maximise your strengths and
manage your choices now to create future opportunities.”

Remember: Regardless of age, position, business and title we are all CEO’s of our own companies: Me Inc.

Questions to get you started

  • What are my values?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my interests?
  • Why should someone hire me?
  • What are the areas I need to approve on?
  • What object could I use to give a visual to my meaning?
  • What other brands do I like? Why?
  • What brands do I hate? Why?
  • If someone looked at your LinkedIn page, what would they know about you?
  • Does how you dress mirror who you are?

Tools and resources you can use

(Some bullet points are links, so hover over so don’t miss out)

Elevator pitch

The elevator pitch is a brief but persuasive sales speech that you use to spark interest in who you are and what you stand for. In practice, a good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator floor hop which is around 20 to 30 seconds… hence the name.

Using the work you have done with answering the questions set out above, form a few sentences that you can use for an elevator pitch.

Remember:

Image result for elevator pitch female examples
Image is from The Balance Careers

Some examples are:

Melitta Campbell, Business Coach for Female Entrepreneurs, Melitta Campbell.com

I am a business coach for new female entrepreneurs. I offer structured and affordable programs to help them put doubt and anxiety aside, build their entrepreneurial skills and confidence, and create a business they love that delivers the results they desire.

Teri O’Neal, Director of Public Relations, A. Bright Idea

Very few careers offer the opportunity to support chemical weapons demilitarization one minute and vineyard marketing the next. At A. Bright Idea, we do that and more. We offer strategic communications services for industries of all types. What started as one person’s vision, transformed into a full-service, coast-to-coast creative playground. With experts in PR, advertising, graphic design and interactive, A. Bright Idea helps organizations achieve goals.

Bridgett McGowen, Awarded International Professional Speaker, BMcTALKS Academy

My name is Bridgett McGowen, and I am a professional speaker at BMcTALKS. I help professional women who want to speak with power and executive presence but who do not want to waste time reading books and watching videos that cannot give them real and honest feedback on their presentation skills.

You can read more on Fit Small Business.

Comment below your thoughts, ideas and how you transformed your personal branding!

There is more to come on personal branding. To find out more, get in touch with me today!

People evolve thus people can change

People evolve thus people can change

People evolve thus people can change. We have a personality foundation which starts to develop the day we are born. Our environments, education, childhood, peer groups as well as our hobbies, shape the human being that we are today.

The Psychology Today wrote: “Can we change people? It depends what we mean by change. First, can people change? Well, obviously. For example, we get older. Can we change in every respect? Obviously not. We change in some respects and not in others. “

I recognise in myself that I still have the core personality foundations that I had when I was in my teens. For example, I talk with my hands, I am fiercely independent and super ambitious… I also care a lot about people and wrongly, what they think about me.

However the way I now conduct myself has evolved. And the way I think, feel and listen is different. The way I approach an activity or situation is tailored from lessons learnt throughout my life where I have been successful and of course when I have also failed.

Image result for women evolve

To understand more about changes in people, I did some research for this post and of course, that research means googling. I found that the results were more for answers for someone who is seeking some kind of clarity or explanation for behaviour that has caused them pain. Such as and mainly: cheating. It was surprising that with no clear answers. Using my platform, I wanted to start this post by addressing the leopard in the room.

Image result for leopard spots

Certain common phrases such as – “A leopard never changes its spots” and “Once a cheat, always a cheat” – might stick for a while, but if we decide that someone is set on their own path whether positive or negative, are we not doing so because, on some level, creating a barrier between their bad behaviour or success and the pain or jealousy they caused to protect ourselves?

Whilst it can be comforting to sometimes decide someone is bad, it can also be rewarding to perhaps ask why do they behaviour in such ways? Perhaps you are the one who is inflicting pain on others, have you ever stopped and wondered why you are doing this? Perhaps it is jealously? A childhood trauma that is unresolved? Or perhaps you are just so unhappy in yourself, you are making others around you unhappy?

Everyone has the ability to behave selfishly and be disruptive. We mess up and cause unbelievable pain to one another. Often repeat certain behaviours if the root cause isn’t addressed or time is spent on healing our previous wounds.

I am not saying if your partner has cheated on you to forgive them or even give an excuse, what I am merely suggesting is perhaps start by asking why. Ask why 5 times and see what could be rebuilt from opening up. Sadly, on the flip side of the coin, you will come across those who are content with inflicting pain on others. These people are not worthy of your time, efforts and loyalty. If you have recognised that change is needed, sometime that means leaving a person, environment and/or life to create a new path.

