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One of the most powerful tools I have learnt recently is asking a question without trying to answer it. I am a very logical person and my job often means I am a solution finder. Whilst a lot of the time this is helpful it can also be very limiting. Yes, you heard that right, knowing the answer can be limiting.

Here is why – when we know the answer (or think we know the answer) we are no longer open to the possibilities out there. Think of it this way, have you ever done something a certain way and then someone comes up with a quicker, easier way to do it? Usually, this elicits the response – ‘why didn’t we ever think of that?’ The answer is because you thought you already knew the answer!

When we spend time with questions that don’t have an answer we give the Universe the chance to fire all the possibilities at us and that is where the magic happens, that is where true growth occurs.

So how exactly do you ask these questions? I wouldn’t recommend just chatting away to yourself out loud in public throwing out multiple questions, people start to look at you a bit strangely. Meditation is a simple way to do this (and you get less weird looks):

I learnt how to meditate on a concept years ago at a Buddhist Meditation retreat. It’s hard work but incredibly valuable. You can do the same thing with a question. I like to use meditation music but you may prefer the quiet of nature. Just put the question out there and let it sit in the Universe without searching for the answer. Sounds easy but it can be quite challenging. We are so focused on getting things right and knowing the answers but the aim here is to walk away without an answer but instead an opening for possibilities.

You can also just simply ask the question to yourself in your day to day life and leave it hanging, it’s interesting how often the thought pattern just continues as you go about your day.

But what if I don’t know the question to ask? Well there are a lot of questions that I have gathered over my time working with Access Consciousness that are useful, here are some that I really enjoy:

  • What points of view can I change that will change this?
  • What do I have to do to choose it?
  • What infinite possibilities are open to me?
  • If I did know the answer how would that feel?
  • What does my body/ soul/ heart need right now?
  • What would it feel like to….?
  • What possibilities have I not considered yet?
  • What do I need to let go of?
  • What do I need to reach for?

Of course, sometimes you actually get the answer you need. When you do, it usually feels light and expansive and it is not the thing you assumed it would be. I would love you to try this exercise today and let me know in the comments or PM me over on Facebook to tell me how it felt.

Do you want to explore more of the possibilities available to you? Email me here to claim a discount for your first Access Bars session in either Toodyay or Swan Valley. 

The post The Power of a Question With No Answer appeared first on Sharon Pegrum.

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If it was up to my kids Christmas would result in their room piled sky high with a plethora of plastic.

I, on the other would be happy to give them one gift each and be done with it.

So, we try and reach a middle ground each year.

Today I wanted to share with you some of the strategies I use each year as well as some gifts that the kids will love but will also bring something extra to their lives.

Le Toboggon Booksthese books are gorgeous and I am a big fan of books as a gift for kids. Admittedly we do buy a lot of our books from op shops and constantly have a pile of books on loan from the library.

But these books are something special, Toboggon Books have a range of books that incorporate a variety of languages, many include English as well as one or more other languages. As homeschoolers we love these (ticking the LOTE box!) and as an English only speaker I found it possible to translate the multiple language books quite easily.

Biome – if you are a fan of natural, eco friendly products then Biome has a great kids section where you can pick up a variety of toys and every day items that are perfect for Christmas.

Ecotanicals a WA owned, natural body care products business. You can pick up some great stocking stuffers here for the kids and adults alike and they offer free shipping for orders over $30. Use the code MADEINWA for 10% off your order.

KiwiCo – these STEM based kits are a perfect addition for Christmas. Not only will they get some sneaky learning in there but they are super fun and beautifully packaged, check out my unboxing video below and you can grab a free month from KiwiCo here:

Unboxing KiwiCo Kiwi Crate and Koala Crate - YouTube
Memberships and Event Tickets – I think this is one of the best ways to ensure a wonderful gift without cluttering up your home. Buy an experience! Here in WA you can purchase a family pass to somewhere like Scitech, AQWA or a National Parks Pass. You can also purchase individual tickets to events like a kids theatre show or the movies.

