How many online groups do you belong to? 10, 15, 100? They are so popular these days (thanks to Facebook and LinkedIn) and there’s definitely a group for everyone but how on earth can you get the most from them?
I’ll hold my hands up. I belong to too many. I cannot possibly keep up with what’s going on in them all and really, I might as well not be in about half of them. If I was the Group Admin, I’d probably like me to leave because I’m not bringing much to the party! But, it’s hard… when I try to have a cull, I find myself suffering from ‘fomo’ (Fear Of Missing Out!) so in I stay.
If it was an offline group, you know, a real-life group where I had to actually show up, this behaviour would be unacceptable and I’d be quite unpopular! Hanging about, not saying anything, just lurking. It’s not a pleasant way to carry on, is it?
A nut roast is of course the default for a vegan or vegetarian Christmas dinner. Does it really have to be that somewhat dried up slab of something like softened chip board? No, of course it doesn’t. This set of Christmas dinner suggestions are bursting with colour, vibrancy, protein and nutritional punch. At the same time, you will not be asking for seconds, I guarantee it. Neither will you be reaching for the mince pies by the time the Queen has said her Christmas day piece. You will be, to be frank, stuffed!
So, there’s a few ingredients in here you probably won’t have in stock everyday, but hey it’s Christmas right?
To serve 4-6 people
For the nut loaf:
1. Cook the red lentils in plenty of boiling water for 15 minutes until soft, drain with a mesh sieve.
2. Heat the reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in a sauté pan and cook the onions for 5 minutes until they just brown. Add all the other ingredients except the dried herbs and spices and stir well to combine. Add the dried herbs, spices and salt and pepper.
3. Line a large loaf tin (approximately20cm x 10cm) with baking paper. Spoon the mixture into the tin and spread evenly with the back of a fork. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees, gas mark 4 for around 55 minutes. Test by inserting sharp knife or skewer, which should come out clean when the loaf is cooked. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before turning the loaf out and slicing.
This can be prepared in advance, reheated and added to the top of the loaf after baking.
1. Pop the sweet potato in the oven with the nut roast and bake for 30-35 minutes in its skin until soft.
2. Sauté the mushrooms in a cooking oil of your choice for around 5 minutes until they brown, turn of the heat and toss in the spinach until it wilts staring together with the mushrooms at the same time. Scape the cooked potato into the pan, mashing with the spatula as you go. Add the lemon juice, black pepper and nutmeg and stir to combine. Spread the mixture in a thick layer onto the nut loaf and decorate with the cranberries, walnuts pomegranate and half the roughly chopped parsley.
3. Arrange the topped nut loaf on a warmed serving platter and surround with roasted vegetables (carrots, parsnips, squashes, potatoes, celeriac, swede even a few cherry tomatoes etc.) and your winter greens – broccoli, purple sprout tops, sprouts, black kale (cavalo nero), fine green beans etc. and serve with a jug of rich onion and red wine gravy. Toss the remains parsley over the vegetables.
There’s a knock at my door, it’s a delivery. I wasn’t aware I had ordered anything, let me think..ah, is it that time again already?! It's the precious, petite box of pure joy I’ve been eagerly waiting for, and it’s not a day too late! I tear into the paper, I can smell the warm, soft sweetness alluding to what’s inside this month. I find the signature note from the crafter of these little creations, then carefully open the box (so not to disturb the contents) to take a peak inside, with as much excitement as if receiving a puppy on Christmas morning!
Sitting there I see nine individually wrapped chocolates. My very own, personalised smooth chocolate truffles created just for me! ‘Chocolates?’
you may think, ‘All that anticipation for a box of chocolates?!’
Well, I say unapologetically, yes! These aren’t just any high street chocolates, nor were they mindlessly ordered online - popped in the basket and paid for without a second thought. No, these OMmaZing
bite-sized pieces of heaven were purposefully chosen by me and thoughtfully made for me.
I must resemble a wild bore snuffling in the undergrowth for a seasonal truffle rummage, eyes rolled back, digging in to these in utter delight! I can’t just stop at one, you see, it’s a problem (but one I’m not willing to change). I’ve heard there are others who suffer the same happy addiction. I think Daniella could create a self-help group for us called 'OMmaZing's Anonymous'? No? Well it sounds as if the amazingly Exclusive VIP Chocolate Club is the only other alternative then!
is the perfect option for those of us who eat chocolate more regularly than to celebrate our own birthday. Especially if you treat yourself to chocolate at least once a month and consider yourself a healthy eater with a sweet tooth; desiring to know even the ingredients in your ice cream. I love chocolate but I don’t eat it too often, so when I do, I like my choice to be something I can take my sweet time to delight and indulge in. Chocolate Club is clearly the answer!
