All Posts by Yvette Ankrah

About the Author

I'm Dr Yvette Ankrah MBE, a recovering overachiever who is passionate about helping women who are busy pushing themselves to the brink, to find another way to achieve success without burning out. Helping high achieving woman is my focus. Putting you at the centre is key. I want to help you be sustainably successful but keep your sanity through self-care, know your story and uncover who you really are, breakthrough barriers that hold you back and create a healthy and wealthy business.

Oct 13

Break the habit

By Yvette Ankrah | Review , self-care

Break the habit, start a new story

Every night you say to yourself that you will go to bed earlier and get at least seven hours sleep. At midnight you find yourself still on your phone/computer/ slumped on the sofa not really watching the TV (delete as appropriate).

You're sitting at your desk eating lunch and working and you realise you haven't had lunch away from your computer in such a long time.

You meant to call your friend but realised that another week has gone by and you haven't had a proper conversation outside of the Whatsapp chat groups.

Does any of this sound familiar?

We create habits and tell ourselves stories about our behaviour.

We believe that will never be able to go to bed early or be that type of person that goes for lunchtime walks in the park. We tell ourselves we are very busy and wear the ‘busy-ness’ label proudly.

However, if you dislike them, they do not serve you and it’s time to do something different it is possible to break the habits.

In the same way that you've created those habits and are holding on to those behaviours, the reverse can happen.

Start to change - 7 ways forward

  1. A good question to ask yourself is how important is it to you that you make the change? If it is not of high importance, it might explain why you haven’t done it!
  2. If it is important, one way in which you can kick start change is to connect with the deeper meaning of why the change is important to you. The more connected you are to the reason than the more important it is to you, the more likely you are to start doing something about it.
  3. Ask yourself - what might be getting in the way? Write out what comes to mind
  4. .Ask your body – once you’ve done the thinking, connect with your body and feel. Think about the thing you want to change, does it bring up a feeling in any part of your body? If it does write out in detail the feeling and sensation, where is it in the body? Consider that the feeling is telling you and work out how to move forward.
  5. Embody what you want – how can you be the person who takes lunchtime walks? What do they do and how would they set up their day? If you know someone that successfully does what you want to do, how can you model their behaviour?
  6. Set yourself up for success - going from eating at your desk every single day to saying that you're going to take an hour break away including a 30 minute daily walk might be too a big change. Instead, set yourself a small change – for example - 30 minute lunch away from your desk twice a week.
  7. Date yourself - I advocate putting things in the diary that important to you and this includes making time for yourself. Block out the time to chat with a friend, relax in front of the TV or have a date with your partner. Treat this time as just as important as any work-related meeting.

What habit will you shift and what will be your new story?

Aug 18

Work-life balance?

By Yvette Ankrah | business , Confidence , self-care

Work-life balance? Seven tips for success

Work-life balance is one of the biggest myths that has been created! Particularly for women in business, the female entrepreneurs building businesses around their families, the side hustlers finding a way to balance corporate life with their passion.

The reason I say this is because of the constant feeling of juggling, overwhelm, guilt and stress striving for balance produces. It is unrealistic to think you can completely separate parts of your life, particularly if you work from home, which so many of us find ourselves doing now.

There are a few reasons why you may be working for yourself (or want to do so if you are in transition) – passion and flexibility are two of mine. I love what I do, and I do it around my family. There is an intertwining of my work life and my personal life.

I’m calling out this myth as the mum who has asked her child to ‘wait a minute whilst mummy sends this important email’ instead of helping him build his Lego figure. The reality is, especially if you work for yourself, it is not always possible to keep work and your personal life separate.

This is why over the last few years more business magazines and coaches had been debunking the myths,  talking about either setting boundaries  or integrating your work and life, rather than trying to create an artificial divide. It is about the lifestyle that works for you and your family.

I work for myself so the success or failure of my business is on me, it doesn't mean that I shouldn't take care of myself or expect there to be no overlap of my business and my personal life. By setting boundaries and finding a way to merge your life and business you create your own version of what is acceptable to you. It is realistic and enables you to make better decisions about what you will do and how you will work. These can change daily, weekly or monthly depending on what is happening in your life.

Setting those boundaries and integrating work and life:

Your view of ‘work’

If you are doing something you are passionate about you may not see it as ‘work’. Work implies something hard, difficult and involves lots of labour. Your tasks may be hard and labour intensive but if love them, are skilled and motivated it doesn’t feel like a slog!

How do you view what you do? More importantly, are you doing what you love?

Got a plan?

You may need to put in more hours particularly when you are starting out. Know your plan and ensure you look after yourself at these times.

What’s your plan?

