Latest piece for the Huff Post... a wish list for new mums

I love the Huffington Post as a platform and I am thrilled to be a contributor. Here is my latest piece... click the graphic or click here

Interview with Antonia Sanchez-Toomey- Tinker Tailor | Nicky Raby

Oooh I am so excited to share this interview with you. 

I started this series because I wanted to share stories; yes I want to provide motivational, inspiring content but also make the strategies practical and accessible. 

I do live in the mindset that you can do anything you want to if you have the right focus, dedication and support. But nothing happens overnight...

This week I spoke to Antonia from @tinkertailor and I loved talking to her...she has so much great insight. 

We talk about changing career direction, how to start a blog, the ever changing tools you need to navigate motherhood and being a freelancer. 

Grab a coffee and enjoy... thank you so much Antonia. 

Find out more about Tinker Tailor Online


Sometimes we think too much instead of just being instinctive

This happened yesterday.

The particular shot we were working was being shot on one camera. The first shot was on me and the reverse shot was of the 50 plus extras. When the cameras turned around we needed the extras to not only react in the same way as the previous shot but with consistency as a group. 

The director asked me if I would just chat to them; entertain them, make them laugh, shock them, tell a few tales... 'Sure' I replied. Without actually thinking about it. My response is always to help where I can so we can get the job done. 

As I had to make a snap decision to just decide... the words suddenly flew out of my mouth. I focused on delivering and doing the best that I could. If I had had more time than that I would have freaked out, frozen and questioned everything! 

Sometimes we can listen to the rational, emotional part of our brain... the bit that holds us back, that makes us ask too many questions, that doubts our instinct. Instead of just going for it.

My clients always need help taking the first i.e. switching modes... starting to listen to the 'Sure, let's do it' rather than the 'What if fearful side'.

Let's face it we can always find a million and one reasons why we shouldn't do something.

Where are you holding back and questioning instead of taking action? 

How to network | Part One

The word 'networking' often evokes many negative feelings and emotions.

'Scary' 'daunting' and 'intimating' often spring to mind, however on a more positive note, it is an excellent way of building connections and relationships with potential clients and associates in a short space of time.

Recently, I attended the Red Magazine Network event. Aside from excellent canapes and a rather attractive glass of Champagne on arrival, there was a large room buzzing full of powerful, creative and dynamic women which could be viewed as empowering or terrifying.

The speakers were hugely inspiring as always, giving practical tips to move forward and overcome challenges.The speakers were hugely inspiring as always, giving practical tips to move forward and overcome challenges.

Here are my top five tips to get better at networking.

1) If the word 'networking' has negative connotations for you, rename the evening to something that feels more comfortable. Set a realistic intention for yourself i.e. I would like to speak to at least 3 people I don't know.

2) Wear something that makes you feel comfortable and like you. If a power suit and sky scraper heels are not for you, then don't do it. Dress appropriately for the occasion and make it your own.

3) Think about your hands. Most networking events ask you to master the juggling act of holding your drink, taking a canapé, carrying your bag, exchanging business cards and shaking hands. So you don't have to join the circus,  plan in advance what you are going to take with you and keep it to a minimum.

4) Have your business card to hand. Make sure it is not burrowed at the bottom of your bag. This phone case is particularly useful as you can store cards inside, that way you will always have a card with you. It is important the business card represents your brand with clear, up to date information. never fail to impress.

5) Follow up. Take action and follow up on the leads the day after the event. In our busy lives where we come into contact with lots of people, it is most effective to make contact quickly. Keep it light, don't hound and approach people from the point of view of giving, i.e. 'Here is a link to something we discussed on Tuesday'. Don't immediately ask and approach with the intention to take. Build the relationship slowly and the two way traffic will arrive shortly.

Here’s a sentence I never thought I would say …’I am looking forward to being an astrophysicist for 3 days next week’

I am chuckling as I write this. Plus I keep having to spell check it :) 

Yep, it’s true… next week I have an acting job and I am playing an astrophysicist for three days. 

The reason I find it so amusing is because I was soooo rubbish at science. 

