Why is it Easy to Invest in Others but not in Yourself?

blog32_investinyourself.png

Has anyone every asked you to lend them some money, allow them to crash at yours for a few nights, asked you to play taxi for them etc? Have you ever said no to them? The chances are you haven't or don't as often as you would like to. The thing is we often invest more money, time and energy far more readily in others than we do in ourselves. But, why is this? What is stopping us from pushing ourselves forward, from participating in opportunities which will allow us to grow and develop? Why do we allow ourselves to remain stuck in a rut rather than doing something about it?

I think you can put investment into three categories; money, time and energy. Let's take money first. Financial investments can come in different amounts but just as when purchasing something from an online store, if it is a low amount, you won't think too much about it and will probably pay it if it is under £50 so let's think about something that does require more thought. Think about whether you would spend £2-3000 on a training or educational course? Something which would allow you to develop your existing skills or learning something completely new. Would you do it? Would you say it depends on what the course was for? Maybe if it was to help you change your career and help you get a better job, you'd consider it. Though maybe some of you would say that you could never afford to spend that kind of money on a course. I think if you don't see the value in further training or education then there is little point in investing that kind of money into it. However, if you see expanding your knowledge, understanding and skill set then you see the investment as an opportunity rather than a cost. Furthermore, if we waited until we felt we could really afford things then we'd probably never do many things, having children or pets or buying a house springs to mind.

I think when we're saying we can't afford something this is an excuse, an alternative way of saying I'm not going to spend that kind of money on me because I don't deserve it. And yet you do spend that kind of money. Within a year the average Briton spends £2111 in coffee shops, £303 on cups of coffee and £1600 on takeaways/restaurants. But because this is incremental, you don't perceive it in the same way as you do if you were to spend £2-3K in one go.

Then there are big purchase items like buying a new car, getting the house redecorated, going on holiday. These kinds of things either depreciate immediately, don't necessarily need doing at that precise moment or are forgotten about the minute you get back to work. The thing with buying items like the holiday or a new car is that you tell yourself that you deserve these as a way to justify spending money and that others will benefit from them as well. It is a different justification, one which you judge to be acceptable than were you would be spending the money on learning something new or something that will help you take your career or life to the next level. After all, it might not lead anywhere and whilst you might have found it interesting, what have you got to show for it? Would you ever consider spending that amount purely on the basis that you'd have fun whilst doing it? Possibly not, because whilst we are conditioned for it to be acceptable to spend that level of money on a holiday to Spain for example, that seems like an acceptable societal norm whereas spending it on training or further development seems like it is being self-indulgent. Is that what it really is or is it a specific belief you hold or how you would judge others if they did this?

A question which arises when it comes to thinking about investing money is yourself is, if you don't then what will it cost you? Will there be a long-term financial cost to you? For example, if you don't invest in training in say property if that's what interests you, will it cost you more if you buy a property but don't know who to maximise rental incomes? Yes, you probably could do many things on your own but there are also many mistakes that you could make by not knowing something which you could have learnt much earlier. Do we get swept away in a false economy mentality?

The next time you see something you might want to do but the cost might be putting you off, dig deep as to what this is really about? What beliefs are you holding that are preventing you from investing financially in yourself? Do you not think you are worth it? Might it lead to better things if you did?

The next element is the time it might take to learn something new or to develop an existing skill. You've been at work all day, so people question whether they actually have the time to learn something or do something different. I've done many training events that happen over the weekend, so I've been at work all week, go off on a two-day weekend event and return to work on the Monday again. Yes, it is hard work and I didn't really have the time but because personal development is important to me, I made the time. Other things that would normally be done on those days could wait or were just not necessary (house work springs to mind here for me, it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things.)

We often tell ourselves that we don't have time but what we're really saying is this isn't important enough to me or I'm not important enough to spend time doing this. If you broke your time down outside of your work hours, you'd probably find that you spend your time reading magazines, playing Call of Duty, watching Netflix or zoning out and doing absolutely nothing. There is time in the day to do things which are relaxing or let you switch off but there is also time in the day to learn and develop, to move your life forward in the direction you want rather than drifting along doing things out of habit rather than out of love. It's about using your time more consciously and effectively, choosing to listen to an audio book on your daily commute or lunch break. Spending an hour after you have had your tea developing your craft. Watching an educational video instead of watching East Enders. I challenge you to be able to find at least one hour per week to spend on your personal or career growth. I think you could find more but for now stick with freeing up an hour.

