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Many of us, whether we own a business or are employed, lose sight of our Nana Vision!

The demands of our everyday are all consuming and most of us work with a to-do list long enough to keep us busy throughout the whole week allowing very little time to think longer term.

My “Nana Vision” was first realised whilst planning with a client. It has provided me with clarity, direction, focus and comfort knowing there is an end goal and longer-term focus and a clear picture of what life looks like in my later years.

So, what is a Nana Vision?

A Nana Vision – a phrase I’ve personally coined – is the life you imagine living once you have become a Nana (or not, as the case may be). What will those days look like? What will you be doing? Who will you spend them with? What is important to you? What makes you feel happy?

My Nana Vision fills me with emotion… It’s like when enjoying your best day out; happy, fulfilled and surrounded by people you love. And this is what makes every day leading up to this time worthwhile and exciting.

I currently work as a business coach helping many business owners. The days when I am not coaching, I am planning, reading, or facilitating workshops and Mastermind groups all of which I love doing.

My Nana Vision is not too far away from my everyday now, except I will work with fewer clients, have less coaching days and I will be rewarded with much higher fees. I will enjoy time to research and write and help younger generations who are planning to start their own enterprises by speaking at schools, universities and entrepreneur clubs. My free time will be in abundance I will enjoy (I hope) days out with my grandchildren, husband and lots of lunches with the girls!

Having a Nana Vision has enabled me to look ahead, envisage the dream and plan my journey. I know how long I have and what I need to do – everything needs to lead to that vision.

Take some time to work out your Nana Vision – you deserve it.

The post Nana Vision appeared first on Cloud9 Business Coaching.

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It’s 6.30am and I’m out running in my local town…
It’s a time of day I never really knew before having children, and an activity I’m only just coming to terms with. I’m doing it because I do not need to think for anyone else for the next hour.
Running hurts, it’s tough but keep going because although I could easily stop, something in my brain has switched off and my body just keeps going.
You see, that’s what I really love about that hour. For a whole hour, I don’t have to make a single decision.
The rest of my day is not like that. Every second I’m making a decision or telling someone else what to do. Hurry up, we’ll be late for school. What should I take out of the freezer for dinner? At work, how many sales have we hit this month? Who can I outsource that to? Where should I take my client to lunch? And perhaps most importantly, how I do ensure I am always motivating and inspiring others?
As women, we’re told we’re good at doing multiple things at once, but I suspect this is a plot to get us to DO multiple things at once.
Running a company and being a parent is not easy. It requires resilience and grace under pressure. It means you need to constantly show strength, even when you’re not feeling particularly strong,
I now understand the priorities surrounding my main dual roles, I can now live with 80% being good enough and believe that I’m a better business owner because of my role as a mum, and I’m a better mum because of my role as a business owner.”

Women in business now have huge opportunities – the irony is that the one thing standing in the way of them and success is the confidence that they can achieve it.
I witness this in my coaching practice too often. I sit across from women who are unsure of their value within the business, unsure of what they as individuals offer towards the growth and development plans. I can see their worth and to me their potential is obvious; to me they are born leaders.
It is the most rewarding experience to share in a women’s growth journey; to see her overcome the self-doubt and self-sabotage, gain the self-belief and address the balance, to feel the fear, to grit her teeth and to own it!
I think women still need to find their own leadership style and have the confidence to follow that through.
One of the things I want to do, personally, is help inspire women to do that. Part of it is about accepting that it’s good for men and women to have different goals and priorities in life. Not better, just different.

Happy International Women’s Day.

The post International Women’s Day appeared first on Cloud9 Business Coaching.

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It is rare that something is so precious and so cherished, Time is longed for and wanted, we all dream of either pressing the pause button or re-inventing the 24hr day to make it longer some of us want to go back in time to alter the events or to relive them if only………………….

Time is so precious that we need to treat it with the respect it deserves.

With that in mind can I be bold enough to ask you to be honest with how you feel about the way you have spent your last 36 hours?

Are you happy with what you have achieved?

Who you spent it with?

The mind-set you lived with?

The results you achieved?

Most of us if we answered honesty would admit to falling short in one of those areas we are only human and we live at such a fast pace that we react and make decisions based on what we are faced with at that time, however if we knew we would be reviewing it every 36 hours we may make different decisions.

Now is the time to live like you will be reviewing every 36 hours, in fact go one better and actually review your week it makes a tremendous difference to what you will achieve.

Reviewing allows you to deal with the negative and only move forward with positive emotions, by processing the negative things we find fixes, implement change and solutions giving us confidence that this challenge will not reappear we then focus on the positive things giving us better results, the same can be said for the company you keep, I would encourage a cull!!!

