Being vague delays progress

C L A R I T Y

Do you remember that moment when you finally saved up enough pocket money to buy that thing you’d had your eye on for yonks? The extra bouncy trainers? The strong selection of fluorescent scrunchies (perfect for stacking!) or the strong smelling bubble bath from the Body Shop that made everyone in your house smell of tangerines. 

I remember saving up for some crimpers. Yes it was the 80s. The brand was Babyliss. The girl with the crimped hair in the advert looks liked she was having so much fun as she met her pals down the street. I was sold. 

Crimpers

I clutched my money and headed to Boots in Meadowhall in Sheffield and made a beeline for them. I didn’t get distracted, I knew the exact ones. They were there waiting for me. I crimped/ singed my hair as soon as I got home. Before long, everyone I met was a guinea pig and they left my sights with slightly frazzled hair. The return customers (non paying) even got to borrow one of the aforementioned fluorescent stacking scrunchies. 




So often I hear a lack of clarity…’I don’t mind’ ‘You choose’ ‘We’ll just have to see what happens’ ‘I’ll just cross my fingers’. ‘Whatever you think” That sense of limbo of waiting on someone’s decision can take up a lot of energy. 




What would it feel like to put all that energy into clarity, direction and focus. 




I would love what is important to you right now. If you could state your preferred outcome now, what would it look like? Where are you being vague? 


Podcast: Mini Episode Nineteen

Running your own gig is brilliant when it is fun, exciting, flexible, invigorating and gives you that sense that you are doing exactly what you should be doing in the world. 
But what about the other times. The tricky bits. The times where you were caught out? The moments when you didn’t what to do for the best as all options were pretty rubbish. Or the sleepless nights anxious about money? Or consumed by your own self doubt. 
I wanted to talk about it today and give you some tools to support those less Instagrammable bits. Don’t worry we all have them. You are never alone.

Listen below:

I'm a big geek and a big rebel

I’m a big geek and a big rebel all at the same time. 

I am ace at the Countdown numbers. Even when the big number is 75

I have a weird and extensive knowledge of the TFL network…if you are ever drunk and lost at 2am, call me- I will direct you onto the right bus. 

I love ironing. 

I have folders for everything. 

I rub out unnecessary apostrophes on pub chalk boards. 

I have been known to borrow a pen to add one in if required. 


I don’t subscribe to age requirements…by the time I am x…I have to be y. I will be that poem, the old woman who wears purple…

I have invented my own job as I knew I wasn’t suited to one that already existed.

I can get deep really quickly. There are so many people I have met at weddings, airports, in waiting rooms and at conferences that I know waaay too much stuff about but have no idea where they live or which motorway they came on. 

I think about my green Doc Martens a lot. 

And as for Blue Monday or other social calendar date that puts an odd societal pressure on things, I’m not into. Rarely has the ‘best night ever’ been on New Year’s Eve. I really like Mondays. Sometimes I want to have a bath, read a book and get an early night on a Friday night. Sometimes I want to get really drunk on a Wednesday date night. 

January is a time of limbo. We are all desperate for some light and warmth on our faces- even I am saying that as a ginger, pale person. We know we are supposed to be working on our big, bold 2019 goals but the cold weather is suggesting otherwise. ‘Come my sweet friend, it is warm under here in this cloud like duvet’. 


I know I am in a small percentage of people who don’t get the appeal of pancakes. Nor Yorkshire puddings. Too spongy. Too rubbery. On Shrove Tuesday, I will probably be having a lasagna. 

Basically it is all about what works for you…if you are springy in January, spring. If now is your hibernation time, use it wisely and set some deadlines. 


If setting yearly goals is too overwhelming, set 6 monthly goals. Or monthly or weekly or daily. Just get clear on what feels good. Most of our bills are paid at the end of the month and sometimes that is a great time for me to set the next round of goals for the following month. It makes it real. 



How to set goals for the year ahead

Any other creatives have oodles of bits of paper, notebooks, ideas scribbled on travel cards? 
For years I would concentrate on simply getting the idea out of my head. I thought that was enough... phew I didn’t forget it. But I was missing the mark on stage two... doing something with the idea. Capturing it so I could work with it... filing it so that it was easily accessible. 


Since my birthday. I have created this dream team trio. 
The 2019 book is broken into categories and has my goal setting work. The other brown one is a creative jotter... the place to home brainstorms and writing ideas... this can be easily replaced when it gets full (@frompaperchase (£6) ) and the rainbow book is a journal. I have been trying this combo for about six weeks and it’s working. 


I have an adventure book too that I am using for fun stuff; my wish list, things that are not associated with work... just adventures I want to plan. 
How do you capture your ideas? What works for you?

My Talk at Stylist Live 2018 | Nicky Raby

This is definitely one of my 2018 career highlights:

I'm in a book - The Freelance Mum by Annie Ridout

What a lovely morning celebrating the wonderful launch of #thefreelancemum written by @annieridout I was so honoured to be featured in it (there are lots of my coaching nuggets in there) and had so many mega chats with mega women - loved it. 

Purchase the book here

'Annie Ridout’s book will be an indispensable guide for anyone juggling freelance work with childcare, or parents who want to reclaim their work/life balance by being their own boss. If only this game-changing book had been around when I was on maternity leave!' Rosamund Dean, Grazia

'So many women find their careers cut off at the elbow as soon as they become pregnant – this book sounds like it could be really helpful for navigating the disconnect between family and work' Eva Wiseman, Observer

‘This is an area that sorely needs innovation and creative solutions and Annie’s website The Early Hour shows she’s exactly the woman for the job. I’m sure her book is going to become a real bible for freelancers and anyone who’s doing the daily juggle’ Brigid Moss, Red

‘An invaluable tool for anyone considering making the leap to freelancing’ STYLIST

‘Essential reading for all working parents…Read it and take the plunge’ GUARDIAN