Tag Archives: public speaking

Tips For Women Entrepreneurs on How To Avoid Feeling Isolated As A Small Business

Female entrepreneurs share how to avoid feeling isolated

Is Adult Education Broken by Diane Shawe Author (8)
‘Meeting up with mothers who were running small firms or freelancing made me feel connected to the real world again,’ says The Early Hour’s Anne Ridout

Annie Ridout had a one-year-old daughter when she launched her digital magazine for mothers, The Early Hour, in 2015.
“The only time that I could commit to writing and doing admin was during the baby’s nap times and evenings,” she says.

It meant that she had no free time to socialise and spent most days at home, alone.

She was left feeling incredibly lonely and unmotivated, but all that changed when she started to attend some networking events, including Mothers Meeting and The Step Up Club.

“Meeting up with other mothers who were running small firms or freelancing made me feel connected to the real world again,” she says. “I had women to talk to, moan with and get ideas from.”

At first, Ms Ridout found it intimidating, but soon realised that the key to networking is arriving prepared. “Do some research beforehand about the theme or subject – and think about what can you offer around it,” she says.

Don’t forget to ask for contact details, she adds, explaining that it’s not enough to just hand your card out:

“Send an email after the event saying that it was so lovely to meet them and ask to stay in touch – and don’t worry about coming across too keen; people will almost always be pleased to hear from you.”

Find a mentor

For Victoria Usher, founder of GingerMay PR, leaving the buzz of
an office and the comradeship of colleagues was unsettling when she started her own communications firm:

“It was a shock to realise that time-consuming tasks, such as admin and finances, needed to be factored into my schedule.”

Not having people around to discuss problems with was hard, she admits: “I felt lonely at points; I missed having a team.”

To help her through, she found a mentor, Jo Butcher, whom she met while working for Dentsu Aegis.

“We had a weekly Skype call and she would help me with
everything from brainstorming ideas to sense-checking my work,” explains Ms Usher. “It was comforting to know that there was someone at the end of the phone who had gone through the same and had a successful business to show for it.”

When looking for a mentor, try to find someone who has run a business in a similar field, but has grown it much bigger, she advises. It also helps if they have worked in the same role as you, so they truly understand the pressures that you’re facing.

'There were few people whom I could talk to about work,' says Lenka Lutonska
‘There were few people whom I could talk to about work,’ says Lenka Lutonska

Co-work with colleagues

Female business coach, Lenka Lutonska, thinks women in particular feel lonely when starting-up because they crave emotional connections with others – and that can be hard when working alone.

“When I started out, friends did not understand why I would leave a well-paid job, sell my house and sacrifice my lifestyle, only to work on a business with very little income,” she says. “There were few people whom I could talk to about work; my computer was my only companion.”

She decided to “buddy-up” with an old friend who had started their own business in a similar industry.

“We would create co-working days where she would come to my office for a day, or vice versa. We exchanged ideas, honest feedback, kept each other accountable and even partnered on projects,” says Ms Lutonska.

“Working not only became more enjoyable, but we also helped each other to become aware of our blind spots.”

She also started a Facebook group, which was initially made to attract clients but ended up becoming a great networking tool as word spread quickly and more women joined. Community members often ask for help with specific business issues.

“It can feel lonely to build a business on your own, and tough;
there’s always something that you don’t know.

“That’s why support groups are a fantastic source for tips and for socialising – they’re great for creating meaningful relationships with other entrepreneurs.”

Take a breather

A final tip comes from Sarah Cooke, owner of silicone jewellery company, Halia Rose, who suggests yoga classes.

“I do a regular class to get some time out to myself and stave off burnout, and I can chat to people about things totally unrelated to my business and get away from it for a while.”

Visit The Telegraph on Facebook for more fantastic tips

Are you tired of being everybody’s dartboard?

dart-board main

Learn how to stop getting darts thrown at you everyday

So how do you stay calm, composed and maintain your self-esteem when everyone around you is fire fighting?

