General

Changing My Mind About Bots

I am doing a course about using bots and learning just excellent they are in business for the small business person as well as a corporate company. It’s an available way of automating many of your processes.

Do you know something? I never thought that I would be interested in bots.

Because, quite frankly, I hate when they are used improperly. Then bots become clumsy and clunky and they just don’t feel right to the end-user. There are so many times I’ve thought “Why can’t I just make a quick phone call instead?” but that’s not necessarily going to be a viable option.

However, when it is used correctly and making “actual” conversation, it goes really well.

I didn’t think this was possible. But I have seen it in the setup that the two people teaching us have done and honestly, it opened my mind to a whole new world. I have been able to see multiple opportunities where it would be useful. Bots can remove the necessity for me in being involved in every step of the process.

When you start a business you know that you can’t do it all, you don’t have the expertise and you need to automate as much as you can. Well, I have now discovered ways that I can see myself actually wanting to automate, so I am going to. This is doing something that I didn’t believe was possible.

My mind was saying this was impossible and that nobody could do this.

But I have seen that it CAN be done successfully. So I am going to set at least one up. In fact, if you are around you may see more than one in use, at one time.

There are so many people saying that they “have” the ability to do things, but they just don’t work the way the initial person conceived in their mind. The impact it has on the end-user is certainly not what the author envisioned. And using a bot, you can even give someone an alternative day/time/service, if they are not able to participate for any reason.

You might be wondering why I brought up this whole concept of automated bots.

Well, if you are an introvert or someone who doesn’t like to use the telephone, or for some other reason, you can use bots in your business. And using bots can make your business successful, combining them with your own personal expertise.

So you see, even in this one thing, I am glad that I kept an open mind and took the course although I had wondered if it was worth doing at all. Because I love the “personal touch,” but you can have that without being physically present. You don’t need to lose that sense of everyone being an individual just because you are too busy or tired or telephoned out and just cannot do one. More. Thing.

The bot can do most, if not all, of the processes you need.

However, you must remember to stay in the terms and conditions of whatever social media platform you are using at the time.

What do you think about bots? Send me am email or comment below. I would love to hear it, especially as I have gone from a complete hater to loving seeing all the different things I could do with them.

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Calculated Risks

When thinking about confidence, there is an inner glow that comes with it. My son struggles with confidence but in the graduation from nursery in the summer not only did he go and get his certificate from Sandra who had helped him in the last year, he even had the presence of mind to bow to the audience!

Now that, I feel, is a great deal of confidence because not only did he bow to everyone but people laughed in a kind way as they were clapping him. What he took was a risk, yes, but not a big one. You see, you can take a situation and be prepared to be different or make a difference because you are certain of what the outcome is going to be.

These risks are calculated ones.

Knowing exactly what is going to happen gives you the confidence to go ahead. There are times in life when you take a risk with not much forward planning. And that’s because you have the courage or confidence or whatever you call it to go out of the ways of everyone else in your industry to become a trail blazer and change things around.

Taking bigger risks without knowing precisely what will happen doesn’t come cheap. But sometimes in business, they are inevitable.

You can’t develop yourself and your business without taking calculated risks.

And any business that doesn’t build itself and change itself is not going to maintain custom. There was a Christmas shop Kevin and I visited in 2010 and we went back five years later to see what had changed and the woman was there in the place with a small white Scottie dog. We went around the store, but everything was the same! Nothing had changed…and the lack of clientele told the story immediately. I actually asked the woman why she didn’t have different things and she said that people had liked what she had in the past.

But that was in the past!

She hadn’t moved into the future. People need to see change and things that are different. So take a risk but do it with full confidence that you know exactly what you are doing. Confidence and courage to know that you can make changes and it will be ok.

That’s where we are and what I believe we should do.

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Finding Joy in the Ordinary is a Choice

When we lost Natalie in stillbirth, it was one of the worst times of my life. She was at 35 weeks and I was getting ready for her birth. At the time, I believed I would never be happy or go about finding joy again.

But you know what? One of the midwives said to us that during our grief, we would find occasions where we would laugh and we needed to laugh in those times and find joy in them because that is what Natalie would have wanted. If she had gone to term and been born and lived, we would have easily been able to have joy in the days ahead.

