'Finding your why...the heavy stuff and light, fluffy, lovely stuff' | Nicky Raby

What would Beyoncé do? (Maybe)

Beyoncé and I have a long distance relationship... we’ve been in the same room/field twice but the love is strong. One of us maaaay not know who the other is. But that’s ok. 😉

There are always phrases of ‘What would Beyoncé do?’ like it is a quick ‘Ok cool I’ll do that too’ However as it often is I’m sure it will be combination of things... I have tried to dissect the process on why she is in a league of her own...


1. She decided... we all have those moments of ‘no more, enough is enough’ or ‘Let’s do this’ or ‘What have I got to lose?’ Every action begins with a decision. I can’t imagine any of this was a flippant thought. 


2. Got a big vision. She’s not playing any more. She has the platform, money, support, love and talent to build a wonderful vision so she does. 


3. She realised she needed to build a team as she couldn’t do it alone. We may be a company of one but the best find the best to collaborate and grow with. 


4. She charged well.. for now and for later. Get paid now for the performance but also for ownership/producing rights. Savvy. 


5. She gave herself permission to still do what she loved and be a mother. Yes it is tough and you need support to do so but all hopes and dreams don’t end as soon as you give birth. 


6. Moved the needle. I am very interested in this phrase at the moment. I don’t want to be generic and surface. Beyoncé knows the stories that need to be told, the words that perhaps have been unsaid. She says them. 


7. Gave herself more time than normal. Overnight success is not a thing. There are hours of ‘showing up’ behind the scenes. 


8. Gave clear communication. You can’t lead without sharing your vision. There is a great part on the Goop podcast with @brenebrownabout how organisations could do this effectively. 


9. Be humble. Generous, kind, open, loving... you know all those things that are at your core. 


10. Do it like you are the best in the world and show the world what you can do.



What would happen if I became a contestant on Masterchef...

Anyone else a little bit obsessed with Masterchef? I love it. It is brilliant… I am so familiar with it, I almost think I could go on…or maybe not.

In reality, here’s what would happen:

1) I would be immediately outed that I have to use every pot and pan and my knife skills are quite shabby but enthusiastic.

2) I may be so impressed with myself when I made something delicious that I may accidentally eat it all before I served it. ‘Hmmm, yes John and Greg, it WAS nice and I DID balance the flavours beautifully.

3) I may cry if I was shouted out in the kitchen. I can cope with pressure but not when someone is bellowing ‘Come on come on come on’

4) People would know that I stick my tongue out to the side when I am in mega concentration mode…you would see this too when I was placing a tiny cube of beetroot gel onto the plate with tweezers…

Perhaps entry for 2020 may be a little too eager… plus I will have had a baby by then…probably not the best combination.

But in all seriousness, it does make me cook more. I knocked up a pretty great curry yesterday and it welcomed all the smug feels.

Sometimes social media or the media in general can make us assume that all the spots are taken…every idea has been done already, the market is saturated or people have had enough of x, y and z. Or we have to be the best in our field otherwise we can’t do it at all. Not true.

It is unlikely that I am going to be a Masterchef champion but I can still enjoy cooking, eating and improving our skills.

Plus people may be waiting for your flavour.

Over the next few days, I want to set you a challenge. I want to encourage you to make small incremental steps towards improving…

What you improve or focus on is entirely up to you. But the key is not to overwhelm yourself…just start with one thing.

So if you want to improve sales, how could you do this?

If you want to become more consistent, how could you create a process to support this?

If you want to make some bold moves which are out of your comfort zone how could you set yourself up for taking action even though, it feels scary.


You work too hard to just make bills

I have a little story for you today. Last summer I was booked to host a talk at The Townhall Hotel in Shoreditch. It is a beautiful venue if you haven’t been. The room I was speaking in looks like a court room. I wanted to do my best Judge voice and say ‘ALLLL RISE’ or could have said it like the 2001 banger by Blue :) 

It was a hot, sweaty day. My tube got diverted. I had to get on a packed bus. My shoe broke in the middle of a packed, sweaty bus. I had a very un Carrie Bradshaw moment as I had to change my shoes in the street. Then I remembered what a bugger they were to walk in. I tried to channel Ms J. Alexander however... not sure I styled it out. 

I then to walk into a very fancy hotel and talk to a packed room. My intention was to inspire, motivate, educate and make people feel good. I did that but still my broken flip flop was bugging me. 

Making do and saying ‘I didn't mind’ used to be my norm. I would be the first there, the last to leave, I would do free work, I would over deliver and undercharge. I wasn't valued and didn't see my own worth (P.S I have figured out you have to see it in yourself before others do). I would say yes instead of no. I would scrimp on the basics and focus on the little details, instead of investing and growth. 

Now I don't just want to make the minimum. To always be just about making do.

The thing is I have invested thousands into my own training and expertise. However it always comes back to the way we value ourselves. I have had clients who have been internationally famous, who have three degrees, who are recognised as an expert in their field but still doubt whether they can charge for their services or whether they should just give them away or whether they have anything of value to share. 

