How to say no so you can make room for 'yes'

One of the struggles so many of us have is the ability to say NO!

We skirt around the issue, we feel bad and worry about what people say. However honing this will benefit you in so many ways. In being selective and stating what you don't want, you will make space for the stuff you actually want.

So how do we know what to say yes to? Some decisions will need some time to work through in our head, to figure out the logistics and find the solution. But there are times, we know 'It's a no' immediately. We get that niggling feeling in our gut and our intuition goes into overdrive. 

One of the most common themes I experience with clients is asking for permission.

‘Is it ok to feel like this?’

‘What would they think of me- is it ok to do something unexpected?”

‘It is ok to say no, I really don’t want to do this’.

The answer to the above questions is Yes. It is ok to say no, we shouldn’t be frightened of it. Have you ever said yes on a whim and then thought ‘Oh no, why on earth did I say yes to that, I couldn’t think of anything worst’. We all have.

I want to invite you to say no a little more over the coming weeks, here are 5 easy steps to help you along the way.

1)  When someone asks you to do something, get all the facts upfront. What exactly is involved? How long will it take? What is required? Then and only then can you make an informed decision after considering all the facts.

2)  Don’t be tempted to agree straight away. If you need more time to make up your mind, then take that time- don’t feel you have to make a snap decision. Consider saying ‘Thanks for all the info, I will come back to at x time to see if that is possible’. By specifying a time, you are valuing the request but also leaving the person who asked plenty of time to make alternative arrangements if the answer is no.

3)  Have a look at your week and block out time for you that is non negotiable. It may be your exercise schedule or those few hours that are yours on the sofa. Treat the time like an appointment you have to attend- this is your time to recuperate and recharge, don’t be tempted to give it up.

4)  Be less available. We are all on the move and contactable at all times. Consider leaving your phone at home sometimes, or waiting a couple of hours before checking and replying to emails. Sometimes, we can be too efficient and in replying we create a further trail of to dos and responses. Give yourself permission to wait.

5)  Finally when you say yes, really say yes. Be completely present, fully immersed and totally engaged with what you are doing. If you are at a dinner party, be there, relax, chat, laugh and get involved. Don’t be tempted to concentrate on documenting it all on social media. Sometimes we are too good at multi tasking and we just need to do one thing at a time and execute it brilliantly.

What to say to the 'brain pickers'

‘I don’t want to book a session right now…but I would love to pick your brain and for a lunch…’ Firstly…let me share with you, you decide what feels good to you. 


I have had amazing ‘pick your brains’ sessions… the picker was enthusiastic, eager to learn, had a notebook at the ready and whilst I was giving lots of value, I learn lots too. Win. Win. 


Then there have been the other times. When I should have known better. When I didn’t trust my gut. The picker was late, unprepared, playing the leading role of victim (WHHHHY ME????!), wanted all of the ‘paid service’ without paying and on occasion I seem to have bought the lunch too. Hmmm. 


It is ok to say no. Your time is precious. You decide how you spend it. You may want to have the meeting but perhaps a Skype is better. Or you are being super busy at the moment and you have to prioritise. It’s all good. 


A few tips: 

  • Listen to your gut. Does the meeting make you feel good. If not, don’t do it. 

 

  • Find out more before agreeing to the meet…what does the picker want to achieve…maybe he/she doesn’t need you. You could perhaps offer a book recommendation or a workshop.

 

  • Have an agenda. Know what you are going to discuss. 

 

  • Discuss the lunch options (!) Very important. 

 

  • Set boundaries. I once opened my heart and my home to a lady who wanted to do what I do…the portfolio career of actor/coach/writer. She was late. She was pretty rude. She spilt her tea and wasn’t concerned. She said my baby cried a lot (he didn’t). She took a lot of value; my knowledge, skills, expertise. She didn’t pay me. She didn’t say thank you. I never heard from her again. Lesson learnt.

Make money whilst you sleep?

I actually thought this was a myth. As a freelancer, I have never had an annual salary, mostly an hourly or daily rate. I would show up...I would get paid. Until the beginning of this year... I started playing around with passive income when I started selling my book in 2014 but at the beginning of 2017 I really started to see the value and the potential. 
Since having Oscar in 2015... I now have to and choose to work in a different way. 
In the early days, I could no longer just rely on cashing in my time for money. Mainly because the times I was free and my baba was settled was around 2:17am for approximately 21 minutes which was not conducive to giving my all in a coaching session. Or filming an acting job. 
I had to get creative. I love to work but also I like to work on my terms. Over 100 online products sold later...I can safety say I have figured it out and I know I will never work in the same way again. 
There is so much potential in the internet.

Of course, I had to get over my reluctance of 'I am not good with technology' or 'It is weird to get paid and not be there' or 'What if it doesn't work' 
There have been the occasional hiccups, where a customer can't access a page but very very few. I have been surprised too. Through hard work and simply doing it, I have found a rhythm and my own preferred way of working.

