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7 facts on healing crystals and how to use them

7 facts on healing crystals and how to use them

They’re praised as a must-have travel accessory by Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian used them to inspire her new fragrance line, Kate Hudson places them on her beauty products for an added boost of energy, and Adele credits hers with easing her stage fright. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the ancient art…

1. Every crystal has a different healing property 

At a time when self-care is key to our mental and physical health, more and more women are turning to crystals to support their wellbeing routines. Every crystal is thought to emit its own vibrations and energy field, thereby channelling healing properties.

When choosing a crystal, you should assess which one you are most drawn to. Experts even say that the crystal chooses you. Try amethyst for inner strength, citrine for positivity, quartz to relieve stress or agate to ease anxiety.

2. You can keep them in your bra

Many experts suggest keeping a crystal in your bra so that it’s with you throughout the day. If that sounds far too uncomfortable, keep them in a pocket or in your handbag. Some perform best when stored in natural light to ‘charge’ them, so a window sill or shelf works. Place them on your bedside table to absorb their energy while you sleep. 

3. Clear Quartz is the strongest crystal

This natural beauty has been on earth since the dawn of time. Today, it makes up 12% of the earth’s crust and is used in everything from jewellery to technology. It’s deemed the ‘master healer’ – basically the rock star of all rocks – and it is claimed to ward off negative energy, balance the body and boost the immune system. 

4. Hollywood didn’t invent the trend

While LA boasts a strong community of crystal fans, the natural rocks have actually been used in healing for thousands of years. From the Stone Age to the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans – crystals have long been used to treat ailments, ward off evil and unlock power. It’s said that Cleopatra bathed with Rose Quartz to harness its healing and anti-ageing properties. 

5. They should be ‘cleansed’ before use

If you’ve purchased your crystal from a store, others will have touched it, so it needs to be ‘cleansed’ from any other energies, ready for programming (we’ll come onto that). Hold it under running water, leave it out in the sun or moonlight, cleanse it with scent by lighting some incense, bury it in sand or soil for 24 hours, smudge it with sage or place it near to Clear Quartz, your ‘master healer’, if you have some.

6. Programme your crystal with your intentions

Crystals don’t need to be programmed to work their magic, but many see them as tools whose energy can be specifically channelled. It’s said that you should tell your crystal want to want to achieve during a short meditation practice. It’s a way of connecting you to your crystal to further enhance its performance. 

7. Use them to open your chakras 

Crystals can also be used to balance your seven chakras. Your body’s chakras are thought to be influenced by your thoughts, feelings and emotions (think of emotions as ‘energy in motion’). For this reason, they can become unbalanced. Chakra yoga, guided meditation and crystals can all help to restore harmony. Ask whoever you are purchasing your crystal from for information on which crystal correlates with which chakra

Shop your crystal healing kit

Quartz is a master healer stone, giving it excellent all round properties

Buy it now, £2.99, The Psychic Tree 

A kit is a great place to start if you’re a crystal novice!

Crystals for calm, £26.99, LOA

A special crystal elixir bottle is a great way to harness the energy of crystals.

Psychic Sisters crystal water bottle, £40, ASOS

Selenite will cleanse and recharge your crystals.

Selenite charging plate, £12, Etsy

How to use them at home

There’s really nothing difficult about using your crystals. While they do need to be cleansed every so often, once you’ve set your intent, that’s it. All that’s left to do is to enjoy them.

Some people like to carry their crystals around with them, either in their bag or a pocket. Crystal jewellery is also a great way to do this. One of our product partners, LOA, sell interchangeable crystal jewellery so you can swap as you like.  

Obviously some crystals will be too large to do this, so instead display them in your home. Not only do they look gorgeous, but by using various crystal placements, they can help with different issues. Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Placing rose quartz under a pillow can help a child go to sleep.
  • Put your hematite near the doorway of your house to provide protection
  • Apophyllite is great at bringing in positivity and uplifting, energetic vibes. Play this somewhere central like your living room
  • Want to attract money and success into your life? Then put lapis lazuli close to your bed
  • Struggle with working from home? Put azurite on your desk or in your workspace to help you say focused.

Other ways you can use crystals include incorporating them in your meditation practice, which can help deepen your practice and bring a certain outcome during the meditation – or you can try ‘infusing’ them with water. Add a crystal to a bottle and then when you drink the water, it imparts a little of their special properties from inside you.

Whatever your thoughts on crystals, we’re open to any practice that improves our mental health, or makes us feel content, safe and positive. Happy healing!

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Six tips on combining work and marriage

How to survive setting up a business with your husband
How to survive setting up a business with your husband

Six tips on combining work and marriage

It’s not an easy decision, going into business with your partner. After all, we all know how nice it is to get home from work, vent to your other half about what’s been going on in the office and then switch off from the day job until the alarm clock goes again the next day.

Of course, working together brings a whole other level of emotion and pressure into the mix, but it can be really fulfilling – even during lockdown.

When I first started working with my husband, David, it wasn’t just a new experience working together, it was a whole new industry too.

David’s business, Gas Angel, is a gas engineering company, and I hadn’t previously known anything about the sector other than sometimes, I needed my boiler fixing. Funnily enough, it was during a time when I needed my boiler servicing that I first met David on a dating website! Who knew ‘gas engineer’ would be such an exciting proposition for somebody looking for love!

