Reclaim Your Mojo

Autumn has been and gone with Christmas now just around the corner.  Those lovely sunny days have faded into just memories.  Darker mornings can be a struggle.  Sometimes just small events can knock us off balance.  It’s time to get your MOJO back.

Look inside yourself

Take a few moments out to think about what may have thrown your emotions out of kilter.  Is it something that’s happened at work? or home?  Its good at this point to write down your thoughts.  Make a note of the facts e.g. a falling out with someone and also the emotions that go with it.  Having a visual record will help you deal with it.


And I’m not talking about your house.  But just in the same way that you would clear out your cupboards, and hoover the carpet, you can make the choice to throw away the negative emotions.  Make a deliberate choice to throw out the negative emotions and draw a line under events OR take a positive action to resolve them. 

A great spring-clean leads to a trouble free mind, a sense of achievement and the buzz of a fresh start.

Do something different

Right now is a great time to make a change or do something new.  A trip to the hair dressers for a new style could make a real difference to how you feel.  OR try a new hobby, pick up a book for the first time in 10 yrs or try that new restaurantJust one small change can leave you feeling refreshed.

Do Something For Pure Pleasure

Ever wanted to go fly a kite? Or skip through a wood?  What’s stopping you.  Perhaps the simpler pleasure that you don’t get chance to do, like taking a mid week soak in the bath – allow your mind to be free of your pressures just for 30 minutes will help you get a real focus.


My 4 tips will help you restore that smile this autumn.  Keeping emotions and life balanced is important to leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  If you need more help keeping your life in kilter perhaps coaching could help.  Give Carolyn a call on 07714 216388 now to book your free taster session.

P1070226copyright Carolyn Trafford


Turning Your Hobby Into A Business

With so many people being made redundant in this economic climate its no wonder that more and more people are starting their own businesses and oh yes I have personal experience of this having gone from a two salaried household to a two business household.

It seems that turning your hobby into your business is a popular choice, much as Brett my husband did with his photography.  We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and of course mistakes get made along the way, but here are my 5 top tips for turning your hobby into your business.


  • Before you even think about investing in it, you need to figure out whether its the right choice for you.  So get serious about your hobby, but put a framework about it.  Set yourself some goals and see what it feels like.  Still enjoying it?  Great – then it could be for you.
  • Go out and do a bit of market research – is there a market for your product.  If you don’t know where to start with this enrol on a start up business course.  Some organisations offer this for free others charge a small fee.  Check out WIRE, business initiative and the chamber of commerce but availability varies according to area so get googling.
  • Unless you’re forced to leave work, then stick with it and have a go at your business part time – but do be official about it and register with the tax man.  It’ll save you money in fines later on AND if you’re already paying tax you may be able to offset some of your possible losses.  Plus you’ll have the security of the income coming in.
  • Start to network.  There are some great books and blogs out there to help.  Check out this blog.  You’ll find lots of people willing to share ideas and support.
  • Have some fun.  It you stop enjoying it – you won’t put as much into it. – And remember its within anyone’s capabilities – you just have to start somewhere.


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What were you born to do?

When was the last time you asked yourself what you were born to do?

Its that time of the week when I sit down and write my blog post, sometimes the inspiration flows and others I just get stuck.  This week, is damp outside, the light is starting to go and I’ve a stack of emails having taken a week off.  Inspiration was alluding me and I fell into the procrastination trap.

I write a lot about how we should avoid procrastination and I hope I don’t have to eat my words but rather than open up my blog to write I procrastinated – checked my emails and there it was – inspiration -via a weekly LinkedIn email and someone had posted a forum “What were you born to do”

I confess, I haven’t read the forum – the words were enough.  Its my favourite topic.  Its why I coach.  My job is about helping square pegs find square holes not force them into round ones as so many employers choose to do.

In short, I coach people who really aren’t happy in work, to help them to resolve their situation.  It isn’t necessarily about finding them a new job, sometimes its about making the round hole that they’re trying to fit into a bit more square.

And its a very good question.  I believe I was born to help people so, what were you born to do and what are you doing about it?

Reflections Coaching supports people in their roles with stress, work/life balance, career change, new business start ups so if you feel like a square peg in a round hole, please get in touch for a no obligation chat to see how we can help get in better fit in your working life.




Being The Best You Can Be


How do you ensure you’re the best you can be?

When I do something I like to do something well.  Perhaps it’s the perfectionism gene that I touched on last week.

So starting up Reflections Coaching was a really big deal for me.  It had to be done properly and that included the training.

Sadly, coaching isn’t yet a regulated industry. In fact anyone can call themselves a coach.  A lot of my work involves goal setting, planning futures, chasing dreams, providing support for clients when they’re facing challenging situations.  Confidence and motivation can be fragile, imagine for a moment that a coach just wades in without skills, not thinking, not listening, imagine the damage that could do.

It was for these reasons I wanted to ensure I was fully equipped, fully trained to deal with anything my clients can throw at me and understand the fine line between needing a coach and needing a therapist.

What we need to do to be the best we can be will vary from sector to sector.  Here are the things I do to make sure I’m the best I can be at coaching:


  • Keeping Up to Date.  I undertake CPD regularly to ensure I’m up to date with the what’s going on within my industry.  I am also signed up with the Association of Coaching who are key players within the coaching sector.
  • Supervision – I’m good at coaching clients, because I can provide the challenge they need.  This is difficult to achieve in myself.  Having a good supervisor ensures that I also get the challenge – for me this is the most important factor in being the best I can be.
  • Review Time – Ensuring that I regularly take time out to think about me and my business.  I take review time after every client and ask what went well and regularly review these learnings.



