Category Archives: – Confidence Building

Customer comments

How To Use Customer Comments To Improve Your Business

Customer comments are great for your business: they’ll let you know what needs fixing (if anything), and how urgently. Feedback comes in a variety of forms, such as reviews, the results of online surveys, blogs, social media posts and email campaigns, which means  there are plenty of opportunities to get your hands on some.

But how can they help you to improve your business? Continue reading

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Cut down on Christmas stress eating and get a head start on 2016

Free download to help you to cut down on Christmas stress and control your eating in December

Thanksgiving is over, and that dreadful shopping bunfight known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which seem to have made their way across the pond whether we like them or not.

Whether you joined in enthusiastically with these events or let them pass you by, one thing is sure – now that they are over it is emphatically Christmas season.   And with Christmas planning comes Christmas stress.

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De stress in December – with Shutterstock

For most mums the first 24 days of December are a whirlwind at best, with all manner of stress thrown in for good measure. There is shopping and wrapping to be done, cards and other greetings to be sent. There are parties, plays, assemblies and fairs to attend at the children’s schools, some requiring donations or clever dressing up costumes. There is secret Santa, maybe a visit to the real Santa, plus planning for the holidays.

No matter how organised we try to be in advance it seems to sneak up earlier each year and something will always catch us by surprise.

During this time it is no wonder that our eating can get out of control. There s so much nice food around at this time of year and so little time to plan and cook healthy meals. Throw in a work Christmas party or two, and a couple of buffets at the children’s events and it starts to get silly.  A few extra glasses of wine & some nibbles in front of the telly in the evenings?  Of course, why not, after all haven’t you earned them? And then of course Christmas itself: eat, drink and be merry – it would be rude not to.

Please somebody help me!

I have only two wishes in December – the first is to try to carve out just a little bit of quiet me time each day, so that I don’t completely lose the plot, and secondly I wish that I could control my eating just a little bit, so that when I start the inevitable weight loss quest in January I’m starting from a better place. Does this sound like you?

My friends at Thinking Slimmer  have come up with a genius idea. Their Christmas download takes just 9 minutes  a day to listen to. During this time  you are encouraged to relax, unwind and de-stress. It’s a wonderful short break out of a busy day.

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But not only that, the purpose of the download is to retrain your brain so that  you control your eating and drinking over the Christmas season.  You can still have lots of fun and attend every party, but you may find that you are turning down that extra mince pie and little drinkie here and there. You may even find yourself wanting to take care of yourself and do a bit more exercise over the course of the month.

 

For me this is win-win. Even I can find 9 minutes each day and the relaxation does  me the power of good. Last year I got through December and didn’t put on a single pound – this is definitely a first for me.  So I will be listening every day this month – the children get their daily Advent calendar chocolate and I get my daily 9 minute chill out. So we are all happy!

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This probably sounds too good to be true, but Thinking Slimmer Slimpods have been clinically proven to work and an NHS consultant calls them “profound and life changing”.

And best of all, I am allowed to give this special Christmas download away for free to my friends between now and 10th December. So if you would like to join me, reducing your stress and keeping control of your eating during the next few weeks, then download your copy here.

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Looks like she downloaded her Christmas stress pod

Please share this blog with anybody else that you think would like to cut down on their Christmas stress, as I would love to give away a download to every stressed mum in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter. Then we can all relax and have a Merry Christmas.

 

How to deal with Redundancy when Supporting a Family

The crushing, dispiriting worry of the threat of redundancy is only enhanced when you have a family to care for. The result could be a change of lifestyle to lessen the frequency of treats and toys, or even clothing and food. However, if several steps are taken early in the process the fallout from being made redundant might not be quite so damaging.

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Consultation process

Your company may have certain obligations to those being made redundant, depending on the circumstances. Your redundancy notice period will be based upon your length of time spent at the company. That spell of notice gives you time to start applying for jobs, give your CV an overhaul, network and start making plans. It might mean a spell of working part time or somewhere that is not ideal, but that’s better than unemployment.

Your (soon to be ex) place of work has certain obligations that it must make towards you. For example, you may be offered  ‘suitable alternative employment’  if it exists, and you may lose your right to statutory redundancy pay if you turn it down. You should be allowed time off to attend job interviews or visit the JobCentre, which has a Rapid Response Service for those affected or potentially affected by redundancy.

Your redundancy payout will also soften the blow of unemployment temporarily – use this redundancy tool to find out your legal minimum entitlement.

Benefits after Redundancy

Help is available for any period of unemployment. The Government is in the process of merging several of the main benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Child Tax Credit and Income support into Universal Credit.

JSA can sometimes be means-tested, meaning that the amount you receive could be based on national insurance contributions from previous years.

