Q49: How Do I Decide Whether and When to Expand?

“I am freelance and have been for 20 years but I wonder if you have any advice about knowing when to stick with freelance or move to expand, possibly using associates. I really like the freedom of being freelance but I sometimes wonder if I am leveraging my skill set enough.” This is a fascinating conundrum. I’ve been freelance, self-employed, a business owner, a director of a limited company, and a partner in a business. I think I have tried on every variety of working for myself that exists. Mostly, they aren’t better, they are just different. No, I lie. […]

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Q48: How Do We Respond to Unfair Online Reviews?

“I think my main ‘issue’ is that we are judged on the Internet with reviews – sometimes fairly and sometimes (it feels) unfairly, irrelevant, off topic, bizarre and totally randomly. We know we can’t please all of the people etc., but how to stick to cancellation Ts & Cs when someone you know WILL write you a bad review because they feel it’s not fair you have charged them even though it was the contract they signed up to.” I would find this very difficult myself, not being a fan very much of feedback or criticism or misunderstandings and, funnily […]

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Q47: Why Do I Not Have Control of My Own Day?

“I’ve no boss and just the normal domestic roles (plus a few voluntary bits) but I still seem to lose way too many days to other people’s drama.” The short answer is I have no idea. If we were speaking in one of my coaching calls I’d be able to ask you a few more clarifying questions. Given we don’t have that luxury today, I’m going to hazard a few guesses and hope that one at least is on the money. Firstly, when you say you have “just the normal domestic roles (plus a few voluntary bits)” that already denotes […]

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Q46: Why Is There So Much Work to Do All the Time?

There’s a deceptively large amount of work to be done by one person, isn’t there? Tell me about it! I can’t ever really remember being employed because it was so long ago but I do know that in a larger enterprise, everyone takes their part. But working for ourselves at home involves being all the departments. We are HR, legal, accounting, marketing, sales, warehousing, internal comms, transport, fulfilment, facilities management, IT and Uncle Tom Cobley. I will confess that I don’t need several of those departments in my own home-based biz but I do take care of HR (self-care), accounting […]

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Q45: Perfectionism and Procrastination

“When is it OK to be both a perfectionist and a procrastinator?” Never. Next? Only joking! I hope my client takes this in good heart, as it is intended. Earlier this year she consulted me about opening a new business bank a/c. I gave her my advice as a woman who has been using business bank accounts for forty years. They are all the same. There is nothing to choose between them. They are not really interested in us despite what they say in their adverts. The banks are staffed by underpaid overworked clerks and I, for one, do not […]

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Creating an Online Community: Podcast Ep 183

Oooh, oooh, oooh! We didn’t have a focus for our show today so we asked the members of our (free to join) Own It! the Podcast Facebook Group and one Q sprang forth pronto and one that I am really interested in. I LOVE online communities.  I love everything about them. I love creating them, curating them, fostering community in them and hanging out and encouraging and supporting people in them. I own and run or co-run seven groups. And that’s enough if you want to do it well. Two of them are paid and the remaining five of them are […]

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Q44: In Emergencies, What Should I Focus On?

I think the short answer is the thing right in front of you. The longer answer is what is the nature of the emergency? If the house is on fire, or you’ve hurt yourself or a member of your family is poorly, then you know what to do. Dial 999 and get the emergency services onto it. If what you mean is in our businesses, then what sorts of emergencies are there? Deadlines Running out of money Threats various e.g. a solicitor’s letter The government changing the rules endlessly and trying to catch you out with a fine What else? […]

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Q43: Why Does Having the Right Mindset Feel Like a Bit of a Game?

“The sense that ‘having the right mindset’ is a bit of a game, and somehow I keep missing the ball because I’ve become distracted by any number of reasons.” Let’s start with the word mindset. I don’t like it, do you? It feels a bit jargony, a bit corporate. Yuk. I do remember where I was working as an accountant when I first heard it used daily and that was at a London recruitment agency where helping job applicants with their mindset was part of their brief. It always jarred with me, like fingernails down a blackboard. I don’t really […]

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Q42: Why Do I Feel Inferior to Better Qualified Artists?

I think this is a variant on what some of my more academic coaching colleagues might call Imposter Syndrome which almost everyone feels, by the way, especially women or so they tell me. If you don’t know what IS is, please don’t get distracted now and go rushing off to look it up, remember we don’t need more information and you are already good enough, but…try on these few thoughts for size and see if they shift something for you. My brother and I didn’t go to University. It wasn’t thought important in our family. Not our parents’ fault really, […]

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Q41: Is There Something Wrong with Me?

“There must be something wrong with me/my business model/what I’m doing because I haven’t been able to make my business work. I feel embarrassed that I’ve not been able to make this work yet.” I read something very interesting last night in what is fast becoming a fave book by Pam Grout called Thank & Grow Rich. It was about the voice we use to talk to ourselves, and the nasty messages we tell ourselves too. Pam describes “the maniac in our own heads”. She says a non-stop voice loop reminds her of all that’s lacking in her life and […]

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