Just Do it: A New Year Tale

It has taken me some time to add pen to paper, of course figuratively speaking, to write about a New Year and resolution as a theme. For people who know me, I am not big on New Year resolutions. This is not to say that I do not like to make clear what it is that I would like to achieve.

 

Why wait to the end of the year?

The problem I have with New Years Resolution, is why wait to the end of the year to set those big goals? We should instead be looking at everyday to have joy, love, expansion and flow.  Sometimes when people are making plans of the spare of the moment at New Years Eve, it may be something in the moment not really planned out on how they are going to achieve the goal. For example, at 11:59 on 31st December I may make the statement, “I’m going to lose 2 stones and join the gym”. The next day I start looking at gyms, maybe go to one session and the momentum goes. Then at some stage I may have felt that I failed.

 

Life is a continuing learning process

I do not have all the answers. I think when I discovered that it was liberating. But I am always willing to learn. From setting goals, I have been able to understand myself better. There have been some goals that I have achieved and others that I did not. This is not to say that I am quitter. I think it goes back to going to your source; the why of what motivates you. Going back to the previous example, why do you want to lose weight? Is it because you feel bad about yourself? Have you been over eating? Do you want to be feeling a certain way? I read an interesting book this year, E-squared by Pam Grout. She described a time in her life when she did not feel so pretty. When she started to love her body, she noticed a shift. Her skin glowed. It shows the power of self-love in play.

 

This was the year of LOVE

Love to me is pure, honest and unconditional. It never leaves you – not really.

 

This year I was asked the question many times, “What is your niche?”  People want to have a clear idea of what it is that you do, which is sometimes the opening line when you meet people in a social setting. I was trying to find my niche. I had discussions with various consultants, from the blogging coach to the social media expert. They kept coming up with the theme of love. Why not give advice on dating, or finding the one. They were interested in my Love Series book that I was writing. But going that way never seemed right. Maybe because I a bit of a non-conformist. I did not want to be pigeon holed; and put into a category. So I took a bit of a pause. There was a period during the spring and summer when I became quiet in the writing front. I went through a period of Yellow. During this time I was experiencing some challenging times on a personal front. Things were getting a bit too much.

 

My support

We all need help, even me who coaches and mentor other people. Sometimes there is a stigma for saying “I need help”. But there is nothing wrong with this, as there are people out there who feel like they are getting a blessing, by helping another human being. Even in the world of dating, it can turn the other partner on, someone needing his or her help.  This year I developed new relationships with different communities, some of them I met through social media. I met some interesting women who are out there trying to build a better life for themselves, as well as their family. I learnt from them how important it is to stay on your true mission in delivering and serving. You have something to offer the world.

 

Just be YOU

Some months ago, I was having a Skype conversation with an amazing being that hit the nail on what it is that defined me. She said, “Have you not realized that you are the person who just plays being yourself, not worrying what others may think? How there are people out there who are scared to be  themselves?” This was a breakthrough in terms of the work that I did. It gave my mission a clearer purpose. Helping people to become go-getters via my GoGetterMe brand, and creating a happier life through SophiaWorld.

 

 

 

Freedom lifestyle

This year was certainly the year of the freedom lifestyle. I was introduced to the brands: The Free Range Human and The Suitcase Entrepreneur. I admire their motto and style of deciding to, and going about living life on their terms. Who told you that you have to be a 9-5? Who said that you can not build a work or business life, where you can be your own boss and spend time with your family or loved ones? We, after all, live in the digital age. And I am happy to say that I made a good connection with Natalie Sisson, and what she shares in her book is so invaluable. More than you would get on a business course.

 

“It’s okay to have quiet time”

In our day-to-day life, we like may like to keep busy and distracted. It can be scary being still and connecting to our source, center or heart. I, for a while was not connecting to this. Maybe this was due to being scared of being on my own. Thinking that I needed to be around company to be whole. Another reason is that maybe I was scared to get to the truth of how I was really feeling. This was the year of meditation. One thing to take forward into the new year, is be in tune with your instinct, as it is usually your best guide. If something feels heavy, then change it. I talked about this in the article, “Am I on the Right Path” via the Smart Healthy Women e-zine.