Amy Mooney shares her tips on how to start a business with your husband

I had worked in the creative agency world for many years and had my own award-winning company that I co-founded with a good friend and colleague, but after having my second child I was feeling jaded with agency life. After months of soul searching, I decided to join David, using my marketing and brand skills to add a new dimension to the business.

When we first started working together it was so exciting. We were completely buzzing, it was a real novelty. We’d stay up late and come up with ideas together and we spent the first couple of months trying to bring those ideas to life – which was great for David because he’s such an ideas person but never had the regular support that encouraged him to focus on the creative and strategic side of the business prior to us joining forces.

However, you can sometimes be a victim of your own success and, as business started to boom, David found he was needed back out on the road again, repairing customers’ boilers, leaving me to work on the strategic and creative side of things.

It was difficult for him leaving this side of work to me, especially as he’d began to really enjoy coming up new ideas and working on the business and not just in it – he just didn’t have the time or capacity to work them up, but I did.

This caused a bit of friction and a good few arguments, so I asked him to trust me to deliver. Life was all consuming, I was so focused on our new baby boy, my then 8-year- old, as well as the business, he felt pushed out of everything. It was really difficult striking that balance.

I was really over-zealous and so focused on the business. But David was more focused on the marriage – he felt that our partnership, our marriage, was the basis for everything working well together – us, the business, our role as parents. I knew then I needed a better balance and he wasn’t keen on me being so work-hungry.

We also found there was a lot of ‘you’re not my boss’ ping-ponging between the two of us. The dynamics were really tricky at first, but we put some rules in place, and started to get into the swing of things.

After just over a year of working together, however, lockdown struck and changed everything. Now, we had the kids at home, we were unable to work from our City Centre office and David spent a lot of time out on the road – leaving me at home with the kids and home-schooling. I became pretty resentful – thinking irrational thoughts like, ‘I didn’t sign up to this’.

Amy Mooney shares her tips on working with her husband

Just as David realised that our circumstances before were the result of business growth and not personal choice, I started to realise, my frustrations weren’t David’s fault. We were in a situation that many people were in. It wasn’t about choice – nobody was keeping me at home in a sexist attempt to spite me. It was about doing whatever we had to do during lockdown to for the business to survive. And while we did have to lose a member of staff and furlough others, we were lucky that the business was still going strong, because, after all, people always need hot water and heating. We were an essential business, able to trade.

Of course, I knew how lucky we were, but this didn’t rid me of my frustrations. David reassured me that the work I had already done on the business was really positive, and that during lockdown, rather than work until 3am because I’d spent the day parenting and homeschooling, I should take a couple of weeks off, get used to the new situation and just chill. It was hard at first, but then I found I quite enjoyed taking the time out, filling the paddling pool for the kids and enjoying a G&T in the garden during the glorious heat wave.

Now I’m managing to strike a better balance of raising a family and building a business. It will never be equal time spent on each and I’m fine with that, but I’m back working on new ideas for the business, including some really exciting environmental work we’re doing – partnering with JUST ONE Tree to plant two trees for every customer who signs up to our cover plan to offset gas CO2. It makes me feel really purposeful to be able to make a difference to the planet from the comfort of my own home!

Overall, running a family business absolutely has its challenges, but I’m still convinced it was the right move. The kids get involved and excited about it too – pointing with glee when they see one of our branded vans drive by or providing a detailed critique of mam’s interview on the radio! And when the business does well, it positively impacts the family, so we celebrate as a family, which is lovely!

My tips on how to make it work

Running a business with your other half really can work – but I urge everyone to ask themselves the right questions before taking the plunge. There are many rules you can put in place to keep both the business and romantic relationships healthy – here are a few things I’ve learned about combining business with your relationship:

1 Define your roles

You need to be upfront and clear about what each other’s role is. If we ever argue about work these days, its because there’s a grey area around who’s expected to do what. You don’t want to feel as though somebody hasn’t done what you thought they were going to do or to be fearful of stepping on toes. 

Get it written down in advance, really define the detail of the roles, and sign the bottom of the page! It’s like a joint contract and it really helps!

2 Discuss work ethics

People can have different approaches to work. Some people really value a good work/life balance, while others can go full steam ahead and work around the clock. Neither approach is right or wrong, but you need to understand how each other works before going into business together – you don’t want to resent your partner for not pulling their weight, or equally, for not spending enough time with you or the kids.

3 Put some rules in place

We found that making a hard and fast rule that we were not to discuss work after 8pm was incredibly helpful. Prior to that, I might wake up in the middle of the night, panicking about a VAT return and waking David to discuss it. That really wasn’t healthy – what can you do at 2am anyway?

Pre-lockdown we also made a rule that one day a week, David has time to work on the business development side of things with me, so he doesn’t feel pushed out of the exciting stuff. He’s great at things like SEO and has loads of brilliant ideas on how to grow the business, so it’s not just good for the relationship, it’s good for business too and means we’ve got each other to bounce ideas off.