In the taxi home, I reminded myself that the 'old me' would have got four buses, a walk, two trains and tube home... because I thought taxis were wasteful. Now I switched into growth, I understand the small details I need in order to do what I want to do. 

By getting a taxi I was home in 20 minutes...not an hour and ten, waiting at a cold bus stop. We are always awake early in our house and I need not to feel absolutely exhausted so I can do what I need to do the next day. I love TFL but also know when I need to get home speedily. 

Ultimately even though I thought the 'minimum' was enough and it was ok to make do, it wasn’t.

So I have a few questions for you to ponder: 

Where are you over delivering to everyone else but under delivering to yourself? 

What do you consistently give away when you know you should charge? 

What incremental changes would make all the difference and allow you to be the person you want to be in the world? 

Where do you say you are underserving or ‘it doesn’t matter’ or ‘it will do for now’ 

When I work with clients I cover three main pillars; vision, strategy and mindset. The three have to go hand in hand. Moving to the next level take courage, commitment, a plan, a purpose and big old of slice of trust. 

5 Things I have learnt about feedback

We all have opinions. I have plenty of my own. However I know when it may be ok to share them and when it wouldn’t be. 

One of the most common obstacles my clients face is ‘What will people think?’ It’s a fair comment. So many of us have a driver of ‘I want to make my friends and family proud’. 

From an early age, we can be labelled and pigeon holed… due to our physical appearance, our intelligence, our interests, our attitudes, where we fall in our family or other people’s expectations. 

From a young age, I had a great sense of self; however quite often I felt stifled as so many people around me had a different set of interests and values. 

As an actor, I learnt pretty quickly that feedback, ‘honesty’ (often without kindness) and rejection would be part of the job. I have found a way to dance with it but it still pokes you in the eye sometimes. 

As a ‘personal brand’ I have learnt how to manoeuvre the ‘being brave at putting myself because I know I can do a great job’ vs ‘What happens if they say no because there is someone better’. 

Ultimately my ‘You’ve got to be in it to win it’ mantra bellows loudly so for the most part I have to send the email :) Plus my skills, expertise, experience and testimonials speak for themselves. Sometimes you have you read your own testimonials you know… :)

Here are five things I know about feedback: 

1) It is always going to be there to a greater or lesser degree. Some is going to be said to your face. Some behind your back. You can’t control what comes out of people’s mouths. Only your own and your reaction going forward. 

2) Question the source of the feedback and are they the expert? Both pregnancies I have been told ‘I look huge’ and then five minutes later that ‘I don’t look pregnant at all.’ These are passing comments. Unless they are being said by a medical professional who knows me and my situation, I simply have to smile. 

3) Be discerning about when and how much you share. A few years back, I used to get really excited about ideas and throw them into the conversation. Sometimes they were just a seed of an idea. Much of the idea hasn’t been figured out yet. However I left myself open to questions, doubts from others, judgement and logistical queries. All of this got in the way of creation mode, which is such an important part of the process. I have to be in control of any potential leaks. I don't want an idea to dilute too quickly. 

4) Most people are not paying much attention, they have too much going on in their own lives. There will be a small proportion that are paying every attention. I read a quote recently which I am afraid I can’t remember accurately…it was something along the lines of ‘Those who judge you will always be doing less than you, those who are doing more will always encourage you’ Apologies for the hashed together version, but I hope you get my drift. 

5) Finally not everyone is going to get you and what you are doing. In fact, you changing your lifestyle, your habits, your hopes, your dreams and your boundaries may be very triggering and annoying for some people. This may show itself in less invitations, clicky behaviour where there is unsaid exclusion, or a passive aggressive comment or a loud disinterest in what you may hold very close to your heart. Please don’t let any of this slow you down, alter your path, question your abilities or ignore your instincts. The next chapter is waiting for you. 

A little sign I needed a declutter and I was going to the next level...

So I think I am amongst friends and you won’t judge me too much…or will you? :)

This isn’t my desk on a day to day basis…I emptied all the drawers and had a good look at all the madness I was holding onto…

As I have spoken about before, I am really feeling a step up in my business at the moment. There is so much I want to do in business and in life and I can’t do all the things if everything isn’t aligned…

I know that sounds dippy hippy but bear with me.

I am a big believer in making space for the next chapter.

For example you can’t buy a whopping great sofa and shove it in a packed living room and expect it to thrive. You have to remove the old one…maybe move stuff around or mix it up.

Here are some of the things I found:

  • An old school report. It wasn’t bad at all but very dated (obviously). Plus Mr Bowen’s analysis of my netball technique doesn’t need to be in view when I am recording a podcast.

  • Two boxes of matches…I love lighting candles but definitely don’t need over a 100 to get the Monday party started.

  • Old technology…wires…devices…who knows what they are or how old they are. Time to move them on. I have great techonology that I have invested in so I need to enjoy that.

What’s on your declutter list? Where are you stepping things up?

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: 'How to ride the unexpected bumps, set backs, obstacles and rejections in business' | 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: