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BRANDING FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Why Batch Days Build Better Brands
Hi there! Mid-February now, can you believe it? We are a bit past the dreaming state and now deep into the doing huh? Today I wanted to give you some tips and tricks to keep (or start) building your brand in a really clever way!   Have you tried Batching days? Task batching is the […]

Hi there!

Mid-February now, can you believe it?

We are a bit past the dreaming state and now deep into the doing huh?

Today I wanted to give you some tips and tricks to keep (or start) building your brand in a really clever way!

 

Have you tried Batching days?

Task batching is the clever process of grouping together tasks and actions that are similar, for higher productivity. I like to apply this to recurring tasks in my business. Those that need to happen every month for things to keep running. 

Research tells us that we lose up to 40% of our focus when we switch between unrelated tasks. Similar tasks use similar parts of your brain so you lose less time and focus on getting stuff done. I do this all the time and recommend it often.

 

Some examples of tasks that are perfect for batching are:

Recording promo videos, podcast interviews, writing social media posts, writing blog posts, reconciling bank transactions, invoicing multiple clients, replying to emails, running clients calls etc., scheduling events. 

Now, apart from productivity, batching is a brilliant strategy for creating a better Brand. Let me give you my top 3 reasons why:

  1. CONSISTENCY: If you sit and write 4 of your newsletters or 2 months worth of Instagram captions, for example, you develop a rhythm, a voice, a way of expressing things that becomes consistent, it’s all held by the same thread, and as you’ve heard me say a million times, consistency creates trust in those we serve, more consistency=better brands
  2. BIG PICTURE VIEW: When you work on something that will cover an extended period of time (say your marketing or writing for the next 5 months), you are forced to ask yourself the big questions. What am I aiming to build? What’s the running theme? What are the topics that are important for me to talk about and sell? That’s way more strategic than the impromptu ‘green smoothie photo’ on Instagram when you remember you’ve got to say something but have no inspiration or strategy behind it! Big Picture thinking = long term brand building!
  3. CREATIVITY AKA FINDING YOUR UNIQUE SWEET SPOT: As a creative with more than 20 years in the industry, I can tell you that coming up with something fresh, cool, special and different, really takes time. To build an exquisite Brand, you need time to think, dream and create. Batching days are perfect for going deep into your creative flow, for iterating and changing and drafting ideas. If you get used to the notion of blocking some creative time every month to infuse your business with soul and heart, you are well on track to build something memorable. Creative blocks of time and batch action are perfect for brainstorming new products, dreaming of clients gifts, photography style and mood, themes and topics to include in your brand conversations, and so much more.

 

So there you have it, batching is really a master move to build Better Brands. And if you’ve never done it or are needing some direction on how to organize your batch days, check out GET IT DONE, The Toolkit. I have created a whole set of templates and instructions (like the one in the picture above), to help you make this as smooth and enjoyable as possible!

Now I would love to know, have you worked like this before?

What sort of tasks do you focus on?

 

See you in productivity land!

Hello there!How’s this new decade feeling so far?Mine started at full speed with a few of the yearly planning workshops last week and the opening of Brand School.For today, I have the second part of this year’s kick-off interviews to build a stronger body and mind. A couple of weeks ago I spoke to Kate Barnes […]

Hello there!
How’s this new decade feeling so far?
Mine started at full speed with a few of the yearly planning workshops last week and the opening of Brand School.

For today, I have the second part of this year’s kick-off interviews to build a stronger body and mind. A couple of weeks ago I spoke to Kate Barnes about wellness and health. And now it’s time to dive into our mind.

As I’ve mentioned before, cultivating a stronger, healthier mind is one of my biggest obsessions. This is one of the biggest game-changers to really achieve our dreams. 
So I had a chat with my very dear client Rachael O’byrne, a clinical psychologist running a thriving practice with a large team of professionals, supporting lots of people on the journey of getting a stronger mind.

A Q&A with Rachael O’byrne

Q1. Dear Rach, there’s all this talk about mindset and tools and this and that. With your experience, tell us what you find really works to cultivate a mind that helps us achieve our goals, rather than self-sabotage us.

Yes and I’m really loving the focus on mindset because what we’re doing when we get to know and understand our mindset is following in the footsteps of Freud  – we’re working to make the unconscious more conscious.  And this matters because when we have insight into who we are and what we do and why we do it,  we can change and we can grow.  With awareness, we can prevent previously unconscious impulses including reactive, self-sabotaging behaviours and we can start to make really conscious decisions driven by our values, which means we can start to create the relationships we want and need with ourselves, others and the world – personally and professionally.  Reflection:  What do I really value? What’s really important to me? Am what do I need to shift in ‘love and work’ to live more in line with my values? 

