Updated: Aug 3
Reflecting on the last 3 Years
This weekend I celebrated reaching 3 years in business. As I sit here and write this entry I am starting the first week of Year 4!
Day 1, 1st August 2017 doesn't feel like that long ago, and yet it feels like a lifetime ago at the same time! I have learnt so much over the last 3 years and have only recently really started to feel 'in flow' with working 'on' the business and 'in' the business.
I accepted a long time ago that running a business means that you are always learning, always adapting and always looking for ways to adapt, evolve and grow.
Last year (2019) I found a structure of work that really felt 'right' for me. Working with people in personal 1:1 coaching and running a group programme 3 times a year gave me a good balance of the intensive work of personal coaching alongside the lighter and fun group dynamic of self-development training. In the background and between programmes I was able to continue to develop the products available online to support those who I worked with and also to provide as a source of support for those looking for guidance and support but not necessary coaching.
The plan this year was to repeat the model. The goal to grow the audience and increase the numbers of people I have the opportunity to work with.
The Universe clearly had different plans for2020 for us all however I have been able to continue with the plan without having to make any big adjustments.
The last few months haven't been easy, however, I have been fortunate in many ways and this weekend during some time of reflection, I was able to show gratitude and appreciation for many things over the last few months. These are just some of the positives from a business perspective which has helped balance out the many challenges over the past few months.
The business was already 95% online so I was able to continue providing the same services and products.
Business networking all moved online giving me the opportunity to meet people outside of the local area.
Additional time was spent developing online products. The iRise Self-Development programme already proving popular with people who want to work on themselves in their own time and pace.
New series of Social Media Interviews created enabling some rich topics of conversation. Catch up on the YouTube channel.
More FREE content created including a 5 Day Challenge which you can take part in this month and be in with an opportunity to win a place on the next THRIVE online programme starting on the 7th September. SIGN UP HERE.
This hasn't been an easy time for anyone. We have all taken some time to adjust and as the lockdown period has increased and extended we have started to adjust and become more comfortable with the restrictions or alternatives. This means that as we come out of lockdown, and with the constant threat of additional lockdowns or restrictions we need to adjust once again to more change and more uncertainty.
We are already starting to see companies making difficult decisions, including redundancy, staff working fewer hours, the recruitment 'pot' getting full as more people seek new employment.
Lockdown came at us hard and fast. We didn't have time to think about it, we were already in it having to find ways to react and respond. This next phase is not going to happen in the same way. We know that change is coming, however, we don't really know what it will look like, or when it will happen so we are faced with more uncertainty.
Where there is change, there is an opportunity, and I am already seeing people using this time to reflect and review before making decisions on what they want life to look like when these changes come into play.
In the same way, as many of us reflect and review our professional goals and learning at the end of each quarter there are significant benefits to doing this in our personal lives as well to ensure that we continue to learn and grow.
We have all faced a period of adversity, we have been tested and I suspect many of us have learned something about ourselves that we did not know before.
What did you learn about yourself and how will you use this in the future?
There are still challenges to come. This means that there are still opportunities to come.
I have embarked on my next challenge of personal growth and the ACE - Acceleration to Coaching Excellence has begun. Over the next 7 months, I will learn, evolve and grow as a Coach and I am excited how this will transfer to everyone I work with.
This global programme means that I not only get the opportunity to learn from some of the top coaches in the world I will also get to learn from the other coaches on the course from around the world and all their wealth of experience. In my mastermind group, there are 4 from the US, 4 from the UK, 2 from Singapore and 1 from India. Executive coaches, Leadership coaches, Career coaches and more Personal coaches like myself. Lots of skills, knowledge and experience in the virtual room!
I am in no doubt that this programme will push me out of my comfort zone and test me. I also know that this is where I will grow and evolve and improve as a coach.
I look forward to sharing the journey and my learning with you.
For now, focus on what you have learned, and what you can do with this information to help you move forward.
If you need someone to help you work this through then book in a call and let's have that conversation.
Until next time ...
Time lost - Time gained
It would appear that 6 months have passed since I last checked in!
What happened to the world!
When I last wrote on this blog Kobe had passed and for those of us in the basketball community, the world turned upside down. Little did we know what was just around the corner.