4 Practice acceptance

Accepting the fact that lockdown wasn’t David’s conspiracy to keep me at home with the kids was so relieving. I’ve been independent and career-driven for such a long time, and always went out to work, so admittedly felt angry and jealous that he got to go out to work. Once I was able to accept the bizarre lockdown situation for what it was, all that tension was released.

5 Make business fun!

Just as a manger or leader in the office might plan away days or offsite working to mix things up and inspire the team, we try to do that as well. 

Before lockdown, we gave ourselves one day a month where we’d go offsite to one of our favourite bars and restaurants, enjoy lunch, get planning and follow it up with espresso martinis. I couldn’t sleep after too many of those, but it was fun!

6 Take time out

Finally, a really key point that I’ve learned is that you must take time out as a couple. You can’t simply live as business partners. You need to ensure that you earmark quality time together to just be you.

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Girl On Fire: Carrie Green – The female entrepreneur

Carrie Green Female Entrepreneur Association
Carrie Green Female Entrepreneur Association

Girl On Fire: Carrie Green – The female entrepreneur

Carrie Green is one of my favourite entrepreneurs for one simple reason: her passion is to help every woman become as successful as she is. She does this through her company The Female Entrepreneur Association, which helps nearly 1 million women make their business dreams come true. She is also an  award-winning entrepreneur and author of the international bestselling book She Means Business (Hay House Publishing).

This is where I first came across Carrie when her book  was recommended to me by a colleague, and I loved it so much I made it our Book Club book of the month. I then began taking her online courses, attending her webinars and inhaling her masterclass videos.

Carrie and I hooked up online, and not only is she brilliant at what she does, but she is also a charming, unassuming and all-round lovely lady. Here is a little insight to Carrie and what she does..

Having started the Female Entrepreneur Association (FEA) in 2011, Carrie transformed it into a 7-figure business with a network of almost 1 million women from all around the world.

At its heart, FEA is an online platform created to support, champion and inspire women all around the world, to give them the inspiration and resources to achieve amazing success in their own businesses & lives… If one person can do it, we all can!

Carrie Green - The Female Entrepreneur Association
"I know that success is not an accident, it’s something we have to create on purpose and it starts by knowing what it is that we want. I tell everyone this, because far too many people never stop and get really intentional about what they actually want"
Carrie Green Female Entrepreneur Association
Carrie Green
Founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association

Carrie created the FEA membership in 2013, The Members’ Club, as a place for female entrepreneurs to take their business and ideas to the next level. A supportive place to connect with other like-minded women to network, grow and be inspired by expert lead trainings & incredible resources.

Her Ted x talk has had over 7.4million views to date and Carrie has been featured in The Daily Telegraph, RED Magazine, Stylist, GLAMOUR Magazine, BBC radio and on BBC News, championing entrepreneurship at every level.

1. What’s the best bit about your job?

I love that I get to spend my time doing something I absolutely love, something that makes a positive difference in the world and something I can do from anywhere in the world with a laptop and internet connection! 

2. What is that one thing you know for sure, that you always share with other women?

I know that success is not an accident, it’s something we have to create on purpose and it starts by knowing what it is that we want. I tell everyone this, because far too many people never stop and get really intentional about what they actually want. In fact, often when I say to someone, “what are your goals?” they don’t actually know. If you don’t decide what you want then life decides for you… and then who knows where you’ll end up! 

3. What’s your life’s mantra?

I can and I will. Watch me. 

I live by this saying! I’m determined to live my best life and have the courage to go after my dreams and see what’s possible.

4. What’s your morning routine?

I wake up and spend the morning with my son, Kasey! We have breakfast and play, I love it!

5. What would you tell your teenage self?

Believe in yourself, know your own worth and be kind to yourself. If you want to live your best life, you have to start by doing these things. 

6. What’s your best self-care tip?

Listen to yourself and trust yourself. I think so often we can burn out or become unhappy because we’re not listening to ourselves and our body. If you’re tired, give yourself permission to have a break. If you’re hungry, make the time to eat. If you have a dream to do something, trust it and believe in yourself. 

7. What book, film or song has been a big influence on your life?

I love the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Firstly, she’s just an incredible writer and secondly, the book is so inspiring. It’ll get your dreaming big and going after your dreams!

8. What’s the one thing you’d like to be remembered for?

I’d love to be remembered for inspiring and empowering people to go after their dreams and build successful businesses! I want everyone to know that they have the ability to take charge and live their best lives. 

9. What’s next for you?

Having baby #2 any day now, which is so exciting! Beyond that I’ll be focusing on writing book #2 as well 🙂 

10. Who do you think is a ‘Girl On Fire’?

Lisa Nichols. I think her story is so powerful and she’s so inspirational and motivational. I love watching her videos on YouTube!

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5 powerful ways women can help other women

Give others a helping hand
Give others a helping hand

5 powerful ways women can help other women

There’s no doubt that the global pandemic has hit everyone’s way of working, however, it seems women have been be hit harder than their male counterparts.

One study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London reported that in households of two working partners, the majority of childcare and housework was being taken on by women, whereas another study discovered that those under 25 and women have been the most affected economically by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andi Simon, a corporate anthropologist and author of the upcoming book Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, says now is a time for us to be rethinking how the work/life balance really operates.

“The post-pandemic recovery is going to require clever, opportunistic innovations,” she says.