 

Tips for 2014

  1. Be true to yourself. There is nothing wrong with going with what feels right; you do not need validation from others.
  2. Like in my Be Happy book, look at your inner circle and see if they are supporting you. You may need to declutter. You be amazed that when you are feeling at your best, that you will be attracting more positive people and things into your life.
  3. Break down your goals. Start with 5 for the year. Ask yourself why it is you want to be doing it. How do you want to be feeling after the outcome is achieved?
  4. It is very easy to compare yourself to the Joneses. It is not a race, go at your own pace. This can include finding love.
  5. Start a love affair with yourself, in my Be Happy Book, Tip 8 is about addressing your needs.
  6. It is okay to ask for help when it is required.
  7. Follow people who are pursuing the goals that you want to achieve. We live in the age where it is becoming easier to reach out to people over social media.
  8. Do not be afraid for just going for it. Sometimes we worry about failure, but look at it as a learning curve.
  9. Love yourself; people will feel this and your body will respond to this. You are great just the way you are.

10. Smile at strangers more.

 

 

I am on a mission to increase happiness in 2014. Be Happy.

Scream and Shout: don’t allow negativity to fester

The big slap

Let me tell you a story, yesterday I received some news about a acquaintance who used to feature quite heavily in my life. I found out how they led quite the double-life. I was shocked and disappointed, as I felt that they were a friend. In all relationships an element of trust is required. Although some say that you can really trust yourself more than anyone else. I can understand this to a certain extent, but you need to be able to feel safe with people.

Screenshot 2013-12-26 00.09.06

 

Scream and Shout: It’s all in how you react, which is the test

It’s difficult not to be you. I mean behaving or reacting in a certain way. Usually when a person does something wrong, it is very easy to respond back in a negative way. This can be shouting, screaming, or even plotting revenge. Ivana Trump’s phrase, “Don’t get mad. Get even”, comes to mind. Get even does not necessarily have to be negative. It can be deciding that you are going to take a lesson from the incident, and grow from it. Decide for example, that you will be kinder to yourself in the future. This way, you are not allowing yourself to fixate on the drama and negativity of the situation. Why allow negativity to reside in your mind?

 

 

Wake up call

Sometimes when you get the shock, or slap in the face it may cause you to take pause. It can be a great thing, as it makes you put things into perspective. Question, whether you are truly happy and give you the opportunity to put things into action. I remember writing Yellow, after going through a low vibrational period were I was angry. Feeling that I was wronged. Yes, I have been there before, where I felt sorry for myself. I am human, so will experience disappointment. What has helped is plotting revenge, coming back stronger and better after lesson learnt.

 

The Perfect Year: Welcome 2014

As the new year draws closer, it will be natural to reflect on the year that has gone by. Last year I wrote the post Something Big, where I discussed my hopes and my dreams for the upcoming year. Well how was this year for me?

Expectations

It is easy to become excited when making goals and objectives. The end result will make you feel amazing. Or does it? Often people set goals and think that this will make them happy. But a question that should always be asked is “Why” do you want to achieve this goal. I have often heard people who set themselves task and feel deflated when they have finally achieved them: as it was not what the expected it to be. For example when they bought that top of the arrange BMW car, or won the lottery. This is because they never defined what it is that they wanted to feel. This is not for example simply saying that I want to be more successful, as this can mean many things. Success may be increasing your happiness, and not doing something that you do not like – having a dead-end job. Another challenge that may occur with goals is whose expectation is it? I have been previously caught in the mode of doing what I thought was expected from external sources – family and friends etc.

Being Honest

This was a theme that was reverberating around me a lot this year: are you being honest? It took some soul searching to get around to the honest answer to this. I have written about this in more detail in one of my  book to be published in 2014 , the Naked Series. Here, I talked about how I went through a period of confusion and how it felt liberating when I was honest with what I really wanted. I made some decisions and followed through with them. I said goodbye to a business.

New Beginnings

I like fresh starts. You can choose to have one. There was the birth of my niece in May, Sienna Antonia. She is is such a delight.

Sienna pose

There are times when you need to draw a line, conclude a chapter. It is when we let go, that we can bring new opportunities into our lives. Shakespeare once described the world as being a stage. I do see this theme in my life, how it consists of a series of Acts. Some are full comical, others are tragic, some are full of happiness. The thing is that you do get through them.  Life is all about learning, we go through experiences where it may not have panned out very well. At the time we usually do what we thought was best.

Forgiveness

I used to think about forgiveness as a concept that you apply to others, but learnt this year how it applies to you. We make mistakes. This may be misjudging a situation, or a person. We have to remember to love ourselves and realise that it is okay.

You are unique

We are born on our own, and we were unique and special. As we grow into society this sometimes gets forgotten, we are categorised and defined by standards. We see adverts saying you have to be this way to be perfect. This is a load of bull!@£. You are perfect just the way you are. People will be attracted to the real you.