Review your current relationships and make changes, I want to be around positive people,  I thrive from others success and drive and that’s why coaching works for me I have surrounded myself with successful driven individuals whose personalities are bold and believable they drive me to be at my best. What emotions do you feel in the company you keep?

Review your productivity and think about the mind-set you had and what results you achieved think about your chunks of time, were they rushed or relaxed, were you under pressure, stressed or frustrated, what were your stress levels and why? Who caused you the stress and frustrations? What can you do about those relationships? Is it time for change? What do you need to change?

Time management is most effective if you view it like a man, do one thing at a time!!!!!!!!!

Wearing only one hat will make us more focused and productive, organise your week with chunks of time and focus on just one thing. Give yourself a goal and a time deadline in which to achieve it.

Stop the neg ferrets, these are people who simply want to offload their negativity onto you, you don’t need them, these people offer you nothing.

Don’t allow the time thief’s to distract you, Identify who are your key people and give them the time they need and deserve, do not get drawn into the “can I just have a minute” (equals 96 hours over a year!)

 

Stop wishing for more time and focus on making the time you have the most effective and nourished. Spend it with positive people, focus on one thing at a time, prioritise and live only with a positive mindset.

The post Stop Longing For More Time. appeared first on Cloud9 Business Coaching.

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Network Like A Ninja

Walking into a room full of people you don’t know without the comfort of food and wine is a daunting experience for some, for others it is a welcome opportunity to grow a network of professional contacts.

Networking is an essential tool to your grow business. So, by reviewing your approach to networking and changing your opinion; from seeing it as an uncomfortable chore; to a fantastic low investment tool to source new business, will help you confront the fear and network like a ninja!

5 Tips For Successful Networking

  1. Do your homework. Who will be there? Who will you know? Who will they be able to introduce you to? Arrange to go with a colleague who can introduce you to a someone you would like to build a relationship with.
  2. Remember that everyone is in the same position. Nobody is there to be vindictive or embarrass you. Most people are prepared to help and support others. Be yourself. Be genuine. Join in.
  3. Set yourself realistic goals. Who would you like to do business with? Aim to start between 1-3 new relationships. Also think about how many business cards you want to give out. Don’t work the room, don’t hustle!
  4. Practice your icebreaker questions. Refer to your research and ask questions about a recent work project or award, or a paper/blog/book they recently published. Everyone loves talking about themselves!
  5. Remember the most important, but commonly the most missed stage of networking, is the follow up. Make it personal. Refer to a common ground and something interesting you both discussed. Don’t be pushy. Work on building the relationship. Build rapport before closing the sale.

Networking doesn’t have to be daunting or hard work. The more events you attend, the more people you will recognise, the more relationships will develop and you will be surprised at how comfortable you feel.

Now, go network like a Ninja!

The post Network Like A Ninja! appeared first on Cloud9 Business Coaching.

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Mastermind – Is It Right For You?

Not belonging to a Mastermind group is like skipping breakfast! You feel empty, lost and end up making the wrong decisions based on emotion… like choosing a cake for lunch rather than the salad!

Attending Mastermind meeting sets you up for the day/week/month and gives you balance, perspective and all the ingredients you need to motivate you to achieve your goals.

5 Reasons why Mastermind might be right for you.

  1. A problem halved is a problem shared. That feeling of being alone in business is gone once you belong to a Mastermind group; where the primary focus is peer to peer mentoring and successes are shared and challenges solved.
  2. Mastermind allows you to grow your network rapidly, not only by the number of members in the group, but by tapping into their network you’ll have access to a wider circle of influence.
  3. Collaboration is a natural result of being a member of a Mastermind group. You may find synergy with other members and potentially a perfect fit for a joint venture.
  4. By sharing challenges you learn new ideas and therefore make better decisions faster; resulting in increased productivity and a bigger bottom line!
  5. Being in a room of inspiring business men and women encourages a positive and growth mind-set. Mastermind is often referred to as a place where personal development thrives. Your trusted board of advisors motivate, inspire and push you beyond your comfort zone where you personally grow and develop.

Why Does It Work?

The success of the group is due to the commitment and support of its members, who are dedicated to improving their businesses, their leadership, their community and each other. The openness and receptiveness within the group, along with their willingness to put ego aside and apply the necessary passion and commitment in the pursuit of being the best is what makes Mastermind so valuable.

 

Cloud9 believes that our biggest strength is our community we have facilitated Mastermind groups since 2010. Mastermind acts as a catalyst for growth. The monthly meetings offer a combination of brainstorming, education, accountability and support in a trusted group environment to improve your business and personal skills.