“We will see a great deal of rethinking going on about who is caring for children, how to balance the work/life load, and what work is going to be like in the future.”

She continues: ““It is time to ‘rethink’ what women can do and how we should enable them to do it. Our society needs it more than ever as we recover from this pandemic and restore the vitality of our economy and our cultures.”

Us women are nothing but resourceful though and if there’s one thing we can definitely do during this crisis, is support each other, so we’ve asked some female entrepreneurs what they think we can do to help each other through this work and economic crisis.

Collaborating with other women is a great way to help1 Collaborate

Andi believes that while we figure out how to navigate this new world, collaboration will be key for small businesses.

“For the post-pandemic period, we expect to watch a lot of collaboration as people try to figure out how to restore their ‘new normal,’” she says.

“It is more difficult for a command and control style of leadership to build trust when there is limited certainty about the right thing to do.”

What you can do: Reach other to other local businesses and see if there’s something you can work on together that could boost both of your incomes.

If you’ve got a team that you manage, now’s the time to get their input. This is a whole new world and the more opinions and views you can gather, the more likely you are to get out of this relatively unscathed.


Online reviews are a great way to show support2 Engage with businesses

Laura Cloke, a career fulfilment coach, says that while the pandemic has affected all of our finances, you don’t have to just support them financially.

“Even if you can’t afford to buy from a business at the moment because times are tough for you, there are still plenty of things you can do to help,” she says.

“Signing up to a newsletter, engaging with social media content or recommending people to your friends and family all help a business to get their name out there. As a coach, a large proportion of my clients come to me through a word of mouth recommendation so it can be really powerful.”

Pippa Jackson, a freelance content specialist, agrees that this kind of support can be really impactful during a scary time like this.

“Lift each other up,” she says. “You may not need their products or services yourself, but somebody that you know may do. Share their business details and social posts with your network. Recommend them to relevant people.

“We are facing unusual, and sometimes scary, times so it really helps to feel supported and encouraged by other women in business.”

What you can do: As well as engaging with a brand on social media or recommending them to a friend, write a review of your favourite local business. One report showed that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, with 72% of those people saying they are more likely to trust – and therefore spend money with a brand – when they have a good review online.

Share you skills to help other women in business3 Share your skills

When the crisis first hit, we were on all a path of self-preservation hit. The main thing to concentrate was on keeping ourselves, our family and our incomes healthy. However, now that things are going back to ‘normal’, now might be the time to reach out to others and share your knowledge.

Dipti Tait, a hypnotherapist, said she was keen to help others in her tribe, predominantly female hypnotherapists.

“I was one of the lucky ones with an established online practice, and I knew I was one of the very few whose business was still in-tact,” she says.

“Rather than working in isolation, I had a strong compulsion to help the others stay afloat because they were now part of my tribe. So, within a few days of lockdown, I began training all the other hypnotherapists on Zoom in how to quickly build an online business from scratch.

“In total, I trained over 200 hypnotherapists to expand their business into a virtual market.”

She says that in times of crisis, coming together is more important than ever and it’s good to see how you can help, rather than compete with, women who work in your area of expertise.

“Being a nomadic outsider is dangerous in times of adversity, so competitiveness goes out of the window and we all naturally begin to pull each other up with us because we realise there is more strength in a group of like-minded individuals.

“We begin to act like a virus to beat the virus.”

What you can do: Find someone to mentor. You don’t even have to run a business to do this. Since working from home became the new norm, other people who you work with may feel isolated and doubting themselves more than normal. Reach out to them, share your knowledge and help them get their mojo back!

Buying from local businesses can help female workers4 Spend wisely

There’s no doubt a huge economic crisis is on its way. Thanks to the pandemic, many people have lost their job or had their salary reduced, so looking after the pennies is super important for us at the moment. Ironically though, the only way to improve the economy is if we’re all out there spending, so when do you need to spend, look hard at how you can help those businesses that have been affected the most.

“The beauty industry has 600,000 people working in it, the majority women and they have been so hard hit,” says Laura.

“Now that beauty salons are open, they are encouraging people to book a treatment, and if you can afford to, pay up front even if you don’t go to the appointment for a few weeks of months to help with cash flow.

“I love this as a way to support another woman in business.”

What you can do: As well as supporting local services such as hairdressers and beauty salons, ditch the mainstream corporate businesses to support your local ones, whether that’s the local-run butchers (instead of the supermarket) or buying your face masks from someone on Etsy.

 

Networking is a great way to get support and find support5 Network

While networking events may still have to be virtual for a while, there’s never been a more important time than now to get out there and meet other female business owners.

Pre-pandemic, these places were great to make new contacts and perhaps land new jobs, but now they have a deeper importance. Here’s a chance to get mental support and talk to other women who are going through what you are. They may have some great insights to share that can help you keep your business afloat, and you can provide them with valuable emotional support. It’s a win-win!

What you can do: Find a local networking event near you and if there isn’t one, start one. Hunt out some like-minded female business owners and set up weekly Zoom meetings. Alternatively, send out emails to owners of businesses you admire – it may be the start of a beautiful friendship.