Just be

In this new year, I will continue to work towards being true to myself, going on adventures and sharing my journey. I would love you to be honest with what it is that you want, and how you want to be feeling. Get up, even when times get challenging. I wish you a happy christmas and a happy new year. And the only way is forward.

Fix Me

Advertisements are a part of life. You have people selling to you all the time in different formats, from magazines to the feeds that appear on FaceBook. The purpose of an advertisement is to tap into your needs. Get you thinking that you need this item that can either be a product like iPad, or a service like CV writing. This is okay, as we do need help, or improvement in our everyday life. But what happens when they are just selling a perceived “ideal” on what perfection is?

We like shiny things

Lets face it, people like to look at pretty things and like to aspire to finer things; life luxuries. I like good food, and think that this is one privilege that a lot of us should have. I grew up in the 80’s, which was a boom age where you had television shows like Dallas and Dynasty. It was all about the oil and big-shoulder pads.

Are you imperfect?

People like to feel good, so will do things to get this feeling. It has become easy to improve and enhance areas your life. You will see adverts stating, “Do you have this issue” or “Do you want to have better…?” This screams that issues can be fixed. What if the issue is an alleged imperfection? For example not having big enough breasts. Plastic surgery is a big industry and you do see people making body alterations. When asking why they do this, a lot of times this is because they want to fix what they see as a flaw. I once had a conversation with a lady, who said that one of their best life decisions was having a breast enlargement. She described how she had felt insecure about the size of her breasts. She saw them as being small. Her ex-boyfriend had also made a negative comment about them. So one holiday period, she had surgery done and returned with larger breasts. She said that she felt good and was happier. So she did this to increase her happiness. Was this insecurity she had due to what one person or society described a beauty – having large breasts? Who has the right to define what is beauty? Was beauty not in the eye of the beholder? Is it this supposed flaws that make people beautiful?

“You are beautiful in your own design”

Uniqueness is something that sometimes does not seem to be celebrated enough. But it should do, as it is what makes you who you are. There are people who love you, just for being you. When I was growing up, I had insecurities about myself. I was tall for my age and slim. I remember feeling insecure about my looks. I thought what made me beautiful in society was being slim. As I got older, I realised that I got it wrong, that I was beautiful in my own form. It is amazing how there is a shift when you start to look at your body with love. You start to feel beautiful and your body glows. People will see this and respond positively to it. I was reading the book E-squared, and the author was describing the body hang-ups that they had. As soon as she started to feel positive about her hair and body, she noticed the transformation. How her shape was beautiful. Please note, for those of you who want to change your shape through exercise or dieting, that you first need to love your body, as it will be responding to the messages that you are sending to it.

So please love your beauty.

Be Happy

If you ask a person what one thing they want, that is valuable to them after good health, is happiness. We can see this when we are hearing statements such: “happily married” and “happily ever after”. Okay, the last statement was from a fairy tale but happiness is what most people are striving for.

“Happiness is not always”

There are of course going to be times, when your happiness level may dip and this is fine, as you need to accept the times when you may need to release the negative emotions. Happiness is an emotion.

[Tweet “Happiness is not aways #sophiaworldwisdom”]

 

 “You are perfect how you are”

Being happy is about living your life on your terms and being comfortable in your own skin. This may be a challenge in a world where you are sometimes being told to forsake your dreams and desires, to live what is meant to be the proper way.  How about those captions that you see in advertisements, hinting that you can be better and improved – like you are imperfect?

 

“Be Honest”

Getting happy starts with being honest with yourself, going back to the time in your life, which was probably your childhood where you did not fully comprehend the word limitations.

 “Me, myself and I”

There is nothing selfish about addressing your needs first. How can you help the other person on the plane, which is going down, if you lose oxygen?  Often it is advertised that to continue to have a healthy relationship with your partner, it is good to go on date nights frequently. How about your first relationship with love? Yourself. It is good to be happy and to enjoy your company. How about having a date night with yourself?

“Be silly” 

When people grow up, they sometimes feel that they can not have fun and be silly. It is the joy that helps people to enjoy and appreciate moments more. Happiness has also been noted as helping people eradicate illness.

 Download the book

For more tips on increasing your happiness, you can purchase your copy of Be Happy on Amazon.

Mr Prince Harming

I first came across Karen Salmansohn, a year ago in my FaceBook feed. I was curious about her tag on her website, “Self Help for People Who Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Doing Self-Help”. The line was catchy, and I liked how she played with the area of self-help, that seemed to become increasingly popular. People were starting to become more self-aware, wanting to understand “why are they here” and “what is there purpose”. As the case when something seems to be on trend, you get different people popping out of the woodwork, giving their two cents!  I also like people who do not sound too “cliche”.