If we are seeking some kind of change in how we exist in relation to other people in this world the real question, is how much time, work and effort we will spend on ourselves?

This brings me onto my purpose of this post. I believe in change and that people can evolve, grow and transform.

The reason I believe this, is because I have changed. (Alex, I know you laughing if you are reading this line!). The people I have met have shaped me, CBT and Counselling healed me, Coaching is evolving me and networking as well as blogging is expanding my connections.

Changing is a choice. Choice is the art of possibilities. And Possibilities are endless.

Related image

Personal development is something most people associate with their jobs. Completing objectives and smashing targets to enable them to achieve their bonuses. But what if I told that personal development isn’t just something you do in your job, that actually this can aid an individual to change as well as enrich their potential?

There are so amazing tools, forums and people out there, right at your finger tips to get you started! Here are 5 areas to start your journey:

1: Of course, there is this blog

A Platform that is focused on female empowerment with the goal to enable women to be successful, strong and sassy. I write articles across a number of pillars: Personal Branding. Wellbeing. Female Empowerment. Life Style. Career Building. And… sometimes I might go off topic, like I did in this post, but roll with me.

The blog was created to connect others, provide empowerment, share knowledge, inspire the soul and give a sense of belonging.

2: Coaching!

Coaching is a process that aims to improve personal performance and focuses on the ‘here and now’ rather than on the distant past or future.

As a career coach, I specialise in: Helping you to cultivate and implement your personal brand. Building personal & career confidence. Overcoming limited beliefs and amplifying your voice. Moreover, I also work with you to shift your fixed mindset into a growth mindset. You will finish your career coaching programme with a clear, concise career plan that will enable you to level up. Whether that is asking for more responsibility or finally applying for a leadership role.

If you are looking for Life Coaching, I work with Bright Yellow Coaching – Since working with Tracy, I have learnt skills such as how to be more resilient and understanding my values. Working with Tracy has also enabled me to find and understand myself more, without really knowing it – the sessions gave me and continue to give me great strength and empowerment.

3: Asking for professional help – CBT, Counselling and Therapy.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking treatment which focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour, and teaches you coping skills for dealing with different problems.

It combines cognitive therapy (examining the things you think) and behaviour therapy (examining the things you do).

Counselling is the process by which a counsellor helps an individual understand and solve problems to help him or her cope with mental or emotional triggers. Where as Therapy usually involves talking about your situation in order to gain more understanding about issues such as mood, feelings, behaviour, and ways of thinking.

Ask your GP for advice on which treatment they would recommend.

4: Networking, attending industry related conferences/expos and connecting with others. I am part of the All Bright Academy that offer events throughout the year to attend. Women in Business Expo, Best You Expo and browsing through Meetup and Eventbrite to find local groups to attend.

5: Mentoring – Is there someone who you admire? Perhaps even aspire to follow in their footsteps! Never be afraid to reach out and offer to buy them a coffee. Mentoring is different to coaching. Mentoring is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but he or she must have a certain area of expertise.

Working on yourself can start today…. Let it be DAY ONE, not one day.

So the question is, what are you prepared to do to grow, evolve and change?

Work related stress and how to manage it

Work related stress and how to manage it

It was reported that 73% of British workers took time out of work because of stress in the work place… and 19% quit on the spot!

From Lack of support and excessive workload. To poor company culture and incompetent colleagues. There are many factors that lead to stress. I explore how work related stress impacts your and how we can implement some remedies to alleviate the excessive pressures.

HSE’s formal definition of work-related stress is: “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work.”

Although stress is a state more than an illness, however, it is worth noting that if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged – mental and physical illness may develop.

Work related stress develops because a person is unable to cope with the demands being placed on them. Stress can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as mistakes and errors.

Stress can hit anyone at any level of the business. From looking into this topic further as well as discussing this at my networking group, it was found that work related stress is widespread and is not confined to particular sectors, jobs or industries.

Pressures at work compared to stress caused because of work has a clear difference: Pressure can be positive, motivating factor in someone’s career, and is often essential. It can help us achieve our goals as well as perform better.

Stress occurs when this pressure becomes excessive.

Stress affects people in different ways and what one person finds stressful can be normal to another. With each new situation a person will decide what the challenge is and whether they have the resources to cope. If they decide they don’t have the resources, they will begin to feel stressed. How they appraise the situation will depend on various factors, including:

  • Background and culture
  • Skills and experience
  • Personality
  • Personal circumstances
  • Health status
  • Ethnicity, gender, age or disability

Just like how people are affected by stress, the ways of managing can be different for each individual. It is all well and good to talk about a work life balance, however what people really need are tools and techniques to help them.

