Category Archives for "business"

Nov 16

Why clarity is the key to success

By Yvette Ankrah | business , Confidence

Why clarity is the key to success

We all make plans - given unplanned and unprecedented experiences we've had during 2020 we might think that there's no space for plans. If you're looking at how you're going to shape, direct and change the next 12 months writing a plan will help you get there. However, before that process can begin, something that will help you make a difference is having clarity  

The Cambridge English dictionary defines clarity in the following ways:

  • The quality of being clear and easy to understand:
  • The quality of being easy to see or hear:
  • The ability to think clearly and not be confused:

Being able to be clear in your mind what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve this, how you are going to do this and what you are going to do - is an extremely important step.

There are several reasons why we might not feel we have that true clarity.

Owning your story

We all have stories that we tell ourselves and these are our beliefs - the problem is that not all of these stories are true and even worse they may not even be your own story. You may have told yourself that you are no good at public speaking - because of this story that you've told yourself you avoid doing this. If an opportunity arises that may benefit you, your business or your career that involves public speaking you avoid it.

Alternatively, you may have a belief that anyone rich is a bad person, even though financial wealth is important to you, you are conflicted because of your view of what that might mean to you become as a person.

Your mindset is truly powerful and that is what this collection of beliefs and stories are. These stories impact on your choices and your results. Consider what happens when we make plans from a space where we are running negative stories, beliefs and patterns. Getting that clarity on who you are and what is your story is a key step to success

What would happen if you owned your story and understood what it was and let go of stories that don't help you move forward?

Expressing your heart's desire

The first question I ask my clients is ‘what do really you want?’ It's a powerful question simply because so many times people have never actually thought about what they want. The majority of my clients are women and so often with women, the needs of others are put first. The act of permitting yourself to say what's in your heart is liberating, powerful and clarifying. Your current job, your career path or your business model may need to completely change or just might need a tweak in a new direction - however, the actions aren't possible if you haven't started with that clarity on what you truly want.

Freeing your mind

There are so many distractions around us that create mental clutter – this could be is physical clutter that disrupts your mind or devices that interrupt us. The constant bombardment of information into our brain stops us from being able to think clearly. Finding ways to still the mind to allow those thoughts space, helps you get back to clarity. Tools such as breathing techniques, and mindfulness enable you to quickly get rid of the noise and have calm and clarity in your mind.

Connecting

We are not able to achieve what we need in this world on our own. We need to connect with others whether that is colleagues, clients or peers. Once you have the clarity on what it is you want and how you're going to achieve it, finding support to help you and letting people know this is what you're doing, is also important. This is about finding the right people by talking about what it is you need and allowing people to help you and connect you to others. For example, deciding to do work in an industry where you can see how your skills can transfer but you have not yet got the experience. To get the experience you start connecting with people in the industry, finding out more and explaining what it is you're looking for and how you might fit.

Being visible

Alongside connecting with others, being visible means that the right people see and hear you and understand how you fit into the solution that they need. Thinking about your career, you understood now that you wish to move to a certain Department. You start speaking to the people in that Department, you look at how you can transfer there or work on a project so that you can connect and showcase what you can do. You find a way to network with the key people who can make decisions - this doesn't mean changing your personality it just means creating a strategy. However, without that clarity and knowing that you want to be seen and heard you would not make these moves.

Clarity is the first part of everything that I work with when I support my clients because it is the first step to creating change. Your planning from a place of power, of knowing, and of strength when you have clarity.

Do you have clarity?

If you would like your internal story to be different and you're ready to have clarity and calmness in your mind, get in touch if you are high achieving women and see how I can support you.

Nov 09

Want more clarity? Ditch the clutter

By Yvette Ankrah | business , Confidence , self-care

Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash.

Want more clarity? Ditch the clutter

I have a confession to make. I'm not the tidiest of people. I often work on multiple projects and have a range of files around me all the time. I do this, so that I remember that something needs my attention – however, it turns out all those files are not helping my productivity after all!

As more and more of us are based at home, how we manage our environments becomes even more crucial especially as it can have a real impact on our wellbeing. Roster et al define clutter as “an overabundance of material possessions that collectively create disorderly and chaotic home environments”[1] In this article I outline the key reasons to ditch the clutter in your life and create calm instead of chaos.

Raises cortisol levels

Cortisol is the stress hormone and the alarm system for your body designed to help you in fight or flight mode. Having a lot of things around you can raise cortisol levels and cause you to feel more stressed. Items around you are reminders of things left undone, which can also contribute to high-stress levels. There is an impact on women as women, it seems, are more affected by clutter

Dust!

I'm not one for ornaments, as I have no fondness of dust or dusting. A good reason not to have so much stuff around is to avoid issues with dust. Dust can impact allergies and too many items around make it hard to clean!

Brain overload

We tend to overload our brains when there are lots of things around us. The brain is taking in all that information, all the time. There is an impact on how well you can think because of all the clutter as lots of items around you interrupt your flow.

Lack of wellbeing and weight gain

There are numerous studies that link clutter to feelings of wellbeing – clutter can impact your happiness![2] How you feel about your home and not wanting to be in that space has also been linked to weight gain and unhealthy eating. When a place is cluttered you eat more.

Stops us connecting

Too much clutter stops us connecting with others. As one study found, it's harder for us to read emotional expressions when we've got too many other stimuli around us.

Impacts your short-term memory

Clutter affects short-term memory as well as slows down our brains when processing information.

There are a wealth of reasons why we should ditch the clutter if we truly want to get clarity, improve our wellbeing, happiness and even our weight.

Read to ditch the clutter?

Clarity is the first module of my transformation programme as a key to help you change. If you are a high achieving women in corporate and want to create less stress and are ready to soar, get in touch.


[1]DarkSideofHome_JEP_Final2016.pdf

[2] The-Negative-Side-of-Office-Clutter-Impact-on-Work-Related-Well-Being-and-Job-Satisfaction.pdf

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 , 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.

Yvette Ankrah – Transformational Coach

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