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Product Partner spotlight – Sarah Pittendrigh

Sarah Pittendrigh
Sarah Pittendrigh

Product Partner spotlight – Sarah Pittendrigh

Each week we put the spotlight on one of our Product Partners so they can share their stories and inspiration behind their business. We will also be asking them a few questions around their challenges and successes.

This week we meet Sarah Pittendrigh, an incredibly inspirational woman who shares her story in her ‘I can” method course.  Sarah talks about how she had a thriving business, lost it all and went bankrupt, to then turning it around and become an award wining, multi millionaire business women.

She is a very humble woman who often feels she isn’t good enough, even though the success she has achieved is apparent. We think she rocks and we think you will too.

Meet Sarah…

Like you, I’ve had my fair share of turbulence in my life, (well maybe more than most)! I have experienced first-hand divorce, bankruptcy, being a single mum on income support and I was diagnosed and successfully treated twice for Malignant Melanoma.

Fast forward 10 years and I am at my strongest, I have used each obstacle as a learning curve to gain strength, knowledge and understanding.

I am a multi award winning entrepreneur with a lifestyle business, which I have franchised across the UK and in addition my ex-husband and I remarried and together diversified his family farm into a multi-million- pound property portfolio.

I am not a believer in I can’t. I have never liked to be beaten and have always been determined, but at my lowest point when I knew something had to change, I knew that ‘something’ had to be me. 

Today, my mission is to teach this method to you, for you to use as a tool for your personal growth, or in your business, to help you overcome barriers and self limiting beliefs that are holding you back and to allow you to reconnect with your passion and get back on your purposeful path.

Sarah’s favourite product – 

Our quick Q&A…

1. What was your ‘on fire’ spark that made you start your business?

12 years ago I was a bankrupt single mum on income support. Fast forward and I am a multi award winning entrepreneur.

I receive so many emails and messages from individuals and business owners asking how I managed to turn my life around and would I offer coaching. This inspired me to share my learnings and my story with others and become a personal and business breakthrough coach.

2. What has been your biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome this?

Me, I was my biggest challenge. I suffered from terrible imposter syndrome. Never believed I was good enough, never celebrated my wins. I turned down opportunities because I didn’t think I could deliver, who would want to listen to me?

I have had malignant melanoma twice, this was a real wake up call. I needed to start living and not existing. I had to learn to be kinder to myself and give myself a break. I learned to love myself for who I wanted to be, not who others believed I was or thought I should be. 

3. What has been your proudest moment?

I have been honoured to win a number of National Business Awards. To be recognised and honoured for a business I created from scratch, has made me ever so proud.

4. What advice would you tell yourself if you could go back to the start ?

Love, respect and believe in yourself, the rest will follow.

5. Share a quote about your business or life that you stand by?

Winners never Quit and Quitters never win!

6. What is your favourite product?

My favourite product offering is my go to “I CAN” Method.

When I need to find solutions to problems, take time to think clearly and strategically plan this is my go to strategy and I’m thrilled that this is now available on the TGIOF Marketplace

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Product Partner spotlight – Donna Genaway

Donna Genaway Wild Eve
Donna Genaway Wild Eve

Product Partner spotlight – Donna Genaway

Each week we put the spotlight on one of our Product Partners so they can share their stories and inspiration behind their business. We will also be asking them a few questions around their challenges and successes.

This week we meet Donna Genaway, founder of Wild Eve who makes beautiful handmade bath products all from natural ingredients and essential oils.

Donna is an inspiration to all females out there looking to take their passion and turn it into a business, it’s what she did and hopefully will inspire you to do the same.

Meet Donna…

Donna’s passion for making products started when she was a little girl making rose petal perfume with a wooden spoon and glass milk bottle in the garden. 

She was given a book for her seventeenth birthday showing her how to make your own cleansers, scrubs and creams using natural ingredients, which fuelled her passion for beauty and care for the environment.   She always dreamt of starting her own business and the time came to make a change and do something she loved, Wild Eve was born! 

Donna has lovingly created a range of handmade products using essential oils and presented them in eco-friendly packaging, so that everyone can afford a little luxury whilst being environmentally conscious.

Donna’s favourite product – 

Our quick Q&A…

1. What was your ‘on fire’ spark that made you start your business?

 I think this moment came when I was at home recovering from the second round of surgery on my spine. I laid there thinking of all the business ideas I’d had over the years and not done anything about them and how often I had berated myself for not being brave enough. It was then I had the ‘on fire’ spark, I knew I could make a go of at least one of my ideas and told myself it was now or never! 

2. What has been your biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome this?

 It has to be, to continue to believe in myself and my ideas enough to follow through with them and to continue building on them and not give up when I have any doubts. 

I’ve had great support from family and friends and their encouragement has driven me forward and allowed me to build in confidence. 

3. What has been your proudest moment?

 Being accepted as a product partner for TGIOF! Receiving the feedback from Andrea and her team really encouraged me and gave me the belief that my products were good and that the work and investment I’d put into my brand was worthwhile. 

4. What advice would you tell yourself if you could go back to the start ?

 My advice would be – don’t hesitate! Trust yourself and have faith in your ideas, they are valid and you are more able than you realise. 

5. Share a quote about your business or life that you stand by?

 ‘Be brave enough to find the life you want and courageous enough to chase it. Then start over and love yourself the way you were always meant to.’ 

