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30 Jul 14

What’s it actually like once you’ve battled those initial doubts and taken the leap into working for yourself? What do successfully self-employed people wish they’d known from the start?

Lesley Pyne Taking the LeapLesley Pyne had been working for herself for a while, but knew deep down that her calling was to help a particular group of women. To do that, she needed to find the courage to share her own story. Here, Lesley tells us about feeling lost and getting vulnerable – and the rewards that followed.

When I started out I was coaching women in midlife, but what I really wanted to do was support childless women. The fear of telling my own story and sharing what I’d learned held me back.

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23 Jul 14

“I’m starting to get out there. I’ve got a website, I’m communicating… but where are all my clients? I don’t get enquiries, let alone people actually paying. There’s no sign of them. I’m starting to wonder if anyone’s actually out there!”

Many self-employed men and women hit this question at some point in their journey. They’ve been working hard, creating something they’re proud of, and now they’re wondering why they seem to be invisible – why they still don’t have clients.

The answer likely comes down to understanding the sales flow. The process of someone going from total stranger to becoming your paying client is often a multi-step, winding journey – but many business owners don’t realise that. They imagine that a stranger stumbles upon them and immediately wants to either do business with them… or ignore them.

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16 Jul 14

Bride being laced into wedding dressMy best friend is getting into the most exquisite wedding dress. With less than an hour before the ceremony begins, her mum and I have laced up just the first four eyelets when the hotel fire alarm goes off.

She pulls her eyes away from the full-length mirror in our room and turns them to me, filled with sudden panic. I try to hide my own concern, reassuring her I’ll go and check with the house-keeper in the corridor and come straight back.

Back in the room, as nonchalantly as possible, I repeat the house-keeper’s words: “It’s not a scheduled test. This is a real alarm. We need to evacuate.”

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09 Jul 14

When you want more clients, it makes sense to connect with more people. To expand your network, build your profile, raise your visibility. And social media is a great way to do this.

But it can be daunting. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram – the idea of making “friends” online can feel overwhelming, impossible, maybe even a little… gross?

So maybe for now you’re on the edge, looking in. Maybe you’re dipping your toes in the water, trying things out. Or perhaps you’re getting the hang of it, having some success.

But… are you doing the right things in the right places? Will it all be worth it, or turn out to be a complete waste of time?

In this 15-minute conversation with social media expert Holly Worton, we’re exploring what social media is really all about, and how to use our online time wisely.

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02 Jul 14

lifefallingapartA terrifying diagnosis. The break-up of a relationship. An operation, an accident, a death.

Life can knock us for six. When you’re in a job and life throws you a curve ball, there are often certain procedures that help take the strain: maybe you delegate certain projects to colleagues or receive compassionate leave.

But what to do when you’re self-employed? What happens when you feel you have to keep it all together by yourself, but something big is happening in your world?

Over the years of being in business, I’ve witnessed my clients deal with massive life shocks and upheavals – as well as having my own fair share.

Here are four survival tactics I’ve discovered for when life pulls the rug out from underneath you.
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