Article by Diane Shawe MEd

Here are six tips you may wish to consider as a starting point.

Imagine yourself standing around as a Dart Board.

Now take a look around and see who has most recently thrown their dart at you.  What would you actually do if you saw a dart coming towards you? Would you just stand there and take the hit, run for cover or protect yourself whilst your on the move? Without protection these dart will destroy your self-esteem and pull you down.  So which dart pins should you avoid?

Dart Pin 1: Negative Work Environment

Beware of “dog eat dog” theory where everyone else is fighting just to get ahead. This is where non-appreciative people usually thrive. No one will appreciate your contributions even if you miss lunch and dinner, and stay up late. Most of the time you get to work too much without getting help from people concerned.  Stay out of this, it will ruin your self-esteem. Competition is at stake anywhere. Be healthy enough to compete, but in a healthy competition that is.

Dart Pin 2: Other People’s Behaviour

Bulldozers, gossipmongers, whiners, backstabbers, snipers, people walking wounded, controllers, naggers, complainers, exploders, patronisers, jealousy… all these kinds of people will pose bad vibes for your self-esteem, as well as to your self-improvement scheme.

Dart Pin 3: Stale or Stagnant Environment

You can’t be a green bug on a brown field. Changes challenge our paradigms. It tests our flexibility, adaptability and alters the way we think. Change can either inspire, motivate or be stressful when we resist but, only for a while. It is said that a change is as good as a rest, it will help you find ways to improve your self.  The world has changed right in front of our eyes, we must be susceptible to it.

Dart Pin 4: Past Experience

It’s okay to cry and say “ouch!” when we experience pain. But don’t let pain transform itself into fear, spite or vengeance. It might grab you by the tail and swing you around. Treat each painful experience, failure and mistake as a lesson. Stop and reflect and see what message you have been given or taught.  Decide how you can best use that experience to help you grow.

Dart Pin 5: Negative Biosphere

Look at what you’re looking at, absorbing and ingesting daily. Self-reflection.  Don’t wrap yourself up with all the negativeness of the world. In building self-esteem, you must learn how to make the best out of most situations.  How to separate who and what you are and how to repair and protect your self-esteem.  If you cut yourself, you would normally seek to clean the wound, cover it with a plaster until it heals, check it and then when it is much better remove the plaster.  If it’s a serious cut you would normally seek professional help.  Seek out the tools that can help lift you out of a negative mind set.

Dart Pin 6: Fait accompli

It’s not always your fault.  It does not always happen to you.  The way you are and your behavioral traits is said to be a mixture of your inherited traits (genetics), your upbringing (learnt), and your environmental surroundings such as your family, spouse, your job, the economy or your circle of friends. You have your own identity. If your father was a failure, it doesn’t mean you have to believe that your going to be a failure too. Learn from other people’s experience, so you can avoid or recognise mistakes and old patterns in advance.

In life, it’s hard to stay tough or unscathed especially when things and people around you keep pulling you down. Constantly firefighting without the right tools means you could continuously become burnt out.

There are three tools you need to keep polished:

lady with cup of tea

Nothing like a good dose of positive attitude

a) Your attitude,

b) Your behaviour

c) Your way of thinking.

Building self-esteem means we take responsibility for who we are, what we have and what we do. We become clear about our mission, values  all of which aids self-discipline.  You can start right away by thinking more positively, look for more things to be appreciative about and never miss an opportunity to compliment either yourself or others.

Building your self-esteem is essential for confidence and success and it all begins with you. Of all the judgments you make in life, none is as important as the one you make about yourself. Without some measure of self-worth life can be enormously painful. If you want to discover some simple techniques that will dramatically change how you feel about yourself such as how to recognise the importance of learning self-acceptance and nurturing your sense of self, take a look at our On Demand Course Directory and how you can start your own Private Tutors Business or create your own Directory. Click here for more information.

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