Care Gifts – now this one might not be perfect for every child but a small addition to your gift file from Care Gifts is a great excuse to chat to kids about being thankful for all we have.

Holiday at Boshack Outback along the same lines why not consider a gift for the whole family with a holiday. We love Boshack Outback for getting close to nature and relaxing in their glamping tents. They have offered our readers a discount as well, just use for 7% off any booking using the code BC100.

Op shop/ Gumtree/ Facebook Marketplace – these are my top 3 shopping places this Christmas. We have picked up most our kids gifts in one of these and saved a heap of money. It helps to bulk out their brand new gifts and saves a lot of money. You need to be careful here though that you aren’t using the money saving to buy more stuff and create a clutter issue.

Everyday items – bathers, pyjamas, towels, shoes – we save some of our every day purchases for christmas. My kids love getting items such as bathers with their favourite TV characters on them and because we have always used these as gifts they love receiving them for Christmas and birthdays.

Communified Shop – https://communified.org.au/shop/ There is nothing better than a gift that gives back and whilst young kids won’t really get a donation to charity there is Communified. A not for profit that assists families with children who have long term illness. And their shop has a couple of items that are great for kids as well as a few wonderful adult gifts too. Have a family member who is hard to buy for? Grab them a Communified calendar!

I hope this list has helped you come up with some unique ideas for Christmas that will reduce the clutter and maybe create some inspiration for your kids. Have you got a great idea for a Christmas Kids Gift, comment below!

The post 10 Kids Gifts to Inspire, Educate and Empower without the Clutter appeared first on Sharon Pegrum - Writer and Content Creator.

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Bunbury proved to be a great family getaway and we loved the facilities at Bunbury Seaview Apartments. It had everything a family could need for an extended stay – 2 separate rooms with lush furnishings, a full kitchen, laundry with washer and dryer, lounge area and a second tv in the master suite.

Check out some of our photos from Bunbury and you can read my full blog with all the tips for families here.

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As a busy homeschool mum I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about Phys Ed, my boys are always running about, riding their bikes or swimming in the pool. The only problem with this is I always forget to record any of it for our moderator visits! So, when we discovered Coach Josh I was super excited. We like to focus on things that we truly enjoy and for my 7 year old Coach Josh definitely fits into this category. He devoured all the online videos in one day and then set up a reminder for himself for when the next one would be live.

I was lucky enough to get to chat to Coach Josh about his awesome work so I could share it with you all!

  1. What is it about what you do that brings you joy?

Seeing kids happy and active brings me so much joy.  Mums send in photos and videos of their kids watching and following the Coach Josh activities at home and this is the most rewarding part for me.  I can see that they are having a lot of fun and doing such a great job following the activities.

  1. What prompted you to start Coach Josh TV?

I have been a sports coach for children aged 1.5-6 for a few years now and I wanted to reach more children beyond my local suburbs. My sister in law came to watch me teach a couple of times and she saw how much energy and excitement I put in to every class.  She has a background in film and TV and she instantly said that I have to do something with video.  My fiancée Megan and I started thinking of ideas and we came up with Coach Josh active adventures in an animated world.  We haven’t come across anything like it online, especially not produced in Australia so we are excited to be leading this space.  It’s been at least a year in development with some tried and tested ideas that didn’t quite work but now we have a clear vision for the show.

  1. What do you hope to bring to your viewers with the channel?

My core mission is to get kids up and moving in a fun, exciting way that is also super convenient for Mums, no matter where they are or what they’re doing.  I want to be a role model for young children, helping them to associate physical activity and fitness with joy and creativity.  Each episode also incorporates my 8 Learning Elements, which are colours, numbers, gross motor skills, balance, hand-eye/foot-eye coordination, sound recognition, imagination and following instructions.  Parents can be sure their children are getting a full physical and mental workout!

  1. Where would we find you when you aren’t being Coach Josh?

I’m almost Coach Josh 24/7 because when I’m not filming I’m still the active Coach Josh figure, constantly out and about surfing, adventuring, mountain bike riding, hiking and functional training.  I’m very grateful to do what I do and it’s important to me to be a reflection of what I am encouraging the kids to do.

