Reach For The Stars – What Could You Achieve With Some Creative Time?

I love stories.  They are a creative way of learning.  I don’t know where I first heard this story – it makes a great tale and a fantastic reminder that sometimes we should rely more on our creative elements.

Many years ago, a man who had not learned to read or write, left school and wanted to apply for a job as a dustman.  His application was refused when he was unable to complete the application form and he left dejected.

He was desperate to earn money and set up a small market stall selling plants and flowers as he loved gardening.  His market stall was a success and he soon had a second, then a third and a fourth.  Over the years he achieved business success, becoming well known for his drive, energy and enthusiasm.

One day, one of his employees suggested he write a book about his business experiences and the employee was rather shocked to find that he couldn’t read or write.

“Just think! _ What you could have achieved if you’d been able to read!”

“That’s easy” he replied “I would have become a dustman”.

Of course, in modern business, learning to read and write is useful, however its important to recognise that its very easy to stifle the creative side of our personalities.

Think for a moment.  What could you really achieve if you allowed yourself the creative space to do so?

P1060180Creating creative space is something that I focus on with my clients.  If you wish explore or develop your creative side – then take a peek at Reflections Coaching.  Who knows where it could lead…….


Spring Is In The Air

What does Spring mean to you?

I love this time of year.  The snowdrops are still around a gentle reminder that we  may still be working on New Years Resolutions, and so should not forget them, but for me Spring is about new starts.  As the daffodils and crocuses start to pop through the still frozen soil as green shoots and slowly open up into a burst of colour – I start t think about what my green shoots should be.

Spring is a time society accepts for new starts.  People think about moving home, getting married – even spring cleaning.  Out with the old and in with the new!


Spring was when I made the decision to embark on my coaching journey. A complete career change.  An idea that started with green shoots and slowly but surely metamorphosed into the concept it is now and Reflections was born.  Its an ide I’m still working with and changing all the time just as the daffs form their golden trumpets.

This spring – my new start is all about my new up and coming website.  I’m refocusing my business and defining my niche so watch out for some changes.

What new starts will you make this spring?

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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Change One Small Thing

Why for me its much better to make several small steps than attempt one large one.


I love my job.  I am very fortunate.  My role as a coach is to help to inspire and motivate others, yet it never ceases to amaze me how much inspiration I draw from my clients.  Because coaching works on the principle that the client holds the answer within them, each of my clients is a constant source of new ideas and concepts to me.


Working with a client recently, I could see that the task of setting a goal and going all out to achieve it could potentially result in overwhelm.   The challenge that they were facing was that in order to achieve their goal there were so many things that needed changing.  Far too much.  The solution that came out of the session to just choose one small thing that takes them in the right direction was much more manageable.


So many of us never achieve our goals because they are too big, too daunting or quite simply, we get too bored along the way.  Imagine for example your goal is to get healthy.  Giving up cigarettes, alcohol and going on a diet whilst taking up jogging could be a step too far.  My suggestion is choose one small thing to change.  Really focus on that one small thing.  In this case, walking to work everyday for a week could be that one step.  Achieving it will give great satisfaction and provide the motivation to take the next small step.  Before you know it ten small steps will have taken you to your bigger goal.


So my “Change One Small Thing” campaign is underway and to kick start it I’d love to hear from you what your BIG goal is together with your first “one small thing”.  Either comment here, or email me at  Anyone achieving their goal following a series of small changes will have their names put into a hat to win a free “change one small thing” coaching session.



3 simple steps to action plans

Whether it’s sending out an email newsletter, doing DIY on the house, getting healthy or starting a new business, many of us find we have mini projects to do as part of our day-to-day responsibilities.

These small projects may, at first glance, not seem to need much thought. However, occasionally, we can overlook a key step or “to do” item that can through us completely off track.   So why not learn from steps that businesses take.

How do you make sure that you’ve covered everything? Are there any actions that need to be taken early on in the project for it to succeed? And are you clear about when you need to do key tasks, in what sequence, to meet your deadline?

Action Plans are simple lists of all of the tasks that you need to finish to meet an objective. They differ from “to do lists” as they focus on the achievement of a single goal.

Action Plans provide a framework for thinking about how you’ll complete a project efficiently and what order you’ll tackle your actions. They help you ensure that you don’t miss any key steps and assign deadlines to keep you focussed.

To draw up an Action Plan, simply list the tasks that you need to carry out to achieve your objective, in the order that you need to complete them. (This is very simple, but it is still very useful!).  Here’s how in 3 simple steps:

  1. Identify tasks – use whatever works for you, try mind mapping techniques or write a list.  Or brainstorm with a friend or colleague.  The best place to start is always the beginning.  What’s the very first action you’ll need to take? Once that task is complete, what comes next? Are there any steps that should be prioritised to meet specific deadlines, or because of limits on other people’s availability?
  2. Analyse – Now that you can see the entire project from beginning to end, look at each task in greater detail.  Are there any steps that you could drop, but still meet your objective? Which tasks could you get someone else involved with? Are there any deadlines for specific steps? Do you need to arrange additional resources e.g. hire a plasterer?
  3. Check Resources – so you have everything you need?  For a DIY project you might need to go out and buy paintbrushes etc.  Setting up a business this might be about knowledge.

Once you’ve completed your Action Plan, keep it close and update it with additional activities if required.

Starting with a Clean Sheet

How many times have you sat down to write with a blank piece of paper and not known where to start?

Well here I am.  A brand new blog.  All those ideas of what it should be and what it should look like.  Thoughts about structure and design.  It has to feel right – that’s very important to me.  My whole business ethos is built on what feels right.  So here at Reflections Blog, my readership should get something encouraging and helpful, supportive and guiding – not tell tell tell.

I wanted you to find out about me. Why I became a coach.  Why I want to help people and the uniqueness that is Reflections Coaching.

And then I though should I have 2 blogs because there are different elements of Reflections Coaching.  There’s Reflections – wellbeing – that’s all about you.  What it takes to lead a healthy life, bringing mind and body together to sort out all that life throws at us.  Reflections – career, about work change, career, redundancy, joining work, leaving work….

And then Mum’s words ring in my head.  She always said I went into mass production on everything.  And actually life isn’t like that.  We can’t simply compartmentalise everything we do.  It’s a balance of lots of little things and we very rarely get to start with a completely blank sheet of paper.

So, consider this…..

The next time you sit faced with all those thoughts about where you future is heading or you want to make a change in life, by all means start with a blank sheet of paper.  Don’t be afraid to write on it.  If you like lists, write lists… if you prefer free format, then mind map, draw, write poetry – just whatever you do get your thoughts on that blank piece of paper.

Once you have those thoughts, think!  Which one of those ideas is going to have the biggest impact on changing your future?

Take that one thought and work with it.  You might be surprised where it will lead you.

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