 

Q2. I find many of my clients struggle with perfectionism and lose momentum launching projects and testing ideas by polishing and revising a bit too much. Can you talk about what softens that hypercritic voice?

This is such a common issue – for all of us at one time or another – and it tends to really rear its head when we’re trying something new, putting ourselves out there, pushing to take up a bit more space in the world.  Really what we’re talking about is social anxiety and its underpinned by core beliefs that we’re just not good enough and that others will be critical or shaming and reject or abandon us.  It’s big stuff and it’s typically old, really old.  Again change starts with insight – how do I speak to myself and where did I learn to speak to myself in this unacceptably unkind way?  We then need to learn to detach ourselves from this voice by noticing it but not responding to it, not feeding it.  And we can do this by cultivating a commitment to our values and to more compassionate self-talk.  In the same way we do with our partners, friends and kids, we need to start responding to the frightened parts of ourselves with warmth, validation and encouragement.  Reflection: What do I need to hear in this moment? What would my best friend be telling me right now?

 

Q3. Now the big fish. FEAR. I get asked about fear SO MANY TIMES. How to keep pushing through even when it feels terribly scary. Do you have any tricks for managing this?

Simply put we need to make fear our friend.  Our instinct, because our fears can feel so real, and be so overwhelming is to try to get rid of the frightening thoughts and the uncomfortable bodily sensations that come with it by avoiding what’s making us feel frightened.  And avoidance is effective – almost instantly we feel relief, but this relief reinforces the fear and gives it fuel, leading to more avoidance and taking us further away from what we want and need.  Instead, we need to learn how to approach and carry the fear by acknowledging it, accepting it, allowing it a little bit of space, while we gently and firmly keep pushing ourselves forward, guided by our values and our knowledge that what we’re doing is important to us.  When we keep approaching our fears, they lose their power over us, and we learn to start trusting in ourselves and what we do, trusting in the community we serve and trusting in our future together.  Trust is the opposite of fear.  When we trust we feel safe, and when we feel safe we feel energised and creative and excited and can become our best selves and do our best work.  Practice: Grounding techniques and slow, diaphragmatic breathing.  (These skills help keep us in the present (fear lives in the past and the future) and they de-activate the fear system and tell the body and the mind that we’re safe). 

 

Q4. A big one nowadays is social media and the intense self-comparison that it creates. How can we get better at not comparing ourselves so much these days?

Firstly, I think we need to become really conscious, really clear about exactly what we’re doing in these moments and it’s this – we’re self-harming.  Because comparison is the mental equivalent of intentional, repetitive self-injury.  And would we be ok with doing that?  We know we wouldn’t.  When we compare ourselves to others we feed the internal critic because we’re looking for, highlighting, focusing on every little thing we lack or think we lack.  As we all know, this leaves us feeling anxious, sad, bad and small and it just kills our creativity and our capacity to take up more space in the world.  It’s really great to turn to others for inspiration but we need to keep an eye on when this energises, encourages and motivates us, and when it does the opposite.  If our time on social media is harming us, we have to limit our exposure to it, take breaks, regroup, and remind ourselves – and delight in – what’s good about us, what’s good about what we’re doing.  Developing some healthy narcissism and gratitude will help with this. Reflection: What am I getting right? What’s special about me and what I do? What are three things I’m really grateful for right now – about me, my life, and my work?  

 

Q5. Lastly, what makes a focused mind?. I find for those that do my Dream | Plan Get it Done Workshop, focus to keep momentum and implementation is a huge challenge, any thoughts?

You know me Cris – this is a big challenge for me too! I think what works for everyone will be a little different and it takes time, trial and error, reflection and self-awareness to come to know exactly what you want to achieve and exactly what you need to get there.  For me – external accountability trumps any other strategies I use, which is why your workshops are so important for me (Confession: I replied SIGN ME UP before your email for the next workshop had even fully downloaded!).  Without this I’m likely to hit my biggest pitfall which is dropping tasks that are important to me either for easier tasks or more urgent tasks (hmmm…where is the draft of that e-book I’d nearly finished weeks ago get to…).  And my other one big pitfall is not taking proper physical and mental breaks from work, which I know I absolutely need to nurture my creativity, to re-focus my mind, to re-prioritise what’s important to me, and to re-energise me to get it done (Rottnest here I come!). And then there’s the exact process of how this is done.  We need to make sure the goals we set are in line with our values, and that they’re broken down into small, achievable and measurable steps. And we must take a compassionate ‘warm but firm’ approach with absolutely no shaming and blaming when we lose our way.  To be honest, I don’t think a constantly focused mind is achievable for many of us with the busy lives we lead but – and it’s a big but, if we commit to starting again each time we lose focus, and if we don’t give up, I do believe each of us can achieve whatever it is we have our heart set on, and create the life we want.