What I love about Chocolate Club, is that as well as it conveniently saves a trip to the supermarket to stock up on a couple of bars (which I’m not fussed about but eat anyway), I get to choose my own favourite fillings from a vast selection of flavours, right down to the type of chocolate used - from milk to raw cacao. I get the satisfaction of receiving a box just when I’d forgotten all about it, and usually right at a moment when I appreciate them most too. Upon their arrival, it sort of feels like I’m getting a reward or like a present to myself just to say ‘well done you’. I think it’s important to treat yourself sometimes and what better way to do it?
Those of you of a certain age may recall that ‘ Don’t Believe The Hype ’ is a half-remembered rap song from some years ago. At that time I was still working in my previous life of advertising and design. It’s a strange industry – obviously it makes its money from clients who have products and services they wish to sell to particular groups of people – and advertising agencies are as much a mainstream business as the clients they work on behalf of. Yet, the creative studios in which I spent many years were populated by very ‘alternative’ people who thought, bought and behaved very differently to the consumers they by and large were employed to influence. I felt quite comfortable there for a long time, but I look back with a certain discomfort on that world now.
Advertising is extremely influential in the highly lucrative and extremely competitive food and drinks industry (although I have never worked on campaigns in those sectors). Think how we have been persuaded to ‘ go to work on an egg ’, or that British Beef, New Zealand (and more recently Welsh) lamb and Danish bacon are somehow better than other counterparts. More recently, food and especially snack food, advertising aimed at children has become a hotly debated political issue. Jamie Oliver is a vociferous campaigner for a 9pm watershed for such advertising as are former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former Health Secretary Alan Johnson. Yet little has changed. Major food brands have continued to target children with junk food products that dazzle young eyes and create a sense that such products are a normal part of everyday diet.
It was my birthday over the weekend. I played the game of reversing the numbers of my age as I often do, so for example, two years ago I was 15, last year 25 and this year I reached the ripe old age of 35! The game also involves recall and reflection too. Shortly after my 19th birthday in 1983 I left home to go and study in Wiltshire, leaving behind my South Devon comfort zone. I had been vegetarian for a relatively short time at that point, and I was excited about taking complete control of my own food. I regularly visited a health food shop called Swindon Pulse, which was an Aladdin’s Cave of open sacks of beans, grains and cereals with shelves piled high with meat replacement products that required rehydration, tins of exotic Eastern foods unfamiliar to me and also soya milk. At that time it was completely unavailable anywhere other than health food shops. I loved that shop – such shops had yet to re-imagine themselves as ‘pharmacies’ selling mainly supplements and bodybuilding potions, as they seem to now. I also liked one of the girls who worked in the shop, but that’s another story altogether.
Also I remembered being at primary school in the 1970s, at which point the full horror of school milk came flooding back to me. Miniature milk bottles holding, I think, 1/3 of a pint that arrived in the classroom first thing in the morning and were then stored on the radiator and in full sunlight. Needless to say, by the time my teacher had brutally stabbed the lids of each bottle with a knitting needle and inserted a straw later in the day, this full-fat bottle of misery was warm and thoroughly sour. I will forever be grateful to the late Margaret Thatcher for scrapping school milk (although there is little else in her legacy I am grateful for). I hated that school milk with a passion and as a result I’ve had a strong dislike for milk ever since.
Milk was no loss to me whatsoever when I shifted my diet to a fully vegan one a couple of years ago. To many, however, it is a default in the household fridge. Why? How did it come to be that humans became the only animal group to never become fully weaned?
Photography by Lisa Lavery
A guy we know went vegan last week, he announced to the world (on
Facebook of course). Actually that’s not quite true, he has adopted a
plant-based diet for a while in order to help him to lose some weight. He’s
quite a big guy, he’s also a bit of a bacon butty and burger type character. As
a result of his post he’s received many comments essentially sneering at his
decision and making jokes about his eating habits pre last week. No doubt
that’s been disheartening for him, but he has already shed 5 pounds. Not bad
He proudly posted images of his enormous basket of fresh vegetables – a rainbow of colour which he intends to be the basis of his meals this coming week. We have given him some help and support with a few pieces of advice around supplementing his vegetables with other food types to help him feel more full and also to balance his diet a little better.
