Friday inspiration : World Dream Project – Mapping the Worlds’ Dreams

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=563029497061179&set=a.563029493727846.1073741826.562981510399311&type=1&theater

This weeks’ inspiration came from a fan page that I found on Facebook when typing in the search bar ‘dreams’. Initially I was looking at dream meanings after having a few the night before that left me pondering. Instead I found a newly launched page and website that encouraged people to send in their dreams so I contacted them to see what their thoughts were behind their new idea.

They said :

”  We’re looking to encourage everyone to be more open about their dreams / vision / ambitions. This basically came about, because we’ve met a lot of people, particularly young people who simply don’t have any dreams at all. Everyone can and should have a dream, but lots of people don’t, either because they haven’t been encouraged to, or more often, because they don’t believe that they or other people can make their dreams and ambitions really happen. We believe that anyone can do anything, as long as they really believe in themselves!! ” 

The idea is to get a collection of dreams from all over the world, so that they can locate you  and put your dream on the map. Really it works like a domino effect, and your dreams will inspire others!

I’m a huge believer that when you want anything in life, it’s important to first have a dream, then create a vision.  Remembering to fill  in all the details  and get specific as you can because for every minute you’re ‘dreaming’ you’re creating!

Remember to focus on what you want…

So that’s my inspiration for the week! Of course I sent off my dream and then this got me thinking about all of the different aspect of my dream which has resulted in some even more amazing ideas.

What are you dreaming about today?

https://www.facebook.com/needtodream

http://www.needtodream.com/

Tips for Motivation

motivation for the entrepreneur

 

We all need motivation to achieve great things in our lives.  Especially us Entrepreneurs, our businesses depends  and thrives on motivation.  The following link is a guest post for Young & Connected and this is where I give you some motivation tips, that I’ve learnt along the way.

http://youngnconnected.com/blog/self-motivation-tips-young-entrepreneur

Enjoy and please let me know if you have any of your own motivation techniques!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Easter break 🙂

C. L . Haden

Creativity Tip : do something different & get something different

A day to do something different 

Learn how to fly a plane

Generating new ideas is crucial when you run your own business. It’s essential because it’s what ultimately drives your business forward and keeps it fresh and exciting not only for your customers but you too. I am always telling people to ‘do something different’ when they tell me they’re in a creative rut.

The past few months, I’ve been feeling  in a rut myself especially in  business terms. And so I asked myself ‘What have I done different lately?  The answer is  not much. OK so I may have moved out of the hustle and bustle of the city environment but apart from that I have not done anything major!

So as March approached, I took some time to think about the different things that I could do, and came up with a list :

  1. Go away on holiday
  2. Learn how to fly
  3. Go up in a hot air balloon
  4. Join a local business club
  5. Learn a new language
  6. Join a netball team

Fly a hot air balloon

These  are all  the things that I have planned for the next few months, and as you can imagine… I’m very excited!

A wise man once said ” Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results” (Einstein)

What are you doing differently today?

It doesn’t even have to be major things as one small thing can have a major impact on your creativity and imagination. Monday’s are always the same for me –  I usually have a day off and do nothing with my day but surf Facebook looking for beach pictures and I may go for a walk.

Instead I decided to take myself out for lunch. I never go to lunch on my own as I have  always found the idea intimating but with practice comes success.  I went and bought my self two new lipsticks in colours that I wouldn’t usually wear but how did I know what they’d look like if I didn’t try. And then I went and bought some fresh ingredients from my local farmers’ market for a recipe that I’d  only just learnt on YouTube the day before.  I only usually get creative with food on weekends  when I have more time.

As I wandered home, I found myself thinking back to how worried I was this morning when I knew I’d have to blog – I’d not thought of anything last week to make note of for today. And then this day happened, and the thought of doing something different inspired me to write about it.

Remember,  do something different & get something different !

C. L . Haden

Friday Inspiration : Adult Fables

This week’s inspiration comes after a quick mess around on my new Android when I discovered the BBC iplayer app. I’m not a big  fan of TV as I’m a full believer that what you watch, listen to and speak about creates your reality.  So it was only down to my curiosity  and my desire to learn how to use this space age gadget that I should click the app and find an animation series that had me smiling for hours after!

I love the fact that I’m finding more uplifting and can do material in main stream media!