Finding Joy

And even the very first day we came home from the hospital, Kevin and I were looking at photos, and one of the cats took advantage of our concentration and put her head down and started drinking from my husband’s water glass! Both of us remembered what we had been told and just laughed at the cat doing this!

Finding joy in the every day is not always easy, but when you do find something to be joyful about, no matter the circumstances, be joyful. There are always small things to be joyful about.

Over these last years, I have made a conscious effort to be grateful for what we have. And no, it’s not always easy to do so. There are days I don’t WANT to be thankful but I know if I want to find joy in the ordinary, everyday things in life I need to be thankful.

There will be days you don’t want to be full of gratitude for what you have.

You may not even WANT to be thankful or just take things for granted that you have but to find joy in them you need that. Joy is not a feeling that comes along, you have to cultivate it and before you can be joyful about things, you need gratitude.

Make the Choice

Joy should be part of your life, but it’s a choice that you make, not just a feeling you have. And you can be joyful over small or big things. Within your everyday life things are there to be enjoyed but if you don’t make the choice, you won’t enjoy it.

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Discomfort is the Currency of Success

Discomfort is the currency of success? Really? Why on earth would that be? Who made the “rule” that it was? Can this really be correct?

When I first saw the quote I was surprised but then as I looked at it I saw much more in it than I initially thought.

Discomfort means you are not in your comfort zone, you are doing something that feels uncomfortable to you.

I’m sure you’ve heard that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well, when we do the same thing over and over we are not only repeating ourselves, but we are staying well within our comfort zone and will never be able to progress in life or make any changes.

If you wish to make changes in your life, you cannot remain doing the same thing. Change means you necessarily will experience discomfort because this is not what you are used to. Thing is, do you want to change enough to make the adjustments that are necessary in your life?

But is discomfort really the currency of success?

If you change things will it bring you success in the areas which you desire things to be altered? Well, as you know currency can be good or bad or it can be exchanged for something else of similar value.

Fact is, once you step out of your comfort zone, you are open to a variety of changes. Will you know if it’s the right one? Only when you get to that place. Is it scary? Yes. But only when you put yourself out there will you begin to discover if you have taken the correct path or not.

Sometimes a small adjustment is all that is needed to be made.

Sometimes it is a complete change.

But until you have the courage to actually make a move in a different direction, you won’t know.

Personally, I have made a number of changes and some adjustments in my life. Some I have hated and some have brought me the best things I could ever have imagined. You never know. But until you make a move, nothing will change.

So yes, discomfort is the currency of success but it may not be initially as you would wish it to be. You may not be happy with the concept of change but if you want differences in your life, you cannot keep on doing the same thing over and over.

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Research: A Necessity for Writing

There are so many things to consider when writing for others. One of the big things that can be overlooked is research.

Research Everchanging Information

This does take a chunk of time, but that’s ok. You have to be prepared to research your topic. Information changes and what you thought or learned a year or even six months ago, depending on the subject, could easily change. When you think about it, there could be developments in the field that you are unaware of.

On the other hand, with some subjects, the information is generally static and doesn’t really change. And that’s ok. But off the top of my head, I can’t think of any subject that doesn’t change in some way, can you?

So, as a writer, one must always be prepared to ensure you are up with the times on current information. And I believe it is impossible to know everything about every subject. But you can learn and it isn’t even hard to come by the information now in this current age.

One of the things I love is learning about different subjects through research.

To me, writing is the most fun part of the process because I can do the different styles and lengths that are needed. But I also know that I need to have the correct and most current information for writing as well.

So whatever it is you want written, I can do it for you. I know that research is part of the whole process and will ensure that it is correct for you and you love the whole thing.

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Struggling with the Thought of Success

The last few weeks I have found it difficult to get writing. I just felt down and like I had no inspiration whatsoever. Admittedly, I was trying to get everything done in the house and with Johnathan. All the while Kevin had the flu, but that wasn’t the only reason.

In fact, I had stopped responding to most outside stimuli. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in that place where everything just seems like too much to do, but there isn’t any particular reason for you feeling like that? That was what it felt like.