The final element is energy. Sometimes you're never going to feel like doing it because you don't have the energy to do so. Your week has been so bad at work that you don't feel like learning or practicing something because you're just too tired.  But it is amazing just how we can make ourselves do something for others if they asked. Even when the activity we want to participate in we know will be beneficial to us and which once we get started, we will enjoy, we talk ourselves out of it because we're more concerned by how we are feeling in that exact moment. We're more concerned with immediate gratification rather than thinking about longer term gains. Maybe this is because we have doubts about the outcomes, think it will end in failure or will require more effort than you're prepared to put in right now. Sometimes I wonder if we don't have the energy in as a form to stop ourselves from trying just in case we do fail because we don't expect it to work out in the way we want. Why waste energy for something when there is no guarantee of success or if it’s not what we really want in the first place, but we don't want to admit that to ourselves or to anyone else?

Whether it's time, money or energy we have to be honest with ourselves as to what is holding us back. Is it fear of failure, of the judgements of others, of the unknown, what is it? Is it because you feel you're not worthy, that you don't deserve to spend any of those resources on something that is purely for you? Though your happiness and personal growth can have a positive impact on others as well, you view spending these three elements primarily on yourself unpalatable. Consider why you would invest in others so easily but not in yourself?

If you look at people who are successful in business, sports, arts etc, they all make an effort to invest in themselves with money, time and energy by accessing coaching, mentoring, continuing with their professional development and constantly learning. Their success doesn't come by them staying as they are and stagnating, it comes from continual investment in themselves.

The next time you are face with an opportunity to invest in you, don't think about it, just do it and see what happens. You wouldn't hesitate if it was for someone else so why miss out when it's for you? It doesn't have to be hard to invest in yourself, it is your time, your money and your energy; you don't have to wait for permission to invest in you. If you get out of your own way, you’ll find it is just as easy to invest in yourself as it is in others.

If there is a passion you want to pursue, a hobby you want to turn into business own or learn something just for the fun of it, invest the time, money and energy in yourself. Life is too short to play it safe or not do something you love. You deserve it.

Who's on Your Island with You?

blog31_whosonyourisland.jpg

I often talk about the importance of having a support network, of ditching the toxic people in your life. I understand that this might be difficult to do and if they are family members, it might be impossible to do but you can choose how much time you spend with them or how much you listen to them. You can move yourself away from them by spending more time with people who have your back, who give you their support with no expectation of anything in return.

This is what a support network is. It consists of people who will call you out when what you're doing goes against both their and your values. They are not afraid to challenge you directly and whilst the truth might hurt, the respect you have for each other means you value their honesty and take on-board what they are saying because you know their intention is positive and from genuine concern. You don't want to be surrounded by people who agree with everything you say; you are not always right, and your way is not only the right way.

Think about if you're stuck on a desert island, who would you want to have on there with you? Who would not only help you survive but would help you thrive? Who would not only give you physical support but be there for you emotionally?

Of course, the support network is not just about you getting support from others but you giving it as well and being there for others that need it. Are you the person you want and need other people to be for you? The support flows both ways when needed.

Now I'm not saying that if you see people floundering in the water you don't go out to help them and bring that on to dry land. But sometimes you'll get people who will keep going back out and don't learn. You'll try to rescue them again and again, but they keep doing their own thing and will keep letting you drag them back in. These are the toxic people I was telling you about, they'll sap all your energy if you let them to the point you'll feel like you are drowning. Sometimes you must accept you've done as much as you can and let them go on their way.

You want people who you can call on no matter what time of day or not. To be there when the person needs it, not just when they want to give it. If you think of your network right now, do you have people like in your life right now? You might have different people you can call upon in different areas of life; a different support network for work or business and one for in life in general.

 Do you feel comfortable going to your network of support and asking for help? If not, then what is preventing you from doing so? When was the last time you did ask for help? What was your outcome? How easy do you make it for others to ask you for help?

If you don't have a support network, then how do you go about creating one? You do it by being there for others, connecting with people, showing up authenticity and integrity. If you know someone struggles to ask for help, then volunteer what you can offer by way of support. Model a way of being and build that trust. It's not all about the money or physical things. Think about what you could offer to the support network of others. Support comes in the form of being there to listen, to hold someone to account, to tell someone they are out of order by what they just did. Support is about encouraging them to go forward, not to hold them back. Behind every successful person, there is a great support network.

So, think about who you have in your corner, who will have your back or who do you want on that island with you? Consider how you might be showing up with the support you are offering, are you the support you'd want to receive and benefit from?