  1. What are you passionate about?

I love being outdoors and being active as much as possible, especially surfing.  Megan and I are also extremely passionate about holistic living and organic, whole foods.  Megan is a nutritionist so we hope to create a Coach Josh Kitchen series in the future educating and encouraging children to love eating whole, healthy foods from nature (stay tuned!).

  1. What are your plans for the future?

We have big visions for Coach Josh.  We have almost completed season 1, with new episodes being released weekly on Youtube.  As soon as season 1 is finished in the coming weeks we will produce the first DVD with the full ten episodes, then straight on to season 2!  We are currently in discussions with a few streaming on-demand sites so will hopefully be sharing the news about that very soon.  We imagine that we will do live shows down the track and we have plans in place for merchandise and a very exciting book idea!  Anything that will bring value to kids and parents, we are keen to create it.  On a personal level, Megan and I are getting married in April next year, which is exciting and then we hope to have a little one of our own shortly after.  I really can’t wait to be a Dad!

  1. How can our readers find out more about you? 

People can currently watch and subscribe to Coach Josh free on Youtube and they can also purchase episodes to download and watch offline any time on Wayokids.  I would love for Mums and Dads to come and connect with me on Facebook and Instagram, where I share new episode releases and will be doing lots of DVD giveaways very soon!

Like Coach Josh on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/coachjoshtv

Follow Coach Josh on Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/coachjoshtv

Subscribe to Coach Josh on Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTU8A3yuFEw9fecpExufLcg?sub_confirmation=1

Coach Josh Website – www.coachjosh.com.au

Purchase Coach Josh Episodes on Wayokids – www.wayokids.com/coach-josh

The post Coach Josh | Turning Fitness into an Adventure appeared first on Sharon Pegrum - Writer and Content Creator.

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When I first came across Mastura I was inspired by her passion and the vision of what she was creating.

Mastura runs several success ventures – The Wonder Women Project and Missy Lia as well as being a campaigner for inclusion, a fashion and lifestyle influencer and a working mum.

I am thrilled that she has agreed to share some of her story with us and I hope you find some inspiration in her words.

What is it about what you do that brings you joy?

Seeing my vision come to life after the hard work, dedication and planning that goes into the events and behind the scenes, to then watching the connections and positive vibrations echo among the women who attend the events. The feedback and the beautiful connections I see flourishing post event is what brings me joy.

Personally, I get a kick of adrenaline and an internal dopamine high during and after the event which makes me internally grateful for inciting motivation and inpriration to the women who attend. Though the biggest joy I get is when an individual approaches me personally to share that the experience of attending my event has made them feel empowered and has made them realise something they didn’t realise before, that in itself is an unexplainable feeling of achievement and joy.

What prompted you to start the Wonder Women Project?

Being a creative from a young age, following the footsteps of my father who is an Interior Designer and my elder brother who is a Graphic Designer, I knew I wanted to do something creative in a capacity of giving back.

Being part of the fashion industry, I realised there was a big gap in inclusion and diversity when I started out and so I wanted to create a community who were more supportive of each other. I wanted to create a platform and safe place for women to come together and share their experiences in life’s journey, through a supportive network of industrial professionals, experiences we have been through, the adventures we have gone on, the mistakes we have learned from and the hurdles we have overcome.

Highlighting the many boss babes, professional women, entrepreneurial creatives, business owners, startups, small businesses who are making waves in their industry as a source of inspiration to attendees as well as using this as a vehicle for philanthropy and social change. I wanted to create a community of powerhouse women to call my tribe that can lift each other as we climb.

One of the light bulb moments and highlights of my passion turned platform was when I heard Ivy from the power duo at Hunter Rose (one of our very first guest speakers) tell me that she normally doesn’t go into much detail about her story of why she started her business but she felt it was a safe place to share with the women who attended the launch of the Wonder Women Project, the story of her mother passing. I felt humbled and gratifying comfort in knowing that I had indeed created a safe place for women to share their journey of life on my platform

What do you hope to bring to women with your project?