It’s here!2020 is Actually here!and with it, I feel a combination of hope, wishes, and wonder.To start this new cycle, and to help you set the foundations to create a year to remember (in a good way), I spoke to 2 of my most favourite clients to get some great insights on aligning our health […]

It’s here!
2020 is Actually here!
and with it, I feel a combination of hope, wishes, and wonder.

To start this new cycle, and to help you set the foundations to create a year to remember (in a good way), I spoke to 2 of my most favourite clients to get some great insights on aligning our health and our mind, from the inside out.

It’s a 2 part series and today, we start with Kate Barnes. An incredible health coach whom I’m proud to call my client, my own health coach and dear friend. 
Kate is really passionate about supporting women and young families in thriving and making choices that regenerate and nourish, instead of depleting us in this fast-paced race.  So let’s dive in.

A Q&A with Kate Barnes

Q1.
Dear Kate, my clients push hard. Committed entrepreneurs, many of them mothers with young children working long hours to build a brand. In this new year, what are the top habits too look out for? The non-negotiables.

I love this question, Cris.  Time, energy and joy are our greatest resources and often the most limited.  Giving priority to any one of the following three ideas will positively affect most areas of our lives!   

I’m keeping them super simple in that you don’t need a lot of time and they’re FREE.  Free medicine is easy to dismiss as it can seem almost too simple, but its potency is strong and often underrated e.g. sleep.

Let’s start with sleep.

  1. Sleep.

Sleep is number one. When we start improving sleep quality (not quantity), it helps all areas of our life.  Becoming an early bird rather than a night owl is also important (and it can be done)! Quality sleep is one of the best ways to protect our hormonal health too, which is important and often overlooked in Mums.  

Quality sleep is;

For example, quick tips to reduce stimulation and ease the mind before bed;

  1. Hydration. 

Our bodies are 70% water, we need to stay well hydrated with good quality, filtered and mineralised water.  Good hydration is necessary for good energy, cellular communication, immunity and to feel good.  Most of us are dehydrated without realising.     

Quick tips;

  1. Sunshine.

We’ve shielded ourselves from the sun for many, many years, protecting our skin and health.  Yet the sun is probably one of the most important factors for our well-being. It’s needed for immunity, hormonal health, cellular health and so much more.  The sun is the key and its medicinal properties potent.  

To learn more I wrote an article, https://www.katebarnes.com.au/sunscreen-the-myth/ 

Quick tips;

Each of these ‘habits’ can require us to prioritise ourselves, so if you’re not already, please schedule you in to your diary for a bit of FREE medicine and reap the incredible rewards. 

BONUS.

We know the value of movement and that’s a non-negotiable for me, something gentle or aerobic each alternate day so it becomes ‘second nature’.

Preferably outdoors and with an awareness of posture i.e. alignment / how we carry ourselves.  When the body is well aligned our chemistry and biology within can ‘free flow’ – it’s so important and easily taken for granted. Iron out any ‘kinks’ with gentle walking, stretching, yoga, myofascia release, chiropractic, massage, swimming etc.  You may even find there’s emotional trauma the body is holding onto too that the above modalities can begin to release. 

 

Q2. And in your experience, Do you have any tips to keep habits and good intentions?  What have you found works, to stay on track?

The brain (and body) likes to stay with what it knows, where it feels comfortable, so doing something new can ‘feel’ hard/challenging.  It can help understanding and knowing that before we know it we create new patterns/pathways in the brain to create the habit.  

A timeframe. Give yourself a timeframe e.g. 21 days to practise the new habit and reap the rewards. 

Enlist support.  From a partner, family member or friends.  This is important to help us stay motivated, inspired and give accountability.  

Intrinsic motivation.  Aligning your new habit with a strong sense of purpose and how that purpose makes you feel e.g. sleeping better is going to give more energy, more energy to parent with more ease and joy, more energy to be even more productive and feel more confident or accomplished in business etc.  

 

Q3. Let’s talk about energy. We all want more of it, much more. What are you currently playing with, to increase energy in your clients and yourself?

I love this question Cris, our energy is one of the best barometers of our well-being, but there are so many factors at play so there’s ‘no one size fits all’. 

Commonly in my clients with young children and working full time, getting quality sleep is key, as mentioned earlier. 