Reflections on the 30-Day Blog Challenge

blog30_30daychallenge.png

Hard to believe but the end of the challenge is here, today’s is blog number 30!!! Looking back, I was naive when I set the 30-Day Blog Challenge; I didn't appreciate how all-consuming it would become or just how hard it would be to write something that had to be purposeful and contain good, valuable content. Here's my reflections on some of the things I have I learnt from the process. I am sure, as time passes and I have more time to reflect upon it, there'll be other things that come up.

From the Writing itself:

When I wasn't actually writing it, I was planning, making notes or thinking about the one I was writing or the one I would be writing the next day. Although, I did write two blogs in one day with the intention of giving myself a break on one occasion, it never actually happened the way I planned and ended up writing every day. This was a good thing in one sense because it was useful in developing a writing habit, but it was also relentless. The original plan was for the blogs to be 500 words but the reality of this, was that it is quite difficult to write about some things within such a word count. On the positive side, what it has shown is that I can write in excess of 30, 000 words within a month; my hat goes off to those who do the NaNoWriMo challenge where they are committed to writing 50k words in 30 days (if you've never heard of this, just Google it, their dedication is totally amazing.)

When you are in the flow of writing, it is a wonderful feeling. I get into a similar state when I am having a coaching session. It is about being fully present in the activity, everything that is going on around you is filtered out and you are creating a state of utmost joy and connection with what you are doing or the person you are working with. If you have not experienced the state of flow, then you are missing out and I would encourage you to pursue something wholeheartedly where you can achieve this state. For those of you that have, you'll know what I am talking about and I'd be interested to hear more about what activities generate this feeling for you.

The time of the writing was important, I seemed to be more productive when writing in the morning, though sometimes this was not always possible. There were also a couple of times when I pulled late nighters which really put me under pressure so that it could be posted online before midnight. This has implications now when it comes to working on some other aspects of my business, anything creative or on the admin side of things. Maybe you find you work better, more effectively at certain times of the day.

I also realised that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. It would have been very easy to get too hung up on the post being perfect before I published it. However, you can keep editing, re-writing and always thinking of something else in an effort to make them perfect. In the end, I reached the point that they didn’t need to be perfect, they needed to be out there. Trying to be perfect is another way to procrastinate.

Focus:

I'm not going to lie, maintaining focus was difficult at times but it helped knowing what the end goal was and what I needed to do each day. Breaking the task down into smaller chunks helped with avoiding overwhelm. If I'd have said at the start, I need to write 30k words in a month, this would have been quite daunting. It's a bit like going on a journey, imagine sailing around the world, going from the Portsmouth to Sydney in Australia. You aren't going to be able to do it in one go but if you plan stop off points and stay on course, you'll eventually get there. Yes, it will be hard work, and require a lot of effort. There'll even be some storms along the way, times when you feel like giving up and stopping, but if you keep focused and don't lose sight of reaching Sydney, you'll be happy when you pull into the harbour and see the Opera House, just as the sun is setting.

I knew what I needed to do and my reasons for fulfilling the challenge, this helped me maintain my focus.

Commitment:

In my very first blog I spoke about declaring your goals and I did this when it came to doing this challenge. I made a commitment to you as the reader, highlighting my intention and I also made a commitment to myself to complete the challenge. Sometimes it is hard to remain committed but whilst I might have questioned the purpose behind what I was doing when the going got tough, I never thought of giving up. Neither did I ever think about missing a day and not posting anything, even if no one would have noticed, it would have felt like I was cheating; that's not me.

Accountability:

It is easy to underestimate the importance of accountability. It is a very powerful tool and one which I encourage others to use if they are facing their own challenge and wanting to achieve a specific goal. I set this challenge with a fellow coach, Chris, and we held each other to account. No matter what time of day we emailed each other to announce the completion of the daily task. We discussed how we were both finding it, because not only were we accountability partners on this journey but we provided each other with support when it was needed. For me, being held to account by a peer was crucial to help me maintain my focus, remain committed and getting the job done. It is why accountability within a coaching session is a vital component to achieving the outcome you want.

Emotional Side:

Sometimes it was difficult and some days, I didn't want to write, I just wasn't in the mood for it. But there are times in your life when you don't want to do something, and you do it anyway. The whole month was a roller coaster of emotions. To start with, there was the excitement of the challenge, a few days in the realisation of this was going to be tougher than I thought it was. After a week, it was a case of "OMG, what the hell have you done? You are not going to do this." Mid way, it was the relief that I was half way through and maybe this was a survivable activity. Then with a week to go, it was back to despair, "what am I going to write about now?!" I'll admit there were a couple of days when I was just down right ratty. Looking back, I think the last week was the toughest, because you know you're close to finishing and part of your mind is rushing off ahead to what life will be like once this is over and it takes more of an effort to remain focused.