COVID-19, pandemic, furlough, lockdown. Words that are now part of our everyday lives were not even in our vocabulary when I last made an entry here.
So how have you found the last 6 months?
What have you missed, what have you found?
Have you used the time to reflect and review your life? What was working, what wasn't working? Maybe you have challenged yourself to make some changes or even try something new.
I have talked about this a fair bit through vlogs and blogs. Feel free to check them out if you have missed them. I will list a couple of the key ones here for you.
I have also started a new live series. Something a little lighter that can still discuss deeper and more serious topics. #Fire5atPhoenix is a weekly live interview. Each week I invite a guest to come and ask me 5 questions of their choice, on a live stream.
I have been asked some really interesting questions so far and with an interview lined up every week between now and mid-September with more being planned, I am really looking forward to the questions that the guests are coming up with and the topics coming up in conversation. You can check out the series on the YouTube channel.
In other news, next month I will be running a FREE 5-day challenge that will be open to everyone. This will be 5 days to focus on you, and for those of you who would like to get an insight into THRIVE and how it is run this will also give you an opportunity to see how it all works.
We would love for you to join us and get involved - Just sign up HERE to find out more.
Speaking of THRIVE - Our 5th programme is in the last 2 weeks. What an incredible programme it has been! I know I say this every time, I am very grateful for the fact that I get to run these three times a year and get to know a new group of people each and every time. It feels that with everything going on in the world it has been great timing for people to take a step back and focus on themselves for the last 12 weeks.
The next programme is our last one of 2020. The registration will open next month and as always places will be restricted so that everyone in the group gets my full attention and support. If you would like to find out more then you are welcome to book in a clarity call to find out more and join the challenge as well.
Personal 1:1 Coaching continues. I have however offered up some additional packages and plans to help increase the range of options for you during what has been an unsettling time for many. If you haven't had a look yet do check them out on the services pages.
As always, I would love to speak with you if you would like to find out more so feel free to book in a chat.
I am starting the next step on my Coaching journey today on the ACE - Acceleration to Coaching Excellence programme with WBECS. I will tell you more about it on my next check-in which I promise will not be in 6 months time but much much sooner!
Stay safe and well, seize every opportunity that arises and reach out for support if you need to.
A reflective week
Interesting how a day can take a turn so quickly isn't it. If you were following my stories on social media yesterday you would have seen me start the day all excited and off to Birmingham with the Bristol Flyers to the Cup Final.
I have been involved with the Flyers for a few years now, ever since my son brought home a note from primary school saying he wanted to do a 6 week after school basketball programme run by two of the Bristol Flyers players. This was when he was in Year 5. He is now 17 and has been playing for the Bristol Flyers ever since (apart from his season with Reading Rockets last year). The Junior section is very much a part of the main club and as we both started to go to watch the men's games we got brought in to this community of basketball and what we proudly call our 'Flyers Family'.
Over the years the staff, volunteers, players and other fans have all become a pretty significant part of our world. I often joke that if I am not working, that is where you will find me. During home games, you will find me helping people find their seats, and on away games I travel with the team, shouting and cheering them on and then feeding them afterwards.
Reaching our first final in this league, and at this level, was a huge achievement and one all of us were proud of.
Feeling mostly excitement with a few nerves mixed in (see photo!) we soaked up the atmosphere with the other Flyers fans (that's us in red!) and waited for tip-off.
The guys fought hard, we shouted loudly throughout, but the day was not ours and Worcester took the well-earned cup home.
A loss is never easy and always makes for a quiet and reflective coach ride home. These feelings are all very familiar to those road trips home from competitions, going over every event and every lift!
The quiet and reflective journey home went from pride and disappointment to shock and sadness as the news of Kobe Bryant being in a fatal accident started to break across social media and news channels.
As we all held onto the hope that it would be #fake news it soon became clear that basketball had lost one of its legends. Not just Kobe, but his 13yr old daughter and rising basketball star in her own right, Gigi.
Numbers 8 and 24 have been worn by players all around the world by those who looked up to Kobe. My son included.
The sad and unexpected passing of people so young (there were other parents and children on that flight) often makes us stop and think.
What are we doing with our life?
Are we living the life we want?
Are we having an impact on others or our community?
Are we truly happy and fulfilled?
I have spent most of the last 24hrs asking myself these questions. (I ask myself them quite frequently.