Now… perhaps this sounds like you. Or, you may already have made a more long-term decision, you could even be thinking about ‘meat-free Mondays’ or perhaps introducing more plant-based days into your weekly meal planning. All power to you, I say. What I want to discuss in this week’s blog are ways in which you can eat satisfactory, healthy and nutritionally balanced meals.
This will sound a little odd at first, but you need to prepare to eat more! I know, great isn’t it? Plant-based food can be extremely filling, but you will require greater volume. To put it in simpler terms – a meal comprising vegetables and pulses, for example, will need to completely fill your stomach. A heavily meat based meal should only half fill it, and a dairy-based meal a bit less again. So fill your plates, people!
The day the world went vegan. Well, for a few hours it seemed that
way. Amidst a Bank Holiday weekend blessed with welcome but long awaited
sunshine, Saturday became Cheltenham Vegan Fair day. Something approaching 100
stall holders, charities and talk/workshop ‘deliverers’ descended on the Town
Hall to be joined by in the order of 2000 visitors throughout the day – many of
whom waited patiently in a queue snaking far into Imperial Square and beyond,
to get in.
Food and nutrition were high on the list of offers inside the Town Hall – some amazing caterers performing miracles with plant-based ingredients. Independent cake and savoury bakers working wonders with pastry or whipped dairy-free frostings. Artisan cheese-makers, dairy-free mayonnaise and coleslaw producers, raw food specialists and nutritionists added an incredible diversity to the products on offer. Visitors were also treated to a long list of excellent talks and workshops which approached food and nutrition in a variety of unique ways.
Let’s not forget either the organisations who are dedicated to changing our lifestyles. Shoe-makers doing incredible things with faux-leather goods, ethical clothing makers and sellers, cruelty-free cosmetics and powerful change-makers such as Friends of the Earth, Sea Shepherds, several animal sanctuaries and many inspirational speakers. I’m sure I’ve missed other contributors too, if that’s you, I’m sorry, my memory isn’t what it was!
A weekly blog discussing contemporary food and nutrition topics, by the Owner and Head Chef of Poco Culina, Andy Tibbs.
In a week that has once again seen contaminated eggs become headline
news, it’s an opportunity for everyone to reflect on just exactly what they are
eating. Like many people, you may well be very particular about your eggs,
ensuring that you buy only free-range eggs from UK farms or even purchasing
eggs from local producers at Farmers’ Markets or Farm Shops. Also, many
supermarkets highlight the fact that they sell only fresh eggs bearing the
British Red Lion stamp of quality. Here comes the BUT though…
Supermarkets including Asda, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have been hastily removing products containing contaminated eggs from the Netherlands from their shelves. These are mostly fresh sandwiches and salads, filled with cheap, non free-range eggs mass produced outside of the UK. And let’s not get started on the sheer volume of eggs incorporated into a huge range of mass produced products on the same supermarkets’ shelves. It is simply not possible for you, the shopper, to make any value judgement on the integrity of those products. Double standards? Hypocrisy?
Well, here’s what Ian Jones, chairman of British Lion Egg Processors, said: “We believe shoppers are growing increasingly concerned about the ingredients used in manufactured food and now more than ever want and deserve transparency on food packaging. The British Egg Industry Council believes that this is a great opportunity for retailers to listen to the concerns of their customers and reassure them by specifying the use of British eggs and using the ‘Made with British Lion eggs’ logo on packs.”
My catering business, Poco Culina , is entirely plant-based. Whilst I have no intention of this blog being just a platform to advocate veganism, it is however my belief that we all need to consider more deeply what we are eating, where it comes from and how it was made. The damage being to done to health and the environment by irresponsible food producers cannot continue unabated. We all need to take far more care in what is being sold to us, irrespective of our individual dietary choices.
My approach, as a Chef, is to research ingredients and cooking techniques that use fresh, single origin ingredients cooked to traditional, mainly Eastern methods. Indian cooking is particularly exciting to me. Take fairly familiar Indian foods such as onion bhaji or vegetable pakora, they are bound together with seasoned batters made very simply with gram (chickpea) flour and water – no eggs or butter required. Similarly, dosa – Indian pancakes – are made from batters made with soaked pulses – urad dal, moong dal, chana dal, red dal and so on, all of which are split peas or varieties of lentil. The ever popular Middle Eastern falafel too is made from soaked and puréed chickpeas. Made properly, there should never be any need for eggs to bind them together. Not only are these products deeply nutritious but they taste amazing too. But then you know that, you will all no doubt have eaten and enjoyed them.