By Madalyn Beck 

6. What is your favourite product?

My favourite product is Sweet Sleep. It’s floral without being overpowering and the essential oils of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang and Patchouli smell amazing together. Whether it’s the soap bar or bath salts I’ve used, the aroma lingers on my skin and keeps me relaxed before bedtime. 

Donna’s other products

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4 women and their productivity tips learnt in lockdown

productivity in a pandemic
productivity in a pandemic

4 women and their productivity tips learnt in lockdown

Take a look at your to-do list. Come on, we all have one. Whether pinned to the fridge, nestled inside a notebook or mentally penned in our minds, there’s a never-ending list of tasks that we look to complete in a day.

During the last few months, there are times that said list has become our nemesis. Should we be doing more? Where does homeschooling fit in? Did we remember to feed everyone? Did we even eat today? In truth, having a ‘productive day’ has gained new meaning for many during this global pandemic.

The Cambridge dictionary definition of productivity reads: ‘The rate at which a person, company, or country does useful work’.

But who decides what ‘useful’ work is? If you were able to feed your family and pay your bills today, do we deem that a productive day? If you managed to get out of bed, get dressed and keep your mental health in check, is that useful? Is it productive?

We spoke to four women, from different walks of life on how they’re tackling 2020.

‘I’ve altered my expectations of myself’ 

Vicky Balfour, 45, runs Vicky Bikes, a mechanics and mindset coaching business to empower girls and women to enjoy cycling and the tools that come with it. She and her husband have been juggling busy jobs, plus taking care of their two teenagers during lockdown.

“I’ve gone from valuing quantity to quality in my productivity over the last few months,” says Vicky. “I no longer set myself a huge to-do list and get upset when it’s not achieved. Some days I might only get one thing done and that’s the washing – but it’s enough for that day. Other days I get a variety of jobs done.

READ MORE: What is a bullet journal and do I need one?

“I’ve altered my expectations of myself and shored up my values. I’ve learned to say no and actually quite enjoy it now. In essence, I’ve learned to dance to the beat of my own drum – not other people’s.

“My advice? Be kind to yourself. Use a bullet journal to track your ideas and jobs and plan out your week.”

‘Home workouts have kept me focused’

Milly Salsbury, 22, has just graduated with First Class Honours from her Applied Psychology with Clinical Psychology degree. She completed her dissertation while living with her parents and sister during lockdown.

“I’ve found exercise incredibly therapeutic,” says Milly. “Home workouts meant that when writing my dissertation, I had mental clarity and I felt far more focused. 

READ MORE: Enjoy one of our three exclusive workouts

“I also decided that I needed to stop working from my bed, no matter how tempting. Having a separate workspace meant that I enjoyed my bed at the end of a long day.

“I also found that working in the same room as someone else stopped me from getting distracted for too long and kept us both on track. Although with five adults all working under one roof, it had to work – we would have run out of rooms!”

‘I stop working’

Teri Woods, 59, is a Clinical Nutritionist and owner of IN2U healthy Lifestyle Coaching, based in Tuscan, Arizona. She says that productivity generally only comes when you take care of your mind.

“The key to unleashing your creativity and increasing your workflow doesn’t come from squeezing a million tasks into your day,” says Teri.

“I know, it sounds crazy. But to stay productive, you’ve got to stop working. Every day I unplug, once or twice for 15 minutes. I sit quietly, eyes closed, focused on my breathing. Some days I’ll have music in the background and other days I’ll just listen to the birds in my backyard.

READ MORE: The morning habits that will kickstart your day

“I feel free – no longer distracted and dominated by all the ‘what-if’s’ of living on the planet right now. And it works. It makes me feel happier, more present, generous and loving – not just to the people in my life – but to myself. The best part? I feel satisfied at the end of a long day.”

Productivity can be achieved with kids at home
‘Prioritising is key’

Jennifer Woods-Blee, 35, started a new head-of-department role just one week before lockdown. She lives with her husband, their four-year-old son and one-year-old daughter.

“For me, it’s being flexible with when I do my tasks. As long as I hit my deadlines, it doesn’t matter if I’m working at 8am or 8pm. I don’t think I’ll ever feel truly productive though. My to-do list is never-ending, and I constantly feel like I’m not doing enough.”

READ MORE: Beating post-lockdown anxiety

She adds: “I really relate to the phrase ‘Only one of us can look good at a time. Me, the kids or the house’. What works (i.e. what stops me from throwing Iggle Piggle out the window) is prioritising. The kids are having a bad day and I’ve got a big project to complete? OK, well the housework can wait. I just have to hope I’m productive enough that I get to the housework at some point…”

You’ve got this!

Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life: Before 8AM, says in his book: “Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days – which inevitably create a successful life.”

Sure, you can rise at 5am and complete a few more tasks on an extra coffee. You can wake with a positive mindset, even. But remember, your notion of ‘useful work’ is what YOU deem useful.

You define what success is for you.

And never forget to tell yourself, no matter what – ‘I did a good job today’.

SHOP THE STORY

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Product Partner spotlight – Jessica & Nancy

Nancy Farmer and Jessica Silver
Nancy Farmer and Jessica Silver

Product Partner spotlight – Jessica & Nancy

Each week we put the spotlight on one of our Product Partners so they can share their stories and inspiration behind their business. We will also be asking them a few questions around their challenges and successes.