I have been consciously focusing on these for 10 years now. What I have been reminded of is to be more present and enjoy the life I work so hard to build.
The future is not guaranteed. The present is here and now, to be enjoyed and lived, we can all be reminded more frequently to not overlook the present whilst working towards our future.
Make sure you enjoy the journey whilst you head for your dream destination.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Back on full form!
What a difference a week makes! Back on form and back in full focus again. I have spent more time this week planning. I now have 3 months of activities planned out and 121 months of themes for blogs and social media - post it notes EVERYWHERE.
Out of my head and mapped out into a timeline. Now I can just focus on what has to be done in each week and not worry about the weeks ahead.
This week the focus has been on beliefs. Our belief system can hold us back and the beliefs that we hold that launch us forward and enable us to achieve our goals.
One of the common reflections is that we often hold onto beliefs that are no longer true, and have 'expired'. This is the benefit of having time to pause, reflect and review. When we take time to do this we can see what is working and what we want to challenge ourselves to change. If we want a different outcome we have to make a change. It seems so simple yet it has to be a conscious effort to make it happen.
There is so much content out there around our belief system and how powerful the impact our beliefs can have on our behaviour. The belief that we can and will make something happen is key to success. In this short video, Tony Robbins discusses how more action without the belief that it is possible is not going to change anything. We have to work on the belief as well as the action. Watch the YouTube video here I hope you find it useful. (More from Tony Robbins here)
The morning hints, tips and advice over on the Facebook page will continue to focus on goals this month Next month we will cover more on beliefs so f this is something you are working on in 2020 then make sure you are following for your morning top tip.
As we head into a new week pay attention to what you are telling yourself - is it launching you forward or holding you back?
Have a great week.
Your beliefs become your thoughts.
Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your values.
Your values become your destiny.
I am not ill, I am not ill, I am NOT ill!
Okay not ill but there is definitely something going on! Last week was a real challenge especially in terms of energy levels. It also happened to be an incredibly busy week with 'Thrive' starting and a flurry of 1:1 clients after the Christmas and New Year break. I was also delivering a Stress Management Webinar so it really was a full week.
We all respond to being unwell in different ways. I find what works best for me is an increase in sleep and water and time out to recharge when I can. I still went to my spin classes as I find these help me feel more energetic however all non-urgent admin work got put back to this week!
Quite glad this is a 5 week month I feel like it has bought me some time.
I have been posting each morning some hints, tips, and questions all related to goal setting. Hopefully, you have found them useful so far. Most of them have come from the goal-setting workshops or tried and tested methods. This is a huge topic however my top 3 tips would be:
1. Write them down and keep a record of your progress
2. Visualise the success and what will be different
3. Find an accountability partner who will help you stay consistent and on track.
What was great to see, was how many people were using the Phoenix Journal/Planner to set out their goals and record their progress. Despite this being the 5th edition it never ceases to put a smile on my face when I see them in use and see that they are doing the job they were designed to do. The latest edition is not dated so you can order yours at any time and get started! Find out more here
On a final note for me before I go and get some housework done (yes that was definitely the first thing on the list to get postponed) if you need some support with setting out goals for this year then it is this month's free download when you subscribe to the mailing list. You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time.
Right, the hoover is calling me! Have a great week ...small consistent efforts for the win!
5 days in - How is 2020 working for you so far?
I'm not sure about anyone else but I haven't quite turned the corner into 2020 just yet!
Although I have had one client session, this week has been lots of 'finalising, reviewing and finishing up' 2019.
The rows and rows of post-it notes of 'actions and tasks' for the last quarter of 2019 have nearly all been finalised now! This leaves me with a big sheet of empty paper ready to start planning and finalising the first quarter of the new year.
The 4th Thrive programme starts tomorrow and that often feels like a new start for me. The great thing about leading these programmes is that I go on the journey with everyone. I am reminded of the things that I know will benefit my lifestyle and wellbeing and I am held accountable to walk the talk!
Thrive 3 had me rejoining the gym after the group call looking at physical activity helped me realise that I needed the accountability of booking into classes to make sure the workouts happened and working out with other people to push myself harder when I was there!
I wonder what this programme will help me with!