That’s all for this week, see you next time.
Watch what you eat!
“Stop showing off Frances!”. The words hit me like a brick. I jolt to a stop, hang my head in shame and back towards the door. Once outside, huge tears roll down my reddened cheeks, whilst I try to work out which feeling is the strongest – humiliation, shame, or anger. Humiliation takes first place with shame coming in a close second. There is no room for anger so that is shut out – rejected. Sibling rivalry encourages me to believe that certain siblings, who were privy to the exchange, are smirking at my abasing. Probably fantasy on my part but it feels real enough at the time.
Leaving home for boarding school at 7 was almost a relief. Maybe this was to be a place for me to shine? A place where I could 'show off' without being reduced to a mere morsel of myself by the lashing of a tongue, from a mother who would mow us all down with her words, time after time.
Boarding school was different. I was no longer a show off. I advanced from show off to simply not being good enough. As the youngest boarder, my confident, wanting to shine self, was soon hushed. My dorm mates poked and jibed me. They pushed me to undertake the most inexcusable dares. All of which I undertook with a unsuspecting smile, desperately wanting to gain their approval. My efforts were futile however, as they had already decided that I would never match them, in worldliness, wealth, possessions or influence. Or was that what I had decided?
Nonetheless, my now 8 year old courage endured, as I endeavoured to make them laugh, offered to make their beds, pretended I liked what they liked, danced and sang along with them all.
Then came the words from the most officious matron – “Stop showing off Frances!”. Bang! There I go, back to the abyss of misery and unsureness. Humility, shame, embarrassment oozing through my every pore, whilst the other girls laugh and jeer. I dive into my bed like a rabbit down a rabbit hole, as far down the bed as I can - and I cry. The humility and shame are colossal. The message is clear. Never put my head over that parapet of doom again. Stay low girl. Stay thwarted – the life of shine is not for you!
Wind forward 30 years and I see myself having developed a hard wired belief that repeats pattern like - over and over again, but now I don’t need the trigger of another – I can shame and humiliate myself single handily.
Clever eh? How does it work? This is it… stay low. Somehow, someone sees some talent in me and helps me onto the stage. Happy days for a bit, with me hanging about in the wings. Then after a while, I bravely take a step forward towards the light. But I have barely put my toe into the circle of the spotlight before I withdraw, moving myself back to where I belong, in the shadows. Fearful that those words will be expressed again. They probably already have, but they were out of earshot.
Only by now, all these years later, the anger is rising. I am no longer able to reject it. “I DESERVE TO SHINE!” - my unconscious shouts. “I know I have much to offer. I can help people.” But unconscious whispers back “don’t be foolish, child, you will just look stupid – as you will be showing off. Stay back, stay safe. Stay in the shadows.”
I am so grateful for my 50s mid life crisis. For it was then that the anger reached its summit. It surfaced not as rage however, but as a hunger for The Why? A quest to find out why those feelings would show up every time a flash of opportunity came my way, spoiling… well, everything. For the last couple of years I have read, I have listened, I have learned and I have expressed. And wow! Have I accomplished a lot and no, I am not 'showing off'.
The knowledge I have gained now helps me to help other people. It helps me understand how I can move forward with a clear conscious. I have forgiven my darling Mum, that matron, and my smirking siblings (even if they weren’t guilty!).
I can now see that the problem was mine, not theirs. I am in control of how my feelings show up and what they are attached to.
So now things can change. I have decided that being a show-off is what I need to be. That singing and dancing is not just for the films, it is for me too. I will step into the circle of the spotlight and lift my chin and smile. For if I can sing, and if I can dance then I can shine. If I allow myself to shine, then who can I be? I am not sure. But I am very much looking forward to finding out.
There are a bunch of amazing people in my life, who, probably without knowing it, have led me to understand that I no longer need to worry about 'showing off'. Today was the first day that I found the phrase “I want to show off”. I will say it daily. These are the people I would like to thank for helping me get to where I am today…
Tricia Sterry http://www.blockclearance.com
Di – Dickenson, a beautiful human being who will be the best Block Clearance Therapist very soon.
