Wow, there’s a whole world out there!

Say yes. Yes to the random opportunity that comes your way. Yes to the invitation you didn’t see coming. Yes to something a bit different. The tiniest yes can start an avalanche of positivity.

It started with a call from a number I didn’t recognise that I nearly didn’t answer. Would I like to be part of an expert panel on BBC Radio Suffolk, discussing what makes young people cite ‘fear of failure’ as a  major reason for not starting a business? Well, despite having neglected this blog for a while now, and despite not feeling much like an expert in anything, an opportunity to discuss life and business with like-minded people sounded like fun.

So I had my radio debut on Mucha Murapa’s Monday evening show and enjoyed every minute. The content of the discussion will furnish many future posts I’m sure, but in this one I’m focusing on the experience itself; an experience which left me thinking, “wow, there’s a whole world out there that I’ve been missing.”

It’s so easy when living and working at home to stay in a safe and cosy cocoon and rarely venture beyond it. I work remotely with most of my clients, and have never even met several of them except as a voice on the end of a phone. I like my office, I like my home and garden, and I like my family and friends, including my ‘coaching tribe‘. Most of the time, that’s enough. But yesterday evening I found another part of my tribe: some of the many other people running their own businesses in my local area. Chatting to artist Andy Greenacre, Cad Taylor of Ipswich Community Media and, of course, Mucha himself – all in very different businesses from mine – I thought, these are my people.

Andy’s wife Cassie, of My Thrifty Life, joined in the chat off air and inspired me to dust off my keyboard and get writing. And meeting her and the others made me determined to keep exploring this wide world, keep meeting new people and keep enjoying and learning new things.

I’m going to keep saying yes. More than that, I’m going to actively look for new opportunities to say yes to! Can you offer me any? What will you say yes to?

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Never ignore an 8 year old! — Work from Home Wisdom

by Liz Proctor When you were an 8 year old, if someone had asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, what would you have told them? How close are you to having that thing in your life and business now? OK, so being an astronaut, professional Lego builder or the World’s…

via Never ignore an 8 year old! — Work from Home Wisdom

Live your story

Sometimes (perhaps always), you don’t need to see the whole road ahead.

Be bold.

Try something, reach out to someone, take a step without knowing the full and final story – because none of us can ever know the full and final story until we’ve lived it.

And it’s only in living our story that we create it.

Born in the wrong century

Bowl in hand, I wander slowly along the hedgerow, seeking out the freshest (and cleanest!) nettle tips and a handful of the brightest Jack-by-the-hedge leaves.  Cooked briefly, the nettles lose their sting and taste like spinach, and Jack-by-the-hedge certainly lives up to its other name of garlic mustard.

Never mind that my ultimate destination is the little veg patch at the bottom of the garden where I’ve planted lettuce and radish and have my eye on some juicy thinnings.  Never mind that these fresh greens are destined to be mixed into a bowl of spaghetti and cheese gathered from the supermarket and not from the wild.  (But if there was such a thing as a spaghetti tree I would plant it, and a cheese tree would be worth its weight in gold!)

Never mind, then, that my meal won’t be authentically prehistoric.  Even with the modern additions, collecting these leaves from the hedge connects me to a way of life that feels right and stirs up echoes of a past I’d like to visit.

But I think I’d want to come back to the present too, if only for the cake!

DO ALL THE THINGS

Are there too many things to do, or is it just that we (or I, at least) have an overriding need to do ALL THE THINGS and – here’s the real problem – do them ALL AT ONCE, NOW?

Everything we do, we do in stages.  Even something as simple as making a cup of tea involves a whole series of steps, from getting up off the chair to filling the kettle, switching it on, and so on.

So when we’re starting a new venture, or simply trying to get done all the things that we’re committed to doing, let’s remember that we can’t do them all at once.  We can only do them one step at a time.

No prizes for guessing who this post is written for.  You, my reader, of course, but mostly as a reminder to myself that I can’t do all the things all at once!

Magical May

May is such a magical month. Forgive me for being terribly British and talking about the weather, but indulge me for a minute.

Glorious blue sky, bright sunshine that calls you outside, seeming almost to reach in with warm soft fingers, take your hand and draw you through the door before you realise it. Trees are beginning to wear a halo of green, though some still stand almost bare after a cold, wet start to spring. Birds are calling, even the boy is noticing the different kinds hopping in the hedgerows, and somehow the screech of two cats yowling at each other is softened and sounds like part of the liveliness of the day.

Perhaps we appreciate it more after a week of grey skies, hail and winter vests. (A week which followed months of actual winter, as opposed to a spring which couldn’t make up its mind.)  Perhaps if you live where the sun always shines bright and the sky is always blue, you long for a soft, grey, even rainy, day. But here, today, nothing could be more perfect than the festival of spring that’s unfolding in my back garden.

Procrastination and getting things done

So, you have a beautiful List of Things To Do.  Or just one big Thing To Do.  Everything is organised; the only thing left is to actually do the things.

So you make a cup of tea, feed the rabbit, get distracted and end up doing something which never even made it onto the list.  It’s not just me, is it?

The conventional advice often seems to be to jump in and do the hard thing first – get the worst of it over with.  (Rather like eating your beetroot first and saving the yummy buttery mashed potato until last.  Or maybe that’s just me too?)  Then everything else will seem easy.

Except it doesn’t always work.  When the boy and I were discussing homework yesterday (before it escalated into a shouting match – that’s a story for another day), we agreed that we both work with a different strategy, one that works better for us.

It’s this: do the easiest thing first, or the thing that you most like the look of, or the thing that will take the shortest time.  That way, you’re on a roll and are more likely to continue onto the next thing and the next, rather than heaving a huge sigh of relief after the hard thing and going and making yet another cup of tea in celebration.  (You may eventually end up with a pile of ‘nasty’ things to do once you’ve picked off the best ones.  But somehow they look less daunting when you’ve already proved to yourself that you can get things done.

I reckon it often doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something.  Action begets action, and eventually you’ll get to the thing you’ve been putting off – and I bet it won’t seem half as bad by then.