I did find that when I wasn't in the mood for writing a way to get around this was to use pen and paper rather than using the computer to write. The tactile nature of writing on paper was much more productive at getting the creative juices flowing and help me to find my voice and tell a story. I wonder if the slower, more sensual pace of this process actually helps to quieten the mind so that it is focused more on what you are trying to convey? Who knows? But I do know this, it helped me overcome any periods of writers’ block which is what I wanted it to do.

Now this is the last day, my emotions are mixed. In one sense I will miss elements of the challenge so there is a tinge of sadness. There is another part of me that is looking forward to switching off thinking about writing every day. I am immensely proud of what Chris and I have achieved and how we have gone about this challenge. I am amazed at just how much I have written in this relatively short amount of time. And I enjoyed the creative element side of it, and I think as people, we need to have an opportunity to express our creativity in one form or another for the good of our emotional well-being. I hope that you can find inspiration, not only from the blogs themselves, but in doing a challenge of your own if there is something you are wanting to achieve. It is a great way to stop procrastinating and get cracking on with something important to you.

Support:

Whilst I was the sole writer of these blogs, I had the support of others around me and it highlighted once again the importance of having people in your corner. They encourage, question and push you along, especially in this instance, when writing was a struggle. My biggest support is my husband who is also manages all things IT for me; I know I drive him mad at times and there were a couple of times when I was ‘threatened’ with him downing tools if I didn't have the post ready for him by a certain time. Of course, he uploaded it to the website no matter what the time was, but it just shows that you can't or don't have to do everything by yourself, there will always be someone you can call upon for support.

Next steps:

Now we are at the end of the 30-Day Blog Challenge, what now? Well, I won't be writing blog posts on a daily basis, but I am committed to maintaining a writing habit and posting new content weekly. My purpose for writing the blogs was for you to hear my voice and stories, to get to know more about me and who I am as a person and as a Career and Life Coach. I wanted to give you different knowledge and perspectives, tools to use in your everyday lives. I wanted you to gain a better understanding of what life coaching is and that coaching is accessible to everyone and for whatever challenge they want to tackle in their life.

Coaching is not a self-indulgent activity because you are worth the investment in time and money. It is a tool like any other, a way to make things easier and more efficient at dealing with a problem or challenge. It is a way to help you getting from where you are now to where you want to be. You need coaching so long as the problem still exists; once the solution is found and you are achieving your outcome, you no longer need it. Hopefully I have provided you with something that you can and will use, as well as giving you a greater insight into coaching.

I am interested to hear if there are any particular areas you would like me to discuss going forward. I would also be keen to get your feedback on any of the blogs, you can email me at ruth@rlcoachingsolutions.co.uk if you do want to share.

Are you Following Your Dreams?

blog29_dreambig.png

It has taken many years and a lot of time doing what is popularly called "personal development" work to get where I am today. Along the way I feel I have grown as a person. I have made changes, not just been in my career, but the things I have learnt during that time and the perspectives I have gained as part of that journey.

I come from a small town in West Yorkshire, the area is traditionally a mining community, though this being the main industry ceased long ago. Growing up I was surrounded by salt of the earth people who told you things as they were. The notion of personal development would not have been on their radar at all and I don't remember many of them ever talking about the dreams or ambitions they had. I grew up, like so many others around me, in a working-class environment. The values instilled in me from my parents reflected the time period and environment. I was encouraged to be independent and make my own choices. These are values which influence me today, and my drive to grow comes from wanting to do better in all areas of my life on my terms.

Whilst at school my aim was to be a police officer, when this didn't happen, I can't say I had a dream to focus upon. In looking back now, being a police officer probably wasn’t a dream because if it was, why didn’t I apply again in the years that followed? Up until about five years ago, I don’t think I felt I had the dream career I was striving towards and I certainly wasn’t ambitious in anything other than wanting to be as good as I could be, in whatever role I did.  As I have previously spoken about, my careers really flowed from one to another through necessity rather than following a particular dream.

As kids we used to have dreams all the time. It didn't matter that people around us told us it wasn't possible. We used our imagination to create these dreams with no idea how to make them come true. Now as adults, we have the ability to know how to find a way but have given up on creating our dreams. We have become bogged down by the trappings of life, following daily routines of living in the moment, that we don't even really think about our future lives.