I hope to incite inspiration and motivation in their everyday lives and connect them with women who they can feed off in all aspects of their lives – to turn to without judgement, to speak to when they need, to build relationships professionally and personally and to help them gain in health and wellness, positive growth mindset, confidence, empowerment and self love. I hope to bring together a powerhouse tribe of women for the greater good, to tackle issues and taboo topics as a whole. A community movement of women to come together to network and genuinely connect with other women though philanthropy and creative ventures to build pathways for social change.

Where would we find you when you aren’t working on the Wonder Woman Project?

You will find me working full time as an Internal Relations Officer who handles inhouse accreditation through compliance as well as manages internal and external communications for the company I work for.

I am also a mother to three beautiful kids, therefore majority of my time would be spent with the family and building them up for their future. We are a very family orientated household and so my immediate and extended family are very much part of our lives.

Alongside all of this, I am a fashion and lifestyle influencer at Missy-Lia so you’ll find me being involved in anything fashion and the creative industry at events and in projects in different types of capacities. I like to freelance model, write, content create, creative direct, project manage, event manage and be involved in campaign shoots.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about giving back, about finding our whole self, unapologetically loving oneself, decluttering our minds and our lives, investing in a positive growth mindset, seeing beauty in our natural surroundings, living and eating healthier, feeling good through fitness, being present with our children, getting a handle on your finances, continuously seeking knowledge, increasing of my faith, living a minimal impact waste life, encompassing minimalism, career and dream chasing.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future is to expand the type of events I hold into areas in which I am passionate about involving my professional background and experiences with other fantastic local businesses and bring my events interstate and hopefully internationally. However I am happy to take it slow and build up the powerhouse tribe from Perth first before expanding to other states.

You can find out more about Mastura and the Wonder Women Project on Facebook www.facebook.com/wonderwomenprojectau or on instagram @wonderwomenprojct.

You can also find Mastura’s creative works at www.facebook.com/missyliastyles and on instagram @missylia or read some of her blogs at www.missy-lia.com.

You can also contact Mastura directly at: wonderwomenproject@outlook.com or missy-lia@outlook.com.

If you would like to be featured on my blog get in touch here.

The post Mastura Koelmeyer | Connecting and Empowering Women appeared first on Sharon Pegrum - Writer and Content Creator.

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Hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA)  can be a big decision but today I want to help you simplify the task. 

These tips will help you work out what a VA can do for you and also how you can use them to the best of their abilities and save time and money.

Firstly, you want to work out what task or tasks you need a VA to do. The best question to ask is “What are you finding most challenging in your business?”

These are probably things that:

1) You might not have the expertise to do;

2)  Are beyond your abilities and you find that they are taking up your precious time, or

3) The stuff you don’t actually like.

Straight away you have a list of things you can potentially hand over and free up your time.

Now, it is time to start searching for a good VA. The person that you hire will need to be an expert in these tasks you identified first and foremost. For example, if one of the things you really want someone else to do is to create social media graphics for you, then you need to find someone that understands social media, works in that area regularly and can also use programs that you’re happy with or suggest ones that fit your needs.  

Another thing you can do if you have no idea where to start is to find a business that has a similar interest to you, so not necessarily in the same industry, but has the same values and goals, and ask them who they’re using because their VA may fit well with your business. 

Other things to consider:

What are their rates?  You really want to be getting value for money but at the same time, you don’t want to hire someone at a very low rate who is providing a really low quality standard or taking a really long time to achieve the tasks you need.

For example, if you hire someone who is charging $25 an hour and they take 3 hours to complete a task, yet someone is charging $45 an hour who might be able to do it in less time, then you might be better off paying the higher fee. You also need to consider whether the person is charging a higher amount because their expertise is greater and whether they are going to be able to provide you with a better end result. Factor in as well how much of your precious time you are going to have to spend explaining tasks or following up substandard work. 