Cloud9 Mastermind – What Really Happens?

  • A group of up to 12 business owners or future leaders from non- competing organisations.
  • A monthly offsite meeting at a central Essex & London location.
  • Facilitated by experts in business and talent development.
  • Lively, participative and authentic discussions based on current business and development challenges.
  • Members challenge each other to set clear goals.
  • We encourage creative thinking and brave decision-making.
  • Members share success stories and challenges with each other.
  • Problems are solved through peer brainstorming and collective creative thinking.

Cloud9 Mastermind encourages innovation, enhances your natural talent and instincts, gives you confidence in your decision making and will move your business forward in a confidential, agenda-free and non-judgemental environment.

For details of any coaching programme or Mastermind Group you can contact Cloud9 on 02033 279 990 sam@cloud9businesscoaching.co.uk

The post Not belonging to a Mastermind group is like skipping breakfast! appeared first on Cloud9 Business Coaching.

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 I sigh with relief, I have done it again!! 

Most of us have come to the end of the summer school holidays and can breathe again! I always give myself a well-deserved pat on the back and smugly congratulate myself for surviving another year! 

September always brings for me a time of reflection, have I achieved the work/life balance that I am comfortable with? 

Work/life balance is a phrase which we are all familiar with but what does it really mean to you? 

For me, one of my biggest values is balance. I strive for balance throughout the whole year – not just in the school holidays. If I haven’t achieved a balanced week, I am not performing at my best. 

So what does my balanced week look like? 

To understand this I need to understand my role or the different roles I fulfil, for me they are:- 

Director, Leader, Coach, Marketer, Sales Director, Finance Director, HR Director, IT Director, Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend. 

With so many hats to juggle, how can I possibly achieve balance? The answer is with bite-sized chunks! 

Like all great goals, they are easier to achieve if you break them up into realistic chunks. I like to chunk my life into 3–month blocks. 

I look at all of my roles individually and break them into 12 weeks, 3 easy to manage months (or in July 6 simple weeks!) 

I ask myself the difficult question: – What do I need to do to really move my business/family/relationships forward? This gives me my focus for the next 12 weeks, it feels less daunting and far more realistic. And you can take other demands into consideration like school holidays, annual leave, staff shortages, projects, family commitments. 

All of my roles affect each other, I may want to ease my sales target in August to consider the school holidays and my own annual leave, although this may have more of an impact in September, or I may need to enhance my leadership skills and team to manage my business whilst I am away. 

The real secret is to review. Once you have identified your roles and set realistic bite–sized goals, review the challenges and successes in these areas weekly. This will help you implement fixes where needed and to celebrate your successes. 

You may have more than 14 roles to play at any one time, but I believe it is simple when you build your support network. The last 6 weeks will prove how solid yours really is. 

I am incredibly lucky to have an amazing support network and the very best family and circle of friends which makes my balance achievable. Like any great team you need to identify the role (or roles) you play and to achieve the winning formula. It is essential to have structure.  

Work/Life Balance is achieved with the right People, Processes and Structure. 

Do you have the right people around you?  

Do you have robust processes in place? 

Do you have a structure that allows for the help and support you need.  

I suggest to achieve your work/life balance, clarify what makes you happy, be clear on what you want to achieve, set realistic goals, prioritise, detail your processes, implement structure and build your solid support network.  

The post Work/Life Balance appeared first on Cloud9 Business Coaching.

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I have been running Mastermind groups for over 6 years and it still amazes me the value we all feel in sharing our ideas, challenges and successes to a trusted board of advisors.
How lucky to have access to a group of professional peers who are genuine, honest and willing to help one another.

It is human nature to want to belong to a group and also feel like we contribute. This is the power of Mastermind.

I often hear from professionals that whilst being very comfortable with their business and their professional ability, it is still relatively lonely at the top. Taking work home to families or friends is entirely different to discussing daily challenges with another business owner.

I was once approached by a client’s wife who asked me why her husband could talk to me and not her. The answer is simple, I have no emotional attachment to the business whereas it has a real and obvious impact on her life.


This is the same with Mastermind. Members are able to offer a constructive view on someone else’s business and can often find solutions to other business challenges far easier than their own.

Mastermind is not networking.

I have spent many hours networking with other professionals. Everyone you engage with has a fantastic business and are enjoying enormous amounts of success. I have not met anyone at a network event who has shared a different tale. This is because when we are networking we are more often than not, in sales mode.

How to network effectively is an entirely different subject…

Why join a Mastermind group?