This week we meet Nancy Farmer and Jessica Silver , friends since primary school 30 years ago, who recently took their entrepreneurial spirit to the next level by starting ElWell. A rather unique business offering however, very relevant in this ‘sandwich generation’ that we all finds ourselves in.

Their own experience in dealing with parents getting older, professionally and personally, led them to create this initiative that would go on to help hundreds of people; all trying to care for their elderly parents whilst trying to care for their own immediate family.

Meet Jessica & Nancy…

We are here to give you the answers to your questions as you support your older parents.

Jessica saw her mum care for her grandpa, helping him live at home until he passed away (at the grand old age of 94!). Whilst keeping him at home was the right decision, Jessica remembers her mum saying she wished she had somewhere to turn that could give her the answers for what her grandpa would need now, and also further down the track.

With a background in psychology and an active volunteer for The Samaritans charity, Jessica understands the value of care, compassion and clarity.

Nancy is a physiotherapist with 15 years’ experience. She was working for the NHS in the community, helping elderly people rehabilitate at home after leaving hospital (such as after hip operations and strokes). When she visited them, they were so eager to have someone present who could help them that they would ask questions over and above physiotherapy related.

Together, the penny dropped and we saw an opportunity to help people through the stresses of getting older. We understand that the sandwich generation are squeezed, and looking for answers so that they can best support their parents. We’re here to help with this.

Jessica & Nancy’s favourite product – 

Our quick Q&A…

1. What was your ‘on fire’ spark that made you start your business?

We’re lifelong friends and always said that if we were to go into business with anyone, it would be with each other. We just needed the idea! The spark for that came about in 2018. Jessica’s grandpa had recently passed away. Her mum had been instrumental in helping him stay at home for his whole life, and whilst this was fantastic, it had been a real struggle to get the timely answers she wanted as his needs changed. At the same time, Nancy was an experienced NHS physiotherapist with a focus on elderly rehabilitation, building strength back up after a hospital stay. She could see real parallels between Jessica’s family situation and that of her patients. They, and their adult children wanted to know how to improve wellbeing as they got older. This was an area we were both passionate about and knew then that we wanted to focus our business here to help people.

2. What has been your biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome this?

As well as running the website, we also help elderly clients at home in Oxfordshire, improving their overall wellbeing with tailored physiotherapy, nutrition and admin sessions. Then Covid-19 struck, and suddenly our clients were in the vulnerable category. Some were more tech-savvy than others so we looked at a variety of remote ways we could help them. We’re so pleased to say that we’re in touch with all our existing clients and continue to help them during this time.

3. What has been your proudest moment?

Getting feedback from clients or people online that we have helped is amazing and always makes us feel proud. We set up ElWell to help people feel more empowered at a time when it’s easy to feel out of control, and knowing we’re helping them navigate their way through this is just a great feeling.

4. What advice would you tell yourself if you could go back to the start ?

To start a company, the most important thing is believing in your idea. Speak to people about it (every conversation can open a new door!) and listen to advice but ultimately you need to trust your gut instinct. Oh, and make sure you’ve got a great action list and record all the wins along the way!

5. Share a quote about your business or life that you stand by?

I think it has to be “in the end you only regret the chances you didn’t take”. We both left dependable jobs to start the business, at a time when our personal lives were pretty busy too! But we’re so pleased we made the jump.

6. What is your favourite product?

That has to be our online course on ‘helping your parents whilst maintaining your distance’. This year has knocked us all sideways hasn’t it and it poses so many new questions about how we can realistically support our older relatives when we can’t see them. This course is here to help people navigate this minefield. We look at ways to make their home safe from afar, tried and tested (and interesting!) ways to connect remotely and more. We really hope you find it useful.

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Life after redundancy and what kindness taught me

redundancy in lockdown and what kindness taught me
redundancy in lockdown and what kindness taught me

Life after redundancy and what kindness taught me

When you know you’re about to hear that big scary word, ‘redundancy’, there’s a strange kind of acceptance. It’s almost a relief, because at least you now know where you stand – even though it seems you’re now standing in the pouring rain.

It’s the same when you’re out and about and the black sky is threatening. You become pretty restless. Where will you go? You haven’t got your coat. There’s nowhere nearby to shelter and you’re miles away from the car. But then when the heavens do open – and I mean really open – all you can do is laugh and embrace it. Because, really, what else can you do?

I spent the first few days of redundancy feeling a bit meh! Where would I end up? The potential was both terrifying and exciting. One minute, I was considering where we’d move to if we had to sell the house, the next, I was thinking about all the exciting career paths I might go on to. But it was lockdown. Was there ever going to be a new job out there? I was one of so many people newly redundant, feeling lost and seeing very little on the horizon. It was undoubtedly a scary time.

But it was kindness that changed all of that. 

Lockdown has seen so many tragedies and societal challenges – some of which have been immense and devastating. But at the end of the day, while there are some people out there who are happy to recklessly break lockdown rules or practice terrible prejudice and harm, there are also lots of amazing human beings out there who have all come together to support each other.

And I think that’s where my current state of happiness and calm has emerged from. The kindness of others.