Let yourself dream again just like you did as a child. Dream big because you can. It doesn't matter if it seems unattainable right at this moment, there will be a way to achieve it. I never imagined being involved with two businesses five years ago. Whilst I didn't know every detail on how to build them, it soon became apparent once I started what I needed to do, how to do or where to get the knowledge from.

My dreams now are to keep building the businesses because I love what we do, to eventually live by the sea and write a crime fiction book. I know what I need to do that so it's a case of working on it step by step. My dreams aren't that big in terms of them requiring lots of different or complicated elements, but they are big in their importance to me.

It’s possible to share a dream with someone else; a partner, a family member or a friend; doing so will strengthen the connection between you and you’ll provide each other with support. If you do share a dream, I think it makes it even more special.

What are your dreams, and have you figured out your journey to achieving them? Your dreams are worth having but they also require you to put the effort in and keep working on them. At present, we live in an on-demand society; everything is at our fingertips, food we order by pressing a button, endless tv shows right when you want them, items delivered within an hour of being ordered. Your dreams won’t be achieved instantaneously, but they will happen if you remain focused and work hard on them. They will be worth the wait. A word of warning though, make sure you are following your dreams and not someone else’s.

And, if you don't have any, then bring out your inner child and create some new dreams.

7 Steps to Create Balance in Your Life

blog28_lifebalance.png

It is very easy to feel overwhelmed in life, not having a moment to yourself, not doing the things you love and spending too much time working, doing long hours in the office and then more at home. Creating balance within your life is about making conscious choices and behaving differently. Generally, when it comes to our lives being out of balance, it is because we spend too much time doing work related activities at the expense of our home life, our relationships or our health. If you feel that you don't have the right work/home life balance, then here are 7 steps to create balance in your life:

  1. Explore where you are in your life right now. Use the Wheel of Life to help you assess what's working well for you, which areas are giving you the greatest satisfaction or happiness. In doing this exercise, you'll be able to see at a glance which areas aren't positively contributing to the life you want, and which areas are the primary cause of the imbalance. As you complete the wheel, think about how much time you are spending at work or doing work or how many hours you are putting in each week. Are you getting the opportunities to relax, doing the things you love with the people important to you? Are you living a healthy lifestyle?
    Download PDF
  2. Identify what your priorities are. You can't do everything, there's not enough time in the day. Tackling the lowest scoring areas within The Wheel of Life first to create balance, and thus an easier life, determine what your top three priorities are within those areas. What do you need to focus on and what do you need to do?
  3. Once you have identified what you need to do, create SMART goals for those priorities and a step by step plan to achieve them. Then get working on them. Check out the blog post on SMART Goals if you want to know more.
  4. It might seem ridiculous but if you are struggling because of the perceived lack of time, it is useful to create a schedule for everything in your life. You might be used to time management in the workplace and structuring your work around a diary is essential, so why wouldn't you use a similar structure for your home life. When you are pretty full on and busy all the time, it is easy to be all consumed by work. No thought is given to you doing the things you enjoy, to having time to yourself. Each day becomes like the previous one, evenings and weekends fly by without you feeling like you have done anything, let alone achieved something.

    Try scheduling the priorities you have identified, creating a commitment to time to get those things done. Schedule activities such as time for you, relaxing, recharging your batteries, engaging in self-care etc. A schedule helps you commit to the time, it helps you make the conscious choice and be fully present in the activity you have scheduled. If you don't schedule things in, then more often than not, you won't do it; the habit of working, reaching for the wine bottle, sitting watching tv. zoning out or making a token effort will be the overriding behaviour. Why don't you try scheduling in a romantic meal with your partner each week, quality play time with the children, meeting up with your friends, a super relaxing bath, watching a movie you have been wanting to watch for some time? These small commitments can make a massive difference when creating greater balance in your life and helps you reconnect with the things that are important to you and your priorities.