We can fall into a trap of putting the kids to bed and then staying up late enjoying the peace and quiet, getting to bed after 10:30 pm and then being woken in the night etc.  Sleep is the bodies own healer, the ultimate free medicine. When we sleep the body restores and regenerates. Getting more hours before 12am is probably the most important, especially for the nervous system.  

Aside from sleep and meditation, there are 2 things I’m ‘playing’ with.  Improving my Posture/alignment and learning more about this to support my clients and adding in lots more play (as mentioned earlier) and play!

Personally, I’ve stifled my ability to play and it’s so important for our nervous systems and it’s fun and to not worry about ‘getting it right’!

I’m loving the work of Joe Dispenza at the moment.

 

Q4. And what about burn-out? how can we start the year with a few things in place to avoid ending up there?

Such a good question Cris.   I’m a big believer in ‘where attention goes, energy flows, outcomes grow’.

With time our bodies and brains get used to certain behaviours and thoughts that are automatic i.e. our ‘nature’ but don’t always serve us, diminishing our energy and our bright lights.  

Taking time to slow down, (the holidays are perfect for this) to catch our thoughts and be aware of WHAT we are doing and thinking helps.  It’s why meditation, breathe work etc is important.  

So slowing down to be aware of the actions we’re taking is the key.  Awareness first and foremost and to curiously question our thoughts and actions. 

Michael Singers books helped me a lot with this and the work of Byron Katie.  Highly recommend. 

 

Q5. I know you talk a lot about the start of the day. How your rituals and breakfast set you up for what’s ahead. Can you talk a bit about this?

Yes.  It’s about energy again.  When we feel good in ourselves we make better choices, so setting up the day with the right mindset and feeling good about ourselves, ripples throughout the day and those close to us.

I have many clients, especially mums who say they’re ‘not morning’ people,  however, when they start improving their sleep, taking out stimulants and restoring their energy, they start to wake up naturally earlier and often with the dawn.  Which is so restorative to our hormonal health in itself. It’s like magic. 

 

Q6. Lastly, any thoughts on how we could cultivate a more loving relationship with our bodies where we feel more in-tune with it? I find me and my clients spend a lot of time on the computer and working and sometimes it’s even easy to forget that we have a body in the first place.

Oh, Cris, I love this question it’s so important.  In our modern world, our senses are stifled and when we feel we heal.  To feel we need to move from our heads and into our bodies. Working long hours and mothering leaves little time for this, we need to make time for it.  

It’s another reason Movement is so so important for us.   Woman are naturally creative, nurturing and playful, adding more of this into our lives with dance, music, singing etc.  more ‘feminine’ activities. 

Remembering to stimulate our senses a little more is going to work wonders e.g. taking time to smell our food, the outdoors, the seaside, essential oils etc.   

To take 1 – 2 minutes to enjoy an all-over body massage with essential oils, organic body oil and/or magnesium spray after the shower or bath is a perfect way to do this too.  And really take time to appreciate our amazing body and all it does for us.  

Sometimes these lifestyle choices can seem too simplistic in their effectiveness and so we quickly dismiss them as not being important.  Yet they are incredibly potent and as soon as we prioritise them and believe in them, magic happens. 

Hello you all. Let’s dive right into this one. You may or may not celebrate Christmas but typically, this time of the year can be beautiful and also incredibly stressful for small business owners. Your staff is going away, you are expected to be present for family, and everyone is in a mad rush to […]

Hello you all. Let’s dive right into this one.
You may or may not celebrate Christmas but typically, this time of the year can be beautiful and also incredibly stressful for small business owners.

Your staff is going away, you are expected to be present for family, and everyone is in a mad rush to finish everything off before we close.
As I reflect on how I feel about this time, I thought it would be kind of cool to play with some ideas with you.

A tiny survival guide on how to get through this time.
Here we go:

The biggest opportunity for inner work
Let’s be honest. There is possibly no other time of the year where we will be triggered more, exhausted more and pushed more than during the Christmas season.
Spending lots of time with friends and relatives is incredibly effective in showing you all of your crap. Your rage, your insecurities, and your recurring patterns.

And because I believe a strong Brand is created by a stronger mind and heart, how about we walk into this last bit of the year with the full intention to learn, to grow, to heal and consciously re-shape?

We’ve been warned, we know it will happen. So what will be the practices, the inner contracts or the boundaries that can help us shift old stuff, forgive and once and for all, move on?

Take stuff off the list
This is an invitation to be ruthless.
Because most of you are perfectionists like me. I challenge you to take some stuff completely off the end of the year, get done list. Really ask yourself, is it the end of the world if I simply don’t do this? Will my customers notice? Will my profits suffer?
Feel the relief…
Ahh….