I will try and check in on this blog each week, Sunday with coffee maybe, for now, I need to get ready for my spin class! Have a great week everyone.
End of a year and another decade - Time to reflect and review
First things first - next year I promise to sit down and write more frequently! I actually really enjoy sitting and reflecting on my week so I make the promise to myself that I will make more time to do this.
Since last checking in we have run the third 'Thrive' of 2019. That totaled 30 people through the programme this year! Add to that the 30+ people I worked with as 1:1 clients, and those who have attended the webinars and workshops it has been a very busy and productive year ... and I have loved every bloody minute of it.
So much so, I am going to repeat a lot of it in 2020!
It can be easy to focus on the things that didn't go so well, or the things to leave behind in this year, however, I much prefer to focus on what I want to fill next year with. Fill it with the things that I know I want to happen, the things that bring me happiness and fulfillment. The more I focus on putting my effort and energy into those the less space there is for the other stuff! Not sure there is any science to this but it works for me!
So ...2020. What are we speaking into existence?
I have made two lists. The first is work-related. Very goals driven, specific, measured with clear indicators of success. The second is personal. The things I want to experience, feel, how I want to spend my time, the balance I want to create.
What list(s) have you made? What will you do to make them happen?
2020 - What will Phoenix look like? As mentioned much of it will be very similar to this year. 1:1 coaching, Thrive will be the main coaching services. The planners and app the main products.
The Phoenix Community will launch this year. This will be a light touch support group away from the distractions of social media. The feedback I had was that many of you know what you 'should' be doing to achieve your goals but wanted something that would help you stay on track and be accountable. The Phoenix Community will do just that. Hosted on this website, the community will be full of like-minded people. Check-in with your priorities for the week to help you stay on track, support from like-minded people and with a guest expert each month to help you with any questions you may have. In addition it will be no contract, no commitment, pure and simple pay as you go and with 14 days free trial to come and have a nose around - sound like something you might be interested in? Find out a more here
Lots of free resources will continue, it remains important to me to make sure that there is something for everyone so I will continue to blog, vlog and share free content. Make sure you are part of the newsletter so you don't miss out!
Finally .. the #10yearchallenge. What a great way to reflect. It seems only right that I share mine!
✅Physically healthier and fitter ✅Mentally healthier and stronger ✅Emotionally happier and fulfilled ✅Found a sport I loved and was pretty good at. ✅Earned some trophies and some amazing memories I will hold for a lifetime. ✅Job changes - several whilst employed. Learned that management was not for me but people development was! ✅Made the sh1tt1ness that is redundancy into a positive ✅Now running a business ☺️ ✅Lots of people met along the way. Some still part of my journey. Others played an important part in just a page or chapter! ✅Grew a child into a young man who I am proud to call and claim as my son. ✅Kept a sense of humour throughout 😂 make the last day of 2019 and this decade a celebration of success.
Let's make this last day of the year, and decade a positive one of reflection. What has been one of your most positive elements of the past 10 years?
I raise my glass to you all. Thank you for all your support in the past 12 months. Thank you to those of you who have put your trust in me to be your guide and coach. I wish you all 12 months of good health, happiness, and fulfillment.
Happy New Year!
Where did Summer go?
I cannot believe that the last time I sat down to write was back in June! JUNE!
A whole season ago!
Not sure I even know where to start!
If you have been following my social media you will know that I spent the month of August on the beautiful island of Cyprus. A last minute opportunity to house sit and look after two beautiful german shepherds, some chickens and a cockerel!
Logistics arranged, and packing my entire business into a carry on suitcase which I clung to like an over-protective mother with a newborn, I set off with the intention of doing my best to balance working and some rest and play.
Being away gave me a real opportunity to change up the routine that I normally have. I would not describe myself as a 'bounce out of bed' person. I wake early, but I enjoy coffee with quiet time. I like a quiet half hour (ish!) before the rush of the day starts.
This is not possible with two lively dogs. Trust me when I say I tried! There was coffee but it was not in bed. Getting up at 6am, feeding the dogs, sorting the chickens, and the daily house chores, meant I was logged on and working by 8am.
By 3pm the sun would reach the edge of the table where I had set up my 'outside office' which meant mother nature dictated when to stop working. (She is a huge advocate of work/life balance!) This meant that I quickly fell into a new and very different routine. 7hrs of work, followed by the options of some relaxation by the pool, hilly bike rides and meals out at local tavernas or evening client sessions.