What do you do in your industry to stay on top?

When did you last step into a different world?


Have you ever delved into a different world?

I have! After 22 years of a financial services corporate world, and then going into self employment, I’d convinced myself that I had now “seen it all”.  And we do, don’t we?  Its so easy to convince ourselves that we know it all.


But last week I had to deliver a presentation.  It was this presentation that resulted in me being two days late writing this blog post so I will apologise for that now.


The presentation was about legal structures of social enterprises.  I’d no idea where to start.  Fortunately there is so much information on the internet these days that I was able to pull together something meaningful.  Then I trawled my network and found a couple of people in the business who could just check it over.  Its been quite a steep learning curve for me but does show that there’s no real reason not to have an answer these days and has highlighted the importance of having a diverse network in business.


But its also been a bit of an eye opener for me.  Social enterprise is a whole new world for me.  Not only a world where people matter more but also one that is having to come to terms with the removal of funding and finding new ways to overcome their funding issues.


But what I really learned here was, how often do I step out of my world and into another one.  This isn’t a comfort zone thing, this is actually about stepping into someone else’s world for a day.  I’m certainly going to be looking at other opportunities to do this.

When have you stepped into a different world?  Please share your thought here:

7 Easy Steps To Stop Procrastination – Direct From The Expert

What do you procrastinate about? 

I’m qualified to talk about procrastination, others might say I shouldn’t be one to preach about it, a case of the pot calling the kettle black etc.  Yes I procrastinate so much I can put off procrastinating about something because I need to procrastinate over something else.

Well now you know about one of my biggest challenges in life! So what?


There’s something I’ve been putting off for some time.  What it is really doesn’t matter except what started off as something straight forward became one huge chunk of rock in my way that I haven’t been able to get on with anything else. And this has gone on for two to three months

Every time I sat down to deal with the huge chunk of rock I couldn’t deal with it.  It was too big and I didn’t know where to start.

I knew I couldn’t carry on like this, so I took the following 7 easy steps.

  1. Take a step back – the closer you are to a situation the more confused it can become
  2. Break it down into simple steps – the smaller the better
  3. Make a list or action plan of all the steps
  4. Give yourself a deadline for the task
  5. Give yourself a deadline for the first task (this is especially important to get you started)
  6. Look to friends, family, contacts as to any help they can provide.
  7. START!


Its amazing how quickly it all came together in two or three weeks.

What I can’t tell you is exactly how much better I feel.  I still have a couple of weeks to go to finish, but I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel or rather a pathway to climb over that huge rock.


What do you procrastinate over and how do you overcome these challenges?

Roast Duck, Bow and Arrows and The Wisdom of Children

What can children teach us about achieving goals?

I decided on Tuesday to take a couple of extra long sneaky coffee breaks in the sunshine and was struck by the noise of children from next door but one’s.  I couldn’t hear the whole conversation however, I picked up snippets and could tell that they were playing.

I heard

“would you like roast duck?”

and a little later

“you’ve just killed somebody with your arrow”

and it struck me then, how different we become as adults.  At the age (5-8 ish) there are no limits to their imagination, no boundaries and nothing to stop them serving roast duck if they really believe they can do it.

Yet as adults, we listen to those negative voices telling us we can’t.

So next time I find myself telling myself that “I can’t” – I’m going to practice stepping back into my 5 year old shoes and imagining I have no limits.


What could you achieve if you had no limits?  Please share your ideas here:



Its Women’s Business – what would you like to know?

Is there anything you’d love to know about business and enterprise?

I may need to apologise to my male readership now for the title.  As a life coach starting out a couple of years ago – I found it a daunting world.  I used to believe that being self employed wasn’t for me because I knew nothing about dealing with accountants, the tax man or marking a business to get clients.  Let alone liability insurance, national insurance contributions, social media ………… I could go on.

Yet I managed it.  I started from scratch and I managed it.  And it was easier than I thought it would be.

So why according to a report by Stirling university in 2006 (OK  little out of date I know) are only 7.6% of women self employed compared to 17.6% of men?  The report goes on to explore the difference in working hours and also work types and this accounts for a difference, but there IS still a difference.

I’m writing about it because I want to help change it.  I don’t discriminate, I’m as happy to her from men who want coaching or mentoring as women, however I want to help women see whats possible with a little help.

So, although my blog will continue in its current format I will be running a series about women in enterprise, and hope that this will be as inspiring to my male readership as my women. I will be interviewing real women in real business situations and sharing their thoughts and ideas here.

For now consider this inspirational lady who took over her husbands company shortly after he passed away at 29. With a two year old in tow – this took some doing and she learned her trade bottom up.

Dame Margaret Barbour – responsible for making the jacket what it is today.

” The secret of getting ahead is getting started“. – Sally Berger.

So if there are any burning questions about enterprise that you’d like to get some different viewpoint on – why not leave a comment here? and I’ll see if I can include it.

If you want to get started in business – then consider mentoring to help you on your way. For more information about coaching and mentoring then go to Reflections Coaching

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