I really believe so many of us are leaving money on the table and ignoring options that could make 'life' work better for us. 
There is oodles more information here and a step by step guide >> 

Creating a creative environment

Creating a home office was one of my best moves. Yes I could set up on my dining room table but would it make me feel 'creative' ? Would it help me create my best work? Would I feel in the zone? The answer was no. I knew I had to create my own space. 

When it materialised 'my own space' was actually very simple. A desk, a comfy chair with a newly purchased cushion from Habitat on it at exactly the right angle, a set of three drawers with everything I needed. A pin board for inspiration. Various post it notes. A pencil case full of sharpies...

This relatively clean space helps keep my thoughts clear and concise. However 'my creative space' changes. If I am learning lines for an acting job, I much prefer to be outside pacing round the park or sitting on a rug in the sun. Or if I have a new play to read, I always settle myself in the comfiest arm chair in the house. 

Knowing and understanding how you work creatively is crucial to your success. For you it may not be a space, it may be using a particular item such as your favourite notebook. Or maybe you are creative at certain points of the day? 

Here are five strategies to help you create your creative environment:

1. What are you currently working on? 

Firstly I want you to identify the project and your focus. Get specific. Rather than saying 'being the best actor I can be' break it down'. What do you need to do? What does that look like on a daily/weekly/monthly basis? How can you create the creative space to assist the process. 

2. Make some creative time for yourself

Start to schedule it. Often the weeks can go by so quickly and we forget to focus on what really matters to us. Look at your week ahead and block out some creative time- don't wait until you feel like it. Do it now and see what happens. 

3. Make some creative headspace for yourself

Don't casually lie back on the sofa and hope to be inspired- go out and get inspired. Visit your favourite landmarks, listen to music, source pinterest, hop on to You Tube- feel your head with the good stuff. If you don't feel creative, try something different. 

4. Make some creative physical space for yourself

If your home is cluttered and noisy, take yourself and your laptop to your favourite cafe or pub. Find a quiet corner and focus on the task in hand. If you do have a corner of your house that suits you, make it the best and most 'you' that you can. Fuel the creative process, don't stifle it. 

5. Make creativity consistent

Don't wait until you have a block of a fortnight to get cracking, take consistent action.Consciously find ways to exercise your creativity every day-arrange your meals beautifully on the plate. Rearrange your favourite creative possession

A visit to Ikea brought a lot of clarity (and tea lights)

Phew what a day... 

BIG DAY; early start, IKEA, a big old supermarket shop (You know the ones when you don't really buy food... mainly stationary I don't need and toilet rolls and nappies that will last is 17 years !) lunch, play, sleep (toddler...I worked) then I have been shooting a film this afternoon.

However it feels a great way to end the month.

This afternoon's acting job was the fourth in as many months. I said to my agent today that I had a goal to get three jobs this year and I am pleased to say I have surpassed this goal with four months to go.

The thing is ...when we get clear on what we want...things move quickly. So are you ready to 'ace' the next month ahead. What do you want? 

I have coached over 600 clients now...here are some of the popular phrases that keep my clients stuck, confused and in a place of limbo...

1) I have an idea but I have no idea where to start...

2) I have so much going on right now in my life...is this the right time?

3) I know it is my time but I am scared...what will people think?

4) I want to go to the next level but my to do list is soooo long, I feel completely overwhelmed...

5) I don't have the time, knowledge, money, network, resources to make it happen

AND THE MOST POPULAR ONE

6) I have so many ideas, I move forward a bit, then I lose momentum/miss a day/get too busy... I essentially fall off the wagon and can't get back on. 

Get out of the scroll hole

Sometimes weekends on social media can look amazing... I've had a great one but there have been many times when I have remained at home in some pretty appalling elasticated clothing, eaten stuff that will be cooked in 1min 30 and watched my own height in box sets.

If you feel like you have lost yourself in a scroll hole... get out. Focus on what you want. What is going to make you happy and set some short term goals. ps my November offer is live (£99 per coaching package... 

Motherhood: Career, Money, Lifestyle, Creativity and Support

Today's video feels very apt. I wasn't able to join the #MarchoftheMummies today but I was there in spirit and mum power. I don't have a corporate career moment to share but what I can share is how you can make it work by creating your own job description. When I got pregnant I was kind of focusing on (and hoping to have) a healthy baby. I didn't really look much further down the line career wise. Turns out the creative ideas came flowing thick and fast. I had a new lioness quality that would push me to find the solution and not be stifled by the fear (well not all the time) Today's video is to show you that you can do it too. In fact instagram has a thriving, supportive community waiting to help you rise...

Collect the evidence

You know deep down that you are great at what you do and I do too 😉However in this busy world we need to be able to capture the 'I can totally do the job and in fact I am the best person for it' and the attention of those who need to know.

So gather the evidence, pal. Ask your customers/ clients what they gained.

How they benefitted and ask for detailed results. My future clients don't need to know that my past/current client enjoyed meeting me.

For enjoyment, you could watch Netflix or eat a perfect cheesecake. You need to know how life is different now. What doors were opened. What possibilities were explored. What is now so much easier as a result of our conversation. You can show examples to help... what evidence do you need to collect?