Category “Entrepreneurs”

Getting Back to Basics

Wednesday, 19 January, 2011

One of the hardest things after a long break is getting back into one’s routine… a new year, a new set of goals, but also the usual day-to-day responsibilities, and of course, work.

The plus side of a wonderful holiday is that it ideally gives you the energy and kick-start one needs to get going in the new year. However, when it has been SO relaxing, it can also take a long time to get back into the swing of things.

I find that what really helps me is to start small, and get back to basics. Build a list of goals, as well as a list of the essential “Have tos”; those naggy, admin-related things that just have to happen whether I like it or not. I then try and prioritise and ensure that the most important things get done first. Of course, having to also go back to teaching and the start of a new term means that I just have to do it… no excuses, no stalling (well maybe a little 🙂 )…

With my other work, it can be a lot harder, as all clients are a priority. One has to find the balance and not undo all the work of the relaxing holiday either! AH the fine line…

Personally, I am still struggling with jetlag, which takes a helluva long time to get over, and all the bits and bobs of post-travel come down. But here’s to a wonderful 2011, with less stress, more success, and above all, enjoyment and contentment.

Geraldine

R and R

Monday, 6 December, 2010

I know this can be a wickedly busy time of year, where everything gets blurry round the edges (wait, is that because of too much eggnog 🙂 ) and a little stressful, but don’t forget to take some time out to be thankful for friends and family, goodies and treats, and also to rest!

I plan on resting and recharging as much as I can, to ensure I am rearing to go for 2011. 2011!! It’s terrifying to write. As an entrepreneur and teacher, I spend most of the year giving a lot of my energy to students, clients, employers, family, friends etc. and so often I have to force myself to remember  to take some time for me, to give myself permission to take some time off (and that includes brain-time too; i.e. NOT thinking about next term, the next project, my to do lists).

Although I usually take time around my birthday to check in with myself and my list of goals and wants and needs, I also do like to think about what I want the next year to be like as the old year draws to a close. I am excited for new opportunities, new friendships, new projects, and of course, a new term of students. I also like to reflect on everything that has happened in the old year (good and bad) and see where I need to improve, what I am proud of, and what I would like to make sure I achieve in the following year.

Most importantly, however, is to just be in the moment and enjoy myself! Don’t forget to do this for yourselves.

Happy holidays to you all,

Geraldine

Where does the time go?

Tuesday, 16 November, 2010

A while back, I realised with a shock  how close it is to the end of another year! Yes, the Christmas decorations were competing with the Halloween decorations since about July, but when you look at the calendar and suddenly realise that 2011 is not so far away, it can be terrifying!

Each day, to paraphrase Jung, we fight apathy to decide whether or not to get up in the morning. Some days it is a LOT harder than others (especially when you confuse your cellphone text sound and the doorbell ringing – happened to me yesterday!). We have our tasks and our “to dos” and in between, relationships, life, friendships, family… taking time to walk barefoot on the grass or have a cup of tea in the sunshine. It can sometimes feel really overwhelming and crazy out there, and I know I often (as an entrepreneur) have to fight the urge to just hide at the computer (or under the duvet!), or allow myself to be distracted by time suckers like Facebook… It can be very hard to work that balance out each day. I also find that as the weather changes, and we descend into the darkness of winter, it gets even harder!

It is so strange to think that our lives revolve on an illusionary construct: time. We set appointments, meetings, classes, tasks… all based on something that doesn’t really exist. It’s weird, isn’t it? I’ve started counting the sleeps til my visit to South Africa at the end of the year (the first time in almost 4 years), but at the same time, I hate feeling like I am willing time away to get to something that I am looking forward to.

It is indeed a balance that we are trying to achieve in life, between appreciating the moment we are in, and setting goals in order to complete the tasks we want and need to complete. I have a million and one things to do before I fly south for some much needed summer sunshine, but I am also trying to ensure I don’t get lost in the “have tos” and “should haves”.

It’s a tricky tightrope.

Geraldine

For anyone who works from home…

Friday, 22 October, 2010

I LOVE The Oatmeal. Off the wall and  totally hilarious. I found this one today on “why working at home is both awesome and horrible”. Too funny!

Ridiculously funny artwork with a lot of truth.

Geraldine

Trust Your Instincts, and Your Self.

Friday, 15 October, 2010

As an entrepreneur, it is often so hard to stop yourself from doubting your every move. Am I doing enough? Too little? Should I take that client? Work with that company? Am I networking/promoting/earning enough? It’s enough to make your head spin!

I have found, as someone who has ended up on the path to opening her own business without a business background, that I tend to doubt myself. And yet, I have such strong instincts and have to remind myself of how much I have accomplished. I have to remind myself that I am not naively trusting someone, but that I have read them and know that I can do business with them and won’t have to struggle to get paid, or that my hard work for them will be recognised. And I also have to remind myself that if I trip up, it’s not the end of the world. But it can be tough to keep positive sometimes.

What are the things you do to keep positive? To keep your eye on your goals? Who supports you, if you work on your own? What strategies can you use to keep on track or learn more or expand your skills? How do you reach new clients? A new network? I’d be really interested to hear from you what works and doesn’t work, for you.

Sometimes it can be as simple as talking to someone and telling them what you need. Sometimes you have to do a lot of pavement pounding. And the best times are when everything serendipitously just falls into place. (If only it could always be like that, right?). The exciting part of this is nothing stays the same; there is always change and growth, and the opportunity to learn more about who you are and what you do.

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On a related, but slightly separate note, if you are an entrepreneur in Vancouver looking to expand your skills, then this might interest you. Wired Woman Vancouver (the organisation I volunteer for, and have just signed on as the Director of Communications for) is running a fantastic event on November 1st entitled Growing Your Business: Tips for Entrepreneurs. The event will run in a round table discussion format and features Bob de Witt from New Ventures BC, Valerie Mann, Lawson Lundell LLP, Bill Tam, CEO in Residence (Vancouver), Jeanette Jackson, CEO , Light-Based Technologies, and Lauren Kulokas, COO, of Energy Aware.

Not only will you get tips and ideas on legal issues, understanding your market, and financing, but also hear entrepreneurial success stories to help motivate and inspire you.  You can learn more on the Wired Woman website, and register for the event on the site too. Membership is free, so it makes to join, and then get members’ rates!

Sadly, I will be teaching that night and not able to make the event, but it’s going to be outstanding.

Keep trusting and learning,

Geraldine