Minuscule : The private life of insects 

Minuscule: The Private Life of Insects - 3. The Grasshopper Who Didn't Know How to Leap

This sweet animation consists of 3 10 minute shows which are all what I can only describe as  adult fables.  I always loved fables as a child because they turned out to teach me valid lessons that I still follow now.

My favourite one in particular was ” The Grasshopper Who Didn’t Know How to Leap.” It’s about a Grasshopper who can’t get the hang of what he was born to do! It then goes on to show how, the grasshopper uses his imagination and finds a solution to then help him leap with a funny ‘bounce’ to it.

I think it’s important that we broadcast more solution focused role models and examples to show our generations to come that life doesn’t happen to us – we make it happen. Whether negative or positive. We have great brains that gives us the advantage of being able to say no, yes, explore different options and to change the direction of our life at any given time.

With thanks to Helene Giraud and Thomas Szabo for writing and directing this wonderful little animation!

Happy Friday

C. L . Haden

 

Top tips for quick and fun learning

I have just started learning French as I’m going on holiday to Paris in August.

Paris in France

Learning French brings back bad memories of being at high school and being barked at off my Teacher in French, and me panicking because I’ve no clue what she is saying nor what to say back!  As a result, I stayed away from learning French but continued to learn Spanish and a bit of Italian in my Adult years when I found easier ways of learning.

Whether you’re learning a new language, or some other skill for your new business or pleasure . Learning can be fun and easy if you know how you learn, and how to vary it.

In an earlier blog I looked at NLP’s representational skills. If you’ve not read it, do so now. 🙂

Basically NLP’s theory states that each one of us has a way of understanding the world and we do this by using a predominate sense. So for example you may learn better by watching, listening, or acting out a set of instructions.

These are known as visual, audio and  Kinesthetic learners.

youtube

Things to consider … 

Firstly find out how you like to learn. For example, I’m a   Kinesthetic learner therefore  I like to act out my new skill. Other ways to help me reinforce my learning are to write down instructions or anything that I’m trying to process.

Secondly find another way that will  aid your learning process. We don’t usually just use one learning modality- we can use others  too!  So for example, I’m also an audio learner therefore pod casts and MP3 can be a great resource.

So do you like looking , listening  or actually acting your skill out? Maybe you like to do all three ! If you can get in the habit of doing all of three – learning will be a lot quicker and easier.

     act

Top tips for quick and fun learning

  •  Make sure that if you’re learning for long periods of time – get up and move about every 15-20 minutes.
  • In note form write down what you’re learning on coloured pieces of paper
  • Use diagrams and mind maps to help you follow and formulate existing learning material and new ideas.
  • Get used to using video to watch a person talk about your subject, or even demonstrate it.
  • Get used to using  audio to listen to the subject being explained
  • Most importantly – practice the skill out for real.

Take inspiration from how children learn 

kid

You’ll remember as a child in nursery and primary school that you where constantly surrounded  by things to touch like play dough and paint. You most likely listened to music, and experienced new smells and tastes. All of these are stimulating our senses so remember to incorporate  them into your learning experience!

Results

My French lesson consisted of listening to 6 tutorials on basic grammar and introductions. I reinforced my learning by doing some further reading on my French teacher’s blog, and then completing some written activities. Furthermore, I’m about to write various phrases on coloured pieces of card, and then place them about my house where I can see them.  Oh and as I’m a kinesthetic (tactile) learner, this means I like the feel of things. Most often I always have a piece of clay, blue tac, or play dough to mess around with when I’m taking new information in.

Within a few hours I can now say general greetings, and I’ve learnt the alphabet!

Happy learning.

P.s I’m keen to hear how you learn, and any methods that have made the learning process easier for you. Drop me a Tweet at @CLHaden or my Facebook page with your thoughts.

C. L . Haden

Friday Inspiration

This weeks inspiration is picture based.

These pictures I’ve collected throughout the week when I’ve not felt very inspired and they’ve caught my eye and sparked something within me. I think it’s very important to spend a few minutes a day having a look at colourful, and positive pictures or videos. It helps to increase your visualisation skills which is important in achieving anything that you do in life and in your small business.

So here is a collection of inspiring pictures.

Family walk in Shropshire

Family walk in Shropshire

And last but not least, a video. A friend of mine found this, and passed it on to me, so if you’ve not already seen it – I’d like to share it with you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2L_cGjQSR80

Please feel free to share the links to your inspiration!