Neil Snaith, my husband and so much more.
Connie and Wren Snaith, my children.
Deborah Price http://moneycoachinginstitute.com/
Sarah Dena - www.facebook.com/Sarah.L.Dena
Maxine Smith - www.bodyawarenesstherapies.co.uk
Robin Waite - http://robinwaite.com/
Cindy Davis – http://thefgcoach.com/
Carie Lyndene - http://carie-lyndene.com/
Martin Croft – www.thethoughtbusiness.com
Sali Green - https://www.iwork4uglos.co.uk/
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
How is your memory? Do you find that it's become increasingly worse over the years, both long and short term? In this article I'm going to tell you what happened when I went for SOUND THERAPY the other day.
Holistic therapist Rebecca McCorquerdale asked if I'd go along as one of her final case studies for sound therapy qualification. It sounded interesting and soothing, and I'm not one to turn down the opportunity of anything holistic, so we booked a date and before I knew it the day had arrived. I was uptight and a bit stressed. I'd had a furniture-related minor head injury the night before and still had a pounding headache, not to mention the 3 glasses of red wine I'd consumed the same evening. Rebecca welcomed me in to the haven of peace and calm she's created at her home, where the aroma of essential oils wafted around in the atmosphere. She seemed so relaxed and serene it was like she floated towards the kitchen to get me a glass of water, whilst I trailed behind feeling rushed, heavy and drained. Of course, the next thing was that I offloaded all my pent up feelings and related the story of the computer sliding off a chest of drawers and hitting me in the head. I was in anxiety mode, worrying that the head injury was never going to heal and would continue to get worse. I tend to get these thoughts that spiral out of control if I let them. Rebecca took it all in her stride. It didn't bring her down to my level. She knew that by the time she'd finished with me, she'd be sending me off in floaty mode just like her.
Back in the purple holistic haven, I sat on her chaise longue while she leaned on the treatment couch, explaining to me a brief history of sound therapy and how it's used and what it does. She said she'd be drawing on the natural energy from the earth and using the wonderful vibrations of sound from the tuning forks to rebalance my mind, body and spirit. There was also mention of dowsing and chakras.
Well - not only did Rebecca do all of what was mentioned, but also with these hypnotic sounds she also conjured up something quite unexpected in me. What started to unfold in my mind, once a state of relaxation and calm had been reached, was an unfolding of distant memories.
My anxious mind started to fight this at first, worrying that when your life's events flash before you, something's up! I reassured myself that this wasn't a 'life flashing before me' scenario. In fact it was all at a leisurely pace.
I used mindfulness just to bring things 'back in the room' for a while - feeling Rebecca's calm presence at my side, and picturing my bag in the corner of the room. I was still very much here, and we hadn't moved on to another world. So gradually I allowed those memories to flow back in. They weren't in order; they were jumping to different parts of my life - mostly early childhood. The thing that astounds me here is that these are things I have not recollected for a very long time, if at all. In the title of this article I've used the word 'vivid'. It's not an exaggeration. We're talking right down to the fabric, texture and pattern of the pale blue silky embroidered bedspread in my grandmother's spare room in Birmingham; her shoe rack in the wardrobe, filled with shoes that had molded to the shape of her bunions; the geraniums in her conservatory; feeding the fish in her pond, and going to Cannon Hill Park, feeding ducks and seeing red squirrels. Right down to the whole family playing ping pong, and the stale Weetabix she kept in the larder. She died decades ago. I also visited memories of my other grandparents - even the day we left their old home near Tewkesbury and moved to Cheltenham - down to the exact feeling of looking out of the window across the garden and saying goodbye to it. I would have been under 5 years old then. I remembered sitting at the dining table at the flat in Pittville, eating curried mince with potatoes and peas with my grandparents and cousin. We were still so little. I remembered exactly what Nanna said to us when we mashed our potatoes into the sauce: "You're making a right pussy's dinner out of that!" (and she hadn't heard of Hip Hop).
This trip down memory lane came to the point where tears began to flow. I could feel them rising up in me and this brought me back to being 'in the moment' again, because I suddenly felt conscious of my tears welling up and the slight embarrassment of that. I said this to Rebecca who opened the curtains slightly and said we would 'hold the space' for a while. The tears came and some snivelling too. I didn't feel embarrassed any more. I just felt what a big thing this was to me... all these memories that I didn't think I could ever have accessed again. They were precious. Next came Rebecca's turn for some emotion. When this happened I felt so privileged. It was like time stood still. Everything in our lives leading up to that point had brought us there, and we appreciated it and its depth. Rebecca felt a couple of messages for me that she had to say out loud - something that had cropped into her mind that she felt she had to pass on to me. Something about me being a warrior, and to stand my ground.