“Oprah Winfrey is a fan”

As I navigated around her website, I also found out that she had been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, which is always a good sign. I paid attention to a book that she wrote on dating, called: Prince Harming Syndrome. I loved two things here: 1) The play with words and 2)  It was about breaking bad relationship patterns. This was different to how to the love acquisition styled books, which shouted how to get the one. As mentioned by Karen, this will not make a lasting happy ever after style relationship.

“You can have your happy ending”

I liked how Karen started the book with giving an account of her old relationship pattern, with the Prince Harming type, to where she is today with her husband and son Ari. From reading the book, I learnt where she got the inspiration for naming her son.

“It’s an inside job”

There are three types of categories of relationships described in the book. Two out of the three, you do not want to fall into if you really want to have a sustaining relationship. In the book, Karen looks not only at the outward view of looking for love but also about your internal workings. So often, people are going looking for things when they do not truly know the person inside. Like with the philosophy of letting things in: sometimes you need to let go of the negative baggage, which is not really serving your purpose. This can mean past relationships, and even the stories that you may have learnt from your parents. So it is therefore an inside story.

Be LOVING

Be kind. Being kind is about loving you, as well as being loving to others. In a relationship as Karen states, you need to be a good listener and show appreciation. Often when we think we have something, we may start to take it for granted. People want to feel special.

“Fools Rush In”

Shakespeare, who has to be one of my all time favourite writers, once said that if you act in haste, then you will repent in leisure. Too often in the dating game, people like to jump in and forget to ask those questions that are important to them. And you can see this when you read articles where people complain about being in a relationship, where their partner does not want to commit. As Karen suggests, the early stages of a relationship is getting to know the person. Find out what their views are on commitment, what is important to them, and I do not want to ruin the surprise for you so read the book to find out the rest!

Get your copy below:

“I’d like to connect” – LinkedIn Story

I was first introduced to LinkedIn back in 2006 when I was being made redundant from my last permanent job. I attended one of those work-related workshops on “what next, after redundancy”. The trainer invited us to LinkedIn and recommended that we should connect all connect there. I soon found friends, former University friends and people whom I have worked with on the site. I saw LinkedIn originally as a place to post my profile, my Curriculum Vitae. And here comes day 5 of the Suitcase Entrepreneur social media challenge.
Social media Challenge
How are you using LinkedIn to establish your credibility, build your professional rolodex and attract new clients, partnerships or business?

Personal Profile

My personal profile is a starting point on where I have been and where I am now. For years my main focus was on selling my skill set to a prospective employer. This all change when I started to do interim work; became a consultant. My role was to go in, bring things up-to-date, streamline and perhaps suggest different process improvements. Therefore I had to think of my profile as brand, a business. In terms of LinkedIn training, I have read materials and also attended training webinars. From one of these webinars I learnt the importance of using keywords, not just titles. This enabled me to feature on the top of the list of people who had certain skills. I also have a summary, which I wanted not to read like, ” I am a person originally from a corporate background”. This is because there are plenty of people out there with the same “job title”.

Self-Marketing

The amazing thing about LinkedIn is that you can use it to maximise your profile. Not like the Curriculum Vitae (CV) where you list titles and achievements. You can share your portfolio, even your manifesto through a slideshare. From the profile you can be headhunted. I have had people approach me direct about from finding my profile. As it is a great marketing tool, I must make sure that I am maximising my profile.

Company page

I tested out having a company page for ProActive Vision Training, and it has been a great training in terms of building a microsite for a business. I will be doing more training on this. I intend to create a new one for my recent start-up GoGetterMe.

LinkedIn Group

I am a member of a number of groups in LinkedIn. Some I joined as they were linked to my areas of expertise. Others I joined since I was interested in the topics, for example being a blogger. I also learnt that being part of a group, or having a group, could be a great way to not only share interesting material and engage; I can also make people aware of my projects.

Future

To keep my personal profile updated with my projects, and to make sure that I am people are hearing about my best work, so that they can trust my brand.

 

Twitter is were it got started

It is interesting how in day 4 of the suitcase entrepreneur challenge that it is to about Twitter, the place where my social media journey began. It is also where I created the Avatar SophiaWorld, as I was looking for a shorten title to my full name Sophia Husbands. I later followed with creating my website with the same name. So here is the question for the social media challenge:

Social media Challenge

How are you using Twitter to build your brand, engage with your community and find new customers?