I was in the top set for everything but in science I was definitely at the bottom of the class, perching awkwardly on a lab stool (I was a real shorty at school (and still am) so getting up and getting comfy was an experiment in itself) spending most of the class thinking ‘ehhhh?!’

As I do lots of things; actor, coach, writer, speaker and mama, my days are varied. Due to the creative nature of my work, I never know what is going to pop up in my inbox and I find this so exciting. 

When the audition came in last week, I could have easily convinced myself it wasn’t for me/ it wasn’t worth my time/ I was hopeless at science at school so I wouldn’t stand a chance… 

But instead I smiled and thought ‘That would be fun’. I took that attitude into the casting room. The casting went brilliantly, the team were lovely and encouraging and the actors I cast with were great to work with. 

Often during my client sessions the vision is clear. The clients knows the vision. But often it is the pesky limiting beliefs that get in the way

The limiting beliefs that pop up every time‘I am too young / old / fat / thin / inexperienced / uncool / busy / tired / unqualified / shy

Sound familiar? 

FYI we all have our version of these and many of mine are still a work in progress…although I am pleased to say I have banished many of them because frankly they just get in my way. 

Another observation is that these limiting beliefs are OLD. I figured out the last time I was in a science class was May 1998. Almost 20 years ago. I have done a lot of living since then- who I was then is not a reflection of who I am now!

So my question for you is what limiting beliefs are getting in your way? Where are you playing small? Where are you doubting yourself? 

Don’t worry in my sessions, I give you practical tools to move past these so you actually do more of what you love and less of what you don’t. 

I love what I do and I love how quickly changes can be made. 

I will of course share more pictures and footage as and when I can. 

Interview with Laura Adeshiyan | Founder of Mama Rules

I was thrilled to interview Laura Adeshiyan, Founder of Mama Rules.

We have children who are of a similar age and in this interview we discuss business and motherhood. 

  • How you can use your maternity leave to get clear on the next steps of your career

  • How to combat the unpredictable sleeping patterns of a little one and run a business

  • How to make progress and take action

  • How to be productive, focused and efficient. 

Big thanks to Laura. 






Interview with Elaine Farrell | Boss Like A Mum

Name: Elaine Farrell

What do you do? How would you describe your working life?

I work within an influencer and partnerships team at a media agency in London. This means working with brands to design influencer campaigns, i.e. designing campaigns and commissioning content to leverage the audiences of influential people on social media to promote a brand.

Elaine Farrell

Did you show any early signs as a child that indicated that you would end up where you are today? (Feel to tell childhood stories, early influencers, anecdotes etc)

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a journalist, and I still love to write, which is the main driving force behind my blog. The written word is probably the only thread of consistency throughout my career, and I’ve gone from translating and editing words to creating original content. I’ve spent the last few years working with brands on their social media and online content, including blogs and email newsletters, and love helping small businesses develop their voice.

Describe your morning routine.

On a work day, I get up at 6.30am and make a cup of coffee and breakfast before doing anything else. I take them both to the bathroom so I can eat while getting dressed to save time! It also means that I’m making less noise as I’m not moving around the flat. My husband and son usually sleep until around 8am and it would be more than my life’s worth to wake them up! In an ideal world, I would stick the news on in the morning while I get dressed but, with such a small living space, it’s just not possible to do that without disturbing the boys. I try to walk the 3.5 miles to my office just to get a bit of headspace before the start of the working day. As I usually don’t get to see my son in the morning anyway, I don’t feel bad about leaving earlier than I need to so I can walk.

Where do you get your ideas/inspiration from and when do they arrive?

I get inspiration from conversations I have with other people, from films, books and art, and from other people’s blogs and social media accounts. I find that, as long as I’m building a bit of headspace into the day, such as walking to work in the morning, or going out for a run on my days off, I’m usually not short of inspiration. Unfortunately, it’s finding the time to implement the new ideas that I struggle with!

When motivation wavers, how do you get back on track?