Remember who you came here to serve
Like me, most of you spend lots of time in your business bubble. Your tribe, your Instagram conversation, your strategies, and sales. But during Christmas, we get to come out of that bubble and meet the uncle that still doesn’t ‘get you’. Or the cousin that asks you once more, when are you getting a real job.

So for this one, my advice is a bit different. Right before closing off for the season, read some of your best testimonials, spend a tiny bit of time remembering the difference you make. Connecting with those who you came here to serve and know that your work matters and makes a difference on its own terms.

Amplify a simplified Self-care
I’m not going to get complicated here. Really simplify your self-care survival routine, but do it no matter what!

Meditate maybe only 5 minutes a day, cut your walks to half the time, keep your tapping routine for every toilet break, carry some oils in your pocket and take a few deep breaths.
Create small but precious containers of care in the midst of the speed around you. Just a few tools to get you through. This is not the time to give ourselves a hard time for not continuing with our everyday rituals, or staying strict with our routine.
Loads of self-love, self-awareness and very deep breaths.

Be strategic about the type of tasks
It is a fact that we waste tons of time switching from creative work, to invoicing, to contacting last-minute client requests. For this period, being incredibly aware of the flow, or area you are working in and batching every single task with similar ones on your list can give you a productivity edge.

Group your to-dos. Keep it simple. Something like:
-people
-admin, numbers
-creative

Observe which time of the day works better for each and focus just on those!

There you have it.

We’ll get through this.
One bit at a time,

Good luck,
Cris

Hello, hello, The end of the year is just around the corner and things certainly feel like they are accelerating on my end. Prioritizing, at this point, becomes so important. What should we push to 2020? What can we still try to complete? What should we get rid of? Well today, I wanted to share […]

Hello, hello,

The end of the year is just around the corner and things certainly feel like they are accelerating on my end.

Prioritizing, at this point, becomes so important.

What should we push to 2020? What can we still try to complete? What should we get rid of?

Well today, I wanted to share with you the 3 things that I repeat in almost every strategy session.

They might help you re-direct your focus and attention for this last bit of the year we’ve got.

Every session, every client and every business is different, yet there are patterns that I see that have a lot in common. Hence the questions below:

1. What would your ideal customer feel/think about this?

When considering new services to launch, how to package your offerings, new products to develop, or any other thing that you stumble upon, always, always always go back to your ideal customer. How does this fit with their needs? Their deepest fears or desires?

I find that keeping your customer in mind even for the smallest decisions can create such clarity. One of the biggest mistakes I see (and I do this as well), is to spend too much time in our own shoes. 

We love our thing, our topic, our product, our message and forget to look at it from the other side.

2. How does your dream vision feel inside?

This has become a top priority in my work. Getting clients and students to become incredibly familiar with the feeling they get when they visualise their goals. 

They might see themselves in 3 years doing something or being someone, and it’s the feeling that comes with that image, that I focus most on. 

The feeling, and the daily practice of re-visiting it.

Because when we feel, we create a whole set of chemical expressions within our body. 

And that’s where the deepest transformation begins. 

Incredible minds like Joe Dispenza, Helen McCarthy, and Bruce Lipton tell us that a recurrent practice of visiting the feeling and experiencing it in our body, our mind, our heart, has incredible potential for getting us closer to where we want to be. I really encourage you to give this one a try!

3. Can anyone else do this? Who can we outsource this to?

Every strategy session with me comes with the added bonus of an epic brainstorming mind. That’s just how I’m built. Seeing lots of potential and ideas and things to create.

Having said that, most of my clients are already neck-deep with stuff to manage, do, follow-through; so a common question is always, what else can we outsource? Who can we give the new project or ideas to?

I try to always make sure that my clients spend most of their time within their zone of expertise and give the rest to someone else.

I recently wrote about outsourcing here, check it out.

So maybe this one can be great to meet your end of the year goals!

That’s it!

Can you see something here that you could apply?

Is there anything here that resonates with your particularly?

Good luck with this month,

Lots of love,

Cris

If you’ve been my student you’ve heard me say this. Sometimes I think I was put on this earth to convince women to outsource.  Really, it is one of the things I talk about the most. So today, I decided to talk about some of the common mistakes I see we all make around this, […]

If you’ve been my student you’ve heard me say this.

Sometimes I think I was put on this earth to convince women to outsource. 

Really, it is one of the things I talk about the most.

So today, I decided to talk about some of the common mistakes I see we all make around this, and how to overcome them quickly!

First of all, let’s define what I mean by Outsourcing.

Simply put, it’s getting some help.

Not necessarily a full-time employee but someone that for an hour or more, helps you regularly in your business (or at home) to get stuff done.