Although I spent some time hanging out in Twitter before launching my website, I really started off in FaceBook. This was to socialise with the people who I already knew. Then I got hooked in Twitter. I tell you what I loved about Twitter, how I can engage with anyone. It was not just restricted to the people in my own network. I can find topics that were interest of me. I never forget back in 2010, coming across the now defunct website on how single people were not necessarily dead. I saw the humour, even wrote my official first guest blog post “Snail v Predator”. In a sense, one might argue that was the real inspiration for starting the blog website SophiaWorld.

What I also like about Twitter is how it made me aware of events, and people with similar mindsets. I have made friends were we have started off initially chatting on Twitter, then seeing each other in the real-world.

SophiaWorld 2013

In FaceBook, I have learnt how to increase interest in my Fanpages from the likes of Amy Porterfield. This was a start. But in terms of Twitter I have not done any training. This has had an affect of my Twitter numbers. One celebrity life coach once said to me, after meeting me face-to-face; and by the way we started our relationship in Twitter: “why is it that your following is low”. After meeting the brand SophiaWorld, she was thinking people will follow you. I am so happy that I took part in this social media challenge, as I am learning about the best features of the different social media platforms. As I am writing this, I am testing out #TwitterContest which helps me with my employability business. Is it not great to get answers within 140 characters?

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 10.58.43

 

 

 

I want some more Likes

When I originally launched SophiaWorld, it was mainly for a creative output. I did not see it as a business; a way of monetization. 3 months later, I was still enjoying the writing and was building up my regular readers. One editor of an e-zine, described me as a “life-style” writer. I then had the thought, “I can do big things with this website”. During this time, my website template was the  wordpress twenty eleven  design. I decided then and there that there will be a re-design. This did happen and on June 22nd 2012, there was a re-birth. The new re-designed website was launched. It was also a great day, as it was also my birthday. My web designer, also created an official SophiaWorld FaceBook Fan page. Day 3 of the suitcase entrepreneur social media challenge is all about FaceBook.
Social media Challenge

How are you using Facebook to build your brand and business?

Everyone seems to be chatting about their “Fanpage”

When my web designer first created a fan page for brand SophiaWorld, she created a nice cover picture which tied in beautifully with the website. I liked the page and she too Liked it. Then nothing was added to the page for nearly 6 months. I admit now, that I did not understand the importance of having a fan page. In terms of networking with new people via social media, I was using the medium of Twitter. I found that it made it easy for me to send a message to the President of America (not that I have attempted to contact President Obama). At the time I thought Facebook was more for socialising than actually keeping in contact with my potential customers.

It was when I was having a conversation with my friends the English Sisters, it became evident that FaceBook was important. They mentioned how they have generated a lot of business through FaceBook. I, could not ignore the potential pound (£) sign. Using FaceBook must be a useful tool.

“I need some Likes”

It is interesting, the people or organisations that pop up in your FaceBook timeline. One of my discoveries last year was Amy Porterfield, who can be described as the Facebook guru. I attended one of her sessions where she talked about increasing your page “Likes”. One way was through advertisement, so for a week I placed an advert to increase my page Likes.

“I  like some conversations”

I like to post comments on what inspires me, what I have been up to, plus share information that may be useful to my FaceBook fans. I have sometimes had Question Mondays. I will in the next year work at increasing engagement with my Fans, and attracting the audience who are interested in my work. This includes my lifestyle blog, my life series books, my programs and future shows. As I say over in my newly created club, I am a go-getter and intend to make things happen.

Going where my customers hangout

It’s all about social media these days, you can not ignore it. I have even designed an introductory course to  deliver in colleges; highlighting the influence of social media in not only your personal life, but also your business and work life. And here arrives day 2 of the suitcase entrepreneur’s social blog challenge.

Social media Challenge

Question: Who is your target market, which social media sites should you be focusing on and why?

My ideal customer

It always begins with who is your ideal customer. And so often, people begin with the product or service – I have a great idea route. I have been guilty of that, especially since I did not come via business school route, although I do have a background in accounting and law.  I am person who has projects which are targeted to different people. In my latest new venture GoGetterMe, this is aimed at the person who wants to go out there and achieve their life and business goals. So if they want to be travelling around the world, why not. If they want to be transitioning careers, what is stopping them. For GoGetterMe, I see my main customers hanging out in FaceBook and LinkedIn.

Hanging Out

Building relationships is always about building trust as highlighted in Know me, Like Me, Follow Me. I like to share not only my articles which will have my findings on certain topics, but other resources. I know people who do similar stuff to I, and I have already started to talk to them about collaborating. They helping my audience with a problem. To me it is a “win, win”, as you can achieve more with partnerships and teaming up. My audience is happy as they are obtaining further support in becoming a go-getter!

Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me