Along with memory-gate, there was also a physical reaction during the tuning forks therapy. A heightened sensitivity in one place, which apparently then gets attuned and balanced by the sound therapy.
I've certainly felt a lot better ever since.
I wonder what sound therapy will hold for you?
To discover more about sound therapy you can connect with Rebecca on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaMcCorquodaleHolistics/
The default diary is such a simple but useful way to organise your business and home life. Choose a colour that represents each type of way you spend your time. To give you an example, I use purple for meetings, orange for my Top Dog clients / consultations, green for down time and fun stuff, and blue for admin and my directory clients. When I look at my diary I see at a glance how the day or month is looking. And I make sure there is consistency. So every Wednesday and Friday morning I’m in meetings. Every Monday and Tuesday I’m in the office doing admin and promoting my clients. Thursday I go to appointments, see my mum, etc. I can recommend this if you fancy giving it a try – it works! Let me know how you get on. Thank you Robin Waite for this idea.
Experiencing a career setback - such as reduncancy, being passed over for a promotion, or dealing with changes in your job description - can feel overwhelming. You may feel a little lost at times, and your self-esteem may have taken a hit. Depending on the situation, you may either feel undervalued or completely expendable, both of which can take a toll on your mood and even your physical health.
The good news is that there are some things you can do to take control of your career and, by extension, your life. It’s important to remember that you are valuable, and if you’re ready to change things up and strike out on your own, there are some simple ways to get started. Here are some of the best.
Take some time
One of the first things you should do after your experience is to take some time away from things. Whether it’s for a weekend getaway or just a day off, carve some time out of your schedule to focus on yourself and your needs and take a breath. This is especially important if you’re feeling low; getting away from things for a bit will allow you to calm down, reset, and potentially start a plan for the next move.
Figure out your goals
Your goals may have changed since your setback, or maybe you’re not even sure what they are at the moment. That’s okay! It’s normal to feel as though you’re floundering for a moment after an upheaval of your professional life. The key is to sit down and think about what you want to do next, and be honest with yourself. Do you really want to start sending out resumes to similar companies or confront your boss about why your co-worker received a big promotion over you, or would you rather strike out on your own and start a business? Think about what it would take to make you happy.
Make a plan
Mapping out a plan for your next career move can feel overwhelming, but remember, you’re just in the planning stages. This is the fun part! You can really get creative here. Do you have a skill or a service you can provide? Are you arty or good with cake decorating? There are plenty of online outlets for your business; the key is narrowing down what you want to do. Once you have a few ideas, do some research to find out what similar businesses might exist in your area and think about how your business would differ. Standing out in the crowd is a big part of starting your own company.
This is a good time to start thinking about whether you want to go into business alone or with a partner . This can be a good friend or a loved one, but it should be someone you trust and have a good rapport with. Starting a business can be a stressful undertaking, and you’ll need someone there who will have your back and can pick up the slack when you need a break.
Think about your online presence
Whether you’re going to have a bricks-and-mortar store or an online-only presence, it’s important to think about how you’re going to attract customers and what you want the design of your business to be, both inside and out. If you plan on opening an online shop, it’s essential to have an effective website for your business . You will also want to maintain a good social media presence, which means opening and keeping up with accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at the very least to keep customers engaged and to attract new fans. The same is true if you plan on being an online-only business.
Talk to someone who’s done it
It will be extremely helpful if you can speak to someone who has experience in opening up their own business, whether it’s a local business owner or an individual who has started their own company online. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and request some advice on getting started; you never know where the great ideas will come from!
Moving away from a career you’ve worked hard to build is never an easy decision; however, it comes down to your desire to create a future that is both sustainable and can make you happy, and that’s never a bad thing. With a good plan and a little time, you can build something new that you can be proud of.
Jason Lewis is a personal trainer in Delaware. In 2002 he became the primary caretaker for his mother after her surgery. He realised, as he helped her with her recovery, there is a special need for trainers that can assist the seniors in our communities. Jason worked with his mother’s doctor, as well as other personal trainers, to create programs that are considerate to the special health needs of those over the age of 65.
