26 June 2018

7 things to do to be more successful

If you’re struggling to find success as an entrepreneur, you might want to take a closer look at how you spend your time away from the office. Consider replacing some of your less productive habits with ones with better benefits:

1. Exercise

Working out is good for both the body and the mind. According to various studies, people who exercise 30 minutes a day, five times a week, enjoy better overall brain health, including uplift in mood, reduced stress, increased creativity and clearer thinking. Exercise is the best thing you can do to stay alert and alive while you run your business.

2. Hobbies 

Have you ever noticed that some of the most successful people you know also lead rather interesting lifestyles outside of work? That comes largely from the personal pastimes they choose to enjoy. Hobbies are a good outlet for stress and an excellent source of creativity.

3. Learning

Success often means fostering a love of learning. If you want to inspire a love of learning inside yourself, learn something new. Some people like to learn languages; others like to keep up with the latest technology. Most learn something that will be useful to them in their careers, such as IT basics. A strong atmosphere of learning new things can help increase personal and business productivity by 37 percent.

With online tutorials, web-based informational courses and apps that offer assistance with just a few taps, you don’t have an excuse not to learn something new. And that's not counting the enormous amount of online tuition that is delivered free.

4. Mindfulness

There’s a reason yoga has become one of the most popular health practices today: Mindfulness can help you relax, improve productivity, facilitate creativity and maintain your general overall well-being.

It’s important to note that practicing mindfulness does not necessarily mean doing yoga or even meditating, though both of those practices will do the job. It could simply mean sitting in stillness for 20 minutes twice a day, or leaning back in your chair, staring up at the ceiling and forgetting the world for 10 minutes.

5. Service

If you’re losing sight of perspective and what matters to you most, take an opportunity to serve the less fortunate. Giving back to your community helps you to think about things besides work, which may enable you to evaluate how to improve your business. It’s the best way to put your life into perspective and reduce the stress that comes from constantly focusing on your own problems.

6. Reading

The best way to stay up to date with the activities of prosperous individuals is to read. Whether you’re keeping up on the latest news, studying a business-oriented self-help book or reading the biography of a successful person you admire, reading can help boost your creativity, improve your thought processes at work and enable you to de-stress after a long day.

7. Family

Take a break every now and then to devote your entire attention to those you love most. For just a few hours a week, stop thinking about the things that happen at work and enjoy what’s going on at home. Healthy, happy and profitable people understand that taking a break with their loved ones keeps them sane as they climb the ladder of success.

Source www.success.com

22 June 2018

Why you need to be resilient

Resilience (or resiliency) is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things don't go as planned. Resilient people don't wallow or dwell on failures; they acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes, and then move forward.

According to the research of leading psychologist, Susan Kobasa, there are three elements that are essential to resilience:

Challenge – Resilient people view a difficulty as a challenge, not as a paralyzing event. They look at their failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from, and as opportunities for growth. They don't view them as a negative reflection on their abilities or self-worth.

Commitment – Resilient people are committed to their lives and their goals, and they have a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning. Commitment isn't just restricted to their work – they commit to their relationships, their friendships, the causes they care about, and their religious or spiritual beliefs.

Personal Control – Resilient people spend their time and energy focusing on situations and events that they have control over. Because they put their efforts where they can have the most impact, they feel empowered and confident. Those who spend time worrying about uncontrollable events can often feel lost, helpless, and powerless to take action.

Another leading psychologist, Martin Seligman, says the way that we explain setbacks to ourselves is also important. (He talks in terms of optimism and pessimism rather than resilience, however, the effect is essentially the same.) This "explanatory style" is made up of three main elements:

Permanence – People who are optimistic (and therefore have more resilience) see the effects of bad events as temporary rather than permanent. For instance, they might say "My boss didn't like the work I did on that project" rather than "My boss never likes my work."

Pervasiveness – Resilient people don't let setbacks or bad events affect other unrelated areas of their lives. For instance, they would say "I'm not very good at this" rather than "I'm no good at anything."

Personalisation – People who have resilience don't blame themselves when bad events occur. Instead, they see other people, or the circumstances, as the cause. For instance, they might say "I didn't get the support I needed to finish that project successfully," rather than "I messed that project up because I can't do my job."

In our Expert Interview with Dr. Cal Crow, the co-founder and Program Director of the Center for Learning Connections, Dr. Crow identified several further attributes that are common in resilient people:

Resilient people have a positive image of the future. That is, they maintain a positive outlook, and envision brighter days ahead.

Resilient people have solid goals, and a desire to achieve those goals.

Resilient people are empathetic and compassionate, however, they don't waste time worrying what others think of them. They maintain healthy relationships, but don't bow to peer pressure.

Resilient people never think of themselves as victims – they focus their time and energy on changing the things that they have control over.

How we view adversity and stress strongly affects how we succeed, and this is one of the most important reasons that having a resilient mindset is so important.

The fact is that we're going to fail from time to time: it's an inevitable part of living that we make mistakes and occasionally fall flat on our faces. The only way to avoid this is to live a shuttered and meager existence, never trying anything new or taking a risk. Few of us want a life like that!