And let me tell you, as women, I see a huge resistance to getting help. 

The most common themes are:

And trust me, I get it. I’ve been there.

And now, on the other side, I just can’t get enough.

I started to play with delegating, outsourcing, getting help roughly 12 years ago.

Mostly inspired by the world-famous book, 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. It hasn’t always been pleasant, profitable or efficient, but boy has it paid off!

Staying in your zone of genius and what you are amazing at will give you the greatest rewards.

Doing it all will either get you burnt out or moving too slowly.

So here we go, the 6 top mistakes I see around me all the time:

 

Not Starting early enough

Learning to delegate is a skill in my mind.
It will take you time to find someone great and develop a way of communicating your tasks. The common one here is students telling me their business isn’t big enough or making enough to justify this, to which I say, you will NEED to learn this skill eventually, so why not start practising now?

With your cousin who needs some extra work, or a freelancer for an hour a week.

A little dip of your toes in the world of giving someone a bit of your load will quickly show you how much further you can get. 

I can’t tell you how many times a client has said to me, Cris you were right, after insisting (in some cases for more than 12 months) that they needed to find help.

 

Expecting someone to read your mind

This by far, is the most common one. 

Be extremely clear on what you need, dot by dot, the exact timeframe involved and what your expectations around it are.
Also letting your subcontractor know how it all fits with your big picture and business plans helps too.

Provide examples and leave it all in writing if possible with a system to follow-up. Many of my clients admit this is one of the reasons why they give up. Initially blaming the subcontractor saying they ‘didn’t get it’, or didn’t do what they expected.

So be crystal clear on what you need and want. And thoroughly communicate it.

 

Going too cheap

I remember an excited client telling me about a VA she had found in Thailand for $5 dollars an hour. She said it was so cheap it didn’t really matter if things weren’t perfect, at least it was a start. And yes I agree that starting is important, but consider the amount of management, repetition, and direction that this new subcontractor will require. If it takes more than it gives, it’s surely not a smart move.

I say, hire the best that you can afford, someone that sits well in the picture of your dream team that you have in mind.

 

Not knowing where you actually need help

I get it. Running a small business is so intense that sometimes you wish for a fairy godmother to just come and grab it all from your hands.

But successful outsourcing takes planning and direction. Check the top areas of your business. Where are you most stuck? Which one is consistently being set back? Is it marketing that needs the most help, or product development? Or maybe it’s everyday admin.

My suggestion:

 

Lacking systems to collaborate with your subcontractor

Communication and efficiency is the name of the game. Having a system to keep track of revisions, changes, task requests, etc, will get you so much closer to a successful outsourcing experience. You may be high-tech or analogue but I really suggest that you think about this one and establish an agreement from the beginning of what the preferred times, days of the week and mediums of communication will be!

My preferred tools for staying on top of my team’s tasks are Asana, Trello, Dropbox, and Zoom (for follow up calls).

Being unclear of what outsourcing will buy you

Outsourcing something currently on your desk will buy you, hopefully, time.

But for what? What will you actually do with that extra time?

Having clarity around this will be really beneficial in keeping you inspired to make the outsourcing experience work.
Let me give you examples:

 

Not seeing the Subcontractor as a partner for growth

Outsourcing is a great opportunity to bring someone else’s expertise into your business. Hopefully, one that is not part of your own set of skills.
So think of who you are hiring as a partner, someone hopefully skilled and an expert in their field who complements you, and brings in a set of fresh eyes. Rather than managing, or supervising them, think of collaborating and partnering with them to bring the best of the best to your vision and life.

 

So there it is, you’ve been warned,

The most common outsourcing mistakes I see!

One thing is absolutely certain.
You won’t get too far on your own.

So look around. What, in your life or business is needing some help?
What happens day after day, when all these things are not getting done.

Now get organised. You don’t have to figure it all out.
Start small and most importantly, give yourself permission to receive help.

Because your idea, your business, your contribution matters
>And it’s worth investing in, supporting and nourishing, just like you.

Now I would love to hear from you,
Have you outsourced anything yet?
Has it worked?
Would love to know.

Lots of love,

Cris

It was 2010.

I had spent roughly 4 months in India working for an exquisite textile company.

Nearing the end of the adventure, I flew north and spent around 13 days in an Ashram close to the Ganges River.

Mostly in silence, meditating, journaling, walking and reading a bit.

Many beautiful and powerful things happened on that Ashram stay.

One, in particular, I will never forget: feeling utterly and completely enough.

 

It was 2010.

I had spent roughly 4 months in India working for an exquisite textile company.

Nearing the end of the adventure, I flew north and spent around 13 days in an Ashram close to the Ganges River.