1. A safe environment to share ideas, challenges and successes with trusted professionals, who are willing to learn from others.
2. Find solutions to real business problems

3. A peer group to hold you accountable
4. Extending your business network

A great Mastermind group can have a huge impact but it is vitally important to have the right group for you.


I always offer a 3 month money back guarantee to my new members as I feel it takes at least three meetings to fully appreciate the value of Mastermind. After that you will be hooked for life, the members will become part of your team and your board of advisors.

Experience a true Mastermind group, and ensure you are not the cleverest person in the room.

If you would like more details on the Mastermind groups that we offer please email me direct:-

sam@cloud9businesscoaching.co.uk

The post Why Two Minds Are Better Than One appeared first on Cloud9 Business Coaching.

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I am fortunate to work with many inspiring and successful women who lead teams and businesses, who, like myself are striving to juggle and achieve balance.

Women in business have a lot to play for, the irony is that the one thing standing in the way of them and success is the confidence that they can achieve it.

I witness this in my coaching practice. I meet women who are unsure of their roles within the business, and what they, as individuals offer towards the growth and development of their business. It makes me smile because their potential is obvious, to me they are born leaders and born to be successful.

It is the most rewarding experience to share in their journey, to see women blossom and mange their self-doubt. self-sabotage and the self-control to address the balance, to feel the fear, to grit their teeth and to own it!

These women grow to be the driving force behind the business, when they learn to own it, they do it with passion with vigour and with emotion, by improving their skills and learning.

I asked a respected and much valued client of mine, Jane Knapp, Director of Phillips Brothers her view on Women In leadership:-

Women in Leadership means to me the epitome of strength, determination & success. There is no getting away from the fact that in the vast majority of cases Women in Leadership are often also Mothers, Wives, Daughters etc.; they are highly skilled at ‘being all things, to all people’ and they are expected to be. 

I lead within my business with what I believe is a maternal instinct, my role ensures it is run as a family where equilibrium is most important. I take the time to determine individuals motivators to ensure I create a highly engaged & successful team while continuously learning and developing myself. This way, as our Company grows we as individuals grow with it.

In my experience, women like Jane in business are humble, they are open to learning, they are keen to meet like-minded people to share their experiences and to help others.

Women simply try harder, they don’t rely on their egos, they work on their skills and they are open to change and a level of introspection many would find uncomfortable.

Women bring the softer skills to business that is essential to leadership in today’s culture.

I think women still need to find their own leadership style, and have the confidence to follow that through. One of the things I want to do, personally, is help inspire women to do that. For me, we need to accept that it is good for men and women to have different goals and priorities in life. Not better, just different.

Here are four great tips for increasing Women in leadership.

• Flexibility is key:

Women are looking for employers with a modern approach to work/life balance. This will make it easier for them to return to work after maternity leave, or other longer-term breaks, and help plug the ‘leaking pipeline’ of talented women.

• Tone at the top:

Create a positive culture by demonstrating your confidence in your talented female employees– the ‘tone at the top’ is vital in setting the tone further down.

• Support and structure:

Work with your female next gens, and your other high-potential women, to develop clear career paths, and provide then with the right training and mentoring.

• Policy and practice:

Make sure you have policies in place covering diversity and equality, and monitor how well you’re doing in achieving a better gender balance in the workplace.

Feel the fear, don’t be the smartest person in the room, learn new skills, come out of your comfort zone and unleash your potential.

Happy Womens Day!

 

The post International Women’s Day appeared first on Cloud9 Business Coaching.

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February is the month of love and love is the topic in the very first chapter of my book – Love what you do or why you do it!

My husband is often saying to my 12 year old son, “Mum is lucky she loves what she does”. Am I lucky? Yes, I believe I am. I also believe that I created a path that works for me, I experienced something and had to have more. Coaching is my drug and I need it every day!

In my Mastermind meetings, we never leave without unveiling how we honestly feel that month in terms of happiness, confidence, success and for me, balance, as that is what makes me happy. We are looking for a 10 (High achievers are never a 10 as I believe the more we learn, the more we are aware that there is to learn!) It is not uncommon for a member to drop their scores one month and the group act as their board of advisors to help them find a solution to the challenge which is affecting their score.

Call it business therapy or coaching, it works and there is a reason why Mastermind is full! We all want to be happy.

Is it realistic to love what we do every day?

For some it comes easy, for others the reason that they do it is what they are in love with. The vision, the reason, the choice that they strive for and for me this is good enough. Everybody talks about passion and the need to feel passionate about what you do, but if your business is nuts and bolts do you still feel passion? If your business is nuts and bolts, but your vision is to have a business that gives you a particular lifestyle and the time that allows you to fly 20 hours a week and your passion is flying, for me this is the same.