Office hours?

I like to have set office hours and always clearly state when I will get back to people. This manages expectations and enables me to manage my private time. The likelihood is if you call me during pickup and during my after-school cuddle I'm not going to answer the call! I will also work in the evenings however not every evening. I often work with a client or run a workshop between 7-9pm, but after 10pm I use for writing or admin tasks.

Are you clear on what times you are available?

Manage 'always on'

Modern technology is amazing and I could not survive without my mobile phone however there are certain functions that I switch off so I do not have work invading every minute of my life. This way I can focus on tasks when I am working and when I’m not, be away from work-related messages.

Can you look at how you use your mobile or have a work mobile which you can switch off at certain times?

Deadlines

There are times when you need to meet specific deadlines and you may have to forget about your boundaries during this time. However, be clear in your own mind that this is for a short time only. If you are so busy that you find yourself chasing your tail all the time you need to invest in support or hire some staff. This will stop overwhelm, stress and burnout as your boundaries can be maintained.

What support do you or your business need to thrive?

Do not neglect self-care

You need to be at your best to run your business. If you have taken the time to invest in a self-care regime you will know that missing your exercise or quiet time is not going to let you be your best. Whatever you have chosen to do - morning meditation, a run in the park, yoga - try to set a boundary around those things and limit missing them during busy times.

What is your self-care regime?

Creating boundaries, adopting a flexible approach and answering these questions will help you find a way to work that supports you.

Book a call to see how I can support you.

A verson of this article appeared on LinkedIn

Aug 07

Be your own boss

By Yvette Ankrah | business

Be your own boss:
From side-hustle to CEO

What do Slack, Twitter, Air b’n’b and Innocent drinks all have in common?

They all started as side hustles.

If you have a side hustle you are not alone. Side hustles have been booming with Henley Business School research (2018) showing that 1 in 4 Brits have been running at least one side gig alongside their full-time job. The self-employed are also involved with figures published in 2019 by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, finding that that 320,000 people have a so-called ‘side hustle’ on top of their self-employment.

From a way to make money fast to realising a passion, there is a myriad of reasons why everyday people look at creating a side hustle and developing it. Whilst some are content to keep it on the side, some want to move it into their full-time dream.

If you are a corporate woman with a side hustle ready to start making that move, read on!

Whether you are looking to replace your 9-5 income or create the next unicorn business ($1bn business), taking more concrete steps to that side hustle becoming your full-time reality might seem daunting.

Can your side hustle make money?

The first thing to establish is whether your side hustle is something that is going to sustain you. This doesn't mean it's making you your top figure right now. This means that it has the potential to do this. There is a plan in place to get in there and you know exactly what it takes to move those numbers up. Planning is crucial. Often, I meet female business owners after they have worked on their business for a few years. Something that starts as a passion and grows organically without much planning, becomes exhausting and overwhelming. You can change this by planning now and adapting your business model to fit the times.

When to leave the corporate job?

Knowing when to make the transition from your 9-5 to working for yourself full-time is sometimes a dilemma, I believe that you should leave on you own terms, in full health and ready to face the future. Being carried out of the role or saying ‘I quit’ with no plans in place because you’ve had enough, are not the best starting points!

If you are nurturing your side hustle, there comes a point where the balance tips, where the side hustle takes up more and more time and is making more and more money. However, for it to even have a hope that it's going to get there, it does need commitment, energy and a strategy.

Financial freedom and work/life balance

Creating balance and having financial freedom is often the goals I hear women saying they want when deciding to take the plunge. But how do you manage that when you are working for yourself? Sometimes, women find it hard to give themselves space to have that time off. Also, what about those 12-hour days you might be working in the day job? Do you want that to continue when you work for yourself? There, obviously may be times it's unavoidable to work long hours. But how do you really want to structure your life when you're running the thing that fulfils you the most?

You want to be able to enjoy your success and have time for the things that you love without feeling guilty that you're not working hard enough or constantly worrying about failing.

Do you truly believe you can make your side hustle into a successful business?

What you believe is a key part of the story. You might be getting in your way and sabotaging your success!

One of the biggest differences between those who succeed and those who don't is their mindset. The ability to grow and learn from mistakes, bounce back, seeing and embodying their future.

Now, let's talk a bit more about you and your mindset behaviour and habits.

How do you operate?

  • How do you as an individual show up, day in, day out?
  • Do you understand what your values are, and what that means in terms of your business?
  • Do you know what your strengths are and how to use them to problem solve and to work through anything that is thrown at you in the world of entrepreneurship?
  • Do you know how to manage your day and create a timetable, when you are completely in control of everything you do? So that when you wake up on that first day after you have left your job, you know what you're going to be doing, how, when, and more importantly, why?