Mostly in silence, meditating, journaling, walking and reading a bit.

Many beautiful and powerful things happened on that Ashram stay.

One, in particular, I will never forget: feeling utterly and completely enough.

My clothes were incredibly simple, the food was basic and the accommodation really bare.

I was single and travelling solo. I remember this particular afternoon sitting on a rock and realising I didn’t need a single thing. This precious feeling of being whole, unbroken and complete. I asked myself if I felt like needing something to make that sitting something more.

I couldn’t think of anything.

It was like meeting this holy inner oasis for the very first time – and it tasted oh so sweet.

After that special time, and within a week, I found myself back in New York.

I remember the first days walking around the streets, getting on the train and feeling how this wholeness made me so rich. I saw the struggle and suffering and worry in others, but not me. I was still complete.

That is,

Until I was not.

After 2 weeks of walking and stores and conversations, I saw the holes creeping in. Suddenly the wrinkle cream advertising got me thinking, and I started wondering about my clothes. And fear – about all sorts of things – started creeping in.

And I saw it all. Right then and there I realised how so many profited from me doubting my worth. If only I gave in to what they said. The advertising, and the noise. What they said was lacking in me would make for brilliant business for them.

So an internal pull and push began and in various degrees has appeared on and off, ever since.

Like many, I too oscillate between believing the outside voices and the childhood stories about me being incomplete. But I have the vivid memory and knowing, in my heart and body, that I am truly enough.

And guess what,

So are you.

We all are.

I am so glad you are here, showing up and doing your work, with me.

From light to darkness and everything in between.

With love,

Cris

Let me start by saying that this is not AT ALL my area of expertise (just yet :) ). But I feel deeply called to raise awareness on the topic. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet!

Mapping our menstrual cycles can give us incredible insights into when to do what, for the greatest results in our business. I really wish I had discovered this in my twenties, I would have had a much smoother ride. The first time I saw this in action was when a dear friend shared with me that her business’ schedule for workshops and events all aligned to her cycle. She was fully aware of her expected fluctuations and made the best of them.

Let me start by saying that this is not AT ALL my area of expertise (just yet 🙂 ). But I feel deeply called to raise awareness on the topic. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet!

Mapping our menstrual cycles can give us incredible insights into when to do what, for the greatest results in our business. I really wish I had discovered this in my twenties, I would have had a much smoother ride. The first time I saw this in action was when a dear friend shared with me that her business’ schedule for workshops and events all aligned to her cycle. She was fully aware of her expected fluctuations and made the best of them.

WOW.

So, for the total beginner.

The female’s body is intelligent beyond imagination. We cycle and shift, roughly 4 times a month, calling within us different rhythms in our mind, body, emotions, and heart. Culturally, that has meant lots of complaining and resistance because we can’t seem to ‘perform’ in a sustainable way. Attempting to emulate men, we’ve done everything possible to just push through and continue the hassle, even if the wisdom within us is begging us to slow down.

Every one of those rhythms and cycles presents great opportunities for enriching our Brand. Learning about them and using their gifts can leverage our businesses in powerful ways.

Accessing that wisdom, those different qualities within us IS our superpower. That is where we can find strength.

So here go a few ideas of what to do when:

(We all fluctuate differently so this is just a brainstorm for you to translate into your world)!

Reflective Phase (day 1-6, menstrual period)

Lower energy, less focus and no desire to socialise can be common. We can access deep wisdom and knowledge here.

Great for:

Dynamic phase (day 7-13)

With an active mind and body, our left brain is ready to get stuff done.

Great for:

Expressive Phase (day 14-20)

Our energy starts shifting, still outward driven but a bit more emotionally aware.

Great for:

Creative phase (day 21-28)

Pre-menstrual phase and undoubtedly, the most difficult for many. This is where Brand building can get tough. The mind can become unusually self-critical, yet we have access to great creativity and lateral thinking too. This is the time where the excessive comparing with others tends to appear for me, and I restrict my social media browsing BIG TIME.

Great for:

Ok, so that was longer than expected – but hopefully fun!

A few resources I like on this topic are:

BOOKS

COURSES

Now, I would really love to hear from you. Do you use this? Do you align your Brand efforts and cycle in any way?

With love,

Cris

You hear me talk a lot about building a Strong Brand but in the context of small business, what does it really mean?

Before I begin, let me tell you that in my experience, building a Brand that matters, takes time. That’s why comparing ourselves to others AND starting now, matter so much.

So here we go, a few thoughts on this one...

You hear me talk a lot about building a Strong Brand but in the context of small business, what does it really mean?