What do you call happiness?

If I asked you to picture the days when you feel at your most happiest, what springs into your mind? Is it your business, your family, your holidays, your pets, your home, your wealth, the weather? We are all different and happiness means something different to us all. You must start by understanding what makes you happy, if that means you are in the wrong business, in the wrong relationship, holidaying in the wrong places etc. etc., then it is time to take action as talk is cheap!

An author and speaker who I love is Larry Wingett, he says that we are who we are and we have what we have because of the actions we take. We are responsible for where we are today and I believe that is true. When I think of my business, it is in the position it is due to my actions and my actions alone.Only I can implement change and only I am able to sacrifice something to achieve something else.

We are in a big blame culture and right now the list is long of scenarios in which we love to blame Regardless of what has happened on the wider political landscape, we are still in control of our happiness and more importantly what affects it.

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all.

Dale Carnegie

It is just as important to understand what affects our happiness as it is to understand what makes us happy. I suggest thinking of all the things that interfere with your happiness and affect your mindset, then adopt the Larry way of thinking: what are you in control of? If you cannot control something you cannot let it affect your happiness. There will be situations which make us dreadfully unhappy that we have no control over whatsoever, in those scenarios we can only look to find the good, and hope that that pulls us through.

By developing a mindset for happiness and identifying what we let affect our happiness, we understand the changes we need to implement. By understanding that the smallest thing at the start of your day can quickly change your mindset, you will be more accustomed to recognising which mindset you are currently in and if it is a mindset of happiness.

TAKE THE HAPPINESS TEST!

  1. Score yourself in terms of how happy you feel in your life out of 10 – write down your score.
  2. Write down what would make you a 10/10?
  3. Write down the actions needed to make you feel a 10.
  4. Write down and commit to making these changes or taking the first step to this action.
  5. Give yourself a deadline and guess what – write it down.

What did you score, I would love to know your score, and more importantly I would love to know all 5 of your answers as this means you are a Larry thinker and you will make the changes you need to make yourself feel happy – I admire that.

Write to me at

sam@cloud9businesscoaching.co.uk

Why do we need to write it down? If we do, we are more likely to commit to it. Studies suggest that by writing something down we have increased our changes of achieving it by 1000%

Good luck and be happy!

The post Take The Happiness test appeared first on Cloud9 Business Coaching.

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The question every business owner has asked me at some point or another is, – “How do I get a mindset for success?”

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all.

Dale Carnegie

What makes a successful business?

When looking at the mindset of people, psychoanalysis experts state that there are two types of mind-sets that people fall into; a ‘fixed mindset’ and a ‘growth’ mindset.

A fixed mindset is the belief that a person’s most basic qualities, their achievements, physical and mental abilities, are fixed traits. Behaviours which are finite and difficult or impossible to develop.

A growth mindset or Millionaire Mindset is the belief that basic abilities, talents and strengths can be developed and nurtured through hard work and diligent effort.

This person is not always concerned with how smart they are, or how they look but are usually more interested in challenging themselves. They accept direction and often look for support or advice.

Carol Dweck, a professor at Stanford University and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, argues that a fixed mindset can be developed. For example, a straight A student, a CEO, a manager all have the capacity to be greatly intelligent, yet when they have reached the top they may begin to believe that they have reached their respective peaks and consequently plateau.

A CEO may not grow as they believe they simply cannot grow anymore, they have reached a position in their career or lives known as the ceiling, this is why businesses stagnate.

By developing a mindset for success, many people understand the need to develop, to constantly challenge and explore even when failure is a possibility.

Understanding your environment.

All of my clients would like to develop a mindset of success, and by simply wanting to improve their mindset they’ve already taken a big step in the right direction. As a business coach, it’s my job to help my clients see their comfort zones and to provide a perspective they may not see.

Most often, new clients will struggle to understand why the growth of their business has come to a halt, or why they struggle to be consistently creative. This is usually because they are in denial or have not stepped out of the business enough to look at the business.

This may be difficult for many business owners and partners who have grown comfortable and steady in their daily roles.

It is important to understand that a fixed mindset can be changed, and admitting that you may need to develop or challenge the current way you are doing things plays a big part in that.

What can trigger a change in your mindset?

– Financial situation

– Stress/ lack of time

– People

Why is your mindset so important?

By understanding that the smallest thing at the start of your day can quickly change your mindset, you will be more accustomed to recognising which mindset you are currently in and if it is a mindset of success.

The post Millionaire Mindset; A mind-set for success. appeared first on Cloud9 Business Coaching.

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