C. L . Haden

The rewards and challenges of working in a family business

(c) www.zazzle.com

Having read this article about an hour ago : 10 Questions to Ask before Family and Friends Become Business Partners  it really gave me some food for thought after quite a challenging month concerning family matters within business.

Here’s the back story

My Mum and myself have always got on very well,  and it was always our plan to go into business but we never knew when or what in. It’s only over the last year or so that we found our niche, and came up with a plan of action.   We’re both opinionated, and strong willed so our discussions can result in a few debates shall we say.

For those of you who are in a family businesses already, I’m sure you’ll know how heated it can get at times when you’re living or constantly seeing a family member and then having to work with them too. It can kind of feel as though, you’re back to being 5 again when Dad or Mum saying  no is the final word. Queue tantrum with teddy at side on the shop floor.

However like any partnership either in business or personal,  it’s about : respect, honesty, understanding  and of course the ability to separate your personal and professional roles. Sounds easy right? Hmm.

From reading the above article,  I took 3  things away for food for thought:

What will each of our roles be?

According to a survey ” In a 2010 study of 518 family-owned businesses, the most successful ones had made each person’s role in the company clear upfront”.  We did that from the start. My mum was the ideas lady and I was the creative implementor.  What is interesting though, is the more we’ve worked with one another, the more we’ve taken on each others role.  But not to point where we’re trying to do everything ourselves but to a point where we’re each able to contribute. Which I think’s very important. There’s a lot of emphasis put on finding a business partner whom has strengths where you’re weak and visa versa.  I think it’s even more important to learn off one another so that you both have these strengths.   As you never know when you will be required to step in the shoes of the other, should unforeseen circumstances happen.

I guess we all have capabilities that are ‘our thing’ and at times I’ve been a little envious that my business partner is becoming good at something that I do so well. However, when I look at it from a professional aspect, I know that our business in the long run will be the strong one.

How will we keep our personal and professional lives separate?

The answer to this one is to have set times away from work. But I find that our creative brains never seem to work at the same time. I’m either having a rest, and she’s flat-out working or the other way around. And I know, I’m a night mare to track down for a meeting! So we’ve had to compromise and look for more creative approaches when we want to talk business.  We both often go for long hikes, and usually the amazing scenery inspires us so much we’ll have ideas which we’ll talk about but then we make it a definite yes when we go the gym and spa to just relax.

It is important in any relationship to have time away from one another. Sometimes just by doing something on your own or an unrelated activity that you can have great business ideas for your next meeting.

And  my last thought wasn’t included in the article but it was :

How do I not take it personally when my partner supposedly gives constructive ‘feed back’? 

The general rule of doing something great is to know when it’s not great and them improving on it. In general I do find it hard to take constructive feedback especially off family members.  I guess I could say I take it to heart more. That goes back to what I said at the start about being able to separate personal and professional roles. Yes your Parents are meant to think the sun shines out of your ear – but your business partner is not, well not as much any way.  Half of the business is theirs therefore whatever happens as a result of your actions concerns them too. It’s only right they give you their opinion  – other wise you’d be a sole trader.

I do value my Mum’s feedback as she’s been here a lot longer than me, and has a lot to bring to the table. So I know that when I do get it right, it feels good when she says so. I think valuing people’s opinions is the best thing that you can do to grow stronger and develop your business skills.

With that said, I am so looking forward to work alongside my Mum, because I think she’s just great and that’s me speaking as her Daughter, and as her business partner!

I’m keen to hear from those of you that are in business with your family. what’s it like? What do you find satisfying about it?  Would you change if you could?

Join me here Facebook  or Twitter @CLHaden or even comment below .

Thanks for stopping by!

C. L . Haden

Tips To Use Social Media When Solving Issues For Your Customers

twitter support

Social Media is a great tool isn’t it ?

Why?

Well, it ignores distance, dismisses times zones and makes it quick and easy to interact with your customers. The running of my small business owes a lot of gold stars to Social Media as I’m sure yours does too! I am still however,  adamant that Social Media will never replace good old-fashioned off-line communication. After all, it was built to aid communication and not replace it entirely. Some would say we’re becoming less social with Social Media but that’s a topic for another day…

Recently my internet and  phone line went down due to weather conditions. Living out in the country side always has this issue! It was 8pm on a Friday night and I had a meeting. The first thing that I did was panic. Visions of waiting on the phone for hours, or being directed to call centres flashed before my eyes.  So I went on to my mobile internet (my mobile’s that old, it thinks the internet is a ring tone name) and I submitted an online fault form. To my dismay, the form told me that it would be  24 hours until I was contacted.