You should be claiming tax credits already if your children are under the age of 16. Child Tax Credit and Childcare Tax credit are not the same thing – the latter may be available if your children spend their days at a registered nursery/childminder.

If things are still tight you may need to come to an arrangement to sort out finances. For more information on benefits visit the CAB website. In certain circumstances JobCentre money might also be available towards vocational training.

Planning finances

For a brief period your bank account may look better than ever before, but don’t go booking holidays to the Caribbean just yet. Your strategy should be to use your money to make sure that the most important things are covered, paying particular heed to anything that could damage your credit rating if not maintained such as mortgages, loans and credit cards. It could also be used further down the line for re-training or changing career.

If you are concerned, eliminate any superfluous outgoings such as subscriptions. It might be emotionally difficult to deny your children their usual treats, but with careful explanation that it is only temporary and that the cinema nights/trips to Pizza Hut might have to be a little less frequent – or put on hold for a spell – this can be managed relatively painlessly.

Instead, look for cheaper ways of entertaining your youngsters – if necessary get up early to hunt for online offers and vouchers. Many restaurants offer two for one deals, or kids eating for free. Also consider car sharing with another parent who takes the same route to drop the kids off to school, to save money on petrol.

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When redundancy is mentioned, it is always a stressful time, from the moment when the threat of redundancy is first mentioned until the moment when the dust settles and you find a new job. But with a little thought and planning the stress can be minimised, and for many looking back the redundancy heralds the start of something new and better.

5 Ways To Get Into Marketing

Marketing is an extremely competitive industry – but don’t let that put you off pursuing your dreams because there are several routes into it and a variety of roles available to you.

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Marketing is more important now than ever before, and as a result, most businesses tend to have a marketing team. This means there is the chance to get a good job in a variety of businesses and locations.

That said, location is important and there is likely to be far more competition for a role in London than there is for an equally good role (like the ones here) in Sheffield.

Whether you are about to leave school, or simply considering a career change, here are five ways that you can get into marketing wherever you are:

  1. A Degree
    A degree is not essential – but that doesn’t mean it won’t help! Obviously Marketing and Advertising is a good choice, but the likes of Business Studies and Economics, Politics, English or History are all relevant – basically courses that require creativity and excellent communication skills.
  2. Internships and work experience
    It is not just about qualifications anymore – employers want to see real experience – so gain valuable skills and knowledge through internships or work experience. This way you can also meet the people who are doing the roles you would like to do and find out how they got into it.It is also a good idea to get experience both in-house and in-agency, in different areas of marketing, so you can get an idea of your strengths and the area you would prefer to work in, as well as being able to show an overall understanding of the marketing industry. Make yourself invaluable to the company and you could find it turns into a permanent job role!
  3. Graduate Schemes
    Although extremely competitive to get onto, a graduate scheme is a great way to get into marketing. It will enable you to continue to learn as you start to earn, so you can get real hands-on experience at a creditable company. If successful in the programme you can accelerate your career opportunities much faster than you could in a junior role.
  4. Professional entry with CIM qualifications
    The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the world’s largest professional body of marketers and offers the most recognised qualifications in marketing. This professional qualification often carries more value for an employer than an undergraduate degree. There are courses whatever stage you are at in your marketing career – from a foundation certificate in marketing to a chartered postgraduate diploma in marketing.
  5. Be creative and stand out from the crowd
    Marketing is a creative industry so potential employers will want to see that you are creative. Use your social media, think outside the box with your application, and set up a blog. Make sure they all show that you are up to date with the latest developments in the industry and have all the skills that are required to fill such a role.

Whether you are just leaving school and looking into potential career opportunities, or are looking to step onto a different ladder which will lead to a new and exciting career – it’s worth looking into all the above. Work out which is best for your situation and you will have a career in marketing in no time!

Thinking Slimmer

Drop Two Dress sizes for Summer – giveaway

Am I the only one who was surprised by the sudden burst of hot weather?  It always seems to sneak up on me.  One minute we are hiding under as many layers of blankets as possible and then suddenly Bam! It’s Summer and baring all is the latest thing.

I am much better prepared this year though.  I am back to my Thinking Slimmer programme, listening to my Slimpod each night and writing down my positives.  Since I found this programme a couple of years ago it is the only way that I will ever choose to lose weight.

Life is too short for dieting.  Yes I want to look good for summer and I will, but I want to have fun while I do it and not stress about what i am eating and how it fits in with the children and my life.  So the nightly whispers from my Slimpod are helping me to choose healthy food and to move my body more each day.  It’s slower than other weight loss methods that I have tried but it is so much more sustainable and less of a hassle to fit in with my family.

Slowly but surely, I think and I get slimmer. It’s fun and it works!

If you would like to try the Slimpod method of losing weight, now is your chance.