For a personal training in Cheltenham we recommend Sam at Hands On Wellbeing Centre .
People who inspire
Our emergency services are sometimes described as angels. Following the fatal accident in Cheltenham, it was reported that passers-by have praised the emergency services who attended the scene and tried so hard to help Anna Rys. Also recently at the Houses of Parliament attack, doctors bravely ran towards the scene, knowing how dangerous it might be for them. We are so lucky to have these people serving the community every day, putting the lives of others before their own.
Someone else who has been an inspiring person in his own individual, eccentric way is Dancing Ken. If you have been in Cheltenham a while you are bound to have seen him. Ken created his own style and stuck to it - a bright, quirky, friendly and much loved man who over the years is believed to have raised close to a million pounds for charity. He was a great supporter of Cheltenham's animal shelter and a lover of live music who also got involved in politics, standing for parliament in the 2005 general election. I have a feeling that wasn't such a silly idea and he'd have been a more considerate politician than some of the people we see being voted in to power. Ken died in April, aged 81 - may he rest in peace, and we send love to his family.
Have you ever felt like your life is just, not where you’d like it to be? You’re making ‘to do’ lists, investing your energy into nurturing your ideas and plans but you have not seen a single sign of growth or return? It can often feel like that for all of us – this time of year especially, regardless of your career or ambition.
It’s a new year, which means we’ve (most likely) broken our unrealistic resolutions, and still haven’t been back to the gym. Our intentions are good, but good intentions don’t bring results. We then find ourselves at a cross roads, but it’s up to us to take action on opportunity, and get motivated to move! To find fulfilment in doing whatever it is we enjoy, while hopefully improving the lives of others is a good place to start.
That’s where I was three years ago. Having left my job in car sales in 2007 to work for myself in car trading, I still felt yet to find my purpose. I assumed that I would be happy by continuing to work within the motor industry, and I was on the right road, but buying and selling still just wasn’t for me – and the term ‘salesman’ certainly didn’t ring true in my case.
Car Helpers was still a mere idea while I continued to drift along in sales, although I was happy to not be working for someone else, on someone else’s dream. I used to be that grey-faced man in a suit and tie wishing it was five past five on a Friday evening. I had everything I needed but I knew something needed to change. Ironically, it was while living in those shallow waters I felt like I was drowning. I was over my head in sales targets, when all I wanted to do was talk about cars and offer my advice without an agenda.
I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life, whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. But I questioned my options, ‘how could I help? What could I do?’ Well, I knew about two things – cars and counselling! I have, after all, always possessed an insatiable obsession with cars, and my knowledge of automobiles is hard pressed to beat. When I tell you my favourite car is the Porsche 911, I hope that resonates with my fellow car enthusiasts – isn’t she a beauty?!
I’ve recently had an epiphany about the way I run Carhelpers , and I feel it’s important to share my revelation with you. Perhaps it’s due to my admittedly heartfelt approach to work, or that I’ve gained some fresh perspective on life and what matters most to me. Either way, things are changing for the better here at Carhelpers and I want to tell you why; you simply decide what my service is worth to you.
Let me explain…
As many of you know, my interest in cars is more of an obsession and from a young age I knew I would work in the industry. Being a car adviser has been the perfect career choice for me. I am able to combine my love for cars whilst striving to provide reliable and impartial advice. Working in the motor trade is the ideal opportunity for me to help people find the right car for them, whilst also saving them from being sold the wrong car.
The majority of sales people are genuine, caring individuals who only have your best interest at heart. I don’t believe there is anything wrong in selling if you are transparent and honest about what you are selling, although sadly there are those that see pound signs as soon as you enter their office. A customer often approaches buying a car from a very defensive standpoint, being wary that they are going to be miss-sold a motor that could be a drain on their resources; both financially and emotionally.
Honest, personable salesmen like Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy are examples to us all, often preaching the belief that you should never sell anything that you wouldn’t sell to your own mother. Some people even like to by cars with faults and fix them to sell on – which I totally stand by!
Cheltenham Noticeboard , iwork4u Community and Local Business Network are examples of Facebook groups you can join and post about your business, but remember to READ THE RULES of each group before posting. https://www.iwork4uglos.co.uk/social-community
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If you give a prize you will usually be mentioned or thanked by the event organisers and they will allow you to put your leaflet or brochure with the prize or freebies.