The goal now is to keep up the good habits that the change of scenery gave me the opportunity to create.
The month flew by and the great news is, that not only did I get to hold all of my client coaching sessions and online calls without issue, I also had lots of time to review 2019 and start to plan what 2020 will look like for Phoenix.
...Watch this space!
We still have a couple of months of 2019 left yet so I don't want to rush ahead!
We started our third and final 'Thrive Programme' of 2019 on Monday. I am very excited to run this programme again and take this new group on their journey.
These will be repeated in 2020 and places will open for registration for the first programme (starting in January) in November.
Coming up this month we have the local 'Walk nTalk' in Bristol on Sunday 15th and then our walk up PenYFan on Sunday 22nd September (weather dependent)
Both events are free and open to everyone. The Bristol walk is accessible.
Please check the Facebook Page for details, we would love for you to join us.
I promise not to leave it so long next time and will try and check in with some shorter, more regular updates on what is happening!
Off now to prepare for tonight's Thrive Group Call!
ooh one last thing >>> It is not too late to get one of the last Phoenix Planners, these are dated for the Academic Year. 4 months of the year left, get back on track towards your goals and working on you.
June 23rd - Sharing Successes. The Importance of the small wins
Every week I ask for those on the Thrive programme to check in with their successes and small wins from the week.
I also encourage anyone who I have had the pleasure to work with, no matter how long ago, to keep me up to date with their progress and let me know what they have been up to, so it was lovely to wake up to a photograph from Bethan, at the summit of Mount Toubkal in Morocco, the highest peak in North Africa in the stunning Atlas Mountains.
There really is no stopping her these days!
This was then added to by news of a client passing her financial exams, another getting through a sports county trial. some changes in habits and routine, changes in sleep routine, some great food choices, new activities tried and a change in routine to prioritise some family time!
As I sat drinking my coffee the successes, wins and updates just kept coming!
I love to hear what people have been up to and what they have achieved, and whilst this is great for me to sit and read, this is not the main reason for doing so!
When we have a tough day, or a tough week it can be very easy to sit and focus on all the things that went wrong, or didn't go as well as they should. Our brain looks for the negative, the risk, the danger. This is how it protects us and keeps us safe. We have to force outselves to look for the positives in any given situation, and especially those that are harder to find!
On some days the successes will be small but mighty. Getting out of bed, taking that shower, doing that workout, making that phone call. You may have had bigger wins on other days, however on that day, it was a success.
A win is a win - the size is not important!
On other days your successes will be bigger, they may not feel any more rewarding than those smaller wins on the toughest of days, but they also need to be recognised.
Sharing and recognising your success, whether it is on paper or on an app with yourself, in a supportive group or with someone else, is an important way to notice the small steps you are taking.
Notice how you are showing up for you and what you want to achieve.
Notice how the small steps and consistency are starting to have an impact.
"Climb your mountain, one step at a time"
Sharing them with others can help to motivate you, but don't underestimate how much they can motivate and inspire others to take their first step. What now feels possible to you may still feel impossible to someone else.
Help others to see, offer them hope that they too can make 'IMpossible' 'I'M possible'.
Where do you record your wins? Who do you share them with?
What were your successes this week?
- Feel free to share them with me!
June 20th - Walking, Talking and Learning from Young People
What a busy couple of weeks! Lots of reflections but not so much time to sit down and get them onto this blog!
One of the best things about my work is that I get to meet lots of new people, under lots of different circumstances. The last couple of weeks have been no different!
A couple of new 1:1 clients, new people at networking meetings, the monthly walk and talk and some Year 8 pupils at a Young Enterprise Event. Not to mention lots of other business people at the Business Show Southwest Yesterday!
I have met and been working with some fantastic young people over the last couple of weeks. Our teen years are so important in how we evolve and grow. It is the time when we learn key communication skills but also the important life skills of determination, reslilience (amongst others) as well as determining our core values and beliefs.
Last time I mentioned a sunny weekend. I am not sure it has actually stopped raining since! The monthly 'Netwalk' was touch and go until 2hrs before but the weather forecast told me that there was only 40% chance of light rain so we ventured out!