Source www.mindtools.com

10 June 2018

What equality means to me

The fundamentals of women’s equality is:
  1. Financial self-sufficiency
  2. The ability to control fertility
  3. Freedom from violence



22 May 2018

10 ways to master the art of small talk

Ah, small talk. The cringe-worthy part of conversations that usually ends with an awkward silence. Whether you’re at a networking event or just meeting a new group of friends, ditch the “So, what do you do?” or “Nice weather we’re having, don’t you think?” questions and opt for something more meaningful.

1. Relax and be present in the conversation

Rather than try to plan what you will say next, relax and focus on what the other person is actually saying. Listen. Be present in the conversation and the other person will notice. They will feel appreciated, and the conversation will flow naturally.

2. Read a lot

The more you read, the more trivia or facts you pick up that can turn into conversation material. It can be online or in books and journals, but it can help drive a conversation with someone you don’t know much about.

3. Be interested in things to be interesting

I find people have nothing to say because they don’t seem to have any interests. That makes them uninteresting. However, people with hobbies and interests always seem to have a topic or an opinion to share, and they can use that as a launching point to get someone else involved in the discussion.

4. Ask thoughtful questions, and then follow up

I despise small talk, but I love to connect with new people and learn about them because there is always something interesting to glean. If you actually care, it will show. Ask thoughtful questions and really listen to the answers. Then ask great follow-up questions based on their response. Your boring small talk chat will quickly evolve into something meaningful.

5. Ask questions and listen

People love to talk about themselves. I’ve gotten a lot of great business information by just listening to what people have to say, whether it’s work-related or not. Often, it’s about reading between the lines and listening to what they’re not saying to get a good understanding of the type of person they are, what they want and how I can supply that need.

6. Ask about a person’s life, not their job

I never ask someone what they do anymore. Instead, I ask how they spend their time. Questions like this one open the door to more interesting conversations. If the person’s initial response is work-related, I follow up with, “What do you do when you’re not working?” Just keep asking questions and share comments that relate their story to yours.

7. Learn their story

I have found that it helps to ask questions about the person you’re talking with. Everyone has a story to tell, and if you enable them to tell it through asking questions, you will not only master small talk, but start the process of building a strong and meaningful relationship.

8. Externalize your focus

Ask questions, respond to the answers, and if you ever run out of things to say, make a comment about the architecture, artwork on the walls, a bird singing outside, whatever. The world is rich with things to talk about if you can stop worrying and move your center of focus away from your own mental and emotional state.

9. Share something very honest

If you want to make small talk bigger, share something that’s very honest about a topic pertinent to you. When you let down your guard, you’re more likely to have more genuine and productive conversations that turn into meaningful connections and not just another business card for the drawer.

10. Find common ground

Try to find something that you have in common with the person and your interest will be genuine. Look for anything: hometown, college, sports, dogs. Try to identify something about the person you are talking with that you can relate to; this will make small talk easier and you will come across more genuine.

15 February 2018

How to talk to your daughter about her body


How to talk to your daughter about her body - step one: Don't talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don't say anything if she's lost weight. Don't say anything if she's gained weight.

If you think your daughter's body looks amazing, don't say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

"You look so healthy!" is a great one.

Or how about, "You're looking so strong."

"I can see how happy you are -- you're glowing."

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don't comment on other women's bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Don't you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don't go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don't say, "I'm not eating carbs right now." Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you'll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn't absolutely in love with.

Prove to your daughter that women don't need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own mum's recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake.

Pass on your love of being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It's easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don't. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilise her beautiful soul.

~ Sarah Koppelkam

01 February 2018

NZ PM

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is having a baby with a man she's not married to and he's going to be a stay at home dad while she runs the country. About bloody time these archaic gender roles were lost. Welcome to 2018. Welcome to the New World Order. It's like Times Up on a lot of issues.

20 January 2018

Be proud, not just grateful

I get the whole “attitude of gratitude”. I get that we need to thankful and feel blessed. I get that sometimes as women we feel unworthy or maybe even a bit embarrassed about something good happening to us, hence we turn to words like gratitude and blessed to describe our good fortune.

But we can also allow ourselves to feel proud of the accomplishment.

And sometimes as women we struggle a bit to say how proud we are of ourselves.

A year or so ago, I had the opportunity to put together a bunch of podcasts, where we I spoke to small business owners about how they got started, the challenges they faced, and the best parts of being self-employed.

It was a fantastic project and in my top five career-wise. And I’m not blessed nor grateful for its terrific outcomes.

I’m proud. I worked bloody hard on that project. It was an idea that had been unable to find traction and I was brought in to make it happen. One of my favourite things to do - make things happen.

The final product was great, and really well received. So I’m proud.

Likewise my daughter, without question my greatest accomplishment in life. She’s a 26 year old women who is moving comfortable in her own skin, setting her own agenda and defying societal norms.

She’s travelled the world extensively as a humanitarian, volunteers with her church endlessly, radiates sunshine on the greyest of days and hugs you like she’ll never let you go. She’s phenomenal. Just one of the greatest people on earth and without question my favourite human.

I’m proud of her. I’m not blessed to have a daughter who is independent, and I’m not grateful to have a daughter who travels on the coordinates of her own map.

I’m proud. I raised her to think freely, to avoid conforming, be courageous and to follow her heart. She’s doing exactly that, and I’m proud.

It’s ok to be grateful but it’s also ok to be proud.

And please, just ask yourself this - how many males do you see posting to instagram with #sograteful ??

Huh?