I ask all these questions because often they're not asked and many of these are questions are answered and covered in the programme that I'm launching in the autumn, Exit your 9 to five with ease, transition with less hustle more flow which is all about helping you get in the right mindset to move into your passion.

It's about enabling you to thrive, avoiding overwhelm and burnout and creating a concrete plan that helps you to move out of your day job into your passion.

This is all about working on you and getting you to be the best leader of your organisation that you can be. It's understanding:

  • how you deal with adversity,
  • how you manage others,
  • how you manage yourself,
  • how you really connect with your goals, and your ‘why’ and
  • how you can also shift those limiting beliefs that might be stopping you progressing – eliminating the ‘I'm not good enough’ and ‘why would people want to buy from me’ or ‘will I make this work?’ thoughts.

This programme deals with all that and more. If you'd like to know whether it's for you, please read this information and then book a call.

Jul 29

Do you know the signs of burnout?

By Yvette Ankrah | Uncategorized

Do you know the signs of burnout?

I've spoken about how burnout can creep up on you. Often, when you experience it, you treat it as your new normal.

Burnout affects the mind, body and emotions - notice changes in behaviour and listen to what your body is telling you. This is not a comprehensive list however these might help you spot whether it's a problem for you, a colleague or loved one.

  • Feeling indispensable
  • Never having enough time
  • Hyperactivity
  • Being unable to say no
  • Anxiety
  • Increase in alcohol or tablet consumption
  • Change in eating habits
  • Rewarding yourself with shopping
  • Problems with concentration and decision making

Have you noticed any of these?

You can take action and start to make changes today.

If you are a woman in business, get in touch to see how I can help you or attend my next on my next self-care workshop.

Jul 27

Tips for coping at this time and beyond

By Yvette Ankrah | Uncategorized

Tips to help with coping, building resilience, managing your mindset and taking care of your body. The 'Great Pause' has enabled us to have a change of pace, time to reflect and perhaps create new habits and behaviours.

I put these together to help support mind, body and soul using the work I teach my clients using NLP, performance coaching and self-care practices.

Click the image to access the series.

Feb 06

Why self-care matters

By Yvette Ankrah | self-care

When was the last time you took some time to look after yourself? As a busy executive, you might think that looking after yourself is a bit of luxury especially if self-care means a spa day or a weekend break

Self-care is much more than that. It is not just taking a hot bath and going to a spa once in a blue moon nor is it longing for that holiday. When you are in a senior position it can be hard to clock-off and take time out, especially if you in charge of a team or run your business solo and you are wondering how you will earn enough for you to take that time away!

However, learning self-care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your business. Self-care is how you look after yourself on a day-to-day basis to maintain your health and well-being.

Stress is one of the top causes of ill-health and in a recent survey 74% of people reported feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Other studies have shown that one of the top issues for people who run their own businesses is stress and unfortunately ladies, stress affects women 50% more than it affects men.

A little bit of stress is useful - it can help you hit that deadline when time is running out, but it must be managed. Constant stress takes its toll on your body as well as your mental health. Symptoms such as headaches, backaches, low energy or just a general feeling of being unwell can be signs of stress. Overtime this can lead to Chronic Stress and if left unresolved chronic stress can lead to burnout.

Burnout is very different from chronic stress and the numbers of people experiencing burnout are growing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) burnout is now “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. With burnout, symptoms are not feeling like you want to do anything, the thing that you loved no longer appeals to you any more, you simply have no energy - it’s a feeling of ‘you’re done’.

Now I’ve experienced chronic stress and burnout and my patterns of behaviour were simply to have a weekend away and then I’ll go back to doing exactly what I’d done before and then wonder why a few months later I got that feeling again!

When I started working for myself, I was doing the same thing I did on my management roles, working very long days and thinking I had to keep pushing myself using the same behaviours. I was completely depleted and kept going on to the point my body said it had enough and I developed fibromyalgia.

I wasn’t changing my behaviours and I wasn’t looking after me. Once I had worked on my behaviours, I created a self-care plan to maintain my well-being.

Creating a self-care plan enables you to combat stress, develop physical and mental well-being and build resilience. There are clinical studies that show the effect of having a self-care plan on your well-being and they show that by consistently engaging in these practices you can change your health. If you are already experiencing stress it helps you manage it and stop it getting worse. If you are already burnout, it is a way to ease you out of that place and develop healthy habits and behaviours.

What is a self-care plan?