Anyway, I was truly grateful to Ian Pownell for waking me up and getting me to the place where I realised it was just me getting in my way.

I had a fear of success.

I thought that maybe my whole character would change if I had money and I would become another person. Problem is, I couldn’t recognise it for myself.

The truth is that many people feel the same way. And it gets in the way of us doing what we were meant to do. I believe money is not there as an evil thing to turn you into a monster who takes it and keeps it and tries to get everyone else’s money as well as your own.

You may have lived with someone that had a terrible money story and this has coloured your view of money because you don’t want to be like that. And it’s ok to change your money story. You don’t have to be stuck with someone else’s.

If you take the time to acknowledge what is really going on here, you would see that really, you are not going to become a money monster. You can begin to tell yourself something different because that’s ok and give yourself permission to make that change.

Just remember you are an individual and can transform your belief into new neural pathways in your brain and start believing something else.

Yes, you might be bothered by the old thinking once in a while and that’s ok. You just tell yourself that you are changing it to something else.

Money in and of itself is not wicked. Success is a good thing. You wouldn’t ascribe evil to a chair or table. would you? It’s the person holding the purse strings that make it good or bad. What do you think?

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ANNOUNCEMENT

You may have noticed I have been MIA recently but I am back properly now and I will be writing for coaches or people who help clients who have self-esteem and self-confidence issues.

I enjoy writing and have done so since my teens. It always gives me a buzz and a deep feeling of satisfaction inside. None of it has been as enjoyable or fulfilling as that before I met Cathy Hilton and helped her sort her LinkedIn profile out. It was a tremendous joy to find that I saw what she had written and instantly knew where she needed to make changes. She had asked for help in a Facebook group and I contacted her and showed her how to adjust her LinkedIn profile and did another two articles for her.

In writing for other business sectors, I have discovered there is no other group that I enjoy as much or that has given me the same sense of satisfaction than writing for coaches. I believe what made it more real for me is the fact that after speaking to Cathy on facebook messenger, I could tell EXACTLY how she would write it and the bonus is helping other individuals.

Contact me here or on facebook for further information.

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Being Scared while Creating A New Relationship

Have you ever had to create a relationship with someone in the business that you find daunting?

Maybe you are concerned because you don’t know how to prepare for them. Or maybe you are hoping to get some business from them to such a degree and you don’t want to lose this oppertunity. So you over prepare for the meeting in your mind.

I will admit I was more than concerned. And, truthfully, I was scared about meeting my in-laws a few weeks after Kevin and I had met and decided we wanted to be together. What if they didn’t like me and Kevin decided that he wasn’t going to marry me because of them? Kevin had been talking to me about his relationship with his parents. Early on, I realised that they were a really close family.

Maybe you know something about the relationships that your (possible) business has and are worried about muscling in on the group. Or maybe there is someone in the office that you don’t know well, but they have a great relationship with somebody you wish to impress in another team but it scares you to try?

When Kevin and I arrived at the house for Sunday lunch and dinner, Mary (his mother) offered me a cup of tea. I really do appreciate a cup of tea any time of the day. As she was handing it to me, I could see her hands were shaking.

I realised she was just as or even more terrified of me, as I was of her.

As you go to meet a new client and do new work for them, you don’t know if they have had bad experiences before. What if they are now wary of what you are going to do? In fact, for all you know, they could be as wary and scared as well. Even more so than you are. Truth is you never know what they are thinking or planning to do and vice versa.

If you are going into a job and are desperate for things to go well, just remember that they could be nervous as well. You don’t know what has gone on in their minds or lives before you see them.

Take heart, see and recognise that the fear that has held you up is not necessarily justified. The person you are talking to could be as scared as you that something will go wrong. Or that you will not be able to produce the work they need.

You can do this.

Just imagine that the people you are seeing are as scared as you.

Work out how you would put them at ease.

Show them that you are more than capable of doing the work required.
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Gratitude VS. Appreciation: Digging into the Real Meaning

I saw a really interesting post from a friend and she said that instead of expressing gratitude, she now expressed appreciation. Her contention was that the words were used interchangeably and actually appreciation is a more positive word whereas gratitude can be a more negative one. So I decided to look into it.