How to alleviate work related stress can be managed by:

At Work:

  • Talking to your manager, colleague or HR. There is no shame in saying that the current pressures that are on you are causes you to feel stressed. It is always best to take some examples with you that include situation when you have felt stressed or document you current work load to show your manager. By talking, you are highlighting the problem. You never know, you might be able to recruit a junior to support you.
  • Get a priority list together. Have you ever used a Kanban board? Such a great way to visually see what you need to do and what you have achieved. (also GREAT for reporting) You can use Trello which is a free online tool.
  • Be part of a culture change. Do you have an idea to help improve team performance? an Idea on how to feel calmer at work? Maybe introduce a well-being Wednesday? Be the change you want to see.

For Yourself:

  • Change your job or career direction. This one will take more time and planning. However, if you really are struggling this might be the option.
  • Have a break. Stop, put down your work phone and be present with your family and friends.
  • Exercise! Make time to go for a walk/run. Go to that gym class. Getting out helps clear the mind, looking after yourself will help with all aspects of your life and your mental health.

Do you have a story of stressed caused by work? Or do you have any suggestions of remedies? Comment below to share.

Balancing act and inclusion for all

Balancing act and inclusion for all

With the rise of female networking groups, private member clubs and published material with the sole aim of empowering and enriching women there was bound to be some noise.

I believe in balance. Especially Gender Balance. Yes this blog is aimed towards empowering women and predominantly about women, it doesn’t mean I am against men. Infact, the men in my life are allies, best friends and of course, my partner.

The UNFPA commented – “Gender equality is intrinsically linked to sustainable development and is vital to the realization of human rights for all. The overall objective of gender equality is a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, rights and obligations in all spheres of life.” And I agree.

Of late, Male comments have been – ‘what about a Man’s networking club?’ or ‘Where are the Men in STEM groups?’ Although I find the comments to be disagreeable… I wanted to explore their points.

‘What about a Man’s networking club?’

Back in the 18th Century there was the introduction of the Gentleman’s clubs which were private places that were designed to allow men to relax and create friendships with other men. In the 19th and 20th centuries, clubs were regarded as a central part of elite men’s lives.

These types of places still exist such as Garrick Club, Buck’s Club and Flyfishers’ Club which do not allow Women to join. Source: Wikipedia .

It was back in 19th Century when the Women institute was formed and now in the 21st Century we have vibrant, collaborative, global platforms, like Allbright, The Coven and Step Up Club which include memberships, networking and courses to enable their female members to grow into success, learn new skills and connect with other women.

To summarise: There are private members clubs for men and for women. There are also clubs that allow both genders.

‘Where are the Men in STEM groups?’

According to a study by Women in Stem showed from the percentage split for current female students to graduates and professionals working in STEM in the UK. 

Computer sciences

Female – 4,525 – 19%
Male – 19,550 – 81%
Total – 24,090

When we looked at the UCAS data for students studying computer sciences related degrees, only 19% were female, with a staggering 81% of students being male.

Engineering and technology

Female – 23,650 – 19%
Male – 102,970 – 81%
Total – 126,660

So, That’s why Women in STEM and Women in Tech groups and organisations exists. It is to attract women into positions to help build more diverse teams.


Barack Obama famously Said:

‘It’s easy to absorb all kinds of messages from society about masculinity and come to believe that there’s a right way and a wrong way to be a man. But as I got older, I realized that my ideas about being a tough guy or cool guy just weren’t me. They were a manifestation of my youth and insecurity.’

‘That’s what twenty-first century feminism is about: the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free.’

‘While I’ll keep working on good policies—from equal pay for equal work to protecting reproductive rights—there are some changes that have nothing to do with passing new laws. In fact, the most important change may be the toughest of all—and that’s changing ourselves.’

I hope these quotes fill you will some inspiration.


RESOURCES FOR MEN

Networking Groups and clubs for Men

Publications for Men

  • Men’s Health Magazine.
  • Coach | Do Something.
  • The Coolector | Men’s Lifestyle Magazine | Design, Gear & Fashion.
  • British GQ Magazine.
  • Mens Fashion Magazine Online | Latest Men’s Fashion and Style Magazine.
  • Menswear Style Digital Magazine.
  • Men’s Running magazine.

Want to support Women? Read this here: https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/5-things-men-can-do-to-support-an-ambitious-business-woman-cmtt/

Support for Men


Do you have any recommendations? What is your story for supporting men and women?