I’ve had friends and former colleagues sending me referrals or links to job ads. I’ve had people recommending me as a freelancer to people they know. I’ve had people checking in and telling me I can make it in the freelance world. And because of that, I’ve been able to muster the confidence in myself. I now have faith in myself and I am taking the plunge and growing a freelance business.

I’d NEVER have done this before!

Making new friends on LinkedIn and having them recommend me to potential clients has been a breath of fresh air. Well, more than fresh air, it’s brought the money in to pay the mortgage! But in return, I’ve been able to pay it back. I’ve shared my expertise with them and forwarded opportunities that I think they might be a great fit for.

Of course, you do have to build your own flow of work, but giving back feels really really good. And I never thought the freelance world would be so supportive when we’re all fighting for work and trying to keep our heads above water. But it is. And not only that, freelancing can be a lonely world. But when there are people who want to share ideas, talk and just check in, that isolation can quickly dissipate.

If, like me, you find yourself redundant and wondering about going it alone I would just say this. Yes, be your own boss, it’s liberating. But always find the time to share and collaborate. Instead of standing alone in the rain fiercely protecting all your leads and potential clients, you’ll soon be basking in the sunshine with like-minded folk and seeing even more opportunities open up. After all, to be competitive in the marketplace you not only have to be good at what you do, but you also need to have a great reputation for being personable and working with integrity. 

Your competitors can sometimes be your super-power and your best friends. What a life-changing lesson to learn.

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Product Partner spotlight – Emma Bond

Emma Bond The online business accelerator
Emma Bond The online business accelerator

Product Partner spotlight – Emma Bond

Each week we put the spotlight on one of our Product Partners so they can share their stories and inspiration behind their business. We will also be asking them a few questions around their challenges and successes.

This week we meet Emma Bond – The Business Accelerator. What does that even mean I hear you say?

Emma helps individuals discover just how to stand out in a busy online space and position them as a leading and respected authority in their industry. The way Emma understands this space is why she is in such high demand and her courses so valuable

 

Meet Emma…

the Business Strategist & Breakthrough Coach for the independent woman who wants it all.

6 years ago, I left everything secure, safe & comfortable in my life; the offer of a partnership in a business consultancy, a 10-year relationship that had lost its spark, the home I spent 5 years restoring; but mostly other people’s idea for who and what I should do and be. I wasn’t willing to settle for anything less than the life, love, body and business that was a burning desire inside of me.

That decision changed my life. In the years that followed I;

  • Started my online coaching business and surpassed my corporate income in year 1
  • Launched and sold out all my programmes over the last 5 years
  • Naturally cured years of PTSD and chronic anxiety
  • Lost 49lb and fell in love with taking care of my body and practicing self-love
  • Became a lifelong student of self-development, yoga, spiritual practice and personal growth
  • Met the love of my life and got married in our dream Amalfi coast Italian wedding
  • Travelled around beautiful places Thailand, Tahiti, Bora Bora, California, Italy, France to name a few

6 years on I have multiple businesses helping multi-passionate entrepreneurs to create an online business model and the freedom to be, do and have it all.

You deserve it all. I’m here to make sure you get it.

Emma’s favourite product – 

Our quick Q&A…

1. What was your ‘on fire’ spark that made you start your business?

I recall from an early age having a strong desire to have an extraordinary life and to not fall into ‘the norm’.  I had a 10 year career before my own business where I felt my purpose was to climb the ladder and be at the top, but the day that happened and I was offered a partnership in my company it didn’t feel like I thought it would.  It felt like ‘is this it’.   I decided to leave the business although and follow my own dreams.

There was a fire in my belly that wanted more; more freedom, happiness, health, abundance and limitless growth.  I believe that deep down we all have that knowing feeling that they are here for something more, that spark that is just waiting to be igniting into a glowing flame.  It just starts with the decision to try.

2. What has been your biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome this?

Allowing myself to be visible and vulnerable.  When you put yourself out there you will encounter feelings of self-doubt, imposter syndrome, fear of rejection and not being liked.  The truth is at every new level of your personal and professional growth there will be next level challenges and fears, so you never really overcome it, but you choose it every day and walk with the fear rather than away from it.

3. What has been your proudest moment?

I don’t think I could pick just one, because I love to celebrate all the great moments (big and small) and the reason I do this is because I want to remember how each success felt.  Sometimes you don’t remember how you felt in moment it happened but you always remember the celebration.  It’s like birthdays, you always remember the birthday because of the celebration you had that year! 

4. What advice would you tell yourself if you could go back to the start ?

When you choose this life and journey you are choosing to walk a mountain with no peak and whilst there will be milestones along the way you will never ‘be there’.  There will always be another level beyond the clouds that you can’t see yet and when you reach one goal your desires will change and expand.  So whilst goals are important and timescales helpful remember you are on a journey to create limitless success over a lifetime and the journey gets to be really fun when you embrace it all.

5. Share a quote about your business or life that you stand by?

You can be excited about where you are going and at peace with where you are now.

6. What is your favourite product?

My favourite product is my Online Business Accelerator course available on the TGIOF marketplace. 

Through this course you will discover what makes you stand out in a busy online space and how to position yourself as a leading and respected authority in your industry.

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