Please fill in the Rafflecopter below and you could win your own Drop 2 Dress sizes Slimpod, worth £29.99, which is the pod responsible for the results that you can  see.

There are 10 more chances to win a Slimpod this week – all on different blogs  –  check out the list of competitions at the Slimpod Treasure Hunt page

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Listed on Loquax
Competitions at ThePrizeFinder – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/drop-2-dress-sizes-slimpod#sthash.AjXq6IHw.dpuf

 

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Younique Cosmetics has arrived in the UK – join us?

Younique Cosmetics is an American MLM business which launched in the UK on October 1st 2014.   I have joined the company and you can see my website here:

https://www.youniqueproducts.com/DebbieO Continue reading

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What are Habits?

Are you aware of how many habits you actually have? Probably not because a habit is something that is performed in your subconscious. It is only when you are trying to form or break a habit that you become aware of your actions. Habits can be seen as both good and bad things. This will depend on how they are affecting your life.

Some of the habits you already have include all your daily routines such as:

  • Getting dressed
  • Taking a shower
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Knowing exactly how to get to and from work
  • Washing the dishes
  • Doing the laundry
  • Making your bed after getting dressed…and the list goes on

You don’t even have to think about these things as your mind has become accustomed to your routine. Can you imagine the effort needed to actively remember how to do each step of those chores? You would end up completely exhausted at the end of every day.

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Problems arise when you are trying to form a new habit. You may want to lose 10 pounds, or you wish that your kitchen counters would be less cluttered. Both of these take time and effort to change. To keep those counters clear you would need to form a habit of finding homes for those items. This might include filing your bills, getting the kids to not leave their homework there. Or having everyone put their dishes into the dishwasher each night.

These are all small things, but you need to set up a routine so you can keep your kitchen clean and tidy. Research indicates that it takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks to form a good habit. This means for one month you need to make a huge effort into performing these tasks. After this time the effort will seem like less, just because your mind is becoming accustomed to your new actions.

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If you are trying to form a good habit it can be extremely helpful to have reminders around your home. For example if you want to lose weight to fit into a specific garment, leave your dress or trousers out where it acts as a reminder. Another idea is to write notes and leave them around your home. Maybe on the fridge door, so when you feel like snacking, you are reminded of why you are trying to lose weight.

If exercising is your new habit, remind yourself during the day that when you get home you are going to enjoy a walk. View the task as something enjoyable, not something that has to be done. This way you will look forward to getting home and walking after dinner. Remember that the more you repeat this process the quicker the habit will form.

You can find out more about changing bad habits and acquiring good ones in my new ebook The Incredible Power of Habit   now available in the Mum’s the Boss bookstore

How the World Sees You

Find out How the World sees You – take this 5 minute free test

How the World Sees You – great new book and business concept by Sally Hogshead

Branding expert and leading authority on the science of fascination, Sally Hogshead, is publishing her new book How the World Sees You on July 1.

How the World Sees You

To celebrate the insights gained from a decade of research, she is launching Project Fascination with the goal of showing 100,000 people how their personalities add value.

As a part of this project, she’s given me a special code (BL-MOTIVATINGMUMUK) to share with to you. The first 100 people who use it to take her Fascination Advantage® assessment will receive the assessment for free! This has never been done before, and will only last until September 5.

I took the test, and apparently I am a Rockstar, communicating with Innovation and Passion. This really rings true for me, and the pdf report that Sally sent after I completed the survey had quite a few insights that will definitely help me to use my strengths (and move away from my weak areas) in order to commuicate better.

 

Archetype Matrix

There are 49 different Personality types – download the Archetype matrix above to see them all.  I was fascinated to read about them all, and I would be very interested to know which one you are. Please use one of my 100 free codes and take the test yourself – it takes about 5 minutes, and i guarantee you will learn something interesting from it.

Simply go to www.howtheworldseesyou.com/you   before September 5th.

Enter code BL-motivatingmumuk in the Book code section and take the test.  Please leave a comment below with your results.

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The best part is, you will trigger a chain reaction—a pay it forward situation. When you take the assessment using BL-motivatingmumuk, you will receive 100 assessments to share with your circle for free, too!

That’s it. Now you’re ready to discover how your personality is custom built for certain situations, and which situations you should learn to avoid. And it only takes 5 minutes (you can even do it on your phone!)

28 questions. 5 minutes. A whole new way to communicate your value.Your Fascination Advantage® Report is the first big step towards knowing how your personality can be heard and remembered in an overcrowded market. Sharing the assessment will help others do the same.

Find everything you need to put this knowledge into practice with your colleagues, close friends and significant other in Sally’s new book, How the World Sees You.

 

5 Top Tips For Making New Mum Friends – from Mum Amie

by Aimee Foster of Mum Amie

Having a baby changes your life in countless different ways. When I had my daughter almost five years ago, I was wholly unprepared for the raft of life changes I was about to experience. One of the changes that I had not expected was the change to my friendships.