I think that, when you are lacking motivation, it’s important to allow yourself to have some time off from whatever it is you’re working on. Often, that’s all it takes to get back on track! If you’re really not motivated for long periods of time, however, then it’s time to ask yourself if you’re working on the right thing or whether it’s time for a change.

Elaine Farrell

What is the best thing about your job/lifestyle?

Digital marketing, and social media in particular, is still a growing industry, which makes a nice change from my last career in translation, which had started to feel like a dying profession. I feel stimulated, inspired and excited by my job, which is really all that I want out of my career!

If you could do something else for the day, what would you do?

I would love to get a glimpse into life as a midwife! I wouldn’t consider it as a career change for many reasons, but I would love to do it for just one day. When I had my son, I felt so much admiration for midwives and thought how amazing it must be to deliver so many babies into the world. I know that the reality is often long hours, poor pay, and some tragedy and heartache, but they do truly amazing work. It must be very fulfilling.

How do you overcome any challenges in your working life?

It’s all about having conversations with people, and having the courage to voice your concerns. That being said, it’s also important to be able to listen, and sometimes accept difficult truths about yourself. Challenges are not always caused by external factors, and we each have to take responsibility for the part we play in creating difficult situations if we want to move past them.

How do you celebrate your successes?

Gin! It’s wine for a tough day, and gin for a good one.

Do you have any tools/resources or rituals that you couldn’t live without?

I need to have exercise in some form in my life. I feel really sluggish if too many days go by without it. I love Pilates and I’m getting back into running again. It’s tough to find the time, but, for the most part, my family understand that I need to exercise for my mental wellbeing. It’s not just about fitting into a pair of jeans!

Which books from your bookcase would you recommend?

Such a difficult question! The one book that changed my outlook completely, and was the impetus for a big change in my life, was Louise Hay’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’. For fiction, one of my favourite books of all time is Joyce Carol Oates’ ‘Blonde’ and I’ve had to buy it so many times because I insist on giving copies to other people to read all the time. I would also recommend having a really well-thumbed copy of a favourite mindless book on your shelf that you can go back and dip into when you just need a bit of a mental massage. For me, it’s Harry Potter! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read the books, watched the films and listen to the audiobooks. 

What are your daily essentials to make you feel ready?

I couldn’t get through the day without my phone and headphones. I love listening to audiobooks and podcasts on my way to and from the office and they’re a big source of both inspiration and relaxation for me.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

Don't be so hard on yourself all the time. And stop letting other people be so hard on you too. My teenage years were difficult. I was bullied, as it seems so many people are in one form or another, and I absorbed the negativity about me like a sponge. It took me a long time to gain self-confidence and acceptance of who I am. I would say that it’s an ongoing process, and I still have moments of terrible self-doubt as a result of my childhood and teenage years.

Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time?

That’s a tough one! I don’t often look that far ahead… I know that I would like to have another child. In 5 years, I will be celebrating my 40th birthday, and I just hope that I feel happy with that and happy with what I have accomplished. When I turned 30, I felt that I was exactly where I wanted to be at that age. I had launched my own business, which was going well. I had a long list of regular clients and freelancers that I worked with. I was happy in my relationship. I hope that I feel the same sense of accomplishment at 40! Perhaps I need to make a bucket list...

Elaine Farrell

Elaine Farrell -  Boss Like A Mum





The importance of creating success on your terms...

Today I want to talk about success. Despite what the media portrays I don't believe there is one version.

You know that lifestyle; the helicopters, the diamonds, the champagne and the beautiful beaches.

I know what my version is and I help my clients to figure out theirs so I can help them to make a plan to make it happen.

It is beautiful here in London and my son and I spent a gorgeous day out at the paddling pool in the park. I think I changed him about 127 time throughout the day- this kid loves to be in water, sand, mud or a sticky combination of all three.

Spending quality time with loved ones is one of my markers of success. No helicopter necessary to transport me there and I definitely wouldn't be 'blinged up' for it...

I wrote a piece for Boss Like A Mum  which you can read where I share practical steps on how you can figure out your own markers of success.

We are all different and there are no right or wrong answers to this. 

Click below to read below ...