What is their turnaround on tasks? This is something that doesn’t necessarily matter for some things but for other tasks, you might want to get things back in a very quick fashion. Is their turnaround time going to work well for you and your needs?

What should you look for:

One of the other things that I think is important is a couple of traits that I believe all VAs should have.

  1. Detail-orientated: The first of these is the ability to follow instructions. One of the best ways to test this and to rule out a lot of applicants straight away is to give a very specific instruction when you ask people to apply. Say something like “if you feel this position would be suitable for you, please email me at {your address} with the subject title you specify eg like VA position application September 2018 (be specific). Straight away, you will probably get a lot of people that will not actually email you at the email address you specify. Straight away, you know they can’t follow a simple instruction. The second step where you have given them a really specific subject line, you will find a lot of people write something else. A VA does need to be very detail-oriented and able to follow instructions. 
  2. Organisation: The second thing that I would be asking of any VA that you decide to hire is how they organize their workflow. So I have a really specific way that I organize my workflow and track all of the clients I work with and their tasks so that I can make sure that things get done in a timely fashion. So I would be asking any prospective VA what systems they have in place to do that. It can be tricky to balance a lot of clients as a VA, I know this, I have 10 regular clients plus casuals so I need to juggle all of these and make sure all of their needs are met.
  3. Communication: The next question that I would ask any VA is how they are going to communicate with you and how you can communicate with them.  I communicate with my clients by email and by Facebook Messenger a lot of the time, but my main forms of communication is Voxxer. If you have a preferred method of communication, then you need to make sure that your VA  is able to use that. For example, I don’t really use WhatsApp, I have a client who does use it when she’s overseas and when that happens, I do check it. However, if I have a client that says to me “WhatsApp is the only way I want to communicate, that’s how I want to work’, that would be troublesome because it’s not something that I’m checking regularly. Consider as well whether there are specific times or days you need your VA to be available. 
  4. References/ Testimonials: It’s also worthwhile when you’re choosing a VA to get some references, you can usually see testimonials on most good VAs’ website. If you have a look at my kind words page, you’ll see, there’s quite a few on there. On top of that, you can actually have a look at how they interact socially. So I would do this by checking out their Facebook page, having a look at the comments on there, and seeing how they reply to those comments. You can also do this in any Facebook groups you are both in. I would also try and look at anything that’s negative and how they reply to that, it’s a great insight. Lastly you can also just do a Google search and have a look and see if you can find anything online or on their social media platforms.

Questions to ask on your discovery call:

Any good VA should at least have an obligation chat with you on the phone. In that time, you should be able to get a really good feel for them. And what I would actually recommend is that you don’t use that time to talk about your business and what you need done, I recommend that you use that time to actually ask questions of your VA.

‘’What’s the most difficult client you’ve ever had?’

‘How do you handle disputes with clients?’

‘What do you do if a client doesn’t pay?’

‘What’s the best qualities that your ideal client would have?’

‘What’s your biggest business achievement?’

You want to know what their values are, what their priorities are, and whether they sit with your own. Of course, you want to know what their actual skills and qualifications are but hopefully you have already discovered this through your initial contact and their website. 

Once you kind of gone through all these things, I think you’ll get a much better idea of what a VA can do for you.

You don’t need to feel apprehensive about talking to several VAs, just be transparent about it. Be honest about what you’re doing and then they can come to you with that clarity and be OKtheir time to talk to you about their business and what they can offer you.

VAs have a big wealth of knowledge, we work with a lot of different businesses and through those, we spend a lot of time honing our skills. So, don’t expect them to give you free advice without paying for their time and knowledge first. Use a discovery call to work out if you are a good fit to work together.

If you are interested in working with me my are of expertise is assisting women with the admin side of their business and their online visibility. I work with women globally and help them build their business online in a lot of different ways, from making sure that their systems are set up well to their clients being happy and well looked after, right up to their online content expressing them authentically. You can get in touch with me here

The post The Comprehensive Guide to Hiring a Virtual Assistant appeared first on Sharon Pegrum - Writer and Content Creator.

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