I’d been told by friends in the past that contacting companies through their social media channels, would get more done quickly; so I did the very modern thing of twittering them my fault and within an hour a very happy chappy called me up. He spent time explaining to me why the fault had occurred and that they would do everything that they could to fix it. He reassured me that I would be constantly updated and that I could tweet him at any time.

At this stage I was still a little annoyed however his rapid response on Twitter followed by a call on a Friday night, calmed me down and I was happy that I was taking priority. Face it, as customers we’re all a little selfish – we want to know we come first despite the other million in the queue…

So over the next few weeks whilst my fault got fixed, I was tweeted regularly regarding updates, and when I’d be phoned etc. After phone calls, I was tweeted to say thank you for speaking to them and to ‘have a good weekend’. All of this didn’t fix my fault any quicker but it did make me feel comforted and secure knowing that they were looking at my case.

I’ve seen many businesses use Social Media to fix issues in the wrong way.  There’s nothing more frustrating than watching a stream of ‘have you tried…messages.’  Social Media should NEVER  be used as THE solution, instead it should be used as part of it.

I’ve  learnt this  – if you’re  using Social Media to fix issues, always :

  • Aim to acknowledge the issue as soon as. 
  • Follow it up with a phone call.
  • Use Tweets and Facebook messages to thank your customer for accepting your call, reporting the issue, and contacting you etc.
  • Let them know that they can contact you any time they like.
  • Be honest and realistic. Never lie just to save face on your Social Media platforms.

So I’d just like to say a big thank you to Robbie from @BTCare.

How have you used Social Media to improve your interaction with your customers?

Thanks for stopping by.

C. L . Haden

Friday Inspiration: working with small businesses

I’m huge fan of working with local and UK businesses. Why? Well, we have a wealth of creative talent in this country, it’s kind to our economy and the personal service is very nice!  When you’re starting up a new business, it’s a perfect opportunity to see just how creative our UK businesses are. So I turned to People Per Hour, although you have the option of working with people from all over the world, it’s still a great avenue to source local business.

People Per Hour, have this wonderful new service where you can browse through a list of businesses whom are offering services that take an hour or less (unless stated other wise.) It’s as simple as picking your service, looking through their testimonials, paying them with PayPal or your debit card and then sending your job requirement through.

I was looking for something that could be my new business logo – after trailing  through logo design companies, I got a little bit bored ; they all looked the same.  So when I discovered Anastasia’s hourlie (word art) I instantly fell in love with the concept.

Within 15 minutes, she’d designed my new logo. With such a friendly, efficient, and creative service I was ecstatic with the results and I’ll be enlisting her again for further work.

Check out her hourlie here  http://www.peopleperhour.com/hourlie/make-word-art-in-15-mins/13035

Would you like to see what she did for me?

small business logo

My new business venture is called ‘Inspired Minds Work Shops’ and this weekend, I’m working on sourcing a few more hourlies for the design of my business. In the mean time, you couldn’t do be a huge favour could you ? Please join my fan page here : https://www.facebook.com/InspiredMindsWorkshops?fref=ts.

If you’ve a small UK-based business, please feel free to drop me your links to your social media and such things, I’m keen to support you!

Have a great weekend!

C. L . Haden

Why Writing is Therapeutic – A Guest Post by The Life of a Thinker

my life
I’m a writer as well as a blogger, and I write in a lot of different ways, for many different reasons. But the idea I would like to discuss is the idea that writing is therapeutic…
For many years, writing has been seen as good for the brain. It helps you think, and the idea that imagination and creativity is a key part of human life. But why in particular can writing have an effect on our lives?
There are three beneficial ways that writing can help you, and it doesn’t even necessarily have to be creative writing either, it can be any type of writing.
Problem Solving: Keep on forgetting the shopping list? Write a poem or story about the shopping items. If creative writing isn’t your thing, maybe write a letter to yourself saying how you must start to remember the items!
Empathy: Writing can sure help when you’re talking about emotions. You have to consider how a character would react to a certain situation. Perfect for improving social skills.
Realisation and Experience: What I mean by this is that writing allows you to develop a deeper understanding of the big wide world, and through this, comes more life experiences.
So write anything, but write what you want to write, and write how you want to write it. That way fun, and a lot of other benefits can be achieved.
Happy writing!
Liam