Before I begin, let me tell you that in my experience, building a Brand that matters, takes time. That’s why comparing ourselves to others AND starting now, matter so much.

So here we go, a few thoughts on this one…

A strong Brand has a strong why

Trends come and go but Brands that know what they do well and why, those that understand who they serve, in a deep way, really stay strong through the passing of time.

Connection

A strong Brand spends extra time understanding and connecting with customers. The people they serve, go first. A mindset of improvement and serving customers deeply, build strong Brands.

Consistency

Showing up often, maintaining coherence in your language and what you stand for, allows for a clear message that builds a strong Brand.

A Solid Identity

Having a clear identity across all your platforms and communication material makes it much easier for your customers to find you and understand what you are about.

A Spirited Leader

The Brands I’ve seen go from a spark of inspiration to solid entities attracting raving fans had a great captain behind them. A leader so committed to asking more, starting again, apologising, really going the extra mile.

From the inside-out

Brands are shaped from the inside, even if you are a one-man band. Aligning you and your team to what you are about, and why it matters, creates solid Brands. Internal alignment makes for clear and powerful messaging and delivery of products and services.

Commitment to Creativity

Not settling. Always asking questions, considering what else can be done. Looking at it from a different angle and considering every little detail build strong Brands.

Nailing the Experience

Every step matters. Considering the before, during and after in the interaction with customers builds solid Brands and provides invaluable trust!

That’s it!

If you need help building one, I’m here! Just drop me a line!

With Love,

Cris

Hi there, today I wanted to chat about possibly the most common block I encounter with my clients. Well, the second most common. (the first one is fear :) ).

Writing.

That time when you have to write your website’s content, create an E-book, or simply create some content for your social media accounts.

Hi there, today I wanted to chat about possibly the most common block I encounter with my clients. Well, the second most common. (the first one is fear 🙂 ).

Writing.

That time when you have to write your website’s content, create an E-book, or simply create some content for your social media accounts.

I’m not joking when I say I’ve had clients investing (let’s not say, wasting), many, many months staring at a blank page pondering on how to make a story of their ‘why’, their gifts, and what they can offer.

I must confess initially I found it really annoying. Back in the day when I was designing websites, content would be the thing that would stop a project right in its tracks. I would send kind messages to my clients again and again, and nothing would come back.

After seeing the pattern way too many times, I knew something else was going on.

The commitment that comes with writing, showing up and saying ‘ hey, look at me, this is who I am, this is what I love doing’, requires incredible courage, especially at the beginning of your business journey.

Some of the things I hear from my clients are:

So why so much fear?

For hundreds of years, women’s survival depended on us staying nice, polite, quiet, and not rocking the boat too much. That lesson has been embedded in us deeply, so writing, speaking up and becoming visible, in a website, social media or any piece of writing, really can stir deep emotions.

Conquering the fear feels like a great feat. And because this is not commonly spoken about, with the feeling of being stuck, huge shame can arrive.

Your mind might say stuff like:

So, the purpose of today’s writing is to let you know that you being stuck is NORMAL, EXPECTED AND BEAUTIFUL.

Birthing your work and your visibility with words takes practice, bravery, and mountains of self-compassion.

So as usual, a few tips that I find really work:

GET HELP

The quickest way to get unstuck is to get help. Find a copywriter that ‘gets you’, give her your bullet points, your imperfect draft, your multiple options and ideas. All the messy ups and downs and get her to craft it all in one! Works a treat, I do it all the time! A brand strategist can also point you on the right track!

WORK ON THE FEAR

Multiple times I’ve sent my clients to see a kinesiologist or healer of some sort. The fear that stirs up can be so profound that sometimes, we need energetic clearing to move on. If this writing thing is really shaking you up, consider seeing someone, do some work on the fear and what it means to be seen and show up.

FOCUS ON WHO YOU CAME HERE TO SERVE

This one works a treat for me.

Becoming very clear about who you’ve come here to serve takes the attention from you and onto the work you are meant to be doing. It is your audience and all those that you can help, that urgently need to find you, so an imperfect website or blog post can be more than enough. It’s about them, not you. Getting unstuck gets your work into the world much faster!

IMPERFECTLY PERFECT

Getting used to the idea that it will never be fully finished. That imperfect is better than not done. That you’ll get many chances to iterate later down the track can be absolutely liberating.

I’m launching my new site soon, and let me tell you, it’s highly imperfect from a copywriting perspective. BUT for now, it’s good enough. My clients will forgive me, I will finally move on!

So here’s to words flowing, imperfect sites going live and our hearts lifting the burden of fear from showing up!

Would love to know any tips or rituals you have for writing and showing up!

With love,

Cris