These are the definitions according to the online Cambridge Dictionary.

Gratitude


noun [ U ] UK /ˈɡræt.ɪ.tʃuːd/ US /ˈɡræt̬.ə.tuːd/ also gratefulness

the feeling or quality of being grateful:
deep/eternal gratitude
She sent them a present to show/express her gratitude.
Take this as a token of my gratitude for all your help.

Appreciation


noun [ U ] UK /əˌpriː.ʃiˈeɪ.ʃən/ US /əˌpriː.ʃiˈeɪ.ʃən/
appreciation noun [ U ] (VALUE)

B2 the act of recognizing or understanding that something is valuable, important, or as described:
Max has no appreciation of the finer things in life.
The crowd cheered in appreciation.
Children rarely show any appreciation of/for what their parents do for them.
These flowers are a token of my appreciation of/for all your help.

Seeing the Difference

So you can see that they actually are different and my friend is right that you should not be using them interchangeably.

It is actually quite interesting that they are so different and actually more so than I had thought. Feeling is based on emotion whereas recognition or understanding is not. Or you could say that one is from the heart and the other is from the head.

Now I’m not saying that one is more important than the other. Gratitude is a good thing to practise but recognising what somebody has done is also excellent. I think from this, you could say that they both have a place in your life and should be practised every day.

Gratitude is based on yourself whereas appreciation is for others. Both of them need expression and to be part of your everyday life. I am never going to forget looking at these two words and the differences between them or actually use the words in the wrong context now.

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Video Games & Teaching Moments

Where do I start with this? Let me go back a bit. Kevin had a video game – Pikmin 2 for the Wii. He played it for quite a few years on and off (well, more off than on). So about a year and a half ago, Johnathan was wanting games that taxed his mind and his analyzing ability. Kevin introduced him to the game as something he could do.

Well, Johnathan got on really well with the game and although he would ask for help, it was infrequent and for something that he simply couldn’t do. He could tell Kevin how to do it, he just didn’t have the skill with the remote or nunchuck. He played it in a very weird way – had the remote stuck in the left-hand side of the screen and left it there while he used the nunchuck.

Anyway, they completed the game and Johnathan was really proud of this – as he should be. It was a massive achievement. He had achieved something I didn’t believe was possible at his young age. Kevin and he would play the short games and occasionally he would go down and complete a cave again.

When Curiosity Gets in the Way

Johnathan is always very curious about how things work. He tends to go and interfere with the options and the settings, just to see what he can do. This could be a blessing, but he doesn’t have the background knowledge to know what to do. Kevin has told him to stay out of them in every game he plays but the other day he decided to go into them, as he does with other games. He basically wiped out the whole completed game on the Wii.

Trouble was he wanted to do it again, which would have been a good thing to do but he was leaving ALL the work to Kevin and not doing any of it. The fact is he did it all in the past and has more than enough knowledge and ability to do it himself. Kevin and I spoke about it together and we decided that he was going to do it again. Kevin was just going to be there for advice and help if he needed it.

Working on it Himself

Johnathan didn’t believe he could do it and was deeply upset at us asking him to. We told him that we knew he could – he had done it a year and a half ago. If he could do it in a bizarre way and complete the game, then he could learn how to do the game in a usual manner. We were well aware of his capability even if he was not.

So he has actually been doing it and succeeding. The game is teaching him skills that will help him in the future. Working things out for himself again is really rewarding. Every bit he is achieving, I am encouraging him that he can do it. Hoping he sees that it is possible for him to succeed.

Yes, Johnathan wiped out the game by accident, but we are using it as a learning and achieving lesson for him. He doesn’t have much confidence in his abilities so I am hoping as we encourage him, we can help him achieve whatever he wants to.

It’s wonderful to see Johnathan’s joy and delight over every bit of the game that he achieves. He knows that he can do these things now and I am hoping this is increasing his confidence. Unfortunately he doesn’t yet understand how to transfer his skills from one area of life to another. He holds them in separate sections in his mind but we are working on him recognising that skills are transferrable from one situation to another.