It is a plan that enables you to address certain areas of your life and create positive interactions in those areas. These are

  • Your workplace and your professional life or your business
  • The physical or your body
  • The psychological
  • The emotional and
  • The spiritual
  • Relationships

In each of these areas, you look at how you can create more positive experiences. For example, you could look at your work environment - if you work from home, do you have a dedicated place to work? Is it arranged how you would like it to be? Or thinking about the physical, are you getting enough exercise? What can you do to start to make changes to what you eat and drink?

Whilst the self-care plan is about you it is also about how you interact with others and how you give to others, that can also help you feel good.

The idea is not to massively overhaul your life in a way that is not sustainable, it is about making small changes that you do on a regular basis which enable you to be happy and healthy and thriving. It is just one of the pillars of success that I teach my clients.

If you would like to know how to create a self-care plan or work on changing behaviours habits and beliefs, please get in touch and arrange a call.

Dec 15

Six Self-care tips for the holiday season

By Yvette Ankrah | self-care

Six Self-care tips for the holidays

By now Christmas parties are in full swing and you are on a countdown to the Christmas holidays. Whether you’re shopping for presents or just trying to get everything done before the kids finish school there can be a lot happening. This is often a time that is busy, can be overwhelming and is full of activity.


Here are some tips to get you through the next few weeks and to start the New Year invigorated, motivated and ready for success.


1.
Get some quiet time

It may seem impossible with so much going on to find time for you, however brief moments of quiet will help you think better and manage what’s going on around you. Whether you have a cup of tea by yourself or spend time meditating or doing breathing exercises, carve out that time each day. Having five minutes without noise or interruption will help you recharge.

2.

Manage social activities

It sounded great to say yes to lots of activities and events months ago and now it seems that you are have back to back activities. If you are feeling overwhelmed give yourself permission to not attend and if they are people that you really want to spend time with, arrange to see them in the New Year.

3.

Get some time in nature

A walk in the woods or in the local park will lift your mood and help with your well-being. Even though it’s cold, taking time in nature for a short walk can make a huge difference to your day.

4.

Create good habits

Getting enough exercise, having good quality sleep, getting your five-a-day and remembering to drink plenty of water are great habits to cultivate and to keep up during the festivities. Often, we’re eating and drinking things we wouldn’t normally do day-to-day - look after your body!

5.

Put yourself first

It’s okay to look after you, it’s okay to make sure that you are filled before you give to others. If you’re not taking care of you it is hard to take care of everybody else! That may mean putting boundaries in place and saying ‘no’ to situations and people.

6.

Have fun!

Do things that you enjoy and be with people that you really want to spend time with or by yourself! Many people are off work around this time of year and it  is at a great excuse to get some friends together and do things that you love or make memories with your family.


By spending some time taking care of yourself now, you can start the New Year with energy and purpose.


What are your top tips for getting through this busy season?

Dec 15

2019, how was it for you?

By Yvette Ankrah | Review

How was 2019 for you?

If it was a movie would you give it a five-star rating and see it again, or not recommend it to anybody?

December is a great time for rest and reflection as we get ready to enter a brand new year.

  • What were your highlights of 2019?
  • What would you do differently?
  • What habits and behaviours are you taking into the new decade?

Personally, I’ve had a truly transformational year, there have been so many things that I’m grateful for and I want to thank those of you that have been part of that journey.

This year:

  • I changed my business and became Yvette Ankrah - Transformational Coach
  • Got my doctorate after 10 years of study
  • Was pain-free for the first time in six years
  • Spoke in venues up and down the UK and on TV
  • Got rid of the comfort zone!

Everything happened after I decided to change and truly took ownership of my own habits and behaviours.

It is not always skipping through fields and leaping with unicorns, however whenever things are not working, I have found ways to change how I think, feel and then act, and I’m grateful I can share those skills with others. I am always learning and committed to continual growth and sharing what I learn with others.

I love supporting others avoid stress and burnout and do so in 1-2-1 coaching, group coaching or giving talks.

I’d like to share a testimonial with you for a 1-2-1 coaching client, which for me feels like a great way to end this incredible year.

Yvette is a life-saver! I let stress and my colleagues completely take over my life and create a suffocating amount of negativity in all aspects of my life. I felt alone and hopeless in my position, with no light at the end of the tunnel. After my first session with Yvette, I felt calm and supported for the first time in months! She genuinely cares to listen to you, identify your true goals, and helps you see what you actually want to do with your life. She helped me re-centre myself completely, back to the person I was before. She is remarkable and I would highly recommend her if you're feeling stuck and need some guidance! Thank you, Yvette!

If you would like me to help transform your 2020, arrange a call with me. I have limited space for clients starting in January and if now is the time to make that change, contact me today.

Yvette Ankrah – Transformational Coach

>