The first of my friends to have a baby, I suddenly had lots of free time during the days. But my friends were all at work. And come the evening when they were available, I was shattered. Plus it became evident that my new baby conversations were at best confusing for my friends and at worst mind numbingly boring.

Susie & I

The first few months of my daughter’s life were incredibly lonely for me, mainly because I spent most of my time alone with her. I was craving some good conversation. It became clear to me that I needed to find some mum friends with similar schedules to me– for friendship, advice, support and fun.

At Mum Amie, we recently conducted a survey about Mum friendships and the results confirmed my own experiences – 66% of those surveyed had at times found motherhood to be a lonely experience. While 82% thought it was important to have mum friends, 44% said that they did not find it easy to actually meet other mums. We created Mum Amie to help mums connect with each other easily, because I know how important those resulting friendships are.

Almost five years on from the birth of my first child, I now have a wonderful network of mum friends. But it didn’t happen overnight. Here are a few things I learned along the way:

  1. Just Do It!You have to get out there and meet people, they won’t come to you. I know how much of an ordeal it is to leave the house with a new baby and believe me I spent many a day stuck inside because I couldn’t be bothered to get dressed, get the baby dressed and get together all of the baby paraphernalia I needed whilst making sure I timed the outing around her feeds. BUT, if you don’t leave your house that often you will find it incredibly difficult to make new friends (you can meet friends online but you will have to go out and meet them face-to-face eventually).
  2. Find Places To GoLocal parenting websites have wonderful resources detailing places you can go with your kids. Toddler groups, bumps and babies groups, children’s centres and libraries are all places frequented by mothers (and some fathers) who are looking to make new friends. We found that 78% of mums are always looking to meet other mums when they are out and about – so you’re in good company. You could also join a class such as baby music or baby massage. If you work full time, there normally groups on Saturday mornings run by other full time working mums plus plenty of weekend activities available for children. Visit Whats On4LittleOnes and Netmums for a comprehensive list of classes and things to do in your area.
  3. Once You’ve Found Somewhere With New Mums – Start the Conversation!I would describe myself as quite shy when surrounded by new people and it took me a while to realise that if I wanted to make new friends, I would need to speak up! Baby groups, toddler groups and classes can be daunting when you’re new to them, especially if it seems like everyone already knows each other.

    Be smiley, say ‘hi’ to people and start up a conversation by saying something complimentary about their child e.g. ‘Wow I love your daughter’s shoes’. Once you break the ice by talking about little Olivia’s shoes you can move on to more interesting stuff!

    Another thing to bear in mind is that if you go to a baby or toddler group and don’t find the other mums to be friendly; don’t give up on that particular group. If you go a second time, there will probably be different people there who you might strike up conversation with. And once you’ve been four or five times, you’re a regular and you can help other new people to integrate.

  4. Once You’ve Started A Conversation – Close the Deal!So you’ve been chatting away for a while. Make sure you don’t just walk away without following up (if you want to of course). Exchange phone numbers or arrange to meet next week at the same group or somewhere else.
  5. Go OnlineOnly 18% of mums we surveyed had made friends online but this is actually where I had most success. I posted a notice on a local parenting website and had many replies. Of the twenty or so people I met, four are now lifelong friends (two of them were bridesmaids at my wedding).

    Whenever, I met a new mum from the internet we always  joked about how similar the experience was to online dating (and so the idea for Mum Amie was born). I did have to meet quite a lot of people to find the mums that are now my close friends but it was more than worth it.

Meeting mums online is great, but it can be quite hit and miss. I met a lot of people that were nice but that I just didn’t gel with. Mum Amie can help you here as we match your profiles with the profiles of other mums based on what is important to you.

Whether you are a single mum looking to meet other single mums or you have a child with a disability and you are looking to meet other mums of children with a disability, we can help! So you have more chance of meeting a mum with similar interests and circumstances to you from the word go. And the best bit is, it’s totally free.

 

Throughout your quest to make new mum friends, keep in mind that it can take time. You won’t develop a network of mums straight away. But finding other women to share the experience of motherhood with is crucial for your wellbeing, so keep at it and you will get there eventually!

 

Mum Amie has just launched in July 2014. Mums can sign up for free at www.mumamie.com and start meeting mum friends straight away. You can also find Mum Amie on Facebook  and Twitter

Aimee Foster is co-founder and co-director of Mum Amie and mum to 4 year old Susie and 4 week old Freddy.

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Mumpreneur Profile: Jackie Newman of Lilyrose

Jackie Newman of Lilyrose had an idea for an original business after searching for a memento for her Dad and not finding what she wanted.  But she needed the confidence to get out there and start it.  Read her inspiring story… Continue reading