  5. Be prepared to move out of your comfort zone. You don't want to be playing it safe all the time. If you want to have a more rounded, balanced life, you've got to make the right decisions to do so and not fear the consequences. We create the imbalance between our work and home life but at what cost? The job will still be there if you leave it once your shift has finished. Though for some people spending all their time working is a distraction strategy because maybe they don't like their own company, don't have any hobbies or interests, don't want to think about making changes because they don't know where to start. They are comfortable doing this, but are unhappy and in the end, it will be detrimental to their physical and emotional well-being.
  6. Create flexibility in your thinking and behaviour. No matter how much you plan or create balance in your life, something unexpected will happen. How you respond to this will determine what the outcome will be. But if you have learnt strategies for creating balance, you'll be in a better frame of mind and state to be able to deal with unexpected events. You won't be too tired or stressed out and will be able to respond effectively. You'll be able to come up with alternative solutions to problems, to bounce back quicker and not become overwhelmed by issues that are sometimes beyond your control.
  7. Have the right mindset. I have previously written about the power of positivity and about being responsible for your life, and both are important when it comes to creating the right balance between home life and work. What are you working for if you don't have time to spend the money you are earning? If you don't have any time to recover, to recharge, then how effective are you going to be when you are at work? Not working every hour you can, is not a negative reflection on you. Ask yourself, why you are not creating balance in your life? If your life has become all work, work, work, why is this and what are you going to do about it? You are in control of creating your future life. If you don't have balance, it is because you are choosing this, choose to do something different.

"Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life"

- Dolly Parton

Standing Out in a Crowded World

blog27_standingout.png

One of the challenges when starting out your own business, creating a new venture, being seen within at work for the effort you put in or if you're looking for a new partner is how to put yourself out there. In doing so you leave yourself open to criticism or judgement, to make mistakes, for things not to work out and to see the "I told you so faces" all around you. Having worked in the public sector for so long, I did not have an internet presence at all. You would not have found me through doing a Google search which suited me at the time, and in a way suits my introvert nature. But, if I keep myself hidden in the shadows, how will people know exist, what I stand for or who I am?

We live in a crowded world, both in the real and digital worlds, it can be difficult to stand out and make yourself heard and seen. In business, there will be other companies which sell the same products or offer the same services you do; this doesn't mean there isn't space for you or that you're not going to achieve success. There is enough business for everyone.

At work perhaps there are a lot of people with similar skills, qualifications, experiences and skills to you but if you go for a promotion you've no chance of getting it because the competition is so high, but not everyone is exactly the same so why couldn’t you be the one that is right person at that moment in time? Maybe you see others getting recognition at work when you work just as hard, if not harder. Sometimes it is difficult to shout about your strengths, especially if you're one of those that just think you're doing your job and to point out to others anything they don't already see already would just be bragging. It took me a long time to acknowledge that there are things I am very good at. There are many things that are works in progress and I do make a lot of mistakes, but rather than focusing on them, the focus for me is on the elements which make me stand out. Give yourself permission to get the credit and recognition you deserve; if people don’t see it initially, point it out to them, sometimes they can’t see what is directly in front of them.

I can't tell you how to stand out in your world, but as a Career and Life Coach I would help you figure it out. However, I can tell you how I am trying to do it. For me, standing out means demonstrating my values through how I show up in every aspect of my life; how I behave, what I say and do. I use my genuine curiosity to engage with others, I use imagination to help people go beyond their existing realms of possibility and support them in enhancing what makes them different in order to create their stand out life.

I don't stand out for what I am wearing or how I look, though maybe to other people that is why I do. It’s not about how many followers I have on social media. Or what car I drive, where I live or my accent…it’s definitely a Yorkshire one, so if you don’t like that, then I am not for you. I aim to stand out through the integrity of my work, by pushing myself when it's unbelievably uncomfortable and by being authentically me. Some people won't like me, some people will probably sit there in judgement, but I figure I am not going to please everyone, and I can't coach everyone anyway. In a coaching session it's not about me, I don't need to stand out then, it's all about you.

In fact, do I need to stand out in the crowded world? I only need to stand out to the people who value education, entertainment and who want to take their life to the next level. I need to stand out to those people who are wanting to make changes in their career or life. If you're ready to make that change then you'll find me; because, whilst I might not have had an internet presence before, I do now.

I don’t want to stand out because I am a better coach, there are lots of great coaches in the world. I want to stand out to you because I am different. I know what it’s like to work in both the private and public sectors. I have been where you are right now. I understand your world; the ups and downs, the laughs from the dark humour you use to survive the stresses, the sense of purpose you have and the heartache that it’s no longer the job or role you’re passionate about and love. I know what it’s like to want to change aspects of your life, and then to do something about it.

Creating these blogs was part of the process of giving my voice a platform for those that want to listen, putting myself out there and being more visible. And if you've been reading these blogs, you'll have learnt much more about me and my life, you decide whether I am worth connecting with, listening to or whether I am the right coach for you.