No sooner had the first person turned up at the meeting point the clouds opened!
We all stood in the doorway of the stunning Bristol Cathedral, introducing ourselves to each other and watched as the rain got heavier ... and heavier!
Normally we find icecream towards the end of the walk but as we stood in the doorway watching the rain 'Swoon Gelato' called us across from opposite and so it was by unanimous agreement, and very little discussion needed, that eating icecream whilst we waited for the rain to pass, was definitely the right thing to do!
We did venture out and headed to Brandon Hill, and decided to put the icrecream energy to good use and climb to the top of Brandon Tower. As always a cracking view even in the rain!
It always amazes me with these walks. It doesn't matter who shows up. It doesn't matter if they have met before or not, there is always a good topic of conversation and I always come away having learned something! A little about someone, a little about their culture, a little about the things they love, and even a little about lobsters, unicorns and pegasus. (There is no plural word for a pegasus I did check!)
If you fancy joining us on the next one you can find out more here. We would love for you to come along!
I went back to school on Tuesday, setting off to a school near Bath to be a volunteer on one of their Young Enterprise Masterclass days. I haven't been involved in any of these before and so was open minded as to what to expect.
An entire Year 8 of students is loud. A full year of enthusiastic students is very loud!
Set them the challenge of 2 hours to design a business, create a product, marketing strategy and present a 'Dragons Den' style pitch to the entire group and you get a lot enthusiasm and creativity.
I worked with a fantastic group. Employability skills is probably not high on the agenda when you are in Year 8 but but it was great to be able to help them understand how many of these skills they already have and how they will be able to put them to good use as either an employee or to run their own business.
It is a real pleasure to be involved with young people as they work this through, but also the parents who are supporting them on this journey and helping them to evolve from children into young adults. There is something about the spark in young people that helps remind me to make the most out of life and sieze the opportunities, high energy that is focused and driven can be incredibly powerful - and contagious!
I am off to sort through these business cards and follow up on meeting some new people yesterday!
I will try not to leave it quite so long before the next time!
June 1st - Change and Reflecting on my Own Evolution
The sun is shining and we are in for a sunny weekend. I am looking at the list of things I need to get done over this weekend and trying to factor in some time outside to appreciate the warmer weather and get a vitamin D fix.
It has been a pretty busy week. Last summer I wrote a blog about life changing for me as my son was moving off to college. He is now back, ready to continue his journey with a new course starting in September. It is funny how I have been reminded of the little things I have missed while he has been away .. as well as the things I didn't miss as much!
It is nice to have some company in the house again - even if he is a little disruptive!
Workwise it has also been a good week. This week in the Thrive Programme we have been focusing on change and mindfulness as an approach to helping us manage change in a positive way. Nicely timed for me considering the change at home.
Yesterday I spent the day with the wonderful Nick Elston at his Forging People Speaking Academy. It was a privilege to have been asked to speak about the 'power of emotion' when sharing your story or presenting. I stayed for the rest of the workshop and it was wonderful to watch those on the workshop grow in confidence as the day went on.
It is just coming up to two years since I first stood up in front of an audience and shared my story. I remember how emotional it felt for me in sharing the story for the first time from start to finish.
So much has happened since then and whilst my story telling has evolved, and confidence has grown, the key messages and learning remains the same. It is always a good reminder for me that I too, am a work in progress and that my journey is still one of growth and learning, ups and downs and yet still a lot of laughter along the way.
A short and sweet check in today, I have a newsletter to send out and a spin bike to build! (more on that next time maybe!)
May 24th 2019 - Emptying my musings onto 'paper'
Last year I wrote a blog a week on a variety of subjects, no real plan or strategy just sat down and wrote once a week.
This year I have been writing a blog each month to tie in with the theme of the month. So far I have written on a variety of subjects however it doesn't always give me a chance to get down in writing my more frequent reflections.
I love my work, the people I get to meet and this journey I am on. I learn something new so often and I thought it would be helpful to me, and possibly useful to you to get my reflections, musings and learnings down into a more regular blog post.
So on a Sunday morning, I sit with my coffee looking at what is scheduled for the week ahead, and wondering what will happen that at present I have no idea about I thought; why not start it up now?
Now is a good a time as any.
Not quite sure how this will work technically, but I am sure I will work it out!